The role of Sarah Connor was originally written by James Cameron for Bridget Fonda, who declined. He suggested Kate Capshaw, but Capshaw was filming Temple of Doom. He later suggested Kathleen Turner for the part, but Turner was filming Romancing the Stone . Daryl Hannah auditioned for the role, but turned it down in order to play Madison in Splash. Jennifer Jason Leigh was considered too young for the part. Gilda Radner, Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Rhea Perlman, Sigourney Weaver, Cybill Shepherd, Jane Seymour, Anjelica Huston, Lori Loughlin, Kim Basinger, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Christie Brinkley, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ally Sheedy, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Kay Lenz, Liza Minnelli, Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, Miranda Richardson, Rosanna Arquette, Meg Ryan, Heather Locklear, Jennifer Grey, Madonna, Amy Irving, Teri Garr, Margot Kidder and Tatum O'Neal were all considered before Geena Davis auditioned, but missed out. It was offered to Debra Winger. Winger changed her mind.
It went, of course, to the brilliant Linda Hamilton.