Dame Gracie Fields

  1. Billie Burke, The Wizard of Oz, 1938.
  2. Binnie Barnes, The Man From Down Under, 1943.   A British music hall institution, “Our   Gracie”   rejected her fellow Northerner Charles Laughton.   Never happy in films, she needed a live   audience. Her Fox deal proved disastrous except for the records books – Darryl Zannuck’s $200,000 for four films was “the highest salary ever paid to a human being.” She refused to work in Hollywood – “They’d make me half ‘n’ half… and mightn’t use the right halves, either” – until her Italian-born husband Monty Banks was declared an alien in Britain and she quit for America and, finally, Capri.
  3. Greer Garson, Julia Misbehaves, 1947.   MGM bought the Margery Sharp novel in April 1941 – and  shelved  it months later when the British comic and singer was tied up elsewhere.  CUT to 1946 and Garson tried slapstick after “agonized pleas [to] play something less lofty than the stuff she’s accustomed to.”  She also met her third husband (1949-1987) on the set: co-star Peter Lawford’s pal, EE Fogelson.
  4. Basil Rathbone, The Adventures of Ichapod and Mr Toad, 1948.     In July 1946, Fields was signed to narrate (and sing during) The Wind in the Willows section of the Disney cartoon.   Two years later, it was Charles Laughton… and finally Rathbone, with Bing Crosby narrating The Story of Ichabod Crane.


 Birth year: 1898Death year: 1979Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  4