Photoplay (Jul-Dec 1945)

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Play Truth Or Consequences It’s a game and it had him gmng! Here are the results o| some delightful prying into the personal thoughts of a glih gagster 1 — Q: Did your motorcycle accident make any major change in your life? A: Yes. It taught me I cannot bakuice my love of speed in boats, cars or motorcycles with my career. Heretofore my interest was evenly spbt between acting’ and that hobby, but facing a choice, I decided in favor of my career. 5 — Q: How did you happen to come to Hollywood? A: I turned down screen offers for three years of the nine I was on the New York stage, but after two flop plays in a row, I asked myself, “How many flops can you make in one season?” and accepted the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer offer of a test. 2 — Q: What worried you most while you were in the hospital so long? A: The fear that I would be horribly disfigured for life. One whole side of my face was smashed in, and one eye was torn completely from its socket. When I accidentally saw myself upon regaining consciousness after eight days, I was sure what I saw could never be put bac^ together again. Miraculously, I came out of it with only two small scars which barely can be seen! 3 — Q: Was this your first serious accident? No. In 1934 when I was seventeen, a biplane I was flying caught fire and I acquired a few small scars where the doctor picked out the pieces of melted rubber from my Wilson goggles. The same year I had another narrow squeak when my seaplane caught fire foiu feet off the water and I had to jump for it. 4 — Q: Why did you insist on following hazardous pursuits? A: It started when I was a kid of twelve. Rebelling at being known only as “Ed Wynn’s son,” I was determined to do something that would m£ike me seem important on my own. But what can a kid of twelve do? I’d learned a lot about motors from the family chauffeur, so I turned to an avid interest along those lines, starting with speed boats and progressing to midget autos, motorcycles, racing cars and then I graduated to planes. I never was a speed maniac, but I was a speed operator. (Editor’s Note: Keenan Wynn still holds the world’s record for speed boats, unlimited class. He toon it in 1935 by making a complete circuit of Manhattan Island in thirty nine minutes). He pays for muffing No. 33 with this agefive Napoleon take-off 6 — Q: Has being the son of a famous comedian helped your career? A: On the contrary, it’s been a hindrance! Either I was resented by others on the mist^en notion my father’s fame gave me a certain “drag,” or producers whom I asked for jobs would spend the entire interview talking about what a great boy my father is. Also I constantly had to listen to the open doubt that I never could be “one-tenth as good as your father” which isn’t encouraging. Even though I still thhik he’s a genius in his type of comedy. Representative of the real Keenan? Consequence No. 17 7 — Q: Was your father sympathetic toward a theatrical career for you? , A: He liked to think maybe I would become an actor, but when it happened he was anything but enthusiastic. Probably he was a little afraid I would jeopardize the family reputation by being a flop. Now he’s my greatest fan. 8 — Q: What common Hollywood trait do you find of fensive? . A: Keenan took the consequences: Rate yourself on a personality chart. 9 — Q: What was the greatest argument you had with your father? A: We argued violently over my refusal to go to coUege and later over the way I should play my scenes. He didn’t realize I do a different kind of comedy where pratt falls are out of character. 10— Q: What phase of your own childhood do you want to prevent in your sons? A: The lack of normal home life caused by separation of the parents. Going to boarding school at the age of eight and (Continued on page 111)