Blanche Yurka

  • Jessie Ralph, The Good Earth, 1936.    Among those in the mix for Cuckoo in producer Irving Thalberg’s version of Pearl S Buck’s best-seller were Yurka, Marjorie Gateson and Rafaello Ottiano. This was the only film with a credit for MGM’s in-house genius, Irving Thalberg – after his shock death at 36.  His boss, LB Mayer, had told him: “The public won’t buy pictures about American farmers, and you want to give them Chinese farmers?  Thalberg, as usual, was right – three Oscars from six nominations.
  • Katina Paxinou, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1943. The stage tragedienne made her screen debut at age 50  – and could not compete with such heavyweights as Ethel Barrymore, Pola Negri and Gloria Swanson up for  the same role. . Other than her talkie debut in A Tale of Two Cities, 1935,, the Czech-born protégé of the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway producer David Belasco, was disappointed with her movie career




 Birth year: 1887Death year: 1974Other name: Casting Calls:  2