While other celebs stretch the limits of literature and arrogance by writing autobiographies at 30, David Kendall, former co-executive producer of "Growing Pains," has chosen to simply make his biographer's life a little easier: In a generous and farsighted bequeathal, Kendall, 34, has agreed to supply his alma mater, Wesleyan University, with the complete papers relating to his career for as long as it lasts.
"So far, he has sent us about 70 boxes," says Jeannie Basinger, curator of Wesleyan University's cinema archives. "Although we haven't had a chance yet to inventory the contents, I assume most of them contain papers and scripts from the show. On the other hand, you never know. He may have sent along a pair of his old tennis shoes."
Indeed, not only will Kendall enrich and educate future classes of Wesleyans with the wit and inner workings of shows such as "Growing Pains," but he also plans to donate minutiae of the man behind the pen. "He has an extensive collection of vintage election buttons," says Basinger. Kendall will join impressive company. The liberal arts college in Middleton, Conn., already has the papers and personal effects of non-alums John Waters, Ingrid Bergman, Frank Capra, Clint Eastwood, Kay Francis and Raoul Walsh. "Although we only graduate 22 students a year in film," Basinger says, "there is already a very tight Wesleyan mafia in Hollywood."
Kendall, who started as a staff writer with "Growing Pains" five years ago and worked his way up, is currently developing projects for Warner Bros. "He is perceived as a very hot talent right now," says an industry source. "So I don't think Wesleyan will have to worry: He is going to be responsible for TV shows like 'Growing Pains' for years to come."
One can only hope.