There are plenty of famous actors, but few are in the same movie star stratosphere as Jack Nicholson. The man has been the embodiment of a movie star in every way since the late 1960s. He hasn’t made a movie since 2010’s snooze-fest How Do You Know, and he may have announced his retirement from acting last year — but he has NOT retired from creepin’ on young actresses. God bless him.
The man can lay claim to plenty of iconic roles, but there are still a few that got away. In acknowledgment of his 77th birthday, I’ve pulled ten roles that passed Jack by for one reason or another.
1. The Graduate (1967) – Nicholson was considered for the part of Benjamin Braddock, but Dustin Hoffman got the part.
2. The Godfather (1972) – Nicholson was offered the part of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia trilogy, but the role ended up making Al Pacino a star instead.
3. The Exorcist (1973) – He was considered for the role of Father Karras, but the part ultimately went to actor Jason Miller.
4. Taxi Driver (1976) – Nicholson was offered the lead part of psycho taxi driver Travis Bickle, but turned it down and the part went to Robert De Niro.
5. Apocalypse Now (1979) – Nicholson was offered the role of Capt. Willard in the military masterpiece, but passed and the part went to Martin Sheen.