Main > Series > Articles/Interviews > Fame Cast Members Are Similar In Real Life Too

"There is a great deal of similarity between the actors and the roles they play," says Bill Blinn, executive producer of "Fame," the new hit series on NBC-TV, THURSDAYS (8-9 p.m. NYT). "Erica Gimpel, who plays Coco, actually is a student at the New York High School for Performing Arts, the prototype school on which the series storylines are based," Blinn reveals. "And we have Lori Singer, who, in the show, plays the cello and is studying dance and drama. Lori attended Performing Arts High at the same time she studied music at Julliard in New York. "Gene Anthony Ray, the superb dancer who continues his role in the series from his role in the Oscar-winning movie, 'Fame', also attended the school." And Ray adds, "I was always on the verge of being kicked out or being pushed out, just like Leroy on the show." Lee Curreri, who reprises his 'Fame' movie role of Bruno, the musical genius, admits "I've been Bruno since age 13." Curreri's real talent is proven in the fact that he has composed four songs used on the NBC-TV broadcasts. Valerie Landsburg, who plays Doris Schwartz, an aspiring actress who is not too much on looks but high on energy and ambition, says "Doris is a lot like I was in high school. Concrete on the outside, marshmallow on the inside." Debbie Allen, who stars as Lydia, the dance teacher, was "Lydia" the dance teacher at the Duke Ellington School For Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., before she hit it big on Broadway. "If I didn't love to perform so much, I could almost satisfy my needs by teaching dance," says the lovely and talented Allen who doubles as the show's choreographer. P.R. Paul, the diminutive red-haired actor and "good friend to all" as Montgomery, spends his off hours with a small musical combo group called Raw Meat. "There are probably a dozen kids at the New York School who have bands or are trying to put one together," says Paul. Albert Hague, the music professor, Shorofsky, could step in today and teach music anywhere. A composer, a pianist, writer and actor, Hague has called Broadway his home for 25 years. And he has a Tony Award to his credit for composing music for the play "Redhead." Blinn also calls attention to Carlo Imperato, who plays Danny Amatullo, a drama major and aspiring stand-up comedian; "I've been aspiring, as you say, all my life. And while I'm not aiming so much at being another Johnny Carson, I do plan on being a successful performer, whatever it takes."

This interview/article provided by Timothy Newton.

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