John Saxon

  1. Sal Mineo, Exodus, 1960.    Saxon and  Timmy Everett (?) were in contention  for Polish terrorist Dov Landau  in Otto Preminger’s version of Leon Uris’s book – a Jewish Western, said  the New York Post! – on the founding of Israel. Mineo nailed it.  To the mast, Like an Israeli  flag.
  2. George Hamilton, By Love Possessed, 1960.  Early in  the casting, Carolyn  Jones and John  Saxon were nearly chosen for a mother and son. Despite Jones being a mere six years older than Saxon.  They became Lana Turner and George Hamilton. Didn’t stop the movie being moronic.
  3. Warren Beatty, The Roman Spring  of Mrs Stone, 1961.     On the scratch card 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 Saxon, Frankie Avalon (!), John Cassavetes, James Darren, Fabian, Ben Gazzara, George Hamilton and Jeffrey Hunter. Oh and Anthony Newley – more talented than any of them but hardly Italiano. 
  4. James Caan, The Godfather, 1971.
  5. Gary Busey,  Lethal Weapon, 1986.    There were 39 possibles for Mel Gibson’s suicidal cop.  Just seven for this bad man target, Mr Joshua.  John Saxon was first choice – but he was having A Nightmare on Elm, Street: Dream Warriors. Next up: Keith Carradine, Scott Glenn, Tommy Lee Jones, Ron Perlman, Christopher Walken, James Woods… and a slimmed-down Busey. He said the role rescued his career.
  6. Robert Forster, Jackie Brown, 1997.     Good idea  but  having helped   Saxon with  From Dusk Till Dawn, 1996, The Resurrector – aka Quentin Tarantino – was, this time, relaunching Forster’s career from the deep freeze.

 Birth year: 1935Death year: 2020Other name: Casting Calls:  6