Nancy Kwan

  1. Pina Pellicer, One-Eyed Jacks, 1961.     The reason Marlon Brando took so long to dir-act his Western and not Stanley Kubrick (who would have been no faster), was that Kubrick didn’t approve of a Brando lover, Nancy Kwan, portraying the hero’s lover, Louisa. Brando being Brando (as Kubrick knew he would be) dropped Kwan – Hong Kong born star of The World of Suzie Wong, 1960 – when he took over the reins. Mexican Pina committed suicide three years later at age 24.
  2. Sandra Dee, If A Man Answers, 1961.      Chantal went from Kwan to Tammy Grimes before churning into Dee. “Do you realise that nobody’s asked me to marry him in a week?” When someone did, it was Dee’s real husband, pop singer Bobby Darin in a Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy. Without Doris Day-Rock Hudson.
  3. Ava Gardner, The Night of the Iguana, 1963.    Nipping in quick, producer Ray Stark paid $500,000  for the new Tennessee Williams play – before it opened as his last  Broadway hit in 1961.  With Bette Davis and Patrick O’Neal   as Maxine and the Reverend Shannon, unfrocked for calling God a senile delinquent.  Whiley they were thought of for the movie (by John Huston), Ingrid Bergman’s ’s name and Nancy Kwan’s, came up. But so did Ava Gardner and Richard Burton. Game over. Future stage couplings were Eleanor Parker-Richard Chamberlain, Eileen Atkins-Alfred Molina, Clare Higgins-Woody Harrelson, and Anna Gunn-Clive Owen. 
  4. Ann-Margret, Kitten With A Whip, 1964.      Originally announced for Judy Dvorak, the titular juvenile delinquent. “All out for kicks… and every inch of her spells excitement!”

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4