Mark Riccardi was born in South Plainfield
in 1957, and was very involved in athletics growing up in town.
When he went to South Plainfield High School in the early 1970s,
he was a star quarterback for the varsity football team. He took
that hard work, determination, and talent on to the college level
as a junior college quarterback at Potomac
College in West Virginia where he attained honors as an All-East junior college
In 1977, he graduated, and moved on to the Division I Level as he tried out for
the varsity football team at West
Virginia University. He ended up being the third string quarterback, but
the character he built during this time as well as the physical punishment he
endured from the first string defensive unit helped mold him into the career
decision to become a Hollywood stuntman.
So, in 1979, when he graduated from West Virginia University college of Arts
and Science, he began to set his sights on the bright lights of the city of big
dreams. He was further inspired after seeing a fellow childhood friend, Dennis
Madalone, who was already finding fame and fortune in Hollywood, appear on The
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In addition, another friend from his high school
days, Irving Lewis, beat him to the punch by joining Dennis in California shortly
after the Tonight Show appearance.
They would become known as the "South Plainfield Threesome". They all
became friends during their high school years where they excelled as athletes
on the high school football, track, and baseball teams. Their athletic talents
were very important skills that
they would need for their line of work.
Mark's first big break was in 1980 when he appeared in a stunt
on a show called "The Great American Traffic Jam." From there, he appeared
on such t.v. shows as Quincy, The Hulk, Ten Speed and Brownshoe, Today's FBI,
and Strike Force. Then, in 1982,
he made an appearance on the show "The Greatest American
Hero" which had such stars as William Katt, Connie Selleca,
and Robert Culp.
Around the same time, he also worked with Chuck Norris in the film an Eye for
an Eye where he endured a great deal of physical punishment. This is where his
background in football on the high school and collegiate level prepared him tremendously.
Moreover, it gave him the competitive edge in that he understood that he couldn't
become satisfied with what he had because someone else could knock him off his
perch. So, he had to continue pushing
himself as hard as he could.
With that belief as the foundation for his solid work ethic, Mark was
able to land some small roles in movies such as "Princess Warriors"
(1983), and "Ice" (1989). Then, in the early 1990s, he landed
a significant role stunt doubling for Jonathan Frakes on "Star
Trek: The Next Generation", and later played roles of various
aliens on the other Star Trek series, "Deep Space Nine". Mark
also landed roles as a stunt double in a number of big movies including
Broken Arrow, Face-Off, and Battlefield
Mark, and the other members of the South
Plainfield Threesome have made quite a big impact on the Hollywood scene,
made those who remember them in South Plainfield recall them with
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