Cindy Morgan talks Lacey Underall and revisits the filming of Caddyshack
Actress shares her thoughts on why her character is still recognized today
By: Steve Mathie
Bushwood C.C. - In 1980, there was no Google.
May 28, 2009
You couldn’t find anything you want by searching the internet. However, if you were a teenage boy and wanted to show all your buddies something really cool, you could delve into your father’s movie library.
When you did, odds were you found Caddyshack.
One of the first ever R-rated films to come out on VHS, Caddyshack is widely considered one of the funniest movies of all time, and it does include it in – more importantly – some skin.
The sexy strut past the pool in a black one piece, the over confident beautiful smile, stunning body and wit of Lacey Underall (Cindy Morgan), Judge Smail’s niece from Manhattan – is etched in the minds of movie fans forever.
I recently got a chance to catch up with Cindy, and found that not much has changed since Caddyshack was filmed.
“People always say that confidence is attractive and that’s exactly what Lacey was. She was in control of her sexuality,” says Cindy, who is just as active now as she was then.
Caddyshack has stayed on top through decades of comedy and sports movie releases , and Cindy is one of the reasons. Her willingness and passion to keep the legend of Lacey Underall alive through appearances and fan contact has been a big part of the film's continuing popularity.
Cindy, originally from Chicago, was raised a Catholic girl and was called upon to play someone that was not at all the young girl she embodied at the time.
“Lacey was a fantasy character. The first shoot we did was the pool scene, and I remember waiting to walk out onto the set thinking 'this is crazy I’m not this character, this is nuts'.”
It didn’t take Cindy long to mesh into Lacey, and become a girl who during an era of drugs and sex, was astonishing eye candy for some of Hollywood’s finest.
“Can you imagine getting dropped on the set in front of the funniest men on the planet,” asks Morgan, referring to Chevy Chase (Ty Webb), Bill Murray (Carl Spackler) and Rodney Dangerfield (Al Czervik).
Most prevalent is Cindy’s praise for the stars she worked alongside during shooting, namely writer and producer Doug Kenney, the National Lampoon's mastermind who passed away after Caddyshack was filmed.
Cindy let me in on a number of secrets about the behind the scenes of Caddyshack. For those who don’t know, most of the movie was ad-libbed and not even in the script. The scenes are so innocent and real that often times you can tell how unrehearsed and real they are.
You may recall Lacey going to Ty’s house, a scene that was filmed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida - just before dolphin season. The scene was filmed over two days in the middle of a scorching hot Florida summer, and according to Cindy, the intimate scene was bad timing due to a recent on-set argument between her and Chevy.
“I was not in a lovey-dovey mood, and he sure challenged me. I was mad at him. He spilled all that oil on my back, and that wasn’t supposed to happen. He was trying to make me mad. Chevy was challenging me while the camera was running.”
Then there was Chevy singing the love song, a scene that was so funny it must have been scripted, right?
“The piano scene wasn’t even discussed. Harold Ramis told me to come sit down next to Chevy at the piano. When I looked up I saw the camera was on and I thought ‘oh my god they’re shooting this’. So I took a shot of tequila that was atop the piano."
What do you mean you took a shot of tequila, it wasn’t real tequila was it?
It was 1979 Steve, oh yea. There is a difference in the way people acted on film in 1979 and the way they act now.
What is your first memory of being on the set of Caddyshack?
I flew down for the table read, it was the actors and the producers, and I remember Doug Kenney saying, “Wow we got a big-eyed cast here”. The pool scene was scary. I was legally blind without my contacts and unable to swim or dive, so I’m climbing the ladder and walking out on the diving board seeing nothing.
What did you film next?
The next scene we filmed was the nude scene. All of a sudden they tell me they are sending a Playboy photographer down to do a shoot of the scene. I was absolutely furious so I called my agent.
He said “Honey, you’re not a doe-eyed girl from the Midwest, handle it.” I had to stop the filming. They actually sent the photographer, but no shoot was done. I’m a hardheaded Polack from Chicago, no one is gonna win that battle.
What don’t film fans know about what went on while you filmed Caddyshack?
Well as you know, much of it was ad-libbed. But it’s what we did off the camera. They should have turned the cameras around. They locked us up on a golf course for six weeks.
We were driving around in the golf carts so they had to take the keys from us, but we figured out pretty quickly how to hotwire those things. They are pretty simple things. Anyway, we would stay up all night partying and then be filming the next morning.
Everyone. Actually I think Ted (Knight) went to sleep, but Rodney kept up with us, I think he stayed up till 4 AM with us a few times.
What was Rodney like on the set?
Rodney was very nervous, this was his comeback. In fact I remember sitting down at lunch and it was just me and Rodney. He was sweating and pulling at his tie and asked me "How am I doin’ , how am I doin’, am I okay? How am I doin?” I said "Rodney, you’re stealin’ it" - and he was, he was absolutely hilarious.
You said you and Chevy got in a fight, what happened?
I said something, he said something. I started walking away and Harold told me to apologize. I didn’t. So we were fighting during that scene at his house.
What’s really funny is, we were making the bedroom scene up as we went, and the next morning Chevy and I came in for dailys. We thought we were in so much trouble for that scene, but we weren’t. They kept it in the movie.
You’re working on a book right now, what’s it about?
Well I’m four chapters in, and I want to take the reader through the eyes of a Catholic girl who went on to be Lacey Underall in Caddyshack.
What else are you doing these days?
I live on the beach, and I workout daily – I have to because people want Lacey Underall. I am always keeping my head clear, and I have few different causes that I stand behind.
Mostly I think it’s important for young people to be confident and stay healthy by working out, and it starts now. I am also very serious about going back into radio.
I see you have Facebook, MySpace, and your own website, how much attention do you pay to them?
I cut time for the fans every day. I love the internet because the decision making power is being put in the hands of the fans. They’re the ones that go to the movies.
I can keep up with my fans and other people in the industry that I’ve worked with. It is so wonderful to hear from people who still love Caddyshack.
So do you still watch Caddyshack?
It was very difficult to watch it in the beginning, and like with anything , you keep looking at it saying why didn’t I do it that way or that way. It’s easier to watch now though.
Who do you respect most out of everyone that was on that set of Caddyshack?
That’s funny because at the end of filming there was a party, and Doug Kenney came up to me and asked me out of all the people in the room, who did I respect the most. I said “me”.
I meant it too, I was so proud of myself for hanging with all those amazing people. I am so lucky to have been a part of that. I’ve known better actors and prettier girls, and I was lucky enough to work with all those people.
How’s that for confidence?
Talking with Cindy made me realize that although what millions of Caddyshack fans may never have thought true, Lacey Underall is still out there. She is just as beautiful, extremely articulate, and giving back to society and movie fans across the globe by staying positive, confident, and healthy.
Apparently her daddy wanted to broaden her, and he sure did. See for yourself. Cindy's Official Website
You can also help get Cindy cast in Tron 2.0, a film that she should be in after her performance in Tron. Click Here To Help Get Cindy On The Cast of Tron!
So has Caddyshack stood the test of time? The answer is easy. Yes. But just in case you don’t think so, Cindy shared with me one of her favorite fan moments, in which a man walked up to her recently and said.....
“Can you sign this for my father, my son, and for me.”
Filminglocations.com is the leading website for connecting properties across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico for filming movies, TV shows, commercials and video shoots. Filminglocations.com connects Hollywood with thousands and thousands of properties.