1. Lionel Jeffries, Call Me Bwana, 1962.    The first choice was unavailable for Dr Ezra Mungo in, of all things, a Bob Hope comedy made by the James Bond company, Eon.  Which explains why  a giant poster of the film – featuring Hope’s co-star, Anita Ekberg – played a memorable  moment in From, Russia With Love.
  2. David Tomlinson, Mary Poppins, 1963.     T-T,  Richard Harris, James Mason, George Sanders and Donald Sutherland were in the mix for Mr Banks in Walt Disney’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious  version of PL Travers’ books –  an eight-Oscar trumph for Uncle Walt!   TT had no time… The gap-toothed ultra-British comic was among the busiest  character actors on the planet… 49 screen roles in  the 60s alone!
  3. Ian Carmichael, The World of Wooster, TV, 1965-1967. T-T was first choice  for PG Wodehouse’s famous fop, Bertie Wooster,  having  already played in two BBC radio plays: Indian Summer of an Uncle and Jeeves Takes Charge. But he was a Hollywood  movie star by now and, therefore, far  busier and pricier than Carmichael, his co-star in five Brit comedies from the Boulting Brothers.
  4. Edward Judd, Strange Bedfellows, 1965..     And he knew which crap to avoid. Rock Hudson and Lollobrigida did not.
  5. Heathcote Williams, The Tempest,  1979.      According to  Dominic Nolan in The Greatest Movies You’ll Never See book, Derek Jarman felt he’d inherited Powell’s 25 year obsession.  Hah! He made a (typical) homoerotic job of it.  John Gielgud refused the lead, Prospero (he had been  more keen on Powell’s 50s’ offer). Jarman then turned to the veteran UK comic but T-T was dead  before shooting began (like Vittorio De Sica for one Powell version). Playing safe, Jarman then went younger with the often intelligible Williams. New York Times critic Vincent Canby was unimpressed: “funny if it weren’t very nearly unbearable.” 


 Birth year: 1911Death year: 1990Other name: Casting Calls:  5