Friday, March 10, 2017

Pop Quiz: Hey! I Know Him/Her!

Don't worry, this one isn't going to strain your brain too much! Just a mini pop quiz featuring some performers in their early days, thus making it slightly more difficult for us to recognize them. (In some cases. In others, there simply was no hiding who and what they are!) I sometimes play this little game on Facebook, so I decided to share a few with you today as a little test. There are six celebs in all and the answers will be revealed at the bottom of the post.

1. I feel like this one is the most difficult of all. The actor was about four years into a career of lesser- known movies and TV, but by the dawn of the millennium would be on his way to a solid reputation as a memorable presence in both. He made a dozen appearances on a popular sitcom, costarred in a short-lived one with an ensemble cast (a cult program) and popped up a few times on a show that's still hot now.

2. This unhappy-looking lass was right near the start of her career at this point. Though twenty-two at the time, she was portraying a sixteen year-old. About a decade after this, she found her greatest success in a comedy series (whereupon she was nominated for seven Emmy Awards, but never once winning.) She still works occasionally, but hasn't been in the public eye nearly as much as she once was.

3. The angular man seen here began in, of all things, a pair of (very!) minor horror flicks. Next came a variety of guest appear- ances on several popular TV series. Though he worked all along, his big break came seven years after this guest role as a motorcycle mechanic. After a long-running success with that project, he starred in several other shows joining ensemble casts to positive effect.

4. I didn't dare show you more of this "gimme." It's the first glimpse TV audiences ever got of this performer (I'm referring to the redhead.) She'd been an uncredited saloon girl once in a movie almost a decade earlier, but this stint as a beauty pageant contestant was her first real "part." But there was little looking back. A scant three years later she was a household name (and was twice Emmy-nominated, without winning.)

5. I don't think you'll have too much trouble recognizing this man, who'd been working on screen for seven years at this point. He'd worked in two daytime dramas and one feature film along with a few prime-time guest spots. One thing about this appearance, though, is that even though the show's episode kicks off with him and he is later shown in a scene with close-ups, he is not credited on the program, nor even at! Anyway, after multiple movie credits (some of which are among the most successful ever), he needn't worry over it the way I do...

6. This is another "gimme," but I wanted to share it with you. Though this stage actress had done some soap opera work and a TV movie (which was really just a filmed play), this was her prime-time television series debut (on about the last show you'd ever expect to find her!) Endless toiling as a guest star or in tiny movie parts continued until she finally hit the jackpot and has been killing it ever since...

And now for the answers. Scroll down!

1. This is Leslie Jordan, Emmy- winning guest star on Will & Grace, costar of Sordid Lives and participant in American Horror Story. This role of his came in 1990's Ski Patrol, a comedy movie about the wacky hijinks at a lodge run by Ray Walston. Diminutive Jordan is given "pills" that make him believe he's growing as a couple of the members keep gaslighting him by making his clothes smaller and eventually putting him in a room like his own, but scaled down!

2. This is Julia Duffy in 1973. She played Penny Davis on the daytime soap The Doctors. Later, she was the pouty-looking, spoiled brat who made life complicated for the inhabitants of Newhart. After her seven Emmy losses, she took over on Designing Women after the departure of Delta Burke, but differences over how her character should be portrayed led her to leave as well after one season (was there ever so troubled a sitcom?! Roseanne, I suppose.)

3. This is Gerald McRaney during an appearance on Barnaby Jones. He scored a hit with the detective series Simon & Simon, followed by a successful shift to comedy with Major Dad and the family show Promised Land. Later, he appeared on shows such as Deadwood, Jericho and Mike & Molly. Look how THIN he was in 1974!

4. This is Loni Anderson, who didn't remain a redhead for long, on a 1975 episode of S.W.A.T. She eventually sported an indestructible blonde mane as sassy secretary Jennifer Marlowe on WKRP in Cincinnati. Several failed series followed, but so did a brief career in films, before and during her high-profile marriage to Burt Reynolds (followed by an even higher-profile divorce!)

5. This is Billy Dee Williams. The 1966 show he was guest-starring on is Hawk, a failed cop show with Burt Reynolds in the lead. In the wake of the iconic telefilm Brian's Song in 1971, he proceeded to a big screen career that included the humongous smash The Empire Strikes Back (1980), followed by Return of the Jedi (1983.)

6. This is Kathy Bates. The newlywed husband she's shown with is John Rubinstein and the show they're appearing in, of course, is a 1978 episode of The Love Boat. Who'da thunk we'd ever tune into The Love Boat and see Kathy Bates, later an Oscar-winner for Misery (1990) on board?! She's still leaving her mark on the acting world with wonderful work on American Horror Story.

* * Here's a really weird thing that was COMPLETELY unintentional. As I was running through the answers, I noticed that most of the actors share some sort of connection, right down to the order in which I listed them (which, apart from alternating male & female, was totally random.)

Leslie Jordan was a guest star in a 1989 episode of Newhart. Julia Duffy, of Newhart, took over for Delta Burke on Designing Women. Burke is the wife of Gerald McRaney. McRaney did a second Barnaby Jones, which also featured Loni Anderson. Anderson was married to Burt Reynolds, who starred in Hawk when Billy Dee Williams appeared on it. I cannot readily connect Williams to Kathy Bates, but Bates, of course, worked with Leslie Jordan in AHS. Strange how coincidental things can be.


hsc said...

Wow. I got Julia Duffy right off the bat, and recognized John Rubinstein, but the rest totally threw me.

This was a tough one, since you had Gerald McRaney and Billy Dee Williams without their moustaches, Loni Anderson without her blonde hair, Leslie Jordan without a frame of reference showing his height, and Kathy Bates more svelte that later in her career.

Great job as usual, though!

Gingerguy said...

Leslie Jordan was kind of cute! I definitely prefer Gerald McRaney older (more "Major Daddy") and red hair did Lonnie no favors. This was a fun post, the one that threw me the most was Kathy Bates, I thought her earliest work was "Come back to the five and dime Jimmie Dean Jimmie Dean"

chris prouty said...

Another connection: Delta Burke and Leslie Jordan were both in the original film "Sordid Lives."

Dave in Alamitos Beach said...

I got all of them except for Loni Anderson and Kathy Bates. You did a really great job of selecting shots that kind of hid their features. Congrats!

Of all of these, I probably most fondly recall Julia Duffy and wonder whatever became of her. She had such good comic timing I thought we'd be following her career forever. Here's hoping she "married well" and is enjoying her life.

Poseidon3 said...

Well, I guess I inadvertently made this a bit harder than intended. I really thought they were easy, but I think knowing who they are already, as I did, when selecting the pictures makes it seem like the answers are more obvious than they are when you see them cold for the first time.

hsc, yes, I had to hide Jordan's small stature or it would have been a total giveaway! :-) Gingerguy, I too prefer McRaney a bit older. Chris, that's right! Thank you. Dave, Julia still works, but on a limited basis. She did several eps of the Showtime series "Shameless" and also popped up on an episode of "Scream Queens," among other things. Looks quite good, too, for 65 (a true 65, not a plastic one.)

Carlo Ryan said...

Oi, I got them all wrong! Didn't even get Gerald right. A bit easier next time ;-)

Silverstone L said...

Move over, Carlo! I, too, am 6-out-of-6 in the wrong direction...and I fgaithfully watchedeach one of those shows. I even thought BDW was Country Music entertainer Charley Pride! Oh well.
And I must differ with Gingerguy. I'd LOVE me a poster of Ms. Anderson as a redhead!!!