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Diana Barrymore (1921-1960)

  1. Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind, 1938.
  2. Ella Raines, Corvette K-225, 1942. Or Corvettes in Action when director Howard Hawks’ early casting suggestions included Barrymore or Evelyn Ankers for Joyce Cartwright.  Plus such notables as Nigel Bruce, Leif Erickson, Dick Foran, Jon Hall, Patric Knowles and Robert Stack.
  3. Geraldine Fitzgerald,  Ladies Courageous, 1944.   She lost the star role of the  WWII women pilots and settled, as throughout her career,  for something smaller.
  4. Marion Hutton, In Society, 1944.   Betty Hutton's sister won the Abbott & Costello quickie when Diana refused to “sell the Barrymore name cheaply.”
  5. Gale Sondegaard, The Spider Woman, 1944.  Wouldn’t sell out to Sherlock, either. Although (or because?)  her father John had been the 1922  Sherlock Holmes.  (She was  estranged from John ever since he asked her to hire a call girl for him).  Diana was under contract to producer Walter Wanger at the time - and he immediately suspended her. 
  6. Martha O'Driscoll, Ghost Catchers, 1944.    If Abbott & Costello didn't suit, fat chance for Olsen & Johnson and their Ghostbusters forerunner. And so, Ladies Courageous, proved the swansong of her Universal contract - and of her  Hollywood career. “So much promise,” she said. “So much waste.”
  7. Susanna Foster, This Is The Life, 1944.     “Winnipeg’s Sweetheart,” Deanna Durbin, rejected small musicals like this adaptation of the Angela Is 22 play by... Sinclair Lewis and Fay Wray! So Barrymore turned up her nose at it, as well. And Foster just… shone!




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