1. - Halle Berry, Monster's Ball, 2001. “I actually had that role before Halle. But they couldn't set it up. It would have been me, Sean Penn and Robert De Niro.” Berry's performance made her the first black winner of a Best Actress Oscar. That made her feel good!
2. - Bitty Schram, Monk, TV, 2002-09. When ex-Seinfelder Michael Richards was due to be weird San Francisco police detective Adrian Monk, Queen was suggested as his assistant Sharona. Bitty was replaced (by Taylor Howard) after 38 of eventually, 100-plus episodes.
3. - Vivica A Fox, Beauty Shop, 2003. The rapper-cum-Oscar-nominated Chicago actress was replaced by the Kill Bill thriller when tied up with Taxi.
4. - Jill Scott, The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, TV, 2008-09. Latifah, Whoopie Goldberg and TV tycoon Oprah Winfrey were overly obvious choices while Grammy-winning singer Scott proved as totally refreshing as her rtole - novelist Alexander McCall Smith’s amateur but canny Botswana ’tec, Mma Precious Ramotswe. The pilot was the last work of Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack. Apparently, 18 African actresses were also tested but no one seems to have logged their names...