Eddie Fisher

  1. Dean Martin, The Young Lions, 1957.    Fox won rights to Irwin  Shaw’s WWII novel in 1951 and ran through three directors before letting the project be totally ruled by the MCA talent agency. Second director Mark Robson suggested Tony Curtis as the Jewish GI, Noah Ackerman.  No, said MCA, reserving the other German and American lions  for its clients, Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift.  Singer Eddie Fisher  and Tony Randall were  thenoffered  the third lion, Michael Whiteacre.  No, said MCA again, it must  be Dean Martin – or we remove Brando and Clift.  And that is how MCA saved Martin’s career after his split with comedy partner Jerry Lewis. Producer Al Lichtman promised Fisher: “You will be in my next film.” And promptly  died!  

  2.  Larry Blyden, What Makes Sammy Run?, TV, 1959.  
    “I knew a lot of real Sammy Glicks and felt confident that was a character I could play.” It was 1955 and the singer’s agent, the mighty Lew Wasserman, wasn’t sure if Fisher could hack drama and anyway, what Eddie called  “the ultimate Jewish hustler “ was  a negative Jewish stereotype that pissed off Wasserman (and San Goldwyn who’d tried go stop publication).  It was too close for their comfort.  So they even implied anti-Semitisim, which the Jewish author  Budd Schulberg  scoffed at – “ Sammy’s  victims were also Jewish.”  (It’s like calling any film about Robert Madoff, anti-Semitic). All this explains  why Fisher made his screen debut in a dumb sit-com with his wife Debbie Reynolds –  Bundle of Joy, 1955 – making hay out of the birth of their daughter, the future princess Leia, Carrie Fisher. The Budd (and Stuart) Schubert script was divided into two halves for  Breck’s  Sunday Showcase on NBC in 1959,  Delbert Mann directing Larry Blyden (who?) as Sammy, the book became a Steve Lawrence musical on Broadway in 1964.  Cinema?  Nada! Wasserman apparently warned Tony Curtis off the project. “Sinatra nearly happened once,” Budd  told me at the 1989 Deauville festival, when he could see only Tom Cruise as the hack reporter lying, cheating,  backstabbing his way to the top of Hollywood’s power game. “Steven Spielberg said it was anti-Hollywood and should never be filmed,” laughed Budd (adding: “There’s something a bit boring about him”).  Yet, Spielberg’s DreamWorks bought  the rights for Ben Stiller to actor-direct. Or,  to block it, for evermore. Which is exactly what happened between 1992-2009 – and ever since! 

  3.  Al Martino,  The Godfather, 1971.



 Birth year: 1928Death year: 2010Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  3