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KEN WALES: CHRISTIAN INTEGRITY


Ken Wales is a TV and film producer, who has produced several, award-winning TV series and films, including Christy, East of Eden and the highly-acclaimed movie Amazing Grace.


Wales has enjoyed tremendous success as a producer, but he started his Hollywood career as an unemployed actor. Early in his career, Wales chose to turn down a significant role because it conflicted with his faith in Christ. While he was under contract with MGM, he was cast for a film starring Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Shirley MacLaine. At one point in the script, his character enticed a young woman to get drunk so he could take advantage of her. Wales described his decision to decline the role:


"I had been speaking to a lot of church groups and conventions around the country on the subject of making right choices. So when I read ... the script ... I had to meet with the director, Vincente Minnelli, to tell him I couldn't do it. He told me, 'You'll do it, or you'll be out of your contract, you'll go on suspension, you'll have no salary for a year, and I'll see that you never work in this town again.' I told him he'd have to find someone else, and he literally threw me out of his office.


"I was put on suspension," Wales said. "When the film came out the following year, I was speaking at a youth convention in Denver, to about 600 kids. We took a break at dinner time, and everybody piled out to see a movie and to get pizza. As we started to walk across the street, there was a huge marquee with a sign for the movie I'd turned down. And I thought that was interesting. What if I'd done that film and the kids had gone in and seen it?"


(Marcia Segelstein, "Amazing Grace: Interview with Ken Wales," Salvo, Summer 2011. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Unqualified Leader, 8/27/2011)

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