Appeared as a character in Gore Vidal's 1974 novel "Myron," his sequel to Myra Breckinridge (1970), co-starring with Maria Montez and Bruce Cabot in the apocryphal movie "Siren of Babylon" that is being shot on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot in 1948 in the novel. In the "movie," Calhern "played" the role of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
In Executive Suite (1954) he plays an unscrupulous businessman who tries to take advantage of the situation after the president of a corporation dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. Calhern also died suddenly from the same cause.
In 1950 he replaced Frank Morgan as Buffalo Bill, when Morgan died of a heart attack while filming Annie Get Your Gun (1950). In 1956, Paul Ford replaced Calhern when Calhern died of a heart attack while filming The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956).