Sela Ward


  1. Laura Johnson, Falcon Crest, TV, 1983-1986.     D’oh!  Sela rejected an arc of 80 chapters of Terry Hartford McCarthy Ranson Channing – the ex-call girl taking on Tuscany (ie Napa) Valley wine society for life on the US Navy base,  Emerald Point NAS – all over after 22 episodes in 1983-1984.
  2. Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor, 1984.       “So let’s do it. Right here. On the Oriental. With all the lights on.” Maerose Prizzi knew what she wanted, where and when from her Family’s hit man, Jack Nicholson – the unlikeliest Mafioso since the Corleones’ James Caan. Before realising his daughter was Oscar-winning perfection, director John Huston looked at some 19 potential Maeroses. From the sublime Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Liza Minnelli, Demi Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer (been there, done that and got the Married To The Mob and Scarface t-shirts), Debra Winger… to the ridiculous: Ward, Geena Davis, Melanie Griffith, Daryl Hannah, Emma Thompson, Debra Winger… and the damn stupid: Linda Blair, Carrie Fisher, Kelly Lebrock, Heather Locklear, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ally Sheedy.
  3. Roxanne Hart, HIghlander, 1985.   Some 16 guys were up for Christophe(r) Lambert’s immortal clansman, Connor McLeod.  But as many as 24 women for  Brenda Wyatt, the modern-day forensics cop bedded by him. Brooke Adams… who must have felt  she had as great chance, having already successfully partnered Connery in The Great Train Robbery, 1978,  and Cuba, 1979. Her rivals  were Karen Allen, Rosanna Arquette, Jennifer Beals, Lorraine Bracco, Elisabeth Brooks, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Lisa Eilbacher, Linda Fiorentino, Kim Greist (Terry Gilliam’s huge Brazil error), Linda Hamilton, Diane Lane, Carolyn McCormick, Demi Moore, Annette O’Toole, Elizabeth Perkins, Tanya Roberts (booked for 007’s View to a Kill),  Annabella Sciorra,  Diane Venora, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and (phew!) Sean Young.    Broadway’s rank outsider won!
  4. Julianne Phillips, Sisters, TV, 1991-1996.   On studying the scripts about the Reed sisters of Winnetka, Illinois, Sela preferred Teddy to Frankie. Both roles lasted the six seasons, Teddy beating Frankie by 127 episodes to 93. Phillips had been Mrs Bruce Springsteen, 1985-1989.
  5. Geena Davis, Angie, 1993.    The official reason was Madonna was already booked for Abel Ferrara’s  Dangerous Game, 1992.  Then, one of her  emails was leaked – furious with the head Fox, Joe Roth, for dumping her for a non-Italian in the titular role. In truth, she fled after hearing Roth didn’t want her because  she couldn’t carry a movie. (Not that this one did any better without her). Her director, Jonathan Kaplan, also quit and Martha Coolidge took over with her 1991 Rambling Rose star – after some thoughts about a dozen others, from  Halle Berry  to Meryl Streep.  Oh, very Italian!
  6.  Kim Delaney, CSI: Miami,TV, 2002-2012.  Offered the female lead of Megan Donner, Ward prefered to be Jo Danville in CSI: NY, 2004-2013, the otherspin-off fromCSI: Criminal Scene Investigation, 2000-2008.Welcomed with open arms – “we needed a strong female,” declared exec producer Antiony Zuiker – poor Delaney quit after ten chapters, hardly the first actor to not gell with the headlining David Caruso, who had a bad rep from his NYPD Bluedays.  Enter: Emily Proctor, surviving him for 232 episodes!
  7. Teri Hatcher, Desperate Housewives, TV, 2004-2008.      Televisions’s “favourite sister” turned down the role of Susan Mayer.
  8. Diane Lane, Man of Steel, 2011.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  8