Don Francks is one of Canada’s most prolific actors and at 82 years of age is still very much in demand, appearing most recently on Netflix’s Hemlock Grove. Like many Canadian actors his career began on the CBC where he starred on a musical variety show produced out of Vancouver called the Burns Chuckwagon From The Stampede Corral. He quickly began appearing on other Canadian shows such as The Forest Rangers and as Constable Billy Mitchell in the drama R.C.M.P. He became noticed in the United Sates after he was discovered in New York by the late great Jackie Gleason who saw him performing one night and described him as ‘no one in this world is like Don Francks’. Gleason’s account became the title of a future recording by Don Francks. After he appeared on Gleason’s Variety Show, Francks was soon in demand on Broadway where he appeared in the musical On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and in the title role of Kelly. In Hollywood, he starred opposite Petula Clark and Fred Astaire in Fracis Ford Coppola’s Finian’s Rainbow and shared the screen with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs Miller. But it was in television where Francks seemed to be most in demand. He appeared on programs as diverse as Mannix and How The West Was Won to Mr Roger’s’ Neighbourhood and had the lead role in NBC’s Jericho only to have it cancelled when it was up against ABC’s Batman series. In later years he played the role of Walter in Nikita and in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There. As a voice actor, he worked on Tim Burton’s classic Beetlejuice and in animated television shows Inspector Gadget and My Dad The Rock Star.
A veteran journalist and broadcaster widely recognized for his irreverent and entertaining interview and presentation style, Ken is an award-winning journalist with almost 40 years of experience on radio and television. He first joined CPAC in 2001 as host of Talk Politics which ran for eight seasons. He returned to CPAC in 2010 to host Rockburn Presents. Prior to joining CPAC, Ken hosted CBC Radio’s All In a Day, CBC TV Ottawa’s Rockburn and Company and was news director at CHEZ-FM in Ottawa.