In the Facebook community, this is considered "Throwback Thursday". So I thought I might take a look back at one of the three reasons I inducted myself into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame back on my fiftieth birthday.....
"THE DEADLIEST SEASON" (1977)
From the IMDb:Gerry Miller, a professional hockey player, gives in to internal and outside pressures and adopts a more aggressive style on the ice. During one particularly violent game a player on an opposing team dies, and the authorities charge Miller with manslaughter.
When they made this movie back in 1975 or 1976, the producers took a lot of us from the UConn Drama Department to be the "atmosphere people" in the stands of the hockey rink at the Hartford Civic Center. Ultimtately it could have been three days work at 25 bucks a day, which was nothing to sneeze at back then, especially for a college student! Unfortunately, because of some audition piece I had to do, I only got to take part in two of the three days.
Really could have used that 25 bucks back then....
The stars for this movie were Michael Moriarty, Andrew Duggan, Patrick O'Neal, Mason Adams, Paul D'Amato, Walter McGinn, Jill Eikenberry, Sully Boyar, George O. Petrie, Alan North (from 'Police Squad' if the name doesn't trigger recognition) and making her film debut... Meryl Streep!
(This means that I can claim two degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. I was in "The Deadliest Season" as was Ms. Streep, and she starred in "The River Wild" with Bacon.)
But the actor I came away most impressed with was Kevin Conway as Graff, the defense lawyer. I thought he was incredible and have found him to be so in everything else I saw him in after that.
We had quite a slew of UConn drama students there for the filming:
- Shirley Jordan
- Robin Douglas
Tina Young (Maybe?)
- Roy Mazzacane
- Debbi Matthieu
- Kimberly Golden
- David Allen
And I know I'll be forgetting some others!
The actors who played members of the hockey team wore the jerseys of the Hartford Whalers and the banners in the stands made references to that team name. So this team had to be a fictionalized televersion of the Whalers.
That's a good thing because as far as I'm concerned, I was playing the televersion of myself who at the time was not only in Connecticut, and going to school at Storrs, but I'm also an honorary citizen of Joyville, Ct. And I've still got the certificate to prove that!
Watching the movie again recently, I realized something about my televersion - "I" had an evil twin!
Here I am at Gerry Miller's first game back to the majors (after spending a few games in Moline), sitting in back of the Whalers coach, a guy named Bryant. With me are Robin Douglas in white and sitting between us is my twin sister, Shirley Jordan, the lady in red.
The scene then shifts immediately to another spot in the stands, where the Hartford D.A. is with his young son (who seems enthusiastically blood-thirsty in his enjoyment of the game.) And there I am again! Dressed in my old winter coat and sitting next to Tina Young. (At least I think it's Teeners.....)
And there you have it, one third of the appearances I needed to get into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame.
Even I have to follow the rules.
Even I have to follow the rules.