Today In Disney History ~ November 9th
“Ed Wynn (born Isaiah Edwin Leopold on November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966) was an American comedian and actor noted for his Perfect Fool comedy character, his pioneering radio show of the 1930s, and his later career as a dramatic actor.
Wynn began his career in vaudeville in 1903 and was a star of the Ziegfeld Follies starting in 1914. During The Follies of 1915, W. C. Fields allegedly caught Wynn mugging for the audience under the table during his “Pool Room” routine and knocked him unconscious with his cue. Wynn wrote, directed, and produced many Broadway shows in the subsequent decades, and was known for his silly costumes and props as well as for the giggly, wavering voice he developed for the 1921 musical review, The Perfect Fool.
Wynn provided the voice of the Mad Hatter in Walt Disney’s film, Alice in Wonderland, but many baby boomer children remember him most fondly for his role as The Toymaker alongside Annette Funicello and Tommy Sands in Walt Disney’s Babes in Toyland released in 1961.
Possibly his best-remembered film appearance was as Uncle Albert in Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins (1964). His segment involved the eccentric man floating around just beneath the ceiling in uncontrollable mirth, singing “I Love to Laugh” and was one of the film’s highlights.
Re-teaming with the Disney team the following year, in That Darn Cat! (1965) featuring Dean Jones and Hayley Mills, Wynn filled out the character of Mr. Hofstedder, the watch jeweler with his bumbling charm. He also had brief roles in The Absent Minded Professor (as the fire chief, in a scene alongside his son Keenan Wynn, who played the film’s antagonist) and Son of Flubber (as county agricultural agent A.J. Allen). His final performance, as Rufus in Walt Disney’s The Gnome-Mobile was released a few months after his death.
In addition to Disney films, Wynn was also a popular character in the Disneyland production The Golden Horseshoe Revue. Wynn was posthumously named a Disney Legend on August 10, 2013. Alan Tudyk who voiced the King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph modeled the character after Wynn.“
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