Dame Flora Robson

  1. Judith Anderson,  Rebecca, 1939.
  2. Ruth Gordon,   Dr   Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet, 1940.    The role: the   wife of the man who found the cure for syphilis.   Given his 5ft 5ins, Edward G Robinson preferred the diminutive Ruth.
  3. Katina Paxinou, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1942.  The Greek star won in the clinches with such other  old-timer contenders as Fayu Bainter, Ethel Barrymore, Alla Nazimova, Pola Negri, Flora Robson, Marjorie Rambea, Norms Talmadge…   and Gloria Swanson… whose one-time lover. Cecil B DeMille. had planned his own version of the Ernest Hemingway book.
  4. Jane Wyman, The Yearling, 1945. The Gone With The Wind director, Victor Fleming, refused to have the UK star as Spencer Tracy’s wife – and called up AnnRevere. “Fleming was violently pro-Nazi,” Revere told Selden West. “Thiswas ’41, we hadn’t entered the war… and he was violently opposed to the English…” Everything else went wrong… Tracy was over-weight andRevere was built up to help make him look smaller! The project was postponed and totally re-cast four years later.
  5. Judith Anderson, The Ten Commandments, 1954
  6. Sian Phillips,I, Claudius, 1976.    Director Josef von Sternberg’s EmpressLivia in the never completed Alexander Korda production was very royal. Floraplayed Elizabeth I twice, Empress Elizabeth of RussiaandtheChinese Empress in 55Days At Peking, 1963.
  7. Beatrix Lehman, The Cat and the Canary, 1977.  For the fifth (some say best)  version of the grandpappy of haunted house chillers, New York auteur Radley Metzger wanted Elizabeth Bergner as the housekeeper – in his  first non-sex movie (soft or hard). Probably why she passed. He then asked Flora and she was too ill.   Lehman was in worse health.  She died a few months after shooting.


 Birth year: 1902Death year: 1984Other name: Casting Calls:  7