Born Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel on August 31, 1897 in Racine, Wi, young March served in the Army as an artillery lieutenant during World War I, and began a career in banking, despite an interest in acting. However, an emergency appendectomy made him reconsider his career choice and he decided to pursue his interest in the theater.
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While appearing in films and on stage in New York in the 1920s, he shortened his first name and adopted a shorter version of his mother’s maiden name of “Marcher” to become “Fredric March.” Hollywood came calling in 1929, and with his good looks and rich voice, he easily segued from silent films to talkies. After his