Katherine McNamara is an accomplished actress, singer, dancer, songwriter, and an avid student. Although now more focused on film and television, McNamara began her career on Broadway, at the age of 13, as "Fredrika Armfeldt" in "A Little Night Music", starring opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. She was fortunate to continue as "Fredrika" with the second ALNM Broadway cast of Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch, as well. Her other theater roles include "Esther Jane" in the pre-Broadway world premiere of "A Christmas Story, the Musical!", as well as "To Kill a Mockingbird", "The Crucible", "Inherit the Wind", "Annie", "The Secret Garden" and "Galileo". She has also been cast in a number of Equity readings, including "PAN", which was created by the "In the Heights" creative team.
McNamara's love for acting stretches beyond the stage, with credits in television and film productions. Katherine will make her big screen debut this year in the Warner Brothers Picture, New Year's Eve, where she portrays "Lily Bowman". In addition, Katherine will star as "Becky Thatcher" in the re-make of "Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn", alongside Joel Courtney and Jake T. Austin, which will be released late 2012 or early 2013. Television credits include Glee, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Drop Dead Diva, 30 Rock, Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America and PBS's "Sondheim! The Birthday Concert".
Kat can be seen this summer in the bullying film, Contest with Kenton Duty. McNamara starred in Disney Channel's Girl Vs. Monster and has a recurring roles on Jessie as "Bryn Breitbart" and on Kickin' It as the mean girl from Swathmore Academy, "Claire". She filmed the new Disney pilot, Madison High, where she portrays "Cherri O'Keefe", resident fashionista and creator of Madison High's popular gossip blog.
McNamara balances acting with her dedication to education. At the age of 14, she graduated with honors from high school, and at 17, graduated with honors from Drexel University's Le Bow School of Business online program with her Bachelor's degree in Business. Kat plans to continue her education and is currently looking at MBA programs.
Kat is also a member of the Actors Equity Young Performers Committee, SAG-AFTRA's Young Performers Committee, a reader for the Blank Theater's New Play Development Reading Committee, an ambassador for Stomp Out Bullying and The Lollipop Theater Network, a Girl Scout, and a volunteer for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
Katherine has a passion for all forms of dance, including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, waltz and hula. She also plays the guitar and piano and enjoys singing and songwriting. Katherine plans to share her passion for music with the world this year and is recording a few original pop songs. She resides in Los Angeles, California and her hometown is Lees Summit, Missouri.
Benjamin Walker was born Benjamin Walker Davis in Georgia, and was raised in Cartersville, GA, the son of Jeannine (Walker), a music teacher, and Greg Davis, who worked in finance and owned a movie rental store. He has one older brother. Walker was educated at Cartersville High School in Georgia and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City, Michigan, before studying acting at the Juilliard School in New York.
Whilst at Juilliard, Walker got his first experiences of performing for paying audiences as a stand-up comedian. His acting break came in 2007, when he was cast as Bertram Cates in a Broadway production of 'Inherit the Wind'. Further theater roles followed, including playing Andrew Jackson in the rock musical 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson', which was critically acclaimed.
Walker first came to film-goers' attention when he played the young Kinsey in Kinsey. Other film and TV roles followed including Harlon Block in Clint Eastwood's Flags of Our Fathers, and playing another president, Abraham Lincoln in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Gabriela was born and raised in Dothan, AL. Throughout her childhood, everyone knew she was born to entertain. She recognized her itch for the arts at the age of 9 when she entered her 4th grade reading contest. Instead of just reading from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, she decided to perform as the different characters and won her first award as the reading contest winner by shocking her 4th grade class with her talent. From then, she took acting classes and performed in school plays. During her senior year of high school, she decided to get back to the arts and audition for the lead role at the community theatre. She landed the unforgettable role of Rachel Brown in Inherit the Wind. This experience motivated her to start her career immediately. Gabriela attended Auburn University for a year studying Theatre, signed with an agent in Atlanta and continued her training in acting classes and workshops. Throughout the year, she worked hard at every audition and was devoted to her craft as an actor. This hard work began to shed its light when she booked a lead role as Carlita, in the ABC Family movie, 'Teen Spirit'. Two weeks after shooting the film, she decided to keep up the momentum by moving from Auburn to Los Angeles. Since she can be seen in UPtv movie 'Coffee Shop' alongside Laura Vandervoort, Disney's 'Million Dollar Arm' and plays Lizbeth, the best friend of Cassie Sullivan( Chloe Grace Moretz) in 'The 5th Wave'.
Award-winning Greek-American actor Michael Constantine (born 22 May 1927) is best known for his portrayal of the Windex bottle-toting family patriarch "Gus Portokalos" in the sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Before his appearance in that movie and the subsequent TV series based on it, he was primarily known for his portrayal of principal "Seymour Kaufman" in the series Room 222, for which he won a 1970 Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor (in 1971, he also received a second Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actor for the role).
Michael Constantine was born Constantine Joanides in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Greek parents, Andromache (Fotiadou) and Theoharis Ioannides, a steel worker. He made his Broadway debut as part of the ensemble of the hit play "Inherit the Wind", which made its bow at the National Theatre on April 21, 1955, and closed on June 22, 1957, after 806 performances. During the run of the play, Constantine managed to work his way up into the part of "Conklin". His next appearance on the Great White Way was in "Compulsion", a dramatization of the Leopold & Loeb trial, in which he played three parts: speakeasy owner "Al", defense attorney "Jonathan Wilk" and "Dr. Ball". The show had a modest run of 140 performances in the 1957-58 season at the Ambassador Theatre.
On October 19, 1959, Constantine was part of the opening-night cast of the hit play "The Miracle Worker", appearing in the role of "Anagnos". It ran for 719 performances at the Playhouse through July 1, 1961, but his next play, "The Egg", was a flop, lasting but one week (eight performances) at the Cort in January 1962. His last turn on Broadway was in Tony Richardson's staging of Bertolt Brecht's mediation on the rise of Adolf Hitler, "Arturo Ui" (a.k.a. "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui"). Constantine played the character "Dogsborough" in support of the great Broadway star Christopher Plummer's "Arturo Ui". It, too, was a one-week flop, lasting but eight performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in November 1963. Constantine's Broadway career was at an end.
He had made his motion picture debut in The Last Mile in support of Mickey Rooney, but had already begun appearing in the medium in which he made his reputation, television, the year before. He appeared in teleplays on the omnibus television anthologies Armstrong Circle Theatre and Play of the Week and made numerous guest appearances on TV series, where his ethnic look made him valuable as heavies on such programs as The Untouchables. In film, he appeared in such productions as Robert Rossen's classic The Hustler, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium and the film version of Woody Allen's play, Don't Drink the Water, the latter two films revealing his flair for comedy.
Constantine was a regular on the series Hey, Landlord. His stint on Room 222 was followed by his star-turn in the short-lived series Sirota's Court, for which he received his second Golden Globe nomination, this time as Best Leading Actor in a Musical or Comedy TV Series, in 1976. After that, he remained steadily employed but his career remained rather quiet until cast he was cast in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Charismatic character star Edward James Begley was born in Hartford, Connecticut of Irish parents and educated at St.Patrick's school. His interest in acting first surfaced at the age of nine, when he performed amateur theatricals at the Hartford Globe Theatre. Determined to make his own way, he left home aged eleven and drifted from job to job, had a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy, then worked in a bowling alley replacing pins, joined carnivals and circuses. In 1931, he appeared in vaudeville and was also hired as a radio announcer, his voice broadcast to nationwide audiences. It took him several years to establish himself on the legitimate stage, but in 1943, he had a role in the short-running play 'Land of Fame'.
His first success was the 1947 Arthur Miller play 'All My Sons' and this was followed by the 1925 Scopes Trial fictionalisation 'Inherit the Wind' (1955-57), which ran for 806 performances at the National Theatre. Ed, co-starring with Paul Muni, played the part of Matthew Harrison Brady (played in the 1960 motion picture by Fredric March) and won the 1956 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. Upon Paul Muni's departure from the cast, Ed used the opportunity to play the part of Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy's role in the film) with equal vigour. In 1960, he starred as Senator Orrin Knox in the political drama 'Advise and Consent'. Ed's movie career began with Boomerang!, a murder mystery set in his native Connecticut, directed by Elia Kazan. Heavy-set and with bushy eyebrows, the archetypal image of Ed Begley on screen is as a gruff, blustery, often heavily sweating (and sometimes corrupt) politician or industrialist. He proved his mettle in a number of classic films, including Sorry, Wrong Number and On Dangerous Ground. Whether as the sympathetic executive in Patterns, a bigoted ex-cop turned bank robber in Odds Against Tomorrow, or the crazed billionaire bent on world domination of Billion Dollar Brain, he tackled every part that came his way with conviction. The culmination of his work was a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role of Boss Finley in Tennessee Williams's Sweet Bird of Youth. In addition to countless radio broadcasts, Ed was also busy in television in the 1950's and 60's. Among frequent guest starring appearances, his dynamic characterisations in two episodes of The Invaders ('The Betrayed' and 'Labyrinth') stand out in particular. Ed Begley died of a heart attack in April 1970 in Hollywood at the age of 69.
One of the movies' most memorable tough guys, Simon Oakland actually began his career as a concert violinist, turning to acting in the late 1940s. After a long string of roles in Broadway hits, including "Light Up the Sky," "The Shrike" and "Inherit the Wind," Oakland made his film debut as the tough but compassionate journalist who speaks up for Susan Hayward's "Barbara Graham" in I Want to Live!. He would go on to play a long series of tough guy types, albeit usually on the right side of the law, in such films as The Sand Pebbles, Tony Rome, Psycho, and, most notably, nasty Lieutenant Schrank in West Side Story. He was also a frequently seen face on TV, at one point serving as a regular or semi-regular on four different series at once. Much respected by his co-workers as a total professional, he died, after a long battle with cancer, one day after his 68th birthday.
Eliza Jane Schneider, actress, songstress, oral historian, dialect researcher, and playwright, has been fascinated by sound all her life. At age 7, she was recognized as a violin virtuoso, studying the Suzuki ear-training method at the Eastman School of Music, where she also studied classical voice. She now sings, plays, and writes music for television and radio recording artists, and plays 11 instruments. She was raised on a Chippewa reservation by a German drama teacher/playwright and a Jewish legal aid attorney. By age twelve, she had gotten her Equity card playing an English role in "A Christmas Carol" and an American Southern role in "Inherit the Wind." She has traversed America ten times recording dialects, and distilled the enormous amount of information she accumulated into her critically acclaimed one-woman show, "Freedom Of Speech," in which she recreates 34 different dialect characters from all around the country. "Freedom Of Speech" premiered in the summer of 2003 at the New York International Fringe Festival to rave reviews and won the "Best Solo Show" award. It then ran Off-Broadway at P.S. 122 in the Spring of 2004, ending up at The Public Theater in the fall of 2005. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts and CitiStage/Symphony Hall in Springfield Massachusetts booked the popular show for their 2004-2005 seasons. Eliza Jane Schneider was profiled on the International Bravo! Network's "Arts & Minds" program, along with "Sting." For five years, she voiced eight different female characters for Comedy Central's hit animated series "South Park." She's created multiple dialect characters for MTV's series, "3 South", NBC's "King of the Hill," the Mel Gibson film, "What Women Want," and Pixar's smash feature, "Finding Nemo." On camera, Eliza Jane recurred on UPN's "Girlfriends" as a white girl, surprisingly fluent in "Ebonics". She also recurred as a Russian on NBC's "Spy TV," and is known in over 60 countries as series regular "Liza," on CBS' "Beakman's World." Schneider is a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) sponsored playwright who has developed her plays, including "Sounds of Silence: A Documentary Puppet Musical Farce about the 2004 Election in Ohio," with dramaturges at the prestigious O'Neill Theater Center in New London, Connecticut, for the past two years. In 1998 her solo play, "USA 911" was critically acclaimed all the way from Madison Wisconsin to Kilkenny, Ireland, and won her inclusion in the California Arts Council's Touring Artist's Roster. Her first solo play, "Road Trip" won her a Drama-Logue Critic's Award for Outstanding Performance. A 20-year veteran of the stage, Schneider has performed in dozens of other plays, including the title roles in Antigone and Agnes of God (another award winning performance). In 2000, "Blue Girl," her science fiction rock opera about the return of the goddess, won the LA Weekly's "Best of LA" award, and in that same year, she also starred in "Blue Girl" at the Mogodor Opera House in Paris, France as part of the 2000 Millennial New Year's celebration, with former cast members from the Cirque Du Soleil. Founder of the "Eliza Doolittle Dialects" school, Ms. Schneider is often called upon to coach actors for dialect roles and to help foreigners speak English with an American accent. She has organized numerous master-classes with Robert Easton for some of the other top voice artists in Hollywood. Eliza Jane studied dialects and acting at Northwestern University and UCLA, where she graduated with a BFA from the World Arts and Cultures Department in Theater. She wrote her senior thesis on American Regional Dialects, and then participated in the Dialect 2000 conference at Queens University Belfast dealing with Scottish, Ulster, and Hiberno-English. Some of her recordings were used in the creation of the book resulting from that conference, Language Links: The Languages of Scotland and Ireland (edited by John M Kirk and Donall P O Baoill, 2001.) In 2002, she recorded hundreds of Alaskan dialects, canvassing reservations, bars, and street-corners from Juneau to Barrow. In 2003, she attended the joint meeting of the Northern English Dialect Societies in Yorkshire and recorded additional dialects from Cumbria to East Anglia. In November of 2005, she added the dialects of South Africa to her DAT collection, and she plans to collect various dialects of the West Indies in March of 2006, while on a live tour of the songs from her new solo music album, "Gypsy Grass." Eliza Jane Schneider will continue to traverse the globe. So far, she has digitally recorded over 1200 interviews with native speakers of variant forms of English throughout the world.
Cameron McKendry was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where he knew he wanted to be an entertainer since he was just 3 years old. His career began with just dancing, mostly hip-hop- being invited to join the prestigious second class at Shaker Dance Academy in Shaker Heights, Ohio, at 8 years old- being paired up with teenagers and young adults. He then transitioned into acting at the age of 9, and began performing in professional and community theater in the Greater Cleveland area, including the Cleveland Play House in downtown Cleveland (A Christmas Story & Inherit the Wind). Around the age of 14, he transitioned into film- starring in numerous independent feature films, short films, and local and national commercials in Ohio. In 2014, Cameron made the move to Los Angeles, where he currently lives. Upon moving to LA, Cameron was signed with talent manager Ryan Daly at Zero Gravity Management.
He was cast in his first feature film, Since I Don't Have You (2013), at the age of 14- where he tackled one of the lead roles in a biopic about the famous Pittsburgh do-wop group, The Skyliners. From there, Cameron went on to be cast in multiple independent feature and short films in Northeast Ohio- including the slasher film Young Harvest (2013), and award winning shorts A Reprise (2013), and Chasing Death (2013). Cameron also guest starred on the Nickelodeon hit show, Supah Ninjas (2011). He will be playing the supporting role of Young Mike in the upcoming drama Madtown (2016), starring alongside Milo Ventimiglia. He also will be playing Ben Faulker in the upcoming indie thriller Colony 52 (2016), as well as Alex Dickerson in the upcoming biopic drama I'm Not Ashamed (2016), which revolves around the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim murdered in the Columbine shooting who was targeted for her Christian beliefs. I'm Not Ashamed (2016) is slated to hit theaters October 21st, 2016. Next, Cameron will be playing the role of Moose in My Friend Dahmer (2017), a true story which centers on the high school years of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer- starring Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, and Vincent Kartheiser. His next film, The Pastor (2017), is currently in pre-production, with filming slated to begin in early 2017 alongside Kevin Sorbo, Hector Echavarria, and T.C. Stallings.
At the age of 13 Howard Caine (family name Cohen) moved with his family from his hometown of Nashville, TN, to New York City, where he began studying acting. Learning to erase his Southern accent, he went on to became a master of 32 foreign and American dialects. After service in the Navy during WWII, Caine continued his studies at The School of Drama, Columbia University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was featured on Broadway in "Wonderful Town", "Inherit the Wind" "Lunatics and Lovers" and "Tiger at the Gates". He replaced Ray Walston as "Mr. Applegate", the star of Broadway's "Damn Yankees". He was featured in such films as From the Terrace, Pay or Die, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Man from the Diners' Club, Pressure Point and Alvarez Kelly. He co-starred with Godfrey Cambridge and Estelle Parsons in Watermelon Man and played Lewis Morris of New York in 1776. He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. He acted in over 750 live and filmed TV shows, but is perhaps best remembered as Gestapo Maj. Hochstetter on the classic Hogan's Heroes, a role he played for the series' entire six-year run. He was featured as Everett Scovill, a thinly disguised portrait of Charles Manson's attorney Irving Kanarek, on the CBS two-part TV Movie of the Week Helter Skelter. He had always been fascinated with the Appalachian five-string banjo, and began mastering it in the mid-'60s. Since the summer of 1970 until his untimely death in 1993, he had taken trophies at 29 prominent banjo and fiddle contests in the Southland for both Best Traditional Banjo and Traditional Singing. He was also a popular folk singer and appeared at a number of prominent folk clubs and folk festivals.
Jon Avnet has directed, written, and produced more than 70 motion pictures (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes, Risky Business), television movies (The Burning Bed, Uprising, The Starter Wife), and Broadway plays (Spamalot, History Boys, Pillowman), winning Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Peabodys, Golden Globes, the Humanitas, DGA, WGA, and AFI Awards.
For the last six years, Mr. Avnet directed 10 episodes of FX's Justified, starring Tim Olyphant and Walton Goggins, and created by Graham Yost from Elmore Leonard's story "Fire in the Hole." Justified won the Peabody Award and scored multiple Emmy nominations, winning for Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies. Mr. Avnet also collaborated with creator Graham Yost on the critically acclaimed Boomtown, where they were Executive Producers of the show, which won Television Critics Association awards for Best Drama and Best New Show, as well as the Peabody Award. Mr. Avnet directed the pilot and 9 episodes of Boomtown, which starred Donnie Wahlberg, Neal McDonough, Lana Parilla and Mykelti Williamson.
Mr. Avnet was the executive producer of Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman (winner of the Oscar for Best Actress) and directed by Darren Aronofsky. Black Swan received five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, as well as multiple nominations and wins from the PGA, WGA, SAG, BAFTA, AFI, and the Golden Globes. It grossed 326 million dollars theatrical worldwide.
Mr. Avnet co-wrote, directed and produced Fried Green Tomatoes, which garnered multiple Academy Awards for writing and for Jessica Tandy, who co-starred with Kathy Bates, Mary Louise Parker, Mary Stuart Masterson and Cicely Tyson. Fried Green Tomatoes was one of the top grossing films of the year, won the Scripter Award, and was nominated for a WGA Award as well. It received Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedy, and for Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), BAFTA nominations for Jessica and Kathy, and won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film.
Avnet also directed and produced Red Corner starring Richard Gere, Up Close and Personal written by Joan Didion and John Dunne starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer, and Righteous Kill starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Mr. Avnet's first directing outing (which he also co-wrote and produced) was the ABC TV movie Between Two Women, starring Colleen Dewhurst and Farrah Fawcett. Miss Dewhurst won her first Emmy for her performance, while the film received rave reviews and was the highest rated movie on ABC that year.
Avnet, during his partnership with Steve Tisch, produced for David Geffen the classic film Risky Business, which launched the career of Tom Cruise and that of the first time writer/director Paul Brickman. Tom Cruise received a Golden Globe nomination and Mr. Brickman, a Writers Guild nomination. The dance sequence featuring Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" with Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear has become iconic. He produced with Mr. Brickman, for David Geffen again, the cult classic Men Don't Leave starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Joan Cusack, and introducing Chris O'Donnell. Mr. Brickman directed and co-wrote with Barbara Benedek.
Recently, Mr. Avnet has been very active and innovative in the digital space. In conjunction with Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, In Treatment, Big Love) and Jake Avnet, he launched the scripted digital channel WIGS in May 2012. Funded by YouTube for its first two seasons, and by FOX network for its third season, WIGS has produced nearly 35 hours of premium scripted content. It has won most of the major awards for Internet productions and has been nominated for WGA awards (twice) and other traditional media awards as well. It is available at youtube.com/wigs, watchwigs.com and Hulu.com.
In September of 2014, WIGS became a subsidiary of Indigenous Media, which has WPP (the world's largest advertising company) and ITV (the largest channel in Great Britain) as its primary investors and Garcia and Avnet as CO-CEO's, with Jacob Avnet as the Chief Operating Officer. Indigenous will continue producing digital content (as well as cable content) for all digital platforms and developing select new channels.
In television, Avnet produced (with Steve Tisch) The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett, which garnered eight Emmy nominations, multiple Golden Globe awards, WGA awards, a DGA nomination and won The Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials. It was the highest-rated television movie ever aired on NBC. This landmark event was instrumental in making "the battered woman defense" a viable plea for victims of domestic violence and bringing the issue out of the closet, giving it national attention.
He also directed and executive produced The Starter Wife, a six-hour limited series for the USA Network starring Debra Messing, Joe Mantegna, and Judy Davis (who won the Best Supporting Actress Emmy for her performance). Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, it aired May 2007 as the highest-rated limited cable series that year and received ten Emmy nominations, as well as DGA and PGA nominations for Mr. Avnet. It became a series for the USA network in 2008.
In 2001, Avnet directed, co-wrote with Paul Brickman (his frequent collaborator) and produced the critically praised miniseries Uprising for NBC. It starred Leelee Sobieski, Hank Azaria, David Schwimmer, Jon Voight, Donald Sutherland and introduced Stephen Moyer to American audiences. Based on the actual events of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, this film dealt with Jewish Resistance during the holocaust. It caused an international debate about what constitutes resistance and why victims of the holocaust were castigated as passive participants. Mr. Avnet was nominated for a Directors Guild Award and the film was nominated for Golden Globes, Emmys (it won two) and won the ASC award for cinematographer Denis Lenoir. It was released theatrically by Warner Brothers in Europe and received more critical accolades in France and other countries.
In 2000, Mr. Avnet financed and produced Rodrigo Garcia's film debut Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. Starring Glenn Close, Holly Hunter, Cameron Diaz, and Calista Flockhart, the film was selected by the Cannes Film Festival for "Un Certain Regard." It also played at Sundance and received glowing reviews. It began Mr. Garcia's collaboration with Mr. Avnet, which continues to this day.
Avnet produced and co-financed with Aurelio DeLaurentiis Paramount's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, starring Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. With Jordan Kerner, Avnet produced Less Than Zero (bringing Robert Downey and James Spader to prominence), When a Man Loves a Woman, Miami Rhapsody, The Mighty Ducks films and George of the Jungle, to name a few, as well as the ABC mini-series Mama Flora's Family, based on the Alex Haley novel. Avnet and Kerner also produced Heat Wave, the true story of the Watts riots, which won all the major Cable ACE awards that year, including Best Picture, Best Actor for James Earl Jones and Best Actress for frequent collaborator, Cicely Tyson.
On Broadway, his plays have received 35 nominations and 12 Tony awards. He produced with Bill Haber the Tony award winning "History Boys" and the Mike Nichols directed "Spamalot." He also produced "The Pillowman," "Inherit the Wind" starring Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer, "The Seafarer" by Connor McPherson, and the Mike Nichols-directed "Country Girl," starring Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand. Mr. Avnet began his career working for his mentor, writer/director Wilford Leach at Ellen Stewart's experimental theater La Mama.
Mr. Avnet attended the University of Pennsylvania, received a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and was awarded a fellowship in directing to the American Film Institute. Today, Mr. Avnet is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at the American Film Institute, where he has been a guiding force for over 20 years (and Chairman for eight years). In June 2013, Mr. Avnet received an honorary Doctorate in Communications from the American Film Institute. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Directors Guild of America, The DGA Western Directors Council, and is a Trustee of the DGA Pension and Health Plan.
Mr. Avnet is a member of the Board of Overseers of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and participates as a mentor in the Director's Lab at Sundance and its sister program Emergence in France. He also lectures on film and holocaust studies at numerous universities worldwide and has supported a diverse range of charitable organizations.
Mr. Avnet is the recipient of numerous awards, including the ACLU's Freedom of Speech award, The AFI's Franklin Shaffner Award, and the Janus Korshak award (for Uprising) given by the American Friends of the Ghetto Fighters House in honor of the famous Polish educator who gave his life so his orphans would never be abandoned.
David Christopher trained at Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC and has worked as a lead actor in over twelve independent film productions including the Modus Operandi of Male Intimacy, which earned him outstanding reviews from Variety Magazine and TV Guide. David has completed over 25 commercials as principle talent and modeled in national and international print ads and catalogues.
David returned to the stage in the equity production of Inherit The Wind at The Austin Playhouse in 2008 and in 2009 David appeared in City Theatre's production of Glengarry Glen Ross (nominated Best Drama/Best Ensemble) and Zach Theatre's equity production of The Grapes of Wrath as the lead role of Tom Joad (Nominated for Best Drama and Best Actor in a Drama). In the summer of 2010 David played multiple lead roles in ZACH Theatre's equity production of Metamorphoses.
David has a supporting role in the feature film titled Beneath The Darkness directed by Martin Guigui with it's world premier scheduled on October 22nd 2011 as one of Austin Film Festival's premier films and will be nationally released on November 18th, 2011. David has scenes with Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Devon Werkheiser and Dahlia Waingort. David also starred in the feature horror film titled Zombex directed by Jesse Dayton due out in late 2011 with scenes with Malcolm McDowell, Lew Temple, Corey Feldman, and Sid Haig. But David is most proud of his work as the lead role in the film titled The Sinner directed by Charlie Wiedman due out late 2011. The Sinner is also being pitched in LA as a television episodic.
The daughter of a well-to-do attorney and a socialite, Bethel Leslie was born on August 3, 1929, in New York City. Ms. Leslie was a 15-year-old student at the Brearley School on the Upper East Side when she was discovered by the legendary producer George Abbott, for the Broadway play "Snafu" in 1944. She quickly became a theatre mainstay with such plays as "The Dancer" (1946), "How I Wonder" (1947), "Goodbye, My Fancy" (1948), "Pygmalion" (1952) and "The Time of the Cuckoo" (1952) under her belt. In later years she gave stunning theater performances in "Inherit the Wind" (1955), "Career" (1957), and "Catch Me If You Can" (1965), then capped her formidable career with a Tony nomination as the drug-addicted mother "Mary Tyrone" in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" in 1986 opposite Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey and Peter Gallagher, which was subsequently televised.
While not as well known for her movie work, the seriously attractive actress was best utilized as a brittle support player in such films as The Rabbit Trap and Captain Newman, M.D.. Sporadic filming later included A Rage to Live, The Molly Maguires, Old Boyfriends, Ironweed, and Message in a Bottle. On TV as a teen, her first series was playing Cornelia Otis Skinner in The Girls, in 1950. Throughout the 50s, she appeared in scores of dramatic parts on episodic TV and became one of those faces without a name, playing with great relish a neurotic victim or cruel-eyed villainess. TV soaps took up Bethel's later years, appearing in The Doctors, All My Children and One Life to Live at various times.
At one point, she was a head writer for The Secret Storm. Bethel died of cancer at age 70 and was survived by daughter Leslie.
McCouch grew up in Chappaqua, NY and received a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in theater from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where he also played varsity lacrosse and rugby. McCouch went on to receive a graduate degree from the British American Drama Academy, Oxford-Yale program in London.
McCouch spent four seasons with the Williamstown Theater Festival, MA (1988-1992), where he performed in Arturo Ul, The Visit, Three Penny Opera, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Inherit the Wind and The Moonstone. In 1992, he performed in Electra with the Almeida Theater in London. He also appeared in The Royal Court's Women Beware Women. His next project was three years on Another World where he played Dr. Morgan Winthrop. Next came the blockbuster hit Armageddon, where McCouch played Munition Specialist Gruber.
Recent performing credits include seven years on As the World Turns where McCouch received an Emmy Nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of Dusty Donovan was a fan favorite. Other great performances; The Apostles/Fox, Dope/FX, Momentum/Miramax, Throttle/Dimension, Legacy/Alliance Atlantis, UPN, All Souls/Sci Fi, UPN, The Agency/CBS, Airtight/Sony, Viacom, Beverly Hills 90210/Spelling, Forbidden Island/Spelling, Cosby Mysteries/NBC.
Grayson McCouch now plays Don, Adriana's single father and a surgeon, on the Nick at Nite new drama series, Hollywood Heights.
Janet Waldo provided the quintessential voice of the swooning, overly dramatic teenager for numerous generations -- from the 1940s swinging babysitters to the 1960s groovy chick. A bouncy, perennially-youthful brunette, she was born in Yakima, Washington, and began entertaining in church plays as a youth. Urged on by her singer mother, she studied at the University of Washington and performed in plays. She was discovered by none other than Paramount star Bing Crosby, when he and his talent scouts conducted a contest and invited her to try out for it, which she won. Crosby next invited Janet (accompanied by her mother) to California and the rest is history.
Janet met a Paramount talent scout that signed her up for small roles in movies, including the Crosby films, Sing, You Sinners and The Star Maker. Unable to completely break out of her bit-part cycle as assorted hat-check girls, receptionists, and telephone operators, she did manage a few co-starring roles in such Tim Holt westerns, such as The Bandit Trail and Land of the Open Range before setting her career sights on radio in 1943. It was Crosby himself who introduced Janet to radio and she fell in love with the medium and its possibilities. As the eternal teen in "Meet Corliss Archer," Janet's voice became a household sound and it was obvious that. her vocal talents would become her biggest moneymaker. She also performed on radio's "One Man's Family," "The Gallant Heart," and "Star Playhouse." She played the cigarette girl on both Red Skelton and Art Linkletter's programs, and played teenager Emmy Lou for Ozzie Nelson on both his radio and TV shows. In 1952, Janet filmed one classic I Love Lucy episode, The Young Fans playing an extremely lovesick teenaged girl, who fell for Ricky Ricardo, even though she was around 30 years old at the time.
In 1948 Janet married writer-director-producer Robert E. Lee of "Inherit the Wind" and "Auntie Mame" fame. She curtailed her career activities sharply for some time in order to raise her two children. She even turned down the opportunity to return to her popular role of Corliss Archer when the radio series was revamped for TV in 1951, and Lugene Sanders from the "Life of Riley" series took on the part instead. After sporadic appearances on stage, Janet established herself as one of the top female voice artists in the early 1960s when she gave vocal life to hip high schooler Judy Jetson in the prime-time Hanna-Barbera cartoon series The Jetsons, a role that she would go on to play well past the age of 70. Her vocal range was absolutely limitless as she went on to become a well-oiled Hanna-Barbara staple for over three decades, providing hundreds and hundreds of voices, old and young, to both Saturday morning and feature film cartoons. Some of her better known characters include Granny Sweet, Penelope Pitstop, Superman's Lana Lang, the Addams Family's Morticia Addams, the title role in Josie and the Pussycats and Princess on Sandy Frank's Battle of the Planets. She is a member of the California Artists Radio Theatre (CART) and has performed frequently on the smaller L.A. stages over the years. The woman with a thousand voices is a legend in her field and an octogenarian now, still as busy and perky as ever doing radio shows (one regularly with Alan Young of "Mister Ed" fame and her co-star on "Batte of the Planets"), commercial voice-overs (Electrosol) and personal appearances. She has also written her personal biography.
|Robert V. Barron
Tall, gaunt, rawboned character actor with deep voice, reminiscent of John Carradine. Formal education at Morris Harvey College in Charleston, West Virginia and as Theater Arts major at UCLA. Professional training at American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, and at Max Reinhardt Workshop in Los Angeles. Before attacking Hollywood, he spent several years working in regional theaters from one end of the US to the other, and had built an impressive resume of glowing reviews of his performances in such roles as "Cyrano de Bergerac", "Abe Lincoln in Illinois", "Sir Thomas More" in "A Man For All Seasons", "Henry Drummond" in "Inherit The Wind", "Richard III" and the like, but he was never offered such lofty challenges in films or television. Still, he didn't languish, but instead relished every chance he was given to play for the camera, whether in a quality major studio production or the cheesiest of no-budget fly-by-night productions. When he wasn't acting, he uncovered his typewriter and cranked out teleplays and movie scripts. Perhaps his best-remembered television script was his first, a lighthearted comedy episode of the Bonanza series, titled Hoss and the Leprechauns. As a writer, he drifted into adapting English-dubbing scripts of foreign films. American producers began buying successful Japanese animated series and dubbing them into English, and Barron was a pioneer in that industry, which grew rapidly and enormously. He became executive director and story editor for "Saban Productions", which in the course of five years became one of the largest producers of children's programming in the world, with such shows as X-Men and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
Imogen Byron, born in North London on March 8th 1996, is a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) and grew up attending the New London Performing Arts Centre (NLPAC). Imogen has a younger sister, Tabitha Byron, who is also an actress.
Imogen recently performed in Penelope Skinner's 'Linda' at London's Royal Court originating the role of Bridget. After this she took on a lead role in Jo Brand's improvised BBC Comedy 'Going Forward' playing OCD teenager Kelly Wilde.
Imogen Byron began her career making her West End debut at the age of 7 in Les Miserables at the Queen's Theatre and continued to perform in other West End musicals. Aged 9 Imogen was cast as a series regular on the popular CBBC comedy sketch show 'Stupid'. Imogen then went on to land the role of Jaqueline Price on BBC thriller 'Messiah: The Harrowing' playing daughter to Helen McCrory and Hugo Speer. As a keen football player Imogen was then cast as lead 'Sammy Yeomans' for ITV film 'Pickles'. The film was shown after the World Cup in 2006. The next year Imogen filmed on numerous projects including filming opposite Judi Dench in BBC's costume drama 'Cranford' whilst also performing in 'Evita' in London's West End.
After enjoying a sell-out run at The Old Vic performing along side Kevin Spacey in 'Inherit The Wind' directed by Trevor Nunn, Imogen, then aged 13, was cast as the recurring role of Rachel Levy in BBC's Holby City. Whilst tackling serious story lines in Holby City Imogen, 17, returned to Regents Park Open Air Theatre to play Kitty Bennet in 'Pride & Prejudice'.
Imogen continues to work on her music whilst also working in television, theatre and film.
Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Limerick, Ireland. He managed to fail every subject in school, except English and recess. In 1952, he returned to America and worked as a longshoreman, dishwasher and laborer. Soon after, he became an actor, and then established the first singles bar in America. He then began a tumultuous radio career in 1970 on WNYC, WMCA and WBAI. They said he was outrageous and opinionated and a disgrace to the Irish, which was quite true. Aside from some temporary stints on WABC, WOR and WNYC, he has not been asked to do a regular show since he got fired in 1976, which celebrated the two hundredth anniversary of free speech in America. Malachy has appeared on stage in plays such as "DA", "The Hostage", "Mass Appeal", "Inherit the Wind" and "A Child's Christmas in Wales". On television, he was a semi-regular on The Jack Paar Tonight Show, with Jack Paar and Merv Griffin. He appeared in the soap operas, Ryan's Hope, One Life to Live, as well as The Dain Curse and other made-for-TV movies. On screen, he can be seen in She's the One, The Devil's Own, Reversal of Fortune, Green Card, The Field and The Molly Maguires. Currently, he is doing a star turn in the new Edward Burns film, Ash Wednesday, followed by another star turn in The Guru. Malachy is the author of "A Monk Swimming", which was on the best- seller lists for months in the U.S., Europe and Australia. His new book, "Singing My Him Song", was published in October of 2000 by Harper Collins. Malachy and his brother, Frank McCourt, developed, staged and acted in "A Couple of Blaguards", which was performed in St. Petersburg, Florida. The play has been produced throughout America, Australia and the UK. Malachy is happily married to Diana, is the proud father of five children, and the grandfather of three. He lives in New York City, where he writes a weekly column for The West Side Spirit "Sez I To Myself".
Born in the UK and raised in the US, Adrian Sparks is an award winning veteran actor of the American stage. He has played leading roles at some of the most prestigious theaters in the country including The Tyrone Guthrie in Minnesota, Seattle Repertory, Long Wharf, and the Shakespeare Theater Company in Wash, DC, to name a few. His 2005 Los Angeles performance of Ernest Hemingway in the one-man play Papa, by Pulitzer Prize winning author John deGroot, garnered Adrian an Ovation Award nomination for Best Actor. In 2009, he rec'd an Acclaim Award for Best Leading Actor, as well as a CEA Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Sharky in The Seafarer, at the Ensemble Theater in Cincinnati. Since 2010, he has spent multiple seasons at The Old Globe in San Diego as a leading member of the Shakespeare Company created by Adrian Noble. During his tenure at The Globe, his portrayal of Matthew Harrison Brady in the acclaimed production of Inherit the Wind, led to a nomination for a Craig Noel Award as Best Actor 2013. As a film actor, he has appeared in more than 75 film, television, and commercial productions. Most notable is his portrayal of Ernest Hemingway in the 2015 film Papa Hemingway in Cuba, written by Denne Bart Petitclerc and directed by Bob Yari.
David Wells, actor in Los Angeles for 35 years, is known for his varied and eccentric characters, whether it be the recent recurring Father Pete, the pedophile priest on Shameless, to the time traveling Mr. Quiche opposite Jeff Daniels in The Grand Tour, to the grave-digging Milton in House. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans know him as the iconic "cheese man" character. A veteran of over 50 films and 100 plus television appearances, career highlights include George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon's Inherit The Wind, Michael Douglas' Basic Instinct, and Eddie Murphy's Beverly Hills Cop.
Wells is also a film and theatre producer. He produced and starred in the feature film, Elephant Sighs, co-starring Ed Asner. For several years, Wells co-owned the Third Stage Theatre in Burbank, where he co-produced several theatre productions and housed many of famed playwright Justin Tanner's comedies.
As an acting teacher, Wells has taught such students as Tobey Maguire, Mila Kunis, Jenna Elfman, Gage Golightly, Brighid Fleming, R.J. Mitte, etc.
There was a time when Catherine Craig was known in Hollywood as a promising and talented "B"-level actress as opposed to being simply Mrs. Robert Preston. All in all, she handled it with grace, poise and wifely dedication.
Born Catherine Jewel Feltus on January 18, 1915, in Bloomington, Indiana, she was the daughter of a circus proprietor and cinema owner who piqued her initial interest in the arts. Although she attended school in the States (in her native Bloomington), she spoke Spanish fluently as a result of her childhood trips with her family to South America (including Santiago, Chile). Graduating from the University of Indiana in 1936, she was a speech instructor's assistant for a time while appearing on the local stage in Indiana.
Eventually relocating to Los Angeles in search of a professional career, her well-modulated voice and crisp diction came in handy when radio work came her way. She met actor Preston while both were fellow students at the Pasadena Playhouse. The lovely blue-eyed, chestnut-haired Catherine initially earned studio interest interest after being spotted by a 20th Century Fox talent agent. She promptly apprenticed with the films Doomed to Die, Murder Over New York and Manhattan Heartbeat.
Catherine, however, earned a contract at her husband's studio, Paramount, but remained relatively obscure with a trail of decorative bit roles in such dubiously-titled "B" hokum as Las Vegas Nights, West Point Widow, Parachute Nurse, Showboat Serenade and The Bride Wore Boots. In the post-war years the blue-eyed, chestnut-haired beauty finally began to earn more noticeable assignments such as her lifeboat survivor in Seven Were Saved, her wealthy fiancé menaced by a conniving Albert Dekker in the superb "B" crime thriller The Pretender, and her innocent-eyed prairie flower opposite Randolph Scott in Albuquerque.
Following a few stage endeavors (she appeared with Preston in the plays "Girl of the Golden West" and "The Play's The Thing" in the late 1940s), she appeared in a few more films, the best being The Pretender. By 1950 Catherine had drifted back to minor status and retired from films after a nothing part in No Man of Her Own. From then on she completely avoided the limelight in support of her husband's career. Preston himself became disillusioned with films and the couple moved to New York wherein he became a Tony-winning Broadway performer of musicals and legit plays. Catherine appeared in an occasional play such as "Bell, Book and Candle" and "Inherit the Wind".
After living in Greenwich, Connecticut, then Montecito, California, Preston's film career was rejuvenated when he transferred his Harold Hill success to the big screen in The Music Man. He won an Oscar nomination decades later with Victor Victoria. Following Preston's death from lung cancer in 1987, Catherine, along with former theater co-stars Mary Martin and Bernadette Peters, paid tribute to him at the Tony Awards presentation that year. Catherine settled in Santa Barbara and passed away at age 88 in 2004.
An immaculate gent of sober appearance and cultivated presence, Bate was seemingly destined to play spymasters and senior civil servants. Lean, pale-eyed and of deceptively mild intonation, he was capable of unnervingly icy composure, never more effectively displayed than as the chameleon-like Soviet mole Kim Philby in ITV's telemovie Philby, Burgess and Maclean. In similar vein, Bate played the enigmatic, debonair American-born spook, Bret Renssalaer, in Len Deighton's Game, Set, and Match. Most famously, he added an authentic touch to the affable, officious Home Office security undersecretary, Sir Oliver Lacon -- "Whitehall's Head Prefect" - in John le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and its sequel, Smiley's People.
Anthony Bate began working life behind the bar of a hotel owned by his family on the Isle of Wight. After completing his national service with the Royal Navy Volunteers in 1947, he started dabbling in amateur dramatics and then took the next step to formal training at London's Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating a gold medal winner. After the obligatory sojourn in repertory theatre, he made his West End debut in a 1960 dramatisation of the famous 1925 Scopes Trial, "Inherit the Wind", at St. Martin's Theatre. Over the next three decades, he drew many excellent notices for such classical roles as Don Pedro in "Much Ado About Nothing", for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In occasional films from 1957, Bate popped up as straight man in minor comedies, like Dentist in the Chair. However, in due course, he found his niche to be on the small screen, where he was increasingly sought-after by producers for a wide variety of characters of, either, furtive, stern, starchy, supercilious or sinister disposition. Besides crime and espionage, Bate was a ubiquitous protagonist in screen adaptations from the classics: the obsessive Inspector Javert on the trail of Frank Finlay's Jean Valjeon, in a 1967 version of Victor Hugo's oft-filmed masterpiece; as the intrepid Dr. Livesey of Treasure Island; and as the Knight's Templar, Sir Brian de Bois Guilbert, chief nemesis of Ivanhoe. Another of his outright villains was treacherous London gangster Eddie Edwards, taking advantage of his boss's (Ray McAnally) incarceration to usurp his criminal empire. In Intimate Strangers, Bate was given a rare starring role, as a middle-aged family man, re-evaluating his life after a heart attack. This introspective and nuanced performance was, arguably, one of his best. The cool, unflappable Mr. Bate also portrayed such historical personae as Joseph Stalin, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt and Eduard Shevardnadze -- all with equal vigour and conviction. One of the unsung heroes of British television, Anthony Bate passed away in June 2012 at the age of 84.
|Jack De Mave
Jack De Mave was born in New Jersey and spent most of his formative years exposed to the two exciting worlds of theater and boxing. The roar of the crowd was music to his ears. Jack's dad was the original "Golden Boy", a leading contender for the heavyweight championship of the world in the late 1920's. he fought 87 professional bouts, losing only 11. After seeing De Mave, Sr., fight, Clifford Odets got the idea for the play "Golden Boy", although the story line was in no way based on real life. Jack's father retired from the ring years before Jack was born, but, as a boy, Jack loved to frequent Stillman's Gym or Dempsey's restaurant, meeting his dad's friends such as Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano, Mickey walker and Jack Dempsey. Jack's godfather was Primo Carnera). As a very young man, jack was considering boxing as a career. But that changed after seeing Paul Muni in "Inherit the Wind" on Broadway. Jack's mother had been casting director for Broadway producer John Golden years before and it was under the Golden banner that Muni had his first big stage success. Jack visited Muni back stage after the performance and the actor's words turned Jack to acting. Jack's training was solidly launched when he won a scholarship to work with Mary Welch and he was schooled in the classical and contemporary theater. His first professional stage appearance was playing opposite Inger Stevens in "Picnic". His portrayal of "Hal" won rave notices. He thane appeared as "Mannion" in the New York City Center Production of "Mr. Roberts" starring Charlton Heston. That brought him to the attention of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, with whom he appeared as "Pedro Cabral" in "The Visit", the Lunt's last play. Jack considers working with the famed acting couple one of his most rewarding experiences. During his association with them (both on Broadway and in the national touring company) Jack met such theatrical legends as Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward. Jack feels his greatest mistake was in not taking advantage of a scholarship arranged by the Lunts for him at the Royal Academy in London. Jack did, however, study for two years with Lee Strasberg, which he feels was of great value to him. Marilyn Monroe was studying with Strasberg at that time and Jack fondly remembers working on a scene with her for class just before she left to film "Bus Stop." He acted opposite another news-making lady in the person of Princess Lee Radziwill, co-starring with Lee in "The Philadelphia Story." The public interest attending the Princess' stage debut landed them in the center of Life magazine, plus many other magazine and newspaper layouts around the country. Some of Mr. De Mave's other stage experiences include co-starring with Ann Blyth in "Sound of Music," Nanette Fabray in Applause" and with Maureen Reagan in "Any Wednesday." He also co-starred in "Sweeney Todd," "Guys and Dolls" and "The Hasty Heart." Jack most recently appeared in the Ray Milland role of "Dial M for Murder" opposite Hope Lange and in the off-Broadway productions of "Richard the Second" and "Macbeth" in New York. Jack's first television appearance was in the Kraft Theater production of "Kings Bounty," with Christopher Plummer. Jack then moved to Hollywood where his TV career continued with guest-starring roles on "Daniel Boone," The F.B.I," "The Fugitive," "Adam -12," "Marcus Welby, M.D." "Ellery Queen'" and a "TV Pilot film called "Boot Hill." He then took the starring role of "Ranger Bob Ericson" on the new "Lassie" TV series, which he did for three years. Upon leaving the "Lassie" series, Jack guest-starred in the recurring role of Armond Linton on the "Mary Tyler Moore" show. Jack also kept busy as a romantic interest for leading ladies such as Doris Day, Valerie Harper, Kelly McGillis, Susan Lucci and Sandy Duncan. One of Jack's happiest experiences was costarring with Bette Davis in a TV Movie for NBC entitled "Hello Mother, Goodbye" in which he appeared as her newscaster son. Jack says Ms. Davis was one of his all-time favorites. Jack also appeared in recurring roles on several daytime dramas such as "General Hospital," "Loving" and "The Bold and The Beautiful." Jack's first theatrical film was "Splendor in the Grass," wherein he seduced Natalie Wood, a scene added by Eli Kazan and Willian Inge during production. However, in editing the film they thought the scene was too graphic for that time to include. Other films followed and featured Jack with Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale in "Blindfold." "Seventeen Seventy-Six" as John Penn and "Man Without a Face" with Mel Gibson.
Jordan Elsass informally started his acting career at age 4, when during a VBS production he decided to improv his way onto his family's "Greatest Life's Moments" DVD. It was clear that he loved humor and finding a way to make people laugh as often as possible. If "Professional Prankster" were a legitimate career, Jordan would seek to obtain his PhD and pursue that field wholeheartedly. He carries around an imaginary "reaction cam" wherever he goes, and his mother is the most frequent target. He hopes to train with Second City in the coming years.
In 2012, Jordan was cast in multiple main stage theatrical productions until he was discovered by a talent agent in a performance of "Inherit the Wind". Soon after, he worked on a TV pilot spec "Professor Isle's Laboratory", playing the ultimate nerd, "Poindexter". In June of 2014, he completed filming his first major production, "Billy and the Bandit", playing the lead role of Billy. This family show features Western stars of the 1960's, including James Drury, Gary Clarke and Roberta Shore, from "The Virginian", Buck Taylor from "Gunsmoke", and Donny Boaz of "My All American". Since then, he has been cast in many commercials, film shorts and even feature films. One of his gifts as an actor is the ability to play a broad range of roles, from serious drama to slapstick comedy, and everything in between. He loves being on set and continues taking classes to hone his skills further.
Jordan attends Austin Community College, working on both high school and college credits, and is a Mixed Martial Artist. He lives with his family in Georgetown, Texas.
Timothy Alan Powell was born on June 16th, 1956 in Jonesboro, Arkansas to Carl and Bettie Powell. Tim has three brothers two older and one younger. At the age of three the family moved to Sheffield, Alabama where his father opened his own wholesale electronic parts company. Tim went to Blake Elementary in Sheffield, Alabama. When he was eight years old his grandmother dragged him to nearby Tuscumbia, Alabama, the birthplace of Helen Keller. where he auditioned for the part of a little black boy in the annual Miracle Worker Production. It was 1964 - the first year the show was integrated, and Tim didn't get the part.
In the sixth grade Tim began attending Mars Hill Bible School, a private Christian School run by a very strict fundamentalist sect called the Church of Christ. At Mars Hill Tim received several years of a capella voice training. His parents planned for him to be a preacher and, at the age of eight, he preached his first sermon. Tim had other aspirations. When he was eight he had seen a live production of the Music Man and he wanted to some day play the stuttering kid. From 14 to 17 Tim played bass guitar in a rock and roll band with some other guys from Mars Hill.
As a result of a blowout with his father Tim left Mars Hill after his Junior year and went to a public school and graduated in 1974. After graduating from High School his father gave him two alternatives to attend one of two Christian colleges if he would take them and Tim was to major in Bible and minor business and come back to work for him or become a minister. Instead, after a three month hitchhiking adventure Tim returned to Florence, Alabama, and paid for his own education at the University of North Alabama and started a major in psychology. In his second year a friend of his suggested an easy arts credit in theater lab, you work 50 hours and get a B. Work a 100 hours building sets and get an A. One night he was working on a set piece when the director came over to me and asked if he could sing or act, as he needed a freaky looking guy to play the illiterate Bible salesman in Inherit the Wind. He took the part and for the next few years, went out on every audition he could and got parts in almost all of them. He took theatre classes for fun, never dreaming he'd use them.
In his junior year he was told he only needed three more hours for a theater major so he ended up going a fifth year and double majoring in English and drama. Tim took the first graduate assistantship that was offered to him at the University of Mississippi as an MFA Directing Candidate in Theater. Now he was moving into academic theater, teaching 12 - 14 hours, taking 12 hours, he had to perform in every main stage production that came up and had to produce and direct one of his own in each semester. This was wearing him down and at the end of the third semester a friend of his from UNA came through town and asked Tim how he would like to be a lighting designer doing rock and roll concerts. Tim jumped at the chance and dropped everything and left and worked one niters all through the southeast. He found out that the lighting was the first thing in and the last thing out and he spent a lot of time by himself sitting in motel rooms. He knew he was on the wrong side of the stage. Tim soon tired of this lighting life and went back to the University for another year and six hours short of his MFA, again, dropped everything to go to New York to work for Playboy's marketing division. He produced and directed promotions for spring break in beach resorts for six months out of the year for Playboy and other marketing companies for the next six years.
He then played the part of Private White in a low-budget Science Fiction movie called: What Waits Below. With the earnings from this film he joined SAG and moved to Nashville, Tennessee and shared a house with four other guys he had known from Florence AL. Tim booked several jobs in commercials, joined AFTRA, got his equity card and became a regular performer at Tennessee Repertory Company. For his day jobs Tim conducted tours at the Guinness Hall of World Records on Music Row, booked performers for a singing telegram service, and continued to do Spring Break Promotions for various Advertising and Marketing companies. It was in Nashville that he met his future wife, Elizabeth.
Tim often went to Atlanta for auditions and was cast in a Disney Feature called Goodbye, Miss 4th of July. While living in Nashville a friend, who had moved to Orlando in the early eighties, began sending Tim newspaper clippings describing the building film industry and describing Orlando as "the new LA." In 1987 the Powell's sold their home and moved to Orlando. Tim signed with a few agents and at first got very few calls.
Things started to happen for Tim in Orlando with Superboy, and Superforce and regular commercial gigs, and he frequently returned to Atlanta where he did Silent Victim and Class of '61. While Tim was working at the Caldwell Theater in Boca Raton in the play The Importance of Being Ernest, Lori Wyman who at the time was casting Miami Vice, came back stage and asked him for a resume. She invited Tim to read for the show and he booked a part on Miami Vice.
Other television credits are In the Heat of the Night, Wiseguy, Problem Child 2, Sea Quest, The Cape, ER, Safe Harbour, Unsolved Mysteries and once as a guest star and as SAG Voice talent looping 28 episodes of Sheena. His theater credits include roles in Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Fallen Angels and Pygmalion.
Today, Tim has his own production company called Bark at the Dog Productions, Inc. He continues to do regular Voice-Over work, produces, develops and performs as a narrator-spokesperson in non-broadcast industrials and interactive CD ROMs, and is a continues to work as a Macintosh computer consultant to a few select clients. He also teaches occasional voice-over workshops.
(2014) Tim lives in Los Angeles, CA where he serves on the SAG Conservatory Steering Committee, teaches their Acting and VO workshops at the American Film Institute, and is an active member of the TV Academy. He has built a professional acting resume in Theatre, Film, TV, and VO, that spans 3 decades. From Shakespeare, Moliere, and Oscar Wilde at TN Repertory in Nashville and the Caldwell Theatre in Boca Raton, FL, to on-camera work throughout much of the east coast; landing speaking roles in 30+ Films (Pregnancy Pact, Recount, Bad Boys II, Sunshine State, Holy Man) and Dozens of Television shows (Rake, Criminal Minds, The Glades, One Tree Hill, Army Wives, Burn Notice, ER).
In 2014, he appeared in a (Sold-out) one-man show, entitled Man's Dominion, in the LA Fringe Festival where the show was held over for the Encore presentations.
Donald Elson was raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, just a "whoop and a holler" from Hollywood. He was a young college student at the outbreak of WWII. After serving in the Air Force, he attended the Columbia Radio School of Broadcasting on the GI Bill and pursued a career as a radio announcer at stations in Texas and Oklahoma before returning to college. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA degree in Theatre Arts in 1949 and headed to New York. Elson became a successful Broadway actor, appearing in "Inherit The Wind," "Desire Under the Elms," "Peter Pan," "Threepenny Opera" and numerous off-Broadway productions. He returned to Hollywood in the early 1960s, "saddling up" in a string of Film and TV Westerns.
His skill and craftsmanship have enabled him to portray a wide variety of characters. Why is that craggy face so "gol'durn" familiar? Because we've seen it a thousand times in movies, television series, anthologies and Movies of the Week as well as countless television commercials.
Robert Macpherson is a British actor who trained at the Oxford School of Drama and graduated in 2007. He made his theatrical debut that Summer at The National Theatre, before being cast alongside Kevin Spacey in Sir Trevor Nunn's Inherit the Wind. UK tours and West End shows have followed, most recently the RSC's Tony and Olivier award winning productions of Hillary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies which played both in London's West End and Broadway.
He is represented by RBM Actors London.
Over the past 50+ years Jerry has appeared in over 50 stage productions. Among his most prominent community theater roles are: Sheriff Dodd in 'Best Little Whorehouse In Texas', Hajj in 'Kismet', Phil in 'That Championship Season', Billy Bigelow in 'Carousel', Stanley in 'Streetcar Named Desire', Colonel Jessep in 'A Few Good Men' and most recently Henry Drummond in 'Inherit The Wind'. Some of his professional roles: the King in 'King And I', King Arthur in 'Camelot', Capt von Trapp in 'Sound Of Music' and Ben Chambers in 'Norman, Is That You?' He is especially proud of his many headline rave reviews.
Throughout the 60s and 70s Jerry had been very active in promoting Louisana's role in hosting location filming for the major studios, independent producers and all the leading TV networks. In 2014 he was awarded the Anne Price Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his pioneering efforts to grow the film industry in Louisiana.
Joel Thomas Ashley was born in Atlanta, GA, to Alsie Ashley and Beulah Mariah Rodgers, daughter of Joel Thomas Rodgers and Laura Mariah Jones. He attended Georgia Military Academy, Peekskill (NY) Military Academy and graduated from Black Foxe Military Academy in Los Angeles, CA, in 1935 at age 16. He attended the University of Southern California and then the American Academy of Dramatic Art, but did not graduate, because he got a part in a Broadway play at age 17. Thereafter, he appeared in 8 Broadway plays, including twice playing Abraham Lincoln in "Prologue to Glory" and "War President." Among other plays he starred in were "Sun Field" and "Catherine Was Great" with Mae West, and other touring plays with Kay Francis and Elisabeth Bergner, as well as many plays in summer stock. He began working in television in New York in the live dramatic anthology series of the 1950s, including "Studio One" and television plays sponsored by Hallmark, Kraft, Philco, Lux and US Rubber. His mellifluous voice also announced for Lucky Strike and he took several roles on radio soap operas and dramas, such as "The Shadow," and live television drama series, such as "Captain Video." Ashley moved to Hollywood to appear in "The Ten Commandments" as a slave driver, and stayed on. Among his other films, some of which are still playing from time to time on cable tv, are "Tension at Table Rock," "Wild in the Streets," "Ghost Town," "Broken Star," and "The Great Locomotive Chase." He also appeared in several episodes of the television series, "Gunsmoke" (one of which won an Emmy), and also frequently as the bad guy in "Have Gun Will Travel, " Death Valley Days," "Wagon Train," "Cisco Kid," and "The Lone Ranger." As chairman of the Theatre Committee of the Masquer's Club for many years, Ashley directed and acted in several plays, including "Othello," and "Inherit the Wind." During World War II, he joined the Marines in 1941 and was wounded at Guadalcanal. In 1942, Joel Ashley married Margalo Francis Wilson (1920-1960), daughter of Francis Wilson, who was the founding president of Actor's Equity, and Edna Bruns, his former leading lady. They had two daughters together. In 1961, he married Erna Maria Rade, formerly of Leipzig, Germany, who died in 1984. His companion of over a decade, Connie Egan, died in 1998. He was survived by his daughter, Margalo Ashley-Farrand, J.D., and her children, Marc Alexander Bennett and Aliza Margalo Bennett and her stepsons, Michael and Robert Bennett, as well as the children on his deceased daughter, Laurel Mariah Ashley Petersen, Ph.D., Joel C. Petersen, Ryan Petersen, and Ashley Sarah Petersen and her stepsons, Matthew and Timothy Petersen. A Memorial service was held on May 13, 2000, at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Hollywood, California. The family requests donations to The Actors Fund of America.
Cursed with natural comedic talent and the ability to make even the geekiest geek likable, Simon is an infectiously enthusiastic actor who steadfastly refuses to grow up.
Since graduating from East 15 Acting School in 2008 he has appeared in more films, plays and adverts than you can shake a stick at. Career highlights include sharing the Old Vic stage with Kevin Spacey in 'Inherit The Wind', lead roles in major commercials for clients such as Pizza Hut, Pepsi and Visa, and playing Keith in upcoming feature film 'PULP.'
In his spare time Simon enjoys being creative in other ways; songwriting on his acoustic guitar, playing football for a local team, and making people laugh until they snort the beverage of their choice out of their noses.
Ed Schiff is a veteran actor, director and producer with over 200 credits in professional theater, in film and on television. Schiff was recently featured in the movies "War of the Worlds," "Out of the Fog," "The Warrior Class" and "Everyman." He was John Wolfe, the corrupt detective, on ABC-TV's "One Life to Live," and Mitchell Morgan, the TV station manager in the primetime comedy "Grapevine." Recent regional theater stage roles for Schiff have included title roles in "Da" and "King Lear"; lead roles as Matthew Harrison Brady in "Inherit the Wind," Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Gaston in "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," Larkin in "Golf with Alan Shephard," Gen. MacKenzie in "And Then There Were None," Mr. Laurence in "Little Women" and King Claudius in "Hamlet." His many recent TV commercials include him as Ernest Hemingway for "Pilot Pen," The Gorton's Fisherman, and as King Alfonso for "Medieval Times."
Growing up, Sally spent most of her time doing Judo at the Denton Junior Optimist Judo Club or at North Texas Kart Way on her go-kart. As a child, she avidly tried to be involved in as many things as possible including: ballet, tap, jazz, choir, orchestra, martial arts, racing, and tree climbing - much to her mother's dismay. As a result, Sally is a life member of the Girl Scouts of America, Texas Judo Inc., United States Judo Inc., and S.T.A.G.E.
Sally is originally from Texas, where she did every theatrical production she could throughout schooling and college. She has done several musicals, classical straight plays, and even a few operettas. These include, but are not limited to: Little Women, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Carousel, The Crucible, Magic Flute, Trial By Jury, Chamber Music, Inherit The Wind, Laundry and Bourbon, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and Streetcar Named Desire. Sally loved being on stage, and singing when opportunity allowed considering she was classically trained as a Soprano. Her first professional stage production was Nunsense, followed shortly by a role in Love From A Stranger.
Sally moved to North Hollywood, California in 2006 where she did a few short films and worked on her first features. Titles include: The Procrastinator, Just Another Relationship, The Steamroom, and Stellina Blue.
In 2008, Sally moved to New York, NY where she continued her career in film by working on the features Pesticide, and Made-Up Language, along with a few industrials.
In 2010, she moved back to Hollywood, CA where she currently resides.
Bob Dio has a long show business career as an actor and director including stage, film, television and radio. He has directed the riveting drama Inherit the Wind, and Simon Grays Stage Struck at the Ivoryton Playhouse. His other stage directorial credits include: Y In The World staged at the Bushnell's Belding Theatre in Hartford, Death of a Salesman, I Hate Hamlet, Evita, Extremities, Front Street starring Ron Paolillo of television's Welcome Back Kotter, and You're A Good Man Charlie Brown. Regional acting roles include, Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (Ivoryton Playhouse) Joseph in My Three Angels, Sidney Redlich in Bell Book and Candle, Rutledge in 1776, Pilot in Jesus Christ Superstar, Vitorio Vidal in Sweet Charity, Herr Shultz in Cabaret, Count Dracula in Dracula, Flint in The Night of January 16th, Val in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Bob's national and international television and screen acting credits include Harvest for Ibid Films, Everybody's Fine for Paramount Studios, The Town directed by Ben Affleck, The Scarlet Letter for PBS, The Deadliest Season for CBS, Coma for Warner Brothers, and Promises In the Dark for MGM. Bob was also the supervising producer for the nationally syndicated, reality-based television series Real Stories of the Highway Patrol. He has also had the pleasure of directing television commercials starring the late Paul Newman, Phyllis Diller, Robert Vaughn and Hugh O'Brien. Bob has performed on countless radio and television commercials. He also staged the "Bozzuto Awards" a live event at Mohegan Sun Casino hosted by nationally known celebrity John O'Hurley. Bob's training includes voice at the Hartt School of Music, BA in Speech and Drama (University of Hartford), MFA directing program (University of Connecticut).
Ruty is an American writer, model and film & voice actor. His love of cinema and acting career began at three years old when his mother, an Air Force Captain and middle school teacher, began entering him in pageants in his home state of Alabama. These early experiences enhanced his love for the stage and started him acting in local theater groups.
His first taste of acting came playing Howard Blair in Inherit the Wind at the Martin Theater in Panama City, Florida. Ruty embedded himself within the ensemble and began being cast in productions like Fiddler on the Roof, Shootout at Hole-in-the-Wall, Cinderella and Aesop's Fables. His youth was spent traveling while auditioning throughout the east coast. An avid sports lover, Ruty spent his free time focused karate, basketball, football, and track & field and scored multiple scholarships, deciding to enroll at Florida State. However, before graduating high school, tragedy struck on September 11, 2001 and Ruty decided it was his duty to help defend America. After graduation he joined the United States Army as a Combat Medic and served proudly throughout the war, deploying with an Aviation Battalion.
After his tour of duty, Ruty returned to Florida State to pursue his Master's Degree all the while booking auditions and filling nearly any moment not in study working in front of the camera. In his first eight months in Hollywood, Ruty booked spots with Pizza Hut and AT&T, as well as a principle role in the Warner Brother's film, "Argo" directed by Ben Affleck. He has appeared in or voiced on shows like "ABC's Baby Daddy", Brad Pitt & David Ayers' "Fury". He is a member of Veterans in Film and Television (VFT) and American Legion Post 43 Hollywood.
Ruty also enjoys screenwriting and submits his work to internships, contests and fellowships. He pursues this course whenever not acting, and has written multiple feature films and TV pilots, earning his way into the WGA's Veteran's Writers Fellowship and LACMA's Film Maker's program. After optioning multiple projects, he worked in the writer's office for CW's "The Flash".
In 2015, Ruty could be seen or heard in "The Magnificent Seven", "Finest Hours" or DJ Pooh's "Grow House" just to name a few. Since the start of 2016, he has been cast in a host of projects through the American Film Institute. Word of mouth spread his skill and professionalism to other parties, earning him multiple other jobs beyond the walls of one of the most storied film schools in the world.
Braden Paes has built an impressive career as an acclaimed theatre artist and a rising television and feature film star. A native of Calgary, Alberta, Braden started studying the arts at the early age of 8 attending Calgary's preeminent St. John Fine Arts. He starred in the critically acclaimed Mikado (2004) and Inherit The Wind (2009) for which he was nominated as the "Best New Actor" that year - All before graduating high school which he did through correspondents.
Braden's work includes the action-thriller Collective Unconscious (2013) and the period drama Front Lines (2014). He also co-starred in the hit Canadian series Young Drunk Punk (2015) in which he was given much praise for his role as Beauregard.
Matthew began his acting career at the age of six in Boston doing commercial and print work. His first audition in NYC came at the age of seven for the Broadway production of Dracula, The Musical. Matthew booked the role. It was his first time on Broadway as well as his first time stepping on a stage ever. Dracula earned Matthew his Actor's Equity card at the age of 8 and introduced him to the love of the theater. He then went on to book his first principal role in the feature Chapter 27, with Jared Leto. Earning his SAG card at the age of nine. This would be followed by his second Broadway show - Inherit The Wind with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy and more film, animation and voice-over work earning Matthew his AFTRA card by the age of ten.
Matthew has been involved in all aspects of creative work for stage, screen, internet and radio through the participation in staged readings of new productions, music videos, cast recordings, web series, TV series pilots, film, theater work and inprov performances. Matthew's interest in the creative process extends to photography and set design and finding new ways to tell a story. Matthew has also been a competitive swimmer since the age of six and a leader in the world of philanthropy.
EJ Assi, a native of Detroit, holds a BFA in acting from Wayne State University and trained at the Moscow Art Theatre School as well. He began his career on stage in such classics as Bus Stop, Inherit the Wind, A View from a Bridge, Taming of The Shrew, and A Lie of The Mind performed in Moscow, Russia. After EJ's film debut in Detroit Unleaded, Filmmaker Magazine described him as "tremendously charismatic with a bright career ahead of him". EJ has done a variety of commercial and print work and can be seen in the upcoming features, Waterfront Nightmare, An Inappropriate Affect, and City of Gold a Gus Van Sant film.
Scott served as acting coach for 20th Century Fox Studios under a multi-year, exclusive contract, coaching actors for television projects. He served as acting coach on the feature film "Princess Ka'iulani" starring Barry Pepper, Will Patton, and Q'orianka Kilcher. Scott has coached principal actors, for more than 3000 hours on the sets of motion pictures and national television shows. He has produced, cast, and/or directed more than 100 professional productions and he's written, directed, and produced dozens of TV commercials. He was the full-time, on-set, Acting Coach for the Fox-TV series North Shore and was previously the full-time Acting Coach for the hit TV show Baywatch.
Scott is a 30+ year member of Actors Equity Association, AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild (now SAG-AFTRA), where he sits on the National Board of Directors and serves on several national committees and as Co-Chair of the SAG-AFTRA National Conservatory Committee. He's taught acting to hundreds of actors, in classes across the country, from Los Angeles to Florida, from Seattle to San Francisco, from Washington D.C. to Guam (yes, Guam!). He has auditioned more than 15,000 actors for various productions and his clients appear on television, Film, & on Broadway, daily.
Since the mid-1980s Scott's been hired by actors, studios, and production companies to Coach, Direct, and Produce shows for, hundreds of accomplished actors, including: Donna Mills (Knotts Landing), Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows, Pat Morita (Karate Kid), Brooke Burns (Dog Eat Dog), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), Charles Grodin, Catherine Oxenberg, Susan Blakesley, Richard Kline, Vincent Gardenia, Charles Grodin, Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, John Astin, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Ted Lange (Love Boat), Denver Pyle (Dukes of Hazard), Timothy Bottoms, Tony Bennett & many others.
In 1994, after living and working in Los Angeles for more than 25 years, Scott moved to Hawai'i with his wife, Jeanne, in order to raise their (soon to be) two children in a safe and sane environment. They opened their school in 2000, to train actors for film and television. Scott's clients include series-regulars on shows like LOST, North Shore, and Baywatch and actors appearing in: Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull, Hawaii Five-0, ER, 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Rundown, Tears of the Sun, Blue Crush, Lilo & Stich, and many more. In 2013 Scott opened a second studio, this one in Portland, Oregon. Within a year or so almost all of his Portland students were regularly booking roles on TV shows like Grimm, Portlandia, and The Librarians.
Scott began his career in professional theatre as a young child, portraying a "Munchkin" in his father, Herb Rogers' Equity production of The Wizard Of Oz, in 1965. Being bitten by the theatre bug at such a young age led to the inevitable pursuit of a career in the theatre. After studying Directing in college and working as an actor, Scott began traveling the country working as a Production Stage Manager. After stage-managing seventy or so Equity shows, he began directing original plays in small theaters around Hollywood, including two for Jerome Lawrence (Author of "Mame" and "Inherit the Wind"). He quickly developed a reputation for drawing first class performances from his actors, and always opening his shows on time and under budget. Scott has never been out of work since. He has gone on to direct many Equity shows around the country including; the Los Angeles Premiere of A Prelude To A Kiss; Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Donna Mills; Nanette Fabray in the West Coast Premiere of The Cemetery Club, and Jayne Meadows in the highly acclaimed production of Neil Simons' Lost In Yonkers, about which The Los Angeles Times' wrote "Scott Rogers staging at La Mirada Theatre is a more moving experience than the National Touring Company...". More details of concerts, stage and road shows can be found in 'other work'.
Michael Cornelison began his professional career as an actor in 1967, at the age of fifteen, appearing in a series of educational shorts for Coronet Films. In 1974, Michael co-starred with Cliff Robertson and Robert Preston in the ABC-TV movie, My Father's House. In 1978, Cornelison returned to Los Angeles for an extended run. He completed pilots for three television series: Nightside, "Inspector Perez" and Family in Blue. He also guest-starred on many series in the mid-eighties, including Hill Street Blues, Remington Steele, Dallas, Knots Landing and The Greatest American Hero, among others. Michael also starred in and co-produced Stephen King's The Woman in the Room, the first collaboration between Stephen King and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile). In 1984, he was lured back to the Midwest by the prospect of being artistic director of his own theatre, "The Two Rivers Acting Company". In the ensuing two decades, Michael has appeared in a wide variety of plays, including classics such as "A Man For All Seasons", "Inherit The Wind", "Of Mice And Men" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" and contemporary works like "Camping With Henry And Tom", "Sideman", "The Guys" and "The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare" (Abridged). He also served as artistic director of "Rejection Slip Theatre", a radio comedy/drama anthology which ran on WHO radio for over ten years. In addition, Cornelison has done a great deal of work, in partnership with writer/director Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition), having appeared in no less than five films for Collins, Mommy, Mommy II: Mommy's Day, Real Time: Siege at Lucas Street Market, Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life and "Three Women". Cornelison also narrated Collin's award-winning documentary, "Mike Hammer's Mickey Spillane". Other film work included an appearance in Rain, produced by Martin Scorsese. He has recently recorded "A Little Death", a Mike Hammer adventure audio novel, starring Stacy Keach as Hammer, and will play "Captain Pat Chambers" in a second Hammer story, "Encore for Murder". Both written by Max Allan Collins and based on original material by the late Mickey Spillane. He makes his home in Iowa with his wife, Cindi, and his son, Nick Cornelison.
|Ernest D. Farino
Two-time Emmy Award-winning Ernest Farino's professional motion picture career has spanned over 25 years, first as a Designer and Animator of visual effects (ranging from the Pillsbury Doughboy to The Terminator to Children of Dune), then as a director for feature films, television and the stage (Steel and Lace, Land of the Lost), and now as a publisher of high-quality books (starting with the 3-volume comprehensive career biography, "Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks").
It all started in the 8th grade with The Curse of Dracula, a 3-minute Super-8 film shot and edited entirely "in-camera." By high school Farino was directing industrial films and local (Texas) TV commercials for clients such as Frozen Food Express and Pepsi Cola. Farino was elected president of the Drama Club and, as an actor, performed leading roles in Inherit the Wind and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others, winning a statewide Best Supporting Actor award as "The Devil" in The Devil and Daniel Webster. This experience has lately proven invaluable as a director in creatively working with actors.
In 1976 Farino became head of the animation department for the Dallas, Texas-based Century Studios, and designed and directed several elaborate visual effects commercials.
Farino moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1979 and was quickly hired by Coast Productions to animate the Pillsbury Doughboy and supervise and direct effects for other national advertising accounts such as AMC Trucks and Armour Hot Dogs, as well as such features as ABC's Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure and Hell of the Living Dead. Later freelancing, he created effects for The Howling, Caveman, Creepshow, and The Thing, among others, then headed the Animation/Rotoscope department for Roger Corman's Galaxy of Terror and Saturday the 14th.
Farino formed Kinetic Image Productions and provided animation as part of the Emmy Award-winning visual effects for ABC's The Winds of War. His elaborate James Bond-style main title for Tag: The Assassination Game won the Silver Medal at the 25th International Film & TV Festival of New York.
James Cameron had been art director for Galaxy of Terror and when it came time to put The Terminator before the cameras, Farino was called on as Visual Effects Coordinator and designed/supervised all animation, rotoscope and lightning effects, and designed and created the Main Title sequence.
Numerous visual effects projects followed including 2nd Unit Director (Kauai) and visual effects supervisor for Lady in White. After designing the Main Title For The Abyss, Farino was asked by Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd to join the post-production team as visual effects coordinator and liaison to DreamQuest Images and to supervise VistaVision compositing at Pacific Title.
Simultaneous to his effects work, Farino had been writing screenplays, including his own Hitchcock-style mystery/thriller "Blood White" and assignments such as the comedy Beverly Hills Vamp. His action/thriller script "First Strike" placed 11th out of over 1,000 entries in the annual Writer's Digest magazine national screenwriting competition.
When the syndicated series Monsters (1989-1991) needed stop motion animation for an episode that still lacked a director, Farino was given the opportunity to combine his skills and direct Mannikins of Horror (1989). The result was touted as the top episode of the premiere season. Consequently, Farino was asked to direct the premiere episode of the the second season, A Bond of Silk (1989) with Lydia Cornell and Marc McClure, and became the only director to return within the same season for his third episode, The Offering (1990) with Orson Bean.
The Monsters episodes lead Farino to directing his first feature film, Steel and Lace, for Fries Entertainment, starring Bruce Davison (Oscar nominee for Longtime Companion), Clare Wren (The Young Riders), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) and Michael Cerveris (Tony nominee as Tommy in The Who's Tommy on Broadway) and written by Emmy winner Joseph Dougherty.
For network television Farino directed 7 episodes of ABC's top-rated Land of the Lost (1991-1992) starring Timothy Bottoms, including the premiere episodes for both seasons.
The summer of 1993 saw Farino directing his first stage play, the comedy Dub by Henry Slesar, voted Best-of-the-Fest at the Attic Theater's One Act Play Festival in Hollywood.
Still applying his visual effects expertise to select projects, Farino supervised the Main Title sequence and certain opticals for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, designed and directed visual effects for HBO's feature Cast a Deadly Spell and designed the Main Titles for HBO's Citizen Cohn, Brian De Palma 's Raising Cain, and HBO's Truman. He served as Visual Effects Supervisor/2nd Unit Director on Columbia's sci-fi spectacle Screamers, filmed in Montreal and starring Peter Weller, and supervised Visual Effects for Interscope's Snow White: A Tale of Terror, starring Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill.
Farino also directed two feature-length installments in the new family sci-fi film series Josh Kirby... Time Warrior: Chapter 1, Planet of the Dino-Knights for Kushner-Locke/Paramount, filmed in Bucharest, Romania.
Farino directed 2nd Unit and also received his first Emmy nomination as Visual Effects Supervisor for the Tom Hanks/HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and later won consecutive Emmy awards for the New Amsterdam/Sci Fi Channel miniseries Dune and Children of Dune.
Like many in the visual effects field, Farino was sharply influenced by stop motion animation master Ray Harryhausen and from 1971-1974 co-published a "fanzine" about Harryhausen called "FXRH," now considered a collector's item among fans. In 2008 Farino returned to publishing by forming his own company, Archive Editions, publishing the first installment of British author Mike Hankin's comprehensive 3-volume career biography, "Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks."
In 2008 Farino has also completed a longtime pet project, the screenplay adaptation of the 1965 novel, "The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread" by Don Robertson.
Born in Bnei Brak, Israel, Koas is the one of three children of Ron Koas and Miriam Eckstein-Koas. His father is of Israeli and American descent, and his mother, who is American-born, is of American and Eastern European ancestry. Both parents work in education. At the age of 2, Koas moved with his family to Melbourne, Australia, where he lived for three years until moving to New York and living there every since.
Koas began his acting in community theatre productions with The Park Avenue Players, and held numerous ensemble roles as part of the supporting cast. These shows include Oliver!, Bye Bye Birdie, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Oklahoma!. In Oklahoma!, Koas was giving his first character with solo lines, by playing Slim. Park Avenue Players productions were directed by Michelle Mallardi (Belle/Beauty and the Beast - Broadway).
Along with balancing professional community theatre productions, as well as schoolwork, music, and martial arts, Koas also acted simultaneously in school productions at the Schechter School of Long Island. These include Willy Wonka (Grandpa Joe), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Dear Edwina (Scott), Inherit the Wind (Rev. Jeremiah Brown), Cabaret! (Herr. Schultz), Schlemiel the First (Gronam Ox), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lysander), The Three Musketeers (Athos), and Les Miserables (Bishop of Digne/Grantaire). Schechter productions directed by Danny Pitt Stoller and Joan Freeman Cohen.
Koas began attracting the attention of producers and casting directors, who cast him in bit part/extra roles in a variety of shows. Yair was cast mainly for his ability to become a believable member of a crowd, and is known for the amount of time he takes creating a believable background character with a story and personality. He first acted on screen in the music video Power of One (2011), as a teenage boy from the city. His next part was in the CIJE Engineering Promo video (2013), in which he played the role of an engineering student unscripted on camera. Koas continues to show his diverse acting skills seamlessly segueing into characters you'd never expect the sweet, well-mannered young actor portray.In 2015 he played as a bully in the short film-festival style film titled Choices (2015). He is also known for helping out on the short film Where's My Wallet (2014). Koas is best known for acting in the upcoming TV-show Harlem Knights, in which he played multiple unnamed roles throughout shooting.
Koas continues to act in a variety of theatre productions, films, and television shows. He is an avid martial artist, and has been practicing martial arts and stage combat for many years. He is also a voting member of The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, and votes for The Saturn Awards each year.
Michael (Mike) Wiskar is a Leo-nominated composer, songwriter, independent music producer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. A graduate of the Music Program at MacEwan University as well as Langara's Digital Music Production Program, Mike began his music career in his teens as a performer in rock, country, and jazz bands before working as a songwriter for various artists in Quebec. There he worked closely with Myles Goodwyn of legendary Canadian rock band April Wine, among other top-level songwriters and producers. Mike has since written and produced songs and music scores for projects as diverse as corporate branding (Mondonation), theatre (MacBeth, Inherit the Wind), short films, full length and series documentaries, choirs, contemporary artists' repertoires and numerous television series' (Operation Vacation, Psycho Kitty, Men's Fashion Insider, Favorite Places, Homorazzi, and Hot Pink Shorts to name just a few)
Jessica Honsinger was born on an Air Force base in Florida to pilot, Michael Honsinger and Valerie Beckel Honsinger. When she was three, her family moved to Texas where she grew up as the youngest of three children. By high school graduation she had performed in countless school productions including the lead role as Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream". In 2006, Jessica began her formal training with the New York Film Academy at Princeton University. At age 20 she graduated from The University of Hawai'i with a degree in Political Science and English after studying abroad for a year in Cork, Ireland and Paris, France. After working on numerous independent film projects in Hawai'i and Texas, Jessica moved to Santa Monica, California where she was cast in the international political thriller, The Algerian. She continued her stage work as the lead in several productions including "Dearly Beloved" and "Inherit the Wind" and returned to her home state in 2014 to film Murder Book.
Born and raised in Stockton, California, Bill Humphreys has worked from coast to coast as an actor, producer and director in radio, television, film and live theatre for the past 40 years.
A look at the producing side of his career shows a range of projects from documentary: To Kill In California; On The Wing; In Focus: The Hollywood lens of Murray Garrett - to music; Loggins and Messina Live; RockBack - The Iron Butterfly; BackStage/FrontRow. From dramatic; A Scrapbook of Late Beginnings; Pale In Your Shadow; The Terrible Meek - to cultural; The Works of Robert Frost; In Conversation - Bill Moyers; The Civil War Filmmaker-Ken Burns. On The Wing, a 90 minute documentary about the 780th Bomb group of WWII was recently completed and is in distribution - In Focus:... Murray Garrett - a look at the life and work of Bob Hope's personal photographer, is entering final post-production. His latest feature film Just Say Love will be released to theatres by Regent Entertainment in April 2010. Bill was the originating Executive Producer for the PBS series Ciao Italia and has been responsible for the development, writing, directing and producing of special projects for PBS, including arts & cultural programs and documentary series. He was co-producer for President Bill Clinton's original "Town Hall" broadcast.
As a director, Bill has worked with the likes of Carol Channing, Billy Barty, Anthony Quinn, Bob Hope, Ed McMahann, John Byner, Phyllis Diller, Dick Martin, Terry Moore, John Barbour, Marjorie Main, Jack LaLanne and many others. He has directed live and taped broadcasts of presidential and gubernatorial debates, national commercials spots for such clients as Sears, Columbia Record House, Betty Crocker and Rolex Watches. He has also pointed the cameras for The Hollywood Lane Parade of Stars, The Jerry Lewis Telethon, NBA Basketball and NASL Soccer games in addition to a wide variety of children's educational and entertainment programs ranging from Romper Room and City Kids to See Here, Kids Court and Hobo Kelly. Bill has directed more than 25,000 hours of television and film and more than 40 live theatre productions during his career. Films include: Pale In Your Shadow, The Terrible Meek, Just Say Love and many others.
From the acting side of his career, national audiences have seen Bill in such roles as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind, Fagan in Oliver, Harold Ryan in Happy Birthday Wanda June, Littlechap in Stop the World, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. Bill also produced and starred in a tour of the one-man show Clarence Darrow. In total, Bill has more than 120 live theatre credits to his name including such titles as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, The Mousetrap, Boys in the Band, Happy End, My Fair Lady, All the Way Home and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. In 1994, Bill created the role of Cy Gorman in the world premiere of Murdering Mother, written and directed by Ernest Thompson, Academy Award winning author of On Golden Pond. His motion picture credits include such films as: The Terrible Meek; Pale In Your Shadow, The Moonshine War with Alan Alda; R.P.M. with Anthony Quinn, Strawberry Statement with Bruce Dern; Hamburger Hill, The Vals, Against The Tide, Under Arrest and most recently Flying With Icarus and Willow's Way. On the small screen Bill's work goes as far back as The Name of the Game, and comes forward as recently as The Winds of War, The Works of Ambrose Bierce, The Works of Robert Frost, two recent projects for Lone Wolf, which have aired on the History Channel; Witch Hunt and Conquest of America: The Northeast. Bill is regularly seen as the Down East Farmer for Oakhurst Dairy.
Bill has extensive experience in management having served as both Executive Producer and Director of Production for New Hampshire PBS being fully responsible for the production department, supervision of staff directors, and production crews.
As manager and producer, Bill was directly responsible for department and production budgets in excess of $1.5 million and the supervision of a 35 member staff of producers, reporters, videographers, editors and interns. In addition, Bill created a hands-on, television-production- training-program for volunteers, employees and UNH work-study students who supported the network. He has served as President and Artistic Chair on the Board of Trustees to The Rep - a professional Equity theatre in Portsmouth, NH. and worked as Artistic Director for the The Rep during the 2003-2005 seasons.
Bill has been recognized by the International Film and Television Festivals of NY, The American Film Institute, Telly Awards, American Women in Radio and Television, The Ohio State Awards, The Associated Press, The National Association of Broadcasters and the Aurora Awards among others. He's been nominated 10 times for the Emmy Award and has taken three Emmy's home - the first for The Works of Robert Frost which he produced for PBS and the second for directing A Scrapbook of Late Beginnings. Both projects are distributed through APT to PBS nationwide. The Third Emmy came for the RKO Pictures production To Kill In California. Bill is a member of the Screen Actors Guild nominating committee for Primetime Television performances. Bill attended Columbia College of Television and Motion Picture Arts in Hollywood, California majoring in Acting, Film and Television Production. He and his wife Betsy currently reside in Durham, NC where she is a Ph.D. Fellow at UNC - their son Trevor recently graduated from Castleton State College in Vermont with his degree in Technical Theatre.
Jerome Lawrence is best known for the plays "Auntie Mame," "Inherit the Wind," and "First Monday in October" which he co-wrote with Robert E. Lee. In all, they collaborated on 39 works over their 50 year partnership. A theatre archive is named for them at Ohio State University, where Lawrence graduated. He worked for several small Ohio newspapers as a reporter and editor before moving into radio as a writer for CBS. He taught playwriting at the University of Southern California's Master of Professional Writing Program. The school recently named its one-act-play festival in his honor. Even though his works are still produced all over the world, Lawrence's lone Tony Award nomination was for Best Musical, for "Mame" (book).
Born into a family of four sisters and three brothers in the working town of Anderson, Indiana, Susanna was destined to enter the world of showbiz despite the fact she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law. Her first taste of the theater was early grade school and continued right through high school where she wrote, directed, and performed in dozens of plays. It was while she was at Central Jr. High that she organized the school's first Drama Club, which continues to thrive today. At Ball State University, prior to entering law school, the vivacious Ms. Harter dove headfirst into the school's theater and dance program performing in a number of dramatic and musical productions which eventually led to an audition on Broadway. Several Off-Broadway performances followed, including "The French Lieutenant's Woman," "Inherit The Wind," and "Little Me." The transition from Stage to Film/Television came in several episodes of "The Guiding Light" before the call from the west coast came in the form of an offer to play the role of Dr. Heather Lloyd on the ABC soap, "General Hospital." Ms. Harter has since appeared in guest roles as an attorney in various episodic shows such as "Monk," "Out of Practice," and "Smith." More to come as the career of Susanna Harter is a work in progress.
Ryan Winford's interest in acting and music began in high school with plays like "Inherit the Wind" and "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad". A self-taught musician, he picked up guitar and piano at the age of 15 and began creating original songs and compositions to accompany the short films he was making with his friends on an old video camera. Ryan is also a singer/songwriter living and performing in Orlando, FL.
Dave Vaughan's credits include co-writing the award winning film "Hokum" in which he portrays the lead character. His experience dates back more than thirty years with notable stage performances in "L'il Abner" and "Inherit the Wind." In addition to producing various short films, he wrote and directed the feature "Advocate." Dave is presently developing his next feature "A Dark Twisted Tale."
Born in Furneux Pelham, Hertfordshire. She trained at the Arts Educational School, Tring from 1991 - 1998, and then at the Guildford School of Acting graduating in 2001. She has appeared in West End and touring musicals including Les Miserables, Avenue Q, Our House, Grease. She performed in Merry Wives the Musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company with Judi Dench and Simon Callow and in Inherit the Wind at the Old Vic with Kevin Spacey. She played Queen Margaret in the Henry VI Trilogy for Shakespeare's Globe.
|Max E. Youngstein
Studio executive and independent film producer Max E. Youngstein has never received the full recognition he deserves. In 1951, he played a major role in rescuing United Artists (UA) from ruin. He was one of five partners, along with Arthur Krim, Robert Benjamin, Arnold Picker, and Bill Heineman, who purchased the financially troubled production and distribution company from the surviving co-founders Charles Chaplin and Mary Pickford. "For the next 12 years," writes Sandra Brennan, "the charismatic Youngstein, who of the five had the greatest rapport with and understanding of Hollywood's entertainment industry, would supervise productions." Foreseeing a successful market for motion picture soundtracks, he founded United Artists Records and United Artists Music.
During these years, UA would guarantee part of the production capital, worldwide distribution, and split the gross box office revenue. This arrangement was unheard of at the major studios. UA became the launch pad for landmark independent companies like Stanley Kramer Productions, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, The Mirisch Company, and Joseph E. Levine. With Youngstein's assistance, UA once again became a leading name in the motion picture industry, developing the James Bond and Pink Panther franchises, and winning Best Picture Academy Awards for 'Marty' (1955), 'Around the World in 80 Days' (1956), 'The Apartment' (1960), and 'West Side Story' (1961).
The five partners at UA agreed, like their role model Irving Thalberg, not to take screen credit. Later Youngstein said this was "noble but ultimately silly, since everything is based on your last picture in this town." During his years at UA he oversaw the production of such classics as 'The African Queen' (1951), 'High Noon' (1952), 'The Night of the Hunter' (1955) 'Summertime' (1955), 'Sweet Smell of Success' (1957), '12 Angry Men' (1957), 'The Defiant Ones' (1958), 'Witness for the Prosecution' (1958), 'The Vikings' (1959), 'Some Like It Hot' (1959), 'Elmer Gantry' (1960), 'Inherit the Wind' (1960), 'The Alamo' (1960), 'The Magnificent Seven' (1960), 'Judgment at Nuremberg' (1961), 'The Misfits' (1961), 'Dr. No' (1962), and 'The Great Escape' (1963).
Youngstein left UA to found Max E. Youngstein Enterprises Inc. Films to emerge from his company include 'Fail Safe' (1964), directed by Sidney Lumet, and 'Welcome to Hard Times' (1967). He became the vice president of the Todd-AO-Corp. in 1972, and then for the next two decades was a legendary consultant to independent producers. He said his proudest moment was personally presenting a million dollar donation to Albert Einstein for the Institute of Advanced Study. Hoping to create a new launching pad for independent films, Youngstein and partner Cheryl Christiansen founded the Worldwide Artists production company. Youngstein passed away in his home the following year at the age of 84. He left behind an uncompleted autobiography.
Bruce Buckingham was born in Terry, MT, the third of four children. He was active in both theater and music during his undergraduate work at the University of Montana, performing principal roles in The Cherry Orchard, Romanoff & Juliet, Amahl & The Night Visitors, Street Scene, Oklahoma, and Down in the Valley. He studied music composition with Eugene Weigel, composing and arranging music for both instrumental and vocal groups on campus. He joined the company of Big Fork Summer Theater and acted in Bus Stop, Inherit the Wind, Kiss Me Kate, and the Mad Woman of Chaillot. He was musical director and pianist for a USO tour of The Fantasticks to the Far East.
In Los Angeles, Mr. Buckingham co-wrote the musical On a Very Fine Gander and a television drama The Opportunity. For The Opportunity, he won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award. He served as pianist and musical director for many shows in Hollywood including Wind In the Willows, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Valley Dinner Theater, Mayfair Olde English Music Hall, and again The Fantasticks. He wrote the film score for the movie So Long, Blue Boy. He was music director and accompanist for The Los Angeles Opera Workshop.
Mr. Buckingham has also worked in Special Education. As Coordinator of Research and Teacher Training at The Marianne Frostig Center of Educational Therapy in Los Angeles, he lectured in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and New Orleans to the International Conventions of ACLD (Association for Children with Learning Disabilities.) His topics included Innovative Classroom Approaches for LD Children, The Psychoneurology of Memory & Learning, and Reading Approaches for Overcoming Dyslexia.
In Billings, MT, Bruce Buckingham wrote and performed three one-man musical shows: Tat: Glimpses of a Lifetime, Fine Wine and Pickle Juice, and Gaia: Pieces of the Earth. The latter aired as a television special and won a TV Entertainment Award.
As Director of Operations & Informatics at Genelex DNA laboratory in Seattle, Mr. Buckingham designed computer software for the company's Laboratory Information Management System, co-authored DNA Testing in Kinship Analysis, and trained scientists from Kuwait in identification of bone samples retrieved from mass graves in Iraq after the first Gulf War. He also designed software for matching Kuwaiti families and the DNA samples.
Bruce has drawn on his background in music, writing, education, and science to complete seven new two-act musicals: Santo, A Priest in Purgatory, St. Bryan's B & B, Turtles, Manse!, Flat Rock Follies, Curmudgeon, and Return to Bergamo. He has written many choral pieces, most recently a work for choir and organ, The Triptychs. Mr. Buckingham composed the score for the film Shazam and the Lost Path in addition to editing the film.