William Frawley





2/26/1887 , Burlington, Iowa, USA



Birth Name

William Clement Frawley




Born in Burlington, Iowa, William Frawley began singing at a young age at Burlington’s St. Paul Catholic Church. He was soon performing at the Burlington Opera House. By the age of 21 he was in Chicago appearing in a musical comedy. His mother forced him to leave that job, but by then he had fallen in love with theater and would soon be performing again. He and his brother Paul formed a vaudeville act, and Bill would continue in vaudeville for several years, with many different partners, including his wife. Paramount Pictures signed Frawley to a long-term contract, and he began a long career as a character actor. By 1951, when producer Desi Arnaz hired him for I Love Lucy he had made over 100 films and had a reputation for drunkenness. He agreed not to appear on the set drunk, and kept his word through the duration of the series. Following a successful run on I Love Lucy, Frawley spent five seasons playing “Bub” O’Casey on My Three Sons. Poor health forced him to retire in 1965. William Frawley died in 1966, after collapsing from a heart attack while walking along Hollywood Boulevard on his way home from seeing a movie.