Frank Faylen was an American movie and television actor.
Born Frank Ruf in St. Louis, Missouri, he began his acting career as an infant appearing with his vaudeville performing parents on stage. After traveling with his showbiz parents through his childhood, Faylen became a stage actor at 18, and eventually began working in movies in the 1930s. He began playing a number of unmemorable bit parts for Warner Brothers, then freelanced for other studios in gradually larger character roles. He appears as Walt Disney’s musical conductor in The Reluctant Dragon, and as a stern railroad official in the Laurel and Hardy comedy A-Haunting We Will Go. Faylen and L & H supporting player Charlie Hall were teamed briefly by Monogram Pictures.
Faylen’s breakthrough came in 1945, where he was cast as Bim, the cynical male nurse at Bellevue’s alcoholic ward in The Lost Weekend. He played Ernie Bishop, the friendly taxi driver in Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life. Faylen’s career also stretched to television, playing long-suffering grocer Herbert T. Gillis on the 1950s television sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. In 1968 he had a small part in the Barbra Streisand film Funny Girl. Faylen appeared in almost 200 films.