10 Actors Who Turned Down Movie Roles Because Of Spite

9. Steve McQueen Was Denied Top Billing Over Paul Newman - Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

Robin Williams Jim Carrey Riddler
United Artists & Fox

Steve McQueen was an undeniable big-screen icon, enough that he wasn't much interested in appearing in any film where he'd take second billing to another actor.

Case in point, we have the now-legendary Western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. McQueen was originally offered the role of Sundance - as was eventually nabbed by Robert Redford - but ended up departing the project because he wouldn't cede top billing to co-star Paul Newman.

Fox president Darryl F. Zanuck even tried to arrange a peculiar compromise by having half of the film's prints bill Newman first and the other half bill McQueen first, but an agreement couldn't be reached.

Instead Redford stepped into the part of Sundance and one of the most iconic films of the 1960s was born.

McQueen and Newman did finally star together, however, in 1974's The Towering Inferno, where they received equal billing, the same salary, and even the exact same number of lines in the script.


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