Steve Forrest

  1. Jeff Richards, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, 1953.  He was among the Pontipee brothers,  but not for long…  Gregory Peck discovered Seve and arranged his MGM screentest when he was working as a stagehand at the La Jolla Playhouse. Born William Forrest Andrews, he was the kid brother of  screen star Dana Andrews. They made one film together (Sealed Cargo, 1950). Steve, dead at 87, beat Dana, who died at 83, by landing 122 film roles to Dana’s 103.
  2. Steve Rowland, The Student Prince, 1954.      Change of Feuerwald… after the 1962 version collapsed due to Mario Lanza’s gigantic row with MGM. “No director tells me how to sing!” Eventually, Edmund Purdom went royal, miming to Lanza’s voice.
  3. Leslie Nielsen, Tammy and the Bachelor, 1956.     Change of bachelor.  Title was just Tammy at first. And in the hit parade where Debbie Reynolds’ title song ruled  for 23 weeks, five at #1.
  4. John Gavin, Back Street, 1960.   In the frame for Universal’s third version of Fannie Hurst’s soapy romance were Forrest, William Holden, Peter Lawford – and how-old-Cary-Grant was told he was too old. Hollywood gossip hen Hedda Hopper stupidly suggested Gavin.(Hadn’t the great know-all  heard that Hitchcock called him The Stiff the year before during Psycho?). Gavin was so good he never made another Hollywood film for six years despite being under contract to Universal.
  5. Stuart Whitman, The Comancheros, 1961.  Paul Wellman wrote his 1952  Western novel for Cary Grant to eventually play gambling; man Paul Regret. – the star role until Gary Cooper, then John Wayne clambered aboard nine years later. He was The Boss, beefing up Big Jake Cutter (leading to   Big Jake McCandles ten years later) and finding roles for his kids, Aissa and Patrick.   By which time Grant was too old  (Wayne was too old!!) and certainly would never serve under Duke.  And, yes, I have to say it (better than me singing it)…  Regrets, I have a few, too few not to mention…  Steve Forrest, James Garner, John Gavin, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Tom Tyron, Robert Wagner, Cornel Wilde and ultimately, Stuart Whitman.   Marlon Brando had been keen on the support role of  an Indian chief called Graile.

 Birth year: 1925Death year: 2013Other name: Casting Calls:  5