There are two strong female costars in Vincente Minnelli‘s The Bad and the Beautiful — Lana Turner and Gloria Grahame as Georgia Lorrison and Rosemary Bartlow, respectively. But there’s a third actress who also burned brightly or fiercely — Elaine Stewart as the cynical and bitchy Lila, whom Kirk Douglas‘s Jonathan Shields has a brief fling with in Act Two. Even if you’ve only seen The Bad and the Beautiful once, there’s no forgetting tawdry Lila — a real spitfire.
So does Stewart appear in the credit block on the poster? No, she does not. But another actress — Vanessa Brown — does, right next to Leo G. Carroll. And yet in her role as Barry Sullivan‘s fiancee/wife, Brown has maybe one or two lines of consequence, if that. She does and says almost nothing…she just smiles, sits on a beach blanket, kisses Sullivan, laughs and registers excitement in a morning-after-a-poker-game scene.
Why was Brown favored over Stewart? Because she was brilliant and accomplished outside of acting circles (a critic-journalist, IQ of 165) and, one presumes, because The Bad and the Beautiful producer John Houseman and/or MGM honcho Dore Schary admired her wit and class. Stewart was sexier and sassier, but she was mainly known for having done some Bettie Page-like modelling (she posed for Playboy and See magazine).
And that was the name of that tune.