Teri Garr


  1. Charmian Carr, The Sound of Music, 1964.   Five years before True Grit, Kim Darby was in director Robert Wise’s loop for Liesel Von Trapp –  her test  is in  the same Fox studio’s Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 1, 1999.  Also seen:  Patty Duke, Teri Garr, Sharon Tate and Lesley Ann Warren. Plus four daughters of the famous: Charlie’s Geraldine Chaplin, Judy Garland’s Liza Minnelli, Maureen O’Sullivan’s Mia Farrow and Ann Sothern’s Tisha Sterling.  Critic Pauline Kael famously tried to bury “the sugar-coated lie that people seem to want to eat”but it saved Fox from the near bankruptcy  of the Cleopatra debacle.

  2. Madeline Kahn, Young Frankenstein, 1974.       Madeline kahn’t make her mind up   about which role she wanted. Mel Brooks called in Teri and – bingo! – Kahn decided on Elizabeth. That fast. Brooks offered Inga to Garr, if she came back 24 hours later with a German accent. “Vell, yes, I could do zee German ackzent tomorrow. I could come back zis afternoon.” And she was Inga. That fast.

  3. Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, 1983.   
    In all, 55 actresses were considered, seen or tested for Sarah Connor (aged 18; Linda was 27) opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Cameron auteured Sarah for Bridget Fonda. She passed; so did Tatum O’Neal.  He decided to go older… and Glenn Close won – her schedule didn’t agree. OK, Kate Capshaw! No, she was tied to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – and Kathleen Turner was Romancing The Stone. Debra Winger won her audition, said yes… then no. The other 48 ladies were The ’80s Group: Garr, Rosanna Arquette, Kim Basinger, Christy Brinkley, Colleen Camp, Jamie Lee Curtis, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Darryl Hannah, Barbara Hershey, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Margot Kidder, Diane Lane, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kay Lenz, Heather Locklear, Lori Loughlin, Kelly McGillis, Kristy McNichol, Michelle Pfeiffer, Deborah Raffin, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Ally Sheedy, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Sharon Stone, Lea Thompson, Sigourney Weaver… one aerobics queen, Bess Motta (she became Sarah’s room-mate, Ginger Ventura), two singers, (Madonna, Liza Minnelli), two Brits (Miranda Richardson, Jane Seymour), five essentially funny girls, Goldie Hawn, Rhea Perlman (Mrs Danny De Vito), Gilda Radner, Mary Tyler Moore…plus the new MTM, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, then from Saturday Night Live. Most were in contention again a few years later for Fatal Attraction (won by Close) and The Accused (going to Foster and McGillis). Ten years later (after T2), Linda gave birth to Cameron’s daughter and Josephine’s parents wed in 1997… for two years. 

  4. Rosanna Arquette, After Hours, 1985.    Garr was considered but director Martin Scorsese fell for Rosanna – and her scenes were the greatest pleasure to shoot, he reported. Teri was given another role; “In the script, Julie was a caricature. With Teri Garr, we humanised her.” He made Bringing Out The Dead, 1999, with Rosanna’s sister, Patricia (and her then husband, Nicolas Cage).
  5. Kim Basinger, 9 1/2 Weeks, 1986.  Good choice, although rarely seen as an erotic lady, except in a wild legend about having, allegedly,  made a porno flick.  An Irish  journo in Cannes  claimed to have seen it.  He didn’t convince me. (In fact, Teri started as an extra and/or dancer in five Elvis movies during 1963-1967). Next to come and go were Jacqueline Bisset, Demi Moore, Tatum O’Neal, Isabella Rossellini, Dominique Sanda, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver. And Andie MacDowell who thought the script was borderline sleaze.  Oh, it was way over the border!  
  6. Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988.       Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim. Or, their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 27 for her lawyer. Including Fatal Attraction also-rans from Gena Davis, Goldie Hawn, Tuesday Weld – to Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Debra Winger, who were offered both roles. Plus Garr, Beverly D’Angelo, Blythe Danner, Geena Davis, Sally Field, Carrie Fisher, Mary Gross, Barbara Hershey, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused the lead. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. . Obviously. However, she agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that the studio-described “unsexy” Jodie, and no one else, played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… dated March 29, 1989.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6