From Futility Closet:
Director Curtis Bernhardt was midway through shooting My Reputation in 1944 when he encountered some trouble with one of the stars. Robert Archer insisted on wearing a jacket and shirt while mowing a lawn under the hot California sun.
Bernhardt pressed him, and to his surprise Archer said, “Okay, okay, I’m a girl.”
She was Tanis Chandler, a 20-year-old typist in a local brokerage office who’d gotten tired of waiting for acting jobs. Posing as Archer, she’d won a part in 1943′s The Desert Song, where robes and a burnoose had hid her shape. She’d done so well that the casting office had sent her out for Bernhardt’s film.
“The studios are always yelling about the lack of men,” she said. “I thought I’d have better luck in male roles. Oh, well.”
What a great story. I wonder if it’s true?
Here is Tanis Chandler’s IMDB page, where commenter marymorrissey cites a book called “Hell Raisers, Heroines and Holy Women.”