The Ghost of Todd Karns Inteview
A Large Regular is lucky to have gotten the chance to interview the Ghost of Todd Karns best known to most as the man who played Harry Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.
GOTK: See that right there was my biggest problem. I was just 25 when that movie was made and despite my good looks and acting background - both of my parent were actors - after that movie I was forever known as the guy who played Harry Bailey. Talk about being typecast. After It's a Wonderful Life I was relegated to either bit TV guest roles or uncredited movie roles because every time went into a casting office the people would say, "Hey - it's Harry Bailey." I had to open my own theater in Mexico to get away from it.
ALR: I'm sorry. I didn't realize.
GOTK: Oh don't get me wrong. I loved that movie. It was great working with all of those folks. Jimmy Stewart, Frank Capra and Donna Reed were as nice in real life as you could possibly imagine. It's just that I guess I get a little bitter that for some reason I was the only one type-cast. It's like Mark Hamill in Star Wars to a lesser degree I guess.
ALR: One of my favorite actors was Ward Bond. He was always great as the buddy or the foil or just an added character in a movie. Besides It's a Wonderful Life he was in Sergeant York, Fort Apache, Gentleman Jim, Mister Roberts and perhaps my favorite Ward Bond role as Father Lonergan in The Quiet Man. I bring him up because there's always been something that bothered me about his role are Bert the Cop in It's a Wonderful Life. At the end when Bert was supposed to have been rushing you from the airport he shows up at George Bailey's house not just with you but also with an accordion which never gets played. What was up with that?
GOTK: You know I don't know but now that you mention it that is strange. It's like a random prop. Why an accordion? If you think about it - it's just as strange as if he showed up with a fishing pole or some other random item. Maybe Ward was supposed to play Ode to Joy on it or something but that got cut. I had never thought about that, "Hey Harry I know we are in an awful rush but can you hold on a minute while I grab my accordion?" That's just strange now that you mention it.
ALR: Thank you so much for your time.
GOTK: You're welcome. And a Merry Christmas to all of your readers.
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