Us Magazine Article: August 17th, 1982
Cindy Morgan vows she won't fall off that scary Disneyland ride known as success
By Stephen Schaefer
If it weren't for a perceptive parochial school teacher, shy, stuttering, nearsighted Cynthia Cichorski would never have become the summer's sexiest computer programmer. As Tron's Lora, Cindy Morgan is the Disney film's curvaceous, sci-fi costar and she owes it all to Mother Nature and a nun. "I had this very prolonged awkward age," says Morgan. "It lasted from 5 until 16. I'm serious! I was uncoordinated, I stuttered and I wore glasses."
Too shy in high school to get up and perform in front of people, she wrote "funny speeches that made everybody laugh." Then, she recalls, one nun said, " 'You do that very well. You should consider majoring in speech.' It was the first time that anybody had said, 'Pursue something because you're good.' It probably changed my life." In college the once-awkward duckling metamorphosed into a beautiful swan. "More than any- thing," says the actress, "I wanted to be pretty. One day it was like I woke up and heard somebody saying, 'OK, Cinderella, you're going to be a whole new person.'"
Her new last name was the result of a radio trick. A commercial station wanted listeners kept in the dark that their disc jockey was the same Cichorski girl from Northern Illinois University's student station. So Cindy worked the two jobs using different names. The name Morgan stuck as she went on to do a weather report in Milwaukee, host a TV talk show in Rockford, Ill. and model for Fiat. When this eldest child of a Polish factory worker and his German wife decided to leave Chicago for L.A., she was cautious.
"I didn't tell anyone I was going there to be an actress because immediately they think you have no operative brain cells," she says. But she did privately vow that within a year her face would be on a Sunset
Strip billboard. "I did it in two," she happily reveals, "with Caddyshack." Her first movie gave her a memorable nude scene but hardly a career. "I didn't work for a year after that," she admits. With a new agent, along came Tron, in which she plays two
characters: Lora, a computer programmer in the real world, and Yori, her alter ego in the film's fantastic, computer-generated flights of the imagination. Yori is naive about certain human experiences in her video world-kissing, for example.
That thought makes Morgan squeal with delight: "Oh, I just love it when I get to kiss everybody in my movies!" (Co-stars Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner love it, too.) Tron's writer-director Steven Lisberger had first interviewed Morgan when her contact lenses were out and her eyeglasses on. "It's a whole different side of me," she thinks. "So Steven had me look like that in the real world. Then, in the video world I wear tights and a skintight cap. Well, who looks good in a skintight cap?"
Morgan could look good in a collapsed balloon, but she saw "the guys wearing these neat helmets. ~ I'd borrow Bruce Boxleitner's helmet, and finally, they let me wear one of my own." But not in those kissy scenes: "We'd bang helmets, not lips," she giggles.
Helmets off, Morgan is now reteamed with Boxleitner in CBS' new Bring 'Em Back Alive, a Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish series set in 1939 Malaya. "I play Gloria Marlowe," she says. "She's bright, competent and a little overdressed for the jungle."
Young ("I'm between 26 and 27," she allows coyly) and single again (her marriage "lasted for about five minutes"), Morgan is as adept handling the animals on Bring 'Em Back as the lounge lizards and two-legged sharks in Hollywood. "I just act like I don't get the message," she says of her wolf-repelling defense system. "But right now I guess I'm a little vulnerable, because I've just broken up with an actor I've been living with for three years, and now I'm on my own." She lives in a friend's Hollywood condo with two pet cockatiels, Birdie and Buddy, content to spend her spare time lifting weigh