Mona Maris

  1. Fay Wray, Viva Villa, 1933.      Everything seemed to go wrong on location in Mexico and once Lee Tracy allegedly urinated from his  hotel balcony on the Revolution Day parade below, MGM rapidly cleaned house. Apart from Joseph Schildkraut and the titular Wallace  Beery, most of Howard Hawks choices were rushed home, replaced by new director Jack Conway’s choices. Maris, however, was dropped because Beery was not satisfied with… the only Hispanic in the film!  Well, I guess, she made them all sound wrong. Mona made several 1930s’ Hollywood-made Spanish-lingo films.
  2. Rita Hayworth, Blood and Sand, 1940.  When Fox decided to take over Paramount’s idea of  re-making Rodolph (sic)  Valentino’s 1922 silen6 classic with Tyrone Power, the suits ran through ten  possibilities for the matador’s lady, Doña Sol des Muir (refused by Tallulah Bankhead in the 30s). Those interviewed and/or tested were Betty Grable, Hedy Lamarr, Dorothy Lamour, Carole Landis, Mona Maris, Maria Montez, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney – and Lynn Bari, who was awarded with the support role of Encarnacion).  Finally, this became Rita Hayworth’s first Technicolor film… even if her singing had to be dubbed by Rosita Granada.  Another re-tread in 1957 for, almost obviously, Sophia Loren, never happened.
  3. Patricia Morison,  The Song of Bernadette, 1943.      Maris and Fortunio Bonanova played Empress Eugenie  and Emperor Louis Napoleon – before their scenes were reshot with Morison and Jerome Cowan. Although eligible for the 1943 Oscars, the film – about the French pesasant girl who had a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes – was never fully released until 1945. 

 Birth year: 1903Death year: 1991Other name: Casting Calls:  3