Kenny Rogers as The Gambler (also known as The Gambler) is a 1980 American Western television film directed by Dick Lowry. The film premiered on CBS on April 8, 1980. It was loosely based on the Grammy-winning Kenny Rogers song of the same name, and stars the singer as Brady Hawkes, a gambler trying to reunite with a son he never knew, played by Ronnie Scribner. It was a critical and commercial success, receiving an Eddie Award and two Emmy nominations, and resulting in four sequels.
The lyrics describe a narrator meeting a gambler one evening while riding aimlessly on a train. The gambler can tell from the look on the narrator's face that he is in poor circumstances and offers him advice in exchange for a drink of whisky. After the narrator obliges with the whisky and a cigarette, the gambler describes his outlook on life using poker metaphors:
Every situation, says the gambler, can be played for better or worse. The trick is to recognize what is worth keeping, choose one's battles, and not dwell on losses. The gambler then falls asleep and passes away, leaving the narrator to ponder his wisdom.
The Gambler also started Rogers on a new career path: The singer took on his first acting role, performing as gambler Brady Hawkes in the 1980 film Kenny Rogers as the Gambler, based on the success of the record. The TV movie was so successful that Rogers filmed four sequels. 59ce067264