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Suzanne Pleshette (1937-2008)

 

  1. Alexandra Stewart, Exodus,  1960.     New York’s Pleshette and the Israeli Ziva Rodann were beatenn by the French NewWave star to Jordana in Otto Preminger’s version of Leon Uris’s book - a Jewish Western, said  the New York Post! - on the founding of Israel. 
  2. Natalie Wood, West Side Story, 1961.     Considering that she succeeded Anne Bancroft on Broadway and the US tour of The Miracle Worker, Pleshette was totally wasted by Hollywood, offering (beyond The Birds, 1963) little more than tawdry films and more than 60 TV guest slots.

  3. Julie Newmar, Batman, TV, 1966-1968.    
    Negotiations broke down with the first choice for Catwoman in 13 episodes of the sudenly “in” and “zany” TV show.And the phone rang that same weekend in Newmar’s New York apartment. “Miss Newmar, would you like to play Catwoman? They’re casting it out here - and it starts Monday.” Julie felt insulted at such short notice until the voice explained: “That's how TV is done, they never know what they are doing until yesterday.” Her brother leaped off the sofa. “I mean he physically levitated.” “Batman!” he yelled. “That's the favorite show at Harvard. We all quit our studies and run into the TV room to watch it.” Julie said: “They want me to play Catwoman.” He said: “Do it!” So she loved it! “In the ’50s women could never - unless you were some B-picture actress - be mean, bad, and nasty. I can't tell you how satisfying it was.”  Shooting
    McKenna’s Gold clashed with the third season, allowing Eartha Kitt to try mean, bad and nasty.

  4. Katharine Ross, The Graduate, 1967.      Broadway genius Mike Nichols came to town and saw, tested, auditioned almost every  babe of the correct age for Mrs Robinson’s daughter.   From Baby Doll to Lolita, by way of  Saint Joan and The Flying Nun… Pleshette,  Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Ashley, Carroll Baker, Candice Bergen, Patty Duke,  Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Sue Lyon, Carol Lynley, Hayley Mills, Yvette Mimieux, Lee Remick, Jean Seberg, Pamela Tiffin, Tuesday Weld, Natalie Wood. Having playedGames with her that year, Simone Signoret recommended Ross to Nichols.
  5. Jacqueline Bisset, The Detective, 1967.     "I don't think a man and his wife should act together," said the titular Frank Sinatra. "Least that goes  for us."  So why was he so furious when Mia was delayed by director Roman Polanski's lengthy perfectionism on Rosemary's Baby.  Following dinner with the couple, production designer Richard Sylbert felt Frank's view was if she didn’t make the film with him, the marriage was over.  And that’s what happened. Old Livid Eyes sent his lawyer to the Polanski set to deliver divorce papers to Mia.  And he told Fox to replace his wife... Bisset  supposed Sinatra had OK’d her, perhaps, on seeing some footgae from her Fox debut,  The Wild Ride. "If he had disliked me, I certainly wouldn’t have  been in  the picture."  Which explains why no   Pleshette or Suzy Parker.


  6. Stephanie Powers, Hart To Hart, TV, 1979-1996.      Same initials but... Actresses up for the role of Jennifer Hart opposite Robert Wagner included Suzanne... and ex-Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner.

 

 

 






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