Ed Wynn

Following my orgy of disaster flicks on the SyFy channel (including Meteor Storm, reported on here), there came a wonderful Twilight Zone episode starring comic Ed Wynn in a touching dramatic role:

Wynn as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland

From Wikipedia:

Ed Wynn (born Isaiah Edwin Leopold on November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966) [in Philadelphia] was an American comedian and actor noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor.

Wynn began his career in vaudeville in 1903 and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914.

… His father, who manufactured and sold women’s hats, was born in Bohemia. His mother, of Romanian and Turkish ancestry, came from Istanbul. Wynn attended Central High School in Philadelphia until age 15. He ran away from home in his teens, worked as a hat salesman and as a utility boy, and eventually adapted his middle name “Edwin” into his new stage name, “Ed Wynn”, to save his family the embarrassment of having a lowly comedian as a relative.

… After the end of Wynn’s third television series, … his son, actor Keenan Wynn, encouraged him to make a career change rather than retire. The comedian reluctantly began a career as a dramatic actor in television and movies. Father and son appeared in three productions, the first of which was the 1956 Playhouse 90 broadcast of Rod Serling’s play Requiem for a Heavyweight.

… in 1959, Wynn appeared on[Rod] Serling’s TV series The Twilight Zone in “One for the Angels”. Serling, a longtime admirer, had written that episode especially for him

He later appeared in a number of Disney films in comic roles.

One Response to “Ed Wynn”

  1. Mike Says:

    I recall, his extraordinary work in “The Diary of Anne Frank.” He was so marvelous in that film. And it seems I read of his turning down the title role in “The Wizard of Oz” because it was too small.

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