Missed this news somehow and I guess because he isn’t a really well known in media today, I guess Facebook posts were also at a bare minimum. Actor & jazz musician Don Francks died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 84. A veteran of classic American cop and detective TV shows like Mission Impossible, Mannix and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., his Toronto agent Jennifer Goldhar on Monday confirmed his death. Born in Vancouver on Feb. 28, 1932, Francks, as a young jazz musician and vocalist, drove east to Toronto and starred in a host of 1950s CBC TV specials. He later moved to New York City, where he performed in the 1960s at the Blue Angel and recorded a live album at the Village Vanguard.
As a spokesman for Other Voices (Canadian TV series) in mid-1960s, he investigated a boy’s murder at Saskatchewan Red Pheasant First Nation. He married and moved there with his second wife Lili Francks, named there as Red Eagle. He was adopted as a Cree, and named Iron Buffalo “strong like iron. Like the buffalo who knows where to go, is a good provider and good for his family”. She is dancer and member of the Plains Cree First Nation. His acting career got started with the CBC in 1954 as a regular on Burns Chuckwagon From the Stampede Corral, a Western-themed series with musical artists, and other Canadian shows such as Riding High and The Adventures of Tugboat Annie. In the 1960s, he also guest starred on classic U.S. TV series including The Wild Wild West, The Virginian and Ben Casey, and played the role of U.S. Army captain Franklin Sheppard on the short-lived 1966 drama Jericho.
After leaving entertainment to live on the Red Pheasant Reserve in Saskatchewan as Iron Buffalo, Francks returned to Toronto in 1974. His subsequent film and TV credits included Joel Surnow’s La Femme Nikita, in which he played the role of Walter; The Listener; My Bloody Valentine; and more recently a stint on Gangland Undercover. On the movie front, Francks co-starred alongside Petula Clark and Fred Astaire in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1968 fantasy musical Finian’s Rainbow. Since 1979, he has been living in Toronto with wife Lili and their son Rainbow Sun (former MuchMusic VJ & actor from Stargate Atlantis & The Listener). His daughter Cree Summer resides and works in Hollywood. He has two children from his first marriage, his son Trane and a daughter.
Think of your longest relationship: describe how your love has changed over time, did you go from the giddiness of infatuation, to mad passion, to deep respect, esteem, and friendship? Tell us about your love story.
I’m thinking about my first real relationship that last from 1993-1998. It was deep, it was passionate, it was all consuming. It was everything I thought it would be for a while until it wasn’t. She was my world, occupying my hours and my thoughts for the longest time, until the pleasure and happiness wasn’t there and misery and sadness took over.
I was 16 when we first met, she a year younger than me but in the same class as me. At first she didn’t return my affections and said we should just stay friends. Also there was another guy in love with her who she knew from her previous school and she was torn. I eventually won her heart but being a friend, being loyal and being true and I was ecstatic. We talked for hours and hours. I dreamed of her, dreamed of a time when we we’d be older and married and living together with a cat and a dog and making a family. It was intense. We shared kisses and eventually things got more physical after we turned 18. I thought that this was it. Unfortunately things didn’t turn out that way.
There were problems, deep emotional and psychological ones that have been in her family since she was little. I was too young to recognize the fact that she liked loving me as much as she liked hurting me. And I don’t mean in the physical way but emotionally. One day she could be mean and cold for no reason and the next loving and compassionate. She couldn’t live without me but she also could. We had an on-off relationship for a while until things were not there anymore. I would lie in my bed and wonder for hours what I could do. Little did I know of the abuse that she and her mother had gone through occasionally and that is what she knew and what she felt. She began to withdraw and the end was near, no matter how much I denied it.
I was 22 and still holding on to her because I didn’t know what I could do without her. I finally realized that this was going no where and I had to let go. Things became easier because she was moving to Mumbai for higher studies and her family was following her soon. The decision was made easier for me, we didn’t have cellphones the way we would have it later. So I said a sad and angry goodbye through a payphone and the biggest chapter of my life at that moment came to close. At times I still do think about those days and how happy she made me for a while and I have never been able to experience quite the same thing again, even if I have been in a couple of relationships since then. It may never happen for me.
Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com