Vera Zorina

  1. Vivien Leigh, 21 Days, 1940.      Leigh preferred sticking close to her husband Laurence Oliviert – for the middle of the three films starring the Oliviers.   La Zorina, George Balachine’s dancer-wife (from the Ballet Russe) retired after a total of seven films) and took up directing – opera
  2. Ingrid Bergman, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1942.    Barbara Britton, Frances Farmer, Betty Field, Paulette Goddard, Susan Hayward and Barbara Stanwyck were seen for Gary Cooper’s gal. Plus the French Annabella, Mexico’s Esther Fernández,  true Brit  Vivien Leigh and Germany’s  Luise Rainer and Vera Zorina. However, Ernest Hemingway insisted on Bergman (and Cooper) because he’d had them in mind when writing the book. In case Ingrid changed her mind, producer-director Sam Wood had the Austro-Hungarian Lenora Aubert waiting in the wings.
  3. Karin Booth, The Unfinished Dance, 1946.      You can imagine the discussion… Who do we get for La Dorina? Hey, how about La Zorina? Yeah! But no. Booth was finally cast in Danny Thomas’ screen debut.
  4. Marlene Dietrich, Kismet, 1955.       Zorina, Virginia Bruce and Marilyn Maxwell were up for the harem queen Jamilla in the much-filmed 1911 Edward Knoblock play – sheer Arabian Nights kitsch! Then, director William Dieterle had the bright bright idea of calling Dietrich… for her only MGMovie. The celebrated Goldfingered look for her sultry dance for the evil Grand Vizier Edward Arnold was invariably axed by local  US TV channels.

 Birth year: 1917Death year: 2003Other name: Casting Calls:  4