- Michael Parks,The Bible, 1966. AGlasgow passport photographer came to the rescue when York,touring with the National Theatre, was asked to urgently send a full body shot to John Huston's casting director in Rome. "Braving old-fashioned looks and goose-pimples, I stripped down to my underwear and sheepishly adopted a suitable Mr Universe stance." "Interessantissimo,"said producer Dino DeLaurentiis. The Italian stage-screen director Franco Zeffirelli wanted more than a photo in 1966 - York had to audition in Rome for The Taming of the Shrew. With a lousy photo, he lost. With a test, in person, he won Lucentio.
- Roberto Bisacco, Romeo and Juliet, 1968. Zeffirelli offered him Paris or Tybalt - and promised shooting would not clash with his swinging London thriller,The Strange Affair. As Juliet's fiery cousin, Tybalt, he'd only be needed in Italy for two weeks. Actually, three "magical, unforgettable" months!
- David Hemmings, Barbarella, 1968. While Tybalting in Rome, French réalisateur Roger Vadim offered a cameo in his over-stuffed sf frolic. York, however,was due on the beat as a London copper called Peter Strange. Antonio Sabato (from Grand Prix) took over and Vadim dropped him and re-shot the sequence as soon as Mr Blow Up blew into Rome.
- Hiram Keller, Fellini Satyricon, 1970. The Italian maestro and potential star met in London although York was committed to Justine. "Now I know you can't do the role," said Federico Fellini, "I know that no one else could possibly do it." Keller would probably agree.
- Ryan O’Neal, Love Story, 1970.
- Edward Woodward, The Wicker Man, 1973. The director wanted York, the writer voted David Hemmings, andthe producer thought only of Woodward. Christopher Lee didn’t care who the cop was, as he had one of his all-time great roles as Lord Summerisle. And he played itfor free. And the film’s negative ended up as landfill under a British motorway...
- Simon Ward, All Creatures Great and Small, 1975. Too busy when asked to enact the 1930s memoirs of best-selling veterinarian James Heriot (aka James Alfred Wight) opposite Anthony Hopkins. (Cast and crew called it, All Creatures Grunt and Smell).
- Robert Duvall, The Seven Per Cent Solution, 1976. York discovered author and future film-makerNicholasMeyer as a publicist fresh out of university. Impressed by his first scripts and plays, York recommended Meyer to his agent...and was "chagrined" at having to turn down Dr Watson.
- Keith Carradine, The Duellists, 1977. Chosen and then summarily discarded (along with Michael Moriarty) from UK director Ridley Scott's first feature.
- Jon Finch, Death On The Nile, 1978. Attached, briefly, to the second star-stuffed hommage to Agatha Christie.Yawn! York had also suffered first, Murder on the Orient Express, 1974. Yawn-yawn!
- Rod Mullinar, Breaker Morant, Australia, 1980. Before Aussie film-maker Bruce Beresford's let's-go-international production went rather more (correctly) Australian.
- Harry Hamlin, Clash of the Titans, 1980. Roger Ebert likened it to a Greek mythological retread of Star Wars. Also in the frame for Skywalker - er, Perseus - were York, Richard Chamberlain and Malcolm McDowell. even an unknown body-builder called Arnold Schwarzenegger. So destiny for Hamlin. Ursula Andress played Aphrodite. Soon after shooting ended, she gave birth to their son, Dimitri.
- David Meyer, The Tempest, 1979. York was among UK directing legend Michael Powell’s ideas for King Alonso’s son, Ferdinand, during his 25 year obssession about filming the Shakespeare play. According to Dominic Nolan in The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See book, Derek Jarman felt he’d inherited Powell’s deeam. Hah! He made a (typically) homoerotic job of it in 1979. New York Times critic Vincent Canby was unimpressed: “Funny if it weren't very nearly unbearable.”
- John Howard, The Club, Australia, 1980. Director Bruce Beresford called Yorkback forthe high-price imported soccer star hooked more on drugs than teamanship.York passed,reasoning that "an authentic ensemble - and a stronger personal interest - was essential for a story about one of Australia's greatest passions - football." As with Love Story, he visited the set.
- Jacques Dutronc, Malevil, France, 1981. When first planned in 1976.
- RaySharkey, Regina Roma, 1982. Shot in Rome instead of Louisiana.
- James Woods, Once Upon A Time In America, 1984. Italy's magic maestro Sergio Leone said York was physically perfect for his gangster epic - "pity he's English!" Annoyed at such short-sightedness, York agreed to stepson Rick McCallum's idea of shooting a test to prove that "actors are supposed to act." McCallum, producer of Dennis Potter's classics - Pennies From Heaven and The Singing Detective - arranged an elite crew: cinematographer Conrad Hall, editor Richard Marks, director John Schlesinger! "Our secret little film is one of my favorites " said York. He worked on a Bronx accent - "Fordy thousan'dahlahs, ya dumb schmuck!" - for an improvised scene between two hoods, "immortalised on 35mm stock and despatched to Leone." And it won him over. For a wee while.
- Tim Robbins, Erik The Viking, 1988. There was a flurry of names run up various flagpoles to be Erik, from York to Nicolas Cage and Michel Plain to... wait for it... Harrison Ford!!!
- Wadeck Stanczak, Cellini: A Violent Life, Italy, 1991. Four days before due to fly to Italy in 1969, the Benvenuto Cellini biopic was cancelled - until made by Verona director Giacomo Battiato as an Italo-Franco-German tele-series 21 years later.
- Bruce Boxleitner, Babylon 5, TV, 1994-1998. Among the several candidates for Captain John Sheridan, the 2258 commander of what’s left of five space stations... He guested in one 1996 episode, A Late Delivery From Avalon, as a guy believing he was King Arthur.
- Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996. Hollywood goes Who. Why? For the pilot of a USeries to exhume the BBC science-fiction cult, buried since it ran out of puff after 26 seasons in 1989. As if to prove this was big deal LA in action (!),some 63 actors were listed for Doc8 and a further 71 (well, some were on both lists) for his foe, The Master. Such as James Bond, Dracula, Gandhi, Han Solo, Freddy Krueger, Magnum, Spock, Jean-Luc Picard and - hey, they’re doctors! - Emmett Brown and Frank-N-Furter. Aka… Timothy Dalton, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Robert Englund, Tom Selleck, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Christopher Lloyd and Tim Curry. And Tybault…