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Daniels is No Dummy

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Hey Harry ol’ buddy, ol’ pal…

Probably still best known for his breakthrough role as Harry Dunne in 1994 comedy classic ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Jeff Daniels has shown over the course of his career that he goes beyond comedy. Heck! He goes beyond acting as a musician and a playwright as well. We talked about Jeff a handful of years ago and disclosed his attendance at Bruin Lake Boy Scout Camp when he was young as well as his path to stardom.

That last post, however, only scratched the surface about this guy so let’s dig a bit deeper on Mr. Jeff Daniels today!

Mayor Daniels
Jeff grew up in the small town of Chelsea, Michigan. His father was an owner of the Chelsea Lumber Company and an active member of the community. He even went for mayor and was elected! When Jeff was just six years old, Robert Daniels became the mayor of the town in 1961!

Who’s Dumb and Who’s Dumber?

Jeff heard a lot from his agents that he should not take the role of Harry in ‘Dumb and Dumber’ because doing a “dumb comedy” would ruin his career as a dramatic actor. He got paid $50,000 for his part in the film and it also launched him into stardom, so Jeff likely doesn’t have any regrets about doing the film (although his co-star Jim Carrey made $7 million just for being the bigger star at the time).

Marry Me!
Jeff and his wife have been sweeties since their high school days back in the 70’s and, by 1979, they got married. It’s been about 35 years now since Jeff left Hollywood with his wife Kathleen and the two moved back to their small town life in Chelsea, Michigan. They have a family with two boys and a daughter. Jeff was happy for his time in the spotlight but doesn’t look back much as he is very happy with his family life.

Family is what life is all about! It’s great to see an old Hollywood star embrace his family life as much as Jeff has. A true master of his craft, Jeff still takes acting roles from time to time on TV or on the stage and keeps busy with his own writing and musical projects. Thanks for sharing your gift, Jeff! Who knows—maybe he’ll become mayor one day! As, always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

 

- John

 


No One Cooler Than Coulier

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Hey, Cool Kids!

This isn’t the first time that we’ve shined our spotlight on Mr. Dave Coulier (a.k.a. Joey Gladstone on ‘Full’ and ‘Fuller House’). A number of years ago, I wrote a Blog post about him that covered things like what school was like for him, his camp years at Camp Highland right here in Wisconsin, and his work prior to ‘Full House’.

His previous post only scratched the surface about this funnyman! Let’s learn some more things about Dave and have a little ‘Full House’ talk.

Nailed It

Dave Coulier recalls his audition for ‘Full House’ as the easiest job he ever auditioned for. He said they were calling for every comic from New York and Los Angeles. He read for the part of Joey and before leaving a producer asked if he would read for the role of the father. He was in and back out in about ten minutes. He figured it meant he didn’t get the part. However, a message on his answering machine was waiting for him when he got home to let him know that he actually had landed the role of Joey.

Sleepover at Saget’s

A number of years ago before there was ever a pitch for a show called ‘Full House’, Dave made friends with a fellow comedian at a comedy show in L.A. They became really good friends. Bob would even let Dave sleep over on the couch while Dave was looking for work, trying to get his career started. The two would eventually work together on ‘Full House’ by random happenstance.

Not Just Acting

When you work as close as these guys did for all those years, you don’t have to play best friend to one another so much as you just are. Bob Saget, John Stamos, and Dave Coulier have remained good friends in the years after ‘Full House’ came to an end and each were all too happy to reprise their roles in the Netflix series sequel, ‘Fuller House’.

Thanks to Dave for making us all laugh with his hilarious impressions and goofy voices! And, as always, thanks to all of you for reading!

 

- John


Heard About Hathaway

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Hey, Camp Fans!

This isn’t the first Blog post I’ve written about the very beautiful actress, Anne Hathaway. In that post, I covered where she attended summer camp, at Camp Johnsonburg in northwestern New Jersey. I mentioned how when she was a child, she had planned on becoming a nun when she was older. And we talked about her path to stardom.

Today, I thought we’d take a closer look at Ms. Hathaway to learn some additional things to help us get an understanding for who she is off the screen.

Personal Thanksgiving

August 3rd may as well be holiday in Anne’s world. That as the release date for ‘The Princess Diaries’—the movie that landed her the role that launched her career, Mia Thermopolis. August 3 has since been a day of thanks for the blessing in her life of her dream coming true.

Audition for Catwoman

Anne landed the highly desired role of Catwoman, in The Dark Knight Rises but she didn’t even know it. She thought she was going for the part of Harley Quinn. In fact, she didn’t even know Catwoman was in the movie! She found out after her audition just what part it was that she’d received.

Mistakes in Model Acting

Model Acting is a method some actors use in which they adopt behaviors of their characters into their own lives in order to better perform the role. For one role, Anne actually smoked cigarettes to help her smoke more naturally. She’s since quit when the role was done, but she admits her struggle to quit and sometimes regrets the decision to method act in this scenario.

Anne strikes us as a grateful, humble, and highly-respected member of Hollywood as well as summer camp alumni. I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about her and, as always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!

 

- John


Dish About Denzel

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Hey, Denzel Devotees!

I posted about Mr. Washington a number of years ago in which we covered his camp experience as a counselor and the YMCA camp Camp Sloane. And we also reviewed his education and his path through life that eventually brought him to the big screen and stardom! I thought we could revisit him in order to learn more about this famous and much-respected dramatic actor!

Catch these fun facts about Denzel that you probably didn’t know!

Doctor Denzel

Did you know that Denzel was named after his father? Maybe you did. But did you know that his father was named after the doctor who delivered him? He was Dr. Denzel. Knowing the source his name came from, he was inspired to be a doctor before he became passionate about acting.

Washington Got Game

Denzel flaunted a talent for basketball in the movie ‘He Got Game’, but it’s his son John David Washington who’s the true athlete in the family. Signed by the NFL's St. Louis Rams in 2006, John David has since moved on to portray a football player on the HBO show ‘Ballers’.

The Damaged Digit

Speaking of sports, Denzel played football when he was younger as well. And he’s got the injury to prove it. His pinky finger got all jammed up during a play and to this day it is visibly crooked! It may have been the reason that he never stuck with the football.

Thank goodness for that! I can’t imagine a world where Denzel Washington isn’t in some of my favorite movies. He’s one of those actors that I love to see and absolutely believe on the screen! Summer camp gave Denzel the idea to pursue an acting career. What will it give you? Thanks for reading, Campers!

 

- John


Stiller's Still Got It!

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Hey, Very Big Fans of Jerry!

Father of Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller too has had great success, playing lots of roles in movies and television shows. He’s probably best known for his roles as Frank Costanza in the classic television series, ‘Seinfeld’ as well as Arthur Spooner on ‘The King of Queens’. He’s also provided a good amount of voice acting for films like ‘The Lion King 1½’, ‘Fish Hooks’, ‘Foodfight!’, and, more!

I posted about Mr. Stiller a handful of years ago. We covered his camp experience at Surprise Lake Camp in New York and reviewed his education before he made his way onto the screen. I thought we could revisit him in order to learn more about this famous funny man!

Broke as a Joke
Jerry grew up the eldest child of three in the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the Great Depression. His family was very poor and would frequently get their meals from neighbors and relatives. After catching Vaudeville shows with his father, Jerry expressed interest in becoming an actor. His father recommended work as a stagehand instead for more steady work, but Jerry pursued acting anyway, making ends meet by selling ice cream, washing windows, and mixing cement.

Seinfeld? What’s a Seinfeld?

Jerry Stiller has recounted the conversation when his agent called him and told him “They want you to play the father of George Costanza on ‘Seinfeld’.” In response, Jerry asked them, “Who’s Seinfeld?” A popular show running in its fifth season, there was some surprise that he had never heard of the show. What’s more—he originally passed because he had other engagements in a Broadway play, but they wanted him enough that they offered him the role again 6 months later.

Stiller Instinct

Jerry was replacing the previous actor of George Costanza’s father on the show. He was instructed to play the role as a submissive husband to the always shrill and outraged wife, Estelle Costanza. He figured things would go the same way and eventually HE would be replaced. Out of impulse one day on the set, the wife character was shouting away at him and instead of bearing it all as the script called for, Jerry snapped back at her and the reaction was wild. Showrunner, Larry David, agreed that this was the right spin for this character.

Press onward with your dreams in the face of adversity and “safe” choices as Jerry Stiller did throughout his life. Check out acting at your next summer camp stay and, as always, thanks for reading Camp Folks!

 

- John