Mary Gross

  1. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  2. Kelly McGillis, The Accused, 1988.  Paramount suits saw 40 young actresses for the (real life) gang rape victim. Or, their own rape bait fantasies… such as 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! And a further 27 for her lawyer. Including Fatal Attraction also-rans from Geena Davis, Goldie Hawn, Tuesday Weld – to Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep and Debra Winger, who were offered both roles. Plus Gross, Beverly D’Angelo, Blythe Danner, Sally Field, Carrie Fisher, Teri Garr, Barbara Hershey, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver, Dianne Wiest. A 1982 rape victim herself, McGillis refused the lead. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. She had no wish to revisit the horror and pain of her own assault six years earlier. Obviously. However, she agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney – on condition that the studio-described “unsexy” Jodie, and no one else, played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… dated March 29, 1989.

  3. Helen Slater, 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 Superwoman, herself, Bonnie Rayburn. Also on his dream wish list were: Mary Gross, Barbara Hershey, Kay Lenz, and Meg Ryan. Jack Palance stole the movie and won a support Oscar – 38 years after his only nomination (for the Shanegunman) and celebrated with one-arm push-ups on the Academy stage – and the 1993 sequel.

  4. Celia Imrie, The Borrowers,  1996.   French star Sophie Marceau  and Mary Gross,  alumna of the Second City comic and Saturday Night Live, were the direct opposites  considered for Homily Clock, matriarch of the four-inch high family  living  beneath the floorboards of a house owned by ”human beans”   – in the fourth of six  screen versions (including a Japanese toon)  of the 1952 Marty Norton  book. Sophie was  30, Mary was 43,  and the winning Brit was 44 – better for her screen husband, a similarly four-inch Jim Broadbent, at 47.



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