B.J. Sigesmund

''Dynasty'' and Gerald Ford

Imagine George Bush making an appearance as a Tool Time guest on Home Improvement. Picture Richard Nixon seeking the protection of NYPD Blue cops. Maybe not the most dignified gigs for retired residents of the White House, but think back: There is a presidential precedent for such work. On Dec. 21, 1983, Gerald R. Ford played himself in a cameo on Dynasty, the prime-time soap about the superwealthy that rode the extravagance of the ’80s to the top of the Nielsens.

The former President’s acting debut happened by chance.

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Joan Crawford: leading lady, glamour queen, Oscar winner, child beater. Child beater? America was stunned-and titillated-by the shocking revelations in ”Mommie Dearest,” the autobiography penned by Crawford’s daughter Christina. By Dec. 3, 1978, the tell-all tome was riding atop the New York Times best-seller list, where it would remain for 42 weeks because of its claims that one of Hollywood’s legends was a self-obsessed tyrant who beat her children, drank excessively, slept around, and, at one point, resembling ”a wild beast,” tried to strangle her daughter.

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The Jason's of ''Friday the 13th''

Made for only $500,000 in 1980, Friday the 13th spawned the most famously ludicrous string of sequels in film history. Along the blood-soaked road to its ninth incarnation, the new Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, seven actors have played the indestructible hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees. Here’s what all these Jasons have been up to since wrapping their freaky Fridays.

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