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We cannot think of Bruno and his keyboard compositions without thinking of that major thorn in his flesh, Professor Shorofsky!  During the first series of Fame, Shorofsky started out by being irritated by Bruno's inability to play what he was told to play, but ended up grudgingly acknowledging that the boy certainly did have talent, even if it was in a field which was far removed from anything within Shorofsky's narrow, classically-orientated experience - the field of electronic instruments and effects.

You're bound to recall some of those raging, and often highly amusing, arguments between Bruno and the Professor, where Bruno accused Shorofsky and his kind of inhabiting a world where nothing had changed since the age of the dinosaur!  Whether Bruno will be able to drag his teacher into the twentieth century remains to be seen.  I'm sure there are plenty of confrontations still to come between the two of them in the second series!

What is interesting about Albert Hague, who plays the grumpy old Professor, is that he could almost be playing the role straight from his own life, as he actually trained for several years as a classical pianist!  But pop music doesn't grate on Hague's ears as it does on Shorofsky's, as he has made quite a name for himself writing hit musicals and contemporary songs.

He was born in Berlin and his father was a psychiatrist and his mother a champion chess player.  they left Berlin when Albert was young, and he studies music at the Royal Conservatory in Rome and then gained a four year scholarship to the College of Music in Cincinnati.  He arrived in America unable to speak a word of English, so acting, then, was very far from the top of his list of career ambitions!  But he soon mastered the language and started earning a living by playing the piano in clubs, just like Lee Curreri did before landing his role in Fame.  So you can see that the two opposing characters have an awful lot in common off the screen.

After the war (most of which he spent in a Special Services band), he headed for New York like so many other hopeful musicians, and was lucky enough to get himself noticed as a songwriter.  Many of his compositions were recorded by country singer Burl Ives.  Gradually, he got to know people in the theatre world and started getting commissions to write music for various stage productions.  It was while he was writing for a show in Cleveland, Ohio, that he fell in love with the leading lady, Renee Orin, and married her.

By 1955, Albert Hague had really made it.  He'd composed a Broadway hit musical called "Plain and Fancy", and he had people queuing at his door to offer him all kinds of musical work.  Many people in his position would have done what Bruno does in Fame - shut himself up in his music room, cut himself off from the outside world, and devoted himself to composing.  But Albert is one of those people who loves working with others.  He discovered that he had a gift for teaching and coached hundreds of aspiring young actors, many of whom have gone on to achieve fame and fortune.

He really is one of those lucky multi-talented people who seem to success with whatever they turn their hands to.  Not only has he written a host of smash hit songs and award-winning musicals, but he's also been acclaimed for his acting ability and now he's in the process of writing his first book, entitled - appropriately enough - "Winning Under Pressure".

Like most of the Fame cast, Albert considered himself a New Yorker at heart, even though he and his wife live, for business reasons, in Los Angeles.  In the break between the first and second series of Fame, he took on the role of a marine biologist in a comedy film for TV which also co-starred Gil Gerrard and Victoria Principal from "Dallas".  But it is as eccentric, but warm-hearted Professor Shorofsky that he has made his mark here in Britain ... and the cast of Fame find Albert Hague a truly helpful, encouraging and inspiring person to work with.


 

This interview was provided to me by Stuart Farrell.
The article above is from the Official Fame Magazines from 1983. The OFFICIAL FAME MAGAZINE was published by Beat Publications Ltd. and the interviews are copyright MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

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