MR. KLAIR BYBEE
In 1966, at age 27, Klair replaced Jacques La Certe as the MHS Drama teacher. Principal Boyd excused Klair’s first week of teaching absence so Klair could finish filming a historical drama about Pancho Villa and the Mormons in Mexico. Mr. Boyd’s caveat to Klair was: when the film is completed, it must be shown to the MHS student body. A little over a year later, the 55-minute film was shown in the auditorium all six periods. Producing six plays each of his four years at MHS was a challenge and joy. “How To Succeed In Business” (‘67) and “West Side Story” (‘69) were triumphs. Michael Bennett, who later won a Pulitzer and several Tonys for “A Chorus Line” and “Dreamgirls,” conducted the first four rehearsals. Student dedication made each production possible. Bybee was associated with the Glendale Centre Theatre and often took bus-loads of students to see theatre-in-the-round, even casting students in some of their productions, including Michael Jacobs (’70) as his brother in “Come Blow Your Horn,” and Cindy Irwin Bullock (’71) as the lead in “Up The Down Staircase” with Bob Holland (’66). After leaving MHS in 1969, trying to get into the movies was his next goal, while he worked part-time as a substitute teacher at Inglewood High. He changed movie marquees at South Bay Cinemas, Old Towne Mall, and other theatres, and drove a truck delivering poultry to KFC and Sizzler, and printed and displayed cue cards for game shows (meeting again several times with Vicki Lawrence (’67), who played Lady Macbeth at MHS). It was while he was delivering frozen cases of poultry that he met a woman whose son was a talent agent. A subsequent introduction led to speaking parts on “The Doris Day Show,” “General Hospital,” “Fireball Forward,” “MacArthur” (where he made up names for dead soldiers’ tags and even included the name of Pete Mills (’66), who had been killed in Viet Nam). After that he could be seen in Mae West’s “Sextette” (as Ringo Starr’s cameraman), “Forrest Gump,” (as JFK’s Chief of Staff), “Clear and Present Danger,” (as the President’s Chief of Staff),” “Jerry Maguire” (as an NFL guest), “Deep Impact” (as a member of the White House Press Corps), plus hundreds of other TV shows and films in minor roles. Being a Gemini and happy doing multi-tasking, Klair is enjoying retirement while still performing regularly on stage. He recently was a doting actor in “Inspecting Carol” at the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre in North Hollywood (www.lcgrt.com), and he was pictured in the December 25, 2009 issue of L.A. Weekly. He substitute teaches in the LAUSD San Fernando Valley high schools, loves attending reunions, supports his former students, teaches a class the fourth Sunday of each month at church, answers emails, and he reads every word of the monthly MANELINE. Klair attended the Mane Event in July, 2008, the Class of ’68 reunion in 2008, the Class of ‘69 reunion in 2009, and also attended the 1st annual Alumni Day in September, 2009, on the MHS campus which was sponsored by the Morningside High Monarchs Alumni Association.