Zachary David Alexander Efron was born on October 18, 1987, in San Luis Obispo, California. He is the son of Starla Baskett, a former secretary, and David Efron, an electrical engineer. He has a brother, Dylan. His surname, "Efron", means "lark" (a bird) in Hebrew, and comes from Zac's Ashkenazi Jewish paternal grandfather. Zac's other recent ancestry is English, German, Irish, and Scottish. Zac was raised in Arroyo Grande. He took his first step toward acting at the age of eleven, after his parents noticed his singing ability. Singing and acting lessons soon led to an appearance in a production of "Gypsy" that ran 90 performances, and he was hooked.
After appearing on-stage in "Peter Pan", "Auntie Mame", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Music Man", guest parts quickly followed on television series, including Firefly, ER, CSI: Miami, NCIS, and The Guardian. After guest-starring in several episodes of Summerland, Zac joined the regular cast as girl-crazy Cameron Bale. He also starred in several pilots, such as The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke and Triple Play, and played an autistic child in the television movie Miracle Run, alongside Mary-Louise Parker and Aidan Quinn. He graduated Arroyo Grande High School in June 2006.
Efron came to fame for starring in the Disney Channel original film High School Musical, for which he won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star. He returned to the role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2, which broke cable TV records with 17.5 million viewers.
He played title roles of the fantasy romance Charlie St. Cloud and the comedy 17 Again, both from director Burr Steers, and as the lovable Link Larkin in 2007's smash hit musical Hairspray, directed by Adam Shankman. As part of the all-star cast he shared a Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble, the 2007 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, and was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. In addition, he won an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance.
Efron also starred in Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, an adaptation of the novel by Robert Kaplow, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. That same year, he starred in Kenny Ortega's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which set a box office record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a musical.
In 2012, Efron took the lead in The Lucky One, a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, playing a marine who returns to North Carolina after serving in Iraq in search for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war. He also lent his voice to the animated feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, and co-starred in Lee Daniels' thriller The Paperboy, alongside Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn, as well as Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts, which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.
Efron's favorite sports include golf, skiing, rock climbing, and snowboarding. He added surfing after spending days on the beach for "Summerland." He played the piano at home. He has also fixed up two cars in his spare time, a Delorean and '65 Mustang convertible, both treasured hand-me-downs from his even-more-treasured grandfather.
Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England. His parents, Denis and Margery, soon moved with Ian and his sister Jean to the mill town of Wigan. It was in this small town that young Ian rode out World War II. He soon developed a fascination with acting and the theater, which was encouraged by his parents. They would take him to plays, those by William Shakespeare, in particular. The amateur school productions fostered Ian's growing passion for theatre. When Ian was of age to begin attending school, he made sure to get roles in all of the productions. At Bolton School in particular, he developed his skills early on. Indeed, his first role in a Shakespearian play was at Bolton, as Malvolio in "Twelfth Night". Ian soon began attending Stratford-upon-Avon theater festivals, where he saw the greats perform: Laurence Olivier, Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Paul Robeson. He continued his education in English Drama, but soon it fell by the wayside as he concentrated more and more on performing. He eventually obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961, and began his career in earnest. McKellen began working in theatre over the next few years. Very few people knew of Ian's homosexuality; he saw no reason to go public, nor had he told his family. They did not seem interested in the subject and so he saw no reason to bring it up. In 1988, Ian publicly came out of the closet on the BBC Radio 4 program, while discussing Margaret Thatcher's "section 28" legislation which would make the "public promotion of homosexuality" a crime. It was reason enough for McKellen to take a stand, and he has been active in the Gay Rights movement ever since.
Ian currently resides in Limehouse, where he lives with his current lover of 8 years, Sean Mathias. The two worked together on the film Bent. To this day, McKellen works mostly in theater, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for his efforts in the arts. However, he has managed to make several quite successful forays into film. He has appeared in several productions of Shakespeare's works including his well received Richard III, and in a variety of other movies. However, it has only been recently that his star has finally begun to shine in the eyes of North American audiences. Roles in various films, Cold Comfort Farm, Apt Pupil and Gods and Monsters, riveted audiences. The latter, in particular, created a sensation in Hollywood, and McKellen's role garnered him several of awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod. McKellen continues to work extensively on stage... solidifying his role as Laurence Olivier's worthy successor, having recently scored hits in the London productions of "Peter Pan" and Noel Coward's "Present Laughter".
Winter began his career as a child actor, spending several years on Broadway with co- starring roles in productions of 'The King & I', 'Peter Pan', and the American premiere of Simon Gray's 'Close of Play' at the Manhattan Theater Club. After completing NYU film school, he went on to have starring roles in several feature films, including Orion's huge hit 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure' and its sequel 'Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey', the Warner Brothers smash 'The Lost Boys' and Percy Adlon's 'Rosalie Goes Shopping'.
With Tom Stern, Winter co-created many influential comedy projects which he wrote, directed and starred in. Among them are the hit MTV series, 'The Idiot Box', and the Twentieth Century Fox release 'Freaked', which has been acclaimed by many critics including The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly, who heralded 'Freaked' on their "Top Ten greatest comedies of the Nineties." The film also stars Randy Quaid, Keanu Reeves, Brooke Shields, Bobcat Goldthwait as a human sock puppet and Mr. T as the Bearded Lady. Long a cult favorite, Freaked was recently re-released in a special edition DVD by Anchor Bay.
In 2000, Winter wrote and directed 'Fever', released by LionsGate Films. 'Fever' is a psychological thriller starring Henry Thomas, Teri Hatcher, Bill Duke and 'The Departed's' David O' Hara. The film has been invited to film festivals worldwide, including Official Selection in the Director's Fortnight at Cannes. In The New York Times, A.O. Scott praised the film as "Pure Hitchcockian panic. An arresting example of what a talented filmmaker can do with the sparest of means."
In 2007, Winter produced and directed Cartoon Network's live-action movie event, 'Ben 10: Race Against Time'. The television premiere grabbed the highest ratings in Cartoon Network history, and the DVD was the network's biggest seller. Next, Winter produced and directed the sequel, 'Ben 10: Alien Swarm'. The Cartoon Network original movie premiered in November 2009 and was another ratings smash, with over 16 million viewers in its premiere weekend and garnering an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects.
Recent work as an actor include a Guest-Star role on the Fox TV Series, 'Bones', and Vocal roles on the Adult Swim series', 'Robot Chicken' and 'Saul of the Mole Men'. most recently Winter co-starred in the Spanish produced thriller 'Grand Piano', alongside Elijah Wood and John Cusack. 'Grand Piano' is directed by Eugenio Mira and produced by Rodrigo Cortés (director of Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds), and is due for release in 2013.
Just completed is 'Downloaded', a feature documentary about the Digital revolution, that Winter Produced and Directed for VH1 Rock Docs. Interview subjects include Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, as well as numerous musicians and industry executives of the era. 'Downloaded' will be released theatrically, digitally streaming and on VH1 in 2013.
Alongside his feature and acting projects, Winter maintains a successful career directing TV shows and commercials, both in America and the UK.
Ian Ziering began working in television and radio commercials when he was 12 years old. Besides Beverly Hills, 90210, his television work included a stint on the daytime drama, Guiding Light. He is also the voice of Vinnie in the syndicated cartoon Biker Mice from Mars and one of the voices on the animated series Mighty Ducks.
On Broadway, Ziering performed as Nils in the musical version of 'I Remember Mama'. He also starred as John in the national tour of 'Peter Pan'. In 1981, Ziering made his feature film debut in Endless Love.
Ziering starred in the feature film, Savate, and starred in the television movie The Women of Spring Break (aka "Daytona Blues"). He most recently completed the independent feature Stripped Down. Ziering's next project is Domino, from director Tony Scott and New Line Cinema.
Ziering, a native of West Orange, New Jersey, resides in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of William Paterson College in Wayne, New Jersey.
Born June 28, 1971, Aileen was introduced to show business by her mother Helenann who was doing theater when Aileen was growing up. Aileen begged to audition too, and she began to get parts near her home of Yardley, Pennsylvania.
Aileen's first movie part was one line in _Paternity_ (cv), starring Burt Reynolds. At the time Aileen was picked for the movie, she was on Broadway with Allison Smith playing the Swing Orphan in 'Annie'. The Swing essentially understudied various Orphan roles in the show and knew all their parts and had to go on stage at a moment's notice if one of the actors was sick and couldn't perform. Or, if the Orphan acting as Annie's understudy had to go on as Annie, Aileen went on as the understudy to the understudy.
She was chosen to be Annie in the film version from 8,000 girls. The announcement was made in January 1981 by director 'John Huston' (cv), who introduced Aileen as his Annie to the world on nationwide TV. _Annie 1982_ (cv) was filmed from April to September 1981. Aileen starred in one more movie after Annie, - _The Frog Prince_ (cv) - when she was about 14, but it was never released in theaters, only on video. Meanwhile, she continued to do theater. A family member was running the theater at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on the Army base there, so Aileen was invited to star in several productions there. In 1985 she was Dorothy in 'The Wizard Of Oz', and in 1986 she was Annie once again, except this time it was the stage musical. Opposite her as Daddy Warbucks was Harve Presnell, who had played the role for years on Broadway and in one of the National Tours. When Aileen was a senior in high school, she starred in 'A Day In Hollywood, A Night In The Ukraine' in Bristol, Pennsylvania.
Aileen graduated in the spring of 1989 and did one year at Pitzer College in southern California before transferring to Drew University nearer home in New Jersey. (B.A. with honors in Spanish from Drew University) Like numerous child stars before her, Aileen chose not to study show biz in college; instead she took a few years away from it and studied languages, especially Japanese and Spanish. She spent six months with a family in Chile as part of an exchange program in college and considered it one of her life's most rewarding experiences.
After graduation from Drew, Aileen once again took to the stage and in 1994 she played Bette in 'Oliver!' at the famous Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. And at the end of 1995 she went out on tour in 'Fiddler On The Roof'. In 1997 Aileen was in two off-Broadway shows, 'Dreamstuff' and 'Yiddle With a Fiddle'. In 1998 she was on Broadway in 'Peter Pan', but in early 1999, Aileen left the show and moved to Los Angeles for a couple of years.
In addition to the "Annie" movie soundtrack album--which went platinum in the summer of 1982--Aileen recorded an album of her own. This album is extremely rare; there are probably fewer than a dozen copies of the LP in existence in the hands of Orphan Annie collectors, and even fewer cassettes.
Comic actress and voice specialist Yeardley Smith has made a virtue out of her odd looks, small figure and distinctive, child-like nasal tones. Lending vocal life to the animated role of "Lisa Simpson" - the intelligent, caring, saxophone-droning, vegetarian member of the Simpson family - has been her bread-and-butter job for over 20 years. She is American but was born in Paris, France where her father served as a correspondent with UPI. By the time she was two, she and her family had moved to Washington, D.C., where she was raised. A shy, introverted child, she started her pixie-like young career as a teenager at a nearby dinner theater where she played "Tinkerbell" in a musical adaptation of "Peter Pan". After receiving her high school diploma, she apprenticed for a time at the famed Arena Stage, then headed off to New York and bigger things.
Yeardley understudied the role of "Debbie" on Broadway in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing", starring Jeremy Irons and Glenn Close, then took over the part for eight months. Small film offers started coming her way with Heaven Help Us and The Legend of Billie Jean, so in 1986, she headed West and settled. After some work on the LA stage with "Boys and Girls/Men and Women" (1987) and "How the Other Half Loves" (1988) and a recurring role on the ground-breaking gay comedy, Brothers, Yeardley won the part of daughter "Lisa Simpson". The animated character was launched on the sketch TV comedy series, The Tracey Ullman Show. Two years later, she spun off into The Simpsons and still going strong after 20 years.
Yeardley has made the TV rounds on-camera as well with amusing guest appearances on Dharma & Greg, Murphy Brown, Empty Nest, Mama's Family and a regular role for three seasons as "Louise" on Herman's Head. Other film supports include roles in City Slickers, Jingle All the Way and As Good as It Gets. In 2004, Yeardley performed front-and-center in her own one-woman autobiographical show entitled "More" in New York.
Rob Pinkston started acting at the age of 13 in Jr. High School. He did several short film projects and fell in love with the business. On his 16th birthday, Rob landed a recurring role on the Nickelodeon TV Show, "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide".
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide chronicles the wacky adventures of Ned Bigby (Devon Werkheiser) who shares his tips and tricks on navigating junior high hurdles. " Each episodes takes one week to shoot," tells Rob," and I get to work with an awesome group of people." The list includes: Jim J. Bullock ("Too Close for Comfort"), Meshach Taylor ("Designing Women"), and Fred Savage ("The Wonder Years"). Rob plays Coconut Head, a nickname his character receives because of a haircut gone terribly wrong. "My mom gives me a haircut right before the first day of school," tells Rob," and it comes out in the shape of a coconut! Not a good first impression!" Rob worked all three seasons on Ned's with over 42 episodes to his credit!
Rob also starred in MTV's "Punk'd" with Ashton Kutcher. He appears in 5 episodes where he takes part in some pretty devilish pranks on some well-known celebrities: tennis star Serena Williams, basketball great Dirk Nowitzski, Zac Braff (star of "Scrubs"), and singers Jos Stone and Jo Jo!
Rob co-starred in the movie "The Derby Stallion" with Zac Efron, (Disney's "High School Musical"), and Crystal Hunt, ("The Guiding Light"). Shot on location in North Georgia, this is a family film about a boy and his desire to be an equestrian champion.
Rob worked on location in Portland, Oregon filming "The Sasquatch Gang" with Jeremy Sumpter, ("Peter Pan"), Justin Long, ("Live Free or Die Hard", "Accepted"), and Carl Weathers, ("Rocky"). This project is from the Producers of the hit film "Napoleon Dynamite". Premiering at the Slamdance Film Festival, the film took top honors as Best Comedy Winner!
Rob also had the chance to work with Whoopie Goldberg on the project titled, "If I had Known I was a Genius"! Rob plays a kid who is terrorizing the staff of a large Costco type store. This film also stars Marcus Redmond and Sharon Stone. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2007.
Rob landed the role of a wheelchair-bound teen in the Dimension Films project, "Extreme Movie". An irreverent sketch comedy feature in the vein of "Kentucky Fried Movie" starring Venessa Lengies ("American Dreams"), Frankie Muniz ("Malcolm in the Middle"), and Ryan Pinkston ("Soul Plane")! In the film Rob and Ryan play school buddies. It was great for Rob and Ryan to finally get to work together! Rob and Ryan have known each other for some time now, but still don't believe they are related.
Rob's voice talents can be heard on the hit Cartoon Network show, "Ben 10", the PBS show, "Danger Rangers", video games, commercials, and even at Walt Disney's EPCOT in the Canada 360 movie experience.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Rob has called Los Angeles home since the third grade. Some of his other credits include "Undercover Kids", "The Honor System" and "The Metro Chase" with Jon Cryer and Tara Lipinski.
Rob can be seen co-hosting "Elizabeth Stanton's Great Big World" where he and Elizabeth travel with friends to fun and interesting places all around the world.
A well-trained professional, Rob studies with Dennis LaValle, LaValle Actor's Workshop, Jeremiah Comey, Jeremiah Comey's Acting Studio, Andrew Magarian, Simply Acting, and privately with Marnie Cooper and Ginny McSwain for voice. Rob is pursuing a BA degree in Film at Art Center College of Design.
Rob is represented theatrically by Momentum Talent and Literary Agency.
Along with fellow actors Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price, Boris Karloff is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema, and the actor most closely identified with the general public's perception of the "monster" from the classic Mary Shelley book, "Frankenstein". William Henry Pratt was born on November 23, 1887, in Camberwell, London, England, the son of Edward John Pratt Jr., the Deputy Commissioner of Customs Salt and Opium, Northern Division, Indian Salt Revenue Service, and his third wife, Eliza Sarah Millard.
He was educated at London University in anticipation that he would pursue a diplomatic career; however, he emigrated to Canada in 1909 and joined a touring company based out of Ontario and adopted the stage name of "Boris Karloff." He toured back and forth across the USA for over ten years in a variety of low-budget theater shows and eventually ended up in Hollywood with very little money to his name. Needing cash to support himself, Karloff secured occasional acting work in the fledgling silent film industry in such pictures as The Deadlier Sex, Omar the Tentmaker, Dynamite Dan and Tarzan and the Golden Lion, in addition to a handful of serials (the majority of which sadly haven't survived). Karloff supplemented his meager film income by working as a truck driver in Los Angeles, which allowed him enough time off to continue to pursue acting roles.
His big break came in 1931 when he was cast as "the monster" in the Universal production of Frankenstein, directed by James Whale, one of the studio's few remaining auteur directors. The aura of mystery surrounding Karloff was highlighted in the opening credits, as he was listed as simply "?." The film was a commercial and critical success for Universal, and Karloff was instantly established as a hot property in Hollywood. He quickly appeared in several other sinister roles, including Scarface (filmed before Frankenstein), the black-humored The Old Dark House, as the namesake Oriental villain of the Sax Rohmer novels in The Mask of Fu Manchu, as undead Im-Ho-Tep in The Mummy and the misguided Prof. Morlant in The Ghoul. He thoroughly enjoyed his role as a religious fanatic in John Ford's The Lost Patrol, although contemporary critics described it as a textbook example of overacting.
He donned the signature make-up, neck bolts and asphalt spreader's boots again to play Frankenstein's monster in the sensational The Bride of Frankenstein and the less thrilling Son of Frankenstein. Karloff, on loan to Fox, appeared in one of the best of the Warner Oland Chan entries, Charlie Chan at the Opera, before beginning his own short-lived Mr. Wong detective series. He was a wrongly condemned doctor in Devil's Island, shaven-headed executioner "Mord the Merciless" in Tower of London, another misguided scientist in The Ape, a crazed scientist surrounded by monsters, vampires and werewolves in House of Frankenstein, a murderous cabman in The Body Snatcher and a Greek general fighting vampirism in the superb atmospheric Val Lewton thriller Isle of the Dead.
While Karloff continued appearing in a plethora of films, many of them were not up to the standards of his previous efforts, including appearances in two of the hokey Bud Abbott and Lou Costello monster movies (he had appeared with them in an earlier superior effort, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, which theater owners often added his name to the marquee), the low point of the Universal-International horror movie cycle. During the 1950s he was a regular guest on many high-profile TV shows including The Milton Berle Show, Tales of Tomorrow, The Veil, The Donald O'Connor Show, The Red Skelton Hour and The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, to name but a few, and he appeared in a mixed bag of films including Sabaka and Voodoo Island. On Broadway he appeared as the murderous Brewster brother in the hit, "Arsenic and Old Lace" (his role, or the absence of him in it, was amusingly parodied in the film version) and a decade later he enjoyed a long run in "Peter Pan," perfectly cast as "Captain Hook."
His career experienced something of a revival in the 1960s thanks to hosting the TV anthology series Thriller and indie director Roger Corman, with Karloff contributing wonderful performances in The Raven, The Terror, the ultra-eerie Black Sabbath and the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired Die, Monster, Die!. Karloff's last great role was as an aging horror movie star confronting a modern-day sniper in the Peter Bogdanovich film Targets. His TV career was capped off by achieving Christmas immortality as the narrator of Chuck Jones's perennial animated favorite, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Three low-budget Mexican-produced horror films starring an ailing Karloff were released in the two years after his death; however, they do no justice to this great actor. In retrospect, he never took himself too seriously as an actor and had a tendency to downplay his acting accomplishments. Renowned as a refined, kind and warm-hearted gentleman, with a sincere affection for children and their welfare, Karloff passed away on February 2, 1969 from emphysema. He was cremated at Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Surrey, England, where he is commemorated by a plaque in Plot 2 of the Garden of Remembrance.
Born in Albany, New York, Ashton Holmes was struck by the magic of theater and film at age 4 when his mother took him to see "Peter Pan", and it was clinched by a desire to play Luke Skywalker when he saw Star Wars. He subsequently took acting lessons at age 6 and began appearing in community theater. He also attended the Albany Academy.
Joss Ackland, the distinguished English actor who has appeared in over 100 movies, scores of plays and a plethora of television programs in his six-decade career, was born Sidney Edmond Jocelyn Ackland on February 29, 1928, in North Kensington, London. After attending London's Central School of Speech and Drama, the 17-year-old Ackland made his professional stage debut in "The Hasty Heart" in 1945.
Although he first appeared on film in John Boulting's and Roy Boulting's Oscar-winning thriller Seven Days to Noon in an uncredited bit role, he made his credited debut in a supporting role in Vernon Sewell's Ghost Ship. He would not again grace the big screen until the end of the decade. Instead, Ackland spent the latter half of the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s honing his craft in regional theatrical companies.
In 1955 he left the English stage behind and moved to Africa to manage a tea plantation, an experience that likely informed his heralded performance 20 years later in White Mischief. In his two years in Africa he wrote plays and did service as a radio disc jockey. Upon his return to England in 1957, he joined the Old Vic company.
From 1962-64 he served as associate director of the Mermaid Theatre. Subsequently, his stage acting career primarily was in London's commercial West End theater, where he made a name for himself in musicals. He was distinguished as Captain Hook in the musical version of "Peter Pan" and as Juan Peron in "Evita". In the straight theater he was a memorable Falstaff in William Shakespeare's "Henry IV Parts 1 & 2" and as Captain Shotover in George Bernard Shaw's "Heartbreak House". In the 1960s Ackland began appearing more regularly in films, and his career as a movie character actor picked up rapidly in the 1970s and began to flourish in the 1980s. It has shown little sign of abating in the 21st century, even though he's well into his 70s.
In addition to his performance in "White Mischief", among his more notable turns as an actor before the camera came in the BBC-TV production of Shadowlands, in which he played 'C.S. Lewis', and in Lethal Weapon 2 as the South African heavy.
He is the father of seven children, whom he listed as his "hobby" in a 1981 interview. On December 31, 2000, Joss Ackland was named a Commander of the British Empire on the New Year's Honours List for his 50 years of service to the English stage, cinema and television.
Claudie, born Claudia, Blakley is the sister of Kirsten Blakley, the lead singer with indie band Little Spitfire. Their mother is actress Lin Blakleyqv)and their father was 'Alan Blakley((qv, bassist with Brian Poole's Tremeloes, who had several pop hits in the 1960s. Sadly Alan died of cancer in 1996 and missed seeing his daughters' success. Claudie graduated from London's Central School of Speech and Drama and in 1997 was hailed as a bright and fresh Wendy in the National Theatre's Christmas production of 'Peter Pan'. Staying with the National she went with them for their 1998-99 season at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, where she received the Ian Charleson Award as best young performer for her role in Chekhov's 'The Seagull'. In the early 2000s she appeared in ensemble costume films Gosford Park and The Cat's Meow, before returning to the stage in 2003 to join the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she has been acclaimed chiefly as a stage actress, though she was a touching Charlotte Lucas in Joe Wright's film of Pride & Prejudice and, in 2007, completed two further ensemble costume pieces for television, Cranford and Lark Rise to Candleford.
When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 years she spent on stage, even appearing at the Old Vic in London in the successful run of "The Country Wife" in 1936. Nearly 25 years after her film debut, she returned to movies briefly. Her most memorable role during this period in the early 1940s was as Mary Todd in Abe Lincoln in Illinois.
She left Hollywood to return to theater. Back in New York, she married Garson Kanin in 1942 (her first husband Gregory Kelly, a stage actor, died in 1927). She began writing plays, and, later, her husband and she collaborated on screenplays for Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, whose screen relationship was modeled on their own marriage. She returned to film acting during the 1960s. It is during this last period of her career that she became a movie star, with memorable roles in Rosemary's Baby and Harold and Maude. She wrote several books during the mid-1970s and appeared on TV. She won an Emmy for her role on Taxi in 1979.
This wholesome "Chatty Cathy" delight had all the earmarkings of becoming a dithery TV star in the early 70s and a couple of sitcom vehicles were handed to her with silver platter-like enthusiasm. Neither, however, made the best use of her elfin charm and both series died a quick death. Nonetheless, Sandy Duncan went on to become a Disney film lead, a TV commodity pitching crackers and arguably the best Peter Pan Broadway has ever offered. Like Sally Field and Karen Valentine before her, Sandy had a potentially terminable case of the cutes that often did her more harm than good. But also, like the others, her talent won out.
The story goes that this wistful tomboy felt like an outsider growing up in her native Texas because of her desires to be an actress. The elder of two girls born to a gas station owner, she trained in dance and appeared in productions of "The King and I" and "The Music Man" as a teen. Sandra Kay Duncan cast all negativity and self doubt aside and packed her bags for New York upon leaving Lon Morris Junior College (in Texas). She made an enchanting Wendy in "Peter Pan" the following year and soon poised herself as a triple threat on stage (singer/dancer/actress). She married Broadway actor Bruce Scott in 1968 and appeared in the rock musical "Your Own Thing" that same year. Taking her first Broadway curtain call and grabbing a Tony nomination in a bawdy musical version of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", she next won the soubrette role of Maisie in the Jazz-age musical "The Boy Friend". She managed to steal the thunder right from under star Judy Carne (who had just left the cast of TV's "Laugh-In" in order to branch out) and earned her second Tony nomination -- this time as "Best Actress".
The toothy strawberry blonde was a sensation and in 1970 Time Magazine named her "the most promising face of tomorrow". All this buildup reached the ears of Disney who decided to take a chance and cast her opposite Disney perennial Dean Jones in the featherweight comedy film The Million Dollar Duck. TV also saw her potential and featured her sparkling mug more and more in commercials. She then took on the title role in the film version of Neil Simon's comedy hit Star Spangled Girl, which turned out to be a major disappointment.
An untried talent on the primetime scene, CBS decided Sandy had enough promise and star quality to be given her own TV sitcom. Replacing Melba Moore at the last minute in the weekly show Funny Face, the storyline had Duncan playing single, independently-minded Sandy Stockton, a corn-fed Midwestern who heads to the big-city (Los Angeles) where she winds up in TV commercials while pursuing a teaching degree at UCLA. The series was a success and was a Top 10 show, but Duncan began experiencing severe headaches on the set and a tumor was discovered on her optic nerve. She had to leave the series and it was consequently pulled from the air. The series' sudden departure led to a misconception among some viewers that it had been canceled. Following a lengthy and delicate operation, the doctors managed to save her eye but she lost all vision in it.
The following year the show was revamped and retitled. Duncan returned as Sandy Stockton. This time she was a single working girl who created chaos at an ad agency. This second incarnation of her series failed to regain the audience that the first incarnation had had. The Sandy Duncan Show was canceled by mid-December. In the meantime, she divorced her first husband in 1972 and married Dr. Thomas Calcateera a year later, whom she met while undergoing her eye operation. They would divorce six years later.
After the demise of her second series, Sandy refocused on her strengths -- musical comedy -- and maintained her profile as a guest star on such variety shows as "The Sonny & Cher Show", "The Flip Wilson Show", "The Tonight Show" and "Laugh-In". She also was seen around the game show circuit as panelist on "What's My Line?" and "Hollywood Squares", among others. In 1979 Sandy retook Broadway by storm. Instead of the role of Wendy, she played the title tomboy in the musical "Peter Pan" and was nominated for a third time for a Tony Award. Born to play this role, she followed this spectacular success by locking arms with a carefree Tommy Tune in the tuneful Broadway show "My One and Only" replacing Twiggy in 1984.
Sandy also appeared again for Disney both co-starring in the lightweight film comedy The Cat from Outer Space opposite fellow hoofer Ken Berry and providing a foxy voice for their popular The Fox and the Hound animated feature. Taking on a more serious tone, she garnered critical respect for her Emmy-nominated role in the epic mini-series Roots, but these dramatic offerings were few and far between.
In the 1980s Sandy became a household name once again with her popular Wheat Thins commercials in which she periodically shared the camera with her two sons, Jeffrey and Michael, her children by Tony-nominated choreographer/dancer Don Correia, whom she married in 1980. In 1987, she returned to prime-time TV, but not in her own tailor-made vehicle. Instead Sandy replaced Valerie Harper in HER tailor-made vehicle after Harper departed in a well-publicized contractual dispute with producers after only one season. The show was simple changed in title from Valerie to "The Hogan Family" and Sandy entered the proceedings as a close relative and new female head of household after Harper's character "died". As a testament to her audience appeal, the show managed to run for four more healthy seasons.
In more recent times the pert, indefatigable Sandy has hosted Thanksgiving Day parades, dance competitions and teen pageants, starred on Broadway as Roxie Hart in "Chicago" (1999), and has headlined touring companies of such Broadway revivals as "Anything Goes" and "The King and I". She has also been a volunteer for the non-profit organization "RFB&D" (Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic) and was a recipient of the National Rehabilitation Hospital Victory Award, which is given to individuals who exhibit exceptional courage and strength in the face of adversity.
The lovely Susannah York, a gamin, blue-eyed, cropped blonde British actress, displayed a certain crossover star quality when she dared upon the Hollywood scene in the early 1960s. A purposefully intriguing, enigmatic and noticeably uninhibited talent, she was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher on January 9, 1939 in Chelsea, London, but raised in a remote village in Scotland. Her parents divorced when she was around 6. Attending Marr College, she trained for acting at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, winning the Ronson Award for most promising student. She then performed classical repertory and pantomime in her early professional career.
Making an impression on television in 1959 opposite Sean Connery in a production of "The Crucible" as Abigail Williams to his John Proctor, the moon-faced beauty progressed immediately to ingénue film roles, making her debut as the daughter of Alec Guinness in the classic war drama Tunes of Glory. She emerged quickly as a worthy co-star with the sensitively handled coming-of age drama Loss of Innocence, the more complex psychodrama Freud, as a patient to Montgomery Clift's famed psychoanalyst, and the bawdy and robust 18th century tale Tom Jones, with Susannah portraying the brazenly seductive Sophie, one of many damsels lusting after the bed-hopping title rogue Albert Finney.
Susannah continued famously both here and in England in both contemporary and period drama opposite the likes of Warren Beatty, William Holden, Paul Scofield and Dirk Bogarde. Susannah was a new breed. Free-spirited and unreserved, she had no trouble at all courting controversy in some of the film roles she went on to play. She gained special notoriety as the child-like Alice in her stark, nude clinches with severe-looking executive Coral Browne in the lesbian drama The Killing of Sister George. A few years later, she and Elizabeth Taylor traveled similar territory with X, Y and Zee.
Acting award ceremonies also began favoring her presence, winning the BAFTA film award as well as Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her delusional Jean Harlow-like dance marathon participant in the grueling Depression-era film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. Her crazy scene in the shower with Oscar-winner Gig Young was particularly gripping and just one of many highlights in the acclaimed film. She also copped a Cannes Film Festival award for her performance in Images playing another troubled character barely coping with reality. On television, she was Emmy-nominated for her beautifully nuanced Jane Eyre opposite George C. Scott's Rochester.
Susannah's film career started to lose ground into the 1970s as she continued her pursuit of challengingly offbeat roles as opposed to popular mainstream work. The film adaptations of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Happy Birthday, Wanda June opposite Rod Steiger and Jean Genet's The Maids with Glenda Jackson were not well-received. Her performances in such films as Gold, Conduct Unbecoming which starred another famous York (Michael York), That Lucky Touch, Sky Riders and The Shout were overlooked, as were the films themselves. In the one highly popular movie series she appeared in, the box-office smashes Superman and its sequel Superman II, she had literally nothing to do as Lara, the wife of Marlon Brando's Jor-El and birth mother of the superhero. While the actress continued to pour out a number of quality work assignments in films and television, she failed to recapture the glow of earlier star.
Wisely, Susannah began extending her talents outside the realm of film acting. Marrying writer Michael Wells in 1960, she focused on her personal life, raising their two children for a time. The couple divorced in 1980. In the 1970s, she wrote the children's books "In Search of Unicorns" and "Lark's Castle". She also found time to direct on stage and wrote the screenplay to one of her film vehicles Falling in Love Again. On stage Susannah performed in such one-woman shows as "Independent State", 'Picasso's Women", "The Human Voice" and "The Loves of Shakespeare's Women", while entertaining such wide and varied theatre challenges as "Peter Pan" (title role), "Hamlet" (as Gertrude), "Camino Real", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Private Lives", "Agnes of God" and the title role in "Amy's View".
At age 67, Susannah showed up once again on film with a delightful cameo role in The Gigolos, and seemed ripe for a major comeback, perhaps in a similar vein to the legendary Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. Sadly, it was not to be. Diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, the actress died in January 15, 2011, six days after her 72nd birthday. Her final films, Franklyn and The Calling, proved that she still possessed the magnetism of her earlier years.
Frank Gorshin was born on April 5, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father was a railroad worker and his mother was a seamstress. While in high school, Frank worked as an usher at the Sheridan Square Theatre and began doing impressions of some of his screen idols: Al Jolson, James Cagney, Cary Grant and Edward G. Robinson. At 17 he won a local talent contest. The prize was a one-week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel night club, where Alan King was headlining. It was Frank's first paid job as an entertainer and launched his show biz career. Frank attended Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama and did plays and performed in night clubs in Pittsburgh in his spare time.
In 1953, at age 19, he entered the US Army. Frank served two years in Special Services as an entertainer. In the army, Frank met Maurice Bergman, who would introduce Frank to a Hollywood agent when his hitch with Uncle Sam was up. Frank quickly landed a role in The Proud and Profane and other roles in TV dramas followed. In 1957, while visiting his folks in Pittsburgh, his agent phoned him to rush back to Hollywood for a screen test for Run Silent Run Deep. For some odd reason, instead of catching a plane, Frank decided to drive his car to L.A. Driving 39 consecutive hours, he fell asleep at the wheel, crashed, suffered a fractured skull and woke up in the hospital four days later. To add insult to injury, an L.A. newspaper reported he was killed, and the plum movie role of Officer Ruby went to Don Rickles.
Frank appeared in a number of lovable B-movies for American-International Pictures: Hot Rod Girl and Dragstrip Girl, and everybody's favorite, Invasion of the Saucer Men. Frank finally got a substantial role in the A-movie Bells Are Ringing with Dean Martin and Judy Holliday. He did a thinly-disguised Marlon Brando impression. Frank also appeared in Hollywood nightclubs including the Purple Onion. He also did Las Vegas engagements, opening for Bobby Darin at The Flamingo. On TV, Frank appeared on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show and had a dozen guest shots on The Ed Sullivan Show (aka "The Ed Sullivan Show"). In 1966, Frank gave his breakout performance, performing what has become his best-known role: The Riddler on Batman for which he received an Emmy nomination. He also played the Riddler in the movie Batman: The Movie based on the television series. "I could feel the impact overnight", Frank recalled later. Because of his nationwide recognition, he was given headliner status in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, Sahara and Aladdin Hotels. He received more good reviews for his thought-provoking performance as Commissioner Bele in the 1969 Star Trek episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield", for which he received another Emmy nomination.
In 1970 Frank made his Broadway debut as the star of "Jimmy", for which he got rave reviews. He also starred in many touring company productions such as "Promises, Promises"; "Peter Pan"; "Prisoner of Second Street" and "Guys and Dolls". In the 1980s Frank served as Honorary Chairman, Entertainment Division, for the American Heart Association. Perhaps recalling his early AIP films, Frank has worked recently with the legendary Roger Corman, appearing as Clockwise in the Black Scorpion TV series and in Corman's The Phantom Eye. Frank has appeared in over 70 movies and made over 40 guest appearances in TV series.
Son of Joe and Barb Resig, John was born Fort Wayne Indiana where he attended Bishop Dwenger High School. A Theatre/English Major at Hanover College, John was also a Beta Theta Pi, where he partied harder than you. John lives a warped Peter Pan existence on theCHIVE Campus in Venice Beach, CA.
John Resig is the Co-Founder of theCHIVE, Probably the Best Site in the World. John is also the Co-Founder of theCHIVERY, Chive Charities, theBERRY, theBRIGADE, Tapiture, and Resignation Brewery.
John has played the goofy town deputy, Kevin Ellis, on True Blood for 6 seasons.
Kevin was born and brought up in his hometown of Neilston, Glasgow in Scotland. He attended PACE Theatre Company as a youngster and decided at a relatively young age to try Acting. He trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama.
He was granted permission to leave his training early to perform the title role in John Tiffany's National Theatre of Scotland Production of Peter Pan. Kevin has continued to work in Stage, TV and Film and in 2013 was cast in the lead role as Ally in Dexter Fletcher's Sunshine on Leith and most recently Ewan Tavendale in Terence Davies' screen adaptation of the Classic Scottish novel Sunset Song (2014), alongside Agyness Deyn and Peter Mullan.
Kevin lives in North London.
Manu Intiraymi's interesting name is a combination of Manu (The Incan God of Law) and Intiraymi (The Incan God of the sun). He's not Incan. Born in Santa Cruz CA, he spent most of his childhood traveling around the United States and the world with his parents. At four years old, Manu Intiraymi saw a production of "Peter Pan" at the local community theater and immediately wanted to become an actor. When he graduated high school, he attended P.C.P.A California Conservatory, before moving to Hollywood. Manu began training at the Howard Fine Studio (based on the acting techniques of Uta Hagen) and Playhouse West (a Meisner technique school) and began working in television, film and theater. Manu's theater work includes lead roles in "Waiting for Godot", "Marvin's Room", and "The Wizard of Oz". He made his debut in the movies in the film "Senseless" working with Penelope Spheeris and Marlon Wayans. Other film work includes a starring role in "Whatever It Takes" (Phoenix Pictures), as "Dunleavy", plus supporting roles in "Go" (Sony), "Orange County" (Paramount), "Pearl Harbor", and "J. Edgar." Most recently Manu starred on the final season of "One Tree Hill" as the vicious villain "Billy". In 2012 he played the lead role of "Charlie O'hare" in the breakout indie hit "Fortress" (A WW2 epic from Bayou Pictures and Radical 3D). In 2013 we will see him star in his first Executive produced feature as the lead character "Benjamin Ramsey" in "Benjamin Troubles" (A Dark Comedy from the writer of "Downloading Nancy"). He has also appeared on well-known television series, like "Las Vegas", "24", "King of Queens", "Jag", "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", "Unhappily Ever After", "Smart Guy", and "Pacific Blue". His recurring role as Icheb, on "Star Trek: Voyager" lead to a loyal worldwide fan base. Manu's work as Icheb began in early 2000, in the episode "Collective", and soon transformed into a large recurring role that placed him on the show in season six and through to the final episode of season seven. He will be reprising his role as Icheb in the upcoming "Star Trek: Renegades." He has recently ventured into into writing and producing, and has five lead roles in feature films coming in the next year and a half.
|Ashley C. Williams
Ashley C. Williams is best known for playing Lindsay in the cult horror film The Human Centipede (First Sequence). She grew up in Charlottesville, VA and began acting on stage at the age of ten in the role of Tigerlily in Peter Pan. Her father is a Sales Manager and Consultant in the natural/organic foods industry and her mother a poet, spiritual healer and full time mother. Ashley homeschooled during her Highschool years while pursuing acting full time, then moved to NYC to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (Where she received the Charles Jehlenger Award for Excellence in Acting). Ashley has frequented the NY stages of La MaMa E.T.C, the 'Cherry Lane Theaters, 59E59 Theaters and Center Stage NY.' She is now based in Los Angeles, CA.
It would not be easy for anyone to out-do one of American theater's finest thespians, but somehow actress Sandy Dennis managed to even out-quirk the legendary Geraldine Page when it came to affecting nervous ticks and offbeat mannerisms on stage and in film. She and Page had few peers when it came to the neurotic-dispensing department. The two Actor's Studio disciples developed fascinating characterizations that seemed to manifest themselves outwardly to such physical extremes and, like a bad car accident, their overt stylings were capable of both drawing in, and repelling audiences. There was no grey area. Either way, both had a searing emotional range and were undeniably transfixing figures who held up Oscar trophies to prove there was a "Method" to their respective madness. Sandy's signature quirks - her stuttering, fluttering, throat gulps, eye twitches, nervous giggles, hysterical flailing - are all a part of what made her so distinctive and unforgettable. Her untimely death of cancer at age 54 robbed the entertainment industry of a remarkable talent.
The Nebraska-born-and-bred actress was born Sandra Dale Dennis in Hastings, on April 27, 1937, the daughter of postal clerk Jack Dennis and his secretary wife Yvonne. Living in both Kenesaw (1942) and Lincoln (1946) while growing up, she and brother Frank went to Lincoln High School with TV host Dick Cavett. Her passion for acting grew and grew while still at home. A college student at both Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska, she eventually found her career direction after appearing with the Lincoln Community Theater Group.
The toothy actress left Nebraska and towards the Big Apple at age 19 just to try her luck. An intense student of acting guru Uta Hagen, Sandy made her New York stage debut in a Tempo Theatre production of "The Lady from the Sea" in 1956 and that same year won her first TV role as that of Alice Holden in the daytime series Guiding Light. A year later she made it to Broadway as an understudy (and eventual replacement) for the roles of Flirt and Reenie in the William Inge drama "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs," directed by Elia Kazan at the Music Box Theatre. She toured with that production and also found regional work in the plays "Bus Stop" and "Motel" while continuing to shine as a budding New York fixture in "Burning Bright," "Face of a Hero" and "Port Royal".
Along with fellow newcomers Gary Lockwood and Phyllis Diller, Sandy made her movie debut in playwright Inge's Splendor in the Grass, a movie quite welcoming of Sandy's neurotic tendencies. In the minor but instrumental role of Kay, she is an unwitting instigator of friend Deanie's (played by an ambitiously unbalanced Natalie Wood) mental collapse. Despite this worthy little turn, Sandy would not make another film for five years.
Instead, the actress set her sites strongly on the stage and for this she was handsomely rewarded, most notably in comedy. After appearing in a two-month run of the Graham Greene drama "The Complaisant Lover" at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in 1961, stardom would be hers the very next year with her outstanding social worker role in the lighter-weight "A Thousand Clowns". Winning the Theatre World as well as the coveted Tony Award for her performance, she continue her run of prizes with a second consecutive Tony for her sexy turn in the comedy "Any Wednesday" (1964). Having made only one picture at this juncture, Sandy was not in a good position to transfer her award-winning characters to film and when they did, they went to Barbara Harris and Jane Fonda, respectively.
TV was also a viable medium for Sandy and she appeared sporadically on such programs as "The Fugitive," "Naked City" and "Arrest and Trial". In 1965, she appeared in London as Irina in a heralded Actor's Studio production of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" with fellow devotees Geraldine Page, Kim Stanley, Shelley Winters, Luther Adler and Kevin McCarthy. The play was subsequently videotaped and directed by Paul Bogart, and is valuable today for the studied "Method" performances of its cast. It, however, received mixed reviews upon its release.
Returning to film in 1966, Sandy seemed to embellish every physical and emotional peculiarity she could muster for the role of the mousy wife Honey in the four-character powerhouse play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. It is a mouth-dropping, emotionally shattering performance, and both she and a more even-keeled George Segal as the dropover guests of the skewering cutthroat couple George and Martha (Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) more than held their own. While the distaff cast won Oscars for this (Taylor for "Best Actress" and Dennis for "Best Supporting Actress"), this ferocious landmark film blew open the "Production Code" doors once and for all and a wave of counterculture filming tackling formerly taboo subjects came to be.
Firmly established now with her Oscar win, Sandy found highly affecting lead showcases for herself. She was quite memorable and won the New York Film Critics Award for her young, naive British teacher challenged by a New York "Blackboard Jungle"-like school system in Up the Down Staircase. She also stirred up some controversy along with Anne Heywood playing brittle lesbian lovers whose relationship is threatened by a sexy male visitor (Keir Dullea) in another ground-breaking film The Fox. Sandy remained intriguingly off-kiltered in the odd-couple romantic story Sweet November opposite Anthony Newley, the bizarre Robert Altman thriller That Cold Day in the Park, and the gloomy British melodrama A Touch of Love [aka Thank You All Very Much].
Off-camera, Sandy lived for over a decade with jazz musician and saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, which began in 1965 following his devoted relationship with actress Judy Holliday who had died of cancer earlier in the year. They eventually parted ways in 1976. Rumors that they had married at some point were eventually negated by Sandy herself. Sandy also went on to have a May-December relationship with the equally quirky actor Eric Roberts from 1980 to 1985. She had no children.
At the peak of her film popularity, Sandy began the 1970s in more mainstream fashion. She and Jack Lemmon were another odd-couple hit in Neil Simon's The Out of Towners as married George and Gwen Kellerman visiting an unmerciful Big Apple. Sandy is at her whiny, plain-Jane best ("Oh, my God...I think we're being kidnapped!") as disaster upon disaster befalls the miserable twosome. Both she and Lemmon were nominated for Golden Globes. Following this, however, Sandy again refocused on the stage with an avalanche of fine performances in "How the Other Half Loves," "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little," "A Streetcar Named Desire" (as Blanche), "Born Yesterday" (as Billie Dawn), "Absurd Person Singular," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (as Maggie the Cat), "Same Time, Next Year," "The Little Foxes," "Eccentricities of a Nightingale," "The Supporting Cast" and even the title role in "Peter Pan".
A few TV and movie roles came Sandy's way in unspectacular fashion but it wasn't until the next decade that she again stole some thunder. After a moving support turn as a cast-off wife in the finely-tuned ensemble drama The Four Seasons, Sandy proved terrific as a James Dean extremist in another ensemble film Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, which she played first to fine acclaim on Broadway. Reunited with director Robert Altman as well as her stage compatriots Cher, Karen Black, Kathy Bates, Sudie Bond and Marta Heflin, the film version was equally praised. Her last films included Another Woman, 976-EVIL and Parents.
Seen less and less in later years, she gave in to her eccentric tendencies as time went on. A notorious cat lover (at one point there was a count of 33 residing in her Westport, Connecticut home), close friends included actresses Brenda Vaccaro and Jessica Walter. Her father Jack died in 1990 and around that same time Sandy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Undergoing chemotherapy at the time she filmed the part of a beaten-down mother in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner, the role proved to be her last.
Sandy died in Westport on March 3, 1992. Her ashes were placed at the Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. A foundation in her home state was set up to "memorialize the accomplishments of Sandy Dennis, to perpetuate her commitment to education and the performing arts, to promote cultural activities, and to encourage theatrical education, performance, and professionals". A book, "Sandy Dennis: A Personal Memoir," was published posthumously in 1997.
John Schuck was born Conrad John Schuck in Boston, Massachusetts in 1940, the son of an English professor who took several teaching positions including Princeton College and SUNY Buffalo while John was growing up. Following graduation from Denison University where he appeared in a number of plays, John turned to regional theatre for work, including the Cleveland Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, and American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. He was discovered at ACT for film by director Robert Altman, who featured him as Painless, the dentist in the now-cult classic film MASH. Altman continued to use John in Brewster McCloud, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and most assuredly in Thieves Like Us, arguably his best film role. On television, Schuck won a regular part as a sergeant on McMillan & Wife opposite Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James for six seasons. However, most of his work seemed mired in playing dim, simple-minded characters such as the robot on the silly short-lived comedy Holmes and Yo-Yo and as Herman Munster on The Munsters Today, a revisit to the ghoulish 1960s television family.
More challenging guest role work has come to him on occasion with television series such as NYPD Blue, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Babylon 5. In the popular films Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, John has earned himself a place in the hearts of Trekkie fans all over the nation. The musical stage in the last few decades has also taken a precedence. For decades now, John has appeared regularly as the gruff-speaking Daddy Warbucks in the musical "Annie" not only on Broadway but on tours and in smaller theater venues such as the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. He also had much success playing Frank Butler in "Annie Get Your Gun" with Bernadette Peters on tour. Other musical roles in "The Sound of Music", "Peter Pan", "The Most Happy Fella" and "She Loves Me" also appear on his active resume. A sailor on the sly, John lives with his second wife, painter Harrison Houle, in Venice, California.
Born in Falkirk, Central Scotland, Ruth Connell grew up on her Dad's farm outside Bonnybridge. She played the young lead role of 'Clara' in 'The Nutcracker' for Scottish Ballet. After working with dance companies including 'Jazz Art UK' and 'The Curve Foundation' she trained as an actor gaining a BA (Hons) at Rose Bruford College in London and was 'Critics Choice' for her graduation showcase. Her film debut was in the short 'Soldiers Leap' with Billy Boyd and Rupert Graves directed by Robert Cavanah. No 1 tours in the UK as well as lead roles in Scottish theatre followed as well as national voice over campaigns. After filming the ITV sitcom 'Above Their Station' with Denis Lawson, Ashley Madekwe, Rhys Thomas, Andrew Brooke and Simon Day, Ruth began working in LA on such features as the award winning indie film "Folklore" and "The Cursed Man" as well as performing on stage with The Blank Theatre in their award winning; "Peter Pan; The Boy Who Hated Mothers". Ruth is Disney Pixar's official voice match for Princess Merida in "Brave".
Born in Rhodesia, Miles' childhood as the son of Major-General John Anderson and writer Daphne Anderson placed him at the heart of historical change in Africa in the 1950s and 60s. In 1964, his father was removed by the then-Prime Minister, Ian Smith, for his opposition to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence and, two years later, the family left the country. More than forty years on, he continues to support the opposition in what is now Zimbabwe. Miles has been acting for stage and screen for many years, perhaps best known in recent times for his television appearances as "Colonel Aidan Dempsey" in ITV's Ultimate Force, "Roger O'Neill" in the award-winning House of Cards, "Terry Fox" in BBC's Holby City and "Colonel Dan Fortune" in the hit series Soldier Soldier. His stage appearances in the West End and for the Royal Shakespeare Company have won him acclaim with, amongst others, "The Witch of Edmonton", "The Twin Rivals", "Macbeth", "The Weir", "Oliver!" and "Twelfth Night". He was also the first ever man to play "Peter Pan" in Trevor Nunn's acclaimed production. He was awarded three British Drama Awards in his first season at Stratford and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for "Sigismund" in Calderon de la Barca's "Life's A Dream". He has worked with such Directors as Richard Attenborough, Trevor Nunn, Adrian Noble, Max Stafford-Clark, Sam Mendes, Paul Seed, John Caird, Ian Rickson and Dominic Cooke. He has two sons, the actor Joe Anderson and 2006 and 2009 World Streetboard Champion, Max Anderson. He lives in Los Angeles.
Trained in music and dance, tiny-framed, pixie-like Judy Carne was born Joyce Botterill in Northampton, England in 1939, the daughter of a grocer. Trained in dance, she appeared in music revues as a teenager and changed her name at the advice of a dance teacher. Slowly building up a career on British TV, she arrived in America in 1962, the eve of the mid-60s "British invasion," and appeared to good advantage on the TV series Fair Exchange. Beginning unobtrusively in film, she developed enough as a light comedienne to score well on the smaller screen and won a regular role on the sitcom The Baileys of Balboa. Stardom came with her own romantic comedy series Love on a Rooftop opposite the late Pete Duel. The latter series, though short-lived, was quite popular and showcased Carne's appeal to maximum advantage. She found herself embraced by America as a cute, pert-nosed Cockney lass with a Peter Pan-like effervescence.
It was no surprise when a couple of years later she soared to "flower power" stardom on the hip and highly irreverent TV cult variety show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, where she introduced the phrase "Sock it to me!" to the American vernacular. As the plucky brunette, she always seemed to be on the receiving end of a slapstick prank, but the audiences loved her for it. The show also made instant household names out of fellow Laugh-In comrades Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, Henry Gibson, Jo Anne Worley, Lily Tomlin, and, notably, Goldie Hawn, who managed to out-perk even Judy and grab the lion's share of attention. Judy proved herself a game sport for a while, but made the decision to leave the series after only two seasons-- tired of the grind, the typecast, and the disappointment of having her singing/dancing skills undermined.
In the long run it probably was a major career mistake. With the exception of her role as Polly (the Julie Andrews roles) in a Broadway revival of "The Boy Friend" that also featured Sandy Duncan, Judy's post "Laugh-In" professional life was unexceptional with a surprising quick descent. There were a couple of mini-movies, a failed TV idea for a sitcom called "Poor Judy", a failed Las Vegas music act, and the TV talk show circuit. Nothing panned out. Despite an innocent, bubbly, cheery exterior, her private life was anything but. Her 1963 marriage to rising star Burt Reynolds was over within a couple of years. The divorce was acrimonious, to say the least, with nasty, below-the-belt accusations being flung from both sides and feeding the tabloid sheets. A second marriage to TV producer Robert Bergman in 1970 lasted even less than that. More problematic, however, was Judy's escalating financial problems and a drug problem which started with marijuana and hallucinogens and developed into a full-fledged heroin addiction.
In the late 60s and 70s she tried to maintain somewhat with scattered appearances on the musical and comedy stage with roles in "Cabaret" (as Sally Bowles), "Absurd Person Singular," "There's a Girl in My Soup," "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "Blithe Spirit". Her career pretty much in shambles, she fell quickly into the lifestyle of a junkie and began living in squalor. For the next decade, she literally dropped out of sight. The only time she was heard from was when she was busted for a drug arrest or when she made unhappy headlines for a near-fatal 1978 car crash (her ex-husband Robert was driving) that left her with a broken neck.
Judy's tell-all 1985 autobiography "Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside" was a harrowing and heart-wrenching read with explicit detailing of her descent into degradation. Despite the book, the adorable English girl who captured America's heart in the late 1960s failed to win back a now-disinterested audience. She remains a prime example of what the flip side of a glamorous Hollywood can turn out to be. Living in England, she has not been heard of much since the publishing of the book. She has allegedly been married twice more since then. She was also in attendance for the televised 25th anniversary of "Laugh-In" and a televised "Laugh-In" Christmas show both in 1993. She resides in her hometown of Northhampton, England
James B. Sikking was born on March 5, 1934 in Los Angeles, California, the son of Unity ministers. He is probably best known for his yeoman work as hard-charging--and hardheaded--SWAT leader Lt. Howard Hunter on the classic police drama Hill Street Blues. His full name--James Barrie Sikking--was given to him as J.M. Barrie (of "Peter Pan" fame) was his parents' favorite author at the time. Graduating from El Segundo High School, Sikking's interest in acting started after participating in various college plays while a student at the University of California-Santa Barbara, UCLA and the University of Hawaii. He made his professional stage debut with a production of "Damn Yankees" and broke into films with unbilled work in Five Guns West and The Revolt of Mamie Stover. He finally started receiving billing in the 1960s, albeit bit parts in films and television, as minor villains or in-charge types with such roles as a professional assassin in Point Blank, the head of vice squad in The New Centurions and a CIA agent in Scorpio coming his way. Sikking's first steady television job was playing Dr. James Hobart for three years on the daytime soap opera General Hospital during the 1970s.
Moving into "Grade A" quality films in the early 1980s, he still stayed pretty much in the background with little chance to shine, such as his playing of Donald Sutherland's white-collar business comrade in the Oscar-winning Ordinary People. It took his scene-stealing role as the gung-ho, often volatile and emotionally unpredictable Lt. Hunter on "Hill Street Blues", however, to alter the course of his career. Following the series' demise after six seasons, Sikking continued to move around in the top supporting ranks, finding steady work on television as Dr. David Howser, Neil Patrick Harris' father on Doogie Howser, M.D. and in important roles in such mini-movies as Doing Time on Maple Drive. Continuing in such movies as Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Narrow Margin and The Pelican Brief, typically playing various authoritarians, he had a rare movie co-lead in Final Approach. Long married to wife Florine, whom he met while at UCLA, his son Andrew Sikking is also an actor.
Rupert Simonian was born in London, UK. Rupert Simonian's acting career began at the age of 11 when he was spotted by a casting director, and subsequently cast in the film Peter Pan (2003), directed by P. J. Hogan. Rupert continued acting throughout childhood and was cast in three further feature films: Piccadilly Jim, The Constant Gardener, and Keeping Mum.
Since then Rupert has also played many roles in highly regarded popular British Television productions for the BBC and for ITV, in various prime time TV dramas, as well as featuring in Disney Channel UK productions. In parallel with his work in film and television, Rupert is very active in theatre, performing major roles in several critically acclaimed plays, notably Punk Rock by Simon Stevens, in which he took the lead role of William Carlisle, and for which he was nominated Best Male Performance in Off West End Stage Awards 2010. Rupert has toured with productions and filmed throughout the UK and in Europe.
Davy Jones left home to become a jockey. While he was an apprentice, he was encouraged to go into acting and got a role in a production of "Peter Pan". From there, he played on Coronation Street and The Pickwick Papers before landing the role of "The Artful Dodger" in "Oliver!". This job took him to America's Broadway, where he was discovered by Ward Sylvester and brought to Los Angeles. From there, he was given a role in The Monkees. With this sitcom, he made 58 television episodes, 9 albums, a television special, and a movie before calling it quits in the early 1970s. In the mid-1970s, Davy rejoined fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to make an album and do some touring. Davy had gone on to perform in more plays, including "The Real Live Brady Bunch" and "Oliver!" (again), and had also fulfilled his dream of becoming a jockey. He rejoined The Monkees for touring from 1986-89 and 1996-97. Davy Jones died at age 66 of a heart attack on February 29, 2012.
The nicknames, "The Prince of Pandemonium", "The Master of Mayhem" and "King of Camp and Confetti", are but a few valid applications that have been thrust upon zany comedian Rip Taylor, whose unique blend of burlesque and self-deprecating humor has entertained audiences for over four decades. A clever, quicksilver comic, he has headlined the top showrooms of Las Vegas, appeared on scores of television shows, starred in various musical stage slapsticks and even toyed with dramatic material over the years.
Born Charles Elmer Taylor under quieter and more normal circumstances in Washington, D.C., on January 13, 1934, the raucous Rip began it all tossing out one-liners in nightclubs and had his first big break on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show TV show in 1964. The tacky costumes, ridiculous props, handlebar mustache, wacky wigs and manic confetti-tossing didn't take long to follow as professional trademarks, and they soon made their way into the 1970s pop culture. Frequently appearing on television, he appeared in everything from variety shows to talk shows (Merv Griffin and David Letterman) to sitcoms like The Monkees. He was the gag man who delightfully wrangled out of every groan-inducing one-liner there was, eventually finding the perfect avenue for his brand of insanity via producer Chuck Barris and his syndicated TV shows of the 1970s and 1980s. Rip became a favorite panelist judge, along with Jaye P. Morgan, on Barris' The Gong Show, and later served as host of the equally tacky The $1.98 Beauty Show.
A mainstay in Las Vegas, whether as ringleader of a topless chorus line or opening act to a major entertainer, Rip also slayed 'em on Broadway ("Sugar Babies") and has demonstrated a fine singing instrument in musicals including "Anything Goes", "Oliver!" (as "Fagan"), "Peter Pan" (as "Captain Hook") and in a 1999 production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" (as "Pseudolus"). On the more serious side, he played Demi Moore's crusty boss in Indecent Proposal and showed up sans confetti as Kate Hudson's father in the Rob Reiner feature, Alex & Emma. For the most part, however, Rip has continued on his merry way in such campy film nonsense as Barris' The Gong Show Movie; the "Exorcist" spoof, Repossessed, with Linda Blair and Leslie Nielsen; the foreign-made The Silence of the Hams ["The Silence of the Hams"] and Jackass: The Movie.
Beginning in the early 1960s, when he first provided additional voices for The Jetsons, Rip has continued making voice-over work a viable means of income. His voice can be heard in such animated films as DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Tom and Jerry: The Movie and Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico. Rip was nominated for an Emmy award for voicing the role of "Uncle Fester" in the TV cartoon series, The Addams Family.
Aria was cast in the tough-chick role on her last two films 24 Hours (2014) and Gilded Cage (2014), providing the perfect mix of beauty and brawn. Born in Redondo Beach, Ca., Aria had a passion for acting at a young age and began developing her craft in the theater. One of her first roles was playing a lost boy in the stage play Peter Pan. Her love for acting only grew as she would often spend days visiting - her then step father, a key grip - on multi million dollar sets, watching stars like Drew Barrymore, Gabriel Byrne, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as others. Her mother was a wardrobe stylist on various productions, aspiring actress and clothing designer who designs were seen, worn by celebrities, such as David Hasselhoff on multiple episodes of Baywatch. Her mother lived somewhat of a gypsy lifestyle causing Aria to move around rather frequently and attended various schools growing up. Though at the time Aria was often resentful about it she now admits the experience has been beneficial to her in many ways. At age 10, Aria began studying at a small acting school in North Hollywood Ca. and was soon encouraged by her teachers to audition for the distinguished junior program offered at the Los Angeles Academy of Performing Arts. She passed the audition process but was unable to attend the program due to her mother's decision to relocate to Northern California. She continued to study acting in school and later moved back to Los Angeles and at age 17, took up a career in modeling and appeared in some music videos. Her good looks may derive from her ancestry, which is Hungarian and French on her father's side, and English, on her mother's side.
Aria always knew her true calling, so she quickly put all of her focus back to studying and developing her craft as an actress. Her resume includes roles in film, television, commercials and theater. 2013 marked the inception of her production company A. London Production and her first ultra short 'DIRE' - shot entirely on the iPhone5 - debuted at the 2013 KISFF in Kiev, Ukraine, as well as the Filminute international film festival as 1 of 25 finalists.
An advocate for human rights; Aria is Co-Producer of the X'd Out Campaign: A silent photographic protest against the rape and torture of victims of sex slavery. The campaign's supporters include Tony Cox (The Great and Wonderful Oz), & Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland), among others.
Vicki trained at the Aida Foster Theatre School and quickly won a variety of roles in film, television and on stage but it was her portrayal of Yvette in the hit BBC series Allo Allo that gained her worldwide recognition. Vicki played Yvette for all nine series with the Allo Allo stage play taking her on national and international tours to Australia and New Zealand smashing box office records, not to mention four seasons in the West End at the Palladium, Prince of Wales and Dominion theatres. Renowned for her versatility, Vicki began her extensive acting career playing leading straight roles in Softly Softly, The Professionals, Minder and Play for Today but her wonderful gift for comedy timing soon brought her to the roles we are most familiar with. On TV she has worked with the greatest names in comedy including Les Dawson, The Two Ronnies, Ken Dodd and Kenny Everett, and has appeared in such series as Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Are you Being Served and Come Back Mrs Noah, her role in the latter being directly instrumental in her winning the part of Yvette in Allo Allo. She has also made guest appearances on countless chat and game shows including Noel's Houseparty, where she played the role of Noel's amorous next door neighbour for three seasons, This Morning, Generation Game, Give Us A Clue, Through The Keyhole, All Over The Shop, Today's The Day, Loose Lips, The Weakest Link, Stars Reunited, Britain's Best Sitcom, Comedy Connections and the documentary Pantoland. Added to this she is also an accomplished presenter and is frequently sought after today as a speaker at corporate functions. She also regularly hosts charity events around the country. Film credits include: - The Greek Tycoon, The Likely Lads, Alfie Darling, Sweet William, Spectre, The Last Days of Pompeii, George and Mildred, The Priest of Love, Queen Kong, The Sentinel, Four on Four and The Colour of Funny. In the year 2000, Vicki embarked on a totally new venture working with English Sinfonia. Not only did she perform with them at The Cressing Temple Festival but also narrated Edith Sitwell poetry to William Walton's Façade at the orchestra's home venue, bringing a sparkling new dimension to the work which will long be remembered. Extensive theatre work has taken her from drama to pantomime, musicals to comedy. She played opposite Dudley Moore in Play It Again Sam at the Globe Theatre - London, the leading roles of Vera in Doctor In The House, Mina in Dracula, Renee in Women Of A Certain Age, Ruth in Alan Ayckbourn's Round and Round The Garden and Table Manners, Pamela Willey in Out of Order, Sally in Bedside Manners, performed overseas, Bathsheba in the British musical version of Beauty and the Beast and the Narrator in Reflections-The Musical Journey of Diana Ross. Recent years have proved particularly momentous for Vicki in the theatre where she has performed continuously scoring a string of major successes most notably for her portrayals of Hilda Bigley in the new comedy Business Affairs by Jeremy Lloyd and John Chapman; Glenda Parry in The Tart and the Vicar's Wife, a role allowing her to rediscover her more dramatic roots; Jacqueline in Don't Dress For Dinner, a role with which Vicki has become synonymous; a gloriously, contrastingly funny and poignant portrayal of Maxine in Richard Harris' Stepping Out adding tap dancing to her repertoire; the hugely diverse roles of Lady Raeburn and Asphynxia in the 50th Anniversry revival of the musical Salad Days for Matthew Townshend and as the incorrigible Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie where her dynamic performances were received by the rapturous response of audiences and critics alike. An experienced pantomime performer, Vicki has played the title role and Genie in Aladdin, the Red Queen in Snow White, The Fairy in Jack and the Beanstalk and Mother Goose, Mrs. Darling and Hook's sister, Harrietta in Peter Pan, the Lady Cruella in Cinderella, Llandudno where she scored a major triumph with her characterization, giving a modern approach to the traditional pantomime 'baddie' while retaining all the essential elements and a particularly evil portrayal as the Wicked Fairy in Sleeping Beauty at the Broadway Theatre Peterborough. She followed this a year later with an equally enchanting portrayal of the Lilac Fairy from the same pantomime, this time for Extravaganza Productions. In recent months on stage, Vicki has returned to the role of Miss Hannigan in Annie, for Kevin Wood Productions, reprised her roles in the musical Salad Days as Lady Raeburn and Asphynxia again for Matthew Townshend Productions and appeared as Betty in the Ray Cooney farce Funny Money for Ian Dickens Productions. She has just completed a number of short theatre seasons where she played Gillian in Simon Mawdsley's Audacity and identical twins Dawn and Donna in Double Vision by Eric Chappell for Stage Further Productions and a further short run as Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie. She has also made a welcome return to television in the new and slightly controversial film drama for Channel 4 Television, All in the Game, in which she played the role of Emma, wife of troubled football club manager Frankie (Ray Winstone) and returned to the role of Yvette for a TV special entitled The Return of Allo Allo for BBC 2 screened in April of 2007. This generated a great deal of media interest, initiating further guest appearances on This Morning, Richard and Judy and Breakfast TV as well as numerous radio interviews. She has just made her debut as Patricia Foster in the popular soap Emmerdale on television.
Stuart Gordon is a creative horror film director who started his directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin as Madison as an Anthropology major. Unable to get in with the film teaching classes, he enrolled in the theater class. Gordon then pursued his own theater troupe called Screw Theater.
In 1969, he started a counter-culture adoption of Peter Pan as a political statement and form of protest. Gordon dropped out of the university and moved his theater group to Chicago where he organized the Organic Theater, which put on satire shows with comic and violent themes. The group performed in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and even in Europe. Gordon's Organic Theater troupe performed in a play by David Mamet titled "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," which launched Mamet's playwriting career. The improv-based comedy "Bleacher Bums" ran for seven years in Los Angeles. And the short-lived hospital comedy play, E/R became a short-lived TV series produced by Norman Lear.
He joined with Charles Band and his Empire Pictures to make the company's first big hit, Re-Animator, a modern-day version of the H.P. Lovecraft story with Jeffrey Combs in the lead role. Gordon stayed with Empire and helmed another Lovecraft film, From Beyond, and tackled the murderous Dolls the same year. He directed Robot Jox, but it was a disappointment and Empire Pictures folded after the release of that film. Gordon found work writing the script and creating the story for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, a major hit of 1991. He then returned with Band and his new company Full Moon Pictures for the remake and more graphic version of The Pit and the Pendulum the same year. Other works of his include Fortress, a major hit of 1994, and the screenplay for The Dentist.
In 2005, he contributed to be one of the directors for an episode of the horror anthology series Masters of Horror with the episode "Dreams in the Witch House," another horror story based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. He returned to the series in 2007 with the episode "The Black Cat," based on Edgar Allan Poe's story by the same name.
His wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, was used in a supporting role in his films.
Bonnie Franklin, of the freckled, fair-skinned, hazel-eyed, rosy-cheeked, carrot-haired variety, could light up a room with her buoyant, folksy personality, but she could be quite serious in a take-charge manner when it came to purposeful acting work. It took Norman Lear and a highly popular TV sitcom to finally make the 31-year-old performer a household star in the mid-1970s.
She was born Bonnie Gail Franklin in Santa Monica, California on January 6, 1944, the daughter of Samuel Benjamin, an investment banker, and Claire (née Hersch) Franklin, both of Jewish descent. She was thrust onto the stage at a very young age as a child tap dancer and became the protégé of consummate tapper Donald O'Connor. At age 9, she performed with O'Connor on NBC's The Colgate Comedy Hour. A year later, she performed as one of the Cratchit daughters in the Shower of Stars TV version of "A Christmas Carol", starring Fredric March and Basil Rathbone as "Scrooge" and "Marley", respectively. The young girl then appeared, unbilled on film, playing sweet young things in the rural comedy, The Kettles in the Ozarks, Alfred Hitchcock's The Wrong Man and the Sandra Dee/Troy Donahue's box office tearjerker, A Summer Place.
At age 13, the family moved from Santa Monica to upper-scale Beverly Hills. Graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1961, Bonnie studied at Smith College for a time where the freshman co-ed acted in an Amherst College production of "Good News". She then transferred to UCLA and majored in English. Following her studies, she returned to TV and appeared in lightweight comedies that welcomed her perky, pixie-like presence. These included mid-to-late 1960s episodes of Mr. Novak, Gidget, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Please Don't Eat the Daisies and The Munsters. In 1967, she married Ronald Sossi, a playwright best-known for his writing/producing chores on the TV series, The Rat Patrol. The marriage, however, was short-lived and ended in 1970.
It was on the musical stage that Bonnie found breakthrough success. Following diligent work in "Drat the Cat!" (1965), "Your Own Thing" (1968), "George M.!" (1969) and "Dames at Sea" (1969), she took her first Broadway curtain call in "Applause", the well-received 1970 musical version of All About Eve, starring Lauren Bacall. Bonnie played a theater "gypsy", named "Bonnie", who sings and dances to the title song backed by her "band of gypsies". Bonnie won the Outer Critics and Theatre World awards and a 1970 Tony nomination for her effort here. She continued on the stage with prime roles in "A Thousand Clowns" (1971), the title role in "Peter Pan" (1973), and the revue "Oh, Coward!" (1975). It wasn't until Bonnie was handed the prime role of "Ann Romano", a divorced mom raising two daughters (Mackenzie Phillips and Valerie Bertinelli) on One Day at a Time, did she become a viable star. Although her contagious cheerfulness and beaming smile was part of her value on the comedy show, Franklin desired to focus on taboo TV subjects such as divorce, birth control, sexual harassment and suicide, as well as getting laughs. While the program didn't match the ground-breaking importance or success of an All in the Family, the show did command consistent and respectable ratings ("Top 20" for seven of its nine years) and lasted on CBS until 1984. Bonnie received one Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations during the sitcom's run, and managed to find time to squeeze in a few other TV-movie projects as well -- A Guide for the Married Woman, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, the title role in Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger and Your Place... or Mine. Bonnie also directed episodes of One Day at a Time, Karen's Song Charles in Charge and The Munsters Today.
Following the show's demise, Bonnie seemed to keep a lower profile on camera, focusing instead on theatre roles and in several humanitarian efforts. Sporadic guest roles on Burke's Law (revived), Almost Perfect and Touched by an Angel was highlighted by a 2005 TV reunion with her One Day at a Time TV family, The One Day at a Time Reunion. Her return to the theatre, after a break of 14 years, included roles in a variety of plays: "Happy Birthday and Other Humiliations" (1987), "Annie Get Your Gun" (1988) (as "Annie Oakley"), "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" (1988), "Love and Guilt and the Meaning of Life" (1990), "Grace & Glorie" (1996), "All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" (1997), "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1999), "Same Time, Next Year" (2000), "Dancing at Lughnasa" (2003), "A Touch of the Poet" (2005), "A Delicate Balance" (2007) and as crotchety "Ouisar" in "Steel Magnolias" (2011). In addition, she put together and toured in her own cabaret act and appeared in nearly a dozen staged readings with Los Angeles' Classic and Contemporary American Playwrights. Bonnie was a tireless activist for a variety of charities and civic-oriented issues, among them AIDS care and research and the Stroke Association of Southern California. More recently, Bonnie reunited with "One Day at a Time" daughter Valerie Bertinelli in a 2011 episode of Bertinelli's sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, and, a year later, played a recurring nun in the daytime The Young and the Restless. In September of 2012, Bonnie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died several months later on March 1, 2013. Her second husband of 29 years, TV/film producer Marvin Minoff, who produced Bonnie's TV movie, Portrait of a Rebel: The Remarkable Mrs. Sanger, as well as the film, Patch Adams, died in 2009.
Thomas Law was born on 17th December 1992 in Hertfordshire, England. His first TV appearance was a minor role in four episodes of Casualty in 2005. His most notable role to date is that of Peter Beale in the popular soap opera EastEnders, taking over the role from James Martin. Thomas played the role for four years from 2006 before quitting the role to focus on other projects. He made his last appearance on Christmas Eve 2010. Shortly after leaving EastEnders Thomas played the title role in Peter Pan in a pantomime in Manchester.
His hobbies include golf, football and cricket, as well as soprano singing and running. Thomas attended Chancellor's School in Brookmans Park and he lives with his parents, Trish and Robert, and his 2 sisters. Thomas is the lead singer in a rock band from London called East Arbor 19.
Originally a dance instructor she came to Broadway during the Depression to begin her career as a professional actress. A daughter of Texas she had originally began work as a dance instructor until a local Evangelical adherent burned down her studio citing her work as being to sinful for human nature. Coming to New York City she appeared on Broadway introducing the song "My Heart Belongs to Daddy". She later made a name for herself in several Hollywood musicals during the 1940s and later in her career enjoyed huge success as Peter Pan, which she cited as her favorite role.
Michelle Stacy was a cute, prolific, and pretty popular child actress of the 70s who acted in both films and TV shows alike for six years straight. Perhaps best known as the voice of "Penny" in the charming Disney animated feature, The Rescuers, Michelle also had memorable small parts in the science fiction pictures Logan's Run and Demon Seed. Stacy was excellent in a sizable supporting role as a traumatized mute girl who's rescued and protected by Jon Cedar in the immensely entertaining revolt-of-nature horror outing Day of the Animals. She also did guest spots on such TV shows as Mannix, The Waltons, The Incredible Hulk, Eight Is Enough and B.J. and the Bear and popped up in a bunch of TV commercials for Peter Pan Peanut Butter in the late 70s. Following her hilarious cameo as the little girl who likes black coffee in the uproarious Airplane!, Michelle Stacy suddenly stopped acting and seems to have vanished into oblivion.
Born in Houston, Texas, and raised nearby in Katy, Texas, Kristin McKenzie took her first leap with acting on a local stage at the age of 6. Her on stage productions include "Our Town" (2001), "Pillow Talk" (2002), "The Soapy Murder Case" (2003), "Welcome to Warmwater" (2004), and Broadway Jr.'s "Fiddler on the Roof" (2005). She also competed in a Texas Private and Parochial School acting competition and placed 3rd and 6th in Duet Acting for her high school (2004-2006). Kristin also participated in an improvisational comedy troupe with the ComedySportz High School League (2004-2006) and later coached her own high school team upon completion of college (2011-2012).
Kristin graduated from Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, in May of 2006. She then pursued a Theatre and English degree from Texas A&M University and graduated in May of 2010. While in college she participated in and worked on shows including "Midsummer Night's Dream" (2008), "24- Hour Theatre" (2006 and 2007), "Trojan Women" (2009), and "The Student New Works Festival" (2010) all for Texas A&M University. In 2008, Kristin also had the pleasure of working with the cast of One Tree Hill for the season 5 finale episode. She has directed shows such as "It's a Wonderful Life" (2010), "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" (2010), "Harvey" (2011), "Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up" (2012), and directed a personally written play entitled "The Hugh Morris 1980's Variety Show" (2011). Kristin continues to work as a director for a Katy based theatre troupe called Undignified that travels throughout different locations performing for youth based audiences (2010-2013) as well as works locally for another traveling troupe, The Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center, (2012-2013). Another traveling theatre troupe, Soren Bennick Productions, employs Kristin to travel for an anti-bullying campaign (2012-2014).
When it comes to TV, Film, and Modeling, Kristin continues to travel across the United States working for businesses such as Laser Shot, Lone Star Digital Video, K-T Films, and many production companies/ commercial shoots. Kristin also enjoys engaging in book editing for a Texas based author and seeks constant acting employment. She loves the adventure of relocating, traveling, and remaining immersed in the film industry.
As a testament to her remarkable talent, Broadway has honored esteemed stage actress Zoe Caldwell four times with Tony Awards: for "Slapstick Tragedy" (1966), for her title role in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" (1968), for her searing performance as "Medea" (1982), and as opera diva Maria Callas in "Master Class" (1995). The Australian-born actress began her professional career at the tender age of 9 in a production of "Peter Pan" and went on to find radio work in her teens. Her parents provided her with the necessary foundation long ago with lessons in dance, elocution and music. She left school at age 15 and made her living teaching speech and performing on a children's radio program. Years of repertory work accumulated a formidable resume. She was one of the original members of Melbourne's Union Theatre Repertory Company (1954-1957) and appeared for two seasons with the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company in productions of "Pericles" and "Much Ado About Nothing." She also toured Russia with the latter company in "Hamlet," "Twelfth Night" and "Romeo and Juliet." In 1963 she helped launch the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre. Broadway finally opened its curtains for her in 1965 when she briefly replaced Anne Bancroft in "The Devils.", and has since continued her routine of standing ovations with extraordinary performances as Eve in "The Creation of the World and Other Business" (1972: produced by the renown Robert Whitehead, her husband from 1968) and as Lillian Hellman in "Lillian" (1986). To the dismay of film audiences, Ms. Caldwell has managed to avoid the silver screen, appearing briefly in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and scoring a larger role in Birth (2004). She took her resounding stage triumph "Medea" to TV and also performed magnificently as Lady Macbeth and Sarah Bernhardt on the small screen. As a now-prestigious stage director, she made her Broadway bow in 1977 with "An Almost Perfect Person," and later helmed productions of "Richard II," "Othello," "Macbeth" and, more recently, "Vita and Virginia" starring Eileen Atkins and Vanessa Redgrave. She and husband Whitehead have maintained a long and successful private and professional partnership, first working together on "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and later with "Medea." Their son, Charles Whitehead, was the producer of "The Play What I Wrote" which briefly featured Ms. Caldwell in New York in 2003.
When it came to bright and polished, they didn't get much spiffier than singer/actress Janet Blair -- perhaps to her detriment in the long haul. At Columbia, she was usually overlooked for the roles that might have tested her dramatic mettle. Nevertheless, she pleased audiences as a pert and perky co-star to a number of bigger stars, ranging from George Raft and Cary Grant to Red Skelton and The Dorsey Brothers.
Of Irish descent, she was born Martha Janet Lafferty in Altoona, Pennsylvania, in 1921. Raised there in the public school system, she sang in the church choir during her youth and adolescence. The inspiration and talent was evident enough for her to pursue singing as a career by the time she graduated. At age 18, she was a lead vocalist with Hal Kemp's band at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. While with Kemp's outfit, Janet met and, subsequently, married the band's pianist, Lou Busch, a respected musician, songwriter and, later, ragtime recording artist.
A Columbia Pictures talent scout caught her behind the microphone and spotted fine potential in the pretty-as-a-picture songstress. The death of Kemp in a car accident in December of 1940 and the band's eventual break-up signaled a life-changing course of events. She signed up with Columbia, for up to $100 a week, and moved to Los Angeles while her husband found work as a studio musician. Janet made an immediate impression in her debut film as the feisty kid sister of Joan Blondell and Binnie Barnes in Three Girls About Town and also dallied about in the movies, Two Yanks in Trinidad and Blondie Goes to College, until her big break in the movies arrived. Star Rosalind Russell made a pitch for Janet to play her co-lead in My Sister Eileen as her naive, starry-eyed younger sister (Eileen), who carried aspirations of being a big-time actress. The film became an instant hit and Janet abruptly moved up into the "love interest" ranks. Usually appearing in a frothy musical or light comedy, she was seeded second, however, to another redhead, Rita Hayworth, when it came to Columbia dispensing out musical leads. Janet, nevertheless, continued promisingly paired up with George Raft in the mob-oriented tunefest, Broadway; alongside Don Ameche in the musical, Something to Shout About, and opposite Cary Grant in the comedy-fantasy, Once Upon a Time, one of his lesser-known films. She played second lead to Ms. Hayworth in Tonight and Every Night and was right in her element when asked to co-star with bandleaders Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey in their biopic, The Fabulous Dorseys. A rare dramatic role came her way in the Glenn Ford starrer, Gallant Journey, but again she was relegated to playing the stereotyped altruistic wife. In retrospect, the importance of her roles, although performed quite capably, were more supportive and decorative in nature, and lacked real bite. By the time the daring-do "B" swashbuckler The Black Arrow rolled out, Columbia had lost interest in their fair maiden and Janet had lost interest in Hollywood.
A new decade brought about a new career direction. Putting together a successful nightclub act, she was spotted by composer Richard Rodgers, and made a sparkling name for herself within a short time. Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific", starring Mary Martin, was the hit of the Broadway season and Janet dutifully took on the lead role of "Ensign Nellie Forbush" when the show went on tour in 1950. She gave a yeoman performance - over 1,200 in all -- within a three-year period. Following this success, she made her Broadway debut in the musical, "A Girl Can Tell", in 1953. She went on for decades, appearing in such tuneful vehicles as "Anything Goes", "Bells Are Ringing", "Annie Get Your Gun", "Mame" and "Follies".
Her career, however, took second place after marrying second husband, producer/director Nick Mayo in 1953, and raising their two children, Amanda and Andrew. The couple met when he stage-managed "South Pacific" and went on to co-own and operate Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills, California during the mid-1960s. There, she played "Maria" in "The Sound of Music" and "Peter Pan" opposite Vincent Price's "Dr. Hook", among others. Her second marriage lasted until the late 60s. TV's "Golden Age" proved to be a viable medium for her. A promising series role came to her in 1956 when she replaced Emmy-winning Nanette Fabray as Sid Caesar's femme co-star on Caesar's Hour but she left the sketch-based comedy show after only one season because she felt stifled and underused. She also returned to films on occasion, appearing opposite her The Fuller Brush Man co-star, Red Skelton, in another of his slapstick vehicles, Public Pigeon No. One; as Tony Randall's wife in the domestic comedy, Boys' Night Out, starring Kim Novak; in the excellent cult British horror, Burn, Witch, Burn (aka Burn, Witch, Burn); and was fresh as a daisy, once again, in the antiseptic Disney musical, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. After her second divorce, Janet laid off touring in musicals and settled in Hollywood to raise her two teenage children while looking for TV work. She found a steady paycheck paired up with Henry Fonda on the sitcom, The Smith Family, playing another of her patented loyal wives. She also found scattered work on such TV shows as Marcus Welby, M.D., Switch, Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. Her last guest showing was on the Murder, She Wrote episode, Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?. Janet died at age 85 in Santa Monica, California, after developing pneumonia.
The daughter of a retired sea captain and his much-younger wife, actress Norma Varden was born and raised in turn-of-the-century London. A piano prodigy, she studied in Paris and appeared in concert in England during her teenage years. Acting, however, became her career of choice, studying at the Guildhall School of Music. She took her very first stage bow in a production of Peter Pan. In the adult role of Mrs. Darling, she was actually younger than the actors playing her children. In years to come, Norma would play a number of mature, lady-like roles that were much older than she was.
She performed Shakespeare in repertory and was at first cast in dramatic plays such as The Wandering Jew (1920-her West End debut) and Hamlet (1925) as the Player Queen. In various acting companies, she eventually found a flair for comedy and became the resident character comedienne for the famous Aldwych Theatre farce-ers from 1929 to 1933 à la Marx Bros. foil Margaret Dumont. Finding success there in the comedies A Night Like This and Turkey Time, she later recreated both roles on British film a couple of years later. She went on to prove herself a minor but avid scene-stealer in such movies as Evergreen, The Iron Duke, Stormy Weather and East Meets West, quickly finding an amusing niche as a haughty society maven. She played both benevolent and supercilious with equal ease -- her height (5'7-1/2"), elongated oval face, vacant manner, plummy voice and slightly drowsy eyes adding immensely to the look and amusement of her characters.
In the early 1940s, the veteran actress visited California, accompanied by her ailing, widowed mother, for a take on the warmer climate and decided to permanently settle. Again, she found herself in demand as a now silvery-haired duchess, queen or Lady something, albeit in less meaty, sometimes even unbilled parts. Although she could dress down when called upon as a bar maid, nurse and landlady, she usually was asked to provide the requisite atmosphere for glossy, opulent settings. Her more noticeable roles came as lecherous Robert Benchley's wealthy, put-upon wife in The Major and the Minor; the vile Lady Abbott in Forever Amber; the giddy socialite nearly strangled by Robert Walker in Hitchcock's classic Strangers on a Train; the impressively bejeweled wife of Charles Coburn who Marilyn Monroe fawns over in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; and the Von Trapp housekeeper Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music.
Norma became a steadfast radio and TV comedy foil during the 40s, 50s and 60s, often at the mercy of a Lucille Ball or Jack Benny. Her longest radio part was as Basil Rathbone's housekeeper on his Sherlock Holmes radio series. On TV, she appeared in such shows as Mister Ed, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bewitched and Batman She had recurring roles as Betty Hutton's aunt on The Betty Hutton Show and as Shirley Booth's neighbor on Hazel. Never married, Norma's mother passed away in 1969, and the actress retired shortly after. She died of heart failure in 1989, a day before her 91st birthday.
Born and raised in suburban Detroit, Gregory Jbara transferred from the University of Michigan School of Music musical theatre program to complete his BFA in acting at the Juilliard School.
Jbara won the 2009 Tony®, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical originating the role of "Jackie Elliot" in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot. He also starred on Broadway as "Billy Flynn" in the Tony Award winning revival of Chicago. He originated the role of "Andre Thibault" in the Broadway musical comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, also starring John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz, Sherie Rene Scott, Joanna Gleason, and Sara Gettelfinger.
Other Broadway musical roles originated by Jbara are "Squash Bernstein" in Victor/Victoria, starring Julie Andrews, and that of dimwitted catcher "Sohovik" in the Damn Yankees revival starring Bebe Neuwirth, Victor Garber, and Jerry Lewis.
Other stage credits include: "Mr. Bunder" in the West Coast premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish at the Blank Theatre, "Vinnie" in the Geffen Playhouse Premiere of Neil Simon's Felix & Oscar; "Ike/Bess Truman" in the West Coast Premiere of LaChiusa's First Lady Suite; "Clark Gable" in The Blank Theatre Company's Living Room Series presentation of Mark Saltzman's new play, Mr. Shaw Goes To Hollywood; "Chick Clark" in Wonderful Town for City Center Encores; the Broadway revival of Born Yesterday with Edward Asner and Madeline Kahn; Serious Money with Alec Baldwin and Kate Nelligan; Privates On Parade with Jim Dale and Simon Jones; Forever Plaid, Das Barbecu, and Have I Got A Girl For You!.
Additional film and TV credits include: The Pied Piper and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Jbara is the voice of the animatronic radio newscaster in Epcot Center's Spaceship Earth. Disney animated feature credits include "Bruiser/Thug Chorus" in Tangled, featured chorus in Enchanted and "Willie 3/Chorus" in Home On The Range. He also sang Randy Newman's, "You've Got a Friend In Me" from Toy Story for U.S. Olympic Ice Skater, Michelle Kwan's 75 Years Of Disney Music/TV Special.
Recordings include the Broadway cast recordings of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Victor/Victoria and Damn Yankees!; Little Fish on Ghostlight Records; First Lady Suite on PS Classics; Brigadoon and Annie Get Your Gun on EMI; A Broadway Christmas, Unsung Musicals II, Unsung Berlin, Peter Pan, and Drat The Cat! on Varese/Sarabande; Enchanted, Tangled and Home On The Range for Disney.
Jbara was the narrator for Ripley's Believe it Or Not on TBS, and his voice is featured on the Best Of Ripley's DVD release.
Jbara resides with his wife Julie and their sons Zachary and Aidan in Los Angeles.
Growing up, He starred in Peter Pan, Lord of the Flies, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, among others. In 2005, he won the award for Outstanding Male Performance in a Supporting Role at the Alberta One Act Festival for his portrayal of J-Rat in Mousetown. He has performed in over fifteen independent films, including Scars, Henchin,and Snowtramp. These films were screened and won awards at various film festivals, including New Zealand Mountain, Tao New Mexico Mountain,Vancouver International MidForms, New Media, Made in Vancouver, and the prestigious Hollywood North Showcase during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Turner's first major role was in the Battlestar Galactica follow-up, Caprica. He then landed a role alongside Battlestar's Michael Hogan in the feature Confined. He has appeared on Supernatural, NBC's Fairly Legal,and Teletoon's Tower Prep. He starred in Nickelodeon's sequel to Fairly Odd Parents, alongside Drake Bell and Daniella Monet. Travis starred in Marley and Me: The Puppy Years: the sequel to the popular feature film starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson. He worked with Roger Moore, of James Bond fame, on A Princess for Christmas. Recently he did he first voice over in the CGI cartoon Mighty Mighty Monsters. He is finishing season one for YTV's new hit Some Assembly Required.
He has also been a live performer. His first release, "The Littlest Biggest Deal", featured Vancouver emcees Aspire, Q-Rate L, Junk, Young Hungry, Chadio, Mike Murder, Annoymouz, Azreal, Kaboom, ATMA, David Morin, Merkk Mikzz, Veritflow, Un-1, and The Family Compact. It was co-produced by Little T himself and Vancouver visionary, The Archivest.
Cindy Robinson began her career as a stage actress. In New York she played leading roles in multiple shows on Broadway including Stephen Sondheim's "Into The Woods," "Peter Pan" and the Tony Award winning production of "Carousel" at Lincoln Center. When Cindy moved to Hollywood she used her talents to bring to life animated characters.
Her voice talents can be heard on "Tutenstein," "Scooby and Shaggy," as Snow White's Evil Stepmother in "Happily N'Ever After 2," as Lois Lane and Brainiac for DC Comics "Superman: Red Son Rising" Pepper Potts in Marvel's "Iron Man" and Mary Jane Watson in "Ultimate Spider-Man" as well as multiple voices in Mattel's "Polly Pocket" and "Monster High."
She was also the voice of Leap in the very successful LeapFrog DVD franchise. Notable video game appearances include "BioShock 2", "Fallout: New Vegas," "Biohazard: Degeneration," "Sonic Free Riders" and "Mass Effect 2" to name a few and she can also be heard in over 100 feature films and television shows such as "Entourage," "Californication," "The Good Wife," "Crazy Heart," "The Fighter" and NBC's "Community."
But most notably, Cindy is the Official Voice of Betty Boop.
Hadley Fraser (born Robert Hugh Fraser) is the son of Jack and Carol Fraser, and brother of Ed Fraser, an officer in the British Army. He holds a BA from Birmingham University and a Postgraduate Diploma from the Royal Academy of Music. In 2011 he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, or ARAM. In 2012, Fraser was named a Patron of the Performance Preparation Academy (PPA) theatre college in Guildford, UK.
His West End and other theatre credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Assassins, The Far Pavilions, The Shaughraun, Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, Longitude, My Fair Lady, The Last Five Years, The Fantasticks, A Christmas Carol and Pacific Overtures. In 2006, Fraser originated the role of Tiernan in The Pirate Queen on Broadway.
Fraser played Gareth in the Doctor Who episode "Army of Ghosts" (2006). In 2009, Fraser played the supporting role of Reed in The Fresh Beat Band (season 1). He played the role of Chris in both (films) Convincing Clooney and Primevil. As a vocalist he can be heard on Scott Alan's releases Keys and Scott Alan LIVE.
In October 2010, Fraser sang the Les Misérables role of Grantaire in the 25th Anniversary concert.
Since 2009, Hadley has been writing music in a band called "Sheytoons" with Ramin Karimloo, who costarred as Enjolras on the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Misérables and co-starred as 'The Phantom' in the 25th anniversary of 'The Phantom of the Opera' (in which Hadley played Raoul).
On June 23, 2011, Fraser returned to Les Misérables, this time to play the role of Javert. He received critical acclaim for the role and remained with the show until June 2012.
On October 1 and 2, 2011, Fraser played Raoul in the 25th Anniversary staging of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He costarred alongside Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, who played the Phantom and Christine respectively.
Fraser appeared in the film adaptation of Les Misérables, as the Army General of the National Guard.
Fraser's next endeavor into musical theatre will begin in April 2013 as the lead role of Sid in The Pajama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre).
|Cole Evan Weiss
Cole Evan Weiss is breaking the mold and curse of "Teens" in Hollywood. Instead of the glitz and skin we've become so used to, Cole is sparking a new kind of sex appeal and interest. He is sharp, informed, educated, involved and smart. This young man with his charismatic smile is poised for a breakthrough year with a series of projects that will certainly have his name on everyone's lips. As one of the stars in Fox Home Entertainment's premiere DVD Original movie, The Sandlot 2, Cole stars as Saul, the compassionate brother of a deaf boy, a role that allowed him to use his real life knowledge of sign language on the screen. This highly anticipated sequel takes place 10 years after the original, where the new generation of ball players, try to face their toughest challenge yet! In addition, Cole can also be seen in Martin Lawrence's Rebound where he plays a pompous Junior High School basketball player who thinks that Martin Lawrence's team stinks. At the age of 15, this successful actor has already had a number of varying projects under his belt. In the AFI film Double Negatives, Cole gave a breathtaking performance as a young boy suffering from Obsessive Compulsive disorder. He has starred in such films as the Sci Fi Channel's Movie-of-the-Week, Incident at Kelly, Cat's Bad Hair Day, Halloween Tricks and Sweets. His television credits include guest starring roles on: Let's Just Play, The Edj!, Second Noah, Rescue 911, Gullah Island and Boy Meets World. He has loaned his voice to numerous commercials, industrials, and computer video games including the blockbuster Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Playstation video games. He is a Disney World young spokesman filming a series of promotions for the world-renowned resort and theme park. Although Hollywood keeps him quite busy these days, Cole has had the opportunity to hone his craft in the live theater with such starring roles as: Oliver in Oliver, Tom Sawyer in Huck Finn, Charlie in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and Michael in Peter Pan. Cole is not just living for himself but he is dedicated to caring for others, always getting involved in charity events and humanitarian endeavors. His generosity and natural care for others are so genuine that it flawlessly transposes onto the screen through his characters. Although he spends much of his time in California, where he is home schooled, Cole also resides in Florida.
Born and raised in Chicago and New York City, James DuMont was destined for television; his great Uncle Alan B. DuMont created the DuMont Television Network of the '40's and '50's, which featured Jackie Gleason in "The Honeymooners", filmed on DuMont television cameras and broadcast in homes on DuMont TVs. James began his career in Chicago as a child model as the 1966 Gerber Baby. Modeling led to television commercials for McDonald's and Sears and professional theatre where he performed in "Peter Pan & Oliver Twist". At the age of 10, James was paid to DJ at Dingbat's Disco in Chicago, where the local bouncer was Mr. T and his DJ mentor was none other than the originator of House Music DJ Larry Levan. This eventually led to his DJing at the famed Studio 54 in NYC and then to his performing with the Joffrey Ballet starring Rudolph Nureyev. DuMont got his SAG card by dancing in the street to Ray Charles in "The Blues Brothers." He then booked his first speaking role in the classic 80's film "Class" with Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. James attended Whitney Young High School with the future First Lady Michelle Obama and was in the 100th graduating class of Evanston Township High School, known for it's actor alumni, which includes John & Joan Cusack and Jeremy Piven. In his senior year, James starred in a production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (which was attended by many Holocaust survivors).
James went to Boston University where he continued to act in Theatre and DJ. In between his sophomore and junior years, James booked the play "American Buffalo" in NYC, and was offered company membership with Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) working with then up-and-coming playwrights John Patrick Shanley, Richard Greenberg and Craig Lucas. After leaving BU for NYC, James worked steadily in Theatre, discovered Buddhism (which he still practices today) and made his Broadway debut in the highly lauded play "Six Degrees of Separation" (which nudity was required for the part). Working opposite Stockard Channing and Courtney B. Vance. Journalist George Plimpton wrote a piece for Esquire Magazine about James and his experience as "the Nudist Buddhist." After "Six Degrees of Separation" closed, James performed in "Throwing Your Voice" co-starring Mary Louise-Parker, Brooke Smith, and Sam Robards in EST's One Act Marathon. This earned James rave reviews. James then decided to 'go nude' once more in the National Tour of "Six Degrees."
When that tour ended, James moved to Los Angeles, where he helped create EST-The LA Project (EST/LA), producing and developing over 200 plays. EST/LA performed at the US Comedy Arts Fest in Aspen where the company won the 'Best of the Fest' Award. During this time, DuMont worked on such TV series as "The George Carlin Show" and recurred as Ralph (the tabloid reporter) on "Lois & Clark." He also appeared in such memorable Films as: "Speed", "S.W.A.T", "Catch Me If You Can" , "War of the Worlds", "Seabiscuit" and "Ocean's 13."
Leading roles in Showtime's "Enemies Among Us" and "The Cellar Door" (which James co-produced and won the 'Best Actor' award as well as 'Best Feature'Award at 'Shreikfest' in Hollywood) soon followed. James also produced "The Confession", winning 20 of 25 international film festivals, with Michael Moore ("Bowling For Columbine") calling it "One of the darkest, funniest shorts I have ever seen." James co-produced the Feature Film "Statistics", which won the Audience Award at the Silverlake Film Festival, produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Theatre productions of "Serious Games" & "Morphic Resonance" which won both the LA Weekly Award for Best Ensemble and the Los Angeles Times 'Critic's Choice Award'.
James DuMont has recurred on two critically acclaimed Television series: HBO's "Treme" (opposite Oscar winning actress Melissa Leo) and TNT's "Men Of A Certain Age" (opposite 4-time Emmy winning actor Ray Romano). James has four upcoming Feature Films: "Barefoot" with Evan Rachel Wood & Scott Speedman, "Baytown Outlaws" with Billy Bob Thornton, "Universal Soldier - A New Dimenson" with Scott Adkins and "Rock Jocks" with Andrew Bowen (Mad TV). Recent TV Credits include Mad Men, Harry's Law & Rizzoli & Isles.
With over 95 major Feature Films and Television Shows and over 20 National commercials under his belt, James' career is showing no signs of slowing down. James is developing 3 Feature Films with his producing partners in NYC, LA and Louisiana and revising his one-man-play "My Life As A DJ". Residing in both Los Angeles and Louisiana, James considers himself "Bayou Costal".
Blayne Weaver, of Bossier City, Louisiana, began his acting career in high school with the film The Flood: Who Will Save Our Children?, an NBC movie of the week. His first major TV movie was The Good Old Boys with Tommy Lee Jones. He has since done guest spots on ER, JAG, Chicago Hope, NCIS and did the voice of Peter Pan in Disney's animated film Return to Never Land. He co-wrote and acted in the IFC feature film Manic (starring Don Cheadle), which premiered at the Sundance film festival. In 2004 he formed Secret Identity Productions with childhood friend Brandon Barrera. Their first film, Losing Lois Lane, a short about a depressed Superman, was Weaver's directorial debut. Secret Identity then produced Outside Sales, its first feature, which Weaver wrote and directed. He went on to write and direct S.I.P's next feature Weather Girl. Next he directed and starred in 6 Month Rule which had a limited theatrical and will be released on Blu-Ray in February 2013. Next Weaver will star in the thriller Favor and then he will direct the crime drama Clip Joint from his own script.
Theodore Chester was born in 1991 and lives in London with his parents and two younger sisters. He has enjoyed acting ever since he was a little boy, appearing in school plays, but his break into professional acting came in 2002 when acting scouts, casting roles for Peter Pan, came to his school. Aged eleven at the time and attending the Harrodian School, a private London school, Theodore and two of his classmates 'George MacKay' and Rupert Simonian were plucked out of their geography lesson and invited to auditioning workshops. All three were successful in their auditions and were cast as Lost Boys.
He and the other children who were playing roles as the Lost Boys received months of stunt training with swords and how to choreograph fight scenes before they began filming _Peter Pan). Theodore spent close to six months in Australia filming, during which time he was tutored on set and had the opportunity to surf and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
Although he has not appeared in anything since, Theodore wouldn't mind acting again as he had so much fun on the 'Peter Pan' production.
Pamella D'Pella was born on August 22, 1967 in Chicago, Illinois although she grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Since the age of four, Pamella has always wanted to be a "movie star". She would sit in the window, singing and reciting to passersby.
As a young child, she overheard a conversation between her mother and her voice teacher telling her mother that she was tone deaf and would never be able to carry a note, so between the ages of 9 through her graduate school years; she avoided musicals or anything that required singing.
She was a cheerleader from seventh grade through her college. While cheering for the University of Cincinnati she went Professional. Professionally cheering as a Ben-Gal for the Cincinnati Bengals for two years. She broke barriers by becoming one of the first Black cheerleaders at Mt. Healthy High School and with the Cincinnati Bengals.
She was very active through her teenage years: she was an athlete, a cheerleader, and, naturally, an actor! At the age of 16, she was crowned Ms. NAACP and was the first Black "Cincinnati Junior Miss" she went on with that title to win for her city, "Junior Miss Ohio Physical Fitness", 2nd in talent, and 4th in the State. Not content with a fourth place win, she went on to be crowned, "Miss Aerospace" and "Miss. Hemisphere".
In high school, The International Thespian Society honored Pamella with Certificates of Recognition for excellence of movement and characterization and a Meritous award Participation in Theatre Arts for her work as the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz." This was quite an honor for she started this journey with the school play, "Peter Pan" whereas she auditioned for the dog but landed the lead. As "Peter" she was so proud; she went around the school calling herself "Peter Pam!" If acting was king then academics were queen and sports, the royal court. Pamella won one of many college scholarships with the national writing contest "What's Right about America."
She was a theatre major performing in show after show, She received standing ovations for her work as the "The Dark Queen" in the "Snow White" and great press reviews for her performance in David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago.
Pamella knew that she had to take her craft to a higher level; she left Cincinnati to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Pamella was awarded permission to live at the United States International House, housing only available to post graduate International students and Americans with high academic grades and social achievements. In New York, studying was at a high concentration. Acting at the Academy, dance at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and writing at the Frank Silvera workshop.
Katie Silverman was born in Los Angeles and by the age of three had taught herself to read. At four, she decided she would be an actress and documented her aspiration on a pre-school quilt. Her first role came in a stage production of Peter Pan at the Youth Academy of Dramatic Arts. Katie's love of acting continued to flourish and at six she appeared as Young Amelia on ABC's Private Practice, in addition to booking several national commercials. Katie loves to sing, dance, play piano, and hang out with friends. Her hobbies include creating elaborate costumes, making her own short films and a passion for Greek Mythology.
Samantha is best known for her voice-over work as the speaking voices of "Jem" and "Jerrica" on the cartoon series "Jem and the Holograms". She played the British voice of Peter Pan's mother in the classic Steven Spielberg film "Hook" as well as lending her voice talent to many radio and TV projects while writing and performing her original music as a solo recording artist in Los Angeles and Nashville TN. Now residing in Dallas Texas, Sam maintains an avid rapport with her fans of "Jem and the Holograms" and "Transformers" and is invited to appear at pop-culture festivals all over the world. Samantha's original music and vocals can be heard on such hit TV shows as "Gossip Girl", "Smallville", "Hollywood Heights", "America's Next Top Model","The Ellen Show", "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami", "Vampire Diaries", "Laguna Beach","10 Things I Hate About You", "My Super Sweet Sixteen", "Punked". Samantha's vocals have also been featured in blockbuster games titles such as "Twisted Metal Black", "God of War", "Everything or Nothing", and "Wild Arms 3". In addition, Samantha was invited into the esteemed Leonard Cohen fold as a backup vocalist for a project in late 2006. She released a self-titled debut solo record in 2008 and followed up with her solo album "Somethin' Good" in late 2011. Samantha is set to release more original music this year with long time friend and keyboard programmer, producer Dave Polich best known for his work with Michael Jackson, David Foster and The Cure. Samantha is also working with and enjoying lending her diverse and beautiful background vocals to the longest Dallas based Pink Floyd tribute band in the US "Bricks In The Wall" Samantha is writing new material and working on her third CD while just completing a music video for her first single of the upcoming CD and in early May Samantha got done shooting her roll in the upcoming movie Jem and the Holograms produced by Jason Blum, Scooter Braun and Jon M. Chu.