The Groundlings grew out of an improvisational workshop taught and directed by former Committee member Gary Austin and worked out of the Cellar Theater in 1972. Tom Maxwell and Tracy Newman helped out as teachers.
As the group grew in size as a performance entity, it moved from the Cellar to an industrial site in Santa Monica, and then to the Oxford Theater in 1974, before it began refurbishing its own building on Melrose Avenue later the same year.
The number of core members varied but usually ranged from 25 to 30 people. Most have gone on to successful careers in show business. Here's a list of the 1974 company, and, where possible, notes on where they are now.
Joey Arias--Performance artist.
Catherine Bergstrom--Studying for her doctorate in psychology at Pepperdine University.
Steve Bluestein--Stand-up comedian.
Terry Bolo--Stand-in for movie stars.
Rod Burton--TV writer, "Dear John," "The Powers That Be" (for Norman Lear).
Teresa Burton--Formerly married to Rod Burton; remarried, socialite.
Victoria Carroll--Co-founded West End Playhouse in Van Nuys. Painter, voice-over specialist.
Mary Cross--Literary agent, reader for Disney.
Valerie Curtin--Screenwriter, "Toys."
Cheri Eichen--TV writer, executive producer, "Cheers."
Rick Frattali--Fiction writer, Western United States tour guide.
Archie Hahn--Voice-over and comedic actor, "The Chevy Chase Show," "Police Academy V."
Phil Hartman--Screenwriter, TV performer, "Saturday Night Live."
Sandy Helberg--Episodic TV writer.
Doris Hess--Stage actress, looping specialist.
Rahla Kahn--Founded Powerplay, an improv workshop that teaches humor as a healing agent and communications aid.
Phyllis Katz--Actress, creative writing and song-improv teacher. Lead in a pilot for Fox TV called "Sherman Oaks, 91403.5"
Suzanne Kent--Free-lance producer for film and TV, actress in TV film "My Brother's Keeper."
Kip King--TV and movie actor, directing commercials.
Jimmy Martinez--Owns apartment building.
Tim Matheson--TV and feature film actor, "Joshua's Heart," "Shameful Secrets."
Tom Maxwell--Writer-producer, "Dream On."
Bob McClurg--Actor, comedian, writer. "I'm out of the business and looking for a real job."
Edie McClurg--Bob's sister; actress, "A River Runs Through It."
Audrey Moore--Video graphics artist.
Jaye P. Morgan--Singer.
Laraine Newman--Voice-over actress.
Tracy Newman--TV writer-producer, "Hardball."
Shirley Prestia--TV, film actress.
Tim Silva--Actor, travel agent.
Bill Steinkellner--Writer, executive producer, "Cheers."
Lynne Stewart--Actress, voice-over specialist.
Gloria Vassy--Wardrobe assistant.
Steve White--Former NBC head of film production, now an independent producer, just finished "Huck Finn" for Disney.
Liberty Williams--Married, living in New York.
Ron Wilson--Improv teacher.