He directed some of the great classic films of the Golden Era.  How much do you know about ‘Wild Bill’ Wellman?

Here he is captured above as a young man surrounded by two of his longtime passions, creatures of the wild and combat airplanes. Wellman smoothing integrated these passions in a lengthy film career ranking him among Hollywood’s most notable classic directors.

So, again, how much do you know about him?  Today’s answers to our Monday Quiz (scroll down to the blog below for the questions) should tell the tale.  Here we go:

1) Answer:  c) Janet Gaynor played the feminine lead in Wellman’s 1937 version of A Star Is Born.

2) Answer:  a) The offscreen affair between The Call of the Wild costars Clark Gable and Loretta Young produced a daughter long parentally unacknowledged by the costars.

3) Answer:  b) Douglas Fairbanks, who strongly encouraged that Wellman to pursue an acting career, which Wellman in retrospect may have regarded as dubious advice.

4) Answer:  a) Wellman earned the nickname ‘Wild Bill’ because of his  early feats of aviation derring do. His lifelong love of aviation began when he was 19 years old, and signed on to the air wing of the French Foreign Legion (Lafayette Flying Corps.) to learn to fly.

5) Answer: c) Chicago.

6) Answer:  Alice Fay, the reigning female star at the time (1942) of Roxie Hart at 20th Century Fox. For one reason or another, she declined the role and a) Ginger Rogers stepped in much to the benefit of her career.

7) Answer:  a) True.  Compounding Wellman’s distaste for acting, he preferred directing because it paid more. Perhaps as a result, he was always known as a director who was tough on actors.

8) Answer:  b) Raoul Walsh.  His first wife, actress Miriam Cooper, appeared with actor Wellman (playing a British military officer) in 1919’s Evangeline.  Wellman slapped the actress for some reason, unaware that she was related to the film’s director. She was, and he was fired.

9) Answer:  All but c) John Wayne.

10) Answer:  Nominated for a best director Oscar three times for A Star Is Born, Battleground and The High and Mighty, Wellman actually won an Academy Award for the story for A Star Is Born.



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