Lynn Fontanne

  1. Norma Shearer, Strange Interlude, 1931.   Irving Thalberg snapped up Eugene O’Neill’s 1928 Pulitzer Prize-winning play for Fontanne, who starred in New York, and her equally renowned husband, Alfred Lunt. But the MGM production genius had bitten off more than they would chew. Like his problem with another Broadway legend, Katharine Cornell, the Lunts poo–pooed movies. Enter: Mrs Norma Thalberg opposite Clark Gable – sporting his signature tash for the first time.
  2. Diana Wynyard, Reunion in Vienna, 1932.   MGM signed up the legendary Lunts of Broadway – the British Fontanne and her Milwaukee husband Alfred Lunt, the pre-eminent Broadway acting couple of US history – and securerd rights to three of their most successful plays for them to film. All seemed well. On paper. However, and despite Lunt’s Oscar nomination,   the first filmed play, The Guardsman, was such an almighty flop that MGM fed their contract to its lion. And, adding insult to injury, made their Vienna stage hit with the UK’s Wynyard (a West End queen) and the Barrymores of Broadway, John and Lionel. Errol Flynn and Bette Davis shot the third play, Elizabeth the Queen – or The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, when Flynn insisted on his role being part of the title. The Lunts never made another movie.

 Birth year: 1887Death year: 1983Other name: Casting Calls:  2