Seeing Stars: the Schools of the Stars.
 

        
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While the campus at the University of Southern California isn't as beautiful as the Westwood campus of its rival UCLA, and its location (near the northern edge of South Central L.A.) may concern some potential tourists, USC definitely has a legitimate claim to a Hollywood connection.



Many movies have been shot on location at the USC campus, starting back with Laurel & Hardy 1930 comedy "Hog Wild," and including "Forrest Gump" (with Tom Hanks), "The Graduate" (with Dustin Hoffman & Anne Bancroft), "Marathon Man" (also with Dustin). "Brewster's Millions" (with Richard Pryor & John Candy), "Dr. Detroit" (with Dan Aykroyd), "Species" (with Ben Kingsley & Forrest Whittaker), "Rising Sun" (Sean ConneryWesley Snipes), "Personal Best" (with Mariel Hemingway), "Naked Gun 33 1/3" (with Leslie Nielsen), "Mr. Baseball" (with USC grad Tom Selleck), "Four Seasons" (with Alan Alda and Carol Burnett), "Mighty Ducks II" (with Emilio Estevez), and "Dragon" (with Jason Lee).

Scenes from "A League of Their Own" (starring Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, & Geena Davis) were shot at USC's Dedeaux Field, as were scenes from Kevin Costner's baseball movie, "For Love of the Game" and Tom Selleck's "Mr. Baseball." Costner's more recent epic about the Cuban Missle Crisis, "Thirteen Days," was shot in part in the East Library. While scenes from Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" (with Gene Wilder) were shot inside Hoffman Hall.

The Delta Delta Delta sorority house, at 834 28th Street on USC's fraternity row, played a key role in Rodney Dangerfield's 1986 comedy "Back to School" (remember the "You're perfect!" shower scene?) More recently, "Legally Blonde" (with Reese Witherspoon)  filmed some of its scenes on the USC campus.

On the television front, the TV series "The Paper Chase" was filmed on campus, as were scenes from other series such as "Party of Five," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Saved By the Bell," "Tales From the Crypt," "The Rockford Files", "Hart to Hart," "Lou Grant," "Kojak," and "Charlie's Angels."

Special effects explosions while filming "Remington Steele" (with Pierce Brosnan) reportedly blew out the windows at Stonier Hall.

Probably the two most frequently filmed buildings on the USC campus are the Doheny Library and the Bovard Administration Building, which you may recognize from a host of movies.

You can find a full list of movies shot on the USC campus at http://www.usc.edu/ext-relations/filming/filminghistory.html


   

In addition to the movies shot on campus, USC can also boast of a high number of Hollywood alumni. John Wayne went here, and was given an honorary degree in 1968. Robert Vaughn ("The Man from U.N.C.L.E.") earned a Ph.D. at USC. Other former USC students who are now showbiz stars include: the late Michael Landon ("Bonanza," "Little House on the Prairie"), Cybill Shepherd ("The Last Picture Show"), Tom Selleck ("Magnum, P.I."), Marlo Thomas ("That Girl"), actor/director Ron Howard, LeVar Burton ("Roots" and "Star Trek"), John Ritter ("Three's Company"), Robert Stack ("The Untouchables"), Eric Stoltz ("Chicago Hope"), Ally Sheedy ("St. Elmo's Fire"), Swoosie Kurtz ("Sisters"), Buster Crabbe, musician Herb Alpert, comic Mort Sahl, newsman Sam Donaldson, opera star Marilyn Horne, director George Lucas ("Star Wars"), Robert Zemeckis ("Back to the Future"), Heather Locklear ("Spin City"), director John Singleton ("Boyz n tha Hood") and "Halloween" director John Carpenter. (Not to mention astronaut Neil Armstrong.)

   

After "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has graduated high school and moved on to college, they shot shooting campus scenes here for that hit TV show.

Meanwhile, in 2009, they were putting the finishing touches on the new campus of the USC's School of Cinematic Arts, which has been funded by "Star Wars" creator George Lucas. The architecture of the new buildings is designed to resemble that of 1920's Hollywood, and a life-size statue of silent film legend Douglas Fairbanks (who helped found the film school then), stands in the courtyard of the new campus. In the past, the film school has seen alumni such as Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis and Bryan Singer.

 Getting there: USC is located just south of the Shrine Auditorium, and just north of Exposition Park, a few miles south of downtown Los Angeles. From downtown, take the Harbor (110) Freeway south to the Exposition Boulevard exit.

[To see a full list of movies and television shows filmed on location at USC, you can access their website at http://www.usc.edu/dept/pr-film/history.htm.]



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