BIOGRAPHY

 

 

Fielden Edward Faulkner, II was born on February 29th, l932 (leap year!) in Lexington, Kentucky.   His father owned and operated a prominent building supply company in Lexington; his mother was a retired piano and music teacher.  He was the youngest of two children; his sister (deceased) was nearly 19 years his senior when he was born.

As a youth he was very creative with wood working as well mechanical drawing and other artistic skills but perhaps his unaroused affinity for performing began to appear when he became fascinated with the art of magic at the age of eleven.  He enjoyed presenting his skills of this new hobby to friends and family and by the time he was nearly thirteen he was performing a full fledged magic show for children's birthday parties, service clubs and other gatherings where this type of entertainment might be enjoyed and eventually used the services of a small local talent agent, who immediately increased the fees for his act which he continued to do through college.

He matriculated through the public school system in Lexington and when he entered high school teamed up with a friend and  together, they initiated a comedy song and dance routine, billed as 'Faulkner & Seeley-The Sunshine Twins' ...ala Vaudeville...performing at numerous high school events and service organizations in Lexington for two years.

During his junior year in high school, he became very aware of a  tall, slender, lovely and extremely pretty brunette class mate named Barbara Baldwin who had transfered from her high school in western Kentucky.  Fortunately for Ed, they were cast in their Senior class play as the leads of Thornton Wilder's classic "Our Town" as 'Emily' and 'George' and were married in real life after they both graduated from the University of Kentucky in June of 1954.

Prior to earning a B.S. degree in the Business College at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, he attended the University of Virginia for two years majoring in Civil Engineering.  However, while attending the University of Kentucky, his acting abilities were further stimulated by three leading roles  in the University's outstanding Guignol Theater; "The Dover Road," as Harry Brock in "Born Yesterday" and the detective in "Detective Story" in 1954 with his wife Barbara portraying the detective's wife.  No thoughts of becoming a professional actor occurred to him since service in the United States Air Force was required after being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on completion of Reserve Officer Training Corp at U.K. and was awarded his wings as a single engine jet fighter pilot. 

After his father's death in 1957, he discovered that  two former employees had compromised the business into a financial situation that could not be remedied and dissolution of the company was the best option of those available.  It was at this juncture in time when the idea of becoming a professional actor became a career option.  After several discussions with the Professor of the Drama Department at the University of Kentucky about the feasibility of going to 'Hollywood' he was encouraged to do so and at least 'give it a go.'  So in the spring of 1958 and with the full support of his wife, Barbara, they and their daughter moved to Beverly Hills, California to test the unknown waters of Hollywood!

Through friends, he was fortunate to be introduced to Andrew V. McLaglen, son of the  well known character actor and Academy Award winner, Victor McLaglen.  At that time, Andrew was a staff director for CBS directing such notable western TV series such as Have Gun-Will Travel, Gunsmoke and Rawhide.  As the primary director for Have Gun and aware of Richard Boone's (Paladin) interest in cultivating young  unknown actors, introduced Ed to the prominent star.  After a 'reading' with Boone and with the domination of TV western series at that time along with the potential skills he saw as an actor, the physical attributes of being 6'3" and 185 pounds and knowledge of horsemanship, Boone became his coach and mentor along with McLaglen and was cast in an episode of Have Gun-Will Travel within a month of arrival in California!  His new career had begun!

Over the next 18 plus years he became a journeyman actor appearing in over 250 television programs and some 30 motion pictures and feature films made for television and perhaps best remembered for his appearance in top featured roles in six films with John Wayne, two with Elvis Presley and working with such prominent actors as James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Maureen O'Hara, Doris Day, Jean Arthur, Brian Keith, Rock Hudson, Jim Hutton, Vera Miles and Kathrine Ross.

In 1975, Mr. Faulkner took a sabbatical from the film industry and entered the business world by joining Sea Containers Inc, a publicly held company whose primary activity was the ownership and leasing out of marine cargo containers  to the marine transportation industry worldwide.  He became president of the subsidiary office in San Francisco for five years, then became Director of Sales (western U.S. and Canada) for the company's leisure division, world renowned for the restoration and operation of the Orient Express, know today as The Venice Simplon-Orient Express and owners of over forty luxury hotels world wide including the incomparable Hotel Cipriani in Venice.  He retired from the Sea Containers Group in 1987.  

Mr. Faulkner continues to stay busy doing voice overs and occasional guest appearances on TV and in October 2008, he filmed a two hour interview for Turner Classic Movies Archive Files to be aired at appropriate times on TCM.  

Since 2004 he has been a guest at numerous, predominately western film festivals, across the United States and was honored at the 2007 Western Legends Round-Up in Kanab, Utah with presentation of a plaque on their 'Little Hollywood Walk of Fame.' 

The Faulkners had been married nearly 59 years when, sadly, Barbara  passed away May 17, 2013.  In addition to Mr. Faulkner, she is survived by three daughters, a son, five grandchildren and her younger sister.

In March 2014 Mr. Faulkner moved to Fallbrook, CA, some 50 miles north of San Diego where they had previously resided for a number of years, to be  closer to his youngest daughter and Barbara's sister who lives nearby.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.