TVWeek.com has put together a list of 11 Famous Actors and the Big TV Roles They Turned Down. Here's the list:
--BRIDGET FONDA turned down "Ally McBeal". The part ended up going to CALISTA FLOCKHART.
--MICHAEL RICHARDS (a.k.a. Kramer from "Seinfeld") passed on "Monk". The part went to TONY SHALHOUB, who won three Emmys in the role.
--DANA DELANY could've played Carrie Bradshaw on "Sex and the City", but she declined. The part went to SARAH JESSICA PARKER.
--DAVID LETTERMAN'S sidekick PAUL SHAFFER could've been George on "Seinfeld", but he never returned JERRY SEINFELD'S calls. Of course, the part ended up going to JASON ALEXANDER.
--STEPHEN TOBOLOWSKY was going to be TIM ALLEN'S "Tool Time" sidekick on "Home Improvement", but when he dropped out, RICHARD KARN got it. (--You may know Steven as Bob Bishop from "Heroes" and Sandy Ryerson from "Glee".)
--Talk show host BONNIE HUNT was originally offered the role of Jamie on "Mad About You". When she turned it down, it went toHELEN HUNT, who . . . despite her last name . . . is NOT related to Bonnie.
--JAYNE MANSFIELD turned down Ginger on "Gilligan's Island". The part went to TINA LOUISE, who actually altered the character to make Ginger MORE LIKE Jayne. Ginger was originally written as "a hard-nosed, sharp-tongued temptress."
--KEN HOWARD and BLYTHE DANNER, who co-starred in the sitcom version of "Adam's Rib", were asked to co-star on"McMillan & Wife" . . . but they weren't interested. ROCK HUDSON and SUSAN SAINT JAMES and were cast instead.
--PAUL GIAMATTI turned down the Michael Scott role on the American "Office". STEVE CARELL stepped in to take his place.
--An actress named POLLY BOND didn't want to play Miss Kitty on "Gunsmoke" because they were offering her TOO MUCH MONEY. (???)
(--She didn't want to make more than her husband, TOMMY BOND, a former child actor who played Butch on "The Little Rascals".)
--The part went to AMANDA BLAKE. And apparently, it worked out for everyone: Amanda had the role for 20 YEARS . . . and Polly and Tommy Bond were married for 54 YEARS.