Everyone–or at least everyone of my age–has heard of the six degrees of separation (from Kevin Bacon). If you don’t know->click here.
I’ve read some reasonably academic(ish) articles about how people are connected, and in the entertainment world it is not the big-name actors who are the connectors, but the character actors. Why? Sylvester Stalone, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, or (add your favorite star here) carefully choose the roles they will undertake. John Wayne, for example, was an action figure–a cowboy hero, a military hero, etc.
Character actors, on the other hand, show up in a variety of movies and television shows. They get to play all kinds of roles. They also (probably) get to go to the grocery store without being accosted.
However, character actors still have roles that leave lasting impressions. One great character actor, William Morgan Sheppard, died in early January. You can check him out on IMDB if you wish–you’ll probably find something familiar.
As for me, of all the roles he played, my favorite was on Max Headroom. There was a group of nonconformists who refused to be connected to the computerized network and were not identifiable. To the network, they merely appeared as missing data–blanks–and Blanks were what they called themselves. Sheppard played one of the key blanks who even had his own radio program. His name? Reg Blank.
Great character acting. Great concept. Frighteningly prescient for a Facebook connected world. Here’s a peek.
Bill, if I may, thanks for adding your flavor to the world of entertainment.