(All quotes are from JB. Codes link to bibliography of interviews.)
He graduated (Northwood High) in the class of 1966.. "I was 19 1/2 before I got out of high school. If it hadn't been for my mother grabbin' me around the neck and dragging me and beatin' me into submission to make sure I got out of where we were -- out of high school." (CT89) He was ready to join the Marines, but Indiana University accepted him for a summer program. "That is when all of a sudden I was in a place where I didn't want to leave after the summer. It was so gentle." (CT89)
He went back in the fall. "When I got into college I remember I got my 2.0 for the summer and all that, but when I came back in the fall I took a creative writing course. And it was the first 'A' I'd ever gotten. I got that paper back and I literally -- I unfolded it and looked at it. And I went outside and I unfolded it again. I'd love to know where that teacher is. I think that did more for me... for the first time I felt I had a modicum of intelligence." (CT89)
He majored in speech and theater (CTB69), and was in a number of plays at Indiana University, including The Threepenny Opera (April 1969) with classmate Kevin Kline. While at IU he was also involved in the IU summer theater program at the Brown County Playhouse, a converted barn in Nashville, Indiana, that seated 500. An article on the fiftieth anniversary of the Playhouse reports that the lobby features photos of famous IU theater alumni, including lyricist Howard Ashman, and actors Kevin Kline, Patricia Kalember, and JB. (IS98) As a freshman he was an officer on the Freshman Class Council, and a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. (Indiana University Archives) In March 1969, in his junior year, he won the Bloomington chapter audition for competition in the Career Award, an award for those that plan a career in theater, from the National Society of Arts and Letters. (CTB69)
He left school before graduating to marry Marnie Fausch, (IMDB98) the mother of his oldest daughter. The marriage lasted only six months. (WT88) Daughter Joanna Rae (UP87) was born in 1968 or 1969. (Calculation based on ages given in WT88, UP87, etc.) He stayed in contact with her and supported her (UP87) (WT88) and calls her "the light of my life." (CT89)
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