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People Top 5
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- July 12, 1976
- Vol. 6
- No. 2
Bill Lancaster, 28, has made a proud papa of Dad Burt Lancaster by writing the script, his first for the movies, for the highly popular The Bad News Bears. Hailed by critics, too, the film is about a Little League team of misfits who are turned into contenders by a hard-drinking coach (Walter Matthau) with the help of tomboy pitcher Tatum O'Neal. Lancaster was somewhat of a misfit himself—"a rich Hollywood kid" with a leg crippled by polio—when he played on a Little League team coached by his father. Bill later flunked out of high school. "I had more interesting things to do," he explains. He went back to graduate, but after a brief stint at a junior college found a job reading movie scripts. The first three scripts Bill himself wrote with a friend got nowhere, and he submitted Bears on speculation. Since Bears, Paramount has hired him to do two more pictures. "You've got to persevere," he says, and he believes the film carries that message. Now divorced (he married at 18 and has a 10-year-old daughter, Keigh, who does not pitch), Bill lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills. Although he played young Moses in the TV film of that name which stars his father, Bill doesn't want to act. He spends his time working on scripts, reading, doing push-ups and "carousing...occasionally."
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