Ne-Yo

Lee Thompson Young,  Rizzoli & Isles, TV, 2010-2014.     Back up for  the latest take on Cagney & Lacey, Barry Frost  was a computer wiz, scared of corpses and blood. Creator Janet Tamaro  wasn’t sure if he should be an actor or musician.  Like Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan (far too big in movies), Nate Parker, …
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Columbus Short

Lee Thompson Young,  Rizzoli & Isles, TV, 2010-2014.     Back up for  the latest take on Cagney & Lacey,Barry Frost  was a computer wiz, scared of corpses and blood. Creator Janet Tamaro  wasn’t sure if he should be an actor or musician.  Like Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan (far too big in movies), Nate Parker, …
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Samantha Fox

Madonna, Dick Tracy, 1989.   High on the list of the titular star and director Warren Beatty for chanteuse Breathless Mahoney were Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sharon Stone.  And Fox, the foxy ex-nude model turned  busty pop singer. They did not stand much chance when Warren Beatty, the square-jawed hero and director, was (as …
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Glen Hansard

Jackie Earle Haley, Watchmen, 2008.   Not so much “Who watches the watchmen?” as Juvenal asked, but who them playeth?  And in the 20 years it took for Alan Moore’s  DComic-book to be filmed,  With Walter Kovacs aka Rorschach, the masked vigilante, aimed at: Daniel Craig, John Hurt, Doug Hutchinson, Simon Pegg, Sean Penn, Robin Williams  …
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Moustache

Massimo Sertato, 55 Days at Peking,  1962. Change of Garibaldi in  the fifthSamuel Bronston epic. The  one that  ruined his company.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: François-Alexandre GalepidesUsual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Marques Houstonj

Lee Thompson Young,  Rizzoli & Isles, TV, 2010-2014.     Back up for  the latest take on Cagney & Lacey,Barry Frost  was a computer wiz, scared of corpses and blood. Creator Janet Tamaro  wasn’t sure if he should be an actor or musician.  Like Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan (far too big in movies), Nate Parker, …
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Romeo Miller

Lee Thompson Young,  Rizzoli & Isles, TV, 2010-2014.     Back up for  the latest take on Cagney & Lacey,Barry Frost  was a computer wiz, scared of corpses and blood. Creator Janet Tamaro  wasn’t sure if he should be an actor or musician.  Like Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan (far too big in movies), Nate Parker, …
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Pearl Jam

The Smashing  Pumpkins, The Simpsons #152: Homerpalooza, TV, 1996.  Since its 1989 birth, the yellowtoon family Simpson smashed records for episodes, audiences, and the most guest stars (as themselves or others). From Buzz Aldrin, Glenn Close (Homer’s Mom), Dennis Franz (Evil Homer!), George Harrison, Stephen Hawking, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hope, Eric Idle to Paul and Linda …
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Edward Van Halen

George Carlin,   Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 1988.  Shooting had moved from Arizona to Italy, but no one ahd been founds to be Rufus, mentor of the time-travelling duo. “We reached out to all sorts of people…  but we were a movie that was not on anybody’s radar,” director Stephen Herek told Hollywood Reporter in 2019. …
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ZZ Top

Clarence Clemons, Martha Davis and Fee Waybill,  Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,1988.  At first, the Three Most Important People in the World in the crazy time-travelling phone booth  classic were supposed to be ZZ Top.  When that didn’t work out, co-scenarist Ed Solomon mentioned he knew Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band… Waybill of The Tubes… and  …
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Jeanne Mas

Isabelle Adjani, L’Etémeurtrier (UK/US : One Deadly Summer),  France, 1982.    When Adjani backed out because of the nudity required,  her potential successors included two singers (Lio and Jeanne Mas) and dancer Anne Fontaine. Once Valerie Kaprisky was signed, Adjanin called director Jean Becker. She’d  changed her mind… “You have no right to behave like that,”  fumed casting director …
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Usher Raymond

Keith Robinson, Dreamgirls, 2005.   The amazing “King of R&B” from Dallas was a shoo-in for CC White – but way too busy to spend six months on the project.   Wayne Brady, The List, 2006.  The TV game show host and producer took over from  R&B singer  Usher (they’ve each  played more than 70 screen roles) …
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Iwan Rheon

Kit Harington, Game of Thrones, TV, 2011-2017.   The Welsh musician Rheon and Sam Claflin were also in the mix for the main GoT hero, Jon Snow.  Rheon was compensated with the psychopathic  Ramsay Bolton during 2013-2016, until being eaten alive by dogs). Harington wed his romantic co-star Rose Lesie in 2018, by which time he’d …
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Harry Styles

Matthew Morrison,Tulip Fever, 2014.    Producer Harvey Weinstein offered the One Direction singer a screen debut as Mattheus – and I’m betting not while in a robe in his hotel suite. Two years later, Styles debuted as Alex in Christopher Nolan’s recreation of Dunkirk Aneurin Barnard, The Goldfinch, 2018.    At one time, Styles was in …
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Usher

Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up, 2013.     Some talk of Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixoteobsession  as being history’s most cursed film. Others –  like Spike Lee and producer Brian Glazer, Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment partner – vote for the biopic of The Godfather of Soul …James Brown! Glazer kicked off the project in the 1990s. …
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Pat Boone

Richard Beymer,  The Stripper, 1962.    “I turned down a lot more films than I made,” said the squeaky-clean singer forever rolling the sex out of rock. He refused the college kid – not due to his age, 28;  Beymer was 23; Warren Beatty was 22 on Broadway –  but because  of his affair with …
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Jack Jones

Stuart Damon, Cinderella, TV, 1964.     At the witching hour, the singer son of singer Allen Jones  was was replaced as the prince  by Damon, already Broadway bound in  Richard Rodgers’  Do I Hear a Waltz.Lesley Ann Warren was Cinders, Walter Pidgeon and Ginger Rogers, the king and queen, and Celeste Holm the fairy …
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Lynn Anderson

Conny Van Dyke, WW and the Dancing Dixikings, 1974.  Two C&W stars rejected Dixie opposite Burt Reynolds as W Bright (a misnomer in Texas).  Lynn and Dolly Parton.  Anderson felt  Dixie was way too racy for her conservative fans.Or, as is it turned out, even for fans of her intended co-star Burt Reynolds!  Birth year: Death year: …
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Daryl Mitchell

Tupac Shakur, Juice, 1991.   For his and Gerard Brown’s film school script moving in to real cinemas, director Ernest Dickerson (Spike Lee’s regular cinematographer) saw four hopefuls for Quincy: rappers Anthony “Treach” Criss and Money-B,  Donald Faison (chosen for a student), hip-hopper Daryl Mitchell.  Or, indeed five when when Shakur, who’d simply gone along for …
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Jasneller Monaue

Zazie Beetz,  Deadpool 2, 2017.    A hunt for a new director and for the girl known as Domino  was happening  sumultaneously. David Leitch won the chair (after his Deadpool short,No Good Deed) and the Berlin-born trilingual American stunner known as Zazie won the girl. From: Kansas City singer Monáe, Sofia Boutella(of Star Trek Beyond),Lizzy Caplan, Canadian Mackenzie …
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Money-B

Tupac Shakur, Juice, 1991.   For his and Gerard Brown’s film school script moving in to real cinemas, director Ernest Dickerson (Spike Lee’s regular cinematographer) saw four hopefuls for Quincy: rappers Anthony “Treach” Criss and Money-B, Donald Faison (chosen for a student), hip-hopper Daryl Mitchell.  Or, indeed five when when Shakur, who’d simply gone along for …
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Erin O’Brien

Natalie Wood, Marjorie Morningstar, 1957.   A Star is Bored…Novelist Herman Wouk’s heroine is the proverbial Jewish-American princess. She wants to be a Broadway star – and falls for the no-hoper social director of a Borsht Belt summer resort. Warner Bros bought the book Marlon Brando-Elizabeth Taylor in ’56. They became Natalie Wood-Gene Kelly.  Jennifer …
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Rita Ora

Kiersey Clemons, The Flash (ex-Flashpoint), 2019.  Change of superhero Barry Allen’s Lois Lane! From the British singer-songwriter and the Anglo-American Lucy Boynton (plus  Candice Patton’s TV version)  to Clemons as Iris West…  another journalist on another paper, the Picture News.  Clemons was first seen in the role in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Rita was then  …
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Elmer Figuero Arce

Antonio Banderas, The Mask of Zorro, 1997.   Directors changed – Steven Spielberg (who produced), Robert Rodriguez and eventually, Bondsmith Martin Campbell gave up Tomorrow Never Dies – as often as Alejandro Murrieta, aka Zorro… Marc Anthony (future third husband of Jennifer Lopez), Tom Cruise, Joaquim de Almeida, Benicio Del Toro, Andy Garcia… and Elmer Figueroa …
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Dona Drake

Dorothy Lamour, Swing High, Swing Low, 1936.    Rita Rio had a much better story. Not far removed, as IMDb pointed out, from Imitation of Life: a light-skinned black passing for white, or in Rita’s case Mexican, except she never denied her parentage as Eunice Westmoreland became Rita Rio, actress, singer, dancer and bandleader. Her pal, …
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Mylene Farmer

Elizabeth Gracen, Highlander, TV, 1994-1996.    The Canadian born French pop star was invited to the Immortal called Amanda. She passed and Gracen (Miss USA 1982) played her in 20 episodes… leading to 22 more in the Amanda spin-off, Highlander: The Raven, TV, 1998-1999.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Little Richard

James Brown,  The Blues Brothers, 1979.   “Everyone in the movie, the parts were written specifically for them,” John Landis told Deadline’s co-editor Mike Fleming Jr, August 16, 2018.  “The only person that we didn’t get in the movie that we wanted, was Little Richard. We hoped he would be the preacher. At that moment in …
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Marty Wilde

Cliff Richard, Expresso Bongo, 1959.     The UK’s rival rockers, Reginald Leonard Smith and Harry Roger Webb – far better known as Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard – were up for Bert Rudge in te filmusiocal about the new rock ’n’ roll scene in old London town. Cliff was prettier but the official reason …
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Andrea McArdle

Michelle Pfeiffer, Grease 2, 1981.      Broadway’s 1977 Annie was short-listed – and around the right age, 18, for high schooler Stephanie Zinone. Unlike singers Kim Carnes and Debbie Harry at…34!  McArdle was also London’s) Annie, 1978, and NBC’s Judy Garland in Rainbow, 1978. Pfeiffer was 23 with a surprise quirky quality said director …
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Douglas McPhall

Harry Stockwell, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937.       McPhall, Alan Jones, Felix Knight and Dennis Morgan were beaten to voicing The Prince who would some da.y come – by the future father of actor brothers Guy and Dean Stockwell. The toon classic was the fourth of Stockwell’s eight movies… McPhall later …
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Bobby Rydell

Frankie Avalon , Grease, 1977.       The show’s high school was named for Bobby Rydell. Yet he was rejected for the Teen Angel, which went to Frankie Avalon. Well, director Randall Kleiser had been an extra in Avalon’s Fireball 500, 1966. So it blows.  Birth year: `194Death year: 2022Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting …
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Victor Willis

Ray Simpson, Can’t Stop The Music, 1979.         Willis quit The Village People when producer Allan Carr would not let Mrs W, Phylicia Rashad (Bill Cosby’s TV wife), play Victor’s lover. Continuing to make even a pseudo-biopic about a famous group without its main force was as daft as a Beatles movie minus John …
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Stevie Wonder

Elton John, Tommy, 1974.         According to his book. Who I Am, Pete Townshend didn’t think much of the senseless notion of the blind Stevie playing a sighted pinball player versus the sighted Roger Daltrey as the titular deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure played a mean pinball. Stevie was not …
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Maurice Gibb

Don Dacus, Hair, 1978.       Unbelievable! Broadway’s hippy hit was once planned as a movie vehicle for Bee Gees brothers Barry and Maurice Gibb (as George Berger and Woof). With another sibling, Robin, they ruined Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, instead.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Danielle Hope

Amanda Seyfried, Les Misérables, 2012.         A West End Eponine and, indeed, the 2011 Dorothy in UK production of The Wizard of Oz was in the loop for Cosette Also seen: Miranda Cosgrove, Portia Doubleday, Emily Marie Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Emma Watson, Shailene Woodley,  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: …
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Jay Z

Jamie Foxx, Annie, 2014.      The 2011 plan was Will Smith producing the third screen version of the Broadway musical (based on Harold Gray’s comic-strip lasting an incredible 88 years – 1924-2010!), with his daughter, Willow, then 11, and his co-producer (and fellow rapper) Jay Z, as Will Stacks… the new name for Daddy …
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Maynard James Keenan

Dwight Yoakam, Panic Room, 2001.     One singer for another as Raoul in David Fincher’s thriller. Keenan had to pass due to his tour with his band, Tool. Yoakam was not on the road at the time.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Felix Knight

Harry Stockwell, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937.       Knight, Alan Jones, Douglas McPhall, Dennis Morgan were beaten to voicing The Prince who would some day come – by the future father of actor brothers Guy and Dean Stockwell. The toon classic was the fourth of Stockwell’s eight movies… in 38 years. …
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Ginny Simms

Pat Kirkwood, No Leave, No Love, 1945.        MGM was tough on ladies… Kirkwood was part of MGM’s post-war star-exchange system with the UK. She had super-groupies. Noel Coward wrote a song for her. Cole Porter told her “You may sing any song of mine at any time for the rest of your …
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Christina Aguilera

Natasha Lyonne , Scary Movie 2, 2001. Aguilera and Britney Spears refused to be  the possessed Megan Voorhees as the Wayan brothers (Keenan Ivoy, Marlon and Shawn) sent up the franchise something rotten. Voorhees, of course, was also the nams of the killer in the Friday The 13thfranchise. Fantasia Barrino, The Simpsons#353: A Star Is Torn, TV, …
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The Beach Boys

John Travolta, Grease, 1977.     Well, just for John Travolta’s (or more correctly Jeff Conaway’s) showstopper, Greased Lightning. Odd notion as the BBoys were not exactly rockers. Little of the stage musical was in the triumphant movie; songs were cut, replaced or, as with   Hopelessly Devoted to You, written and shot after the wrap. …
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Marc Bolan

Roy Harper, Made, 1971.     The T Rex band’s singer, plus Americans Kris Kristofferson and Tony Joe White auditioned for the cool, laid back folk-rock singer who became the cool, laid-back Harper, a UK folk-rocker in his only feature. He was well served by director John Mackenzie, ex-assistant to Ken Loach – hence the single mum, …
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Peggy Lee

Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1956      For six months, Warner Bros scanned some 32 possible Morgans, including Dani Crayne, Susan Hayward, Jennifer Jones plus singers Lee, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Helene Grayco, Jaye P. Morgan, Patti Page, Keely Smith. And even fashion model Nancy Berg.   Morgan’s friends and fans were aghast when …
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Betty Jane Rhodes

Jean Heather, Going My Way, 1943.       Twentysomethings Rhodes and Susan Hayward were seen for Carol in Bing Crosby’s first outing as the  “youthful” parish priest, Father Chuck O’Malley. (The sequel was The Bells of St Mary’s, 1944).  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Kevin Jonas

Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010.   The first screen version of the WWII propaganda comicbook hero – Defender of the Defenceless – since Republic’s 1944 serial (with Dick Purcell), two 1979   tele-quickies (Rep Brown) and the 1989 movie (Matt Salinger, son of the monumental JD, no less). A 1981 Universal plan  for Jeff Bridges never …
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Nick Jonas

Chris Evans, Captain America: The First Avenger, 2010.  Two of the siblings forming the Jonas Brothers band – Kevin and Nick – were the sole surprises among the many hunks seen about playingSteve Rogers, the super-serumed alter-ego of America’s symbol of liberty (from WWII to Obama), part of Marvel’s superhero team.Also missing the nine-picture deal …
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Donna Summer

Dianne Steinberg, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1977.       The dsco queen passed – easily – passed on being Lucy (in the sky of…) in a Beatles musical minus The Beatles! And thereby showed much more style and taste than The Bee Gees and the utter mess they made of the album… …
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Blackie Lawless

Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, 1990.       A rock singer drops out of a film – particularly a James Cameron film – for one of two reasons. Drugs. Or a motor-cycle smash. Idol crashed his bike… but Arnold Schwarzengger’s choice of the heavy metal WASP singer was out for a whole new …
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Yaslin Bey

Brandon T Jackson, The Italian Job, 2002. Brooklyn’s hip-hop star of many names – born Dante Terrell Smith aka Beze, Flaco Bey, Mos Def, Pretty Tlaco, etc – passed Alpa Chino-Hot LZ to the funny son of TV evangelist Wayne T Jackson.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Mos DefUsual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Keely Smith

Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1956.       For six months, Warner Bros scanned some 32 possible Morgans, including Dani Crayne, Susan Hayward, Jennifer Jones plus singers Smith (Mrs Louis Prima for awhile), Doris Day, Judy Garland, Helene Grayco, Peggy Lee, Jaye P. Morgan, Patti Page. Even fashion model Nancy Berg.   Morgan’s friends and …
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Linda Ronstadt

Jessica Harper, Phantom of the Paradise, 1973.   The so-called First Lady of Rock (rock has women, not ladies) was an idea but director Brian De Palma preferred the girl from Broadway’s Doctor Selavy’s Magic Theatre.  This was Harper’s first film. Ronstadt, once involved with George Lucas and politician Jerry Brown,  made  one film only, The …
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Sha-Na-Na

The Juicy Fruits, Phantom of the Paradise, 1973.   The band and director Brian De Palma had been students at Columbia U. Didn’t help…  Neither rock groups or their record companies were much interested in Brian De Whosis? There was, however, too much Beatle-style friction inside Sha-Na-Na band.  It was Na-Na, after all, not Yay-Yay. The …
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Edna Heard

Lillian Randolph, Happy Go Lucky, 1942.     The planned co-stars, Bing Crosby and singer-composer Heard, became Dick Powell and Lillian Randolph. Not the only change.   The first title was Cupid with a Beard. Honest!  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Janis Ian

Rhea Perlman, Cheers, TV, 1982-1993.   The singer-songwriter refused… wait for it… Carla Maria Victoria Angelina Teresa Apollonia Lozupone Tortelli LeBec! Acting would take, she reckoned, seven years out of her musical life. She could have done the series as the very album she was working on when Carla came up flopped so badly that Ian …
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Lawrence Tibbett

Dick Powell, Thanks A Million, 1934.     Let’s  do the election right here…! First Bing Crosby, then a Tibbett movie comeback were mooted for the crooner  accidentally shining so much Gubernatorial campaign that the public want him to stand, not the drunken candidate. Working title: Sing, Governor, Sing. Fox next announceda”more romantic and meatier story” for …
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Kiss

Aerosmith, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1977.     A musical mess that had The Beatles played by the Bee Gees could hardly be saved by Kiss or Aerosmith as FVB – Future Villan Band. Kiss said the movie would damage it’s hard rock image. They were right!   Newsweek critic David Ansen, said …
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Suggs

Eddie O’Connell, Absolute Beginners,  1985.      The guy from the Madness band was seen for Colin in Julien Temple’s film of the  Colin MacInnes novel. “I wish he’d got the part,” said Patsy Kensit, aka Crepe Suzette – a fan of his  Madness band. And a singer herself  with Eighth Wonder. “We’ve cast Pasty and Eddie,” said …
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Waylon Jennings

1. – Kris Kristofferson, Stagecoach, TV, 1986. For the re-hash of John Wayne’s 1938 breakthrough, CBS felt Jennings was not up to heading the passenger list – from Elizabeth Ashley and Johnny Cash to Willie Nelson and Anthony Newley. Kristofferson, an ex-Billy The Kid (and one of The Highwaymen group with Cash, Jennings and Nelson) …
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Donny Osmond

Frankie Avalon, Grease, 1977.        Flamboyant producer Allan Carr’s dream wish Teen Angel. His sister, Marie, had been the front-runner for Sandy. But director Randall Kleiser had been an extra in Avalon’s Fireball 500, 1966. Aha! Richard White, Beauty and the Beast, 1990.      Osmond, Rupert Everett and Patrick Swayze were just …
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Mike Patton

George McArthur, Firecracker, 2004. At first the Faith No More band singer was going to play The Bald Man in this tale of a (true) murder in auteur Steve Balderstone small home town of Wamego, Kansas (population 4, 372). Suddenly, Patton had a dual role of Karen Black’s alcoholic brute of a son… plus Dennis …
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Lady Gaga

Laura Cayouette, Django Unchained,  2011. Keegan Connor Tracy, Once Upon a Time, TV, 2011-2018. Lady Diva never replied to the invitation to play the inscrutable Blue Fairy, a.k.a. Mother Superior, aka Zelena.   Enter: Ontario’s KCT for 35 episodes among the mixed bag of  fairy tale/fantasy characters and Disney toys  such as  Aladdin, Anastasia, Beowulf,  Bo Peep, …
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Ian Dury

Tom Waits, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992.   After first choice Steve Buscemi brazenly turned down the great Francis Coppola, he looked at the UK singer  for RM Renfield, before reverting to his favourite singer,  Mr Gravel Voice,  from One From The Heart, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, between 1981-1984.  Birth year: 1942Death year: 2000Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls: …
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Ninja

Matt Damon, Elysium, 2012. White rappers want their way… South African director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) first asked his country’s leading rapper, Ninja, to portray his AD 2154 hero. No way – he wanted to play an American. OK then, Eminem – yeah, sure, as long as it was shot in his home town of …
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Andy Gibb

Peter Frampton, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1977.       With The Bee Gees substituting The Beatles, the musical was over before it began. . At least, baby brother Andy had the grace to follow Paul McCartney’s lead and refused to play Billy Shears in the what critics pounded as a mindless morass …
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Mahershali Ali

Pedro Pascal,  Triple Frontier, 2019.    Ali was the one actor who stayes aboard as the main guys changed from Tom Hanks-Johnny Depp to Denzel Washington-Sean Penn to Tom Hardy-Channing Tatum to  Ben-and-Casey. By  the time the dust settled on Ben Affleck-Charlie Hunnam… the rappeer  had moved on to fresher pastures.   Like successive  support Oscars …
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RZA

1. – Anthony Anderson, The Departed, 2006. Even rappers have hectic schedules and so the creator of the Wu-Tang Clan group had to turn down the mighty Martin Scorsese.   Birth year: Death year: Other name: Robert Fitzgerald DiggsUsual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Lou Rawls

Charles Fleischer, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1987.        Frank Sinatra, no less, said Rawls had “the silkiest chops in the singing game…” Tough enough finding the right shamus to save the cartoon star’s career in Hollywood 1947 (when toons and humans lived cheek by cel). But who could play Benny The Cab. Well, …
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Caetano Veloso

1. – Judy Bowker, Fratello sole, sorella luna (UK/US: Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Italy-UK, 1971, The Brazilian singer was among those seen by Italian maestro Franco Zeffirelli for his leading lady, St Clare – opposite Graham correct Faulkner as St Francis of Assisi.   Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Andrea Corr

Keira Knightley, Doctor Zhivago, TV, 2001.     The Irish singer and was offered Lara Antipova in Granada’s totally unecessary re-tread. She had won her first movie role from director Alan Parkder after her family band, The Corrs, were rejected for The Commitments. Parker next put her into Evita – not for long after Madonna …
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David Johansen

1. – Robert De Niro, Cape Fear, 1991.When Steven Spielberg was actually thinking of re-making the dark thriller, he wanted (another surprise) Bill Murray for the the heavy. Next idea: the flamboyant Johansen, from the 70s glam rock band, New York Dolls. Finall, De Niro got keen on Robert Mitchum’s 1961 villain, Max Cady, and …
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Jaye P Morgan

Ann Blyth, The Helen Morgan Story, 1956.    Morgan as Morgan? Well, it might have been better… For six months, Warner Bros scanned some 32 possible Morgans, including Dani Crayne, Susan Hayward, Jennifer Jones and singers Morgan, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Helene Grayco, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Keely Smith. And even fashion model Nancy Berg.   Morgan’s friends …
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Henri Salvador

1. – Fernandel, Ali Baba et les quarante voleurs, 1954. It was Ali Salvador until realisateur Jacques Becker waited for the end of WWII. Salvador was then rejected. He did not have Fernande’s box-office clout.  Birth year: 1917Death year: 2008Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Marie Laforêt

Jeanne Moreau, Mademoiselle, UK-France, 1965.      Before Tony Richardson directed Moreau (co-respondent in his divorce from Vanessa Redgrave), realisateur Georges Franju was trying to make the Jean Genet story. “If I’d agreed to Romy Schneider,” said Franju, “I could have made it straight away. But I preferred Emmanuelle Riva. Anouk Aimeé talked to me …
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Alain Souchon

1. – Guy Marchand, Loulou, France, 1980. For yet another wannabe-Cassavetes slice of the obnoxious realisateur Maurice Pialat’s life, the auteur had trouble enough casting himself, aka Loulou. Ditto for André, whose wife Loulou steals. The (weak) singer-actor Alain Souchon was one (weak) idea – having debuted that year in Je vous aime by Pialat’s …
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Vic Damone

  Billy Eckstine, Skirts Ahoy! 1951.      Esther Williams heads three Waves at Chicago’s Great Lakes US Naval Training Centre where, surprise, surprise, the local diner has classy MGM class acts… like Eckstine. More astonishing – this was 1951 right, not 1851 – is that Mr B was ordered not to look at Williams …
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Jeremy Clyde

1. – Michael York, Conduct Unbecoming, 1974. Half of the Chad and Jeremy group had starred in the West End play but A Name was chosen for the movie. Must have been the only time that a UK company rejoicing in the name of British Lion turned down one of the page-boys from Queen Elizabeth …
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Anwan Glover

Jamie Hector, The Wire, TV, 2002-2008. Washington band singer and WKYS radio star tested for the 30 episode arc of upstart gang leader Marlo Stanfield. Brandon Fobbs, The Wire, TV, 2004-2006. He also lost Fruit, only around for eight episodes. But won Slim Charles. For 27 chapters of the Baltimore County Police hit, 2004-2008.  Birth …
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Sean Kingston

Jamal Woolard, Notorious, 2008.     Not a Hitchcock re-make but the life and murder of Brooklyn rapperNotorious B.I.G. (aka Christopher Wallace).   Singer Kingston made the big mistake of announcing he had won the role.   Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1

Heidi Montag

  Rose Huntington-Whitely, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, 2010.     The Kentucky blonde was in the chase  to replace – not the Mikaela role,  but Megan Fox… after her hassles with the franchise director Michael Bay. She compared him to Hitler (and Napoleon) and producer Steven Spielberg told him to fire her. The Victoria’s …
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Taylor Swift

Ellen Page, Inception, 2009.       After Evan Rachel Wood turned him down, UK director Christopher Nolan considered Swift, Emily Blunt,  Carey Mulligan, Emma Roberts and Jessy Schram before settling upon a fifth  Oscar nominee for his thriller  in… the architecture of the mind. Julianne Hough, Rock of Ages, 2011.      Swift was an …
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Jim Morrison

  Tom Baker, I, A Man, 1967.       Morrison agreed to co-star with Nico (of the Velvet Underground band) in an Andy Warhol movie called Fuck. Jim’s manager went bananas and they sent a pal to to take the role. The resulting boredom was re-named and Fuck was reserved for a ’68 Factory …
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Tim McGraw

  Bibi Anderson, An Enemy of the People, 1976.  What on earth was going on here…?  Why would  Steve McQueen – known for telling such potential co-stars as Stella Stevens, “I don’t need competition” – set himself up for the chop  with such a vanity project as  a  1882 Ibsen play, way beyond his style, …
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Beverly Sills

Norma Crane, Fiddler on the Roof,  1970. The American opera diva –  born Belle Miriam Silverman in Brooklyn – was a wild card consideration  for Tevye’s wife, Golde, once Anne Bancroft passed. When winning the role, Norma   learned she had  breast cancer  – a fact she revealed only to a few, including her close friend, …
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Van Halen

  The Ramones, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, 1979.      Warner Bros Records suits warned that Van Halen were raucous and difficult to handle when director Allan Arkush was searching for a band to (almost) close the movieat The Roxy concert. Cheap Trick, Devo, Tom Petty, Todd Rundgren all passed.  Well, it was a Roger …
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Nat Wolff

Ansel Elgort, The Fault In Our Stars,  2013. For author John Green’s moving love  story of two victims in a cancer   support group,  Wolff, Robinson, Noah Silver, Brenton Thwaites were examined for Gus – who became a superb Elgort opposite his (idem) Divergent sister, Shailene Woodley. Wolff became Isaac  – his second John Green character since Quentin in Paper …
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Fergie

1. – Selma Blair, The Fog, 2004.  The Black Eyed Peas  singer was all set to be Stevie Wayne, the smooth talking radio dee-jay but her concert tour clashed with the Canadian shooting. Lucky for her! John Carpenter’s 1979 original had a small budget, some imagination and a strong cast, recalled UK critic Philip French. “The …
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Gene Simmons

  Michael Nouri, Flashdance, 1981.    Two possible Nick Hurleys were musicians – Bob Geldof, creator  of Live Aid and Simmons of the Kiss group.  The Kisser was scared of ruining his demon images – as much as Al Pacino fretted abut sullying his gangster image. Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner (runner-up to Nouri), Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, …
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Clyde McPhatter

  Sammy Davis Jr. Porgy and Bess, 1958.    Columbia’s hated  czar, Harry Cohn, wanted  – incredibly – to do it in black-face.  With Fred as  Sportin’  Life opposite Al Jolson’s Porgy and Rita Hayworth’s Bess!  Said the Gershwin brothers:  “Get outa here!”  Columbia gave up and sold its rights to Fox who wanted Cab  Calloway …
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Leontyne Price

 Marilyn Horne, Carmen Jones, 1954.     The celebrated opera  star soprano was first booked  by director Otto Preminger to sing his lover Dorothy Dandridge’s  arias. Although he  was a singer as well as Dandridge, Harry Belafonte was dubbed by LeVern Hutcherson. Price fell ill, and was replaced by Catherine Hilgenberg, who quit over Preminger’s …
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Ornella Vanoni

Carroll Baker, BabaYaga(UK: The Devil Witch, US: Baba Yaga, Devil Witch), Italy-France, 1973.  For the titular witch, director Corrado Farinaknew what he wanted: “Somone more androgynous and skinnier thna Carroll Baker!”  That was the Italian singer Ornella Venoni. “She had a masculine face structure. She wasthe Baba Yaga of the Guido Crepax cartoon books.”She made …
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Donald Glover

Andrew Garfield, The Amazing Spider-Man, 2010. Lee Thompson Young,  Rizzoli & Isles, TV, 2010-2014.     Back up for  the latest take on Cagney & Lacey, Barry Frost  was a computer wiz, scared of corpses and blood. Creator Janet Tamaro  wasn’t sure if he should be an actor or a musician. Like Chadwick Boseman and …
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Chris Isaak

  Ray Liotta,  Something Wild, 1985.   The Stockton singer was director Jonathan Demme’s favourite for Melanie Griffith’s ex-husband. However, he was more concerned with his day job – completing his second album. Kyle MacLachlan, Blue Velvet, 1986.     After Val Killmer ran fromsuch “pornography,” Isaak also rejected Jeffrey Beaumont. but director David Lynch still …
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Elizabeth Foster

  Dorothy Dandridge, Carmen Jones, 1954.    Two other singers – Foster and Joyce Bryant – also tested as Carmen.  But unlike the director’s favourite (and lover)  Dandridge, not opposite James Edwards.  Director-ogre Otto Preminger OK’d Edwards for tests –  but his career was deep-sixing.  Birth year: Death year: Other name: Usual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1