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Ed Wynn

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Ed Wynn (November 9, 1886 - June 19, 1966) was born Isaiah Edwin Leopold in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Ed Wynn
BornIsaiah Edwin Leopold
November 09 1886
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedJune 19, 1966 (age 79)

Wynn ran away from home using his middle name, Edwin, as his stage name. He struggled before becoming a headliner in vaudeville in the early-1910s,.

Early in his career he worked as an on-stage assistant to the then comedy juggler W. C. Fields. After becoming successful in vaudeville, he went on to star in the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914.

In 1919, after participating in an actor’s strike, he was blacklisted by the Shuberts, a major force in vaudeville. So, he took his clown character, "the perfect fool" to Broadway, writing and producing his own shows beginning with the "Ed Wynn’s Carnival".

Bob Sherman set up complete routines for Ed Wynn for his shows "Simple Simon" and "Perfect Fool".

By the end of the 1930’s, several of his business ventures collapsed, leading him to suffer a severe nervous breakdown.

By 1940, after a brief retirement, Wynn returned to Broadway in "Boys and Girls Together". In 1949, he developed "The Ed Wynn Show" for television, which he won an Emmy in 1950. The next year, he supplied the voice of The Mad Hatter in Walt Disney’s movie "Alice in Wonderland".

Ed Wynn did many more roles over the years, including perhaps his most famous role as Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins (1964) and a performance with his son in "The Absent Minded Professor".

Ed Wynn continued working up until he death of cancer in Beverly Hills, California.[1]

Quotes from Ed Wynn

  • "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


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