Geraldine Page


  1. Anne Bancroft, The Graduate, 1967.      

  2. Mae West, Myra Breckinridge, 1969.  Both Page and Bette Davis rapidly rejected the role of agent Leticia Van Allen. Looking like a Loony Tune of herself at a possible 76, Mae  (who  had not filmed for 26 years and insisted she never played anyone over 26!!!) filled in – after insisting on musical numbers, and Leticia being  changed to Letitia. “For obvious reasons.” Film flopped enormously. On every level. When hearing that its UK director Michael Sarne was reduced to workling as a pizzeria water, the book’s author, Gore Vidal, said it proved “that God exists and there is such a thing as Divine Symmetry.”

  3. Joan Collins, The Wayward Bus, 1957.  When Marilyn Monroe, so  cruelly scorned by her studio, astounded us in Bus Stop, Fox dusted down John Steinbeck’s busload of Chaucerian passengers to do the same for Jayne Mansfield. (Hah!).  The main couple of the bus driver and his alcoholic wife, Alice (running a pitstop diner) went from the unlikely Franco-British Charles Boyer-Gertrude Lawrence to Marlon Brando-Jennifer Jones to Robert Mitchum-Susan Hayward to Richard Widmark-Gene Tierney to, finally, Rick Jason-Joan Collins.  Others announced for Alice, as producers kept changing, were Barbara Bel Geddes, Geraldine Page and Shelley Winters.  Incidentally,  Marilyn’s bus driver, Robert Bray, turned up here as a chopper pilot hovering  around  Joan Collins. (He then blew his career by refusing South Pacific).

  4. Shelley Winters, What’s The Matter With Helen? 1970.     Or for that matter… with Shelley?  A producer called Debbie Reynolds was fed up of battling Winters’ tantrums and on-set music – “I play music to affect the emotional memory.  I don’t learn words, I learn thoughts.  This is the only way I can work.  I’ve won two Academy Awards, you know.”  Debbie arranged for Geraldine to take over.  “But we had so much footage, replacing her would put the picture $400,000 over-budget.”  Debbie eventually collapsed with hyperventilation and said that Winters raced after the ambulance screaming: “Don’t you dare die, Debbie. They’ll blame me!”

  5. Vasiliki Maliaros, The Exorcist, 1972.
  6. Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1974.



 Birth year: 1924Death year: 1987Other name: Casting Calls:  6