‘Fame’ Star Lee Curreri Says Cast Wasn’t Paid Well

by Joe Rutland

When looking back at his time on “Fame,” actor Lee Curreri said that the show’s cast was not paid very well at all.

He talked about it with Page Six. Curreri played Bruno Martelli not only in the movie of the same name but the TV series between 1982-87. Curreri was a regular on the first three seasons and had a guest-starring appearance in the sixth season’s final episode.

“We were getting less than people in half-hour sitcoms were getting,” Curreri said. “So imagine you’re making sort of a middle-class salary but you’re on TV so everyone expects you to be wealthy.”

“And you’ve got a manager and an agent and sometimes even a publicist,” the “Fame” actor said. “And that money goes really quickly unless you supplement it in other ways by reaching outside and doing other things.”

Curreri, now 60, was born in The Bronx. He did say that “breaking out on your own” can often upset network brass and producers because “then they have an unstable cast and they want everyone to be sort of subservient.”

Curreri said, “It’s just all-around a hard thing, and you don’t really get anywhere unless you’re a rebel.”

He was 19 at the Manhattan School of Music when a teacher recommended him to the “Fame” movie’s casting agent to play the shy-but-talented pianist.

So, he played Bruno in the Oscar-winning film. He called being on the TV series an “interesting” experience, as he did not have someone to guide him through the pitfalls and “Hollywood hierarchy.”

“It was a lesson for me,” Curreri said. “And it’s a lesson that is hard to learn until you’re out of it and then you go, ‘Oh yeah, I see what was happening there. And I see how I could have handled that differently.”

He said that representation was supposed to take over at that point.

What is the actor doing these days? He’s working on Christmas songs for holiday-themed shows.

“Fame” cast members, other than Curreri, included Debbie Allen, Albert Hague, Carol Mayo Jenkins, Janet Jackson, and Denny Dillon.

TV Series Debut in 1982 Focused On Cellist Arriving From Midwest In NYC

As the series opened up in 1982, a cellist named Lori, played by Lori Singer, arrives in New York City from the Midwest.

She’s having to get used to the big city beat in this debut episode, according to The New York Times.

It was written by Christopher Gore and was directed by Bob Kelljan.

Allen, as dance teacher Lydia, makes sure those classes are going swell.

In conclusion, besides her dance teacher role, Allen also was the choreographer for the TV series.