Rita Quigley

  1. Jennifer Jones, The Song of Bernadette, 1943.      Allegedly, by  October 1942, Fox was receiving about 1,000 letters a week with casting suggestions for the French girl who had a vision of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858. And the “preponderance of letters from Catholic prelates favor Rita Quigley.” (Even if  arranged by her agent, that must have been a surprise for the B-movie player).  On December 9, 1942, Jones won “the plum role of the year” – which “introduced” her although she she had made two Republic movies under her real name, Phylis Isley. Now  she was being shoved into stardom, come hell or high water,  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 role, 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.

 Birth year: 1923Death year: 2008Other name: Casting Calls:  1