Frankie Dolan

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Frankie Dolan

Name: Frankie Dolan
Alias: Frankie Murphy
Birth Name: Francis/Frank Bernard Dolan
Born: 1894-03-14
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Died: 1945-10-12 (Age:51)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA
Height: 5′ 5½″   /   166cm
Boxing Record: click


The following is courtesy of Harry Shaffer--IBRO Member & BoxRec.com Editor--and owner of Antiquities of the Prize Ring:

At the time of Bert Coffey's ring-death, Frankie Dolan was a prominent motion picture actor and friend of Charlie Chaplin and Mable Normand. Dolan was under contract to Keystone films. (Dolan's movie credits.)

In the Dolan scrapbook there are several articles relating to Frankie Dolan's film career; regrettably few indicate publishing dates or sources. Dolan was regularly referred to as a film star/boxer:

"The center of attention at the Western tonight will be Charlie Chaplin, the great Essanay comedian and Frankie Dolan of Keystone Co., the latter matched to box the main event with Al McManus...Chaplin a great admirer of Dolan, has agreed to appear at ringside and referee a bout and second his protege when the feature bout is staged..." 8 May 1915

An article dated 21 March 1915, under the byline of "Red" Perkinds appeared entitled "Mabel Normand, Movie Star, ' Simply Dotes' on Boxers" picturing Normand and Frankie Dolan. Mabel Normand is pictured in an article relating to her attending the Dolan v. Jimmy Arrozay contest 13 July 1915 "spur on Dolan..."

Following the death of Coffey and Dolan's arrest, the result of which is never indicated, articles appear listing Frankie Dolan as Leo Houck's manager. He is also listed as" a camera man for big movie concerns." Circa 1918 March. The next entries relate to Frankie Murphy and Abe Gordon.

Circa 1924, articles list Frankie Dolan as a licensed referee...Also, he is listed as Tom Mix's traveling secretary and sparring partner, reported to be paid $100 a week.

Frankie Dolan founded "The San Francisians" -- a club in Los Angeles for former residents of San Francisco. His address was listed as 2357 Edgewater Terrace, Silver Lake District, Los Angeles, phone Olympic 3920 or Morningside 16644.-South of Market Journal 1936 September.

Dolan continued to appear in films into the 1930s and was a prominent area referee. There is reference to his appearance in a "talkie" with Jack Oakie. The last scrapbook entry is dated 1937 April 30.

Source: Dolan's Journal


Dolan died of a heart attack on October 12, 1945, and received the ceremonial ten count prior to the semifinal the following night at the Olympic Auditorium.


Based upon research by IBRO Member and BoxRec.com Editor Chuck Johnston, who concentrates on old-time California boxing history, the following can be found in the Los Angeles Times:

1. An obituary of Frankie Dolan from the November 13, 1945 Los Angeles Times. It said that Dolan, 51, a former amateur boxing champion and a noted referee, died in the French Hospital after a short illness. He was "a familiar third figure in amateur and professional rings in the Southland and also played parts in many movies."

2. Dolan's funeral service announcement that was in the November 14, 1945 Los Angeles Times.

3. A February 12, 1932 column from the Los Angeles Times by Paul Lowry that listed the seven preferred referees out of the 18 licensed ones in the district for the Olympic Auditorium and the Hollywood Legion Stadium. The seven preferred referees were Lt. Jack Kennedy, Abe Roth, Harry Lee, Larry McGrath, Charley Randolph, Frankie Dolan, and Freddie Gilmore. According to Lowry, Commissioner Martin used referees on the preferred lists at the Hollywood Legion Stadium and the Olympic Auditorium.

4. A February 3, 1937 article in the HOLLYWOOD IN SPORT series by Bill Henry in the Los Angeles Times was about boxing fans at Jack Doyle's Vernon Arena, including Charlie Chaplin and Charley Murray. Included in the article was some information on Frankie Dolan, who reportedly had an avid fan in Chaplin. In fact, it was reported that Chaplin once acted as a second in Dolan's corner for a bout. Accompanying the article was a photograph of Frankie Dolan squaring off with George O'Hara in a 1919 serial, FIGHTING BLOOD.

5. A July 13, 1939 Los Angeles Times news item about ex-fighters Joe Glick, Art Lasky, Frankie Dolan, Kid Chissell, Frankie Grandetta, and others doing ring sequences in a film, EX-CHAMP, starring Victor McLaglen.

6. A July 4, 1916 Los Angeles Times report of Dolan's ill-fated bout with Bert Coffey at the Vernon Athletic Club. Coffey died of injuries sustained in the the bout.

7. A July 5, 1916 Los Angeles Times account of visit by a reporter (Al G. Waddell) to see Frankie Dolan at the County Jail. While Waddell was there, Dolan's wife arrived with some tamales. Waddell also talked to Johnny Lennon (real name: Cris Nannon), who was a second to Dolan in the ill-fated bout. Lennon claimed that he taught Dolan to box at the Olympic Club. When Dolan was arrested for manslaughter, Lennon insisted on staying with him (Dolan).