Funny how you can see the same movie time and again over the years and not notice something significant. In this case it was a re-watching of Escape From The Planet Of The Apes on the Sci-Fi channel that made me sit up and utter profanities of surprise. I must have seen that film a dozen times over the course of my life, but for some reason I never realized that the reporter who interviews one of the main characters after the apes appear before the investigating committee is played by real-life former news anchor Bill Bonds.
Bill has been a fixture in Detroit as a news anchor for as long as I can remember, though I’m not really sure when he first showed up here. Seems back in the late 60’s he was a news anchor out in Los Angeles and was doing pretty well. Not only does he have a small, but significant role in the above movie, but he also shows up in an episode of the TV series It Takes A Thief.
I grew up watching this man deliver the local news and was totally surprised when I realized it was a very young version of him I was seeing in “Escape”. I suspect the reason he didn’t go any further in either acting or news reporting and ended up in Detroit was due to his drinking habit, as it eventually brought about his downfall here in Detroit as well. These days he’s still on TV here in ads for Gardner White Furniture and he’s still looking pretty good all things considered. I don’t pretend to know all that much about him or why he drank or how it really impacted his life or even if he’s a nice guy, but the stories about all of that locally are near legendary these days. Some folks can be a little harsh about criticizing him, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the guy. Anyhow, I’m not sure why I’m blathering about all this. I just thought it was kinda neat.