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Shirley MacLaine: Roles She Missed That Other Actresses Made Famous

By    |   Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 05:46 PM

Shirley MacLaine, named after Shirley Temple, was born in 1934 and has acted in theater, television, and film. MacLaine is a popular and talented actress — she's won an Academy Award, Golden Globe awards, and other nominations and recognitions — but there are a few prominent films she was offered roles in that she later regretted turning down, or roles she missed that other actresses made famous.

1. "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

According to the New Yorker, MacLaine turned down the role of Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." She later said she should not have turned it down, but also that she would not have played the role as well as style icon Audrey Hepburn did it. The film was released in 1961 and won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “Moon River.” Hepburn was also nominated for Best Actress. In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry because of its significance.

2. "Cabaret"

MacLaine was also the first choice for the role of Sally Bowles in the 1972 release of "Cabaret," but she turned down the role because she wanted to move away from acting in musicals. The part was then given to Liza Minnelli, who won an Academy Award for her performance.

3. "Funny Girl"

According to Turner Classic Movies, Columbia wanted MacLaine to play the role of Ziegfeld star Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl," since there were doubts about Barbra Streisand, who'd played the role on Broadway but never acted in a feature film. When "Funny Girl" Producer Ray Stark said it would be Streisand or nothing, Columbia gave in. Streisand would go on to earn an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the film.

4. "The Unsinkable Molly Brown"

This film, released in 1964, was a triumphant role for Debbie Reynolds and she was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress in this role. But TCM says before Reynolds was cast, Hollywood wanted MacLaine to play Molly Brown. MacLaine signed on to play the part, but independent producer Hal Wallis claimed she was under contract to him. This caused MacLaine to withdraw from the role, which was then offered to Reynolds.

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Shirley MacLaine is a popular and talented actress — she's won an Academy Award, Golden Globe awards, and other nominations and recognitions — but there are a few prominent films she was offered roles in that she later regretted turning down, or roles she missed that other actresses made famous.
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Thursday, 25 Feb 2016 05:46 PM
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