Bo Derek

  1. Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  2. Jessica Lange,   King Kong, 1976.         No, no and no! Matching the reaction of Barbra Streisand. Producer Dino De Laurentiis “was running   me from office to office and slapping me on the cheek all the time.” Bo’s beau, John Derek, reported: “It’s   like a vulgar Mel Brooks comedy and I am not   a Mel Brooks fan.”
  3. Susan George, Drum, 1976.         “Dino decided he had to have her in one of his pictures,” said Bo’s mentor-husband, John Derek. “In the first scene, she’s supposed to be tickling the balls of a black guy and I said: What is this shit?” Derek eventually let Bo make De Laurentiis’ Orca, 1977 – “a three-day role and we were on location for nine months!” Then, she produced others tickling other balls in John’s one and only hardcore sex movie, Love You, 1980.
  4. Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1977.      The plot sickens… A prostitute allows her 12-year-old daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 29 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for pretty little Violet. From Laura Dern aged 10 and future Sex And The City co-stars Cynthia Nixon, at 11, Sarah Jessica Parker, 12 (like Shields) and (the often too buxom) teenagers: little Melissa Sue Anderson on the prairie, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt, Anissa Jones (who tragically ODed at 18 before her audition), Diane Lane, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal (Dad said no), Dana Plato (Mom said no), Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Meg Tilly, Charlene Tilton (pre-Dallas)… to seven twentysomethings. However, no make-up and soft lenses could make 12-year-olds out of Derek, Isabelle Adjani, Carrie Fisher, Melanie Griffith, Amy Irving, Mary Steenburgen or Debra Winger.
  5. Brooke Shields, Endless Love, 1980.       Now this doesn’t happen very often… Shirley Knight was displeased with Brooke Shields as her teenage daughter and set about re-casting Jade. She gave a list of better prospects to her director Franco Zeffirelli. Including Bo, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Blair, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer.   Knight wuz right. They were all better, with the possible exception of beauteous Bo. Zeffirelli, however, was a very Italian macho maestro. He was the boss. OK, ready Brooke – and… action! And just do your best…  
  6. Jennifer Beals, Flashdance, 1982.       The “nation-wide search“ (of LA…!!) came down to 18 possibilities for the titular Alex Owens. Bo, Jamie Lee Curtis, , Janice Dickinson, Bridget Fonda, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemingway, Helen Hunt (hated the script), Jennifer Jason Leigh, Heather Locklear, Kathy Najimy, Tatum O’Neal, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone – and Debra Winger, who moved on, with one of her potential co-stars Jack Nicholson, into Terms of Endearment. And pix of the final three – Beals, Demi Moore and Leslie Wing – were shown to the studio’s  construction guys by Paramount suits asking… “Which of these women do you most wanna fuck?”  Dissolve.   Beals had three body doubles for the flashy dancing, including a break-dancer guy called Crazy Legs, who shaved everything. Except his moustache!
  7. Tanya Roberts, Sheena, 1983. Only took 46 years to make a movie of the female Tarzan, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle–  launched in Jumbo Comics  #1 in 1937.   There was a 1955-1956 TV series with the great Irish McCalla, but who should be the big screen heroine? Bo Derek and Raquel Welch made sense – but Jodie Foster?? (Anyway, she couldn’t leave Yale for the seven month shoot, mostly in Kenya). The film flopped and earned five Razzie nominations for Worst Picture, Director, Actress, etc. Yet, 16 years later Sheena returned to the tube with Gena Lee Nolin.  But unlike Tanya’s  publicity pix, GLN’s did not reveal pubic hair.
  8. Bess Armstrong,   High Road To China,  1984.        Even John said yes when it was the venerated John Huston directing her with Roger Moore. Not when Brian Hutton took over with an Indyesque Tom Selleck.
  9. Tanya Roberts, A View To A Kill, 1984.
  10. Priscilla Presley, The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad, 1988.     First choice for the girl of America’s Inspector Clouseau, Lieutenant   Frank Drebin –   Mrs Drebin by the third of the crackpot series, 1994. Bo later  played Bo Derek in seven  shows – and two Bollywood movies.
  11. Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
  12. Halston Sage, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, 2017.    The live action debut of Marvel’s Alison Blaire, aka Dazzler,had been delayed for oh,  just close on 40 years!  In the 70s, she was black and a disco queen (Disco Dazzler, in fact),  based upon and aimed at Grace Jones.  Next, the Dereks – Bo and director husband John  – took over and Dazzler’s co-creator John Romita, Jr was furious. “They’ve sold out for some whitebread blonde chick. She was very hot at the time, but I thought she wasn’t as realistic a choice as Grace Jones was.”  Dazzler was next set for Canada’s country singer,  Beverley Mahood,asa cameo in producer-director Bryan Singer’s  X-Men: The Last Stand,  2005. Singer next  suggested Lady Gaga in 2013, but always saw Sigourney Weaver in the part. Halston Sage (among Variety’s Top 10 Stars to Watch) finally Dazzled  in the last X-Men production by Fox, by which time Singer was missing from the credits following allegations of sexual  abuse.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  12