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Toshiro Mifune
 Roles turned down by Toshiro Mifune:

The Karate Kid
Writer Robert Mark Kamen was opposed to the casting choice of Toshiro Mifune as Mr. Miyagi.
Actor who got the part: Pat Morita

Star Wars
Lucas originally wanted an Asian actor to play Obi-Wan Kenobi because of George Lucas's love of Akira Kurosawa movies (watch "the Hidden Fortress" to see where most of Star Wars came from), but ultimately the studio and George felt it would be a better selling point to have a well-known white actor in the role.
Actor who got the part: Alec Guiness

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