KEENAN WYNN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Keenan Wynn                                                                       
Birth name: Francis Xavier Aloysius James Jeremiah Keenan Wynn                           
Born: 27 July 1916 New York, New York, U.S.                                             
Died: 14 October 1986 Los Angeles, California, U.S.                                     
Keenan Wynn (July 27, 1916 – October 14, 1986) was an American character actor         
and member of a well-known show-business family. His bristling mustache and             
expressive face were his stock in trade as an actor.                                     
He was born in New York, New York as Francis Xavier Aloysius James Jeremiah             
Keenan Wynn, the son of Jewish American vaudeville comedian Ed Wynn, and his             
Irish-American Catholic wife, the former Hilda Keenan, but took his stage name           
from his maternal grandfather, Frank Keenan, one of the first Broadway actors to         
star in Hollywood.                                                                       
Keenan Wynn became an actor with Ed Wynn's encouragement, and the two appeared           
together in the original television production of Rod Serling's Requiem for a           
Heavyweight as well as a subsequent TV drama detailing the problems they'd               
experienced while working on that show called The Man in the Funny Suit. The             
Wynns, Serling and much of the cast and crew played themselves in that.                 
Keenan Wynn appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows between 1934 and         
1986. Early notable Wynn performances can be seen in See Here Private Hargrove,         
The Clock, Week-End at the Waldorf, Royal Wedding and Annie Get Your Gun. He had         
a featured role in Kiss Me, Kate and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. A brief           
but memorable Wynn performance came as U.S. Army Colonel "Bat" Guano in Dr.             
Strangelove. He appeared as villainous Alonzo P. Hawk in the "flubber" movies,           
The Absent-Minded Professor and Son of Flubber, in which his father appeared as         
well. Wynn took a dramatic turn as Yost in Point Blank with Lee Marvin. He               
played Hezakiah in the 1965 movie, The Great Race. He was the voice of the               
Winter Warlock in the holiday classic Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and was in           
several Disney films, including Herbie Rides Again (curiously, as Alonzo A. Hawk,       
although the character is virtually identical to the Flubber versions), Snowball         
Express, and The Shaggy D.A.. He had an uncredited role in Touch of Evil. He             
also appeared in Phone Call from a Stranger, Finian's Rainbow, Once Upon a Time         
in the West, Laserblast, Joe Dante's Piranha, Robert Altman's Nashville, Dino De         
Laurentiis' Orca, Sidney Lumet's That Kind of Woman and Just Tell Me What You           
Want, and the cult favorite Parts: The Clonus Horror. He was a regular on Dallas         
from 1979-1980, playing the part of "Digger Barnes". Both Laserblast and Parts:         
The Clonus Horror would later be featured on the American movie-mocking                 
television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.                                         
In later years, Wynn took time to support various philanthropic groups. He was           
an active member of the Westwood Sertoma service club, in West Los Angeles, for         
many years until his death from cancer at the age of 70.                                 
Wynn was married to Eve Lynn Abbott (1914-2004) until their divorce in 1947,             
whereupon Abbott married actor Van Johnson. One son, actor and writer Ned Wynn (born     
Edmond Keenan Wynn) wrote the autobiographical memoir We Will Always Live In             
Beverly Hills. His other son, Tracy Keenan Wynn, is a screenwriter whose credits         
include The Longest Yard and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.                     
He was uncle by marriage to the Hudson Brothers and his daughter Hilda is               
recently divorced from actor/singer/songwriter Paul Williams.