Glimpse a Glen Burnie extra on TV in this week's 'Homicide'


October 22, 1997|By Bonita Formwalt | Bonita Formwalt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

VIEWERS OF THE Baltimore-based television drama "Homicide" should watch Friday's episode carefully for a glimpse of Glen Burnie actor Myrl Hartman.

In a pivotal scene from a three-episode story line starring James Earl Jones, Hartman's role serves to develop the trademark realism of the series.

"I'm the guy pushing the doughnuts around," said Hartman.

Hartman's an extra. He's the guy hawking doughnuts, sitting in a park or shopping. He's part of the texture that adds depth to a scene.

His work as an extra began seven years ago, after his retirement from a career as a manufacturer's sales representative.

"Here I was retired, and I didn't have a hobby," said Hartman.

An ad for the Maryland Film Commission seeking bit players caught his attention, and Hartman made the initial inquiries. A year and a half later, he was contacted for his first professional job, a part in a very low-budget film, "Up Front in America."

He never saw the completed film. Apparently, no one did.

Hartman's legitimate screen debut was in the Tom Selleck film "Her Alibi." With the production staff short of extras, Hartman played a variety of roles.

"I'd walk across the scene wearing a jacket, sunglasses and a hat, then I'd walk back without the hat and the coat, then I'd walk back again without the glasses," Hartman recalled with amusement.

In time, the number of jobs increased with roles in film and television, including seven appearances on "Homicide," roles in "America's Most Wanted" and quite a bit of commercial work. Pay ranges from $99 a day for extra work and up to $473 a day for speaking roles.

Without any professional training, Hartman has managed to turn his hobby into a part-time career. His wife of 54 years died in July, and he is seeking even more opportunities to keep busy. At the age of 74, he has an agent and is looking forward to the opportunities ahead with his second career.

In the interim, Hartman is content to seek glimpses of himself on television.

"I was in another scene in 'Homicide' last Friday. I was sitting at a bar next to the medical examiner, but you couldn't really see me," he said.

Viewers will just have to stay tuned.

Line dancing winners

A group of dancers from Glen Burnie boot-scooted and tush-pushed their way to a gold medal in country line dancing at the Maryland Senior Olympics last month.

Performing to Neil McCoy's "Small Up and Simple Down" the seven-member troupe took first place in the competition held Sept. 26 at Towson University.

The group's success was a surprise even to instructor Mary McCormick.

"I thought we might make it to third place, but first!" said McCormick.

McCormick has been teaching country line dancing at the Glen Burnie Moose Lodge for three years. When she heard line dancing had been added to the Senior Olympics as a "new demonstration sport," she jumped at the chance to show what she and her students could do.

"Line dancing was added as a sport because there was such a high demand with so many senior centers teaching it for fun and exercise," explained McCormick, who is also an instructor at Howard Community College.

In addition to McCormick, members of the award-winning dance company are Marnie Morrison, Sandy Starr, Mary Soter-Smith, Harry Buck, Joe Cardemone and Dave Asbury.

McCormick attributes the win to several factors, including the men in the group.

"None of the other groups had men dancing. We also wore matching outfits in black and white complete with hats and boots," said McCormick.

The age range of the dancers -- from 52 to 67 -- also added a variety.

McCormick's dance class meets from 7: 30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays at the Moose Lodge, 1456 Crain Highway.

Although classes are for lodge members only, McCormick welcomes interested dancers, who are welcome to contact her for information on joining the Moose club and her classes.

For information on joining the dancers call McCormick at 410-7611-5408.

Halloween Fun Fest

Glendale Elementary School celebrates Halloween with a Fun Fest from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the school's multipurpose room.

Children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to participate in games and costume contests.

For information, call 410-222-6404.

Pub Date: 10/22/97

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