Dorothy Comingore

Though the set of Citizen Kane (1941) was imbued with a fraternal atmosphere, Dorothy Comingore kept her distance. Director Orson Weller treated Comingore (who played an aspiring singer who married and was deserted by Kane before ending up a liquor-sodden nightclub entertainer) with great contempt. Though Ruth Warrick (who played the first Mrs. Kane) objected, Welles persisted. "You just don't understand," he said. "I treat her that way because she has got to hate my guts when we get to the later scenes. When she yells and screams and finally walks out on me, I want her to feel every bit of it in her bones." Warrick remarked that an actress need not experience first-hand abuse to show pain. "That's just the point," Welles replied. "She is not an actress. She is Susan Alexander, and she'll probably end up just like the woman she's playing. I'm not mistreating her. I treat her exactly as she expects to be treated. She wouldn't respect anything else."

[Tragically, Welles was proven right. Comingore's career quickly derailed -- as did her marriage. She started drinking heavily and was later arrested for solicitation on Hollywood Boulevard. Toward the end of her life, she even resembled Susan Alexander in the final scenes of Citizen Kane.]

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