Franchot Tone

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Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone

Birthplace: Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, United States
Death: September 18, 1968 (63)
New York, New York, United States (Lung cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of Frank Jerome Tone, Sr. and Gertrude VanVranken Franchot
Husband of Dolores Dorn
Ex-husband of Jean Wallace; Joan Crawford and Barbara Payton
Father of Private and Thomas Jefferson Tone
Brother of Frank Jerome Tone, Jr.

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Franchot Tone

Blue-blood, stage-trained actor Franchot Tone 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.

Born Stanislas Pascal Franchot Tone in Niagara Falls, New York, he was the president of the Dramatic Club at Cornell University. He went to Hollywood in 1932, achieving fame in 1933, when he made seven movies in a single year. In 1935 he starred in Mutiny on the Bounty (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor), The Lives of a Bengal Lancer and Dangerous, opposite Bette Davis. In the same year, he married Joan Crawford; they were divorced four years later. He married and divorced three more times.

He worked steadily through the 1940s without breaking through as a major star. 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’s 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). He died two years later, in New York City.

Tone has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6558 Hollywood Blvd.

Franchot Tone (February 27, 1905 – September 18, 1968) was an American stage, film, and television actor, star of many successful films and television series throughout his career, such as Bonanza, Wagon Train, The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Lives of a Bengal Lancer. He is perhaps best known for his role as Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty, starring alongside Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.

Selected filmography

Theater appearances

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Franchot Tone's Timeline

February 27, 1905
Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York, United States
September 16, 1945
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, United States
September 18, 1968
Age 63
New York, New York, United States