Gloria Grahame

  1. Phyllis Thaxter, Tenth Avenue Angel, 1946.      Change of Mom for kid star Margaret O’Brien still pulling at heartstrings but not the public’x purse-strings. An almighty, million-dollar-plus flop.
  2. Judy Holliday,  Born  Yesterday,  1949.     Columbia’s crude chief Harry Cohn spent the first $1m for a play – written for Jean Arthur – as a Rita Hayworth vehicle.  As she swanned around  Europe with the Aly Khan,  Cohn preferred Arthur, Grahame, Alice  Faye, Paulette Goddard,  Celeste Holm, Evelyn Keyes, Marie McDonald, Marilyn Monroe, Jan Sterling, Lana Turner  – anyone other than  “the fat Jewish broad,”  the understudy who had made the play a hit. Katharine Hepburn waged a campaign to change Cohn’s mind, by virtually turning Judy’s support role in Tracy and Hepburn’s Adam’s Ribinto the most elaborate screen test. An act of generosity unsurpassed in  Hollywood history.   Cohn gave in, gracefully. “Well, I’ve worked with fat assess before!” He paid a  meagre $4,500 to the actress who   did the impossible – and wrested Oscar from Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd on March 29, 1951 Judy also won  Kate for a lover – Hepburn’s final lesbian  affair at a  mere 43.
  3. Janis Carter, My Forbidden Past, 1950.   Ann Sheridan was not the only actress dumped from the film when Howard Hughes bought RKO. He preferred Carter to  Grahame – and she preferred being helmed by her separated  husband, Nicholas Ray, in Columbia’s In A Lonely Place. Ten years later, she married Ray’s son, Anthony.
  4. Shelley Winters, A Place in the Sun, 1951.    Rather like Robert Mitchum, Gloria’s career suffered at RKO. Howard Hughes refused to loan her to the George Stevens classic due to a zero role in the zero Macao opposite Mitchum (whose  brother was married to her sister).
  5. Marilyn  Maxwell, East of Sumatra, 1953. Trapped on Elia Kazan’s  long shoot of Man on a Tightrope.
  6.  Donna Reed, From Here To Eternity, 1953.
  7. Lauren Bacall, Woman’s World, 1954.   Which guy wins the top  job depends on their wives…  Fred McMurray’s embittered Lauren Bacall from Philly;  Cornel Wilde’s June Aallyso , a hayseed from Kansas City; or Van  Heflin’s Arlene  Dahl, who,  as Variety reported is  “a pushy glamour gal, not unwilling to throw her sex around to gain her aims.”
  8. Elizabeth Taylor, Giant, 1955.
  9. Mercedes McCambridge, Giant, 1955.
  10. Jane Withers, Giant, 1955.

 Birth year: 1923Death year: 1981Other name: Casting Calls:  10