Hume Cronyn

  1. Marshall Thompson, The Valley of Decision, 1944.   Not tall enough! I think this is the only casting anecdote I have (can’t remember ‘em all!) where an actor was replaced because he looked too short standing next to Gregory Peck. (But there were easy ways around such deficiency. Look at Alan Ladd in his 98 movies, no to mention Tom Cruise).
  2. Jim Backus, Rebel Without a Cause, 1955. .   “Look, Jim. You can depend on me. Trust me. Whatever comes, we’ll, we’ll fix it together. I swear it.”  Yeah, sure… James Dean’s milquetoast father was a battle between Backus, Raymond Burr, Rod Cameron, Hume Cronyn, John Dehner and Walter Mathau – difficult to imagine Matthau as a wimp. Backus taught his Mr Magoo cartoon voice to Dean, who used it in  his  line about children: “Drown ’em like puppies, eh?”  Sidney Lumet had launched James Dean, Sal Mineo and Paul Newman (a Jim Stark candidate) in his  New York TV shows.

 Birth year: 1911Death year: 2003Other name: Casting Calls:  2