March 22, 1993
Strelzin sells his life story to filmmakers
The offers popped up a few weeks ago after a Wall Street Journal front-page profile on Strelzin and federal civil rights fight between U.S. Border Patrol and the school’s Hispanic students and faculty.
Strelzin says partners in the venture – including his niece, who works in the film industry – promised to shoot in El Paso. “They’re going to treat the school with dignity, talk about young people growing up under tough conditions,” Strelzin said.
Strelzin is well known as a public address sports announcer who has at times antagonized both El Pasoans and visitors, but has built a loyal following.
February 29, 1996
El Pasoans pick actors for part
El Paso Times
It will take a big celebrity – literally – to fill Paul Strelzin’s boots if El Paso’s self proclaimed casting directors have their way. “My suggestion is Don Rickles,” Ron Dubitsky said. “They’re both bald, large and have a big mouth. Actually, Paul could probably play Don in a movie if he wanted.”
Hollywood producers are considering a movie based on the life of Strelzin, the Bowie High principal and sports announcer. More than 80 readers called the El Paso Times Wednesday with suggestions for an actor to portray Strelzin. The top choice was veteran actor and breath mint spokesman George Kennedy.
Television actor Brian Dennehy and comedian Rickles weren’t too far behind. Castings haven’t begun for the possible movie, which producers may shoot – hopefully in El Paso this year. The Strelz was tickled by the idea of Rickles.
“Don Rickles is great! Wow, I like Don Rickles. He’s humorous, but has a serious side and has played some good roles. We also have similar backgrounds,” Strelzin said. Strelzin said Kennedy would be appropriate, considering wayward fans often ask him for the star’s autograph.
“I was in Las Vegas recently and we were sitting in Caesar’s Palace and these groups asked me for (Kennedy’s) autograph. Sometimes I’ll sign for them ‘Paul Strelzin a.k.a. George Kennedy’ just for kicks.”
Ruben Ruiz was one of many who said the resemblance made Kennedy a shoo-in. “I remember (George) Kennedy from the ‘Airport’ movies. He’s got the same build and a blustery, forceful demeanor.”
And then there are the suggestions that will make you scratch your head: It’s hard to imagine the meek Woody Allen getting thrown out of an El Paso Diablos game for antagonizing an umpire. Or carrot topped Ronald McDonald taking on the U.S. Border Patrol in defense of Bowie. Or how about shock jock Howard Stern walking around the school’s campus, hugging and high-fiving his doting students?
There were plenty of callers, like Ethyl L. Burns, who said there wasn’t a match for “the Mouth” in Tinseltown. “Mr. Strelzin should play himself. He’s been on radio, he’s quite a character and I’m sure he could handle Hollywood,” Burns said.
Nah, Strelzin said. Even though he’s been promised a cameo role in the potential movie, the role of himself might be too demanding – physically. “The span of the movie would be over 30 years. I don’t think I could lose enough weight to play myself that long ago,” he said.