Dustin Farnum

Dustin Farnum

Farnum in 1914
Born Dustin Lancy Farnum
(1874-05-27)May 27, 1874
Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, U.S.
Died July 3, 1929(1929-07-03) (aged 55)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death Kidney failure
Occupation Silent film actor, singer, vaudeville performer
Years active 1914–1926
  • Mary Cromwell (m. 1909; divorce 1924)
  • Winifred Kingston (m. 1924; his death 1929)

Dustin Lancy Farnum (May 27, 1874 – July 3, 1929) was an American singer, dancer, and actor on the stage and in silent films.[1] Although he played a wide variety of roles, he tended toward westerns and became one of the biggest stars of the genre.


He was born on May 27, 1874 in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.[1] He was the older brother of actor William Farnum, whom he closely resembled, and the lesser known silent film director Marshall Farnum (died 1917).

He married Mary Cromwell in 1909 and they divorced in 1924.[2][3] He then married Winifred Kingston. Winifred Kingston and he are the parents of radio actress Estelle "Dustine" Runyon (1925–1983).

After a great success in a number of stage roles, in 1914 Farnum landed his first film role in the movie Soldiers of Fortune, and later in Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man.

He died of kidney failure on July 3, 1929 at Post Graduate Hospital in Manhattan, New York City.[1]


Broadway plays

  • A Romance of Athlone (January 29, 1900 – March 3, 1900)
  • Marcelle (October 1900)
  • More Than Queen (October 30, 1900 – November 1900)
  • The Virginian (January 5, 1904 – May 1904)
  • The Ranger (September 1907)
  • The Rector's Garden (March 1908)
  • Cameo Kirby (December 20, 1909 – January 1910)
  • The Silent Call (January 1911)
  • The Squaw Man (January 9, 1911 – January 17, 1911)
  • The Littlest Rebel (November 14, 1911 – January 1912)
  • Arizona (April 28, 1913 – June 1913)


According to an interview in the April 1975 edition of Playboy, Dustin Hoffman was named after Farnum. Additionally, according to an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR, on January 16, 2013, Dustin says his parents were expecting him to be a girl and did not have a boy's name picked out for him. When his Mother was pressured to give him a name, she picked the name Dustin from a magazine the other lady in her room was reading, which featured Dustin Farnum on the cover.[4]


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