Franchot Tone (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸
Franchot Tone was born February 27, in Niagara Falls, New York. His father is Frank J. Tone, scientist and president of the Carborundum Company. He has one brother, Frank J. Tone, Jr., four years his senior.
He went to small private schools in Niagara Falls, Pottsdam, Pa., Arizona and Saranac Lake. He finished the course at Cornell in three years, and then attended summer session at the University of Rennes in France. He was president of the Cornell Dramatic Club and served as assistant to the head of the Romance Language Department, specializing in French.
While at Cornell, Franchot was tested with ten others in a motion picture talent contest conducted by a national magazine. Although by far the most popular of college leading men, he was not selected to make the trip to Hollywood with winning candidates of other colleges. But while Franchot is today enjoying tremendous success as a motion picture actor, none of the contest winners made a name in pictures. This failure so impressed the young actor that he decided against making the screen his ambition and decided on a stage career.
Played With Cornell
Upon leaving college, he studied several years with a theatrical stock company in Buffalo, then appeared in The Belt at the New Playwright’s Theatre in Greenwich Village, and on Broadway in Age of Innocence with Katherine Cornell.
Next came Cross Roads, Red Dust, Hotel Universe, Green Grow the Lilacs, and Pagan Lady. He was one of the originators of the Group Theatre and with this organization appeared in The House of Connolly, 1931, Night Over Taos and Success Story. In this last play he scored the hit, which led to a long-term contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Golfer and Swimmer
His first picture, Today We Live, was followed by “Gabriel Over the White House,” “Midnight Mary,” “Stranger’s Return,” “Dancing Lady,” Moulin Rouge, Sadie McKee, The Girl from Missouri, “Straight is the Way,” “The World Moves On,” “Gentlemen Are Born,” Lives of a Bengal Lancer, Reckless, “No More Ladies,” “One New York Night,” Mutiny on the Bounty, “Exclusive Story,” The King Steps Out, “The Unguarded Hour,” Suzy, The Gorgeous Hussy, “Love on the Run,” “They Gave Him a Gun,” “Between Two Women,” The Bride Wore Red and “The Four Marys.”
Good Bridge Player
His favorite sports are golf and swimming. He is an excellent dancer and enjoys going to see pictures. He plays a good game of bridge and likes reading for relaxation.
Tone is six feet tall, weighs 165 pounds, has light brown hair and hazel eyes. After one of filmdom’s most famous courtships, he and Joan Crawford were married in 1935.
Mr. and Mrs. Tone live in an attractive Early American style home in Brentwood, a few miles from Hollywood. Rarely seen at the night spots, they entertain simply at home. Both Franchot and Joan are interested in music, and have more than 3000 symphonic records. They sponsored Leopold Stokowski in a series of concerts in Los Angeles, and are active in supporting worth while musical endeavors.
Tone isn’t one of Hollywood’s best mixers. His high character and sensitiveness discourage quick friendships, but a sympathetic understanding makes his friendships permanent. He has a subtle sense of humor.
Collection: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1937)
Source: Stars and Films of 1937