Canadian actor, vocalist and jazz musician Don Francks was born Donald Harvey Francks on February 28, 1932, in Vancouver, British Columbia. He grew up quite adept at athletics and performed in vaudeville and in summer stock shows before relocating to Toronto. On stage from age eleven, he landed an early job singing on the radio, then moved into television in 1954. While acting in both variety shows and dramas, he was also a writer and penned several documentaries and public affairs specials in both Toronto and Montreal. On the nightclub scene, Don was featured as a jazz vocalist, a DJ, a trombonist in a country western band and a member of a barbershop quartet.
In the mid-1960s, he focused on small screen acting and racked up a number of rugged, adventurous guest-star turns on TV. He also appeared on- and off-Broadway.
He moved his family to the Red Pheasant Indian Reserve, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and is an honorary Cree named "Iron Buffalo". Since 1974, he has been living in Toronto with his wife, Lili Francks (Red Eagle), a member of the Plains Cree First Nation and a dancer. Their children are voice artist and actress Cree Summer and actor/songwriter Rainbow Francks.