Frank Butler

Active - 1921 - 1959  |   Born - Dec 28, 1890   |   Died - Jun 10, 1967   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama, Romance, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A lifelong comedy man, English-born actor/director Frank Butler was starring in two-reelers almost from the moment the Oxford graduate arrived in the U.S. During the World War One years, the gangly Butler appeared in a series of "In-Law" comedies. He spent the better part of the 1920s at Hal Roach studios, where he wrote, directed and acted in many of Roach's top comedies. One of his best-remembered bits was as one of two veddy proper Englishmen besieged by peashooters in the Our Gang comedy Seeing the World; his fellow Briton in that scene is Stan Laurel, who with Oliver Hardy starred in the Frank Butler-directed short subject Flying Elephants. Butler remained with Roach until the mid 1930s, working as a gag writer on such memorable films as Babes in Toyland (1934). He also freelanced occasionally for MGM, Paramount, and Harold Lloyd Productions. In 1940 Butler labored on the script of the first Hope-Crosby "Road" picture Road to Singapore, which led to future assignments on Road to Zanzibar (1941) and Road to Morocco (1942). Active in both comedy and drama until 1959, Frank Butler was honored with an Academy Award for co-writing 1944's Oscar-winning Going My Way.

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