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Mary Steenburgen

 

  1. Cybill Shepherd, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  2. Julie Christie, Heaven Can Wait, 1977. Mr Hollywood, writer, director, star, Warren Beatty - always seemed to be having one of his legendary affairs with the right potential co-star at the right time. Mary was a possbility. With his pal Jack Nicholson, Beatty met her (waitressing) and they both wanted to direct her debut. (She selected Goin' South with Jack).. OK, there was always Charlie’s Angel Kate Jackson, Leslie Caron and yet to be Beattyed Diane Katon (well, Reds was four years away!). Christie, he always said, was the saving grace of the film’s triumph..
  3. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
  4. Frances Conroy, Another Woman, 1988.   Her second Woody Allen film was in the can and she was filming in Mississippi - when he needed, as always, some re-shoots. Impossible! So, rather like September the year before, Woody had to find... another woman. Steenburgen would have had billing. Broadway's Frances did not. Well, she was not yet the mother of Six Feet Under, TV, 2001-2006.
  5. 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 Steenburgen to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep). Plus Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Terri Garr, Mary Gross, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused the lead role but agreed to play the lawyer - on condition that Foster was the  client. 
  6. Christine Lahti,   Miss Firecracker, 1989.     Lahti was   pregnant. The director’s fault - her husband Thomas Schlamme.   She recommended Mary.   When  pregnant five years earlier, Steenburgen had nominated Lahti   as   her   replacement in Swing Shift, 1983.
  7. Geena Davis, The Accidental Tourist, 1988.     So, Geena got the support actress Oscar.   The sole shock of   the March 29 1989 Oscarnight   - as she beat, among others, Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl and   the exquisite favourite, Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Liaisons.
  8. Grace Zabriskie, Child’s Play 2, 1990.     Too busy with Back To The Future Part III to play Grace Poole in the killer-doll sequel.
  9. Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  10. Catherine O’Hara, Home Alone, 1990.  For the zero roles of Macauley Culkin’s forgetful parents (in a film written for and duly stolen by him), an astonishing 66 stars were considered - including 32 later seen for the hot lovers in Basic Instinct:Kim Basinger, Stockard Channing, Glenn Close, Kevin Costner, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Douglas, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Marilu Henner, Anjelica Huston, Helen Hunt, Holly Hunter, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Christopher Lloyd, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Annie Potts, Kelly Preston, Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, John Travolta.   Other near Moms were Kirstie Alley, Lynda Carter, Kim Cattrall, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Jennifer Grey, Gates McFadden, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Ally Sheedy, Mary Steenburgen, Debra Winger… and the inevitable unknown: Maureen McCormick, part of The Brady Bunch  for seven 1981 chapters.
    Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
  11. Lorraine Bracco, Medicine Man, 1992.    Bracco was, in a word (or accent), appalling. Cher, Steenburgen and Debra Winger were seen by director Martin Ritt for partnering Jack Nicholson in 1984, when the script was called Road Show. Sean Connery co-existed (barely) with Bracco for helmer John McTiernan when critics proved either 100% for or against. The Washington Post’s Hal Hinson actually wrote: “There's no sex here, and no real romance, per se. Instead, there's something deeper...” No there wasn’t!
  12. Wendy Crewson, The Good Son, 1993. Passed on being Macauley Culkin’s mother..
  13. Natasha Richardson, Waking Up In Reno, 2002. F   ive years earlier, Mary, Powers Boothe, Laura Dern, Barbara Hershey, had read for two trashy couples travelling to Reno to see a monster truck show.
  14. Jean Marsh, Oz the Great and Powerful, 2012.    “We’re going for the Frank L Baum book illustrations and nothing like that 1939 vaudeville thing,” said a Disney suit. Thanks for the warning said the fans, staying away in droves… Steenburgen and Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched, after all) were seen by editor-turned-auteur Walter Murch for Nurse Wilson here… and the witch Princess Mombi over there in Oz. With her powder of life. And spare heads. (Oh and Mr Suit, it is L Frank Baum. Explains a lot).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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