Celeste Holm

  1. Joan Leslie, Where Do We Go From Here? 1945.     An apt title as Fox wanted the Broadway star and she refused. When finally moving out West, she signed with Fox.
  2. Martha Stewart, I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now, 1946.  The  answer was Mark Stevens. The bigger question was – kissing who?  Not Holm, having to quit being Lulu Madison, due to being pregnant  with her second son, Daniel Dunning. She was back at work six months after the birth for Gentlemen’s Agreement – and a supporting actress Oscar. Now that’s really coming back!
  3. Joan Blondell, Nightmare Alley, 1947.     Ya cain’t always get wot ya wanna… In  handwritten note dated February 1947, head  Fox Darryl Zanuck suggested   Holm as Tyrone Power’s co-star. “We may marvel that the film was made at all,” noted New York Sun critic Gary Giddins in 2005, “considering the material: degradation, adultery, alcoholism, murder, larceny, spiritualism, high-stakes cons, and child abuse, set against the Depression scrim of anarchy, racism, desperation, and top-down corruption.”
  4. Judy Holliday,  Born  Yesterday,  1950.   Columbia’s crude chief Harry Cohn spent the first $1m for a play – written for Jean Arthur – as a Rita Hayworth vehicle.  As she swanned around  Europe with the Aly Khan,  Cohn preferred Arthur, Alice  Faye, Paulette Goddard, Gloria Grahame, Celeste Holm, Evelyn Keyes, Marie McDonald, Marilyn Monroe, Jan Sterling, Lana Turner  – anyone other than  “the fat Jewish broad,”  the understudy who had made the play a hit. Katharine Hepburn waged a campaign to change Cohn’s mind, by virtually turning Judy’s support role in Tracy and Hepburn’s Adam’s Rib into the most elaborate screen test. An act of generosity unsurpassed in  Hollywood history.   Cohn gave in, gracefully. “Well, I’ve worked with fat assess before!” He paid a  meagre $4,500 to the actress who   did the impossible – and wrested Oscar from Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd on March 29, 1951 Judy also won  Kate for a lover – Hepburn’s final lesbian  affair at a  mere 43.
  5. Nina Foch, An American In Paris, 1950.     Holm and Sarah Churchill (Winston’s daughter) were on co-director Vincente Minnelli’s short list for Milo Roberts.  Until he fell for Foch’s reading of a predatory blonde… to match Jean Hagen in Singin’ in the Rain. But she did get High Society five years later.
  6. Kim Stanley, Frances1982.      Howard Hawks  said  she had “more talent than anyone I ever worked with.”All actresses loved her talent and guts and 23  wanted to be… Frances Farmer.  Just three  veterans – Stanley, Holm and  Kim Hunter – in the frame to be her mother, Lillian Farmer. Her parents  wrongfully committed Frances to asylums. When she was releasedc… she looked after her them! 


 Birth year: 1917Death year: 2012Other name: Casting Calls:  6