It’s about the best time of the year when it comes to movies. The Oscars are imminent; the best latest films are out. Back in 2014, awards season gave us the idea for a cover story that would feature people in our neighborhood whose lives resembled popular movies and TV shows. In some cases the connection was a stretch, we admit, but each told a story compelling enough for a screenplay. We interviewed the real life stars of “A Few Good Men,” “ER,” “Anchor(wo)man,” “Glee” and “OITNB.”
There’s the queen of Dallas/Fort Worth broadcasting, Clarice Tinsley, who recalls a time, when she was a baby reporter, that “everyone smoked and swore in the newsroom and kept a bottle of scotch in a desk drawer.” Like Christina Applegate’s character in the comedy, Tinsley came up as a woman in a male dominated profession.
Colby Vokey built a national reputation by demanding fair representation for U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes. The world took notice (he appeared on “60 Minutes,” on National Public Radio and in the Wall Street Journal) when he spoke out against the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay when he was the defense attorney for 15-year-old prisoner Omar Khadr. He can handle the truth. It’s all he wants, really. Even if he makes a few people mad in the process of trying to wrest it — kind of like when Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) had to call Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) to the stand during the criminal trial of two rookie Marines in “A Few Good Men.”
Dressed in a sparkling white suit, a Parish Episcopal School eighth-grader named Sam Horowitz took to the stage inside a room at the Omni Hotel and belted out Christina Aguilera’s “Show Me How You Burlesque” along with back-up dancers courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks — all in front of giant, electric letters that spelled “Sam.” And just like that, the “the bar mitzvah boy” — “Glee” meets “American Idol” — was famous. After his video went viral, he appeared on “Ellen” and “Good Morning America.”
Holly Hunter (OK, we tricked you with the headline — it’s not that Holly Hunter) is a tough-as-nails chemical dependency counselor who works closely with Dallas criminal court judges and attorneys, but this is essentially a second life for her. Long before settling into her private practice, she was a privileged, pretty blonde who went to prison for dealing drugs, something she says she began to do during her days as a Hockaday School student. Fans of the Netflix sensation “Orange is the New Black” will find the scenario familiar, no doubt.
And ER doctor Mini DeLaShaw, whose love of shows like “ER” drew her to the field of emergency medicine, where she received a daily dose of adrenaline.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.