More images of Jay C. Flippen.

How much did you know about him?

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Ok, on to the answers to our Flippen Quiz:

1) Question: It’s not widely know that Flippen was an accomplished entertainer and personality long before he set foot in front of a camera.  Which one these vocations did Flippen NOT excel in?  a) radio sportscaster; b) singer; c) comedian; or d) gameshow host.

Answer: Nothing if not versatile (typical of a supporting actor in classic films), Flippen honed his show biz career early in vaudeville.  He was championed at one point in the 1920’s by Afro-American comedian Bert Williams.  Flippen was a smooth comedian (sometimes appearing in blackface) and played the biggest vaudeville venues. He also dabbleded in sportscasting (New York Yankees games), and was an early game show announcer on radio. He also was an accomplished pop singer. All this is a longwinded way to say that of all choices, Flippen was less present as a (d) gameshow host.

2) Question: Flippen was broadly popular among his fellow Hollywood professionals, and he enjoyed a very close friendship with which one of the following directors? a) Alfred Hitchcock; b) Anthony Mann; c) Nicholas Ray; or d) Jacques Tourneur.

Answer: c) Nicholas Ray. Flippen was the best man at Ray’s 1948 marriage to actress Gloria Grahame.

3) Question: Flippen during the shooting of a major film sustained a leg infection which mushroomed into an amputation, and put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.  a) True; or b) False.

Answer: a) True. While making 1965’s Cat Ballou, starring Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin, Flippen sustained a leg injury that persisted and became gangrenous.  This was complicated by the actor’s long standing diabetes condition. Said Flippen after enduring a 10-week hospital stay: the doctor told me I could stay in the hospital and be a parsnip,  or I could lose my leg. So I lost my leg. (Flippen died in 1971 at the age of 71.)

4) Question: Like many of his peers, Flippen turned up on a ton of tv shows in the later stage of his career.  Which one of the following shows did he NOT appear in? a) Johnny Ringo; b) The Untouchables; c) The Virginian; or d) The Road West.

Answer: Sorry, another trick question.  Flippen appeared in all those tv shows.

5) Question: During his pre-Hollywood vaudeville days, Flippen was “discovered” by which one of the following famous comedians?  a) Bert Williams; b) George Jessel; c) Eddie Cantor; or d) George Burns.

Answer:  A indicated above, a) Bert Williams.

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