Jeanette McDonald

  1. Anna Neagle, Bitter Sweet, 1933.     With Hollywood musicals dying on the clef,The Iron Butterfly signed for two UK ventures – then changed her mind.Shewent on to make Hollywood’s Bitter Sweet,1940. The British stage star Noel Coward hated the “nauseating hotchpotch of vulgarity, false values, seedy dialogue, stale sentiment, vile performances, and abominable direction.” And never let Hollywood touch his musicals again.
  2. Anna Neagle, Runaway Queen (UK: The Queen’s Affair), 1934.     The secondLondon film she ran away from.To replace her in both, Herbert Wilcoxcontinued his long association with his future wife.
  3. Madeleine Carroll, The Prisoner of Zenda, 1937.     Back home, she still required a new musical partner. MGM suggested Nelson Eddy and planned a musical version of Anthony Hope’s yarn: songs by Ric hard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Instead, The Singing Sweethearts were launched in Naughty Marietta, 1935, shovelling the saccharine over seven more films until 1942.
  4. Ilona Massey, Northwest Outpost, 1947.     And Republic Pictures wanated just one more… butfailed to re-unite Jeannette and Nelson Eddy – America’s Singing Sweethearts – in his musical Western. She had health problems.
  5. Kathryn Grayson, Show Boat,1951.     MacDonald was MGM boss LB Mayer’s favourite (until a bust-up over being dubbed in foreign language releases) and hehad Metro searching other studios’ properties to buy thebest for the Sweethearts… who never made any of them!
  6. Kathryn Grayson, The Vagabond King, 1956.    The Sweethearts had split while awaiting better projects like this one. The 1930 version, Paramount’s first Technicolour talkie, had been MacDonald’s second film.
  7. Arlene Francis, The Thrill Of It All, 1963.    Gone but not forgotten. Canadian director Norman Jewison tried to re-unite The Sweetheartsin a Doris Day comedy. Their roles? A mid-aged couple expecting their first baby.


 Birth year: 1903Death year: 1965Other name: Casting Calls:  7