Name Change Doesn't Change
Judaism For This Actor
t age 20, H.M. Wynant, born
Haim Weiner, left every-
thing behind in Detroit to
pursue a dance career in New York
City. After working a job and losing
all of his money, he auditioned for the
Broadway musical High Button Shoes.
Director Jerry Robbins saw something
in Wynant and told him to come back
the next day.
"I told Jerry, 'I can't come back; I just
got a job: so he told me to quit:' Wynant
said. "So I quit my job and I haven't had
a straight job since:'
After finishing his work on Broadway,
Wynant moved to Hollywood to pursue a
career in acting and to play his first star-
ring role in the Sam Fuller movie, Run of
the Arrow. While working on the movie,
he was told his name at the time, Haim
Winant, was too ethnic sounding. He was
asked to change it to H.M. Wynant, the
name he still goes by today.
Wynant, now 87, appeared at the Motor
City Comic Con in Novi the weekend of
May 16-18. He is best known for his roles
in the films Tonka and Conquest of the
Planet of the Apes, and the television series
Gunsmoke and Twilight Zone.
"I was very fortunate because I
got into acting just in time to work
with the great legends, people who
were not even real to me like Clark
Gable, Burt Lancaster and Errol
Flynn," Wynant said.
"I got here just in time because
after doing these movies these
people died within a year, which
proves you should never do a
movie with me:' he joked.
Wynant explained that com-
ing back to his hometown holds a
special significance for him. "I was
born here, so it means a lot to me
to be back here," he said. "I know
Detroit is in trouble with bank-
ruptcy and all that, but my feeling
is it will sink to the bottom and
then rise again like the phoenix.
It will become a jewel city once
Even while playing more than
H.M. Wynant stands with his sign at the
250 different roles in film, televi-
Motor City Comic Con.
sion and theater, Wynant still
found Judaism to play an impor-
tant role in his life. At age 50, Wynant
radio, but would love to revive his act-
went to Israel to be have his bar mitzvah ing career.
at King Solomon's tomb.
"I've decided I want to get back to
Wynant lives with his wife, Paula,
making films again:' he said. "I just
and their 13-year-old daughter, Pasha,
recently engaged a manager and I'm
in Valley Glen, Calif. He is working in
going to re-open my career:'
May 29-June 4, 2014 I 29 Iyar-6 Sivan 5774 I Vol. CXLV, No. 17
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