Don Francks, actor who lived at Red Pheasant, dead at 84

By Geoff Smith
April 4, 2016 - 4:13pm

Don Francks, an actor and jazz musician who spent several years living on the Red Pheasant Cree Nation south of the Battlefords, has died at the age of 84.

“Iron Buffalo finished his earthwalk on 3 April 2016 at the age of 84 years young. What a ride,” Francks’ official website said. His death from cancer was confirmed by his agent to the trade publication The Hollywood Reporter.

Born in the Vancouver area, Francks began appearing in Toronto-based television series such as The Adventures of Tugboat Annie, R.C.M.P., and Cannonball. His lengthy list of Canadian and U.S. television credits also includes appearances in Mannix, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., andWild Wild West. More recent appearances includeTraders and Gangland Undercover.

Francks also appeared in the movie musical Finian’s Rainbow with Fred Astaire, and the National Film Board of Canada production Drylanders about a pioneer farm family in Saskatchewan.

In the 1960s, hosting duties for the CBC-TV series Other Voices led him to the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, investigating the murder of a boy. Francks ended up living at Red Pheasant for several years with his wife and children. He was given the name Iron Buffalo.

Francks was an accomplished jazz musician who continued to perform late in life. His distinctive voice was heard in many commercials and animated TV series, including Inspector Gadget which saw him working with his daughter Cree Summer.

email: [email protected]
On Twitter: @smithco

ELECTION 2016: Live election coverage, Sask Party wins majority

Join the Discussion

paNOW is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.