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John Wayne
 Roles turned down by John Wayne:

1941
Steven Spielberg says he had Wayne read the script in hopes he would play Gen. Stilwell. Wayne turned down the part saying it was in bad taste to make fun of WWII.
Actor who got the part: Robert Stack

All The King's Men
John Wayne was offered the part of Willie Stark by director Robert Rossen, but he turned it down.
Actor who got the part: Broderick Crawford

Beau John
John Wayne had a script commissioned for him called Beau John, where he would co-star with Ron Howard, but the film was not made because of Wayne's ill health.
Actor who got the part: None

Blazing Saddles
Turned down a role in the movie after reading the script saying "I can't be in this picture, it's too dirty...but I'll be the first in line to see it."
Actor who got the part: Slim Pickens

The Dirty Dozen
John Wayne turned it down, reportedly because he thought the movie depicted the military in a bad light.
Actor who got the part: Lee Marvin

Dirty Harry
John Wayne turned down the lead role.
Actor who got the part: Clint Eastwood

Dr. Strangelove
Did not respond to an offer to play Maj. T.J. "King" Kong in the anti-war masterpiece.
Actor who got the part: Slim Pickens

The Frisco Kid
According to Gene Wilder's autobiography, John Wayne was offered the part of Tommy Lillard. Wayne was willing to take the role but was not able to get the $$ he needed.
Actor who got the part: Harrison Ford

Heaven's Gate
John Wayne turned down the lead male role in mid 70's when the project was called Johnson County War. When this attempt at the project fell through, Michael Cimino made the Deer Hunter instead.
Actor who got the part: Kris Kristofferson

Lonesome Dove
Writer Larry McMurtry had originally invisioned Lonesome Dove as a movie starring John Wayne, James Stewart, and Henry Fonda.
Actor who got the part: Tommy Lee Jones

Patton
Wanted to play General Patton but the producer turned him down.
Actor who got the part: George C. Scott

Present Laughter
John Wayne tried for years to get backing to play in this Noel Coward comedy as a change of pace.

Twelve O'Clock High
John Wayne turned it down and Peck took the role. In fact, Peck was second choice on many films. He sometimes joked that every script he got had Cary Grant's fingerprints all over it.
Actor who got the part: Gregory Peck

Welcome to L.A.
Budget overruns and production delays kept Wayne from taking the role of Carl Barber, the millionaire father of Keith Carradine's songwriter/horndog character.
Actor who got the part: Denver Pyle






Did you know that John Wayne was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)
» The Conqueror
» The Cowboys
» The High and The Mighty
» Red River
» The Shootist
» Stagecoach






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