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Donny Most

You may have thought I was going to talk about the football banquet tomorrow (where the Class of 2005 will be getting awards for the 2004 season. You may have thought I would be posting about Signing Day 2005, where more than 26 prospective students signed letters to attend Lehigh as the class of 2009. Maybe you even browsed here hoping to read about Rabih Abdullah, who will be the first Lehigh alumnus to play in a Super Bowl.

Instead, I'm issuing a viewing alert for the "Happy Days Reunion", where former Lehigh student Donny Most will be appearing. 8PM Thursday on your local ABC station.

Mr. Most is kind of a cult figure for me. Colgate alumni can croon about having 60 Minutes' Andy Rooney as an alumnus. Lafayette alumni can brag about the author Stephen Crane of the American classic novel "The Red Badge of Courage", having attended school there (even if it was for barely a semester). Georgetown has a small army of lawmakers, Patrick Ewing, and Allen Iverson as alums. Holy Cross? Try the Washington power-broker Chris Matthews of MSNBC "Hardball" fame. Fordham? Try heartthrob Denzel Washington.

From Lehigh, I present to you instead - Donny Most, "Ralph Malph" from Happy Days, star of the gritty autobiographical "Leo and Loree" and the hilarious yet tearjerking "Stewardess School". A Kappa Sig, he even left school after three years to pursue his dream of acting. Now that's ambition.

The following TV Land biography sums it up pretty well:

Donny Most was born on August 8, 1959 in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. His father was an accountant. He developed his love of acting in the third grade after he saw "The Jolson Story." A local television station was running the movie several times a day and Most was mesmerized by the story of Al Jolson. In 1979, he told a TV Guide reporter that he watched the movie a staggering 50 times and memorized every line of dialogue. At the age of 15, he got his first real taste of show business by performing at resorts in New York's Catskill Mountains. He was part of a group of teenagers who played the so-called "Borscht-Belt" circuit. While still in high school, he began to take professional acting classes and appear in television commercials.

Most graduated from Brooklyn's Erasmus Hall High School, which also gave the world Barbra Streisand and Eli Wallach. He continued his education at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and decided to spend the summer before his senior year in Los Angeles. During these few months, he won a bit part on "Emergency" and on "Room 222" and decided not to return to college.

The American dream. And it landed him on arguably the most successful TV program of its time.

Tune in tonight at 8PM. That is, if you're not going to the football awards banquet. Then, it's TiVo time.


Anonymous said…
How could Donny Most be born in 1959?
Anonymous said…
More power to all the Ralph's of the world!

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