In 1994, when Kevin Bacon was being interviewed for Premiere magazine, he said he had worked with everybody in Hollywood — or someone who has worked with them.
From that comment sprang the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. Seemingly everyone is connected to Bacon, and it’s just a matter of how many movies (or degrees) it takes to show a link. Bacon embraced the game and created a nonprofit organization (sixdegrees.org) that aims to use everyday activities to connect people and causes.
Because today is Bacon’s birthday (he was born July 8, 1958), prep yourself for the next Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon competition by sitting inside an air-conditioned room and feasting on his films. You surely have your favorites, but here are five to find by way of streaming services or stores that sell DVDs.
Bacon made his film debut as frat recruit Chip Diller in the 1978 comedy classic “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Big star? During a 2011 Howard Stern interview, Bacon, who had a restaurant job, said he had to ask for a night off work to attend the premiere.
‘Friday the 13th’
A bunch of unknown actors made up the cast for 1980’s “Friday the 13th,” a slasher film that followed “Halloween” and launched a franchise all its own. Bacon was one of the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. Spoiler alert: His character doesn’t survive to see that the “bad guy” is actually a mad mama. Bacon didn’t remain an unknown for long. “Diner” put him on the map in 1982, and he was on his way to becoming the most successful “Friday the 13th” alum.
Did you know the 1984 movie “Footloose” was inspired by an Oklahoma town with a no-dancing rule? The town is Elmore City, and the stars of the movie were Bacon and a great Kenny Loggins theme song. A remake arrived in 2011. Stick with the original. Stick with Bacon.
‘A Few Good Men’
You can’t handle the truth. Or maybe you can. The truth is 1992’s “A Few Good Men,” starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore and Bacon, is a heck of a courtroom drama. It was nominated for a best picture Oscar.
‘X-Men: First Class’
What if you rebooted the X-Men film franchise and the story was wrapped around a historical event like the Cuban Missile Crisis? You would be pleasantly surprised to see that the blending of fiction and nonfiction works just fine. Bacon plays a bad guy, Sebastian Shaw, and was nominated in the category of best villain at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards.