Actress Jennifer Lawrence, best-known for playing Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, was born in Louisville, Kentucky on August 15, 1990. Her career began when she spent a Summer in Manhattan at the age of 14. During that time, she scored some small commercial and film roles, and shortly thereafter her family moved to Los Angeles so she could further pursue her dream. She was cast in the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show, and in smaller movies like The Poker House and The Burning Plain.
Her big break came when she played Ree in Winter's Bone, which landed her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. Shortly thereafter, she secured the role of Mystique in franchise reboot X-Men: First Class, which went on to be a hit in Summer 2011. Around this time, Lawrence scored the role of a lifetime when she was cast as Katniss Everdeen in the big-screen adaptation of literary sensation The Hunger Games. That went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies ever with over $407 million at the domestic box office, and instantly propelled Lawrence to the A-list among young actors/actresses. Three Hunger Games sequels are currently scheduled for release in November 2013, 2014, and 2015, with Lawrence reprising her role at least for the first one (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).
Joshua Ryan Hutcherson was born on October 12th, 1992 in Union, Kentucky to Michelle Fightmaster and Chris Hutcherson. He has one younger brother, Connor Hutcherson. From the age of four, Josh knew that he wanted to be an actor. In order to pursue his goal, Josh and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was nine-years-old.
In 2002, Josh landed his first acting role in the TV film, House Blend, with Amy Yasbeck, Dan Cortese and Sean Faris. The same year, Josh was cast in the pilot, Becoming Glen, but Fox did not order it to series (though, several years later, it was reconfigured as the short-lived series, The Winner, starring Rob Corddry, and co-written/produced by Seth MacFarlane). Toward the end of 2002, Josh appeared on an episode of ER.
Josh made his big-screen debut, in 2003, with a bit part in the Oscar-nominated American Splendor. His career began its measured ascent in 2005 with a supporting slot as one of Will Ferrell's kids in Kicking & Screaming, a co-starring role in the indie hit Little Manhattan, and another co-starring role in Zathura: A Space Adventure, which was originally conceived as a sequel to Jumanji. Despite underperforming at the box office, "Zathura" helped earned for Josh his first Young Artist Award for "Leading Young Actor".
2006 saw bigger returns for Josh's burgeoning film career with a role as one of Robin Williams' sons in the modest hit, RV. The following year, he landed his first breakthrough role in Bridge to Terabithia, the kid-approved adaptation of Katherine Paterson's novel that co-starred AnnaSophia Robb, whose career was also taking off at this time.
Josh starred as Brendan Fraser's nephew in another family-film hit, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and he had a smaller role in the Crash-like drama, Fragments, though by now his face and name were being used in movie-marketing materials. Though it wasn't a hit, Josh's character in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant served as a major plot device early in the story.
In 2010, Josh co-starred in the critically-acclaimed film, The Kids Are All Right, alongside Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Mia Wasikowska. The film received several awards and four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Josh's performance as the youngest child in a family, led by two mothers, earned him acclaim from audiences and the industry, alike. Josh followed up with an expanded role in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, which saw Dwayne Johnson take over as the main character from Brendan Fraser. Between the star power and the allure of 3D, the sequel was a worldwide hit and a third installment is in development.
With the announcement that he would portray the beloved "Peeta Mellark" in The Hunger Games, the film adaptation of the best-selling novel written by Suzanne Collins, Josh became an instant celebrity. In the wake of the movie's massive worldwide success, Detention, a horror/comedy that Josh made before "The Hunger Games", was released. Josh was also an executive producer on that feature.
Before Josh reprises his role as "Peeta" in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, we will see him in the long-delayed remake of Red Dawn; the omnibus 7 Days in Havana (aka "7 Days in Havana") (Josh's segment was directed by Benicio Del Toro); The Forger opposite Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina, and Hayden Panettiere; and the animated Epic from Ice Age co-director (and voice of "Scrat"), Chris Wedge.
Leonardo DiCaprio is an American actor whose portrayal of doomed suitor Jack Dawson in Titanic made him a generation's definition of a heartthrob. Throughout his career, DiCaprio has demonstrated a high level of dramatic versatility, from his breakout film role as a mentally-challenged teenager in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, through his work with Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York and The Departed. More recently, DiCaprio earned critical notice for his starring roles in Christopher Nolan's Inception and J. Edgar, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.
Born in 11 November, 1974 in Los Angeles, California, DiCaprio is the only child of former comic book artist George DiCaprio and Irmelin DiCaprio. His parents signed him with a talent agent when he was a child, and DiCaprio began appearing on a number of television commercials and educational shows. Although the budding actor had small roles in such TV series as Roseanne and The New Lassie, DiCaprio's made his film debut in Critters 3, a low-budget horror movie.
In 1992, DiCaprio joined what became the final season of Growing Pains, playing a homeless boy who was invited to move in with the Seavers. The sitcom's cancellation coincided with an upswing in his career, including the starring role in the film adaptation of Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries and his heightened portrayal of Romeo in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Although DiCaprio's Romeo raised his profile with audiences, his turn in the box office record-breaking Titanic graduated the actor to A-list status.
The majority of DiCaprio's post-Titanic career demonstrates a high level of selectivity in his choices. In addition to numerous collaborations with Scorsese, DiCaprio has also starred in films directed by Steven Spielberg (Catch Me If You Can), Ridley Scott (Body of Lies), and Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road), in roles that encompass a wide emotional and dramatic range. This continues to be the case, evident in his upcoming film appearances as a mustache-twirling villain in Django Unchained, soon to be followed by his performance as tragic literary character Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby.
DiCaprio is passionate about environmental and humanitarian causes, having donated $1,000,000 to earthquake relief efforts in 2010, the same year he contributed $1,000,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales on January 30, 1974. Bale's father, David, was a commercial pilot, and the family lived in different countries throughout Bale's childhood, including England, Portugal, and the United States. Bale acknowledges the constant change was one of the influences on his career choice.
His first acting job was a cereal commercial in 1983; amazingly, the next year, he debuted on the West End stage opposite Rowan Atkinson in "The Nerd". A role in the 1986 NBC mini-series Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna caught Steven Spielberg's eye, leading to Bale's well-documented role in Empire of the Sun. For the range of emotions he displayed as the star of the war epic, he earned a special award by the National Board of Review for Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor.
Adjusting to fame and his difficulties with attention (he thought about quitting acting early on), Bale appeared in Kenneth Branagh's 1989 adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V and starred as Jim Hawkins in a TV movie version of Treasure Island. Bale worked consistently through the 1990s, acting and singing in Newsies, Swing Kids, Little Women, The Portrait of a Lady, The Secret Agent, Metroland, Velvet Goldmine, All the Little Animals, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Toward the end of the decade, with the rise of the Internet, Bale found himself coming one of the most popular online celebrities around, though he, with a couple notable exceptions, maintained a private, tabloid-free mystique.
Bale roared into the next decade with a lead role in American Psycho, director Mary Harron's adaptation of the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel. In the film, Bale played a murderous Wall Street executive obsessed with his own physicality - a trait for which Bale would become a specialist.
Bale was truly on the Hollywood radar at this time, and he turned in a range of performances in the remake Shaft, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, the balmy Laurel Canyon, and Reign of Fire, a dragons-and-magic commercial misfire that has its share of defenders.
Two more cult films followed: Equilibrium and The Machinist, the latter of which gained attention mainly due to Bale's physical transformation - he dropped a reported 60+ pounds for the role of a lathe operator with a secret that causes him to suffer from insomnia for over a year.
Bale's abilities to transform his body and to disappear into a character influenced the decision to cast him in Batman Begins, the first chapter in Christopher Nolan's definitive trilogy that proved a dark-themed narrative could resonate with audiences worldwide. The film also resurrected a character that had been shelved by Warner Bros. after a series of demising returns, capped off by Batman and Robin's massive commercial and critical failure. A quiet, personal victory for Bale: he accepted the role after the passing of his father in late 2003, an event that caused him to question whether he would continue performing.
Bale segued into two indie features in the wake of Batman's phenomenal success: The New World and Harsh Times. He continued working with respected independent directors in 2006's Rescue Dawn, Werner Herzog's feature version of his earlier, Emmy-nominated documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly. Leading up to the second Batman film, Bale starred in The Prestige, the remake of 3:10 to Yuma, and a reunion with director Todd Haynes in the experimental Bob Dylan biography, I'm Not There..
Anticipation for The Dark Knight was spun into unexpected heights with the tragic passing of Heath Ledger, whose performance as The Joker became the highlight of the sequel. Bale's graceful statements to the press reminded us of the days of the refined Hollywood star as the second installment exceeded the box-office performance of its predecessor.
Bale's next role was the eyebrow-raising decision to take over the role of John Connor in the Schwarzenegger-less Terminator Salvation, followed by a turn as federal agent Melvin Purvis in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Both films were hits but not the blockbusters they were expected to be.
For all his acclaim and box-office triumphs, Bale would earn his first Oscar in 2011 in the wake of The Fighter's critical and commercial success. Bale earned the Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund, brother to and trainer of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, played by Mark Wahlberg. Bale again showed his ability to reshape his body with another gaunt, skeletal transformation.
Bale then turned to another auteur, Yimou Zhang, for the epic The Flowers of War, in which Bale portrayed a priest trapped in the midst of the Rape of Nanking. Bale earned headlines for his attempt to visit with Chinese civil-rights activist Chen Guangcheng, which was blocked by the Chinese government.
Most recently, Bale capped his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight Rises; in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado tragedy, Bale made a quiet pilgrimage to the state to visit with survivors of the attack that left theatergoers dead and injured.
Bale has reunited with The New World director Terrence Malick for two upcoming projects: Knight of Cups and an as-yet-untitled drama. He also filmed the thriller Out of the Furnace with Crazy Heart writer/director Scott Cooper.
In his personal life, he devotes time to charities including Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation. He lives with his wife, Sibi Blazic, and their daughter, Emmeline.
Charlie Matthew Hunnam was born in Newcastle, England on April 10, 1980. At 18 years of age, he made a guest appearances in the popular TV series Byker Grove.
He gained fame in Britain thanks to his television role as the love-smitten Nathan Maloney in Queer as Folk. Independent movies, television series and auditions for such blockbusters as Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones followed, but it wasn't until 2002 that Charlie started to attract international attention, when he supported Katie Holmes in the suspense thriller Abandon.
His first lead role in a film was in Nicholas Nickleby. After which, he played a pivotal character in the strongly cast, adapted drama Cold Mountain. This was Charlie's first part that he has named in his "trilogy of mad men." The two that followed were in Green Street Hooligans and Children of Men. Charlie's role in Green Street Hooligans caught the eye of Kurt Sutter, who chose him to play the protagonist in his TV show Sons of Anarchy. The series about an outlaw motorcycle club became FX's most popular show ever and a critical success. Following his fame on American TV, Charlie had his first starring part in a film that was a commercial success, Pacific Rim.
With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception, English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. But the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his television debut in the mini-series Band of Brothers. After being cast in the World War II drama, Hardy left his studies at the prestigious Drama Centre in London and was subsequently cast in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down and as the villain Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Tom was born on September 15, 1977 in Hammersmith, London; his father, Edward, is a writer and Anne, his mother, is an artist. He was brought up in East Sheen, London, and first studied at Reed's School. His education continued at Tower House School, then at Richmond Drama School, and subsequently at the Drama Centre London. After winning a modeling competition at age 21, he had a brief contract with the agency Models One.
Tom spent his teens and early twenties battling delinquency, alcoholism and drug addiction; after completing his work on Star Trek: Nemesis, he sought treatment and has also admitted that his battles with addiction ended his 5-year marriage.
Returning to work in 2003, Hardy was awarded the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award for his theatre performances in the productions of "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Blood". In 2003 Tom also co-starred in the play "The Modernists" with Paul Popplewell, Jesse Spencer and Orlando Wells.
During the next five years, Hardy worked consistently in film, television and theatre, playing parts as varied as Robert Dudley in the BBC's The Virgin Queen, Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist and starring in "The Man of Mode" at the National Theatre. On the silver screen, he appeared in the crime thriller Layer Cake with Daniel Craig, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and the romp Scenes of a Sexual Nature.
In 2006, Hardy created "Shotgun", an underground theatre company along with director Robert Delamere, and directed a play, penned by his father for the company, called "Blue on Blue". In 2007, Hardy received a best actor BAFTA nomination for his touching performance as Stuart Shorter in the BBC adaptation of Alexander Masters' bestselling biography Stuart: A Life Backwards. Hardy, hailed for his transformative character acting, was lauded for his emotionally and physically convincing portrayal in the ill-fated and warmhearted tale of Shorter, a homeless and occasionally violent man suffering from addiction and muscular dystrophy.
The following year, he appeared as gay hoodlum Handsome Bob in the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla, but it would be his next transformation that would prove his extensive range and stun critics. In the film Bronson, Hardy played the notorious Charles Bronson (given name, Michael Peterson), the "most violent prisoner in Britain". Bald, bulked-up, and outfitted with Bronson's signature strongman mustache, Hardy is unrecognizable and gives a harrowing performance that is physically fearless and psychologically unsettling. Director Nicolas Winding Refn breaks down the fourth wall with Hardy retelling his tales directly to viewers as well as performing them outright before an audience of his own imagining. The performance mixes terrifying brutality, vaudevillian showmanship, wry humor, and an alarming amount of commitment, and won Hardy a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. The performance got Hollywood's attention and, in 2009, Hardy was named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch". That year, he continued to garner praise for his starring role in The Take, a four-part adaptation of Martina Cole's bestselling crime novel, as well as for his performance as Heathcliff in a version of Wuthering Heights.
Recent work includes the aforementioned breakthrough appearance in Inception alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page. The movie was released in July 2010 and became one of top 25 highest grossing films of all time.
Other films include Warrior, opposite Joel Edgerton, the story of two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime from director Gavin O'Connor, and This Means War, directed by McG and co-starring Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine. Tom also starred in the heralded Cold War thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman.
Hardy rejoined Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises; he played the villain role of Bane opposite Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman. Hardy's menacing physique and his character's scrambled, hard-to-distinguish voice became a major discussion point as the film was released.
Outside of performing, Hardy is the patron for the charity "Flack", which is an organization to aid the recovery of the homeless in Cambridge. And, in 2010, Hardy was named an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust, which helps disadvantaged youth. On the recent stage, he starred in the Brett C. Leonard play "The Long Red Road" in early 2010. Written for Hardy and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, the play was staged at Chicago's Goodman Theater.
Hardy will next be seen as the iconic Mad Max in George Miller's reboot of his Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. He has an outlaw biker story among other projects in development. In 2010, Hardy became engaged to fellow English actress, Charlotte Riley, whom he starred with in The Take and Wuthering Heights, and is raising a young son, Louis, with ex-girlfriend Rachael Speed.
Born on January 13, 1990, in Melbourne, Australia, Liam Hemsworth is the younger brother of actors Chris Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth and the son of Leonie, an English teacher, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor; the Hemsworth family lived primarily on Phillip Island, a small island located south of Melbourne. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers, who went into acting in their teens, Liam scored his first audition at age 16 and appeared on the Australian TV series Home and Away and McLeod's Daughters before taking on a recurring character role on the soap opera Neighbours, in which his brother Luke had also appeared. Roles on TV shows The Elephant Princess and Satisfaction followed before Liam moved to the United States to pursue a big-screen career.
After suffering two setbacks - his character was written out of the script for The Expendables days before filming and he lost the title role of Thor to his brother Chris - Liam was cast opposite Miley Cyrus in the Nicholas Sparks drama The Last Song. The two, who played love interests in the film, soon started dating, and Liam appeared in Cyrus' music video "When I Look at You." Following that film's modest commercial success, and the attendant press coverage of his rising career and high-profile romance, he was almost immediately thrust into leading man status, and was cast as Gale Hawthorne in the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel The Hunger Games. Following the blockbuster success of that film, Liam nabbed a number of roles, including a supporting part in The Expendables 2 and leading roles in the war drama Love and Honor, the crime drama Empire State, and the thriller Paranoia. He will also star as Ali Baba in a 3D production of Arabian Nights and will reprise the role of Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
In June of 2012, Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus announced their engagement.
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France to parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson. When Emma was five her parents divorced, and she then moved to Oxfordshire, England with her mother and younger brother, Alexander. Since the divorce, Emma's extended family has grown as her parents both have new partners. Her father has a son named Toby, and identical twin daughters, Nina and Lucy, and her mother's partner has two sons. Emma spent much of her childhood residing in England with her mother and stepfather, younger brother, and two stepbrothers.
From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing and acting. By the age of ten, she had performed and taken the lead in various Stagecoach productions and school plays, including "Arthur: The Young Years" and "The Happy Prince". In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the film adaptation of British author J.K. Rowling's bestselling novel. Casting agents found Emma through her Oxford theatre teacher. After eight consistent auditions, producer David Heyman told Emma and fellow applicants, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, that they had been cast for the roles of the three leads, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.
The release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was Emma's cinematic screen debut. The film broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Critics praised the film and the performances of the three leading young actors. The highly distributed British newspaper, 'The Daily Telegraph', called her performance "admirable". Later, Emma was nominated for five awards for her performance in the film, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film.
Since the release of the first film of the highly successful franchise, Emma has quickly become one of the most well-known actresses in the world. She continued to play the role of Hermione Granger for nearly ten years, in all of the following Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. In addition, Emma has began to branch out into other films, with My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the upcoming The Bling Ring and Noah.
In addition to acting, Emma is studying at Brown University.
Born John Christopher Depp in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, Johnny Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school at age 15 in the hopes of becoming a rock musician. He fronted a series of garage bands including The Kids, which once opened for Iggy Pop. Depp got into acting after a visit to Los Angeles, California, with his former wife, Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp), who introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage. He made his film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 1987 he shot to stardom when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street.
In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a handful of great collaborations with director Tim Burton came about when Depp played the title role in Edward Scissorhands. Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprised critics and audiences alike. He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity by appearing in many features before re-joining with Burton in the lead role of Ed Wood. In 1997 he played an undercover FBI agent in the fact-based film Donnie Brasco, opposite Al Pacino; in 1998 he appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam; and then, in 1999, he appeared in the sci-fi/horror film The Astronaut's Wife. The same year he teamed up again with Burton in Sleepy Hollow, brilliantly portraying Ichabod Crane.
Depp has played many characters in his career, including another fact-based one, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell. He stole the show from screen greats such as Antonio Banderas in the finale to Robert Rodriguez's "mariachi" trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In that same year he starred in the marvelous family blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, playing a character that only the likes of Depp could pull off: the charming, conniving and roguish Capt. Jack Sparrow. Now Depp is collaborating again with Burton in a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Off-screen, Depp has dated several female celebrities, and has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. He was married to Lori Anne Allison in 1983 but they divorced her in 1985. Depp has two children with French singer-actress Vanessa Paradis: Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999 and Jack, born in 2002.
Though most famous for her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight saga, Kristen Stewart has been a working actor since her early years in Los Angeles, California. Her parents, John Stewart and Jules Stewart, both work in film and television. Her mother is Australian. The family includes three boys, her older brother Cameron Stewart, and two adopted brothers Dana and Taylor.
After a talent scout caught her grade school performance in a Christmas play at the age of eight, she appeared on television in a few small roles. Her first significant role came when she was cast as Sam Jennings in The Safety of Objects. Soon after that, she starred alongside Jodie Foster in the hit drama, Panic Room and was nominated for a Young Artist Award.
Praised for her Panic Room performance, she went on to join the cast of Cold Creek Manor as the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone. Though the film did not do well at the box office, she received another nomination for a Young Artist Award. After appearing in a handful of movies and a Showtime movie called Speak, Stewart was cast in the role of a teenage singer living in a commune in Sean Penn's Into the Wild, a critically acclaimed biopic. A third Young Artist Award nomination resulted in a win for this role. She also appeared in Mary Stuart Masterson's The Cake Eaters that same year.
Just 17, Stewart took on the starring role in Twilight opposite Robert Pattinson who plays the vampire lead, Edward Cullen. Based on a series of the same name written by Stephenie Meyer, the novel already had a huge following and the film opened to fans anxious to see the vampire romance brought to life. Awarded the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance, Stewart's turn as Bella continued in the sequels The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The final installments of the series start filming in late 2010.
Rocketed into stardom with the Twilight films, Stewart has continually shrunk from the spotlight. She has also taken on a number of indie projects, including Adventureland (filmed prior to the Twilight series) and Welcome to the Rileys. And she took on the daunting task of playing rocker Joan Jett in Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways alongside Dakota Fanning. Though most critics heaped praised on Fanning for her poignant performance as Cherie Currie, Stewart also received praise for her acting and musical performances.
One of Stewart's next big projects is the upcoming film adaptation of the classic novel by Jack Kerouac, On the Road, in which she'll star as Marylou. Shooting began in the summer of 2010, and the film is slated for a December 2012 release.
Stewart continues to live in Los Angeles, California.
Born on November 17, 1978, in London, Ontario, Canada, Rachel McAdams became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 was performing in Shakespearean productions in summer theater camp; she went on to graduate with honors with a BFA degree in Theater from York University. After her debut in an episode of Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson, she co-starred in the Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows, a comedy-drama about the trials and travails of a Shakespearean theater group, and won a Gemini award for her performance in 2003.
Her breakout role as Regina George in the hit comedy Mean Girls instantly catapulted her onto the short list of Hollywood's hottest young actresses. She followed that film with a star turn opposite Ryan Gosling in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller The Notebook, which was a surprise box office success and became the predominant romantic drama for a new, young generation of moviegoers. After filming, McAdams and Gosling became romantically involved and dated through mid-2007. McAdams next showcased her versatility onscreen with the manic comedy Wedding Crashers, the thriller Red Eye, and the holiday drama The Family Stone.
McAdams then explored the independent film world with Married Life, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and also starred Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson. Starring roles in the military drama The Lucky Ones, the newspaper thriller State of Play, and the romance The Time-Traveler's Wife (2009) followed before she starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's international blockbuster Sherlock Holmes. McAdams played the plucky producer of a failing morning TV show in Morning Glory, the materialistic fiancée of Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, and returned to romantic drama territory with the hit film The Vow opposite Channing Tatum. The actress also stars with Ben Affleck in Terrence Malick's To the Wonder (2012) and alongside Noomi Rapace in 'Brian DePalma''s thriller Passion.
In 2005, McAdams received ShoWest's "Supporting Actress of the Year" Award as well as the "Breakthrough Actress of the Year" at the Hollywood Film Awards. In 2009, she was awarded with ShoWest's "Female Star of the Year." As of 2011, she has been romantically linked with her Midnight in Paris co-star Michael Sheen.
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, 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."
Rose was born in Sydney, Australia. She landed her first role in a movie, Dallas Doll, when she was 15 years old.
Since then, Rose has appeared in a variety of Australian televisions shows including Heartbreak High, Echo Point, and the film Two Hands alongside Heath Ledger. After this, she appeared in various movies like The Date, My Mother Frank, and Clara Law's The Goddess of 1967 for which she obtained the Female Volpi Cup at the Venice Festival in 2000.
Her first experience on a big-budget movie came when she played handmaiden, Dormé, to Natalie Portman, Padmé Amidala, in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. In 2003, she starred, coincidentally, as Rose Mortmain in the adaptation of Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle. In 2004, she acted in Wicker Park with Diane Kruger and Josh Hartnett. Here, she heard Wolfgang Petersen was looking for an actress for Briseis in his next movie Troy with Brad Pitt, she got the part and was recognised as one of the most promising actresses in Hollywood.
This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director of European parentage may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.
Born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hells Kitchen, the young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Stud's, the thriller Klute and the comedy Bananas. He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lord's of Flatbush. Further film and television roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000. However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.
Stallone followed Rocky with F.I.S.T, loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II. The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks and Victory failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.
The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell, and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood, also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II, which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend American pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by curt Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV. The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".
Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra was a clumsy mess, Over the Top was equally mediocre, Rambo III saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango & Cash just did not quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell.
Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne. Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar, the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, the futuristic action film Demolition Man, and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd. Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land, also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz, reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine in a terrible remake of Get Carter, climbed back into a race car for Driven, and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa, and Vietnam veteran Rambo will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.
Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Thompson's wit was earlier cultivated by a cheerful, clever, creative family atmosphere, and she was a popular and successful student. She attended Cambridge University, studying English Literature, and was part of the university's Footlights Group, the famous group where, previously, many of the Monty Python members had first met.
Thompson graduated in 1980 and embarked on her career in entertainment, beginning with stints on BBC radio and touring with comedy shows. She soon got her first major break in television, on the comedy skit program Alfresco, writing and performing along with her fellow Footlights Group alums Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. She also worked on other TV comedy review programs in the mid-1980s, occasionally with some of her fellow Footlights alums, and often with actor Robbie Coltrane.
Thompson found herself collaborating again with Fry in 1985, this time in his stage adaptation of the play "Me and My Girl" in London's West End, in which she had a leading role, playing Sally Smith. The show was a success and she received favorable reviews, and the strength of her performance led to her casting as the lead in the BBC television miniseries Fortunes of War, in which Thompson and her co-star, Kenneth Branagh, play an English ex-patriate couple living in Eastern Europe as the Second World War erupts. Thompson won a BAFTA award for her work on the program. She married Branagh in 1989, continued to work with him professionally, and formed a production company with him. In the late 80s and early 90s, she starred in a string of well-received and successful television and film productions, most notably her lead role in the Merchant-Ivory production of Howards End, which confirmed her ability to carry a movie on both sides of the Atlantic and appropriately showered her with trans-Atlantic honors - both an Oscar and a BAFTA award.
Since then, Thompson has continued to move effortlessly between the art film world and mainstream Hollywood, though even her Hollywood roles tend to be in more up-market productions. She continues to work on television as well, but is generally very selective about which roles she takes. She writes for the screen as well, such as the screenplay for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, in which she also starred as Elinor Dashwood, and the teleplay adaptation of Margaret Edson's acclaimed play Wit, in which she also starred.
Thompson is known for her sophisticated, skillful, though her critics say somewhat mannered, performances, and of course for her arch wit, which she is unafraid to point at herself - she is a fearless self-satirist. Thompson and Branagh divorced in 1994, and Thompson is now married to fellow actor Greg Wise, who had played Willoughby in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. Thompson and Wise have one child, Gaia, born in 1999.
Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series Rising Damp, Porridge and The Lovers. He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.
Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition - once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia - cured - and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.
Her major acting debut came in a TV film about World War II called One Against the Wind, filmed in Luxembourg during the summer of 1991. It first aired on American television that December. Kate began attending Oxford University's New College in the fall of 1991, majoring in French and Russian literature. She had already decided that she wanted to act, but to broaden her horizons she chose university over drama school. While in her first year at Oxford, Kate received her big break in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Kate worked in three other films while attending Oxford, beginning with a part in the medieval historical drama Royal Deceit, cast as Ethel. The film was shot during the spring of 1993 on location in Denmark, and she filmed her supporting part during New College's Easter break. Later in the summer of that year she played the lead in the contemporary mystery drama Uncovered. Before she went back to school, her third year at university was spent at Oxford's study-abroad program in Paris, France, immersing herself in the French language, Parisian culture and French cigarettes.
A year away from the academic community and living on her own in the French capital caused her to re-evaluate the direction of her life. She faced a choice: continue with school or concentrate on her flourishing acting career. After much thought, she chose the acting career. In the spring of 1994 Kate left Oxford, after finishing three years of study. Kate appeared in the BBC/Thames Television satire Cold Comfort Farm, filmed in London and East Sussex during late summer 1994 and which opened to spectacular reviews in the United States, grossing over $5 million during its American run. It was re-released to U.K. theaters in the spring of 1997.
Acting on the stage consumed the first part of 1995; she toured in England with the Thelma Holts Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull". After turning down several mediocre scripts "and going nearly berserk with boredom", she waited seven months before another interesting role was offered to her. Her big movie of 1995 was the romance/horror movie Haunted, starring opposite Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud, and filmed in West Sussex. In this film she wanted to play "an object of desire", unlike her past performances where her characters were much less the siren and more the worldly innocent. Kate's first film project of 1996 was the British ITV production of Jane Austen's novel Emma. Her last film of 1996 was the comedy Shooting Fish, filmed at Shepperton Studios in London during early fall. She played the part of Georgie, an altruistic con artist. She had a daughter, Lily, in 1999 with actor Michael Sheen.
The youngest son of a gas station owner, who ran an oil pipe supply business and mother - substitute school teacher, Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas, but grew up in Longview, Texas where he graduated from the local High School (1988). Showing little interest in his father's oil business, which his two brothers later joined, Matthew was longing for a change of scenery, and spent a year in Australia, washing dishes and shoveling chicken manure. Back to the States, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, originally wishing to be a lawyer. But, when he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book "The Greatest Salesman in the World" before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film. He began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directed short films as Chicano Chariots. Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips, who introduced him to director Richard Linklater for his next project. At first, Linklater thought Matthew was too handsome to play the role of a guy chasing high school girls in his coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused, but cast him after Matthew grew out his hair and mustache. His character was initially in three scenes but the role grew to more than 300 lines as Linklater encouraged him to do some improvisations. In 1995, he starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite Renée Zellweger. Shortly thereafter moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star, where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill, where he played an idealistic young lawyer opposite Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. The actor was soon being hailed as one of the industry's hottest young leading man inspiring comparisons to actor Paul Newman. His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact with Jodie Foster (the film was finished just before the death of the great astronomer and popularizer of space science Carl Sagan) and Steven Spielberg's Amistad, a fact-based 1839 story about the rebellious African slaves. In 1998, he teamed again with Richard Linklater as one of the bank-robbing brothers in The Newton Boys, set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel. Later, in Jonathan Mostow's U-571, McConaughey portrayed the officer Lt. Tyler in a WW II story of a daring mission of American submariners, trying to capture the Enigma cipher machine. Matthew also took a part in comedies such as The Wedding Planner, opposite Jennifer Lopez and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson. His most interesting role was playing Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire, where he co-starred with another young actor, Christian Bale.
Lindsay Dee Lohan was born in New York City on 2 July 1986 to Dina Lohan and Michael Lohan. She began her career at age three as a model at the Eileen Ford Agency, and made appearances in over 60 television commercials, including spots for The Gap, Pizza Hut, Wendy's and Jell-O (opposite Bill Cosby). Lohan made her acting debut in 1996 as the third actress to play Ali Fowler in the television drama Another World. Shortly afterward she was hand-picked by Oscar-nominated writer Nancy Meyers as estranged twin sisters in an adaptation by Walt Disney Pictures of a novel by Erich Kästner, which marked Meyers' directorial debut. Lohan's first feature film, The Parent Trap, a remake of The Parent Trap, was a modest commercial success, earning her widespread critical acclaim and a Young Artist award for Best Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film, as well as Blockbuster Entertainment and YoungStar award nominations.
After signing a three-movie contract with Disney, she returned to the small screen to star in the made-for-TV movies Life-Size (opposite Tyra Banks) and Get a Clue (opposite Bug Hall). She also appeared as Rose in the pilot episode of the short-lived comedy series Bette, which starred Bette Midler.
In June 2001 Lohan took a brief hiatus from acting. Her music career was launched over a year later, when Estefan Enterprises made a five-album production deal with her in September 2002, and she signed a recording contract with the reactivated Casablanca Records.
However, Lohan was not turning her back on her blossoming acting career. Just over a month previously she had been cast opposite Jamie Lee Curtis for another Disney adaptation of a novel, this time a fantasy comedy by Mary Rodgers. Freaky Friday, a remake of Freaky Friday, was a huge hit (generating over $160 million in worldwide box office receipts) and critics were spellbound by delightful performances from Lohan and Curtis (who went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her work). In addition, Lohan won the 2004 MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Female, as well as a Saturn award nomination and another Young Artist award nomination.
Her next acting role was the title character in the comedy Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, a Disney adaptation of the novel by Dyan Sheldon. The film received scathing reviews upon its release and died a quick death at the box office, but even the harshest of critics were impressed by Lohan's charming turn as aspiring actress Lola.
Lohan's next project, Mean Girls, saw her reunite with Freaky Friday director Mark Waters. Inspired by a non-fiction book by Rosalind Wiseman and written by Saturday Night Live scribe Tina Fey, the high-school comedy-drama opened to glowing reviews and grossed $86 million in the US. This earned her status as a bankable actress, and a salary of $7.5 million for the Donald Petrie romantic comedy Just My Luck.
One of the most sought-after young actresses in the industry, she starred in Bobby (opposite Demi Moore and Sharon Stone), the Disney fantasy adventure Herbie Fully Loaded (a pseudo-sequel to The Love Bug) and the critically acclaimed A Prairie Home Companion. On top of a thriving film career Lohan also launched a music career, releasing her debut album, "Speak," which hit shelves in December 2004.
In 2009 Lohan launched her own fashion line titled 6126, mainly focusing on the production of women's leggings. By spring she launched a self-tanning spray line titled "Sevin Nyne" and by the end of the year she became an artistic designer for fashion house Ungaro.
Lindsay continues her career in acting, having completed a role in the action film Machete.
Born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, Gerard Butler was raised, along with his older brother and sister, in his hometown of Paisley, Scotland. He also spent some of his youth in Canada. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised primarily by their mother, who later remarried. He had no contact with his father between the ages of two and 16 years old, after which time they became close. His father passed away when Gerard was in his early 20s. Butler went on to attend Glasgow University, where he studied to be a lawyer/solicitor. He was president of the school's law society thanks to his outgoing personality and great social skills.
His acting career began when he was approached in a London coffee shop by actor Steven Berkoff, who later appeared alongside Butler in Attila, who gave him a role in a stage production of "Coriolanus". After that, Butler decided to give up law for acting. He was cast as Ewan McGregor's character "Renton" in the stage adaptation of [i]Trainspotting[/i]. His film debut was as Billy Connolly's younger brother in Mrs Brown. While filming the movie in Scotland, he was enjoying a picnic with his mother near the River Tay when they heard the shouts of a young boy, who had been swimming with a friend, who was in some trouble. Butler jumped in and saved the young boy from drowning. He received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society. He felt he only did what anyone in the situation would have done.
His film career continued with small roles, first in the "James Bond" movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, and then Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy. In 2000, Butler was cast in two breakthrough roles, the first being "Attila the Hun" in the USA Network mini-series, Attila. The film's producers wanted a known actor to play the part but kept coming back to Butler's screen tests and decided he was their man. He had to lose the thick Scottish accent, but managed well. Around the time "Attila" was being filmed, casting was in progress for Wes Craven's new take on the "Dracula" legacy. Also wanting a known name, Butler wasn't much of a consideration, but his unending tenacity drove him to hounding the producers. Eventually, he sent them a clip of his portrayal of "Attila". Evidently, they saw something because Dracula 2000 was cast in the form of Butler. Attila's producers, thinking that his big-screen role might help with their own film's ratings, finished shooting a little early so he could get to work on Dracula 2000. Following these two roles, Butler developed quite a fan base, an Internet site and began appearing on lists everywhere.
Since then, he has appeared in Reign of Fire as "Creedy" and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life as "Terry Sheridan", alongside Angelina Jolie. The role that garnered him the most attention from both moviegoers and movie makers, alike, was that of "Andre Marek" in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel, Timeline. Butler played an archaeologist who was sent back in time with a team of students to rescue a colleague. Last year, he appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, The Phantom of the Opera, playing the title character in the successful adaptation of the stage musical. It was a role that brought him much international attention. Other projects include Dear Frankie, The Game of Their Lives and Beowulf & Grendel.
In 2007, he starred as Spartan "King Leonidas" in the Warner Bros. production 300, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, and Shattered, co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Maria Bello, which aired on network TV under the title, "Shattered". He most recently starred in P.S. I Love You, with Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank.
In 2007, he appeared in Nim's Island and RocknRolla, and completed the new Mark Neveldine / Brian Taylor film, Gamer. His next films included The Ugly Truth, co-starring Katherine Heigl, which began filming in April 2008, The Bounty Hunter, How to Train Your Dragon, Chasing Mavericks and Olympus Has Fallen. Butler is also a relative of rising animator and film director Mark Flood.
Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian, she attended the Rice Summer Theatre on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts beginning when she was 15 years old. She was offered her first screen-test by a 20th Century-Fox talent scout while attending Rice, but turned the opportunity down to gain professional stage experience in Cleveland after graduating from high school.
She moved on to California to continue her acting studies at the Pasadena Playhouse. It was there, while sitting in the audience of a play being put on at the Playhouse, she was again offered a screen-test -- this time from a Warner Brothers' scout -- and again declined, wanting to finish her first year at the Playhouse. When the year was up, Eleanor contacted Warner Brothers to take them up their offer of a screen-test, and was signed as a contract player two days after it was shot.
She was cast in Raoul Walsh's They Died with Their Boots On, but her performance was left on the cutting room floor. She was then cast in short-subjects and given other assignments typically of tyro movie actors to enable them to learn their craft, such as voice-overs and appearing in other actors' screen tests. Finally, she was promoted to the B-picture unit, making her feature debut in Busses Roar.
Her beauty meant she was not forgotten, and she was cast in one of Warner Brothers' biggest productions for the 1943 season, the pro-Soviet Mission to Moscow directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Walter Huston as the U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R. Eleanor played his daughter in the film, which became notorious in the McCarthy era for its glorification of "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The film proved significant to Eleanor as she met a future husband on the set, Navy Lieutenant. Fred L. Losse, Navy dentist. The marriage was a brief war-time affair, lasting from March 21, 1943, to December 5, 1944.
She went back to the Bs with The Mysterious Doctor, then bounced back to the A-list for Between Two Worlds, a remake of the Leslie Howard vehicle Outward Bound in which she played Paul Henreid's fiancé. (Both were dead from suicide, but in Hollywood logic, that didn't mean they couldn't gambol together on the silver screen.) Eleanor then made two more "B" quickies in 1944, Crime by Night, and The Last Ride before graduating to the A-list for good with Pride of the Marines with John Garfield.
In an Warner Brothers remake, she took over the role Bette Davis had made good in (ironically, at rival R.K.O.) in the 1946 remake Of Human Bondage. Though Parker would be gaining kudos and Oscar nominations by the beginning of the next decade, her portrait of Mildred was weak in comparison with Davis' dynamic performance.
Parker received the first of her three Best Actress Oscar nominations playing a prisoner in Caged, for which she won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She was also nominated the next year playing the cop's wife who shared a secret with the neighborhood abortionist in William Wyler's Detective Story. Her third and last Oscar nod came for Interrupted Melody, playing an opera singer struck down by polio. She could easily have been nominated that same year for her portrayal of Frank Sinatra's faux crippled wife in Otto Preminger's brooding masterpiece The Man with the Golden Arm adapted from the novel by Nelson Algren.
Parker proved herself to be a supremely talented and very versatile lead actress. The versatility was likely one of the reasons why she never quite became a major star. Audiences attending a movie which starred Parker never knew quite what to expect of her; if they even remembered she was the same actress, they had seen before in a different type of role in another picture. Her turns in Detective Story and The Man with the Golden Arm could not have been more different. Parker's stardom and subsequent fame (and remembrance) suffered from her focusing on being a serious actress and creating a character who fit the motion picture she was in, rather than playing a character again and again and again as most movie stars do. She is probably best remembered for the relatively tame part as the Baroness in The Sound of Music.
She received an Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy nomination in 1963 for her appearance in The Eleventh Hour episode "Why Am I Grown So Cold?" Despite the success of The Sound of Music which was completely attributed to #1 Box Office sensation Julie Andrews is probably Parker's best remembered role. Her appearances in such fare as The Oscar (the cast of which the Playboy Magazine reviewer derided as "has-beens and never-will-bes") and the movie adaptation of Norman Mailer's indescribable existential-potboiler An American Dream with fellow Oscar-nominee Stuart Whitman signaled that Miss Parker, indeed, was now inscribed on the list of the has-beens.
She had one last hurrah, winning a Golden Globe nomination in 1970 as Best Lead Actress for her role in the TV series Bracken's World but unfortunately, times had changed during the tumultuous 1960s. Her last film was in a Farrah Fawcett bomb, Sunburn. Subsequently, she appeared very infrequently on TV, most recently in Dead on the Money.
Eleanor Parker retired far too soon for those who were her fans and those who appreciated a superb actress. Although she received only half as many Oscar nominations as the great Deborah Kerr, surely like Kerr, an honorary Oscar recognizing one of the movies' great talents wouldn't be out of line, but remains improbable due to the lack of recognition that great talent engendered.
Academy Award-nominee Woody Harrelson was born on July 23, 1961 in Midland, Texas. He grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, and, after receiving degrees in theater arts and English from Hannover College, had a brief stint in New York theater. He was soon cast as Woody on TV series Cheers, which wound up being one of the most-popular TV shows ever and also earned Harrelson an Emmy for his performance in 1989.
While he dabbled in film during his time on Cheers, that area of his career didn't fully take off until towards the end of the show's run. In 1991, Doc Hollywood gave him his first widely-seen movie role, and he followed that up with White Men Can't Jump, Indecent Proposal and Natural Born Killers. Recently, Harrelson has been seen in No Country for Old Men, Zombieland, 2012, and Friends with Benefits, along with the acclaimed HBO movie Game Change.
In 2011, Harrelson snagged the coveted role of fan-favorite drunk Haymitch Abernathy in the big-screen adaptation of The Hunger Games, which ended up being one of the highest-grossing movies ever at the domestic box office. Harrelson is set to reprise that role for the sequels, which are scheduled for release in November 2013, 2014 and 2015. Harrelson has received two Academy Award nominations, first for his role as controversial Hustler founder Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt and then for a role in The Messenger. He also received Golden Globe nominations for both of these parts.
Harrelson was briefly married to Nancy Simon in the 80s, and is currently married to his former assistant, Laura Louie, with whom he has three daughters.
Logan Lerman was born in Beverly Hills, to a Jewish family. His parents are Lisa (Goldman), who works as his manager, and Larry Lerman, an orthotist and businessman. He has two siblings, Lucas and Lindsey.
When he was 2 1/2 years old, Logan told his mother that he wanted to be an actor. At the age of 4, Logan had an agent and was booked for two commercials. His first appearance on the big screen was as William, the youngest son of Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot. Also in 2000, he appeared with the same actor (Gibson), this time as the younger version of his character Nick Marshall, in What Women Want. After a small role in 2001's Riding in Cars with Boys, he starred in John Grisham's A Painted House.
He played the younger version of Ashton Kutcher's character, Evan, in The Butterfly Effect. After making his small screen debut in a guest-starring role in 10-8: Officers on Duty, he stared as Bobby (Robert) McCallister in the WB Network's series Jack & Bobby, where he portrayed a teenager who will be a future president of the United States. After the show's cancellation in 2005, Logan returned to film, starring in the family adventure Hoot. The next year, he played the son of Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) in the dark thriller The Number 23, and co-starred with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the well-reviewed Western remake 3:10 to Yuma. His next two roles were playing a foul-mouthed private school student in the comedy Meet Bill and a younger version of actor George Hamilton in the period drama My One and Only. Both were independent films that received limited releases. Also in 2009, Logan appeared with Gerard Butler in the R-rated action thriller Gamer, as a teenager who controls Butler's character in a real-life video game.
In 2010, Logan played the title character in the fantasy adventure Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, giving him notice among a wider audience. Subsequently, he starred as D'Artagnan in a remake of The Three Musketeers, headlined The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a film adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name, had a supporting role in the independent film Stuck in Love, and returned to star in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. His upcoming roles include the epic Biblical film Noah, playing one of the title character's sons, and the World War II-set drama Fury, in which he plays one of several American soldiers engaged in tank combat against the German forces, during the last weeks of the Nazi regime.
When Logan is not working, he likes to play soccer and baseball. He is an LA Lakers fan.
Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, California. He is the son of Starla Baskett, a former secretary, and David Efron, an electrical engineer. He has a brother, Dylan. His surname, "Efron", means "lark" (a bird) in Hebrew, and comes from Zac's Ashkenazi Jewish paternal grandfather. Zac's other recent ancestry is English, German, Irish, and Scottish. Zac took his first step toward acting at the age of eleven, after his parents noticed of his singing ability. Singing lessons soon led to an appearance in the production of "Gypsy" and he was hooked.
Efron first garnered attention as as the star of the original High School Musical, for which he won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star. He returned to the role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2, which broke cable TV records with 17.5 million viewers. His additional television credits include a role on the WB series Summerland and guest-starring roles on such shows as ER, The Guardian, CSI: Miami and NCIS.
He starred in the title roles of the fantasy romance Charlie St. Cloud and the comedy 17 Again, both from director Burr Steers, and as the lovable Link Larkin in 2007's smash hit musical Hairspray, directed by Adam Shankman. As part of the all-star cast he shared a Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble, the 2007 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, and was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. In addition, he won an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance.
Efron also starred in Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, an adaptation of the novel by Robert Kaplow, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. That same year, he starred in Kenny Ortega's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which set a box office record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a musical.
In 2012, Efron took the lead in The Lucky One, a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, playing a marine who returns to North Carolina after serving in Iraq in search for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war. He also lent his voice to the animated feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. He will next be seen in Lee Daniels' thriller The Paperboy, alongside Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn, as well as Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
Willow Shields was born on June 1, 2000 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She has a twin sister, actress Autumn Shields and an older brother, actor River Shields. Willow got her first job in 2008, narrating the short film Las Vegas New Mexico 1875, the story of a dying gunfighter who returns home after 10 years to make peace with his wife and daughter. Her first television role was a guest appearance in the USA series In Plain Sight, which was filmed in her hometown of Albuquerque, followed by an episode in the teen-oriented horror anthology series R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour and a supporting role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie Beyond the Blackboard opposite Emily VanCamp. On the strength of those appearances alone, Willow was cast as Primrose Everdeen, the younger sister of heroine Katniss Everdeen, in The Hunger Games, and will appear in the same role in all the upcoming films adapted from the bestselling novels by Suzanne Collins.
Wilow has several pets including dogs and chickens; she is home schooled and loves history and reading. She spends her free time making art, and especially loves making artist trading cards.
Sharlto Copley's childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content for broadcast. Rather than acting in front of the camera, Copley found himself the businessman running the production behind the scenes, becoming South Africa's youngest television producer at age 25. It was during this time that he met a then-teen-aged Neill Blomkamp, who worked at Copley's company in exchange for use of the computers to pursue his talent for design. Blomkamp would many years later go on to direct Copley in his star-making debut as nervous bureaucrat Wikus van de Merwe in the Oscar nominated science fiction hit 'District 9 (2009)'. Copley followed this by fulfilling another childhood dream, landing the role of H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock in the big screen adaption of the 1980's TV hit 'The A-Team (2010)' and was also directed by Blomkamp once again in the movie 'Elysium (2013)'. He now continues to split his time between his native South Africa and Hollywood, pursuing more opportunities in front of and behind the camera.
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky, and graduated from Augusta High School. He was very active in sports such as basketball and baseball, and tried out for the Cincinatti Reds, but was not offered a contract.
After his cousin 'Miguel Ferrer' got him a small part in a feature film, Clooney began to pursue acting. His first major role was on the sitcom E/R as Ace. More roles soon followed, including George Burnett, the handsome handyman on The Facts of Life; Booker Brooks, a supervisor on Roseanne; and Detective James Falconer on Sisters. Clooney had his breakthrough when he was cast as Dr. Doug Ross on the award-winning drama series ER, opposite Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, and Julianna Margulies.
While filming "ER", Clooney starred in a number of high profile film roles, such as Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, and One Fine Day, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1997, Clooney took on the role of Batman in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin. The film was a moderate success in the box office, but was slammed by critics, notably for the nipple-laden Bat suit. Clooney went on to star in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight, Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, and David O. Russell's Three Kings.
In 1999, Clooney left "ER" (though he would return for the season finale) and appeared in a number of films including O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Perfect Storm, and Ocean's Eleven. Collaborating once again with Steven Soderbergh, Ocean's Eleven received critical acclaim, earned more than $450 million in the box office, and spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen.
In 2002, Clooney made his directorial debut with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, an adaptation of TV producer Chuck Barris's autobiography. This was the first film under the banner of Section Eight Productions, a production company he founded with Steven Soderbergh. The company also produced many acclaimed films including Far from Heaven, Syriana, A Scanner Darkly, and Good Night, and Good Luck.. Clooney won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Good Night, and Good Luck.
In 2006, Section Eight was shut down so that Soderbergh could concentrate on directing, and Clooney founded a new production company, Smokehouse Productions, with his friend and long-time business partner, Grant Heslov.
Clooney went on to produce and star in Michael Clayton (which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor), directed and starred in Leatherheads, and took leading roles in Burn After Reading, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air. Clooney received critical acclaim his performance in Up in the Air and was nominated for several awards including a Golden Globe and Academy Award. He didn't win that year, but took home both Best Actor awards (as well as countless nominations) for his role as a father who finds out his wife was unfaithful as she lay in a coma in Alexander Payne's The Descendants.
Throughout his career, Clooney has been heralded for his political activism and humanitarian work. He has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since 2008, has been an advocate for the Darfur conflict, and organized the Hope for Haiti telethon, to raise money for the victims of the 2010 earthquake. In March of 2012, Clooney was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.
Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam, from 1989 until 1993. After their divorce, he swore he would never marry again. Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman bet him $10,000 that he would have children by the age of 40, and sent him a check shortly after his birthday. Clooney returned the funds and bet double of nothing he wouldn't have children by the age of 50. Although he has remained a consummate bachelor, Clooney has had many highly publicized relationships, most recently with former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler.
Chris Evans - not to be confused with the British DJ and wild man of the same name - began his acting career in typical fashion: performing in school productions and community theater. But it was his rapid rise to stardom that was unusual. Bitten by the acting bug in the first grade because his older sister, Carly, started performing, Evans followed suit and began appearing in school plays. From there, it was a quick jump to theater camp and later an internship for a casting office - a position he held one summer while living in a hole-in-the-wall in Brooklyn, New York. Once Evans made friends with a few agents on the job, it was a straight shot to television and blockbuster features.
Originally from Framingham, Massachusetts, the Evans family moved to suburban Sudbury when he was 11 years-old. While at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, his obvious talent led others to lavish praise and encouragement on him, particularly his drama teacher, who cited his performance as "Leontes" in "The Winter's Tale" as exemplary of his skill. After more school plays and regional theater, he moved to New York and attended the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. On the advice of friends, he landed an internship at a casting office and befriended a couple of the agents he regularly communicated with - one of whom later took him on as a client. The screen - not the stage - then became his focus; Evans soon began auditioning for feature films and series television.
Evans made one of his first appearances on The Fugitive (CBS, 2000-2001), a remake of the 1960s series and feature film starring Harrison Ford. In the episode "Guilt", Evans played the son of a small-town sheriff who tries to exact revenge after Dr. Kimble - incognito as a liquor store owner - refuses to sell him and his friends alcohol. After small roles in Cherry Falls and The Newcomers - two unknown low-budget features - Evans appeared in Boston Public (Fox, 2000-2004) as a murder suspect. He then appeared in his first major feature, Not Another Teen Movie, a tiresome spoof on teen comedies wherein he played a jock who makes a bet that he can turn an unpopular and unkempt girl (Chyler Leigh) into prom queen.
After filming a couple of television pilots he was confident would be successful - Just Married and Eastwick - he appeared in another listless teen comedy, The Perfect Score, playing an average, ho-hum student who takes part in a plot to steal the SAT test. Hijinks naturally ensue. Then, Evans broke through to the Big Time, grabbing the lead in the kidnapping thriller, Cellular, a suspenseful B movie with a cheesy gimmick - a random wrong number on his cell phone forces him into a high-stakes race to save an unknown woman's life. Despite an unassuming performance from Evans and Kim Basinger as the damsel in distress, Cellular failed to break any box office records or please a wide majority of critics. Evans then prepared himself for super stardom when he signed on to play "Johnny Storm" (a.k.a. The Human Torch)in Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox's long-awaited adaptation of the Marvel comic. Although the film was wildly uneven and disappointing, Evans nearly stole the show with his energetic, unfettered performance.
Sweden may not have a large population but it has gifted the world with bounty of astonishing directors and actors. Greta Garbo, Ingmar Bergman, Max von Sydow and Ingrid Bergman are just the tip of the iceberg of Nordic actors and filmmakers who have enchanted and engaged cinemaphiles across the globe: Alexander Johan Hjalmar Skarsgård is poised to join their ranks. As the eldest son of famed actor Stellan Skarsgård, the handsome actor/director comes by his talent honestly; however, Alexander did not grow up in the glitzy world of international cinema.
For most of Alexander's formative years, his father was an acclaimed actor both on stage, TV and in movies but had not yet achieved the international fame that came after his star turn in Breaking the Waves. Young Alexander was raised under modest circumstances in a working-class Swedish neighborhood as his parents wanted their children to have as normal an upbringing as possible. He began his acting career at the age of eight and continued working in films and on Swedish television until he turned sixteen and decided acting was not the career for him. Life under a microscope lost its charm and perhaps due to the influence of My Skarsgård, his physician mother, he stopped working as an actor to continue his education.
Alexander was a bit of a rebel as a teen and, instead of continuing college, at the age of nineteen, he entered compulsory military service (Military conscription). He used the time to contemplate his future. He studied at the Leeds Metropolitan University then moved to New York where he enrolled at Marymount Manhattan College to study theatre. After six months in New York, a romantic entanglement lured him back to Sweden but the relationship was short-lived. Despite having a broken heart, Alexander decided to stay in Sweden and, with a bit of life experience under his belt, began his acting career again. He appeared in a number of Swedish productions and became a star in his native country but was interested in broadening his horizons and working outside of Sweden. A visit to Los Angeles landed him both an agent and a part in the Ben Stiller movie, Zoolander. After Zoolander, Alexander returned to Sweden where he continued honing his acting in film and theatrical productions including "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Bloody Wedding". He also co-wrote and co-directed an award-winning short, Att döda ett barn, (To Kill a Child), which was shown at both the Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals; unfortunately, stardom in Sweden doesn't bring international recognition and Skarsgård found himself flying back and forth to Los Angeles, auditioning for roles that he had no real interest in.
Finally, parts in two different HBO series came his way. His first big break was with the miniseries Generation Kill. Alexander spent seven months broiling in the desert of Namibia but it was well worth it. His portrayal of Marine Sgt. Brad "Iceman" Colbert astonished critics and audiences, alike. Thanks to the writer's strike, after completing Generation Kill, he was cast in the role of "Eric Northman", a 1,000-year-old Viking vampire on the hit series, True Blood. The series was created by Alan Ball, the man behind Six Feet Under. True Blood was adapted from the "Sookie Stackhouse" novels by Charlaine Harris and rode to success on quality scripts, great acting and the public's obsession with the vampire genre. In addition to True Blood, which begins its third season in 2010, Alexander has a number of film projects in the works including the remake of Straw Dogs, Melancholia, written and directed by Lars von Trier, action Sci-Fi film, Battleship, and The East, directed by Zal Batmanglij. There is no doubt with Alexander's rising popularity and amazing talent, we will be seeing great things from him in the future.
Mara Elizabeth Wilson was born on July 24th, 1987 in Los Angeles, California. She is the oldest daughter of Michael and Suzie Wilson with three elder brothers - Danny (b. 1979), Jon (b. 1981) and Joel (b. 1983) - and a younger sister Anna (b. 1993). When Mara was 5 years old, her eldest brother Danny started acting in television commercials and she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Her parents refused to let her act at first. After much persistence from Mara Elizabeth, her parents reluctantly agreed to let her give acting a try. She went on to appear in a number of commercials including those advertising Texaco and the Bank of America. She also appeared in "Mrs. Doubtfire" starring Robin Williams and Sally Field. In the role, Mara proved herself to be a talented young actress, who was mature for her tender years, and her acting career went from strength-to-strength as she quickly became a favorite among cinema-goers. The following year, Mara played a small girl whose mother had suffered a major stroke in "A Time to Heal". But her big break came with the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" as the little, intelligent, cynical girl who learned the magic of Santa Claus. Ironically, Mara was not raised to believe in Santa Claus but this was a bonus in some ways since she was able to empathize with her character's stance that there was no Santa. At the age of nine, Mara was cast in the lead role in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's book "Matilda". Sadly, during filming, Mara lost her beloved mother to breast cancer but she bravely pushed ahead with the film much to the amazement and admiration of her adult co-stars. Mara starred in three films over the following three years, the last of which was in "Thomas and the Magic Railroad". Unfortunately, the film did not do well in the American box office, but it did very well in the UK box office. This signaled an end to Mara's film career as she wanted to focus on school and to enjoy her teenage years. In June 2005, Mara graduated from Idyllwild School of Music & Arts and went on to attend New York University. In a March 2012 blog post, she revealed she has no desire to return to acting in films. Today Mara Wilson is a stage actress, a voice actress, a writer, and a playwright. She now lives a quiet life in New York City.
Kirsten Caroline Dunst is an American actress, who also holds German citizenship. She was born on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, to parents Inez (née Rupprecht) and Klaus Dunst. She has a younger brother named Christian Dunst, born in 1987.
Her career began at the age of 3 when she started modeling and appearing in commercials. She made her feature film debut with an uncredited role at age 6 in the 'Oedipus Wrecks' segment of Woody Allen's 1989 film New York Stories. She received her first film credit in The Bonfire of the Vanities. Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1993, where her film career took off.
In 1994, she made her breakthrough performance in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, alongside such stars as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination, the MTV Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and the Saturn Award for Best Young Actress. In 1995, she was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. Over the next few years, she made a string of hit movies including Little Women, Jumanji and Small Soldiers.
In 2000, she received rave reviews for her role as "Lux Lisbon" in Sofia Coppola's independent film, The Virgin Suicides and proved her status as a leading actress in the comedy hit, Bring It On. She also graduated from Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles in June of that year.
She went on to land roles in such films as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the romantic comedy Wimbledon, and in 'Cameron Crowe (I)''s 'Elizabethtown (2005)'. She also played the title character in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
Dunst won the Best Actress Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for her performance as Justine in 'Lars Von Trier''s Melancholia. In 2012, she appeared in Walter Salles' film adaptation of On the Road and the independent comedy Bachelorette. She also has several films in production, including The Two Faces of January.
Her charity work includes designing a necklace to raise funds for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as well as supporting various cancer charities.
Ralph Twisleton Wykeham Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England to Mark Fiennes, a photographer, and Jennifer Lash, a novelist, the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes, a musician; Sophie, a producer; and Joseph Fiennes, an actor.
Fiennes has been honored with two Academy Award nominations, the first in 1994 for his performance in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning Best Picture, Schindler's List. Fiennes' chilling portrayal of Nazi Commandant Amon Goeth also brought him a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA Award, as well as Best Supporting Actor honors from numerous critics groups, including the National Society of Film Critics, and the New York, Chicago, Boston and London Film Critics associations. Four years later, Fiennes earned his second Oscar nomination, for Best Actor, in another Best Picture winner, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient. He also garnered Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, as well as two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations, one for Best Actor and another shared with the film's ensemble cast.
His long list of film credits also includes the award-winning drama The Reader, co-starring Kate Winslet; Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar®-winning The Hurt Locker; the Neil Jordan-directed films The End of the Affair and The Good Thief; István Szabó's Sunshine; Maid in Manhattan; the animated The Prince of Egypt; Oscar and Lucinda; Robert Redford's Quiz Show; and Wuthering Heights, which marked his film debut. Fiennes notably portrayed of the evil Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter blockbuster film franchise. His nephew, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin played Tom Riddle, the young Lord Voldemort, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Fiennes made his feature film directorial debut with a contemporary version of Shakespeare's political thriller Coriolanus, in which he also starred with Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave. He will star next in Mike Newell's screen adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, with Helena Bonham Carter and Jeremy Irvine, and in the highly anticipated Skyfall, the next film in the Bond series, from director Sam Mendes.
Will Poulter is an English actor, most recognized for his performances as "Lee Carter" in Son of Rambow and "Eustace Scrubb" in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Born in Hammersmith, London, Poulter was educated at The Harrodian School, where he participated in drama. As he has said in an interview, his drama teacher (Laura Lawson) encouraged his audition for the Hammer and Tongs film, Son of Rambow, by knocking on his English class window and mouthing "auditions" while pointing at a flier. He was later cast as the spiky-haired delinquent "Lee Carter". Laura Lawson was also responsible for the E4 comedy sketch show, School of Comedy, in which Poulter appears portraying various roles, such as "Mr. Mills" and a South African security guard. Beginning as an after-school club, School of Comedy involves children parodying the world of adults. The show was taken to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and, in 2009, it was adapted into a 6-part television series for E4. The show has, so far, run for two seasons. In 2008, Poulter was cast as "Eustace Clarence Scrubb" for the third film in the "Narnia" franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. "Dawn Treader" was filmed in Queensland, Australia. During his almost six-month stay in Australia, Poulter was accompanied by his mother and younger sister. His father was not able to stay the entire time because of work, and his older siblings were able to stay for about two weeks, until they had to return to England. Poulter noted that, though it was hard to be separated from his family, they were able to keep in touch through phone calls and emails. As of December, 2010, Poulter is filming a British independent called Wild Bill, directed by Dexter Fletcher.
Lucas York Black was born to Larry and Jan Black on November 29, 1982 in Decatur, Alabama. Without any formal acting lessons, Lucas made his film debut with a small part in the Kevin Costner film The War at the age of 11. The small role helped him land his next job in the series American Gothic. When the series came to North Carolina to cast its primary roles, the casting people in Wilmington remembered Lucas, and suggested him for the role of "Caleb Temple". Although the series didn't last too long, Lucas' film career did. He was next seen in the sleeper-hit Sling Blade and then in another dark film Ghosts of Mississippi.
A bit of Calvin Klein modeling and mainly school and sports occupied the rest of his spare time. He scored another summer hit with The X Files and finally got a lead role in the independent film Crazy in Alabama. Selective about his film roles, Lucas turned down an opportunity to star in the movie adaptation of The Horse Whisperer due to the request of having his accent altered. In 2000, he was seen with Matt Damon in All the Pretty Horses.
A good student, Lucas graduated from Speake High School, class of 2001, where he played football, basketball and a little bit of golf. He plans on studying fish biology, which would be probable since he is a highly active bass fisherman. After a small break, he will next be seen alongside Hollywood stars Jude Law and Natalie Portman in the drama Cold Mountain.
Known for his forceful dramatic presentation, Al Pacino is most closely associated with the roles of Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, as well as Tony Montana of the legendary gangster film Scarface. But it was his performance as Frank Slade, a blind, retired Lt. Colonel, in Scent of a Woman that won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993. This came after seven previous Oscar nominations, including a supporting actor nomination in the same year for Glengarry Glen Ross.
A native of New York's Bronx, Pacino was born on April 25, 1940. In 1966 he enrolled in the Actors Studio to study under Lee Strasberg. Following a period of award-winning successes on the stage, he made his feature film debut in Me, Natalie. But the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather - Pacino's third film - transformed his career. Director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Pacino although the studio and producers reportedly didn't want him, and such renowned actors as Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal and Robert De Niro were said to be contenders for the role. Nevertheless, Pacino's portrayal earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to star in such films as Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon, and received three consecutive Academy Award nominations for best actor in 1974, 1975 and 1976.
The second role most associated with Pacino, the vicious Tony Montana, was followed by the forgettable Revolution and period of self-imposed screen exile that ended in Sea of Love. In the '90s, Pacino's career was resurgent, with roles as varied as The Godfather: Part III, Dick Tracy, and Glengarry Glen Ross. Several films that hearkened to Pacino's most iconic roles followed, including Carlito's Way, Heat and Donnie Brasco, and noteworthy performances in The Insider and Any Given Sunday.
In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including _Ocean's Thirteen (2007)_, but his choice in television roles - the vicious Roy Cohn in HBO's miniseries Angels in America and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack - are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each TV project garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Pacino has never abandoned his love for the theater, and Shakespeare in particular, having directed the Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard and played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. He will portray King Lear in King Lear, in addition to playing Phil Spector in a made-for-TV movie.
McAvoy was raised in Drumchapel, Glasgow, by his grandparents after his father, also called James and a roofer by trade, abandoned his mother when James Jr. was 7. He went to St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill, Glasgow, where he did well enough and started "a little school band with a couple of mates".
McAvoy toyed with the idea of the Catholic priesthood as a child but when he was 16, a visit to the school by actor David Hayman sparked an interest in acting. Hayman offered him a part in his film The Near Room but despite enjoying the experience McAvoy didn't seriously consider acting as a career, though he did continue to act as a member of PACE Youth Theatre. He applied instead to the Royal Navy and had already been accepted when he was also offered a place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
He took the place at RSAMD and when he graduated in 2000, he moved to London. He'd already made a couple of TV appearances by this time and continued to get a steady stream of TV and movie work until he came to British public attention in 2004 playing Steve McBride in the successful UK TV series Shameless and then to the rest of the world in 2005 as Mr Tumnus in Disney's adaptation of 'C. S. Lewis''s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Since then he and his easy facility with accents (no, wait, what? he's Scottish?) have been much in demand.
Intriguing, inspiring, and never less than interesting -- key adjectives in describing the career of Beverly D'Angelo, which has well passed the three-decade mark. Perhaps deserving better movies than she generally found herself in, she nevertheless was always an object of fascination and the one to watch...whatever the role. Hardly the shrinking violet type, Hollywood counted on her for her colorful personality, down-to-earth demeanor and scene-stealing capabilities.
Born on November 15, 1951, in Columbus, Ohio, the daughter of musicians Gene (bass player) and Priscilla (née Smith) D'Angelo (violinist), her maternal grandfather, Howard Dwight Smith, was the architect who designed the Ohio ("Horseshoe") Stadium at Ohio State University. Part Italian, she once attended an American school in Florence, Italy.
Initially drawn to art, Beverly worked as a animator/cartoonist at Hanna-Barbera Productions before moving to Canada to pursue a rock singing career, To make ends meet she worked as a session vocalist and sang anyplace she could -- from coffeehouses to topless bars. At one point the teenager was invited to join up with rockabilly legend Ronnie Hawkins. Beverly's acting career started up when she left the Hawkins band and joined the Charlottetown Festival repertory company. She was touring Canada as Ophelia in "Kronborg: 1582", a rock musical version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" when the renowned Colleen Dewhurst caught a performance and saw promise in both Beverly and the show. Eventually musical director Gower Champion got into the mix and the show was completely revamped, becoming the rock musical "Rockabye Hamlet", which made its way to Broadway in 1976. While the show itself was short-lived, Beverly's Ophelia attracted fine notices and she soon found herself on the West coast with film and TV opportunities. After this point, she seldom returned to the stage but did star alongside Ed Harris in the 1995 off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's "Simpatico", which earned her a Theatre World Award.
A role in the TV miniseries Captains and the Kings led to bit parts in The Sentinel and in the Woody Allen classic Annie Hall. A string of co-starring roles followed with First Love, the Clint Eastwood starrer Every Which Way But Loose and the film adaptation of the hit counterculture musical Hair. Best of all for Beverly was her powerhouse featured performance as the one-and-only Patsy Cline in the acclaimed biopic Coal Miner's Daughter. Both she and Oscar winner Sissy Spacek (as fellow country singer Loretta Lynn) expertly supplied their own vocals.
Playing everything from tough-as-nails prostitutes, party girls and barflies to rich, prim widows and depressed, alcoholic moms, most of Beverly's output was solid during this time. Playing happening kind of gals, she customarily rose above much of the standard comedic or dramatic material given. An interesting gallery of offbeat characters came her way in a number of hit-or-miss features: Paternity, Finders Keepers, Big Trouble, Maid to Order, High Spirits, Cold Front, Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got the Will?, The Pope Must Diet, Man Trouble, Lightning Jack, The Crazysitter, Merchants of Venus and Sugar Town. She also sang in a few of these films.
Beverly attracted mainstream notice as Chevy Chase's beleaguered wife in the comedy spoof Vacation and its three sequels. Stronger roles came with such films as the English/Irish production The Miracle and the Neo-Nazi film American History X. She was also a favorite of director John Schlesinger who used her in Honky Tonk Freeway and Eye for an Eye, among others. In the spoof Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills, in which she served as associate producer, Beverly gamely starred as a chic Beverly Hills housewife who turns into a flying prehistoric reptile by night.
On TV, Beverly scored well as matricide victim Kitty Menendez in Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills and earned an Emmy-nomination (and arguably gave the best performance) as Stella Kowalski opposite "Hair" co-star Treat Williams in the TV remake of A Streetcar Named Desire. Other topnotch TV mini-movies included Sweet Temptation and Judgment Day: The John List Story, in which she played Robert Blake's devout wife. On primetime she has been cast quite assertively in recurring parts -- lately she has been spotted on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a defense attorney, and on Entourage as a talent agent.
Beverly's off-camera romantic life has been just as interesting. Following her relationship with "Hair" director Milos Forman, she married Lorenzo Salviati, an economics student who also was an Italian duke. She left Hollywood and lived with him in Europe, but separated after two years and returned. A six-year relationship with Irish director Neil Jordan was followed by one with Oscar-winning production designer Anton Furst; this ended tragically when, just weeks after their breakup, he committed suicide. A former union with the volatile Al Pacino produced twins Olivia and Anton, who were born in 2001.
These days, Beverly's career on camera has remained secondary to the raising of her children. Occasionally she has made use of her vocal talents performing at L.A. nightclubs and with a jazz band that included brother Jeff. From time to time she still lights up the screen as a brash professional or somebody's colorful mom; whatever time she has on screen, whether major or minor, it is always welcomed and never, ever less than...interesting.
|Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter, the youngest of three children of Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker, and Elena Bonham Carter (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, was born in Golders Green, London, England on May 26, 1966. She is the great-granddaughter of former Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith and her blue-blooded family tree also contains Barons and Baronesses, diplomats, and a director, Bonham Carter's great-uncle Anthony Asquith, who made Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others. Cousin Crispin Bonham-Carter is also an actor. Her maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was a Spanish diplomat who was awarded the honorific Righteous Among the Nations, by Israel, for helping save Jews during World War II (Eduardo's father was a Czech Jew). Her maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer, was from an upper-class Jewish family from France, Austria, and Germany, and later converted to her husband's Catholic faith.
After experiencing family dramas that included her father's stroke-which left him wheelchair-bound-and attending South Hampstead High School and Westminster School in London, Bonham Carter devoted herself to an acting career. That trajectory actually began in 1979 when, at age 13, she entered a national poetry writing competition and used her second place winnings to place her photo in the casting directory "Spotlight." She soon had her first agent and her first acting job, in a commercial, at age 16. She then landed a role in the made-for-TV movie A Pattern of Roses, which subsequently led to her casting in the Merchant Ivory films A Room with a View and Lady Jane, which was her first leading role.
Often referred to as the "corset queen" or "English rose" because of her early work, Bonham Carter has continued to surprise audiences with magnificent performances in a variety of roles from her more traditional corset-clad character in The Wings of the Dove and Shakespearian damsels to the dark and neurotic anti-heroines of Fight Club and many of Tim Burton's films. Though consistently a versatile and engaging actress, Bonham Carter has never won a major American film award. However, she has received a number of critical awards and has been nominated for five Golden Globes, an Oscar, a SAG Award, and two Emmys.
Bonham Carter was nominated for a Golden Globe for the fifth time for her role in partner Tim Burton's film adaptation of the Steven Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for which Burton and co-star Johnny Depp were also nominated. Since their meeting while filming Planet of the Apes, Bonham Carter and Burton have made four movies together. They live in adjoining residences in London, sharing a connecting hallway, and have two children: Billy Ray Burton, 4, and Nell Burton, who was born December 15, 2007. Ironically, a mutual love of Sweeney Todd was part of the initial attraction for the pair. Despite that, Bonham Carter has said in numerous interviews that her audition process for the role of Mrs. Lovett was the most grueling of her career and that, ultimately, it was Sondheim who she had to convince that she was right for the role.
Gary Oldman was born on March 21, 1958 in London, England, the son of Kathleen (Cheriton), a homemaker, and Leonard Bertram Oldman, a welder. For most of his career he was best-known for playing over-the-top antagonists, though he has recently reached a new audience with heroic roles in the Harry Potter and Dark Knight franchises.
Oldman won a scholarship to Britain's Rose Bruford Drama College, in Sidcup, Kent, where he received a B.A. in theatre arts in 1979. He subsequently studied with the Greenwich Young People's Theatre and went on to appear in a number of plays throughout the early '80s, including "The Pope's Wedding," for which he received Time Out's Fringe Award for Best Newcomer of 1985-1986 and the British Theatre Association's Drama Magazine Award as Best Actor for 1985.
His film debut was Remembrance, though his most-memorable early role came when he played Sex Pistol Sid Vicious in the biopic Sid and Nancy picking up the Evening Standard Film Award as Best Newcomer. He then received a Best Actor nomination from BAFTA for his portrayal of '60s playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears.
In the 1990s, Oldman brought to life a series of iconic real-world and fictional villains including Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK, the title character in Dracula, Drexl Spivey in True Romance, Stansfield in Léon: The Professional, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element and Ivan Korshunov in Air Force One. That decade also saw Oldman portraying Ludwig van Beethoven in biopic Immortal Beloved.
Oldman scored the coveted role of Sirius Black in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, giving him a key part in one of the highest-grossing franchises ever. He reprised that role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oldman also took on the iconic role of Detective James Gordon in writer-director Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, a role he played again in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
One chillingly infamous screen role for Scott Wilson in 1967 set the tone for an actor who went on to prove himself an invaluable character player for the past five decades. The Georgia-born native (Atlanta born and raised) was awarded a basketball scholarship following high school at Georgia's Southern Tech University to study architecture. Instead, Wilson hitchhiked to Los Angeles on a whim and hooked up one day with an actor he met in a bar who took him to one of his auditions. Allowed to audition himself by chance, Wilson lost the part but was absolutely hooked. Working an assortment of menial jobs, he studied for nearly five years while gaining experience in such local theater productions as "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Scott's fledgling career took off big time after being discovered by director Norman Jewison who cast him as a murder suspect in In the Heat of the Night starring Sidney Poitier and "Best Actor" Oscar winner Rod Steiger. If that wasn't a sufficient enough beginning, Wilson immediately followed this with the co-lead role of murderer Richard Hickok in the stark and disturbing In Cold Blood, a superlative adaptation of Truman Capote best-selling docu-novel. It didn't hurt that Scott himself had a startling resemblance to the real-life killer. Partnering up with Robert Blake as two ex-cons who are eventually executed for the senseless, brutal slaughter of an entire Kansas farm family, the critically-acclaimed film put both men squarely on the movie map.
Although a serious contender, out-and-out stardom did not come about for the quietly handsome, slightly forlorn-looking actor. Major roles in major pictures, however, did. Among Scott's early film work were Castle Keep and The Gypsy Moths, both starring Burt Lancaster; The Grissom Gang; Lolly-Madonna XXX (again with Steiger); The New Centurions; The Great Gatsby, in which he earned raves as the garage owner who shoots Robert Redford's title character to death in Gatsby's backyard swimming pool; The Ninth Configuration, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination; The Right Stuff; the Venice Film Festival winner A Year of the Quiet Sun [A Year of the Quiet Sun]; Malone and Johnny Handsome. TV also showed off Scott's dark, controlled intensity and wide range in later years, appearing in guest spots on such popular dramas as "The X-Files" and "The Twilight Zone," and in a recurring role as Marg Helgenberger's unscrupulous mobster father in "CSI." In mini-movies Scott played everything from Elvis' father in Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story to a Wyoming governor in The Jack Bull.
Hardly one of Hollywood's flashiest good 'ol boys, the rather taciturn, unassuming actor has preferred to remain discrete and let his performances do the talking. His output has been minimal compared to other character stars, but he has remained in the quality ranks nevertheless, mixing his standard penchant for darker movies with such family-oriented films as Shiloh and its 2006 sequel.
Supporting the newer "young guns" these days, he appeared with Vince Vaughn in Clay Pigeons and Ryan Phillippe in The Way of the Gun, and ended up one of serial killer Charlize Theron's victims in Monster. Other strong showings on the big screen have included a lead part as a rockabilly star in Don't Let Go and his down-home patriarch in the superb ensemble art film Junebug, a breakout hit with Academy voters. More recently, Scott has gained a following sporting a full grey beard and ponytailed as grizzled farm owner Hershel Greene in the cable series The Walking Dead.
Wilson resides in Los Angeles along with his wife of nearly four decades, Heavenly, an attorney and accomplished artist and writer.
Taylor Daniel Lautner was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to parents, Deborah and Daniel Lautner. He, and younger sister Makena, were raised in a well-mannered, Roman Catholic household in Hudsonville, Michigan. At the age of six, Taylor began studying martial arts at Fabiano's Karate School and he, along with his family, quickly noticed his unique and natural talent for the sport. He was soon invited to train with seven-time world karate champion Michael Chaturantabut (aka Mike Chat) and, at the age of eight, he was asked to represent his country in the twelve years and under division in the World Karate Association where he became the Junior World Forms and Weapons champion, winning three gold medals. In 2003, Taylor continued to flourish in the martial arts circuit where he ranked number one in the world for NASKA's Black Belt Open Forms, Musical Weapons, Traditional Weapons and Traditional Forms and, at the age of twelve, he became the three time Junior World Champion.
However, in addition to his love for martial arts, Taylor quickly developed a love for acting at the age of seven years old when his martial arts instructor, who was involved in show business, encouraged him to audition for a small appearance in a Burger King commercial. Although he was unsuccessful, he enjoyed the experience so much that he told his parents that he wanted to pursue a career in acting. Soon, he and his family were traveling back-and-forth from their home in Michigan to California so Taylor could audition for acting roles on a regular basis. When Taylor was ten, with the frequent traveling and air fares starting to become overwhelming, his family made the crucial decision to relocate to Los Angeles where Taylor would have the advantage of being able to audition for films, television, and commercials full-time.
Once Taylor moved with his family to Los Angeles, he found himself landing more and more small acting roles. He booked many occurring roles on various television shows such as My Wife and Kids, Summerland, and The Bernie Mac Show. Taylor also found himself becoming successful in films as well. In 2005, he landed the role of Sharkboy in the family blockbuster flick, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, and the role of Eliot Murtaugh in Cheaper by the Dozen 2. However, it would be one single role that would ultimately change Taylor's life forever. In 2008, Taylor auditioned for the iconic role of werewolf hunk Jacob Black in the record smashing, blockbuster hit Twilight. With the sudden and unexpected success of the film, Taylor, along with fellow cast members Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, found himself being propelled into a world that would forever change his life and his career.
Taylor has continued to portray Jacob Black in the following film adaptations of the The Twilight Saga as well as branch out into other roles and films such as the star studded romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, and the action-packed thriller, Abduction. Taylor Lautner has quickly become one of the most famous, talented, and successful young Hollywood actors thanks to the blockbuster success of the Twilight films. It has quickly been established by this young man's diverse and gifted talent that we will continue to be his audience for many years to come.
Elegant redhead Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Australian parents Anthony (a biochemist and clinical psychologist) and Janelle (a nursing instructor) Kidman. The family moved almost immediately to Washington, D.C., where Nicole's father pursued his research on breast cancer, and then, three years later, made the pilgrimage to her parents' native Sydney. Young Nicole's first love was ballet, but she eventually took up mime and drama as well (her first stage role was a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant). In her adolescent years, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge -- as her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Kidman retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked regularly at the Philip Street Theater, where she once received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Kidman eventually dropped out of high school to pursue acting full-time. She broke into movies at age 16, landing a role in the Australian holiday favorite Bush Christmas. That appearance touched off a flurry of film and television offers, including a lead in BMX Bandits and a turn as a schoolgirl-turned-protester in the miniseries Vietnam (for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award). With the help of an American agent, she eventually made her US debut opposite Sam Neill in the at-sea thriller Dead Calm.
Kidman's next casting coup scored her more than exposure. While starring as Tom Cruise's doctor/love interest in the racetrack romance Days of Thunder, she won over the Hollywood hunk hook, line and sinker. After a whirlwind courtship (and decent box office returns), the couple wed on December 24, 1990. Determined not to let her new marital status overshadow her fledgling career, the actress pressed on. She appeared as a catty high school senior in the Australian film Flirting, then as Dustin Hoffman's moll in the gangster flick Billy Bathgate. She reunited with Cruise for Far and Away, the story of young Irish lovers who flee to America in the late 1800s, and starred opposite Michael Keaton in the tear-tugger My Life. Despite her steady employment, critics and moviegoers still had not quite warmed to Kidman as a leading lady. She tried to spice up her image by seducing Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, but achieved her real breakthrough with Gus Van Sant's To Die For. As a fame-crazed housewife determined to eliminate any obstacle in her path, Kidman proved that she had an impressive range and deadly comic timing. She took home a Golden Globe and several critics' awards for the performance. In 1996, Kidman stepped into a corset to work with her countrywoman and onetime admirer, Jane Campion, on the adaptation of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady. A few months later, she tore across the screen as a nuclear weapons expert in The Peacemaker, adding "action star" to her professional repertoire.
She and Cruise then disappeared into a notoriously long, secretive shoot for Stanley Kubrick's sexual thriller Eyes Wide Shut. The couple's on-screen shenanigans prompted an increase in public speculation about their sex life (rumors had long been circulating that their marriage was a cover-up for Cruise's homosexuality); tired of denying tabloid attacks, they successfully sued The Star for a story alleging that they needed a sex therapist to coach them through love scenes. Family life has always been a priority for Kidman. Born to social activists (mother was a feminist; father, a labor advocate), Nicole and her little sister, Antonia Kidman, discussed current events around the dinner table and participated in their parents' campaigns by passing out pamphlets on street corners. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 17-year-old Nicole stopped working and took a massage course so that she could provide physical therapy (her mother eventually beat the cancer). She and Cruise adopted two children: Isabella Jane (born 1993) and Connor Antony (born 1995). Despite their rock-solid image, the couple announced in early 2001 that they were separating due to career conflicts. Her marriage to Cruise ended mid-summer of 2001.
Elijah Wood is an American actor best known for portraying Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In addition to reprising the role for the upcoming prequels of The Hobbit, Wood also plays Ryan in the FX television comedy Wilfred and voices the role of Beck in the Disney XD animated television series TRON: Uprising.
Born Elijah Jordan Wood on 28 January, 1981, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Wood is the second oldest of three children. Demonstrating a gift for performing at a young age, Wood's natural talent inspired his mother to take him to an International Modeling and Talent Association annual convention in Los Angeles. Soon after, he began to get bookings for small parts on television.
Although he has a small credit in Back to the Future Part II, Wood's first major film role was in Avalon. Following that, Wood became an in-demand child actor, appearing in a number of major films such as Paradise, Radio Flyer and The Good Son, in which he co-starred with Macaulay Culkin. This was followed by the first role for which he received top-billing, North.
Wood deftly transitioned from child actor into a versatile performer with roles such as the endlessly curious Mikey Carver in Ang Lee's The Ice Storm as well as parts in popcorn flicks like Deep Impact and The Faculty. But Wood's work in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, provided a major boost to his career. The actor followed his work in the astronomically successful trilogy with a broad range of interesting screen roles and voice work, including a supporting role in Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as well as the part of a sinister mute sociopath in Sin City. His voice work has been featured in such animated films as Happy Feet and 9, as well as on television series including American Dad! and Robot Chicken. Wood also played Ad-Rock in the Beastie Boys' comedic video for Fight for Your Right Revisited.
An avid music fan, Wood founded Simian records and released its first album, New Magnetic Wonder by The Apples in Stereo, in 2007. He is the older brother of actress Hannah Wood.
Dominic Monaghan is best known for his role in the movie adaptations of "Lord of the Rings". Before that he became known in England for his role in the British television drama Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. He was studying English Literature, Drama and Geography at Sixth Form College when he was offered the co-starring role in the series, which ran for four seasons. His other television credits include This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper and a leading role in Monsignor Renard, a series starring John Thaw.
On the stage Monaghan has performed in the world premiere UK production of The Resurrectionists, Whale and Annie and Fanny from Bolton to Rome. Since watching Star Wars when he was six years old, Dominic has been consumed by films. His other obsessions include writing, music, fashion, playing/watching soccer and surfing. Utilizing his writing skills, he and LOTR co-star Billy Boyd are collaborating on a script.
Born and raised in Berlin, Monaghan and his family moved to England when he was twelve. In addition to speaking fluent German, he has a knack at impersonations and accents. He frequently returns to his hometown of Manchester, England.
James Paul Marsden, or better known as just James Marsden, was born on September 18, 1973, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. His father, a distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences & Industry at Kansas State University and his mother, a nutritionist, divorced when he was just nine years old. James grew up with his four other siblings, sisters, Jennifer and Elizabeth, and brothers, Jeff and Robert.
During his teen years, he attended Putnam City North High School which was located in Oklahoma City. After graduating in 1991, he attended Oklahoma State University and studied Broadcast Journalism. While in university, he became a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. It was when he was vacationing with his family in Hawaii, he met actor Kirk Cameron, and his actress sister, Candace Cameron Bure. They eventually invited James to visit them in Los Angeles. After studying in Oklahoma State for over a year and appearing in his college production, "Bye Bye Birdie", he left school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his interest in acting.
James got his first job on the pilot episode of The Nanny as Eddie, who was Margaret Sheffield's boyfriend. He then became part of the Canadian television series, Boogies Diner, which aired for one season. After that series ended, he got a brief role as the original Griffin on Fox's Party of Five. His first big break came when he became the lead on the short-lived ABC series, Second Noah. Although the show didn't last long, the young actor received enough exposure from the public and even managed to win the hearts of fellow teenage girls.
In 1996, he attended an audition for a movie titled Primal Fear but unfortunately lost that role to Edward Norton. Two years later, he was offered a lead role in 54, which he turned down. The role later went to another actor, Ryan Phillippe. Audiences noticed that James' star power increased when he starred in David Nutter's Disturbing Behavior, alongside Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl, which had mixed reviews, but mostly positive ones.
His role in the television series as Glenn Foy in Ally McBeal, is probably one of his biggest achievement to date. He became one of the main cast members during the first half of season 5, where he showcased his singing abilities. It was in that show where he was able to grab the attention of audiences from different backgrounds.
The 5' 10" star later played Lon Hammon Jr. in the romantic movie, The Notebook, which was based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks of the same name. His movies, Lies & Alibis and 10th & Wolf was also released around the world to audiences in the year 2006.
One of his most memorable roles to fans is his role as Cyclops in the X-Men movie franchise. The movie was well accepted by audiences and critics, which eventually made James one of the hottest stars since it was released. He was among the actors who starred in all three of the X-Men movies. James had the honor of working alongside Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackman in the film. However, not many people know that he actually had to wear lifts for most of his scenes in the X-men movies, because his character Cyclops is supposed to be 6" 3" compared to a 5' 3" Wolverine. In reality, he is actually under 6' 0", shorter than Famke Janssen who plays his love interest, Jean Grey, and even shorter than Hugh Jackman who played Wolverine.
In the year 2006, he had the opportunity to play the role of Richard White in the highly anticipated movie, Superman Returns, which coincidentally was directed by Bryan Singer, the same guy who directed previous X-Men installments. Although he appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, the third installment of the X-Men franchise, many would notice that he in fact had more screen time in 'Superman Returns', as Lois Lane's long awaiting fiancé who had to accept the fact that his fiancée is in love with the man of steel. James earned great reviews from that movie, which led to him getting more movie roles.
In 2007, James played Corny Collins in the film Hairspray, an adaption of the Broadway musical based on John Waters movie, Hairspray. He joined a star-studded cast, starring alongside top names such as John Travolta, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer. James not only acted in that movie, but also sang two of the film's songs, "The Nicest Kids In Town", and "Hairspray". Being part of Hairspray catapulted James to a different level of stardom as audiences got to see another side of him.
His next role was in the Disney movie, Enchanted, playing Prince Edward, where he acted alongside Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Dempsey. Once again, James had the opportunity to sing in two songs from the movie, "True Love's Kiss" and "That's Amore". Enchanted appealed to not only older audiences but also to those who were fans of Disney's network productions. Following his huge success in the years 2006 and 2007, James played the male lead role in the romantic comedy, 27 Dresses, opposite actress Katherine Heigl in 2008. The movie did pretty well in the box office, earning a gross revenue of over $159 million, which exceeded the expectations of crew members especially since it was under a $30 million budget.
The year 2009 looks like it will be another great year for James as he has been signed to play the male lead again, in the upcoming horror film, The Box, based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by author Richard Matheson. James will be starring opposite Cameron Diaz in the movie. James also managed to get a role in Nailed, an upcoming politically-influenced romantic comedy, where he plays the role of Scott. The movie which was directed by David O. Russell was filmed in Columbia, South Carolina, USA.
James is married to Lisa Linde, an actress known from her role in Days of Our Lives. Lisa is also the daughter of legendary country music songwriter, Dennis Linde. The couple wed in July 22, 2000 and have a son, Jack Holden who was born on February 1, 2001, and daughter, Mary James, who was born on August 10, 2005.
Many would assume that with all this success achieved by James at this age, he would be somewhat high-headed but James mentioned that despite all the attention he's getting from the public eye, he tries to keep himself as grounded as possible. He even admits that he flies coach instead of first class while traveling with his family. In an interview he mentioned that he believes he has a certain responsibility to let his children know that he isn't special because of what he does, but who he is as a person. With a great humble attitude and a bright future ahead of him, there's definitely more to expect from this Oklahoma native.
After a quintessentially bohemian childhood that found her straddling New York, Paris, Italy and Los Angeles (with a photographer father and actress mom), Alexa Davalos headed to Manhattan. In the Big Apple, she instantly snagged lucrative assignments as a photographer's model for the likes of Peter Lindbergh, then discovered an inborn passion for acting and decided to make it the focus of her life.
Born into a family of performers - her grandfather Richard Davalos starred alongside James Dean in East of Eden - in 2002, Davalos turned her focus to acting and migrated to Los Angeles and began signing for guest parts on series such as Angel and Undeclared. Her big break arrived when producers selected her to play "Kyra", the heroine in the 2004 futuristic fantasy vehicle The Chronicles of Riddick, starring Vin Diesel. Davalos next took on a prominent role as "Samantha" on the high-concept mystery-period series Reunion. When the highly-touted series failed to catch on with viewers and was canceled after half a season, Davalos bounced back with a convincing portrayal as Diane Keaton's daughter in the well-received made-for-television feature Surrender, Dorothy. The following year, Davalos stepped up several notches with a lead role in Robert Benton's much-anticipated drama Feast of Love -- an ensemble piece about a free-spirited woman who arrives in a small Northwestern town and recolors the life of everyone she meets. Also, in 2007, Davalos appeared in the Stephen King horror adaptation The Mist.
Alexa continued her ascent in Hollywood by being cast in Edward Zwick's Defiance, released in 2008, as "Lilka", Daniel Craig's love interest. Her haunting beauty and spirited performance garnered raves from critics. In 2009, Alexa was cast in the much coveted lead role of "Andromeda" in Louis Leterrier's Clash of the Titans, alongside Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes. Alexa is, without a doubt, one of Hollywood's fastest rising young stars.
Rose McGowan is an American actress, known for her sex-appeal and contribution to independent film. Born on September 5, 1973 to Terri and Daniel McGowan (of French and Irish origin, respectively), Rose Arianna McGowan is the second eldest of six siblings. She was raised within the Italian chapter of the Children of God, an extremist Christian cult.
During the early 1980s, her family severed ties with the community and migrated to Eugene, Oregon, USA. Following the divorce of her parents, Rose relocated to Gig Harbor, Washington, to live with her grandmother. At age 14, McGowan was accused of drug use by a family friend and committed to rehabilitation. She has consistently maintained the decision was unjustified. Upon release, she spent a year without a home and was emancipated from her parents by the age of 15. Her early formal education included attendance at Roosevelt High School and Nova Alternative High School. Further education included qualifications as a licensed beauty operator.
McGowan's career as an actor began with The Doom Generation. Originally intended for Jordan Ladd, the character of Amy Blue was, coincidentally, awarded to McGowan by an associate of director Gregg Araki. For her performance, she was nominated at the 1995 Independent Spirit Awards for Best Debut Performance. Subsequently cast in Wes Craven's Scream, she experienced further success when the project defied expectations to become one of the highest grossing films of the year. The innovative career of McGowan was overshadowed throughout much of the 1990s by her high-profile relationship with musician Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson). Strong performances in Going All the Way, Lewis & Clark & George, Southie and Jawbreaker were largely unseen by the general public. When the relationship ended between Rose and Manson in 2001, she remarked: "There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater".
Rose continued to work solidly, appearing in a string of soft-sounding studio and independent films. Performances from this period included: a political activist in Showtime's The Killing Yard, a grifter in Strange Hearts and a factory worker in "Stealing Bess" (aka Vacuums). She was re-introduced to the mainstream as Paige Matthews in Aaron Spelling's Charmed, a popular television series for which she devoted five consecutive years. When "Charmed" finished its run in 2006, McGowan emerged in top form. Critics praised her efforts in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror, and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.
In several interviews, McGowan has expressed a general apathy and disdain for Hollywood. Despite this, her work ethic remains strong. Her upcoming projects include an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, and her directorial debut - untitled at the time of writing.
Zoey Deutch, 18, comes from a showbiz family of musicians and actors, going back two generations. Growing up in Los Angeles, her parents (actress Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch) knew acting was in the genes when Zoey would play out scenes with her dolls, and weep for the Barbie that was down on her luck. This kind of dedication showed up a few years later, when she began landing comedic and dramatic roles in both film and television, at the ripe old age of 15.
Zoey was a serious dancer, as a child, excelling in ballet, competitive jazz, and tap. She was a double major in both theatre and visual arts at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, while simultaneously studying at the Young Actors Space, with Patrick Day.
Her first leading role was in the indie flick, Mayor Cupcake, where she played real-life mom Lea Thompson's daughter - a small town girl, with big time political aspirations. Shortly thereafter, Zoey was cast in the Disney Channel's The Suite Life on Deck series; where she played Zach's love interest "Maya", and charmed dedicated fans of the show all over the world. She guest-starred on two hit shows, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and NCIS, which lead to her landing the role of "Willow Turner" in the coveted Marc Cherry pilot, Hallelujah.
Though the show was not picked up, Zoey bounced back immediately after she was cast as Sarah Michelle Gellar's troubled stepdaughter, "Juliet Martin", in the CW's Ringer. The show became one of the network's biggest hits, and allowed Zoey to spread her wings in a part that required a lot of conflict and complexity from a 16-year-old. Now, she is promoting her work on the highly-anticipated movie, Beautiful Creatures, adapted from the beloved teen book series. Zoey stars alongside Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons as "Emily Asher" - a popular high schooler, who covers her hurt and humanity with her southern belle sass.
Next up, Zoey will be seen recurring on ABC Family's series, Switched at Birth. And soon, Zoey will move on to shoot her biggest project to date. She has been cast as the lead in the new film franchise, based on the six-volume Richelle Mead young adult novel series, that will come to the screen as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. The entire series has been on The New York Times best-seller young adult list, since the series debuted back in 2007. Zoey will be portraying 17-year-old "Rose Hathaway", a young woman who shares a special bond with vampire princess and best friend "Lissa" (Lucy Fry). The books are all written from Rose's perspective. Mean Girls' Mark Waters is directing the film, and Heathers' Daniel Waters is writing the script.
Zoey is a big supporter of the "Corazon De Vida Orphanage" in Tijuana, and has performed for "The Alzheimer's Association", "What A Pair" and "Race to Erase" MS benefits. When she's not working, you can find her posing for Instagram photos with the love of her life: an orange Maine Coon cat named "Stinky Pete", and/or taping photo booth videos for her sister as her Ukrainian alter ego.
Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, screenwriter and director, is a three-time Academy Award winner and 12-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nods in every decade from 1960s through the 2000s. Born on April 22, 1937 in Manhattan, New York, Nicholson was raised believing his grandmother was his mother, and his mother, a showgirl, was his older sister. He discovered the truth in 1975 from a Time magazine journalist who was researching a profile on him. Nicholson made his film debut in a B-movie titled The Cry Baby Killer. His rise in Hollywood was far from meteoric, and for years, he sustained his career with guest spots in television series and a number of Roger Corman films, including The Little Shop of Horrors.
Nicholson's first turn in the director's chair was for Drive, He Said. Before that, he wrote the screenplay for The Trip, and co-wrote Head, a vehicle for The Monkees. His big break came with Easy Rider and his portrayal of liquor-soaked attorney George Hanson, which earned Nicholson his first Oscar nomination. Nicholson's film career took off in the 1970s with a definitive performance in Five Easy Pieces. Nicholson's other notable work during this period includes leading roles in Roman Polanski's noir masterpiece Chinatown and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, for which he won his first Best Actor Oscar.
The 1980s kicked off with another career-defining role for Nicholson as Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Shining. A string of well-received films followed, including Terms of Endearment which earned Nicholson his second Oscar; Prizzi's Honor and The Witches of Eastwick. He portrayed another renowned villain, The Joker, in Tim Burton's Batman. In the 1990s, he starred in such varied films as A Few Good Men, for which he received another Oscar nomination, and a dual role in Mars Attacks!.
Although a glimpse at the darker side of Nicholson's acting range reappeared in The Departed, the actor's most recent roles highlight the physical and emotional complications one faces late in life. The most notable of these is the unapologetically misanthropic Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets, for which he won his third Oscar. Shades of this persona are apparent in About Schmidt, Something's Gotta Give and The Bucket List. In addition to his Oscar wins and nominations, Nicholson has seven Golden Globe Awards, and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. He also became one of the youngest actors to receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement award in 1994.
Nicholson has five children: Eldest daughter Jennifer Nicholson (b. 1963), from his marriage to Sandra Knight which ended in 1968; Caleb James Goddard (b. 1970) with Susan Anspach; Honey Hollman (b. 1981) with Danish supermodel, Winnie Hollman; and Lorraine Nicholson (b. 1990) and Ray Nicholson (b. 1992) with Rebecca Broussard. Nicholson's longest relationship was the 16 years he spent with actress Anjelica Huston; it ended when Broussard become pregnant with his child.
This stunning and resourceful actress has been primarily a film player thus far. Only recently has she been opening herself up more to doing T.V. (the series Gemini Division, which she executive-produced), and animated voice-overs. Dawson's beauty may owe to her diverse lineage, which includes Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, North American and Irish, yet it is her gritty, powerhouse talent that stands out even more in edgy, urban filming that dates back to 1995 when she was only sixteen.
A rags-to-riches article entitled "Rosario Dawson: From Tenement to Tinseltown" probably says it all. Born in New York City on May ninth, 1979, the daughter of Isabel (Puerto Rican/Afro-Cuban), a singer, and Greg Dawson (North American/Irish), a construction laborer, her parents, who married when both were teenagers, eventually divorced. Rosario and her younger brother, Clay Dawson, had it hard while growing up and was cared for by family members, most of whom were poverty-stricken and some of whom were H.I.V.-positive.
Her career actually started as a child when she made a minor showing on the children's show, Sesame Street. As the story goes, she was "discovered" as an adolescent on her front porch step by two photographers. One of them, Harmony Korine, was an aspiring screenwriter who thought the inexperienced sixteen-year-old was ideal for the controversial cult film Kids, in which she would portray a sexually active adolescent. It took time for Rosario's film career to kick in after that, but by the late 1990s, she had nabbed several independent films. Since then, she has moved into main-stream hits (and misses) and has surprised viewers with her earthy, provocative, uninhibited approach to her roles.
Reflecting New York's tougher, tawdrier side as assorted street-walkers, homeless moms, drug addicts, et cetera, her film highlights have included Light It Up, Edward Burns' Sidewalks of New York, Spike Lee's 25th Hour and Shattered Glass. For Oliver Stone, she portrayed the duped bride of Colin Farrell's famed B.C. Macedonian warrior, Alexander (as in "...the Great"), which featured a notoriously violent-tinged nude/sex scene.
Expanding her horizons beyond film, she has always expressed interest in singing. She hooked up with Prince for the re-release of his 1980s hit "1999" and appeared in The Chemical Brothers' video for the song "Out of Control" from the album "Surrender". She is also featured on the Outkast track, "She Lives In My Lap". On stage, she costarred as "Julia" in a revival of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" at the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" and appeared in "The Vagina Monologues".
She lucked into and got to show off her singing chops in the film adaptation of the hit New York musical Rent, when Daphne Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi, became pregnant and was unable to reprise her exotic dancer role. Rosario also appeared as a prostitute in the adaptation of the graphic novel Sin City. Of late, she has turned to producing. One of those, Descent, had her playing a college coed who is brutally attacked and raped by a fellow student. Her more popular ventures have thus far included the role of "Valerie" in the live-action version of the comic strip Josie and the Pussycats, the Will Smith starrer Men in Black II, Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf and Seven Pounds, again with Smith, in which she offered one of her more tender-hearted performances as a woman with a potentially fatal heart condition.
Off-camera, the still-single Dawson is highly active in political, social and environmental causes and has been involved with such organizations/charities/campaigns as the Lower East Side Girls Club, Global Cool, the O.N.E. Campaign, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Control Arms, International Rescue Committee, Voto Latino (which she founded), Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Save The Children. In October 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence.
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a carpenter born in 1930, and Frances Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother, William Branagh Jr., was born in 1955 and sister, Joyce Branagh, was born in 1970. At 23, Branagh joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he took on starring roles in "Henry V" and "Romeo and Juliet". He soon found the RSC too large and impersonal and formed his own, the Renaissance Theatre Company, which now counts Prince Charles as one of its royal patrons. At 29, he directed and starred in the film Henry V, which costarred his then-wife, Emma Thompson. The film brought him Best Actor and Best Director Oscar nominations. In 1993, he brought Shakespeare to mainstream audiences again with his hit adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, which featured an all-star cast that included Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves. At 30, he published his autobiography and, at 34, he directed and starred as "Victor Frankenstein" in the big-budget adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, with Robert De Niro as the monster himself. The bad reviews may have had some effect on his marriage, though, because, in October 1995, he and Thompson announced their plans to divorce. In 1996, Branagh wrote, directed and starred in a lavish adaptation of Hamlet. In recent years, he starred in a series of non-Bard-related roles in Celebrity, Wild Wild West, and as a voice in The Road to El Dorado.