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Mia Farrow had originally accepted the role as Mattie Ross in Paramount's 1969 film True Grit, but backed out after Robert Mitchum unnerved her with horror stories about director Henry Hathaway's ruthless directing style. Tuesday Weld was offered the role, but turned it down. Kim Darby finally took the part, but had just settled into family life and was reluctant to work on the film.