Movies - TV
Jack Lemmon Wasn't The First Choice For His Some Like It Hot Role
By SHAE SENNETT
Before Jack Lemmon was cast as Jerry/Daphne in Billy Wilder’s “Some Like it Hot,” the role had initially been offered to two members of the Rat Pack. The first was Jerry Lewis, who later regretted turning it down, saying, "I would have had a chance to kiss Marilyn Monroe. Instead, Wilder called me 'the schmuck who turned down 'Some Like It Hot' for the rest of his life, and Lemmon sent me chocolates every year until he died.”
The second Rat Packer offered the role was Frank Sinatra, who reportedly accepted the offer, but Wilder later rescinded it. Tony Curtis revealed in an interview that while the director told him he was going to get Sinatra for the role, “about a week later Billy told me he wasn't going to use Frank. He said Frank would only be trouble.”
In the end, Lemmon was the best person for the role because of his comedic talent and his ability along with everyone, including the troubled Monroe. Curtis recalled that people had warned Wilder that she “was going to be a lot of trouble too” and that “[s]he was drinking a lot on the set,” but according to Lemmon’s son, his father “saw Marilyn for what she was, unlike the persona.”