Roland Young

  1. Frank Morgan, Reunion In Vienna, 1932.   MGM had chose both Barrymores, John and Lionel, for the banished archduke and the shrink who wed the exile’s ex. When Lionel fell out, Young was contacted (according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 20, 1933) but it was Morgan who wed the UK’s Diana Wyngard..

  2. Cary Grant, The Awful Truth, 1937.    
    Originally Ralph Bellamy was given Young’s role. . It didn’t fit him and Grant suggested he take it over.  Although   he was not on form (still seething about Topper – before it proved a winner ) when joining director Leo McCarey’s comedy about… divorce!   Or as the Columbia ogre Harry Cohn put it, a Frank Capra film without [expletive deleted] Frank Capra!  Co-star Irene Dunne explained Cary would be so  apprehensive about nearly everything in those days, ”that he would almost get physically sick.” As usual, he tried to buy his way out of what he saw as trouble.  He should swop roles with Ralph Bellamy – who should be Dunne;s husband with Grant, if as anything at all, as The Other Man, originally written written for Topper, himself, Roland Young.   Also, Cary  wasn’t happy with  McCarey doing re-writes every night and expecting him  to improvise all over the place.,.. which he happened to do extremely well.  (“The judge says this is my day to see the dog.”).  The wife remained Irene Dunne.  And it worked.  Though none of them seemed  to know what was going on… Naturally, nobody took any notice of his complaints. Consecutive smash hits  for the Old Guard of Laurel and Hardy’s Hal  Roach and Leo McCarey – Topper and Truth – completed Archie Leach’s creation of the  Cary Grant we know and (still) adore.

  3. Oliver Hardy, Zenobia, 1938.  The first Laurel & Hardy film without Laurel since the start of their globally adored  double act happened like this…  Producer Hal Roach was prepping the comedy for them when Laurel’s contract ended and he was  not interested in any renewal. The couple felt they’d have a better bargaining position if they waited for Hardy’s contract to also run out. Roach wasn’t waiting. He gave Young’s lead role to Hardy, thus breaking up the cinema’s finest comedy duo. Temporarily.  BecauseLaurel then sued the studio for breach of contract.
  4. Thomas Mitchell, It’s A Wonderful Life1946.

 Birth year: 1887Death year: 1953Other name: Casting Calls:  4