Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Might Have Been, Vol. III

Another installment in my little ongoing anthology of TV and movie castings that did and didn't happen, thus altering popular history in unfathomable ways:

  • Shirley Temple was considered for Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, but 20th Century-Fox wouldn’t loan her to M.G.M., and Judy Garland was their first choice anyway.  Shirley also auditioned for "The Little Rascals" twice and was turned down.
  • Rob Lowe lost out to Billy Zane in Titanic for the role of Cal, thus couldn't be called an "unspeakable bastard"—at least not that time...
  • Reba McEntire was actually considered for the role of "unsinkable" Molly Brown in Titanic, but touring commitments prevented her from taking it.  Cathy Bates wound up with the role.
  • Hal Linden of "Barney Miller" was offered and turned down the lead role on "St. Elsewhere".
  • James Caan passed up plum roles in both the M*A*S*H movie and Apocalypse Now, and was also considered for Han Solo in Star Wars.  Come to think of it, it would probably be quicker to list the actors who WEREN’T considered for Han Solo.
  • Nancy McKeon of "Facts Of Life" fame was once considered for Monica on "Friends". They made the wise choice on that one, I think.
  • Oprah Winfrey’s first name was actually supposed to be "Orpah", but someone screwed it up on her birth certificate, and the name stuck.
  • Actor Dennis Quaid was turned down for the role of Luke Duke on "The Dukes of Hazzard", as was Gerald McRaney.  Both actors are no doubt eternally grateful…

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