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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board
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Gone With the Wind - 1939
The fiery redhead tested for the part of Scarlett O'Hara - played by Vivien Leigh

For Whom The Bell Tolls - 1943
Susan was tested for the part or Maria - Ingrid Bergman got the part.

Double Indemnity - 1944
As a Paramount contract player at the time, Susan was considered for the part of Lola Dietrichson - Jean Heather played the part.

Dark Waters - 1944
Susan was considered for the female lead and it was in print that she had the part but Merle Oberon eventually did. (it was said Susan was upset over losing this role.)

Murder, He Says - 1945
Under contract to Paramount they pencilled in Hayward for the part of Claire opposite Fred MacMurray but by the time they got around to filming, she had left the studio - Helen Walker then played Claire.

The Razor's Edge - 1946
Susan was supposed to have played Sophie but she wanted to take some leave after the birth of her twins. Anne Baxter got the part.
(Susan would have been wonderful in this and it would have been her first film with the great Tyrone Power - I love them together.)

Anna Lucasta - 1949
Columbia pictures wanted Susan for the title role but at the last minute replaced her with Paulette Goddard.

Stella - 1950
20th Century Fox put Susan on suspension when she refused to do this role and Ann Sheridan got the part.

Second Chance - 1953
Susan was held up on another movie and was unable to make this hit thriller.
Linda Darnell played the part.

Desiree - 1954
20th Century Fox considered several actresses for this role - Jean Simmons played the part.

The Helen Morgan Story -1957
Susan was considered to play Helen Morgan in this biopic - Ann Blyth got the part.

South Pacific - 1958
Susan Hayward was one of several names bandied about for the part of Nellie Forbush - Mitzi Gaynor won the role (and was wonderful in it!)

Can Can - 1960
Early planning stages considered Susan for the lead role of Simone. Shirley MacLaine played her.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? - 1962
Susan turned down the role of Jane Hudson and Bette Davies got the part.
(This is the first mention I have ever heard of Susan being offered this role -
can hardly believe it is true. (I found all this information on a list on the Internet.)

Cleopatra - 1963
Susan was Walter Wanger's first choice to play this role - Elizabeth Taylor eventually did play it.(I did read that Susan refused to play Cleopatra.)

The Night of the Iguana - 1964
Susan was thought of for the role of sexy Marion Faulk in the film version of the play by Tennessee Williams - Ava Gardner got the part.

The Graduate - 1967
Susan was first choice for the role of Mrs. Braddock - played by Elizabeth Wilson.
(This is news to me as I have clippings saying Susan turned down the part of Mrs. Robinson - it was mentioned she wouldn't film the brief topless scene.)

Some of you fans may be interested in reading this - there were about four films I didn't know had been mentioned for Susan.



It is interesting when someone makes a particular role so utterly and uniquely theirs- it is hard to imagine someone else, even Susan in some cases, playing the part.

The DOUBLE INDEMNITY support role would have been interesting casting as I imagine it would have been the one and only time the two Brooklyn bombshells shared a film on screen.

Susan would have eaten up most of those Noir / crime dramas like DARK WATERS and had she landed SECOND CHANCE it would have again paired her with Bob Mitchum.

I must admit I can't go past Mitzi Gaynor in SOUTH PACIFIC and Shirl MacLaine in CAN CAN. They seemed so perfectly cast.

But the one that gob-smacked me was WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE!!
Bette was around age 56 or so when she played that role. It was set in the current era of early 60's and considering that Baby Jane Hudson was a child star way back when....that would have been about right.

Susan was aged? about 47 at the time. And looking well under that. Yes make up and scraggly hair and good acting could have aged her considerably- but why bother doing all that with an actress when someone like Davis was 'ready-made' for the part at the time, as it were.

Joanie Crawford was virtually bang on Bette's age as well so casting them as sisters who had been contemporaries when they were kids was also ideal.
Susan just seems wildly inappropriate for THAT particular role I thought.


Hi Kerry,

I agree that BABY JANE would have been wildly inappropriate for Susan - can't believe that snippet at all and it is the first time I have read anything about it. Maybe in someone's dreams?!