Joe E Brtown

  1. James Stewart, Harvey, 1949.    Playwright Mary Chase had final approval of the movie Elwood P Dowd, an alcoholic who sees and relates to an invisible giant rabbit called Harvey. Stewart and Brown were the only contenders  who had played the role on-stage (Jim never stopped reviving the play in the UK and US!).  Other potential Elwoods were: Jack Benny, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Jack Haley (The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz)  even, crooner Rudy Vallee.
  2. Regis Toomey, Great Day in the Morning, 1955.   Producer Edmund Grainger could not decide whether to go funny or straight for Father Murphy. Brown or Toomey ?   Likewise,  young or old for his Colorado Western hero –  William Powell or, the  25-years younger Robert Mitchum!  (The answer was Robert Stack).  Brown, of course, delivered the greatest Hollywood punchline… the last words of  Some Like It Hot,  1958. “Nobody’s perfect!”

 Birth year: 1892Death year: 1973Other name: Casting Calls:  2