- Francoise Dorléac, Cul-de-sac, 1966. Polish director Roman Polanski lost his desired newcomer to a Boulting brothers contract. Hence his bitchy comment: “Her very special looks weren’t matched by her acting experience.”
- Susannah York, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, 1969. Barbara Steele told me in London how her then-husband, scenarist James Poe, had written Alice for her.
- Genevieve Bujold, Anne of the Thousand Days, 1968. When Peter O’Toole was due to be her husband, Henry VIII. Also up for the chop: Julie Christie, Faye Dunaway, Olivia Hussey and Elizabeth Taylor - when Richard Burton finally became the king.
- Susan George, Straw Dogs, 1971. The rape scene turned off most fearless British actresses: Jacqueline Bisset,Judy Geeson, Hayley Mills, Helen Mirren and Diana Rigg.And for the same reason that Sue quit the set -director Sam Peckinpah wanted it to be overly explicit. Producer Dan Melnick agreed she was “somewhat victimised - but it got the performance.” (She later named her movie combine after the role: Amy).
- Susannah York, Images, 1972. All set until director Robert Altman fell for Susannah as Jane Eyre during an Aer Lingus flight to Europe.
- Jacqueline Bisset,The Thief Who Came To Dinner, 1973. Pregnant with her first son, future stage director Barnaby Southcombe.
- Corinne Clery, The Story of O, France, 1975. Realisateur Just Jaeckin aimed high. Too high. Because he was no Liliana Cavani or Luchino Visconti..
- Marthe Keller, Marathon Man, 1976 “I choose the parts that challenge me to break through my own barriers. To discover what normal means, you have to surf a tide of weirdness."
- Susan Clark, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, 1976. She’d had an earlier date with Sherlock Holmes that year in Roger Moore's TV film, Sherlock Holmes in New York.
- Jennifer O'Neill, L'Innocente, Italy, 1976. Romy Schneider was pregnant and Rampling regretted refusing. “I was ill at the time. Visconti, as well - and he gave it to a typical D’Annunzio femme. She looks like Barbara Leoni, the great love of D'Annunzio.”
- Jane Birkin, Le diable au coeur, France, 1976. Warners poured money in, hoping for another Last Tango In Paris. (Pouah! said one French critic). Realisateur Bernard Queysanne wrote it for Birkin “and for her alone,” although she told him to take fellow-Brit, Charlotte. “For perverted scenes and bed work where you’re all tied up with ropes, there’s no one like her.”
- Bibi Andersson, I've Never Promised You A Rose Garden, 1977. The first plan then was that Bibi would be the shrink, Dr Fred (!). With Maria Schneider as her patient.
- Susannah York, Eliza Fraser, Australia, 1977. Director Tim Burtsall “didn’t think she was a comedy actress.” Obviously Sue made him laugh - they had an immediate affair.
- Isabelle Adjani, The Driver, 1978. Recovering from birth of second son, David Jarre.
- Jacqueline Bisset, The Greek Tycoon, 1978. Charlotte passed on the thinly disguised Jackie Onassis.
- Helen Mirren, Caligula, 1978.
- Marie-FrancePisier, Chanel Solitaire, France, 1980. Another rejection of a real life role:Coco Chanel's.
- MerylStreep,TheFrench Lieutenant's Woman,1981. Top choice of two companies in 1975.Another two companies later, it reached Meryl.
- Marie-France Pisier, Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), Austria-West Germany-France-Italy, 1981. After Alexander Kordafailed to produce his dream movie, the Thomas Mann classic was among the 1973 projects of Italian maestro Luchino Visconti. He met with Mann’s second son, Golo, and talked to Rampling and (of course) Helmut Berger. Nothing happened(nor for the Plan B filming Mann’s L’Intrus). German director Hans W Geissendorfer made the ’81 version.
- Patricia Hodge, Betrayal, 1982. With Julie Christie, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep gone (and potential directors Mike Nichols and Louis Malle), Rampling entered the list for producer of Sam Spiegel’s final and ill-chosen film… “This can be as important as Brief Encounter, ” said Sam, perhaps forgetting that had been a David Lean film. And, as proved by all Spiegel films since The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, without Lean. Spiegel was zilch.
- Francesca Annis, Dune, 1984.
- Bebe Neuwirth, Bugsy, 1991. French New Wave ikon Jean-Luc Godard was forever nearly beating Hollywood - Bonnie and Clyde, Lolita... In 1979 he tried to set up his own Bugsy Siegel biopic, for Jean-Paul Belmondo, Vittorio Gassman, Diane Keaton - and Charlotte as (Gary Cooper’s lover) Countess di Frasso.
- Kate O’Mara, Absolutely Fabulous, TV, 1995-2003.No thanks said Rampling to the offer of Patsy Stone's sister Jackie (a UK Jackie Onassis). Creator and star Jennifer Saundersthen called up Kate...
- Anne Reid, The Mother, 2002. A granny falling for her daughter’s builder boyfriend! The Money Men said Julie Christie - orCharlotte.Or no money.Director Roger Michell, fuelled by the success of Notting Hill, said:No. “The ‘fairy story’ of the film is of someone who is almost dead being brought back to life... She had to be a woman who not only didn't have a sexual present but, for all intents and purposes, didn't have a sexual past, either. This is about someone who is almost invisible and she turns into a kind of 22-year-old. We saw a few actresses but there was never any competition once we met Anne. Some part of her experience chimed particularly with this role and made her understand great chunks of it in a very intuitive and instinctive way."