GREER GARSON: PART 1

th60American film mogul Louis B. Mayer ‘accidentally’ discovered Greer Garson in London when he went to the wrong stage play in 1938. He was immediately charmed by her and ventured backstage to meet her and her mother after the performance. Soon Greer found herself under contract to Mr. Mayer’s studio in Hollywood. In fact, it was such a quick deal that Greer barely had time to notify producers of the stage play that she had to bow out, because Mr. Mayer now legally was in charge of her services. She and her mum were quickly on a flight to Los Angeles.

1mgmAfter arriving in sunny California, Greer reported to the studio lot in Culver City where she underwent a series of screen tests. Unfortunately, the tests did not help her get cast in any MGM pictures right away. In fact, her career floundered, because Mr. Mayer was busy with his more important female stars: Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Myrna Loy. Most of the studio directors that had seen her screen tests found Greer too old for ingenue roles and quite frankly, a bit too tall. There was also a problem with photographing her face, though Mr. Mayer insisted that the best make-up and lighting could take care of that.

Tomorrow: Greer’s career in Hollywood is nearly over before it starts…

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