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Written by / 3/10/2010 / No comments / , , ,

LARRY FLASH JENKINS ("THE WHITE SHADOW")

Larry Flash Jenkins
LARRY FLASH JENKINS has been in films and television shows for several decades, playing the troubled, quick-footed "Gummy" in the Chevy Chase comedy FLETCH; a basketball player in THE WHITE SHADOW; and is one of the two free-spirited parking attendants in the John Hughe's classic FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF...

How did you get your start in acting?

Hey James...I got started in acting in 1973 right after I graduated from Fenger high school (Which I am on the wall of fame)...I was a stand out Baseball player, loved basketball..but my mother thought I was a ham and would make a better actor…I disagreed…so we flipped a coin and she won…one catch...she would not let me go to Los Angeles right away...too far from Chicago...so off to a local college...Olive Harvey Jr college...which I was the best actor and got staright 'A'...on the deans list and did 3 plays and to rave reviews...including one play outside of College at X-Bag theater starring me and Robert Townsend...

Next up was Southern Illionois University...my second year in college...str8 'A''s again dean list...my mother felt I was ready now to go to LA…next year was in Los Angles on a drama scholarship to Pepperdine University... dean's list...again..str'8 'A''s...named best actor..etc...first semester..but got discovered by Ray Powers a fellow actor in a play with me off campus...he introduced me to Personal Manager Steve Block ..who repped...Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons), Robert Hooks (NYPD), Kevin Hooks (The White Shadow), Denise Nicholas (Room 222), Antonio Fargas (Starsky & Hutch)...Steve said that Ray told him that I weas the best actor he had ever seen...I told him… I am and ray told me that too...he came to see me in a play and signed me...

A few days later I was up for Apocalypse Now...Larry Fishburne lied about his age and beat out me and Kevin hooks...from there my career was off and running...

When you appeared in the episode of THE WHITE SHADOW as a student (season 2)?

I remember my role was on the previews all week and was very happy because every black actor wanted to be on that series...I was hoping it would lead to me being a regular.

What’s your favorite episode of Season 3 (when you were a regular) of THE WHITE SHADOW?

The HERO episode when I pulled the lady out of the burning car was my favorite episode...I was in every scene...many of the cast members from the previous year thought thery were exploiting me too much...but Bruce Paltrow loved me as an actor...it was fun meeting all those named pro stars etc....and playing ball everyday and getting paid for it...!! I was so [popular on the show I could not go to Burger King or Mcdonald and order...I would get mobbed...]

How was it working on FLETCH?

Fun...me and Chevy clicked...me and George Wendt became friends…everything and everyone was so cool...

How about filming the intense scene when you are chased and arrested by the abusive cop?

Had to slow down to let the cops catch me... I was running too fast for them.

How about the scene talking to Fletch in the sand (as he's dressed up in the beard)?

We had a ball adlibing...Chevy and I would crack jokes to each other... Michael Ritchie of Fletch died a years ago…

What are your recollections of FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF?

John was scared to tell me at the screening that all that work and scenes that me and Richard shot was on the editing room floor...it was suppose to be two stories going on...ours and Matthew's...but the film became too long.

You have become a producer and a writer and director on various projects… Tell us how it was switching from acting to behind the camera?

I always had a gift to how the character should be played by my co-stars as an actor so transitioning to behind the camera was easy and smooth for me…I enjoy the whole process of casting to editing to seeing the words I wrote up on it's feet on the screen...very cool...

How did you get your middle name FLASH?

Early on Bowling team in high school…then Karate…then Bruce Paltrow thought it was perfect for me because I learned lines so fast…

You worked on YOUNG DOCTORS IN LOVE… How was this?


Did the director a favor after the White Shadow… Garry Marshall writing the script as we filmed...changing scences in mid stride of the movie…

How about ARMED AND DANGEROUS?

Funny and great cast and we shot most of the film at The Beverly Hillbillies home in Bel Air...

Working on Brian De Palma’s BODY DOUBLE?

So cool… Me and Dennis Franz became the best of friends after that and remember we were on Steven Bochco's Bay City Blues together on the NBC series the year b4 that starred me and Sharon Stone and Michael Nouri along with Dennis...

The newly released 80’s buddy film LOOKIN’ TO GET OUT?

Jon Voight and Ann-Margret were cool to be around.
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