Golden Globe winning actor Randy
Quaid could be mistaken for just another carefree
Texas tourist loping down Rodeo Drive. But behind
the boyish grin, there's a 57-year-old film, TV
and stage performer who is booked solid for the
foreseeable future in films and projects that
will take him from coast to coast and across the
world. It's a hectic schedule, and Quaid is enjoying
every minute of it.
The actor's career has held a steady
course, albeit with some bumps along the way.
After all, the Houston native has made
more than 90 films -- some good, some bad -- in
a career that began when director Peter Bogdanovich
pulled him out of acting class at the University
of Houston to escort Jacy Farrow, the small-town
Texan beauty (Cybill Shepherd) to a late-night
skinny dipping party in 1971's "The Last Picture
Since then, Bogdanovich has directed
Quaid five times. Along the way, the 6'4" actor
has built a career on portraying everything from
an Amish bowler in "Kingpin" to a crop duster
who saves the world in "Independence Day" to President
Lyndon B. Johnson, the latter role adding a Golden
Globe to his mantle. He also stole the show as the dim-witted
Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon's "Vacation"
Though Quaid had distinguished himself
as a reliable actor with extreme range, he admits
some films were chosen strictly for financial
reasons. Yet the prolific actor has enjoyed a
string of successful roles lately.
Bankrate: Would you say "The Last Picture Show" was the movie that put you
on the show-biz map?
Randy Quaid: Yeah, it got my foot in the door. It was such a surprise that
it took off and got such acclaim when it came out. I thought it was going to be one of those drive-in pictures that I
would go drink beer and look at. It turned out to be a very powerful movie and a very successful one. It also proved to
be a successful one for me, personally. I probably wouldn't be where I am today if not for that movie.
Bankrate: It's almost received cult status.
Yeah, it has. It's in black and white and it's
the type of movie that mainstream audiences wouldn't
go see today, I don't think, because it's not
in color. But it does deal with kids growing up
in small-town Texas -- that whole culture. It
was something very near and dear to me when we
were doing it. It was a great way to start off
in this business.