Richard Dean Anderson

  1. Don Johnson, Miami Vice,TV, 1984-1990.   The legendary pitch, from NBC chief Brandon Tartikoff, was simple. “MTV cops!”   Producers Anthony Kerkovich and Michael Mann did the splashy rest – as, originally, Gold Coast. TV stars RDA and Larry Wilcox were  seen for vice cop Sonny Crockett.  Plus Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte and Mickey Rourke, although TV was still frowned upon – not to say, downright sneered at – by film folk.  RDA and Johnson (nearly jinxed by his four previously unsuccessful pilots) were both in the John McClane frame for Die Hard, 1987.    The Mann series  gave some of their earliest screen acting gigs to such folk as Annette Bening, Julia Robers, Jimmy Smits, John Turturro,  Bruce Willis,… even Miles Davis and Little  Richard!  
  2. Bruce Willis, Die Hard, 1987.    There were 17 possible John McClanes.  From Tom Berenger, Michael Madsen and Willis to to TV heroes  Richard Dean Anderson and Don Johnson to A-listers:   Charles Bronson, James Caan, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone… and Frank Sinatra?  Yes, well, Roderick Thorpe’s book, Nothing Lasts Forever, was sequel to The Detective  – and that 1967 film  starred Sinatra (as Joe Leland,  changed here to  McClane) and so Frank had first dibs on any sequels. He passed. He was 73! In his 1980 movie his debut, The First Deadly Sin, Willis was seen leaving a bar as Sinatra walks in.   So it flows… He was soon  taking roles from most of those on the McClane list.
  3. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.    UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars, Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta – and four outsiders Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver – all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville
  4. Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct,1991.
  5. Eric Roberts, Doctor Who (The Movie), TV, 1996.
  6. Bryan Cranston, The Disaster Artist, 2015.  In producing, directing and playing Tommy Wiseau in the piece about Tom’s worst film ever made – The Room, in 2003 – James Franco had various pals  JJ Abrams, Kristen Bell, Lizzy Caplan, Zac Efron) playing themselves.  He also talked to Anderson  but  then preferred Cranston.  They later co-starred in Why Hm? a tiresomely unfunny  re-run of  Meet the Parents.        

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