East Rockaway Alumni Shares Hollywood Experiences

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Band, orchestra and choral students at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School had a unique opportunity to get to know a former East Rockaway student and Hollywood actor, when Don Murray (Class of ‘46) visited their school.

Murray was in town to attend a preview screening of the documentary, “Don Murray: Unsung Hero,” which was based on his life and career. Prior to the screening, which raised money to help fund graduation awards for East Rockaway’s Class of 2017 graduates, Murray spent time with students in the school’s fine arts program to answer questions about his career and time at the school.

Murray credits his participation in the school’s time-honored tradition of Rock Rivalry with his success in Hollywood, which included his film debut in “Bus Stop” alongside Marilyn Monroe, and others including “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” and the television series “The Outcasts.”

“The students were excited to spend time with Don Murray,” said Tom Schloen, fine arts chairperson at the school. “Many of them found it amazing that he credits Rock Rivalry with his success in movies and television. They were also impressed that he only acted or participated in shows he wanted to, not what Hollywood wanted him to do. He chased his dream and remained true to himself, which was a very important lesson learned by the students.”