November 9, 1886 – Comedian, Actor, and Disney Legend Ed Wynn is Born
“A comedian is a man who doesn’t do funny things but who does things funny.”
On November 9, 1886, Isaiah Edwin Leopold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He left high school at the age of 15, working odd jobs to support himself. He used a variation of his middle name as his new stage name, Ed Wynn, to save his family the embarrassment of having a performer as a relative. He started his performing career in vaudeville, becoming a star of the Ziegfeld Follies in 1914 at the age of 19. In 1920, he started his own show called Ed Wynn’s Carnival, which became a hit for him; in 1921, he had his most famous role in The Perfect Fool. Wynn also found success in radio, starring in The Fire Chief from 1932 to 1935. Wynn first joined Disney in the 1951 animated feature film Alice in Wonderland as the Mad Hatter. After this, he would be given other roles in Disney films that showed off his comedic skills, including the Toymaker in 1961’s Babes in Toyland; Wynn also appeared several times on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. His most recognizable Disney role, however, was the role of Uncle Albert in 1964’s Mary Poppins. He would continue work for the studio through the ’60s, including That Darn Cat!, The Absent Minded Professor, and his final posthumously released role, The Gnome-Mobile. Wynn passed away on June 19, 1966 of throat cancer. He was named a Disney Legend on August 10, 2013.