Zita Johann

  1. Laura La Plante, Show Boat, 1928.   She was born in was Austro-Hungary, now Romania, and she was difficult to please… She rejected  the silent movie (songs and dialogue were an afterthought) to act with Clark Gable on Broadway.   That was not all… When she joined  MGM and refused everything offered her.  “Why,” she asked the legendary “genius” production chief Irving Thalberg,  “do you make these awful pictures?”
  2. Myrna Loy, Thirteen Women, 1932.  She also asked to be released from her RKO contract rather than make this  “tawdry” film. The title lied…. Two of the 13 women were left on the cutting-room floor and more disappeared when everything was shorn to 59 minutes.  It only remains famous because of what happned on September 18, 1932, two days after the release – when its Welsh star, Peg Entwistle, committed suicideby jumping off the H letter of the Hollywoodland sign. Her note said:  “If I had done this thing a long time ago it would have saved a lot of pain.” 
  3. Lupe Velez, Laughing Boy, 1933.    She could hardly moan about this one –  based on Oliver La Farge’s  1929 Pulitzer Prize winner.  The delay was finding someone suitable for the Navaho called Laughing Boy. Zita suggested Humphery Bogart.  Universal demurred. So did Zita. As she’d been paid, she agreed to join Boris Karloff in The Mummy.  She only made eight films, ending with… Raiders of the Living Dead.  Talk about tawdry?

 Birth year: 1904Death year: 1993Other name: Casting Calls:  3