Close Casting Calls for Stars

TV roles that almost changed the course of their careers
By Michael Foreman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 18, 2008 2:51 PM CDT
Jenna Fischer lost a spot on "Alias," but went on to become sweetheart Pam on "The Office."   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – Some of today's brightest stars nearly landed iconic TV roles, but didn't for better or worse. Author Eila Mell reveals a few near-misses to the New York Post:  

  • Harrison Ford turned down the part of "Meathead" in All in the Family.
  • Mickey Rooney also passed on bigot Archie Bunker.
  • Rosie O'Donnell was almost cast on Seinfeld as neighbor Elaine.

  • Whitney Houston might have been Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show.
  • Rachel Dratch played Jenna Maroney in the 30 Rock pilot, but was later replaced.
  • Jenna Fischer auditioned for Alias before becoming Pam on The Office.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio could have made waves as David Hasselhoff's Baywatch son.
  • Nancy McKeon from The Facts of Life wanted Courteney Cox's role on Friends.