1. - Norma Shearer, Her Cardboard Lover, 1942. Shearer’s farewell, in a role first offered to Hedy Lamarr - eleven years her junior, the most historic movie nude... and all but inventor of the mobile phone via her electronic expertise that helped create sophisticated WWII weapons systems, such as relatively undetectable torpedoes. No wonder they called her...Lamarrvellous.
2. - Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca, 1942
3. - Gene Tierney, Laura, 1944. "They sent me the script, not the score."
Then, the six-times wed Lamarr added: "I was a good judge of people, but a poor judge of writing." She felt this was a mystery pot-boiler. "Perhaps I couldn't imagine the plus that a good director [not to mention a memorable musical theme] could add to the script." Not even when it was director Otto Preminger - who used to let her sneak into Max Reinhardt's drama school back in Berlin.
4. - Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight, 1944. The ex-Hedwig knew both script and helmer, Arthur Hornblow, but "felt he wouldn't get much from the combination of me and the story. Wrong again!" Bergman was the only star who did not care if Charles Boyer required top-billing... and a box to stand on. She was too tall for him and collected the first of her three Oscars.
5. - Bette Davis, Mr Skeffington, 1944. Who's stealing from the Skeffington Bank? Merle Oberon also passed.
6. - Katharine Hepburn, Dragon Seed, 1944. When the MGM boss chose Lamarr to be a Mexican half-breed in Tortilla Flat, Kate said LB Mayer had lost his mind. Exactly what Hollywood said now, when he made Hepburn into a Chinese peasant girl! She did not care how much she was ridiculed, she had achieved her aim - beating Mayer's first choice. Hedy, you see, was an old flame of Kate's more companion than lover (not to say, patient) Spencer Tracy.
7. - Ingrid Bergman, Saratoga Trunk, 1945. Hedy felt the story was good but "there were points that upset me and I felt if I played it I would be affected emotionally."
8. - Jennifer Jones, Duel in the Sun, 1946. Niven Busch wrote it to help change the dowdy image of his wife, Teresa Wright. RKO wanted “the most beautiful woman in the world.” RKO then contacted David Selznick about turning Jones, aka St Bernadette, into a sinner - opposite John Wayne. Selznick jumped at it, seeing his dowdy Jennifer in this sexual potage. Opposite a similarly miscast Gregory Peck. One day, a re-make will cast it correctly.
9. - Alida Valli, The Paradine Case, 1947. Considered after Garbo and Ingrid Bergman both refused to be a murderess.
10 - Betty Hutton, The Greatest Show On Earth, 1951. After her hit in Samson and Delilah, epic director Cecil B DeMille dreaded another picture with "our clash of temperament." He asked her all the same and to his fury, she refused. "He took too much out of me. I was entitled to cut my own pattern and let others cut theirs." CB ran back to Hutton - his bizarre, original choice as Delilah.
11 - Ava Gardner, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1953. Hedy was ill. And having liked Ava in the film of his The Killers, Hemingway suggested her as the film-stealing "Harry's girl."
12 - Joan Collins, Esther and the King, 1960. Announced as Lamarr's comeback in 1953. But the self-described, hard to handle cross between Greta Garbo and Judy Garland was no longer able to make audiences "Hedy with delight"!
13 - Martha Hyer, Picture Mommy Dead, 1966. By now all her bad publicity - divorces, shop-lifting, poverty - had tainted her out of movies.