James Ellison

  1. James Stewart, Vivacious Lady, 1937.       When Stewart fell ill and then had to report to his next MGMovie, Of Human Hearts, Ellison and Douglas Fairbanks Jr were possible substitutes. Director George  Stevens wisely  waited until Jim was available again – and then had Ellison play Keith, the sadsack losing showgirl Ginger Rogers to Stewart’a university prof. 
  2. Gene Raymond, Cross-Country Romance, 1939.   Ellison and Lucille Ball were all set as a wealthy beauty fleeing her wedding and hiding out in a doctor’s camping-car – talk about meet cute – when someone said: Hold it.  Didn’t Gene Raymond  make the similar Love On a Bet, with Gwendy Barrie iin ’35?  Let’s get ‘em twogether again.  “But Gene hasn’t made a movie in two years!” Well, it’s about time he did. (He even got top billing! After 72 movies, Iowa’s Ellison made tons more money building plush homes in Beverly Hills. So that’s where Ellison Drive stems from…
  3. John Hubbard, Secrets of the Underground, 1942.    Second Mr District Attorney case based on Phillips H Lord’s radio series for a Republic franchise that was plainly going nowhere after Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case , 1941. Ellison (usually in B Westerns) was dropped, likewise the now offending Mr District Attorney was struck from the title. End of series. Well, Columbia trie to revive it, with no more luck, starring Dennis O’Keefe as Mr District Attorney, 1946, and changing names to the more 40s’ Steve Bennett from the very Clifton Webb-ish P. Cadwallader Jones. This one is only famous for cutting the fatuous suggestion that Joan Blair’s Betty must be a hooker because she burns incense in her apartment!

 Birth year: 1910Death year: 1993Other name: Casting Calls:  3