by Hans ten Cate
Monday, 11 September 1995
  • The original "A Fish Called Wanda" also starred Cynthia Caylor (AKA Cynthia Cleese) in the role of Portia, Archie Leach's daughter. Cynthia, as you probably guessed, is John Cleese's real-life daughter. Cynthia's mother? Well, Connie Booth of course! Connie was John Cleese's first wife and was co-star/co-writer with John on the famous "Fawlty Towers" television comedy series.
  • John Cleese borrowed the name for his character, "Archie Leach," from the well-known British-born actor, Cary Grant. Cary Grant, whose real name is Archie Leach, was born in Bristol, England which is only twenty miles from Weston-super-Mare, John Cleese's birthplace.
  • Whats in a name? The crook/ring-leader in Wanda, "George Thomason," was played by actor Tom Georgeson.
  • Remember the beautiful Russian prose John Cleese recited to Jamie Lee Curtis? John Cleese was actually reciting a poem by Russian poet and novelist, Mikhail Yerievich Lermontov (1814-1841). John Cleese learned and memorized the poem phonetically. He recently admitted in an interview with Charles Grodin (March 2, 1995) that he had no idea what the words in the poem actually meant.
  • The costume designer for "A Fish Called Wanda" was Hazel Pethig. Python fans know her as the original costume designer for the "Monty Python's Flying Circus" television series. She was also responsible for the costumes in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and was co-designer for "The Life of Brian," "Jabberwocky," and "Time Bandits" (all Python-related).
  • Charles Chrichton, who co-wrote "A Fish Called Wanda," also directed and produced a number of training videos for Video Arts, a management training organization co-founded by John Cleese specializing in entertaining training films.
  • In Japan, the film was called "Wanda, The Diamonds, and the Good Guys." This odd title cannot compare with the one Graham Chapman claims they gave to the original "Monty Python's Flying Circus" television series: the "Gay Boys Dragon Show." The sketches in the Japanese showings of "Flying Circus" were interpreted by actors and afterwards followed by a grave round-table discussion by a group of men in suits.
  • Kevin Kline won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Otto and John Cleese was nominated for an Oscar for Best Comedy Actor. "Wanda" also collected three Golden Globe nominations in 1989 for Best Film, Best Actress (Curtis) and Best Comedy Actor (Cleese).