'Almost cast' actors

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Bodie
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Bodie »

David Boothroyd wrote:One unusual one - the two leads in GBH were both cast in each other's roles, Robert Lindsay playing Jim Nelson and Michael Palin playing Michael Murray.
I think I recall reading that Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier were originally intended to have each other's roles in Dad's Army.

Bodie
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Bodie »

Controller 2957 wrote:Some bizarre ones include:

Roy Thinnes once considered for the role of James Bond.
I read over this quickly and thought for a moment it said Roy Kinnear.

That would have been bizarre indeed!

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Ross
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Ross »

I'm sure I read years ago that Norman Wisdom was also offered the part of Frank Spencer. It was in a newspaper article, most likely my parents' copy of the Daily Mail, so God knows how accurate it was. When it comes to stories like that, and a few others, papers have a habit of making stuff up and passing it off as fact.

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Mickey
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Mickey »

Controller 2957 wrote:Patrick McGoohan for the lead in the original 'Star Trek' series (can't remember without looking if it was for 'The Cage' or the series proper but imagine a chaste and phaser-less Kirk!)
I'd have loved that! I've long thought that Jeffrey Hunter's Pike would have made a better lead than Shatner's. Can't stand Kirk.

Xrds1895
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Xrds1895 »

Jon Pertwee as Captain Mainwaring. He talked in interviews about how he was working abroad at the time (America?) and didn't fancy returning for a show that might not have gone anywhere.

andrew baker
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by andrew baker »

Geoffrey Bayldon was offered Dr Who - as a replacement for Hartnell but as the same character. He turned it down so regeneration was invented. Geoffrey B told me this himself.

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Paul Hayes
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Paul Hayes »

andrew baker wrote:Geoffrey Bayldon was offered Dr Who - as a replacement for Hartnell but as the same character. He turned it down so regeneration was invented. Geoffrey B told me this himself.
It was John Wiles who wanted to fire Hartnell but keep the same character - but he was overruled by his superiors. Innes Lloyd was allowed to make the change.

I believe the idea was that when the Doctor became visible again at the end of the serial "The Celestial Toymaker", he would be played by the new actor.

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Private Frazer
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Private Frazer »

Bodie wrote:I think I recall reading that Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier were originally intended to have each other's roles in Dad's Army.
I didn't know that. The John Le Mesurier entry here confirms that.
It ended up great casting though; I can just picture the one when Wilson tells Mainwaring that he is in the golf club!
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

ray lomas
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ray lomas »

The part of Moxey in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was originally written specifically for the percussionist Ray Cooper, a friend of Clement & La Frenais who had expressed an interest in doing a spot of screen acting (which explains why Moxey is something of a peripheral character in series 1). In the end, Cooper was unavailable so they cast Christopher Fairbank instead who was, ironically, arguably the most accomplished actor of all the seven leads, having studied at RADA and been a member of the RSC.

Steve Williams
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Steve Williams »

The Beeb's adaptation of David Copperfield in 1999 was supposed to be written by John Sullivan with David Jason as Mr Micawber, but somewhere along the line Sullivan fell out with the Beeb and left the project, and so did Jason. Instead he wrote a series based on Micawber, starring David Jason, for ITV.

Mark
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Mark »

Denise Buckley was cast as Victoria in "Who", but replaced by Deborah Watling, and April Walker was cast as Sarah Jane Smith, before Elisabeth Sladen won the role.

Also, Anthony Andrews as Bodie, before Lewis Collins replaced him, in "The Professionals".
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RayB
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by RayB »

andrew baker wrote:Geoffrey Bayldon was offered Dr Who - as a replacement for Hartnell but as the same character. He turned it down so regeneration was invented. Geoffrey B told me this himself.
He's discussed this in numerous radio & TV interviews - apparently he had to reject DW as he'd already signed to do "Catweazle"

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Paul Hayes
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Paul Hayes »

RayB wrote:
andrew baker wrote:Geoffrey Bayldon was offered Dr Who - as a replacement for Hartnell but as the same character. He turned it down so regeneration was invented. Geoffrey B told me this himself.
He's discussed this in numerous radio & TV interviews - apparently he had to reject DW as he'd already signed to do "Catweazle"
That seems unlikely in the period being discussed, given that Wiles was trying to get rid of Hartnell in 1965, and Catweazle didn't start until 1970.

ctraynor
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

Peter Sellers turned down the chance to play Dr Watson in Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Still a good film, though, with Colin Blakely fine as Watson.

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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

And Peter Cook was offered the role of Clouseau after Peter Sellers died. He rejected it as he felt no one could replace Sellers. Others disagreed.
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brigham
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by brigham »

Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:And Peter Cook was offered the role of Clouseau after Peter Sellers died. He rejected it as he felt no one could replace Sellers. Others disagreed.
I would disagree. Sellers could have been replaced, but not by Peter Cook.

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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

You got anyone in mind?

brigham
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by brigham »

ctraynor wrote:You got anyone in mind?
Frank Langella.

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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

He was ok in Love at First Bite, I suppose, but I didn't think he was that funny. If anyone, I'd vote for Kevin Kline, one of the most genuinely versatile (Donald Woods/Otto)and fine comic actors of the last 30 years, and hellishly overlooked. The crucial thing about Clouseau is his desperate need to maintain his dignity. That's where Alan Arkin, for all his talent, fell down in his portrayal, but Kline could have done it.

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Beaker
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Beaker »

Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:And Peter Cook was offered the role of Clouseau after Peter Sellers died. He rejected it as he felt no one could replace Sellers. Others disagreed.
I can almost, almost see that working...almost.
If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!

George White
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by George White »

brigham wrote:
Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:And Peter Cook was offered the role of Clouseau after Peter Sellers died. He rejected it as he felt no one could replace Sellers. Others disagreed.
I would disagree. Sellers could have been replaced, but not by Peter Cook.
It was Dudley Moore not Cook. Because Moore was replacing Sellers in Unfaithfully Yours and the planned Pink Panther and Moore would only do Clouseau if Blake Edwards directed. Edwards refused.

And Langella wasn't in Love at First Bite. It's George Hamilton. Langella was the "serious" Dracula that year.

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Beaker
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Beaker »

George White wrote:
brigham wrote:
Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:And Peter Cook was offered the role of Clouseau after Peter Sellers died. He rejected it as he felt no one could replace Sellers. Others disagreed.
I would disagree. Sellers could have been replaced, but not by Peter Cook.
It was Dudley Moore not Cook. Because Moore was replacing Sellers in Unfaithfully Yours and the planned Pink Panther and Moore would only do Clouseau if Blake Edwards directed. Edwards refused.

And Langella wasn't in Love at First Bite. It's George Hamilton. Langella was the "serious" Dracula that year.
Oh no, that wouldn't have worked at all.
If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!

Bradders
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Bradders »

Fulton Mackay very nearly replaced Brian Wilde in Last of the Summer Wine. Roy Clarke got as far as creating a character for him, Scotty, but Wilde always seemed to change his mind at the last minute, and sign on for another series. This would have been around 1982-1985

ctraynor
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

George White wrote:
And Langella wasn't in Love at First Bite. It's George Hamilton. Langella was the "serious" Dracula that year.
Oh yes of course, I remember now. Langella wasn't even funny enough to be in Love at First Bite!

Steve Williams
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Steve Williams »

Bradders wrote:Fulton Mackay very nearly replaced Brian Wilde in Last of the Summer Wine. Roy Clarke got as far as creating a character for him, Scotty, but Wilde always seemed to change his mind at the last minute, and sign on for another series. This would have been around 1982-1985
Yes, this is because Brian Wilde didn't have an agent so any time Wilde was hired there had to be a long discussion over his fee. The reason Wilde didn't have an agent is because he knew Ronnie Barker didn't have an agent, though Wilde, good actor though he was, failed to realise that Ronnie Barker didn't need an agent because people would offer him whatever he wanted because he was Ronnie Barker, and Wilde wasn't quite in the same league.

Anyway, negotiations with Wilde were going on for ages and in the end Wilde said he wasn't going to do the series and that was that. Then Fulton Mackay, who Wilde knew from Porridge of course, phoned up Wilde and said he'd been offered his job. Apparently Wilde then immediately phoned the producer back and I think even pretended the previous conversation hadn't happened and asked why he hadn't received the scripts and filming schedule yet.

ctraynor
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

ctraynor wrote: If anyone, I'd vote for Kevin Kline, one of the most genuinely versatile (Donald Woods/Otto)and fine comic actors of the last 30 years, and hellishly overlooked. The crucial thing about Clouseau is his desperate need to maintain his dignity. That's where Alan Arkin, for all his talent, fell down in his portrayal, but Kline could have done it.
Which reminds me, I've never found Steve Martin very funny. Was he any good as Clouseau? And also just realised Kevin Kline was Dreyfuss. I never saw the film but it occurred to me the casting was wrong and would have been just right if swapped around.

David Smith
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by David Smith »

The sitcom As Time Goes By was apparently written with Jean Simmons in mind for Judi Dench's role, but she didn't want to relocate from the States.

billo
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by billo »

When Wilfrid Brambell briefly quit Steptoe and Son early on they were going to bump off old Albert, make Harry Corbett's Harold the father & bring in a young son (possibly to be played by David Hemmings) - Brambell quickly returned when his theatre production flopped & so Steptoe continued as was....

In 'Please Sir !' Deryck Guyler was originally cast as the headmaster - they could not find a suitable actor to play the pompous ex-Desert Rat caretaker' Norman Hesketh Potter' so Guyler took that role on (Noel Howlett came in as the head)

I've read that Annette Andre was nearly cast as Sharon in 'The Champions' - maybe thats why Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner later cast her in Randall and Hopkirk Deceased...

not sure how true but I've read somewhere if 'The Persuaders' had got a second season that Noel Harrison was to replace Roger Moore as co-lead with Tony Curtis...tho' that may only been a supposition, I always believed the show was only intended for the one season run...

In the TV Western series 'Laramie' the two stars John Smith & Robert Fuller were first signed to play each other's roles & agreed to swap !

ctraynor
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by ctraynor »

billo wrote:
not sure how true but I've read somewhere if 'The Persuaders' had got a second season that Noel Harrison was to replace Roger Moore as co-lead with Tony Curtis...tho' that may only been a supposition, I always believed the show was only intended for the one season run...
No, it was intended, or at least hoped, to run for seven years, although I don't know how they could have worked that out at the start. Noel Harrison was just a supposition on the part of Lew Grade. The producers never thought he was a good idea, believing Tony Curtis would make mincemeat of him. Personally I think Patrick McGoohan would have been a good replacement as, say, a Sinclair cousin or something. McGoohan showed he could do light comedy (which is basically what The Persuaders! was) in his Prisoner episode The Girl who was Death.

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Mickey
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Re: 'Almost cast' actors

Post by Mickey »

billo wrote:In the TV Western series 'Laramie' the two stars John Smith & Robert Fuller were first signed to play each other's roles & agreed to swap !
I did not know that! And boy am I glad they switched. The casting in that show was perfect, and Jess Harper was tailor made for Robert Fuller.

Interestingly, Fuller was the original choice for Joe Cartwright in "Bonanza", but "Laramie" signed him up before David Dotort could. The Cartwright brothers were originally intended to be closer in age than they turned out to be. Joe got a lot younger when they found Michael Landon instead. He was only three years younger than Fuller, but was such a baby face back in those days.

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