Dakota Mayi Johnson is an American fashion model and actress. She was born in Austin, Texas, and is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. Her maternal grandmother is actress Tippi Hedren.
In 1999, she made her film debut in Crazy in Alabama, where she and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, played the daughters to their real-life mother, Melanie Griffith. The film was directed by her stepfather, Antonio Banderas, but it wasn't a hit. Dakota resumed her schooling and waited several years before she decided to become a professional actress and model. In 2006, she was voted Miss Golden Globe, a launching pad bestowed on off-spring of famous parents. She served as the first second-generation Miss Golden Globe in the Globes' history, since her mother was Miss Golden Globe in 1975. She also signed with IMG Models. In 2009, she modeled for MANGO brand's jeans line. Dakota traveled to Sydney, Australia, where she shot the "Rising Star" campaign for fashion label, "Wish". Once she graduated from high school, she signed with the William Morris Agency and started her acting career. She had her first box office hit in 2010 with David Fincher's film, The Social Network, in which she had a scene with Justin Timberlake. The film received eight Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. She also appeared in three additional films: Beastly, alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen; Ezna Sands' film, Chloe and Theo; and So Yong Kim's film, For Ellen; She had roles in several 2012 films: Christopher Neil's film, Goats, with David Duchovny; Nicholas Stoller's film, The Five-Year Engagement, for producer Judd Apatow, and the hit feature film version of the 1987 television show, 21 Jump Street, that made Johnny Depp a star. She also won the female lead in Chris Nelson's, film Date and Switch, written by Alan Yang. Her first television show, Ben and Kate, where she played "Kate", aired on Fox during the Fall 2012 season. It was canceled in 2013, and she quickly resumed her feature film career with three high-profile films: "Need for Speed," the modern-day adaptation of the William Shakespeare play "Cymbeline," and the starring role of Anastasia in the adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Tracy Spiridakos is a Canadian actress who stars as Charlotte "Charlie" Matheson in the NBC post-apocalyptic science fiction series Revolution. Tracy was born in Winnipeg Manitoba to her parents George and Anastasia, who are restaurant owners. She has two brothers. Spiridakos began acting in junior high school, and studied at the Actors Training Centre of Manitoba. She graduated from Oak Park High School in Winnipeg. Spiridakos moved to Vancouver in 2007 to pursue acting, and within weeks landed her first television role, a small part on Supernatural. She continued working in television, with walk-on roles. Spiridakos appeared in the TV movie Goblin, and the web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. She also had a recurring role on Being Human as werewolf Brynn McLean.
Anastasia trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art having already completed a degree in History of Art at Bristol University. Born to her Northern Irish mother (once an actress herself) and American father she was brought up along with her six elder brothers in West London where she still remains today.
Staci Keanan was born Anastasia Sagorsky on June 6, 1975 in Devon, Pennsylvania. She began her career at age four with fashion-show assignments and magazine work. At age eight, she moved to New York City with her mother and sister and balanced a modeling career with a budding theater career, in addition to keeping a high scholastic record. She won several prestigious scholastic awards, including a City of New York essay contest and the National Language Arts Olympiad. As for her acting career, she branched from modeling into commercials, voiceovers and jingles, and then got roles in several miniseries and television specials. Her first starring role was as Nicole Bradford in the situation comedy My Two Dads. She received both the Youth In Film Award and Sixteen Magazine's Top TV Newcomer Award for her work on the series. In 1989, Staci made it to the silver screen in the horror film Lisa, and then starred in the situation comedy Step by Step.
Scott Cohen was born in the Bronx, New York, on December 19th. The son of a jazz musician (Jack Cohen), Scott's original aspirations were toward music - and to this day he remains an accomplished and talented pianist. Scott attended the State University of New York at New Paltz where a course in clowning led to the start of his acting career. After developing his skills in upstate New York, Scott returned to the city where he found work as a substitute teacher, a waiter, a messenger, and even at one time a toy demonstrator. Finally in 1990 (just after his marriage to playwright Anastasia Traina in 1989) Scott was offered his breakthrough role in Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder. After completing his first feature film, Scott continued to rise as a star and has received critical acclaim for many roles, both on and off the screen.
Kristinia DeBarge knew she wanted to be a singer at the age of three. She grew up listening to strong female vocalists like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys. She credits DeBarge, Mariah Carey, Prince and Aaliyah as her musical inspiration. As a young girl, DeBarge had big dreams of being a singer but kept it from her father until he took her into a recording studio at age twelve. They worked until 4 A.M. recording a duet, which made him realize she was serious about beginning a singing career. At thirteen, she appeared on American Juniors, a younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. She made it to the Top 20. At fourteen, she met Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and spent the next four years developing her voice and writing skills. At nineteen, DeBarge signed a record deal with Sodapop/Island Def Jam.
Her debut album, "Exposed" was released on July 28, 2009. The album debuted at number 23 on Billboard's top 200. Her first single, "Goodbye" debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and later reached number 15 on the charts. And in Canada, it reached number 15 on the Canadian Hot 100. The single sold over 2 million copies reaching Platinum status and later reaching Gold twice. The music video received an MTV VMA nomination.
DeBarge's second single, "Sabotage," was sent to radio a week before the release of "Exposed." The remix of "Future Love" (featuring Pitbull) was released as the third single. This remixed version was released on November 2, 2009 in the UK and November 10, 2009 in the US. "Exposed" received positive reviews from major critical websites, such as Blues & Soul, People Magazine, and AllMusic. DeBarge opened up for pop singer Britney Spears, during the 2009 world tour, "The Circus Starring: Britney Spears" and received an NAACP Image Award nomination for "Outstanding Artist." In November 2009, The Wet Seal, Inc., a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced a partnership with her.
She independently released a single entitled "Cry Wolf." The music video was featured on VEVO. She was also featured on Redrama's single, "Let Go," which reached number 3 on the charts.
DeBarge made her acting debut in Christmas in Compton, starring Keith David,Omar Gooding,Eric Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph. DeBarge played the female lead (Anastasia) in a film written and directed by Nick Cannon entitled School Dance (2014). DeBarge is cast as the female lead (Melody) in The Mint (2015).
This elegant singer/actress initially had designs on becoming an opera singer. Born in Montana on May 20, 1933, and christened Constance Mary Towers, she appeared on radio as a child singer. Her family moved to New York where she subsequently studied at the Julliard School of Music and the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts (AADA). A chance casting in a summer production of "Carousel" led her away from her operatic aspirations and into the musical theater arena. Before she settled into this, however, she gained early exposure on the chic nightclub circuit and fostered an attempt at stardom via films. She co-starred with Frankie Laine playing a school teacher in the modest movie musical Bring Your Smile Along, and appeared in exceptionally strong ingénue roles in the movie dramas The Horse Soldiers starring John Wayne and Sergeant Rutledge opposite Jeffrey Hunter. Director Samuel Fuller cast her against type in some of his highly offbeat dramas in the early 1960s. She played a stripper girlfriend in Shock Corridor and in The Naked Kiss gave a no-holds-barred performance as a former prostitute trying to clean up her act. Films, however, were few and far between.
By this time she was starting to settle in as a pristine musical leading lady. After a 1960 performance as missionary Sarah in "Guys and Dolls," Constance made her Broadway debut in the title role of "Anya" (1965), in which she played the title role of the Russian princess Anastasia. Heralded performances in "Carousel" (1966) and "The Sound of Music" (1967), in which she won the Outer Critic's Circle Award as Maria, not to mention a Broadway revival of "The King and I" opposite Yul Brynner truly put her on the musical map. Her run with Brynner lasted nearly 800 performances. She had earlier played the school teacher Anna off-Broadway opposite Michael Kermoyan in 1972. Other sterling stage appearances included "Kiss Me Kate," "42nd Street," "Oklahoma!," "Camelot" and "Mame." She also starred in the musical "Ari," an adaptation of the Leon Uris novel "Exodus."
TV proved a sturdy medium as well. In her early days, she made singing appearances on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show and, in dramatic roles, was a frequent glamorous suspect on Perry Mason. As she matured, her sharp, glacial, strikingly handsome features also worked very well for her in unsympathetic aristocratic roles on daytime. Winning regular spots on Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, The Young and the Restless and Sunset Beach, she did her most consistent work on Capitol, in which she played Clarissa McCandless for five seasons. She is currently courting favor with audiences and stealing scenes on a regular basis on General Hospital, in which she plays, at age 72, the inherently wicked Helena Cassadine, a role originated by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor. Recent films have included The Next Karate Kid, The Relic and A Perfect Murder starring Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow, in which she played Paltrow's mother. Constance also enjoyed a resurgence on prime-time TV with a sprinkling of guest parts on L.A. Law, Designing Women, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Caroline in the City," Frasier, Baywatch, and Providence. She received an Emmy nomination for her role in the single episode drama special on CBS Daytime 90 entitled "Once in Her Life."
Constance has been married since 1974 to one-time actor and former Mexican ambassador John Gavin. It was the second marriage for both. The handsome couple have two children: Cristina and Maria Gavin. Constance also has two children, Michael and Maureen McGrath, from her prior marriage to Panamanian businessman Eugene McGrath. As a result of her current husband's civic work, she became actively involved in a multitude of charities. "Project Connie" not only offered aid to those in need of medical and rehabilitation assistance after the Mexican earthquake of 1985, it has served as an adoption placement agency to hundreds of children from Mexico to El Salvador. She has also involved herself with the Children's Bureau of California, the National Health Foundation, and the Red Cross and the Blue Ribbon of Los Angeles.
Henry Jackman, born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, UK, began composing his first symphony at age six, and was an accomplished composer by age nine. He went on to study classical music at St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School, Eton College and Oxford University. As a teenager, he became heavily influenced by the underground rave scene, and he began producing chart-topping dance remixes, electronica and club music soon afterwards.
Over the next few years, Jackman built a successful career in the recording industry, not only releasing 3 acclaimed solo albums, but also co-writing, mixing, producing, and programming with a host of outstanding artists. Jackman wrote, mixed and produced albums and songs for Seal and Art of Noise. He co-wrote songs for the films The Family Man and Anastasia. He produced songs with Gary Barlow from Take That (which reached no. 3 in the UK Charts) and Justin. He programmed for artists Mike Oldfield, Marc Almond, Coolio and Kirsty McColl. He even collaborated with Andy Gardner (of Plump DJ's fame) to produce a series of Dance Remixes that topped the dance charts and were selected for Pete Tong's Essential selection.
In 2006, Jackman's accomplishments garnered the attention of Hans Zimmer and John Powell, who soon hired Jackman to compose additional music on such films as The Dark Knight, The Da Vinci Code, Kung Fu Panda and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Jackman's first major solo scoring gig was Monsters and Aliens in 2009, a family movie with a heavy action score, and began his fruitful career as one of the most sought after composers today.
Jackman's recent film scores span across a wide range of genres, from action films to period dramas to family films, including: Captain Phillips, X-Men: First Class, Henri 4, Wreck-It Ralph, Puss In Boots , Kick Ass, Turbo, This is the End, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Man On A Ledge, Winnie The Pooh, Gulliver's Travels and Monsters and Aliens.
Anastasia "Tasie" Katya Breezy Dhanraj was born in Brighton, East Sussex, England to Derek Dhanraj and Rebecca Sinnatt.
She has a younger sister named Tasha and is half-English and half-Guyanese.
She is a singer/songwriter and is former member of a dark pop rock band called the "WooWoos". Though she confirmed in her Twitter that she has left the band due to her wanting to go in a different direction of her career.
She is best known for her role as Mara Jaffray in the Belgian/American/British Teen Drama Mystery television series of Nickelodeon: House of Anubis.
Olivia Shae Sanabia was born and raised in Southern California. She has been performing since the young age of two singing whenever anyone would listen or she could find a stage. Her love of singing and acting eventually led to performances in Annie (as Annie), Anastasia, Seussical, Fiddler on the Roof, and many more. Olivia started her professional acting career when she was eight years old in a campaign spot with Jennifer Garner. Since starting her career, Olivia has been in over 25 commercials including ones for Disney, Nickelodeon, Ford, and many others. Olivia has a passion for dramatic acting and has been studying her craft for both film and television for a number of years. She has had the honor to perform in shows such as Incredible Crew, Extant, Sam & Cat, and the Birthday Boys. Her latest endeavor is the part of Kelly in a new Amazon original series call Just Add Magic.
Buxom and shapely 5'4" brunette knockout Emily Addison was born on May 31, 1984 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Her first job was working for the Domino's Pizza restaurant chain at age sixteen. Addison began her career in the adult entertainment industry at age twenty dancing at local strip clubs in Charlotte, North Carolina. Emily was discovered by a local fetish producer on Myspace and appeared in the February, 2008 issue of Hustler magazine after winning a "Girls of Myspace" contest. Among the notable companies Emily has appeared in explicit hardcore features for are 3rd Degree, FM Concepts, Girlfriends Films, and Anastasia Pierce Productions. Moreover, Addison not only was the centerfold for the April, 2009 issue of Club magazine as well as the Pet of the Month in the September, 2011 issue of Penthouse, but also was the Twistys Treat of the Month for November, 2010 and was subsequently named Twistys Treat of the Year for 2011.
|Mary Christina Brown
Mary Christina Brown is an American actress with a multicultural background of Dutch, Irish, English, Welsh, Native American from her father's side and South Korean and Japanese from her mother's side. She is also culturally influenced with the Filipino and Chinese culture from her stepmother. She was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After moving around the country during her early childhood, she finally settled with her family in San Francisco at the age of seven.
No matter where she lived she always held a passion for both the performing arts and martial arts. She booked her first commercial for Fox television at age seven and started modeling for print advertising campaigns shortly thereafter. She danced professionally all her life, varying from tap, jazz, modern, ballet, hip hop, and even traditional Hawaiian and Tahitian. Mary Christina is also classically trained in voice and played the violin and cello. While living in San Francisco and attending performing art schools (The Bennett Theatre Lab & Conservatory, A.C.T. Conservatory, School of the Arts High School, Young People's Musical Theater Company, to name a few), she decided to fully commit to her creative endeavors.
After a short stint in Silicon Valley as a Network Technician and Internet Systems Engineer, Mary Christina decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the Arts and Entertainment industry.
As an actress, Mary Christina combines all her talents, including her physical skills in yoga, dance, and martial arts to fully express and commit in subtle ways that brings life to the characters she portrays. Mary Christina has worked on different films playing a variety of characters across the spectrum.
Some of her works are as follows: "Blood and Bone" playing Anastasia, a henchman alongside Julian Sands in the Michael Jai White action drama film and "Dark Island" playing Rachel Gant, a special ops soldier in the indie Sci-Fi Action Thriller with Jai Koutrae and Zero Kazama, "Night of the Templar" playing Japoniko, a mysterious minimalist swords woman seeking revenge acting opposite Norman Reedus, Udo Kier, and the late David Carradine and featured as Jasmine, a courtesan in "The Man with the Iron Fists" with Russell Crowe and in "AWOL-72" as Monica, an international undercover special agent with Luke Goss, Bokeem Woodbine and RZA.
Most recently she has worked on the Action Sci-Fi "Max Steel."
She practices yoga daily and trains in a variety of styles of martial arts. She also trains in dance, stunts, and enjoys the great outdoors.
Diminutive, genteel Cathleen Nesbitt was a grand dame of the theatre on both sides of the Atlantic in a career spanning seven decades. Among almost 300 roles on stage, she excelled at comic portrayals of sophisticated socialites and elegant mothers. Hollywood used her, whenever a gentler, sweeter version of Gladys Cooper was needed, yet someone still possessed of a subtly sarcastic wit and turn of phrase. Cathleen attended Queen's University in Belfast and the Sorbonne in Paris. Encouraged by a friend of her father - none other than the legendary Sarah Bernhardt - to enter the acting profession, she was taken on by Victorian actress and drama teacher Rosina Filippi (1866-1930). Cathleen's first appearance on stage was in 1910 at the Royalty Theatre in London. This was followed in November 1911 by her Broadway debut with the touring Abbey Theatre Players in 'The Well of the Saints'. From here on, and for the rest of her long life, she was never out of a job, demonstrating her range and versatility by playing anything from villainesses to being a much acclaimed Kate in Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew', Perdita in 'The Winter's Tale', Audrey Hepburn's grandaunt in 'Gigi', the Dowager Empress in 'Anastasia' and the gossipy 'humorously animated' Julia Shuttlethwaite of T.S. Eliot's 'The Cocktail Party'. Her Mrs. Higgins in 'My Fair Lady', Brooks Atkinson described as played with 'grace and elegance', which also pretty much sums up Cathleen's career in films.
Her first motion picture role was a lead in the drama The Faithful Heart, adapted from an Irish play. She then absented herself from the screen for the next decade, resurfacing in supporting roles in British films, though rarely cast in worthy parts, possible exceptions being Man of Evil and Jassy. Her strengths were rather better showcased during her sojourn in Hollywood, which began in 1952. In addition to prolific appearances in anthology television, she also appeared in several big budget films, most memorably as Cary Grant's perspicacous grandmother in An Affair to Remember and as gossipy Lady Matheson (alongside Gladys Cooper) in Separate Tables. One of her last roles of note was as Julia Rainbird, who instigates the mystery in Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot.
On the instigation of her friend Anita Loos, author of 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', Cathleen wrote her memoirs, 'A Little Love and Good Company' in 1977. For her extraordinarily long career in the acting profession, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Honours List the following year. She retired just two years prior to her death in 1983 at the age of 93.
Annett Culp (born August 1, 1975) is a German actress. She was born in Potsdam, Germany under the name Annett Mohamed Elmaghrabi of a Sudanese father and a German mother. She is the granddaughter of Abdel Fattah Mohamed Elmaghrabi, first Democratic elected President of Sudan after its Independence in 1956 Career: In 1996, she moved to Los Angeles, California for the first time to study acting at the "Playhouse West School and Repertory Theatre". She graduated in 2000 after studying under teachers like Jeff Goldblum. During her time at the Playhouse, she worked as an extra on a number of Hollywood Productions and TV series such as "Saved By the Bell", "Barbwire", "The Nutty Professor".Early Life: Annett Culp was born in former East Germany to a German mother and an Arabic father. She grew up in Berlin and attended her first casting at the age of 13. After high school she went to trade school to learn the hotel business while secretly attending acting lessons at the local community college. She returned to Germany in 1999 to take on the role of Irene Görgens in the German TV series SK Kölsch, starring alongside German TV actor Uwe Fellensiek.
Her big breakthrough on German television came when she got a starring role in the German Daily Soap Verbotene Liebe playing the character Silke Voss from 2004 to 2005. Since then, she played a multitude of different roles on German TV series, including recurring characters in successful TV series such as "Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten", "Wolffs Revier" and "Die Wache". In the US, Annett Culp was discovered by the legendary director and screenwriter Zalman King, director of films like "9 1/2 Weeks" and "Wild Orchid". He saw her when she picked up a friend from the casting session and invited her to attend another casting session the following week. After that session, she played the lead role of Anastasia in the Showtime series "ChromiumBlue.com" that ran for 13 episodes in 2002. The same year, she also played the role of "Nina" in the movie OUTCASTS written and directed by independent filmmaker Johnny Asuncion. The role was originally written for an 18 year old from East Los Angeles, but recast after the director met with Annett Culp. The movie was part of the Dances With Film festival in Los Angeles and critically well-received .
Personal Life: Annett Culp splits her life between Berlin and Los Angeles. She became a US Citizen in 2007 and is mother to a daughter who was born in 2011. In addition to her acting career, she is a trained Yoga instructor who studied for years under acclaimed Yoga teacher Brian Kest and holds a diploma from the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres in Los Angeles. She is also an expert in Martial Arts and studied under Eric Chen at the National Wushu Training Center in Los Angeles and Martial Artist Dan Inosanto at the Inosanto Academy. In 2013, she was elected to be a jury member of the International Women's Film Festival in Morocco.
Annett worked on the script of her upcoming personal project about her family saga involving her grandfather Abdel Fattah Mohamed Elmaghrabi, first Democratic elected President of Sudan after its Independence in 1956. She made a book presentation about "The Blue Nile", the family saga written by her father and herself during the last Women Film Festival in Morocco, Salé which received a warm ovation from the audience and the press.
In his 25 year career, David Newman has scored over 100 films, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger and Heathers, to the more recent The Spirit, Serenity, and Alvin and the Chipmonks: The Squeakuel. Newman's music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; top-grossing comedies Norbit, Scooby-Doo, Galaxy Quest, The Nutty Professor, The Flinstones, Throw Mama From the Train; and award-winning animated films Ice Age, The Brave Little Toaster and Anastasia. The recipient of top honors from the music and motion picture industries, he holds an Academy Award nomination for his score to the animated feature, Anastasia, and was the first composer to have his piece, 1001 Nights, performed in the Los Angeles Philharmonic's FILMHARMONIC Series, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Newman is also a highly sought-after conductor and appears with leading orchestras throughout the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Score Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, New Japan Philharmonic, Utah Symphony, and the American Symphony. He has led subscription week with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall and regularly conducts the Hollywood Bowl.
Also an active composer for the concert hall, his works have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, and at the Ravinia Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival.
Newman has spent considerable time unearthing and restoring film music classics for the concert hall, and headed the Sundance Institute's music preservation program in the late 1980s. During his tenure at Sundance he wrote an original score and conducted the Utah Symphony for the classic silent motion picture, Sunrise, which opened the Sundance Film Festival in 1989. As a tribute to his work in film music preservation, he was elected President of the Film Music Society in 2007, a nonprofit organization formed by entertainment industry professionals to preserve and restore motion picture and television music. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of musicians, Newman services as President of the Board of the American Youth Symphony, a forty-three year-old pre-professional orchestra based in Los Angeles, where he launched the three-year "Jerry Goldsmith Project." In 2007 he wrote the children't melodrama Yoko and the Tooth Fairy for Crossroads School in Santa Monica, CA, and in 2010 he served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival in the Film Scoring Program. When his schedule permits, he visit Los Angeles area high schools to speak about film scoring and mentor young composers.
The son of nine-time Oscar-winning composer, Alfred Newman, David Newman was born in Los Angeles in 1954. He trained in violin and piano from an early age and earned degrees in orchestral conducting and violin from the University of Southern California.
Karyme Lozano was chosen three times as one of Español's '50 Most Beautiful People'.
Her hugely successful soap operas have aired multiple times in numerous countries on every continent and dubbed in several languages. Karyme has found tremendous acceptance with audiences internationally resulting in a fan base of millions of people that follow her soaps and projects around the world. Karyme is the only star simultaneously featured in a lead role in two prime-time soaps, El Manantial, and Niña Amada Mía, a unique event in Univision history.
Not surprisingly, Karyme has found equal success on stage, by starring in Spanish versions of musicals Anastasia, Cinderella, and Grease. On top of her many awards and recognitions (Las Palmas de Oro, TV Y Novelas, Eres, Teleguía, etc.), her lead film role, a moving performance as an artist physically and mentally abused by her boyfriend, in Desnudos earned her a well-deserved nomination to a coveted Ariel Award, Mexico's equivalent to the Oscars.
Adding to her popularity from her television work, which made her internationally recognizable, her equal success in theatre and her demonstrable, multi-faceted skills, Karyme Lozano is not only an experienced, bilingual actor, she is also a fresh, eye-catching original, and a gifted, dedicated professional. Karyme's profound success earned her the honor of hosting the Latin Grammy's with Kenny G to co-producing and starring in a movie along with Rafael Amaya; "Pepe and Santo vs America" (an independent movie directed by Javier Chapa), an American production with a warmhearted humor that tells a story about Mexican Immigrants in search of the American Dream.
Karyme also co-starred in the Epic movie, For Greater Glory, next to Andy Garcia, playing the role of Doña María del Río de Sánchez, mother of Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Rio.
Karyme recently finished shooting the latin soap "Quiero Amarte" as the lead actress with Cristian de la Fuente, currently airing in different countries including the United States on Univision, 3:00 PM Pacific Time.
Ponda Frost is an L.A.-based actor, filmmaker and dancer from Nashville, TN. Her credits include the feature film "Holy Ghost People", the ABC-TV series "Nashville", the FX movie "Outlaw Country", the award-winning short film "Autumn Lovers", and the Luke Bryan music video "Crash My Party". She wrote and directed "The Ripple Effect", which premiered at Nashville's Artlightenment Film Festival in November 2014. It won two awards: Best First-Time Director, and a People's Choice Award (2nd Place) for Best Film.
Frost is also a film editor, a dance teacher/choreographer, and a seasonal park ranger. She is co-president of Couchville Lake Productions, a Nashville-based film production company. She has previously worked as a university biology instructor.
In 2011, Frost made her acting debut on the FX movie "Outlaw Country", playing a rabid fan of singer Anastasia Lee (Mary Steenburgen). The movie also starred Haley Bennett, John Hawkes, Michael Rooker and Luke Grimes. Later in 2011, Frost appeared in the feature film "Lukewarm", starring John Schneider and Bill Cobbs. Other work by Frost in 2011 included: the Song of David music video "One Step"; the music reality series "Only the Best"; principal actor on a commercial for Tennessee Cabling; appearing on Nashville's "Rockabilly Rock and Blues" radio show; and starring in the award-winning PSA "Plant A Tree In Tennessee" for Tennessee State Parks.
In early 2012, Frost appeared in the feature-length film "Changing Seasons", starring Dan Cortese and Beverley Mahood. She then landed the lead role in the film "Still Life", which was shot in Nashville. Her other films in 2012 included "Living In Sin", "The Watcher", "Cyclical Effect", "Althea", "Pretty Girls Make Graves", "Sadness of Reality", "The Haircut", and "Holy Ghost People", which made its world premiere at Austin's SXSW Festival in March 2013.
In October of 2012, Frost made her debut on the ABC-TV series "Nashville". She portrayed a dancer in the seventh episode of the series, which stars Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Powers Boothe. She later made another appearance in episode nine.
Frost's 2013 films included "Nothing Is Funny, Everything Is Sad", "Change of Art", "Apophenia", and "Pondita: the Wandering Witch of the Glades". She also landed a co-starring role in the web series "Mr. Frost" and was featured in the Luke Bryan video "Crash My Party".
In October 2013, Frost made her stage debut in Nashville in the Lakewood Theatre production of "The Beverly Hillbillies". One month later she portrayed Ranger Rita in the web series "Nature Time with Ranger Rita".
In November 2013, two films in which she played the lead -- "Wildcat From Outer Space" and "Autumn Lovers" -- premiered at the Artlightenment Film Festival in Nashville, TN. "Autumn Lovers" earned second place in the festival's People's Choice Awards. Frost also served as a producer on both films.
In early 2014, Frost began studying improv at the legendary Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, directing and starring in "The Ripple Effect", her other film appearances in 2014 included "The Portal" and "The Rock Stacker", both of which she co-produced.
Kelly Nishimoto was born in the back woods of Macon, Georgia to a Scottish Irish craftsman/chemist/musician father and a Japanese American jewelry designer mother. She was exposed at a very early age to design and construction using a variety of materials. Her first wedding gown at age 13 was made of trash bags and a glue gun. At 19, after trading in GA's laid back country living for the frenetic night life of Miami's South Beach, Kelly created her first collection which included corsets, ball-room gowns, double breasted jackets, and handbags, all made using colored Reynolds Wrap. The line was a huge hit garnering her such accolades as "Top Ten Designers to Watch" by the Miami Herald.
After 5 years in Miami's fashion circuit, Kelly ventured west in search of new inspiration. She found it immediately upon arriving in Los Angeles. Noticing everything she saw in the clothing market was shabby-chic and grunge, Kelly saw the perfect opportunity to bring back elegance, sophistication, and femininity by revisiting one of her favorite pieces...the corset! With lush fabrics and a more comfortable structure, Kelly breathed fresh air into an age-old garment. They quickly made a stir on red carpets across the country, Kelly Nishimoto corsets have already graced the bodies of Marley Shelton, Rumor Moore, Gwen Stefani, Anastasia, Natasha Hendstridge, Jenna Jameson, and yes...even Dave Navarro.
This self-taught designer didn't stop there. Kelly Nishimoto debuted her Spring/Summer 2006 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in March 2006. Feeling that fashion had no soul...she set out to make a full collection of things that were missing from her own closet. Simple elegance is how she described the flowing collection that graced the runway. Her Fall/Winter/Holiday 2006 collection was a perfect balance of her heritage...Scottish plaids and Japanese printed silks. Fresh off the runway is her Spring/Summer 2007 collection she describes as women in the bedroom.
Nishimoto's career recently took an exciting turn when The Style Network hired her to co-host the hit show, "My Celebrity Home" airing November 29th 2006.
Anastasia Ganias is an American actress best known for portraying Tracy Togs on the HBO series True Blood.
In 2008, Anastasia moved to Los Angeles and quickly began guest starring on shows such as Dexter, Parks and Recreation, Desperate Housewives, Party Down, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY. One of Ganias' most notable roles to date was a guest starring role as Megan in the multi camera comedy, _Acording to Jim (2001-2009)_. Directed by Penny Marshall, Anastasia worked alongside the brilliant Garry Marshall and James Belushi. In film, she starred as Claire in the award winning indie comedy Missed Connections.
In 2012, Anastasia was cast as Tracy Togs in the fifth season of True Blood as a recurring character.
Anastasia is currently bi-coastal, dividing her time between Los Angeles and New York.
Busty and shapely 5'5" redhead stunner Paris Kennedy was born on May 26, 1982 in Los Angeles, California. Paris started out in the adult entertainment industry at age 19 working as a professional BDSM submissive at the World Famous Chateau BDSM Club in Los Angeles. Kennedy went on to do fetish modeling and first began performing in explicit hardcore fare in her early twenties in 2003. Among the notable companies Paris has appeared in X-rated features for are Sin City, FM Concepts, Band Productions, Bellezza Video, Jewell Marceau, and Anastasia Productions. Moreover, Kennedy not only has worked for such adult websites as Brazzers, BangBros, and Naughty America, but also has wrestled under the name Roxy Blade. Her hobbies include yoga, hiking, Pilates, surfing, kick-boxing, and going to the beach and various tropical places. Paris continues to work in the adult entertainment industry doing live web-cam shows.
Denise Moreno was born in Madrid, Spain, to a renowned Spanish classical music producer and an American translator who had made Madrid her home. Denise grew up feeling equally comfortable both in European and North American cultures and considers both Spanish and English to be her "first languages".
While studying piano and ballet as a child, Denise discovered early on that she had a passion for acting and at age 12 began to attend acting classes.
At age 16, she was discovered by the top modeling agency in Spain, Traffic, and quickly signed by other international agencies including Ford in NYC and Storm in London. She became to appear in International fashion magazines,such as Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire and Jalouse.
In 2005, during her first summer working in Paris, Dior representatives taken by the singular beauty of her face offered her a contract for the DIOR cosmetics campaign of Spring/Summer 2006. Denise continues to model under the name Denise Sommers.
Her first break came through a role in Manolete (2008) the film starring Oscar nominated Penelope Cruz and Oscar winner Adrien Brody. The intimate scene with the two awarding winning actors served as Denise's entry into the world of celluloid.
Denise studied Acting at ESAD,(Academy of Dramatic Arts) in Madrid, and Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
Bilingual in English and Spanish and fluent in french Denise has worked in international films and on stage in Spain, France, UK, Ireland, and in the U.S.
In Spring 2012 Denise made her debut on the London stage at Riverside Studios, performing in The Oresteia(2012)by Aeschylus directed by Anastasia Revi (TheatreLab Company). Revi went on to direct Denise in the lead role of Salome in Oscar Wilde's "Salome" receiving outstanding reviews on Denise's work and that of TheatreLab.
|Cesar D' La Torre
Cesar D' La Torre is a Latino Actor born in Maracaibo Venezuela, he got his start acting roles in the most popular Venezuelan TV Series and soap operas on RCTV and VENEVISION TV Channels, some of them "La Vida Entera" "Estrambotica Anastasia" and "Ser Bonita no Basta" cast includes Edgar Ramirez "the Ultimate Born" "Zero Dark Thirty", D' La Torre American film credits West Hollywood Motel, jerry Powell & the delusions of grandeur, but he is best known for the hit teen drama series Que Clase de Amor. Latin America /Venevision International Television. The show, commonly referred to as the "Latin American High School Musical," became a phenomenon among teens across Latin America. (US included), a #1 hit in its demographic in over 15 countries.
D' La Torre worked on the TV series DTLA, cast included Oscar Nominee and Golden Globe Winner Melanie Griffith, also in the TV series Ground Floor broadcast by TBS Channel.
D' La Torre also was seen in the music video "YOU" with The Pretty Reckless Taylor Monsem "Tv Series Gossip Girl" .
D' La Torre practices martial arts, black belt in "karate do" becoming a National Champion in Venezuela in kumite (fight).
D' La Torre decided to become an actor when he was a teenager, in his hometown Maracaibo working in TV shows, commercials, and theater.
Tall (5'8"), busty, and shapely blonde bombshell Randy Moore was born on September 3, 1983 in Long Beach, California. She's of mixed Dutch and Italian descent. Moore started out in the adult entertainment industry doing fetish work. Randy first began performing in explicit hardcore movies in 2009. Among the notable companies Moore has appeared in X-rated features for are FM Concepts, Girlfriends Films, and Anastasia Productions. Moreover, Randy has not only worked for the popular adult website Twistys, but also has graced the cover of Hustler several times. She has a pierced navel.
Anastasia Drew was born as Anastasia Elisabeth Drew in 17 July 1998 in Monchengladbach city, Germany in a British military family. From her parents she inherited British, German, Russian, Polish ancestry. When Anastasia was one, her family moved to Essex, UK and later to London. At the age of 11, Anastasia surely knew that she wanted to become an actress and went to study at the Arts Educational Schools London (Arts Ed), as a full - time theatre school student, where she studied Performing Arts, Dance, Media, History of Art, English Literature and Russian. When Anastasia was 16, she had an excellent experience working both on the stage and on screen.
Anastasia Sands spent most of her life as a high school English teacher on the US West Coast. An American-born citizen of Russian descent, she has lived in the US all her life. Following a trend becoming more common these days, Anastasia entered the adult industry when she was in her early to mid 40s. Never married, she struggled to cope with her sexuality throughout most of her life. She had many male and female partners, but never a steady relationship. She had always been fascinated and intrigued by pornography, however, and never felt that she was able to settle down with any one person. This led to some complications in her career as a schoolteacher. After teaching English for about 20 years, she became sexually involved with a student. When a friend of the young girl reported it to the school administrators, an investigation was begun. The girl was removed from Anastasia's class and home-tutored while the investigation continued. Although there was no evidence (despite Anastasia's later admission of sexual encounters with the girl) of any illegal activity, the Board of Education forced Anastasia to "retire". Coming to terms with her passion for intimate encounters and her fascination with pornography, Anastasia entered the adult industry about a year after her "retirement". Her transition was a great success, and she immediately became a star in the "Mature Woman" category of adult films, joining the ranks of schoolteachers-turned-pornstars such as Rubee Tuesday. Anastasia's biggest claim to fame so far is her performance with young, college-aged women in the "Mature Women with Younger Girls" series of films. Fans love her passion and chemistry with the young women on screen, and she has become one of the most popular "mature" adult film stars in the industry. She even performed a scene that parodied her real-life incident, playing a teacher who invited a female student over for "extra credit". She hasn't done as many films as others of her age, but she is still a very popular star and has garnered a huge fan following.
Alice Bird is a British actress born and raised in London, daughter of engineer Bryn Bird and fashion designer June Bird. Upon seeing Alice Cry when the stage was dismantled at her primary school, her mother enrolled her in acting classed and Alice has not looked back since. Alice attended classes at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Italia Conti, Gypt and went on to complete a BA 9hons) in Acting at Rose Bruford College. Her first television appearance was in BBC's "Messiah" and she went on to be a series regular in "Footballers Wives: Extra Time". Alice then starred in Michael Tchoubouroff's feature film "Diagnosis: Superstar" and had the pleasure of working alongside Bill Nighy in Richard Eyre's "Notes on A Scandal". Since then Alice has played lead roles in TV series "Push", the stage version of Dante's "La Vita Nouva", feature film "Picnic in Gaza" and had the privilege of playing the title role of "Anastasia" on stage in Bloomsbury Square before starring in the feature film "If it Be Love" which went on to become a successful stage show. In 2013 she played lead roles in seven short films. She is proud to have co-written and produced "I'm in the Corner with the Bluebells" which was officially selected for the Toronto international film festival as well as festivals worldwide. She also made "La Tamise", with Philip Bloom which screened at the Curzon Soho as part of the 2014 London sort film festival. "Venus and Mars" shot in Iceland and London was screened at the Richmix cinema. Alice then played opposite Derek Jacobi in a rehearsed reading of "De Rapu Meo" which was produced for the stage with her still cast. Following this Alice played lead roles in two feature films. In "A Reason to Leave" she starrs opposite Mark Wingett and Claire King. In "Subject" she plays the central character Sally, an artist who lands an unexpected exhibition.
John Edward Gerschefske was introduced to the planet in 1933. He came from a railroad family in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The son of a railroad switchman and Motorola assembly line worker/nightclub singer. Also the grandson of the President of the Florist Drivers Union in the 1930s and 1940s. He was carted off to Roosevelt Military Academy soon after his parents separated in the early 1940s. He excelled in sports, music and academics. In the 8th grade he was #2 in the state of Illinois on the alto saxophone. He lettered in football, track and field and basketball. After graduating in the top 5% of his class, he worked for Motorola for a short time before enlisting in the United States Navy (1951). He became an Aviation Structural Mechanic and a member of the Glenview Naval Air stations' Crash Crew. After his stint in the service, he studied broadcasting and became a jazz disc jockey with WNIB in Chicago, and WNIB in Muskegon, Michigan. When he wasn't on the air,he was stage managing for local theatre groups in Chicago. He had his own weekly Radio Jazz show that attracted many artisans throughout the Great Lakes region.He met VIPs from all walks of life. For example, famous Painters such as Gertrude Abercrombie and Pablo Picasso. Jazz greats, like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk. Actors, actresses, politicians and many more! In 1956 he decided to head west to follow his dreams of becoming an actor. Hollywood was where he landed. He parked cars, tended bar and rustled up other odd jobs for cash, until he finally got his big chance! A screen test with MGM went very well and he was signed on under contract with MGM in 1958. His big debut was in Some Came Running with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He went on to do a few films with MGM, only to be black balled from the industry a few years later, because he stood up for The First Lady of The Folksong, Odetta. During a scene in a shoot, a certain director/producer was making her cry, by yelling at her and using racial slurs. John had words with him and the director told him to keep his mouth shut or he would never work in acting again! John walked off the set and never worked as an actor again.
An introduction to an MGM secretary by the name of Mary Kathleen Kenoyer, who caught his eye, certainly changed his life! He and Mary were married August 22, 1959 in Winterhaven, California and had a son, John Jr. the following year. Although his career ended in 1963/64 he was determined to land a gig doing something with the film industry. From 1964-1965 he was doing freelance photography. Early on in 1965 he became a news film apprentice editor with KABC-TV in Los Angeles. He worked his way up to Senior news film editor as well as Documentary film editor and sound editor, receiving an Emmy and Golden Globe award for his Charles Manson documentary series, Teenie Dopers and James Stacy Dry Martini Mini-Doc series. He retired from KABC-TV in 1981 and went into the Majors. The same year with Disney Studios he worked with Disneys' Epcot Centers' Circlevision in Florida with another brilliant Senior editor Dave Strohmaier. They also put together Anastasia: The Mystery Of Anna (1986) (TV), with Amy Irving, Olivia De Havilland and Omar Sharif. He went on to work at 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios doing various projects towards the end of his career. At the end of 1986 he and his wife Mary retired. His wife retired from Metro Goldwyn Mayer and The California Highway Patrol. In 1987, John and Mary plus One opened a Mexican restaurant in Lancaster, California. In 1990 they moved their restaurant to Coeur D' Alene, Idaho. Two years later, they both retired form all work completely. In late 1993 after being diagnosed with emphysema, they moved to Kingman, Arizona. In 2000, his wife Mary was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and had to have double stent surgery. In 2001, they moved to Reno, Nevada and then Las Vegas. In 2005 Mary had another stent put in. Two weeks later, John was involved in a terrible T-Bone auto accident, where the driver ran a stop sign at 70 miles an hour. He had several months of rehabilitation then they moved back to Kingman to be near their son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. The accident created too much stress on Mary. She steadily went downhill. In June of 2005, 5 months after the accident, she passed away due to a misdiagnosis of a bad gallbladder (Sepsis). John spent the next 21 months broken-hearted after 46 years of marriage, never to recover from his nightmares and the way Hollywood treated his dreams. Unfortunately, he passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on Saturday, March 31st, 2007.
Frank Crudele is likely best known to American audiences as "Big Jim Colosimo", one of the main characters establishing the story line in the pilot episode of "Boardwalk Empire" directed by Martin Scorsese which among its many awards went on to win a Golden Globe and SAG award for best ensemble. His most recent project is the to be released American feature film: "Step Up 5" playing a Bulgarian dance instructor and mentor to Ryan Guzman. Born in Triggiano (near Bari, Italy),the family moved to Montreal when Frank was 10 years old and two years later to Toronto where he spent his formative years He returned to Montreal to study modern languages where in 1977 he received a B.A in Italian Literature from Concordia University. Soccer was a big part of Frank's life in his youth. He played in rep-leagues and for the University Canadian defending champion varsity team but his most cherished memories in this sport was winning twice the Ontario soccer championship with Toronto's Downsview Secondary School. In New York City he trained under Stella Adler with a Canadian scholarship and she had the biggest influence on his method of work. His childhood upbringing in Italy until the mid 60's influenced his ability to flawlessly inhabit the skins of many European archetypes. As an actor Frank Crudele is respected by his peers for his large range and his special talent with foreign languages has gifted him the possibility to also work in Italian, Spanish and French Frank's first decade as an actor was devoted to the theatre. Some standout theatre roles are that of "Jake La Motta" in a Toronto production of "Square Garden" with Company Theatre, directed by Steven Rumbelow and the title role in "La Nona" playing a 102 year old woman in a Vancouver production of this multi award-winning Argentinian play. A special highlight was the 1986 North American premiere of the Russian play; "Theatre in The Time of Nero and Seneca" by Edward Radzinsky at Toronto's TWP which won him a trip to Russia where he was invited to the Moscow opening of the same play. In Leningrad he attended a production of "The Bench" by Alexander Gelman by the renown Mali Theatre which he would two years later perform in english at Toronto's Theatre Centre.Playing Shakespeare's Richard ii, Richard iii, Petruchio, Macbeth and King Lear and alternating these from English to Italian is what Frank however credits as his most technically challenging theatre experience In French-Canada he worked in the Genie and Jutra award winning Quebecois films directed by Paul Tana; "La Sarrazine" & "La Deroute" for which he would be submitted and be short listed for best supporting actor for a Genie award /Canadian Oscars). Having substantially worked in film and tv in Canada, (a special mention as Annette Funicello's dad in; "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes") along with his fair share of mobster roles from; "Albert Anastasia" in "Bonanno: A Godfather's Story" to Armand Assante's brother-in-law in HBO's "Gotti" and as the alcoholic "Roberto Panzoni" in one of French Canada's most popular tv series; "Omerta' La Loi Du Silence", after approximately ten years of of work in Canadian theatre where he played a large variety of characters Frank was however concerned of saturating himself with too many "ethnic" film and tv roles so he bet on the fluency of his foreign languages to stretch himself in a wider range of roles in the European film & TV industry and moved to Rome with his then wife and 3 young children. Some highlights of this period was co-starring with Rachel McAdams in her first feature film in the 2002 Venice Festival winner; "My Name is Tanino" directed by Paolo Virzi' who is considered as Italy's Woody Allen. Frank Crudele's tragic-comic role as the family patriarch in this film is fondly remembered in Italian cinema. He went on to play a leading role as a naive friar in the RAI tv mini-series: "Un Posto Tranquillo" which was the great Nino Manfredi's last project before his death.He was Hellen Mirren's trusted personal driver "Peppo" in a remake of "The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone", directed by Robert Allan Ackerman and starring Ann Bancroft. Still in Italy he played the town priest in a co-production of "Lives of the Saints" starring Sofia Loren.He returned to New York City in 2002 to shoot the Italian comedy film "The Legend of Al John and Jack" with the popular Italian comedy trio of Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo. In 2004 he was one of the leading characters in an Italian adaptation of the popular British tv series; "Footballers Wives" as the seductive & sleazy "Carmine Caradia" the owner of a fictional professional soccer team that seduced & slept around with his star player's wives. One of Crudele's most endearing proud moments is to be referred -to as "maresciallo" by the Chief Admiral of Italy's Coast Guard and the Italian coast guard at large because from 2004 to 2007 he so realistically and charmingly interpreted one of their own; "Pietro Melluso" a Calabrian coast guard marshall who was one of the leading characters in Sony International's highly popular Italian co-produced tv series: "Gente Di Mare,/aka"People of The Sea" and for which Frank also credits as one of his favourite personal life experiences A Spanish film about bullying; "Cobardes" and winner of the critics award at the Malaga film festival was where Frank Crudele interpreted a criminal on the lam disguised as a nice restaurant owner. Here he was the mentor to the story's bullied young teenager and for which the directors submitted him for and was again short listed as best supporting actor for Spain's 2008 prestigious Goya film awards. Still in Spain, the following year he went on to play a violent criminal in one of the country's most popular tv series:"Los Hombres De Paco" and also in Spain he was cast as"Pope Alexander VII" in the 2011 adventure film; "Aguila Roja" aka "Red Eagle". In returned to english language playing the mad Texan corporal in the italian comedy film; "Missione Di Pace" which opened at the 2011 Venice International Film Festival. The english language feature film "The Mercury Factor" that was shot in Hong Kong and Rome with a 2013 theatre release in Italy and co-starring with British actor Gary Lewis (father in "Bill Elliot") was where Frank Crudele played a corrupt VIP food industry wheeler-dealer in Asia. Other recent tv roles in Italy have been as the corrupt town mayor in "All the Music of The Heart", a mini-series about a music conservatory for Casanova Multimedia and was also directed by Emmy winner; Christian Duguay (Rise of Hitler) with a co-starring role as the love interest to Cinderella's maid in an Lux-Vide produced adaptation of "Cinderella"set in Rome in the 1950's Frank is divorced with 3 children that live in Canada's Vancouver area and divides his time between Canada (Toronto & Vancouver), Rome & Spain.
The multi-faceted Polish-born performer Lili Valenty appeared in a dozen or so Broadway plays in the 30s, 40s and 50s, then went on to enliven a number of routine on-camera projects in her twilight years. Born at the turn of the century, she received her start on the German stage where she became a star. In the early 1930s she emigrated to America and tried to parlay her European success into stardom here. Although she fell quite short, she did launch a moderately successful career on both radio and the Broadway stage. Some of her NY theater productions included "Bitter Stream" (her debut) 1936, "Cue for Passion" (1940), "The Land Is Bright" (1941), "Sky Drift" (1945), and "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" (1950). In 1955 she was a replacement in the role of Baroness Livenbaum in the successful Broadway production of "Anastasia" starring Viveca Lindfors and Eugenie Leontovich, which later went on tour. Lili later transitioned into the film and TV mediums, predominantly in decorative fluff unworthy of her talents. Although she made her film debut in support of Anna Magnani in the melodrama Wild Is the Wind, she continued rather inauspiciously from there with a minor dowager role in Can-Can, and typical ethnic parts in The Story of Ruth, the Troy Donahue / Suzanne Pleshette romantic excursion Rome Adventure, one of Elvis Presley's weaker vehicles Girls! Girls! Girls!, and the Jayne Mansfield "comedy" It Happened in Athens. Sometimes billed as "Lili Valenti", she appeared sparingly after this as various mamas, madames, gypsies, nuns, ballet teachers, and the like on episodic TV. She died in Los Angeles in 1987 at age 86 and left no survivors.
Anastasia Basil began her stage career in Chicago working at theaters such as Steppenwolf and Chicago's all-female Shakespeare company Footsteps, where she landed the lead role of Hamlet. Her performance garnered critical praise.
After moving to Los Angeles, Anastasia continued her stage work and was spotted by Playtone's Director of Development Diana Choi who recruited her to play five different characters in the first table read of Nia Vardalos's My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which included Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Andrea Martin and Michael Constantine.
Her comedic performance in Jillian Armenante's critically acclaimed play In Flagrante Gothicto earned her multiple nominations including an Ovation Award nomination for featured actress, an LA Weekly Award, Drama Critics Circle and Garland nominations.
Her theatrical performances have led to multiple guest star and film roles. Notably, she spent 3 weeks working with Steven Spielberg on The Terminal, improvising opposite Tom Hanks.
Diandra Anastasia Newlin was born in Richmond, Virginia. She began acting and modeling at the age of two when she joined her brother Colin on a Children's Wear Digest photo shoot. After exhausting her opportunities in Virginia and getting her SAG card at six years old she began to spend summers modeling and acting in New York City. She was represented by Wilhelmina, Product Models and Marilyn Zitner Management. After 9/11 her family left New York for Los Angeles and she continued to do print, commercials, music videos and movies. Her representation changed to LA Models, Coast to Coast and Curtis Talent Management. Diandra began her music career at age six. She was cast in musical theater in Richmond. Most noted for her role of Baby June along side Lorna Luft at the University of Richmond. In Hollywood she worked with Roy 'Royalty' Hamilton and various others cutting music. She recorded music in Nashville working on Music Row with Kim Copeland. She wrote, produced and starred in many of her own music videos including "Boyfriend.' Diandra gives countless hours to charity efforts all over the world. She is a Natural Science /Pre-Med Major at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Trish McGettrick (nee Sitric) was born in Co Sligo, Ireland. The family lived in Co. Sligo and Dublin Ireland. Also, briefly in Chiswick, London, England, UK, before returning to Ireland and eventually immigrating to the United States in 1963. Trish was drawn to the theatre and studied various acting methods in Dublin Ireland, New York and LA. She performed in summer stock theatre and appeared in the first three productions at the Irish Arts Center: "In the Shadow of the Glen" (Nora), "Shadow of a Gunman" (Mrs. Grigson) and "Wood of the Whispering" (Sheila) in 1974-76. Trish spent several years on-stage in various theatre's in NYC. Favorite roles were in: "After the Fall", "The Rainmaker", "Anastasia" and Ophelia in "Hamlet". After a long absence (to raise two sons, College, etc. She worked as a Programmer Analyst for American Express & New York Life). Trish returned to the Irish Arts Center to appear in Brian Friel's "Lovers" as Hanna Wilson in 1996 and again in 2000 as MA in "Locating The Plant". Trish has since performed in a number of plays, most recant as Mother in: "The Loves of Cass McGuire" by Brian Friel, at Out of the Box Theatre Co. NYC. Trish is blessed with two wonderful sons, loving daughter in laws, and eleven fabulous Grandchildren.
She was born Anastasia Aleksandrovna Vertinskaya on December 19, 1944, in Moscow, Russia, Soviet Union (now Moscow, Russia). Her father, Aleksandr Vertinskiy, was a famous Russian actor, singer and songwriter, who returned from his emigration in China to Moscow during the Second World War. Her mother, Lidiya Vertinskaya (née Lidia Vladimirovna Tsirgvava), was also a Russian émigré who was born into a Georgian-Russian family in Kharbin, and her older sister, Marianna Vertinskaya, was born in 1943, in Shanghai, China. Young Anastasia Vertinskaya had a happy childhood together with her sister Marianna. She was brought up in a multi-lingual family where she enjoyed an intellectually stimulating environment, and a highly cultural atmosphere of her parents circle. Anastasia Vertinskaya was fond of her father, who invested much of his talent and energy in his daughter's education. Her famous father died when Anastasia Vertinskaya was 14, and she suffered from emotional trauma that cast influence on her most important roles in film, that she played at the age of 15 to 19, such as Assol, Gutierre, and Ophelia.
In 1961, at age 15, Vertinskaya made her film debut starring as love-torn Assol who has a dream about her hero, Vasiliy Lanovoy. She became an instant celebrity in the Soviet Union with her first film, Alye parusa, by director Aleksandr Ptushko, a popular adaptation of the eponymous book by Alexander Grin. Next year she co-starred as Gutierre in Amphibian Man Vertinskaya shot to international fame starring as Ophelia opposite Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy in Hamlet, by director Grigori Kozintsev. Meanwhile, she attended the Shchukin Theatrical School, graduating in 1967, as an actress. She played supporting roles as Lisa Bolkonskaya in War and Peace, by director Sergey Bondarchuk and as Kitty in Anna Karenina, by director Aleksandr Zarkhi. She also starred as Margarita in Master i Margarita, an adaptation of the eponymous book by Mikhail A. Bulgakov.
Anastasiya Vertinskaya was member of several theatrical companies in Moscow, such as Theatre of Vakhtangov, Taganka, Theatre Sovremennik, Pushkin Theatre, and Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). Her most acclaimed stage appearances were as Nina in 'The Seagull' and as Elena in 'Uncle Vanya', both plays by Anton Chekhov. In a unique theatrical experiment by director Anatoli Efros at Taganka, she appeared in two roles: as Prospero and Ariel in the Shakespeare's Tempest. In 1989 she portrayed her father, Aleksandr Vertinskiy, in a show that she also wrote and directed to mark the centennial birthday anniversary of her father.
Outside of her film career A. Vertinskaya taught acting in Oxford and in the European film school in Switzerland; she also held a master class at Comédie-Française (Théâtre de la Républic) and at Chekhov's school in Paris. She was designated People's Actress of Russia. Since 1991 Anastasiya Vertinskaya has been running the Charitable Foundation for Actors, which supports such cultural landmarks as the home of Boris Pasternak and the museum of Anton Chekhov as well as many other cultural projects and individual actors and filmmakers. During the 1990s she completed restoration of her father's historic recordings for a CD release. Anastasiya Vertinskaya was married to director Nikita Mikhalkov and their son, Stepan Mikhalkov, is also a filmmaker.
Born in Sicily, Carlo Gambino came from a family that had been involved in the Mafia for centuries. Although he was thin and somewhat frail-looking, he was also single-minded, ruthless and tough as nails and made a name for himself as an enforcer in local Mafia circles before he was out of his teens. In fact, he was made a full member of the organization on his 19th birthday. Shortly afterward he left Sicily for New York, where he already had family connections, the Castellanos. He went to work for them in their bootlegging business. He started out as a truck driver, worked his way up the ladder and moved over to the family of Giuseppe Masseria, aka "Joe the Boss", an old-time gangster who at the time was engaged in a war with another old-timer (collectively - and derisively - known by the younger hoods as "Mustache Petes") named Salvatore Maranzano. Gambino became friendly with another Masseria hood named Lucky Luciano, whose ambitions were to get rid of both "Mustache Petes". In 1931 Masseria was assassinated in a restaurant while meeting with Luciano, and Luciano hooked up with the Maranzano gang. Soon, however, Maranzano himself was dead, having been murdered in 1931 on orders from Luciano, leaving him the #1 boss in New York. Luciano divided up New York among five Mafia families, and Gambino was assigned as second in command to the Brooklyn family run by Vincent Mangano. Although ambitious, Gambino was patient and built up his fortunes and his influence over the years. In 1951 Mangano mysteriously vanished and his family was taken over by Albert Anastasia, a much feared killer, who made Gambino his underboss, leading many observers to believe that both Gambino and Anastasia had something to do with Mangano's disappearance. Anastasia himself met his end in a New York City barber shop in 1957 and, much as Anastasia took over the assassinated Mangano's empire, Gambino took over the assassinated Anastasia's empire.
Gambino, unlike many other mobsters, always kept a low profile, making sure to stay out of the spotlight, and lived unostentatiously in a modest row house in Brooklyn. His frail, grandfatherly appearance made it difficult to believe that at the time he was the single most powerful organized-crime figure in America - and one of the most ruthless. Although both federal and state authorities had been after him for years, his secretive and illusive nature thwarted their efforts. Finally, in 1969, he was charged with planning the armed robbery and hijacking of a truck. Legal wranglings delayed the case for several years, during which time Gambino's wife died and his health began to deteriorate. When federal authorities discovered that Gambino had never become a US citizen and, in fact, had been smuggled into the country, they instituted deportation proceedings against him. His doctors claimed that his heart problems meant that he was too weak to make the journey from the US to Italy, and his case was delayed time and time again, amid rumors that the Gambino family had paid off two U.S. senators to help delay the proceedings. In 1976 Gambino was in his Long Island summer home watching a Yankees game on TV when he had a heart attack and died.
Frank Costello was born Francisco Castiglia in Cosenza, Italy, in 1891. His family moved to New York, and as a young man he joined the local Mafia gang. When the "Castellamarese War" between gang bosses Giuseppe Masseria and Salvatore Maranzano ended, Costello was one of the few who were held in high respect. Maranzano feared the young men who survived the gang bloodbath, however, so he put together a hit list that included Costello, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and many others. Luciano succeeded in getting rid of Maranzano first, though, and Costello was put in charge of Luciano's own family along with Vito Genovese (aka "Don Vitone"). Genovese and Costello rarely saw eye to eye, and when Genovese went into exile in Italy to escape serious criminal charges, Costello took over complete control. Luciano was also arrested and, later, deported. Along with gangster Meyer Lansky, Costello ran Luciano's business in America. A few years later Genovese suddenly returned, and wanted to re-assert complete control over the family.
A man who could have been a valuable Costello ally was his close friend Albert Anastasia. Anastasia did not get along with his bosses, brothers Phillip and Vincent Mangano, so he stuck close to Costello. Costello and Anastasia soon began talking about killing the Manganos. If Anastasia had an entire family behind him, he reasoned, he could easily then take down the hated Genovese. Sure enough, in 1951 the Mangano brothers went missing and were declared dead. Phillip's body was eventually found with three bullet holes in the back of his head, and Vincent was never found at all. As he had counted on, Albert was made boss of the family.
Anastasia was not as helpful to Costello as he could have been, however. He was one of the most feared men not only in the organized crime world but in the country due to his incredibly violent nature and his propensity for killing anyone he felt like, at any time and for any reason--or for no reason at all. He also affected the speech patterns of tough-guy actor James Cagney, which added to his fearsomeness. Costello also was beginning to be plagued with mental breakdowns, and soon began seeing a psychiatrist regularly. When Genovese heard about it he decided that Costello could no longer be trusted to keep the deep, dark secrets about the Mafia that he was privy to. Genovese then hired contract killer Vincent Gigante--who would later become boss of the Genovese family--to kill Costello. In the lobby of a New York City hotel in 1956, Frank Costello was shot in the head, but amazingly did not die. He did, however, retire soon afterward, although he did keep his hands in the "company business".
Over the years, after Anastasia's murder--shot to death while in a barber's chair--and Genovese's death, Costello became friends with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and would fix horse races as a favor for his new "friend". As the years passed Costello's health declined and he died of a heart attack on his estate on Long Island, New York.
Frank Costello will forever remain one of the biggest Mafia legends in history.
|Tsar Nicholas II
Born on 19 May, 1868 was the first child of Tsarevitch Aleksandr III and his wife, Maria Fyodorovna. He was christened His Imperial Highness Nicholas Aleksandrovitch Romanov, Grand Duke of Russia. He was followed by three brothers and two sisters: Grand Duke Aleksandr (1869-1870), Grand Duke Georgy (1871-1899) Grand Duchess Ksenia (1875-1960), Grand Duke Michael (1878-19180 and Grand Duchess Olga (1882-1960). Upon his accension as the emperor of Russsia, he was coronated with the following title: His Highness the Tsar Nicholas Aleksandrovitch Romanov, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, Tsar of Moscow, Kiev, Vladimir, Novgorod, Kazan, Astrakhan, of Poland, of Siberia, of Tauric Chersonese, of Georgia, Lord of Pskov, Grand Duke of Smolensk, of Lithuania, Volhynia, Podolia and Finland, Prince of Estonia, Livonia, Courland and Semigalia, Samogotia, Bialostock, Karelia, Tver, Yougouria, Perm, Viatka, Bulgaria, and other countries; Lord and Grand Duke of Lower Novgorod, of Tchernigov, Riazan, Polotsk, Rostov, Yaroslav, Belozero, Oudoria, Obdoria, Condia, Vitebsk, Mstislav and, all the region of the North, Lord and Sovereign of the countries of Iveria, Cartalinia, Kabardinia and the provinces of Armenia, Sovereign of the Circassian Princes and the Mountain Princes, Lord of Turkestan, Heir of Norway, Duke of Schleswig Holstein, of Storman, of the Ditmars, and of Oldenbourg. In November of 1894, he married Her Ducal Highness Princess Alix Victoria Helena Louise Beatrice of Hesse-Darstadt and By Rhine. They had five children: Grand Duchess Olga (b. 1895-1918), Grand Duchess Tatiana (b. 1897-1918), Grand Duchess Maria (b. 1899-1918), Grand Duchess Anastasia (b. 1901-1918) and Tsarevitch Aleksey(1904-1918).
|Steve Hope Wynne
Stephen Hope-Wynne (aka Steve Hope Wynne) is a British character Actor working in feature films, television, radio, theatre and comedy. He was born in England to Irish Scottish Musician / Actor parents.
Known for immersive preparatory role research he has gone to the point of serving and training in the British Army, Royal Navy, operational study with former special branch police detective teams, parachuting with various forces (Red Devils) as well as becoming an endurance and competitive rower. He portrays a wide variety of 'wild-card' comedy characters in feature films, radio and theatre and as a 'Voice Artist' with numerous comedy live stand-up political impersonations.
Stephen grew up in a theatrical family spending most nights and weekends in orchestra pits with his musician father or backstage at south England's theatres as his mother performed or directed many theatre shows and operas, often Stephen would sleep in the timpani covers in the orchestra pits. Growing up in Surrey, South East England, wanted to be a scientist yet was inspired by musical and dramatic culture of his parents. The family were continuously involved in theatrical productions including opera and orchestral performances which required Stephen to be a child actor in Vivat Vivat Regina, Faust, Falstaff, The Bartered Bride, Carmen, Forza Del Destino, Slaves of Nabucco, The Magic Flute, Un Ballo in Mascera and many others including films and commercials.
A family of three generations in theatre, music & military: Stephen's father was a boy soldier; at age 14 a bassoonist at Kneller Hall Royal Military School of Music later industrialist and inventor while playing bassoon on London philharmonic circuit. Mother Maureen grew up in Newburn, Newcastle graduated at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and became opera singer and Director at Richmond Theatre and English National Opera. He has family in UK and USA.
After a brief career in music industry signed to WEA records as a singer songwriter with The Kids Next Door, Stephen won working-scholarship to ALRA Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, London. Toilet cleaning and continuous menial duties earned study in classical theatre and film 3 Actors Training years at ALRA earning a National Diploma now Batchelor of Arts Degree as Professional Actor.
After work-scholarship and graduating from ALRA London UK, Stephen Hope-Wynne moved from London to Austria and parts of Europe where in 1986 career started at Vienna's International Theatre playing roles by American playwrights including Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men'. While in Vienna gained first film role in Marvin Chomsky's 'Anastasia' starring Amy Irving, Edward Fox, Omar Sharif, Christian Bale, Claire Bloom. While researching for a particular genre of roles in 2001 Stephen's enquiries led to his volunteering service with Royal Navy Reserve then British Army in which he served a total of 12 years combined with his international acting career. This odd career combination connected him with a seam of action and world affairs authors, researchers and screen-writers. A keen rower both at seas and on river he organised a Royal Navy & Marines team to take part in Panamanian annual ocean to ocean cayuco race in the Panama Canal. Stephen left the British army in 2011 due to increasing scheduling conflicts between film work, military training, operations and bringing up children with Actress Suzanne Bonetti (daughter of Peter Bonetti - Chelsea FC & England Goalkeeper).
Stephen is also an impressionist voice-artist in various comedy works based in London working worldwide in Film and Television. his numerous voices enable him to play multiple characters in Games. Stephen is on-call constantly for soundtrack animation features, advertising campaigns for brands, worldwide.
The man once described as the most powerful organized crime gangster in American history was born in Italy in 1897. His first arrest came at the age of 20 in New York City for weapons possession. The coming of Prohibition was a stroke of luck for Genovese, as he graduated from being just a street gang member to professional killer. He worked his way up the ranks of organized crime, and by 1930 was partners with top gangster Lucky Luciano and Giuseppe Masseria -- aka "Joe the Boss" -- an old-timer who ran most of the crime in the city. The partnership didn't do Masseria much good, however, as on April 15, 1931, after a lengthy dinner with his pal Vito, Masseria was surprised by Luciano, Joe Adonis, Albert Anastasia, Bugsy Siegel and Carlo Gambino, who promptly shot him full of holes. Luciano took over Masseria's operations, and he and Genovese expanded them to reach every corner of the country and to get their hands into every racket imaginable, from drug smuggling to gambling, from prostitution to bootlegging, and everything in between. Shortly before World War II the authorities began looking into the murder of a Mafia gangster named Boccia -- a murder Genovese had contracted years before -- and he fled to Italy, where he promptly cozied up to Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. During the invasion of Italy in World War II Genovese made himself invaluable to the American military police authorities by informing on local black market rings and drug and weapons dealers; what the MPs didn't know was that as these men were arrested, Genovese replaced them with his own. His scheme was thwarted, however, when an MP investigator -- who had been a New York City detective in civilian life -- recognized Genovese as being wanted for involvement in the Boccia murder, arrested him and had him sent back to the U.S. Unfortunately the only witness in the case was found dead, and Genovese was acquitted.
After the war Genovese built up his drug trade, although many Mafia leaders, including Luciano, thought it was a dangerous business to get into and tried to talk him out of it. Their efforts were in vain, however; there was just too much money in it for Genovese to give it up. By the early 1950s he was head of one of the five New York Mafia families, and began to think that he should be head of all of them. He tried to take over the families of Anastasia and Frank Costello by having both men killed. Costello escaped the attempt on his life and retired, but Anastasia wasn't so lucky and met his end in a New York barber shop in 1957. Eventually Genovese's plan worked, and he was made the "boss of bosses", but unfortunately for him it didn't last very long. Several of his underlings turned on him when they were arrested and began to spill the beans about his heroin-smuggling operation. After an investigation into those activities, Genovese was arrested by federal authorities on drug charges, tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in a federal penitentiary. He died in prison in 1969.
Walter Willison garnered a Tony Award nomination and Theatre World Award for his Broadway musical debut in Richard Rodgers' "Two By Two", directed by Joe Layton, in which he introduced Richard Rodgers' & Martin Charnin's "I Do Not Know a Day I Did Not Love You". Willison also starred on Broadway in" Grand Hotel: The Musical" by Robert Wright, George Forrest, Luther Davis and Maury Yeston, directed by Tommy Tune; Bob Fosse's Tony staging of Stephen Schwartz' "Pippin" (as Pippin); "Wild and Wonderful", and he made his legit acting debut in Sam Bobrick & Ron Clark's "Norman, Is That You?" directed by Broadway Legend George Abbott, costarring with Maureen Stapleton and Lou Jacobi; Leonard Bernstein & Stephen Schwartz' "Mass", the inaugural production at The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C., in 1971, alternating as The Celebrant and The 1st Rock Singer, in roles expressly written for him by Bernstein; The original cast of Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens, Mike Ockrent and Susan Stroman's spectacular "A Christmas Carol" at Madison Square Garden. Willison had the honor of starring on Broadway in "A Celebration of Richard Rodgers" with Mary Martin and other Rodgers' alumni; "A Gala Tribute To Joshua Logan" with Ethel Merman, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Jose Ferrer and Logan alumni; "A Celebration of George Abbott" with Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine, Desi Arnaz, Hal Prince, Kander & Ebb, and other Abbott alumni; as Lt. Joseph Cable in "South Pacific: A 25th Anniversary Concert" hosted and directed by Joshua Logan; "It's A Musical World: A Tribute to Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley" at The Hollywood Palladium, in which he introduced "A Song Called Love" from Bricusse & Newley's "Peter Pan", with Tony Bennett, Florence Henderson, Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse and others; with the stellar all star cast headlined by Bernadette Peters, Scott Bakula and Angela Lansbury in Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' "Anyone Can Whistle: Live at Carnegie Hall" directed by Herb Ross; "Wall to Wall Richard Rodgers" at Symphony Space, for Richard Rodgers Centennial in 2002; and with Karen Akers, Penny Fuller, Cady Huffman, Priscilla Lopez, Evan Pappas, Austin Pendleton, Pat Suzuki, and others in Scott Seigal's "Broadway Originals: In Concert" at Town Hall. Off-Broadway, Willison was selected by composers Robert Wright and George Forrest to play the title role in the first ever revival of their 1962 musical "Kean", at The York Theatre, the first musical to open in New York in the New Millennium. He returned to "Two By Two" to direct and star as Noah [the role originated by Danny Kaye] opposite Rodgers & Hammerstein Legend Pat Suzuki in The Jewish Repertory Theatre's "Two By Two: The Richard Rodgers' Centennial Concert", and on June 12, 2006, an SRO crowd filled the Bruno Walter Auditorium, and several hundred people had to be turned away, as he and fellow original cast members Joan Copeland, Michael Karm and lyricist Martin Charnin reunited for "Two By Two By Three: A Musical Reunion" Also Off-Broadway, he adapted and directed JRT's production of Hal Hackady & Larry Grossman's 'Minnie's Boys: the Marx brothers musical In Concert", and directed Jo Anna Rush's "A Rockette's Tail". Regional theatre appearances includes starring as Billy Bigelow in tours of "Carousel", Curley McLaine in "Oklahoma!" and Paul Bertholet in numerous productions of "Carnival". In 1988, under the direction of bookwriter/lyricist Tom Jones [who also costarred in the role of The Old Actor], with composer Harvey Schmidt at the piano, he starred as El Gallo in the historic First Annual Japan Tour of "The Fantasticks". Films include Mike Frankovitch's Emmy Award-winning "Ziegfeld: The Man and His Women", directed by Buzz Kulik, for which he was personally selected by Irving Berlin to play Ziegfeld star Frank Carter and croon Berlin's classic "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody"; "Harry and Walter Go To New York", directed by Mark Rydell with uncredited musical staging for the operetta sequence [in which Willison appears opposite Lesley Ann Warren] by his Broadway mentor Joe Layton; "The Initiation", "Somebody Help Me", "Edward II", and he wrote the lyrics [with music by Jeffrey Silverman] for the songs he sings in the "cult classic" Fantasies [aka Once Upon a Love/Once Upon a Time], directed by John Derek, which marked Bo Derek's screen debut in 1980. On Television, he was Dr. Calvin Campbell in NBC's hit 1976-1977 series "McDuff, The Talking Dog"; Clyde Griffiths in Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" episode of Turnley Walker's "The Great Novelists" series on PBS, and Dr. George "Buck" Wheaton on "Days of Our Lives". He has also guest starred on "The Today Show", "The David Frost Show", "Celebrity Revue", "The Great NBC Smilin' Saturday Morning" TV special, hosted by Freddy Prinz; "The Dating Game", and numerous other variety and talk shows. As writer and director, his credits include directing the West Coast Premiere of Kenward Elmslie & Claibe Richardson & Truman Capote's "The Grass Harp" [starring Susan Watson and introducing a then-six-year-old Christina Applegate]; "Your Own Thing" at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre; wrote book & lyrics, directed and costarred in the hit musicals "Front Street Gaieties: Dodge City's Hottest Revue", starring Susan Watson and Charles Ward, which had its World Premiere at The Mayfair Theatre in Santa Monica, California, and "Broadway Scandals of 1928: the new speakeasy musical", starring Diane J. Findlay and Shelley Bruce, Off-Broadway at Upstairs O'Neal's Times Square, both with music by Jeffrey Silverman. He wrote lyrics for "Wonderful Life: The Musical" [with music by John Kroner and book by Douglas Holmes]; and collaborated with Holmes on the new book for the critically acclaimed 1997 revisal of Frank Loesser's "Greenwillow: The Musical Folktale" [which Variety heralded was "redeemed by its new book"], also directing the World Premiere at in Sarasota, Florida. He contributed the book and directed the touring production of "Hollywood Canteen: The New 1940s Musical Revue", which featured choreography by "A Chorus Line's" Kay Cole. Twenty years after winning Broadway's coveted Theatre World Award, Willison was honored to collaborate with John Willis as Associate Editor for seven book: volumes #42, 43 and 44 of the legendary "Theatre World", which chronicles the theatre seasons on Broadway and around the US; and volumes #27, 38, 39 and 40 of "Screen World", which cover the years in film. Willison served as Vice-President of Theater World Awards Board of Directors from 2004 to 2006. He directed "The 61st Annual Theatre World Awards" at Studio 54, starring such luminaries as Lucie Arnaz, John Cullum, Tim Daly, Judy Kaye, Pat Suzuki, and "The 62nd Annual Theatre World Awards" at Studio 54, starring Lucie Arnaz, Harry Connick, Jr., Ralph Fiennes, Tammy Grimes, Harry Groener, Andrea MacArdle, Ken Page, John Rubinstein, for which he was especially thrilled to have the pleasure of contributing special material for Liza Minnelli. Willison now has 29 recordings in release on CD, as performer, producer, or both, including performing on the cast recordings of "Two By Two", "Grand Hotel", "Broadway Scandals of 1928", "A Christmas Carol: The Musical", "Anyone Can Whistle: Live at Carnegie Hall" Schmidt & Jones' "Collette Collage", "Unsung Sondheim", "Lost in Boston I", "Lost in Boston II", "Unsung Irving Berlin"; he produced and performed on Robert Wright & George Forrest's "Anastasia: The Musical and Premiere Recordings of Wright & Forrest Songs from 'Grand Hotel', 'At The Grand', 'Betting on Bertie' &' Kean' " [with Judy Kaye, Len Cariou, Regina Resnik, Walter Willison, George Lee Andrews, Steve Barton, Simon Jones, Marcia Lewis, Donna Lee Marshall, Eric Riley and others], "A Bag of Popcorn and a Dream: an intimate bigscreen revue" [Karen Akers, Lucie Arnaz, Jeff Calhoun, Geoffrey Holder, Simon Jones, Judy Kaye, Marcia Lewis, Kathi Moss, Karen Murphy, Ashley Rose Orr, Walter Willison and others],"Beauty and the Beast: A Gothic Musical" [Robert Cuccioli, Melly Garcia, Brooks Almy, Bryan Batt, Timothy Jerome, Walter Willison, Christine Boger, Bonnie Simmons]; and as producer: "Marcia Lewis: Nowadays", Maltby & Shire's restored "Cyrano" & "The Grand Tour", and "Neva Small: My Place in the World"; and has contributed notes for several other CDs, including Martin Charnin's "Mata Hari", Bob Merrill's "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and Wright & Forrest's ANYA. Mr. Willison toured with Heather MacRae in "Night of Your Nights: The Golden Age of Broadway In Concert:, and is a frequent guest star at "The Annual William Inge Festival" which annually honors our greatest living American playwrights, composers & lyricists in Inge's hometown of Independence, Kansas, an event which he, along with playwright Jerome Lawrence and founder Margaret Goheen, helped to create. There, Mr. Willison guest starred in "Penn Avenue To Broadway: A 25 Year Retrospective" directed by Mike Wood, "To Life!": A Tribute To Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick directed by Peter Ellenstein, in 2007. At IngeFest 28, he presented his work-in-progress "William Inge-The Interview: A Play on Reality", [based on interviews with William Inge], costarring with Barbara Dana, and with Susan Watson, Rita Gardner, Martin Vidnovic, Kelly Sullivan, Elizabeth Wilson, and Ms. Dana in "Remember & Celebrate": Honoring Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, recipients of The 2009 William Inge Distinguished Achievement in The American Theatre Award, in which he had the honor of singing the greatest hit, "Try To Remember". Walter Willison joined Broadway stalwarts Melissa Errico, Tovah Feldshuh, Christiane Noll, Meredith Patterson and Martin Vidnovic, at New York's Town Hall in Scott Siegel's acclaimed "Broadway By The Year-1970". Most recently, he costars with a cast of Broadway Legends in Rick McKay's new documentary "Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age" which will be released in 2011. REV. 3-2011
Born near St. Louis in 1902, and trained in Europe in opera as a mezzo-soprano, square-faced, lantern-jawed, full-figured Nina Varela came to the United States in the late 1930s and ended up in Hollywood. During the 40s, 50's, and 60's, she worked frequently at the Shubert Theater, accompanying plays that went on the road, including runs on Broadway. Most notable of those was the musical"The Student Prince," in which she played The Grand Duchess of Anastasia.
When she wasn't on stage, movies and television offered Verla other outlets for her talents. She generally played a no-nonsense matron type. The best-known of the movies were "The President's Lady (1953) and "Madigan" (1968). Her most-seen TV appearances would probably be two episodes of "Gunsmoke."
Varela's sense of humor was showcased in a suggestion to the U.S. patent office in the early 1950s: "How about listing American inventions this way: 'Patented U.S. 1952, invented in Russia in 1952.' Thus they'll have a complete record!"
Varela's last known role was in in the early 1970s. She died in Los Angeles in 1982.
|Grand Duchess Anastasia
Her Imperial Highness, The Grand Duchess Anastasia Nicholaievna Romanov was born on June 18, 1901. She was the fourth child of Tsar Nicholas the second, and the Empress Alexandra. She was a big disappointment because by now they were hoping for a boy to be the tsarevich and the next tsar. She had three older sisters -Olga, Tatiana and Maria - and one younger brother Alexei. Out of all she siblings she was the favorite of her grandmother, Maria Feodorovna. She had brown hair and blue eyes and was the jokester of the family who liked to play pranks on people. Anastasia was very short and thin but when the family was in captivity, she became fatter and her mental development had slowed down. Anastasia was sometimes called "Imp" and "The Infant Terrible" of the family. Anastasia was pretty close to her older sister Maria who were known as "The Little Pair", while, her older sisters Olga and Tatiana, were called "The Big Pair." As well as their older sisters, they shared a bedroom. Anastasia dominated her older sister with her energy and enthusiasm. Anastasia was extremely close to her younger brother Alexei. Whenever Alexei got hurt, she would always try to make him better by telling jokes and trying to get him to laugh. When her father abdicated, for himself and for Alexei, Anastasia and her family were prisoners of the Revolution, in Tobolsk. After that, Anastasia's father, mother and sister Maria went to Ekaterinburg, leaving Anastasia with her sisters Olga and Tatiana and her younger brother Alexei. Anastasia and her sisters took care of Alexei because he got very hurt before her father, mother and sister left. After Alexei was well enough to be moved, Olga, Tatiana, Anastasia, Alexei and some of their employs went to Ekaterinburg, to be with their parents and Maria. In Ekaterinburg the Romanovs lived in a place called "The House of Special Purpose." Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia all shared a room, while her father, mother, and Alexei shared. On July 17, 1918 the Romanovs, their Doctor, and others where set up in a basement in "The House of Special Purpose." Then, 11 executors entered and started firing. Anastasia and her family and servants all died. Anastasia was only 17 years old when she died. But, when they found the bodies of the Romanovs and their servants they realized they are missing two, Alexei and either Maria, Tatiana, or Anastasia. Recently the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia canonized the Romanovs as saints.
Tiny (only five feet), but buxom and shapely brunette Anastasia Mayo was born on April 17, 1980 in Barcelona, Spain. Mayo first started performing in explicit hardcore fare in 2003. Among the notable companies Anastasia appeared in X-rated features for are Private, FSX Productions, Evil Angel, Topax Film, and Damaged Productions. Mayo won the European X Award for Best Actress in 2004 and the public's choice Ninfa Award for Best Actress in 2008. She has since retired from the adult entertainment industry.
Elin Carlson has had a distinguished career in the United States and Europe, with engagements ranging from the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute with the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival to Grizabella in the famous Hamburg, Germany production of Cats. She has also been heard to critical acclaim in the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Magda in La Rondine, Maria in Maria Padilla, Elvira in Ernani, Gilda in Rigoletto, Constanza in Yanked From the Harem (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Amalia in I Masnadieri, Musetta in La Boheme, and Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni . A versatile performer, she has appeared regularly in Southern California as a soloist with "Beethoven's Wig", the L.A. Master Chorale, I Cantori, the L.A. Mozart Orchestra, Zephyr, OperaWorks, and the L.A. Jazz Choir. She is a founding member of the a cappella jazz group, Sixth Wave, which won the 2001 National Harmony Sweepstakes Championship. Ms. Carlson spent the month of October 1996 in Japan as a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale.
As an oratorio soloist, Ms. Carlson's performances include Handel's Messiah, Bach's B Minor Mass, Vivaldi's Gloria, Mozart's Mass in C (K.427), and Rossini's Stabat Mater. She has extensive experience performing choral and oratorio literature, from the earliest composed works on the North American continent to works of current composers such as Morton Lauridsen, Ed Cansino, Paul Gibson, and John Biggs. On September 11, 2005, she sang the soprano solos for the US Premiere of John Debney's "Passion of the Christ Symphony."
Elin has sung on numerous film and TV scores, including The Simpsons Movie (solo), Mad Song (solo), X-Men 2 (solo), Superman Returns (solo), Spider-Man 3, Evan Almighty, Meet the Robinsons, Licensed to Wed, Charlotte's Web, King Kong, Ice Age 2, World Trade Center, Zathura, Robots, Van Helsing, Polar Express, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Men in Black, Men in Black II, Terminator 3, Matrix Reloaded, Daredevil, Life or Something Like It, Scorpion King, A.I., Jurassic Park III, 102 Dalmatians, Galaxy Quest, Dinosaur, Titan A.E., The Astronaut's Wife, Godzilla, Wild Wild West, Armageddon, Mulan, Pleasantville, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Blade, Twister, Independence Day, Quest for Camelot, Sixth Sense, Alien 4: Resurrection, Amistad, and Anastasia.
Ms. Carlson has regularly collaborated as a soloist with the composer Danny Elfman on such films as Mars Attacks! and Flubber, as well as for the main title of HBO's "Perversions of Science" and commercials for Lincoln-Mercury, CDW, and FEMA. She recorded a song with Sting. She is the soloist on the opening theme of the newly released and remastered original Star Trek series.
Ms. Carlson received her Bachelor of Music Degree in theory and composition at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and is a published composer. Her marimba concerto and her song cycle for voice and marimba have been performed in Arizona and New York, and her vocal arrangements have been performed by various groups in Los Angeles.
Alix of Hess-Darmstadt was born on June 8, 1872 in Darmstadt, Germany. Her parents were the Grand Duke and Duchess of Darmstadt; her mother was also the daughter of Queen Victoria. When Alix was still very young, her sister Mary and then her mother died of diphtheria. Also, her brother Frederick (1870-1873) died from a fall from a window in his mother's room, complicated by hemophilia. She spent much of her time in England, staying with her grandmother and various aunts, uncles and cousins. When she was older she continued in the role of Landsmutter (Mother of the land) for her father.
At the wedding of her sister Elizabeth (Ella) to their cousin Seril of Russia, Alix met for the first time (and fell in love with) the Tsarivitch Nicholas. Even thought she was in love with him she did not want to marry him because she did not want to give up her protestantism to be Russian Orthodox. About 4 or 5 years after they first met Alix's brother Ernest got married to their first cousin nicknamed Ducky. Since both were cousins of Nicholas as well he went to the wedding to see Alex. During the time that he was there he continually asked her to be his wife, and thanks to their love as well as their cousin Kaiser William II Alex finally consented to marry Nicholas.
Alix spent the first part of her engagement with her grandmother Queen Victoria in England telling her everything that had transpired leading to the engagement. The rest of the engagement did not go so smoothly though. Several months after the engagement Nicholas's father became ill at one of his palaces in Russia. Alix hearing this got there as soon as she could, but shortly after she got there Nicholas became Tsar Nicholas II. After this tragedy Alix did not want to wait to become a member of the family. Shortly after the death of her future father-in-law Alix became a member of the Russian Orthodox Faith taking the name Alexandra Fyodorovna. She and Nicholas wanted to marry were they were, but family told them that they should get married after the funeral of his father in Moscow. Thus the people of Russia got their first glimpse of their future Empress through death.
They were married on November 26, 1894, shortly after the death of his father, and before 1901 had four daughters named Olga (1895-1918) Tatiana (1897-1918), Maria (1899-1918) and Anastasia (1901-1918). In 1904 Alix gave birth to a son Alexis (known as Alexei) and sadly he had hemophilia, which was passed on to her a sister and brother from their mother Princess Alice and grandmother Queen Victoria.
In 1917 Nicholas was forced to abdicate the throne of Russia. The people who would have accepted it if he had abdicated in favor of his son, did not understand why he abdicated in favor of his brother. He only did this because he knew that his son's chances of survival were not good.
He and his family were then imprisoned in Siberia, and later moved to Ekaterinburg, where on the night of July 17, 1918 the Russian royal family was massacred. In the 1990s the burial sites were investigated, although the bodies of the Tsarivitch Alexei and one of his sisters (it is unclear which one) were missing. Using DNA from HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh (Alix was his great-aunt) proved that four of the bodies belonged to the Tsarina and three of her daughters.
|Alexis Renee Ruby
Alexis Renee Ruby began her love of performing very early in life starting with dance at the age of 2 and singing at age 5 - her love of being on stage blossomed from, of all things, participating in beauty pageants, which was the norm for girls in the deep South. Alexis won many various titles during her pageant career on local, state, national and even international levels. By the time Alexis was elementary school age, it was apparent that her love of performing needed a larger venue for opportunities. In 2008, she relocated to Atlanta with her Mom and brother while her Dad stayed in South Georgia with his job and commuted when possible to support her dreams. She was offered a position in a performing pre-professional dance company in Atlanta where she had the privilege of dancing and learning from many great teachers/artists in performing arts. She also had the opportunity to be cast in several Broadway vignette roles such as "Anastasia", first cast lead of "Dorothy" in "Wizard of Oz" and second cast role of "Scarecrow"; second cast lead of Hope Harcourt in "Anything Goes"; and first cast lead "Peggy Sawyer" in "42nd Street". During her time in Atlanta she has been a movie and television extra, and was cast a lead youth role in the independent SAG feature film "Truth Seekers: The Music of Souls"; lead actor and show host "Sheena Luxor" in "Peace Code Radio/TV"; choreographed nationally televised opening numbers; written several short stories and novels and is even pursuing a recording contract. Alexis is now represented by Gerra Avery of Avery Sisters Entertainment based in Atlanta.
Bert Stratford began his career as a singer and actor in 1960. In 1963 he played Hero on Broadway and the National Tour of "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" and Off-Broadway he played the Boy in "The Fantasticks." He recorded for Kapp Records, was Joan Rivers 's opening act for nearly three years and played more juvenile roles on stage, film and TV than he cares to remember.
His early theatrical producing career spanned seven years beginning back in 1976 with The Shirtsleave Theatre Company that produced some twelve original productions over a two-year run at the well known Manhattan Theatre Club. On Broadway, Stratford produced "Street Heat" and "Musical Chairs". Off-Broadway his credits include the award-winning musicals, "Scrambled Feet " and "Children Of Adam". On tour his productions included "The Fantasticks", "I Do!, I Do!", "Sugar Babies", "Hollywood Hotel", "Stars On 45", "Bye Bye Birdie", "The Seven Year Itch", "Marriage Go Round", "Dick Shawn At Carnegie Hall" and "The Rainmaker".
As a consultant and TV packager, Stratford worked with Silver Lake Productions during the mid-80s on several shows for HBO, Showtime, The British Broadcasting System, Disney Channel, ABC Distribution and MCA-TV.
His early TV producing credits from the '80s include "The Glen Campbell Concert" with the BBC, "The Peep Show" for MCA-TV, "Scrambled Feet " and "Honky Tonk Nights" starring Jackie Gleason, both for for Showtime, and "The Mainas" for PBS.
Stratford's association and partnership with Romeo Muller date back to 1974. Romeo was one of the most prolific children/family writers whose credits include such animated classics as "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer", "Frosty The Snowman", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "The Hobbit". Between these them, these two represent seventeen of the all-time popular network holiday specials.
Has completed successful holiday specials including on NBC "The Twelve Days Of Christmas", sponsored and tied into a $75 million licensing program with K-Mart, and the most popular NBC special in five years entitled "Noel". On ABC, "The Wish That Changed Christmas", sponsored by McDonald's: in syndication "Peppermint Rose" based on the Mattel doll, the pilot for Disney's "The Little Mermaid", and "Strawberry Shortcake", which was tied into a $1.2 billion licensing program.
In a first look deal spanning nearly three years, Stratford developed several network and cable MOW's with Davis Entertainment Television.
Completed in 1997 were 26 half hours of "Bingo and Molly", a children's live action/animation pro social series for the Learning Channel, which won the Cine Golden Eagle Award, The Parents Choice Award, and a Grammy Award nomination. Also, he produced a series of direct-to-video animated films for Goodtimes Home Video whose titles include "White Fang" (wrote/produced) and "The Ten Commandments", and a one-hour crime drama pilot for CBS and Columbia Tri-Star entitled "The Fugitive Squad".
Stratford's critically acclaimed Christmas movie entitled "The Christmas Secret" completed its third consecutive network airing, starring Richard Thomas and Beau Bridges as "Nick" (Santa Clause). Airing on CBS, this was the third highest-rated movie on TV in 2000, and was sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Nestles, and K-Mart. Bruce Graham. who scripted "Anastasia", Twentieth Century's animated film success, adapted the screenplay from the critically acclaimed Christmas book "The Flight Of The Reindeer" by Robert Sullivan.
Stratford is married to actress Lee Meredith and has two grown daughters Kim (an artist) and Erica (a nurse).
Albert Anastasia was born February 26, 1903, in Calabria, Italy, famous for its hams and the 'ndrangheta, which was every bit as vicious as the Sicilian Mafia. He was brought to America as a child along with his eight brothers. When he was starting in organized crime, he helped Salvatore Lucania, who later became known as Lucky Luciano, murder Giuseppe Masseria (aka "Joe The Boss" or "The Chinese"). When the "Boss of Bosses", Salvatore Maranzano, was murdered by Luciano, La Cosa Nostra was divided into different families known as The Commission. The bosses of the family Anastasia belonged to were brothers Vincent Mangano and Philip Mangano.
It wasn't long before Anastasia started to lust for power. As the underboss, he and Vincent Mangano often fought physically. Anastasia, being younger, would usually win. Anastasia's old friend and boss of the Luciano family, Frank Costello, soon found himself in a pickle when his partner, Vito Genovese, returned from Italy after nine years' exile. Costello needed Anastasia's help but couldn't do a thing unless he had an entire family behind him. Costello and Anastasia soon came up with the idea of killing the Manganos. On April 19, 1951, one of the most mysterious murders in Mafia history occurred. The body of Phil Mangano was found in a marshland with three bullets in the back of his head and two in each cheek. When the police tried to contact his brother, they couldn't reach him. When Vincent didn't show up at his brother's funeral, the police and Mafia bosses assumed that Vincent had been murdered as well. Frank Costello stuck up for Anastasia when the families had a sit-down to discuss the murder, saying that the Manganos were planning to kill him. Anastasia was now the boss of the former Mangano family.
After he became the boss, he and his younger brother, Anthony Anastasia (aka "Tough Tony") - who changed his last name to Anastasio, most likely in order to avoid public connections with his brother--ran the Brooklyn waterfronts for over a decade. When Lucky Luciano was arrested, Albert and his brother Tony sabotaged a huge French ocean liner moored at a pier and spread the word that it had been done by Nazi saboteurs. They then made a deal with the US government that they would "protect" the waterfront from further "sabotage" in exchange for Luciano's release. A compromise was reached in which Luciano was sent to a minimum-security prison. Under Luciano's order, Anastasia became the head of the Mafia's enforcement arm, known as Murder Inc. This group of killers was responsible for an estimated 700 to 1000 murders, the large number of killings attributed to Anastasia's hot temper and love of violence. When he saw an interview with a New York shop owner named Arnold Schuster, who had recognized notorious bank robber Willie Sutton on the street and notified the police, who then arrested Sutton, Anastasia immediately ordered that Schuster be killed; he had no connection with Sutton, but his reasoning for ordering Schuster's murder what that "I don't like rats".
Schuster's death enraged the public as well as the other Mafia bosses. A few years later Luciano was deported to Italy, and the Italian government then exiled him to Sicily where, during WW II, he and the local Mafia ingratiated themselves with US forces after the invasion of Sicily by identifying and helping capture "fascists" and "fascist sympathizers" (most of whom, strangely enough, turned out to be Luciano's competitors in his various criminal enterprises).
When Luciano left, Genovese wanted more and more power, but Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia and Anastasia's underboss Frank Scalise ran things. Genovese was growing irritated with Albert because of the many murders committed by Albert's crew, which Genovese considered unjustified and which went against the Mafia's laws. Albert was also selling memberships for his family for a few thousand dollars apiece. Genovese hired future boss Vincent Gigante (aka "The Chin") to kill Costello. In 1957 Costello was shot in the head by Gigante, but Costello's phenomenal luck held and he was only grazed by the bullet. However, the assassination attempt persuaded him to semi-retire from his life of crime. By tradition, an underboss was murdered before the boss, in order to prevent retaliation. Anastasia's strongest ally, Joe Adonis, was suddenly deported to Italy. His underboss, Frank Scalise, was murdered not long afterwards when he went out to buy some fruit.
One of Anastasia's capos, Carlo Gambino, who later became the most powerful Mafia boss in US history, was secretly meeting with Vito Genovese to discuss the planned killing of Anastasia. Genovese promised that Gambino would be named the boss of the family if he killed Anastasia. Carlo could not refuse. Anastasia was about the same age, so by the time Carlo became boss, he wouldn't have much longer to live. Gambino consulted Joe Profaci, another Mafia boss, and the two hired the Gallo brothers, including the infamous Joe Gallo (aka "Crazy Joe"), to kill Anastasia. Anastasia's favorite barber shop was on the bottom floor of the famous Park Sheraton Hotel. He loved getting his beard trimmed and the feel of the towel on his face. When the barber put the towel on Albert's face, two of the three Gallo brothers rushed in and fired five shots into Anastasia, blasting him out of the barber's chair. The New York criminal and law enforcement communities were relieved that "The Lord High Executioner" had been taken out. Some people, however, were not so happy about it, and one of the most troubled was future boss John Gotti. Albert had been his role model and, at the time, his one hope of getting in the family. Albert's brother Tough Tony continued to control the waterfronts after Albert's death.
Anastasia was born July 8th, 1981 in Moscow, Russia to parents Andrey and Galina. She started playing tennis at 6 with her parents, and then went to the Spartak club in Moscow where she was coached by Marat Safin's mother until they left for Spain in 1994. Anastasia is trained by Svitoslav Mirza since 1994 and has improved every year since even reaching a career rank of #41 in July 2000!
Anastasia Fontaines was born April 30th in British Columbia, Canada. Anastasia is represented by Van Gogh Talent. Her performance career started as a Vocalist, Songwriter/Musician branching out into Acting which is her primary love and focus. Some of Anastasia's credits include commercial work, film and television, voice acting, radio, musical theater, songwriting, print work, modeling, directing and producing. Commercial works include Comcast Cranky which was nominated for several best commercial awards and received international attention and the notorious Viva Viagra. Some of Anastasia's music can be found on her official website. She has been actively involved in developing awareness in the Environment/Green Movement, Animal Rights, Alternative Health Care, Whole Foods And Nutrition and Empowerment for over 15 years and is to date focused and dedicated to a healthier humanity and planet. Anastasia has worked in casting with Kirsten De Wolfe Casting as well as contributing to Eco Divas T.V., Pink Elephants, various organizations, foundations and causes. CEO of Angel Era Productions CEO and partner of Contrast United, Anastasia is currently (2010) developing and producing films as well as continuing her work as an actress voice over artist and diverse performer.
Anastasia Coon joyfully captivates and entertains audiences while winning awards for her work on stage and screen. Anastasia brings a rich life experience and professional actor training to the job; having earned her MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin, Anastasia has portrayed classical and contemporary lead roles in regional theaters such as Isabella in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and Charlotte in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Anastasia was nominated for the Robbie Award "Best Actress in a Comedy" for playing Raymonde in A Flea in Her Ear while the Austin Critic's Table nominated Anastasia as "Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy" for her performance as Marya Lvovna in Gorky's Summer People. A graduate of Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Anastasia excels at improvisation and creating her own work, including her solo show, Gracie and Rose.
Appearing as Mrs. Carol on NBC's "Friday Night Lights", and as the hot mom, Diane Cougar, on Comedy Central's "Ving Break", Anastasia is very active in commercial work and independent films, currently playing in festivals worldwide. She plays the lead role of a single girl on the prowl in "Checkout", winner of the College EMMY for Best Comedy, and a desperate ex-wife in "Vital Signs", an official SXSW selection.
The Back Story: Anastasia grew up traveling and immersed in the arts, exploring people and places around the world. The daughter of a Physics professor and a biology teacher, Anastasia remembers living in Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Australia as a kid. Home base was always Tucson, Arizona in the beautiful desert where Anastasia loved hiking, swimming, and getting an early start on acting at a performing arts high school. She went on to get her BFA in Theatre Performance at Chapman University in Southern California. Anastasia traveled independently for two years enriching her acting work and finding jobs to pay her way. She picked grapes for the wine harvest in Tuscany, performed street theatre in Rome, taught theatre games in Istanbul, and taught English and Yoga in Prague.