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Cass] had it in for me,” Audrey complained. ”6 The unhappiness in her professional life was tempered by the happiness in her personal life revolving around new boyfriend James Hanson, a 28-year-old millionaire socialite whose family ran a trucking business in Yorkshire. Hanson, who had been a notorious playboy and had counted among his previous girlfriends such movie stars as Jean Simmons, Ava Gardner, and Joan Collins, had served gallantly during World War II and was now spending his time fox hunting and yachting.
The city’s newspapers and radio station had come under government control. The Germans, who criminally squeezed every bit of wealth from the aristocratic families in each country in their growing sphere, quickly devastated the Van Heemstras financially. Though the family was allowed to remain in its ancestral home, the invaders confiscated all their gold, and their silver money was replaced by zinc. Their bank accounts and securities were liquidated and their personal jewelry was looted. The van Heemstras went from rich to poor in short order.
At first, the producers felt she was too tall in comparison to the leading men in the film, which nearly cost her the role. In late February 1951, however, she was deemed far too talented for such a triviality to prevent her from playing Nora. The 21-year-old had earned the most important role of her young career—that of a beautiful ballet student who flees from London along with her sister after a central European dictator murders their father. Nora is soon drawn into an assassination plot against the killer.