Before I start off with our fun link and our requested link, I'd just like to thank The Cruel Site Of The Day for picking this page last weekend. Gosh, I try.
Though the "Killed In A Cameo" vote is still running for one more week, I've been saying "yeah" every time I even see a commercial for the upcoming release of the latest Trek flick, so this week's fun link is to the Star Trek: First Contact web site. And the requested link is for all the people who have been writing and asking how they can get in touch with such and such a celeb. I cannot in all good conscience give out the information I have, but for fan-mail and autograph-hunting addresses, Chip's Celebrity Address Page is a great resource. And now to the column...
When I originally decided to take on "Eight Is Enough," I didn't realize what I was getting myself into. Adding in Betty Buckley gave me 9 actors to track (would be ten but I tracked down Willie Aames a couple of weeks back in the "Kickin' It With The Sidekicks" column) and that makes for a REALLY long column. So, since we got to see almost all of them in the "An Eight Is Enough Wedding"reunion movie in 89, I thought I'd just concentrate on the major players who have been active recently, but maybe not so publicly.
The first thing that happened when I said I'd be tracking down the EIE cast is that people wrote to me about that cute little Nicholas Bradford, better known as Adam Rich. Some apparently thought he was dead. Well folks, for those of you that didn't hear already, that was a hoax. Earlier this year, Adam and Might Magazine teamed up to parody dead-celeb tributes with a tribute to Adam. They came up with a story of him being shot and included interviews with friends and former co-stars. It was actually very well done and it caused quite a furor for a while because many thought it was real, but the news got out to most people that Adam was alive and well.
I confirmed this Saturday night when I had the luck of running into Adam outside a restaurant. Goateed and looking a little timeworn (hey, he is 15 days older than me, you know), this was not the cute little kid we all remember from his heyday. He was also a bit reticent to talk about himself. After doing some interviews following the rumors of his demise, Adam put a moratorium on doing interviews, and with retro-fever being what it is, he's been called for quite a few. He was willing, in the couple of minutes we had, to say that he's been focusing his time on pursuing a directing career. He'd been observing on sets and even did some assistant director work, then he mentioned that he'd just joined the Director's Guild of America. A later call to the DGA failed to confirm this, though the DGA operator I spoke to said their computer did list an Adam Rich with a pending membership in the Stage Manager category.
Perhaps the next most notable EIE star these days is that later addition to the show, Abby Bradford, better known as Betty Buckley who has had a lot of press due to taking over the role of Norma Desmond in the Broadway production of "Sunset Boulevard" last year. But rather than be redundant, I'll just direct you to www.bettybuckley.com where you can find out more than you ever wanted to know about her. The only thing I must note is that she lists a film "Ride For Your Life" in her credits, but there's no further info for you. The movie, from 1995, is interactive and premiered in New York in a theater specially rigged so the audience could control this 25 minute picture about a bicycle race through the streets of NY. Pretty cool, huh? Would it be cooler if her co-star was none other than Batman himself, Adam West? I thought so.
And then we move on. And it seems that the George Clooney connections never end in this column. You think you can connect Kevin Bacon to everyone through movies? Try connecting George Clooney to everyone through in-laws. Last week he was Debbie Boone's cousin-in-law, and now he's the former nephew-in-law of Dick "Tom Bradford" Van Patten, having once been married to the daughter of Dick's sister, Joyce.
Now I'm sure you've heard of the Newman's Own brands of salad dressings and popcorns, so it should come as no surprise that Dick is involved with foods too... dog food. The Natural Balance line of dog foods is his baby, and he even had a hand in formulating them. But this isn't crass commercialism. Van Patten is an animal lover and, like Newman, donates his profits to charity.
No, if you want crass commercialism, try this instead. Observers at the recent National Infomercial Marketing Association convention in Las Vegas reported that Dick will soon be on the late-night infomercial airwaves touting the NASA bed, a mattress made from the same "thermalfoam" stuff used in chairs on the Space Shuttle. And if that's not enough, Pete Rose will soon be selling a sleep-inducing melatonin spray. Luckily they won't be rocking you off to dreamland in the same half hour.
I could go into a whole litany of places Dick has popped up in the last few years, like "Baywatch", "Lois & Clark" (where his fellow guest stars were George & Weezie themselves, Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford), "Touched By An Angel" (in an episode directed by his half-brother, Tim), Weird Al videos, Mel Brooks movies, or bailing out this year at the last minute as the grand marshall of the parade to celebrate the 40th birthday of the city of Cerritos. Luckily, Doogie's dad, James B. Sikking stepped in to save the day.
Heck, Dick's even been in movies with both of the Corey's, like 1994's teen-ninja flick "A Dangerous Place" with Corey Feldman as the bad karate-boy, and the recent thriller from "Vampirella" director, Jim Wynorski, "Demolition High," which co-stars Corey Haim and Alan Thicke. Hey, he even got to play the principal in both.
But I could run out of space going over all of Dick's career. So before I do, let me get to our last profilee of this column, David Bradford, better known as Grant Goodeve. Grant hit a big low in the 80's, appearing on "Murder She Wrote" not once, not twice, but three separate times, and also did a stint as Steven Carrington's gay lover on "Dynasty." Then in the 90's, after playing Rick, the ill-fated, satellite-struck boyfriend of Maggie O'Connell on "Northern Exposure," Grant followed in Willie Aames' footsteps and went for God in a big way. Yet while Willie's efforts in the "Bible Man" show have been directed at kids, Grant has been seeking a wider audience. And it seems like he found it. Though he experienced some early difficulties in getting his album, "The Wonder Of It All," released, he got it out and it seems to be selling well. In fact, earlier this year his single, "Build Your Hope," broke the Top 20 on the Christian Country music charts. I'd warn the Sylvester Stallone of Christian Rap, Carman, to watch out, but these two are in totally different categories, and I don't mean musically. It seems that Grant has some dignity and class. I just hope he holds onto it.
And finally, on the Autograph Price Popularity Scale... well, none of them hit at Signit! and my other place was down for hours. But not to worry, I never send you out of here empty handed. For pictures of Adam (back in his cute little kid days) and other celebs, take a trip over to Star Galaxy and browse to your heart's content.