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Billy Hufsey proves that brains and brawn make a great team when you have talent to spare!
As "Christopher Donlon" on the enormously popular Fame TV series, Billy Hufsey endeared himself to millions of fans with his humor, grace and brooding good looks. Looking back on the show, which recently wrapped its final season, Billy is glad he went out of his way to make his character more than just a tough guy.
"I don't like tough guys," Billy explains. "Everyone else in the show was tough. I'd rather not be like that." His neighborhood, too, was a place where might made right. "To be popular in my school, you had to be tough," the dark-haired actor recalls. "Even though I was a boxer, and played in all kinds of sports - I wasn't into that image. You were expected to immediately get into certain groups - the 'toughs,' the 'jocks' - that kind of thing. I think I stayed more introverted during those years just because I didn't want to get involved in that."
What Billy did want to get involved in was show business. Turning down athletic scholarships to pursue his dream, Billy became one of Ohio's most respected models and began touring in dance companies. He eventually moved to New York, where he continued modeling and studied voice and dance. Then Billy made a courageous move by packing up and trying his luck in Hollywood.
"I had a couple of bucks in my pocket when I got here," Billy remembers. "But I had the feeling that I could do it - with or without any financial backing." Billy credits his overwhelming confidence to a special person in his life. "I think I freaked when I saw all the competition, but I learned to be a strong person from a great lady - my mother," he says. "She's physically and emotionally very strong."
What made the star's decision to go into show business even more difficult was the fact that his father and uncle were professional boxers and expected Billy to follow in their footsteps. "Everybody in the family expected me to be a boxer, and when I told my mother I wanted to be an entertainer, she said, 'It's tough out there, but if you want it, go get it,'" Billy recalls. "Every time during those first couple of days that I started to freak, I though about her and what she said."
Billy need not have worried. On his third day in Hollywood, he was selected to be a featured member of the Jeff Kutash Dancers. Film and TV roles followed until he auditioned for and got the role on Fame.
"Christopher is the closest to my real self," the actor admits. "He has the same type of struggles that I have in my life. Both the characters came from families who have had nothing to do with show business. We started later than most, at 19. That may seem young, but out here you find out that people have started training in their craft at very young ages."
While Fame will always hold a special place in his heart, Billy is planning a number of exciting projects that will keep him busy in the months ahead. He is working on material for a new album and was recently signed to star in the movie version of the Broadway play Front Runner. Although the series is gone, it looks like Billy Hufsey will still be enjoying fame for a long time to come.