Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.
In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the popular television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The show ran for six seasons (1990-96) on NBC and has been syndicated consistently on various networks since then. After the series ended, Smith moved from television to film, and ultimately starred in numerous blockbuster films. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, eleven consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally, and eight consecutive films in which he starred open at the number one spot in the domestic box office tally.
Smith is ranked as the most bankable star worldwide by Forbes. As of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he has had leading roles have accumulated worldwide gross earnings of over $100 million each, five taking in over $500 million each in global box office receipts. As of 2014, his films have grossed $6.6 billion at the global box office. He has received Best Actor Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.
Smith was born in West Philadelphia, the son of Caroline (Bright), a Philadelphia school board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., a refrigeration engineer. He grew up in West Philadelphia's Wynnefield neighborhood, and was raised Baptist. He has three siblings, sister Pamela, who is four years older, and twins Harry and Ellen, who are three years younger. Smith attended Our Lady of Lourdes, a private Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia. His parents separated when he was 13, but did not actually divorce until around 2000.
Smith attended Overbrook High School. Though widely reported, it is untrue that Smith turned down a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); he never applied to college because he "wanted to rap." Smith says he was admitted to a "pre-engineering [summer] program" at MIT for high school students, but he did not attend. According to Smith, "My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college."
Smith started as the MC of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, with his childhood friend Jeffrey "DJ Jazzy Jeff" Townes as producer, as well as Ready Rock C (Clarence Holmes) as the human beat box. The trio was known for performing humorous, radio-friendly songs, most notably "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Summertime". They gained critical acclaim and won the first Grammy awarded in the Rap category (1988).
Smith spent money freely around 1988 and 1989 and underpaid his income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Smith, took many of his possessions, and garnished his income. Smith was nearly bankrupt in 1990, when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him.
The show was successful and began his acting career. Smith set for himself the goal of becoming "the biggest movie star in the world", studying box office successes' common characteristics.
Smith's first major roles were in the drama Six Degrees of Separation (1993) and the action film Bad Boys (1995) in which he starred opposite Martin Lawrence.
In 1996, Smith starred as part of an ensemble cast in Roland Emmerich's Independence Day. The film was a massive blockbuster, becoming the second highest grossing film in history at the time and establishing Smith as a prime box office draw. He later struck gold again in the summer of 1997 alongside Tommy Lee Jones in the summer hit Men in Black playing Agent J. In 1998, Smith starred with Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State.
He turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix in favor of Wild Wild West (1999). Despite the disappointment of Wild Wild West, Smith has said that he harbors no regrets about his decision, asserting that Keanu Reeves's performance as Neo was superior to what Smith himself would have achieved, although in interviews subsequent to the release of Wild Wild West he stated that he "made a mistake on Wild Wild West. That could have been better."
In 2005, Smith was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for attending three premieres in a 24-hour time span.
He has planned to star in a feature film remake of the television series It Takes a Thief.
On December 10, 2007, Smith was honored at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Smith left an imprint of his hands and feet outside the world-renowned theater in front of many fans. Later that month, Smith starred in the film I Am Legend, released December 14, 2007. Despite marginally positive reviews, its opening was the largest ever for a film released in the United States during December. Smith himself has said that he considers the film to be "aggressively unique". A reviewer said that the film's commercial success "cemented [Smith's] standing as the number one box office draw in Hollywood." On December 1, 2008, TV Guide reported that Smith was selected as one of America's top ten most fascinating people of 2008 for a Barbara Walters ABC special that aired on December 4, 2008.
In 2008 Smith was reported to be developing a film entitled The Last Pharaoh, in which he would be starring as Taharqa. It was in 2008 that Smith starred in the superhero movie Hancock.
Men in Black III opened on May 25, 2012 with Smith again reprising his role as Agent J. This was his first major starring role in four years.
On August 19, 2011, it was announced that Smith had returned to the studio with producer La Mar Edwards to work on his fifth studio album. Edwards has worked with artists such as T.I., Chris Brown, and Game. Smith's most recent studio album, Lost and Found, was released in 2005.
Smith and his son Jaden played father and son in two productions: the 2006 biographical drama The Pursuit of Happyness, and the science fiction film After Earth, which was released on May 31, 2013.
Smith starred opposite Margot Robbie in the romance drama Focus. He played Nicky Spurgeon, a veteran con artist who takes a young, attractive woman under his wing. Focus was released on February 27, 2015. Smith was set to star in the Sci-Fic thriller Brilliance, an adaptation of Marcus Sakey's novel of the same name scripted by Jurassic Park writer David Koepp. But he left the project.
Smith played Dr. Bennet Omalu of the Brain Injury Research Institute in the sports-drama Concussion, who became the first person to discover chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a football player's brain. CTE is a degenerative disease caused by severe trauma to the head that can be discovered only after death. Smith's involvement is mostly due to his last-minute exit from the Sci-Fi thriller-drama Brilliance. Concussion was directed by Peter Landesman and-bead filmed in Pittsburgh, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It received $14.4 million in film tax credits from Pennsylvania. Principal photography started on October 27, 2014. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw played his wife. Omalu served as a consultant.
As of November 2015, Smith is set to star in the independent drama Collateral Beauty, which will be directed by David Frankel. Smith will play a New York advertising executive who succumbs to an deep depression after a personal tragedy.
Nobel Peace Prize Concert December 11, 2009, in Oslo, Norway: Smith with wife Jada and children Jaden and Willow Smith married Sheree Zampino in 1992. They had one son, Trey Smith, born on November 11, 1992, and divorced in 1995. Trey appeared in his father's music video for the 1998 single "Just the Two of Us". He also acted in two episodes of the sitcom All of Us, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and on the David Blaine: Real or Magic TV special.
Smith married actress Jada Koren Pinkett in 1997. Together they have two children: Jaden Christopher Syre Smith (born 1998), his co-star in The Pursuit of Happyness and After Earth, and Willow Camille Reign Smith (born 2000), who appeared as his daughter in I Am Legend. Smith and his brother Harry own Treyball Development Inc., a Beverly Hills-based company named after Trey. Smith and his family reside in Los Angeles, California.
Smith was consistently listed in Fortune Magazine's "Richest 40" list of the forty wealthiest Americans under the age of 40.
Jaden Smith is a movie actor, known for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), The Karate Kid (2010) and After Earth (2013). In addition to being an actor he is also a dancer, songwriter and rapper who won an MTV award for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness. He co-starred with his father Will Smith in both The Pursuit of Happyness and in the 2013 science fiction film After Earth. Smith and his siblings are youth ambassadors for Project Zambi, which provides assistance in conjunction with Hasbro for Zambian children orphaned by AIDS.
Jaden Smith was born on July 8, 1998 in Malibu, California, USA as Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. He is the older brother of Willow Smith (born on October 23, 2000) and is the younger half-brother of Trey Smith. He is also the nephew of Caleeb Pinkett. His maternal grandmother's family was Afro-Caribbean (from Barbados and Jamaica). His other grandparents' families were African-American.
Before fame, He helped Project Zambia and Hasbro to take care of children in Zambia whose parents have died of AIDS. He made his film debut in 2006 in The Pursuit of Happyness. Along with his sister, Willow Smith, and his elder brother, Trey Smith, are youth ambassadors for Project Zambia, in conjunction with the Hasbro corporation, which helps children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Along with his younger sister, Willow Smith, he was home-schooled and also attends the New Village Leadership Academy, which was co-founded by his parents.
In an amazing trivia, He co-starred with Jackie Chan in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid directed by Harald Zwart. Smith's character portrayal was acclaimed by critics and the film received mixed to mainly positive reviews. He also played a role in The Day the Earth Stood Still (2013) with Keanu Reeves. In May 2013, Will Smith and Jaden starred together, playing father and son, in After Earth. In 2014, it was announced that Smith will return for the sequel Karate Kid 2 with Jackie Chan. The movie will be directed by Breck Eisner, produced by James Lassiter and Will Smith and written by Zak Penn. The movie would be released in 2015.
Smith rapped alongside Canadian singer Justin Bieber in the song "Never Say Never." On October 1, 2012, Jaden released his first mix tape, The Cool Cafe.
Smith started his own clothing/lifestyle brand called MSFTSrep. The clothes range from hoodies and T-shirts to trousers and vests. In May 2013 Smith collaborated with a Korean designer, Choi Bum Suk, to create a pop-up store in which customers can buy clothes with their collaborated logos.
In April 2014, Smith was cast in the film The Good Lord Bird, which is based on the 2013 novel of the same name by James McBride. Smith plays Henry Shackleford, a young slave living in Kansas Territory in 1857 who encounters abolitionist John Brown.
In 2015, he began dating Instagram star Sarah Snyder. Before Sarah, Jaden dated Kylie Jenner.
An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns. Over the years, he has been involved in such controversial and politically influential motion pictures as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The China Syndrome and Traffic, and such popular films as Fatal Attraction and Romancing the Stone.
Michael Douglas was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to actors Diana Douglas (Diana Love Dill) and Kirk Douglas (born Issur Danielovitch). His paternal grandparents were Belarusian Jewish immigrants, while his mother was born in Bermuda, the daughter of a local Attorney General, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill; Diana's family had long been established in both Bermuda and the United States. Douglas's parents divorced when he was six, and he went to live with his mother and her new husband. Only seeing Kirk on holidays, Michael attended Eaglebrook school in Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he was about a year younger than all of his classmates.
Douglas attended the elite preparatory Choate School and spent his summers with his father on movie sets. Although accepted at Yale, Douglas attended the University of California, Santa Barbara. Deciding he wanted to be an actor in his teenage years, Michael often asked his father about getting a "foot in the door". Kirk was strongly opposed to Michael pursuing an acting career, saying that it was an industry with many downs and few ups, and that he wanted all four of his sons to stay out of it. Michael, however, was persistent, and made his film debut in his father's film Cast a Giant Shadow.
After receiving his B.A. degree in 1968, Douglas moved to New York City to continue his dramatic training, studying at the American Place Theatre with Wynn Handman, and at the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he appeared in workshop productions of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author (1976) and Thornton Wilder's Happy Journey (1963). A few months after he arrived in New York, Douglas got his first big break, when he was cast in the pivotal role of the free-spirited scientist who compromises his liberal views to accept a lucrative job with a high-tech chemical corporation in the CBS Playhouse production of Ellen M. Violett's drama, The Experiment, which was televised nationwide on February 25, 1969.
Douglas' convincing portrayal won him the leading role in the adaptation of John Weston's controversial novel, Hail, Hero!, which was the initial project of CBS's newly organized theatrical film production company, Cinema Center Films. Douglas starred as a well-meaning, almost saintly young pacifist determined not only to justify his beliefs to his conservative parents but also to test them under fire in the jungles of Indochina. His second feature, Adam at Six A.M. concerned a young man's search for his roots. Douglas next appeared in the film version of Ron Cowen's play Summertree, produced by 'Kirk Douglas'' Bryna Company, and then Napoleon and Samantha, a sentimental children's melodrama from the Walt Disney studio.
In between film assignments, he worked in summer stock and off-Broadway productions, among them "City Scenes", Frank Gagliano's surrealistic vignettes of contemporary life in New York, John Patrick Shanley's short-lived romance "Love is a Time of Day" and George Tabori's "Pinkville", in which he played a young innocent brutalized by his military training. He also appeared in the made-for-television thriller, "When Michael Calls", broadcast by ABC-TV on February 5, 1972 and in episodes of the popular series "Medical Center" and "The FBI".
Impressed by Douglas' performance in a segment of The F.B.I. (1965), producer 'Quinn Martin' signed the actor for the part of Karl Malden's sidekick in the police series "The Streets of San Francisco", which premiered September of 1972 and became one of ABC's highest-rated prime-time programs in the mid-1970s. Douglas earned three successive Emmy Award nominations for his performance and he directed two episodes of the series.
During the annual breaks in the shooting schedule for The Streets of _San Francisco (1972)_, Douglas devoted most of his time to his film production company, Big Stick Productions, Ltd., which produced several short subjects in the early 1970s. Long interested in producing a film version of Ken Kesey's grimly humorous novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Douglas purchased the movie rights from his father and began looking for financial backing. After a number of major motion picture studios turned him down, Douglas formed a partnership with Saul Zaentz, a record industry executive, and the two set about recruiting the cast and crew. Douglas still had a year to go on his contract for "The Streets of San Francisco", but the producers agreed to write his character out of the story so that he could concentrate on filming "Cuckoo's Nest".
A critical and commercial success, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress, and went on to gross more than $180 million at the box office. Douglas suddenly found himself in demand as an independent producer. One of the many scripts submitted to him for consideration was Mike Gray's chilling account of the attempted cover-up of an accident at a nuclear power plant. Attracted by the combination of social relevance and suspense, Douglas immediately bought the property. Deemed not commercial by most investors, Douglas teamed up with Jane Fonda and her own motion picture production company, IPC Films.
A Michael Douglas-IPC Films co-production, The China Syndrome starred Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, and 'Michael Douglas' and received Academy Award nominations for Lemmon and Fonda, as well as for Best Screenplay. The National Board of Review named the film one of the best films of the year.
Despite his success as a producer, Douglas resumed his acting career in the late 1970s, starring in Michael Crichton's medical thriller Coma with Genevieve Bujold, Claudia Weill's feminist comedy It's My Turn starring Jill Clayburgh, and Peter Hyams' gripping tale of modern-day vigilante justice, "The Star Chamber" (1983). Douglas also starred in Running, as a compulsive quitter who sacrifices everything to take one last shot at the Olympics, and as Zach the dictatorial director/choreographer in Richard Attenborough's screen version of the Broadway's longest running musical A Chorus Line.
Douglas' career as an actor/producer came together again in 1984 with the release of the tongue-in-cheek romantic fantasy "Romancing the Stone". Douglas had begun developing the project several years earlier, and with Kathleen Turner as Joan Wilder, the dowdy writer of gothic romances, Danny DeVito as the feisty comic foil Ralphie and Douglas as Jack Colton, the reluctant soldier of fortune, "Romancing" was a resounding hit and grossed more than $100 million at the box office. Douglas was named Producer of the Year in 1984 by the National Association of Theater Owners. Douglas, Turner and DeVito reteamed in 1985 for the successful sequel The Jewel of the Nile.
It took Douglas nearly two years to convince Columbia Pictures executives to approve the production of Starman, an unlikely tale of romance between an extraterrestrial, played by 'Jeff Bridges', and a young widow, played by Karen Allen. Starman was the sleeper hit of the 1984 Christmas season and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for 'Jeff Bridges'. In 1986 Douglas created a television series based on the film for ABC which starred 'Robert Hays'.
After a lengthy break from acting, Douglas returned to the screen in 1987 appearing in two of the year's biggest hits. He starred opposite Glenn Close in the phenomenally successful psychological thriller, "Fatal Attraction", which was followed by his performance as ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko in 'Oliver Stone''s Wall Street, earning him the Academy Award for Best Actor.
In 1988 Douglas formed Stonebridge Entertainment, Inc. which produced Flatliners, directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Kiefer Sutherland, 'Julia Roberts', 'Kevin Bacon' and 'William Baldwin' and Radio Flyer starring Lorraine Bracco and directed by Richard Donner. Douglas followed with David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Issac's best-selling novel, "Shining Through", opposite Melanie Griffith. In 1992 he starred with Sharon Stone in the erotic thriller from 'Paul Verhoeven' Basic Instinct, one of the year's top grossing films.
Douglas gave one of his most powerful performances opposite Robert Duvall in Joel Schumacher's controversial drama Falling Down. That year he also produced the hit comedy "Made in America" starring Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson and Will Smith. In 1994/95 he starred with Demi Moore in Barry Levinson's "Disclosure,." based on the best seller by Michael Crichton. In 1995 Douglas portrayed the title role in Rob Reiner's romantic comedy The American President opposite Annette Bening, and in 1997, starred in The Game directed by David Fincher and co-starring 'Sean Penn'.
Douglas formed Douglas/Reuther Productions with partner Steven Reuther in May 1994. The company, under the banner of Constellation Films, produced, The Ghost and the Darkness, starring Douglas and Val Kilmer, and John Grisham's The Rainmaker, based on John Grisham's best selling novel, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon,Claire Danes, Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Mickey Rourke, Mary Kay Place, Virginia Madsen, Andrew Shue, 'Teresa Wright', Johnny Whitworth and 'Randy Travis'.
In 1998, ' Michael Douglas' starred with Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen in the mystery thriller A Perfect Murder, and formed a new production company, 2000 was a milestone year for Douglas. "Wonder Boys" opened in February 2000 to much critical acclaim. Directed by Curtis Hanson and co-starring Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr. and 'Katie Holmes', Douglas starred in the film as troubled college professor Grady Tripp. Michael was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Film award for his performance.
"Traffic" was released by USA Films on December 22, 2000 in New York and Los Angeles went nationwide in January 2001. Douglas played the role of Robert Wakefield, a newly appointed drug czar confronted by the drug war both at home and abroad. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and co-starring Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, Amy Irving, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Traffic" was named Best Picture by New York Film Critics, won Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards, won four Academy Awards (Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Benicio del Toro) and has been recognized over on over 175 top ten lists.
In 2001, Douglas produced and played a small role in USA Films' outrageous comedy "One Night at McCool's" starring Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, John Goodman, Paul Reiser, and was directed by Harald Zwart. "McCool's" was the first film by Douglas' company Furthur Films. Also in 2001, Douglas starred in "Don't Say A Word" for 20th Century Fox. The psychological thriller, directed by Gary Fleder, also starred Sean Bean, Famke Janseen and Brittany Murphy.
In 2002, Douglas appeared in a guest role on the hit NBC comedy "Will & Grace", and received an Emmy Nomination for his performance.
Douglas starred in two films in 2003. MGM/BVI released the family drama "It Runs in the Family", which Douglas produced and starred with his father Kirk Douglas, his mother Diana Douglas and his son Cameron Douglas, Rory Culkin and Bernadette Peters. He also starred in the Warner Bros. comedy "The-In Laws", with Albert Brooks, Candice Bergen Ryan Reynolds.
In 2004 Douglas, along with his father Kirk, filmed the intimate HBO documentary "A Father, A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". Directed by award-winning filmmaker Lee Grant, the documentary examines the professional and personal lives of both men, and the impacts they each made on the motion picture industry.
In summer 2005, Douglas produced and starred in "The Sentinel", which was released by 20th Century Fox in spring 2006. Based on the Gerald Petievich novel and directed by Clark Johnson, "The Sentinel" is a political thriller set in the intriguing world of the Secret Service. Douglas stars with Keifer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Kim Bassinger. Douglas filmed "You, Me & Dupree", starring with Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon. The comedy is direct by Anthony and Joe Russo, and was released by Universal Pictures during the summer of 2006. In 2007 he made "King of California", co-starring Evan Rachel Wood and is written and directed by Michael Cahill, and produced by Alexander Payne and Michael London.
Michael had two films released in early '09, "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" directed by Peter Hyams and "Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past" starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner directed by Mark Waters. He followed with the drama "Solitary Man" directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, co-starring Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary Louise-Parker, and Jenna Fischer, produced by Paul Schiff and Steven Soderbergh and in Fall '10 starred in "Wall Street 2 - Money Never Sleeps" reprising his Oscar winning role as Gordon Gekko and once again was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. Again directed by Oliver Stone, he co-starred with Shia Labeouf, Cary Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.
Douglas had a cameo role in Steven Soderbergh's action thriller "Haywire." "Behind the Candelabra" based on the life of musical '70's/80's icon Liberace and his partner Scott Thorson, directed by Steven Soderbergh costarring Matt Damon, premiered on HBO in May 2013. Douglas won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award as Best Actor in a television movie or mini series for his performance as the famed entertainer. He followed with the buddy comedy "Last Vegas" directed by John Turtletaub co-starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline and the romantic comedy "And So It Goes" co-starring Diane Keaton directed by Rob Reiner.
Douglas recently starred in and producing the thriller "Beyond The Reach" directed by Jean-Baptiste Leonetti costarring Jeremy Irvine and portrays Dr. Hank Pym in Marvel's "Ant Man" opposite Paul Rudd. It will be his first venture into the realm of comic book action adventure. Most recently he completed a spy thriller "Unlocked" co-starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, John Malkovich and is directed by Michael Apted. In 1998 Douglas was made a United Nations Messenger of Peace by Kofi Annan. His main concentrations are nuclear non-proliferation and the control of small arms. He is on the Board of Ploughshares Foundation and The Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Michael Douglas was recipient of the 2009 AFI Lifetime Achievement as well as the Producers Guild Award that year. In Spring '10 he received the New York Film Society's Charlie Chaplin Award.
Douglas has hosted 11 years of "Michael Douglas and Friends" Celebrity Golf Event which has raised over $6 million for the Motion Picture and Television Fund. Douglas is very passionate about the organization, and each year he asks his fellow actors and to come out and show that "we are an industry that takes care of own".
Douglas is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones. The couple has one son, Dylan, and one daughter, Carys. Douglas also has one son, Cameron, from a previous marriage.
|Nicolas Winding Refn
Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teenage years. New York quickly became his city and soon began to shape Nicolas's future.
At 17, Nicolas moved back to his native Copenhagen to complete his high-school Education. After graduation, he swiftly flew back to New York, where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. However, this education was cut short when Nicolas threw a desk at a classroom wall and was expelled from the Academy. Consequently, he applied to the Danish Film School and was readily accepted. This education too was to be short-lived, though, as one month prior to the start of the semester, Nicolas dropped out.
A short film Nicolas had written, directed, and starred in was aired on an obscure cable TV channel and lead to the offer of a lifetime. Nicolas was spotted and offered 3.2 million kroners to turn the short into a feature. At only 24, Nicolas had written and directed the extremely violent and uncompromising Pusher, which became a cult phenomenon and won Nicolas instant international critical acclaim. The success of his debut spurred him to push the boundaries of his creative filmmaking further, which resulted in the close-to-the-edge and intricately gritty Bleeder. Highly stylized and focused on introverted reactions to outward situations, this film was a marking point for the shaping of Nicolas's future career. The movie was selected for the 1999 Venice International Film Festival as well as winning the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize in Sarajevo.
Nicolas's fourth feature, the much-anticipated Fear X was also his first foray into English-language movies. Starring the award-winning actor John Turturro, "Fear X" made its world premiere at the Sundance Film festival. However, Fear X divided critics and it flopped, which made Nicolas Winding Refn broke and in debt.
Having to provide for his family and paying his debt, he returned to Denmark to revisit "Pusher." Refn was reluctant to revisit his past success but decided that he could both make commercially viable and artistically pleasing films. In just two years he managed to write, direct and produce the two sequels. With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II and I'm the Angel of Death: Pusher III sealed the box and success of the internationally renowned "Pusher" trilogy. In 2005, the Toronto Film Festival held a "Pusher" retrospective showing all three features cementing its worldwide phenomenon.
In 2006 Nicolas embarked on a second English-language (and first digital) feature called Valhalla Rising, which was inspired by a story his mother read to him at the age of five about a father and son who embark on a trip to the moon. Not recalling the ending of this story has been a long time fascination of Nicolas's with the unknown. During the pre-production on "Valhalla Rising," his long time collaborator and friend, Rupert Preston, urged him into accepting an offer to write and direct Bronson, an ultra-violent, surreal, and escapist film following the real-life landmarks and self-entrapment of Charles Bronson, Britain's most notorious criminal. Before its cinematic release, "Bronson" was making waves inside and outside the film industry. The 2009 Sundance Film Festival selected the blistering film for its World Cinema Dramatic Competition and it soon became the talk of the festival. With such a prestigious premiere, "Bronson" went on to be selected for other major international film festivals and reap strong box-office rewards. But, even with such a buzz surrounding the film, no one could predict how the British press would bite at "Bronson's" bit. The content was close to the knuckle, the subject matter controversial, but Nicolas's take on this was even more inspired leading him to be labeled by the British media as the next great European auteur.
With such critical acclaim, Nicolas's reputation as a producer, writer and director was solidly reaffirmed. Nicolas and his wife Liv Corfixen were the subjects of an acclaimed documentary, Gambler, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2005. In addition, Nicolas already received two lifetime-achievement awards (one from the Taipei International Film festival in 2006 and the second from the Valencia International Film Festival in 2007), and it was the winner of the Emerging Master Award from the Philadelphia International Film Festival 2005.
John Slattery was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Joan (Mulhern), a CPA, and John "Jack" Slattery, a leather merchant, both of Irish descent. John landed his first TV gig on the 1988 series Dirty Dozen: The Series and has worked steadily since then. His television career has included the short-lived series Under Cover, Homefront, Maggie and Feds; and the mini-series A Woman of Independent Means with Sally Field and From the Earth to the Moon, in which he played Walter Mondale. By having recurring roles on Will & Grace as Will's big brother, "Sam"; Judging Amy as Amy's estranged husband; and Sex and the City as a very kinky politician, John has become one of the most in-demand character actors. In 2001, he had a role on NBC's comedy-drama Ed, where he played the confident, cool, aloof high school principal "Dennis Martino". This role earned him much notoriety, and made him the subject of debate among Ed fans. John has also had a long, successful and diverse career in the theater. He made his theater debut in the 1989 play "The Lisbon Traviata", which also starred Nathan Lane. He has had several successful collaborations with the playwright Richard Greenberg and appeared in the author's "The Extra Man", "Night and Her Stars" and "Three Days of Rain", for which he earned critical praise for his dual roles of father and son. In 1993, John made his Broadway debut starring opposite Nathan Lane in Neil Simon's "Laughter on the 23rd Floor". Returning to the theater in 2000, John starred in a revival of Harold Pinter's "Betrayal". Making his feature film debut in 1996, John had a small role in the movie City Hall. He then appeared in the movies Eraser, Where's Marlowe?, Traffic, and the Anthony Hopkins/Chris Rock vehicle Bad Company (2002)_, before finding greater fame as one of the stars of the television series Mad Men.
|Chad Michael Collins
Born and raised in upstate New York, actor Chad Michael Collins landed in Los Angeles after being offered a job in entertainment public relations during college. But since the day a successful talent manager convinced him to try an acting class several years ago, Collins has gone on to amass over two dozen major television and film credits.
Collins is best known for his franchise-starring role in Sony's reboot of their internationally renowned Sniper films. Collins first appeared in Sniper: Reloaded (2011), playing the son of Tom Berenger's original legendary Marine sniper. The film co-starred Billy Zane, and Collins reprised his lead role as 'Sgt Brandon Beckett' in Sniper: Legacy (2014) alongside co-stars Tom Berenger and Dennis Haysbert. On August 2nd, Sony will release Sniper: Ghost Shooter, Collins' third film in the franchise with co-stars Zane and Haysbert.
In Sniper: Legacy, Collins teamed up with Oscar-nominee Tom Berenger and follows father and son as they track a deadly assassin. Gritty fight sequences, breathtaking locations, and strong performances from a cast that also included Dennis Haysbert and Mercedes Mason highlighted Director Don Michael Paul's action-packed addition to the Sniper film canon. For Sniper: Ghost Shooter, Collins reunited with Director Paul and previous co-stars Billy Zane and Dennis Haysbert in another action-packed thriller that pits their unit against a deadly international terrorist and his band of radicals.
This fall, Collins will be seen recurring on the new digital horror series "Freakish" from AwesomenessTV for Hulu. In the show about a group of teenaged survivors trapped in their high school after a chemical plant explosion besieged by mutated freaks, Collins plays a mysterious character that shows up offering to save the group, but may have his own agenda. More information about the series and Collins' role can be found in the casting announcement from TheWrap.com.
Collins recently wrapped the independent action-horror film Howlers from Director Josh Ridgway, in which he starred in the lead role of 'Colt,' a werewolf slayer from the old west mysteriously transported to modern times to battle a vicious gang of bloodthirsty "howlers" ravaging a small town. Shot in and around Dallas, Texas, the film co-stars Sean Patrick Flanery and was featured in an exclusive first-look piece on entertainment news site JoBlo.com.
Last fall, Collins guest-starred on CBS' hit sophomore drama "NCIS: New Orleans," playing a Top Gun-esque Navy jet fighter pilot in episode 203, "Touched by the Sun," opposite series leads Scott Bakula, Zoe McClellan and Lucas Black. His other recent guest-starring roles include ABC's "Castle", FOX's " Bones " and the pilot episode of CBS "CSI: Cyber".
Collins is known to sci-fi/fantasy fans for his work playing 'Frankenstein's Monster/Gerhart' in ABC's hit show "Once Upon a Time" as well as in lead roles for the SyFy Channel/Sony film Lake Placid 2 and SyFy's Rock Monster. His other TV guest-starring credits include "Blue Bloods" (CBS), "Major Crimes" (TNT), "2 Broke Girls" (CBS), and a recurring role in "Last Resort" (ABC). Additional TV work includes "CSI: NY" (CBS), "CSI: Miami" (CBS), "NCIS" (CBS), "90210" (The CW), "Enlightened" (HBO), and "Ringer" (The CW). Collins also starred as the lead for Sony's WWII action film Company of Heroes (2013), co-starring Tom Sizemore, Neal McDonough, and Vinnie Jones, which was based on the popular THQ video game franchise, as well as in the indie Sunken City and the indie mockumentary Rock Barnes: The Emperor in You.
A self-proclaimed "accidental" actor, Collins made his way west to Hollywood in pursuit of a public relations career after majoring in Journalism at Ithaca College. He was a few years in with an entertainment PR firm when a successful talent manager and producer they shared a client with convinced him to take an acting class. Instantly hooked, acting was simply a hobby for Collins at first as he continued to work in personal publicity and build his freelance writing career. But successive projects with bigger roles - and budgets - soon followed, and it became clear to him that he had found his calling: playing pretend for a living.
Collins grew up in Canajoharie, NY, a small town west of state capital Albany. Collins is a weekend warrior who enjoys playing league basketball and boxing, mountain biking, and ran his first Tough Mudder last spring. He is an avid reader of Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction and all things fantasy, a lover of all things comic book-related, and is a certified rock 'n' roll-ophile. He also enjoys getting his game on with World of Warcraft, old-school Contra, or Magic: The Gathering.
Sharing the same birthplace as Marvel character Wolverine, Jesse James Hutch was born in Alberta, Canada. At the age of ten he watched his first film, the animated movie "The Hobbit", and was instantly hooked on the art of story telling. Throughout high school Jesse was known as "Hardcore" Hutch, because of his outdoor adrenaline hobbies which included: white water rafting, white water kayaking, free climbing and mountain biking. Oftentimes these hobbies were recorded on video and turned into short movies. At one point in Hutch's high school history class he acted and played out a hostage takeover scenario for a presentation. The teacher was apprehended, smoke grenades went off, paintball guns were used and the fire alarm went off. His marks for presentation were high, minus a few points because of the fire department being called.
A collector of movie posters, some would say Hutch was an actor even as a young boy, It was in 2001 that the title of "Thespian" became a professional one.
His first official audition, which he booked, was for Dark Angel(FOX) in which he played the role of a Mutant. His second audition for Wolf Lake(CBS), which he also booked, had to be passed on due to a filming conflict with Dark Angel. Many lead roles include that of:
Romantic Comedy Teacher(Hallmark), My Boyfriends Dogs; Race Car Driver(Jordan Wells), 20th Century Fox, Joy Ride 3; Luke Bailey, Cedar Cove Season 2 (Hallmark); Navy Seal, True Justice (Reelz); College Hunk, About a Girl (N Network); Hard Working Man's Man on The Hallmark Romantic Comedy Let it Snow, starring alongside Candace Cameron Bure (Full House).
Roles on TV series such as Almost Human, Once Upon A Time, American Dreams, Smallville, Kyle XY & Heartland are but a few of Hutch's recognizable credits alongside feature films such as: The Butterfly Effect, Freddy vs Jason, Scary Movie 3 & Joy Ride 3.
Performing almost all of his own stunts to date, Hutch has always had an attraction to action and adrenaline. kick boxing & Muay Thai are some of his past training.
Jesse Hutch's most important lead roles are: Husband,Father, Son, Brother & Wild Man.
The son of a sales clerk and a department store owner, Bill Bixby was the sixth-generation Californian born as Wilfred Bailey Bixby, on January 22, 1934, in San Francisco, California. An only child growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he attended schools in the same area, took ballroom dance lessons, before attending Lowell High School, where he excelled in drama. After his graduation from high school, he attended San Francisco City College, where he majored in drama. He transferred to the University of California-Berkeley, where he majored in the pre-law program, but never stopped falling in love with his interest in acting. After almost graduating, he left his native San Francisco, to travel to Los Angeles, where he became a lifeguard and a bellhop.
Two years later, in 1959, two executives noticed him and hired him immediately for commercial work and modeling, in Detroit, Michigan. At the same time, he auditioned for theater roles. He joined the Detroit Civic Theatre Company and made his professional stage debut in the musical, "The Boy Friend". Long after his trip to Michigan, he continued doing commercial work and made numerous guest appearances on popular TV sitcoms.
He made his TV debut in an episode of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He also did many other roles, most notably as "Charles Raymond" in The Joey Bishop Show. After many guest and recurring roles, he landed a co-starring role opposite Ray Walston in My Favorite Martian, in which he portrayed a newspaper reporter playing host to a visitor from another planet. After the first season, it became a hit and Bixby became a household name to millions of fans who liked the show. The show was going well until its cancellation in 1966, which left Bixby in the dark, for the time being. However, he finally got the chance to go onto the big screen. The first of the four post-"Martian" 60s movies he played in was the Western, Ride Beyond Vengeance. The following year, he played in Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding! and, soon after, he was approached by Elvis Presley to appear in both Clambake, and Speedway. Afterwards, he once again returned to series television, this time playing widowed father, "Tom Corbett", on The Courtship of Eddie's Father, based on the popular 1963 movie. After its first season, it became a much bigger hit than his first show and Bixby, heretofore one of Hollywood's most confirmed bachelors, changed his views on marriage and family, subsequently taking actress Brenda Benet as his bride and fathering a son. He also tried his hand at directing an episode of the series, called "Gifts Are For Giving", about Norman's highly treasured gift. After completing its second season, Bixby received an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, but didn't win. By its third season in 1972, the show had bad scripts and ABC decided to pull the plug.
Once again, Bixby was not long out of work and was offered a chance to star in a lead role as "Anthony Dorian/Anthony Blake", on his first and only NBC dramatic series called, The Magician. The show focused on Anthony performing magic tricks which helped people who were in trouble, and in real-life, Bill became a fine magician, performing to both children and adults. But sadly, the show was canceled after one season due to its expensive costs.
After a seven-year absence from the big screen, he co-starred in another western, opposite Don Knotts and Tim Conway, in The Apple Dumpling Gang. Like most of the theatrical movies he did, it was not a blockbuster at the box office, but was still an average hit. In late 1977, he was offered the role of "Dr. David Bruce Banner", in a two-hour pilot called, The Incredible Hulk. About a physician/scientist who turned into a green monster whenever he became angry, the idea appealed to CBS, and several months later, they premiered a new science fiction-dramatic series, called, The Incredible Hulk. When it debuted as a mid-season replacement, it became the #1 show in the United States, and in many other countries. His character became famous for ripping up shirts each time he turned into the Hulk, played by bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno. Bixby had wanted to direct some episodes, but the time he had to spend in the make-up chair for the transformation sequences made that problematical, and he managed to helm only one segment, "Bring Me the Head of the Hulk", in the fourth season. The series was canceled in 1981 (although the last few episodes didn't air until 1982).
Bixby, once again, came back to series television, acting in, producing and directing his last sitcom, Goodnight, Beantown, on which he played "Matt Cassidy". Chosen for the role of "Jennifer Barnes", was one of Bixby's old friends, Mariette Hartley, who had won an Emmy for her guest appearance in The Incredible Hulk as Banner's second wife. The two played co-anchor newscasters of a Boston television station whose sparring on and off the air developed into friendship and respect. Discounting a brief, inconsequential return to the network's schedule in the summer of 1984, the series lasted for less than a year, from April 1983 to January 1984.
Bixby now decided to concentrate on directing and worked on Wizards and Warriors, Goodnight, Beantown and Sledge Hammer!. He also directed the pilot for a New York spy series, "Rockhopper". He also appeared in front of the camera as the host of the daytime anthology series, True Confessions, which dealt with real-life crises of everyday people. Bixby additionally served as host for two shows targeting younger viewers: "Against the Odds", a series of biographies of prominent people, frequently from history, for the Nickelodeon cable channel; and "Once Upon a Classic", a collection of British TV adaptations of literary classics on PBS.
He came back to reprise his role of "Dr. David Banner" from The Incredible Hulk by acting in, producing, and directing the three spin-off movies: The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and The Death of the Incredible Hulk. He also directed TV movies such as Baby of the Bride and Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind.
In April 1991, while directing one of his last movies, he became very ill and was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent surgery and by December, his cancer seemed to be in remission, so he came back to guest star as "Nick Osborne" in a two-hour TV movie/pilot called Diagnosis Murder. In mid-1992, while his cancer continued to be in remission, Bixby returned to work as a director to direct several episodes of the popular NBC sitcom, Blossom, where he became the main director of the show. At first, he hid his illness from the cast and crew, until one of the producers found out, and then he announced publicly that he wanted to continue working until he could no longer do so. Prior to going public with his cancer, he directed a TV movie starring Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold, The Woman Who Loved Elvis, which was his final directing project.
Unfortunately, the cancer returned by mid-1993 and, on November 21, 1993, six days after directing his last episode on "Blossom" (1991), Bill Bixby died at his home after a two-year battle with cancer at age 59. For over 30 years, he was in great demand and his big roles and directing credits have been a personal testimony to his fans. His life is gone, but his legacy lives on for years to come.
Gale Harold was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. After studying photography and printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute, Harold began studying acting at the suggestion of writer and producer Susie Landau Finch, who at the time was working at American Zoetrope. After three years of training and theatre work, Harold was cast and starred for five years as "Brian Kinney", the lead character in the Showtime adaptation of the British series "Queer As Folk".
Harold's film credits include Wake, Particles of Truth (Tribeca Film Festival), Rhinoceros Eyes (Toronto Film Festival), Fathers and Sons, The Unseen, and Falling For Grace.
Along with executive producer David Bowie and producer Mia Bays, Gale co-produced the film Scott Walker: 30th Century Man, directed by Stephen Kijak. The film's world premiere was at the London Film Festival, and debuted internationally at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film's U.S. premiere was at the South By Southwest Film Festival.
Harold appears as Connor Lang in Rockne S. O'Bannon and Kevin Murphy's SYFY series, "Defiance".
Gale recently had regular roles on the series "The Secret Circle" and 'Hellcats". He has recurred on Emmy and Golden Globe award winning shows including "Deadwood", "Desperate Housewives", and "Grey's Anatomy". He has made guest appearances on "Street Time" "The Unit", "Law and Order SVU", and "CSI: NY".
Harold's stage credits include Tennessee Williams' Suddenly Last Summer opposite Carla Gugino and Blythe Danner for the Roundabout Theatre Company, Williams' Orpheus Descending directed by Lou Pepe at Theater/Theatre. Harold's performance was called "brilliant" by the LA Times. The play received the McCulloh Award For Revival from the Los Angeles Dramatic Critics Circle 2011. He has also performed in Austin Pendelton's Uncle Bob at the Soho Playhouse, Gillian Plowman's Me and My Friend at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, and various productions with A Noise Within Repertory Company.
|Harry Carey Jr.
Harry Carey, Jr., had been reliable character actor for decades, mostly in Westerns, before he retired. He is the son of the actor Harry Carey and the actress Olive Carey. He was born on his parents' 1000-acre ranch near Saugus, in the northwestern part of Los Angeles County, which is now next door to Santa Clarita, a large town that certainly did not exist in 1947 or for decades longer. Thus, the young Harry Carey, Jr., grew up among cattle and horses at the ranch. Because of a large group of Navajo Indians who worked on his parents' ranch, he learned to speak the Navajo language at the same time that he was learning to speak English.
During World War II, Carey enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and he served in the Pacific Theater first as a Navy medical corpsman. However, he was transferred back to the United States (against his wishes) to serve under his father's good friend, the director John Ford, in making movies for the Navy (training films)and the O.S.S. (propaganda films).
After World War II ended, Carey tried to make a career in singing, but he was not successful at this. Hence, he moved into acting, and after a couple of small acting parts, he was given a chance to work in a motion picture with his father, the John Wayne film Red River. (However, the father and the son did not have any scenes with one another). After the death of Harry Carey, Sr., in 1946, Mr. Ford gave the younger Carey a leading role in the movie that Ford dedicated to the memory of Harry Carey, Sr., in 1948, 3 Godfathers.
As a full-fledged member of the noted John Ford Stock Company, Carey, Jr., appeared in many of Mr. Ford's epic Westerns during the following two decades. Carey also starred in a series-within-a-series on TV, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, which was shown as a part of The Mickey Mouse Club. Very boyish looks characterized Carey's early years, but he matured into a strong and familiar character actor over the following four decades, and he acted in scores of films and TV programs in his long career. Carey, Jr., is married to Marilyn Fix Carey, the daughter of the actor Paul Fix.
|Robert Emmet Lunney
Robert Emmet Lunney is an actor/playwright. He is a recurring Guest Star in "The Exorcist" for Fox Television. His play, "Famous Blue Raincoat," was a finalist for the 2015 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference and was developed and work-shopped with Naked Angels (NYC). "For Nina," twice a semifinalist for the O'Neill, has been work-shopped by Two River Theater (Red Bank, NJ), The Directors Company (NYC) and The American National Theatre (NYC). "An Occurrence At Yankee Stadium," an absurdist dark comedy, has had developmental readings with Manhattan Class Company, and the Lark Play Development Center (NYC). "Cannon Beach" is a detective noir. "When You Wake" (screenplay) is a father/son story of love and loss, as well as a demonic thriller. Performing highlights: Tobias in Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" (Broadway); Michael in Brian Friel's "Dancing At Lughnasa" (Broadway); Atticus in "To Kill A Mockingbird" (Ford's Theater/D.C.); Howard Barker's solo poem, "Gary, The Thief" (World Premier/Potomac Theatre Project/NYC); Ball in Mr. Barker's "Victory" (PTP/NYC); Roy Cohn in Tony Kushner's "Angels In America" (Guest Artist/University of Alabama). Robert is director of the Barker Project, a loose affiliation of theater artists, founded on the principle that argument and entertainment need not be mutually exclusive.
John is a graduate of the University of Florida. He has been working in television, film and stage in Los Angeles since 1989.
For twelve years, he traveled throughout the country performing his critically acclaimed one-man show, Father, Son & Holy Coach, which is the tale of a father who wants a do-over in life and is determined to do so vicariously through his son. Posey seamlessly portrays two dozen different people during the production.
John also works extensively in the voice-over market and has shot more than 200 television commercials.
As a screenwriter, he has written screenplays for SONY, Disney and HBO. His film Legendary, starring Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover was released in the Fall of 2010.
His biopic about the famed 1940s-'50s cultural icon "Gorgeous George" is set up at WWE Studios.
John is a speech writer and has also created original syndicated programming for radio.
John was born John Sanford Posey in Hartford, Connecticut, to Joan (Armstrong) and William McCutcheon Posey, Jr. He is Pops to actor Tyler Posey and Jesse Posey. He is married to Cyndi.
Rob was born in Canada in 1961 and when he was still a child he loved to play hockey and dreamed of becoming a professional player. However at the age of 17 he became badly injured while playing hockey and he lost a kidney. He had to give up his dream of becoming a professional hockey player and so he in fact fell into the entertainment business by accident. The injury forced him to turn down a number of athletic scholarships he had been offered. So, to put himself through the University of Waterloo, where he majored in Latin and English he took up his guitar, set some poems to music and sang in local restaurants. In the summers, he did stunts and acrobatics at Canada's Wonderland Amusement Park. Soon afterwards he found out his love for writing and while aspiring to be a writer, Rob held a variety of jobs, from bar tending to cowboy to maintenance man. He soon formed a writing partnership with his cousin and began his film career by writing, directing and starring in three television dramas: Come Spy With Me, Where There's A Will and Mark Of The Beast. Rob subsequently guested on various television series like for instance: Mount Royal and Hot Shots. He was the lead in the television pilot: Soulsearching Mystery Face. Internationally he became known for his part of Nick Slaughter in the series Tropical Heat a.k.a. Sweating Bullets. Rob wrote several episodes of the series ofwhich some together with James Gordon and he also directed a number of episodes. 'I took the biggest gamble of my life when I turned down the offer to play the lead role in the TV sitcom Scoop before my part in Tropical Heat was confirmed. It was the best decision I have ever made!' Rob summarized. 'The part of Nick was tailor-made for me', smiles Rob. Since Tropical Heat came to an end Rob has honed his skills with a number of independent films, TV guest appearances, more writing and directing!! He married a girl he'd met during the shooting of Tropical Heat and in 1996 he became father of a son. He and his family now live in Los Angeles.
Gerrit Graham was born on November 27, 1949 in New York City. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois and Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Gerrit made his acting debut at age eight in a Detroit Art Institute stage production of "Winnie the Pooh." Graham was the president of the dramatic association as a high school student at Groton and general manager of the Columbia Players while studying at Columbia University. He began his cinematic career acting in movies for director Brian De Palma: he's excellent in his film debut as paranoid conspiracy nut Lloyd Clay in "Greetings!" and gave a hilarious performance as preening flamboyant rock star Beef in "Phantom of the Paradise." Graham's other memorable comic roles include no-talent aspiring country singer Perman Waters in Paul Bartel's "Cannonball!," hippie commune leader Magic Ray in "Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw," sleazy used car salesman Jeff in the uproarious "Used Cars," the snobby Bob Spinnaker in "Class Reunion," and the leering Rodzinski in "The Creature Wasn't Nice." Moreover, Gerrit has demonstrated his considerable range and versatility in such occasional serious parts as computer nerd Walter Gabler in "Demon Seed," Susan Sarandon's abusive boyfriend Highpockets in "Pretty Baby," tough Vietnam veteran Ray Stark in "The Annihilators," and Alex Vincent's jerky foster father Phil Simpson in "Child's Play 2." Among the many TV shows Graham has done guest spots on are "Baretta," "Starsky and Hutch," "Laverne & Shirley," "The A-Team," "Fame," "St. Elsewhere," "Miami Vice," "Dallas," "The Wonder Years," "Seinfeld," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Babylon 5," "The Larry Sanders Show," "Star Trek: Voyager," "Law & Order," and "Third Watch." Gerrit had a recurring role on "The Critic." He wrote three episodes of the 80s "The Twilight Zone" revival and acted in the "Welcome to Winfield" episode of the same show. On stage Gerrit has performed improvisational comedy sketches with Chicago's Second City troupe and worked with improvisational director Paul Sills in Chicago as a member of Sills' Story Theatre ensemble. Graham has written several songs with Bob Weir (these include the lyrics for the Grateful Dead tune "Victim or the Crime"). Graham wrote additional dialogue and provided additional voices for the hit Disney animated picture "The Little Mermaid" and co-wrote the screenplay for the cartoon feature "The Prince and the Pauper." He's the father of sons Jack and Henry.
Norman Lear is a World War II veteran, actor, writer, producer, director, and creator of such legendary sitcoms like All In The Family, Good Times, Sanford And Son, The Jeffersons, Maude, and many other sitcoms that defined and revolutionized American television.
Norman Milton Lear was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Enie/Jeanette (Sokolovsky) and Hyman "Herman" Lear, a traveling salesman. His grandparents were all Russian Jewish immigrants. Jeanette was the inspiration for the character Edith Bunker, and Herman was the all-time inspiration to Norman creating the character Archie Bunker. Lear has often described his father as a "bigot" and someone who was into "get rich quick schemes." Norman was a victim of the depression and saw his family, as he has described it, go "belly-up". Norman was inspired by his press agent uncle Jack, who visited the family and always flipped Norman a quarter. Norman wanted to be the person who could flip someone a quarter.
Lear at this time never really thought of becoming a big Hollywood writer. He won a one year-scholarship to Emerson College in a national high-school writing contest, and went off there with all tuition paid by the government for one year. Norman figured he had struck a gold-mine, and during the depression this was the only way he could get into college. Norman attended Emerson College but dropped out when news struck that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. At that point, Norman has stated, all chaos broke lose, and along with many others he decided to enroll in the United States Army. He was nineteen. In the army, Norman was a radio operator. He was discharged in 1945.
Norman eventually landed a press agent job, paying forty dollars a week. Due to hard times, he was not being paid well and decided to pursue another career. In 1954, he was a writer for the CBS sitcom, Honestly, Celeste! This series was canceled after eight episodes. Lear then became the producer of NBC's The Martha Raye Show, after director Nat Hiken left the series. In 1959, Lear created his first television series, The Deputy, on the NBC network and starring Henry Fonda. Lear created this series alongside Roland Kibbee. The show ran for two successful seasons and ended in 1961.
Lear then started his comedic writing career in 1967. He wrote and produced the 1967 film, Divorce American Style, and directed the film, Cold Turkey, starring Dick Van Dyke. All In The Family came about when Norman read a British column on a show called "Til Death Do Us Part", about a father and a son-in-law who fought constantly about everything politically. As soon as he read that, he immediately knew it was just like him and his father's relationship. Lear tried to sell a "blue" collar sitcom to the ABC network, and two pilots were filmed and rejected. A third pilot was filmed, and CBS picked up the show. It premiered on January 12,1971 to disappointing ratings. Each pilot being shot by different entertainers than the original. Only Caroll O' Connor and Jean Stapleton remained as the original cast, as different people played the brother-in-law and daughter. Lear put Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner in the sitcom only after being accepted by CBS.
When it was aired on television for the first time, a big warning appeared on the screen stating none of the content being presented should be taken seriously and should only be seen for the purpose of hilarity. Norman stated that the sitcom became successful later on, because people knew Archie Bunker: to many people Archie Bunker was their own father. What came next for Norman was the successful sitcom Sanford And Son, along with creator Bud Yorkin, in 1972. This sitcom was inspired by British sitcom Steptoe and Son. Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson played the main roles. In All In The Family, a guest-star named Bea Arthur appeared in an episode and the first spin-off was formed from All In The Family called Maude in 1972, starring Arthur. Ratings soared through the roof, and much more quickly than All In The Family. A memorable episode from Maude which struck a degree of controversy was the abortion episode. A spin-off came from Maude called Good Times with the maid character played by Esther Rolle (Florida Evans). Good Times premiered in 1974, and dealt with controversial issues such as poverty, crime, and welfare, but most of all depicted life in a low-income housing area for African-Americans. It was created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans. This series featured entertainers John Amos, Ester Rolle, Bern Nadette Stanis, Jimmie Walker, Ralph Carter, Ja'net Dubois, and many others. It wasn't the only sitcom to depict life for African-Americans: what later followed in 1975 was The Jeffersons, another spin-off from All In The Family. Many people hadn't realized that African Americans could actually move away from the ghetto and become successful like George and Louise did. To many people across America it was seen as hilarious comedic genius; no other show ever called someone a "honky" or slammed doors in people's faces and still showed controversial issues to a large degree. In several episodes the show dealt with drugs, violence, and racism. The characters George and Louise Jefferson were created by Eric Monte.
All In The Family received multiple Emmy awards. Good Times ran for five successful season and ended in 1979, with multiple Golden Globe nominations. Maude ran for six seasons, ending in 1978 and receiving multiple Emmy and Golden Globe wins and nominations. Sanford and Son ended in 1977 with a Golden Globe win and several Emmy nominations. All In The Family ended its long run in 1979, with nine successful seasons. What came next for Norman was a spin-off of the show called Archie Bunker's Place, with Caroll O'Connor and Danielle Brisebois. The show was especially memorable as Edith Bunker was killed off, due to Jean Stapleton wanting to leave the show to pursue her acting career further. Norman stated that killing off Edith Bunker was one of the toughest decisions he had to make throughout his entertainment career. Archie Bunker's Place ended in 1983, and was his last successful television show.
Norman attempted to make a comeback in 1990 with several short-lived shows, including Sunday Dinner and 704 Hauser, which featured former co-star of Good Times, John Amos.
|Mickey Rooney Jr.
Mickey Rooney Jr. was born on July 3, 1945, as Joseph Yule III to movie legend Mickey Rooney and his second wife (among his own wives was Merci Montello, the Playmate of the Month for December 1972 as "Mercy Rooney"). A beauty pageant winner ("Miss Alabama 1944"), the former Betty Jane Rase met Mickey Sr. when he was stationed in the Army in Birmingham, Alabama, during World War II. Mickey Jr. was the first of his father's nine children.
Growing up in Hollywood as the son of a famous movie star, Junior rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest stars on the planet, including Mae West, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. When he was 13 years old he met Judy Garland at a party at her Brentwood home. "So you're Mickey's first-born son," his father's most famous leading lady said. "You're a fine-looking young man." Unlike his extremely short father, the son would grow to be over six feet tall, taking after his tall mother.
His father, in his 1991 autobiography "Life Is Too Short", admitted that he cheated on Betty Jane. According to Mickey Sr., she was "totally oblivious to anything going on outside our home." Mickey Sr. summed up their relationship as, "We just weren't compatible." The marriage ended in divorce in 1948.
Mickey Jr. saw his father frequently after the divorce. Sharing the name of the #1 box office star of 1939, 1940 and 1941 opened doors for Mickey Jr., although making the most of the opportunities wasn't always easy. He found out he had to work twice as hard to prove himself because of his famous name.
He had his first taste of show business as one of the original Mousketeers on Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club (his father claims that Walt Disney named the famous Mouse after him). He and brother Tim Rooney were hired in 1955 due to their ability to sing, dance and act. After appearing on the show for a year, their contracts were terminated after the mischievous boys got into a hassle with the studio's paint department (they sneaked in and poured different colors of paint in different cans). Six years later, at age 17, he hosted "The Andy Hardy Theater" on local TV. Musically inclined, he played bass in Willie Nelson's band and has recorded an album called "The Song Album." Like his height, his musical talent was inherited from his mother, who was a gifted vocalist. His maternal grandmother taught him how to play the ukulele by showing him how to play chords, which he then played on an acoustic guitar. In addition to playing bass and guitar, Mickey Jr. plays drums, harmonica and keyboards and writes music. He, his wife Laura and their friend John Whittinghill perform rock 'n' roll and gospel music as "Mickey Rooney Jr. and Friends."
A born-again Christian, Mickey Jr. met Laura, a Messianic Jew, in 1986. Through The Lord's Link Ministry, the couple minister and spread the Good News. Laura sings and plays a harp, while both she and Mickey Jr. testify to the "folly" of living "life in the fast lane." They reside in Hemet, CA.
Mickey Jr. and his brother Tim operate the Rooney Entertainment Group, a movie and TV production company. He has written his autobiography, "Which One's Your Mother?"
As they say, like father, like son. Cowboy hero Tim Holt avidly followed in the boots of his famous character-actor dad, the granite-jawed Jack Holt (b. Charles John Holt), who appeared in hundreds of silents and talkies (many of them westerns) over the years. The two actually appeared together as father and son in the western The Arizona Ranger, and Jack was glimpsed (as a hobo in the Mexican flophouse that Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, and Tim were staying in) in the classic The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Also a part of the acting Holt clan was the beautiful "prairie flower" Jennifer Holt (nee Elizabeth Marshall Holt), Tim's younger sister, who appeared in scores of 1940s oaters. The three, however, never performed together in a single film.
Tim was born Charles John Holt, Jr. in Beverly Hills on February 5, 1918, to Jack and his wife, Margaret Woods, at a time when Jack was just making a dent in silent films. Nicknamed "Tim", he was raised on his father's ranch in Fresno, where he performed outside chores and learned to ride a horse. Tim, in fact, made his debut at age 10 in one of his father's westerns, The Vanishing Pioneer, based on a Zane Grey story. He played Jack's character as a young boy.
The boyishly rugged, athletically inclined Tim attended military school in his teens, excelling in polo. While studying at college, he married his college sweetheart, Virginia Ashcroft, in 1938. At this point he decided to try to put together an acting career. Virginia herself made a very brief foray into acting.
Tim apprenticed at various stock companies before he eased his way back into films with an unbilled part in History Is Made at Night. He then earned strong notices in the classic Barbara Stanwyck tearjerker Stella Dallas and as Olivia de Havilland's brother in Gold Is Where You Find It. His horseback riding capabilities and fast-drawing technique quickly kicked in with The Law West of Tombstone, and he joined a superb cast in John Ford's classic western Stagecoach as a by-the-book cavalry lieutenant.
Hardly confined to westerns at this early stage, Tim showed impressive acting abilities in comedy (Fifth Avenue Girl), adventures (Swiss Family Robinson), and high drama (Back Street), all for RKO Pictures. He reached an early peak when Orson Welles cast him against type as the cruel, malicious son George in The Magnificent Ambersons, a role Welles initially contemplated playing himself. By the mid '40s, however, Tim had settled into the western genre. He starred in a series of dusty RKO features partnered with comic Cliff Edwards by his side and also appeared solo elsewhere.
World War II interrupted his thriving career. He was a decorated hero (Distinguished Flying Cross, Victory Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation among his awards) while serving in the Air Corps and was discharged with the rank of second lieutenant. Wounded over Tokyo on the last day of the war, he was also given the Purple Heart. He made an auspicious return to films in the role of Virgil Earp in Ford's My Darling Clementine and then continued in a somewhat lesser vein with "B"-level oaters. He came to the forefront one more time, co-starring with gold prospecting rivals Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston in John Huston's masterpiece The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, arguably the high point of Tim's entire film career, which rightfully earned him the best notices he ever received.
Richard Martin became his second sidekick in another popular string of RKO westerns, with Tim repeatedly making the "top ten" ranks of money-making cowboy stars. Appearing almost exclusively for RKO from 1939 on, Tim eventually became disillusioned with the quality of his pictures and decided to abandon films after appearing in RKO's Desert Passage while still a popular draw. Divorced from his second wife, Alice Harrison, he retired for the most part to his Oklahoma ranch with his third wife, Berdee Stephens, and their three children. He later became a manager for a radio station in Oklahoma City. In 1957 he came out of retirement to head up the cast in the subpar sci-fi horror film The Monster That Challenged the World and then quickly returned to obscurity.
Little was heard from Tim over the years save a co-starring role in a low-budget hillbilly moonshine extravaganza for exploitation king Herschell Gordon Lewis called This Stuff'll Kill Ya!. He was diagnosed with bone cancer in August of 1972 and passed away rather quickly on February 15, 1973, shortly after his 54th birthday. Buried in Oklahoma, he was posthumously inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a recipient of the "Golden Boot" award in 1992.
Excellent and engaging character actor Dennis Fimple was born on November 11, 1940 in Ventura, California and raised in the nearby town of Taft. His father Elmer was an electrician and his mother Dolly was a beautician. Dennis first became interested in acting after he portrayed Tom Sawyer in a junior high school play. He was a graduate of Taft Union High School. Fimple attended San Jose College on a scholarship and majored in both speech and drama. He also earned a teaching credential at San Jose College. Dennis worked in a Cheetos factory by day and acted in dinner theater at night in his early struggling days as an actor. Fimple eventually moved to Hollywood where he initially worked as a teacher by day and a delivery man at night prior to getting his first break with a two episode guest appearance on the TV show "Petticoat Junction."
Best known as the lovably dim-witted Kyle Murty on the comedy Western television program "Alias Smith and Jones," Dennis popped up in many TV series throughout the years which include "Here Come the Brides," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "M.A.S.H.," "The Rockford Files," "Starsky and Hutch," "Charlie's Angels," "Battlestar Galactica," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Matt Houston," "Highway to Heaven," "Knight Rider," "The A-Team," "The Incredible Hulk," "Simon & Simon," "Sledge Hammer!," "Quantum Leap," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "ER." Fimple was frequently cast as scruffy rural types in both films and TV shows alike. Among his most memorable movie roles are the amiable Curly in the delightful Claudia Jennings drive-in classic "Truck Stop Women," easygoing moonshine runner Dewey Crenshaw in "Bootleggers," likable eager beaver college anthropology student Pahoo in the terrific Sasquatch cinema outing "Creature from Black Lake," the goofy Sunfish in the much-maligned '76 "King Kong" remake, and cloddish fur trapper Posey in the superior horror-Western "The Shadow of Chikara." His last film part was as the madcap Grandpa Hugo Firefly in Rob Zombie's enjoyably trashy 70's horror exploitation pastiche "House of 1000 Corpses."
Dennis was not only an avid reader, but also a lover of antiques and collectibles. He's the father of son Chris. Dennis Fimple died at age 61 of complications from a car accident at his home in Frazier Park, California on August 23, 2002.
Carey Hart was born on July 17, 1975 in Seal Beach, California and grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hart is one of the most recognized names in all of freestyle Motocross. His father bought him his first motocross bike when he was only four years old in hopes of spending some quality time with his son. However, what had originally started as a father and son pastime quickly turned into Carey's passion. By the time he entered his first local race as an amateur, he was hooked and by high school graduation, he was a professional Motocross rider, racing AMA Supercross circuit.
Soon thereafter, Carey grew bored with Supercross and started riding with a group of guys who were interested in a more creative and expressive form of Motocross. In 1998, the Freestyle motocross movement was born with Carey leading the way. From the sport's inception, Carey has been one of the most innovative riders in the sport.
He is the inventor of the 'Hart Attack', and at the 2000 Gravity Games Carey etched his name in the record books as the first rider ever to complete a back flip on a 250cc motorcycle. The back flip
Hart also has his own film directed by Jonny Vegas "Good times with Carey Hart" The film tells the true life story of Hart's amazing career and how he accomplished the unimaginable back flip, and how he elevated his sport like few in history have!
Carey has travelled the globe on a quest to put freestyle Motocross on the map. Along the way he has jumped the trailer park in Kid Rock's video "Bawitdaba" and saw his dream to play bass with the band Pennywise come true on the 2000 Australian Warped Tour and appeared in P!nks 'Just Like A Pill' and 'So What' videos. His popularity has helped increase exposure for the sport of Motocross.
He has been featured in nationwide ad campaigns for Ford, Dunkin Dougnuts, Fox, DVS and Mountain Dew as well as in such print publications as Paper Magazine, Teen People, EXPN The Magazine, Rolling Stone, Prick, Skinnie and has graced the covers of numerous Motocross & tattoo magazines.
Carey has also starred on Inked, MTVs Life Of Ryan, The Late Show with David Letterman acatapulted Carey, and Freestyle Motocross as a whole, to an entirely new level. The stunt got the world's attention; it was even featured on Ripley's Believe It or Not He has starred in ESPN/Touchstone Pictures' IMAX film, Ultimate X and has cameo appearances in Columbia Pictures' XXX and Touchstone Pictures' Charlie's Angels II & Carey was cast in the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life.
In 2004 Carey's passion for tattoos turned into a business venture. Teaming up with fellow entrepreneur, John Huntington, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company opened their doors in the prestigious Palms Casino, Las Vegas. This move lead to another TV opportunity for Carey when the A&E network decided to follow him and the workings of the shop in their own reality show: Inked.
Since then, Hart has taken over 100% of the company as seen on Inked. Three more Hart and Huntington Tattoo shops have opened: Honolulu, Cabo San Lucas and Orlando at Universal Citywalk. Carey also expanded into making a quality clothing line based on the designs of the talented artists that work at Hart and Huntington Tattoo Company.
Even with all of Carey's business ventures, he still finds time to dedicate to his first passion supermoto, Hart & Huntington Tattoo/Rockstar Supermoto Team. There is no denying Carey's dedication and passion. He has suffered his share of injuries attempting new tricks, Carey has broken over 63 bones in his body however like a cat with nine lives, he continues to bounce back and he does it all in the name of progression.
Bernard Gorcey was born in Russia in 1888, of Swiss and Jewish descent. Around 1914, he married a Catholic, Irish lady, Josephine Condon (born 1901), and they came to the USA to work in Vaudeville. Bernard was 4' 10" and Josie was 4' 11" and weighed 95 pounds. Bernard kept active in show biz, while Josie would stay home to have and raise their kids. In 1915, 14-year-old Josie gave birth to Fred. In 1917, Leo was born -- they were very poor, Josie had cleared the kitchen table that night, because that is where Leo was born. Bernard was away doing such plays as "Katinka" and "Rose-Marie." In 1921, David was born. Later, Bernard appeared on Broadway, in plays like "Wild Flower" and Oscar Hammerstein's "Song of the Flame." He got the role of Isaac Cohen in Broadway's long-running "Abie's Irish Rose" -- he played for most of the 5 1/2 year run, from May 1922 until October 1927, at last giving him some financial stability (the play, almost autobiographically, was about the travails of a Jewish man and his Irish wife!). Bernard was later cast in the Paramount movie version of "Abie's Irish Rose" (1929).
He also did some radio work also, for the "Popeye" show. The Great Depression started October 1929, and by 1931 it was terrible. Son Leo would later recall: "We moved so many times during the Depression that we would have made a humming bird seem like a statue." In 1932, for a dime, one could see a double feature at the theatre; but many people made only 30 cents an hour (President Roosevelt's National Recovery Act raised that to 40 cents) -- and it was harder for the young: 15-year-old Leo worked for $6 a week, and David for $4 a week, when they could find work. Bernard was away from home most of the time; although he was fortunate (career-wise) to be in Broadway plays like "The Joy of Living" and "Keeping Expenses Down," his marriage was falling apart. Josie then developed a relationship with a gigolo (he spent a lot of money on Josie, none of it his; ultimately he forged a check with Bernard's name on it). Josie then fell for a guy who said he was an opera singer; she married him and found out he hadn't sung in opera for 15 years -- but he made 60 cents an hour, and got her pregnant with her first daughter.
For a long spell, Bernard had deserted his sons. In 1935, he reconciled with Leo and David, telling them he was sorry he hadn't visited or sent any money in ages, and urged them to try out for the stage play "Dead End"; (in 1937 this was made into a movie, and Leo was one of the busiest actors for the next 20 years). Bernard worked the New York stage with plays such as "The Creeping Fire." In 1937, "Abie's Irish Rose" was revived, and Bernard played Isaac Cohen again. At age 52, Bernard started his second career, movies, in earnest. Beginning in 1940, he appeared in 55 movies, 44 of them with his sons Leo and David (most of them Bowery Boys films). Bernard had finally established the father/son relationship that he hadn't given them in their younger years. From 1946 through 1955, there were 4-5 Bowery Boys movies every year, and Bernard always played the part of Louie Dumbrowski. On August 31, 1955, his car collided with a bus at 4th & LaBrea, Los Angeles; he died of his injuries on September 11, 1955.
Excellent, prolific, and versatile film, stage, and television actor Steven Keats was born on February 6, 1945 in The Bronx, New York City. The son of Jewish immigrants from Denmark, Keats grew up in Canarsie, The Bronx and graduated from the High School for Performing Arts in Manhattan. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War in 1965 and 1966. Following his tour of duty, Steven returned to the United States and attended both the Yale School of Drama and Montclair State College. Keat made his Broadway stage debut in 1970 as part of the second cast for "Oh! Calcutta." His most memorable movie roles include spaced-out punk hood Jackie Brown in "The Friends of Eddie Coyle," Charles Bronson's son-in-law Jack Toby in "Death Wish," Carol Kane's Americanized Jewish immigrant husband Jake Putkovsky in "Hester Street," Robert Shaw's Israeli sidekick Moshevsky in "Black Sunday," and obsessive mad scientist Dr. Philip Spires in "Silent Rage." Steven was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for his exceptional portrayal of ruthless Depression-era rag trade tycoon Jay Blackman in the mini-series "Seventh Avenue." Among the many shows Keats made guest appearances on are "Kojak," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Rockford Files," "Starsky and Hutch," "Barnaby Jones," "Cagney & Lacey," "The Love Boat," "The A-Team," "Hunter," "T.J. Hooker," "Hill Street Blues," "Miami Vice," "Matlock," and "MacGyver." Moreover, he played Thomas Edison on an episode of "Voyagers!". He was the father of sons Shane and Thatcher. Steven was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on May 8, 1994; the cause of death was ruled an apparent suicide. Keats was only 49 years old.
Born a week late in a 35-degree blistering Brisbane hospital to an Australian mother and Sicilian father, the son of a cane cutter, from the son of a farmer. Having enrolled in every physical activity he could by the age of eight, Rupert developed a desire for hard work, loyalty and determination. Rupert's decision to chase a life in the arts clearly broke the norm of tradition.
Prior to NIDA Rupert rowed in the high performance program at the AIS for their National rowing team whilst honing his acting craft at the Queensland Actors Playhouse. He made his debut in lead roles for short films that stole nominations at the Cannes Short Film Festival Corner and BIFF. Rupert played the supporting role of James Kolker in the QPIX feature film "Dartworth" and also the lead role of Sam in the Lead the Way Films feature "Barney". 2010 saw him secure the role of Sir Toby Belch in the Shakespearean classic "Or What You Will" for Blackfox Theatre in the Brisbane Festival. He has lived off commercials, corporate videos, films and plays for the last 5 years. Rupert is also an accomplished Presenter and Entertainer.
|Al Freeman Jr.
Al Freeman, Jr. was an actor and director who was the first African American to win a Daytime Emmy Award for acting. His most famous role was that of Police Captain Ed Hall in the soap opera One Life to Live, which brought him the Emmy in 1979. He was a regular on the soap from 1972 through 1987, and appeared off and on as Captain Hall from 1988 through 2000. He received three additional Emmy nominations playing the role in 1983, '86 and '87. Freeman also was the first African American to direct a TV soap opera, helming "One Life to Live" episodes.
Born on March 21, 1934 in San Antonio, Texas, he was raised primarily by his father, an actor and jazz musician, after his parents divorced. Al Freeman father and son left Texas, moving to Cleveland, Ohio. After studying drama at Los Angeles City College, Freeman fils moved to New York City to act in the theater, making his Broadway debut in Ketti Frings's "The Long Dream" in 1960, a flop that closed after five performances. He had a major success playing the lead in James Baldwin's play "Blues for Mister Charlie" in 1964. In 1970, he appeared in "Look to the Lilies" on Broadway, a musical version of the 1963 movie Lilies of the Field, playing the part of Homer Smith, the role that brought Sidney Poitier an Oscar. Despite a prestigious production team that included director Joshua Logan, composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn, the show was a flop.
Freeman made his reputation primarily in television. He debuted as a television actor in the series Suspicion in 1958, and his soap opera debut came in 1967 in The Edge of Night. He was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for My Sweet Charlie and for Roots: The Next Generations, in which he played Malcolm X.
In 1958, Freeman made his movie debut in an uncredited role in the Glenn Ford WWII picture _Torpedo Run (1958)_ and first received billing in the 1960 gang war B-movie potboiler This Rebel Breed. His most memorable role was the lead in Amiri Baraka's Dutchman opposite Shirley Knight, who was named Best Actress at the 1967 Venice Film Festival. Freeman won the N.A.A.C.P. Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for playing Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's Malcolm X.
Freeman was a professor in the drama department of Howard University. When he died on August 9, 2012, in Washington, D.C. at the age of 78, he had established himself as a legend in the African American arts community.
Donovan Philips Leitch was born May 10, 1946, in Glasgow, Scotland. Music was always part of his home life, with both traditional Scottish/Irish songs at family and local celebrations, and popular music through radio and live performances. When Donovan was ten his family moved south to England, resettling in Hatfield. Before starting college in his teens, the young man had run away from home more than once; on one outing at fourteen, he found an old guitar in a trash can, still good enough to learn the basics on.
Though interested in rock-n-roll through artists like Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers, Donovan embraced the folk-music boom that swept both England and America in the early 1960s, and also the Beat Generation writers and poets. Donovan settled into the St. Albans music scene, north of London, but traveled to different parts of the country, frequently with longtime friend "Gypsy Dave", who played kazoo and passed the hat while Donovan played guitar and harmonica and sang, for their keep. Their songs included traditional and recent folk music, songs by their friends (like Mick Softley) and the beginnings of Donovan's own writing, about what he'd seen and experienced away from home.
On a beach trip to Southend with members of the St. Albans circle, Donovan played and sang between performances by an R&B group called the Cops and Robbers, and so impressed the group's managers that they expressed interest in signing him up as a performer. Beginning with taping some publishers' demos for other songwriters, Donovan was soon demoing his own material, and the tapes found their way to the ears of Elkan Allan, producer of Britain's popular rock show Ready, Steady, Go!. Donovan's first appearance (in cap and denim) led to a short residency on the show, which in turn led to a recording contract with England's Pye Records. His first singles were respectable UK hits in 1965, and made a minor impact on the American market that year.
Promoted first as mainly a folk performer and a kind of British rival to Bob Dylan, evidence of Donovan's own blossoming style as writer and musician was undeniable as early as his second album, with its hints at jazz and a different kind of pop sense from Dylan's. When Dylan toured England in 1965, the two met for a well-publicized "summit" at his hotel suite; after an hour's private talk, they emerged smiling arm-in-arm to a waiting press conference. Press headlines announced "DYLAN DIGS DONOVAN!" and he joined Dylan and Joan Baez on the road, though he didn't perform with them onstage. (Donovan can be seen keeping Dylan and Baez company in Dylan's Dont Look Back). Donovan went on to the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where he was welcomed.
After his first two mostly-folk albums in England (distributed in the US by Hickory Records), produced by his managers, Donovan immersed himself in the pop sounds of the "British Invasion" bands, and both his writing and choices in the studio reflected this. In 1966 Mickie Most became Donovan's new producer, and his sidemen began to include future Led Zeppelin members John Paul Jones (who arranged several Donovan tunes, augmenting the sound they were aiming for) and Jimmy Page. (John Carr usually played drums at Donovan's sessions, although John Bonham was also sometimes around.) Epic Records in the US expressed an interest in picking Donovan up for the American market, with Clive Davis offering a contract, and Allen Klein was also interested in taking over Donovan's management. New and bigger deals offered led to lawsuits, and Donovan vanished from the record market for a few months while matters were being settled.
Emerging with new management and production teams, Donovan followed up his first US #1 single, "Sunshine Superman" (dedicated to John Lennon and Paul McCartney), with his signature hit "Mellow Yellow", which reached #2 on the US charts late in 1966. Working with Most, Donovan enjoyed hits on both sides of the Atlantic through the end of the decade. As a pop performer, he made frequent guest appearances on television in the UK and US; most notably in America on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. He also contributed to the stage and film worlds, writing the title song for the movie Poor Cow and adapting William Shakespeare's "Under The Greenwood Tree" for Britain's National Theatre. Later he would contribute the title song for the 1969 comedy If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (also appearing onstage in the movie), and star in The Pied Piper. Donovan brought his parents along on tour, with his father Donald introducing him to the audience.
Offstage, Donovan was a frequent guest collaborator and companion to other celebrities of the time; he contributed lyrics to The Beatles's song "Yellow Submarine" and dated George Harrison's sister-in-law Jenny Boyd (later to marry Mick Fleetwood). In turn, Donovan's recording sessions sometimes included members of The Beatles, Paul Samwell-Smith and The Rolling Stones and their circle of musician friends, as guest performers. When former Stones member Brian Jones died in 1969, Donovan married his widow Linda Lawrence, raising Jones' son Julian and having two daughters of their own. (Donovan also fathered son Donovan Leitch Jr. and Ione Skye by Enid Karl; family information is sparse at best.)
An arrest for drug possession late in 1966 was a moving experience for him, as was his noticing that the flirtation his generation had had with marijuana and LSD was getting ugly, and many young people were turning to harder drugs and destroying themselves. In the notes for his 1967 album "A Gift From A Flower To A Garden", he called for all drug use to stop and for young people to find other ways to expand their consciousness, and peace from within, as they became the parents of the next generation. He set an example by studying meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and later embraced many Eastern lifestyle changes, including a vegetarian diet and studies in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Though not a major player in popular music since the end of the 1960s, Donovan continues to tour and perform, and recall the experiences and friendships of his heyday for the media. His music (recorded and live) appears frequently in programs about the Sixties era, and has reached the newer generations through its use in TV commercials. In late 2005, he published an autobiography, "The Hurdy Gurdy Man."
Franklyn Seales was a stage and television actor best remembered for playing the finicky business manager Dexter Stuffins on the NBC sit-com "Silver Spoons." He also appeared in films, most notably as the real-life cop killer in "The Onion Field."
One of eight children, Seales was born in 1952 on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. In 1960, Seales' family emigrated to the United States, where they settled in New York City.
A painter since age six, Seales planned to study art at Pratt Institute. But then John Houseman noticed Seales when he was helping a friend to audition by performing the balcony scene from "Romeo and Juliet." Signed on the spot to a full scholarship at Julliard, Seales studied acting as a member of Houseman's Acting Company, during the early 1970s.
Seales' first big break was the PBS broadcast of the television drama The Trial of the Moke. He portrayed Lt. Henry O. Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point.
Seales' film debut was in the true-crime drama The Onion Field. He portrayed a weak, gullible ex-con who's just out of jail when a fast-talking killer, played by James Woods, talks him into a senseless crime that results in the murder of a police officer.
From 1983 to 1987, Seales played the character for which he was best remembered, the finicky business manager Dexter Stuffins on the NBC situation-comedy Silver Spoons, which also starred John Houseman as stoic Grandpa Stratton.
Toward the end of his life, Seales worked mainly in the non-profit Equity-waver theatre on the Westside of Los Angeles. He appeared in plays ranging from the theater of the absurd to Shakespeare. Los Angeles Times critic Lawrence Christon called Seales "one of America's most compelling stage actors."
As a member of the all-star L.A. Theatre Works, Seales was one of a company of 36 actors who contributed $6,000 each for the pleasure of performing classic plays together on the radio. Some of the Theater Works other members were James Earl Jones, Ted Danson, Richard Dreyfuss, Bonnie Bedelia, Stacy Keach, Michael York, and Ed Asner.
Seales last appeared in "Nothing Sacred," at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in the fall of 1988. A comedic adaptation of Turgenev's "Fathers and Sons," it was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Seales appeared as Uncle Havel, an aristocratic fop and former military man. For his characterization, Seales relied on his recollections of the English colonels and majors of his native St. Vincent, when it was still a British colony, "with their little sticks and stiff mustaches."
Although he was acclaimed for his versatility, Seales admitted that being a light-skinned black man had limited the roles that were available to him.
Franklyn Seales died on Monday, May 14, 1990 from complications from AIDS at his family's home in Brooklyn, New York. He had been too ill to work for several months. In its obituary, the Los Angeles Times said that "Seales as an actor came to be seen as a link between the tradition of black Africa and the sophistication of classical Anglo drama."
He was survived by his mother, three brothers and three sisters. A memorial service was planned at Julliard.
After playing in several Irish bands (which included The Action), in 1972 Wilkinson was cast as Judas Iscariot in the Dublin production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar; a role he went on to reprise in London and on the British national tour.
In 1976, Wilkinson sang the part of Ché Guevara on the concept album for the musical Evita. Instead of auditioning for the role when the production was launched in London, Wilkinson launched a solo career as a singer-songwriter.
By 1977, Wilkinson released his own eponymous album, (in his home of Ireland, he is known as "C.T. Wilkinson"), which charted in the Irish Charts for eight weeks at Number 1.
After his successful solo LP, Wilkinson began to actively prepare for vocal competitions. This led to his eventual representation of Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1978 with his own composition "Born to Sing", earning 5th place in the European competition for his efforts.
Colm starred in Voices, a musical based on the life and times of Joan of Arc, which went on stage at the Olympia Dublin in 1984. The shows music and lyrics were written by Derry based composer, Tommy "TC" Doherty with the single 'Child of Destiny' being released at the time and now available on iTunes.
In 1985, he collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber once again, originating the role of the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera at the Sydmonton festival.
The London production of Les Misérables opened in October 1985, and transferred to Broadway in March 1987. Originally, the American Actors' Equity Association refused to allow Wilkinson to play the part of Valjean in New York, due to their policy of hiring only American actors. At this, producer Cameron Mackintosh refused to open the show unless Wilkinson played Valjean. Actor's Equity subsequently relented. Wilkinson won the Helen Hayes Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theatre World Award for his performance. He was nominated for the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
In 1989, Wilkinson relocated his family to Toronto, Canada, when he was offered the title role in the original Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera playing at the Pantages Theatre (now Ed Mirvish Theatre) which he starred in for four and a half years giving almost 1700 performances. He has lived in Toronto ever since.
Wilkinson also featured as Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde) in the original Jekyll and Hyde Concept Album released in 1990.
In October-November 2007, Wilkinson undertook a cross-Canada concert tour, Broadway and Beyond, along with Susan Gilmour and Gretha Boston.
Wilkinson played the part of Lord Thomas Darcy in the third & fourth season of Showtime's miniseries The Tudors which began airing on 12 April 2009.
He participated in U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy's birthday celebration at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on 8 March 2009. The highlight of the evening was when President Barack Obama arrived on the stage and together with all the performers sang "Happy Birthday" to Ted Kennedy. He also was asked to perform at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at the Memorial Service for Senator Kennedy on 28 August 2009, the evening before the Senator's funeral.
On 24 May 2009 Wilkinson performed in the National Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., in front of a large audience and screened live across North America on PBS.
A solo album was released in January 2010 titled "Broadway and Beyond: The Concert Songs". It covers all of the songs that he performed on his cross-Canada tour in 2007. His previous album was released in 2002, titled "Some of My Best Friends Are Songs". In it, he and his son Aaron Wilkinson cover the Cat Stevens song, "Father and Son", as a duet. The album "Broadway and Beyond: The Concert Songs" is an eclectic mix of show tunes, his personal favorites and several songs from his stage productions. His support of PBS and listener-supported television in North America, following his participation in the 10th anniversary of the production of Les Misérables, brought him an hour-long program performing, including some of the songs from the album and one, "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar, which he sheepishly admits that he had waited to perform for 23 years. The rendition is powerful and emotive. His television broadcast supporting Stage Heroes, Colm Wilkinson right on the heels of Les Misérables, brought positive reviews from fans and critics, with readers adding his name to their lists of "the five greatest singers ever", in Rolling Stone Magazine.
On 3rd October 2010, Wilkinson was a special guest at the 25th Anniversary Concerts of Les Miserables, at the O2 Arena, alongside many other original cast members. He performed as part of a 'Valjean Quartet'; alongside Alfie Boe, John Owen-Jones and Simon Bowman (each of whom has previously played the role of Jean Valjean in various productions of Les Misérables). This was recorded as a single (released in the U.K.) and performed live at the London Palladium; during the Royal Variety Performance on 16 December 2010.
A year later, on 1st and 2nd October 2011, he appeared - alongside a number of former Phantoms - at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of The Phantom of the Opera, at The Royal Albert Hall.
He is a Founding Artist of Theatre 20, a musical theatre company in Toronto formed by artists in 2009, and performed in Theatre 20's 2011 Concert Series at the Panasonic Theatre. Other Founding Artists include Susan Gilmour, Louise Pitre, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Tamara Bernier Evans and Adam Brazier.
He performed his concert "Broadway And Beyond" at the Toronto Centre for the Arts in August 2011 for two nights for Dancap Productions.
Wilkinson will appear as Bishop Myriel in the upcoming film production of Les Misérables to be released in December 2012.
He starred as a child star in his father's production. Audiences remember him as the cute boy who brought an estranged father and son together in "Suryavamsam". His real name is Amar Chowdary. He has 4 brothers, Suresh, a joint producer at Super GOOD films, Jeevan, who has his own business and Ramesh, another new Teenybopper Tamil Hero. Jeeva is the youngest and inarguably the cutest with the boyish charms and killer smile that made people stand up to notice in his debut film "Aasai Aasaiyai" itself. His father, R B Chowdry produced numerous films, introduced now-famous directors and heroes and is a noted south Indian film producer despite having Hindi as mother tongue and hailing from Rajasthan, a north Indian state.
Best known for Directing critically acclaimed, audience pleasing fare, filmmaker Jay Russell has an impressive track record of telling compelling stories with emotional resonance.
Russell got his first break at the age of 19, filming a series of commercials for the Arkansas Parks and Tourism division. Like his boss at the time, Governor Bill Clinton, Russell would go on to bigger and better things. A native of North Little Rock, Arkansas, Russell won a number of regional honors for his music while in high school and then received a full music scholarship to Memphis University. While in Memphis, Russell's passion for music was supplanted, however, by another longtime passion - namely, filmmaking.
Russell continued his post grad studies at Columbia University in New York City, where he studied under the tutelage of Academy Award winning director Milos Forman. After receiving his MFA in Screenwriting and Directing, Russell was invited to attend the Sundance Institute Film Workshop. It was there that Russell began development on what would become his first film, "End of the Line" (1988), a tale of two down and out railway workers named Leo and Will (played by Levon Helm and Wilford Brimley) The cast also included Kevin Bacon and Academy Award winners Mary Steenburgen and Holly Hunter. "End of the Line" was well received at Sundance and won a theatrical release by Orion Classics.
After "End of the Line" Russell developed a number of projects for Imagine Entertainment, as well as TriStar Pictures. Russell also found success at that time in the world of reality television and documentaries. In the mid 1990's, Russell produced a number of documentary series and specials for NBC, CBS, The Learning Channel, and the Discovery Channel. In 1997, PBS approached Russell to write, produce, and direct "Great Drives", a five hour miniseries on America's most famous highways.
It was during the filming of "Great Drives" that Russell met Pulitzer nominated author Willie Morris. At the time, Morris was working on an autobiographical memoir about his childhood. When the book, "My Dog Skip", became a national bestseller, Russell - who had stayed in regular contact with Morris secured the movie rights to the book. In 2000, Warner Bros. released the Russell Directed film adaptation of "My Dog Skip", which starred Kevin Bacon, Frankie Muniz, Luke Wilson and Diane Lane. The film was a hit with critics and audiences alike and eventually went on to score numerous awards, including the 2001 Critic's Choice Award for Best Family Film.
Russell followed up with Walt Disney's "Tuck Everlasting" (2002) - starring Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) along with Academy Award winners, Sir Ben Kingsley, William Hurt and Sissy Spacek. The well received fantasy was also nominated for a Critic's Choice Award for Best Family Film of 2002.
In 2004, Russell tackled his most commercial and adult oriented project yet with Disney/Touchstone Pictures "Ladder 49." The film, an ode to the heroism of firefighters, starred Academy Award nominees John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix as a pair of Baltimore firemen who share a father and son relationship that forges the backbone of this emotionally satisfying film. "Ladder 49" remains as one of the top October weekend openers of all time and went on to make over $100 + million in worldwide box office.
Next, Sony Picture's "Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," was one of the best reviewed family films of 2008. Starring Alex Etel and Academy Award winner Emily Watson, the film was also nominated by the Visual Effects Society for the groundbreaking digital work of the world famous New Zealand FX company, Weta Digital. Worldwide, "The Water Horse," became Russell's second $100 + million dollar moneymaker in a row.
In 2011, Russell served as a Producer for Academy Award nominee Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) on his Belfast, Northern Ireland based indie comedy, "Whole Lotta Sole," which as released in 2012.
In 2014, Russell Directed "One Christmas Eve" for Hallmark Hall of Fame.
In 2015, Russell is Producing the World Premiere of the theatrical production of the classic thriller, "Rear Window," adapted for the stage by Keith Reddin and to be directed by Tony Award Winner, Darko Tresnjak, starring Kevin Bacon, McKinley Belcher III, Melinda Page Hamilton, Robert Stanton and John Bedford Lloyd.
Bill Adler was a handsome and charming actor, who appeared with pleasing regularity in a bunch of enjoyably trashy 70s low-budget drive-in exploitation features. He often popped up in movies for the prolific B-flick outfit, Crown International Pictures. Adler not only studied his craft at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, but also attended both Trinity University in Texas and Wayne State University in Detroit. Bill made his film debut as the sleazy "Fingers" in Jack Hill's terrific Switchblade Sisters (aka "Switchblade Sisters"). Other memorable roles include antagonistic drag race champion, "Duane", in the strictly so-so The Pom Pom Girls (Adler did all his own stunts in this movie), the groovy "Steve" in the pleasingly silly The Van, and the cocky "Bobby" in the immensely fun'n'funky romp, Van Nuys Blvd.. Adler had guest spots on the TV shows, Wonder Woman, CHiPs, Trapper John, M.D. and Vega$. On stage, Bill performed in Shakespeare plays and other classic dramas. Outside of acting, Bill Adler is also a qualified voice and speech instructor. He's the father of sons, Luke and Brent. He now runs his own clothing line called "Will Leather Goods".
Alex graduated at the top of his class with a B.F.A in film directing from the Art Center College of Design. His thesis film was a 35mm short film about street-racing called "The Last Race", based on his experiences as a street-racer. After college he continued to develop his writing and directing skills with 5 more short films in different genres, each playing in festivals and winning multiple awards.
He made his feature debut with a rough and tumble romantic comedy from a guy's perspective: "Knuckle Draggers". It played at multiple festivals and placed in Best of Fest's top 10 comedies of 2009.
Alex went back to his street-racing roots for his second feature "Born To Race", a teen sports film centered around a father/son story. He co-wrote the script with another Art Center Alum and was hired to direct it. That same year, he won the Grand Prize at the Slamdance Screenwriting Competition with a revenge-thriller called "The Girl With No Name". Alex followed up "Born to Race" with a sequel, "Born to Race: Fast Track" starring Brett Davern and Beau Mirchoff from MTV's "Awkward".
In 2014, Alex directed "The Wrong Side of Right" for ESX Entertainment. Impressed by his versatility as a storyteller, he was hired to direct 4 more films for the company, most notably "The Wizard", starring Jon Voight and William Fichtner.
Porn star Roxanne Blaze blazed a red-hot trail through the porn world during her brief stint before the hardcore lenses. She was a doe-eyed, innocent-looking strawberry blonde who bears more than a passing resemblance to a very young Jane Seymour. She had a waif-like body and a wide, almost elfin-looking face that exuded innocent sexuality. She exploded onto the porno scene in 1993 with a flurry of releases that capitalized on her fresh looks and acting ability. She was born in 1974 and spent her entire pre-porn life in Burbank, CA. She entered porn at the age of 18 and wowed fans and critics alike with her searing sensuality. She won the 1993 AVN Best Actress Award for her steamy portrayal of the young girl caught between father and son suitors in Nothing to Hide II: Justine. The film also won both the AVN and XRCO Best Film of the Year Awards, but she was not at the ceremony to accept them because by that time she had retired from the adult-film business to try her hand at "mainstream" films using the name Sarah Bellomo. In her short porn career, though, she left behind almost 20 films.
Staunch, granite-jawed American leading man of silent and early talkie films, much associated with Westerns. A native of New York City, Holt often claimed to have been born in Winchester, Virginia, where he grew up. The son of an Episcopal minister, he attended Trinity School in Manhattan, then the Virginia Military Institute, from which he was expelled for bad behavior. Giving up his vague hopes of becoming a lawyer, he went on the road, engaging in numerous occupations. He mined gold in Alaska, worked as both a railroad and a civil engineer, delivered mail, rode herd on cattle, and played parts in traveling stage productions. While looking for work as a surveyor in San Francisco in 1914, he volunteered to ride a horse over a cliff in a stunt for a film crew shooting in San Rafael. In gratitude, the director gave him a part in the film. Holt followed the movie people to Hollywood and began getting bits and stunt jobs in the many Westerns and serials being made there. He impressed a number of co-workers at Universal Pictures, among them Francis Ford and his brother John Ford, and Grace Cunard. Holt soon became a frequent supporting player in their films, and then a star in serials.
A move to Paramount studios in 1917 cemented his leading man status, and he became one of the studio's great stars, particularly in a very successful series of Westerns based on the novels of Zane Grey. Talkies proved no problem for Holt, and his career thrived, although mostly in run-of-the-mill adventure films. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Holt entered the U.S. Army at the age of 54, serving at the request of General George C. Marshall as a horse buyer for the cavalry. Upon his return to pictures following the war, he alternated between character roles in major films such as John Ford's They Were Expendable and leading roles in minor Westerns. He made a cameo appearance in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre which starred his son Tim Holt. That same year father and son played father and son in a B-Western, The Arizona Ranger. Less than three years later, on January 18, 1951, Holt died of a heart attack at the Los Angeles Veterans Hospital in Sawtelle, a couple of blocks west of the Los Angeles National Cemetery where he is now buried.
A United States / Canadian citizen, Terri Hanauer graduated with an honors degree in Theater Arts from York University, Toronto. She has worked in both countries as an actress in film, television, commercials and theatre (appearing at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles and the Arena Stage, Washington D.C.). Her background as an actress and photographer led her to directing. She directed her first short film, "A Day in the Life, " which screened at numerous festivals. She was accepted into AFI's Directing Workshop for Women. Her second short film, "Recycling Flo," was chosen by AFI to represent it at the Cannes Film Festival - International Short Film Corner. Along with being official selection in over 50 film festivals, "Recycling Flo" won two Best Film /Jury prizes at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and the Farmington Comedy Film Festival. She has co-directed 13 half-hour episodes of "Zane's Chronicles" for HBO/Afterdark. She recently directed her first feature film, "Sweet Talk." It is distributed by Gravitas Ventures and American World Pictures and is available on Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Vudu and iTunes. On stage, she directed Peter Lefcourt's popular "Café Society" at the Odyssey Theatre where she received HONORABLE BEST DIRECTOR and the cast received Best Ensemble in a Comedy Award from Stage Scene LA. She directed John Bishop's "The Trip Back Down" at the Whitefire Theatre for which she was nominated by Broadway World for Best Director. She directed Peter Lefcourt's play, "La Ronde de Lunch," for the Katselas Theatre Company, which was Ovation Recommended and received 6 LA Stage Scene Awards including Best Direction. She directed Mitch Hara's "Mutant Olive" at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, The Lounge Theatre, NY Solo Festival and Whitefire Theatre Solo Festival (Best Solo Show Award). At LA's Odyssey Theatre, she directed the world premieres of Peter Lefcourt's outrageous comedies, "The Way You Look Tonight," "Mutually Assured Destruction" and "The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy." She directed Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies' "Collected Stories," at The Odyssey Theatre. It was invited to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival '13 where it had a very successful run. She directed Thaao Penghlis' touring solo show, "Places," at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She is set to direct John Posey's "Father, Son and Holy Coach" at the Odyssey.
Aloe Entertainment [us] is one of Los Angeles' most prolific independent production companies. The Los Angeles based feature film/television company was created in 1999 by Mary Aloe. Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment [us] produces and finances individual pictures and slates of movies. Aloe Entertainment [us] specializes in developing/producing independent features, television series, and network and cable event movies. Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment [us] specialize in obtaining 100% financing for features by raising private equity; working with hedge funds, gap financing, top tier foreign sales companies and securing domestic distribution. Producer Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment [us], along with her development team, have produced a record nine features in six years. As well, 'Mary's vast knowledge of P & A financing was acknowledged by 'Regent Entertainment [us]', who brought her in to run a 50 million dollar P & A fund backed by Merrill Lynch.
Aloe and her partner, Daniel Grodnik are Executive Producers on Screen Media's US Theatrical Release of Mothers and Daughters, opening May 6th. Mothers and Daughters stars Golden Globe Winner Sharon Stone, Oscar Winner Susan Sarandon, Golden Globe Nominee Christina Ricci, Courteney Cox, Oscar Winner Mira Sorvino, Ashanti, and more.
Aloe and Grodnik are also in production on two movies, including Mara, in Savannah, Georgia starring Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, The November Man, The Water Diviner). Mara is based upon a real medical condition called "Sleep Paralysis." Multiple cultures around the world over many millennia have real life stories about a sleep demon aka demonic attacks also known as "Hag Syndrome." Mara (????/I) is a well-researched film based upon real life phenomena and is happening to an estimated 40% of humans around the world. It is when a person is in this state of "Sleep Paralysis" that they feel a presence of a supernatural malevolent being which immobilizes the person as if it is sitting on his/her chest. The word "night-mare" or "nightmare" was used to describe this phenomenon before the word acquired its' modern, more general meaning. Has it happened to you? If not, it just might...when you least expect her.
And they have several films in post-production, including, in Australia, Tiger, a true story boxing bio pic, being sold internationally by The Exchange. Tiger stars Mickey Rourke (Iron Man 2, The Wrestler) and Janel Parrish, as well as newcomer Prem Singh as Pardeep Nagra.
Mary and her team premiered 10,000 Saints at the Sundance Film Festival 2015. The movie is a father son picture for the millenniums, starring Ethan Hawke, Emile Hirsch, Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld. Screen Media released the movie on August 14, 2015 in the top 25 markets.
2015 -2016 is going to be another banner year for Mary Aloe and her staff at Aloe Entertainment [us]. 55 Steps is in production in Cologne Germany, with Sony as it's worldwide distributor. This is the true story of Eleanor Reise, starring two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (Wings of A Dove, The Kings Speech) as Eleanor, two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don't Cry) as pro-bono attorney as Collete, and Golden Globe winner, Jeffrey Tambor as Mort.
Simultaneously, Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment's other film in pre-production, Room 107, starts filming in New York this spring. For the first time since 1942, in The Pride of the Yankees, Major League Baseball and Hank Steinbrenner are partners and their official branding is to be used in a motion picture. At the core of the film, it is a magical father and son story. The film is based on the bestselling book of the same name. Iconic producer, Barry Josephson (Enchanted) is producing and Mary Aloe is executive producing. Among its all star cast is Josh Lucas, Luis Guzmán and it also includes some of the New York Yankees' current all stars in cameo roles.
Between 2004 and 2010, Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment [us] produced a record nine films. Partner Mike Dolan and she produced the comedy, Hollywood & Wine, starring David Spade, Chazz Palminteri, Vivica A. Fox, Chris Kattan and a host of Saturday Night Live alumni. The film took a satirical look into the inner workings of and actress making it in Hollywood. The production was produced in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Dolan's 'Smithfield Street Productions [us]'.
Aloe Entertainment and Mary Aloe arranged financing, produced and completed five features with partner, Kirk Shaw of Odyssey Media Inc. Many of these critically acclaimed features were selected for some of the world's most prestigious film festivals: When a Man Falls, starring Sharon Stone and Timothy Hutton, was selected for main competition at the Berlin International Film Festival and in the main competition for America's South By Southwest Film Festival; Numb, starring Matthew Perry and Mary Steenburgen, was selected to have its world premiere in the Discovery section at the Tribeca Film Festival; and Battle in Seattle, a political action drama written and directed by Stuart Townsend and starring Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Ray Liotta, Channing Tatum, Andre Benjamin, Joshua Jackson, Martin Henderson, Connie Nielsen and Michelle Rodriguez. Battle in Seattle had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in main competition and had the biggest sale at the festival and is being multi-platformed theatrically across America this fall 2008. Aloe's other films include While She Was Out, a female action thriller starring Kim Basinger and Lukas Haas; executive produced by Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth (2006) ) and jointly produced by Don Murphy (Transformers); and Tortured, starring Laurence Fishburne and James Cromwell , which was released through Magic Box and 'Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) [us]'. Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever with LGE had its theatrical release in the spring of 2009. Aloe's first feature film endeavor was in 2004 and entitled Downtown: A Street Tale, starred Geneviève Bujold and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese and was released with American World Pictures.
Mary's foray into the business began in television with producing over eight successful national reality and television talks shows. In 2001, she transitioned into long form television with Columbia TriStar and NBC with The Princess & the Marine, a MOW for NBC Television, the project, chronicling the true story of a Middle Eastern Princess who fell in love with an American Marine, generated so much excitement it incited the second biggest bidding war in television history. It then became the highest rated Movie of the Week that year for NBC. Aloe executive produced this made for TV movie with Columbia Tri-Star.
The television division of Aloe Entertainment produced Room 401 jointly with partners Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, premiering on MTV. Mary Aloe is also developing a bevy of reality series The Real Women of Nashville, The Real Life Coming to America with the Prince of Nigeria, and The Nancy Grace Project with America's most famous female prosecutor and CNN talk show host with 20th Century Fox television studios.
Mary Aloe and Aloe Entertainment has also affiliated herself with the top organizations in the entertainment industry. She is a member of the following guilds: WEN (Women's Entertainment Network), American Federation of Women in Television and Radio, CAUCUS, Women in Film and First Weekenders Club.
American Screenwriter/Actor known for screenplays, "A Dream for Tomorrow " and " BKLYN 10-10 Shots Fired". He was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (aka Southside or Los Sures) to parents Hannah Rojas and Wilfred "Sonny" Chesson. Thanks to Flint's big sister Margo "Peggy" for taking him out to movie theaters and Museums and leaving the rough neighborhood behind to soak in the Arts. After the passing of his sister Peggy he left the arts behind a few years until the age of 13. Flint's single mother picked up and moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. From one rough neighborhood to the next Flint's big brother Eddie introduced him to boxing in the early 1980's. He started boxing out of Bed-Stuy Boxing Assoc. Then decided to train at the famous "Gleason's Boxing Gym to train with boxing trainers Willie Badilla and Hector Roca. Flint made the decision to retire his gloves after a few attempts at N.Y.C.Golden Gloves tournaments as an amateur and not turn professional. Flint is the proud father of a son who is a American Musician/Producer Room_Noise also out of Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied at H.B. Studios and Stella Adler Conservatory. He loves to travel the World and has visited Germany, Italy, France and Africa.
Character actor Michael Currie was born Herman Christian Schwenk Jr. on July 24, 1928 in Kingston, New York. His parents were Herman C. Schwenk and Mabel Lockwood. Currie was the youngest of three children. He attended Kingston High School, where he sang in the a cappella choir and played football. Michael worked in his family business Schwenk's Bakery during the summer and on weekends. He graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in psychology and was an apprentice at the Woodstock Playhouse. Currie did graduate work at both Cornell University and the University of Ohio. Michael served two years in Okinawa during the Korean War. Following his tour of duty, Currie taught theater at SUNY New Paltz. He met his future wife Ann Dods on a blind date in 1960 and married her later that same year. Michael acted in four movies with Clint Eastwood; he was especially memorable as Captain Donnelly in "Sudden Impact" and "The Dead Pool." He was likewise impressive as a jolly hotel owner Rafferty in "Halloween III: Season of the Witch." Currie had a recurring role as Sheriff Jonas Carter in the popular daytime horror soap opera "Dark Shadows." Among the other TV shows he made guest appearances on are "M.A.S.H.," "Family," "Soap," "Cheers," "Dallas," and "Newhart." Michael's stage credits include a Broadway production of "Love and Kisses" as well as Off-Broadway productions of such plays as "The Premise" and "What Price Glory." He was the father of son John and daughter Catherine. Currie died at age 81 on December 22, 2009 in Freeport, Maine.
Mark Jean's early passion for filmmaking led him to San Diego State University where he earned a B.S. in Telecommunications & Film. He then attended The American Film Institute on full scholarship earning a Masters Degree in Directing.
A versatile director, Jean has helmed independent features, MOW's, television pilots, and episodic dramas and comedies. He has directed a wide variety of genres, from the psychological thriller Taken Back, with Moira Kelly and Amanda Tapping, to the Christmas comedy Finding Mrs. Claus, starring Mira Sorvino and Will Sasso, to the true-life dramas Finding A Family, starring Kim Delaney, and Duke, starring Steven Weber.
Accolades for Jean's directing include: the George Foster Peabody Award for a series of interstitials for Fox Children's Network; The Houston International Film Festival's Gold Award for Homecoming, starring Anne Bancroft and Bonnie Bedilia; numerous film festival awards including 1st Place New York Film Festival, The Houston International Film Festival's Gold Award, and Chicago International Film Festival's Gold Award for his Disney short Who Owns The Sun; and Best Feature Film at the Sprockets Toronto Film Festival for the family comedy Finn On The Fly.
He has also written and co-written numerous screenplays, including the historical drama Beast of Bataan for producers Mel Brooks and Jonathan Sanger, Homecoming, which garnered a WGA nomination for Best Longford Adaptation, and the adaptation of the young-adult novel Gemini Summer. A novelist himself, Jean's fantasy-adventure Puddlejumpers, published by Hyperion Books, won Voya's Top Shelf Fiction Award.
Recent films include Shuffleton's Barbershop, a father-son reconciliation story starring Danny Glover, and The Christmas Ornament, a romance with Kellie Martin and Cameron Mathison. Films directed in 2014 include The Nine Lives of Christmas and Mom's Day Away..
|John Buffalo Mailer
After graduating from Weslyan University, John Buffalo Mailer founded Back House Productions in New York City with three of his fellow grads. Within one year Back House became the resident theater company of The Drama Bookshop's Arthur Seelan Theater, and developed several plays, including the 2008 TONY Award Winner for Best Musical, "In The Heights".
In 2001, John's first play, "Hello Herman", had its New York Premiere at the Grove Street Playhouse. The play is about a High School shooter being interviewed on death row three days before his execution. In 2009, the Edgemar Center For The Arts in Los Angeles opened the West Coast Premiere with John in the lead role opposite Sawyer Spielberg. Dramatists Play Services published Hello Herman in the Spring of 2010, prompting Smith And Krauss to include an excerpt of the play in their Best Monologues of 2010 publication. The feature film, which John adapted himself, is currently in post-production and stars Norman Reedus and Garrett Backstrom. The film was directed by world renowned acting coach, Michelle Danner. A trailer for the film can be viewed on YouTube.
John's second play, "Crazy Eyes", had its world premiere in Athens, Greece in 2005, and the US Premiere in Provincetown, Massachusetts later that same year. Crazy Eyes, which takes place in October of 2001, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, centers on an actor, a day trader, an AIDS researcher, a bag of white powder, and a Palestinian American who owns the 99 cent store.
In 2003, John took the position of Executive Editor for High Times magazine under the Leadership of Richard Stratton (SLAM, Street Time), to re-launch the publication as an Outlaw version of Vanity Fair. In 2004 he interviewed his father, Norman Mailer, for New York Magazine, on the possible dangers and benefits of the protests of the 2004 Presidential election. That interview was later included in a book of discussions between father and son on topics ranging from Protest to Poker and everything in between, titled "The Big Empty" (Nation Books, February '06).
In 2008, in partnership with his brother, Michael Mailer, he produced the documentary adaptation of Naomi Wolf's New York Times best selling book, "The End Of America", as well as a National Television commercial directed by Oliver Stone.
John is a member of The Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and The Actors Studio. He has lectured at the University of Notre Dame, Wesleyan, the University of Athens, Syracuse University, The New York Society for Ethical Culture, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Long Island University, NYU, and has appeared on Fox News - Hannity and Combs, Air America, Democracy Now, WNYC, TheBigThink.com, and CSPAN's Book TV.
As a Journalist, John has covered the homeless problem in America through the eyes of National Spokesperson for The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, Cheri Honkala and her movie star son, Mark Webber, as well as The World Social Forum in Venezuela, the 2006 Presidential Election of Mexico, "The recovery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as seen through the eyes of the strippers and service industry", award winning, world renowned artist Matthew Barney's KHU, in which he transformed the city of Detroit, Michigan into a living opera. John has freelanced for Playboy, New York Magazine, ESPN Books, Provincetown Arts, Lid Magazine, Stop Smiling, Corriera De La Sera, The Norman Mailer Review, and The American Conservative.
John was selected as one of People Magazines "Sexiest Men Alive" and has been written about by The New York Times, GQ Magazine, the New York Post, Paris Match, Daily News, New York News Day, New York Observer, The Last Magazine, Liz Smith, the New York Sun, the Daily Telegraph, London Times, Time Out New York, Sonntags Blick Magazine, Gotham Magazine, Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times, Vanity Fair, Portland Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
As an Editor, in addition to being Executive Editor at High Times from 2003-2004, John was an Editor-At-Large for the national publication Stop Smiling from 2004-2007, and Contributing Editor for the international magazine, TAR from 2006-2007.
John's acting career was catapulted forward in 2010 with a head-spinning performance in Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" as Robby Mancini, the best friend of Shia LaBeouf's character, Jake Moore. This performance led to Elle Magazine naming John one of the top Ten Breakout Stars of 2010.
John is a Founding Partner of Supreme Films, a development, production, and social networking company which is rolling out its launch with its first feature, "Spiral", a murder mystery/sci-fi thriller set in the fishing community of Provincetown, Massachusetts, a film John not only wrote but will star in, as well. The film is being produced by Michael Mailer, Anson Avellar and Stuart Wrede, and is being directed by David Ambrose.
John's script "Blind", a romantic drama that made Hollywood's Blacklist, will star Clive Owen, and Uma Thurman is in talks to star opposite him. The film is being produced by Michael Mailer via his shingle, Michael Mailer Films, and Mark Damon.
Jörn Donner grew up in a Swedish-speaking family belonging to the Finnish upper class. Already as a student he had radical leftist ideas displayed in magazines and newspapers. His first novel appeared in 1951 when Donner was only 18 years old. He graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1959. In 1961 Donner moved to Sweden when the daily newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" hired him as a film critic. He returned to his home country in 1967. During his stay in Sweden he also directed his first feature film, "A Sunday in September". He temporarily returned to Sweden in the 1970s to head the Swedish Film Institute. Again, Donner returned to his home country after a while.
Donner is best known for his work as an author. He has written several novels. He was awarded the Finlandia Prize in Literature in 1985 for "Father and Son". During the years he has also written many columns for large news papers in Finland.
After his directorial debut in 1963 Donner continued to work in film, mainly as a producer. He formed his own production company Jörn Donner Productions in 1960. He produced Ingmar Bergman's critically acclaimed "Fanny and Alexander" in 1982 and is thereby the first Finn ever to receive an Academy Award.
Ever since his early years as a student and struggling writer Donner has had an interest in politics. He has been a Member of Parliament in Finland and also an European MP. After successfully supporting Social Democrat Ahtisaari's presidential campaign in 1994 he was appointed Finnish consul to Los Angeles. Donner soon returned back to Finland. In 2003 Donner failed to return to politics when he did not get elected in the Finnish parliamentary election.
After a few years in the small town of Ekenäs, Finland Donner has returned to live in the nation's capital where he works as an independent writer, columinst and film producer.
A former fellow Florida State University School of Theatre student during the mid-1970s, lovely, talented actress Caris Corfman suffered a tragic and debilitating reversal of fortunes in 1993. Diagnosed with a brain tumor, four operations to remove the benign mass left her with a severe and unrepairable disability. She lost the functioning of the part of her brain that controls short term memory. As a result, she could no longer memorize new lines. What was most amazing was that she could still repeat verbatim passages or monologues she had learned years and years before her operation.
In a bravura turn, Ms. Corfman returned to the stage after over a decade (Flea Theater in Lower Manhattan, October 2005) in an amazing and spiritually rewarding one-woman show entitled "Caris' Peace," in which she talks (via the use of index cards to help keep her focus and continuity of what she covered earlier) about her life and illness, before and after. As writer David Carr expressed in an article about Caris and her showcase, "Her performance is about why she can no longer perform." A filmed documentary entitled "Caris' Peace" chronicles the former actress' story and personal battles. It is obvious to me that this incredibly courageous woman never lost the love and passion she had for the stage.
The Boston-born actress (born in 1955) arrived at FSU in the mid-1970s, about the same time I did. For me, her talent was obvious from the very start. Her showcases while there ranged from a lovely and tender performance as Laura in "The Glass Menagerie" to a strong role in a daring feminist production of "The Taming of the Shrew" in which the actresses took on the male roles and vice versa. Caris played one of the trans-gendered parts with consummate energy, poise and skill. Also appearing in that very cast was another of New York's future preeminent actresses J. Smith-Cameron. One was instantly struck by Caris' natural and vibrant beauty. Mesmerizing with a head full of gorgeous blonde ringlets, two prominent cheekbones and a quick, Cheshire-cat smile, she was one of those people who drew an audience whenever she entered a room. People simply wanted to know her.
Following FSU, Caris attended the Yale School of Drama. She made her off-Broadway debut in the critically-acclaimed production of "Wings" (1978), which was part of Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival. She also earned outstanding notices for her role as Emma in the Yale Repertory Theatre's production of "Curse of the Starving Class" in 1980. One of her crowning moments was creating the role of Katherina Cavalieri, Salieri's music pupil, in the original Broadway production of "Amadeus" (1980) starring Ian McKellen. Within a few months, she had succeeded Jane Seymour in the leading femme role of Mozart's wife, Constanze Weber. Throughout the 1980s, Caris continued to demonstrate her versatility in a number of original contemporary plays such as "Fish Riding Bikes," "The Sleep of Reason," "Filthy Rich," "Exact Change," "Fathers and Sons," "The Voysey Inheritance," "Dream of a Common Language" and "All This and Moonlight." She also worked with many prominent actors over the years, including David Groh and the ever-so-eccentric Sylvia Miles in "Tea with Mommy and Jack"; David Strathairn in "The Cezanne Syndrome"; Robert Lansing, Barbara Barrie and fellow FSU alumnus J. Smith-Cameron in "Mi Vida Loca"; Christian Slater in "Dry Land"; and Samuel L. Jackson and Jimmy Smits in "Native Speech." Caris was a guest artist at such prestigious repertory theaters as the Arena Stage, and displayed a strong handle on the classics over the years in productions such as O'Neill's "Anna Christie," Shakespeare's "Henry IV Parts I and I" and Congreve's "The Way of the World."
Although she made less than a handful of films, one need not look further in scouting out her possible leading lady potential than with her prime role in the intriguing British period piece Dreamchild starring Ian Holm as Lewis ("Alice in Wonderland") Carroll and Coral Browne as Alice Hargreaves, Carroll's inspiration for his "Alice" tales. As for TV, it was that medium's loss that she was not utilized more often. It didn't matter for Caris' first love was the theatre.
In 1993, following a role in the movie The Pickle starring Danny Aiello, Caris' professional journey came to an end. From then on her life would be about recovery, rehabilitation and survival. While she would not be able to remember someone she had met minutes earlier, she would remember ME from our FSU days. And I have always remembered her -- her incredible beauty, both inside and out, her charisma, her amazing talent as a performer and her obvious love and dedication to her craft. Caris' one-woman show would become living proof of the extent of that love and dedication, and, more importantly, her belief that her life was not over but in a major transition.
On January 13, 2007, Caris' life's journey ended, passing away peacefully in her sleep of a stroke at age 51. She continues to be cherished by the family, friends and actors she left behind whose lives she touched and inspired, and is deeply, deeply missed.
|Danilo Di Julio
Born Danilo Alessandro Di Julio to mother Carol Ann Bellmore (maiden name) and father Nevio Di Julio in Rochester, New York during just a two year period that his family actually lived in the United States. Danilo's family returned to Canada, where they had previously lived and during which time his siblings Paul John (eldest brother), Nevin Antonio and Stephanie Ann were born in Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal and Montreal respectively. He has another sister Audrea and another brother (both younger) from his father's second marriage. Danilo is the father to a son, Thomas Daniel, who he considers his motivation and one of the biggest blessings in his life. Danilo is happily married to wife Cori Di Julio.
Danny, as he was called in his youth, grew up primarily in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island an Indian reserve. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary, Hernwood Jr. High School and Westile Composite High School. As a young boy and teenager Danilo always chose to look at the bright side of life even through some difficult times. When he was in grade 10 his mother came to pick him up after school on the way to a family dinner and when she asked for him his grade 10 gym teacher responded, "You mean effervescent Dan!", due to his never quit attitude in everything he attempted.
After high school Danilo enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces and served for three years with the Royal Canadian Dragoons as a tank gunner and patrolling expert. He qualified as a sharpshooter on his personal weapon and was a top shot with his tank always ranked among the top three gunners in his regimental competitions). Danilo also served in the Scarlets (the regimental Honor guard) and was a member of the Special Service Forces (SSF) rappel team. Following a three year tour of duty he was given an honorable discharge and began to pursue two fields he had always been interested in Acting and Football. The first time Danilo put on football pads he was 22 years old but this didn't stop him from walking on at Syracuse University for the Orangemen at 24 years of age in 1995. That was the first year for starter Donovan McNabb who Danilo would later say was the best QuarterBack he'd ever been around. Danilo returned to Canada after making the team in an effort to try and mend his ailing relationship with his son's mother. He continued to play Semi-Pro football for nine years during which he was involved in six semifinals and was a member of two undefeated Championship teams.
During his athletic pursuits Danilo was also renewing his long lost love of acting. His first play was the Wizard of Oz, when he was 10 years old and he was bitten by the acting bug. He performed in plays in Junior and Senior High School. He actually led the troop sketch comedy routines during his basic training graduation party. However, it would be three years of gunning tanks, patrolling through forests, jumping from helicopters and parading in front of Prince Charles and Princess Diana as well as the Queen of the Netherlands before Danilo would feel that acting bug bite again. After leaving the military he was a ship without a course but began his pursuit of the only two things to which he felt he could dedicate himself wholeheartedly. The pursuit of his bliss led him from Guelph University's dramatic program where he has fond memories of Professors Bruce Koenig and his favorite Prof Edna Hartmann as well as all the faculty that positively affected him. From there Danilo had another try at reuniting his young fragile family and left behind his acting goals once again but that ended in his final split with Michelle. In late 1998 Danilo moved to Toronto, Ontario to reignite his professional acting career. In 2000 after a tough two years of struggling to build his resume and gain experience in films, television and commercials, Danilo began to seriously consider a move to Los Angeles. A week before he planned to leave he landed a National commercial which helped him gain apprentice status in ACTRA the Canadian professional actors' union. Over the next year Danilo continued to struggle but continually landed more jobs on American network television programs & commercials and he gained the confidence to make the move Stateside. In the fall of 2001 Danilo visited Santa Monica, California to see if he would like it. He did and planned to return home, collect his things and immediately move to California to begin his career in earnest, however, fate intervened. One day before he returned to Canada his father Nevio was hospitalized and underwent double bypass surgery, so he decided to care for him during his recovery.
An audition for the ABC movie "Gilda Radner: It's Always Something", resulted in landing the then biggest gig of his young career. Following that great experience he was as inspired as he ever had been and over the next few months landed over a dozen solid acting jobs including working in "Tony and Tina's Wedding" at Second City Toronto, one of Dan Aykroyd's old stomping grounds. All of this raised Danilo's profile with Casting Directors to the point where some previously closed doors suddenly opened and he continued to build his resume and gain valuable experience. Danilo also spent an hour a day six days a week watching episodes of "Inside the Actors Studio" which impressed upon him the fact that every performer has to walk their own path. In the fall of 2002 after a falling out with his agent Danilo moved to Los Angeles to begin the long hard climb in Hollywood. The next year and a half was and emotional and physical blender. He lost his father to cancer, then split with Nicole, his girlfriend of two and a half years back in Toronto. On June 25th 2005 he tore the ACL in his right knee - all the while missing his son desperately and receiving no positive response from the Agents and Managers of LA. During the Christmas holidays in 2005 while visiting with his mother and son in Quebec, Danilo began to recover from the cloudy hangover of losing his Father and the frustration of the industry's slamming doors. He returned to LA in January of 2006, "Feeling seven feet tall again!" Danilo had refocused his attention on how he had succeeded in Toronto before he had an agent. Within a few months of returning to LA he had landed three professional acting jobs and then signed with agency ZPP. The next year had a lot of ups and downs and ended with Danilo making his stage directorial debut, followed by his appearing on stage as Scrooge at Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood and in a long form improv show called "Classless Reunion Live". In early 2007 Danilo signed with The Savage Agency and was finally working with decent representation. While with them he landed a number of commercials and Internet jobs in the ever growing "new media" but, his time with Savage was highlighted by an appearance on NBC's hit comedy "The Office". Late in 2007 he performed in a second run of "Classless Reunion Live" where he met and performed with Corianna Monger. They became good friends which eventually led to a short five week courtship in 2008 during which they fell in love and were married on September 26th 2009. Danilo considers Corianna the partner he has always been searching for and she is "the" love of his life. Between the fall of 2008 and summer 2010 Mr. Di Julio has filmed and produced a number of independent commercials, booked roles in NBC hit "Parks and Recreation and a Dockers Super Bowl commercial, wrote/directed/ produced his first short film and is (2010) working on a huge top secret production in South Africa based around the World Cup.
Universally popular, Graham Hill was the epitome of the Grand Prix racing driver. Hill started out his racing career as a mechanic, trading in his services as a mechanic for a drive. He made his mark in sports cars before getting the call to the internationally famous Formula 1 Grand Prix series in 1958. His first few years in Formula 1 were without much success until he recorded his first win in 1962, at the Dutch Grand Prix. That first win opened up the floodgates as he won three more times that season and won his first World Championship. He was a consistent winner throughout the 1960s in a variety of races series, including sports cars and the 1966 Indianapolis 500. Hill raced against several of the sport's greatest stars including Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Dan Gurney and Jack Brabham. Hill won his second and last World Championship in 1968, and his final Formula 1 race at Monaco, the following year. His last big win was at Le Mans, in 1972, but Hill's final three seasons in racing were fruitless. Hill started his own Grand Prix team in 1973, and initially the prospects of a winning team were promising, however Hill, his racing protégé Tony Brise, and four other team members were killed when Hill, piloting his own plane, clipped the tree tops in a dense fog, and crashed short of the Elstree Airport. Grand Prix racing had lost one of its greatest racing figures. In 1996, Hill's only son Damon won the World Championship, making them the only father-son combination to accomplish the feat.
|Marlon Brando Sr.
The movie industry executive and producer Marlon Brando, Sr. was the father of Marlon Brando Jr., whom many consider the greatest movie actor of all time, and of movie and TV actress Jocelyn Brando. Marlon, Jr. made his father, a former salesman and businessman, the head of his personal production company in Hollywood, Pennebaker Productions, which was named after Sr.'s wife and Jr.'s mother, the former Dorothy Pennebaker. The company produced many pictures, though most starred other superstars other than Brando, including James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier.
Marlon Sr. was a hard-drinking womanizer who was frequently on the road, which did little to prevent his wife's descent into the alcoholism which killed her at a relatively young age in 1954. The Brando family was often uprooted, moving from Nebraska to Illinois and eventually (without Marlon Sr.) to New York City (where the three Brando children attended acting and art schools). Brando Sr., a World War One veteran, was a hard, unaffectionate man, and his son harbored a great deal of resentment and anger towards him until the day he died on July 18, 1965 at the age of 70. By that time, he had managed to lose a great deal of his son's money in unwise investment schemes, and to marry a woman many years his junior after the death of his wife and Marlon's mother.
Brando Sr. sent his son to his alma mater, the military school Shattuck Academy, from which Marlon Jr. eventually was expelled. During their lives together, Sr. and Jr. often were in conflict. Father and son bore an uncanny physical resemblance to one another, and resembled each other in ways that Marlon, Jr. cared not to contemplate, such as a lack of constancy and faithfulness. According to more than one biography of Marlon Brando Jr., the son cuckolded the father by seducing his second wife, a clear case of the Oedipal complex if there ever was one.
Brando used his memories of both his parents in the improvised scene in Last Tango in Paris ("Last Tango in Paris") where he recalls his childhood. In the scene, he remembered his father as a "whore-f#@%er and bar-fighter" and confessed that he didn't have too many good memories of the past, except for his mother teaching him to love nature.
Brando, Jr.'s first wife Anna Kashfi, in her 1975 memoir "Brando for Breakfast", claims that Anthony Quinn once told her that while he envied her husband's talent, he did not envy the pain that caused it, pain in Quinn's estimation, being an irritant like the grain of sand that causes an oyster to create a pearl. In this sense, Marlon Brando Sr. could be considered one of the main factors that enabled his son to deliver the pearls of his talent, his brilliant performances of men who generally are fatherless.
Ron Grainer was one of the outstanding composers of music for British television. He was born in a small mining town called Atherton, Queensland, Australia on 11th August 1922, where his father owned the local milk bar. His mother played piano and Ron was on the keyboard from the age of two and considered a child genius, playing concerts for the local community by the age of six. He also showed the first sign of his versatility at the tender age of four when he began to learn the violin, practicing for two hours before and after school. In order to develop this talent further, he also studied the piano to such a level that, by his early teens he was a proficient performer on both instruments. He was never allowed to play any games which might injure his fingers so led a pretty lonely life. During these years he was an excellent scholar who also had to complete homework assignments. Maths was his special subject, which helped enormously in his orchestrations later on.
Before the second world-war, he studied music under Sir Eugene Goosens at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, but this was interrupted by World War II. He was called up to serve in the army on the islands after Japan invaded and Australia sent forces to monitor planes flying over. It was there that a barrel crashed against his leg when he was travelling in a truck and they had to drive over open ground very fast. He managed to get one leg over the tailgate but the other leg was crushed. There were no doctors at the base and he was in terrible pain and unconscious for several days before he was given medical treatment, by then ostiomialitus had entered the bone marrow. They wanted to amputate but he couldn't have survived the anaesthetic, so he did not lose his leg but was in and out of hospital for years and received an army disability pension.
He returned to Sydney Conservatorium when the war ended but he gave up the violin to concentrate on composition. During this time he rented a room from Margot who became his wife. She had her daughter living with her who had an aversion to meat and so she and Ron bonded as Ron had become total vegetarian during his treatment.
The couple decided to move to England, as a means of raising his international profile. However, on arriving in 1952, with Margot, he initially found regular work as a pianist in light entertainment, touring as part of a musical act - 'The Alien Brothers & June' - with other acts such as Billy Daniels, Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Al Martino and Billy Eckstine. Playing in such exalted company, he was rewarded with no less than three appearances at the London Palladium and also gained something of a reputation as a piano accompanist, often helping out at charity shows organised by Record & Show Mirror proprietor, Isodore Green, the brother of the well-known jazz critic, Benny Green.
During this period, Grainer made his first recordings, albeit as an accompanist, backing Irish folk-singers Charlie McGhee and Patrick O'Hagan, and was also heard on a Christmas record by Shari. He became fascinated with the sound produced by the antique instruments he had started to collect, and soon developed this interest by writing works for some of them. The virginal, the heckle-phones, the shaums, the tenor comporium, as well as the more modern ondes martinet were amongst those he successfully tackled, and one of these early works was an ambitious jazz-ballet score.
After Grainer had divorced Margot, and married his second wife, Jennifer, he settled in Roehampton. He began to act regularly as musical adviser to many gala programmes produced by Associated Rediffusion TV, including those featuring Tito Gobbi and Maria Callas. His 'bread-and-butter' work, however, still lay as a pianist and he was much in demand at the BBC TV rehearsal rooms, which eventually opened a number of important musical doors for him. From this vantage point he was asked to write music for a number of television plays, including 'The Birthday Party', and also accepted the job as musical adviser to a Julie Andrews series. He made such a strong impression on executive producer Andrew Osborn, that he was commissioned to write both the theme and incidental music for a new detective series - Maigret - based on the books written by Georges Simenon. In using harpsichord, banjo and clavichord, Grainer perfectly captured the Gallic atmosphere and, in doing so, contributed enormously to the ultimate success of the series. This proved to be a major landmark in Grainer's own career. His work on Maigret, which began in 1960 with Rupert Davies in the title role, was directly responsible for him securing his first recording deal with Warner Bros., who issued both a single and e.p. featuring musical extracts from the BBC series. Bandleader Joe Loss also recorded the theme and perhaps surprisingly it was his single which reached number 20 in the charts.
Over the next few years, a succession of TV themes and scores followed, many for the BBC. The first of these was 'Happy Joe' in 1962, the theme to Comedy Playhouse - a series designed to give 'try-outs' to pilots for potential new comedy series. This cheerful sounding melody became extremely familiar with its catchy whistling, encouraging 'Pye', Grainer's new record company to issue it on a single. One of the first Comedy Playhouse pilots to get its own series was Steptoe and Son, which starred Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H. Corbett as the feuding father and son rag and bone men. Grainer was invited to compose the theme, which he named 'Old Ned' - a reference to the horse which in the opening sequence was shown pulling the cart along. Helped by the enormous success of the series, the theme to Steptoe and Son was recorded by many artists although this saturation coverage spoilt the chances of any one version charting. 'Old Ned' won for Grainer his second successive Ivor Novello Award, following success with Maigret the previous year.
One of BBC's very first cooking programmes, 'Fanny Craddock', transmitted in 1963, also benefited from a Grainer theme, as did 'Giants Of Steam', The Flying Swan & The Old Curiosity Shop in the same year. While Grainer worked on the score for the feature film, Some People, he encountered 'The Eagles', an instrumental group which hailed from Bristol, where the film was being shot. If not actually Grainer discoveries, they were certainly his protégées. They eventually re-recorded a plethora of Grainer originals, and at one time even shared his new home! Their recording of Oliver Twist, for example, written by Grainer for the BBC's adaptation for children's television in 1962, is to this day the only recorded version.
In the same year further film work ensued in the form of Trial and Error, A Kind of Loving and Flight from Treason, while the following year he was assigned to write the music for The Mouse on the Moon, a comedy written by Michael Pertwee and directed by Richard Lester. Despite these credential and an excellent cast which included Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Bernard Cribbins and Terry-Thomas, the film failed to live up to expectations. Grainer's theme was covered by 'The Countdowns', who are actually an orchestra under the direction of John Barry. Also in 1963, Grainer was asked to provide a theme for a new children's BBC's science fiction series entitled Doctor Who. Despite some changes to the arrangement, this theme is still being used over 40 years later, as the series enjoys renewed success! The very first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast in November, on a day when television was dominated by the news of the shooting of President Kennedy, so tended to pass almost unnoticed, but soon became one of the most popular children's programmes of all time.
Producer Ned Sherrin was impressed with Grainer's ability to create themes for such a wide variety of programmes and in the same year commissioned him to compose the theme for the ground-breaking satirical BBC TV show, That Was the Week That Was and its successor, Not So Much a Programme, More a Way of Life. Lyricist Caryl Brahms provided the words sung by Millicent Martin. Around this time, Grainer started experiencing eye problems. Fortunately, prompt treatment helped alleviate blindness with doctors attributing the condition to excessive working under artificial lighting. Despite this obvious handicap, Grainer's output continued apparently unabated. In 1964 he wrote the film-score for Nothing But the Best - a comedy drama written by Frederic Raphael which starred Alan Bates, Denholm Elliott, Harry Andrews and Millicent Martin. Director Clive Donner had previously worked with Grainer on 'Some People'.
Grainer's first excursion on to the London stage came with 'Robert & Elizabeth' which he wrote with lyricist Ronald Millar. This was a musical about the lives of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, based on The Barretts Of Wimpole Street, with an original cast including June Bronhill, Keith Michell and John Clement, who also featured on the original cast album. Work on this musical won for Grainer a third Ivor Novello Award. In 1966, a second musical, 'On The Level', also written with lyricist Ronald Millar wasn't quite so successful, though an original cast album did materialise featuring Sheila White & Rod McLennan. However, in 1970, he returned to the world of stage musicals with 'Sing A Rude Song', which benefited from lyrics written by Caryl Brahms & Ned Sherrin. It opened at the Greenwich Theatre prior to a London West End run at the Garrick Theatre.
After concentrating for a few years on films and theatre work, 1967 saw him back on the small screen. Man in a Suitcase, an ITC series starring Richard Bradford as McGill - a one man investigator, featured another exciting Grainer theme. Next up, he produced an unforgettable theme for The Prisoner. What's often not related is the fact that Grainer was originally ITC's third choice as composer for the cult series, after they rejected earlier efforts from Robert Farnon & Wilfred Josephs. Moreover, Grainer's own original attempt. 'Age Of Elegance', was deemed inappropriate by producer and star, Patrick McGoohan, who initially disliked the tempo, deeming it far too languorous. Grainer's swift response was to speed it up. What transpired was precisely the type of theme McGoohan envisaged and is the one which eventually graced each episode.
Although Grainer did not write the popular title song, To Sir, with Love, his association with the success of the film led to further offers and in 1968 he scored three more. The Assassination Bureau, was a frantic black comedy starring Oliver Reed and Diana Rigg, Only When I Larf, which boasted a screenplay based on the Len Deighton book, and a cast which included Richard Attenborough, David Hemmings and Alexandra Stewart as a trio of confidence tricksters, and Lock Up Your Daughters! - the bawdy comedy based on the very successful stage musical of the same name. The stage version had featured music and lyrics by Laurie Johnson and Lionel Bart, but Grainer was in sole charge of the film score.
Grainer's impressive portfolio of music involving detectives or special agents was further enhanced in 1969 with Paul Temple, created by thriller-writer Francis Durbridge for a series of novels in the 1930s. However, the BBC's adaptation, one of their first major colour productions, placed him in a contemporary setting where he, as a writer turned amateur sleuth, was portrayed by Francis Matthews. The series proved an enduring success, extending to 52 episodes over four seasons, ending in September 1971. However, his talents were not solely confined to this genre as two contemporaneous BBC commissions - Boy Meets Girl and The Jazz Age - bear witness to. Boy Meets Girl, which began in 1967, was a series of plays adapted from modern fiction, of which "The Raging Moon" - later a highly acclaimed film - was one such example, while The Jazz Age which began a year later, collected the works of such notable authors as Noël Coward and John Galsworthy, as a means of producing a series of plays set entirely in the twenties. His theme for this was a deliberate throw-back to the music of that period.
In the early seventies, Grainer achieved further success as a writer of television themes with three commissions for London Weekend Television: 'Man In The News', The Trouble with Lilian and The Train Now Standing, as well as one for Thames - For the Love of Ada. The Train Now Standing was a gentle comedy drama set at Burberry Halt - one of the few rural railway stations to escape the Beeching axe. Bill Fraser starred as stationmaster Hedley Green who still worked by the GWR 1933 rule book, and other regulars included Denis Lill and Pamela Cundell. Grainer's theme instantly conjures up images of an era of old-fashioned steam trains, a subject on which he had previously worked for the BBC in the early sixties.
He didn't neglect his film duties either during this period, scoring Hoffman, a curious vehicle for Peter Sellers, and Charlton Heston's The Omega Man - nowadays regarded as a 'cult' movie. However, his eyes continued to prove troublesome, and in a final attempt to combat this. He decided to move to The Algarve in Portugal, actually a farmhouse in Albufeira, where the natural light was appreciably better. According to a report in the Sun newspaper in 1973, Grainer was enjoying life in Portugal and had no intention of returning to England to pick up his abandoned career. But, in 1976, he divorced Jennifer and two years later moved back to England with his son, Damon, to live near Brighton, at which point he was commissioned by Anglia Television to write the theme for a new mystery series entitled Tales of the Unexpected. Author Roald Dahl, perhaps best known for his children's stories, proved equally as adept at devising and writing many macabre plots for this networked series. Featuring a different cast every week, each self-contained half-hour episode usually ended with a teasing denouement, which, in effect explained its title.
Thames Television provided Grainer with two further commissions in that same year. Born and Bred and Edward & Mrs. Simpson, two very contrasting programmes. Born And Bred was a comedy series set in Battersea, London, which focused upon the stifled and unrealised aspirations of a group of middle-aged residents, whereas Edward & Mrs Simpson based itself on the uncrowned Duke of Windsor's constitutionally controversial relationship with divorcee and subsequent wife, Duchess of Windsor.
Grainer enjoyed a fruitful relationship, artistically and commercially with the BBC and in 1979 he obtained a further two commissions from them. Mystery!: Malice Aforethought, written by Philip Mackie from the original novel by Anthony Berkeley, told the story of a country doctor (Hywel Bennett) who plots to murder his wife (Judy Parfitt) to enable him to continue with a passionate affair. Managing to retain the suspense of the original novel, this was a delightfully observed representation of life in the English countryside during the thirties. This four-part series was broadcast in the same year (1979) as Rebecca - a strict adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's novel, which once again teamed Grainer with producer Richard Beynon, after their success with 'Malice'. Directed by Simon Langton, Rebecca starred Jeremy Brett, Joanna David and Anna Massey.
Ron Grainer continued writing music for television and films right up to his death in 1981. Two comedies for Independent Television: Shelley and It Takes a Worried Man benefited from his themes, while his score for 'The Business Of Murder', a two-part episode of LWT's Sunday Night Thriller series, was his very last and was transmitted posthumously. Oh 21st February, 1981, only ten days after being admitted to Cuckfield Hospital in Sussex, suffering from cancer of the spine, he died at the early age of 58. His former wife, Jennifer, flew from Portugal to be at his side.
Very much the 'unsung hero' amongst film and TV composers, Grainer is still being 'discovered'. In the late nineties, for example, Chris Evans chose his 'Man In A Suitcase' theme to introduce the very popular TFI Friday. Evans also made a feature out of the opening titles of Tales of the Unexpected (featuring Grainer's music) by inviting the original dancer onto the show. In 2007, news came that an album of his music from this series was being compiled for future release on CD
Lyndsey Turner is a British theatre director known for directing plays in the West End, the Royal National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Broadway. She is the third female director to receive a Laurence Olivier Award (2014) in the ceremony's history.
Turner graduated with an MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck, University of London in 2007.
In addition to directing plays, Turner also serves as a board member of Pentabus Theatre and has served as an associate director of Sheffield Theatres and Gate Theatre. She has worked extensively at the Royal Court Theatre and writes regularly for the theatre section of The Guardian. She directs and teaches with the Royal Shakespeare Company and lectures at the University of London for their MFA in Theatre Directing course.
In 2014, Turner directed Rebecca Hall in "Machinal" on Broadway for the Roundabout Theatre Company which marked both Hall's and Turner's debut in the American theatrical scene. The revival was met with critical acclaim. In June 2014, she directed "Fathers and Sons" at the Donmar Warehouse. In August 2015, she will direct Benedict Cumberbatch in Sonia Friedman Productions' "Hamlet" at the Barbican Theatre.
In November 2013, she was nominated for a London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Director for "Chimerica." She was the only director who is not a past or present artistic director of the Royal National Theatre to be nominated in the category. She subsequently won the Critic's Circle Theatre Awards and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director in 2014 for the same play.
William Troughton was born on October 4 1984 and is a member of yet another British acting dynasty. Grandfather Patrick Troughton was a memorable television Doctor Who and Will's father David, uncle Michael and brother Sam are all in the profession as is cousin, Harry Potter actor Harry Melling whilst his mother Ali is a former actress. William - known to the family as 'Wigsy', the Wise One - has been a keen cricketer since the age of eleven, playing for the Stratford 1st XI in the Birmingham Division and at one point seemed likely to follow another brother, Jim, captain of the Warwickshire County Club, onto the pitch but when he was fourteen decided on acting instead, often financing himself by working on boats. In 2012 William took over the part played in the film by Peter Sellers in the UK stage tour of 'The Ladykillers' and has also played in the West End in 'The Woman in Black' and received excellent notices for his one man show 'Private Peaceful' at the Bristol Tobacco Family. As from November 2014 William has been acting alongside David playing father and son farmers in the radio serial 'The Archers'.
Nicky was born Nicholas Bernard James Adam Byrne on October 9th, 1978, to proud parents Yvonne and Nicky. His Irish name is Nucal O'Byrne. He was born in Dublin as the middle child, having an older sister, Gillian, and a younger brother, Adam. From the age of 7, he played for local, successful Dublin side Home Farm Football Club. He played as a goalkeeper and, when he was in his early teens, he won the Young European Keeper of the Year. He met Georgina Ahern at high school. They got together after three years of shying away from each other and staring across classrooms into each other's eyes. Nicky's best friend, Colm 'Cos' Costello, got the two together, and they've been together ever since. That was 1995!
At age 15, he was signed up by Leeds United as a goalkeeper. He grew homesick, and missed his family and girlfriend. His then-manager, George Graham, decided two years later, that Nicky was too short and, unless he grew a few inches, he would terminate his contract. Unfortunately for Nicky, he didn't grow, and his contract with Leeds was terminated after 2 years.
When he returned home, he retook his Leaving Certificate (GCSEs) at Plunkett College. He then set up a karaoke business with his father called "Father and Son", and they toured local pubs doing Boyzone songs. The Westlife audition came to Nicky's attention through his Aunty, but he was pessimistic about the idea. His girlfriend persuaded him to go, telling him she had confidence in him. He decided to go, but didn't tell anyone he was going. It was only when his face was seen in the paper that people found out. He was in the paper because he was up against another blonde for the only place in the band left, that other blonde was Brian McFadden. Eventually, the pair of them got into the band, and Westlife was born.
Westlife's debut single was released in May 1999, "Swear It Again", and started off a string of 7 consecutive number ones, ending with "My Love" in 2001. All four of their albums reached the top spot, and they have the Guinness World Record for the first boy-band in history to have five consecutive number ones from their debut.
Ryan Wiik is an Actor, Producer and Screenwriter, and has been cast in the title role in the upcoming Morgan Kane film produced by The Martian producer, Mark Huffam.
Wiik is best known for starting his career as a producer and entrepreneur, launching Wide Release Pictures headquartered in Los Angeles. Wiik serves as Vice Chairman of the publicly traded film and publishing company, WR Entertainment ("WR"), trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
His first screenplay for motion picture Frank, a father-son drama, was received with industry praise. Major producers and studio executives made several offers to acquire the material. During the peak of the 2008 financial crisis, Wiik raised over $1million in working capital for his development company, Without You LLC, which owned several screenplays, including Frank and Carnegie. In 2009, Without You LLC was acquired by WR Films Entertainment Group, Inc, a company consisting of senior executives from Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures and Caesar's World. WR Entertainment trades today on the Oslo Stock Exchange Merkur Market under the ticker code WRE-ME.
Wiik led the creative film development of WR. In the process Wiik and his partners increased the firm's market value with the acquisition of the screen, adaptation rights and the eBook rights to Morgan Kane, an international best-selling series of 83 books which had sold over 25 million copies worldwide, as well as acquiring all other books written by author Louis Masterson. The Morgan Kane books constitute one of the most popular franchise properties ever, ranking among the 70 best-selling book series of all time.
Wiik was trained in acting and filmmaking in Australia and Los Angeles and has acted in a number of independent European short films and American feature thriller, Timber Falls.
Ivan Turgenev was born into a wealthy landowning family with many serfs, in the city of Oryol in Southern Russia. His father, a cavalry colonel, died when he was 15, and he was raised by his abusive mother, who ruled her 5000 serfs ruthlessly with a whip. He never married, but fathered a daughter with one of their family serfs. Turgenev studied at Universities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Berlin, and later in his life received a Doctorate degree from Oxford. Turgenev lived in Western Europe for most of his life and admired the advancements of the Western civilization. He advocated modernization of Russia and liberation of serfs. In "A Sportsman's Sketches" (1852) he bitterly criticized serfdom, and in "A Nest of Nobles" (1859), and "On the Eve" he focused on the social and political troubles brewing in Russia. In his masterpiece "Fathers and Sons" (1862) Turgenev presented a man of the new generation, an educated and open-minded medical student Basarov, in a conflict with the old generation of 'fathers', who are standing for the ultra-conservative Russia. After being wildly attacked by Russian critics, Turgenev retired in Europe, living in Baden-Baden and Paris where he had a life-long affair with the celebrated singer Pauline Garcia-Viardot. His late stories "First Love", "Asya", "Torrents of Spring", and a collection of "Poetry in Prose" are among the finest in all of the Russian literature. He died in Bougival, near Paris, and was buried in St. Petersburg, Russia. Turgenev's influence may be found in Western literature; in the works of Gustave Flaubert, and also Ernest Hemingway, who regarded "A Sportsman's Sketches" as his favorite book. .
|Sebastian Michael Barr
Sebastian started his career at the age of 10 with a solo commercial role as the little hitter who wouldn't quit in a PA commercial on "Optimism" that screened internationally online and at Pro Baseball Games.
He played the lead role as Tommy in Fifty Cents. Set in the 1950's, this film tackles the age old question, "How do you get the girl?"
One of his favorite roles was playing opposite Eric Roberts for a week as father and son in the movie The Wayshower directed by Jsu Garcia. This was a great experience to work with seasoned professionals with many years of acting and insight. Eric and Sebastian enjoyed a great friendship on set that came through on screen. Sebastian used that experience to take his acting to the next level in professionalism.
Sebastian has since written, shot and edited several of his own films as well as continuing his career as an actor and a musician. He is violinist, vocalist, percussionist and more as part of the Indie Alternative Pop/Punk band Shrink the Giant which has recorded two albums and number two has a release in 2014.
He enjoyed meeting Sarah Rubano and Joe Dunkley the SFX make up artists on Haunt. They transformed him into a bloody and necrotic ghost boy, Matthew Morello, and shared stories of their experiences on the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.