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Ed Wynn Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 9 November 1886Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Date of Death 19 June 1966Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameIsaiah Edwin Leopold
Nickname The Perfect Fool
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Long-time star comedian in vaudeville who, at the urging of his actor son, Keenan Wynn, would late in life take up acting, both light and serious. He is especially remembered for his role in the Playhouse 90 (1956) television drama "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and in the film Mary Poppins (1964).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

An old-fashioned comedian, who, by recommendation by his son Keenan Wynn, became one of the world's most beloved clowns, and one of the best actors of his time. He was born on November 9, 1886. He performed in the Ziegfeld Follies, and later had a son Keenan in 1916. He later wrote his own shows, then known as the Perfect Fool. In 1941 at age 54, he became a grandfather. He became popular for roles throughout the 1950s and 1960s, best remembered for The Ed Wynn Show (1949), and for Mary Poppins (1964) as Uncle Albert, who reflects his old style charm. He continued to perform, until he died in 1966 at age 79.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: piccione2000

Spouse (3)

Dorothy Elizabeth Nesbitt (31 July 1946 - 2 March 1955) (divorced)
Frieda Mierse (15 June 1937 - 12 December 1939) (divorced)
Hilda Keenan (5 September 1914 - 15 May 1937) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Disney movies
Unique whimsical voice

Trivia (21)

Provided both the physical likeness and the off-screen voice of the Mad Hatter in Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland (1951).
Interred along with son Keenan Wynn at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, CA, in the Great Mausoleum, Holly entrance, Daffodil Corridor. The epitaph on his niche reads: "Dear God, Thank You.".
Grandfather of Ned Wynn and Tracy Keenan Wynn
Was originally offered the title role in The Wizard of Oz (1939) but turned the part down, believing it was "way too small".
Directed many plays and musicals before becoming an actor.
Suffered from Parkinson's Disease in his later years.
Received the Disney award "The Mouscar" during the wrap party of Babes in Toyland (1961).
Opened the opening night of the Palace in 1913.
Some of his more famous on-stage props: an 11-foot pole for people he wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole; a windshield wiper to be served with grapefruit; a typewriter carriage for eating corn on the cob; a cash drawer that closed before you could open it; a non-wrinkling nightgown; and a cuckoo-clock fiddle.
Attended Central High in Philadelphia before running away from home to join the Thurber-Nasher Repertoire Company.
Once part of a two-year vaudeville duo with Jack Lewis, calling themselves "Win and Lose.".
At the end of the '30s, several of his business ventures collapsed, including a radio chain, and he suffered a severe nervous breakdown.
Organized an actors' strike in 1919, and was boycotted by the Shuberts as a result. He got around the boycott by writing and producing his own musical shows, which were both critical and popular successes.
The epitaph on his grave stone at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California reads: "Dear God, Thank You".
Wynn reluctantly began a career as a dramatic actor in television and movies, prompted by son Keenan instead of retiring. The two appeared in the classic broadcast of Rod Serling's play Playhouse 90: Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956). Ed was initially terrified of "straight" acting and kept flubbing his lines in rehearsal and was nearly fired. His quick ad-libs saved his performance, which is now considered one of his best dramatic roles ever.
Eventually he took his middle name of Edwin and adapted it into his stage moniker, "Ed Wynn," in order to save his European immigrant parents the embarrassment of having a low-style burlesque comedian as a relative. Running away from home at age 15, he first worked as a utility boy and eventual actor for a traveling stage company. The adventure was short-lived and he returned home to sell women's hats at his father's retail store until leaving again in five months.
Worked as an on-stage assistant to W.C. Fields as a youth. The story has it that Fields caught Wynn "mugging" for the audience during his "Pool Room" routine and knocked him unconscious with his pool cue. In later years he and Fields, both Ziegfeld stars at the time, sparked a well-publicized feud but eventually made up.
The voice of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Wally Gator is probably the nearest to an exact impersonation of Wynn's "Perfect Fool" character.
He was awarded three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame--for Motion Pictures at 1541 Vine Street, for Radio at 6333 Hollywood Boulevard, and for Television at 6426 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Ed teamed up with son Keenan Wynn for a second time--the first was in The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)--in Son of Flower (2012).
Book: Interviewed in "The Great Comedians Talk About Comedy" by Larry Wilde.

Personal Quotes (5)

A comedian says funny things. A comic says things funny.
Wasn't it Whistler who said that a great painter was one who could hide the effort which he put into his work? The same thing goes for gags. It often takes hours to think up something that is said in seconds.
I'll be back in a flash with more trash. - his famous exit line
I can't give you a definition [of humor]. It is too subtle to be pinned down. I can say that it differs from wit, which exaggerates the truth, while humor presents the truth in an original way.
[on performing in radio] If I go on the air I've got to have an audience. If I am to get 'raspberries' I want them immediately and not three weeks later, in the mail from Sioux City.

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