Film and TV

5 Dallas Natives or Residents Who Deserve Their Own "Live and in Person" Screening at the Alamo Drafthouse

The Alamo Drafthouse has been in the Dallas/Fort Worth area only a short time, but it has wasted no time bringing actors to the theater so devoted movie buffs can watch their most memorable movies with them. People like Paris Themmen and Julie Dawn Cole who played Mike Teevee and Veruca Salt in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Richard Freakin' Kiel, who played one of James Bond's most memorable villains, Jaws, have made the trek to Richardson to bathe in the glory of a theater full of screaming fans who are excited to shake hands and take an awkward selfie with them at the end of the show.

However, the Drafthouse doesn't have to look far to find famous people for movie buffs to rub shoulders with. Here are some well recognized people who either live in or come from our very own backyard and deserve a live screening of some of their more famous roles.


1. Stephen Tobolowsky This Dallas native has become one of Hollywood's leading "I know that guy" guys thanks to his brilliant performances in roles such as the afflicted Sammy Jankis in Memento and the annoying but hilarious Ned "The Head" Ryerson in Groundhog Day. He's also something of a pop culture sage with a unique gift for storytelling that has earned him his own documentary film and public radio show. It just doesn't seem right that he hasn't returned to the Drafthouse.

2. Peter Mayhew He may not be a native, but the fact that the man played Chewbacca has chosen to live in our backyard makes us think we owe him an honorary screening. Granted, the evening would have to feature a screening of one or all of the films in the original Star Wars trilogy, but they could be part of a larger "Chewbacca Film Festival" that could include other memorable Chewbacca moments such as his hilarious guest appearance on the Muppet Show, his reading of a "Top Ten" list on Late Show with David Letterman and even the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, assuming he's willing to endure it with the rest of us.

3. Alan Tudyk The Plano native first made a name for himself and his hometown as the Serenity pilot Wash in the cult sci-fi series Firefly . His natural range and comedic abilities have allowed him to reinvent new roles for himself such as Steve the Pirate in the Ben Stiller sports movie satire Dodgeball and the misunderstood psychobilly in the goddamn hilarious slasher spoof Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. He deserves a grand homecoming filled with screenings of his more memorable roles and the chance to tell his behind-the-scenes tales to an audience of eager listeners.

4. Chuck Norris OK, so the martial arts master and star of the show that made Late Night with Conan O'Brien infinitely funnier may not make for the smartest film viewing experience at the Drafthouse. Still, you can bet there would be a line out the door if the Drafthouse announced a Chuck Norris live appearance with screenings of movies like The Delta Force, Lone Wolf McQuaid and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection.

5. Burton Gilliam Allen's most famous resident also has one of the most recognizable Texas drawls, which helped make him one of the most successful bit players in movies starting with Mel Brooks' classic 1974 western parody Blazing Saddles. His hilarious performance as Slim Picken's dumb henchman paved the way for appearances in all sorts of movies that required a loud, larger than life, slick talking Texan, among them Fletch, Back to the Future Part III and Honeymoon in Vegas. His name alone could easily fill every seat in the theater, and he has enough appearances in TV shows and movies over the years to have his own film festiva

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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.