Pat Hingle


  1. Arthur Kennedy, Peyton Place, 1956.     First cast as the scary, drunken stepfather of  Hope Lange’s Selena Cross.  Later, it was decided that Lucas Cross should be older…. in the mother and father of all movie and TV soaps.
  2. Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry, 1958.    “If I’d done Elmer Gantry, I would have been more of a movie name,” agreed Hingle. “But I wouldn’t have done as many plays… I’ve had exactly the kind of career I hoped for. The Gary Coopers and Clark Gables didn’t really appeal. But I saw Walter Huston and Hume Cronyn in about ten movies,  that it was possible to play a wide variety of roles… I can be a truck driver, a doctor, a lawyer, a hanging judge, whatever.” Director Richard Brooks chose him as his Gantry… Then, Hingle got stuck in a lift, tried to break out and fell more than 50ft, fracturing  skull, hip, wrist, one leg and  most of his ribs.  One  finger had to be amputated. Close to death for a fortnight, he spent a full year learning how to walk again.  While Lancaster won an Oscar.
  3. Brooks West, Anatomy of a Murder, 1958.     And that is why Hingle also had to quit being  Mitch Lodwick in the controversial court-room  thriller. Producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger chose James Daly as substitute, but he had a Broadway gig. What to do, what to do? Hey, why not West! He was handy, after all…  on the Michigan  location with his wife, Eve Arden, who was playing James Stewart’s faithful secretary, Della Street er, Maida Rutledge.
  4. Hoyt Axton, Gremlins, 1983.    Director Joe Dante always wanted songwriter Axton as Zach Galligan’s dad after seeing his other Pop in The Black Stallion, Joe still tested Pat Harrington Jr  and Pat Hingle,. Legend  has it that Hingle’s Saroyan-esquetest was so good it was feared he would steal the whole movie… from what critic Roger Ebert called “a plague of reprehensible little beasties who behave like a rodent road company of Marlon Brando’s motorcycle gang in The Wild One.”  

 Birth year: 1924Death year: 2009Other name: Casting Calls:  4