"I'd like to stay with acting for the rest of my life. When I'm middle-aged—well, then I'll take middle-aged parts. And when I'm old I can always be a character actor...I wouldn't give up pictures. The stage is better, offers more opportunity for sustained moods and continued work; but it would be swell to come out to Hollywood for a part of every year, and then go back to the footlights."
Born in Niagara Falls, New York on February 27
Future wife Joan Crawford born on March 23 (her birth year has been disputed)
Future wife Jean Wallace born on October 12
Graduates from Cornell University
Future wife Barbara Payton born on November 16
Appears in the plays The Belt and Centuries
Appears in the plays Centuries, The International, and The Age of Innocence
Appears in the plays The Age of Innocence, Uncle Vanya, Cross Roads, and Red Rust
Appears in the plays Red Rust, Hotel Universe, and Pagan Lady
Appears in the plays Pagan Lady, Green Grow the Lilacs, The House of Connelly, and 1931
Appears in the plays Night Over Taos, A Thousand Summers, and Success Story
Makes screen debut in The Wiser Sex
Appears in the films Today We Live, Gabriel Over the White House, Midnight Mary, The Stranger's Return, Stage Mother, Bombshell, and Dancing Lady
Appears in the play Success Story
Future wife Dolores Dorn born on March 3
Appears in the films Moulin Rouge, Sadie McKee, The World Moves On, The Girl From Missouri, Straight is the Way, and Gentlemen are Born
Marries Joan Crawford on October 11
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in Mutiny on the Bounty
Appears in the films The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, One New York Night, Reckless, No More Ladies, Mutiny on the Bounty, and Dangerous
Appears in the films Exclusive Story, The Unguarded Hour, The King Steps Out, Suzy, The Gorgeous Hussy, and Love on the Run
Appears in the films Quality Street, They Gave Him a Gun, Between Two Women, and The Bride Wore Red
Appears in the films Man-Proof, Love is a Headache, Three Comrades, Three Loves Has Nancy, and The Girl Downstairs
Divorces Joan Crawford Appears in the film Fast and Furious
Appears in the play The Gentle People
Appears in the film Trail of the Vigilantes
Appears in the play The Fifth Column
Marries Jean Wallace
Appears in the films Nice Girl?, She Knew All the Answers, and This Woman is Mine
Appears in the films Star-Spangled Rhythm and The Wife Takes a Flyer
Appears in the films Five Graves to Cairo, Pilot No. 5, His Butler's Sister, and True to Life
Son Pascal "Pat" Tone born on July 29
Appears in the films Phantom Lady, The Hour Before the Dawn, and Dark Waters
Son Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Tone born on September 16
Appears in the film That Night With You
Appears in the play Hope for the Best
Appears in the film Because of Him
Appears in the films Lost Honeymoon, Honeymoon, Her Husband's Affairs
Divorces Jean Wallace
Appears in the films I Love Trouble and Every Girl Should Be Married
Appears in the films Jigsaw, The Man on the Eiffel Tower, and Without Honor
Appears in the "Walk the Dark Streets" production of the Studio One in Hollywood television series Appears in the "Black Bronze" episode of the Suspense television series
Appears in the "Goodnight, Please" production of the Lux Video Theatre television series
Appears in the "Murder at the Stork Club" production of The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse television series
Involved in a heavily-publicized fight with Tom Neal over fiancé Barbara Payton on September 13 (resulting in a hospital stay and surgeries)
Marries Barbara Payton on September 28
Appears in the film Here Comes the Groom Appears in the "Lunch at Disalvo's" production of the Starlight Theatre television series
Appears in "The Great Filson Bequest" episode of the Danger television series
Divorces Barbara Payton
Appears in the "All Hallow's Eve" episode of the Suspense television series
Appears in "The Horn" and "The Diamond Lens" episodes of the Tales of Tomorrow television series Appears in the "Blood Relation" episode of the Lights Out television series
Appears in the play Oh, Men! Oh, Women!
Appears in the "Temptation" production of The Philip Morris Playhouse television series
Appears in the "One Summer's Rain" production of The Revlon Mirror Theater television series Appears in the "Legal Affair" episode of the Hollywood Opening Night television series
Appears in the play Oh, Men! Oh, Women!
Appears in the "Twelve Angry Men" production of the Studio One in Hollywood television series Appears in "The Gioconda Smile" episode of the Climax! television series
Appears in "The Fifth Wheel" production of The United States Steel Hour television series
Appears in the play The Time of Your Life
Appears in the "Silent Decision" episode of the Climax! television series
Appears in the "Red Gulch" production of The United States Steel Hour television series
Appears in "The Sound and the Fury" production of the Playwrights '56 television series
Appears in the "Man Lost" production of the Robert Montgomery Presents television series
Appears in the "Award" production of the Four Star Playhouse television series
Appears in "The Guardsman" production of The Best of Broadway television series
Appears in the "Too Old for Dolls" production of The Ford Television Theatre television series Appears in the "Days of Grace" production of The Elgin Hour television series
Marries Dolores Dorn Appears in "Rendezvous in Black" production of the Playhouse 90 television series
Appears in the "Even the Weariest River" production of The Alcoa Hour television series
Appears in the television movie The Little Foxes
Appears in the "Survival" production of The United States Steel Hour television series
Appears in the "Steinmetz" production of The General Electric Theater television series
Appears in the film Uncle Vanya
Appears in the play A Moon for the Misbegotten
Appears in "The Thundering Wave" production of the Playhouse 90 television series
Appears in the "Bend in the Road" production of the Studio One in Hollywood television series Appears in "The Largest City in Captivity" episode of the Climax! television series
Appears in the "Night" production of The Alcoa Hour television series
Appears in the "Throw Me a Rope" production of The Kaiser Aluminum Hour television series
Appears in the "Bitter Heritage" production of the Playhouse 90 television series
Appears in "The Crazy Hunter" production of the Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse television series Appears in "The Last Night in August" episode of the Pursuit television series
Appears in the "Time of your Life" production of the Armchair Theatre television series
Appears in the "Trial by Slander" and "Ticket to Tahiti" productions of the Studio One in Hollywood television series
Divorces Delores Dorn
Appears in "The Hidden Image" and "A Quiet Games of Cards" productions of the Playhouse 90 television series
Appears in "Body and Soul" production of The DuPont Show of the Month television series
Appears in "The Impossible Dream" episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series
Appears in the "Denver McKee" episode of the Bonanza television series
Appears in "The Ticket" production of the Goodyear Theatre television series
Appears in "The Shape of the River" production of the Playhouse 90 television series
Appears in the play Mandingo Appears in "The Silence" episode of The Twilight Zone television series
Hosts the pilot and only episode of Witchcraft
Appears in the film Advise & Consent
Appears in "The Memory of Candy Stripes" episode of the Ben Casey television series
Appears in the "The Betrayal" production of The DuPont Show of the Week television series
Appears in the "Along About Late in the Afternoon" episode of The Eleventh Hour television series Appears in "The Malachi Hobart Story" episode of the Wagon Train television series
Appears in the plays Strange Interlude and Bicycle Ride to Nevada
Appears in the film La Bonne Soupe
Appears in the "The Master Builder" episode of the Fesitval television series
Appears in the "The Man Behind the Man" episode of The Reporter television series
Appears in the television movie See How They Run Appears in the "Jeremy Rabbitt: The Secret Avenger" production of The DuPont Show of the Week television series
Appears in the films In Harm's Way and Mickey One
Appears as a series regular in the Ben Casey television series
Appears in the "Old Cowboy" episode of The Virginian television series
Appears in the "Final Performance" episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour
Appears as a series regular in the Ben Casey television series
Appears in the "Tell It Like It Is" episode of the Run for Your Life television series
Third wife Barbara Payton dies on May 8
Appears in the film Nobody Runs Forever
Appears in the television movie Shadow over Elveron
Dies of lung cancer on September 18
First wife Joan Crawford dies on May 10
Second wife Jean Wallace dies on February 14
Son Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Tone dies on April 29
- Franchot Tone was born Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone on February 27, 1905 and died from cancer on September 18, 1968.
- He was a successful star of film, theater, radio, and television work.
- Franchot was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935).
- Married four times, Franchot's wives included:
- With second wife Jean Wallace, Franchot had two sons:
- Pascal Franchot Tone
- Thomas Jefferson Tone
- He was investigated and cleared by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1940.
- In a 1960s interview, Franchot named Mutiny on the Bounty, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, and Man on the Eiffel Tower as his favorites.
- Here's how to pronounce his name:
- Franchot has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located at 6558 Hollywood Boulevard.
- He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, and was a 1927 graduate of Cornell University.
- Franchot's nickname was "Pamp" in school.
ObituaryBelow is an excerpted obituary as it appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on September 19, 1968:
Stage and screen actor Franchot Tone, whose second home from early childhood was the Gatineau area, died at his home in New York City Wednesday of lung cancer. He was 63.
Tone, who led a tempestuous life both on and off-stage, appeared in such plays as Fifth Column in 1940, Oh Men Oh Women in 1953, A Moon for the Misbegotten and The Time of Your Life in 1958. His first film was Today We Live, with Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper, in Hollywood in 1932. He also appeared in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, Mutiny on the Bounty, Three Comrades, Without Honor, Man on the Eiffel Tower, and Here Comes the Groom.
Tone sought privacy away from the gossip columns in the Thirty-One Mile Lake area 28 miles south of Maniwaki. His father was one of the first to build a summer home on Thirty-One Mile Lake near Gracefield, Quebec. Tone’s father had married a French-Canadian girl from Buckingham, Quebec, named Franchot. Tone was named after her.
Eventually the camp on Thirty-One Mile Lake became the Gatineau Fish and Game Club. Tone visited the area annually in the summer and fall to fish and hunt moose. He held a lease on at least a dozen good trout lakes. He sometimes visited the Gracefield area in winter to hunt wolves on snow sleds. He was an excellent outdoorsman. When rehearsing a Broadway play, he would frequently invite the cast to Thirty-One Mile Lake for long weekends. He was a lifelong friend of the late Jean Paul Desjardins, mayor of Gracefield for many years. “I love every stick and stone in this wonderful country,” he said once.
Tone, born in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and a Cornell University honors graduate, joined a theatre stock company in Buffalo, N.Y. After a time with the New Playwrights Company in New York, he was chosen to appear in The Age of Innocence, starring Katharine Cornell.
Burgess Meredith, an old friend of Tone’s, said that Tone’s problem “aside from his obsession with lovely women, was, I suppose, that he had too many social graces. If he had a little less money, a little less looks, he might have made a larger mark. But I can’t think of a man who enjoyed life more."
Franchot Tone is not only a fine actor—in motion pictures, radio or on the stage—but he is a true theatre lover and theatre fan. When he was tied up with film-making on the West Coast, he often flew to New York for a few days of play-seeing, and audiences at City Center are well used to his presence at performances here of the ballet and the opera companies.
Nothing in his early life, a prosaic existence, foretold Mr. Tone’s future in the histrionic field. Born in Niagara Falls, New York, the son of a scientist and president of the Carborundum Company, he followed the course of normal young men through prep school, displaying many interests from football to French. During his four years at Cornell, however, Franchot acquired his first taste of the theatre. He acted and directed plays presented by Dramatic Club of which he was later elected President.
From Dramatic Club President, he stepped into the dual role of Property-man- bit actor in his first professional job with the Garry McGarry Players, a stock organization in Buffalo. The opportunity that rarely comes the way of understudies who nightly wait and pray—good-naturedly—that they will be included in the half-hour call was presented to Franchot when the principal player suddenly took sick, and he was summoned to report on stage—in the juvenile lead. That experience confirmed the young stage novice’s firm belief that acting was the career he wanted to follow.
Since then, Tone has spent his time almost equally behind the footlights and in motion picture studios. He made his Broadway debut with Katharine Cornell in “The Age of Innocence” and overnight became a top-ranking leading man. He appeared successively with Sylvia Sidney, Irene Purcell, and Peggy Shannon in “Cross Roads”; in three Theatre Guild productions, “Red Rust,” “Hotel Universe,” and “Green Grow the Lilacs”; and opposite Lenore Ulric in “Pagan Lady.” The actor, one of the original members of the Group Theatre, also played in numerous productions presented by that organization, including “The House of Connelly,” “1931,” “Night Over Taos,” “Success Story,” and “The Gentle People.” He was also in the adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s outstanding play, “The Fifth Column.”
Although the list of motion pictures in which Mr. Tone has performed is much longer than the catalogue of stage roles, the time he has spent in the studios, since a picture is only four to eight weeks in the making, is no more than he has given to the legitimate theatre. Among the many pictures in which he has been seen are, “Lives of a Bengal Lancer,” “Mutiny on the Bounty,” “The Gorgeous Hussy,” “Quality Street,” “The Bride Wore Red,” “Man Proof,” “Three Comrades,” “Fast and Furious”, “This Woman is Mine,” “She Knew All the Answers,” and “Five Graves to Cairo,” “Dark Waters” and “The Man on the Eiffel Tower,” which he also co-produced. His last appearance behind the footlights was as the romantically-involved psychiatrist in “Oh, Men! Oh, Women!”