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Joanne Woodward

  1. Eva Marie Saint, On The Waterfront, 1954.      She lost Edie Doyle because Marlon Brando was not at her audition - but he was at Eva Marie’s. And literally danced her into the role.  Brando suggested changing the title to The Three Collaborators as not only director Elia Kazan but writer Budd Schulberg and co-star Lee J Cobb had named names in the HUAC witch-hunt hearings..
  2. Shirley Jones, Oklahoma, 1955.    From the outset, director Fred Zinnemann wanted actors rather than singers... Montgomery Clift or JamesDean as Curly, Eva Marie Saint for Laurey, Rod Steiger or Eli Wallach as p’or Jud Fry. For a wee while, it looked as if Woodward and future husband Paul Newman would be Laurey and Curly. However, the musical’s parents had casting approval -Rodgers and Hammerstein, agreed only about Steiger.PS: Oklahoma was shot in... Arizona.  
  3. Eleanor Parker, The Man With The Golden Arm, 1955.   Buying the rights from John Garfield’s estate, producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger defied the Production Code and made a film - not only daring to mention the word “drugs” but dealing with addiction. Woodward and Barbara Bel Geddes were early choises for Zosh, wed to Frank Sinatra’s heroin-addled card dealer.
  4. Elizabeth Taylor, Giant, 1955.
  5. Hope Lange, The True Story of Jesse James, 1957.    Just as Arlen Whelan was replaced by Nancy Kelly as Jesse’s main squeeze, Zeralda “Zee” Cobb, in the 1939 version, Woodward was substituted in the re-make. Never mind, Joanne had bigger fish to try... The Three Faces of Eve.
  6. Hope Lange,  The Young Lions, 1957.   First chocice for Hope Plowman, but Fox moved her - rightly - into The Long Hot Summer. With  her husband, Paul Newman.  And director  Edward Dmytryk called up a real Hope…for Montgomery Clift’s gal. 
  7. Shirley MacLaine, Some Came Running, 1957.   Joanne had no wish to work with Frank Sinatra.   Shirley did.. Adding Ginny Moorehead to her Top Six characters Fran Kubelik, Irma La Douce, Aurora Greenway, Gittel Mosca, Jennifer Rogers...   And becoming the only woman in the Rat Pack. 
  8. Elizabeth Taylor, Suddenly, Last Summer, 1959.   Gore Vidal (who wrote the script with its playwright, Tennessee Williams) pushed for his New York friend to play  Catherine Holly - opposite Bette Davis as the dreadful Mrs  Violet Venable.  Neither producer Sam Spiegel or  his director Joseph L Mankiewicz, agreed.  “The bitch,” said Sam about Taylor, “asked for $1m.” She won two contracts, $125,000 for acting, $375,00 as co-producer through her Camp Films (!),  plus 10% of the gross in excess of $5m. (She got her $1m on her next Mankiewicz film, Cleopatra).  When she arrived in London, direct from her honeymoon with Eddie Fisher,  Spiegel got a worrisome message from  his  publicist Arthur Canton. “She’s fat.”
  9. Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1963.
  10. Deborah Kerr, The Chalk Garden, 1964.     Pregnant. And so Hayley Mills and Deborah took over from Sandra Dee and... the first actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (in 1960).

  11. Angie Dickinson, Point Blank, 1966.   Angie remains the most memorable Chris in Hollywood movies since Yul Brynnerin The Magnificent Seven, 1960. Also on UK director John Boorman’s list: Lee Remick and Alexandra Stewart. Theyrefused er, dare I say it - shucks, why not! - point blank.
  12. Kim Hunter, Planet of the Apes, 1967.
  13. Debbie Reynolds, What's the Matter with Helen?, 1970.   Impressed by What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in 1962, director Curtis Harrington and producer George Edwards asked novelist Henry Farrell  what else he had in his bottom drawer. He showed them a contemporary story, The Box Step, about two old ladies running  a dance school. “ Change it to the 30s and we’ll get Joanne!”   He did. They didn’t.
  14. Liv Ullmann, 40 Carats, 1973.     Director of legend, William Wyler, quit when he could not decide betweenAudrey Hepburn, Glenda Jackson, Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley MacLaine - or even Doris Day! -as the 40-something falling for a 20-something toy boy.
  15. Katharine Ross, The Stepford Wives, 1975,    Seven possible Joannas were shuffled back and forth by the Britishwriter-director Bryan Forbes and his LA producer Edger Scherick.
  16. Jessica Tandy,Fried Green Tomatoes, 1991.      First reserve in case Jessica’s cancer worsened. She went on and garnered won another Oscar nod. She would have agreed with Joanne’s 1987 comment: "Acting is like sex. You should do it, not talk about it."
  17. Miranda Richardson, The Big Brass Ring, 1998.Orson Welles wanted a star couple - the Newmans or the Cassavetes -as the Presidential candidate (and his wife) embroiled in a gay scandal in his mid-80s script.









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