Maybe this was all discussed long before I joined the group, but this was asked recently on Susan's IMBD webpage so I wonder and expand:
a) What roles did Susan turn down which some of us think she "hadn't oughta"?
b) What roles did Susan want/try for and didn't get--and "shoulda";
c) The original IMBD query--what major roles went to other fine actresses that Susan might have had and done as good a job with? (Should make it time-relevant--I think she'd have been superb in Maltese Falcon but really a little too young in my opinion in 1940).
From what I recall from reading, I think she was offered the role of Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate) which was played by Anne Bancroft. I'm glad Susan turned that one down although she would have been terrific in it.
That was the first thing to come to my mind. I would need to put a little more thought into what roles she could have played, many I'm sure.
I do think Susan would have made a great Scarlett O'Hara if she had just a few more years of experience under her belt. She did audition for it, but she was really young and new to Hollywood. Later, when she was in Tap Roots, you can get a glimpse of how she would have been as Scarlett.
I read that Susan very much wanted the lead in "South Pacific"---but she refused to 'audition' for it. I guess she felt her acting skills were known. Anyway, Mitzi Gaynor got the role....and she was quite a bit younger than Susan, I think.
I also think she had a chance for "The Three Faces of Eve" and turned that down.
I know there were others---but my memory lets me down yet again!
Also...Susan wanted to do the Ruth Etting role in LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME, but that went to DORIS DAY.
She turned down...CLEOPATRA, THE SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH. Of course she was right, in not doing CLEOPATRA and suggested they use ELIZABETH TAYLOR. However, I would have liked to have seen her do SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH (which was done by GERALDINE PAGE, but the word was..that Susan did not want to play an 'aging actress'...just as she did not want to play a 'seducer' in THE GRADUATE.
SUSAN was on the 'top of the list' to play Margo Channing (the BETTE DAVIS role) in ALL ABOUT EVE...because she was 'hot property' at 20th at the time and her career was rising, but I think she would have been better as Eve, if she was to be considered for that film, at all.
One role that got her suspended, at 20th...was refusing to do the 'awful' HILDA CRANE, which finally went to JEAN SIMMONS and GUY MADISON. That script is so awful...I don't blame her for refusing to do that film.
It also surprised me that JANE RUSSELL was so upset for not getting the Lillian Roth role in I'LL CRY TOMORROW. She and ROBERT MITCHUM did an interview for TCM..and she was asked if there was one film she wanted so very much...that she didn't get and this is what she said. Her heart was set on doing this role and she thought it was a 'go' for her (although there were others in the running like JUNE ALLYSON who also thought she had that role sewed up. But Susan won out..and thank goodness she did! I can't see any other actress doing that role as well as Susan did....