Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. It was in this popular film series that he took the stage name Mickey Rooney. Rooney reached new heights in 1937 with A Family Affair, the film that introduced the country to Andy Hardy, the popular all-American teenager. This beloved character appeared in nearly 20 films and helped make Rooney the top star at the box office in 1939, 1940 and 1941. Rooney also proved himself an excellent dramatic actor as a delinquent in Boys Town starring Spencer Tracy. In 1938, he was awarded a Juvenile Academy Award.
Teaming up with Judy Garland, Rooney also appeared in a string of musicals, including Babes in Arms the first teenager to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role, Strike Up the Band, Babes on Broadway, and Girl Crazy. He and Garland immediately became best of friends. "We weren't just a team, we were magic," Rooney once said. During that time he also appeared with Elizabeth Taylor in the now classic National Velvet. Rooney joined the service that same year, where he helped to entertain the troops and worked on the American Armed Forces Network. He returned to Hollywood after 21 months in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy, did a remake of a Robert Taylor film, The Crowd Roars called Killer McCoy and portrayed composer Lorenz Hart in Words and Music. He also appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany's, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. Rooney played Hepburn's Japanese neighbor, Mr. Yunioshi. A sign of the times, Rooney played the part for comic relief which he later regretted feeling the role was offensive. He once again showed his incredible range in the dramatic role of a boxing trainer with Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason in Requiem for a Heavyweight. In the late 1960s and 1970s Rooney showed audiences and critics alike why he was one of Hollywood's most enduring stars. He gave an impressive performance in Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film The Black Stallion, which brought him an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He also turned to the stage in 1979 in Sugar Babies with Ann Miller, and was nominated for a Tony Award. During that time he also portrayed the Wizard in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with Eartha Kitt at New York's Madison Square Garden, which also had a successful run nationally.
Rooney appeared in four television series': The Mickey Rooney Show (1954-1955), a comedy sit-com in 1964 with Sammee Tong called Mickey, One of the Boys in 1982 with Dana Carvey and Nathan Lane, and The New Adventures of the Black Stallion from 1990-1993. In 1981, Rooney won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a mentally challenged man in Bill. The critical acclaim continued to flow for the veteran performer, with Rooney receiving an honorary Academy Award "in recognition of his 60 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances". More recently he has appeared in such films as Night at the Museum with Ben Stiller and The Muppets with Amy Adams and Jason Segel.
Rooney's personal life, including his frequent trips to the altar, has proved to be just as epic as his on-screen performances. His first wife was one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, actress Ava Gardner. Mickey permanently separated from his eighth wife Jan in June of 2012. In 2011 Rooney filed elder abuse and fraud charges against stepson Christopher Aber and Aber's wife. At Rooney's request, the Superior Court issued a restraining order against the Aber's demanding they stay 100 yards from Rooney, as well as Mickey's other son Mark Rooney and Mark's wife Charlene. Just prior, Rooney mustered the strength to break his silence and appeared before the Senate in Washington D.C. telling of his own heartbreaking story of abuse in an effort to live a peaceful, full life and help others who may be similarly suffering in silence.
Rooney requested through the Superior Court to permanently reside with his son Mark Rooney, who is a musician and Marks wife Charlene, an artist, in the Hollywood Hills. He legally separated from his eighth wife in June of 2012. Ironically, after eight failed marriages he never looked or felt better and finally found happiness and peace in the single life. Mickey, Mark and Charlene focused on health, happiness and creative endeavors and it showed. Mickey Rooney had once again landed on his feet reminding us that he was a survivor. Rooney died on April 6th 2014. He was taking his afternoon nap and never woke. One week before his death Mark and Charlene surprised him by reunited him with a long lost love, the racetrack. He was ecstatic to be back after decades and ran into his old friends Mel Brooks and Dick Van Patten.
At 14, Ron Palillo started his own summer theater in Cheshire, Connecticut. His parents,Gabriel and Carmel Palillo,were surprised when the summer theater actually made money. After graduating from high school, Ron went to the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he majored in drama. He appeared in many school plays in college. After graduation, Ron got a job with a touring company which performed Shakespeare's plays. He says he received invaluable drama training during that tour, acting in Shakespearean masterpieces like "Macbeth", "The Taming of the Shrew" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". After his Shakespearean tour, Ron became a member of a repertory company in Miami, Florida. Shortly after arriving in New York, Ron got a role in the off-Broadway success "Hot l Baltimore." He stayed with the show for over a year. Because of his work in "Hot L Baltimore". Ron was given a lead role in a musical special, "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac", on television. After Isaac, he once again went on tour and appeared with Mickey Rooney in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and with Jan Sterling in a serious play, "Summer Brave." He has two brothers and a sister. His elder brother, Richard is an eye surgeon, his brother Robert, is a salesman and his sister Ann, became a teacher.
Gianni Capaldi was born in Motherwell, Scotland to his Italian parents Tony and Maria. Capaldi grew up in the town of Hamilton and went to Hamilton College before continuing his education at Caledonian University in Glasgow. Before he got into acting he played youth football with Motherwell FC. He is related to Scottish entertainers Jimmy Logan and Peter Capaldi. Capaldi (born August 15, 1976) is a Scottish actor and film producer. Capaldi made his first appearance in the poker comedy All In. Next Capaldi portrayed an English gangster in the Sony action fantasy The Cross which starred Brian Austin Green, Vinnie Jones, Danny Trejo,Tom Sizemore and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Soon following, Capaldi worked alongside Academy Award Winning actor Morgan Freeman in Wish Wizard, a short film made in collaboration with the Make a Wish Foundation. Capaldi briefly expanded into television with appearances as himself in the HDnet reality television series Hollywood Royale.
His first breakthrough leading roles came with the Voltage Pictures action crime drama Ambushed where Capaldi portrays Eddie, a ruthless international drug dealer alongside Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Randy Couture. Capaldi steps into a 'good guy' role as FBI agent Kurt out to redeem the murder of his father, alongside Dolph Lundgren, Billy Zane and Robert Davi. A Certain Justice, Capaldi steps into the role of Vin, a thug with a conscious, starring alongside Cung Le, Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Briana Evigan.
Capaldi has acting credits in: action drama Crossroads, romantic drama Don't Pass Me By, Jeremy London's directorial debut, supernatural thriller Devils Dozen, where Capaldi stars alongside C Thomas Howell, Jake Bussey and Eric Roberts; Jason Mewes superhero action comedy Vigilante Diaries, moralistic and paranormal drama The Between with child actors Joel Courtney and Isabelle Furhman. In addition, in March 2012 Capaldi founded High Five Films a production company, whose productions include The Wicked Within, Ambushed, Blood of Redemption, A Certain Justice and a Badge of Honor.
Capaldi then filmed a theatrically released horror feature in Italy about an urban witch legend Janara which sees him play an American priest. He continued with filming in Europe in the BBC comedy short film Gasping, set in Scotland with director Greg Hemphill and comedian Frankie Boyle. Gasping was nominated for Best Short Film at the 2015 Edinburgh Film Festival.
Capaldi also had the honor to star in legendary acting icon, Mickey Rooney's, last film Jeckyl and Hyde. Capaldi lead the cast as the despicable Edward Hyde where he teamed up with Oscar winner actor Margaret O'Brien. He then went on to work on Last Man's club, a family movie alongside Jake Bussey, Richard Riedle and Kate French.
In 2015, Capaldi starred in Bite, an action horror movie alongside Costas Mandylor and Vinnie Jones, directed by Alberto Sciamma which was shot in Rome. Bite will premiere at Festival de Cine de Sitges in Spain.
Capaldi recently filmed Ghosts of Garip in Turkey playing the lead in an action adventure vampire driven horror.
The Wicked Within a gothic thriller highlights Capaldi's soft side as husband to a possessed wife, Sienna Guillory and also stars Enzo Cilenti and Eric Roberts which is due to be released by After Dark and 20th Century Fox theatrically in North America October 16th. Courtney Solomon executive produced Wicked Within.
Deb was born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan but spent her formative years in Esterhazy , Saskatchewan (Potash capital of the world) where her Dad served as the mayor and local mortician. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and relocated to Toronto where she became a member of Second City's resident Company.During her years onstage there, Deb won a Dora (Canada's equivalent of the Tony) for writing and performing in "Not Based on Anything by Stephen King". She starred alongside Joe Flaherty in the critically acclaimed Lucasfilm series, Maniac Mansion which was hailed by Time magazine as "a comic gem". Deb also wrote for the series, a quirky satire about genetic mutation which was the brainchild of Eugene Levy and George Lucas. She was nominated for a cable Ace award as best actress in a series for her work on the show.Deb is a versatile character actress who has appeared in four features and multiple commercials for writer/director Christopher Guest. Guest saw her perform with The Second City Los Angeles cast in 1990 and recommended her for the lead in a Norman Lear project he was writing at the time.Deb is a longtime collaborator of The Kids In The Hall, and co-wrote Scott Thompson's Comedy Central special as well as co-wrote and directed two solo stage shows for Thompson.She has appeared in two films and multiple pilot projects for writer/director Ash Christian, winning the best supporting actor award at QFest in Asheville, NC in October 2011 for her role as a predatory beautician in Christian's film Mangus. She was nominated as best supporting actress, opposite Mickey Rooney and Louis Mandylor in Mark Clebanoff's film, Gerald in 2010, in which she aged from 35 to 70.
Theaker has made numerous appearances on television, most memorably as a sweet serial killer on Bones, a disturbed psychic on Reno 911, and the unscrupulous stealing caterer on Curb Your Enthusiasm that Larry fights for the leftovers.She appears on film in A Mighty Wind as the weepy Naiomi Steinbloom,as Polly Poe in Lemony Snicket, and as a sexually repressed special Ed teacher in Abe Sylvia's Dirty Girl.Sylvia gave her free reign to improvise her role as a sex educator.She was the head of a gang of Lucy impersonators in Jerry Zucker's classic comedy, Rat Race (2001). She is a favorite of gifted commercial director, Bryan Buckley....recently appearing in TBS trailers for CSI as a coroner eating long intestine-like noodles in a morgue while watching CSI.
Off camera, Deb is a gifted visual artist and designer.
Marina Anderson is a dual citizen (American-Canadian), multi-hyphenate. A noted actress, voice-over artist, writer, producer, designer makeup artist, acting teacher, coach, personal manager and career consultant.Marina has ventured in practically every facet of the entertainment industry in front of and behind the camera.
She was singly responsible via her efforts as personal manager and publicist, for resurrecting the career of actor David Carradine (her now, ex-husband), which culminated with his being cast in Quentin Tarantino's film Kill Bill. It was Marina who befriended and introduced Tarantino to Carradine, which ultimately led to his being cast in the film. During their six years together, her life and career with Carradine has been highly publicized worldwide. It was publicly acknowledged that Marina was the sole motivating factor of his sobriety after many years of alcohol abuse (E! True Hollywood Stories and E! Hollywood Wives Tales). Marina combined her skills to rebuild his career as well as pursuing her own. All is recounted in her memoir, David Carradine, The Eye Of My Tornado, which is being developed as a film. Originally published 2010, the book takes readers through Anderson's very private journey and beyond her publicized marriage and divorce to Carradine. Endorsed by Dr. Drew Pinsky, a new, updated version is selling worldwide.
During this time and throughout her career, Marina has been cast in unique and diverse starring, recurring, and supporting roles in many independent feature films. Her talents as a skilled, versatile character actress were showcased in many comedic and dramatic films and television shows where she displayed chameleon like qualities in roles from murderers to moms, attorneys to bimbos. She has achieved notoriety and recognition in her own right within the indie movie circuit as well as prime-time mainstream distribution. Her talents have lent themselves to hosting, reporting and other journalistic ventures as well.
Marina was voted YouTube's #1 TV Executive from the four-million viewership web series Pure Pwnage, and co-lead in Sophie Chase, (which was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award -- the first in the history of the TV Academy) Outstanding Achievement In Video Content For Non-Traditional Delivery Platforms (New Media - iPod, Broadband), Canada's four Genie Award (Canada's Oscars) winning film (including Best Picture and director) 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould, directed by Francois Girard and co-lead in The Motion Picture Academy Award and The Carl E. David Award winning film short Legacy.
She has also been cast as the co-lead in an episode of Unsolved for NBC Universal as well as appearances on: Bones (opposite Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz), The Mentalist (opposite Robin Tunney), Dexter (opposite Jennifer Carpenter), Law & Order LA, Desperate Housewives, supporting and guest star roles: Sex & Mrs. X (for Hearst/Lifetime opposite Linda Hamilton), Forever Knight, Dracula: The Series, and recurring guest on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (opposite David Carradine), Largo Winch, and CBC's highly rated series Scales of Justice.
Many other television appearances include: Seinfeld, Big Time Rush, Jane By Design, Parenthood, Ghost Whisperer, Side Order of Life (Becca's mom), 12 Miles of Bad Road, and Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and many national on camera and voice-over commercials including Federal Express, Pillsbury crescent rolls, Jell-O pudding, Home Depot, Safeway markets, Thicker Fuller Hair, Pacific Horizon furniture and Alburtus Magnus College.
Film credits include starring and supporting roles: Natural Selection (stars Breaking Bad's Uncle Jack - Michael Bowen), co lead role in Dangerous Curves (opposite David and Robert Carradine), Macon County Jail (opposite Ally Sheedy), Licensed To Wed, Wild Hogs, Rendition, Kiss Of A Stranger (opposite Mariel Hemmingway), My Little Hollywood (Sylvester and Frank Stallone, Dennis Hopper), Naked Movie (Christian Slater, Tori Spelling), Shepherd (opposite Roddy Piper), co-lead in The Donor/La Donneuse, American Reel, three films for famed director Walter Hill and more.
To add to her schedule, Marina has her own jewelry line -- The Flying Goddess(TM) which has been covered in the media and is in the possession of celebrities such as: Shirley MacLaine, Fran Drescher, Dr. Maya Angelou, Jillie Mack (Mrs. Tom Selleck) and Jan (Mrs. Mickey) Rooney. She is also a columnist for Headlines & Global News (HNGN) and freelance writer for other publications.
2012, Marina opened her own publicity company, The Media Hound PR specializing in the entertainment industry, publishing, book launch campaigns and various events (for celebs such as Dick Van Dyke and Gary U.S. Bonds) and branding (Morgan Brown Designs). Clients have included actor-environmentalists Ed Begley Jr, and Rachelle Carson-Begley, actor-author Robby Benson, music icons Alan Parsons, Blanche Garcia (expert Interior designer/consultant Travel Channel), Cari Cucksey (star of Cash & Cari HGTV), Mark Breslin (owner/founder Yuk Yuks Canada), Malibu Playhouse, just to name a few.
Marina is also developing film, TV, reality projects, paints, sculpts, enjoys playing guitar, singing, dancing, horseback riding, jet skiing, golf and bowling! Previous owner of Lulu The Collie (who was Lassie IX's sister and a Ralph Lauren Model) and three cats, Marina actively supports animal and children's rights groups (American Oceans, World Wildlife Foundation, PETA. MADD, ASPCA, Children Uniting Nations, LA Family Housing, to name a few). Her first children's book (based on her beloved Lulu with a "Lassie-feeling" story), The Adventures of Lulu The Collie is scheduled for release early 2014.
Marina began her acting and modeling career in the San Fernando Valley at age 13, appearing in various commercials and television shows. An Art major at Ulysses S. Grant High School, she later attended Los Angeles Valley College where she became their first female DJ (KLAV). After attaining her Associate Arts degree in Theatre/Cinema, Coco received the ASO scholarship, which allowed her to pursue Journalism and Broadcasting at California State University Northridge and UCLA. Originally trained in theatre, Marina has performed leads in over twenty productions and touring companies including Taming Of The Shrew, Twelfth Night, Butterflies Are Free, My Fair Lady and Company. Marina has also hosted her own roving reporter on-the-town interview show for WCCO radio Minneapolis.
As an artist, she sold her Grandma Moses style primitive paintings (as Nina Penn) to various galleries in Southern California and also ran her own basket decorating company (The Basket Lady), which sold worldwide high-end, one-of-a-kind creations she crafted herself, to famous Hollywood clientele.
Entertainment runs in Marina's family. Her mother (Mariana Dottore, the Sicilian side) was a contract singer for Warner Bros. in the 40's, also Pasadena Civic Light Opera as well as appearing in various noted nightclubs. She is related to famed Cardinal d'Este (Villa d'Este in Italy) and Lucrezia Borgia. Coco's father (Joseph Benjamin, Lithuanian descent) was a professional musician, inventor, aerospace engineer and Imagineer for EPCOT/Disney. Her father's uncle was film and TV producer, Harry Joe Brown (Randolph Scott westerns, classic films such as Cpt. Blood starring Errol Flynn). Via Brown, Marina is related to acclaimed actor Peter O'Toole and Academy Award winning lyricist, Ray Evans (Mona Lisa, Que Sera Sera, Silver Bells, Mr. Ed and Bonanza themes). Marina has one older brother, Daniel who is also a professional musician as well as a computer programmer and analyst. He is happily married to Maggie Lew (Benjamin), a real estate investor born in Hong Kong).
In 1990, Marina returned to acting and moved to Toronto, Canada, where she received her dual citizenship, wrote and developed comedy projects as well as guest starred in many Canadian-American TV and film projects (as Marina Anderson). It was there in Toronto, where Marina had recurring guest star roles on the show Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, where she met Carradine (1992). They did not start their relationship until 1995.
On February 20, 1998, Marina and David were married in a highly publicized ceremony on Laramie Street of the Warner Bros. Studio's Western street back lot where they first met in the 70s. David was filming the original series Kung Fu and Marina was taking acting classes located on the lot. Marina divorced David December 12, 2001 and changed her name to Coco d'Este for a time.
Marina enjoys working on the other side of the camera "at practically every studio in town in just about every capacity from production assistant to Executive Assistant of company's CEO's to producing". Marina co-owned American Biograph Productions, where she held the position VP of Publicity and was the youngest producer at that time to join the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences. The company produced commercials and live-action promotions for record companies such as Motown and Warner Bros.
Freelancing in other areas over the years, Marina has held the positions of: Script Analyst for ShowTime/Viacom, makeup artist (specializing in glamour makeovers, personal makeup artist to Yoko Ono), Director of Publicity for various companies, and freelance journalist and screenwriter. She has worked as Director of Publicity for various companies and publications and as a modeling, makeup and acting teacher (John Casablancas/Elite, John Robert Powers, Sutherland Models (Canada), Film Actors Lab, and others).
Appearances (as herself): Marilu Henner, Larry King (subbing host Joy Behar) Inside Edition, Insider, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, AM LA Hard Copy, Celebrity Justice, CNN, Radaronline.com, various news networks and Internet worldwide, Date My House, No Love In LA (Documentary), Your SCV TV, Global Village Television.com, Home Shopping Petwork (HSP), LA San Fernando Valley International Film Festival Gala Awards Presenter, Paris Hilton Documentary Warner Bros., Howard Stern, E! Hollywood Wives Tales, E! True Hollywood Story, E! Fashion Emergency, Q Television Brunch, Music +, 2001 Oscars pre show, Celebrity Justice, Crossing Over With John Edward, Home and Family Show (2), DogCatRadio.com, First Miss Dog Beauty Pageant, Telegado Awards, Woof! Woof! Mathew Margolis' Guide to Dog Training, American Oceans Celebrity Sports Invitational (jet ski competition), Dream Foundation Celebrity Sports Invitational (jet ski competition), Night of 101 Stars Academy Awards, Hollywood Santa Clause Lane Parade Starring (6 productions) KLAV Los Angeles DJ/radio talk show, WCCO radio (Twin Cities/MN) Roving Reporter/LA Laison, SUN TV - Host/roving reporter, Balance Bracelets infomercial, SCVTV The Beauty Spot (her own show).
A native Angeleno, Monique Barajas, is a Mexican-American actor. Monique was born in Monterey Park but spent most of her youth in Azusa, there she would join the legendary Mickey Rooney's Talent Town. Monique along with a brother and two sisters, was raised by a single mother who stemmed from Chihuahua, Mexico.
Monique was bit by the acting bug at the early age of 6 upon viewing Lynda Carter in the beloved Wonder Woman live action television series. "Her role inspired me to save the world and to accomplish doing so through acting." This new found revelation inspired Monique to put on backyard plays for family, friends and neighbors. Often enlisted the willing (or unwillingness) of her siblings and friends. High school brought about drama classes and a deeper passion for acting.
Monique graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her education in the craft continued with time spent at The Stella Adler Academy of Acting here in Los Angeles.
Her first professional play was the acclaimed and controversial "Celestial Flesh" which took place at the Raven Playhouse. It's sacrilegious theme pushed boundaries and enthralled Monique as she began her foray into acting.
Her desire to help others merged with her acting passion when she joined the traveling theater group Educational Theater Co. This LA based non-profit was originally funded by Whoopi Goldberg with the sole goal of tackling the challenges of today's youth. The traveling ensemble would hold skits at Southern California junior high and high schools that would act out the common problems our youth face. Private counseling one-on-ones would take place afterwards with many shy teens approaching the cast to get advice and feedback.
Her breakout role was in The Wailer (2006). Based on an urban legend that often appeared in Monique's youth.
When not performing or shooting, she is continuously mastering her craft with Los Angeles and New York based acting coach Ron Burrus.
Ryan Alosio, is an American actor who holds dual citizenship in both Ireland and the U.S. The son of an Irish mother and an Italian father. Alosio spent 11 years in various boarding schools, including 3 years in military academy. He graduated with honors from the Interlochen Arts Academy. Alosio also attended Northwestern University in Chicago, and New York University where he studied dramatic writing in the Tisch School of the Arts. Alosio has appeared in over 32 television shows and 23 films. He has worked with such noted and award winning actors as John Hawks, Gary Sinise, Hugh Laurie, Patrick Dempsey, Jason Alexander, Matthew Fox, Laura Dern, Mickey Rooney, Jane Seymour, Tony Shalhoub, Tess Harper, and Elijah Wood. Alosio received the Austin Film Festival's, Audience Award of Favorite New Actor, for his lead role in the film, The Hi-Line which was also selected for, and premiered, to much praise in the main competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Originally, theatre trained, Alosio has played roles in several theatrical stage productions including such classics as A Midsummer Night's Dream, Waiting For Godot, The Crucible and Chicago. Alosio has produced numerous film projects, and is a published writer and accomplished painter and photographer. He has been featured in numerous gallery showings and printed in such noted publications as Rizzoli International Press's, "Modern Americana", Modernism Magazine, The Times Magazine and Marie Claire. Alosio was the lead singer/song-writer of the alt-rock band, "black radio", which performed in such venues as The Viper Room, The Hard Rock and The Los Angeles Music Awards. He has also custom built numerous show winning motorcycles and hot-rod cars. Alosio resides in Los Angeles, California.
Rob Diamond is an award winning filmmaker. He's been writing, directing and producing independent feature films since 1998. His movies have been distributed worldwide. "Wayward: The Prodigal Son" which he wrote, directed, produced and played one of the lead characters was released nationally into theaters in 2014. "The Last Straw" starring Corbin Bernsen was released in select theaters before going to DVD. Many of his others films are available on DVD, online streaming and have been shown on Cable TV. Raised in Southern California, he lived in Riverside until the 8th grade and then moved to the beach in Dana Point, California where he fell in love with surfing and the ocean. He started acting and modeling in Los Angeles after he was discovered on the beach when he was 17 and hand picked to do a commercial for Coca Cola. He went on to get cast in national commercials for Levis 501 Blues and Minute Maid among others before landing his first part in a film with Mickey Rooney. He's known for his passion and commitment to independent filmmaking and love of teaching. He has taught film acting since 1998 and owns and operates "Rob Diamond's Actors Lounge" in Salt Lake City, Utah where he resides. His students have landed speaking parts in hundreds of films and television shows. Rob has written over 25 screenplays to date. He won the best director award for his feature film Saint Street at the 2013 Filmed in Utah Awards. Upcoming feature film releases include "Love Everlasting" starring Lucky Blue Smith, Christie Burke, Emily Procter and Shawn Stevens. He just completed principal photography on the heart wrenching true story "Sacred Vow" which he also wrote, produced and directed. Up next for Rob is "The Christmas Code" which he will be directing in early 2017.
Tressa's feature film debut was the Robert Townsend film, The Five Heartbeats, in which was featured with R&B legend Patti LaBelle, on the movie's soundtrack for the song, "We Haven't Finished Yet". Her other film credits include Flatliners and Message In A Bottle. She also played the singing role of Ruth Brown in NBC's made for TV movie "The Little Richard Story."
Some of her extensive performances and appearances include BET (Teen Summit), ABC, Fox, CBS, and NBC. She toured with Motown legends The Dells promoting the film The Five Heartbeats and received rave reviews. She has shared stages with Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Howard Hewett, Dionne Warwick, Earth Wind, & Fire and Run DMC, just to name a few.
In 2001, Tressa completed an international tour performing for Royal Caribbean Entertainment (Cruise Lines) as the lead female vocalist, and was asked to sing "God Bless America" for a public memorial to the fallen heroes of the 9/11 tragedy - with Mayor Giuliani in attendance.
In 2007, she produced "The Yesterday Pool", a short film starring the legendary Academy Award winner Mickey Rooney. This film was also submitted for Academy Awards consideration in October, 2007, and has been featured in such publications as UPI, Reuters and Entertainment News Weekly. The film is an official selection of the 2009 Hollywood Black Film Festival.
Tressa is currently in pre-production on her 2010 Academy Awards short film submission, "I Gathered With..." - which she will produce and make her directorial debut.
In April 2009, Tressa is starring in "Back To Bacharach And David" at The Music Box @ Fonda Theater in Hollywood, CA. The musical review is directed by acclaimed actress and comedian Kathy Najimy.
Pierre Patrick is a Talent Agency Executive Director, Television and Music Producer.
Pierre is an accomplished Author who's written books on giants of the Entertainment industry from Doris Day to David Mirisch.
The Album he Produced "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't" Received a Grammy Nomination
Pierre Patrick as work with Legends from Mickey Rooney to Shirley Jones and nurtures several new Talents.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, Ellory Elkayem began making films as a teenager. At 18, he attended a film school designed to give students practical experience and preparation for a career in the film business. He learned the ropes first hand while, working in the camera department on commercials, music videos, and TV shows such as 'The New Adventures of the Black Stallion' starring Mickey Rooney.
During this time, Ellory also made several short films with support from the New Zealand Arts Council. His big break came with, 'Larger Than Life', a 13 minute, black and white, VFX-driven homage to the 1950's Hollywood horror genre featuring a giant, man-eating spider.
Produced by Academy Award winner Jamie Selkirk and financed with a grant from the New Zealand Film Commission, 'Larger Than Life' received critical acclaim at the 1998 Telluride Film Festival and later caught the eye of heavyweight Hollywood producers, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. ('Independence Day'). Emmerich and Devlin then hired Ellory to write and direct 'Eight-Legged Freaks', a 30 million dollar feature film based on 'Larger Than Life', starring David Arquette and Scarlett Johansson, and distributed by Warner Brothers.
In 2000, while in development on Eight Legged Freaks, Ellory directed 'They Nest', a television movie for USA Networks starring Dean Stockwell and John Savage. The movie, also known as 'Creepy Crawlers', told the tale of a small New England town infested with an exotic breed of killer cockroaches.
In 2001 Ellory directed 'Eight Legged Freaks' and in 2002, the film was released to rave reviews.
In 2004 Ellory went to Romania to direct two zombie movies, back to back. 'Return of the Living Dead - Necropolis', and 'Return of the Living Dead - Rave from the Grave', starring Peter Coyote.
In 2008 Ellory directed the comedy sequel 'Without A Paddle-Nature's Calling' for Paramount.
In 2009 Ellory returned to New Zealand to develop feature film projects with local writers and producers.
Born in Coatesville, Philadelphia, Sofronksi discovered early on that entertainment was his passion. During his Junior and Senior year of high school, Sofronksi participated in school plays and found acting to be a true calling. At the age of 19, following his time as a DJ and radio station personality, he decided to hop a bus to New York City to fulfill his dreams of becoming an actor. After joining the acclaimed Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg, where his classmates included iconic Hollywood actresses Marilyn Monroe and Jane Fonda, Sofronski acted in numerous off-Broadway plays and summer stock. After three years of performing plays for the Armed Services, where he spent two years serving in Europe and one year stateside during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sofronski moved back to New York.
Upon his return, Sofronski was named the Associate Producer for the CBS Network Soap Opera Search for Tomorrow. He produced a half hour daily network show with a roster of over forty actors, five directors and six writers. Within a year of being promoted to Executive Producer, the show was ranked number one. Additionally, he produced Another World, the first Soap Opera to transition to a one-hour format on NBC.
Attracting the attention of CBS management, Sofronski was asked to join as Director of Daytime Programming. Soon after, he was promoted to Director of Prime Time Series and was finally made Senior VP of Special Programming. Sofronski was responsible for buying and supervising many of the network's highest rated nationwide movies, mini-series, award shows, documentaries and prime time animation. He was the first to introduce several award shows to television including The Golden Globe® Awards and, with the help of the late producer Alexander Cohen, the Tony® Awards. In addition, he supervised production for television broadcasts, which included the Emmy® Awards, the Country Music Association® Awards and the Grammy® Awards.
A catalyst for entertainment industry progression, Sofronski addressed the lack of recognition for creative artists in the United States. Longing for something similar to the notoriety given to creative artists in England- who have the honor of being knighted by the Queen- Sofronski, along with George Stevens, Jr., created the US counterpart: The Kennedy Center Honors. Broadcasted from Washington D.C., the program features living creative artists who are recognized and honored for their lifetime contributions to American culture by the President of the United States and the Secretary of State. This program still runs every year on CBS.
Sofronski is behind some of the highest rated and recognized drama films for TV including the controversial true story, Playing for Time - a film about an all-female orchestra playing for Nazis in a concentration camp in order to stay alive. The film was nominated for six Emmys and won four including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Special for Vanessa Redgrave's performance, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Special for Jane Alexander's performance, and Outstanding Writing for a Special for Arthur Miller's screenplay. Playing for Time received one of the highest ratings in broadcast history and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Other drama credits include the award-winning film Bill, starring Mickey Rooney who earned an Emmy for his performance, The Wall based on the novel by acclaimed author John Hersey, Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones, starring Powers Boothe who earned an Emmy for his performance, Skokie, a film based on a true story about a Jewish neighborhood with Holocaust survivors rallying against a Neo-Nazis politician marching through their town - starring Danny Kaye in his first dramatic TV role, Into Thin Air: Death on Everest, based on the best selling novel by author Jon Krakauer and starring Peter Horton and Nathaniel Parker, Mandela and de Klerk- shot in the original prison on Devil's Island where Mandela was held captive for almost 28 years- starring Sidney Poitier, who received an Emmy® nomination for his leading role in the film and Michael Caine, who received an Emmy® and Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in the film, Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke, starring Lauren Bacall, and The Bunker, starring Anthony Hopkins who earned an Emmy for his performance. Sofronski is also responsible for several award-winning TV documentaries including The Body Human series, which received an Emmy award five years in a row. He also produced several noteworthy mini-series and TV specials including the Emmy nominated mini-series Mussolini: The Untold Story, starring George C. Scott and Robert Downy, Jr., and the TV special The Earth Day Special, starring Academy® Award winner Meryl Streep and Academy® Award nominee Kevin Costner.
Sofronksi is a three-time Emmy nominated producer for his work on productions including Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, the mini-series Queen, written by Alex Haley and starring Halle Berry in her first leading role, and Murder in Mississippi starring Tom Hulce who received an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a TV Movie. He is also a two time recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award for his work on Playing for Time and Dummy.
Contributing to some of the most historic moments in television, Sofronski introduced the first classical ballet, The Nutcracker, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov's debut to American television. Additionally, he supervised many variety specials such as The Lily Tomlin Show, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Suzanne Somers, Bea Arthur, Lucille Ball, Diana Ross, the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley's Last Concert and countless others.
Subsequently Sofronski became the Senior Vice President and Creative Head of Feature Films for CBS after his eight and half years with the network. During the time this division was present, Sofronski supervised films including Turtle Diary starring Glenda Jackson and Ben Kingsley, Target, directed by Arthur Penn and starring Matt Dillon and Gene Hackman, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, directed by Hector Babenco and starring William Hurt and Raul Julia. After leaving feature films he returned to his roots and produced his first Broadway play, The Boys of Winter. The play focused on the plight of young men in the Vietnam War and co-starred Matt Dillon and Wesley Snipes.
Shortly after the world of New York Theater Sofronksi returned to his first love - producing films. Working in association with producer David Wolper and Warner Bros., their television credits include Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald - a story about the wife of President Kennedy's assassinator, portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role. The movie was filmed in Dallas, Texas and Moscow. Their credits also include Roots: The Gift, The Plot to Kill Hitler and the mini-series Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story staring Jacqueline Bisset and Armand Asssante. During this time he also produced films including Bed of Lies and Whose Child is This? The War for Baby Jessica both starring Golden Globe ® winner Susan Dey.
Bernard Sofronski now splits his time between New York City and Los Angeles still actively working in film and television. His recent Executive Producer credits include Mom at Sixteen and Murder in Greenwich.
Carolyn Mitchell was born Barabara Ann Thomason on January 25, 1937 in Phoenix, Arizona, to Don and Helen Thomason. While attending Emerson Elementary School in Phoenix, she became known as the prettiest girl in Phoenix. Her family moved to Inglewood, California in 1951, a part of Los Angeles, a mecca for beautiful and ambitious young woman desiring to be spotted.
While attending Inglewood's Morningside High School, she began entering beauty pageants, and in October 1953, her dreams came true when she was crowned "Miss Venus." In 1954, she began attending the Hollywood Professional School, where she started using weights to tone her figure to better compete in beauty pageants. In 1954, she was crowned "Queen of the Championships of Southern California." Later that year, she won the "Miss Muscle Beach" and "Miss Surf Festival" titles.
In 1955, she had the honor of being named "Miss Huntington Beach," followed by the "Miss Van Ness," "Miss Bay Beach," "Miss Southwest Los Angeles," "Miss Pacific Coast," and "Queen of Southern California" titles. After graduating from school, she became a dance instructor for Arthur Murray. As "Tara Thomas," she became a model, appearing in "Modern Man" in December 1957.
Early in 1958, Fate intervened in the guise of car salesman Bill Gardner, who introduced her to Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney at a nightclub. The smitten Rooney, hot again after winning the third of his four Oscar nominations the year before (for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for "The Bold and the Brave") and appearing in a box office hit as the eponymous lead in 'Don Siegel's "Baby Face Nelson" (1957), bought her a $4,500 fur coat. On April 12th, 1958, she reportedly took an overdose of sleeping pills. The day after the incident, she told the press that the Mick tried to resuscitate her by pushing her into his swimming pool. The incident later was revealed to be a publicity stunt. By June, Mickey had separated from his fourth wife, actress Elaine Devry, and bought a new house in Sherman Oaks which she moved into to play house with the diminutive movie star.
Before becoming the fifth Mrs. Mickey Rooney, Thomason made two low-budget, indie features, including "Cry Baby Killer" (1958) with future superstar Jack Nicholson. Thomason and Mickey were secretly married in Mexico on December 1, 1958. In March of 1959, the three-months-pregnant Thomason threatened to commit suicide if Rooney didn't get a divorce and marry her, though Mickey tried to convince here that they were already married. On September 13, 1959, Barbara Ann Thomason Rooney gave birth to a daughter, Kelly Ann, at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. Rooney announced he had wed Thomason in a Mexican ceremony. Later that year, she appeared in the November 1959 issue of "Gala" magazine.
Due to the dubious nature of their Mexican marriage, Mickey remarried Thomason in 1960, with the Reverend Douglas Smith presiding at his Los Angeles church, making their marriage legal. Their second daughter, Kerry Yule, was born on December 30, 1960. They would have two more children, a son Michael Joseph, born on April 2, 1962, and a third daughter, Kimmy Sue, born four years to the day after their first, on September 13, 1963 by cesarean section.
In August 1963, the heavily pregnant Barbara accompanied Mickey to Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia, for the filming of "The Secret Invasion." According to his second autobiography, Mickey had been cheating on her, and on July 4th, 1964, Mickey had met a stripper and movie extra in Atlantic City. In late August, his new girlfriend created a row when Barbara Ann accompanied Mickey to the set for the filming of his television series, "Mickey." After the incident, Barbara had a massive fight with Mickey, and in September '64, they both were in contact with divorce attorneys. However, they didn't divorce but decided to move out of Beverly Hills. They sold their Beverly Hills home and moved into a Brentwood house they bought relatively cheap for only $65,000 as both of the previous two occupants had died at the house in freak accidents. It would prove equally unlucky for Barbara.
After becoming friendly with French actor Alain Delon, who was in Los Angeles in the Fall of 1964 to try to make a go at Hollywood. It was Delon who introduced Mickey and Barbara to his stand-in Milos Milosevics, a 24-year-old Yugoslavian actor Delon has brought with him from Paris. Mickey had to go on location to the Philippines to film a picture, and he made the fatal mistake of asking his new friend Milosevics to look after his his wife. Milosevics agreed. With the cat away, the mice did play. Barbara reportedly took Milosevics as a lover to get back at Mickey for his philandering.
While Mickey was in the Philippines, Barbara Ann accompanied her new lover Milosevics to northern California, to the location shoot of "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming," in which he has a bit part. They were still having an affair when Mickey returned and moved out of the Brentwood house after finding out. The couple filed for an official separation on December 1965, after which Milosevics moved into the Brentwood house to live with Barbara and her four children by Mickey.
After learning she was planning to file a lawsuit for separate maintenance, Mickey filed for divorce on January 19, 1966, citing mental cruelty. In his suit, Mickey asked the court for a restraining order to keep Milosevics out of the Brentwood house. Barabra began to panic when she learned that she might lose her children in a custody battle due to her adultery. On his part, Milosevics became jealous when he realized she was considering returning to Mickey. He was even more incensed when he heard a tape recording of a conversation between Barbara and Mickey, discussing the divorce suit. On the tape, made by a private detective on January 20, 1966 with the help of Barbara and Milosevics, she tells Mickey that she will not see Milosevics again, even as a friend. Afterwards, Mickey checked in to the hospital for treatment of an exotic blood disease he has picked up on location.
That night, she went out with Milosevics and her friend Margie Lane for dinner at the Daisy on Rodeo Drive. They returned to Brentwood and bid her friend goodnight at 8:30 p.m. Three of the children were at home; three-year-old Kimmy Sue was visiting her grandparents in Inglewood. The following day, her friend Wilma Catania and the maid forced open the locked door of the master bedroom with a screwdriver. In the bathroom, they found the bodies of Barbara and Milosevics. She was lying on her back, shot through the jaw, Milosevics beside her, face down, a bullet hole in his temple. Milosevic had shot Barbara with Mickey's chrome-plated .38 caliber revolver, then turned the weapon on himself. When Mickey learned about the murder-suicide, he went into shock and is forced to stay another day in the hospital.
Barabra Ann Thomason's funeral services and interment were held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale on February 5, 1966, with Reverend Douglas Smith, the minister who had married her and Mickey in 1960, presiding. Barbara's four children were put into the custody of their grandparents in Inglewood.
In his autobiography, Mickey said of the murder-suicide,"I died when she did. I am furious at what happened to her." On the rebound, Mickey married Barbara's close friend Marge Lane. That marriage failed after 100 days.
Dean Hamilton Bornstein is the CEO of Canazil Entertainment Group, an independent film finance, production, and distribution company with the unique financing advantage of being able to receive subsidies, tax incentives, rebates and financing through its ability to produce and distribute feature films and television projects worldwide. The company is led by a management team with over 30 years of experience in development, production, distribution, finance and marketing of feature films and television programming. The Group has filmed in various locations worldwide including the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Europe. Dean Hamilton has spent over twenty years creating, financing, marketing, producing, directing and performing in feature films, television specials and documentaries.
Canazil Entertainment Group has offices in Los Angeles, Toronto and Rio de Janeiro. The company most recently completed principal photography on "Rio Heat", an action adventure Feature Film produced in Rio de Janeiro in 2015. A Television Series based on the film is scheduled to go into production in the fall of 2015. "Rio Heat" is the story of an ex-secret service agent who is called back into service on a special assignment in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Dean created and Executive Produced the project and was involved in the certification of the project as a Canada - Brazil co-production. "Rio Heat" stars Harvey Keitel, Victor Webster and Thaila Ayala and is also Executive Produced by Jon Cassar who is best known as Executive Producer and Director of the Television Series "24" staring Kiefer Sutherland.
Dean is currently in active development and pre-production on numerous Film and Television projects scheduled to be produced in 2016 and 2017. A $25M Feature Film, "The Final Game" is an action thriller about America's beloved underdog football team that is finally on its way to their first Super bowl. The team is kidnapped and taken to a remote area and held by terrorists where they are forced to play a game of life and death. Also in development is the $35M Feature Film "In God We Trust" which will be filmed in Italy, U.S. and Brazil and is written and will be Directed by Roland Joffe. Mr. Joffe is a two-time Academy Award nominated Director for "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission". Dean worked with Mr. Joffe on the feature film "The Lovers", a forty million dollar Feature Film which was released in 2014. The filming occurred in Australia, India and England and was also written and Directed by Roland Joffe. The film is a historical drama starring Josh Hartnett in a wartime love story set against the British invasion of India in the early 1800's.
Dean moved to Los Angeles to complete his education at The University of Southern California Business School after three years as an Accounting Major at Michigan State University. Immediately after college, Dean's acting career began to flourish when he was put under contract in the Talent Development Program at ABC-TV. Shortly thereafter he won a role as a regular on the Emmy Award winning Soap, "One Life To Live". His acting career continued to grow with other contracts, recurrent and guest starring roles building a formidable body of work on well know shows such as "Tour of Duty", "21 Jump Street", "Facts of Life", "Night Heat", "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and feature films "Rushweek" and Disney's "Looking For Miracles" His acting experience and time on numerous film sets and sound stages have proven invaluable for his work as a Writer, Director and Producer.
Dean has collaborated as an Actor, Writer, Director and Producer on numerous award winning feature films, television programs, live concert events and documentaries. He has directed some of the industries top stars including Martin Sheen, Kris Kristofferson, Danny Aiello, Graham Greene, Ian McShane, Pamela Anderson, Denise Richards, Tyra Banks, Mickey Rooney and Roger Moore. Several of the films that he has produced and directed have won awards including the feature film entitled "The Road Home" at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival (winner of "Most Popular Film"), The Santa Clarita Valley International Film Festival (winner of Directors "Gold Medal Award" for excellence), The Atlantic International Film Festival (Gala Screening), and the Cinemagic which is part of the prestigious Northern Ireland Film Festival. "Savage Land" was well received as it was nominated for "Best Song" at the "15TH Annual 1994 Genie Awards" recognizing outstanding achievement in Canadian films. The film also received "The Dove Foundation Family Seal of Approval Award". The consumer response to the film was exceptional shipping over 1,000,000 units to the domestic Sell-Through market making it one of the bestselling independent titles in 1994.
Dean created, Executive Produced and Directed The "Supermodels in the Rainforest' series filmed in Costa Rica and The Amazon, as well as several other unique and exotic locations in Venezuela with numerous high profile supermodels. "Supermodels in the Rainforest" won "Best Documentary" in the "Film and Video Division" at the prestigious "WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival". Volume I was filmed in Costa Rica, in the nationally protected Rainforests. Some of the models that have lent their support to the series include Tyra Banks, Frederique Van Der Wal, Carol Alt, Stacey Williams, Rebecca Romijin and Judit Masco. A Cable Special, Soundtrack, Video, Website, Calendar, Screensaver, DVD, Enhanced CD ROM and Laser Disc were produced.
Dean currently resides in California with his son Zachary who has won multiple national championships in track and field and is one of the top decathletes in the country. Zachary competes for the UCLA Track Team and is also a wide receiver on the football team for the UCLA Bruins.
A native of Ohio, Terry Ray, at the age of 18 co-starred with Patricia Heaton as a singing Chinese cook masquerading as a Native American. After graduating in Theatre Arts from the University of Cincinnati & Conservatory, Terry was an acting intern at Playhouse on the Square and performed in several regional theaters before settling in Los Angeles. In over 80 plays he as appeared with stars such as Dixie Carter, Elaine Stritch and Matthew Perry.
A four day stint in 1987 on the game show Scrabble led to an unleashed Ray outing himself on national television. He received bags of fan mail. AfterElton has listed his appearance as number 3 on their top 10 list of Greatest Gay Moments in the History of Game Shows, right after Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly (who was Terry's cherished acting teacher), and movieline.com named Terry Ray as one of the 5 Weirdest Contestants in the history of game shows. (He was only one listed as weird in a good way).
Terry's first professional writing job was the stage performance "Hollywood Goes Classical" at the venerable Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (DCP) starring Mickey Rooney, Michael York, Dean Jones, Rhonda Fleming and several other classic film stars. He wrote and starred in two more shows at the DCP--one co-starring Amanda Bynes and the other Hilary Duff. Terry co-wrote and starred in the short film Gaydar which appeared in over 120 film festivals around the world and won numerous awards, and was selected by the California Independent Film Festival as one of the top 10 short comedy films of the 2000-2009 decade. The film also inspired the popular Gaydar Gun toy, which Terry voices. For his next short film, Cost Of Living (a comedy about life after global warming), he won the Boston International Film Festival's Best Male Actor award.
Terry Ray is the creator, writer and star of gay cable channel HERE! TV's first sitcom From Here On OUt. The show also stars Juliet Mills, T.J. Hoban, Suzanne Whang, Adrian Gonzalez and Julie Brown. Season one has also recently been released as a film. Ray co-created/produced and wrote the new game show Modd Couples that airs on Hulu. He's also the cowriter of the TV movie The Joneses: Unplugged starring Mischa Barton, David Ogden Stiers and Markie Post.
Season one of Terry's new digital series, My Sister Is So Gay has recently been released. Ray co-wrote the comedy and stars along side Loni Anderson (as his mother) Debra Wilson and Tilky Jones. He also wrote and co-stars with Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island) in a spoof of Dawn's classic sitcom called She's Still on That Freakin' Island. The first episode can be seen on MeTV and more are in the works.
Terry Ray's new play Electricity premiered in 2016 to rave reviews and a held over run at the Two Roads Theater. Ray and actor Kevin Scott Allen starred in the comedy-drama's world debut.
Raised in San Francisco, California, Billy DaMota moved to Los Angeles, hoping to find a place as a guitar player in the Southern California music scene. But there were other things that needed attention - like food and rent - and his live music career was put on hold.
So in the mid 80s, as a young and eager man - an artist looking for something to save him from a life in the retail business - Billy began his casting career as an assistant on such films as Predator, The Running Man, The Three Amigos and Project X. In the late '80s, he was hired as the casting associate on the gang epic, Colors, directed by Dennis Hopper.
Billy became an independent casting director with the film Miracle Mile, starring Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham. He went on to cast Steven Seagal's first film, Above the Law, directed by Andrew Davis, the legendary cult classic Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town, casting the then unknown Billy Bob Thornton in his first co-starring role, and even cast the late Mickey Rooney in the last of the Silent Night Deadly Night series.
Over the years, Billy has cast actors like Cameron Diaz, Brad Pitt, Faye Dunaway, James Franco, Martin Landau, Karen Black, John Denver and the legendary Tony Curtis. He even co-wrote a screenplay with Dr. Timothy Leary!
More recent films include Touching Home starring Ed Harris, Mickey Matson and The Pirates Code starring Christopher Lloyd, the the 2014 box office hit, the faith-based God' Not Dead starring Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper and Duck Commander Willie Robertson. He worked with director Alex Proyas as a casting consultant on The Crow as well as the Will Smith hit I, Robot.
Billy moved into producing with the award winning Reflections in the Dark, starring Billy Zane and Mimi Rogers. And he recently directed his first film, a touching story about Alzheimer's Disease called Posey, starring Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Sally Kirkland in the title role as well as the outstanding Ray Wise.
In the world of Music Videos, Billy has worked with artists such as Tori Amos, The Basement Jaxx, Faith Hill, George Strait, Dave Navarro, Ministry, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and The Ramones.
Billy joined the The Casting Society of America in 1992, has served on their Board of Directors and on numerous committees over the years, and has been nominated four times for Best Casting, twice for Best Casting for an Independent Film and twice for Best Short Film, most recently nominated for the short films, Efrain and Burned.
He has worked tirelessly to address the ethical issues involving the notorious casting director payola scheme, where hundreds of casting directors and their staffs - including high profile CSA members - are paid to meet and audition actors. The organization he founded - DoNotPay.org - was created a dozen years ago as a guide to help educate and inform actors about the scam , which continues to this day.
Billy is also an accomplished guitarist and songwriter, currently playing and recording with Shelly O'Neill and the Big Way. He appears with the Gene Butler Band singing and performing in the film Holyman Undercover, he co-wrote the song "Comes on Too Strong" which is featured in the film Changing Habits, and has recorded with Hellecaster Will Ray and ex-Mike Bloomfield sideman, the late great Gashouse Dave. He has displayed his paintings and photographs at the world famous Fender Museum, in Corona, California and published his first book, Whispering Lunacies: 100 Love Poems. His second book, "An Actor Grovels" is due out soon.
Dorothy Ford was born April 4, 1922 in Perris, CA, and raised in San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Tucson, AZ. During school, she appeared in several pageants, and after graduation, she went into modeling. Standing 6'2 and with measurements of 38-26-38 1/2, Ford was a natural for photographic work.
Her first job was in San Francisco when Billy Rose cast her in his "Aquacade," along with Johnny Weissmuller, and she was an Earl Carroll showgirl, appearing in various revues including Something to Shout About and Star Spangled Glamour. Ford's physical features and her exceptional good looks quickly brought her to the attention of casting offices, and she made her screen debut as a model in Lady in the Dark (1942). MGM put her under contract in 1943, casting her in two musicals, Thousands Cheer (with Red Skelton) and Broadway Rhythm, both in 1944. Her other appearances that year included Two Girls and a Sailor, Meet the People, Bathing Beauty and The Thin Man Goes Home (with William Powell and Myrna Loy). She was seen in The Picture of Dorian Gray as part of an onscreen performing act, and King Vidor's An American Romance before she left MGM in 1945.
Dorothy studied at the Actors' Lab, the West Coast version of New York City's Group Theater. She had a much fuller role in her Universal Pictures' debut with Abbott & Costello in Here Comes the Co-Eds (1945) which finally gave her a chance to really act. Playing the captain of a women's basketball team appearing as ringers in a college game, she exuded a bold confidence, as well as a shy streak, and stole every scene she was in.
She briefly returned to modeling in Rio de Janeiro, as part of South America's first post-war fashion show. It was there that she met General Mark Clark, who testifies that "this is the first girl I've ever seen who could go bear hunting armed with a switch." In 1946, she returned to MGM and appeared in Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946), playing a co-ed who doesn't have a date for the college dance, and is unexpectedly matched up with 5'2" Mickey Rooney. The height difference between Ford and the diminutive Rooney led to the homecoming dance which was the highlight of the film. This was also Dorothy's first major role to play off her height (in the film, she was wearing four-inch heels, and in publicity stills from the studio, her height was listed as six-foot-six). By that time, she was often referred to in press releases as a "Glamazon." and she was outspoken in encouraging more tall women to stand up for themselves, advising female readers that "if nature has made you tall, then be good and tall." During the 1940's, in an era in which Maureen O'Hara was regarded as formidable at 5'8", Dorothy, at 6'2" and 145 pounds, was regarded as one of the most strikingly beautiful women in Hollywood.
She appeared in a New York stage production of The Big People (which played off her height in a positive way), and in 1948, she was back in Hollywood in an unusual independently-made anthology film, On Our Merry Way. In 1949, she was cast in John Ford's Three Godfathers, and given the very interesting part of the potential love interest of John Wayne. That same year, she was married to James Sterling, a personnel man, in Las Vegas, NV. In shortly over a month, she obtained an annulment of her marriage in Ventura, CA on the grounds that they were both drunk at the time. Her Superior Court suit said the two never lived together after the rites, and she didn't know that she was a bride until two days after the ceremony. Sterling did not contest the suit.
As the 1950's began, Dorothy's career slowed down considerably, and her biggest role of the decade came in the Abbott & Costello fantasy-comedy Jack and the Beanstalk in 1952. Evidently, Lou Costello liked Ford and appreciated her sense of humor, because he later put her in an episode of their TV series The Abbott & Costello Show in 1952. She made various television appearances throughout the 1950s, including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and The Red Skelton Show. In April of 1952, she marries Thomas B. Chambers, an automobile sales manager and tennis star. In 1953, she was hospitalized after losing her expected baby, and she would later divorce Chambers in 1954.
After an appearance in the Bowery Boys vehicle Feudin' Fools, Ford's screen career started to wind down, but her remaining roles were in some surprisingly high-visibility films. John Wayne cast her in a small role in The High and the Mighty (1954) as a glamour girl with her hooks into Phil Harris, and Billy Wilder used her in the opening segment of The Seven Year Itch (1955). Dorothy appeared in several lower-budget films over the next few years, then faded out of movies in 1962, but she remained involved with the movie business even after giving up acting, joining MGM as a technician in the studio's film lab in 1965. She was married for 30 years to actor Mike Ragan (born Hollis Alan "Holly" Bane), and they retired to Marina Del Rey, CA until his death in 1995. She passed away in Canoga Park, Los Angeles County, CA on October 15, 2010 at the age of 88.
|Mickey Rooney Jr.
Mickey Rooney Jr. was born on July 3, 1945, as Joseph Yule III to movie legend Mickey Rooney and his second wife (among his own wives was Merci Montello, the Playmate of the Month for December 1972 as "Mercy Rooney"). A beauty pageant winner ("Miss Alabama 1944"), the former Betty Jane Rase met Mickey Sr. when he was stationed in the Army in Birmingham, Alabama, during World War II. Mickey Jr. was the first of his father's nine children.
Growing up in Hollywood as the son of a famous movie star, Junior rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest stars on the planet, including Mae West, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. When he was 13 years old he met Judy Garland at a party at her Brentwood home. "So you're Mickey's first-born son," his father's most famous leading lady said. "You're a fine-looking young man." Unlike his extremely short father, the son would grow to be over six feet tall, taking after his tall mother.
His father, in his 1991 autobiography "Life Is Too Short", admitted that he cheated on Betty Jane. According to Mickey Sr., she was "totally oblivious to anything going on outside our home." Mickey Sr. summed up their relationship as, "We just weren't compatible." The marriage ended in divorce in 1948.
Mickey Jr. saw his father frequently after the divorce. Sharing the name of the #1 box office star of 1939, 1940 and 1941 opened doors for Mickey Jr., although making the most of the opportunities wasn't always easy. He found out he had to work twice as hard to prove himself because of his famous name.
He had his first taste of show business as one of the original Mousketeers on Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club (his father claims that Walt Disney named the famous Mouse after him). He and brother Tim Rooney were hired in 1955 due to their ability to sing, dance and act. After appearing on the show for a year, their contracts were terminated after the mischievous boys got into a hassle with the studio's paint department (they sneaked in and poured different colors of paint in different cans). Six years later, at age 17, he hosted "The Andy Hardy Theater" on local TV. Musically inclined, he played bass in Willie Nelson's band and has recorded an album called "The Song Album." Like his height, his musical talent was inherited from his mother, who was a gifted vocalist. His maternal grandmother taught him how to play the ukulele by showing him how to play chords, which he then played on an acoustic guitar. In addition to playing bass and guitar, Mickey Jr. plays drums, harmonica and keyboards and writes music. He, his wife Laura and their friend John Whittinghill perform rock 'n' roll and gospel music as "Mickey Rooney Jr. and Friends."
A born-again Christian, Mickey Jr. met Laura, a Messianic Jew, in 1986. Through The Lord's Link Ministry, the couple minister and spread the Good News. Laura sings and plays a harp, while both she and Mickey Jr. testify to the "folly" of living "life in the fast lane." They reside in Hemet, CA.
Mickey Jr. and his brother Tim operate the Rooney Entertainment Group, a movie and TV production company. He has written his autobiography, "Which One's Your Mother?"
Ralph Votrian is an American actor who's career has spanned 7 decades. He has been in show business since the age of 8 years old. Back when radio was king! His career started in live Network Radio Drama (Jack Armstrong, Tom Mix, Lux Radio Theatre) and live Television (Playhouse 90, Front Row Center, Lux Video Theatre)
He then moved into films such as "The Imitation General" with Glen Ford, and "Until They Sail" (with Jean Simmons) where he got to swing dance with Sandra Dee!. Many early Television appearances included "Dragnet", "Lassie", and "The Twilight Zone".
Later he added voiceover into the mix, including projects with Tim Burton, Mark Rydell, Weird Al Yankovich, Will Farrell, and more.
Recently he acted in "Kiss Me" with Rita Wilson and Sara Bolger (Dir. Jeff Probst)
Mr Votrian has acted along side some of the biggest legends in film. In a career that has covered everything from the golden age of Hollywood through today, he has acted in films and television that boasted some of today's rising stars to some of the greatest talents in entertainment history. Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Mickey Rooney, Robert Downey Jr., Deborah Kerr, Sandra Dee, Cloris Leachman, Glen Ford, Jean Simmons, Lee Marvin, Joan Fontaine, Dean Stockwell, Red Buttons, Richard Attenborough, Piper Laurie, Rod Serling, Loretta Young, Aaron Spelling, Jackie Cooper, Leif Erickson, Vincente Minnelli, Rita Wilson, Leonard Nimoy, Missi Pyle, Jack Webb, Jenna Fischer, Kari Nissena, Timothy Dalton, John Corbett, Nastassja Kinski, Steven Weber, Sara Bolger, and John Heard,... just to name a FEW!
You will want to hire this accomplished and versatile actor while he is still in his Prime!
|Shaun Paul Piccinino
Shaun Paul Piccinino (Peach-ah-nino) is an action, Director and Actor who has Directed and starred in the hit television show the "Deadliest Warrior", the award winning film, "The Lackey" and over 30 videos games to date spanning from "Spider-Man: Web of Shadows", "Prototype 2", to the multi-billion dollar franchise, "Call of Duty".
Growing up in Northern California and being raised on a virtual wildlife refuge of over 900 acres (on the campus where his father, Barry is head of the Drama Department at Butte College) was an incredibly grounding experience. Shaun grew up on stage since age 5 while studying Shakespeare with his father. His curiosity for film and TV brought him to Los Angeles in early 2001.
Piccinino is a Hollywood anomaly and has been described as a modern day renaissance man. Who also happens to be a AAU National Champion in weapons (4th Degree black belt) in Shoalin Kung Fu and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Karate. Shaun parlayed his skills to launch himself into the Hollywood and Video Game action scene. Shaun has battled on top of moving trains on the NBC show "Revolution", doubled the stars on NBC's "Heroes" and played the part of "The Quarterback" in an episode of "Criminal Minds."
Piccinino has found equal success in both television and film. 2nd Unit directing and then later Directing on Spike TV's #1 Hit show, the "Deadliest Warrior" for two seasons in a row (as well as staring in several episodes as famed Scottish war hero, William Wallace). As a filmmaker, he was honored with the "Audience Choice" award at the 2012 SoCal Film Fest and the "Best Editing - Feature" accolades at the 2012 Action on Film (AOF) Festival for his multi-nominated feature film, The Lackey, that Piccinino also starred in, wrote and directed. He was also the stunt coordinator on the movie, which also received a "Best Fight Choreography" and "Best Screenplay" nomination. His other recent works have garnered a lot of attention from his stunning action work in the viral hit show "Super Power Beat Down" where he not only coordinates the stunts but also 2nd Unit & Co-directs, to his producing credits on several feature films in the last year alone. Notable credit's include, "When The Fever Breaks" an Zombie survival thriller in the vein of The Walking Dead and a true to text adaptation of "The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" which had the honor of being the last film work for the hollywood legend Mickey Rooney.
When not in front or behind the camera Piccinino spends his time in the editing bays with 8 feature films and several network television shows, such as Seth Green's "Robot Chicken" and Drew Carey's "Green Screen Show" under his belt.
Piccinino's penchant for drama/action, and ability to pull at heart strings while elevating the stories through gritty fight choreography have been realized throughout Hollywood. Piccinino's is quoted as saying that one of his biggest idol's is the one and only Buster Keaton.
Pamela S. K. Glasner is a published author of historical fiction and non-fiction, a filmmaker, a social advocate, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and is a a feature writer for Cabaret Scenes Magazine. She has also written several short stories.
"Last Will and Embezzlement", the critically-acclaimed documentary about the financial exploitation of the elderly and starring Hollywood icon, the late Mickey Rooney, was Ms. Glasner's debut film. Inspired by true-life events in her own family, the film premièred in Manhattan in April 2012 to a standing-room-only house.
In addition to "Last Will and Embezzlement", and "Madder Than A Full Moon Dog" (her rock-umentary film based on her company's annual heavy-metal music festival in Leeds, England), two more of Ms. Glasner's works are being made into films: "The Calicoon", a Hitchcock-style thriller / psychological horror, and "Finding Emmaus" (www.lodestarre.com), a historical docudrama / fantasy which explores the treatment and mistreatment of the mentally ill over the course of about 350 years, and how society ostracizes and victimizes those deemed to be 'different' (a.k.a 'less than').
2013 also saw the release of Ms. Glasner's second book, "Silver and Gold" which was written in honor of her parents and released on what would have been her father's 93rd birthday.
Originally from New York City, born in 1953,Ms. Glasner moved to Connecticut with her family at eighteen. A Dean's List student, she graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in English and secondary education, with concentrations in psychology and sociology.
Because her work requires a considerable amount of historical research in both the US and the UK, in addition to being a member of the Connecticut Historical Society, Ms. Glasner is also a Registered Reader at both the Royal Society of London and the British Library. She is also a proud member of the Writer's Guild of America and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.
She attributes her love of architecture and antique restoration-two aspects of her life which are woven into the fabric of "Finding Emmaus" - to her grandfather who, after emigrating to the US from Austria in the 1920's, became an iron worker and joined the ranks of those who left their legacy in the form of New York City's incomparable skyline. But her real hero, though gone for forty years, is still her grandmother, whose strength, courage and unfailing faith taught her that "nothing and no one can keep you from your heart's desire without your permission and your cooperation."
Ms. Glasner presently resides in rural Connecticut where she continues working on several new projects, including The Lodestarre Series.
Max Reinhardt was from an Austrian merchant family (surname officially changed from the family name Goldmann to Reinhardt in 1904), and even as a boy, after his family moved to Vienna, he haunted the "Hofburg Theater" and tried to see every play. In 1890 he studied at the Sulkowsky Theater in Matzleinsdorf and started acting in Vienna and later at the "Stadtheater" in Salzburg with duties as an assistant director. But by 1894 he was invited to Berlin by Otto Brahm, director, critic, and theater manager. And that was an important juncture. Brahm had founded the "Free Stage" (1890), a theater company crusading for realism in German theater by providing a forum for so-called banned plays - the iconoclastic works, such as, those of Henrik Ibsen and Leo Tolstoy. The result was the opening of German state theater to the corpus of the modern stage by 1894. Brahm became director of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin, and there Reinhardt cut his teeth on the full theater experience, not simply acting alone, although he was much applauded for his convincing specialty of playing old men.
In 1901 Reinhardt co-founded his own - sort of avant garde - cabaret "Schall und Rauch" (Sound and Smoke) for experimental theater. It was renamed "Kleines Theater" (Small Theater) in 1902, a place for contemporary plays accented with the sort of spirit confined to cabaret entertainment. He then opened and managed his own theater "Neues Theater", now called the "Berliner Ensemble", from 1902 to 1905. These were all a part of his evolving philosophy of the harmony of stage design, costumes, language, music, and choreography as a whole unified artwork, Gesamtkunstwerk. He was influenced by several figures, August Strindberg for one, but most significantly by Richard Wagner and his operatic ideal that the director must pull together all aspects of art in his production. Reinhardt's infusion gave new dimensions to German theater. After producing more than fifty plays at Neues Theater, wherein he always found somebody to donate the money for productions, he was asked to take the helm of Deutsches Theater in Berlin for Brahm in 1905. At Deutsches Theater he embarked on big theater, employing the whole physical theater space for productions and often even spreading scenes into the audience as a means of fusing actors and audience in a total theater experience. Here was something different - making theater a democratic institution - after all the audience was the means of generating the money to do more. And Reinhardt was never avant garde enough to disdain making profit when it finally came knocking. He staged truly gargantuan productions of epic pageantry and lighting with stark colors for various dramatic effects. He staged one of his most famous early productions, his first rendition of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with a wooded forest revolving stage - turning to reveal progressive new scenes. He became famous for realistic direction of huge crowd and mob scenes.
He built the smaller Kammerspiele, a theater near Deutsches Theater in 1906. At this latter theater Reinhardt developed "Kammerspiel" theater, chamber dramas in a minimalist and naturalistic style. This followed from his expressionist influences which defied the realist dictum (though he would look to realism as well in the mix to appropriately stage some of his most ambitious efforts) and sought out more personal, expressive, and emphatic ways of coaxing the elements of theater from the conventional objective into palpable subjectivity. This all opened Reinhardt to even more experimental ideas in staging with sometimes nightmarish and vivid lighting techniques. He began introducing the expressionist plays to the German-speaking public. And he also opened a famous acting school which would function for decades turning out many of Germany's great actors and actresses. In addition there was a acting troupe that played in neutral areas of Europe during World War I. On the bill was always a cycle of Shakespeare plays. Reinhardt did everything in a big way and to accommodate a growing enthusiastic theater-going public he had expanded with a chain of theaters throughout Germany. He would manage thirty theaters and acting companies in all.
Reihardt fulfilled another of his ideals, and that was of finding the 'perfect playhouse' as a means of complementing the content and experience of a play. In 1919 he opened an enormous arena theater, the "Grosses Schauspielhaus", (Great Playhouse), but known as the "Theatre of the Five Thousand", which included a large revolving stage. Many of his biggest productions were done here, including Shakespeare and Greek plays. In the 1920s he built the two Boulevard Theaters on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin. And yet, the privations of post-war Germany and the perennial anti-Semitic undercurrent caused a gradual loss of his big audiences. In 1920 Reinhardt went back to Salzburg and established the Salzburg Festival with composer Richard Strauss and playwright Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Annually he enjoyed staging the most apropos of morality plays, the medieval "Everyman", with the biggest set he could muster as a backdrop-the Austrian Alps in the open air before the Salzburg Cathedral. From 1924 he became director of the Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna and renewed his Berlin popularity with a new theater called "Komoedie". His output was no less than astounding. Whereas a theater director today would not commit himself beyond two or three productions in a year, Reinhardt averaged twenty in his first twelve years. Between 1916 and 1917 he produced 48 - his highest output. Although he did few films, he was very interested in the potential of the medium. He directed four silent movies starting in 1910. One of these was the filming of one his favorite pantomime plays "The Miracle".
Reinhardt was a titan of influence and inspiration on a whole generation of theater and film directors in Germany-many who spread the word to the rest of the world. His disciples included: F.W. Murnau, Paul Leni, Ernst Lubitsch, William Dieterle , and Otto Preminger. His staging of crowds and use of lighting were frequently appropriated by the great silent filmmakers of the Weimar Republic, including 'Fritz Lang' and Murnau. And he profoundly influenced the expressionist movement in German film. He also influenced many actors with his techniques of developing expressive characterizations and movement-many would eventually come to New York and Hollywood. But by 1933 Hitler had come to power, and Reinhardt found himself falling victim to the same methods of attrition as other German Jews. So-called assimilative families of ethnic mixtures, whether high or low, were increasing placed in the same category as ethnic Jews. His theaters were `appropriated' one-by-one by the government and later his considerable properties confiscated. Later in 1933 he moved back to Austria to the "Theater in der Josefstadt" in Vienna (where Preminger had quickly become a director), hoping his native land could resist the Nazi machine. But the same pressures enveloped him there. He left for a last theater tour of Europe and arrived in America in 1934. "Midsummer" had a special significance for Reinhardt. The play was his continued inspiration of a world without ideologies - a utopia - as the theater itself was a haven from the harsh realities of the world and of the individual. The audience learned something, but they also could steep themselves without taxing imagination in the illusion of theater. "Midsummer" was always a work-in-progress for him - he had staged it twelve times up to 1934, and in fact had already brought it to Broadway in late 1927. And that was not his first trip to the US, having started presenting plays as producer, director, or writer since early 1912 there (he did ten productions in all to 1943).
He came to Hollywood in 1934 with his fame preceding him. His last tour through Europe had included lavish productions in Florence (1933) and a"Midsummer" at Oxford (1934). He offered to do the same in Hollywood at an ideal outdoor stage-the Hollywood Bowl. But the bowl had to go - it was removed to provide a view of a "forest" up the hillside - a "forest" that required tons of dirt hauled in especially for its planting, Reinhardt and his design staff erected a 250-foot wide, 100-foot deep stage. Also included was a pond and a suspension bridge or trestle constructed from the hills in back to the stage to be lined with torchbearers - with real flaming torches - for the wedding procession inserted between Acts IV and V. This lavish production included a ballet corps, children playing faeries, and hundreds of extras. The 18-year-old Olivia de Havilland was at Mills College in Oakland, participating in a school "Midsummer" production where in attendance was none other than Max Reinhardt himself. He was so impressed with her that he picked her for his extravaganza. Along with other Hollywood actors, was 14 year old veteran of the cinema 'Mickey Rooney', added to the cast as Puck. Another new arrival from Austria was classical opera composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, musical collaborator of Reinhardt's from Vienna. Reinhardt cabled his friend to come over and help him by doing the orchestrations of Felix Mendelssohn's famous 1843 music for the Hollywood Bowl production. It was a night to remember - even for Jack L. Warner - who was not always sure of what he was seeing. But it was enough to sign Reinhardt to direct a filmed version of A Midsummer Night's Dream which began shooting in December of 1934. De Havilland was back to start her film career-Rooney for another memorable part. Otherwise, it was new cast headed by Hollywood stars 'Dick Powell' and James Cagney and boasting the best actors from Warner's impressive stock company of players. Since Reinhardt did not know Hollywood filmmaking, Warner assigned a co-director, William Dieterle, Reinhardt's acting then directing protege, from the Deutsches Theater days in Berlin. Dieterle, the disciple, had directed in Germany since 1923 and then came to Hollywood to become one of the studio's most reliable new directors. It was the beginning of Korngold's screen career as a film composer when he was hired to do the film score, an arrangement based on Mendelssohn's music used at the Bowl. But he actually mixed in much more of a variety of the composer's music to fit the play. Warner's laid down 1.5 million dollars and had its top technical staff step up to the challenge. But all-most of all, Reinhardt - was on a bit of a learning curve. Reinhardt was allowed the liberty of long play-like rehearsals instead of rehearsing scene by scene. Reinhardt's early over-emphasized stage acting directions were recalled by Cagney, who noted the actors often stood around on the sidelines whispering to one another, "Somebody ought to tell him." It was the politic Dieterle who did - setting his old master straight as to the subtle wonders of the microphone and sound film techniques. Shakespeare's lines were cut for public consumption, but there was so much to see - who would notice. In Depression era America the movie theater had taken the place of Reinhardt's all encompassing theater as a haven - and that was certainly fine with him. And here was a feast for starving souls. Reinhardt's multi-faceted approach to theater shone in all its entertaining best-through Warner stage design efficiency. There was the realist extravagance in forested backdrops, but the wonderful ballet of the coming of night with dancer Nini Theilade was distilled expressionism. Other ballet sequences featuring the fairies-children and adults - were choreographed by 'Bronislava Nijinska' (the great Nijinsky's sister). Reinhardt conjured all his and the camera's magic to create the summation of a lifetime of stagecraft. His imaginative wizardry with lighting put the remarkable glow on the faces of Cagney and his motley peasant comrades as they rehearsed - on the dancing faeries in their sequins - on the enchanted sparkle of shimmering (painted and tensiled) woods and veiled atmosphere that awaited the gaiety of Titania and the black looks of King Oberon. Everything of British and German folklore was thrown in for good measure - from gossamer English faeries and magic animals to rather frightening, rubber-masked dwarfs dressed as Teutonic gnomes and goblins. Reinhardt fuzzed and gauzed the camera lens and even put scintillating borders and covers of various sorts on the camera cowling to frame some faerie scenes as if from a Victorian painting by English artists Richard Dadd and Joseph Noel Paton-obvious influences. The movie was not a box office success, but it was Hollywood history-salute to Shakespeare? - certainly - but more so, a great event of melting pot talent and modern film making that was Hollywood coupled with profound European stage traditions that began with Max Reinhardt. He - by the way - did no more films, perhaps deciding that the real challenge was still the stage. But this one record on sound film measures the genius of the man of theater and gives today a glimpse of his creative powers and something of what his stage productions were like. He was more interested in continuing working on-stage as a director and producer, but he did not forsake Hollywood. With his second wife actress 'Helene Thimig', from a famous Viennese acting family, he split his time between the coasts. He found a Hollywood-based theater workshop and an acting school in New York. All of Reinhardt's productions were tallied - just from 1905 to 1930 - and found to total 23,374 performances of 452 plays - and still a little short. His wide-eyed exuberance for spreading out a great show was indicative of the child in Max Reinhardt. He betrayed that very comparison unashamedly: "Theater is the happiest haven for those who have secretly put their childhood in their pockets, so that they can continue to play to the end of their days."
Lang Elliott, President & CEO of Sunn Classic Pictures and original founder of TriStar Pictures, is responsible for the Company's motion picture, television and distribution planning and operations as well as management of staff and corporate financing. He also designed and oversees the development of Sunn Classic's new studio and theme park complex. Elliott, who has over 40 years of experience within the entertainment industry, received Academy Award nominations for "Soldier of Orange" and "The Magic of Lassie" starring James Stewart and Mickey Rooney. He has produced and distributed over 50 motion pictures including "The Billion Dollar Hobo", "The Prize Fighter" starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts and "The Longshot" with Academy Award Winning executive producer Mike Nichols. Elliott also produced and directed "The Private Eyes" starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts; and "Cage" as well as "Cage II" starring Lou Ferrigno and Reb Brown. Additional credits include "Dorf on Golf" and the "Dorf" home video series with Tim Conway; and a series for the Fox Television Network entitled "Boys Will Be Boys" starring Matthew Perry. Elliott is also a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Elliott is a Vietnam Veteran and has donated much of his time to help veterans by producing the annually televised awards production, "The American Veterans Award Show" (AVA) in conjunction with The Veterans Foundation, Inc. (VFI). Lang Elliott has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance, a Master of Arts Degree in Finance and a Doctorate in Finance.
Brian Bremer was born in Hickory, North Carolina in 1967. He attended university on a full theatre scholarship to Pepperdine University, in Malibu, California. Here, he found representation and was soon cast as Bunt Wallace in the cult hit "Pumpkinhead", opposite Lance Henrickson and Cynthia Bain. He went onto star in a string of innovative horror and science fiction films, including the controversial "Society", directed by Brian Yuzna. In this genre, Brian worked with directors Tobe Hooper and Stan Winston and actors Mickey Rooney and Morgan Fairchild. During his time in Los Angeles, Brian also appeared as recurring character Milo Trump on the CBS television series, "TV 101". In 1994, Brian moved to Atlanta, GA and wrote lyrics and performed as lead singer for the band, "Elijuun Zoo", performing at the 1996 Olympic Games. The band was successful locally, but dissolved in 1997. Brian continued his career in film and theatre arts, working as an actor, stage manager and producer for regional film and theatre projects. In 2000, Brian returned to the screen as Lt. Vandemeer to Billy Dee Williams's alchoholic police seargent in the Stage and Frame production "Good Neighbor". He most recently appeared in the Jim Kveisel film, "Stroke of Genius", to be released Spring 2004. Still residing in Atlanta, Brian is active in Arts fundraising, film and theatre.
Darryl Armbruster hails from the Pacific Northwest where he was cast as the lead in the first play for which he ever auditioned and never looked back. He got his feet wet in community theatre which took him from Tacoma to Seattle in plays and musicals from Carousel and Side by Side by Sondheim to Equus and The Shadow Box. Acceptance to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts brought him to Los Angeles and from there he went on to study with renowned acting teacher Harry Mastrogeorge with whom he studied for another four years. His first role on film was in The Revenge of the Red Baron with a then unknown Tobey Maguire and the legendary Mickey Rooney. He continued with his roots in theatre playing Barnaby Tucker in several productions of Hello, Dolly! as well as establishing himself with the Elephant Theatre Company in Hollywood. His work with the Elephants includes the hit show 7 Redneck Cheerleaders and his LA Weekly and ShowMag nominated turn as Carlton Tanner in Dearboy's War with Chad Allen. Along the way he paid the rent by working as an editor for Drama-Logue which offered him limitless access to the theatre scene in Los Angeles. In 1998 he began a six year run as a backup singer/dancer with the novelty act The Dan Band in which he will still make occasional guest appearances. During his tenure with The Dan Band he appeared in the film Old School, on television in Two Guys and Girl and as a regular on Pajama Party for the Oxygen Network, as well as countless live appearances in front of Hollywood A-listers such as Steven Speilberg. Darryl is also a member of The Theatre District and Scriptwrights as well as all three acting unions.
Brenda-Marie Whitehead was born Brenda-Marie Cantrell in Fort Smith, Arkansas. While growing up she was always told she was a descendant of the infamous William Clarke Quantrill. She lived in Arkansas during her early teens, and then moved to Oklahoma with family. She co-owned a business that was started in Oklahoma back in the mid 90's called "Celebrity Meet & Greet". It's like those conventions you see where Celebrities meet fans and sign autographs. One of the guest she booked once was Gunnar Hansen who played Leatherface in the original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre". He inspired her during a conversation, and with encouragement from friends and family, she pursued her acting dreams.
After research, and a lot of patience, she was able to get background extra work in a few movies....."Boys on the Side", "Twister", and "The Lost Son" to name a few. After the background work, she attended "Oscar Night America Party Gala" in Tucson. She bid on a silent auction that included acting lessons for a month with renown acting coach Aileen Reid. She enjoyed the lessons so much that she signed up for a much longer term. You can never have enough as the saying goes. Continued acting lessons helped her land a few commercials in Tucson for the Desert Diamond Casino, Old Tucson Movie Studios & Corona Beer.
She went to Hollywood in 2000 to be in a couple of episodes on MADtv. She was featured in a comedy sketch as an Opening Scene Traveler and Passenger with Mo Collins & Christian Duguay. This was her first real exposure of being on a nationally televised TV show. She was a huge fan of this show anyway, so this was a major thrill. She still owns the signed script the cast gave her!
Her latest role was playing one of the lead characters as "Lola" in "High On The Hog", that was filmed in Galena Illinois & surrounding areas. She was thrilled and honored to be cast in this feature grind house film that also stars iconic actors Sid Haig, Joe Estevez & Robert Z'Dar.
Her Celebrity Meet & Greet business produced a Breast Cancer benefit in Buena Park, California. Mickey Rooney & 100's of Celebrities attended. All of the admission and auction revenue were donated to the cause. She also loves animals. She has a one year old Pomeranian named "Jasper". She loves working out & walking. Speaking of walking, she was bikini girl #19 in the Guinness World Book of Records attempt at the largest Bikini Parade with Holly Madison in Las Vegas Nevada on 5/14/2009.
Brenda has a strange talent that some call a gift. She can actually cure hiccups. She cured actress Cindy Williams hiccups in Dallas while they were having dinner together. Her friend also had fallen victim to hiccups for a week non-stop until she stopped them, as well as numerous other cases.
Mark Rooney is the son of Hollywood actor ''Mickey Rooney (I)''. He has appeared on numerous television episodes of "This is Your Life" as well as projects for the Hallmark Channel. He is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer/producer and has been a veteran of the L.A. punk and hard rock music scene since 1982, having performed and recorded with such bands as The Dickies, Agression, Angry Samoans, L.A.s Wasted Youth, King M'butu featuring Philo Cramer (FEAR) on guitar and vocals, and Astral Body Flower featuring David Coleman (Prince) and Jonathan Melvoin (The Smashing Pumpkins and Prince).
The release of Mark's "Grind Kings" CD in 2007 has not only shown his talent as a songwriter (having written 8 of the songs) but his musical abilities playing all of the instruments, providing all vocals and mixing/engineering the project.
He is writing and recording songs, score and source music for film and television submission.
At age 7, he began dance lessons at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. It was at the Fox that he met entertainer Jack Haley. Haley took him to Hollywood, where one of his first jobs was as "Mickey" in approximately seven of the Spanky and Our Gang series. At 17 he was one of six bellhops in the 'Call for Phillip Morris' live radio ads, and at 18 was appearing in shows with Mae West. While under contract to MGM, he went to school with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. It was Judy Garland who offered him a part in The Wizard of Oz. He stayed with her during its filming. Soon after, he left show business, realizing that his height would prevent him from having any long-term success as an actor.
Born in East Boston, Johnny Indrisano was from a poverty stricken family. As a youth he vowed to "have money" some day. He boxed 155 amateur fights. He turned professional and went on to fight 83 main events in which he won 80. He defeated 5 world champions. His career lasted from 1924 to 1934. He defeated among others, Joe Dundee(World Welterweight Champ/non-title fight), Nick Testo, Johnny Freeman, Sig Keppen, and Sammy Baker. From 1934 to 1949 he worked as a boxing referee. He began as a boxing coach for movie stars and from there became a full-time boxing adviser on films. He also worked as a character actor. Among the stars he trained were John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, Carey Grant, Mickey Rooney, Robert Ryan, Robert Taylor, Jimmy Durante, Fred MacMurray, Ricardo Montalban, and William Lundigan. He died under mysterious conditions - possibly a suicide.
Fred Griffith was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He resides in Los Angeles. He has a son Jackson Graham and a daughter Georgia Grace. From an early age he always knew he wanted to be an actor. He was once quoted as saying, "as a kid I would watch John Wayne movies and walk, talk and dress like The Duke in front of the family television." From community theater, to commercials and producing and starring in his first short film he has carved his way into a blossoming career in entertainment. Over his career Fred has been fortunate enough to work with some of Hollywood's legendary talent like; Sydney Poitier in "The Last American Brickmaker in America", Robert Duvall in "Gods and Generals", David Carradine in "Miracle at Sage Creek", Mickey Rooney and Lee Majors in "Strike the Tent" and Rance Howard in "Ghost Town" to name a few. He recently returned to the stage in a performance as Lt. Doug Roberts in a rendition of the play "Mister Roberts". He does occasional guest spots on Television. The one he is most known for is 24 with Keifer Sutherland. He is also pursuing other passions like writing and is currently working on a screenplay and a country music song. On November 21st, 2003 he was presented with a great honor when he was asked to present the Elvis Presley award at the American Veteran Award show, which aired on The History Channel on February 8th, 2004. ??He also volunteers his time to read children's stories at local elementary schools through the Screen Actors Guild program, "BookPALS". Poetry is a hobby he really enjoys. He relaxes by spending time with his family at the beach and playing golf. You may see him from time to time in celebrity golf tournaments for charities he supports
Writing partner since 1969 is Darrell Vickers.
Wrote gags for cartoonists (including Bob Thaves; Frank & Ernest) between 1979 and 2005.
Had 13 plays produced in Canada, and performed 1979-82 in Toronto proto-grunge band Nobby Clegg & The Civilians.
Wrote gags and routines for Mickey Rooney, Alan Thicke, Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers. Over 30 pilot scripts produced.
Member WGA, WGC, SACD, CSCS ACCT, SOCAN.
For more than thirty years, A. D. Flowers worked his magic in movies and on TV and ended his career as one of Hollywood's most highly respected and sought-after special effects experts. His craft, however, predated the now-universally employed computerized high-tech FX that the movie and TV industry relies upon today. Explosives, flashbulbs, miniatures, water tanks, unique recipes for blood, and a lot of improvisation (not to mention chance) comprised Flowers' bag of tricks. Affirming that he used his bag of tricks to its best advantage, the Academy Awards presented Flowers with Oscars for his contributions as a "powder man" in the 1970 production of "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and for his skillful creation of disaster in the 1972 "The Poseidon Adventure." He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work with Steven Speilberg in the 1979 movie "1941" -- one of Flowers last efforts in his field. He was born in Texas and raised in Sayre, Oklahoma. After graduating from high school in 1935, like so many others from Oklahoma in the '30s, he hitchhiked to California, the golden state, where he hoped to find work. Within three years he was married and, with the help of his father-in-law, a painter at MGM studios, had a job as a studio handyman. Starting right at the bottom, literally, Flowers spent his first 19 nights at his new job on his hands and knees polishing a dance floor that Mickey Rooney used. He eventually moved from floors to grounds and was given the "greenman" assignment wherein his responsibility included feeding and nursing and otherwise maintaining plants, flowers, and any turf on movie sets. By the mid-'40s, Flowers had worked his way into the studio property department and from there onto assignments working with special effects. Explosives became his forte, but anything mechanical proved his domain. Whether employing hydraulics, electronics, or pyrotechnics -- skills that he studied at trade schools while practicing them in movies -- Flowers helped create or re-create fires, floods, dog fights (the aerial kind), bombs bursting in air, etc. For many years he enjoyed the role of chief of mechanical special effects at 20th Century-Fox. And his specialties were not limited to movies. He also plied his trade in television on shows such as "Gunsmoke" and Combat!" for example. A. D. Flowers retired to Camarillo, California, in 1979.
Pouri Baneai was born Seddigheh Banayi in Arak, Iran on October 11, 1940. She lived there for four years before she and her parents moved to Tehran. She had seven sisters and one brother.
She acted in more than 85 Iranian feature films between 1965 and 1979. During her years of acting before the Iranian revolution, she cooperated with famous Iranian directors such as Mehdi Reisfirooz, Samuel Khachikian, Masoud Kimiai, Farrokh Ghaffari, and Fereidoun Goleh. Her most memorable performances are in Iranian new wave films such as Masoud Kimiai's Qeysar in 1969 and in Fereydun Gole's The Mandrake.
Her first feature film was The Foreign Bride, directed by Nosratollah Vahdat. Pouri didn't have any academic education in acting and because Vahdat was one of her distant relatives, he suggested her to act in his film. In 1967 she co-starred with Behrouz Vosoughi, a famous Iranian actor at the time. They had many co-operations and in 1970 they acted in Qeysar, known as one of the major films and a symbol of Iranian new wave. She also co-starred with other Iran Cinema superstars of the time such as Mohammad Ali Fardin, Naser Malek Motiee, Manouchehr Vosugh, Iraj Ghaderi, Ali Nasirian, and Parviz Sayyad. Most of the Farsi-language Iranian movies were dubbed in those days and famous actors and actresses had specific dubbers. Zhaleh Kazemi was Pouri Banayi's dubber. Some of her films like The Mandrake and The Falconet in addition to Qeysar and Ghazal are considered as milestones in her performances before the 1979 revolution which put a partial end to this type of Iranian cinema.
She also acted in some foreign-produced English-language films such as Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident (1978) directed by Leslie H. Martinson in which she co-starred with Peter Graves and Curd Jurgens. In another film directed by Fereydun Gole, named The Moon and a Murmur (1977), she co-starred with John Ireland and Mickey Rooney. Jean Negulesco choose her and Behrouz Vosoughi to play the roles of a couple in his last film The Invincible Six (1970). Jun'ya Sato, the Japanese director chose her for the lead actress in his 1973 adaptation of the manga, Golgo 13.
Most Iranian actors and actresses fled Iran after the 1979 revolution, because they had acted in sexy films before the revolution. Pouri Banayi chose to stay behind, but was soon imprisoned in the Evin Detention House for over one year. She was released late in 1980, but never acted in cinema again despite that she never banned from acting in films.
She was engaged to Behrouz Vosughi, but they didn't officially get married. One of Pouri's sisters is Aki Banayi (Akram Banayi) who is is a singer and presently lives in Los Angles.
|Wayne Thomas Yorke
Wayne was born in Vancouver, B.C. Although dressed somewhat formal as a child, he later dropped the three piece suit, and by the age of 9 was donning a less formal sports coat and slacks. Wayne attended Studio 58 Theatre School, and soon after graduation, was working professionally as an actor. He was a winner in The DuMarier Search for the Stars with a show-stopping rendition of "You Made Me Love You" complete with a portrait of Clark Gable. Over the next decade, Wayne devoted himself to theatre and television. He performed in a multitude of live shows which took him on the road across Canada and to Japan and Scotland. He played in everything from Shakespeare to musicals to murder mysteries to children's theater. He was also an active member of TheatreSports, the Canadian improvisational company. In film, he had the opportunity to work with Michael Crichton and Tom Selleck on the feature "Runaway" and guest starring with Mickey Rooney in TV's "The Adventures of the Black Stallion". For years he was the spokesman for the B.C. Lottery as well as The Keg Restaurant chain.
In 1991, he made the big move down to Los Angeles and immediately started working in commercials and television. Early on, he landed the dual role of the father/interplanetary dog in the children's show "A.J.'s Time Travelers" which ran for 40 episodes with guest stars such as Jeff Foxworthy, Carol Kane, Fred Willard and Sandra Bernhard. He hosted the 26-part series entitled "Mastering the College Experience" for KOCE-TV which is still airing on television today. He has made more than 150 commercials for everything from Gateway to Lowe's and from Denny's to Pepto-Bismol. Recently, he joined the theatre company, Theatre 40. The highlight of his association with the Beverly Hills-based troop was originating the role of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in a new play about the actor's life and tragic downfall entitled "Roar of the Crowd". It was a critical hit as well as a labor of love since Wayne is a true aficionado of the silent film era. He loves anything Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Laurel and Hardy, or Buster Keaton.
Wayne is a series regular on the hit 'tweener' show "Wingin' It" as well as a series regular on the new Showcase comedy "Single White Spenny" with David Steinberg as one of the Executive Producers. Wayne has also appeared on "Two and A Half Men", "Boston Legal", "The West Wing", "Drake and Josh", "Becker", "CSI", "Star Trek Voyager", and "X-Files". Hey, did you catch him in "Meet the Fockers"? For nearly five years, Wayne was proud to be 'Ned, The Orkin Man' - the official spokesman for the national pest control company on television, radio and in personal appearances. He has also appeared in hundreds of other TV and radio commercials - most recently in an Intuit spot in which he is surrounded by cupcake eating co-workers.
To top it off, Wayne is a devoted family man. He and his wife, Bebe, have two beautiful daughters, a big dog named Martha, three cats and a well-stocked fish tank. (The hermit crab died.) He enjoys gardening, reading and endeavoring to fix everything around the house.
|Joe Michael Terry
Joe Michael Terry is an actor, writer, producer, and film executive who is best known, as an actor, for co-tar performances in Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985), Going Undercover(1988) Cannery Row (1982), I'm Going to Be Famous(1983) and First Monday in October (1981) before he quit acting to become the President of the British Film Company Hammer Films at Warner Bros. where he was in charge of developing films for the studio out of the Hammer Film library. At Warner Brothes, Joe worked with major film directors, writers, and producers. As a WGA writer, he has written film scripts for Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier and Directors like Irvin Kershner (who Directed "Star Wars -- The Empire Strikes Back), as well as writing and developing material for many others.
Joe-Michael Terry was born in Philadelphia October 23, 1954. And he attended private Catholic schools with his identical twin, Artist Alan F. Terry. Due to a divorce, his mother moved Joe and Alan to their summer home in Southern Florida where the twins finished High School as the first graduating class of the newly built Deerfield Beach High.
The twins headed off to separate colleges -- Alan had a full Academic Scholarship to attend the very private Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where he mastered in foreign languages before enlisting in the Army as an Army Intelligence officer. And Joe, who had starred in some High School Theater performances, headed off to Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He joined the Sigma Nu fraternity and was President of his pledge class, and was the only freshman to make the varsity Debate Team, but after two years at Mercer, Joe met someone he fell in love with and they both transferred schools -- moving to Denver, Colorado where they both enrolled in the private Catholic College, Loretto Heights, which was run by the Sisters of Loretto.
At Loretto Heights Joe studied International Relations under teacher, friend, and mentor U.S. Marine Colonel Francis James Kelly (who was the commander of an all Special Forces Unit in Vietnam. An important figure in that war who devised the Army's plans for Unconventional Warfare. John Wayne had played the Colonel in the feature film, The Green Berets). The Colonel had hoped that Joe would graduate Loretto and attend the John F. Kennedy War Memorial College. Unfortunately, Joe's partner, who had become intensely involved in the college's Theater Arts program unwittingly altered Joe's lifeline.
Joe's partner, Don Laney, "forced" Joe to act in some one-act plays that Don directed, and Joe displayed an intense, crude raw talent for the craft. It was while starring in a play there, that a New York Broadway Director, who was in Denver with his Broadway Bound stage show "The Belle of Amherst," with the legendary Julie Harris, came to the campus and noticed Joe stand out in a dramatic role. The story goes that the Director was so impressed with Joe that he went back stage after the performance and pushed past the two leads to get to Joe who only had a small, but important part. The Director knew that with the right teachers, Joe could be a star. The Director had founded the musical theater departments at the prestigious Uta Hagen Studios in New York, and was teaching Musical Theater at the Debbie Reynolds School for Acting in Hollywood, California. The Director, on the spot, gave Joe a full scholarship to either school, leaving the decision to Joe to decide which to take.
Joe was bit. He could not walk away from this opportunity. And, taking advice from industry professionals, Joe went to Hollywood where he began training at Debbie's school. It wasn't long before he started doing some commercial and print work which lead to small parts in television shows. In time, Joe had some major roles in episodic television, appeared as a regular in a failed pilot that starred triple threat Cloris Leachman, and began to emerge in full length, major motion pictures. Joe's manager was grooming Joe for a film career and, moving slowly into that world, Joe played small, bit parts in huge big budget studio films like "Cannery Row" with Nick Nolte and Debra Winger; "First Monday in October," with superstar Walter Mathau and Jill Clayburgh, etc.
But acting parts did not fill the days of the week and Joe started to get behind the camera. He got a job working for a New York talent agent who had just moved to California, Ruth Webb. And soon he became a sub-agent. Ruth represented some very important Hollywood royalty, putting fallen idols into dinner theater. Among others she represented Julie Newmar, Claudette Colbert, Martha Raye, and Mickey Rooney. And when Mickey told Ruth that he had found an investor to produce seven half-hour episodes of a T.V. series but needed to find a line producer, Ruth told Mickey "let Joe do it!" And Joe did. He produced those shows and went on to produce several TV commercials with Mickey. And he would have continued working with Mickey, except that Mickey's son, Tim, fired Joe and took over Joe's job. What can you do? Family, right!
So now, having experience with contracts and producing projects, Joe began work on a couple of low- budget films as an associate producer and then, at 23, formed his own production company called LT (Leder Terry) productions. Paul Leder was a director, who is most famous for his success in fathering a successful television writer, Rueben, and a soon to be, today important woman in film - Director Mimi Leder (who worked for Joe as a script supervisor on the film "I'm Going to Be Famous" which Joe co-produced and co-starred in.
"I'm Going to be Famous" shot on weekends, Friday night to late, late Sunday nights for 21 days. The film was about young Hollywood hopefuls who wanted to make it in Hollywood. And Joe played the key role of "Kevin McGraw" a "sick" would-be actor who claims the he KNOWS he is going to be famous, no matter what no matter how. And when he doesn't get cast in a Broadway bound play, Kevin grabs a gun, appears at the play on opening night and shoots the show's movie star/stage actress -- brilliantly played by TV personality Meredith Macrae. Joe had approached actors he had worked with in Television to work in the film. Directed by Paul Leder, the film starred, among others, the one and only Vivian Blane, Dick Sergeant (from Bewitched), Meredith Macrae, John Gaynes (Tootsie and Police Academy) Roslyn Kind (Barbara Streisand's talented singer sister), Stanley Kamel, and others. When if was finished the film attracted a lot of interest from some of the major studios. And it began Joe getting heavily involved in film production.
Ultimately Joe became a WGA film writer who wrote and developed scripts for some major A-list talent. He wrote two scripts for Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, he developed several scripts, and wrote two for Irvin Kershner (Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back; Never Say Never Again; the Eyes of Laura Mars, etc.), and others. Joe was represented by one of the founding fathers of CAA, Marty Baum (who also represented Sidney Poitier), and Marty began introducing Joe to some important CAA clients. But Joe was given an offer he couldn't refuse. Roy Skeggs, then the Chairman of the Board of the fifty year old major British Film Company, Hammer Films, offered Joe a job as President of the company, here in America.
Joe took the job and walked away from his burgeoning writing career in order to shepherd Hammer Films, and its 214 film's in its library, into a major Hollywood Studio Development and Production Deal. The first thing Joe did when he took command of the studio was to fire Hammer Films' agent at CAA because the agent had been ignoring London's call to Hollywood. Then, Joe took the film library to a number of major film producers, looking for an American based Film Production Partner. With the help of their attorney, Barry Hirsch, of Armstrong Hirsch, Joe caused to come into existence a major film production and development deal with Warner Bros. by partnering his company with the company Donner/Shuler Donner (Director Richard Donner of "Lethal Weapon, The Goonies, Superman, Tales from the Crypt, The Omen, etc. and Dick's wife Lauren Shuler Donner, producer of X-Men, Constantine, You've got Mail, and so many others). Over the next couple of years, officed on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Joe worded to develop scripts with Dick and Lauren for Hammer/Donner/Shuller Donner to produce. Joe worked with A level writers and Directors. He had arrived. But tragedy struck.
While working at Warner Bros., Joe, who has now been diagnosed and successfully treated for a schizo-affective condition, began to hear voices. He became more and more paranoid. He fell victim to drug abuse, and he got out of control. A lot of people tried to help him, and he tried to help himself, but the actual problem, his mental condition, was not immediately identified. Joe was let go from Hammer with a large severance package paid to him by Chairman of the Board, Roy Skeggs, who told Joe and others, sadly, "Joe was the best President we ever had.... But he had to be let go."
Joe became homeless for a while, and filled with shame and disgrace, wandered the streets of Los Angeles. But his family never gave up on him. His brother, Alan, did everything imaginable to rescue Joe. And people like Randolph Davis, who had been one of Joe's best friends and writing partners, for twenty years, misdiagnosed his problem as being drug related. Then, after being hospitalized in the Cedars Sinai Thalien Psychiatric ward for trying to kill himself, a psychiatrist realized that Joe was schizo-affective.
And the long process of finding the right combination of drugs to "fix" him began.
It took almost ten years to find the right combination to restore Joe to "sanity." And for the last ten years, Joe has been dealing with the shame and the guilt of "having had it all" and "having lost everything" to a condition that, although outside his control, was his, and his alone, "failure." Today, Joe is living a quiet existence in a West Hollywood condo, where he is the only non-owner to ever be elected to the Board of Directors (serving for five years now as the Board's Secretary), and he is once again writing (after a ten year retreat from the pen). He believes he is still alive because he has something still to say.
Joe has been active as an advocate for patients dying of Aids, with the Actors Fund and the City of West Hollywood, and he has volunteered time at The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center... He is very reclusive, but open to the idea of expanding his horizons. He believes that depression is Natures' way of helping you, of forcing you, to reevaluate who you are, why you are here, who is important to you, and what you can and cannot do... He believes if you bite off more than you can handle, and you fail, depression, and shame, as crippling as they can be -- are tools to help you focus on what's important.
Joe says he will never act again, will probably never produce again, but will continue to write and to develop film and television products "that are about something."
Joe is hoping that he will find a way to help people with mental illness. He hopes we all will.
Lovinder Gill has overseen a number of projects including feature length film and screenplays, commercials and short films.
Gill has a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications from Lock Haven University, a B.F.A. from the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking as well as his M.A. in Screenwriting and Film Studies and M.F.A. in Screenwriting from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.
In addition to working as a Producer and Screenwriter, he taught Producing at his alma mater, the North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking. Gill previously taught at East Carolina University where he won the 'Most Inspirational Professor' Award in 2004.
Gill and co-writer Tommy Lambeth sold the screenplay for 'The Arrangement,' in 2002, to Awaaz Productions and the film was shot in Austin, Texas later that year starring Lisa Ray, Asrani, Kal Penn and Purva Bedi. The name has been changed to "Ball & Chain" and they are both now listed as story consultants.
He then embarked on shooting the 35mm feature film "Chicks 101." Gill wrote, produced and directed the 94 minute film in the summer of 2003. The film won the 'Best Feature Film' Award at the 2005 Reel Backwoods Film Festival.
He also wrote the screenplay for the movie "Lost Stallions: The Journey Home" starring Mickey Rooney and produced the feature film 'Wesley" based on the life of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church.
Gill has also produced and directed a number of documentaries including subjects like world-renown glass sculpture artist Jon Kuhn and adventurer Jamie Clarke.
Charlene Rooney has worked in the film industry as well as studied acting under Herbert Berghof in New York City. She is also an established artist. Her painting skills have come to the attention of the Hollywood community and lead to art exhibits in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
In 2014 Charlene was the recipient of the Living Legacy Award presented by Bridget McDonald, PhD, president and executive director of the Women's International Center. The WIC's mission is to acknowledge, honor, encourage and educate women, celebrating their accomplishments, lasting contributions and the gifts they have been given to improve our world. Each honoree is a truly ground-breaking individual who make a difference. They are a group of civilization's great women and men whose deeds have genuinely benefited humanity. Former recipients include Hillary Rodham Clinton, Betty Ford, Audrey Hepburn and Maya Angelou. A veritable Who's Who of global innovators and humanitarians. Also in 2014, Charlene was awarded the Golden Halo Award by the Southern Motion Picture Council for artistic achievements. She is married to Mark Rooney, who is a professional musician and son of acting legend Mickey Rooney. Mickey requested through the Superior Court of Los Angeles to reside with Mark and Charlene Rooney permanently where he felt healthy, happy and safe. She served as Mickey's executive assistant as well as provide 24/7 care and administrative support the final years of his life.
Rachel was born on Long Island, New York in 1967 and raised in the Catskills where she experienced performances by some of America's greats, including Frank Sinatra, Cab Calloway, Anne Miller, Mickey Rooney and the comedy of Sid Caesar, Don Rickles and Buddy Hackett.
Rachel was a news junky early on from watching TV coverage of the wars in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. At age 16 she interviewed Arthur Bloom, director of the award-winning CBS news magazine 60 Minutes. After receiving her political science degree from the University of Chicago Rachel went onto a brief career in investment banking and later journalism. Rachel now spends her time between Hanoi, Vietnam and Perth, Australia where she researches foreign policy and writes screenplays.
Entertainment entrepreneur, Rick Marcelli was practically born on stage in Hollywood. Raised in the showbiz capitol of the world, Rick grew up around the celebrities most people only dreamed about. While other kids played ball at local sandlots, Rick's baseball diamond was the vast backyard of legendary film director Cecil B. DeMille, Father of the Film Industry. While playing ball with DeMille's grandson, Rick had the opportunity to meet the great director. So impressed was he with Rick's knowledge of movies that he let the youngster tour his private trophy room and hold his treasured Academy Award. That experience, more than any other, set the stage for Marcelli's quest for showbiz success, always striving for the lofty goals of those whom he met during the golden years of Hollywood.
That road to fame has resulted in many extraordinary accomplishments. While Cecil B. DeMille may have planted the seeds for Rick's career in show business, it was hard work that got him there and keeps him active in ongoing major projects.
Marcelli's start in show business began at Hollywood's Meglin Studios (which jump-started the careers of legendary film stars Shirley Temple, Judy Garland, & Mickey Rooney), singing and tap-dancing his way into the hearts of audiences.
Like his mentor, child star Sammy Davis Jr., he started young. His parents changed his name to Riki Marcelli, and acting roles followed on numerous popular TV series' such as "Bourbon Street Beat," " Laramie" (where Marcelli co-starred with Charles Bronson), "The Untouchables," "Going My Way,"(Starring Gene Kelly) and a co-starring role on "The Jack Benny/Bob Hope Show."
When the Beatles landed on the shores of America, 15-year old Marcelli began pursuing a career in the music industry. Rick's exuberance and persistence got him a job as assistant to Capitol Records' top-rated A&R Producer Nik Venet known for the Beach Boys, Bobby Darin and Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Ponies and "The 2000 Year Old Man": Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. There, he signed several rock artists to Capitol Records and tried to get many other rock artists deals including the band "Pacific Ocean" ( Edward James Olmos & Steven "Rusty Johnson") which helped establish his later career as a personal manager.
This led to work as an A&R Producer at Capitol Records (where he became their youngest staff member), working with Renaissance Productions / Dallas Smith (known for the Five Man Electrical Band and Allman Bros.) and other music production groups. Additionally, he provided artistic inspiration (credit on their album) for the songwriting /recording team Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham prior to their joining Fleetwood Mac on their first album Buckingham Nicks.
Marcelli's next venture was serving as General Manager for Grammy Award-winning country legend Roger Miller's publishing firm, Roger Miller Music. At an age when most teenagers were worrying about getting their driver's license, Rick was signing top country recording artists like Michael Martin Murphy to the publishing company.
Marcelli was also the first to book rock 'n roll acts for Universal Studios as their Outdoor Entertainment Director while also managing the tour's biggest attraction, Universal Studios' Stunt Team. When the opportunity arose to work for Hollywood commercial production studio FilmFair Inc., Marcelli signed on as assistant to owner/director Gus Jekel and Sr. Vice President Ben Norman. Working with Academy Award-winning cinematographers James Crabe, Conrad Hall and Haskel Wexler, he moved up the ranks editing, producing, directing and writing.
At the age of 21, he orchestrated a joint venture between ABC Records Distributing and The Southland Corporation's 7-11 stores creating what Billboard Magazine called "the largest singles outlet in the history of the record business." This venture brought Marcelli acclaim in the business world as a young entrepreneur, not to mention instant wealth.
Also during this time, Rick represented Photographer's and Graphic Art Designer's Lorrie Sullivan and Jimmy Wachtel. Over 200 Album and CD and Billboards campaigns were created i.e. Steppenwolf, Dave Mason, Joel Walsh, James Gang, Gino Vannelli, Phoebe Snow, JD Souther, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, Warren Zevon, Jo Jo Gunne, Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, Bill Wyman, Buckingham Nicks to name a few.
Rick then parlayed his business experience into personal management, signing the husband and wife mime team Shields and Yarnell. Over a short period of time, he transformed these street performers into a worldwide touring attraction with their own Emmy-Award winning CBS TV series.
Rick's association with variety entertainers led to meeting and signing magician David Copperfield. With Rick behind the scenes creating Copperfield's image as the most romantic illusionist in the world and David's talent, his career blossomed and he became a theatrical box office record-setter, the star of several CBS Emmy Award-winning TV specials, and a worldwide celebrity.
Returning to FilmFair to serve as Executive in Charge of Production for their new Music Video Division, Marcelli began developing and marketing music videos for Al Jarreau, the Charlie Daniels Band, and Dwight Twilley. On the side, Marcelli talent coordinated Disney's "The New Vaudevillians" starring Harry Anderson, and NBC's "The Magic in the Magic Kingdom " hosted by international magicians Sigfreid and Roy and the late George Burns.
By the time he established The Marcelli Company in 1986, Rick had built a spectacular roster of comedians, magic acts, and variety entertainers including then, stand-ups George Lopez and Bobby Gaylor and stand-up comedienne Jenny Jones, comic puppeteer David Strassman, and the late, award-winning choreographer Steve Merritt of "Beach Blanket Babylon" and "Chippendales" fame. By bringing Jones to TV's Star Search, where she became the first female comic to win the show's $100,000 Grand Prize, Marcelli paved the way to Jenny Jones' longtime career (12 years in syndication) as a TV talk show host.
One of the other unique adventures Rick achieved was to manage and produce Rudy Coby. Creating a larger than life image for the performer, he landed Coby his own TV show, "The Rudy Coby Show," on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Co-produced by Marcelli, the show received a Montreaux Rose Award nomination as the BBC's "Best Variety Show." On the heels of that success, Marcelli teamed up with Dick Clark Productions, co-executive producing the Fox TV specials, "Rudy Coby: The Coolest Magician on Earth" (1995) and "Rudy Coby: Ridiculously Dangerous" (May 1996).
Award Winning Comic/Puppeteer David Strassman was another renowned talent whose career flourished with Rick's direction. Under Marcelli, Strassman went from a little known variety show performer to setting a new standard, worldwide, for performance in robotic puppetry winning his own critically-acclaimed, hit TV series, "Strassman," which aired in the United Kingdom , Australia , and New Zealand which Marcelli was Executive Producer. Rick Marcelli also created and designed one of Strassman's most unique character Ted E. Bare.
Marcelli partnered up for a few years with Ken Kragen, the man who produced "We Are The World," and blockbuster charity events like "Hands Across America," and "NETaid." Ken also managed the careers of Lionel Ritchie, Kenny Rogers, Travis Tritt, and Trisha Yearwood, to name a few.
Marcelli's Midas touch in business has well served the longstanding career of David Copperfield for over 27 years (as Personal Manager and Executive Vice President of Copperfield's Marketing Group).
Alan Lilly began his life in the small West Virginia town of Beckley. His family relocated to Florida when he was 5 years old. He attended Oglethorpe University, Georgia Tech and the University of Colorado, where he graduated with a degree in Physics.
After college he began to study acting and started performing in community and regional theater. He brought to life numerous meaningful roles such as Sweeney Todd. In 2001 Alan was cast in the feature film Bully directed by Larry Clark. He portrayed the father of a troubled teen played by Brad Renfro. A few other films to his credit include Florida City, The Punisher starring John Travolta and Thomas Jane, HBO's The First of May starring Julie Harris and Mickey Rooney, and Dunsmore directed by academy award nominee Peter Spirer.
In addition to numerous film and television roles he has appeared as the principle character in several national television commercials. His commercial client list includes companies such as Southwest Airlines, Hampton Inn and New York Stock Exchange based MySAP.
In 2005 he ventured beyond acting and became co-producer for the movie The Way Back Home starring Julie Harris and Ruby Dee.
Alan has been a SAG member since 1994. In past years he was an alternate council member for the Screen Actors Guild. In addition to a successful acting career he has also worked as a space system engineer and holds various patents and copyrights. He lives in Florida with his wife Cindy, daughter Adriene and dog Max.
Actor, puppeteer, writer and voice-over artist, Jeffrey Breslauer was born in the Bronx and raised in Levittown, Long Island. After graduating with a degree in Broadcasting from Hofstra University, Jeff began his performance career in New York in the mid-1970s. His puppeteering work can be seen in "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "The Muppets at Walt Disney World." At EPCOT, in Walt Disney World, Jeff played "The Dreamfinder," manipulating "Figment," the little dragon star of "Journey into Imagination. He also voiced and manipulated the "Spider" puppet mascot for Scholastic Publishers' video series of "Math Place Programs" for first and second grades. His vocal talents have been heard in commercials, industrials, TV shows, audiobooks and theme parks as everything from a termite to a cartoon super hero. One of his personal favorites was voicing "The Joker" for the Batman Stunt Shows at Six Flags Amusement Parks. Jeff had the pleasure of adding over a dozen voices to his audio repertoire when he performed the audio book versions of Glenda C. Finkelstein's sci-fi novels, "The Edge of the Universe", and "Nemesis Rising". He also voiced and narrated the sci-fi/comedy audiobook trilogy "Cheese Runners", "Cheese Rustlers" and "Cheese Lords" all written by Chris Jackson. Another special project Jeff participated in is Sounds Abound© On All Hallow's Eve, a spellbinding aural feast created with his partners at JMJ Entertainment, Jeff Evans and Mark Priest. As a writer, Jeff is very proud of his published children's book entitled, "Abner the Clown". Brightly and brilliantly illustrated by Linda Campbell, the book tells the tale of Abner as he relates to children, in rhyme, about his low self-esteem. The picture book goes on to describe how Abner's friends help him to be proud of himself, and that they love him for who he is. In addition to performing on stage in such plays as "Breaking Legs", with Frank Gorshin (TV's "Riddler"), Jeff's work has graced several popular themed attractions in Orlando, Florida, including Walt Disney World, Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre (as everything from a detective to a maid to a stuttering florist), and Arabian Nights (as the Genie). Jeff's on-screen work includes; "Police Academy V", "Matinee", "Wiseguy", "Superboy", "Swamp Thing", the Showtime movie, "Trade Off", the Mickey Rooney film, "Michael Kael vs. The World News Company", "Doctor Who: A Survivor's Triangle", the HBO film, "Recount" starring Kevin Spacey and Laura Dern, and, recently, playing a Russian bad guy in the pilot episode of the new TV show, "Terminal Kill".
Ralph is fourth generation European show business. His great grandfather was a theatrical architect and his grandfather was the head of AAFA Studios in Berlin. His mother was granted the first license for theater in the American Zone after World War II. Clemente's first professional appearance in show business was at age two where his first theatrical performance was as the son of renowned German actor Curt Jurgens.
At 14, Clemente, his mother, sister and brother, moved to the U.S. He couldn't speak any English, and learned by watching a lot of TV. His mother opened the Laura Tolins School of Acting in Sarasota where he took acting lessons. Laura was a graduate of the State Theater in Berlin and a first generation student of Stanislavsky. Clemente says his mother could get a performance out of a kitchen sink. She was still teaching and directing plays until a few months before her death in 2006 at the age of 86.
After his discharge, Clemente joined his family in Miami, got his SAG card and started working both there and in New York City. He eventually performed in 70 national TV commercials. In the summer of 1965 he went back to Germany, his first visit since he left as a young boy. He got an agent in Munich and started to act on TV and in films.
His mother predicted he was going to be a director. While in Germany, Clemente started writing his first screenplay and soon, his mother's prediction started to come true. Clemente says, " I wanted to be able to tell stories, not just be part of them, take the audience on a journey, make statements and get people to laugh and to get them to think about things."
Clemente's first theatrical short The Inning of the Week won seven international film festival awards. This led to co-directing his first feature film, The Cayman Triangle. Clemente and his longtime girlfriend Emily decided to get married and start a family. He got a job teaching film production at the University of Miami. During his 10 years at the University he produced Cease Fire, starring Don Johnson which brought a lot of attention to himself and the UM film program.
Valencia College in Orlando was looking for someone to head a new film program and made an offer that Clemente couldn't refuse. Classes began in 1988 at Disney MGM Studios, then Universal Studios before becoming two year AS degree program.
His students get hands-on experience working on feature films. He picks the films that he would be interested in seeing and scripts that benefit and challenge his students. Since Valencia started to participate in feature film productions the students have had the opportunity to work with artists Robert Wise, George Romero, Reza Badiyi, Jonathan Krane, Julie Harris, Ruby Dee, Sally Kellerman, Joe DiMaggio, Ed Begley, Jr., Tyne Daly, Mickey Rooney, Talia Shire and Peter Spirer among many others. Ralph says, "Every film is different. You are constantly learning, you never know it all and hopefully you don't repeat the same mistakes. In teaching classes, I refer to filmmaking as team art. It takes a lot of people, artists and technicians to put something special on the screen."
Clemente aspires to make his pictures with Florida settings, writers and actors. Florida City directed by Clemente was shot entirely in Florida with mostly Florida actors. It is available in over 40 countries under the title Small Town Conspiracy.
"When you can have a positive effect on people's lives and help them reach their dreams, that are the best reward a teacher can have." Some of his students have gone on to direct or produce such films as The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, National Treasure, Band of Brothers, The X Files and numerous others. Appearing on The Today Show, Steven Spielberg mentioned that Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida had one of the best film schools in the country.
Clemente's son Parker continues the family tradition. He graduated from Valencia and the University of Miami and is fifth generation show business. His brother, Randolph, graduated from the University of Florida and St. Thomas University, school of law. He practices law in South Florida.
Among the many awards and recognitions Clemente has received over the years, the Miami Herald in one of their annual Arts Preview Magazine praised Clemente as the "Filmmaker to Watch". In 2008 Ralph became Film Florida Legends Award winner.
Kiesha Wright who has been a Tina Turner impersonator for several years, started out from the church. She is an organist, keyboardist plus percussionist. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University in music and a minor in dance. She is also a Professional Model. Kiesha worked with Tina Turner as a Back Up Dancer and Singer for four months. She learned her moves and her foot work from Tina Turner herself. also with the push and help of her Mother who was her Manger believed that she could make it through with the help of God .
Kiesha then continued college and while performing in a small night club, and a agent by the name of Gig Xifaras approached her and said "would you like to be a Tina Turner impersonator? ", she was stunned; she did not understand what he meant. "These are famous people, " he said. Well, she followed through with it and the rest was history. Her first performance was at Cal Neva Lake Tahoe with the Blues Brothers, the Reno Hilton which is now called Flamingo Hilton in a show called Flash. Then she also approached by the producer John Stuart of Legends in Concert in Las Vegas NV about being in the show called Legends, Who made her the first Tina Turner impersonator to perform in the Legends in Concert series. But thanks to Gig Xifaras for getting me there my Original Agent for getting her there. Kiesha is appearing in the upcoming film "Paradise Club" (2016) with Eric Roberts and other actors and actresses. Kiesha is nominated for " Northern California Entertainer of the Year 2016 " .
Kiesha Wright is now on her own doing her on tribute shows . Corporate Events
MOVIES Magic of Lassie with Jimmy Stewart, Mickey Rooney and the Mike Curb Congregation Kids The Wiz - played one of the Munchkins She's Got the Look Next Best Thing: A Tina Turner Lookalike Show Paradise Club: Kiesha sits in the audience with a white mink coat... Starring Eric Roberts
YTB, Hp, corporate. AT&T Corporate, Somarts event., NAACP event , Orange County Children Hospital,
Michele McCain is a New York City native known and appreciated for her extra-ordinary talent throughout the world. This multi-talented star of stage & screen [TV shows, reality TV, Film & Radio] began her career at New York's Shea Stadium in front of 60,000 people where she performed with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.
Her Broadway debut was in the role created by the late Nell Carter in the Tony award-winning musical Ain't Misbehavin', music by Fat's Waller. Immediately following North American and international tours, she premiered in German in the acclaimed and highly acrobatic production Barnum in Berlin's Teater des Westens alongside Freddy Quinn. This appearance brought her to the Teatro Monumental in Madrid to carry the Spanish version as Joyce Heath in Emilio Aragon's Production. But this is just the beginning...
...as the curtain opened for Michele on Broadway, such a virtuosic and dynamic artist has had the privilege to share the stage with many music legends and stars throughout the world, such as the great B. B. King. Michele has been paired with jazz greats Hank Jones, Clark Terry and the internationally acclaimed jazz artist Tete Montoliu. Another highlight: Sharing the bill with Grammy award-winning blue's man Charlie Musselwhite and his harmonica. And then there are the women. Michele has had the pleasure when taping the TV Special A Tribute to Xavier Kughart to work with the grand diva Celia Cruz and while recording the album Verde y Negro to share billing with la mas grande Rocio Jurado. With company like this, one can only grow.
From the Blind Boys of Alabama to Basement Jaxx, the list goes on and on and would be too long to name everyone, but Michele will always be grateful to each and every artist she has met along her musical journey.
In front of the camera, Michele can be seen as Marilyn in the The Milky Life starring Mickey Rooney and from Baghdad Cafe & War of the Roses, German actress Marianne Saegerbrecht. In her role, she sang a song which she wrote and is featured on the movie's soundtrack. This film was nominated for the 43rd Golden Bear awards in Berlin.
As 'Mamacita' in the Italian mini-series The Stolen Dream (Meucci: The true inventor of the telephone) - filmed in Bulgaria and Cadiz (Spain) - Michele worked alongside the great Italian actor Massimo Ghini and television actress Tosca D'Aquino.
Michele has had the privilege to work together with the famous Spanish actor & showman Javier Gurruchaga in numerous television, theatre, radio and live performances with the orchestra mondragon. Their partnership and friendship still continues. She portrayed the character Didi in R2 y el caso del cadaver sin cabeza (R2 and the case of the headless corpse), performing four songs throughout the course of the movie. In the historical Roman Theater in Mérida, Spain, Michele took on and sang the role of Popea in the rock musical production of Quo Vadis?. Numerous recordings and videos exist, many available on Internet social-networking sites.
Michele has also coached, trained, reprimanded, protected and loved all of her girls as jurist for the real life music show PopStars in Spain. With her American style of leadership and teaching, she has set the groundwork for all future reality TV shows in Spain. By remaining fair but also very truthful, her famous saying "No sigues con nosotros" (You're out) is still being used today.
Wearing many hats throughout the years, Michele's deepest love is performing live. Whether in a stadium - or 'un plazo de toros' - with thousands of roaring fans, or more intimately in clubs with a blues/jazz set, it's when sharing her art live that she feels most at home.
With concerts booked through the summer, Michele's current project is preparing ¡¡¡Ms M. is Back!!! - World Dance Tour 2007/2008. Having already gained international acclaim for songs produced with some of the most renowned and up-and-coming DJs, CD releases include El Divino Winter Sessions 2006 & El Divino Summer Sessions 2006, IBIZA 2006 - Official CD of Ibiza Nights, Technics - The Collection 2006, Professional Dj's [in session], Eibi-si House, Vol. VII, Discazo 2005, Heineken House Sessions, Vol. 1, and Flamenco Grooves, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2.
|Anne G. Sterling
Anne G. Sterling (married name, Anne G. Bergman) was a Polish born actress and dancer, who performed in Europe and the United States. She acted in Yiddish movies and stage shows, and later in motion pictures in Hollywood, California. Noted for her strikingly beautiful looks, former heavyweight boxing contender Herman Weiner dubbed her, " The Polish Ava Gardner." While living in California, she met movie stars Don Ameche, Eddie Cantor, Mickey Rooney, and Sabu. Bergman usually played a Gypsy girl in such horror films as The Wolfman, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, and House of Frankenstein. Also had uncredited parts in such films as Hollywood Canteen, Stage Door Canteen, Thank Your Lucky Stars and The Sky's The Limit, Anne ended her entertainment career in 1946, when she married U.S. Army war hero, Sgt. Hyman "Hank" Bergman (Awarded the Silver Star Medal). After moving to Miami Beach, Florida in the 1950s,she worked as an extra in the Jerry Lewis film, The Bellboy. Later, she managed the career of her only child, her son, kick-boxer/actor 'Sherman "Big Train' Bergman'.
Yarc Lewinson is an actor with a rapidly growing list of currently over 50 film, television and stage credits including work on productions for NBC, A&E, SyFy and Bio.
Yarc Lewinson arrived in New York City in 2005 where he attended The New York Conservatory For Dramatic Arts. His professional training progressed with his attending The Jason Bennett Actors Studio. This in depth training enabled Yarc to take advantage of the opportunities to learn and grow under the watchful guidance of experienced talent cultivators. The roles Yarc Lewinson was called on to portray and the reactions he saw he could create from those watching quickly solidified a drive and dedication for acting within Yarc.
Insight and awareness are two of the priorities Yarc Lewinson brings to every role. He understands how an actor is not only called on to perform but also to portray a character so that the audience will accept, believe and care about what that character says and does.
Yarc Lewinson's career has seen him work with top directors including Spike Lee, legends such as Mickey Rooney and notable successful actors like Jackee Harry and Louie Anderson. Yarc's roles have included dramas, mysteries, classics and comedies where he's been called on to play the everyday man to legendary sports heroes such as baseball's Willie McCovey.
In order to keep himself sharp, Yarc's goal is to perform in at least one live stage production every year. His stage work includes the roles of Othello in Shakespeare's classic as well as the Duke Of Norfolk in King Henry The VIII. The immediate feedback he receives from an audience and the sharing of connection and energy Yarc and the audience exchange further ignites Yarc's natural ability to bring heart and life to very character he portrays.
When not in front of a camera or on stage, Yarc Lewinson enjoys participating in and watching boxing, track & field, golf, aerobics, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, football and martial arts. These activities and additional passions add to the desire to excel and sense of competition Yarc brings to his professional work. Yarc also volunteers his time with New York Cares, an organization that encourages children from broken homes to stay in school, complete their education and reach for their dreams.
Writing partner since 1969 is Andrew Nicholls (II).
Wrote gags for cartoonists (including Bob Thaves; Frank & Ernest) between 1979 and 2005.
Had 13 plays produced in Canada, and performed 1979-82 in Toronto proto-grunge band Nobby Clegg & The Civilians. Current (2011) bands: Death Of The Author Brigade, and Don't Tell Betsy.
Wrote gags and routines for Mickey Rooney, Alan Thicke, Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers. Over 30 pilot scripts produced.
Member WGA, WGC, SACD, CSCS ACCT, SOCAN.
Scotty hails from New Jersey, where he got his start in local theater. Playing Giles Corey, in The Crucible. He had never studied acting before but decided to try out when he saw a casting notice in the local newspaper. he managed to get the part and was able to hold his own alongside much more experienced actors. He then branched out to New York City, where he studied the Meisner technique under the auspices of Ron Millkie (Officer Dorf, Friday The 13th) After which he landed a couple of agents and booked parts in two commercial and parts in several shorts and student films. He has since relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in TV and film. Being short, and from New Jersey, people compare him to other famous "Jersey Boys" like the great Mickey Rooney, Danny Devito and Joe Pesci.
Immediately after high school, Michelle Goetsch moved to California and began studying Situation Comedy under the tutelage of Bill Hudnut, at Paramount Studios. She worked as an assistant broker at Merrill Lynch, while studying, writing, and acting in independent films. Three years later, in 1992, upon the death of her mentor, Michelle became a senior stock broker, a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, and wrote her first screen play. However, in 1996, she took a hiatus from both businesses, when her first child was diagnosed with Autism. Goetsch went back to school in 2001 to study child psychology, but ended up back in the Drama department at California Lutheran University, and directing children's theater. When her second child became an actress in 2004, the film bug was reawakened while accompanying her daughter to set. Michelle used her knowledge of both finance and entertainment to start her own production company; writing, producing, and directing short films. Two films made the rounds on the festival circuit, playing Academy qualifying fests and earning finalist status. Her latest film, "Wreck the Halls," starring Mickey Rooney, obtained a distribution agreement with Ouat Media in 2010. Now, 20 years after she began studying Situation Comedy, Goetsch has come full circle, writing her first original Sit-Com pilot "School Spirit" about teen-aged guardian angels.
Mark Maxey is an Emmy award-winning Executive Producer/Producer and manages York Media's award-winning, multi-million dollar television production, film and event production and post-production division. His work has appeared on ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNBC, CNN, Discovery, FOX, Military Channel, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, PBS and the Pentagon Channel. Maxey has won an Emmy award, more than 20 Telly awards, and 10 Videographer awards.
Maxey produces the critically acclaimed Veterans Day television specials "The Honors: A Salute to American Heroes" and the "Wounded Warrior Experience" programs. He produced the live television broadcasts of the "National Memorial Day Parade" from Washington DC, syndicated nationally for years. Maxey created, developed and associate produced the PBS prime time television special "On Stage at the Kennedy Center: A Holiday Concert for the Troops" with the late Marvin Hamlisch and the National Symphony Orchestra.
People of note who have appeared in Maxey's productions include: Kevin Bacon, Robert Duvall, Gary Sinise, Joe Mantegna, Ed Asner, Brian Dennehy, Dean Cain, Tom Sizemore, Ken Howard, R. Lee Ermey, Traci Lords, Mickey Rooney, Pat Sajak, Ernest Borgnine, and James Madio.
Musicians with whom Maxey has worked include: Alanis Morissette, Beach Boys, Blues Traveler, Jimmy Buffett, Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, Hootie & the Blowfish, Five for Fighting, Sister Hazel, Pat McGee, J. Geils, Colin Hay, Rick Derringer, G.E. Smith, Bonnie Bramlett, Mark Rivera, Christine Ohlman, Liberty DeVitto, Ricky Byrd, Sara Niemietz and Snuffy Walden.