Payday Loans
Mary Astor (1906-1987)

 

  1. Dolores Costello, The Sea Beast, 1925.      When John Barrymore insisted on the film - based on Moby Dick - he also insisted on  his gal,  Astor, as co-star. The studio said: Costello, or no film!  “I fell in love with her instantly,” said Barrymore. “This time I knew I was right.” They had an affair, rather like Barrymore, at 40, had with Astor during Beau Brummel, 1923. Costello’s father was against them, not her mother. (Result: the parents divorced!). Before Barrymore made Costello his third wife, during 1928-1934, he wanted her in his next film, Don Juan, 1926,  But this time the studio insisted on… Astor! 
  2. Jill Esmond, State’s Attorney, 1931.    Change of wife for John Barrymore, already straying towards Helen Twelvetrees in a way that the AMPP, (Association of Motion Picture Producers) said would detract from Helen’s character - “to have her accept a relationship which any woman with a spark of decency would feel was degrading and insulting.” Esmond was soon living exactly that story as her husband, Laurence Olivier, fell for Vivien Leigh.
  3. Colleen Moore, The Power and the Glory, 1933.     Astor and Irene Dunne were in the frame for Spencer Tracy’s wife in  the non-Graham Greene tale. Producer Jesse L Lasky wanted the old-timer (aged 32). Brought to Hollywood by DW Griffith, she  had not made a movie for four years (and only made three more). “The minute I read the script,” she cried, “I couldn’t wait...” Tracy said much the same in his diary: “Great script, great part. Sounds like a winner... I hope so.”  It made him! Fox borrowed Moore  from MGM for the Preston Sturgess scenario - which critic Pauline  Kael mistakenly called the  model for Citizen Kane.   While Fox called Sturgess’ innovative: narration -  narratage.
  4. Karen Morley, Crime Doctor, 1933.     Nothing to do with Columbia’s 1943-1949 series based on the 1940-1947 CBS radio show, this crime doctor is a cop doctoring his murder of his unfaithful wife to pin it her lover…. Astor passed on succeeding Wynne Gibson as the wife, Corinne Griffth took over and quit because title star Otto Kruger was also killing her performance (forever having her back to camera). RKO quickly loaned MGM’s Morley.
  5. Barbara O’Neill, Stella Dallas, 1936.    Astor was producer Sam Goldwyn’s first idea for Helen, second wife of Stella’s escaped husband. O’Neill’s sparse screen career of 22 films, included being Scarlett O’Hara’s mother in Gone With The Wind… when just three years older than Vivien Leigh!
  6. Bonita Granville,  Now, Voyager, 1941.     Astor was producer Hal Wallis’ first and only idea for signing for the bitchy niece of a (this once) non-bitchy Bette Davis.  Then, not.
  7. Ann Sheridan, The Man Who Came To Dinner, 1941.    Director William Keighley first tested Astor and Dorothy Mackail for Lorraine Sheldon - based on Broadway’s UK star, Gertrude Lawrence - opposite the titular Monty Woolley.
  8. Geraldine Fitzgerald, The Gay Sisters, 1941.       Bette Davis professed to liking Astor, indeed she’d asked for her in The Great Lie,1941 - the only time an actress stole a Davis film.  This time, Bette maintained that Mary photographed older than she did and Davis complained she’d have to “age considerably”to appear older.   Basically, Davis did not want audiences thinking she really was the age she’d played in Little Foxes.  Neither star made the film;  Barbara Stanwyck and Fitzgerald did. (Astor had replaced Fitzgerald in The Maltese Falcon, 1941).
  9. Selena Royle, A Date With Judy, 1947.   Ill-health made Astor withdraw from being Wallace Beery’s wife and Jane Powell’s mother. Enough to make anyone ill. 
  10. Irene Hervey, Mr Peabody and the Mermaid, 1947.    First due for William Powell’s Mrs Peabody when, on holiday at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida, he meets Ann Blyth as a mermaid, strategically covered by seaweed in  what the LA Times called a triumph of censors  over ichthyologists, “and a rather humorous commentary on American mores in itself.”
  11. Eileen Heckart, Miracle in the Rain, 1956.     Although reduced to “do nothing motherroles,” she was stillturned down as Jane Wyman’s mother.

 





Copyright © 2017 Crawley's Casting Calls. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.