The six degrees of Christopher Boyce

Fans of Kevin Bacon will be well familiar with a phenomenon dubbed The Oracle of Bacon. It’s a trivia game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, where participants try to link anyone in the film industry to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less.

It’s a fun game to play, and a great time killer if you’ve got nothing better to do than focus on Kevin Bacon as “the center of the entertainment universe.” One day, while trying to link Bacon to Christopher Boyce (like you do) a thought occurred to me: Would it be possible to do the same, substituting Boyce for Bacon?

And so I tested it out – and discovered that, through the existence of the movie The Falcon and the Snowman, I was able to link Christopher Boyce to just about anyone.

Here’s one random example, linking Christopher Boyce to The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.

  1. Rod Serling hosted Night Gallery, which starred actor Joel Grey in one episode.
  2. Grey co-starred with Fred Ward in the movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.
  3. Ward co-starred with (guess who?) Kevin Bacon in Tremors.
  4. Bacon co-starred with Sean Penn in Mystic River.
  5. Penn co-starred with Timothy Hutton in The Falcon and the Snowman.
  6. Hutton played Christopher Boyce in the same movie.

Blammo! From Rod Serling to Christopher Boyce in six steps.

Of course, taking the Kevin Bacon route made it easy since he’s worked with everyone in the known universe. So I decided to try it out again, this time omitting the Bacon altogether (an act that’s inadvisable if you’re talking about cooking up tasty dishes). I discovered an even simpler route existed.

  1. Rod Serling created The Twilight Zone.
  2. Actor Jim Hutton starred in one (fabulous) episode of The Twilight Zone.
  3. Hutton’s son is actor Timothy Hutton, who played Christopher Boyce in The Falcon and the Snowman.

As the connections began to come easier, I decided to test myself. What if I were to omit Timothy Hutton and the movie The Falcon and the Snowman altogether? Not such an easy task, you might think. But even that works well. This time, I decided on an even more random celebrity: Stevie Nicks, as suggested by my wife, Jane.

  1. Stevie Nicks appeared in American Horror Story: Coven.
  2. Coven also featured actor Danny Huston.
  3. Huston’s father, John Huston, directed Marlon Brando in Reflections in a Golden Eye.
  4. Brando’s autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, was co-written with Robert Lindsey.
  5. Robert Lindsey was the author of book The Falcon and the Snowman.

I could go on. But there’s not much point playing a game when you’re the only participant. It’s your turn now. What other celebrities or even historical figures can you link to Christopher Boyce in six degrees or less? Leave your comments below!

Vince Font is the co-author and publisher of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman, available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and elsewhere. Font also founded Glass Spider Publishing, an independent publisher serving underrepresented authors.

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The Falcon and the Surfer: A true story of love and espionage

All credit where it’s due. The title of this blog post comes courtesy the mind of reporter Bryan Denson, whose cover story for this Sunday’s edition of the Oregonian newspaper delivers some of the most comprehensive coverage to date of the life stories of Cait and Christopher Boyce – my accomplices in the writing of the book American Sons: The Untold Story of the Falcon and the Snowman.

Appearing in print today and also available online, Denson’s extensive feature is broken out into three pieces. The first article tells the story of how Cait, an inexperienced paralegal from San Diego with a penchant for weekend wave riding, found herself lobbying for the parole of two convicted spies known as the Falcon and the Snowman. The article also discusses her decades-long bout with cancer, as well as her relationship with Chris and his estranged ex-partner in crime, Andrew Daulton Lee.

In the second article, Chris offers his candid opinion on the controversial actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “What I did was a destructive act,” Chris says in the interview. “I was an angry young man, and it was a one-man war – without making much sense – against the intelligence community. Snowden, on the other hand, I believe, is acting in the defense of civil liberties. And in a massive way.”

The third piece is a brief interview with little old me, wherein I reveal how my love for Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays’ soundtrack to The Falcon and the Snowman led to my involvement in the telling of this epic story.

Go here to read the full story online at The Oregonian.

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