Doran was born in Oklahoma, and got his start in the business as a Zouave with the 101 Ranch Wild West Show. He later worked with Russell Brothers Circus, where he worked in drag, did an Iron Jaw act, and also worked with horses and elephants.
Frankie met Ward Hall when they both worked on the Dailey Brothers Circus in 1947. Then during the 1951, 1952 and 1953 seasons, he worked for Hall as a Half-And-Half. Billed as "the Original Maxine," Frankie was a great talker, and played the blow-off act in Ward's shows.