Mary Martin


  1. Marjorie Reynolds, Holiday Inn, 1941.     Martin had to refuse joining Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby  due to being pregnant with her daughter, Heller Halliday. Paramount immediately terminated her contract!  So she went back to ruling Broadway.
  2. Janet Blair, Something To Shout About, 1942.      It was not. In May, Martin was top choice but Blair took over the musical best remembered as the movie debut of Cyd Charisse  – billed as Lily Norwood. (Her real name was Tula Ellice Finklea).
  3. Ava Gardner, One Touch Of Venus, 1947.    Six years earlier, silent legend Mary Pickford’s plan to film the musical with the Broadway cast, headlined by  Martin collapsed  when Martin was pregnant. This gave Pickford the out  she wanted when thinking of the $2m she might lose and she gleefully sold her rights to Artists Alliance, which couldn’t care less about Martin. 
  4. Ava Gardner, One Touch of Venus, 1947.   Six years earlier, Hollywood’s silent  icon Mary Pickford snapped up the musical’s rights – for Broadway icon Mary Martin with Bert Lahr, Frank Sinatra and Clifton Webb. Then, Martin fell pregnant. This gave Pickford the out  she wanted when thinking of the $2m she might lose. She  gleefully sold her rights to MGM, which couldn’t care less about Martin. P Venus became Ava Gardner… She and Sinatra ignited in 1950 and she became his second wife 1951-1957.
  5. Doris Day, Romance On The High Seas (UK: It’s Magic), 1947.      Warners wanted a singing star to match Judy Garland but after numerous tests, Mary was considered  not photogenic enough. (As if Judy had been). The reason she made nine films only and never any  of  her Broadway hits: Annie Get Your Gun, Sound of Music, South Pacific, etc.
  6. Joan Fontaine, Darling, How Could You! 1951.     Hollywood’s title for JM Barrie’s Alice-Sit-By-The-Fire, set for Martin’s movie comeback in 1948. Having turned down Broadway’s Funny Girl, Kiss Me Kate, Mame, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, Mary was  best known in America as Barrie’s Peter Pan.
  7. Mitzi Gaynor, South Pacific, 1957. Impossible to find anyone to match her, following the death of her Broadway (and intended Hollywood) co-star, Ezio Pinza. “Outside of my own family,” said stage-screen director Joshua Logan, “I love Mary more than anyone. I couldn’t subject her to the endless adjustments she’d have to make. She was supposed to be in love with a much older man.  Mary [45] was older than any suitable man we could find.”Logan chose Mitzi after also considering Doris Day, Judy Garland, Audrey Hepburn, Patti Page, Ginger Rogets and  Elizabeth Taylor.
  8. Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins, 1963.  During the 20 years of trying to persuade UK author PL Travers to let him film her supercalifragilisticexpialidocious book, Uncle  Walt first saw Mary as being  older.  Such as  Broadway’s Martin or  Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury (they both made later Disney films).  Then, Disney saw Julie singing her Camelot  songs on TV’s Ed Sullivan Show. And signed her his finest hour –  eight Oscars!
  9. Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music, 1965.    Mary created Maria on Broadway and, of course, wanted the film. Hollywood, of course, refused. Julie was paid $225,000 for the massive success and Mary, who co-produced, is said to have made $8m. Rejection costs.
  10. Donna Reed, Dallas, TV,  1984-1985.    Obviously offered Miss Ellie when Barbara Bel Geddes health made her quit  – because Mary would have been playing the mother of JR Ewing. He was played by her real  son, Larry Hagman.




 Birth year: 1913Death year: 1990Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  10