To Commemorate Jack Nicholson’s 77th Birthday, Let’s Remember 10 Iconic Film Roles He Nearly Played

By: 04.23.14

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.


United Artists

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