Payday Loans
Virginia McKenna


  1. Eva Marie Saint, North By Northwest, 1958.     Alfred Hitchcock  wanted Grace Kelly.  Of course. But by now he had lost her to the principality of Monaco...  which  as Metro boss Dore Schary pointed out to His Serene Highness  Prince Rainier, was a country smaller than the MGM back lot. Metro wanted Cyd Charisse, Hitch preferred Elizabeth Taylor, but stuck with another signature blonde. The svelte EMS rather than Virginia McKenna, Psycho’s dull Vera Miles or Kim Novak from his Vertigo.

  2. Tippi Hedren, The Birds, 1962.      Alfred Hitchcock had lost his latest blonde leading lady - to Monaco.  Her Serene Highness was keen to make the film, so was hubby Prince Rainier.  The Monaco hierarchy,  not so much.   Hitch was not pleased when the current UK blonde turned him down. He called her latest UK director, Lewis Gilbert, to try and change her mind.  “Look,” she said, “I’ve a good marriage, a pretty home and a young family. Why jeopardise that…  If the film offers here run out, Bill [Travers] and I can always get a job at the local repertory theatre in Guildford. We’ll get by.”  So did Hitch. He “discovered” Hedren and burnt them both with the torch he carried for her.  “It was something I’d never experienced before,” said Tippi. “It wasn’t love. I certainly am not capable of discerning what was going through his mind or why. I certainly gave no indication that I was ever interested in a relationship with him... He was funny. I learned so much from the man about how to make a motion picture. There were times of delight and joy with him.”  But? ”But he was evil, deviant, almost to the point of dangerous because of the effect he could have on people who were totally unsuspecting. He ruined my career... but he didn’t ruin my life.”

  3. Susan Hampshire, Living Free, 1971.   Naturally McKenna and her husband, Bill Travers, were asked to reprise the real wildlife conservationists Joy and George Adamson in the sequel to their huge 1965 Born Free hit. They preferred being themselves (alongside Adamson) in An Elephant Called Slowly for the same director, James Hill. Davenport and Susan Hampshire took over opposite two Born Free survivors, Geoffrey Keen and Peter Lukoe.
  4. Barbara Murray, Doctor Who #120: Black Orchid, TV, 1982.      Despite a wish-list of 18 actresses, this was not a rehash of Sophia Loren’s 1958 Hollywood melo, but an adventure (with cricket!) in 1925 England for Doc5 Peter Davison. The choices for Lady Cranleigh were inevitable - such definitive ladies as McKenna, Jean Anderson, Renee Asherson, Honor Blackman, Claire Bloom, Faith Brook, Kathleen Byron, Rachel  Kempson (mother of Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave), Muriel Pavlow, Maria Redmond, Dinah Sheridan, Elizabeth Spriggs… and 40s’ UK screen queens Phyllis Calvert, Joan Greenwood. But also two comic character stars Beryl Reid and Joan (Carry On) Sims and a Hammer horror ikon, Barbara Shelley!
  5. Madge Sinclair, The Lion King, 1993.      Also in the mix to voice Queen Sarabi in the 32nd Disney toon - Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa! - were Helen Mirren and Vanessa Redgrave. Sarabi’s son and heir to the throne was named Simba - title of a McKenna film way back in 1954.

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