Did You Know?: Movie Trivia


– Burt Lancaster turned down the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire; he said he felt competitive w/ Marlon Brando (who got the role of Stanley).

– Lancaster attended Dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. 

– He was Irish Protestant.




– Tony Curtis also grew up in the Bronx; his given name was Bernard Schwartz.  His parents were immigrants to the US (like mine)!

– Curtis and his brother lived in an orphanage for some time b/c of parents’ financial problems.

– Curtis had little formal education; he joined the Marines to learn about the wider world. 

– Elvis copied Curtis’ “duck tail” hairdo after seeing it in a movie.




It takes a long time to learn to treat the camera as a friend and confidant, which finally you have to do if you’re to become a good film actor.

– Rex Harrison’s voice was the inspiration for that of Stewie Griffin in the animated comedy series, Family Guy.

– He was a “wine snob” (as we say today).

– Harrison once punched Frank Sinatra’s jaw because he thought Sinatra was hitting on his wife, Lili Palmer.  (Harrison was married 5 times!)

– Harrison’s given first name was Carey; he changed it because “rex” in Latin means “king.”




My father used to say, “Let them see you and not the suit. That should be secondary.”


– Cary Grant’s real name is Archibald Alexander Leach.  (Yes, VERY British!)  In His Girl Friday (1940), his character says, “The last man who messed with me was Archie Leach.”  John Cleese’s character in A Fish Called Wanda was also named Archie Leach.

– Grant (like Lancaster) was an acrobat as a child.

– Grant dated Sophia Loren for a time; they acted togther in Houseboat.


I’m the inarticulate man who tries. I don’t really have all the answers, but for some reason, somehow, I make it.

James Stewart was the first Hollywood star to volunteer during WWII; he lied about his weight to enlist.

– His best friend in Hollywood was fellow actor Henry Fonda though they disagreed over politics. 

– Stewart’s heritage was Scottish and Irish.

– He played the piano and accordian.




I’m not that pristine pure, I guess I’ve broken as many rules as the next feller. But I reckon my face looks honest enough and if people buy it, Hallelujah.


– Fonda’s heritage was traced back to Genoa, Italy.  His ancestors traveled from Italy to the Netherlands in the late 1400s, then eventually came to America (among its first settlers)! 

– He studied acting with Marlon Brando’s mother, Dorothy.  (Both Fonda and Brando hailed from Omaha, Nebraska.)

– Fonda and Jimmy Stewart met and shared a room when the two were both struggling young actors in the early 1930s. Stewart went to Hollywood shortly before Fonda. When Fonda arrived he shared Stewart’s home, where they both gained reputations as ladies’ men (before settling down w/ wives and kids).

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