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Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

The college game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, inspired by the film Six Degrees of Separation, merely requires a group of players to connect any film actor to Kevin Bacon as quickly as possible and in as few links as possible (see Small World Phenomenon). The concept is simple, but finding the fewest number of links can be difficult. The way you link an actor with Bacon is like so:

  • Pick a film actor, any film actor.
  • Link the actor you've chosen to Bacon via the movies they've shared with other actors until you end up with Kevin Bacon himself.

Here is an example, using Elvis Presley:

  • Elvis Presley was in Change of Habit (1969) with Edward Asner
  • Edward Asner was in JFK (1991) with Kevin Bacon

Therefore Elvis Presley has a Bacon number of 2.

A very few actors have an infinite (or undefined) Bacon number, meaning that they cannot be linked to Bacon in any number of connections at all. For instance, Fred Ott[?] appears in the 1894 Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze; he was the only actor in that film and was the only actor in Fred Ott Holding a Bird--the only other film he appeared in. Most actors, however, can be linked to Bacon, and in six or fewer links.

See also:

  • Bacon numbers for a lot more information on Bacon numbers and how to calculate them.

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