To have it all go as planned was too much to expect. Just the week before rehearsals for The Country Girl were to start, Franchot went into the hospital for a routine checkup. A day later his doctor called me with tragic news. Franchot would be in the hospital for several weeks. A tumor had been discovered in one of his lungs.
My first impulse was to cancel the play, but Jennifer Jones had already come on from California and Lee Strasberg, although as shaken by the terrible news as I was, said he would personally find a replacement. Then Franchot himself called me from the hospital and said in a voice choked with emotion and tinged with his usual irony, "The show must go on, you know."Although Franchot sadly missed out on The Country Girl (wouldn't he have been absolutely fantastic in that role?), he would soldier through the treatments and pain, never giving up on his professional projects. Between 1966 and his death in 1968, Franchot continued to appear in television and also did a play and a movie.
Dalrymple, Jean. From the Last Row. New York: JT White, 1975.