Louise Brooks

  1. Alice White, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1928.       Although Malcolm St. Clair was a frrquent but far from favorite director, Louise was so keen on joining the first screen version that she posed for publicity pix with the Anita Loos book also facing the camera.
  2. Julie Carter, Redskin, 1928.    She was booked for Paramount’s final silent movie and and apparently paid  (for three weeks). Carter took over as Corn Blossom (!) when Brooks split for Germany, GW Pabst and Pandora’s Box –  before cast and crew took  off for Arizona locations.
  3. Jean Harlow, The Public Enemy (UK: Enemies of the Public), 1930.        In need of a career boost after her Euro-sojourn, Brooks still passed on the James Cagney classic (grapefruit, anyone?). Director William Wellman felt he knew why she refused. “You always hated making  pictures, Louise.” Wrong!  (a) She always hated Hollywood and  (b) she was joining a lover, director George Marshall, in New York..
  4. Elsa Lanchester, The Bride of Frankenstein, 1935.     James Whale, directing, also considered the 1927 Metropolis robot, Brigitte Helm – or Arlsta Duncan,   who had been Elizabeth’s bridesmaid in the original Frankenstein, 1931. Elsa said her make-up, including her literal cage of hair, took three hours. And the  spitting, hissing performance was inspired by the “really very nasty” swans inLondon’s Regent’s Park.
  5. Jean Marsh. Dancing Feet, 1936.      Passed over for a blonde who couldn’t dance.“That about did it for me.From then on, it was straight downhill. And no dough to keep the wolves from the door.” In a 16 year career, Louiseclaimed to have earned a total of $124,600.
  6. Rita Johnson, The Major and the Minor, 1942.   Although stuck   in her uncredited days, Hillary Brooke tested fas Pamela Hill., Then Paramount borrowed Comingore from RKO and, finally, gave the role to  Johnson  ,”We had a lot of fun making the picture.,” recalled the minor  Ginger Rogers.  “It was that kind of story. And even though it was his first film, from day one I saw that Billy [Wilder] knew what to do. He was very sure of himself. He had perfect confidence.”


 Birth year: 1906Death year: 1985Other name: Casting Calls:  6