- Linda Blair, The Exorcist,1972.
- Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver, 1975.
- Sissy Spacek, Carrie, 1976. Director Brian De Palma shared his casting sessions with George Lucas searching his Star Wars stars. Sissy insisted there was no truth in the factoid that Carrie quit because she was scared of nudity - and Sissy wasn’t.
- Brooke Shields, Pretty Baby, 1977. The subject was horrendous - a prostitute allowing 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 28 hopefuls and/or instant (parental) refusals for 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 Melissa Sue Anderson, 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… to seven twentysomethings. However, no make-up and soft lenses could make 12-year-olds out of Fisher, Isabelle Adjani, Bo Derek, Melanie Griffith, Amy Irving, Mary Steenburgen or Debra Winger.
- Olivia Newton-John, Grease, 1977. Director Randall Kleiser was allowed by his USC college roommate, George Lucas, to view some rushes of something called Star Wars - to check out Eddie and Debbie’s daughter. Nothing to see! Princess Leia didn’t sing or prance that much. And as for her hair… The increasingly powerful John Travolta voted ON-J. “She had a brilliant voice, and I didn’t think there could be any more correct person for Sandy in the universe.”
- Margot Kidder, Superman, 1978.
- Stockard Channing, Grease, 1978. At 22, she would have been the youngest of the “teenage” leads at Betty Rizzo. Channing was 34.
- Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979. Grease director Randal Kleiser wanted his shipwrecked couple to be naked throughout the re-make. Impossible, while Fisher was still part of the Star Wars franchise. Shields had her long hair glued to her front - and a nude body double.
- Phoebe Cates, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, 1981. Carrie, Justine Bateman, Melanie Griffith and Tatum O’Neal were in the early mix for Linda Barrett.
- Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982. Tested as the glacial Elvira Hancock. So didRosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Colleen Camp, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone,Kathleen Turner.
- Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983. In all, 52 actresses were considered, seen, or tested for Sarah Connor.James Cameron created her for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal. Hedecided to go older…Glenn Close won - her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - just as Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no.The other 46 ladies were:Carrie, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Mia Farrow, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey,Angelica Huston, Amy Irving,Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz,Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Madonna, Liza Minnelli, Mary TylerMoore, Rhea Perlman (!), Michelle Pfeiffer, Gilda Radner (!), Deborah Raffin, Miranda Richardson, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years.
- Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor, 1984. “So let’s do it. Right here. On the Oriental. With all the lights on.” Maerose Prizzi knew what she wanted, where and when from her Family’s hit man, Jack Nicholson - the unlikeliest Mafioso since the Corleones’ James Caan. Before realising his daughter was Oscar-winning perfection, director John Huston looked at some 17 potential Maeroses. From the sublime Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Liza Minnelli, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer (been there, done that and got the Married To The Mob and Scarface t-shirts), Debra Winger… to the ridiculous: Geena Davis, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Emma Thompson, Sela Ward, Debra Winger… and the damn stupid: Fisher (in a Family far, far away!), Linda Blair, Kelly LeBrock, Heather Locklear, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ally Sheedy.
- Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
- Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988. Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim. Or, their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 27 for her lawyer. Including Fatal Attraction also-rans from Geena Davis, Sally Field, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Tuesday Weld - to Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Debra Winger, who were offered both roles. Plus Fisher, Beverly D’Angelo, Blythe Danner, Teri Garr, Mary Gross, , Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused the lead. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. Obviously. However, she agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney - on condition that the studio-described “unsexy” Jodie, and no one else, played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… dated March 29, 1989.
- Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally..., l989. Rob Reiner tested Carrie for Sally and then made her Sally's best friend.
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1989.
- Julia Roberts, Hook, 1990. Carrie was Steven Spielberg's original Tinkerbell matrix.She preferred helping with the scenario of the updated Peter Pan. She can be seen as part of the kissing couple suddenly floating because of fairy dust.Her partner? George Lucas!(Roberts was so difficult, the crew called her Tinkerhell).
- Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990. An astonishing 37 stars (Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, etc) were considered for the forgetful parents - nothing roles in a film written for and duly stolen by the stranded kid, Macauley Culkin.
- Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993. Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Carrie, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!), Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.
Carrie died December 27, 2016, at age 63, following a heart attack - her broken-hearted mother, Debbie Reynolds (84), died the folowing day.