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David Wayne (born Wayne James McMeekan) was a superb character actor from the 1940s to the 1980s. He was rejected from the army during World War II, but he worked as an ambulance driver in North Africa, because he really wanted to serve. After the war, he quickly had much success on Broadway, including three major roles, Og in "Finian's Rainbow", Ensign Pulver in "Mister Roberts" and Sakini in "The Teahouse of the August Moon", but in all three cases, Hollywood would not let him play those roles because they wanted "bigger names", so those parts were played by Tommy Steele, Jack Lemmon and Marlon Brando. He won the very first male actor Tony Award in 1948 for his role in Finian's Rainbow. He had great success in Hollywood with Adam's Rib, which led to a major part in The Three Faces of Eve and he always distinguished himself in every movie or stage role he had. When he made The Last Angry Man with Paul Muni, Muni had a contract guaranteeing him sole top billing, but Muni was so impressed by David Wayne's talent that he insisted on sharing top billing with him. His son Timothy sadly drowned in 1970, and his wife passed away in 1993 after 53 years of marriage, and Mr. Wayne retired completely, and he passed away in 1995 at the age of 81.
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