Sandra Church

  1. Shirley Jones, Pepe, 1960.   Judy Garland and Natalie Wood were in and then out as Suzie.  Columbia and Posa Films, the Mexican company of the titular Cantinflas, then looked at Church and Barrie Chase.
  2. Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music, 1964. Two years before the musical reached Broadway in 1959, Paramount secured rights to Germany’s 1956 Die Trapp-Familie  and  quickly cancelled the re-make when Audrey declined to  play the choir’s mother, Maria Von Trapp.  Fox’s 1957 South Pacific star Mitzi Gaynor then made “a whopping offer” for the musical only to be  beaten by Fox which played safe by wanting either Anne Bancroft, Leslie Caron, Doris Day or Grace Kelly wed to Bing Crosby (of all Austrians!) as the Von Trapps. Later as directors changed from Stanley Donen,  George Roy Hill, Gene Kelly and a deaf William Wyler to Robert Wise,  TV actress Sandra Church and Fox’s 1954 Oklahoma! star Shirley Jones were potential Marias. Critic Pauline Kael famously tried to bury “the sugar-coated lie that people seem to want to eat” but it  saved Fox from the near bankruptcy  of the Cleopatra debacle.

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