Sabine Bethmann

  1. Jean Simmons, Spartacus, 1960.      “She looked great on film,” said Kirk Douglas of the German girl, “but was not much of an actress.” The first director, Anthony Mann, chose her. The second, Stanley Kubrick, sacked her – in cruel fashion.   He set up an improv for her: react to losing your role. “Stanley figured this would smoke her out,” said Kirk, a mesmerised witness. “If she had any talent at all, she would cry or scream or get mad or something… The poor girl froze.” She got her full $35,000 salary and an air ticket home (where her career lasted until 1990). Kubrick then aimed higher: Ingrid Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Elsa Martinelli (she’d made The Indian Fighter with Douglas in 1955) and Jeanne Moreau before Simmons agreed to a second request.


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