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Place of Birth Salina, Kansas, USA
Birthday 1899-02-22
Death 1943-11-07
Also Known As Dwight Iliff Fry


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. Dwight Iliff Frye (February 22, 1899 – November 7, 1943) was an American stage and screen actor, noted for his appearances in the classic horror films Dracula, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein. Frye was born in Salina, Kansas. Nicknamed "The Man with the Thousand-Watt Stare," and "The Man of a Thousand Deaths," he specialized in the portrayal of mentally unbalanced characters, including his signature role, the madman Renfield in Tod Browning's 1931 version of Dracula. Later that same year he also played the hunchbacked assistant in the film Frankenstein. (This character, named Fritz, is often mistakenly referred to as Ygor, a character originated by Béla Lugosi in the later film Son of Frankenstein.) Frye had a prominent role in the 1933 horror film The Vampire Bat, starring Lionel Atwill, Melvyn Douglas, and Fay Wray, in which he played Herman, a half-wit suspected of being a killer. He also had a memorable role in the classic Bride of Frankenstein, in which he played Karl. The part of Karl was originally much longer and many extra scenes of Frye were shot as a sub plot but were edited out of the final version to shorten the running time as well as to appease the censor boards. The most memorable of these "cut scenes" was that of Karl killing the Burgomaster portrayed by E. E. Clive. No known prints of these scenes survive today, but photographs of the scene were used to illustrate the scene's synopsis and are included in the recent Universal DVD release of the film. During the early 1940s, Frye alternated between film roles and appearing on stage in a variety of productions ranging from comedies to musicals, as well as appearing in a stage version of Dracula. In 1924 he played the Son in a translation of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author.[1] There was a Dwight Frye Fan Club at one time,[2] but it is currently dormant. He also made a contribution to the war effort by working nights as a tool designer for Lockheed Aircraft. Frye's strong resemblance to former Secretary of War Newton D. Baker helped land him what would have been a substantial role in the biographical film Wilson, based on the life of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, but he died of a heart attack while riding on a bus in Hollywood a few days before filming was to have begun. Frye was interred in Glendale's Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.


2017Dracula's Ghost
1943Dead Men Walk as Zolarr
1943Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man as Rudi, a Vasarian
1942The Ghost of Frankenstein as Villager of Frankenstein
1942Don't Talk as Ziggy
1941Devil Pays Off as Radio Operator
1941Mystery Ship as Rader
1941Flying Blind as Leo Qualen
1940The Son of Monte Cristo as Pavlov's Secretary (Uncredited)
1940Sky Bandits as Speavy
1940Phantom Raiders as Eddie Anders
1940Gangs of Chicago as Pinky
1940Drums of Fu Manchu as Prof. Anderson
1939The Man in the Iron Mask as Fouquet's Valet
1938Adventure in Sahara as Gravet, 'the Jackal'
1938Think It Over as Arsonist
1938Fast Company as Sidney Z. Wheeler
1938Sinners in Paradise as Marshall
1938Invisible Enemy as Alex
1938Who Killed Gail Preston? as Mr. Owen
1937The Shadow as Vindecco
1937Something to Sing About as Mr. Easton (makeup supervisor)
1937The Man Who Found Himself as Hysterical patient
1936Beware Of Ladies as Swanson
1936Alibi for Murder as McBride
1936Florida Special as Jenkins
1935The Great Impersonation
1935The Crime of Doctor Crespi as Dr. Thomas
1935Atlantic Adventure as Spike Jonas
1935The Bride of Frankenstein as Karl
1933The Invisible Man as Reporter (uncredited)
1933The Circus Queen Murder as Flandrin
1933The Vampire Bat as Herman Gleib
1932The Wayne Murder Case as Robert Wayne
1932The Western Code as Dick Loomis
1932Attorney for the Defense as James Wallace
1931Frankenstein as Fritz
1931The Black Camel as Jessop
1931The Maltese Falcon as Wilmer Cook
1931Drácula as Renfield (archive footage) (uncredited)
1931Dracula as Renfield
1930Man to Man as Vint Glade
1930The Doorway to Hell as Monk, Gangster
1927Upstream as Theatre Audience Spectator
1926Exit Smiling as Balcony Heckler (uncredited)

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