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Franchot Tone

He was Oscar-nominated for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), starring alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.

Franchot Tone

Filmography

1932      

The Wiser Sex

 

1933      

Bombshell

Today We Live

The Stranger’s Return

Gabriel Over the White House

Midnight Mary

Dancing Lady

Stage Mother

 

1934      

Moulin Rouge

Sadie McKee

The World Moves On

The Girl from Missouri

Gentlemen Are Born

 

1935      

The Lives of a Bengal Lancer

Reckless

No More Ladies

Mutiny on the Bounty

Dangerous

 

 

1936      

The Unguarded Hour

The King Steps Out

Suzy

The Gorgeous Hussy

Love on the Run

 

1937      

Quality Street

The Bride Wore Red

They Gave Him a Gun

 

1938      

The Girl Downstairs

Three Comrades

Three Loves Has Nancy

Man-Proof

 

1939      

Fast and Furious

 

1941      

Nice Girl?

 

1943      

His Butler’s Sister

Five Graves to Cairo

Pilot No. 5

 

1944      

Phantom Lady

The Hour Before the Dawn

Dark Waters

 

1946      

Because of Him

 

1947      

Lost Honeymoon

Her Husband’s Affairs

Honeymoon

 

1948      

I Love Trouble

Every Girl Should Be Married

 

1949      

Jigsaw

Without Honor

 

1950      

The Man on the Eiffel Tower

 

1951      

Here Comes the Groom

Uncle Vanya

 

1962      

Advise & Consent

 

1965      

In Harm’s Way

 

1965      

Mickey One

 

1968      

Nobody Runs Forever

Awards

He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

 

[on his ex-wife, Joan Crawford] “She’s like that old joke about Philadelphia: First prize, 4 years with Joan. Second prize, 8 years with her.”

Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone was born on February 27, 1905, into a well-to-do upstate New York family. He traveled the world with his parents and attended various schools. He entered Cornell University, studying romance languages with an initial goal of teaching. He joined Cornell’s drama club, becoming its president his senior year.

Tone had no interest in the family electro-chemical business so he decided to become a serious actor. He joined a theater stock company in the city of Buffalo, earning only $15 a week. He played bit roles and educated himself in the theater business. He moved to Greenwich Village and auditioned for the New Playwrights’ Theater, making his Broadway debut in 1929 with Katharine Cornell in “The Age of Innocence”. Tone portrayed Curly in the flop Broadway production of “Green Grow the Lilacs” which would later be developed into the musical “Oklahoma!”.

Tone also became a founding member of the Group Theatre along with, among others, Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, and Clifford Odets, many of whom had worked with the Theater Guild. Strasberg had been a castmate of Tone’s in Green Grow the Lilacs.

These were intense and productive years for him; among the productions of the Group he acted in were 1931 (1931), Maxwell Anderson’s Night Over Taos (1931), The House of Connelly (1931) and John Howard Lawson’s Success Story (1932) directed by Lee Strasberg. Outside the Group he was in A Thousand Summers (1932).

Tone made his film debut with The Wiser Sex (1932) starring Claudette Colbert, filmed by Paramount at their Astoria Studios.

MGM immediately gave Tone a series of impressive roles, casting him in six films which came out in 1933. They started him with Today We Live, written by William Faulkner and starring Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford. He was the romantic male lead in Gabriel Over the White House starring Walter Huston and co-starred with Loretta Young in Midnight Mary.