Spotlight on Alumni in the Entertainment Industry

Admiral Farragut Academy alumni aren’t just astronauts and admirals. Farragut also has many alumni working in the entertainment industry as actors, writers, directors, producers, and more. The following are just a few of those alumni who attribute much of their success today to the skills they developed at Farragut.

Andy Luckey ‘84S
Attended Farragut with the class of 1984 from 1980-81.
Writer, director, and producer of animated works, children’s books and Bible studies.

Notable works:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996) (Producer)
  • Adventures from the Book of Virtues (1996-2000) (Producer)
  • Spin & Sparkle (Childrens’ Book Series) (author and illustrator)

Fun fact: Son of director, animator and voice actor Bud Luckey and distant cousin of animator Earl Hurd, who co-created and patented the process for Cel Animation.

“Farragut had an enormous impact on me. I recall the first time I put on dress blues – I went from being 5’9” to being 9’5”. Then there were the great members of the faculty and staff. Most notable was Victor “Vic” Shul, CWO-4, USMC (Ret) — our Bandmaster. Tough-as-iron Marine on the outside — a heart of gold on the inside. He taught leadership by example. He also inspired me to work in the arts. The other two were Michael Moriarty, a retired Marine Aviator who later became Headmaster, and Orie T. Banks, the long-time Dean of Students. Those two embodied the saying ‘They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ I could write a book on each and not do them justice.”

Kurt Knutsson ‘86S
Journalist and Actor

Notable works:

  • Technology contributor on Fox and Friends (The CyberGuy)

During the Farragut 1986 commencement ceremony, Kurt was one of the senior class speakers who honored the late Capt Orie T. Banks for his 34 years of service to Farragut. During Kurt’s speech he said, ”Orie T Banks was a surrogate father to us all. I am speechless in how to express our gratitude. But we do owe him a great deal. Our parents gave you boys and you turned us into men.

Casper Van Dien ‘88S
Actor and Producer

Notable works:

  • Starship Troopers (1997) (Actor)
  • Tarzan and the Lost City (1998) (Actor)
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999) (Actor)

Fun fact: His daughter, Grace Van Dien, has followed in her father’s footsteps and is currently appearing as Katie on the NBC drama The Village.

Sean Rankine ‘91N
Producer and Director

Notable works:

  • The Real World (Production Assistant)
  • Basketball Wives (2010, with the sequel series Basketball Wives LA in 2012) (Producer)
  • Atlanta Exes (2014) (Producer)
  • Your Husband Is Cheating On Us (2018) (Producer)

“My Farragut experience is a factor in my day to day life. It often was and is frequently a point of conversation in meetings. When people hear that you have a military school background, interesting questions always pop up. My education and leadership training from Farragut shaped my approach to the business on many levels, from scheduling to creative ideas, to crew management. I’m thankful that I was fortunate enough to have my years at the academy. It has been a beneficial resource in so many ways. The Farragut alumni network has been beneficial to me for both creative and alumni networking. It’s great that we have access to both our North and South brothers and sisters. As cadets, we were fortunate to cross paths with some dynamic individuals. I still recall conversations and interactions with staff such as Lt. Iverson and Lt. Dickerson that shaped me as a leader, and I vividly recall classes with teachers like CDR Romefelt and Mr. Cain who encouraged my creative and analytical thinking. I owe them all a debt of gratitude for the foundation that they gave me.”