Arthur Franz

Arthur Sofield Franz (February 29, 1920 June 17, 2006) was an American B-movie and television actor, whose most notable feature film role was as Lieutenant, Junior Grade, H. Paynter Jr. in The Caine Mutiny (1954).

Arthur Franz
From the film trailer for The Unholy Wife (1957)
Born(1920-02-29)February 29, 1920
DiedJune 17, 2006(2006-06-17) (aged 86)
Years active19481982
  • Anna Minot
    (m. 1945; div. 1946)
  • Adele Longmire
    (m. 1946; div. 1957)
  • Doreen Lang
    (m. 1964; died 1999)
  • Sharon Keyser (m. 2006)

Early life

Franz was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His interest in acting developed while he was still a student in high school.[2]

Military service

During World War II, Franz served as a B-24 Liberator navigator in the United States Army Air Forces. He was shot down over Romania and incarcerated in a POW camp, from which he later escaped.


Franz's Broadway credits include Command Decision (1947), The Moon Vine (1942), Little Darling (1942), and Hope for a Harvest (1941).[3]


Franz made his screen debut in Jungle Patrol (1948).[4] He appeared in Roseanna McCoy (1949), Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Eight Iron Men (1952), Invaders From Mars (1953), The Unholy Wife (1957), and Monster on the Campus (1958) among many others. In The Sniper (1952), he played a rare lead in the film's title role as a tormented killer; earlier, he co-starred with John Wayne in the World War II film Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and with Ronald Reagan in Hellcats of the Navy (1957).[5]

Franz's last role was in 1982 film That Championship Season.[4]


Franz portrayed automobile magnate Henry Ford in the 1955 television film, A Story About Henry Ford, with Karen Sharpe as Ford's wife, Clara Bryant Ford.

Franz was also a familiar face on American television series; he made five guest appearances on Perry Mason, twice playing the defendant and one time the murderer. In 1958 he played the title role of Danny Harrison in "The Case of the Married Moonlighter," and in 1959 he played Richard Vanaman in "The Case of the Golden Fraud." In 1962, he played murderer Mr. Evans in "The Case of the Captain's Coin."

In 1960 Franz appeared as Matt Warner on the TV western Death Valley Days on the episode titled "The Young Gun." In 1961, Franz was cast as the historical Paine Page Prim, a future chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, in the episode, "Justice at Jackson Creek", on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. Prim is shown as a drunken, ostracized lawyer who hesitates to help a miner in legal trouble but must overcome his personal demons to excel at the law. The episode also stars Dub Taylor as Jake; William Schallert as Carl Spenger, and Bill Bixby as Kinney.[6]

He appeared on dozens of other series, including Schlitz Playhouse, Science Fiction Theatre, Crossroads, Ripcord, Primus, Tarzan, Land of the Giants, The Alaskans, Mr. Novak, The F.B.I., The Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, Custer, Mission: Impossible, Mannix, The Rookies, Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, Storefront Lawyers, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Invaders, The Waltons, Room 222, The Virginian, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Police Story, Medical Story, The Outcasts, McCloud, Lancer and Barnaby Jones.

Franz played the role of U.S. President James Madison in the 1965 episode "George Mason" of the NBC documentary series Profiles in Courage. William Bakewell played George Wythe, and Laurence Naismith played the title role of George Mason.[7]

Franz portrayed U.S. Representative Charles A. Halleck of Indiana in the 1974 made-for-television film The Missiles of October, based on the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Personal life

Franz's third wife, Doreen Lang, died in 1999. He had previously been divorced twice.[1] He married his fourth wife, Sharon, on February 14, 2006.[5]


Franz died in Oxnard, California, at the age of 86 from emphysema and heart disease.[5]

Selected filmography


  1. Thurber, Jon (June 19, 2006). "Arthur Franz, 86; He Played the Friendly Guy in Movies and on TV". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  2. Raw, Laurence (2012). Character Actors in Horror and Science Fiction Films, 1930-1960. McFarland. pp. 82–84. ISBN 9780786490493. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  3. "("Arthur Franz" search results)". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  4. Bergan, Ronald (August 29, 2006). "Arthur Franz". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  5. "Arthur Franz, Film and Television Actor, 86, Is Dead". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 21, 2006. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  6. "Justice at Jackson Creek on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  7. ""George Mason" in Profiles in Courage, May 2, 1965". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
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