Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only person who ever had his back was himself, so he learned how to take care of both himself and younger brother, Julius. Curtis grew up in poverty, as his father, Emanuel, who worked as a tailor, had the sole responsibility of providing for his entire family on his meager income. This led to constant bickering between Curtis's parents over money, and Curtis began to go to movies as a way of briefly escaping the constant worries of poverty and other family problems. The financial strain of raising two children on a meager income became so tough that in 1935, Curtis's parents decided that their children would have a better life under the care of the state and briefly had Tony and his brother admitted to an orphanage. During this lonely time, the only companion Curtis had was his brother, Julius, and the two became inseparable as they struggled to get used to this new way of life. Weeks later, Curtis's parents came back to reclaim custody of Tony and his brother, but by then Curtis had learned one of life's toughest lessons: the only person you can count on is yourself.
In 1938, shortly before Tony had his Bar Mitzvah, tragedy struck when Tony lost the person most important to him, when his brother, Julius, was hit by a truck and killed. After that tragedy, Curtis's parents became convinced that a formal education was the best way Tony could avoid the same never-knowing-where-your-next-meal-is-coming-from life that they had known. However, Tony rejected this because he felt that learning about literary classics and algebra wasn't going to advance him in life as much as some real hands-on life experience would. He was to find that real-life experience a few years later, when he enlisted in the navy in 1942. Tony spent the next three years getting the life experience he desired by doing everything from working as a crewman on a submarine to honing his future craft as an actor by performing as a sailor in a stage play at the Navy Signalman School in Illinois.
In 1945, Curtis was honorably discharged from the navy, and when he realized that the GI Bill would allow him to go to acting school without paying for it, he now saw that his lifelong pipe dream of being an actor might actually be achievable. Curtis auditioned for the New York Dramatic Workshop, and after being accepted on the strength of his audition piece (A scene from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in pantomime), Curtis enrolled in early 1947. He then began to pay his dues by appearing in a slew of stage productions, including "Twelfth Night" and "Golden Boy". He then connected with a small theatrical agent named Joyce Selznick, who was the niece of film producer David O. Selznick. After seeing his potential, Selznick arranged an interview for Curtis to see David O. Selznick at Universal Studios, where Curtis was offered a seven-year contract. After changing his name to what he saw as an elegant, mysterious moniker--"Tony Curtis" (named after the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen and a cousin of his named Janush Kertiz)--Curtis began making a name for himself by appearing in small, offbeat roles in small-budget productions. His first notable performance was a two-minute role in Criss Cross, with Burt Lancaster, in which he makes Lancaster jealous by dancing with Yvonne De Carlo. This offbeat role resulted in Curtis's being typecast as a heavy for the next few years, such as playing a gang member in City Across the River.
Curtis continued to build up a show reel by accepting any paying job, acting in a number of bit-part roles for the next few years. It wasn't until late 1949 that he finally got the chance to demonstrate his acting flair, when he was cast in an important role in an action western, Sierra. On the strength of his performance in that movie, Curtis was finally cast in a big-budget movie, Winchester '73. While he appears in that movie only very briefly, it was a chance for him to act alongside a Hollywood legend, James Stewart.
As his career developed, Curtis wanted to act in movies that had social relevance, ones that would challenge audiences, so he began to appear in such movies as Spartacus and The Defiant Ones. He was advised against appearing as the subordinate sidekick in Spartacus, playing second fiddle to the equally famous Kirk Douglas. However, Curtis saw no problem with this because the two had recently acted together in dual leading roles in The Vikings.
Jack Palance exemplified evil incarnate on film -- portraying some of the most intensely despised villains witnessed in 50s westerns and melodrama. He received two Best Supporting Actor nominations early in his career, but it would take a grizzled, eccentric comic performance 40 years later for him to finally grab the coveted statuette.
Of Ukrainian descent, Palance was born Volodymyr Jack Palahniuk on February 18, 1919, in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania coal country, to Anna (Gramiak) and Ivan Palahniuk. His father, an anthracite miner, died of black lung disease. The sensitive, artistic lad worked in the mines in his early years but averted the same fate as his father. Athletics was his ticket out of the mines when he won a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina. He subsequently dropped out to try his hand at professional boxing. Fighting under the name "Jack Brazzo," he won his first 15 fights, 12 by knockout, before losing a 4th round decision to future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi on Dec. 17, 1940.
With the outbreak of World War II, Palance's boxing career ended and his military career began, serving in the Army Air Force as a bomber pilot. Wounded in combat and suffering severe injuries and burns, he received the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. He resumed college studies as a journalist at Stanford University and became a sportswriter for the San Francisco Chronicle. He also worked for a radio station until the acting bug bit.
Palance made his stage debut in "The Big Two" in 1947 and immediately followed it understudying Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in the groundbreaking Broadway classic "A Streetcar Named Desire," a role he eventually took over. Following stage parts in "Temporary Island" (1948), "The Vigil" (1948) and "The Silver Tassle" (1949), Palance won a choice role in "Darkness of Noon" and also the Theatre World Award for "promising new personality". This recognition helped him secure a 20th Century-Fox contract. The facial burns and resulting reconstructive surgery following the crash and burn of his WWII bomber plane actually worked to the leathery actor's advantage in Hollywood. Hardly possessing the look of a glossy romantic leading man, Palance instead became an archetypal villain equipped with an imposing glare, intimidating stance and killer-shark smile.
He stood out among a powerhouse cast (Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas') in his movie debut in Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets, as a plague-carrying fugitive. He was soon on his way. Initially billed as Walter Jack Palance, the actor made fine use of his former boxing skills and war experience for the film Halls of Montezuma as a boxing Marine in Richard Widmark's platoon. Palance followed this with the first of his back-to-back Oscar nods. In Sudden Fear, only his third film, he played rich-and-famous playwright Joan Crawford's struggling actor husband who plots to murder her and run off with gorgeous Gloria Grahame. Finding the right menace and intensity to pretty much steal the proceedings, he followed this with arguably his finest villain of the decade, that of creepy, sadistic gunslinger Jack Wilson who becomes Alan Ladd's biggest nightmare (not to mention others) in the classic western Shane. Their climactic showdown alone is text book.
Throughout the 1950s Palance earned some very good film roles such as those in Man in the Attic (his first lead), The Big Knife and the war classic Attack. Mixed in were a few routine to highly mediocre parts in Flight to Tangier, Sign of the Pagan, in which he played Attila the Hun, and the biblical bomb The Silver Chalice. In between filmmaking were a host of powerful TV roles -- none better than his down-and-out boxer in Requiem for a Heavyweight, a rare sympathetic role that earned him an Emmy. Overseas in the 1960s, Palance made a killing in biblical and war epics and in "spaghetti -- The Barbarians, Barabbas [Barabbas], and A Bullet for Rommel [A Bullet for Rommel]. Also included in his 60s foreign work was his participation in the Jean-Luc Godard masterpiece Contempt [Contempt].
On TV, Palance played a number of nefarious nasties to perfection ranging from Dracula to Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. Into his twilight years he showed a penchant for brash, quirky comedy capped by his Oscar-winning role in City Slickers, its sequel, and others. He even played Ebenezer Scrooge in a TV-movie incongruously set in the Wild West. Married twice, his three children -- Holly, Brooke and Cody (the last died in 1998 of cancer) -- all dabbled in acting and appeared with their father at one time or another. A man of few words off the set, he owned his own cattle ranch and displayed other creative sides as a exhibited painter and published poet. Jack's last years were marred by failing health and he died at age 87 of natural causes at his daughter Holly's Montecito, California home.
Peter Paul Wyngarde was born at the home of an aunt in Marseille, Southern France, and is the son of an English father and French mother. Owing to his father's work as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, Peter spent much of his early childhood moving from one country to another, and was educated in a number of different schools.
One city which left a lasting impression on him was Shanghai, where he had been temporarily left in the care of a Swiss family whilst his father was away in India on business. The year was 1941, and amidst a mass of turmoil and confusion, news broke that the Japanese had captured the city, and before long, Peter and his surrogate family found themselves in Lung-Hau concentration camp.
Confined in these desperately brutal conditions for four years, Peter struggled to prevent his family and friends from dying at the hands of the cruel and barbaric soldiers who governed the camp, and on one occasion while running errands between accommodation huts, he was discovered and punished by having both his feet broken with a rifle butt, and then put into solitary confinement for two weeks.
During better times however, the young Mr Wyngarde worked in the camp laundry and gardens, and began to write and appear in plays staged by, and for, his fellow inmates, making his acting debut in his own production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. When the camp was finally liberated in 1945 Peter, who was then suffering from malnutrition, berry-berry and malaria, was taken to a sanatorium in the Swiss mountains where he remained for the next two years.
After completing his education in Switzerland, France and England, Peter reluctantly honoured his parents' wishes, and entered university, where he began studying law, but soon dropped the idea in favour of a career in advertising. After a brief spell with an agency in London, he walked into an audition, read the part, and was cast as the understudy for the lead in a play in Brighton.
His first role on the London stage, however, was with the Nottingham Repertory Company at the Embassy Theatre as Cassio in Othello. From there, he moved to the world famous Old Vic in Bristol, where he not only took the lead role in such classics as Cyrano de Bergerac and Taming of the Shrew, but also tried his hand at directing, most notably with Long Day's Journey Into The Night.
In 1956, Peter was invited over to the United States to take a screen test for the part of Pausanius in Robert Rosen's epic feature film, Alexander the Great opposite Richard Burton and Fredric March, but after almost a year's work on location in Spain, he watched in horror as his role was cut almost out of existence. Disillusioned with Hollywood, Peter returned to his first love - the British stage, where he took the role of Yang Sun, a Chinese fighter pilot, in Bertold Brecht's, The Good Woman of Setzuan, at the Royal Court Theatre in London's West End. It was here that he first made the acquaintance of the Oliviers - Lawrence and his wife, Vivien Leigh, the latter of whom he later played opposite in the critically acclaimed Duel of Angels.
Following the plays hugely successful run at the Apollo Theatre in London in 1958 Ms Leigh, who had since become a close friend of Peter's, begged her leading man to join her in the New York production of the play. Although reluctant at first, Peter was at last persuaded to reprise his role as Count Marcellus, and he made his Broadway debut at the Helen Hayes Theatre in 1959, taking the coveted award for Best Actor in a Foreign Play.
On his triumphant return to Britain in 1960, he was almost immediately cast as the enigmatic Peter the Painter in Monty Barman's production of The Siege of Sidney Street - a film which was based on the true story of the British Governments legendary battle with a notorious gang of Slavonic anarchist, whose reputation throughout Europe for robbery and murder lead to one of the bloodiest confrontations in British criminal history.
Between numerous starring roles in television productions such as Independent Televisions popular Armchair Theatre and Play of the Week, Peter made two more big screen appearances - both Albert Fennell productions.
The first, in 1961, was The Innocents - a feature-length adaptation of the Henry James book, Turn of the Screw, which was followed in 1962 by the classic supernatural thriller, Night of the Eagle (A.K.A. Burn, Witch, Burn), which was once again based on a novel - this time Fritz Leiber's, Conjure Wife.
Between July of 1960 and March of 1969, Peter appeared in no less than thirty television plays, and guest starred in such classic series as The Avengers, I Love Lucy, The Baron, The Saint, The Champions and The Prisoner. In 1969, Peter was cast in what was undoubtedly his most famous role as the legendary author-cum-investigator, Jason King, in the ITC action series, Department S, and soon became the idol of thousands of women the world over. So overwhelming was his effect on television viewers that in 1971, a brand new series - Jason King - was devised, which allowed the handsome novelist to go adventuring without restriction.
Following the cancellation of the series at the end of 1972, Peter decided to return to the theatre, and after being greeted at Melbourne Airport by more than 30,000 screaming fans, he took the city by storm in the world premiere of Butley before packed houses every night. Once back in London, Peter took the lead role in Charles Dyers Mother Adam at the Hampstead Theatre, and then went on to tour Britain in the lead role of the King in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I opposite Sally Anne Howes. The following year, he once again took up the mantle of actor/director with Present Laughter, stopping off along the way to host the 1974 Miss Television Contest.
In 1975, Peter headed out to Austria to work at the English Theatre in Vienna, to both act in and direct productions of The Merchant of Venice and Big Toys, before returning to the big screen in an Austrian film (Himmel, Scheich Und Wolkenbrunch) in the role of a latter-day Rudolph Valentino. The following year, he returned to the British stage in the Lawrence Parnes' production of Anastasia, and then on to the big screen courtesy of Dino De Laurentiis' lavish 1980s sci-fi blockbuster, Flash Gordon, in which he was cast in the role of General Klytus. It was then back to the stage for a nine-months tour of South Africa in Deathtrap.
In 1984, after an absence of almost 12 years, Peter returned to the small screen with a rare television appearance in the four-part Doctor Who installment, Planet of Fire, which was followed in short succession by the Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense story, And The Wall Came Tumbling Down, and a memorable guest-starring role in Granada Televisions Bulman.
Having been cast as the somewhat unsavoury character of Sir Robert Knights in the stylish, yet overtly violent British thriller, Tank Malling in 1989 Peter, who scarcely ever agrees to be interviewed, consented to appear on SKY TVs Jameson Show, plus a hearing on Channel 4s Right To Reply and the BBCs daytime magazine, Pebble Mill. More recently, Peter made a welcomed return to our screens in 1994 in Granada Televisions popular Sherlock Holmes series opposite Jeremy Brett, playing the newspaper gossip-columnist, Langdale Pike, in The Three Gables.
The long-overdue release of both Department S and Jason King on video in 1993 helped rekindle huge interest in the debonair Mr Wyngarde, with repeats of the series being shown on satellite and cable channels, and public pressure resulting in the re-release of his infamous 1970 album on CD.
In recent years, Peter has made numerous TV appearances, which include Astleys Way, Dee Time, 100 Greatest TV Characters, Don't Knock Yourself Out and narrated the acclaimed Timeshift documentary, The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes in 2014.
Peter remains one of the most popular British actors of the past 50 years, with a thriving fan club and devoted worldwide following. His appearances at TV and Sci-Fi conventions have drawn thousands of attendees, eager to meet him and to shake the hand of a true acting legend.
Associated with gritty, flashy film villainy, veteran character actor Torin Thatcher was born in Bombay, India to British parents on January 15, 1905, and was educated in England at the Bedford School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. A former schoolteacher, he appeared on the London stage in 1927 before entering British films in 1934. During World War II he served with the Royal Artillery and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was an extremely imposing, powerfully built specimen and it offered him a number of tough, commanding, often sinister roles over the years primarily in larger-than-life action sequences. He made a number of classic British films in the late 1930s and 1940s including Sabotage, Major Barbara, The Captive Heart, Great Expectations, in which he played Bentley ("The Spider") Drummle, and The Fallen Idol. In Hollywood from the 1950s on, his looming figure and baleful countenance were constantly in demand, gnashing his teeth in a slew of popular costumers such as The Crimson Pirate, Blackbeard, the Pirate as reformed pirate Sir Henry Morgan, The Robe, Helen of Troy as Ulysses, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad as the evil, shaven-domed magician Sokurah who shrinks the princess to miniature size, Witness for the Prosecution as the prosecuting attorney, The Miracle as the Duke of Wellington, the Marlon Brando/'Trevor Howard' remake of Mutiny on the Bounty, and Hawaii. Thatcher returned to the stage quite frequently, notably on Broadway, in such esteemed productions as "Edward, My Son" (1948), "That Lady" (1949) and "Billy Budd" (1951). In 1959 he portrayed Captain Keller in the award-winning play "The Miracle Worker" with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. Also a steady fixture on TV, he appeared in such made-for-TV films as the Jack Palance version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Brenda Starr." Thatcher died of cancer on March 4, 1981, in the near-by Los Angeles area.
|Anthony Brandon Wong
Anthony Brandon Wong is an award-winning actor who has played a wide range of roles in numerous films, more than 40 hit television programs, and over thirty stage productions in the US, Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. He is best known to international audiences for his role as 'Ghost', the Zen Buddhist assassin in "The Matrix Reloaded", "The Matrix Revolutions", and as the lead character (alongside Jada Pinkett Smith) in the "Enter the Matrix" video game, all written and directed by The Wachowski Brothers. Wong spent 15 months working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sydney, Australia, opposite Pinkett Smith, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Monica Bellucci, Harold Perrineau and Hugo Weaving.
Most recently, he played the role of Danny Law, father of five children, in the SBS/Matchbox Pictures comedy series "The Family Law", which won the 2016 Screen Producers Australia Awards (SPAA) for Best Comedy Series Production and the 2016 Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) Award for Best Casting in a TV Comedy Series. "The Family Law" was also nominated for a 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Award for Best Television Comedy Series. Wong will return as Danny Law in Season 2 of "The Family Law" which airs on Australian television in 2017.
Wong played the series regular role of lascivious shop-owner and fish-fighting champion Le Bok in the NBC Universal/Matchbox Pictures kung fu comedy series "Maximum Choppage", which was screened on Australia's ABC TV network in early 2015. The main cast of "Maximum Choppage" were nominated for a 2016 Equity Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
In 2013-4, Wong filmed the role of Michael Lau in the Matchbox Pictures sci-fi series "Nowhere Boys", which won multiple awards including an International Emmy Award in 2016, Best Children's Series at the 2014 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, and a 2014 Logie Award for Most Outstanding Children's Program..
In 2012, Wong played the role of former Chinese premier Chou En-lai in the HBO movie "Hemingway and Gellhorn" opposite Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, directed by Philip Kaufman. That same year, he played the supporting role of 'Asian Elvis' opposite Gary Oldman and Christian Slater in the comedy "Guns, Girls and Gambling", which was shot in Salt Lake City, Utah, and also played a guest role opposite Ed Asner in "Hawaii Five-O" in the episode titled "Kalele", filmed in Honolulu.
In 2011, Wong was seen in the Steven Soderbergh movie "Haywire", alongside Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Antonio Banderas, Ewan McGregor, Bill Paxton, and Gina Carano. Wong filmed the role of kidnapped journalist 'Jiang' in Dublin, Barcelona and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Other notable film credits include the 20th Century Fox action movie "Flight of the Phoenix", opposite Dennis Quaid, Giovanni Ribisi, Hugh Laurie, Tyrese Gibson, and Tony Curran, which was filmed in the deserts of Namibia, the lead male role in Clara Law's "Floating Life" as a womanizing Hong Kong stockbroker who realizes the error of his philandering ways, the villainous Chinatown crime lord Peter Cho in the Australian comedy "Crooked Business" and the films "Little Fish" (opposite Cate Blanchett), "Lilian's Story" (starring Toni Collette), "Till There Was You" (starring Mark Harmon and Jeroen Krabbe), and "Seeing Red" (opposite David Wenham, 'Faramir' in "The Lord of the Rings"). Wong's forthcoming films include the Australian feature "Thicker than Water", in which he stars as dance teacher Tin alongside 15 of his acting students including Australian singer-songwriter Pete Murray, and the sci-fi short "Emporium", in which he plays the lead role opposite nine of his acting students including Christopher Sommers ("The Water Diviner").
In 2008, Wong played the series regular role of 'Tasuke Kogo' in ABC Family's "Samurai Girl", father of the title character and one of Japan's most powerful businessmen. In the same year, in the BBC's "Secrets of the Forbidden City" he played the principal character of real life 15th Century Chinese Emperor Yongle, the visionary but despotic leader who built the world-famous Forbidden City.
Wong also played the lead role of Hirohito opposite Caspar Van Dien ("Starship Troopers") in the US martial arts TV movie "Mask of the Ninja" (Spike TV). His many other television credits include "Glee" (in the Series 2 episode "Grilled Cheesus"), "The Unit" (as a Thai prince facing death threats), "NCIS" (as Navy Doctor Russell Nguyen), the Francis Ford Coppola produced "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (playing a Hong Kong detective), Disney Channel's "Jumping Ship" (as a modern-day pirate), "All Saints" (as a journalist who loses his partner), "Water Rats" (as a compulsive gambler), "Xena Warrior Princess" "Cassidy", "The Boys from the Bush", "Home and Away", "A Country Practice", "The Alice" and the HBO pilot "1%", written by Michael Tolkin ("The Player") and directed by Emmy award winning director Alan Taylor ("The Sopranos").
Wong also played the series regular roles of 'Mek', a heroic scientist on "Spellbinder 2", filmed in Poland, China and Australia, opposite Ryan Kwanten ("True Blood") and 'Lee', a political revolutionary in "Embassy", filmed in Melbourne and Fiji.
He played the role of Gerald in the Internet series "The Booth at the End", opposite Xander Berkeley ("24" and "Nikita"), produced by Michael Eisner.
In 1992, he won the Victorian Green Room Best Actor Award (theatre) for his performance as a Filipino transvestite in "Sex Diary of an Infidel", which also netted him a Sydney Critics Circle Award nomination. He also scored Green Room Award nominations for his stage work in "The Temple" as a cocaine-addicted paraplegic and in "The Language of the Gods" as an Indonesian priest with magical powers. He played the lead role of a Malaysian king in the Melbourne Theatre Company production of "Coup d'etat", and portrayed an Aboriginal hip-hop artist, a Lebanese tough guy, an African schoolgirl and a New Zealand-born Samoan boxer in the acclaimed stage production of "Fast Cars and Tractor Engines" (Urban Theatre Projects, Sydney). In 2010, he starred in the circus theatre spectacular "Shanghai Lady Killer", written by renown Australian director and screenwriter Tony Ayres ("The Home Song Stories") and in the villainous role of Vasquez in "'Tis Pity She's A Whore" at Melbourne's acclaimed Malthouse Theatre. Wong will next be seen in the Australian stage premiere of the Olivier-Award winning play "Chimerica" at Sydney Theatre Company.
Wong is an accomplished singer in cabaret, having performed in shows at Hollywood's renown cabaret venues M Bar and Gardenia Lounge, and sung in the Australian musicals "Rasputin" directed by Emmy award winning director Stephen Hopkins), and "And It's Got a Lovely Backyard". In Sydney, Australia, he has sung at well-known music venues such as The Imperial Hotel, The Harbourside Brasserie, Side On Cafe, LA Bar, and at the Chinese Gardens in Darling Harbour. He has recorded a dance single "Emancipate", co-written with Daniel Nemes, and produced by Steve Peach, who has worked with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Macy Gray and Kylie Minogue.
He is also a writer (journalism, plays) and comedian (credits include the hit Australian comedy stage show "Wog-a-rama", the sit-com "Acropolis Now" and stand up).
He is also a much sought after acting teacher and coach, who has taught at Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Arts (alumni include Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson and Judy Davis), Actors Centre Australia (where Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts studied), West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, 16th Street Studios Melbourne, Queensland University of Technology and the Australian Theatre for Young People.
Wong trained in many different acting techniques (Meisner, Strasberg, Improvisation, Asian theatre methods) and with many acclaimed acting teachers including world-renown acting coach Ivana Chubbuck, who has worked with Halle Berry, Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Jim Carrey, Terrence Howard, Catherine Keener, Kate Hudson and hundreds of other A List actors. He has also studied with Larry Moss, acting coach to Leonardo di Caprio, Hilary Swank, Helen Hunt and Tobey Maguire; with Eric Morris, former coach to Jack Nicholson, and with Elizabeth Kemp, Bradley Cooper and Harvey Keitel's teacher from the famed Actors Studio.
Kellie is a professional actress & works in film, TV, theatre & radio. She has also co presented for BBC2 & Channel 5 - where she is a regular panelist on 'The Wright Stuff'. Her Film work includes; Girl on a Bicycle (Warner Bros); Riot; Kick; Everyone's Going to Die, (Dinard award 2013); Run for Your Wife; Heidi, Frank; The Sick House & Wimbledon (Working Title) For TV she is best known for playing series regular 'Carly wicks' in 'Eastenders for BBC. Other TV includes: Self Centred; Lewis; Parents of the Band; Happy Slaps; Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky; Murder City; Sex, Footballers and Videotape; The Office & Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Theatre; 'Stella Stone' & 'Gemma' in Great Britain for The National theatre & in the West End. Also for NT: One Man, Two Guvnors (& West End), The Miracle. London: Rookery Nook; Hamlet; The Vagina Monologues; The Lying Kind; Protection, & 'Nancy' in Neil Bartlett's - Oliver Twist.
|Shaun Paul Piccinino
Shaun Paul Piccinino (Peach-ah-nino) is an action, Director and Actor who has Directed and starred in the hit television show the "Deadliest Warrior", the award winning film, "The Lackey" and over 30 videos games to date spanning from "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows", "Prototype 2", to the multi-billion dollar franchise, "Call of Duty".
Growing up in Northern California and being raised on a virtual wildlife refuge of over 900 acres (on the campus where his father, Barry is head of the Drama Department at Butte College) was an incredibly grounding experience. Shaun grew up on stage since age 5 while studying Shakespeare with his father. His curiosity for film and TV brought him to Los Angeles in early 2001.
Piccinino is a Hollywood anomaly and has been described as a modern day renaissance man. Who also happens to be a AAU National Champion in weapons (4th Degree black belt) in Shoalin Kung Fu and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Karate. Shaun parlayed his skills to launch himself into the Hollywood and Video Game action scene. Shaun has battled on top of moving trains on the NBC show "Revolution", doubled the stars on NBC's "Heroes" and played the part of "The Quarterback" in an episode of "Criminal Minds."
Piccinino has found equal success in both television and film. 2nd Unit directing and then later Directing on Spike TV's #1 Hit show, the "Deadliest Warrior" for two seasons in a row (as well as staring in several episodes as famed Scottish war hero, William Wallace). As a filmmaker, he was honored with the "Audience Choice" award at the 2012 SoCal Film Fest and the "Best Editing - Feature" accolades at the 2012 Action on Film (AOF) Festival for his multi-nominated feature film, The Lackey, that Piccinino also starred in, wrote and directed. He was also the stunt coordinator on the movie, which also received a "Best Fight Choreography" and "Best Screenplay" nomination. His other recent works have garnered a lot of attention from his stunning action work in the viral hit show "Super Power Beat Down" where he not only coordinates the stunts but also 2nd Unit & Co-directs, to his producing credits on several feature films in the last year alone. Notable credit's include, "When The Fever Breaks" an Zombie survival thriller in the vein of The Walking Dead and a true to text adaptation of "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" which had the honor of being the last film work for the hollywood legend Mickey Rooney.
When not in front or behind the camera Piccinino spends his time in the editing bays with 8 feature films and several network television shows, such as Seth Green's "Robot Chicken" and Drew Carey's "Green Screen Show" under his belt.
Piccinino's penchant for drama/action, and ability to pull at heart strings while elevating the stories through gritty fight choreography have been realized throughout Hollywood. Piccinino's is quoted as saying that one of his biggest idol's is the one and only Buster Keaton.
Classically-trained actor, former chemist, whose formative years on the stage were spent in Bern (Switzerland) and, from 1909, the Deutsches Theater Berlin under Max Reinhardt's direction. Specialised in Shakespearean roles ('Richard III', 'Hamlet') and was a famous interpreter of the plays of Henrik Ibsen. He delivered his screen debut in a silent version of 'Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde' (Der Andere). Bassermann remained active in motion pictures throughout the 1920's, also frequently appearing on stage in Austria and Switzerland. His wife, Elsa Bassermann, nee Schiff, was Jewish, and the discrimination shown towards her in his native country so outraged him that he emigrated with her to the United States in 1939.
At the age of 72, he carved out another career in Hollywood as a celebrated character actor. It took him some time to come to terms with the English language, but he was soon cast in a small part in Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, as Dr.Robert Koch. He also played a sympathetic chemistry professor in Knute Rockne All American. That same year, he appeared as Van Meer in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent and was promptly nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. His distinguished-looking countenance and serious demeanour lent itself to being assigned a variety of consular or professorial roles: he was excellent as Consul Magnus Barring in A Woman's Face with Joan Crawford; Professor Jean Perote in Madame Curie; and a dying German music teacher in Rhapsody in Blue.
At the age of 83, he made a triumphant return to the German/Austrian stage in Ibsen plays. Albert Bassermann died of a heart attack en route from New York to Zurich on May 15 1952.
Barry Cook was born and raised in Nashville, TN, USA. He began making films at the age of ten on the family super 8 camera. He won two prizes in the local PBS-sponsored Young Filmakers Festival with "The Vampire" and "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" at the age of twelve. During summers, he and his brother would work at Opryland USA, drawing caricatures of the guests. At the age of eighteen, Barry moved to California to pursue his career in motion pictures. He studied at Columbia College, where he spent time helping colleagues with their student films. He served as an intern at Hanna Barbera. He joined Disney in 1981 to work on "Tron". He has worked as an animator on many Disney films, including "Oliver & Company" and "Captain EO". He has worked at Disney for seventeen years, and "Mulan" was his directing debut. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and four children.
She was aptly and affectionately dubbed "Two Ton Tessie" not only for her plentiful girth but for the tons of talent she possessed as one of the British Isle's most beloved, unabashed music hall entertainers. Welsh star Tessie O'Shea was born Teresa O'Shea and was already showing off as a youngster capturing prizes for the talent contests she entered with her singing and dancing. The once-slim performer made her solo debut at the age of 12 at the Bristol Hippodrome and never stopped working. She buried her burgeoning weight under loads of comic clothing -- complete with over-sized hats, striped stockings and elastic boots while belting out such bawdy favorites as "Don't Have Any More, Missus Moore" and "Hold Your Hand Out, Naughty Boy." By the late 30s Tessie had become a major star on radio and stage and won the hearts and respect of soldiers everywhere touring with ENSA during World War II. She later went out on the road with band-leader Billy Cotton in a highly successful musical revue called "Tess and Bill." In the 60s she had U.S. audiences eating out of the palm of her hand. She became a certifiable hit on Broadway with her scene-stealing song "London" in "The Girl Who Came to Supper," a 1963 musical adaptation of Terence Rattigan's play "The Sleeping Prince," and was rewarded with a Tony for her efforts. She returned to Gotham three years later with the musical "A Time for Singing" which was based on Richard Llewellyn's "How Green Was My Valley." Seen practically everywhere, she was a featured regular in the CBS show The Entertainers in 1964, took her musical act to Las Vegas, and even won an Emmy nomination in 1968 for her feisty, atmospheric musical turn in Jack Palance's version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Film appearances were extremely rare, however, appearing in cameos in both The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Back in Britain in the 70s she appeared to great advantage on TV and, of course, always seemed at home on the bawdy stage. Tessie died in 1995 of congestive heart failure at age 82, having lived quite the happy, hearty life, and allowing audiences everywhere in on much of it.
Nonna Dooley, the future silent screen star, began her career as a showgirl in a Shubert revue in the Winter Garden, later went on to the famed Ziegfeld Follies.
After a successful career on the stage with the Follies, Nita decided to try her hand with films in Hollywood. Her rise to fame was very quick. In 1920, at the age of 25, she starred with the legendary John Barrymore in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This early role seemed to solidify her film career right from the beginning. It was said she was outstanding and beautiful. Her vamp roles were grand. In 1921, she starred in three fine productions: The Last Door, A Divorce of Convenience, and Experience. She was fast becoming filmdom's leading, sexy lady.
However, it was 1922's Blood and Sand that was to set apart from others. Nita starred opposite Rudolph Valentino in one of the silent era's epic last truly great productions. And it was also the last of the vamp roles filmed since Clara Bow had shown that good girls knew about sex too instead of just her more worldly counterparts. Nita would go on to be Valentino's most frequent co-star.
Nita played Dona Sol who leads the Valentino character into dissipation and disgrace. Nita was an absolute hit as the film was at the box-office. Blood and Sand was a smash hit! She made two more hits in 1922, The Snitching Hour and Anna Ascends, but neither measured up to her role as Dona Sol. Nita made several good films in 1923, but the pinnacle that year was Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. Not the powerful epic as was the 1956 version, Nita played an adventurous woman, Sally Lung. It was a saga of wages-of-sin drama with flashbacks to Moses time. The film was well-received. Nita continued to star in good movies, most of which were from Paramount.
In 1926 Nita left for Paris where she eloped with J. Searle Barclay, who she had been dating since 1920. The pair would separate in 1931 when Nita returned to New York and filed bankruptcy. While in Europe she made her last 3 films La Femme Nue, The Golden Mask, and The Mountain Eagle. Despite an attempt in the 1940s Nita never made another film despite an acceptable voice.
In need of money she continued to be active on the stage and later on in the infant medium of television. On February 17, 1961, Nita died of a heart attack in her room at the Wentworth Hotel.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Decurgez started his acting studies at the age of 15. Since then, he started working as an actor on stage and as a commercial actor for big brands worldwide such as Ray Ban, Coca Cola, Adidas, Volkwagen, Mc Donalds, etc. On stage, while he was studying both careers, Acting and Fine Arts at the National Arts University of Argentina, he led plays such as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "La leccion de anatomia", "Para acabar con la muerte". In 2008 he worked in "Passage", Shekhar Kapur's first short film, starring Julia Stiles, Lily Cole and Haley Bennett. He made a few TV appearances in Argentina during the years 2008 and 2011, and played the character Paco Botellas in Roland Joffé's movie "There be Dragons" (released 2011), starring Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko, Geraldine Chaplin, Rodrigo Santoro. More TV work followed. in 2010 he played Denis in the italian Show "Le due facce dell'amore", for Canale 5, directed by Maurizio Simonetti.
David Andrew Beatty was born in Huntington Beach California to Joan B. Beatty, a homemaker and teacher, and David L. Beatty, a pilot for United Airlines. He is of Scottish, Irish and Native American decent. (Shawnee Tribe from his maternal grandmother) He attended college in Colorado and growing interest in acting led him to the theater department of Adams State University where he made his stage debut in Thornton Wilder's 'The Skin of our Teeth.' Following graduation, he began his professional acting career at the Creede Repertory Theater and his work in theater, film and television has taken him all over the country and around the globe.
In 2005 Beatty launched Double Yellow Line Films, a film production company that inspires and entertains audiences around the globe.
Beatty received his MFA from the University of California Davis where he was also an instructor in courses including acting, directing and screen writing.
Beatty is based in Los Angeles and known for his roles in Get Spy (2015-), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2015), Lien On Me (2010-2011), Criminal Minds (2009) and his directorial debut feature film Surviving New Year's (2008).
Gage Maverik aka Thomas White relocated from Houston, TX to Los Angeles, CA to pursue his dreams, Mr. White had lived in NW Houston area most of his life and has been acting and performing all around the Houston area from Conroe to Clear Lake to Downtown Houston. He is now proud to make Hollywood, CA his home and loves working in the performing arts developing his craft and working with others to broaden their acting abilities. He has been an acting coach for several years as well as a working actor and is most proud of his performances as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde the Broadway Musical, Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men and Uncle Louie in Lost in Yonkers.
He appeared as a Co-Host on a Network Television Game Show in Hollywood on Game Show Network with 30-year veteran 27 EMMY award-winning host Fred Roggin. He has also created, produced as well as hosts his own LIVE show that features acting, singing, dancing and all elements of the performance arts and is currently in production of a TV Show he has created and hosts that discovers undiscovered talent and gives them exposure to the world called The Gage Maverik Road Show. He graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2007. He brings his over 20 years of acting on stage and screen experience to the table, and looks forward to working with anyone willing to hire or work with him.
Linda Eder was born in Tucson, Arizona on February 3, 1961 to Georg (from Austria) and Leila (from Norway). She grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota. When she was 16, she started her professional singing career, singing at Holiday Inns with a high school friend. She was later a contestant on Star Search and won 12 weeks in a row. A tape of her voice was sent to composer Frank Wildhorn who was beginning to create a Broadway musical of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When he heard her voice he knew he had found his leading lady. After about 10 years, "Jekyll and Hyde" was finally ready for Broadway. In April of 1997 it opened on Broadway and ran for about 3 years. Linda played Lucy Harris for all of J&H's touring and for a year on Broadway. She and Frank were married and Linda continued to record albums and go on tour. On August 23, 1999, Linda gave birth to a son named Jake Ryan Wildhorn. She can be seen on "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies" and "My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs". She can be heard on her 6 solo albums: "Linda Eder", "And So Much More", "It's Time", "It's No Secret Anymore", "Christmas Stays the Same" and the recently released "By Myself: the Songs of Judy Garland". She can also be heard on every recording of "Jekyll and Hyde", as well as "The Civil War" and the concept recording of "The Scarlet Pimpernel", and "The Scarlet Pimpernel: Encore".
Frank Cromer was hatched in Wiesbaden, Germany. His Air Force family moved to San Antonio, Texas and then transplanted to Ohio, where Cromer made his first movie (a "Romeo and Juliet" parody) at age 14 for an English class and was hooked when he (a skinny, bespectacled goof) became famous at his junior high school.
He and the 3 other boys who made the first film also created the first Junior Achievement film production company in America while in tenth grade. They named it "Titanico" because the suburb Westerville gang were sure the inner city Columbus kids would sink it. (They did but not before Cromer produced his next super 8mm classic called "Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and Herbie".)
After six short years at the Ohio State University, Cromer earned his B.A. in Photography and Cinema. Inspired by Steve Martin, he took to the comedy stage in 1979 and later worked as a double act with a deranged pal (who hates being called deranged) as The Kamikazee Brothers. In 1991 Cromer completed his first unpublished (as yet) comic novel "Take A Bullet" after spending two years as a private detective in Houston, Texas.
He shot the comedy pilot of his soap opera satire "Living for Today" at Otterbein College. In 1996 he wrote and directed the comedy short "Dead Girls Are Easy". From 1997-2000, Cromer wrote comedy bits for national radio's American Comedy Network and "The Gary Burbank Show" (later producing a documentary about Burbank called "Inside the BBC" .
He completed the script for "PIGS" in 1999 and was left at the altar twice: once by a Japanese studio and then in 2005 by a millionaire friend. (still not produced).
He landed in Los Angeles in July 2001 and produced "What's Your Beef?" a live Hollywood show on cable access TV to no great response. He made national news he and two pals commandeered a 1957 stretch muscle-car limousine past mobs of police and the FBI to ride to crash the 2002 Oscars.
By 2006 Cromer wrote a buddy pic for Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams called "Saving the Coot". Winters approved the script but Williams was in rehab and by the time he got out, JW backed out because of his frail health. On January 6, 2007 the Ohio Historical Society premiered Cromer's first feature film "TV Clown: the True Story of Flippo, King of Clowns".
July 14, 2008 was when Conan O'Brien aired Cromer's first-ever animation. In December 2008 Cromer optioned the book "Fouled Away: the Baseball Tragedy of Hack Wilson" and wrote the screenplay "The Slugger". Cromer has begun his second documentary feature "My Cartoon Life" featuring his original cartoons and clips from his early stand-up career.
The Ohio Historical Society premiered his baseball documentary "Buckeye Cubbie: Woody English" in Sept. 2010.
Vic Parks met Lou Costello when both were in vaudeville. Vic was a tumbler and dancer in an act known as the "Keene Twins, Vic and LaMarr". He later became a close friend and confidante of Lou and served as his stunt double in all of his films and many of his tv shows betwenn 1951 and 1957. In Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Vic took Lou's part for about 90% of the movie in heavy monster makeup. He also doubled for Buddy Hcakett in "Wondeful World of the Brothers Grimm" as well as "Fireman Save my Child".
Diane Baldwin is an Actress/Director/Producer, known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (2015), a National Turbo Tax Print Campaign (2012-2013), United States of Tara (2010), and Slammin' Salmon (2009).
Theatrically trained, Diane also studied film and video production at Columbia College Chicago, studied improvisation under Beth Domann, and trained under Paul Schackman. She trained in jiu jitsu and boxing under Dino Costeas, Sifu Katalin Rodriguez, and Sifu Dino Spencer at POW Training Facility.
Her most recent work includes Directing a webisode of "The Domestic Adventures of Molly & Zoran," and Directing an indie horror film "Long Shivering" which is currently in post-production. She studies acting under Joseph Pearlman.
A university student in 1934, William Vance appeared in the "Summer Festival of Drama" at the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois, Orson Welles' alma mater. Welles had organized the festival and produced the three plays, "Trilby", "Hamlet", and "Tsar Paul", in all of which Vance performed a principal part. There Vance and Welles shot their short film, "Hearts of Age", reportedly in a single afternoon, using Vance's 16mm camera. Vance had earlier made his own primitive version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in 1932, in addition to other student efforts. He later went on to produce and direct commercials for television.
Since the age eleven, Ric has acted in numerous films, shorts, commercials and videos. In his twenties, he turned his attention to writing and directing for film, starting with a documentary entitled "Overcoming Grief" and the short film "Choices" for the Jason Foundation (a teen-age suicide prevention group), distributed throughout the world. He then wrote and directed the feature comedy "Heaven Admittance", the popular suspense thriller "The Bell Witch Haunting" and the thriller drama "Nightmares from the Mind of Poe" which includes four of Edgar Allan Poe's stories.
Before evolving to film as a director, writer and producer for Willing Hearts Productions, Ric began his career in the theater by studying acting, music and film at the University Of Maryland (Europe), Belmont University and Tennessee State University; as well as, countess private and group classes and seminars. Ric has been acting since age eleven and over the years he has performed with numerous theater groups. He has been in over fifty productions including the leads in such shows as "Becket", "Glass Menagerie", "Good Doctor", "Boys Next Door" and "Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde". He has performed at countless functions acting in various shows, including several one-man shows. He has written countless scenes, skits and ten produced plays including "Where's The Love?" performed at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center; and the one-man shows "The Disciple" and "An Evening With Poe" performed throughout the Southeast US. He has directed over forty play productions; and has produced over sixty. He has served as the Artistic Director of the Tennessee Theater Company since 1998.
Through the years, Ric has also been lead singer of several bands, playing a variety of music from country, blues, R&B, oldies and Top 40 rock. This has given him the opportunity to utilize a variety of vocal styles; this variety blended over to his songwriting, creating Ric's unique country sound. That year the CD "Someday, Someway" with all songs written by Ric, was voted best independent album in the Scene's readers poll. Ric also placed third in the poll (behind Vince Gill and Garth Brooks) as best male artist; and third (behind Vince Gill and Pat Green) as best songwriter. Ric spent years touring and performing with different bands throughout the southern US and Europe performing covers and original music.
Ric's vast experience in theater and the performing arts helps him in creating his energetic shows, exciting crowds with his abilities as a performer. These abilities have been a long time in the making, beginning at five years old when Ric would entertain family and friends by doing his hip shaking Elvis impersonation. His love of entertaining took him to the theatrical stage as a student winning numerous forensic and acting awards; through college performances and production work; to touring, singing and songwriting as an independent music artist and filmmaker. Ric has always strived to challenge himself, touch the hearts his audience and inspire those around him.
Álvaro Fernández is a producer based in Los Angeles and born in Sevilla, Spain. He is known for his dedication to concept and story development, specializing in working directly with writers and directors to create high-quality original content. Álvaro is known for "Life is No Joke" (2013) and also has a background in the video game industry.
Álvaro Fernández holds a BA in Audiovisual Communications from University of Sevilla, Spain (including a mobility scholarship to do research on new technologies applied to the teaching of film studies at Sussex University, UK) a Masters in Video Game Design from Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain) and a MFA in Film and TV Producing from New York Film Academy.
His first short film "Reflexiones" (Reflections), 2002, was featured in the late night show "1001 Noches", broadcast internationally on Andalucía Televisión. He later became a segment producer for this same show.
In 2003, Álvaro produced, directed and wrote the short film "Despierta" (Wake Up) and produced the documentary "Lágrimas Negras" (Black Tears), about the Prestige oil spoilage catastrophe. This documentary won the Special Jury Prize at the 2003 University of Sevilla Film Awards.
In 2004, Álvaro produced and co-directed the short-film "Inhyde", an adaptation of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", which enjoyed a festival run in Europe. In 2005 Álvaro moved his career to the video game industry, and completed a Master in Video Game Design. His thesis project, the platform game "Quimera", was finalist at the Playstation Video Game Creation Award at Art Futura 2006, the reference New Media festival in Spain. For the following years Álvaro worked for NCsoft Ltd., the world's leading developer and publisher of online computer games, as a Project Manager for the internationally acclaimed online game "Guild Wars", which sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
After moving to the United States in 2010, Álvaro focused his career completely in film producing and worked in several award-winning short-films, including "Life is No Joke" (2012).
From his company, Monolithic Films, Álvaro specialized in working directly with writers and directors, serving as a sounding board, conduit and amplifier for creative individuals. Álvaro created Monolithic Films to oversee the development of original content projects in early stages and take treatments and first drafts to full-fledged marketable products, working hand in hand with writers and directors in an intensive development program.
Leonard Wolf was a Professor of English at 'San Francisco State University' (SFSU). He is a poet and author and lives today in New York. Wolf is especially known for his authoritative annotated editions of classic gothic horror novels including "Dracula", "Frankenstein", The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", and "The Phantom of the Opera".
Martin Bezener is a highly successful stage actor who has been acting he was young. At age 2, he appeared in an anti-drug public service announcement and a commercial for Downy Fabric Softener. In high school, he played the lead in many musicals, including "Les Miserables", "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". He currently balances acting and schoolwork at Loyola University Chicago, where he is a Mathematics major.
Brian Treybig is an actor, writer, musician, public speaker, and host of Simplicity Radio. Brian has portrayed many characters on stage such as Renfield in Dracula, Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks The Producers, the lead in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and his favorite, Sherlock Holmes. On the music side, he has played for many bands and is always writing original music in his personal studio. Hosting Dash Beardsley's Ghost Tours of Galveston for over 4 years, Brian has developed his ability as a public speaker catering to over 100 people in a single night. This work on the tours has lead him to create and host the show, Simplicity Radio which has brought over 20,000 listeners world wide and continues to do so with celebrity guests, psychic readings, and insightful topics.
|James P. Spencer
Mr. James P. Spencer (Kimo or Jimmy) was a very vigorous contributor in the "Golden Age" of Hollywood. He was active in film production and in acting at MGM and other major studios. He had a wonderful film legacy. Mr. Spencer was a native Hawaiian, born 1893 in Honolulu. His English & Scot's father was credited with bringing in the first sewing machines by clipper ships. A young Jimmy Spencer grew up and knew well the Hawaiian Republic with it's Honolulu royal family. His childhood was a happy one. When Mr. Spencer reached early adulthood, he migrated to Los Angeles. There he joined the US Army to fight in WW1.His army unit was the field artillery of the 13th Division. His unit was constituted into the National Army as 39th Field Artillery. The battalion was organized at Camp Lewis, WA. His Army service was exemplary and he rose to the rank of corporal. He was given an honorable discharge. Upon returning home, he became even more active in the local Southern Californian Polynesian community and it's many cultural events. Southern California had become an important focal point for Polynesian peoples. Kimo Spencer was a native Polynesian singer, musician, and dancer. He spoke Hawaiian and several other Pacific island languages. He was very proud of his island native culture. By now after the first world war, many of his old Honolulu friends had also migrated to "The Mainland". Jimmy Spencer had many childhood friends now in the ranks of that day's popular Polynesian performers and athletes. One of his most famous pals was Duke Kahanamoku. 'The Duke", Hawaiian Olympic Gold Medal swimmer and famous surfer. One of their favorite past times was abalone diving off Palos Verde and off Catalina Island's reefs. Large groups of Polynesian friends would gather for beach parties consisting of entertaining each other with their songs and dances from their home island cultures. Around this time, Mr. Spencer started a family by marrying and had two wonderful daughters. In the late 1920's and the early 1930's, Hollywood began to produce a great many "South Sea Island" films. This genre of film was very popular with the Depression Age film-going public. Many great many new up-coming actors got their starts in these island films. Some of those actors were Clark Gable, Jon Hall, Mamo Clark, Ray Mala, Joan Crawford and Loretta Young. Mr. Spencer became a useful contributor due to his personal Polynesian knowledge and artistic contacts. Mr. Spencer worked initially in casting and set direction with these "South Seas" Polynesian films. His duties were casting Polynesian islanders for daily "bit" parts and to cast large amounts of background performers [extras]. Most of his early work was for the studio giant, Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Some of his more legendary MGM films were: "Rain"('31)- Walter Huston and a new Joan Crawford. "Bird of Paradise"('32)- Joel McCrea and a new Delores Del Rio. "The Hurricane"('37)- a new Dorothy Lamour. "Mutiny on the Bounty"('35)- Charles Laughton and a new Clark Gable. "Call of the Wild"('35)- a new Loretta Young and Clark Gable. With his large amount of film industry contacts, Mr. Spencer gradually moved on to become a busy film actor. He was sometimes credited as Jimmy Spencer or Jim Spencer on film call sheets. Due to his exotic looks, he was often cast as an pacific islander or some other "native" role. Later, his acting roles became more recognizable. He would work with some of Hollywood's largest film stars (Jimmy Cagney, George Raft, Joel McCrea, Lucille Ball, Charles Laughton, Greta Garbo) and classic film directors (Fritz Lang, C.B. De Mile). His many acting roles were: · Frozen Justice ('29) ·The Sea God ('30)deep sea diver. ·Pueblo Terror (Cosmos Pictures '31) "Pedro". ·The Jungle Princess (Paramount '36)East Indian big game native. Starring Lola Montez. · Ebb Tide (Paramount '37).cook.Starring Francis Farmer. · Hawk of the Wilderness (Republic Pictures serial '38).island native warrior. · Each Dawn I Die (Warner Bros '39).prison cell-mate. Starring Cagney and Raft. **BEST ** · Union Pacific (Paramount '39)Sioux warrior. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea. Cecil B. De Mile director. · Western Union (20th Ctry Fox '41)Plains Indian warrior. Starring Randolph Scott. Fritz Lang director. · Girl, a Guy and a Gob (RKO '41) comedy.island native. Starring Lucille Ball, George Murphy. · Blossoms in the Dust (MGM '41)"Mr. Dirk". Starring Walter Pigeon, Greer Garson. · Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (MGM '41)young man. Starring Spencer Tracy. · Moonlight in Hawaii (Universal '41).Hawaiian "Chief Kikhanoui". · Unholy Partners (MGM '41)"Jimmy", drug store clerk. Starring Edward G. Robinson. · Two-Faced Women (MGM '41)."Carl". Starring Greta Garbo. · The Bugle Sounds (MGM '41).army recruit. Starring Wallace Beery. · The Tuttles of Tahiti (RKO '42)"Tupa". Starring Charles Laughton. · Pardon My Sarong (Universal '42)..comedy.island native. Starring Bud Abbot and Lou Costello. · Two Flags West (20th Ctry Fox '50)Plains Indian warrior. Starring Jeff Chandler. [Released after Spencer's accidental death.] Mr. Spencer was now in his mid-forties. He was getting more substantial acting roles. He was acting with larger film stars. The best example of his acting prowess was in Warner's "Each Dawn I Die", with James Cagney and George Raft. A comfortable film career could be seen for him. Tragically, this was not to be. Mr. Spencer was to accidentally die on a movie set. On 1943 at MGM film studios, a large lamp fell 40 feet and stuck Mr. Spencer. This accident killed him. He was only 50 years old. His funeral was held on 1943. His family had his remains cremated. He was given a veteran's plot at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. Mr. James P. Spencer's life was abundantly filled with family, music, good friends, dance, and a major pride in his Polynesian ancestry. He enthusiastically shared that with all. He found an inexhaustible way to take his many native talents and give them to many people. By his working in the films, he continues to share his work for others to enjoy after he has gone. He was an energetic, fun loving, and creative person. His vocation put him into the Golden Age of MGM. There he showed the best of his talented island culture and island home.
|Robert W. Armour
Robert is a student at Pasadena City College where he studies technical theatre direction. He has worked on many shows including, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (set design), Lies and Legends of Harry Chapin (light tech), Working (light design), An Evening with Crumpet (light design), Bang, Bang You're Dead (director), You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (light & sound tech), Godspell (light design), Power Play (director), Tartuffe: Born Again (Set Design & Assistant Director) Summer Nights: A musical Revue (Director), Being The It (Light Design), Glory Pie (Light & Sound Tech). His theater acting credits include The Crucible, The Doctor in Spite of Himself, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Be Aggressive, Grease, Footloose, Les Miserables, Kiss Me, Kate, Working, Power Play, Being The It, Summer Nights. His motion picture credits include Holes & Nickelodeon's All That. You can regularly see Robert performing at The National Comedy Theatre in ComedySportz The College Team in Los Angeles.
LB McGill has been a musician, designer, singer, performer, writer, director, and most importantly, an artist for the last 30 years.
Loralie "LB" McGill began her theater career in 1979 as a singer/songwriter/performer. One of her first performances was a lead roll in original play "Carla", performed for the American College Theatre Festival in Kansas City, KS. Her talents and improvisation skills in stage production were enhanced by other 'On the Road'performances as a song writer and singer throughout the USA. She moved to San Diego with an extensive background in the theatre, having participated in a number of productions, both on the road and in theatre. Arriving in San Diego in 1982, she worked with Lorelei's Singing Telegrams, San Diego, CA, as a Singer, Performer, and sought after Costume Designer. She successfully wrote a video script for Keith Green's "The Prodigal Son," 1984, and then moved on to produce fashion shows for Neil West Productions, San Diego, CA and De La Siren Productions San Diego, CA. In 1991 she worked as a professional clown with a children's entertainment company Nugget's Window, San Diego, CA. She also served as a director and production manager for Nugget's Window productions. She has written a succession of stage shows, including, 'The Boots & Riley TV Show, 1992; several shows for the Del Mar Fair. San Diego, CA, 1993; and a video script hearing impaired children in sign language entitled "All Beyond Castle Dark," that was registered with Writers Guild of America, west, Inc, 1995. She was also a salaried entertainer at the Del Mar Fair, Carlsbad, CA. The North Coast Repertory Theater offered Loralie a position as their stage manager for "I Hate Hamlet" 1994 and costume designer for "Shadowlands," 1995. "I Hate Hamlet" and "Shadowlands" were performed at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, San Diego, CA.
Loralie owned and operated PaperAnimals.com 1997-2005, where she perfected her Paper Mache art and has written a children's book called "Winkie and The Sunflower". She founded Classic Youth Theater, Inc in 2005, in Carlsbad California, where she served as CEO and Production Director. Her first production, "A Street Car Named Desire" was performed in March of 2004. She has produced and directed over 30 productions including "Harvey", "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Arsenic And Old Lace", "You Can't Take It With You", "Midsummer Night's Dream", "Blithe Spirit, "The Odd Couple" (the female version), "Barefoot In The Park", Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", "The Matchmaker", "Pygmalion", "Hamlet", "Abie's Irish Rose", "Saint Joan", "The Importance of Being Earnest", and "Dracula". She also adapted and directed "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", "Peter Rabbit", and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". In 2011, she wrote, directed, and produced the original comedy "At a Bar in South Park", a play about the meeting, courtship, and engagement to her husband, Brian Ardolino.
In 2012, Loralie and Brian launched Tin KB Coffee Co. Pictures. Loralie would write the adaptation, direct, and produce their first featurette, "Venus & Adonis: Curse of Love." "Dead Serious" is the second production from Tin KB to be filmed in 2013. In 2012, Loralie also recently wrote the original screenplay "Cameo Appearance" for a Slovenian actress. In 2013, Tin KB plans to start pre-production on the film, "The Watcher".
LB McGill was born Laura Beth McGill in 1963 to Graham and Patricia McGill in Amsterdam, NY. She was the youngest of three children. In 1965, she became part of a broken home, when her mother left her father in the dead of night with the children. In part to her mother attending school, working as a single mother, and the tragic death of one of her older brothers in 1969, she was mostly left to her own devices through her childhood. "Laurie" as she was known by family, maintained a happy and outgoing spirit in the Chicago area where she was raised. As a child, she took ballet lessons, guitar lessons, loved to sing, taught herself to sew, rode horses in the summers, and loved the theatre. Spending a great deal of time alone, she would lose herself in movies and make-believe as a way to escape.
A restless soul, LB would run away at 15 and spend the next 3 years living with friends or relatives and hitch hiked cross country 3 times during that period. She spent time in California, New York, Illinois, and New Mexico. In 1981, at 18, she married, had 3 children, she left the marriage in 1991, married again in 1997, had 2 more children, she left her second husband in 2004, and she married her current husband and partner, Brian, in 2009.
Through the gauntlet of her difficult childhood, troubled marriages, and large family, LB McGill has developed into a visionary and original artist. She has beautiful voice, creative mind, loving heart, and untamable spirit. We can only wait to see what she will have in store for her next chapter in filmmaking.