8 Surprising College Roommates

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As incoming freshman pack up their stuff and head to college, one of their many anxieties is the roommate. Will they throw parties in the room all the time? Will they take my Pop Tarts? Will they smell? To remove some of the fear about being forced to live with some stranger, here are some former college roommates that went on to great individual success:

1. Tommy Lee and the V.P.

Actor Tommy Lee Jones and Former Vice President Al Gore (and eventually John Lithgow) shared a room at Harvard and, like plenty of college roomies, chased skirts together. However, most don't join a country music band to do it. The unlikely duo also served as the inspiration for the character of Oliver in Love Story, written by fellow Harvard alum Erich Segal.

2. A Tale of Two Coaches

When rooming together at the University of Minnesota, Tony Dungy and Flip Saunders dreamed of capturing a national championship for the school, Dungy on the football field and Saunders on the basketball court. Little did they know they'd both be responsible for coaching nationally spotlighted teams; Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory last year and Saunders' took the Detroit Pistons to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2006.

3. Popeye and Superman

r.willreeves.jpgAt Julliard, roomies Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve vowed to always be friends and help each other throughout life. Both held true to the promise, as they remained close. Williams even covered some of Reeves' medical expenses after he was paralyzed. Of course, being Robin Williams, he couldn't stop there; after Reeve found out he couldn't walk again, Williams channeled his inner-Patch Adams, visiting Reeve dressed as a doctor and pretending to be his proctologist. Reportedly, the act caused Reeve to smile for the first time after his accident.

more roomies revealed after the break!

4. The Guys Behind Rushmore

r.wes-owen.jpgWes Anderson and Owen Wilson have had great success collaborating on films from Rushmore to The Royal Tenenbaums. And it all started when they were roommates at University of Texas, where they co-wrote Anderson's directoral debut Bottle Rocket. That's not the only writing they did together, though; Anderson wrote an A+ paper about Edgar Allen Poe for Wilson in order to score the better bedroom in their apartment.

5. Legends of Notre Dame

r.montana.jpgCharlie Weis may run a pretty no-nonsense football program at Notre Dame, but back when he was a student there, he was fond of playing pranks on roommate (and quarterback) Joe Montana.

6. Stanley and Irving

Actor Ving Rhames probably wouldn't have carved out his successful career if it weren't for roommate Stanley Tucci. While at SUNY Purchase, Tucci convinced Rhames to shorten his name from Irving. And let's face it, that was probably a good career move; Marsellus Wallace just wouldn't be the same played by someone named Irving.

7. Two Rhodes to Success

r.billstrobe.jpgWhen you've got two Rhodes scholars rooming together at Oxford, you know there's bound to be some brainpower. But the pairing of future president Bill Clinton and Time editor/U.S. diplomat Strobe Talbot just seems excessive.

8. Climbing to Success

This is one of those anecdotes you just can't make up. When they were friends in Michigan, Steve Mariucci and Tom Izzo would race up the steps of a man-made ski jump to see who would be successful. If Izzo won, he'd become head basketball coach at Notre Dame, but if Mariucci won, he'd be the school's football coach. The two bffs roomed together at Northern Michigan University and then went on to live their childhood dreams. Izzo became head basketball coach at Michigan State University, while Mariucci went on to coach the San Francisco "˜49ers.

    Note: It's been reported that former FEMA chief Joseph Allbaugh was roommates with his successor Michael Brown. The tale of two disgraced government officials living together is, sadly, too good to be true- the two didn't even go to the same college.Big thanks to Kara, Jenny and Mangesh for their research tips.

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    August 9, 2007 - 7:13am
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