- I guess it was thrilling to watch at the time; it looked like the High School for the Performing Arts was just one big, fun, neverending party. Actually it involved a lot of work, but that would be boring in a movie, so all you saw was singing and dancing and big dreams. Thankfully there was no explicit sex, although the ballerina fucks the hot ghetto kid and the plain Jane has an affair with the unbearable aspiring comedian.
The "Hot Lunch Jam" seems like a Saturday Night Live skit today, it's so ludicrous. It's a fucking lunchroom but instead of eating the students are playing their instruments and dancing on tables while Irene Cara sings "Macaroni and baloney/Tuna fish, my favorite dish."
There was a lot of criticism about the homophobia in this movie. There appears to be only ONE gay kid in the high school; he has clownish red hair and is portrayed as a lonely pariah.
How does the talentless Doris Finsucker get accepted into the High School of the Performing Arts after giving such an abysmal audition?
How does the ghetto kid who can really shake his ass get in the school when he can't even read?
How does the girl who gets kicked out of the dancing dept. get a singing solo at the end of the movie?
Why does the streetwise, aggressive Coco let herself get talked into posing nude for a sleazy photographer? Previously she came across as a pretty tough cookie, but as she takes off her top she dissolves into tears like a little girl. And how could Irene Cara bring herself to expose her droopy raisin tits to aghast filmgoers?
- Uggghh, you just brought flashbacks of my college roommate sniveling along to the drippy "Out Here On My Own." Thanks a lot!
Yes, the movie has aged really badly. The Ralph Garcy character in particular was a waste of celluloid.
- Irene Cara's raisin tits were also seen in a rape scene in a high-larious movie called "Certain Fury" with Tatum O'Neal. Literally, it's better than "Showgirls". I SWEAR. If you can find it, you have to watch. Strangely, only Irene gives a good performance--everyone else acts like they're all in different movies and Tatum O'Neal? She's in a different movie in every scene. Highly recommended.
Rotten Raisin Tits
- What Gayling did not cry to this.
- This movie was MY generation's Glee and Rent sort of put together, with a side order of cheese. It still gets me, though. Soundtrack of my youth. I first went to NYC in 1980 and the city as pictured in this film is the city I experienced in real life, too. Romanticized? Sure. But New York was still gritty, still dirty, still exciting. And the longing for fame, for success, for someone to understand this lonely gay boy was something I understood. Fame will always hold a place in my heart. Proud to be a big MARY, too!
- Hot Lunch!!!!
- Cheesy, yes, but I like it too.
The final number still gets me, and it's not a stretch to say "Glee" owes a lot to "Fame."
- Yowza -
- Are we in.....or are we out?
- Gene Anthony Ray had a tragic life. He had major mental health issues and I think ended up living on the streets. Died a few years ago.
- Would you prefer I had massive Pamela Anderson falsies?
- [quote]There was a lot of criticism about the homophobia in this movie. There appears to be only ONE gay kid in the high school; he has clownish red hair and is portrayed as a lonely pariah.
Criticism by who? I never heard a word. I was fresh new gay boy in NYC. I went opening day to the Ziegfeld Theater where it had it's exclusive 70MM engagement. Sold out for weeks and people loved it applause every show. There was one gay in the small group of students they followed and even Ralph had issues.
- The redhaired guy Paul McCrane used to see around HK a lot. And the Italian synth wiz kid got fat, he hung out in the West Village's Cafe Loup, which I think moved.
- The original High School for Performing Arts is almost unrecognizable, it's Jacqueline Onassis International School or something now. Anne Meara's hoopy in this as always. My friend calls Irene (there doing a reboot of "Sparkle") "Irene Who Caras?"
- Sure the film has its flaws. But its still entertaining as hell to watch.
- I loved this movie!
- The 'gay guy' ended up playing Doctor Romano on ER.
- This is a movie that I loved at the time. I would never ever want to see it again.
- I LOVED "hot Lunch Jam"! I wished my school would break out in spontaneous dances as well. But more than that, its a really catchy tune for the ipod.
- I love the scene where Leroy gets in but his untalented female friend does not. "Leroy, you muthafucka! What are you looking at, SHITHEAD?"
- Here in England, The Kids From Fame spin off TV thing, was a huge deal.
When the cast arrived in London they received a 'Beatles welcome'. Leroy was in it, which seemed sad at the time, that he'd been unable to find better things to do.
- Ahem...there were two gay kids!
Little Isaac Mizrahi
Don't you mean two OPENLY gay kids?
- Ann Meara deserved an Oscar nomination over Diana Scarwid in "Inside Moves".
- Didn't Gene Anthony die of AIDS?
- R17! I had no idea. Thanks for the update!
This is Wikipedia on Gene Anthony Ray.
- He had a hot ass but I guess he didn't live forever.
- R20 - I AGree ! I always say her line..."Some Fat Fuckin' Favor ! "
- i know - that bitch could sear up a storm. she was The Precious of her day.
Oprah - I deem it so-prah
- Gene Anthony Ray did have a drug and alcohol problem, but I thought he kicked it and got a job working for Royal Caribbean on one of their monster cruise ships in the entertainment department. He was HIV+ I heard, but thought he was doing better. His death came as a shock.
- Who wants to go to your asssss lickin' school anyway?
Who wants to learn how to dance anyway?
You lookin' at one happy laday!
- That segue from Doris' mom crying out "Doris? WE'RE IN!" to the kids getting ready for their first day of school with McCrane's song "Dogs In The Yard" playing still gives me goosebumps.
- "Criticism by who? I never heard a word."
Movie critics, dear. Several of them mentioned the implausibility of a gay boy in a performing arts school who seems so lonely and isolated and set apart. One critic said that such a school would literally "teem with his likes." Gays, that is. The director of this film (Alan Parker? I think that's who it was) also exhibited homophobia in some of his other movies.
- Way better than the "Fame" 2009 remake IMO. I still get goosebumps over "The Body Electric" graduation closing scene. I love Fame. I just feel so old/dated watching it though... and Glee just doesn't do it for me.
42 years old
- And EVERY show choir in the 80's Gad to sing those songs, ending with "i Singapore THE body electric" - a dumb song
- I always thought it was cheesy from the get-go, but I loved it with one big exception--the dancers are such self-absorbed snobs. There's great give and take among the acting students, the musicians just play the damned notes, but the dancers have their noses in the air from start to finish. Even when they dance together, it's all solos.
The rich bitchy blonde girl who sleeps with the black boy?
The adorable Italian-American boy composer?
The girl who almost throws herself on the subway tracks?
I mean the actors, of course, not the characters. Sorry, I don't remember any of their real names. Did they have no follow-up career in show biz?
- Anne Meara was pushed by the studio for a Best Supporting Actress nomination. But she didn't get one.
Irene Cara was also pushed, but she didn't get one either.
- I watched it recently and thought that Gene Anthony Ray had a certain amount of charisma that I didn't notice so much when I originally saw it in the 80's. Heaven knows he could move.
- LOVED Fame the movie...AND the TV show (as ridiculous as it could be at times)which starred the one and only Janet Jackson (Melissa Etheridge apparently auditioned for the role of Cleo), the sexy Billy Hufsey, Nia Peeples, Lori Singer (pre Footloose), and, later, Carrie Hamilton (daughter of Carol Burnette).
- I think I saw Erica Gimple, the girl who played Coco on the Fame TV show on NBC's now cancelled Prime Suspect last week.
- R41, Erica's also been on "The Young and the Restless" recently
- Loved the film, but loved the spin off series. Sure, it was cheese, pastiche, and unrealistic. However, it was a film, not a sociological documentary.
- And they totally dumped the gay kid in the t.v. series.
- Ok thanks R42, I didn't know she was still acting until I saw her on Prime Suspect.
- "The rich bitchy blonde girl who sleeps with the black boy?
The adorable Italian-American boy composer?
The girl who almost throws herself on the subway tracks?"
The "adorable Italian-American boy composer" is Lee Curreri. He was very cute; his "retro" pictures on his website show he used to be as pretty as a girl. He'd still be cute if he went on a weight loss program. He is so FAT now! But he still has all his curly hair and his face looks remarkably unchanged. He was on the Fame tv series for the first three seasons. I don't think he acts anymore; he mostly does musical scores for tv series and commercials.
I don't know what happened to the bitchy ballerina and the suicidal girl.
- [quote] One critic said that such a school would literally "teem with his likes." Gays, that is.
& it's true. I went to acting school in NY soon after the film was made and the classes were full of gays. But the gay in this film is treated like a sad lonely freak.
- Lee Curreri has the most alluring hazel-colored eyes. Anyone remember him from that '80s cheesefest "Crystal Heart" co-starring Tawny Kitaen?
- Okay, a mini-poll: It seemed clear to me that Montgomery (the gay kid) and Ralph (the comedian) got together at the end. Am I the only one?
Check out this scene.
- Barry Miller (Ralph) also played that guy on Saturday Night Fever who jumped or fell of the Verrazano Bridge. I used to have a thing for him because he was slightly cross-eyed. I have a thing for that.
- Post-Fame Barry Miller costarred with post-30Something Polly Draper in one of the worst Broadway plays I've ever seen, something called Crazy He Calls Me.
They were the whole cast and Barry was NOT in good shape. I think it closed the night after it opened. It was one of the very few Broadway openings I've ever attended though I can't remember now how I got invited.
- His tatas are as big as hers in r48's link.
- [quote]I went to acting school in NY soon after the film was made and the classes were full of gays. But the gay in this film is treated like a sad lonely freak.
They only focused on three girls and three boys. Montgomery was gay, Ralph was ambiguity and Leroy was just in denial.
- It's très jolie, Coco!
- It was always a flawed movie. The first ha lf contained so much fun and energy that audiences forgave the dragging, boring, soap-operatic second half.
Still, I kind of love the movie to this day.
And I think the only kid character who ever had a real career in show biz was Bruno, the chubby synthesizer geek. He probably spent the eighties scoring super low-budget movies, the kind where the entire music department consisted of one guy with a synthesizer. Remember those?
the blonde girl was a succesful ballerina and had a career at that for a while after the film.
The girl who got kicked out of dance class (Laura Dean) was on Friends for a while as a coworker of Jennifer Aniston and I remember seeing her on Broadway in the Ann-Margret role as the mother in Tommy.
- Paul McCrane (the gay guy) has worked pretty steadily. He even won sn Emmy last year for that Kathy Bates show. He sang "Is it OK if I call you mine" on an episode. He wrote the song.
- I thought the script was a bit creaky back when the film first came out but there are beautiful moments in the film and the actors are really pretty solid - and it's kind of sad that none of the kids really did achieve great "fame" - although they were a talented lot. Paul McCrane seems to have had the most consistent career - but all the leads were good.
"Suicide Girl" Laura Dean had a small recurring role on 'Friends' for a bit - but I remember her best from the Broadway musical Doonesbury -she was 'Bootsie' -- it didn't run long but she had a great song or two.
- for r32...yes it is goosebump inducing
- How did the girl whose monolgue was OJ in The Towering Inferno ever get in?
- Worked with McCrane years later ... it is impossible to overstate what and asshole he was by then.
- The "très jolie, Coco" went on to tell Travolta not to solo in "Staying Alive".
- I'm not r5, but we must be exactly the same age. I visited NYC in 1980 once before moving here in 1981, and it was exactly like the NYC in the movie Fame. This movie was so important to me, and was the road map to my every dream. it sounds so corny, but young people were far less jaded and openly idealistic even in 1981!
I worked right around the corner from the High School of Performing Arts, and walked by it all the time. I didn't expect students to dance out of the doors, but I don't think I would have been shocked if they did.
I think the movie holds up nicely. You have to be somewhat of a romantic, I guess. what I always find so funny during "I Sing the Body Electric" (my favorite number) is that one can easily see Richard Belzer(!) standing in the from row, when all the kids jump up at the end of the number! How old was he? 30? I think Paul McCrane is so brilliant in this film and I love his singing voice. he didn't work much for a LOT of years, but I'm always happy to see him in stuff. I cry every time I see this movie. maybe I am crying for my own youth and what I did with it, but still I cry a little. Love it.
- Works great as a period piece. The remake... just sad.
- I remember the drama freaks from my early 80's high school blasting the theme song from the drama classroom. They got so excited they started to pour out into the hallways dancing.
- [quote] but I'm always happy to see him in stuff. I cry every time I see this movie. maybe I am crying for my own youth and what I did with it, but still I cry a little
Just a few more lines, R63, and you've got yourself a new Paul McCrane ballad.
I agree, it does capture the atmosphere of NY at that time, very bashed up and decayed but also very creative and optimistic.
- The film has a terrifically gritty look, almost cinema verite.
Even the fashions don't look terribly dated or grotesque: in a movie about teens, that's pretty amazing.
- Best scene in the film is when Coco was dropped off by Bruno and his dad in front of the ritzy West side building. She says goodbye, walks inside the building, waits til the cab goes out of sight and then bolts down into a subway entrance, while the building doorman looks after her puzzled. It was a nice, wordless depiction of class differences, even among students.
- Irene Cara won an Oscar for that annoying "What A Feeling" song from the crappy but hugely successful movie "Flashdance." Even so, her career went down the tubes rather quickly, due to drug abuse and bad behavior.
I was looking at pictures of Lee Curreri on Google Images and found one where he's TOTALLY BALD! Obviously, he shaved off all his curly hair. I don't think he was losing it, just shaved it off for a new look. I don't know if he's kept it that way. I guess he figured being fat and bald was a better look than fat with hair.
- "Irene Cara won an Oscar for that annoying "What A Feeling" song from the crappy but hugely successful movie 'Flashdance'"--R69
ANNOYING?? The HELL you say!!!!!
- R69, Cara's career was derailed in a massive lawsuit that prohibited her from recording. To this day, she's basically spit on by recording industry execs with ties to anyone who was with Warner Music in the 80's, as her lawsuit tied up Geffen Records (who released her '83 album), Elektra (who had to pull her '87 album off store shelves due to the lawsuit), Network Records, Warner Pictures, New Line Pictues, and a few others. While she eventually won a settlement in the 90's, it was a small victory given that her career by then was over and no one was interested in helping her make a comeback. Drugs and bad behvior don't turn you from what she was in '83 to what she was in '87. That said, she is a wee bit crazy, but anyone who got as high up as she did and then lost it all would probably be more than a bit unbalanced.
- Annoying, you say? I'll see your "Fladh" and raise you a "Break"!!! And I'll even throw in the Solid Gold Dancers no less!
- Michael Cerveris was cute with hair.
- The Dogs in the Yard video really takes you back to what Times Square was like in the 80's. Lord I miss it! Irene is exiting the old Hojos!
- r61....tell us more!!! Did you work in theatre or film?
- What about ME?! I was in that movie, too!
- Me too!
Isaac Mizrahi with jester's cap on head
- "Out Here on My Own" is a good song which has held up.
- Paul McCrane (gay guy, Montgormery) did an amazing job as villain Emil in Robocop. My roommate and I nearly went crazy trying to identify where we had seen him before (he was bald and nasty as can be). 3 AM, my roommate barges into my room without knocking and yells "FAME! Queer guy in FAME!"
- I never saw the movie, but I love the TV show. I'm watching the first season on DVD. McCrane as Montgomery is better than I remembered - he's definitively not talentless. The one with the least apparent talent is Danny.
- [quote] Worked with McCrane years later ... it is impossible to overstate what and asshole he was by then.
So you mean he was basically playing himself as Dr. Romano in E.R
- Nia ,just a couple years after Fame.
- Irene Cara was really big for a little while in the early 80s and then she was just over. Amazing how somebody that big just disappeared like that.
- Those kids were in high school for 8 years.
- I know R83. That never happens!
- The problem with Christopher Cross was that he was really unattractive and when MTV came out, his career was over. If you weren't really good-looking you couldn't have a career when music videos took over.
- for a young girl, Coco's tits really sagged
- R84 - 6 years, and only for some of them. Most left early.
- Connie Needham (Elizabeth from Eight is Enough) had two roles on Fame. In the first, she played a dancer, who had a thing for Bruno but also had MS.
- [quote] I visited NYC in 1980 once before moving here in 1981
Saw it at least three times in the theater. I loved, loved, loved this movie, and the soundtrack. I graduated HS in '81 and wonder what it would have been like to live in NYC then. Oddly enough, I did move here fifteen years later, but that old NY was pretty much gone even then.
Still, when the title track or 'Hot Lunch Jam,' comes on my iPod/iPhone, I turn it way up.
- I thought the show (at least the first couple of years) was better than the movie,
- Me too R91
- You'd have to be brain-damaged to be seriously into this POS, especially 30 yrs hence.
- Thanks for bumping this thread. I read the whole thing. It's DL at its best. Maybe because a lot of Dlers came of age around the time this film came out. I especially liked R5's comment.
- [quote]The "adorable Italian-American boy composer" is Lee Curreri. He was very cute; his "retro" pictures on his website show he used to be as pretty as a girl. He'd still be cute if he went on a weight loss program. He is so FAT now!
Lee Curreri lost weight for the Fame series, and looked super hot. But, yeah, he gained a ton of weight after the show ended.
- Irene Cara! Yes love that girl. Her talent was amazing and she should have been 1 of the biggest stars of the 80s, instead she just had 3 hit singles, a couple minor hits and then disappeared thanks to shady assholes at her record label.
- Cara's What A Feeling album produced 3 top 40 hits (the title track was from the Flashdance soundtrack) but the album itself barely stayed on the charts. She was on her way out even without the lawsuit.
- I believe Boyd Gaines (Michael) acted in Broadway, and co-starred with Patti Lupone in Gypsy.
- [quote]Cara's What A Feeling album produced 3 top 40 hits
& they were played to death.
The were very much a part of the 'new 80s era' of shrill unpleasant pop.
- R98 - Wasn't Boyd Gaines on One Day at a Time as Barbara's husband?
I thought all of the leads from the early seasons, with the exception of the one who played Danny, were very strong.
- [quote]Boyd Gaines
The guy who turned down the drama scholarship at UCSB to play Broadway, but was waiting on tables a few month later?
- [quote]The guy who turned down the drama scholarship at UCSB to play Broadway
No, I think he went to be in a movie in L.A.
- She could dance too. Unfortunately it was taken down, but on youtube there was a clip of Irene's performance of "Breakdance" in which she totally danced her ass off. The girl could sing, dance, act and she was pretty. It's a shame her time at the top was so brief.
R97 some recording acts are more singles stars than album sellers. Irene could have been 1 of those but she didn't get the opportunity after calling out her label on screwing her out of royalties.
- I thought Nia Peeples was the most talented of the later cast.
- I'm sorry r130, but bullshit. The album peaked at 77, she would've had a hard time retaining a recording contract with or without the lawsuit. And most of her hit singles were produced by Giorgio Moroder, she was just a mouthpiece for his commercial sound. Without him, she flopped.
- How many of the cast of the movie and tv show are/were gay?
- R105 there have been other artists whose albums sold poorly but because they had hit singles, they weren't dropped. Patti Labelle is a great example of this. Except for 1 album, none of her others cracked the top 30, and many peaked way lower than that.
Anyone could see Irene Cara had the goods. I'm not saying her career would have soared, but it could have, if she wasn't screwed when she was on the up and up.
- The trouble with it is that it didn't really have a story to it. The kids auditioned for the school, and then they went through it and they graduated: the end. It's still unbelievable to me that Anne Meara never figured out Gene Anthony Ray could not read even during the senior year, or that the crying girl at the beginning was accepted to the acting school.
- The girl who did the scene from The Towering Inferno got in too r108...it was a weak year.
- The real tragedy of the 2009 remake was that there wasn't a character who was obsessed with Freddie Prinze Jr.
- [quote]EVERY show choir in the 80's Gad to sing those songs, ending with "i Singapore THE body electric" - a dumb song
That does sound like a dumb song. "Singapore" is not even a verb.
- Son derriere noir... c'est formidable!
- I always remember Paul McCrane from that really creepy episode of the X-Files where he was the mutant EMT who could grow back any part of his body (including his head) like a starfish and ate cancerous tumors. He is one creepy looking guy.
- Nia Peeples - My Boyfriend's Back
- I went to art school based on this film and series. I adored the series, and at the time, Montgomery was a revelation, although Leroy was the only sexy male. Miss Grant and Miss Sherwood were gems, and quite sexy too.
- Thanks to you guys, I've rented this film and I'm watching it again. It's much better than I remembered, though parts of it don;t hold up so well, especially the parts with Barry Killer mourning Freddie Prinze: "They wanted his fucking ass, man. They wanted to nail his ass. Because he didn't think living was such a happy trip, you know?" But it's got a lot of sexiness and energy, and it really captures the look of the time (and @1980 is for me about the most glamorous time ever).
I'm amazed that all the actors didn't do the TV series. Except for Irene Cara, none of them were doing much in 1982, and what else was Maureen Teefy or Barry Miller going to do? (Although to be fair to them, maybe the producers didn't want them because they were too old.)
- [quote]It's still unbelievable to me that Anne Meara never figured out Gene Anthony Ray could not read even during the senior year
I never got the impression she didn't know he couldn't read. I think she knew but he was such a pain in the ass she didn't care.
[quote]It's much better than I remembered, though parts of it don;t hold up so well, especially the parts with Barry Killer mourning Freddie Prinze: "They wanted his fucking ass, man. They wanted to nail his ass. Because he didn't think living was such a happy trip, you know?"
Freddy Prinze, probably all but forgotten today, was a big role model for Hispanics and shocking at the time that someone who finally made it big would kill himself.
- [quote]and what else was Maureen Teefy or Barry Miller going to do?
Maureen had major parts in Grease 2 and Supergirl after Fame.
- R82, Nia was jockeying to be the next Janet.
- R120 - Nia and Janet started Fame at the same time, and I think Nia's singing career took off earlier. Janet had been on Good Times and other TV shows, but wasn't known for her singing.
- This thread is making me miss my childhood.
- Actually, Janet's "Control" came out a year after she left Fame (1986). Nia didn't release an album until she left Fame in 1987.
- Nia was an interesting performer. Most people knew her from "Fame" and from way back on "General Hospital" where she played Carly. She also did CBS's ill-fated US version of "Top Of The Pops". Her best song is the Janet-esque "Trouble", which still sounds futuristic today as it did back in 1988.
- Maureen Teefy
Something about that name doesn't really make me think of the word 'star' or 'fame' for some reason.
I had to google her and then I remembered...The Way We Were.
She was good in the film. The way she started to relax and grow into herself. The relationship with the stand-up guy also worked and was very real.
The scenes when he does stand-up were also excellent and I would have thought hard to capture successfully. Makes me remember there was a lot about this film that was very on the mark.
Doris's mother was good. For an English guy like Alan Parker to come to New York and get it the way he did was really something.
I think I think that the good outweighed the bad.
- Boyd Gaines has won or been nominated for Drama Desk and Tony Awards. He was fantastic in the dance show Contact.
- Boyd Gaines has aged very well.
Strange to remember the pretty boy from 1980 and then watch this clip.
I thought he seemed gay (from the clip @ link) but he's married, so he can't be.
- Boyd Gaines, Jason Antoon and Deborah Yates lead the original Broadway company of Contact in a performance of "Simply Irresistible" at the Tony Awards.
- [quote] "i Singapore THE body electric" - a dumb song
Well, it is if you think the word "Singapore" is in the title.
- Some of you sound like you don't know much about Boyd Gaines. He has more Tony Awards than any other actor.
- Flouncy Leroy would have been expelled after his little hissy fit where he was smashing school property.
- Madonna auditioned for the TV series, but didn't get the part.
Her reading was 'stiff'.
I wouldn't have cast her either.
- I don't know what this is, but it has dueling Doris' Valerie Landsburg and Maureen Teefy.
- I never liked the actress who played "Coco" in the TV series. I didn't think she was as pretty and talented as Irene Cara. And, I didn't like the way she sang "Fame"....I'm going to live FOR-Ever!
- I only remember Boyd Gaines as the cute guy winking at Doris Finsucker. Boyd pretty much disappeared from films.
- R132 the casting directors were right...Vadge is a horrible actress and is not a real singer. If only other bigwigs in hollywood had had the same opinion...
- Valerie Landsburg was also in "Thank God It's Friday" co-starring with Terri Nunn of Berlin.
- Gaines has 4 Tony's. He was also in the Oscar winning short "Ray's Male Heterosexual Dance Hall" -
- Irene Cara is many things, but she was not pretty in "Fame" (though she has been very pretty in other things). For some reason she had eyebrows like furry caterpillars.
- [quote]Maureen had major parts in Grease 2 and Supergirl after Fame.
My God, and after those she's still not a household name?
She could really pick the projects!
- [quote]My God, and after those she's still not a household name?
Is this your idea of sarcasm?
- Janet was so cute in "Fame". The role of Cleo came down to her and, believe it or not, Melissa Etheridge! Melissa talks about that auditioning experience in her autobiography.
- USA Today did "Where are they now?" articles on the cast.
- R141 FRAU!
- Poor Gene Anthony Ray. He was sex on a stick, but by the time of the TV show he was seriously balding.
- [quote]I never liked the actress who played "Coco" in the TV series...
Erica Gimpel, most recently seen as the Fairy Elder on "True Blood".
- R133, that looks to be related to the remake of the film from 2009. Erica Gimpel looks good.
And the remake had NO gay characters at all. They even edited it so one character wasn't gay.
- R142 - Thanks. Janet did look cute... and skinny!
- R124 - Thanks for the Nia clip. She was fantastic. Nia also had her own show briefly - The Party Machine, that Arsenio Hall produced. Was she ever involved with AH?
- [quote]Was she ever involved with AH?
No, during that time Nia was married to sexy Howard Hewett, ex-lead singer of Shalamar.
- They filmed a live special with the whole TV cast including Janet Jackson. It was at The Jones Beach Theater on Long Island, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater right on the ocean. I was in the front row with a bunch of friends.
- So what was the deal with Gene Anthony Ray? He died of AIDS, but I also know he dated women. Was he bisexual or were they just bearding him?
- I love that special, R151! So, you were there? Cool. How exciting was it?
- I was partial to Billy Hufsey. He was sexy as FUCK.
- R151 - Thanks for that clip. Valerie looks really good and slim there, but Nia is still the star.
- Lisa Monroe ate her way out of depression after being kicked out of the dance program.
- Favorite actress in the film is Joanna Merlin who plays Miss Berg. Love her as the judge on SUV.
- Wasn't Joanna Merlin in Dirty Dancing?
- Tresa Hughes, who played Mrs. Finsacker in the original film, died this year. I did a play with her many years ago, just prior to the making of the movie and she was one tough cookie. She was all over Broadway and off-Broadway in the 1960s-70s.
My bf and I still quote her line about Doris' acceptance into the school from the film, ".....so are we in or are we out?" whenever we are waiting to hear some news.
- Interesting people in the movie who had small roles:
Holland Taylor was Hilary's mother (the blond ballet dancer)
Meg Tilly and Michael DeLorenzo (from New York Undercover) were dancers
- Thanks, r160...didn't realize that.
- [quote]Meg Tilly and Michael DeLorenzo (from New York Undercover) were dancers
Meg Tilly got her SAG card working on "Fame" the movie.
- Which season was Meg Tilly a dancer?
- which one was a power bottom?
- R163, Meg wasn't on the TV show, she was in the movie.
- Oh thanks R165
- "Baby, look at me
The girl who's on TV
Sing the same song every time
Now you must know every rhyme by heart!
Grammys, Oscars, too
I do Captain Kangaroo
But you're in good company
If you're bored, think of me!
It's always the sa-ame!
I sing the same some forever!
Next time, I may sing "Mame"!
Suffer the least rejection
And not have to wear these pants!
I keep getting yeast infections
This song has been always the same!
(Same! Same! Same! Same! Same! Same! Same! Same!)
- Montgomery in the movie was my first big crush.
- Well, you can't. Dec 21st is right around the corner.
- The woman who played Doris' mom was quite accomplished. She was Anne Bancroft's understudy in the original Miracle Worker among other things.
- R167, who did that parody, SNL? I remember it, but I don't know where it came from. Yes Irene went around on all the shows singing her one hit for years, until Giorgio Moroder came to the rescue and gave her another. But the album flopped and she soon found out she wasn't going to live forever after all.
- r171...I think it was on SNL. this women Gail Mathius who was there on briefly sang it
- can anyone confirm r172?
- Another person who made a cameo on the television version of the show was Dominique Dunne. She played a hooker and it gave a glimpse of the talent that might have developed had she not been killed.
- It's on TCM channel right now!
- I always wanted to dress like Paul McCrane. (but I was like 3 and couldn't tie a tie.)
- so how gay would a school like this have been in the 80s wouldn't a lot of kids have been closeted?
- Still shocks me that Irene Carra would show those terrible tits on screen
- It was kind of a genuinely shocking scene for the time. At least it was to me.
Barry Miller was really quite a good actor. I never really noticed before.
- They are showing a behind the scenes look at Fame on TCM now, interesting
- [quote]Barry Miller was really quite a good actor. I never really noticed before.
I had a thing for him in Saturday Night Fever and this movie--he has slightly crossed eyes and that always gets to me. He was good in both movies.
I watched some of Fame on TCM and still enjoyed it, I don't think its aged all that badly, it was a well made movie. Gene Anthony Ray was really sexy at the beginning when he was stealing the show from his female friend's dancing audition.
- Paul McCrane was crush too. He really was the first gay character I ever saw on TV that I wanted to know.
- HERE is the behind the scenes thing r180 is talking about.....good stuff.
- [quote]so how gay would a school like this have been in the 80s wouldn't a lot of kids have been closeted?
No, not at a school for performing arts and definitely not in NYC. There would have been tons of gays there and v.open.
In fact I thought it very strange at the time that they made such a big deal about the gay student. It didn't really make sense.
- I still would like to date Montgomery. His mother sounds fabulous too.
- Nia Peeples was a good late addition to the show. Here she does Someone to watch over me.
- I totally agree, R186. It's just too bad her ego got so out of control that she had to be bounced from the show halfway through the final season.
- [quote]I still would like to date Montgomery. His mother sounds fabulous too
I loved his blazer with denim look.
- I adored Doris.
- [quote]It's just too bad her ego got so out of control that she had to be bounced from the show halfway through the final season.
Really? I'd never heard that about Nia. I thought she left because she just thought it was time to go.
- Anyone have more about why Nia left?
- I thought she left to pursue her solo career. Janet's career literally hit the stratosphere when she left FAME, and I think Nia wanted the same for herself. Her single "Trouble" was very Janet-esque--it was even remixed by Shep Pettibone in the similar way to what Shep remixed Janet's "Pleasure Principle".
- Trouble is very Janetesque. It was several years after she left Fame, though.
- She left FAME in '86, and trouble was in '88 I believe. She did a couple of movies right after FAME ("North Shore", "Deepstar Six"), so maybe she wanted to explore a film career as well as a career as a singer.
- Trouble was '89
- "Trouble" was in '88. She released a non-charting single called "I Know How (To Make You Love Me" in 1989.
- My apologies, I need to backtrack on what I said about Nia being bounced from the show. I do not mean to be spreading false information here.
Nia may very well have departed the show of her own accord; I based my original statement on articles I remember reading back at that time, primarily that she was very much disliked by cast and crew alike due to her increasing demands that the show focus more on her character, Nicole, and her relationship with Jesse (even though they were already the center of many of the episodes already), obviously to the detriment of the other cast members. (One of the show's producers said in an interview at the time that "in a show with 14 principal characters, you cannot spend all of your time focused on just one or two people.") The article implied that they solved the problem by writing her out of the show (i.e., fired her), though that may not have actually been the case. Either way, Nia was reportedly pissed at the way the writers chose to have Nicole be "stupid enough" to get in the car with a drunk driver and having her die offscreen. (She was replaced in the the next episode by Olivia Barash as Maxie, a new student.)
- When do you think it was at its best?
I'd say seasons 2 and 4
- How is there no mention of the wonderful Debbie Allen in this thread? She and Leroy really connected the film and tv show. "You want Fame? Well, fame costs, and right here's where you start paying...in sweat."
- R192 Yes, it was very obvious that Nia thought that if Janet's career took off after leaving the show that hers' would too. Unfortunately for Nia, she only had two songs reach the Top 40.
- My crush was Lee Curreri. On the tv show he had lovely long curly hair and was as pretty as a girl. He was also a quite talented musician. Sad to say, he's gotten fat. And I've seen pictures of him (recent?) where he's totally bald! I guess he shaved his head because he thought fat and bald would look better than fat with curly black hair.
- R200. - Nia has had a long acting career.
- R202, I think R200 meant that Nia thought she'd have a music career like Janet's after leaving the show but it just didn't happen.
- Lee was gorgeous. He did this awful "Boy in the Plastic Bubble" rip off movie in the mid 80s called Crystal Heart with Tawny Kitaen as his female costar.
- [quote]When do you think it was at its best? I'd say seasons 2 and 4
Those were definitely great seasons, R198, though for some reason it seems most stations only tend to show the first 2 or 3 and stop there. Maybe those are considered the show's best? I don't know, but if so, I'd heartily disagree. I personally thought every season was great (my faves were nos. 4 and 6) with the only exception being season 5. Though not a complete disaster, it was definitely the show's weakest in my opinion.
Btw, speaking of post-FAME careers, I always thought it a shame Jesse Borrego did not have much of one after the show either. He's done okay I assume but given his talent, he should've done a lot more. At this point, I think it could be argued that, outside of Janet of course, the one to have done the best by far is Michael Cerveris (Ian Ware).
- I'm surprised that Lori Singer did not have a bigger career.
- Lori Singer was pretty (gorgeous eyes) but vacant. And her speaking voice was flat as a pancake and she had zero emotional range. I think she realized this and left the business.
- I used to want Billy Hufsey in the worst way. He looked like he walked right off the set of an '80s gay porno.
- cool where are they now video:
- I am going to clear up a bit of the Nia stuff. Nia was ready to leave Fame to get on with her career. There were no ego rumblings nor some request for the show to devote every episode around her and Jesse. The truth was viewers had gotten sick of the couple and it had turned into a labored on again off again thing.
As for the manner in which her character was killed off she had her heart and hand in the entire process and asked not only that Nicole be killed off ( so there would be no returns ) but that it would be in such a manner that it could be an educational outreach such as drunk driving.
Nia was not pissed at the story line and prior to and right after the initial showing she went on many cast interviews singing high praise for the episode. She also did so because of being a very high profile character suddenly departed and you know how some see acting roles as "real life" and they were having a hard time with Nicole's tragic death.
Yes she hoped for janet type of success but the reality was.. the role of Janet Jackson had already been cast.
- Thanks R210
- The guy (PR Paul) who played Montgomery on the TV show was a cutey. It was like a slap in the face to the baby gays when the wrote him off after the first season.
- Paul was on ER for years.
- There's something stale and drab about music and fashion from the late 70s and early 80s, not even 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Godspell' look as dated now as 'Fame' does.
- R214, are you implying that my saggy bean-bag boobs are relics of an era gone by? That if "Fame" were remade today, Coco would have a nice, perky rack?
- I wanted to eat Mrs. Berg's(Ann Nelson) pussy so bad I could taste it.
- That was Paul McCrane r213, the movie Montgomery. There was another actor PR Paul who played Montgomery on the first season of the series.
- Don't forget Mr. Reardon
- R217 - Thanks. You're right.
- Morgan Stevens was a hottie. Hard to believe he's 62 now.
- Dogs in the Yard appeals
- Yes, it's nice 222...don't know why this has been bumped, what more is there to say?
- I once saw Gene Anthiny Ray at Rage in West Hollywood - late 80's maybe. He seemed100% gay from the looks of him that night.
I love absolutely everything about this movie and wore out the soundtrack the summer after high school. I think the last thing I did before my mother drove me off to college was cry my eyes out to Out Here On My Own.
- OMG imagine what the songs would be like if it was made today.
They were good at wistful sad songs in the 70s. Today they just shriek.