Aaron Paul was born and raised in Idaho. His father is a retired Christian Baptist minister. While growing up, Paul took part in church programs, and performed in plays.
He attended Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho. It was there, in eighth grade, that Aaron decided he wanted to become an actor. He joined the theatre department and became obsessed with the idea of acting for a living. After finishing school, Aaron moved to Los Angeles.
During the late '90's, he worked as an usher at the Universal Studios Movie Theatre in Hollywood. His television debut was in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, which was followed by an appearance in another show, Aaron Spelling series, Melrose Place.
After appearing in several roles on American television, his breakthrough role came as "Jesse Pinkman" in the AMC series Breaking Bad. The character was only supposed to last for one season, but series creator Vince Gilligan changed his mind, due to Aaron's chemistry with Bryan Cranston. He has won two Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" for this role (2010, 2012).
Jennifer Garner, who has catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother Pat, a retired English teacher, and her father, Bill, a former chemical engineer, Jennifer was the middle sibling of three girls. She spent nine years of her adolescence studying ballet and describes her years in dance as ones characterized by determination rather than talent, being driven mostly by a love of the stage.
Jennifer took this determination with her when she enrolled at Denison University as a chemistry major, a decision that was later changed to a drama major when she found that her passions for the stage were stronger than her love of science. New York attracted the young actress after college where she worked as a hostess while pursuing a career in film and television. Her most recent move has been to Los Angeles, a decision that led to a role on the television series Felicity, where she met her future husband Scott Foley. The couple divorced in 2004.
Jennifer appears on television as Agent Sydney Bristow, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. For her work, Garner has received four consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She has also received four Golden Globe nominations and won once, as well as received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and won once. She has appeared in numerous other television production as well as such films as Elektra, 13 Going on 30, Daredevil, Pearl Harbor and Dude, Where's My Car?. Aside from filming Alias, Jennifer enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and inspired by her character on the series, kickboxing.
This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director of European parentage may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.
Born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hells Kitchen, the young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Stud's, the thriller Klute and the comedy Bananas. He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lord's of Flatbush. Further film and television roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000. However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.
Stallone followed Rocky with F.I.S.T, loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II. The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks and Victory failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.
The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell, and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood, also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II, which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend American pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by curt Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV. The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".
Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra was a clumsy mess, Over the Top was equally mediocre, Rambo III saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango & Cash just did not quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell.
Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne. Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar, the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, the futuristic action film Demolition Man, and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd. Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land, also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz, reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine in a terrible remake of Get Carter, climbed back into a race car for Driven, and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa, and Vietnam veteran Rambo will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.
Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.
Hayden Christensen was born on April, 19, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The young Canadian actor started his career at the age of 13 starring in several television dramas. His biggest break was a starring role on the Fox Family Network's Higher Ground. On the series, Hayden shows off his acting talent as a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother, and turns to drugs in despair. Later, he appeared in the television movie Trapped in a Purple Haze, where he co-starred with his friend Jonathan Jackson. On May 12, 2000, Hayden announced that he would be starring as Anakin Skywalker in the next two prequels Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The star was chosen by director George Lucas because he felt that Hayden had raw talent and good chemistry with actress Natalie Portman. Lucas stunned the movie world by picking the then-unknown actor after he had turned down such big names as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonathan Jackson, as well as 400 other candidates.
Danai Gurira was born in Grinnell, Iowa to parents from Zimbabwe, when her father was teaching Chemistry at Grinnell College. When she was 5, the family moved back to Zimbabwe. Gurira studied social psychology at Macalaster College, and received an MFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She is the co-author of the play, "In the Continuum", with Nikkole Salter.
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.
After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in "Art and Mrs. Bottle" (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in "A Warrior's Husband" (1932). The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement, opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women was the most successful picture of its day.
But stories were beginning to leak out of her haughty behavior off- screen and her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews. Audiences were shocked at her unconventional behavior instead of applauding it, and so when she returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in "The Lake", the critics panned her and the audiences, who at first bought up tickets, soon deserted her. When she returned to Hollywood, things didn't get much better. From the period 1935-1938, she had only two hits: Alice Adams, which brought her her second Oscar nomination, and Stage Door; the many flops included Break of Hearts, Sylvia Scarlett, Mary of Scotland, Quality Street and the now- classic Bringing Up Baby.
With so many flops, she came to be labeled "box-office poison." She decided to go back to Broadway to star in "The Philadelphia Story" (1938), and was rewarded with a smash. She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars. The film version of The Philadelphia Story, was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year, she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam's Rib, Pat and Mike, and Desk Set.
With The African Queen, Hepburn moved into middle-aged spinster roles, receiving her fifth Oscar nomination for the film. She played more of these types of roles throughout the 50s, and won more Oscar nominations for many of them, including her roles in Summertime, The Rainmaker and Suddenly, Last Summer. Her film roles became fewer and farther between in the 60s, as she devoted her time to her ailing partner Spencer Tracy. For one of her film appearances in this decade, in Long Day's Journey Into Night, she received her ninth Oscar nomination. After a five-year absence from films, she then made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, her last film with Tracy and the last film Tracy ever made; he died just weeks after finishing it. It garnered Hepburn her tenth Oscar nomination and her second win. The next year, she did The Lion in Winter, which brought her her eleventh Oscar nomination and third win.
In the 70s, she turned to making made-for-TV films, with The Glass Menagerie, Love Among the Ruins and The Corn Is Green. She still continued to make an occasional appearance in feature films, such as Rooster Cogburn, with John Wayne, and On Golden Pond, with Henry Fonda. This last brought her her twelfth Oscar nomination and fourth win - the latter currently still a record for an actress.
She made more TV-films in the 80s, and wrote her autobiography, 'Me', in 1991. Her last feature film was Love Affair, with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and her last TV- film was One Christmas. With her health declining she retired from public life in the mid-nineties. She died at the age of 96 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Smith in London, England on May 14, 1961 to mother Ann, a teacher and landscape painter, and father Ernie, an American born journalist who changed the family name to "Roth". Tim grew up in Dulwich, a middle-class area in the south of London. He demonstrated his talent for picking up accents at an early age when he attended school in Brixton, where he faced persecution from classmates for his comfortable background and quickly perfected a cockney accent to blend in. He attended Camberwell Art College and studied sculpture before he dropped out and pursued acting.
The blonde actor's first big break was the British TV movie Made in Britain. Roth made a huge splash in that film as a young skinhead named Trevor. He next worked with director Mike Leigh on Meantime, which he has counted among his favorite projects. He debuted on the big screen when he filled in for Joe Strummer in the Stephen Frears neo-noir The Hit. Roth gained more attention for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo and his work opposite Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
He moved to Los Angeles in search of work and caught the eye of young director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino had envisioned Roth as a possible Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink in his heist flick Reservoir Dogs, but Roth campaigned for the role of Mr. Orange instead, and ultimately won the part. It proved to be a huge breakthrough for Roth, as audiences found it difficult to forget his performance as a member of a group of jewelry store robbers who is slowly bleeding to death. Tarantino cast Roth again in the landmark film Pulp Fiction. Roth and actress Amanda Plummer played a pair of robbers who hold up a restaurant. 1995 saw the third of Roth's collaborations with Tarantino, a surprisingly slapstick performance in the anthology film Four Rooms. That same year Roth picked up an Academy Award nomination for his campy turn as a villain in the period piece Rob Roy.
Continuing to take on disparate roles, Roth did his own singing (with an American accent to boot) in the lightweight Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You. He starred opposite Tupac Shakur in Shakur's last film, the twisted comedy Gridlock'd. The pair received positive critical notices for their comic chemistry. Standing in contrast to the criminals and baddies that crowd his CV, Roth's work as the innocent, seafaring pianist in the Giuseppe Tornatore film The Legend of 1900 became something of a fan favorite. Grittier fare followed when Roth made his directorial debut with The War Zone, a frank, critically acclaimed drama about a family torn apart by incest. He made his next high-profile appearance as an actor as General Thade, an evil simian in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes. Roth was, of course, all but unrecognizable in his primate make-up.
Roth has continued to enjoy a mix of art house and mainstream work, including everything from the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola's esoteric Youth Without Youth to becoming "The Abomination" in the special effects-heavy blockbuster The Incredible Hulk. Roth took his first major American television role when he signed on to the Fox-TV series Lie to Me
Born in 1982 in Seattle, Erika Christensen was raised in the suburban outskirts of Los Angeles, California. At age 12, Erika knew that she was going to be an actress. Talented in acting, singing and dance, the young Christensen was determined, not just lucky; it wasn't long before she landed her first job: a commercial for national advertising giant, McDonalds. She followed up with a part in Michael Jackson's music video for "Childhood," then landed her big break: a lead role in Disney's Leave It to Beaver. Christensen was only 13 years old, but acclaimed by critics for her "chemistry" and "radiant self-assurance."
Guest spots on television followed. Christensen popped up everywhere including prime time heavy hitters like Frasier, Nothing Sacred, The Practice, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Touched by an Angel. Erika received a nomination by the Hollywood Reporter for the 1998 Young Star Award (Best Performance By A Young Actress in a TV Drama Series) for her outstanding performance in Nothing Sacred.
Erika also kept her big screen presence known, in 1999 she worked on a Disney made-for-tv movie called Can of Worms. And in 2000 Erika was able to show the world her acting chops when she took the gritty role of Caroline Wakefield, a teenage daughter of the White House Drug Czar who is herself a drug addict, in the award-winning Steven Soderbergh film, Traffic. Aside from the distinction of playing alongside Hollywood's elite, Erika earned critical acclaim for the realism of the role, and received multiple awards including Female Breakthrough Performance at the MTV Movie Awards, Female Standout Performance at the Young Hollywood Awards, and Outstanding Performance by a Cast Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
With his piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni drew on his sexy Italian heritage to grab audiences attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough stardom playing on both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his stunning portrayal of a sexually arresting, sociopathic killer in the gripping prison drama Oz on cable. Although his small screen roots were in 90s situation comedy, the network powers-that-be wisely discovered his power and allure as a dramatic star and quickly handed him his own prime-time crime series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as a not-quite-by-the-book crime detective. This one-two punch of "Oz" and "Law & Order: SVU" put Meloni, who seems to grow sexier with age, on the map and well on top, where he remains today.
Christopher Peter Meloni was born on April 2, 1961, in Washington, D.C., the son of Robert, an endocrinologist, and Cecile Meloni. Of Italian and French-Canadian parentage, he attended St. Stephen's School and played quarterback for his high school team. Developing an interest in acting rather early in life, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder following high school graduation. He initially majored in acting but wound up earning a degree in history in 1983. Acting won out in the long run, however, and Chris relocated to New York where he studied with acting guru Sanford Meisner at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse.
Supplementing his income during these lean years by taking advantage of his powerful physique (as construction worker, bouncer, personal trainer), Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder via parts in commercials. With a full head of hair in the early days, he broke into series TV in 1989, the first being the already-established cable football comedy 1st & Ten: The Championship. In this sitcom, which was HBO's very first back in 1984, Chris played ex-con quarterback Vito Del Greco (aka "Johnny Gunn"). The series' star Delta Burke had already left the cast by the time Chris came aboard in its final season.
A second sitcom arrived almost immediately with the stereotypical Italian family sitcom The Fanelli Boys featuring Chris as dim-eyed, skirt-chasing Frankie Fanelli, one of the four "dees, dem and dos" sons of Brooklynite widow Theresa Fanelli (Ann Morgan Guilbert). Despite a strong, boisterous cast, the show was painfully obvious and met an early demise. True to nature, Chris gave voice and added to the fun as a cocky, mooching high school teen who knows the "how to's" of attracting pretty girl dinos in the animated prehistoric series Dinosaurs. He also made a manly mark in mini-movies with co-starring roles in such "women" dramas as In a Child's Name starring Valerie Bertinelli, Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story, which top-lined Molly Ringwald, Without a Kiss Goodbye as the caring husband of Lisa Hartman, and the Connie Sellecca starrer A Dangerous Affair.
An interchangeable ability to convey both heartfelt sympathy and virile menace did not go by unnoticed. After minor parts on the big screen with Clean Slate, Junior and Twelve Monkeys, Chris drew strong notices in the featured role of gangster Johnnie Marzzone in the classic neo-noir Bound, which earned cult status for its sexually-charged lesbian sub-storyline. A tough recurring part on "NYPD Blue", a typical mafia role in the mini-series The Last Don and another short-lived comedic series lead (Leaving L.A.) finally led to a big payoff in the brutal and brilliant cable series Oz.
Christopher's introduction to the Oz prison as sexy, bisexual psychopath Chris Keller was powerhouse casting and he drew immediate notice and critical applause into the show's second season. Unflinching in its blood-soaked presentation of life behind bars, Chris' raw animal magnetism was unparalleled on the show and his steamy, erotic couplings with another male prisoner on screen promoted him swiftly to gay icon status. Undaunted by the possible career-damaging effects that could occur, Chris' frank acceptance and acknowledgment was admirable indeed and his outright support of human rights causes earned him high marks. The father of two (daughter Sophia Eva Pietra (born March 23, 2001), and son Dante Amadeo (born January 2, 2004), he has been married since 1995 to production designer 'Sherman Williams' (The Dark Backward).
Chris' sudden burst of cable notoriety earned him his own prime time NBC series. With the veteran "Law & Order" program developing a sister spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Meloni raised the bar with his trenchant pairing with co-star Mariska Hargitay as partners of a special victims crime unit. Despite the show's reality-driven approach, Meloni and Hargitay's dynamite chemistry carried the show to a new level. Allowing their characters' more serious flaws to surface, Meloni, in particular, managed to convey Detective Stabler's private pain and personal turmoil with a raw poignancy. Both he and Hargitay have been honored with Emmy award nominations for their work here (she has won).
Occasionally appearing on stage, Chris' theater credits include "The Rainmaker" (as Starbuck) (1998) and "Comers" (1998), both at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He earned standout reviews as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge," which he performed at Dublin's Gate Theatre in 2005. In 2006 he joined the campy proceedings at an Actors' Fund of America Benefit of the soap opera spoof "Die, Mommie Die!" starring drag illusionist and "Oz" alumnus Charles Busch.
Going on a decade's worth of service to the series that made him a household name, Meloni's TV detective is just as fresh as when the show debuted. Meloni continues to flaunt his humorous side as well, showing up on such parody shows as "Mad TV" and cracking up on the various night time TV haunts. On film he continues to shatter his dramatic image in such fare as The Souler Opposite, Wet Hot American Summer, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequel Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. While he has not found outright stardom on the big screen (he has nominally played "other man" roles in such popular films as Runaway Bride and Nights in Rodanthe), Chris has more than proved his staying power. More recently he moved forward as a writer/producer/director/star of the comedy film Dirty Movie, which also has in its cast "L&O: SVU" co-star Diane Neal. In addition, Chris supplied the voice of DC Comics classic character Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern) in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight.
Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name give to his best-selling 1988 autobiography) of Belarusian Jewish ancestry to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born in Amsterdam, New York, in 1916. Although growing up in a poor ghetto, Douglas was a fine student and a keen athlete and wrestled competitively during his time at St. Lawrence University. However, he soon identified an acting scholarship as a way out of his meager existence, and was sufficiently talented to gain entry into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He only appeared in a handful of minor Broadway productions before joining the US Navy in 1941, and then after the end of hostilities in 1945, returned to the theater and some radio work. On the insistence of ex-classmate Lauren Bacall movie producer Hal B. Wallis screen-tested Douglas and cast him in the lead role in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. His performance received rave reviews and further work quickly followed, including an appearance in the low-key drama I Walk Alone, the first time he worked alongside fellow future screen legend Burt Lancaster. Such was the strong chemistry between the two that they appeared in seven films together, including the dynamic western Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, the John Frankenheimer political thriller Seven Days in May and their final pairing in the gangster comedy Tough Guys. Douglas once said about his good friend: "I've finally gotten away from Burt Lancaster. My luck has changed for the better. I've got nice-looking girls in my films now".
After appearing in "I Walk Alone", Douglas scored his first Oscar nomination playing the untrustworthy and opportunistic boxer Midge Kelly in the gripping Champion. The quality of his work continued to garner the attention of critics and he was again nominated for Oscars for his role as a film producer in The Bad and the Beautiful and as tortured painter Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life, both directed by Vincente Minnelli. In 1955 Douglas launched his own production company, Bryna Productions, the company behind two pivotal film roles in his career. The first was as French army officer Col. Dax in director Stanley Kubrick's brilliant anti-war epic Paths of Glory. Douglas reunited with Kubrick for yet another epic, the magnificent Spartacus. The film also marked a key turning point in the life of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted during the McCarthy "Red Scare" hysteria in the 1950s. At Douglas' insistence Trumbo was given on-screen credit for his contributions, which began the dissolution of the infamous blacklisting policies begun almost a decade previously that had destroyed so many careers and lives.
Douglas remained busy throughout the 1960s, starring in many films,. He played a rebellious modern-day cowboy in Lonely Are the Brave, acted alongside John Wayne in the World War II story In Harm's Way, again with The Duke in a drama about the Israeli fight for independence, Cast a Giant Shadow, and once more with Wayne in the tongue-in-cheek western The War Wagon. Additionally, in 1963 he starred in an onstage production of Ken Kesey's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", but despite his keen interest, no Hollywood studio could be convinced to bring the story to the screen. However, the rights remained with the Douglas clan, and Kirk's talented son Michael Douglas finally filmed the tale in 1975, starring Jack Nicholson. Into the 1970s Douglas wasn't as busy as previous years; however, he starred in some unusual vehicles, including alongside a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in the loopy western comedy The Villain, then with Farrah Fawcett in the sci-fi thriller Saturn 3 and then he traveled to Australia for the horse opera/drama The Man from Snowy River.
Unknown to many, Kirk has long been involved in humanitarian causes and has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the US State Department since 1963. His efforts were rewarded in 1981 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 1983 with the Jefferson Award. Furthermore, the French honored him with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. More recognition followed for his work with the American Cinema Award (1987), the German Golden Kamera Award (1987), The National Board of Reviews Career Achievement Award (1989), an honorary Academy Award (1995), Recipient of the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) and the UCLA Medal of Honor (2002). Despite a helicopter crash and a stroke suffered in the 1990s, he remains active and continues to appear in front of the camera.
Named for the Zulu word for "power," Amandla is a force to be reckoned with. She landed the first of her Disney catalog modeling shoots when she was four years old and has shot numerous national commercials, most notably for McDonald's with Ronald McDonald, for Walmart with DJ Tony, Anthony Okungbowa from Ellen DeGeneres (LeVar Burton directed), and for Build The Dream. This moving, Boeing- sponsored PSA, which raised funds for a national memorial in Washington, D.C., honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., premiered during the weekend of President Obama's inauguration in January 2009 on Meet the Press.
In the summer and fall of 2010, the actress shot her first feature, Colombiana, an action-thriller starring Zoe Saldana whose character, Cataleya Restrepo, Amandla plays as a child. She opens the movie, setting the stage for Saldana's avenging assassin. The Luc Besson vehicle is quintessential Besson, featuring lots of daring stunts, some of which Amandla performed herself. On set to help Amandla hone her natural athletic abilities was David Belle, the French-born creator of Parkour.
In March 2011, Amandla filmed the Hallmark Channel movie A Taste of Romance. In April 2011, Lionsgate announced that Amandla had landed the role of Rue in the screen adaptation of Suzanne Collins' popular young adult series, The Hunger Games. For her heart-breaking performance, Amandla earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture. She also won (with Jennifer Lawrence) a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Chemistry.
Recent projects include the short Mercy in which Amandla stars as the daughter of Paula Patton and singer Robin Thicke, who wrote and directed, and a pilot with Craig Robinson for NBC Universal. She plays herself, poking fun at how frequently her name is mispronounced, in a skit with friend Kiernan Shipka from Mad Men for Funny or Die's Child Star Psychologist 3 with Kiernan Shipka. In November 2013, Amandla began a guest-starring stint as Macey, the daughter of Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), on Fox's Sleepy Hollow.
In addition to on-camera jobs, Amandla has put her sensitive ear to work in voice-over gigs for both film and television. Moviegoers can catch Amandla lending her voice to Rio 2 in the role of Bia, a high-flying feathery spawn of Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway). A gifted musician, she plays the violin, drums and guitar. In 2009, Amandla performed the violin with Los Angeles Unified School District's Honors Orchestra at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. Her involvement with the RockSTAR Music Education program landed her gigs on the guitar and drums at the House of Blues and the Hard Rock Café, as well as a studio session with producer/ engineer Gerry Brown, after her band won RockSTAR's Battle of the Bands. In 2013 she began playing violin with a folk rock band at venues in Los Angeles.
Amandla is a youth ambassador for No Kid Hungry (Jeff Bridges serves as spokesperson for the charity's umbrella organization, Share Our Strength), and supports the Ubuntu Education Fund, which nurtures children "from cradle to career" in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
A wholesome beauty from Reno, Nevada, Dawn Wells was on her way to becoming a ballerina, but bad knees prevented her from realizing the dream. Despite this, she did become Miss Nevada and was in the 1960 Miss America pageant. Wells majored in drama during her collegiate years (she was originally going to study chemistry) and after graduation moved to Hollywood and got parts in several popular television series. Wells got the part of Mary Ann Summers in Gilligan's Island, after CBS decided not to go with Nancy McCarthy (who played Bunny, the forerunner to Mary Ann). After "Gilligan" ended its three-year tour, Wells found work in the theatre and a few movies, but mostly talk shows that emphasized reunion themes. Lately, she has been in a popular commercial for Western Union, capitalizing on her Mary Ann character.
William Holden came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. His father William Franklin Beedle was an industrial chemist and his mother Mary Blanche Ball a teacher. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College, he was signed to a film contract by Paramount. His first starring role was as a young man torn between the violin and boxing in Golden Boy. From then on he was typecast as the boy-next-door.
After returning from World War II military service, he got two very important roles: Joe Gillis, the gigolo, in Sunset Blvd., and the tutor in Born Yesterday. These were followed by his Oscar-winning role as the cynical sergeant in Stalag 17. He stayed popular through the 1950s, appearing in such films as Picnic. He spent much of his later time as co-owner of the Mount Kenya Safari Club, dividing his time between Africa and Switzerland.
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.
This Queens-born actor has certainly proven himself adept at everything from quirky comedy to flat-out melodrama. Born on March 4, 1961, to a Borscht Belt comic and a nightclub singer, Weber was already appearing in TV commercials by elementary school age. He later studied at the High School of the Performing Arts in New York and graduated from New York State University. The fair-haired, fair-skinned actor worked a series of menial jobs during his salad days as a struggling thespian (custodian, elevator operator, singing waiter) until earning his break on TV in a presentation of one of Mark Twain's stories. Quickly making his film debut in the popular comedy The Flamingo Kid, he nabbed a running role on the soap opera As the World Turns a year later. On the set he met first wife Finn Carter, another co-star on the daytime drama. Steven stayed put for a year then went on to gain recognition in more offbeat and/or prestigious productions on film and primetime TV. He played a rock star in the thoroughly offbeat foreign-made film Los ángeles and showed real command as John F. Kennedy in the epic miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts.
That same year TV stardom came his way with the sitcom Wings. Co-starring with Tim Daly as Brian Hackett, the looser, goofier more aimless half of the brotherly team who co-owned a one-plane, Nantucket-based airline, the actors' chemistry, not to mention a terrifically eclectic supporting cast, kept the show on a steady course for seven seasons. Easily typed now as a genial, lovable loser type, Weber faced the prospect of severe pigeon-holing. So during the show's off season, he started showing up in more serious roles. He suffered at the hands of the deranged Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female; appeared in a second chiller with The Temp; and made a cameo in the highly depressing, award-winning Leaving Las Vegas. He truly impressed both critics and audiences alike as the complex title character in Jeffrey, a gay romantic film comedy, and then completely defied all odds by starring in an epic TV-movie version of Stephen King's horror classic The Shining, seizing the role inherited from Jack Nicholson and brilliantly making it his own while earning a Saturn award for his chilling efforts.
By the time "Wings" came to an end in 1997, Weber had divorced wife Finn (they had no children) and married actress/TV executive Juliette Hohnen. The couple married on July 9, 1995 and have since had two children, Jack and Alfie. Since then Steven has remained quite productive. He and Laura Linney were selected to play the TV-movie leads in the popular A.R. Gurney theater piece Love Letters. While other TV series comebacks have fared less well, including the short runs of The Weber Show and The D.A., Steven bounced back in other venues. In 2002, he joined the cast of the smash Broadway musical "The Producers," taking over the nebbish Matthew Broderick role. In 2004, he went to London to appear on stage with Kevin Spacey and Mary Stuart Masterson in "National Anthems." Other plays over the years have included "Throwing Your Voice," "Something in the Air" and "Design for Living." In addition to giving voice occasionally to a few animated film and TV characters, he returned fruitfully to Stephen King territory in 2006 with two major TV projects.
The second of three children born to a dentist and his wife in Nashville, Tennessee, Denton grew up in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, attended Goodlettsville High School, briefly played basketball at a junior college, then went on to graduate with honors from the (national champion) University of Tennessee at Knoxville, snagging a degree in advertising as a television/journalism major on the way out the door.
Even though his father was involved in community theater, Jamie didn't jump in until he was 23, during the Tennessee bicentennial in Nashville, Tennessee. His role as "George Gibbs" in a production of "Our Town" turned out to be only the first in a long line of plays that he would do, first in Nashville and then, later, in North Carolina, Chicago and California.
Although he spent the next four years selling advertising for two radio stations and then for the CBS affiliate in Nashville, Jamie's heart was already in another place and, after a short stint in North Carolina, he headed to Chicago to try his hand at acting full-time.
In Chicago, his first role was as "Stanley" in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and his last was as the terrorist "Bebert" in the French farce "Lapin Lapin". In the years that came between the two, JD was a company member at The Griffin Theater and at Strawdog Theater Ensemble. He added a steady string of roles and accolades to his quickly growing list of achievements, including one of the leads in the world premiere of "Flesh and Blood", performing in and composing the music for "the Night Hank Williams Died", and his portrayal of Kentucky preacher "C.C. Showers" in "The Diviners" - which gained him a much coveted nomination for a Best Actor Joseph Jefferson Award (Chicago's only theater award). A small part in The Untouchables (the series, not the movie), JAG, Sliders and Dark Skies. A spot on Moloney, a pilot for ABC called "L.A. Med" and a stint on the silver screen in That Old Feeling, were preludes to his first appearance as "Mr. Lyle" on The Pretender. Immediately afterward, JD made another pilot, this time for his own series, "The Hanleys". When ABC shelved the sitcom at the last minute, Denton continued producing chilling portrayals as "Mr. Lyle" on NBC's The Pretender, as a series regular.
Summer of 1999 found Jamie heading back to the theater, starring in the world premiere of the play, "In Walked Monk". During the 4th season of The Pretender, Jamie added three more guest-starring roles to his credits - the first on Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, another on Ally McBeal and the last on the hugely popular The West Wing. That summer, he co-starred in "Asylum", at The Court Theatre and, at the end of the year, headed for Canada to film two MOWs for TNT - The Pretender 2001 and The Pretender: Island of the Haunted. 2001 found Jamie back at ABC after Steven Bochco cast him as "Judge Augustus "Jack" Ripley", in his struggling new series, Philly. Viewers liked "Judge Ripley" and hopes were high that the sizzling on-screen chemistry between Jamie's character and the one portrayed by Kim Delaney would convince ABC to give the show another season to improve its ratings. Ironically, Jamie was in Australia, promoting Philly, when he received word that ABC had passed on renewing the show for a second season. Jamie ended 2002 with a two-part guest-starring role on The Drew Carey Show.
Jamie returned as a guest star on JAG in 2003, and pilot season landed him the opportunity to once again head up the cast of an ABC series in Threat Matrix, a Touchstone production offering up fictionalized events relating to terrorist activity around the world. Jamie played "John Kilmer", the man who lead the ultra-covert team of anti-terrorist specialists and who answered solely to the President of the United States. The timely and serious role also gave Jamie the opportunity to change his professional billing from "Jamie Denton" to "James Denton". Only days before the annual up-fronts in New York, where the major networks announce their new fall season line-ups, ABC picked up the show for September, 2003.
Although Threat Matrix held its own in one of the worst time-slots of the season (sandwiched between the hugely popular "Survivor" and the last season of Friends), ABC nonetheless pulled the series after only fourteen episodes aired (sixteen episodes were filmed). Threat Matrix was officially canceled on the same day as Jamie's role as "Mike Delfino" on Desperate Housewives, a new ABC series scheduled for the Fall, was announced at the 2004 up-fronts in New York.
On October 3, 2004, Desperate Housewives garnered incredible ratings with its debut episode and ABC picked up the rest of the first season before the end of the month. Less than three months later, Jamie was included in People Magazine's 2004 "Sexiest Men Alive" issue.
During the first and second seasons of Desperate Housewives, Jamie managed to schedule a sweeps week guest star spot on Reba and, toward the end of the second season, played the role of "Brother John Brown" in Ascension Day.
Years after composing the music for and performing in "The Night Hank Williams Died" - a play from his days in Chicago - Jamie accepted an invitation that was proffered to him by Greg Grunberg (Heroes) and became a singer and guitar player for a band that was first known as "16:9" and then, later, as "The Band From TV". Other members of the band include, and have included, (the founder and drummer)Greg Grunberg, Hugh Laurie (keyboards, House M.D.), 'Bonnie Somerville' (singer, Cashmere Mafia) and Bob Guiney (singer, Bachelor #4 on The Bachelor). The band largely plays at Hollywood events but does, on occasion, play elsewhere. The band donates any money that it makes to charities that are selected by each of its primary members. When the WGA writer's strike of 2007 shut down production on TV series, there was talk of a tour for the temporarily unemployed band members. A CD that the band made in 2007, "Hoggin' All The Covers" is available for sale at Amazon.com. In addition, at least one of the band's songs are on the soundtrack for House M.D. and two of its songs, "Minnie the Moocher" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want", are available for purchase on iTunes.
2007 was a busy year for Denton. In addition to traveling all over the country in order to lend his celebrity to dozens of charitable causes, he also completed three projects - ABC's Masters of Science Fiction's episode, The Discarded; Custody, which aired on Lifetime and Tortured.
The same year, Denton, a lifelong fan of baseball, joined an Orange County investment group that purchased the Golden Baseball League Team, "The Fullerton Flyers". Shortly after the purchase and, although the team's home field remained at Cal State Fullerton, the group changed the name of the team to "The Orange County Flyers". Not content to merely be an investor, Jamie took as active a role as his schedule and the team structure allowed, attending try-outs, where he had a hand in selecting some of the players during his first season as a co-owner, and attending quite a few of the home games.
When "Housewives" isn't in production, JD still takes part in other productions. These have included Group Sex and bringing the voice of "Superman" to life in the animated video, All-Star Superman. Most recently, he played the role of "Slim" in the soon to be released movie, Karaoke Man.
In April, Jamie announced on the Christopher Gabriel radio program that he and his family will be moving to Minnesota in August of 2012 and that he will pursue whatever comes next from there.
Penny Marshall was born Carole Penny Marshall in the Bronx, New York, on October 15, 1943. The Libra is 5' 6 1/2" with brown hair and green eyes. Born to parents Marjorie Ward and Anthony "Tony" Marshall (he changed his last name from Masciarelli after his family moved to the states), she is the younger sister of Garry Marshall and Ronny Hallin.
Penny was known in her family as "the bad one"... because not only did she walk on the ledge of her family's apartment building, but she snuck into the movies as a child and even dated a guy named "Lefty." She attended a private girls' high school in New York and then went to the University of New Mexico for 2 1/2 years. There, Penny got pregnant with daughter, Tracy Reiner, and soon after married the father, Michael Henry, in 1961. The couple divorced two years later in 1963. She worked as a secretary for awhile. Her first film debut came from her brother Garry Marshall, who put her in the movie How Sweet It Is! with the talented Debbie Reynolds and James Garner. She also did a dandruff commercial with Farrah Fawcett - the casting people, of course, giving Farrah the part of the "beautiful girl" and Penny the part of the "plain girl." This only added to Penny's insecurity with her looks.
She then married Rob Reiner on April 10, 1971, shortly after getting her big TV break as Oscar Madison's secretary, Myrna Turner, on The Odd Couple. She also played Mary Richards' neighbor, Paula Kovacks, on Mary Tyler Moore for a couple of episodes. However, her Laverne & Shirley fame came when her brother needed two women to play "fast girls" who were friends of Arthur Fonzarelli and would date Fonzie and Richie Cunningham on Happy Days. Penny had been working on miscellaneous writing projects ("My Country Tis Of Thee", a bicentennial spoof for Francis Ford Coppola and "Paper Hands" about the Salem Witch Trials) with writing partner Cindy Williams. Cindy happened to be a friend and ex-girlfriend of Henry Winkler's, so Garry asked the two to play the parts of these girls. The audience saw their wonderful chemistry, and loved them so much, a spin-off was created for them.
Penny was well-known as Laverne DeFazio. She and Rob had a terrible divorce in 1980. The show ended three years later, half a year after Cindy Williams left the show due to pregnancy (her first baby, Emily, from now ex-husband Bill Hudson)... they wanted Williams to work the week she was supposed to deliver.
Soon after, Penny began directing such films as Jumpin' Jack Flash, Big and A League of Their Own. Her hobbies include needlepoint, jigsaw puzzles and antique shopping. She is best friends with actress Carrie Fisher and is godmother to Carrie's daughter, Billie.
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, United Kingdom. She is the oldest of three children with a younger sister, Philippa ("Pippa") Charlotte and a younger brother, James William.
Her mother Carole worked as a flight attendant while her father Michael worked as a flight dispatcher; both for the British Airways. They married on the 21st June 1980 and founded 'Party Pieces', a successful mail order company that sells party supplies and decorations in 1987.
Catherine and her family moved to Amman in Jordan in 1984 where her father worked for the British Airways for two and a half years. Catherine and her sister, Philippa, attended a nursery school in Jordan.
In 1986, Catherine and her family returned to their home in West Berkshire, United Kingdom, where she started St. Andrew's School in Pangbourne and remained there until 1995. Catherine went on to Marlborough College Wiltshire, where she studied Chemistry, Biology and Art at A-level. She also took part in sporty activities such as tennis, hockey, netball and athletics.
At the age of 18, Catherine undertook a gap year, where she studied at the British Institute in Florence, Italy and participated in a Raleigh International programme in Chile. She also joined as a crew member on Round the World Challenge Boats in the Solent.
In 2001, Catherine enrolled at the University of Saint Andrews in Fife, Scotland and graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in History of Art. During her time at university, she continued her interest in sport by playing hockey for the university team. It was at university where Catherine met her future husband, Prince William of Wales.
Since she completed her university degree, Catherine worked for her parents company, Party Pieces, as well as a part-time buyer in Jigsaw Junior in London.
In October 2010, during a private holiday in Kenya, her long term boyfriend, Prince William of Wales, proposed with his mother's engagement ring. The engagement was publicly announced on the 16th November 2010 at a press conference and photocall in the State Rooms of St. James Palace in London. A pre-recorded TV interview with the couple followed.
They married on the 29th April 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London and Catherine was formally titled The Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, and Baroness Carrickfergus.
The Duchess of Cambridge has been branded a style icon with many of her outfits selling out. Ranked #8 on Tatler's list of best dressed women in 2007. Vanity Fair named her #1 Best Dressed in 2010, 2011, and 2012, while UK Harper's Bazaar named her #1 Best Dressed in 2011.
Her hobbies include recreational sports such as hill walking, tennis, swimming, sailing, and the arts such as photography and painting.
The Duchess of Cambridge is patron of Action on Addiction and the National Portrait Gallery, and royal patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices and The Art Room. She is also a volunteer with the Scout Association.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Jessica Pimentel is an American actress whose parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She is a Latina of mixed heritage including Taino Native American. She is a graduate of the High School for the Performing Arts (a.k.a. "Fame") in New York City and the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, also in New York City, where she holds a degree in Theater Arts where she was awarded the Cleavon Little scholarship and was a member of the professional acting company. She has traveled around the United States, Canada and Japan as both a classical violinist and a punk rock/Hardcore musician and has played at various notable venues such as CBGB and Carnegie Hall. She is also a student of many styles of dance and martial arts. She is a lover of mathematics and science (cosmology, astronomy, physics and chemistry) and a student of theology and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, logic and debate in the Gelugpa Tradition of the Dalai Lama and was trained by the former abbot of Sera Mey Monastery, H.E. Sermey Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tharchin. Some of her theater credits include the American Stage production of the Pulitzer prize winning play 'Anna in the Tropics' and the Shakespeare Theater's production of a 'A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings' adapted by Nilo Cruz. She was also seen in the leading role of Mathilde in the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater's production of 'The Clean House' by Sarah Ruhl and the Seattle Repertory Theater's production of Eduardo Machado's 'The Cook' which dealt with the effects of the rise of communism in Cuba over a span of 40 years. In 2008 she played the role of Juliet in an abridged, contemporary version of 'Romeo and Juliet' in a Theatreworks USA production national tour and originated the role of Lupita in the off Broadway show sponsored by The Women's Project 'Aliens with Extraordinary Skills' by Romanian playwright Saviana Stanescu. Jessica is also the lead vocalist and recording guitarist for the Brooklyn, NY based heavy metal band Alekhine's Gun and Bassist for NY heavy metal/ Hardcore band Desolate. She is a featured and endorsed artist for Spector basses, Halo guitars and Krank Amps.
Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn suffered from severe asthma. Although she loved movies, she was often too sick to attend, so she listened to her favorites, Danny Kaye and Spike Jones and read as many movie fan magazines as she could. She dreamed of attending the famed Pasadena Playhouse and received many awards at school for speech, poetry, and dramatics. In 1947, she was accepted as a student at the Pasadena Playhouse, and her grandfather agreed to pay for her classes. She worked in summer stock to supplement her income, graduating in 1950. She gave herself a complete head-to-toe makeover, including painful cosmetic nose surgery to make herself ready for movie roles. Working as an understudy at the Players Ring Theater, she stepped in when the star left to get married. She was seen by a talent scout from Paramount and given a screen test, which went well. She made her first appearance in The Turning Point. She did some other work during her 6-month contract, but when it ended, Paramount, suffering from television's impact, let it lapse. She quipped, "They let me and 16 secretaries go!"
She started working in television but kept busy on stage as well. There she met Aaron Spelling, and they became a couple. She made a breakthrough in the 3-D movie House of Wax and garnered excellent reviews. Aaron was still struggling, so he felt he wasn't able to propose to Carolyn; she finally proposed to him. They were married in April 1953. Neither was earning much, but they really enjoyed each other and their life. Many saw them as an ideal couple. Carolyn decided against children, since she felt she could not juggle the demands of both a career and a family.
Columbia Pictures saw her and wanted to test her for the part of prostitute Alma Burke in From Here to Eternity, but she got extremely sick with pneumonia and the part went to Donna Reed instead. She did, however, achieve success in the sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a subtle allegory of the times (McCarthyism). Aaron had little success as an actor and Carolyn pushed him to become a writer, even threatening to leave him. She constantly promoted his scripts whenever she could and he was ultimately hired by Dick Powell. Carolyn meanwhile was successful once more in The Bachelor Party (famous line, "Just say you love me--you don't have to mean it!"). For this role, she surprised cast members by dying her hair black and cutting it short. This stunning look served her well for a number of roles. For her eight minutes on screen, she received glowing reviews and was nominated for an Academy Award but lost. She followed this with an impressive appearance in King Creole, generally regarded as Elvis Presley's best film. She then gave arguably her best performance ever in Career, but the film was not commercially successful. She played a serious role in this, leaving the kooky role she might have played to Shirley MacLaine.
As Aaron's career soared, the marriage started to fail. They separated in October 1963 and were amicably divorced in August 1964, with Carolyn asking for no alimony. They remained friends. She worked at various roles until she got the part for which she will best be remembered, that of Morticia Addams in The Addams Family. She spent two years in this role. Her costume was designed to copy the cartoon drawings and no doubt inspired such imitators as Cassandra Peterson (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark). The show went head-to-head with The Munsters and Bewitched. The quite blatant sexual chemistry between Morticia and her husband Gomez (John Astin was shocking for the time, perhaps only matched by the sexuality displayed in "Bachelor Party" and "King Creole."
The show was a big hit and she received all the fame she had craved. However, the network decided to cancel the show, despite its success, after only two years. Typecast as Morticia but without the income that a few more years would have provided, she found life difficult and roles few. While acting on the road, she married her voice coach, Herbert Greene, a well-known and respected Broadway conductor and musical director, and they moved together to Palm Springs, California. After seven years, she left him and returned to Hollywood, determined to try to restart her career. She was surprisingly successful and performed in several shows, including an episode of Fantasy Island in 1978, a show on which Aaron was the producer. She played Myrna Clegg on the soap Capitol from 1982 to 1983, despite having been diagnosed with colon cancer in 1981. She had aggressive treatment for the cancer, but it returned during her time on the show and she was told it was terminal.
She played some scenes despite being confined to a wheelchair and working in great pain. Although they knew she was dying, she married her boyfriend of five years, Peter Bailey-Britton, in September 1982. She died on August 3, 1983. Carolyn told her sister that she wanted her epitaph to be "She gave joy to the world." She certainly had many friends who loved her greatly, and many fans who enjoyed her wonderful performances.
She has a wonderful, extremely engaging "feel good" quality about her, an innate warmth that makes you root for her whether she's playing a stubborn single mom, brittle prostitute, or strung-out alcoholic. Marsha Mason was a resoundingly respected and popular film actress of the 1970s and 1980s whose career skyrocketed in the bittersweet comedies/dramas of award-winning Neil Simon. Earning a string of leading lady Oscar nominations within a short span of time (three of them, courtesy of husband Simon), Marsha's movie career suffered a major fall-out when the famed couple parted ways in 1983 -- most probably due to her almost exclusive, amazingly successful association with him.
The elder of two sisters born to James Joseph Mason and Jacqueline Helena (Rachowsky) Mason in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 3, 1942, Marsha was raised, for a time, in Crestwood, Missouri, before moving to Webster Groves (a suburb of St. Louis) and graduating from Nerinx Hall High School. There, she attended Webster University and, after receiving her degree, moved to New York where she began taking acting classes and finding some work in TV commercials in-between regular job-hunting.
Marrying fellow struggling actor Gary Campbell in 1965, Marsha made an inauspicious movie debut with the forgettable Hot Rod Hullabaloo. Focusing intently on stage work, she made her professional debut in 1967 with "The Deer Park" at the Theatre de Lys and, the next year, joined the cast as a replacement in the established hit comedy, "Cactus Flower", at the Royale Theatre. Subsequent work came her way both on- and off-Broadway ("It's Called the Sugar Plum", "The Indian Wants the Bronx", "Happy Birthday, Wanda June", "Richard III"). She later hooked up with San Francisco's prestigious American Conservatory Theatre and appeared in an enviable number of their productions ("The Merchant of Venice", "Private Lives", "You Can't Take It With You", "A Doll's House", "Cyrano de Bergerac", "The Crucible"). Daytime soaps played a vital part during this period of time (1969-1972), playing a hooker-turned-vampire on the popular Dark Shadows series and winning regular roles on Where the Heart Is and Love of Life. Divorced in 1970, the pert-nosed, dark-haired beauty met Neil Simon, a recent widower, when he cast her in his 1973 original Broadway production of "The Good Doctor". They had a whirlwind romance and married with a few weeks. 1973 was an excellent year in other ways in that she won the second femme lead in Blume in Love, starring George Segal and Susan Anspach, and then beat out such stars as Barbra Streisand for the coveted role of the hooker opposite James Caan's sailor in the realistic drama Cinderella Liberty. The chemistry was electric between the two and Mason earned her first Oscar nod. Following a leading stage role in "The Heiress" (1975) and playing "Roxane" in a TV version of Cyrano de Bergerac, Marsha earned two more Neil Simon-driven Oscar nominations with The Goodbye Girl, opposite Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss, and Chapter Two, which reunited her with James Caan and was based on Mason and Simon's own relationship.
Simon would offer his wife Oscar-worthy material one more time with Only When I Laugh, as an alcoholic trying to stay on the wagon for daughter Kristy McNichol. This would be her fourth and final Academy Award nod. The couple's last film project together came in the form of Max Dugan Returns, which was a major misfire. Marsha's divorce that same year from Simon took the wind right out of her sails as her film product decreased rapidly in quantity as well as quality. With the exception of the Clint Eastwood vehicle, Heartbreak Ridge, she made no other films in the 1980s. While her film output did increase in the 1990s, none of them -- Stella, Drop Dead Fred, I Love Trouble, Nick of Time and 2 Days in the Valley -- did anything to jump-start her waning cinematic career.
Over the years, Marsha maintained by focusing on TV and stage work. More recent theatre credits have included "The Night of the Iguana", "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" (another popular Simon work in which she appeared opposite Richard Dreyfuss in London), "Wintertime", "Steel Magnolias", "I Never Sang for My Father", "All's Well that Ends Well" and the Simon play "California Suite", some of which played Broadway. On the small screen, she starred in her own short-lived series Sibs and appeared in an Emmy-nominated recurring role on the series, Frasier, as a love interest for Martin Crane. She has also appeared in a number of TV-movies, including one as Judy Garland's mother, "Ethel Gumm", in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, and has guest-starred on such series as Seinfeld, Lipstick Jungle, Army Wives and The Middle. On a rare occasion, she has directed in both of these mediums. Feeling out of sorts in Hollywood at one stage, Marsha strongly pursued her spiritual side, primarily as a disciple of Swami Muktananda. She later moved to New Mexico in 1993 and she became an owner of an organic farm where she raised herbs and operated a wellness line of bath and body products. She also enjoyed professional race car driving at one point. An insightful, highly revealing autobiography came out in the form of "Journal: A Personal Odyssey" in 2000.
Ana is a big fan of comic books. She started reading them when she was just a little girl. When she was little she amongst her favorites comics were: ''The Phantom'', ''Batman'', ''Superman'', ''The crow'', ''Princ Valiant'', ''Sandman''.
Quit working on the series ''Chemistry''right after the first season due to excessive nudity that was required for her character.
Lymari came to Los Angeles in 2001, and at 22 years old finished her Masters degree in Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, where she also took acting classes.
After graduating, she went on to work in theater in San Juan. Her first TV show, a sitcom based on her own experiences in grad school, was developed by ABC but was never screened, and she is now in the process of re-writing the show.
Few in modern British history have come as far or achieved as much from humble beginnings as Glenda Jackson has. From acclaimed actress to respected MP (Member of Parliament), she is known for her high intelligence and meticulous approach to her work. She was born to a working-class household in Birkenhead, where her father was a bricklayer. When she was very young, her father was recruited into the Navy, where he worked aboard a minesweeper. She graduated from school at 16 and worked for a while in a pharmacy. However, she found this boring and dead-end and wanted better for herself. Her life changed forever when she was accepted into the prestigious Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art (RADA) at the age of 18. Her work impressed all who observed it. In addition, she married Roy Hodges at 22.
Her first work came on the stage, where she won a role in an adaptation of "Separate Tables", and made a positive impression on critics and audiences alike. This led to film roles, modest at first, but she approached them with great determination. She first came to the public's notice when she won a supporting role in the controversial film Marat/Sade, and is acknowledged to have stolen the show. She quickly became a member of Britian's A-List. Her first starring role came in the offbeat drama Negatives, in which she out-shone the oddball material. The following year, controversial director Ken Russell gave her a starring role in his adaptation of the 1920s romance Women in Love. The beautifully photographed film was a major success, and Jackson's performance won her an Academy Award for Best Actress. In the process, she became an international celebrity, known world-wide, yet she didn't place as much value on the status and fame as most do. She did, however, become a major admirer of Russell (who had great admiration for her in return) and acted in more of his films. She starred in the controversial The Music Lovers, even though it required her to do a nude scene, something that made her very uncomfortable. The film was not a success, but she agreed to do a cameo appearance in his next film, The Boy Friend. Although her role as an obnoxious actress was very small, she once again performed with great aplomb.
1971 turned out to be a key year for her. She took a risk by appearing in Sunday Bloody Sunday, as a divorced businesswoman in a dead-end affair with a shallow bisexual artist, but the film turned out to be another major success. Also, she accepted the starring role in the British Broadcasting Corporation's much anticipated biography of Queen Elizabeth I, and her performance in the finished film, Elizabeth R, was praised not only by critics and fans, but is cited by historians as the most accurate portrayal of the beloved former queen ever seen. That same year, she appeared in the popular comedy series The Morecambe & Wise Show in a skit as Queen Cleopatra, which is considered on of the funniest TV skits in British television, and also proof that she could do comedy just as well as costume melodrama. One who saw and raved about her performance was director Melvin Frank, who proceeded to cast her in the romantic comedy A Touch of Class, co-starring George Segal. The two stars had a chemistry which brought out the best in each other, and the film was not only a major hit in both the United States and Great Britian, but won her a second Academy Award. She continued to impress by refusing obvious commercial roles and seeking out serious artistic work. She gave strong performances in The Romantic Englishwoman and The Incredible Sarah, in which she portrayed the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt. However, some of her films didn't register with the public and her marriage fell apart in 1976. But her career remained at the top and in 1978 she was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire. That year, she made a comeback in the comedy House Calls, co-starring Walter Matthau. The success of this film which led to a popular television spin-off in the United States the following year. In 1979, she and Segal re-teamed in Lost and Found, but they were unable to overcome the routine script.
During the 1980s, she appeared in Hopscotch also co-starring Walter Matthau, and HealtH with Lauren Bacall, with disappointing results, although Jackson herself was never blamed. Her performance in the TV biography Sakharov, in which she played Yelena Bonner, devoted wife of imprisoned Russian nuclear scientist Andrei Sakharov opposite Jason Robards, won rave reviews. However, the next film Turtle Diary, was only a modest success, and the ensemble comedy Beyond Therapy was a critical and box office disaster.
As the 1980s ended, Jackson continued to act, but became more focused on public affairs. She grew up in a household that was staunchly supportive of the Labour Party. She had disliked the policies of Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, even though she admired some of her personal attributes, and strongly disapproved of Thatcher's successor, John Major. She was unhappy with the direction of British government policies, and in 1992 ran for Parliament. Although running in an area (Hampstead and Highgate) which was not heavily supportive of her party, she won by a slim margin and immediately became its most famous newly elective member. However, those who expected that she would rest on her laurels and fame were mistaken. She immediately took an interest in transportation issues, and in 1997 was appointed Junior Transportation Minister by Prime Minister Tony Blair. However, she was critical of some of Blair's policies and is considered an intra-party opponent of Blair's moderate faction. She is considered a traditional Labour Party activist, but is not affiliated with the faction known as The Looney Left. In 2000, she ran for Mayor of London, but lost the Labour nomination to fellow MP Frank Dobson, an ally of Blair's, who then lost the election to an independent candidate, Ken Livingstone. In 2005, she ran again and won the nomination, but lost to Livingstone, winning 38% of the vote. When Blair announced he would not seek reelection as Prime Minister in 2006, Jackson's name was mentioned as a possible successor, although she didn't encourage this speculation.
An only child, Robert Fuller was born as: Buddy Lee in Troy, New York, where his stepfather, Robert Simpson, Sr., was both a dance instructor and a Naval Academy officer, and Betty Simpson, was also a dance instructor. He and his family moved to Key West, Florida, where Lee had been raised.
Between acting and dancing, those were the highlights of his life, especially that his parents owned a dancing school. In actuality, his parents were both the best dancers. They kept having the best chemistry together until one day, his mother suffered a pinch nerve, which ended her dancing career for good, thus, his father had to dance independent, and with his son, at the same time. Obviously, Fuller is a good dancer, too, as he carried on his parents' tradition. After dropping out of the Miami Military Academy in 1948, he traveled to Hollywood with his family, a couple of years later, where Fuller's first job was a stuntman, that he worked for additional hours.
His first small role was 1952's Above and Beyond. This part led to landing in a few small roles such as I Love Melvin, also in 1953, he again had another minor part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which starred Marilyn Monroe. Fuller's career came to an abrupt hold when he was drafted into the Korean War. He did some tour of duty in Korea, and came back a couple of years later after the war had ended. At one point, he was going to end his acting career meaning he had absolutely no future for himself. At his parents' suggestion, when Fuller was aged 22, he attended Richard Boone's acting class that changed his life, for the better, at least. At the same time, he also restarted his acting career, after Richard Boone gave Fuller the "thumbs up" of attending his classes. His teacher at the school was Sanford Meisner at New York City's, Neighborhood Playhouse, the college where Fuller studied.
He had yet another small role in Friendly Persuasion, where he worked with his future Laramie co-star John Smith. Director William Wyler suggested to Fuller that he would grow sideburns for the role, when the actor actually had fake sideburns. When Wyner finally saw Fuller's real sideburns, he asked him to play the role and he got the offer he couldn't refused. The following year, his first major movie role was Teenage Thunder. In order to get the role, he would have a stage fight with Chuck Courtney to call the director for the part Fuller wanted to play in. At first, Paul Helmick considered taking Edd Byrnes for the part, but Fuller got the part, after he and Courtney had been longtime friends. That same year, he also starred in the movie The Brain from Planet Arous.
Fuller became a full-fledged star in 1959 for the role of Jess Harper on Laramie, a part that made him something of a sex symbol. When Fuller talked to the vice-president of talent, he thought that he was going to be written out of the show, but as soon as Patrick Kelly told Fuller that he enjoyed the actor's work, just one year ago, and Kelly decided that Fuller would be interested in doing a Western series, and Fuller has had a promising future, but later, tension ran high when Fuller wanted him to star in yet another television series opposite Academy-Award winner Ray Milland called Markham. He was offered the role, but turned down the part, therefore, he came to Laramie. He auditioned for the role, read the script and enjoyed it, however, tensions were still running high when Kelly wanted Fuller to play the role of Slim Sherman, but still, Fuller had never changed his mind in playing the role of Jess Harper, a character he fell in love with, since he auditioned. Already, Kelly told Fuller that the role of Jess Harper had been given to John Smith (who was under contract with Revue). And again, Fuller didn't change his mind, a third time, and the two guys went on their own separate ways without a promise. Also, his co-star from Friendly Persuasion, John Smith had been offered the role of Slim Sherman and hindsight indicated that those were the best roles for both Fuller and Smith. If it hadn't been for the role change, then Laramie wasn't born. During its first season, it was a smash hit, among many other 1960s Western series, and Fuller was the most handsome man on the set, gaining popularity with dozens of fans, all around the world. In fact, Fuller said that it was one of the roles he ever played on television. In one of the episodes, he met a popular singer Julie London, who would later co-star with Fuller on Emergency!, and would become friends until her death, late in 2000. When the show was canceled in 1963, due to low ratings, Fuller moved on to another Western, Wagon Train.
After well-known producer, Jack Webb saw him in the movie, The Hard Ride, Webb strongly insisted Fuller on starring in a brand new medical/crime drama series for NBC titled, Emergency!, opposite his longtime and bestest friends, Julie London and Bobby Troup. Fuller was happy about the deal, and he said to Webb that he didn't want to play a doctor, but Webb fought harder. He besought him on playing the role of head physician, Dr. Kelly Brackett, and Fuller, at the very last minute chose to do it, which was a Jack Webb thing to do. In addition to London and Troup, both newcomers Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe, also starred in the series, who would become best friends for life. During its first season, as a midseason replacement in the 1971-1972 season, it was a smash hit, as the show was seen in over 70 countries as the show also tackled real-life issues that both of Fuller's co-stars would try their best to save lives with, and it was Fuller's along the rest of his co-stars jobs to save them before each one was pronounced dead. On the pilot episode of Emergency!, two of Adam-12 main stars, Martin Milner and Kent McCord guest-starred on one episode to help stir in most of the Emergency! audiences and their ratings, though the show wasn't a popular spin-off of Adam-12. In later years, both Milner and McCord would guest-star in a couple more episodes, during and after Adam-12. Fuller and the rest of his co-stars also guest-starred on Adam-12, for one episode in 1972. Although the show enjoyed its popularity, it was never nominated for Emmies, however, his secondary series' lead and best friend Julie London was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1974, but didn't win. As Fuller continued playing Dr. Kelly Brackett, in later years, both Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe started directing some episodes of the show, Fuller himself never directed any episodes. Also on two separate episodes, his former co-star, John Smith, played a fire captain. In 1977, after a six season run, Emergency! was put on hiatus, despite good ratings. The following year, it revived a second time as a midseason replacement to sign up for six more episodes, until canceling for good in 1979.
As Fuller matured in the 1980s and 1990s, he played 20 more character roles in a lot of groundbreaking television, on both The Fall Guy and Diagnosis Murder, where he was reunited with Emergency! co-star, Randolph Mantooth. Towards the end of his acting career, he had a recurring role as the old, retired ranger, Wade Harper, the great, great, great grandson of Laramie's, Jess, on Walker, Texas Ranger, opposite Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard Jr.. He retired from acting and is currently one of the presenters of Festival of The West with his best friend of over 55 years, James Drury.
|Dawna Lee Heising
Dawna Lee Heising is a member of SAG-AFTRA. She will play The Oracle in Danica Fontaine's Ethyrea fantasy/adventure series of films, and is a publicist for Ethyrea LLC. Dawna will also play The Snake Woman and produce director Mark Savage's "Circus of Dread". She is cast as Michelle in Laguna Films/Firefly Films "Past Due" and as Stella in Longshot Productions "Mouthpiece". Dawna is the executive producer and host of the television show "Eye on Entertainment", and is the Hollywood Correspondent for MoreHorror.com. She won a 2013 EOTM Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for "Eye on Entertainment".
Dawna belonged to Sal Romeo's Friends and Artists Theatre Group in Los Angeles for many years, and has appeared in numerous film, TV and theatre productions, including performing as Dana in "Barbie & the Rockers" at Universal Studios; Cleo the Snake Dancer in "Magnum, P.I."; and Miss Hawaii in "Fantasy Island". Dawna had leads in Creepersin Films' "Fork You", Steve Oakley and Domiziano Arcangeli's "Waiting for Dracula" and Mandy SooHoo's "Unfinished Sonata". She received excellent reviews for her role as the purse designer Joan in Jared Masters' "Slink", and won Best Actress for her role as Naomi Perkins in "Teachers' Day" at the 2014 Mockfest Film Festival.
Dawna has a B.S. in Business Management and MBA from Pepperdine University, and is the CEO of Eye on Excellence Productions and Eye on Excellence PR. She has an A.A. in Theatre Arts and A.S. in Chemistry from Cypress College, and has studied acting at the University of California at Berkeley. She has trained with acting teachers Sal Romeo, Mark Majarian and Guy Stockwell, as well as at Tepper-Gallegos and the South Coast Repertory Theatre. She continues to study acting with Tim Russ, Richard Hatch and June Barfield. Her uncle is famed Director of Photography Tak Fujimoto.
Dawna is the current Miss SortFLIX International 2013-2014. She was Ms. World 2008; Ms. Universe 2009; Mrs. California United States 2000; Mrs. American Achievement 2001; and Miss Celebrities of Facebook 2012. She is also a former Miss Los Angeles Chinatown; Miss Orange County Universe: Miss San Francisco Universe; and Miss California Hemisphere, among other titles. She has worked as a swimsuit model for Ujena; Venus Swimwear; and Catalina. She is trained in ballet and jazz dancing, Tae Kwon Do, kick boxing and pole dancing.
Tall, sandy haired, mustachioed actor from Texas born Justus McQueen, who adopted the name of the character he portrayed in his first film, Battle Cry. Jones, with his craggy, gaunt looks, first appeared in minor character roles in plenty of WWII films including The Young Lions, The Naked and the Dead, Hell Is for Heroes and Battle of the Coral Sea. However, 1962 saw him team up with maverick director Sam Peckinpah for the first of Jones' five appearances in his films. Ride the High Country saw Jones play one of the lowlife Hammond brothers. Next he appeared alongside Charlton Heston in Major Dundee, then Peckinpah cast him, along with his real-life friend Strother Martin, as one of the scummy, murderous bounty hunters in The Wild Bunch. Such was the chemistry between Jones and Martin that Peckinpah teamed them again the following year in The Ballad of Cable Hogue, and Jones' final appearance in a Peckinpah film was in another western, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. Two years later Jones directed the cult post-apocalyptic film A Boy and His Dog starring a young Don Johnson. He has continued to work in Hollywood, and as the lines on his craggy face have deepened, he turns up more frequently as crusty old westerners, especially in multiple TV guest spots. He turned in an interesting performance as a seemingly good ol' boy Nevada cowboy who was actually a powerful behind-the-scenes player in state politics who leaned on Robert De Niro's Las Vegas mob gambler in Martin Scorsese's violent and powerful Casino.
Joan Hackett was never one of your conventional leading ladies. Directors sometimes found her difficult to work with. Yet, this strong-minded perfectionist had an unquenchable individuality that came through in her performances and she never hesitated being unglamorous whenever the role demanded. Born of an Italian mother and an Irish-American father in East Harlem on March 1 1934, teenage Joan left school during twelfth grade to become a model. On the cover of Harper's Junior Bazaar in 1952, the attractive brunette turned down the resulting offer of a contract with 20th Century Fox and opted instead for acting classes at Lee Strasberg's Actor's Studio.
Joan made her Broadway debut in the John Gielgud production of "Much Ado About Nothing" in 1959 and also appeared in her first television episode that year. In 1961, she had her first success in an off-Broadway play, "Call Me By My Rightful Name", winning three awards including an Obie. A later stage performance, "Night Watch" (1972), based on a play by Lucille Fletcher, saw her playing an emotionally disturbed woman with such intensity that Clive Barnes of The New York Times described her performance as "beautifully judged". From 1961 to 1962, Joan had regular work in the CBS courtroom drama series The Defenders (starring E.G. Marshall), playing social worker "Joan Miller", fiancée of one of the partners in the law firm. During the remainder of the decade, she guest-starred in many top-rated TV shows, from Twilight Zone to Bonanza and Ben Casey (an Emmy-nominated performance). She also played the second "Mrs. de Winter" in a Television version of Daphne Du Maurier's classic "Rebecca".
Joan's off-beat personality likely limited her career in films. She was first featured as one of eight Vassar graduates making up The Group, a 150-minute Sidney Lumet-directed part-satire, part-soap-opera, examining the lives and loves of the protagonists over the years. Her next motion pictures allowed Joan considerably more screen time. She co-starred with Charlton Heston in the moody, idiosyncratic western Will Penny. She gave a decidedly understated, subtle performance as the down-to-earth frontier woman who befriends the hero, shares in his ordeals, then is left by him when he realizes that there is no future in their relationship. In stark contrast was her role in the western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff!. She was very much in her element as feisty, accident-prone mayor's daughter "Prudy Perkins". In this film, she displayed a talent for visual comedy reminiscent of Lucille Ball, but otherwise rarely seen since silent films. There was also great chemistry and clever verbal interaction between her and co-star James Garner, as the newly appointed sheriff, who catches her character in various embarrassing situations.
She was also featured in the lackluster spy film Assignment to Kill, followed by the predictable "Baby Jane" look-alike TV thriller How Awful About Allan. Joan then gave assured performances in two Subsequent thrillers, the stylish The Last of Sheila, and the made-for-TV disguised remake of Diabolique, Reflections of Murder with Sam Waterston. There were to be few roles of interest until Only When I Laugh. The film, based on Neil Simon's play "The Gingerbread Lady", won Joan a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. By that time, she was already so ill with cancer that she had to travel to the award ceremony in a wheelchair.
Joan Hackett was well-known as a social activist, embracing solar energy and losing causes, such as the preservation of the old Morosco Theatre in Times Square, with equal fervor. According to personal friends, she accepted her fate with equanimity and dignity, dying at the age of just 49 in a hospital in Encino, California, in October 1983.
The original ash-blonde "iceberg maiden", Madeleine Carroll was a knowing beauty with a confident air, the epitome of poise and "breeding". Not only did she have looks and allure in abundance, but she had intellectual heft to go with them, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Birmingham University at the age of 20. The daughter of a French mother and an Irish father, she briefly held a position teaching French at a girls seminary near Brighton, but was by this time thoroughly determined to seek her career in the theatre--much to her dad's chagrin. Madeleine's chance arrived, after several failed auditions (and in between modeling hats), in the shape of a small part as a French maid in a 1927 West End production of "The Lash". Her film debut followed within a year and stardom was almost instantaneous. By the time she appeared in The W Plan, Madeleine had become Britain's top female screen star. That is not to say, however, that she was a gifted actress from the outset. In fact, she learned her trade on the job, finding help along the way from established thespians such as Seymour Hicks and Miles Mander. Most of her early films tended to focus on that exquisite face, and bringing out her regal, well-bred--if rather icy--personality. Her beautiful speaking voice enabled her to make the transition to sound pictures effortlessly.
Following a year-long absence from acting (and marriage to Capt. Philip Astley of the King's Guards) she returned to the screen, having been tempted with a lucrative contract by Gaumont-British. The resulting films, Sleeping Car and I Was a Spy, were both popular and critical successes and prompted renewed offers from Hollywood. However, on loan to Fox, the tedious melodrama The World Moves On did absolutely nothing for her career and she quickly returned to Britain--a fortuitous move, as it turned out. Alfred Hitchcock had been on the lookout for one of the unattainable, aloof blondes he was so partial to, whose smoldering sexuality lay hidden beneath a layer of ladylike demeanor (other Hitch favorites of that type included Grace Kelly and Kim Novak). Madeleine fitted the bill perfectly. The 39 Steps, based on a novel by John Buchan, made her an international star. The process was not entirely painless, however, as Hitchcock "introduced" Madeleine to co-star Robert Donat by handcuffing them together (accounts vary as to how long, exactly, but it was likely for several hours) for "added realism". In due course the enforced companionship got the stars nicely acquainted and helped make their humorous banter in the film all the more convincing.
Hitchcock liked Madeleine and attempted to repeat the success of "The 39 Steps" with Secret Agent, but with somewhat diminished results (primarily because Donat had to pull out of the project due to illness and Madeleine's chemistry with John Gielgud was not on the same level as it was with Donat). Nonetheless, her reputation was made. After Alexander Korda sold her contract, she ended up back in Hollywood with Paramount. Initially she was signed for one year (1935-36), but this was extended in 1938 with a stipulation that she make two pictures per year until the end of 1941. The studio publicity machine touted Madeleine as "the most beautiful woman in the world". This was commensurate with her being given A-grade material, beginning with The General Died at Dawn, opposite Gary Cooper. For once, Madeleine portrayed something other than a regal or "squeaky clean" character, and she did so with more warmth and élan than she had displayed in her previous films. She then showed a humorous side in Irving Berlin's On the Avenue; had Tyrone Power and George Sanders fight it out for her affections in Lloyd's of London (on loan to Fox); and turned up as a particularly decorative--though in regard to acting, underemployed--princess, in The Prisoner of Zenda. Thereafter she had hit the peak of her profession in terms of salary, reportedly making $250,000 in 1938 alone. For the remainder of her Hollywood tenure, Madeleine co-starred three times with Fred MacMurray (the most enjoyable encounter was Honeymoon in Bali), and opposite Bob Hope in one of his most fondly remembered comedies, My Favorite Blonde. Then it all started to come to an end.
Having lost her sister Guigette during a German air attack on London in October 1940, Madeleine devoted more and more of her time to the war effort, becoming entertainment director for the United Seamens Service and joining the Red Cross as a nurse under the name Madeleine Hamilton. She was unable to rekindle her popularity after the war, her last film of note being The Fan, a dramatization of Oscar Wilde's play. She made a solitary, albeit very successful, attempt at Broadway, with a starring role in the comedy "Goodbye, My Fancy" (1948), directed by and co-starring a young Sam Wanamaker. There were a few more TV and radio appearances but, for all intents and purposes, her career had run its course. Britain's most glamorous export to Hollywood became increasingly self-deprecating, rejecting further overtures from producers. Instead, she became more committed to charitable works on behalf of children, orphaned or injured as the result of the Second World War.
Madeleine spent the last 21 years of her life in retirement, first in Paris, then in the south of Spain. Two of her four ex-husbands included the actor Sterling Hayden and the French director/producer Henri Lavorel. Last of the quartet was Andrew Heiskell, publisher of 'Life' magazine. She died in Marbella in October 1987. In her private life, the trimmings of stardom seemed to have mattered little to Madeleine. As to her status as a sex symbol, she was once said to have quipped to a group of collegians who had voted her the girl they'd most like to be marooned with on a desert island, that she would not object, provided at least one of them was a good obstetrician!
Portraying Tricia Nixon in Ron Howard's Oscar-nominee "Frost/Nixon" launched Jenn Gotzon as an indie, award winning actress starring in several inspirational films.
After being told by her high school drama teacher she wouldn't make it as an actress, Gotzon buckled down an studied the craft of acting in the big apple at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Gotzon then moved to California and landed a string of bit parts featured in big productions like Ang Lee's "Hulk", Sean William Scott starrer "Role Models", Sundance pleaser "500 Days of Summer", along with Emmy-winning TV series "Pushing Daisies" and "House". In 2008, big parts in smaller productions came her way, too, including 168 Film Festival 2008 best film winner "Stained" (short) that earned her the fest's best actress award for her lead role as a political prisoner. At Wildwood By-The-Sea (NJ) Film Festival she was named Rising Star of the year for her leading lady turn in the speed-dating romantic comedy short "Chemistry" whose fest director Paul Russo described Gotzon as "having the acting depth of Kate Winslet and the charisma of Reese Witherspoon." October 2013, the Film Advisory Board awarded Jenn Gotzon for her role in "Doonby" and one week later, won the best actor award at the Pocono Film Festival in Pennsylvania for her role in "God's Country". Since the Pennsylvania native got her break, ironically, on Pennsylvania Avenue in a small role as President Nixon's First Daughter Tricia in "Frost/Nixon" (directed by one of Hollywood's greatest directors Ron Howard), Gotzon's dream began coming true. Since 2010, she starred in 14+ feature films that either impact or inspire audiences: romance-mystery-drama "Doonby" opposite "The Dukes of Hazzard" heartthrob John Schneider; political-thriller "Dragon Day" about a Chinese cyber-takeover of the U.S with Scoot McNairy (Argo); French and Indian War true-story drama nominated for an Oscar for Best Song "Alone Yet Not Alone" in which she plays an historical British captive; musical with a twist of faith "September Skies"; entertaining family Ferrari driving dramedy "God's Country" directed brilliantly by her husband Chris Armstrong, inspirational drama "I Am Gabriel" starring tv's Superman Dean Cain, 1940's old Hollywood comedy "The Screenwriters" with "October Baby" star Jason Burkey, crime suspense thriller "Untouched" as Savannah's powerhouse district attorney, drama "Right to Believe", drama "Out of Ashes", romantic comedy "Princess Cut", first silent faith-based feature "The Good Book", crime action drama "Forgiven" with tv's beloved Hercules Kevin Sorbo, family tv pilot "Heaven Help Us" starring Nancy Stafford as Gotzon's mom and Lee Meriweather as Gotzon's grandmother, along with Lamon Record's newest artist Sean Guerrero's music video "Walls." Gotzon became a spokesperson for Brooklyn based New Evangelical TV (Net TV) broadcasting in 6 million+ homes, AMTC and is in development on a talk show "The Jenn Gotzon Show - Inspiring Audiences" which is compared to Opera meets Inside the Actors Studio. All projects are socially relevant, inspirational projects and movements that endeavor to make a positive difference in people's lives. Gotzon developed a motivational mentor-outreach program, "Inspiring Audiences," where she speaks to high school students, screens her movies and shares her journey on overcoming life's obstacles to educate and encourage how they, too, can follow their heart's desire and live their dreams.
Jenn Gotzon is happily married to award-winning director Chris Armstrong and lives in Los Angeles.
A Saturday Night Live cast member since 1995 - and still going on - comedian Darrell Hammond remains the sketch TV show's strongest and funniest performer. As well as being part of skits where he had chemistry with other cast members, Hammond won audiences over with dead-on impersonations of various celebrities and Hollywood figures, such as Vice Presidents Dick Cheney and Al Gore, President Bill Clinton, Hardball with Chris Matthews host Chris Matthews, Sean Connery (who constantly bothered Alex Trebek, played by fellow cast alumni, Will Ferrell, during "Celebrity Jeopardy" skits), Regis Philbin, Donald Trump and many more. Despite his shaky movie resume (The King and I and New York Minute), Hammond is still a revelation whenever it comes to SNL.
More recently known for his ongoing 2011 - 2012 SNL Republican Primary coverage and spot-on portrayal of sometimes - candidate Donald Trump.
Also in May 2011 Darrell published his first auto-biography: God If You're Not Up There I'm F*cked: Tales of Stand-Up, Saturday Night Live, and Other Mind-Altering Mayhem. This book tells how a childhood filled with abuse led to his career as a mimic and impersonator extraordinaire.
|George Roy Hill
Combative director George Roy Hill never hit it off with the critics, despite the fact that two of his films -- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting -- had remained among the top ten box office hits by 1976. His work was frequently derided as 'impersonal' or lacking in stylistic trademarks, Andrew Sarris famously referring to it as 'idiosyncratic odious oiliness'. Hill himself didn't help his own cause by shunning the limelight, avoiding appearances on chat shows and often keeping the press off his sets. In a rare interview for a book by Edward Shores in 1983, he declared: "I find publicity distasteful and I don't think it does the picture any good to focus on the director" (LA Times, Dec. 28 2002). Conversely, Hill was 'commercially reliable', a winner with the public and with the academy, picking up an Oscar and a Director's Guild Award for "The Sting" and a BAFTA for "Butch". At his best, he was an 'actor's director', a gifted storyteller with a powerful sense of narrative and a nostalgic flair for detail. His world was inhabited by individualists, often outsiders or loners, harbouring unattainable ideals or fantasies or trying to escape from the realities of a humdrum existence. According to biographer Andrew Horton, Hill framed "a serious view of life in a comic-ironic vein, manipulating genres for his own purposes" (A. Horton, "The Films of George Roy Hill", p.7).
Hill was born to a wealthy Roman Catholic family of Irish background (owners of the Minneapolis Tribune) and educated at private school, followed by graduate studies in music at Yale under the auspices of composer Paul Hindemith. While at university, he became involved with the Yale Dramatic Society and was at one time elected its president. After his graduation, he served as a transport pilot with the U.S. Marines for the duration of the Second World War. He was recalled as a night fighter pilot for the Korean War, rising to the rank of major. Hill had a lifelong passion for flying, which often reflected in his films (he held a pilot's license from the age of seventeen and later acquired a 1930 Waco biplane, which he took on spins in his spare time -- whenever he was not indulging his other favourite pastimes of reading history or listening to recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach). In 1949, he gained his B.A. in literature from Trinity College, Dublin. Remaining in Ireland, he first acted on stage with Cyril Cusack's company, making his debut in "The Devil's Disciple" at the Gaiety Theatre. He then appeared on Broadway in "Richard II" and "The Taming of the Shrew". After Korea, he divided his time between writing/directing live anthology TV (1954-59) and directing plays on and off Broadway (1957-62).
Hill's cinematic breakthrough came with Period of Adjustment, featuring an up-and-coming Jane Fonda (Hill had previously directed the original Tennessee Williams play on Broadway, featuring Barbara Baxley in the Fonda part). After eliciting strong performances from both Geraldine Page and Wendy Hiller in his filming of Lillian Hellman's Toys in the Attic, he followed with a moderately successful comedy The World of Henry Orient, which centred around a second rate pianist (Peter Sellers) as the object of fantasies by two female adolescents. This sort of put him on the map. However, his fourth film, Hawaii, shot at the cost of $15 million, was a critical and box office failure, though quickly redeemed by the exuberant Thoroughly Modern Millie, one of the best musicals of the 1960's (and possibly the zaniest ever made!). Hill was then instrumental in securing the serendipitous pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford for the first of his two mega hits, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". He tenaciously fought studio executives who envisaged more seasoned performers like Jack Lemmon and Warren Beatty (or, possibly, Steve McQueen) in the respective parts. Hill's military discipline and predilection for stubbornness prevailed, while it was Newman who worked on Hill in setting the humorous tone for the picture. "Butch and Sundance" effectively reinvigorated the western genre. The Newman-Redford chemistry resumed with the best caper comedy of its day, "The Sting", which was inspired by the exploits of Fred and Charlie Gondorf, famous practitioners of the 'big store' confidence racket in the early 1900's. Complete with a clever trick ending, this was, arguably, Hill's crowning achievement. He used very little camera movement and shot the picture in the 'flat camera style' of the typical Warner Brothers gangster films of the 30's and 40's. The in-between chapter titles were inspired by The Saturday Evening Post, a widely-read weekly publication of the period. Aided by Henry Bumstead's elaborately constructed 'aged' sets, rotogravure cinematography by Robert Surtees and costumes by Edith Head, the film grossed some $68.4 million in its initial run and garnered seven Oscars.
None of his later efforts even came close to emulating these successes, not even a pet project, The Great Waldo Pepper, for which Hill provided the original story (about a pioneer flying ace (Redford) whose quest to prove himself is stymied by progress and changing values). Slap Shot, a drama about minor league ice hockey, was another near miss. It failed to find mass audience support despite the star power of Paul Newman, mainly because of its excessive violence and crass language, though it gained something of a cult following among sports enthusiasts in later years. Hill sadly rounded off his career with a lame duck farce, misleadingly titled Funny Farm. After that, Hill left Hollywood to teach drama at Yale. He also donated original materials, including story boards, interviews, stills, scene sketches and set designs from the making of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and Slaughterhouse-Five to the Sterling Memorial Library in New Haven, Connecticut. One of few entirely unpretentious, self-effacing film makers whose directness and confrontational manner unnerved actors (Newman and Redford excepted!) and studio execs alike, Hill died in New York from Parkinson's Disease on December 27 2002.
Forrest Tucker, best known to the Baby Boom generation as Sergeant O'Rourke on the classic TV sitcom F Troop, was born on February 12, 1919, in Plainfield, Indiana. He began his performing career at age 14 at the 1933 Chicago "Century of Progress" World's Fair, pushing big wicker tourists' chairs by day and singing at night. His family moved to Arlington, Virginia, where he attended Washington-Lee High School in 1938.
Big for his age, as a youth Tucker was hired by the Old Gayety Burlesque Theater in Washington, DC, to serve as a Master of Ceremonies for the burly-cue after consecutively winning Saturday night amateur contests. He was fired when it was found out that he was underage. When he turned 18, he was rehired by the Old Gayety.
After graduating from high school in 1938, the 6'4", 200-lb. Tucker played semi-pro football in the Washington, DC, area. He also enlisted in the National Guard and was assigned to a cavalry unit in Ft. Myers, Virginia. He started at the top when he entered the movies, in a supporting role in William Wyler's The Westerner opposite Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan, who won his third Oscar for portraying Judge Roy Bean in the picture. He got the role during his 1939 vacation from the Old Gayety, which shut down due to the District of Columbia's horrible summers in the days before air conditioning was common.He was signed to the part in the Wyler picture, which required a big fellow with enough presence for a fight scene with the 6'3" superstar Cooper.
Tucker moved to California and began auditioning for parts in films. After "The Westerner", it was off to Poverty Row, where he appeared in William Beaudine's Emergency Landing at rock-bottom PRC (Producers Releasing Corp.). He was soon signed by Columbia and assigned to the B-pictures unit, though he was lent to MGM for the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn vehicle Keeper of the Flame, his last film before going off to World War II.
Tucker served as an enlisted man in the Army during the war, being discharged as a second lieutenant in 1945. He returned to Columbia and resumed his acting career with an appearance in the classic film The Yearling. He signed with Republic Pictures in 1948, which brought him one of his greatest roles, that of the Marine corporal bearing a grudge against gung-ho sergeant John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima. At Republic Tucker was top-billed in many of the "B' pictures in the action and western genres the studio was famous for, such as Rock Island Trail, California Passage and Ride the Man Down, among many others. In 1958 he broke out of action / western pictures and played Beauregard Burnside to Rosalind Russell's Auntie Mame, the highest grossing US film of the year. It showed that Tucker was capable of performing in light comedy.
Morton DaCosta, his director on "Auntie Mame", cast Tucker as "Professor" Harold Hill in the national touring production of The Music Man, and he was a more than credible substitute for the great Broadway star Robert Preston, who originated the role. Tucker made 2,008 appearances in The Music Man over the next five years, then starred in "Fair Game for Lovers" on Broadway in 1964.
However, it was television that provided Tucker with his most famous role: scheming cavalry sergeant Morgan O'Rourke in "F Troop", which ran from 1965 to 1967 on ABC. Ably supported by Larry Storch, Ken Berry and James Hampton, Tucker showed a flair for comedy and he and Storch had great chemistry, but the series was canceled after only two seasons. It has, however, remained in syndication ever since.
Following "F Troop", Tucker returned to films in supporting parts (having a good turn as the villain in the John Wayne western Chisum) and character leads (The Wild McCullochs). On television he was a regular on three series: Dusty's Trail with Bob Denver; The Ghost Busters, which reunited him with Larry Storch; and Filthy Rich. Tucker was also a frequent guest star on TV, with many appearances on Gunsmoke and in the recurring role of Jarvis Castleberry, Flo's estranged father, on Alice and its spin-off, Flo. He continued to be active on stage as well, starring in the national productions of Plaza Suite, Show Boat, and That Championship Season. He also toured with Roy Radin's Vaudeville Revue, a variety show in which, as a headliner, he told Irish stories and jokes and sang Irish songs.
Tucker returned to the big screen after an absence of several years in 1986, playing hero trucker Charlie Morrison in the action film Thunder Run. His comeback to features was short-lived, however, as he died on October 25, 1986, in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, of complications from lung cancer and emphysema. He was 67 years old. Tucker was buried in Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Stewart Granger was born James Leblanche Stewart in London, the grandson of the actor "Luigi Lablache". He attended Epsom College but left after deciding not to pursue a medical degree. He decided to try acting and attended Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art, London. By 1935, he made his stage debut in "The Cardinal" at the Little Theatre Hull . He was with the Birmingham Repertory Company between 1936 and 1937 and, in 1938, he made his debut in the West End, London in "The Sun Never Sets". He joined the Old Vic company in 1939 appearing in 'Tony Draws a Horse' at the Criterion and 'A House in the Square' at the St Martins He had been gradually rising through the ranks of better stage roles when World War II began, and he joined the British Army in 1940. However, he was eventually disabled (1942) which brought his release from military service.
With a dearth of leading men for British movies he quickly landed his first film opportunity The Man in Grey for Gainsborough Pictures. This was the first installment of the company's successful series of romance films. Not to be confused with American actor James Stewart, James Leblanche Stewart became Stewart Granger (though he was "Jimmy" to his off-screen friends). But the film work was unsatisfying. He was forever cast as the dashing hero type, while fellow up-and-coming actor James Mason always garnered the more substantial Gainsborough part. When Mason got the nod from Hollywood, Granger inherited better parts and, in some star company in one case, the sophisticated Caesar and Cleopatra with Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh and a very young bit player already being noticed, Jean Simmons. Grangers lead roles to the end of the decade were substantial, but Simmons was unwittingly moving on into British film history with small but memorable roles for David Lean, Michael Powell, and, in a big way, Laurence Olivier, as "Ophelia" in his historic Hamlet for which she received an Oscar nomination. Granger and she were brought together as co-stars in the comedy Adam and Evalyn. This time around, the chemistry off-camera was there as well, and they became engaged. About the same time, Granger's hope of interesting Hollywood was realized for him and his bride-to-be. He married and signed with MGM in 1950. Once in Hollywood, he was getting star billing leads in romantic roles that the audiences loved, but he found them still unsatisfying. He also found himself heir apparent to Errol Flynn as a swashbuckler in two popular films: the remake of The Prisoner of Zenda and Scaramouche. He and Simmons were paired in Young Bess, where Granger had the romantic lead, but Simmons was the focus of the movie.
Through the 50s, the films of each might have fairly equal production values, but as the fortunes of Hollywood go, Simmons was the more memorable star in films that were more popular-some very big hits, the later Elmer Gantry and Spartacus. That sort of undeclared competition for a married Hollywood couple was poison to the marriage. In 1960, they divorced. Granger did a lot of work in Germany, along with some in Italy and Spain in the 60s. Interestingly, in the same period Simmons was finding the same lack of challenging roles in the US. In the 70s and 80s, Granger was relegated to small screen subsistence with regular TV roles along with a few movies and a stint on the New York stage. And ironically, Simmons was in the same boat during that period. Granger's typecasting was nothing new, but certainly his often scathing criticism of Hollywood and its denizens that came out in his autobiography "Sparks Fly Upwards" was understandable and rang true with so many other stories dealing with illusive stardom. Though he was candid in his disgust with his whole career - and admittedly he did not have the depth for the range of roles allotted to bigger named actors - nonetheless he always turned in solid performances in the roles that became his legacy.
Ethel Barrymore was the second of three children seemingly destined for the actor's life of their parents Maurice and Georgiana. Maurice Barrymore had emigrated from England in 1875, and after graduating from Cambridge in law had shocked his family by becoming an actor. Georgiana Drew of Philadelphia acted in her parents' stage company. The two met and married as members of Augustin Daly's company in New York. They both acted with some of the great stage personalities of the mid Victorian theater of America and England. The Barrymore children were born and grew up in Philadelphia. Though older brother Lionel Barrymore began acting early with his mother's relatives in the Drew theater company, Ethel, after a traditional girl's schooling, planned on becoming a concert pianist.
The lure of the stage was perhaps congenital, however. She made her debut as a stage actress during the New York City season of 1894. Her youthful stage presence was at once a pleasure, a strikingly pretty and winsome face and large dark eyes that seemed to look out from her very soul. Her natural talent and distinctive voice only reinforced the physical presence of someone destined to command any role set before her. After the opportunity to appear on the London stage with English great Henry Irving in "The Bells" (1897) and later in "Peter the Great" (1898), she returned to New York to star in the Clyde Fitch play "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines" (1901) (produced by her friend and benefactor Charles Frohman), which brought her initial American acclaim. Lead roles, such as Nora in Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" (1905) and starring in "Alice By the Fire" (also 1905), "Mid-Channel" (1910) and "Trelawney of the Wells" (1911) proved her popularity as a warm and charismatic star of American stage. In the meantime she married stockbroker Russell Griswold Colt in 1909 and gave birth to three children while continuing her acting career.
Although the stage was her first love, she did heed the call of the silver screen, and though not achieving the matinée idol image that younger brother John Barrymore garnered in silent movies after similar chemistry on stage, she won over audiences from her first film appearance in The Nightingale. However, her early film roles, steady through 1919, took a back seat to continued stage triumphs: "Declassee" (1919), her impassioned Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" (1922), "The Second Mrs. Tanqueray" (1924) and, especially, "The Constant Wife" (1926).
She harnessed her considerable talents in the role of an activist as well, being a bedrock supporter of the Actors Equity Association and, in fact, had been a prominent figure in the actors strike of 1919. By 1930 she was entering middle age and her movie roles reflected this. Except for Rasputin and the Empress with her brothers, the roles were elderly mothers and grandmothers, dowager ladies and spinster aunts. Perhaps wisely she put off Hollywood for over a decade, with stage work that included her most endearing role in "The Corn is Green" (a tour that lasted from 1940 to 1942). She finally moved to Southern California in 1940.
Yet the consummate actress glowed still in the films that came steadily in the mid-'40s and through much of the 1950s. As the mother of Cary Grant in the pensive None But the Lonely Heart she started off her late film career brilliantly by receiving the Oscar for Best Actress in a supporting role, though she was not satisfied with that effort. Her engaging wit and humanity stood out in even supporting roles, such as, the politically savvy mother of Joseph Cotten in The Farmer's Daughter and, once again with Cotton, as sympathetic art dealer Miss Spinney, with those eyes, in the haunting screen adaptation of Robert Nathan's novel Portrait of Jennie. There was also a mingling of some TV work to round out her last movies in the late 1950s. In 1955 she saw her book "Memories, An Autobiography" see publication. For the enduring legacy she had already begun years before, a theater named for her was dedicated in New York in 1928. When she passed away in 1959, she was interred near her brothers at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
Deborah Rosan was born in Les Abîmes, Guadeloupe, a French Department in Caribbean. She is the third of four children. As a child, due to her love for Science, Deborah decided to become a Researcher, and studied Chemistry. She has got her first speaking role in a French documentary based on the ex french President Charles De Gaulle in 2010. So, straight after finishing her Master Degree, she moved in England to learn English. During her trip, she has appeared in a few movies such as Street Dance 2, Cuban Fury and Edge Of Tomorrow. After watching great actors performed on set, she decided that she wanted to make acting her career and took acting classes.
Paul Logan, an accomplished martial artist, stuntman and actor may be one of the hidden jewels in the treasury of action cinema to not [yet] hit superstar status. Born in the state of New Jersey on October 15, 1973, Paul Logan attended SUNY Purchase (State University of New York) completing a degree study in bio-chemistry before moving to Los Angeles to study Chiropratic at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. Logan's career in acting began after deciding to pursue it full-time. In 1996, Paul Logan embarked on his new career path. After a few small parts on a few early films and television episodes, Logan gained better screen time with the movie Killers. He notched several other credits to his performing belt through the course of the 1990s and into the 21st century. In the mid 2000s, Paul Logan worked in several fantasy, Sci-Fi and/or creature films. The first of these was The Curse of the Komodo followed by the supernatural horror film Way of the Vampire in which he starred as Dracula. Next he appeared in the creature/horror film Komodo vs. Cobra. From 2001-2005, Logan appeared on Days of Our Lives as a recurring character. Between 2009 and 2010, Logan worked with small-budget TV/direct-to-video production company The Asylum. His first project with that company was the 2009 disaster thriller MegaFault (starring the late Brittany Murphy ). Logan's second project that same year was in the Sci-Fi "man vs machine" film The Terminators. His third film with The Asylum saw him in a leading role as the US commando sent to South America to stop mutating killer-fish in the SyFy original Mega Piranha. His athletic background came in handy for the martial art-styled action film Ballistica, again with a leading role as a top-notch CIA agent trained in the title art of Ballistica (hand-to-hand combat with firearms). As a highly-versatile athlete, Logan is experienced in most sports, including football, baseball, swimming and boxing. His martial art repertoire includes Karate, Kendo (sword-fighting), Aikido and Jiu Jitsu.
Suave Irish-born actor with resonant voice and a commanding presence, who made his theatrical debut in 'The First of Mrs.Fraser' (1942) at the age of 19 at the Cork Opera House. Nine years later, after spells with the Gate Theatre in Dublin and the Liverpool Repertory Company, Mulhare appeared in a Laurence Olivier-directed London production of 'Othello' with Orson Welles. It was there, that he was spotted by Alan Jay Lerner and signed as an understudy to Rex Harrison for the part of Henry Higgins in 'My Fair Lady'. The play ran on Broadway from 1957 to 1962, totalling a massive 2,717 performances. Harrison dropped out of the part in December 1957, and Mulhare, a relative unknown in the U.S., took over the role. This sparked a controversy with Actor's Equity over the hiring of foreign actors, which required a noted labour negotiator to resolve. In the end, Mulhare played Higgins to both audience approval and critical acclaim more than 1,000 times between 1957 and 1960. The play subsequently toured the Soviet Union, before returning to London. On Broadway, Mulhare also replaced Michael Rennie in the leading role of Dirk Winsten in 'Mary,Mary' and starred as Giacome Nerone in Dore Schary's 'The Devil's Advocate', alongside actors Leo Genn and Eduardo Ciannelli.
It was ironic, that Mulhare followed in Harrison's footsteps on television as well, playing the part of Captain Daniel Gregg (Harrison's in the 1947 movie), the titular spectre of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. The popular NBC series updated the setting from turn of the century New England to present day, and, by comparison with its cinematic predecessor, was less sentimental, but wittier by some degree. There was an undeniable on-screen chemistry between co-star Hope Lange and Mulhare, who was Emmy-nominated for his portrayal as the cantankerous, but thoroughly charming captain. From 1982 to 1986, Mulhare also appeared on television as the articulate Devon Miles, David Hasselhoff's boss, in the fantasy series Knight Rider.
Surprisingly, Edward Mulhare never achieved star status on the big screen. Among the few films he made, one only remembers his dastardly villains of Our Man Flint and Caprice. He did, however, continue to make frequent guest appearances on television in series ranging from The Streets of San Francisco to Battlestar Galactica. In 1988, he also hosted a series about the paranormal, entitled Secrets and Mysteries. Mulhare, a confirmed bachelor, died during filming of the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau comedy Out to Sea at the age of 74.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi. He was brought up on his grandfather's farm, shucking corn, fishing, hunting, and picking cotton. He graduated from the University of Mississippi, majoring in Chemistry. He taught science and biology at a school in Purcell, Oklahoma, before moving to Hollywood. Lester spends his time between Laurel, Mississippi, and Hollywood. He speaks to youth groups and at religious gatherings at times about his faith. He's shared the stage three times with Billy Graham, and feels his notoriety from the show enables him to spread the word of God.
From Ernst Lubitsch's experiences in Sophien Gymnasium (high school) theater, he decided to leave school at the age of 16 and pursue a career on the stage. He had to compromise with his father and keep the account books for the family tailor business while he acted in cabarets and music halls at night. In 1911 he joined the Deutsches Theater of famous director/producer/impresario Max Reinhardt, and was able to move up to leading acting roles in a short time. He took an extra job as a handyman while learning silent film acting at Berlin's Bioscope film studios. The next year he launched his own film career by appearing in a series of comedies showcasing traditional ethnic Jewish slice-of-life fare. Finding great success in these character roles, Lubitsch turned to broader comedy, then beginning in 1914 started writing and directing his own films.
His breakthrough film came in 1918 with Eyes of the Mummy Ma ("The Eyes of the Mummy"), a tragedy starring future Hollywood star Pola Negri. Also that year he made Carmen, again with Negri, a film that was commercially successful on the international level. His work already showed his genius for catching the eye as well as the ear in not only comedy but historical drama. The year 1919 found Lubitsch directing seven films, the two standouts being his lavish Madame DuBarry with two of his favorite actors--Negri (yet again) and Emil Jannings. His other standout was the witty parody of the American upper crust, My Lady Margarine ("The Oyster Princess"). This film was a perfect example of what became known as the Lubitsch style, or the "Lubitsch Touch", as it became known--sophisticated humor combined with inspired staging that economically presented a visual synopsis of storyline, scenes and characters.
His success in Europe brought him to the shores of America to promote The Loves of Pharaoh ("The Loves of Pharaoh") and he become acquainted with the thriving US film industry. He soon returned to Europe, but came back to the US for good to direct new friend and influential star Mary Pickford in his first American hit, Rosita. The Marriage Circle began Lubitsch's unprecedented run of sophisticated films that mirrored the American scene (though always relocated to foreign or imaginary lands) and all its skewed panorama of the human condition. There was a smooth transition between his silent films for Warner Bros. and the sound movies--usually at Paramount--now embellished with the flow of speech of Hollywood's greats lending personal nuances to continually heighten the popularity at the box office and the fame of Lubitsch's first-rate versatility in crafting a smart film. There was a mix of pioneering musical films and some drama also through the 1930s. The of those films resulted in Paramount making him its production chief in 1935, so he could produce his own films and supervise production of others. In 1938 he signed a three-year contract with Twentieth Century-Fox.
Certainly two of his most beloved films near the end of his career dealt with the political landscape of the World War II era. He moved to MGM, where he directed Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in Ninotchka, a fast-paced comedy of "decadent" Westerners meeting Soviet "comrades" who were seeking more of life than the mother country could--or would--offer. During the war he directed perhaps his most beloved comedy--controversial to say the least, dark in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way--but certainly a razor-sharp tour de force in smart, precise dialog, staging and story: To Be or Not to Be, produced by his own company, Romaine Film Corp. It was a biting satire of Nazi tyranny that also poked fun at Lubitsch's own theater roots with the problems and bickering--but also the triumph--of a somewhat raggedy acting troupe in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. Jack Benny's perfect deadpan humor worked well with the zany vivaciousness of Carole Lombard, and a cast of veteran character actors from both Hollywood and Lubitsch's native Germany provided all the chemistry needed to make this a classic comedy, as well as a fierce statement against the perpetrators of war. The most poignant scene was profoundly so, with Felix Bressart--another of Reinhardt's students--as the only Jewish bit player in the company. His supreme hope is a chance to someday play Shylock. He gets his chance as part of a ruse in front of Adolf Hitler's SS bodyguards. The famous soliloquy was a bold declaration to the world of the Axis' brutal inhumanity to man, as in its treatment of and plans for the Jewry of Europe.
Lubitsch had a massive heart attack in 1943 after having signed a producer/director's contract with 20th Century-Fox earlier that year, but completed Heaven Can Wait. His continued efforts in film were severely stymied but he worked as he could. In late 1944 Otto Preminger, another disciple of Reinhardt's Viennese theater work, took over the direction of A Royal Scandal, with Lubitsch credited as nominal producer. March of 1947, the year of his passing, brought a special Academy Award (he was nominated three times) to the fading producer/director for his "25-year contribution to motion pictures." At his funeral, two of his fellow directorial émigrés from Germany put his epitaph succinctly as they left. Billy Wilder noted, "No more Lubitsch." William Wyler answered, "Worse than that - no more Lubitsch films."
Bubbly, buxom, and voluptuous blonde bombshell Rebecca Joy LeBeau was born on February 11, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. She grew up in Beverly Hills. LeBeau earned a B.A. in psychology with honors from the University of Southern California. Starting in the early 80s Becky has made numerous appearances as either a model or actress in feature films (she's perhaps best known as Bubbles the Hot Tub Girl in the uproarious hit comedy "Back to School"), posters, calenders, music videos (she's in both "California Girls" and "Just a Gigolo" by David Lee Roth), and pay-per-view television shows. Moreover, LeBeau has acted in a handful of enjoyable low-budget exploitation pictures for director Jim Wynorski; she's especially funny and memorable as a ditsy Strip-O-Gram girl in "Not of This Earth." In 1989 Becky became the founder and principal of FantasyOne Communications, which has distributed its critically acclaimed television programming worldwide to such networks as Playboy TV, DirecTV, Viewer's Choice, and iNDemand. In addition to acting and modeling, LeBeau is also an avid musician and B.M.I composer who has made soundtrack contributions to several movies that include "Sins of Desire," "Beverly Hills Girls," "Point of Seduction: Body Chemistry III," "Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold," and "Bikini Drive-In." In her spare time Becky swims for exercise and takes care of rescued dogs. More recently Lebeau has worked as the director and producer of the hugely successful pay-per-view program "Hot Pink TV."
This popular, baggy-eyed, bald-domed, big lug of a character actor had few peers when called upon to display that special "slow burn" style of comedy few others perfected. But perfect he did -- on stage, film and TV. In fact, he pretty much cornered the market during the 50s and 60s as the dour, ill-tempered guy you loved to hate.
Born Frederick Leonard Clark on March 19 1914, the son of Frederick Clark, a county agriculture commissioner, and Stella (née Bruce) Clark, in Lincoln, California, Fred's initial interest was in medicine and he pursued his pre-med studies at Stanford University. A chance role in the college play "Yellow Jack" change the coarse of his destiny. Earning a scholarship to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he paid his dues performing in local community theater and summer stock. By May of 1938, at age 24, he was making his Broadway debut with the short-lived comedy play "Schoolhouse on the Lot". He then returned to Broadway a few months later to appear in the melodrama "Ringside Seat", which also closed early.
Fred's nascent career was interrupted when America entered World War II. He served as a Navy pilot in 1942 but later joined the Army and spent nearly two years with the Third Army in Europe. Clark returned to acting and in during the post-war years broke into films via Hungarian film director Michael Curtiz who cast him in the noir classic The Unsuspected. Able to provide cold-hearted villainy in crime drama as well as dyspeptic humor to slapstick comedy, film work came to Fred in no short order. Ride the Pink Horse, Cry of the City, Flamingo Road, White Heat, Alias Nick Beal, Sunset Blvd., The Jackpot, The Lemon Drop Kid and Meet Me After the Show all made the most of Fred's sour skills. Around this time (1952) he married actress Benay Venuta, whom he met while both were performing on stage in "Light Up the Sky" (1950). The popular couple continued to work together from time to time, which included a 1956 stage production of "Bus Stop" at the La Jolla Playhouse.
Well-established on film by this point, Fred set his sights on TV and earned raves providing weekly bombastic support to George Burns and Gracie Allen on their popular sitcom The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Joining the cast into its second season (his role had already been played by two other actors), Fred made the role of neighbor/realtor Harry Morton his own, becoming the first definitive Harry on the show. Investing his character with an amusing, child-like grumpiness, he was ideally paired with comedienne Bea Benaderet (as wife Blanche). Together they provided perfect foursome chemistry with Burns and Allen, much in the same way Vivian Vance and William Frawley did for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on I Love Lucy. Clark, however, would leave the show in the fall of 1953 following a salary dispute, and was replaced by a fourth Harry Morton, Larry Keating, who managed to keep the role until the end in 1958. Fred would find steady but lesser success on TV after this.
With his trademark cigar, scowl, shiny baldness and pencil-thin mustache, Fred continued to be high in demand in film, usually playing some high-ranking military officer, gang boss, shifty politician or executive skinflint. The Martin & Lewis comedy The Caddy, Marilyn Monroe's How to Marry a Millionaire, The Solid Gold Cadillac, Don't Go Near the Water, The Mating Game, Auntie Mame, Bells Are Ringing, Visit to a Small Planet, Boys' Night Out and Move Over, Darling, all displayed Clark at his blustery best. And on TV he contributed to such comedy shows as The Beverly Hillbillies, I Dream of Jeannie and The Dick Van Dyke Show. He also received some attention pushing potato chips in commercials.
Fred made a successful stage debut in London with 1963's "Never Too Late" co-starring Joan Bennett and Samantha Eggar, as a cranky middle-aged father-to-be. He would also return infrequently to Broadway with prime roles in "Romanoff and Juliet" (1957), Viva Madison Avenue! (1960) and "Absence of a Cello" (1964). On a sad note, many of Fred's final years were spent in inferior film. Movies such as Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew and the notorious bomb Skidoo, which was directed by Otto Preminger and starred Jackie Gleason and Carol Channing, were undeserving of his talents.
Divorced from Ms. Venuta in August of 1962, Fred subsequently married a model, Gloria Glaser, in 1966. Fred's sudden death of liver disease two years later on December 5, 1968, at the untimely age of 54, had Hollywood mourning one of its finest comic heavies -- gone way before his time.
The elegant, handsome, fiercely intelligent and inquisitive host of the self-titled Charlie Rose, Charlie Rose was the only child of Charles Peete Rose Sr. and Margaret Rose. Born Charles Peete Rose Jr. on January 5, 1942 (Capricorn) in Henderson, North Carolina. The Rose family lived near the railroad tracks in Henderson, in rooms above the general store that Charles Rose Sr. owned and managed and where Charlie Jr. helped out. After graduating from high school, where he starred on the basketball team, Rose entered Duke University as a pre-med student. His extra-curricular activities included working with children in a Head Start program. One summer, he secured an internship in the office of North Carolina senator B. Everett Jordan. According to him, his experiences as an intern turned him into a "political junkie" and, upon returning to college, he changed his major to history. After receiving an A.B. degree in 1964, he entered the Duke University School of Law but, sometime before or shortly after earning a J.D. degree in 1968, he realised that the practice of law held little interest for him. Inspired by the idea of "building something" as an entrepreneur, he started taking classes at the New York University Graduate School of Business (he had moved to New York City in 1968) and accepted a job at Bankers Trust. Through his wife, who was doing research for the CBS television show 60 Minutes, Rose became friendly with people employed in broadcasting and he developed what soon became a passionate interest in the broadcast media. After his wife was hired by the BBC in the United States, he handled some assignments for the BBC on a freelance basis. In 1972, while continuing to work at Bankers Trust, he landed a job as a weekend reporter for WPIX-TV, in New York City. During his approximately one-year stint at WPIX, Rose tried several times, without success, to contact Bill Moyers for an interview. Then, in 1974, Moyers telephoned Rose, after Rose's wife spoke to Moyers about him at a social gathering. At their first meeting, he and Moyers felt an "instant chemistry" and, within weeks, he began working as the managing editor of the PBS series "Bill Moyers' International Report"). (Moyers has said that Rose served as his "alter ego" as well at that time.) In 1975, Moyers named him the executive producer of Bill Moyers' Journal, a PBS documentary and conversation series although, by his own account, Rose had "no great desire to be on camera". In the following year, he became the correspondent for U.S.A.: People and Politics, Moyers's new weekly PBS political magazine series. "A Conversation with Jimmy Carter", one installment of that series, won a 1976 Peabody Award. Later in 1976, after Moyers left public television to work for CBS, Rose accepted a Washington, D.C.-based job as a political correspondent for NBC News. In the belief that he lacked sufficient training to do a proper job and that he should "get the maximum amount of on-air experience", as he put it, he seized opportunities to host interview shows. He first appeared as a guest host on "Panorama", on WTTG-TV, in Washington, D.C. In 1978, after leaving NBC, he served as a co-host with AM/Chicago, on WLS-TV. A year later, Blake Byrne, the general manager of KXAS-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, hired him as programme manager and, although the station had no budget to pay Rose to do a talk show, he also offered him a time slot for what became Charlie Rose. In 1981, with the goal of securing national syndication, Rose moved Charlie Rose to Washington, D.C. where, for the next two years or so, it was broadcast on the NBC-owned station WRC-TV. Concurrently, he hosted another weekly interview show for WRC-TV. At the end of 1983, CBS hired Rose to anchor CBS News Nightwatch, an interview program that was taped during the day and was broadcast five times a week between 2:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. Rose has recalled having "a wonderful time" during his six-and-a-half years as the CBS News Nightwatch host. Like that of Charlie Rose, the CBS News Nightwatch guest list was not confined to the world's movers and shakers. Among the other people whose activities or histories caught Rose's interest was the convicted murderer Charles Manson, with whom he talked for three hours. The CBS News Nightwatch broadcast of Rose's interview with Manson won an Emmy Award in 1987. In 1990, Rose left CBS to serve as anchor of "Personalities", a syndicated programme produced by Fox Television. Angry to find himself hosting a tabloid-like news show, he broke his contract after just six weeks. About ten months later, he approached PBS-affiliated station Thirteen/WNET-TV in New York City, with a proposal for a new interview show. Charlie Rose premiered on Thirteen/WNET on September 30, 1991. During nine months in 1992, it also on the Learning Channel. Syndicated nationally since January 1993, it currently airs on 215 PBS affiliate stations. The show's premise is simple; engage the best politicians, thinkers, personalities, celebrities, sports figures, artists, writers and scientists in one-on-one conversation without any gimmicks and irritating commercial breaks. The show's simple black background and round oak table serve to do just that, along with Rose's intelligent interviewing style and ability to ask pertinent questions, forcing the essence of the personalities to come out. Rose has interviewed the likes of President Nelson Mandela, President Bill Clinton, Salman Rushdie, Madonna, Bono of U2, Bill Gates, Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty and countless others. According to a conversation he had with Chuck D. of Public Enemy fame, he has conducted over 100,000 interviews. Divorced, Rose splits his time between a rented townhouse in Manhattan (that, according to him, is filled with an "embarrassing amount" of electronic equipment) and Bellport, Long Island. On weekends, when not enjoying the rich, cultural life of New York City or preparing for his show, he travels to his farm near Oxford, North Carolina or to the upstate New York farm of a friend.
|Tionne 'T-Boz' Watkins
Tionne Tenese Watkins was born on April 26, 1970 in Des Moines, Iowa. She is also known as "T-Boz" in the R&B/Hip-Hop group, TLC. Born to parents of both African American and Native American descent. As a child she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia (1 in 12 people of African American descent have the disease). She is the founder of the group TLC and is usually the lead singer. She often shares lead vocals with Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas who also sings lead on some songs performed by the group.
Since childhood, she has been in and out of the hospital, due to her sickle cell disease. At the age of nine, her family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Tionne's mother and father (divorced when she was 3) were also musicians/singers and sang in a group together. Tionne knew from early childhood that she wanted to one day become a performer too. As a teenager she was a hair model, and eventually became a manicurist and shampoo girl at a popular Atlanta hair salon. In her free time she pursued her passion "dancing" at the local legendary skating rink Jellybeans. It was through a stylist/friend at this salon that she met Perri "Pebbles" Reid and was discovered in 1991 along with Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes and Crystal Jones. The trio's original name was 2nd Nature (Crystal's group), but was renamed TLC by Reid. Crystal Jones was quickly replaced however by Rozonda 'Chilli' Thomas and the group began recording almost immediately.
The first album "Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip" was released in February of 1992 and by 1996 the album was certified quadruple-platinum. It was during the first album's tour with MC Hammer that Tionne's sickle cell condition was revealed (she'd kept it secret). The rigorous tour schedule had taken a physical toll and she was hospitalized for 2 weeks. Her bandmates stayed by her side until her release and decided to lessen the tour schedule to allow Tionne enough days of rest. In 1996, she eventually went public with her disease.
CrazySexyCool was released in 1994 and had two "Billboard Hot 100" number one singles. Tionne gained a higher profile as her distinctive voice fueled many of the album's smooth and seductive tracks. The album was certified Diamond (first girl group in history to receive this) and earned them 2 Grammy's. Despite their incredible global success as the number 1 girl group at the time, the members of TLC were forced to file for bankruptcy due to poor contracts signed at the start of their careers. Eventually the group signed a new contract with LaFace/Arista and went back into the studio.
FanMail was released in 1999 after a long hiatus that included several dramas affecting the group individually and as whole. Amazingly, the group continued their upward trajectory of success reaching new heights. FanMail debuted as the #1 album and went 6x Platinum, receiving 8 Grammy nominations and winning 3.
Tionne married rapper Mack 10 in August 2000, and share a daughter together, Chase Anela Rolison, born on October 20, 2000.
3D was released in 2002 but the production was interrupted by the death of group member Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. Lopes' death traumatized her groupmates, also close friends, who were compelled by contract to complete the album in spite of her death. One of Tionne's longest hospital stays was for four months in 2002. Lopes had visited her before her fateful trip to Honduras. Despite some internal strife the strength of the group was their sorority, chemistry and their insistence on keeping the group intact even if solo efforts were pursued separately.
In June 2004, T-Boz filed for divorce and requested a restraining order against Mack 10.
In 2005, Watkins and a partner opened a children's boutique called Chase's Closet (named after her daughter). They closed down in 2008 however while Tionne was still recovering/rehabilitating from her brain tumor surgery. Chase's Closet was an A-list boutique and is still named one of the best children's stores today.
In 2006 she was diagnosed with a potentially deadly brain tumor which also affected her sight, balance, hearing and facial movement. Due to anticipated life-threatening complications related to her sickle cell disease Tionne struggled to find a surgeon willing to perform surgery. Motivated by her need to live for her daughter she finally found a surgeon willing to take the risk. The surgery was successful, save a 3% loss of hearing in her right ear and paralysis on the right side of her face. Tionne spent 3+ years rehabilitating post the surgery.
Tionne was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People of the World" by People Magazine twice, in 1995 and 2000.
She is one of the spokespeople for Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
Jessica Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Colorado.
J. Lee enrolled in her first dance school at age 4, studying tap, ballet, and jazz. By age 6, she took her first acting class and quickly realized her passion. Jessica Lee was soon scouted by numerous agents and agencies throughout Colorado. After signing with Donna Baldwin, J. Lee continued her studies with Nick Sugar, Gary Spatz, and Diane Hardin, booking countless commercials, print campaigns, and films.
Jessica would babysit to produce extra income and began tutoring cello in 7th grade. During high school, she life-guarded, managed a dry cleaners and worked at a sporting goods store.
In 2001, Jessica Lee was accepted into the National Thespian Society. J. Lee's acceptance to N.T.S. was a direct reflection of her dedication to the performing arts and her acting career.
In 2003, Lee moved to Los Angles, where she continued her study of the dramatic arts. While attending college, she worked as a wait staff trainer and had an internship with Time Inc. Jessica Lee's acting career continues to flourish. A few television credits include: SyFy's FaceOff (season one), CSI: Las Vegas, Num3ers, The Girls Next Door, and Chemistry. J.Lee has also appeared in movies such as, The 41 Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall, Detention, Hangover 2, In Time, and Bad Ass.
Between auditions, scene study, rehearsals, and shoots, the up and coming star enjoys volunteering and finds solace in yoga.
Margaret Thatcher was born on October 13, 1925 in Grantham, England, the younger daughter of Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Her father was a greengrocer and respected town leader, serving as lay-leader with their church, city-alderman and then as mayor. He taught Margaret never to do things because other people are doing them; do what you think is right and persuade others to follow you. She attended Oxford University from 1943 to 1947 and earned a degree in Chemistry, but it was clear from early on that politics was her true calling. She stood as a Conservative candidate from Dartford in the 1950 and 1951 elections. She married Denis Thatcher in December 1951 and they had twin children, Mark Thatcher and Carol Thatcher. She practiced tax law for a time in the 1950s, but was elected to Parliament from Finchley in 1959. Two years later, she was appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Pensions. In 1970, she was appointed Minister for Education and earned the title "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher", for eliminating free milk for schoolchildren in a round of budget-cutting. After the Conservative Party lost both general elections in 1974, she defeated Edward Heath for the leadership of the party. She was elected Prime Minister in May 1979 and served for eleven and a half years, longer than any other British Prime Minister in the 20th Century. As Prime Minister, she was staunchly capitalist and bent on wiping socialism from the face of Britain. During her tenure, she cut taxes, spending and regulations, privatized state-industries and state-housing, reformed the education, health and welfare systems, was tough on crime and espoused traditional values. Her time in office was eventful, having to contend with an economic recession, inner-city riots and a miners' strike. Her first great triumph in office was the Falklands War in 1982, when she sent British troops to reclaim British possessions off the coast of South America that had been invaded and occupied by Argentina. The British won that war and it showed the world that Britain was once again a power to be reckoned with. Her time in office saw unprecedented economic prosperity. She was staunch political allies with Ronald Reagan and through their tough foreign and defence policies, brought the Cold War to an end and a victory for the Free World. It was she who persuaded President George Bush to send troops to Saudi Arabia right after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990. The Poll Tax and her refusal to endorse a common currency for Europe led the Conservative party to force her out of office in a bloody internal coup. She was forced to resign as Prime Minister in November 1990. Since she left office, she was introduced to the House of Lords in 1992 as Baroness Thatcher. She travelled the world, touring the lecture circuit promoting her causes and is president of numerous organizations dedicated to her causes. In the last few years, her health has suffered and she no longer speaks in public.
New Orleans-born second-string actress Gloria Henry was born Gloria McEniry on April 2, 1923, and lived on the edge of the Garden District growing up. Educated at the Worcester Art Museum School, she moved to Los Angeles in her very late teens and worked on a number of radio shows and commercials using the stage name of Gloria Henry. She also performed in little theater groups.
Signed by an agent, the brunet hopeful transitioned into film work via Columbia Studios and made her debut as the femme lead in the minor horse-racing film Sport of Kings, instantly moving into the programmer Keeper of the Bees as a love interest for Michael Duane and mystery drama Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back with Ron Randell as the title sleuth. Now a pert and pretty reddish-blonde, she continued providing decorative duties in such "B" fodder as Port Said, in a dual role, Adventures in Silverado,Air Hostess, Rusty Saves a Life, Feudin' Rhythm, a musical western showcasing Eddy Arnold, Al Jennings of Oklahoma, and the Gene Autry westerns The Strawberry Roan and Riders in the Sky. Some of the better films for her that came out of this period included secondary femme roles in Johnny Allegro with George Raft and Nina Foch, Miss Grant Takes Richmond starring Lucille Ball and William Holden, and the classic Fritz Lang western Rancho Notorious top-lining Marlene Dietrich. She also had top billing in a few of her "B" films but to little notice.
The 1950s were an uneventful mixture of more "B" films and episodic TV guest parts (My Little Margie, Perry Mason). She also was a regular on the private eye series The Files of Jeffrey Jones starring Don Haggerty, but was written out of the show due to pregnancy. All this relative anonymity, ended for her, however, when she won the role of radiant and resilient mom "Alice Mitchell" on the comedy series Dennis the Menace shortly after filming a role in Gang War starring a young and up-and-coming Charles Bronson. The series co-starred Herbert Anderson as her hapless, bespectacled husband and young Jay North as the pint-sized, trouble-making tornado of the title. Gloria was the picture of sunny innocence and maternal warmth and enjoyed four seasons. Sadly, invaluable actor Joseph Kearns, who played the cranky next-door neighbor "Mr. Wilson", died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1962 to the detriment of the show. He provided an important chemistry with North and necessary friction that just wasn't mustered up by his eventual replacement Gale Gordon, a terrific character grump in his own right. Dennis the Menace lasted only one more season before being canceled. Gloria's career slowed down considerably after this TV success. She was spotted occasionally in TV-movies playing assorted bit-part matrons and returned to the big screen in a brief role in Her Minor Thing, a romantic comedy directed by Charles Matthau, Walter Matthau's son. She occasionally attends film festivals and nostalgic conventions. Gloria wed architect "Craig Ellwood" in 1949; they divorced in 1977. She has three children from that marriage: Jeffrey, Adam and Erin Ellwood.
Actor, singer and dancer Michael Callan started life out as Martin Harris Calinieff in Philadelphia on November 22, 1935. A dark-haired charmer, he was taking voice and dance lessons by age 11, with the intentions of becoming the next Gene Kelly. He had the dark, smirking, surly good looks and confident swagger that fit in with the James Dean 50s rebel-like era. He began his professional career as a comic and dancer in Philly night clubs while billing himself as "Mickey Calin". Eventually, he entertained at such hot spots as the Copacabana and in Las Vegas showrooms.
His move to New York was a wise choice. Given a dancing part in his first Broadway show, "The Boyfriend" (1954), starring Julie Andrews, he followed it with another musical, "Catch a Star" (1955). This, in turn, led to his biggest break of all, the role of "Riff" in the original New York production of "West Side Story" (1957). While the show made virtual theater stars out of its leads Carol Lawrence and Larry Kert, Michael, on the other hand, attracted the interest of Columbia Pictures.
His film career began engagingly enough -- not as a singer or dancer, but as a dramatic leading man. Columbia placed him in two fairly strong films in the hopes of promoting and developing his obvious teen-idol promise. The first film was a western soap opera in support of Gary Cooper and Rita Hayworth. In They Came to Cordura, Michael co-starred in this film alongside another male dreamboat, Tab Hunter. His second film was a "B"-level starring role in The Flying Fontaines, in which he plays a circus Romeo whose caddish cavortings under the "big top" accelerate the melodramatic story line. This role pretty much set the tone for what, more or less, would become his screen image -- a notorious womanizer and charming, though sometimes, spineless opportunist. His lovely co-star in the movie, Evy Norlund, was a formerly-crowned Miss Denmark (1958). This movie was her only one, since she abruptly gave up her young aspirations when she married singer James Darren and raise a big family.
One of Michael's biggest disappointments, during this time, was losing the role of "Riff" in the film version of West Side Story, due to contractual restrictions with Columbia. Russ Tamblyn received the honors and the glory. But he did continue to rack up callow, trouble-making co-leads in youth-oriented films, paired up with Hollywood's loveliest of newcomers, including Tuesday Weld in Because They're Young, Dolores Dorn in 13 West Street and Deborah Walley in both Gidget Goes Hawaiian and Bon Voyage!. In The Interns, he continued to perpetuate his slick image as a roving medical resident who juggles gorgeous Anne Helm and Katharine Bard for his own selfish purposes. In the sequel of sorts, The New Interns, he made his customary moves on Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) and Dawn Wells) ("Mary Ann" on Gilligan's Island).
Although he managed to show off his dancing skills in Pepe and in the afore-mentioned "Gidget" film, Michael never capitalized on it. The era of the movie musicals was in a backslide at the time and he focused completely on acting. He was among the international cast of the war epic, The Victors, and was the best-looking marooned member in the British-made Jules Verne fantasy-adventure, Mysterious Island. Interestingly, his last films of real note were in comedies -- opposite Jane Fonda, in the freewheeling cult western, Cat Ballou, and a scene-stealing Lionel Jeffries in the British satire, You Must Be Joking!. Perhaps his characters were too unsympathetic for their own good; for whatever reason, Michael never managed to hit the cinematic "bad boy" stardom he seemed geared up for.
In the late 60s, he found a venue better-suited for his talents -- TV sitcoms. His skirt-chasing characters seemed to have more appeal when played lightly for laughs. His best chance came in the form of Occasional Wife. An ideal showcase, Michael played the lead role of "Peter Christopher", an up-and-coming executive of a company that strongly pushes the husband/father image. Perennial playboy Callan decides to take on an "occasional wife" (Patricia Harty) for appearances' sake while trying to conceal his wily ways from the workplace. The show fit Callan like a glove and he and Harty displayed great chemistry, so much so that they married in real-life during the series' run. Perhaps the true-life marriage ruined the show's illusion, as the series limped away after only one season. Patricia, the second of Michael's three wives, divorced him a few years later.
Surprisingly, Michael never starred in another sitcom that got off the ground. He ventured on finding guest appearances on such sitcoms as That Girl, Hazel and Mary Tyler Moore and became a favorite player in the extremely popular Love, American Style sketches, playing (what else?) guys with girl troubles. His TV career eventually took the Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote route and, in an effort to jumpstart things, both produced and starred in his own film, Double Exposure, but to little notice. He also returned, occasionally, to the stage in both legit plays and musicals to keep his name alive, including "Absurd Person Singular" and "The Music Man".
The father of two daughters (from his first marriage), he has been glimpsed only here and there, since the mid-90s. Recent movie credits include Stuck on You and The Still Life. He's also been spotted, occasionally, at various signings and conventions. While perhaps not climbing the height of heights expected, Michael reached an enviable plateau and merits strong attention for his fine contributions to 60s and 70s film and TV.
Isaac Asimov was born Isaak Judah Ozimov, on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi shtetl, near Smolensk, Russia. He was the oldest of three children. His father, named Judah Ozimov, and his mother, named Anna Rachel Ozimov (nee Berman), were Orthodox Jews. Ozimov family were millers (the name Ozimov comes from the eponymous sort of wheat in Russian). In 1923 Isaac with his parents immigrated to the USA and settled in Brooklyn, New York. There his parents temporarily changed his birthday to September 7, 1919, in order to sent him to school a year earlier. Their family name was changed from Ozimov to Asimov.
Asimov was an avid reader before the age of 5. He spoke Yiddish and English at home with his parents and spoke only a few word in Russian. He began his formal education in 1925 in the New York Public School system. From 1930-1932 he was placed in the rapid advance course. In 1935 he graduated from high school, in 1939 received a B.S. and in 1941 he earned his M. Sc. in Chemistry from Columbia University. From 1942-1945 Asimov was a chemist at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard's Naval Air experimental station. After the war ended, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was transfered to the island of Oahu and was destined to participate in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946. He narrowly avoided that by receiving an honorable discharge in May 1946. In 1948 he completed his post-graduate studies and earned his Ph. D. in Chemistry. In 1949 he began his teaching career at the Medical School of Boston University, becoming assistant professor in 1951, and associate professor in 1955. In 1958 Asimov became a full-time writer and gave up his teaching duties because his income from his literary works was much greater than his professor's salary. He was fired, but he retained his title and later returned as a lecturer and was promoted ti the rank of full professor in 1979. Asimov was considered one of the best lecturers at Boston University.
Young Isaac Asimov was raised as a non-religious person. His parents observed the Orthodox Judaism, but did not force their belief upon young Asimov. He did not have affiliation with a temple, did not have a bar mizvah and called himself an atheist, then used the term "humanist" in his later life. He did not oppose genuine religious convictions in others but opposed superstitious or unfounded beliefs. Asimov defined his intellectual position as a Humanist and rationalist. He opposed the Vietnam war in the 1960s and was a supporter of the Democratic party. He embraced environmental issues, and supported feminism, joking that he wished women to be free "because I hate it when they charge". He was also humorous about many of his memberships in various clubs and foundations. Asimov did not approve exclusionary societies, he left Mensa after he found that many of the members were arrogant. He liked individuality and stayed in groups where he enjoyed giving speeches. As a free thinker, Asimov saw sci-fi literature serving as a pool where ideas and hypotheses are expressed with unrestricted intellectual freedom.
Young Asimov was fascinated with science fiction magazines which were sold at his parent's general store. Around the age of 11 he wrote eight chapters of a fiction about adventures of young boys in a small town. His first publication was "Marooned Off Vesta" in the Amazing Stories magazine in 1939. Asimov shot to fame in 1941 with 'Nightfall', a story of a planet where night comes once every 2049 years. 'Nightfall' has been described as one of the best science fiction stories ever written. Asimov wrote over five hundred literary works. He is credited for introducing the words "positronic", "psychohistory", and "robotics" into the English language. He penned such classics as "I, Robot" and the "Foundation" series, which are considered to be the most impressive of his writings. He also founded "Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine", which became a best-selling publication.
Asimov was afraid of needles and the sight of blood. Although he had the highest score on the intelligence test he had the lowest score on the physical-conditioning test. He never learned how to swim or ride a bicycle. The author who described spaceflights suffered from fear of flying. In his entire life he had to fly only twice during his military service. Acrophobia was revealed when he took his date and first love on a roller coaster in 1940, and was terrified. This fobia complicated the logistics and limited the range over which he traveled; it also found reflection in some of his literary works. He avoided traveling long distances. Instead he enjoyed cruise ships like the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, where he occasionally entertained passengers with his science-themed talks. He impressed public with his highly entertaining speeches as well as with his sharp sense of timing; he never looked at the clock, but he spoke for precisely the time allocated. Asimov's sense of time prevented him from ever being late to a meeting. Once he discovered that his parents changed his date of birth, he insisted that the official records of his birthday be corrected to January 2, 1920, the date he personally celebrated throughout his life.
Asimov met Gertrude Blugherman on a blind date on Valentine's Day in February of 1942, they got married in July of the same year. The Asimovs had two children, son David (born in 1951), and daughter Robyn Joan (born in 1955). Asimov had known Janet Opal Jeppson since 1959. She was a psychoanalyst and also a writer of science fiction for children. Correspondence with her convinced Asimov that she was the right kind of person for him. He and Gertrude were separated in 1970, and he moved in with Janet Jappeson almost at once. His first marriage ended in divorce in 1973. That same year he and Janet Jeppson were married at Janet's home by an official of Ethical Culture Society. Asimov had no children by his second marriage.
In 1983 Asimov contracted HIV infection from a tainted blood transfusion received during a triple bypass surgery. He eventually developed AIDS and wanted to go public about his AIDS but his doctors convinced Asimov to remain silent. The specific cause of death was heart and renal failure as complications of AIDS. He died on April 6, 1992, in Boston, Massachussets, and was cremated. His ashes were scattered.
Ten years after Asimov's death, his widow, Janet Jeppson Asimov, revealed that his death was a consequence of an unfortunately contracted AIDS.
Zac Hanson is the youngest member of Hanson, and has been performing on stage since he was seven. He and his brothers took the world by storm in 1997 with their first commercial album, "middle of nowhere", and Zac was widely regarded as the zany, humourous one of the group. His antics always amused the audience as well as his brothers. After performing around their home town for years, Zac and his brothers finally took things a step up, and set out to find a record producer, who could land them a record contract. According to them, the moment they were heard, they were practically signed. But for Zac and his brothers, this came as no surprise - performing around Tulsa since a very young age, having released two independent albums hitherto "middle of nowhere" and having the right stage chemistry to win the hearts of all members of the audience, fame seemed inevitable for Zac and his brothers. After the release of "middle of nowhere", they took a break from the spotlight for a year and, in 1999, the world had *NSYNC, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, and Hanson were determined to be different from the bubblegum pop that was now dominating the world. "This time around" demonstrated a very mature approach to music by Hanson, and they were more confident in their abilities than in "middle of nowhere" - the album was almost too mature for them, and was met with lukewarm response around the world, because people were now accustomed to *NSYNC. Zac and his brothers have a new album due out in early 2003 and only time will tell whether it is a smash like "middle of nowhere" - But, regardless of the success of the album, Zac will always have an unequivocal place in music history.