When Melrose Place debuted 25 years ago, it made stars out of a bright new batch of actors and resurrected the TV career of Heather Locklear, but there are a few now-familiar faces who didn’t quite make it into the apartment complex from hell. Not to worry, though; they did pretty well in Tinsel Town regardless.
Fresh off her role on Family Ties, Courteney Cox auditioned for the role of Billy’s girlfriend, Allison. Producers went with a sound-alike actor instead, Courtney Thorne-Smith, and Cox eventually became America’s favorite neat freak, Monica, on Friends.
Just one of several now-big-name actors considered to play Billy, Jason Bateman had just finished up his role as teen David Hogan on Valerie when he auditioned for Melrose Place. He didn’t get the part, but he did keep working in Hollywood. Bateman blew up when Arrested Development became a cult fave.
Another potential Billy, Paul Rudd didn’t make the cut for what would have been his first professional role. Instead, he made his 1992 acting debut in the critically acclaimed series Sisters, hit the big screen in Clueless, and eventually joined the cast of Friends alongside fellow Melrose castoff Cox as Phoebe’s eventual husband.
Yet another Billy reject, Perry had previously appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210 — the show Melrose Place spun off from. For Perry, too, losing this part proved to be the best thing for his career, and he joined Cox for an award-winning series run on Friends as Chandler Bing. Could he be any luckier?
The then-unknown brunette beauty was originally cast as Taylor McBride, but producers unceremoniously dumped her from the role when she became pregnant, citing a clause in her contract preventing her from altering her appearance. She sued and eventually won damages in excess of $4.8 million. Lisa Rinna took over the role, and Tylo spent 24 years playing Dr. Taylor Hayes on daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful.
In an attempt to parlay her small role on Home Improvement into a larger TV career, Pamela Anderson tried — and failed — to nab a role on Melrose Place. No sweat off her nose, however. She soon found herself wearing the iconic red swimsuit on Baywatch and married to Locklear’s ex Tommy Lee.
The future TV lawyer auditioned for Melrose but didn’t land a role. She’d later become the star of one of the hottest shows on Fox, Ally McBeal, where she was joined by Melrose alum Courtney Thorne-Smith.
We could totally see Julianna Margulies playing Jo, a role landed by Daphne Zuniga, but it didn’t happen. Instead, Margulies was one of the very first faces we saw on the premiere of ER a few years later and won no less than six major awards for her lead role on The Good Wife.
Fresh-faced Noah Wylie wanted a spot on Melrose Place, but it wasn’t to be. Instead, he nabbed a small but key part in the flick A Few Good Men opposite Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, then landed his career-making turn as Dr. Carter on ER with fellow Melrose reject Margulies.