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 Roles turned down by Jean Arthur:

Act One
Arthur was offered a part in this movie version of playwright Moss Hart's autobiography. But she declined it.
Actor who got the part: Ruth Ford

Anna and the King of Siam
Many fine actresses wanted this role, but only a few were offered it. One was Jean Arthur and she declined it so she could be in the play Born Yesterday.
Actor who got the part: Irene Dunne

Born Yesterday
Studio boss Harry Cohn pushed for major star Jean Arthur instead of relative newcomer Judy Holliday.
Actor who got the part: Judy Holliday

Friendly Persuasion
She was considered for this role in the early 1950's with a different director and leading man (Frank Capra and Bing Crosby), none of whom were ultimately involved with the final film.
Actor who got the part: Dorothy McGuire

Golden Boy
Arthur wanted the role of Lorna Moone and was supposed to play it, but the director wanted another actress in the part.
Actor who got the part: Barbara Stanwyck

Gone with the Wind
The brilliant star screen-tested for the role of "Scarlett O'Hara."
Actor who got the part: Vivien Leigh

His Girl Friday
Howard Hawks got a big 'turn down' from the superb Jean Arthur when he offered her the role of the motor-mouthed newspaper reporter.
Actor who got the part: Rosalind Russell

It's a Wonderful Life
The one-of-kind star was director Frank Capra's first choice to play "Mary Hatch Bailey."
Actor who got the part: Donna Reed

Lost Horizon (1937)
Turned down director Frank Capra's offer to her to play the lovely, ageless heroine of Shangri-La, "Sondra."
Actor who got the part: Jane Wyatt

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris
Arthur wanted to make this movie in 1962, in the title role as a British charwoman. It was to be directed by George Stevens and Arthur bought the screenrights, but then sold them and the movie was not made at the time. It was made 30 years later as a tv movie.
Actor who got the part: Angela Lansbury

A Pocketful of Miracles
Jean Arthur was one of many actresses who rejected the role of Apple Annie.
Actor who got the part: Bette Davis

Jean Arthur was considered to replace the deceased Harlow in "Saratoga", but a new format was developed.
Actor who got the part: Mary Dees

A Woman of Distinction
The original stars were to be Arthur and Cary Grant, with Frank Capra as director, but Arthur declined and the property was re-cast with a new director attached.
Actor who got the part: Rosalind Russell

Did you know that Jean Arthur was not the only choice for this movie? (click to learn more)
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