Keenan Wynn

  1. George Givot, Du Barry Was A Lady,  1942.    For a while, Givot was in  the driver’s seat for the real Cheezy  and the dream Comte de Roquefort. (Cheezey, Comte, Roquefort, geddit ?)  Then, he wasn’t. He went on to voice Tony, the Italian restaurant owner feeding spaghetti to Lady and the Tramp. “You take-a Tony’s advice and settle down with this-a one, eh? He-he-he.“  
  2. Van Johnson, The Human Comedy, 1942. In the loop for Mickey Rooney’s brother going off to WWII.   William Saroyan later turned his 240-page script into a best-selling novel. Ithaca, the 2014 re-make, marked the directing debut of….Meg Ryan.
  3. Don Taylor, Battleground, 1949.   The Battle of the Bulge script about “The Battered Bastards of Bastogne” was rescued  by MGM when Howard Hughes refused to OK it at RKO.  And certain cast changes were made.
  4. Lee Marvin, The Wild One, 1953.    Francis Xavier Aloysius Wynn introduced Marvin (and Steve McQueen)  to the sheer splendour of  Triumph motorcycles. Yet, MGM stopped the third-generation actor joining  what the New York Daily News  called “horror and sadism.” The name of the Marvin bikers gang? The Beatles! 
  5. Wally Vernon, Bloodhounds of Broadway, 1952.    With Wynn  tied up at his home base, MGM,  dancer-comic-sidekick Vernon  took over as Poorly Sammis – the kind of name that proves that all this stemmed from Damon Runyon. For extra evidence, leading hood Scott Brady was Numbers Johnson, Madonna’s 1989 version was way better.
  6. Sidney Blackmer, The High and the Mighty, 1953.     All aboard the flying Grand Hotel – a DC-4 piloted by John Wayne and Robert Stack and stuffed to the flaps with the kind of mixed cliché bag of passengers that continued into the Airport films and torn to shreds by the Airplane comedies. Tasty or not, the roles were basically cameos. WhIch is why the high and mighty MGM refused to loan Wynn… or Lionel Barrymore.
  7. Harry Bellaver, , Love Me Or Leave Me, 1954.     Change of Ruth’s bodyguard from  Wynn to Bellaver in the Doris Day-James Cagney musical biopic first known as Singin’ the Blues and The Ruth Etting Story.
  8. Sheb  Wooley, Giant, 1955.
  9. Paul Stewart, Top Secret Affair, 1956.   Change of Phil  Bentley in a cast of many changes when Humphrey Bogart had to quit due to his terminal cancer, and his wife and co-star.Lauren Bacall, also left… to tend his final days. Kirk, Douglas and Susan Hayward replaced the Bogarts and Jim Backus subbed Walter Matthau. 
  10. Dana Andrews, The Loved One, 1964.  “The motion picture with something to offend everyone…”  It would have been more so if Spanish legend Luis Buñuel had managed to make it with Alec Guinness in the mid-1950s. Instead, the newly Oscared UK director Tony Richardson made a mess of Evelyn Waugh’s satire of the American funeral home business. Dana Andrews, Peter Finch and Keenan Wynn were in the frame for General Brinkman – a name which tends to underline the fact that Terry Southern was one of the scripters.
  11. Jackie Cooper, Superman, 1978.
  12. Barnard Hughes, The Lost Boys, 1986.    Director Joel Schumacher was running out of possible Grandpas…  John Carradine was too ill and Wynn died  at 70, just before shooting started.


 Birth year: 1916Death year: 1986Other name: Casting Calls:  12