1. - Victor Mature, Samson and Delilah, 1949. In producer-director Cecil B DeMille’s file after being one of his Mounties in North West Mounted Police, 1940.
2. - Stephen Boyd, Ben-Hur, 1959. One of the earliest ideas was Burt Lancaster as Judah Ben-Hur and, of all people, Ryan as Messala.
3. - Anthony Eisley, The Naked Kiss, 1964. Maverick autuer Samuel Fuller had recently lost one of his idols, Gary Cooper, and one of his stars, Jeff Chandler - and now another favourite, the star of The House of Bamboo, 1954 - close to forming a company with Sam - was stricken with lung cancer.
4. - Lee Van Cleef, Per qualche dollaro/For A Few Dollars More, Italy-Spain-Germany, 1965. What a career turnaround... for the sometime guest star in Clint Eastwood’s Rawhide TV series. “As soon as we met, Sergio made up his mind: That’s Colonel Mortimer. Well, I wasn’t going to argue with him. Hell, I couldn’t pay my phone bill at the time.” As the old-timers Ryan and Henry Fonda snubbed the rising force of director Sergio Leone, Lee signed on. “I did the thing, paid my phone bill and exactly one year to the day - 12 April 1966 - I was called back to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Followed by the Sabata films,... before Hollywood begged him to come home for The Magnificent Seven Ride!
5. - William Windom, Star Trek (The Doomsday Machine), TV, 1967. One of the great guest roles... a Captain Ahab-type, obsessed with revenge for the loss of his crew. Windom portrayed Commodore Matt Decker in a tragic, sensitive light. And again, older, in an episode of the short-lived 2004 series, Star Trek: New Voyages.
6. - Rex Harrison, Don Quixote, TV, 1973. Some years earlier, when Ryan was diagnosed with cancer, he was scheduled to play The Don. Harrison, however, finally tele-filmed it in 1973 - the year Ryan died, having leased his apartment No. 72 in New York’s Dakota Building to... John Lennon and Yoko Ono.