Jimmy Durante

  1. Spencer Tracy, Test Pilot, 1937. At first, Clark Gable’s cocky pilot, was due to be opposite Durante…  in such a “castastrostroke” role, that MGM didn’t even know his name.  Critcis referred to him as Gunner Sloan while Gable called him Gunner Morse. What Tracy called him remains unprintable.  (Jimmy was known as Schnoz or Schnozzle due to his huge hooter). 
  2. Eddie ‘Rochester’ Anderson, Brewster’s Millions, 1944. US radio star Garry Moore failed to make the cut anfd Durante who often worked with him, disappeared, as well. Another radio star, Jack Benny’s man, Rochester, filled in and got clobbered for it in in Memphis, where he was judged to have “too familiar a way about him.” And, indeed, the mild comedy dispklayed “too much social equality and racial mixture for Southern audiences [which could] encourage racial problems.” (Honestly). The Schnoz was  various  stars  – Ernest Borgnine, Akim Tamiroff, Jack Palance, Fernandel and Melina Mercouri – in  VIttorio De Sica’s Italian film,  Il giudizio universale (US The Last Judgment), 1961., Durant was typecast as The man with the large proboscis.  

  3. Fanfulla, Fellini Satyricon, Italy-France, 1968.   Fellini desired some of his most cherished Hollywood stars in his ancient Rome extravaganza.  Durante, Van Heflin (surprisingly), Boris Karloff, Groucho Marx and Mae West headed his dream-wish list but they all felt too old for galivanting around Nero’s licentious  Lazio.  Bonnie and Clyde’s driver, Michael J Pollard Pollard, was much younger, of course, but  he still stayed home.

 Birth year: 1893Death year: 1980Other name: Casting Calls:  3