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Dwight Frye

Dwight Frye

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  • Dwight Frye : The Jewel Tensil TownTossed Away

    • Rhoda Clark
    • 2016-10-26

    There could never be enough accolades of appreciation bestowed for any other Hollywood actor than that of the multi-talented stage and screen phenom, Dwight Frye. In actual life, he was a loving, dedicated family man and devout Christian Scientist, but when he got in front of a movie camera and/or theater audience, this humble man transformed into characters that were eccentric, electrifying, and often-times embolden. Most renowned for his portrayal as the doomed "Renfield" in the classic 1931 motion picture, "Dracula", Frye proved to be the most anticipated character in the film. With his demented wild eye stare, and signature demonic laugh, it appears to be his greatest accomplishment as well as an agonizing curse. Presumably in Hollywood, playing "crazy" too well, can be hazardous to an actors career. As a result, Dwight frightfully became pigeon-holed into acting roles as half-wits, hunch-backs and henchmen. Being the consummate professional and possessing the patience of a saint, Dwight endured small bit parts which were often-times not credited. By the beginning of the 40's, Frye's film roles were virtually, non existent, so during the start of the 2nd world war, he moonlit evenings as a tool and dye draftsman at the Douglas Air-force base in Santa Monica, Ca. During the day, he'd hunt down acting leads. Finally, in the Autumn of 1943, He was offered the role as Newton Baker, a member of President Wilson's cabinet, in the bio-pic, "Wilson". Just 3 days before filming for the role, Frye took his wife and 13 year old son out to the cinema. After boarding a public bus, he suffered a fatal heart-attack, later, dying at a nearby hospital in Hollywood. No doubt, this was a tragedy. However, I'd like to think that it all happened so quickly, that Dwight couldn't process what had happened to him. I like to think that he actually died a happy man, knowing that this new phase of his career, he could take care of his family, and flourish in his craft.

  • Dwight Frye : The Jewel Tensil Town Tossed Away

    • Rhoda Clark
    • 2016-10-26

    There could never be enough accolades of appreciation bestowed for any other Hollywood actor than that of the multi-talented stage and screen phenom, Dwight Frye. In actual life, he was a loving, dedicated family man and devout Christian Scientist, but when he got in front of a movie camera and/or theater audience, this humble man transformed into characters that were eccentric, electrifying, and often-times embolden. Most renowned for his portrayal as the doomed "Renfield" in the classic 1931 motion picture, "Dracula", Frye proved to be the most anticipated character in the film. With his demented wild eye stare, and signature demonic laugh, it appears to be his greatest accomplishment as well as an agonizing curse. Presumably in Hollywood, playing "crazy" too well, can be hazardous to an actors career. As a result, Dwight frightfully became pigeon-holed into acting roles as half-wits, hunch-backs and henchmen. Being the consummate professional and possessing the patience of a saint, Dwight endured small bit parts which were often-times not credited. By the beginning of the 40's, Frye's film roles were virtually, non existent, so during the start of the 2nd world war, he moonlit evenings as a tool and dye draftsman at the Douglas Air-force base in Santa Monica, Ca. During the day, he'd hunt down acting leads. Finally, in the Autumn of 1943, He was offered the role as Newton Baker, a member of President Wilson's cabinet, in the bio-pic, "Wilson". Just 3 days before filming for the role, Frye took his wife and 13 year old son out to the cinema. After boarding a public bus, he suffered a fatal heart-attack, later, dying at a nearby hospital in Hollywood. No doubt, this was a tragedy. However, I'd like to think that it all happened so quickly, that Dwight couldn't process what had happened to him. I like to think that he actually died a happy man, knowing that his new phase of his career, he could take care of his family, and flourish in his craft.

  • One of My Top Five Favorite Actors of All Time

    • Matt Majeski
    • 2016-07-06

    For me, Dwight is one of my top five favorite actors of all time, mainly because no matter what part he was given, he presented himself the best way any actor can - with undying dedication and love for his craft! He was certainly an actor that was severely underused in his time, and had so much potential and range coming off of Broadway for seven years in the late 1920s! Again, what makes him so extraordinary to me is how passionate he was for acting, despite the treatment he received from Hollywood. He gave every scene he was in the respect that it deserved, even if the scene or film as a whole didn't necessarily deserve it. His passion was so fervent that it leaped off the screen like electricity! He truly deserved the nickname, "The Man with the Thousand-Watt Stare", for both his maddening stare and unmatched energy! And because of that conviction for his work, he could make any role, no matter how small or insignificant, memorable. He could speak volumes through his physical presence alone, making you, the audience member, transfixed on him, wanting to know more about his character. And yet, he never stole the limelight from his co-stars, always offering an infinitive worth of support to them as a supporting player/character actor. He's the kind of actor that makes the craft so effortless that it become enticing, even intoxicating, for viewers to try acting themselves. In my opinion, he is an inspiration to any type of creative individual, with his life story and overall person encouraging you to fully love what you do, to become so experienced that you make your artistic medium appear easy to do, and that you never give up, no matter how many obstacles are thrown in your direction! That is why Dwight Frye is one of my top five favorite actors of all time! For those that are interested in everything Dwight related, please join my Facebook group, The Dwight Frye Appreciation Group, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/254446664670689/ Thank you!

  • Dwight Frye, a Treasure of an Actor

    • ShepherdMoon
    • 2008-09-07

    Dwight Frye was a most wonderful and talented actor;able to take on so many different roles with relative ease and make them completely convincing. His acting quality was so genuine, something you don't see much of these days. He was also a very handsome actor. It is too bad that he was not given romantic roles to play, he probably would have had the ladies swooning in the aisles given the chance.

  • Dwight Frye Was a Genius

    • MadamRenfield
    • 2008-07-13

    Despite his distressingly short life, Dwight Frye was a talented and versatile but unfortunately underused actor. Like the great Peter Lorre, it seems that Hollywood didn't know how to best capitalise on Mr. Frye's talents, which resulted in his being painfully typecast as "crazies" and "hunchbacked assistants." While most people know his performances from Dracula and Frankenstein (as Renfield and as Frankenstein's assistant, respectively) Frye did so much more. He was able to play any number of characters with convincing ease, a veritable chameleon of an actor who could appear tall or short, steely or mincing, sadly insane or a cold-hearted killer. His early death at age 44 - sadly on the cusp of a devastatingly brilliant comeback - marks his as one of the more tragic Hollywood stories. By all laws of fame and cinema,Frye should have faded into obscurity except for one very important thing: the brilliance of his performances, which assured his immortality. He was a genius of stage and cinema and deserves to be remembered for first of all his talent but ultimately for his great humanity.

  • Versatile and underrated.

    • Gabrielle
    • 2008-07-13

    Dwight Frye was an amazing actor and person. His talents ranged from playing classical piano, to singing, to dancing, to acting and to painting. Despite facing type-casting and financial difficulty he continued to pursue his dream while supporting his wife, son and mother. A class act across the board!

  • Talented, versatile character actor

    • Jennifer
    • 2008-07-13

    Dwight Frye was a remnant of Broadway, where one's acting had to outshine even the limits of the stage and wow people at the back of the audience. He never lost that grandiose touch, even while making pictures. He was a handsome actor with a wide acting range and, as many talented actors who can play horror well, was continuously asked to portray those roles despite his ability to play lovers, comedians and heroes equally well. In personal life, he was a quiet, religious family man who kept himself sheltered from the seedier side of Hollywood. It's a pity that more movies featuring his non-horror roles are not available for purchase, since a man of his talents deserves to be featured properly, and fairly. He was one of the best character actors Hollywood ever worked with.

  • Wonderful and weird

    • Oliver Cutshaw
    • 2007-11-26

    Marvelous and unique character actor. His performance in the 1931 Frankenstein is legendary. Even though most of his parts were brief, he always added something special to each picture. He had an spooky voice, bug eyes, and the ability to play kooks and crazies with the best of them.

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