Franchot Tone


Actor
Franchot Tone

About

Also Known As
Stanislas Pascal Franchot Tone
Birth Place
Niagara Falls, New York, USA
Born
February 27, 1905
Died
September 18, 1968
Cause of Death
Lung Cancer

Biography

Blue-blood, stage-trained actor who made his film debut in 1932. Owing to his upper-class poise and polish, Tone was pigeonholed as a tuxedoed, cafe society sophisticate in a host of mostly MGM comedies and dramas. By 1937 the tall, handsome and sensitive actor was one of Hollywood's most prominent leading men, receiving recognition for his roles in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935), "The Li...

Photos & Videos

Phantom Lady - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Phantom Lady - Movie Posters
Phantom Lady - Lobby Cards

Family & Companions

Joan Crawford
Wife
Actor. Married October, 1935, divorced 1939; co-starred with Tone in "Dancing Lady" (1933) and "Sadie McKee" (1934).
Jean Wallace
Wife
Actor. Married 1941, divorced 1948; two sons together; Franchot Tone won custody after divorce.
Barbara Payton
Wife
Actor. Married 1951, divorced 1952.
Dolores Dorn-Heft
Wife
Actor. Married 1956, divorced 1959; met during stage production of "Uncle Vanya".

Notes

"In 1951 he appeared in some very unpleasant headlines over a romance with starlet Barbara Payton, when he was beaten senseless on September 14 by ex-boxer Tom Neal (an actor best remembered for "Detour" 1945), who claimed Payton was engaged to both of them. Extensive plastic surgery was required on Tone's face, but undaunted, he married her. They were divorced the following year."--James Robert Parish ("The MGM Stock Comapny")

Biography

Blue-blood, stage-trained actor who made his film debut in 1932. Owing to his upper-class poise and polish, Tone was pigeonholed as a tuxedoed, cafe society sophisticate in a host of mostly MGM comedies and dramas. By 1937 the tall, handsome and sensitive actor was one of Hollywood's most prominent leading men, receiving recognition for his roles in "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935), "The Lives of a Bengal Lancer" (1935) and "Three Comrades" (1938). Too often, though, he found himself stifled in standardized romantic leads, playing consort to dynamic star actresses, especially his then-wife Joan Crawford.

Save for an occasional success such as Billy Wilder's fascinating "Five Graves to Cairo" (1943) and Robert Siodmak's landmark early film noir, "Phantom Lady" (1944), Tone made few memorable films during the 1940s, and his screen career was all but washed up by the early part of the next decade. Tone was received unwanted publicity when he was assaulted by actor Tom Neal as the two men had an altercation over starlet Barbara Payton, whom Tone would later married. He did, though, successfully repair to the stage in the 50s and intermittently surfaced in character parts in films through the 1960s. He was especially fine as the President of the United States in Otto Preminger's fine political drama "Advise and Consent" (1962) and as the seedy, menacing nightclub owner in Arthur Penn's offbeat 1965 drama, "Mickey One." Tone was also featured in the popular TV series, "Ben Casey" (1965-66).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Uncle Vanya (1958)
In Associate with

Cast (Feature Film)

The High Commissioner (1968)
Ambassador Townsend
In Harm's Way (1965)
CINCPAC I Admiral
Mickey One (1965)
Ruby Lopp
La bonne soupe (1964)
Montasi, Jr.
Advise & Consent (1962)
The President
Uncle Vanya (1958)
[Mikhail] Astroff, the Doctor
Here Comes the Groom (1951)
Wilbur Stanley
The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950)
Johann Radek
Jigsaw (1949)
Howard Malloy
Without Honor (1949)
Dennis Williams
Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)
Roger Sanford
I Love Trouble (1948)
Stuart Bailey
Her Husband's Affairs (1947)
William Weldon
Honeymoon (1947)
[David] Flanner
Lost Honeymoon (1947)
John Grey
Because of Him (1946)
Paul Taylor
That Night with You (1945)
Paul Renaud
Dark Waters (1944)
Dr. George Grover
Phantom Lady (1944)
Jack Marlow
The Hour Before the Dawn (1944)
Jim Hetherton
True to Life (1943)
Fletcher Marvin
His Butler's Sister (1943)
Charles Gerard
Pilot #5 (1943)
[Lt.] George Braynor Collins
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
John J. Bramble
Star Spangled Rhythm (1943)
Himself, men playing cards skit
The Wife Takes a Flyer (1942)
Christopher Reynolds
She Knew All the Answers (1941)
Mark Willows
Nice Girl? (1941)
Richard Calvert
This Woman Is Mine (1941)
Robert Stevens
Trail of the Vigilantes (1940)
"Kansas" [Tim Mason]
Fast and Furious (1939)
Joel Sloane
The Girl Downstairs (1938)
Paul Wagner
Love Is a Headache (1938)
Peter Lawrence
Man-Proof (1938)
Jimmy Kilmartin
Three Comrades (1938)
Otto Koster
Three Loves Has Nancy (1938)
Robert Hanson
Quality Street (1937)
Dr. Valentine Brown
The Bride Wore Red (1937)
Giulio
Between Two Women (1937)
[Dr.] Allen Meighan
They Gave Him a Gun (1937)
Jimmy [Davis]
Suzy (1936)
Terry [Moore]
The Unguarded Hour (1936)
Sir Alan Dearden
The King Steps Out (1936)
Emperor Franz Josef
Exclusive Story (1936)
Dick Barton
Love on the Run (1936)
Barnabas Pells
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
Lieutenant ["Fort"] Forsythe
Dangerous (1935)
Don Bellows
One New York Night (1935)
Foxhall [Ridgeway]
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
[Roger] Byam
Reckless (1935)
Bob Harrison
No More Ladies (1935)
Jim [Salston]
The World Moves On (1934)
Richard [Girard]
Moulin Rouge (1934)
Douglas
Gentlemen Are Born (1934)
Bob [Bailey]
Straight Is the Way (1934)
Benny [Horowitz]
The Girl from Missouri (1934)
T. [Tom] R. Paige, Jr.
Sadie McKee (1934)
Michael [Alderson]
Midnight Mary (1933)
Tom [Mannering, Jr.]
Gabriel over the White House (1933)
Harley Beekman, Secretary to President
Stage Mother (1933)
Warren Foster
Dancing Lady (1933)
Tod Newton
The Stranger's Return (1933)
Guy [Crane]
Bombshell (1933)
Gifford [Middleton]
Today We Live (1933)
[Lieutenant] Ronnie [Boyce-Smith]
The Wiser Sex (1932)
Phil Long

Producer (Feature Film)

Uncle Vanya (1958)
Presented By

Production Companies (Feature Film)

The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950)
Company

Cast (Special)

The Little Foxes (1956)
Horace Giddens
The Guardsman (1955)
Actor

Life Events

1928

Joined the New Playwrights Company in Greenwich Village, with whom he made NY stage debut in "The Belt"

1929

Became a member of the Theatre Guild, appearing in "Red Dust", "Meteor", "Hotel Universe" (1930) and "Green Grow the Lilacs" (1931)

1931

Founding member of the Group Theatre

1932

Film debut, "The Wiser Sex" (filmed at Paramount's Astoria Studio in NY while he was appearing on stage in the evenings)

1932

Signed a five-year contract with MGM

1939

Returned to stage in Group Theatre's production, "The Gentle People"

1951

Assaulted by actor Tom Neal over disagreement regarding actor Barbara Payton

1967

With Jean Dalrymple, purchased Theatre Four in NY to use for experimental play productions; appeared there as narrator in "Beyond Desire"

1968

Appeared in last film, "The High Commissioner"

Photo Collections

Phantom Lady - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Phantom Lady - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Phantom Lady - Movie Posters
Phantom Lady - Movie Posters
Phantom Lady - Lobby Cards
Phantom Lady - Lobby Cards
Five Graves to Cairo - Publicity Stills
Five Graves to Cairo - Publicity Stills
The Bride Wore Red - Publicity Stills
The Bride Wore Red - Publicity Stills
Five Graves to Cairo - Lobby Cards
Here are some lobby cards from Five Graves to Cairo (1943), directed by Billy Wilder. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Five Graves to Cairo - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Paramount's Five Graves to Cairo (1943), directed by Billy Wilder.
Five Graves to Cairo - Movie Posters
Here are a variety of American and International movie posters for Paramount's Five Graves to Cairo (1943), directed by Billy Wilder.
Quality Street - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters from Quality Street (1937), starring Katharine Hepburn and Franchot Tone.
Because of Him - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of publicity stills from Universal's Because of Him (1946), starring Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Because of Him - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Universal Pictures' Because of Him (1946), starring Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone.
Because of Him - Movie Posters
Here are a few movie posters from Universal Pictures' Because of Him (1946), starring Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone.

Videos

Movie Clip

Honeymoon (1947) - The Walter Pidgeon Type American consul David (Franchot Tone) brought stranded bride Barbara (Shirley Temple) to a Mexico City club for a meal, as she tries to locate her soldier fiancé Phil, but she’s up for dancing too, which worries his future father-in-law (Julio Villareal), in Honeymoon, 1947.
Honeymoon (1947) - Every Smart Young Diplomat Franchot Tone is David, U.S. Consul in Mexico City receiving his local fiancée (Lina Romay), Gene Lockhart with his staff, then young Barbara (Shirley Temple) from Minnesota, needing help because her soldier fiancé (Guy Madison) couldn’t make their wedding date, in RKO’s Honeymoon, 1947.
Midnight Mary (1933) - Who Might That Lovely Lady Be? We know that knockout lady gambler Mary (Loretta Young) and coat check babe Bunny (Una Merkel) both work for gangsters, so we know something’s up at the casino, as we meet sophisticate Tom (Franchot Tone) and dyspeptic buddy Sam (Andy Devine), in MGM’s Midnight Mary, 1933.
Dangerous (1935) - I'll Never Forget Her Farnsworth (Walter Walker) meets ex-actress Joyce Heath (Bette Davis) then tells his club pals, including architect Don (Franchot Tone), about it, with Richard Carle as the incidental columnist Hanley, in the opening of Dangerous, 1935.
Dangerous (1935) - My Dismal Scene Well-to-do Don (Franchot Tone), who separated himself from his party after he noticed ex-actress Joyce (Bette Davis), whom he has long idolized, in a Manhattan dive, returns to introduce himself, early in Dangerous, 1935.
Bride Wore Red, The - So Rich And Important Hired to pose as an aristocrat, arriving at the fictional resort Terrana, Anni (Joan Crawford) meets postman Giulio (Franchot Tone, Crawford's husband), in The Bride Wore Red, 1938, directed by Dorothy Arzner.
Wife Takes A Flyer, The (1942) - Alien Legs Allyn Joslyn plays a comical Nazi in occupied Holland, whose girl-hunting brings him to the Woverman household, where he meets the butler (Erskine Sanford), and mother (Georgia Caine), and we meet leading man Franchot Tone, a downed British flyer, and finally leading lady Joan Bennett, early in MGM’s The Wife Takes A Flyer, 1942.
Wife Takes A Flyer, The (1942) - I Feel Like Gargantua The Nazi major (Allyn Joslyn) is taking over a Dutch household because he digs the soon-to-be-divorced daughter (Joan Bennett), while the butler (Erskine Sanford) is helping a fugitive Brit (Franchot Tone), who’s forced to improvise, Georgia Caine the clever mom, early in the MGM war-comedy The Wife Takes A Flyer, 1942.
Fast And Furious (1939) - I Don't Like This Ocean Jet-setting rare-book dealers Joel and Garda Sloane (Franchot Tone, Ann Sothern) arrive at “Seaside City” escaping the New York heat, and he’s alarmed to find out that his friend, who got him to invest in the beauty pageant, signed him up as a judge, early in MGM’s Fast And Furious, 1939.
Fast And Furious (1939) - I Speaks His Native Tongue Minor celebrity Joel Sloane (Franchot Tone) plays it cool while newsman Bentley (Allyn Joslyn) puts the moves on a beauty pageant contestant (Margaret Roach), then Mrs. Sloane (Ann Sothern), who doesn’t know her husband’s been made a judge, comes seeking his checkbook, in Fast And Furious, 1939.
Phantom Lady (1944) - It Would Be Fun To Laugh Nobody gets a name here, the actors are Alan Curtis, Fay Helm, and Andrew Tombes as the bartender, Robert Siodmak directing, from the first novel by writer Cornell Woolrich written under his “William Irish” pseudonym, in Phantom Lady, 1944, also starring Ella Raines and Franchot Tone.
Phantom Lady (1944) - You Sure Know How To Beat It Out Incredible scene from director Robert Siodmak and cinematographer Woody Bredell, heretofore reserved Carol (Ella Raines) now vamped up to get at jazz drummer Cliff (Elisha Cook Jr.), who’s known to be hiding evidence that could have cleared her boss, who’s been convicted of murder, best-known men in the band are Barney Bigard on clarinet and Freddie Slack on piano, in Phantom Lady, 1944.

Trailer

Stage Mother - (Original Trailer) Maureen O'Sullivan's mother will sacrifice anything, even her daughter if it will make her a star in Stage Mother (1933).
Love Is A Headache - (Original Trailer) A freak accident gives a fading actress (Gladys George) a huge publicity push in Love Is A Headache (1938).
Gentlemen Are Born - (Original Trailer) Four newly graduated college men face the Great Depression in Gentlemen Are Born (1934).
Five Graves to Cairo - (Original Trailer) A British corporal goes undercover to infiltrate Field Marshall Rommel's command in Billy Wilder's Five Graves to Cairo (1943).
Midnight Mary - (Original Trailer) Loretta Young is an abused orphan who sinks into a life of crime in the pre-code drama Midnight Mary (1933).
Unguarded Hour, The -- (Original Trailer) A blackmailer tries to stop a woman from revealing evidence that could save a condemned man in The Unguarded Hour (1936) starring Loretta Young.
Mutiny On The Bounty (1935) - (Original Trailer) The sadistic Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) drives his men to revolt during a South Seas expedition in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935).
Three Loves Has Nancy - (Original Trailer) A country girl (Janet Gaynor) follows the man who jilted her to the big city, where she finds two new suitors.
Mickey One - (Original Trailer) Warren Beatty and director Arthur Penn, later to make Bonnie And Clyde (1967), first worked together on the experimental film Mickey One (1965).
Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The - (Re-issue trailer) Three British soldiers in India fight invaders when not fighting each other in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) starring Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone.
Man-Proof - (Original Trailer) Myrna Loy may be crying in the chapel, but she refuses to give up her man, even after his marriage to Rosalind Russell in Man-Proof (1938).
Every Girl Should Be Married - (Original Trailer) Cary Grant met his third wife Betsy Drake while making the romantic comedy Every Girl Should Be Married (1949).

Family

Pascal Franchot Tone
Son
Mother Jean Wallace.
Thomas Jefferson Tone
Son
Mother Jean Wallace.

Companions

Joan Crawford
Wife
Actor. Married October, 1935, divorced 1939; co-starred with Tone in "Dancing Lady" (1933) and "Sadie McKee" (1934).
Jean Wallace
Wife
Actor. Married 1941, divorced 1948; two sons together; Franchot Tone won custody after divorce.
Barbara Payton
Wife
Actor. Married 1951, divorced 1952.
Dolores Dorn-Heft
Wife
Actor. Married 1956, divorced 1959; met during stage production of "Uncle Vanya".

Bibliography

Notes

"In 1951 he appeared in some very unpleasant headlines over a romance with starlet Barbara Payton, when he was beaten senseless on September 14 by ex-boxer Tom Neal (an actor best remembered for "Detour" 1945), who claimed Payton was engaged to both of them. Extensive plastic surgery was required on Tone's face, but undaunted, he married her. They were divorced the following year."--James Robert Parish ("The MGM Stock Comapny")