Friday, 9 August 2013

Eric Laneuville: Learning from the best

Eric Laneuville, at bottom right, with

the rest of his "St. Elsewhere" castmates.
Eric Laneuville, known for his
role as orderly Luther Hawkins
in "St. Elsewhere", a medical
drama of the 1980s. 
Bruce Paltrow, producer of "The
White Shadow" and "St. Elsewhere".
He used to be a weasly little African-American dude named Luther Hawkins who worked at St. Eligius Hospital in Boston. Now, he’s a director of TV shows such as “Body of Proof”, "L.A. Law" "Quantum Leap", "Doogie Howser M.D.", "NYPD Blue", "ER", "Gilmore Girls", "Monk", "The Mentalist", and "Lost". In 1992 he won an Emmy for directing the episode "All God's Children" in the NBC series "I'll Fly Away".

Eric Laneuville was a supporting actor on "St. Elsewhere" in the 1980s. It was a groundbreaking show from the creators of "The White Shadow", and other shows. One of those creators was Bruce Paltrow, long before he was relegated to being described as Gwyneth Paltrow’s dad.

No, back in the day Bruce Paltrow was a consummate story teller. His shows touched subjects which, now may be common, but at the time were almost untouchable.

In "The White Shadow", there were stories about drug use, homosexuality, and the shooting death of a teammate. "St. Elsewhere" was one of the first shows to deal with AIDS and have a character not only contract the illness but die from it.

But what gave life to those great stories by Paltrow and company were actors such as Eric Laneuville. So, when I see an episode of "Body of Proof" strike a chord with me, I know that Eric Laneuville was not just acting for Bruce Paltrow, but he was learning from him. Story teller begets story teller.

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