Donald Harvey Francks
or Iron Buffalo
(born February 28
) is a Canadian
actor, vocalist and jazz
Francks was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a drummer, poet, native nations champion, motorcyclist, author and peace activist. He is interested in Tibet and supports Greenpeace.
He performed in vaudeville, worked as a foundryman and was involved in summer stock before moving to Toronto. During his time in Hollywood he lived in Encino, California. After a time, he moved with his family to the Red Pheasant Indian Reserve, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He is an honorary Cree, who is known as Iron Buffalo.
Since 1974, he has been living in Toronto with his wife Lili (Red Eagle), a member of the Plains Cree First Nation who was a dancer. Their children are Cree Summer and Rainbow Sun.
He appeared many times at George's Spaghetti House, a Toronto jazz club that was the equivalent of New York's Birdland. He was also known to sit in on drums at the Colonial Tavern and other Toronto afterhours clubs and jazz venues.
Francks appeared as Walter, in La Femme Nikita television series from 1997-2001.
His early television credits include: Mission: Impossible, Wild Wild West, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Little Men, Traders and several episodic television appearances. Some of his film appearances include: Johnny Mnemonic and Finian's Rainbow with Fred Astaire and Petula Clark. He also plays the voice of "Skunk" in Gene Simmons' animated television show My Dad the Rock Star.
- 1980 and 1981 - Don Francks won ACTRA Awards for Best Dramatic Performance for his roles in Drying Up The Streets and The Phoenix Team.
- At The Purple Onion, with Lenny Breau and Eon Henstridge, 2004, Art of Life Records. Recorded live at the coffeehouse Purple Onion in Toronto in August 1962.
- No One In This World Is Like Don Francks, LP, 1963, Knapp Records. Don Francks, Lenny Breau and Eon Henstridge formed the trio Three.
- Lost... and Alone, LP, 1964, Kapp Records.
- Heyn, Christopher. "A Conversation with Don Francks." Inside Section One: Creating and Producing TV's La Femme Nikita. Introduction by Peta Wilson. Los Angeles: Persistence of Vision Press, 2006. 100-105. ISBN 0-9787625-0-9. In-depth conversation with Don Francks about his role as Walter on La Femme Nikita, along with numerous stories from his lengthy acting and musical career.