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A famous cast of characters

January 30, 2010

Among the cast of characters

The once-unknown thespians who trained and studied acting at its former school gave the Pasadena Playhouse the nickname the "Star Factory." In more recent years, stars have again performed at the landmark theater. Here is a sampling:

NOTABLE STUDENTS OF THE SCHOOL:

Gene Hackman: The actor broke onto the scene with his performance in "Bonnie and Clyde." He's since been seen in dozens of films, including "The French Connection," "Hoosiers," "Mississippi Burning" and "Unforgiven."

Dustin Hoffman: The actor's filmography includes "The Graduate," "All the President's Men," "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Tootsie."

Nick Nolte: The gravel-voiced actor has starred in films such as "48 Hrs.," "The Prince of Tides," "Affliction" and, alongside Hackman, in 1983's "Under Fire."

Robert Young: He played wholesome Jim Anderson in the TV show "Father Knows Best."

Eve Arden: The comedian was best known for her teacher role in the radio and television series "Our Miss Brooks" and was featured in dozens of films including "Grease."

Charles Bronson: The actor appeared in such classic films as "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Great Escape."

George Reeves:, He was best known for his role as the man in tights in the 1950s television program "The Adventures of Superman."

Sally Struthers: The actress and spokeswoman is known for her role as Archie Bunker's curly-haired daughter, Gloria Stivic, in the 1970s sitcom "All in the Family."

PRODUCTIONS WITH STARS

Valerie Harper ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Rhoda") recently appeared in "Looped," the story of Tallulah Bankhead.

Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett appeared in August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play "Fences" in 2006.

Scott Bakula appeared in the 1987 musical production of "Three Guys Naked From the Waist Down" before his days as time traveler Sam Beckett in "Quantum Leap."

Patrick Demspey, before heating up the small screen as Dr. Derek Shepherd on "Grey's Anatomy," played Algernon Moncrieff in the 1999 production of "The Importance of Being Earnest."

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