Olivia Hussey


  1. Geneviève Bujold, Anne Of The Thousand Days,  1968.    First choice for Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn, was far too young at 18. The queen was 32 when beheaded on trumped up charges of adultery, incest, treason and whatever else you’re not supposed to do on a Thursday….   Also up for the chop: Geraldine Chaplin, Juilie Christie, Faye Dunaway and a way too old Elizabeth Taylor – even when Richard Burton became Henry VIII.   PS:  Olivia was named after Olivia De Havilland.
  2. Kim Darby, True Grit, 1968.  The Paramount suits saw Romeo and Juliet – before it opened, of course  – and fell for Olivia Hussey.  But she had scant interest in becoming Mattie Ross or working with a legend.  “John Wayne,” she said, ”doesn’t  do anything for me.”  (She also refused Apollonia Vitelli  in The Godfather. Which could explain why she finished up in turkeys like Lost Horizon, others taking seven years for release (or escape), fighting with Bette Davis and co-starring with Traci Lords!).   . Also in the Mattie mix: Genevieve Bujold, singer Karen Carpenter (a Duke idea), Mia Farro (who kicked herself for refusing),  Sally Field, Sondra Locke, Jennifer O’Neill one of Charlie’s Angels Jaclyn Smith, Tuesday Weld. Plus past and future Duke co-stars  Michele El Dorado Carey and Jennifer Rio Lobo O’Neill. Oh, and Duke’s 13-year told daughter, Aissa – well Mattie was supposed to be 14. Neither Wayne, nor crusty director Henry Hathaway, were keen on Kim Darby, who had also been up for Juliet mix. Ironically, Hailee Steinfeld, Mattie in the 2010 re-tread, played Juliet in the 2013 version. 
  3. Candace Glendenning, Nicholas and Alexandra, 1970.   Fraco Zeffirell’s  1967 Juliet was up for another tragic  role…  She, was among six  young Brits – Jenny Agutter, Janina Faye, Pamela Franklin, Candace Glendenning, Olivia Hussey and Lord Bangor’s daughter,  Lalla Ward, –  tested  for the third child  of Tzar Nicholas II of Russia: the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna. The entire royal family was assassinated in 1918. (Hussey was by Zeffirelli over Agutter, Franklin and Ward  for his  Juliet),
  4. Simonetta Stefanelli, The Godfather, 1970.
  5. Tisa Farrow, Some Call It Loving, 1972.     The latest Juliet was first up for the carnival sleeping beauty. Then, Mia’s sister won – and never forgot it. She broke her left arm during the shoot! Auteur James B Harris used to be Stanley Kubrick’s producer. They worked together on the script of Lolita, the major inspiration for John Collier’s bizarre short story. Carol White stole all as the voluptuous and often nun-dressed mistress of a Californian mansion.
  6. Nancy Paul, Lifeforce, 1984.   
  7. Daryl Hannah, Roxanne, 1987.   “Oh my God Olivia, you were in one of my all time favorite films…”  This is Steve Martin meeting a titular testing Olivia. “Oh, you mean  Romeo and Juliet [1967].” “No,” said Martin to her surprise, “I’ve seen your horror movie, Black Christmas [1974], more than 20 times.” Didn’t help…! That’s why he could see her  only as Jess Bradford from that film, never as Roxanne.
  8. Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1986.
  9. Melanie Griffith, Working Girl, 1987.  Olivia was high in the Mike Nichols frame – but Melanie won the Oscar nomination as Tess McGill.  After having beaten   Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brooke Shields.   And,  as she reported in her memoir, Lorraine Bracco gave what she considered “a first rate audition: and was “devastated” not to be selected. 
  10. Anjelica Huston, The Witches, 1988.  Olivja  topped  author Ronald Dahl’s wish list for Miss Ernst, aka The Grand High Witch. However, Anjelica was on Nic Roeg’s list. And he was the director!  He took his time combing through the 13 other candidates:  From Linda Blair (little Regan grew up to be a witch?), Genevieve Bujold, Cher, Frances Conroy, Faye Dunaway, Jodie Foster, Liza Minnelli, Susan Sarandpn, Sigourney Weaver to true Brits Fiona Fullerton, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave… and the sole Black star considered, Eartha Kitt. Together with Bancroft, they all escaped eight  hours of make-up each  day!  Appalled by the vulgar bad taste and actual terror” in the film, Dahl threatened to take his name off it.  Jim Henson talked him out of it for the Muppeteer’s final production.
  11. Susan Sarandon, Little Women, 1994.    Tried to win Marmee but her accent was too English for Louisa May Alcott classic all-American family. And, said the siuts, Hussey looked too much like Trini Alvarado’s Meg. Do’h. Marmee is Meg’s mother!




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  11