Movie Morsel: Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
In 1990, a play opened Off-Broadway and then moved to Broadway called Six Degrees of Separation. Written by playwright John Guare, the piece was well-praised by critics and popular with audiences. It ventured to explore the theory that we are all connected to one another in this world through (at the most) six people. It just requires the right configuration of six. As the play’s popularity grew and a film was made, a parlor game emerged called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. It alleged that all film celebrities could be traced to the actor Kevin Bacon through (at the most) six people. For example:
Judy Garland was in Summer Stock with Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly was in Xanadu with Olivia Newton John
Olivia Newton John was in Grease with Stockard Channing
Stockard Channing was in The First Wives Club with Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker was in Footloose with… KEVIN BACON.
It’s a fun game and a great puzzle to try with each actor and actress of Hollywood legend. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon was extremely popular in colleges where it became a go-to drinking game for those who liked something more cerebral that spin the bottle.