You’ve wandered into the topsy-turvy world of Tulgey Wood, the blog of writer and historian Jim Fanning. Tulgey Wood celebrates artistry and creativity (and sometimes just plain madness): movies, animation, TV, books, comics—and of course Disney, lots and lots of true-blue, through-and-through Disney, including D23 and Disney twenty-three Magazine, and Sketches Magazine and the Walt Disney Collectors Society. Tulgey Wood is so fun, fascinating and full of frolicsome photos and facts, it’s scary. So wander through the wonder of it all, and enjoy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Great and Powerful Francis Phillip Wuppermann

Just who is Francis Phillip Wuppermann, you may ask? You don’t have to gaze into Professor Marvel’s crystal to divine that Francis Phillip Wuppermann is the birth name of Frank Morgan. Though the beloved character actor may never have known the crowned heads of Europe, his humorous, heartwarming performances in many a golden-age movie (mostly for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, his home studio), where, as the title character in MGM’s timeless 1939 classic, he attained motion-picture immortality as Oz, the First Wizard deluxe. Though The Wizard of Oz was not considered his greatest film triumph at the time (none of his 1949 obituaries even mention it), today it is the only film in which he appeared from which most people know this prolific character player. Say what you will about James Franco as the most recent reincarnation of the Wizard (Too much of a 21st century boy to play the Wizard? The box office business done by Disney’s Oz The Great and Powerful belies such objections), he is probably one of the few bankable young actors who knows who Frank Morgan—and his accomplishments beyond Oz—is. In addition to enhancing many hit films such as The Great Ziegfeld (1936), Boom Town (1940) and The Human Comedy (1943), Frank was twice nominated for an Academy Award—as Best Actor for The Affairs of Cellini (1934) and as Best Supporting Actor for Tortilla Flat (1942). (Frank is pictured below with the other Oz leads, sporting the top hat he only holds, never wears, in the film itself.) So the next time you see The Wizard of Oz, take time to also seek out some of the other films (shown frequently on TCM) of Francis Phillip Wuppermann. 

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