Leo McKern


  1. Red Buttons, Hatari! 1961.      A rare Howard Hawks error…  He wanted a joker in his safari back-pack. McKern, Peter Sellers and Peter Ustinov were seen in London. McKern refused to work with such a rampant tright-winger as John Wayne. Ustinov was busy. Sellers didn’t do politics and agreed to be Robbie. Then,Robbie became Pockets and American and, well,Buttons had recently won an Oscar.  Not for being funny, that’s for sure. (Only hilarious on TV, Carney won his Oscar in 1975.  Sellers was cheated out of his in 1980).
  2. Warren Mitchell, Till Death Us Do Part, TV, 1965-1975.   The bulky Aussie was the BBC’s first choice for the ridiculous right-wing docker. The sitcom purported to be be anti-racist, but Alf Garnett’s ranting  became so popular he was for (too) many, a voice of reason! McKern (and, after him, Lionel Jeffries) obviously saw that coming. Mitchell, a busy character actor, became a star. His Alf became Archie Bunker in the US version, All in the Family, 1971-1979 – mere water compared to Alf’s acid.
  3. Patrick Stewart, Lifeforce, 1984.
  4. Aubrey Morris, Lifeforce, 1984.
  5. Frank Finlay, Lifeforce, 1984.
  6. Edward Woodward, A Christmas Carol, TV, 1984.       Change of the Ghost of Christmas Present for George C Scott as the 30th screen Scrooge inthe tele-movie shot in Shrewsbury – where Charles Dickens gave the firstpublic reading ofhis 1843 novella.
  7. Nicol Williamson, Oz the Great and Powerful, 2012.       “We’re going for the Frank L Baum book illustrations and nothing like that 1939 vaudeville thing,” said a Disney suit. Thanks for the warning said the fans, staying way in droves… McKern had been the immediate choice for Dr Worley/Nome King as he closely resembled the original artwork. He died, however, before Disney pulled its corporate fineger out.  (Oh and Mr Suit, it is L Frank Baum. Explains a lot).

 Birth year: 1920Death year: 2002Other name: Casting Calls:  7