favorite olden day actors

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Ben Vereen
Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country's artistic legacy. His first love and passion is and always will be the stage. "The theater was my first training ground. It taught me discipline...
 
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Jennifer Beals
Actress, The L Word
Jennifer Beals was born in December 1963 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in the city. With a life-long desire for acting, Beals first appeared in small high school plays and even got an uncredited bit part in My Bodyguard in 1980. After graduation, she enrolled in college at Yale University, studying American literature...
 
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Matthew Broderick
A slight comic actor chiefly known for his boyish charm, Matthew Broderick was born on March 21, 1962 in New York City, to Patricia Broderick (née Biow), a playwright and painter, and James Broderick, an actor. His father had Irish and English ancestry, and his mother was from a Jewish family (from Germany and Poland)...
 
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Malcolm McDowell
Malcolm John Taylor was born on June 13, 1943 in Leeds, England, to working-class parents Edna (McDowell), a hotelier, and Charles Taylor, a publican. His father was an alcoholic. Malcolm hated his parents' ways. His father was keen to send his son to private school to give him a good start in life...
 
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Mary Steenburgen
Mary Steenburgen is an Academy Award-winning American actress. She was born February 8, 1953, in Newport, Arkansas, USA. Her mother, Nellie May (Wall) Steenburgen, was a school-board secretary, and her father, Maurice H. Steenburgen, was a freight-train conductor. Her surname comes from distant Dutch ancestry, and her roots also include English, Scottish, and Welsh...
 
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Alan Arkin
Actor, Argo
Alan Arkin is an Academy Award-winning American actor who is also an acclaimed director, producer, author, singer and composer. He was born Alan Wolf Arkin on March 26, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Germany. In 1946 the Arkins moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles...
 
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Dick Shawn
One-of-a-kind nightclub comedian/singer Dick Shawn (ne Richard Schulefand) was as off-the-wall as they came and, as such, proved to be rather an acquired taste. Way ahead of his time most say, it was extremely difficult indeed to know how to properly tap into this man's eclectic talents. Shawn began...
 
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Jeff Goldblum
Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum was born October 22, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of four children of Shirley (Temeles), a radio broadcaster who also ran an appliances firm, and Harold L. Goldblum, a doctor. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry. Goldblum began his career on the New York stage after moving to the city at age seventeen...
 
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Fred Willard
Actor, WALL·E
Fred Willard radiates a unique charm that has established him as one of the industry's most gifted comic actors, first coming to prominence as ambitious but dimwitted sidekick Jerry Hubbard to Martin Mull's smarmy talk-show host Barth Gimble in the devastating satirical series Fernwood Tonight. A master of sketch comedy...
 
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Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal was born on March 14, 1948 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. He is the youngest of three sons born to Helen (Gabler) and Jack Crystal. His father was a well-known concert promoter who co-founded Commodore Records and his mother was a homemaker. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia...
 
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Doris Roberts
Doris Roberts was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Ann (Meltzer) and Larry Green. She was raised in New York, and took her stepfather's surname. Roberts was a 20-year veteran of the Broadway stage before she began appearing steadily in character roles in film and on television during the 1970s. A versatile player with an inescapably "mom-like" presence...
 
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Carl Reiner
Carl Reiner is a legend of American comedy, having achieved great success as a comic actor, a director, producer and recording artist. He has won nine Emmy Awards, three as an actor, three as a writer and two as a producer. He also won a Grammy Award for his "2,000 Year Old Man" album, based on his comedy routine with Mel Brooks...
 
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Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952 in Peekskill, New York, to Judy (Rosen), a teacher, and Milton Rubenfeld, a car salesman who had flown for the air forces of the U.S., U.K., and Israel, becoming one of the latter country's pioneering pilots. Paul grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where his parents owned a lamp store...
 
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Karen Black
Karen Black was born Karen Blanche Ziegler in Park Ridge, Illinois, to Elsie Mary (Reif), who wrote children's books, and Norman Arthur Ziegler, an engineer and businessman. She was of Norwegian (from her paternal grandmother), German, and Bohemian (Czech) descent. Karen entered Northwestern University at 15 and left two years later...
 
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Treat Williams
Actor, Everwood
Richard Treat Williams was born in Rowayton, Connecticut, to Marian (Andrew), who dealt in antiques, and Richard Norman Williams, a corporate executive. Educated at prep-school, he first made a serious commitment to his craft during his days at Pennsylvania's Franklin and Marshall College. Working summers with the nearby Fulton Repertory Theatre at Lancaster in the heart of Amish country...
 
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Pam Dawber
Actress, Mork & Mindy
Actress, Pam Dawber grew up in a suburb of Detroit. Her career began to take off when a friend who was going to New York suggested that Pam accompany her and bring along her modeling portfolio to show various New York modeling agents. A pretty girl, Pam had done some modeling in Detroit, where she was attending Oakland Community College...
 
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Jean Stapleton
Jean Stapleton was born Jeanne Murray in Manhattan, New York City, to Marie A. (Stapleton), an opera singer, and Joseph Edward Murray, a billboard advertising salesman. Her paternal grandparents were Irish. She was a cousin of actress Betty Jane Watson. Other relatives in show business were her uncle...
 
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Elliott Gould
Elliott Gould is an American actor known for his roles in MASH, his Oscar-nominated performance in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and more recently, his portrayal of old-time con artist Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen. Gould was born Elliott Goldstein on August 29...
 
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Dennis Potter
Dennis Christopher George Potter was born 17 May 1935 in Berry Hill, a small village in the Forest of Dean, where his grandfather and father were coal miners. Through books, the young Potter found that "words were chariots". He attended school in London and spent two years in the Army. During his three years at Oxford...
 
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Lesley Ann Warren
Actress, Secretary
Lesley Ann Warren started gearing towards a life in show business right off the bat as a child ballerina; little did she know that Hollywood stardom would arrive on her doorstep in the form of a "Cinderella" story -- literally! The New York-born actress (born in 1946) is the daughter of a night club singer...
 
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James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred in many films over a 40-year period, beginning with the Stanley Kubrick classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. He is...
 
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Leonard Nimoy
Actor, Star Trek
Leonard Simon Nimoy was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Dora (Spinner) and Max Nimoy, who owned a barbershop. His parents were Ukrainian Jewish immigrants. Raised in a tenement and acting in community theaters since age eight, Nimoy did not make his Hollywood debut until he was 20, with a bit part in Queen for a Day and another as a ballplayer in the perennial Rhubarb...
 
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Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father was a General Motors executive. In her early teens, her father was transferred to a GM assembly plant in the Detroit, Michigan area and her family resided in Clarkston, Michigan where she attended Clarkston Middle School. A short time later...
 
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Ellen Barkin
Offbeat, unconventionally pretty, and utterly mesmerizing, Ellen Barkin was born in 1954 in the Bronx, New York, to Evelyn (Rozin), a hospital administrator, and Sol Barkin, a chemical salesman. Her parents were both from Russian Jewish families. Raised in the South Bronx and Queens, New York area,...
 
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Robin Williams
Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana...
 
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Teri Garr
Teri Garr can claim a career in show business by birthright. She was born in Lakewood, Ohio, the daughter of Eddie Garr (born Edward Leo Gonnoud), a Broadway stage and film actor, and Phyllis Garr (née Emma Schmotzer), a dancer. Her maternal grandparents were Austrian, and her father was of Irish descent...
 
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Elizabeth McGovern
Daughter of a law professor at Northwestern University, she moved with her family to Los Angeles when he transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.). She began acting in school plays at North Hollywood High, graduated from The Oakwood School and then continued her stage training...
 
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Vanessa Redgrave
On January 30, 1937, renowned theatre actor Michael Redgrave was performing in a production of Hamlet in London. During the curtain call, the show's lead, Laurence Olivier, announced to the audience: "tonight a great actress was born". This was in reference to his co-star's newborn daughter, Vanessa Redgrave...
 
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Mick Jagger
Soundtrack, The Departed
Michael Philip Jagger was born in Dartford, Kent on 26th July 1943. When he was 4 he met Keith Richards until they went into secondary schools and lost touch. But one day in 1960 they accidentally met on the Dartford train line and both realized that they had an interest in rock n roll combined with blues...
 
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Shelley Duvall
Actress, The Shining
Shelley Alexis Duvall was born in Houston, Texas, to Bobbie Ruth (Massengale) and Robert Richardson Duvall, a lawyer. During her childhood, Shelley's mother humorously gave Shelley the nickname "Manic Mouse", because she would often run around her house and tip over furniture. Shelley however was more than a mouse...
 
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Ned Beatty
Stocky, genial-looking supporting actor Ned Beatty was once hailed by Daily Variety as the "busiest actor in Hollywood". Ned Thomas Beatty was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Margaret (Fortney) and Charles William Beatty. He grew up fishing and working on farms. His hometown of St. Matthews, Kentucky...
 
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Hervé Villechaize
Hervé Villechaize was born in Paris on April 23, 1943. He stopped growing very early and his father (who was a surgeon) tried to find a cure by visiting several doctors and hospitals. But there was none, so Hervé had to live with his small height and also with undersized lungs. He studied at the Beaux-Arts in Paris and made an exhibition of his own paintings...
 
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Gena Rowlands
Actress, The Notebook
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American film, stage, and television actress, whose career in the entertainment industry has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in 10 films...
 
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Hoyt Axton
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
 
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John Lithgow
If "born to the theater" has meaning in determining a person's life path, then John Lithgow is a prime example of this truth. He was born in Rochester, New York, to Sarah Jane (Price), an actress, and Arthur Washington Lithgow III, who was both a theatrical producer and director. John's father was born in Puerto Plata...
 
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Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it be Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film...
 
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Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon was born Susan Abigail Tomalin in New York City, New York, to Lenora Marie (Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, a television producer and advertising executive. She is of Italian (mother) and English, Irish, Welsh, and German (father) descent. Soon after the 1968 Democratic convention...
 
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Klaus Kinski
Klaus Kinski was born Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began acting on the stage...
 
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Carrie Fisher
Carrie Frances Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, to singers/actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. She is an actress and writer, known for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (aka Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Fisher is also known for her book...
 
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Liza Minnelli
Actress, Cabaret
Liza Minnelli was born on March 12, 1946, the daughter of Judy Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli. She was practically raised at MGM studios while her parents worked long hours there and she made her film debut at fourteen months of age in the movie In the Good Old Summertime. Her parents divorced in 1951 and...
 
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Eric Idle
Eric Idle is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, playwright, director and songwriter. Co-creator of Monty Python on TV, stage and five films, including The Life of Brian and The Holy Grail, which latter he adapted for the stage with John Du Prez as Monty Python's Spamalot, winning the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005...
 
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Lee Remick
Actress, The Omen
Lee Remick was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, to Gertrude Margaret (Waldo), an actress, and Francis Edwin Remick, a department store owner. She had Irish and English ancestry. Remick was educated at Barnard College, studied dance and worked on stage and TV, before making her film debut as a sexy Southern majorette in Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd...
 
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Harry Dean Stanton
Actor, Alien
Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes. Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco farmer...