How much did you know about the celebrated actor?

What, for example, do you make of the above photo? That’s the very serious actor Frederic March, playing a man of at least late middle age being the subject of suspect intentions from no less than Kim Novak.

Can you name this improbable picture?

Answer: director Delbert Mann’s 1959 outing Middle of the Night, the screen version of a Paddy Chayefsky stage play in which March is cast a garment manufacturer who falls for his divorced, 24-year-old receptionist. The picture was something of a big deal at the time, and played at France’s Cannes Film Festival.

Middle of the Night FilmPoster.jpeg

It was an interesting change of pace for March, always considered a formidably serious actor with solid Broadway credentials. After all, this was a man who was nominated for a best actor Oscar for playing Willy Loman in 1951’s Death of a Salesman. His last of 88 credits was as Harry Hope in the 1973 big screen version of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, alongside Lee Marvin and Robert Ryan.

Fredric March — Fredric March in The Iceman Cometh, 1973 “When...

Ok, on to the answers to our Fredric March Quiz.

Question 1: March costarred in various productions with his actress wife. Who was she? a) Jessica Tandy; b) Lynn Fontanne; c) Elsa Lanchester; or d) Florence Eldridge.

Answer: d) Florence Eldridge, to whom March was married from 1927 until his death (of prostate cancer in 1975). The pair worked together reasonably often, piling up nearly 10 productions.

Question 2: March is one of just two performers to have won two Oscars and two Tony Awards. Who is the other: a) Rita Moreno; b) Mary Martin; c) Laurence Olivier; or d) Helen Hayes.

Answer: d) Helen Hayes.

Question 3: Yes, March did play Norman Maine in the 1937 version of A Star Is Born. Who played Vicki Lester? a) Jean Harlow; b) Barbara Stanwyck; c) Myrna Loy or d) Janet Gaynor.

Answer: d) Janet Gaynor.

Question 4: March won two best-actor Oscars, one in the early Thirties and the other in the mid-Forties. Can you identify the two pictures that generated these Academy Awards?

Answer: 1931’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and 1946’s The Best Years of Our Lives.

Question 5: In addition, March was nominated for three other pictures, one dating from 1951 and the other two from the 1930s. Can you name them?

Answer: 1951’s Death of a Salesman, 1937’s A Star Is Born and 1930’s The Royal Family of Broadway.

Royal Family of Broadway lobby card.jpg
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