John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ. Travolta started acting appearing in a local production of "Who'll Save the Plowboy?". His mother, herself an actress and dancer, enrolled him in a drama school in New York, where he studied voice, dancing and acting. He decided to combine all three of these skills and become a musical comedy performer. At 16 he landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". He quit school at 16 and moved to New York, and worked regularly in summer stock and on television commercials. When work became scarce in New York, he went to Hollywood and appeared in minor roles in several series. A role in the national touring company of the hit 1950s musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave him his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", he became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred The Andrews Sisters. After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again. Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. He was seen on The Rookies, Emergency! and Medical Center and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain, which was shot in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, he was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called Welcome Back, Kotter. He got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season.
He starred in a number of monumental films, earning his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever, which launched the disco phenomenon in the 1970s. He went on to star in the big-screen version of the long-running musical Grease and the wildly successful Urban Cowboy, which also influenced trends in popular culture. Additional film credits include the Brian De Palma thrillers Carrie and Blow Out, as well as Amy Heckerling's hit comedy Look Who's Talking and Nora Ephron's comic hit Michael. Travolta starred in Phenomenon and took an equally distinctive turn as an action star in John Woo's top-grossing Broken Arrow. He also starred in the classic Face/Off opposite Nicolas Cage, and The General's Daughter, co-starring Madeleine Stowe. In 2005, Travolta reprised the role of ultra cool Chili Palmer in the Get Shorty sequel Be Cool. In addition, he starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the critically acclaimed independent feature film A Love Song for Bobby Long, which was screened at the Venice Film Festival, where both Travolta and the films won rave reviews. In February 2011, John was honored by Europe's leading weekly program magazine HORZU, with the prestigious Golden Camera Award for "Best Actor International" in Berlin, Germany. Other recent feature film credits include box-office hit-comedy "Wild Hogs," the action-thriller Ladder 49, the movie version of the successful comic book The Punisher, the drama Basic, the psychological thriller Domestic Disturbance, the hit action picture Swordfish, the infamous sci-fi movie Battlefield Earth, based upon the best-selling novel by L. Ron Hubbard, and Lonely Hearts.
Travolta has been honored twice with Academy Award nominations, the latest for his riveting portrayal of a philosophical hit-man in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. He also received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for this highly acclaimed role and was named Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among other distinguished awards. Travolta garnered further praise as a Mafioso-turned-movie producer in the comedy sensation Get Shorty, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. In 1998, Travolta was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with the Britanna Award: and in that same year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Travolta also won the prestigious Alan J. Pakula Award from the US Broadcast Critics Association for his performance in A Civil Action, based on the best-selling book and directed by Steven Zaillian. He was nominated again for a Golden Globe for his performance in Primary Colors, directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Emma Thompson and Billy Bob Thornton, and in 2008, he received his sixth Golden Globe nomination for his role asEdna Turnblad in the big-screen, box-office hit Hairspray. As a result of this performance, the Chicago Film Critics and the Santa Barbara Film Festival decided to recognize Travolta with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role.
In addition, Travolta starred opposite Denzel Washington in Tony Scott's remake The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and he provided the voice of the lead character in Walt Disney Pictures' animated hit _Bolt_, which was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, in addition to Best Song for John and Miley Cyrus' duet titled, "I Thought I Lost You."
Next, Travolta starred in Walt Disney Pictures' Old Dogs, along with Robin Williams, Kelly Preston and Ella Bleu Travolta, followed by the action thriller From Paris with Love, starring opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. In 2012, John starred alongside Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demián Bichir in Oliver Stone's, Savages. The film was based on Don Winslow's best-selling crime novel that was named one of The New York Times' Top 10 Books of 2010. John was most recently seen in Killing Season co-starring Robert De Niro and directed by Mark Steven Johnson. John recently completed production on the Boston based film, The Forger, alongside Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer and Critic's Choice nominee Tye Sheridan. John plays a second generation petty thief who arranges to get out of prison to spend time with his ailing son (Sheridan) by taking on a job with his father (Plummer) to pay back the syndicate that arranged his release. John has received 2 prestigious aviation awards: in 2003 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Award for Excellence for his efforts to promote commercial flying, and in 2007 The Living Legends Ambassador of Aviation award.
John holds 11 jet licenses: 747, 707, Gulfstream II, Lear 24, Hawker 1251A, Eclipse Jet, Vampire Jet, Canadair CL-141 Jet, Soko Jet, Citation ISP and Challenger. Travolta is the Qantas Airways Global Goodwill "Ambassador-at-Large" and piloted the original Qantas 707 during "Spirit of Friendship" global tour in July/August 2002. John is also a business aircraft brand ambassador for Learjet, Challenger and Global jets for the world's leading business aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier. John flew the 707 to New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane disaster bringing food and medical supplies, and in 2010, again flew the 707, this time to Haiti after the earthquake, carrying supplies, doctors and volunteers.
John, along with his wife, actress Kelly Preston are also very involved in their charity, The Jett Travolta Foundation, which raises money for children with educational needs.
Nicola Peltz is emerging as a force to be reckoned with, on both the big and small screen. Her most prominent roles include the series Bates Motel, and the films The Last Airbender and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Nicola was born in Westchester County, New York, to Claudia (Heffner), who has worked as a model, and Nelson Peltz, a billionaire businessman whose assets include the Snapple brand of drinks. Nicola is of Ashkenazi Jewish (from her father) and German, Welsh, and English (from her mother) heritage.
Nicola made her stage debut in 2007, opposite Jeff Daniels and Alison Pill, in the Laurence Olivier Award-winning production of "Blackbird", at the Manhattan Theatre Club, directed by Joe Mantello. In 2012, she starred, alongside Melanie Lynskey and Campbell Scott, in Eye of the Hurricane, a compelling family adventure about a small Everglades community struggling to put their lives back together in the wake of a devastating hurricane. In 2010, Peltz starred in M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, opposite Dev Patel and Jackson Rathbone. The film was written, directed and produced by Shyamalan and was based on the first season of Nickelodeon's animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Peltz made her feature film debut in 2006 in Deck the Halls, with Danny DeVito, Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth.
In Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction, Peltz stars alongside Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor. She plays Tessa Yeager, the daughter of a mechanic (Wahlberg) who makes a major discovery that catches the attention of the Autobots, Decepticons, and the U.S. government. The film is the fourth in the blockbuster series of live-action films, and is scheduled for release by Paramount on June 27th.
Later this summer, Peltz will also star in Kevin Asch's Affluenza, which is set for limited release in July. The film is a coming- of-age story, inspired by "The Great Gatsby" and is set amongst the upper-class in the Long Island suburb of Great Neck, during the weeks leading up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
On the small screen, Peltz reprised her role as "Bradley Martin", a troubled high school student, in the second season of A&E's critically-acclaimed series, Bates Motel. The series is a modern re-imagining and prequel to the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock cult classic, Psycho, which focuses on the life of "Norman Bates" and his mother, "Norma Bates", portrayed by Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga.
Jennifer Coolidge is a versatile character actress and experimental comedienne, best known for playing Stifler's mom in American Pie.
She was born on August 28, 1961, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to Gretchen (Knauff) and Paul Constant Coolidge, a plastics manufacturer. Young Coolidge was dreaming of becoming a singer. She attended Norwell High School and Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and earned her bachelor's degree in theatre in 1985. She moved to New York and joined the Gotham City improv group. Then, she headed to Los Angeles where she became a long-running member of "The Groundlings" comedy troupe. Coolidge made her television debut in a guest role on NBC's Seinfeld, playing a voluptuous masseuse who won't offer her professional services to boyfriend Jerry in a 1993 episode. The following year, she had a regular gig on ABC's short-lived sketch series She TV, then briefly became a cast member and writer on another short-lived sketch comedy series, Fox's Saturday Night Special produced by Roseanne Barr. Coolidge made her big screen debut as a nurse in Not of This Earth, then in the courtroom comedy Trial and Error. Then, she appeared in small roles in several more feature films, and also continued her television work. Coolidge had her breakthrough role in American Pie, as a boozed-up and sultry mom who seduces her son's classmate with the comment that she liked her scotch and men the same way: aged 18 years. She recreated the character in the sequel American Pie 2. Then, she reprized her role as "Paulette" opposite Reese Witherspoon in the "Legally Blonde" franchise. Although, she lost the part of "Lynette Scavo" on Desperate Housewives to Felicity Huffman, Coolidge graced several TV comedies as well, with major guest appearances on Frasier and Sex and the City. Then, she landed a recurring role in the NBC sitcom Joey, as "Bobbie Morgenstern", Joey's agent, appearing in 37 episodes over two seasons.
Eventually, Coolidge emerged as a versatile character actress with her no-holds-barred approach to comedy and her vanity-free comfort with playing uninhibited, unappealing characters, and delivering lines with sexual innuendo. Her talent shines in a range of characters, from a gold-digging dog owner in Best in Show, to a scheming wife of an elderly mogul in Down to Earth, to an opportunistic mother in American Dreamz. Coolidge's gift for altering her appearance and manner, as well as her mastery of timing, shines in her perfectly hideous performance as "Fiona", a wicked stepmother in A Cinderella Story opposite Hilary Duff, for which Coolidge won a 2005 Teen Choice Award. Her lasting collaboration with director Christopher Guest continues in For Your Consideration.
She has been sharing her time between her two homes, one is in Hollywood, California, and one in New Orleans, where she bought a historic mansion before the Hurricane Katrina hit the city, and then became involved in its restoration.
Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, following in the footsteps of Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, and Jamie Foxx.
Whitaker was born on July 15, 1961 in Longview, Texas, to Laura Francis (Smith), a special education teacher, and Forest Steven Whitaker, an insurance salesman. His family moved to South Central Los Angeles in 1965. The athletically-inclined Whitaker initially found his way into college via a football scholarship. Later, however, he transferred to USC where he set his concentration on music and earned two more scholarships training as an operatic tenor. This, in turn, led to another scholarship at Berkeley with a renewed focus on acting and the performing stage.
Whitaker made his film debut at the age of 21 in the raucous comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High wherein he played, quite naturally, a footballer. He went on to play another sports-oriented student, a wrestler, in his second film Vision Quest. He gained experience on TV as well with featured spots on such varied shows as Diff'rent Strokes and Cagney & Lacey, not to mention the TV-movie Civil War epic North and South and its sequel. The movie that truly put him on the map was The Color of Money. His one big scene as a naive-looking pool player who out-hustles Paul Newman's Fast Eddie Felson was pure electricity. This led to more visible roles in the "A" class films Platoon, Stakeout, and Good Morning, Vietnam, which culminated in his breakout lead portrayal of the tortured jazz icon 'Charlie "Bird" Parker' in Clint Eastwood's passion project Bird, for which Whitaker won the Cannes Film Festival award for "best actor" and a Golden Globe nomination. Whitaker continued to work with a number of well-known directors throughout the 1990s.
While his "gentle giant" characters typically display innocence, indecision, and timidity along with a strong underlying humanity, he has certainly not shied away from the edgier, darker corners of life as his occasional hitmen and other menacing streetwise types can attest. Although in only the first section of the film, he was memorable as the IRA-captured British soldier whose bizarre relationship with a mysterious femme fatale serves as the catalyst for the critically-lauded drama The Crying Game. Always a willing participant to push the envelope, he's gone on to enhance a number of lesser films. Among those was his plastic surgeon in Johnny Handsome, gay clothing designer in Robert Altman's Ready to Wear, alien hunter in Species, absentee father confronted by his estranged son in Smoke, and Mafia hitman who models himself after the samurai warrior in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, among many others. As would be expected, he's also had his share of epic-sized bombs, notoriously the L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi disaster Battlefield Earth. On the TV front, he was the consulting producer and host of a revamped Rod Serling's cult series classic The Twilight Zone, which lasted a disappointing one season.
In the early 1990s, Whitaker widened his horizons to include producing/directing and has since gained respect behind the camera as well. He started things off co-producing the violent gangster film A Rage in Harlem, in which he co-starred with Gregory Hines and Robin Givens, and then made his successful directorial debut with the soulful Waiting to Exhale, showcasing a legion of distaff black stars. He also directed co-star Whitney Houston's music video of the movie's theme song ("Shoop Shoop"). He also helmed the fluffy romantic comedy First Daughter with Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton. Whitaker also served as an executive producer on First Daughter. He had previously executive produced several made-for-television movies, most notably the 2002 Emmy-award winning Door to Door, starring William H. Macy. He produced these projects through his production company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, which he shut down in 2005 to concentrate on his acting career.
In 2002, he co-starred in Joel Schumacher's thriller, Phone Booth, with Kiefer Sutherland and Colin Farrell. That year, he also co-starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room.
Whitaker's greatest success to date is the 2006 film, The Last King of Scotland. His performance earned him the 2007 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, For that same role, he also received the Golden Globe Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and many critical accolades. He has also received several other honors. In September 2006, the 10th Annual Hollywood Film Festival presented him with its "Hollywood Actor of the Year Award," He was also honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2007, receiving the American Riviera Award. Previously, in 2005, the Deauville Festival of American Film paid tribute to him. In 2007, Forest Whitaker won the Cinema for Peace Award 2007.
In 2009, Forest co-starred in the Warner Bros. film "Where the Wild Things Are," directed by Spike Jonze, which was a mix of live-action, animation and puppetry as an adaptation of the Maurice Sendak classic children's book. Around the same time, he also starred in "Repossession Mambo", with Jude Law, "Hurricane Season", "Winged Creatures", and "Powder Blue". He appeared in the Olivier Dahan film "My Own Love Song", opposite Renee Zellweger, and was part of the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2009, in Nigeria.
Forest was given a star on the Hollywood Walk in April of 2007. In November 2007, Whitaker was the creative mind behind DEWmocracy.com, a website that let people decide the next flavor of Mountain Dew in a "People's Dew" poll. He directed a short film and created the characters for the video game. Whitaker has done extensive humanitarian work, he has been involved with organizations like, Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers. PETA and Farm Sanctuary, organizations that protect animals' rights. Close friends with Neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black, Forest has helped raise awareness and funds for Dr. Blacks research. During the last couple of years, he has become a spokesperson for Hope North Ugandan orphanage and Human Rights Watch. In the year 2001 Forest received a Humanitas Prize. He was recently honored by The City of Los Angeles with the Hope of Los Angeles Award. And his entire clan received the LA BEST Family Focus Award. Last year he joined forces with "Idol Gives Back" and "Malaria No More"; he has become a GQ Ambassador supporting and fundraising for Hope North. He was a Surrogate for Barrack Obama's campaign supporting him across the United States.
Whitaker's multimedia company, Spirit Dance Entertainment, includes film, television and music production. He works closely with a number of charitable organizations, giving back to his community by serving as an Honorary Board Members for Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, the Human Rights Watch and The Hope North organization.
|Ana de la Reguera
Ana de la Reguera grew up in the tropical state of Veracruz, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. She began her performance arts studies in the Cultural Institute of Veracruz, then left for Televisa's Center for Artistic Education (CEA) and TV Aztecas' artistic institute (CEFAC) in Mexico City, later taking study with Lisa Robertson and Aaron Spicer in Los Angeles and acting coach Juan 'Carlos Corzza in Spain. In theatre she participated in "El Cartero" ("Il Postino") for which she received two awards: one for "Best Actress" from the Association of Theatre Journalists in Mexico and the other for the year's "Most Promising Actress" from the Association of Theatre Critics and Journalists.
De la Reguera's professional career began with her role in the telenovela Azul, followed by Pueblo chico, infierno grande--for which she received the Heraldo Award for "Best Breakout Female Actress"--and Desencuentro, which was her third telenovela under the direction of the internationally recognized Ernesto Alonso. _"Tentaciones" (1998)_ marked her beginning with powerhouse Argos Comunicación. She was immediately offered roles in _"Destino" (1998)_ and Todo por amor, for which she received "The Golden Palm Award." After that, it was non-stop work for de la Reguera. In 2002 she starred in Cara o Cruz, which was the first telenovela co-produced by Argos Comunicación and Telemundo, made exclusively for the Hispanic audience living in the US. The following year she played María in the telenovela Por tí for TV Azteca and the mini-series that followed up on Pedro el escamoso, Como Pedro por su casa, which was a co-production between Colombia's Caracol and Telemundo. Additionally, de la Reguera also had the lead role in the Peruvian soap opera Luciana y Nicolás.
De la Reguera's introduction into film began with Dust to Dust, which earned her two nominations: "El Heraldo de la Revelación Femenina" (Best New Actress) and "Eres Mejor Actriz" (Best Actress). Later she acted in A Beautiful Secret with Oscar nominee Katy Jurado. In 2003 Ana starred in the highly acclaimed comedy Ladies' Night, alongside Ana Claudia Talancón. The movie became the box-office success of the year and won her three major awards: "the Latin America MTV's Favorite Actress Award," the Mexican movie industry Award for Best Actress of the year, "CANACINE," and the "Diosa de Plata (Silver Godess) Award" for Best Supporting Actress (2003).
In 2005 she played the starring role in Gitanas, which aired on Telemundo in the US and now has been seen as far away as Ukraine, Spain and Argentina. In 2006 de la Reguera had the lead in the powerful Así del precipicio, which earned her her second "Diosa de Plata [Silver Goddess] Award" for best actress. In addition, she also starred in Paraiso Travel, playing the role of Milagros, singing and dancing for the first time in a movie. John Leguizamo and Colombian star Margarita Rosa de Francisco were also in the cast. The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and later released throughout the US and Latin America. That same year Ana received her big break into American cinema when she landed the role of Sister Encarnación in the comedy Nacho Libre. The film by Jared Hess--director of Napoleon Dynamite--and co-starring Jack Black gave her the opportunity to be seen around the world.
In 2008 she became the new face for Cover Girl worldwide, alongside celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres and Rihanna. From there her career springboarded into many other impressive endorsements, including campaigns with Pantene, Special K and Flip, Macy's, Coca-Cola (Ciel), Pepsi (Be Light) and Caress, among many others. She began 2010 with a worldwide publicity campaign for Lipton Tea alongside actor Hugh Jackman. Most recently, she did an international campaign with Kahlúa benefiting her hometown of Veracruz, Mexico, left demolished after the resent destruction of Huricaine Karl.
In the action-thriller film Sultanes del Sur, filmed mainly in Argentina, she plays Monica Silvari, a mean and sophisticated bank robber alongside Spanish actors Jordi Mollà and Tony Dalton. In the spring of 2008 Ana began filming Capadocia, an HBO mega-production TV show about the chaotic and miserable life in a women's prison in Mexico. The show aired with record-breaking ratings in Mexico and Latin America, and was released in the US in the fall of 2008 for HBO OLE. Three of the most recognized directors in Latin America participated in this HBO original production: Epigmenio Ibarra, Jorge Aragón and Luis Peraza. The successful series got three International Emmy nominations for its first season, and this fall marked the opening of "Capadocia"'s second season.
In 2009 she shot _Di Di Hollywood (2009)_, from famed _Jamón, Jamón (2000)_ director Bigas Luna. That same year she went back to the Mexican theatre for six months where she played "Desdemona" in William Shakespeare "Othello". The play was hugely successful in Mexico's renowned Juan Ruiz de Alarcón theater, and she was named "Best Actress" by the Journalist Theatre Association at the annual Bravo Awards and by the ACTP. Later that year she filmed the extremely moving Mexican film Backyard, in which she played a cop in an outlaw border city controlled by drug traffickers and killers. Directed by Carlos Carrera (The Crime of Father Amaro, nominated for an Oscar for "Best Foreign Film"), the picture was chosen to represent Mexico in the 2010 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category, and earned de la Reguera the "Best Actress Award" at the Imagen Awards and the CANACINE Awards, and won the "Silver Plaque" in the Chicago Film Festival.
The beginning of 2010 brought the opening of her Hollywood film Cop Out, co-starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and directed by Kevin Smith. She played Gabriela, a strong-willed woman with very picante and colorful language, who gets rescued by Willis and Tracy--and gets them in trouble in the process. In that same year brought the release of her film Hidalgo - La historia jamás contada., about the controversial life of Mexico's independence hero, priest Miguel Hidalgo. She plays Hidalgo's second wife and shares credit with Demián Bichir (Weeds, Che: Part One).
In the US she also had a recurring role on the USA Network's series Royal Pains, and starred in the critically-acclaimed, Will Farrell-produced HBO comedy Eastbound & Down co-starring Danny McBride as down-and-out baseball player and love interest Kenny Powers. She also had a role in the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys & Aliens starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, produced by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The film crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in its story about a lone cowboy leading an uprising against murderous aliens from outer space.
As if her busy acting career isn't enough, de la Reguera is also heavily involved with charity work. Most recently she uploaded a video to YouTube in order to help raise awareness for Veracruz, her home state, affected by heavy rains and a devastating Hurricane Karl. In the video she speaks about a variety fo options for support and help that victims of the Hurrcane can utilize, and offers methods to make donations. The viral campaign went all over Twitter and other online sites, raising much needed money for the victims of the hurricane. She also founded the organization VeracruzANA AC, which is a philanthropic organization whose mission is to raise funds and build a tourist boulevard of Antigua--something that has been promised by political organizations for years. Antigua is one of the most important and historical communities in Veracruz, and also one of the areas the most damaged by the hurricane. This June marked the culmination of her hard work and the grando Opening ceremony for the touristic boulevard.
Bridgit Claire Mendler was born in Washington DC, and lived there until she was eight years old. Her family moved to the west coast, just outside of San Francisco, California. This is when she first expressed an interest in acting and began booking local jobs. In 2004, she landed her first role in the animated film, The Legend of Buddha, as "Lucy". When she was 13, she landed her first acting role, as a guest star on General Hospital. In 2008, she landed a role, as "Kristen Gregory", in the film, The Clique. In 2009, Mendler became a recurring character on the Disney channel sitcom, Wizards of Waverly Place, as "Juliet Van Heusen", until the series finale in 2012. Also in 2009, Mendler auditioned for the role of "Sonny Monroe" in Sonny with a Chance. But the part was won by Demi Lovato. In 2010, Mendler won the role of "Teddy Duncan" on Good Luck Charlie. In 2011, she starred as "Olivia White", the lead role in the Disney Channel original movie, Lemonade Mouth. Also in 2011, Mendler had the role of "Appoline" in the film, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. Mendler later co-wrote and sang the Disney's "Friends for Change Games" anthem, called "We Can Change the World". In 2012, she guest-starred on the television series, House M.D., as "Callie Rogers". She later voiced the lead role of "Arrietty" in The Secret World of Arrietty (aka The Secret World of Arriety"). Mendler's debut album, "Hello, My Name Is...", was released on October 22, 2012, by Hollywood Records. On February 12, 2013, her second single, "Hurricane", was released for radio airplay. The song peaked at number 1 Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, in United States, and sold over 300,000 digital copies.
Tippi Hedren was born Nathalie Kay Hedren in New Ulm, Minnesota, to Dorothea Henrietta (Eckhardt) and Bernard Carl Hedren, who ran a general store. Her father was of Swedish descent and her mother was of German and Norwegian ancestry. Tippi was working as a New York fashion model when she married her first husband, Peter Griffith, in 1952. They had a daughter, Melanie Griffith, on August 9, 1957. After the marriage ended in 1961, Tippi moved to California and was discovered by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock. He put her under personal contract and cast her in The Birds. Her performance in the film earned her a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. Her second film was Hitchcock's Marnie, where she played a challenging and difficult role of a frigid, habitual thief opposite Sean Connery. The professional relationship with Hitchcock ended with mutual bitterness and disappointment towards the end of shooting, and that year she married her then-agent, Noel Marshall. Tippi and her husband Marshall collected big cats and other wildlife for the film Roar, which they starred in and produced. The film took 11 years and $17 million to make, but it only made $2 million worldwide. Nevertheless, the film was a turning point in her life; she became actively involved in animal rights, as well as a wide variety of humanitarian and environmental causes. Her marriage to Marshall ended in 1982, and in 1985 she married her third husband, businessman Luis Barrenechea. They divorced in 1995. Tippi has devoted much time and effort to charitable causes: she is a volunteer International Relief Coordinator for "Food for the Hungry". She has traveled worldwide to set up relief programs following earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and war, and has received numerous awards for her efforts, including the "Humanitarian Award" presented to her by the Baha'i Faith. As for animal causes, she is founder and President of "The Roar Foundation". Onscreen, she continues to work frequently in films, theater and TV. She appeared in I Woke Up Early the Day I Died, finally bringing to the big screen the last screenplay written by the late Edward D. Wood Jr. in 1974 (and featuring Wood regulars Maila Nurmi and Conrad Brooks, just about the only surviving members of Wood's stock company). She also enjoyed playing comedic roles, such as an abortion rights activist in Alexander Payne's satire Citizen Ruth and slapping Jude Law in I Heart Huckabees. Tippi's contributions to world cinema have been honored with Life Achievement awards in France at The Beauvais Film Festival Cinemalia 1994; in Spain, by The Fundacion Municipal De Cine in 1995; and at the Riverside International Film Festival in 2007. In 1999, Tippi was honored as "Woman of Vision" by Women in Film and Video in Washington, D.C., and received the Presidential Medal for her work in film from Hofstra University.
Nicollette Sheridan has won a worldwide audience with her past television and film roles. She exploded on the small screen with her Golden Globe-nominated role of "Edie Britt", the blonde bombshell of Wisteria Lane, on ABC's hit show Desperate Housewives. Sheridan was honored in her native England, receiving the 2006 Glamour Women of the Year Award for Best U.S. TV Actress, adding to her back-to-back 2005-2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Sheridan was born in Worthing, Sussex, England, the daughter of actress Sally Sheridan (née Adams). She discovered a passion for ballet as a small child and studied intensely, broadening her love of the arts as a student at the Arts Educational School in London. In addition to the theatre, she nurtured her talents as an avid equestrienne along with a rigorous thirst for reading and a love of the works of William Shakespeare. Moving to Los Angeles and being courted to explore her talents was a natural progression.
Sheridan became a household name portraying the beautiful, powerful and manipulative Paige Matheson on Knots Landing. This led to a variety of roles in other projects, including The People Next Door with Faye Dunaway, A Time to Heal opposite Gary Cole, Indictment: The McMartin Trial with James Woods and Dead Husbands with John Ritter, along with a special guest appearance on the season finale of Will & Grace.
Sheridan was first introduced to film audiences in Rob Reiner's The Sure Thing opposite John Cusack, going on to appear in other film comedies such as Noises Off... opposite Michael Caine, Spy Hard opposite Leslie Nielsen, Beverly Hills Ninja with Chris Farley, I Woke Up Early the Day I Died with Billy Zane and Code Name: The Cleaner opposite Cedric the Entertainer and Lucy Liu.
With an affinity for the animated world, she has brought her English accent to the Disney animated series The Legend of Tarzan and was also heard as a Russian fly in the animated feature Fly Me to the Moon 3D with Tim Curry, Kelly Ripa, Christopher Lloyd and Buzz Aldrin. Additionally, Sheridan voiced the role of "Zenna" in Promenade Pictures' animated film Noah, in which she stars opposite Michael Keaton, Rob Schneider, Marcia Gay Harden and Sir Ben Kingsley. She also appeared in the independent comedy Jewtopia, based on the famous play.
Generous with her time, Sheridan has lent her devotion and star presence to philanthropic causes including those focused on cancer, women and children at risk, and natural disaster relief (e.g., Hurricane Katrina), as well as such entities as the Red Cross, Humane Society, Last Chance for Animals, Best Friends Animal Society and The Amanda Foundation. In September of 2010 she teamed up with Natural Balance Pet Foods to raise money for National Guide Dog Awareness Month.
She resides in Los Angeles, California.
T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Violeta Morgan and Clifford "Buddy" Harris, Sr. He is also known as T.I.P. and "Rubberband Man". T.I. is from the streets of Westside Bankhead Zone 1 in Atlanta. His original stage name, T.I.P., it stems from his childhood nickname "Tip", given by his grandfather. He later changed it to T.I. out of respect for label mate Q-Tip. He was dubbed "the Jay-Z of the South" by Pharrell Williams, T.I. gradually established himself as one of rap's greatest and most successful MCs during the early 2000s. T.I. has been active with helping the community especially with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, T.I. worked with troubled youths at Paulding Detention Center in Atlanta, provided scholarships for single parent families at Boys and Girls Clubs. He has had successful movies roles such as: ATL (2006) and most notably American Gangster(2007) along side Denzel Washington.
Khleo Thomas has a definite passion for acting. Khleo recently made the outstanding "Black Stars Rising: 10 young African-Americans to Watch" by AOL's Film Fixation joining the ranks of Joy Bryant, Meagan Good, and Kerry Washington to name a few. From digging holes as Zero with Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight in Walt Disney's Holes to MGM's Walking Tall opposite Dwayne Johnson, this promising young actor proves that he has what it takes to take Hollywood by storm. In fact, from the words of Holes co-star, Jon Voight, a long-lasting Hollywood star and one of the men who recognize Khleo's talent as an incredible "teen" actor, Voight admits, "He is a great one and I'll be watching him all the way."
Khleo played the lead male role in the feature film Hurricane Season. A story of a High school basketball team brought together a year after Hurricane Katrina by Al Collins, played by Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker a high school basketball coach in Marrero, Louisiana who assembles a team of players who had previously attended five different schools before the disaster and leads them on the path to the state championship. An all star cast of actors such as Bonnie Hunt, Isiah Washington, Shad Moss and Lil' Wayne. Directed by Tim Story.
Khleo was featured in Remember the Daze opposite Alexa PenaVega and Brie Larson. He plays the role of 'Dylan,' a troubled teen who is much involved with alcohol, sex, and drugs. The story revolves around a group of affluent suburban kids on the last day of school. The film won the Critics Choice Awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
In addition, Khleo can be seen as 'Splooge' in Sony Pictures' Dirty, opposite Academy-Award Winning Actor, 'Cuba Gooding, Jr.', and Clifton Collins Jr. The film is an edgy, suspenseful and action-packed story about a day in the life of two corrupt cops going for one final score. Dirty cuts through the thin blue line between police corruption, gang violence and street justice. The film was released in February 2006. Khleo also recently starred opposite an all star cast of young actors including Shad Moss in 20th Century Fox's Roll Bounce, a roller skating comedy set in the late 70's.
Demonstrating his diversity in the past, Khleo has been playing roles as a bad boy in Ice Cube and New Line Cinema's Friday After Next, a bully in John Singleton's short film Time Out, to a dramatic role as a young Mario Van Peebles in Sony Pictures Classics' Baadasssss!. Based on a true story, this film earned its accolades in 2004 as "Best Picture and Audience" in festivals across the world including the Philadelphia Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival. Additionally, it received Two Big Thumbs Up as "One of the Best Movies of the Year" by Richard Roeper of the acclaimed duo, Ebert & Roeper.
Also honoring his skill for television, Khleo was featured in a starring role in Disney Channel's original movie, Going to the Mat, opposite Wayne Brady and Andrew Lawrence. Additional television credits include popular shows, such as the NBC's Emmy Award-Winning drama series ER, CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NBC's Teachers., Family Law, _The Bernie Mac Show_, City Guys and House M.D. to name a few.
A force of many talents, Khleo is pursuing a career as a hip-hop artist, and performed for audiences across the country, including "Disney Jingle Jam 2003", "2004 Black Expo," and "The Scream IV Tour 2005" a thirty-one city tour taking the stage with artist like Shad Moss, Chris Brown, Ciara, Omarion Grandberry and T-Pain just to name a few. Following that up with a twenty-one city Holiday Tour. Khleo has performed on MTV Asia in Tokyo, Japan. In fact, he is no stranger to chart topping success as he co-wrote and performed "Dig It" which was featured on the Holes soundtrack and maintained its spot at #1 on Radio Disney for 12 consecutive weeks in 2003. Khleo is working on his album under his own independent label ZERO Unlimited Inc. which has partnered up with Plus Records to form ZERO Unlimited/Plus with a release date to be announced.
Khleo remains humble and attributes his success on the big screen to his fans who give him the motivation to keep doing what he is doing. "The love that I get from people all over the world is amazing," says Khleo. He spends his spare time with his family, in the studio and responding to emails from kids all over the world. He enjoys traveling to schools to speak to youth on issues, such as peer pressure, drugs, and violence.
Tony Danza is an American actor, perhaps best known for starring on some of television's most beloved and long-running series, including Taxi (1978-1983) and Who's the Boss (1984-1992).
Danza was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to Anne (Cammisa), a bookkeeper, and Matty Iadanza, a garbageman. His mother was an Italian immigrant, and his father was also of Italian descent. He grew up in Malverne, Long Island. Danza received a wrestling scholarship to the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in history education. Before finding a job teaching, he found himself earning a living as professional boxer, envisioning himself the next Rocky Graziano. Changing his name to "Dangerous" Tony Danza, he entered the New York Golden Gloves in 1975. Shortly afterward, on Aug. 13, 1976, he started his professional boxing career. Fighting as a middleweight, Danza became a crowd favorite for his walk-in slugging style. He compiled a record of 9-3 with nine knockout victories, seven in the first round.
It was during a gym workout that he was discovered for the part of Tony Banta on the ABC TV show Taxi. Danza still had hopes of being a world champion and scored knockouts in 1978 and 1979 but, unable to secure a title shot, retired from boxing to dedicate himself totally to his acting career. Taxi was critically acclaimed, earning him a place in television history and making him a household name. He followed Taxi with a starring role in the classic ABC comedy series Who's the Boss?, which ran for eight seasons and broke all syndication records. He became known for his lovable sitcom personae.
Danza received an Emmy nomination for a guest-starring role in The Practice and acclaim for his performance in the Broadway revival of "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill. He also starred in the comedy series Hudson Street and The Tony Danza Show, for which he was executive producer. His additional television credits include an acclaimed performance opposite George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon in the remake of the film classic 12 Angry Men and the television movies The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon, Noah, The Girl Gets Moe, North Shore Fish and Deadly Whispers.
Eventually Tony explored his love for the stage, and among his many stage credits is his exciting run on Broadway in Mel Brooks's hit musical The Producers, playing Max Bialystock (2006-2007), and his reprise of the role in the Las Vegas production at Paris Las Vegas (2007).
For his theatrical debut in Wrong Turn at Lungfish (1993), he earned an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination. Other stage credits include the critically acclaimed The Iceman Cometh, opposite Kevin Spacey, Arthur Miller's Tony Award-winning play A View from the Bridge, and I Remember You Most recently, Tony returned to the stage in the pre-Broadway run of the much buzzed about and highly acclaimed smash hit musical Honeymoon In Vegas, which he starred in at the Paper Mill Playhouse along with Tony Award nominee Rob McClure (Chaplin), and Brynn O'Malley (Annie). With music and lyrics by Tony Award winner, Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years), the musical is written by Andrew Bergman (Fletch, The Freshman, Blazing Saddles, Soap Dish, The In Laws) and based on his hit Castle Rock / New Line comedy of the same title. Both the show and Tony's performance received amazing reviews, including a love letter from The New York Times, which compares Tony's performance to "the cooler-than-cool spirit" of Frank Sinatra.
He garnered accolades performing in his song-and-dance stage show, which debuted in Atlantic City in 1995. He later took it on the road to major venues throughout the country, from Las Vegas to New York.
In 2013, Tony returned to the big-screen and received great buzz and fantastic reviews for his performance as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character's father in Gordon-Levitt's much buzzed and acclaimed directorial debut, Don Jon. The film, which stars Gordon-Levitt, Danza, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, and Scarlett Johansson, was was released in theaters in the fall of 2013.
In 2009-2010, Tony took on his most challenging role yet-teaching tenth-grade English at Philadelphia's Northeast High School. His experience working as a real teacher was taped and aired on A&E last year in the form of the critically acclaimed seven-part documentary series, entitled Teach.
In September 2012, Crown Publishers (a division of Random House) released Tony's book, I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High, a much buzzed about and critically acclaimed reflection of his experience teaching for a year. The book premiered on the New York Times Best Sellers list at number 16 and stayed on the list for two months. The paperback edition hit bookstores in September of 2013. In 2010, AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with more than 35 million readers, presented Tony with their Inspire Award. The Inspire Awards pay tribute to extraordinary people who inspire others to action through their innovative thinking, passion and perseverance. In December of 2012, Tony was amongst the iconic celebrities who participated in the Weinstein Company's historic concert for Hurricane Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden. He was featured in the documentary about the concert, released by the Weinstein Company in the fall of 2013, in which Tony reminds people of the forgotten motto of America, "E pluribus unum", or "out of many one", or as Tony's father would say "we're all in this together, pal".
It's with great belief in the spirit of that motto that Tony participates in many charity efforts. In April of 2013, USA Today honored Tony at their annual National Make A Difference Day Awards for his commitment to helping others through his numerous charity efforts.
Danza is married to his Tracy Robinson, and has three children.
Stephanie Lemelin is a versatile actress appearing in both TV and film, comedies and dramas, and lending her unique voice to many cartoons, movies, video games, and commercials. She has also written and produced two movies with the company In-Motion Pictures.
Stephanie began acting professionally soon after moving to L.A. in 2001 following her graduation from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Communications with a minor in English. During her junior year, she spent a year abroad at UNSW (Sydney, Australia), interning for Network 9 as a production assistant.
Born in southern New Jersey to a mom from Philly and a dad from Quebec, Stephanie grew up outside of Philadelphia until she was 10. In the winters, her family (including brother Brian) lived wherever her Dad was playing hockey, which included: Atlanta, Georgia; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Boston, Massachusetts. She credits these moves as her first experiences in acting, learning to blend in different towns and cities at a young age.
As of 2012, Stephanie had been cast in 13 consecutive TV pilots (several of which went to series) including Satisfaction (CTV) Men At Work (TNT), The Whole Truth(ABC), Bunker Hill (TNT), Canned(ABC), Good Behavior(ABC), Cavemen(ABC), The Funkhousers (ABC), as well as FOX's Worst Week of My Life, Dirtbags, and Titletown, and had a lead in the SyFy Channel's original TV movie/back door pilot -- Anonymous Rex, based on the books by Eric Garcia. Stephanie has also guest-starred in many network shows, with comedic and dramatic roles on Bones(Fox), Brothers and Sisters (ABC), The League (FX), The Closer (TNT), Melissa & Joey (ABC Family), CSI: Las Vegas (CBS), Malcolm in the Middle (Fox), Rules of Engagement (CBS), Run of the House (WB), Out of Practice (CBS), The Mullets (UPN). Her network television debut was on the critically acclaimed but short-lived Fox show, Undeclared, in which she was cast after just one month of moving to LA.
In 2008, Stephanie began adding voice-over credits to her resume. Her first big gig was as Mei Ling in the Dreamworks Kung Fu Panda franchise. She also appears as the voice in several commercials, including some by Taco Bell, Nintendo 3DS, Lunchables, and Supercuts. However her best known v/o role so far has been as the series regular Artemis on Cartoon Network's "Young Justice", where she also played Tigress, Catherine Colbert, and the voice of The Computer. She also appears as Sporty Shorty in the children's cartoon "Twinkletoes", and had a recurring role as Nurse Lady Pam on Nickelodeon's "Fan Boy & Chum Chum." Additionally, Stephanie has voiced numerous characters in huge video games-- from the leading role in Sunset Overdrive, to Misty in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, to a killer nun in Hitman: Absolution, to the role of Eep in The Croods video game, along with reprising the role of Artemis in Young Justice: Legacy.
In 2007, Stephanie married her longtime boyfriend, martial artist and Krav Maga third degree black belt A.J. Draven. They have two rescued dogs, both pit bull mixes, named Brucely & Stanley. Brucely was adopted from the South Los Angeles Shelter as a puppy, and Stanley (named for the Stanley cup!) was rescued off the streets of New Orleans while Stephanie was on the ground volunteering post Hurricane Katrina.
In 2010, Stephanie joined the board of the non-profit Angel City Pit Bulls, with whom she is very active. She also actively volunteers with Best Friends Animal Society and NKLA.
In March of 2013, Stephanie & AJ welcomed their first child, a son, named Xavier.
Gore Verbinski, one of American cinema's most inventive directors who was a punk-rock guitarist as a teenager and had to sell his guitar to buy his first camera, is now the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest which made the industry record for highest opening weekend of all time ($135,600,000) and grossed over $1 billion dollars worldwide.
He was born Gregor Verbinski on March 16, 1964 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Laurette Ann (McGovern) and Victor Vincent Verbinski, a nuclear physicist who worked at the Oak Ridge Lab. His paternal grandparents were Polish. In 1967, the family moved to California, and young Gregor grew up near San Diego. His biggest influences as a kid were Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis and Black Sabbath's Master of Reality. He started his professional career as a guitarist for punk-rock bands, such as The Daredevils and The Little Kings, and also made his first films together with friends. After having developed a passion for filmmaking, he sold his guitar to buy a Super-8mm camera. Then Verbinski attended the prestigious UCLA Film School, from which he graduated in 1987 with his BFA in Film. His first professional directing jobs were music videos for alternative bands, such as L7, Bad Religion, and Monster Magnet. Then he moved to advertising and directed commercials for Nike, Canon, Skittles, United airlines and Coca-Cola. In 1993 he created the renowned Budweiser advertising campaign featuring croaking frogs, for which he was awarded the advertising Silver Lion at Cannes and also received four Clio Awards.
Verbinski made his feature directorial debut with Mousehunt, a remarkably visual cartoonish family comedy. His next effort, The Mexican, came to a modest result. However, Verbinski bounced back with a hit thriller The Ring, grossing over $230 million dollars worldwide. His biggest directorial success came with the Disney theme park ride based Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with a brilliant acting ensemble, grossing over $650 million dollars, and bringing five Oscar nominations and many other awards and nominations. Disney ordered two more films which Verbinski shot one after another on location in the Carribean islands, for which he had to endure both tetanus and typhoid immunization shots. After having survived several hurricanes, dealing with sick and injured actors, and troubleshooting after numerous technical difficulties of the epic-scale project, Verbinski delivered. He employed the same stellar cast in the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and the third installment of the 'Pirates' franchise Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
Gore Verbinski does not like publicity. He has been enjoying a happy family life with his wife and his two sons. He resides with his family in Los Angeles, California.
Ringo Starr is a British musician, actor, director, writer, and artist best known as the drummer of The Beatles who also coined the title 'A Hard day's Night' for The Beatles' first movie.
He was born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, in a small two-storey house in the working class area of Liverpool, Merseyside, England. His father, Richard Starkey, was a former dockworker turned baker; his mother, Elsie Starkey, was a bakery worker. His parents divorced when he was three and he and his mother, Elsie, moved to another home in Liverpool. While attending Silas Infants' Schools he suffered from many afflictions that basically ruined his education: he had constant abdominal pains, was once diagnosed with a ruptured appendix that led to an inflamed peritoneum, which also led to one of his first surgeries. Ringo was in a coma, and his recovery took a couple of months, during which more operations were performed, and he was known to be accident-prone. Shortly after he came out of the coma, he was trying to offer a toy bus to another boy in an adjoining bed, but fell and suffered from a concussion. When he finally was able to go back to school, he learned that he was far behind in his studies. At age 13 he caught a cold that turned into chronic pleurisy, causing him another stay at a hospital in Liverpool. A few lung complications followed, which resulted in a treatment in yet another children's hospital, this time until 1955. Meanwhile, Richard's mother Elsie had married Harry Graves, the man who her son referred to as a "step-ladder".
At the age of 15 he could barely read or write, although he had aptitude for practical subjects such as woodwork and mechanics. At that time he dropped out of school and got his first job was as a delivery boy for British Rail. His second job was a barman on a ferry to New Brighton, and his next was as a trainee joiner at Henry Hunt & Sons. Ringo injured his finger on the first day of his new job, and then he decided to become a drummer. His dream came true, when his stepfather bought him a new drum kit, and Richard promised to be the best drummer ever.
In 1957, together with Eddie Miles, he started his own band called 'Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group'. At that time he became known as Ritchie, and eventually became caught in the Liverpool's Skiffle craze. Although he was self-taught, he was a good time-keeper, and developed an original beat with his signature accentuations, due to his left-handed manner of playing on the right-handed drum set. He traveled from band to band, but he eventually landed a spot with "Raving Texans", which was a backing band for Rory Storm, later known as "Rory Storm & The Hurricanes", a popular band at that time Liverpool. Rory Storm encouraged Richard to enhance his career by legally changing his name to Ringo Starr. The Hurricanes topped the bill at one of Liverpool's clubs, where The Beatles also had a gig. Ringo's group was at times sharing popularity with The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. He wanted to leave The Hurricanes to join another group called "The Seniors."
Before Ringo, The Beatles tried several other drummers. At one point they were so desperate, that they even invited strangers from the audience to fill the position. Then came Pete Best who was not considered by the other band members to be the greatest drummer, and they were keen to recruit Ringo as his replacement. On June 6, 1962, at the Abbey Road studios, The Beatles passed Martin's audition with the exception of Pete Best. George Martin liked them, but recommended the change of a drummer. Being asked by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison; Epstein fired Pete Best. After a mutual decision the band was completed with Ringo Starr. Ringo contributed to their first hit in September of 1962, when The Beatles recorded Love Me Do, which charted in UK, and reached the top of the US singles chart.
Ringo's steady and reliable drumming became essential in their studio sessions, as well as in their numerous and exhausting live performances across the world. Ringo's positive disposition as well as his drumming style played the pivotal role in shaping the famous image and music style of The Beatles as they are now known to the world, under the management of Brian Epstein and music producer George Martin. Ringo filled the position of a drummer for The Beatles in the most critical time of the band's formation. He quickly connected with the other three members of The Beatles, and contributed to their music and creativity with his easy-going personality, light humour, reliable drumming and inventive musicianship. All four members were charismatic and individually talented artists, they sparked each other from the beginning. Eventually they made a much better group effort under the thorough management by Brian Epstein whose coaching helped consolidate their talents and mutual stimulation into beautiful teamwork.
Starr had dreamed of becoming a professional actor since his younger years. He wanted to be in movies probably more so than the other members of The Beatles. In 1964, during the first months of Beatlemania, Ringo coined the phrase 'A Hard Day's Night' which soon became the official title of the Beatles' first movie, in replacement for the working title 'Beatlemania'. Ringo received great reviews for his performance in A Hard Day's Night and Help!. At first, Ringo did not have a songwriting career, although he had no problem with his name recognition, however, he had a problem with getting his songs noticed. At that time he got help from his friends; John and Paul wrote a song or two for him to sing on their albums, such as "Boys", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Honey Don't", and "Yellow Submarine". During his eight-year career with The Beatles, Ringo wrote two original songs: "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus' Garden" for which he also sang the lead vocals. Besides his drumming, Ringo's voice was recorded on many of the most popular Beatle's songs, contributing to their unique sound and tight harmonies.
He had a hectic solo career during the 1970s, after the breakup of The Beatles. However, Ringo eventually emerged as a steady performer, and sustained a very popular solo career, turning out a dozen chart-topping hit songs and eight best-selling albums. He made a famous appearance together with George Harrison, Ravi Shankar, and other popular musicians in the landmark 'Concert for Bangladesh' in 1971. His 1973 solo release "Ringo" was the last album to feature all four living Beatles, although not on the same song. He also appeared in various TV shows, including his own special, Ringo, and a TV mini-series, Princess Daisy, with his wife Barbara. In 1984 he did narration for the children's series Thomas & Friends. During the 1980s, after having a long period of troubles with alcohol, Ringo and his wife attended a rehabilitation clinic, and came back to the scene sober. He made the All-Starr Band tour of America and Japan. The tour was so popular that he formed another All-Starr Band lineup in 1992, and began an American and European tour in June of that year. Since then Ringo Starr has been enjoying a continuous career as the leader of the All-Starr Band. In 1994, along with George Harrison and Paul McCartney, the three surviving members of The Beatles, reunited and produced Lennon's previously unknown song 'Free as a Bird'. It was preserved by 'Yoko Ono' on a tape recording made by John Lennon in 1977. The song was re-arranged and re-mixed with the voices of three surviving members, and became an international hit. 'Free as a Bird' was also included in The Beatles Anthology TV documentary which was watched by 420 million people in 1995. Ringo, Paul and George sang their new songs, in addition to mixing their voices and music arrangements to John Lennon demos.
Ringo's old friend and band-mate George Harrison passed away on November 29, 2001, after a long battle against lung cancer. The following year, on the anniversary of Harrison's death, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton appeared in a Concert For George, to raise money for the support of Harrison's legacy in exploration of alternative lifestyles, views and philosophies. Starr also supported charitable organizations with consideration to those who have special needs.
Ringo Starr updated the role of a drummer in popular music, he made drummer an equal partner to the lead musicians, thus changing the whole paradigm in how the public saw drummers. His original performing style evolved from adjusting his natural left-handed manner of playing to the right-handed drum set, and allowing his left hand lead in weaving a pattern tightly intertwined with the music of other players, and adding such enhancements as unusual accents and stops. Ringo's musical originality as well as his inventive drumming patterns, time signatures and accentuations became essential to the sound of The Beatles. His on-stage presence and acting talent as well as his humor and musicianship was the essential part in formation and remarkable career of The Beatles.
He was married to his long-time girlfriend, Maureen Cox, from 1965 - 1975, and they had three children: Zak Starkey, Jason, and Lee. The couple broke up in July of 1975, and he married actress Barbara Bach. Ringo Starr divides his time between his residences in England, in Switzerland and his home in Los Angeles, California.
One of modern TV and moviedom's most sturdy and reliable character actors, David Paymer dreamed of being an actor from early childhood. Although he came from a traditional middle-class Jewish family that urged him to become a doctor or lawyer, Paymer felt more at home in the world of the thespian. At 14, he used a fake I.D. to see The Graduate, which starred a young Dustin Hoffman. He grew up in Oceanside, New York, where his father was in the scrap metal business. His mother, a homemaker, had fled Belgium with her family to escape the Nazis. When his father quit the scrap metal business to pursue music, it inspired young Paymer to give his acting dream a try. His aborted big break came when he was cast in the TV series, St. Elsewhere, as "Dr. Wayne Fiscus" - then promptly dumped and replaced by Howie Mandel. Luckily, his real big break was destined to be on the big screen, as "Ira Shalowitz" in the Billy Crystal vehicle, City Slickers. Crystal was so pleased with Paymer's work that he wrote the part of "Stan Yankelman", beleaguered brother of the titular character in the movie, Mr. Saturday Night, especially for Paymer. The part earned Paymer an Oscar nomination in 1993.
"That was like getting my passport stamped", said Paymer and he was quickly in demand by directors such as Spielberg ("Amistad"), Redford ("Quiz Show"), Oliver Stone ("Nixon"), David Mamet ("State & Main"), Steven Soderbergh ("Ocean's 13"), and Sam Raimi ("Drag me to Hell"). Chameleon-like in his portrayals, Paymer has since starred in hundreds of roles in film & television, notably "The American President", "Get Shorty", "Payback", "The Hurricane", "In Good Company", Francis Ford Coppola's "Twixt" and Kenneth Branagh's "Jack Ryan: Shadow One".
Paymer received Golden Globe nominations for "Mr. Saturday Night" and for HBO's "Crime of the Century". Paymer became a hyphenate in 2002, directing the acclaimed comedy short "Candor City Hospital" for Showtime. He has since directed over 60 episodes for broadcast television, including such hits as "Grey's Anatomy", "The Mentalist", "Brothers & Sisters", "Medium" & "The Unit". He is also a producer and director on the CW series "Hart of Dixie". Paymer resides in Santa Monica, CA with his wife and two daughters.
Inimitable London-born character actor, noted for his put-on nasal delivery and pompous, fussy manner. Richard Haydn had a laborious start to his show business career, selling tickets in the box office of London's Daly Theatre. This was followed by an unsuccessful stint with a comedy act in musical revue. For a change of pace, he became overseer of a Jamaican banana plantation only to see it wiped out by a hurricane. Returning home, he appeared in the 1926 West End production of 'Betty of Mayfair' and, soon after, also began to act on radio. It was in this medium, where he first found success, creating his signature character, the perpetually befuddled nasally-voiced fish expert and mother's boy Edwin Carp. Haydn later immortalised the character in a book, The Journal of Edwin Carp.
The Carp routine opened the door for Haydn to appear with Beatrice Lillie on Broadway in 'Noel Coward (I)''s 'Set to Music' (1939) and this, in turn, resulted in a contract with 20th Century Fox. While his screen debut in Charley's Aunt was relatively straight-laced, he was more often seen in comedic roles where his lugubrious face and dignified, sometimes unctuous presence could be employed to scene-stealing effect. His notable characterisations in this vein include the over-enunciating Professor Oddly in Ball of Fire, Rogers the butler in And Then There Were None and Mr. Wilson in Cluny Brown. He essayed a rare villainous role as the odious Earl of Radcliffe in the period drama Forever Amber and was back in his best form as Mr.Appleton in Sitting Pretty. In The Late George Apley, he played the character of Horatio Willing, 'with a broad edge of wheezy burlesque' (Bosley Crowther, New York Times, March 21 1947).
In the late 40's, Haydn made a brief foray into directing. Of his three films for Paramount, the Bing Crosby vehicle Mr. Music enjoyed the best critical reviews. Among his later appearances on screen, that of Trapp family friend and promoter Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music, is the one which most often comes to mind. Over the years, Haydn also made an impression as a voice actor in animated cartoons, notably on Warner Brothers Looney Tunes ('Super-Rabbit', 1943) and as the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland. He had frequent guest roles on television and starred in one of the best-remembered episodes of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, 'A Thing About Machines' (1960), as the pedantic, machine-hating egocentric Bartlett Finchley. He also caricatured a Japanese businessman in an episode of Bewitched.
In private life, Richard Haydn was a rather reclusive individual who liked horticulture, shunned interviews and was never particularly integral to the closely-knit British colony in Hollywood.
Natalie Leticia Morales is the daughter of Penelope and Lieut. Col. Mario Morales, Jr., a retired Air Force veteran of the Persian Gulf and Vietnam War. She was born in Taiwan, of Brazilian and Puerto Rican descent. As a U.S. Air Force dependent, she has spent much of her life living overseas with her family in Panama, Brazil and Spain.
Ms. Morales has as an anchor / correspondent covered several major breaking news stories, including Hurricane Katrina, the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, the Tsunami disaster.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree, with 2 majors - journalism and Latin American studies, from Rutgers University.
Joyful Drake was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her love for performing began at a young age, earning her two State Speech Performance Titles for reciting and delivering a re-enactment of Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech and President Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." Joyful earned her B.A. at the University of Madison Wisconsin on an academic scholarship where she studied drama and writing. During those years she was also a NBA Dancer for the Milwaukee Bucks. She is nicknamed "The Hurricane" by her family because of her high energy and zest for life. And most importantly, she gives back to her community through her "Dream Big Foundation," which mentors young kids and helps them carve out a path to fulfill their dreams and desires.
Tia Barr is a Los Angeles based Actress and TV Host. Tia Barr's diverse abilities have produced roles in everything from playing the role of Daisy May acting opposite of Jim Carrey in Cold Dead Hand to portraying Marilyn Monroe on the Emmy Award winning show Modern Family to playing Annie Chapman in Alfred Hitchcock's murder mystery remake feature film The Lodger & such TV drama's as Son's Of Anarchy.
Shortly after Tia Barr was born on her grandmothers birthday March 20th in the famous surf town Santa Cruz, CA. her family relocated to Hawaii. At the age of 6 she started a professional modeling career appearing in Print Ad's, Live Runway Shows & Commercials. Everything in her life came to a halt when Tia along with her family were forced to escape from Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful hurricane in recorded history of Hawaii, leaving the house that Tia & her family lived in torn to pieces.
That didn't stop her from going after her dreams.Tia thrived on being in front of the camera & en-golfed a deep passion for the art. She started acting in theater & auditioning for television parts in Hawaii & California. As a teenager she landed a Co-Host position on the one-hour live TV Talk Show ~Are We On Yet. Tia graduated from Maui High School and moved to LA at the age of 17 to start pursuing her Professional Acting & Hosting Career & to train and perfect her craft by attending one of most prestigious acting college's, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Hollywood. There she studied & learned from the top industry professionals, personal coaches & acting teachers. She continues to keep her "instrument" strong with vigorous workshops & a private acting coach.
Tia's athletic interests are just as diverse as the rest of her resume. She excels in numerous skills like being a Licensed Motor-Cycle Driver, Licensed Cosmetologist, Does most of her own Stunts, Martial Arts, Mountain Biking, Archery, Precision Roller Skating. Tia's second biggest passion is traveling, she has traveled all around the world & is extremely well versed & knowledgeable about worldly events.
Tia Barr is currently living in Hollywood and is continuing to work hard to escalate her career to stardom an Actress & TV Host. She is very blessed to be working among other talented Actors, Writers, Directors, & Producers. This is a name you will see in the near future on a Gold Star in Hollywood. Stay tuned for more of Tia Barr.
The Beatles were an English rock band that became arguably the most successful act of the 20th century. They contributed to music, film, literature, art, and fashion, made a continuous impact on popular culture and the lifestyle of several generations. Their songs and images carrying powerful ideas of love, peace, help, and imagination evoked creativity and liberation that outperformed the rusty Soviet propaganda and contributed to breaking walls in the minds of millions, thus making impact on human history.
In July of 1957, in Liverpool, 'Paul McCartney (I)' met John Lennon. Both were teenagers. Paul impressed John with his mastery of acoustic guitar, and was invited to join Lennon's group, The Quarrymen. George Harrison joined them in February of 1958. In 1959 they played regular gigs at a club called The Casbah. They were joined by vocalist Stuart Sutcliffe, and by drummer Peter Best, whose mother owned The Casbah club. Early incarnations of the band included The Quarrymen, Johnny & the Moon Dogs, and The Silver Beetles. John Lennon dreamed up the band's final name, The Beatles, a mix of beat with beetle. In 1960 The Beatles toured in Hamburg, Germany. There they were joined by Ringo Starr, who previously played with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. In Hamburg, The Beatles made their first studio work as a backing band for singer Tony Sheridan's recordings for the German Polydor label, however, in the credits the band's name was changed to The Beat Brothers. From February 1961 to August 1963, The Beatles played a regular gig at the Cavern. They were paid five pounds for their first show, rising to three hundred pounds per show in 1963. In two and a half years The Beatles gave 262 shows at the Cavern in Liverpool.
Brian Epstein was invited to be the manager of the Beatles in November 1961. His diplomatic way of dealing with the Beatles and with their previous manager resulted in a December 10, 1961, meeting, where it was decided that Epstein would manage the band. A 5-year management contract was signed by four members at then-drummer Pete Best's home on January 24, 1962. Epstein did not put his signature on it, giving the musicians the freedom of choice. At that time McCartney and Harrison were under 21, so the paper wasn't technically legal. None of them realized this and it did not matter to them. What mattered was their genuine trust in Epstein. He changed their early image for the good. Brian Epstein made them wear suits and ties, classic shoes, and newer haircuts. They were advised to update their manners on stage and quit eating and drinking in public. Brian Epstein worked hard on both the Beatles' image and public relations. He improved their image enough to make them accepted by the conservative media. Most if not all of their communication off-stage was managed by Brian Epstein.
On January 1, 1962, The Beatles came to London and recorded fifteen songs at the Decca Records. They were not hired, but the material helped them later. During the year 1962, they made several trips to London and auditioned for various labels. In May of 1962 Epstein canceled the group's contract with Tony Sheridan and the German label. Brian Epstein was persistent in trying to sign a record deal for the Beatles, even after being rejected by every major record label in UK, like Columbia, Philips, Oriole, Decca, and Pye. Epstein transferred a demo tape to disc with HMV technician Jim Foy, who liked their song and referred it to Parlophone's George Martin. On June 6, 1962, at the Abbey Road studios, they passed Martin's audition with the exception of Pete Best. George Martin liked them, but recommended the change of a drummer. Being asked by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison; Epstein fired Pete Best. After a mutual decision the band was completed with Ringo Starr, who duly became the fourth Beatle. In September of 1962 The Beatles recorded their first hit Love Me Do, which charted in UK, and reached the top of the US singles chart.
London became their new home since 1963. On February 11, 1963, The Beatles recorded the entire album 'Please, Please me' in one day, working non-stop during ten-hour studio session. In May and June, 1963, the band made a tour with Roy Orbison. In August of 1963, their single She Loves You became a super hit. Their October 1963 performance at the London Palladium made them famous in Great Britain and initiated the Beatlemania in the UK. The show at the London Palladium was broadcast live and seen by twelve million viewers. Then, in November 1962, The Beatles gave a charity concert at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London. There, performing for the rich and famous, John Lennon made his famous announcement: Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry.
In early performances the Beatles included popular songs from the 40s and 50s. They played rock-n-roll and R&B-based pop songs while they gradually worked on developing a style of their own. Their mixture of rock-n-roll, skiffle, blues, country, soul, and a simplified version of 1930s jazz resulted in several multi-genre and cross-style sounding songs. They admitted their interest in the music of Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and other entertainers of the 40s, 50s and early 60s. Beatles' distinctive vocals were sometimes reminiscent of the Everly Brothers' tight harmonies. By 1965 their style absorbed ethnic music influences from India and other Oriental cultures, and later expanded into psychedelic experiments and classical-sounding compositions. Their creative search covered a range of styles from jazz and rock to a cosmopolitan cross-cultural and cross-genre compositions.
Initially the Beatles were a guitars and drums band. In the course of their career every member became a multi-instrumentalist. George Harrison played the lead guitar and also introduced such exotic instruments as ukulele, Indian sitars, flutes, tabla, darbouka, and tampur drums. John Lennon played a variety of guitars, keyboards, harmonicas and horns. Paul McCartney played bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and keyboards, as well as over 40 other musical instruments. The Beatles were the first popular band that used a classical touch of strings and keyboard instruments; their producer George Martin scored Baroque orchestrations in several songs, such as Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, In My Life, and a full orchestra in Sgt. Pepper. John Lennon and Paul McCartney played piano in many of their songs. Their jamming on a piano together led to creation of their best-selling hit I Want to Hold Your Hand in 1963.
At first the Beatles were rejected by Dick Clark after testing a recording of their song on his show. Then Brian Epstein approached Ed Sullivan, who discussed them with Walter Cronkite after seeing them on his CBS Evening News in 1963. Brian Epstein also managed to get their music played by influential radio stations in Washington and New York. The US consumer reaction was peaking, a single 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' was released in December 1963 by the Capitol Records. Their sensational tour in the USA began with three TV shows at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, in February of 1964. After that The Beatles endured several years of extremely intensive recording, filming, and touring. They stopped public performances after 1966, but continued their recording contracts. By 1985 The Beatles had sold over one billion records. Music became their ticket to ride around the world. Beatlemania never really ended since its initiation. It still lives as a movable feast in many hearts and minds, as a sweet memory of youth, when all you need is love and a little help from a friend to be happy.
The Beatles' first two feature films, A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help (1965), were made in collaboration with an American director, Richard Lester. Their humorous, ironic, and farcical film performances are reminiscent of the Marx Brothers' comedies. Later The Beatles moved into the area of psychedelic innovations with the animated film Yellow Submarine (1966). Their surrealistic TV movie The Magical Mystery Tour (1967) became the cause for the first major criticism of their work in the British press. Their film music was also released as studio albums. Original music by The Beatles as well as re-makes of their songs has been also used, often uncredited, in music scores of feature films and documentaries. Some of The Beatles concert and studio performances were filmed on several occasions and were later edited and released after the band's dissolution. In 1999 the remastered and remixed film The Beatles Yellow Submarine Adventure delighted a younger audience with incredible animation and songs.
All four members were charismatic and individually talented artists, they sparked each other from the beginning. Eventually they made a much better group effort under the thorough management by Brian Epstein. His coaching helped consolidate their talents and mutual stimulation into beautiful teamwork. Paul McCartney had the privilege of a better musical education, having studied classical piano and guitar in his childhood. He progressed as a lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, as well as a singer-songwriter. McCartney wrote more songs for the Beatles than other members of the band. His songs Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Blackbird, When I'm 64, Let It Be are among the Beatles' best hits. Yesterday is considered the most-covered song in history with over three thousand versions of it recorded by various artists. McCartney accepted the agreement that was offered by John Lennon in 1957, about the 50/50 authorship of every song written by either one of them. Most of The Beatles' songs are formally credited to both names, regardless of the fact that many of the songs were written individually.
On June 25, 1967, The Beatles made history becoming the first band globally transmitted on TV to an estimated 400 million people worldwide. The Beatles were a segment in the first-ever worldwide satellite hook-up and their new song "All You Need Is Love" was broadcast live during the show. Two months later The Beatles lost their creative manager Brian Epstein, whose talent for problem-solving was unmatched. "That was it, the beginning of the end", said Lennon. Evolution of each member's creativity and musicianship also led to individual career ambitions.
John Lennon was experimenting with psychedelic poetry and art. His creativity was very unique and innovative. Lennon wrote Come Together, Girl, Revolution, Strawberry Fields and many other Beatles' hits. An out-of-context reprinting of Lennon's remarks on the Beatlemania phenomenon caused problems in the media. His comparison of Beatles' popularity to that of Jesus Christ was used to attack them publicly, causing cancellations of their performances and even burning of their records. Lennon had to apologize several times in press and on TV, including at a Chicago press conference. In 1967 John Lennon met Japanese artist Yoko Ono, whom he later married. George Harrison was the lead guitar player and also took sitar lessons from Ravi Shankar. Harrison had his own inner light of creativity and spirituality, he wrote Something, Taxman, I me mine, and other hits. Ringo Starr sang 'Yellow Submarine' and a few other songs. He has made a film career and also toured with his All Stars Band and released several solo albums. His 1973 release "Ringo" was the last album to feature all four living Beatles, although not on the same song.
The Beatles created over 240 songs, they recorded many singles and albums, made films and TV shows. Thousands of memorable pictures popularized their image. In their evolution from beginners to the leaders of entertainment, they learned from many world cultures, absorbed from various styles, and created their own. Their cross-style compositions covered a range of influences from English folk ballads to Indian raga; absorbing from Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Elvis Presley, Everly Brothers, Little Richard, and others. The songwriting and performing talents of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, fused in the Beatles' music. Lennon and McCartney initiated changes in music publishing industry by breaking the Tin Pan Alley monopoly of songwriting. Their legacy became possible due to highly professional work by Brian Epstein and George Martin. In 1994 three surviving members reunited and produced Lennon's previously unknown song 'Free as a Bird'. It was preserved by Yoko Ono on a tape recording made by Lennon in 1977. The song was re-arranged and re-mixed with the voices of three surviving members. The Beatles Anthology TV documentary was watched by 420 million people in 1995.
The Beatles represent the collective consciousness of several generations. Millions of viewers and listeners across the universe became conditioned to the sounds and images of The Beatles. Their influence on the modern world never stopped. Numbers may only show the tip of the iceberg (record sales, shows admissions, top hits, etc.). As image-makers and role models they pushed boundaries in lifestyle and business, affecting customers behavior and consumption beyond the entertainment industry by turning all life into entertainment. A brilliant blend of music and lyrics in their songs made influence on many minds by carrying messages like: give peace a chance and people working it out. A message more powerful than political control, it broke through second and third world censorship and regulations and set many millions free.
Steve Jobs, being a big fan of Paul McCartney and The Beatles, referred to them on many occasions and also was interviewed on a showing of a Paul McCartney concert. When asked about his business model, Steve Jobs replied: My model for business is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each other's negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.
The Beatles made impact on human history, because their influence has been liberating for generations of nowhere men living in misery beyond the Iron Curtain. Something in their songs and images appealed to everybody who wanted to become free as a bird. Their songs carrying powerful ideas of real love, peace, help, and imagination evoked creativity that outperformed the rusty Soviet propaganda and contributed to breaking chains and walls in the minds of millions. The Beatles expressed themselves in beautiful and liberating words of love, happiness, freedom, and revolution, and carried those messages to people across the universe. Their songs and images helped many freedom-loving people to come together for revolutions in Prague and Warsaw, Beijing and Bucharest, Berlin and Moscow. The Beatles has been an inspiration for those who take the long and winding road to freedom.
Even after The Beatles had gone, the individual members continued to spread their message; from the concert for Bangladesh by George Harrison and Ringo Starr in 1971, to 2003 "Back in USSR" concert by Paul McCartney on the Red Square in Moscow, and his 2004 show near the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg where the Communist Revolution took place, just imagine.
In 2005 the Entertainment magazine poll named The Beatles the most iconic entertainers of the 20th Century. In July of 2006, the guitar on which Paul McCartney played his first chords and impressed John Lennon, was sold at an auction for over $600,000.
In July 2012, Paul McCartney rocked the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He delivered a live performance of The Beatles's timeless hit "Hey Jude" and engaged the crowd of people from all over the world to join his band in a sing along finale. The show was seen by a live audience of 80000 people at the Olympic Park Stadium in addition to an estimated TV audience of two billion people worldwide.
Andrew Davis (Director/Producer/Writer) is a filmmaker with a reputation for directing intelligent thrillers, most notably the Academy Award® nominated box-office hit, The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. The film received seven Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture and earned Jones a Best Supporting Actor award. Davis garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director and a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Direction. In reviewing The Fugitive, film critic Roger Ebert commended Davis, noting that he "transcends genre and shows an ability to marry action and artistry that deserves comparison with Hitchcock, David Lean, and Carol Reed. He paints with bold, visual strokes."
Davis is the son of parents who met in a repertory theater company in Chicago, where he was raised. His late father, Nathan Davis, worked on several of his films, including his role as Shia Labeouf's Grandfather in Holes. Andy Davis received his degree in journalism from the University of Illinois and began his work in motion pictures as an assistant cameraman to renowned cinematographer and director Haskell Wexler on the 1969 classic Medium Cool. Wexler's ultra-realistic approach was to have a great influence on Davis, who then became a director of photography on numerous award- winning television commercials and documentaries, including fifteen studio and independent features.
In 1976, joined by many of his fellow cinematographers, Davis challenged the IATSE union's restrictive studio roster system in a landmark class-action suit that forced the industry to open its doors to young technicians in all crafts.
Davis made his directorial debut in 1978 with the critically acclaimed independent musical, Stony Island, which he also co-wrote and produced. The thriller The Final Terror was Davis' sophomore project, for producer Joe Roth, which starred then- newcomers Darryl Hannah, Joe Pantoliano, Rachel Ward and Adrian Zmed.
Davis then co-wrote the screenplay for Harry Belafonte's rap musical "Beat Street" before moving into the director's chair full-time for Mike Medavoy and Orion Pictures on the Chuck Norris classic, Code of Silence. Davis directed, co-produced and co-wrote Steven Seagal's feature film debut, Above the Law, for Warner Brothers. The Package, (Orion) followed, directed by Davis and starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones. Davis went on to direct fall 1992's top grossing picture, Under Siege, for Warner Brothers, a classic action film teaming Steven Seagal with Tommy Lee Jones.
Davis' other directorial credits include (for Warner Bros.) Collateral Damage, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger; and A Perfect Murder, starring Michael Douglas, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Viggo Mortensen; Chain Reaction, (Fox) starring Keanu Reeves, Morgan Freeman and Rachel Weisz; and Steal Big, Steal Little, starring Andy Garcia and Alan Arkin.
Davis next directed and produced Holes, the feature film adaptation of Louis Sachar's beloved Newberry Medal and National Book Award-winning children's novel. Starring Shia Labeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Patricia Arquette, and released by the Walt Disney Company, Holes was named one of the 100 Best Family Films. Holes has been praised by audiences of all ages, furthering Davis' reputation as a director with a wide range. A.O. Scott's review in The New York Times called it "the best film released by an American studio so far this year".
In 2006, Davis completed the Disney/Touchstone feature film, The Guardian which honors the true heroes of the ocean, the Rescue Swimmers of the U.S. Coast Guard. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher portray heroic swimmers committed to the personal and physical sacrifices necessary to save the lives of those stranded helplessly in the sea. In an unforgettable instance of life imitating art, the film's New Orleans production was halted due to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The staff of U.S. Coast Guard advisor's to the production left to help rescue 35,000 people in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.
Presently, Davis is developing several projects through his Santa Barbara based production company, Chicago Pacific Entertainment, including: Tom Quixote, adapted from the screenplay by two time Academy Award-winning writer Waldo Salt, a brilliantly spirited family film inspired by the classic novels Don Quixote and Tom Jones; Our Future Matters, a multi-part documentary series outlining possibilities for America's energy future in collaboration with leading figures in renewable energy technology and environmental sciences; and Treasure Island, a modern retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, set in forgotten shadows of post Katrina Louisiana, a thrilling action-adventure quest for the long lost fortune of one of America's most infamous rascal heroes, the pirate Jean Lafitte.
Percy Miller also known as "Master P" was born on April 29, 1967 in New Orleans, LA. Although he was raised in the poverty of Calliope Housing Projects, he was motivated and determined to reach his goals and dreams, which led him to become a successful entrepreneur. As a student-athlete at the University of Houston, he studied Business Communications and later relocated to Richmond, CA where he opened his first small business, a record store he called No Limit Records. Within a few years, he turned it into a record label, which flourished into one of the biggest music brands in the industry. As a music mogul, he ventured off into the business of television, film, acting, producing, sports, clothing, and real estate.
However, none of his accomplishments and success would compare with his philanthropy and passion for helping the next generation where he created Let The Kids Grow Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to help develop youth and their families through out-of school time and family strengthening programs in their communities. Founder Percy Miller discovered a way to help keep inner city youth off the streets away from drugs and gang violence by providing a safe haven for kids to express themselves with positive energy through film, dance and music. The foundation also offers an after school program for at-risk youth where the kids have access to academic support and guidance counseling. Let The Kids Grow program give youth and their families the tools that they need to become positive, confident, contributing members of our community.
Master P, The Entertainer Master P started with the music Rap group called TRU with his two brothers Corey Miller and Vyshonn Miller. And signed a brief distribution deal with In-A-Minute records who released their debut album. Understanding the retail business, he quickly formed his own record label, No Limit Records, which earned him the title of a marketing genius for the flashy gold and diamond album covers that lured fans into buying his product. After selling millions of records, he decided to sign his company, No Limit Records, to a straight pressing and distribution deal with Priority Records in 1995.
Since then, he's sold over 75 million records, attained 5 Grammys, 4 American Music Awards, 3 MTV Awards, 4 BET Awards, ranked #36 in VH1's Top 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists, starred in Blockbuster movies like Gone In 60 Seconds, Hollywood Homicide, Dark Blue, co-starred in TV series like CSI: NY, Dark Angel, and Oz.
Businessman & Entrepreneur As founder and CEO of No Limit Entertainment, Percy Miller has taken No Limit Records to No Limit Forever Records. In 1998, Miller was ranked 10th on Forbes Magazine's List of America's 40 Highest Paid Entertainers was listed at #10 with an estimated income of $56.5 million. In 2001, Miller was one of only 6 celebrities to make Fortune Magazine's "America's Richest Forty Under Forty" list. His estimated worth of his business dealings put him at #20 with $361 million.
Percy Miller is also a published author with his book, Guaranteed Success When You Never Give Up in which he toured with on a national speaking tour on Financial Literacy alongside the likes of Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Robert Kiyosaki, and Magic Johnson.
Percy Miller established a sports talent agency organization called No Limit Sports working with the likes of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams, first round draft pick NBA players Ron Mercer and Ricky Davis, Jason Terry and Derek Anderson.
Film & Television Percy Miller has produced eight films, written and directed six, and starred in over a dozen including major studio releases such as Gone In 60 Seconds (starring Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie), Dark Blue with Kurt Russell and starred opposite Harrison Ford in the cop comedy Hollywood Homicide (2003). Percy's filmography also includes Uncle P (New Line), Uncle Willy's Family, Soccer Mom, and Repos. Miller is also the creator of the TV sitcom Uncle Willy Family and TV drama series The Calliope.
Basketball Career Percy Miller had a contract with NBA teams twice: First, with the Charlotte Hornets during the 1998/99 Season, then with the Toronto Raptors in the 1999/2000 Season. In 2002, he played in the (CBA) Continental Basketball Association for Fort Wayne Fury. In 2003, he played in the (IBL) International Basketball League for the San Diego Stingrays. In 2004, he also played in the (ABA) American Basketball Association for the Las Vegas Rattlers.
Philanthropy & Community Involvement In 1997, Miller funded Saint Monica Elementary School of New Orleans, LA to prevent the school from closing.
In 1998, he teamed up with Urban Born Foundation to help at-risk youth where he extensively donated his time and resources.
In 1999, Miller established "One Million Gifts" a food program during Thanksgiving, feeding underprivileged families and during Christmas, providing toys, coats and clothing to families in need.
In 2000, he created "Game Of Life" Programs where he provides free Summer Basketball Camps in communities across the U.S. for underprivileged kids.
For Hurricane Katrina victims, he provided shelter, resources and recovery programs. For the survivors of the Haiti earthquake, he provided water, resources, educational books and supplies to help rebuild schools.
Percy Miller was appointed the Youth Ambassador for the NAACP, a position previously held by former president, Bill Clinton. In 2008, Miller donated his time and resources to the Joel John Scholastic Academy in Los Angeles to ensure the school remained open for its students. Consequently, he was asked to serve on their executive board. Miller also received 2 NAACP Awards for Community Service and for promoting Education for the Next Generation.
Percy Miller has also received numerous acknowledgment and recognitions from across the country:
Keys to the Cities of Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Los Angeles, CA; Charlotte, NC; Jackson, MS; Houston, TX; Baton Rouge, LA; and Gulfport, MS
Certificates of Special Recognition as Social Justice Entertainer of the Year Award in the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awarded by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, from Maxine Waters, Member of Congress; from the City of Pasadena; from State of California John Garamendi Lieutenant Governor; from Roderick E. Wright, State of California Senate; from California State Assembly; from County of Los Angeles;
Certificates of Appreciation for Civil, Social and Economic Rights in the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from The California State Assembly
Miller has declared as his lifelong commitment visiting schools and communities across the country to help underprivileged kids and their families through his organization Let The Kids Grow Foundation.
Soledad O'Brien is the anchor for CNN morning show Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien and special correspondent for CNN/U.S. Since joining the network in 2003, O'Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today. She also covers political news as part of CNN's "Best Political Team on Television." In 2010, she wrote a critically-acclaimed memoir The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences.
O'Brien's most recent documentaries include Black in America: The New Promised Land - Silicon Valley, a profile of an accelerator program developed to diversify the technology industry by helping African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding for their ventures; Latino in America 2: In Her Corner, the story of female flyweight fighter and U.S. Olympic hopeful Marlen Esparza; Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11, an investigation into the lives of female rescue workers who were the first to respond to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks; Don't Fail Me: Education in America, a look at the crisis in public education where American kids are not learning the skills necessary to compete; The Women Who Would be Queen, a portrayal of the future King and Queen's friendship-turned-romance and very modern royal marriage; Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door, a report on religious freedom protections; Pictures Don't Lie, the story of the secret life of Civil Rights photographer Ernest Withers as a paid FBI informant; Almighty Debt, a Black in America special that explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Rescued, a look at Haiti's remarkable children before, during and after the devastating earthquake; and Gary and Tony Have a Baby, the story of two gay men and their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them.
In 2009, Soledad reported for Latino in America, a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country; how they're reshaping America and how America is reshaping them. Prior, O'Brien reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans. O'Brien's reporting for Black in America in 2008 revealed the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She has also reported for the CNN documentary Words That Changed a Nation, featuring a never-before-seen look at Dr. King's private writings and notes, and investigated his assassination in Eyewitness to Murder: The King Assassination. Her Children of the Storm project and One Crime at a Time documentary demonstrate O'Brien's continued commitment to covering stories out of New Orleans.
O'Brien joined CNN as the co-anchor of the network's flagship morning program, American Morning, and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the transformational stories that broke on her watch. For CNN's Katrina coverage, O'Brien's reports on the storm's impact included an in-depth interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown. She also covered the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, London terrorism attacks in July 2005, and in December 2004, she was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami.
In 2011, Soledad won her first Emmy for Crisis in Haiti (Anderson Cooper 360) in the category of Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story - Long Form. O'Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its BP oil spill and Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the Southeast Asia tsunami. The National Association of Black Journalists named O'Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America in 2010. She received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O'Brien Freedom's Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a catalyst for social change and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami. Her numerous other awards include a Gracie Allen Award in 2007 for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The NAACP honored her with its President's Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.
O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she anchored the network's Weekend Today since July 1999. Prior, O'Brien anchored MSNBC's award-winning technology program The Site. O'Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and TODAY. Before her time at NBC, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. She began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston. Soledad O'Brien is a graduate of Harvard University and currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.
|Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes
Controversial, flamboyant, and spontaneous are probably the best words to describe Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes. Born in Philadelphia, and raised throughout the world as the daughter of a U.S. Army serviceman, Lisa Lopes became one of the most important trendsetters in the 1990s music scene. After relocating to Atlanta during her young adult years, Lopes became heavily involved in that city's thriving music industry that produced many top name acts such as Cameo, Jermaine Dupri, Xscape, and Kelly Price. However, it was Lopes and her two bandmates, Tionne "T-Boz Watkins" and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas who put Atlanta on the map. Originally starting as a trio called 'Second Nature', Watkins and Lopes were soon joined by Thomas to form 'TLC', the best-selling girl group of all time. TLC, which stood for the first initial of each member's nickname, were discovered at an Atlanta club by singer Pebbles, who immediately signed them to her label.
After breaking into the scene, TLC went on to great success under Arista's new LaFace label, which was managed by superstar producers, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and L.A. Reid, Pebble's former husband. After snatching them away from Pebbles, TLC became one of the 1990s greatest success stories due to their creative style and flamboyance. Utilizing condoms on their colorful, baggy clothes, TLC scored three major hits on their 1992 debut album, "Ooooooooh on the TLC Tip". With success at hand, Lopes ventured off into the world of stardom, and doing so brought her major headlines. In 1995, Lopes made national and international headlines after she set the home of her boyfriend, Andre Rison, ablaze after a major fight. Lopes, who was sentenced to 5 years probation and therapy at a halfway house, never was able to shake that incident from her personality, and along with Lil' Kim, became one of hip hop music's bad girls. Along with her TLC bandmates, Lopes filed for bankruptcy that same year claiming that poor royalties and an outstanding debt that was owed to Pebbles after she sued the group for breach of contract caused them to take this action.
With the release of their sophomore album, "Crazy Sexy Cool," Lopes and her TLC bandmates underwent a change from their childlike antics to a sense of maturity that represented their metamorphosis as major recording stars. That album, which became sold 11 million copies became one of that decade's biggest selling albums, netted the group two Grammy Awards, and produced three hit singles.
After promoting that album was over, Lopes decided to venture into a variety of projects that showcased her excellent ability to spot talent. She became the mentor and producer of the R&B trio Blaque, whose members saw TLC-like success with several hit singles and starring roles in the film "Bring it On". Along with Blaque, Lopes worked with other major artists who sought her talents in producing. Working with singers such as Montell Jordan, Melanie "Sporty Spice" Chisolm, and NSYNC, Lopes became one of the music industry's highly sought stars due to her unique vocals and amazing style.
However, Lopes who sought a fresh new start in life after a difficult childhood, began to involve herself in holistic and spiritual practices that brought her a sense of peace and tranquility. It was during a trip to Honduras, that Lopes saw a world different from what she saw in the United States, and began to get herself involved in several projects that benefited many victims of Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America in 1997. Building a healing hut and a child center, Lopes connected with a world that was innocent and new to her. Her sense of pride and duty were reflected by the numerous trips she took to Honduras since her encounter with an African healing doctor in the mid 1990s.
After the release and promotion of TLC's 1999 album, "Fanmail", Lopes started to shun away from her bandmates in order to develop an identity independent from that of her bandmates. Often disputing with them in public, Lopes worked hard on a solo debut album, "Supernova" which was released internationally but never released in the United States due to poor radio play. That album, produced the top 20 hit, "The Block Party" which was a big hit in the United Kingdom and Japan.
In her continuation for a change, Lopes signed a deal to release an album under the alias N.I.N.A. (Not Into Name Alternatives) with controversial producer Suge Knight. That project never came about. On Thursday, April 25 while returning from the village where she called home for the past few years, Lopes was the only fatality in a car crash that occurred when her car swerved off the road near the town of Roma, Honduras. Lopes, who was to celebrate her 31st birthday the next month, died instantly while four of the seven others who were riding in the sports utility vehicle she was driving were rushed to a local hospital in critical condition. Lopes, who adopted a young girl several years ago, left her motherless and left a legion of grieving, distraught fans crying for another life taken so quickly.
|Lance E. Nichols
Distinguished New Orleans actor, Lance Nichols, stars in the Emmy nominated HBO drama series TREME, which follows several New Orleans natives as they try to rebuild their lives after the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina. Nichols plays the dentist 'Larry Williams', supportive and devoted husband to 'LaDonna Baptiste-Williams' (Khandi Alexander) and loving father to his two stepchildren.
Born in the 12th ward of New Orleans, Nichols grew up attending McDonough 35 and remained in the city through his college years, attending the University of New Orleans in 1973. Having begun as a pre-med major, Nichols knew quickly that this was not his calling. A freshman drama class spurred his decision to change his major, which resulted in a GPA jump and a Bachelors degree in Dramatic Arts and Communications. After attending a national dramatic audition for graduate studies, Nichols was offered entrance into seven different programs. Budget cuts eventually made it impossible for him to attend, however, and he remised to manual labor work, loading trucks for UPS.
Not one to give up on his true passion for acting, Nichols made the decision to move to Los Angeles in 1978 where he quickly landed his first on-screen gig on the widely popular game show "The Dating Game." Though love never sparked for him on the show, following his appearance he was fortunate enough to run into another New Orleans native at a Baskin Robbins, whom he married less than a year later. Today, after 31 years of marriage and three children, the couple are still going strong, having battled the plight of Hurricane Katrina not only on the small screen of TREME but also in real life as a working family.
Nichols is most widely known for his role as the preacher in the 2008 Academy Award nominated film, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, alongside Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. Following the success of this role, Nichols landed a part in the Warner Bros. summer blockbuster THE CAMPAIGN (2012), starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Throughout his 30+ years of acting, spanning from the early 80s to present day, Nichols has made over 75 appearances on multiple award winning and critically acclaimed television series including: CHEERS, MURDER SHE WROTE, MATLOCK, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. After a long stint in Los Angeles pursuing his passion, Nichols returned to his roots in New Orleans where he landed a role close to his heart - his current role on TREME.
Nichols is currently filming the fourth and final season of TREME and has recently wrapped filming on the feature film adaptation of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES alongside Academy Award nominee Viola Davis and Academy Award winning actress Emma Thompson. When he's not on set, Nichols and wife Zardis stay busy operating Lanzardis Productions, their company that specializes in acting and dialogue coaching. In his free time, Nichols can be found at home in New Orleans with his wife and kids, most likely at a Saints game cheering his team to victory.
Manny Perez is becoming one of the most recognized Latino Actors in Hollywood. He has embarked into the most pivotal steps in his career. In the past few years he has been cast from leads to co-starring roles in over a dozen films; in major and independent releases.
He also won an Alma Award in 2008, for his performance in the film Bella
Manny is one of eleven siblings, born in a small town in the Dominican Republic. At the age of 10, he and his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island. By the time he was done with high school, Manny knew the stage was his natural home. He moved to New York majoring in drama at Marymount Manhattan College.
Manny Perez first got the industry's attention when he co-wrote, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed film Washington Heights an independent film set in his neighborhood. Manny's performance in the film garnered the praise of many film critics; The New York Times stated, "Mr. Perez has charisma to burn." He won the 2002 Best Actor Award at The Milan International Film Festival in Italy for his performance in that film.
His recent project La soga which had its world premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2009 to standing ovations, sold-out shows and stellar reviews was produced, written and starred Perez. Variety stated, "Perez, puts plenty of guts into his script and performance".
It was the first Dominican film EVER to have screened at the prestigious festival. The film was released by 7-57 Releasing and so far has made over 1 million dollars worldwide.
Perez continues to write and co-write other scripts for future projects. In February of 2009, Perez co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the film titled, Forged shot completely in Scranton, PA. MAYA Entertainment will release it.
He has worked with such film directors as Sidney Lumet, Arthur Penn, Spike Lee, Leon Ichaso, Mike Newell, Ed Zwick, Takeshi Kitano, Bob Giraldi, Darnell Martin, among others.
With all the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, Manny has maintained loyal to his roots in the Latin community, both in the US and the Dominican Republic. He is the classic example of someone who has made the American dream happen. This kind of cavalier attitude is the reason he was honored by El Diario newspaper with the "EL Award", as one of the most prominent Latinos in New York. He recently received the Tony Bennett Excellence in Media Award, the Perry Ellis Humanitarian Award, and given the Key to the City from his hometown in Providence, Rhode Island. He was also honored with the Humanitarian Award in his native country of Dominican Republic for all of his charitable work during the devastation of Hurricane Noel.
All of his hard working ethics and talent has brought him to such great success, which will continue to take him to greater heights as he continues his career.
He has been featured in various magazines, newspapers and entertainment shows.
Manny currently resides between Washington Heights, New York City and Los Angeles. Manny is also a member of the LAByrinth Theatre Company in New York City.
Daniel Irvin Rather was born in Wharton, Texas, to Byrl Veda (Page) and Daniel Irvin Rather, a ditch digger. He graduated from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, where he wanted to play football. He worked at local radio station KSAM in Huntsville during his college years. Following graduation he worked for radio station KTRK in Houston and went to work for KHOU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Houston. In 1961, he covered Hurricane Carla for KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas, and it caught the eye of CBS News executives, who hired him in 1962. He was in Dallas on November 22, 1963 and was CBS' lead anchor from Dallas during the coverage of the Kennedy assassination. In 1975, he became co-anchor of 60 Minutes and in 1981 was selected to replace Walter Cronkite as anchor of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, where he remained as anchor until 2005. The Communications Building on the campus of Sam Houston State University is named for Rather.
|Morgan J. Freeman
In 1997, Morgan's debut feature, Hurricane Streets, became the first narrative film to win three awards at the Sundance Film Festival (Audience Award, Best Director, and Best Cinematography). It was bought by MGM/UA and distributed the following year.
Born in Long Beach, California, Morgan received his BA in Film Studies in 1992 from UC Santa Barbara. Morgan spent the following year in Paris studying film theory at the Sorbonne. In 1993, he entered NYU's Graduate Film Program where he earned his M.F.A. During the summer of 1994, Morgan interned at a small production company where he was introduced to Todd Solondz, who was prepping to shoot Welcome to the Dollhouse. Morgan was an Assistant Director on Dollhouse, which went on to win the 1996 Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It was also on this film that he became friends with actor Brendan Sexton III, the eventual star of Hurricane Streets.
Following the critical success of Hurricane Streets, Morgan wrote and directed Desert Blue. The film was distributed by the Samuel Goldwyn Company and re-teamed Morgan with Brendan Sexton III. The film also starred Christina Ricci, Casey Affleck, Ethan Suplee, Peter Sarsgaard, and was Kate Hudson's debut film.
In 2000, Morgan wrote and directed The Cherry Picker for Showtime starring Janeane Garofalo. Morgan directed several music videos, including two for the breakout indie band Rilo Kiley, and he directed the teen hit Dawson's Creek for the WB. In 2001, Morgan directed American Psycho 2 for Lions Gate Films. In 2003, he helmed the independent feature Piggy Banks, which starred Gabriel Mann, Kelli Garner and Tom Sizemore. Later that year, Morgan produced the groundbreaking MTV series Laguna Beach.
Morgan's latest feature from his own screenplay, Just Like The Son, will be premiering at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. The film stars Mark Webber, Brendan Sexton III and Rosie Perez.
Morgan currently lives in New York City where he is writing his next screenplay.
Considered one of the top young actors in New Orleans, Billy was brought out to Los Angeles at the invitation of Dustin Hoffman. Since he began acting, Billy has been recognized for being an outstanding young talent: he is the youngest lead actor recipient of the "Marquee Award," was the youngest professional acting instructor in New Orleans, the youngest company member of Louisiana's Shakespeare Festival, and the youngest student at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.
Billy has trained in England at The British American Dramatic Academy (BADA) and has lived and worked in New York and L.A. He holds a B.A. in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans, where he graduated #1 in the Drama program (Cum Laude), and was offered a personal scholarship to The Strasberg Institute by Anna Strasberg. In addition to being featured in The Times Picayune's annual 'Best of New Orleans' edition, Billy received his second "Marquee Award" nomination for Romeo & Juliet, in which he played both Romeo and Mercutio and produced, and his commercial with the New Orleans Saints received the National Sports Forum "ADchievement Award."
In a relatively short period of time, Billy has been able to work with some of the top talent in the industry, including: Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Gene Hackman, Barbara Streisand, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller. Billy Slaughter is president of Panta Rei Productions and is writer, executive producer, and one of the stars of the feature film "Utility," which was on schedule to shoot in New Orleans in 2006, when he and the project lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. Billy is currently trying to get "Utility" back on track.
The great great great maternal grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, Mark Cirillo was born and raised just outside Hartford, in Connecticut's first town, Windsor. There, he and his family survived a tornado, a hurricane, and carbon monoxide poisoning all before he reached the age of 14. He grew up acting in school plays and local theater productions. His second cousin, Ernie Cirillo, taught and directed Mark at Windsor High School and Ernie's son, Patrick Cirillo is a screenwriter (Tears of the Sun) in Los Angeles. After High school graduation, Mark moved to Los Angeles at 18 years old to attend Loyola Marymount University where he double majored in Film Production and Theater Arts (Bachelor of Arts Degree) with actors Linda Cardellini (ER), Brian Poth (CSI: Miami), Busy Phillips (ER), actress/writer Gloria Calderon-Kellett (How I Met Your Mother) and producers Effie Brown (Real Women Have Curves) and Paul Redford (West Wing). After college, Mark studied (and continues to study) with Arthur Mendoza (Stella Adler's protégé) at the Actor's Circle Theater, The Groundlings, and Jack Plotnick (Ellen, Gods & Monsters). All throughout, appearing in plays, on television, and in films.
His film credits include the lead/title role in The Seminarian, Plato's Symposium, Cook Off! (with Gary Anthony Williams, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Jennifer Elise Cox), Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, Academy Boyz (with Ed Asner and Donald Faison), Girls Will Be Girls (with Varla Jean Merman and Miss Coco Peru), the multiple award-winning shorts Making Changes (with Rosa Blasi) and Gay Propoganda (over 150 film festivals world-wide) and voice over work on Sam Mendes' American Beauty. On television, Mark has appeared on Will&Grace, Quintuplets (with Andy Richter and Ryan Pinkston), How I Met Your Mother (with Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan), Ashton Kutcher's Room 401 on MTV, had a recurring role on the short-lived Olsen Twins' series Two Of A Kind, and was a series regular in the independent Homwrecker Houseboy as the brain damaged Randy. Mark's greatest stage roles were Kenneth in Caught, Edmund in Long Day's Journey Into Night, Clov in Endgame, Andre in The Three Sisters, and Zachariah Rowen in The Kentucky Cycle.
When Mark isn't acting, he has worked in the community with non-profit organizations like the spcaLA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles), Project Angel Food providing free meals to the seriously ill, and ConnPIRG protecting consumers and the environment. Mark has appeared on several news shows as a representative for Project Angel Food and has appeared with animals up for adoption on LA7 ABC Eyewitness News at 11AM and Good Day L.A. on FOX 11 as a representative for the spcaLA.
Leo appeared in thirty-seven films, thirty-two television appearances and nine Broadway plays. He just completed a part on M. O. N. Y. directed by Spike Lee for NBC, and the revival of The Fantasticks off Broadway. He was nominated for Best Actor in Robert Altman's Rattlesnake in a Cooler and won the New York Fanny award for Best supporting actor in Ah Wilderness at New York's Lincoln Center.
Leo produced concerts for Save The Lakes, an environmental effort to protect New York City's water supply and along with his wife Lora Lee Ecobelli, produced Calm The Storm a concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina with over one hundred volunteers, and one hundred bands on five stages both indoor and out.
Leo's Art work is featured in the documentary: Leo Burmester and The Literature of Junk, which won best documentary at the Westchester Film Festival, and he is featured in the May 2007 issue of Hudson Valley Magazine.
Actress and model Natalie Loren is an exotic beauty -- an ethnically diverse blend of an English mother and Mauritian father. She was raised in Liverpool, England and moved with her family at the age of fifteen to London where her striking looks soon began landing her modeling opportunities. She was discovered by Britain's prolific fashion photographer Bob Carlos Clarke who photographed her on numerous occasions, and she went on to become a featured muse in his exhibition and book, "Living Dolls."
As her modeling career began to accelerate, Natalie made the decision to move to Los Angeles, where she also spent time spinning at LA's hottest clubs as DJ Luxury Kills, working with producers and DJ'ing high profile events such as an EMI Post-Grammy's party. Catching the eye of Jared Leto, she re-mixed his band Thirty Seconds to Mars' single "Hurricane" and went on to appear in the short film music video directed by Leto. She was also featured in another of the band's videos, "Up in the Air."
Her exposure within the music industry resulted in her being cast as a DJ in the 2015 feature film "Entourage," starring Adrien Grenier.
On the modeling front, Natalie landed a high-profile advertising campaign for the Elizabeth Arden fragrance, CURVE For Men, shot by world-renowned celebrity photographer Willy Camden. The ad ran in such magazines as GQ, Rolling Stone, Men's Journal, US Weekly and ESPN.
She has also appeared alongside CeeLo Green in the TY KU Sake commercial and in a recent Moet & Chandon spot directed by Samuel Bayer.
Natalie is a pescatarian and maintains her gorgeous physique with lots of exercise, including weight training, barre ballet, pilates, yoga and wushu, a form of contemporary Chinese martial arts along the lines of what they do in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." She trains weekly at Shaolin Wushu Center in Los Angeles with Grand Master Hu Jianqiang, China's two-time wushu champion who was Jet Li's fight scene choreographer and movie partner. Natalie enjoys the challenge of wushu training, which combines flexibility with strength, speed with flawless technique, and fierce intent with effortless execution.
Natalie is currently studying Method Acting four days a week at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in West Hollywood, CA. She recently landed a role in the feature thriller "Violence."
Donnell Turner was born on January 8th in Tacoma, WA. When he was a baby his family relocated to Chicago. The love for acting was born as a child when Turner participated in church plays. In high school he played basketball and played trumpet in the band. The talented athlete briefly played semi-pro basketball as a shooting guard before changing his focus to pursue acting full-time. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2001, Turner has booked more than 100 print ads worldwide including: Nike, Pepsi, Hilton, Disney, AT&T, Coke, and Infinity. In addition to these major brands, he has also worked in 9 national commercial campaigns in the United States, Europe, and South Africa. Turner was the 2014 Mercedes Benz C-Class Spokesman.
Turner has modeled ALL over the U.S. and internationally including: Hong Kong, Thailand, France, Italy, Amsterdam, Belgium, and Spain. The actor has noted that one of his favorite places in the world is Florence, Italy. He trained with Northern California Casting, Van Marr Academy, Beverly Hills Playhouse, and Lesley Kahn Acting Studios.
In 2014 and 2015 he was the lead in two important plays in Los Angeles including the classic, "The Black Doctor" (Ira Aldridge circa 1759) at the Legendary Matrix Theater, and, the modern "Crescent City Ghosts" (a tribute to the 10 year anniversary of hurricane Katrina). Turner says, "Ira Aldridge was known as the "Black Shakespeare" and I knew if I could proficiently carry the lead in that, I could do anything, performance wise! What an Honor!"
Some of his television credits include: "How To Get Away With Murder," "Dexter," " Anger Management," "Rizzoli and Isles," " 2 Broke Girls," "Revenge," "The Mindy Project," "Teen Wolf," "CSI," "90210," and "Parks and Recreation." The versatile actor is not a stranger to daytime drama. He portrayed the character of Dr. Aiden Williams opposite to Kristian Alfonso on "Days of Our Lives" for five episodes between 2009 and 2010. He also briefly portrayed a doctor on "The Young and the Restless" in 2015 for two episodes. Turner's perseverance and tenacity paid off. He grew up watching General Hospital and began writing to casting director Mark Teschner in the 1990's. He auditioned for the role of the District Attorney in 2014.
However ABC had other plans for this hidden gem, and later offered a 4-year contract to bring life to the original character created specifically for him as Curtis Ashford on "General Hospital." Since November 30th, 2015 he has been gracing our screens with his good looks, talent, skill, and charisma portraying this unpredictable anti-villain.
In reference to the craft he loves so much, Turner states, "I believe Theater training is vital for any actor."
He has given motivational speeches empowering and encouraging others across the country at high schools, colleges, religious organizations, and professional business events. On April 2, 2016 (Global Autism Awareness Day), Donnell was an honored guest speaker at the Autism Speaks Walk Now event.
Fitness is an integral part of Donnell Turner's life. Aside from a regular workout routine that includes hiking and kickboxing, which he has been practicing for 30 years. He has Firearms (9 mm) training, Knife Combat, Nun Chuckas, Submission Wrestling, Tae Kwon Do, Tang So Do, Muay Thai and Yoga. He is very proud to have studied and practiced Muay Thai in Bangkok, Thailand. You can enjoy seeing photos of him on his social media accounts; Twitter: @donnellturner1 and Instagram: Donnellturner.
Turner talks about how that urban-to-countryside transition helped him with his acting career. He said, "I moved from the concrete to the sticks and I believe that gives me range as an actor. There have been many real-world bumps in the road along the way and I choose to use everything that I've been through as a point of reference as an actor.
Damon Lipari was born in Patterson LA. Since he was 6 years old he wanted to be like his idols Pistol Pete and Michael Jordan. His love for basketball followed him through the years until he attended LSU. His passion for acting took over and he started to prepare himself for a move to Hollywood after he graduated. Damon with his wife Laurianne aka YaYa and two best friends Lyle Brocato and Angelena Swords Brocato packed everything they had in two cars and headed out west. Damon quickly picked up an agent and started booking commercial work. Ironically, Damon's first film work was on the CBS made for TV movie Vampire Bats which was filmed where he grew up, New Orleans LA. The production was moved half way through due to Hurricane Katrina to Halifax Nova Scotia. After it wrapped Damon quickly jumped on to The Guardian with Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher, Initiation of Sarah with Mika Boorem, Summer Glau and JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and A Perfect Day with Rob Lowe, Paget Brewster and Christopher Lloyd. After filming 5 straight movies in his native state Damon decided to make home.. home again. Other titles include Memphis Beat, Shark Night 3D, Breakout Kings, Halt and Catch Fire, When the Game Stands Tall, The Originals and his latest Navy Seals vs. Zombies. Damon's goal is to one day play Pistol Pete in a movie made about the legendary basketball player. Another goal is to one day be endorsed by Nike and design his own shoes. Damon and his wife YaYa have a daughter Wesly Lu, a son McHale Christopher Ren and a dog named Luke Duke.
Ciera Payton is a New Orleans native with an authentic "Southern belle" charm. She was raised in various neighborhoods in New Orleans but she most identifies with the city's Third Ward. There she lived with her drug addict father and her "Nanaw" (grandmother). It was under these tough circumstances that lead Ciera on a path to discover her voice as a performer and a woman.
When in the eighth grade, her Nanaw lost her fight with cancer and her father was incarcerated for several years. These tragedies sent Ciera to live with her mother in New Orleans East. A new world was opened with endless possibilities. She joined her school's drama troupe and auditioned for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. As a freshman she auditioned for the introductory course at NOCCA, but her excellence moved her directly to the sophomore class. The NOCCA theater program embodied the spirit and a family atmosphere that Ciera desired. She graduated from NOCCA as a junior and was enrolled in North Carolina School of the Arts, High School Drama program, where she continued to study for college and graduated with a BFA in Acting.
In the summer of 2005, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina divided Ciera's family after her home in New Orleans East was flooded. She evacuated to Baton Rouge, where she lost contact with her mother and brothers for two weeks and it was the stress and horrible conditions that claimed the life of her second grandmother, Sarah Payton. It was soon after these series of misfortunate events that Ciera and her family regrouped and made the decision to make North Carolina their residence.
With all the unpleasant events taking place in Ciera's life, she began doubting her herself, and her dream of becoming an actress would never be realized. But during Mardi Gras 2006, she traveled back to New Orleans to celebrate with her friends and family, and in the midst of eating a roast beef po-boy with her older brother, Ciera received the call that would change her fortunes and the direction of her life. She got the call for an audition in Steven Seagal's film, Flight of Fury. Her pitch perfect audition resulted in her securing the role of Jessica, and within a month she was off to Romania portraying the lead character in her first feature film.
She returned to NCSA to complete her sophomore year of college, and she soon found herself giving back to the city that shaped her youth. Back in New Orleans, she worked as the Associate Director of What Girls Know: a theater program that is geared toward inner-city teenage girls. Ciera found this endeavor very rewarding, as she was able to provide basic theater and acting techniques to young girls, who also were seeking to find their voice and that inner strength Ciera had discovered in the very same type of program. Ciera works with What Girls Know because she relates to these girls as they too have come from the same challenging backgrounds as she has.
Inspired by her students' bravery and resilience, Ciera challenged herself yet again by writing and performing her very own one-woman show titled Michael's Daughter. The story details Ciera's rough childhood growing up in New Orleans and her present day to day life as an aspiring actress, through a series of correspondence letters with her incarcerated father, Michael. Ciera's continues to amass opportunities to work in both TV and film, most recently she portrays the recurring characters; Cassandra on USA Network's Graceland and Meg on the CBS sitcom Bad Teacher. She appeared in Spike Lee's Oldboy, and will be the female lead in the feature film Respect the Jux to be released this fall. She recently wrapped filming her co-starring role on First, a new webseries acquired by the Issa Rae Network expected to be released in late 2014.
Ciera splits her residences between Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Mitchell graduated from the University of Miami and is a distinguished member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He is also a former student-athlete who was a walk-on for the National Champion Hurricanes football team.
In March of 2015 SNL/Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell played a role in HBO's new comedy Brothers In Atlanta which has now been picked up to series. The show is executive produced by Lorne Michaels (SNL/ Saturday Night Live) with Tim Story (Ride Along, Think Like A Man) directing.
In February of 2015 Mitchell hit the road with Cameron Crowe (Aloha, Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) and producer JJ Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, Lost) for the Showtime Network's new comedy pilot Roadies.
Mitchell a supporter of the men and women in the armed forces recently appeared in Ron White's Comedy Salute to the Troops. The live event from Las Vegas was recorded for airing June 12, 2015 on Country Music Television (CMT), and all proceeds benefit the Armed Forces Foundation.
Also in the stand-up comedy space, Finesse was a member of the 2014 Shaq All-Star Comedy Jam tour. He further shined on the SHAQ All-Star one-hour comedy special taped in Atlanta, GA which aired on Showtime.
In addition to being an SNL/Saturday Night Live alum, Finesse's previous credits include Disney's A.N.T. Farm and BET/ Centric's According To Him & Her. Mitchell has also had numerous appearances on NBC's Today show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Arsenio Hall Show, B.E.T Comic View, Tyra, and many more.
The 41st President of the United States of America, George Herbert Walker Bush (known colloquially as "Bush 41" to distinguish him from his son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the U.S., who is known as "Bush 43"), was born on June 12, 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, a suburb south of Boston. His parents were Dorothy (Walker) and Prescott Bush, who was then the president of sales for the Stedman Products Co. of South Braintree, Massachusetts. In 1925, Prescott joined the United States Rubber Co. (New York, NY) as their foreign division manager, necessitating a move to Greenwich, Connecticut.
Prescott Bush (Yale 1917) made his fortune and name as an investment banker on Wall St., eventually becoming a partner of the white shoe brokerage Brown Bros. Harriman. He was a member of the Yale Corp., the principal governing body of Yale University, from 1944 to 1956 and was on the board of directors of the Columbia Broadcasting System (C.B.S.), after having been introduced to C.B.S. Chairman William Paley in 1932 by his friend and business partner Averell Harriman, a major Democratic party power-broker.
George Bush was educated at the exclusive Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, Connecticut before moving on to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he matriculated from 1936 to 1942. At Phillips Andover, he captained the baseball and soccer teams and was a member of an exclusive fraternity called the A.U.V, or "Auctoritas, Unitas, Veritas", Latin for "Authority, Unity, Truth". Like his father before him, Bush was on schedule to attend Yale College and would have in the fall of 1942, but for the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy on December 7, 1941 that necessitated the entry of the United States into World War II.
Upon his graduation from Phillips Andover, George Bush enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 12, 1942, his 18th birthday, with the intent on becoming an aviator. After completing the 10-month naval aviation course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve three days before his nineteenth birthday, which made him the youngest naval aviator ever at the time.
George Bush married the former Barbara Pierce on January 6, 1945, and after he was demobilized, they moved to New Haven, Connecticut so that he could attend Yale, where he proved a fine student and captained the baseball team, which made it to the first College World Series. They had their first of six children, future President George Walker Bush, two days after the Fourth of July, 1946. In his senior year, George Bush was tapped for the exclusive secret society Skull & Bones, as had been his father (and as his son would be).
Using his father's connections and $2 million in seed money from his relatives (approximately $17 million in 2006 terms), George Bush prospered in the oil industry after graduating from Yale in 1949. Through his father's business and social relationship with a fellow Skull & Bones member, George Bush secured a position with Dresser Industries, on whose board of directors Prescott had served for 22 years.
As the son of a moderate Republican senator, it was natural that George Bush would stand for office. At the time, the "Solid South" was solidly Democratic, with the Republican Party of Civil War winner (and Civil Rights champion) Abraham Lincoln anathema below the Mason-Dixon line. Good Republican candidates were hard to come by (though John Tower later proved that a Republican could win in the Deep South when he took a Senate seat in 1966). One year after his father left the Seante, his son George stood won the Republican nomination to oppose Democratic Senator Ralph Yarborough, an ally of President 'Lyndon Johnson (I)' (QB), who was on his way to defeating Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater in an electoral landslide in 1964. Riding the coat-tails of favorite son Johnson, Yarborough handily won reelection, keeping George Bush in the private sector for two more years.
Bush stood for a House seat in 1966 and won, then won reelection in 1968. In Congress, he established a reputation as a liberal Republican and was known as a supporter of contraception services (his father, Prescott, had been a mainstay of Planned Parenthood). At the request of President Richard Nixon, Bush gave up his seat voluntarily in 1970 to seek the Senate seat of Democratic Senator Ralph Yarborough, who was a fierce Nixon critic. It was felt that Yaborough's liberalism made him vulnerable to a challenge from the right, and it did; however, it was the right-wing of the Democratic Party. Lloyd Bentsen won the Democratic nomination and, endorsed by Yarborough, beat Bush handily in the November general election. (Ironically, Bentsen would one day be the running mate of Bush's 1988 rival for the presidency, Michael Dukakis.) One of the reason for Bush's defeat was that with Yarborough out of the race, Nixon's support for Bush's campaign was only half-hearted.
As a payback to Bush, Nixon appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations, and he later served Nixon as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee during the Watergate crisis. Nixon's successor in the Oval Office, Gerald Ford, briefly considered appointing Bush as his replacement as vice president before going with liberal Republican stalwart Nelson Rockefeller, the four-term governor of the State of New York, but Ford eventually appointed Bush as the first American plenipotentiary to Communist China, then later director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
After losing the 1980 Republican nomination to Ronald Reagan, Bush was chosen as Reagan's running mate and elected Vice President of the United States in Reagan's victory over incumbent President Jimmy Carter in November. In 1988, Bush as vice president was Reagan's heir apparent, and he won the Republican nomination handily, though personally he was not very popular. Bush was perceived as "weak" due to his social liberalism, which included support for abortion rights and contraception. As a "Rockefeller Republican" (that is, an Eastern Establishment pro-business Republican who is moderate or liberal on social issues), Bush was out-of-step in an increasingly conservative party dominated by voters from the South and West. Unlike Reagan, the well-educated, thoughtful Bush, who according to Reagan biographer Edmund Morris was a genuinely nice and gracious person, and more importantly: sincere. However, Bush was perceived as not standing for anything, at least not in the stark black & white terms that had inspired the conservative if not reactionary Republican Party faithful during the two terms of the "Great Communicator".
As president, Bush saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, and he soared to unprecedented levels of public approval after his firm handling of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait pushed the Iraqi army out of the invaded kingdom with a minimum amount of U.S. casualties. However, his popularity plummeted by the time the campaign rolled around in 1992 due to his seeming inability to cope with a recession caused by economic dislocations linked to the end of the Cold War.
After the presidency, George Bush prospered financially as a corporate speaker, reportedly making as much as $10 million from the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Bush's business ventures through the Carlyle Group, a private equity fund with close ties to the government of Saudi Arabia, have proved very remunerative. Most importantly, he achieved personal vindication when his son, George Walker Bush, defeated Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, and was elected the 43rd President of the United States.
Now in the twilight of his years, comfortably retired from the political wars, Bush has teamed with fellow ex-President Bill Clinton in a uniquely close relationship in which the two have jointly led campaigns to help the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 devastation of the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Katrina via private sector fund-raising.
Damien has always been avidly interested in film and the art of filmmaking. His acting was inspired by studying the work of: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, and other classic actors. Damien is known for his intensity, natural acting style, and improvisational skills. His first speaking role in a feature film was playing a crazed, out of his mind heroin junkie in the film Methodic where he got shot twice while using his girlfriend as a hostage. Damien's film credits include: Law Abiding Citizen as Officer Bruno, No Strings 2: Playtime in Hell as Kevin, Bloodbath in the House of Knives as Nick Lemenza, a sleazy drug dealer and kingpin, and The Angel's Fountain as pimp Charles 'Hurricane' Palantine. He has also starred in Blinky Production films: Elektra: The Hand & the Devil playing Bullseye, and Maniac Cop.
In a nationwide talent search Damien was chosen out of 460 actors by two-time Emmy Award winning casting director Mary Clay Boland to play the role of Officer Daniel Devito on As the World Turns. This marked Damien's soap opera debut. Most of his lines and scenes were with Emmy Award winning actor Michael Park who played series regular Jack Snyder. Damien's biggest Commercial came when he had a speaking role playing Vince in a Commercial for the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) which starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Damien is also a model. He has appeared on the cover of Impulse Magazine and also done pictorials for them. GoreZone Magazine honored Damien by selecting him as their "Goremale of the Month" which included a full page photo along with an interview for their November 2010 issue which was sold in bookstores worldwide. In addition, Damien is a Ring Announcer for UWF Wrestling which stars WWE and ECW Wrestlers: Justin Credible, Balls Mahoney, Little Guido, and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart.
Damien is an Acting Teacher. He is also a writer. Damien has writing credits for films and is a staff writer for one of the biggest horror websites UK Horror Scene. www.ukhorrorscene.com/author/damien-colletti
Angel "Angie" McCord, was born Angel Louise McCord in Tucker, GA. She is an American actress who formerly served in the US Army and first came to be known as the older sister of AnnaLynne McCord (90210, Fired Up!, Dallas).
McCord made her screen debut in a small, yet unforgettable, scene in the movie, The Sacred, distributed by The Weinstein Company. Her film career began in earnest, about a year later, with the indie, No Tell Motel, which became the number one independent horror film for RedBox that year. Her first leading role was in the gripping independent film, Salvation, which debuted at the famous Chinese Theater in downtown Hollywood. Her performance as "Carla Helms" garnered her a Best Actress nomination at the 2013 Madrid International Film Festival. The feature won numerous awards at festivals around the world. She has appeared in several other productions, including Lions Gate's SEAL Patrol (aka "SEAL Patrol") and the series, Get Wylde.
McCord promotes several humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with "Somaly Mam Foundation", for whom she serves as Goodwill Ambassador. She also works to rebuild the homes of those affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans with the NGO, "Saint Bernard Project". Finally, the people dearest to her heart receive most of her support and outreach, the people of Africa, where she works with "Thirst Project", alongside Founder and CEO Seth Maxwell, building fresh water wells and raising awareness for the cause.
David Saucedo was born in EL Paso, Texas from immigrant parents and came to acting late in life. The first time he stepped on a stage was for a performance in his sixth grade talent show where he was part of group that lip-synced to Elvis' G.I. Blues. One of his early roles was with Mexican television royalty, Angelica Vale in the lead role of, "No Me Hallo." The show was originally intended as a web series but after its success online, Univision decided to also air the series on its network. David appeared in two episodes playing the role of Peppino. Later, after a long audition process he was cast in the role of Cesar Arista (in the Christopher Landon directed) Paranormal Activity; The Marked Ones. This was the second time he had worked with director, writer and producer Oren Peli. Previously, David shot the (as of yet unreleased) Oren Peli directed project "Area 51." Since then, he has played opposite Salma Hayek in "How to Make Love to an Englishman and was the gritty drug enforcer, Rosco in "6 Ways to Sundown" staring Bai Ling, Tom Sizemore and Dominique Swain. More recently, David spent a month in Seattle, WA, filming alongside Bill Oberst Jr. and Jason Vail in "Valley of the Sasquatch" as Sergio Guerrero. One of his favorite genres to act in is horror. He has also worked on "Circle" and "Savageland." With over three million hits on YouTube, in the music video by The Cataracs, "All You," David plays a coyote that smuggles the band into Mexico. Also a music video, On Theory of a Deadman's , "Hurricane" staring Andy Dick, David play a police officer. The song has garnered over a million hits. He is a former funeral counselor and believes that those years spent in the funeral industry help him understand the characters he plays. He has owned a coffee house/art gallery, been a former owner of a small indie record label, was a punk rock musician, is a photographer and an ordained minister. As one of the many odd jobs he has held, he helped clear out the famous old Swabs Pharmacy in Hollywood.
|Becca Nicole Preston
Becca Nicole Preston currently co-stars as Mitzi Trumbo, the youngest daughter of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in the biographical drama "Trumbo". Her other credits include playing Bitty in "Rosedown", young Alice in "Wonderland" and Becca Norris in the short film "On the Rocks".
A native of Houston, Texas, she moved to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, after her dad was transferred with is job. Her acting ambition actually began when her father was transferred to a position in the Netherlands. Her love of acting came while attending the American School of The Hague. She also enjoys theaters and her experiences include playing the endangered princess Susan (with an impeccable British accent) in "Narnia" and Veruca Salt in "Willy Wonka".
Writing a teen novel and continuing her short story work are also ambitions of hers. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading novels of all kinds (science fiction is her favorite). She is also a talented and impressive artist with many sketchbooks full of drawings and paintings.
Becca Nicole also has a very kind heart and giving spirit. While living overseas and visiting Morocco, she saw girls her own age without basic necessities, much less everyday playthings. She wanted to help girls her age here in the U.S., so she started her charity "Dolls For All" in 2013. Her charity raises money to buy American Girl Dolls for girls in the New Orleans area to give to them at Christmas. Becca uses her own personal savings (money she earned selling her own baked goods and holiday wreaths as well as babysitting) to fund the campaign.
With an undeniably effervescent and outgoing personality, Becca thoroughly enjoys meeting new people -- from babies to the elderly. As a true Southern girl, she has one motto: to make others feel at home. She bakes for neighbors, volunteers for projects in her school, home, and church, and is even a CPR-Certified babysitter.
Businesswoman, philanthropist, mother, and advocate for divorced women, Paige Dunham has made a name for herself over the years through her work with various charity organizations, her business savvy skills, and her advice for people of all ages going through break-ups and divorce. In 2013, Paige will take on the role of Executive Producer with the feature film The Face of Love [Mockingbird Pictures.] Starring Robin Williams, Ed Harris, and Annette Bening, the film tells the story of a widow who falls for a man who bears a striking resemblance to her late husband.
Born in Savannah, Georgia and raised on Amelia Island, Florida, Paige grew up dancing at her family run dance studio. By middle school, her family had moved to West Palm Beach Florida, where she finished high school. Paige attended Clemson University in South Carolina, where she majored in business. In 1991, her first daughter Bree Aleece was born. She moved back to West Palm Beach for her daughters birth and there, met her soon to be husband comedian and entertainer Jeff Dunham. The couple were engaged three months after meeting, trekked to Los Angeles, and after a year long engagement tied the knot. In 1995 Paige gave birth to her second daughter, Ashlyn Evelyn and in 1997 had her third daughter, Makenna Paige.
Although Paige chose to stay home full time with her daughters, she also became a key player in her husband's growing success as a comedian. For the next 14 years Paige would help with writing material, aid in pitch meetings for show ideas, and ran the merchandise side of the Jeff Dunham empire. Many of Jeff's stories from home came to life when he was on stage and in his numerous DVD's. In 1994 Paige began the database for his online fan club. The database became a key component to Jeff's win at the 1997 American Comedy Awards, where he won for Best Male Stand Up Comic. In addition to the running the fan club, Paige put together newsletters, managed and created Jeff Dunham merchandise, and introduced an online store. Looking to continue to expand the family business, Paige launched Brasma Publications in 1999, where she hired an illustrator and published "Dear Walter..." in 2003. The book showcased a collection of questions asked by Jeff's audiences and answered by their favorite curmudgeon, Walter, at live performances. In 2006 Paige initiated the Jeff and Paige Dunham Foundation. The purpose of the foundation was to take a portion of the proceeds of Jeff's stand up shows across the U.S. and use the money to benefit people in need. $1.00 from every ticket sale and 100% of the sales from eBay went into the foundation. Paige utilized eBay to sell meet & greets for fans at Jeff's nationwide shows, and she sold memorabilia. The year the organization was established, they presented a check to Hurricane Katrina Relief with Ronald McDonald House of Houston, for $35,000.00.
Just as the foundation started to take off, the marriage began to crumble. Years of infidelities took its toll, Jeff filed for a separation in 2008, and Paige counter filed for divorce, which was finalized in 2012. Now called the 'marriage whisperer' by friends, Paige dedicates her time to speaking with other women going through divorce, and giving advice based off of her own experiences, to help the healing process.
When not working, Paige dedicates her time to various children's charities. She is also passionate about teaching parents to show their children how to give back, just as she has done with her three daughters. Running has become a therapeutic hobby for her, she recently ran the half marathon in San Francisco where she raised $6,000.00 for the National Institution for Mental Health. Paige has held onto The Paige Dunham Foundation, and she looks forward to continuing to give back through this outlet.
Kate Adair is an American actress born in New Orleans, Louisiana. From the age of two until seven, she lived in a small town in Mississippi. Following a divorce, her mother moved her back to New Orleans to raise her and her two brothers with the help of her grandmother. While attending public schools, she trained to be a classical ballet dancer under the tutelage of Mary Munro in the Royal Academy of Dance style culminating in study at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. She studied Shakespeare at Davidson College, was an apprentice to Tulane's Shakespeare Festival two summers, and belonged to Wellesley's Shakespeare Society, an all women's Shakespeare company. She studied in Bologna, Italy a semester and graduated from Wellesley College with a B.A. in English Literature. She studied theater in New York City at Michael Howards Studios Summer Conservatory and upon returning to New Orleans worked years with small, experimental companies such as Madame Palmetto's Amusement Company in circus plays and fringe theatrical productions until making a conscious shift in the direction of comedy and film following Hurricane Katrina. She received a scholarship to La Nuit Comedy Conservatory. Upon completion of their program, she trained and graduated from The New Movement Theater in New Orleans.
|L.M. Kit Carson
L.M. Kit Carson was a talented and versatile Texan writer, actor and producer whose career has taken a diverse and always interesting course. He was born in Dallas, to Louise (Roche) and Minor Lee Carson. His first appearance was the lead in the acclaimed David Holzman's Diary (1967). He moved into writing, with initially mixed results in The Last Word (1979) and Breathless (1983) before his beautiful adaptation of Sam Shepard's Paris, Texas (1982) tangibly showed his talent. Next up was the oddity The Chinese Box (1986) before associate producing and writing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). It was back to acting in 1988 for an effective appearance in the acclaimed Running on Empty. A family friend of the Wilson brothers, their black-and-white 13 minute Bottle Rocket made its way into his hands in 1994. His championing of it was instrumental in Wes Anderson being given funding to shoot a full-length version in 1996, which he co-produced. Carson's output in was nothing if not varied - including several collaborations with his son, Hunter Carson, from his marriage to actress Karen Black; Hurricane Streets (1997) was a worthwhile drama of inner-city kids, Midsummer (1997) an interesting take on Shakespeare. He reprised his role of David Holzman for Grifin Dunne's industry mockumentary Lisa Picard is Famous (2000) then produced and wrote the disasterous Bullfigher (2000). Since then, Perfume (2001) was a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry, CQ (2001) a homage to European cinema of the 60s and staying in Paris the interesting low-budget thriller Tempo (2003).
Award-winning journalist, producer and director Hannah Storm is a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting for women, a published author, an advocate for children suffering from debilitating vascular birthmarks, and most importantly, a mother of three.
Storm joined ESPN in 2008, where she is co-host of the weekday edition of SportsCenter and host of SportsCenter Sunday Morning during the NFL season. Storm is also host and executive producer of ESPN's primetime interview specials, In Focus with Hannah Storm and Face to Face with Hannah Storm.
Storm routinely hosts major events around the world, such as Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the New York Marathon, Veterans Day special programming, the Super Bowl, the NCAA College Football Playoff National Championship, the Rose Parade on ABC, and the ESPY Awards. Throughout her career, she has interviewed many notable figures, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Patriots' owner Robert Kraft, Peyton and Eli Manning, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Derek Jeter. Storm also serves as a correspondent for ABC's 20/20, where she's done pieces with Shark Tank stars Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary.
Storm previously covered sports for CNN, serving as the first ever female host of Sports Tonight from 1989-1992. In 1992, Storm went on to work for NBC Sports, where she became the first woman in American television history to solo host a broadcast network's sports series when she hosted its Major League Baseball coverage. In 2002, Storm headed to CBS to serve as a host of The Early Show, covering key global events including the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the war in Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina, before joining ESPN in 2008.
In 2008, Storm pursued an additional passion of hers outside of the broadcasting world: film production. She founded Brainstormin' Productions, through which she has produced, executive produced and directed several award-winning documentary films as well as branded content. Film projects include Unmatched, for ESPN's Peabody Award-winning "30 for 30" film series, and Shaq & Dale, for the SEC Network/ESPN/ABC.
That same year, Storm founded the Hannah Storm Foundation, which advocates and funds critical surgeries for children suffering from debilitating vascular birthmarks around the world.
Storm is the award-winning author of "Notre Dame Inspirations" (Doubleday, 2006), and "Go Girl!: Raising Healthy, Confident and Successful Daughters through Sports" (Sourcebooks, 2002; 2011 re-release). For her literary work, Storm was honored by the Literacy Advance of Houston as its "Champion of Literacy."
Storm has received numerous awards for her work in media and other pursuits, including the 2000 Gracie Award® for Pioneering work as a female in the world of sports broadcasting; the 2005 Gracie Award® for Outstanding Anchor, News; and the 2011 Gracie Award® for Outstanding Producer - News/Non-fiction for Unmatched. In 2007, Storm was named to The Paley Center for Media's prestigious "She Made It, Women Creating Television and Radio" Hall-of-Fame.
Storm graduated the University of Notre Dame in 1983, where she received degrees in communications and political science. She currently resides in Connecticut with her husband, Dan Hicks, and their three daughters.
Winsor Harmon stars as "Thorne Forrester", the strong-willed youngest son of Eric and Stephanie Forrester (played by veteran actors John McCook and Susan Flannery), on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Before assuming the role of "Thorne", Harmon portrayed "Del Henry" on the long-time daytime drama, All My Children. Prior to his AMC stint, he landed an international modeling contract that allowed him to travel extensively throughout Europe. He also filmed numerous commercials, including an infamous stint as The Marlboro Man. Harmon has guest starred on numerous hit television shows such as Baywatch Nights and Acapulco H.E.A.T. Most recently, Harmon starred in the independent film, Cathedral Canyon.
Born in and raised in Crowley, Louisiana, Harmon was transplanted in Rockwall, Texas as a teenager. As one of the country's top rated high school running backs, he was recruited by top colleges across the country. He decided to attend Texas A&M (Agricultural and Mechanical University) on a football scholarship.
Harmon is an avid athlete and enjoys all sports including cycling, motorcycles and triathlons. He is a die-hard college and professional football fan.
"Philanthropist" is a word that can also be attributed to Harmon. After Hurricane Katrina in 2008, Harmon, whose hometown was devastated, worked tirelessly with the Red Cross in helping those who had lost their homes due to the treacherous storm. He continues his efforts to help Katrina victims to this day.
Harmon celebrates his birthday on November 22. He stands 6' 0" and has blond hair and brown eyes.
In June 2014, The Bold and the Beautiful received its ninth Golden Nymph Award at the International TV Audience Awards in the "Telenovela/Soap Opera" category at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. In 2011, The Bold and the Beautiful received its third consecutive Emmy® award for "Outstanding Daytime Drama Series". In 2010, Guinness World Records® named The Bold and the Beautiful the Most Popular Daytime Soap Currently on TV. The Bold and the Beautiful is the most watched daytime drama series in the world, seen daily by millions of people in over 100 countries.
Born to humble beginnings in New Orleans, LA, Ameer, affectionately known to his friends and fans as Millie, had an early life that was as gloomy and as ill fated as a young life could have been. In and out of the "system" as a kid for transgressions ranging from youthful indiscretions to major crimes, he was seemingly on a one-way trip to oblivion. But much like Malcolm X who experienced a rebirth through self-education and through reading inspirational stories while behind bars, so, too, was Baraka inspired by reading about the likes of Nelson Mandela who moved mountains and changed the world from his Robben Island jail cell. Perhaps more than any other influence, Baraka attributes his personal transformation and metamorphosis to the spirituality and self-love he developed from reading the Bible behind bars.
Baraka began his professional acting career by appearing in music videos and making minor appearances in national and international television commercials. This early work, along with his dedication to the study of the acting craft with some of Hollywood's leading acting coaches and instructors, led to increasingly prominent roles.
His breakthrough came when he landed a major international television campaign for Korean automaker, Hyndai. In the spot, he played a super human machine who outraced a car. Big wigs in the entertainment industry took note, and soon Baraka was being solicited for roles alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names, including those of the Emmy and Academy Award Winner variety.
First there was Baraka's co-starring role in the comedy hit, The New Guy, alongside comedy veteran, Eddie Griffin. Then there were roles alongside Blair Underwood and Academy Award Winner, Forest Whitaker, among many others of that ilk.
When his native New Orleans became a hotbed of filmmaking after Hurricane Katrina, Baraka was quick to return home, not just to selfishly continue to rack up film credits, but also to pay it forward through his work with at-risk youth. His dedication to exposing underprivileged kids to movie and TV show sets, his mentoring them right in their own crime infested public housing projects, and his relentless efforts to get them off of the streets and into the classroom caught Oprah's eye. The Queen of Daytime Talk dedicated an episode of her acclaimed Blackboard Wars show to Baraka and his life changing and life saving work.
More roles followed. When the producers of Fox's American Horror Story, Coven were looking for an actor who embodied the A strength and character worthy of playing the love interest of one of their List co-stars, Angela Basset, they chose Baraka as that man. His role as the show's fan favorite, Minotaur," allowed him to sit at the feet of greatness by interning, if you will, not just with Basset, but also with two-time Academy Award Winner, Jessica Lange, and one-time Academy Award Winner, Kathy Bates, all of whom are now like family to him.
The blogosphere is replete with stories about which Hollywood starlet will have him squire them to movie premieres and red carpet events, and which network drama or big budget feature will be his first leading role.
The drop-dead handsome bachelor is a fitness fanatic who is dedicated to inspiring young people with his message that they, too, can overcome meager beginnings and obstacles in their way to eventually triumph through hard work, dedication, the pursuit of education, and strong faith. This strong faith of his, as powerful as an atom bomb though as small as a mustard seed, is the principal driving force of Baraka's testimony. Proud of every aspect of his life, including his brief stint in the Louisiana State penal system for a youthful transgression during his childhood, he uses all of his life experiences to heighten interest in the way that God has personally made a way out of no way for him. Baraka now travels the world, speaking at colleges, universities, corporations, and youth organizations to promote the Word and to make it accessible and digestible for as many as possible who will lend an ear.
Baraka is also a spokesperson for one of the world's leading travel websites, newyork.com, where he joins many of the entertainment industry's biggest stars to share stories about their love for the City that Never Sleeps.
Valencia Christina is a model/actress/promoter/MUA from New Orleans, La. Has been modeling for 5 1/2 years, acting since the age of 5, promoting for 7 1/2 years, and doing makeup since 2009. Born in a city full of talent but no resources Valencia weathered the storm and keeps pushing forward. Valencia grew up in a single parent home where her mother was often working to make ends meet. After hurricane Katrina she separated from all her family members and had to live alone for months wondering where everyone was. As a result she left school to find her mom and had a steady flow of bad luck up until 2010. Now she has been busy working overtime to become one of the greatest model/actress in the industry. Giving speeches on her free time and helping other talent get into the industry is one of the many things that make her so beautiful inside and out. She's not just another beauty queen at all. Valencia is a role model to many young girls across the globe. Aspiring models look up to her and ask for advice. With her adaptation she is versatile and has no problem doing lingerie tasteful shoots. Some of her accomplishments include New York fashion week model in NYC, New Orleans fashion week, Macy's Model NYC & New Orleans, La, New Orleans CVB Tourism Print AD Model, Belk Commercial Model, Lakeside Mall Commercial Model, Featured in movies such as The Green Lantern, Revenge of the Bridesmaides, Dylan Dog Dead of Night, WWE Knucklehead, Multiple flyer's and CD covers, Flame Magazine, Down South Finest Magazine, Oficial Block Dymez model #143, and more!
Escalante Lundy is an American film and television actor and producer, from New Orleans, LA. His most notable role is as "Big Fred" in Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-Nominated film, Django Unchained. Lundy also appears as a prison guard in HBO's Emmy-Nominated television series Treme and in a Pampers commercial with Super Bowl Championship Quarterback, New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees.
Escalante Lundy was born in New Orleans, LA the eldest of five brothers, to Merline (nee' Roy), retired real estate agent, of Rayne, LA, and Hughes Banks Lundy, a salesman from Innis, LA. Lundy graduated from St. Augustine High School, later receiving his Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL). Lundy received Masters degrees in Urban Planning and Geographic Information Systems from the University of New Orleans.
Escalante's career began as a stage producer in Sacramento, CA. When an actor failed to show-up, Lundy took the role', garnered success and later decided to focus on acting as a career path. Admittedly, shy by nature, Lundy used acting as a tool to face his fears of public speaking and improve his diction. He continued to hone his acting skills by taking parts in small productions in film and on-stage in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Lundy returned to New Orleans in 2005, leaving his position with the California Department of Transportation in Sacramento. Lundy's family members were victims of Hurricane Katrina and his valiant character motivated him to permanently relocate. As the city began to rebuild, Lundy continued to pursue his new found acting passions including focusing on film roles. He studied with renowned acting coaches Veleka Grey (Young and the Restless), Lance Nichols (Curious Case of Benjamin Button and HBO Television Series, Treme) and became a fixture at the acclaimed Jerry Katz Joint (Ivana Chubback Technique). In 2007, Lundy joined the made his New Orleans theatrical debut as co-lead in the production of the "Papaya Man" with the Anthony Bean Community Theater (ABCT)in New Orleans. After having a challenging first rehearsal Lundy says, "I tried to quit but Mr. Bean wouldn't let me. He gave me legs until I was able to run"
In 2012, Lundy made his major motion picture debut as "Big Fred" in Quentin Tarantino's spaghetti western, Django Unchained. Lundy's role as a Mandingo fighter reflects the contrast of the powerlessness of slavery against the super human strength it took to survive such atrocities. Additionally, the grueling fight scenes Lundy appears in are riveting. Although filming the scenes was long and arduous, the efforts paid off. Tarantino directed Lundy in some of the most memorable aspects of the film.
At age twenty, Ash directed, produced and starred in "Fat Girls" alongside Jonathan Caouette ("Tarnation"), and Robin DeJesus ("Camp"). An official selection of the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival, where "Fat Girls" had its world premiere to major critical acclaim...the film found love in the hearts of independent film lovers across the world.
"Fat Girls" sold to Regent Entertainment at the festival and opened in theaters nationwide fall of 2007 then to cable and DVD through Liberation Entertainment.
MTV Networks picked up "Fat Girls" as a pilot for their network at the Tribeca Film Festival and hired Ash to write, direct and executive produce the series for MTV in New York.
In 2009, Ash was a co-producer on the hit Broadway musical "Next to Normal" which garnered 11 Tony nominations and 3 Tony awards including Best Score. "Next to Normal" recently won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Ash made waves again with his sophomore feature "Mangus!" - a dark comedy about a boy whose lifelong dream is to star in his high school's production of "Jesus Christ Spectacular". The film starred Jennifer Coolidge, John Waters (as Jesus), Heather Matarazzo and Leslie Jordan. The film sold to Wolfe Releasing after playing festivals all around the world.
"Nate & Margaret" was Ash's next venture. He produced the quirky comedy directed by Nathan Adloff, which starred Natalie West ("Roseanne"), Tyler Ross and Gaby Hoffmann ("Transparent", "200 Cigarettes".) The film garnered much critical acclaim including three out of four stars from Roger Ebert.
In 2012, Ash co-wrote and directed & produced "Petunia", a quirky family comedy set in New York. The film stars Thora Birch, Brittany Snow, Christine Lahti, Michael Urie, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Tobias Segal. The film premiered to rave reviews and recently came to theaters in 2013 and is currently on DVD/VOD.
Ash recently directed & produced the indie comedy "Love on the Run" - about an overweight girl on the run with a bank robber whom she falls in love with - starring Frances Fisher ("Titanic"), Steve Howey ("Shameless"), Annaleigh Ashford ("Masters of Sex", Tony Nominee for "Kinky Boots") which is currently in post-production.
Ash worked with producer Anne Clements (Sundance and Independent Spirit Award winner - "Quincenera") on a show for Sony's network Crackle entitled "Cleaners" starring Emmanuelle Chiriqui ("Entourage"), Emily Osment ("Hannah Montana"), Missi Pyle, Gina Gershon and David Arquette which is currently available on Crackle.
In the winter of 2014, Ash produced "Addication: A 1960's Love Story", which is a 1960's set crime thriller starring Ian Harding ("Pretty Little Liars"), Evanna Lynch ("Harry Potter"), Oscar nominee Carol Kane ("Annie Hall"), Leo Fitzpatrick ("Kids"), Brendan Sexton III ("The Killing") and Chaske Spencer ("Twilight").
Ash began producing commercials & music videos in 2014 - his first one begin Billboard Top 10 artist Meghan Trainor for Epic Records.
In spring of 2014, Ash produced a psychological thriller entitled "The Inherited" which is being directed by Devon Gummersall ("My So Called Life") and stars Jenn Liu (who also wrote the screenplay), Nathan Darrow ("House of Cards"), Annabella Sciorra ("The Sopranos", "Jungle Fever") and Tammy Blanchard ("Into the Woods", "Moneyball".)
He won a 2014 Emmy Award for producing the web series "mI Promise".
Ash is in post-production on "Miles" a dramedy set in 1999 starring Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser, Missi Pyle, Stephen Root, Annie Golden and Yeardley Smith, directed by Nathan Adloff. He is also in post-production for "Hurricane Bianca" starring RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, "Saturday Night Live" Alum Rachael Dratch, Margaret Cho & Alan Cumming.
In 2016, Ash produced the musical feature film "Hello Again" by Michael John LaChiusa starring Audra McDonald, Martha Plimpton, T.R. Knight, Jenna Ushkowitz, Sam Underwod and Nolan Funk.
Ash currently resides in New York City.