But He's Played One on TV!

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Sunday, April 1, 2007

Fred Thompson says he' s "considering" running for president and just like that, the law yer-turned actor-turned-senator-turned-actor passes Mitt Romney in the polls. But do all those gruff executive roles -- the "Law and Order" D.A., White House staffer in "In the Line of Fire," CIA chief in "No Way Out" -- really make him ready for the Oval Office? We unearth the acting jobs he wishes we forgot.

MOVIE: Evel Knievel (2004)

PLOT: TV biopic of the canyon-jumping daredevil.

ROLE: Jay Sarno, womanizing Las Vegas casino magnate

CO-STARS: George Eads, Jaime Pressly

CRITICS: Orlando Sentinel: "Hackneyed . . . the fun goes out of the movie." Thompson "has a sly touch."

MOVIE: Baby's Day Out (1994)

PLOT: Three bumbling kidnappers snatch a wealthy couple's child

ROLE: Inept FBI agent Dale Grissom, who loses Baby Bink, utters line, "We're going back to the tick-tock to get the boo-boo."

CO-STARS: Lara Flynn Boyle, Joe Pantoliano

CRITICS: Boston Globe: " 'Baby's Day Out' chokes on its own formula." Thompson not mentioned.

MOVIE: Born Yesterday (1993)

PLOT: Brash tycoon and bimbo girlfriend come to Washington

ROLE: Sen. Norval Hedges

CO-STARS: Melanie Griffith, John Goodman, Ben Bradlee

CRITICS: The Hartford Courant: "Thoroughly inept exhumation" of original 1950 film. Thompson "as a sad, corrupted senator" gives one of "the most convincing performances."

MOVIE: Aces: Iron Eagle III (1992)

PLOT: Former WWII flying aces try to free a Peruvian village held hostage by drug lords

ROLE: Stockman, a sinister tycoon who lends his planes for use in a covert drug war

CO-STARS: Louis Gossett Jr.

CRITICS: Daily Variety: "Action-packed, campy . . . cartoonish." Thompson not mentioned.

MOVIE: Bed of Lies (1992)

PLOT: Low-class wife accused of murdering mean rich husband

ROLE: Defense attorney Richard "Racehorse" Haynes

CO-STARS: Susan Dey, Chris Cooper

CRITICS: Los Angeles Times: "Based on ye olde True Story . . . hardly makes for mandatory viewing," Thompson is "always likable."

MOVIE: Necessary Roughness (1991)

PLOT: Texas State University Fightin' Armadillos form a football team with misfits.

ROLE: University President Carver Purcell, who has an idea so crazy it just might work!

CO-STARS: Scott Bakula, Sinbad

CRITICS: Los Angeles Times: "Genial, slight, entirely predictable." Thompson not mentioned.

MOVIE: Curly Sue (1991)

PLOT: Adorable homeless dad and daughter scam the rich and beautiful to survive.

ROLE: Lawyer Bernard Oxbar; utters, "You keep going 190 miles an hour, you're going to hit something."

CO-STARS: Jim Belushi, Steve Carell

CRITICS: Boston Globe says: "Totally generic, without any real personality or believability." Thompson not mentioned.

'Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Philatelic Menace'

Light sabers at 50 paces! Stamp collectors are up in arms about plans for 15 new "Star Wars" stamps, to be issued for the 30th anniversary of the film in May. "From a galaxy far, far away . . . to your mailbox," crows the U.S. Postal Service. The problem? The stamps picture Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman -- a seeming violation of USPS guidelines that prevent depictions of living people.

"The advisory committee felt as though we are honoring the characters of the 'Star Wars' saga, not the individuals who portrayed them," explained David Failor, director of stamp services, who showed off the first-class stamps last week.

Historically, USPS guidelines allowed stamp depictions only of people who have been dead at least 10 years (except U.S. presidents). Fred Baumann, spokesman for the American Philatelic Society, says there are "stamps with real, living people, but no one knew who they were" -- a 1932 Arbor Day stamp with the engraver's two kids; WWII soldiers depicted in 1945; firefighters on a 9/11 stamp. The "Star Wars" actors, however, are easily recognizable (if poorly rendered) on the stamps. "It's not a direct photographic image of Mark Hamill," Baumann said. "It looks like an airbrushed photo on the side of a van."

Still, it's a blow to purists, who think stamps should continue the tradition of celebrating individuals and events of historic importance to the country -- not celebrities du jour. "That gets you into egomaniacs honoring themselves," says Chicago collector Eliot Landau.

The 41-cent stamps are expected to be enormously successful, possibly surpassing the Elvis Presley, the best-selling commemorative stamp of all time. "We think it's going to give Elvis a run for his money," said Failor, who noted that some folks are upset about that one, too: "They think Elvis is still alive."

Love, Etc.

Marrying: Capitol Steps cast members Jenny Morris and Kevin Corbett -- she a frequent Hillary to his Bill in satirical skits -- in Frederick today. The Silver Spring couple, both 30, represent the first marriage to come out of the 25-year-old comedy troupe. (How . . . instepuous! Ha-ha-ha!) They met working with Round House Theater; in 2003 he urged her to audition for the Steps, which he had joined in 2000; in early 2004 things turned romantic on a Vegas gig. They have also played George and Laura, though never together. Why April Fools' Day, Jenny? "It's Kevin's favorite day. He's kind of a trickster. I'm worried because we have five Capitol Steps in the wedding. I know something's going to happen." Honey, are you sure you're getting married?

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