After a decade-long search, the Center for Vanished Celebrities has located six American celebrities in a remote Latvian village. Jan-Michael Vincent, Catherine Bach, Gil Gerard, Bronson Pinchot, Shelley Long, and Joe Piscopo were located yesterday in the northern Latvian city of Cesis, where they are all cast members in a local production of High School Musical. "It's a peaceful life here," said Catherine Bach, formerly Daisy on The Dukes of Hazzard. "Nobody really bothers us, because nobody recognizes us. I think the only TV show Latvians have ever seen is The Bold and the Beautiful and not even Bronson starred in that." Gil Gerard echoed the sentiment. "People always expected me to chase purse snatchers or beat up gang members on the subway," says Gerard of his time in New York. "They couldn't understand that I wasn't Buck Rogers."
So the six came together in 1991 to form Cesis Actors Studio, and they've been producing plays ever since. "We just finished a run of Henry the Fifth," said Jan-Michael Vincent. "I had a little trouble with my part, so they let me play Henry as the Airwolf guy would have played him. I got to wear a flight suit." Shelley Long, who played Katherine, was unavailable for this interview due to the flu, and had to step down from her part due to the same. Joe Piscopo, however, filled her shoes. "A man playing a woman in Latvia is not all that common, though it certainly was de rigueur in Shakespeare's day," noted Piscopo. "I think the Cesis paper probably covered us even more because of that, so it was good for the show."
The CAS crew says they are not running from publicity but are simply "basking in the old world culture of Europe for a spell," according to Bronson Pinchot. "We've started negotiations with Baltic television and it seems they are keenly interested in our talents."
Catherine Bach (above) on stage with the Cesis Actors Studio.