Donald’s Gordon’s collection — which we have been sampling this week –contains photos of some European stars who came to Hollywood during World War II.
Can you name the one pictured above? (Note the informal quality of the shot, unusual for a depiction of a glossy foreign film star. That was typical of DG’s stills, often of friends caught on the fly
— She is still considered one of the greatest screen and stage actresses in France.
— Was reputed to own “the most beautiful eyes in cinema.”
— She was actually considered for the Ilsa Lund role played famously by Ingrid Bergman opposite Bogie in 1942’s Cascablanca. But she was turned down by producer Hal Wallis because she demanded a $55,000 salary, which he determined was unreasonably high. Bergman’s services came for less than half Morgan’s pricetag.
— Born in 1920 in a wealthy Paris suburb, the former Simone Renee Roussel arrived in Hollywood in the early Forties, signed on to RKO and was cast in movies costarring Paul Henreid (1942’s Joan of Paris) and in a Frank Sinatra musical (1943’s Higher and Higher).
— She finally did costar with Humphrey Bogart in the 1944’s Passage to Marseille.
— She won the best-actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for playing a blind woman in 1946’s La Symphonie Pastorale.
— A little known fact of her Hollywood period is that she built the house (address 10050 Cielo Drive ) which later became the site of the gruesome 1969 Manson family murders.
— She costarred with Ralph Richardson in director Carol Reed’s 1948 drama, The Fallen Idol.
Just who is this mysterious French actress? (See below for the answer.) To help out we’ve included a formal studio portrait below, which notably lacks the informality of Donald Gordon’s snapshot above.
THE ANSWER: Michele Morgan.