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Sylvia Sidney (1910-1999)

  1. Ann Dvorak, The Way To Love, 1933.       Maurice Chevalier was the teacher butSidney became “ill.”
  2. Dorothea Wieck, Miss Fane’s Baby Is Stolen, 1933.   Sidney, Carole Lombard, Gloria Swanson fled the drama of a kidnapped baby - for coming far too soon after the 1932 Lindbergh baby case. In her second and last Hollywood movie, the Swiss-born, Sweden-raised German actress Wieck showed them what they missed in a stunning performance, tearing at our emotions and causing our tears, as the widowed actress mother of the stolen tot played by ever smiling two-year-old Baby LeRoy. Wieck returned to Berlin, opening her own drama academy and winning another 40 screen roles until retiring in 1975.
  3. Joan Bennett, The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo, 1934.       20th Century tried to borrow Sidney from Paramount but her studio had other plans for her. And so Bennett tried to help get the casino’s money back from Ronald Colman.
  4. Sigrid Gurie, Algiers, 1938.     Producer Walter Wanger wanted her for Charles Boyer's halfcaste lover - "another tenement girl - this time in spangles!" She wanted Broadway. "I'm an actress, not a star." Plus, she said, Hedy Lamarr would steal both Boyer and the film.
  5. Merle Oberon, Wuthering Heights, 1938.
  6. Ann Sheridan, City For Conquest, 1940.       Warners failed a second time in teaming Cagney and Ginger Rogers. Sylvia rushed in. When directors changed, the woman with the saddest eyes in  Hollywood rushed  out. Enter: Sheridan. “It was a very good part and, of course, it was Cagney again.  He sold like wildfire.  To be in a picture with him was the greatest.” But she lost his next one, The Strawberry Blonde, 1940,  after fighting with Warner (like Cagney before her) for better parts.  And money. He won, she didn’t.
  7. Arline Judge, Girls In Chains, 1942.      Sidney was booked for another gig, so Judge became the teacher in a women’s jail. Anyway, it was a bit of a quickie for a star like Sidney. Director Edgar G Ulmer knocked it off in five days! Deft at any role, Judge as known as One Take Sally on the set. Not at the altar. She married eight different husband and , one more than Lana Turner. (In fact, they both wed Henry (Bob) Topping Jr - Judge first).
  8. Nancy Kelly, Tornado, 1943.  Change of Victory Kane - and title (from Black Tornado- go figure) in a routine disaster thriller headlining Chester Morris  and marking the debuts of  Connie Stone and Moi-Yo. You must have been wondering when they started…
  9. Jennifer Jones, Carrie, 1952.     Theodore Dreisler’s novel was promised to Sidney in 1933 when Paramount would put herin anything - even a movie ofthe studio canteen menu.
  10. Joan Fontaine, Ivanhoe, 1952.      Planned by Walter Wanger in 1935, after picking up her contract at Paramount - where she had been the lover of the studio boss, BP Schulberg (Budd's father). Sidney soon quit for Broadway to recover her self-confidence - killed, she said, by director William Wyler during Dead End, 1938.
  11. Carol Bruce, WKRP in Cincinnati, TV, 1979-1982.       Norma Desmond lives..! As the 30s/40s siren let everyone know how she felt the “ridiculous” series was beneath her.  She got her way - and was dumped after the pilot. “Mama” Carlson was handed to Carol for ten shows in the first season.   
  12. Pat Carroll, The Little Mermaid, 1989.     "An answer to a prayer," said Carroll on winning her a lifetime’s ambition - voicing a Disney character. Ursula had been designed for Bea Arthur - far too busy with The Golden Girls, 1985-1992. Next? Divine (at Disney?!), Charlotte Rae, Roseanne the Absolutely Fabulous Jennifer Saunders and singer Nancy Wilson. Plus a slew of veteran ladies: Sidney, Coral Browne, Nancy Marchand - and Elaine Stritch, who won the gig, then lost it after disputes with lyricist Howard Ashman.



 

 





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