Esther Fernandez

  1. Katharine DeMille, Aloma of the South Seas, 1940. The young Mexican star wpn a Paramount contract and immediately lost her first role. It was deemed not important enough to introduce her with to US audiences. Such a zero role was then given to the adopted daughter of the studio’s top director, Cecil B DeMille!!
  2. Ingrid Bergman, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1942.   Producer-director Sam Wood was so fascinated by Esther that he tested her four times.  But… Barbara Britton, Frances Farmer, Betty Field, Paulette Goddard, Susan Hayward and  Barbara Stanwyck were also seen for Gary Cooper’s gal. Plus the French Annabella, true Brit Vivien Leigh and Germany’s Luise Rainer and Vera Zorina.  However, Ernest Hemingway insisted on Bergman (and Cooper) because he’d had them in mind when writing the book. In case Ingrid changed her mind, Sam Wood had the Austro-Hungarian Lenora Aubert waiting in the wings…
  3. Lizabeth Scott, Pitfall, 1948. After two wasted years on the Paramount payroll,. Esther joined RKO.  No better. She was shoved into  Here We Go Again, starring  various radio stars (including the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, Candice’s father). Esther’s role? An uncredited “Indian Girtl”!  At Warners, she won a John Garfield which never happened.  She kept returning home for better material.   Then, at Royal Films in LA,  director André de Toth wanted her as the  femme fatale causing problems for insurance man Dick Powell in Pitfall.  A kind of  Single Indemnity.   Her last US film was back where she (almost started) at Paramount, when Alan Ladd (or his wife) chose her as his co-star in Two Years Before the Mast in 1946.  She had top billing in Mexico.  But here was yet another reason why the overwhelming majority of her 64 films were Mexican.

 Birth year: 1917Death year: 1999Other name: Casting Calls:  3