Charles Drake

  1. Van Johnson, Dr Gillespie’s New Assistant, 1942.     MGM dropped Lew Ayres as Dr Kildare when he announced he was a conscientious objector to WWII. The studio – and Lionel Barrymore’s Dr Gillespie – immediately started hunting a new assistant… from Drake, Dana Andrews, Rod Cameron, Cornel Wilde. And, ironically, Larry Parks – a 50s’ blacklist victim, as much as poor Ayres was in the 40s. In all, Johnson made four films as Dr Red Adams to close the series – but the much trumpeted Dr Gillespie’s Lady Doctor never happened.  NB Not The  UK Comic…Charlie Drake.
  2. Johnny Mitchell, Mr Skeffington, 1943.     Drake was booked was scheduled for a guy called Johnny Mitchell but was drafted to WWII and replaced by an actor called… Johnny Mitchell.  He’d been Douglass Drake in his previous 18 movies.
  3. Alex Nicol, Tomahawk, 1950.      Change of the racist cavalry Lieutenant Rob Dancy from Drake to Nicol  – when Drake was off-loaded  into  Harvey with James Stewart.
  4. Alex Nicol,  The Redhead Fom Wyoming, 1952.    When Drake was switched to the Harvey  line-up (not as the rabbit!),  Nicol took over as Lieutenant Rob Dancy… in one of Rock Hudson’s early films-  – as a bearded trooper who kept falling over his lines… and a wagon wheel. “He’s a clumsy bastard who can’t stay pn his feet,” complained director George Sherman. ”What a clumsy, tongue-tied galoot I was,” agreed Hudson, “ just standing there, looking helpless.”

 Birth year: 1917Death year: 1994Other name: Casting Calls:  4