Biography

A rugged and trustworthy Western hero from Boston, silent screen cowboy Franklyn Farnum's appeal was closer to William S. Hart than Tom Mix. Farnum's road to screen stardom began in vaudeville and musical comedy. While he was not related to stage and screen stars William Farnum and Dustin Farnum, two legendary brothers who also hailed from Boston, he never really dissuaded the name association, and while he never achieved the same success as the other Farnums, it was not for lack of trying. Onscreen from around 1914, Franklyn Farnum was usually found in inexpensive Westerns and reached a plateau as the star of the 1920 serial The Vanishing Trails and a series of oaters produced independently by "Colonel" William N. Selig, formerly of the company that bore his name. In 1918, Farnum received quite a bit of press for marrying screen star Alma Rubens, but the union proved extremely short-lived. As busy in the 1920s as in the previous decade, Farnum made the changeover to sound smoothly enough, but he was growing older and leading roles were no longer an option. He maintained his usual hectic schedule throughout the following three decades, more often than not playing villains and doing bit parts, working well into the television Western era. For many years, Farnum was the president of the Screen Extras Guild. In 1961, Franklyn Farnum died of cancer at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi