Ronald Lewis

  1. Stephen Boyd, Ben-Hur, 1958.     Sword and sandal epics were in.  And producer Sam Zimbalist, who’d made one of the biggest – Quo Vadis, 1950 –  was back in Rome, re-making the 1923 silent Ben-Hur.  (Sergio Leone claimed he directed the stunning  chariot race. He did not).Losing Messala were Kirk Douglas (now you know why he became Spartacus), Charlton Heston (who became Judah Ben-Hur). Plus New Yorker Ray Danton, British Stewart Granger (from Quo Vadis), Welsh Ronald Lewis, Canadian  Leslie Nielsen, way too  old Robert Ryan (when way too old Burt Lancaster was to be Judah Ben-Hur) and Scottish. Bill Travers. Were they bright enough to comprehend what Heston never twigged – that “contributing writer” Gore Vidal implied Judah and Messala had been lovers. 

 Birth year: 1928Death year: 1982Other name: Casting Calls:  1