John Loder

  1. Henry Wilcoxon, Scotland Yard, 1939.       Warner Baxter was to play the lead – all three of him! The crooked Dakin Barrolles, the banker Sir John Lasher… and Barrolles disguised as Lasher after plastic surgery! Apparently, make-up tests failed. George Sanders was drafted in and objected to “one part of the dual  role.” Zanuck immediately suspended him and called up John Loder. No? OK, Wilcoxon.
  2. Nils Asther, Love, Honour and Goodbye, 1944.     THE STORY OF A LOVE THAT QUARRELED WITH FATE AND WON… screamed rhe poster on behalf of Asther, Virgina Bruce and Victor McLaglen.
  3. Claude Rains, Mr Skeffington, 1943.    David O Selznick wanted the book in 1940 for James Stephenson and Bette Davis but head bro Jack Warner won it for  Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Irene Dunne, Merle Oberon,  Norma Shearer or Gloria Swanson at Mrs S., wed to John Loder, Paul Lukas or Richard Waring – after  James Stephenson died before the filming began.  (Waring instead became Mrs S’ brother, Trippy Trellis). Davis rejected her Mrs role first time around. She “couldn’t play 50 at 32“– plus lines like “You’ve never loved anyone but yourself” were way too close to home. She then insisted on Claude Rains: her favourite “actor and colleague.” as Mr.  Plus Vincent Sherman as her director, and, inevitably, had an affair with him. Which usually guaranteed better close-ups… The 30-day shooting schedule took 110 days. Because, said the scenarist twins Julius J and Philip G Epstein, “Bette Davis is a slow director.”

 Birth year: 1898Death year: 1988Other name: Casting Calls:  3