Dorothy Burgess

  1. Kay Johnson, Dynamite, 1929.  Assistant director Mitchell Leisen  made  screen tests for Cecil B DeMille’s first all sound movie – on December 18, 1928.  For the leading lady he filmed Sally Blane, Dorothy Burgess, Carmelia Geraghty, Leila Hyams, Merna Kennedy – and heartily recommended the fast-rising Carole Lombard. To no avail.  CB played safe with theatre actors: Charles Bickford opposite Johnson’s debut. Bickford calledthe script a mess of corn with terrible dialogue. True enough – it flopped.]

  2. Helen Twelvetrees, The Painted Desert, 1930.   Burgess, a low-rent , usually Hispanic heroine in most of her 47 roles, was announced as hero William Boyd’s leading lady by the Film Daily of September 2, 1930, as William (the credit scroll read Bill) Boyd’s sweetie in the sagebrush quickie – Clark Gable’s first talkie.

  3. Polly Walters, Blonde Crazy, 1930.   Joan Blondell was James Cagney’s co-star (no, really!) (they  managed seven movies  together), but Walters stole the great comedy  as Peggy.  Yet thereafter she was uncredited in a dozen 1931 movies –  and then… gone!

  4. Mona Maris, Viva Villa, 1933.     Once Jack Conway took over from Howard Hawks after actor Lee Tracy’s allegedly urinated on the Revolution Day parade in Mexico, several Hawksian actors were dropped, including Maris as Teresa. Among those tested to replace her were Lila Lee, Myrna Loy and Carmel Myers. 

 Birth year: 1905Death year: 1961Other name: Casting Calls:  5