Someone at Buzzfeed.com has compiled a list of TV Characters That Could’ve Been Played By Different Actors . . . and there are some pretty amusing ones. It’s interesting to think of how different the characters could’ve been if they were played by someone else.
Here are some highlights, along with some commentary from the site:
#1.) Betty White and Rue McClanahan’s roles on “Golden Girls” could’ve been reversed.
Betty was originally cast to play Blanche . . . but she chose to switch to Rose, because she was afraid of being typecast as another “man-hungry character,” like the one she played on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.
Rue may have had the same concern. She played a naïve, Rose-like character on “Maude”.
#2.) Tea Leoni was the producers’ first choice to play Rachel on “Friends”, but she passed on it. “Swingers” star Jon Favreau also turned down Chandler . . . although he later appeared on the show as Monica’s boyfriend.
Meanwhile, Janeane Garofalo reportedly passed on playing Monica . . . and Courteney Cox, who ended up playing Monica, was originally asked to play Rachel.
#3.) Early in her career, Whitney Houston was offered the role of Sondra on “The Cosby Show”, but she didn’t want to commit to a full-time TV gig, and decided to stick with music.
#4.) Larry David brought Rosie O’Donnell in for an early audition for the part of Elaine on “Seinfeld” . . . but apparently they weren’t feeling her. Thankfully. Also, “Boardwalk Empire” star Steve Buscemi auditioned to play George.
#5.) John Lithgow was the first choice to play Frasier Crane on “Cheers”, but he turned it down, and Lisa Kudrow was originally cast as Roz on “Frasier”, but she was dumped after the pilot.
That worked out OK for everyone. Lithgow later got the lead in “3rd Rock from the Sun”, and of course Lisa landed “Friends”, along with a BOATLOAD of money. Oh, and Kelsey Grammer was such a success as Frasier that he got a spin-off.