Ian McShane

  1. William, Gaunt, The Champions, TV, 1968-1969.   The fast-rising McShane – the BBC’s Heathcliff the previous year – was seen  for Richard Barrett, one of three Nemesis agents, given  powers of ESP, precognition, super strength and intellect by a yogi after their plane crash in the Himalayas.  One of the better Lew Grade series aimed at conquering the US. It didn’t.  It should have.  Tom Cruise loved it and wanted to head a movie franchise with auteur Christopher McQuarrie in 2008. Their Mission: Impossibles got in the way.

  2. Barry Evans, Die Screaming Marianne, 1970.       Marianne was Susan George. wanted by UK schlocker Pete Walker the previous year for Cool It, Carol!   Marianne is the victim of her father, another of Walker’s depraved Establishment figures. Barry Evans was the girl’s guy, when Walker’s other targets would have been stronger: McShane or Patrick Mower. Great poster though. Bardotesque!

  3. Robin Ellis, Poldark,TV, 1975-1977.     Before Ellis became a BBC sensation as Ross Poldark, Winston Graham’s 18th Century aristocratic swashbuckler was offered to McShane, Leigh Lawson and Ian McShane.

  4. Malcolm McDowell, Voyage of the Damned, 1975.  In a Nazi propaganda exercise – “Nobody loves Jews – so leave them to us”- Germany ships Jews to Havana, in the full knowledge that Cuba won’t accept them. Nor will any other nation. They return home, by which time WWII has begun, and of the 937 passengers, more than 600 die in concentration camps!  ThIs is no retread of Katharine Anne Porter’s Ship of Fools, although similar and both featuring José Ferrer and Oskar Werner (in his final film here). No, this is a terrible true story, stuffed with stars, too many to deal with. Denholm Elliott has one scene, Orson Welles, four; luckier than the jettisoned Janet Suzman and Jack Warden.  A good guy this once, Malcolm McDowell was among the crew instead of (take a breath)… fellow Brits Jon Finch, Anthony Hopkins, Simon MacCorkindale, Ian McShane, John Moulder-Brown. Martin Potter and Hollywood’s  Keith Carradine, Jeff Conaway, Raul Julia, Martin Kove, Joe Mantegna,  Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, John Ritter, John Travolta, Jon Voight.  
  5. Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Emmanuelle 3, France, 1976.    Being Sylvia Kristel’s lover at the time, it was natural that the UK star should audition for her architect husband. Then again, being her lover at the time made it a rotten idea.  Either way,  Ian was passed over because he didn’t speaka da French. As if anyone took any notice of the (crap) dialogue in an Emmanuelle movie.
  6. James Mason, Jesus of Nazareth,1977.     “Really bust” in Hollywood, badly in need of a job,”McMouth” turned down the role of Joseph and held out for Judas. And got him.
  7. Robin Ellis,The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, TV, 1979.  McShane was there are then start but a (King Tut arranged?) car smash mean he had to be replaced by Ellis – as UK archeologist Howard Carter, whose death at age 64, had nothing whatsoever to do wth him being punished from on high for, basically, robbing the grave of Egypt’s Child King Tutankhamen in 1922.  So there!  
  8. Nicholas Clay, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, 1980.   For the version according to  realisateur Just Jaeckin, her Emmanuelle  discoverer, Sylvia Kristel was Lady C. She insisted on contractual approval of her on-screen lover, Mellors, the  world’s most famous gamekeeper. Oliver Reed passed (probably realising he’d only been contacted to try and snare his mate, Ken Russell, into directing). McShane’s new lady objected to him sharing sex scenes with his ex-lover.  Clay came third.  And Kristel thought it her best film. Lovely lady!
  9. John Rhys Davies,  The Lord of the Rings trilogy, 1999.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9