Rex Harrison was offered the lead role in "My Fair Lady" only after a string of other leading actors turned it down, a new book discloses.

The late British actor's portrayal of the pompous Professor Higgins on stage and screen became his most famous role.The story is included in "The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe" by Gene Lees. Richard Maney, the show's publicist, said "Sir Rex" was chosen "only after every other actor in England had been asked to play it, starting with Noel Coward and ending with John Gielgud."