One of Stephen’s most interesting ‘what could have been’ cinema moments was his chance to star with Hollywood’s biggest star – Marilyn Monroe. Stephen was one of many actors who tried out for the part opposite the famous blonde in Let’s Make Love. the auditions took place in early 1960. Boyd was just coming off his huge success in MGM’s Ben Hur, but he was signed to a different studio, 20th Century Fox, who wanted to maximize his current popularity quickly. Around that same time, Boyd had bowed out of the part of Boaz in the Fox biblical epic with Elana Eden, the Story of Ruth.
“I wanted very much to play the role of the billionaire in “Let’s make Love” with Marilyn Monroe. It’s a wonderful role. But I knew I wasn’t ready for the role of Boaz. Maybe a year from now I’d feel differently. I know now that I’m not right for a milk-and-water juvenile roles. I must have something with guts and vitality.” (Silver Screen June 1960)
Needless to say, 20th Century Fox was not happy with Boyd’s decision to refuse the role. Fox assigned actor Stuart Whitman to the part, and Boyd did not get the part he wanted with Monroe. This part went to French actor Yves Montand instead. Most likely the Studio was putting its foot down to let the somewhat strong-willed actor know he was still under obligation to their wishes. Boyd was eventually assigned to his next role- the African adventure “The Big Gamble” with Juliette Greco.
All we can do now is imagine how Boyd and Monroe magic would have been on screen together!