Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.
No act, they live and die with Bears
Originally published Jan. 11, 1986
Chicago’s growing Hollywood film colony won’t have any trouble choosing Sweet Home Chicago’s Bears over the Los Angeles Rams when they play tomorrow.
While Chicago’s theater community has gotten hot in recent years, creating a big demand for Chicago actors in Hollywood and New York, the Windy City natives have not let the change of climate melt Chicago from their hearts.
“The Bears and the Cubs – they’re everything,” said actor William L. Petersen. “They’re our link.
“We grew up with these teams, watching the Bears.” Petersen’s headbanging intensity in the play “In the Belly of the Beast” reminds people of the Bears’ Richard Dent or Dick Butkus.
Although he recently starred in the movie “To Live and Die in L.A.,” Petersen said he lives and dies in Chicago – and has returned for a few months to act in a soon-to-open Remains Theater play, “Days and Nights Within,” at the Organic.
As a measure of his Bears devotion, he bought scalped tickets to the Bears-Giants game for himself and three friends, hired a limousine and cheered.
Likewise, actor Bill Murray and his brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, were toddlin’ around Chicago this past week and rooting for the grizzlies.
While many can’t forsake the business in Hollywood, they won’t forget the Bears tomorrow.
“The best place to be is Chicago,” said Chicago-born director William Friedkin. “However, like the rest of the country, I’ll be watching, listening and hoping.” The filmmaker, who is preparing for a TV movie of the week and a feature with Petersen titled “Rampage,” displayed his Windy City heritage.
“Like every Chicagoan, I’ve waited a long time for this,” he said. “My thoughts are with Mr. George Halas and how pleased he would’ve been about the fulfillment of what he created.”
Onetime ghostbuster and Second City veteran Harold Ramis said he was not a tremendous football fan, “but I get excited at playoff time. I sense everybody’s rooting for the Bears,” Ramis said.
Ramis said his friend SCTV actor Joe Flaherty, who is from Pittsburgh, has adopted the Bears because he feels “they’re like the Steelers when the Steelers were coming into their glory. There’s something bold and risk-taking about them.”
But, like all lifelong Chicagoans, Ramis said, “probably most harbor the fear that the Bears will be accidentally beaten.”
Ramis, who is working on a film with comic Rodney Dangerfield, said he won’t throw a party because the game airs at 9:30 a.m. in Los Angeles.
“I’ll just stumble out of bed and watch it,” he said.
“I hear so much about the Rams, I can’t watch the news,” said Hollywood producer Cindy Chvatal, also a Remains alum and Bear devotee. Her faith is undaunted: “I’ve got so much money riding on this game, they can’t lose.”
When it comes to cheering, Chicagoans in Hollywood don’t have to act. This one’s from the heart.