Margaret Sheridan

  1. Joanne Dru, Red River, 1946.   One of his best films but not Howard Hawks’ best year for romance. The Grey Fox had lost one potential lover in Jana Garth (who wanted the leading lady or nothing) and then another when, having found Sheridanin Vogue (like his wife found Lauren Bacall in Harper’s Bazaar) and groomed her for Tess, she wed a pilot and was three months pregnant by the time shooting began in Arizona. (She reccommended her pal, Dru). And to top it all, Leland Hayward, agent of his star, Montgomery Clift,had an affair with Hawks’ legendary wife, Slim.Hawks remembered Sheridan forThe Thing, 1950, and Man’s Favourite Sport, 1962. “She wasn’t the same girl,” he said. “Ifshe’d only done Red River, she’d have been a big star.
  2. Ava Gardner, The Sun Also Rises, 1957.  There are two main characters in Ernest Hemingway’s first novel. He wrote it in 1925.  They took forever to reach the screen. They are part of the post-WWI “lost generation.”  Jake Barnes is impotent. Lady Ashley  is  a nymphomaniac. Words, said Hollywood censors, “not proper for screen presentation.”  Ann Harding first won the rights in 1934  to co-star Leslie Howard. She sold out in 1944 to Constance Bennett, who  quit before finding her Jake.  By 1949, the couple were Montgomery Clift- Margaret Sheridan. Dewey Martin was a ‘52 Jake. There followed Gregory Peck-Jennifer Jones, Robert Stack-Dana Wynter – ultimately Tyrone Power-Jennifer Jones – she split for another Papa Hemingway heroine, Catherine  Barkley, A Farewell to Arms. Ava Gardner took over only to be   replaced by  Susan Hayward (rivals in Papa’s Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1952) Hemingway insisted Ava was Brett  and no one  else.  And the offensive words? Producer Darry F Zanuck promised they would be un-uttered. He (half) lied.  Impotent was spoken, as a doctor explained his war wounds to Jake.  And Brett, well, she was no longer a nympho, just a lush.  Papa’s review? “It’s pretty disappointing and that’s being gracious.”

 Birth year: 1926Death year: 1982Other name: Casting Calls:  2