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George Hamilton


  1. Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring  of Mrs Stone, 1961.   On the scratch list for Vivien Leigh’s Rome gigolo, Paolo di Leo, in  Tennessee Williams’ favourite movie of his work (his sole novel, in fact) were… the Roman looking Hamilton, Frankie Avalon (!), John Cassavetes, James Darren, Fabian, Ben Gazzara, George Hamilton, Jeffrey Hunter, and John  Saxon. Oh and Anthony Newley - more talented than any of them but hardly Italiano. 
  2. Glenn Ford, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, 1962.    Before Vincente Minnelli replaced Richard Brooks in the saddle.
  3. Michael Caine, The Wrong Box, 1966.    “Michael was offered the film first,” George told me. “He couldn’t fit it in. Bryan Forbes asked me. I agreed. Then, Michael found he was free after all. I had a verynice, apologetic letter from Bryan explaining everything.”
  4. Leslie Nielsen, Gunfight In Abilene, 1967. Due to co-star in the Western with Bobby Darin. What an odd couple.
  5. Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate, 1967.   On producer Lawrence Turman’s handwritten wish list of nine actors (Beatty, McQueen to  Peppard, Redford)  for the titular Benjamin Braddock. Director   Mike  Nichols  said: “Turman, you SOB, you got me into a movie that can’t be cast!” So he saw, tested, auditioned and sometimes called back  (Jack Nicholson certainly) almost every  guy of the correct age for the titular Benjamin Braddock. From Norman Bates to Robin – and the kid from Shane (Brandon De Wilde, now 25).  Plus Hamilton, Keir Dullea, Steve McQueen, Michael Parks, George Peppard, Anthony Perkins, Burt Ward (too busy with TV’s Batman)  And the prerequisite outsider: ex-MGM pactee turning director, Lee Stanley. Hoffman got it right: “There is no piece of casting in the 20th century that I know of that is more courageous than putting me in that part.”
  6. Earl Holliman, The Power, 1968.   Producer George Pal had tagged George for the suspected killer in his science fiction thriller. “But the front office insisted... Hamilton in the lead or no picture.”  Result: a major flop. “Our biggest problem,” noted Pal, “was that Hamilton wasn’t quite right for the part.” Story of his career.
  7. Bekim Fehmiu,The Adventurers, 1969.    French star Alain Delon also refused play author Harold Robbins’ priapic hero based by writer Harold Robbins on Porfirio Rubirosa. the Dominican diplomat-playboy with the massive penis. (Paris waiters called their giantpepper-grinders, Rubirosas, after it). George had previously replaced Delon in Viva Maria,1965.
  8. Jim Hutton, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, 1973.    Hamiltonwas supposed to be Kim Darby’s husband when they inherit her grandmother’s mansion....and the demonic creatures within.
  9. Leonard Harris, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  10. Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs Kramer, 1979.    Hoffman originally felt it all too treacly untilit began to mirror his eventual divorce from Ann Byrne.
  11. Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie,1982.
  12. George Segal, The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood, TV, 1984.    “George Hamilton fell out and they came to me and they said... And, and not unlike Mel Brooks, that idea of the Errol Flynn version captured you - and so the idea of being able to play that - and at 50 I think - oh, I had a great time.”





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