[acting out]
Lead me, Follow me, or Get Out of the Way

T he idea of portraying Gen. George Patton is not for the faint of heart, but Don Worley ’70 (J.D.) isn’t afraid to take risks. When he played the venerable military icon on the Discovery Channel’s “Battle-ground: The Art of War — Battle of the Bulge,” which aired over Memorial Day weekend, he went for authenticity. “The temptation was to do a caricature of the role,” Worley says. “But I didn’t want to just do George C. Scott doing Patton. From all the research I did, I knew Patton actually had a high, squeaky voice, so I went with it.”

Worley started out as a lawyer, but fell into acting 10 years ago when he inadvertently was picked for a part while tagging along with his wife during her audition for a church play. After years of doing community theater, Worley began snagging increasingly frequent roles playing lawyers in jury trial simulations or true-crime reenactments.

“I mostly play authority figures,” Worley says, “doctors, lawyers, CEOs and now a general.”

As for what happens next, well, to reprise the words of Patton, “If a man does his best, what else is there?”