Parents of anarchy

Island couple's son known for playing shady characters

February 21, 2010 

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Ginny and Bob Heidrich shown here Feb. 18 morning looking bad to the bone on a 2009 Harley Davidson Fatboy provided by Bluffton's USA Rider Co. bike rental. The Heidrichs are the parents of actor Mark Boone Jr., who plays Bobby Munson on FX Network's "Sons of Anarchy."

SARAH WELLIVER/THE ISLAND PACKET

  • FX's "Sons of Anarchy," explores a notorious outlaw motorcycle club's desire to protect its livelihood and sheltered California town. To watch the show, go to vod.fxnetworks.com. Season 3 premieres in September.

The connection isn't made quickly. Ginny and Bob Heidrich look like the average Hilton Head Island retired couple. They sing in the First Presbyterian choir. He plays trumpet in the Dixieland Jazz Society and is active in the American Legion. She's been in leadership roles with the Daughters of the American Revolution and Tri Delta alumni. She's a retired teacher. He's a former construction consultant.

Neither has a motorcycle. Neither would pass for a Hell's Angel.

But on rare occasion the connection is made.

"Hey, aren't you ..."

Bobby's parents? Yes, they are -- sort of.

Robert "Bobby" Munson is just a character on the FX series "Sons of Anarchy." They're the parents of Mark Boone Jr., the long-standing Hollywood and TV actor who plays Bobby.

Boone is the type of guy whose name might not be easily recognizable but his face is, if you watch enough movies. He's played dirty cops in "Batman Begins" and "2 Fast 2 Furious," the motel clerk in "Memento" and had guest roles on "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Now he's part of the outlaw biker gang on "Sons of Anarchy."

He's worked consistently in the business for the past 20 years, his grizzly beard and rumpled appearance usually lending him to roles with names like "Shady Private Investigator," "Pawn Shop Owner" and "Greasy FBI Man."

To his parents, he's just "Mark," the soccer standout from his days growing up on the north shore of Chicago and at the University of Vermont. After college, he moved to New York and performed stand-up comedy with friend Steve Buscemi, who later cast him in his directorial debut, "Trees Lounge." The inspiration for his stage name came from an inscription on a war memorial in New York City and ever since he's been known to friends as "Boone."

"I can't call him Boone," said Ginny Heidrich. "I still call him Mark."

His parents have traveled to sets with him, once to New Zealand where they had dinner with the producer of "30 Days of Night" and his wife, Lucy Lawless, aka Xena the Warrior princess (who's very sweet and unassuming, they said, not at all like Xena).

Mostly they see him at their cottage in northern Wisconsin, along with their two other children and grandkids. He did come to Hilton Head in November, and they went to a restaurant, where he was promptly greeted as "Bobby."

They keep up with the multiple movies and shows he's in each year, even if the violence in "Sons of Anarchy" is a bit much or if his scenes prove squeamish, like in "2 Fast 2 Furious" when a rat crawled around on his bare belly.

Of course, in real life, he's not the slimeball outlaw that he usually plays on the small or silver screen. But, much like his current role, he does ride a hog, a 2003 Harley Davidson Road Glide.

Although supportive, his parents weren't expecting their son to carve a niche in Hollywood.

"You can't say he got it from us," Bob Heidrich said. "He's his own man."

But look closely and within the Heidrichs' photo albums along with shots of Mark and the family at their cottage you'll also find pictures of Ginny Heidrich as a dancer in college, something that was a passion in her school-age years.

Bob Heidrich has stories about playing Prince Charming in sixth grade and performing with acting troupes in college.

As it turns out, they're all performers. Maybe that connection isn't so hard to make after all.

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