The neighborhood nymphomaniac on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a surprise to everyone (including me)! The character was written as "an icky-sweet Betty White type."
The casting director, Ethel Winant, said, "Why not get Betty White?" But the executives said they couldn't have me read for the role because Mary and I were best friends, and it might make it awkward for Mary if it didn't work out.
As an actor, you don't get every role you try out for, so it wouldn't have bothered our friendship at all, but they didn't know that.
Well, I guess they couldn't find anybody sickeningly sweet enough, so they finally called me one Saturday morning and explained the part of the Happy Homemaker and asked, "Would you do it?"
Of course I said I'd be thrilled!
So I called Mary and said, "Guess who's doing your show next week?"
She said, "Who?"
I said, "Me."
She said, "Oh, no, you're not! I have veto power!"
She was kidding, of course.