Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Kevin Bacon
Birthdate: July 8, 1958
Famous Years: 1980-Present
Currently Known For: City on a Hill
|Networth: $30 Million||Famous For: Tremors, Apollo 13, A Few Good Men|
July 8, 1958
City on a Hill
Tremors, Apollo 13, A Few Good Men
A career in acting isn’t an easy one to maintain for even a handful of years, let alone a handful of decades. Even actors that have been working consistently for most of their lives have had slow patches, and Kevin Bacon is no exception. From being a movie star to almost an afterthought, to once again becoming a star and then finding his groove on television, Bacon has seen it all. These days, it seems that you don’t even need six degrees to separate an actor from Bacon, who’s maintained a busy schedule.
Bacon was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 8, 1958 with five older siblings, while his father worked as an architect and his mother was a teacher. Entering his teenage years, Bacon had started to develop an interest in acting, but it wasn’t until he received a paid scholarship to an acting school at Bucknell University that he decided he wanted to pursue acting on a full-time basis. With that, at just 17 years old, Bacon would leave Philadelphia for New York, and he hadn’t even turned 20 when he landed his first role.
That would come in the 1978 comedy classic “Animal House”, where Bacon played the role of Chip Diller. Bacon had no idea that it would become a staple of comedy 40 years later. “It’s fun that I’ve had the chance to be in some sort of genre-defining movies,” he said. “But no one knew ‘Animal House’ was going to end up being anything like that at all. All I was doing was picking up the phone and saying, ‘Yes’ when they offered me a job. I just went out there as a teenager and got to experience those five weeks in Eugene, Oregon and everything that came with that. It was a life-changing experience.”
After “Animal House”, Bacon would find himself in the soap opera circuit on TV for a brief period, while also starring in several TV films throughout the 1980s. He also kicked off the decade with a role in the horror film “Friday the 13th” before getting perhaps his most memorable role in the 1984 film “Footloose”. It was an experience that Bacon said was “great,” despite the fact that “It was a challenging film. I know it’s thought of as a piece of fluff but, physically, not being a dancer, and being in that situation where the weight of the films is on my shoulders, it was a very challenging experience.”
The film would end up being a big hit with audiences, and helped to establish Bacon as a movie star. For the rest of the 1980s, he’d appear in movies such as “She’s Having a Baby”, “Quicksilver” and “Criminal Law”. After not quite being able to replicate the success of “Footloose”, he’d find another hit in 1990 in the sci-fi thriller “Tremors”. At the time, the film wouldn’t be a hit in the box office, but found a cult following when released on video.
During shooting and seeing the box office receipts, Bacon at one point called it the low point of his career. After seeing the sales, he went and revisited “Tremors” (which he never watches his old movies) and changed his mind. “I went back and put it up on my screen at home and went, ‘Wow, this is a really good movie!’ I just didn’t get it when I was there and in it,” he said. “I wrote it off because it wasn’t a hit, and I really needed one.”
Bacon’s career would take an upswing as he starred in critically acclaimed movies such as “JFK”, “A Few Good Men” and “Apollo 13” in the subsequent years. He’s remained a staple in the movie industry ever since, and has had recent successes with films such as “Patriots Day”, “Black Mass” and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. For the most part, though, Bacon has found himself on television more frequently.
In 2016, Bacon would get his own Amazon series after starring in “The Following” for nearly 50 episodes, and has even gone back to the “Tremors” universe for a TV version of the film. He’ll also be starring in the upcoming TV series called “City on a Hill” that was created by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It’s been a series of resurgences for Bacon throughout the years, who once admitted to breaking down and screaming “I can’t believe I’m doing a movie about underground worms!” Thankfully for Bacon, things have turned out very well for the 60 year old, who’s been married to actress Kyra Sedgwick for 30 years.
With a career that’s spanned around 40 years, there are plenty that want to know what Bacon’s secret is to remaining famous for so long. “I say the secret to longevity is longevity,” he said. “Hang in there long enough and keep working. When I was a kid I thought I knew everything there was to know about the business and the more I work, the more I know how much more there is to know and how much more I have to learn...Dealing with success and fame and all those things can be challenging. As important as this career is to me, I feel like, for met a least, I had to find something that was more important even than that. For me, that was family, love and nature - something to focus on when things aren’t as good as they can be.”