Celebrating Monty Wooley Day
The young woman was determined.
She brushed past reporters and photographers on a hot and sunny afternoon in Saratoga Springs and presented her daughter to the Great Man. “Go on, shake Mr. Woolley’s hand,” the mother urged her little girl.
Actor Monty Woolley expressed surprise. Woolley, whose manners of sophistication and culture were displayed on and off stage, responded in character. “My dear woman,” he said, “that child is too young to realize who I am.”
That was 1949. Sixty-one years later, many people may not realize who Monty Woolley was.
But Monty picks up new fans every December. The man who spent his boyhood days in Saratoga Springs appears in two holiday movies that have been shown during recent Christmas seasons on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Posted on December 13, 2010.
Actor Monty Woolley and Mrs. David McGuire hold Monty’s key to the city of Saratoga Springs on Aug. 1, 1949. A thoroughbred pal is also in for the picture: Monty was honored on the first day of Saratoga’s annual racing meet.
Bert Lahr greets his old pal Monty Woolley. The moon-faced actor best known as the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” was making a stage appearance in the city.
Monty Woolley (center) played “The Man Who Came to Saratoga,” a one-time-only show in Saratoga Springs on Monday, Aug. 1, 1949. Woolley, who starred in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and other films, was honored during “Monty Woolley Day.” Sitting with the showman are Leo W. Roohan and Marion Maul of Schenectady.
The actor (third from left) is surrounded by pals during “Monty Woolley Day” in Saratoga Springs. Woolley makes television appearances every December, in the holiday films “The Bishop’s Wife” and “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
Monty Woolley, as Sheridan Whiteside, center, gives actor Richard Travis the eye as Travis gives Bette Davis the eye in this scene from the 1942 film “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”