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Vera Zorina (1917-2003)

  1. Vivien Leigh, 21 Days, 1940.      Leigh preferred sticking close to her husband Laurence Oliviert - for the middle of the three films starring the Oliviers.   La Zorina, George Balachine's dancer-wife (from the Ballet Russe) retired after a total of seven films) and took up directing - opera
  2. Ingrid Bergman, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1943.      The earth was not moving... Vera beat Paulette Goddard to the role but Paramount had made a prime error - and not just her terrible haircut. As soon as Casablanca finished, producer David Selznick and author Ernest Hemingway got their way. Hemingway said he had Ingrid in mind when writing the book.\
  3. Karin Booth, The Unfinished Dance, 1946.      You can imagine the discussion… Who do we get for La Dorina? Hey, how about La Zorina? Yeah! But no. Booth was finally cast in Danny Thomas’ screen debut.
  4. Marlene Dietrich, Kismet, 1955.       Zorina, Virginia Bruce and Marilyn Maxwell were up for the harem queen Jamilla in the much-filmed 1911 Edward Knoblock play - sheer Arabian Nights kitsch! Then, director William Dieterle had the bright bright idea of calling Dietrich… for her only MGMovie. The celebrated Goldfingered look for her sultry dance for the evil Grand Vizier Edward Arnold was invariably axed by local  US TV channels.




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