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Stars who turned down hit tv roles

I had no idea that Paul Giamatti turned down the role of Michael Scott on The office. Some others I didn't know about:

Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Lady Cora on Downton Abbey.

Craig T. Nelson turned down the role of Jay Pritchett on Modern Family.

Dana Delany turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City.

Michael Keaton turned down the role of Jack Shepard on Lost.

Those were the few I hadn't heard about.

by Anonymousreply 8801/08/2013

Sarah Jessica Parker still regrets turning down "Mr. Ed"

by Anonymousreply 201/05/2013

My guess is that Gillian Anderson didn't want to play the mother of three grown women. I prefer Elizabeth McGovern in the role.

by Anonymousreply 301/05/2013

[quote]Gillian Anderson would have been genius in the Downton Abbey role. I'm guessing she didn't want the commitment of a series.

Maybe she just didn't want to do another British costume drama. She'd just done Great Expectations for the BBC when Downton came along.

by Anonymousreply 401/05/2013

[quote]Michael Keaton turned down the role of Jack Shepard on Lost.

I don't believe that they offered it to him.

by Anonymousreply 501/05/2013

Of the entire list it's Dana Delany that made the worst decisions. She gave up two major roles in a tv series. What was she thinking?

by Anonymousreply 601/05/2013

Murder She Wrote was created with Jean Stapleton in mind. She turned it down, she says because she had just finished All In The Family a few years earlier, and wasn't eager to get back to the daily grind of a series. She also said the role as written, was bland. It worked with Angela only because she lent her own personality to it. Stapleton doesn't seem to regret the decision, she must've made enough money on All In The Family that she could indulge herself doing only what truly interested her.

by Anonymousreply 701/05/2013

Pamela Anderson as Dana Scully? I think I just threw up in my mouth.

[quote]Of the entire list it's Dana Delany that made the worst decisions. She gave up two major roles in a tv series. What was she thinking?

She's probably perfectly happy with her life. If the was she presents herself on Twitter is in any way reflective of how she is in her private life, she's having a great time living life on her own terms.

by Anonymousreply 801/05/2013

Thank goodness Thomas Jane turned down Mad Men. Can't imagine what my world would be like without the splendor of knowing Jon Hamm as Don Draper.

by Anonymousreply 1001/05/2013

Nelson turned down Modern Family because he wanted more money. He makes more now on Parenthood, but it's an hour show, so a tougher work schedule.

by Anonymousreply 1101/05/2013

Jennifer Jason Leigh turned down a role on Lost (the Libby role, eventually played by Cynthia Watros), and there's a long-running rumor she also turned down a role in Desperate Housewives (the Marcia Cross role - not sure how reliable that rumor is though).

by Anonymousreply 1201/05/2013

Susan Lucci turned down the roles of Betty Draper, Elaine Benes, and "Darlene's friend No.2 at sleepover" on Roseanne.

by Anonymousreply 1301/05/2013

Meryl Streep turned down the role of Hurley on "Lost."

by Anonymousreply 1401/05/2013

Justin Bieber turned down the role of Damien in The Omen.

by Anonymousreply 1501/05/2013

The role of Ally McBeal was turned down by Bridgette Fonda.

by Anonymousreply 1601/05/2013

Would someone be kind enough to post the link that is no doubt in the huffington "story."

by Anonymousreply 1701/05/2013

fun

by Anonymousreply 1801/05/2013

[quote]Stapleton doesn't seem to regret the decision, she must've made enough money on All In The Family that she could indulge herself doing only what truly interested her.

r7, Jean Stapleton did a one woman show where she played Eleanor Roosevelt. I think she enjoyed doing that because it was the complete opposite of Edith Bunker.

by Anonymousreply 1901/05/2013

Giamatti would have been good as one of the office support personnel, but he's too passive to play the sociopathic Michael. He has the perfect Dilbert look.

by Anonymousreply 2001/05/2013

Michael is not a sociopath. Not even close.

by Anonymousreply 2101/05/2013

Dana Delany turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City.

Our loss.

by Anonymousreply 2201/05/2013

You'd have to wonder how SATC would have ended up several seasons in, considering SJP became an executive producer early on. Imagine Dana as Carrie and Sandra Bernhardt as Miranda. Wonder if Dana would have wanted to be an executive producer too after a while, and what direction she would've wanted her character to go in.

by Anonymousreply 2301/05/2013

Robert Hays turned down MOONLIGHTING. I guess he figured he didn't want another ANGIE.

Nancy McKeon turned down Monica on FRIENDS, only to do a similar show a year later.

by Anonymousreply 2401/05/2013

Nancy as Monica would have been very different.

by Anonymousreply 2501/05/2013

[quote] Sarah Jessica Parker still regrets turning down "Mr. Ed"

Neigh! Neigh!

by Anonymousreply 2601/05/2013

Jayne Mansfield turned down the Ginger role on Gilligan's Island

by Anonymousreply 2701/05/2013

IN her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch talks about how she blew/self-sabotaged her audition for "The Golden Girls."

by Anonymousreply 2801/05/2013

John Travolta turned down the role of James Bond in Casino Royale.

by Anonymousreply 2901/05/2013

Abe Vigoda turned down the role of NYPD Detective Elliot Stabler on Law and Order SVU.

by Anonymousreply 3001/05/2013

Glenn turned down the role of Sophia on The Golden Girls.

by Anonymousreply 3101/05/2013

Aiden Quinn turned down the role of Aidan, which was created for him on S&TC. He was afraid there would be too much nudity.

by Anonymousreply 3201/05/2013

Elliott Gould rejected the role of Trapper John in the TV MASH. Doesn't matter since his career (as a top star) had already ended in 1971 -- he self destructed with drugs and mental illness and was uninsurable in movies.

by Anonymousreply 3301/05/2013

Lucy turned down all these roles.

by Anonymousreply 3401/05/2013

"Doesn't matter since his career (as a top star) had already ended in 1971 -- he self destructed with drugs and mental illness and was uninsurable in movies."

And he was awful in bed.

by Anonymousreply 3501/05/2013

[quote] Murder She Wrote was created with Jean Stapleton in mind. She turned it down, she says because she had just finished All In The Family a few years earlier, and wasn't eager to get back to the daily grind of a series.

Jean made her "fuck you" money with All In The Family. The kind of money where you never HAVE to work again.

As for GG, supposedly the part of Dorothy *was* originally created with Bea Arthur in mind, but she turned it down several times because she felt it would be repeating their past roles: Maude with Sue Ann Nivens (Betty) and Vivian (Rue).

After that, Elaine Stritch auditioned (and choked, as she confesses) and so, I think, did Doris Roberts. Bea was finally convinced when she was asked again and was told Rue was taking Blanche (the Sue Ann Nivens-esque role) and that Betty was playing the simple Rose,

by Anonymousreply 3601/05/2013

R35. Mom, dad was bad in bed? How were you?

by Anonymousreply 3701/05/2013

Fascinating topic of which actors turned down which roles. I'd like to know about more movie stars turning down roles.

by Anonymousreply 3801/05/2013

Jean Stapleton also turned down the role of Elaine on Seinfeld.

by Anonymousreply 3901/05/2013

Well it's not tv, but Michelle Pfeiffer turned down Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.

by Anonymousreply 4001/05/2013

Stapleton hardly made a mint from AITF. She admitted over two decades ago that all that money is long gone. She signed the rights away for what she said seemed like a tidy sum at the time but it went quickly.

She makes zero from it today.

by Anonymousreply 4101/05/2013

I believe Jean Stapleton turned down the role of Carrie Bradshaw on 'Sex and the City.'

by Anonymousreply 4201/05/2013

Too bad Jayne turned down Ginger. She would have been perfect.

by Anonymousreply 4301/05/2013

Carol Channng turned down "Evita"...which is a pity beause they would have adored her in the regions!

by Anonymousreply 4401/05/2013

Maybe Gillian didn't want to admit that she was old enough to have three adult daughters.

by Anonymousreply 4501/05/2013

Jean Stapleton also turned down the role of Webster on "Webster."

by Anonymousreply 4601/05/2013

[quote]Nancy as Monica would have been very different.

Yeah, she would've been a huge dyke.

by Anonymousreply 4701/05/2013

I cannot even imagine Sandra Bernhard as Miranda. Thank god that didn't happen.

by Anonymousreply 4801/05/2013

Oh please r28, Elaine Stritch has dined out on that story for years. It was clear that the show's creator really wanted nothing to do with her.

by Anonymousreply 4901/05/2013

R37, BS was fucking around the countryside, so she probably didn't even notice how bad (dumb) he was.

by Anonymousreply 5001/05/2013

The Michael Keaton Lost situation is a little misleading. He was supposed to guest star in the Pilot only. Jack was originally meant to die, once ABC nixed that they cast Matthew Fox.

by Anonymousreply 5101/05/2013

Supposedly, Matthew Broderick was offered the role of Alex P. Keaton on "Family Ties".

by Anonymousreply 5201/05/2013

of course, what Elaine Stritch also said about Golden Girls was that she was glad she didn't get the part because then she'd have to see Betty White every day, and she'd rather drink arsenic.

Selma Diamond, Lee Gran and Doris Roberts were all brought in for auditions btw

by Anonymousreply 5301/06/2013

R42 that's incorrect. That was Charlotte Rae.

by Anonymousreply 5401/06/2013

Threads like this one can reinforce the myth that actors actually have some POWER in making television, when they have very little.

Case in point: Nancy McKeon was, in fact, almost signed as Monica on FRIENDS, but it was the producers who had a rethink after testing Courtney Cox with some of the other actors. They said they liked her softer interpretation of the character they had envisioned.

Apparently McKeon did a great job, but the job description changed.

Similarly, Lisa Kudrow almost played Roz on FRASIER but was replaced at the last minute by the (less funny) Peri Gilpin. Kudrow, in turn, replaced another actress as Phoebe only after Cox was cast.

by Anonymousreply 5501/06/2013

Janeane Garofalo was offered the role of Monica but turned it down. I love Janeane, but I can't see her as Monica at all, nor could I see her having any chemistry with the rest of the cast.

by Anonymousreply 5601/06/2013

[quote] Gillian Anderson turned down the role of Lady Cora on Downton Abbey

I don't think she wants to play a lot of American roles. She's all about the UK and being British these days. When she does play an American role, it's as someone who is hated in the UK (ie, Wallis Warfield Simpson).

by Anonymousreply 5701/06/2013

Garofalo is a personality, not really an actor. That would have been a complete crash and burn for FRIENDS.

Is it Hollywood courtesy that every actor who reads for a part is allowed to tell the press they "turned it down?" I don't believe for a minute that the SATC producers were serious about signing Sandra Bernhard, for example, but she's been dining out on the "I turned down Miranda!" story for a decade or so.

by Anonymousreply 5801/06/2013

The producers wanted to go with Craig Bierko instead of Matthew Perry for Chandler.

This is a little off topic but its an oral history of friends that was in Vanity Fair last year, really good, interesting stuff.

by Anonymousreply 5901/06/2013

[quote]the producers who had a rethink after testing Courtney Cox with some of the other actors. They said they liked her [italic]softer interpretation[/italic] of the character they had envisioned.

Softer interpretation? That character was a Grade A bitch. I can't imagine how McKeon must have been playing it.

by Anonymousreply 6001/06/2013

Michael Richards turned down the title role in Monk.

by Anonymousreply 6101/06/2013

[quote]Softer interpretation? That character was a Grade A bitch. I can't imagine how McKeon must have been playing it.

Courtney Cox is more feminine. Nancy McKeon always reads butch lesbian.

by Anonymousreply 6201/06/2013

The producers wanted Lucy for the lead in Golden Girls, but Gary convinced her to drink, smoke, and play backgammon instead.

by Anonymousreply 6301/06/2013

We all should know (on this site) the story that Betty and Rue ere originally considered for "Golden Girls" playing what were essentialy extensions of their best-known characters from previous shows (Betty as Blanche aka Sue Ann and Rue as Rose and that Maude character she had played) before they flipped and played the opposite. So, since the producers obviously lacked any imagination--it was allegedly Rue and Betty who came up with the switch--and since Rose was viewed as a bit of a dingbat (though less so in season one than in later seasons), was Jean Stapleton ever offered--and perhaps also turned down--the role given how loved her Edith was?

by Anonymousreply 6401/06/2013

Thomas Jane was supposed to be in "The Walking Dead", but he took the HBO "Hung" gig instead.

It makes a lot of sense that he was originally attached to "The Walking Dead" since the cast of the movie "The Mist" make up much of the cast of "The Walking Dead".

by Anonymousreply 6501/06/2013

Didn't they have someone else cast as Will and Grace? Two fairly recognizable names.

I can't remember who, though. (Guess they aren't THAT memorable...)

by Anonymousreply 6601/06/2013

r66 Grace was MArin Hinkle(Judith on Two and a half men)

by Anonymousreply 6701/06/2013

Downton Abbey is overhyped, superficial, hugely stereotypical and cliched. It's perfectly possible that Gillian Anderson didn't see the role of Cora as interesting or challenging enough, which it isn't. Can you actually see her playing Cora? She wouldn't have been able to do anything with the role and she would have ended up being a cardboard cutout.

by Anonymousreply 6801/06/2013

Mary-Louise Parker was offered Susan on "Desperate Housewives." The "Weeds" offer came about at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 6901/06/2013

Suzanne Pleshette was slated to play Laura Petrie in the original Dick Van Dyke show but was not able to take the part because of contractual conflicts.

She was also the producers first choice to play Catwoman on the original Batman TV series but negotiations eventually broke down probably due to money.

by Anonymousreply 7001/06/2013

[quote] Mary-Louise Parker was offered Susan on "Desperate Housewives."

God, that woulda been so much better.

Dana Delany was offered Bree.

by Anonymousreply 7101/06/2013

Suzanne would've made a delicious Catwoman!

by Anonymousreply 7201/06/2013

[quote]She was also the producers first choice to play Catwoman on the original Batman TV series but negotiations eventually broke down probably due to money.

That would have been fun to watch.

by Anonymousreply 7301/06/2013

Craig Bierko was also offered the role of Will Truman but turned it down - he was uncomfortable playing a gay man. They hired some little known Canadian actor named Eric McCormack instead.

by Anonymousreply 7401/07/2013

After doing the original Star Trek pilot, Jeffrey Hunter was asked to continue as Captain Pike in the series when it went into production. His wife/manager made him turn it down because she didn't want to be a TV star's wife/manager. She wanted to be a movie star's wife/manager.

Then he died.

by Anonymousreply 7501/07/2013

[quote]They hired some little known Canadian actor named Eric McCormack instead.

Who hasn't had a good role since. If you play gay, you better bank the pay, cause you won't work again as a straight guy.

by Anonymousreply 7601/07/2013

r74

He also said he turned down the offer to play Chandler on Friends.

Most of these people, if not all, never were really offered the role. They just were thought of or auditioned for it.

Like both Shirley Temple and Deanna Durbin were first choices to play Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, but they were never offered the role, so never turned it down.

by Anonymousreply 7701/07/2013

"Suzanne Pleshette was slated to play Laura Petrie in the original Dick Van Dyke show but was not able to take the part because of contractual conflicts."

That would have been a very different show.

by Anonymousreply 7801/07/2013

Lindsay Wagner and Linda Hamilton were both considered to play Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.

by Anonymousreply 7901/07/2013

I would have loved Lindsay Wagner as Janeway.

by Anonymousreply 8001/07/2013

[qtuo]Courtney Cox

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 8101/07/2013

[quote][qtuo]

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 8201/07/2013

R76 - Eric McCormack works all the time since Will & Grace. He's had TWO series on TNT (the advertising one that lasted one season, and now the "Monk" clone that returns a year after it last appeared) and has done Broadway and several independent and Canadian films....

by Anonymousreply 8301/08/2013

Don't be dissin' Peri Gilpin

by Anonymousreply 8401/08/2013

"Justin Bieber turned down the role of Damien in The Omen. "

Because that would have made it a biopic.

by Anonymousreply 8501/08/2013

More Star Trek...Famke Janssen was offered the role that became Jadzia Dax on Star Trek DS9. Famke turned it down to focus on her film career and the role went to Terry Farrel.

Famke also turned down Anna (the queen Visitor) on ABC's remake of V and the role went to Morena Baccarin. The visibility helped Baccarin get cast in Homeland. Famke presumably turned the role down because she was in the process of writing and directing her first feature-length film.

by Anonymousreply 8601/08/2013

[quote]Lindsay Wagner and Linda Hamilton were both considered to play Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager.

Those would have been good choices. I disliked Republican-looking Kate Mulgrew and thought she ruined the series.

by Anonymousreply 8701/08/2013

Rob Lowe turned down the McDreamy part in GREY'S ANATOMY, which eventually went to Patrick Dempsey and revitalized his career. Lowe meanwhile had two flop series in succession, THE LION'S DEN and DR. VEGAS.

Not TV, but Claire Danes turned down Rose in TITANIC because she said she'd already done a romantic movie (ROMEO + JULIET) with Leo DiCaprio. Winslet was cast instead and when the film became a phenomenon, it skyrocketed her to the top of the A-list. Meanwhile, Danes remained on the C-list for a good decade, and while she has found TV stardom in the past two years, movie fame still eludes her.

by Anonymousreply 8801/08/2013
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