Watch the trailer for Planet of the Apes (1968)

Ingrid Bergman remains best known for Casablanca, from a career that garnered three Oscars and numerous other accolades.

The Swedish star enjoyed huge critical and commercial success but later confessed she had felt trapped in roles too often dictated by her beauty and her innate elegance.

One film could have changed everything and she later told her daughter Isabella Rossellini how deeply she regretted passing on it for two reasons.

However, she may have been rather unaware of how gruelling and traumatic it would have been, driving the star who took the role to medicate herself daily while Heston also suffered greatly.

Indeed, it’s almost impossible to believe she might have taken the role shown below in 1968’s Planet of the Apes.

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Humphrey Bogart might have said something rather stronger than “Here’s looking at you kid” had Bergman been transformed into the chimpanzee Zira.

But Rossellini said that her mother: “badly regretted turning down a part in the Planet Of The Apes franchise… she was astounded at how well it had turned out.

“I know she was tired of playing roles which wouldn’t allow her to discard her regal bearing. I think she realized that all those putty muzzles the ape actors would have liberated her from her image in an instant.

“But she hesitated, the part went to someone else, and she and Charlton Heston never again came as close to working together.”

Back in 1951 Kim Hunter won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar playing Stella opposite Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire.

She would play ape scientist Dr Zira in three movies, although her experience on the first was harrowing.

Hours spent in the make-up chair from 5am and then on set with heavy prosthetics attached to her face gave the actress severe claustrophobia and she started taking valium every day. When she tried stopping, her make-up artist threatened to quit because she became so frantic and impossible to work with.

She also had to smother her face in vaseline every night because the glues used were stripping her face red raw.

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To stop the make-up and prosthetics being affected, actors had to use long cigarette holders and could only ingest liquids through a straw. No food was allowed. Hunter stopped eating at all during days on set.

Hollywood hardman Heston, meanwhile, was facing his own battles.

He was actually ill with heavy flu for much of the shoot, but the producers liked the way it made his voice gruff so insisted he keep filming.

Exhausted and unwell he suffered even more than everyone else when they filmed scenes in the blistering heat of the Arizona desert. Many of the cast and crew fainted, including director Franklin J. Schaffner.

It wasn’t just Bergman who turned down the film, famous stars like Ursula Andress and Raquel Welch passed on the part of human slave Nova.

The role eventually went to Linda Harrison, who was producer Richard D Zanuck’s mistress at the time, and later became his wife.

After all the trials and tribulations, filmmakers and cast remained nervous right up until the moment the movie screened. Heston had believed in it from the start, touting scene sketches around Hollywood for years, while nobody showed any interest.

In the end it was a huge box office and critical smash. Against a $5.8million budget it banked over $33million in the US alone.

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