One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.
Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family. His parents, Rose (Gerardi) and Salvatore Pacino. divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies, one of his favorite activities. Bored and unmotivated in school, the young Al Pacino found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting on the stage, he went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many '70s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, he finally hit it big with "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?". His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a junkie in The Panic in Needle Park after his film debut in Me, Natalie. What came next would change his life forever. The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of others either wanted it or were mentioned for it, but director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino for the role, although pretty much everyone else--from the studio to the producers to some of the cast members--didn't want him. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in constant fear of being fired during the hellish shoot. Much to his (and Coppola's) relief, the film was a monster hit that did wonders for everyone's career, including Pacino's, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, however, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon. He opened eyes around the film world for his brave choice of roles, and he was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield, but regained his stride with ...And Justice for All., for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This would, unfortunately, signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced such critical and commercial flops as Cruising and Author! Author!. He took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult hit Scarface, but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino became terribly ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script also further derailed a project that seemed doomed from the start anyway. The Revolutionary War film is considered one of the worst films ever, not to mention one of the worst of his career, resulted in his first truly awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino has done much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic, but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love as a hard-drinking cop. It marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, he made The Godfather: Part III and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful Dick Tracy. This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross. He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny. In 1992 he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman. A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro, although they only had a few scenes together. He returned to the director's chair for the highly acclaimed and quirky Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard. City Hall, Donnie Brasco and Devil's Advocate all came out in this period. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave two commanding performances in The Insider and Any Given Sunday.
In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including _Ocean's Thirteen (2007)_, but his choice in television roles (the vicious Roy Cohn in HBO's miniseries Angels in America and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
In his personal life, Pacino is one of Hollywood's most enduring and notorious bachelors, having never been married. He has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a new set of twins with longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes a long-time romance with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. With his intense and gritty performances, Pacino was an original in the acting profession. His Method approach would become the process of many actors throughout time, and his unbeatable number of classic roles has already made him a legend among film buffs and all aspiring actors and directors. His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends.
Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's best rising stars in Hollywood and abroad today. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history.
Farrell was born on May 31, 1976 in Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland, to Rita (Monaghan) and Eamon Farrell. His father and uncle were both professional athletes, and for a while, it looked like Farrell would follow in their footsteps. Farrell auditioned for a part in the Irish Boy Band, Boyzone, but it didn't work out. After dropping out of The Gaiety School of Acting, Farrell was cast in Ballykissangel, a BBC television drama. "Ballykissangel" was not his first role on screen. Farrell had previously been in The War Zone, directed by Tim Roth and had appeared in the independent film Drinking Crude. Farrell was soon to move on to bigger things.
Exchanging his usually thick Dublin accent for a light Texas drawl, Farrell acted in the gritty Tigerland, directed by Joel Schumacher. Starring Farrell amongst a number of other budding young actors, the film portrays a group of new recruits being trained for the war in Vietnam. Farrell played the arrogant soldier Boz, drafted into the army and completely spiteful of authority. The film was praised by critics, but did not make much money at the box office. It was Farrell's first big role on film, and certainly not his last. Farrell followed up with American Outlaws, where he played the notorious outlaw Jesse James with Scott Caan, son of legendary actor James Caan, in the role of Cole Younger. The film was a box office flop and failure with the critics. Immediately, Farrell returned to the war drama film that had made him famous. Co-starring in the war film Hart's War opposite Bruce Willis, Farrell played the young officer captured by the enemy. The film was another failure. Farrell struck gold when he was cast in the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report that same year. Set in a futuristic time period, Farrell played the character of Danny Witwer, a young member of the Justice Department who is sent after Tom Cruise's character. The film was a smash hit, and praised by critics.
Farrell continued this success when he reunited with Joel Schumacher on the successful thriller Phone Booth. Farrell played the role of the victim who is harassed by an unseen killer (Kiefer Sutherland) and is made to reveal his sins to the public. 2003 was a big year for Farrell. He starred in the crime thriller The Recruit as a young CIA man mentored by an older CIA veteran (Al Pacino). Pacino later stated that Farrell was the best actor of his generation. Farrell certainly continued to be busy that year with Daredevil, which actually allowed him to keep his thick Irish accent. The film was another success for Farrell, as was the crime film S.W.A.T. where Farrell starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J. Farrell also acted in the Irish black comedy film Intermission and appeared another Irish film Veronica Guerin which reunited him with Joel Schumacher once again. The following year, Farrell acted in what is his most infamous film role yet: the title role in the mighty Oliver Stone film epic Alexander, which is a character study of Alexander the Great as he travels across new worlds and conquers all the known world before him. Farrell donned a blond wig and retained his Irish accent, and gave a fine performance as Alexander. However, both he and the film were criticized. Despite being one of the highest grossing films internationally and doing a good job at the DVD sales, Farrell did not come out of the experience without a few hurts. Farrell attempted to rebound with his historical film The New World. Reuniting with "Alexander" star Christopher Plummer, and also acting with Christian Bale, Farrell played the character of the brave explorer John Smith, who would make first contacts with the Native peoples. The film did not do well at the box office, though critics praised the film's stunning appearance and cinematography.
Farrell returned to act in Michael Mann's film Miami Vice alongside Jamie Foxx. The film was a film adaptation of the famous television series, and did reasonably well at the box office. Farrell also acted in Ask the Dust with Salma Hayek and Donald Sutherland, though the film did not receive much distribution. The next year, Farrell acted alongside Ewan McGregor in the Woody Allen film Cassandra's Dream which received mixed reviews from critics. Farrell followed up with the hilarious black comedy In Bruges. Written and directed by Irish theatre director Martin McDonagh, the film stars Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two Irish hit men whose latest assignment went wrong, leaving them to hide out in Bruges, Belgium. The film has been one of Farrell's most praised work, and he was nominated for a Golden Globe. As well as In Bruges, Farrell acted alongside Edward Norton in the crime film Pride and Glory which was not as successful as the former film. As well as working with charity, and speaking at the Special Olympics World Games in 2007, he has donated his salary for Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus to Heath Ledger's little daughter (who was left nothing in a will that had not been updated in time). Ledger had originally been cast in the film and was replaced by Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law. The film was a critical and financial success, and Farrell also played a small role in Crazy Heart which had the Dubliner playing a country singer. Farrell even sang a few songs for the film's soundtrack. As well as those small roles, Farrell took the lead role in the war film Triage. Farrell incredibly lost forty-four pounds to play the role of a war photographer who must come to terms with what he has experienced in Kurdistan. While the film was finely made, with excellent performances from all involved, the film has received almost no distribution.
Farrell's other leading role that year was in Neil Jordan's Irish film Ondine, which had Farrell playing an imaginative fisherman who thinks he has caught a mermaid in his net. Since the mid-2000's, Farrell has cleaned up his act, and far from being a Hollywood hell raiser and party animal, Farrell has shown himself to be a respectable and very talented actor.
Victoria Rowell is an award-winning actress, international lecturer, holds two doctorates - a teacher, advocate, mother, and former foster youth. She has been recognized by 193 members of Congress for advocacy work on behalf of education, arts, foster and adoptive youth and parents as well as diversity issues.
Her New York Times bestseller, The Women Who Raised Me," published by HarperCollins Publishers, received literary acclaim. Rowell also enjoys a literary book deal with Simon & Schuster for her popular soap opera novel series.
Rowell is an Emmy-nominated, NAACP-winning actress, who co-starred with Dick Van Dyke in the prime time television series Diagnosis Murder for VIACOM for eight seasons, as well as starring in Daytime television. Rowell was submitted for a Golden Globe Award, starring opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Home of the Brave.
Other credits include Law & Order: SVU and other series. She stars in the movie, Marry Me For Christmas and an upcoming feature, What Love Will Make You Do. She has been in multiple films, starring opposite Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, Jeff Bridges, Samuel L. Jackson, Beau Bridges, Forest Whitaker and more. Victoria is currently filming opposite The Blacklist/Man of Steel star, Harry Lennix.
Born in Maine, Rowell was raised on a 60 acre working farm and learned classical ballet from a book. She eventually turned professional and performed with American Ballet Theater (ABT) II and other professional ballet companies.
Rowell has two adult children, Maya and Jasper.
Matthew Mackendree Lanter was born April 1, 1983 in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio, to Jana Kay (Wincek) and Joseph Hayes Lanter. He has a sister, Kara. When he was eight years old, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where his father's family is from. His recent ancestry includes Polish, English, Austrian, Scottish, and German.
Growing up, the blue-eyed actor spent most of his time playing baseball, football and golf. His love for baseball led him to scoring a position as a bat boy with the Atlanta Braves. In the year 2001, he graduated from Collins Hill High School. His parents got divorced when he was a senior at Collins Hill. Matt majored in Sports Business at the University of Georgia, but eventually moved to Los Angeles to follow his dreams of being part of the showbiz industry. He attended the University of Georgia after attending a community college for two years.
Lanter first gained the attention of fans when he was selected as a contestant in the 2004 reality television series, Manhunt: The Search for America's Most Gorgeous Male Model. The show revolved around contestants having to compete with each other in a series of modeling events. Although he did not win the competition, Matt succeeded in making the show's top 10. It did not take too long before critics started noticing Matt.
After landing roles on shows such as Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Life, Big Love, Monk, as well as the feature film, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, starring Jim Caviezel, he built a solid foundation and was already in demand for future projects. His big break came when he starred as "Horace Calloway", the John F. Kennedy-like first son on the short-lived ABC political series, Commander in Chief in 2005. However, most people do not know that he was, in fact, not in the original pilot. Instead, Matt was a re-cast. Matt has also recurred on two of television's most popular shows: NBC's Heroes as the sinister quarterback "Brody Mitchumm" opposite Hayden Panettiere and CBS' Shark as "Eddie Linden".
His talent surpasses the ability to solely act for TV and film and on stage; Matt had the opportunity of starring in his theatrical debut, opposite Laurence Fishburne in Alfred Uhry's "Without Walls" at The Mark Taper Forum. Consistently booking role after role, he has starred in multiple other feature films merging him into a leading man. Lanter's films include: Warner Bros. animated feature film, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, in which he voices the popular character "Anakin Skywalker", the lead in Liongate's comedy, Disaster Movie, and MGM's feature film, WarGames: The Dead Code. Prior to that, he established himself as a tween heartthrob, playing the lead in MGM/ABC Family's film, The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream.
Outside of acting, Matt has participated in various events for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (one of which was a celebrity dodgeball team promoting the premiere of Ben Stiller's movie, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, in which the proceeds also went to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation) and the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, where he was part of the "Commander in Chief" celebrity relay team.
Despite being busy working in the industry, Matt says that he tries to stay as humble as possible. When he's not acting, he enjoys being outdoors, playing golf and relaxing at the beach.
Matt married his longtime girlfriend, Angela Lanter, on June 14, 2013.
Born in Falkirk, Central Scotland, Ruth Connell grew up on her Dad's farm outside Bonnybridge. She played the young lead role of 'Clara' in 'The Nutcracker' for Scottish Ballet. After working with dance companies including 'Jazz Art UK' and 'The Curve Foundation' she trained as an actor gaining a BA (Hons) at Rose Bruford College in London and was 'Critics Choice' for her graduation showcase. Her film debut was in the short 'Soldiers Leap' with Billy Boyd and Rupert Graves directed by Robert Cavanah. No 1 tours in the UK as well as lead roles in Scottish theatre followed as well as national voice over campaigns. After filming the ITV sitcom 'Above Their Station' with Denis Lawson, Ashley Madekwe, Rhys Thomas, Andrew Brooke and Simon Day, Ruth began working in LA on such features as the award winning indie film "Folklore" and "The Cursed Man" as well as performing on stage with The Blank Theatre in their award winning; "Peter Pan; The Boy Who Hated Mothers". Ruth is Disney Pixar's official voice match for Princess Merida in "Brave".
Her father is Tariq Anwar and her mother is Shirley Hills. Anwar attended Laleham Church of England Primary and Middle School from 1975 to 1982. Trinian's sketch in the school concert of 1982 gave an early indication of her theatrical leanings. She studied at the London drama and dance school, "Italia Conti". She appeared in many British television productions before making her film debut in Manifesto.
Her first American movie was If Looks Could Kill, in which she played the daughter of a murdered British Agent (played by Roger Daltrey). In 1992, she made a guest appearance on Beverly Hills, 90210 as "Tricia Kinney". She followed that with the films, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (inspired by "A Girl and Five Brave Horses"), Scent of a Woman, Body Snatchers, For Love or Money and The Three Musketeers. In 1994, People magazine named her one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. One of her most memorable moments on screen came in 1992's Scent of a Woman, when she danced a tango with Al Pacino, whose character was blind.
|Damon Wayans Jr.
Damon Wayans Jr. was born at his grandmother's home in Vermont, in November 1982, and was raised in Los Angeles. He is the son of Lisa Thorner and actor Damon Wayans.
He made his film debut at age 11 in the 1994 film "Blank Man" playing the role of young Kevin. Later, Damon pursued his early passion for fine arts and animation in High School before admittance to the Otis School for Art and Design. He performed in a few bit roles on "My Wife and Kids" and landed a job as staff writer on the series becoming at 20, the youngest staff writer on television.
In 2005, Damon followed his father's comedic foot steps and braved the world of stand up comedy under the pseudonym Kyle Green. Damon Jr. has appeared performing alongside his father in the Showtime television series, "The Underground" (2006) and also served as a writer on that sketch comedy series. Damon also wrote, directed and starred in a series of innovative internet-based comedy sketches for "Way-Out TV" a website launched in 2007 by his father. In January 2008, Damon Jr. was featured on HBO's "Def Comedy Jam".
This young and talented multi-hyphenate continues honing his stand-up skills, performing in comedy clubs across the country, while further pursuing his crafts of acting and writing.
Peter Frederick Weller was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, to Dorothy Jean (Davidson) and Frederick Bradford Weller, a federal judge and career helicopter pilot for the United States Army. He traveled extensively as his father literally flew around the world. Before he was out of his teens, he had attended high schools in Heidelberg, Germany and San Antonio, Texas, then enrolled the University of North Texas -- attracted by the chance of playing trumpet in one of the college's celebrated jazz bands. Music is in his family. Three generations on his mother's side were piano players and jazz is still his overriding interest. Ask him who his favorite performer in any art form is and he will say Miles Davis. It was with a B.A. in Theatre and a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts that he left Texas for New York. Two weeks after graduating, he made his first appearance on Broadway as David in Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival production of David Rabe's "Sticks and Bones", a role he repeated on the London stage.
While a student of legendary actress and drama coach, Uta Hagen, Weller appeared on and off Broadway in works like William Inge's "Summer Brave", Thomas Babe's "Rebel Women" and "Full Circle", one of the last plays directed by Otto Preminger. He began garnering critical acclaim with his portrayal of Billie Wilson in "Streamers", directed by Mike Nichols for Joseph Papp at Lincoln Center. He continued that success with his performances as Cliff in "The Woolgatherer" and as Nick in the first American production of David Mamet's "The Woods". During this period, he became a member of the highly respected Actor's Studio, under the aegis of Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg.
Weller's film debut was in Richard Lester's Butch and Sundance: The Early Days. He then co-starred with Alan King and Ali MacGraw in Sidney Lumet's Just Tell Me What You Want and, with Albert Finney and Diane Keaton, in Alan Parker's Shoot the Moon. Other film credits include Firstborn with Teri Garr, the HBO made-for-TV Apology, co-starring Lesley Ann Warren, and Of Unknown Origin, the film which won Weller the Best Actor award at the Paris International Film Festival for his performance as an upwardly mobile bachelor with a serious rat problem. That same film also marked his first association with Leviathan director George P. Cosmatos.
Mara Elizabeth Wilson was born on July 24th, 1987 in Los Angeles, California. She is the oldest daughter of Michael and Suzie Wilson with three elder brothers - Danny (b. 1979), Jon (b. 1981) and Joel (b. 1983) - and a younger sister Anna (b. 1993). When Mara was 5 years old, her eldest brother Danny started acting in television commercials and she wanted to follow in his footsteps. Her parents refused to let her act at first. After much persistence from Mara Elizabeth, her parents reluctantly agreed to let her give acting a try. She went on to appear in a number of commercials including those advertising Texaco and the Bank of America. She also appeared in "Mrs. Doubtfire" starring Robin Williams and Sally Field. In the role, Mara proved herself to be a talented young actress, who was mature for her tender years, and her acting career went from strength-to-strength as she quickly became a favorite among cinema-goers. The following year, Mara played a small girl whose mother had suffered a major stroke in "A Time to Heal". But her big break came with the remake of "Miracle on 34th Street" as the little, intelligent, cynical girl who learned the magic of Santa Claus. Ironically, Mara was not raised to believe in Santa Claus but this was a bonus in some ways since she was able to empathize with her character's stance that there was no Santa. At the age of nine, Mara was cast in the lead role in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's book "Matilda". Sadly, during filming, Mara lost her beloved mother to breast cancer but she bravely pushed ahead with the film much to the amazement and admiration of her adult co-stars. Mara starred in three films over the following three years, the last of which was in "Thomas and the Magic Railroad". Unfortunately, the film did not do well in the American box office, but it did very well in the UK box office. This signaled an end to Mara's film career as she wanted to focus on school and to enjoy her teenage years. In June 2005, Mara graduated from Idyllwild School of Music & Arts and went on to attend New York University. In a March 2012 blog post, she revealed she has no desire to return to acting in films. Today Mara Wilson is a stage actress, a voice actress, a writer, and a playwright. She now lives a quiet life in New York City.
|Richard Dean Anderson
The future MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 star was born on January 23, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Anderson, was a teacher at a local high school and his mother, Jocelyn, was an artist who was talented in both sculpting and painting. He and his two younger brothers, Thomas John and James Stuart, grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis called Roseville. During his childhood and teenage years, he developed a love for sports, music (especially jazz) and acting.
Richard dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player as a teenager, a dream shared by his future Stargate SG-1 co-star Michael Shanks. However, this was not to be as, at age sixteen, he broke both of his arms in separate incidents, the second of which was so bad that he had to be hospitalized for three months. Although his dream became an impossibility, he never lost his love for the sport. Richard was very much a restless teenager, having had many adventures hitchhiking on the open road. This sense of adventure is most evident from his 5,641-mile bicycle trip from his home in Minnesota to Alaska. Though accompanied by several friends at the beginning of this trip, he traveled the last thirty-three days alone. This experience gave him a more centered sense of direction in his life.
After studying drama at St. Cloud State University and at Ohio University (without completing his degree), he briefly moved to New York before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked as a juggler and a street mime and in a Renaissance-style cabaret. He worked briefly in Marineland, where his jobs included holding fish in his mouth for killer whales to leap up and snatch. Subsequently, he appeared in plays and formed a rock band called "Rick Dean and the Dante" with his friend Carl Dante in which he sang and played the guitar.
His big break came in 1976, when he was cast in the popular daytime drama General Hospital as Dr. Jeff Webber. He continued to play the role for five years until he felt it was time to move on to prime-time drama. He made numerous guest appearances in series such as The Facts of Life and The Love Boat and was cast as the star in two CBS series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Emerald Point N.A.S., but both lasted just one season.
His next big success came in 1985, when he won the role as the title character in the ABC adventure series MacGyver. He was cast because the producers were impressed by the lack of pretension he showed at his audition. As he is nearsighted, it was necessary for him to wear his glasses for the reading. The series lasted seven seasons and ran for 139 episodes. It was hugely successful throughout its run and has continued to be popular all over the world. He reprised his role in two TV movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday, both produced by his own production company, Gekko Film Corp, which he co-founded with Michael Greenburg.
Having made a huge impression in Ordinary Heroes as a blinded Vietnam veteran struggling to rebuild his life in America, after "MacGyver" ended he moved on to TV movies such as In the Eyes of a Stranger, Through the Eyes of a Killer, Beyond Betrayal, Past the Bleachers and Pandora's Clock. He was particularly impressive in Past the Bleachers, in which he played a grieving father struggling to come to terms with his young son's death.
He returned to series television in 1995, when he was cast as Ernest Pratt/Nicodemus Legend in Legend, an adventure series that aired on UPN. He also served as executive producer of the series, in which one of his co-stars was his close friend John de Lancie. His character was a dime novelist (Pratt) who took on the persona of the protagonist in his novels (Legend). The series was primarily a comedy, a blend of the western and science fiction. It has also been Richard's favorite role to date.
He found major success again when cast as Colonel (later Brigadier General) Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1, an adventure/science fiction series based on the blockbuster Stargate starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. The series began filming in Vancouver on February 19, 1997, and premiered on Showtime on July 27, 1997 and on Fox Friday nights. The series has remained extremely successful since then, eventually resulting in the creation of a spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis, in 2004, and the now-canceled video game _Stargate SG-1: The Alliance (2005) (VG)_ in 2005. Both series have aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. He has also appeared, sporadically, in the latest spin-off series, SGU Stargate Universe. Richard's role in the SG-1 series was substantially reduced in its seventh and eighth seasons, which culminated in his departure from the series in 2005.
He has never married but has dated many women, including actresses Teri Hatcher, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sela Ward and German ice-skater Katarina Witt. Since 1996, his partner has been Apryl A. Prose, who is the mother of his only child, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, who was born on August 2, 1998. Like her father and grandfather (who passed away in 2003), she is fond of jazz. Because of his young daughter, he has temporarily taken a break from acting in order to spend time with her and help her develop. Richard has made it a point throughout his career to choose roles that demonstrate his versatility as an actor. Many of his characters, particularly MacGyver and O'Neill, are strong characters who, although tormented by personal tragedies such as the death of family members and friends, can continue on bravely and valiantly.
Genevieve Bujold spent her first twelve school years in Montreal's oppressive Hochelaga Convent where opportunities for self-expression were limited to making welcoming speeches for visiting clerics. As a child she felt 'as if I were in a long dark tunnel trying to convince myself that if I could ever get out there was light ahead'. Caught reading a forbidden novel, she was handed her ticket out of the convent and she then enrolled in Montreal's free Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique. There she was trained in classical French drama and shortly before graduation was offered a part in a professional production of Beaumarchais' 'The Barber of Seville'. In 1965 while on a theatrical tour of Paris with another Montreal company, Rideau Vert, Bujold was recommended to director 'Alain Renais' (by his mother) who cast her opposite Yves Montand in The War Is Over. She then made two other French films in quick succession, the Philippe de Broca cult classic King of Hearts and Louis Malle's The Thief of Paris. She was also very active during 'this time in Canadian television where she met and married director 'Paul Almond' in 1967. They had one child and divorced in 1973. Two remarkable appearances - first as Shaw's Saint Joan on television in 12/67, then as Anne Boleyn in her Hollywood debut role Anne of the Thousand Days, co-starring Richard Burton- introduced Bujold to American audiences and yielded Emmy and Oscar nominations respectively. Immediately after 'Anne', while under contract with Universal, she opted out of a planned _Mary, Queen of Scots_ ('it would be the same producer, the same director, the same costumes, the same me') prompting the studio to sue her for $750,000. Rather than pay, she went to Greece to film The Trojan Women with Katharine Hepburn. Her virtuoso performance as the mad seer Cassandra led critic Pauline Kael to prophesy 'prodigies ahead' but to assuage Universal, Bujold eventually returned to Hollywood to make _Earthquake_, co-starring Charlton Heston, which was a box office hit. A host of other films of varying quality followed, most notably _Obsession_, _Coma_, The Last Flight of Noah's Ark, and Tightrope, but she managed nevertheless to transcend the material and deliver performances with her trademark combination of ferocious intensity and childlike vulnerability. In the 1980s she found her way to director Alan Rudolphs nether world and joined his film family for three movies including the memorable Choose Me. Highlights of recent work are her brave performance in the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers and a lovely turn in the autumnal romance Les noces de papier.
Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark. At the age of four Yen started taking up martial arts from his mother, who taught him wushu and tai chi until the age of eleven when his family emigrated to Boston, MA. From there he continued mastering wushi and tai chi. But after developing a huge interest in martial arts he eventually began getting into various others martial art styles, such as taekwondo, kick-boxing, boxing, karate etc. When Yen was sixteen his parents sent him to Beijing Wushu Academy so he could train Chinese martial arts under Master Wu Bin, well known as the coach of Jet Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.
After three years Yen was about to leave back to the US but made a side trip to Hong Kong. There he was accidentally introduced to famous Hong Kong action film-maker Woo-Ping Yuen, who was responsible for bringing Jackie Chan to super stardom and was looking for someone new to star in his films. Yen was offered a screen test - which he passed - and thereafter a 4-picture deal. Yen started out with stunt doubling duty on the magical martial arts film The Miracle Fighters. From there he starred in his first film, Drunken Tai Chi at the age of 19. He continued his early film career working independently with Woo-Ping Yuen and also applied for acting lessons as well as roles in TV series at TVB to gain more acting experience. He started getting a bit of attention in the late 1980s and mid 1990s, after he was offered a contract by D&B Films Co's Dickson Poon. Poon gave Yen major roles in the action films Tiger Cage, In the Line of Duty 4 and Tiger Cage 2, which became cult classics after their initial releases. These films eventually spread outside the Hong Kong film circuit and gave Yen a good reputation as a formidable onscreen action performer. But after a while, the company did not do well and in the end went bankrupt. This left Yen with no choice but to go back to TVB as well as venture into low-budget film-making making films, such as Crystal Hunt and Revenge of the Cheetah.
But the misfortune didn't last long. Famous director Hark Tsui had just made a successful attempt to revive the kung fu genre with Once Upon a Time in China which starred Jet Li. For the sequel Once Upon a Time in China II Hark was looking for someone to play the new nemesis. Through Yen's early films and his rep as one of the most effective pound-for-pound on-screen fighters in Hong Kong, Hark became fascinated and decided to approach, discuss, and eventually cast him in the role of General Lan. The film became a turning point in Yen's career and his two fight scenes with Jet Li revolutionized the standards of Hong Kong martial arts choreography at the time, and are still regarded as among the best fight scenes ever created in Hong Kong film history. Another acclaim by critics and movie goers was Yen's acting performance. It was so outstanding that he was nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" at the 1992 Hong Kong Film Awards.
After the excellent showcase, Yen starred in other successful and classic films, such as Dragon Inn for director Raymond Lee and Butterfly and Sword by Michael Mak. But he still continued to work with Woo-Ping Yuen on films including Heroes Among Heroes, Iron Monkey and Wing Chun. But after creative differences between them became apparent, both of them decided it was best to work on their own so they ended up going separate ways and haven't collaborated with each other ever since.
During this period Yen got into TV and worked on a couple of series for ATV as actor and action director. The first was The Kung Fu Master which depicted the life of martial arts legend Hung Hei-Kwan. The TV series was a big success and Yen continued the success by action directing and starring in the second successful series; Fist of Fury. It retold the story of Chen Zhen, the character made famous by Bruce Lee in the original 1972 film classic with the same title. Aside the TV work, he was offered roles by prolific director/producer Jing Wong in films such as The Saint of Gamblers and got other offers which includes Circus Kids where he co-starred with action star Biao Yuen, and Asian Cop: High Voltage which was shot in the Philippines.
In 1996 - after fulfilling his contract deal with Wong Jing and returning deposit money to refuse making more films for him - Yen signed with the independent film company My Way Film Co. This became another turning point in his career in that he started learning directing and experimenting with film cameras. In 1997, he finally made his directorial debut with Legend of the Wolf and had created a different style of martial arts choreography. The film made a huge impact within fan communities around the world for its' daring, braving, and fresh attempt of accomplishing something new for the then dying martial arts action genre in Hong Kong. There was and still is a mixture of people both admiring and looking down on this particular style. Yen continued to work as lead actor/director/action director on films such as Ballistic Kiss, Shanghai Affairs. In 1999, he decided to try something different and ended up flying to Germany to work on the local TV film Der Puma - Kämpfer mit Herz and its' TV series counterpart.
In 2000, things took a turn for Yen once again when US-based film company Dimension Films called and offered him a major role in Highlander: Endgame as the immortal Jin Ke, making it his US debut. But sadly the film didn't perform well at the box-office and many fans consider it to be a part of its' own franchise. Nevertheless, Yen's fan-base consider his action scenes to be highlights of the film; especially his duel with Adrian Paul. To Dimension Films' credit though, offers followed shortly afterward. Yen was invited to work behind the camera on The Princess Blade for Japanese director Shinsuke Sato and Blade II by Guillermo del Toro, the latter of which he also appeared in as the mute vampire Snowman.
In 2002 and 2003 respectively, Yen's career further progressed after he took on two memorable roles. Firstly, highly acclaimed Chinese director Yimou Zhang offered Yen the part of assassin Sky in Hero starring Jet Li and resulted in one of the most anticipated Chinese films of 2002 which eventually became a mega hit around Asia. Secondly, director David Dobkin casted him alongside Jackie Chan as the traitorous Wu Chow in Shanghai Knights, the sequel to Shanghai Noon. This film marked the first time Yen worked with Chan in his career. Both of these collaborations gave Yen more recognition in the US and in Hong Kong, which in turn gave him more opportunities as an actor and action director.
In the same year Yen decided to put hold of pursuing a career in Hollywood and flew back to Hong Kong to find quality work. Through his good friend and Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan he signed up as action director for Vampire Effect, produced by Emperor Multimedia Group Co. (EMG) and starring the pop stars Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi with in a cameo appearance by Jackie Chan. The film earned him a nomination for "Best Action Design" at the 2003 Hong Kong Film Awards as well as the 2003 Golden Horse Awards, both of which he won prices for. He continued to work on few films after that, including Black Rose Academy as director and action director, and The Twins Effect II as actor where he once again worked with Jackie Chan on an anticipated fight scene which was satisfying enough for fans to see.
Later on in 2004 Yen's career took a totally different turn when Hark Tsui offered him a leading role in Seven Swords which was an adaptation of a lengthy novel written by Liang Yu-Sheng about seven warriors and their mystical swords. Despite the disappointing box-office reception when it was released locally, the film was nonetheless a great showcase for Yen as an actor and action performer unlike anything he did previously in his career. Around the same time, Yen also teamed up with acclaimed Hong Kong director Wilson Yip and together they made the highly anticipated crime drama SPL: Kill Zone. The film was remarkable in that it successfully combined strong acting and unique storytelling/visuals with groundbreaking martial arts action. This concept went on to become favored by action film fans and Hong Kong Cinema fans in general after its' release. Yen's way of shooting martial arts action - which was nothing like people had already seen - earned him a nomination and a price at the 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards for "Best Action Design". The movie also led to a trend of similar Hong Kong action films where storytelling/visuals along with hard-hitting action scenes were to be highlighted as much as possible.
After the success, Yen and Yip teamed up immediately for more projects which includes the comic book adaptation Dragon Tiger Gate and the hard-hitting action drama Flash Point, both of which were very successful at the box-office and within fan communities globally. These accomplishments made people regard Yen as the new pinnacle of Hong Kong martial arts/action films. Yen both earned the "Best Action Design" nomination at the 2006 Hong Kong Film Awards as well as the "Best Action Direction" nomination at 2006 Golden Bauhinia Awards for Dragon Tiger Gate. He won a price for the latter while he was awarded for his action design on Flash Point at both the 2007 Golden Bauhinia Awards and the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards.
From there on Yen continued to work as a lead actor and also developed an interest in improving his acting skills. He got a leading role in the battle epic An Empress and the Warriors, directed by acclaimed Hong Kong action director Siu-Tung Ching, which was a big success in Mainland China. He continued work starring in the supernatural romance film Painted Skin by Gordon Chan. Then he starred in the martial arts biopic Ip Man helmed by Wilson Yip. This film was based on the life of one of Bruce Lee's wing chun teachers, Yip Man. The film became a sensational mega success all over Asia and people within the Hong Kong film industry started taking note after Wilson Yip's matured style of film-making, Sammo Hung's fresh martial arts choreography which many action film fans consider to be a redefinition of Hung's career as action director. But most impressive about the film for the audiences and critics was Yen's acting performance. During production, people had been very skeptical about Yen being the choice for the Yip Man role. But when the film was released, all pressure from the cast and crew were gone and people eventually went on to praise Yen for his portrayal of Yip Man. The success of the film also led to other successful directors and producers approaching Yen and giving him offers to work in front of the camera.
Through his progression in the Hong Kong film industry from the start - when he was just like other action performers in Hong Kong trying to make a name for themselves - to nowadays as arguably among the most offering leading Hong Kong actors and the most promising action director, as long as Donnie Yen is still active in film-making (whether working in front of or behind the camera), he will almost certainly break new grounds and create more innovative concepts of action choreography for the martial arts action genre.
Ally Walker was born in Tullahoma, Tennessee and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Actress Ally Walker studied biology and chemistry at the University of California Santa Cruz and went on to work for a genetic engineering firm in San Francisco. While spending a semester at Richmond College of the Arts in London, Ally became interested in theater but did not pursue it in lieu of her education in the sciences. After graduating with a science degree, Ally continued to work in genetic engineering, but her life changed one day when a producer discovered her in an L.A. restaurant and cast her in her first project.
From that point on, Ally made her mark in both television and film, starring in daytime's Emmy-winning Santa Barbara and True Blue, followed by the cult classic Singles and the action flick, Universal Soldier. Ally then returned to TV, playing a private eye in the series Moon Over Miami. It was during this time that Ally was offered the opportunity to test for both "Rachel" and "Monica" for NBC's Friends, choosing instead to take on a different type of comedic role in the film Steal Big Steal Little, starring alongside Andy Garcia and directed by Andrew Davis.
Although Walker has appeared in a number of big screen films, she is popularly remembered as "Ashley Bartlett Bacon", Peter Gallagher's girlfriend in While You Were Sleeping. Her most notable role however, was that of "Dr. Samantha Waters" in Profiler, where she played a forensic psychologist with a dark past. The show was a pioneer in what is now the forensic drama phenomenon, and combined the standard "whodunit" with an intuitive/psychic twist which changes the landscape of television. Many credit Profiler with paving the way for hit shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Medium and The Mentalist. At the time, Walker was the only single female lead on network television and it ranked in the top ten in worldwide syndication for several years that followed its run.
Some have compared Ally to Leigh Anne Tuohy, who was portrayed by Sandra Bullock in the film The Blind Side, for making her documentary, "For Norman...Wherever You Are". Shot in 2005, it chronicles Ally's experience through the Los Angeles Foster Care System, a journey that she was inspired to take after helping a one-year-old baby and his mother get off the streets. The film exposes the errors in the system, but never loses sight of the fact that the system itself is necessary. This heartfelt project won Best Documentary Feature at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival, as well as the Champion of Conscience Award at Wine Country Film Festival. Ally returned to the small screen in HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me" (2007), a show that holds a special place in her heart. It was an honest depiction of people in relationships, filled with scenarios that were tender and raw. "To explore intimacy in such an honest, brave way was a dream come true for me", Walker says. "I had been brought up on the films of the 1970s, and the material we were given on the show was sort of a throwback to a time when films were about people, not car explosions". Ally also continued to be seen on the big screen, most recently starring in Toe to Toe and Wonderful World, alongside Matthew Broderick.
However, in a complete about face, Ally can now be seen as the sociopath, "ATF Agent June Stahl", on Sons of Anarchy, FX's dramatic hit series. Originally cast for three episodes by the show's creator, Kurt Sutter, Ally has been recurring every year, and is now on her third season.
Walker has supported the Environmental Defense Fund and CYFC - Children Youth and Family Collaborative, among many other children's organizations. She resides in Santa Monica with her husband, three boys John Walker, William, Caleb, and her three dogs - Flora, Daisy and Flower, 2 mutts and a Rottweiler.
Peterman is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. After graduating from Minnesota State University with theater as one of her majors, she was cast as "Madeline Monroe" in Hey City Theater's production of "Tony & Tina's Wedding". After more than 600 performances, she went on to work as a writer and performer at the improvisational comedy theater, "The Brave New Workshop". While with "The Brave New Workshop", she also performed at the "Chicago Improv Festival" and the "Big Stink Comedy Festival" in Austin, Texas. She made her film debut as "Hooker #2" in the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning movie, Fargo. On television, she appeared in the Oxygen sketch comedy show, Running with Scissors, and guest-starred on Just Shoot Me!. Peterman currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, fellow actor John Brady.
A beloved, twinkly blue-eyed doyenne of stage and screen, actress Jessica Tandy's career spanned nearly six and a half decades. In that course of time, she enjoyed an amazing film renaissance at age 80, something unheard of in a town that worships youth and nubile beauty. She was born Jessie Alice Tandy in London in 1909, the daughter of Jessie Helen (Horspool), the head of a school for mentally handicapped children, and Harry Tandy, a traveling salesman. Her parents enrolled her as a teenager at the Ben Greet Academy of Acting where she showed immediate promise. She was 16 when she made her professional bow as Sara Manderson in the play "The Manderson Girls", and was subsequently invited to join the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Within a couple of years, Jessica was making a number of other debuts as well. Her first West End play was in "The Rumour" at the Court Theatre in 1929; her Gotham bow was in "The Matriarch" at the Longacre Theatre in 1930; and her initial film role was as a maid in The Indiscretions of Eve.
Jessica married British actor Jack Hawkins in 1932 after the couple had met performing in the play "Autumn Crocus" the year before. They had one daughter, Susan, before parting ways after eight years of marriage. An unconventional beauty with slightly stern-eyed and sharp, hawkish features, she was passed over for leading lady roles in films, thereby focusing strongly on a transatlantic stage career throughout the 1930s and 1940s. She grew in stature while enacting a succession of Shakespeare's premiere ladies (Titania, Viola, Ophelia, Cordelia). At the same time, she enjoyed personal successes elsewhere in such plays as "French Without Tears", "Honour Thy Father", "Jupiter Laughs", "Anne of England" and "Portrait of a Madonna". And then she gave life to Blanche DuBois.
When Tennessee Williams' masterpiece "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened on Broadway on December 3, 1947, Jessica's name became forever associated with this entrancing Southern belle character. One of the most complex, beautifully drawn, and still sought-after femme parts of all time, she went on to win the coveted Tony award. Aside from introducing Marlon Brando to the general viewing public, "Streetcar" shot Jessica's marquee value up a thousandfold. But not in films.
While her esteemed co-stars Brando, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden were given the luxury of recreating their roles in Elia Kazan's stark, black-and-white cinematic adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, Jessica was devastatingly bypassed. Vivien Leigh, who played the role on stage in London and had already immortalized another coy, manipulative Southern belle on celluloid (Scarlett O'Hara), was a far more marketable film celebrity at the time and was signed on to play the delusional Blanche. To be fair, Leigh was nothing less than astounding in the role and went on to deservedly win the Academy Award (along with Malden and Hunter). Jessica would exact her revenge on Hollywood in later years.
In 1942, she entered into a second marriage with actor/producer/director Hume Cronyn, a 52-year union that produced two children, Christopher and Tandy, the latter an actor in her own right. The couple not only enjoyed great solo success, they relished performing in each other's company. A few of their resounding theatre triumphs included the "The Fourposter" (1951), "Triple Play" (1959), "Big Fish, Little Fish (1962), "Hamlet" (he played Polonius; she played Gertrude) (1963), "The Three Sisters (1963) and "A Delicate Balance." They supported together in films too, their first being The Seventh Cross. In the film The Green Years, Jessica, who was two years older than Cronyn, actually played his daughter! Throughout the 1950s, they built up a sturdy reputation as "America's First Couple of the Theatre."
In 1963, Jessica made an isolated film appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds. Low on the pecking order at the time (pun intended), Hitchcock gave Jessica a noticeable secondary role and Jessica made the most of her brittle scenes as the high-strung, overbearing mother of Rod Taylor who witnesses horror along the California coast. It was not until the 1980s that Jessica (and Hume, to a lesser degree) experienced a mammoth comeback in Hollywood.
Alongside Hume she delighted movie audiences in such enjoyable fare as Honky Tonk Freeway, The World According to Garp, Cocoon and *batteries not included. In 1989, however, octogenarian Jessica was handed the senior citizen role of a lifetime as the prickly Southern Jewish widow who gradually forms a trusting bond with her black chauffeur in the genteel drama Driving Miss Daisy. Jessica was presented with the Oscar, Golden Globe and British Film Awards, among others, for her exceptional work in the film that also won "Best Picture". Deemed Hollywood royalty now, she was handed the cream of the crop in elderly film parts and went on to win another Oscar nomination for Fried Green Tomatoes a couple of years later.
Jessica also enjoyed some of her biggest stage hits ("Streetcar" notwithstanding) during her twilight years, earning two more Tony Awards for her exceptional work in "The Gin Game" (1977) and "Foxfire" (1982). Both co-starred her husband Hume and both were beautifully transferred by the couple to television. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1990, Jessica bravely continued working with Emmy-winning distinction on television. She died of her illness on September 11, 1994. Her last two films, Nobody's Fool and Camilla, were released posthumously.
Cozi began her acting career at the age of eight when she was encouraged to audition for Annie at a local theater company in Aliso Viejo, Ca. At the time, Cozi thought it would be more fun to go see the musical than to be in it, but in the end decided to audition. She was cast as Annie and has been hooked on musical theater ever since. She has played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, JoJo in Seussical the Musical, Sally Brown in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Brigitta in The Sound of Music, to name a few.
Some time after she began performing in musicals, Cozi turned her attention to TV and film. She has been seen in commercials for Nestlé Water, Trident Layers gum, Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, Regions Bank, Amica Insurance and Buick.
Cozi landed her first principal role as Hazel in the movie Dolphin Tale, produced by Alcon Entertainment and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, and Nathan Gamble and was released on September 23, 2011, reaching number 1 at the box office in its second week. 3 years later, she reprised her role in Dolphin Tale 2.
Cozi has also appeared in the TNT medical drama Monday Mornings as Trisha Miller, a young pianist with a brain tumor. She can be heard singing in many episodes of Sofia the First, as well as an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates (both on Disney Jr.), as part of the group vocals.
In addition to acting, Cozi is also an accomplished musician, having studied piano for the past 8 years and performing in Regional Musical Theater Productions around Southern California. Cozi comes from a musical family and is now getting the chance to spread her musical wings with the release of her first project.
Cozi's first serious attempt at songwriting came in November of 2013 during the filming of "Dolphin Tale 2". She started out with three songs, recorded them with a home studio software program and soon got the attention of Alcon Entertainment/ASG. Enter Eric Berdon, a writer/producer who met with Cozi to help her finish and produce "Brave Souls" which was featured in the end credits of the movie.
Inspired by the success of "Brave Souls," Zuehlsdorff has continued her songwriting and is now releasing her debut EP "Originals" on Thanksgiving Day, just in time for the holidays.
"Originals" features seven songs, produced by Berdon and mixed by Grammy Award-winning mixer Craig Bauer at Hinge Studios in Los Angeles. This captivating EP blends Indie and Pop with an organic feel.
Cozi lives in Orange County, California with her parents, her older sister, and their dog Bandit. She is a Christian and is home schooled, with a passion for singing, playing piano, writing music, working with children and making movies with her friends.
Possessing his father's durable good looks, vigor and charm, this tall, strapping, exceedingly handsome second son of John Wayne had huge boots to fill in trying to escape his legendary father's shadow and corral Hollywood fame on his own terms. But attempt he did and, looking back, he may not have achieved the outright stardom of his father but certainly did quite admirably, making over 40 films in his career -- nine of them with his dad.
One of four children born to Duke's first wife, Patrick John Wayne carried his father's name, so it seems natural that a similar destiny would be in the making. Patrick made his debut film bit at age 11 in his father classic western Rio Grande and proceeded to apprentice in The Quiet Man, The Sun Shines Bright, The Long Gray Line, Mister Roberts, and The Searchers, some with and some without his father's name above the title credits. All the above-mentioned films, however, were helmed by family friend and iconic director John Ford. Following high school, Patrick attended Loyola University and graduated in 1961 (older brother Michael Wayne graduated five years earlier). During this time, he went out on his own to star in his own film, the second-string oater The Young Land. Realizing he was not quite ready to carry his own film, he returned to the family fold and gained more on-camera confidence throughout the 1960s supporting his father in The Alamo, Donovan's Reef, McLintock!, and The Green Berets. A few exceptions included a role in Ford's sprawling epic Cheyenne Autumn, his turn as James Stewart's son in the frontier adventure Shenandoah and in An Eye for an Eye in which he and Robert Lansing played bounty hunters. He also co-starred in the short-lived comedy western series The Rounders.
Following work on his dad's Big Jake, Patrick broke away again and sought success on his own. Interestingly, he earned more recognition away from the dusty boots and saddle scene and into the sci-fi genre. His career peaked in the late 1970s as the titular hero braving Ray Harryhausen monsters and saving Tyrone Power's daughter Taryn in the popular matinée fantasy Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, then battled more special effects creatures in the Edgar Rice Burroughs film adaptation of The People That Time Forgot.
Patrick was a smoother, more gentlemanly version of the Wayne package with a completely captivating smile and accessible personality. He co-starred as a romantic love interest to Shirley Jones in another brief TV series Shirley, and occasionally forsook acting chores to emcee game shows and syndicated variety series. Although the scope of his talent was seldom tested over the years, he was a thoroughly enjoyable presence on all the popular TV shows of the 1970s and '80s, including Fantasy Island, Murder, She Wrote, Charlie's Angels, and The Love Boat. And he certainly wasn't hard on the eyes.
Following the death of older brother Michael in 2003, Patrick became Chairman of the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Divorced in 1978 from Peggy Hunt, he is married (since 1999) to Misha Anderson.
|James Arnold Taylor
James Arnold Taylor's versatile vocal range has given him success in every facet of the Voice-Over Industry. His voice is heard all of the world daily, and you would never know it's one person. His list of credits range from leading roles in major summer blockbuster films, starring roles in the hottest animation on television, a promo voice for Fox, Spike, G4, and national ad campaigns in commercials for TV and radio - from the voice of a Mini Wheat to the current voice of Fred Flintstone. You can literally play the "Six Degrees of..." game with James and be only one degree from just about every name in Hollywood today.
James' most notable credits are: Obi-Wan Kenobi: Star Wars The Clone Wars - Leonardo: TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) - Johnny: Johnny Test - Green Arrow: Batman The Brave and the Bold - Harry Osborn: The Spectacular Spider-Man - Milo Thatch: Disney's Atlantis: Milo's Return - Wooldoor Sockbat and the Producer: Drawn Together - The Fallen: Transformers Revenge of the Fallen video game - Tidus: Final Fantasy X,X-2 and Dissidia video games - Ratchet: Ratchet & Clank video game series - Gabe Logan: Syphon Filter video game series - Ash: The Animatrix Detective Story
James also "Voice-Doubles" for many of today's biggest names including: Johnny Depp - Ewan McGregor - Shia LaBeouf - Christopher Walken - Michael J. Fox - David Spade - Daniel Radcliffe - Clive Owen - Nicolas Cage - Christian Bale - Steve Carell - Matthew McConaughey - Justin Timberlake - James McAvoy - Alec Baldwin - Billy Bob Thornton - Sean William Scott - Denis Leary - Robin Williams - Ron Howard
Having voices in some of the biggest franchises in movies, TV and video games he has had a successful career ultimately doing what he loves most... entertaining.
Mo Collins was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She attended Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, honing her improvisation and sketch-writing skills. After many theater productions, dozens of commercials and two films, including Jingle All the Way, she moved to LA. Within a year, she landed her big break on MADtv. Mo is currently (2010) living with her 15 year old son in Los Angeles.
Margaret Cho was born Dec. 5, 1968 and raised in San Francisco. Her grandfather was a Methodist minister who ran an orphanage in Seoul during the Korean War. Ignoring the traditions of her patriarchal culture, her mother bravely resisted an arranged marriage in Korea and married Margaret's father who writes joke books - in Korean.
What Margaret did know is that she didn't love being a kid. Racing toward adulthood to escape bullying, she began writing jokes for stand up at 14 and professionally performing at age 16. Getting picked on, and feeling disenfranchised, is a subject that's very near to Margaret's heart. She has become a sort of "Patron Saint" for Outsiders, speaking for them when they are not able to speak for themselves.
Soon after starting her Stand Up career, Margaret won a comedy contest where first prize was opening for Jerry Seinfeld. She moved to Los Angeles in the early '90s and, still in her early twenties, hit the college circuit, where she immediately became the most booked act in the market and garnered a nomination for "Campus Comedian of The Year." She performed over 300 concerts within two years. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a national celebrity.
Her groundbreaking, controversial, and short-lived ABC sitcom, All-American Girl (1994) soon followed. Oddly, while chosen because of who she was - a non-conformist Korean American woman with liberal views - the powers-that-be then decided they wanted her to "tone it down" for the show. Challenging Margaret's feelings for both who she was and how she looked, she soon realized that though she was an Executive Producer, it was a battle she would not win.
The experience was a traumatic one, bringing up unresolved feelings left over from childhood, and Margaret developed an eating disorder as a response to criticism about her body. She was so obsessive in her goal to try to be what she thought others wanted, she landed in the hospital with kidney failure. Through out a period of self-abuse, Margaret continued performing to sold-out audiences across the country in comedy clubs, theaters, and on college campuses, working to channel her anger in to something more positive.
In 1999, her groundbreaking, off Broadway one-woman show, I'm The One That I Want, toured the country to national acclaim and was made into a best-selling book and feature film of the same name. After her experience with All-American Girl, Margaret wanted to make sure she would only have to answer to herself, making sure she was responsible for the distribution and sales of her film, taking a page from what music artist Ani DiFranco did with her Righteous Babe Records. The concert film, which garnered incredible reviews, broke records for most money grossed per print in movie history. In 2001, after the success of her first tour, Cho launched Notorious C.H.O., a smash-hit 37-city national tour that culminated in a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall. Notorious C.H.O. was recorded and released as a feature film, hailed by the New York Times as "Brilliant!" Both films were acquired by Showtime Cable Networks, and produced by Margaret's production company, a testament to the success of Margaret's bold business model.
In March of 2003, Margaret embarked on her third sold-out national tour, Revolution. It was heralded by the Chicago Sun Times as "Her strongest show yet!" and the CD recording was nominated for a Grammy for Comedy Album of the Year. In 2005, Cho released Assassin, which The Chicago Tribune crowed "Packs passion in to each punch." The concert film premiered in select theaters and on the gay and lesbian premium channel Here! TV in late 2005.
In 2007, Margaret hit the road with Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry and Erasure, along with indie faves The Dresden Dolls and The Cliks, to host the True Colors Tour, benefiting the Human Rights Campaign. A true entertainment pioneer, Margaret also created and starred in The Sensuous Woman, a live variety show featuring vaudevillian burlesque and comedy, which she took for an extended off-Broadway run in the fall.
Margaret returned to TV in 2008 on the VH1 series, The Cho Show. The Cho Show followed Margaret, her real parents, and her eccentric entourage through a series of irreverent and outrageous experiences, shaped by Margaret's 'anything goes' brand of stand-up. It was beloved for the audience it was intended for, the ones who maybe don't quite fit in, who knew Margaret is one of them.
The aptly titled Beautiful came next, exploring the good, bad and ugly in beauty, and the unattractive politicians and marketers who shape our world. The concert premiered in Australia at The Sydney Theater, marking the first time Margaret debuted a tour abroad. While touring through the US, the concert was filmed at the Long Beach theatre, aired as a special on Showtime in 2009, and then released as both a DVD and a book.
In 2009 Margaret nabbed a starring role in the comedy/drama series Drop Dead Diva, airing on Lifetime. Margaret enjoys being part of a team, and not necessarily having the sole responsibility for keeping things afloat.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Margaret stepped right up to the proverbial plate when asked to do Season 11 of the #1 rated Dancing with the Stars. Paired with pro Louie Van Amstel, Margaret was on one of the show's most controversial seasons, dancing alongside Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, David Hasselhoff, Jennifer Grey and Bristol Palin among others.
Margaret got a very strong reaction to her Rainbow Dancing Dress during a time when the issue of bullying, especially among gay teens, was all over the media.
2010 culminated with another high honor, a second Grammy Award nomination for Comedy Album of the Year for Cho Dependent, her incredibly funny collection of music featuring collaborations with Fiona Apple, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, Tegan & Sara, Ben Lee and more. The album received critical acclaim.
Margaret self released Cho Dependent on her own Clownery Records, and was encouraged by the acclaim, as there are only a handful of people putting out albums of comedy music - "Weird" Al Yankovic, Flight of the Conchords, The Lonely Island, to name a few - but no women. While thrilled that her hard work was rewarded with the nomination, Margaret isn't finished with musical comedy yet, claiming to have more music in her.
In 2011, Margaret released the live concert film of Cho Dependent, which also had its cable network debut on Showtime. Audiences who caught these performances live can attest that Cho hasn't lost any of her edge on Cho Dependent, her sixth live concert DVD. Shot at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, Cho remains uncensored, but never unhinged, taking aim at the Palin family, her stint on Dancing With the Stars, smoking pot and living in a world with 'sexting.' The DVD is characteristically no-holds-barred Margaret and instantly a classic.
Margaret is currently filming the sixth and final season on Drop Dead Diva. Cho returns as "Teri" Girl Friday to Brooke Elliott's "Jane Bingham," whose body is inhabited by the soul of a vapid model sent back to earth after Heaven judges her as a "zero-zero" for having committed no good and no bad deeds. Drop Dead Diva is not only beloved on Lifetime, but by the many stars who have queued up to guest on the show, including Paula Abdul, Wanda Sykes, Rosie O'Donnell, Vivica Fox and Kim Kardashian.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Margaret spent whatever free time she had crafting her all new stand-up show, the uproariously and aptly named Mother, which kicked off in September, 2012, including both a US and European tour.
Paradox not lost, Margaret had to re-schedule some of the shows she had booked mid-September so she could attend the Emmy Awards with her mother. Nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her hilarious stint on 30 Rock as gender-bending North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
In 2014, Margaret filmed a pilot for FOX and was thrilled to be working with Tina Fey and the producing team from 30 Rock. The multi-camera comedy takes place at a women's college that has just opened its doors to men for the first time.
While thrilled with her two Grammy and recent Emmy nod, Margaret has never turned away from the causes that are important to her. She is incredibly active in anti-racism, anti-bullying and gay rights campaigns, and has been recognized for her unwavering dedication. She was the recipient of the Victory Fund's 2008 Leadership Award and the first ever Best Comedy Performance Award at the 2007 Asian Excellence Awards. She also received the First Amendment Award from the ACLU of Southern California, and the Intrepid Award from the National Organization for Women (NOW). Throughout her career, she has been honored by GLAAD, American Women in Radio and Television, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and PFLAG for making a significant difference in promoting equal rights for all, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity. In June of 2011, Margaret was honored by LA Pride, receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing an individual whose lifetime body of work has left a lasting major imprint on the LGBT community.
Through her hard work, Margaret has had the opportunity to be heard, to extend her point of view and become regarded as a true pioneer in her field. She takes none of it for granted.
Sally Kirkland, BEST Actress Oscar Nominee, Golden Globe winner, Independent Spirit Award winner and veteran of 150 films. Feisty, hard-working, famously liberal, with the trademark blonde hair, actress Sally Kirkland has certainly made an indelible mark on Hollywood history. Born in New York City, her mother was the fashion editor at Vogue and LIFE magazine. Sally began her career on the off-Broadway circuit and trained under 'Lee Strasberg'. Sally Kirkland is a film, TV, and theater veteran since the 1960's and is probably best known for the film "Anna," for which she garnered a Best Actress Oscar nomination and won the Best Actress Golden Globe, the Independent Spirit Award, and the LA Film Critic's Circle Award. Sally's first director in 1964 was Andy Warhol in "13 Most Beautiful Women." Her one hundred and twenty films also include: "The Sting," "The Way We Were," "Coming Apart," "Cold Feet," "Best of the Best," "Revenge," "JFK," "ED TV," "Bruce Almighty and "Coffee Date." Her new film, "Archaeology of a Woman" just premiered April 21st, 2012 at the World-Fest Houston International Film Festival. She was nominated for Best Actress in a TV movie by the Hollywood Foreign Press for "The Haunted- A True Story." Her television credits include: guest starring on "Criminal Minds," recurring on "Head Case" and "the Simple Life." She guest starred on "Resurrection Blvd," and in the TV movie, "Another Woman's Husband." Sally had a recurring role on "Felicity" and "Wasteland." She starred on the NBC movie, "Brave New World." She starred in the TV movie, "Song of Songs"and was a series regular on the TV show "Valley of the Dolls." She also starred in the TV movie, "The Woman Who Loved Elvis." She played Barbara Healy on "Roseanne." She starred in the TV movie, "Heatwave" and recurred as Tracy on "Days of Our Lives." Sally is also a exhibited painter, poet, renowned acting coach and ordained minister.
She recently starred in Feature Films "Broken Roads", "Archeology of a woman" and "Buddy Hutchins".
Timothy Darrell Russ was born on June 22, 1956, in Washington, D.C., to Air Force officer Walt and his wife Josephine. He and his younger siblings Michael and Angela grew up on several military bases, including Niagara Falls, Elmendorf (Alaska) AFB, Omaha, Taiwan, Philippines and Turkey. During these moves around the world, he graduated from Izmir High School in Turkey, and received his diploma from Rome Free Academy in Rome, New York. Afterwards he attended Saint Edwards University and earned a B.S. in Theater Arts but continued his studies with a full scholarship to continue theater studies at Illinois State University. His first professional job came while he was at St. Edward's University in Austin, when he appeared in a PBS Masterpiece Theater production, but he started to pursue acting full time in 1985. During that time he's been on many TV shows and movies - including The Twilight Zone, Amazing Stories, Thirtysomething, Jake and the Fatman, 21 Jump Street, Beauty and the Beast, The People Next Door, Mancuso, FBI, Family Matters, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Tequila and Bonetti, SeaQuest 2032, Dark Justice, Murphy Brown, Monty, Star Trek: Voyager, Melrose Place, Any Day Now, The Highwayman, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, among others.
Along with his television experience he has also played in a variety of films, including Crossroads, Fire with Fire, Timestalkers, Spaceballs, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Pulse, Bird, Roots: The Gift, Eve of Destruction, Dead Silence, Night Eyes II, Mr. Saturday Night, Star Trek: Generations, Dead Connection, East of Hope Street. During his comprehensive acting career he appeared in numerous theatrical productions including "Romeo & Juliet", "Barrabas", "Dream Girls", "As You Like It", "Twelfth Night", "Cave Dwellers" among others. When not acting, Russ finds time for music and film producing. Songs sung by Tim Russ are available on the CDs "Only a Dream in Rio", "Tim Russ", "Kushangaza" and "Brave New World". He lives in the area of Los Angeles where his whole family resides.
This blue-eyed beauty was born in Missouri. She started taking dance classes at the age of two, and was performing in recitals and on stage almost immediately. Her pursuit of dance continued through high school with various dance classes and companies.
While a senior in high school she joined a theater troupe. A showcase with casting directors led to Adrienne being offered roles in two network series. In fact, these were her first two auditions. She had fallen in love with acting. At her parents' request, she put her new career on hold to finish high school. Then, two days after graduation she moved to Los Angeles to continue chasing her dream.
Almost immediately, Adrienne booked roles in short films and frequently landed guest spots on many shows. In 2000 she landed the role that would introduce her to the world and bring her international fame, playing the duel characters of Livia and Eve, the daughter of Xena, on the most watched show in the world - Xena: Warrior Princess. Adrienne soon became a fan favorite, and when the show wrapped she quickly moved on to the lead in the UPN series As If , where she played Nikki, the boy-obsessed college co-ed. From there she has continued to make many appearances in film and TV and is sought after for her voiceover work. Fortunate that she has never had a specific "type", Adrienne is able to move seamlessly from comedy to drama and from one distinct role to something completely different.
She is known for compelling performances that are brave, focused with intensity, and grounded in sincerity. Adrienne continues to pursue her passion and is striving to create a timeless career that can be celebrated for the unique choices she makes and the diverse characters she portrays. She surprises, delights and leaves you wanting more.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Missy Crider began her journey to the arts at an early age. She took a job as a singer and violinist in musical stage shows, when she was awarded Young Entertainer of the Year by the OMA Stage Awards Association in 1986 in Branson, Missouri. A trip to record a Christmas album in Nashville was stopped short due to a car accident, and the album was never recorded. Although she has yet to sing on country music stages again, she performed and produced two songs, "Endless Sleep" and "Can't Show the World", that appear on the soundtracks in two of her films: "Girls in Prison" (1994) and "A Boy Called Hate" (1995).
She started her Hollywood career at a young age (12) and for six years, alternated between making films in Hollywood and doing musical stage work in New York City and Branson Missouri while doubling her education, managing to graduate with a 3.98 GPA ranked 3rd in her class. She spent seven years working in musical theater and doing local plays while flying back and forth to Hollywood and New York. She made a permanent move to Los Angeles in October of 1992, after having filmed six movies and miniseries for television that secured her Screen Actors Guild membership, including the award-winning original, "Lonesome Dove" (1989), starring Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall, Anjelica Huston and Diane Lane, for which she was cast by New York-based casting director Lynn Kressel. Through Crider's final high school years in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Kressel cast her in three projects before she made the permanent move to Los Angeles. After playing Anjelica Huston's lovesick daughter, "Sally Allen", in "Lonesome Dove" (1989), Lorimar Productions immediately signed Missy to a one-year holding contract. She celebrated her graduation from high school with a starring role opposite Ossie Davis and Morris Chestnut in NBC's The Ernest Green Story (1993) (TV), which showed the 1950s struggle to integrate the school system in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Shortly after her relocation to Los Angeles, director Glenn Jordan cast her opposite James Woods and Anne Archer in the prestigious Hallmark Hall of Fame production, Jane's House (1994) (TV). Shortly thereafter, Crider portrayed the beleaguered daughter of Lesley Ann Warren in ABC's A Mother's Revenge (1993) (TV), opposite Shirley Knight and Bruce Davison and, soon afterward, director John McNaughton cast her as an aspiring singer who lands a record deal. McNaughton asked Crider to sing the vocal tracks for the film in Showtime's campy remake classic, Girls in Prison (1994) (TV), co-starring Anne Heche and Ione Skye. Crider received a 1994-95 Emmy nomination for her leading role opposite Tom Everett Scott in the ABC drama about fear of sex in the 1990s: "CBS Schoolbreak Special: Love in the Dark Ages (#11.3)" (1994). She made the transition to film when writer/director Mitch Marcus cast her as the female lead, "Cindy Wells", opposite Scott Caan, James Caan and Elliott Gould, in A Boy Called Hate (1995). The gritty road movie captivated filmgoers and critics alike, winning The Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. She followed this role by being cast as a Southern woman caught in a cycle of small-town violence with a sensitive portrayal of a student who finds compassion for fellow empath, Sean Patrick Flanery in Disney's feature film, Powder (1995), co-starring Jeff Goldblum and Mary Steenburgen.
It was this winsome portrayal that brought her to the attention of renowned television producer Steven Bochco, who cast her opposite Anthony LaPaglia and Mary McCormack, as inscrutable murder defendant "Sharon Rooney" for a nine-episode run in the second season of his highly-acclaimed ABC series, "Murder One" (1995).
It was during this period that Crider filmed Paramount's Sins of the Mind (1997) (TV), in the starring role of "Michelle Widener", opposite Louise Fletcher and Jill Clayburgh. This telefilm was based on the true story of a talented and traditional young woman who slips into a coma following a car accident and awakens with psychologically disturbing and uncharacteristic emotional behavior, swinging mercurially from childlike behaviors to that of a young woman as she healed. That winter, she went on to show more colors with Nick Cassavetes and Paul Johansson, as a neglected date at the end of her rope in the short film, Conversations in Limbo (1998).
Other credits for the actress include a Los Angeles theatrical production, "Pot Mom", directed by Justin Tanner; Peter Benchley's eight-hour miniseries for NBC, The Beast (1996) (TV), opposite William Petersen; Stephen King's Quicksilver Highway (1997) (TV) for ABC, opposite Christopher Lloyd, and the independent film, Stand-ins (1997), in which Crider drones in low German octave when playing Marlene Dietrich's savvy, wise-cracking double, in 1930s banter with fellow stand-ins Bette Davis, Jean Harlow, Mae West, Rita Hayworth and Greta Garbo. In Christian Otjen's drama/suspense indie ensemble, Reeseville (2003), she was cast as "Athee", a quirky small-town girl who works at the local stop-and-shop and proves pivotal in a murder mystery, opposite Majandra Delfino, Brad Hunt, Brian Wimmer, Mark Hamill and Sally Struthers.
She won the role of "Janine Haywood" in the premiere episode of the second season of CBS' hit series, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000), playing a Las Vegas dancer with a decidedly Jersey accent who is suspected of murdering her lover, the owner of a successful chain of casinos, due to her insisting she is in his will and owns "half" of his mansion. Next, Crider played opposite Simon Baker in CBS' series, "The Guardian" (2001), as "Minette", his ex-girlfriend, an actress from his less sober days in New York, who shows up in his Pittsburgh office, after five years, in hopes of picking up where they left off. She then accepted the offer of a lead role in Showtime's futuristic series, "Jeremiah" (2002). She played "Claire", a brave young lady making her way in a new and hopeful post-apocalyptic time, siphoning gasoline to fuel her late father's sailboat in order to travel to the other side of the world to see if human life still exists. Claire's mysterious way and curious behavior of siphoning scarce gasoline is luring to Jeremiah. They fall in love as she reveals that she has been storing what gas she could find a little at a time over the span of ten years to fuel her late father's boat and the promise to live out his dream of sailing the sea to discover if human life remains in other parts of the world.
In the fall of 1999, Crider's manager received a phone call from Steven Spielberg. He said he had recently seen her work on ABC's "Strange World" (1999) and wanted to write a leading role, specifically, for her in his NBC one-hour drama, "The Others" (2000). The role had originally been written as an elderly Indian woman and was rewritten for Crider to play "Satori", a gifted psychic, opposite fellow telepaths Bill Cobbs, Julianne Nicholson, John Billingsley, Kevin J. O'Connor and Gabriel Macht. The series aired for 14 episodes on Saturday nights in 2000. Proving equally adept with humor, Crider completed a co-starring role in producer/director Mike Binder's award-winning feature film comedy, The Sex Monster (1999), joining an ensemble cast that included Mariel Hemingway, Kevin Pollak and Stephen Baldwin. In this bedroom farce, which won Best Picture at the 1999 Aspen Comedy Festival, Crider plays "Diva", a beautiful young secretary who becomes the unwitting object of both her employer's and his wife's affections.
In 2001, Bill Paxton met Crider at a screening of "The Sex Monster". He cast her in his feature-film directorial debut, set in rural Texas, Frailty (2001), playing a cameo as Matthew McConaughey's wife, "Becky Meiks". Soon after, she was offered the leading role in the indie film, Instinct to Kill (2001), the film version of the book, "The Perfect Husband", playing "Tess", a young woman who discovers that her husband is a serial killer and has stalked her since she was a child.
Crider landed a coveted role in David Lynch's ABC pilot-turned-feature film, Mulholland Dr. (2001), as "Diane/Betty", a smart, hip, mysterious waitress who dreams of becoming an actress and served as the projection of Naomi Watts' character's fragile identity. Writer/director Andrew Bowen offered Crider the female lead in his independent film, Along the Way (2007), a coming-of-age tale about four young men whose lives seem destined for tragedy. Crider plays "Jordan", a photojournalist whose relationship with one of the friends becomes the catalyst that forces him to come to terms with his life.
Crider joined an all-star cast, including Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in Revolution Studios' romantic comedy, Gigli (2003), written and directed by Martin Brest. Director Gregory Hatanaka offered her the lead role of "Mina" in his ensemble independent film, Until the Night (2004), in which she plays the girlfriend of hopeful cinematographer Norman Reedus, an actress who battles with them growing in different directions in Hollywood. The ensemble also costars Sean Young, Kathleen Robertson, Michael T. Weiss and Aimee Graham. Crider was offered the female lead in an original Hallmark Channel television film, Out of the Woods (2005) (TV), opposite Jason London and Edward Asner, directed by Stephen Bridgewater. She completed the premiere episode of the 2004 fall season of "CSI: Miami" (2002), as the lead guest star, "Tawny Williams", the wife of a wealthy man and stepmother of his child, who is suspected of his murder.
In 2006, she appeared in "Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Bedfellows (#6.5)" (2006) as Charlene Copeland and in "Huff" (2004) as Natalie for two episodes. In 2007, she appeared in four episodes of Fox's highly acclaimed hit show, "24" (2001) as Rita Brady and was in "Without a Trace: One and Only (#5.22)" (2007) as Mia. In 2009, she was in CW's "90210" (2008). In 2013, she returned to TV as Leanne Tipton in "Criminal Minds: Pay It Forward (#8.19)" (2013).
Crider has starred in several indie films such as Until the Night (2004) opposite Norman Reedus, Kathleen Robertson, Michael T. Weiss, and Sean Young, Butterfly Dreaming (2008) opposite Andrew Bowen, and co-stars opposite John Savage and Dee Wallace Stone in The Cry of the Butterfly (2014). After ten years of doubling residency between California and Northwest Arkansas, in the spring of 2013, Crider made a permanent move to Los Angeles after the sale of her circa 1885 bed & breakfast in the South when working on ABC's hit show, Criminal Minds.
|Wendie Jo Sperber
Though she was known best for drawing laughs as whiny, excitable characters throughout her raucous film and TV career, actress/comedienne Wendie Jo Sperber showed a brave, compassionate and humane side in the last years of her life. The Los Angeles-born performer developed a driving passion for acting in her teen years. She went on to attend the Summer Drama Workshop at California State University, Northridge. Producer Allan Carr discovered this comic bundle when she invited him to see her in an L.A. stage review. He gave her an unbilled part in the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John smash musical Grease and she was off and running. Other films quickly fell into place, notably I Wanna Hold Your Hand as a no-holds-barred Beatles fanatic, and the role of Linda McFly in Back to the Future and one of its sequels. Other films included Corvette Summer, Steven Spielberg's 1941 and Bachelor Party starring Tom Hanks. Some of her tongue-in-cheek film roles were beneath her, particularly when they used her excess poundage as the butt of a cruel joke, but the actress proved quite game in such lowbrow, youth-oriented comedies as Moving Violations and Stewardess School.
It was with a then fairly unknown Hanks and Peter Scolari that she earned her biggest laughs with the two-year run of Bosom Buddies, which launched a number of inferior drag film/sitcoms. She also had series co-leads in Private Benjamin, Women in Prison, the plus-sized Babes and Hearts Afire. In between were roles on the L.A. stage, including "Pizza Man," "Isn't It Romantic," "Reality and Other Nightmares" and Shakespeare's "As You Like It" starring Ron Silver.
At age 39, Wendie was diagnosed with breast cancer. While her career momentum was certainly compromised, the comedienne continued to pursue roles. She even appeared on a poignant breast cancer episode of Murphy Brown. Her cancer went into remission at one point but returned with a vengeance in 2002 and spread throughout her body. Instead of retreating, Wendie instead reached out and founded weSPARK Cancer Support Center in Sherman Oaks, California, in which free services, including support groups, information on the latest research and classes, provided invaluable aid to cancer patients, their families and friends. Her selfless determination throughout her illness to help others did not go unnoticed, earning several honors. Eight years later, on November 29, 2005, Wendie lost her battle. She was survived by her parents and two children from a former marriage.
Maile Flanagan won an Emmy for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks in 2006.
She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. She lived in Bangkok, Nurnberg and Munich, and then attended Boston College. After Boston College, she was in the improv comedy troupe Every Mother's Nightmare with Wayne Wilderson, Tom McCarthy, Andrea Beutner (Hutchman), Kevin Kappock, Peter Civetta and Nancy Walls (Carell) and others in Minneapolis. Did stand-up and improv in Minneapolis at the Comedy Gallery and Knuckleheads and also with Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop. She moved to to LA with the Theatre 911's production of Bad Seed, which won an LA Weekly award for Best Comedy Ensemble.
She does television, commercials, animation and and film and was nominated for an Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Program at the 32nd Annual Annie Awards in 2005.
She has numerous LA theater credits including working with writer/director Justin Tanner at Third Stage in Burbank in his shows "Wife Swappers", "Pot Mom", "Oklahomo!", "Zombie Attack!" and "The Strip".
Carl Lumbly was born in Minnesota, the son of Jamaican immigrants. His father was an avid reader, which inspired Lumbly's early appreciation for literature. After graduating from Macalester College with a degree in English, he landed a job writing for the Associated Press in Minneapolis. He also supplemented his income by doing freelance writing assignments for various periodicals and magazines.
While on assignment for a story on Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop Comedy Theatre, Lumbly attended a public audition and was handed an audition card. After a three-week audition process, the company offered him a coveted spot in its cast. He stayed for two years, doing improvisational comedy flavored with political satire
Lumbly moved to San Francisco, intending to continue his work as a journalist for Associated Press. Just two days after arriving in San Francisco, he came across a newspaper ad seeking "two black actors for South African political plays." He went to the audition and met the other actor already cast -- an unknown Danny Glover. Lumbly landed the part and toured with Glover in productions of Athol Fugard's "Sizwe Bansi is Dead" and "The Island."
The plays brought Lumbly to Los Angeles, where he signed with an agent, and soon after moved to New York. He landed his first significant on-screen role in a TV movie-of-the-week, Pilot, which turned into the hit series. Lumbly starred as Det. Mark Petrie for the show's seven-year run.
Lumbly has earned several awards and nominations for his work. His versatility spans a range of characters, from his NAACP Image Award-nominated work in TNT's Buffalo Soldiers, produced by Glover, to a wealthy black entrepreneur in The Wedding, starring opposite Halle Berry. Then there was M.A.N.T.I.S., in which Lumbly played an independently wealthy paraplegic scientist/crimefighter, which marked the first black superhero on series television. He recently starred in the Showtime telefilm Just a Dream, directed by Glover, about a 12-year-old doctor's son and his unlikely relationship with a rodeo cowboy/auto mechanic (Lumbly).
Lumbly's extensive feature credits include his role opposite Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr. in Men of Honor, portraying the father of the first black diver in U.S. Navy history. In Everybody's All-American with Jessica Lange and Dennis Quaid, Lumbly starred as a former football player affected by the segregated South. Other film credits include How Stella Got Her Groove Back, South Central, Pacific Heights, To Sleep with Anger, The Bedroom Window, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Caveman.
Lumbly portrays CIA agent Marcus Dixon, former field partner and supervisor to agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), on ABC's fast-paced drama series Alias. The fourth season promises more surprising twists and turns as Dixon again joins Sydney in the field along with agents Jack Bristow (Victor Garber) and Michael Vaughn (Michael Vartan) for a special black operations division -- a team handpicked by former adversary Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin).
Lumbly most recently appeared as Father in ABC's telefilm remake of the 1972 classic, Sounder. Directed by Kevin Hooks (one of the stars of the original film), "Sounder" tells the story of a 1930s sharecropper family trying to survive under devastatingly difficult circumstances.
Lumbly can also be heard as the voice of action hero J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter, in the Cartoon Network's animated series Justice League. The series follows the adventures of the greatest superhero team of all time.
On television, Lumbly has made numerous guest-starring appearances on such series as The West Wing, ER, The X-Files and L.A. Law. He also starred in the telefilms The Color of Friendship (directed by Kevin Hooks), Little Richard, On Promised Land, The Ditchdigger's Daughters and Nightjohn.
Lumbly is married to actress Vonetta McGee, whom he met on Cagney & Lacey when she was cast as his wife. He is a family man with a teenage son. Despite his busy schedule, Lumbly works out regularly to keep in shape for his demanding role on "Alias." In his limited free time, Lumbly enjoys running sprints on the beach, playing basketball and practicing his golf swing.
At 14, Ron Palillo started his own summer theater in Cheshire, Connecticut. His parents,Gabriel and Carmel Palillo,were surprised when the summer theater actually made money. After graduating from high school, Ron went to the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he majored in drama. He appeared in many school plays in college. After graduation, Ron got a job with a touring company which performed Shakespeare's plays. He says he received invaluable drama training during that tour, acting in Shakespearean masterpieces like "Macbeth", "The Taming of the Shrew" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". After his Shakespearean tour, Ron became a member of a repertory company in Miami, Florida. Shortly after arriving in New York, Ron got a role in the off-Broadway success "Hot l Baltimore." He stayed with the show for over a year. Because of his work in "Hot L Baltimore". Ron was given a lead role in a musical special, "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac", on television. After Isaac, he once again went on tour and appeared with Mickey Rooney in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and with Jan Sterling in a serious play, "Summer Brave." He has two brothers and a sister. His elder brother, Richard is an eye surgeon, his brother Robert, is a salesman and his sister Ann, became a teacher.
Kelli Maroney began her career acting and studying at the Guthrie Theater in her native Minneapolis, MN., then went to New York to study at the National Shakespeare Company Conservatory. Two weeks after she arrived in Manhattan, Kelli was cast as evil adolescent "Kimberly Harris" on the daytime soap opera, Ryan's Hope. Maroney went on to play the vengeful "Tina Clayton Lord Roberts" on One Life to Live. She made her film debut as the 'Spirit Bunny' "Cindy Carr" in the teen comedy classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Kelli achieved her greatest enduring cult popularity with her delightful turn as the endearingly spunky "Samantha" in the science-fiction end-of-the-world film, Night of the Comet. She's especially memorable as the sweet, killer-robot slayer, "Alison Parks", in the entertaining romp, Chopping Mall. As self-deprecating humor is one of her trademarks, she cheerfully pokes fun at her own previous B-movie starlet image. Kelli delivered a very strong and impressive portrayal of schizophrenic femme fatale, "Meredith (Merre) Lake", in the superior Showtime mystery thriller, Face Down. Maroney acted in and co-produced the award-winning festival short, Sam and Mike. She has made numerous TV guest star appearances and, most recently, appeared as a crazed TV evangelist in HBO's True Blood. Los Angeles stage highlights include stripper "Brandy" in the long-running hit "Pink" at the Renegade Theater, taking over for Carrie-Anne Moss for the 1940s period piece, "Outward Bound", at the Hudson Backstage, and co-producing and appearing in "The Edge Of Allegiance", at the Met Theater. Kelli Maroney most recently was seen as homemaker "Grace" in the web series, "Rock & Roll Inc.", as "Janice", the stage mom-from-hell in the soon-to-be released comedy, Pop Star, and as the brave cougar, "Deputy Wilma Power", in the SyFy Channel's Gila! The Giant Monster." Kelli is in development with several projects as actor/producer, and lives in Hollywood with her soulmate Sasha, the wonder dog.
Sir John Mills, one of the most popular and beloved English actors, was born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills on February 22, 1908, at the Watts Naval Training College in North Elmham, Norfolk, England. The young Mills grew up in Felixstowe, Suffolk, where his father was a mathematics teacher and his mother was a theater box-office manager. The Oscar-winner appeared in more than 120 films and TV movies in a career stretching over eight decades, from his debut in 1932 in Midshipmaid Gob through Bright Young Things and The Snow Prince (2009).
After graduating from the Norwich Grammar School for Boys, Mills rejected his father's academic career for the performing arts. After brief employment as a clerk in a grain merchant's office, he moved to London and enrolled at Zelia Raye's Dancing School. Convinced from the age of six that performing was his destiny, Mills said, "I never considered anything else."
After training as a dancer, he started his professional career in the music hall, appearing as a chorus boy at the princely sum of four pounds sterling a week in "The Five O'Clock Revue" at the London Hippodrome, in 1929. The short, wiry song-and-dance man was scouted by Noel Coward and began to appear regularly on the London stage in revues, musicals and legitimate plays throughout the 1930s. He appeared in a score of films before the war, "quota quickies" made under a system regulating the import of American films designed to boost local production. He was a juvenile lead in The Ghost Camera, appeared in the musical Car of Dreams, and then played lead roles in Born for Glory, Nine Days a Queen and The Green Cockatoo. His Hollywood debut was in Goodbye, Mr. Chips with Robert Donat, but he refused the American studios' entreaties to sign a contract and returned to England.
Mills relished acting in films, finding it a challenge rather than the necessary economic evil that many English actors at the time, such as Laurence Olivier, felt it was, and it was the cinema that would make him an internationally renowned star. He anchored his film career in military roles, such as those in his early pictures Born for Glory (a.k.a. "Forever England") and Raoul Walsh's You're in the Army Now. He appeared in the classic In Which We Serve, where he worked with his mentor Coward and with Coward's co-director David Lean, who would go on to direct Mills in some of his most memorable performances.
Throughout his film career Mills played a wide variety of military characters, portraying the quintessential English hero. He later tackled more complex characterizations, such as the emotionally troubled commander in Tunes of Glory. He also played Field Marshal Haig in the satire Oh! What a Lovely War that mocked the entire genre. However, it was in his World War II films, which included We Dive at Dawn, Waterloo Road and Johnny in the Clouds, that Mills established himself as an innovative English film star.
With his ordinary appearance and everyman manner, Mills seemed "the boy-next-door," but the Mills hero was decent, loyal and brave, as well as tough and reliable under stress. In his military roles, he managed throughout his career to include enough subtle variations on the Mills heroic type to avoid appearing typed. He could play such straight heroes as Scott of the Antarctic as well as deconstruct the type in Ice Cold in Alex and "Tunes of Glory." The latter film features one of his finest film roles, that of the brittle Col. Basil Barrow, the new commander of a Scots battalion. Mills superbly played an emotionally troubled martinet in a role originally slated for Alec Guinness, his Great Expectations co-star, who decided to take the flashier role of the colonel's tormentor. It was one of Mills' favorite characters.
No male star of English cinema enjoyed such a long and rewarding career as a star while appearing predominantly in English films. As an actor, Mills chose his roles on the basis of the quality of the script rather than its propriety as a "star" turn. Because of this, he played roles that were more akin to character parts, such as shoemaker Willy Mossop in Hobson's Choice. As he aged, his proclivity for well-written roles enabled him to make a seamless transition from a lead to character lead to character actor from the 1950s to the 1960s.
Almost 40 years after his film debut, Mills won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for playing the mute village idiot in Lean's Ryan's Daughter, an uncharacteristic part. In addition to "In Which We Serve" and "Ryan's Daughter," Lean had also directed Mills in memorable performances in This Happy Breed and "Hobson's Choice". He gave one of his finest turns as Pip in Lean's masterpiece "Great Expectations", in which Mills' performance was central to the success of the picture.
Other significant films in which Mills appeared include The Rocking Horse Winner, King Vidor's War and Peace, The Chalk Garden, King Rat, The Wrong Box, Lady Caroline Lamb, Young Winston and Stanley Kramer's Oklahoma Crude. He also appeared with his daughter Hayley Mills in Tiger Bay and The Family Way and had a cameo in her Disney hit The Parent Trap. Mills appeared in a Disney hit of his own, Swiss Family Robinson, as the paterfamilias. He had one of the better cameo parts in producer Michael Todd's epic Around the World in Eighty Days, playing a carriage driver, and appeared in a non-speaking part as Old Norway in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
In 1967 he appeared in the short-lived American TV series Dundee and the Culhane on CBS. In the hour-long series Mills played an English lawyer named Dundee who roamed the Wild West with a young American lawyer named Culhane, who was also a fast draw with a six-gun. The network was disappointed with the quality of the show's writing and cancelled it after 13 episodes. One of the series' directors was Ida Lupino, who played Mills' sister in "The Ghost Camera" over 30 years before (Lupino also directed Hayley in The Trouble with Angels). Mills' most famous television role was probably the title character in ITV's Quatermass.
He appeared on Broadway during the 1961-62 season as the lead character in Terence Rattigan's "Ross," a fictionalization of the life of T.E. Lawrence, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Tony Award. His only other Broadway appearance was in the 1987 revival of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," in which he played Alfred Doolittle. The play was nominated for a Tony for Best Revival, and Amanda Plummer, playing his character's daughter, Eliza, also received a Tony nomination.
After divorcing Aileen Raymond, whom he had married at the age of 19, Mills married playwright Mary Hayley Bell on January 16, 1941. Since he was serving in the army, they could not have a church service, and they renewed their vows at St. Mary's Church, next to their home, Hills House, in Denham, England, in 2001.
Mills has worked as both producer and director: in 1966, he directed daughter Hayley in Gypsy Girl (a.k.a. "Gypsy Girl), from a script written by his wife. He produced "The Rocking Horse Winner" and The History of Mr. Polly, the latter film featuring his older daughter Juliet Mills as a child. Whistle Down the Wind in which Hayley's character mistakes a runaway convict played by Alan Bates for Jesus Christ, was based on a novel written by Mary.
Living in Hollywood during the 1960s where his daughter Hayley enjoyed her own Oscar-winning career as a child star, Mills and his wife became very popular with members of the movie colony. After Hayley grew out of her child actress roles, Mills returned to England, where he continued his film work. He became a council member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and a life patron of the Variety Club.
Mills was appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 1960 and was knighted in 1976. Although he suffered from deafness and failing eyesight and went almost completely blind in 1990, he continued to act, playing both blind and sighted characters with his customary joie de vivre and panache. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts honored him with a Special Tribute Award in 1987 and a Fellowship, its highest award, in 2002. He was honored with a British Film Institute Fellowship in 1995 and was named a Disney Legend by The Walt Disney Co.
After a brief illness, Sir John Mills died at the age of 97 on April 23, 2005, in Denham, Buckinghamshire, England. He was survived by his widow (who survived him by eight months), his son Jonathan, his daughters Juliet and Hayley, and his grandson Crispian Mills, the lead singer of the hit pop music group Kula Shaker. He was the author of an autobiography, "Up in the Clouds, Gentleman Please," published in 1981.
Sir Dirk Bogarde, distinguished film actor and writer, was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde on March 28, 1921, to Ulric van den Bogaerde, the art editor of "The Times" (London) newspaper, and actress Margaret Niven in the London suburb of Hampstead. He was one of three children, with sister Elizabeth and younger brother Gareth. His father was Flemish and his mother was of Scottish descent.
Ulric Bogaerde started the Times' arts department and served as its first art editor. Derek's mother, Margaret - the daughter of actor and painter Forrest Niven - appeared in the play "Bunty Pulls The Strings", but she quit the boards in accordance with her husband's wishes. The young Derek Bogaerde was raised at the family home in Sussex by his sister, Elizabeth, and his nanny, Lally.
Educated at the Allen Glen's School in Glasgow, he also attended London's University College School before majoring in commercial art at Chelsea Polytechnic, where his teachers included Henry Moore. Though his father wanted his eldest son to follow him into the "Times" as an art critic and had groomed him for that role, Derek dropped out of his commercial art course and became a drama student, though his acting talent at that time was unpromising. In the 1930s he went to work as a commercial artist and a scene designer.
He apprenticed as an actor with the Amersham Repertory Company, and made his acting debut in 1939 on a small London stage, the Q Theatre, in a role in which he delivered only one line. His debut in London's West End came a few months later in J.B. Priestley's play "Cornelius," in which he was billed as "Derek Bogaerde". He made his uncredited debut as an extra in the pre-war George Formby comedy Come on George!.
The September 1939 invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union triggered World War II, and in 1940 Bogarde joined the Queen's Royal Regiment as an officer. He served in the Air Photographic Intelligence Unit and eventually attained the rank of major. Nicknamed "Pippin" and "Pip" during the war, he was awarded seven medals in his five years of active duty. He wrote poems and painted during the war, and in 1943, a small magazine published one of his poems, "Steel Cathedrals," which subsequently was anthologized. His paintings of the war are part of the Imperial War Museum's collection.
Similar to his character, Captain Hargreaves, in King & Country, he was called upon to put a wounded soldier out of his misery, a tale recounted in one of his seven volumes of autobiography. While serving with the Air Photographic Intelligence Unit, he took part in the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, which he said was akin to "looking into Dante's Inferno".
In one of his autobiographies, he wrote, "At 24, the age I was then, deep shock stays registered forever. An internal tattooing which is removable only by surgery, it cannot be conveniently sponged away by time."
After being demobilized, he returned to acting. His agent re-christened him "Dirk Bogarde," a name that he would make famous within a decade. In 1947 he appeared in "Power Without Glory" at the New Lindsay Theatre, a performance that was praised by Noel Coward, who urged him to continue his acting career. The Rank Organization had signed him to a contract after a talent scout saw him in the play, and he made his credited movie debut in Dancing with Crime with a one-line bit as a policeman.
His first lead in a movie came that year when Wessex Films, distributed by Rank, gave him a part in the proposed Stewart Granger film Sin of Esther Waters. When Granger dropped out, Bogarde took over the lead. Rank subsequently signed him to a long-term contract and he appeared in a variety of parts during the 14 years he was under contract to the studio.
For three years he toiled in Rank movies as an apprentice actor without making much of a ripple; then in 1950, he was given the role of young hood Tom Riley in the crime thriller The Blue Lamp (the title comes from the blue-colored light on police call-boxes in London), the most successful British film of 1950, which established Bogarde as an actor of note. Playing a cop killer, an unspeakable crime in the England of the time, it was the first of the intense neurotics and attractive villains that Bogarde would often play.
He continued to act on-stage, appearing in the West End in Jean Anouilh's "Point of Departure". While he was praised for his performance, stage acting made him nervous, and as he became more famous, he began to be mobbed by fans. The pressure of the public adulation proved overwhelming, particularly as he suffered from stage fright. He was accosted by crowds of fans at the stage door during the 1955 touring production of "Summertime," and his more enthusiastic admirers even shouted at him during the play. He was to appear in only one more play, the Oxford Playhouse production of "Jezebel," in 1958. He never again took to the boards, despite receiving attractive offers.
He first acted for American expatriate director Joseph Losey in The Sleeping Tiger. Losey, a Communist and self-described Stalinist at the time, had emigrated to England after being blacklisted in Hollywood after he refused to direct The Woman on Pier 13 at RKO Pictures, which was owned by right-wing multi-millionaire Howard Hughes at the time, and he was accused in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee of being a Communist. The director, like Bogarde, would not find his stride until the early 1960s, and Losey and Bogarde would build their reputations together.
First, however, Losey had to overcome Bogarde's reluctance to star in a low-budget film (shot for $300,000) with a blacklisted American director. Losey, who had never heard of Bogarde until he was proposed for the film, met with him and asked Bogarde to view one of his pictures. After seeing the film, Bogarde was enthusiastic, and Losey talked him into taking the role, which he accepted at a reduced fee (Losey originally was not credited with directing the film due to his being blacklisted in the States). A decade later they would make more memorable films that would be watersheds in their careers.
It was not drama but comedy that made Dirk Bogarde a star. He achieved the first rank of English movie stardom playing Dr. Simon Sparrow in the comedy Doctor in the House. The film was a smash hit, becoming one of the most popular British films in history, with 17 million admissions in its first year of release. As Sparrow, Bogarde became a heartthrob and the most popular British movie star of the mid-50s. He reprised the character in Doctor at Sea, Doctor at Large.
The title of the latter film may have described his mood as a serious actor having to do another turn as Dr. Sparrow between his career-making performances in Losey's The Servant, with a script by Harold Pinter, and Losey's adaptation of the stage play King & Country, in which Bogarde memorably played the attorney for a young deserter (played by Tom Courtenay).
Bogarde, hailed as "the idol of the Odeons" in honor of his box-office clout, was offered the role of Jimmy Porter in _Look Back in Anger (1958/I)_ by producer Harry Saltzman and director Tony Richardson, based on the play that touched off the "Angry Young Man" and "Kitchen Sink School" of contemporary English drama in the 1950s. Though Bogarde wanted to take the part, Rank refused to let him make the film on the grounds that there was "altogether too much dialog." The part went to Richard Burton instead, who went over-the-top in portraying his very angry, not-so-young man.
After this disappointment, Bogarde went to Hollywood to play Franz Liszt in Song Without End and to appear in Nunnally Johnson's Spanish Civil War drama The Angel Wore Red with Ava Gardner. Both were big-budgeted films, but hampered by poor scripts, and after both films failed, Bogarde avoided Hollywood from then on.
He was reportedly quite smitten with his French "Song Without End" co-star Capucine, and wanted to marry her. Capucine, who suffered from bi-polar disorder, was bisexual with an admitted preference for women. The relationship did not lead to marriage, but did result in a long-term friendship. It apparently was his only serious relationship with a woman, though he had many women friends, including his I Could Go on Singing co-star Judy Garland.
In the early 1960s, with the expiration of his Rank contract, Bogarde made the decision to abandon his hugely successful career in commercial movies and concentrate on more complex, art house films (at the same time, Burt Lancaster made a similar decision, though Lancaster continued to alternate his artistic ventures with more crassly commercial endeavors). Bogarde appeared in Basil Dearden's seminal film Victim, the first British movie to sympathetically address the persecution of homosexuals. His career choice alienated many of his old fans, but he was no longer interested in being a commercial movie star; he, like Lancaster, was interested in developing as an actor and artist (however, that sense of finding himself as an actor did not extend to the stage. His reputation was such in 1963 that he was invited by National Theatre director Laurence Olivier to appear as Hamlet to open the newly built Chichester Festival Theatre. That production of the eponymous play also was intended to open the National Theatre's first season in London. Bogarde declined, and the honor went instead to Peter O'Toole, who floundered in the part.)
Jack Grimston, in Bogarde's "Sunday Times" obituary of May 9, 1999, entitled "Bogarde, a solitary star at the edge of the spotlight," said of the late actor that he "belonged to a group that was rare in the British cinema. He was a fine screen player who owed little to the stage. Dilys Powell, the Sunday Times film critic, wrote of him before her own death: 'Most of our gifted film players really belonged to the theater. Bogarde belonged to the screen.'" Bogarde had won the London Critics Circle's Dilys Powell award for outstanding contribution to cinema in 1992.
Appearing in "Victim" was a huge career gamble. In the film, Bogarde played a married barrister who is being blackmailed over his closeted homosexuality. Rather than let the blackmail continue, and allow the perpetrators to victimize other gay men, Bogarde's character effectively sacrifices himself, specifically his marriage and his career, by bravely confessing to be gay (homosexuality was an offence in the United Kingdom until 1967, and there reportedly had been a police crackdown against homosexuals after World War II which made gay men particularly vulnerable to blackmail).
The film was not released in mainstream theaters in the US, as the Production Code Administration (PCA) refused to classify the film and most theaters would not show films that did not carry the PCA seal of approval. "Victim" was the antithesis of the light comedy of Bogarde's "Doctor" movies, and many fans of his character Simon Sparrow were forever alienated by his portrayal of a homosexual. For himself, Bogarde was proud of the film and his participation in it, which many think stimulated public debate over homosexuality. The film undoubtedly raised the public consciousness over the egregious and unjust individual costs of anti-gay bigotry. The public attitude towards the "love that dared not speak its name" changed enough so that within six years, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act decriminalizing homosexual acts between adults passed Parliament. Bogarde reported that he received many letters praising him for playing the role. His courage in taking on such a role is even more significant in that he most likely was gay himself, and thus exposed himself to a backlash.
Bogarde always publicly denied he was a homosexual, though later in life he did confess that he and his manager, Anthony Forwood, had a long-term relationship. When Bogarde met him in 1939, Forwood was a theatrical manager, who eventually married and divorced Glynis Johns. Forwood became Bogarde's friend and subsequently his life partner, and the two moved to France together in 1968. They bought a 15th-century farmhouse near Grasse in Provence in the early 1970s, which they restored. Bogarde and Forwood lived in the house until 1983, when they returned to London so that Forwood could be treated for cancer, from which he eventually died in 1988. Bogarde nursed him in the last few months of his life. After Forwood died, Bogarde was left rudderless and he became more reclusive, eventually retiring from films after Daddy Nostalgia.
Mark Rowe and Jeremy Kay, in their obituary of Bogarde, "Two brilliant lives - on film and in print," published in "The Independent" on May, 9, 1999, wrote, "Although he documented with frankness his early sexual encounters with girls and later his adoring love for Kay Kendall and Judy Garland, he never wrote about his longest and closest relationship - with his friend and manager for more than 50 years, Tony Forwood. Sir Dirk said the clues to his private life were in his books. 'If you've got your wits about you, you will know who I am'." The British documentary _"Arena" [The Private Dirk Bogarde] (2001)_ made with the permission of his family, stressed the fact that he and Forwood were committed lifelong partners.
In the same issue, the National Film Theatre's David Thompson, in the article "The public understood he was essentially gay," wrote about Bogarde at his high-water mark in the 1950s, that "Audiences of that time loved him . . . Very few people picked up on the fact that there was a distinct gay undertone. It says something about British audiences of the time. He had the good fortune to break out of that prison, and it came through the film Victim, where he played a gay character, and through meeting with Joseph Losey, who directed him in The Servant. For the first time, Bogarde's ambivalence was exploited and used by film."
Bogarde's sexuality is not the issue; what was striking was that it was an act of personal courage for one of Britian's leading box-office attractions to appear in such a provocative and controversial film. Even in the 21st century, many mainstream actors are afraid to play a gay character lest they engender a public backlash against themselves, which is much less likely than it was more than 40 years ago when Bogarde made "Victim."
Apart from sociology, "Victim" marks the milestone in which critics and audiences could discern the metamorphosis of Bogarde into the mature actor who went on to become one of the cinema's finest performers. Most of Bogarde's best and most serious roles come after "Victim," the film in which he first stretched himself and broke out of the mold of "movie star." He received the first of his six nominations as Best Actor from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) for the film.
Bogarde co-starred with John Mills in The Singer Not the Song, and with Alec Guinness in Damn the Defiant! (a.k.a. "Damn the Defiant!"). In 1963 he reunited with Losey to film the first of two Losey films with screenplays by Pinter. Bogarde's participation in the two Losey/Pinter collaborations, The Servant and Accident, in addition to 1964's "King & Country", solidified his reputation. Critics and savvy moviegoers appreciated the fact that Bogarde had developed into a first-rate actor. For his role as the eponymous servant, Bogarde won BAFTA's Best Actor Award. He had now "officially" arrived in the inner circle of the best British film actors.
These three films also elevated Losey into the ranks of major directors (Bogarde also starred in Losey's 1966 spy spoof Modesty Blaise, but that film did little to enhance either man's reputation. He turned down the opportunity to appear in Losey's The Assassination of Trotsky due to the poor quality of the script).
Philip French, in his obituary "Dark, exotic and yet essentially English", published in "The Observer" on May 9, 1999, said of Bogarde, "Losey discovered something more complex and sinister in his English persona and his performance as Barrett, the malevolent valet in 'The Servant,' scripted by Harold Pinter, is possibly the most subtle, revealing thing he ever did - by confronting his homosexuality in a non-gay context."
Losey told interviewer Michel Ciment that his work with Bogarde represented a turning point in the actor's career, when he developed into an actor of depth and power. He also frankly admitted to Ciment that without Bogarde, his career would have stagnated and never reached the heights of success and critical acclaim that it did in the 1960s.
Interestingly during the filming of "The Servant." Losey was hospitalized with pneumonia. He asked Bogarde to direct the film in order to keep shooting so that the producers would not cancel the film. A reluctant Bogarde complied with Losey's wishes and directed for ten days. He later said that he would never direct again.
Bogarde co-starred with up-and-coming actress Julie Christie in John Schlesinger's Darling, for which Christie won a Best Actress Oscar and was vaulted into 1960s cinema superstardom. During the filming of the movie, both Bogarde and Christie were waiting to hear whether they would be cast as Yuri Zhivago and his lover Lara in David Lean's upcoming blockbuster Doctor Zhivago. Christie got the call, Bogarde didn't, but he was well along in the process of establishing himself as one of the screen's best and most important actors. He won his second BAFTA Best Actor Award for his performance in "Darling."
Bogarde went on to major starring roles in such important pictures as The Fixer, for which 'Alan Bates (I)' won a Best Actor Academy Award nomination. While Bogarde never was nominated for an Oscar, he had the honor of starring in two films for Luchino Visconti, The Damned ("The Damned") and Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann's novella "Death in Venice." Bogarde felt that his performance as Gustav von Aschenbach, the dying composer in love with a young boy and with the concept of beauty, in "Death in Venice" was the "the peak and end of my career . . . I can never hope to give a better performance in a better film."
Visconti told Bogarde that when the lights went up in a Los Angeles screening room after a showing of "Death in Venice" for American studio executives, no one said anything. The silence encouraged Visconti, who believed it meant that the executives were undergoing a catharsis after watching his masterpiece. However, he soon realized that, in Bogarde's own words, "Apparently they were stunned into horrified silence . . . A group of slumped nylon-suited men stared dully at the blank screen." One nervous executive, feeling something should be said, got up and asked, "Signore Visconti, who was responsible for the score of the film?"
"Gustav Mahler," Visconti replied.
"Just great!", said the nervous man. "I think we should sign him."
After "Venice", Bogarde made only seven films over the next two decades and was scathing about the quality of the scripts he was offered. To express himself artistically, he began to write. In his third volumes of autobiography, he wrote, "No longer do the great Jewish dynasties hold power: the people who were, when all is said and done, the Picture People. Now the cinema is controlled by vast firms like Xerox, Gulf & Western, and many others who deal in anything from sanitary-ware to property development. These huge conglomerates, faceless, soulless, are concerned only with making a profit; never a work of art . . . "
He rued the fact that "it is pointless to be 'superb' in a commercial failure; and most of the films which I had deliberately chosen to make in the last few years were, by and large, just that. Or so I am always informed by the businessmen. The critics may have liked them extravagantly, but the distributors shy away from what they term 'A Critic's Film', for it often means that the public will stay away. Which, in the mass, they do: and if you don't make money at the box-office you are not asked back to play again."
However, the courageous artist was not to be daunted: "But I'd had very good innings. Better than most. So what the hell?" His well-written works were enthusiastically received by critics and the book-buying public.
Bogarde appeared in another film that flirted with the theme of German fascism, Liliana Cavani's highly controversial The Night Porter ("The Night Porter"). He played an ex-SS officer who encounters a woman with whom he had been engaged in a sado-masochistic affair at a World War II Nazi extermination camp. Many critics found the film, which featured extensive nudity courtesy of Charlotte Rampling, crassly offensive, but no one faulted Bogarde's performance.
He played Lt. Gen. Frederick "Boy" Browning in the all-star blockbuster A Bridge Too Far. Although some of his fellow actors were World War II veterans, only Bogarde had been involved in the actual battle. His performance arguably is the best in the film. Appearing in Alain Resnais' art house hit Providence gave Bogarde the opportunity to co-star with John Gielgud. He also starred in German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder's adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's Despair, with a script by Tom Stoppard. Though the film was not much of a critical success, Bogarde's acting as 1930s German businessman Hermann Hermann, a man who chooses to go mad when faced with the paradoxes of his life in his proto-fascist fatherland, was highly praised.
Bogarde enjoyed working with Fassbinder. He wrote that "Rainer's work was extraordinarily similar to that of Visconti's; despite their age difference, they both behaved, on set, in much the same manner. Both had an incredible knowledge of the camera: the first essential. Both knew how it could be made to function; they had the same feeling for movement on the screen, of the all-important (and often-neglected) 'pacing' of a film, from start to finish, of composition, of texture, and probably most of all they shared that strange ability to explore and probe into the very depths of the character which one had offered them."
After his experience with Fassbinder, he acted only four more times, twice in feature films and twice on television. Bogarde was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing Roald Dahl in The Patricia Neal Story. He got rave reviews playing Jane Birkin's father in Bertrand Tavernier's Daddy Nostalgia, his last film.
In 1984 Bogarde was asked to serve as president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, a huge honor for the actor, as he was the first Briton ever to serve in that capacity. Two years earlier he had been made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des lettres 1982. A decade later, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on February 13, 1992.
Bogarde won two Best Actor Awards out of six nominations from the British Academy of Film & Television Arts, for "The Servant" and "Darling" in 1964 and 1966, respectively. He was also nominated in 1962 for "Victim," in 1968 for "Accident" and Our Mother's House and in 1972 for "Morte a Venezia."
Bogarde suffered a stroke in 1996, and though it rendered him partially paralyzed, he was able to recover and live in his own flat in Chelsea. However, by May of 1998 he required around-the-clock nursing care, and he had his lawyers draw up a "living will," also known as a no-resuscitation order. Bogarde publicly came out in favor of voluntary euthanasia, becoming Vice President of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. He publicly addressed the subject of his own "living will," which ordered that no extraordinary measures be taken to keep him alive should he become terminally ill.
The living will proved unnecessary. Dirk Bogarde died of a heart attack on May 8, 1999, in his home in Chelsea, London, England. According to his nephew Brock Van den Bogaerde, the family planned to hold a private funeral but no memorial service in accordance with his uncle's wish "just to forget me." Bogarde wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in France, and accordingly, his remains were returned to Provence.
Margaret Hinxman, in her May 10, 1999, obituary in "The Guardian", said of him, "At his peak and with directors he trusted - Joseph Losey, Luchino Visconti and Alain Resnais - Dirk Bogarde . . . was probably the finest, most complete, actor on the screen."
Clive Fisher's obituary in "The Independent" on May 10, 1999, praised Bogarde as "a major figure because, wherever they were made, his finest films are all somehow about him. He was a great self-portraitist and the screen persona he fashioned, a stylization of his private being, not only dominated its surroundings but spoke subliminally and powerfully to British audiences about the tensions of the time, about connivances and cruel respectabilities of England in the Fifties and Sixties."
The secret of Dirk Bogarde's success as a great cinema actor was his intimate relationship with the camera. Bogarde believed that the key to acting on film was the eyes, specifically, the "look" of the actor. Like Alan Ladd, it didn't matter if an actor was good with line readings if they had mastery over the "look." For many critics and movie-goers at the end of the 20th century, Dirk Bogarde's face epitomized the "look" of Britain in the tumultuous decades after the Second World War.
David Tindle's portrait of Bogarde is part of the collection of London's National Portrait Gallery, London. In 1999, the portrait, on temporary loan, was displayed at 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's official residence, with other modern works of art. Officially, Dirk Bogarde had become the look of Britain.
Marta Milans is a Spanish actress born and raised in Madrid. Marta fulfilled her dream of living in New York and studying theater, when she graduated from NYU with a double major in Acting and Art History. Since then, she has been fighting to make room for herself in Hollywood, slowly but steadily. She started working Off-Broadway in New York City and eventually landed roles in TV shows like Law and Order SVU and films such as The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and Shame, with Michael Fassbender.
Most recently she starred in the indie movie Devoured for which she received two Best Actress Awards both in Molins International Film Festival, in Barcelona and also in the New York Horror Film Festival.
Marta is currently, October 2013, one of the leads in the upcoming TV show Killer Women, which will air in early 2014 on ABC. (Produced by Martin Campbell, Disney Studios, Ben Silverman and Sofia Vergara. It also stars Tricia Helfer, Michael Trucco, Marc Blucas and Alex Fernandez).
She has developed her career in her native country Spain as well, being featured in lead roles for both feature films and television , such as The Blue Skin, directed by internationally renowned Gonzalo Lopez Gallego and a series lead for the TV series The Brave Ones (Valientes).
Marta is a multilingual actress (she is fluent in...almost 7 languages ; she's mastering her Russian now). In addition to acting, Marta has been busy establishing the sales of her family's Organic Goat Cheese from Spain in the United States. Santa Gadea Organic Goat Cheese just launched at Wholefoods this fall. Marta serves as spokesperson and Vice President of the company.
Ms. Milans is also actively involved with Art of Elysium a non-profit organization that focuses on bringing art to sick & developmentally challenged children both in Los Angeles and New York City. She is an accomplished yogi, lover of sports and travel..and of course theater and film.
Cedric went to and graduated from Burnsville Highschool, Minnesota. He has two brothers, Eni and Trevor and has a sister Amber. Attended Minnesota State University and wrote/acted sketch comedy at Dudley Riggs' Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis.
A tall, sinewy, austere-looking character actor with silver hair, rugged features and a distinctive voice, John Robert Anderson left an impressive legacy of literally hundreds of film and TV credits. Immensely versatile, he was at his best submerging himself in the role of historical figures (he impersonated Abraham Lincoln three times and twice baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, men whom he strongly resembled). He was a familiar presence in westerns and science-fiction serials, usually as upstanding, dignified and generally benign citizens (a rare exception was his Ebonite interrogator in The Outer Limits episode "Nightmare"). He had a high opinion of Rod Serling and was proud to be featured in four episodes of Twilight Zone, most memorably as the tuxedo-clad angel Gabriel in "A Passage for Trumpet" (doing for Jack Klugman what Henry Travers did for James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life).
Known to other youths as 'J.R.', Anderson had a happy childhood, growing up first on a small farm near Clayton, Missouri, and then in the mid-sized town of Quincy where his mother operated a cigar stand. A rangy, outdoorsy type, he excelled at various sports, was a drum major, a member of the track team and the boy scouts. During World War II, he served in the Coast Guard, mainly involved in helping protect convoys from U-boat attacks. In 1946, he commenced studies at the University of Iowa, eventually graduating with a master's degree in drama. His acting career began on the riverboat 'Goldenrod' (now the oldest surviving Mississippi River Basin showboat in America) and proceeded from there to the Cleveland Playhouse for a year, then the New York stage and summer stock with parts in prestigious plays like "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" and "Home of the Brave". He also occasionally doubled up as a singer on Broadway ("Paint Your Wagon" (1951), "The Emperor's Clothes" (1953)).
Anderson began as a regular television actor during that medium's formative years. In the course of the next four decades, his appearance barely changing, he was consistently excellent wherever he popped up, be it as western lawmen (including a recurring role as Virgil Earp in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp), as cops, governors, judges and army officers; hard-nosed oil executive Herbert Styles in Dallas, or as kindly patriarch of the Hazard clan in North and South. Though less traveled on the big screen, Anderson was particularly impressive as the furtive second-hand car dealer, 'California Charlie', in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the ruthless leader of the renegades, Addis, in Day of the Evil Gun and, reprising his role as Lincoln, in The Lincoln Conspiracy. One of the best all-rounders in the business, Anderson died of a heart attack at his home in Sherman Oaks in August 1992, aged 69.
Hollywood stalwart Bruce Cabot's main claim to fame, other than rescuing Fay Wray from King Kong, is that he tested for the lead role of The Ringo Kid in John Ford's Western masterpiece Stagecoach. John Wayne got the role and became the most durable star in Hollywood history, while Cabot (eventually) found himself a new drinking partner when the two co-starred in Angel and the Badman. In the latter stages of his career, Cabot could rely on Wayne for a supporting part in one of the Duke's movies.
It wasn't always so. In the 1930s Cabot's star shone bright. He was born with the unlikely name Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bujac in Carlsbad, New Mexico, the son of French Col. Etienne de Bujac and Julia Armandine Graves, who died shortly after giving birth to the future Bruce Cabot. After leaving the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, the future thespian hit the road, working a wide variety of jobs including sailor and insurance salesman, and doing a stint in a knacker's yard. In 1931 he wound up in Hollywood and appeared in several films in bit parts.
The young Monsieur de Bujac met David O. Selznick, then RKO's central producer (a job akin to Irving Thalberg's at MGM), at a Hollywood party, which led to an uncredited bit part as a dancer in Lady with a Past and a supporting role in The Roadhouse Murder. On a parallel career track at the time, Marion Morrison (John Wayne) had failed to follow up on his audacious debut in Raoul Walsh's The Big Trail (the Duke had appeared in 18 movies previously but had only been billed in one, as "Duke Morrison" in the unlikely John Wayne vehicle Words and Music). Cabot and Wayne eventually appeared in 11 films together.
Although Cabot was prominently featured in the blockbuster "King Kong" in 1933, he never did make the step to stardom, though he enjoyed a thriving career as a supporting player. He was a heavy in the 1930s, playing a gangster boss in Let 'em Have It and the revenge-minded Native American brave Magua after Randolph Scott's scalp in The Last of the Mohicans; over at MGM, he ably supported Spencer Tracy as the instigator of a lynch mob in Fritz Lang's indictment of domestic fascism, Fury. A freelancer, he appeared in movies at many studios before leaving Hollywood for military service. Cabot worked for Army intelligence overseas during World War II; after the war, he continued to work steadily, with and without his friend and frequent co-star, the Duke.
Bruce Cabot died in 1972 of lung and throat cancer. He was 68 years old.
Born William Michael Albert Broad in Middlesex, England, in 1955, the first child of Bill and Joan Broad. When he was 2, his father moved the family to Long Island, New York, in pursuit of the American dream. They returned 4 years later (now with a baby sister, Jane) to Dorking. America made a big impression on Billy; he loved the big cars and rock music. The family moved next to the Running Horses Public House in Mickleham, until 1963, while their home in Goring, Sussex, was being built.
The time in Goring would be a happy period for the Broads. Billy enjoyed a fairly normal childhood, hanging out with his pals and getting up to the usual mischief strong-willed boys are wont to. The Broads were a religious family who regularly attended church, Billy joined the Boy Scouts in Goring, though was reputedly asked to leave after getting caught kissing a girl. Idol was a bright student, and passed his 11 plus, but he was bored at school. When a teacher wrote "Billy is Idle" in the margin of one of his works, it stuck in his mind and later inspired his stage name. Nevertheless, Billy progressed well and, when the family moved to Bromley in Kent in 1971, he transferred to the Ravensbourne Grammar School.
The distractions of London, however, were not conducive to studying, and he failed to achieve the requirements for university entrance. His disappointed parents arranged for him to retake his exams at Orpington College of further education. Idol enjoyed the more relaxed environment here and, a year later, had secured his place at Sussex University. He began his course in English and Philosophy in September 1975. This coincided with the explosion of punk rock, which captured the imagination of Idol far more than his studies. He started hanging out with a group of like-minded friends at the in-venues in London, instantly recognizable by their Malcolm Mclaren SEX shop clothes and peg pants. They became known as the Bromley Contingent (the contingent included Susan Dallion (Siouxsie Sioux), later of Siouxsie and the Banshees) and began following the anarchic The Sex Pistols to every gig. At this time, Bill Broad changed his name to Billy Idol and decided he wanted to be a real part of the musical revolution. This meant dropping out of university and forming his first band, The Rockettes, with his classmate, Steve Upstone. They played covers of various bands, The Animals, The Beatles and The Doors. They gigged in the campus cafeteria and did one gig outside the University at the local youth hall, though they never recorded. They also did an audition for famed music managers Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes, who told Steve that he was the real star. This and his father's doubt and disapproval only served to make Billy more determined.
When Billy met Tony James, a fellow student, and became Chelsea, then Generation X, they started to get noticed. The final Generation X lineup - Tony James on bass, John Towe on drums, Bob Andrews on guitar and Idol as lead vocals, played their first live show in November 1976 and began writing and recording original material. In 1977, Chrysalis Records offered them a contract. After 3 albums and with management problems, band discord and the decline of the punk movement, Billy decided it was time to go solo. He relocated to New York and hooked up with Kiss manager Bill Aucoin. In 1981, the EP "Don't Stop" (comprising a cover of Tommy James' 1960s hit "Mony Mony" and a pair of remixed Generation X tracks, including "Dancing With Myself") landed him a solo deal with Chrysalis. He found the perfect collaborator and partner in guitarist Steve Stevens and released the self-titled "Billy Idol" in 1982. Idol made full use of the MTV explosion - the hugely successful videos for "White Wedding" and "Dancing With Myself" showcased his peroxide spiky hair, sneer and leathers to great effect. The stage was set for the hugely successful "Rebel Yell" in 1984. These early years were wild with Billy's hell-raising antics generating as much (if not more) publicity than his music. An eight-track best-of, "Vital Idol", was released in 1985 and the popularity of the live video of "Mony Mony" on MTV kept him in the spotlight. 1986 saw a new release, "Whiplash Smile" - it sold well and saw him nominated for a second Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance (the first was for "Rebel Yell"), but some felt it failed to live up to expectations. Stevens left to form his own band shortly afterwords.
Idol was ready to try new things, moving to Los Angeles, taking on a new band and appearing in an all-star stage version of The Who's "Tommy". In 1990, however, around the time of the release of his new album, "Charmed Life", Idol was involved in a serious motorcycle accident when he ran a stop sign on his Harley. He almost lost a leg and was confined to bed for 6 months. He battled back bravely - the video for the first single, "Cradle of Love", showed him from the waist up - at the time, he was paralysed below. The album was a success, his fourth in a row to achieve, at least, platinum sales. Idol decided to take a break and try his hand at acting, making his screen debut in Oliver Stone's The Doors in 1991. His next appearances before the camera were less auspicious, after pleading guilty to punching companion Amber Nevel outside a West Hollywood restaurant in 1992. He paid $2700 in fines and was required to appear in a series of anti-drug commercials.
The year 1993's "Cyberpunk" saw a new-look Idol, he had changed his famous peroxide spikes to dreadlocks, and his sound to synthesized techo beats. The album flopped, and Idol sank into drug addiction. He had another brush with death in 1994 when he overdosed and had to be treated in a Los Angeles hospital. Upon his discharge, he calmed down and began to focus more on fatherhood. Although he has never married, Idol has two children - a son from his long term relationship with former Hot Gossip Dancer Perri Lister, William Broad, born in June 1988, and a daughter, Bonnie Blue, from another relationship, born 1989. The next few years were quiet until 1998, when a cameo appearance in the hit movie, The Wedding Singer, began an Idol revival. In 1999, his recognition was confirmed with his second wax model opening in Las Vegas. He teamed up with Stevens, once more, and found the old magic was still there. A more extensive "Greatest Hits" was released in 2001 and sold over half a million copies in the USA alone, 2002 saw two VH1 specials - Behind the Music and Storytellers.
Idol is currently working with Stevens on new material, some of which has featured in the most recent tours over the past four years. It may be some time since the hedonistic, hell-raising days but his unbridled passion for music and performing remain and the shows are still no-holds barred. Despite his bad-boy image, offstage Idol is said to be quite gentle and sensitive, knowledgeable with a good sense of humour and vegetarian.
Bob Uecker's first career was professional baseball. He played six seasons in the majors (1962-1967), playing catcher for three different National League teams: Braves (Milwaukee, WI, and Atlanta, GA), Cardinals (St. Louis, MO), and Phillies (Philadelphia, PA). His batting, never stellar, declined steadily over his career: he finished with a .200 lifetime average. He wrote a humorous autobiography entitled "Catcher in the Wry". He appeared in a popular series of Lite beer commercials before landing his first movie role.
Sarah Louise Jurgens was born in Epsom, England to Elizabeth Clare Jurgens and Paul Cloete Jurgens. Her close-knit family is from South Africa & the UK. When Sarah was little, her mother and father made the brave move from Cape Town, South Africa to a small coal mining town in Northern BC called Tumbler Ridge. After moving down to the Lower Mainland on the BC coast, Sarah discovered acting. She moved to Toronto at age 18 and trained in the Acting Conservatory at York University, where she developed an affinity for dialects and clown work. She graduated with a BFA Honours. After spending time in London, England after graduation, Sarah returned to Toronto and landed starring roles in Two Hands to Mouth, Covert Affairs, Republic of Doyle, and the new Trailer Park Boy's film, Swearnet.
Kevin Lacz was born and raised in central Connecticut. He enrolled at James Madison University in 2000 in pursuit of his lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. When the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 claimed the life of a good friend's father, however, he decided to leave school in favor of the military. A SEALs poster on the wall at a Navy recruiter's office inspired Kevin to enlist in the Navy with orders for BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL training). He went on to graduate with BUD/s Class 246. As a Hospital Corpsman, Kevin also attended 18-D Special Operations Combat Medic School at Fort Bragg before checking into SEAL Team THREE in Coronado, California. Soon after, he attended Army Sniper school and returned to Charlie Platoon where he began preparing for his 2006 deployment. In 2006, Kevin deployed to Ramadi, Iraq with Charlie Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser. The work he did as a platoon sniper and medic contributed to his task unit becoming the most highly decorated special operations task unit since Vietnam. Kevin personally conducted numerous sniper over watches, direct action missions, raids, and tribal engagements in support of the effort to halt the spread of violence through Ramadi. For his actions on his 2006 deployment, including acquiring numerous enemy kills and braving enemy fire to carry a fallen comrade to safety, Kevin was awarded a Bronze Star with a Combat 'V.' In 2008, Kevin returned to Iraq, this time as a member of Delta Platoon. His focus was the Iraqi border with Syria and the interception of foreign fighters trying to infiltrate the country. He completed another deployment, this time as a platoon sniper, medic, and breacher - a trifecta of certifications that made Kevin the only member of his platoon qualified to go on literally any operation they planned. As a SEAL, Kevin gained extensive experience in Special Operations Combat Medicine, Special Operations Dive Chamber Medicine, Military Free-Fall HALO and HAHO Operations, Long-Range Target Interdiction Sniper work, Survival Evasion Resistance Escape (SERE) Training, Battlefield Interrogations, Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Counter-Terrorism Operations, and Naval Special Warfare Lead Breaching Operations. In addition to his Bronze Star, Kevin was awarded two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat 'V's and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. Upon completing his enlistment, Kevin was honorably discharged from the Navy. He returned to Connecticut and enrolled at UCONN with the intention of continuing his career in medicine. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science in 2011 and began the application process for Physician Assistant School. While earning his undergraduate degree, he also got married and started a family. In 2012, Kevin moved his family to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to pursue his Masters of Medical Sciences at Wake Forest University. He graduated in August 2014 and passed his medical boards. He is a certified and licensed Physician Assistant. Kevin's 2006 deployment has been discussed extensively in the media and in books, including Dick Couch's 'The Sheriff of Ramadi', Jim DeFelice's 'Code Name: Johnny Walker' and Chris Kyle's 'American Sniper.' Because of his close working and personal relationship with Chris Kyle, Kevin was asked to contribute to 'American Sniper' through interviews with Chris' coauthor, Jim DeFelice. Chris also discussed Kevin frequently when referencing the 2006 and 2008 deployments (as "Dauber"), laying the groundwork for Kevin's involvement in the production of and eventual casting in the Clint Eastwood biopic by the same name (starring Bradley Cooper). In early 2014, Kevin auditioned for the role of "Dauber" and was cast to play himself. He was also hired to provide SEAL Technical Advising for the film. Kevin's past military service influences him greatly as he seeks to actively support service members and veterans in his Florida Gulf Coast community and around the country. He and his wife, Lindsey, have two children.
|Luis Da Silva Jr.
Born on August 3rd, 1982, Luis Fernando Da Silva Jr. has since taken the world by storm with his God-given talent to entertain people with his performances in basketball and acting. Luis first picked up a basketball at the age of ten, and over the years has tirelessly developed his skills to become known as "the world's best basketball handler". Luis has the ability to captivate any audience through his memorable performances and has traveled the world sharing his talent and passion for basketball. Recently, his talents have lead to opportunities outside of the sports world, including co-starring along side Oscar Award winning actors in major motion pictures. His legacy is just beginning but throughout his journey he never forgets his home, community and life in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Luis was born to Luis Da Silva Sr. and Dana Da Silva in the city of Elizabeth, NJ and is the older brother of Shari Da Silva, all current residents of the state of New Jersey. He always reminisces about his childhood and appreciates his life in the city of Elizabeth. His career didn't begin with dreams of basketball success, his interests surrounded baseball and the martial art: Aikido. It was only at the age of thirteen that he picked up a basketball and fell in love with the sport. He attended grade school at St. Peter and Paul Catholic School, which was followed by high school at St. Patrick's High School. Having only the space of his small concrete backyard, he began to practice daily, from the early hours of the morning to late night. He mimicked the moves of his idols - Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson - and practiced until he perfected the moves or his hands bled and he could no longer practice. Luis' inspirations were from not only great NBA players but street ball players such as "Pistol" Pete Marvich and God Sham God. However, his path did not initially lead him to the NBA or a street ball team. He had the opportunity to demonstrate his talents so that every home in the United States and across the world could sit mesmerized by his never before seen basketball moves.
As an eighteen year old, Luis walked into an open audition for a commercial for Nike. They told him to "do some tricks with the basketball", but little did they know the countless hours Luis had spent practicing tricks with his Spalding basketball. He had been practicing various ways to dribble and created reams which would later define the style of "freestyle basketball". Nike was in awe of this young talent and immediately signed him to represent their Nike ad campaign which is, to this day, one of the most widely recognized commercials to ever air on television. Just a few weeks after the commercials debut, the Wall Street Journal published an article, featuring Luis' picture on the front page, about the success of his street ball image and the impact it had on Nike's spike in increasing sales. He performed with the new talent, Alicia Keys, in 2001 in New York City's Niketown when promoting his Nike spotlight. Luis was the only non-NBA player and, at the time, the youngest person to ever sign an endorsement deal with Nike. He was recognized in Scoop Jackson's book, titled "Sole Provider", which recognized the best of Nike's 35 year history. The impact of the commercial's success was global and Luis' image even graced the cover of the Taiwan's Time magazine. After his contract with Nike ended, he found a home with the Harlem Wizards Show Basketball team and became the youngest player ever signed. In 2005, he performed in the NBA Game1 Finals halftime show alongside Will Smith's performance of "Switch". His next great accomplishment was presented when one of his basketball heroes, Stephon Marbury, recognized his talent and offered him to be the face of "Starbury", a new clothing line distributed in all Steve & Barry's locations. Luis signed with Steve & Barry's in 2006 and traveled across the United States on a 120 city tour in 60 days. His tour performances are not only entertaining they are inspirational to people of all ages.
After such great exposure through his endorsements, Midway Games offered Luis a lead in the newly developed video game, L.A. Rush, which sold 1 million units internationally. He has also worked with Midway performing the video game motion capturing for NBA Ballers, NBA Ballers II, NBA Ballers III, NBA 2K8, NBA 2K9 and AND1 Streetball video games. Following his video game release, Luis began to take small roles in televisions shows such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and was featured on ESPN, Nickelodeon and Telemundo. In the summer of 2006, he was contacted and auditioned for his first major motion picture, which he booked. In 2007, "The Brave One" was released, becoming the #1 movie four weeks in a row and Luis' first project in the movie industry. He worked alongside Academy Award winner Jodie Foster and Academy Award nominee Terrance Howard. His performance led him to be cast in the film, "Pride & Glory", featuring Academy Award winner Jon Voight, actors Edward Norton and Colin Ferrell. Most recently, Luis' career has led him to work with television actors such as Jeffery Donovan ("Burn Notice), Dana Delany ("Body Of Proof") and Laura Linney ("The Big C"). His movie career has been on the rise and led him on-screen the infamous cast of the summer blockbuster 2011's "Fast Five" in which he played "Diego", the only character to street race Vin Diesel's "Dominic". In 2012, Luis was successful in landing a role in the summer comedy, "21 Jump Street", alongside Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Johnny Depp. With the release of "Dead Man Down", in which Luis is again working with Colin Farrell, Luis gained his most note-worthy role as "Terry", the henchman of a notorious gang. His performance landed him on the red-carpet with fellow actors Terrance Howard, Noomi Rapace and Dominic Cooper. This lead role is followed up by a role in the 2013 summer hit "The Heat" featuring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. Luis has over a half a dozen features that will be release this year 2015.
Luis' has been making a name for himself with his work and his performances on screen side by side with some of Hollywood biggest names. His charismatic and energetic performances with a edge has quickly drawing a lot of buzz in Hollwood. He has been viewed as the new era of edge style bad guys yet clean cut image and good looks. He is often compared to Adrien Brody and John Turturro. These are great accomplishments for a young man from Elizabeth, NJ, and it is only the beginning of a legendary entertainment career.
Jill Evyn is an actress and film maker whose life in the arts began in childhood. Encouraged by her parents, she grew up exploring all facets of the arts; drawing, painting, dancing, and performing. She graduated high school from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where studied visual arts, and dabbled in acting classes. Following graduation, she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where she fell in love with all aspects of theatre. At UCSC, Jill combined her theatre education with intellectual and social studies, always working to find her voice as an artist. Before graduating, Jill traveled to Italy where she studied commedia dell'arte, Italian, modern dance, and philosophy. These experiences encouraged her to bridge the gap between actor and creator, inspiring her to direct bold plays such as Sarah Kane's Phadreas Love, and play brave parts in modern productions such as The Bald Soprano, and No Exit. Jill began her film career in her native Los Angeles with roles in short films, which lead to feature film roles Jasmine Day in 'The Talent,' Lucky in 'The Pretty Boys,' and Trish in 'Axe Giant.' In 2014 Jill was completed production on ' Anatomy of a Love Seen,' which earned her her fist producing credit. Since then, Jill has begun working more collaboratively on her films in the interest of being both performer and story teller. Her upcoming projects include 'Beginnings,' directed by Ryan Daddi, 'Ava's Impossible Things' directed by Marina Rice Bader, and 'The Long Home' directed by James Franco.
Cynthia Cristina Ferrare, the TV personality and former wife of auto executive John DeLorean, was born on February 8, 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Italian-American Catholic parents, Renata Velia (Torinesi) and Tavio C. Ferrare, a butcher. Her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was 14 years old. Beause of her beauty, she was offered work as a teenage model while she was still 14, and eventually was hired as a model by the makeup company Max Factor when she was 16. As a 20-year-old, she signed with Eileen Ford, one of the top modeling agencies in New York, and became a cover girl on the major fashion magazines. This exposure lead to acting offers, and she signed a contract with the film studio 20th Century. She continued as the face of Max Factor, "The Max Factor Girl", until she was 26 years old.
In 1974, she married National Alliance of Businessmen President John DeLorean, the former vice president of car and truck production at General Motors, who was 25 years her senior. DeLorean, who had been the youngest man to ever head a division at General Motors when he was promoted head of the Pontiac Div. in 1965 at the age of 40, was a non-conformist with a flair for self-promotion who moved in show business circles. He had left G.M. in 1973 with the idea of starting his own automobile company, which eventually would become a reality in the 1980s, but would lead to his professional downfall and the collapse of his marriage.
The same year Ferrare married DeLorean, she had her sole leading role in motion pictures, the B-horror movie Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary. Shot in Mexico and featuring the beautiful Ferrare as a bisexual vampire, the movie was released and sank without a trace despite her erotic nude scenes. She was a finalist to appear in Charlie's Angels, losing out to Jaclyn Smith, but her acting career never gained traction. As an actress, she mostly did guest spots on series TV like The Love Boat, but Ferrare did establish a career as a TV host. She served as the co-host on ABC's The Home Show as co-host of the "Home & Family" show with Michael Burger, and as co-host of "AM Los Angeles", which during her five-year stint, was was the highest rated morning show in its market, the second-largest in the country.
As Ferrare's career as a TV personality rose, DeLorean's business fortunes crashed. The car company that bore his name went bankrupt. In 1982, John DeLorean was trapped in a sting operated by the F.B.I. and charged with trafficking in cocaine, to raise money to refinance his car company. Both Ferrare and DeLorean became born-again Christians after the arrest, and in the two year legal ordeal that followed, Ferrare stood by her husband. DeLorean was acquitted in August 1984, due to entrapment.
Ferrare realized her marriage to DeLorean had been shallow and unfulfilling. Since she was a girl in Cleveland, she had dreamed of having a fairy tale life. Life with media darling DeLorean, however, eventually came to feel make-believe, and she knew their marriage was over long before it was officially ended. Her turning to Christianity helped her to brave the ordeal of her husband's arrest and trial, but after DeLorean's acquittal, Ferrare sought a divorce.
Her divorce was granted in 1985, and that same year, she married entertainment industry executive Tony Thomopoulos, whom she had first met in 1979 when he was the head of the ABC Television Network and she was auditioning for a sport on "Good Morning America". They had met again years later, and Ferrare knew she would marry him on their first date. They have been happily married for 22 years and have two daughters.
In addition to her TV appearances, she has written books, including "Cristina Ferrare's Family Entertaining", "Okay, So I Don't Have a Headache", and "Realistically Ever After". Ferrare also works for Creative Brands Group, designing jewelry, home accessories and furniture.
Martin Jarvis OBE is one of Britain's most versatile leading actors. His distinguished career continues to encompass just about every aspect of the entertainment industry: film, television, theatre, radio and audio recording. He is also the author of two bestselling books: a hilarious autobiography Acting Strangely and a compelling account of his award-winning time on Broadway in 2001: Broadway, Jeeves - The Diary of a Theatrical Adventure, both published by Methuen. In 2010 he starred as Vincent Hogg in a new production of Agatha Christie's The Mirror Cracked in ITV/WGHB's popular 'Miss Marple' series. In 2009, he starred in BBC2's comedy/drama Taking the Flak, receiving outstanding reviews for his performance as national treasure tv journalist David Bradburn. He stars in the feature film Neander Jin - Return of the Neanderthal Man (US/ Germany co-production, 2010) as Peter Blodnik, network mogul. Alongside his screen and theatre career he is a prolific director of radio drama and, with his wife, actress/director Rosalind Ayres, produces plays and readings for BBC. His award-winning productions include Shadowlands, David Mamet's Keep Your Pantheon, Ayckbourn's Man of the Moment and Ian Fleming's Dr No. He has homes in London and Los Angeles. He trained at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England), where he won the Vanbrugh Award and the Silver Medal. He is an Associate of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, England). He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the British Empire) in the 2000 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to drama. In 2006, he appeared at the Santa Fe Arts Festival in New Mexico in Wilde's The Canterville Ghost with Shirley Maclaine and Ali McGraw. Earlier in the same year, he starred in Honour at Wyndham's Theatre, London giving an acclaimed performance opposite Dame Diana Rigg. On screen that year he played Leonard in BBC-TV's modern version of "Much Ado About Nothing" and (in 2005) starred as "Malvolio" in "Twelfth Night" at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. He received a Theatre World Award on Broadway in 2001 for his title role performance in "By Jeeves" which he also filmed. His West End, National, Almeida and Donmar theatre appearances include works by Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Michael Frayn, Harold Pinter CH, Somerset Maugham, Sir George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. He played Jack Worthing opposite Dame Judi Dench's Lady Bracknell in Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" at the National Theatre in the 1980s directed by Sir Peter Hall, and premiered Pinter's "Other Places" in the National's Cottesloe Theatre. Pinter directed him in the leading role of Hector in Giraudoux's "The Trojan War Will Not Take Place." He met Sir Alan Ayckbourn at the National and subsequently went on to star in his "Woman in Mind," "Henceforward," "Just Between Ourselves" and "By Jeeves." His Screen credits include leading roles in the British/Australian mini-series "Bootleg," "Inspector Lynley Mysteries," "Lorna Doone," Frayn's "Make and Break," "Ike - The War Years" (with Robert Duvall) and "The Bunker" (with Sir Anthony Hopkins.) He was "Linus" in Sir Richard Eyre's film, "Absence of War written by Sir David Hare. He has guest starred (very often as villains) in "Inspector Morse," "Frost," "Lovejoy," "Casualty," "Murder Most Horrid," "Dr Who," "Space Above and Beyond," "Murder, She Wrote" and "Walker: Texas Ranger" in the US. He played monstrous Neil Biddle in "Sex 'N' Death" and was a memorable television Uriah Heep in "David Copperfield" on British television. First major screen role: 'Jon' in the multi-award winning "The Forsyte Saga." He followed this with many 'classic serials' including "The Way of All Flesh (in which he starred as Ernest Pontifex), "Nicholas Nickleby" (title role), "The Moonstone," "Little Women" and "The Pallisers." His feature films include the psychological thriller "Framed" (2007), "Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War," James Cameron's "Titanic," "Kid With the X-Ray Eyes," "Buster," "The Last Escape," and "Taste the Blood of Dracula." His voice can be heard in numerous television animation series as well as feature films including "Flushed Away" and "Eragon." He has narrated "Peter and the Wolf at the Barbican" and appeared with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra as Narrator for Egmont and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." At the Chichester Festival Theatre he starred with Sir John Gielgud in "Paradise Lost," with Googie Withers CBE and Susan Hampshire OBE in "The Circle" and with concert pianist Lucy Parham in "Beloved Clara." Jarvis & Ayres Productions, which he founded with his wife, Rosalind Ayres, has produced many award-winning dramas and readings for BBC Radio, National Public Radio in America and for audio books. Their work includes outstanding interpretations of plays by Sir George Bernard Shaw, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Harold Pinter CH, Michael Frayn, David Mamet, Hugh Whitemore, Robert Shearman, Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, and many more. British and American stars who have been associated with J&A productions include, in the UK: Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Diana Rigg, Alfred Molina, Richard E. Grant, Michael York OBE, Richard Briers CBE, Pauline Collins OBE, Janie Dee, Fiona Shaw CBE, Miriam Margolyes OBE, Patricia Hodge, Twiggy Lawson, Natascha McElhone, Martin Freeman, Barry Humphries CBE, Phil Collins and in the US: Brendan Fraser, Elaine Stritch, Teri Garr, Stacy Keach, Shirley Knight, Hector Elizondo, Bruce Davison, Matthew Wolf, Eric Stoltz, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ed Begley Jr, Ed O'Neill and Gregory Peck. Directors of J&A dramas include: David Mamet, Michael Grandage, David Grindley, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Pete Atkin, Rosalind Ayres. Their productions have received Audie and Earphone awards in the US. In September 2006, he directed Teri Garr, Michael York OBE and Alfred Molina in an acclaimed production of "Pack of Lies" for BBC Radio 4. He and Fiona Shaw CBE starred for five years in the popular BBC series "Our Brave Boys." His Just William audio and radio recordings are world wide best sellers. He was the subject of BBC TV's This Is Your Life in 1999.
The couple who plays together stays together. While this old and familiar adage probably would not work for a number of the happily married, high-profiled Hollywood star couples still thriving around town, it certainly has done wonders for one of Hollywood's more popular pairs -- actress Jill Eikenberry and her actor/husband, Michael Tucker. Broaching on a four-decade union, the couple has enjoyed a highly productive personal, as well as professional, pairing. Balancing strong solo careers as well, they have appeared together in all three mediums at one time or another, and one of their more recent projects was a cabaret act aptly titled, "Life Is a Duet", which came alive in 2007.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut on January 21, 1947, Jill was raised in Madison, Wisconsin, before moving to Missouri. She began her college studies taking up anthropology at Barnard College in New York. In her second year, however, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut.
She met Tucker while the two of them were performing at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.. Appearing in "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail" (1970), they were later cast in the play, "Moonchildren" (1971), which eventually took them to Broadway in 1972. Jill and Michael married the following year and decided to settle in New York City. Together, they have a son, Max Tucker, a sometime actor, and Jill has a stepdaughter, actress Alison Tucker, from Michael's first marriage.
Throughout the early-to-mid 1970s, Jill focused on the theater, building up a strong reputation, with roles in "The Beggar's Opera" (1972), "Lotta" (1973), "All Over Town" (1974) (her Broadway debut), "Summer Brave" (1975) and "Saints" (1976). Films began to come her way, with Rush It (her debut) and Between the Lines. In 1978, she and Michael earned small roles in both Lina Wertmüller's A Night Full of Rain [also "The End of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night full of Rain"] and in the social drama, An Unmarried Woman, starring Oscar nominee Jill Clayburgh. Jill finished the decade with sterling theater performances as "Alma Winemiller" in the play, "Eccentricities of a Nightingale", and in Wendy Wasserstein's "Uncommon Women and Others", which was taped for the small screen. The entire cast got to recreate their roles except for Glenn Close, who was replaced by Meryl Streep, for the TV presentation of Uncommon Women... and Others. Jill also began to gain some ground on the largeer screen, with roles in Butch and Sundance: The Early Days, Rich Kids and Hide in Plain Sight. Making a formidable dent in TV-movies as well, she appeared in the PBS mini-series, The Best of Families, and the TV-movies, The Deadliest Season, Orphan Train, and Swan Song.
A gentle, effortless sweet nature befits the lovely Jill but it also can belie some of the stronger-willed, resourceful, even neurotic character that have played figuratively into her versatile career. This was never displayed better on film than with her breakthrough role as dipsomaniac Dudley Moore's ever-patient but extremely passive-aggressive fiancée, "Susan", in the classic comedy film, Arthur. This success helped put her on the map in Hollywood.
Following a 1985 off-Broadway Obie Award win for her work in both "Lemon Sky" and "Life Under Water", she and husband Michael were cast in the acclaimed TV law series, L.A. Law. Produced by Steven Bochco, who had remembered them after using the duo in two episodes of his established series, Hill Street Blues, the couple not only enjoyed the steady employment but the richness in the writing of the show. While both went on to receive multiple Emmy nominations, neither won. Jill did pick up, however, a Golden Globe statuette for her excellent work on the series. The taller blonde (5'8") and her shorter husband (5'5") soon became instantly identifiable as a TV couple. Art imitated life, as well, when their characters, lawyer "Ann Kelsey" and tax specialist "Stuart Markowitz", wound up marrying on the series.
Just before the beginning of the run of the law series, Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer eventually went into remission but, as a result of her ordeal, she became committed to her new cause and co-produced a 1989 documentary for NBC called "Destined to Live", which featured interviews with other cancer survivors, including former actress Nancy Reagan [aka Nancy Reagan]. To this day, Jill remains an ardent activist for breast cancer research and early detection. Her efforts have been recognized with awards and commendations and both she and Michael have been official spokespersons for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. She has since been inducted into the Cancer Survivors' Hall of Fame.
Jill and Michael went on to parlay their TV success into acting projects for themselves, creating a number of mini-movies as vehicles, including the social/domestic comedies, Assault and Matrimony and The Secret Life of Archie's Wife and the more dramatic A Town Torn Apart and Gone in a Heartbeat. They also appeared together in A Family Again in 1988 and reunited with their former series' cast members for the TV-movie, L.A. Law: The Movie.
On stage, the couple appeared in productions of "Love Letters", "Emma's Child" (1997) and "The Last Schwartz" (2004). Jill's more recent solo efforts in film have included Manna from Heaven, the short The Happiest Day of His Life (with Michael), and Suburban Girl.
Catherine Cavadini, aka Cathy Cavadini, is an actress, singer, and voice artist perhaps best known as the voice of Blossom in Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls. Fans also know her as the voice of Glitter in Kidd Video, Clash in Jem, and Tanya Mousekewitz in the movie An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. During her long and prolific career, Catherine's voice has been featured in over a hundred radio & television commercials, and in over a thousand films, television movies, and series.
Various animated film credits include The Powerpuff Girls Movie as Blossom, Babes in Toyland as Mary, Sky Blue as Jay, Young Shua, and Cheyenne, Batman: Dark Knight Returns as Carol Ferris, Joannie, and Woman with hot dog, Scooby-Doo Legend of the Phantosaur as Faith, My Little Ponies as North Star, and Pound Puppies: Legend of Big Paw as Collette and her newborn puppies. Also, she has performed guest roles in numerous animated series. Some of Catherine's recent guest roles are Doc McStuffins (Dart), The Cleveland Show (Siri), Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Alanna Strange, Jan, Ruby Ryder, Dr. Myrrha Rhodes), Ben 10 (Cooper), and Teen Titans (Alien Woman/Cironelian Chrysalis Eater). Catherine also originated the series regular roles of Jennifer Jane Parker in Back to the Future, Tanya and Baby Yasha in Fievel's American Tails, and Mom, Terri, and Mrs. Weebles in season 1 of What's with Andy.
In the gaming world, she has voiced the roles of Car'l, Twyla, and Candle Maiden in Broken Age, Mechari Female in Wildstar, Kara in White Knight Chronicles 1 and 2, Felicia in War Hammer, Griffin's Mom, Dr. Hoffstader, and Assassin in Jumper, Valla the Witch of the Tundra, Bolvangar Nurse, and Tartar Leopard in The Golden Compass, Norma Jean in the Happy Feet Interactive Game, Sadie in Gun, and a variety of roles in Final Fantasy X, XIII, and XIII-2.
In addition to her animation and game voice work, Catherine has done ADR (automated dialogue replacement) in innumerable movies and television series. Recently, Catherine has performed additional voices in Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hercules, Jersey Boys, The Lego Movie, Twelve Years a Slave, Red 2, The Great Gatsby, and Rise of the Guardians. Listed under the umbrella of "additional voices" are: Pacific Rim (voice of one of the P.A. announcers in the Shatterdome), Now You See Me (reporter voice), Happy Feet Two (emperor penguin voice), How I Met Your Mother (southern teenage mommy), Sleepy Hollow (voice of woman on phone from Oxford College), Fun Size (voice of 911 Operator in the scene with Johnny Knoxville), and Bridge to Terabithia (voice of Judy Burke).
Throughout her career, Catherine has been honored by and nominated for a number of awards. In 2003, Catherine was recognized with an Epic Award from the White House Project for promoting positive images of women's leadership through her work in the film The Powerpuff Girls Movie. In 1998, she was nominated for an Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production" for performing the voice and singing for the role of Mary in the animated movie Babes in Toyland. She also sang "Dreams to Dream" as the character Tanya in the animated movie An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, which was nominated for Best Song at the 1992 Golden Globe Awards. In addition, she has received 2 Emmy Award Certificates for contributing to Outstanding Sound on the television series X-Files.
Joni Mitchell is one of the most highly regarded and influential songwriters of the 20th century. Her melodious tunes support her poetic and often very personal lyrics to make her one of the most authentic artists of her time. As a performer she is widely hailed for her unique style of playing guitar. Mitchell's unflinching struggle for her own artistic independence has made her a role model for many other musicians, and somewhat of a bane to music industry executives. She is critical of the industry and of the shallowness that she sees in much of today's popular music. Mitchell is also a noted painter and has created the beautiful artwork that appears on the packaging of her music albums.
Joni Mitchell was born Roberta Joan Anderson in Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada, to Myrtle Marguerite (McKee), a teacher, and William Andrew Anderson, a RCAF flight lieutenant and grocer. Her father was of Norwegian descent, and her mother had Irish and Scottish ancestry. Mitchell first became famous for penning "Both Sides Now", a song that helped launch the career of pop/folk singer Judy Collins. When Mitchell began as a songwriter many of her lyrics displayed a wisdom that was precocious for someone who was in her early twenties. Mitchell was first noticed as a performer in New York City's music scene. Her first album appeared in 1968, which featured her voice and her acoustic guitar with virtually no other accompaniment on most songs.
She became romantically involved with David Crosby and later Graham Nash, both of the majorly successful West Coast rock group Crosy, Stills and Nash. Mitchell literally wrote the theme song for the historic mega-concert Woodstock. Arguably her most popular song from this era may be "Big Yellow Taxi" with its well-known lyrics: "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot".
Mitchell's music was originally considered to be folk, but after her initial success she began to grow in a jazz direction. Her collaboration with saxophonist and band leader Tom Scott produced the album "Court and Spark", one of the most popular and influential albums of all time. As her music style veered increasingly towards jazz, Mitchell sadly observed that her pop/folk fans did not follow her to the new musical place she was going to. The sales of her later albums declined. Nonetheless her work was still followed by many within the music industry.
Mitchell worked closely with jazz great Charles Mingus on his last project. She did several albums with jazz bass player Jaco Pastorius, and several more with her second husband, musician and sound engineer Larry Klein. The most popular songs in her career include Big Yellow Taxi, Both Sides Now, Help Me, River, and A Case of You. Her most popular albums include Court and Spark, Hejira, Turbulent Indigo, and Blue.
Joni Mitchell's influence on other musicians has been so broad that it is difficult to summarize. She has been a notable influence on Prince, Elvis Costello, George Michael, Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Morissey, Seal, Beck, Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall and a great many of other women songwriters that are too numerous to mention. Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" is an homage to Mitchell. Mitchell's songs have been covered by the likes of Bob Dylan, Mandy Moore, Minnie Riperton, Frank Sinatra, the Counting Crows, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Diamond, Tori Amos, the Spin Doctors, Nazareth, the Indigo Girls, and many more.
Mitchell's music made an appearance in the movie _Love Actually_ (2003) . In this mostly comedic film, actress Emma Thompson's character is a fan of Joni Mitchell's music. At one point in the movie, Thompson's character discovers that she has been betrayed by her husband for a much younger woman. She puts on a brave face for the kids, but her moment of private, painful revelation is shown on screen accompanied by an audio track that is silent except for an overdub of Joni Mitchell singing "Both Sides Now", not the original upbeat recording from the 1960s when Mitchell was a 23-year-old ingénue, but rather the recent re-recording, a somber sentimental performance by the now husky-voiced middle-aged Mitchell, backed by a lush orchestra -- a performance akin to an older, wiser Frank Sinatra singing the retrospective "It Was A Very Good Year" when he was sixty. This poignant scene is the dramatic pinnacle of the film.
Joni Mitchell remains a role model to artists everywhere. Her paintings are being shown in various galleries and on tours, and she is releasing an album of new music in 2007.
Paul Eiding, is an American actor, who is equally comfortable on stage, in front of the camera or behind a microphone. He is the voice of Perceptor, from the original Transformers, cartoon series (1985) and Transformers: The Movie (1986).
He is probably best known as Colonel Roy Campbell, in the Metal Gear Solid series. He is the narrator and Lazarus, in Diablo, Judicator Aldaris in Starcraft, and Grandpa Max Tennyson, in every Ben 10 cartoon series, including Ben 10, Alien Force, Ultimate Alien, and Omniverse, in which he also voices Blukic, Eye Guy, Liam, and others.
On camera, he appeared in Star Trek: TNG, as Ambassador Loquel. Paul has guest starred on Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Miami, The Drew Carey Show, ER, The West Wing, The Practice, My Name Is Earl, The Charmings, L.A. Law, Picket Fences, The Pretender, Providence and many other shows.
Paul, who is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, began his professional acting, directing, and writing career over 30 years ago. He sang, played bass, and directed the 3rd Infantry Div, Marne Glee Club, in Germany. Later, while creating and performing comedy sketches at the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis,Mn, Paul also contributed as a writer/actor to National Public Radio's, "All Things Considered" supplying topical satirical material. He has directed stage shows in Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and California.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1983. The following year he received both an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award and Dramalogue Award for his work in the critically acclaimed stage production of 'Cloud Nine'. He was a series regular on ABC's, The Charmings, and for two seasons, recurred as school teacher Jason Steinberg, on the highly acclaimed Picket Fences.
He is the voice of Pa Kent, in Superman vs The Elite, the bath house manager, in Spirited Away, and various characters in Pixar's Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Monsters, Inc, Up, Cars, A Bug's Life, and Monsters U.
Some other animated series work includes, The Toxic Crusaders, The Littles, Pirates Of Dark Water, The Real Adventures Of Jonny Quest, Sky Commanders, and Challenge Of the Gobots. He can be heard on classic series such as, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Swat Kats, and Animaniacs.
His video game credits are extensive. He voiced Hojo, in Final Fantasy VII, Zephyr, in Ratchet and Clank, Galmar Stonefist, Felldir, and Septimus, in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, Zeus/Gravedigger, in God Of War, Theseus, in God Of War II, and 14 characters in Fallout 3. As the Executor in Starcraft II. He's the one who tells the player, "You must construct additional pylons." or "You need more vespene gas!"
A few other games, include: Resistance 3, Rage, Resident Evil: Revelations, Mass Effect 2, HALO: Reach, Guild Wars: Eye Of The North, Guild Wars 2, Jade Empire, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Starcraft 1, 2, 3, Diablo, 1, 2, 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Paul believes in the old theatre axiom, "The more you can do, the more you will do." To that end, he continues appearing in live theatre, as well as, television, webisodes, film, cartoons, voiceover commercials and games.
He has had the absolute joy of performing on stage with his entire family. Wife, Colleen and both daughters, are all actors. He happily admits, "Clearly, we're all crazy."
Paul attends conventions, and other personal appearances all over the world and truly loves to meet fans.
Patrick Doyle is a classically trained composer.
His first film score, the acclaimed adaptation of "Henry V" with Kenneth Branagh for Renaissance films was scored in 1989. He has subsequently worked with Kenneth Branagh, a long time collaborator on numerous pictures including "Dead Again", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Frankenstein" and "Hamlet".
Patrick has composed over 45 internationally renowned feature film scores including "Indochine", "Sense and Sensibility", "Carlito's Way", "Gosford Park", "A Little Princess", "Bridget Jones's Diary", "Nanny McPhee" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".
He has collaborated with a host of internationally acclaimed film directors including Robert Altman, Ang Lee, Brian de Palma, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell, Regis Wagnier and Kenneth Branagh.
His concert works include "The Thistle and The Rose", a commission by HRH The Prince of Wales for full choir in honour of the Queen Mother's 90th birthday, "Tam O' Shanter" for the National Schools Orchestra Trust and the violin concerto "Corarsik".
He has recently completed the score for the Marvel Entertainment feature film "Thor," directed by Kenneth Branagh, "La Ligne Droite" for Regis Wagnier and the Twentieth Century Fox film "Caesar Rise of the Apes". He is currently scoring the upcoming Pixar film "Brave" directed by Mark Andrews and after which will score the Sovereign Films film "Effie" directed by Richard Laxton.
Canadian-born actor Arthur Hill was raised in the Saskatchewan town of Melfort. The son of a lawyer, he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII before receiving his college education at the University of British Columbia. Intending on following in his father's footsteps in the field of law, he supported himself in school with a job doing radio theater with the Canadian Broadcasting Co.
Continuing to pursue his interest in acting for a time in Seattle, he married fellow actress Peggy Hassard and subsequently made a major move in 1948, at age 26, to England where he slowly built up a fine, steadfast theatre reputation for himself along with occasional radio, film and TV roles. Making his London stage debut with "Home of the Brave" in 1948, he achieved major attention playing Cornelius Hackl in the Thornton Wilder classic "The Matchmaker," a role he took successfully to Broadway. Other important work on stage included "Man and Superman" (1951) and "Look Homeward Angel (1957). In 1962, he, Uta Hagen, George Grizzard and Melinda Dillon bowled over Broadway audiences as the vitriolic foursome in Edward Albee's towering drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Hill won both the Tony and New York Drama Critics awards for his role as George, the weary, broken and thoroughly browbeaten husband of Hagen's emasculating Martha.
This choice opportunity led to stable work in Hollywood films in the 1960s with stalwart support roles in The Ugly American, Harper, Rabbit, Run and The Andromeda Strain. This, in turn, led to an abundance of TV work in the 1970s where Hill found a comfortable white-collar niche as mild-mannered, gray-haired professionals and an occasional shady villain. He earned star status with his own series Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, and in such quality mini-movies as Death Be Not Proud and Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys, among others. He retired in the 1990s and later was suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He died at an assisted-living facility in Pacific Palisades, California. At the time of his death on October 23, 2006, he was survived by his second wife, Anne-Sophie Taraba (his first wife Peggy died in 1998 also of Alzheimer's complications) and son Douglas.
Charles Bukowski, the American poet, short-story writer, and novelist, was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, Jr. in Andernach, Germany on August 1920. He was the son of Henry Bukowski, a US soldier who was part of the post-World War I occupation force, and Katharina Fett, a German woman. His father, his wife and young "Henry Charles" returned to the United States in 1922, settling in Los Angeles, California, the setting of much of "Hank" Bukowski's oeuvre. With Raymond Chandler, Bukowski is the great chronicler of the City of Angels, and after John Steinbeck and Robinson Jeffers, who influenced Bukowski's poetry, he arguably is the most important and certainly one of the most influential writers produced by the Golden state.
Bukowski's childhood was marred by a violent father, who regularly beat him with a razor strop until his teen years, and then by the Great Depression. When Bukowski went through adolescence, he developed an awful case of acne vulgaris which disfigured his face and made him feel like an outsider. His father frequently was out of work during the Depression, and he took out his pain and anxiety on his son. The younger Bukowski took to drink at a young age, and became a rather listless underachiever as a means of rebellion against not only his father, but against society in general, the society his father wanted him to become a productive member of. The young Bukowski could care less.
During his school years, Bukowski read widely, and he entered Los Angeles City College after graduating from high school to study journalism and literature with the idea of becoming a writer. He left home after his father read some of his stories and went berserk, destroying his output and throwing his possessions out onto the lawn, a lawn that the young Bukowski had to mow weekly and would be beaten for if the grass wasn't perfectly cut. Bukowski left City College after a year and went on the bum, traveling to Atlanta, where he lived in a shack and subsisted on candy bars. He would continue to return to his parents' house when he was busted flat and had nowhere else to go.
At City College, Bukwoski briefly flirted with a pathetic, ad hoc, pro-fascist student group. Proud of being a German, he did not feel inclined to go to war against Hitler's Germany. When America entered World War II, Bukowski resisted entreaties from his friends and father to join the service. He began living the life of a wandering hobo and a bum, frequently living on skid row as he worked his way through a meaningless series of jobs in L.A. and other cities across the U.S. He wound up in New York City during the war after his short story, 'Aftermath of a Lengthy Rejection Slip,' was accepted by "Story" magazine. He disliked New York and soon decamped for more hospitable climes. He was content to go to public libraries and read -- he discovered the L.A. writer John Fante, whom heavily influenced his own work and whom he would champion when he became famous -- and loaf.
The story, published in "Story" in 1944, was the highlight of the first part of his writing career. He returned to Los Angeles and became a Bottle Baby in his mid-twenties, forsaking the typewriter for John Barleycorn and Janet Cooney Baker, an alcoholic ten years his senior who became his lover, off and on, for the the next decade. They would shack up in a series of skid row rooms until the money and the booze would run out, and Jane would hurt the turf. She was a tortured soul who could match Bukowski drink for drink, and she was the love of his life. They would drift apart in the mid-'50s until coming together again at the beginning of a new decade, before she drank herself to death in 1962.
Bukowski got a temporary Christmas job at the Post Office in 1952, and stuck with his job as a mail carrier for three years. In 1955, he was hospitalized in a charity ward with a bleeding ulcer that nearly killed him. He was told never to drink again, but he fell off the water wagon the day he got out of the hospital and never regretted it.
After recovering from his brush with death -- he would have died if an idealistic doctor hadn't demanded from the nurses that had left Bukowski to die that they give him a massive blood transfusion -- he began to write again: poetry. Bukowski developed into one of the most original and influential poets of the post-War era, though he was never anthologized in the United States (though those that were influenced by him were). Bukwoski, who chronicled the low-life that he lived, never gained any critical respect in America, either in the journals or in academia.
Barbara Frye, a woman born to wealth who published the small poetry magazine "Harlequin," began to publish Bukowski. She sent a letter to him saying she feared no one would marry her because of a congenital conformity essentially leaving her with no neck. Bukowski, who had never met her, wrote back that he would marry her, and he did. The marriage lasted two years. In 1958, he went back to work for the Post Office, this time as a mail sorting clerk, a job he would hold for almost a dozen hellish years.
His first collection of poetry, "Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail" was published as a chapbook in 1959 in a run of 200 copies. The influence of Jeffers is very strong in the early work. One can also detect W.H. Auden, although Bukowski never mentioned him, and he was phlegmatic whereas Auden was dry. But that same sense of an outsider looking in critically at his society was there.
Bukowski's poetry, like all his writing, was essentially autobiographical and rooted in clinical detail rather than metaphor. The poems detailed the desperate lives of men on the verge -- of suicide, madness, a mental breakdown, an economic bust-out, another broken relationship -- whose saving grace was endurance. The relationship between male and female was something out of Thomas Hobbes, and while Bukowski's life certainly wasn't short, one will find in the poetry and prose much that is brutish.
Jon Edgar Webb, a former swindler who became a littérateur with his "The Outsider" magazine, became enamored of Bukowski's work in the early 1960s. Webb, who had published the work of Lawrence Ferlenghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Henry Miller, and William Burroughs, published Bukowski, then dedicated an issue of his magazine to Buk was "Outsider of the Year," and eventually decided to publish, with his own bespoke hand press, a collection of Bukowski's poetry.
Bukowski began to establish a reputation in the small magazines that proliferated with the "mimeograph revolution" of the late 1960s, micro-circulation "magazines" run off on mimeograph and Gestetner machines. Bukowski began moving away from a more traditional, introspection poetry to more expressionistic, free-form "verse," and began dabbling in the short story, a form he became a master of. He also began a weekly column for an underground Los Angeles newspaper, "Open City," called "Notes of a Dirty Old Man." The texts of his column were collected in a collection of the same title published by Ferlenghetti's City Lights press in 1969. (City Lights also would publish his first book of short stories, entitled "Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness," in 1972).
In the column, Bukowski would introduce ideas, vignettes and stories, many of which would be further developed into the short stories that helped make his reputation. The Bukowski of the mid- to late- 1960s' and 1970s became one of the greatest short story writers that America has produced, and his reputation grew steadily in Europe. (Though a literary lion on the West Coast, Buk never was much appreciated in the New York City that he had spurned which was, after all, the arbiter of culture. Since he didn't exist in their ken, he didn't exist at all, with the surprising result for Europeans that the most popular American writer in Europe was little known by Americans.)
There was envy as Bukowski became increasingly popular. Aside from the master of kitsch Rod McKuen, Bukowski was probably the best selling poet America produced after World War II. By the end of the 1970s, he was the most popular American writer in Germany and also had a huge reputation in France and other parts of Europe. Yet, he remained virtually unknown in the United States, except among the core of the Bukowski cult who faithfully bought his books.
Bukowski's success as a writer in the 1970s can be attributed to the patronage of John Martin, a book collector and chap book publisher who offered to subsidize Bukowski to the tune of $100 a month for life. Bukowski took him up on the offer, quit his job at the Post Office in 1969, and set out to be a writer who made his living by the typewriter alone (and an occasional poetry reading). Martin established his Black Sparrow Press to print Bukowski, and Bukowski proceeded to begin his first novel while continuing to write poetry and short stories. The first novel, "Post Office," was published by Black Sparrow in 1971. The Bukowski phenomenon began to gain momentum.
Around the time he quit the Post Office, Bukowski took up with the poet and sculptress Linda King, who was 20 years his junior. They began a tumultuous relationship juiced in equal parts with sadism and masochism that extended into the mid-1970s. In his 1978 autobiographical novel "Women," Bukowski writes about how his alter ego, "Henry Chinaski," had not had a woman in four years. Now, as Bukowski became a literary phenomenon in the small/alternative press world, he became a literary if not literal Don Juan, bedding down his legions of women fans who flocked to his apartment on DeLongre Avenue in the sleaziest part of Hollywood. (It was at this time that Bukowski was friends with a dirty book store manager who was the father of Leonardo DiCaprio.)
Bukowski's alter ego in his novels, Chinaski (who significantly shares Bukowski's real first name, the name he went by; he used his middle name "Charles" for his poetry as it seemed more literary, and possibly to deny his father, who shared the same Christian name), shares an affinity with with the underground denizens of Feodor Dostoyevsky's work and the protagonists of Louis-Ferdinand Céline's novels "Journey to the End of Night" and "Death on the Installment Plan." Celine arguably is the largest influence on Bukowski's prose, aside from Hemingway (who influenced Bukowski's entire generation) and Fante. Like Celine, in World War II, Bukowski flirted with fascism (though Bukowski never descended into the anti-semitism of Celine or any other type of racism in his work); like Celine, he despised America and the brand of capitalism once known as "Fordism," assembly line industrialism and the petty consumer society Bukowski found abominable and which he tried to escape.
Chinaski is a hard-drinking, would-be womanizer who is ready to duke it out with the bums, crooks and assorted low-lives he lives and drinks amongst, though occasionally he visits high society through the ministrations of a woman. Like Bukowski himself, he will accept company but prefers to be alone to drink and listen to classical music on the radio: Beethoven, Mozart, and Mahler among others.
Chinaski was introduced in the autobiographical short-story "Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live with Beats," his first published short story, printed in chap book form in 1965. Chinaski's life is chronicled in Bukowski's novels "Post Office" (1971), "Factotum" (1975), "Women" (1978), and "Ham on Rye" (1982). Bukowski is not naturally gifted as a novelist, and while "Women" is superb and the very short "Post Office" is highly readable, "Factotum" and "Ham on Rye" are not up to the standards of Bukowski's short stories.
As his social situation evolved, Bukowski's works broadened from tales of low-lives and bums and losers; he added to his repertoire meditative and sarcastic accounts of his new life. A constant in his work became poems and short stories about the race track, to which he had been introduced by Jane back in the 1950s. The race track as metaphor suited Bukowski as it represented something more than luck or chance. A horse player had to work at it to be any good and beat the odds, and the odds were definitely stacked against the crowd as the track took its vig right off the top, when it wasn't outright and forthrightly fixing the race.
Going with the crowd was to be avoided in order to improve one's odds, and the track, the establishment, was out to f--- the bettor, but spiritual kin to Camus' Sissyphus, the bettor on nags had to have the wit to at least get the stone to the crown of the hill and avoid getting crushed as it courses its way back. The bettor was hip to the fact that the rock always fell back and would always fall back, but a good living or at least survival could be had by beating the track, beating the establishment, if the bettor knew how to play the horses. It was all a matter of developing his own system, and standing aloof from the crowd, whose dumb, manipulated enthusiasms skewed the odds. And knowing when to change to a new system, to keep ahead of the track, and the crowd. Bukowski was the antithesis of Carl Sandburg and Sandburg's "The People."
Bukowski was and would remain a literary outsider. In 1973, Taylor Hackford presented Bukowski to a wider audience via an award-winning documentary for Los Angeles public television station KCET. "Bukowski" won the San Francisco Film Festival's Silver Reel Award after being voted the best cultural film on public TV. After his relationship with Linda King petered out, Bukowski met Linda Lee Beighle, a health food restaurateur twenty-five years his junior in 1976. They became a couple and Bukowski's life became more balanced. With a stable relationship and steady royalties in the low six-figure range, Bukowski became a home owner, albeit in a middle class neighborhood in San Pedro. He now had a swimming pool, a hot tub, and drove a black BMW he paid cash for to the track. He palled around with Sean Penn and U2 dedicated a song to him at a Los Angeles concert.
The Muse, whom Buk bet on as faithfully as he did the ponies, left him when it came to the short story sometime in the 1980s. The poetry always ran through his head and down into his fingers, but it became less artful, though the powerful voice remained. Buk wrote a screenplay for Barbet Schroeder, which was made into the movie Barfly, and Bukowski became known in the United States at last. He refused to appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, but let "People" magazine interview him as in his reasoning, it would be read by normal people at the supermarket checkout lines. It was the "Crowd" he despised but honored in his own way by refusing to be part of the "better" part of society that kept them down.
Always immensely prolific when it came to his poetry, and aided by a personal computer in the '80s, Bukowski generated so much material that originals are still being published 10 years after his death. He finished his last novel, an L.A./Chandler/private detective/noir spoof called "Pulp" shortly before he lost his battle with leukemia; it, like the final poetry collection published in his lifetime, "The Last Night of the Earth Poems," is full of intimations of mortality, and of course, his mordant humor.
On March 9, 1994, in his native Los Angeles, the man Jean Genet and Jean-Paul Sartre called America's "greatest poet" died. In his short story collection "Hot Water Music," Bukwoski wrote, "There are so many," she said, "who go by the name of poet. But they have no training, no feeling for their craft. The savages have taken over the castle. There's no workmanship, no care, simply a demand to be accepted." The remarkable endurance of the man who never asked for acceptance, the endurance that took him nearly forty years beyond the near-death his drinking and despair had brought him in 1955, finally gave out, and not to the booze and the carousing and anomie, but to a cancer. Many of his fans thought it was remarkable that the "Dirty Old Man" had made it to 74, but it was a brave front: they greatly mourned the passing of their favorite writer, a man that could be read by anyone of any class or educational background.
His friend, Sean Penn, dedicated his film The Crossing Guard to Bukowski, with the words felt by many who had loved him: "Hank, I still miss you."
We still do.