From all accounts, Carole Lombard had a fine working relationship with director William Wellman while making "Nothing Sacred." (He's at left in this photo taken at the Selznick International Pictures commissary; art director Lyle Wheeler is on the other side of Carole.) Other women in the industry, then and now, haven't had it quite so easy, an unfortunate tradition we've recently been reminded of through the #MeToo movement.
Not long ago, we noted that Janis Paige, now 95, has disclosed her problem with sexual harassment (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/871751.html). It's come to light that another star of that era faced a challenge, pressured for favors by her superiors in exchange for juicy parts and advancement in the Hollywood hierarchy -- but she wouldn't give in. Given her persona, however, it's hardly a surprise.
We're referring to Maureen O'Hara, the statuesque, feisty Irish lass shown here with John Wayne in the 1952 classic "The Quiet Man." (Another favorite performance of hers came as an Irish-American Chicago mother in the superb 1991 romantic comedy "Only the Lonely," starring John Candy as a Chi-town cop.)
In 1945, O'Hara was interviewed by the London tabloid the Mirror, where she had some intriguing -- and not-so-nice -- things to say about Hollywood:
"A cold potato without sex appeal"? O'Hara was married with a child, but according to her those facts didn't prevent producers and directors from, well...
"Because I don't let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread word around town that I am not a woman -- that I am a cold piece of marble statuary."
Being that it was 1945, when many other things grabbed the attention of the world, O'Hara's comments probably didn't make their way back across "the pond," where U.S. papers would have picked it up...if they picked it up. The Hollywood press corps could be bought by the studios.
Since O'Hara -- shown here in 1940 -- came to America in 1939 and signed with RKO, there's a good chance she and Lombard knew each other, though I've never seen them pictured together.
Sunday in Los Angeles, there will be a #MeToo Survivors March to fight sexual assault and abuse in many industries, not just entertainment. Find out more at http://losangeles.carpediem.cd/events/4937387-me-too-survivors-march-at-hollywood-highland/.