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Ed Wynn Overview:

Character actor, Ed Wynn, was born Isaiah Edwin Leopold on Nov 9, 1886 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wynn died at the age of 79 on Jun 19, 1966 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and was laid to rest in Forest Lawn (Glendale) Cemetery in Glendale, CA.

Ed Wynn was a dark-haired, inimitably Jewish (although he married a Catholic), bespectacled American comedian, known in his wildly successful, baggy-panted vaudeville days as "The Perfect Fool". His early film sound comedies were not successful, but he returned to Hollywood in his seventies with his gurgling voice intact and found himself in demand playing eccentric old gentlemen, especially in Walt Disney productions. He was the father of actor Keenan Wynn. He died from cancer.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Wynn was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1959Best Supporting ActorThe Diary of Anne Frank (1959)Mr. DussellNominated

He was honored with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Motion Pictures, Radio and Television.

BlogHub Articles:

TV Tuesday: Hattie McDaniel on The Show

By KC on Feb 9, 2010 From Classic Movies

Here's Hattie McDaniel in a 1949 appearance on The Show as Beulah, her character from her popular radio (and eventually television) show. My favorite part of this sketch is when McDaniel breaks into a rendition of Some of These Days (though she didn't sing much on the big screen, ... Read full article

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Ed Wynn Quotes:

Bert: It reminds me of me brother. He got a nice cushy job at a watch factory.
Uncle Albert: At a watch factory? What does he do?
Bert: He stands about all day... and makes faces!
Uncle Albert: [laughing hysterically] He makes faces in a watch factory!

Mad Hatter: Oh yes mustard! That'll do... Mustard? Don't let's be silly. Now lemon, that's different...

Mary Poppins: [watching Bert, Albert, Jane, and Michael laugh together on the ceiling] Why, it's the most disgraceful sight I've ever seen, or my name isn't Mary Poppins.
Bert: Speakin' o' names, I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.
Uncle Albert: What's the name of his other leg?
[he, Bert, Jane, and Michael laugh]

read more quotes from Ed Wynn...

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Daring Darleen Candlewick
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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1959

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Ed Wynn on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Ed Wynn Facts
At the end of the '30s, several of his business ventures collapsed, including a radio chain, and he suffered a severe nervous breakdown.

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.

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 (#1.2)" (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.

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