Suzanne Pleshette


  1. Alexandra Stewart, Exodus,  1960.     New York’s Pleshette and the Israeli Ziva Rodann were beatenn by the French NewWave star to Jordana in Otto Preminger’s version of Leon Uris’s book – a Jewish Western, said  the New York Post! – on the founding of Israel. 
  2. Natalie Wood, West Side Story, 1961.     Considering that she succeeded Anne Bancroft on Broadway and the US tour of The Miracle Worker, Pleshette was totally wasted by Hollywood, offering (beyond The Birds, 1963) little more than tawdry films and more than 60 TV guest slots.
  3. Tippi Hedren, The Birds, 1962.  England’s Ireland and Hollywood’s Sandra Dee and Suzanne Pleshette were in the frame for the poor, bird-pecked Melanie until Alfred Hitchcock fell for Hedren in a diet drink commercial. Hitch gave her a seven-year contract and lots of sexual  agro.  She made his next film, Marnie, 1963. And  that was the end of his  “new Grace Kelly.”  Pleshette, also born January 19 like Tippi, accepted the lessr role of  Annie, made younger for her than in the scenario, just to experiencee working with Hitch.  Just the once because…  
  4. Diane Baker, Marnie, 1963.   Hiitchcock enjoyed working with Pleshette and asked her for his next film – as Tippi Hedren’s scorned sister. No thak you… “Is the sister’s name Marnie? I don’t think so! I don’t think that’s the lead!”
  5. Martha Hyer, The Carpetbaggers,1963  Pleshettte  and Anne Francis were in the frame for  Jennie Denton,favourite callgirl-cum-movie-sex-symbol of George Peppard’s “Howard Hughes” – in the first of New York producer Joseph E Levine’s three snitty/snotty movies about Hollywood,  followed
  6. Samantha Eggar, The Collector, 1964.    Hollywood icon William Wyler saw Julie Christie, Sarah Miles, Suzanne Pleshette and Natalie Wood for the girl kidnapped by a deranged Terence Stamp. But Sam won Miranda. Until Wyler fired her. He then  asked Weld to take over. “But after a long meeting during which she disagreed with the legendary director on absolutely everything,” recounted her later lover, Bond and Supermanwriter Tom Mankiewicz – Wyler decided to re-hire Sam. And kept her on-set all day, made her lunch alone and told Stamp to stop trying to bed her (like the whole crew). “I know this looks cruel,” said Wyler, “but we’re going to get a great performance out of her.” Robert Berdella said the movie inspired his serial killing of, at least, six men during 1984-1987. He died from a heart attack in jail in 1992The Missouri media dubbed him The Kansas City Butcher  and… The Collector.

  7. Julie Newmar, Batman, TV, 1966-1968.    
    Negotiations broke down with the first choice for Catwoman in 13 episodes of the sudenly “in” and “zany” TV show.And the phone rang that same weekend in Newmar’s New York apartment. “Miss Newmar, would you like to play Catwoman? They’re casting it out here – and it starts Monday.” Julie felt insulted at such short notice until the voice explained: “That’s how TV is done, they never know what they are doing until yesterday.” Her brother leaped off the sofa. “I mean he physically levitated.” “Batman!” he yelled. “That’s the favorite show at Harvard. We all quit our studies and run into the TV room to watch it.” Julie said: “They want me to play Catwoman.” He said: “Do it!” So she loved it!  “In the ’50s women could never – unless you were some B-picture actress – be mean, bad, and nasty. I can’t tell you how satisfying it was.”  Shooting
    McKenna’s Gold clashed with the third season, allowing Eartha Kitt to try mean, bad and nasty.

  8. Katharine Ross, The Graduate, 1967.      
  9. Faye Dunaway, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.   For the insurance agent investigating Tommy Crown, director Norman Jewison wanted Eva Marie Saint.  Too old, screamed the suits. OK, the director drew up a wet-dream list:  Anouk Aimé,  Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, Leslie Caron, Julie Christie, Suzanne Pleshette, Vanessa Redgrave, Sharon Tate, Raquel Welch… and his star, Steve McQueen, suggested testing Camilla Sparv.  “Yeah, well, I’ve just seen an early print of Bonnie and Clyde… and you’re gonna spend eight hours kissing her!”
  10. Jacqueline Bisset, The Detective, 1967.     “I don’t think a man and his wife should act together,” said the titular Frank Sinatra. “Least that goes  for us.”  So why was he so furious when Mia was delayed by director Roman Polanski’s lengthy perfectionism on Rosemary’s Baby.  Following dinner with the couple, production designer Richard Sylbert felt Frank’s view was if she didn’t make the film with him, the marriage was over.  And that’s what happened. Old Livid Eyes sent his lawyer to the Polanski set to deliver divorce papers to Mia.  And he told Fox to replace his wife… Bisset  supposed Sinatra had OK’d her, perhaps, on seeing some footgae from her Fox debut,  The Wild Ride. “If he had disliked me, I certainly wouldn’t have  been in  the picture.”  Which explains why no  Pleshette or Suzy Parker.
  11. Stephanie Powers, Hart To Hart, TV, 1979-1996.    Same initials but… Actresses up for the role of Jennifer Hart opposite Robert Wagner  (as The Thin Man by another name…) also included Syuzanne…  and ex-Bionic Woman Lindsay Wagner.




 Birth year: 1937Death year: 2008Other name: Casting Calls:  11