Roles turned down by Claudette Colbert:
Colbert turned down the role of Ada Quonsett (Helen Hayes accepted the part and her second Academy Award for her efforts).
Actor who got the part: Helen Hayes
Claudette Colbert was set to play tempestuous, fragile, aging Broadway legend Margo Channing but an injury sustained on a previous movie prevented her from doing the film.
Actor who got the part: Bette Davis
Claudette Colbert was considered to play Scarlett O'Hara.
Actor who got the part: Vivien Leigh
Colbert turned down the great role of the about-to-be-married newspaper reporter in what turned out to be a classic comedy.
Actor who got the part: Rosalind Russell
Director Preston Sturges seriously wanted Colbert to play the sexy, larcenous Jean Harrington but was thrilled to have Barbara Stanwyck instead.
Actor who got the part: Barbara Stanwyck
Claudette Colbert demanded early hour release from filming. Capra refused. With short notice Katharine Hepburn took the role of Mary Matthews (delighted to be working with Spencer Tracy again). Reason given: Colbert had health problems.
Actor who got the part: Katharine Hepburn
Claudette Colbert was considered to play "Blanche Hudson".
Actor who got the part: Joan Crawford
Colbert was originally intended to star as Mary Haines before MGM bought the rights to the play as a vehicle for Shearer.
Actor who got the part: Norma Shearer
Did you know that Claudette Colbert was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)