Diane Venora

  1. Roxanne Hart, HIghlander, 1985.   Some 16 guys were up for Christophe(r) Lambert’s immortal clansman, Connor McLeod.  But as many as 24 women for  Brenda Wyatt, the modern-day forensics cop bedded by him. Brooke Adams… who must have felt  she had as great chance, having already successfully partnered Connery in The Great Train Robbery, 1978,  and Cuba, 1979. Her rivals  were  Karen Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Elisabeth Brooks, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Lisa Eilbacher, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Greist (Terry Gilliam’s huge Brazil error), Linda Hamilton, Diane Lane, Carolyn McCormick, Demi Moore, Annette O’Toole, Elizabeth Perkins, Tanya Roberts (booked for 007’s View to a Kill),  Annabella Sciorra, Diane Venora, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and (phew!) Sean Young.   Broadway’s rank outsider won!

  2. Marcia Gay Harden, Miller’s Crossing, 1990.  The Coen brothers tackle  30s/40s, gangster noir…  Their 1988 draft had Venora, Kathy Borowitz, Linda Fiorentino, Laura Sametz and Diane Venora in mind for the gang boss’ moll, Verna. (He became Albert Finney).  Jennifer Jason Leigh, Demi Moore, Julia Roberts, were later tested. But MGH was the best actress  of them all.  Only she and John Turturro actually played the roles suggested for them two years before; both MGH and Venora  have been directed by Clint Eastwood.

  3. Robin Riker, Thunder Alley, TV, 1994-1995.   A retired Ed Asner sounds fun. Possibly. Except this was  not  Lou Grant’s third act.  He’s stuck with a diviorced daughter and her three horror, including Haley Joel Osment. The daughter was Huffman in the Disney pilot, Venora for the next eight episodes and Robin Riker for 19 more as the whole shebang slid down the drain.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  3