Hooray for Harvardwood

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 18:10 in Psychology & Sociology

Actor John Lithgow, a 1967 Harvard College graduate, has this advice for students wanting to follow his path: Don’t do it. Success in the entertainment industry is a gambler’s bet, and he said pursuing a career like his “goes against anybody’s better judgment.” The College’s focus on a liberal arts curriculum doesn’t directly point students toward Hollywood. But that hasn’t stopped some students from pointing themselves there and making full use of their broad-based undergraduate educations, as reflected in Sunday’s (Feb. 27) Academy Awards. “I basically tell all young people, ‘Do not become an actor,’ ” Lithgow said. “But I also tell them, ‘If you’re going to be an actor, you’re going to ignore what I say anyway.’ ” Generations of graduating Harvard seniors have ignored the career minefields ahead in the arts and made the uncertain trek to Hollywood, New York, and other industry hot spots. Once there, they’ve hewn their own...

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