Hollywood Makes A Mark On One Region 8 Town


The year was 1957 and the place was Piggott, Arkansas. This town of only a couple thousand people was in for quite a ride when hollywood came calling.

Jerry Morgan remembers his days as an extra in the movie "A Face In The Crowd," which included stars Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal, like it was yesterday.

"The biggest attraction for anyone at 12 years of age is to get out of school and then when we saw an opportunity to be extras in the movie, we brought all our school buses," said Morgan.

From the downtown coffee shop, to the neighborhood pool, to the baseball field, every inch of the town of Piggott felt the heat of hollywood that summer.

"Everybody in town had an opportunity to be involved in the movie whether it was renting out your dog or watching the train go by," he said.

Neal made an appearance in Piggott for the 50th anniversary celebration.

She'll be in New York in March, and so will 20 Piggott residents who will honor the making of the film and the director, Elia Kazan.

As for Andy, Mayor Gerald Morris says they've tried to contact him.

"He just didn't respond," said Morris. "He did call Patricia Neal before she came up here to wish her well. Whether he will be in New York or not, we just don't know."

Either way, the people of this small northeastern Arkansas town are proud to say they were a part of hollywood history.

The group heads off to New York City in early March.

Questions or Comments? E-mail me at rsmith@kait8.com