The Graduate made Dustin Hoffmann a star, but it almost didn’t happen. Burt Ward, who played Robin in the Batman TV show in the 1960s, was up for the part, and he wanted to do it, but his studio, ABC, nixed it. “We’ve got the hottest show on television [Batman], and we don’t want to dilute you doing something else, so you can’t do it,” Ward recalls the studio telling him during an interview with Fox News. “I was really dejected. I thought I should do this. So I called [Graduate producer] Larry [Turman] and . . . I told him I wanted to do it so badly, but I can’t. He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. It’s a small movie,' " reported Fox News. The Graduate turned out to be the highest grossing film of 1967.
Next: But wait, another much more famous actor also wanted that part . . .