The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.

  • 3 hr 13 minPGHDSD
  • Oct 21, 1983
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Ed HarrisActor

    By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned a reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time. Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally. Both of his parents were originally from Oklahoma. Harris grew up as the middle child. After graduating high school, he attended New York's Columbia University, where he played football. After viewing local theater productions, Harris took a sudden interest in acting. He left Columbia, headed to Oklahoma, where his parents were living, and enrolled in the University of Oklahoma's theater department. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to find work. He started acting in theater and television guest spots. Harris landed his first leading role in a film in cult-favorite George A. Romero's Knightriders (1981). Two years later, he got his first taste of critical acclaim, playing astronaut John Glenn in The Right Stuff (1983). Also that year, he made his New York stage debut in Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love", a performance that earned him an Obie for Outstanding Actor. Harris' career gathered momentum after that. In 2000, he made his debut as a director in the Oscar-winning film Pollock (2000).
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  • Sam ShepardActor

    Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers in Fort Sheridan, IL, to Jane Elaine (Schook), a teacher, and Samuel Shepard Rogers, a teacher and farmer who was also in the army. As the eldest son of a US Army officer (and WWII bomber pilot), Shepard spent his early childhood moving from base to base around the US until finally settling in Duarte, CA. While at high school he began acting and writing and worked as a ranch hand in Chino. He graduated high school in 1961 and then spent a year studying agriculture at Mount San Antonio Junior College, intending to become a vet. In 1962, though, a touring theater company, the Bishop's Company Repertory Players, visited the town and he joined up and left home to tour with them. He spent nearly two years with the company and eventually settled in New York where he began writing plays, first performing with an obscure off-off-Broadway group but eventually gaining recognition for his writing and winning prestigious OBIE awards (Off-Broadway) three years running. He flirted with the world of rock, playing drums for the Holy Modal Rounders, then moved to London in 1971, where he continued writing. Back in the US by 1974, he became playwright in residence at San Francisco's Magic Theater and continued to work as an increasingly well respected playwright throughout the 1970s and into the '80s. Throughout this time he had been dabbling with Hollywood, having most notably in the early days worked as one of the writers on Zabriskie Point (1970), but it was his role as Chuck Yeager in 1983's The Right Stuff (1983) (co-starring Fred Ward and Dennis Quaid) that brought him to the attention of the wider, non-theater audience. Since then he has continued to write, act and direct, both on screen and in the theater. He died of amylotropic lateral sclerosis--commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease--in Kentucky on July 27, 2017.
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  • Scott GlennActor

    Scott Glenn was born January 26, 1939, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Hope Elizabeth and Theodore Glenn, a salesman. As he grew up in Appalachia, his health was poor; he was bedridden for a year and doctors predicted he would limp for the rest of his life. During long periods of illness, Glenn was reading a lot and "dreaming of becoming Lord Byron". He challenged his illness by intense training programs and eventually got rid of his limp. After graduating high school, Glenn entered William and Mary College where he majored in English. He spent three years in the Marines and then tried to combine his passion for storytelling with his passion for adventures by working for five months as a criminal reporter at the Kenosha Evening News. Glenn planned to become an author but found out he had "problems with dialogues", so he decided to overcome it by studying acting. In 1966, he headed to New York where he joined George Morrison acting class. He helped in directing student plays to pay for his studies and appeared onstage in La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club productions. Soon after arriving in New York, Glenn became a fan of martial arts. In 1968, he joined The Actors Studio and began working in professional theater and TV. In 1970, James Bridges offered him his first movie work in The Baby Maker (1970). Glenn left for L.A., where he spent seven of the "most miserable years of [his] life". He couldn't find interesting film roles and, doing brief TV stints, he felt "like a person who had to paint the Sistine Chapel with a house-painter's brush". On a brighter side, he worked episodically with Jonathan Demme (Angels Hard as They Come (1971), Fighting Mad (1976)), Robert Altman (Nashville (1975)) and Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now (1979)). In 1978, Glenn got tired of Hollywood and moved his family to Ketchum, Idaho, where he worked as a barman, huntsman and mountain ranger for two years (occasionally acting in Seattle stage productions). James Bridges once more changed the course of Glenn's life in 1980 when he offered him the role of John Travolta's rival in Urban Cowboy (1980) and made him a star. Glenn's acting abilities and physical presence helped him to excel both in action (Silverado (1985), The Challenge (1982)) and drama (The Right Stuff (1983), Countdown to Looking Glass (1984), The River (1984)) as he alternately played good guys and bad guys. In the beginning of the '90s, his career was at its peak - he appeared in such indisputable masterpieces as The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and The Hunt for Red October (1990). Established as one of Hollywood's most solid and respected character actors he has appeared in a wide variety of films, such as the black Freudian farce Reckless (1995), the tragicomedy Edie & Pen (1996) and Ken Loach's socio-political declaration Carla's Song (1996), alternating mainstream (Courage Under Fire (1996), Absolute Power (1997)) with independent projects (Lesser Prophets (1997) and Larga distancia (1997)), written by his daughter Dakota Glenn), and TV (Naked City: A Killer Christmas (1998)). Continuing into the 21st century, Glenn has also appeared in Training Day (2001), W. (2008) (as Donald Rumsfeld), Secretariat (2010), Sucker Punch (2011), The Paperboy (2012), and two of the Bourne films: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and The Bourne Legacy (2012).
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  • Scott WilsonActor

  • Veronica CartwrightActor

  • William RussActor

  • Barbara HersheyActor

    Barbara Hershey was born Barbara Lynn Herzstein in Hollywood, California, to Melrose (Moore) and Arnold Nathan Herzstein, a horse racing columnist. Her father, born in Manhattan, was from a Jewish family (from Hungary and Russia), and her mother, originally from Arkansas, had English and Scots-Irish ancestry. Hershey was raised in a small bungalow, and had aspirations of being an actress from her earliest memories. The multi-award-winning actress has been in some of Hollywood's most memorable films. She has been a winner of an Emmy and a Golden Globe for A Killing in a Small Town (1990). She won two consecutive Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival, (which is unprecedented) for Shy People (1987) and A World Apart (1988). She won a Gemini Award for Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008) for PBS and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Vienna International Film Festival. Hershey was nominated for an Academy Award for The Portrait of a Lady (1996). She's worked with some of the world's great directors, among them: Martin Scorsese, William Wyler, Woody Allen, Jane Campion and Darren Aronofsky. The versatile actress was first discovered by a talent agent while she was attending Hollywood High School. She began working in television, The Monroes (1966), and film, With Six You Get Eggroll (1968), with Doris Day. And with roles in The Baby Maker (1970) and Boxcar Bertha (1972), Hershey quickly advanced to starring roles. The 1980's catapulted Hershey's film career, when she starred in The Stunt Man (1980) with Peter O'Toole, The Entity (1982), The Right Stuff (1983), The Natural (1984) with Robert Redford, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) with Woody Allen, Hoosiers (1986) with Gene Hackman, Tin Men (1987), Shy People (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), A World Apart (1988) and Beaches (1988) with Bette Midler. Hershey returned to television in 1990 with her highly-lauded performance in A Killing in a Small Town (1990), Paris Trout (1991), Return to Lonesome Dove (1993), the British mini-series, Daniel Deronda (2002) and the last season of Chicago Hope (1994). During the same period, Hershey remained active in features. She was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for The Portrait of a Lady (1996). She also starred in Merchant-Ivory's A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998) and the award-winning Australian film, Lantana (2001). In the 2010 years, Hershey has performed in James Wan's cult-hit, Insidious (2010) and Darren Aronofsky's award-winning Black Swan (2010), playing Natalie Portman's insane mother. Hershey resides in Los Angeles.
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  • David ClennonActor

    David Clennon was born on May 10, 1943 in Waukegan, Illinois, USA as David Joseph Clennon. He is an actor, known for Missing (1982), Syriana (2005) and The Thing (1982). He has been married to Perry Adleman since 1996. They have two children.
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  • Dennis QuaidActor

    Dennis Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, to Juanita Bonniedale (Jordan), a real estate agent, and William Rudy Quaid, an electrician. He grew up in the Houston suburban city of Bellaire. He was raised a Baptist, and studied drama, Mandarin Chinese, and dance while a student at Bellaire High School. He continued study at the University of Houston, but dropped out before completing his degree. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue a film career where his brother, Randy Quaid, had already began to build a successful career. However, Dennis initially had trouble finding film roles, but began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned strong reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983). Aside from acting, Quaid is also a musician, and plays with his band, "The Sharks". He holds a flying license and is a five handicap golfer.
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  • Donald MoffatActor