FILMS… A Tribute to George Gaynes Funniest Role in Tootsie


A Film Great from Finnish born actor, George Gaynes…


I will always remember George Gaynes in his role in the Police Academy films, but it is his role in Tootsie I will remember him for.


Tootsie – Trailer, Les Cinémaniacs Montréal and pictures © Columbia Pictures


The next review is a film, which starred the actor, George Gaynes who passed away earlier this year (2016). I remembered that I recently learnt Gaynes was born in Helsinki. This at a time when Finland was part of the Russian Empire.  Finland gained independence just less than 6 months later.

Despite Gaynes playing Commandant Lassard in all of seven the Police Academy movies (1984-94), but it is Tootsie (1982), that I will always remember him for. In this comedy, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an unemployed actor who is seen as difficult to work with. Dorsey attends an audition with his girlfriend Sandy (Teri Garr) for a soap opera and she is not successful. Dorsey then decides to go for another part on the show as Emily. Dressed up as a woman, Dorothy Michaels, secures the role and his portrayal of the character is a huge success.

Dorsey plans to fund a play written by his flatmate Jeff (Bill Murray). The cast and crew believe he is an actress. Complications arise when after he has broken up with Sandy, Dorsey falls for Julie (Jessica Lange) his co-star, who is dating the director (Dabney Coleman).

However things get even more complicated as he gets closer to Julie, she falls for him still believing he is Dorothy which confuses her. To add to the mayhem Les, Julie’s father and Dorothy’s co-star, John Van Horn (Gaynes) also fall for “her” with both men make amorous advances on a number of occasions…

Gaynes is a joy to watch, with you feeling almost sorry his love won’t be returned as he pursues Dorothy relentlessly. His reaction when the truth about Dorothy is revealed is priceless. It is bizarre to see these men finding Hoffman in a frock attractive. But as Dorsey says he feels he can be a much better woman than he has been a man which may explain it.

This film was mercilessly parodied in Family Guy (1999-) – including the film’s soundtrack – with playing Stewie as Dorsey. I’m now hoping for Finnish TV will show this gem of a film again but sadly its that Finnish American, Matt Damon season coming soon with the Bourne Trilogy (2002-07). Again.


Gender Bending the Rules Blogathon 2018, No 50 and The TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon 2019, No 82

This review was added to Journeys in Classic Film and Musings of a Classic Film Addict‘s The TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon. This post was also added to Angelman’s Place and The Midnite Drive In‘s Gender Bending the Rules blogathon.  Other reviews with this cast include George Gaynes in the Police Academy films. Bill Murray in Lost in Translation and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Tootsie’s theme was featured HERE. Dustin Hoffman also appeared in Family Business and The Graduate. Dabney Coleman starred in On Golden Pond and Jessica Lange in The Postman Always Rings Twice. Geena Davis stars in The Fly.



6 thoughts on “FILMS… A Tribute to George Gaynes Funniest Role in Tootsie

  1. Loved Mr. Gaynes’s performance here; the best moment is when Bill Murray (as Jeff) walks in on Gaynes and Hoffman in flagrante delicto and later when Gaynes asks, “Does Jeff know?”…One gets the feeling that lonely George wouldn’t mind if Dorothy wasn’t a female…reminiscent of Joe E Brown’s reaction when Jack Lemmon pulls off his wig at the end of Some Like It Hot: “Well..nobody’s perfect!” 🙂

    • That’s a great moment too, thanks for allowing me to add this to your blogathon. Could not be there and great you pulling off another blogathon. Tune in here very, very soon for my next blogathon announcment.

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