At 18, Gardner was finding out to turn into a secretary. Throughout that point, she sat to have pictures taken by her brother-in-law, Larry Tarr. He was so happy with the outcomes that he displayed them within the window of his store. A expertise scout supposedly representing MGM observed the picture and, with the suggestion from the scout, Tarr despatched within the pictures to MGM for consideration.
Gardner’s hanging options satisfied MGM to supply her a display check. She flew out to New York, the place the Al Altman, head of MGM’s New York expertise division, administered the display check. The method, a minimum of on paper, appeared simple sufficient: She was requested to stroll in direction of the digicam and again, which might be a easy motion check. Altman, nonetheless, didn’t ask her to talk on digicam, as he discovered her Carolina accent obscure.
From the footage, Altman and MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer decided the younger girl lacked refinement on digicam. It appeared like Gardner’s future as an actress was lifeless within the water. Thankfully, for Gardner, Mayer’s requirements for consideration have been low. As Mayer so eloquently put it to Altman relating to Gardner: “She will be able to’t act. She will be able to’t discuss. She’s terrific. Signal her.”