It’s no act when Tina Turner herself shimmies on stage in the final, victorious concert scene of her film biography. Other real-life movie subjects, however, haven’t quite been themselves on screen.
Blaze (1989, Touchstone) Who: Blaze Starr, stripper (played by Lolita Davidovich). Role: Lily, another stripper. Scene: Louisiana’s Gov. Earl Long (Paul Newman) kisses Lily on the shoulder when he goes backstage to meet Starr. Best line: ”Hello, Governor.”
Born on the Fourth of July (1989, MCA/Universal) Who: Ron Kovic, Vietnam veteran-turned-activist (played by Tom Cruise). Role: Anonymous vet in wheelchair. Scene: Parade. Best line: None, though he cringes expressively at the sound of firecrackers.
In The Mood (1987, Warner) Who: Ellsworth ”Sonny” Wisecarver, sexually precocious teen who broke the hearts of older women in the 1940s (played by Patrick Dempsey). Role: Mail carrier. Scene: Faux newsreel of a jailed Sonny getting marriage proposals in the mail. Best line: None.
JFK (1991, Warner) Who: Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney (played by Kevin Costner). Role: Chief Justice Earl Warren. Scene: Members of the press swarm on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building. Best line: ”I know of no fact which could refute the commission’s conclusion that Lee Oswald was the lone killer.”
The Right Stuff (1983, Warner) Who: Chuck Yeager, test pilot (played by Sam Shepard). Role: Fred, a bartender. Scenes: Test pilots hang out at Pancho’s Happy Bottom Riding Club, the local watering hole. Best line: ”Hey, y’all want to drink whiskey?”