Mary Anderson

  1. Vivien Leigh, Gone With The Wind, 1938.
  2. Jennifer Jones, The Song of Bernadette, 1943.    On November 16, 1942,  Hollywood Reporter said Jones had “definitely” won the title  role of the  French girl who had a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858.  But Jones had merely tested… and Anderson, Anne Baxter, Linda Darnell were waiting their turn. (Anderson was given Jeanne Abadie and Darnell became The Vision).  Finally, on December 9, 1942, Jones won “the plum role of the year” – which “introduced” her although she had made two Republic movies under her real name, Phylis Isley. Now she was being being shoved into stardom by her lover and future husband, Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick.  (She was his very own Susan Alexander). To swing her the film, DOS offered to share her contract with Fox.. Henry King directed tests by telling actresses  to look beyond the camera at a shining light.  Jones, said King, didn’t just look – she saw. Hence her Best Actress Oscar on March 2, 1944, although the film was not fully released until April 1945.
  3. Jane Ball, The Keys of the Kingdom, 1944.        Anderson, Trudy Marshall and KT Stevens were contenders with Ball for Nora – once intended by the GWTW producer David O Selznick for his future wife,  Jennifer Jones. But none of  the female roles matched  that of Gregory Peck.  Joe Public prefered the keys to the exit.   Anderson was the actress asking Alfred Hitchcock during Lifeboat, 1943, which was her best side.  Said Hitch: “My dear, you’re sitting on it!”
  4. Dorothy McGuire, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, 1944.   Fox bought Betty Smith’s book in 1943 for Alice Faye’s first straight role. She developed cold feet. Next in line: Anderson, Jeanne Crain and (a pregnant)  Gene Tierney. 
  5. Jane Ball, The Keys of the Kingdom, 1944.      Anderson, Jennifer Jones and Trudy Marshall were also in the convoluted David Selznick-cum-Fox mix for the adult Nora – the childhood sweetheart of novelist AJ Cronin’s herto, Father Francis Chishol – Gregory Peck’s breakthrough.

 Birth year: 1918Death year: 2014Other name: Casting Calls:  5