The TV Bit-Players of Tomorrow!

Obviously, since they’d wasted so much time on the opening number, the Oscar 1988 producers were going to keep the rest of the show lean and mean, right? Hell no! Who wants to find out the winners when we can spend 12 long minutes on the up-and-comers of today vainly trying to sing and dance?

Two Hollywood legends tell us we’ll be seeing a lot of these faces, but how right were they?

Bob Hope    Age (in ’89): 85
Then: Seriously?
Since: A couple more TV specials. Passed away in 2003, age 100.

Lucille Ball Age (in ’89): 77
Then: Seriously?!
Since:This was her last public appearance. She died less than a month later, April 26, 1989

Blair Underwood    Age (in ’89): 24
Famous Parents: none
Then: “LA Law”
Since: Pretty consistent TV work, including “Sex and the City” and “In Treatment.”
Awards: none (2 Golden Globe nominations)

Holly Robinson    Age (in ’89): 24
Famous Parents: Gordon from “Sesame Street”!
Then: “21 Jump Street”
Since: Author of a girl’s guide to football (Her husband is former NFL QB Rodney Peete). Just popped up in a commercial for celebrating black women as part of African American History Month. So she wants us to celebrate herself.
Awards: none

Joely Fisher   Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Eddie Fisher & Connie Stevens
Then: Bob Hope’s USO special from the previous year. Not much else besides her mom’s Vegas show.
Since: Small TV parts, finally got to be a series regular on “Ellen”. Now the wife on “‘Til Death.”
Awards: none (1 Golden Globe nod, Miss Golden Globe 1992)

Keith Coogan    Age (in ’89): 19
Famous Parents: Grandson of Jackie Coogan
Then: More well-known as a young child on “The Waltons.” Had decent hit the year before with “Adventures in Babysitting.”
Since: Small parts in a few movies into the early ’90s, then rare TV work. According to his Wikipedia page, which he totally wrote himself, he then bummed around South America and Alaska, where he met Werner Herzog. They may do a project together.
Awards: none

Patrick O’Neal    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Ryan O’Neal
Then: The name seems to be a misprint onscreen – Patrick O’Neal didn’t have a son named Patrick O’Neal Jr. But RYAN O’Neal has a son Patrick the same age who went into acting, so let’s assume it’s him. Anyway, in 1988, he’d done….nothing.
Since: Some small parts in “Die Hard 2” and “Wild Hogs.” Full-time broadcaster for Fox Sports Net in LA, covering local games.
Awards: none

Tyrone Power Jr.    Age (in ’89): 30
Famous Parents: Tyrone Power
Then: One of the aliens in “Cocoon.”
Since: Despite looking A LOT like his handsome father, very little. Some direct to video, some small parts overseas.
Awards: none
Carrie Hamilton    Age (in ’89): 25
Famous Parents: Carol Burnett
Then: Two seasons on “Fame”
Since: First touring company of “Rent.” Some episodes of various TV shows, often with her mother. Despite a long battle with addiction, it was cancer that got her – She died in 2002. A theater at the Pasadena Playhouse is named after her (mom’s on the board.)
Awards: none

Ricki Lake    Age (in ’89): 20
Famous Parents: none
Then: “Hairspray”
Since: Smaller parts in film, reoccurring TV roles until the early ’90s, when she lost over 100 pounds and landed her eponymous TV show. The show ran until 2004, and since then, it’s been some TV hosting gigs and Lifetime movies.
Awards: none (1 Daytime Emmy nom, 1 Independent Spirit Award nom.)

Tricia Leigh Fisher    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Eddie Fisher & Connie Stevens
Then: A handful of bit TV parts, mom’s Vegas show
Since: Popping up on whatever show her sister’s a regular on.
Awards: none

Corey Feldman    Age (in ’89): 17
Famous Parents: none
Then: It was the Golden Age of The Coreys – he had racked up quality child parts in “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me,” and successfully moved into more teenaged fare like “The Lost Boys.”
Since: Where to start? A year later, it was pretty much over. As you can see from the video, he’s just in his Michael Jackson apprentice phase, and, not surprisingly, was on a lot of drugs. There were more drugs, then reality shows.
Awards: none

Patrick Dempsey    Age (in ’89): 23
Famous Parents: none
Then: “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The previous year, he married Corey Parker’s mom, who was 48 at the time.
Since: He’s on some doctor show, playing Dr. O’Kissable or something.
Awards: none (1 Emmy nom, 2 Golden Globe noms)

Corey Parker    Age (in ’89): 23
Famous Parents: Well, Patrick Dempsey was his step-dad. That counts, right?
Then: “Biloxi Blues,” some afterschool specials.
Since: Short-lived show in the early ’90s, not much since. Some acting coaching in the 2000s, moved to Memphis.
Awards: none

Chad Lowe    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Rob Lowe’s parents
Then: Small TV roles – drag comedy “Nobody’s Perfect” was about to come out.
Since: TV guest roles, not being married to Hilary Swank anymore.
Awards: 1 Emmy for a guest spot on “Life Goes On.”

Tracy Nelson    Age (in ’89): 25
Famous Parents: Ricky Nelson
Then: “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” just started on “Father Dowling Mysteries.”
Since: Beat Hodgkin’s, but has yet to beat a career of TV guest roles.
Awards: none

D.A. Pawley    Age (in ’89): ??
Famous Parents: Since his few credits can’t agree on how his name’s spelled, I’ll go with no.
Then: Anonymous Dirty Dancer
Since: Completely disappeared. Can’t find a single thing on him besides appearing in “Hocus Pocus” as “Fireman #1” in 1993.
Awards:?

Christian Slater    Age (in ’89): 19
Famous Parents: Dad did some time on soap operas. Mom’s a casting exec, which is handy.
Then: “Heathers.” That year. So things were on the upswing.
Since: Back and forth between good movies and bad until the late-’90s. Then more bad parts, more TV, run-ins with the law. First crack at his own show just got canceled.
Awards: none (1 Independent Spirit Award nomination)

Savion Glover    Age (in ’89): 15
Famous Parents: none
Then: Broadway debut at age 12 in “The Tap Dance Kid.”
Since: Almost all stage, but big stuff – dancing/choreographing “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.” Did motion capture dancing for “Happy Feet.” Now in a show where he taps to classical music.
Awards: 2 Tony nods, 1 win

Melora Hardin    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Jerry Hardin – lifelong TV character actor
Then: Mid-size parts in “Iron Eagle,” “Soul Man,” played Baby on the failed Dirty Dancing TV series.
Since: Hey! It’s Jan from “The Office”!
Awards: none

Matt Lattanzi    Age (in ’89): 30
Famous Parents: none
Then: Mr. Olivia Newton-John (who’s 11 years older), some bit parts.
Since: Very little. Then they divorced in ’95. After that he’s done nothing. It’s more than a little bit of a cheat including him and Powers Jr. here, since Michelle Pfeiffer (30) and Tom Hanks (32) were both up for awards that night.
Awards:
none

Kenny Ortega, choreographer    Age (in ’89): 38
Then: Had just had hit choreographing “Dirty Dancing.”
Since: …but he really wanted to direct. So he made “Newsies.” And the “High School Musical” movies.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer    Age (in ’89): 44
Then: “Chorus Line,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Sting,” “Ordinary People.” He’s a busy guy.
Now: Pops conductor at 7 different symphony orchestras.

Fred Ebb, lyricist    Age (in ’89): 60
Then: You may have heard of some the musicals he wrote lyrics for: “Cabaret”? “Chicago”? “New York, New York” ring a bell?
Since: Died in 2004.

BIG FINISH!KICK LINE!

Share
This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *