Leo Franklyn (1897 - 1975)

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About Leo Franklyn

<The Times, September 18, 1975>

<LEO FRANKLYN>

<Doyen of Whitehall farce>

Leo Franklyn, the comedy actor, died yesterday at the age of 78, following a heart attack he suffered last week after a performance of the play "No Sex Please, We're British", in which he had been appearing at the Strand Theatre.

Though not a major comic actor, Mr Franklyn came to be known with affection to the thousands who saw him year after year in Whitehall farce with Brian Rix as the epitome of sheer professionalism in acting. During his long association with Rix at the Whitehall Theatre and afterwards he played in all the family favourites including such roles as Bernard Lockwood in "Uproar in the House", Dudley in "Let Sleeping Wives Lie", Pop in "She's Done it Again" and Jugg in "One for the Pot", which ran for 1,221 performances.

He also appeared in many films and television productions and was particularly well known for his portrayal of a comic drunk - a role in which he was seen in five films, eight stage plays and a host of television shows. Rix himself christened him, "The best drunk in the business."

Leo Franklyn was born in London on April 7, 1897, and educated with the Franciscan Brotherhood. After army service he made his first appearance on the stage at Black's Theatre, Sunderland, in 1916 in the chorus of "The Belle of New York" and came to London to the Strand Theatre later that year.

Thereafter his career was a mixed one of musical comedy, pantomime and revue including 10 years in Australia from 1927 to 1937. In was in 1956 that he joined Ricks Productions and began his long association with the Whitehall style of comedy through which he became so well known.

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Leo Franklyn's Timeline

1897
April 7, 1897
1975
September 17, 1975
Age 78