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A list of actors and actresses who passed on iconic roles. The most memorable characters of all time were almost played by stars other than the ones who famously brought them to life on screen. These legendary film and television roles include the greatest action heroes, the most notorious villains, and the sexiest stars in Hollywood. This mind-blowing trivia might even surprise the biggest film buffs and Hollywood experts.
What makes a screen role iconic? These characters have withstood the test of time and generations of audiences have fallen in love (or consistently hated) these famous figures every time they watch them onscreen. Once an actor or actress has embodied a certain role, especially in blockbuster franchises and epic films, they become synonymous with that character. It then becomes hard to imagine anyone else playing such cinematic icons such as Indiana Jones, Michael Corleone, and Carrie Bradshaw. The gallery of celebrities below has some of the most surprising and unbelievable Hollywood casting stories and why certain superstars like Will Smith, Julia Roberts, and even Frank Sinatra either passed on or missed out on playing a legendary part.
Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs seems like a role tailor-made for Oscar winner Jodie Foster (it was), but another A-lister passed on the film because of its violent content: Michelle Pfeiffer.
America's sweetheart Julia Roberts missed out on a second Oscar for portraying the tough-loving Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side, but Sandra Bullock (also America's sweetheart) proved she was just as capable and brought home the golden statue.
The actor who famously played James Bond could have had another cinematic icon to add to his credits, but Sean Connery simply didn't want to portray the wise and powerful Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.