Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic western Wagon Train. Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad (1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere, which featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and The Last Gun, a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years, Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would portend his future career in movies. In 1964, he directed Firelight, a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1967, he directed Slipstream, which was unfinished. However, in 1968, he directed Amblin', which featured the desert prominently, and not the first of his movies in which the desert would feature so prominently. Amblin' also became the name of his production company, which turned out such classics as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg had a unique and classic early directing project, Duel, with Dennis Weaver. In the early 1970s, Spielberg was working on TV, directing among others such series as Rod Serling's Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Murder by the Book. All of his work in television and short films, as well as his directing projects, were just a hint of the wellspring of talent that would dazzle audiences all over the world.
Spielberg's first major directorial effort was The Sugarland Express, with Goldie Hawn, a film that marked him as a rising star. It was his next effort, however, that made him an international superstar among directors: Jaws. This classic shark attack tale started the tradition of the summer blockbuster or, at least, he was credited with starting the tradition. His next film was the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a unique and original UFO story that remains a classic. In 1978, Spielberg produced his first film, the forgettable I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and followed that effort with Used Cars, a critically acclaimed, but mostly forgotten, Kurt Russell\Jack Warden comedy about devious used-car dealers. Spielberg hit gold yet one more time with Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Harrison Ford taking the part of Indiana Jones. Spielberg produced and directed two films in 1982. The first was Poltergeist, but the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point was the alien story E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg also helped pioneer the practice of product placement. The concept, while not uncommon, was still relatively low-key when Spielberg raised the practice to almost an art form with his famous (or infamous) placement of Reece's Pieces in "E.T." Spielberg was also one of the pioneers of the big-grossing special-effects movies, like "E.T." and "Close Encounters", where a very strong emphasis on special effects was placed for the first time on such a huge scale. In 1984, Spielberg followed up "Raiders" with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which was a commercial success but did not receive the critical acclaim of its predecessor. As a producer, Spielberg took on many projects in the 1980s, such as The Goonies, and was the brains behind the little monsters in Gremlins. He also produced the cartoon An American Tail, a quaint little animated classic. His biggest effort as producer in 1985, however, was the blockbuster Back to the Future, which made Michael J. Fox an instant superstar. As director, Spielberg took on the book The Color Purple, with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, with great success. In the latter half of the 1980s, he also directed Empire of the Sun, a mixed success for the occasionally erratic Spielberg. Success would not escape him for long, though.
The late 1980s found Spielberg's projects at the center of pop-culture yet again. In 1988, he produced the landmark animation/live-action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The next year proved to be another big one for Spielberg, as he produced and directed Always as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Back to the Future Part II. All three of the films were box-office and critical successes. Also, in 1989, he produced the little known comedy-drama Dad, with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson, which got mostly mixed results. Spielberg has also had an affinity for animation and has been a strong voice in animation in the 1990s. Aside from producing the landmark "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", he produced the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid!, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, Family Dog and Toonsylvania. Spielberg also produced other cartoons such as The Land Before Time, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Casper (the live action version) as well as the live-action version of The Flintstones, where he was credited as "Steven Spielrock". Spielberg also produced many Roger Rabbit short cartoons, and many Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons specials. Spielberg was very active in the early 1990s, as he directed Hook and produced such films as the cute fantasy Joe Versus the Volcano and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. He also produced the unusual comedy thriller Arachnophobia, Back to the Future Part III and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. While these movies were big successes in their own right, they did not quite bring in the kind of box office or critical acclaim as previous efforts. In 1993, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park, which for a short time held the record as the highest grossing movie of all time, but did not have the universal appeal of his previous efforts. Big box-office spectacles were not his only concern, though. He produced and directed Schindler's List, a stirring film about the Holocaust. He won best director at the Oscars, and also got Best Picture. In the mid-90s, he helped found the production company DreamWorks, which was responsible for many box-office successes.
As a producer, he was very active in the late 90s, responsible for such films as The Mask of Zorro, Men in Black and Deep Impact. However, it was on the directing front that Spielberg was in top form. He directed and produced the epic Amistad, a spectacular film that was shorted at the Oscars and in release due to the fact that its release date was moved around so much in late 1997. The next year, however, produced what many believe was one of the best films of his career: Saving Private Ryan, a film about World War Two that is spectacular in almost every respect. It was stiffed at the Oscars, losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love.
Spielberg produced a series of films, including Evolution, The Haunting and Shrek. he also produced two sequels to Jurassic Park, which were financially but not particularly critical successes. In 2001, he produced a mini-series about World War Two that definitely *was* a financial and critical success: Band of Brothers, a tale of an infantry company from its parachuting into France during the invasion to the Battle of the Bulge. Also in that year, Spielberg was back in the director's chair for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a movie with a message and a huge budget. It did reasonably at the box office and garnered varied reviews from critics.
Spielberg has been extremely active in films there are many other things he has done as well. He produced the short-lived TV series SeaQuest 2032, an anthology series entitled Amazing Stories, created the video-game series "Medal of Honor" set during World War Two, and was a starting producer of ER. Spielberg, if you haven't noticed, has a great interest in World War Two. He and Tom Hanks collaborated on Shooting War, a documentary about World War II combat photographers, and he produced a documentary about the Holocaust called Eyes of the Holocaust. With all of this to Spielberg's credit, it's no wonder that he's looked at as one of the greatest ever figures in entertainment.
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. Her parents divorced three years before she was born, and she was conceived when her mother, Brandy, was visiting her father, Lucius, for child support. Alicia's siblings nicknamed her "Jodie," a name she has used in her profession. When she was just three years old, Jodie began acting in commercials, most notably for Coppertone sunblock. When she was five, Jodie landed her first acting role on the TV show Mayberry R.F.D.. She stayed very busy as a child actress, working on television programs such as The Doris Day Show, Adam-12, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Partridge Family, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke. In movies, her roles included playing Raquel Welch's daughter in Kansas City Bomber and a delinquent tomboy in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Jodie first drew attention from critics with her appearance in Taxi Driver, in which she played a prostitute at the tender age of 12 (she was 13 when the movie premiered) and received her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She went on to have a very successful career in her early teens with leading roles in the Disney films Freaky Friday and Candleshoe. The last film Jodie made during this era was the coming-of-age drama Foxes, before enrolling at Yale University. Tragedy struck Jodie during her Freshman year when a crazed and obsessed fan named John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan to impress her.
Jodie graduated from Yale in 1985 with a degree in literature. Her main priority was now to become a successful adult actress. After appearing in a few obscure B-movies, Jodie auditioned for The Accused and was cast Sarah Tobias, a waitress who is gang-raped in a bar after a night of partying. For this role she won her first Academy Award as Best Actress. But even though she had won an Oscar, Jodie still hadn't established herself as a bankable star. Her next film, Catchfire, went straight to video, and she had to fight hard to get her next good role. In 1991 she starred as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee hunting down a serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs. The film was a blockbuster hit, winning Jodie her second Academy Award for Best Actress and establishing her as an international star at the age of 28. With the wealth and fame to do anything she wanted, Jodie turned to directing. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate, which was followed by Home for the Holidays. These movies were critically acclaimed but did not do well at the box office, and Jodie proved to be a far more successful actress than she was a director. 1994 proved to be a huge triumph for Jodie's acting career. She first played a sexy con artist in the successful western spoof Maverick with Mel Gibson. Then, she played title role in Nell alongside Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. For her compelling performance as a wild, backwoods hermit who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization, Jodie was nominated for another Academy Award and won a Screen Actors Guild Award as Best Actress.
Although Jodie was working far less frequently as an adult than she did as a child, the films she turned out were commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Her next big screen role was in the science fiction drama Contact opposite Matthew McConaughey. She played a scientist who receives signals from space aliens. The film was a huge hit and brought Jodie a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I entitled Anna and the King, which was only modestly received in the U.S. but was very successful overseas. Three years after that she headlined the thriller Panic Room. The film was a smash box-office hit and gave Jodie a $30 million opening weekend, the biggest of her career yet. She then appeared in two low-profile projects: the independent film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and the foreign film A Very Long Engagement. She returned to making Hollywood mainstream films, first with Flightplan, in which she played a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that she designed. Once again Jodie proved herself to be a box-office draw, and the film was a worldwide hit. The following year she starred in another hit, a thriller about a bank heist titled Inside Man with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. Jodie seemed to be on a pattern of non-stop success. She was paid $15 million for her next film, the revenge thriller The Brave One, which once again opened at #1 at the box office and earned her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Following this succession of dark thrillers, Jodie returned to the comedy genre in Nim's Island with Gerard Butler and Abigail Breslin. Jodie will reunite with Mel Gibson in the upcoming movie The Beaver, which is scheduled for general release in 2011.
Having spent nearly her entire life in the spotlight, Jodie Foster has had one of the most substantial film careers in Hollywood history. She is one of the most respected and highest-paid actresses working today, and there is no doubt that there will be many great things ahead for this child actress turned two-time Oscar-winning superstar.
He was the son of an auto mechanic and a telephone operator who divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school plays because he couldn't remember lines. After high school he was a postal employee and during WW II served as a Navy airplane mechanic. After the war he was a truck driver. His size and good looks got him into movies. His name was changed to Rock Hudson, his teeth were capped, he took lessons in acting, singing, fencing and riding. One line in his first picture, Fighter Squadron, needed 38 takes. In 1956 he received an Oscar nomination for Giant and two years later Look magazine named him Star of the Year. He starred in a number of bedroom comedies, many with Doris Day, and had his own popular TV series McMillan & Wife. He had a recurring role in TV's Dynasty (1984-5). He was the first major public figure to announce he had AIDS, and his worldwide search for a cure drew international attention. After his death his long-time lover Marc Christian successfully sued his estate, again calling attention to the homosexuality Rock had hidden from most throughout his career.
Kerr Smith was born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Rick and Barbara Smith. He has a younger sister named Alison. Kerr graduated from Henderson High School in 1990 and then went on to attend the University of Vermont graduating with a degree in Business Administration (Accounting and Finance). After college, Kerr moved to New York City where he quickly began his career in acting. After three years in NYC working on "As the World Turns," and films such as "Hit and Runway" and "Lucid Days," he moved to Los Angeles where he landed the role of "Jack McPhee" on the hit series "Dawson's Creek" after being there for only seven weeks. Kerr has had a slew of films and TV shows over the last 18 years in the business such as: "FInal Destination," "E-Ring", "Justice", "Life Unexpected" and "My Bloody Valentine" just to name a few. He is also the co-owner of the Venice Beach Beer Company. His hobbies include flying airplanes and riding motorcycles.
Angie Dickinson was born in Kulm, North Dakota, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L. H. Brown. Mr. Brown was the publisher of The Kulm Messenger. The family left North Dakota in 1942 when Angie was 11 years old, moving to Burbank, California. In December 1946, when she was a senior at Bellamarine Jefferson High School in Burbank, she won the Sixth Annual Bill of Rights Contest. Two years later, her sister Janet did likewise. Being the daughter of a printer, Angie at first had visions of becoming a writer, but gave this up after winning her first beauty contest. After finishing college, she worked as a secretary in a Burbank airplane parts factory for 3-1/2 years. In 1953, she entered the local Miss America contest one day before the deadline and took second place. In August of the same year, she was one of five winners in a beauty contest sponsored by NBC and appeared in several television variety shows. She got her first bit part in a Warner Brothers film in 1954 and gained fame in the television series The Millionaire and got her first good film role opposite John Wayne and Dean Martin in Rio Bravo. Her success then spiraled until she became one of the nation's top movie stars.
Already at the age of nine, Noah Gray-Cabey has established quite a name for himself, both as a musician and an actor.
Beginning when he was four, Noah performed classical piano in several venues throughout New England and Washington and journeyed to Jamaica for his first tour with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. In July 2001, Noah continued on to Australia, and at age five, became the youngest soloist ever to perform with an orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, as well as the Queensland Conservatory and the International String Convention in Brisbane.
Noah made his television debut in December 2001 and has continued a steady presence, performing on 48 Hours, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, The Wayne Brady Show, Steve Harvey's Steve Harvey's Big Time Challenge and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Noah's acting experience includes a guest starring role on CSI: Miami, and three wonderful years on My Wife and Kids with Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin, where he played the ultra-precocious Franklin Aloysius Mumford - a role for which he earned three consecutive Young Artist Award nominations (one of the nominations - in the year 2006 - he won the Award). Recently, Noah has completed filming on the feature film Lady in the Water, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan which is due in theaters in the summer of 2006.
Noah, whose hobbies include animals, airplanes, inventing and fencing, lives in Los Angeles with his parents, two brothers, a sister, two dogs and one cat.
Udo Kier was born October 14, 1944 in Cologne, Germany, during World War II. His entrance was just as dramatic as some of his roles. On the evening of his birth Udo's mother requested extra time with her new baby. The nurses had gathered all of the other babies and returned them to the nursery when the hospital was bombed. He and his mother were rescued from underneath the rubble. Udo didn't know much about his father. When Udo was 18 he moved to Britain in order to learn the English language. While there he took a few acting courses. He was eventually offered a role by director Michael Sarne as a gigolo in the film Road to Saint Tropez. While the role was small, it was the beginning of his career in films. His first "hit" film was Mark of the Devil (Mark of the Devil). The film was rated "V" for violence and ticket buyers were offered vomit bags before the film started. It was banned in 31 countries but spawned two sequels (both without Kier). The film is notorious for its exploitation of sex and violence (the uncut version was remastered and re-released on video in 1997).
Kier met director Paul Morrissey on an airplane trip. Morrissey offered him the lead role in the 3-D Flesh for Frankenstein. It was this film, along with its sister film Blood for Dracula, that made Udo a cult figure. Both Morrissey films are also known as Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Dracula; however, Andy Warhol was not involved in the production or creation of the films. Both were rated X when released. One of Kier's most vivid memories from "Flesh for Frankenstein" was the infamous "internal organ" scene. Real animal organs were used that were left unrefrigerated on the set for several hours. Udo had to pull the organs out of a prop dummy with his bare hands and hold them up to his face. He has said he will never forget that smell. When this film was finished the cast and crew began immediately filming "Blood for Dracula". Udo remembers both of these films fondly and regards "Dracula" over "Frankenstein" as his favorite of the two (in 1996 both films were released by Criterion on DVD totally uncut).
In the 1970s some of Kier's work included The Salzburg Connection, The Story of O (The Story of O), Spermula and Trauma (House on Straw Hill). Much of his work has been dubbed with someone else's voice. In Suspiria there were some technical difficulties with the sound while his scene was shot. In the 1980s some of his work included Lulu, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (The Blood of Dr Jekyll), The Island of the Bloody Plantation (Escape from Blood Plantation) and Seduction: The Cruel Woman (Seduction: The Cruel Woman). In the 1980s Kier did very little work outside of Europe. In the 1990s he had a lot more visibility in America and his breakthrough role was as Hans in My Own Private Idaho (the soundtrack includes the song that Udo performs in the film). Even Cowgirls Get the Blues reunited Kier with his friend Keanu Reeves yet again. Udo was cast as Pamela Anderson's sidekick in Barb Wire and played Ron Camp in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective opposite Jim Carrey. In the 1990s some of the films he was in included The Kingdom, For Love or Money, Breaking the Waves, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Blade and Armageddon.
Over his 30-year career Udo has worked with several brilliant directors: Paul Morrissey, Charles Matton, Dario Argento, Gus Van Sant and Walerian Borowczyk. he continues to work often with Lars von Trier and is the godfather of Van Trier's child as well as a good friend. Von Trier is currently working on a film entitled Dimension which is a project that spans 30 years. Every year the cast and crew (including Udo) meet to shoot footage. The film will show the actors age 30 years without make-up or special effects. Approximately seen years of footage has already been shot. The premiere will take place in 2024! Kier's acting career ranges from art house films (Europa) to gore fests (Blackest Heart (German Chainsaw Massacre)) to television commercials. He says he loves horror films and wants to do more of them. He enjoys playing villains, as he feels it is more interesting because evil has no limits. Currently Udo lives in California and spends much of his time working in Europe, where he receives larger roles and more recognition.
Lloyd Vernet Bridges, Jr. was born on January 15, 1913 in San Leandro, California. The star of many land and underwater adventures grew up in various Northern California towns. His father, who was in the hotel business, wanted him to become a lawyer, but young Lloyd's interests turned to acting while at the University of California at Los Angeles. (Dorothy Dean Bridges, Bridges' wife of more than 50 years, was one of his UCLA classmates, and appeared opposite him in a romantic play called "March Hares.") He later worked on the Broadway stage, helped to found an off-Broadway theater, and acted, produced and directed at Green Mans ions, a theater in the Catskills. Bridges made his first films in 1936, and went under contract to Columbia in 1941. Allegations that Bridges had been involved with the Communist Party threatened to derail his career in the early 1950s, but he resumed work after an FBI clearance. Making the transition to television, Bridges became a small screen star of giant proportions by starring in Sea Hunt, the country's most successful syndicated series. Trouper Bridges worked right to the end, winning even more new fans with his spoofy portrayals in the "Airplane!" and "Hot Shots!" movies. Lloyd Bridges died at age 85 of natural causes on March 10, 1998.
Kevin Weisman is recognized around the world for his work as "Marshall Flinkman" on the ABC series 'Alias', which ran for five critically acclaimed seasons. TV Guide named Kevin one of television's "Top Ten Scene Stealers", and he appeared on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" in 2006. He received a BA from Ucla's school of Theatre/Film/Television and studied at New York's Circle in the Square Theater. Kevin has worked extensively in the theater, most recently at the La Mirada Theater for Performing Arts, where he appeared as 'Gabe' in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer prize winning play, "Dinner with Friends" ("Weisman shows Gabe's touching naiveté, his love of the stability and order of marriage, and his agonized confusion over having to take sides" O.C. Register), and as 'Uncle Louie' in Neil Simon's Pulitzer prize winning "Lost in Yonkers". A founding member of the award-winning and critically acclaimed Buffalo Nights Theatre Company, Kevin has served as an actor and producer on numerous productions. He starred as Griffith J. Griffith in the award- winning "Crazy Drunk" at the John Anson Ford Theatre. He also appeared in the title role in Arthur Schnitzler's "Anatol," Jean Giraudoux's "Apollo of Bellac," which received a Garland for Production of the Year and seven LA Weekly award nominations, Archibald McCleish's "J.B.," "Suburban Motel," Arthur Miller's "Incident at Vichy," Oscar Wilde's "Salome" and the West Coast premiere of Jonathon Marc Sherman's "Sophistry." Additional theatre credits include "Tis Pity She's a Whore," "The Greeks," which received the LA Weekly 1999 Production of the Year Award, and "The Goldoni Trilogy" at the Mark Taper. Since finishing 'Alias', Weisman has worked with esteemed director Rob Reiner on 'Flipped', reunited with JJ Abrams and Jeff Pinkner on 'Fringe', and with Anthony Zuiker on all three installments of 'CSI', in addition to Zuiker's New York Times Best Selling digi novel, 'Level 26'. Recent television projects include a recurring role simultaneously playing dual roles, both the mysterious 'Mr. Blonde' and the straight shooting, intense 'Detective Hawkins" on NBC's critically acclaimed drama, "Awake". Kevin also portrayed an airplane engineer, who elects to fight the system as a corporate 'whistleblower' on the USA hit show, 'Fairly Legal'. Other recent work includes: the mad genius, Martin Gleason, on 'Human Target' (Fox), the villainous poisoner, Reardon Payne on 'Chuck' (NBC), the snarky college professor, Duncan Bow, on 'October Road' (ABC), the descendant of a circus performance family attempting to hold on to his town's dignity, Ben Pershing, on 'The Glades', and as Dennis Hightower, a young man with high functioning Autism on 'The Ghost Whisperer' (CBS). Additional guest spots include 'Csi Miami' (CBS), 'Miami Medical' (CBS), 'The Forgotten' (ABC), 'Numbers' (CBS) and 'Csi NY' (CBS). He also played Steve Balfour, the 'sarcastic cameraman', on the cult hit, 'Moonlight' starring Alec O'Loughlin (CBS). Previous television credits include recurring and guest starring roles on 'Felicity', 'Roswell', 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (as fan favorite 'Dreg', Glory's right-hand minion), 'The X-Files' (in a memorable season 7 episode entitled "Je Souhaite'), 'Frasier', 'E.R.'., 'Just Shoot Me', and 'The Drew Carey Show'. Kevin's recent film work includes 'Flipped', the Rob Reiner-directed feature adaptation of Wendelin Van Draanen's young adult novel, which revolves around the confusing romantic developments of 2 young neighbors as they age from 7 to 13. Aidan Quinn and Penelope Ann Miller play the girl's parents, and Weisman plays her mentally-challenged uncle. He also stars in the independent horror film, 'Undocumented', playing a member of a documentary crew that is captured by a gang of sadistic radicals while accompanying a group of illegal immigrants crossing the border, as well as the action/comedy 'Bending The Rules', which was filmed entirely on location in the city of New Orleans. In it, Kevin plays 'Gil Ott', a small time crook with a big secret. Look for Kevin in the soon to be released comedy, 'Unicorn City', which is brought to you by some of the same madmen who worked on Jared Hess' 'Napoleon Dynamite'. Previous film work includes Michael Bay's 'Gone in Sixty Seconds', 'Robbers', 'Buying the Cow', Disney's 'Space Buddies', B.O.H.I.C.A., (2008 Winner of Special Jury Award at the WorldFest-Houston Intl. Film Festival and Audience Award at the Newport Intl. Film Festival), 'Man of the Century', the 1998 Slamdance Audience Award winner, and 'Clerks 2', Kevin Smith's cult classic which featured Kevin as the very popular 'hobbit-lover'. Weisman produced and acted in the feature film Illusion, which was released at theaters in 2006. Fellow Buffalo Nights founder & Emmy winner, Michael Goorjian directed, as well as starred in the film opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas. Illusion won the "Best Screenplay" award at the 12th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival, and it was an official selection of the 16th Annual Palm Springs Int. Film Festival. The film also competed at the 8th Annual Sonoma Valley Film Festival, the 1st Annual Inspiration Film Festival (Santa Monica), & the Maui Film Festival. Kevin has also become quite prolific in the world of voice-over. You've probably heard his soul soothing vocal timbre on radio and television ads for such companies as Apple (Ipad), Nike, Coke, ATT, and as one of the current voices of Honda. Kevin has also been busy in the burgeoning world of Internet content, recurring in Level 26: The Dark Chronicles, written and directed by CSI franchise creator, Anthony Zuiker, and .comEDY, written and produced by Brian Ford Sullivan, the CEO/Owner of TheFutonCritic.com. Kevin was an original member of 'Trainwreck', the L.A. based band featuring Kyle Gass of Tenacious D. He takes advantage of every opportunity to participate in celebrity golf, ski & poker tournaments (he is an avid player) that benefit organizations such as Tony LaRussa's Celebrities Fore! ARF (Animal Recue Foundation), The Special Olympics, The Urban Health Institute, The Melanoma Research Foundation, and The Clear View Treatment Center, which provides a residential treatment program for adolescent boys who have been neglected,, abused & abandoned. Most importantly, Kevin is the proud parent of Maya Rose (born on 3/31/06) and Eli Samuel (born on 2/11/08). Kevin is an avid supporters of numerous children's charities and Jewish organizations, including the L.A. Children's Hospital, The Children's Defense Fund, Wheels For Humanity, Bet Tzedek, a non-profit law-firm that provides free legal services to low-income, disabled & elderly residents of Los Angeles Country, and Koreh LA, a local Jewish organization that assists kids in advancing their reading skills. Particularly close to his heart is Kevin's involvement in the fight against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, serving as a board member of the Dmd Fund.
Look for Kevin opposite Stephen Merchant in the upcoming HBO series, 'Hello Ladies'.
Roxane Mesquida grew up in Le Pradet, a little town in the South of France. At the age of 11, while walking with her mother, writer Francoise Mesquida, she was spotted by director Manuel Pradal who cast her in Mary from the Bay of Angels (Marie Baie de Anges). In 1998, she played opposite Isabelle Huppert in Benoit Jacquot's The School of Flesh (L'ecole de la Chair) which was presented at that year's Cannes Film Festival. A few years later, she crossed paths with the renowned and provocative director Catherine Breillat. Not only did the director bring Roxane to international attention, she taught the actress her craft. In 2001, their first film Fat Girl (A ma soeur!) was presented at festivals around the world including Berlin and Toronto. The following year, the director and her actress collaborated on Sex is a Comedy which was presented at the Cannes Film Festival, 2002. They worked together again on The Last Mistress (Une vieille maitresse) with Asia Argento. The film was presented in competition at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In 2006, after making Sheitan with Vincent Cassel directed by Kim Chapiron, Mesquida moved to the United States. She spent several months in New York attending The Barrow Group, a prestigious non-profit Off-Broadway Theatre Company and acting School before settling in Los Angeles. In 2010, two of her films were presented at Cannes: Kaboom by independent filmmaker Gregg Araki and Rubber by Quentin Dupieux a.k.a Mr. Ozio. She also starred three music videos: Buck 65's "Paper Airplane", Grudd Rhys's "Shark Ridden Waters" and Marilyn Manson's "No Reflection" in 2012. 2011 was a very busy year for Mesquida who played Beatrice, the sister of Louis Grimaldi in TV series Gossip Girl and appeared in the features The Most Fun You Can Have Dying by Kirstin Marcon, Kiss of the Damned by Alexandra Cassavetes (daughter of John Cassavetes) and Homesick by young independent filmmaker Frederic Da. She also appeared in the art video for Opening Ceremony.
When she was 14, Mesquida was spotted by Elite Model Management and she has been working as a model ever since. She is signed by worldwide modeling agency IMG Modelssince 2008.
Sandra McCoy was born and raised in San Jose, California. Her mother, Madeline McCoy, was a high school P.E. teacher, tennis coach, and aerobics instructor. Her father, Gary McCoy, was the director of database management at the county Sherrif's Department and a private pilot. Her brother, who was two years her junior, enjoyed playing basketball and wrestling. All three passed away in the fall of 1993 in a tragic airplane accident that left Sandra as the sole survivor. Thanks to the values, aspirations, and love for life that her family had instilled in her, Sandra managed to endure with flying colors. She had trained in dance and gymnastics since she was eight years old, and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in show business after attaining a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University. Though her first attempt at Hollywood success, a four-girl pop group, fell through, Sandra has continued to to enjoy several other successes in the film industry as both an actress and a dancer. Her first real break into the business was booking the lead role in the NSYNC "Pop" music video, from which she will forever be known as the "Dirty Pop" Girl. In addition, she also cheered for the Los Angeles Lakers in the season of 2002-2003, and appeared in Music Video Beauties of 2004, her calendar debut. She currently resides in Los Angeles pursuing an acting career. In her spare time, Sandra enjoys hanging out with her girlfriends, jogging, watching movies, doing volunteer work, and eating chocolate!
Bud Spencer, the popular Italian actor who starred in innumerable spaghetti Westerns and action-packed potboilers during the 1960s and 1970s, was born Carlo Pedersoli on October 31, 1929, in Naples. The first Italian to swim the 100-meter freestyle in less than a minute, Spencer competed as a swimmer on the Italian National Team at the Olympic Summer games in both Helsinki, Finland, in 1952 and Melbourne, Australia, in 1956. He was also an Olympic-class water polo player.
Educated as an attorney, he was bitten by the acting bug and appeared as a member of the Praetorian Guard in his first movie, MGM's epic Quo Vadis (which was shot in Italy) in 1951. During the 1950s and first half of the 1960s he appeared in films made for the Italian market, but his career was strictly minor league until the late 1960s. He changed his screen name to "Bud Spencer" in 1967, as an homage to Spencer Tracy and to the American beer Budweiser. Spencer allegedly thought it was funny to call himself "Bud" in light of his huge frame.
After the name change, Spencer achieved his greatest success in spaghetti Westerns lensed for a global audience. Teaming up with fellow Italian Terence Hill, the two made such international hits as Ace High and My Name Is Trinity ("They Call Me Trinity"). Their dual outings made both stars famous, particularly in Europe. In all, Spencer made 18 movies with Hill.
He became a jet airplane and helicopter pilot after appearing in All the Way Boys and owned an air transportation company, Mistral Air, which he founded in 1984. However, he terminated his business interest in Mistral and entered the children's clothing industry. After 1983 Spencer's movie career slowed down, though he did have a big success in the early 1990s with the TV action-drama series "Extralarge". A man of many talents, Spencer wrote screenplays and texts for some of his movies. He also has registered several patents.
Spencer married Maria Amato in 1960 and they have three children, Giuseppe (born 1961), Christine (1962) and Diamante (1972).
In 2005 Spencer entered politics, standing as regional councillor in Lazio for the center-right Forza Italia party. He became a politician specifically at the bequest of then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. According to Spencer, "In my life, I've done everything. There are only three things I haven't been - a ballet dancer, a jockey and a politician. Given that the first two jobs are out of the question, I'll throw myself into politics."
Berlusconi, who was a media tycoon in the vein of Rupert Murdoch before he entered politics, recruited Spencer as he was "still a major draw for the viewer, alias the voter." Critics of Berlusconi--who tried to retain power by launching a campaign to portray his allies as the embodiment of "good" and the leftists of the opposition as "evil"--was derided as an example of "politica spettacolo" ("showbiz politics").
Spencer announced his new career at a "Felliniesque" press conference at a Rome hotel, at which he hardly moved and had little to say except homilies about upholding family values. Spencer sat between two Forza Italia handlers, and according to one major Italian newspaper, "From one moment to the next, you expected this mountain of a man to grab the heads of the two presenters and smack them together in his usual style, as he has been seen doing countless times on the big screen and television." The audition proved to be a flop: Spencer lost the seat, and Berlusconi's party was swept from power in 2006.
Robert Z'Dar was born Robert J. Zdarsky on June 3rd, 1950 in Chicago, Illinois. He caught the acting bug while attending Proviso West High School in Hillside. He received a BFA from Arizona State University. Prior to acting Z'Dar was a singer/keyboardist/guitar player for the Chicago-based rock band Nova Express, which performed as an opening act for such groups as Jefferson Airplane, the Who and the Electric Prunes. Other early jobs include a jingle writer for the Leo Burnett and J. Walter Thompson ad agencies, a Chicago police officer, and even a brief stint as a Chippendales dancer. Big, brawny and imposing, with an enormous face, gigantic jaw and a massive, muscular physique, the hulking 6'2" Z'Dar projects a strong, aggressive and intimidating screen presence that's ideally suited for the steady succession of mean, nasty and extremely scary larger-than-life villains he's often portrayed throughout the years since the mid 80s. Z'Dar made his film debut in "Code Name: Zebra." He achieved his greatest and most enduring cult movie fame as the vengeful, relentless and seemingly indestructible undead New York City police officer Matt Cordell in the immensely entertaining "Maniac Cop" pictures. Among Z'Dar's other memorable roles are a prison guard in the enjoyably sleazy "Hellhole," a crazed prostitute-murdering serial killer in "The Night Stalker" (this part directly led to Z'Dar being cast as Matt Cordell), a vicious criminal who savagely beats up Sylvestor Stallone in "Tango and Cash," the Angel of Death in "Soultaker," a smooth drug dealer in the delightfully outrageous "The Divine Enforcer," and Linnea Quigley's abusive husband in "The Rockville Slayer." A popular frequent guest at horror film conventions, Robert Z'Dar has also produced several movies and continues to act with pleasing regularity in a slew of features.
Tiny (5'3"), but busty and shapely hazel-eyed brunette knockout Eva Angelina was born Nicole Clyne on March 14, 1985 in Huntington Beach, California. She's of Irish, English, Cuban, and Chinese descent. Angelina spent the first two years of her life in Madrid, Spain. After her father was hired by the Swiss military to build airplanes for the country when she was eight years old, Eva lived in Switzerland for two years. Angelina grew up as a teenager in Orange County, California, where she attended Foothill High School. Eva did her first hardcore sex scene three months after her 18th birthday. Angelina is well known for wearing glasses in many of her adult movies. From May to November in 2004 Eva took a temporary hiatus from adult cinema; during this time she returned to school and worked at the Macaroni Grill. Angelina was the Pet of the Month in the June, 2010 issue of Penthouse magazine. She was named one of the top 12 stars in porn by Maxim magazine that same year. Among the awards Eva has won for her work in adult films are a XRCO Award for Single Performance - Actress and an AVN Award for Best Actress - Video in 2008, a XRCO Award for Orgasmic Analist and an AVN Award for Best All-Girl Group Sex Scene in 2010, and an AVN Award for Best Tease Performance in 2011.
|Edward D. Wood Jr.
Hacks are nothing new in Hollywood. Had Edward D. Wood been born a decade or so earlier it's easy to imagine him working out of some Poverty Row outfit in Gower Gulch, competing with the likes of Victor Adamson, Robert J. Horner and Dwain Esper for the title of all-time hack. He would've fit in nicely at Educational Pictures in the early '30s or PRC in the following decade. Wood, like everyone, is imprisoned in their own time, and in the 1950s Edward D. Wood Jr. simply had no competition. He was ignored throughout a spectacularly unsuccessful career and died a penniless alcoholic, only to be "rediscovered" when promoters in the early 1980s tagged him the worst director of all time (mostly thanks to the Medveds' hilarious book, "Golden Turkey Awards")- and was given the singular honor of a full-length biopic by Tim Burton. This post-mortem fame has made him infinitely more famous today than he ever was when alive.
On a personal level, Wood was exceedingly complex. He was born on October 10, 1924 in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he lived most of his childhood. He joined the US Marine Corps in 1943 World War II and was, by all accounts, an exemplary soldier, wounded in ferocious combat in the Pacific theater in WW II. Conversely, he claimed to have been wearing a bra and panties under his uniform during a military landing. He was habitually optimistic, even in the face of the bleak realities that would later consume him. His personality bonded him with a small clique of outcasts that eked out life on the far edges of the Hollywood fringe.
After settling in Los Angeles in the late 1940s, Wood attempted to break into the film industry, initially without success, but in 1952 finally landed the chance to direct a film based on the real-life Christine Jorgensen sex-change story, then a hot topic. The result, Glen or Glenda, gave a fascinating insight into Wood's own personality and shed light on his transvestism (an almost unthinkable subject for an early 1950s mainstream feature). Although devoutly heterosexual, Wood was an enthusiastic cross-dresser, with a particular fondness for angora. On the debit side, though, the film revealed an almost complete lack of talent that would mar all his subsequent films, his tendency to resort to stock footage of lightning during dramatic moments, laughable set design, and a near-incomprehensible performance by Bela Lugosi as a mad doctor whose presence is never adequately explained. The film deservedly flopped miserably but Wood, always upbeat, pressed ahead.
Wood's main problem was he saw himself as a producer-writer-director. Friends described him as an oddball hack who was far more interested in the work required in cobbling a project together than ever learning the craft of film making or in any type of realism. In an alternate universe, Wood might have been a competent producer had he had better industry connections and hired a competent director. Wood, however, likened himself to his idol, Orson Welles, and became a triple threat: bad producer, poor screenwriter and God-awful director. All of his films exhibit illogical continuity, bizarre narratives and give the distinct impression that a director's job was simply to expose the least amount of film possible due to constant budget constraints. Visible wires connected to pie-pan UFOs, actors knocking over cardboard "headstones", cars changing models and years during chase sequences, scenes exhibiting a disturbing lack of handgun safety, and the ingenious use of shower curtains in rudder-less airplane cockpits are just a few of the trademarks of an Edward D. Wood Jr. production. When criticized for their innumerable flaws, he'd cheerfully explain his interpretation of the suspension of disbelief. It's not so much that he made movies so badly without regard to realism, the amazing part is that he managed to get them made at all.
His subsequent film with Lugosi, Bride of the Monster was no better (unbelievably, it somehow managed to earn a small profit during it's original release, undoubtedly more of a testament to how cheaply it was produced than as entertainment), and Wood only shot a few seconds of silent footage of Lugosi (doped and dazed, wandering around the front yard of his house) for his next film, Plan 9 from Outer Space before the actor died in 1956. What few reviews the film received were awful. Typically undaunted, Wood based his magnum opus, Plan 9 around this limited material and microscopic budget, casting it with his regular band of mostly inept actors. Given the level of dialog, budget and Wood's dismal directorial abilities, it's unlikely that better actors would have been an improvement - in fact, it's "Plan 9"'s semi-official status as arguably the 'Worst Film Ever Made' that gives it its substantial cult following. The film, financed by a local Baptist congregation led by Wood's landlord, reaches a plateau of gross ineptitude that leaves viewers stunned. Plan 9 became his singular enduring legacy. Ironically, the rights to the film were retained by the church and it is unlikely that Wood ever received a dime from it; his epic bombed upon its first release in 1959 and remained largely forgotten for years to come.
After this career "peak," Wood went into decline (using relative terms). Always a enthusiastic drinker, his alcohol addiction worsened in the 1960's over his depression of not achieving the world-wide fame he always wanted for himself. Wood directed undistinguished soft and later hardcore pornography under the name "Akdov Telmig" (it helps to imagine you're a boozy dyslexic), and writing a number of transvestite-themed pornographic paperbacks into the 1970's. His final years were spent largely drunk in his apartment and occasionally being rolled stumbling out of a local liquor store. Wood and his wife, Kathy, were evicted from their Hollywood apartment due to failing to pay rent and moved into a friend's apartment shortly before his premature death on the afternoon of December 10, 1978 at 54. He had a heart attack and died while drinking in bed.
Due to his recent resurgence in popularity, many of his equally bizarre transvestite-themed sex novels have been republished. The gravitational pull of Planet Angora remains quite strong.
What do the classic and near-classic films I Was a Male War Bride, Scarface, Twentieth Century, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, His Girl Friday, Sergeant York, Ball of Fire, Air Force, To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Red River and Rio Bravo have in common with such first-rate entertainments as I Was a Male War Bride, Monkey Business, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Land of the Pharaohs, Hatari!, Man's Favorite Sport? and El Dorado? Aside from their displays of great craftsmanship, the answer is director Howard Hawks, one of the most celebrated of American filmmakers, who ironically, was little celebrated by his peers in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences during his career.
Although John Ford--his friend, contemporary, and the director arguably closest to him in terms of his talent and output--told him that it was he, and not Ford, who should have won the 1941 Best Director Academy Award (for Sergeant York), the great Hawks never won an Oscar in competition and was nominated for Best Director only that one time, despite making some of the best films in the Hollywood canon. The Academy eventually made up for the oversight in 1974 by voting him an honorary Academy Award, in the midst of a two-decade-long critical revival that has gone on for yet another two decades. To many cineastes, Howard Hawks is one of the faces of American film and would be carved on any film pantheon's Mt. Rushmore honoring America's greatest directors, beside his friend Ford and Orson Welles (the other great director who Ford beat out for the 1941 Oscar). It took the French "Cahiers du Cinema" critics to teach America to appreciate one of its own masters, and it was to the Academy's credit that it recognized the great Hawks in his lifetime.
Hawks' career spanned the freewheeling days of the original independents in the 1910s, through the studio system in Hollywood from the silent era through the talkies, lasting into the early 1970s, with the death of the studios and the emergence of the director as auteur, the latter a phenomenon that Hawks himself directly influenced. He was he most versatile of all American directors, and before his late career critical revival, he earned himself a reputation as a a first-rate craftsman and consummate Hollywood professional who just happened, in a medium that is an industrial process, to have made some great movies. Recognition as an influential artist would come later, but it would come to him before his death.
He was born Howard Winchester Hawks in Goshen, Indiana, on Decoration Day, May 30, 1896, the first child of Frank Winchester Hawks and his wife, the former Helen Howard. The day of his birth the local sheriff killed a brawler at the town saloon; the young Hawks was not born on the wild side of town, though, but with the proverbial silver spoon firmly clenched in his young mouth. His wealthy father was a member of Goshen's most prominent family, owners of the Goshen Milling Co. and many other businesses, and his maternal grandfather was one of Wisconsin's leading industrialists. His father's family had arrived in America in 1630, while his mother's father, C.W. Howard, who was born in Maine in 1845 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from the Isle of Man, made his fortune in the paper industry with his Howard Paper Co.
Ironically, almost a half-year after Howard's birth, the first motion picture was shown in Goshen, just before Christmas on December 10, 1896. Billed as "the scientific wonder of the world," the movie played to a sold-out crowd at the Irwin Theater. However, it disappointed the audience, and attendance fell off at subsequent showings. The interest of the boy raised a Presbyterian would not be piqued again until his family moved to southern California.
Before that move came to pass, though, the Hawks family relocated from Goshen to Neenah, Wisconsin, when Howard's father was appointed secretary/treasurer of the Howard Paper Co. in 1898. Howard grew up a coddled and spoiled child in Goshen, but in Neenah he was treated like a young prince. His grandfather C.W. lavished his grandson with expensive toys. C.W. had been an indulgent father, encouraging the independence and adventurousness of his two daughters, Helen and Bernice, who were the first girls in Neenah to drive automobiles. Bernice even went for an airplane ride (the two sisters, Hawks' mother and aunt, likely were the first models for what became known as "the Hawksian women" when he became a director). Brother Kenneth Hawks was born in 1898, and was looked after by young Howard. However, Howard resented the birth of the family's next son, William B. Hawks, in 1902, and offered to sell him to a family friend for ten cents. A sister, Grace, followed William. Childbirth took a heavy toll on Howard's mother, and she never quite recovered after delivering her fifth child, Helen, in 1906. In order to aid her recovery, the family moved to the more salubrious climate of Pasadena, California, northeast of Los Angeles, for the winter of 1906-07. The family returned to Wisconsin for the summers, but by 1910 they permanently resettled in California, as grandfather C.W. himself took to wintering in Pasadena.
C. W. Howard eventually sold his paper company and retired. He continued to indulge his grandson Howard, though, buying him whatever he fancied, including a race car when the lad was barely old enough to drive legally. C.W. also arranged for Howard to take flying lessons so he could qualify for a pilot's license, an example followed by Kenneth.
The young Howard Hawks grew accustomed to getting what he wanted and believed his grandfather when C.W. told him he was the best and that he could do anything. Howard also likely inherited C.W.'s propensity for telling whopping lies with a straight face, a trait that has bedeviled many film historians ever since. C.W. also was involved in amateur theatrics and Howard's mother Helen was interested in music, though no one in the Hawks-Howard family ever was involved in the arts until Howard went to work in the film industry.
Hawks was sent to Philips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, for his education, and upon graduation attended Cornell University, where he majored in mechanical engineering. In both his personal and professional lives Hawks was a risk-taker and enjoyed racing airplanes and automobiles, two sports that he first indulged in his teens with his grandfather's blessing.
The Los Angeles area quickly evolved into the center of the American film industry when studios began relocating their production facilities from the New York City area to southern California in the middle of the 1910s. During one summer vacation while Howard was matriculating at Cornell, a friend got him a job as a prop man at Famous Players-Lasky (later to become Paramount Pictures), and he quickly rose trough the ranks. Hawks recalled, "[I]t all started with Douglas Fairbanks, who was off on location for some picture and phoned in to say they wanted a modern set. There was only one art director . . . and he was away on another location. I said, 'Well, I can build a modern set.' I'd had a few years of architectural training at school. So I did, and Fairbanks was pleased with it. We became friends, and that was really the start."
During other summer vacations from Cornell, Hawks continued to work in the movies. One story Hawks tells is that the director of a Mary Pickford film Hawks was working on, The Little Princess, became too inebriated to continue working, so Hawks volunteered to direct a few scenes himself. However, it's not known whether his offer was taken up, or whether this was just one more of his tall tales.
During World War I, Hawks served as a lieutenant in the Signal Corps and later joined the Army Air Corps, serving in France. After the Armistice he indulged in his love of risk, working as an aviator and a professional racing car driver. Drawing on his engineering experience, Hawks designed racing cars, and one of his cars won the Indianapolis 500. These early war and work experiences proved invaluable to the future filmmaker.
He eventually decided on a career in Hollywood and was employed in a variety of production jobs, including assistant director, casting director, script supervisor, editor and producer. He and his brother Kenneth shot aerial footage for motion pictures, but Kenneth tragically was killed during a crash while filming. Howard was hired as a screenwriter by Paramount in 1922 and was tasked with writing 40 story lines for new films in 60 days. he bought the rights for works by established authors like Joseph Conrad and worked, mostly uncredited, on the scripts for approximately 60 films. Hawks wanted to direct, but Paramount refused to indulge his ambition. A Fox executive did, however, and Hawks directed his first film, The Road to Glory in 1926, also doubling as the screenwriter.
Hawks made a name for himself by directing eight silent films in the 1920s, His facility for language helped him to thrive with the dawn of talking pictures, and he really established himself with his first talkie in 1930, the classic World War I aviation drama The Dawn Patrol. His arrival as a major director, however, was marked by 1932's controversial and highly popular gangster picture Scarface, a thinly disguised bio of Chicago gangster Al Capone, which was made for producer Howard Hughes. His first great movie, it catapulted him into the front rank of directors. Scarface remained Hawks' favorite film, and under the aegis of the eccentric multi-millionaire Hughes, it was the only movie he ever made in which he did not have to deal with studio meddling. Scarface leavened its ultra-violence with comedy in a potent brew that has often been imitated by other directors.
Though always involved in the development of the scripts of his films, Hawks was lucky to have worked with some of the best writers in the business, including his friend and fellow aviator William Faulkner. Screenwriters he collaborated with on his films included Leigh Brackett, Ben Hecht, John Huston and Billy Wilder. Hawks often recycled storylines from previous films, such as when he jettisoned the shooting script on El Dorado during production and reworked the film-in-progress into a remake of Rio Bravo.
The success of his films was partly rooted in his using first-rate writers. Hawks viewed a good writer as a sort of insurance policy, saying, "I'm such a coward that unless I get a good writer, I don't want to make a picture." Though he won himself a reputation as one of Hollywood's supreme storytellers, he came to the conclusion that the story was not what made a good film. After making and then remaking the confusing The Big Sleep (1945 and 1946) from a Raymond Chandler detective novel, Hawks came to believe that a good film consisted of at least three good scenes and no bad ones--at least not a scene that could irritate and alienate the audience. He said, "As long as you make good scenes you have a good picture - it doesn't matter if it isn't much of a story."
It was Hawks' directorial skills, his ability to ensure that the audience was not aware of the twice-told nature of his films, through his engendering of a high-octane, heady energy that made his films move and made them classics at best and extremely enjoyable entertainments at their "worst." Hawks' genius as a director also manifested itself in his direction of his actors, his molding of their line-readings going a long way toward making his films outstanding. The dialog in his films often was delivered at a staccato pace, and characters' lines frequently overlapped, a Hawks trademark. The spontaneous feeling of his films and the naturalness of the interrelationships between characters were enhanced by his habit of encouraging his actors to improvise. Unlike Alfred Hitchcock, Hawks saw his lead actors as collaborators and encouraged them to be part of the creative process. He had an excellent eye for talent, and was responsible for giving the first major breaks to a roster of stars, including Paul Muni, Carole Lombard (his cousin), Lauren Bacall, Montgomery Clift and James Caan. It was Hawks, and not John Ford, who turned John Wayne into a superstar, with Red River (shot in 1946, but not released until 1948). He proceeded to give Wayne some of his best roles in the cavalry trilogy of Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande, in which Wayne played a broad range of diverse characters.
During the 1930s Hawks moved from hit to hit, becoming one of the most respected directors in the business. As his fame waxed, Hawks' image replaced the older, jodhpurs-and-megaphone image of the Hollywood director epitomized by Cecil B. DeMille. The new paradigm of the Hollywood director in the public eye was, like Hawks himself, tall and silver-haired, a Hemingwayesque man of action who was a thorough professional and did not fail his muse or falter in his mastery of the medium while on the job. The image of Hawks as the ultimate Hollywood professional persists until this day in Hollywood, and he continues to be a major influence on many of today's filmmakers. Among the directors influenced by Hawks are Robert Altman, who used Hawksian overlapping dialog and improvisation in MASH and other films. Peter Bogdanovich, who wrote a book about Hawks, essentially remade Bringing Up Baby as What's Up, Doc?. Brian De Palma remade Scarface in 1983. Other directors directly indebted to Hawks are John Carpenter and Walter Hill.
Hawks was unique and uniquely modern in that, despite experiencing his career peak in an era dominated by studios and the producer system in which most directors were simply hired hands brought in to shoot a picture, he also served as a producer and developed the scripts for his films. Hawks was determined to remain independent and refused to attach himself to a studio, or to a particular genre, for an extended period of time. His work ethic allowed him to fit in with the production paradigms of the studio system, and he eventually worked for all eight of the major studios. He proved himself to be, in effect, an independent filmmaker, and thus was a model for other director-writer-producers who would arise with the breakdown of the studio system in the 1950s and 1960s and the rise of the director as auteur in the early 1970s. Hawks did it first, though, in an environment that ruined or compromised many another filmmaker.
Hawks was not interested in creating a didactic cinema but simply wanted to tell give the public a good story in a well-crafted, entertaining picture. Like Ernest Hemingway, Hawks did have a philosophy of life, but the characters in his films were never intended to be role models. Hawks' protagonists are not necessarily moral people, but they tend to play fair, according to a personal or professional code. A Hawks film typically focuses on a tightly bound group of professionals, often isolated from society at large, who must work together as a team if they are to survive, let alone triumph. His movies emphasize such traits as loyalty and self-respect. Air Force, one of the finest propaganda films to emerge from World War II, is such a picture, in which a unit bonds aboard a B-17 bomber, and the group is more than the sum of the individuals.
Aside from his interest in elucidating human relationships, Hawks' main theme is Hemingwayesque: the execution of one's job or duty to the best of one's ability in the face of overwhelming odds that would make an average person balk. The main characters in a Hawks film typically are people who take their jobs with the utmost seriousness, as their self-respect is rooted in their work. Though often outsiders or loners, Hawksian characters work within a system, albeit a relatively closed system, in which they can ultimately triumph by being loyal to their personal and professional codes. That thematic paradigm has been seen by some critics and cinema historians as being a metaphor for the film industry itself, and of Hawks' place within it.
In a sense, Hawks' oeuvre can be boiled down to two categories: the action-adventure films and the comedies. In Hawks' action-adventure movies, such as Only Angels Have Wings, the male protagonist, played by Cary Grant (a favorite actor of his who frequently starred in his films between 1947 and 1950), is both a hero and the top dog in his social group. In the comedies, such as Bringing Up Baby, the male protagonist (again played by Grant) is no hero but rather a victim of women and society. Women have only a tangential role in Hawks' action films, whereas they are the dominant figures in his comedies. In the action-adventure films, society at large often is far away and the male professionals exist in an almost hermetically sealed world, whereas in the comedies are rooted in society and its mores. Men are constantly humiliated in the comedies, or are subject to role reversals (the man as the romantically hunted prey in "Baby," or the even more dramatic role reversal, including Cary Grant in drag, in I Was a Male War Bride). In the action-adventure films in which women are marginalized, they are forced to undergo elaborate courting rituals to attract their man, who they cannot get until they prove themselves as tough as men. There is an undercurrent of homo-eroticism to the Hawks action films, and Hawks himself termed his A Girl in Every Port "a love story between two men." This homo-erotic leitmotif is most prominent in The Big Sky.
By the time he made Rio Bravo, over 30 years since he first directed a film, Hawks not only was consciously moving towards parody but was in the process of revising his "closed circle of professionals" credo toward the belief that, by the time of its loose remake, El Dorado, he was stressing the superiority of family loyalties to any professional ethic. In Rio Bravo, the motley group inside the jailhouse eventually forms into a family in which the stoical code of conduct of previous Hawksian groups is replaced by something akin to a family bond. The new "family" celebrates its unity with the final shootout, which is a virtual fireworks display due to the use of dynamite to overcome the villains who threaten the family's survival. The affection of the group members for each other is best summed up in the scene where the great character actor Walter Brennan, playing Wayne's deputy Stumpy, facetiously tells Wayne that he'll have tears in his eyes until he gets back to the jailhouse. The ability to razz Wayne is indicative of the bond between the two men.
The sprawl of Hawks' oeuvre over multiple genres, and their existence as high-energy examples of film as its purest, emphasizing action rather than reflection, led serious critics before the 1970s to discount Hawks as a director. They generally ignored the themes that run through his body of work, such the dynamics of the group, male friendship, professionalism, and women as a threat to the independence of men. Granted, the cinematic world limned by Hawks was limited when compared to that of John Ford, the poet of the American screen, which was richer and more complex. However, Hawks' straightforward style that emphasized human relationships undoubtedly yielded one of the greatest crops of outstanding motion pictures that can be attributed to one director. Hawks' movies not only span a wide variety of genres, but frequently rank with the best in those genres, whether the war film (The Dawn Patrol), gangster film (Scarface), the screwball comedy (His Girl Friday); the action-adventure movie (Only Angels Have Wings), the noir (The Big Sleep), the Western (Red River and Rio Bravo), the musical-comedy (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and the historical epic (Land of the Pharaohs). He even had a hand in creating one of the classic science-fiction films, The Thing from Another World, which was produced by Hawks but directed by Christian Nyby, who had edited multiple Hawks films and who, in his sole directorial effort, essentially created a Hawks film (though rumors have long circulated that Hawks actually directed the film rather than Nyby, that has been discounted by such cast members as Kenneth Tobey and James Arness, who have both stated unequivocally that it was Nyby alone who directed the picture).
Though Howard Hawks created some of the most memorable moments in the history of American film a half-century ago, serious critics generally eschewed his work, as they did not believe there was a controlling intelligence behind them. Seen as the consummate professional director in the industrial process that was the studio film, serious critics believed that the great moments of Hawks' films were simply accidents that accrued from working in Hollywood with other professionals. In his 1948 book "The Film Till Now," Richard Griffin summed this feeling up with "Hawks is a very good all rounder."
Serious critics at the time attributed the mantle of "artist" to a director only when they could discern artistic aspirations, a personal visual style, or serious thematic intent. Hawks seemed to them an unambitious director who, unlike D.W. Griffith or the early Cecil B. DeMille, had not made a major contribution to American film, and was not responsible for any major cinematic innovations. He lacked the personal touch of a Charles Chaplin, a Hitchcock or a Welles, did not have the painterly sensibility of a John Ford and had never matured into the master craftsman who tackled heavy themes like the failure of the American dream or racism, like George Stevens. Hawks was seen as a commercial Hollywood director who was good enough to turn out first-rate entertainments in a wide variety of genre films in a time in which genre films such as the melodrama, the war picture and the gangster picture were treated with a lack of respect.
One of the central ideas behind the modernist novel that dominated the first half of the 20th-century artistic consciousness (when the novel and the novelist were still considered the ultimate arbiters of culture in the Anglo-American world) was that the author should begin something new with each book, rather than repeating him-/herself as the 19th century novelists had done. This paradigm can be seen most spectacularly in the work of James Joyce. Of course, it is easy to see this thrust for "something new" in the works of D.W. Griffith and C.B. DeMille, the fathers of the narrative film, working as they were in a new medium. In the post-studio era, a Stanley Kubrick (through Barry Lyndon, at least) and Lars von Trier can be seen as embarking on revolutionary breaks with their past. Howard Hawks was not like this, and, in fact, the latter Hawks constantly recycled not just themes but plots (so that his last great film, Rio Bravo, essentially was remade as El Dorado and Rio Lobo). He did not fit the "modernist" paradigm of an artist.
The critical perception of Hawks began to change when the auteur theory--the idea that one intelligence was responsible for the creation of superior films regardless of their designation as "commercial" or "art house"--began to influence American movie criticism. Commenting on Hawks' facility to make films in a wide variety of genres, critic Andrew Sarris, who introduced the auteur theory to American movie criticism, said of Hawks, "For a major director, there are no minor genres." A Hawks genre picture is rooted in the conventions and audience expectations typical of the Hollywood genre. The Hawks genre picture does not radically challenge, undermine or overthrow either the conventions of the genre or the audience expectations of the genre film, but expands it the genre by revivifying it with new energy. As Robert Altman said about his own McCabe & Mrs. Miller, he fully played on the conventions and audience expectations of the Western genre and, in fact, did nothing to challenge them as he was relying on the audience being lulled into a comfort zone by the genre. What Altman wanted to do was to indulge his own artistry by painting at and filling in the edges of his canvas. Thus, Altman needed the audience's complicity through the genre conventions to accomplish this.
As a genre director, Hawks used his audience's comfort with the genre to expound his philosophy on male bonding and male-female relationships. His movies have a great deal of energy, invested in them by the master craftsman, which made them into great popular entertainments. That Hawks was a commercial filmmaker who was also a first-rate craftsman was not the sum total of his achievement as a director, but was the means by which he communicated with his audience.
While many during his life-time would not have called Hawks an artist, Robin Wood compared Hawks to William Shakespeare and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, both of whom created popular entertainments that could also appeal to elites. According to Wood, "The originality of their works lay not in the evolution of a completely new language, but in the artist's use and development of an already existing one; hence, there was common ground from the outset between artist and audience, and 'entertainment' could happen spontaneously without the intervention of a lengthy period of assimilation."
The great French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, who began his cinema career as a critic, wrote about Hawks, "The great filmmakers always tie themselves down by complying with the rules of the game . . . Take, for example, the films of Howard Hawks, and in particular Rio Bravo. That is a work of extraordinary psychological insight and aesthetic perception, but Hawks has made his film so that the insight can pass unnoticed without disturbing the audience that has come to see a Western like all the others. Hawks is the greater because he has succeeded in fitting all that he holds most dear into a well-worn subject."
A decade before Godard's insight on Hawks, in the early 1950s, the French-language critics who wrote for the cinema journal "Cahier du Cinema" (many of whom would go on to become directors themselves) elevated Howard Hawks into the pantheon of great directors (the appreciation of Hawks in France, according to Cinématheque francaise founder Henri Langlois, began with the French release of Only Angels Have Wings). The Swiss Eric Rohmer, who would one day become a great director himself, in a 1952 review of Hawks' The Big Sky declared, "If one does not love the films of Howard Hawks, one cannot love cinema". Rohmer was joined in his enthusiasm for Hawks by such fellow French cineastes as Claude Chabrol, François Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. The Cahiers critics claimed that a handful of commercial Hollywood directors like Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock had created films as artful and fulfilling as the masterpieces of the art cinema. 'Andre Bazin' gave these critics the moniker "Hitchcocko-Hawksians".
Jacques Rivette wrote in his 1953 essay, "The Genius of Howard Hawks," that "each shot has a functional beauty, like a neck or an ankle. The smooth, orderly succession of shots has a rhythm like the pulsing of blood, and the whole film is like a beautiful body, kept alive by deep, resilient breathing." Hawks, however, considered himself an entertainer, not an "artist." His definition of a good director was simply "someone who doesn't annoy you." He was never considered an artist until the French New Wave critics crowned him one, as serious critics had ignored his oeuvre. He found the adulation amusing, and once told his admirers, "You guys know my films better than I do."
Commenting on this phenomenon, Sarris' wife Molly Haskell said, "Critics will spend hours with divining rods over the obviously hermetic mindscape of Bergman, Antonioni, etc., giving them the benefit of every passing doubt. But they will scorn similar excursions into the genuinely cryptic, richer, and more organic terrain of home-grown talents."
Hawks' visual aesthetic eschews formalism, trick photography or narrative gimmicks. There are no flashbacks or ellipses in his films, and his pictures are usually framed as eye-level medium shots. The films themselves are precisely structured, so much so that Langlois compared Hawks to the great modernist architect Walter Gropius. Hawks strikes one as an Intuitive, unselfconscious filmmaker.
Hawks' definition of a good director was "someone who doesn't annoy you." When Hawks was awarded his lifetime achievement Academy Award, the citation referred to the director as "a giant of the American cinema whose pictures, taken as a whole, represent one of the most consistent, vivid, and varied bodies of work in world cinema." It is a fitting epitaph for one of the greatest directors in the history of American, and world cinema.
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during WWI. Upon his return to Maison Desti, he invented a kissproof lipstick, Red-Red Rouge, in 1920. Shortly after his first marriage, his mother demanded that he return control of the company to her. Kicked out of Maison Desti, he turned to inventing. A tickertape machine, an intaglio photo-etching process, an automobile and an airplane were among his some of his commercially unsuccessful inventions. He began writing stories and, while recovering from an appendectomy in 1929, wrote his first play, "The Guinea Pig". In financial trouble over producing his plays, he moved to Hollywood in 1932 to make money. It wasn't long before he became frustrated by the lack of control he had over his work and wanted to direct the scripts he wrote. Paramount gave him this chance as part of a deal for selling his script for The Great McGinty, at a cheap price. The film's success launched his career as writer/director and he had several hits over the next four years. That success emboldened him to become an independent filmmaker, but that did not last long--he had a string of commercial failures and acquired a reputation as an expensive perfectionist. He moved to France to make what turned out to be his last movie, The French, They Are a Funny Race. He died at the Algonquin Hotel, New York City, in 1959.
Born Barbara Lillian Combes, she attended Los Angeles Junior College in the mid 1930s and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a model. In 1945 she received a contract from MGM, and she appeared in several films during the late 1940s and 1950s, sometimes without screen credit. In the 1950s she turned to television and appeared in shows including the sitcoms "Professional Father" and "The Brothers", as well as guest starring on "The Abbott and Costello Show", the David Niven anthology series "Four Star Playhouse" and the sitcom "Mr. Adams and Eve". In 1957 Billingsley began starring in the sitcom "Leave it to Beaver" as June Cleaver, mother to Wally and Theodore, nicknamed "Beaver". She appeared in her most famous role for 234 episodes, remaining with the show until it ended after six seasons. After 17 years of semi-retirement, Billingsley returned to movies in 1980's "Airplane!", creating another iconic role by spoofing her wholesome image with a brief appearance in this send-up of 1970s disaster movies as a middle-aged white passenger who could translate between a white stewardess and two African-American passengers because "I speak jive". She also appeared in "The New Leave it to Beaver", which ran from 1983 to 1989, and voiced the character of "Nanny" in the "Muppet Babies" cartoon from 1984 to 1991. Billingsley continued to act occasionally, including appearances on the sitcoms "Roseanne" and "Empty Nest", and died at her home after having dealt for several years with the effects of a rheumatoid disease.
She started as a model, and in 1955 became an actress. She acted under her birth name, Marjorie Helen, until 1959. Afterwards she was known as Leslie Parrish. She appeared in more than 100 TV shows. She is known as one of the first women producers. She's always had a passion for music. She was involved in social causes such as the Vietnam war. She met the airplane pilot/writer Richard D. Bach during the making of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and they married in 1977. They divorced in 1997.
After high school Gene Autry worked as a laborer for the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in Oklahoma. Next he was a telegrapher. In 1928 he began singing on a local radio station, and three years later he had his own show and was making his first recordings. Three years after that he made his film debut in Ken Maynard's In Old Santa Fe and starred in a 13-part serial the following year for Mascot Pictures, The Phantom Empire. The next year he signed a contract with Republic Pictures and began making westerns. Autry--for better or worse--pretty much ushered in the era of the "singing cowboy" westerns of the 1930s and 1940s (in spite of the presence in his oaters of automobiles, radios and airplanes). These films often grossed ten times their average $50,000 production costs. During World War II he enlisted in the US Army and was assigned as a flight officer from 1942-46 with the Air Transport Command. After his military service he returned to making movies, this time with Columbia Pictures, and finally with his own company, Flying A Productions, which, during the 1950s, produced his TV series The Gene Autry Show, The Adventures of Champion, and Annie Oakley. He wrote over 200 songs. A savvy businessman, he retired from acting in the early 1960s and became a multi-millionaire from his investments in hotels, real estate, radio stations and the California Angels professional baseball team.
Educated at the University of Toronto & Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in World War I, served in France & was wounded. His first appearance was in a stage production in Siberia, during its occupation by American Forces in 1918. Raymond returned to Canada & the farm implement business after the war, but footlights proved a greater allure than plowshares. He appeared at the Everyman Theatre, London in "In the Zone" in 1922 and from then his acting career never looked back. As adept in front of arc lights as the footlights, he was signed up for a 5 year contract by Alexander Korda. Major Massey was invalided from the Canadian Army in 1943. Raymond was devoted to his American wife Dorothy, to whom he referred all queries and problems. He had an ardent radio following in the States and became an American citizen. This was natural as his mother and maternal grandmother were Americans. A bad traveler, Raymond hated the sea and airplanes. A good sportsman, he excelled at golf and fishing, A scholar, he loved good literature. A modest man, he regarded himself as supremely uninteresting.
Steve Monroe is not only a seasoned actor, having performed in over 125 film, television, and commercial roles, but also a stand-up comedian, and practicing psychotherapist. Monroe has successfully treated clients of all ages, exhibiting a wide spectrum of symptoms. Monroe specializes in treating entertainment professionals and others in recovery from addictions. From serial killer, Jordy Raines in "The Following," to the perverted Frank Tobin in "Miss Congeniality," and the pizza-eating, country bumpkin opposite the exploding mosquito in the world-famous Tabasco ad (#5 World's Funniest Commercials of All Time), Monroe has worked with luminaries ranging from Clint Eastwood to Jack Lemmon. Steven Alan Monroe was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He has lived and worked all over North America and New Zealand. Steve's father is a well-known pathologist, and his mother raised him and his three siblings. Steve attended Duke University for three years. In 1993, following the tragic death of his best friend, Alex, he transferred to Occidental College. Here, Steve earned Bachelors' degrees in both Russian Language and Theatre Arts. In 2010, Steve earned his Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Steve's television career includes guest appearances on Sullivan and Son, Rizzoli and Isles, CSI, NYPD Blue, Grey's Anatomy, Veronica Mars, Las Vegas, Monk, Big Love, Home Improvement, The Class, Felicity, Touched by an Angel, Charmed and Unscripted, to name just a few. He recurred on Monk, JAG, Seventh Heaven, Costello, and Sister Sister and starred in the Warner Brothers' pilot, Helmet Heads, in addition to Spike TV's Thunderballs. In addition to Miss Congeniality, Steve starred in such films as House of the Dead II, Going Greek, Vampires Anonymous, Soccer Dog 2, 1OO Women with Jennifer Morrison, and the family comedy, The Santa Trap with Stacey Keach and Robert Hays (Airplane). Additional film credits include Austin Powers: Int'l Man of Mystery, The Nutty Professor, Castaway, Can't Hardly Wait, School for Scoundrels, Funky Monkey, Cloud 9, and Space Cowboys among numerous others. Monroe has enjoyed the privilege of working with such directors as Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemekis, Tom Shadyac, Jay Roach, Todd Phillips, Don Petrie Jr. and his father, the late Dan Petrie with whom he acted in Showtime's Inherit the Wind opposite film legends, Jack Lemmon, and George C. Scott. Offscreen, Steve continues his practice as a psychotherapist (stevenmonroe.net), is an avid tennis player, recording artist, guitar player, achieved advanced level studies with the famous improvisation troupe, the Groundlings, and continues his stand-up comedy in clubs around Los Angeles.
|Aras Bulut Iynemli
He was born in Istanbul. He continues his education at Istanbul Technical University Department of Airplane Engineering.
His first TV Series was "Oyle Bir Gecer Zaman ki" directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin. After his success in this series, he shot his first movie "Mahmut ile Meryem" directed by Mehmet Ada Öztekin in 2013
Roger Vadim was born Roger Vladimir Igorevich Plemyannikov, on January 26, 1928, in Paris, France. Although his father gave him the first name Vladimir, the French law then required a French first name. His father, Igor Nikolaevich Plemyannikov, was a Russian-Ukrainian aristocrat who was born in Kiev, and emigrated with the White Russians after the Communist revolution of 1917. His mother, Marie-Antoinette Ardilouse, was a French actress. Young Roger Vadim spent his childhood in Turkey and Egypt, where his father served as a French diplomat. Roger Vadim was brought up in a multi-lingual home with an intellectually stimulating environment, and he enjoyed a highly cultural atmosphere of his parents circle. However, after the divorce of his parents, Vadim had to live on his own, and soon, he simply abandoned his cumbrous last name. Upon his return to Paris, Vadim caught an acting bug and made his stage debut at the age of 16. From 1944 to 1947, he studied at Institut d'études politiques de Paris at University of Paris but dropped out at the age of 19 to pursue a career in acting and writing. In 1947, he wrote his first novel and presented it to André Gide for a review. However, Gide was not excited about Vadim's first novel and encouraged him to pursue a career in film. Upon André Gide's introduction Roger Vadim became an apprentice of film director Marc Allégret, as an assistant director and co-writer. At the same time he was also a part-time journalist with the Paris Match magazine.
In 1949, 21-year-old Vadim lived in the Paris apartment of Danièle Delorme and Daniel Gélin and was babysitting for their 3-year-old son, who once demanded Vadim to make him a paper airplane. Vadim took a May 2, 1949, issue of the Elle magazine to rip out a page, but doing so, he saw a photo of Brigitte Bardot, then a 14-year-old fashion model. Vadim became fascinated with Bardot's image, and gave her photo to director 'Marc Allegret', who was about to film Vadim's script. Although Bardot did not get a role, Vadim started a relationship with the young girl, while her parents were away. Soon, her enraged bourgeois parents tried to cut him off, and nearly sent Bardot to a school in England, but she and Vadim prevailed. His friends procured Bardot her film debut, so Vadim's relationship with her flourished. At that time, Bardot's father, Louis, was in rage and pulled out a gun on Vadim, causing everyone more shock and trauma. In December of 1952, shortly after Bardot's 18th birthday, she and Vadim were married. Four years later, Vadim directed her in the groundbreaking ...And God Created Woman, which catapulted Bardot to international fame. Vadim, however, was left in the shadows. Bardot had fallen in love with co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant and divorced Vadim before the film was released.
In the 1960s, Vadim became famous for his high-profile marriage to American movie star Jane Fonda. In addition to her successful Hollywood career, Fonda took roles in some French productions for the opportunity of working with her husband, who created sex-symbol presentations of her in Circle of Love, The Game Is Over, Spirits of the Dead (also starring Jane's brother, Peter Fonda) and most famously in the science fiction spoof Barbarella, which Vadim also wrote. The couple's daughter, Vanessa Vadim (his only legitimate child) was born in 1968. After his separation from Jane in 1970, Vadim directed Angie Dickinson in the sex farce Pretty Maids All in a Row, his first film to be shot in the United States. Vadim's later films did not arouse the same degree of interest. The American remake of And God Created Woman, was a box-office dud, and Rebecca De Mornay was nominated for a 1989 Razzie Award as Worst Actress.
In his later years, Roger Vadim turned to writing memoirs. In his autobiography "From One Star to the Next" Vadim described his relationships with the women he loved, and maintained that Jane Fonda was the love of his life. (His other ex-wives were Danish actress Annette Stroyberg and heiress Catherine Schneider.) In 1990, he married French actress Marie-Christine Barrault, remaining together until his death. He had four children; in addition to Vanessa, he was the father of Nathalie Vadim with second wife Stroyberg (though born prior to their marriage), Vania Vadim with fourth wife Schneider (also born prior to their marriage), and Christian Vadim with his onetime live-in Lolita, Catherine Deneuve. Roger Vadim died of cancer on February 11, 2000, in Paris, France, and was laid to rest in St. Tropez cemetery, Saint Tropez, France.
During his student-actor days at San Diego State University, Leisure roomed with Robert Hays. Graduating with a degree in fine arts, he pursued acting jobs for 6 years before landing a bit part in "Airplane!", which ironically starred his former roomie. Acting prospects continued to be dim, and Leisure was living out of his VW bus. Taking a girlfriend's advice, he joined a workshop on tv commercial acting, and soon started his spokesman career pitching for Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages and appearing as superliar "Joe Isuzu" in a series of outrageous Isuzu commercials.
David Copperfield is the first living illusionist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was knighted by the French government. He-along with Steven Speilberg, Martin Scorsese and Colin Powell-received the Living Legend award from the United States Library of Congress. He has been named Magician of the Century and Magician of the Millennium. His face graces the postage stamps of six different countries, making him the only living magician to receive this honor.
He's won over 21 Emmy awards for his groundbreaking television specials. Year after year he continues to tour sold-out arenas throughout the world. He holds 11 Guinness World Records and has sold more tickets than any other solo entertainer in history, with ticket sales in the billions-more than Frank Sinatra, more than Michael Jackson, more than Elvis.
Sound impossible? David Copperfield built a reputation on making the impossible look easy. He singlehandedly redefined his art, and remains the most emulated illusionist in the history of magic.
An only child, David was born on September 16, 1956 as David Kotkin in Metuchen, New Jersey. His father, Hy, owned Korby's Men's shop. His mother, Rebecca, worked in the insurance business. A shy kid who overcame his insecurity with the help of magic, David was already an accomplished conjurer by the age of 12, when he was the invited to join the Society of American Magicians-its youngest member ever. At 16, David was an adjunct professor at New York University, where he taught a course called "the Art of Magic."
At 18 David was cast as the lead in "The Magic Man," a new musical comedy created by the producers of "Grease." The show opened in Chicago to rave reviews. It went on to become the longest running musical in Chicago's history, and gave David the invaluable experience of performing daily in front of a live audience, allowing him to develop the spontaneity and love of live performance that has him performing up to four shows a day, and doing over 500 performances every year.
When The Magic Man closed David returned to New York. He continued to develop his singular approach to magic, which was strongly influenced by his love of classic MGM musicals, the dramatic storytelling exemplified by Orson Welles and Walt Disney (two of David's heroes) and the lyrical, muscular romanticism of a Sinatra ballad. As host of "The Magic of ABC, Starring David Copperfield", he achieved top ratings and shared his unique style magic with millions of viewers. CBS immediately put David under contract for a series of yearly TV specials, which became known as "The Magic of David Copperfield".
In each special he presented new illusions on a scale never before imagined or attempted-and always in front of a live audience, without the use of camera tricks. In his fourth TV special, he "Vanished a Jet Airplane." In his fifth special he presented "The Illusion of the Century - the Disappearance of the Statue of Liberty" in front of a live audience on Liberty Island, and to millions of astonished television viewers.
For the next two decades David continued to break new ground with his annual top-rated, Emmy Award winning television specials, on which he continued to outdo himself by "Walking Through the Great Wall of China," escaping from chains and shackles just before he was plunged over Niagara Falls, surviving being locked in a safe inside an imploding building, making a daring "Escape from Alcatraz" prison, levitating and "Vanishing a 45 ton Orient Express Train Car" while surrounded by a ring of spectators, escaping while hanging upside down from burning ropes in a straight jacket 10 stories above flaming steel spikes, testing his endurance by surviving the deadly heat standing in the center of a 2,000 degree "Tornado of Fire", and flying through the air in "Flying.
In 1996 David realized a life long dream of performing on Broadway. Collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola, David created "Dreams and Nightmares", which still holds the Broadway record for most tickets sold in a week-more than Cats, The Lion King, and The Producers. The International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts.
A historian of his art, Copperfield founded The International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts, which houses the world's largest collection of historically significant magic memorabilia, posters, books, props and artifacts. The museum comprises of approximately 80,000 items of magic history, including Houdini's Water Torture Cell and his Metamorphosis Trunk, Orson Welles' Buzz Saw Illusion and automata created by Robert-Houdin, who is considered the father of modern magic. The museum also includes the only known recording of Houdini's voice-preserved on the original Edison wax cylinders.
On the literary front, Copperfield joined forces with Dean Koontz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and others for "David Copperfield's Tales of the Impossible," an anthology of original fiction set in the world of magic and illusion. This collections was so well received that a second volume was published, "David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination." David has been featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, Esquire, Forbes, and Architectural Digest. The word "Copperfield" has become a part of popular culture, in a manner quite apart from anything envisioned by Dickens. In today's literature and media, to "do a David Copperfield" or to "be the David Copperfield of" something has come to mean doing something magical or achieving the impossible.
Recently, Copperfield found a unique platform on which to create his newest wonders - "Musha Cay and The Islands of Copperfield Bay". Recognized by many as the most beautiful and spectacular destination in the world, Musha Cay is the ultimate private island paradise. Located in the Exumas, Bahamas, these 11 private islands have over 700 acres of lush natural beauty, 40 sugar sand beaches and a 2 mile long sandbar - truly paradise on earth. David has been developing unique magical adventures for island guests including: Dave's Drivein, where a giant silver screen "appears" on the beach, a custom designed magical Treasure Hunt adventure, and the Secret Village - a hidden sanctuary of enchanted monkeys accessed only by entering beneath a giant rising statue and journeying through an ancient, underground passage.
David's proudest achievement, however, is Project Magic, a program that uses magic as therapy in a thousand hospitals in 30 countries worldwide. This medically-certified program motivates patients to regain their dexterity, coordination and cognitive skills by learning simple magic and sleight of hand.
Mabel Normand was barely in her teens when her family moved to New York. The daughter of a vaudeville musician, she began modeling for artists and photographers including James Montgomery Flagg and Charles Dana Gibson. From modeling, she went into films where her first picture was Over the Garden Wall. After she left Vitagraph, she started work for the Biograph Studio where she would meet and fall in love with a Biograph actor named Mack Sennett. Her career blossomed under Sennett's direction. In A Dash Through the Clouds, she became the first actress to be filmed in an airplane. When Sennett got the financing to form Keystone Studios in 1912, he left Biograph and so did Mabel. At Keystone, Mabel appeared in a number of "instant movies" where the cast and crew would hear about some public event and go there to use the event as a backdrop to a one-reel comedy. The public believed that great expense was incurred in making the films, but in fact, the expense was only for the cast and crew.
If there was one reason for Keystone's success, it was Mabel. Extremely popular with the public, Mabel would do anything to make her films successful. She would appear in over 100 2-reel films and would also direct films staring Charles Chaplin and Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. Mabel would also write, direct, and star in Mabel's Married Life, Mabel's Busy Day, Caught in a Cabaret. She contributed plot lines to many films and her name was used in many of the titles. In 1915, she spent most of her time co-starring with Arbuckle. But the pace also took its toll. It had been several years since she fell for Sennett and they had even set a wedding date in 1915, but they never married. While they were in love with each other, Sennett continued to have numerous love affairs and be a slave to his work. In 1914, she co-starred with Chaplin and Marie Dressler in Tillie's Punctured Romance which gave her an appetite for features. Sennett finally responded with the film Mickey, which began production in 1916 and was released in 1918. It was the story of poor but honest girl who bumbles into high society. It was a smash hit. In 1918, Mabel left Keystone and signed a five-year contract with Samuel Goldwyn. She was growing older with her career was at a turning point. She began a downward slide, becoming addicted to wild all-night parties, alcohol and cocaine.
With Goldwyn, she would make 18 feature films, but her working discipline dissolved. She would show up late for filming if she showed up at all. She would be missing for days at a time once left for Europe in the middle of a movie. Sennett talked Goldwyn into releasing Mabel and she went back to Keystone. In her personal life, she was in love with Paramount director William Desmond Taylor who valiantly tried to end her drug addiction. Taylor was also an unattached handsome man around town who was reportedly also having an affair with actress Mary Miles Minter and other starlets. On February 1, 1922, at 7:05 pm, Mabel arrived at Taylor's bungalow and was witnessed leaving at about 7:45 pm. Moments later, Taylor was shot in the chest with a single bullet. The murder was a huge scandal and was never solved, although rumors still abound with multiple suspects and motives. The list of suspects included Mabel (who was jealous of his affair with Minter; Sennett (who still had a relationship with Mabel and may have resented any intrusion by Taylor). Unfortunately Molly O' came out after the murder of Taylor, and her association with the deceased caused many to boycott her film.
On New Year's Eve 1923, her chauffeur shot and wounded a wealthy millionaire, Courtland Dines, with her pistol. The headlines conspired to effectively end her career just as unfavorable publicity had ended the career of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle. She married actor Lew Cody in 1926, but would carry on her partying. In 1929, as her health declined, Mabel entered a sanitarium and remained for six months, dying from tuberculosis at the age of 34.
Beautiful, buxom and shapely knockout Monique Gabrielle added an ample, alluring and invigorating dose of smoldering sex appeal to a bunch of enjoyably down'n'dirty horror and exploitation pictures made throughout the 80s and 90s. The 5' 6" natural brunette was born as Katherine Gonzalez on July 30th, 1963 in Kansas City, Missouri and was raised in Denver, Colorado. Gabrielle made her acting debut at age five portraying an angel in a church Christmas play. She started modeling while still in high school, entered her first beauty pageant at age 17 (she won the title of Miss American Legion and went on to participate in several other pageants, modeling competitions and nightclub contests), and moved to California in 1980 right after she graduated from high school. Monique was the December 1982 "Penthouse" Pet of the Month. She had small roles in the mainstream features "Airplane II: The Sequel," "Night Shift," "Young Doctors in Love," "Flashdance," "Hard to Hold," and "Fear of a Black Hat." Gabrielle achieved her greatest enduring popularity as the enticing young woman who tries to seduce Tom Hanks in the uproariously raucous'n'raunchy "Bachelor Party." Her most memorable roles include a pathetic junkie snitch in the terrifically trashy babes-behind-bars classic "Chained Heat," the titular brazen and uninhibited sexual adventuress in the steamy "Emmanuelle V," a sweet princess and her evil twin in "Deathstalker II," a nude model in the funny sketch comedy "Amazon Women on the Moon," a gutsy lady cop in "Silk 2," feisty security chief Miss Poinsettia in the amusingly campy "The Return of Swamp Thing," and the nerdy, repressed Megan in the delightfully dippy "Evil Toons."
Gabrielle did guest spots on the TV shows "Dream On," "Hardball," and "Hunter." She was the onetime girlfriend of low-budget straight-to-video picture director Jim Wynorski; she popped up in a handful of his movies in both minor and more substantial parts alike. Monique cheerfully poked fun at her own B-flick queen persona in the entertainingly silly "Scream Queen Hot Tub Party." Monique Gabrielle married adult film director Tony Angove in 2003. She now lives in South Florida and runs a porno movie production company called Monique's Purrfect Productions.
One of the most prolific and iconic guitarists of the second half of the 20th Century, Jerome John Garcia was born in San Francisco, California, USA on August 1st 1942. Garcia, whose mother was a registered nurse and whose father, Jose, was a small time jazz musician, had a troubled childhood. At the age of 4, he lost the middle finger of his right hand in a woodcutting accident with older brother, Tiff, who cut it off by mistake and, a year later, tragedy struck again when he watched his father drown in a river during a fishing accident. Jerry spent a lot of his youth with his grandparents as well as suffering from bouts of asthma that at times left him bedridden. He was a well read teenager and showed a talent for Art which would become a lifelong interest for him. He listened to a lot of jazz and country music on the radio and then fell in love with the sounds of rock and roll when it began to cause a stir in the mid-1950s. In 1957, at the age of 15, he got his first guitar and began to learn the basics so he could play along with the rock and roll hits of the time, his then favorite guitarist was Chuck Berry. After high school, he drifted for a while and, after getting into a few scrapes, he went and joined the army, but it didn't suit him and, after collecting 8 AWOLs and a number of other court Martial, he was discharged. Whilst in the army, he began playing acoustic guitar and learning the craft of finger picking and folk style guitar. Upon leaving the army in 1960, he returned home and carried on with his art studies by taking lessons at college. During this period, he got into the then growing beat and coffeehouse scene which introduced him to many other like minded artistic drop outs including a young poet named Robert Hunter, who would later become his songwriter partner. He studied and practiced guitar nearly ever waking hour and, a year or so later, he picked up 5-string Banjo and began to learn the art of Bluegrass music. Between 1960 and 1964, Garcia played in many different folk and bluegrass acts in which he played Banjo or Acoustic Guitar. He was by now a very serious musician and spending a lot of his time playing and practicing with whoever was around at that time. He could also play a little fiddle, bass and mandolin and sometimes all within the same gig.
In 1965, he formed an electric blues-rock band called the "Warlocks", with himself as the lead guitarist. A few months later, they changed their name to the "Grateful Dead". The original line-up was Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Ron McKernan (Pigpen) and Bill Kreutzmann. They soon gained a reputation for playing long improvised jazz inspired folk-rock music and became one of the most popular live bands around. Garcia became the main songwriter within the group as his partnership with 'Robert Hunter (V)_ matured over time and he led them through many musical changes throughout their long career. Over the next 30 years, the Dead went through many musical and personal changes but they grew in popularity and became the most popular live band in history, playing in some of the most legendary concerts of all time including Monterey Pop (1967), Woodstock (1969) and Watkins Glen (1973).
They averaged around 80 concerts a year and had an incredible loyal fan base known as Deadheads. Despite being well known for their live shows, they were also a sublime band in the studio which is often overlooked because of their lack of hit singles; in fact, their only hit single was "Touch of Grey" from the "In the Dark" album in 1987, a full 22 years after they formed! The band recorded 13 studio albums - Grateful Dead (1967), the semi-live Anthem of the Sun (1968), Aoxomoxoa (1969), Workingmans Dead (1970), American Beauty (1970), Wake of the Flood (1973), From the Mars Hotel (1974), Blues for Allah (1975), Terrapin Station (1977), Shakedown Steet (1978), Go to Heaven (1980), In the Dark (1987) and Built to Last (1989). Their albums and original songs ranged from straight ahead rock and pop influences to blues, folk, jazz, country, electronic and progressive experimentation. They also released many live albums, most notably Live Dead (1969), Europe72 (1972), Reckoning and Deadset (1981) and Without A Net (1990). Garcia had a deep interest in film going back to his childhood. He briefly studied film making at college in the early 60s. His first work of note in feature films came in 1970 when he worked on the soundtrack for the movie Zabriskie Point, where he performed the improvised instrumental guitar piece known in the movie as "Love Scene". In 1974, he began a film project that lasted a number of years. Mixing animation and real concert footage The Grateful Dead was co-directed by Garcia. Other concert and semi concert videos followed with Dead Ahead (1981) and So Far (1987). He also performed a small part in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where he provided the brief Banjo playing in a few short scenes.
Despite being consumed with 30 years with the "Grateful Dead", Jerry also found time to have a whole musical career away from the dead. He began playing in jam sessions and doing session work with other artists in the late 60s. He began playing pedal steel guitar and formed the country-rock group the "New Riders of the Purple Sage" with John Dawson in 1969. He released his first of 5 solo albums - Garcia (1972) in which he played every instrument except drums. Compliments of Garcia (1974), Reflections (1976), Cats Under the Stars (1978) and Run for the Roses (1982). His band, The Jerry Garcia Band, was formed in the early 70s and it gave him a chance to perform many other songs and styles of music outside of the Dead. The band went through many personal changes and name changes during its time but it allowed him to play any type of music he liked, and he did. He covered jazz, blues, Motown, R&B, gospel, pop, reggae, swing, ballads, Dylan covers and was equally at home playing any of them. In 1973, he formed a bluegrass band called "Old and In the Way" in which he played Banjo, it was a short-lived group but the record that was later released went on to become the biggest selling bluegrass album of all time.
The Dead and the scene they came out of was legendary for drug taking and Jerry was no exception and, by mid 70s, he had gotten into hard drugs, including cocaine and heroin. By the mid 1980s, it had slowed down his creative process and he was by now a very heavy user and suffering many health problem which all came to a head in 1986, when he went into a coma and nearly died, spending some considerable time in hospital recovering. But it didn't stop him from his continued musical quest and, after his recovery, he returned to touring and recording with the Dead and his own versions of the Jerry Garcia Band. In 1990, he reconnected with old friend and former "Old and In the Way" band mate David Grisman. Grisman was by now a musical giant and one of the greatest Mandolin players of all time. They formed an easy going relaxed acoustic double act which involved a few gigs and many hours worth of sessions at Grisman's home recording studio. Garcia/Grisman was released in 1990 then followed Not for Kids Only (1992) and, since then, 4 more studio albums of the recordings have been released - Shady Grove, The Pizza Tapes (with Tony Rice), So What and Been All Around This World as well as the movie Grateful Dawg (2000) which pays tribute to the musical friendship they shared. They played all different styles of music and the period probably represents Garcia's best work as an acoustic guitarist.
Garcia continued touring with the Dead, his own band and recording with Grisman and others on session work right up till 1995 when he again tried to tackle his drug addiction and his overall health problems which included breathing troubles caused by years of heavy smoking and his love for junk food and lack of exercise meant he spent the last number of years of his life vastly overweight. He entered the Serenity Knolls treatment center in Marin County, California in an attempt to clean up and get healthy. In the early hours of August 9 1995, he suffered a massive heart attack and died. He was 52 years old.
As well as all his Grateful Dead and solo Band work, he also clocked up a lot of studio time with other recording artists and he played on over 50 studio albums by other artists including the likes of the Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Tom Fogerty, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, David Bromberg, Robert Hunter, Peter Rowan, Warren Zevon, Country Joe McDonald, Ken Nordine, Ornette Coleman, Bruce Hornsby and Bob Dylan and many more.
Often given the clichéd title by the media of being the smiling easy going hippie who never sold out or let us forget the 60s and what it stood for. It should be remembered that Garcia was a talented and dedicated musician capable of playing not only guitar but piano, bass, banjo and pedal steel guitar all to a very high standard as well as being an underrated songwriter. It will be his guitar playing that he will be most remembered for as he was a brilliant guitarist capable of playing any genre or style of music in any setting with anybody and either electric or acoustic. He was a rare genius.
Stephen Stucker was a marvelously wild and dynamic free-spirited actor who specialized in deliciously broad portrayals of memorably outrageous characters in a handful of comedies made in the 70's and 80's. Stucker was born on July 2, 1947 in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended Lincoln School in Alameda, California. During his school days Stephen was known as both an accomplished pianist and a class clown with a dry wit. Stucker made his film debut with a funny turn as crazed asylum escapee Bruce Wilson in the entertainingly lowbrow "Carnal Madness." He was likewise sidesplitting as a cross-dressing court stenographer in "The Kentucky Fried Movie." Stephen achieved his greatest enduring popularity with his gloriously zany and unforgettable performance as loopy airport control room worker Johnny in the hilarious disaster picture parody "Airplane!." Stucker reprised this role in "Airplane II: The Sequel" and had an amusing bit as a train stationmaster in "Trading Places." Stephen appeared in three episodes of the hit TV series "Mork & Mindy." Besides "The Kentucky Fried Movie" and "Airplane!," Stucker also worked with the comedy team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker as a member of the theatrical group the Kentucky Fried Theater. Stephen Stucker died at the tragically young age of 38 from AIDS on April 13, 1986.
Tall, leggy and extremely well-built statuesque blonde actress Laurene Landon has enlivened a bunch of hugely enjoyable movies with her spunky energy, physical dexterity, bubbly, upbeat personality and considerable sex appeal. She often portrays tough, two-fisted, no-nonsense action heroines with a winning blend of fiery aplomb and cheerful good humor. Born as Laurene Landon Coughlin on March 17, 1957 in Toronto, Canada, Landon's family moved to the United States when she was four. The 5'9" Landon began her acting career in the late 70's as an extra. Laurene made a smashing impression as Molly, one of two female wrestlers who are managed by Peter Falk in Robert Aldrich's uproariously raucous comedy "All the Marbles;" the fiercely athletic and aggressive Landon also performed a lion's share of her own stunts in the film. Landon was very funny as a daffy stewardess in "Airplane II: The Sequel" and was excellent as Mike Hammer's loyal secretary Velda in "I, the Jury." Laurene was especially strong and impressive in two delightful action/adventure features for director Matt Cimber: she's the titular rugged warrior woman in "Hundra" and a gutsy half-Native American spitfire in "Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold." Landon was once again on the money effective and engaging as courageous police woman Teresa Mallory in the terrific "Maniac Cop" and its superior 1990 sequel. After a regrettably lengthy absence from acting, Laurene made a welcome comeback with a sizable co-starring part in the "Pick Me Up" episode of "Masters of Horror." Outside of acting, Laurene Landon writes scripts in her spare time and is an award-winning gold medal lyricist who authored rap music for an L.A. Metro Transit Authority video.
Chanel Preston grew up in Alaska with a love of performing. Whether it was reciting lines of William Shakespeare in the community theater or awing her family with piano recitals of Sergei Rachmaninoff's concertos, Chanel fed off the energy of the crowd. Dancing, painting and playing the trumpet were additional ways she experienced the performance high. Now she captures the same feeling starring in adult movies.
For Chanel boredom equals death, so she quickly developed a "try anything once" motto. This daring attitude led her to join the wrestling team in high school, despite the coach's resentment about having a girl on the team. Raised with the concept of gender equality, Chanel got her first taste of discrimination on the gym mats. The further she was pushed to fail, the more she determined to succeed--an attribute still strong within her.
Chanel is sure all those hours grappling with the guys will prove helpful as she takes her moves to the bedroom. Staying fit for the cameras, she maintains her lean body with countless hours in the gym. Endurance is a must for her marathon sex sessions.
Impulsiveness runs through Chanel's veins and guides the majority of her actions, from men to moving to Hawaii to occasionally jumping out of airplanes. The self-proclaimed exhibitionist's decision to enter the adult entertainment world was, however, carefully thought out Within seconds of performing her first striptease on stage, Chanel knew she made the right decision. She is capable of doing anything, but she chose adult entertainment. Forcing people to re-evaluate their impressions of the industry and the people in it is one of the many rewards Chanel discovered--in addition to all the hot sex.
Chanel Preston began performing in movies in 2010, working for such top production studios, Hustler Video, Vivid Video and Wicked Pictures. Critics were immediately impressed with her. XCritic.com reviewer Dr. Jay states, "Chanel is becoming the de facto standard for 'porn superstar' because she has (and does) it all." In his review of Rezervoir Doggs, AVN's Peter Warren says Chanel gives a "breakout performance," adding she "truly transcends what any adult actress should really ever be expected to be capable of."
In only her first year, Chanel positioned herself as one of the most visible new adult film stars in the industry, demonstrated by Best New Starlet awards from XBIZ, XRCO, NightMoves, XCritic.com, The Galaxy Awards and CAVR.com. She has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Cheri, High Society, Fox and Hot Video and was picked for the prestigious position of Trophy Girl for the 2010 XRCO and F.A.M.E. award shows and the 2011 AVN Awards.
NightMoves recognized Chanel's phenomenal sophomore year by naming her Female Performer of the Year, followed by CNBC listing her as part of its 2012 "Dirty Dozen." Chanel was named Penthouse Pet of the Month in the March 2012 issue. In addition to a regular blog for XCritic.com, Chanel became the first guest blogger for AdultDVDEmpire.com. In 2013 she was #1 on CNBC's "Dirty Dozen" and co-host of the AVN Awards Red Carpet. She is the host and face of the new cable entertainment program "Inside Adult" from the X3Sixty Network. With increasing exposure, Chanel is becoming one of the most in-demand sex symbols in the world.
Look for Chanel Preston's acclaimed scenes in Exquisite Films' Tomb Raider XXX: An Exquisite Films Parody and "Rezervoir Doggs," Extreme Comixxx's Justice League of Porn Star Heroes and Wonder Woman Interactive, Pleasure Dynasty's Training Day: A XXX Parody, DreamZone's Romeo and Juliet, Wicked Pictures' Hooked and more.
Leo Minaya was born on an airplane and he has been making headlines ever since. He grew up with his single mother and four siblings in Washington Heights in New York City. Leo never allowed his environment to weigh him down, and his imagination provided the outlet he needed to escape the hard times. Leo wrote, directed, and produced his first play in 5th grade.
Leo attended a performing arts high school and began his professional acting career. His first audition landed him a role in the feature film Manito, which became one of the most talked about Sundance films of the year garnering the cast the best ensemble acting award. Critics took notice of Leo. Leo returned to Sundance with his next film How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer, starring Elizabeth Peña, in which he played America Ferrera's love interest.
When Leo landed the title role in Morgan, he knew it was his most challenging role to date. Playing a paraplegic was the opportunity he was looking for.
Now, Leo is continuing the momentum in 2013. He landed the lead role of Richie in the The House That Jack Built, the anticipated dramatic screenplay written by the late Joseph Vasquez (Hanging With The Homeboys.) Leo also booked the pilot Hostages playing the role of Nico for CBS, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer premiering in the fall.
Orestes Matacena has worked as an actor with high profile directors on films, television and commercials.
Orestes first ventured into films at the age of six when he worked as an actor in "The Life of Billy the Kid," with a cast comprised only of children. The movie was shot at the Mercedes Sugar Mill in Matanzas, Cuba, where he lived with his parents.
In the advertising world, Orestes has worked in 37 commercials so far (2007), nine of them directed by Marcus Nispel. The New York Museum of Modern Art has made Mr. Nispel's body of work part of its Permanent Collection. Thanks to Mr. Nispel's artistic endeavor, Orestes is part of that wonderful collection.
Orestes is well known for not taking "no" for an answer. He raised the capital to produce and direct a feature movie from a screenplay he wrote called Tainted. However, he decided that rather than consuming his time finding investors to bankroll his movies he would finance them himself and use that time to sharpen his creative vision.
Orestes is, as the French would say, a real film auteur. His body of work to date (2007) as a filmmaker includes "In Plain View (2008)," Sexgunsmoney@20, Cuba Libre, Fatal Encounter, Tainted, "James Gilbert Albright and the Haunted Studio," "The Two Faces of Ruben Rabasa," "Aguabella" and "Theater in the Parks." He has written, directed, produced and edited almost all of his work.
In 1968, Orestes wrote his first play, "The Gym." Since then, he expanded his versatility as a playwright and screenwriter with three plays and more than twenty five screenplays and various television concepts to his credit to date (2007). His writing encompasses a variety of styles: thrillers, dramas, comedies, horror and action-adventures.
Azúcar amarga, (Bitter Sugar) a movie Orestes wrote for Hollywood director Leon Ichaso about a young couple living under the Cuban Communist Tyranny, opened to excellent reviews and was shown to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland and to the United States Congress. For Orestes this was a spiritual and rewarding experience.
Orestes was born in Cuba to Italian immigrants and grew up on a sugar mill plantation where the country and all kinds of animals, especially horses, were a large part of his life. He describes himself as a "third world country boy." But his business partner, Orna Rachovitsky, says he is a "hillbilly in an Armani suit."
As a teenager Orestes was part of the resistance fighting to overthrow the Cuban tyrant and billionaire (according to Fortune Magazine, May 5, 2006) Fidel Castro and his despotic Communist Regime, in order to establish freedom and a real Democracy on the island.
Orestes escaped from Cuba on an airplane to Mexico before immigrating legally to the United States and becoming an American Citizen.
After living in Mexico illegally for exactly ninety days, Orestes arrived in the United States, October 30, 1964, literally without a cent in his pocket and without speaking the English language. He settled in Titusville, Florida and worked nine hours a day, six days a week washing dishes at a restaurant called the "Ranch House" at a weekly pay of thirty dollars.
Soon after, Orestes became a short order cook and worked on Cocoa Beach before moving to Miami. In Miami he worked as a cook, a clothing salesman and a car salesman. The first month as a car salesman he lived sparsely, eating only one apple and half a slice of white toast every three days until he finally sold his first car one month later. That special day he had a feast.
A dreamer at heart with an entrepreneurial mindset, Orestes decided it was time to start up a playhouse. His first theater was in the living room of his Miami apartment that he shared with his girlfriend Phyllis Redden, a North Carolina bombshell. Then, he rented an office space and founded "Theater 66" with Cuban actor/director, Miguel Ponce. They produced ten plays together at that theater.
Two years later, 1968, Orestes moved to New York. With only a few dollars in his pocket and knowing no one, he had no other choice but to sleep at the Port Authority bus station for a few days. By the fourth month of his arrival, he raised $25,000 and was producing and acting in his first Off-Broadway play called "The Grab Bag."
In 1969, Orestes and Miguel founded "The New York Theater of the Americas," where they produced more than thirty original plays. Orestes acted in many of the productions, playing a variety of roles ranging from a scruffy dog to an Italian Count, and directed his first play. Miguel's role was primarily as a director.
Not only did Orestes work in his own playhouse, but he was hired as an actor in many prestigious New York theater companies such as "Cafe La Mamma," "Stage 73," "Dume," "The Henry Street Playhouse," "INTAR" and "The Astor Place Theater."
Years later, in 1975, Orestes founded "The New York Cuban Cultural Center" along with Ruben Rabasa, Ivan Acosta and Clara Hernandez, where they produced twelve plays, recitals, poetry nights, art exhibitions and political debates about the Cuban Communist tyrannical situation oppressing the people living in that beautiful island. Thanks to Ivan, the Center is still part of the New York scene.
Justin Tinucci was born in Denver, Colorado. He relocated to the Los Angeles area (part time to start off) in June of 2009 to pursue his dream to become an actor. Since then, he has had the opportunity to work on some amazing films and television shows with some extremely talented cast and crew members.
Justin loves being on set and filming- whether it's television, big features, commercials or short films. While he has enjoyed all of the projects he's worked on, some of his favorite projects were The Muppets, Big Love, and iCarly. His most challenging and enjoyable role so far has been the role of "Butch" in the feature film Goat Island, written and directed by DJ Caruso.
In addition to acting, Justin enjoys indoor skydiving, freeline skating, playing guitar and any "extreme" sports. He is also known for being a professional indoor skydiver. Indoor skydiving is like outdoor skydiving, but you "fly" in a wind tunnel rather than jumping out of an airplane. He and his sister Kayla have a wind tunnel team and are called "Team Future" they have been widely recognized as the nation's youngest indoor skydiving team and they compete in wind tunnels against skydivers worldwide. You can visit the Team Future website at www.team-future.net.
Justin plays guitar in several bands. He is consistently busy playing at local venues in Los Angeles - he especially enjoys his music and really likes to get on stage and perform live!
Justin is also very involved with several different charities and really enjoys doing hands on charitable work. He works regularly with three different charities, including A Place Called Home, Help The Children, and Shoes That Fit. Justin feels that spending time working directly with other kids is the most rewarding way to spend his free time. He particularly enjoys working with non profit organizations dedicated to helping underserved youth and their families. He and his sister Kayla have spent a great deal of time organizing many events to help underprivileged youth for the past several years. In 2012 Justin and his sister headed up planning and organizing several major efforts to provide shoes and clothing for kids in need. They started a kids philanthropic group called "The Shoe Crew" and each season they plan and organize different events to help collect new shoes and clothing for underprivileged kids. In the summer of 2012, Justin and the Shoe Crew team have 11 different events planned and their goal is to collect enough brand new athletic shoes to fill a warehouse with shoes for kids in time for back to school.
Superbly talented vocal artist and character actor supreme Robert Ridgely was born on December 24, 1931 in New Jersey. Ridgely started out as a cabaret entertainer. He began his television acting career in the early 60s with guest appearances on such TV shows as "Surfside 6," "Sea Hunt," and "Maverick." Ridgely had a recurring role as Lt. Frank Kimbro on the short-lived World War II TV series "The Gallant Men." Robert made his film debut in the 1963 feature "FBI Code 98." Ridgely was occasionally cast as sleazy charmers such as unctuous emcees and announcers. Robert popped up in four comedies for Mel Brooks: "Blazing Saddles," "High Anxiety," "Life Stinks," and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." Moreover, Ridgely was in several pictures for director Jonathan Demme; he's especially memorable (and delightful) as smarmy game show host Wally "Mr. Love" Williams in the wonderful "Melvin and Howard." Other noteworthy movie roles are boozy, moonshine-running airplane pilot Lester Boggs in the rowdy redneck romp "The Great Lester Boggs," radio talk show host Bob Morton in "Heart Like a Wheel," and Los Angeles Mayor Ted Egan in "Beverly Hills Cop II." Robert lent his strong, smooth, booming voice to countless animated TV programs and cartoon features; the characters he voiced include Tarzan in "Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle," Flash Gordon in "The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon," the Peculiar Purple Pieman of Porcupine Peak in the "Strawberry Shortcake" TV specials, and Thundarr in "Thundarr the Barbarian." Among the TV shows Ridgely had guest spots on are "Designing Women," "Newhart," "Night Court," "Hunter," "The Incredible Hulk," "WKRP in Cincinnati," "Kung Fu," "Bonanza," and "Get Smart." In addition, he did voice-over work for numerous TV commercials. Robert gave a terrifically robust and engaging performance as jolly porno producer the Colonel James in the fantastic "Boogie Nights," which alas turned out to be his last movie and a worthy closer to his long and distinguished career. Robert Ridgely died at age 65 from cancer on February 8, 1997 in Toluca Lake, California.
Gary Sievers was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of 6 children Brothers Robert and Phillip and Sisters, Carol, Johanna, and Theresa Parents, Mother, Rosamond, from Anthony Kansas and Father, Henry, an immigrant from Eissen Germany. Gary started self employment with a paper route at age 11 for 6 years. Worked at his Fathers Auto Repair shop during his teen years. Played high school sports and graduated from Tulsa Bishop Kelley High School. Attended the University of Tulsa for 2 years. Joined the Army National Guard serving 6 years during the Viet Nam Era. Worked various jobs after discharge and Married Bettie Wood later divorced with no children. 4 years later, married Jackie Denson later divorced with one child Andria Leigh Sievers. After divorcing second wife, never remarried, remaining single to present. Raised daughter as a single custodial parent.... Always an outdoors person spending summers working on Grandfathers Ranch in Kansas and spending leisure time camping out and a water skiing fanatic during summer months, and riding motorcycles. Gary has hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and holds a Private Pilot Airplane License. Took up hobby of Pool Billiards and become a very proficient pool player. Travels have taken Gary all over the USA with several visits to Europe including a trip thru East Germany during Communist Control before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Other Work experiences included 15 years as an owner/operator of a Commercial Trash Company in Tulsa and 10 years as a Professional Boxing Trainer/Manager and the President of a Video Production Company in Tulsa that eventually led him to make a move to Hollywood California where he currently lives and is seeking a career in the Movie Industry, while maintaining another home in Oklahoma. Gary currently has an active career in both acting and production.
Ian Anderson born on August, 10, 1947 in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland, is the most famous and innovative flute-player of last 40 year. Anderson also it has got out of a jam itself like singer, composer, and multi instrumentalist, that include acoustic and electrical guitars, saxophone, organ, drum, keyboards, bagpipe, violin, balalaika, clarinet, and great variety of whistles. He is the lider and creator of the rock band Jethro Tull. As flute-player, Anderson is self-taught and his style there was inspired for other recognized flute-player, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. In 1963 he formed The Blades with his companions of studies Barriemore Barlow (drum), John Evan (keyboards), Jeffrey Hammond Hammond (bass guitar) and Michael Stephens (guitar). The Blades was a band of soul and blues, with Anderson like singer and harmonica player. In 1965 the group turned into The John Evan Band with a major formation. It dissolved two years after when Anderson had to move to Luton. In his new city of residence, Ian knew the drumer Clive Bunker and the guitarist Mick Abrahams, proceeding from McGregor's Engine. With Glenn Cornick, a bassist - known of John Evan-, Anderson created the seed of the group that would be a legend, Jethro Tull. Later, the band suffered big changes between his members. The most important was the incorporation of Martin Lancelot Barre (guitar), the only musician that it remains in the band after more than four decades of history, who replace Mike Abrahams in 1969. Also they were outlined Mark Craney (drumer), David Palmer (orquestador and adjustor) and Eddie Jobson (keyboards and violin, ex-UK) As flute-player, Anderson is self-taught. His style is based in large fluttertonguing (frulato), and occasionally canticles and rare sounds while it touches. Besides his profession like musician, Anderson is an owner of many farms of salmon, great part of them in Chile, south America. Like singer has survived a dangerous thrombosis suffered after a flight in airplane. Equally, his voice has met suffered in the last years by different problems in the throat. The style of Ian Anderson mixes folk, celtic music, jazz, rock, blues and pop, and his letters are complex, acid and critiques about the society and religion.
Mexico City native Christian Lanz has lived and worked throughout Latin America and the United States, where he enjoyed a career as a licensed Architect for several years before migrating to Hollywood and becoming one of the industry's most prolific bilingual voiceover announcers and actors.
With well over two thousand television and radio commercials and network promos to his credit in both English and Spanish, Lanz is a veteran commercial voiceover performer and broadcast announcer with an extensive recurring client list which includes brands such as Verizon Wireless, McDonald's, Microsoft, Home Depot, Walgreen's, The FOX Network, MTV, and AmPm Convenience Stores, among many others. In addition to his voice work, Lanz has also appeared on camera as a spokesman, host, and actor in dozens of national commercials and television projects.
Lanz's years of living and working in such culturally diverse environments as Mexico City, Chile, Costa Rica, Denver and Los Angeles has provided the multicultural actor with the opportunity to hone his ear for dialects and accents, allowing him to cross over effortlessly between the general and Hispanic media markets for both voiceover as well as on-camera projects.
Equally proficient and accent-free in both English and Spanish, as a young immigrant Lanz first learned to speak English at the age of six by watching legendary voice actor Frank Welker as "Fred" in the original "Scooby Doo" animated television series. As destiny would have it, 30 years later Lanz would have the privilege of working alongside his childhood idol Welker on the new "Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated" television series after joining the cast in the show's second season.
Known for often voicing suave Latino characters, Lanz frequently voice-doubles for actors Antonio Banderas, Ricardo Montalban, and "The Most Interesting Man in the World" in addition to voicing a variety of lead and recurring characters on several animated TV series including Nickelodeon's enormously successful "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot and the Emmy-winning "Curious George" on PBS, among others. In addition to his animation credits and extensive commercial work, Lanz lends his voice to a varied assortment of popular video game titles.
Lanz's favorite pastimes include playing Blues guitar in his home studio, snowboarding, photography, and working on home improvement and design projects. A self-described "gearhead" and lifelong Aviation and motorsports fan, Lanz also enjoys building and flying model airplanes, modifying performance cars, and spending the day at the local racetrack.
He resides with his wife at their home and recording studio in Los Angeles, CA.
A pioneering cowboy star of silent and early talking Westerns, Hoot Gibson was one of the 1920s' most popular children's matinée heroes. In his real life, however, he had a rather painful rags-to-riches-and-back-to-rags career, a problem that seemed to plague a number of big stars who fell victim to their high profile and wound up living too high on the hog.
An unfortunate byproduct of stardom is, of course, the misinformation that is often fed to the public over the years by either overzealous publicity agents or the actor himself. The many variations of just how Gibson earned the name tag "Hoot" is one of them: (1) As a youth, he loved to hunt owls; (2) while a teenager working on a rodeo ranch, other ranch hands called him "Hoot Owl" and that the name was shortened to just "Hoot"; (3) he picked up the nickname while a messenger with the Owl Drug Company; and (4) while touring briefly in vaudeville, he would hoot when the audience cheered and, thus, the nickname.
What facts are known about Hoot is that he was born Edmund Richard Gibson on August 6, 1892, in Tekamah, Nebraska. As a child he grew up among horses and received his first pony at the age of 2-1/2. His family moved to California when he was 7. At age 13 the adventurous youth ran away from home and joined a circus for a time. Later work included punching cows in both Wyoming and Colorado (at the time, a territory and not a state). While working on the Miller 101 Ranch at Fort Bliss, Oklahoma, as a horse wrangler, Hoot developed a strong, active interest in the rodeo scene--in particular, bronco busting. In 1907 he signed a four-year contract with the Dick Stanley-Bud Atkinson Wild West Show, which toured throughout the US and (later) Australia.
By 1910 Hoot had found an "in" to the movie business as one of the industry's first stuntmen (for which he was paid $2.50 for performing stunts or training horses). Director Francis Boggs was looking for experienced cowboys and stunt doubles to appear in his western short Pride of the Range starring Tom Mix; both Hoot and another future cowboy star, Art Acord, were hired. Hoot lost a solid Hollywood contact in Boggs, however, when the director and his working partner, producer William Nicholas Selig, were both shot in October, 1911, by a mentally disturbed employee (Selig was injured, but Boggs was killed). Gibson managed to find other stunt work in director D.W. Griffith's western short The Two Brothers and several others for the next few years.
Acting, at this point, was not his bread-and-butter income. Hoot still continued to forge a name for himself on the rodeo circuit with his pal Acord. In 1912, at age 20, he won the title "All-Around Champion Cowboy" at the famed annual Pendleton (Oregon) Round-Up. He also won the steer-roping World Championship at the Calgary Stampede. While on the circuit, he met fellow rodeo rider Rose August ("Helen") Wenger. They eventually married (there is still some question about whether they legally exchanged vows) and she took on the marquee name of Helen Gibson. She even found film stunt work herself and eventually was chosen to replace Helen Holmes as star of the popular movie serial The Hazards of Helen during mid-filming. Hoot himself had a minor role in the Universal cliffhanger.
Hoot picked up a couple of more strong connections in the film industry with western star Harry Carey and director John Ford. Gibson gained some momentum as a secondary player in a few of their films, including Cheyenne's Pal, Straight Shooting, The Secret Man and A Marked Man. With the outbreak of World War I, however, Gibson's film career was put on hold. He joined the US Army, eventually attaining the the rank of sergeant while serving with the Tank Corps, and was honorably discharged in 1919. He returned immediately to Universal and was able to restart his career, quickly working his way up to co-star status in a series of short westerns, most of which were directed by his now close friend Ford. The two-reelers usually co-starred either Pete Morrison or Hoor's wife Helen, or sometimes both. Films such as The Fighting Brothers, The Black Horse Bandit, Rustlers, Gun Law, The Gun Packer and By Indian Post eventually led to his solo starring success.
During this prolific period, he was frequently directed by George Holt (The Trail of the Holdup Man), Phil Rosen (The Sheriff's Oath) and Lee Kohlmar (The Wild Wild West). It was at this time that he and wife Helen separated and divorced. In the early 1920s, Hoot went on to marry another Helen--Helen Johnson. They had one child, Lois Charlotte Gibson, born in 1923. The couple divorced in 1927.
Superstardom came with the John Ford (I)full-length feature western Action, which was taken from "The Three Godfathers" story. It starred Hoot, Francis Ford and J. Farrell MacDonald as a trio of outlaws on the lam who find a baby. From that point on, both Hoot and Tom Mix began to "rule the west". Gibson's light, comedic, tongue-in-cheek manner only added to his sagebrush appeal, especially to children and women. His vehicles were non-violent for the most part, and he rarely was spotted carrying a gun while riding his palomino horse Goldie. Not a particularly handsome man, his boyish appeal and non-threatening demeanor were his aces in the hole--a major distinction that separated him from the more ascetic cowboy stars of the past.
By 1925 Hoot was making approximately $14,500 a week and spending it about as fast as he was making it. He successfully made the transition to talkies and, in 1930, married popular Jazz-era actress Sally Eilers, a third party to his previous divorce. The couple made three features together: The Long, Long Trail, Trigger Tricks and Clearing the Range. When she found celluloid success on her own with Bad Girl, Sally decided to split from Hoot professionally and personally. They divorced in 1933.
Hoot lost his Universal contract in 1930, which signified the start of his decline. While he secured contracts with lesser studios during the early 1930s, such as Allied Pictures and First Division Pictures, the quality of his films suffered. By this time Hoot had already begun to feature race cars and airplanes in his pictures. such as The Flyin' Cowboy and The Winged Horseman. Airplanes in particular became a large, expensive passion of his. In 1933 he crashed his biplane during a National Air Race in Los Angeles, which had pitted him against another cowboy star, Ken Maynard. Fortunately, he survived his injuries.
With the advent of talking films, singing cowboys such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were becoming the new rage, and both Hoot and Tom Mix felt the kick. Yet he managed a couple of "comebacks" by pairing up with others stars. He joined old silent film teammate Harry Carey and 'Guinn Big Boy Williams' in the "Three Mesquiteers" western Powdersmoke Range, and was billed second to Ray Corrigan in the Republic serial The Painted Stallion.
Hoot left films and toured with the Robbins Brothers and Russell Brothers circuses during 1938 and 1939 before retiring from show business altogether. His multiple divorces and reckless spending habits had taken their toll on his finances. For a time he found work in real estate before Monogram Pictures offered the stocky-framed actor a chance to return in 1943. Hoot teamed up with cowboy star Ken Maynard in the popular "Trail Blazers" series, and the duo were later joined by Bob Steele. Chief Thundercloud replaced a difficult Maynard on a couple of the films, but by the end of the series Gibson and Steele were riding alone together. The nearly dozen films in the series began with Wild Horse Stampede and ended with Trigger Law, the latter being his last hurrah in films.
Hoot then returned to real estate. By the time he appeared as a surprise guest on the popular sitcom I Married Joan starring Joan Davis, his Western features of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as those of Maynard, Steele and others were a large staple of films seen by a TV audience that couldn't get enough Western fare. He did a favor for old friend John Ford by appearing in a cameo role in the director's 1959 film The Horse Soldiers. His last movie spotting was a guest cameo in the "Rat Pack" film Ocean's Eleven.
Hoot married a fourth and final time on July 3, 1942, to one-time radio singer and actress Dorothea Dunstan. This marriage took hold and lasted for 20 years until his death. By the 1960s Gibson was on the verge of financial collapse after a series of bad investments. Diagnosed with cancer in 1960, rising medical costs forced him to find any and all work available. He was relegated at one point to becoming a greeter at a Las Vegas casino and, for a period, worked at carnivals.
It was an unhappy end for a cowboy who brought so much excitement and entertainment to children and adults alike. Gibson died of cancer at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California, just a couple of weeks after his 70th birthday. He was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. In remembrance, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in 1979, was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Rick Avery, the patriarch of the family is an acclaimed stuntman, stunt coordinator, martial artist, actor, and director with over 500 credits, including Get Smart, Frost/Nixon, Charlie Wilson's War, The Prestige, The Italian Job, Meet the Fockers, Spiderman, and Poseidon. Rick recently joined forces with Emmy Award Winning Producer/Director Donna Keegan, of Controlled Chaos Productions, to create their production company, Check 6 Productions. C6P is currently in the distribution stage of the documentary, Raiders Remembered, which Rick wrote, produced and directed. Their venture now is bringing HardKnocks with the Averys to internet Television with world wide distribution. This veteran filmmaker has directed several films, including The Expert and Deadly Outbreak, which premiered on HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime. He is also a second unit director who's credits include Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Cursed, Identity, Scream3, and The Sweetest Thing. As an actor, Rick has appeared in a wide variety of feature films such as Edge of Darkness, with Mel Gibson, Heat, and Batman Begins, as well as many television programs. Most recently, he had a leading role in Jesse James is a Dead Man: Jesse vs. the Cops. Rick recently won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture for Dark Knight and a Taurus World Stunt Award for Best Vehicular Work for Dark Knight. He has also won a Screen Actors Guild Cast Award for Traffic. Adding to his large array of Martial Arts Championships, Rick was recently inducted to the prestigious Martial Arts Hall of Honors. Rick is a Master Helicopter Instructor at Group 3 Aviation and flies full-time for National Helicopters, piloting A-Star and Jet Ranger helicopters. He routinely flies helicopters and airplanes for both film and television. He is a commercial, multi-engine airplane pilot, commercial helicopter pilot and instructor, 5th degree black belt champion, certified NAUI Scuba diver, U.S. Army veteran, and former Santa Barbara Metro Police Officer. He is also active in the community, participating in the Special Olympics as a donation partner since 1998, and continues to be involved in many charitable organizations. For example, Air LifeLine and Angel Flight, which fly patients with medical needs to hospitals throughout the United States, both depend on Rick for his tireless charitable giving of his time and piloting skills. He is also active in the community, participating in the Special Olympics as a donation partner since 1998 and he continues to be involved in many charitable organizations. Most recently, donating his piloting skills to the MS Foundation on behalf of the International Stunt Association, which he was a founding member of. With all that this man has accomplished, and all that he still lists as, "I want to ____ one day", he enthusiastically states with resounding love and pride, that the greatest joys in his life are his three children, Dianne, Brian, and Mike, and his grand-babies....Bailey and Mia. For Rick Avery ... it's all about family.
While growing up in Illinois, Landon's passion was theater, where he starred in many productions. He went to flight school in Florida and was part of the "Riddle Players" Improv group, and during the summer of his sophomore year he met 'Gavin Degraw' who had yet to release his debut album. They ended up becoming friends and Landon played a few shows with him on his summer tours as his drummer. Later, when Gavin landed the theme song to One Tree Hill, as fate would have it, Landon was transfered to Wilmington (where OTH is filmed) to fly airplanes. He ended up being brought on with Gavin in an episode in which Gavin was guest-starring. Landon wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue music and acting from there, but felt he should try flying for the airlines before he made that jump. That turned out to be the best move for his acting career. He was hired by United and was transfered to Richmond, Virginia where John Adams was being shot. On one of his off days he set up an audition and landed the series regular role of "The Senator". When filming was over for John Adams, Landon moved to LA. Within a couple of months he landed a several national commercials, numerous print campaigns, a cameo in Yes Man, and teamed back up with Gavin Degraw as his drummer for Gavin's single "I'm in Love With a Girl."
|Carl Anthony Nespoli
Carl Nespoli was born and raised in Brooklyn New York. The son of a long shore man and a housewife, the youngest of three children, Carl attended James Madison high school and majored in Dramatic arts. Early on Carl decided that he wanted to work to be professional stunt man. Suffering from claustrophobia and having a tremendous fear of heights, he knew he had his work cut out for him. At age 23, Carl decided to challenge his fears and jump out of an airplane. After admitting upon landing his parachute that he soiled his pants, Carl pursued aerial stunts and has worked in over 75 commercials, jumping all over the world. Carl has made the cross-over from aerial stunts to general stunts and works as a stunt double for Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Michael Rispoli, Patton Oswalt, Ron Rifkin to name a few. With over 2200 jumps, Carl still enjoys sport jumping today and admits to still having a fear of heights today.
Although he never went beyond secondary school, Aaron Russo became a millionaire in show business. He managed the Kinetic Playground in Chicago in the late 1960s where he booked The Who, Jefferson Airplane and other popular bands of the day. For seven years, Russo managed Bette Midler. In 1979, he produced "The Rose" which gave Midler her first starring role. After producing a string of films and directing "Rude Awakening." Russo turned to blending radical politics with entertainment. He tried to sell a pilot for a television show called "Aaron Russo's Mad As Hell" in the early 1990s. When he was unsuccessful in selling the controversial program to networks, he began selling the pilot as a video in 1996. In 1994 he tried to start a political party called the Constitution Party. In 1998, however, he ran for the Republican party nomination for governor of the state of Nevada. (He lost.) In 2000, he supported the Libertarian party.
Olivia Weston is a native of Alabama; growing up on Lake Martin, Kowaliga. The Kowaliga area is one of the most beautiful lake settings in the South & rivaling others elsewhere! Hank Williams wrote the song "Kowa-liga" during one of his many inspirational nights hanging out with that old wooden Indian which the area is named after. Left Alabama to South America due to an active interest in Spanish Horses. Through the horse industry, met several actors which sparked an interest in their line of work. Flew to Miami where Oliver Stone was in progress on the production of Any Given Sunday. Upon meeting Mr. Stone, she was offered a part which got her into the S.A.G. Union - something she is eternally grateful for. Then followed many commercials and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis made for TV. From 2001 through 2002 she took time out and started learning about airplanes, working with the horses & thinking even more about becoming a professional actress. Made a firm decision to become a pilot & an actress. Since the start of 2004 she has been very active in Film and semi-active in flying. The horses have taken a back-seat to everything else.
Bob McFadden was born in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1923, and got his first break singing and doing impersonations in a weekly talent show while stationed in Puerto Rico with the Navy during World War II. After leaving the Navy, he worked in a Pittsburgh steel mill, and got into show business as an opening act at hotels and nightclubs for the McGuire Sisters, Harry Belafonte and others. Although McFadden was not a household name, he was still happy just to be in show business. He met his wife in Boston in 1950, when the two were working together. While he sang onstage, she and her twin sister performed synchronized swimming exercises in a pool below. The McFaddens moved to Queens in the the mid-1960's and Bob became a voiceover talent in advertising and cartoons. He made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling his voice to advertise products for Ban deodorant, Campbell's soup, Ford, Frankenberry cereal, Geritol, Mountain Dew and Pepto-Bismol. Once he was paid $12,000 to make swishing sounds to imitate a jet airplane. Bob McFadden's most memorable commercial was the voice of a parrot for Wisk. He said "Ring around the collar" and "Nice shirt". This commercial would be played over a 25 year timespan. He also barked like a dog for Crest toothpaste. In 1982, TV Guide called Mr. McFadden "one of the elite of TV commercial voice-overs." Among his other works, he did ethnic characters for comedy albums including "The Yiddish Are Coming!". He was a stable voice for Terrytoons and was best known as Cool McCool's "Pop the Cop" for King Features Syndicate in 1966. He was also Milton the Monster. Despite retiring to Delray Beach, Florida, he would perform in supper clubs imitating Jack Benny and Ed Sullivan. He did singing impressions of Frankie Laine, Billy Eckstine and the Inkspots. In 1959 in Cuba (days before Fidel Castro took over), McFadden was asked to perform a show in Spanish but did not know the language. His brother-in-law wrote the show in Spainish allowing McFadden to pronounce everything phonetically. The best part was Roy Roger's sidekick, Gabby Hayes, singing underwater in Spanish He died January 7, 2000 of ALS or Lou Gherig's Disease.
The entrancing and exotic-eyed "B"-level leading lady Jody Lawrance, whose 1950's career was spotty at best, provided lovely diversion from the manly adventure movies she helped bring to the screen. Personal turmoil and studio conflicts, however, ultimately hurt her career and the remainder of her life was spent out of the limelight.
She was born Nona Josephine Goddard in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 19, 1930. Her childhood was troubled and disruptive. Parents Ervin S. ("Doc") and Eleanor (née Roeck) Goddard divorced while Jody was a child. Ervin, nicknamed "Doc" although he was not one, was an amateur inventor and research engineer at the Adel Precision Products Company at one point. Moving to Caliornia, he eventually married Grace McGee in 1937. Jody subsequently migrated to California and lived with her father and stepmother in their Van Nuys bungalow. Marilyn Monroe (then Norma Jeane Baker) was a foster child of her stepmother Grace, who knew Norma Jeane's mother when both worked for Columbia -- Grace as a film librarian and and Gladys as a film cutter. Jody and Norma Jeane lived together briefly in 1941-1942.
Jody went on to attend Beverly Hills High School (studying under Benno Schneider and his wife) and the Hollywood Professional School. Excelling as a swimmer, Jody's first shot was appearing in a water show operated by Larry Crosby, who was also a publicity manager for famous younger brother Bing Crosby.
The teenager was awarded her first on-camera professional part on the TV show "The Silver Theatre" in 1949. Because her real name, Nona Goddard, lacked glamor, she changed it to Jody (short for Josephine, her middle name) Lawrance (her maternal grandmother's maiden name). Jody's drama teacher Schneider managed to get her an introduction to Columbia. The studio took an immediate interest in the 19-year-old beauty and signed her to a 7-year contract at $250 per week.
Jody made four relatively strong films in 1951. She provided damsel-in-distress duty in her screen debut between up-and-coming screen hero John Derek and established villain Anthony Quinn in the spirited swashbuckler Mask of the Avenger. This was followed by The Family Secret playing the altruistic fiancée to a murder suspect (again, John Derek. Things looked even more promising when she co-starred an exotic love interest to robust Burt Lancaster in the Eastern adventure yarn Ten Tall Men. Her final film that year was a horror opus portraying the fiancée to Louis Hayward as the The Son of Dr. Jekyll.
She started the following year off with the adventure film The Brigand opposite handsome, sliver-eyed Anthony Dexter, better known for his captivating Valentino-like looks than for his acting ability. In 1953 career problems surfaced when the studio assigned Jody, who had now completed six film projects, to a lackluster role in one of its minor musicals, a poor man's version of "On the Town" entitled All Ashore which starred sailors-on-leave Mickey Rooney, Dick Haymes and Ray McDonald. Peggy Ryan, Barbara Bates and Jody were cast as their the love interests. Set this time on California's Catalina Island instead of New York, Jody balked at the assignment while citing a lack of confidence in her singing and dancing abilities. She ask the studio to replace her but Columbia refused and the actress begrudgingly filmed the movie. Her "difficulty" with the studio on this assignment ultimately led to a break of her contract. Feeling overlooked by the studio at the time, she supposedly did not regret her release too much.
On her own, however, the quality of Jody's films declined markedly with her the "Poverty Row" independent film, the subpar and highly distorted biographical piece Captain John Smith and Pocahontas again starring Anthony Dexter. It was revealed that Jody suffered a frightening allergic reaction on the set after dying her lighter hair jet black for the role. Among many other problems, the 23-year old, blue-eyed actress was quite miscast in the role of the much younger Indian maiden. The released film was a dismal failure and Jody's career suffered as a result.
Finding almost no offers in 1954-1955 and in order to make ends meet, Jody took on employment as an ice cream shop waitress near the UCLA campus in Los Angeles. The story goes that one day one of her customers was her former co-star Burt Lancaster. He came to her aid by introducing her to his friend, director Michael Curtiz, who reignited her career with his minor film noir The Scarlet Hour which starred Tom Tryon and had Jody playing a second femme role behind Carol Ohmart, who was being built up as Paramount's supposed answer to a difficult Marilyn Monroe at the time. Jody was promoted as one of the "Deb Stars of 1955" along with other hopefuls including Cathy Crosby, Anita Ekberg, Mara Corday, Marisa Pavan and Lori Nelson, among other lesser knowns.
Back on the boards again, Jody revived her look on screen as a blonde again. Things looked hopeful when Paramount Studios signed her to a contract, earning $300 a week. In the spiritual drama The Leather Saint, she plays a platinum-blonde nightclub singer (and even sings a bit of "I'm in the Mood for Love" in the film) and temptress to (once again) John Derek whose Episcople minister agonizes over his decision to box for money in order help medically finance church/community projects for special needs children.
Things fell apart once more, however, when Paramount released her the following year. It seems that the studio was perturbed when, while promoting her to the public as a sexy single, Jody resisted the cheesecake angle and also secretly married Bruce Tilton (1930-2007), an airplane parts company executive, in Las Vegas on April 7, 1956. A daughter, Victoria, was born a year later.
She remained unproductive career-wise during this period of new marriage and more family. By April of 1958, however, the Tilton marriage had dissolved and a bitter custody suit ensued (in the end, Jody lost). While she returned to the screen, the pickings were slim. She landed minor parts in the Shirley Booth vehicle Hot Spell and Barry Sullivan film The Purple Gang, and found isolated work on TV in such dramatic fare as "Perry Mason," "The Loretta Young Show" and "The Rebel". Her last screen role of any substance was the minor western Stagecoach to Dancers' Rock starring Martin Landau.
Jody met second husband Robert Wolf Herre and they married in November of 1962. Two children, Robert Jr. and Abigail ("Chrissy") were born from this relationship. Other than an isolated TV appearance on "The Red Skelton Show" in 1968, little was heard of Jody following this period until it was learned that she had died in Ojai, California on July 10, 1986, at age 55.
David Elliott played a leading role in one of the top ten grossing films of 1978 and supervised the Construction Department for one of the top ten grossing films of 2000. After dropping out of High School he drove a cab in New York City, boxed professionally, ran a Private Investigation business in Hollywood, obtained an airplane pilot's license with an instrument rating, sat on the Executive Board of a major labor union, was elected President of the California Association of Judgment Enforcement Professionals, and traveled extensively through every continent except Africa and Antarctica. This year he earned a certificate in long and short fiction from the UCLA Writer's program, where he was nominated for the Kirkwood prize.
He has completed a novel, The Star Shield, about one of Hollywood's top body guards attempting to rescue a kidnapped movie star, and is working on a collection of short stories that explore unusual social environments.
Grew up on a dairy farm outside of Cleveland, in rural Elyria, OH.
Cliff was a 1966 graduate of Clearview High School in Lorain, OH, and has been inducted into the CHS Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
He has established the Cliff Bemis Music Theatre Scholarship at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, OH, from which he graduated in 1970. He is also the recipient of the 1998 Alumni Merit Award.
While in college, he was an active member in Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Honorary Fraternity.
He built an extensive and varied career in Cleveland, OH, performing musical theatre, opera, with the Cleveland Opera Co., as well as the related fields of commercial acting which included jingle singing, voice-overs, on-camera and industrial films.
He also narrated with the Cleveland Orchestra for their Young People's Concerts.
Cliff was one of the original cast members of the musical "Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living in Paris," which played for over two years on Playhouse Square in Cleveland. That show is widely recognized as the show which helped save this historic theatre district.
For seven seasons, he was a regular guest artist at The Cleveland Play House. He was also a regular singer of the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers, as well as the Cleveland National Air Show.
In 1987, while performing on stage together at Kenley Players, Cliff met and became friends with actor Robby Benson (star of "One on One," and the voice of the Beast in "Beauty and the Beast,") and his wife actress/singer Karla DeVito. They encouraged Cliff to move to LA, which he did, where he continued to build upon his career.
Cliff has appeared in over 70 different TV shows including "Law and Order, SVU," "White Collar," "Arliss," "Married With Children," "Dallas," "Newhart," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Cheers," "Coach," and "Murder She Wrote" to name a few, and was featured in the films "Pink Cadillac" with Clint Eastwood, "Distinguished Gentlemen" with Eddie Murphy, and "Naked Gun 2 1/2."
He co-starred in "Reunited," starring Julie Hagerty of "Airplane" fame, starred opposite Lucie Arnaz in "Wonderful Town," and co-starred opposite Gregory Harrison (Trapper John, MD.) and June Lockhart of "Lassie" fame in the TV movie, "Au Pair II," shot on location in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Cliff made his Hollywood Bowl debut, performing in the concert version of the musical "Mame," starring Michelle Lee, John Schneider, Christine Ebersole, Fred Willard, and Alan Thicke.
He originated the role of Ezekiel Foster/Mr. Snoring Man in Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, two years on Broadway and in 2011 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ.
In the early 1990's, Cliff began his reign as the TV spokesperson for the IHOP restaurant chain. For ten years "Cliff from IHOP" was recognized all over the country, appearing in all of the TV ads, as well as making personal appearances for IHOP all over the USA and Canada, where he autographed over 75,000 "Cliff at IHOP" pictures.
A long time supporter of law enforcement, in particular the California Highway Patrol, he is a Lifetime Member in the CHP 11-99 Foundation, and an Honorary Member of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen.
Also served on the Board of Directors for the Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors, and is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff in the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
For ten years, Cliff was also a volunteer during the Christmas holidays at The White House, serving on a team which prepares this historic home for the holidays, and met both Presidents and First Ladies Bush and Clinton on several different occasions.
Cliff's musical interests have resulted in three recordings, including a Christmas CD titled "Christmas Eve," featuring his vocal talents on the traditional music of the season. He has also released three instrumental CDs of favorite hymns titled "Hear My Prayer, Vol. I, II and III."
He resides in NYC, where he continues his acting and singing career.
To find out more about Cliff and his family, adventures, and to purchase his CDs, visit his Website at www.cliffbemis.com.
Billy Concha is the oldest of two children raised by a single mother. Airforce children for the first years of their lives, then 5 years with maternal grandparents and mother in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Raised on Cape Cod and schooled in New England, Billy immediately found his love again for performing being around the beauty and influences of year round living on Cape Cod. Acting and singing as early as six years old in church and school shows. Trumpet playing was part of his early artistic interests as well. The middle and high school years brought interests in television media production, plays, and numerous sports interests. Worked as a weatherman on in-house school, produced news programs, and participated in numerous plays throughout those years.
An accomplished award winning athlete in Track, Football, and Sailing. Billy attained a USCG Captain's license at the age of 18 and an airplane private pilot's license at the age of 20. He has operated numerous power boats sailboats and launches for Cape Cod yacht clubs and private owners whom wanted to enjoy the waters around New England. Sailed the waters of the Mediterranian, Carribean and delivered boats up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Worked in the aviation business at Logan airport, Boston as part of his college education. Majored in Aviation Management. In 1990, moved to Los Angeles to pursue those interests. Began working in the entertainment business professionally in 1993 and had his first role as a uniformed police officer on NYPD Blue in 1994. Worked as Officer Miller recurring for 11 of the 12 seasons that NYPD Blue was in production
Billy presently is pursuing interests both in front of and behind the camera. Always maintaining his roots to the water by boating most every weekend in California waters and always spending time in the months of the summer with friends and family along the waterfront of Hyannis. During the summer months, he'd most likely be fishing or sailing the water's of Nantucket Sound or at his favorite boating restaurant Baxter's Boathouse.