One of our readers, Andy Bueno, wrote a few months back regarding our articles on the actress Jean Peters, best known for Pick Up on South Street and Three Coins in the Fountain, and of course, for being married to Howard Hughes. Here’s what Andy had to say —
I know some facts about Jean Peters.
You mention certain actresses in your site. Well, Jean was considered for the role of Delilah in ‘Samson and Delilah.’ It went to Hedy Lamarr.
Jennifer Jones was considered for the lead in ‘Captain From Castile’, but Jean got it. However, Jean was considered for the lead in ‘Portrait of Jennie,’ which Jones got.
Lauren Bacall was cast in a few of the roles Jean refused (‘Millionaire,’ ‘Gift of Love’, ‘Designing Woman’). So was Gene Tierney (‘Way of the Gaucho’, ‘The Egyptian’).
She (Jean) also got to play a pirate in ‘Anne of the Indies,’ a role scheduled for Susan Hayward. But Susan got to play Bathsheba (opposite Gregory Peck in ‘David and Bathsheba’), a role Jean really wanted.
Also, the one role she played that she didn’t like was the Indian squaw in ‘Apache.’ It’s said she disliked Burt Lancaster.
In his book, ‘I Loved Her in the Movies,’ Bob Wagner says Jean was a good actress but was never great. He’s wrong! Jean was great in ‘Pick Up on South Street’ (director Sam Fuller chose Jean over Monroe, Gardner, Shelley Winters and Betty Grable and praised her performance in the film).
Funny, but Wagner never mentions Terry Moore in his book — though they made films together and dated. Why? Moore claimed she was once married to Howard Hughes, but offers no actual proof. She did marry Jean’s ex-husband, Stuart Cramer. Jean married Cramer in May 1954, and divorced him in December 1956 (so their marriage lasted more than 33 days — but Hughes’ public relations man made sure this wasn’t properly publicized — hence the confusion in these time lapses). Moore married him in 1959.
We couldn’t agree more about Pick Up on South Street. Peters was also damned good in Niagara and A Man Called Peter. As any actor knows, it’s more difficult to play average people.