Dustin Farnum

Dustin Lancy Farnum (May 27, 1874 – July 3, 1929) was an American singer, dancer, and actor on the stage and in silent films.[1] Although he played a wide variety of roles, he tended toward westerns and became one of the biggest stars of the genre.

Dustin Farnum
Farnum 001.JPG
Farnum in 1914
Dustin Lancy Farnum

(1874-05-27)May 27, 1874
DiedJuly 3, 1929(1929-07-03) (aged 55)
OccupationSilent film actor, singer, vaudeville performer
Years active1914–1926
Mary Cromwell
(m. 1909; div. 1924)
(m. 1924; his death 1929)
FamilyWilliam Farnum
Marshall Farnum


He was born the eldest of three boys on May 27, 1874 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire,[1] the older brother of actor William Farnum, whom he closely resembled, and the lesser known silent film director Marshall Farnum (died 1917). He married Mary Cromwell in 1909 and they divorced in 1924.[2][3] He then married Winifred Kingston. Winifred Kingston and he were the parents of radio actress Estelle "Dustine" Runyon (1925–1983). After great success in a number of stage roles, Farnum landed his first film role in 1914 in the movie Soldiers of Fortune, and later in Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man.[citation needed]


He died of kidney failure on July 3, 1929 at Post Graduate Hospital in Manhattan, aged 55.[1]


Broadway playsEdit

  • A Romance of Athlone (January 29, 1900 – March 3, 1900)
  • Marcelle (October 1900)
  • More Than Queen (October 30, 1900 – November 1900)
  • The Virginian (Boston October 1903, New York January 5, 1904 – May 1904)
  • The Ranger (September 1907)
  • The Rector's Garden (March 1908)
  • Cameo Kirby (December 20, 1909 – January 1910)
  • The Silent Call (January 1911)
  • The Squaw Man (January 9, 1911 – January 17, 1911)
  • The Littlest Rebel (November 14, 1911 – January 1912)
  • Arizona (April 28, 1913 – June 1913)


According to an interview in the April 1975 edition of Playboy, Dustin Hoffman was named after Farnum. Additionally, according to an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR, on January 16, 2013, Dustin says his parents were expecting him to be a girl and did not have a boy's name picked out for him. When his mother did have another boy, and was pressured to give him a name, she picked the name Dustin from a magazine the other lady in her room was reading, which featured Dustin Farnum on the cover.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Dustin Farnum Dies After Long Illness. Stage and Screen Star, 55, Was Born in Hampton Beach, Me., of Theatrical Parents. Debut in Stock In 1897. He Scored First Big Success in 'The Virginian'. With Brother William in 'The Littlest Rebel'". The New York Times. July 5, 1929.
  2. ^ "Dustin Farnum To Marry. Has Taken Out License to Wed Mary Conwell, His Leading Woman". The New York Times. March 9, 1909.
  3. ^ "Dustin Farnum Gets a Divorce". The New York Times. August 20, 1924.
  4. ^ "'Quartet': Dustin Hoffman, Behind the Camera".

External linksEdit