The role originally went to Peggy Cummings. When it was thought that she was too inexperienced to play the role, she was replaced by Linda Darnell. Darnell was also required to changed her hair colour to red for the role.
This detailed period gown was made for and worn by Linda Darnell as Amber St. Clair and appears in key scenes in the film including the ball and fire scene.
The costume also comes with the original Marabou trim headpiece. With the sale of costumes by the studios and subsequent destruction of pieces. It is rare to see accessories such as shoes,belts,hats and other similar pieces remaining with costumes. For the most part, storage at the studios was based on item type and that therefore hats and shoes would have been stored somewhere other than where the gowns were stored. Costumes were also re used in later production and altered for other use. Some alterations were minor however many changed the costume in some cases making them unrecognisable from their original use which sometimes was the point. Collectors of today work to restore these treasures to their original film appearance.
Darnell is remembered for her roles a Fox studios including "Unfaithfully Yours"(1948) and "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949). Other equally famous films include "The Mark of Zorro" and "Blood and Sand".
A smoker, Darnell died in 1965, at age 41, from burns received in a house fire. It has been said that Darnell fell asleep whilst holding a lit cigarette although there is no evidence to support this. A tragic end to a great Hollywood beauty and actress.
Here is Linda Darnell in Costume from Forever Amber.