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August 6, 2015

The Top 5 Movies Audrey Hepburn Turned Down

Actress Audrey Hepburn, star of Breakfast at Tiffany's, remains one of Hollywood's greatest style icons and one of the world's most successful actresses. She made important movies, but she also knew restraint. She didn't take every role dangled in front of her – having a life outside of Hollywood was more important to her.

But, of course, when you're famous for turning down roles, you're bound to let a few prime movies slip through your fingers. And here are the top 5 movies Audrey Hepburn turned down:

1. West Side Story (1961)

Audrey turned this one down because she was pregnant, and because of other projects. Natalie Wood won the part and jumped into film history.

2. Cleopatra (1963)

This movie is part of the cultural pantheon: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton met on the set of Cleopatra and began their tempestuous on-again off-again romance that lasted until Burton's death in the '80s. Audrey was considered for the movie before Liz Taylor, but turned it down.

3. The Exorcist (1974)

When the studio offered Audrey Hepburn the role of Chris MacNeil, the mother of possessed child Regan MacNeil, she asked that it be filmed in Rome (where she was living at the time with her sons). Presumably, they rejected this request, and the film was made in New York and Washington, and starred Ellen Burstyn.

4. The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Audrey's reason for turning down this film was entirely reasonable: she grew up in a neighbouring suburb of Anne Frank's, was the same age, and didn't want to relive the horrors of her childhood. In fact, Anne Frank's diary describes the shooting of Audrey's uncle.

5. Gigi (1958)

Audrey turned down Gigi when it was made into a musical movie in 1958 because, at 27 years old, she felt she wasn't in the same frame of mind to play the teenaged courtesan. Leslie Caron won the role and the film went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Also-rans: The Graduate, The Miracle Worker, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spartacus, and The Ten Commandments.

(via Audrey Hepburn Facts)


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