Believe it or not, Kevin Bacon turned 54 years old on July 8th. An even more impressive anniversary for Bacon is still coming up, however, as July 28th will mark his 35th year in the movie industry.
Bacon’s very first role was Omega Theta Pi house member Chip Diller in National Lampoon’s Animal House, which premiered in 1978. Bacon probably thought having the opportunity to work alongside comedy legend John Belushi, and the voice of Jonny Quest, Tim Matheson, would be his big break, but it wasn’t the kick start he was hoping for.
After his debut started to seem like a one hit wonder, Bacon returned to auditioning for small roles, including several appearances on long running soap operas Search for Tomorrow and Guiding Light. Finally after two years of nothing but pint-sized, forgettable roles Bacon landed a substantial casting in one of the most iconic slasher films of all time, Friday the 13th. His role as Ned Rubenstein’s best friend Jack Burrel sparked a chain reaction of leading roles, as Bacon was quickly cast as Timothy Fenwick Jr. in Diner and Ren McCormack in Footloose. The early 1980s were the jumping off point Bacon needed.
Bacon’s three-and-a-half decade long career has produced some memorable roles in award-winning films like JFK, A Few Good Men, Apollo 13, and Mystic River, but somehow over the years Bacon has joined Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and Robert Downey Jr. in the unlucky club of critically praised actors to never win an Oscar. Unlike the other seemingly cursed actors mentioned above, Bacon has never even been nominated for an Oscar!
It seems as if Bacon is one of those actors that just never quite hit his stride when it came to playing the leading man, and in recent years Bacon has continued to played a large number of successful supporting roles, including David Lindhagen in Crazy, Stupid, Love and villain Sebastian Shaw in Marvel’s X-Men: First Class. Bacon is once again playing a comic book villain, Bobby Hayes, in the supernatural comic book adaptation of R.I.P.D. set to be released on July 19th.
All this past and more recent success still raises the question: how can a man that has had a career prolific enough to warrant him a widely-known trivia game, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, have gone completely unrecognized by the Academy? While it’s definitely rather unfortunate that Bacon has been so underrated and almost forgotten in Hollywood, it seems as if Bacon has come to terms with it himself. He’s commented on lack of Oscar statues in several interviews over the past few years and even poked fun at himself in a recent Logitech Revue advertisement where Bacon plays an obsessed Kevin Bacon fan. So, if Kevin Bacon can laugh it off, then maybe so can his fans!
Author Bio: Spencer Blohm is a television, movie and entertainment blogger for DirectTV who enjoys writing about everything from the latest releases to the classics of cinema’s silent era, and everything in between. He lives in Chicago with his with his cat and a massive collection of DVDs.