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Back to the '80's: Actor of the Week - Anthony Michael Hall

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Actor of the Week - Anthony Michael Hall

Anthony Michael Hall
April 14, 1968 -

When it comes to Hollywood, when you think of a tramp you think of Charlie Chaplin. When you think of a cowboy you think of John Wayne. When you think of a dumb blonde you think of Marilyn Monroe. When you think of a geek it's Anthony Michael Hall.

Even though he calls himself Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles, the credits actually list Anthony Michael Hall as "The Geek". How much more proof do you want that Hall owned the label of geek than that? He even goes so far as claiming to be "King of the Geeks" in Sixteen Candles.

With so many great movies under his belt playing the quintessential geek, such as Vacation, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Weird Science, why would he ever have made such an effort to change his image? He was perfect in his roles as the geek.

His decision to go a different route in his career came right around 1988's Johnny Be Good. By the time he played Johnny Depp's nemesis in 1990's Edward Scissorhands the transformation was complete. And startlingly so. I for one didn't even recognize him until about halfway through the movie. When you was so used to seeing a skinny pencil-necked geek on the screen, it was shocking to see Hall had buffed up and was the complete opposite of a geek by actually playing the bully.

Needless to say his career suffered. He stayed relatively busy through the 90's, but with roles that were of no consequence or significance. He had to wait until 2002, when the next generation of kids grew up and the 80's generation had forgave and forgotten his abandonment of the geek persona, to finally get back into the limelight. He did this with a role made famous by Christopher Walken. Hall played Johnny Smith, a man with the ability to see the future after awakening from a very long coma, in the television series The Dead Zone.

The series ran for 5 years and Hall gained a new dedicated fan base because of it. With his career now back on track, I can foresee Hall's career taking off with good character roles in movies now. There's no doubt he can act. There really never was, we just missed the lovable geek.

Hall recently played in the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of Anthony Michael Hall in the future and who knows, maybe one day he'll see fit to grace the screen with his old persona as The Geek.

Here are Anthony Michael Hall's acting credits in the 80's:

ABC Weekend Special "The Gold Bug" (1980) (TV)
CBS Library "Orphans, Waifs and Wards" (1981) (TV)
NBC Special Treat "Jennifer's Journey" (1981) (TV)
Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn (1982) (TV)
Six Pack (1982)
Running Out (1983) (TV)
Vacation (1983)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Weird Science (1985)
Saturday Night Live (1985-1986)
Out of Bounds (1986)
Johnny Be Good (1988)

I'll be typin' at ya later,
Bob the Blogger