Keir Dullea

  1. Stathis Giallelis, America, America, 1963.   Worked hard on his test. “I’d seen Elia Kazan around the Actors Studio but didn’t know him.He was very touched that I’d bothered to hire a professional make-up man, had my hair rinsed black, even made my eye-lashes black and a very imperceptible job done tomy nose so that it was straighter.I was very nervous.Kazan was eating lunch at the time and he threw me a pickle to relax me.”
  2. Stewart Moss, In Harm’s Way, 1964.   Producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger had his way with casting the WWII drama – Advise and Consent at sea!   However, the David and Lisa find refused to be John Wayne’s son – finally given to Shane’s #1 fan. Otto won Dullea over the following year – as the father of… Bunny Lake Is Missing.

  3. 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.

  4. Dean Stockwell, The Dunwich Horror, 1969.    “People seldom visit Dunwich,” said HP Lovecraft. “The town is ruined, decadent and its annals reek of overt viciousness, murder, crime and violent deed, un-nameable.”  The film, not so much…  Dullea, David Carradine  managed to escape being Wilbur. So did Peter Fonda.  Director Curtis Harrington was still pepping up the AIP script for him  when “there was this commotion going on out front. We all went outside. AIP had loaned Fonda a Lincoln convertible, as their star. He’d left this car sitting there with the engine running, with a note stuck on the windshield that read: ‘You can take this car and The Dunwich Horror and shove them up your ass! Columbia has more guts than you’ll ever have!’ Columbia had just agreed to finance Easy Rider.
  5. Parker Stevenson, A Separate Peace, 1971.     Rights  to John Knowles’ work, the best coming-of-age novel since Catcher in the Rye,  were passed around like candy after its British publication in 1959. (All  US publishers had rejected it!). 1964: Richard Burton was to direct it, changing the setting to a UK school. 1965: actor pals Dullea and Martin West, were to produce and star in it. 1967: producer Irving Gitlin planned a TVersion. 1968: Paramount gave the difficult adaptation to Larry Goodbye Columbus) Peerce, who shot it with Stevenson and real students of the ultra upper-class Phillips Exeter Academy, in New Hampshire, where Knowles had studied. (Gore Vidal, too, the model for the aggressive Brinker). 
  6. Edward Albert, Butterflies Are Free, 1972.    The Broadway star looked  too old onscreen. However, he survived Noel Coward’s crack: “Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow…”
  7. Len Cariou, The Haunting of Julia, UK-Canada, 1977.   And the Canadian money meant a local actor was essential.“There were two Canadians who could have played the part of Mia Farrow’s husband,” said co-producer Alfred Pariser.And in 1976, no one had ever heard of Cariou… (Debut film,by the way, for actor and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes).





 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7