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Francis McDonald

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Francis McDonald
The Final Close-Up (1919) - 2.jpg
McDonald and Shirley Mason in
The Final Close-Up (1919)
Born(1891-08-22)August 22, 1891
DiedSeptember 18, 1968(1968-09-18) (aged 77)
Resting placeValhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California
Years active1913–1965
(m. 1915; div. 1922)

Bella Roscoe (m. ?–?)
Irene Mary Schuck (m. ?–?)

Francis McDonald (August 22, 1891 – September 18, 1968) was an American actor whose career spanned 52 years.

Early years

Born on August 22, 1891,[1] in Bowling Green, Kentucky, McDonald was the son of John Francis McDonald and Catherine Ashlue McDonald. He was educated at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.[2]

Stage and film

McDonald's started acting professionally in stock theater with the Forepaugh Stock Company in Cincinnati. Following eight months with it, he worked one season with a stock company in Seattle, after which he performed for three seasons with a troupe in San Diego and Honolulu. He concluded his tenure in stock theater as juvenile leading man with the American Stock Company in Spokane, Washington.[1]

By 1913 McDonald began to perform in the rapidly expanding film industry, initially working for Marion Leonard's Monopole Company in Hollywood.[2] He was cast in over 280 films between 1913 and 1965, including The Temptress in 1926 with Greta Garbo. After he was designated "Hollywood's Prettiest Man," McDonald sought a tougher image by shaving his mustache and seeking roles of villains.[3]

McDonald was one of Cecil B. DeMille's favorite character actors.[citation needed] DeMille gave him credited supporting roles in six of his films: The Plainsman (1936), The Buccaneer (1938), Union Pacific (1939), North West Mounted Police (1940), Samson and Delilah (1949), and The Ten Commandments (1956).


McDonald performed in over two dozen television series during the 1950s and early 1960s, including in six episodes of The Roy Rogers Show, five episodes of Lone Ranger, and four episodes each of Broken Arrow, Sugarfoot, and Perry Mason. Among his four Perry Mason roles are his portrayals of Captain Noble in the episode "The Case of the Crooked Candle" (1957) and of Salty Sims in "The Case of the Petulant Partner" (1959). He also portrays "Winkler" in a 1960 episode of Bat Masterson.

Personal life and death

McDonald married actress Mae Busch on December 12, 1915. They divorced on November 24, 1923. He died on September 18, 1968, and was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1913 Carmen Don Jose
1914 St. Elmo Murray Hammond
The Human Soul Robert Thompson - Alice's Suitor
1915 The Crystal
1916 The Price of Power Dave Belmont - John's Son
In the Web of the Grafters Whitey
The Devil at His Elbow Andrew Sealey
Intolerance Extra Uncredited
1917 Black Orchids George Renoir / Ivan
The Gates of Doom Jang Sattib
Perils of the Secret Service Serial, (Episode #3)
The Voice on the Wire Red Warren
Mr. Dolan of New York 'Spider' Flynn
The Gray Ghost Williams Serial
The Love Doctor Hildreth
1918 I Love You Jules Mardon
The Gun Woman The Gent
Real Folks Jimmie Dugan
The Light Within Dr. Green
The Answer Guidi Garcia
The Hand at the Window Tony Brachieri
The Painted Lily Tom Burton
The Ghost Flower Tony Cafarelli
Tony America Tony America
1919 Toton the Apache Pierre
The Final Close-Up Jimmie Norton
The Divorce Trap Jim Drake
His Debt Blair Whitcomb
Love's Prisoner Party Guest Uncredited
Pretty Smooth Jimmy Hartigan
Prudence on Broadway Grayson Mills
1920 The Confession Tom Bartlett
The Kentucky Colonel Philip Burwood
Nomads of the North Bucky McDougall
1921 Puppets of Fate Gabriel Palombra
Hearts and Masks Galloping Dick
The Golden Snare Pierre Thoreau
The Call of the North Achille Picard
1922 The Man Who Married His Own Wife Freddie Needham
Trooper O'Neill Pierre
Monte Cristo Benedetto
Captain Fly-by-Night Second Stranger
The Woman Conquers Lawatha, Indian Guide
1923 The Buster Swing
Look Your Best Alberto Cabotto
Mary of the Movies James Seiler
Trilby Geko
Going Up Jules Gaillard
South Sea Love Manuel Salarno
1924 Arizona Express Victor Johnson
Racing Luck Tony Mora
East of Broadway Professor Mario
So This Is Marriage? Smith
1925 The Hunted Woman Joe De Bar
Go Straight The Dove
Anything Once
Northern Code Raoul La Fane
Satan in Sables Emile
Bobbed Hair Pooch
My Lady of Whims Rolf
1926 The Yankee Señor Juan Gutiérrez
The Palace of Pleasure Captain Fernandez
The Bar-C Mystery
Puppets Bruno
Battling Butler Alfred Battling Butler
The Temptress Timoteo
The Desert's Toll Frank Darwin
1927 The Wreck Joe
The Valley of Hell Creighton Steele
The Notorious Lady Manuela Silvera
Outlaws of Red River Ben Tanner
Paid to Love Apache Dancer Uncredited
1928 A Girl in Every Port Gang Leader
The Legion of the Condemned Gonzolo Vasquez
The Dragnet Sniper Dawson
The Viking Viking Friend of Leif Uncredited
1929 The Iron Mask Fisherman Uncredited
The Carnation Kid The Carnation Kid
Girl Overboard Francisco
1930 Burning Up 'Bullet' McGhan
Dangerous Paradise Ricardo
The Runaway Bride Barney Black
Safety in Numbers Phil Kemptom
Brothers Tony
Morocco Caporal Tatoche
The Lash A caballero Uncredited
1931 The Gang Buster Pete Caltek
The Lawyer's Secret The Weasel
The Ruling Voice Business Man Uncredited
In Line of Duty Jacques Dupres
1932 The Woman from Monte Carlo Karkuff
The World and the Flesh Revolutionary Uncredited
Honor of the Mounted Jean Le Train
The Last Mile First Gas Station Holdup Man Uncredited
70,000 Witnesses Dominic Silvera Uncredited
Hidden Valley Frank Gavin
Trailing the Killer Pierre LaPlant
Texas Buddies Blake
Madison Square Garden Hood Uncredited
The Devil Is Driving Ticker Uncredited
1933 Terror Trail Tad McPherson
Broadway Bad Charley Davis
The Devil's in Love Officer Reading Verdict Uncredited
Night Flight Radioman Uncredited
Straightaway Rogan
1934 Voice in the Night Henchman Jackson
Viva Villa! Captain Arresting Pancho Uncredited
The Trumpet Blows Vega
The Line-Up Henchman Trigger
Sing and Like It Mug in Restaurant Uncredited
Sadie McKee Joe - Alderson's Chauffeur Uncredited
Operator 13 Officer Denton Uncredited
Burn 'Em Up Barnes Ray Ridpath, race car henchman Serial, [Chs. 1-6]
Girl in Danger Tony - Russo Henchman Uncredited
A Successful Failure Radical Speaker in Park Uncredited
Evelyn Prentice Charles - Chauffeur Uncredited
Red Morning Sakki
The Gay Bride Detroit Gangster Uncredited
1935 The Marriage Bargain Ben Ainsley
In Spite of Danger Race Driver Uncredited
It Happened in New York Henchman Uncredited
Mississippi Gambler Uncredited
West Point of the Air Civilian Pilot Uncredited
Star of Midnight Kinland Henchman Uncredited
Ladies Crave Excitement Terry
Anna Karenina Officer at Banquet Uncredited
Diamond Jim Gambler Uncredited
Redheads on Parade Joe - the Film Cutter Uncredited
1936 The Prisoner of Shark Island John Wilkes Booth
Robin Hood of El Dorado Pedro the Spy
Big Brown Eyes Malley - Gunman Uncredited
Under Two Flags Husson
White Fang Suds Uncredited
Mummy's Boys Rasheed Bey
Dimples Stranger Uncredited
The Plainsman A River Gambler
1937 Woman-Wise Charley Uncredited
The Devil's Playground Romano
Criminal Lawyer Jack 'Fingy' Doremus Uncredited
Parole Racket Nat Beldon
The Soldier and the Lady Chieftain Uncredited
The Last Train from Madrid Mora Uncredited
The Devil Is Driving Bit Part Uncredited
Born Reckless Henchman Louie
Wild West Days Assayer Purvis
Ali Baba Goes to Town Ringleader Uncredited
Conquest Cossack Uncredited
Every Day's a Holiday Henchman #2
1938 The Buccaneer Camden Blount
Gun Law Henchman Nevada
The Texans Bit Part Uncredited
If I Were King Casin Cholet
1939 Idiot's Delight Flight captain Uncredited
Juarez Le Marc - a Creole (scenes deleted)
Union Pacific General Grenville M. Dodge
Chasing Danger Legionnaire with Message for Duvac Uncredited
Beau Geste Arab Scout Uncredited
Bad Lands Manuel Lopez
Range War Dave Morgan
The Light That Failed George
1940 Green Hell Gracco
Strange Cargo Moussenq - Convict Uncredited
The Carson City Kid Laramie
Captain Caution French Seaman in Pub Uncredited
The Sea Hawk Kroner
Wyoming Dawson - Henchman Uncredited
North West Mounted Police Louis Riel
One Night in the Tropics Escobar's Aide Uncredited
The Devil's Pipeline Gaddi Sang
The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date Santos the Portuguese
1941 The Sea Wolf Svenson
Blood and Sand Manolo's Friend Uncredited
Men of the Timberland Jean Collett
The Kid from Kansas Cesar
1942 Wild Bill Hickok Rides Kidnapper Uncredited
Valley of the Sun Governor's Interpreter Uncredited
The Girl from Alaska Pelly
1943 Rhythm of the Islands Leader of the Natives
Buckskin Frontier Duval
The Kansan Gil Hatton
Bar 20 Quirt Rankin
The Desert Song French Captain Uncredited
1944 Texas Masquerade Sam Nolan
Lumberjack Clyde Fenwick
Mystery Man Bert Rogan
Bordertown Trail Matthews
Till We Meet Again Cart Driver Uncredited
Cheyenne Wildcat Jim Douglas
Mystery of the River Boat Batiste Serial
Zorro's Black Whip Dan Hammond
Belle of the Yukon Miner Investing on River-Freeze Date Uncredited
1945 Great Stagecoach Robbery Con Hollister
Corpus Christi Bandits Dad Christie
Bad Men of the Border Capt. Jose Garcia
South of the Rio Grande Torres
River Gang Indignant Man Uncredited
Strange Confession Hernandez
1946 The Bandit of Sherwood Forest Robin Hood's Man Uncredited
Tangier Sanchez
The Catman of Paris Devereaux
Night in Paradise High Priest Uncredited
My Pal Trigger Storekeeper
Night Train to Memphis Doctor
Canyon Passage Cobb Uncredited
Notorious Man Uncredited
The Invisible Informer Jules Ravelle
Roll on Texas Moon Steve Anders
The Devil's Playground Roberts
Magnificent Doll Jenks Uncredited
Duel in the Sun Gambler Uncredited
1947 Spoilers of the North Pete Koster
Dangerous Venture Kane - Henchman
That's My Man Racetrack Man Uncredited
Saddle Pals Sheriff
The Perils of Pauline Western Saloon Set Heavy
Brute Force Pat Regan Uncredited
Unconquered Frontiersman Uncredited
1948 Panhandle Crump
The Bold Frontiersman Adam Post
The Dead Don't Dream Bart Lansing
Son of God's Country Tom Ford
Strange Gamble Longhorn
The Three Musketeers Fisherman Uncredited
An Act of Murder Mr. Russell Alternative title: Live Today for Tomorrow
The Paleface Lance Credited as Francis J. McDonald
1949 Rose of the Yukon Alaskan
Daughter of the Jungle Montu
Brothers in the Saddle Hoyt Parker
Rustlers Pierre - Roulette Wheel Uncredited
Big Jack Basil - Prisoner Uncredited
Son of a Bad Man Joe Christ
The Lady Gambles Horse Trainer Uncredited
Rim of the Canyon Charlie Lewis
Calamity Jane and Sam Bass Horse Race Starter Uncredited
The Gal Who Took the West O'Hara Cowhand in Town with Lee Uncredited
Abandoned Winey - Pool Player Uncredited
Apache Chief Mohaska
Always Leave Them Laughing Wounded Messenger in Newark Musical Uncredited
Powder River Rustlers Shears Williams
Samson and Delilah Storyteller Credited as Francis J. McDonald
1950 The Nevadan Hotel Guest Uncredited
Woman in Hiding North Carolina Cannoneer Uncredited
Fortunes of Captain Blood Sailor Uncredited
Kim Letter Writer Uncredited
California Passage County Recorder Joe Kane
Stage to Tucson Northern Radical Uncredited
1951 Gene Autry and the Mounties Batiste
Oh! Susanna Fisher Uncredited
Santa Fe Corporal Fletcher Murphy Uncredited
Red Mountain Marshal Roberts
1952 Fort Osage Osage Chief
Rancho Notorious Harbin
Son of Ali Baba Palace Official Uncredited
The Raiders John Cummings
Ride the Man Down Telegrapher Uncredited
1953 San Antone Barfly with Confederate Money Uncredited
The Bandits of Corsica Grisha
Fort Algiers Oil Field Foreman Uncredited
The Mississippi Gambler Frank Uncredited
Calamity Jane Hank Uncredited
1954 Three Hours to Kill Deputy Vince
1955 Bad Day at Black Rock Tall - White-haired Cafe Lounger Uncredited
Ten Wanted Men Deputy Warner Uncredited
Shotgun Dishwasher Uncredited
The Road to Denver McGovern Uncredited
The Naked Dawn Railroad Guard
The Vanishing American Stage Guard Uncredited
Texas Lady Gantz Uncredited
Dig That Uranium Indian Chief Uncredited
1956 Raw Edge Chief Kiyuva Uncredited
Walk the Proud Land The Shaman Uncredited
Thunder Over Arizona Pliny Warren
Canyon River 1st Rancher Uncredited
The Ten Commandments Simon Credited as Francis J. McDonald
1957 Chain of Evidence Felipe Rodriguez Uncredited
Duel at Apache Wells Hank
The Guns of Fort Petticoat Col. Chivington's Aide Uncredited
The Last Stagecoach West Old Man Colter
Pawnee Uncle Tip Alden
Joe Dakota Joe Dakota Uncredited
1958 Fort Massacre Piute Man
The Saga of Hemp Brown Old-Timer Uncredited
1959 The Big Fisherman Scribe Spokesman
1964 Robin and the 7 Hoods Old Man at Robbo's Club Uncredited
1965 The Great Race Russian Uncredited, (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1953 The Ford Television Theatre Carnahan 1 episode
1954 The Lineup Warner 1 episode
1955 Adventures of Superman Great Horse 1 episode
Highway Patrol Charlie Barrett 1 episode
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin Soccoro - Apache Chief 1 episode
1955–1956 The Adventures of Champion Will Calhoun 2 episodes
1956 My Friend Flicka Thundercloud 1 episode
Lassie Clem Wyatt 1 episode
1957 Cavalcade of America Pablo aka The Calaveras Kid 1 episode
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Jake Caster "Old Jake", with Carol Thurston in an episode based on the Sand Creek massacre
1958 Tombstone Territory Winnie Joe Westerby 1 episode
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Jeb Coleman 1 episode
Trackdown Milo 1 episode
1959 Lawman Chief Red Horse 1 episode
Mr. Lucky Old Fisherman 1 episode
Maverick Pop Talmadge 1 episode
1960 Cheyenne Sitting Bull 1 episode
Wichita Town Medicine Chief 1 episode
Law of the Plainsman Watkins 1 episode
Shotgun Slade Bonanza Jake 1 episode
Bat Masterson Winkler 1 episode
1961 The Deputy Roy Wilkins 1 episode
The Untouchables Sully MacGuyver 1 episode
1962 Laramie Gimp 1 episode
1963 The Virginian Saul Weintraub Episode "Echo of Another Day" (credited as Francis J. McDonald)
1964 The Virginian Storekeeper 1 episode
Perry Mason Peg-Leg Jasper 1 episode


  1. ^ a b c Collura, Joe (November 2022). "Francis McDonald". Classic Images. pp. 32–39.
  2. ^ a b Katchmer, George A. (2002). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 245. ISBN 9780786446933. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Pretty Boy Takes Villains' Roles To Offset Type". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Hawaii, Honolulu. Associated Press. November 30, 1940. p. 32. Retrieved February 21, 2017 – via open access

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Francis McDonald
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