INSIDE TV magazine names ten big stars who missed out on the role-of-a-lifetime on television, only to end up finding fame and fortune in other star-making roles. (From the July 18 issue of INSIDE TV, on newsstands July 14, www.insidetv.com).
10. Star: RAQUEL WELCH; Part: Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island"
Lost to: Dawn Wells; Year: 1964
The '60s sexpot, who turns 65 this September, auditioned for the part of wholesome Mary Ann rather than the obvious character, Ginger. Legend has it that she had the part until "Gilligan" creator Sherwood Schwartz met Dawn Wells. PS: Blonde bombshell Jayne Mansfield (mother of "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay) was the first choice for Ginger, but turned it down.
9. Star: MICHAEL RICHARDS; Part: Al Bundy on "Married...with Children"
Lost to: Ed O'Neill; Year: 1987
Three years before he burst into Jerry Seinfeld's apartment as neighbor Kramer, Michael Richards was auditioning to play Al Bundy. "I was very, very close to getting that part," recalls Michael. "But it wasn't meant to be. That was Ed's role, and he was wonderful." PS: In the last season of "Seinfeld," Michael earned $600,000 per episode.
8. Star: TERI HATCHER; Part: Jamie Buchman on "Mad About You"
Lost to: Helen Hunt; Year: 1992
Long before she became a desperate housewife, Teri Hatcher screen-tested to be the woman Paul Reiser was mad about. She made it to the final two, but lost the part to Helen Hunt, who won four Emmys for the role. PS: A year later, Teri chopped off her hair to snare the lead role in "Lois & Clark."
7. Star: LARA FLYNN BOYLE; Part: Ally McBeal on "Ally McBeal"
Lost to: Calista Flockhart; Year: 1997
Lara Flynn Boyle tried out for the title role on "Ally McBeal," but lost to a little-known stage actress named Calista Flockhart, who was every bit as skinny as Lara. PS: Lara went on to play Assistant District Attorney Helen Gamble on "The Practice."
6. Star: MATTHEW PERRY; Part: Billy Campbell on "Melrose Place"
Lost to: Andrew Shue; Year: 1992
Future "Friends" star Matthew Perry auditioned for the role of sweet Billy Campbell on "Melrose Place," but lost the role to Stephen Fanning. PS: Days before shooting began, Fanning was fired, and Andrew was hurriedly cast in the role.
5. Star: PATRICIA HEATON; Part: Elaine on "Seinfeld"
Lost to: Julia Louis-Dreyfus; Year: 1990
It's hard to imagine anyone but Julia Louis-Dreyfus playing Elaine on "Seinfeld," and it's just as difficult to imagine any actress but Patricia Heaton playing Debra Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond." But TV history could have been quite different, had Patricia bettered Julia in auditions to play Elaine. PS: Megan Mullally (Karen Walker on "Will & Grace") and Rosie O'Donnell also tried out for the part of Elaine.
4. Star: JASON BATEMAN; Part: Alex P. Keaton on "Family Ties"
Lost to: Michael J. Fox; Year: 1982
Jason Bateman tried out for the part of Alex on "Family Ties," but lost the role to Michael J. Fox -- who himself was the second choice for the role. Producers wanted Matthew Broderick, but he didn't want to do TV. PS: Justine Bateman accompanied her brother Jason to the audition, and won the role of Mallory Keaton, even though she had no acting experience.
3. Star: LISA KUDROW; Part: Roz Doyle on "Frasier"
Lost to: Peri Gilpin; Year: 1993
Lisa Kudrow won the role of Roz Doyle on "Frasier," but during rehearsals for the pilot, producers decided Lisa wasn't right for the part, and she was replaced by Peri Gilpin. PS: A few months later, Lisa was cast as wacky Ursula on "Mad About You," a part that led to her being hired as Ursula's twin sister, Phoebe, on "Friends."
2. Star: WHITNEY HOUSTON; Part: Sondra Huxtable on "The Cosby Show"
Lost to: Sabrina Le Beauf; Year: 1984
Then a 20-year-old model, Whitney Houston auditioned to play Bill Cosby's daughter Sondra on America's No. 1 show. PS: Whitney went on to great success in music and acting ("The Bodyguard," "Waiting to Exhale," "The Preacher's Wife") before drugs stalled her career.
1. Star: KATIE HOLMES; Part: Buffy Summers on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
Lost to: Sarah Michelle Gellar; Year: 1997
Tom Cruise's "magnificent" fiancee was a big contender to play Buffy, but had to be eliminated when the casting director realized she was under 18 and therefore could not legally work the hours the role required. PS: The same casting director snapped her up for "Dawson's Creek" a year later.
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INSIDE TV (www.insidetv.com) is a weekly entertainment magazine designed exclusively for women who love television. Created by the TV Guide Publishing Group, INSIDE TV provides breaking news and stories featuring television's hottest shows and stars, as well behind-the-scenes information on the latest styles, fashions, and trends influenced by television.