October 31, 1902
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
February 10, 1983
Los Angeles, California, United States
For quite some time in the 1950s and the 1960s, if producers wanted a brainy character actor, the man they called was Eduard Franz. His intellectual mien helped him land such roles--and they're generally what he's remembered for. Nevertheless, Franz was a versatile performer and played a wide range of characters in his nearly 50-year-long career. Franz had highly visible roles in such big-budget film offerings as the 1956 biblical epic "The Ten Commandments," directed by Cecil B. DeMille, in which he played Moses's father-in-law, Jethro. He put his musical abilities to work as a very different Jew: cantor David Golding, the disapproving father of the title character in the 1952 adaptation of "The Jazz Singer." Closer to the type of roles Franz usually played was the analytical Dr. Stern, one of the small crew of military men fighting an alien in "The Thing from Another World" (1951). Franz was a familiar presence on the TV screen as well as at the movies. He was one of the stars of the short-lived medical drama "Breaking Point" (1963), playing close to his usual type as the clinical director of the show's hospital.