Jane Darwell

  1. Winifred Kingston, The Squaw Man, 1913.       Among the earliest films made in this new burg called Hollywood, this was CB DeMille’s film directing debut. (And he couldn’t leave it alone, re-treading it in 1917 and 1930 among his 80 movies).   He refused Darwell – presumably for being too pricey. At $60 a week.   His diary noted paying $5 a day to an extra named… Hal Roach.
  2. Lillian Randolph, It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946.
  3. Lillian Gish, The Night of the Hunter,  1955.       Ma Joad, for ever and always, the 1941 Oscar-winner from The Grapes of Wrath, did not stand a chance.  Same for Ethel  Barrymore, Louise Fazenda,  Helen Hayes, Agnes Moorehead and even the debuting  director, Charles Laughton’s wife, Elsa Lanchester. Because he had loved Lillian Gish all his life!  “I’ve played Henry Fonda’s  mother so often,” Darwell always said, “that, whenever we run into each other, I call him Son and he calls me Ma, just to save time.”


 Birth year: 1879Death year: 1967Other name: Casting Calls:  3