Thelma Ritter

  1. Louise Beavers, My Blue Heaven,1949.    In a memo to producer Sol C Siegel about the third Dan Dailey-Betty Grables musical, Head Fox Darryl F Zanuck suggested Ritter as Selma. Siegel read it, binned it and booked Beavers.
  2. Una Merkel, Golden Girl,1951.   Change of Marty Ann Crabtree, the typicallgh awsful DShowbviz Momma of Lola Crabtree, Mary Ann Crabtree, Civil War-era chanteuse-dancer-actress, known as The Golden Girl, for her talent, wealth and philanthropy.
  3. Jo Van Fleet, I’ll Cry Tomorrow1955.  MGM saw eight actresses and ages! (from Piper Laurie at 23 to Jane Wyman at 38) to play the 1930s’ alcoholic singer Lilian Roth.  Just two to play her mother, Ritter and Van Fleet (James Dean’s mother the previous year in East of Eden).  She was, in fact, nearly three years older than her screen daughter, Susan Hayward.  
  4. Nana Bryant,The Private War of Major Benson, 1955.  Thelma was in the mix forMother Redempta in the comedy totally ruined by Charlton Heston taking over the Major B  from Cary Grant.   Judah Ben-Hur joins the US Army.
  5. Joan Blondell, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (UK: Oh! For A Man), 1957.   Broadway rehearsals got in the way – and eventually the show,   New Girl in Town, won her a Tony award, after losing all her six Oscar nominations. She promptly announced her retirement from the screen. And made another dozen movies

 Birth year: 1905Death year: 1969Other name: Casting Calls:  5