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First Annual Sparky Awards To Honor Film Extras With PM-Oscars Bjt

March 25, 1986

CHICAGO (AP) _ Move over, Geraldine Page. Step aside, William Hurt. Phil Klinsky and hundreds of other movie extras are vying for their own Oscars of sorts - transparent statues called Sparkys.

″We’re the unsung, the wonderfully non-descript,″ said Klinsky, who’s appearing - barely - in Chicago-made films like ″Running Scared,″ ″The Color of Money″ and ″Sexual Perversity in Chicago.″

Coordinators are expecting 300 to 400 people to attend the awards ceremony here April 6, to honor extras who appeared in Illinois-made films.

Klinsky and fellow extras Rosanne Krevitt and Shirley Kelly decided that since Hollywood didn’t honor them, they’d honor themselves.

″Who ever cared about us until now?″ said Mrs. Kelly, who made her debut in the 1979 Steve McQueen film, ″The Hunter.″

″We are so important. We are so necessary,″ she said.

Although the Sparky creators are being secretive about many details surrounding the awards, they do promise a bit of a surprise for the winners in the 14 categories, which range from patience to devotion to resiliency.

In a telephone interview Monday, Mrs. Kelly described the Sparky trophy as a see-through, ″non-descript″ trophy. Its size, weight and almost everything else for that matter are being kept secret.

″They are as lovely looking to us as the Oscars are to those who will be nominated,″ she said. ″It’s not a piece of paper.″

The idea for the Sparky was conceived during last year’s Oscar ceremonies, said Ms. Krevitt, who’s in such films as ″Running Scared,″ which stars Billy Crystal, and ″Vital Signs,″ a made-for-TV movie starring Ed Asner.

During the ceremony last year, she said she noticed movie extras weren’t being honored. So, after talking with fellow extras, Ms. Krevitt said she got together with Klinsky and Mrs. Kelly and formed Spark Productions to coordinate the Sparky effort.

And the name Sparky? It’s derived from the name Shirley, Phil and Rosanne. The ″K″ reflects the ″K″ on their last names.

″You have to have a name, you know,″ said Ms. Kravitt. ″You have the Oscars, and now you have the Sparkys.″

Being an extra is hard work, Mrs. Kelly said. ″It’s very grueling. We just have to be ready to be whatever they want us to be.″

The Sparky judges, whose identities aren’t being disclosed, are reviewing hundreds of letters daily, she said. The only stipulation is that the person write about ″whatever they feel is unusual that’s on their mind.″

″Without extras, we would have empty buses, empty streets, empty cities,″ she said. ″A star would be, as they say in Texas, a lone star.″

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