Anne Shirley

  1. Charlotte Henry, Alice In Wonderland, 1932.    Mary Pickford had earlier planned  to  be Alice with animation items made in Disney! Now it was Paramount trying to save its sinking ship with as most of  its contracted stars (Cary Grant as Mock Turtle!).   Didn’t work. Their costuming hid who they were! Apart from the nine Alice possibilities (from 7,000 hopefuls).   Marge Champion, 16; Betty Gable, 23;  Anne Shirley, 15; and two real kiddiwinks: Sue Kellog and the stunning six-year-old Marilyn Knowlden.  London   offered Paulette Goddard, 23; Ida Lupino, 15,  and Pearl  Hay, 12.  And the winner was Charlotte Henry, 19, from New York and eventually 31 other movies. Kellog became Henry’s stand-in – her one and only movie credit.
  2. Florence Rice, Father Takes A Wife, 1941.       Something better came along: The Devil and Daniel Webster r for director William Dieterle.
  3. Ruth Warrick, Obliging Young Lady, 1941.     Not what it sounds like (a hooker’s card in a 60s’ Soho phone booth). During the 1940 pre-production phase, the LA Times said Shirley was in talks to be the legal secretary guarding a kid in middle of a messy divorce. Silly comedy but memorable for an Edmond O’Brien – slim and funny!
  4. Bonnie Barnes, Call Out The Marines, 1941.      As the (unknown) directors kept changing – – the father-son team of Jack and Tim Holt churned into Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe. Just as their gals went from Anne Shirley and the French Simone Simon to London’s Barnes and Rhode Island’s Dorothy Lovett. Only thing that worked like a charm was the 100% cooperation of the US Marine Corps.
  5. Joan Fontaine, Suspicion, 1941.  RKO had the Before the Fact book since 1935. Somewhere amid the ever changing titles – Last Lover, Love in Irons, Men  Make Poor Husbands (too comedic), Search for Tomorrow,Suspicious Lady, Tom & Jerry Go Bowling (I jest) (I think) –  it was due as a B-movie programmer starring George Sanders  as the, maybe, killer of his wife,  Anne Shirley.  One  of the first A-movie plans was Laurence Olivier-Frances Dee – before Alfred Hitchcock moved in with Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell.  
  6. Martha Scott, So Well Remembered, 1946.      Change of Olivia in one of the first Anglo-American movies after WWII – co-produced by RKO and J Arthur Rank’s (pre Rank Organisation) Alliance.


 Birth year: 1918Death year: 1993Other name: Casting Calls:  6