- Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver, 1975.
- Faye Dunaway, Network, 1976. Difficult to believe, but Lenz (tied up with TV’s Rich Man, Poor Man) was supposedly offered Diana Christensen, the anything-for-ratings programming chief at UBS TV - at 23...!!! Faye got the Oscar... at 35.
- Diane Keaton, Annie Hall, 1976. The working title was Anhedonia - the inability to feel pleasure. Singer David Cassidy seem to suffer from it. He persuaded his girlfriend to reject the titular role. La Dee… Damn! Yet she still married him in 1977 - for six years.
- Sigourney Weaver, Alien, 1978. Veronica Cartwright and Meryl Streep (!) were also up for Ripley, the most iconic woman in sf movies. Cartwright only knew she’d struck out when called back for costume tests… as Lambert in Ridley Scott’s perfect movie.
- Brooke Shields, The Blue Lagoon, 1979. Auditioned for Emmeline - despite Grease director Randal Kleiser wanting his shipwrecked couple to be naked throughout the re-make. (They were not). Shields had her long hair glued to her front - and a nude body double.
- Bo Derek, 10, 1979.
- Liza Minnelli, Arthur, 1980. In an attempt to revive a career going nowhere since Clint Eastwood chose her for Breezy, 1974, Kay worked hard on trying to win Arthur’s ideal woman Linda Marolla. Her rivals included Mia Farrow, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Hershey, Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Cybill Shepherd, Meryl Streep,Tuesday Weld. Lenz worked on non-stop, mainly in TV, into the 21th Century - 105 titles in 44 years to 2011.
- Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface, 1982. Tried hard to be the glacial Elvira Hancock, but director Brian De Palma (succeeding Sidney Lumet) rejected her. And Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Colleen Camp, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Deborah Raffin, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Kathleen Turner.
- Tuesday Weld, Once Upon A Time In America, 1983. Sergio Leone was keen until his star, Robert De Niro, introduced him to Tuesday - “as beautiful as the young Bardot.” Coming from a showbiz family, Kay made her TV debut at eight weeks old and acted in her first stage play at 13. Kay beat Tuesday to Clint Eastwood’s first directing-only gig, Breezy, in 1972.
- 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 46 ladies were: Lenz, 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, 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, Sissy Spacek, 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.
- Kathleen Turner, Prizzi’s Honour, 1984. “I've been doin' three to four hits a year for the past couple of years, most at full pay…” Director Johnm Huston looked over 11 Charley Partanna potentials, 19 Maerose Prizzis, but just five Irene Walkers… and three of them (Kristy McNichol, Tatum O’Neal, Brooke Shields) were too young to be falling for Jack Nicholson, hit man for the prizzi Family and the unlikeliest Mafioso since the Corleones’ James Caan. Lenz had been first choice.
- Barbara Hershey, Hannah And Her Sisters, 1985. The fact that David Cassidy’s now ex-wife and former teenage rodeo rider rejected Woody Allen for a crummy horror flick called House (anyone remember it?) underlined how badly Kay played her career. After playing William Holden’s perfect mistress - the young, sassy, sexy Breezy - for director Clint Easwtood in 1972, she was up for almost everything, including Woody Allen’s version of the Farrow sisters: Mia, Tisa, Stephanie Michael Caine said everyone was so respectful it was like shooting in a church. As for Kay, she slipped into TV guest shots and the odd series, never anything important enough to steer her back to movies. What a waste!
- Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987.
- Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988. Although considered “not sexy enough,” Jodie won the role and her first Oscar. Andie MacDowell had been first choice - understandably as the role was written for her. But Paramount suits perversely saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim or for their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Otherwise, the Fatal Attraction also-rans (from Lenz to Debra Winger, by way of Diane Keaton and, naturally, Meryl Streep). Plus Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Justine Bateman, Jennifer Beals, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah, Mariel Hemingway, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly McGillis, Virginia Madsen, Demi Moore, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Kelly Preston, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Mia Sara, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman. Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!
- Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
- Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct, 1991.
- Sandra Bullock, Speed, 1993. Although sharing the heroics and the driving of the bus-bomb with Keanu Reeves, most girls saw it as The Guy’s film. An amazing 36 refused to be Annie: Lenz, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Halle Berry, Glenn Close (!) , Geena Davis, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Mariska Hargitay, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Jane Seymour, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep (!), Emma Thompson (!), Meg Tilly, Marisa Tomei, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger.