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University of Iowa News Release


April 2, 2009

Iowa-Drake rivalry goes all the way to the island on 'Lost'

The ongoing rivalry between Ben Linus and John Locke on ABC-TV's "Lost" is more than just about who controls the island and its mysterious time-traveling power.

It's also an extension of the rivalry between the University of Iowa and Drake University, two of Iowa's four largest universities, as the actors who play the characters are alumni of the two schools.

Terry O'Quinn (on left side in photo), who plays Locke, attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1974 and 1975, while majoring in communications studies. Michael Emerson, who plays Ben, received his fine arts degree from the Des Moines-based Drake, in 1976.

For much of the series' four-plus season run, the Bulldog has had the edge, as the creepy and enigmatic Ben continually manipulated and frustrated Locke's efforts to understand the power of the island until finally strangling the hapless Hawkeye to death earlier this season.

But Wednesday's episode showed the tables might be turning in the Hawkeyes' favor, as a back-from-the-dead Locke surprised an off-guard Ben with the fact that he is now very much alive.

Interestingly, one of the series' current timelines is set in 1977, not long after O'Quinn and Emerson were attending college in Iowa. However, neither Locke nor Ben is in that timeline. They're in the show's other timeline, which is set in 2007.

Both actors are also Emmy winners. O'Quinn won the Best Supporting Actor award in 2007 for his work as Locke. Emerson won for Outstanding Guest Actor/Drama in 2001 for his recurring character William Hinks, a psychotic serial killer, on the series "The Practice."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell),