Poll Closing Date: Sunday, 2 February 2020 00:00 (in 6 months)
Fictional actuaries and the appearance of actuaries in works of fiction have been the subject of a number of articles in actuarial journals.
― meh 😐 (wins), Saturday, 24 September 2016 16:24 (two years ago) link
FilmAbout Schmidt (2002) - Warren Schmidt is portrayed by Jack Nicholson; the movie mostly covers Schmidt's retirement from an insurance company, and his adventures after retirementAlong Came Polly (2004) - Reuben Feffer (played by Ben Stiller) is a risk assessment expert, and though not explicitly stated, performs the job of an underwriterAre You With It? (1948) - a musical comedy featuring Donald O'Connor as an actuary who is forced to join a carnival after misplacing a decimal point on a statistical tableThe Billion Dollar Bubble (1976) - the Equity Funding scandal retold in the form of a movie, starring James WoodsBoyhood (2014) - Mason Evans, Sr. (played by Ethan Hawke) mentions at a baseball game that he recently passed his second actuarial exam, and later discusses his job at an insurance firmClass Action (1991) - featured Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as father and daughter lawyers on opposite sides of a massive class action lawsuit; actuarial analysis plays a key role in the outcomeDouble Indemnity (1944) - a Billy Wilder film, with Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck; possibly the first to feature an actuary; plot revolves around a murder that seeks to gain advantage from a particular aspect of an insurance policy; an insurance investigator (played by Edward G. Robinson) knows the actuarial statistics and becomes suspiciousEscape Clause (1996) - Andrew McCarthy plays Richard Ramsay in an actuarial thriller; to quote TVguide.com, "The makers of this direct-to-video release thought the world was ready for a thriller about an insurance actuary. They thought wrong."Fight Club (1999) - Edward Norton plays the protagonist, who briefly describes that his job entails the assessment of risk associated with car accidents for an insurance company; though not explicitly stated, he performs the job of an underwriter who uses actuarially derived premiums to benchmark quotesSaw VI (2009) - William Easton is a health insurance executive who describes actuarial mathematics in a conversation with John KramerStranger than Fiction (2006) - Harold Crick (played by Will Ferrell), a socially isolated IRS auditor, mentions that he was once engaged to an auditor who left him for an actuarySweet Charity (1969) - documents the romantic life of an actuary, played by John McMartin with Shirley MacLaine as his love interestThirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) - starring Matthew McConaughey; the lives of a lawyer, an actuary, a housecleaner, a professor, and the people around them intersect as they ponder order and happiness in the face of life's cold unpredictabilityTron - the character Ram (played by Dan Shor) is an actuarial programLiteratureThe Areas of My Expertise - by John Hodgman; portrays actuaries as prophets who predict the future, and are organized into various guilds; they have various ethics, such as not predicting the date of one's own deathBatman - comic series which featured a villain named the Actuary (Detective Comics #683-4 (March–April 1995)), a mathematical genius who applies formulae to aid the Penguin in committing crimes.Bet Me - by Jennifer Crusie; the main character, Minerva Dobbs, is a thirty-something actuary looking for loveUn Certain Monsieur Blot - by Pierre Daninos; Mr. Blot is an actuary, who wins a competition as the most average man in France; the book includes the acerbic observation that “there were two kinds of actuaries – those who were still doing actuarial work and those who had found something better to do”The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic re part of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy series and feature Twoflower, the "actuary and world’s first tourist"The Foundation Trilogy - by Isaac Asimov; often considered one of the greatest science fiction works of all time and features "psycho-historians," a sort of hidden priesthood that manipulates politics and economics on a galactic scale to accomplish the goals of peace and prosperity. Part of the theory is that on a planetary scale, people are not predictable but on a galactic scale, the law of large numbers (i.e., the Central Limit Theorem) is valid and therefore, the reactions of the galactic civilization, as a whole, are predictable. Given the characteristics of psycho-historians, they are very much like actuaries.The Good Soldier Švejk - Lieutenant Pelikán is "a mathematician in an insurance firm""Hunted Down" - short story by Charles Dickens with an actuary, Mr. Meltham of the Inestimable Life Assurance Company, as its heroIndustrial Magic - by Kelley Armstrong; character Reuben Aldrich is the head of the actuarial department at a supernatural organisation; he may also be a necromancerThe Infinite Shoeblack - by Norman MacOwan; the hero (played by Leslie Banks) is a poverty stricken student of the Faculty of Actuaries innocently residing in an Edinburgh brothel Mrs. Warren's Profession - "I shall set up in chambers in the City and work at actuarial calculations and conveyancing," says Vivie, the daughter of the eponymous heroine of George Bernard Shaw’s playPreferred Risk - by Frederik Pohl and Lester del Rey (under the pseudonym Edson McCann); describes a dystopian future dominated by the insurance industry; in Pohl's own words, "the one novel I wrote with Lester del Rey, which was called Preferred Risk, took a year out of my life. It's a terrible book. If you come across it, don't read it." The Year of the Jackpot - short story by Robert A. Heinlein; the male protagonist is a former actuary whose analysis of current events leads him to a disturbing conclusion about the fate of the world.MangaHomunculus - by Hideo Yamamoto; features Susumu Nakoshi as the story's protagonist, who was an actuary before he told people he was going on an extended vacation; instead, he lives in an old car; he resigns later in the story, and his reason for throwing his job away is still unknownKurosagi Corpse Delivery Service - features a malevolent actuary who uses statistics to determine scenarios that will most likely result in the death of particular peopleTelevisionThe Collector (2004) - in the episode titled "The Actuary", an actuary uses the Devil's powers to predict the exact lifespan, whereabouts and circumstances of others to help mobsters rub out the competition Elementary - in the Season 1 episode "A Landmark Story", F. Murray Abraham portrays The Actuary, a hitman whose M.O. is to kill individuals in ways that make the death look like an accident or even a peaceful passingGhost Whisperer - in the Season 4 episode "Thrilled to Death", an actuary who is terminally ill dies and his ghost haunts his neighbourGilmore Girls (2000) - in the episode "Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers," Lorelai's mom sets her up on a date with actuary Chase Bradford, played by Paul CassellHot in Cleveland - in the Season 2 episode "How I Met My Mother", Joy meets her biological son, Owen, who explains his role as an actuary by way of "it's an insurance thing"; he returns in the Season 4 opener and Joy admits that she stills has no idea what an actuary isKim Possible: A Sitch in Time - Ron's father's job is not an obstacle to the family moving to Norway (and, later, the moon); "I'm an actuary. I can work anywhere people attach a dollar value to human life."Law & Order: Criminal Intent - episode "Probability" features Mark Linn-Baker as Wally Stevens, an insurance investigator whose work is often described in the context of performing actuarial calculationsNumb3rs (2005) - in the episode titled "Sacrifice," Professor Charlie Eppes refers to actuarial scienceNYPD Blue - recurring character Dr. Jennifer Devlin (character John Clark's love interest) states that her father is an actuaryPerson of Interest - in the Season 2 episode "Bury the Lede", John Reese pretends to be an actuaryProfiler (1996–1999) - episode "Perfect Helen" in Volume 2 of Season 3 is about a disturbed actuaryThe Robinsons - sitcom about a reinsurance actuary, Ed Robinson (played by Martin Freeman), who realises that reinsurance is not his passion and decides to rethink his life The Shield (2002) - in its third episode, "The Spread", the police interrogate a rapist who claims to be an actuarySuper Fun Night - one of Kimmie's best friends (Helen-Alice) plays an actuaryThe Wild Wild West (1968) - had an episode titled "The Night of the Avaricious Actuary"TheaterI Love You Because (2006) - musical; major character Diana Bingley is an actuary; she suggests some formula-based "dating rules" to her friend Marcy in the key number "The Actuary Song"OtherSociety of Actuaries - holds a speculative actuarial fiction contest Wordplay - documentary which explores the world of crossword makers and aficionados; makes reference to actuaries as one of three occupations which are particularly adept at crossword solving
Describe yourself with three fictional actuaries
― savvinesslessness (map), Saturday, 24 September 2016 17:02 (two years ago) link
My aunt was an actuary
― sarahell, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:28 (two years ago) link
My great great grandfather was an actuary when he lived in England before coming to the US. Always seemed like a weird job to me. That's about all I have to say on this profession. Thanks.
― larry appleton, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:52 (two years ago) link
thank you larry!
― sarahell, Saturday, 24 September 2016 19:55 (two years ago) link
No problem, good to see we share a proud history of family actuaries.
― larry appleton, Saturday, 24 September 2016 20:14 (two years ago) link
Family of actuaries celebrate longevity
05 JUNE 2014 | KATIE LOWMy Grandad, John Galloway Wallace, OBE, is due to turn 100 next month. Born on the eve of the First World War and qualified as a Fellow of the Faculty early in the Second World War, he is a shining example of why pension schemes have found themselves with such deficits – when he was born, average life expectancy was about 50 and he is double that! But while others bemoan the high costs of providing pensions to the older generations, I say we should remember to celebrate how wonderful it is that his four children, 10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren have enjoyed and are still enjoying his intelligence, subtle wit and wry smile, not to mention his stories. As he has been telling me since I first started studying to be an actuary, Grandad qualified in the last set of exams before they were suspended for the Second World War. He then went on to see Europe through the eyes of the army, having omitted to mention his qualification on his forms to join up, as actuaries were a protected profession. In his heart, he remained an actuary and took the chance to look up actuaries across Europe, making great links in Belgium and Italy. In Belgium he found that many actuarial textbooks had been destroyed in the war, and arranged for the Faculty to send some over. However, building links was not so successful on one occasion in Italy when, wearing full British Army uniform, he knocked on the door of a prominent actuary and professor. Next thing a car was heard speeding away and he was told the gentleman was not at home. Turns out the professor thought he was about to be arrested! Back at home after the war, he became heavily involved with the Faculty, becoming president in 1973. He continued with his international focus and made a big effort to build links internationally, particularly in South Africa.Over the years, his life has contained much to be proud of – chief executive of Scottish Life, president of the Faculty of Actuaries, president of the Chartered Institute of Insurers, an OBE for services to the Sick Kids Hospital and the health service in Edinburgh, not to mention climbing all the Munros and Corbetts. The whole family is immensely proud of his long life, contributing so much to family life, the actuarial world and society in general. Happy 100th, Grandad – here’s to longevity!
― Mädchester Amick (wins), Saturday, 24 September 2016 20:58 (two years ago) link
Martin Freeman as a disgruntled actuary! i bet that's hilarious.
― door unlawful carnal knowledge (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 24 September 2016 23:58 (two years ago) link
This thread got me reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actuarial_credentialing_and_exams and well, wow, if I didn't feel like a lame poseur before whenever I called myself and my colleagues professionals, I definitely do now
― Anacostia Aerodrome (El Tomboto), Sunday, 25 September 2016 00:54 (two years ago) link
sounds like a fun saturday night.
― savvinesslessness (map), Sunday, 25 September 2016 03:17 (two years ago) link