1-50 of 62 names.

Nazanin Boniadi

Nazanin Boniadi is rapidly making her mark in both film and television. She co-starred as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi on seasons three and four of the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama Homeland, for which she shared a 2015 SAG Award nomination in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series category. Boniadi appeared in the 2016 MGM-Paramount remake of Ben-Hur. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the film stars Ms. Boniadi in the female lead role of Esther opposite Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman and Toby Kebbell. She will next appear in a leading role opposite Armie Hammer and Dev Patel in Anthony Maras's Hotel Mumbai.

Among her many television credits, Boniadi portrayed Nora, a relatively longstanding love interest to Neil Patrick Harris's Barney Stinson, in seasons six and seven of How I Met Your Mother. She also appeared as the notorious Adnan Salif in season three of Shonda Rhimes' hit political drama Scandal. She will next star alongside J.K. Simmons in the original Starz series Counterpart, created by Justin Marks and Executive Produced by Morten Tyldum.

On film, Boniadi appeared as Amira Ahmed in Jon Favreau's Iron Man and portrayed a young mother, Elaine, in Paul Haggis' The Next Three Days. She also has several independent features to her credit.

Born in Tehran at the height of the Iranian Revolution, Boniadi's parents relocated to London, England, shortly thereafter, where she was raised with an emphasis on education. While she was involved in theatre early in life, Boniadi later decided she wanted to become a physician. She moved to the United States at the age of 19 to attend the University of California, Irvine, where she received her Bachelor's Degree, with Honors (Dean's Academic Achievement and Service Award) in Biological Sciences, and won the "Chang Pin Chun" Undergraduate Research Award for her work in heart-transplant rejection and cancer research.

Switching gears to pursue her first love, Boniadi then decided to study acting, which included training in Contemporary Drama at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London under the supervision of dramaturge Lloyd Trott.

Boniadi is fluent in both English and Persian. She is a dedicated human rights activist. Boniadi served as a spokesperson for Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) 2009-2015, and continues to partner with the non-profit as an AIUSA Artist of Conscience. In 2014, she was selected for term membership by the Council on Foreign Relations.

Marwan Kenzari

Marwan Kenzari is an award-winning Dutch actor. He received critical acclaim for his powerful and brooding performance in the Dutch crime drama Wolf, in which he plays a recently paroled Moroccan immigrant struggling to toe the line between promising boxer and rising criminal enforcer. His performance won him the Golden Calf for Best Actor at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2013. The International Film Festival Berlin selected Marwan as a Shooting Star 2014, while Variety introduced him as 'International Talent to Watch' in February 2014, followed by a listing in The Hollywood Reporter's '15 International Break Out Talents of 2016'.

In 2016, he had turns in Timur Bekmambetov's Ben Hur and Terry George's period drama The Promise starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, which premiered in Toronto. 2017 will see him feature alongside Tom Cruise in The Mummy, opposite Noomi Rapace and Glenn Close in What Happend to Monday, and together with Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Nicholas Hoult in actioner Collide.

In 2017 he can also be seen in the 20th Century Fox's Murder on the Orient Express with Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Johnny Depp and Judi Dench, with Branagh also directing. Kenzari will play the French conductor of the train. In the new Netflix film The Angel he will play the lead.

Pilou Asbæk

Pilou Asbæk graduated from The Danish National School of Performing Arts in 2008. Same year he played the leading role in Niels Arden Oplev's drama WORLDS APART. In 2010 he had his breakthrough as the inmate Rune in Lindholm & Noer's prison drama R for which he won the price for Best actor at The Danish Critic Association Award, Bodil, and at the Danish Film Academy Awards, Robert. Furthermore, he was pointed as Shooting Star at the Berlinale in 2011 for this performance; an honor that is given to ten European Actors. Also, for three years he starred in the BAFTA winning and critically acclaimed television series BORGEN as Kasper Juul; spin doctor for the Danish Prime Minister. The following years Pilou played the leading role in Tobias Lindholm's A HIJACKING and A WAR. A WAR was nominated in the category Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards 2015. In 2014, Pilou shot Luc-Besson's LUCY starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, and this year he played Pontius Pilate in Timur Bekmambetov's BEN-HUR. In 2017 he's again playing opposite Scarlett Johansson in Rupert Sander's GHOST IN THE SHELL. Pilou starred as Euron Grayjoy in the 6th season of GAME OF THRONES which he continues to in the 7th season coming out in 2017.

Charlton Heston

With features chiseled in stone, and renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years. As a Hollywood star, he appeared in 100 films over the course of 60 years. He played Moses in the epic film, The Ten Commandments (1956), for which he received his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He also starred in Touch of Evil (1958) with Orson Welles; Ben-Hur, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor (1959); El Cid (1961); and Planet of the Apes (1968). He also starred in the films The Greatest Show on Earth (1952); Secret of the Incas (1954); The Big Country (1958); and The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). A supporter of Democratic politicians and civil rights in the 1960s, Heston later became a Republican, founding a conservative political action committee and supporting Ronald Reagan. Heston's most famous role in politics came as the five-term president of the National Rifle Association, from 1998 to 2003.

Heston was born John Charles Carter on October 4, 1924, in No Man's Land, Illinois, to Lila (Charlton) and Russell Whitford Carter, who operated a sawmill. He had English and Scottish ancestry, with recent Canadian forebears.

Heston made his feature film debut as the lead character in a 16mm production of Peer Gynt, based on the Henrik Ibsen play. In 1944, Heston enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces. He served for two years as a radio operator and aerial gunner aboard a B-25 Mitchell stationed in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands with the 77th Bombardment Squadron of the Eleventh Air Force. He reached the rank of Staff Sergeant. Heston married Northwestern University student Lydia Marie Clarke, who was six months his senior. That same year he joined the military.

Heston played 'Marc Antony' in Julius Caesar, and firmly stamped himself as genuine leading man material with his performance as circus manager 'Brad Braden' in the Cecil B. DeMille spectacular The Greatest Show on Earth, also starring James Stewart and Cornel Wilde. The now very popular actor remained perpetually busy during the 1950s, both on TV and on the silver screen with audience pleasing performances in the steamy thriller The Naked Jungle, as a treasure hunter in Secret of the Incas and another barn storming performance for Cecil B. DeMille as "Moses" in the blockbuster The Ten Commandments.

Heston delivered further dynamic performances in the oily film noir thriller Touch of Evil, and then alongside Gregory Peck in the western The Big Country before scoring the role for which he is arguably best known, that of the wronged Jewish prince who seeks his freedom and revenge in the William Wyler directed Ben-Hur. This mammoth Biblical epic running in excess of three and a half hours became the standard by which other large scale productions would be judged, and it's superb cast also including Stephen Boyd as the villainous "Massala", English actor Jack Hawkins as the Roman officer "Quintus Arrius", and Australian actor Frank Thring as "Pontius Pilate", all contributed wonderful performances. Never one to rest on his laurels, steely Heston remained the preferred choice of directors to lead the cast in major historical productions and during the 1960s he starred as Spanish legend "Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar" in El Cid, as a US soldier battling hostile Chinese boxers during 55 Days at Peking, played the ill-fated "John the Baptist" in The Greatest Story Ever Told, the masterful painter "Michelangelo" battling Pope Julius II in The Agony and the Ecstasy, and an English general in Khartoum. In 1968, Heston filmed the unusual western Will Penny about an aging and lonely cowboy befriending a lost woman and her son, which Heston has often referred to as his favorite piece of work on screen. Interestingly, Heston was on the verge of acquiring an entirely new league of fans due to his appearance in four very topical science fiction films (all based on popular novels) painting bleak future's for mankind.

In 1968, Heston starred as time traveling astronaut "George Taylor", in the terrific Planet of the Apes with it's now legendary conclusion as Heston realizes the true horror of his destination. He returned to reprise the role, albeit primarily as a cameo, alongside fellow astronaut James Franciscus in the slightly inferior sequel Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Next up, Heston again found himself facing the apocalypse in The Omega Man as the survivor of a germ plague that has wiped out humanity leaving only bands of psychotic lunatics roaming the cities who seek to kill the uninfected Heston. And fourthly, taking its inspiration from the Harry Harrison novel "Make Room!, Make Room!", Heston starred alongside screen legend Edward G. Robinson and Chuck Connors in Soylent Green. During the remainder of the 1970s, Heston appeared in two very popular "disaster movies" contributing lead roles in the far fetched Airport 1975, plus in the star laden Earthquake, filmed in "Sensoround" (low bass speakers were installed in selected theaters to simulate the earthquake rumblings on screen to movie audiences). He played an evil Cardinal in the lively The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge, a mythical US naval officer in the recreation of Midway, also filmed in "Sensoround", an LA cop trying to stop a sniper in Two-Minute Warning and another US naval officer in the submarine thriller Gray Lady Down. Heston appeared in numerous episodes of the high rating TV series Dynasty and The Colbys, before moving onto a mixed bag of projects including TV adaptations of Treasure Island and A Man for All Seasons, hosting two episodes of the comedy show, Saturday Night Live, starring as the "Good Actor" bringing love struck Mike Myers to tears in Wayne's World 2, and as the eye patch wearing boss of intelligence agent Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies. He also narrated numerous TV specials and lent his vocal talents to the animated movie Hercules, the family comedy Cats & Dogs and an animated version of Ben Hur. Heston made an uncredited appearance in the inferior remake of Planet of the Apes, and his last film appearance to date was in the Holocaust themed drama of Rua Alguem 5555: My Father.

Heston narrated for highly classified military and Department of Energy instructional films, particularly relating to nuclear weapons, and "for six years Heston [held] the nation's highest security clearance" or Q clearance." The Q clearance is similar to a DoD or Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) clearance of Top Secret.

Heston was married to Lydia Marie Clark Heston since March 1944, and they have two children. His highly entertaining autobiography was released in 1995, titled appropriately enough "Into The Arena". Although often criticized for his strong conservative beliefs and involvement with the NRA, Heston was a strong advocate for civil right many years before it became fashionable, and was a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, plus the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2002, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and did appear in a film or TV production after 2003. He died in April 2008. Truly, Charlton Heston is one of the legendary figures of US cinema.

Eugene Simon

Eugene Simon is a British actor born in London on the 11th June 1992. His series regular role as Lancel Lannister on HBO's 'Game of Thrones' has been running for six seasons, formerly alongside his lead role in Nickelodeon's 'House of Anubis' for three seasons.

Eugene joined child agency Abacus at the age of eight beginning his career in theatre with the role of Archie in James Joyce's 'Exiles'. It was his childhood love for reciting poems from Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts' that sparked his interest in acting.

At twelve Eugene was the younger self to Heath Ledger's 'Casanova', and at thirteen performed his lead role as Gerald Durrell in the BBC's TV-film adaptation of 'My Family and Other Animals'. Eugene continued to worked throughout his years at Downside School in a number of comercials, and most notably as Young Ben Hur in Drimtim Entertainment's 'Ben Hur'. After filming he began modelling through UK agency Models 1, he continues to do so.

On his 18th birthday Eugene was offered both his roles in both Game of Thrones & House of Anubis. Between filming the two shows Eugene debuted as lead American characters in his first US films; 'Before I Sleep' as fictional poet Eugene Devlin alongside 'Harry Potter' co-star Bonnie Wright, and Lord-of-the-Flies esque movie 'Eden' as US soccer player Kennefick. Eugene resides between London and Los Angeles throughout the year.

Known trivia about Eugene includes: his love of languages, speaking French and Spanish from a father that speaks Russian and Portugese. He is the middle of an older brother and a younger sister, the only actor in the family. The name Eugene was given from his great-grandfather Eugene Barry Walsh as a homage to his Irish ancestry. Training includes sword-fighting, horse-riding and charioteering. Impersonation, mimicry and voice over work are much loved pastimes of his and are the reasons, he says, that he got into acting.

William Wyler

William Wyler was an American filmmaker who, at the time of his death in 1981, was considered by his peers as second only to John Ford as a master craftsman of cinema. The winner of three Best Director Academy Awards, second again only to Ford's four, Wyler's reputation has unfairly suffered as the lack of an obvious "signature" in his diverse body of work denies him the honorific "auteur" that has become a standard measure of greatness in the post-"Cahiers du Cinema" critical community. Estimable, but inferior, directors typically are praised more than is Wyler, due to an obviousness of style that makes it easy to encapsulate their work. However, no American director after D.W. Griffith and the early Cecil B. DeMille, not even the great Orson Welles, did as much to fully develop the basic canon of filmmaking technique than did Wyler -- once again, with the caveat of John Ford.

Wyler's directorial career spanned 45 years, from silent pictures to the cultural revolution of the 1970s. Nominated a record 12 times for an Academy Award as Best Director, he won three and in 1966, was honored with the Irving Thalberg Award, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' ultimate accolade for a producer. So high was his reputation in his lifetime that he was the fourth recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, after Ford, James Cagney and Welles. Along with Ford and Welles, Wyler ranks with the best and most influential American directors, including Griffith, DeMille, Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg.

Born Willi Wyler on July 1, 1902, in Mulhouse in the province of Alsace, then a possession of Germany, to a Swiss father and a German mother, Wyler used his family connections to establish himself in the film industry. Upon being offered a job by his mother's first cousin, Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle, Wyler emigrated to the US in 1920 at the age of 18. After starting in Universal's New York offices as an errand boy, he moved his way up through the organization, ending up in the California operation in 1922.

Wyler was given the opportunity to direct in July 1925, with the two-reel western The Crook Buster. It was on this film that he was first credited as William Wyler, though he never officially changed his name and would be known as "Willi" all his life. For almost five years he performed his apprenticeship in Universal's "B" unit, turning out a score of low-budget silent westerns. In 1929 he made his first "A" picture, Hell's Heroes, Universal's first all-sound movie shot outside a studio. The western, the first version of the "Three Godfathers" story, was a commercial and critical success.

The initial years of the Great Depression brought hard times for the film industry, and Universal went into receivership in 1932, partially due to financial troubles brought about by rampant nepotism and the runaway production costs rung up by producer Carl Laemmle Jr., the son of the boss. There were 70 Laemmle family members on the Universal payroll at one point, including Wyler. In 1935 "Uncle" Carl was forced to sell the studio he had created in 1912 with the 1912 merger of his Independent Motion Picture Co. with several other production companies. Wyler continued to direct for Universal up until the end of the family regime, helming Counsellor-at-Law, the film version of Elmer Rice's play featuring one of John Barrymore's more restrained performances, and The Good Fairy, a comedy adapted from a Ferenc Molnár play by Preston Sturges and starring Margaret Sullavan, who was Wyler's wife for a short time. Both films were produced by his cousin, "Junior" Laemmle. Emancipated from the Laemmle family, Wyler subsequently established himself as a major director in the mid-1930s, when he began directing films for independent producer Samuel Goldwyn. Willi would soon find his freedom fettered by the man with the fabled "Goldwyn touch," which entailed bullying his directors to recast, rewrite and recut their films, and sometimes replacing them during shooting.

The first of the Wyler-Goldwyn works was These Three, based on Lillian Hellman's lesbian-themed play "The Children's Hour" (the Sapphic theme was jettisoned in favor of a more conventional heterosexual triangle due to censorship concerns, but it resurfaced intact when Wyler remade the film a quarter-century later). His first unqualified success for Goldwyn was Dodsworth, an adaptation of Sinclair Lewis' portrait of a disintegrating American marriage, a marvelous film that still resonates with audiences in the 21st century. He received his first Best Director Oscar nomination for this picture. The film was nominated for Best Picture, the first of seven straight years in which a Wyler-directed movie would earn that accolade, culminating with Oscars for both Willi and Mrs. Miniver in 1942.

Wyler's potential greatness can be seen as early as "Hell's Heroes," an early talkie that is not constrained by the restrictions of the new technology. The climax of the picture, with Charles Bickford's dying badman walking into town, is a long tracking shot that focuses not on the actor himself but the detritus that he shucks off to lighten his load as he brings a baby back to a cradle of civilization. The scene is a harbinger of the free-flowing style that would become a hallmark of his work. However, it was with "Dodsworth" that Wyler began to establish his critical reputation. The film features long takes and a probing camera, a style that Wyler would make his own.

Now established as Goldwyn's director of choice, Wyler made several films for him, including Dead End and Wuthering Heights. Essentially an employee of the producer, Wyler clashed with Goldwyn over aesthetic choices and longed for his freedom. Goldwyn had demanded that the ghetto set of "Dead End" be spruced up and that "clean garbage" be used in the water tank representing the East River, over Wyler's objections. Goldwyn prevailed, as he did later with the ending of "Wuthering Heights." After Wyler had finished principal photography on the film, Goldwyn demanded a new ending featuring the ghosts of Heathcliff and Cathy reunited and walking away towards what the audience would assume is heaven and an eternity of conjoined bliss. Wyler opposed the new ending and refused to shoot it. Goldwyn had his ending shot without Wyler and had it tacked onto the final cut. It was an artistic betrayal that rankled Willi.

Goldwyn loaned out Wyler to other studios, and he made Jezebel and The Letter for Warner Bros. Working with Bette Davis in the two masterpieces, as well as in Goldwyn's The Little Foxes, Wyler elicited three of the great diva's finest performances. In these films and his films of the mid-to-late 1930s, Wyler pioneered the use of deep-focus cinematography, most famously with lighting cameraman Gregg Toland. Toland shot seven of the eight films Wyler directed for Goldwyn: "These Three", Come and Get It, "Dead End," "Wuthering Heights" (for which Toland won his only Academy Award), The Westerner, "The Little Foxes" and The Best Years of Our Lives. Compositions in Wyler pictures frequently featured multiple horizontal planes with various characters arranged in diagonals at varying distances from the camera lens. Creating an illusion of depth, these deep-focus shots enhanced the naturalism of the picture while heightening the drama.

As the photography of Wyler's films was used to serve the story and create mood rather than call attention to itself, Toland was later mistakenly given credit for creating deep-focus cinematography along with another great director, Orson Welles, in Citizen Kane. In truth, Wyler's first use of deep-focus cinematography was in 1935, with "The Good Fairy," on which Norbert Brodine was the lighting cameraman. It was the first of his films featuring deep-focus shots and the diagonal compositions that became a Wyler leitmotif. The film also includes a receding mirror shot a half-decade before Toland and Welles created a similar one for "Citizen Kane."

Wyler won his first Oscar as Best Director with "Mrs. Miniver" for MGM, which also won the Oscar for Best Picture, the first of three Wyler films that would be so honored. Made as a propaganda piece for American audiences to prepare them for the sacrifices necessitated by World War II, the movie is set in wartime England and elucidates the hardships suffered by an ordinary, middle-class English family coping with the war. An enthusiastic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after seeing the film at a White House screening, said, "This has to be shown right away." The film also won Oscars for star Greer Garson and co-star Theresa Wright, for cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg and for Best Screenplay.

After "Miniver," Wyler went off to war as an officer in the U.S. Army Air Corps. One of his more memorable propaganda films of the period was a documentary about a B-17 bomber, The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress, He also directed the Navy documentary The Fighting Lady, an examination of life aboard an American aircraft carrier. Though the later film won an Oscar as Best Documentary, "The Memphis Belle" is considered a classic of its form. The making of the documentary was even the subject of a 1990 feature film of the same name. "The Memphis Belle" focuses on the eponymous B-17 bomber and its 25th, and last, air raid flown from a base in England. The documentary features aerial battle footage that Wyler and his crew shot over the skies of Germany. One of his photographic crew, flying in another plane, was killed during the filming of the air battles. Wyler himself lost the hearing in one ear and became partially deaf in the other due to the noise and concussion of the flak bursting around his aircraft.

Wyler's first picture upon returning from World War II would prove to be the last movie he made for Goldwyn. A returning veteran like those portrayed in "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946), this film won Wyler his second Oscar. The movie, which featured a moving performance by real-life veteran and double amputee Harold Russell, struck a universal chord with Americans and was a major box office hit. It was the second Wyler-directed picture to be named Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film also won Oscars for star Fredric March and co-star Russell (who was also given an honorary award "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans"), film editor Daniel Mandell, composer Hugo Friedhofer and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood, and was instrumental in garnering the Irving Thalberg Award for Samuel Goldwyn, who also took home the Best Picture Oscar that year as "Best Years" producer.

Though Wyler elicited some of the finest performances preserved on film, ironically he could not communicate what he wanted to an actor. A perfectionist, he became known as "40-Take Wyler", shooting a scene over and over again until the actors played it the way he wanted. With his use of long takes, actors were forced to act within each take as their performances would not be covered in the cutting room. His long takes and lack of cutting slowed down the pacing of his films, providing a greater feeling of continuity within each scene and intimately involving the audience in the development of the drama. The story in a Wyler film was allowed to unfold organically, with no tricky editing to cover up holes in the script or to compensate for an inadequate performance. Wyler typically rehearsed his actors for two weeks before the beginning of principal photography.

While more actors won Academy Awards in Wyler movies, 14 out of a total of 36 nominations (more than any other two directors combined), few actors worked more than once or twice with him. Bette Davis worked on three films with him and won Academy Award nominations for each performance and an Oscar for "Jezebel." On their last collaboration, "The Little Foxes" (1941), Davis walked off the production for two weeks after clashing with Wyler over how her character should be played.

He proved hard on other experienced actors, such as Laurence Olivier in "Wuthering Heights," who gave credit to Willi for turning him from a stage actor into a movie actor. "This isn't the Opera House in Manchester," Wyler told Olivier, his way of conveying that he should tone down his performance. A year earlier, Wyler had forced Henry Fonda through 40 takes on the set of "Jezebel," Wyler's only direction being "Again" after each repeated take. When Fonda demanded some input on what he was doing wrong, Wyler replied only: "It stinks. Do it again." According to Charlton Heston, Wyler approached him early in the shooting of Ben-Hur and told him that his performance was inadequate. When a dismayed Heston asked him what he should do, "Be better" is all that Wyler could supply. In his autobiography, Elia Kazan, a famed "actor's director", tells how he offered advice to an actor acquaintance of his who was making a Wyler picture as he knew that the great director was inarticulate about acting and would be unable to give advice.

Wyler believed that after many takes, actors got angry and began to shed their preconceived ideas about acting in general and the part in particular. Stripped of these notions, actors were able to play at a truer level. It is a process that Stanley Kubrick would subsequently use on his post-2001: A Space Odyssey films, though to different results, creating an otherworldly anti-realism rather than the more naturalistic truth of a Wyler movie performance. Wyler's method often meant that his films went over schedule and over budget, but he got results. The performances in Wyler films are part of this craftsman's consummate skill for injecting thoughtfulness into his movies while avoiding sentimentality and pandering to the audience. A Wyler film demands that his audience, like his actors, become intelligent collaborators of his.

William Wyler's reputation has suffered as he is not considered an "auteur," or "author" of his films. However, in his postwar career, he definitely was the auteur, or controlling consciousness, behind his films. Though he never took a screenwriting credit (other than for an early horse opera, Ridin' for Love), he selected his own stories and controlled the screenwriting, hiring his own writers in a development process that could take years.

Wyler films in his postwar period include The Heiress, a fine version of Henry James' novel "Washington Square," with an Oscar-winning performance by Olivia de Havilland; Detective Story, a police drama that takes place on a minimal, controlled set almost as restricted as that of Hitchcock's Rope; and Roman Holiday, which won Audrey Hepburn an Oscar in her first leading role. The other films of this period are Carrie, The Desperate Hours and Friendly Persuasion.

Wyler returned to the western genre one last time with The Big Country, a picture far removed in scope from his two-reeler origins, featuring Gregory Peck, Heston, and Wyler's old "Hell's Heroes" star Bickford. Burl Ives won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as the patriarch of an outlaw clan in conflict with Bickford's family. Wyler was next enlisted by producer Sam Zimbalist to helm MGM's high-stakes "Ben-Hur" (1959), a remake of its 1925 classic. It was a high-budget ($15 million, approximately $90 million when factored for inflation), wide-screen (the aspect ratio of the film is 2.76 to 1 when properly shown in 70mm anamorphic prints, the highest ratio ever used for a film) epic that the studio had spent six years preparing. Principal photography required more than six months of shooting on location in Italy, with hundreds of crew members and thousands of extras. Wyler was the overlord of the largest crew and oversaw more extras than any other film had ever used. Despite its size, Wyler's "Ben-Hur," along with Kubrick's Spartacus, is arguably the most intelligent entry in the Biblical blockbuster genre. Grossing $74 million (approximately $600 million at today's ticket prices, ranking it #13 film in terms of all-time box office performance, when adjusted for inflation), the film was the fourth highest-grossing film of all-time when it was released, surpassed only by Gone with the Wind, DeMille's The Ten Commandments, and Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. "Ben-Hur" went on to win 11 Oscars out of 12 nominations, including a third Best Director Academy Award for Willi. The 11 Oscars set a record since tied by Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

In the last decade of his career, he remade "These Three" as The Children's Hour, a franker version of Hellman's play than his 1936 version. The Collector was his last artistic triumph, and he had his last hit with Funny Girl, for which Barbra Streisand repeated Audrey Hepburn's success of 15 years earlier, wining an Oscar in her first lead role. Wyler's last film was The Liberation of L.B. Jones, an estimable failure that tackled the theme of racial prejudice, but which came out in the revolutionary time of Easy Rider and other such films, and held little promise for such traditional warhorses as Wyler.

Though he dreamed of making more pictures, Wyler's failing health kept him from taking on another film. Instead, he and his wife Margaret Tallichet, the mother of his five children, contented themselves with travel. William Wyler died on July 27, 1981, in Beverly Hills, California, one of the most accomplished and honored filmmakers in history.

Stephen Boyd

Stephen Boyd was born William Millar on July 4, 1931, at Glengormley, Northern Ireland, one of nine children of Martha Boyd and Canadian truck driver James Alexander Millar, who worked for Fleming's on Tomb Street in Belfast. He attended Glengormley & Ballyrobert primary school and then moved on to Ballyclare High School and studied bookkeeping at Hughes Commercial Academy. In Ireland he worked in an insurance office and travel agency during the day and rehearsed with a semi-professional acting company at night during the week and weekends. He would eventually manage to be on the list for professional acting companies to call him when they had a role. He joined the Ulster Theatre Group and was a leading man with that company for three years, playing all kinds of roles. He did quite a bit of radio work in between as well, but then decided it was distracting him from acting and completely surrendered to his passion. Eventually he went to London as an understudy in an Irish play, "The Passing Day".

In England he became very ill and was in and out of work, supplementing his acting assignments with odd jobs such as waiting in a cafeteria, doorman at the Odeon Theatre and even busking on the streets of London. Even as things turned for the worst, he would always write back to his mother that all was well and things were moving along so as not to alarm her in any way or make her worry. Sir Michael Redgrave discovered him one night at the Odeon Theatre and arranged an introduction to the Windsor Repertory Company. The Arts Council of Great Britain was looking for leading man and part-time director for the only major repertory company that was left in England, The Arts Council Midland Theatre Company, and he got the job. During his stay in England he went into television with the BBC, and for 18 months he was in every big play on TV. One of the major roles in his early career was the one in the play "Barnett's Folly", which he himself ranked as one of his favorites.

In 1956 he signed a seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox. This led to his first film role, as an IRA member spying for the Nazis in The Man Who Never Was, a job he was offered by legendary producer Alexander Korda. William Wyler was so struck by Boyd's performance in that film that he asked Fox to loan him Boyd, resulting in his being cast in what is probably his most famous role, that of Messala in the classic Ben-Hur opposite Charlton Heston. He received a Golden Globe award for his work on that film but was surprisingly bypassed on Oscar night. Still under contract with Fox, Boyd waited around to play the role of Marc Anthony in Cleopatra opposite Elizabeth Taylor. However, Taylor became so seriously ill that the production was delayed for months, which caused Boyd and other actors to withdraw from the film and move on to other projects.

Boyd made several films under contract before going independent. One of the highlights was Fantastic Voyage, a science-fiction film about a crew of scientists miniaturized and injected into the human body as if in inner space. He also received a nomination for his role of Insp. Jongman in Lisa (aka "The Inspector") co-starring with Dolores Hart.

Boyd's Hollywood career began to fade by the late 1960s as he started to spend more time in Europe, where he seemed to find better roles more suited to his interests. When he went independent it was obvious that he took on roles that spoke to him rather than just taking on assignments for the money, and several of the projects he undertook were, at the time, quite controversial, such as Slaves and Carter's Army. Boyd chose his roles based solely on character development and the value of the story that was told to the public, and never based on monetary compensation or peer pressure.

Although at the height of his career he was considered one of Hollywood's leading men, he never forgot where he came from, and always reminded everyone that he was, first and foremost, an Irishman. When the money started coming in, one of the first things he did was to ensure that his family was taken care of. He was particularly close to his mother Martha and his brother Alex.

Boyd was married twice, the first time in 1958 to Italian-born MCA executive Mariella di Sarzana, but that only lasted (officially) during the filming of "Ben Hur". His second marriage was to Elizabeth Mills, secretary at the British Arts Council and a friend since 1955. Liz Mills followed Boyd to the US in the late 1950s and was his personal assistant and secretary for years before they married, about ten months before his death. He died on June 2, 1977, in Northridge, California, from a massive heart attack while playing golf - one of his favorite pastimes - at the Porter Valley Country Club. He is buried at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California. It was a terrible loss, just as he seemed to be making a comeback with his recent roles in the series Hawaii Five-O and the English movie The Squeeze.

It is a real tragedy to see that a man who was so passionate about his work, who wanted nothing but to tell a story with character, a man who was ahead of his time in many ways ended up being overlooked by many of his peers. One fact remains about Stephen Boyd, however--his fans are still passionate about his work to this day, almost 30 years after his death, and one has to wonder if he ever realized that perhaps in some way he achieved the goal he set out for himself: to entertain the public and draw attention to the true art of acting while maintaining glamour as he defined it by remaining himself a mystery.

Cesare Danova

Tall, dark, and handsome, Italian actor Cesare Danova (pronounced Chez-a-ray Da-NO-va) was a true Renaissance man. As a boy, it appeared he might become a professional athlete. But his family wanted him to become a doctor. Cesare, by his own account, studied medicine with such diligence that he suffered a nervous breakdown shortly before he was to take his degree. While recuperating, he was sent by a friend to see Dino De Laurentiis, the famous Italian producer, who was so impressed that he gave Danova a screen test. Thinking it was a joke, Danova insisted on seeing the screen test for himself. Soon, he was cast as the lead in La figlia del capitano (The Captain's Daughter). Thus began his career as an Italian Errol Flynn. In almost 20 European films, Danova played the dashing lead, riding horses, jumping through windows, dueling, and romancing beauties such as Gina Lollobrigida.

Known for his aristocratic bearing, he often played noblemen. The six-foot-four Danova was also an expert athlete. A devotee of strenuous daily workouts from age 12, Danova was a fencing champion by age 15 and a member of the Italian National Rugby Team by age 17. In addition to playing golf, tennis, and croquet, Danova was an amateur swimming champion, an expert horseman and polo player, and a master archer. He won the Robin Hood Trophy when he shot and embedded one arrow inside another arrow within the target's bull's eye. He was also a licensed pilot who flew his own planes (Beechcraft, Piper, Cherokee, and Cessna).

A descendant of famed medieval artist Filippo Lippi, Danova collected antiques and paintings. Describing himself as a fair painter, he taught himself to draw by studying a 75-cent how-to-draw book. Danova owned a library of over 3,000 books, each written in one of the five languages he knew-Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German.

Danova loved the theater and appeared onstage in Rome, Venice, Spain, New York, and Los Angeles. He was in the habit of carrying a small leprechaun good luck charm (and a shamrock ) he'd bought in Ireland, The actor traveled to the Emerald Isle many times. 'I love Ireland and I go there every chance I get,' he once said.

With almost 20 European films under his belt, Danova was spotted by MGM's head of talent in the German-backed 'Don Giovanni'(1955), his first film shown in the U.S. Impressed, the studio signed Danova to a long-term contract in June of 1956, and he traded his flourishing career in Europe for Hollywood. Rumors abounded that MGM had found its Ben-Hur (a role coveted by Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas, among others) for the upcoming super-epic remake by director William Wyler. The studio said it expected big things from Danova but that it was too soon to say whether he'd play the lead until he'd perfected his English. Still, it was no secret that Danova had been brought to America by Wyler to be groomed for the lead role. Hollywood columnist Bob Thomas referred to Danova as the 'new Italian sensation' and others compared him to 'Tyrone Power (I)' and Robert Taylor, a glamour boy to fill the shoes of Rudolph Valentino.

When Danova arrived, he didn't speak English and insisted on not learning his lines by rote. He spent the next six months learning the language, a not-terribly-difficult feat for a man with a self-professed love of words who already spoke four languages. With a background in classical acting, and his newfound English fluency, Danova was ready for his big break. But just as filming was to get underway in March, 1957, Wyler decided he didn't want an actor with an accent playing Ben-Hur and, instead, chose Charlton Heston (who would win the best actor Oscar for the role). Danova was shocked - the role would almost certainly have made him an international star.

Although Wyler didn't want Danova, MGM did. The studio said it expected important things from him when they signed him. But now they had no definite alternative plans for him. Danova's career idled for the next two years. MGM kept him on its payroll, paying him well for doing nothing at all. Danova admitted that, although he was not bitter, the lack of work day after day was enough to drive him crazy. He stayed busy reading, writing, taking diction lessons, building furniture, and playing with his two small sons, Fabrizio and Marco, by English actress Pamela Matthews, whom he had wed in 1955.

Finally, with MGM's consent, Danova made his American debut in Los Angeles opposite Paul Muni in a musical version of Grand Hotel. When it flopped, he traveled to Cuba to appear in Catch Me If You Can, a film starring Gilbert Roland and Dina Merrill. Financed by soon-to-be-deposed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, it was apparently never released. Danova's American film debut was as the lover of Leslie Caron in the now-forgotten The Man Who Understood Women, starring Henry Fonda.

When Danova first came to America, he was quoted as saying that he wished to lose his accent so that he would be able to play the role he most wanted, that of an American cowboy. In 1958, he got his wish. He made his American television debut in a first-season episode of The Rifleman called 'Duel of Honor,' the first of three appearances. United Press International summed up Danova's reversal of fortune this way: "Televiewers will have the opportunity to see the man who almost played the title role in Ben-Hur - but in place of a chariot he'll be bouncing around in a stage coach...Danova, a ruggedly handsome Italian import, is making his American debut in ABC-TV's The Rifleman. It's quite a comedown from his original intent to star in the most expensive movie in history."

Cesare Danova got a second chance at stardom when he was cast as Cleopatra's court advisor, Apollodorus, in the Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor. As originally scripted, Danova's character was to be Cleopatra's lover, servicing her when she wasn't being romanced by costars Rex Harrison and Richard Burton. "I'm sort of the third man-the real lover," Danova was quoted as saying.

But then the torrid, real-life love affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton became a worldwide media sensation. The resulting scandal, since both stars were married but not to each other, generated badly needed public interest in the troubled, bloated, fantastically over-budget production. Le Scandale (as the French dubbed it) upstaged everything about the film not related to Taylor & Burton. As a result, Danova's performance was now a distraction and most of it was cut, dashing predictions that Danova "should be in big demand after this one."

In October 1963, not quite two-and-a-half months after Cleopatra's release, Pamela and Cesare Danova were divorced. The Associated Press headline stated merely: Wife Divorces Cleopatra Slave.

In his early years in America, Danova turned down the opportunity to appear as a series regular on TV for fear of being typecast and locked out of movies altogether. When he finally accepted, it was for the WWII ensemble cast Garrison's Gorillas, a show patterned somewhat after The Dirty Dozen. Danova said he accepted because he was the first to be cast and his was the best part. He appeared as actor, a con man, expert at disguises and spreading disinformation behind the lines among the Nazis. Although he took pains to distinguish the two roles, Danova's character was obviously similar to that played by TV contemporary Martin Landau on Mission: Impossible. In any event, Garrison's Gorillas did not last beyond the 1967-1968 season.

In time, as movie roles became fewer, Danova did a great deal of television work. Two of his most memorable later screen roles (and the ones for which he is best remembered) were as Mafia Don Giovanni Cappa in Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese, and as corrupt mayor Carmine DePasto in Animal House.

Cesare Danova died of a heart attack on March 19, 1992, shortly after his 66th birthday, during a meeting of the Foreign Language Film committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), at its Los Angeles headquarters.

Franklin Pangborn

Franklin Pangborn - a name more befitting a fictionalized bank president rather than a great comedic actor - was a singular character actor but little is known of his early years. He spent some time in developing acting talent prior to appearing on Broadway by March of 1911, and would do six plays until mid-1913. He was noticeably absent afterward and corresponding with the early years of World War I. He was in the US Army after America entered the war in 1917. Pangborn did one more play on Broadway in 1924. Interestingly, for someone immediately identified with comedy, Pangborn's roles were for the most part dramatic and included Armand Duval in "Camille", a role in a play adaptation of "Ben Hur", and two parts in "Joseph and His Brethren". Two years later, Pangborn turned to silent films. And although he would play some villains and romantic leads, that droopy pudding-face of his was bound for comedy. In all these early roles from his debut in 1926, his first talkie (On Trial), and on through most of 1932 (when he made 24 appearances on film), Pangborn was playing comedic roles, many of which were for short films (many by Mack Sennett) where the players usually had no on-screen persona and no billing credit. His many appearances in shorts tapered off and ended through 1935.

These roles were quite varied and continued as such into the later 1930s. He played the compromised husband in two Bing Crosby vehicles (1933); no fewer than three photographers, reporters, radio announcers, bartenders, and much more, including a character meant to parody his own name: 'Mr. Pingboom' (Turnabout). But through the same period he was piling up a lot of clerk, floorwalker, and, perhaps most of all, hotel manager roles. These latter were the basis for Pangborn typed as the straight-laced, nervous minor official or service provider or manager of whatever whose smug self-assurance in his orderly world is sorely tested.

The term 'sissy' (so prominent a condemnation from childhood memories) was used in early film (and still used today by some film historians) as a catchall name for a spectrum of rather gentle and nebulous male personalities; a simpering voice of any kind would be an instant label that also implied the taboo of homosexuality. Pangborn is often first on the list of actors noted as typed in this general category with Edward Everett Horton with his dignified but slightly simpering New England drawl a close second. Animator Robert Clampett at Warner Bros. in the late 1940s patterned his Goofy Gophers, Mac and Tosh, with their polite and flowery speech after both men. Pangborn had a mellow, lyrical voice which he could ramp up to a staccato, rapid-fire rhythm when perturbed. Indeed, the face and the voice fit well with characters of convention and control, as well as the fastidious to the point of being another slang term of many faces: 'prissy'. And maybe that does not include effeminate - he was not quite that - though the term is indelibly tagged to the character type. His characters were the sort of proper and snobby figures who the easygoing American public would find suspicious - and thus all the funnier on screen when they get their comeuppance. Yet Pangborn never implied 'gay' in his portrayals despite all the gender revisionism of today that might reinterpret his work as such. In real life, people are more complex; on the mainstream screen - as opposed to the shadowy blue one - of the 1930s and 40s, characters were more generally defined within usual convention.

By the later 1930s, Pangborn had perfected a wonderful sense of timing of demeanor, manner, and voice to fit the control freak who is gradually dragged into his worst nightmare of relative chaos by hapless situation. By this time his characterizations were such a fixture of guaranteed laughs that the movie-going public expected to see him. Pangborn was in great demand to do what he did best. And having already worked from the silent era with great stars and directors, he continued to do so. W.C. Fields was a great fan of him and used him in several movies. He was a constant in smart comedy from Frank Capra and Gregory La Cava to the more extreme screwball comedies of Preston Sturges, though frequently upstaged with such a company of funny men as Sturges gathered around him. The Pangborn progression from very funny to uproarious is seen evolved, for example, from La Cava's My Man Godfrey to Sturges's Hail the Conquering Hero. In the first he is the volunteer swell who coordinates store-keeping for the scavenger hunt of his fellow - if downright silly - affluent crust of New York society. As the flow of items brought to him for registering turns into a flood (including a live goat kid), his demeanor, mannerisms, and vocal speed display increasing irritation. Head spinning, he is in defensive mode as he fends off shouting, grabbing participants. The role perhaps was his defining moment as established celebrity comedian. In Sturges's movie, and Pangborn appeared in most of his best efforts, he is the committee chairman of the reception for false hero Eddie Bracken, trying to coordinate festivities and caught in a literal battle of bands at the beginning of the film. Converged upon by various hokey town bands who all want to play the featured pieces, Pangborn attempts order but is methodically carried away as people out of the blue arrive to suggest other songs, and the bands continue to assail him with arguments, and finally all play all the songs - and all at once - to prove the most deserving. It is musical chaos with Pangborn finally reduced to desperate blasts on a whistle and jumping up and down, yelling "Not yet! Not yet!" It is one of the actor's finest pieces.

Yet Pangborn's usual stock of characters could fit drama as well. Actually, in "Hero", his coordinator also has some straight scenes as well. In Now, Voyager as the cruise tourist director, his only problem is that Bette Davis has not arrived on deck to be partnered for the land touring of Rio. As an accomplished stage actor, he did miss the boards. Friend of Edward Horton, he was able to exchange his quirky screen characters for dramatic ones, participating in Horton's Los Angeles-based Majestic Theatre productions. But times changed for Pangborn's specialties. Movies were more diverse and updated as the 1950s ensued. But he was immediately adaptable to the small screen which would re-introduce him. He was right at home as a guest star on TV comedy shows, playing his beloved characters as cameo celebrations of his matter-of-fact stardom.

There were a handful of film roles in his last decade with perhaps the overambitious and black-and-white dull but star-studded The Story of Mankind a bit of a showcase. Also in 1957 he had the singular distinction of being honored as guest announcer - a familiar enough role - and first guest star on the premiere of the "Tonight Show" with its first host Jack Paar. To pass away after surgery seems such a disordered way to go for one such as Franklin Pangborn whose on-screen characters struggled for order above all else. There is no order in the frailty of life by definition, but Pangborn's legacy, rich in comedic gems, has and surely will continue to endure.

Miguel Ángel Muñoz

Miguel Ángel Muñoz belongs to that distinguished group of actors who, without being a member of a family of performers, seemed destined for the stage and show business since birth. He is not the sort of person whose image crystallized at a particular moment in time: he acts, dances, and sings naturally, in a very spontaneously way, as he was born to do. It comes so naturally to him that it is unthinkable that he pursue a different line of work.

These natural talents led him to debut on the silver screen at the age of 9 with a leading role in El palomo cojo, directed by Jaime de Armiñán (who some years earlier came within a hair's breadth of winning the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for Mi querida señorita). Miguel Ángel's great artistic sensibility and capabilities secured him work in the cinema, theatre, television, dance and the recording industry before he was twenty, and he has enjoying great acclaim throughout the course of his career.

Due to his innate qualities and talents, his track record to date is spectacular. Miguel Ángel Muñoz has proved himself to be an actor with a wide range of registers, who defies typecasting in any genre. He is capable of taking on parts in comedy, drama, humor, tragedy or musicals, be it on film, on stage, or on television. In other words: he is an actor in the broadest sense of the word. Yet one thing about Miguel Ángel Muñoz deserves special emphasis. His natural acting talent has been, and no doubt will continue to be, the key asset in his professional career. His human qualities are impressive, both at a personal level and as demonstrated in his work. We mean not only that he is a tireless worker and a responsible, level-headed person, but also someone with a striking ability to create a magnificent working atmosphere wherever he works.

Miguel Ángel Muñoz -having tasted notable success at an early age- has always managed to keep his feet firmly on the ground. He has a sixth sense for detecting tensions common to this line of work and creating harmonious environments as well as developing personal relationships with his colleagues. All of the directors, actors, production teams, etc., that have worked alongside him can vouch for this. We mention this since it is undoubtedly another key aspect in the development of his method of work.

On film he has worked in drama, comedy, terror, epic and even animation dubbing Brad Pitt's voice in DreamWorks' production Sinbad: The Legend of the Seven Seas. He has made appearances in numerous TV series in Spain, in various types of roles, often as the leading man, as in Un Paso Adelante (the series with greatest sales in the history of Spanish television) or El Sindrome de Ulises (The Ulysses' Syndrome), which FOX is preparing to remake for the USA.

His stage roles include the narrator of Mozart's first opera, Bastien und Bastienne at the Teatro Real of Madrid, one of the most prestigious theatres in Europe, and the starring role of Antonio Skármeta's El cartero de Neruda (The Postman), in which he gave an outstanding performance. He has recorded albums that have sold in the thousands both in Spain and abroad, bringing him several Platinum records.

He has performed live music as a special guest at the San Remo Festival, and alongside artists of the stature of Janet Jackson.

More detailed information can be found in his resume.

While he could have carried on with his musical career thanks to the sales of his records throughout Europe and the success of his live performances, instead Miguel Ángel Muñoz has channeled his professional efforts into acting, thus heeding the powerful call he has heard since the days of his youth. After he completing his role in the remake of Ben Hur, directed by Steve Shill (The Tudors, Rome, Dexter), he perfected his already advanced English. This has enabled him to act in both Spanish and English with equal ease, be it in feature films, on stage, or on the small screen.

Miguel Ángel has not stopped working since beginning his career over 20 years ago. Films like No controles directed by Borja Cobeaga (short film nominated for an Oscar), the short film Adios Papá, Adios mama, nominated for the 25th Goya Awards, for which Miguel Ángel received the award for best actor in the Alfas del Pi Festival, or Tension Sexual no Resuelta are among his latest titles in this recent years.

In addition, last years has been especially intense in Miguel Ángel Muñoz's professional career as an actor, as he has been involved in many projects in the field of cinema, TV and theatre, both nationally and internationally. One of these projects has been his role as one of the main characters in What about love, together with Sharon Stone and Andy García. The international film was directed by Klaus Menzel with a script by the Oscar award-winner Douglas Day Stweart (An Officer and a Gentleman).

Furthermore, he has played a leading part in the cast of the successful HBO series Capadocia, first broadcast in Latin America, and nominated for three International Emmy Awards, whose USA broadcast launch will be in September 2013.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, the TV series Infames launched and broadcast in Cadena 3 México and Mundo Fox in the USA also occupies a special place, since it broke all viewer records for the network and sparked sharp controversy by addressing political subjects while a change of government was underway in Mexico. Miguel Ángel Muñoz will also take part in the cast for the film Viral, by Lucas Figueroa - who in 2010 achieved the Guinness World Record for directing and producing the most acclaimed short film in history, Por qué hay cosas que nunca se olvidan. Miguel Ángel is also part of the cast of the feature film Al final todos mueren (Eventually they all die), a project sponsored and coordinated by Javier Fesser.

His last series "Sin Identidad" (2014-2015) has been one of the most successful projects in the Spanish and Italian TV in the last years.

As the culmination of a brilliant career, Miguel Ángel Muñoz stars in the film "Hablar" directed by Joaquin Oristrell. This "one shot film" was presented in the 18th Malaga Film Festival receiving the best price from the young jury and Miguel's performance was acclaimed by the critic. In the more than 20 years of his professional career, Miguel Ángel Muñoz has been, and continues to be involved in an ongoing learning process, and he never ceases to grow as an actor: he placed himself in the hands of the master Juan Carlos Corazza in Madrid, he trained in Integrative Psychology in the S.A.T. Program in Argentina with Claudio Naranjo and subsequently studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 2015 he finished the Hoffman Process with Luis Fernando Camara.

Lara Heller

Lara Heller is a well-seasoned action actress with a background in screen fighting. She performs in 4 languages fluently; English, German, French and Persian and can switch between 15 different accents.

Lara first came to public attention as the actress in The Cut, which won the Vittorio Veneto Award at the Venice Film Festival. The story is about a father (Tahar Rahim) searching for his twin daughters (Lara Heller). The film was endorsed by Martin Scorsese who was quoted as saying "Fatih Akin's The Cut is a genuine, hand-made epic, of the type that people just don't make anymore."

Lara has just wrapped on Troy-The Odyssey, a Tekin Girgin film. The adventure movie expands on the Trojan War and is much in the spirit of Indiana Jones. Lara plays a swashbuckling Trojan warrior stolen out to sea against her will.

New credits include Breaking The Bank, by Vadim Jean (Universal Pictures International) and Ben Hur, by Mark Atkins (Kaleidoscope Film). In this action drama, retired gladiator Ben Hur (Adrian Bouchet) trains Lucia (Lara Heller) and a group of young vigilantes to fight the Romans in their homeland.

In the new British gangland film, Welcome To Curiosity, Lara shoots bullets as a sultry killer named Duffy. The role was originally written for a man and the producers specifically re-wrote the character for Lara. The British crime movie contains five tales that share one thing in common: curiosity kills. A successful gangster (Cristian Solimeno) is forced into a dangerous heist with unscrupulous assassin (Lara Heller) and mafia's elite (Richard Blackwood).

Lara's 'appetite' for action roles and sports stunts keeps her fit. Water sports include trick-wakeboarding, waterskiing, surfing, swimming, fly boarding and diving. Winter sports include figure skating and skiing. Dance training includes contemporary, jazz, waltz, salsa and Persian dancing. Additionally, she is experienced in sword fighting and combat.

Lara now splits her time between London and LA. She was born in England and raised in a mountain village in Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Lara started on the stage in Belgium and trained at the drama studio Arts Educational Schools where Julie Andrews trained.

The Cut, Ben Hur and Breaking The Bank can be seen on Apple iTunes and Amazon. Keep an eye out for Welcome To Curiosity and Troy-The Odyssey, which are due for release next year.

Lando Buzzanca

Gerlando Buzzanca, best known as Lando Buzzanca, is an Italian theatrical, film and television actor, whose career spanned over 55 years. Born in Palermo the son of a cinema projectionist, at 16 years old Buzzanca left the high school and moved to Rome to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. In order to survive, he took many jobs including waiter, furniture mover, and a brief appearance as a slave in the film "Ben-Hur". He made his official debut in Pietro Germi's "Divorce, Italian Style", and soon specialized in the role of the average immigrant from southern Italy. After two successful "James Tont" films in which he played a parody of James Bond, starting from the late 1960s, Buzzanca got a large success in a series of satirical commedia sexy all'italiana films which satirized major institutions such as politics, religion, trade unions and financial world. With the decline of the genre, he slowed his film activities, focusing into theatre and television, in which he enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 2000s thanks to a series of well-received TV-series. In 2013, following the death of his wife Lucia and a heavy depression, Buzzanca attempted suicide by cutting his veins. In 2015 he has fully recovered from depressive period undertaking a relationship with a younger woman, Antonella. In 2016 he participates as dancer in the television program "Ballando con le stelle" and lives a new and intense romance with a younger actress and journalist Francesca della Valle.

Irving Thalberg

Irving Grant Thalberg was born in New York City, to Henrietta (Haymann) and William Thalberg, who were of German Jewish descent. He had a bad heart, having contracted rheumatic fever as a teenager and was plagued with other ailments all of his life. He was quite intelligent with a thirst for knowledge but, convinced that he would never see thirty, he skipped college and became, at 21, a high-level executive at Carl Laemmle's Universal Studios, then the largest motion picture studio in the world.

After hitting a career impasse at Universal (partly as a result of a failed romance with Laemmle's daughter), Thalberg jumped ship and enlisted with the relatively obscure Louis B. Mayer Productions overseeing its typically turgid yet profitable melodramas. While the two men shared a common vision for their company, they approached their responsibilities from radically different angles. Mayer was a macro-manager; like a chess master, he would typically engineer business moves far in advance. Given the opportunity, Mayer could've succeeded as CEO of any multi-national corporation. Thalberg was at heart, all about movies, literally pouring his life into his work, largely leaving the managerial duties of the studio to Mayer. Modest, he disavowed screen credit during his lifetime, decrying any credit that one gives themselves as worthless. This working partnership would keep Louis B. Mayer Productions consistently profitable and would extend into their heydays as masters of MGM but would lead to an acrimonious later relationship.

By 1923 theater mogul Marcus Loew had a big problem. In an effort to secure an adequate number of quality films for his theatrical empire, he had merged Metro Pictures with his latest acquisition, Goldwyn Pictures only to discover his new super-studio had inherited a handful of projects (the Italian-based Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and Greed) that had spun wildly out of control. He soon discovered that his problems were magnified by inheriting an incompetent management team. He instructed his attorney to conduct a headhunting expedition with instructions to investigate Louis B. Mayer Productions --- which Loew had previously visited on one of his trips west. Mayer's east Los Angeles studio actually had few tangible assets --- most of his equipment was rented. Loew ended up paying a pittance for Mayer's company but offered both men (after initially rejecting Thalberg!) huge salaries and even more generous profit participation allowances. Answering to New York-based Loew's Inc., Mayer and Thalberg moved into the then-state-of-the-art Goldwyn lot in Culver City and, with Loew's deep pockets, set about creating the most enviable film studio in Hollywood, quickly eclipsing Thalberg's former employer, Universal. Greed was largely scrapped (Thalberg recognizing director Erich von Stroheim's vision of a 7-hour film was unmarketable, had it extensively edited) and written off after a truncated release, with Ben Hur being called home and re-shot with a new director. Saddled with an unfavorable contract and millions in the red, the film would ultimately benefit the new company from prestige more than net profit, despite drawing huge crowds.

Mayer and Thalberg quickly moved past these inherited nightmares and created their dream studio. From 1925 through the mid-1940s there was MGM and then everyone else. It's roster of stars, directors and technicians were unmatched by any other studio. Indeed, to work for MGM meant that you had reached the top of your profession, whether it was front of or behind the cameras. Under Mayer and Thalberg, the studio refined the mechanics of assembly-line film production --- even their B-pictures would outclass the other major's principal productions (arguably MGM's only weakness was comedy). Their formula for quality made MGM the only major studio to remain profitable throughout the Great Depression (although a lesser studio, Columbia also did so, it achieved "major" studio status after 1934, ironically assisted by loaned out stars from MGM).

Thalberg himself was a workaholic and his health, which was never good, suffered. In his position as production supervisor, Thalberg had no qualms about expensive retakes or even extensively re-working a picture after it had completed principal photography --- one such case was with King Vidor's The Big Parade, where he recognized the modest $200,000 WWI drama was lacking the war itself and could be turned into a true spectacle with a few epic battle scenes added. These few additional shots cost $45,000 and turned the film into MGM's first major home-grown hit (and its biggest hit of the silent era), grossing nearly $5 million. If he micro-managed productions there was no one in Hollywood who did it more effectively. Thalberg fell into a deep depression after the mysterious death of his friend and assistant Paul Bern (the two had worked extensively together on the hit Grand Hotel) and he demanded a one-year sabbatical. Loew's Inc. head Nicholas Schenck (Marcus Loew had died in late 1926) responded by throwing more money at him --- more than Mayer himself was scheduled to earn for the year, alienating Mayer. This, to his ostensible boss was an insufferable insult, one that would drastically alter their relationship. Thalberg remained on the job but suffered a heart attack following a 1932 Christmas party. Mayer quickly engineered a coup of sorts, recruiting a new inner circle of producers (including David O. Selznick and Walter Wanger) to replace him. Thalberg recuperated in Europe with his wife Norma Shearer and returned to MGM in August, 1933 resuming his somewhat reduced duties as a unit production head. He continued to score hits, supervising The Merry Widow, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, the rousing, definitive version of Mutiny on the Bounty and the lavish Marie Antoinette (released after his death).

Thalberg also sought to rectify the studio's poor record in comedy films, signing the Marx Brothers, who had just been released from their contract at Paramount after string of flops. He felt the brilliant comedy team had been seriously mismanaged and ordered their MGM films to be shot in sequence and after their routines had been well tested on stage. The Thalberg-produced A Night at the Opera was a big hit but he wasn't infallible, stumbling with the critically well-received production of Romeo and Juliet, which went on the books as a $1 million loss. Over Mayer's objections, he delved into the film adaptation of Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth but died of pneumonia on September 14, 1936 at age 37. The Good Earth was released soon afterward, MGM honoring him by providing him his only screen credit (Thalberg had always eschewed a producer's credit on his films).

He was survived by his widow Norma and their two children; Irving, Jr. and Katherine. After his death the Motion Picture Academy created the Irving Thalberg Award, given for excellence in production.

William Farnum

William Farnum was born the son of G.D. Farnum and Adela Le Gros, actors who trained their William and his two brothers, Dustin Farnum and Marshall Farnum, in their profession. William made his stage debut at the age of 10 in Richmond, Virginia, in a production of "Julius Caesar" starring Edwin Booth. His first Broadway appearance was in 1896. His first major stage success was in the title role in "Ben Hur", in which he toured for five years. From 1915 to 1925 he devoted himself exclusively to motion pictures and became one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood, receiving from William Fox $10,000 weekly. In 1924 he was seriously injured while filming The Man Who Fights Alone. After that he was reduced to playing minor roles until the end of the silent era. He returned to the stage in 1925 playing Sir Ralph Morgan in "The Buccaneer". The following year he appeared in the title role of Julius Caesar and two years later was on Broadway as Banquo in "Macbeth". On June 10, 1953, Farnum's funeral was held at the Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Pallbearers were Cecil B. DeMille, Jesse Lasky, Frank Lloyd, Clarence Brown, Charles Coburn and Leo Carillo. The eulogy was read by Pat O'Brien.

William S. Hart

A storybook hero, the original screen cowboy, ever forthright and honest, even when (as was often the case) he played a villain, William S. Hart lived for a while in the Dakota Territory, then worked as a postal clerk in New York City. In 1888 he began to study acting. In 1899 he created the role of Messala in "Ben-Hur", and received excellent reviews for his lead part in "The Virginian" (1907). His first film was a two-reeler, His Hour of Manhood. In 1915 he signed a contract with Thomas H. Ince and joined Ince's Triangle Film Company. Two years later he followed Ince to Famous Players-Lasky and received a very lucrative contract from Adolph Zukor. His career began to dwindle in the early 1920s due to the publicity surrounding a paternity suit against him, which was eventually dismissed. He made his last film, Tumbleweeds, for United Artists and retired to a ranch in Newhall, CA. By that time audiences were more interested in the antics of a Tom Mix or Hoot Gibson than the Victorian moralizing of Hart. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, NY.

Carmel Myers

Though she is little remembered today, silent screen star Carmel Myers had a high-flying career in her heyday and was ranked among the screen's most glamorous and enticing vamps. She was born at the turn of the century in San Francisco, the daughter of immigrant parents. Her father, a rabbi, emigrated from Australia and her mother from Austria. Her older brother, Zion Myers, would grow up to become a successful writer and director in Hollywood. The family moved to Los Angeles when she was in her early teens and her father, an acquaintance of director D.W. Griffith, advised Griffith on the biblical scenes for his movie Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages, for which Carmel received a bit role as a dancer.

Signed by Universal, Carmel rose quickly up the ranks appearing with Rudolph Valentino in A Society Sensation and All Night. She later branched out and worked for other studios. She appeared in her most prestigious film over at MGM. In the epic extravaganza Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, she portrayed Iras, the evil Egyptian seductress out to snare both Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman. Outrageously adorned, she was a tremendous hit and MGM signed her up for their pictures The Devil's Circus and Tell It to the Marines, with each showcase striving to outdo the costumes she wore for "Ben-Hur."

Carmel managed the transition into talkies but, due to her age, started appearing more and more in support roles until she was left with nothing but bits. In the 1950s she tried television and made her debut in July 1951 with an interview show called, fittingly, The Carmel Myers Show, in which she bantered with such show biz elite as Richard Rodgers and Sigmund Romberg, but the show lasted only one season. Married three times, she turned to real estate and also founded Carmel Myers, Inc. in which she distributed French fragrances. She died on November 9, 1980.

Mathew Lorenceau

Mathew Lorenceau grew up in Paris, France. Raised by his mother, Catherine, who gave him the love for sports in particular horseback riding and swimming, as well as skiing and tennis but he discovered Martial Arts at the age of 12 after watching "Karate Kid", today he holds a 3rd Degree Black Belt and few victories under his belt in fights and forms.

Also being the son of Michel Delahaye, one of the most re known movie critics from "les Cahiers du Cinema" in the 1970s, who taught him about the motion picture culture(le 7ieme art); watching Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Jacques Tati, Kirk Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, James Dean, Gene Kelly, Walt Disneys cartoon to name a few. He was inspired by such films as "West Side Story", "Ben Hur", "Singing in the Rain", "Rebel Without a Cause", "The Ten Commandements", "River of no Return", "Rio Bravo", "Spartacus" and many more... to become an actor since a young age, even performing with his father in few independent films.

At the age of 20 he decides to take on a new road, the one of a performing artist; taking acting classes for 2 years at the re known "Actorat Vuillin" in Paris. His favorite play is Edmond Rostand "Cyrano de Bergerac" which impacted his acting career. And start on the TV show "Highlander". In 1991 he meets a fellow martial artist Cyril Raffaelli through stunt training (which Mathew trains for 2 years), and the two become the best of friends.

In 1996, he choses to move to Hollywood, California to get closer to his dream. Today he works on the translation of his father's screenplay "Archangel and Robinson" and start developing few screenplays to make his dream a reality.

In 2002, Mathew meets one of his younger cousin, Fabrice Lorenceau who studies at USC to become a producer.

In 2005, He jumps on board to work as a stuntman on the remake of "Poseidon" directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

In 2009, hired by the Brand X Action Specialists Keith Woulard & Tom R Harper to perform stunts on "Iron Man 2", he is also given the opportunity to deliver lines to Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke

Andre Alexsen

Andre Alexsen was born and raised in Hollywood, California under the Hollywood sign. His grandmother Mileva Petrovich escaped the Nazi occupation in WWII where most of her family were killed or separated. She moved her family to Hollywood, where Andre was born and raised. She told Andre that Hollywood movies, MGM, and other major studio films helped her mentally escape the cruelties of War. As a child Andre remembers playing in the Hollywood hills with his German Shepherd "Buddy" and watching classic movies and TV shows as he played make believe cops, cowboys, fireman, and soldiers. His family moved to a ranch home in Tarzana, CA in the San Fernando Valley across the street from actor Steven Boyd from "Ben Hur" fame. Steven was a big influence on Andre as an actor, and down the block lived actor and World full contact karate champ Bob Wall aka Ohara in "Enter The Dragon" with Bruce Lee. It was Bob who got Andre interested and started in Martial Arts and then moving on to Krav Maga where he trained with Israeli Commandos. Andre attended Portola Junior High and then went on to Taft High in Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley, CA where he played football, started surfing, and got into racing muscle cars. He met a great friend named Patrick Beckwith of the movie "Big Wednesday" at Taft, who got him into his first Mattel skateboard commercial as an actor/stunt skateboard rider. After graduation, Andre started working at The 20th Century Fox during the time Mash, Love Boat and Hart to Hart were all filming. "Fall Guy" was the first stunt show that Andre worked on, produced by Lee Majors. Andre also worked grip and lighting as well as a stage manager, second unit director, directing for Hollywood National Studio's (now 204 Studios) for friend Dick Sheehan. But it was always stunts, stunt coordinating, directing, hosting, acting and producing that he wanted and loved to do. Andre studied with World famous acting coach Howard Fine and picked up as much as he could learn at his studio from Alexander technique to voice production and hosting to advanced scene study. Andre currently trains private instruction MMA with the World famous Grand Master Sensei and never defeated Champion Gokor Chivichyan, who is now a great friend of Andres. Gokor Chivichyan is the owner of Hayastan MMA in North Hollywood, where Uncle Judo Gene Lebell, the Godfather of Grappling/top Stuntman and Stunt Coordinator had taught Andre about stunts, fighting, and Entertainment. This dojo also included Andre's other legendary instructors Benny (The Jet) Urquidez and Sensei Santos Flaniken where all these instructors train World Champions and top UFC Fighters in MMA, Judo, Jujitsu, Grappling, and Striking. Andre is also a weapons expert and instructor. He has trained with and helped train the US Military, Army, Special Ops, PJs, Navy Seals, Marine Corps, Black Hawk Crews, and Border Patrol from his Dad's Private Military Government Contracted Ranch in Arizona where the Dillion Mini Guns got started. Throughout the years, Andre has used his weapon expertise to work for Law Enforcement, P.I. Firms, Private Security, and has successfully made many arrests and saved lives. He is now an accomplished Stuntman Actor, Stunt Coordinator, Daredevil TV show host, Action director, wild animal handler trainer, skydiver, scuba diver, adrenaline junkie, weapons expert, auto racer, stunt driver, and much more. His love for animals led him to keep working on set with animals, and all the things he had done growing up had prepared him for it. He rescues animals and then trained them for TV and Film. In return he gets blessed for it. Even his rescue German Shepherds have been hired for K9 cop units on TV shows. Animal rescue and conservation is a very important cause for Andre and it will always be. He has worked with Tigers, Jaguars, Monkeys, Rhinos, African Elephants, Bears, Lions, Leopards, Horses, and more! One day at the Perris, California drop zone, Andre had spotted the most beautiful woman that he had seen and she happened to be a skydiver with even more jumps than him. They began to skydive together and it was love at first flight. They are now inseparable, happily married, and train together in everything from skydiving, scuba diving, MMA, weapons, surfing, horseback riding, adrenaline activities, and are not only in love, but are best friends for life. She is now the Adrenaline Woman of his dreams and is known as Lina "Falcon" Alexsen, Stuntwoman, and Registered Nurse, as you can imagine it's just what the Doctor ordered due to all of the injuries and craziness of Andre. The most important things to Andre are God, Family, Country, our Military and Vets, and all of his animal friends that help keep him grounded. After many credits in TV, Film, Music Videos, Commercials, and working for other people from Spielberg, Ron Howard, to Clint Eastwood, Andre has now formed his own production company. He is an Executive Producer, Action Director, writer, and has his own deals for three of his own TV shows. Andre is known as the Adrenaline Man aka "Relentless" and his show is airing soon and going Global on Discovery Channel, to be followed by his other shows and Feature Films that he will be directing and starring in as Host, Exec Producer, Director and more. Recently he has finished working on a show with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett and is also working with China and the Asia Pacific on future big projects in TV and Film. Andre's dreams and goals are to be remembered for helping and rescuing abandoned, starving, abused, and hurt people and animals of this world using his name and resources to make the world a less hostile place and heal and feed the broken and to provide better lives for them. His dream in Entertainment is to bring back quality TV Programming and Entertainment that is not only exciting but educational which can be watched with the whole family and in all Nations of the World. A special thanks to Rae Williams (Dad) for all the life lessons.

Marios Gavrilis

Marios Gavrilis is a Greek-German actor and voice actor working internationally and is based in Los Angeles and Berlin. He has appeared on German Television in various shows and movies such as "Alarm für Cobra 11" (RTL), the awarded comedy show "Familie Braun" (ZDF) and "Morgen musst du sterben" (ARD). He has also played at the National Theater of Hamburg, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, as weill as at the Schauspiel Frankfurt, the Staatstheater Mainz and the Theaterhaus Jena. As a voice actor he has starred as the German voice of the lead Trevante Rhodes as "Black" in best picture Oscar-winning "Moonlight", of Jack Houston as "Judah Ben Hur" in "Ben Hur", of Dominic Cooper as "Jesse Custer" in "Preacher" as well as in numerous movies and TV shows such as "Rogue One - A Star Wars Story", "Narcos" and "House of Cards". He also works as a model, singer and guitar player and Stand-Up-Comedian.

Robert Surtees

Robert L. Surtees began his working life as a portrait photographer and retoucher, before becoming camera assistant at Universal in 1927. He spent a lengthy apprenticeship (15 years) working under such experienced cinematographers as Hal Mohr, Joseph Ruttenberg and Gregg Toland. Between 1929 and 1930, he was seconded to the Universal studios in Berlin, subsequently spending the remainder of the decade at First National, Warner Brothers and Pathe. He settled at MGM in 1943 (remaining under contract until 1962), and soon developed a reputation as one of Hollywood's foremost lighting cameramen.

In keeping with the glamorous, lavish look of MGM product of the time, Surtees typically employed high-key lighting. This particularly suited big budget colour epics, like Quo Vadis and Ben-Hur (filmed in the large screen Camera 65 process with anamorphic lenses, which greatly enhanced colour definition and sharpness); expansive outdoor musicals like Oklahoma! (the first picture shot in 70 mm Todd-AO ultra wide- screen format); or lush, romantic period drama like Raintree County. Forever at the cutting edge of technological innovation, Surtees was an extremely versatile craftsman. He excelled at every genre and photographic process, superb at shooting sweeping scenery (for example, his Technicolor lensing of King Solomon's Mineson location in Africa), or bringing the best out of his close-ups. An undoubted high point in his career would have to be the 9-minute chariot race from "Ben-Hur".

Surtees received the first of his 16 Oscar nominations for Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (when the studio system was at its peak), and his last - some 33 years later - for The Turning Point. Testimony to his ageless endurance was being picked by director Peter Bogdanovich to shoot The Last Picture Show. In the same nostalgic vein, his work on The Sting, photographed in subtle sepia tones (the film was deemed by the Library of Congress as 'aesthetically significant'), contributed greatly to its winning 7 Academy Awards.

Leonell McCann

Leonell McCann was born in Maywood California to Leon and Maxine Graves. Her father Leon was a close friend to Bela Lugosi and her mother Maxine was an actress in the movie Ben Hur and worked with the director William Wyler in 1959. Her parents divorced when Leonell was two years old. Leonell grew up in Los Angeles California with her two sisters after their mother passed away from the debilitating decease Lupus. At age 16 yrs. Leonell became involved in theatre and went on to study theatre arts at San Diego State University and the University of Hawaii. While working as a program assistant for the Aztec Hall she was asked to announce on stage the artist before their performances. That was where she was scouted and introduced to a production company to audition for a commercial that would air on Japanese TV and soon had to take a leave of absence from college to pursue working in Japan for a talent agency. Leonell was on the covers of many Japanese magazines as well as TV commercials. After three months in Japan, the agency/management sent calling cards out introducing her to agencies in Milan and Germany. Los Angeles was where she was where her friend singer/song writer Dave Mason took her under his wings and introduced her to a agent named Hal Ray of the William Morris Agency. She went on to star in Roger Corman films and by chance helped in the creation/designing of movie one sheets for Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing and Spielberg's The Color Purple. Leonell married David Dewitt McCann who was the senior VP of post production for Disney motion pictures/films for over twenty five years. David D. McCann passed in 2013. But Leonell keeps his legacy alive. Leonell McCann has been under the radar for all of these years however she is in the right place and is on her way to become spotlighted.

Sean Daniel

Sean Daniel, p.g.a. is a film industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience as both a producer and studio executive. Daniel joined Universal Pictures in 1976. In 1985, at the age of 34, he became the youngest production president in the studio's history, a position he held for 5 years. Daniel supervised the financing and production of such acclaimed films as National Lampoon's Animal House, Coal Miner's Daughter, The Blues Brothers, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Brazil, Field of Dreams, Do the Right Thing, Back to the Future, Out of Africa, Midnight Run, Born on the Fourth of July, Missing, Weird Science, Uncle Buck, The Great Outdoors, Born in East L.A, Fletch, Gorillas in the Mist, Darkman and Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life.

Following his tenure as an executive at the studio, Daniel started Alphaville Films with James Jacks. The production company was formed around the development and production of the first Mummy film that, based on its success, created a franchise yielding The Mummy Returns, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and The Scorpion King. Through their company, Daniel and Jacks also produced such films as Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused, the renowned western Tombstone; Nora Ephron's comedy Michael, which starred John Travolta; Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan; the Coen brothers' Intolerable Cruelty; the Chris Rock/Weitz brothers' comedy Down to Earth; the rap-music comedy CB4, also with Chris Rock; Jerry Zucker's Rat Race; John Woo's first American film, Hard Target; The Jackal which starred Richard Gere and Bruce Willis; Sam Raimi's The Gift starring Cate Blanchett and American Me which starred and directed by Edward James Olmos.

Daniel is currently the principal in The Sean Daniel Company, an independent production company that is developing projects at several studios and networks. At Universal Daniel is partnered with the producing team of Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to create a new series of re-imagined Mummy movies.At MGM Daniel is producing alongside Mark Burnett, Duncan Henderson and executive producer Roma Downey on Ben-Hur, an adaptation that returns to the original novel, with Timur Bekmambetov directing a script by Academy Award winner John Ridley. Paramount distributes with a February 2016 release. He is also a producer on Richard Linklater's latest project That's What I'm Talking About, currently in post production scheduled for a 2015 release. In development is the follow up to Universal's The Best Man Holiday which Daniel produced alongside writer/director/producer Malcolm Lee. The third film in The Best Man franchise is slated to begin photography in 2016.

Daniel is the Executive Producer of the upcoming TV series The Expanse, for SyFy and Alcon Television Group. Based on the New York Times Best-Selling franchise by James S.A Corey and adapted to screen by Academy Award nominated screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man), the sci-fi thriller series is among the cable networks most ambitious project to date. The Expanse will be airing December 2015 and stars Thomas Jane, Steven Strait and Shohreh Aghdashloo.

In addition to The Expanse, The Sean Daniel Company's television credits include Graceland, from Jeff Eastin, the creator of White Collar, now in its third season on USA Network. The Sean Daniel Company has also just partnered with Google to develop a TV drama based on Ingress, a game with millions of participants that uses real locations and social media activity. Daniel has also executive produced the TNT original film Freedom Song, directed by Phil Robinson and which starred Danny Glover; HBO's Everyday People; and the USA Network's four-hour mini series Attila, starring Gerard Butler.

Among the company's other projects is a partnership with independently funded Valiant Entertainment to make films based on their comic book characters, and Agent 13, based on the novel series, with Charlize Theron starring and producing with The Sean Daniel Company and Rupert Wyatt directing.

Daniel received a bachelor of Fine Arts in film from the California Institute of the Arts in 1973. Daniel has been a participant in the debate about media and culture, appearing on TV's The McLauchlin Group and NPR's Which Way L.A, and in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post.

Lew Wallace

The son of the governor of Indiana, Lew Wallace lived in Indianapolis as a young boy. He served in the Mexican War, and afterwards became a lawyer and was elected to the state Senate. He served again in the Union army during the Civil War, reaching the rank of major general. He was noted for repulsing an attempted raid by Confederate Gen. Jubal Early on Washington, DC, in 1864. After the Civil War, Wallace was appointed governor of New Mexico Territory and later minister to Turkey. He was a prolific author, although he is most famous for "Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ", which was turned into a play that was produced on Broadway and later filmed several times, the most famous one being Ben-Hur.

Rob Lane

One of the most versatile and sought-after composers working today, Rob is a multi-award winning composer with a huge array of credits across many genres. A BAFTA winner for his score for Channel 4's Elizabeth starring Helen Mirren, he has also received 3 Ivor Novello awards, 3 RTS awards and 4 EMMY nominations for scores as diverse as John Adams, Blackpool, Jane Eyre, Longford, Daniel Deronda, Charles II and The Last Weekend. Rob's most recent work includes ITV's brand new 13-part epic warrior drama Beowulf and BBC One's 6-part drama The A Word.

Rob's remarkable ear for a memorable melody has long been a key part of his output and has graced many a period drama, from Love In A Cold Climate and Tess Of The D'Urbervilles through to ITV's Arthur and George (starring Martin Clunes) and BBC1's recent World War One drama The Crimson Field. A suite from his much loved music for Merlin was performed in the 2012 Proms In The Park season and his main theme from HBO's epic mini-series John Adams starring Paul Giamatti has been much performed in the US.

Equally though, more recent scores for the psychological thrillers Hidden, The Last Weekend and BBC1s recent Quirke starring Gabriel Byrne have seen an increased and innovative use of electronica that reflects a new and growing left-field aspect to Rob's work.

A continuous desire to keep experimenting musically has also seen him recently produce two quirky jazz inflected scores for Cocky Giedroyc's Spies Of Warsaw and Carnival Pictures' Murder On The Home Front.

A strong desire to collaborate with interesting musicians across the world has seen Rob traveling to Johannesberg to work with the South African Broadcast Corporation Choir for Tom Hooper's post-apartheid thriller Red Dust starring Hilary Swank and collaborating with Bollywood music stars, Shankar Esshan Loy for West Is West, Andy DeEmmony's lyrical sequel to East Is East. He also recently sought out collaborations with Greek and Turkish musicians both for ABC Network's remake of Ben Hur starring Ray Winstone and BBC1's fantasy adventure series Atlantis.

It is this complete dedication to finding the emotional heart of a film and to render it in detailed, extremely nuanced work that continues to keep Rob in demand as a film & TV composer.

George Kallis

George Kallis grew up in a rich musical environment in Cyprus. His mother was an accomplished pianist and opera singer who introduced him to a variety of recording artists, while his grandfather gave him his first lessons on the violin. At the age of 8 George started studying the piano and by his early teens he 'rebelled' and turned his musical attention to more freestyle music such as playing bass in heavy metal bands and taking up the jazz saxophone.

Soon enough he took his first steps in songwriting and at the age of 16 George set up his first home studio, which although had its limitations enabled him to score the music for his school's play Antigone, which lead to The National Music Award for Drama by the Ministry of Culture. On the following year his songwriting progressed and George won several national songwriting awards; his songs are still popular and sang at national festivals today.

George grew up watching classic movies such as Laurence of Arabia and Ben Hur and their beautifully thematic soundtracks left a strong musical impression. His hidden passion soon became scoring music for films. Straight after his two-year army post as a first lieutenant in Greece, he earned a music scholarship of outstanding talent at the well-renowned Berklee College of Music to study film scoring in Boston and in his final year represented Berklee In a special NBC program on film music. During his studies he represented Cyprus as a songwriter in the famous Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Jerusalem. After relocating to London he followed up his Bachellor degree with a Masters of Muisc in Composition at The Royal College of Music, one of the top music conservatories in Europe.

With a solid foundation in both classical and contemporary music writing, George began his career as a composer. Having worked his way up from scoring documentaries (such as the acclaimed BBC series Horizon), and multimedia presentations, the distinctive quality of his music was recognized by international music producer Graham Walker (The Talented Mr Ripley, Sleepy Hollow). George composed, orchestrated and conducted the music for his first feature film WWII drama Joy Division with the music published by EMI.

The score was so successful that the producers introduced George to Hollywood film director Brett Leonard (The Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity) who at the time was finalizing the editing of Highlander The Source (Lionsgate 2008). George scored and conducted the music with an 80 piece orchestra, and the soundtrack is currently receiving much acclaim by various film music critiques, and fans of the mythology on iTunes.

As an orchestrator George is now working on Next Avengers, while previously he orchestrated the scores for Ultimate Avengers II and Dr Strange.

As a songwriter George has been awarded a gold album in Cyprus for his first CD Where There's a Child... by Galaxy Records (The Netherlands/Cyprus) and past songs of his have been published and distributed by BMG in Europe.

Ross Macdonald

Crime novelist and creator of the private eye Lew Archer, Ross MacDonald is often linked to his predecessors Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler as a master of the "hard-boiled" school of detective fiction, but MacDonald added a psychological depth and a unity of theme which was unique.

MacDonald was born Kenneth Millar in Los Gatos, California. His parents were Canadian, and the family moved back to Canada when Kenneth was three, after which his father abandoned them. For most of his youth Millar was shunted around from relative to relative; at one point his mother even considered putting him in an orphanage but relented right at the orphanage gates, and poverty, rootlessness and the search for family would become major motifs in his work. He attended schools in Ontario, graduating from the University of Western Ontario in 1938, then doing graduate work at the University of Toronto and the University of Michigan.

He had been writing short, light pieces for school newspapers but turned to more serious work during a stint in the US Naval Reserve during World War II. His first books were published under his own name, but in 1949 he brought out "The Moving Target" under the pen name John MacDonald in order to avoid confusion with his wife, Margaret Millar, who also wrote crime fiction. However, John D. MacDonald, creator of the Travis McGee series, complained that John MacDonald was his own real name, and perhaps Millar should get another pen name, so he settled on Ross MacDonald.

"The Moving Target" marked the first appearance of Lew Archer; the name was taken from "Ben-Hur" author Lew Wallace and the name of Sam Spade's murdered partner Miles Archer in Dashiell Hammett's "The Maltese Falcon." A moderate success, "The Moving Target" was followed by "The Drowning Pool" in 1950 (filmed later as The Drowning Pool) and 19 more, including "The Barbarous Coast" (1956), "The Galton Case" (1959), "The Wycherly Woman" (1961), "The Goodbye Look" (1969), "The Underground Man" (1971), "Sleeping Beauty" (1973) and his last, "The Blue Hammer" (1976).

During the 1960s and 1970s his critical reputation grew: he was the subject of a Newsweek cover story in 1971, and Nobel Prize-winning British author William Golding said that his works were "the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American author." His audience base was widened with film versions of "The Moving Target" (as Harper, with Paul Newman and "The Drowning Pool" (also with Newman, 1975). A film version of an early Kenneth Millar book, "Blue City" (1947, filmed as Blue City), was less successful.

MacDonald passed away at his home in Santa Barbara, California, after a three-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease.

Enzo Sisti

Rome native Enzo Sisti is a veteran of worldwide film production.

He's a hard worker and passionate filmmaker with a great experience on Italian and International film sets.

From production manager to financial controller, to Completion Bond inc. controller, to production accountant to fiscal representative for foreign companies in Italy, to producer, he has worked on dozens of movies. The shoots have taken place in Tunisia, Morocco, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Colombia, Croatia, and all across Italy. Among the many films that Mr. Sisti has worked on are Desmond Davis' original Clash of the Titans; Richard Donner's Ladyhawke; Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; Renny Harlin Cliffhanger, Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Martin Scorsese's Kundun and Gangs of New York; and Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley and Best Picture Oscar winner The English Patient.

He was executive producer of Anton Corbijn's The American and Mel Gibson's worldwide phenomenon The Passion of the Christ; co-producer of Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Mark Steven Johnson's When in Rome; and line producer on Catherine Hardwicke's The Nativity Story and J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible III (for the Italy setting of the shooting).

As dedicated filmmaker he was, more recently, executive producer on different types of International productions shot in Italy: the Italian segment of the worldwide hit Avengers: Age of Ultron; Guy Ritchie's take on the film version of The man from U.N.C.L.E.; The young Messiah , Ben Hur.

His last projects are Wonder Woman as line producer and the production of the first VR Film ever made 'Jesus - the story of Christ' where he got back to Matera, the city where he shot several international productions, starting with the work for Mel Gibson.

Enzo Sisti has been also consultant for the preparation of Academy Award winners Giuseppe Tornatore (The Best Offer) and Sam Mendes' 007 Spectre.

Jesaiah Baer

Jesaiah Elice Baer better known by her stage name Jesaiah, is an American recording artist and actress from Los Angeles, California. At the age of 17, Jesaiah left Northern California and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional career in music and acting.

She first gained recognition after appearing on American Idol where Jesaiah received mass attention and developed a cult following. Her unique style fuses the milky smooth sound of jazz with an edgy alternative pop to create a sound unique to her vocals. Jesaiah has performed in stages all over California including the infamous Bardot Hollywood and The Mint.

Jesaiah is a relative of the legendary Ramon Navarro, known as the Latin Rudolph Valentino and had appeared in over 50 feature films including the starring role of the original Ben Hur in 1925. Jesaiah's dream of bringing her family's star talent back into the spotlight is now being realized in 21st Century modern pop culture.

Ed Hendrik

Ed Hendrik (birth name 'Edoardo Purgatori') was born in Rome in 1989 to Andrea Purgatori, an Italian journalist and screenwriter and to Nicola Schmitz, a German art historian and actress. Ed is the eldest of three children and since kindergarten he attended the German School of Rome, where he began to cultivate a passion for acting when becoming a part of the school's theater company.

By the age of 19 he'd already gathered a plethora of acting experiences, including several shows over six years at school. Ed also attended several rigorous acting workshops conducted by visiting teachers from the Actors Studio in New York.

In 2007 he made his professional debut in the television drama 'Donna Detective' directed by Cinzia Th. Torrini. In a short time more television roles followed with directors Ricky Tognazzi, Alberto Sironi and Luigi Perelli, for Italy's national public broadcasting company, Radio Televisione Italiana (RAI).

In 2008 he shortly attended the University LUISS Guido Carli in Rome, where he studied international relations before moving to England to further pursue his acting training. In London he studied with private teachers, attended courses at the Actor's Temple before being offered a place at the Oxford School of Drama.

After two years abroad, Ed returned to Rome and continued his studies with Dominique De Fazio, a member of the Actors Studio, who soon became his artistic father. The first project he got involved in was a stage production of Tennessee Williams' 'The Glass Menagerie'. Then he played the starring role in 'The Shape of Things' by Neil LaBute. Edoardo also performed Mark Antony from William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'. At the same time in 2012, he starred in many independent short films as well as the RAI TV film, 'Anita Garibaldi', where he played Nino Bixio, directed by Claudio Bonivento.

In 2013 he played Emiliano Lupi in the eighth season of RAI's 'Un Medico in Famiglia'. Ed's work as Emiliano proved a resounding success with the show's fans, seeing him continue as the character for the upcoming ninth and tenth seasons.

2014 started strongly with the February screening of comedy feature film 'Amore Oggi', where Ed played a heartbroken, obese man. Working closely with directors Giuseppe Stasi and Giancarlo Fontana - and the film being produced by SKY Cinema - 2014 continued positively. A procession of roles followed. Acting in 'La mossa del Pinguino', Claudio Amendola's directing debut, was swiftly followed by starring in SKY Germany's short film, 'Am Wald'. 2014 also saw the screening of ARD's TV Film, 'Trennung auf Italienisch' shown on German prime time television.

Ed started 2015 with a role in the new film by Claudio Fragasso 'La grande Rabbia', inspired by the public riots in Tor Sapienza, Rome, where he played a police officer from the Italian police department, Reparto Mobile. Afterwards he started preparing for MGM's remake of the epic feature film 'Ben-Hur', where he worked with Jack Huston (Hur) and Morgan Freeman. Straight after 'Ben-Hur', Ed was cast by director Carlo Carlei in the WWI drama 'The Border', where he played a young Italian soldier fighting in the trenches against the Austrian army. 2015 also saw Ed reprise his popular role of Emiliano Lupi in RAI's 10th season of 'Un Medico in Famiglia'. The production will end in March 2016.

Ed currently lives and works between London, Rome and Berlin as well as continuing to build his career in the United States.

Anton Troy

Anton, the grandson of a renowned stunt man and rodeo cowboy, spent his childhood in backstage dressing rooms beside his single mother, a professional mime and children's entertainer.

A native of San Diego, Anton moved with his mother to Las Vegas at an early age. He struggled with being fatherless. But he loved to listen to his grandmother tell stories about his grandfather. She would talk about his grandfather's work on movies like Ben Hur; series like Gunsmoke and as Jimmy Cagney's stunt double.

Acting became a way to deal with his feelings and gave him the strength to reinvent himself. Anton is known for his quiet intensity, complex presence and old soul charm. This has led to his being cast to play highly shaded characters.

Doug Robinson

The younger brother of fellow actor/stunt man Joe Robinson, Doug was born Douglas Bowbank Robinson in central Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1930. Their father Joseph Robinson Senior and grandfather John were world champion wrestlers, and both brothers trained in wrestling and body-building. Doug's film career began in the mid-1950s, and his early film work included Ben-Hur (1959). He was also one of the Argonauts in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and he made numerous British television appearances usually as a tough guy in everything from The Avengers to Steptoe and Son. Together, Doug and Joe became two of the cinema's most popular stunt arrangers, particularly on the James Bond films. Doug and Joe co-authored, with Honor Blackman, the book "Honor Blackman's Book of Self-Defence" published by Andre Deutsch in 1965.

José Greci

In 1958, at the age of just seventeen, the beautiful Jose' Greci was chosen by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to play the role of the Virgin Mary in "Ben-Hur" which was to be filmed at Cinecitta Studios in Rome, thus assuring her of a great deal of publicity in newsreels and magazines of the day. Although international stardom surprisingly eluded her, she remained busy throughout the 1960s starring in low-budget Italian sword n' sandal epics, spy and crime thrillers and Television work. (See filmography below).

Aurore de Blois

1969 was a definitive year for Aurore de Blois. Witnessing Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon on live television had an impact upon her that her unsuspecting parents could not have foreseen. But it was when Star Trek began syndication and her ever growing love for the films of George Pal and Ray Harryhausen along with the classics of science fiction, that her parents realized she was now out of control: building model spaceships out of cereal boxes, empty paper roll tubes and playing 'spaceman' wasn't what her sisters were doing, after-all.

Blowing up model airplanes with home-made gunpowder, (something she learned from Star Trek) suspended by string in the backyard while filming with a super-8 camera didn't add to her parent's hopes of her being a normal teenage daughter- Aurore grew up to be quite the Tomboy.

Growing up in a small rural town in Western Canada, however, her aspirations were seen as being somewhat unrealistic. It was years later when she left home after college to live in Vancouver when everything changed for her.

Meeting people who actually worked in film and television, she quickly realized that working in the movies and creating effects was a perfectly obtainable goal, and in time she was working in the local VFX scene.

In 2003, through her lifelong love of Star Trek, multiple award winning VFX artist Doug Drexler discovered her - by this time self-taught in digital compositing, matchmoving and 3D modeling. In 2005, she became one of the founding members of the newly formed Battlestar Galactica in-house VFX Dept. Led by award winning VFX Supervisor Gary Hutzel, Aurore spent the next 3-1/2 years as Senior Compositor, working alongside her heroes of Star Trek VFX.

Aurore received her first Emmy Award in 2008 for outstanding special visual effects for a series, the Season Four Battlestar Galactica episode 'He That Believeth in Me', and shares in the series Peabody award win from 2005.

During her time with the BSGVFX team, Aurore contributed significantly to Battlestar Galactica's numerous additional awards including three additional Emmy Awards (for which she received a certificate for the 2007 win); as well as two additional Emmy nominations and three additional VES nominations.

Aurore relocated to Los Angeles in 2009 on an O-1 Visa, working on such films as Avatar and Clash of the Titans. In 2011 she moved overseas to London, UK on a Tier1 Exceptional Talent Visa, where she worked on many major motion pictures including: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, John Carter, Prometheus, Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, 300 Rise of an Empire, Godzilla, Thor The Dark World, Jupiter Ascending, Hercules and Avengers Age of Ultron. She returned to Canada in 2015 for the role of VFX Compositing Supervisor on Ben Hur's chariot race sequence and is presently VFX Compositing Supervisor on Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water.

With a successful seventeen year career in VFX, she has received major awards, has been published internationally seven times and enjoys an intercontinental reputation for the quality of her work - a far journey for a little girl with big dreams from a small rural town in Western Canada who overcame discouragement of her aspirations.

Through her involvement with Battlestar Galactica, Aurore has become friends with mission scientists at NASA/JPL. Her lifelong love for the planet Mars was rewarded in 2013 with a birthday present from one of the MER and MSL mission scientists. On June 19, 2013, MER2 Rover Opportunity was given a waypoint bearing her name on Sol 3342 near a feature called Nobby's Head at Endeavour crater.

"Aurore de Blois' expertise in award-winning visual artistry only skims the surface of her deep connection to space exploration. With her recent script, A T S F, her uncanny understanding of conquering space travel as told from a unique historical timeline is brilliantly immersive from end to end. Ms. de Blois' use of actual events during the space program's formative years intertwined with a timeless tale of perseverance and triumph delivers a compelling interpretation as the story unfolds." -Joanne Dicaire

June Mathis

June Mathis was born June Beulah Hughes in 1887 in Leadville, Colorado. Her father died at a young age and her mother married William Mathis. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, which she would proudly consider her hometown for the rest of her life.

At the age of 13 she pursued a career in vaudeville, doing imitations and dances. She had success in San Francisco and eventually played The Orpheum. Her stage career grew over the next few years, bringing her good reviews and much acclaim. In 1908 she played with Julian Eltinge in "Brewster's Millions" and in 1912 joined him in "The Fascinating Widow", which was a major success.

After a brief one-time foray in front of the camera in 1910 (or possibly 1911), Mathis decided she would like to be behind the camera. After two years of self-prescribed study she submitted a script in a screenwriting contest. Even though she didn't win, Mathis received several offers. She took one from Edwin Carewe, and her first produced script was for the film The House of Tears.

Mathis signed with Metro Pictures, where she quickly rose in the ranks. By 1918 she was writing for the studio's biggest stars, such as Francis X. Bushman, Viola Dana, Mae Murray and Alla Nazimova. Mathis became head of the scenario department, making her the first female film executive ever.

In 1920 she began work on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a film that was hers from casting to crew to writing to production. For a director she chose Rex Ingram, and for the role of Julio she chose a small-time actor named Rudolph Valentino. The film was a major success and launched Ingram, Mathis and Valentino into superstardom. It was the top-grossing film of 1921 (beating out Charles Chaplin's The Kid), made $9 million during its original run and was the sixth highest-grossing silent of all time.

Mathis and Valentino were good friends until a disagreement in 1924 over The Hooded Falcon, but they reconciled before his death in 1926. Mathis moved with Valentino to Famous Players-Lasky, where she wrote Blood and Sand, The Young Rajah and The Spanish Dancer (originally intended for Valentino). "Blood and Sand" was a huge success, becoming one of the top 4 grossing movies of 1922 and a defining film for Valentino, his co-star Nita Naldi and Mathis.

After Valentino embarked on his one-man strike, Mathis signed with Goldwlyn Pictures as an editorial director. She was in charge of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ in the same way she had been for "The Four Horsemen". However, director Charles Brabin did not see it that way and the production was a disaster, eventually Brabin was fired and replaced by Fred Niblo and all the film that had been shot, including all of the expensive location work done in Italy, had to be scrapped and the production begun from scratch. After a year at Goldwyn Mathis left for First National. There she was again an executive, this time writing comedies (something she enjoyed doing) for Colleen Moore and Corinne Griffith.

After her rift with Valentino she married Silvano Balboni, who she met while filming "Ben-Hur". After First National Mathis was rumored to be writing for UA or MGM once again, but neither came to be; she died unexpectedly in 1927 at the age of 40 from a heart ailment (from which she had suffered all her life) while watching a performance on Broadway.

She was buried next to Valentino, who had died the year before, severely in debt. Mathis had loaned him the crypt but by the 1930s the arrangement became permanent. Balboni sued Mathis' 84-year-old grandmother for her estate over a technicality, causing her to lose the inheritance Mathis had intended for her. He returned to Italy in the 1930s, and her grandmother died in 1933.

Mathis was not only responsible for Valentino's superstardom but for his love of art in film, and his beliefs in spirituality as well. Today she is mostly forgotten but when she died she was the third most powerful woman in Hollywood (outranking the 3 other major women screenwriters: Anita Loos, Frances Marion and Jeanie Macpherson). She was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Daniel DiSilva

Director Daniel diSilva has spent his entire professional career searching for new ways of placing the Arts at the service of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. His credits include collaborations and creative partnerships with a long list of theaters, celebrities, media outlets, and religious organizations. Best known for his documentary film The Original Image of Divine Mercy, diSilva has served on the production side of some of the New Evangelization's largest and best-known international events and productions, including film (Ben-Hur, A.D. The Bible Continues, Fishers of Men), literature (Theology of the Body), music (Alison Kraus, James Taylor, Natalie MacMaster, Mark O'Connor, The Chieftains, Joe Vincelli, Carlos Guedes, Crispin and others), radio/TV, and contributed to the event offerings of major events and festivals around the world. As an artist and designer, he has partnered with a long list of media outlets, religious organizations, dioceses, theaters, and celebrities. In his off time he continues to write from San Diego and co-directs The Shakespeare Academy (San Diego).

Thomas Holding

Thomas Holding was born in Greenwich, Kent, England in 1878. Having finished his education at Rugby, he went onto the stage under the management of Charles Hawtrey with whom he appeared in many London productions (he was 14 years on the London stage playing with distinguished Shakespearean actors such as Sir Herbert Tree, the Kendal's the Terry's and Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson). He then attracted the attention of Charles Frohman and signed with him for the juvenile lead in "Are You a Mason?", and "Loaves and Fishes." After a Shakespearean tour through Australia, in which he appeared in the principal role of ten plays, he returned to the Strand Theatre, London to sing the leading baritone's part in "The Chinese Honeymoon." He then went back to dramatic stage in Edward Terry's company.

It was Charles Frohman who first brought Thomas to New York in 1908 as leading man to Billie Burke, Maxine Elliott and many other equally well known players. His portrayal of Ben Hur, under Klaw and Erlanger's management, brought him considerable praise and recognition.

His first film in 1915, "The Eternal City," filmed in Rome, gained him a large following. Following that he alternated between stage and screen.

On the 4th May, 1929 he arrived at Longacre Theatre, New York, where he was appearing in Mystery Square, feeling unwell, he died in his dressing room of a heart attack.

John Hay Whitney

John Hay "Jock" Whitney, the multi-millionaire sportsman, pioneering color-movie producer, soldier, financier, philanthropist, art-collector, diplomat, and newspaper publisher was born in Elsworth, Maine on August 27, 1904. He was a descendant of John Whitney, a Puritan who settled in Massachusetts in 1635, as well as of William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower, and his two grandfathers, one a Republican and one a Democrat, were presidential cabinet members. So socially secure he was never listed in the Social Register, Whitney denounced it as a form of social arbitration that was undemocratic. John Hay Whitney was a Scion of Society; he needed no one or nothing to tell him that. A stalwart of moderate Republicanism, Whitney was one of the ultimate symbols of the Eastern Establishment that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan later repudiated with their neo-conservative populism.

Jock's father, William Payne Whitney, a capitalist and philanthropist born in New York City on March 20, 1876, was the son of William Collins Whitney and Flora Payne Whitney. Flora Payne Whitney was the daughter of prominent Democratic politician Henry B. Payne, who represented his Cleveland, Ohio district in the United States House of Representatives for one term from 1875 to 1877, and served one term as United States Senator from Ohio from 1885 to 1891. Henry Payne was descended, through this grandfather, from William Bradford, the Puritan governor of the Plymouth Colony.

Payne Whitney matriculated at Yale College (Class of 1898) and then studied at Harvard Law School, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1901. Building on his several million dollars worth of inherited real estate assets, Payne Whitney soon became a leading player in New York's financial community. He eventually was appointed director or executive officer of many large corporations, including the First National Bank of New York, the Great Northern Paper Co., the Northern Finance Corp., and the Whitney Realty Co. He married Helen Hay, the daughter of the serving U.S. Secretary of State, in 1902.

Jock Whitney's mother Helen Hay Whitney was the daughter of John Hay, Jock's name-sake, who served as Lincoln's assistant private secretary, Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President McKinley, and as Secretary of State under both McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt, acquitting himself quite well during the Spanish-American War. Jock's paternal grandfather William Collins Whitney, the man who helped rid New York City of the deleterious influence of Boss Tweed's gang, was President Cleveland's Secretary of the Navy and was touted as the possible Democratic candidate for president in 1892 before Cleveland himself stood once again for re-election.

The family's New York City residence, located at 972 Fifth Avenue, was designed by Stanford White and is considered one of that great architect's finest mature works. Now the home of the French Embassy's Cultural Services department, White designed and oversaw the construction of the exterior and interiors of the house, which had been commissioned in 1902 by Payne Whitney's uncle Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne as a wedding gift for his nephew and his bride. The Colonel had put up $625,000 to build the five-story mansion, the construction of which was still under White's supervision when he was murdered in 1906. Jock's mother, Helen Hay Whitney, continued to live in the house until her death in 1944. (Jock eventually had her favorite space in the mansion, the Venetian Room, removed and preserved before the house was sold in 1949. In 1997, the room was donated to the French-American Foundation by his widow, who provided funding for its restoration.)

The 1920 census lists the Payne Whitneys as living at 972 Fifth Ave. with their two children and 13 servants. At the time, they lived around the corner from James D. Duke, the cigarette baron, and his wife Natalie and daughter Doris. Payne Whitney's uncle Oliver Hazard Payne had arranged the financial buyout of Duke's competitors to create the American Tobacco Co., though Payne Whitney and James Duke did not do business together. Fifth Avenue along the streets numbered in the 60s and 70s was the place to live for the very rich in the first half of the 20th Century, and many multimillionaires hung their bowler hats in the neighborhood. By the 1930 census, Helen Hay Whitney was listed as living with her son John Hay Whitney and 21 servants at the family's fabulous 438-acre estate Greentree in Manhasset, situated on Long Island's Gold Coast.

Jock was related to the railroad Harriman family through his sister Joan's husband Charles Payson, and to the Vanderbilts through his aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the eldest daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. (She was also related to the Harrimans.) He was also related by marriage to Columbia Broadcasting System founder William Paley, who was married to his wife's sister, the former Barbara Cushing. Jock's cousins included his aunt Gertrude's son Cornelius Vanderbilt ("Sonny") Whitney, the chairman of Pan American Airways (Prescott Bush, father of the 41st President of the United States and Grandfather of the 43rd, was a Pan Am director), and his wife's brother-in-law was Vincent Astor, the son of slumlord John Jacob Astor IV, who went down with the Titanic, perishing in the North Atlantic.

Jock Whitney attended Yale College, where his major pursuits were drama and rowing. His father, grandfather and great-uncle had all been oarsmen at Yale, and his father Payne had been captain of the crew in 1898. Payne Whitney followed the Yale rowing team all his life and helped finance the team, including donating financing to build a dormitory for the crew. While at Yale, John Hay Whitney allegedly coined the term "crew cut" for the haircut that now bears the name. Yale lore holds that young Jock went to a local tonsorial palace and asked for a short "Hindenburg" military cut. It was not long after the First World War, and anything German was still unpopular. (sauerkraut had been renamed "liberty salad" during World War I.) The barber suggested to Jock that the hair-style should have a new name. They called it the "crew cut" in honor of Yale oarsmen.

After graduating in 1926 (the Yale Yearbook listed Jock's ambition as being the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom), Whitney went on to Oxford, but the death of his father at the family's Greentree estate on May 25, 1927 necessitated his returning home. He inherited a trust fund of $20 million from his father (approximately $210 million in 2005 dollars, when factored for inflation), and would later inherit an estimated four times that amount from his mother. The money came from his paternal grandfather, William Collins Whitney, a traction magnate who consolidated New York City's street and railway lines, and his uncle, Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne, a business partner of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Jock Whitney also inherited his mother and father's love of horses, a predilection he shared with his sister, Joan Whitney Payson, who went on to be the first owner of the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club from the Mets' founding in 1961 until her death in 1975. Payne Whitney had been interested in horse racing, and he had established a racing stable of his own to raise thoroughbred horses. After Payne's death, Jock's mother Helen owned the famous Kentucky horse-breeding farm Greentree Stables, which Jock and his sister ran for her. In 1928, Jock became the youngest member ever elected to the Jockey Club.

A master horseman, he almost won Britain's Grand National steeplechase in 1929. Jock was enjoying a commanding and apparently safe lead when Easter Hero, his horse, twisted a plate and was beaten by a nose at the finish by a 100-to-1 long shot. Though Whitney entered the Grand National annually after his heartbreaking loss, he never again came so close to winning.

He entered four horses in the Kentucky Derby in the 1930s, Stepenfetchit, which finished 3rd in 1932, Overtime, which finished 5th in 1933, Singing Wood, which finished 8th in 1934, and Heather Broom, which finished 3rd in 1939. Jock was an outstanding polo player, with a four-goal handicap, and it was as a sportsman that John Hay Whitney made the cover of the March 27, 1933 issue of `Time' magazine.

Other horse races he was involved in were the 1952 and '56 presidential elections, where he was the major financial backer of General Dwight D. Eisenhower. As president, Ike appointed Jock ambassador to the Court of St. James, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and realizing the ambition he had mentioned in the Yale yearbook. Whitney played a major role in improving Anglo-American relations, which had been severely strained during the 1956 Suez Crisis, when Eisenhower demanded that the British, French and Israelis terminate their invasion of Egypt.

But that lay in the future. First, Hollywood beckoned.

In 1929, Jock was hired as a clerk at the princely sum of $65 per month at the firm of Lee, Higginson, where he met Langbourne Meade Williams, Jr., the son of the founder of Freeport Texas Co., the sulfur mining company that was responsible for one-third of domestic output. Williams enlisted Jock's aid in ousting the chairman of his family's company, and the two and some of their friends began buying shares of the company. Jock soon was Freeport' biggest shareholder, and with his support, Williams sacked the chairman and his senior management team in 1930. Three years later, Williams became Freeport's president and Whitney was appointed Chairman of the Board, at the age of 29. Jock remained involved with Freeport for the rest of his business days.

The straight business world didn't prove fulfilling to the young multi-millionaire, whose personal fortune was estimated at $100 million. Seeking somewhere to park those tens of millions of dollars, Jock Whitney invested in several Broadway shows, including Peter Arno's 1931 revue "Here Goes the Bride," a failure that cost him $100,000. Although Jock indulged his interests, he did not do so with the idea of losing money. Eventually, he'd achieve spectacular success as one of the angels of "Life with Father," one of the all-time longest running Broadway shows.

According to a October 1934 `Fortune' magazine article on the Technicolor Co., which he had invested in, Jock had been interested in the movie industry for quite some time:

"John Hay (Jock) Whitney, long nursing an itch to get into pictures, but needing some special advantage to make up for his late arrival, decided that color was the `edge' he was looking for."

Whitney had met Technicolor head honcho Dr. Herbert Kalmus, a racing aficionado like himself, at the Saratoga Springs race track. In 1932, Technicolor had achieved a breakthrough with its three-strip process that recreated the entire visible spectrum of color. When R.K.O. producer Merriam C. Cooper, a color movie enthusiast, broached the idea of investing in Technicolor to Jock, he, too, was enthusiastic.

Kalmus, had been dedicated to developing true color photography in motion pictures since soon after his firm was founded in 1914. Since it first marketed its early two-color process to the movie industry in the early `20s, Technicolor had been expected to assume much of the financial risk of color movie production, as the technology and its audience appeal was unproven. The first feature to be entirely filmed in two-color Technicolor, "Toll of the Sea," (1922), an adaptation of Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly" written by future Oscar-winning screenwriter Frances Marion and starring Anna May Wong, was produced by the Technicolor Co. and released by by Metro Pictures. At that time, studios had been quite content to release "color" films that consisted of scenes shot on tinted Kodak stock, including blue for night (the other colors available from Eastman Kodak were green, red, pink, lavender, yellow, orange, light amber, and dark amber), or using hand-stenciling, in which colors were painted onto the individual frames of motion pictures.

Other movie studios, such as the newly conglomerated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with "Ben-Hur" (1925) and "The Big Parade" (1925), and Paramount with Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" (1925), added two-color Technicolor sequences to films shot primarily in black and white, but the process was imperfect. Aside from not producing the full color spectrum (the process only registered red and green, so blues were impossible to recreate on-screen), two-color Technicolor was based on the use of two film stocks of a half-thickness each on which the red and green colors were printed, then cemented together. Prints would buckle as the strip of celluloid nearest the light would contract from the heat, and a LOT of light was needed to project an early Technicolor film. Technicolor had to print up replacement reels that were constantly being shipped between its Boston, Massachusetts plant and exhibitors, with the buckled prints being ironed out by Technicolor employees before being shipped back on the exhibition circuit. It was a highly impractical state of affairs, but Kalmus was always improving the process.

Technicolor did not become popular with producers until 1928, when it introduced in an improved two-color subtractive system that allowed a single print to be struck, thus eliminating the problem with film buckling. Technicolor produced the first feature film shot in the process, "The Vikings," that year. Warner Bros., which had vaulted from an extremely minor exhibitor to a major studio by its introduction of the talkies, latched onto Technicolor as the next big thing. Other producers followed the Warner Bros. example by making features in color, with either Technicolor or one of its competitors such as the inferior bipack Cinecolor system, but audiences grew bored with the limited palette of colors two-color processes could produce. They were content with talkies for the moment. That, and the Depression that severely strained movie studios' finances, spelled the end of the first Technicolor boom.

The production of color films had virtually ceased when Technicolor introduced its first three-color process in 1932. Shot on three strips of black and white negative film simultaneously through cyan, magenta and green filters, prints that accurately reproduced the full color spectrum were optically printed using a dye-transfer process. Kalmus had convinced Walt Disney to shoot one of his Silly Symphony cartoons, "Flowers and Trees," in the new "three-strip" process, and it was a big hit with audiences and critics alike. One of the next Silly Symphonies to be shot with the process, "The Three Little Pigs," engendered such a positive audience response, it overwhelmed the features it played with. Hollywood was buzzing about color film again. According to `Fortune' magazine, "Merian Caldwell Cooper, producer for RKO-Radio Pictures, saw one of the Silly Symphonies and said he never wanted to make a black and white picture again."

The studios were willing to adopt three-color Technicolor for live-action feature production, if it could be proved viable. Shooting three-strip Technicolor required vast quantities of light, as the film had an extremely slow speed of ASA 5. That, and the bulk of the cameras and a lack of experience with three-color cinematography, equated to skepticism in the studio board rooms.

Again, the financial risk devolved unto Technicolor, but in the new, more expensive motion picture industry of the 1930s, it could not afford to finance a feature. A financial "angel" was needed, similar to a Broadway investor.

`Fortune' magazine's October 1934 article stressed that Technicolor, as a corporation, was rather remarkable in that it kept its investors quite happy despite the fact that it had only been in profit twice in all of the years of its existence, during the early boom at the turn of the decade. A well-managed company, half of whose stock was controlled by a clique loyal to Kalmus, Technicolor never had to cede any control to its bankers or unfriendly stockholders. In the mid-`30s, all the studios with the exception of M.G.M. were in the financial doldrums, and a color process that truly reproduced the visual spectrum was seen as a possible shot-in-the-arm for the ailing industry. As the Warner Bros. had shown with their talkie revolution declared by "The Jazz Singer" (1927), a great deal of money could be made in a very short time in the film industry. Jock's future business partner, David O. Selznick, would soon produce the most popular and most profitable motion picture in history, in Glorious Technicolor.

Seeing his chance, Jock Whitney joined forces with Merian C. Cooper and founded Pioneer Pictures in the spring of 1933, with a distribution deal with R.K.O. John Hay Whitney was Pioneer's president. Jock had importuned his cousin, Cornelius Vanderbilt "Sonny" Whitney, into sharing the financial risk, and the two bought a 15% stake in Technicolor as well. While there was no official corporate connection between Pioneer and Technicolor, the idea was that any initial financial losses generated by Pioneer would be made up by the appreciation of the Whitneys' stake in Technicolor, whose product they would showcase.

Jock was determined to turn out quality pictures in order to avoid the fate of the two-color process at the height of the 1929-30 Technicolor boom, when color movies got a bad name due to inferior motion pictures. Warner Bros. had gone from $30,000 in revenues in 1927 to $17,271,000 in 1929, all due to talking pictures. Hot for another innovation, Jack Warner had decided in 1929 to add two-color Technicolor sequences to his picture "Desert Song." He then made the first all-color talkie, " On With the Show," and followed that up with "Gold Diggers of Broadway" (1929), which was a huge hit, grossing $3.5 million, an amount that ranked it #6 all-time at the box-office. It seemed like Warner Bros. had another technical marvel on its hands, and other producers jumped on the bandwagon. Technicolor received over $1.5 million in down payments for future deliveries of color film. In 1929, Technicolor did $5 million in business.

The sudden vogue for color, and the resulting demand, doomed two-strip Technicolor as the firm's labs were not equipped to handle such a volume. In 1929 and `30, Technicolor produced 76.7 million feet of two-color film, ten times their labs' capacity. The sensitive development process was compromised when the lab space had to be quickly expanded, hurting the quality of the finished product. At first used in prestigious, carefully made, high-quality pictures, the boom soon led to the release of mediocre and even bad color movies. Lacking experience with color production, movie-makers continued to use B+W production techniques, using sets, makeup and lighting that were woefully inappropriate for color. Few filmmakers had the sense to correctly match color to the mood of the scenes they were shooting. In addition, two-color red-green process could not replicate all the colors of the visible spectrum, which yielded some questionable color effects. Most blues could not be shot, meaning that the sky typically could not be part of the mise-en-scène. If a bold filmmaker did include a shot of the sky, the results were ghastly.

The studios and movie producers quickly turned on Technicolor and canceled their contracts. Now reduced to supplying film primarily for short subjects, revenues plummeted to $500,000 in 1932, generating a $235,000 loss, followed the next year by a $250,000 loss on revenues of $630,000. Worse of all, due to the sins of the producers during the brief Technicolor boom, color movies, unlike talkies, were considered passé and a busted gamble.

The success of Pioneer Pictures' early product was necessary to spark a color renaissance in Hollywood, which would boost demand for Technicolor's new three-strip, three-color film, with the result that the value of Jock and Sonny's 100,000 Technicolor shares would appreciate handsomely. `Fortune' magazine observed, "[A]lthough Mr. Whitney does many things for fun he also does them for money and has never been interested in putting portions of the Whitney fortune down any sewers. But with two horses in the color-picture stakes, he can afford to use one as a pacemaker for the other.

Jock Whitney proceeded cautiously, determined to not make any mistakes that would besmirch his new baby. Pioneer produced the first short film shot in Technicolor's three-strip process, "La Cucaracha" (1934), a two-reel musical comedy that cost $65,000, approximately four times what an equivalent B+W two-reeler cost. Released by R.K.O., the short was a success in introducing the new Technicolor as a viable medium for live-action films. The three-strip process also was used in some short sequences filmed for several movies made during 1934, including the final sequence of "The House of Rothschild" (1934) over at 20th Century-Fox.

The industry was impressed. Three-color Technicolor did work and yielded spectacular, glorious results. But the studios and producers were atypically twice-shy, having been burned during the two-color Technicolor boom. Then, audiences had quickly become bored with color films, and the producers reasoned that it was color itself, not the poor films they had foisted onto the public in hopes of turning a quick buck that had been the culprit. Sound had added something fundamental to motion pictures, and had been enthusiastically, even wildly accepted by the movie-going public, essentially allowing the studios to distribute talkies of questionable quality in the marketplace and still turn a profit. Color was not seen to be in the same league as sound. But the real question for the studios came down to one consideration: Was it worth it?

The problem with Hollywood adopting Technicolor's three-strip process for feature film making, and the reason it took 30 years for color to completely chase B+W out of the movie industry versus the less-than-three for the Philistines of silence to be slain by the jawbone wielded by Al Jolson's Jazz Singer, was that the three-strip Technicolor process was expensive. The Depression had financially sapped every studio, with the exception of M.G.M. `Fortune' magazine estimated that shooting a film in three-strip Technicolor would add $135,000 to a film's production costs, $85,000 in added photographic expenses and another $50,000 in lost time due to the laborious task of learning how to make films properly in the new process. According to `Fortune', the average cost of a picture in 1934 was in the $200,000-$250,000 range. with an additional distribution cost of $200,000. "Many companies would prefer to spend the extra $135,000, if necessary, in order to get big names in the cast. For they know that names have a box-office draw and they are not at all sure about color."

In late 1934, Pioneer produced the first feature film shot in three-strip Technicolor, "Becky Sharp" (1935), which was based on the novel "Vanity Fair" by William Makepeace Thackeray. Also released by R.K.O., where David O. Selznick had been chief of production in the early `30s, it was not a large box office success, but it did show that Technicolor was now a viable medium. Pioneer also produced "The Dancing Pirate" (1936), the first musical shot in three-strip Technicolor. Selznick's own independent Selznick International Pictures, which he formed after leaving M.G.M. in 1935, used Technicolor for its `event' films such as the 1936 feature film "The Garden of Allah" (which won a special Academy Award for its color cinematography), and "A Star I Born Sacred" (1937), starring Frederic March and Janet Gaynor (which was also similarly honored with a special color cinematography Academy Award).

Jock Whitney was the major investor in Selznick International Inc., putting up $870,000 and serving as Chairman of the Board. Jock also put up half the money for the $50,000 option on Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone With the Wind," then invested more money for the production of both "Gone With the Wind" and "Rebecca," Selznick's back-to-back Oscar winners for Best Picture of 1939 and '40. After an unprecedented run of success for an independent, Selznick International was dissolved in 1940 in order to liquidate the profits from the two pictures.

In his early years, Jock was renowned as a playboy, and though he was married to Mary Elizabeth Altemus Whitney, he was romantically linked to actress Tallulah Bankhead in New York, and to Paulette Goddard and Joan Crawford in Hollywood. It was at a lavish costume party he held in Hollywood that Clark Gable got together with Carole Lombard, the love of his life. Jock divorced his wife in 1940 after 10 years of marriage, and in 1942, he married Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, the ex-wife of James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Betsey Maria Cushing was born on May 18, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland to the famous neurosurgeon Dr. Harvey Cushing and his wife Katherine Crowell Cushing, who hailed from a socially prominent Cleveland family. Dr. Cushing served as professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, Harvard and Yale Universities, and the family established itself in Boston. Betsey had two brothers, but it was her two sisters and herself who became well-known, heralded for their charm and beauty from their debutante days onward.

Mary (Minnie) Cushing, her older sister, married first husband Vincent Astor, the inheritor of $200 million in 1912 (approximately $4 billion in 2005 dollars), then divorced him and married artist James Whitney Fosburgh. Her younger sister Barbara (Babe) Cushing was first married to Standard Oil heir Stanley Mortimer, Jr., before divorcing him and marrying CBS founder William S. Paley. Babe Paley was often short-listed as one of the world's best-dressed women and became a doyenne of New York society, heralded by the likes of Truman Capote. (Both of Betsey's sisters died within several months of each other in 1978.)

Betsey Cushing Roosevelt was rumored to be FDR's favorite daughter-in-law, but she and her mother-in-law Eleanor did not care for one another. Her husband served his father as an aide at the White House, and Betsey often stood-in as hostess at the White House when Eleanor was absent. When FDR entertained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at a picnic at the Roosevelt estate in Hyde Park, New York in 1939, Betsey was prominent at the affair. FDR asked her to accompany him as he drove the King and Queen along the Hudson River. However, Betsey was a private person, and she shielded her two children by James, Sara and Kate, from publicity.

James Roosevelt left his father's side to take a job as an aide to movie producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1938, and moved his family to Hollywood. Betsey and James Roosevelt eventually separated, and they divorced in March 1940, Betsey obtaining a decree on the grounds of desertion and cruelty. Betsey Cushing Roosevelt was granted custody of their two daughters, child support, a settlement, and alimony until her eventual remarriage. That remarriage was two years off. Having divorced his first wife the same year Betsey obtained hers, Jock eventually wooed Betsey, marrying her on March 1, 1942. They would remain husband and wife until Jock's death in 1982, and he would adopt her two daughters in 1949.

Jock Whitney served in the Army Air Force as an intelligence officer during World War II, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in southern France, but he escaped within a fortnight when the train transporting him to a POW camp came under Allied fire. A patriot, he was shocked when his interactions with soldiers revealed that they had little patriotic feeling, but were serving in the war because it was something they had to do. This revelation, that other Americans did not have as bountiful a view of their country as he did, profoundly changed him.

The Whitney family had a long history of both public service and philanthropy. Payne Whitney had been a benefactor of educational and charitable institutions, making substantial gifts to Yale, to the New York Hospital, and to the New York Public Library, to which he made a $12,000,000 gift in 1923. After his death in 1927, the family financed the construction of the Payne Whitney athletic complex at Yale in his honor. The family also financed the establishment of the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at New York Presbyterian Hospital in 1932.

Jock Whitney became a noted philanthropist, creating the John Hay Whitney Foundation for educational projects in 1946. The Foundation provided fellowships to the racially and culturally deprived and had a large impact on the evolution of higher education in post-war America. He continued the family tradition by becoming a major contributor to Yale University, where he served as a trustee. An art collector specializing in French and American works, he generously gifted the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Washington's National Gallery of Art. (A Rose Period Picasso he had bought for $30,000 in 1950, "Boy With a Pipe," would be auctioned off in 2004 for a record $104.2 million, the proceeds left over from the $93 million bid price to fund the charitable Greentree Foundation established by his wife after his death).

After the war, Jock he forsook Hollywood for Wall Street, founding J.H. Whitney & Co., a highly successful investment company that is the oldest venture capital firm in the U.S. In 1958, while he was still ambassador to the United Kingdom, his company Whitney Communications Corp. bought the `New York Herald Tribune,' a bastion of liberal Republicanism and the-then paper of record of the United States. After returning to the U.S. in 1961, he became its publisher until it folded in 1966. Whitney Communications also owned and operated other newspapers, plus magazines and broadcasting stations.

John Hay Whitney survived two severe heart attacks in his life due to his great strength, but after a long illness, he died on February 8, 1982. He was survived by his wife Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney, and their two children, Sara and Kate Roosevelt Whitney. Betsey Whitney, who died in 1998, had an estimated personal fortune of $700 million in 1990 (approximately $1 billion in 2005 dollars), according to `Forbes' magazine. After her death on March 25, 1998, she bequeathed eight major paintings to the National Gallery of Art, including "Self-Portrait" (1889) by Vincent van Gogh, "Marcelle Lender Dancing the Bolero in `Chilperic'" (1895-1896) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, "Open Window, Collioure" (1905) by Henri Matisse, "The Harbor of La Ciotat "(1907) by Georges Braque, and "The Beach at Sainte-Adresse" (1906) by Raoul Dufy. After Jock's death in 1982, the National Gallery similarly had been gifted with eight paintings from his collection, including works by Edward Hopper and James McNeill Whistler.

His friend, ABC News Vice President Richard Wald, said upon his death that Jock's major interest in life was the proper organization of society and how to provide for the disadvantaged in a fiscally responsible way. Wald said his friend went to sleep at night a Democrat and would wake up a Republican. Wald also said that Jock Whitney had a marvelous time and lived a marvelous life, happy and rich in a time when Americans liked the rich. And, it might be added, in a time when the rich knew in their souls that they owed an obligation to society at large, and to the disadvantaged in particular, and tried to fulfill that obligation for the betterment of the society that had given them so much.

Frank V. Phillips

Frank Van Tuyl Phillips ASC was a child of Hollywood. As a child he was a neighborhood kid near Walt Disney's original garage studio. Like many others he played in the animated/live action series that Disney did. Dreaming of a football career at Notre Dame while attending Hollywood High School he was befriended by the son of the manager of the Grumman's Chinese Theater. There was an opening for a summer job at Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios. Frank signed up to work in the laboratory shipping department and was responsible for shipping the original silent "Ben Hur". Hanging around the studio he observed the intricacies of the camera and how sophisticated and in control the cinematographer was. He turned down upwardly mobile opportunities for the chance to become a film loader in the camera department. He slowly moved up the ladder with the help of life long friend, Harry Stradling Sr. ASC who took him under his wing, moving him up from loader to assistant cameraman. In time Frank was ready to operate and was given the opportunity on "King Solomon's Mine" and "Singing in the Rain". He decided there were more opportunities at other studios moving into second unit photography on several CinemaScope features before he decided to drop back down to camera operator on George Stevens "Giant". The television industry was looking for experienced young men hoping to become cinematographers. Frank's first full fledged job as director of photography was on the television series, "Navy Log". From there he became a sought after series cameraman on the hit series "Have Gun Will Travel", "Gunsmoke" and "Hawaii 5-0". Having done some 2nd Unit photography for Walt Disney on Mary Poppins, The Gnome-mobile" and Lt. Robinson Crusoe" he was offered a contract to work full time on many of Disney's television projects and feature films. His features at Disney included "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", "Scandalous John" (a beautifully photographed Panavision feature - very unusual for Disney) and "The Black Hole" for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Frank has two daughters from his first marriage, Diane and Corliss and many grandchildren. He is godfather to Phillip H. Wagner, a Google Educator and son of cinematographer Roy H. Wagner ASC. Frank had many interests aside from cinematography. He loved the outdoors, gardening and raising race horses. He was a gentle kind man and, like his mentor Harry Stradling, a gifted teacher.

Joe Forte

Joe Forte is the creator and writer of Firewall which stars Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany and Virginia Madsen. A graduate of NYU film school, Joe's filmmaking career includes work for both major studios and independents alike. Forte began his screenwriting career with the sale of Soviet Cowboy, an original screenplay he wrote for two-time Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster and her production company, Egg Pictures. Set in post-Soviet Moscow, Forte was sent to Russia where he lived with Russian families while conducting research. He went on to sell The Great Mahala, to Warner Bros. Pictures and rewrite The Murderer Next Door for Sony Pictures who subsequently signed him to a writing/directing deal. Other works include Weekend and Velvet Underground, an independent feature which he developed with Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron. In 2007, Joe signed on at New Line Pictures to adapt the novel Out by Natsuo Kirino, winner of Japan's top mystery award. In addition, he sold Flashpoint, an epic drama set in the world of wild land fire fighters, to Paramount Pictures with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers) producing. He has also create television pilot scripts for Twentieth Century Fox. Currently, Forte is completing work on his documentary The Man Who Saved Ben-Hur about the life and career of John Alarimo, Jr., a real life Forest Gump of American cinema. Forte is the film's producer and director. Forte and the film were selected to participate in the Film Independent Documentary Director's Lab. Before beginning his career in Hollywood, Forte worked for advertising agencies in both New York and Los Angeles. His tenure included stints at Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Saatchi & Saatchi, Foote, Cone, Belding, and Daily & Partners. While at Scali, Forte was nominated for a Cleo for his work on Volvo. He has also won several awards for his short films, including two Cine Golden Eagles and a grant from Mobil Oil. He is married to former film producer and now writer Meg LeFauve (Dangerous Lives of Alter Boys, Inside Out) and lives in Los Angeles. He has served as a mentor, teacher and panelist for Cinestory, the UCLA Graduate Film Program, the UCLA Extension Program, the Sedona Film Festival, the Sonoma Film Festival, Pitch Fest U.S.A,, California State University Channel Islands, and serves as a script consult on projects for Film Victoria and New South Wales, the film funding bodies for the government of Australia. He is featured in the documentary Tales of the Script and is the Producer of the award-winning festival hit, Say I Do.

Frank Currier

Frank Currier was born in Norwich, Connecticut on 4 September 1857 and died on 22 April 1928 in Hollywood, California (blood poisoning).He was once anointed "the dean of cinema actors" by Photoplay magazine. He was an American actor and director of the silent era. He appeared in 133 films between 1912 and 1928. He also directed 19 films in 1916. A top character star for the pioneering Vitagraph company in the 1910s, Currier died from blood poisoning after having a finger smashed in a car door. He is memorable as the Roman Admiral who adopts Judah Ben-Hur (Ramon Novarro) as his son after Ben-Hur saves his life during battle at sea in the 1925 film Ben-Hur.

Julien Zuccolin

Julien Zuccolin is building his career stone by stone from Paris to Los Angeles.

As a child, Zuccolin developed an interest in music and theater. He began playing the violin at the age of six. His interest then shifted to piano and guitar. He attended The International Paris Music Academy for five years. His passion for Moliere and theater led him to the "Cours Simon" in Paris, where he worked hard on his craft for almost 4 years. At the age of 15, while visiting Paramount Studios with his family, Zuccolin had a revelation: that he would one day hone his craft in Los Angeles.

In 2000, Zuccolin was an exchange student, living with an American family in Mobile Alabama. His first stop was Memphis, Tennessee, an inspiration to him musically. In 2001, at the age of 19, he starred in the popular French sitcom, "Le Groupe". He completed 68 episodes as a principal. After "Le Groupe", he worked with Anthony Delon, and Charlotte de Turkheim, on the TV series, "Canicule" in 2003. At the American Festival in Deauville, Zuccolin had the honor of meeting Steven Spielberg. That experience inspired Zuccolin even more to pursue his American dream.

After receiving his degree from the "Cours Simon" and Raymond Aquaviva from the renowned "Comédie-Française" he devoted his work to theater at the Gymnasne in Paris with Barroufe a Chioggia, and at the "Cours Simon" with "Leon Morin Priest". In 2004, Zuccolin was in the troup of "Coronation of Poppea" at the Theater of Champs Elysées.

In 2006, Robert Hossein, one of the most popular directors in Paris, called Zuccolin to be in the troup of "Ben Hur". This production had an audience of 350,000 at the Stadium of France during its 5-day run. Then in 2007, he portrayed King Boleslas in Hossein's "John Paul II". Between shows, he visited Memphis and Nashville to work on his music, and visited Los Angeles to prepare for his next step in the world of acting.

He graduated from UCLA with a certificate in entertainment media, his major was Acting. He recorded and produced one of his songs , "From Paris to Memphis", at the well-renowned Radio Recorders Studio. Elvis Presley used to record there, more than 80 songs. Zuccolin used as a soundtrack in his film "Contre-plongée" the theme Frpm Paris to Memphis. Contre Plongée will be presented in 2010 at the short film corner in Cannes.

Since then, he has been seen in several short films including Daniel Picolo's, "Nail" and Nick Harris' "Closer". In 2009, He just finished filming as a guest star "Pete smalls is dead", Escarpment Studios 2010, a Brandon Cole Film.

Between Paris and Hollywood, Zuccolin continues to challenge himself in his life engagement and passion as an actor.

Rick Sordelet

Rick Sordelet is the top Fight Director in the country.

He has 54 Broadway shows to his credit. He has staged all of Disney Theatrical productions, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Aida, and The Little Mermaid.

Hundreds of productions Off-Broadway and in Regional Theater.

53 first class productions worldwide including Ben Hur Live at the O2 Arena in London, all over Europe and Rome.

He has staged the fights for 84 different productions of Romeo and Juliet and 66 different productions of Hamlet. He has an extensive background in stage and theatrical sword fighting and edged weapons tactics.

He is the only Fight Director to ever stage the fights for a Superbowl Halftime Show (XXIX).

He teaches at Yale School of Drama. He has also taught at the Neighborhood Playhouse and the New School of Drama in New York City.

He sits on the board for the ShakespeareTheater of New Jersey.

Rick has staged stunts and fights for over a thousand episodes of Guiding Light during his 12 years as their Chief Stunt Coordinator.

Silvana Vienne

An actress and singer born on the day of French Independence (Bastille Day), Silvana works on dramatic projects with depth & interesting or strong characters. Her preferred material are well-written comedies, or dramas about strong women who went against the odds and made a difference. On the flip side, Silvana also is very good with light comedy, having excellent timing for it!

Classically and Meisner-trained in New York City and Los Angeles, she has studied with the legendary Robert Easton, as well as Michelle Danner, Larry Moss, Uta Hagen's H.B. Studios, and spent summers studying Shakespeare and theatre at London Academy of Music and Drama, Shakespeare & Company, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, William Esper's Levin Theatre, and the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire. Silvana also has a B.A. with Honors in Theatre Arts, from Rutgers University.

With a lot of experience also in both film & modern stage roles, she has a very wide range of modern characters she can play, from a young FBI agent, to the warm & old-fashioned Izzy in 'Crossing Delancey', to the New Age singer Stardust, to Jenny in Neil Simon's 'Chapter 2' and Rosalind in 'As You Like It'... and everything in between.

Silvana spent her early childhood in Manaus, a city on the river of the Amazon of Brazil. In South America at the time, soap operas were the rage, and even little kids would stay up to watch them! But Silvana fell in love with acting even before that, when she would go with her grandmother Sylvia to see children's traveling productions at the turn-of-the-century built Opera House, and she decided to become an actress after seeing the movie Ben-Hur at the local cinema.

And when she saw an article in the newspaper about a casting call for her favorite tv show, Sitio do Picapau Amarelo (The Farm of the Yellow Woodpecker), Silvana knew she was going to be an actress. (she didn't make it to that audition as it was very far away, in Rio de Janeiro but the acting bug definately bit. Soon Grandma Sylvia was taking her to acting and dancing rehearsals in various productions around Manaus.

She has appeared in a wide range of stage roles (classic & modern) in New York and L.A. as well as indie film projects.

Remington Olmsted

Rem Olmsted owned a restaurant in Rome in the Trastevere district on the West bank of the Tiber river that runs through Rome. The opera singer, Claude Heater, who had a villa that attached to the villa of the famous Mario Del Monaco, who was to play "The Christ" in "Ben Hur" ate there a few times before either he or Rem were cast for their roles in "Ben Hur".

David Sanborn

The New York Times calls him "a seemingly limitless well of feeling." Sanborn is best known by hundreds of thousands of people in the theater world for his portrayals of legendary heroes like Ben-Hur ("Judah Ben-Hur"), Aeneas ("Dido and Aeneas"), Jesus ("The Miracle"), and King David ("King David") off Broadway. As a comedian, he has also been specifically noted by critics from Backstage, The New York Times and others for his spot-on celebrity impersonations.

Theresa Ellis Rygiel

Theresa Ellis Rygiel began her career in the early-1980's developing artists' tools at New York Institute of Technology's Computer Graphics Lab and honed her digital artist skills overseas in Germany and England. In 1993, she opened her own company as digital effect supervisor on several major motion pictures including Richie Rich, WaterWorld and Executive Decision and won a CLIO Award for her work on Miller Genuine Draft's "Neon Cowboy". She has since served as a visual effects supervisor on several motion pictures, including Conspiracy Theory, Stepmom and X-Men, and while at Weta Digital in New Zealand, advanced from senior compositor on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 3D lead on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, to working as digital effect supervisor on the final film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Her composite supervisor credits also include such features as Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, Fast Five, and Oblivion. Recently, she has moved into the studio production offices as Post Visual Effects Supervisor on Guardians of the Galaxy, Fast 7 and MGM's 2016 remake of Ben Hur.

Herman Finkers

Herman Finkers is mainly known as one of the most famous Dutch cabaret stars. He started in the early 1980s and quickly became successful with his trademarks of dry wit, puns and musical numbers, as well as a large amount of visual gags. He made over a dozen highly succesful one-man shows with which he toured the Netherlands, almost all of which sold out for every single night. He wrote many of his shows together with his brother Wilfried Finkers, who is frequently given bit parts. In the late 1990s he was forced to retire from the cabaret business due to leukemia and Pfeiffer's disease.

Studied Psychology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Was originally part of a folk band called 'Ben Hur,' where he ad-libbed jokes between the songs. The audience response was so good, the then decided to write a one man show.

Son of Annie Koelen and Ben Finkers, a furniture salesman. Brother of Wilfried Finkers, Jos Finkers, Renate Finkers and Angelique Finkers. Wrote and directed two animated films.

Myron Selznick

The motion picture producer Myron Selznick, who was the head of his father's Lewis J. Selznick Pictures in the early 1920s, is most famous for being the first great talent agent in Hollywood and the brother of David O. Selznick. Movie stars for which Selznick received his ten percent included Constance Bennett, W.C. Fields, Paulette Goddard, Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Carole Lombard, and Laurence Olivier. Selznick also represented directors, including George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock (whom he was instrumental in bringing to the United States), and Rouben Mamoulian.

Myron was born on October 5, 1898, the eldest of the two sons of Lewis J. Selznick, one of the pioneers of studio film production. Born Lewis Zeleznik in Kiev, Ukraine in the Russian Empire into a poor Jewish family of eighteen, Selznick migrated to London at the age of twelve, and then to the United States, eventually winding up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he made his living as a jeweler. His shop was located near the nickelodeon opened by John P. Harris in 1905, which Pennsylvania officials claim was the country's first dedicated movie theater. Selznick and another merchant with a shop near Harris' nickelodeon, Harry Warner, were intrigued by Harris' business, and both would go on to be the founders of film studios.

After becoming the general manager of the East Coast Universal Film Exchange, Lewis J. Selznick started Equitable Pictures, raiding Vitagraph for Clara Kimball Young, a superstar of the silent screen. Selznick was one of the investors who created World Pictures in 1914 to import foreign feature films and to distribute the movies of several newly-established feature-film companies, including Equitable. Eventually, Selznick merged his company with Shubert Pictures and Peerless Pictures and took effective control of World.

World Pictures, whose corporate motto was "Quality Not Quantity," released movies produced by Equitable, Peerless, Shubert Pictures, and various independent companies, with production centered in Fort Lee, New Jersey. World Pictures wound up dominating the companies whose movies it distributed. When World Film Corp. was incorporated in February 1915, Selznick was appointed its vice president and general manager.

A financial innovator, Lewis Selznick inaugurated a new age of Wall Street investment in the film industry. World Film was a large feature film company with a market capitalization of $2 million (75% of which was outstanding stock), earning a net profit of $329,000 for a return of a little over 20% on the outstanding stock for the fiscal year ending June 27, 1915.

Lewis Selznick was ousted as general manager of World Film in 1916. He left World, taking with him the movie star Clara Kimball Young (who likely was his mistress), and forming his own production company, the Clara Kimball Young Film Corp. Selznick's new company also released movies produced by the Schenck brothers, Joseph and Nicholas, who were partners with theater-owner Marcus Lowe in his chain of movie houses.

In the early years of the film industry, there was a constant series of mergers and acquisitions among studios as individual moguls jockeyed for position. In 1917, Selznick merged with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Pictures, creating Select Pictures, later reorganized as the Selznick Film Co. He eventually bought out Zukor and merged the two companies into Selznick-Select, then acquired World Pictures' film exchanges, which he renamed Republic Distributing Corp. He shifted his operation to California, completing the move in 1920, where he again linked up with Zukor and Jesse Lasky's Paramount-Artcraft, the successor to Famous Players-Lasky.

The slogan "Selznick Pictures Make Happy Hours" was, by the end of the second decade of the new 20th Century, the best-known slogan in the entertainment industry. Colorful and flamboyant, a quote of Selznick's became one of the most famous aphorisms about the motion picture industry: "There's no business in the world in which a man needs so little brains as in the movies."

Personally, Selznick was a spendthrift, living in a high and imperious style, which shocked the more puritanical and abstentious Louis B. Mayer. Unlike most of the other moguls who lusted for legitimacy for their new industry and themselves, Lewis J. Selznick didn't take the movie business too seriously. Other movie magnates were outraged by his cavalier attitude toward the industry and to the moguls themselves.

Among the immigrant businessmen who created Hollywood and the American motion picture industry, many of whom were barely literate when they entered what would become known almost a century later as the "communications industry," it was the cultured and introspective ones who failed. Selznick had a self-deprecating cynicism that eventually diluted his ambition. It was said that in the early 20s, Selznick would rather stay at home surrounded by his ojects d'art than make the rounds of Hollywood. Apparently, he eschewed schmoozing with other industry insiders at their favorite haunts. Lacking their tastes and world view, Selznick wound up distrusted by the other movie magnates.

Lewis Selznick thoroughly grounded his two sons in the movie industry, an industry in which nepotism is taken for granted. Myron attended Columbia University, but he dropped out and then went to work for his father's movie company as a film examiner, an entry-level position, to "earn his bones" in the industry. He became the youngest producer in Hollywood by the time he was 20, and was producer-in-chief of Selznick Pictures by the time he was 21. By 1920, he had been appointed president of the company, a post he held until the company's failure in 1923, when Adolph Zukor bested his old rival, Lewis J. Selznick.

One of Lewis J. and Myron Selnick's protégés was former Follies girl (and courtesan) Olive Thomas, who was billed as "the world's most beautiful girl." She starred in Upstairs and Down, the first film produced by Myron Selznick, and the first film released by the new Selznick Pictures Corp. She also appeared in "The Flapper" (1920), helping give wide currency to the word which helped define the new, modern, liberated woman of what became known as "The Roaring Twenties," and it was Myron who was considered to have made her a star. Married to Mary Pickford's brother Jack, Thomas died under mysterious circumstances on her "second honeymoon" in Paris in 1920, at the height of her youthful fame. Ruled an accidental suicide by French authorities, she perished after ingesting the contents of a full bottle of mercury bi-chloride pills, a common remedy for syphilis at the time, which her husband said she had mistaken for a bottle of aspirin, never explaining why she had downed its entire contents.

The 1920 edition of "Who's Who on the Screen" hailed Myron as being "recognized by all concerned as one of the most thorough and efficient men connected with the industry. Being in absolute charge of the purchasing of all stories and supervising productions for all the Selznick stars, young Mr. Selznick is indeed a busy executive. When the wonderful new Selznick Studio building is formally opened in Long Island City, Myron Selznick will assume command and Studio Managers, Casting Directors, and Film Editors will work under the youthful executive's wing. He is still in his early twenties and from all indications will become one of the great leaders of the fourth industry of the United States."

That prophecy was never to be realized. When Lewis J. Selznick Production, Inc., became financially troubled during a cyclical downturn that hit the industry in 1923, Lewis J. had no one to turn to. His company went bankrupt in 1923 due to over-expansion, done in by the machinations of a vengeful Zukor, who had bought up stock behind his back and forced the company into bankruptcy.

Lewis J. Selznick never produced another movie. He died on January 25, 1933, in Los Angeles, California. It was said that the professional lives of Myron and his younger brother David O. Selznick thereafter were lived to vindicate the Selznick name. David also learned the ropes as a young man at Lewis J. Selznick Production, and as an independent producer for his own Selznick International, David would win back-to-back Best Picture Oscars for "Gone With the Wind" (1939) and "Rebecca" (1940).

After his father went bankrupt, David O. Selznick quit Columbia University like his brother Myron had before him and moved to California to get back into the industry. Without any help from his father, he got a proofreaders job at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He worked his way up to become an assistant producer in Harry Rapf's unit, then got engaged to Irene Mayer, daughter of Louis B. Mayer, a match strongly disapproved by the M.G.M. boss, who despised David's father.

Lewis J. Selznick had tried to horn in on M.G.M,'s original 1925 production of "Ben-Hur," claiming he had rights to the stage play. David apologized to Mayer for his father, admitting it wasn't right for his father to have pulled such a con, and the two healed their rift. To avoid charges of nepotism, David eventually quit M.G.M. for Paramount, then became production boss at R.K.O. before returning to M.G.M. in 1933 after the heart attack of central producer Irving Thalberg. (The news of the elevation of David O. Selznick to supervising producer at M.G.M. was the source of the famous newspaper headline "The Son-in-Law Also Rises.") After quitting M.G.M. a second time in 1935, he went on to become arguably the greatest independent producer ever, responsible for "Gone With the Wind (1939), the most popular motion picture in cinematic history.

After the collapse of Lewis J. Selznick Production, Myron Selznick tried but failed to establish himself as an independent producer. In 1927, he produced the B-Western The Arizona Whirlwind with Bill Cody. Two years later, he established himself as a talent agent, creating Myron Selznick & Co., which eventually had offices in Hollywood, New York, and London. His brilliance as an agent made him a millionaire many times over. Selznick became so well-known and such a power in the industry by the early 1940s, that he was mentioned by name in Budd Schulberg's seminal Hollywood novel, "What Makes Sammy Run" (1941).

According to a September 1, 1952 "Time" Magazine cover story on Katharine Hepburn, when she first arrived in Hollywood from Broadway, Myron Selznick, her agent, was appalled at her looks, including her casual way of dressing. He said, "My God, are we sticking them $1,500 a week for this?!?" "Them" was R.K.O., where his brother David was production chief. But Myron's eye for talent was keen, and Hepburn quickly established herself as a star.

Myron built up his agency by signing movie personnel at a time where the studios were cavalier about their employees. In 1930, Myron hired Warner Bros. producer-in-chief Darryl F. Zanuck's former secretary, Marcella Rabwin, to be part of his agency. She had left Zanuck due to sexual harassment, and Rabwin herself had approached Selznick, offering him a proposition; if hired, she'd go back to Warner Bros. and sign up writers and directors, none of whom were under contract. Rabwin's proposition was accepted and proved successful for both her and Myron. Soon she was making more money than anyone else in Selznick's agency. Rabwin quit when Myron asked her to take a pay cut so she'd make less than his male agents. She went back to secretarial work, hired by R.K.O. at $35 per week, and eventually she became David O. Selznick's secretary, moving with him to Selznick International Pictures as his executive assistant.

The actress Marjorie Daw had appeared in England in the silent film with The Passionate Adventure, co-starring Alice Joyce, Clive Brook and Victor McLaglen, a movie co-written by a young Alfred Hitchcock. Daw divorced her husband A. Edward Sutherland to become the wife of Myron Selznick, whose Lewis J. Selznick Enterprises released the film in 1924 in the U.S. Eventually, Myron was the one who "discovered" Histchcock, the director, and brought him to the attention of his brother, Davd O. Selznick, who in turn, brought Hitchcock to Hollywood to direct "Rebecca," the younger Selznick's second consecutive Best Picture Oscar winner.

Myron was no stranger to dealing with his brother as an agent. Earlier, he had represented director-writer William A. Wellman when he was making "A Star is Born" for David, who as a producer, was a notorious control-freak. Behind his director-writer's back, David hired Dorothy Parker and her husband Alan Campbell to rewrite Wellman's dialog. He also hired fellow mogul's son Budd Schulberg and future Hollywood 10 member Ring Lardner, Jr. to help rewrite to the screenplay. When Wellman had had enough of David's meddling, he had Myron threaten to sue his own brother on Wellman's behalf. The meddling stopped.

In 1938, Selznick had a memorable run-in with 20th Century-Fox chief executive Joseph M. Schenck, a former business partner of his father's. He demanded that Loretta Young's salary be doubled to approximately $70,000 a picture and also demanded also that the studio give her the right to work for other studios. Schenck, who had recently been appointed the new president of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, was so incensed by Myron's demands, he ordered Selznick off of the 20th Century-Fox lot.

Despite Schenck's intransigence and influence with other studio executives, the Selznick Agency continued to flourish, and Myron's luck remained good. That year, Myron's horse "Can't Wait" finished third at the Kentucky Derby, a fortuitous augury in a company town mad for horse raising. Before Lew Wasserman assumed the late Myron Selznick's mantle as agent extraordinaire around 1950, Selznick had pioneered the production of motion pictures by the stars he represented.

Perhaps Myron Selznick's most famous exploit in Hollywood was his role in the casting of Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O'Hara in his brother's "Gone With the Wind (1939). Then representing Laurence Olivier, Myron took on as a client Olivier's lover Leigh, who had only appeared in English motion pictures. In December 1938, he invited the couple to attend the filming of the burning of Atlanta sequence on the old R.K.O. back-lot, now owned by his brother's Selznick International Pictures. When they arrived that night for the filming of the sequence, the action was being performed by stunt doubles, as would be expected on any picture. But for this, the most hyped movie of its time, it was absolutely necessary as David O. Selznick had yet to cast his leading lady despite a well-publicized talent search over the past year and the fact that he had actually begun production of the movie that very night.

When Myron, Olivier, and the beautiful Vivien Leigh joined the group watching the filming, Myron introduced his client to David with the immortal line, "Hey genius. Meet your Scarlett O'Hara."

The rest, as they say, was history. "God With the Wind" (1939), with Leigh in an Oscar-wining turn as Scarlett, went on to become the most popular motion picture in history, for over half-a-century touted as the greatest American commercial movie ever made.

Myron, at five-and-a-half feet tall, was quite a contrast with his taller brother David, whom according to David's ex-wife Irene Mayer Selznick, he adored and was extremely proud of. Irene Selznick, in her memoir, comments that Myron was frustrated by the agent business as it did not fully engage his extraordinary intelligence and talents. He let David remain the sole producer in the family, although towards the end of his life, he was involved in the setting up of a production company for another major independent producer, Hunt Stromberg.

A long-time M.G.M. producer, Stromberg was involved in a contract dispute with Louis B. Mayer in 1941. On December 13th, after 18 years with the studio, Stomberg resigned, though he had three years to go on his contract. Mayer released him from his obligations, and Stromberg officially left the studio on February 10, 1942. Hollywood expected Stromberg to join United Artists, or to hook up with Myron's brother David O. Selznick. There were other rumors that he would form a partnership with former United Artists executive Murray Silverstone, who had left his studio. Instead, with the help of Myron Selznick, Stromberg revived his independent production company that had lain dormant for 20 years. Stromberg signed up executives from David O.'s old Selznick International team, including Kay Brown, who had bird-dogged "Gone With the Wind" when the novel was in galleys. Already one of the primary investors in Hunt Stromberg Productions, Inc., it was Myron who negotiated a lucrative five-year distribution deal with United Artists.

Myron Selznick never returned to movie production. He died on Mrch 23, 1944, at the age of 45 years old. According to Irene Selznick, the death of Myron was a tragedy for David as only he and David's former producing partner and best friend, John Hay "Jock" Whitney, had had an ameliorating effect on David's megalomaniacal behavior. Jock was off to military service during World War II when Myron died and when Jock returned to the States after being held as a prisoner of war, he abandoned the movie industry for Wall Street. Without his brother and his best friend, the producer David O. Selznick became reckless and eventually became a shell of himself after engaging in the flamboyantly destructive behavior that had brought his own father to ruin.

Myron Selznick was buried at Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery (now the Hollywood Forever Cemetery) in Hollywood near the Paramount and R.K.O. studios. The pallbearers at his funeral included Walter Wanger and William Powell, who read the funeral oration. In the fall of 1944, he was disinterred and buried in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where he was later joined by his beloved brother David.

Andrea Leanza

ANDREA LEANZA, born in Catania (Italy) A lover since his childhood in dinosaurs, natural sciences, creatures, films and special makeup fx, begins his experiences as a joke, when he was only twelve years old, discovering his true vocation. Almost completely self-taught, strongly inspired by the stories of masters such as Dick Smith and Rick Baker, during the years he deepened his knowledge in the techniques of life-casting, sculpting and texturing, mould making, applying and painting prosthetic appliances. Since then, he is constantly working to improve himself by learning and experiencing more and more advanced techniques and materials creating special make-up fx for commercials, sit-coms, short and feature films. Following one of his greatest model of inspiration "Stan Winston" he soon gets known for his hyper-realistic Dinosaurs models and in 2006 he becomes the artistic supervisor of Mauro Scaggiante's GEOMODEL creating prehistoric animals reconstruction in full-scale for museums, exhibitions and theme parks. His biggest sculpture, a 16mt long Spinosaurus, got the National Geographic cover on October 2014 issue. From 2007 to 2011 was responsible for the transformations of actors Francesco Mandelli and Fabrizio Biggio on the first 3 seasons of the tv series "I soliti idioti" aired on MTV Italy (italian version of "Little Britain"). In 2011 he starts his real career in the international film industry getting hired from 2 times Oscar winner Mark Coulier (The Iron Lady, The Gran Budapest Hotel) to create the zombies for Marc Forster's "World War Z" starring and produced by Brad Pitt, and after that decides to move to London where he stays for 3 years working for various uk companies. In 2014 comes back to Italy to work as Creature Co-Supervisor with Makinarium FX team for Matteo Garrone's "Tale of Tales" (starring Vincent Cassel, Salma Hayek, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly) selected at 2015 Cannes Film Festival and winner of 7 Davide di Donatello awards included Best Make-up and Best VFX, and later in South Africa with Cosmesis FX crew as key prosthetic makeup artist on Sean Penn's "The Last Face" (starring Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Jean Reno and Jared Harris). In 2015 works as key prosthetic artist on Timur Bekmambetov's "Ben Hur" (Morgan Freeman, Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro), then he finally gets his chance as HOD Makeup/prosthetics designer for Marco Segato's "La pelle dell'Orso", with Italian actor Marco Paolini (Jolefilm). Later on the same year gets back for 4 months in South Africa on Paul W. Anderson's "Resident Evil - the final chapter" again with Cosmesis team as key artist on the creation of the zombie's makeup and in addition he's also assigned from makeup HoD Christina Smith (Shindler's list, Hook, Jurassic Park) to do Milla Jovovich's old age makeup application created by the studio of Oscar winner Matthew Mungle (Coppola's Dracula, Albert Nobbs). He also joined the crew of some famous TV productions such as BBC's "Dr. Who", "Merlin" and "Atlantis", and Movie Productions such as Jeff Wadlow's "Kick-Ass II", Gary Shore's "Dracula Untold" and Lennart Ruff's "The Titan".

Andrea strongly believes in collaboration and sharing both at a human and working level and so, together with other friends and colleagues, he works trying to bring this kind of "countercurrent mentality" into the special makeup FX industry. He's member of the cultural association EffectUs which promotes the importance of the mutual exchange of knowledge and artistic skills at a national and international level, favoring a network focused on the growth of this artistic discipline.

Charles Belcher

Charles Belcher born in San Francisco in 1872. A graduate of San Francisco's Lincoln Grammar School. Became popular in drama and comedy theatre from 1907. White-haired gentleman who appeared in many action adventure and drama films, first starring with Ruth Roland in a adventure serial 'The Adventures of Ruth made at the Pathe Film Co in 1919, he's perhaps most notable for his roles in many of Douglas Fairbanks action films including 'The Mark of Zorro' in 1920, 'The Three Musketeers' in 1921 and 'The Black Pirate' in 1926, he' perhaps best remembered as Balthazar in 'Ben Hur' in 1925,Charles made his last screen appearance, playing the Duke in Albert Ray's 'Thief in the Dark' in 1928.

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