Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: Greenwich Village Edition
Happy birthday Kevin Bacon! The versatile actor/musician/philanthropist was born in Philadelphia to Ruth Hilda and Edmund Norwood Bacon on July 8, 1958.
Of course Kevin Bacon is more than just a multi-talented artist of various media. He’s also the basis for the popular game which shows how interconnected we all are, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. So in honor of Mr. Bacon’s birthday, we here at Off the Grid thought we’d play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, and see how long it took to connect the talented Mr. Bacon to Greenwich Village.
Turns out (unurprisingly) not that long!
Kevin Bacon moved to New York in 1975 to pursue an acting career, and one of the very first places he honed his craft was at the Circle in the Square Theater School. The Circle in the Square Theater School was actually located in the Theater District when Bacon attended (still is). But the theater school was an offshoot of the Circle in the Square Theater, the world’s first non-profit theater, which was located for many years at 159 Bleecker Street, between Sullivan and Thompson Streets (the site is located within the recently-designated South Village Historic District, though the theater closed and most of its building demolished over the protests of GVSHP in 2004).
That was almost too easy.
Here are some other Kevin Bacon-Greenwich Village connections:
- Kevin Bacon’s first movie was National Lampoon’s Animal House (1 degree), directed by John Landis (2 degrees). Landis also directed the horror/comedy classic An American Werewolf in London (3 degrees). In the film, the rural English pub from which the werewolf emanated was called The Slaughtered Lamb (4
degrees). A long-time pub at 182 West 4th Street in Greenwich Village is named The Slaughtered Lamb after the one in the film (5 degrees).
- The star of Animal House (1 degree) was John Belushi (2 degrees) who got his break performing in the rock musical review “Lemmings” (3 degrees) which ran at Greenwich Village’s Village Gate Theater (4 degrees) at Bleecker and Thompson Streets (right across the street from the Circle in the Square, by the way) for 10 months and 350 performances in 1972.
- Belushi (2 degrees) was also living at 64 Morton Street (3 degrees) in the Village at the time of his death in 1982.
- Bacon’s big breakout hit was 1984’s Footloose (1 degree) directed by Herbert Ross (2 degrees). Sixteen years earlier, Ross had directed and choreographed Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl (3 degrees). Streisand got her start performing at the Bon Soir club on west 8th Street in Greenwich Village (4 degrees).
- In 1982 Bacon won an Obie Award for his performance in the film Forty Deuce, directed by Paul Morrissey (2 degrees). Morrissey made a name for himself in the
1960’s working with Andy Warhol, The Velvet Underground, and others in Greenwich Village and the East Village (3 degrees).
- Bacon worked with writer/director Barry Levinson (1 degree) on the movies Diner (1982) and Sleepers (1996). Levinson’s long-time producer was Mark Johnson (2 degrees) who got his start as a director trainee on the film “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” (1976 — 3 degrees), set in Greenwich Village of the 1950’s (4 degrees, if the film itself is not a direct enough link for you).
- 1991, Bacon appeared as gay prostitute Willie O’Keefe in the film JFK, directed by Oliver Stone (1 degree), who attended NYU (2 degrees) in Greenwich Village (3 degrees).
- And then of course there’s the connection staring us right in the face — the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is based upon the play (and later film) “Six Degrees of Separation,” which posits that all people on Earth are separated by just six degrees interconnectedness, written by longtime Greenwich Village resident John Guare, who got his start as a young playwright in the 1960s at the Village’s Caffe Cino on Cornelia Street.
What’s your favorite Kevin Bacon-Greenwich Village connection of six degrees or less?