Marie McDonald

  1. Anne Gwynne, Melody Lane, 1944.        Her fame as a model, showgirl and big band chanteuese (and inspiration for Alex Raymond’s creations of Dale Arden and Princess Aurain the Flash Gordon comic strip) never really transferred to the screen. Or not in  40s’ quickies  like Getting Gertie’s Garter
  2. Faith Domergue, Young Widow, 1945.      McDonald (the original Big Mac!), Joan Fontaine and Ida Lupino came and went, producer Hunt Stromberg was saved by his pal Howard Hughes loaning him two of his latest finds, Domergue and the beauty that future co-star Bob Hope would call “the two and only Jane Russell.” Known as “The Body,” McDonald claimed the film’s producer, Hunt Stromberg, cheated her financially rather than promoting her career. She did enough of that, herself : a fake kidnapping in 1956, seven marriages, countless affairs: Bruce Cabot, Vic Damone, Eddie Fisher, Cuban millionaire Jose Novak, gangster Busgy Siegel. Michael Wilding…
  3. Marilyn Monroe, All About Eve, 1950.
  4. Judy Holliday, Born Yesterday, 1950.     Losing the dizzy Billie Dawn was a particular disappointment for “The Body” … But then she didn’t have Katharine Hepburn in her corner. Soon  as she heard  that the  Columbia czar Harry Cohn refused to let the Broadway show’s star even  test for the film version, Hepburn threw her and Spencer Tracy’s film, Adam’s Rib, to Judy as one gigantic test – forcing  King Cohn to change his mind about Jean Arthur, Lucille Ball, Alice Faye, Paulette Goddard, Gloria Grahame, Rita Hayworth, Evelyn Keyes, Marie McDonald, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Stanwyck, Jan Sterling or Lana Turner. Result: an Oscar for Horrible Harry’s “fat Jewish broad” diid then impossible on on March 29, 1951 –  and wrested Oscar from Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.  Judy also won  Kate for a lover – Hepburn’s final lesbian  affair at a  mere 43. “The Body” proved a bigger draw in gossip columns – and  at the altar. She married seven times, including re-runs (once for 48 hours only!).
  5. Mamie Van Doren, Promises, Promises, 1963.      Of course, she replaced Mamie – she was due to marry the producer Donald F Taylor. Marie had numerous fights on the set with her topless co-star Jayne Mansfield. It was Marie’s last film. She ODd (deliberately?) on Percodan in 1965 because of air in the needle. Taylor, her seventh husband, was charged with murder, but killed himself two days later.

 Birth year: 1923Death year: 1965Other name: Casting Calls:  5