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John Wayne: 4 Roles He Missed That Other Actors Made Famous

By    |   Friday, 30 October 2015 05:34 PM

Marion Morrison, or more popularly known as the iconic Western star John Wayne, was a prolific and hard-working actor. Any actor with Wayne's popularity will be offered many more roles than even someone with his work ethic could possibly fill.

Some of these missed roles ended up being great opportunities for other actors to make their mark on the silver screen.

Here are a few roles that other actors made famous after the Duke passed:

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1. "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964)

Mjr. T. J. “King” Kong riding a nuclear bomb like a rodeo cowboy down toward Russia is one of most iconic scenes in American cinema.

Director Stanley Kubrick originally envisioned the Kong role as a John Wayne archetype, but according to "Dr. Strangelove" writer Terry Southern, Wayne didn't even consider the offer, and the part eventually went to Slim Pickens.

2. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Wayne turned down the role of Army Mjr. Reisman in the WWII action-adventure movie to do the propagandistic Vietnam War film, "The Green Berets," according to "World War II Goes to the Movies and Television Guide" author Terry Rowan.

Lee Marvin, already the director's first choice for Reisman according to The War Movie Buff, accepted the role and led a star-studded cast into Hollywood legend in one of its most famous war movies. Mjr. Reisman is arguably Marvin's most beloved character.

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3. "Patton" (1970)

George C. Scott landed a role he seemed born to play as America's most revered military hero after John Wayne and several other actors rejected the biopic.

According to "Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film"
author Lawrence H. Suid, the son of the late general thought Wayne lacked the requisite dignity to play his father, and reportedly told the studio's military liaison "his little baby could portray his father better than John Wayne."

The studio still liked Wayne for the role, but the actor had his own reservations, given the part required him to strike a soldier on film, which he'd already done in "Iwo Jima."

Wayne later regretted passing up "Patton," according to Suid.

4. "Dirty Harry" (1971)

Wayne, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Burt Lancaster, and even Frank Sinatra were considered for the role, which Clint Eastwood eventually turned into one of the iconic characters in American cinema.

According to The Art of Manliness, “He turned it down because he didn't 'like being offered Sinatra's rejections.'” Wayne, seeing the movie's success, went on to play in two cop movies soon after "Dirty Harry" was released.

Although reports that "Dirty Harry" was too violent for John Wayne is likely the real reason he passed as other actors offered the role allegedly also felt that way.

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Any actor as popular as John Wayne will be offered more roles than he could possibly fill. Some of these missed opportunities ended up being great parts for other actors to make their mark on the silver screen. Here are a few roles that John Wayne missed out on that other actors made famous.
john wayne, famous, missed, roles
Friday, 30 October 2015 05:34 PM
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