Just some 'info' regarding what we will refer to as the 'non-blonde years' for Ginger, which, in terms of movie milestones, anyway, began with the release of "Primrose Path" in 1940 and ended with the release of "Tender Comrade" in 1943. Of course we are only considering the second 'non-blonde' era for VKM, as she did not go 'blonde' originally until her sixth 'feature' film, 1931's "The Tip-Off".
Ginger states in her book that, for Primrose Path, where she portrays a poor teenager, "...I dyed my hair brunette, which I thought more appropriate for my character." Thus, for all intents and purposes, we can now confidently refer to this time frame as the 'brunette years' for Ginger.
She wanted her darkened locks to be a 'surprise' to moviegoers when "Primrose Path" came out, but during its production, the L.A. premiere of "Gone With the Wind" took place - of course she HAD to go to that, right? So she was fitted with a 'turban', thus concealing the 'do in public.
For her next feature, "Lucky Partners", she dyed it even darker - to the point that the execs at RKO were a bit worried that the fans were going to demand 'blonde' Ginger... but shooting had begun, and by the time 'Ginger Dark' had been captured on celluloid for a second time, no major objections were readily apparent from the masses.
Then the role that 'solidified' her 'non-blonde' image...It is hard to picture 'Kitty Foyle' as having any other hair color...as Ginger put it, "After I had digested the script, I concluded that Kitty couldn't possibly be a blonde. She was the daughter of a proud Irishman, and had to look and act like one. dark hair, blue eyes, a quick wit, and a stinging tongue..." It was a bit lighter than in 'Lucky Partners', but still well in the 'brunette' range.
After Kitty, Ginger made five more 'brunette' movies, before eventually popping the top on the peroxide bottle again: "Tom, Dick and Harry" in 1941, "Roxie Hart" in 1942 (one of my personal faves - she is just SO different in it... yes, ditzy, but with ATTITUDE! a major difference from the 'just ditzy' role in "It Had to be You"...right, Beth? :-]), "Tales of Manhattan" in 1942, "The Major and the Minor" in 1942 (another fave), and "Once Upon a Honeymoon" in 1942.
Needless to say, this period was the apex of her popularity, thus demanding the question, "Was Ginger more famous as a blonde or a 'non-blonde'?"
The world may never know... but it is fun to debate!