When I think of Rand Hopkins, I don’t think of him in terms of his acting career or other tremendous talents. I think of my Uncle Rand. He was the uncle who would push me on the swing set and let me have a sip of his ever-present diet Coke when I was a kid. He was funny and inappropriate, but also devoted to fostering the talent of young people in the arts. For me, his death in 2005 was a personal and family loss. He was also a talented man, though, who’s career is worth remembering by anyone who loves the entertainment industry and the arts.
Here’s a look at some of Rand Hopkins’s contributions to the big screen.
The last film that Rand Hopkins appeared in was ” Warm Springs “, a TV movie that was released in 2005. Although this was a made-for-TV movie, the cast included Kenneth Branagh, Kathy Bates, and other major screen and stage actors. About FDR, the film is set in Georgia (where Hopkins lived for most of his life) and Hopkins plays FDR’s doctor. He died before the film was released.
“Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius”
About real-life golf star Bobby Jones, ” Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius ” was a quiet but memorable film about a sporting legend. The gift of the film is that although golf is ever-present, the movie appeals to people (like me) who are not golf fans. Rand Hopkins plays the part of Major Cohen.
“The People vs. Larry Flynt”
Starring Woody Harrelson and Courtney Love, ” The People vs. Larry Flynt ” tells the story of Larry Flynt, founder of “Hustler” magazine. Larry Flynt becomes involved in a court battle (eventually appearing before the Supreme Court) over freedom of speech (even when it means allowing him to publish porn). Rand Hopkins appears in the film as one of the Supreme Court Judges (Justice Scalia).
“The Boy King”
Rand Hopkins was a talented writer, and I can remember attending performances of his plays as a child. One of his most powerful plays was “The Boy King”, which he later adapted to a screenplay (it was made into an award winning movie in 1986). This powerful movie tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s early life. This is a film that has unfortunately been forgotten over the years, but should be remade because of its strong depiction of an important Civil Rights leader and period.
Although Rand Hopkins never starred in a big Hollywood blockbuster or won an Oscar, he did contribute solid performances that should not be forgotten. He was also a gifted scriptwriter.