Jean Hersholt

  1. Lewis Stone, Mata Hari, 1930.      Hersholt had to pass on the sinister German spymaster during script delays.  Even then – and Garbo or no Garbo! – the Atlanta Better Film Committee reviwer didn’t like it. “I wish this picture could be destroyed. It is not fit to be shown anywhere.”
  2. J Farrell MacDonald, Exclusive Story, 1935. MacDonald took over the role of Michael Devlin from Jean Hersholt shortly before hooting started – with special prosecutor Franchot Tone and his kidnapped gal Madge Evans.  Ho-hum said the New York Times critic Frank S Nugent. “Not likely to crack the city wide open or drive the racketeers to cover.

  3. Victor McLaglen, Nancy Steele Is Missing, 1936.     Following his Reunion triumph, the post-Lindbergh baby kidnapper was first designed for Hesholt. Due to script changes, the it was later passed to Lionel Barymore – and Wallace Beery, who couldn’t “do a picture with a director whose name I can’t pronounce” (Saying Otto Preminger was that difficult?).  

  4. HB Warner, It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946.


 Birth year: 1886Death year: 1956Other name: Casting Calls:  4