Frank Fay

Frank Fay (November 17, 1891 – September 25, 1961) was an American vaudeville comedian and film and stage actor. Highly successful in vaudeville, he originated the role of "Elwood P. Dowd" in the Broadway play Harvey by the American playwright Mary Coyle Chase. He is probably best known as actress Barbara Stanwyck's first husband. Their troubled marriage is thought by some to be the basis of the 1937 film A Star is Born, in which the previously unknown wife shoots to stardom while her husband's career goes into sharp decline. Born as Francis Anthony Donner in San Francisco, California to Irish Catholic parents. He took the professional name of Frank Fay after concluding that his birth name was not suitable for the stage. He enjoyed considerable success as a variety artist starting around 1918, telling jokes and stories in a carefully planned "off the cuff" manner that was very original for the time. Jack Benny stated that he modeled his early stage character on Fay. During the 1920s, Fay was vaudeville's highest-paid headliner, earning $17,500 a week. When talkies arrived, Warner Bros. studio was eager to put him under contract along with a host of other famous stage personalities.

Actor

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