Oscar: Luck and Circumstances–On the Waterfront

Eva Marie Saint won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar ward for Kazan’s On the Waterfront, her very first film, which swept that year’s Oscars.  But she was not the first choice.

The part of Edie Doyle was offered to Grace Kelly, who turned it down, preferring to make Hitchcock’s Rear Window, co-starring Jimmy Stewart, instead.

Kazan said in his autobiography A Life that the choice of an actress to play Edie Doyle was narrowed to Elizabeth Montgomery and Eva Marie Saint. There was something well-bred about Montgomery that Kazan thought would not be becoming for Edie, who was raised on the waterfront in Hoboken, New Jersey. So he assigned the part to Saint.

The role of Terry’s older brother Charley, ultimately played by Rod Steiger, who received his first Oscar nomination.  The part was originally offered to Lawrence Tierney, who asked for too much money.

Despite playing Terry’s older brother, Steiger was in fact one year younger than Brando.

Steiger would win the Best Actor Oscar at his third nomination, in 1967, for In the Heat of the Night.