TV writer J.J. Philbin and the quest for stories with staying power
Walk into the studio of Billy Hassell ’78 within the Fairmount Historic District of Fort Worth, and the birds practically call out to you, shrieking from canvases vibrant with color.
Imagine your day as an assistant director at a gallery in New York City, where your focus is on photography, perhaps working with Annie Leibovitz or Elliott Erwitt. You feel like you can step into the photos. One day, Erik Rocca ’06 did just that. “A photographer suggested I contact this agency because they thought I could get work as a model,” he says. “I thought, ‘why not?’”
If you were to think it was destiny that Michael Rigali ’83 ended up in the church restoration business, there may be more than 100 years of evidence to back it up. The latter part of the 19th century saw his great-grandfather come to America from Italy as a teenager to join the Daprato carvers, four brothers renowned for their religious statuary and altars.
Youngstown. Akron. West Bloomfield. New Canaan. Birmingham. Tarzana. St. Louis. Sounds like destinations on a train line. But for TV writer/producer Linda Gase ’86, they were all the places she had lived from the age of 5 until entering Notre Dame. Because her dad was transferred approximately every two years, so many towns she had called home, like TV shows, were suddenly canceled.
Margaret Ruffing Morris ’98 admits that becoming a producer and director for NFL Films was not exactly on her radar growing up. Neither was football.
Maybe Tasha Alexander, the pen name of Tasha Gutting Grant ’92, should have been born in the 19th century. You might think so when you consider that the first books she was inspired by, the Little House series, and her present New York Times bestselling success, the Lady Emily series, are both from that slice of time.
Orlando, Florida, was a magical kingdom for Dennis Wolfe ’92. Not because of the nearby Disney World opening its gates just a year after his birth but because this was where music came into his life.
Richard Riehle ’70 has been known as many things in his career: character actor, theater standout and, more than anything, as the “jump to conclusions” guy from the movie Office Space (1999).
It’s 2007 and I’m trying to catch a plane from Miami to Newark on Super Bowl Sunday. As I boarded I saw, nestled there in first class among those flying for business or wanting just a little extra comfort, Regis Philbin.
Paige Wiser ’92 is dressed and ready for work. In a comfortable-looking striped, button-down shirt and black pants, a dinner beside her, she nestles in, her daughter, Audrey, on the couch nearby and son, Jack, lying on a mattress in the room. Her work assignment is to critique a reality TV show.
TV critic Paige Wiser may enjoy Dexter, but she also has a lingering fondness for child-friendly shows old and new.
It all began with music and admiration. Long before Ryan Cunningham ’02 was writing musicals, he was looking up to his older brothers, Kevin and Thomas, as they played piano and sax at the Saint Joseph Summer Theatre in Needham, Massachusetts. He knew he didn’t quite have their talent for instruments, but he diligently built sets for Kiss Me, Kate…
You never hear the term “paying your dues” more than in Hollywood. Someone coming off the street and immediately becoming a producer on a major Hollywood picture doesn’t happen too often — unless they’re bankrolling it themselves.
Most musicians want to share their music but aren’t sure if they can make a living at it. For Anne Heaton ’94, it was curiously the opposite.
We’ve all heard those romantic Hollywood stories. The handsome kid who was walking down the street, only to be discovered by a casting agent and made a star. The young girl who brought the coffee just as a director was thinking about who would be the lead in his next movie—and from that day on, people brought her the coffee.
Anne Maxfield ’79, whether she likes it or not, is always surrounded by men. It started with male-dominated radio. Then it got worse by specializing in über-male-dominated sports radio. Then she went and added a husband and son. But, truthfully, she’s thrilled with the excess testosterone, whether it’s picking up her boisterous 9-year-old from school or yapping on air about the Chicago Bears with radio host Mike North, who sounds like the lovable Super Fans skit on Saturday Night Live…
Catherine Langford was leafing through Elle magazine when she saw her sister—well, figuratively speaking. A contest had been announced looking for women with “Winning Style,” and she just knew that her little sis, Christina Wolf ’02, was born to enter.
Sure enough, in the January 2006 issue, Wolf was featured as one of the winners, soon going from being an advertising agency designer to appearing in Chicago’s Fashion Week…
Eyes focused, hands close together, perfect symmetry required. Those who knew Thom Browne ’88 growing up may remember that striking pose as the starting point of the many swim meets he engaged in. Today, however, those who know him from New York to Paris may imagine it as his design position, envisioning menswear fashions that turn heads, some in admiration, others, admittedly, in confusion.…
When you think of classic albums, you can’t help but conjure images of their unforgettable covers. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band featuring a crowd of everyone from Albert Einstein to Shirley Temple, the underwater baby in Nirvana’s Nevermind, even AC/DC’s Back in Black…
Every day, food editor Josh Ozersky is dealing with an entity that needs to be constantly fed: the New York magazine website. The acclaimed publication, which won five National Magazine Awards last year alone, requires him to take an accurate pulse of the food industry or at least offer helpful insight on where to fashionably dine on a particular Gotham night. Sometimes, surprisingly, Ozersky barely has time to eat.…
Hollywood hyphenates are common these days: singer-actor J.Lo; writer-director Kevin Smith; director-producer Steven Spielberg; screenwriter-director-actor Woody Allen; and on-and-on-and-on.
When Tony Bill ‘62 broke in as a Hollywood actor in the 1960s, the lines didn’t connect. Directors directed. Producers produced. Actors acted. Maybe starring opposite Frank Sinatra in some of his first few films was an omen—like the Chairman of the Board, Tony Bill did it his way. The 1970s saw him perform the then-rare switch to Oscar-winning producer. In the 1980s, he directed one of the bigger sleeper hits of the decade, My Bodyguard…