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February 25, 2012



Erasmus Senior Class President in the year I graduated was Richard Portnow, a bland but popular choice. (His rather arrogant opponent stepped on many toes and paid for this by losing the election.) I never gave Portnow another thought until his name popped up in the cast of the 2012 movie Hitchcock, with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. Portnow played Hollywood producer Barney Balaban.
Portnow had a decent acting career but curiously his leap from "politics" to acting seemed to reverse the more general trend, personified by the likes of Ronald Reagan, George Murphy, Shirley Temple, Glenda Jackson, and others. That early taste of the political spotlight seemed to have made Portnow want a life as a performer.

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