Rudy Vallee

  1. Dick  Powell, Stage Struck, 1935.     When the crooner was told to rest his throat by his doctor, Warners planned to replace him with Vallee –  finally free to  return to California as  his  alimony problems had been settled.
  2. Cesar Romero, Springtime in the Rockies, 1941.      Vallee and Fred Astaire were the leads before Romero and John Payne took over. We know this from a December 201941 story outline, found in the 20th Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library.
  3. Ricardo Cortez, World Premiere, 1941.  Change  of Mark Saunders in  what the New York Times called “as flighty as a belfry full of bats.”  Frances Farmer co-starred, back from  the stage, and writing  tea (tragically long lost)  autobiographical  God’s Peculiar Care.  “I’m a temperamental actress who wears a black wig and tries to look exotic. You should see me!”   Or better still, not.
  4. James Stewart, Harvey, 1949.   Playwright Mary Chase’s deal have her  approval of the movie’s Elwood P Dowd, an alcoholic who relates to an invisible giant rabbit called Harvey. Joe E Brown and Stewart were the only contenders who had played the role on-stage (Jim never stopped reviving the play in the UK and US).  Other potential Elwoods were:, Jack Benny, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Jack Haley (The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz),  even the silent   era comic Harold Lloyd and crooner Rudy Vallee. In 2000, another Harvey –  the later disgraced New York producer Harvey Weinstein planned a re-tread. With Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler or John Travolta. Spielberg as well. With Tom Hanks.   Or Robert Downey Jr.

 Birth year: 1901Death year: 1986Other name: Casting Calls:  4