Born and raised in Surrey in England Kate Maberly started acting aged 8 landing her first major motion picture role as the star of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Secret Garden". Directed by Agnieszka Holland, the film achieved international acclaim and has gone on to become a family classic. Following this success Kate came to the States to take on a number of leading roles which included; 'Dinah' in Stephen King's "The Langoliers" alongside David Morse and Patricia Wettig; and 'Glumdalclitch' in "Gulliver's Travels" with Ted Danson, Kristen Scott Thomas and Mary Steenburgen.
Back in England Kate continued to work on various high caliber Period Dramas for the BBC, including; the Bafta-winning "Anglo-Saxon-Attitudes" with Kate Winslet and Daniel Craig; the Bafta / Golden Globe-winning "The Last of the Blond Bombshells" with Judi Dench and Ian Holm; the Emmy-winning "Victoria & Albert", the Bafta-winning "Daniel Deronda" directed by Tom Hooper, and the enchanting Hollywood blockbuster "Finding Neverland", with Johnny Depp and Dustin Hoffman. She took to the stage as Shakespeare's 'Juliet', and then as 'Mathilde' in Christopher Hampton's "Total Eclipse" at the Royal Court Theatre in London, alongside Ben Wishaw and Matthew Macfadyen.
Taking some time out to achieve double-honors in Classical Piano and Cello from the prestigious London Conservatoire Trinity College of Music, Kate has also composed and produced her own music, including songs for film. Additionally, whilst in college she produced and directed Music videos, utilizing the facilities of the London Film Schools.
Now based in Hollywood, Kate has spent the last few years building a library and developing a slate of high quality features. Her most prominent piece being the post-apocalyptic adventure love story "The Forest of Hands and Teeth", based on the New York Times best selling novel by Carrie Ryan.
|Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful.
Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker. Through her father, she is the great-granddaughter of former Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith, and her blue-blooded family tree also contains Barons and Baronesses, diplomats, and a director, Bonham Carter's great-uncle Anthony Asquith, who made Pygmalion and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others. Cousin Crispin Bonham-Carter is also an actor. Her maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was a Spanish diplomat who was awarded the honorific Righteous Among the Nations, by Israel, for helping save Jews during World War II (Eduardo's own father was a Czech Jew). Helena's maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer, was from an upper-class Jewish family from France, Austria, and Germany, and later converted to her husband's Catholic faith.
Bonham Carter experiencing family dramas during her childhood, including her father's stroke - which left him wheelchair-bound. She attended South Hampstead High School and Westminster School in London, and subsequently devoted herself to an acting career. That trajectory actually began in 1979 when, at age thirteen, she entered a national poetry writing competition and used her second place winnings to place her photo in the casting directory "Spotlight." She soon had her first agent and her first acting job, in a commercial, at age sixteen. She then landed a role in the made-for-TV movie A Pattern of Roses, which subsequently led to her casting in the Merchant Ivory films A Room with a View, director James Ivory's tasteful adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel, and Lady Jane, giving a strong performance as the uncrowned Queen of England. She had roles in three other productions under the Merchant-Ivory banner (director Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala): an uncredited appearance in Maurice, and large roles in Where Angels Fear to Tread and Howards End.
Often referred to as the "corset queen" or "English rose" because of her early work, Bonham Carter continued to surprise audiences with magnificent performances in a variety of roles from her more traditional corset-clad character in The Wings of the Dove and Shakespearian damsels to the dark and neurotic anti-heroines of Fight Club. Her acclaimed performance in The Wings of the Dove earned her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination, a BAFTA Best Actress nomination, and a SAG Awards Best Actress nomination. It also won her a Best Actress Award from the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics, the Boston Society Film Critics, the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Texas Society of Film Critics, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association.
In the late 1990s, Bonham Carter embarked on the next phase of her career, moving from capable actress to compelling star. Audiences and critics had long been enchanted by her delicate beauty, evocative of another time and place. Her late '90s and early and mid 2000s roles included Mick Jackson's Live from Baghdad, alongside Michael Keaton, receiving a nomination for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe; Paul Greengrass' The Theory of Flight, in which she played a victim of motor neurone disease; Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night or What You Will, in which she played Olivia; opposite Woody Allen in his Mighty Aphrodite; Mort Ransen's Margaret's Museum; Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; and Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet.
Other notable credits include her appearance with Steve Martin in Novocaine, Tim Burton's remake of Planet of the Apes, in which she played an ape, Thaddeus O'Sullivan's The Heart of Me, opposite Paul Bettany, and Big Fish, her second effort with Tim Burton, in which she appeared as a witch.
In between her films, Helena has managed a few television appearances, which include her portrayal of Jacqui Jackson in Magnificent 7, the tale of a mother struggling to raise seven children - three daughters and four autistic boys; as Anne Boleyn in the two parter biopic of Henry VIII starring Ray Winstone; and as Morgan Le Fey, alongside Sam Neill and Miranda Richardson, in Merlin. Earlier television appearances include Michael Mann's Miami Vice as Don Johnson's junkie fiancée, and as a stripper who wins Rik Mayall's heart in Dancing Queen. Helena has also appeared on stage, in productions of Trelawney of the Wells, The Barber of Seville, House of Bernarda Alba, The Chalk Garden, and Woman in White.
Bonham Carter was nominated for a Golden Globe for the fifth time for her role in partner Tim Burton's film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, for which Burton and co-star Johnny Depp were also nominated. For the role, she was awarded Best Actress at the Evening Standard British Film Awards 2008. Other 2000s work includes playing Mrs Bucket in Tim Burton's massive hit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, providing the voices for the aristocratic Lady Campanula Tottington in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and for the eponymous dead heroine in Tim Burton's spooky Corpse Bride, and co-starring in Conversations with Other Women opposite Aaron Eckhart.
Since their meeting while filming Planet of the Apes, Bonham Carter and Tim Burton have made seven movies together. They live in adjoining residences in London, sharing a connecting hallway, and have two children: Billy Ray Burton, 4, and Nell Burton, who was born December 15, 2007. Ironically, a mutual love of Sweeney Todd was part of the initial attraction for the pair. Despite that, Bonham Carter has said in numerous interviews that her audition process for the role of Mrs. Lovett was the most grueling of her career and that, ultimately, it was Sondheim who she had to convince that she was right for the role.
Born in 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Demi Lovato started out as a child actor on Barney & Friends. In 2007, Demi Lovato got a part on a short Disney Channel show called As the Bell Rings, and then she landed the starring role of the movie Camp Rock. While filming Camp Rock, Demi Lovato began also recording three songs for the film's soundtrack and has had several solo releases since. In 2009, Lovato got the lead in the series Sonny with a Chance, another Disney Channel show. She later became a judge on the television competition show The X Factor from 2012 to 2013.
Singer and actress Demi Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lovato's mother, Dianna Lovato, was a former country music recording artist and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. Lovato is the middle child of three sisters. Her older sister, Dallas, is also a singer and actress, and her younger sister, Madison, was born in 2002.
Growing up, Lovato won several talent contests and performed in famous venues, including the Eismann Center and the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day Half Time Show with LeAnn Rimes. She started her show business career in earnest at the age of 10 when she became a series regular on the children's television show Barney & Friends. After her stint on Barney & Friends, Lovato also guest starred on television dramas Just Jordan (2007) and Prison Break (2006). Disney Star
In 2007, Demi Lovato began working with the Disney Channel. First she got a part on a short television show called As The Bell Rings. Her role on that ended, however, when Lovato was cast as Mitchie Torres in the starring role of the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. While filming Camp Rock, Demi Lovato began also recording three songs with the pop group the Jonas Brothers for the film's soundtrack.
In 2008, Lovato covered the Academy Award-nominated song, "That's How You Know" from Enchanted on the DisneyMania 6 album. Later on in 2008, Demi began filming her second Disney Channel Original Movie, Princess Protection Program. The film was made in Puerto Rico and Lovato co-starred with her then-good friend Selena Gomez.
Demi Lovato was the star of her own Disney Channel television show called Sonny with a Chance. The series debuted in 2009, becoming one of the channel's most popular programs and making Lovato one of its brightest stars. Sonny with a Chance ran until 2011. Music Career
On September 23, 2008, Lovato released her debut album, Don't Forget. Several of the songs on the album were co-written by the Jonas Brothers. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. In promotion of this album, Lovato went on tour with the Jonas Brothers on their 2008 Burning Up Tour as the opening act.
On July 21, 2009, Demi Lovato released her second studio album, Here We Go Again. She went on tour again with the Jonas Brothers the following year and was romantically linked to Joe Jonas around this time. While on tour, Lovato got into an altercation with a dancer. The fight made headlines, and she sought treatment after the incident. According to People magazine, the singer sought help for "emotional and physical issues." Some of these issues were later revealed to be an eating disorder and self-harm through cutting.
Months after completing treatment, Lovato released the 2011 album Unbroken, which featured the hit "Skyscraper." She put out her next record, Demi, two years later. Other Endeavors
Outside of music, film and television, Lovato was also the national Hasbro "Hit Clips" spokes-girl. She has also done several successful voice-overs for radio and television for companies like Denny's, Radica and Hasbro.
In 2012, Lovato took on a new role. She joined The X Factor, a popular singing competition, in its second season as a judge. Lovato, Simon Cowell, music industry titan L.A. Reid and pop star Britney Spears worked together to review the contestants and helped determine who would win the $5 million recording contract. The show was canceled after its third season.
Lovato made a return to acting in 2013 with a recurring role on the hit musical series Glee. Around this time, she became more candid about her earlier personal struggles, acknowledging that she also battled a substance abuse problem. Lovato has also gone public with her diagnosis for bipolar disorder. According to Cosmopolitan for Latinas, she uses medication to help manage her condition. Recent Projects
In 2015, Lovato put out a new single entitled "Cool for the Summer." She has also tackled a variety of TV projects recently. Lovato appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race that year. She mixed her professional and personal sides to shoot a guest appearance on boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama's show From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.
Taylor Alison Swift is a multi-Grammy award-winning American singer/songwriter who, in 2010 at the age of 20, became the youngest artist in history to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2011 Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year. She also has been named the American Music Awards Artist of the Year, as well as the Entertainer of the Year for both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, among many other accolades. As of this writing, she is also the top-selling digital artist in music history.
Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989, in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Andrea (Finlay), a one-time marketing executive, and Scott Kingsley Swift, a financial adviser. Her ancestry includes German and English, as well as some Scottish, Irish, Welsh and 1/16th Italian. She was named after James Taylor, and her mother believed that if she had a gender neutral name it would help her forge a business career. Taylor spent most of her childhood on an 11-acre Christmas tree farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. When she was nine years old the family moved to Wyomissing, PA, where she attended West Reading Elementary Center and Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School. Taylor spent her summers at her parents' vacation home at the Jersey shore. Her first hobby was English horse riding. Her mother put her in a saddle when she was nine months old and Swift later competed in horse shows. At the age of nine she turned her attention to musical theatre and performed in Berks Youth Theatre Academy productions of "Grease", "Annie", "Bye Bye Birdie" and "The Sound of Music". She traveled regularly to New York City for vocal and acting lessons. However, after a few years of auditioning in New York and not getting anything, she became interested in country music. At age 11, after many attempts, Taylor won a local talent competition by singing a rendition of LeAnn Rimes' "Big Deal", and was given the opportunity to appear as the opening act for Charlie Daniels at a Strausstown amphitheater. This interest in country music isolated Swift from her middle school peers.
At age 12 she was shown by a computer repairman how to play three chords on a guitar, inspiring her to write her first song, "Lucky You". She had previously won a national poetry contest with a poem entitled "Monster in My Closet", but now began to focus on songwriting. She moved to Nashville at age 14, having secured an artist development deal with RCA Records. She left RCA Records when she was 15--the label wanted her to record the work of other songwriters and wait until she was 18 to release an album, but she felt ready to launch her career with her own material. At an industry showcase at Nashville's The Bluebird Café in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a Dreamworks Records executive who was preparing to form his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. Taylor was one of the new label's first signings.
Taylor released her debut album, "Taylor Swift", in October of 2006 and received generally positive reviews from music critics. The New York Times described it as "a small masterpiece of pop-minded country, both wide-eyed and cynical, held together by Ms. Swift's firm, pleading voice". Her single "Our Song" made her the youngest solo writer and singer of a #1 country song. The album sold 39,000 copies during its first week. In 2008 she released her second studio album, "Fearless". The lead single from the album, "Love Story", was released in September 2008 and became the second best-selling country single of all time, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Four more singles were released throughout 2008 and 2009: "White Horse", "You Belong with Me", "Fifteen" and "Fearless". "You Belong with Me" was the album's highest-charting single, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. It was the top-selling album of 2009 and brought Swift much crossover success.
In September 2009 she became the first country music artist to win an MTV Video Music Award when "You Belong with Me" was named Best Female Video. Her acceptance speech was interrupted by rapper Kanye West, who had been involved in a number of other award show incidents. West declared Beyoncé Knowles's video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", nominated in the same category, to be "one of the best videos of all time". When Beyoncé later won the award for Video of the Year, she invited Taylor onstage to finish her speech. In November 2009 Taylor Swift became the youngest ever artist, and one of only six women, to be named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association.
She released her third studio album in October 2010, "Speak Now", and wrote all the songs herself. She originally intended to call the album "Enchanted" but Scott Borchetta, her record label's CEO, felt the title did not reflect the album's more adult themes. Swift toured throughout 2011 and early 2012 in support of "Speak Now". As part of the 13-month, 111-date world tour, Swift played seven shows in Asia, 12 in Europe, 80 in North America and 12 in Australasia (three dates on the US tour were rescheduled after she fell ill with bronchitis). The stage show was inspired by Broadway musical theatre, with choreographed routines, elaborate set-pieces, pyrotechnics and numerous costume changes. Swift invited many musicians to join her for one-off duets during the North American tour. Appearances were made by James Taylor, Jason Mraz, Shawn Colvin, Johnny Rzeznik, Andy Grammer, Tal Bachman, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Nicki Minaj, Nelly, B.o.B., Usher Raymond, Flo Rida, T.I., Jon Foreman, Jim Adkins, Hayley Williams, Hot Chelle Rae, Ronnie Dunn, Darius Rucker, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. In May 2012 Taylor featured in B.o.B's song "Both of Us".
Swift's fourth studio album, "Red", was released on October 22, 2012. She wrote nine of the album's 16 songs alone; the remaining seven were co-written with Max Martin, Liz Rose, Dan Wilson, Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody. Nathan Chapman served as the album's lead producer but Jeff Bhasker, Butch Walker, Jacknife Lee, Dann Huff and Shellback (aka Shellback) also produced individual tracks. Chapman has said he encouraged Swift "to branch out and to test herself in other situations". She has described the collaborative process as "an apprenticeship" that taught her to "paint with different colors". "Red" examines Swift's attraction to drama-filled relationships; she believes that, since writing the record, such relationships no longer appeal to her. Musically, while there is some experimentation with "slick, electronic beats", the pop sheen is limited to a handful of tracks sprinkled among more recognizably Swiftian fare. "Rolling Stone" enjoyed "watching Swift find her pony-footing on Great Songwriter Mountain. She often succeeds in joining the Joni/Carole King tradition of stark-relief emotional mapping . . . Her self-discovery project is one of the best stories in pop." The Guardian described Swift as a "Brünnhilde of a rock star" and characterized "Red" as "another chapter in one of the finest fantasies pop music has ever constructed". "USA Today" felt that the "engaging" record saw Swift "write ever-more convincingly--and wittily and painfully--about the messy emotions of a young twenty something nearing the end of her transition from girl to woman". The "Los Angeles Times" noted the exploration of "more nuanced relationship issues" on "an unapologetically big pop record that opens new sonic vistas for her".
As part of the "Red" promotional campaign, representatives from 72 worldwide radio stations were flown to Nashville during release week for individual interviews with Swift. She made television appearances on Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, The View, Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News Nightline and All Access Nashville with Katie Couric. She performed at Los Angeles' MTV VMAs and London's Teen Awards, and will also perform at Nashville's CMA Awards, Frankfurt's MTV Europe Music Awards, Los Angeles' AMA Awards and Sydney's ARIA Music Awards. Swift offered exclusive album promotions through Target, Papa John's and Walgreens. She became a spokesmodel for Keds sneakers, released her sophomore Elizabeth Arden fragrance and continued her partnerships with Cover Girl, Sony Electronics and American Greetings, as well as her unofficial brand tie-ins with Ralph Lauren and Shellys. The album's lead single, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", was released in August 2012. The song became Swift's first #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, recording the highest ever one-week sales figures for a female artist. Two further singles have since been released: "Begin Again" (country radio) and "I Knew You Were Trouble" (pop and international radio).In her career, as of May 2012, Swift has sold over 23 million albums and 54.5 million digital tracks worldwide.
Taylor Swift is only beginning to emerge as an acting talent, having voiced the role of Audrey in the animated feature The Lorax. She also made appearances in the theatrical release Valentine's Day and in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack: "Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars" and "Eyes Open". Taylor released her fifth album, titled "1989", on October 27, 2014. This album is when she finally made the complete transition from country to pop. She says that she will not be going to any Country Music Award shows. The album is named after the year she was born, and is a sort of '80s-sounding album, in the sense that it's more electronic.
In March 2015 she began dating Scottish Disc Jockey Calvin Harris after having met at the Brit Awards in February.
Wendy Makkena is an accomplished actress, musician and entrepreneur from New York City, with a diverse background in film, television, theatre, and the arts. Ms. Makkena is a classically trained Juilliard harpist, performing at Carnegie Hall. She also plays R&B guitar, danced for six years with Balanchine's New York City Ballet, and is the founder of a successful startup.
In feature films Ms. Makkena recently appeared in "The Discovery" with Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, and Robert Redford, as Mr. Redford's beloved wife Maggie; "The Enchanted Forest", directed by Josh Klausner, and as the British real estate agent Maggie in "Fair Market Value", which had its world premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival winning the Best Ensemble Award. Other films include State of Play as Ben Affleck's erstwhile assistant Greer Thornton and leads in "Finding North", "Camp Nowhere", "Noise", "Air Bud" and John Sayle's "Eight Men Out". Wendy is perhaps best known for her role of shy novice sister Mary Robert in "Sister Act" and "Sister Act 2".
In television, Wendy has a recurring role on "NCIS" as Kate Todd's sister Dr. Rachel Cranston. She has also starred in the Fox comedy series "Oliver Beene"; the CBS series "Listen Up" opposite Jason Alexander; the ABC series "The Job" opposite Denis Leary; Fox's "The Mob Doctor" and the role of "All the Way" Mae in the TV series A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall. Other TV roles include recurring roles on "Judging Amy" opposite Tyne Daly; "NYPD Blue" opposite David Caruso; "Alpha House" on Amazon Prime; "Rizzoli & Isles", "The Good Wife", "Desperate Housewives", "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU", "CSI", "House", "The Nine" and "Philly".
As a theatre actress, her roles on stage as varied as they are on screen, ranging from leads in the farce of Broadway's "Lend Me a Tenor", to the holocaust drama, Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl" opposite Dianne Wiest and directed by Sidney Lumet. On Broadway, Wendy has appeared in numerous productions earning rave reviews, including the leading role of Crazy Terry in Roundabout's "Side Man", Tony Award winner for Best Play, and "Pygmalion" with Peter O'Toole. Off Broadway, she has appeared in Richard Greenberg's "American Plan"; Donald Margulies's "Loman Family Picnic" and "Prin" with Eileen Atkins. At Playwrights Horizons, Wendy originated the roles of Carmen Berra in "Bronx Bombers" and Megan in The Water Children (NY & LA), winning the LA Drama Critics Circle Award and the Robby Award for Best Actress. She was selected by Harold Pinter to appear in the American premiere of "Mountain Language", opposite David Strathairn, and performed in "The Birthday Party" with Jean Stapleton. She has also worked with such artists as Beth Henley at New York Stage & Film and Julie Taymor in "The Taming of the Shrew".
A successful entrepreneur, Wendy is the founder and recipe inventor behind "Ruby's Rockets" frozen fruit and veggie pops. Conceived and crafted with her daughter Ruby, their first-to-market recipes have won the Masters Of Taste Award, The New Hope Editor's Choice NEXTY Award, and the SupplySide West Award. Ruby's Rockets have been featured on The Today Show, Forbes, and NY Business Insider, among others, and were selected to be in Oprah's coveted O list. They are now in over 3,000 doors nationwide.
Tina Louise was born Tina Blacker in New York City, the daughter of Sylvia (Horn) and Joseph Blacker, who owned a candy store. Tina was still in her teens when she burst upon the national scene by starring on Broadway in the critically acclaimed box-office success "Li'l Abner", based on the famous comic strip character created by Al Capp. Stellar reviews caught the attention of Hollywood and Tina signed up for her first feature film, God's Little Acre, which was an entry in the Venice Film Festival. It was at this point in her career that she began studying with Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio in New York because she believed it was "time to develop and deepen my knowledge of the craft . . . Lee Strasberg," says Tina, "had the most dynamic effect on me. He influenced my life as no other man ever has."
After several more films, Tina returned to Broadway to star with Carol Burnett in "Fade in, Fade Out". She continued her work in Hollywood, starring in the CBS sitcom Gilligan's Island as Ginger Grant. Moving among Broadway, television and motion pictures, she next starred in The Happy Ending, directed by Richard Brooks, The Stepford Wives with Katherine Ross and Dog Day, with Lee Marvin and French actress Miou-Miou. Tina was cast as a regular on the first season of Dallas and has profuse credits in made-for-TV films for ABC and NBC, including Friendships, Secrets and Lies, The Day the Women Got Even, Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby and the famed ABC movie Nightmare in Badham County.
In 1991 Tina appeared in Johnny Suede, in which she co-starred with Brad Pitt. The film marked the debut of director Tom DiCillo, and won the 1992 Gold Leopard Award for Best Picture at the 44th International Film Festival at Lorcano, Switzerland. Other film and television work followed, including Stephan Elliott Welcome to Woop Woop and Growing Down in Brooklyn, and she guest-starred in the syndicated television series L.A. Heat.
In 2004 she received the coveted TVLand Pop Culture Icon Award in Los Angeles, which was aired nationally. She has made numerous television appearances, from The Rosie O'Donnell Show to Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood.
A unique opportunity pursued Tina in 2005 with IGT (International Game Technology) in conjunction with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, when she inked a six-figure deal in exchange for 80 lines of voice-over work for a highly publicized gaming machine, a MegaJackpots product with the chance to win $1 million. The slot machines appeared in casinos from coast-to-coast as well as internationally.
Tina is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. As a literacy and academic advocate, she became a volunteer teacher at Learning Leaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing tutoring to New York City school children. It has been her passion to help young students gain not only literary skills, but also confidence, self-determination and proof of their own potential. Besides continuing her volunteer work in literacy, she has written several books. Her first book, a personal memoir on her first eight years entitled "Sunday", was published in 1998. She followed Sunday, with a children's book, "When I Grow Up", published in 2007. "Teaching children the skill of reading and a love for the written word is important because this will remain with them throughout their lives. If we can reach children at an early age, I believe it will make a difference. This thought brings me tremendous joy." Says Tina. She embarked on a book tour that included New York City and then continued to New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, Philadelphia and the Festival of Books at UCLA. Her third book, "What Does a Bee Do?" was published in 2009 (available only at Amazon.com) and was inspired by The Colony Collapse Disorder, otherwise known as Honey Bee Depopulation Syndrome. The book continues to be an educational tool for children, as well as adults and was recently approved by Joel Klein, chancellor of New York City Public Schools, and is tentatively awaiting on the E-Catalog for principals in the fall of 2010. An animated version of "What Does a Bee Do?" is in development.
Besides being an accomplished actress and author, she recorded an album, "It's Time for Tina", a sultry warm and breathy collection of standards. The enchanting album features music from saxophone legend Coleman Hawkins and lyrics and music by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, Jule Styne and Cole Porter. She also made her debut as a visual artist when she exhibited her paintings at the Ambassador Galleries, and later with newer works at the notable Gallery Stendhal in Soho. Most recently she exhibited her original paintings at the Patterson Museum of Art. Tina Louise continues to live in New York City.
Kacey Louisa Clarke was born Kacey Louisa Barnfield. In the past she has been credited as Barnfield but now professionally she uses her mother's maiden name, Clarke.
As a child she was best known for her role as Maddie Gilks in the hit BBC TV show Grange Hill, in which she was a series regular for six years.
She was born in Enfield, North London. She is a second cousin of the actress Victoria Shalet.
She has a brother Kye and a sister Tyla.
Barnfield's acting career began in 1997 when she was just 9, appearing in advertisements and stage plays. In 2000, Barnfield's won the role of bully Maddie Gilks, girlfriend to Baz Wainwright (played by Thomas Hudson), in Grange Hill, where she found herself the central role in central plots during her five-year stint on the show, It was Barnfield's first major acting role.
After Grange Hill Barnfield filmed Popcorn with Jodi Albert and Jack Ryder, and plays the character of Yukino. She has also appeared in the popular Sky1 football drama Dream Team. Other roles include Zoe Stringer in Filthy Rich, in which she played Mike Reid's daughter shortly before he died, The Bill, where she played Chloe Fox for 3 episodes in 2004 and appeared again in October 2007 as Kelly Burgess, and Casualty in which she appeared as Claudie Waters for 2 episodes on 29 and 30 December 2007. In 2008, Barnfield was the face of Clean & Clear, appearing in adverts for the skincare brand. She also starred in the Road Safety commercial 'Mess'. In 2008 she became Galaxy chocolate's 'Miss Kiss' to publicize their Christmas Mistletoe Kisses chocolates.
In 2009 and 2010 she appeared in the E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners, as Neil's sister Katie in the series 2 episode "A Night Out in London" and series 3's "Will's Dilemma". She became renowned for the role in the UK.
Barnfield made her theatrical film debut as Crystal Waters in the Screen Gem's 3D horror film Resident Evil: Afterlife, alongside Milla Jovovich, Wentworth Miller and Ali Larter. It topped the box office in September 2010. Kacey also starred in the TV movie Lake Placid 3, where she plays Ellie, this was also in 2010.
In 2011 she played the lead role of Kate in Johannes Roberts' Roadkill, a horror film about a group of teens taking an ill-fated RV trip around Ireland. Her performance was well received. Barnfield is also set to appear as Barb in Jeremy Leven's movie Girl on a Bicycle. It was released in 2011.
In June 2011 Variety magazine announced that she would star in Glutton, a '3D psychological thriller' directed by David Arquette. Barnfield played Virginia, the blind neighbor and only friend of an 86 stone man who is forced to save his sister's life. Abraham Benrubi and Patricia Arquette also star. Glutton will begin filming in Canada in summer 2011, for release in 2012.
In September 2011 Barnfield was female lead of Annabel in Sy-Fy Channel's Jabberwock opposite Battlestar Galactica's Tahmoh Penniket. Directed by Stephen R. Monroe. In 2013, Kacey Barnfield starred as female lead in Green Street Hooligans opposite actor Scott Adkins.
Other productions she has been involved in include feature film Welcome to Curiosity as Martine and The Bayou Tales as Neilson, both of which are in post production. 'Flim: the Making of' A comedy feature film in which Kacey plays the role of Marrisa De La Mer, will be premiering in London at Raindance Festival.
In 2015 Kacey's film "Seeking Dolly Parton" in which she played tomboy Charlie, one half of a lesbian couple, had a successful festival run and many raving reviews. Kacey was quoted as "Charming and deeply affecting" for her sincere portrayal of Charlie.
2016 will see the release of "Enchanting the Mortals" and "Blood Orange" in which Kacey plays the female lead opposite Ben Lamb and Iggy Pop.
Christopher Marquette was born in Stuart, Florida, on October 3, 1984. He began modeling at the age of four in Dallas, Texas. He landed his screen acting debut at the age of eight, starring as the son of Mira Sorvino in Sweet Nothing. He played a lead in The Tic Code with the legendary Gregory Hines and on Broadway as Tiny Tim. His other big screen credits include Just Friends, The Girl Next Door and Freddy vs. Jason.
On the Emmy-nominated and People's Choice Award-winning Joan of Arcadia, Christopher brought romance. He starred as Adam Rove, the love interest for Joan (Amber Tamblyn). The romantic connection between Adam and Joan was enchanting. Christopher breathed life into Adam Rove's character--Adam was an artist, down to earth, vulnerable, loyal and honest. The touching and thunderous silences between Adam and Joan created and stirred the kind of romance every girl and many grown women long for, tossing Marquette's hat into the teen heartthrob arena. His small-screen credits include recurring roles on Showtime's Huff and Lifetime's Strong Medicine. He guest-starred on ER, 7th Heaven, Judging Amy and Touched by an Angel.
Christopher starred in American Gun, released at 2005 Toronto Film Festival. He stars with Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis and rejoins Emile Hirsch in the Nick Cassavetes-directed Alpha Dog, premiering at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The story is inspired by the real-life story of Jesse James Hollywood, a drug dealer who became the youngest fugitive ever on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Christopher plays Keith Stratten, a member of Jesse's drug posse. He completed filming an independent film "Graduation and The Invisible" (Spyglass Entertainment). Christopher has been cast as the lead in Mindfire Entertainment's _Calvin Marshall (2007)_ in the lead role.
Christopher is the oldest of the three Marquette brothers. They began their careers with a boost from their parents. Sean Marquette, the youngest, says his brother Christopher is his inspiration. Sean stars in 13 Going on 30 and has a recurring role in Still Standing. The Marquettes enjoy helping each other for upcoming roles. The middle brother, Eric Marquette, starred on Desperate Housewives, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Malcolm in the Middle.
Acting is self-exploration for Christopher. He works at bringing his audience an original piece of work every time he performs. What makes Christopher different from other actors is his keen observation of people. Edward Norton, Peter Sarsgaard, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Daniel Day-Lewis have all influenced him.
Christopher believes he is blessed with all of the opportunities within the entertainment industry. He donates his time to the Sunshine Foundation, the Cancer Society, Special Olympics and Pediatrics AIDS. Christopher lives with his family in Los Angeles.
A man who has many irons in the entertainment fire, hirsutely handsome Canadian actor, vocalist and jazz musician Don Francks (also known as "Iron Buffalo") was born Donald Harvey Francks on February 28, 1932, in Vancouver, British Columbia. One can, with confidence, add drummer, poet, motorcyclist, author and peace activist to his many lists of accomplishments. He grew up quite adept at athletics (soccer, lacrosse and rugby) and performed in vaudeville and in summer stock shows before relocating to Toronto. On stage from age 11, he landed an early job singing on the radio, then moved into television in 1954. While acting in both variety shows and dramas, he was also a writer and penned several documentaries and public affairs specials in both Toronto and Montreal. On the nightclub scene, Don was featured as a jazz vocalist, a DJ, a trombonist in a country western band and a member of a barbershop quartet called "Model-T Four".
In the mid-1960s, he focused on small screen acting and racked up a number of rugged, adventurous guest-star turns on TV episodes of The Wild Wild West, Mannix, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible. A promising lead that could have led to stardom in the NBC series, Jericho, was cut short when the show was bowled over by its ABC competition -- Batman -- and quickly canceled. He also appeared on- and off-Broadway, which included a stint with the musical, "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever".
Don contributed one strapping co-starring turn in a big-budgeted musical film during his less-than-a-decade stay in Hollywood. As the robust "Woody Mahoney", he dallied with the likes of beguiling Petula Clark, who played his lady love in Finian's Rainbow. Their enchanting and sensuous duet on "That Old Devil Moon" is only one of the film's highlights. The film was not successful, however, in launching Don's movie career.
Afterwards, he moved his family to the Red Pheasant Indian Reserve, near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and is an honorary Cree and named "Iron Buffalo". Since 1974, he has been living in Toronto with his wife, Lili Francks (Red Eagle), a member of the Plains Cree First Nation and also a dancer. Their children are voice artist and actress Cree Summer, best-known for her regular role on the TV sitcom, A Different World, and actor/songwriter Rainbow Francks.
In later years, Don gained some attention after being cast as "Walter", an arms expert, on the hit TV series, La Femme Nikita. More recently, he traveled to Montreal for a part in the film, I'm Not There., filmmaker Todd Haynes' meditative take on the famous singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan.
This wholesome "Chatty Cathy" delight had all the earmarkings of becoming a dithery TV star in the early 70s and a couple of sitcom vehicles were handed to her with silver platter-like enthusiasm. Neither, however, made the best use of her elfin charm and both series died a quick death. Nonetheless, Sandy Duncan went on to become a Disney film lead, a TV commodity pitching crackers and arguably the best Peter Pan Broadway has ever offered. Like Sally Field and Karen Valentine before her, Sandy had a potentially terminable case of the cutes that often did her more harm than good. But also, like the others, her talent won out.
The story goes that this wistful tomboy felt like an outsider growing up in her native Texas because of her desires to be an actress. The elder of two girls born to a gas station owner, she trained in dance and appeared in productions of "The King and I" and "The Music Man" as a teen. Sandra Kay Duncan cast all negativity and self doubt aside and packed her bags for New York upon leaving Lon Morris Junior College (in Texas). She made an enchanting Wendy in "Peter Pan" the following year and soon poised herself as a triple threat on stage (singer/dancer/actress). She married Broadway actor Bruce Scott in 1968 and appeared in the rock musical "Your Own Thing" that same year. Taking her first Broadway curtain call and grabbing a Tony nomination in a bawdy musical version of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", she next won the soubrette role of Maisie in the Jazz-age musical "The Boy Friend". She managed to steal the thunder right from under star Judy Carne (who had just left the cast of TV's "Laugh-In" in order to branch out) and earned her second Tony nomination -- this time as "Best Actress".
The toothy strawberry blonde was a sensation and in 1970 Time Magazine named her "the most promising face of tomorrow". All this buildup reached the ears of Disney who decided to take a chance and cast her opposite Disney perennial Dean Jones in the featherweight comedy film The Million Dollar Duck. TV also saw her potential and featured her sparkling mug more and more in commercials. She then took on the title role in the film version of Neil Simon's comedy hit Star Spangled Girl, which turned out to be a major disappointment.
An untried talent on the primetime scene, CBS decided Sandy had enough promise and star quality to be given her own TV sitcom. Replacing Melba Moore at the last minute in the weekly show Funny Face, the storyline had Duncan playing single, independently-minded Sandy Stockton, a corn-fed Midwestern who heads to the big-city (Los Angeles) where she winds up in TV commercials while pursuing a teaching degree at UCLA. The series was a success and was a Top 10 show, but Duncan began experiencing severe headaches on the set and a tumor was discovered on her optic nerve. She had to leave the series and it was consequently pulled from the air. The series' sudden departure led to a misconception among some viewers that it had been canceled. Following a lengthy and delicate operation, the doctors managed to save her eye but she lost all vision in it.
The following year the show was revamped and retitled. Duncan returned as Sandy Stockton. This time she was a single working girl who created chaos at an ad agency. This second incarnation of her series failed to regain the audience that the first incarnation had had. The Sandy Duncan Show was canceled by mid-December. In the meantime, she divorced her first husband in 1972 and married Dr. Thomas Calcateera a year later, whom she met while undergoing her eye operation. They would divorce six years later.
After the demise of her second series, Sandy refocused on her strengths -- musical comedy -- and maintained her profile as a guest star on such variety shows as "The Sonny & Cher Show", "The Flip Wilson Show", "The Tonight Show" and "Laugh-In". She also was seen around the game show circuit as panelist on "What's My Line?" and "Hollywood Squares", among others. In 1979 Sandy retook Broadway by storm. Instead of the role of Wendy, she played the title tomboy in the musical "Peter Pan" and was nominated for a third time for a Tony Award. Born to play this role, she followed this spectacular success by locking arms with a carefree Tommy Tune in the tuneful Broadway show "My One and Only" replacing Twiggy in 1984.
Sandy also appeared again for Disney both co-starring in the lightweight film comedy The Cat from Outer Space opposite fellow hoofer Ken Berry and providing a foxy voice for their popular The Fox and the Hound animated feature. Taking on a more serious tone, she garnered critical respect for her Emmy-nominated role in the epic mini-series Roots, but these dramatic offerings were few and far between.
In the 1980s Sandy became a household name once again with her popular Wheat Thins commercials in which she periodically shared the camera with her two sons, Jeffrey and Michael, her children by Tony-nominated choreographer/dancer Don Correia, whom she married in 1980. In 1987, she returned to prime-time TV, but not in her own tailor-made vehicle. Instead Sandy replaced Valerie Harper in HER tailor-made vehicle after Harper departed in a well-publicized contractual dispute with producers after only one season. The show was simple changed in title from Valerie to "The Hogan Family" and Sandy entered the proceedings as a close relative and new female head of household after Harper's character "died". As a testament to her audience appeal, the show managed to run for four more healthy seasons.
In more recent times the pert, indefatigable Sandy has hosted Thanksgiving Day parades, dance competitions and teen pageants, starred on Broadway as Roxie Hart in "Chicago" (1999), and has headlined touring companies of such Broadway revivals as "Anything Goes" and "The King and I". She has also been a volunteer for the non-profit organization "RFB&D" (Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) and was a recipient of the National Rehabilitation Hospital Victory Award, which is given to individuals who exhibit exceptional courage and strength in the face of adversity.
An enchantingly beautiful, luminous blonde, Mary Ure was born in Glasgow in 1933. Her first film was Zoltan Korda's Storm Over the Nile, a misfiring remake of The Four Feathers. Next was Windom's Way - a tale of rubber plantation strikes and marital strife, but more significant events had been occurring off-screen. In 1956, she starred as "Alison" in John Osborne's "Look Back in Anger" at the Royal Court theatre in London. She began an affair with the married Osborne and, after his divorce, they tied the knot in 1957. By 1958, however, the marriage was falling apart. Osborne could be cold and detached and he did not hold his wife in particularly high esteem, as he wrote in the second volume of his memoirs, "Almost a Gentleman".
She began an affair with Robert Shaw around 1959 though she wasn't divorced from Osborne until 1962 and was complicit in the charade that the father of her first child, Colin born 31 August 1961, was Osborne's. In the meantime, she transferred her fragile, captivating portrayal of "Alison Porter" from stage to screen in the 1959 film adaptation of Look Back in Anger, which also starred Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. Her beautiful performance of "Clara Dawes" in 1960's Sons and Lovers won her an Oscar nomination. In this time, she also performed a season at Stratford and, while pregnant, "The Changeling" at the Royal Court with Shaw. At the time she was pregnant, Jennifer Bourke, Shaw's first wife, was also pregnant by him (at his death in 1978 he left 9 children).
In 1963, she married Shaw and, after an absence of three years, returned to cinema screens with a good performance in The Mind Benders with Dirk Bogarde, a thought-provoking sci-fi drama. Then it was The Luck of Ginger Coffey and the flawed Custer of the West, both with Shaw. Neither of these productions made a significant impact, though Ure performed admirably. In 1968, she made her one and only bona-fide big-budget blockbuster, Where Eagles Dare with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. It was a huge success but it would be five years before Ure's next, and last, film appearance.
In the meantime, she had continued to act on stage. His first wife, Jennifer Bourke, had given up her career as an actress to be a wife and mother. Ure didn't give up her career but the demands of motherhood, she bore Shaw 3 more children, and her growing dependence on alcohol meant it lapsed. Her final film was, A Reflection of Fear with Shaw, an interesting horror psychodrama but Ure was third-billed and looked dissipated. After this, she returned to the stage. She died of an accidental overdose on April 3rd, 1975, taking too many sleeping pills on top of alcohol after a very late night, following an opening night on the London stage. She was a wonderful actress whose luster lingers in the mind long after the film has ended. Sadly, her own life ended aged at just 42.
Born September 30, 1952, in Royton, near Oldham, England, Jack Wild was discovered by talent agent June Collins, mother of rock star Phil Collins. His breakthrough came when he landed the role of Oliver in the London stage production of "Oliver!" When it came to casting the film, the role of the Artful Dodger went to Jack, a role that resulted in his getting an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Fresh from this success, Jack was offered the lead role in the American television series H.R. Pufnstuf. This Sid Krofft and Marty Krofft production featured Wild as a boy marooned in an enchanted land with puppets and actors in elaborate costumes. The success of this program led to Wild reprising the role for the film version, Pufnstuf. Other roles followed, including Melody and Flight of the Doves. Around the same time, Wild released three albums ("The Jack Wild Album"; "Everything's Coming up Roses", featuring along with cover numbers a couple of new songs written by up-and-coming songwriter Lynsey de Paul; and "Beautiful World"). By 1972, however, he was already being demoted to the role of supporting actor for The Pied Piper. He also appeared in Our Mutual Friend. He returned to films in two small roles: the miller's son in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and a peddler in Basil. Wild underwent surgery for oral cancer in July 2004, and had some vocal cords and part of his tongue removed. Unfortunately, the cancer proved untreatable and he died on 1 March 2006.
The talented, unpredictable, opinionated, and uniquely beautiful Jenny Wright was born March 23, 1962 in New York City. Her father was an artist and her mother was a teacher. They instilled a love of the arts and a strong devotion to self education in Jenny at an early age. Her parents later separated, and Jenny moved to Cambridge, New York to live with her mother and two sisters. After her sisters left for college, Jenny and her mother moved back to New York City. Once back home, Jenny decided to pursue acting, and enrolled herself in the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. There, she immediately captured the attention of modeling and casting agents. At the age of 16, Jenny modeled for artists Antonio Lopez and Salvador Dalí. She then went on to act on stage, in an off Broadway play, "Album", with Kevin Bacon. And in 1981, Jenny made a brief appearance in the TV film, Rape & Marriage (1991) with Mickey Rourke. She continued to act on stage, even garnering rave reviews for her portrayal of Dorcus Fray in Joseph Papp's Broadway production of "Plenty". In 1982, Jenny was cast in The World According to Garp, after impressing director George Roy Hill with her blend of sensuality and innocence. Jenny then arrived in London for "Pink Floyd: The Wall", where she played an abused groupie. She then quickly followed up with four months in Utah for the TV documentary/drama, "The Executioner's Song," which proved to be a more substantial role. Jenny returned to New York afterwards, and back to the stage and took a break from films. She went back to films in 1984, for "The Wild Life" with Eric Stoltz and Chris Penn. Jenny also made appearances in films such as "St. Elmo's Fire" (1984) and "Out of Bounds" (1986). By appearing in films with actors such as Rob Loew and Anthony Michael Hall, Jenny was put in the 'Brat Pack' category. It was something she found to be uncomfortable, and wanted to shake off. Thus, Jenny's film choices became edgier, starting with Near Dark in 1987. With her girl next door look, large soulful eyes, and sensuality, Jenny made the role of sweet yet dangerous Mae her most memorable part of her career. She credits director Kathryn Bigelow with creating the film's mood and atmosphere, which makes "Near Dark" a stand-out film in the vampire genre. While "Near Dark" didn't fair too well at the box office, it did receive cult status, bringing Jenny independent,'left of center' film roles. Finally, Jenny successfully rid herself of the 'Brat Pack' label. She went on to teen roles in the critically acclaimed film The Chocolate War and in the off-beat "Twister" (1988). Those roles then gave way to conventional parts in the mainstream films "Young Guns II" (1990)and "The Lawnmower Man" (1992). After that, Jenny quit the film business. Her last film appearance was a small role in "Enchanted" (1998).
Born and raised in suburban Detroit, Gregory Jbara transferred from the University of Michigan School of Music musical theatre program to complete his BFA in acting at the Juilliard School.
Jbara won the 2009 Tony®, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical originating the role of "Jackie Elliot" in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot. He also starred on Broadway as "Billy Flynn" in the Tony Award winning revival of Chicago. He originated the role of "Andre Thibault" in the Broadway musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, also starring John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz, Sherie Rene Scott, Joanna Gleason, and Sara Gettelfinger.
Other Broadway musical roles originated by Jbara are "Squash Bernstein" in Victor/Victoria, starring Julie Andrews, and that of dimwitted catcher "Sohovik" in the Damn Yankees revival starring Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber, and Jerry Lewis.
Other stage credits include: "Mr. Bunder" in the West Coast premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish at the Blank Theatre, "Vinnie" in the Geffen Playhouse Premiere of Neil Simon's Felix & Oscar; "Ike/Bess Truman" in the West Coast Premiere of LaChiusa's First Lady Suite; "Clark Gable" in The Blank Theatre Company's Living Room Series presentation of Mark Saltzman's new play, Mr. Shaw Goes To Hollywood; "Chick Clark" in Wonderful Town for City Center Encores; the Broadway revival of Born Yesterday with Edward Asner and Madeline Kahn; Serious Money with Alec Baldwin and Kate Nelligan; Privates On Parade with Jim Dale and Simon Jones; Forever Plaid, Das Barbecu, and Have I Got A Girl For You!.
Additional film and TV credits include: The Pied Piper and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Jbara is the voice of the animatronic radio newscaster in Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth. Disney animated feature credits include "Bruiser/Thug Chorus" in Tangled, featured chorus in Enchanted and "Willie 3/Chorus" in Home On The Range. He also sang Randy Newman's, "You've Got a Friend In Me" from Toy Story for U.S. Olympic Ice Skater, Michelle Kwan's 75 Years Of Disney Music/TV Special.
Recordings include the Broadway cast recordings of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Victor/Victoria and Damn Yankees!; Little Fish on Ghostlight Records; First Lady Suite on PS Classics; Brigadoon and Annie Get Your Gun on EMI; A Broadway Christmas, Unsung Musicals II, Unsung Berlin, Peter Pan, and Drat The Cat! on Varese/Sarabande; Enchanted, Tangled and Home On The Range for Disney.
Jbara was the narrator for Ripley's Believe it Or Not on TBS, and his voice is featured on the Best Of Ripley's DVD release.
Jbara resides with his wife Julie and their sons Zachary and Aidan in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Ruth Grable was born on December 18, 1916 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Lillian Rose (Hofmann) and John Charles Grable, a stockbroker. She had German, English, Irish, and Dutch ancestry. Her mother was a stubborn and materialistic woman who was determined to make her daughter a star. Elizabeth, who later became Betty, was enrolled in Clark's Dancing School at the age of three. With her mother's guidance, Betty studied ballet and tap dancing. At age 13, Betty and her mother set out for Hollywood with the hopes of stardom. Lillian lied about her daughter's age, and Ruth landed several minor parts in films in 1930, such as Whoopee!, New Movietone Follies of 1930, Happy Days and Let's Go Places. In 1932, she signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The bit parts continued for the next three years. Betty finally landed a substantial part in By Your Leave. One of her big roles was in College Swing. Unfortunately, the public did not seem to take notice. She was beginning to think she was a failure. The next year, she married former child star Jackie Coogan. His success boosted hers, but they divorced in 1940. When she landed the role of Glenda Crawford in Down Argentine Way, the public finally took notice of this shining bright star. Stardom came through comedies such as Coney Island and Sweet Rosie O'Grady. The public was enchanted with Betty. Her famous pin-up pose during World War II adorned barracks all around the world. With that pin-up and as the star of lavish musicals, Betty became the highest-paid star in Hollywood. After the war, her star continued to rise. In 1947, the United States Treasury Department noted that she was the highest paid star in America, earning about $300,000 a year - a phenomenal sum even by today's standards. Later, 20th Century-Fox, who had her under contract, insured her legs with Lloyds of London for a million dollars. Betty continued to be popular until the mid-1950s, when musicals went into a decline. Her last film was How to Be Very, Very Popular. She then concentrated on Broadway and nightclubs. In 1965, she divorced band leader Harry James, whom she had wed in 1943. Betty Grable died at age 56 of lung cancer on July 2, 1973 in Santa Monica, California. Her life was an active one, devoid of the scandals that plagued many stars in one way or another. In reality, she cared for her family and the family life more than stardom. In that way, she was a true star.
Love her or not, award-winning actress Elizabeth Ashley can always be counted on to give her all. Grand in style, exotic in looks, divinely outgoing in personality and an engaging interpreter of Tennessee Williams' florid Southern-belles on stage, she was born Elizabeth Ann Cole on August 30, 1939, in Ocala, Florida. The daughter of Arthur Kingman and Lucille (Ayer) Cole, the family moved to Louisiana where Elizabeth graduated from Louisiana State University Laboratory School (University High) in Baton Rouge in 1957.
The liberal-minded Elizabeth immediately embarked upon an acting career following her education and relocated to New York. Briefly using her real name, her big, breakthrough year occurred in 1959 when she made her off-Broadway debut with "Dirty Hands", played "Esmeralda" in the Neighborhood Playhouse production of "Camino Real" and took on Broadway with Dore Schary's "The Highest Tree". Now using the marquee name of Elizabeth Ashley, the 1960s proved to be even better, taking her to trophy-winning heights. After understudying the lead roles in Broadway's "Roman Candle" and "Mary, Mary", she won the role of "Mollie" in the delightful comedy "Take Her, She's Mine" and won both the "supporting actress" Tony and Theatre World Awards for it. Neil Simon was quite taken by the new star and created especially for her the role of "Corie Bratter" in 1963's "Barefoot in the Park" opposite 'Robert Redford'. She received another Tony nomination, this time for "Best Actress". In addition to these theatrical pinnacles, Elizabeth also found happiness in her private life when she met and married (in 1962) actor James Farentino, who was also on his way up. This happiness, however, was short-lived...the marriage lasted only three years. The attention she earned from Broadway led directly to film offers and she made a highly emotive debut in Harold Robbins glossy soaper The Carpetbaggers, headlining handsome George Peppard. The critics trashed the movie but Elizabeth sailed ahead...temporarily.
Following intense roles in the superb all-star film epic Ship of Fools and the psychological crime drama The Third Day, which again starred Peppard, the still-married Elizabeth divorced her husband and wed Peppard in 1966, taking a hiatus to focus on domestic life. The couple went on to have son Christian Peppard (born 1968), who would later become a writer.
The Peppard-Ashley marriage was a volatile one, however, and the twosome ultimately divorced in 1972. Wasting no time, Elizabeth returned to the stage and also went out for TV roles. Abandoning a film career that had just gotten out of the starting gate proved detrimental and she never did recapture the momentum she once had. Broadway, however, was a different story. The dusky-toned actress pulled out all the stops as "Maggie the Cat" in Tennessee Williamss "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1974) co-starring Keir Dullea and as "Sabina" in Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth" the following year, and she was back on top. Other heralded work on the live stage would include "Caesar and Cleopatra" opposite Rex Harrison, "Vanities" and, notably, "Agnes of God", for which she received the Albert Einstein Award for "excellence in the performing arts".
Following "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" for which she won a third Tony nomination, Elizabeth struck up a close friendship with author Williams. Over time, she would play and come to define three of his (and the theater's) finest female roles: "Mrs. Venable" in "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1995), "Alexandra Del Lago" in "Sweet Bird of Youth (1998) and "Amanda Wingfield" in "The Glass Menagerie (2001). In addition, she also appeared in Williams' "Eight by Tenn" (a series of his one-act plays), "Out Cry", "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" and "The Red Devil Battery Sign". In 2005, 31 years after playing "Maggie", she was again a success in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", this time as "Big Mama".
Elizabeth went on to sink her teeth into a number of other famous plays as well, all peppered with her inimitable trademark flourish: "Martha" in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", "Isadora Duncan" in "When She Danced", Maria Callas in "Master Class" and the scheming "Regina" in "The Little Foxes", to name a few. On 90s TV, she found daytime soaps to her liking with eye-catching parts on Another World and All My Children. She also appeared in the ensemble cast of Burt Reynolds' series Evening Shade. Occasional serious film supports in Rancho Deluxe and Coma were often intertwined with campier, over-the-top ones such as her psychotic lesbian in Windows.
Overcoming a series of tragic, personal setbacks -- a third divorce, a boating accident, a NY apartment fire and a rape incident -- the still-lovely Elizabeth continues to demonstrate her mettle and maintain a busy acting schedule on stage ("Enchanted April", "Ann & Debbie"), film (Happiness, The Cake Eaters) and TV. Elsewhere, her memoir "Actress: Postcards from the Road" (1978) became a best seller. She was also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute while serving on the first National Council of the Arts during the administrations of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and has also served on the President's Committee for the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Awards.
One of Hollywood's more high-flying dancers on film, dimpled, robust, fair-haired Marc Platt provided fancy footwork to a handful of "Golden Era" musicals but truly impressed in one vigorous 1950s classic.
Born to a musical family on December 2, 1913 in Pasadena, California as Marcel Emile Gaston LePlat, he was the only child of a French-born concert violinist and a soprano singer. After years on the road, the family finally settled in Seattle, Washington. Following his father's death, his mother found a job at the Mary Ann Wells' dancing school while young Marc earned his keep running errands at the dance school. He eventually became a dance student at the school and trained with Wells for eight years who saw great potential in Marc.
It was Wells who arranged an audition for Marc with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo when the touring company arrived in Seattle. The artistic director Léonide Massine accepted him at $150 a week and changed his name to Marc Platoff in order to maintain the deception that the company was Russian. A highlight was his dancing as the Spirit of Creation in Massine's legendary piece "Seventh Symphony". Platt also choreographed during his time there, one piece being Ghost Town (1939), which was set to music by Richard Rodgers. While there he met and married (in 1942) dancer Eleanor Marra. They had one son before divorcing in 1947. Ted Le Plat, born in 1944, became a musician as well as a daytime soap and prime-time TV actor.
Anxious to try New York, Marc left the ballet company in 1942 and moved to the Big Apple where he changed his marquee name to the more Americanized "Marc Platt" and pursued musical parts. Following minor roles in the short run musicals "The Lady Comes Across" (January, 1942) with Joe E. Lewis, Mischa Auer and Gower Champion and "Beat the Band" (October-December, 1942) starring Joan Caulfield, Marc and Kathryn Sergava found themselves cast in a landmark musical, the Rodgers and Hammerstein rural classic "Oklahoma!" Choreographer Agnes de Mille showcased them in the ground-breaking extended dream sequence roles of (Dream) Curly and (Dream) Laurey. Platt stayed with the show for a year but finally left after Columbia Pictures signed him to a film contract.
Aside from a couple of short musical films, he made his movie feature debut with a featured role as Tommy in Tonight and Every Night starring Rita Hayworth. From there he appeared in the Sid Caesar vehicle Tars and Spars and back with Rita Hayworth in Down to Earth. Columbia tried Marc out as a leading man in one of their second-string musicals When a Girl's Beautiful opposite Adele Jergens and Patricia Barry but did not make a great impression. Featured again in the non-musical adventure The Swordsman starring Ellen Drew and Larry Parks and the Italian drama _Addio Mimi! (1949) based on Puccini's "La Boheme," Marc's film career dissipated.
After appearing on occasional TV variety shows such as "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Colgate Comedy Hour" and following a single return to Broadway in the musical "Maggie" (1953, Platt returned to film again after a five-year absence but when he finally did, he made a superb impression as one of Howard Keel's uncouth but vigorously agile woodsman brothers (Daniel) in MGM's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The film still stands as one of the most impressive dancing pieces of the "Golden Age" of musicals. He followed this with a minor dancing role (it was James Mitchell who played Dream Curly here) in the film version of Oklahoma!.
When the musical film lost favor in the late 1950's, Marc finished off the decade focusing on straight dramatic roles on TV with roles in such rugged series as "Sky King," "Wyatt Earp" and "Dante". By the 1960s Marc had taken off his dance shoes and turned director of the ballet company at New York's Radio City Music Hall. He and his second wife, Jean Goodall, whom he married back in 1951 and had two children (Donna, Michael), also ran a dance studio of their own. Following this they left New York and moved to Fort Myers, Florida where they set up a new dance school.
Marc moved to Northern California to be near family following his wife's death in 1994 and occasionally appeared at the Marin Dance Theatre in San Rafael. One of his last performances was a non-dancing part in "Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop" at age 89. In 2000, Marc was presented with the Nijinsky Award at the Ballets Russe's Reunion. He appeared in the 2005 documentary Ballets Russes. Platt died at the age of 100 at a hospice in San Rafael from complications of pneumonia. He was survived by his three children.
Bertila Damas is an American television, film and theater actress. She was born in Cuba of a Puerto Rican-American Mother and Cuban Father. She is known for her no nonsense approach to acting and life as well as her irreverent sense of humor, her compassion, and a straight-up, heart of gold, no crap kind of energy. She is the eldest of 3 children born to Maria and Francisco Damas. Along with her siblings, Nancy and Francisco, Bertila grew up in NY and Miami.
Her work has been consistently admired in publications like Variety, the LA Times, Curtain Up and more. Some notable quotes; "Damas simply radiates as Clemencia", "Damas--who has shades of the round-eyed but tough femininity of the original Nora, Helen Hayes--is just as stellar", "Such lovely emotional resonance in the performances of Jorja Fox, and guest star Bertila Damas (Mrs. Santiago)", "Bertila Damas has an impeccable charm as well as a regal allure which is most enchanting", "Damas' sexual toughness lends electricity to the mother-daughter confrontations". The variety in these comments gives you an insight into Damas' impressive range and versatility as an actor, which allows her to easily create and inhabit all manner of multi-dimensional characters.
With a career that spans from the boards on Broadway to films, she really is a treasure trove of an actress. She has also worked in the Off-Broadway and Regional theater scene. Her Broadway debut was playing Juliet in Romeo & Juliet for Joseph Papp's NYSF on Broadway, directed by Oscar winner, Estelle Parsons. Notably in regional work she played Yerma in Yerma at the Arena Stage & Clemencia in Electricidad at the Mark Taper Forum. She is a Garland Award Recipient.
Her love of acting began at an early age and as a teen she won numerous awards for her school Debate team in statewide and national Dramatic Interpretation competitions, garnering a 3rd place win nationally as a junior high student competing amongst high schools. She began her formal professional work in Miami working in Spanish speaking theater and television while attending college. She went on to study further in NYC. With the help of a dear friend, winning an audition and being accepted to attend the prestigious Circle in the Square Professional Theater School. Fortunately for her, she met Terry Hayden at Circle who introduced her to the work of the Actor's Studio and Lee Strasberg, where she observed regularly until Strasberg's death and beyond. Simultaneously she studied with Stella Adler as an advanced acting student and in her acclaimed Script Analysis' classes.
On the big and small screens she has starred alongside Dan Ackroyd, John Candy, Jimmy Smits, Greta Scacchi, Demi Moore, Vince D'Onofrio and John Larroquette, and worked with directors like Stephen Spielberg, Alison Anders, Tony Scott, Tyler Perry, Gillian Armstrong, and David Milch, among others.
Her films include the cult favorite Nothing But Trouble and Mi Vida Loca where her performance was critically acclaimed in Film Comment magazine. Her most recent film "Dependent's Day", is a wacky, wonderful Indie comedy where she plays the hilarious Mom in yet another demonstration of her wonderful acting range.
She has a long list of TV credits, from The John Larroquette Show to King of the Hill, from NYPD Blue to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and NCIS, as well as a recent and memorable turn -- as the character Pilar on Grimm. There is a tale told that she has tested for over 20 TV pilots. It does look like Hollywood is trying to find a place for this talented enchantress and this writer hopes that happens sooner than later. On international Spanish television, Bertila is known for her role as the villainous Marta on Angelica Mi Vida for Telemundo. She has been seen and heard in dozens of commercials and voice-overs in both Spanish & English as well.
Embodying generosity and strength of mind with her huge heart, and never forgetting where she has come from, she is eager to spread messages of encouragement. The desire to make a difference coupled with her concern for the fair treatment of actors and better diversity on our screens and in our stories led Bertila to serve on the Screen Actor's Guild Board of Directors (2010 - 2012) and also on the SAG-AFTRA Board (2012 -2015). She is currently the SAG-AFTRA National Chair of the Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee (2010-2017).
Kristina Anapau is an actress, writer, and producer. Born in Hawaii, Kristina Anapau spent her youth studying classical ballet, music and theatre. She graduated from high school at the age of 15 and, that same year, began her studies at The University of Hawaii. With dreams of pursuing a professional dance career, Anapau's life would soon take a fateful turn, as she was cast in Universal Television's, Escape from Atlantis, landing her first professional starring role at the age of 16. Soon after, she relocated to Los Angeles where she continued to work steadily, both theatrically and commercially. At age 20, Kristina landed a recording contract with Hollywood Records and spent much of that year recording an album and opening for Destiny's Child on MTV's TRL Tour, but her true love and passion remained performing in film and television.
Anapau has trained and performed theatrically under the tutelage of The Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art in London, and on the ballet front with American Ballet Theater and The Joffrey Ballet in New York City.
She acted alongside Golden Globe winner Diane Venora and Greg German in ThinkFilm's independent feature, Self Medicated, winner of over 35 international film awards. Anapau starred with Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg in the Dimension Films' thriller, Cursed, directed by Wes Craven, and shined as "Cassie Merteuil" in the Sony Pictures/Newmarket Films release, Cruel Intentions 3. She appeared in the films, Madison, starring Jim Caviezel and Bruce Dern, as well as, the Lions Gate comedy, 100 Girls.
Her television credits are impressive as Kristina has recurred and guest starred in many noteworthy productions, including: True Blood, The Glades, House M.D., Monk, CSI: NY, Without a Trace, Once and Again, General Hospital and Knight Rider. She also starred opposite popular comedian, Dane Cook, in the Sony Television produced pilot, Cooked.
Anapau recurred on the hit HBO series, True Blood, as the enchanting Maurella. She played "Galina" in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, in which she acted opposite Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder and Barbara Hershey.
In her spare time, Anapau enjoys skiing and horseback riding. She has been a contributing editorial writer for The Stndrd Magazine and The Hollywood Film Journal among others. Anapau is a graduate of Skidmore College in New York.
Darla Hood was born in a small rural Oklahoma town on Sunday, November 8th, 1931, she grew up as dark-banged cute girl, Darla Hood began her association with the motley "Our Gang" group at the tender age of 2 1/2, as she stated on the The Jack Benny Program. Her father, James Claude Hood, Jr., a banker, and especially her mother, Elizabeth (nee Davner), prodded Darla's innate musical talents with singing and dancing lessons in Oklahoma City. Little Darla made an unscheduled, impromptu singing debut at Edison Hotel in Times Square when the band-leader invited her onto the stage, and the crowd roared in appreciation. By sheerest coincidence, Joe Rivkin, (an agent of Hal Roach) spotted the four-year-old scene-stealer, screen tested her & signed her to a long-term (7 year) contract at $75 weekly, ($27,375 was the amount of her 7 year contract, if never raised, annually).
Darla went on to perform as "leading rascal actress" in 51 of the popular short films, and her last was act was an off-screen television movie, totaling 52 Little Rascal filmings, exactly. As the solo staff member of the motley Rascals' crew, she recalled finding her off-camera times on the set as being rather lonely as the boys tended to group together and play 'boy' games, especially baseball and football. Toward the beginning of this lucrative association, she also managed to appear opposite Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy with the title character & leading role, in one of their handful of feature films The Bohemian Girl. Darla Hood's tenure as most popular "Little Rascal" actress, began in 1935 Our Gang Follies of 1936 & her finale, Wedding Worries. Then, 37+ years later, was hers & almost all others finale, as a "Little Rascal" character with the animated off screen special, The Little Rascals' Christmas Special. She did not live to see when it was originally televised. It was filmed during the last four months, of her life-time, in late winter, or early spring of 1979.
While very few of the "Our Gang" shorts were made during World War II because of the scarcity of film (a majority of them were saved for feature-length films), by the time the series was to be finally revived in 1945, Darla had already outgrown her popular character role. Following her exit, she had trouble dealing with the inevitable transitioning into a teen actor and her career faltered badly. After returning to school (Fairfax High School in Hollywood), she graduated as an honor student. She was able to find some work with Ken Murray's popular "Blackbirds" variety show on the Los Angeles stage as well as some behind-the-scenes work in the post-war years. With her first husband, Robert W. Decker, she married him when she was 17, she formed the vocal group "Darla Hood and the Enchanters", which provided incidental background music for such classic films as A Letter to Three Wives. She also made appearances in nightclubs and on television variety shows, The Ken Murray Show, The Paul Whiteman's Goodyear Revue, and she was also performed & or sang songs, on a few Merv Griffin's radio programs. Another successful outlet for her was in the field of voice-over work in cartoons and commercials "Chicken of the Sea" was her longest lasting commercial tenure, as the mermaid. She also did some "Campbell's Soup" commercials, at the same time, but much fewer. In time, she became a well-oiled impressionist and trick voice artist, almost like a ventriloquist.
She divorced from her first husband of eight years, with whom she had her first two children, (one son and one daughter), Brett and Darla Jo, she was 25 when she immediately married her one-time manager, Jose Granson, a musical publisher, in 1957. (Her divorce and second marriage, both occurred in 1957). She & her second husband, Jose Granson were parents to her youngest three children, (her third, fourth & fifth). Darla remained small in show business until her untimely end. She died on Wednesday, June 13th, 1979 of acute hepatitis. She had heart failure, after heart surgery at a Hollywood hospital after contracting acute hepatitis following a relatively minor operation. Following her funeral, she was buried at Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. The cemetery was renamed Hollywood Forever, less than a decade after she was buried there.
Mie Hama was born in Tokyo, Japan on November 20, 1943. She first started out working as a bus fare collector. While working, she was spotted by producer Tomoyuki Tanaka , and was soon employed at Toho Studios. She appeared in a bevy of drama and sci-fi films, including King Kong vs. Godzilla, where she became the Giant Ape's "Damsel in Distress." She is probably best known in Western Cinema as Bond girl Kissy Suzuki, starring alongside actor Sean Connery in the 007 film You Only Live Twice. That same year, King Kong Escapes was released, thus, she portrayed the spellbinding "Bond-girlish" villainess Madamn Piranha. Her extended wardrobe and enchanted bed chambers contributed to the film's "James Bond-ish" atmosphere. In addition, Hama would sometimes be referred to as "Funny Face," due to her appearances in Japan's "Crazy Cats" movies.
She became one of the most popular actresses in Japan's "Golden Age" of Cinema, but has done little acting when Japan's cinema world experienced severe financial problems. However, she did return to appear in a few films in the 1970s and 1980s, and she is seen, most recently, working as an active environmentalist.
Vicki trained at the Aida Foster Theatre School and quickly won a variety of roles in film, television and on stage but it was her portrayal of Yvette in the hit BBC series Allo Allo that gained her worldwide recognition. Vicki played Yvette for all nine series with the Allo Allo stage play taking her on national and international tours to Australia and New Zealand smashing box office records, not to mention four seasons in the West End at the Palladium, Prince of Wales and Dominion theatres. Renowned for her versatility, Vicki began her extensive acting career playing leading straight roles in Softly Softly, The Professionals, Minder and Play for Today but her wonderful gift for comedy timing soon brought her to the roles we are most familiar with. On TV she has worked with the greatest names in comedy including Les Dawson, The Two Ronnies, Ken Dodd and Kenny Everett, and has appeared in such series as Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Are you Being Served and Come Back Mrs Noah, her role in the latter being directly instrumental in her winning the part of Yvette in Allo Allo. She has also made guest appearances on countless chat and game shows including Noel's Houseparty, where she played the role of Noel's amorous next door neighbour for three seasons, This Morning, Generation Game, Give Us A Clue, Through The Keyhole, All Over The Shop, Today's The Day, Loose Lips, The Weakest Link, Stars Reunited, Britain's Best Sitcom, Comedy Connections and the documentary Pantoland. Added to this she is also an accomplished presenter and is frequently sought after today as a speaker at corporate functions. She also regularly hosts charity events around the country. Film credits include: - The Greek Tycoon, The Likely Lads, Alfie Darling, Sweet William, Spectre, The Last Days of Pompeii, George and Mildred, The Priest of Love, Queen Kong, The Sentinel, Four on Four and The Colour of Funny. In the year 2000, Vicki embarked on a totally new venture working with English Sinfonia. Not only did she perform with them at The Cressing Temple Festival but also narrated Edith Sitwell poetry to William Walton's Façade at the orchestra's home venue, bringing a sparkling new dimension to the work which will long be remembered. Extensive theatre work has taken her from drama to pantomime, musicals to comedy. She played opposite Dudley Moore in Play It Again Sam at the Globe Theatre - London, the leading roles of Vera in Doctor In The House, Mina in Dracula, Renee in Women Of A Certain Age, Ruth in Alan Ayckbourn's Round and Round The Garden and Table Manners, Pamela Willey in Out of Order, Sally in Bedside Manners, performed overseas, Bathsheba in the British musical version of Beauty and the Beast and the Narrator in Reflections-The Musical Journey of Diana Ross. Recent years have proved particularly momentous for Vicki in the theatre where she has performed continuously scoring a string of major successes most notably for her portrayals of Hilda Bigley in the new comedy Business Affairs by Jeremy Lloyd and John Chapman; Glenda Parry in The Tart and the Vicar's Wife, a role allowing her to rediscover her more dramatic roots; Jacqueline in Don't Dress For Dinner, a role with which Vicki has become synonymous; a gloriously, contrastingly funny and poignant portrayal of Maxine in Richard Harris' Stepping Out adding tap dancing to her repertoire; the hugely diverse roles of Lady Raeburn and Asphynxia in the 50th Anniversry revival of the musical Salad Days for Matthew Townshend and as the incorrigible Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie where her dynamic performances were received by the rapturous response of audiences and critics alike. An experienced pantomime performer, Vicki has played the title role and Genie in Aladdin, the Red Queen in Snow White, The Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk and Mother Goose, Mrs. Darling and Hook's sister, Harrietta in Peter Pan, the Lady Cruella in Cinderella, Llandudno where she scored a major triumph with her characterization, giving a modern approach to the traditional pantomime 'baddie' while retaining all the essential elements and a particularly evil portrayal as the Wicked Fairy in Sleeping Beauty at the Broadway Theatre Peterborough. She followed this a year later with an equally enchanting portrayal of the Lilac Fairy from the same pantomime, this time for Extravaganza Productions. In recent months on stage, Vicki has returned to the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie, for Kevin Wood Productions, reprised her roles in the musical Salad Days as Lady Raeburn and Asphynxia again for Matthew Townshend Productions and appeared as Betty in the Ray Cooney farce Funny Money for Ian Dickens Productions. She has just completed a number of short theatre seasons where she played Gillian in Simon Mawdsley's Audacity and identical twins Dawn and Donna in Double Vision by Eric Chappell for Stage Further Productions and a further short run as Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie. She has also made a welcome return to television in the new and slightly controversial film drama for Channel 4 Television, All in the Game, in which she played the role of Emma, wife of troubled football club manager Frankie (Ray Winstone) and returned to the role of Yvette for a TV special entitled The Return of Allo Allo for BBC 2 screened in April of 2007. This generated a great deal of media interest, initiating further guest appearances on This Morning, Richard and Judy and Breakfast TV as well as numerous radio interviews. She has just made her debut as Patricia Foster in the popular soap Emmerdale on television.
In a singing (and sometimes acting) career that spanned over six decades, the name Perry Como has come to mean that warm, smooth, easy-listening, general-audience, slow-flame romance that characterized popular music in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. It has also come to represent an overall good feeling. Telling of the success of the appeal of that good feeling early on in his career, during just a single week in the 1940s, the music industry pressed and sold 4 million Como records. In the 1950s, 11 of his singles sold well over 1 million copies each. In more than six decades of singing, his records sold more than 100 million copies; 27 individual prints reached the million-record mark.
Christened Pierino Como in Canonsburg, Pa., and one of a family of 13 children, Como pursued a career as a barber before he launched his singing career. At 11, he was working after school cutting hair in a barbershop. Before long he had set his sights on owning his own shop -- even making monthly payments toward one. He enjoyed singing, however, and let go of his barbershop ambitions soon after high school and his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Roselle Beline. It didn't take long to prove that he had talent and soon landed a spot in the Freddie Carlone Orchestra, where he made $28 a week touring the Midwest. In 1937, he joined the Ted Weems orchestra and was featured on the band's "Beat the Band" radio program. His career was on the rise. But, with the start of WWII and the eventual breakup of Weems' band, Como found himself back in Canonsburg in a barbershop cutting hair -- not for long, however. CBS radio soon offered him a weekly show at $100 a week and RCA signed him to a recording contract that garnered him in the next 14 years 42 Top 10 hits, a feat bettered only by Bing Crosby. These hits included "Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba)," "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows," "They Say It's Wonderful," "Surrender" and "Some Enchanted Evening." The 1945 rendition of "Till the End of Time," (a song associated with the movie "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" and based on Chopin's "Polonaise in A-Flat Minor") was perhaps his most memorable hit from this era. Other hits were on the lighter side of romance and included "Hot Diggity" and the forever a favorite "Papa Loves Mambo."
It was also during his singing career in the 1940s that Como appeared in three films for Twentieth Century Fox. His parts were unfortunately less than memorable, partly because of his overpowering screen presence of his co-star Carmen Miranda. But Como did have a screen presence, and he found its niche in the magic of the living room theater when he made his television debut in 1948 with NBC's "The Chesterfield Supper Club." In 1950, he was at the helm of his own show with CBS: "The Perry Como Show," which ran for five years. Back on NBC in 1955 he achieved his greatest success in the medium with an eight-year run. This was the show that featured his theme song: "Sing Along With Me." The show included the talents of the Ray Charles Singers and announcer Frank Gallop. It was also in this show where he developed and honed the image of the cardigan-wearing, relaxed, wholesome nice-guy that has been his trademark ever since. In 1956 and '57 he won Emmy Awards for most outstanding television personality. The show itself won Peabody and Golden Mike awards. During his tenure with this show he also received the Recording Industry Association of America's first ever Gold Disc Award for his rendition of "Catch a Falling Star." He retired from his show in 1963, opting to work only occasionally on t.v. specials. These specials included his traditional Christmas shows. After two decades of just canned music, he returned to live performances in the 1970s, playing Las Vegas and other circuits; he even did a sell-out tour of Australia. The 1970s also gave rise to his million record seller "It's Impossible." In one of his most gratifying moments in his career, President Reagan presented Como with a Kennedy Center award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts.
With an impressive list of half a dozen Film roles to his credit within an 18 month period, Rusty Joiner has definitely made his way to Hollywood's "The Ones To Watch" list.
Having recently completed Directors Lisa Addario & Joe Syracuse's Tiff bound film "Drive, she said" Starring along side Jason Biggs, Joiner will also show his dark side starring in the action thriller "Unsullied", NFL Legend Simeon Rice's Directorial debut, set for a September release, followed closely with a nomination worthy performance in the Philadelphia produced heavy drama "Voiceless" due out in January 2016. Joiner was seen most recently in director Tim Garrick's "Behaving Badly"(opposite Elisabeth Shue and Selena Gomez)and also co-stars opposite Jennifer Connelly and Greg Kinnear in the Informant Media produced film "Stuck in Love". Joiner signed on to star in the Metropol Film "Enchanted Amore: A Very Unusual Love Story" - shooting on location in Italy, Germany, and Savannah. The film also marks Joiner's debut as a producer.
While attending Georgia Southern University, Joiner was discovered in Atlanta where he soon became one of the most sought after models in the industry. He then spent the next few years steadily working in Milan, Paris and South America landing exclusive campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Prada, American Eagle and Levis, just to name a few.
In 1998, Joiner gained international recognition when he signed a two-year exclusive deal as the official Structure underwear model and spokesman, making guest appearances on such shows as Extra, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, E! News Daily and The View.
Following the success of the Structure campaign, Joiner quickly made the transition to acting with a variety of featured film roles including "Dodgeball" (with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn), "Resident Evil: Extinction" (with Milla Jovovich) and his first Starring role in director Ulli Lommel's "Absolute Evil." You will see Rusty in the upcoming features "Last Ounce Of Courage," "ToHave and to Hold," and Starring in "Orc Wars,".
No stranger to television, Joiner has an impressive list of guest starring roles to his credit including hit shows such as "The Closer," "Bones," "Close To Home," "CSI: Miami," "ER," and "Spin City" (opposite Heather Locklear). In 2010, Joiner again co-starred opposite Locklear - this time recurring on the CW's "Melrose Place" and also landed a recurring role on the NBC daytime drama "Days Of Our Lives."
Joiner's list of current international commercial campaigns include his role as the "Seven Minute Man" in the internationally successful and Cannes nominated Liquid Plumr ads, Maybelline with Christy Turlington, and a six-commercial deal for Suzuki, in addition to commercials for Excedrin, Comcast, Budweiser, GE, Acura, Coors Light, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Honda, and Taco Bell.
As the former national spokesperson for Men's Fitness Magazine's "Fat To Fit Tour," Joiner has a record twelve US and international covers of the magazine to his credit. He has been shot by legendary photographers Greg Gorman, Bruce Weber, Harry Langdon, David LaChapelle and Annie Leibovitz, and has graced the pages of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, and Vogue Homme.
This distinctive silver-haired singer established his performing credentials as a founding member of highly successful urban R&B quartet Dru Hill, who enjoyed transatlantic hits in the late 90s with singles such as 'How Deep Is Your Love' and 'These Are The Times'. The four members of Dru Hill set up their own Dru World Order production company in 1999 in order to facilitate the recording of their own solo projects. Sisqo was the first member to branch out, releasing Unleash The Dragon the same November. The risque lead-off single, 'Thong Song', was only one of many provocative tracks on an album which dealt candidly with sex and the male psyche. The production expertise of Babyface helped forge an impressive whole out of a diverse range of styles, including up tempo dance tracks ('Got To Get It'), mid-tempo R&B ('Your Love Is Incredible') and romantic ballads (the Elton John / Tim Rice composition 'Enchantment Passing Through').
|Whitney Rose Pynn
Whitney Rose Pynn grew up in the little town of Sayville, NY on the South shore of Long Island. The daughter of Ray Pynn, a sign maker, and Lydia Pynn, a registered nurse; Whitney is the middle of three sisters, Vanessa (older) and Taylor (younger). She spent the majority of her adolescence focused on becoming a professional ballet dancer. Whitney attended The School of American Ballet for six years starting at the age of 10. While at SAB, she performed The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coppelia, & Harlequinade with New York City Ballet, as well as, Le Corsaire and Mozartiana with American Ballet Theater.
After leaving the School of American Ballet, at the age of 16, Whitney started taking acting classes, and quickly realized she wanted to make it her career. She went on to study at The University of Maryland where she double majored in Theatre and Psychology, allowing her the opportunity to play a variety of roles from Lady Caroline Bramble in "Enchanted April" to the Little Jesus in Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman."
Immediately after graduating, Whitney moved to Los Angeles and has worked diligently to break into the entertainment industry. Whitney's first leading role in a feature film came in 2013 as Shauna Roberts in Kathleen Behun's award winning, '21 Days'. Whitney's first recurring role on television was on the NBC drama, 'Aquarius' as Minnie, a member of the infamous Manson family.
Anders weathered a rough childhood and young adult life which not only encouraged an escapist penchant for making up characters but also an insider's sympathy for the strong but put-upon women who people her films. Growing up in rural Kentucky, Anders would always remember hanging onto her father's leg at age five as he abandoned her family. Traveling frequently with her mother and sisters, Anders would later be raped at age 12, endure abuse from a stepfather who once threatened her with a gun, and suffer a mental breakdown at age 15. Venturing back to Kentucky from Los Angeles at 17, she would soon move to London to live with the man who would father her first child. Upon her return to the US, Anders finally began to pick up the pieces of her life. She enrolled in junior college and later the UCLA film school and managed when a second daughter came along. Enchanted with _Wim Wenders_' films, she so deluged the filmmaker with correspondence that he gave her a job as a production assistant on his film Paris, Texas. After graduating from UCLA, Anders made her feature writing and directing debut, Border Radio, a study of the LA punk scene, in collaboration with two former classmates. Her first solo effort, Gas, Food Lodging, telling of a single mother and her two teenage daughters, and her followup, Mi vida loca, looking at girl gangs in the Echo Park neighborhood of LA where Anders settled, have shown her to be a deeply personal filmmaker who has used her own experience to make grittily realistic, well-observed, gently ambling studies of women coming of age amid tough, sterile social conditions.
A talented and electrifying actor and media personality distinguished by his comedic skills, versatility and enchanting personality, Omar Chaparro is a magnate in the world of entertainment in Mexico. His 9 million followers on social media attest to his personable like-ability on screen. His films have also graced the charts working with top latino talent in movies such as "Suave Patria" and "Un gallo con muchos huevos". His breakout roles in the American screen with bilingual comedies such as, "Pulling Strings" by Pedro Pablo Ibarra and Michael Berry's film Stuck make him a part of the new wave of Latinos changing the landscape of Hollywood today. His latest film "Compadres", directed by Enrique Begne and starring Eric Roberts and Kevin Pollak has had tremendous success. Omar recently premiered "No Manches Frida" sharing credits with Martha Higareda and making it one of the highest grossing films in Mexico.
Sabu Dastagir (or Selar Shaik Sabu, depending on your resource) was born on January 27, 1924, in the little town of Mysore, India, which is nestled in the jungles of Karapur. The son of an elephant driver (mahout) in service for the Maharajah of his town, the young stable boy learned responsibility early in life when, at age 9, his father died and Sabu immediately became the ward of the royal elephant stables. As with many Hollywood success stories, good timing, and dumb luck allowed the impoverished youth a chance for a better life. By sheer chance the timid 12-year-old orphan was discovered by a British location crew while searching for a youth to play the title role (an elephant driver!) in their upcoming feature Elephant Boy. Quite taken aback by his earnest looks, engaging naturalness and adaptability to wild animals and their natural habitat, the studio handed the boy a film career on a sterling silver platter and was placed under exclusive contract by the mogul Alexander Korda himself.
Sabu and his older brother (as guardian) were whisked away to England to complete the picture and became subsequent wards of the British government. They were given excellent schooling in the process and Sabu quickly learned the English language in preparation for his upcoming films. Elephant Boy was an unqualified hit and the young actor was promptly placed front and center once again in the film Drums surrounded by an impressive British cast that included Raymond Massey and Valerie Hobson. With the parallel success of the Tarzan jungle movies in America, Hollywood starting taking a keen look at this refreshingly new boy talent when he first arrived in the U.S. for a publicity tour of the film. Again, his second film was given rave reviews, proving that Sabu would not be just a one-hit wonder.
His third film for Korda is considered one of the great true classics. In the Arabian fantasy-adventure The Thief of Bagdad, Sabu plays Abu the Thief and is not only surrounded by superb actors -- notably June Duprez, John Justin, Rex Ingram (as the genie) and Conrad Veidt (as the evil Grand Vizier) -- but exceptional writing and incredible special effects. Sabu's name began stirring international ears. His last pairing with Korda was the excellent adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic book Jungle Book playing Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves, who must adapt to the ways of mankind after being returned to his mother. The movie was directed by Alexander's brother Zoltan Korda.
Following this triumph, Sabu officially became the exotic commodity of Universal Pictures and he settled in America. Although initially rewarding monetarily, it proved to be undoing. Unfortunately (and too often typical), a haphazard assembly-line of empty-minded features were developed that hardly compared to the quality pictures in England under Korda. Saddled alongside the unexceptional Maria Montez and Jon Hall, his vehicles Arabian Nights, White Savage and Cobra Woman were, for the most part, drivel but certainly did fit the bill as colorful, mindless entertainment.
Almost 20 years old by the time he became a citizen of the U.S. in 1944, he enlisted in the Army Air Force and earned WWII distinction in combat missions (Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, among others) as a tail gunner. By the time Sabu returned to Universal and filming, the charm of his youth had worn off and the boyish stereotype impossible to escape.
Post-war audiences developed new tastes, but Sabu had no choice but to trudge on with retreads of his former glory. Films such as Tangier again opposite Ms. Montez, Man-Eater of Kumaon and Song of India opposite lovely princess Gail Russell did little to advance his career. While filming the last-mentioned movie, Sabu met and married actress Marilyn Cooper who temporarily filled in for an ailing Ms. Russell on the set. The couple went on to have two children.
Sabu actually fared better back in England during the late 40s, starring in the crime drama The End of the River and appearing fourth-billed as a native general in the exquisitely photographed Black Narcissus. Daring in subject matter, the film had Deborah Kerr heading up a group of Anglican nuns who battle crude traditions, unexpected passions and stark raving madness while setting up a Himalayan order. By the mid-50s Sabu's career was rapidly approaching extinction, seeking work wherever he could find it - in low-budget Europe productions, public appearances, etc. An attempt to conjure up a TV series for himself failed. His life was further aggravated by unpleasant civil and paternity suits brought about against him. His last two pictures were supporting roles in Rampage, which starred Robert Mitchum, and A Tiger Walks, a thoroughly routine Disney picture which was released posthumously.
Sabu died unexpectedly at age 39 of a heart attack on December 2, 1963, at his home in Southern California and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. Son Paul Sabu developed into an accomplished songwriter and even formed a rock band called Sabu; daughter Jasmine Sabu, who died in 2001, was a noted horse trainer whose skill was utilized occasionally for films. Although he went the way of too many of our former stars, Sabu continues to enchant and excite newer generations with his unmatched athletic skills and magnetic charm in those early adventure fantasies of yesteryear.
David Copperfield is the first living illusionist to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: he won the star on April 25th, 1995, for the category "Live Performance" and the address is 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, USA. On October 2nd, 1994, he was knighted by the French government as Chevalier of Arts and Letters, and on May 22th, 1999, he received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Fordham University. Along with Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Colin Powell, on April 24th, 2000, he received the Living Legend award from the United States Library of Congress. In 1979 and 1986 he has been named "Magician of the Year" by the Academy of Magical Arts, in July 2000 he has been named "Magician of the Millennium" by the International Federation of Magic Societies (FISM), and on September 15th, 2011, he has been named "Magician of the Century" and "King of Magic" by the Society of American Magicians. His face graces the postage stamps of six different countries, making him the only living magician to receive this honor.
16 of his groundbreaking 19 TV specials were nominated for Emmy Awards 38 times between 1979 and 2001, and 10 of them have won 21 times between 1981 and 1995. Year after year he continues to tour sold-out arenas throughout the world. He holds 11 Guinness World Records, published in the 2006 edition of this book (pag. 179) and has sold more tickets than any other solo entertainer in history, with ticket sales in the billions, more than Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.
Sound impossible? David Copperfield built a reputation on making the impossible look easy. He singlehandedly redefined his art, and remains the most emulated illusionist in the history of magic.
An only child, David was born in Metuchen, New Jersey, USA, on September 16th, 1956, as David Seth Kotkin. His father, Hyman Kotkin, son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, owned and operated in Korby's, a clothing/tailor shop for men and boys on Metuchen's Main Street. His mother, Rebecca Kotkin, a Jewish immigrant born in Jerusalem, Israel, worked in the insurance business. David was a shy and lonely kid who overcame his insecurity with the help of magic. He initially wanted to become a ventriloquist, being fascinated by Paul Winchell, seen in his show Winchell-Mahoney Time. So he bought a ventriloquist's dummy to Macy's, a shop selling magic tricks owned by the American multinational corporation Macy's, founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy. When he made a little show in front of his classmates, he realized he was a bad ventriloquist, despite receiving an applause. Then he returned to Macy's in search of a better dummy, and in that occasion there was a demonstrator, called Dan Tsukalas, who performed a magic trick with a little wooden board where a quarter would appear and disappear. David liked it so much that he decided to buy it. Thanks to that his first magic trick he realized he was better as a magician rather than as a ventriloquist. So, by the age of 10 he began practicing magic in his neighborhood, with the stage name "Davino the Boy Magician". At 12 (1968) he was invited to join the Society of American Magicians, so became its youngest member ever and began performing professionally. At 16 (1972) was an adjunct professor at New York University, where he taught a course called "The Art of Magic".
At 18 (1974), he graduated from Metuchen High School and then enrolled at Fordham University, a Jesuit based school in New York City. But after just a week he was cast as the lead in "The Magic Man", a new musical comedy created by the producers of Grease, Allan Carr and Robert Stigwood, and written by mystery author Barbara Steketee with her husband Anthony D'Amato. So after three weeks David left Fordham to play in this show. It was for this occasion that, following the suggestion of a friend, he adopted the stage name "David Copperfield", inspired by the abandoned character of the homonymous Charles Dickens's novel. The show opened in Chicago, Illinois, USA, to rave reviews. It went on to become the longest running musical in Chicago's history, and gave David the invaluable experience of performing daily in front of a live audience, allowing him to develop the spontaneity and love of live performance that has him performing up to four shows a day, and doing over 550 performances every year since 1983.
When "The Magic Man" closed after a year, David returned to New York. He continued to develop his singular approach to magic, which was strongly influenced by his love of classic MGM musicals, the dramatic storytelling exemplified by Orson Welles and Walt Disney (2 of the 4 David's idols, which also include Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire) and the lyrical, muscular romanticism of a Sinatra ballad. At 19 (1975) he performed for several months at the Pagoda Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.
David appeared on television for the first time on May 26th, 1976, in Magic at the Roxy, a TV special dedicated to magic and filmed at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on October 9th, 1975, then he made an "official" debut on September 7th, 1977, as illusionist conductor of The Magic of ABC. Thanks to this ABC variety TV special he achieved top ratings and shared his unique style of magic with millions of viewers. Immediately the producer Joseph Cates put David under contract for a series of yearly TV specials titled "The Magic of David Copperfield", broadcasted on CBS starting with The Magic of David Copperfield, the first official Copperfield TV special. On television between 1976 and 2001 he has performed over 150 different illusions, covering practically all kinds of them.
In each special he presented new illusions on a scale never before imagined or attempted, and always in front of a live audience, without any use of camera tricks, and rather filming in long take to demonstrate the absolute absence of manipulation of the shoot through video editing or inserting of special effects. In his 4th special, The Magic of David Copperfield IV: The Vanishing Airplane, he vanished a 7 tonnes Lear Jet airplane surrounded by a ring of blindfolded spectators, and in his 5th one, The Magic of David Copperfield V, he performed in front of a live audience on Liberty Island "the illusion of the century": the disappearance of the Statue of Liberty, the largest illusion ever performed by an illusionist, but especially the one that made Copperfield famous worldwide.
For the next two decades, until 2001, David continued to break new ground with his annual top-rated, Emmy Award winning TV specials, with which he continued to surpass himself, for example by "Walking Through The Great Wall Of China" (1986), making a daring "Escape From Alcatraz" prison (1987), surviving being locked in a safe on the 4th floor of an imploding building (1989), levitating and vanishing a 70 tonnes Orient Express dining car surrounded by a ring of spectators (1991), flying freely on the stage for several minutes, and also flying into an examined plexiglas container, and then flying again freely but with a girl held on to his arms (1992), escaping while hanging upside down from burning ropes in a strait jacket 10 stories above flaming steel spikes (1993), testing, in live (in USA only) broadcast, his endurance by surviving the deadly heat standing in the center of a 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (or 1,093 degrees Celsius) "Tornado Of Fire" (April 3rd, 2001). His TV specials have been broadcasted in over 40 countries worldwide, reaching an estimated audience of over 3 billion people.
In 1996 David realized his lifelong dream of performing on Broadway: he created "Dreams and Nightmares", written by David Ives and developed with Francis Ford Coppola and Eiko Ishioka. This show, opened at Martin Beck Theatre for 25 days between December 5th and 29th, still holds the Broadway record for most tickets sold in a week, more than Cats, The Lion King, and The Producers.
As historian of his art, in 1991 he purchased for $ 2,2 million the Mulholland Library of the Conjuring and the Allied Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, to found The International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts, which houses the world's largest collection of historically significant magic memorabilia: thousands of graphic images, prints, posters, playbills, photographs, manuscripts, letters, props and artifacts. It comprises of approximately 80,000 items of magic history, including 15,000 magic books, some of them from the 16th century, the Harry Houdini's Water Torture Cell (purchased at a Las Vegas auction on October 30th, 2004, for $ 300,000), his Metamorphosis Trunk and also his death certificate, the Orson Welles's Buzz Saw illusion designed for Rita Hayworth, the rifle that killed magician Chung Ling Soo, the third version of the Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy ventriloquism dummy (purchased at a Sotheby's auction on June 9th, 1995, for $ 112,500), and the automaton created by Robert-Houdin (December 6th, 1805 - June 13th, 1871), who is considered the father of modern magic. It also includes the only known recording of the original Houdini's voice, pressed in 1914 on the Thomas A. Edison's wax cylinders. However the museum is not open to the public, but reserved to colleagues, fellow magicians and serious collectors.
On the literary front, Copperfield joined forces with Dean R. Koontz, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury and others for "David Copperfield's Tales of the Impossible" (385 pages, published in December 1995), an anthology of original fiction set in the world of magic and illusion. This collection was so well received that a second volume was published: "David Copperfield's Beyond Imagination" (352 pages, published in December 1996). David has been featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, Esquire, Forbes, and Architectural Digest. The word "Copperfield" has become a part of popular culture, in a manner quite apart from anything envisioned by Charles Dickens. In today's literature and media, to "do a David Copperfield" or to "be the David Copperfield of" something has come to mean doing something magical or achieving the impossible.
In August 2006 Copperfield found a unique platform on which to create his newest wonders: "Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay". Recognized by many as the most beautiful and spectacular destination in the world, Musha Cay is the ultimate private island paradise. Located in the Exumas, Bahamas, these 11 private islands, bought for $ 50 million, have 700 acres of lush natural beauty, 40 sugar sand beaches and a 3,218 meters (or 10,560 feet) long sandbar, truly paradise on earth. David has been developing unique magical adventures for island guests, including Dave's Drive-in, where a giant silver screen "appears" on the beach, a custom designed magical Treasure Hunt adventure, and the Secret Village, a hidden sanctuary of enchanted monkeys accessed only by entering beneath a giant rising statue and journeying through an ancient, underground passage.
David's proudest achievement, however, is Project Magic, a therapy program conceived in 1981 and organized by Copperfield with Julie DeJean, O.T.R., until the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) formally approved it in March 1982. Based in the Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital, this program, that uses magic as therapy, have been established in nearly every state in the USA and in 1,100 hospitals in 30 countries worldwide. This medically-certified program motivates patients to regain their dexterity, coordination and cognitive skills by learning simple magic and sleight of hand. It is also described and shown in his 6th special, The Magic of David Copperfield VI: Floating Over the Grand Canyon.
In February 2010, at the age of 53, he became a father: the French model Chloe Gosselin, his girlfriend since 2006, gave birth to their child, a daughter called Sky.
|Tasha de Vasconcelos
Tasha de Vasconcelos was born in Beira, Mozambique, with Portuguese ancestry on her father's side and British on her mother's side. Her old European background is very evident in her multilingual diversity and her capacity to interact with different cultures. Due to social unrest in Africa her family moved to Canada, where Tasha went on to study international relations at the University of British Columbia. In 1998 Tasha graduated in International Strategy at the Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies in Paris.
Tasha's modelling career began when she was spotted in Canada. A highly successful career as an international model was established with New York photographer Steven Meisel shooting Tasha for her first Vogue cover. Her acting debut was with a part in French movie Riches, belles, etc. with 'Claudia Cardinale', Marisa Berenson and 'Anouk Aimee'. Tasha studied acting at the Cours Florent and the Central School of Speech and Drama. She went on to play the sexually liberated minx Lauren in the leading female role opposite 'Paul Kaye' in the BBC comedy series Perfect World.
Then followed the remake of Murder on the Orient Express for CBS with Tasha playing a Russian jewel thief opposite Alfred Molina. Her next UK appearances were in Largo Winch as a feisty independent writer and love interest of Paolo Seganti and in Relic Hunter playing the part of a warrior princess. Both launched in the US, with Largo Winch also distributed in Europe.
In 2002 Tasha filmed the independent feature film Dot the I acting alongside 'Gael Garcia Bernal' which was well received at Sundance Film Festival 2003. Tasha performed alongside Judi Dench and Gillian Anderson at "An Enchanted Evening" at London's Theatre Royal, a gala performance of the music of Richard Rodgers in aid of the Neurofibromatosis Association.
April 2003 saw Tasha's first major feature film release in the spoof Bond movie Johnny English directed by 'Peter Howitt' and starring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia and John Malkovich. Tasha plays the manipulative villainess Contessa Alexandra in the film's opening scene opposite Rowan Atkinson, Tasha takes on the femme fatale mantle of actresses such as Sophie Marceau and 'Grace Jones' in the original Bond films. Among her sporting skills, Tasha is an outstanding horsewoman and pentathlon competitor.
Tasha's other great passion is helping underprivileged children, supporting charities such as the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Association for Drug-addicted Children in Portugal. She is a goodwill representative for UNICEF to Bolivia for malnourished children and to Algeria for war-ravaged children. Tasha is also the goodwill ambassador appointed by Bolivia's first lady for the "Children of Pailaviri" project.
Actor, comedian, singer, writer, producer, director - Mark Hadlow is one of New Zealand's most prominent actors and entertainers. He is driven by a passion for performance: 130 plays, musical theatre, dozens of film appearances, television series, commercials and radio voice-overs in the thousands.
Playing the dwarf Dori in The Hobbit was Mark's third Peter Jackson movie. In Meet the Feebles he played the voices of Heidi the Hippo and Robert the Hedgehog, and sang many of the songs. King Kong saw him performing the role of Harry in the vaudeville scenes opposite Naomi Watts and Bill Johnson. He regards Peter Jackson productions as the most exhilarating experiences.
He starred alongside New Zealand Maori comedian, Billy T James in "The Billy T James Show".
Mark Hadlow is renowned for his singing voice and has appeared in many musicals and concerts, his all time favourite being Little Shop of Horrors. (4 separate productions)
Mark has been nominated for and won several awards, including Best Supporting Actor in a Television Comedy in a Television series Willy Nilly, playing the role of the challenged brother Harry in a three-season top rating sitcom.
He won Best Theatrical performance of the Year in 1993 for the hugely successful one-man show "SNAG", and ultimately went on to win Entertainer of the Year in 1995. He won Best Voice Over Artist in the Radio New Zealand Awards 2010.
Mark is also a master narrator, his most recent work being narrator of the enchanting short film 'The Story of Percival Pilts' by Janette Goodey & John Lewis. He has also released an audio CD called "Tall Tales", a collection of classic children's stories.
Roger Yuan's career in the film industry has seen him wear many hats. As a martial arts fight trainer, action coordinator, actor, writer and producer, he has gained much acclaim. Having worked in US, UK, Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Indian "Bollywood" and Vietnam productions, he has cultivated a global appeal
Roger has amassed a wide repertoire of expertise in various martial arts styles and unique physical training regimens and has trained the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer for Catwoman in Batman Returns, Rene Russo, John Cusack, Michael Madsen, Henry Cavill, Immortals, Jason Flemyng and Jennifer Lawrence for X Men:First Class, Keanu Reeves for 47 Ronin and Daniel Craig for Skyfall.
Country singing star Tim McGraw is a recent client enlisting Roger to get him in shape for his 2012 "Brothers of the Sun Summer Tour".
Roger has choreographed action for films such as Son of The Pink Panther, Death Becomes Her, Ella Enchanted, Black Dynamite, X Men: first Class, 47 Ronin and the 50th anniversary 007 film, Skyfall, Once Upon a Time in Vietnam, and Warcraft.
Roger's acting debut came in Red Corner with Richard Gere. As an actor that does his own stunts, He won the respect of Hong Kong action luminaries Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao (Shanghai Noon), Sammo Hung, jet Li (Once Upon a Time in China and America), and Chow Yun Fat (Bulletproof Monk). And action directors Dee Dee Ku, Dion Lam, Hung Yan Yan and Steven Ching su Tung.
Roger has also shaped comedic roles with action, he has lead roles in Warner Bros. Chandni Chowk to China, and sony's Black Dynamite. 2015 will see Roger in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: the Green Destiny, playing Iron Crow, which director and action legend Master Yuen Woo Ping personally chose Roger for this lead role.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Shyloh Oostwald was raised by her mother Lisa, who is a talent scout. Shyloh began her acting career at the age of six when she was discovered by her talent manager Annet McCroskey in acting class. She first appeared on screen in several independent films including 'Falling Snow', 'At What Price', 'Children of the Air' and 'Elena Undone.' On the small screen, Shyloh appeared on NBC's 'The Event' and the 'Jay Leno Show', ABC's 'Happy Endings', CBS's 'Criminal Minds', FOX's 'House M.D., 'Arrested Development', FX's 'American Horror Story' Nickelodeons 'iCarly' and '100 things to do before High School.' Shyloh was part of the ensemble cast in the Geek & Sundry sci-fi horror series 'Spooked' and was cast as Maya alongside Justin Timblerlake in the film 'In Time.' Shyloh has appeared as the voice for many characters in films such as 'Escape from Paradise 2', 'Enchanted House', 'Son of Bigfoot' and Cartoon Networks 'Adventure Time.' She has also modeled and is on the cover of the album 'We Are the fallen/ Tear down the World.' Shyloh also enjoys stage acting and performed alongside Jerry O'Connell in 'Walk to the Vet.' In addition to acting, Shyloh plays the piano, ice skates and takes ballet.
With her fiery scarlet hair, pretty round freckled face, awesomely ample, buxom and shapely figure, and infectiously bubbly good-natured personality, popular 1970s soft-core starlet Sharon Kelly was as endearing as she was alluring, a potent double whammy that, in turn, made the always exuberant Irish redhead absolutely irresistible. Kelly was discovered dancing at the Classic Cat club on Sunset Strip. The delightfully perky, comely, and enchanting Sharon made her film debut in the uproariously raunchy comedy The Dirty Mind of Young Sally. Kelly greatly enlivened such choice lowbrow dross as A Scream in the Streets, The Beauties and the Beast, Sassy Sue, Little Annie Fanny, The Dirty Dolls, The Boob Tube, Alice Goodbody, and Delinquent School Girls. Sharon was severely mistreated by Dyanne Thorne in the first two notoriously nasty "Ilsa" features. She had a memorable unbilled bit as one of the titular lovely, yet lethal ladies in the terrific sci-fi/horror camp classic Invasion of the Bee Girls. Kelly achieved her greatest popularity as SuperCherry in Russ Meyer's outrageous Supervixens. Sharon had small parts in two mainstream pictures: She's a woman who's covered with tattoos in Shampoo and the beautifully naked corpse of Ben Johnson's murdered daughter in Robert Aldrich's gritty police mystery thriller Hustle. In the early 1980s, Kelly began acting in hardcore X-rated porno movies under the pseudonym Colleen Brennan. Sharon Kelly voluntarily quit acting in the late 1980s because of the AIDS scare and went on to create her own home recording studio for phone sex hot lines.
Mandira was born in a Punjabi-speaking Bombay-based Bedi family on April 15, 1972. Her mom's name is Gita, and her dad's is Verinder. She did her schooling in the Cathedral & John Connon High School, and completed her graduation and post-graduation from St. Xavier's College and Sophia Polytech respectively.
Barely had she started working at Oglivy & Mather Advertising Agency, when she was offered to play a role on the small screen in Shanti. This led her to sign up for 'Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahoo Thee' also.
An Aries, she is passionate about live cricket and was thrilled when Sony Television offered her to compère 'Extra Innnings'. Her appearance in a wide array of designer Sarees glamorized the drab male-dominated cricket world which eventually led to a rise in viewer-ship. Cricket-obsessed viewers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries, both male and female, were enchanted with this svelte, fresh-faced, sexy, Saree-clad, and wholesome Indian girl.
Fashion Designer, Satya Paul, designed cricket-themed Sarees, which included one with signatures of cricketers; another one with cricket newspaper headlines; one with animations of players; one with mini flags of cricket participating nations, which are just a few out of the 50 odd ones. Several of these Sarees were auctioned.
Mandira married Bollywood Film Director, Raj Kaushal, quite dramatically on Valentine's Day 1999, and they live in Bandra, Bombay.
She has acted in hubby's movie 'Shaadi Ka Ladoo', and was involved in the filming of 'Dus Kahaniyan'. She likes doing a variety of screen roles, but prefers glamorized dramas. She would love to do negative roles, like the one in 'Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thee', but is told that she does not have a face for it. She has appeared in 'Fame Gurukool', she is the anchor of Set Max's World Cup Cricket 2007, a sitcom 'Papa Ban Gaya Hero' amongst others.
She became the mother of a baby boy on Father's Day June 19, 2011 at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai at 11:01am. The child, named Vir, weighed approximately 6lbs.
Born and raised in Malibu, California, Emilie Autumn began learning the violin at the age of four and left regular school five years later with the goal of becoming a world-class violinist. Progressing to writing her own music, she studied under various teachers and went to Indiana University, which she left over issues regarding the relationship between classical music and the appearance of the performer. Through her own independent label Traitor Records, Autumn debuted with her classical album On a Day: Music for Violin & Continuo, followed by the release in 2003 of her supernaturally themed album Enchant. As a sufferer of bipolar disorder, she uses her experiences as a source of inspiration for her work. She was admitted to a psychiatric ward at a Los Angeles hospital after attempting suicide in 2004. Upon her release, she had her cell block number tattooed on her right arm as a way of remembering what happened to her and penned her autobiographical novel, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls, which was published in 2010.
Saeed Jaffrey was born in Maler Kotla, Punjab, India. He was born on the 8th of January 1929. He attended University of Allahabad where he completed his post-graduate degree in history. He also attended the Staff Training Institute of All India Radio. He started his career in drama, as the founder of his own English theatre company called the Unity Theatre, in New Delhi between 1951 and 1956. He also served with All India Radio as Radio Director during this period. He played a wide variety of roles in comedy and drama with equal ease and enthusiasm. His early theatrical work included roles in productions of Tennessee Williams, Fry, Priesty, Wilde, and Shakespeare. In 1956, he finished his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, a premier school of drama. He went to the United States on a Fulbright scholarship and took a second post-graduate degree in drama from the Catholic University in America. With this experience as his base, he took his company on a tour of the United States doing Shakespearean plays in the year 1957. He was the first Indian Actor to have ever done so. He then became an active member of the Actors' Studio in New York. Here, he was noted for his acting in the play "Nights" and his role as the "Nawab" in Granada Television's adaptation of "The Jewel in the Crown". He married Madhur, actress and cookery writer, with whom he has had three children. He is now divorced from her.
In the 1960s he made numerous stage appearances and participated in a number of tours. He also started his U.S. television career in these years. He was the director of publicity and advertising for the Government of India in their Tourist Office in the U.S. from 1958 to 1960. His performance in the BBC classic _Gangsters (1975) (TV)_, as "Rafiq" earned him countrywide recognition in the United Kingdom. This was even though he had acted in Theatres and appeared on television previously in the U.K. During this period he acted in the off-Broadway play "A Tenth of an Inch Make The Difference" written and directed by Rolf Forsberg, who later cast Saeed Jaffrey and his wife Madhur in the noted short films, "Parable" in 1964, and "Stalked", starring Jack Hawkins, in 1968. Mr. Jaffrey began his feature film career acting in the movie The Guru, and since then has made numerous film appearances along with Hollywood stars such as Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan etc. He has, since then, worked with directors of high caliber such as Satyajit Ray, James Ivory, David Lean and Richard Attenborough. He is a member of the Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. He is known over the world for his impeccable English accent, his dapper style and his catch phrase "My dear boy". They form part of an acting persona that audiences have always found enchanting. He uses his smooth charm to good effect whether he is playing the archetypal oily, corrupt businessman or the kindly, knowing, father like figure. He is the first Asian to have received British and Canadian Academy Award nominations for acting, and is the first ever to be awarded the Order of the British Empire for his services to drama.
Dany Verissimo-Petit is an edgy and talented young actress with an unusual background. Her recent runaway success in the play "D.A.F. Marquis de Sade" (2013), and a two-season run in the hit Canal Plus TV series Maison Close (currently being adapted by HBO), have led to her integration into a number of upcoming projects with French theater director Nicolas Briançon.
In 2004, producer Luc Besson gave her her first lead role in a mainstream movie: Dany was Lola in "District B13," a bleak, futuristic look at street gangs by director Pierre Morel. Her depiction of Lola was both wild and strong, and the film was a spectacular success.
After a succession of minor roles, in May 2006 ELLE magazine's Cannes Special Edition highlighted Dany as one of the 17 rising French actresses, and French literary giant Alain Robbe-Grillet made her the star of his last film, "It's Gradiva who is calling you" (U.S release 2009). "She surprises by her generosity and the strength of her presence," Robbe-Grillet told reporters, clearly enchanted by the mesmerizing performance of his young female star.
Dany has been Camelia, a rebellious 19th century prostitute, in the Canal Plus series Maison Close (Season 1, 2010; Season 2, 2012; the series is being adapted by HBO). Her powerful 2013 performance on the stage in "D.A.F. Marquis de Sade", directed by Nicolas Briançon, won critical accolades including "hypnotic" (Theatre.com) and "the perfect incarnation of... a sublime physique and an undeniable acting talent" (RegArts).
Dany speaks completely fluent English, as well as her native French, and moonlights as a painter. She has a (2013) 10 year-old daughter is divorced from the actor Rodolphe Verissimo, and lives in Paris.
Another in the long line of dramatically handsome foreign imports who made an immediate impact on WWII Hollywood was debonair French actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. The epitome of grace and sophistication, the stylish leading man went on to have a long and respectful career on stage, film and TV, both here and abroad.
Aumont was born Jean-Pierre Philippe Salomons on January 5, 1911 (some sources list 1909) in Paris, France, to Suzanne (Cahen), an actress, and Alexandre Abraham Salomons, a well-to-do department store executive. His brother, François Villiers (né Francois Salomons), went on to become a film writer/director. His father was a Dutch Jew and his mother was from a French Jewish family; he was of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi ancestry. Jean-Pierre was transferred from various prep schools before enrolling at the Paris Conservatory of Dramatic Art at the age of 16. Run by the renowned Louis Jouvet, young Aumont's first two film roles were prime roles in Jean de la Lune and Échec et mat. He then went on to appear strongly in a number of Gallic films. He also made an impressive theater debut playing the role of Oedipus in Jean Cocteau's "La Machine Infernale" at the Comedie Champs-Elysees in 1934, which set up a long and lucrative tenure on the stage. Splitting his time between live performances and film-making opposite such lovelies as Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux and Annabella), Aumont served with the French Third Mechanized Division for nearly a year (1939-1940) and earned a medal of distinction for his valour (Croix de Guerre). Two of his finest screen roles came just prior to this: 'Marcel Carne''s farcical comedy Bizarre, Bizarre starring mentor Louis Jouvet, and the romantic drama Hotel du Nord opposite the lovely Annabella and co-starring Jouvet again.
Aumont arrived in America barely speaking English in 1942 and only a few days later was "discovered" by stage legend Katharine Cornell, making his American debut in her production of "Rose Burke". During the play's Los Angeles engagement, he was signed by MGM for films and made a noticeable debut as Captain Pierre Matard in the espionage war picture Assignment in Brittany co-starring the tragic Susan Peters. Classily promoted as an up-and-coming Jean Gabin, the lithe, handsome, blue-eyed blond captured the admiration of the American public with his Charles Boyer-like charm and charisma. His second American film was the equally successful The Cross of Lorraine, a dramatic Stalag 17-like story of French POW's held in a German war camp.
The lovely Technicolor siren Maria Montez, known for her popular (and campy) WWII escapism films at Universal, quickly caught his eye and the couple married in 1943 after only a three-month courtship. An earlier marriage to French's Blanche Montel had ended in divorce in 1940, well before his arrival in America. Aumont again interrupted his burgeoning acting career by serving with the Free French forces in North Africa and was again awarded a medal (Legion of Honor) for his bravery. He was twice wounded during his active years of service.
The French actor returned to Hollywood films after the war co-starring with Ginger Rogers in the comedy Heartbeat and appearing as composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in Universal's Song of Scheherazade. The reception to both were lukewarm and Aumont decided to return to France with his wife (whose career was now in decline), and his daughter (who was born in 1946 and grew up to become the actress Tina Aumont). Seeking to rediscover his earlier glory in European films and the theatre, he also began writing plays. Now and then he would return to the American soil and appeared on Broadway in 1949 with his work "Figure of a Girl," which was retitled "My Name Is Aquilon" by the time it arrived on the Great White Way. While it co-starred the embraceable Lilli Palmer, who was also making her Broadway debut, the play itself was not as embraced.
On the international film scene, Aumont appeared with wife Maria in such uninspired offerings as the United Artist escapist fare Siren of Atlantis, the French crime drama Wicked City [Wicked City] and the Italian adventure La vendetta del corsaro (1951)_ [The Revenge of the Pirates], the last-mentioned proving to be the last for the fetching Ms. Montez. The 39-year-old star tragically drowned in September of 1951 after her hot mineral salt bath triggered a heart seizure.
After a period of grieving, Aumont continued transcontinentally, but rather unspectacularly, with acting parts that seemed hardly challenging. He cavorted with Paulette Goddard in the mediocre action adventure Charge of the Lancers; appeared among an international cast in the spectacle Napoleon; co-starred rather stiffly opposite Jean Simmons in the glossy "sudspenser" Hilda Crane; was overshadowed by Eleanor Parker, who paled next to Garbo in the remake of Garbo's "The Painted Veil" entitled The Seventh Sin; and, played a cameo as the doomed Louis XVI in the US-based John Paul Jones co-starring wife Marisa. On a more positive note, he, Mel Ferrer and the ever-enchanting Leslie Caron were wonderful in MGM's touching musical Lili. Aumont also fared much better in his 1950s televised appearances of classic works, notably "Arms and the Man" and "Crime and Punishment".
Following a torrid 1955 romance with Grace Kelly (whom, as we all know, went on to marry her Prince), the actor met and married lovely Italian actress Marisa Pavan, the sister of the late Pier Angeli, in 1956, and had two sons, Jean-Claude and Patrick, by her. Troubled by his erratic output and the uneventful film roles offered, which included those in The Enemy General, The Devil at 4 O'Clock and Five Miles to Midnight [Five Miles to Midnight], Aumont wisely refocused on the theatre and his playwriting skills. Stage performances included "The Heavenly Twins" and "A Second String" (both on Broadway), the title role in "The Affairs of Anatol", "Murderous Angels" and appearances in the musicals "Tovarich" with Vivien Leigh (on Broadway), "Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris," "South Pacific" (as the debonair Emile DeBecque), and "Gigi" with wife Marisa. The couple also went on to form a warmly-received nightclub act in New York.
For the remainder of his career, Aumont remained the ever-charming and worldly continental, vacillating between the stage ("Camino Real," "Private Lives," "The Sound of Music" and "Tiger at the Gates"); international films (Castle Keep, Catherine & Co., Mahogany, Nana, Sweet Country, Becoming Colette and a pair of Merchant/Ivory films Jefferson in Paris and The Proprietor): and classy TV fare (The Memory of Eva Ryker, Melba, A Tale of Two Cities). Some of the actor's finest movie roles in years occurred in the 1970s with the excellent Day for Night [Day for Night] and Cat and Mouse [Cat and Mouse].
The distinguished actor/playwright went awardless throughout his cinematic career but this glaring oversight was finally rectified in the form of the cross of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1991 and an honorary César Award in 1992. He died in his native country of a heart attack a few weeks after his 90th birthday in 2001.
|Anna Maria Alberghetti
The dark, delicate and demure beauty of an Anna Maria Alberghetti is what one envisions a princess to look like and, indeed, she did have a chance to play a couple in her lifetime. Reminding one instantly of the equally enchanting Pier Angeli, Anna Maria's Cinderella story did not take on a tragic storybook ending as it did for Ms. Angeli. On the contrary, Anna Maria continues to delight audiences today on many levels, particularly on the concert and lecture stages.
She was born in a musical home in Pesaro, Italy, in 1936, the daughter of a concertmaster father and pianist mother. They greatly influenced her obvious talent and by age six she was performing with symphony orchestras with her father as her vocal instructor. World War II had forced the Alberghettis from their homeland and after performing in a European tour, Anna Maria's pure operatic tones reached American ears via her Carnegie Hall debut at age 14. The family decided to settle permanently in the States. The teenager went on to perform with numerous symphony orchestras during this time.
In 1950 Paramount saw a bright future in the making. Within a short time she was capturing hearts on film, making a magical debut in the eerie but hypnotic Gian Carlo Menotti's chamber opera The Medium. Opposite the magnificent Marie Powers in the title role as the fraudulent Madame Flora, Anna Maria was directed by Menotti himself in the independently-produced film. While the movie was appreciated in art house form, Paramount wasted no time in placing the photogenic Anna into mainstream filming. Her budding talent was strangely used, however. She had an extended operatic solo in the breezy Capraesque Bing Crosby/Jane Wyman comedy Here Comes the Groom, and played a Polish émigré befriended by a singer (played by Rosemary Clooney) who discovers the girl has musical talent of her own in the so-so The Stars Are Singing. Anna's songs included the touching "My Kind of Day" and "My Heart Is Home". Thereafter, for some strange reason, her vocals were not utilized. She acted instead in such rugged adventures as The Last Command and Duel at Apache Wells, and in the fluffy comedy Ten Thousand Bedrooms opposite Dean Martin. And, in the end, she was lovely but utterly wasted as the Prince Charming equivalent in the gender-bending Jerry Lewis farce Cinderfella. Not only does she arrive late in the film, but Jerry gave her no songs to sing -- he sang them all!
Extremely disillusioned, Anna Maria departed from films in the early 60s and instead sought out work on the Broadway stage. It was here that she found that elusive star. Following a role in the operetta "Rose Marie" in 1960, Anna Maria won the part of a lifetime as the waif-like Lili in the musical "Carnival", based on Leslie Caron's charming title film role. Anna Maria was utterly delightful and quite moving in the role and for her efforts was awarded the Tony Award -- tying in her category with Diahann Carroll for "No Strings". Anna Maria's sister Carla replaced her when she left the show. Throughout the 60s she continued to impress in musical ingénue showcases -- the title role in "Fanny" (1963), Maria in "West Side Story" (1964), Marsinah in "Kismet" (1967) (which was televised), and Luisa in "The Fantasticks" (1968), to name but a few.
As she matured, she made a mark in other facets of entertainment. On TV Ed Sullivan first introduced Anna Maria to millions of households and the public was thoroughly taken by this singing angel. She appeared with Sullivan a near-record 53 times. She also graced a number of popular TV shows with non-singing, damsel-in-distress roles on such shows as "Wagon Train" and "Checkmate". Her recording career has included associations with Capitol, Columbia, Mercury and MGM Records.
In 1964, Anna married TV director/producer Claudio Guzmán who was almost a decade older. The ten-year marriage produced two daughters, Alexandra and Pilar. She began to downplay her career after this in favor of parenting, particularly after her divorce in 1974.
Returning to the theater on occasion, Anna Maria later reintroduced herself back into TV households as the housewife/pitchwoman for "Good Seasons" salad dressing. Her one-woman stage show led to her interest as a cabaret performer. More recent film appearances have included fun roles in the comedies Friends and Family and The Whole Shebang.
Led Zeppelin are a popular British band best known for their iconic "Stairway to Heaven" as well as for co-creating the music genre of heavy metal. Since their nine albums were recorded between 1968 and 1979, Led Zeppelin has been one of the most popular bands of all time, having sold more than 300 million records and millions of concert tickets worldwide.
The quartet was conceived at the end of the Hippie love era, in a group marriage of blues, rock and roll, soul, rockabilly, folk ballad, jazz, classical and Eastern music, and something else scattered over some woozy sounds of their songs. It was their mutual artistic stimulation, their group interplay and imagination that incorporated mythology and mysticism, and concocted their inimitable style, and established the concept of album-oriented rock career.
Jimmy Page was already an experienced lead guitarist who worked with multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones in 1967, and they agreed to work on the next project. In August 1968 Page invited Robert Plant and John Bonham to join his band, the New Yardbirds, for a September tour in Scandinavia. In October 1968 they took the name Led Zeppelin, which stemmed from a humorous conversation among several musicians about their chances of going down like a lead balloon. However, British bands were highly anticipated in the USA, and the Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun signed the new band without even seeing them.
Their debut album, 'Led Zeppelin', recorded and mixed in just about 36 hours in October 1968, at Olympic Studios in London, kicked open the door for all extremes and experiments. The phallic image of the blown up Hindenburg airship on the cover, designed by George Hardie, announced the hardening of rock and coming of the new super-group. While ascending to musical success as a powerhouse band, Led Zeppelin explored a variety of styles, from English folk ballads to blues and rock, and created their own inimitable style.
Prior to the release of their first album, Led Zeppelin made live appearances at the University of Surrey and in London in October 1968, then went on their first American tour in December 1968. In their first year, Led Zeppelin made four concert tours in the USA, and another four tours in the UK. Their second album was recorded entirely on the road at several American recording studios, and was an even greater success than the first one. "Whole Lotta Love", "Heartbreaker", "Living, Loving Maid", and "Ramble On" became big international hits.
Each member of the quartet contributed to their compositions, thus setting a fine example of group creativity. Their songs and albums rambled on with the highly versatile voice-guitar interplay. Plant's incredible vocal range and Page's enchanting guitar solos were as responsible for the band's singularity as its musical wanderlust. Plant's and Page's musicianship was supported by the tight playing by John Paul Jones on bass, and John Bonham on drums. The intense interaction of all four players on stage gave their live performances a visual counterpoint to well intertwined harmonic and rhythmic structures of their compositions.
Their third album, Led Zeppelin III, influenced by folk and Celtic music, offered more inventiveness with acoustic/electric sound-work, and revealed more of the band's versatility with such compositions as the "Immigrant Song" and "Since I've Been Loving You". With the release of their fourth, and most popular album, Led Zeppelin achieved a reputation of the biggest band in the world. 'Stairway to Heaven' became the most played radio hit, several other songs became rock classics, and nobody knows how many more times their lines would help other musicians (like the opening riff from "How Many More Times" was later used by Pink Floyd in their hit "Money").
Capitalizing on the success of their first four albums, the band toured extensively in the 1970s. At that time they chartered a private jet, nicknamed the Starship, that carried the band's name and later added the famous 'Swan Song' winged Apollo image on the tail. Going to California turned into a ritual of wildness and excess, most notably at the Hyatt House hotel on the Sunset strip in Los Angeles, known colloquially as the "Riot House" for a series of some most exciting off-stage events, such as riding a motorcycle inside the hotel and throwing TV set out of the window. One of their concerts under a heavy thunderstorm in Florida ended with police using tear gas, and led to a temporary pause in their concert tours.
During the 70s their career was interrupted several times by accidents, deaths and other unfortunate events. In September 198O on the eve of an American tour, John Bonham accidentally died from pulmonary oedema after a day of drinking. In December 1980, Led Zeppelin disbanded, albeit the public could still feel their presence. In 1982 a collection of out-takes from various sessions from the 70s was released as their last album, Coda. During the 80s the remaining three members experienced a serious communication breakdown, until they briefly united for a short set in 1985, and once again, in 1988, with Bonham's son, Jason, for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary show.
In 1994 Page and Plant showed their softer side when they performed live together on 'MTV Unplugged', which was released the same year as album titled 'No quarter'. Then they made an international tour with an orchestra. In 1995 Page and Plant were joined by Jones when the band was indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, albeit the three former band-mates did not perform together. By that time Jimmy Page as well as Robert Plant had pursued individual careers touring and recording with their own bands.
Another ten years gone. Page's and Plant's call-and-response interplay took them through good times and bad times. Their sonic originality had sparked imagination and creativity in millions of open minds. Singers, songwriters, armies of music fans and a rainbow of dedicated 'led heads', as well as guitarists and guitar collectors worldwide remained united through the acquired experience and conditioning to the Led Zep sounds.
Hats off to Led Zeppelin, who opened the new extremes of musical expression, and are now back in the light confirming their presence. Their long anticipated reunion in December 2007 was a true celebration day. Their live performance was as tight as a rock band can be, and their living, loving song remains the same since we've been loving them. That's the way!
Thank you, Friends.
Dorothy Comingore earned a place in motion picture history for her role as the second Mrs. Kane (the Marion Davies to Orson Welles's William Randolph Hearst) in Citizen Kane. It was an extraordinary performance, justifiably praised by critics and public alike. She was apparently slated to be on the short list for an Academy Award. However, there was to be no stardom in films for this talented actress.
Dorothy was discovered by Charles Chaplin while performing with the Carmel Little Theater in Monterey County. He was enchanted by her and his praise won her a Hollywood contract. That contract was unaccountably dropped after just three months without even a screen test. At Warner Brothers, she was utilised purely for publicity stills and as a clothes model. She would have none of it. Having already acquired a reputation as a firebrand, she walked out on the studio, having been relegated to what amounted to nothing more than a crowd scene. She was determined to be appreciated for her acting ability, not to be wasted as an extra. Columbia signed her on. However, between 1938 and 1940, most of her roles (in which she was often billed as 'Linda Winters') still turned out to be uncredited bits and walk-ons. There were also westerns and 'Three Stooges' comedy shorts, but certainly nothing of substance. Her turning point came courtesy of an introduction to Orson Welles at a party. Welles came to think of her as ideal casting for the part of brash, feather-brained would-be diva Susan Alexander Kane. A successful screen test followed and then came the role that brought Dorothy Comingore at once fame and ruin.
Soon after its release, the wrath of Citizen Hearst descended upon everyone associated with the picture. In particular, he never forgave Dorothy for playing a part so obviously (and effectively) modelled on his mistress. Dorothy Comingore was already well known for her leftist sympathies. Her father had been a high profile unionist and her first husband had died fighting Franco's fascists in the Spanish Civil War. The newspaper magnate had ample ammunition to orchestrate a nationwide smear campaign, using prominent columnists Hedda Hopper and Walter Winchell to branding her a 'subversive', a member of the Communist Party. Though devoid of substantiating evidence, the spurious allegation stuck. Dorothy had associations and friends in Hollywood (not to mention her husband, the screenwriter Richard Collins, who had been an active party member of the Hollywood chapter in the 1930's), who had communist affiliations or were party members. She had also made enemies by following in her father's footsteps, canvassing for and supporting civil rights causes and union solidarity. Refusing to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) made her an 'unfriendly witness'. Not only was she blacklisted in Hollywood, but her phone was tapped, her mail opened and her home ransacked. Collins, by now Dorothy's ex, did not have the same moral fortitude. To escape blacklisting, he recanted his previous testimony and fully cooperated with HUAC's inquisitors.
Dorothy's career effectively ended in 1951, her acting swansong in films being a small part in an indifferent drama of teenage angst, The Big Night. Her personal life, meanwhile, continued to spiral out of control. She became an alcoholic. In October 1952, she was arrested by vice squad officers on a solicitation charge, another likely frame-up as payback for her "red" affiliations. Having lost custody of her children, she agreed to have the charges against her dropped in exchange for being committed to the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. There she spent two years (not 'a little time', as she had promised in court) 'undergoing treatment'. Not much is known of her final years, except, that she spent most of it in seclusion, married to a postman in Connecticut in a home with two dogs and ten cats. She died in December 1971 of pulmonary disease, likely the result of long-term alcohol abuse, at the age of 58.
Arlette Pinheiro Esteves da Silva was born on 16th October 1929 in Rio de Janeiro. She adopted the name "Fernanda" because she thought it sounded good. "Montenegro" came after her family doctor.
In late 40s she was translating and adapting famous theater plays to radio. She begun her artistic life in the theater with the play "Alegres Canções nas Montanhas" in 1950. Among her mates was Fernando Torres, who would soon become her husband. Next she use the married name Arlette Pinheiro Monteiro Torres. In the next years she worked with other great actors like Sérgio Britto, Cacilda Becker, Nathália Timberg, Cláudio Corrêa e Castro and Ítalo Rossi.
In the early 60s she moved to São Paulo where she worked on many theater plays and also stared working on television. Her first soap operas was "Pouco Amor Não é Amor". In 1964 she started working for cinema as well. Her first film was "A Falecida". In 1965 her daughter Fernanda Torres was born. She later also became a famous actress.
As time went by, more and more successful soap operas and plays came up and she received many prizes. She was later called "The First Lady of Brazilian Theater". In cinema, after some not very famous films, she worked on "Eles Não Usam Black-Tie" (1981), largely applauded by the critics.
Her success on television and theater continued, but her cinema career, although it never stopped, was largely unnoticed until 1997, when "O Que é Isso, Companheiro?", a nominee for the Oscar of Best Film in a Foreign Language, was released. In 1998 "Central do Brasil" enchanted the world. This film, another nominee for the Oscar, was the highest moment of Fernanda Montengro's cinema career, once she was a nominee for Best Actress. The Oscar was not given to her, but the actress got the Berlin prize. In 1999 she had another great achievement on TV, "O Auto da Compadecida", later cut to a film format and released in the movie theaters.
|Katie A. Keane
Katie Amanda Keane stars as Audie Gallagher on the ABC Family comedy Ruby and the Rockits.
On paper, Katie's is an unlikely Hollywood success story. Raised in Kansas by a single mom, Katie describes her childhood as "moving from one apartment to another" with the longest stay in a "little trailer park on the wrong side of the tracks." Money was tight and she convinced her mother to let her get a job at age 13 -- bussing tables at a local steak house.
Born of a long line of strong and wise women, Katie understood the value of hard work and she maximized every opportunity. After becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college, Katie earned her MFA landing on the Dean's list with a 4.0 GPA. She received her BFA in acting from Emporia State University. Then headed for the west coast where she received her MFA in acting from California State University, Long Beach.
Katie carried her work ethic and sensible Midwest values onto the stage, where she first earned her acting chops. Most notably she spent several seasons with Shakespeare Orange County captivating audiences as Katherine in Taming of the Shrew, Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Desdemona in Othello to name a few.
Hollywood soon came calling on this Heartland beauty and she was soon enchanting television audiences as both a first-rate comedienne and powerful dramatic actress.
Before long, Katie had steadily built up an impressive list of visits to the sets of NCIS (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS), Without a Trace (CBS), Eli Stone (ABC), Shark (CBS), Notes from the Underbelly (ABC), and How I Met Your Mother (CBS) among others.
Katie lives in Los Angeles with Georgie, her loyal German Shepherd. They are both ardent supporters of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Westside German Shepherd Rescue. Katie's secret fantasy is to be a rock star and will never turn down an invitation for Karaoke, wherein she says, "I will gladly proceed to make a total fool of myself."
Award-winning filmmaker and scientist, Valerie Weiss has directed three feature films and an American Girl Special for Amazon Studios. Her work has been called "daringly light" for the way it embraces controversial topics in an enchanting way and spans the genres of action, thriller, drama, science-fiction and comedy. Valerie's third feature, The Archer, is a feminist coming-of-age action film best described as "Thelma and Louise" meets "First Blood" and will premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival. Holding a Ph.D. in X-ray Crystallography from Harvard University has uniquely enabled Valerie to transform abstract material into compelling visual stories. Additionally, Valerie has a tremendous gift for eliciting moving and authentic performances, no matter how extreme the circumstances. Valerie is a member of the Directors Guild of America, an alumnus of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women, a participant in the WeForShe DirectHer Program, the inaugural Fox Bridge Program and is represented at Gersh and John Bauman Management.
Eric is an actor, writer and producer. He has played Scoundrels, Priests, Cops, Convicts, nerds and Aliens. His performances have been called dynamic and compelling. Eric has Co-Starred on such Prime-time Network Television programs including "Star Trek Voyager", "Wings", and a recurring role as "Benny" on UPN's "In The House" with LL Cool J, Debbie Allen, and Kim Wayans.
Eric wrote the "Happy Song" and sings it as his comic creation, "Sharpo" in the the hit movie, "Liar Liar", with Jim Carrey. Other featured spots include a very cool pratfall on "Abbott & Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld" for NBC. Eric was interviewed and featured in his famous mystery Detective role on KTLA Morning News with Allie MacKay. Eric owns the entertainment production company, Sharpo, Inc. This Los Angeles based concern specializes in interactive mystery and magic on line, on stage and at events.
As part of the new media revolution, Eric has interviewed many exciting Hollywood guests on his Blog Talk Radio Show, "Sharpo Says".
As a teenager, Eric's band "Eric & The Enterprise" performed locally in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Eric was vocalist and keyboardist. Eric and his younger brother, Douglas, were part of the band, Batasb, who played the legendary CBGB's in New York City. At Brookdale Community College, Eric performed in the musicals, "Oklahoma!", "Sweet Charity", "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum". Eric did many plays, including "Play It Again, Sam" at the Kobe Dinner Theatre in Lakewood, NJ ,which earned rave reviews from the Asbury Park Press, saying Woody Allen couldn't have done better than Eric in the lead role. Eric revived his role as Alan Felix again in 2009 at the Mirage Club at El Centro Naval Air Facility.
Eric's studied with Drama Professor, J. Lawrence Lowenstein who encouraged Eric to move to New York and study. There he studied with Neighborhood Playhouse Alumnus, and accomplished TV director, Norman Hall. Eric then wrote wrote and played the lead role in the play, Invasion Of The Oooogs at the Courtyard Playhouse in Greenwich Village. Eric got his SAG Card when Director, Spike Lee gave him a line in the film, Malcolm X.
Eric moved to L.A. in 1992. He then wrote and starred in the Sit-com pilot, "Lenny Frick", produced by Alphy Hoffman and directed by Emmy Award Winning Actor, Scott Jacoby. Eric now lives in Southern California's enchanting San Fernando Valley with his wife, Nora, and their children, Joseph, Benjamin, Naomi, and their little dog, Isabel.
Dubbed "The Girl with the Bee Stung Lips", silent-era screen star Mae Murray began her career on stage partnered with ballroom dancing extraordinaire Vernon Castle in the 1906 Broadway show "About Town." Born the daughter of émigrés, she began studying dance at a young age. Two years later she joined the "Ziegfeld Follies" chorus line and moved up to headliner status by 1915. She played the top clubs in Paris and in America in an act that accentuated her dancing prowess. Other smooth dance partners would follow, including Clifton Webb, Rudolph Valentino and John Gilbert. The strikingly exotic beauty with the frizzy blonde hair moved to films with To Have and to Hold starring Wallace Reid and quickly became a top star for MGM, pairing up with the legendary Valentino in two films. Many of her films, containing dance sequences designed especially for her, were written and produced by her third husband, Robert Z. Leonard. Her most acclaimed film was The Merry Widow opposite matinée idol Gilbert. Married and divorced four times, Mae's movie career faded with the advent of sound, her voice being not particularly suited to talkies. Another contributing factor to her downfall was her marriage to her last husband, Prince David Mdvani, when she let him take control over her business affairs and he ill-advisedly got her to quit MGM. They divorced and she lost her son in a nasty custody battle. She grew more eccentric over the years and was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy, living in abject poverty for the better part of her later life. She managed to co-write an autobiography in 1959 entitled "The Self-Enchanted" and ended her days in the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, CA. Although forgotten for the most part, in retrospect, Mae was a popular and vibrant lady in her heyday, becoming one of the few Ziegfeld star-dancers to succeed in transferring from the stage footlights to big-screen stardom.
By the age of five, the golden-haired child actress, television personality, and author had already enchanted the entire world. Inspiring smiles from viewers everywhere, two years on this tiny and young entertainer has just begun her stint in the limelight.
As half of the duo of Sophia Grace and Rosie with her cousin Sophia Grace Brownlee, the naturally gorgeous and quick-witted Rosie rose to global popularity at only five-years-old. Together, the UK-born girls (and best friends forever -BFFs!) recorded their own take on Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" complete with Rosie's shining smile and adorable dance moves.
After posting the video on YouTube, the clip went viral literally everywhere, making the pair a household name. Hip-hop icon Sean "Diddy" Combs tweeted he wanted to sign them, while Ryan Seacrest, Justin Bieber, and others spread the video on their socials. Within a couple of months the clip had amassed over 100 million views and Ellen DeGeneres reached out to the girls, offering them a regular spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Rosie, her mum, dad and cousin's family all hopped a plane to the U.S., met the wonderful people on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and launched their own segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. That segment, Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie became a fan favorite both on the air and on Ellen's website.
Beautiful in her signature clothing, Rosie's quiet confidence is the yin to her cousin Sophia Grace's bold yang and the girls' love for each other is contagious.
By the end of 2012, Rosie had even garnered a Teen Choice Award in the category of "Choice Web Star" for her spirited interviews, heart-warming performances and kind-hearted personality.
With Rosie's caring, compassionate demeanor and humorously insightful questions, celebrity interview subjects ranging from Katy Perry and Rihanna to Academy Award-winner Reese Witherspoon to fellow Brit Hugh Grant instantly became enamored of her. Rosie is equally at home interviewing celebrities on the red carpet or in the studio as part of "Tea Time With Sophia Grace and Rosie" on Ellen.
Rosie has conducted interviews at major award shows including the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Grammy Awards twice and made everybody from Russell Brand and Vince Vaughn chuckle on Ellen. She also helped launch the Sophia Grace and Rosie web series as well. To date, online videos featuring Rosie have been viewed well over one billion.
As a natural evolution, her talents expanded to encompass television and film.
Alongside Sophia Grace, Rosie was tapped to star in a pivotal episodes of the Nickelodeon hit, Sam & Cat. Working with the likes of Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy, Rosie immediately stood out, causing big laughs.
The pint-size performer went on to star in her very own film with Sophia Grace entitled Sophia Grace and Rosie's Royal Adventure due out on video and on-demand via Warner Bros. in Spring of 2014. The studio has inked a five-picture deal with Rosie and right now she's also preparing to star in her own primetime show produced for NBC by Warner Bros. Television and Ellen DeGeneres Productions. The show will be written and developed by legendary Murphy Brown creator Diane English, and it sees Rosie soar like never before.
January 2014 also sees the launch of Rosie's very own merchandising campaign as part of the Sophia Grace and Rosie team. A collaboration with leading toy manufacture Just Play, the line features the finest in "princess wear" including tiaras, tutus, dresses, and fashion dolls. It first hits shelves at Claire's and Walmart with more outlets in the near future. It's the first official glimpse at Rosie's fashion design style.
In between it all, she released her very first book, Tea Time With Sophia Grace and Rosie. It hit #2 on the New York Times Bestseller's list and #6 on Amazon.com's Top Books list. Two more "Sophia Grace and Rosie" books are in the works for Scholastic.
At the same time, she enjoys a happy and healthy childhood as a compassionate friend and great listener. With countless friends at school, Rosie loves studying and learning about electricity and science in the classroom. When she's at home in the UK, you can find her doting on her "famous" and adorable pet hamster-Princess Fluffy-or styling her dolls. With a tight-knit family and unbreakable bond with her cousin, she most looks forward to "being the best big sister ever" very soon when her mom gives birth.
She splits her time between Los Angeles and the UK.
Bob Holt started his career in front of the cameras with a film role in 1950, playing Octavius Caesar in Julius Caesar followed by another role in 1959 in The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery. He moved on to primarily voice acting in 1968 providing all of the voices for a film short called Johnny Learns His Manners. Throughout the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's, Bob provided voices for main and supporting characters in numerous animated television series and films including many based on the works of Dr. Seuss. Arguably the most enchanting work of this period was his providing the main voice in 1976 of Avatar in Ralph Bakshi's film Wizards and in the 1984 Joe Dante film Gremlins where Bob provided the voices of Mogwai and other various Gremlins. Bob past away from a heart attack on August 2, 1985. His last full performance, not including samples taken from previous projects, was as the voice of Rodney in The Adventures of the American Rabbit which was released in 1986 after his passing.