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Posted by Alanna Witowski on December 12, 2017
We're very proud of our alumni, but I bet you didn't know just how many were involved in TV and film. Check out this list, which features tons of Binghamton talent. And yes, we have more than just Flo on here!
Written about and set in Binghamton, this romantic comedy movie was directed by Marc Lawrence '81. Inspired by his time as a student at Binghamton, Lawrence chose the campus as the setting for this film. In 2015, a premiere for the movie was held on campus with lead actor Hugh Grant and several other cast members in attendance. In the film, Grant comes to Binghamton to teach a screenwriting course. Lawrence is a writer, director and producer of other films, including: Music and Lyrics, Miss Congeniality, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous and Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ‘78 played Captain Roy Montgomery in this ABC original. Santiago-Hudson also starred in Billions on Showtime as Raul Gomez, and starred in another police drama, Low Winter Sun, on AMC. His son, Trey Santiago, has been in five different productions with the Binghamton University theatre department, including Belleville and The Motherf**ker with the Hat.
Andrew Bergman wrote the screenplay for the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles. He also directed and wrote the screenplays for Striptease and Honeymoon in Vegas. There is even a creative writing award named after him that is awarded to Binghamton students!
Stephanie Courtney ‘92 (best known as “Flo” from the Progressive Insurance ads) appeared several times as Marge, one of the telephone operators in Don Draper's office. She also returned as our guest speaker for Commencement 2015.
Paul Reiser ‘77 stars as Dr. Sam Owens in this Netflix original. He was also the lead in Mad About You and Red Oaks. Reiser is also a founder of the Hinman Production Company, which still exists to this day! He actually gave the Commencement address to the class of 2000.
Madeleine Smithberg ‘82 was the co-creator and former executive producer of this mega-popular Comedy Central series. She has also served as an executive producer of Steve Harvey's Big Time and as a talent coordinator for Late Night with David Letterman. Smithberg even established a scholarship at the University (to honor the memory of her cousin Michael Micciche) that benefit students wishing to study abroad.
Victor Williams ‘92 plays Detective Jeffries on this acclaimed Showtime drama. Williams has also appeared in Cop Land, The King of Queens and the film version of Bewitched.
Billy Baldwin ‘85 graduated as a political science major and went on to star in numerous movies and television shows, such as Gossip Girl, Backdraft, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hot in Cleveland and more.
Gary Levine ‘74 is the president of programming for Showtime and has had a hand in numerous TV series, including Dexter, Californication, Shameless and Homeland. He has also been a part of the Liberal Arts to Careers Externship (LACE) program, where Harpur students can shadow alumni in their potential career fields.
Besides appearing and being featured on the CW series 90210, singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson ‘01's music can be heard in movies and television shows like The House Bunny, One Tree Hill, 90210 and Grey’s Anatomy. During her time at Binghamton, she was even a part of the a cappella group the Binghamtonics!
Writer and producer Steve Koren ‘88 is known for his work in TV shows and films like Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, Click, Bruce Almighty and more.
Johnny M. Wu ‘05 graduated as a finance major from Binghamton before pursuing his love for theater and acting. Wu has appeared in several hit TV shows, including The Good Wife, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 24, Law & Order SVU and Blue Bloods.
Matt Ritter ‘01 graduated from Binghamton and began a career as a lawyer. Soon after, he left law to pursue his dreams of becoming a comedian and producer. He is best known for producing Duck Dynasty on A&E and Fat ‘N Furious on the Discovery Channel.
Bruce David Klein ‘84 is a Harpur graduate and producer/director/writer. He is also the founder of Atlas Media Corp. His recent work includes producing the television series Hotel Impossible. He has come back to Binghamton to talk to students about his career and his start at the University's own TV channel, BTV.
Austin Basis '98, who graduated as a theater major, risked it all to make his acting career come true. After receiving his MFA from Actors Studio Drama School, he moved to LA and has appeared in many commercials, as well as shows like Life Unexpected, Ghostfacers, Beauty and the Beast and, most recently, Hulu’s Casual.
Dionne Audain '98 has landed roles in shows such as The Wire, Law and Order, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire and many others.
Carol Leifer, a former theatre major at Binghamton, has written scripts for several TV shows, including Seinfeld, Rules of Engagement and Saturday Night Live. Her work on Seinfeld led to four Emmy awards, and one WGA award for her contributing writing on Modern Family.
Jeff Gaspin '82, former executive at NBC, has helped develop several hit TV shows, including The Apprentice, The Today Show and Biggest Loser. He was also responsible for hit shows on Bravo such as Project Runway and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Alex Zamm ‘84 earned a BA in film and classical mythology at Binghamton University. He has directed numerous films, including Inspector Gadget 2, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Woody Woodpecker.
Kevin Bernhardt ‘84 is a screenwriter, actor and producer. He is best known as a screenwriter, with over 20 screenplays produced, including The Genesis Code, Rambo (2008) and The Immortals. He also starred in several movies and TV shows, including Top of the World and General Hospital.
Louis Giambalvo graduated in ‘73 with an MFA in theater, and has spent the past 30 years acting in various television shows, such as Grey’s Anatomy, General Hospital, Ugly Betty and many more.
Alanna Witowski is a senior majoring in English from Chalfont, Pa. She is interested in pursuing a career in marketing and public relations after graduation, and spending an unhealthy amount of time watching Netflix to procrastinate on homework.
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There's always something new and interesting going on at Binghamton University, and this blog is our way of sharing in that excitement with you. Stay up to date on the latest happenings, learn something new, have a laugh (or two), and join us as we celebrate this energetic and outstanding community! This is your story, Binghamton.
Staci Romeo ‘03, MBA ‘05: Executive Director of HealthlinkNY
Maggie Chan Jones ‘96: Founder and CEO of Tenshey, Inc.
Steven Canals ‘05, MA ‘08: Screenwriter and Executive Producer
Jessica Stanis ‘15: Director of the Binghamton Rescue Mission
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