She was cast, her hair was “cropped” for the part, but then she was replaced. It all but finished her film career.

Who was she and who replaced her? What was the film? (And, of course, you recognize its leading man.)

Hints:

— Our mystery actress was born in Germany in 1917, and commenced a career in ballet at the age of 4 (no kidding.) She later ditched her real name (Eva Brigitta Hartwig) in favor of a Russian sounding monicker largely because the ballet world back then was dominated by Russian-born talent.

— By the late Thirties she had been discovered by Samuel Goldwyn, had made her movie debut, had married choreographer-director George Balanchine and was soon destined to costar at Twentieth Century Fox.

— By the late Forties, she had exited Hollywood. In 1946, she began a long marriage to Goddard Lieberson, a highly influential figure in the classical music world as president of Columbia Records. She later directed productions at the Sante Fe (New Mexico) Opera Company.  She died in Sante Fe in 2003 at the age of 86.

— According to Hollywood legend, our mystery actress literally slept her way to the role in our mystery picture, conducting an affair with a studio executive. After three weeks of filming in the part she was canned, and replaced by a now legendary actress who had just completed another role for another studio in a picture that is now a Hollywood super-classic.

Who is our mystery actress? And what movie are we talking about?  (Answers tomorrow.)

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