Stanley Holloway

  1. Jack Warner, The Captive Heart, 1946.     According to British director Basil Dearden, Holloway said his heart sank when Ealing Studios phoned to say: No.
  2. Jack Warner, Hue and Cry, 1947.     Warner, the brand newcomer of the hour, continued to play most Holloway-intended roles as  Ealing never really trusted  the comic Stanley in drama.
  3. Jack Warner, Holiday Camp, 1947.    Or comedies..! A clever  look at the UK’s new, post-war, titular institution  – started a series of three more comedies with Warner and Kathleen Harrison as head of the Cockney family, the Huggetts.
  4. Jack Warner, Easy Money, 1948.     Warner had enough films of his own and took nothing more meant for Holloway after Stanley’s Ealing  classic, The Lavender Hill Mob, 1951.
  5. John Laurie, Laughter In Paradise, 1950.      Holloway, the Ealing Studios’ regular, had to miss producer Mario Zampi’s comedy (a UK Brewster’s Millions, really). Not quite Ealing standard. But very funny. Or Alastair Sim was.
  6. John Laurie, Laughter In Paradise, 1951.      The Scottish Laurie, a Laurence Olivier and Michael Powell stalwart, is still making the UK laugh today, more than 25 years after his 1980 death, due to endless BBC repeats of his 1968-1977  series, Dad’s Army.
  7. Dick Van Dyke, Mary Poppins, 1963.      OK, chimney sweep Bert had to sing and dance it up. But he also had to be at home with a Cockney accent. Only a few US stars could manage that. Sadly, Van Dyke was not among them. Nor were Fred Astaire, Cary Grant or Danny Kaye…UK author PL Travers didn’t like how books were Hollywoodised and took 25 years to accept Walt Disney’s plan for her governess. She then found the result “vulgar and disrespectful” – and, like most Brits, loathed Van Dyke’s Bert. But then she knew nothing about cinema, having suggested the august (and aged) Alec Guinness, Rex Harrison, even Laurence Olivier – To sweep, or not to sweep! Plus Richards Burton and Harris, Peters O’Toole and Sellers. (Only Sellers made sense). Disney wanted Stanley Holloway – busy reprising his My Fair Lady stage role. Loving the movie but feeling miscast, Van Dyke nominated Jim Dale (a Disney star in the 70s) and agreed with Travers about Ron Moody… who would have frightened not only the horses but the kids, as well.
  8. Reginald Owen, Mary Poppins, 1963.     Walt Disney wanted Holloway to join Julie Andrews as Admiral Boom. Irony of ironies, he was getting to the church on time as father of the girl who should have been Julie in My Fair Lady. This was Walt Disney’s finest hour, crushing Lady at the Oscars (eight in all) and the box-office

    Footnote>>>  I was lucky enough to see Holloway’s  Alfred Dollittle opposite Julie Andrews as Eliza in the post-Broadway London production of My Fair `Lady at the Theatre  Royal in the Drury Lane Theatre in 1958 – with, of course, Robert Coote and  Rex Harrison  It ran in London for five and a half years).

 Birth year: 1890Death year: 1982Other name: Casting Calls:  7