The Ghosts of 'Tinseltown'



Best known as: The lovable Everyman in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and other Frank Capra classics; also took edgy turns in Hitchcock thrillers

Holiday classic: "It's a Wonderful Life"

Oscar? Best Actor in 1940 for "The Philadelphia Story," honorary award in 1984

Actor Connor Bond on playing him: "I was looking for the style of acting. ... He's modeled after, in this particular scenario, 'It's a Wonderful Life,' so I looked at some of his later stuff, but mostly tried to keep the physicality and the vocal — because, of course, his voice gets older and a little more shaky as he gets older. I tried to keep most of the physicality and vocal work centered around 'It's a Wonderful Life,' in that vein."



Best known as: Mickey Rooney's pal in the "Andy Hardy" movies; Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz" and the star in "A Star Is Born"; by some accounts, the world's greatest gay icon

Holiday classic: "Meet Me in St. Louis"

Oscar? Special Juvenile Award for "The Wizard of Oz," but no competitive prize

Actor Madeleine Barker on playing her: "Judy had such an iconic way of holding herself and speaking and how she dealt with people. ... One thing that I loved so much about Judy is her capacity to love. I think she would feel very deeply for people and for certain situations, and [I'm] trying to make that apparent and give that to the audience. She's been a joy to watch — I mean, someone as incredible as her."



Best known as: America's quintessential crooner; also a laid-back leading man in "Going My Way" and other family chestnuts, plus the "Road" series with Bob Hope

Holiday classic: "White Christmas"

Oscar? Best Actor in 1944 for "Going My Way"

Actor Jeff Salsbury on playing him: "I think, with him, it was just getting that carriage, that persona, that was just him. 'Cause he was himself on vinyl. He was himself in the movies. He pretty much got his personality not really diluted or anything in any medium that you saw him or heard him in. So I was trying to get that casual, good-natured, breezy kind of vibe that you get from him when he's at the top of his game."



Best known as: Actress who grew up on screen before her untimely death: child star in "Miracle on 34th Street," teenager in "Rebel Without a Cause," adult in "West Side Story"

Holiday classic: "Miracle on 34th Street"

Oscar? Three nominations but no wins

Actor Amanda Minano on playing her: "She was absolutely wonderful. She was the type of person I would have loved to go out and get drinks with or something and just talk, because she was so passionate about her craft. ... It's just been so much fun trying to get into her mindset — and, of course, you're not trying to impersonate, but just to tap into that mentality that was Natalie Wood, and that persona."

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