‘Miami Vice’: Jeff Bridges and Nick Colte nearly playing Sonny Crockett


The Miami Vice is an iconic television series that, for many, embodies the decade of decadence to perfection. The series combined 80s fashion, classic cop drama tropes and heartbreakers of the time in an appealing package and eventually ran on television for six years.

Down the road, Miami Vice made a star out of actor Don Johnson, and although he went on to play a variety of other roles in Hollywood, he has been closely associated with his Miami Vice character ever since. Still, there were some surprising actors who were considered for the role that eventually went to Johnson – including two stars who later became Hollywood power players in their own right.

When was ”Miami Vice” on television?

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Debuting on television in 1984, Miami Vice immediately signaled a change in direction for cop dramas. Rather than focusing on serious plotlines and tense situations, the series brought fun and color to a genre that had grown stale, often using pop music and stylized imagery to make the series not only entertaining, but fashionable.

The Miami Vice focused on the exploits of two Metro-Dade Police Department detectives working undercover in Miami, Florida. James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs were buddies who never hesitated to get tough with perps, but spent many of their days solving drug and prostitution cases.

Miami Vice not only featured stunning Miami backdrops, but the showrunners also made sure to feature many tourist attractions and hot spots in the series, creating a series that was truly visually innovative.

Who was playing Sonny Crockett in “Miami Vice?”

Happy 69th #birthday to #MiamiVice star #DonJohnson pic.twitter.com/PQJiRCr8Ct

– Dish Nation (@DishNation) December 15, 2018

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As colorful and entertaining as the settings were in “Miami Vice,” it was the actors who captured the hearts and souls of viewers everywhere. Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs quickly went down in television history as two of the most memorable cops, and much of the credit for that goes to actors Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas as Sonny and Rico, respectively.

Johnson was a relatively unknown young actor when he was cast for the role of Sonny. He had appeared mainly in stage productions and low-budget television films, but his role in Miami Vice changed the course of his future. Not long after the premiere of Miami Vice, he became a star and fans raved about his charm and good looks.

Which iconic actors were almost cast for the role of Sonny Crockett?

35 years ago today, #MiamiVice premiered.

I really miss the 1980s…. pic.twitter.com/k6zuRHwjUY

– Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) September 16, 2019

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Johnson continued to star in “Miami Vice” throughout the series’ run until it was canceled in 1990. Critics recognized Johnson for his outstanding work in the series, and he even won a Golden Globe for his role as Sonny Crockett.

All the while, Johnson worked on other acting projects and appeared in both movies and television shows. After Miami Vice ended on television, Johnson appeared in several other great shows, including Nash Bridges, a series that ran from 1996 to 2001. However, Johnson is best known to this day for the role of Sonny.

Fans may not even imagine that another actor could play Sonny so effectively. However, according to Mental Floss, several other high-profile actors were considered for the role of Sonny Crockett, including Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte. Both actors turned down the roles, however, so the showrunners auditioned other actors and ultimately settled on Johnson. Fortunately for everyone, the combination proved to be lightning in a bottle.


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