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 Roles turned down by Vivien Leigh:

Vivien Leigh was considered to play the lead role.
Actor who got the part: Elizabeth Taylor

Elephant Walk
Vivien Leigh filmed a few scenes, suffered a nervous breakdown, and had to be replaced. She is still seen in a few long shots.
Actor who got the part: Elizabeth Taylor

Friendly Persuasion
Leigh was perhaps the most untypical actress considered for the role of Quaker minister, wife and mother Eliza Birdwell, but she was in the running among many other lead actresses of the time.
Actor who got the part: Dorothy McGuire

Leigh desperately wanted to play Ophelia in her husband Laurence Olivier's film, but he felt that she was too old for the role.
Actor who got the part: Jean Simmons

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte
She refused the role of Miriam, telling director Robert Aldrich via Western Union, "I could just about look at Joan Crawford's face on a Southern plantation at 6:00 in the morning; I couldn't possibly look at Bette Davis's."
Actor who got the part: Olivia DeHavilland

My Cousin Rachel
Vivien Leigh wouldn't do it unless it was filmed in England. The role went to Olivia de Havilland.
Actor who got the part: Olivia De Havilland

Joshua Logan, the film's original director, wanted either Leigh and Clark Gable, the stars of "Gone With the Wind," or Gable and Colbert, the stars of "It Happened One Night," to reunite to play the parents of the title hero.
Actor who got the part: Claudette Colbert

Pride and Prejudice (1940)
David O. Selnick refused to permit the Oscar-winning star to appear in the film version of the Jane Austen novel opposite her husband Laurence Olivier.
Actor who got the part: Greer Garson

Director Alfred Hitchcock screen-tested Vivien Leigh for the role Joan Fontaine eventually played, but found Leigh too beautiful and sophisticated for the role.
Actor who got the part: Joan Fontaine

Room at the Top
Offered the role of "Alice Aisgill."
Actor who got the part: Simone Signoret

Suddenly, Last Summer
Vivien Leigh was the first actress attached to play Violet Venable, but withdrew to do a play instead.
Actor who got the part: Katharine Hepburn

Wuthering Heights (1939)
Leigh declined the role of Heathcliffe's abused wife "Isabelle Litton" when it was offered to her after the filmmakers turned down in her bid to play "Cathy ."
Actor who got the part: Geraldine Fitzgerald

Did you know that Vivien Leigh was not the only choice for these movies? (click to learn more)
» Gone with the Wind
» Ship of Fools
» A Streetcar Named Desire

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