Stars come out in Visalia on Nov. 3

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By Reggie Ellis
@Reggie_SGN

VISALIA – Going to the movies is one of the great joys of life. There is no substitute for the larger-than-life screen, the crunch of the popcorn and the surround sound experience most children remember spending with their parents. But not all parents take their kids to the movies and not every child has fond memories of their parents.

Last year, hundreds of children had to be removed from homes because their parents abused or neglected them. Those children are often referred to a court appointed special advocate through CASA of Tulare County. These counselor/mentor/advocates spend time with the child and advocate what’s best for them in court. Most of the children referred to CASA do not experience further abuse and are placed in a loving home.

In order to keep this service to protect the most vulnerable of children, CASA continually needs two things – your time and money. So even if you don’t have time to volunteer as a child advocate, you can donate your money by spending an evening with the actors who played some of your characters from the big and small screen of the 1980s.

Presented by “2 Portagees Productions”, “A Taste of Hollywood” is bringing some of Hollywood’s biggest stars from your childhood to Visalia this weekend for a celebrity meet and greet, autograph session and a chance to get some unique collectibles. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Visalia Convention Center.

Robert Carradine, Actor in Django Unchained, The Tommyknockers

Robert Carradine, Actor in Django Unchained,
The Tommyknockers

One of the biggest names of the night will be that of Robert Carradine. The youngest of the Carradine family of actors, Robert made his first appearances on television western series such as Bonanza and his late brother David’s TV series, Kung Fu. He is best known for his portrayal of Lambda Lambda Lambda fraternity president “Lewis Skolnick” in the Revenge of the Nerds films. He also starred in The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), The Tommyknockers (1993), Ghosts of Mars (2001), Django Unchained (2012) and many many more.

The event will also be hosting a cast reunion from one of the 1980s biggest TV series and movie franchises. A Growing Pains Reunion featuring Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller. Gold and Miller played two of the Seaver families three children Carol and Ben Seaver on the hit sitcom which ran from 1985 to 1992 on ABC. The oldest sibling was teen heartthrob Kirk Cameron and the parents were TV legend Alan Thicke and actress Joanna Kerns.

There will also be a reunion for the cast of the modern day version of the Keystone Cops in the 1980s comedy hit franchise Police Academy. This reunion will feature Marion Ramsey, Leslie Easterbrook, Donovan Scott, and Jeff Breslauer. Ramsey played the oft timid yet strong willed Officer Laverne Hooks in six of the seven films. Easterbrook was the unflinching, battle ready Debbie Callahan whose character appeared in every film except for the “Their First Assignment” in 1995. Scott, who only appeared in the debut 1984 film played Leslie Barbara, a mamma’s boy trying to find his confidence away from home. Scott Sheena Queen of the Jungle, Babylon 5, Savannah Smiles, Zorro the Gay Blade, Popeye, Life with Lucy, and Santa Clause on five movies with Hallmark Including their all time big hit Matchmaker Santa. Brelauer played a news photographer in the fifth installment of the films subtitled “Assignment: Miami Beach.” Breslauer is also a puppeteer, writer and voice-over artist, his is best known for his puppeteering in The Muppets Take Manhattan and Swamp Thing TV Series.

Growing Pains’ Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller will be on site. Submitted photo.

Growing Pains’ Tracey Gold and Jeremy Miller will be on site. Submitted photo.

Other 1980s notables include Jerry Supiran, who played Jamie Lawson, the brother to his android stepsister Vicki on the TV show Small Wonder. Nathan Jung played Ghengis Khan in Star Trek The Original Series, Wing Kong Hatchet Man in Big Trouble In Little China (1986). Actress Lisa Wilcox portrayed “Alice Johnson” in Nightmare on Elm Street 4 & 5 and appeared on Star Trek the Next Generation. Max Wasa is a classically-trained musician, record producer, nationally-recognized children’s writer, actress and Playboy model. She is known for her roles in Porky’s (1981), Scarface (1983), and My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988).

There are plenty of names fans of pre-1980s TV and movies will recognize as well. Hank Garrett is an American actor and comedian, best known for the television role of Officer Nicholson on “Car 54, Where Are You?” He can also be seen in Serpico (1973), Death Wish (1974), The Sentinel (1977), Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977). His other TV credits include Paris, The Dukes of Hazzard, G.I. Joe and many many more. Johnny Whitaker is known for several performances as a childhood actor in the 1960s and ‘70s. The naturally redheaded played Jody Davis on Family Affair from 1966 to 1971.

And it’s not just actors that will be bringing their celebrity to A Taste of Hollywood. Kaci Hansen is a musician, actress and chef best known for her web series The Homicidal Homemaker. Her horror-themed cooking show features recipes such as Chopping Mall Bloody Orange Julius, a nod to 1980s horror movies that center around malls, and The Stuff Marshmallow Cheesecake based on a 1985 The Stuff, a goo that turned people into zombies by eating people alive from the inside out.

Tickets are $14 and can be purchased at visaliatix.showare.com. Kids 12 and under get in free. For more information www.atasteofhollywoodshow.com.

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