Dame Julie Andrews
- Jean Seberg, Saint Joan, 1957. Seven years away from her double whammy of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, at 22 Julie was a more musical than drama star. (Indeed, she starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s TV Cinderella, instead). She later became close friends with another (odd) notion of the tyrannical producer-director Otto Preminger - Carol Burnett, future comic and Godmother of Julie’s daughter, Emma Walton.
- Moira Shearer, Peeping Tom, 1960. She was a Michael Powell pal but had not yet made her screen debut. He rejected her as “too famous.” Disney would never have allowed her to be Mary Poppins if she’d been part of Powell’s vilified “scandal.” It ruined his career.
- Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady, 1964. Jack Warner’s biggest error - guarding his record $5.5m purchase by choosing non-singing Hepburn (at $1m) over Broadway's star (at $75,000), thereby allowing Walt Disney to offer a triumphant consolation prize ($125,000). Hollywood remembered on Oscarnight, ditching Eliza Dolittle for Mary Poppins as Best Actress.
- Kim Novak, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, 1965. Losing the Connerys, director Terence Young chased after the Julies. Andrews and Christie. “Julie Andrews would have been a different sort of Moll but there are many facets to her.”
- Vanessa Redgrave, Camelot, 1967. The übercalifragilisticexpialidocious Andrews was announced with Richard Burton in 1964. Well, they had been the Broadway team. Shani Wallis, Oliver! 1967. When Lewis Gilbert was “was born to direct it,”the A List names fell like confetti... Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole, Peter Sellers - and Elizabeth Taylor as Nancy. When Hollywood turned stupid(not for the last time). Hey, Fagin’s a Cockney, right? (Jewish, actually). Who was the last great [sic] Cockney - and who was his co-star then? Right, let’s get the Mary Poppins pair - Julie and Dick Van Dyke. This was not the reason Gilbert never made the film. Just one of them.
- Shani Wallis, Oliver! 1967. When Lewis Gilbert was “was born to direct it,” the A List names fell like confetti... Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier, Peter O’Toole, Peter Sellers - and Elizabeth Taylor as Nancy. When Hollywood turned stupid (not for the last time). Hey, Fagin’s a Cockney, right? (Jewish, actually). Who was the last great [sic] Cockney - and who was his co-star then? Right, let’s get the Mary Poppins pair - Julie and Dick Van Dyke. This was not The Reason Gilbert never made the film. Just one of them.
- Sally Ann Howes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1967. Julie could sing this one: Truly Scrumptious was for Julie designed, whereupon she declined... Sally Ann had succeeded Julie in the Broadway run of My Fair Lady. “They couldn’t have picked a better Truly Scrumptious, she was stunningly beautiful,” said co-star Dick Van Dyke. “She loved those kids and they loved her… spent a lot of time with them, you know, between shots telling stories and playing games.” The film flopped. So did Julie’s Star! and Darling Lili.
- Jean Seberg, Paint Your Wagon, 1968. Julie (and her usual reserve: Sally Ann Howes), Faye Dunaway and Lesley Ann Warren passed. Diana Rigg proved unwell. Kim Novak pounced. But the US star of the French nouvelle vague won Elizabeth and, for a while, her co-star: Clint Eastwood… "plain nuts" about her.
- Petula Clark, Goodbye Mr Chips, 1969. She was due to re-unite with her Camelot stage partner, Richard Burton... who, ironcially, refused Pet Clark as a substitute because she was... a singer! What was Julie, an ecdysiast?
- Julia Foster, Half A Sixpence, 1967. As we have seen, she was chased for just every musical; for evertyh musi alParamount didn’t quite understand what it had in the musical based on HG Wells’ Kipps - wanting Andrews or Ann-Margret, Dick Van Dyke and Bob Hope for the top roles!
- Angela Lansbury, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971. Disney's inevitable choice for Eglantine Price (a witch in training) as songs and scenes were devised by Mary Poppins maker Robert Stevenson and songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman. Angela had been one of Disney's early thoughts for Mary Poppins.
Twiggy, The Boy Friend, 1971. Announced for the lead in 1964. Twiggy’s was the West End role that led to Julie winning My Fair Lady on Broadway.
- Glenda Jackson, The Boy Friend, 1971. Then, in 1970, Ken Russell cheekily offered her the cameo of the injured star... (so the understudy must go on...and be a star).
- Mia Farrow, Follow Me! (US: The Public Eye), 1972. The 1965 plan with Cary Grant.
- Jane Alexander, City Heat, 1984. Not often a Clint Eastwood film goes belly up. Well, it was Blake Edwards project to begin with: Kansas City Jazz. Mailing his script to Sondra Locke to win Clint's interest, Edwards naturally suggested his own wife for the other role. Clint’s co-star, Burt Reynolds, yelled foul! Having made The Man Who Loved Women with Julie (also directed by Edwards), Burt had no wish to repeat the experience. Clint backed him up - getting rid of the both Edwards and Sondra, as well.
- Kim Basinger, My Stepmother Is An Alien, 1988. Film went through three female aliens, three titles, eight writers, 15 scripts and $2m in six years. And never got it right!
- Angela Lansbury, Beauty and the Beast, 1990. Julie was up for voicing Mrs Potts in Disney’s 30th toon feature - won by Lansbury, one of Walt Disney’s original choices for Mary Poppins, long before the 1963 production. Julie finally joined cartoon voices as John Cleese’s queen in the Shrek franchise in 2003.
- Leslie Caron, Let It Be Me, 1995. Too busy planning a Broadway version of Victor/Victoria - and refusing a stage Thoroughly Modern Millie.
- Christine Ebersole,The Wolf of Wall Street, 2012. Martin Scorsese’s first notion for the titular eco-criminal Leonardo DiCaprio’smother - in their fifth collaboration.(Rob Reiner played his father. And two other directors were also cast: Jon Favreau and Spike Jonze).
- James Corden, Into The Woods, 2013.