Gig Young

  1. John Garfield,  Humoresque, 1945.     According to undated press releases on the film at the AMPAS Library, Irving Rapper was to direct Waldo Salt’s script starring Young.  Jean Negulesco helmed Garfield, Some 24 years late, Young won his Oscared gig, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, 1969.  “Yowza! Yowza! Yowza!”   
  2. John Ireland, Anna Lucasta, 1949.  Future movie scenarist and producer Philip Yordan wrote his play about a Polish family in 1936 – and could never get it produced until it staged by the American Negro Theater in the basement of the 135th St. Library in Harlem with an a Black cast.. Five years on, the family becam4 Polish again with  Linda Darnell, Susan Hayward and Rita Hayworth battling for the teenage  Anna – won by Godard at 39  Variety said, as only Variety could, it was “no bowl of wheaties for the kiddies.” Eartha Kitt headed the black movie in 1958 opposite Sammy Davis Jr.’s first dramatic role. Both stars had helped finance  the production.
  3. Kenneth More, Never Let Me Go, 1952.    “Clark Gable Outwits Russians Again, Wins a Ballerina” was how Bosley Crowther’s review was headlined in The New York Times. “Obvious that these Russians never saw Comrade X and are totally unfamiliar with Mr Gable and the scriptwriters at MGM. And so, Mr Gable intrepidly returns, snatches his wife right out of Swan Lake and, naturally, gets away.” And no mention   of the help from a true Brit pal – or American when Young was in the mix.
  4. Aldo Ray, We’re No Angels, 1954.   New Albert in the well nigh perfect (originally French) comedy about the three cons escaping Devil’s Island: Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov and Ray. Most critics appeared astonished by Bogie’s comedic talent. Hadn’t they seen his other work?
  5. Chris Warfield, The Student Prince, 1954. Change of Richter … after the 1962 version collapsed due to Mario Lanza’s gigantic row with MGM. “No director tells me how to sing!” Eventually, Edmund Purdom went royal, miming to Lanza’s voice.
  6. Kevin McCarthy, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1956.    “They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…”
  7. Peter Sellers, The World of Henry Orient, 1964.    It was the girl fans-cum-stalkers who were who young, not their prey, a  celebrated pianist… Summing up his career, Young and José Ferrer were talked of for The Joker. (Rather than shave off his signature tash, Romero painted make-up over his moustache).
  8. Cesar Romero, Batman, TV, 1967-1968. Gig and José Ferrer were talked of for The Joker. Rather than shave off his signature tash, Romero painted make-up over his moustache.  Frank Sinatra wanted the role!
  9. Gene Wilder, Blazing Saddles, 1973.  The Western send-up’s creator, director and star Mel Brooks  began with Young as  the aged, drunken gunfighter, The Waco Kid. Too close to home… On the first day, Young admitted he was drunk and promptly collapsed on the set, loaded to the gills.  Indeed, to delirium tremens. Wilder flew across country to take over the role he’d always wanted  – provided Brooks promised to make Wilder’s script next.  A little something called Young Frankenstein, 1974. (Young sued for breach of contract). (How did he know what to sue about?).
  10. David Huddleston,  Sherlock Holmes in New York, TV, 1976.  Director Boris Sagal chose Young for Inspector Lafferty – but later gave him banker Mortimer McGrew. And a “special guest appearance” credit.  Well, he was an Oscar winner.  

  11. John Forsythe, Charlie’s Angels, TV, 1976-1981.     Too drunk to record his telephone dialogue as  the Angels’ boss, Charles Townsend. 
  12. Chuck Connors, Tourist Trap, 1978.  Polar opposites, Young and Jack Palance, had been better (but pricier) choices for Mr Slausen.  Director David Schmoeller shot the cheap B in March and Young was dead by October in a real horror story. Three weeks after marrying his fifthj wife,  German actress Kim Schmidt, 31, Young shot her dead in their New York City apartment and then ate the gun. He was a sad 64.  “I’ve picked the best from the lousy parts they offered me… My specialties are corpses, unconscious people and and people snoring in spectacular epics.” He left his “unlucky” Oscar – found by the corpses  – to his former agent, Martin Baum.  Who made it happen. The 1969 film, the role and the Oscar… for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

 Birth year: 1913Death year: 1978Other name: Casting Calls:  12