Payday Loans
Eddie Albert (1906-2005)

  1. Henry Fonda, The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, 1938.    Head Fox Darryl F Zanuck got his own way about “containing too much science and not enough romance.”   Not about who should be  the best friend of the man who invented the telephone.
  2. Herbert Anderson, Navy Blues, 1941.  A ropey-dopey Warner Bros musical with too much emphasis on Jacks Haley and Oakie as conniving  sailors and  not enough  on Ann Sheridan...  Allbert was lucky to escape being  the patsy of the two Jacks in their money-making schemes. Hidden in the background:   the screen debut of Jackie Gleason
  3. Ronald Reagan, Kings Row, 1941.    John Garfield in a role played  by Reagan?!!   Well, this wasn’t  Bedtime With Bonzo!  Albert, Dennis Morgan, Franchot Tone were also up for the orphaned playboy,  Drake McHugh -  Reagan’s finest hour as an actor, particularly when realising his legs were  amputated: “Where's the rest of me?”  (This became the title of his 1965 autobio and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s score was played during Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th US President (1981-1989). 
  4. Harry Barris, Kiss the Boys Goodbye, 1941. What would have been the ninth of Albert’s 203 screen roles went, instead, to the composer-author-actor who made   62 usually uncredited movies inbetween  writing stints for  Jimmy Durante, Ted Lewis and Sophie Tucker.
  5. Henry Fonda, The Big Street, 1942.   Tested with Citizen Kane's Dorothy Comingore.  Writer Damon Runyon hated the result and tried to match Fonda and Merle Oberon.  RKO  loved him,  hated her. “No box-office appeal.”
  6. Gary Cooper, The Pride of the Yankees, 1942.    Producer Samuel Goldwyn won the battle to make a biopic of baseball great Lou Gehrig - who died at 40 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease), after a moving farewell to his fans:  “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” His widow, Eleanor, wanted Cooper or Spencer Tracy to play Lou. They were not alone. Also on the mound before Cooper signed on were Albert, Brian Donlevy, Cary Grant. Pus two other real sports heroes: ex-New York Yankee pitcher Waite Hoyt and middle-weight champion boxer Billy Soos. Gehrig appeared as himself in Rawhide, 1937, his only film despite being listed by producer Sol Lesser to head his Tarzan series. Until seeing Lou’s legs. “More functional than decorative.”
  7. Eddie Fisher, Butterfield 8, 1960. Elizabeth Taylor‘s third husband, producer Mike Todd, made a verbal agreement with MGM. She would retire after A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  in 1958,  But then Todd was killed in a plane  crash that year and she had no one of importance to defend her when MGM insisted she compete her studio contract with, fundamentally, this piece of crap  - or  she would  not be released to Fox for Cleopatra and her famous $1m salary.  So she played the sleek callgirl (the title is her number), hated every second of it. refused to say one word to director Daniel Mann (none of   it was his fault). She had one stipulation, of course. Her new husband #4, Todd’s buddy,, the singer Eddie Fisher, must have  a role. So, bye- bye  to  the other Eddie and TV David Janssen. Then, off  Rome to Cleopatra, Richard Burton and…  bye-bye to her Eddie, this time. As Burton became husband #5 (and #6 of eight). MGM had expected to benefit from  all her Cleopublicity, it  just never knew how much that would be.
  8. Fred MacMurray, My Three Sons, TV, 1960-1972.    Each network wanted a MacMurray series. CBS offered Perry Mason, ABC suggested untouchable Eliot Ness before Fred acc  epted Steve Douglas, TV Guide’s seventh Greatest TV Dad of All Time. Albert was among  the other choices.. Fred, who brought sandwiches to work, shot  his scenes for each season in two sessions, 35 days at a time. Then, the cast  shot the rest without him as  he took ten weeks off. Albert’s own show, Green Acres, 1965-1971, lasted 170 episodes compared to Fred’s 380.
  9. Alan Young, Mister Ed, TV, 1961-1966.      Albert steered clear of series clear until Green Acres, 1965-71, as... Oliver  Douglas.
  10. Burgess Meredith, The Day of the Locust, 1975. UK director  John Schlesinger had trouble finding Karen Black’s old music-hall star father.  Cagney and Red Skelton refused, upset at the way Hollywood was portrayed in Nathaniel West’s novel. Knowing the bitter truths about the town after being a McCarthy blacklist victim, Meredith not only approved  the portrait - he stole the movie.  

  11. Robert Wagner, Switch, TV, 1975-1978.    Producer Glen A Larson felt good about persuading Albert back to TV - four years after his 19675-1971 Green Acres show was cancelled. Albert  however, had one condition. He wanted to be the hero, Pete Ryan, and get all the girls. He had to be  politely reminded that he was… 69.  Robert Wagner played  Ryan in The Sting rip-off and Albert becme ex-cop Frank MacBride for the full 70 episodes.
  12. Bob Cummings, The Carpetbaggers,1963. First of New York producer Joseph E Levine’’s three snitty/snotty movies about Hollywood - followed by Harlowm  1964,  and  The Oscar, 1965, each one worse than  the precedent.  Albert must have read the script. As he paswd his LAgent, Dan Pierce,  to Bob (ex-Robert) Bob Cummings.  Alfred Hitchcock had once told him he’d make a great villain with his baby face… Hmm, but not a great film..
  13. Jackie Cooper, Superman, 1978.

 


 





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