Why Debra Winger dropped out of ‘A League of Their Own’

There’s no crying in casting.

Oscar nominated actress Debra Winger quit the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” because Madonna was cast in the women’s baseball dramedy.

According to The Telegraph, Winger was starring in the role Dottie, which was eventually taken over by Geena Davis.

Serious actress Winger even trained with the Chicago Cubs for three months, but when director Penny Marshall cast Madonna, Winger felt Marshall was making fluff — “an Elvis film.”

“The studio agreed with me because it was the only time I ever collected a pay-or-play on my contract. In other words, I collected my pay even though I did not play, and that’s very hard to get in a court,” she told The Telegraph.

She added, “As entertaining as [the finished film] was, you don’t walk away going ‘Wow, those women did that.’ You kind of go ‘Is that true?’”

She said that the other stars didn’t train as much as she did, but Davis “did OK.”

A scene from "A League of Their Own"
Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell also starred in the hit movie.
Columbia Pictures

“I certainly don’t begrudge any of them,” Winger, 66, said.

As far as Madonna’s performance? “I think [her] acting career has spoken for itself,” Winger reportedly said.

Davis went on to get a Golden Globe nomination for the role, while Madonna picked up a nomination for Best Original Song. The film also stars Tom Hanks and Rosie O’Donnell.

Winger, most famous for her roles in “An Officer and a Gentleman” and “Terms of Endearment,” also spoke about quitting Hollywood back in 1995.

“I stopped because I ceased being challenged,” she said, adding that playing the supportive wife and mother got “pretty boring.”

Over the years, the actress has come back for various indie films like 2008’s “Rachel Getting Married.” Most recently, she acts in Apple TV+’s “Mr. Corman.”

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