Tags: Hollywood | Gary Cooper | roles | missed

Gary Cooper: Roles He Missed That Other Actors Made Famous

By    |   Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 05:00 PM

Gary Cooper may have been smart about the roles he chose in films such as “Sergeant York,” “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “High Noon.” But his instincts may not always have been spot-on, as he missed some roles that made other actors famous.

“Foreign Correspondent”
In a 1999 interactive exhibit in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Alfred Hitchcock explained what happened when Cooper turned down the chance to star as an American journalist caught in a web of spies in 1940s “Foreign Correspondent.”

“I had offered Gary Cooper the Joel McCrea part in Foreign Correspondent,” Hitchcock recalled. “I had a terrible job casting the thriller-suspense films in America, because over here this kind of story was looked on as second-rate. In England, they’re part of the literature, and I had no trouble casting (Robert) Donat or anybody else there. Here I ran into it all the time – until Gary – who’s really English. Afterward, Cooper said, ‘Well, I should have done that, shouldn’t I? Of course, I don’t think it was Cooper himself, I think the people around him advised him against it.”

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“Gone with the Wind”
Cooper might have regretted some of his other predictions, as well. “No one got it more wrong than the actor Gary Cooper when he said: ‘Gone With The Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history,’” writer David Smith said in his column in The Guardian in 2008. Those were Cooper’s words when he turned down the part of Rhett Butler. The role made Clark Gable famous.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”
Cooper also lost out of the chance to play Jefferson Smith in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” even though he was director Frank Capra’s first choice, Turner Classic Movies said. The part went to James Stewart.

“A Star is Born”
He might have been Norman Maine, the star falling on hard times in “A Star Is Born,” but he declined that role in 1954, author Jane Ellen Wayne noted in her book, “The Leading Men of MGM.” James Mason got the part instead.

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Gary Cooper may have been smart about the roles he chose in films such as "Sergeant York," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "High Noon." But his instincts may not always have been spot-on, as he missed some roles that made other actors famous.
Gary Cooper, roles, missed
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2015-00-22
Sunday, 22 Nov 2015 05:00 PM
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