Beatrice Pearson

  1. Jennifer Jones, The Song of Bernadette, 1943.      In July 1942, Hollywood Reporter reported that Fox had “opened negotiations for Lillian Gish to become the star of Song of Bernadette, with her wistful personality.”  By August, the unknown Pearson was secretly testing for the same French girl who had a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858. On December 9, 1942, Jones won “the plum role of the year” – which “introduced” her although she she had made two Republic movies under her real name, Phylis Isley. Now she was being shoved into stardom by her lover and future husband, Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick.  (She was his very own Susan Alexander). To swing her the film, DOS offered to share her contract with Fox. Henry King directed tests by telling actresses  to look beyond the camera at a shining light.  Jones, said King, didn’t just look – she saw. Hence her Best Actress Oscar on March 2, 1944, although the film was not fully released until April 1945.
  2. Phyllis Thaxter, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,1944.   The Texan beauty tested with Richard Carlson as the Lawsons, USAF hero Ted and his wife Ellen.  They became Van Johnson and a debuting Thaxter. Pearson’s debut was opposite John Garfield in Force of Evil, 1948.  After two more screen roles (for TV), she quit movies and returned to the stage.

 Birth year: 1920Death year: 1986Other name: Casting Calls:  2