Mary Tyler Moore

  1. Penney Parker, Make Room For Daddy, TV, 1953-1965.     The star, Danny Thomas, said that the only reason the unknown MTM lost her second TV gig was because her nose looked so different from his that no one would believe she was his daughter. But… but… not all girls resemble their fathers. (Thank goodness !) New York’s Parker was done and gone in 1964 after eight screen roles, while Mary became Dick Van Dyke’s TV wife, 1961-1966, and made her initials into one of the finest US TV production companies responsible for her own Shows and those of Bob Crane, Bob Newhart, Tony Randall and Betty White. Plus: Bay City Blues, Hill Street Blues, Lou Grant, Phyllis, Remington Steele, Rhoda, St Elsewhere, The White Shadow, WKRP in Cincinnati… to name a few!
  2. Jean Seberg, Saint Joan, 1957.      She was 21, one of Eddie Fisher’s TV dancers – four years away from becoming a tele-comedy icon in The Dick Van Dyke Show – when the tyrannical producer-director Otto Preminger considered MTM for 19-year-old Maid of Orleans. He also considered such unlikely Joans as Ursula Andress, Julie Andrews, Anne Bancroft, Claire Bloom, Carol Burnett, Joan Collins, Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine, Kim Novak (from Otto’s Man With The Golden Arm, 1955), Debbie Reynolds, Maggie Smith, Liz Taylor and… Mamie Van Doren!
  3. Katharine Hepburn, Rooster Cogburn, 1974.      If well enough to reprise his Oscar-winning True Grit marshal, John Wayne wanted Ingrid Bergman as Eula Goodnight, no less. Hal Wallis shortlisted Bette Davis, Maureen O’Hara, (of course!). Plus true Brits Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith.   But he rejected any comeback for Loretta Young (his producer son Mike Wayne’s godmother) which is when, in trying to avoid two wrinklie co-stars, Duke suggested Mary Tyler Moore. Hepburn won because the script by ex-Duke co-star Martha Hyer (Mrs Wallis, credited as Martin Julien) was a flagrant rehash of her African Queen – as pathetic as director Stuart Miller. It was his second feature. The “6ft 6ins sonuvabitch no-talent, ” as Duke termed him, never made a third.

  4. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.  
    In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal.    He decided to go older… and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no.   The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, Deborah Raffin, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura), two singers (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore…plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, from Saturday Night Live. 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.

  5. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.
  6. Kathy Bates, Misery, 1990.   “Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die… you die.”   Although claiming she was not an actress who could create a character – “I play me”   – MTM tried hard to get into the fray for the vindictive fan – which led to Bates’ Oscar on March 25, 1991.  For  the 32nd of Stephen King’s staggering 313 screen credits,  his Stand By Me director Rob Reiner also considered  Roseanne Barr,  Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange,  comics Roseanne Barr,  Vicki Lawrence, Rosie O’Donnell, and singers Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand… until scenarist William Goldman picked Bates.  King later wrote Dolores Claibourneand rewrote Ray as Rae in The Stand, for Kathy.


 Birth year: 1936Death year: 2017Other name: Casting Calls:  6