Bonnie Bedelia

  1. Sondra Locke., The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, 1967.  Carson McCullers’ first novel   about a deaf mute – cruelly called Singer – was aimed at Warren Beatty, Montgomery Clift, George Peppard and finally, Alan Arkin. But as the New York Times reported, as many as “165 unknown and would-be actresses”  were seen in  single day’ by casting director Marion Dougherty for Mick – an “unspoiled, 14-year-old tomboy, not beautiful but appealing, not grown up but not a child.”  Similar “cattle calls” were staged in Atlanta, Savannah and McCullers’s hometown of Columbus.  Locke was later taken to New York for final auditions. At least two other girls became famous:  Mary Badham (Gregory Peck’s daughter in To Kill a Mockingbird, 1961) and Bonnie Bedelia (Bruce Willis’ wife in the Die Hard franchise.  “They decided I was too old,” said Bonnie. In truth, she was four years  younger than Locke, who simply lied about her age (24, not 17), as she did  throughout her career.  As shooting started, Carson McCullers died in Nyack, New York, at age 50.
  2. Margot Kidder, Gaily, Gaily, 1969. Macauley Culkin’s aunt tested for Canadian director Norman Jewison’s film.  Another electric film-maker, John Frankenheimer, saw the test  and immediately booked her screen debut in The Gypsy Moths. 
  3. Catherine Hicks, Marilyn: The Untold Story, TV, 1980.  A surprise choice for Marilyn Monroe, but probably no better, no worse than the non-lookalike Hicks in photograppher Lawrence Schiller’s tele-bio (based on Norman Mailer’s book). There were more stars on the right-hand side of the credits, with people playing  Montgomery Clift, Tony Curtis, Joe Di Maggio, Tom Ewell, Clark Gable (Larry Pennell played him again in a 1993 Quantum Leap episode: Goodbye Norma Jean),  John Husion, Jack Lermmpn, Arthur Miller, Billy Wilder – and the unkindest cut of all, Sheree North, Fox’s trumped up “new Marilyn!” Sheree North  playing her Mom, Gladys Baker.
  4. Anne Archer, Fatal Attraction, 1987. She did it another way… Instead of dispatching husband Michael Douglas’ lover, The Hollywood Wife of the mid-80s,  disposed of husband Harrison Ford’s lover in Presumed Innocent, 1990.
  5. Patricia Wettig, City Slickers, 1990.   Facing 40, three Manhattan dudes book into a dude ranch and join a cattle drive and… a perfect comedy!  Billy Crystal stars and helped write it –  and invited Wetting, the thirtysomething TV star, to be Mrs Billy.  Also on his dream wife list were: Bonnie Bedelia, Sally Field, Kate Capshaw, Bridget Fonda, Anjelica Huston.  


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