George Winslow, a child actor with a deep, raspy voice and deadpan delivery who made a big move on Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” died on June 14 at his home in Camp Meeker, Calif. He was 69.
His death was confirmed by Sgt. Cecile Focha, the public information officer for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, who said that no cause had been determined. A friend, Kevin Braafladt, said Mr. Winslow had been treated for heart disease for several years.
George Winslow — whose birth name was George Wenzlaff — appeared in 10 films, sometimes billed with the nickname Foghorn. He made his cinematic debut as Teenie, one of Cary Grant’s gang of foster children in “Room for One More,” and went on to appear in “My Pal Gus,” with Richard Widmark; “Mister Scoutmaster,” with Clifton Webb and Edmund Gwenn; and “Artists and Models,” with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. In the 1954 film “The Rocket Man,” he had the starring role of a boy who discovers a toy ray gun that forces people to tell the truth.
He and Monroe both appeared in “Monkey Business,” but not together. Their memorable cinematic encounter took place a year later, in a shipboard scene in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” written expressly for him, playing the rich boy Henry Spofford III. When Monroe, as the gold digger Lorelei Lee, asks Henry to help her get unstuck from a port hole she has tried to wriggle through, he agrees, for two reasons: “The first is, I’m too young to be sent to jail. The second is, you’ve got a lot of animal magnetism.”
George Carl Wenzlaff was born on May 6, 1946, in Los Angeles. Cary Grant brought him to the attention of Norman Taurog, the director of “Room for One More,” after hearing one of his many appearances on Art Linkletter’s radio show “People Are Funny.” George’s parents had signed him up for an audition so that he could win the free bicycle that came with being a guest on the show.
In addition to his film work, he appeared on television in episodes of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “Blondie” and “Dear Phoebe.”
After attending Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., in the 1960s he served with the Navy during the Vietnam War. He later worked as a mail handler for the Postal Service in Northern California. An only child, he never married and leaves no immediate survivors.
George Winslow retired from show business in 1958, at the age of 12, and no wonder. When his film contract with 20th Century Fox was being approved in 1953, the presiding judge asked him if he liked to act. He answered, “Nope — not a bit.”