Did you know these are just a few of the U of R alumni who have made entertainment history?
Gerald Albright ’79
This jazz saxophonist has eight Grammy nominations under his belt. He was one of 10 saxophonists chosen to perform at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration and has made several TV appearances, including stints on A Different World and Melrose Place.
Angel Blue ’05
A soprano and 2015 Opera Awards nominee, Blue appears regularly on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) flagship TV show, Songs of Praise, and other BBC programming. She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera last summer and has performed in more than 30 countries in the last five years. In 2014, she released her first solo album, Joy Alone.
Glen Charles ’65 and Les Charles ’71
The brothers broke into Hollywood as writers and producers for The Bob Newhart Show. The Emmy award-winners worked on Taxi, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Phyllis and changed television when, along with James Burrows, they created the hit series Cheers—inspired by Gay 90s, a now-shuttered pizza restaurant and bar popular with U of R students.
Craig Colclough ’04
The bass-baritone can be heard on the soundtrack of the film Rolled. In addition, Colclough has performed around the world in roles including Scarpia in Tosca with the English National Opera; Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with the Atlanta Opera; and the title role of Falstaff for the San Francisco Opera.
Christopher Coppola ’83
Growing up in a Hollywood family that includes Francis Ford Coppola and Sofia Coppola, as a kid Christopher Coppola made home movies starring his brother, Nicolas Cage. Coppola’s directing credits now include eight feature films, including Deadfall and Dracula’s Widow, as well as TV episodes and content for alternative platforms.
Adam Del Deo ’92
Del Deo is director of original documentary programming at Netflix and served as producer of the 2015 Oscar-nominated biographical documentary film about Nina Simone, What Happened, Miss Simone? and the 2008 documentary Every Little Step.
Richard Dent ’93
A professor of creative writing at California State University, Los Angeles and National University, Dent is the creator of the comic book series Myopia (Dynamite Entertainment). His screenplay based on the series was a finalist in the Francis Ford Coppola Screenwriting Competition and the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition.
David Eick ’90
Eick is best known for developing, producing and writing several episodes of Battlestar Galactica. The show received 18 Emmy nominations, with four wins, a Saturn Award and a Peabody Award. Eick also produced Caprica, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, American Gothic and Cover Me.
David Greenwalt ’72
This writer, producer and director is known for TV shows Grimm (nominated for a Hugo award), Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In addition to several Disney movies, his credits also include TV hits The Wonder Years, Doogie Howser, M.D., The Commish and The X-Files.
Jessie Kahnweiler ’07
This actress, writer, comedian, director and YouTube personality—who quips she makes films because she can’t afford therapy—is best known for her series, The Skinny, which won a Webby for Best Online Film and Video Drama.
Tianna Langham ’97
Langham received a prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 2011 for her screenplay Guns and Saris. She also wrote and produced the short films Border, The Kolaborator and Detached.
David Lee ’72
As a director, producer and writer, Lee has worked on some of the biggest shows in television history. The Emmy winner co-created, wrote and directed TV shows Wings and Frasier and was a writer and producer of The Jeffersons and Cheers.
Marilyn Magness ’75
As executive director of creative entertainment for Disney Parks & Resorts, Magness, now retired, was in charge of creating shows including three presidential inaugurations, five Super Bowl Halftime Shows, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and opening ceremonies for the Special Olympics and Senior Olympics. She also played a key role leading international projects, including at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
René Millan ’94
Millan has performed on Broadway and at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, with stage credits including Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Angelo in Measure for Measure and Philip the Bastard in King John. He also appears in the movies Closer, Race With the Devil and In America.
Daniel Petrie Jr. ’75
This screenwriter and producer, who comes from an accomplished family that was awarded the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, is best known for his hits The Big Easy, Beverly Hills Cop and Turner & Hooch, and for directing Toy Soldiers.
Gene Pokorny ’75
Principal tuba player for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Pokorny has performed around the world, as well as on three solo albums and soundtracks for the films Jurassic Park, The Fugitive and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He comes back to U of R to teach as part of the annual Pokorny Low Brass Seminar, an intense workshop for low brass players.
John Raitt ’39
Raitt (1917–2005) was a top Broadway baritone who became a musical theatre legend, starring in Carousel, Oklahoma! and Carnival in Flanders. He jumped to the big screen in 1957 for The Pajama Game, opposite Doris Day. Raitt, the father of singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992.
Thalmus Rasulala ’57
Rasulala (1931–91, né Jack Crowder) was an actor and original cast member of the soap opera One Life to Live when it premiered in 1968. He went on to have roles on What’s Happening!!, Sanford and Son, Roots and Saturday Night Live.
Andy Rehfeldt ’85
Rehfeldt has co-written songs for the Grammy-winning children’s film Elmo in Grouchland, as well as music for Nike, Snapple and Honey Nut Cheerios commercials. One of his YouTube arrangements of hits—a death-metal version of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”—has been viewed more than 5 million times.
Yu Shibuya ’01
Based in Tokyo, Shibuya is a director, screenwriter, playwright and actor. His award-winning short film Jitensha was an official selection at several major film festivals, including the 66th Venice Film Festival and the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.
Dean Werner ’12
Affiliated with the Inland Empire’s Aurora Sinclair Productions, Werner is a writer and director known for films including Life in the Distance, Clandestine and The Girl You Never Kiss, You Kiss Forever.