Rita Moreno


  1.  Elsa Cardenas, Giant, 1955.
  2. Claire Blom, The Buccaneer, 1958.       Change of Bonnie Brown in the terrible re-hash of CB De Mille’s 1937 version. Yul Brynner abandoned the idea of directing himself as the tituar pirate Jean Lafitte in the 1812 US/UK war – and CB asked (er, coerced) his son-in Anthony Quinn to take over. He had played Beluche in the first version and knew that CB wanted a first-time director to could boss around. Sure enough, he hated Quinn’s work, ordered re-shoots and was dead a month after the premiere. The original plan had been a musical. Couldn’t have been any worse.
  3. Nancy Kwan, The World of Suzie Wong, 1960.     So many rows…  When Broadway’s Suzie, France Nuyen, and director Jean Negulesco were dumped,  a “second global search for another Suzie” began in December 1959, covering: Grace Chang, Choo Oh (Miss Korea 1959), Lisa Liu, Nobu McCarthy, Charita Soliz, Luz Valdez. A total pr job! Kwan, from London’s Royal Ballet School, who succeeded Nuyen  on-stage, had long been producer Ray Stark’s choice. Shamefully… Because she was looked  less Eurasian. Why else had he also been had Stark been checking out French star Pascale Petit (from Les tricheurs and Julie la rousse) and West Side Story’s Rita Moreno and  Natalie Wood…?

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3