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Arts and Entertainment

Actors' Union Angered Over Audition Tape Auction

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If you were hoping to be one of the bidders on a series of old school VHS tapes containing the auditions of famous actors for roles from years gone by at an upcoming auction, alas, you are about as out of luck as some of these stars were back in the day. Thanks to objections from the major actors' union, the auction house has pulled the tapes from the lot.

Julien's Auctions, a well-known Beverly Hills auction house, had planned to sell off several video cassettes of casting sessions as part of their April 5 and 6 "Hollywood Legends" auction, but the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) objected to the sale, arguing that performers have the right to keep audition tapes private, according to City News Service.

Among those acting newbies captured vying for roles (that many would not get) include Leonardo DiCaprio (for Ponyboy in "The Outsiders"); Marisa Tomei and Mary Louise Parker (for a role in "My Life" that went to Nicole Kidman); Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Julianne Moore, Teri Hatcher, and Gwyneth Paltrow (for the role that went to Laura Dern in "Jurassic Park"); and Tom Sizemore and Dylan McDermott (for the role that went to Sam Neill in "Jurassic Park") among the many caught on tape.

Why was SAG-AFTRA so peeved? Well, it turns out those kinds of recordings aren't meant for just anyone to see. "Auditions are not public performances, and under SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreements, performers are entitled to expect them to remain private," union attorney Duncan Crabtree-Ireland said.

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SAG-AFTRA asked the auction house to cancel the sale of the tapes, and Julien's Auctions complied. Darren Julien of the auction house said selling the tapes—which constitute such a small fraction of an impressive sale of collectibles and memorabilia—wasn't worth ruining his rep with the showbiz folks.

Apparently, some of the celebs thought it was funny that those tapes would be worth anything, and didn't mind the sale, but Julien's Auctions still took them off the auction block.

There is, indeed, much more in the sale, like a phaser rifle from the second pilot episode of the "Star Trek" TV series, a cocktail dress owned by Marilyn Monroe, "Star Wars" production slides, a flying suit worn by Christopher Reeve in "Superman IV," Bruce Lee's boxing gloves, scripts from numerous television shows, and costumes, props, and autographs galore.

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