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Don Francks Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Feb 28, 1932
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Canadian actor/singer Don Francks spent his formative performing years in his native country as a nightclub jazz vocalist, an all-night disc jockey, a member of a barbershop quartet called the Model T Four, and a trombonist in a country-western band. Despite all this activity, Francks was virtually unknown in the United States until 1960. At that time, a Canadian TV adventure series titled RCMP was syndicated regionally in the U.S. after a successful year's run above the border. Francks managed to attain a modest fan following in his handsome-hunk role as Constable Bill Mitchell. RCMP seemed to bode well for an American career, but Francks met a Waterloo of sorts when he was cast in the lead of the 1964 Broadway musical Kelly, which opened and closed on the same night and became a title synonymous with "disaster." Licking his wounds, Francks returned to his nightclub act, then in 1966 was cast in the Hollywood-filmed TV adventure series Jericho, the saga of a trio of secret agents sent behind German lines during World War II. The threesome consisted of an American, an Englishman and a Frenchman; Francks was the American, Franklin Shepard, a psychological warfare expert who dressed immaculately and took snuff. But with Batman and Daniel Boone as competition, Jericho took not snuff but a powder. It was back to Canadian TV spots and club dates for Francks until he was cast in the big-budget Hollywood musical [[Feature~V17345~Finian's Rainbow~finiansrainbow]] (1968), where, alas, he was effortlessly upstaged by [[Performer~P80113~Fred Astaire~fredastaire]] and [[Performer~P129312~Tommy Steele~tommysteele]]. Still popular in his own country, Don Francks supplemented his income in the '80s and '90s with Canadian-recorded cartoon voiceovers; his best showcase in this endeavor was on ABC's [[Feature~V102731~Ewoks-Droids Adventure Hour~laventurecestlaventure]] (1986). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi