b. Wayne James McMeekan, 30 January 1914, Traverse City, Michigan, USA, d. 9 February 1995, Santa Monica, California, USA. After completing his education at Western Michigan College, Wayne worked as a statistician but then joined a repertory troupe in 1936. In New York from the late 30s, he appeared in a revival of The Merry Widow (1943) and was a great success in Burton Lane and E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg’s Finian’s Rainbow (1947), becoming the first winner of a Tony Award for an actor in a musical. He continued with his success in musicals and non-musicals through 50s and 60s, appearing in Mister Roberts (1948), Say, Darling (1958), The Yearling (1965) and John Kander and Fred Ebb’s The Happy Time (1968). He won a second Tony in 1954 as Best Actor (Dramatic) for The Teahouse Of The August Moon. Wayne had meanwhile appeared in the late 40s films Portrait Of Jennie and Adam’s Rib (with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn), My Blue Heaven (1950, with Betty Grable and Dan Dailey), As Young As You Feel (1951, with Monty Woolley and, in a bit part, Marilyn Monroe), With A Song In My Heart (1952, with Susan Hayward as singer Jane Froman), Tonight We Sing (1953, as Broadway showman Sol Hurok), How To Marry A Millionaire (1953, with Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall and Monroe), The Tender Trap (1955, with Frank Sinatra), The Three Faces Of Eve (1957), and The Big Gamble (1961). More film roles followed in the 70s and 80s, among them Huckleberry Finn, The Front Page (both 1974), The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), Finders Keepers (1984) and The Survivalist (1987). Resident in California since 1977, Wayne also appeared on television, including Dallas (1978) and The Golden Girls (1986).
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