Dorothy Comingore

  1. Rita Hayworth, Only Angels Have Wings, 1938. Howard Hawks had his pilots. Now he needed… an ex-lover for Cary Grant. Between November 30-December 2, Hawks shot tests (opposite Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess, Sig Ruman, etc) with his #1 choice, Linda Winters (by Citizen Kane, she was called Comingore), Rochelle Hudson (she made 111 screen roles in 37 years) and the unknown Beverly Holden. Then, following appeals from George Chasin, Hitchcock’s young agent, a certain Miss Hayworth won … “because the camera loves her face.” But… “I needed help from Cary with Rita. Extremely self-conscious, not at all  spontaneous and at this point in her young  career, not a particularly good actress.”
  2. Jane Randolph, Highways By Night 1941. Sounds so much better than… Silver Spoon. Even so, Comingore refused to be Jane Darwell’s grand-daughter, Peggy Fogarty –  winning the heart of  Richard Carlson as what we now call a geek millionaire.
  3. Jane Wyatt, Week-End For Three, 1941. Cary Grant lost four potential  wives  – Dorothy Comingore, Irene Dunne, Ginger Rogers, Ruth Warrick – and then the  couple became Dennis O’Keefe and Jane Wyatt in a rapidly downsized production... once Comingore was suspended for refusing to play Ellen in Budd Schulberg’s story, scripted by Alan Campbell and… Dorothy Parker.
  4. Lucille Ball, The Big Street, 1942. Her career was going up, from The Three Stooges to Capra, when Orson Welles made her Susan Alexander, the second Citizeness Kane. Damon Runyon tested her for this tale but nothing ever gelled again. After three more films, her 15 minutes were up in 1951.
  5. Rita Johnson, The Major and the Minor, 1942. Although stuck in her uncredited days, Hillary Brooke tested as Pamela Hill. Then Paramount borrowed Comingore from RKO and, finally, gave the role to Johnson.  “We had a lot of fun making the picture.,” recalled the minor Ginger Rogers.  “It was that kind of story. And even though it was his first film, from day one I saw that Billy [Wilder] knew what to do. He was very sure of himself. He had perfect confidence.”
  6. Marie Windsor, Force of Evil, 1948.   The Chaplin  discovery who became Mrs Citizen Kane had been first choic for Edna Tuck  to appear in the the stunning debut of auteur Abraham Polonsky. Both auteur and actress were victims of Hollywood’s horrendous black-list, Polonsky  could not  direct a second  a movie until Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here…  a shameful  21 years later!

 Birth year: 1918Death year: 1971Other name: Casting Calls:  6