Francis Lederer

  1. Walter Abel,  The Three Musketeers, 1934.    The change of D’Artagnan  meant the first of Abel’s 91 screen roles in the second of eight Musketeers films made between 1920-2011. This one alone  had Lucille Ball among the extras. Enough figures for you…?
  2. Charles Boyer, Break of Hearts, 1934.  Ironically, Lederer complained that his orchestral conductor was playing  “second fiddle”  to Katharine Hepburn.  He then blew it – and his top – by refusing one scene because it showed his bad profile.  Hepburn complained about him – rude,  slow in learning lines, no chemistry and, apparently, only bathing monthly!  Kate was incandescent. RKO chief JP MacDonald turned up an hour later with Boyer. In tow.  Kate was enchanted. Not the public. This was Kate’s second consecutive flop after Little Minister. Boyer succeeded in his third attempt at Hollywood glory. He also landed an affair with a highly smitten Kate – “I simply adore his accent” – that rescued him from the advances of… Lederer.  And Maurice Chevalier.  Boyer and Hepburn co-starred again  in The Madwoman of Chaillot… 34 years later!
  3. James Stewart, Next Time We Love, 1935.      Change of foreign  correspondent hero. And of title. The suits felt the book’s title, Next Time We Live, sounded too much like a reincarnation trip.
  4. John Carradine, Hitler’s Madman, 1942.       They sure  asked the wrong guy to be one of the Nazi architects of the Holocaust – Reinhard Heydrich, who  was killed by Czech partisans… Lederer was Czech.

 Birth year: 1899Death year: 2000Other name: Casting Calls:  4