Dame Barbara Windsor

  1. Barbara Bouchet, John Goldfarb, Please Come Home, 1965.      Stung by London stage director Joan Littlewood’s deliberate barbs (“You’ve become boring, playing it safe with the same little parts”), the little Cockney blonde bombshell rejected Shirley MacLaine and Peter Ustinov to join Littlewood’s production of Oh! What A Lovely War on Broadway…where her fans included Warren Beatty and the Paul Newmans. Not to mention the show’s musical director, Shepherd Coleman – one of Babs’ numerous affairs.
  2. Karen Black, Rhinoceros, 1974 .     A decade earlier, producer Oscar Lewenstein asked the buxom bird from the cinema’s Sparrows Can’t Sing and TV’s Rag Trade to test for his film of the Ionesco play – opposite the #1 UK comic of the decade, Tony Hancock. She got the part, he got drunk… and Zero Mostel got the lead.
  3. Clare Davenport, Carry On Emmannuelle, 1978.      The tabloids screamed how she’d walked out of… “soft porn.” She’d never walked in! Having moved on to such highs as as Twelfth Night at the Chichester Festival, she found the 27th Carry On, “pathetic and crude… deviating from a tried and tested formula.” Her instincts were right. This was the least successful Carry O – same film, different titles.
  4. June Whitfield, Carry On Columbus,1992.   The 31st and final Carry On tried various duos for the King and Queen of Spain. From Frankie Howerd-Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw-Barbara Windsor to the almost incestuous notion of the Terry and June sitcom “sibliings,” Terry Scott-June Whitfield.  And, finally, June and Leslie Phillips (the most English of Spanish monarchs). Howerd died before filming began and Windsor  – the Carry Ons’ Marilyn – said the script was crap. It was – and the cast hated it.  In 2004, this was was voted – by UK film pros – as the worst British film ever made. Yet it made more money in Britain than the straight versions:1492: The Conquest iof Paradiseand Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, 1992, starring such heavyweights as Depardieu and Brando! 

 Birth year: 1937Death year: 2020Other name: Casting Calls:  4