Roles turned down by Walter Matthau:
Matthau turned down the role of the judge - reportedly because he wanted too much money.
Actor who got the part: Morgan Freeman
Walter Matthau wanted (and actually played) the part of the drunk in a bar, but only if he was credited with a fictionalised version of his real name.
Actor who got the part: Walter Matuschanskayasky
Matthau wanted the part of Mike Laszlo.
Actor who got the part: Armin Mueller-Stahl
For director Billy Wilder's film version of the Broadway smash, Matthau tested for the role of the middleaged husband tempted to stray with his sexy, beautiful neighbor.
Actor who got the part: Tom Ewell
Alfred Hitchcock had Matthau in mind to play a wily, sadistic spy escaped from a London prison.
Actor who got the part: Film Was Never Made, Hitchcock Died
Did you know that Walter Matthau was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)