Susan Hayward (1918-1975)
- Rosemary Lane, Gold Diggers In Paris, 1938. If it was not one Lane in the way, it was t'other...
- Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind, 1939.
- Joan Fontaine, Rebecca, 1940.
- Priscilla Lane, Three Cheers For The Irish, 1940. Star siblings of sentimental 30s series, the three Lanes (ex-Mullican) from Indiana (Lola was the oldest) were finished as Hayward started scoring in the late 40s.
- Ingrid Bergman, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1940. Why not two double acts, said Dr/Mr Spencer Tracy, generously suggesting the same actress play both his Fine Lady and Young Hooker (er, Barmaid!). Bergman won The Lady and immediately swopped with Lana Turner in the role Hayward had tested for. Bergman then complained shewas miscast! (Without any such moaning, Miriam Hopkins did much the same swop in the 1930 version with Fredric March).
- Eva Gabor, Forced Landing, 1940. Hayward was tested for Johanna Van Deuren but Zsa Zsa’s younger sister won her Hollywood debut in Richard Arlen’s run of the mill programmer
- Paulette Goddard, Reap The Wild Wind, 1941. All hands on deck - and fathoms below - for a boisterous CB DeMille adventure classic. With a battle royale to be John Wayne’s lady, Loxi Claiborne. Between Claudette Colbert, Katharine Hepburn and two survivors of the Scarlett O’Hara wars, Hayward and Tallulah Bankhead.
- Martha O’Driscoll, Reap The Wild Wind, 1941. After testing for the Loxi, Hayward became Robert Preston’s lady, Ivy Devereaux. Not for long...
- Martha O’Driscoll, Reap The Wild Wind, 1941. Turned down by CB DeMille for Loxi, and then for Ivy, as well, he finally gave Hayward the role of Loxi’s star-crossed cousin, Drusilla Alston.
- Ingrid Bergman, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1943. Among the many hopefuls: Annabella, Frances Farmer, Vivien Leigh, Luise Rainer.
- Jean Heather, Double Indemnity, 1943. Director and co-writerBilly Wilder had Hayward and Mona Freeman on the drawing board for Lola, Barbara Stanwyck’s step-daughter. This was the Nebraskan Heather’s first of nine movies… like Gene Autry’s Last Round Up and Going My Way with Father Bing Crosby.
- Jean Heather, Going My Way, 1943. Talking of which…. Twentysomethings Hayward and Betty (Jane) Rhodes were seen for Carol in Bing Crosby’s first outing as the “youthful” parish priest, Father Chuck O’Malley. (The sequel was The Bells of St Mary’s, 1944).
- Merle Oberon, Dark Waters, 1944. Paramount's production chief Buddy DeSylva refused to loan her to UA for being “rude, snippy and uncooperative with stars and directors. Maybe this'll teach ya!” She admitted to walking off a set - once - early in her career, yet refuted any temperamental label. “I've fought for what I thought was right... I call that being honest and fair.”
- Helen Walker, Murder, He Says, 1945. She lost nothing. It was Fred MacMurray's comedy, from the first to the 91st minute.
- Anne Baxter, The Razor’s Edge, 1946. Baxter's biography revealed that her support Oscar-winning role of Sophie was previously offered to Hayward, Judy Garland, Betty Grable, Anabel Shaw. And Bonita Granville was at the point of signing when Baxter asked to read for the role. She won over Fox - and Oscar.
- Olivia De Havilland, The Snake Pit, 1948. She wanted it as much as Gone With The Wind - it was The Great Scarlett Hunt that brought her to Hollywood in the first place, circa 1937. But head Fox Darryl Zanuck could not agree a loan fee with her boss, Walter Wanger. Until a year later.
- Linda Darnell, Forever Amber, 1947. Head Fox Darryl F Zanuck hated what director John Stahl was doing with the film - as much as final helmer Otto Preminger hated the book. And the first Amber, Peggy Cummins. Fox stalwart Hayward was suggested, Otto said Lana Turner, Zanuck compromised. With Linda.
- Paulette Goddard, Anna Lucasta, 1949. Writer-producer Philip Yordan's hope of Hayward topping his back to the original Polish (not black as on Broadway!) family saga was stymied by Paulette's hold on the rights.
- Bette Davis, All About Eve, 1949.
- Ann Sheridan, Stella, 1949. Titular switcheroo… Chicago journalist Claude Binyon is a Hollywood writer (56 movies) and eight times director I’ve never heard of. He sure knew what worked. For example, he suddenly changed all three leading ladies in this Fox comedy feast. For another, during his Variety days, he coined the classic headline about country folk disliking movies about country folk: STICKS NIX HICK PIX.
- Olivia De Havilland, My Cousin Rachel, 1952. In good company. Garbo considered it as a comeback. For at least seven seconds.
- Ida Lupino, On Dangerous Ground, 1950. Also in the snowy mountains frame for the blind Mary were Lauren Bacall, Olivia de Havilland, Faith Domergue, Wanda Hendrix, Deborah Kerr, Janet Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, Teresa Wright, Jane Wyman - and Broadway newcomer Margaret Phillips. RKO chose well. Because, although un-credited, Lupino also co-directed the noir thriller with Nicholas Ray. In all, she helmed 41 films and TV shows during 1949-1968 when Hollywood women were just supposed to pout, pirouette and pucker up.
- Barbara Rush, When Worlds Collide, 1950. Wandering star Bellus is is on a collision course with earth... Unusually, the first script (by Jack Moffitt) came complete with a cast list. Producer George Paul rewrote both. Moffitt’s dream wishes were too pricey: Hayward, Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr
- Olivia De Havilland, My Cousin Rachel, 1952. In good company. Garbo considered it for a comeback. For at least seven seconds. (A day, actually).
- Mary Welch, Park Row, 1952. Tough guy auteur Samuel Fuller financed his cut-price Citizen Kane - and lost the whole shebang: $200,000. The Press loved the newspaper story, but Darryl Zanuck was right. To win the the public Sam needed stars,. For example, Gregory Peck as the honest-joe editor and Hayward as his ex-boss, the tabloid queen. Or Peck and Ava Gardner (!).
- Linda Darnell, Second Chance, 1953. “For the First Time - 3D With Important Stars!” Not this one, said Susan, refusing her 3-D costumes.
- Doris Day, Love Me Or Leave Me, 1955. After being Jane Froman in WithA Song In My Heart, l952, Susan was offered every femme biopic in town: Helen Keller, Lillie Langtry, Aimee Semple McPherson, Eva Peron. Ruth Etting's story went to Doris when Hayward went for something with a built-in Oscar nod: 20s-30s torch-singer Lilian Roth's tale, I'll Cry Tomorrow.
- Jean Simmons, Hilda Crane, 1956. Fox production honcho Darryl Zanuck suspended her for (rightly) refusing.
- Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1956. Hayward had already bio-ed a singer - Lillian Roth in I’ll Cry Tomorrow, 1955… For six months, Warner Bros scanned some 32 possible Morgans, including Hayward, Dani Crayne, Jennifer Jones plus singers Doris Day, Judy Garland, Helene Grayco, Peggy Lee, Jaye P Morgan, Patti Page, Keely Smith. And even fashion model Nancy Berg. Morgan’s friends and fans were aghast when director Michael Curtis chose Blyth, with Cogi Grant dubbing the songs, as neither looked or sounded like Morgan. Curtiz said Blyth was the best actress for the rôle and Grant’s voice was better than Morgan’s“kind of high-pitched, low-voiced torch singing… it’s outmoded.” So, tell another story! Berg’s life, for example, was way heavier.
- Elizabeth Taylor, Giant, 1956. All too obvious - and dullard - thought from George Stevens. (He had 29 others!).
- Lana Turner, Peyton Place, 1956. All the obvious, well, MILFS, of their day were in the frame for Constance McKenzie - in the mother and father of all movie and TV soaps. Namely: Hayward, Turner, Joan Crawford, Olivia de Havilland and Jane Wyman.
- Joanne Woodward, The Three Faces of Eve, 1957. Her biggest mistake. The “woman who went through life with her fists up” said no. So did many others, allowing Nunally Johnson to get his way - and Joanne to get the Oscar.
- Yvonne De Carlo, Band of Angels, 1957. She refused Gable! “I never thought of myself as a movie star. I'm just a working girl.... who worked her way to the top - and never fell off.”
- Eleanor Parker, The Seventh Sin, 1957. Still called The Painted Veil when Susan passed.
- Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1957. Another spurned biopic because Susan and Walter Wanger had something far better on the back burner: I Want To Live. And this time Oscar not only nodded, but fell into her grasp.
- Joan Collins, The Wayward Bus, 1957. Susan v Jayne Mansfield would have been a rare treat. “If they couldn't get Susan Hayward or Gene Tierney,” recalled Collins, “my agent would call and tell me to get my ass over to wardrobe right away. Once there, old Lana Turner or Maureen O'Hara costumes were refurbished to fit me and off I'd go.”
- Ava Gardner, The Sun Also Rises, 1957. Anyone could see that Errol Flynn would steal it. If, when, he could stand up.
- Dorothy Malone, Too Much, Too Soon, 1958. Susan would have made a better Diana Barrymore - on the phone. Instead, she had found her (finally) Oscar-bound bio, as executed B-girl Barbara Grahame in I Want To Live.
- Mitzi Gaynor, South Pacific, 1958. One reason she did her own singing in I'll Cry Tomorrow - and some MGM discs - was to be upfront for Nellie Forbush. Except Hollywood, already dropping Broadway's older Mary Martin, went younger.
- Deborah Kerr, Beloved Infidel, 1959. Not even with her Bathsheba's David, Gregory Peck, as F Scott Fitzgerald... Because this time, the biopic was that of Sheilah Graham - only ever referred to by Susan as “a certain nasty female columnist.” (She also refused a biopic about the other infamous Hollywood gossip bitch, Louella Parsons).
- Jean Simmons, Elmer Gantry, 1959. In early days, director Richard Brooks considered Susan and Liz Taylor as Sister Sharon Falconer opposite Burt Lancaster’s firey preacher man.
- Shirley MacLaine, Can-Can, 1960. “I'm not worried about the singing. My problem is the dancing. I'm such a klutz.”
- Julie Harris, The Haunting, 1962. Change of Eleanor Lance… Some love it, others are less easily pleased. This is a surprisingly tepid, vapid offering from director Robert Wise - particularly when he made it as a tribute to his late mentor, the 40s’ horror producer Val Lewton.
- Maureen O’Hara, McLintock! 1962. A sure fire winner and, therefore, a way for John Wayne pay of to pay back UA’s Alamo loans - get his Batjac library back and still make a flat $25,000 and up to 10% of the profits! So, the leading lady was no contest. Hayward and Deborah Kerr were as fine, but O’Hara was feisty and always Duke’s favourite. This was the fourth of their five movies.
- Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1963.
- Ava Gardner, Night of the Iguana, 1964. The Burtons' scandal changed all that casting!
- Anne Bancroft, The Graduate, 1967. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me… aren't you?" Despite his hots for Ingrid Bergman, Deborah Kerr and Jeanne Moreau, Mike Nichols knew Dustin Hoffman’s seducerhadto be American. Producer Lawrence Turman wanted Stanwyck, after their UK film, Stolen Hours, 1963. Howeve, she had no wish to change her image so drastically. And so the first $1m director ploughed throughDoris Day, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Rita Hayworth, Patricia Neal, Geraldine Page, Eva Maria Saint, Lana Turner, Shelley Winters. And the prerequisite outsider: Grayson Hall, of the 1966-1972 supernatural soap,Dark Shadows.
- Maureen O’Hara, Big Jake, 1970. Mike Wayne’s best deal of his life. CBS’s Cinema Center Films stumped up the $4.3m budget, but Batjac owned the movie. And the Batjac family made it: Patrick Wayne, young Ethan Wayne, O’Hara (for the fifth time – sorry about that Susan !) Richard Boone and old George Sherman from their Republic B-days. But Sherman hadn’t made a movie for four eyars and had lost it. Duke took over directing, minus a credit. Result: at age 64, Duke was #1 at the box-office ahead of Clint, Newman, McQueen and George C Scott. Howda like dem apples!
- Ida Lupino, Junior Bonner, 1972. Lost for the reason Film City old-timers crave. At 54, she looked too young... to be Steve McQueen’s mother. Ida was older. By all of five months.
- Lucille Ball, Mame, 1974. Once again she tried to win a musical by proving her singing - and better, by playing Mame in Las Vegas. This time the studio went older!