• Bears in Hollywood: Films and TV shows with strong Baylor connections

    A collage of DVD covers from movies and films involving Baylor Bears

    While we’re all social distancing and self-isolating, I know you’re looking for new movies to watch and shows to binge. Why not check out something with a Baylor connection?

    Over the years, a surprising number of Baylor Bears have played important roles in Hollywood. On screen, we’ve seen Baylor alumni such as Angela Kinsey, BA ’93 (“Angela” on the The Office) and Allison Tolman, BFA ’04 (“Molly” on season one of FX’s Fargo) earn Emmy nominations for their work.

    Behind the scenes, recent successes include such Bears as Derek Haas, BA ’91, MA ’95, and Michael Brandt, BBA ’91, MA ’94 (co-creators of NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med) and John Lee Hancock, BA ’79, JD ’82 (director of The Rookie and The Blind Side).

    A conversation with friends on the subject got me to thinking: What films or TV shows should be in a Baylor grad’s media library, based on the Bears who played important roles in front of (or behind) the camera? Here’s a quick list of prominent examples:

    Films:

    TV series/mini-series:

    Bill Bickley, BA ’69, deserves his own special note here. After writing for such classic series as The Partridge Family, Happy Days and The Love Boat, Bickley played a large role in developing ABC’s original late 1980s/early 1990s “TGIF” programming block, first producing Perfect Strangers and later co-creating such shows as Family Matters and Step by Step.

    And how could I forget Where the Heart Is? The film’s climatic scene, as Natalie Portman’s character confesses her true love, was actually filmed on the Baylor campus back in 1999 (watch it here).

    Sic ’em, Bears in Hollywood!

    [Are we forgetting something? Let us know! Oh, and a disclaimer: Not all of these films/shows may be suitable for all audiences.]

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