Hello Everybody? Joe Morella and Frank Segers again to answer the burning question of the day.
The actor who has appeared in the most Academy Award Winning Best Pictures is none other than Franklyn Farnum.
You probably think this man must be related to Dustin Farnum, the silent screen actor who was such a big star that people named their children after him. Think Dustin Hoffman. But no. Franklyn Farnum was just the stage name of an actor born William Smith who segued from vaudeville to the stage to silent pictures, mostly westerns in the early days of Hollywood. He was quite successful and married to silent star Alma Rubens for a time.
Franklyn left films in 1925 to return to the stage, but then after talkies arrived he returned to movies. Unfortunately for him his days of leading roles were over and he became a bit player. But a player who sometimes got billing, sometimes didn’t, but who worked constantly.
Since he appeared in over 430 films in his career some were bound to be big hits and indeed six of the films won best picture of the year.
Farnum is in The Life of Emile Zola, The Lost Weekend, Gentlemen’s Agreement, All About Eve, The Greatest Show on Earth, and Around the Word in Eighty Days.
Whether by chance, because he was a favorite of top directors, or great choices on his part, his credits read like a list of classic must see films.
They include: Stagecoach, East of Eden, Sunset Boulevard, Strangers on a Train, Pillow Talk, The Bad and The Beautiful, and Garland’s A Star is Born.
But then as Bing Crosby said about having so many hits, if you record hundreds and hundreds of songs a couple of dozen are bound to click.