Jana Garth

  1. Coleen Gray, Red River, 1946.    There was always a new girl in town, but few matched the Howard Hawks ideal. (Think Lauren Bacall). Garth did. As slim as his wife, Slim, sexually free (though never with Hawks). The Silver Fox asked her to be Fen, the girl John Wayne quit. “Oh, no, I want to be the lead or nothing.” Bye-bye Jana. She reverted to her real name, Jan Zweighart, went to Italy and became the mistress of fascist novelist Curzio Malaparte who boasted that she was “the girl who committed suicide over me.”
  2. Alida Valli, The Miracle of the Bells, 1947.     Producer Jesse Lasky nearly took a chance on the unknown Garth, who had just played Joan of Arc on stage. Because the role was of a Polish actress dying upon completion of her Joan film in Hollywood. Naturally, the real screen’s next Maid, Ingrid Bergman was also considered. Barbara Bel Geddes, Greer Garson, Jennifer Jones and ballerina Ricky Soma were also seen for this surprisingly limp version of Russell Janney’s novel.

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