Frances Farmer

Actor
A stunning leading lady of the late 1930s, actress Frances Farmer's promising career was curtailed by her alcoholism and mental illness. But her greatest claim to fame was not her films, but her decade-long ... Read more »
Born: 09/19/1913 in Seattle, Washington, USA

Filmography

Actor (9)

The Party Crashers 1957 (Movie)

Mrs Bickford (Actor)

Come and Get It 1936 (Movie)

Lotta (Actor)

Ebb Tide (Movie)

Faith Wishart (Actor)

Flowing Gold (Movie)

Linda Chalmers (Actor)

Rhythm on the Range (Movie)

Doris Halloway (Actor)

Son of Fury (Movie)

Isabel Blake (Actor)

South of Pago Pago (Movie)

Ruby Taylor (Actor)

The Toast of New York (Movie)

Josie Mansfield (Actor)

World Premiere (Movie)

Kitty Carr (Actor)

Biography

A stunning leading lady of the late 1930s, actress Frances Farmer's promising career was curtailed by her alcoholism and mental illness. But her greatest claim to fame was not her films, but her decade-long psychological collapse that led to her institutionalization in 1944, where she later claimed that she was systematically raped and abused at the hands of hospital staff. Prior to her tragic fall, Farmer made great strides in Hollywood in a short time, starring in the musical "Rhythm on the Range" (1936) and the melodrama "Come and Get It" (1936), both of which helped tag her as a rising star. Dissatisfied with being controlled by the studio, she departed for the summer stock stages of upstate New York before returning to the Hollywood fold for "The Toast of New York" (1937) and "Flowing Gold" (1940). By this time, Farmer had developed a reputation for being difficult and ultimately made her final major film opposite Tyrone Power in "Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake" (1942). Her arrest for driving drunk in 1942 precipitated a mighty fall that saw Farmer wind up in mental institutions in California and her native Washington, where she was subjected to controversial therapies and routinely abused. She eventually reclaimed her life and freedom, going on to enjoy somewhat of a comeback as the host of "Frances Farmer Presents" (WFBM-TV, 1958-64), but continued to suffer from personal demons near the end of her life, leaving a long trail of shattered emotions and unfulfilled promise.

Relationships

Leif Erickson Actor

Husband
Married 1936; marriage of convenience

Leland Mikesell

Husband
Married 1958 until her death 1970

EDUCATION

University of Washington

Seattle , Washington
won trip to Soviet Union as first prize for essay competition from radical magazine

Milestones

1972

Purported autobiography posthumously published, "Will There Really Be a Morning?"

1958

Life history revisited on an episode of "This Is Your Life"; was the one episode of the long-running series in which the guest was not surprised; Farmer agreed to do the show to help set the record straight regarding many misunderstandings about her probl

1937

First stage role with the Group Theater, playing Lorna Moon in Clifford Odets' "Golden Boy"

1936

Film acting debut in "Too Many Parents"

Hosted a local Indianapolis TV program in the late 1950s

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