Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She is the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary. They divorced when she was five. When she was a school girl, Lauren originally wanted to be a dancer, but later, she became enthralled with acting, so she switched gears to head into that field. She had studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school, which enabled her to get her feet wet in some off-Broadway productions.
Once out of school, Lauren entered modeling and, because of her beauty, appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, one of the most popular magazines in the US. The wife of famed director Howard Hawks spotted the picture in the publication and arranged with her husband to have Lauren take a screen test. As a result, which was entirely positive, she was given the part of Marie Browning in To Have and Have Not, a thriller opposite the great Humphrey Bogart, when she was just 19 years old. This not only set the tone for a fabulous career but also one of Hollywood's greatest love stories (she married Bogart in 1945). It was also the first of several Bogie-Bacall films.
After 1945's Confidential Agent, Lauren received second billing in The Big Sleep with Bogart. The mystery, in the role of Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, was a resounding success. Although she was making one film a year, each production would be eagerly awaited by the public. In 1947, again with her husband, Lauren starred in the thriller Dark Passage. The film kept movie patrons on the edge of their seats. The following year, she starred with Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and Lionel Barrymore in Key Largo. The crime drama was even more of a nail biter than her previous film. In 1950, Lauren starred in Bright Leaf, a drama set in 1894. It was a film of note because she appeared without her husband - her co-star was Gary Cooper. In 1953, Lauren appeared in her first comedy as Schatze Page in How to Marry a Millionaire. The film, with co-stars Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, was a smash hit all across the theaters of America.
After filming Designing Woman, which was released in 1957, Humphrey Bogart died on January 14 from throat cancer. Devastated at being a widow, Lauren returned to the silver screen with The Gift of Love in 1958 opposite Robert Stack. The production turned out to be a big disappointment. Undaunted, Lauren moved back to New York City and appeared in several Broadway plays to huge critical acclaim. She was enjoying acting before live audiences and the audiences in turn enjoyed her fine performances.
Lauren was away from the big screen for five years, but she returned in 1964 to appear in Shock Treatment and Sex and the Single Girl. The latter film was a comedy starring Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis. In 1966, Lauren starred in Harper with Paul Newman and Julie Harris, which was one of former's signature films. Alternating her time between films and the stage, Lauren returned in 1974's Murder on the Orient Express. The film, based on Agatha Christie's best-selling book was a huge hit. It also garnered Ingrid Bergman her third Oscar. Actually, the huge star-studded cast helped to ensure its success. Two years later, in 1976, Lauren co-starred with John Wayne in The Shootist. The film was Wayne's last - he died from cancer in 1979.
In 1981, Lauren played an actress being stalked by a crazed admirer in The Fan. The thriller was absolutely fascinating with Lauren in the lead role. After that production, Lauren was away from films again, this time for seven years. In the interim, she again appeared on the stages of Broadway. When she returned, it was for the filming of 1988's Mr. North. After Misery, in 1990, and several made for television films, Lauren appeared in 1996's My Fellow Americans. It was a wonderful comedy romp with Jack Lemmon and James Garner as two ex-presidents and their escapades.
Despite her advanced age and deteriorating health, she made a small-scale comeback in the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle ("Howl's Moving Castle," based on the young-adult novel by Diana Wynne Jones) as the Witch of the Waste, but future endeavors for the beloved actress are increasingly rare.
In 2003, Lee Pace starred in the Sundance hit, Soldier's Girl, an extraordinary telefilm created for Showtime. The film was based on the true story of a transgendered nightclub performer in love with a soldier who is brutally murdered for their relationship. His breakthrough performance garnered him nominations for both the Golden Globes and the Independent Spirit Award, and he won a Gotham Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance.
Though he was born in Oklahoma, Lee spent his early years living in the Middle East. His family eventually moved back to the States, first to New Orleans and later, Houston, Texas.
Lee attended high school in Houston, where he first began acting. He got so involved with his craft that he actually dropped out of high school to perform at the local Alley Theatre. Once he completed his final high school courses, Lee was accepted to The Juilliard School's Drama Division in 1997.
During his time at Juilliard, Lee honed his acting skills in such classic roles as Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet", the title role in "King Richard II" and Cassius in "Julius Caesar", among others.
After graduating with a BFA from Juilliard, Lee starred in the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway play, "The Credeaux Canvas", as well as being part of the Vineyard production of "The Fourth Sister".
In the spring of 2004, Lee starred a limited engagement of the Off-Broadway production "Small Tragedy", and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Awards in the category of Outstanding Actor.
On the small screen, he was recently seen displaying a delightful comedic side on the brilliant, though sadly short-lived, FOX series Wonderfalls.
|Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloe Grace Moretz was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Her first two appearances were as Violet in two episodes of the series The Guardian. Her first movie role was as Molly in Heart of the Beholder, a story about a family that opened the first video rental store in 1980. This was followed by a small role in Family Plan as Young Charlie. After that, however, came Chloe's biggest role, and the one that made her famous: The Amityville Horror, the remake of the famous The Amityville Horror. Next she landeda small role in Today You Die as the Little Girl, and has since appeared in Room 6 and Big Momma's House 2. She filmed Wicked Little Things in Bulgaria, in which she plays Emma Tunney. In 2007 she completed The Third Nail, in which she appeared as Hailey Deonte.
In 2010 she appeared as Hit-Girl in director Matthew Vaughn's action film Kick-Ass, based on the comic book series of the same name by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Although her role in the violent action film engendered some controversy, she received widespread critical acclaim for her portrayal. Moretz trained with Jackie Chan's stunt crew for three months prior to filming "Kick-Ass" and did most of her own stunts in the film. Also that year she played Abby, a 12-year-old vampire, in Let Me In, the UK/US remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In, which was released on October 1, 2010. She played Ann Sliger in the crime thriller Texas Killing Fields, released on October 14, 2011.
Chloe next played Isabelle in Martin Scorsese's Hugo, a film adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. "Hugo", which was nominated for 11 Oscars, co-starred Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helen McCrory. Moretz then starred in Hick, an adaptation of the novel by Andrea Portes. She was in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, based on the iconic TV series Dark Shadows, playing the role of Carolyn Stoddard, a rebellious teenage daughter.
In 2013 she reprised her role as Hit-Girl in the sequel Kick-Ass 2, which received mixed reviews, but once again her performance was highly praised. The same year she also appeared in a short segment in Movie 43, and played the title character in Carrie, a remake of the Carrie, based on a Stephen King story and directed by Kimberly Peirce. In January 2013 Moretz was chosen to play Mia in the adaptation of Gayle Forman's If I Stay. On January 16, 2014, it was announced Moretz would appear in an Off-Broadway show directed by Steven Soderbergh entitled "The Library".
In 2014 Chloë was in six films; a small cameo as a newspaper girl in Muppets Most Wanted, the female lead of prostitute Teri alongside Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and teenage party girl Annika with Keira Knightley and 'Sam Rockwell' (qav) in Laggies. In December she played the role of very young Hollywood actress with a scandalous reputation Jo-Ann Ellis alongside 'Kristen Stewart' and Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria.
In April, it was announced that Chloë would be playing the lead role of Cassie Sullivan in The Fifth Wave, another adaptation similar to The Hunger Games, alongside Nick Robinson and Alex Roe. It was later announced that Chloë would play the lead female role of Digger in the movie adaptation of Sam Munson's novel "November Criminals". Moretz's character is the best friend of Addison Schacht, played by newcomer Travis Tope,
Born John Christopher Depp in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, Johnny Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school at age 15 in the hopes of becoming a rock musician. He fronted a series of garage bands including The Kids, which once opened for Iggy Pop. Depp got into acting after a visit to Los Angeles, California, with his former wife, Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp), who introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage. He made his film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street. In 1987 he shot to stardom when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street.
In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a handful of great collaborations with director Tim Burton came about when Depp played the title role in Edward Scissorhands. Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprised critics and audiences alike. He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity by appearing in many features before re-joining with Burton in the lead role of Ed Wood. In 1997 he played an undercover FBI agent in the fact-based film Donnie Brasco, opposite Al Pacino; in 1998 he appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, directed by Terry Gilliam; and then, in 1999, he appeared in the sci-fi/horror film The Astronaut's Wife. The same year he teamed up again with Burton in Sleepy Hollow, brilliantly portraying Ichabod Crane.
Depp has played many characters in his career, including another fact-based one, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell. He stole the show from screen greats such as Antonio Banderas in the finale to Robert Rodriguez's "mariachi" trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In that same year he starred in the marvelous family blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, playing a character that only the likes of Depp could pull off: the charming, conniving and roguish Capt. Jack Sparrow. Now Depp is collaborating again with Burton in a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Off-screen, Depp has dated several female celebrities, and has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. He was married to Lori Anne Allison in 1983 but they divorced her in 1985. Depp has two children with French singer-actress Vanessa Paradis: Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999 and Jack, born in 2002.
This athletically built, dark-haired American actor/screenwriter/director of European parentage may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.
Born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hells Kitchen, the young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Stud's, the thriller Klute and the comedy Bananas. He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lord's of Flatbush. Further film and television roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000. However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.
Stallone followed Rocky with F.I.S.T, loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II. The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks and Victory failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.
The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell, and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood, also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II, which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend American pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by curt Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV. The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".
Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra was a clumsy mess, Over the Top was equally mediocre, Rambo III saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango & Cash just did not quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell.
Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne. Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar, the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, the futuristic action film Demolition Man, and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd. Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land, also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz, reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine in a terrible remake of Get Carter, climbed back into a race car for Driven, and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa, and Vietnam veteran Rambo will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.
Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.
In 1999, she made her film debut in Crazy in Alabama, where she and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, played the daughters to their real-life mother, Melanie Griffith. The film was directed by her stepfather, Antonio Banderas, but it wasn't a hit. Dakota resumed her schooling and waited several years before she decided to become a professional actress and model. In 2006, she was voted Miss Golden Globe, a launching pad bestowed on off-spring of famous parents. She served as the first second-generation Miss Golden Globe in the Globes' history, since her mother was Miss Golden Globe in 1975. She also signed with IMG Models. In 2009, she modeled for MANGO brand's jeans line. Dakota traveled to Sydney, Australia, where she shot the "Rising Star" campaign for fashion label, "Wish". Once she graduated from high school, she signed with the William Morris Agency and started her acting career. She had her first box office hit in 2010 with David Fincher's film, The Social Network, in which she had a scene with Justin Timberlake. The film received eight Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture. She also appeared in three additional films: Beastly, alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Mary-Kate Olsen; Ezna Sands' film, Theo; and So Yong Kim's film, For Ellen; She had roles in several 2012 films: Christopher Neil's film, Goats, with David Duchovny; Nicholas Stoller's film, The Five-Year Engagement, for producer Judd Apatow, and the hit feature film version of the 1987 television show, 21 Jump Street, that made Johnny Depp a star. She also won the female lead in Chris Nelson's, film Date and Switch, written by Alan Yang. Her first television show, Ben and Kate, where she played "Kate", aired on Fox during the Fall 2012 season. It was canceled in 2013, and she quickly resumed her feature film career with three high-profile films: "Need for Speed," the modern-day adaptation of the William Shakespeare play "Cymbeline," and the starring role of Anastasia in the adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Chris Evans - not to be confused with the British DJ and wild man of the same name - began his acting career in typical fashion: performing in school productions and community theater. But it was his rapid rise to stardom that was unusual. Bitten by the acting bug in the first grade because his older sister, Carly, started performing, Evans followed suit and began appearing in school plays. From there, it was a quick jump to theater camp and later an internship for a casting office - a position he held one summer while living in a hole-in-the-wall in Brooklyn, New York. Once Evans made friends with a few agents on the job, it was a straight shot to television and blockbuster features.
Originally from Framingham, Massachusetts, the Evans family moved to suburban Sudbury when he was 11 years-old. While at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, his obvious talent led others to lavish praise and encouragement on him, particularly his drama teacher, who cited his performance as "Leontes" in "The Winter's Tale" as exemplary of his skill. After more school plays and regional theater, he moved to New York and attended the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. On the advice of friends, he landed an internship at a casting office and befriended a couple of the agents he regularly communicated with - one of whom later took him on as a client. The screen - not the stage - then became his focus; Evans soon began auditioning for feature films and series television.
Evans made one of his first appearances on The Fugitive (CBS, 2000-2001), a remake of the 1960s series and feature film starring Harrison Ford. In the episode "Guilt", Evans played the son of a small-town sheriff who tries to exact revenge after Dr. Kimble - incognito as a liquor store owner - refuses to sell him and his friends alcohol. After small roles in Cherry Falls and The Newcomers - two unknown low-budget features - Evans appeared in Boston Public (Fox, 2000-2004) as a murder suspect. He then appeared in his first major feature, Not Another Teen Movie, a tiresome spoof on teen comedies wherein he played a jock who makes a bet that he can turn an unpopular and unkempt girl (Chyler Leigh) into prom queen.
After filming a couple of television pilots he was confident would be successful - Just Married and Eastwick - he appeared in another listless teen comedy, The Perfect Score, playing an average, ho-hum student who takes part in a plot to steal the SAT test. Hijinks naturally ensue. Then, Evans broke through to the Big Time, grabbing the lead in the kidnapping thriller, Cellular, a suspenseful B movie with a cheesy gimmick - a random wrong number on his cell phone forces him into a high-stakes race to save an unknown woman's life. Despite an unassuming performance from Evans and Kim Basinger as the damsel in distress, Cellular failed to break any box office records or please a wide majority of critics. Evans then prepared himself for super stardom when he signed on to play "Johnny Storm" (a.k.a. The Human Torch)in Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox's long-awaited adaptation of the Marvel comic. Although the film was wildly uneven and disappointing, Evans nearly stole the show with his energetic, unfettered performance.
Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown Dependency in the Channel Islands, just off the coast of Normandy, France. He is the second youngest with four brothers.
He was educated at St. Michael's Preparatory School in Saint Saviour, Jersey before attending Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, England.
Henry's interest in acting started at an early age with school play renditions of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and Sonny in "Grease". He also starred and directed Hamlet in "40 Minutes".
It was at the age of seventeen when Henry was discovered by casting directors at school who were looking for a young boy to play Albert Mondego in "The Count of Monte Cristo" (2002). He went on to star in "Laguna" (2001), appear in BBC's "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries" (2002), TV film "Goodbye Mr Chips" (2002), and TV series "Midsummer Murders" (2003).
From 2003 when Henry was twenty years old, he gained starring roles in "I Capture the Castle" (2003), "Red Riding Hood" (2007), "Hellraiser: Hellworld" (2005), and "Tristan & Isolde" (2006). He also had a minor role in "Stardust" (2007) alongside Sienna Miller and Ben Barnes.
From 2007-2010, Henry had a leading role in TV series "The Tudors" as Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. The series was a hit and was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 and won an Emmy in 2008. Entertainment Weekly named him 'Most Dashing Duke'.
He also starred in "Blood Creek" (2009) and Woody Allen's comedy film "Whatever Works" (2009).
Once TV hit series "The Tudors" ended, Henry played lead roles in Tarsem Singh's mythological special effects film "Immortals" (2011) and "The Cold Light of Day" (2012) alongside Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver.
On January 30, 2011, it was announced that Henry Cavill had been cast as the next Superman in "Man of Steel" which is directed by Zach Snyder, produced by Christopher Nolan, and scripted by David S. Goyer.
Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series Rising Damp, Porridge and The Lovers. He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.
Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition - once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia - cured - and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.
Her major acting debut came in a TV film about World War II called One Against the Wind, filmed in Luxembourg during the summer of 1991. It first aired on American television that December. Kate began attending Oxford University's New College in the fall of 1991, majoring in French and Russian literature. She had already decided that she wanted to act, but to broaden her horizons she chose university over drama school. While in her first year at Oxford, Kate received her big break in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Kate worked in three other films while attending Oxford, beginning with a part in the medieval historical drama Royal Deceit, cast as Ethel. The film was shot during the spring of 1993 on location in Denmark, and she filmed her supporting part during New College's Easter break. Later in the summer of that year she played the lead in the contemporary mystery drama Uncovered. Before she went back to school, her third year at university was spent at Oxford's study-abroad program in Paris, France, immersing herself in the French language, Parisian culture and French cigarettes.
A year away from the academic community and living on her own in the French capital caused her to re-evaluate the direction of her life. She faced a choice: continue with school or concentrate on her flourishing acting career. After much thought, she chose the acting career. In the spring of 1994 Kate left Oxford, after finishing three years of study. Kate appeared in the BBC/Thames Television satire Cold Comfort Farm, filmed in London and East Sussex during late summer 1994 and which opened to spectacular reviews in the United States, grossing over $5 million during its American run. It was re-released to U.K. theaters in the spring of 1997.
Acting on the stage consumed the first part of 1995; she toured in England with the Thelma Holts Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull". After turning down several mediocre scripts "and going nearly berserk with boredom", she waited seven months before another interesting role was offered to her. Her big movie of 1995 was the romance/horror movie Haunted, starring opposite Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud, and filmed in West Sussex. In this film she wanted to play "an object of desire", unlike her past performances where her characters were much less the siren and more the worldly innocent. Kate's first film project of 1996 was the British ITV production of Jane Austen's novel Emma. Her last film of 1996 was the comedy Shooting Fish, filmed at Shepperton Studios in London during early fall. She played the part of Georgie, an altruistic con artist. She had a daughter, Lily, in 1999 with actor Michael Sheen.
Taylor Swift is a multi-Grammy award-winning American singer/songwriter who, in 2010 and at the age of 20, became the youngest artist in history to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 2011, Swift was named Billboard's Woman of the Year. Additionally Swift has been named the American Music Awards Artist of the Year, as well as the Entertainer of the Year for both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, among many other accolades. As of this writing, she is also the top-selling digital artist in music history.
Swift is only beginning to emerge as an acting talent, having voiced the role of Audrey in the animated feature The Lorax. She also made appearances in the theatrical release Valentine's Day and in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation She contributed two original songs to The Hunger Games soundtrack: "Safe & Sound featuring The Civil Wars" and "Eyes Open".
Born 13 December 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift spent most of her childhood on an 11 acre Christmas tree farm. Her family moved to Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, when she was age 9.
At age 12, Swift was shown by a computer repairman how to play three chords on a guitar, inspiring her to write her first song, "Lucky You". Swift's family moved to Nashville when she was age 14 as part of her father's job transfer. Once she was in Nashville, Swift secured an artist development deal with RCA Records. Swift left RCA Records when she was age 15 because she was ready to release an album using her own material, while RCA wanted her to record the work of other songwriters and wait until she turned 18 to release an album. At an industry showcase at Nashville's The Bluebird Café in 2005, Swift caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, a Dreamworks Records executive, who was in the process of forming independent label Big Machine Records. Swift was one of Big Machine's first signings.
In addition to winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2010, Swift also took home the awards for Country Album of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Country Female Vocal Performance. Her six-time-platinum "Fearless" album is the most awarded album in country music history. Swift released her first-ever concert CD and DVD set, Taylor Swift: Speak Now World Tour Live on November 21, 2011. Her fourth studio album is scheduled to be released in October 2012.
Daniel Jacob Radcliffe was born on July 23rd, 1989 to Alan Radcliffe and Marcia Gresham. His father is from a Northern Irish Protestant background, while his mother was born in South Africa, to a Jewish family (from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Germany). Daniel began performing in small school productions as a young boy. Soon enough, he landed a role in David Copperfield, as the young David Copperfield. A couple of years later, he landed a role as Mark Pendel in The Tailor of Panama, the son of Harry and Louisa Pendel (Geoffrey Rush and Jamie Lee Curtis). Lee Curtis had indeed pointed out to Daniel's mother that he could be Harry Potter himself. Soon afterwards, Daniel was cast as Harry Potter by director, Chris Columbus in the film that hit theatres in November 16, 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. He was recognized worldwide after this film was released. Pleasing audiences and critics everywhere, filming on its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, commenced shortly afterwards. He appeared again as Harry in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and then appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire directed by Mike Newell. Shortly afterwards, he finished filming December Boys in Adelaide, Australia, Kangaroo Island, and Geelong, Australia which began on the 14th of November, 2005 and ended sometime in December. On January 27th, 2006, he attended the South Bank Awards Show to present the award for "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" to Billie Piper. Dan reprised his famous character once again for the next installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In February 2007, he took on his first stage role in the West End play Equus, to worldwide praise from fans and critics alike. Also that year, he starred in the television movie My Boy Jack, which aired on 11 November 2007 in the UK.
Now being one of the world's most recognizable people, Daniel leads a somewhat normal life. He has made friends working on the Harry Potter films, which include his co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.
The youngest son of a gas station owner, who ran an oil pipe supply business and mother - substitute school teacher, Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas, but grew up in Longview, Texas where he graduated from the local High School (1988). Showing little interest in his father's oil business, which his two brothers later joined, Matthew was longing for a change of scenery, and spent a year in Australia, washing dishes and shoveling chicken manure. Back to the States, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, originally wishing to be a lawyer. But, when he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book "The Greatest Salesman in the World" before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film. He began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directed short films as Chicano Chariots. Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips, who introduced him to director Richard Linklater for his next project. At first, Linklater thought Matthew was too handsome to play the role of a guy chasing high school girls in his coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused, but cast him after Matthew grew out his hair and mustache. His character was initially in three scenes but the role grew to more than 300 lines as Linklater encouraged him to do some improvisations. In 1995, he starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite Renée Zellweger. Shortly thereafter moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star, where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill, where he played an idealistic young lawyer opposite Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. The actor was soon being hailed as one of the industry's hottest young leading man inspiring comparisons to actor Paul Newman. His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact with Jodie Foster (the film was finished just before the death of the great astronomer and popularizer of space science Carl Sagan) and Steven Spielberg's Amistad, a fact-based 1839 story about the rebellious African slaves. In 1998, he teamed again with Richard Linklater as one of the bank-robbing brothers in The Newton Boys, set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel. Later, in Jonathan Mostow's U-571, McConaughey portrayed the officer Lt. Tyler in a WW II story of a daring mission of American submariners, trying to capture the Enigma cipher machine. Matthew also took a part in comedies such as The Wedding Planner, opposite Jennifer Lopez and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson. His most interesting role was playing Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire, where he co-starred with another young actor, Christian Bale.
Dylan O'Brien was born in New York City, to Lisa (Rhodes), a former actress who also ran an acting school, and Patrick O'Brien, a camera operator. He grew up in Springfield Township, Union County, New Jersey, before moving with his family to Hermosa Beach, California when he was 12 years old. Before getting bit by the acting bug, Dylan planned to attend film school and become a cinematographer, just like his father. But once he landed the role of Scott's (Tyler Posey) goofy sidekick Stiles on Teen Wolf, he decided to put off school. (He was initially under consideration for the role of Scott, but he was more interested in playing Stiles.)In addition to his role as Stiles in 'Teen Wolf,' dynamic young actor Dylan O'Brien also stars as Dave in the romantic comedy feature film 'The First Time,' directed by Jon Kasdan. Additionally, Dylan is one of the stars of the entirely improvised independent feature film 'High Road' directed by Upright Citizens Brigade. Dylan has also developed an extensive YouTube following for a series of comic online shorts which he directed, produced and starred in.
Ask Kate Winslet what she liked about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume; that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica.
Born into a family of thespians -- parents Roger Winslet and Sally Bridges-Winslet were both stage actors, maternal grandparents Oliver and Linda Bridges ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, and uncle Robert Bridges was a fixture in London's West End theatre district -- Kate came into her talent at an early age. She scored her first professional gig at 11, dancing opposite the Honey Monster in a commercial for a kids' cereal. She started acting lessons around the same time, which led to formal training at a performing arts high school. Over the next few years, she appeared on stage regularly and landed a few bit parts in sitcoms. Her first big break came at age 17, when she was cast as an obsessive adolescent in Heavenly Creatures. The film, based on the true story of two fantasy-gripped girls who commit a brutal murder, received modest distribution but was roundly praised by critics.
Still a relative unknown, Winslet attended a cattle call audition the next year for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility. She made an immediate impression on the film's star, Emma Thompson, and beat out more than a hundred other hopefuls for the part of plucky Marianne Dashwood. Her efforts were rewarded with both a British Academy Award and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Winslet followed up with two more period pieces, playing the rebellious heroine in Jude and Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet.
The role that transformed Winslet from art house attraction to international star was Rose DeWitt Bukater, the passionate, rosy-cheeked aristocrat in James Cameron's Titanic. Young girls the world over both idolized and identified with Winslet, swooning over all that face time opposite heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and noting her refreshingly healthy, unemaciated physique. Winslet's performance also garnered a Best Actress nomination, making her the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy Award nominations.
After the swell of unexpected attention surrounding Titanic, Winslet was eager to retreat into independent projects. Rumor has it that she turned down the lead roles in both Shakespeare in Love and Anna and the King in order to play adventurous soul searchers in Hideous Kinky and Holy Smoke. The former cast her as a young single mother traveling through 1970s Morocco with her daughters in tow; the latter, as a zealous follower of a guru tricked into a "deprogramming" session in the Australian outback. The next year found her back in period dress as the Marquis de Sade's chambermaid and accomplice in Quills. Kate holds the distinction of being the youngest actor ever honored with four Academy Award nominations (she received her fourth at age 29).
In 1998, she married assistant director Jim Threapleton. They had a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton, in October 2000. They divorced in 2001. She later married director Sam Mendes in 2003 and gave birth to their son, Joe Alfie Winslet-Mendes, later that year. After seven years of marriage, Kate announced that she and Sam amicably separated in February 2010. She was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her accomplishments in film and television.
Amazingly, newcomer Cobie Smulders never gave much thought to acting. Born on April 3, 1982, in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a girl, Cobie had set her sights on becoming a doctor or a marine biologist. In fact, it wasn't until high school that Cobie started to explore acting after appearing in several school productions. As a teenager, Cobie caught the eye of a modeling agency, which led to several years of world travel to places such as France, Japan, Italy, Greece, and Germany. Yet even as Cobie's modeling career was on the rise, she still managed to attend school, graduating from high school in 2000 with honors.
Once out of high school, Cobie continued modeling internationally until the opportunity arose to audition for film and television. It was not long before Cobie's natural ability as an actress impressed casting directors, landing her guest spots on television series such as Special Unit 2 and Jeremiah. In addition, Cobie also appeared in the short Candy from Strangers directed by fellow Canadian rising star Eric Johnson.
Cobie got her big break just months later when she landed the role of Juliet Droil in the ABC program Veritas: The Quest. The series marked her first series role for television.
Sarah Hyland was born in New York City to parents Melissa Canaday and Edward James Hyland. Sarah began in the business at the age of 4 with commercial work and voice overs. Her first film was Private Parts. She then moved on to The Object of My Affection and then spent time on Another World as "Rain Wolfe", a child found in the park, and fostered by Josie and Gary. Sarah would go on to work with Amy Carlson ("Josie" on AW) several more times: Falcone, Law & Order and Law & Order: Trial by Jury. Sarah was cast as one of the young "Audrey Hepburns" in Jennifer Love Hewitt's The Audrey Hepburn Story the same year she was cast as "Molly" in ABC's Annie starring Kathy Bates, Audra McDonald, Alan Cumming, Victor Garber and Kristin Chenoweth, Joe Gould's Secret and Falcone. Aside from all of her film and television work, Sarah studied voice, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, Theatre Dance, and performed with her tap and Theatre dance class at "Reel to Real" at Lincoln Center as invited performers.
A New York-born and raised girl, Sarah spent much of her time working in film, television, and voicing many radio ads, as well as traveling with her father, Edward James Hyland, while he worked at many different theaters in the country. She was home schooled by her mother until 2nd grade and then attended Public School. In 6th Grade, she was accepted into PPAS (Professional Performing Arts School) where she stayed until she graduated in 2008. When Sarah turned 18, she moved to Los Angeles, CA and, within two weeks, had landed a pilot named "My American Family". Once picked up the name was changed to Modern Family. To date, Sarah portrays "Haley Dunphy", the eldest Dunphy child. Modern Family has won multiple awards most notably the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy.
Before moving to L.A., Sarah did a multitude of film and television and, at the age of 11 1/2, she made her stage debut at Papermill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ in the title role of "Annie". From there, Sarah added many more stage productions to her resume including "Bad Girls", "Dark Part of the Forest" and both productions on and off Broadway of "Grey Gardens" in the role of "Jackie Bouvier". "Grey Gardens" was nominated for Best Musical at the Tony Awards, and Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Tony's for their work. William Ivey Long won for his costume design. Sarah also did many development workshops including: "A Little Princess", "Bye Bye Birdie', and "Shrek, the Musical", to name a few. Sarah has worked with some of the top talent in the Industry: Tim Robbins, Stanley Tucci, Ian Holmes, Steve Martin, John Turturro, Hope Davis, Keir Dullea, Frances Fisher, Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, Lindsay Price, Timothy Busfield, among so many other incredible talents. She has guest starred on Touched by an Angel, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and twice on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Her second turn on "Law & Order: SVU" in the episode of "Hothouse" gave her a breakthrough role where she portrayed "Jennifer Banks", a student at a school for the gifted who kills her roommate in a drug fueled rage.
Sarah has a maltipoo named Barkley, and is happily living in the Los Angeles Area. She is the Face of "Wallflower Jeans". Sarah's brother, Ian Hyland, is also an actor and, even though most think Ian is her older brother, he is really 4 years her junior. Her father is a stage and film actor based in New York, and her mother is an acting coach to young actors.
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949, a decision for which he was severely criticized when his star began to dim in the 1960s and he was excoriated for squandering his talents. No actor ever exerted such a profound influence on succeeding generations of actors as did Brando. More than 50 years after he first scorched the screen as Stanley Kowalski in the movie version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and a quarter-century after his last great performance as Col. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, all American actors are still being measured by the yardstick that was Brando. It was if the shadow of John Barrymore, the great American actor closest to Brando in terms of talent and stardom, dominated the acting field up until the 1970s. He did not, nor did any other actor so dominate the public's consciousness of what WAS an actor before or since Brando's 1951 on-screen portrayal of Stanley made him a cultural icon. Brando eclipsed the reputation of other great actors circa 1950, such as Paul Muni and Fredric March. Only the luster of Spencer Tracy's reputation hasn't dimmed when seen in the starlight thrown off by Brando. However, neither Tracy nor Olivier created an entire school of acting just by the force of his personality. Brando did.
Born Marlon Brando Jr. on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a calcium carbonate salesman and his artistically inclined wife, the former Dorothy Pennebaker, "Bud" Brando was one of three children. His oldest sister Jocelyn Brando was also an actress, taking after their mother, who engaged in amateur theatricals and mentored a then-unknown Henry Fonda, another Nebraska native, in her role as director of the Omaha Community Playhouse. Frannie, Brando's other sibling, was a visual artist. Both Brando sisters contrived to leave the Midwest for New York City, Jocelyn to study acting and Frannie to study art. Marlon managed to escape the vocational doldrums forecast for him by his cold, distant father and his disapproving schoolteachers by striking out for The Big Apple in 1943, following Jocelyn into the acting profession. Acting was the only thing he was good at, for which he received praise, so he was determined to make it his career - a high-school dropout, he had nothing else to fall back on, having been rejected by the military due to a knee injury he incurred playing football at Shattuck Military Academy, Brando Sr.'s alma mater. The school booted Marlon out as incorrigible before graduation.
Acting was a skill he honed as a child, the lonely son of alcoholic parents. With his father away on the road, and his mother frequently intoxicated to the point of stupefaction, the young Bud would play-act for her to draw her out of her stupor and to attract her attention and love. His mother was exceedingly neglectful, but he loved her, particularly for instilling in him a love of nature, a feeling which informed his character Paul in Last Tango in Paris ("Last Tango in Paris") when he is recalling his childhood for his young lover Jeanne. "I don't have many good memories," Paul confesses, and neither did Brando of his childhood. Sometimes he had to go down to the town jail to pick up his mother after she had spent the night in the drunk tank and bring her home, events that traumatized the young boy but may have been the grain that irritated the oyster of his talent, producing the pearls of his performances. Anthony Quinn, his Oscar-winning co-star in Viva Zapata! told Brando's first wife Anna Kashfi, "I admire Marlon's talent, but I don't envy the pain that created it."
Brando enrolled in Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at New York's New School, and was mentored by Stella Adler, a member of a famous Yiddish Theatre acting family. Adler helped introduce to the New York stage the "emotional memory" technique of Russian theatrical actor, director and impresario Konstantin Stanislavski, whose motto was "Think of your own experiences and use them truthfully." The results of this meeting between an actor and the teacher preparing him for a life in the theater would mark a watershed in American acting and culture.
Brando made his debut on the boards of Broadway on October 19, 1944, in "I Remember Mama," a great success. As a young Broadway actor, Brando was invited by talent scouts from several different studios to screen-test for them, but he turned them down because he would not let himself be bound by the then-standard seven-year contract. Brando would make his film debut quite some time later in Fred Zinnemann's The Men for producer Stanley Kramer. Playing a paraplegic soldier, Brando brought new levels of realism to the screen, expanding on the verisimilitude brought to movies by Group Theatre alumni John Garfield, the predecessor closest to him in the raw power he projected on-screen. Ironically, it was Garfield whom producer Irene Mayer Selznick had chosen to play the lead in a new Tennessee Williams play she was about to produce, but negotiations broke down when Garfield demanded an ownership stake in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Burt Lancaster was next approached, but couldn't get out of a prior film commitment. Then director Elia Kazan suggested Brando, whom he had directed to great effect in Maxwell Anderson's play "Truckline Café," in which Brando co-starred with Karl Malden, who was to remain a close friend for the next 60 years.
During the production of "Truckline Café", Kazan had found that Brando's presence was so magnetic, he had to re-block the play to keep Marlon near other major characters' stage business, as the audience could not take its eyes off of him. For the scene where Brando's character re-enters the stage after killing his wife, Kazan placed him upstage-center, partially obscured by scenery, but where the audience could still see him as Karl Malden and others played out their scene within the café set. When he eventually entered the scene, crying, the effect was electric. A young Pauline Kael, arriving late to the play, had to avert her eyes when Brando made this entrance as she believed the young actor on stage was having a real-life conniption. She did not look back until her escort commented that the young man was a great actor.
The problem with casting Brando as Stanley was that he was much younger than the character as written by Williams. However, after a meeting between Brando and Williams, the playwright eagerly agreed that Brando would make an ideal Stanley. Williams believed that by casting a younger actor, the Neanderthalish Kowalski would evolve from being a vicious older man to someone whose unintentional cruelty can be attributed to his youthful ignorance. Brando ultimately was dissatisfied with his performance, though, saying he never was able to bring out the humor of the character, which was ironic as his characterization often drew laughs from the audience at the expense of Jessica Tandy's Blanche Dubois. During the out-of-town tryouts, Kazan realized that Brando's magnetism was attracting attention and audience sympathy away from Blanche to Stanley, which was not what the playwright intended. The audience's sympathy should be solely with Blanche, but many spectators were identifying with Stanley. Kazan queried Williams on the matter, broaching the idea of a slight rewrite to tip the scales back to more of a balance between Stanley and Blanche, but Williams demurred, smitten as he was by Brando, just like the preview audiences.
For his part, Brando believed that the audience sided with his Stanley because Jessica Tandy was too shrill. He thought Vivien Leigh, who played the part in the movie, was ideal, as she was not only a great beauty but she WAS Blanche Dubois, troubled as she was in her real life by mental illness and nymphomania. Brando's appearance as Stanley on stage and on screen revolutionized American acting by introducing "The Method" into American consciousness and culture. Method acting, rooted in Adler's study at the Moscow Art Theatre of Stanislavsky's theories that she subsequently introduced to the Group Theatre, was a more naturalistic style of performing, as it engendered a close identification of the actor with the character's emotions. Adler took first place among Brando's acting teachers, and socially she helped turn him from an unsophisticated Midwestern farm boy into a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan artist who one day would socialize with presidents.
Brando didn't like the term "The Method," which quickly became the prominent paradigm taught by such acting gurus as Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Brando denounced Strasberg in his autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me" (1994), saying that he was a talentless exploiter who claimed he had been Brando's mentor. The Actors Studio had been founded by Strasberg along with Kazan and Stella Adler's husband, Harold Clurman, all Group Theatre alumni, all political progressives deeply committed to the didactic function of the stage. Brando credits his knowledge of the craft to Adler and Kazan, while Kazan in his autobiography "A Life" claimed that Brando's genius thrived due to the thorough training Adler had given him. Adler's method emphasized that authenticity in acting is achieved by drawing on inner reality to expose deep emotional experience
Interestingly, Elia Kazan believed that Brando had ruined two generations of actors, his contemporaries and those who came after him, all wanting to emulate the great Brando by employing The Method. Kazan felt that Brando was never a Method actor, that he had been highly trained by Adler and did not rely on gut instincts for his performances, as was commonly believed. Many a young actor, mistaken about the true roots of Brando's genius, thought that all it took was to find a character's motivation, empathize with the character through sense and memory association, and regurgitate it all on stage to become the character. That's not how the superbly trained Brando did it; he could, for example, play accents, whereas your average American Method actor could not. There was a method to Brando's art, Kazan felt, but it was not The Method.
After A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he received the first of his eight Academy Award nominations, Brando appeared in a string of Academy Award-nominated performances - in Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar and the summit of his early career, Kazan's On the Waterfront. For his "Waterfront" portrayal of meat-headed longshoreman Terry Malloy, the washed-up pug who "coulda been a contender," Brando won his first Oscar. Along with his iconic performance as the rebel-without-a-cause Johnny in The Wild One ("What are you rebelling against?" Johnny is asked. "What have ya got?" is his reply), the first wave of his career was, according to Jon Voight, unprecedented in its audacious presentation of such a wide range of great acting. Director John Huston said his performance of Marc Antony was like seeing the door of a furnace opened in a dark room, and co-star John Gielgud, the premier Shakespearean actor of the 20th century, invited Brando to join his repertory company.
It was this period of 1951-54 that revolutionized American acting, spawning such imitators as James Dean - who modeled his acting and even his lifestyle on his hero Brando - the young Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. After Brando, every up-and-coming star with true acting talent and a brooding, alienated quality would be hailed as the "New Brando," such as Warren Beatty in Kazan's Splendor in the Grass. "We are all Brando's children," Jack Nicholson pointed out in 1972. "He gave us our freedom." He was truly "The Godfather" of American acting - and he was just 30 years old.
In the second period of his career, 1955-62, Brando managed to uniquely establish himself as a great actor who also was a Top 10 movie star, although that star began to dim after the box-office high point of his early career, Sayonara (for which he received his fifth Best Actor Oscar nomination). Brando tried his hand at directing a film, the well-reviewed One-Eyed Jacks that he made for his own production company, Pennebaker Productions (after his mother's maiden name). Stanley Kubrick had been hired to direct the film, but after months of script rewrites in which Brando participated, Kubrick and Brando had a falling out and Kubrick was sacked. According to his widow Christiane Kubrick, Stanley believed that Brando had wanted to direct the film himself all along.
Tales proliferated about the profligacy of Brando the director, burning up a million and a half feet of expensive VistaVision film at 50 cents a foot, fully ten times the normal amount of raw stock expended during production of an equivalent motion picture. Brando took so long editing the film that he was never able to present the studio with a cut. Paramount took it away from him and tacked on a re-shot ending that Brando was dissatisfied with, as it made the Oedipal figure of Dad Longworth into a villain. In any normal film Dad would have been the heavy, but Brando believed that no one was innately evil, that it was a matter of an individual responding to, and being molded by, one's environment. It was not a black-and-white world, Brando felt, but a gray world in which once-decent people could do horrible things. This attitude explains his sympathetic portrayal of Nazi officer Christian Diestl in the film he made before shooting One-Eyed Jacks, Edward Dmytryk's filming of Irwin Shaw's novel The Young Lions. Shaw denounced Brando's performance, but audiences obviously disagreed, as the film was a major hit. It would be the last hit movie Brando would have for more than a decade.
One-Eyed Jacks generated respectable numbers at the box office, but the production costs were exorbitant - a then-staggering $6 million - which made it run a deficit. A film essentially is "made" in the editing room, and Brando found cutting to be a terribly boring process, which was why the studio eventually took the film away from him. Despite his proved talent in handling actors and a large production, Brando never again directed another film, though he would claim that all actors essentially direct themselves during the shooting of a picture.
Between the production and release of One-Eyed Jacks, Brando appeared in Sidney Lumet's film version of Tennessee Williams' play "Orpheus Descending", The Fugitive Kind which teamed him with fellow Oscar winners Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. Following in Elizabeth Taylor's trailblazing footsteps, Brando became the second performer to receive a $1-million salary for a motion picture, so high were the expectations for this re-teaming of Kowalski and his creator (in 1961 critic Hollis Alpert had published a book "Brando and the Shadow of Stanley Kowalski). Critics and audiences waiting for another incendiary display from Brando in a Williams work were disappointed when the renamed The Fugitive Kind finally released. Though Tennessee was hot, with movie versions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly, Last Summer burning up the box office and receiving kudos from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The Fugitive Kind was a failure. This was followed by the so-so box-office reception of One-Eyed Jacks in 1961 and then by a failure of a more monumental kind: Mutiny on the Bounty, a remake of the famed 1935 film.
Brando signed on to Mutiny on the Bounty after turning down the lead in the David Lean classic Lawrence of Arabia because he didn't want to spend a year in the desert riding around on a camel. He received another $1-million salary, plus $200,000 in overages as the shoot went overtime and over budget. During principal photography, highly respected director Carol Reed (an eventual Academy Award winner) was fired, and his replacement, two-time Oscar winner Lewis Milestone, was shunted aside by Brando as Marlon basically took over the direction of the film himself. The long shoot became so notorious that President John F. Kennedy asked director Billy Wilder at a cocktail party not "when" but "if" the "Bounty" shoot would ever be over. The MGM remake of one of its classic Golden Age films garnered a Best Picture Oscar nomination and was one of the top grossing films of 1962, yet failed to go into the black due to its Brobdingnagian budget estimated at $20 million, which is equivalent to $120 million when adjusted for inflation.
Brando and Taylor, whose Cleopatra nearly bankrupted 20th Century-Fox due to its huge cost overruns (its final budget was more than twice that of Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty), were pilloried by the show business press for being the epitome of the pampered, self-indulgent stars who were ruining the industry. Seeking scapegoats, the Hollywood press conveniently ignored the financial pressures on the studios. The studios had been hurt by television and by the antitrust-mandated divestiture of their movie theater chains, causing a large outflow of production to Italy and other countries in the 1950s and 1960s in order to lower costs. The studio bosses, seeking to replicate such blockbuster hits as the remakes of The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, were the real culprits behind the losses generated by large-budgeted films that found it impossible to recoup their costs despite long lines at the box office.
While Elizabeth Taylor, receiving the unwanted gift of reams of publicity from her adulterous romance with Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton, remained hot until the tanking of her own Tennessee Williams-renamed debacle Boom!, Brando from 1963 until the end of the decade appeared in one box-office failure after another as he worked out a contract he had signed with Universal Pictures. The industry had grown tired of Brando and his idiosyncrasies, though he continued to be offered prestige projects up through 1968.
Some of the films Brando made in the 1960s were noble failures, such as The Ugly American, The Chase and Reflections in a Golden Eye. For every "Reflections," though, there seemed to be two or three outright debacles, such as Bedtime Story, A Countess from Hong Kong and The Night of the Following Day. By the time Brando began making the anti-colonialist picture Burn! in Colombia with Gillo Pontecorvo in the director's chair, he was box-office poison, despite having worked in the previous five years with such top directors as Arthur Penn, John Huston and the legendary Charles Chaplin, and with such top-drawer co-stars as David Niven, Yul Brynner, Sophia Loren and Taylor.
The rap on Brando in the 1960s was that a great talent had ruined his potential to be America's answer to Laurence Olivier, as his friend William Redfield limned the dilemma in his book "Letters from an Actor" (1967), a memoir about Redfield's appearance in Burton's 1964 theatrical production of "Hamlet." By failing to go back on stage and recharge his artistic batteries, something British actors such as Burton were not afraid to do, Brando had stifled his great talent, by refusing to tackle the classical repertoire and contemporary drama. Actors and critics had yearned for an American response to the high-acting style of the Brits, and while Method actors such as Rod Steiger tried to create an American style, they were hampered in their quest, as their king was lost in a wasteland of Hollywood movies that were beneath his talent. Many of his early supporters now turned on him, claiming he was a crass sellout.
Despite evidence in such films as The Chase, The Appaloosa and Reflections in a Golden Eye that Brando was in fact doing some of the best acting of his life, critics, perhaps with an eye on the box office, slammed him for failing to live up to, and nurture, his great gift. Brando's political activism, starting in the early 1960s with his championing of Native Americans' rights, followed by his participation in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's March on Washington in 1963, and followed by his appearance at a Black Panther rally in 1968, did not win him many admirers in the establishment. In fact, there was a de facto embargo on Brando films in the recently segregated (officially, at least) southeastern US in the 1960s. Southern exhibitors simply would not book his films, and producers took notice. After 1968, Brando would not work for three years.
Pauline Kael wrote of Brando that he was Fortune's fool. She drew a parallel with the latter career of John Barrymore, a similarly gifted thespian with talents as prodigious, who seemingly threw them away. Brando, like the late-career Barrymore, had become a great ham, evidenced by his turn as the faux Indian guru in the egregious Candy, seemingly because the material was so beneath his talent. Most observers of Brando in the 1960s believed that he needed to be reunited with his old mentor Elia Kazan, a relationship that had soured due to Kazan's friendly testimony naming names before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps Brando believed this, too, as he originally accepted an offer to appear as the star of Kazan's film adaptation of his own novel, The Arrangement. However, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Brando backed out of the film, telling Kazan that he could not appear in a Hollywood film after this tragedy. Also reportedly turning down a role opposite box-office king Paul Newman in a surefire script, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Brando decided to make Burn! with Pontecorvo. The film, a searing indictment of racism and colonialism, flopped at the box office but won the esteem of progressive critics and cultural arbiters such as Howard Zinn.
Kazan, after a life in film and the theater, said that, aside from Orson Welles, whose greatness lay in filmmaking, he only met one actor who was a genius: Brando. Richard Burton, an intellectual with a keen eye for observation if not for his own film projects, said that he found Brando to be very bright, unlike the public perception of him as a Terry Malloy-type character that he himself inadvertently promoted through his boorish behavior. Brando's problem, Burton felt, was that he was unique, and that he had gotten too much fame too soon at too early an age. Cut off from being nurtured by normal contact with society, fame had distorted Brando's personality and his ability to cope with the world, as he had not had time to grow up outside the limelight.
Truman Capote, who eviscerated Brando in print in the mid-'50s and had as much to do with the public perception of the dyslexic Brando as a dumbbell, always said that the best actors were ignorant, and that an intelligent person could not be a good actor. However, Brando was highly intelligent, and possessed of a rare genius in a then-deprecated art, acting. The problem that an intelligent performer has in movies is that it is the director, and not the actor, who has the power in his chosen field. Greatness in the other arts is defined by how much control the artist is able to exert over his chosen medium, but in movie acting, the medium is controlled by a person outside the individual artist. It is an axiom of the cinema that a performance, as is a film, is "created" in the cutting room, thus further removing the actor from control over his art. Brando had tried his hand at directing, in controlling the whole artistic enterprise, but he could not abide the cutting room, where a film and the film's performances are made. This lack of control over his art was the root of Brando's discontent with acting, with movies, and, eventually, with the whole wide world that invested so much cachet in movie actors, as long as "they" were at the top of the box-office charts. Hollywood was a matter of "they" and not the work, and Brando became disgusted.
Charlton Heston, who participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington with Brando, believes that Marlon was the great actor of his generation. However, noting a story that Brando had once refused a role in the early 1960s with the excuse "How can I act when people are starving in India?", Heston believes that it was this attitude, the inability to separate one's idealism from one's work, that prevented Brando from reaching his potential. As Rod Steiger once said, Brando had it all, great stardom and a great talent. He could have taken his audience on a trip to the stars, but he simply would not. Steiger, one of Brando's children even though a contemporary, could not understand it. When James Mason' was asked in 1971 who was the best American actor, he had replied that since Brando had let his career go belly-up, it had to be George C. Scott, by default.
Paramount thought that only Laurence Olivier would suffice, but Lord Olivier was ill. The young director believed there was only one actor who could play godfather to the group of Young Turk actors he had assembled for his film, The Godfather of method acting himself - Marlon Brando. Francis Ford Coppola won the fight for Brando, Brando won - and refused - his second Oscar, and Paramount won a pot of gold by producing the then top-grossing film of all-time, The Godfather, a gangster movie most critics now judge one of the greatest American films of all time. Brando followed his iconic portrayal of Don Corleone with his Oscar-nominated turn in the high-grossing and highly scandalous Last Tango in Paris ("Last Tango in Paris"), the first film dealing explicitly with sexuality in which an actor of Brando's stature had participated. He was now again a Top-Ten box office star and once again heralded as the greatest actor of his generation, an unprecedented comeback that put him on the cover of "Time" magazine and would make him the highest-paid actor in the history of motion pictures by the end of the decade. Little did the world know that Brando, who had struggled through many projects in good faith during the 1960s, delivering some of his best acting, only to be excoriated and ignored as the films did not do well at the box office, essentially was through with the movies.
After reaching the summit of his career, a rarefied atmosphere never reached before or since by any actor, Brando essentially walked away. He would give no more of himself after giving everything as he had done in "Last Tango in Paris," a performance that embarrassed him, according to his autobiography. Brando had come as close to any actor to being the "auteur," or author, of a film, as the English-language scenes of "Tango" were created by encouraging Brando to improvise. The improvisations were written down and turned into a shooting script, and the scripted improvisations were shot the next day. Pauline Kael, the Brando of movie critics in that she was the most influential arbiter of cinematic quality of her generation and spawned a whole legion of Kael wanna-be's, said Brando's performance in "Last Tango" had revolutionized the art of film. Brando, who had to act to gain his mother's attention; Brando, who believed acting at best was nothing special as everyone in the world engaged in it every day of their lives to get what they wanted from other people; Brando, who believed acting at its worst was a childish charade and that movie stardom was a whorish fraud, would have agreed with Sam Peckinpah's summation of Pauline Kael: "Pauline's a brilliant critic but sometimes she's just cracking walnuts with her ass." Probably in a simulacrum of those words, too.
After another three-year hiatus, Brando took on just one more major role for the next 20 years, as the bounty hunter after Jack Nicholson in Arthur Penn's The Missouri Breaks, a western that succeeded neither with the critics or at the box office. From then on, Brando concentrated on extracting the maximum amount of capital for the least amount of work from producers, as when he got the Salkind brothers to pony up a then-record $3.7 million against 10% of the gross for 13 days work on Superman. Factoring in inflation, the straight salary for "Superman" equals or exceeds the new record of $1 million a day Harrison Ford set with K-19: The Widowmaker. Before cashing his first paycheck for Superman, Brando had picked up $2 million for his extended cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now in a role, that of Col. Kurtz, that he authored on-camera through improvisation while Coppola shot take after take. It was Brando's last bravura performance, though he did receive an eighth and final Oscar nomination for A Dry White Season after coming out of a near-decade-long retirement. Contrary to those who claimed he now only was in it for the money, Brando donated his entire seven-figure salary to an anti-apartheid charity.
Brando had first attracted media attention at the age of 24, when "Life" magazine ran a photo of himself and his sister Jocelyn, who were both then appearing on Broadway. The curiosity continued, and snowballed. Playing the paraplegic soldier of The Men, Brando had gone to live at a Veterans Administration hospital with actual disabled veterans, and confined himself to a wheelchair for weeks. It was an acting method, research, that no one in Hollywood had ever heard of before, and that willingness to experience life.
Jake Gyllenhaal was born into a family of talent. His mother and father are producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is also the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko. His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from a Jewish family and his father's ancestry includes Swedish, of the noble Swedish Gyllenhaal family, and English. He made his movie debut, at the age of 11, in the film City Slickers, playing Billy Crystal's son. He made impact in various films in the late 1990s and early 2000s, in films such as October Sky and as the title role in the cult phenomenon psychological thriller, Donnie Darko, for which he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Actor. He followed this with roles encompassing many different genres, including the comedy film, Walt Disney romantic comedy, Bubble Boy; opposite Jennifer Aniston in another Sundance favorite, The Good Girl, and in the science fiction blockbuster, The Day After Tomorrow, which also starred Dennis Quaid. Making his theater debut, Gyllenhaal appeared on the London stage with a starring role in Kenneth Lonergan's revival of "This Is Our Youth". The play was widely-received and played for eight weeks in London's West End. Gyllenhaal followed his successful theater en devour with a role in Jarhead, playing an aggressive and masculine but equally vulnerable and sensitive Marine during the Gulf War. However, it was his follow-up performance that won critical acclaim in the controversial Brokeback Mountain, in which he co-starred with Australian actor Heath Ledger, as sheep herders who fall in love in the 1960s and depicts their relationship over the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. Gyllenhaal received both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Since then, he has acted in a wide range of movies, ranging from the critically-acclaimed thriller, Zodiac, the action adventure film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, sporting a bulked-up physique, and the box office hit, Love & Other Drugs, in which he teamed up with Anne Hathaway, once again.
Gyllenhaal is also the godfather of Matilda Ledger (aka Matilda Rose Ledger), daughter of the late actor Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. Gyllenhaal's most significant personal relationships have been with actresses Kirsten Dunst and Reese Witherspoon. He is friends with Maroon 5 front-man Adam Levine, having known him since kindergarten. He is also good friends with his sister's boyfriend and Jarhead co-star, actor Peter Sarsgaard. Jake has two dogs: a German Shepherd named "Atticus" and a Puggle named "Boo Radley" after the characters of his favorite book, "To Kill A Mockingbird".
James Paul Marsden, or better known as just James Marsden, was born on September 18, 1973, in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. His father, a distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences & Industry at Kansas State University and his mother, a nutritionist, divorced when he was just nine years old. James grew up with his four other siblings, sisters, Jennifer and Elizabeth, and brothers, Jeff and Robert.
During his teen years, he attended Putnam City North High School which was located in Oklahoma City. After graduating in 1991, he attended Oklahoma State University and studied Broadcast Journalism. While in university, he became a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. It was when he was vacationing with his family in Hawaii, he met actor Kirk Cameron, and his actress sister, Candace Cameron Bure. They eventually invited James to visit them in Los Angeles. After studying in Oklahoma State for over a year and appearing in his college production, "Bye Bye Birdie", he left school and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his interest in acting.
James got his first job on the pilot episode of The Nanny as Eddie, who was Margaret Sheffield's boyfriend. He then became part of the Canadian television series, Boogies Diner, which aired for one season. After that series ended, he got a brief role as the original Griffin on Fox's Party of Five. His first big break came when he became the lead on the short-lived ABC series, Second Noah. Although the show didn't last long, the young actor received enough exposure from the public and even managed to win the hearts of fellow teenage girls.
In 1996, he attended an audition for a movie titled Primal Fear but unfortunately lost that role to Edward Norton. Two years later, he was offered a lead role in 54, which he turned down. The role later went to another actor, Ryan Phillippe. Audiences noticed that James' star power increased when he starred in David Nutter's Disturbing Behavior, alongside Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl, which had mixed reviews, but mostly positive ones.
His role in the television series as Glenn Foy in Ally McBeal, is probably one of his biggest achievement to date. He became one of the main cast members during the first half of season 5, where he showcased his singing abilities. It was in that show where he was able to grab the attention of audiences from different backgrounds.
The 5' 10" star later played Lon Hammon Jr. in the romantic movie, The Notebook, which was based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks of the same name. His movies, Lies & Alibis and 10th & Wolf was also released around the world to audiences in the year 2006.
One of his most memorable roles to fans is his role as Cyclops in the X-Men movie franchise. The movie was well accepted by audiences and critics, which eventually made James one of the hottest stars since it was released. He was among the actors who starred in all three of the X-Men movies. James had the honor of working alongside Patrick Stewart, Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackman in the film. However, not many people know that he actually had to wear lifts for most of his scenes in the X-men movies, because his character Cyclops is supposed to be 6" 3" compared to a 5' 3" Wolverine. In reality, he is actually under 6' 0", shorter than Famke Janssen who plays his love interest, Jean Grey, and even shorter than Hugh Jackman who played Wolverine.
In the year 2006, he had the opportunity to play the role of Richard White in the highly anticipated movie, Superman Returns, which coincidentally was directed by Bryan Singer, the same guy who directed previous X-Men installments. Although he appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, the third installment of the X-Men franchise, many would notice that he in fact had more screen time in 'Superman Returns', as Lois Lane's long awaiting fiancé who had to accept the fact that his fiancée is in love with the man of steel. James earned great reviews from that movie, which led to him getting more movie roles.
In 2007, James played Corny Collins in the film Hairspray, an adaption of the Broadway musical based on John Waters movie, Hairspray. He joined a star-studded cast, starring alongside top names such as John Travolta, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer. James not only acted in that movie, but also sang two of the film's songs, "The Nicest Kids In Town", and "Hairspray". Being part of Hairspray catapulted James to a different level of stardom as audiences got to see another side of him.
His next role was in the Disney movie, Enchanted, playing Prince Edward, where he acted alongside Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon and Patrick Dempsey. Once again, James had the opportunity to sing in two songs from the movie, "True Love's Kiss" and "That's Amore". Enchanted appealed to not only older audiences but also to those who were fans of Disney's network productions. Following his huge success in the years 2006 and 2007, James played the male lead role in the romantic comedy, 27 Dresses, opposite actress Katherine Heigl in 2008. The movie did pretty well in the box office, earning a gross revenue of over $159 million, which exceeded the expectations of crew members especially since it was under a $30 million budget.
The year 2009 looks like it will be another great year for James as he has been signed to play the male lead again, in the upcoming horror film, The Box, based on the 1970 short story "Button, Button" by author Richard Matheson. James will be starring opposite Cameron Diaz in the movie. James also managed to get a role in Nailed, an upcoming politically-influenced romantic comedy, where he plays the role of Scott. The movie which was directed by David O. Russell was filmed in Columbia, South Carolina, USA.
James is married to Lisa Linde, an actress known from her role in Days of Our Lives. Lisa is also the daughter of legendary country music songwriter, Dennis Linde. The couple wed in July 22, 2000 and have a son, Jack Holden who was born on February 1, 2001, and daughter, Mary James, who was born on August 10, 2005.
Many would assume that with all this success achieved by James at this age, he would be somewhat high-headed but James mentioned that despite all the attention he's getting from the public eye, he tries to keep himself as grounded as possible. He even admits that he flies coach instead of first class while traveling with his family. In an interview he mentioned that he believes he has a certain responsibility to let his children know that he isn't special because of what he does, but who he is as a person. With a great humble attitude and a bright future ahead of him, there's definitely more to expect from this Oklahoma native.
Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood from the beginning; her mother was a Dutch baroness, and her father, who was of English and Austrian descent, worked in business.
After her parents divorced, Audrey went to London with her mother where she went to a private girls school. Later, when her mother moved back to the Netherlands, she attended private schools as well. While she vacationed with her mother in Arnhem, Netherlands, Hitler's army took over the town. It was here that she fell on hard times during the Nazi occupation. Audrey suffered from depression and malnutrition.
After the liberation, she went to a ballet school in London on a scholarship and later began a modeling career. As a model, she was graceful and, it seemed, she had found her niche in life--until the film producers came calling. In 1948, after being spotted modeling by a producer, she was signed to a bit part in the European film Dutch in Seven Lessons.
Later, she had a speaking role in the 1951 film, Young Wives' Tale as Eve Lester. The part still wasn't much, so she headed to America to try her luck there. Audrey gained immediate prominence in the US with her role in Roman Holiday in 1953. This film turned out to be a smashing success, and she won an Oscar as Best Actress. This gained her enormous popularity and more plum roles.
In contrast to the "sex goddesses" of the silver screen, Audrey Hepburn had a more wholesome beauty and an aura of innocence and class about her which gained her many devoted fans.
Roman Holiday was followed by another similarly wonderful performance in the 1957 classic Funny Face. Sabrina, in 1954, for which she received another Academy nomination, and Love in the Afternoon, in 1957, also garnered rave reviews. In 1959, she received yet another nomination for her role in The Nun's Story.
Audrey reached the pinnacle of her career when she played Holly Golightly in the delightful film Breakfast at Tiffany'sin 1961. For this she received another Oscar nomination. She scored commercial success again in the espionage caper Charade. One of Audrey's most radiant roles was in the fine production of My Fair Lady in 1964. Her co-star, Rex Harrison, once was asked to identify his favorite leading lady. Without hesitation, he replied, "Audrey Hepburn in 'My Fair Lady.'" After a couple of other movies, most notably Two for the Road, she hit pay dirt and another nomination in 1967's Wait Until Dark.
By the end of the sixties, after her divorce from actor Mel Ferrer, Audrey decided to retire while she was on top. Later she married Dr. Andrea Dotti. From time to time, she would appear on the silver screen. One film of note was Robin and Marian, with Sean Connery in 1976.
In 1988, Audrey became a special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund helping children in Latin America and Africa, a position she retained until 1993. She was named to People's magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world. Her last film was Always in 1989.
Audrey Hepburn died on January 20, 1993 in Tolochnaz, Switzerland, from appendicular cancer. She had made a total of 31 high quality movies. Her elegance and style will always be remembered in film history as evidenced by her being named in Empire magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time."
From Monkey Trouble to American Beauty-- that's Hollywood "Hocus Pocus"! Thora Birch was born on Thursday (as in Thor's Day) March 11, 1982. Her father, Jack Birch, and mom, Carol Connors, named her after the Norse God Thor ("Thora" being the feminine), the God of Thunder; she has a younger brother named Bolt Birch. Thora appeared in one of the "classic" California raisin commercials in 1986 (at age 4), and later did other commercials. At age 6, Thora appeared in Purple People Eater and won a Youth in Film Award for her performance. Then, she appeared in the television series Parenthood, which co-starred a not-yet-discovered Leonardo DiCaprio. Thora's breakout movie was Paradise with Elijah Wood and Melanie Griffith; Thora bested 4,000 young hopefuls to land the role and she, again, got great reviews. Thora appeared in Hocus Pocus with major stars; however, she got real recognition by having a starring role in Monkey Trouble, in which her affection for her pet (and sometimes scene-stealing) monkey basically carried the entire movie (she and the monkey did their own stunts). All grown up, this petite beauty (5' 4") with green eyes had a major role in American Beauty which won 5 Oscar awards. Thora delivered a strong, effective performance as the alienated daughter of parents whose mid-life crises drive them to affairs and destruction; her acting was convincing and inspired and, once again, received good reviews. A down-to-earth young woman in real life, she loves Italian food and diet root beer.
Taylor Daniel Lautner was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to parents, Deborah and Daniel Lautner. He, and younger sister Makena, were raised in a well-mannered, Roman Catholic household in Hudsonville, Michigan. At the age of six, Taylor began studying martial arts at Fabiano's Karate School and he, along with his family, quickly noticed his unique and natural talent for the sport. He was soon invited to train with seven-time world karate champion Michael Chaturantabut (aka Mike Chat) and, at the age of eight, he was asked to represent his country in the twelve years and under division in the World Karate Association where he became the Junior World Forms and Weapons champion, winning three gold medals. In 2003, Taylor continued to flourish in the martial arts circuit where he ranked number one in the world for NASKA's Black Belt Open Forms, Musical Weapons, Traditional Weapons and Traditional Forms and, at the age of twelve, he became the three time Junior World Champion.
However, in addition to his love for martial arts, Taylor quickly developed a love for acting at the age of seven years old when his martial arts instructor, who was involved in show business, encouraged him to audition for a small appearance in a Burger King commercial. Although he was unsuccessful, he enjoyed the experience so much that he told his parents that he wanted to pursue a career in acting. Soon, he and his family were traveling back-and-forth from their home in Michigan to California so Taylor could audition for acting roles on a regular basis. When Taylor was ten, with the frequent traveling and air fares starting to become overwhelming, his family made the crucial decision to relocate to Los Angeles where Taylor would have the advantage of being able to audition for films, television, and commercials full-time.
Once Taylor moved with his family to Los Angeles, he found himself landing more and more small acting roles. He booked many occurring roles on various television shows such as My Wife and Kids, Summerland, and The Bernie Mac Show. Taylor also found himself becoming successful in films as well. In 2005, he landed the role of Sharkboy in the family blockbuster flick, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, and the role of Eliot Murtaugh in Cheaper by the Dozen 2. However, it would be one single role that would ultimately change Taylor's life forever. In 2008, Taylor auditioned for the iconic role of werewolf hunk Jacob Black in the record smashing, blockbuster hit Twilight. With the sudden and unexpected success of the film, Taylor, along with fellow cast members Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, found himself being propelled into a world that would forever change his life and his career.
Taylor has continued to portray Jacob Black in the following film adaptations of the The Twilight Saga as well as branch out into other roles and films such as the star studded romantic comedy, Valentine's Day, and the action-packed thriller, Abduction. Taylor Lautner has quickly become one of the most famous, talented, and successful young Hollywood actors thanks to the blockbuster success of the Twilight films. It has quickly been established by this young man's diverse and gifted talent that we will continue to be his audience for many years to come.
Since melting audiences' hearts - at the age of six - with her big-screen breakout in Steven Spielberg's beloved sci-fi classic, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation.
Despite a troubled and much-publicized adolescence during which she appeared in only a handful of films, Barrymore's star was officially on the rise during the mid-1990s with appearances in Poison Ivy, Bad Girls, Boys on the Side, Batman Forever, Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You and Wes Craven's game-changing horror hit Scream.
High-profile turns in The Wedding Singer, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Never Been Kissed, Charlie's Angels, Donnie Darko, Riding in Cars with Boys and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind followed, proving to once-cynical audiences that Barrymore was not only a capable leading lady, but also a gifted and versatile actor.
Next came headlining parts in Duplex, 50 First Dates, Fever Pitch, Music and Lyrics, Lucky You, He's Just Not That Into You and the much-lauded Grey Gardens, which earned Barrymore rave reviews (as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards) for her portrayal of Edith Bouvier Beale, the real-life cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy.
In 2009, Barrymore - whose production company, Flower Films, has spawned several lucrative projects - made her long-awaited directional début with the comedy-drama Whip It, emerging as "a sensitive director who knows how and when to let an emotional moment linger on the screen" (TIME).
Alongside a recurring guest spot (as the voice of Jillian) on the award-winning animated series Family Guy, recent acting roles have included Everybody's Fine (opposite Robert De Niro), Going the Distance, Big Miracle and Blended, her third collaboration with Adam Sandler.
|Haley Joel Osment
American child actor who at this writing (2000) has proven himself perhaps the best young actor of his generation. The son of actor Eugene Osment and teacher Theresa Osment, Haley was chosen for a commercial at age four after a casting director spotted him in a furniture store with his parents. Within months, he had landed a small but memorable role as Tom Hanks's son in Forrest Gump and a starring role as Edward Asner's grandson on the TV series Thunder Alley. His comedy skills were manifest very young, and he followed Thunder Alley with two more sitcoms. Norman Jewison gave him his first leading role on the big screen in Bogus, and he proved completely at ease in this dramatic role. However, it took the smash hit The Sixth Sense to brand the young actor on the public consciousness. His devastating performance as the haunted Cole Sear brought him an Oscar nomination at age 11 and a memorable tribute at the awards from winner Michael Caine: "Once I learned of your nomination and saw your performance, I knew for sure you would win." Since then, Osment has given an equally powerful performance in Pay It Forward. Along with bravura performances, he has developed an equal reputation in the industry for unspoiled professionalism. His younger sister, Emily Osment, has made several impressive film and television appearances as well.
Winona Ryder was born Winona Laura Horowitz and named after the town in which she was born, Winona, Minnesota. She grew up in a ranch commune in Northern California which had no electricity. She is the goddaughter of Timothy Leary. Her parents were friends of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg and once edited a book called "Shaman Woman Mainline Lady", an anthology of writings on the drug experience in literature, which included one piece by Louisa May Alcott. Winona Ryder was later to star as Jo March in this author's Little Women.
Ryder moved with her parents to Petaluma, California when she was ten and enrolled in acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater. At age 13, she had a video audition to the film Desert Bloom, but did not get the part. However, director David Seltzer spotted her and cast her in Lucas. When telephoned to ask how she would like to have her name appear on the credits, she suggested Ryder as her father's Mitch Ryder album was playing the background. Ryder was selected for the part of Mary Corleone in The Godfather: Part III, but had to drop out of the role after catching the flu from the strain of doing the films Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael and Mermaids back to back. She said she did not want to let everyone down by doing a substandard performance. She later made The Age of Innocence, which was directed by Martin Scorsese, whom she believes to be "the best director in the world".
Elegant redhead Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Australian parents Anthony (a biochemist and clinical psychologist) and Janelle (a nursing instructor) Kidman. The family moved almost immediately to Washington, D.C., where Nicole's father pursued his research on breast cancer, and then, three years later, made the pilgrimage to her parents' native Sydney. Young Nicole's first love was ballet, but she eventually took up mime and drama as well (her first stage role was a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant). In her adolescent years, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge -- as her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Kidman retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked regularly at the Philip Street Theater, where she once received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Kidman eventually dropped out of high school to pursue acting full-time. She broke into movies at age 16, landing a role in the Australian holiday favorite Bush Christmas. That appearance touched off a flurry of film and television offers, including a lead in BMX Bandits and a turn as a schoolgirl-turned-protester in the miniseries Vietnam (for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award). With the help of an American agent, she eventually made her US debut opposite Sam Neill in the at-sea thriller Dead Calm.
Kidman's next casting coup scored her more than exposure. While starring as Tom Cruise's doctor/love interest in the racetrack romance Days of Thunder, she won over the Hollywood hunk hook, line and sinker. After a whirlwind courtship (and decent box office returns), the couple wed on December 24, 1990. Determined not to let her new marital status overshadow her fledgling career, the actress pressed on. She appeared as a catty high school senior in the Australian film Flirting, then as Dustin Hoffman's moll in the gangster flick Billy Bathgate. She reunited with Cruise for Far and Away, the story of young Irish lovers who flee to America in the late 1800s, and starred opposite Michael Keaton in the tear-tugger My Life. Despite her steady employment, critics and moviegoers still had not quite warmed to Kidman as a leading lady. She tried to spice up her image by seducing Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, but achieved her real breakthrough with Gus Van Sant's To Die For. As a fame-crazed housewife determined to eliminate any obstacle in her path, Kidman proved that she had an impressive range and deadly comic timing. She took home a Golden Globe and several critics' awards for the performance. In 1996, Kidman stepped into a corset to work with her countrywoman and onetime admirer, Jane Campion, on the adaptation of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady. A few months later, she tore across the screen as a nuclear weapons expert in The Peacemaker, adding "action star" to her professional repertoire.
She and Cruise then disappeared into a notoriously long, secretive shoot for Stanley Kubrick's sexual thriller Eyes Wide Shut. The couple's on-screen shenanigans prompted an increase in public speculation about their sex life (rumors had long been circulating that their marriage was a cover-up for Cruise's homosexuality); tired of denying tabloid attacks, they successfully sued The Star for a story alleging that they needed a sex therapist to coach them through love scenes. Family life has always been a priority for Kidman. Born to social activists (mother was a feminist; father, a labor advocate), Nicole and her little sister, Antonia Kidman, discussed current events around the dinner table and participated in their parents' campaigns by passing out pamphlets on street corners. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 17-year-old Nicole stopped working and took a massage course so that she could provide physical therapy (her mother eventually beat the cancer). She and Cruise adopted two children: Isabella Jane (born 1993) and Connor Antony (born 1995). Despite their rock-solid image, the couple announced in early 2001 that they were separating due to career conflicts. Her marriage to Cruise ended mid-summer of 2001.
He was born on November 9, 1972, in San Francisco, California. He is the older of two brothers. His father is an architect and interior designer based in San Francisco. His mother, Leah (Cohn), was a homemaker. Young Eric Dane was a good athlete in high school. There, he started amateur stage work by playing "Joe Keller" in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons", and realized that this was all he wanted to do.
He moved to Los Angeles and made his television debut in 1993 on The Wonder Years. In his early career, he also played bit parts on the TV series Married with Children (1995), Silk Stalkings (1996) and Roseanne (1996). Dane played medical doctors more than once, first appearing as a "Dr. Cooper" in Gideon's Crossing. From 2003-2004, he has been a recurrent guest star as "Jason Dean" in the hit show Charmed. In 2006, he appeared as handsome "Dr. Mark Sloan", the plastic surgeon on the show Grey's Anatomy. Dane landed his first leading role on the big screen in the German-made feature, Open Water 2: Adrift.
On October 29, 2004, in Las Vegas, Eric Dane married actress Rebecca Gayheart, who was previously engaged to producer/director Brett Ratner, the director of X-Men: The Last Stand. In it, Dane plays the character of "Jamie Madrox", the Multiple Man. Dane and Gayheart became the parents of a girl on March 3, 2010 in Los Angeles.
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and game show host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). Clooney spent most of this youth in Ohio and Kentucky, and graduated from Augusta High School. He was very active in sports such as basketball and baseball, and tried out for the Cincinatti Reds, but was not offered a contract.
After his cousin 'Miguel Ferrer' got him a small part in a feature film, Clooney began to pursue acting. His first major role was on the sitcom E/R as Ace. More roles soon followed, including George Burnett, the handsome handyman on The Facts of Life; Booker Brooks, a supervisor on Roseanne; and Detective James Falconer on Sisters. Clooney had his breakthrough when he was cast as Dr. Doug Ross on the award-winning drama series ER, opposite Anthony Edwards, Noah Wyle, and Julianna Margulies.
While filming "ER", Clooney starred in a number of high profile film roles, such as Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, and One Fine Day, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. In 1997, Clooney took on the role of Batman in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin. The film was a moderate success in the box office, but was slammed by critics, notably for the nipple-laden Bat suit. Clooney went on to star in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight, Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, and David O. Russell's Three Kings.
In 1999, Clooney left "ER" (though he would return for the season finale) and appeared in a number of films including O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Perfect Storm, and Ocean's Eleven. Collaborating once again with Steven Soderbergh, Ocean's Eleven received critical acclaim, earned more than $450 million in the box office, and spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve and Ocean's Thirteen.
In 2002, Clooney made his directorial debut with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, an adaptation of TV producer Chuck Barris's autobiography. This was the first film under the banner of Section Eight Productions, a production company he founded with Steven Soderbergh. The company also produced many acclaimed films including Far from Heaven, Syriana, A Scanner Darkly, and Good Night, and Good Luck.. Clooney won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Syriana, and was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Good Night, and Good Luck.
In 2006, Section Eight was shut down so that Soderbergh could concentrate on directing, and Clooney founded a new production company, Smokehouse Productions, with his friend and long-time business partner, Grant Heslov.
Clooney went on to produce and star in Michael Clayton (which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor), directed and starred in Leatherheads, and took leading roles in Burn After Reading, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Jason Reitman's Up in the Air. Clooney received critical acclaim his performance in Up in the Air and was nominated for several awards including a Golden Globe and Academy Award. He didn't win that year, but took home both Best Actor awards (as well as countless nominations) for his role as a father who finds out his wife was unfaithful as she lay in a coma in Alexander Payne's The Descendants.
Throughout his career, Clooney has been heralded for his political activism and humanitarian work. He has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since 2008, has been an advocate for the Darfur conflict, and organized the Hope for Haiti telethon, to raise money for the victims of the 2010 earthquake. In March of 2012, Clooney was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting at the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C.
Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam, from 1989 until 1993. After their divorce, he swore he would never marry again. Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman bet him $10,000 that he would have children by the age of 40, and sent him a check shortly after his birthday. Clooney returned the funds and bet double of nothing he wouldn't have children by the age of 50. Although he has remained a consummate bachelor, Clooney has had many highly publicized relationships, most recently with former WWE wrestler Stacy Keibler.
Ashley Michele Greene was born in Jacksonville, Florida to parents, Joe, a former US Marine, and Michele, an insurance broker. A self-confessed tomboy and "daredevil", Ashley loved to try to keep up with her older brother Joe, taking on activities such as taekwondo and winning several awards. Ashley says she was not allowed to spar the girls in taekwondo class because she "beat the girls up". She even accidentally once gave a boy she liked a bloody nose and lip while sparring. Ashley admits she is a "competitive little sucker".
During her early teen years, Ashley found herself hanging out with older girls, which impacted her self-esteem when she found them to be more mature and, in her mind, prettier than she was. Ashley describes herself as a "hot mess" as a teenager. Ashley's mother put her into modeling classes to improve her confidence, and Ashley began to consider becoming a model as a career. After being told she was too short to be a model, Ashley considered becoming a lawyer and getting a degree in psychology. She actually convinced her parents to let her leave her private school to attend a public one which had a law and psychology program. However, after taking a commercial class, which led to acting class, Ashley knew what she wanted to do - acting.
Luckily for Ashley, her parents were supportive and allowed her to move to LA at seventeen years of age. Due to her excellent grades and extra credits, she was able to graduate high school early to follow her acting dream.
For three years, Ashley struggled to find acting roles. She picked up small roles here and there in TV shows such as Punk'd and Crossing Jordan, and some very small film roles in Shrink and King of California.
Ashley's big break came when she got to audition for the film, Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer's popular book series. She originally auditioned for "Bella", but, as she says herself, "I was no Bella". She was called back to audition for the role of "Alice Cullen". After a long auditioning process, Ashley was finally told she got the part.
Ashley had previously worked in restaurants but, like the rest of her fellow "Twilight" cast-mates, Ashley found herself suddenly thrust into the limelight. Though she says she doesn't get the same kind of insanity as the boys - especially Robert Pattinson. She says most fans relate to her on a "best friend" level rather than screaming at her hysterically.
Ashley has already begun filming other roles and has high hopes for her career outside of the "Twilight" franchise. She has said she wants to be a superhero, a Bond girl and possibly Wonder Woman in future projects.
One of six children born to Helen Travolta and Salvatore Travolta, John Travolta grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ. Travolta appeared in a local production of "Who'll Save the Plowboy?". His mother enrolled him in a drama school in New York, where he studied voice, dancing and acting. He decided to combine all three of these skills and become a musical comedy performer. At 16 he landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". He quit school at 16 and moved to New York, and worked regularly in summer stock and on television commercials. When work became scarce in New York, he went to Hollywood and appeared in minor roles in several series. A role in the national touring company of the hit 1950s musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave him his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", he became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred The Andrews Sisters. After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again. Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. He was seen on The Rookies, Emergency! and Medical Center and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain, which was shot in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, he was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called Welcome Back, Kotter. He got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season. The rest, as they say, is history.
Born on December 29, 1972 in southeast London, England, Jude Law is a talented and versatile actor. Law has been nominated for two Academy Awards and continues to build a prolific body of work that spans from early successes such as Gattaca and The Talented Mr. Ripley to more recent turns as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, as Hugo's father in Hugo and in the titular role in Dom Hemingway.
Law began acting in 1987 with the National Youth Music Theatre, building his stage career through 1995, when a role in "Indiscretions" on Broadway alongside Kathleen Turner, Roger Rees and Cynthia Nixon garnered Law a Tony nomination. Law had also interspersed a number of television roles, including a two-year tour on the ITV Granada soap opera Families. Law's breakthrough film role came in the form of the British crime drama Shopping, in which he starred alongside his future wife, Sadie Frost.
Following the success of Gattaca and The Talented Mr. Ripley, Law's feature film career continued to gain momentum throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s with roles in such films as Enemy at the Gates, Road to Perdition, I Heart Huckabees, The Aviator and many others. Law is one of three actors, along with Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp, to take over acting responsibilities in the Terry Gilliam project The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus following Heath Ledger's death.
Jude Law has been active in many charitable activities and supports several different foundations and causes, doing work for organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Make Poverty History, Breast Cancer Care and others. Law is also a peace advocate, and in 2011, participated in street protests against the rule of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.
Law married Sadie Frost in 1997 and the couple had two sons (Rafferty and Rudy) and a daughter (Iris) before divorcing in 2003. Law and Alfie co-star Sienna Miller were engaged to be married in 2005 and separated in 2006 (they would later rekindle their relationship in 2009, splitting once again in 2011). Law and American model Samantha Burke had a brief relationship in 2008 that resulted in the birth of Law's fourth child, daughter Sophia.
Sharon Stone was born and raised in Meadville, a small town in Pennsylvania. Her strict father was a factory worker and her mother was an accountant and homemaker. She was the second of four children. At the age of 15, she studied in Saegertown High School, Pennsylvania and, at that same age, entered Edinboro State University of Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in creative writing and fine arts. She was a very smart girl, became a bookworm, and once was told that a suitable job for her (and her brains) was to become a lawyer. However, her first love was still the black-and-white movies, especially those featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. So, the 17-year-old Sharon got herself into the Miss Crawford County and won the beauty contest.
From working part-time as a McDonald's counter girl, she worked her way up to become a successful Ford model, both in TV commercials and print ads. In 1980, she made her film debut as an extra in Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. Her first speaking part was in Wes Craven's horror movie, Deadly Blessing. She struggled through many parts in B-movies, such as King Solomon's Mines and Action Jackson. She was also married in 1984 to Michael Greenburg, the producer of MacGyver, but they divorced two years later.
She finally got her big break with a memorable supporting role in the popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall, and also posed nude for Playboy, a daring move for a 32-year-old actress. But it worked; she was cast in the breakthrough role as a sociopath novelist, "Catherine Tramell", in Basic Instinct. Her interrogation scene has become a classic in film history and her performance captivated everyone, from MTV viewers, who honored her with Most Desirable Female and Best Female Performance Awards, to a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. After she got famous, she didn't want to be typecast, so she played a victim in Sliver, and, in Intersection, she was the aloof, estranged wife of Richard Gere. Afterwards, so she got herself again into more aggressive roles, such as The Specialist with Sylvester Stallone and The Quick and the Dead with Gene Hackman.
But it wasn't until she played a beautiful but drug-crazy trophy wife of Robert De Niro in Casino that she got far more than just fame and fortune--she also received the acknowledgment of the movie industry for her acting ability. She received her first Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. She did a couple films after wards, teaming up with Isabelle Adjani in Diabolique, and as a woman waiting for her death penalty in Last Dance. In 1998, she married a newspaper editor,Phil Bronstein but they divorced later in 2004. She received her third Golden Globe nomination for The Mighty, a film that her company, "Chaos", also co-executive produced. The next year, she played the title role in Gloria and entered her first comedic role in The Muse, which gave her another Golden Globe nomination.
Sharon Stone, a diva who thoroughly enjoys her hard-won stardom, is now a mother of three children: Roan, Laird and Quinn.
Carole Lombard was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on October 6, 1908. Her parents divorced in 1916 and her mother took the family on a trip out West. While there they decided to settle down in the Los Angeles area. After being spotted playing baseball in the street with the neighborhood boys by a film director, Carole was signed to a one-picture contract in 1921 when she was 12. The film in question was A Perfect Crime. Although she tried for other acting jobs, she would not be seen onscreen again for four years. She returned to a normal life, going to school and participating in athletics, excelling in track and field. By age 15 she had had enough of school, though, and quit. She joined a theater troupe and played in several stage shows, which were for the most part nothing to write home about. In 1925 she passed a screen test and was signed to a contract with Fox Films. Her first role as a Fox player was Hearts and Spurs, in which she had the lead. Right after that film she appeared in a western called Durand of the Bad Lands. She rounded out 1925 in the comedy Marriage in Transit (she also appeared in a number of two-reel shorts). In 1926 Carole was seriously injured in an automobile accident that resulted in the left side of her face being scarred. Once she had recovered, Fox canceled her contract. She did find work in a number of shorts during 1928 (13 of them, many for slapstick comedy director Mack Sennett), but did go back for a one-time shot with Fox called Me, Gangster. By now the film industry was moving from the silent era to "talkies". While some stars' careers ended because of heavy accents, poor diction or a voice unsuitable to sound, Carole's light, breezy, sexy voice enabled her to transition smoothly during this period. Her first sound film was High Voltage at Pathe (her new studio) in 1929. In 1931 she was teamed with William Powell in Man of the World. She and Powell hit it off and soon married, but the marriage didn't work out and they divorced in 1933. No Man of Her Own put Carole opposite Clark Gable for the first and only time (they married seven years later in 1939). By now she was with Paramount Pictures and was one of its top stars. However, it was Twentieth Century that showed her true comedic talents and proved to the world what a fine actress she really was. In 1936 Carole received her only Oscar nomination for Best Actress for My Man Godfrey. She was superb as ditzy heiress Irene Bullock. Unfortunately, the coveted award went to Luise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld, which also won for Best Picture. Carole was now putting out about one film a year of her own choosing, because she wanted whatever role she picked to be a good one. She was adept at picking just the right part, which wasn't surprising as she was smart enough to see through the good-ol'-boy syndrome of the studio moguls. She commanded and received what was one of the top salaries in the business - at one time it was reported she was making $35,000 a week. She made but one film in 1941, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Her last film was in 1942, when she played Maria Tura opposite Jack Benny in To Be or Not to Be. Tragically, she didn't live to see its release. The film was completed in 1941 just at the time the US entered World War II, and was subsequently held back for release until 1942. Meanwhile, Carole went home to Indiana for a war bond rally. On January 16, 1942, Carole, her mother, and 20 other people were flying back to California when the plane went down outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. All aboard perished. The highly acclaimed actress was dead at the age of 33 and few have been able to match her talents since.
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the child of two actors. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco, where he subsequently grew up, while summers and other times were spent with his mother in New York.
He made his acting debut when he was ten years old, alongside his mother, and later attended J.E. McAteer High School in a program called SOTA. While still in high school, he got his first big break when he appeared in the independent film Clownhouse. The plot revolved around three escaped mental patients who dressed up as clowns and terrorized three brothers home alone--Sam played the eldest of the brothers. His next big break was supposed to have come when he was slated to star in a short-lived NBC TV-series called Dream Street, but he was soon fired.
After graduating from high school, Sam returned to New York for good and for two years he had private training at the William Esper Acting Studio. During this period he appeared in a variety of roles, such as the ABC Afterschool Specials: Over the Limit (1990) (TV) and HBO's Lifestories: Families in Crisis: Dead Drunk: The Kevin Tunell Story (Season 1 Episode 7: 15 March 1993); the head thug in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and a guest-star turn in an Emmy-winning episode of Law & Order, while working a string of regular day jobs and performing in plays.
In 1994, a Miller Ice beer commercial finally enabled him to quit his other jobs to concentrate on his acting career, which culminated in him having five movies out by 1996: Basquiat; The Search for One-eye Jimmy; Glory Daze; Mercy; and Box of Moon Light. It was the latter film that would prove to be his real break-out in the industry. In Tom DiCillo's film, he found himself playing an eccentric named the Kid, a man-child living in a half-built mobile home in the middle of nowhere with a penchant for dressing like Davy Crockett, who manages to bring some much-needed chaos into the life of an electrical engineer played by John Turturro. The movie was not a box-office success, but it managed to generate a lot of critical acclaim for itself and Sam.
In 1997 he found himself the star of another critically lauded film, Lawn Dogs. Once again he portrayed a societal outcast as Trent, a working-class man living in a trailer, earning a living mowing lawns inside a wealthy, gated Kentucky community. Soon Trent finds himself befriended by 10-year-old Devon (Mischa Barton), and the movie deals with the difficulties in their friendship and the outside world. He also gave strong performances in the quirky independent comedy Safe Men, in which he plays one half of a pretty awful singing duo (the other half being played by Steve Zahn) that gets mistaken for two safe-crackers by Jewish gangsters; and the offbeat hit-man trainee in Jerry and Tom against Joe Mantegna.
After a few smaller appearances in films such as Woody Allen's Celebrity and the 1999 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he played Francis Flute, he had larger parts in two of the bigger hit movies to emerge in 1999: The Green Mile and Galaxy Quest, wowing audiences and critics alike with his chameleon-like performances as a crazed killer in the former and a goofy actor in the latter.
More recently, he appeared in another string of mainstream films, most notably as Eric Knox in Charlie's Angels and as Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, while continuing to perform in smaller independent movies. After more than ten years in the business, Sam has earned his success.
Jamie Bell was born in 1986 in Billingham, England, UK, coming from a family of dancers including his grandmother, mother, aunt, and sister. It was at his sister's dance practices that he would stand outside the door and imitate the movements of the dancers inside. At age six, he was encouraged to step inside the door and, thus, his dance career began. His own story parallels that of Billy Elliot in that Jamie kept his dancing a secret from his friends at school. His mother had him when she was 16 and, unfortunately, he never knew his father.
When he met Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot, Jamie adopted him as his father. Once the word about his dancing got out, he was harassed, but this only made him more determined to prove that dancing wasn't just for girls. He has proven a lot by landing the title role of Billy Elliot, winning the role in an audition that included more than 2,000 boys from the northeast of England. His ensuing performance certainly justified the selection since he has not only won the hearts of moviegoers all over the world, he has also been nominated for and won a number of awards, including a Best Newcomer Award and then a Best Male Performance at the BAFTA awards.
Kurt Russell landed a part in the Elvis Presley movie, It Happened at the World's Fair, when he was 10 years old. In 1960, Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10-year contract. Once his stint as a child actor ended, he spent the early 1970s playing minor league baseball. In 1979, he gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's A.B.C. TV movie. He followed with roles in a string of well-received films: Used Cars, Escape from New York, The Thing and Silkwood. In 1983, he became reacquainted with Goldie Hawn (who appeared with him in The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band) when they worked together on Swing Shift. The two have lived together ever since. The movie was a failure - as was their next one together, Overboard. During the 1980s, Russell starred in a rash of disappointments: The Best of Times, Big Trouble in Little China and Winter People. Finally, his career seemed to be seriously stalled. He only landed Tango & Cash after Patrick Swayze dropped out; Dennis Quaid was the first choice for the part in Backdraft. In the end, these two roles were the key in reestablishing him as a box-office draw. Russell and Goldie Hawn live on a 72-acre retreat, Home Run Ranch, outside of Aspen. He has two sons, Boston Russell (from a brief marriage to actress Season Hubley) and Wyatt Russell with Goldie Hawn).
Jennifer Garner, who catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the television series Alias, has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother Pat, a retired English teacher, and her father, Bill, a former chemical engineer, Jennifer was the middle sibling of three girls. She spent nine years of her adolescence studying ballet and describes her years in dance as ones characterized by determination rather than talent, being driven mostly by a love of the stage.
Jennifer took this determination with her when she enrolled at Denison University as a chemistry major, a decision that was later changed to a drama major when she found that her passions for the stage were stronger than her love of science. New York attracted the young actress after college where she worked as a hostess while pursuing a career in film and television. Her most recent move has been to Los Angeles, a decision that led to a role on the television series Felicity, where she met her future husband Scott Foley. The couple divorced in 2004.
Jennifer appears on television as Agent Sydney Bristow, who works for the Central Intelligence Agency. For her work, Garner has received four consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She has also received four Golden Globe nominations and won once, as well as received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and won once. She has appeared in numerous other television production as well as such films as Elektra, 13 Going on 30, Daredevil, Pearl Harbor and Dude, Where's My Car?. Aside from filming Alias, Jennifer enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and inspired by her character on the series, kickboxing.
Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. Her parents divorced three years before she was born, and she was conceived when her mother, Brandy, was visiting her father, Lucius, for child support. Alicia's siblings nicknamed her "Jodie," a name she has used in her profession. When she was just three years old, Jodie began acting in commercials, most notably for Coppertone sunblock. When she was five, Jodie landed her first acting role on the TV show Mayberry R.F.D.. She stayed very busy as a child actress, working on television programs such as The Doris Day Show, Adam-12, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Partridge Family, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke. In movies, her roles included playing Raquel Welch's daughter in Kansas City Bomber and a delinquent tomboy in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Jodie first drew attention from critics with her appearance in Taxi Driver, in which she played a prostitute at the tender age of 12 (she was 13 when the movie premiered) and received her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She went on to have a very successful career in her early teens with leading roles in the Disney films Freaky Friday and Candleshoe. The last film Jodie made during this era was the coming-of-age drama Foxes, before enrolling at Yale University. Tragedy struck Jodie during her Freshman year when a crazed and obsessed fan named John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan to impress her.
Jodie graduated from Yale in 1985 with a degree in literature. Her main priority was now to become a successful adult actress. After appearing in a few obscure B-movies, Jodie auditioned for The Accused and was cast Sarah Tobias, a waitress who is gang-raped in a bar after a night of partying. For this role she won her first Academy Award as Best Actress. But even though she had won an Oscar, Jodie still hadn't established herself as a bankable star. Her next film, Catchfire, went straight to video, and she had to fight hard to get her next good role. In 1991 she starred as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee hunting down a serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs. The film was a blockbuster hit, winning Jodie her second Academy Award for Best Actress and establishing her as an international star at the age of 28. With the wealth and fame to do anything she wanted, Jodie turned to directing. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate, which was followed by Home for the Holidays. These movies were critically acclaimed but did not do well at the box office, and Jodie proved to be a far more successful actress than she was a director. 1994 proved to be a huge triumph for Jodie's acting career. She first played a sexy con artist in the successful western spoof Maverick with Mel Gibson. Then, she played title role in Nell alongside Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. For her compelling performance as a wild, backwoods hermit who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization, Jodie was nominated for another Academy Award and won a Screen Actors Guild Award as Best Actress.
Although Jodie was working far less frequently as an adult than she did as a child, the films she turned out were commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Her next big screen role was in the science fiction drama Contact opposite Matthew McConaughey. She played a scientist who receives signals from space aliens. The film was a huge hit and brought Jodie a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I entitled Anna and the King, which was only modestly received in the U.S. but was very successful overseas. Three years after that she headlined the thriller Panic Room. The film was a smash box-office hit and gave Jodie a $30 million opening weekend, the biggest of her career yet. She then appeared in two low-profile projects: the independent film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys and the foreign film A Very Long Engagement. She returned to making Hollywood mainstream films, first with Flightplan, in which she played a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that she designed. Once again Jodie proved herself to be a box-office draw, and the film was a worldwide hit. The following year she starred in another hit, a thriller about a bank heist titled Inside Man with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. Jodie seemed to be on a pattern of non-stop success. She was paid $15 million for her next film, the revenge thriller The Brave One, which once again opened at #1 at the box office and earned her another Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress. Following this succession of dark thrillers, Jodie returned to the comedy genre in Nim's Island with Gerard Butler and Abigail Breslin. Jodie will reunite with Mel Gibson in the upcoming movie The Beaver, which is scheduled for general release in 2011.
Having spent nearly her entire life in the spotlight, Jodie Foster has had one of the most substantial film careers in Hollywood history. She is one of the most respected and highest-paid actresses working today, and there is no doubt that there will be many great things ahead for this child actress turned two-time Oscar-winning superstar.
Gina Joy Carano was born under a tornado warning in Dallas, Texas, to parents Dana (Cason) and Glenn Carano. Her father played for the Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys as a backup quarterback for Roger Staubach and Danny White from 1977-1983. In 1984, he was the starting quarterback for the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers. Gina's parents divorced when she was a child but her father remained involved in her upbringing and is her biggest fan. Gina has stated that she has a "small percentage" of Italian ancestry (Gina's paternal grandfather was of three quarters Italian descent). Gina's other roots include English, Scottish, Dutch, German, and remote Mohawk Native American ancestry (from the 1600s). The middle child of three close-knit girls, Casey being a year older and Christie, the youngest, Gina is their self-proclaimed bodyguard and highly protective of them. All three girls were star athletes in high school. Growing up in Las Vegas, Gina, a natural born athlete and rambunctious tomboy, studied gymnastics, jazz, tap, ballet, rode horses, whooped up on her male cousins for fun at family gatherings, and wrestled and played football with the neighborhood boys.
She graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she excelled on the volleyball, softball and basketball teams, the latter she helped secure a state title. Her collegiate studies include the University of Nevada, Reno where she attended one year, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three where she was offered positions on both the softball and basketball teams. Her academic goal was a degree in psychology, but with only a few credits remaining she dropped everything in order to help her older sister through a crisis.
At the age of 21 Gina began training in Muay Thai, a form of Kickboxing, with Master Toddy at the suggestion of then boyfriend Kevin Ross. In pursuit of a life-changing experience he ended up at a local Las Vegas Muay Thai Gym and she tagged along. A trainer approached her, telling her point blank that she was fat and needed to lose weight. She weighed around 175 lbs. and had no direction at that point in her life. She began training and became addicted. Master Toddy saw potential in the way Gina handled herself. She took naturally to fighting with strong punches, deadly elbows and knees, a impressive overhand right, and rib-cracking hard kicks. Immersing herself completely in the sport, she advanced quickly. Months later she found herself in a "fight club" situation in San Francisco where she took on any female fighter plopped down in front of her. Since then she hasn't looked back.
Initially, because of her pretty face, spectators refused to take her seriously as a fighter. It is a bias that will haunt her throughout her fighting career. Gina, who is openly laughed at, insulted, and ridiculed in front of crowds before fights, realizes she will have to cowgirl up in order to silence her taunters and she lets her fists do the talking. Her Muay Thai career is comprised of an impressive 12 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw and she becomes the first American woman to win a title in Thailand. The 2005 cult film Ring Girls follows Gina and her trainer, Master Toddy during her early Muay Thai career. Because of her beauty, spunk, and tenacity she develops a significant fan following.
In June 2006, Gina's success in Muay Thai brings her to the attention of Jamie Levine of World Extreme Fighting in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. He offers her a fight against Leiticia Pestova who holds a MMA record of 11 wins and 2 losses. It is to be the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in the state of Nevada. Levine is impressed with Gina's statuesque size. Standing at 5'8" and 155 lbs., which is the starting weight class for men, she isn't a frail little girl and has power in her kicks comparable to a man. Still in its infancy, and because of its vicious nature, a lot of people were teetering on the fence about women fighting in MMA. Levine believed gender didn't matter and he wanted to give the two women a nationwide platform to show what they could do. Gina, under the moniker "Conviction", trains relentlessly for the history-making bout, weighing in at a muscular 135 pounds. She does not disappoint her fans, winning the fight in explosive ground-and-pound action in the 38th second of the first round.
Critics begin to whine that Gina is receiving preferential treatment based on her striking good looks and that her talents as a fighter are less than stellar. She uses these criticisms as fuel for her next bout against British fighter Rosi Sexton.
September 15, 2006 -- Sexton, a cerebral fighter with a mathematics degree from Cambridge and over 10 years of martial arts experience, possesses a 6-0 MMA record. Many believe Carano will go down in flames but, with six seconds left to go in the second round, Gina knocks Sexton out with a jaw dropping and show stopping overhand right.
December 2006 -- She faces Elaina Maxwell. It is the second time the two have faced each other, the first time being in a Muay Thai bout. The fight goes 3 rounds and showcases Gina's powerful overhand right and improved grappling skills. She wins the unanimous decision.
February 10, 2007 -- In what is billed the "Fight of the Night" and the first televised female fight on Showtime, she faces Julie Kedzie. Kedzie, who was once arrested with a group of 300 nuns at a protest, is a feisty brawler known for overpowering her opponents in the clench. She has a record of 8 wins and 4 losses. The exciting fight, an amazing stand-up brawl, goes the distance with Gina knocking Kedzie flat at the end of the second round. Kedzie, a scrappy fighter, refused to give in, taking Carano down in the third round in a submission attempt. Carano rallied, winning the unanimous decision. The appreciative crowd gave both fighters a roaring standing ovation. Julie and Gina became training partners and good friends and remain so to this day.
Gina's popularity skyrockets and she is crowned "The Face of Women's MMA" a title she doesn't particularly care for since it detracts from other women in the sport. Her image is everywhere. Critics, some of them other female fighters, complain that she is using sex appeal to further her career, that she is compensating for something she is lacking in the ring, that what she is doing is disrespectful to the sport, but fans can't seem to get enough of the imposing brunette. Men fall in love with her. Little girls and women find her an inspirational combination of beauty, strength, and power. Everyone is taken in by her shy smile and laid back, good-natured personality. Gina, who believes the image of a powerful, feminine woman is something to be celebrated, is baffled by the criticisms and humbled by the attention and support from her fans.
She wins her next two fights -- In September 2007 against Tonya Evinger, a wrestling champion, via rear naked choke -- Gina's first submission -- and in May 2008 against Kaitlin Young although Gina had to forfeit a little over 12% of the purse to keep the fight on the card. She failed to make EliteXC's newly created 140 lb. weight class. Most MMA organizations have the featherweight division at 145 lbs. (65.8 kg.) Coming into the fight with only a three-week training camp, Carano weighed in at 144.5 lbs. (65.5 kg.) In spite of everyone's dire predictions, she dominates and the fight is stopped at the end of the second round. Gina wins by TKO.
June 2008. More criticism : A sportswriter reporting on the Carano vs. Young fight voices his suspicion that Gina's opponents must be handpicked to make sure of the outcome and that she is too pretty to fight. He finds women fighting in the MMA an unpleasant experience but concludes that she is quite the asset.
2008 -- Gina reluctantly joins the cast of American Gladiators. She has reservations about running around in itty-bitty superhero spandex, but the show's producers pursue her and finally convince her to sign on. She becomes known as "Crush" and cultivates a whole new fan base. She also appears as "Natasha", a Soviet Commando and Sniper, in the video game "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3". MMA Legend Randy Couture, who Gina trains with, also appears. Critics are oddly silent on Couture 'going Hollywood', using his sex appeal, or being 'too pretty' to be in the video game.
October 2008 -- Gina causes an unintentional frenzy at the weigh-in for the fight against Kelly Kobold. She has only fought once in the past year and there is speculation that she will not be able to make weight. Gina hired a nutritionist to help with her diet, but at the weigh-in she fails to make weight on her first two attempts. Gina, who has stated she will never pose naked for "Playboy" or any publication, boldly strips off all her clothes for the third attempt. Photographers shove and trip over each other trying to obtain the Holy Grail of photos, a bare naked Gina Carano. Severely dehydrated and towel-shielded from the cameras, she successfully makes weight at 141 pounds. Her father is one of the men holding up towels.
October 5, 2008 -- With a 16-2-1 record, 6 wins by knockout and 8 by submission, Kelly Kobold vows to make Gina Carano the broken, bruised and bloodied face of MMA. Instead it is Gina who bloodies Kobold's face with a severe gash over the right eye. Gina unleashes killer kicks and knees and wins the fight. She remains undefeated and lovingly dedicates the win to her grandfather.
2009 -- She and fellow MMA athletes Kevin 'Kimbo Slice' Ferguson and Maurice Smith dabble in the Hollywood scene with small but memorable cameos in the Michael Jai White film Blood and Bone. Gina also appears on the cover of "ESPN The Magazine - The Body Issue". Posing mostly topless she shows off an impressive set of abdominals, amazing legs, and invokes more criticism.
August 15, 2009 -- Gina makes history again by becoming the first female fighter to earn $100,000 for a fight. She faces Brazilian Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in the first Women's Championship. The championship is scheduled for 5 rounds, each lasting 5 minutes -- Another first. In a hard fought battle, she loses in a heartbreaker by TKO at the bell at the end of the first round. But on January 6, 2012, revelations come to light. The California State Athletic Commission announced that Santos had tested positive for steroids after a December 2011 fight. It throws suspicion on the legitimacy of all of Cyborg's wins, including her win against Gina. Cyborg is suspended for one year, receiving a $2,500 fine. Gina, though hurt and disappointed, remains gracious and supportive of her sister fighter.
A Carano vs. Cyborg rematch would be a huge MMA event but it is unlikely that Gina will ever return to the sport that made her a superstar. Classified by the Unified Women's MMA Rankings as the third best 145 lb (66 kg.) female fighter in the world, her current MMA record stands at 7 wins and 1 loss.
It was after that devastating loss, black eye and all, that a deflated Gina met with Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh for lunch in San Diego. He had seen her fight earlier on CBS and dreamed of building a film around her. Immediately he was struck with her presence and intriguing mix of muscular power and eye-catching femininity. Inspired, he wrote the role of Mallory Kane specifically for her although she is nothing like the unsmiling, structured, alpha female character. Soderbergh assembled an impressive cast and all heaped praise on the fighter and aspiring actress. Channing Tatum, a huge fan of Gina's and the MMA, immediately signed on when he learned she was involved in the project. Ewan McGregor, having no clue who Gina Carano was, studied many of her fights on YouTube. Initially horrified by the violence of the sport, he with met with her and was taken with how quiet, gentle and thoughtful she was out of the ring. He recalls hurting his hand when he accidentally punched Gina in the head during the film's final climatic fight scene. Gina, completely unaffected by the punch and worried she had injured the actor, immediately popped to her feet and asked if he was okay. Antonio Banderas found Gina to be beautiful, natural and real and believes she has a career in front of her. Michael Fassbender, who Gina now considers a mentor, thought her extraordinary and was impressed with her work ethic. Michael Douglas, who topped out the A-list cast, heralded Gina's self-control.
Gina is proud to have been a pioneer in Women's MMA, for kicking down barriers and inspiring and paving the way for the next wave of female fighters. She recently joined the 87Eleven Stunt team, the same team that propelled her to star status with their work on Haywire. With film projects like Fast & Furious 6, In the Blood and rumors of Wonder Woman flying around, Gina Carano has found her niche in the Action Heroine film market. Her newest challenge as an athlete -- To cross over into film successfully.
Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant," Grant is said to have replied, "So would I." His early years in Bristol, England, would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood except for one extraordinary event. At age nine, he came home from school one day and was told his mother had gone off to a seaside resort. The real truth, however, was that she had been placed in a mental institution, where she would remain for years, and he was never told about it (he wouldn't see his mother again until he was in his late 20s). He left school at 14, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians. He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920, was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to the US. Their show on Broadway, "Good Times," ran for 456 performances, giving Grant time to acclimatize. He would stay in America. Mae West wanted Grant for She Done Him Wrong because she saw his combination of virility, sexuality and the aura and bearing of a gentleman. Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62. One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry. In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man-of-the-world persona and a style--"high comedy with polished words." In To Catch a Thief, he and Grace Kelly were allowed to improvise some of the dialogue. They knew what the director, Alfred Hitchcock, wanted to do with a scene, they rehearsed it, put in some clever double entendres that got past the censors, and then the scene was filmed. His biggest box-office success was another Hitchcock 1950s film, North by Northwest made with Eva Marie Saint since Kelly was by that time Princess of Monaco.
Diane Keaton was a California native who studied Drama at Santa Ana College before dropping out to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. After appearing in summer stock for several months, she got her first major stage role in the Broadway rock musical "Hair." As understudy to the lead, she gained attention by not removing any of her clothing. In 1970, Woody Allen cast her in his Broadway play "Play It Again, Sam," which had a successful run. It was during this time that she became involved with Allen and appeared in a number of his films. The first one was Play It Again, Sam, the screen adaptation of the stage play. That same year Francis Ford Coppola cast her as Kay in the Oscar-winning The Godfather, and she was on her way to stardom. She reprized that role in the film's first sequel, The Godfather: Part II. She then appeared with Allen again in Sleeper and Love and Death.
In 1977 she broke away from her comedy image to appear in the chilling Looking for Mr. Goodbar, which won her a Golden Globe nomination. It was the same year that she appeared in what many regard as her best performance, in the title role of Annie Hall, which Allen wrote specifically for her (her real last name is Hall, and her nickname is Annie), and what an impact she made. She won the Oscar and the British Award for Best Actress, and Allen won the Directors Award from the DGA. She started a fashion trend with her unisex clothes and was the poster girl for a lot of young males. Her mannerisms and awkward speech became almost a national craze. The question being asked, though, was, "Is she just a lightweight playing herself, or is there more depth to her personality?" For whatever reason, she appeared in but one film a year for the next two years and those films were by Allen. When they broke up she was next involved with Warren Beatty and appeared in his film Reds, as the bohemian female journalist Louise Bryant. For her performance she received nominations for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe. For the rest of the 1980s she appeared infrequently in films but won nominations in three of them. Attempting to break the typecasting she had fallen into, she took on the role of a confused, somewhat naive woman who becomes the tool of Middle Eastern terrorists in The Little Drummer Girl. To offset her lack of movie work, Diane began directing. She directed the documentary Heaven, as well as some music videos. For television she directed an episode of the popular, but strange, Twin Peaks.
In the 1990s she began to get more mature roles, though she reprized the role of Kay Corleone in the third "Godfather" epic, The Godfather: Part III. She appeared as the wife of Steve Martin in the hit Father of the Bride and again in Father of the Bride Part II. In 1993 she once again teamed with Woody Allen in Manhattan Murder Mystery, which was well received. In 1995 she received high marks for Unstrung Heroes, her first major feature as a director.
|Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker was born March 25, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio to parents Stephen Parker and Barbra Forste (who remarried Paul Forste after divorcing Sarah's father). After her mother wed Forste, she had four more children, bringing the total to eight. Sarah Jessica now had 3 full siblings and 4 half siblings. Trained in singing and ballet, Sarah was cast in the Broadway production of "The Innocents", which prompted her family to relocate to New Jersey. Already a professional performer (she studied at the American Ballet School and the Professional Children's School), Sarah was cast in "The Sound of Music" (along with four of her siblings), and landed the lead in the Broadway run of "Annie". After a year as the free-spirited orphan, Sarah attended Dwight Morrow High School, while continuing to add more credits to her acting resume. She landed a role in the made-for-TV movie My Body, My Child, before being cast as one of the lead roles in the 1982 sitcom Square Pegs, as high-schooler Patty Green.
Once a graduate, Sarah decided to pursue a full-time acting career rather than further her education. Since Square Pegs did not last more than a year, Sarah moved on to supporting film roles in movies such as Footloose, Firstborn, and the lead role in the teenage film Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Sarah was having lots of fun, although she had yet to land a star-turning role. After more television appearances in series and made-for-TV movies including A Year in the Life, The Room Upstairs and Dadah Is Death, Sarah finally landed the role of Steve Martin's bubbly lover in the 1991 comedy L.A. Story. More substantial film roles soon followed, starting with a role opposite Nicolas Cage in Honeymoon in Vegas (which foreshadowed her comedic talent), Hocus Pocus and Ed Wood.
A big Woody Allen fan, she starred opposite the renowned filmmaker in the television movie The Sunshine Boys, and that same year, she landed a starring role in Miami Rhapsody. 1996 was a film intensive year with roles in The First Wives Club, If Lucy Fell, and Mars Attacks!. All the while making a name for herself in film, Sarah was gaining respect as a theater actress, with her lead role as a dog (hard to imagine, but true) in the off-Broadway "Sylvia", and her Broadway roles in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (starring her present husband, Matthew Broderick), and the Tony-Award nominated "Once Upon a Mattress".
But Sarah's star has shot up since her portrayal of Manhattan sex-columnist Carrie Bradshaw in the HBO series Sex and the City. Sarah's Golden Globe Best Actress victory in 2000 only underscores the fact that she plays the role of Carrie as though it were literally written for her. Sarah has been happily married to fellow actor Matthew Broderick for quite a while now. Before the marriage, she dated Robert Downey Jr. (who she also lived with), and the late John Kennedy Jr. When not serving as lead actress and producer of Sex and the City, Sarah is a member of Hollywood's Women's Political Committee, and is UNICEF's representative for the Performing Arts.
Jonathan Harshman Winters III was born on November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio. His father, also Jonathan, was a banker who became an alcoholic after being crushed in the Great Depression. His parents divorced in 1932. Jonathan and his mother then moved to Springfield to live with his grandmother. There his mother remarried and became a radio personality. Jonathan joined the United States Marine Corps during his senior year of high school. Upon his discharge, he entered Kenyon College and later transferred to Dayton Art Institute. He met his wife, Eileen Schauder, in 1948 and married a month later. They remain married until her death in January 11, 2009. They have a son, Jay, who is a contractor, and a daughter, Lucinda, who is a talent scout for movies.
Jonathan got his start in show business by winning a talent contest. This led to a children's television show in Dayton in 1950. This led to a game show and a talk show. Denied a requested raise, he moved the family to New York with only $56 in their pocket. Within two months, he was getting night club bookings. He suffered two nervous breakdowns, one in 1959 and another in 1961. He made ten Grammy-nominated comedy recordings and won once. Jonathan Winters died at age 87 of natural causes on April 11, 2013 in Montecito, California.
Zoey Deutch comes from a showbiz family of musicians and actors, going back two generations. Growing up in Los Angeles, her parents (actress Lea Thompson and director Howard Deutch) knew acting was in the genes when Zoey would play out scenes with her dolls, and weep for the Barbie that was down on her luck. This kind of dedication showed up a few years later, when she began landing comedic and dramatic roles in both film and television, at the ripe old age of 15.
Zoey was a serious dancer, as a child, excelling in ballet, competitive jazz, and tap. She was a double major in both theatre and visual arts at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, while simultaneously studying at the Young Actors Space, with Patrick Day.
Her first leading role was in the indie flick, Mayor Cupcake, where she played real-life mom Lea Thompson's daughter - a small town girl, with big time political aspirations. Shortly thereafter, Zoey was cast in the Disney Channel's The Suite Life on Deck series; where she played Zach's love interest "Maya", and charmed dedicated fans of the show all over the world. She guest-starred on two hit shows, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior and NCIS, which lead to her landing the role of "Willow Turner" in the coveted Marc Cherry pilot, Hallelujah.
Though the show was not picked up, Zoey bounced back immediately after she was cast as Sarah Michelle Gellar's troubled stepdaughter, "Juliet Martin", in the CW's Ringer. The show became one of the network's biggest flops, ending after just one season, but it allowed Zoey to spread her wings in a part that required a lot of conflict and complexity from a 16-year-old. Now, she is promoting her work on the highly-anticipated movie, Beautiful Creatures, adapted from the beloved teen book series. Zoey stars alongside Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons as "Emily Asher" - a popular high schooler, who covers her hurt and humanity with her southern belle sass.
Next up, Zoey will be seen recurring on ABC Family's series, Switched at Birth. And soon, Zoey will move on to shoot her biggest project to date. She was cast as the lead in the new film franchise, based on the six-volume Richelle Mead young adult novel series, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Although the movie received mostly negative reviews, the entire series was once on The New York Times best-seller young adult list back in 2007. Zoey portrayed 17-year-old "Rose Hathaway", a young woman who shares a special bond with vampire princess and best friend "Lissa" (Lucy Fry). The books are all written from Rose's perspective. Mean Girls' Mark Waters directed the film, and Heathers' Daniel Waters wrote the script.
Zoey is a big supporter of the "Corazon De Vida Orphanage" in Tijuana, and has performed for "The Alzheimer's Association", "What A Pair" and "Race to Erase" MS benefits. When she's not working, you can find her posing for Instagram photos with the love of her life: an orange Maine Coon cat named "Stinky Pete", and/or taping photo booth videos for her sister as her Ukrainian alter ego.
Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children. Both her parents had been in entertainment, her dad had played big-band jazz, and her mother had performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies. Kim was introspective, from her father's side. As a schoolgirl, she was very shy. To help her overcome this, her parents had Kim study ballet from an early age. By the time she reached sweet sixteen, the once-shy Kim entered the Athens Junior Miss contest. From there, she went on to win the Junior Miss Georgia title and traveled to New York to compete in the national Junior Miss pageant. Kim, who had blossomed to a 5' 7" beauty, was offered a contract on the spot with the Ford Modeling Agency. At the age of 20, Kim was a top model, commanding $1,000 a day. Throughout the early 1970s, she appeared on dozens of magazine covers and in hundreds of ads, most notably as the Breck girl. Kim took acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse, performed in various Greenwich Village clubs, and sang under the stage name Chelsea. Kim moved to Los Angeles in 1976, ready to conquer Hollywood. Kim broke into television doing episodes of such hit series as Charlie's Angels. In 1980, she married Ron Snyder (they divorced in 1989). In movies, she had roles like being a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again and playing a small-town Texas beauty in Nadine. Her biggest success was in the role of photojournalist Vicki Vale in the blockbuster hit Batman. This took her to a career high.
With perhaps too much disposable income, Kim headed up an investment group that purchased the entire town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million (she would later have to sell it). In 1993, Kim married Alec Baldwin, and in 1995 they had a daughter, Ireland Eliesse. Kim took some time off to stay at home with her child. Kim, who loves animals and is a strict vegetarian, devoted energy to animal rights issues and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), even posing for some ads. In 1997, Kim gave an Oscar-winning performance in the film noir classic L.A. Confidential. Kim's salary for I Dreamed of Africa was $5,000,000, putting her firmly in the category of big-name movie star. And no doubt there are still many great things ahead, in the career of cover girl turned Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger.
Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Karl Urban now lives in Auckland. Born on June 7, 1972, he is the son of a leather-goods manufacturer (who had hoped that Karl would follow in his footsteps). His first acting role was when he was 8 -- he had a line on a television series. However, he did not act again until after high school. He was offered a role in the NZ soap opera Shortland Street as he was preparing to attend Victoria University. After appearing on the series for the 1993-1994 season, he attended the university for one year, then left to pursue his acting career. Over the next few years, he landed several theater roles in the Wellington area. Eventually, he moved to Auckland, where a number of guest roles in NZ television followed. One of his first roles was that of a heroin addict in the drama series Shark in the Park. He was in a movie as well, entitled Once in Chunuck Bay (aka Chunuk Bair). Other television roles followed, including a guest-starring role in the series White Fang. Karl's biggest roles include Éomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy in Star Trek, William Cooper in RED and Judge Dredd in Dredd.
Quirky, inventive and handsome US actor who first achieved major fame with his door busting performance as fast talking, ideas man "Bill Blazejowski" alongside nerdish morgue attendant Henry Winkler in Night Shift. Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5th, 1951 in Corapolis, Pennsylvannia and studied speech for two years at Kent State, before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh. An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman in a cable station, and he came to realize he wanted to work in front of the cameras.
Keaton first appeared on TV in several episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. He left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles to begin auditioning for TV. He began cropping up in popular TV shows including Maude and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. Around this time, Keaton decided to use an alternative surname to remove confusion with better-known actor Michael Douglas. After reading an article on actress Diane Keaton, he decided that Michael Keaton sounded good. His next break was scoring a co-starring role alongside James Belushi in the short-lived comedy series Working Stiffs, which showcased his comedic talent and led to his co-starring role in Night Shift. Keaton next scored the lead in the comedy hits Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously , Gung Ho and the Tim Burton horror-comedy Beetlejuice.
Keaton's career was given another major boost when, in 1989, Tim Burton cast him as millionaire playboy / crime-fighter "Bruce Wayne" in the big budget Batman. To say there were howls of protest by fans of the caped crusader comic strip is an understatement! Warner Bros. was deluged with thousands of letters of complaint commenting that comedian Keaton was the wrong choice for the Caped Crusader. Their fears were proven wrong when Keaton turned in a sensational performance, and he held his own on screen with opponent Jack Nicholson playing the lunatic villain, "The Joker". Keen to diversify his work, Keaton next appeared as a psychotic tenant in Pacific Heights, as a hard-working cop in One Good Cop and then donned the black cape and cowl once more for Batman Returns. He remained in demand during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films including the star-studded Shakespearian Much Ado About Nothing, another Ron Howard comedy The Paper, with sexy Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity, as a dogged cop in Jackie Brown and the mediocre thriller Desperate Measures. More recently, Keaton has appeared in several productions with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad, First Daughter and Herbie Fully Loaded.
Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father Riccardo was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother Romilda, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and her younger sister Maria Scicolone). Growing up in the slums of Pozzuoli during the second World War without any support from her father, she experienced much sadness in her childhood. Her life took an unexpected turn for the best when, at age 14, she entered into a beauty contest where she placed as one of the finalists. It was there that Sophia caught the attention of film producer Carlo Ponti, some 22 years her senior, whom she eventually married in 1966 once he finally obtained a divorce from his first wife. Perhaps he was the only father figure she ever had. Under his guidance, Sophia was put under contract and appeared as an extra in ten films beginning in 1950, before working her way up to supporting roles. In these early films, she was credited as "Sofia Lazzaro" because people joked her beauty could raise Lazzarus from the dead.
By her late teens, Sophia was playing lead roles in many Italian features such as La favorita and Aida. In 1957, she embarked on a successful acting career in the United States, starring in Boy on a Dolphin, Legend of the Lost, and The Pride and the Passion that year. She had a short-lived but much-publicized fling with co-star Cary Grant, who was 31 years her senior. She was only 22 while he was 53, and she rejected a marriage proposal from him. They were paired together a second time in the family-friendly romantic comedy Houseboat. While under contract to Paramount Pictures, Sophia starred in Desire Under the Elms, The Key, The Black Orchid, It Started in Naples, Heller in Pink Tights, A Breath of Scandal, and The Millionairess before returning to Italy to star in Two Women. The film was a period piece about a woman living in war-torn Italy who is raped while trying to protect her young daughter. Originally cast in the role of the daughter, Sophia fought against type and was re-cast as the mother, proving herself as a genuine actress and displaying her lack of vanity. This performance received international acclaim and was honored with an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Sophia remained a bona fide international movie star throughout the sixties and seventies, making films on both sides of the Atlantic, and starring opposite such leading men as Paul Newman, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, and Charlton Heston. Her American films included El Cid, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Arabesque, Man of La Mancha, and The Cassandra Crossing. She gained a wider respect with her Italian films, especially Marriage Italian Style and A Special Day. During these years she received a second Oscar nomination and won five Golden Globe Awards.
From the eighties onward, Sophia's appearances on the big screen came few and far between. She preferred to spend the majority of her time raising sons Carlo Jr. (born 1969) and Eduardo (born 1973). Her only acting credits during the decade were five television films, beginning with Sophia Loren: Her Own Story, a biopic in which she portrayed herself and her mother. She ventured into other areas of business and became the first actress to launch her own fragrance and design of eye wear. In 1982 she voluntarily spent nineteen days in jail for tax evasion.
In 1991 Sophia received an Honorary Academy Award for her body of work, and was declared "one of world cinema's greatest treasures." Later that year, she experienced a great loss when her mother Romilda died of cancer at age 77. Her return to mainstream films in Prêt-à-Porter ("Ready to Wear") was well-received, although the film as a whole was not. She followed this up with her biggest U.S. hit in years, the comedy Grumpier Old Men in which she played a sexy divorcée who seduces Walter Matthau. Over the next decade Sophia had plum roles in a few non-mainstream arthouse films like Soleil, Between Strangers (directed by Edoardo), and Lives of the Saints. Still beautiful at 72, she posed scantily-clad for the 2007 Pirelli Calendar. Sadly, that same year she mourned the loss of her spouse, Carlo Ponti, who died at age 94. In 2009, after far too much time away from film, she appeared in the musical Nine opposite Daniel Day-Lewis.
These days Sophia divides her time between Switzerland and Los Angeles where she is close to her sons and their families (Eduardo is married to actress Sasha Alexander). Despite her position as showbiz royalty, she relishes her discrete, low-profile lifestyle, claiming throughout the years "Showbusiness is what I do, not what I am." With a career that has already spanned six decades and been honored with 50 awards, Sophia Loren remains one of the most beloved and recognizable figures in the international film world.
Six time Academy Award nominated Glenn Close was born and was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She was often seen on Broadway until 1982 when she was cast in her award winning role as Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp alongside Robin Williams. For this role, a breakthrough in film for Close, she later went on to receive an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The following year she was cast in the hit comedy The Big Chill for which she received a second Oscar Nomination, once again for Supporting Actress in the role of Sarah Cooper. In her third film, Close portrayed Iris Gaines a former lover of baseball player Roy Hobbs portrayed by Robert Redford, in one of the greatest sports films of all time, The Natural. For a third and final time, Close was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Close went on to star in films like The Stone Boy, Maxie and Jagged Edge. In 1987 Close was cast in the box office hit Fatal Attraction for which she portrayed deranged stalker Alex Forrest alongside costars Michael Douglas and Anne Archer. For this role she was nominated for the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress. The following year Close starred in the Oscar Winning Drama Dangerous Liaisons for which she portrayed one of the most classic roles of all time as Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, starring alongside John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. For this role she was nominated once again for the Academy Award and BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress. Close was favorite to win the coveted statue but lost to Jodie Foster for The Accused. Close had her claim to fame in the 1980s. Close currently stars on the hit Drama series Damages for which she has won a Golden Globe Award and two Emmy Awards. In her career Close has been Oscar nominated six times, won three Tonys, an Obie, three Emmys, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
John Mark Galecki was born in Belgium where his dad was stationed while serving in the U.S. Air Force. When he was 3 years old, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he grew up along with his sister Allison (1980) and brother Nick (1982). His father then became a teacher for blind veterans in a VA hospital outside of Chicago. When Galecki was 16, his father died in an accident.
His mom, Mary Lou, recalled in an interview with People magazine that Galecki was a very artistic kid; at only 4 years old, he told her: "Mom, I'm gonna be on T.V., and I don't mean when I grow up." Two years later, when their attempts to distract him with sports failed, Galecki's parents took him to open auditions at local theaters in Chicago. He landed his first role in "Fiddler on the Roof," and more parts in other productions followed. By age 11, he was already known as an excellent actor in Chicago's theater scene evidenced by him receiving a Joseph Jefferson Citation nomination for portraying John Henry in "The Member of the Wedding."
In 1989 he was cast in his first movie, a holiday film called Prancer, but his big break was in another Christmas movie as Chevy Chase's son Rusty Griswold, in Christmas Vacation. On the set, Chase took a liking to him, and Galecki recalled in a later interview that Chevy Chase showed him some tricks for comedic timing.
By that time, his whole family had moved from Chicago to L.A. to support his career. But within 10 months they realized they missed Chicago too much, and moved back home. Galecki, still just 14, was under contract on a show with Robert Urich called "American Dreamer", so he stayed in L.A. Although he was living alone in a studio apartment, he never got into trouble and admitted himself that he was a good kid. He recalled living alone in L.A. without adult supervision as "not fun" and "quite intimidating and lonely, to be honest. But I've always been happiest when I'm working, so..." He bought a motorcycle with a mirrored helmet so he could get to work and back, at Paramount studios.
In 1991 Galecki was picked by Roseanne Barr to play her son in the made for T.V. movie Backfield in Motion. She liked him so much she asked him to come on her sitcom for what started as a one-off appearance, but soon turned into the important recurring role of David Healy. His family was religious viewers of the show and he was somewhat intimidated at first to be working with his television heroes. However, before long, it was his heroes that praised him: Roseanne said he showed "great vulnerability." John Goodman said: "If he was one of those little stuffed bears at a carny, he'd have a Wuv me t-shirt on. People just want to take care of him." Galecki also became very close friends with co-star Sara Gilbert and the show's executive producer Eric Gilliland.
After Roseanne he worked on a number of diverse roles, from funny Ira alongside Christopher Walken in the 1997 dark-comedy Suicide Kings to a drug-addicted student in 2003's Bookies, and he played gay characters in Don Roos's Bounce and The Opposite of Sex. He never stayed far from the television industry as he made guest appearances such as Laurie Freeman's younger lover in Norm (where he once again worked with Laurie Metcalf, his former Roseanne cast mate), as a golfer in My Name Is Earl, as Hope & Faith's younger brother in the sitcom of the same name, and as hilarious party-boy Trouty on My Boys. In 2006 he returned to his theater roots as he took on the role of conflicted but sweet male escort Alex in Douglas Carter Beane's play "The Little Dog Laughed," for which he received a 2007 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Browdway Debut.
In 2007 he was back on the small screens, starring as Leonard Hofstadter in the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Not only was Chuck Lorre, a former producer for Roseanne, a producer of the new show, but Sara Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf both made guest appearances.
Galecki is a self-admitted motorcycle "nerd," and drives a Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. Although he never went to college, he has said: "I'm not dead! We should never stop learning. We should never stop absorbing," and so he learned how to play the cello in his early twenties. He likes traveling around the world, painting, music (he also plays bass), and hiking with his dog Vera.
He always has been very private about his personal life and little is known about past relationships. It has only been confirmed that he dated actresses Laura Harris and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. He isn't on twitter, and Galecki once said, "I don't understand the current frame of mind in our society that seems to say that any action is not of value until it's broadcast somehow."
He still lives in Los Angeles but is often spotted in Chicago, where his siblings still live.