Susan Hayward


  1. Rosemary Lane, Gold Diggers In Paris, 1938.     If it was  not one Lane  in the way, it was t’other…
  2. Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind, 1939.
  3. Joan Fontaine, Rebecca, 1940.
  4. Veronica Lake, I Wanted Wings, 1939.    Paramount had siren Sally written for Hayworth, but Columbia would not play ball. The role was inappropriate! Hayward, Patricia Morison and Lana Turner were chased until Constance Keane became Sally under her new name… Veronica Lake. The New York Times said she had “little more than a talent for wearing low-cut gowns.” She sure got better.
  5. Priscilla  Lane, Three  Cheers For The  Irish, 1940.     Star siblings of sentimental 30s series, the three Lanes  (ex-Mullican) from  Indiana (Lola  was  the  oldest) were  finished as Hayward started scoring in the late 40s.
  6. Lana Turner, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1940.      Why not two double acts, said Dr/Mr Spencer Tracy, generously suggesting the same actress play both his Fine Lady and Young Hooker (er, Barmaid!). Bergman won The Lady and immediately swopped with Lana Turner in the role Hayward had tested for.  Bergman then complained she was miscast!  Yes, by herself. (Without any such moaning, Miriam Hopkins did much the same swop in the 1930 version with Fredric  March).
  7. Eva Gabor, Forced Landing, 1940.      Hayward was tested for Johanna Van Deuren but Zsa Zsa’s younger sister won her Hollywood debut in Richard Arlen’s run of the mill programmer
  8. Paulette Goddard, Reap The Wild Wind, 1941.     All hands on deck – and fathoms below – for a boisterous CB DeMille adventure classic. With a battle royale to be John Wayne’s lady, Loxi Claiborne.  Between Claudette Colbert, Katharine Hepburn and two survivors of the Scarlett O’Hara wars, Hayward and Tallulah Bankhead. 
  9. Martha O’Driscoll, Reap The Wild Wind, 1941.     After testing for the Loxi, Hayward became Robert Preston’s lady, Ivy Devereaux. Not for long…
  10. Martha O’Driscoll,  Reap The Wild Wind, 1941.     Turned down by CB DeMille for Loxi, and then for Ivy, as well, he finally gave Hayward the role of  Loxi’s star-crossed cousin, Drusilla Alston. 

  11. Ingrid Bergman, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1942.     Barbara Britton, Frances Farmer, Betty Field, Paulette Goddard, Susan Hayward and Barbara Stanwyckwere seen for Gary Cooper’s gal. Plus the French Annabella, Mexico’s Esther Fernández,  true Brit  Vivien Leigh and Germany’s Luise Rainer and  Vera Zorina. However, Ernest Hemingway insisted on Bergman (and Cooper) because he’d had them in mind when writing the book. In case Ingrid changed her mind, producer-director Sam Wood had  the Austro-Hungarian Lenora Aubert waiting in the wings.
  12. Jean Heather, Double Indemnity, 1943.      Director and co-writerBilly Wilder had Hayward and Mona Freeman on the drawing board for Lola, Barbara Stanwyck’s step-daughter. This was the Nebraskan Heather’s first of nine movies… like Gene Autry’s Last Round Up and Going My Way with Father Bing Crosby.
  13. Jean Heather, Going My Way, 1943.   Talking of which….  Twentysomethings Hayward and Betty (Jane) Rhodes were seen for Carol in Bing Crosby’s first outing as the  “youthful” parish priest, Father Chuck O’Malley. (The sequel was The Bells of St Mary’s, 1944).
  14. Marie McDonald, Standing Room Only, 1943.   Hayward fled the Fred MacMurray-Paulette Goddard hi-jinks because her role was too small. That  could never be said of McDonald, Miss New Yortk 1939, known as Marie “The Body” McDonald.
  15. Merle Oberon, Dark Waters, 1944.   Paramount’s production chief Buddy DeSylva refused to loan her to UA for being  “rude, snippy and uncooperative with stars and directors.  Maybe this’ll teach ya!” She admitted to walking off a  set – once – early in her career, yet refuted any temperamental label. “I’ve  fought for what I thought was right…  I call that being honest and fair.”
  16. Helen Walker, Murder, He Says, 1945.       She lost nothing. It was Fred MacMurray’s comedy, from the first to the 91st minute.
  17. Anne Baxter, The Razor’s Edge, 1946.     Baxter’s biography revealed  that her support Oscar-winning role of Sophie was previously offered to Hayward, Judy Garland,  Betty Grable, Anabel Shaw. And  Bonita Granville was at the point of signing  when  Baxter asked to read for the role. She  won over Fox  – and Oscar.  
  18. Linda Darnell, Forever Amber, 1947.     Head Fox  Darryl F  Zanuck hated what director John Stahl was doing with the film –  as much as final helmer Otto Preminger hated the book. And the first Amber, Peggy Cummins.  Fox stalwart Hayward was suggested, Otto said Lana Turner,  Zanuck compromised.  With Linda.
  19. Olivia De Havilland, The Snake Pit, 1948.       She wanted it as much as Gone With The Wind – it was The Great Scarlett Hunt that brought her to Hollywood in the first place, circa 1937.  But head Fox Darryl Zanuck could not agree a loan fee with her boss, Walter Wanger.  Until a year later.
  20. Hedy Lamarr, Samson and Delilah, 1948.
    Cinemperor Cecil B DeMille’s 1935 plan been Henry Wilcoxon with Joan Crawford, Larraine Day, Dolores Del Rio, Paulette Goddard, Jane Greer or Miriam Hopkins….  Next in line, producer David O Selznick envisaged Kirk Douglas and Marlene Dietrich… By ’48, CB got serious.  He sought a mix of Vivien Leigh, Jean Simmons and “a generous touch of Lana Turner”  from among … Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Rhonda Fleming (the Queen of Babylon, 1954), Ava Gardner, Greer Garson (Mrs Miniver!!), Susan Hayward  (1951’s Bathsheba), Rita Hayworth (the future Salome), , Jennifer Jones (St Bernadette in 1943), Patricia Neal, Maureen O’Hara, Nancy Olson (too demure), Jean Peters, Ruth Roman, Gail Russell, Ann Sheridan, Gene Tierney… even such surprises as comical Lucille Ball (!) and song ‘n’ dancer  Betty Hutton.  Plus the Dominican Maria Montez (perfect!), Italian Alida Valli and two Swedes: Viveca Lindfors and Marta Toren.  But CB had already fancied Lamarr for his unmade epic about the Jewish queen Esther (played by Joan Collins in 1960).  Here’s a Samson review signed Groucho Marx: “No picture can hold my interest where the leading man’s bust is larger than the leading lady’s!”

  21. Paulette  Goddard, Anna  Lucasta, 1949.    Variety said, as only Variety could, it was “no bowl of wheaties for the kiddies.” Future movie scenarist and producer Philip Yordan wrote his play about a Polish family in 1936 – and could never get it produced until it staged by the American Negro Theater in the basement of the 135th St. Library in Harlem with an a Black cast.. Five years on, the family becam4 Polish again  with  Linda Darnell, Susan Hayward and Rita Hayworth battling for the teenage  Anna – won by Godard at 39… She  had played her in the first white family version in Paris.   Eartha Kitt headed the Black movie in 1958 opposite Sammy Davis Jr.’s first  Dramatic role. Both stars had helped finance  the production. 
  22. Bette Davis, All About Eve, 1949.
  23. Ann Sheridan, Stella, 1949.      Titular switcheroo…   Chicago journalist Claude Binyon is a Hollywood writer (56 movies) and eight times director I’ve never heard of. He sure knew what worked. For example, he suddenly changed all three leading ladies in this Fox comedy feast. For another, during his Variety days, he coined the classic headline  about country folk disliking movies about country folk: STICKS NIX HICK PIX.
  24. Jeanne Crain, Take Care of My Little Girl, 1950.     Despite being 33 at the time, Hayward was up for the college freshman! At 25, Crain was slightly more acceptable, discovering that sorority life was not like her mother said. Hazing had arrived. Plus Dale Robertson and Jeffrey Hunter.
  25. Olivia De Havilland, My Cousin Rachel, 1952.     In good company. Garbo considered it as a comeback.  For at least seven seconds.
  26. Ida Lupino, On Dangerous Ground, 1950.       Also in the snowy mountains frame for the blind Mary were Lauren Bacall, Olivia de Havilland, Faith Domergue, Wanda Hendrix, Deborah Kerr, Janet Leigh, Margaret Sullavan, Teresa Wright, Jane Wyman – and Broadway newcomer Margaret Phillips. RKO chose well. Because, although un-credited, Lupino also co-directed the noir thriller with Nicholas Ray. In all, she helmed 41 films and TV shows during 1949-1968 when Hollywood women were just supposed to pout, pirouette and pucker up.
  27. Barbara Rush, When Worlds Collide, 1950.      Wandering star Bellus is is on a collision course with earth… Unusually, the first script (by Jack Moffitt)  came complete with a cast list. Producer George Paul rewrote both.  Moffitt’s dream wishes were too pricey: Hayward, Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr
  28. Olivia De Havilland, My Cousin Rachel, 1952.     In good company. Garbo considered it for a comeback.  For at least seven seconds. (A day, actually). 
  29. Mary Welch, Park Row, 1952.     Tough guy auteur Samuel Fuller financed his cut-price Citizen Kane – and lost the whole shebang: $200,000. The Press loved the newspaper story, but Darryl Zanuck was right. To win the the public Sam needed stars,. For example, Gregory Peck as the honest-joe editor and Hayward as his ex-boss, the tabloid queen. Or Peck and Ava Gardner (!).
  30. Linda Darnell, Second Chance, 1953.   “For the First Time – 3D With Important Stars!” Not this one, said Susan, refusing her 3-D costumes.

  31. Doris Day, Love Me Or Leave Me,  1955.    After being Jane Froman in With A Song  In  My Heart,  l952, Susan was offered every femme biopic  in town: Helen Keller, Lillie Langtry, Aimee Semple McPherson,  Eva  Peron. Ruth Etting’s story went to Doris when Hayward went for something with a built-in  Oscar nod: 20s-30s torch-singer Lilian Roth’s tale, I’ll Cry Tomorrow.
  32. Jean Simmons, Hilda Crane, 1956.        Fox production honcho Darryl Zanuck suspended her for (rightly) refusing.
  33. Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1956.    Hayward had already bio-ed a singer – Lillian Roth in I’ll Cry Tomorrow, 1955… For six months, Warner Bros scanned some 32 possible Morgans, including Hayward, Dani Crayne, Jennifer Jones plus singers Doris Day, Judy Garland, Helene Grayco, Peggy Lee, Jaye P Morgan, Patti Page, Keely Smith. And even fashion model Nancy Berg.   Morgan’s friends and fans were aghast when director Michael Curtis chose Blyth, with Cogi Grant dubbing the songs, as neither looked or sounded like Morgan. Curtiz said Blyth was the best actress for the rôle and Grant’s voice was better than Morgan’s“kind of high-pitched, low-voiced torch singing… it’s outmoded.” So, tell another story! Berg’s life, for example, was way heavier.
  34. Elizabeth Taylor, Giant, 1956.         All too obvious  – and dullard – thought from George Stevens.  (He had 29 others!).
  35. Lana Turner, Peyton Place, 1956.      All the obvious, well, MILFS, of their  day were in the  frame for Constance McKenzie – in the mother and father of all movie and TV soaps.  Namely: Hayward, Turner, Joan Crawford, Olivia de Havilland  and Jane Wyman.
  36. Joanne Woodward, The Three Faces of Eve, 1957.        Her biggest mistake.  The  “woman who went through life with her fists up” said no. So did many others, allowing Nunally Johnson to get  his way – and Joanne to get the Oscar.
  37. Yvonne De Carlo, Band of Angels, 1957.       She refused Gable! “I never thought of myself as a movie star. I’m just a working girl…. who worked her way to the top – and never fell off.”
  38. Eleanor Parker, The Seventh Sin, 1957.       Still called The Painted Veil when Susan  passed.
  39. Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1957.       Another spurned biopic because Susan and Walter Wanger had something far better on the back burner: I Want To Live.  And this time Oscar not only nodded, but fell into her grasp.

  40. Ava Gardner, The Sun Also Rises, 1957. 
    There are two main characters in Ernest Hemingway’s first novel. He wrote it in 1925.  They took forever to reach the screen. They are part of the post-WWI “lost generation.”  Jake Barnes is impotent. Lady Ashley  is  a nymphomaniac. Words, said Hollywood censors, “not proper for screen presentation.”  Ann Harding first won the rights in 1934 to co-star Leslie Howard. She sold out in 1944 to Constance Bennett, who quit before finding her Jake.  By 1949, the couple were Montgomery Clift- Margaret Sheridan. Dewey Martin was a ’52 Jake. There followed Gregory Peck-Jennifer Jones, Robert Stack-Dana Wynter – ultimately Tyrone Power-Jennifer Jones – she split for another Papa Hemingway heroine, Catherine Barkley, A Farewell to Arms. Ava Gardner took over only to be replaced by  Susan Hayward (rivals in Papa’s Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1952) Hemingway insisted Ava was Brett  and no one  else.  And the offensive words? Producer Darry F Zanuck promised they would be un-uttered. He (half) lied.  Impotent was spoken, as a doctor explained his war wounds to Jake.  And Brett, well, she was no longer a nympho, just a lush.  Papa’s review? “It’s pretty disappointing and that’s being gracious.”

  41. Joan Collins, The Wayward Bus, 1957. When Marilyn Monroe , so  cruelly scorned by her studio, astounded us in Bus Stop, Fox dusted down John Steinbeck’s busload of Chaucerian passengers to do the same for Jayne Mansfield. (Hah!).   The main couple of the bus driver and his alcoholic wife, Alice (running a pitstop diner) went from the unlikely Franco-British Charles Boyer-Gertrude Lawrence to Marlon Brando-Jennifer Jones to Robert Mitchum-Susan Hayward to Richard Widmark-Gene Tierney to, finally, Rick Jason-Joan Collins. Others announced for Alice, as producers kept changing, were Barbara Bel Geddes,  Geraldine Page and  Shelley Winters  The early notion of Susan v Jayne Mansfield would have  been a rare treat. “If they couldn’t get Susan Hayward or Gene Tierney,” recalled Collins, “my agent would call and tell me to get my ass over to wardrobe right  away.  Once there, old Lana Turner or  Maureen O’Hara costumes were refurbished to fit me and off  I’d go.”

  42. Kim Novak, Bell, Book and Candle, 1958.   Cary  Grant wanted it for him and his third wife, Betsy Drake. But MCA had already grabbed the play for Stewart –Lew Wasserman’s favourite client. (Neither news delighted Cary, who quit Wasserman  by 1960 for suggesting a Grant TV series).  Also in the witch mix were Susan Hayward (with Rex Harrison), Jennifer Jones and – Cary’s favourite –  Grace Kelly. 

  43. Dorothy Malone, Too Much, Too Soon, 1958.       Susan would have made a better  Diana Barrymore  –  on the phone.  Instead, she had found her (finally) Oscar-bound bio,  as executed B-girl Barbara Grahame in I Want To Live.

  44. Mitzi Gaynor, South Pacific, 1958.       One reason she did her own singing in I’ll Cry Tomorrow – and some MGM discs – was to be upfront for Nellie Forbush. Except Hollywood, already dropping Broadway’s older Mary Martin, went younger.
  45. Deborah Kerr, Beloved  Infidel, 1959.      Not  even with her Bathsheba’s David, Gregory Peck, as F Scott Fitzgerald… Because this time, the biopic was that of Sheilah Graham – only ever referred to by Susan as “a  certain nasty  female  columnist.”  (She also refused a biopic about the other infamous  Hollywood  gossip bitch,  Louella Parsons).
  46. Jean Simmons, Elmer Gantry, 1959.        In early days, director Richard Brooks considered Susan and Liz Taylor as Sister Sharon Falconer opposite Burt Lancaster’s firey preacher man.
  47. Shirley MacLaine, Can-Can, 1960.        “I’m not worried about the singing. My problem is the dancing. I’m such a klutz.”
  48. Julie Harris, The Haunting, 1962.       Change of Eleanor Lance… Some love it, others are less easily pleased. This is a surprisingly tepid, vapid offering from director Robert Wise – particularly when he made it as a tribute to his late mentor, the 40s’ horror producer Val Lewton.
  49. Maureen O’Hara, McLintock! 1962.   A sure fire winner and, therefore, a way for John Wayne pay of to pay back UA’s Alamo loans – get his Batjac library back and still make a flat $25,000 and up to 10% of the profits! So, the leading lady was no contest. Hayward and Deborah Kerr were as fine, but O’Hara was feisty and always Duke’s favourite. This was the fourth of their five movies.
  50. Bette Davis, What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? 1962. Sisters, sisters, such horrendous sisters…  Bette Davis is Baby Jane Hudson, ex-child star, still jealous of her sister Joan Crawford’s better, well longer, career and   deciding to do something diabolical about it.  In case the two bitter enemies couldn’t face working together (Davis even  tried to grab the rights and produce the film sans Crawford!), the hag-horrors might have been Ingrjd Bergman and Tallulah Bankhead or Ginger Rogers and Marlene Dietrich, to name just four earlier possibilities. (There are more). Bette and producer William Frye tried to persuade Alfred Hitchcock to tackle what became known as hagsploitation. He was too busy (editing Psycho, prepping The Birds), besides he’d long since worked simply for himself. Other nearly Baby Janes were Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Jennifer Jones,  Plus Agnes Moorheadwho  joined the sorta-sequel,  Hush… Hush,Sweet Charlotte, 1964.

  51. Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1963.
  52. Ava Gardner, Night of the Iguana, 1964.     The Burtons’ scandal changed all that casting!
  53. Maureen O’Sullivan, Never Too Late, 1965.      Spencer Tracy was the only  thought for Harry. Opposite one of a dozen choices for his wife – pregnant at 50, ho, ho,  ho! From Rosalind Russell to Katherine Hepburn (“but I’m too old for  Edith?”). Plus Hayward, June Allyson, Lucille Ball, Anne Baxter, Joan Fontaine, Deborah Kerr, Eleanor Parker, Ginger Rogers, Ann Sheridan. Ultimately, Warner Bros went with the Broadway hit’s duo: Paul Ford and O’Sullivan. 
  54. Anne Bancroft, The Graduate, 1967.       
  55. Maureen O’Hara, Big Jake, 1970. Mike Wayne’s best deal of his life. CBS’s Cinema Center Films stumped up the $4.3m budget, but Batjac owned the movie. And the Batjac family made it: Patrick Wayne, young Ethan Wayne, O’Hara (for the fifth time – sorry about that Susan!) Richard Boone and old George Sherman from their Republic B-days. But Sherman hadn’t made a movie for four eyars and had lost it. Duke took over directing, minus a credit. Result: at age 64, Duke was #1 at the box-office ahead of Clint, Newman, McQueen and George C Scott. Howda like dem apples!
  56. Ida Lupino, Junior Bonner, 1972.         Lost for the reason Film City old-timers crave. At 54, she looked too young… to be Steve McQueen’s mother. Ida was older. By all of five months.
  57. Lucille Ball, Mame, 1974.        Once again she tried to win a musical by proving her singing – and better, by playing Mame in Las Vegas. This time the studio went older!








 Birth year: 1918Death year: 1975Other name: Casting Calls:  57