Kim Stanley


  1. Donna Reed, From Here to Eternity, 1952.
  2. Marilyn Monroe, Bus Stop, 1956.    Stanley had created the washed-up saloon chanteuse – but refused the movie.     Even when Marlon Brando was suggested as Cherie’s   cowboy hunk, Beauregard. The stars   had been lovers   for six weeks in New York. Indeed, Kim said she gave Marlon her virginity in 1947. Brando was also “auditioning” her friend, Geraldine Page,   at the time.   In 1984, he still called Kim   “the love of my life.”
  3. Jean Simmons, Until They Sail, 1956.      After buying the rights from director Robert Wise’s company in 1953, Burt Lancaster’s company planned for Burt to direct himself opposite Kim Stanley. However, HHL sold it to MGM at the end of 1955. Metro had Glenn Ford in mind for one of the many USoldiers fraternising with lonely New Zealand women, with husbands away at WWII. In ’56, MGM switched to Newman directed by… Wise!
  4. Vera Miles, Psycho, 1959.  First reserve… After Grace Kelly went royal, mousey Miles was Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite even though she kept missing films he planned for her due, as Hitch might have put it, to her propensity for procreation. For Janet Leigh’s sister, he also considered Stanley (not happy about working with Anthony Perkins), Carolyn Jones, Eleanor Parker… and the inevitable unknown (then and now) Caroline Kurney.  As for the movie, “it was a big joke,” Hitchcock told BBC’s Monitor in 1964. “I was horrified to find some people took it seriously.”
  5. Geraldine Fitzgerald, The Pawnbroker, 1963.    No Hollywood favourite, Kim was seen by Sidney Lumet for the woman wistfully, even clumsily attempting to help the titular Rod Steiger out of his appalling loneliness in his New York film  (Morgan Freeman‘s first).  “I was happy on stage;” Kim said. “It was my home, really – Hollywood was phoney.”
  6. Barbara Nichols, The Loved One, 1964.  “The motion picture with something to offend everyone…”  It would have been more so if Spanish legend Luis Buñuel had managed to make it with Alec Guinness in  the mid-1950s. Instead, the newly Oscared UK director Tony Richardson made a mess of Evelyn Waugh’s 1948 satire of the American funeral home business. Method star Kim Stanley was surprisingly offered Sadie Blodgett, an astronaut’s stripper wife. Her brash replacement had to be dubbed – and was, in fact, finally cut out of the movie based (badly) on Evelyn Waugh’s 1948 satiric novella.  Also left on the famous cutting-room floor…  Jayne Mansfield!
  7. Kate Reid, This Property Is Condemned, 1965.   We’re in real Tennessee Williams country –  the town flirt, her fading Southern belle momma and her brutish lover…  Scenarist Francis Ford Coppola; was an odd choice to widen the one-act/two-hander play and he never got it to fly.  Kate Reid – a London-born Canadian diva,  outdoing even the formidable Kim Stanley (aka the female Brabdo) –  stole the entire enterprise from Natalie Wood, Robert Redford and Charles Bronson.  (Guess you’ve worked out who was  the brutish lover).
  8. Jennifer Jones, The Idol, 1966.     She fell ill three days before shooting began… It was just too soon afterher breakdown, following her 1965 Three Sisters (with George C Scott, Sandy Dennis) being booed off the London stage. (She never appeared on-stage again). The film caught Jones “at the psychological moment” – her first film since the death of her producer husband David Selznick. And it showed.
  9. Ann Sothern, A Death of Innocence, TV, 1970.  Shelley Winters had persuaded CBS to OK Stanley in a support tole. But she was “too physically fragile” to perform. Sothern volunteered to take over because her daughter Tisha Sterling was also in the tele-movie… as Shelley’s  daughter..  In 1986, Tisha played the younger portion of Ann’s character in UK director  Lindsay Anderson’s Whales of August, 1986, co-starring Bette Davis and Lilian Gish.
  10. Kate Reid, A Delicate Balance, 1972. “My God, that’s a depressing play,” said Katharine Hepburn.   I acted in it in order to understand what it was all about.  It’s about self-protection. We all are enormously self-protective.”  Broadway diva Kim Stanley was set as Hepburn’s alcoholic sister.  Kim had been inspired in San Antonio at 16 to try acting after being overwhelmed by Hepburn repeating her Philadelphia Story role in a stage tour. But now she was having a breakdown  Once again, Kate Reid was a magic substitute.   “Even even when she’s not on,” said critic Roger Ebert, ”we sense her hovering off-screen…waiting for everyone to stop talking so she can suggest another little, drinkie-poo.”
  11. Kate Reid, Atlantic City, 1979.   Yet again, Kim was far from well.  Erratic, everyone said. And once more Kate was sent for.   Kim finally worked again as the dominating mother of Jessica Lange’s Frances Farmer in Frances, 1981… and opposite Jessica’s husband, Sam Shepard, in The Right Stuff., 1982. At the Atlantic City wrap party, Burt Lancaster proposed a toast. “I’ve worked with Anna Magnani, Katharine Hepburn, Claudia Cardinale… Now I’m very proud to have worked with… Kate Fields.”  Whoops!
  12. Geraldine Page, The Trip To Bountiful,1985.    Robert Duvall’s favourite playwright, Horton Foote, refused any film withoutLilianGish. He then said, OK, as long as it was Page  or Kim Stanley as Carrie Watts wishing for a finalvisit to her “home” of Bountiful. The role finally won Page her Oscar. With her eighth nomination. Both Geraldine and Kim were among Marlon Brando’s astonishing list of lovers (male and female) in the 1950s.



 Birth year: 1925Death year: 2001Other name: Casting Calls:  12