Tags: Hollywood | Steve McQueen | missed roles

Steve McQueen: Roles He Missed That Other Actors Made Famous

By    |   Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 09:15 PM

Steve McQueen’s legacy as an actor is one of playing rebels, nonconformists and underdogs. He liked doing his own stunts and living on the edge. Cancer cut his life short at 50. But in movies like “The Getaway” and “The Great Escape,” he always seemed to sneak away, film critic Roger Ebert noted. He also escaped getting some roles that made other actors famous.

Here are some of the roles McQueen declined.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
Director Blake Edwards offered McQueen the role of Audrey Hepburn’s paramour, Paul Varjak, in the 1961 classic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” Vogue magazine reported. But McQueen, whose career was beginning to take off, was committed to the TV series “Wanted Dead or Alive” and couldn’t take the role. It went to George Peppard instead.

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“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
“McQueen turned down the role of Sundance simply because costar Paul Newman refused to give him top billing,” CNN recounted in a 2008 story called “5 million-dollar mistakes by movie stars.”

“The French Connection”
“Later, McQueen declined the lead in ‘The French Connection’ because he felt the part was too similar to the tough cop he’d played in 1968’s ‘Bullitt,’” CNN said. That role went to Gene Hackman, who won an Oscar for it.

“Apocalypse Now”
McQueen also turned down director Francis Ford Coppola when he offered him the role of Captain Willard in the 1979 war drama “Apocalypse Now.” “The first sign of trouble was that no big star was willing to spend six months in the Philippines filming,” according to Mike Medavoy’s book, “You’re Only as Good as Your Next One.” Coppola fired Harvey Keitel and replaced him with Martin Sheen, the book recounted. Sheen suffered a heart attack during the stressful production.

Other missed opportunities for McQueen included roles in “A Bridge Too Far,” “The Driver,” and “Raise the Titanic,” the United Kingdom magazine, What Culture recounted. “He was even up for the role of Harry Callahan in ‘Dirty Harry,’ which eventually went to Clint Eastwood,” the magazine said.

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“Often, his inability to take on the roles was due to his own ego,” What Culture said in its list of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Steve McQueen. “A headstrong individual, he frequently clashed with others and refused to take part in the projects.”

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Steve McQueen's legacy as an actor is one of playing rebels, nonconformists and underdogs. He liked doing his own stunts and living on the edge. He also escaped getting some roles that made other actors famous.
Steve McQueen, missed roles
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2015-15-16
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 09:15 PM
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