Quantcast
peoplepill id: franklin-pangborn
FP
1 views today
2 views this week
Franklin Pangborn

Franklin Pangborn

American actor
Franklin Pangborn
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actor
Was Actor Television actor Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 23 January 1889, Newark, USA
Death 20 July 1958, Laguna Beach, USA (aged 69 years)
Star sign Aquarius
Peoplepill ID franklin-pangborn
The details

Biography

Franklin Pangborn (January 23, 1889 – July 20, 1958) was an American comedic character actor famous for playing small but memorable roles with comic flair. He appeared in many Preston Sturges movies as well as the W.C. Fields films International House, The Bank Dick, and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. For his contributions to motion pictures, Pangborn received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1500 Vine Street on February 8, 1960.

Early years

Pangborn was born in Newark, New Jersey. During World War I, he served for 14 months with the 312th Infantry in Europe.

Career

An encounter with actress Mildred Holland when he was 17 led to Pangborn's first professional acting experience. He was working for an insurance company when she learned about his ambitions for acting and offered him an extra's position with her company at $12 per week, initially during his two weeks' vacation. That opportunity grew into four years' touring with Holland and her troupe. Following that, he acted in Jessie Bonstelle's stock company.

In the early 1930s, Pangborn worked in short subjects for Mack Sennett, Hal Roach, Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Pathé Exchange, almost always in support of the leading players. (For example, he played a befuddled photographer opposite "Spanky" McFarland in the Our Gang short subject Wild Poses.) He also appeared in scores of feature films in small roles, cameos, and recurring gags.

Pangborn played essentially the same character: prissy, polite, elegant, highly energetic, often officious, fastidious, somewhat nervous, prone to becoming flustered but essentially upbeat, and with immediately recognizable high-speed, patter-type speech. He typically played an officious desk clerk in a hotel, a self-important musician, a fastidious headwaiter, an enthusiastic birdwatcher, and the like, and was usually put in a situation of frustration or flustered by the antics of others.

Pangborn's screen character often was considered a gay stereotype, although such a topic was too sensitive in his day to be discussed overtly in dialogue. A rare exception occurred in International House, filmed before the Hays Office fully censored filmmaking, and was notable for several risqué references (by 1933 standards). In one scene, Professor Quail, played by W.C. Fields, has just landed his autogyro on the roof of the titular hotel in the Chinese city of Wuhu, but he does not know where he is. Pangborn plays the hotel manager:

  • Professor Quail: Hey! Where am I?
  • Woman: Wu-Hu.
  • Professor Quail: Woo-Hoo to you sweetheart! Hey Charlie! Where am I?
  • Pangborn: WU-HU!
  • (Fields then removes the flower from his lapel) Professor Quail: Don't let the posy fool ya!

Pangborn was an effective foil for many major comedians, including Fields, Harold Lloyd, Olsen and Johnson, and The Ritz Brothers. He appeared regularly in comedies, including several directed by Preston Sturges, and in musicals of the 1940s. When movie roles became scarce, he worked in television, including The Red Skelton Show (in which he played a murderous bandit) and a This Is Your Life tribute to Mack Sennett, his old boss. Pangborn was briefly the announcer on Jack Paar's The Tonight Show in 1957, but was fired after the first few weeks for a lack of "spontaneous enthusiasm" and replaced by Hugh Downs.

Pangborn's final public performance came as a supporting player in The Red Skelton Show episode for April 22, 1958.

Personal life

Pangborn lived in Laguna Beach, California in a house with his mother and his "occasional boyfriend", according to William Mann in Behind the Screen. He died on July 20, 1958.

Selected filmography

All feature films are listed below. Many short films, however, are missing.
  • The Jelly Fish (1926, Short) - Clarence, the Jelly Fish
  • Exit Smiling (1926) - Cecil Lovelace (feature film debut)
  • Finger Prints (1927) - The Bandoline Kid
  • Getting Gertie's Garter (1927) - Algy Brooks
  • High Hat (1927) - Minor Role
  • The Night Bride (1927) - John Stockton
  • Cradle Snatchers (1927) - Howard Drake
  • The Rejuvenation of Aunt Mary (1927) - Melville
  • The Girl in the Pullman (1927) - Hector Brooks
  • My Friend from India (1927) - William / Tommy Valentine
  • A Blonde for a Night (1928) - Hector
  • On Trial (1928) - Turnbull
  • The Rush Hour (1928) - Troublemaker at Bohemia Cafe (uncredited)
  • Lady of the Pavements (1929) - M'sieu Dubrey, Dance Master
  • The Sap (1929) - Ed Mason
  • Not So Dumb (1930) - Leach
  • Cheer Up and Smile (1930) - Professor
  • Her Man (1930) - Sport
  • A Lady Surrenders (1930) - Lawton
  • Sunny (1930) - Party Guest (uncredited)
  • A Woman of Experience (1931) - Hans, a Sailor
  • Over the Counter (1932, Short) Department Store Employee
  • Stepping Sisters (1932) - Gason
  • A Fool's Advice (1932) - Egbert, Hotel Clerk
  • Midnight Patrol (1932)
  • The Loud Mouth (1932, Short) - Freddie Quimby
  • The Half-Naked Truth (1932) - Mr. Wellburton, Hotel Clerk
  • Parachute Jumper (1933) - Man in Private Office (uncredited)
  • Sweepings (1933) - Photographer (uncredited)
  • Sing, Bing, Sing (1933, Short) - Herbert
  • International House (1933) - Hotel Manager
  • Professional Sweetheart (1933) - Herbert Childress
  • Bed of Roses (1933) - Floorwalker
  • The Important Witness (1933) - Groom
  • Headline Shooter (1933) - Adolphus G. Crocker
  • Menu (1933, Short) - John Xavier Omsk (uncredited)
  • Wild Poses (1933, Little Rascals short) - Otto Phocus, the Portrait Photographer
  • Only Yesterday (1933) - Tom (uncredited)
  • Design for Living (1933) - Mr. Douglas, Theatrical ProducerP
  • Flying Down to Rio (1933) - Hammerstein, the Hotel Manager (uncredited)
  • Unknown Blonde (1934) - Male Co-Respondent
  • Manhattan Love Song (1934) - Garrett Wetherby
  • Strictly Dynamite (1934) - Mr. Bailey
  • Many Happy Returns (1934) - Allen's Secretary
  • Cockeyed Cavaliers (1934) - Town Crier (uncredited)
  • King Kelly of the U.S.A. (1934) - J. Ashton Brockton
  • Young and Beautiful (1934) - Radio Announcer
  • That's Gratitude (1934) - Photographer
  • Tomorrow's Youth (1934) - Thornton, the Tutor
  • Imitation of Life (1934) - Mr. Carven (uncredited)
  • Flirtation (1934) - Veterinarian
  • College Rhythm (1934) - Peabody
  • Eight Bells (1935) - Finch
  • The Headline Woman (1935) - Hamilton
  • She Married Her Boss (1935) - Window Dresser (uncredited)
  • She Couldn't Take It (1935) - Spot's Secretary (uncredited)
  • 1,000 Dollars a Minute (1935) - Reville
  • Tango (1936) - Oscar the Photographer
  • Don't Gamble with Love (1936) - Salesman
  • Give Us This Night (1936) - Forcellini's Secretary
  • Doughnuts and Society (1936) - Benson
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) - the Tailor (uncredited)
  • To Mary - with Love (1936) - Guest
  • My Man Godfrey (1936) - Guthrie (uncredited)
  • Swing Banditry (1936, short) - Radio Station Employee (uncredited)
  • In His Steps (1936) - (uncredited)
  • The Luckiest Girl in the World (1936) - Cashier
  • Hats Off (1936) - Mr. Churchill
  • Three Smart Girls (1936) - Jeweler (uncredited)
  • The Mandarin Mystery (1936) - Mellish
  • High Hat (1937) - Renaldo Breton
  • Dangerous Number (1937) - Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)
  • She's Dangerous (1937) - Renaud
  • Rich Relations (1937) - Mr. Dwight
  • They Wanted to Marry (1937) - Hotel Manager (uncredited)
  • Swing High, Swing Low (1937) - Henri
  • When Love Is Young (1937) - John Dorman
  • We Have Our Moments (1937) - Joe the Bartender (uncredited)
  • Step Lively, Jeeves! (1937) - Gaston
  • A Star Is Born (1937) - Billy Moon (uncredited)
  • Turn Off the Moon (1937) - Mr. Perkins
  • Hotel Haywire (1937) - Fuller Brush Salesman (uncredited)
  • Dangerous Holiday (1937) - Doffle
  • She Had to Eat (1937) - Mr. Phoecian-Wylie
  • Easy Living (1937) - Van Buren
  • The Lady Escapes (1937) - Pierre
  • It's All Yours (1937) - Schultz
  • The Life of the Party (1937) - Beggs
  • It Happened in Hollywood (1937) - Mr. Forsythe
  • All Over Town (1937) - the Costumer
  • Stage Door (1937) - Harcourt
  • Living on Love (1937) - Ogilvie O. Oglethorpe
  • I'll Take Romance (1937) - Kane's Secretary (uncredited)
  • She Married an Artist (1937) - Paul
  • Thrill of a Lifetime (1937) - Sam Williams
  • Love on Toast (1937) - Finley
  • Mad About Music (1938) - Hotel Manager (uncredited)
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) - Hamilton Montmarcy
  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938) - Assistant Hotel Manager
  • Joy of Living (1938) - Orchestra Leader
  • Doctor Rhythm (1938) - Mr. Stenchfield (Store Clerk)
  • Vivacious Lady (1938) - Apartment Manager
  • Three Blind Mice (1938) - Clerk
  • Always Goodbye (1938) - Bicycle Salesman
  • Four's a Crowd (1938) - Preston
  • Carefree (1938) - Roland Hunter
  • Just Around the Corner (1938) - Waters
  • The Girl Downstairs (1938) - Adolf Pumpfel
  • Topper Takes a Trip (1938) - Hotel Manager
  • Broadway Serenade (1939) - Gene
  • 5th Ave Girl (1939) - Higgins
  • Turnabout (1940) - Mr. Pingboom
  • Public Deb No. 1 (1940) - Bartender
  • Spring Parade (1940) - Wiedlemeyer
  • The Villain Still Pursued Her (1940) - Bartender (uncredited)
  • Hit Parade of 1941 (1940) - Carter
  • Christmas in July (1940) - Don Hartman, Radio Announcer
  • The Bank Dick (1940) - J. Pinkerton Snoopington
  • Where Did You Get That Girl? (1941) - Digby
  • A Girl, a Guy and a Gob (1941) - Pet Shop Owner
  • The Flame of New Orleans (1941) - Bellows
  • Bachelor Daddy (1941) - Williams, Club Manager
  • Tillie the Toiler (1941) - Perry Tweedale
  • Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) - The Producer
  • Weekend for Three (1941) - Number Seven
  • Sullivan's Travels (1941) - Mr. Casalsis
  • Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case (1941) - Charley Towne
  • Call Out the Marines (1942) - Wilbur
  • Obliging Young Lady (1942) - Prof. Gibney
  • What's Cookin'? (1942) - Professor Bistell
  • Moonlight Masquerade (1942) - Fairchild
  • The Palm Beach Story (1942) - Manager
  • Now, Voyager (1942) - Mr. Thompson
  • George Washington Slept Here (1942) - Mr. Gibney
  • Strictly in the Groove (1942) - Cathcart
  • Reveille with Beverly (1943) - Vernon Lewis
  • Two Weeks to Live (1943) - Mr. Pinkney
  • Stage Door Canteen (1943) - Franklin Pangborn
  • Honeymoon Lodge (1943) - Cathcart
  • Holy Matrimony (1943) - Duncan Farll
  • Crazy House (1943) - Hotel Clerk
  • Never a Dull Moment (1943) - Sylvester
  • My Best Gal (1944) - Mr. Porter
  • The Great Moment (1944) - Dr. Heywood
  • Allergic to Love (1944) - Stewart Ives III
  • Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) - Reception Committee Chairman
  • Reckless Age (1944) - Mr. Thurtle
  • See My Lawyer (1945) - B.J. Wagonhorn
  • The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) - Radio Engineer / Sloan, House Detective
  • Hollywood and Vine (1945) - Reggie Allen
  • You Came Along (1945) - Hotel Clerk
  • Tell It to a Star (1945) - Horace Lovelace
  • The Sailor Takes a Wife (1945) - Salesman (uncredited)
  • Lover Come Back (1946) - Hotel Clerk
  • Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946) - Theatre Manager
  • Calendar Girl (1947) - 'Dilly' Dillingsworth
  • I'll Be Yours (1947) - Barber
  • The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) - Formfit Franklin
  • Romance on the High Seas (1948) - Rio Hotel Clerk
  • My Dream Is Yours (1949) - Sourpuss Manager
  • Addio Mimí! (1949) - The Cat Lover
  • Down Memory Lane (1949) - Mr. Sennett's Representative / Gilbert Sinclair
  • Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957) - Steamship Clerk (uncredited)
  • The Story of Mankind (1957) - Marquis de Varennes
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 25 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
comments so far.
Comments
From our partners
Sponsored
Reference sources
References
http://www.walkoffame.com/franklin-pangborn
http://projects.latimes.com/hollywood/star-walk/franklin-pangborn/
https://www.newspapers.com/clip/37717246/franklin_pangborn/
https://archive.org/download/Red_Skelton_FranklinPangbornGuest/red03FranklinPangborn_512kb.mp4
https://archive.org/details/behindscreenhowg00mann
https://archive.org/details/behindscreenhowg00mann/page/133
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0659427/
https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/68490
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5006
https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb166260377
https://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb166260377
arrow-left arrow-right instagram whatsapp myspace quora soundcloud spotify tumblr vk website youtube pandora tunein iheart itunes