Holliday's Journey to an Oscar with Adam's Rib

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Judy Holliday made a splash on Broadway in the acclaimed play Born Yesterday, written by Garson Kanin (who also co-wrote Adam's Rib with Ruth Gordon). However, as Columbia Pictures prepared to adapt it for the screen, they were considering Rita Hayworth for the lead, since Holliday was an unknown.

So director George Cukor and Katharine Hepburn came up with an idea to help the actress get her role by using their own film Adam’s Rib.

During the questioning scene, the camera focused on Holliday in one long take, showing off her dramatic chops on screen – a sort of screen test. The focus was all on Judy, not Hepburn, which the veteran actress approved of.

Hepburn said, “Everybody knew what I looked like. This way he could ‘present’ Judy, the way [Cukor] had presented me in A Bill of Divorcement.” The scene convinced the studio, and Holliday went on to win an Oscar for her performance in the film adaption of Born Yesterday.

Holliday and Cukor would work together again in Born Yesterday, The Marrying Kind, and It Should Happen to You.