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Valerie Landsburg and Lee Curreri still have performing hearts for Doris and Bruno.
They had their big dreams. They wanted fame. And starring in the 1982 TV series spin-off of the musical movie gave them just that. But what was it like for the Kids from Fame to sing and dance their way to celebrity? As The Fame Story asks the actors who played the students (and staff) at the New York High School for the Performing Arts about their Fame days, Olivia Robinson and Katherine Hassell talked to Valerie Landsburg and Lee Curreri – Doris and Bruno – about life, legwarmers and living forever…..
Were you like your characters?
Lee Curreri: Absolutely. Bruno was obsessed with electronics and music.
Valerie Landsburg: Doris and I were very much like. We're the ones taking care of other people, problem solving, maternal, romantic, ballad singers.
Quite a few of today's stars watched Fame as kids, didn't they?
VL: The one that knocked me over was Julia Roberts. I was at a premiere and she waved to me. I said to my friend: “It's weird, Julia Roberts just waved. I don't know her.” About 15 minutes later Julia came over: “I know you don't really know who I am, but I just want to tell you how wonderful you are. I watched you!” That's amazing!
Lee, what have you done since Fame?
LC: I have produced Natalie Cole, Kid Creole and the Coconuts. And I spend a lot of time scoring music for TV and film. I wrote music for the Steven Seagal movie Exit Wounds and for TV shows, including Chicago Hope.
Valerie, as well as doing a lot of directing and writing, you appear in Mark Wahlberg's movie Rock Star…
VL: I play the mother of the kid who does pyrotechnics. I come out of the house and say: “Are you blowing things up again?” That's it. Mark Wahlberg couldn't be sweeter, telling me how he remembered me from Fame.
Will there be a revival of Fame?
VL: This is what I was told! I have to find out. If it's happening I want to throw my hat in as a writer/director. Would I play Doris again? As a grown up? Absolutely.
Do you still have legwarmers?
VL: I have one pair left! They're grey, ratty, came from the show and have like 17 holes in them. The last time I was in a dance class was three or four years ago, Gene (Gene Anthony Ray, who played Leroy) was teaching in Los Angeles. I'd drop dead if I did it today!
Will Fame live forever?
LC: It's a campy thing that seems like it will come back, maybe every 20 years. I have probably more fan contact now than then. I get lots of emails; I got one from the guy playing me in the Geri Halliwell video asking my blessing, which I gave him of course!
PS. Catch episodes of TV's Fame on Granada Plus this Saturday.
This interview was provided to me by Elaine.
Article copyright © 2001