Biography

At age ten, Frank McHugh began performing in his parent's stock company, side by side with his siblings Matt and Kitty. By age 17, McHugh was resident juvenile with the Marguerite Bryant stock company. Extensive vaudeville experience followed, and in 1925 McHugh made his first Broadway appearance in The Fall Guy; three years later, he made his movie debut in a Vitaphone short. Hired by Warner Bros. for the small role of a motorcycle driver in 1930's The Dawn Patrol, McHugh appeared in nearly 70 Warners films over the next decade. He was often cast as the hero's best pal or as drunken comedy relief; his peculiar trademark was a lightly braying laugh. Highlight performances during his Warners tenure included Jimmy Cagney's pessimistic choreographer in Footlight Parade (1933), "rude mechanical" Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), an erstwhile poet and horserace handicapper in Three Men on a Horse (1936) and a friendly pickpocket in One Way Passage (1932) -- a role he'd repeat word-for-word in Till We Meet Again, 1940 remake of Passage. He continued showing up in character roles in such films as Going My Way (1944) and A Tiger Walks (1964) until the late 1960s. McHugh was also a regular on the 1960s TV series The Bing Crosby Show and F Troop. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi