Michael O’Keefe

1. – Tim Daly, Diner, 1981. He said no to Baltimore auteur Barry Levinson. And the career of the recent Oscar nominee, for The Great Santini, never recovered. Not, it musty be said, that Daly proved the most successful of the troupe, compared to Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, or even Steve Guttenberg and Daniel Stern.

2. – Peter MacNichol, Sophie’s Choice,  1982. The future ordained Zen Buddhist priest lost out on being Stingo.  He was ordained in 1996, into the same branch of Buddhism as Leonard Cohern, Peter Coyote, etc.

3. – Zeljko Ivanek, Mass Appeal, 1984. Flipped for it with Eric Roberts – and the Slovenia-born Ivanek  repeated his Broadway triumph.

4. – Val Kilmer, The Doors, 1991. Among the many Jim Morrison wannabes as the biopic passed through  eight directors over 20 years. Writer-director Oliver Stone only ever wanted Val. “He loves to fuck with your mind, so you have to play mind games with him.”

5. – Bruce Greenwood, Thirteen Days, 2001.  As directors came and went (Phil Alden Robinson, Martin Campbell, even the once mighty Francis Coppola), Kevin Costner (playing JFK aide Kenny O’Donnell) insisted the film would not go ahead unless O’Keefe played JFK. He didn’t.  It did.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4