Come aboard, we’re expecting you. That was the message sent to virtually every star and two-bit actor from 1977 until 1986. It might be a neat project to list every guest star from The Love Boat during its run. However, it would be far easier to identify those who did not appear. I will probably write some future post about a few of the more memorable cameos. But this one is not about that show at all. It is merely my jumping off point. A place from where we disembark, as it were.
It was seeing all those stars that got me thinking about all the shows from my youth, and who may have appeared in them. Specifically, I am talking about well known actors that you’d never associate with those classics from the 70’s and 80’s. Back then they were not stars at all. They were all just trying to make their mark and likely took whatever work was offered to them at the time. I think it’s really cool that we saw them in these minor roles, but had no idea what they would eventually become. Thinking about that might make you look at today’s shows a little bit differently too. Who among them will be the favorites of tomorrow?
With all that as a backdrop, let’s try a little quiz. See if you can identify the tv show each of these famous actors popped up in at one time or another. Some of them may really surprise you. Hopefully too, it’ll get you thinking about some shows you once loved but have since forgotten. What’s really nice, is that these are all available on DVD right now through Amazon. Be sure to check your answers by clicking the button, and maybe think about buying your favorite series or season from the past.
Brad Pitt – This one might be easy for some of you, since it was somewhat of a recurring role. I admit that I had no idea, though. He appeared as Randy in four different episodes of this classic in 1987 and 1988.
Andy Garcia – Long before he sipped cappuccino with Mr. Clooney, Andy was seen here going by the name “Morales”. This was way back in 1979, but he’ll always be Giuseppe Petri to me.
Kevin Costner – Another easy one for you. In 1985, Costner played an Air Force Captain on this very well known series. For an entire field of dreams and the love of the game, name this show.
Tim Robbins – I recently included Tim in my list of obscure movies from 1986. However, before that memorable performance came this brief moment of glory. I never really watched this show, but I remember it well. So, where exactly did Robbins appear as Johnson back in 1984?
Geena Davis – It’s been all guys so far…time to mix things up! My favorite of Geena’s earlier roles has to be “Larry” in Fletch. A couple years before that in 1983, she showed up as Grace Fallon in this legendary series.
Ed Harris – Man, he’s great in everything. Whether he is stealing the leads or bringing home the astronauts, no role is too big or too small…okay maybe this one was. Do you know the show this vagabond named Lenny appeared on in 1981?
Nick Nolte – Please ignore the man without a face. I thought showing him would be too much of a give away. It’s obvious to me at least, because this was one of my very favorite shows from childhood. I absolutely loved it. Little did I know, that Nick Nolte once showed up as Fred during its run. Can it possibly go back to as early as 1974?
Kim Basinger – Nine and a half years before her breakout role, Kim appeared as Lorraine Stenger in a nearly forgotten gem. Can you identify where this 1977 episode originated?
Bruno Kirby – One of the biggest surprises for me as I researched this post, was that this show lasted longer than thirty years. In all that time it was always great entertainment. So, do you know the name? Bruno knows…he was on it in 1974 as Cadet Morgan. If only he had made it to the rank of Captain!
Kurt Russell – Interestingly, Russell went on to play the coach of the Miracle on Ice hockey team. While in 1977, he appeared on this show as a Russian named Peter Valchek. How about them apples?
Mark Harmon – I first remember Mark as a laid back Summer School teacher. Obviously though, he is much more well known for NCIS. Before all of that, he was looking for a date as Victor in this once popular series. Do you recognize the episode from 1976?
Tommy Lee Jones – Remember that period in the mid to late 90’s when Tommy Lee Jones was in every movie? That was awesome. Well before that in 1976, he showed up as Aram Kolegian in this famous show. This same episode also included a pre-M*A*S*H David Ogden Stiers. What do you think?
Vince Vaughn – Finally we’ve come to the end. Did I save the best for last? That’s in the eye of the beholder I guess. You may or may not know, that Vaughn was in Rudy. But, do you also know which show in 1989 saw him appear as Bill Peterson? Do you know why they chose to put him in that sweater? Sadly, I can only answer the former.
Thanks for playing!