Author Topic: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"  (Read 1711 times)

Meek

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"Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« on: February 21, 2008, 09:38:47 PM »

     February 22nd will be Dwight Frye's 109th birthday so be sure to drink a toast to the little guy who set the bar for all other demented horror film henchmen who followed.

     This is my watercolor portrait of Dwight based on a portrait still from "Dracula"--you can see that Dwight is wearing Renfield's necktie, which could've very well been his own tie--that plaid coat he carries through out the start of "Dracula" was his own. This is a vintage chrome & painted glass frame and Dwight has his own little place of honor next to Colin Clive along with a vase full of white roses.

     Here's sand in yer gears, Dwight!

     "Meek"(Loyal Order of Frye's)

"I am like a Unicorn in a racing stable. Beast doesn't fit."   T.E.Lawrence

The Drunken Severed Head

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 10:59:56 PM »
Viewing your excellent portrait of Dwight Frye is a fine way to mark his birthday.

Hope he's somewhere knowing he still has fans after all these years!

Jim Bertges

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 01:54:26 AM »
It's "Frye-day" again, so soon? My how time flies.

Happy Birthday Mr. Frye.
You knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Fred.

roheimiana

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 06:55:21 AM »
Good old Fritz!

David Lady sells a mask (sculpted by the wonderful Carol Hicks) of Frye as Renfield but what I really wanted was to have a mad lab assistant instead. Therefore, David agreed to add a prominent facial scar as well as to ladle on the grunge and here’s the result:





BTW, the best thing about having this dude around is that he makes everything seem so untidy that I don’t feel the obligation to houseclean very often…. ;D




ProfGriffin

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 09:59:21 AM »
The Man with the Thousand Watt Stare
By
Prof. Anton Griffin
(Reposted from Scary Monsters Magazine)

Madness.
It came suddenly, as the mind of Mr. Renfield was twisted and bent so suddenly and so violently that it simply snapped.
Unable to comprehend what was happening to him, unable to withstand the poisonous, vile, bite of the Vampire king…Renfield went mad. 
Life devours life…zoophagous. 
To consume life is to gain its life…to gain its life is to add to your own.  Enough lives consumed, and one can gain immortality.  With immortality, one never has to answer for one’s sins.  Renfield carried much guilt and sin on his conscious…all those sailors on the Vesta, pretty Ms. Lucy…all dead…all by his doing.  Damnation terrified Renfield, and so did death.

"If God is good, I will be able to play comedy, in which I was featured on Broadway for eight seasons and in which no producer of motion pictures will give me a chance! And please God, may it be before I go screwy playing idiots, half-wits and lunatics on the talking screen!"
-Dwight Frye.

Fritz was a ‘half-wit’…not thinking or comprehending what he was doing.  Oh, he knew fear and ironically for the business he was in, he was fearful, trembling and superstitious.  He seemed to have no trouble dealing with the dead in boxes…and digging them up was fun, but if ever he caught sight of a dead body, exposed before him…Fritz would recoil.  Dreading the sight of corpses, and fearful of even approaching the cold dead…one might surmise that Fritz was afraid of death.

Dwight Fry was NOT afraid of death.  He trusted in God to mend his troubles and his ills.  He refused doctors all his life (a devout Christian Scientist) and had a weak heart full of faith and music. 
From a very early age, Dwight excelled at the piano.  Creating and playing beautiful pieces that enriched his soul and delighted those who listened.  But while a career as a concert pianist was a VERY REAL possibility, fate had other plans.

He fell in love.
The stage beckoned and at the dismay of his family, he followed his love and became the very standard of a working, struggling, hard-working legitimate actor.
From his home in Colorado to the Great White Way, Dwight worked and perfected his craft.   He added an ‘e’ to the end of his name, and soon added a bright musical, comedic star to the Broadway sky.
 
Dwight Frye was considered one of the top ten stage actors in 1922.   He married a beautiful dancer, Laurette Bullivant, whom he met on the stage and together, the two of the opened a tea room in New York.   Ironically, Dwight appeared in ‘The Devil in the Cheese’ on Broadway opposite Mr. Hyde himself (Fredrick March).  Also in that production, was a Greek Bandit played by a Hungarian Immigrant who would soon become his master.
Dwight Frye was a success, hosting the toast of Broadway at his tearoom, a respected actor, happy and swinging in the glorious 20’s. 

But then, the great CRASH came…and the Frye family lost almost everything.

Moving to California and the sunny climate of the west, Dwight was back on stage and was soon in front of the cameras for Universal in 1928’s Night Bird (uncredited).  He was scouted by Warner Brothers and appeared in his first contracted moving picture…as a gun-toting mobster in DOORWAY TO HELL (1930).

Other roles followed and his career seemed to be moving forward again…but then, his master beckoned, and without warning… Dwight went mad.  Plunging headfirst into a world of the macabre, and never quite breaking free long enough to return to sanity.

Madmen, murderers, creeps, dwarfs, grave-robbers, frightened villagers, intrepid reporters, a happy newlywed, and more…all backed by the threatening dark night sky of the Universal cyclorama.

Dwight retreated back to the stage, for there he could work without madness, without a twisted soul. 
The arrival of a son brought him joy, and a father’s pride.  Dwight Jr. was never afraid of his father’s work (much to his father’s chagrin)…and would go to the cinema many times with his father, to see the leering, grasping man with the 1000 Watt Stare on the big screen.

Dwight Sr. was a patriot and loved his country.  His weak heart swelled with pride and national duty…but that same heart was broken by the fact that he was too young to enlist in the Great War, and too old for the Second.  So he did what he could.  Working for the Lockheed Aircraft Company to aid the war effort at night, and acting during the day in whatever he could. 
On screen, he simply could not escape the madness and found himself drooling alongside Lionel Atwill, and digging in graveyards at the command of George Zucco…and while frustration grew, his resolve grew as well.
It seemed as though he was destined for crypts and graveyards. 

But then, a joyful casting in a MAINSTREAM motion picture as the first secretary of war, Newton Baker in the film WILSON, would change his fortunes.  He was on the cusp of legitimacy and respect again.  Soon, he could provide fully for his beautiful wife and darling son…soon he would regain the glory that was his on Broadway and the pride that filled his weak heart. 
His heart was so full.   
Too full.

That fateful day, on the bus…with his son, returning home from the cinema…Dwight collapsed.  With his son at his side, his heart stopped. 
Amidst strains of music and swells of joy in his weak heart, and the memories of madmen and monsters in his head, Dwight Frye slipped away and was pronounced dead before he reached the hospital- November 7th 1943.
In the world of never-was and should haves…Dwight was a star.
 
In the world of the beyond, and in realm of the eternal, Renfield plays the piano.  It’s a beautiful tune, filled with grand sweeps of doom and erratic madness…but also filled with a satisfaction of a life and a heart that was full.   


 Happy Birthday Dwight Frye.



Rest in Peace,

Prof. Griffin
Horror Historian

typhooforme

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 10:45:03 AM »
I think I know where Dwight Frye is sometimes.  There is a theatre in Illinois, and there is a special seat there with his son's name on it--  I suspect that the spirits of father and son sometimes sit side by side there, enjoying the magic on stage.
Robert in Ohio

 "I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses."   Mrs. Patrick Campbell

Nightmares in plastic

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 11:19:38 AM »
Happy Birthday Dwight!

Jeff Yeagher  and John "XOfacto" Tucky made a wonderful birthday gift two days ago:









Rainer E.
"Let's drink to a world of Gods and Monsters!"
Dr. Pretorius

Meek

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2008, 11:40:09 AM »

   Rainer: That is by far the best sculpt of Dwight Frye that I've clapped eyes on---they even got the line and attitude of his left hand perfect(Dwight could've been a classical concert pianist as well but opted for the stage)his hair, the shape of his face and those eyes---as my Opa would've said "Prima!".
   I'm quite sure that Dwight D. Frye would've loved this one and given it his stamp of approval.


    "Meek"(I always have an order of Frye on the side)
"I am like a Unicorn in a racing stable. Beast doesn't fit."   T.E.Lawrence

typhooforme

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Re: "Happy Brithday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2008, 01:02:36 PM »
Purely wonderful likeness.  Yeagher is a genius, time after time. 
Robert in Ohio

 "I don’t care what they do, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses."   Mrs. Patrick Campbell

Meek

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Re: "Happy Birthday, Mr. Frye"
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2008, 05:58:31 PM »


    This is the only resin Fritz I have--he's 11 o'clock on my "Monster Time" clock and I had a great deal of fun painting this. I thought it to be an excellent likeness but they didn't quite get Colin Clive or Elsa Lanchester. The Lugosi and the Creature likenesses were spot on.
    But I should talk--I can't even spell "birthday" correctly.
    I can post more of the clock over in the Enlistee's Gallery.


   "Meek"(the times they are a changin')
"I am like a Unicorn in a racing stable. Beast doesn't fit."   T.E.Lawrence

 

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