This past Monday in writing class, Richard brought with him a printout from a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon website documenting that our esteemed Professor Hessler has a Bacon number of 3, meaning he's only three degrees away from the ubiquitous Mr. Bacon. That was pretty cool. Apparently virtually every actor who has ever appeared on film has a Bacon number of six or less; the highest number given to anyone is an eight; American Civil War veteran General William Rufus Shafter was once credited with a Bacon number of ten, but turns out he's only a seven.
This is all courtesy of the Oracle of Bacon
, a website produced by the University of Virginia computer science department that finds links between Bacon and other actors using the Internet Movie Database. Out of curiosity, I checked out a few of my favorites to see what their Bacon numbers were:
Buster Keaton: 2
Charlie Chaplin: 3
Lillian Gish: 2
Ingrid Bergman: 2
Humphrey Bogart: 2
Robert Mitchum: 2
Babe Ruth: 3
Looks like Kevin Bacon really is the center of the Hollywood universe.
My friends and I used to play Six Degrees of Separation using two random actors and trying to find the shortest link. The Kevin Bacon Game
allows you to do that, just by entering the names of the actors you want to link. Or, if you want to really make a game of it, try the Six Degrees of Separation Game
at FilmsandTV.com, where the computer gives you two random actors (Vincente Minelli and David Spade, say) and you have to do the hard work yourself.