23,2001. Kiser-Turman was a former assistant nursing professor at Clemson University and at UNC was a member of Sigma Theta Tau. , 77 Alice Louise Bordsen (' 77 AB, ' 83 MSLS) of Mebane, a law student at N.C. Central Uni- versity, recently graduated from the Fellows of the Institute of Political Leadership. .0- John Cott Surles (' 77 AB, ' 82 JD) of Matthews has
been named vice president, general counsel
and senior underwriter for Colonial Title Co.
of Charlotte. He also has been appoint~d to a
three-year term on the board of Charlotte's
Providence Day School. .0- Sheree Banks
Watson (' 77 BSPT) of Hickory is chiefexec-
utive officer of Graystone Ophthalmology
Associates. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
.0- Kenneth Wayne Wells (' 77 ABED) of
Manteo has been named superintendent of
Perquimans County Schools.
Robert Eldredge Blood (' 77 MBA), 50, of
Marblehead, Mass., senior vice president with
Fidelity Investments; March 31, 2001. .0- Fred
Joseph Harrison (' 77 MPH), 51, of
Knoxville, Tenn., financial administrator with
Science Applications International Corp.;
The FedEx Man Had a Familiar Face
People stop Nick Searcy ' 82 on the street all the time and tell the actor
that he looks "vaguely familiar."
"I say,'I'm an international star of television and movies,' and they say,'No, you
work in that hardware store.'''
It's no surprise Searcy gets recognized.
The Cullowhee native has been acting in
television and movies since 1990. He has
had roles in Days of Thunder, The Prince of
Tides, Fried Green Tomatoes and Nell, along
with regular appearances in the television
series "Seven Days" and "American
In 1998, Searcy appeared in the big-budget
HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the
Moon," produced by Tom Hanks. There,
Searcy met Hanks and caught the attention
of Cost Away director Robert Zemeckis,
who offered him the part of Stan, best
ferred to UNC before the end of his fresh-
man year. He majored in English and spent
his time acting in 20 to 30 plays, mostly
As have count-
less aspiring actors
before him, he
moved to New York
but struggled to
make a living in off-Broadway shows.
years in New York,
Searcy and his wife,
actress Leslie Riley,
moved back to
Nick Searcy' 82
friend of Hank's character and fellow Fed- where their daugh-eral Express employee. ter, Chloe, was born. By that time, North
Searcy's familiar face proved to be an Carolina's film industry was beginning to
asset in his Cast Away role. On the DVD take off and he found work.
version, Searcy said, Zemeckis points him In 1990, he'd landed a role in Days of
out on the screen."[Zemeckis] says,'Yeah, Thunder and a couple of other big-screen
Nick Searcy's really important. Look at hits, giving him enough visibility to move to
that face - he just looks like someone who Los Angeles, where he lived for three years.
works for Federal Express.' " "I did a few things [in LA], mostly TV movies
For Searcy, who joked about being that are fairly forgettable," says Searcy. In
insulted by Zemeckis' comment, starring in 1994, he won a role in Nell, allowing him to
a movie as big as Cast Away was a long-held return to the mountains of North Carolina
dream come true. He decided in his last two for three months of filming.
years of high school to become an actor Searcy's Southem accent sometimes lands
and has been pursuing the show biz dream him jobs, but he also finds himself challeng-ever since. Searcy began his college career ing Hollywood's stereotype of Southerners.
at the N.C. School of the Arts but trans- In one audition, he used his own accent to
read for a character from Georgia."The
director said,'Could you do it without the
accent, because it makes you sound kind of
stupid,''' recalls Searcy."He
realized it was my real
accent and apologized all
over himselffor it.... I think
he felt so bad he gave me
"[Directors] tend to
make a lot of movies about
smart, enlightened people
from the North and West
who find themselves in the
South with inbred, ignorant,
stupid, racist Southemers,"
Searcy lamented. That's why
he makes his own small
films, set in the South and
about Southerners - a
hard sell in Hollywood but
nevertheless Searcy's passion. In 1996, he
made Paradise Falls, which has won several
film festival awards, including"Best Feature
Film Under $1 Million" at the 1998 Hollywood Film Festival."I want to move slowly
and reasonably into directing, but not as a
director-for-hire. I want to direct films I
really care about," he says.
Although his career demands a lot of
traveling, the Searcys left the glitzy cities
and have called Wilmington home since
"We wanted our daughter to grow up
here so she wouldn't have a funny accent,"
Searcy says with a laugh.
- Lauren Miura
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