Marlo Thomas turned down 'Rosemary's Baby': 'It felt ridiculous'

July 15 (UPI) -- Marlo Thomas says she turned down Rosemary's Baby because the story initially seemed "ridiculous."

The 82-year-old actress confirmed on Tuesday's episode of Watch What Happens Live that she passed on the lead role in the 1968 film, directed by Roman Polanski.


The title role of Rosemary Woodhouse was ultimately played by Mia Farrow. Rosemary's Baby was critically acclaimed upon its release and is now considered a classic horror film.

On WWHL, Thomas said she turned down the movie after reading Ira Levin's novel Rosemary's Baby, which the film is based on. She called the decision "so stupid."

"I read the book, and the guy who was producing it, Bill Castle, had made all horror movies," the star said. "I thought, 'Oh, god. She gets impregnated by the devil.' It felt ridiculous."

"I didn't know that Roman Polanski was going to direct it and it was going to turn into this big hit," she added. "I turned it down from the book."

Thomas appeared on WWHL with her husband, actor Phil Donahue. The couple, who released the book What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life in May, discussed the secrets to a long-lasting marriage.


When asked if there is a main lesson from or commonality between the longtime couples in the book, Thomas said, "I think it's that you really want it to last.

"These couples, they've all been married from 70 years to 18 years," the actress said. "The one theme is they wanted it to last -- they went to marriage counseling, they went to retreats, they go on holiday alone together, they found ways to stay connected."

"Kyra Sedgwick said it really beautifully in just one line. She said, 'When you get married, there's no plan B,'" she added. "None of these couples were looking for an escape route. They were looking forward together."

On WWHL, Donahue also recalled how he once danced with Princess Diana at a gala.

"I had to fight off all the guys who wanted to cut in," the actor said.

Thomas is best known for playing Ann Marie on the ABC series That Girl, which aired from 1966 to 1971. Donahue created and hosted The Phil Donahue Show from 1967 to 1996.


Longest celebrity relationships

Ron Howard (L) and wife Cheryl Howard arrive for the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 4, 2018. Ron and Cheryl Howard got married in 1975 after their first date in 1970. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

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