Actor, Musician & Founder of SixDegrees.orgBook This Speaker
At A Glance
Kevin Bacon is one of the foremost actors of his generation. His talent for balancing starring roles with powerful supporting characters on both film and stage has allowed him to build a varied and critically acclaimed body of work. With the… Read more
- A Conversation With Kevin Bacon
Very few actors have had as diverse and prolific a career as Kevin Bacon. His films are a part of our public consciousness. From his roles in Animal House and Diner to Mystic River and The Woodsman, Bacon’s willingness to take risks and push his craft have resulted in a very powerful body of work. He shares his experiences in the world of acting and filmmaking from the perspective of someone who has enjoyed rare longevity in an industry always looking for the “next new thing.” His ability to continue learning and growing after so many years in the business is a testament to his skills as an artist. A musician as well, he has successfully pursued that aspect of his talent by performing with his brother in their popular group, The Bacon Brothers. Loaded with insight and humor, a conversation with Kevin Bacon is a very special and unforgettable experience indeed. (Not to mention the fact that you would totally win the next time you played “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon!”)
- Six Degrees: From Cultural Sensation To Action
Chances are good that at some point you’ve participated in a round of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. A trivia game that swept through college campuses and has lived on to become a shorthand term for the small world phenomenon, its premise is that any actor can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. While Bacon himself did not invent the game, he came to the realization that it wasn’t going away. Seeing an opportunity to help make a positive impact, he formed SixDegrees.org, a social networking site with a social conscience. Started with the nonprofit Network for Good, SixDegrees.org is about using this idea to accomplish something productive. It connects people with over one million worthy organizations, helping them support their favorite charities online. He believes that everyone, in their own way, can have a positive impact, and he shares his experiences with you. Bacon says, “If you take me out of it, the actual idea that we are connected by six degrees of separation, that we all climbed out of the same swamp, is kind of a beautiful one. If we thought about that a little bit more, we would live in a different world.”
Kevin Bacon is one of the foremost actors of his generation. His talent for balancing starring roles with powerful supporting characters on both film and stage has allowed him to build a varied and critically acclaimed body of work. With the support of his parents, Bacon left his native Philadelphia to become the youngest student at Circle in the Square Theatre in New York, where he studied until he made his film debut as Chip in National Lampoon's Animal House. This led to roles in Diner and Footloose, the latter of which propelled him to stardom.
Kevin Bacon has proven his talents in a wide range of film genres from action thrillers to romantic comedies to heavy dramas and even the occasional musical. Just some of Bacon’s film credits include John Hughes'She's Having a Baby, The Big Picture, Tremors, Flatliners, Oliver Stone's JFK, Rob Reiner's A Few Good Men, The River Wild (Golden Globe nomination), Murder in the First (Best Actor by The Broadcast Film Critics Association and Best Supporting Actor nominations by The Screen Actors Guild and the London Film Critics Circle), Ron Howard's award-winning Apollo 13, Balto, Barry Levinson’s Sleepers with Brad Pitt and Robert DeNiro, Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston,Telling Lies in America, Wild Things, David Koepp’s Stir of Echoes, the sleeper hit My Dog Skip, Hollow Man, Trapped with Charlize Theron, Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture) Beauty Shop, Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies, The Air I Breathe, Death Sentence, Rails & Ties, My One and Only with Renée Zellweger, James Gunn’s Super and Frost/Nixon, which reunited him with Apollo 13 director Ron Howard. In 2004. Bacon starred in lThe Woodsman, a compelling drama that premiered to great critical acclaim at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals and Bacon received an IFP Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor. More recently Bacon was seen on the big screen alongside Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell in Crazy, Stupid, Love, as the villainous Sebastian Shaw in director Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class and in Jayne Mansfield's Car, by director Billy Bob Thornton and with Ryan Reynolds in the action-comedy R.I.P.D.
Bacon currently stars in his first primetime television series for FOX calledThe Following. Bacon plays a former FBI agent who is pressed into service again when a serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from prison. Carroll has assembled a cult of followers using the internet to do his bidding from behind bars.
In 2009, Bacon starred inTaking Chance, a compelling film based on a true story that aired on HBO. It is the story of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Mike Strobl who volunteers to escort the body of a young Marine killed in combat back to his final resting place. The film was also selected to screen in-competition at the Sundance Film Festival. For his work in Taking Chance, Bacon was awarded the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for Best Actor in a mini-series or made for TV movie. Also on HBO, Bacon appeared in an episode Bored To Death in which he played a hilariously exaggerated version of himself.
Bacon's other television credits include the American Playhouse version of Lanford Wilson's play Lemon Sky, a production that teamed him with his then future wife Kyra Sedgwick. Other television credits include theThe Gift and the cable film Enormous Changes at the Last Minute.
In 1996, Kevin Bacon made his directorial debut with Losing Chase starring Kyra Sedgwick, Beau Bridges and Helen Mirren. Produced for Showtime, Losing Chase was honored with three Golden Globe nominations, including, Best Motion Picture made for television and Mirren won the Golden Globe for her performance. The film debuted on Showtime and was also screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the 1996 Toronto Film Festival. Bacon directed his second film,Loverboy, which he also produced and appeared in. Based on the acclaimed novel by Victoria Redel, the film stars Kyra Sedgwick and features appearances by Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon, Marissa Tomei and Oliver Platt. Loverboy had the honor of opening the Gen Art Film Festival in New York City. Bacon also directed several episodes of Kyra Sedgwick’s hit TNT show The Closer.
In addition to his film and television credits, Kevin Bacon’s stage work includes such Off-Broadway productions as Album, Poor Little Lambs and Getting Out. He made his Broadway debut in 1983 with Sean Penn in Slab Boys and starred in the 1986 production of Joe Orton's highly touted play Loot. He also starred in Theresa Rebeck's comedy Spike Heels. In 2002, he starred in the Broadway one-man show, An Almost Holy Picture, written by Heather McDonald. Bacon was also recently seen on-stage in the celebrated reading of Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black’s play 8 in Los Angeles. The reading was a benefit for American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact to raise funds to overturn California’s Proposition 8 which bans same sex marriage. Bacon starred alongside George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jane Lynch, John C. Reilly and many others.
With his musician brother Michael, Kevin is the other half of The Bacon Brothers, a successful band with a sound that Kevin describes as “Forosoco” (which is the title of their first album)-- Folk, Rock, Soul and Country. Already highly regarded and hugely successful on the national club circuit, they have recorded six CD’s and a concert DVD.
At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival Bacon launched SixDegrees.org, a web site that builds on the popularity of the “small world phenomenon” to create a charitable social network and inspire giving to charities online. He started the network with celebrities by highlighting their favorite charities and he encourages everyone to be celebrities for their own causes by joining the Six Degrees movement. To date, the site has succeeded in raising over five million dollars for charities around the world.
Bacon received the 2010 Joel Siegel Award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association in recognition of his outstanding film career and his charitable work with SixDegrees.org. In 2000, the Film Society of Lincoln Center honored Bacon for his extraordinary career in the film industry.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
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When we left Ryan Hardy and the world-weary team on The Following last season, though they were battered and bruised, they seemed to have finally nabbed the bad guy. But of course, evil can’t truly be contained on this show. Kevin Bacon… Read more
If Hollywood influence is measured by the people you know, then it stands to reason Kevin Bacon is the most powerful man in town since Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, a game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, asserts that… Read more
You really made a huge impression with your humility, intellect and compelling story of SixDegrees.org. Thanks so much for being with us. It gave a wonderful lift to our participants and a lot of sparkle!Points of Light Foundation
"Kevin Bacon is an outstanding advocate for service and change. We were honored to have him share his energy and optimism at our National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Kevin's vision of creating a network of change-makers and using our six degrees of separation for good captured the imagination of the 5,000 civic leaders in the audience. We all want to have a Bacon number of one!"Michelle Nunn, CEO - Points of Light
Kevin was great! He set just the right tone with humor, humility and a truly meaningful message. We and the entire audience really enjoyed his remarks.USA Weekend -Make A Difference Day Awards