Only now does it occur to me... to say a few words about the 1994 NBC miniseries DANIELLE STEEL'S FAMILY ALBUM. I must admit that I sought this out entirely to explore John Waters' role as "Vincent," an appearance so apparently obscure that I could not find a single image to prove the existence of his involvement on the entire internet. Not a one! He mentioned the project by name in a few interviews, but to me, it became one of the most intriguing omissions in his filmography. (Worry not, in the end, I shall provide you with a video of his entire performance.) But first, what even is this thing?
FAMILY ALBUM is adapted from the 1985 Danielle Steel novel of the same name (one of over 140 novels she has written), and it tells the epic, four-decade saga of a 1950s Hollywood actress who decides to break the mold and become a film director. In the process, it basically tells a fictionalized version of the life of Ida Lupino.
Our Lupino stand-in is CHARLIE'S ANGELS' own Jaclyn Smith as "Faye Price":
and her brow-furrowing husband, "Ward Thayer," is played by TWIN PEAKS' own Michael Ontkean:
Honestly, this is all a little better than it should be, though it's still a pretty long three hours and twenty minutes and very indicative of pre-prestige 1990s soapy network "two evening event"-style television.
Where does John Waters fit in? Well, Faye's daughter (played by Leslie Horan) is trying to break into the movies without using any of her mother's connections. She finds an "in" with a horror filmmaker who is sort of a sleazier William Castle/Tobe Hooper/Wes Craven-type making a CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON/SWAMP THING-inflected movie in the 1970s. This filmmaker, "Vincent"––surely named for Vincent Price, given who's playing him––is portrayed by John Waters. He spends his single minute of screentime attempting to pressure his leading lady into doing nudity in the picture ("What's the big deal about showing some skin, it's an art film, it could go to Cannes, it's my best work!").