Gene Anthony Ray
Mrs. Charlotte Miller
Mrs. Gertrude Berg (Alice
Lou Mackie (1985-1987).....
Carolyn J. Silas
Bob Dyrenforth (1985-1987).....
Kate Riley (1986).....
Paul Seeger (1986-1987).....
Horowitz (1986-1987)..... Robert Romanus
York City's renowned High School for the Performing Arts was the setting
for this series about the aspirations of a group of students planning to
become singers, dancers, actors, musicians,
and comedians. Geared specifically to provide a curriculum that would prepare
for careers in show business, the School for the Performing Arts attracted a student body with
tremendous talent, energy, and ambition. It was there that they learned
to deal with competition and rejection, as well as the problems of growing
the featured students were Bruno, a talented but somewhat arrogant keyboard
and composer; Coco, a singer-dancer driven to succeed and in a rush to
get into the professional world; Danny, a bright comedian who would break
into a monologue at the drop of a hat; Doris, an actress-writer-comedienne
whose easygoing manner belied an ego as strong and determined as anyone's;
Leroy, a talented dancer from the ghettos of New York, who graduated and became
an assistant dance instructor at the school himself; Montgomery, trying
to follow in the path of his successful actress mother; and Julie,
the outsider from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was an accomplished cellist
adjusting both to the school and the high-energy environment of New York.
If anything, the faculty was even
more dedicated than most of the students, with hard-driving,
beautiful dancer teacher Lydia Grant the most prominent. Other teachers included Mr. Shorofsky, the bearded music teacher; Mr. Crandall,
the drama instructor; and English teacher Elizabeth Sherwood.
Fame was an immediate hit
with the critics. They lauded its talented cast of young performers, the
well-choreographed production numbers, and its realistic portrayal of the
problems of growing up in contemporary society. Unfortunately it attracted a
small audience, and after a year and a half on NBC, it was finally canceled in
the spring of 1983. Undaunted, the producers continued production of new
episodes and sold them on a syndicated basis to local stations, which generally
aired them on Saturday or Sunday in the early evening.
were changes in the cast. David Reardon replaced Mr. Crandall
(Michael Thoma had died) as drama teacher (later replaced by Paul Seeger); Mrs. Berg, the scatterbrained
school secretary, became a regular; and Quentin Morloch, the officious
principal (later replaced by Bob Dyrenforth) who gradually came to understand that this
was not an ordinary high school, was added. New
students included Dwight, an awkward, fat tuba player; Holly, a vivacious
drama major; Jesse, an Hispanic dancer who became Leroy's protégé; Nicole,
a beautiful black singer and dancer who was tragically killed in an auto accident;
Christopher, a talented but cocky dancer; and Ian, an English guitarist
who loved rock music. In later years, Lou's bowling alley/restaurant became
a regular hangout for the students.
Fame was based on the
movie of the same name, with a number of its cast members - Debbie Allen, Albert
Hague, Gene Anthony Ray, and Lee Curreri - reprising their roles in the series.