- Cybill Shepherd, The Last Picture Show, 1971. Sissy was 22, five years pre-Carrie and all she’d done was an extra work in Andy Warhol’s Trash, 1970.
- Marilyn Chambers, Rabid, Canada, 1972. Canadian weirdo director David Cronenberg fell for Sissy in Badlands but was also "fascinated with the Chambers myth, although I hadn't seen any of her films. She wanted to break into legitimate movies and hadn't made a porn movie for four or five years. She was willing to do a low-budget horror film. Only question was: can she do it? She was great - a complete professional."
- Laurie Heineman, Save The Tiger, 1973. Sissy passed the role of Myra went to the soap stat of As The World Turns, 1961-1966. Nobody noticed as this was Jack Lemmon’s master movie from start to (Oscar) finish..
- Jessica Harper, Phantom of the Paradise, 1973. She had just finished Badlands when testing for Phoenix. She lost but turned up anyway, as a set dresser when her future husband, production designer Jack Fisk, fired his entire crew on the first day. She claimed she ruined a day’s filming by doing her new job so badly. Director Brian De Palma still chose her two years later for Carrie.
- Nancy Allen, Carrie, 1976. "I thought I was testing for Chris!"
- Carrie Fisher, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1976.
- Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, 1977. The rôle was horrendous - the 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 possible little Violets - and another 15 actresses for her mother: Spacek, Candice Bergen, Cher, Glenn Close (passed), Mia Farrow, Farrah Fawcett (passed), Jane Fonda with Jodie Foster as her daughter), Goldie Hawn (prefered Foul Play), Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Liza Minnelli, Cybil Shepherd, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver. Malle and Sarandon became lovers and also made Atlantic City together in 1980… the year he married Bergen until his 1995 death.
- Mia Farrow, A Wedding, 1978. The ever brilliant director Robert Altman also lost another of his 3 Women: Shelley Duvall.
- Debra Winger, Urban Cowboy, 1980. Director James Bridges wrote it for her - the role was even called Sissy.
- Theresa Russell, Bad Timing, 1980. UK director Nicolas Roeg tried to set the film up three years before with Spacek and Art Garfunkle. He still had them in mind, he told me in London, when the money finally came through. “Oh Christ,” she said on the phone, “I’ve just signed for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Put it off six months.” “Sissy, if it doesn’t go now, I won’t do it.” “Oh God - good luck.” Spacek got an Oscar. Nic got a new wife - marrying Sissy’s “marvellous” replacement.
- Jessica Lange, Frances, 1982. Actress Frances Farmer had never been this popular in Hollywood when she was alive. They all wanted to play her: Sissy, Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld.
- Debra Winger, Terms of Endearment, 1983. Director James L Brooks wrote Emma for her but... "My baby was a baby then."
- 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. He decided 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 ladies were:Sissy, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, 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 Tyler Moore, Rhea Perlman(!), Michelle Pfeiffer, Gilda Radner(!), Deborah Raffin, Miranda Richardson, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, 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.
- Isabella Rossellini, Blue Velvet, 1985. Auteur David Lynch wrote Dorothy for Deborah Harry but she was sick of continually being offered weirdos. He next thought of Hanna Shygulla and then asked Isabella Rossellini to have her recent co-star, Helen Mirren, call him. The only Hollywood actress he mused upon was Sissy. When his phone rang it was Rossellini. She won the film - and the director. (Just like her mother, Ingrid Begrman, and Italian maestro Roberto Rossellini in 1949).
- 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 28 for her defence attorney. Including the Fatal Attraction also-rans (from Sissy to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep). Plus Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Terri Garr, Mary Gross, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused Jodie Foster’s Oscar-winning role and asked to play her lawyer.
- Anjelica Huston, The Grifters, 1990. Her “reality” convinced UK director Stephen Fears and his US producer Martin Scorsese. The role was her’s. Except, they had agreed to see Anjelica in the afternoon!
- Greta Scacchi, Shattered, 1991. German director Wolfgang Petersen’s 1989 choice (with William Hurt) when arranging a Hollywood debut with Richard Neely’s Plastic Nightmare thriller.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Meryl Streep, Marvin’s Room, 1996. The reunion of an estranged family had beenduein 1994 withSissy or Jessica Lange -co-stars in Crimes of the Heart, 1986.
- Frances Fisher, ER, TV, 2005. Sissy was first idea to playthe birth mother of Dr Weaver (Laura Innes),eventually played by Fisher in the 237th episode, Just As I Am.
- Melissa (Chessington) Leo, Don McKay, 2008. Debuting New Yorker auteur Jake Goldberger had “an extensive conversation” with Sissy about being Marie in the homage (shall we say) to the Coen brothers.
- Meryl Streep, Into The Woods, 2013.
- Diane Keaton, And So It Goes, 2014. She won the romcom and then decided against Leah, the neighbour of a Michael Douglas suddenly stuck with grand-daughter on his hands, ho, ho…
- Debra Winger, Boychoir, 2015. Subbed, for the third time, by Winger - in basically a US take on Les choristes. She was stuck on an earlier commitment, 13 episodes of the Bloodline series