Hocus Pocus role of Mary Sanderson almost went to talk show host

Hocus Pocus is a popular and funny Halloween film. The 1993 Disney classic has become a main staple of people’s Halloween viewing. The movie follows the Sanderson sisters as wreck havoc on modern-day Salem after being resurrected.

Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play the hilarious witches; who stir up trouble. The chemistry between the three ladies was fantastic and is one of the reasons why the film’s a beloved classic. However, if fate hadn’t worked out, then one of the actresses would’ve missed out on being a Sanderson sister.

Rosie O’Donnell was offered the role of Mary Sanderson in Hocus Pocus

Najimy was a hoot at the middle sister Mary in Hocus Pocus. Mary tends to be more caring than her older sister Winifred, and smarter than her ditzy younger sister Sarah.

Mary provides plenty of humor throughout the film. Who could forget her eating junk in the grocery store or riding a vacuum because she didn’t have a broom?

It’s hard to imagine anyone but Najimy in the role of Mary. However, it could’ve happened if another actress had taken the part.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Rosie O’Donnell claims she was initially offered the role. However, the former talk show host revealed she turned rejected the offer.

“I didn’t want to play the fat, mean witch who eats and kills kids. Even though it was Bette Midler, who was like my favorite, and Sarah Jessica Parker.”

After O’Donnell turned down the role, Najimy was cast. Najimy, Parker, and Midler would reprise their roles as the Sanderson witches for the 2022 sequel Hocus Pocus 2. The sequel was released on Disney+ and was a hit for the streaming platform.

Due to the success of the sequel, Disney is planning for Hocus Pocus 3. While the official casting hasn’t been released, Najimy, Parker, and Midler have expressed interest in returning for another round as the Sanderson sisters.