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Capitol Hill's starry six degrees of separation

By Robert Yoon
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The six degrees of separation theory has it that every actor and actress can be connected to actor Kevin Bacon in six steps or less.

CNN has discovered that U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, a former movie and television actor, is the Kevin Bacon of Washington. Every politically active celebrity can be traced back to the Tennessee Republican in six steps or less.

For example:

Former U.S. Rep. Ben Jones, D-Georgia, who played Cooter on "The Dukes of Hazzard" and is running for a House seat in Virginia, was in "Primary Colors" with John Travolta, who was in "Pulp Fiction" with Bruce Willis, who was in "Die Hard 2" with Fred Thompson.

Julia Roberts, who testified before Congress recently on Rett syndrome, starred in "I Love Trouble" with Nick Nolte, who was in "Cape Fear" with Fred Thompson.

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Former Rep. Fred Grandy, R-Iowa, played Gopher on "The Love Boat" with Gavin MacLeod, who was in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" with Mary Tyler Moore, who has lobbied for funding for stem cell and diabetes research, who starred in "Ordinary People" with Donald Sutherland, who was in "JFK" with Kevin Costner, who was in "No Way Out" with Fred Thompson.

Richard Gere, who has testified before Congress on Tibet, starred in "An Officer and a Gentleman" with Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr., who starred in "Aces: Iron Eagle III" with Fred Thompson.

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was in "Predator" with Carl Weathers, who played boxer Apollo Creed in the "Rocky" movies, which starred Sylvester Stallone, who starred in "Judge Dredd" with Max von Sydow, who is in the upcoming "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise, who was in "Days of Thunder" with Fred Thompson.

Goldie Hawn, who lobbied Congress in 2000 against permanent normal trade relations with China, starred in "Overboard" and "Swing Shift" with longtime significant other Kurt Russell, who starred in "Tequila Sunrise" with Mel Gibson, who starred in "Ransom" with Rene Russo, who was in "In the Line of Fire" with Fred Thompson.

Lou Diamond Phillips, who testified Thursday before a House committee on health benefits for Filipino-American veterans, was in "Courage Under Fire" with Denzel Washington, who starred in "Crimson Tide" with Gene Hackman, who was in "No Way Out" and "Class Action" with Fred Thompson.

Michael J. Fox, who has testified on Parkinson's disease, was in "The American President" with Michael Douglas, who starred in "Fatal Attraction" with Glenn Close, who was in "Dangerous Liaisons" with John Malkovich, who was in "In the Line of Fire" with Fred Thompson.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is spearheading a California ballot initiative this year, starred in "Conan the Barbarian" with James Earl Jones, who was in "The Hunt for Red October" with Fred Thompson.

Kevin Richardson, who testified recently about the impact of coal mining, performed with his group, the Backstreet Boys at Super Bowl XXXV last year, as did N'Sync, whose Justin Timberlake has had an on-again, off-again romance with pop diva Britney Spears, who starred in a Pepsi commercial with Bob Dole, who served in the Senate with Fred Thompson.

Kermit the Frog, who lobbied Congress about restricting the breeding and sale of exotic animals as pets, starred in "The Great Muppet Caper" with Charles Grodin, who was in "Midnight Run" with Robert De Niro, who starred in "Cape Fear" with Thompson.

Meryl Streep, who has testified about the use of the pesticide alar on apples, starred in "She-Devil" with Roseanne Barr, who played the title role in the TV series "Roseanne," whose surly boss at the plastics factory in the first season was played by Fred Thompson.

Benji, the canine star who lobbied on the Hill in April to encourage pet adoption, was in "Oh Heavenly Dog!" with Chevy Chase, who was in "Spies Like Us" with Dan Aykroyd, who was in "Driving Miss Daisy" with Morgan Freeman, who was in "Unforgiven" with Clint Eastwood, who starred in "In the Line of Fire" with Fred Thompson.

Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States, was in "Dark Victory" with Bette Davis, who appeared in the TV series "Hotel" with James Brolin, who guest-starred on "Roseanne" as the wealthy heir to the plastics factory managed by the surly boss played by Fred Thompson.

And in case you were wondering ...

Kevin Bacon was in "JFK" with Kevin Costner, who was in "No Way Out" with Fred Thompson.




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