Roles turned down by Alec Guinness:
Alec Guinness, in his published diary "My Name Escapes Me" writes in his March 29, 1996 entry: "Three years ago I was offered $10,000 — call itŁ7000— to be in New York for a month, at my own expense, to play a part (admittedly small) in the film 'The Age of Innocence.' I declined."
Actor who got the part: Norman Lloyd
Alec Guinness initially turned down the great role in the David Lean-directed masterpiece.
Actor who got the part: Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness, in his published diary "My Name Escapes Me" writes in his March 1, 1996 entry: "A query from my agent this morning wanting to know if I would be interested in playing Firs in a film of "The Cherry Orchard".... So now I await a script and must decide what I feel about it, speculating whether at eighty-two I'd be capable of acting an eighty-year-old. Actors past fifty are unlikely to have the energy to play King Lear in his dotage satisfactorily."
Actor who got the part: Michael Gough
Originally considered for the lead role.
Actor who got the part: Ben Kingsley
Guinness was the studio's original choice to play Cardinal Wolsey.
Actor who got the part: Orson Welles
Offered the plum role of "Poirot," but was unavailable.
Actor who got the part: Albert Finney
Did you know that Alec Guinness was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)