1 9 8 2 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
60 x 60 minute episodes
The summer of 1982 was the summer of Fame. The NBC series spun off from Alan Parker’s 1980 film about New York City’s renowned High School for the Performing Arts.
Most of the movie cast members – Debbie Allen, Gene Anthony Ray, Albert Hague and Lee Curreri – reprised their roles in the series.
The show was about a group of students planning to become performing artists – dancers, comedians, singers, musicians, etc at the school designed to provide a curriculum that would prepare its graduates for careers in show business.
It was there that they learned to deal with competition and rejection, as well as the problems of growing up.
Among the students were:
- Bruno (Lee Curreri), a talented but arrogant keyboard player and composer
- Coco (Erica Gimpel), a singer/dancer driven to succeed and in a rush to get into the professional scene
- Danny (Carlo Imperato), a bright comedian who would break into a monologue at the drop of a hat
- Doris (Valerie Landsburg), an actress-writer-comedienne whose easygoing nature hid an ego as strong and determined as anyone’s
- Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray), a dancer from the ghettos of New York, who graduated and became an assistant dance instructor at the school
- Montgomery (P.R. Paul), who was trying to follow in the footsteps of his successful actress mother
- Julie (Lori Singer), the outsider from the backwoods of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was an accomplished cellist adjusting both to the school and the high-energy environment of New York City
The faculty was even more dedicated than most of the students, with hard-driving, beautiful dance teacher Lydia Grant (Debbie Allen) being the most prominent.
Other teachers/instructors included Professor Shorofsky (Albert Hague), the much-revered white-bearded music teacher; Mr Crandall (Michael Thoma), the drama instructor and Elizabeth Sherwood (Carol Mayo Jenkins), the English teacher.
There were changes in the cast throughout. David Reardon (Morgan Stevens) replaced Mr Crandall (when actor Michael Thoma died suddenly during the season) as drama instructor and he was later replaced by Paul Seeger (Eric Pierpoint).
Mrs Berg (Ann Nelson), the scatterbrained school secretary, became a regular, and Quentin Morloch (Ken Swofford), the unchanging principal (later replaced by Bob Dyrenforth, played by Graham Jarvis) who came to realise that this was no ordinary high school, was added.
New students included:
- Dwight (David Greenlee), an awkward, overweight tuba player
- Holly (Cynthia Gibb), a vivacious drama major
- Jesse (Jesse Borrego), a Hispanic dancer who became Leroy’s protégé
- Nicole (Nia Peeples), a beautiful singer/dancer who was tragically killed in a car accident
- Christopher (Billy Hufsey), a talented but cocky dancer
- Ian (Michael Cerveris), an English guitarist who loved rock music
In later shows, Lou’s bowling alley/restaurant became a regular hangout for the students.
Gene Anthony Ray
Carol Mayo Jenkins
Prof. Benjamin Shorofsky
Mrs Charlotte Miller
Mrs Gertrude Berg (Alice Bowman)
Mr Lou Mackie
Carolyn J. Silas
Mr Bob Dyrenforth
Mr Paul Seeger