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Jean Seberg (1938-1979)

  1. Jo Morrow, Our Man In Havana, 1959.   The Danish Evy Norlund was also seen for Milly, daughter of Alec Guinnness’ vacuum cleaner salesman-cum-British-spy in Cuba! From Graham Greene’s novel (based on a film idea set in WWII Estonia) which eventually inspired John le Carre’s book, The Tailor of Panama.
  2. Julie Christie, Doctor Zhivago, 1964.     Otto Preminger's  Maid of Orleans was on the list for Boris Pasternak’s heroine, Lara.
  3. Julie Christie, Fahrenheit 451, 1966.    For his first film in colour - and his only one in English - nouvelle vague icon François Truffaut wanted French favourites Seberg and Jane Fonda for Clarisse and Linda. They were finally played by one (but dubbed by two in the French lingo version: Michèle Bardollet and Nelly Benedetti). Seberg’s offers that year went from the sublime to the...
  4. Elke Sommer,  The Oscar, 1966.    Opposite (at the time), Rita Hayworth and Jason Robards. From the book by Richard Sale.   In   French, sale is dirty. No further comment.
  5. Kim Hunter, Planet of the Apes, 1967.
  6. Katharine Ross, The Graduate, 1967.    Broadway’s 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…  Seberg, Ann-Margret, Elizabth Ashley, Carroll Baker, Candice Bergen, Patty Duke, Sally Field Jane Fonda, Sue Lyon, Carol Lynley, Hayley Mills, Yvette Mimieux, Suzanne Pleshette, Lee Remick, Pamela Tiffin, Tuesday Weld, Natalie Wood. Having played  Games with her that year, Simone Signoret recommended Ross to Nichols.
  7. Charlotte Rampling, The Ski Bum, 1971.    In the 60s. Seberg’s French writer-husband Romain Gary originally planned to direct her in his version of his book. Opposite Peter O’Toole... or George Segal.  
  8. Jacqueline Bisset,  La nuit américaine (UK /US : Day For Night, 1972.    François  Truffaut had always admired her since starring in  his 1959 story, À bout de souffle - but she never answered his calls!!!
  9. Katharine Ross, The Stepford Wives, 1975.   “Sadly,” said UK director Bryan Forbes, “Jean was close to doing what she did.”   Not that close. Her  suicide came five films and four years later.
  10. Elke Sommer, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, 1978.      Although keen to work with David Niven again (after enjoying Bonjour Tristesse together), the much troubled Seberg committed suicide. Her body was found in her car in Paris some eleven days after ODing. For his 41st and final film, director Ralph Thomas called up Elke Sommer, from his silly Rank film, Deadlier Than The Male  -  also headlined by Richard Johnson.  

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