Friday, December 02, 2005
Supporting the Supporting Actor
There is a common misperception that a supporting actor is less important than the star. This week we lost two great character actors who although you might not know their names their contribution to the shows they worked on were invaluable.
This classically trained actor was a veteran of numerous TV shows and movies, but to me he was best known for the role of investigative reporter Jack McGee in the TV series The Incredible Hulk. You may remember this quote from the show’s opening, "The creature is driven by rage and pursued by an investigative reporter. Mr. McGee... don't make me angry... you wouldn't like me when I'm angry".
As a kid I was a devoted fan of the show, but I saw the character of Jack McGee as just the bad guy. As an adult I enjoyed the show again in reruns on SCIFI and really saw what Jack Colvin brought to the character of McGee. Here was a brilliant reporter who now was down on his luck working at a tabloid (The National Register). He knew that the HULK story would put him at the top of his profession again and became obsessed like Capt. Ahab. Instead of hunting the great white whale, he wanted to expose the big green man. I found myself not wanting him to succeed in finding the Hulk for the sake of the Hulk (Lou Ferrigno) and Dr. Banner (Bill Bixby). At the same time I cared for McGee because unlike Ahab his quest was not a personal vendetta, he just wanted to be respected in his field again. That is a lot of support to give to the star.
Good Night Jack, You finally got your story.
This Actor is probably best known from her role as Amy in Bosom Buddies although I also loved her work in the short lived FOX sitcom Women in Prison as well. Ms. Sperber’s greatest role was as the founder of weSPARK. In 1997 Wendie Jo was diagnosed with breast cancer and found that battling the decease was as much an emotional fight as it was a physical one. In 2001 she opened weSPARK as a place to meet new friends, to exchange information, to explore new ways of coping and new possibilities for healing. weSPARK - Where all services are free of charge.
To quote Wendie Jo Sperber, "I spent many years with low self-esteem, but the cancer has given me the gift of seeing how many people love me."
Don’t forget without the supporting actors the stars would be doing one man shows.