Oliver Reed (1938-1999)
- Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone, 1961. “Why are you looking so nervous?” director Elia Kazan asked Olly during his audition at London’s Dorchester Hotel. “You’re Mr Kazan - that’s why!” He didn’t become Vivien Leigh’s gigolo and Mr Kazan never made the film, passing the Tennessee Williams project to fellow Broadway director José Quintero.
- Alfred Lynch, West 11, 1963.Young director Michael Winner’s producer, Danny Angel, said Reed wasn’t good enough. “I wasn’t too upset... because he also turned down Julie Christie!” (And Sean Connery).Winner promised to use them once he had more control. He never landed Connery or Christie but made five movies with Reed.
- George Lazenby, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, 1969.
- Patrick McGoohan, Mary, Queen of Scots, 1971. Mia Farrow was to be queen, with Olly as her brother and regent before Universal began musical executive-chairs.
- Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, 1971. “If Malcolm McDowell hadn't been available,” said Stanley Kubrick, “I probably wouldn't have made the film.” There had been other Alexes… Mick Jagger was first, after paying a mere $500 to needy author Anthony Burgess for the rights. The other Rolling Stones were to be Alex’s droogs (directed by John Schlesinger with a music by The Beatles?!) After censor hassles, Jagger sold the rights for a big profit. Ken Russell loomed large with, of course, his main man, Oliver Reed. Tim Curry and Irons simply fled. Next director? The Venetian Tinto Brass - who, of course, later chose McDowell for his infamous Caligua, 1979.
- Robert Shaw, The Sting, 1973. Reed played the part in the (empty) sequel .Olly called himself “a boozy ram.” The doctor examined him on the set of Castaway, 1985, and pronounced he had more alcohol in his blood than blood.
- Roy Scheider, Jaws, 1974.
- John Huston, Sherlock Holmes in New York,TV,1976. Roger Moore agreed to the idea of Reed as the villainous Professor Moriarty. Reed did not. He told Moore: “You once said to me: Stick to playing villains because you can’t do comedy.Well, I’ve just done a comedy and I was brilliant. So I don’t think I want to play your Moriarty.”
- Donald Sutherland, Novocento/1900, 1976. Wasn’t a comedy, either... Nude wrestling for director Ken Russell was one thing.Sodomising a young boy - no way, José.
- Jean-Louis Trintignant, Malevil, France, 1980. Due to have been the pitiless, hardline Fulbert in the1976 plans.
- Nicholas Clay, Lady Chatterly’s Lover, 1980. A year earlier, Hollywood backers had chosen him as Mellors opposite Sarah Miles - until realising DH Lawrence did not write Beauty and the Beast. Chatting up Olly to be Mellors then became a Cannon ploy to try and get his pal, Ken Russell, to direct. They had famously tackled another DH Lawrence book, Women In Love, 1968. Ian McShane’s new lady objected to him sharing sex scenes with his ex-lover, Sylvia Kristel, and so Clay became the world’s most famous gamekeeper, In 1993, Russell made his own Lady C as a BBC TV mini-series with Joely Richardson and Sean Bean as the lovers.
- Richard Harris, Tarzan, The Ape Man, 1981.
- Anthony Hopkins, The Bounty, 1983. "Terribly impressed" with Olly's AthosinRichard Lester's pair ofThree Musketeers films, iconic director David Lean chose Reed to be the third Captain Bligh in his two-film plans, before Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis blew them out of the water and went for a cheaper, single version. "It was butchered," said Lean. "I hadn't theheart to see it." Reed's uncle, Sir Carol Reed, had started the previous Brando version in 1962.
- David Hemmings, The Rainbow, 1989. Ken Russell’s sequel to his Women In Love, 1969, boasted two of the original cast (GlendaJackson, Christopher Gable) and nearly collected another when Ken called up Reed after Elton John backed away from playing Uncle Henry. Except Olly was too busy Athosing away in third Muskeeters film.
- George Murcell, Cutthroat Island, 1995. In his later, bearded, plumpyears he greatly resembled Edward VII, though no one noticed or was motivated by it. And so, there the old sod was, being sacked for bar fighting and mooning the star (Geena Davis) and being replaced as Mordachai Fingers by the veteran UK baddy in his 77th and final screen role. And Reed died four years later.
- Christopher Plummer, Beginners, 2009. The aged father who came out of (Geena Davis) and being replaced as Mordachai Fingers by the veteran UK baddy in his 77th and final screen role. Reed died four years later.