As a cinema academic, it is always exciting to uncover movie history in our backyard. Before it became a housing community west of Federal Highway and East Camino Real, Boca Raton was known as "Africa USA" where Bettie Page shot her famous postcards with chimps and cheetahs during the 1950s. Twenty eight years ago, Orion Pictures began production of "Caddyshack" in South Florida and the film starred Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight and Bill Murray.
While "Caddyshack" became a modest financial box office success in 1980, the film grew as a cult phenomenon and inspired urban local legends with many locations claiming that "Caddyshack" had been filmed there, a sort of “ Washington slept here” urban legend. The legend of "Caddyshack" is that most of the wild partying occurred behind the camera lens.
Cindy Morgan portrayed Lacy Underall, the high society niece of Judge Smails (Ted Knight). Cindy admitted that with the exception of Ted Knight, most of the cast and crew were influenced by drugs and alcohol. Some of these "Caddyshack" urban legends were true and indicative of the late 1970s.
On the eve of her recent birthday, Cindy Morgan returned to the scene of her crime, the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Instead of being treated like a fugitive, Cindy Morgan was provided a guided tour by Boca Raton Resort and Club public relations department. The resort had changed much since filming, yet Cindy recognized the dock on Lake Boca Raton where they filmed some of the yacht club scenes.
Cindy also recognized the giant doors to the banquet room, where the Palm Beach International Film Festival now holds their annual gala. At one point in the film, Chevy Chase walks into the gala room and witnesses Rodney Dangerfield rock the dance floor to “Boogie Wonderland.” When Cindy and Chevy lock eyes, he literary begins smoking.
To fulfill her contract with "Caddyshack," Cindy was required to perform two nude scenes with Michael O’Keefe and Chevy Chase. While preparing for the
shots, she noticed excess crew, including a "Playboy" photographer. When she requested a cleared set, she locked horns with the "Caddyshack" producer. Cindy delayed the sequence until the producer honored the letter of their contract.
"Playboy" did not get their exclusive **Caddyshack** photograph, but Cindy did become persona non grata to the producer; her featured billing and introductory credit was removed from the final credits. In fact, she was not invited to the world premier of "Caddyshack."
Ironically, Doug Kenney provided Cindy two first class tickets to the world premier of "Caddyshack" in New York . The tragic comic genius most associated with the excess of the 1970s drug culture, Kenney also brought his parents to the premier. Cindy recalls that her last conversation with Doug Kenney included the words; “Be Careful.” Kenney fell off a cliff in Hawaii while "Caddyshack" played on the big screens across the nation.