Shirley Ross


  1. Betty Grable, This Way Please, 1936.    A newish arrival at Paramount, Ross stalked out of the B-musical after rowing with Mary Livingstone (Mrs Jack Benny). It was her screen debut but she knew all about upstaging. Ross didn’t like it. So one fresh Par flower was subbed by another… soon to be  an enormous star at Fox.  Ross shared San Franciscowith Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, plus various comedies with Bing Crosby or Bob Hope. Indeed, shed  it was who shared Hope’s first rendering of his future signature tune, Thanks For The Memory, in The Big Broadcast of 1938

  2. Paulette Goddard, The Cat and the Canary, 1938.   Ross and Bob Hope had recently made Some Like It Hot (oh yes!), 1938, and was, therefore, on his latest co-star list. So was Martha Raye (known as The Female Bob Hope),  his partner in Never Say Die, 1938.  Both were shunted aside when the bigger Goddard became available during Chaplin’s  problems with their Great Dictator, 1939

  3. Anne Gwynne, Men of Texas, 1942.     “One of my all time favourites,” Gwynne  told Mike Fitzgerald. “The drawback was the director, Arthur Lubin. I never felt he cared much for me and was perhaps angry I got the role instead of Shirley.”

  4. Jane Frazee, Cowboy Canteen, 1943.    On September 1, 1943, columnist Sheila Graham confirmed  this was Ross’ first film in more than two years.   Within a fortnight, she quit – ill – and it was  two more years before her 1944 film,  A Song For  Miss Julie, proved her finale.  She retired to raise her three children. “Growing up is a stinkin’ job… kids need all the help they can get.”



 Birth year: 1913Death year: 1975Other name: Casting Calls:  4