Peter Cook

  1. Daniel Massey, Star!, 1967.     Cook, Ian McKellen and Robert Stephens were in the frame to portray Noel Coward – finally taken by  his Godson.  Indeed, at age nine Massey debuted as Coward’s son in the 1941 WWII in the classic, In Which We Serve, 1941.
  2. Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1970.   Author Roald Dahl’s   original choice to play his eccentric chocolatier was BBC radio Goon Spike Milligan.   Next? Spike’s co-Goon Peter Sellers was too expensive. LA’s choice, Joel Grey, was “not physically imposing enough.” Ron Moody   would have frightened the horses – and the kids. It was impossible to choose between Cook and his BBComedy partner, Dudley Moore. UK comic Frankie Howerd was into two film farces. Jon Pertwee was wed to Doctor Who. Carry On stars Sidney James and Kenneth Williams were as keen as (a way too old) Fred Astaire. One by one, all six Monty Pythons (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jons, Michael Palin) were judged not international enough. (And Howerd, Milligan and Pertwee were?!) Cleese, Idle and Palin were offered the 2005 re-hash; Chapman having died and Gilliam and Jones  turned to  full-time directing. Ironically, after the first vdrsion was finished in Munich, Germany, the studio and locations were then taken over for Liza’s  Cabaret, 1972, co-starring… Joel Grey.
  3. Barrie Ingham, The Great Mouse Detective, 1985.     After John Cleese passed, Cook and Michael Palin were consisdered for Basil, the mouse living in Sherlock Holmes’ 221B Baker Street and catching the great man’s deductive powers.
  4. Rowan Atkinson, The Lion King, 1993.    Also in the mix to voice Zazu in the 32nd Disney toon – Bambi meets Hamlet in Africa! – were Chris Barrie, Simon Callow, David Jason, Spike Milligan, Vic Reeves, Patrick Stewart. Plus various UK comedy giants: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore; The Two Ronnies: Barker and Ronnie Corbett; The Goodies: Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Bill Odie; and the Monty Pythons: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin. 


 Birth year: 1937Death year: 1995Other name: Casting Calls:  4