At long last, Loretta's final movie with Fox was announced: The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.
The shooting schedule would bring her beyond her two year commitment, but Loretta didn't baulk. "Daryll had to have his last drop of blood," Loretta said. "I was so happy to be getting away from him that I didn't care."
And this movie would be more fun because for the first time, all four of the Young sisters had been cast in it, along with Don Ameche, Henry Fonda and Charles Coburn.
Sister Georgiana, in particular, needed something nice to happen to her. Loretta's beautiful half-sister had appeared in small parts in a few earlier movies, but her self-image was suffering. She was fourteen and almost six feet tall, and being 'different' is a teenagers worst nightmare.
The film was the last major role for Polly Ann and Sally. They had both married, and from then on they would work only if the part was small - and compatible with their busy family lives.
Alexander Graham Bell would be Georgiana's last film as well. However, when the picture was shown in Mexico, a young man would fall in love with her face up on the screen, and life would never be the same for her again. But, more on that later.
Ironically, before production on "Bell" had ended, Daryll Zanuck asked Loretta renew her contract - offering her a five-year agreement worth two million dollars — an enormous amount in those days. The Hollywood community was shocked when she turned it down.
Myron Selznick, now Loretta's agent, was also surprised, but he knew the real reason; "I just wanted to freelance at this stage," Loretta said. "...become a free agent, and pick and choose my own material."
Next: Tom Lewis
Excerpts © copyright 2000 Joan Wester Anderson. All rights reserved