George Hamilton


  1. Glenn Ford, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1960.  No sure which would have been the most absurd casting for Julio Desnoyers – Dirk Bogarde, Montgomery Clift  or Glenn Ford.  They were all too old – 49, 40 and 44 – when Julio’s sister  was  Yvette Mimieux at…  18.  MGM then looked at the pretty boys – Alain Delon, 25, and the German Delon, Horst Buchholz, 27, and George Hamilton, 21.   Brando, 36, also refused:  “Didn’t Valentino do that? I don’t dance the tango.”  Or not until Bertolucci called in 1972.

  2. Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring  of Mrs Stone, 1961.   On the scratch list for Vivien Leigh’s Rome gigolo, Paolo di Leo, in  Tennessee Williams’ favourite movie of his work (his sole novel, in fact) were… the Roman looking Hamilton, Frankie Avalon (!), John Cassavetes, James Darren, Fabian, Ben Gazzara, George Hamilton, Jeffrey Hunter, and John  Saxon. Oh and Anthony Newley – more talented than any of them but hardly Italiano. 

  3. Harve Presnell, When the Boys Meet the Girls,1965. Hamilton was silly choice for heading MGM’s second version of the Gershwin brothers’ 30s musical, Girl Crazy – the first in, ’42, had been a Mickey and Judy doing-the-show-right-here  number. One suit pointed out that George was no singing terpsichorean, another suggested using the kids.  Whose?  Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, 19, and a Mickey Rooney son. Which one? Any one! Three were available: Teddy, 15; Mickey Jnr, 19; Tim, 20. Producer Sam Katzman preferred crooner Jack Jones. And his tour opened the door t for Presnell, the current Camelot stage star.
  4. Michael Caine, The Wrong Box, 1966.    “Michael was offered the film first,” George told me. “He couldn’t fit it in. Bryan Forbes asked me. I agreed. Then, Michael found he was free after all. I had a verynice, apologetic letter from Bryan explaining everything.”
  5. Leslie Nielsen, Gunfight In Abilene, 1967. Due to co-star in the Western with Bobby Darin. What an odd couple.

  6. Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate, 1967.  
    “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”  Hoffman kept refusing to test because he felt insulted – he was Jewish, not a WASP.  So was director Mike Nichols, who convinced him with his celebrated zinger. “Well, maybe Benjamin ls Jewish inside.  Robert Redford insisted he wasn’t right and Nichols agreed. “The public would never believe Redford as a loser with girls.”   Idem for Warren Beatty, George Hamilton and Robert Wagner…  Next? Keir Dullea, Charles Grodin (called up for  Nichols in 1969’s Catch 22, 1969), Albert Finney, Harrison Ford, Steve McQueen (!),  David Lynch regular Jack Nance, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Perkins (better as Chaplain Tappman in Catch 22),  Burt Ward (Batman’s Robin but Fox TV wouldn’t let him go), Gene Wilder and the inevitable unknown, Lee Stanley, who went on to be a  docu director. Oh, and Hoffman’s room-mate, Robert Duvall. (Gene Hackman also shared their digs and he was fired from Mr Robinson!). Producer Lawrence Turman said they saw a million kids… Nichols used as many as he could. Mike Farrell (TV’s M*A*S*H) and Kevin Tighe won screen debuts. Richard Dreyfuss, for example, got an actual line – “Shall I get the cops? I’ll get the cops” –   much better than walk-ons for  Brian Avery (in TV until 2018) and Donald F Glut (TV’s Frankenstein  monster in the 50s).  Hoffman got $17,000 and was then jobless and back on welfare for months. Until catching the Midnight Cowboy bus.

  7. Earl Holliman, The Power, 1968.   Producer George Pal had tagged George for the suspected killer in his science fiction thriller. “But the front office insisted… Hamilton in the lead or no picture.”  Result: a major flop. “Our biggest problem,” noted Pal, “was that Hamilton wasn’t quite right for the part.” Story of his career.
  8. Bekim Fehmiu,The Adventurers, 1969.    French star Alain Delon also refused play author Harold Robbins’ priapic hero based by writer Harold Robbins on Porfirio Rubirosa. the Dominican diplomat-playboy with the massive penis. (Paris waiters called their giantpepper-grinders, Rubirosas, after it). George had previously replaced Delon in Viva Maria,1965.
  9. Jim Hutton, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, 1973.    Hamiltonwas supposed to be Kim Darby’s husband when they inherit her grandmother’s mansion….and the demonic creatures within.
  10. Leonard Harris, Taxi Driver, 1975.

  11. Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs Kramer, 1979.    Hoffman originally felt it all too treacly untilit began to mirror his eventual divorce from Ann Byrne.
  12. Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie,1982.
  13. George Segal, The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood, TV, 1984.    “George Hamilton fell out and they came to me and they said… And, and not unlike Mel Brooks, that idea of the Errol Flynn version captured you – and so the idea of being able to play that – and at 50 I think – oh, I had a great time.”





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  13