If you recall, last week I wrote a post about the most successful actors on film and on Broadway. You didn't think I'd let the flops go without notice, did you? Here are some of the worst attempts of famous actors to star in a Broadway production...none of them attempted a second.
Lucille Ball: I'm sure you know Lucille Ball as Lucy in I Love Lucy and probably several other characters in various movies. But you've probably never heard of her success on Broadway because, well, she didn't have any. In 1960, Ball starred in a musical called Wildcat. In it she played Wildcat "Wildy" Jackson, a woman who dreams of finding oil but doesn't know where to begin. The writer of the book had pictured a young woman in the lead role (whereas Lucille Ball was 48 years old), but when Ball committed funding to the project, he had to rework the show. The Broadway production only ran for 171 performances, due to lukewarm reviews, the fact that "Wildy" was not at all like Ball's I Love Lucy character, and the fact that she kept getting sick and audience members requested refunds in droves.
Bette Davis: Bette Davis is an acting legend: she won two Oscars for Best Actress, was the first person to reach the milestone of 10 Oscar nominations for acting, and she is considered one of the greatest female stars of all time. However, she had many difficulties throughout her career and her personal life; her Broadway failure did not stem so much from her acting skills as her poor health. In 1952, Davis was cast in a revue called Two's Company featuring comedy sketches, singing and dancing. The premiere was postponed because Davis was recovering from exhaustion, with the show finally opening December 15, 1952. Reviews were not great, but the house was still mostly sold out for the 90-performance run. Producers were forced to close the show early after Davis had to have surgery for a bone infection in her jaw. The production lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Maureen O'Hara: O'Hara is another celebrated actress on screen, having starred in award-winning films like How Green Was My Valley and classics like Miracle on 34th Street. Personally, I remember her from several John Wayne films. But her Broadway debut was one of the worst on this list. In 1960, she starred in a musical called Christine, which only ran for 12 performances and doesn't even have its own Wikipedia page. Enough said.
Suzanne Somers: This one made our list of the shortest running shows on Broadway several months ago. Somers is very well-known for her work in Three's Company and Step by Step, among other popular shows, and she tried to capitalize on that fame with The Blonde in the Thunderbird, a one-woman show about her life and career. Unfortunately, the production was a major flop, closing after only 10 previews and 9 regular performances.
Brendan Fraser: Somehow Brendan is the only male on our list, but he also made the list of the shortest Broadway runs ever. In 2010, he starred opposite Denis O'Hare in Elling, which was sort of a modern "Odd Couple." The play was based on the Norwegian film of the same name, which was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. However, the stage version was not quite so popular; the play closed after 22 previews and 9 performances. Fraser's young, so he might try the Great White Way again in the future. But I think he should probably stick with The Mummy.
What do you think? Did we miss anyone? Tell us in the comments!