Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Paging Dr. Silver, Dr. Mel Silver

BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Mel Silver, a.k.a. Matthew Laurance is now in his seventh season as a sideline reporter for the Duke men's basketball team's radio network. If you are a Georgetown University Law School 2005 graduate, who happened to be in Section 4, and had contracts with one Girardeau Spann, this is indeed breaking news. If not, it's still breaking news, but perhaps not as interesting.

The Roanoke Times, last Wednesday, published a piece updating all of us on the whereabouts of actor Matthew Laurance, most widely known for his role as Mel Silver in Beverly Hills: 90210. I'll just post it all here in it's entirety, because, let's face it, Mel Silver is awesome. Curiously missing from the piece, however, is any mention of Laurance's starring role on Girardeau A. Spann's 2002 DVD: The Contracts Experience (Duke U. Sch. L. DVD-ROM 2002). I'm not really sure how the Times neglected to mention that in this article (or on his IMDB profile for that matter). Anyway, the article:

Matthew Laurance used to be on "Beverly Hills, 90210." On Thursday, he will be in Blacksburg, 24061.

For many years, Laurance made his living as an actor in Los Angeles. But he is now in his seventh season as the sideline reporter for the Duke men's basketball team's radio network.

That's right -- the Duke broadcasts not only have a play-by-play announcer and a color commentator but also a sideline reporter. Lawrence makes his observations from behind the Duke bench. He can offer plenty of insight because coach Mike Krzyzewski lets him listen in on the huddles during timeouts.

"I have a different feel than they [his announcing partners] get because I'm right behind the bench," said Laurance, who will be at Virginia Tech on Thursday for the Hokies' game with the Blue Devils. "I try to be a little more emotional -- what would the fans like to hear about what's going on?"

Laurance used to star in one of Fox's first sitcoms, "Duet," and has appeared in such movies as "Eddie and the Cruisers" and "St. Elmo's Fire." He is perhaps best-known for his recurring role on "90210." He played Mel Silver, the father of the character played by Brian Austin Green and the stepfather to the character played by Jennie Garth.

But after 20 years, Laurance grew to hate living in Los Angeles.

"It's such a company town that everything was predicated on being happy in the business, rather than being happy in your life," he said.

Laurance had become friends with Krzyzewski after playing in a charity golf tournament in Durham in the early 1990s. He told Krzyzewski in 1999 that he was unhappy, and the coach suggested he move to Durham and try sportscasting.

Laurance, who played high school basketball, set out to prove that he knew what he was talking about in his new radio gig and wasn't just some Krzyzewski pal.

"At the beginning, there was a lot of, 'Who's this guy coming into town from Hollywood?' " Laurance said.

Laurance also does feature reports for Krzyzewski's TV show. He used to do fundraising for Duke basketball, but he left that job two years ago to become the director of donor relations for a Durham community center named after Krzyzewski's mother. The coach is the chairman of the center, which will open next month.

Laurance misses working as an actor, so he hasn't completely given up his old job. He has appeared on "One Tree Hill," a WB series that films in Wilmington, N.C.

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