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Why Goose From Top Gun Looks So Familiar

There are few movies in the vaunted canon of 1980s action flicks that are as quoted, name-dropped, or universally adored as "Top Gun." Frankly, you might be hard-pressed to find an action film from any era with such a fiercely devoted fan base. Even now, decades after its release, viewers are still enamored with this pulse-pounding tale of a hotshot pilot (Tom Cruise) coming to terms with his haunted past and his own boundless potential. That's in no small part due to the work of then up-and-comers like Cruise and Val Kilmer, whose roles as adversaries-turned-allies Maverick and Iceman, respectively, put each on the path to superstardom.

While those actors are set to reprise their characters in the long-delayed sequel "Top Gun: Maverick," they will sadly not be joined by their scene-stealing "Top Gun" co-star Anthony Edwards, whose character died one of the decade's saddest deaths halfway through the original film. The actor portrayed Nick "Goose" Bradshaw in "Top Gun," which remains one of his best-known roles to date. Odds are better than solid, however, that you've seen Edwards' face in numerous other projects over the years as well.

Revenge of the Nerds was a big break for Anthony Edwards

While "Top Gun" was certainly the biggest movie Anthony Edwards appeared in during the 1980s, it was far from the only one. In fact, Edwards made appearances in several other decade staples, including "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "The Sure Thing," and "Gotcha!" The list also includes a classic college-set comedy from 1984 that happened to feature the faces of John Goodman, James Cromwell, Robert Carradine, and Timothy Busfield. That film is "Revenge of the Nerds," which found Edwards portraying Gilbert Lowe, one of the intellectually gifted, pocket-protector-loving lads of title. If you've yet to discover "Revenge of the Nerds," the movie follows Gilbert and his pal Lewis (Carradine) over their freshman year at Adams College. There, they're relentlessly tormented by football-playing frat jocks until they finally stand up for themselves in the name of all nerdkind.

As noted in GQ's 2019 "Oral History" of the film, almost four decades after its release, "Revenge of the Nerds" is undoubtedly dated in regard to its racial and sexual politics, and it is even utterly offensive in one particular scene that, essentially, makes light of date rape. While it's a big ask these days, if you can get past the movie's more egregious missteps, "Revenge of the Nerds" remains a laugh-out-loud funny romp with a wonderfully pointed message about embracing your true self. And in case there were any question, Edwards delivers one of the film's standout performances as the charmingly introverted Gilbert.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Anthony Edwards played a very good doctor on ER

Among the 63 screen credits Anthony Edwards currently has listed on his IMDb page, you will find quite a few in the television realm, including appearances on "Northern Exposure," "Girls," "Blue Bloods," and "Designated Survivor." But if you recognize Edwards from only one of his many small-screen roles, it's almost certainly that of Dr. Mark Greene from "ER."

That legendary medical drama made its NBC debut in the Fall of 1994 and became both a ratings hit and a legit cultural sensation (per Entertainment Weekly). Created by novelist Michael Crichton ("Westworld," "Jurassic Park"), "ER" detailed the personal and professional travails of a group of emergency room doctors at Chicago's fictional County General. For the bulk of the series' 15-season run, Edwards' kind-hearted Dr. Greene was one of the key players in the action. Edwards was also one of the best-loved members of the original "ER" cast (which also featured George Clooney, Julianna Margulies, Eriq La Salle, and Noah Wyle), earning credits on a whopping 180 episodes before leaving County General behind. And it's easy enough to argue the series never really recovered from his heartbreaking departure.   

Edwards helped hunt a killer in David Fincher's Zodiac

Though Edwards spent the bulk of the1990s and early 2000s earning raves for his work on "ER," the actor continued to pick out intriguing big screen projects along the way. In 2007, Edwards landed a notable gig in a film many consider to be among the best of the 2000s (per World of Reel). Said film is David Fincher's high-anxiety crime thriller "Zodiac," which has also become one of the most revered in the director's oeuvre, more than a decade after its release. 

For the uninitiated, "Zodiac" largely followed Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. as San Francisco journalists who obsessively join the manhunt for the Bay Area's infamous Zodiac killer in the late 1960s and 1970s. Also on the case are a pair of San Francisco PD's finest in Inspector David Toschi (Mark Ruffalo) and his partner, Inspector Bill Armstrong. Yes, that was a hair-piece-wearing Anthony Edwards portraying Armstrong in "Zodiac." Though many people may have been surprised to see him in such a heavy dramatic project, the actor more than held his own in the proceedings and delivered one of the film's strongest supporting turns as the stalwart, note-jotting inspector.

Inventing Anna found Edwards playing lawyer for a world class liar

As Anthony Edwards noted in a recent Esquire interview, he's never been one to shy away from taking time off from the showbiz hustle. And the actor's IMDb page indeed reflects a few career gaps since "Zodiac." Edwards has been ramping things back up lately, however, claiming a supporting role in Apple TV+'s "We Crashed," and landing a gig in the upcoming anthology "Tales of the Walking Dead."

He has, of course, also been earning raves for his role in the recent Netflix hit "Inventing Anna." If you've yet to binge "Inventing Anna," the series finds "Ozark" breakout Julia Garner portraying Anna Delvey (aka Anna Sorokin), a German-born con artist who swindled New York socialites out of thousands of dollars between 2013 and 2017. As covered in the series, she also almost hustled millions from U.S. financial institutions by duping a powerful attorney into vouching for her imaginary fortune.

In the film, that lawyer's name is Alan Reed (based loosely on Andrew Lance according to Bustle). And he was portrayed brilliantly over a five-episode arc by the one and only Anthony Edwards, who has become arguably one of the greatest scene-stealing supporting players in film or television history at this point in his career. And one can only imagine that he'll continue to steal scenes, moving forward.