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Beulah Bondi (1888-1981)

  1. Bodil Rosing, The Painted Veil, 1933.    From Bondi to Bodil… Apparently, Bondi started as Frau Koerberg (still there in long shots, of course) but the Danish Rosing completed the role when  re-shoots were  necessary to help shorten Richard Boleslawski’s vehicle for Garbo. (That was her billing, no need for anything else).

  2. May Robson, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, 1937.  As directors changed from HC Potter to Norman Taurog, so did Aunt Polly.   Elizabeth Patterson was first signed, then substituted by Robson, who then  fell ill and was replaced by Bondi -  when suddenly, Robson was well again. (Works every time). 

  3. Jane Darwell, TheGrapes of Wrath, 1939. Bondi’s biggest regret was losing  the John Ford classic. Yet it is Impossible to imagine another Ma Joad - even if Steven Spielberg planned to produce a re-make.   Both Jane  and Ford won Oscars. Thereafter, Darwell was invariably Ma This or Aunt That in the rest of her career - 198 screen roles over 51 years. While Bondi was James Stewart’s Ma in four films and his TV series.

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