Fredd Wayne (born Fredd Wiener;[1] October 17, 1924 – August 27, 2018) was an American actor with a career spanning seven decades on Broadway, radio, television, movies, and recorded works. He appeared on television as a guest star, and portrayed Benjamin Franklin, originally in his one-man show Benjamin Franklin, Citizen, on television, recordings, and live appearances.

Fredd Wayne
Barbara Nichols Fredd Wayne Twilight Zone 1961.jpg
Fredd Wayne with Barbara Nichols on The Twilight Zone, 1961
Born(1924-10-17)October 17, 1924
DiedAugust 27, 2018(2018-08-27) (aged 93)
OccupationStage, film and television actor
Years active1947–2003

Early lifeEdit

Fredd Wayne was born in Akron, Ohio[1] to working-class parents Celia (Mirman) and salesman Charles Theodore Wiener. Two days after graduating from John R. Buchtel High School he took a bus to Hollywood in hopes of working for cousin Lester Cowan who had produced My Little Chickadee and several Marx Brothers films. He recalls sitting in the lobby of Columbia Studios for three days before Cowan dismissed him with: “I got nuthin’ for you, kid.” After Wayne's money and graduation watch were stolen, a neighbor who worked at Warner Brothers drove him to the studio where he was hired as a mail boy for $18 a week. This first Hollywood job, and the rush of delivering film to movie sets, trading “hellos” with Bette Davis, and watching John Garfield and Errol Flynn perform, ended when the U.S. Army called him in and asked his pre-draft occupation. Without hesitation, he answered: “I was under contract to Warner Brothers Studio.”

World War IIEdit

Wayne was made a Special Service non-com (Entertainment Specialist) for the 253rd Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division. For eighteen months, in addition to traditional military training, he ran movie projectors, wrote, produced, and performed in soldier shows in Mississippi, attended courses at Fort McPherson, Georgia, and Washington & Lee University in Virginia (future director Arthur Penn was a classmate); Wayne also acted as booking agent of a hugely successful GI orchestra led by Ralph Cerasuolo, a sophisticated jazz violinist formerly known in New York City as “Leonardo of the Stork Club”. Despite a 14-year age difference they became close friends.

Elements of the 63rd Infantry Division, including Wayne and the band, landed in Marseilles, France, on December 8, 1944, and were rushed north to support Americans locked in the Battle of the Bulge. Wayne was assigned to GRO (Graves Registration Office) to retrieve fallen soldiers. On April 2, 1945, he discovered Cerasuolo’s body, killed by a single sniper shot to the forehead.

G.I. CarmenEdit

Shortly after VE-Day, Wayne was directed to put together an entertainment for the men. In response to his notices 45 combat veterans of his 253rd Infantry Regiment turned in rifles for grease paint to create G.I. Carmen – destined to become, with the exception of This Is The Army, the most successful G.I. show of World War II.

Cpl. Fredd Wayne, 253rd Infantry, in the title role of "G.I. Carmen"

With half the cast as women in ill-fitting costumes and scraggly wigs, the show was to run for only three nights in Tauberbishofsheim, Germany[2] but its raucous, bawdy humor, robust singing, and dancing made it a roaring success that the Army recognized at once.[3] In addition to writing, producing, and co-directing duties Wayne had to play the title role when no other G.I. would touch it. The cast included several pre-war professionals, including Hal Edwards, who had danced in 20th Century Fox musicals, and Ray Richardson, a tenor with the Chicago Lyric Opera. Most of Ralph’s band, now led by Marty Faloon, were onstage as well, among them guitarist Charlie Byrd. After raiding Stadttheater Heidelberg for colorful costumes, proper wigs, and scenery, the army sent the troupe on an extended eight-month tour throughout Germany,[4][5] Belgium, France, Italy, and Austria including stops at leading theatres in Berlin, Brussels, Paris,[6] Rome, and Vienna. The show closed in Nuremberg on January 24, 1946. GI Carmen’s cast was kept together throughout 142 performances before audiences totaling well over 250,000 G.I. and allied troops and countless civilians, including Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in Paris and Marlene Dietrich in Berlin.

Professional careerEdit

Back in the states Fredd Wayne settled in New York with a job at J. C. Penney offices by day and acting classes at the American Theatre Wing after hours. (Lee Marvin, James Whitmore, and Martin Balsam were classmates; Eileen Heckart and Jean Stapleton were among the volunteer actresses). Roles there included Polonius in Hamlet at age 23. As an usher at Broadway’s Alvin Theatre Wayne watched Ingrid Bergman star in Joan of Lorraine, and fetched tea for José Ferrer during the latter’s celebrated run in Cyrano de Bergerac. (Ten years later for Universal’s Revue Productions, Wayne performed the character in a TV pilot called The Sword.[7][8] It never sold.) Following the Cyrano run Ferrer cast Wayne in his production of the Czech play The Insect Comedy whose performers included Ray Walston, Werner Klemperer, and Don Murray. Fredd Wayne’s big Broadway break came when he went to audition for Shakespeare’s As You Like It starring Katharine Hepburn but was mistakenly pulled in to read for the Johnny MercerBobby Dolan musical Texas, L’il Darlin’. His G.I. Carmen musical skills helped land a leading role. Critical success led to more Broadway credits such as Not For Children by Elmer Rice and following Ray Walston as Luther Billis opposite Mary Martin in the original London production of South Pacific. Wayne’s success in London – including a concurrent extended engagement at The Berkeley Cabaret – was followed by a role opposite Gene Kelly in MGM’s Crest of the Wave, filmed in England and the Channel Islands. It also led to American productions of South Pacific playing Billis opposite Gisele MacKenzie in Dallas, Vikki Carr in Kansas City, and Jane Powell in St. Paul, Minnesota. Returning to New York Wayne co-starred opposite Ralph Bellamy in Oh Men!, Oh Women! and became embroiled in the Golden Age of Television, when dramas and comedies were not videotaped or filmed but miscues were part of the tension and grandeur of performing live before millions of people. Wayne appeared in such shows as Playhouse 90, Studio One, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, The Defenders, Kraft Theatre, Danger, We the People, Robert Montgomery Presents, The Victor Borge Show, and The Nurses. He also made six guest appearances on Perry Mason, all shot in Hollywood, including the role of murder victim Jack Hardisty in the 1958 episode, "The Case of the Buried Clock".

Benjamin Franklin, CitizenEdit

Out of these creative years Fredd Wayne developed the role for which he's probably best known. The idea came to him while flying to New York from Los Angeles in 1964; he went straight to the New York Public Library from JFK to begin research and was directed to the Editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. After six weeks of study and appearances as Franklin on 'Tonight' and 'Today' shows[9] he began breaking in his one-man show Benjamin Franklin, Citizen in upstate New York and Ohio. By the time he reached Los Angeles the production was running smoothly and Wayne was hired to play Franklin in a two-part Bewitched on ABC-TV.[10]Wayne’s Benjamin Franklin, Citizen also had a long run in Hollywood’s Ivar Theatre[11][12][13] which led to a well received U.S. State Department tour of Europe[14][15] and subsequent college tours throughout America during the Bicentennial era and beyond. His work as Franklin on Bob Hope's America is 200 Years Old...And There's Still Hope! recorded on May 4, 1976, led to appearances in multiple roles on four subsequent Bob Hope Television Specials including an appearance as Brandon Tartikoff opposite Brandon Tartikoff. Fredd Wayne has also appeared frequently as Franklin at IBM, GE, and other industrial conventions. His recording of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Audio Partners) was selected as one of the top audiotapes of 1997.[16]


As a writer Fredd Wayne’s articles have appeared in The New York Times,[17] Playboy,[18] The Los Angeles Times,[19][20] Performing Arts,[21] Westways,[22] The Arizona Republic,[23] and numerous other publications. Wayne has titled his upcoming fictionalized memoir “Blinky's Great Adventure”.


Wayne died at an assisted-living facility in Santa Monica on August 27, 2018, aged 93.[24]

Selected stage creditsEdit

Year Production Role Notes
1945 G.I. Carmen Carmen 142 performances in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Austria, June 9, 1945 - January 24, 1946, produced by the U.S. Army
1947 Hamlet Polonius American Theatre Wing
1948 The Insect Comedy José Ferrer, director
1949 Texas, Li'l Darlin' Brewster Ames II 293 performances, Nov 25, 1949 - Sep 9, 1950
1951 Not for Children Hugh McHugh by Elmer Rice
1952 South Pacific Luther Billis original London production, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
Have Tuxedo, Will Travel himself a one-man show at The Berkeley Cabaret
1954 Oh Men!, Oh Women! with Ralph Bellamy
1964 Benjamin Franklin, Citizen Benjamin Franklin in theatres throughout the United States and Europe
1969 Go Fly a Kite conceiver / actor Tambellini's Gate Theatre
1984 A Taste for the Forbidden Drama-Logue Award for performance, L.A.A.T. Half-Stage



Year Title Role Notes
1954 Crest of the Wave Seaman N. Sam 'Shorty' Kaminsky (USN) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer British Studios, with Gene Kelly
1956 The Man Is Armed Egan Republic Pictures
The Girl He Left Behind Sgt. Sheridan Warner Bros., with Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood
1958 Torpedo Run Orville 'Goldy' Goldstein Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
1961 Twenty Plus Two Harris Toomey Allied Artists Pictures
1962 The Spiral Road Van Bloor Universal International Pictures, with Rock Hudson and Gena Rowlands
1964 Seven Days in May Henry Whitney Uncredited, with Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster
Sex and the Single Girl Frank Uncredited, with Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood
1966 Chamber of Horrors Charlie Benton Uncredited, with Patrick O'Neal, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Suzy Parker
1974 Hangup Felder Warner Bros.
1981 American Pop voiced 7 roles Uncredited, Bakshi Productions, animated motion picture
1987 Dutch Treat the Judge
1989 A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation Benjamin Franklin
1999 Man on the Moon Bland Doctor (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1949 We the People
The Philco Television Playhouse Season 1, Episode 28: What Makes Sammy Run?, with José Ferrer
Kraft Theatre performed in productions in 3 separate seasons: 1949, 1954 & 1955
1950 Musical Comedy Time Sir Evelyn Oakley Season 1, Episode 1: Anything Goes
1951 The Victor Borge Show
Pulitzer Prize Playhouse Detour, with Dorothy Gish
Corb The Thousand Yard Look, with Richard Kiley
The Wisdom Tooth, with Howard Freeman
Schlitz Playhouse Season 1, Episode 4: Still Life, with Margaret Sullavan
1952 Lux Video Theatre Bert Oliver Season 2, Episode 23: For Goodness Sake
Celanese Theatre Season 1, Episode 13: Saturday's Children, with Mickey Rooney
1953 The Ford Television Theatre Season 1, Episode 39: The People Versus Johnston
Studio One The Agent Season 6, Episode 11: Confessions of a Nervous Man
1954 Armstrong Circle Theatre Season 4, Episode 6: Evening Star
Kraft Theatre March Hare Season 7, Episode 36: Alice in Wonderland, with Art Carney
Robert Montgomery Presents Season 6, Episode 2: A Dream of Summer, with Jackie Cooper
Omnibus Master Adam Fumie Season 3, Episode 2: The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife, with Alistair Cooke
Armstrong Circle Theatre Season 5, Episode 16: Ring Twice for Christmas
1955 Kraft Theatre Season 8, Episode 29: Now, Where Was I?, with Robert Webber
Armstrong Circle Theatre Season 6, Episode 1: The Strange War of Sergeant Krezner, with Richard Kiley
1956 Matinee Theatre Season 1, Episode 52: The Century Plant, with Constance Ford
Front Row Center Bill Tyler Season 2, Episode 6: The Teacher and Hector Hodge
Dr. Humphries Season 2, Episode 4: The Ainsley Case
Lux Video Theatre George Season 6, Episode 23: Here Comes the Groom
Star Stage Season 1, Episode 32: Being Nice to Emily
Medic Sydney Phillips Season 2, Episode 26: The Good Samaritan
Lux Video Theatre Pat Season 6, Episode 41: A Marriage Day
Matinee Theatre Season 2, Episode 20: The Alumni Reunion
Wire Service O'Brien Season 1, Episode 3: Hideout
The Joseph Cotten Show aka On Trial Asst. District Attorney Season 1, Episode 4: Twice in Peril
Gunsmoke Sam Kertcher Season 2, Episode 5: Young Man with a Gun
G.E. True Theater Hugh Season 5, Episode 9: The Charlatan
Schlitz Playhouse Pollack Season 6, Episode 11: Washington Incident
The Millionaire Harry Denison Season 3, Episode 15: The Mildred Kester Story
The Danny Thomas Show aka Make Room for Daddy Rod Fowler Season 4, Episode 14: Liz's Boyfriend
1957 Dr. Hudson's Secret Journal Episode: Brenthurst Story
Lux Video Theatre Inspector Season 7, Episode 20: The Undesirable
G.E. True Theater Clyde Season 5, Episode 21: The Town with a Past, with James Stewart
Schlitz Playhouse Cyrano de Bergerac Season 6, Episode 36: The Sword
Code 3 Sgt. Bill Hollis Season 1, Episode 12: Oil Well Incident
Season 1, Episode 14: Suspect Number One
Season 1, Episode 17: The Trap
Lt. Bill Hollis Season 1, Episode 28: The Man with Many Faces
Telephone Time Hicks Season 3, Episode 7: Under Seventeen
Alcoa Theatre Lt. Brackett Season 1, Episode 4: On Edge
Maverick Carl Jimson Season 1, Episode 7: Relic of Fort Tejon
1958 Richard Diamond, Private Detective Tom Tanner Season 2, Episode 4: Double Jeopardy
Perry Mason Ernie Tanner Season 1, Episode 19: The Case of the Haunted Husband
Maverick Kingsley Season 1, Episode 18: Diamond in the Rough
M Squad Eddie Rocco Season 1, Episode 20: Dolly's Bar
Perry Mason Jack Hardisty Season 2, Episode 6: The Case of the Buried Clock
1959 The Grand Jury Jordan Season 1, Episode 31: Baby for Sale
Deadline Gilgo Episode: Massacre
State Trooper Frank Nagel Season 3, Episode 20: While Jerome Burned
21 Beacon Street Season 1, Episode 6: The Execution
Tightrope Danny Season 1, Episode 1: Getaway Day
Bourbon Street Beat Lt. Fontaine Season 1, Episode 1: The Taste of Ashes
Whirlybirds Season 3, Episode 31: Man, You Kill Me
The Untouchables Joe Carroll Season 1, Episode 4: The George 'Bugs' Moran Story
Sugarfoot 'Bull' Borgland Season 3, Episode 5: The Canary Kid, Inc.
1960 The Loretta Young Show Ed Crawley Season 7, Episode 14: The Grenade
Goodyear Theatre Season 3, Episode 8: Omaha Beach - Plus 15
The Alaskans Burton Season 1, Episode 14: The Trial of Reno McKee
Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond Lt. Barnes Season 2, Episode 23: Vanishing Point
Perry Mason William Gowrie Season 3, Episode 18: The Case of the Singing Skirt
The Man from Blackhawk Garrison Season 1, Episode 33: Trial by Combat
Hawaiian Eye Edward Demming Season 1, Episode 29: Typhoon
Markham Commissioner Fred Clayton Season 1, Episode 48: The Silken Cord
The Untouchables
Surfside 6 Allan Abbott Season 1, Episode 1: Country Gentleman
The Ann Sothern Show Chuck Dunphy Season 3, Episode 4: The Pinch-Hitter
77 Sunset Strip Mike Ransome Season 3, Episode 7: The Laurel Canyon Caper
1961 Have Gun – Will Travel Ben Season 4, Episode 17: A Quiet Night in Town: Part 1
Season 4, Episode 18: A Quiet Night in Town: Part 2
The Twilight Zone Barney Season 2, Episode 17: Twenty Two
Perry Mason Roger Phillips Season 4, Episode 17: The Case of the Wintry Wife
Bachelor Father Bart Anderson Season 4, Episode 32: Hilda Rides Again
Miami Undercover Joe Danzig Season 1, Episode 29: Room 9
The Real McCoys Mr. Perry Season 4, Episode 37: How to Win Friends
The Twilight Zone Paul Malloy Season 3, Episode 2: The Arrival
Dr. Kildare Salesman Season 1, Episode 4: Winter Harvest
Hawaiian Eye Tony Ward Season 3, Episode 11: Two for the Money
1962 Bachelor Father Don Lambert Season 5, Episode 18: How Howard Won His C
Alcoa Premiere Ted Morley Season 1, Episode 14: Mr. Easy, with Fred Astaire
Cain’s Hundred Marty Season 1, Episode 27: A Creature Lurks in Ambush
Perry Mason
The Doctors and the Nurses Dr. Mason Season 1, Episode 8: A Strange and Distant Place
The Defenders District Attorney Season 2, Episode 15: Death Takes the Stand
1963 Rawhide Calhoun Season 5, Episode 22: Incident of the Pale Rider
Perry Mason
The Bill Dana Show Cliff Season 1, Episode 9: The Poker Game
1964 Grindl Season 1, Episode 16: Grindl, Private Eye
Perry Mason
An Hour with Robert Goulet himself TV special (CBS)
1965 Hogan's Heroes Sgt. Kristman Season 1, Episode 16: Anchors Aweigh, Men of Stalag 13
1966 My Three Sons Dr. Killebrew Season 6, Episode 30: The Wrong Robbie
Hawk Detective Season 1, Episode 1: Do Not Mutilate or Spindle
Bewitched Benjamin Franklin Season 3, Episode 13: My Friend Ben
Season 3, Episode 14: Samantha for the Defense
1967 The Monroes Winton Season 1, Episode 18: To Break a Colt
1969 Daniel Boone Benjamin Franklin Season 6, Episode 5: The Printing Press
Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color Jim Durden Season 16, Episode 8: Secrets of the Pirates' Inn: Part 1
Season 16, Episode 9: Secrets of the Pirates' Inn: Part 2
1970 The Return of the Smothers Brothers himself TV special (NBC)
Bracken's World Ned Singer Season 2, Episode 7: Hey, Gringo... Hey, Ponco
Nanny and the Professor Mr. Jackwith Season 2, Episode 10: The Visitor
1971 The Young Lawyers Kimber Season 1, Episode 24: I've Got a Problem
Room 222 Season 2, Episode 26: A Sort of Loving
Ironside Arthur Green Season 5, Episode 14: Class of '57
1972 Cade's County Mark Walters Season 1, Episode 21: Jessie
1973 Banacek Stein Season 1, Episode 8: The Two Million Clams of Cap'n Jack
A Picture of Us George Washington TV movie won Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Children's Programming
Nightside TV movie with John Cassavetes and Alexis Smith
1974 The Phantom of Hollywood Clyde TV movie with Jack Cassidy and Jackie Coogan
1975 Judgement: The Court Martial of Lieutenant William Calley TV movie with Richard Basehart and Harrison Ford
1976 Law and Order Sgt. Haran TV movie with Darren McGavin and Keir Dullea
1978 The Rockford Files Curtis Meyer Season 4, Episode 15: The Gang at Don's Drive-In
The New Adventures of Wonder Woman J.J. MacConnell Season 3, Episode 7: Time Bomb
1980 The Dream Merchants Mr. Humber TV movie with Mark Harmon, Vincent Gardenia and Morgan Fairchild
Trapper John, M.D. Pathologist Season 2, Episode 4: Call Me Irresponsible
1981 Bob Hope's 30th Anniversary Special
Strike Force Season 1, Episode 6: Night Nurse
1982 The Day the Bubble Burst TV movie with Richard Crenna (NBC)
Quincy M.E. Michael Gurelnik Season 7, Episode 15: Clear the Air
Lou Grant Charles Bolsa Season 5, Episode 18: Law
Bob Hope Special
One Day at a Time Ralph Season 8, Episode 4: Catcher in the Mud
Voyagers! Ben Franklin Season 1, Episode 3: Bully and Billy
1985 Bob Hope Special Hal Linden, Donna Mills, Morgan Fairchild and George Burns
It’s a Living State Department Man Season 3, Episode 7: From Russia with Love
Bob Hope Special as NBC President Brandon Tartikoff with Lynda Carter, Danny Thomas, Brandon Tartikoff and Milton Berle
1986 Simon & Simon Benjamin Franklin Season 5, Episode 24: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree
St. Elsewhere Pat McGroyn Season 5, Episode 7: Up and Down
1987 Cagney & Lacey
1988 Matlock Warren Coates Season 2, Episode 13: The Reunion
Cagney & Lacey Factory Manager Season 7, Episode 12: Shadow of a Doubt
1989 Small Wonder Mr. Willis Season 4, Episode 21: The Tattletale
1992 Cheers Dr. Bramwell Season 10, Episode 20: Smotherly Love
The Trials of Rosie O’Neill Season 2, Episode 13: Heartbreak Hotel
1994 Cagney & Lacey: The Return Gerald Fradin TV movie (CBS)
1998 Encore! Encore! Leland Season 1, Episode 6: The Dairy with Nathan Lane, Joan Plowright and Glenne Headly

Audio recordingsEdit

Year Program Role Notes
1976 America is 200 Years Old...And There's Still Hope! Benjamin Franklin Bob Hope comedy album (LP)
Benjamin Franklin, Citizen Benjamin Franklin audiotape of Wayne's one-man show
1997 The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin audiotape recognized by Publishers Weekly as one of the best of 1997
2003 The Grapes of Wrath (play) audio CD produced and distributed by L.A. Theatre Works


  1. ^ a b French, Betty (May 26, 1947). "Shirley Undertakes Heavy Drama". The Akron Beacon Journal. Ohio, Akron. p. 8. Retrieved July 10, 2018 – via  
  2. ^ Redcat, A 253rd Infantry Regiment Weekly, Vol. 1 No. 1, Germany, 15June1945
  3. ^ "Photos of the 63rd Infantry Division on occupation duty". p. 3.
  4. ^ The Stars and Stripes, Germany Edition, July 17, 1945
  5. ^ Time, The Weekly News Magazine, August 6, 1945
  6. ^ The Stars and Stripes, Paris, November 4, 1945
  7. ^ The New York Times, Feb. 8, 1957
  8. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, June 3, 1957
  9. ^ The New York Times, Sept. 9, 1964
  10. ^ Variety, Hollywood Edition, Oct. 20, 1966
  11. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, Oct. 27, 1966
  12. ^ Variety, Hollywood Edition, Oct. 27, 1966
  13. ^ Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 1966
  14. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, Feb. 22, 1967
  15. ^ The New York Times, Mar. 1, 1967
  16. ^ Publishers Weekly, Jan. 5, 1998
  17. ^ The New York Times, "A Ben Franklin Tour With 'Ben Franklin'", Sunday, June 1, 1975
  18. ^ Playboy, "How to Avoid Making Out in Hollywood" (under the nom de plume, 'Kelton Holloway'), January 1958
  19. ^ Los Angeles Times, Calendar section, "Vaudeville Isn't Dead - It's Going to College", Sunday, June 22, 1969
  20. ^ Los Angeles Times, Calendar section, "'Godfather' Casting: An Italian Uprising", Sunday, February 28, 1971
  21. ^ Performing Arts, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum, February 1976
  22. ^ Westways, "Cambria at Play", May 1977
  23. ^ The Arizona Republic, "Picketing hard on feet of Writers Guild members", May 13, 1973
  24. ^ Fredd Wayne, Who Played Benjamin Franklin on 'Bewitched,' Dies at 93: Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 28, 2018.

External linksEdit