Ann Sothern

  1. Isabel Jewell, Lost Horizon, 1936.   She pushed hard to play the prostitute Gloria but was rejected in favour of the jewel of Wyoming…  best known as white trash Emmy Slattery in Gone With The Wind, among her typecast gallery of hard-boiled broads, tough molls, dumb blondes and sassy hookers. 
  2. Irene Dunne, Joy of Living, 1938. Too ill for what was Joy of Loving until the censors got hold of it. “Sometimes I’ll watch an old movie on television and, you know something? I’m amazed at what a lousy actress I was. I guess in the old days we just got by on glamour.”
  3. Joan Blondell, East Side of Heaven, 1938.   The suits wanted Sothern as the hero Bing Crosby’s girl.  But hey, she was off singing elsewhere.   On the road with her (first) husband Roger Pryor’s band.  She had earlier sung with Artie Shaw’s orchestra. – and performed the Oscar-winning The Last Time I Saw Paris in 1940’s Lady Be Good.
  4. Frances Farmer, Flowing Gold, 1940.  John Garfield was given the choice of Olivia De Havilland or Ann Sothern for the oil tycoon’s daughter his roughneck falls for while on the run from a murder rap.  (Boom Townrevisisted). No, snarled  Garfield. Frances…!    They had  co-starred in Golden Boy on-stage when  she first quit Hollywood. They came back – as lovers. But  he had the far better role. She was stuck with nothing to play. As. Per Usual.  Sad,. So very sad.
  5. Lucille Ball, Du Barry Was A Lady,  1942.   The film of Cole Porter’s Court of Louis XV was always aimed at Mae West. And it showed (with, said Time magazine, “vulgarity from the lesser lavatories.”). When Mae went West, Sothern went south –  pregnant.  Then, her friend took over as May Day when…   after a knock on his head,  Red Skelton dreamt  he was Louis XV chasing after  Madame Du Barry.  You hadda be there!
  6. Ann Richards, An American Romance, 1943.     Upon losing Bergman from the finale of his “war, wheat, and steel” trilogfy (after The Big Parade and Our Daily Bread), director King Vidor saw Sothern and Frances Giffford before setling on Richards for the ultra-US story. Earlier titles had been America, American Miracle, The Magic Land, This Is America, An American Story.
  7. Angela Lansbury, The Harvey Girls,  1945.   The birds  are waitresses at the famous 1880s’ Fred Harvey restaurant chain. (MGM accepted any excuse for a Judy Garland musical).   Sothern, Eve Arden, Lucille Ball, Lana Turner  had the good fortune to  lose Em – which had poor Lansbury hissed at by the public for being a rival (on-screen) to everyne’sweetheart. Judy! 
  8. Gloria Grahame, It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946
  9. Celeste Holm, All About Eve, 1949.
  10. Kaye Ballard, The  Mothers-in-Law, TV, 1967-1969.   Working without a net (he and Lucille Ball divorced in 1961), Desi Arnaz produced and co-starred in this short-lived sitcom. He designed it for Eve Arden and Ann Sothern before discovering  what all  other Hollywoodians  knew: their often caustic comedy styles were almost identical.  Southern lost the toss and was replaced by Ballard..


 Birth year: 1909Death year: 2001Other name: Casting Calls:  11