In Re: Leslie Nielsen’s “Ben Hur” ScreenTest

It’s interesting (to me ;) to note that the role Leslie Nielsen auditioned for in “Ben Hur” was the one that eventually went to Stephen Boyd.

I never much cared for Boyd as an actor, and have no idea how he got so much work in the 1960s. He’s wooden and uninteresting to watch. I speculate that he got selected over Nielsen for at least three reasons:

1) He looks meaner,
2) He’s generally darker complected with dark hair,
3) Nielsen’s coloring was too much like Charlton Heston’s, thus not distingushing them sufficiently when they were in the same scenes.

Nielsen looked more nothern European and, frankly, looked too nice to be chopping up Ben Hur’s wheels in the chariot race.

Maybe if he’d dyed his hair and sneered more in the screen test …

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About ThinkWingRadio

Mike Honig is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He moved to Houston in September of 1977 and has been there ever since. Mike's interests are politics, history, science, science fiction (and reading generally), technology, and almost anything else. Mike has knowledge and experience in many diverse fields, sometimes from having worked in them, and sometimes from extensive reading or discussion about them. Mike's general knowledge makes him a favorite partner in Trivial Pursuit. He likes to say that about most things, he knows enough to be dangerous. Humility is a work-in-progress.

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