Fred Keating

  1. Paul Lukas, The Casino Murder Case, 1934.        Four films as SS Van Dine’s (actually, Willard Huntington Wright’s) snobbish, cynical, bored, supercilious, dilettante detective Philo Vance was enough for William Powell. He refused this one, planned by MGM for him and Myrna Loy (who becamethe better Thin Man and his wife). This news put Metro into a panic. Did they have another Philo? Well, Basil Rathbone had Vanced once in 1929 (and was Sherlock Holmes, opposite Powell’s Vance in Paramount on Parade, 1929). But that was then, this was now… Otto Kruger topped the list, followed by Columbia’s magician-actor Keating, Warren William (he had Vanced the previous year), Ricardo Cortez and, finally, Lukas – with Ted Healy succeeding Eugene Pallette as Sergeant Heath of the NYPD. Raymond Chandler was no fan of “the most asinine character in detective fiction.” And funny poet Ogden Nash added: “Philo Vance/
Needs a kick in the pance.”

 Birth year: 1897Death year: 1961Other name: Casting Calls:  1