Wayne James McMeekan
January 30, 1914
Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||February 9, 1995 (aged 81)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Western Michigan University|
|Spouse(s)||Jane Gordon (1941–1993; her death)|
|Awards||Theatre World Award (1947)|
Tony Award (1947, 1954)
David Wayne (born Wayne James McMeekan, January 30, 1914 – February 9, 1995) was an American stage and screen actor with a career spanning over 50 years.
Wayne was born in Traverse City, Michigan, the son of Helen Matilda (née Mason) and John David McMeekan. His mother died when he was four. He grew up in Bloomingdale, Michigan.
Wayne attended Western Michigan University for two years and then went to work as a statistician in Cleveland. He began acting with Cleveland's Shakesperean repertory theatre in 1936.
When World War II began, Wayne volunteered as an ambulance driver with the British Army in North Africa. When the United States entered the war he joined the United States Army.
Wayne's first major Broadway role was Og the leprechaun in Finian's Rainbow, for which he won the Theatre World Award and the first ever Tony for Actor, Supporting or Featured (Musical). While appearing in the play, he and co-star Albert Sharpe were recruited by producer David O. Selznick to play Irish characters in the film Portrait of Jennie (1948).
In 1948, Wayne was one of 50 applicants (out of approximately 700) granted membership in New York's newly formed Actors Studio. He was awarded a second Tony for Best Actor (Dramatic) for The Teahouse of the August Moon and was nominated as Best Actor (Musical) for The Happy Time. He originated the role of Ensign Pulver in the classic stage comedy Mister Roberts and also appeared in Say, Darling; After the Fall; and Incident at Vichy.
In films, Wayne most often was cast as a supporting player, such as the charming cad and singer/songwriter/neighbor opposite Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn in Adam's Rib (1949). He portrayed the child killer, originally played by Peter Lorre, in the remake of M (1951), a chance to see him in a rare leading role, even rarer as a villain. Wayne also appeared in four films with Marilyn Monroe (more than any other actor): As Young as You Feel (1951), We're Not Married (1952), O. Henry's Full House (1952) (although he shared no scenes with Monroe), and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) where he did have scenes with Monroe. He costarred in The Tender Trap (1955) with Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, and Celeste Holm.
In 1955, Wayne starred in the NBC comedy Norby.: 771 Wayne appeared in the late 1950s on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom and the Twilight Zone episode "Escape Clause". He starred as Darius Woodley in two 1961 episodes of NBC's The Outlaws starring Barton MacLane. Also in 1961, Wayne appeared in the Bell Telephone Company-produced driver safety film Anatomy of an Accident, about a family outing tragically cut short by a car accident.
He played the Mad Hatter, one of the recurring villains in the 1960s television series Batman. In 1964, he guest-starred in the series finale, "Pay Now, Die Later", of CBS's drama Mr. Broadway, starring Craig Stevens as public relations specialist Mike Bell. In the storyline, Wayne's character, the wealthy John Zeck, hires Bell to prepare Zeck's obituary before his death. Also in the 1960s, Wayne was a radio host on NBC's magazine program Monitor.
Wayne was known for his role as Dr. Charles Dutton in Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain (1971). He also appeared as Uncle Timothy Jamison in the NBC sitcom The Brian Keith Show and played Charles Dutton in The Good Life, also on NBC.: 404–405 Wayne made a guest appearance in a leading role for a 1975 episode of Gunsmoke titled "I Have Promises to Keep". He co-starred with Jim Hutton in the 1976 television series Ellery Queen (as Inspector Richard Queen).: 305
In 1973 on Mannix season 6 episode 22 Wayne played a hobo being hunted by the men mistaking him for a different hobo who witnesses a criminal still alive after staging his own death.
In 1978, Wayne played James Lawrence in the ABC drama Family: 324 , and he played Digger Barnes in four episodes of the CBS soap opera Dallas. (Wayne's friend Keenan Wynn replaced Wayne in the role of Digger Barnes.) Wayne co-starred in the role of Dr. Amos Weatherby in the 1979–82 television series House Calls with Lynn Redgrave and later Sharon Gless.: 480
Wayne was married to Jane Gordon in 1941 and had two daughters, Susan Wayne Kearney and Melinda Wayne, and a son, Timothy. Timothy disappeared and was presumed drowned during a rafting trip in August 1970. Wayne's wife, daughter of opera vocalist Jeanne Gordon, died in 1993. Susan died in 2019; her remains were cremated and given to her family.
Wayne was a lifelong Democrat who supported Adlai Stevenson's campaign during the 1952 presidential election.
On February 9, 1995, Wayne died in his Santa Monica, California, home from complications of lung cancer at the age of 81. His remains were cremated and distributed to his family.
Wayne won two Tony Awards, one in 1947 for Finian's Rainbow and one in 1954 for The Teahouse of the August Moon.
|1952||Stars in the Air||Good Sam|
|1953||Lux Radio Theatre||Wait 'Till the Sun Shines, Nellie|
When World War II began he was rejected by the Army, but volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver in North Africa with the American Field Service.
In the early days of the war he drove an ambulance in Africa for the British. After the United States joined the war he served with the U.S. Army.