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Blast From the Past: GW's Famous Students

January 31st, 2015 (04:45 pm)

3 Famous GW Alum
My son's school, George Washington Middle School, in Alexandria, Virginia, has had several students who grew up to be well-known entertainers. Back when it was George Washington High School, Jim Morrison, top picture at right, was a student here. (For those of you who are under 35, he later founded the rock group, The Doors.) Two members of folk/pop group The Mamas & The Papas -- "Mama" Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen) and "Papa" John Phillips also attended GW. (They're pictured at right, too.) Again, if you're under 35, you may think you don't know them, but you've probably heard some of their songs, especially "California Dreamin'" and "Monday Monday."

What I didn't learn until recently was that actor Dermot Mulroney was a student there in the 1980s, when it was George Washington Junior High. I came across this December 1986 photo of the school orchestra (below). My son is now part of GW's outstanding orchestra program, so I couldn't resist posting this photo on the GW Orchestra parents' Facebook page this week for Throwback Thursday. The posting received such a great response that I thought I'd re-post it here.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but Dermot Mulroney is the First-Chair cellist (in front, in the light-colored pants). He was born right here in Alexandria, went to GW and then to T.C. Williams High School, and grew up to star in such movies as My Best Friend's Wedding and Young Guns.

Dermot Mulroney, 1st Chair Cellist, GW Jr High Orchestra

In case you can't quite place the name, here's what he looks like more recently: