Zachary David Alexander Efron was born 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 younger brother, Dylan. His surname, "Efron", is a Biblical place name, and comes from Zac's Polish Jewish paternal grandfather. The rest of Zac's recent ancestry is English, German, and Scottish. Zac was raised in Arroyo Grande, CA. 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 from 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. Another indie film he co-starred in, At Any Price, was released in 2013.
Most recently, Zac starred with Seth Rogen in the hit comedy film Neighbors, headlined the 2015 drama We Are Your Friends, and carried three 2016 comedies, Dirty Grandpa, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.
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.
George MacKay was born 13 March, 1992 in Hammersmith, London, England, to Kim Baker, a costume designer, and Paul Christopher MacKay, a stage/lighting manager. His father is Australian.
At the age of ten, George was scouted to audition for a role in the family feature, Peter Pan. He quickly landed the part of Curly, one of the Lost Boys, and went on to have several minor roles on TV, including an episode of Rose & Maloney and Footprints in the Snow. At thirteen, George landed the part of Riccio in the film adaptation of Cornelia Funke's best-selling children's novel, The Theif Lord and was also cast in lead role for BBC adaptation of Terry Pratchett's, Johnny and the Bomb.
George worked with Tim Roth, Chiwetel Ejiofer and Sophie Okonedo for the HBO Movie Tsunami - The Aftermath and later took a part in the Dikensian drama, The Old Curiosity Shop. Soon after, George co-starred with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber on Defiance. In 2009, George took on the role of Harry, in The Boys are Back alongside Clive Owen, for which he received 2 award nominations. His career took another step forward with Hunky Dory.
Since, George has featured in several shorts which have been popular on the festival circuit and played the part of Tommo Peaceful with counterpart Jack O'Connell in the adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful.
2013 was George's breakthrough year, and was recognised for his parts as Aaron in For Those in Peril, Davy in the musical Sunshine on Leith, Jake Whittam in Breakfast with Johnny Wilkinson and the dark horse Eddie in How I Live Now. George received several nominations and for such features and later bought home a total of 5 awards.
George had a stint in the West End in 2014 in The Cement Garden. He portrayed Joe in the well-received Pride and Duane Hopkins' Bypass premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October. Both Captain Fantastic and Sadie Jones' The Outcast are in post-production and George will be returning to theatre for Eugene O'Neill's 'Ah,Wilderness!' this April.
J.K. Simmons is an American actor.
He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music).
He had originally planned to be a singer and studied at the University of Montana to become a composer.
He starred as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling opposite gymnastics champ Cathy Rigby in the Broadway and touring revivals of Peter Pan.
He played Benny South-street in the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls and can be heard on the cast recording.
He did a commercial voice-over work, including the voice of the yellow M&M in the candy's TV ads.
He won many awards from 2005 to 2007 in Screen Actors Guild Awards. In 2014 won Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. 2015 won a Golden Globe for his Best Performance as an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, BAFTA Film Awards Best Supporting Actor, Independent Spirit Awards Best Supporting Male.
Alex Winter was born in London, to an American mother, Gregg Mayer, and an Australian father, Ross Albert Winter, both of whom were modern dancers and dance teachers, with his mother also having founded a dance troupe. His mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, while his father had English, German, and Irish ancestry.
Alex received dance training as a child. While still a youth, he relocated with his family to St. Louis, Missouri, where his father ran the Mid-American Dance Company and where Alex studied improvisation. He made his Broadway debut in "The King and I" and spent the next several years on stage, while studying film (writing and editing) at New York University. He had co-starring roles in "Peter Pan", and the American premiere of Simon Gray's "Close of Play" at the Manhattan Theater Club. Upon graduating, he took his first major film role, in the cult vampire movie, The Lost Boys. But it was two years later, that he landed the role for which he is most famous for - that of "Bill S. Preston, Esq.", who with his buddy Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) traveled through time in the cult comedy classic, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. The film was a huge success, spawning two television series and a well-received sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
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 was 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 1999, he wrote and directed the critically-acclaimed thriller, Fever, which made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival. "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-starring 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" was directed by Eugenio Mira and produced by Rodrigo Cortés (director of Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds).
Also 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.
Alongside his feature and acting projects, Winter maintains a successful career directing TV shows and commercials, both in America and the UK.
Winter divides his time between New York and London, where he directs television commercials and music videos.
Martin was born on February 17, 1992, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A fan of musical theater, she performed in several community theater productions in Las Vegas. She began modeling at the age of five. As a child, she worked consistently in a variety of national and international commercials, including Barbie and Cabbage Patch Dolls.
She starred in the sequel, "Mean Girls 2", as the lead character, Johanna 'Jo' Mitchell, an outsider trying to fit in the social scene of high school. Alloy hired her for the lead role in the series "Wendy", a contemporary fantasy take on Peter Pan told from Wendy's point of view.
Martin is best known for her lead role in "10 Things I Hate About You," she played the role of Bianca Stratford, a girl who knows how to strategize, put a plan in motion and navigate the minefield that is high school.
Martin's first TV film was her role as the beautiful yet bossy Tess Tyler, queen bee of the hottest clique in camp, in Disney Channel's Original Movie "Camp Rock." Martin reprised her role of Tess in the successful "Camp Rock 2." Recently, she filmed "Geography Club", "Senior Project", "Safelight" and "The Good Mother" which premiered on Lifetime. Meaghan's other film projects include the lead role as Megan in the independent film "Dear Lemon Lima" and Aubrey in "Sironia."
She is recurring on MTV's, critically acclaimed "Awkward", and "Melissa and Joey." She has also guest starred on TBS's "Wedding Band", Fox's "House," CBS' "Close to Home," Disney Channel's "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," and Nickelodeon's "Just Jordan." She did her first professional theater debut in the Los Angeles production of the Jason Robert Brown musical, "13." Martin also sang a version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" for the 2009 DVD/Blu Ray release of Disney's "Pinocchio."
She has attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, completing courses in both Contemporary Drama and Shakespeare.
Widely regarded as the one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer. He is of Scottish, Northern Irish, and English descent. During his early childhood, his parents 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 resides in Limehouse, where he has also lived with his former long-time partner Sean Mathias. The two men have also worked together on the film Bent as well as in acclaimed stage productions. 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, as he continues to work extensively on stage, he always keeps on 'solidifying' his 'role' as Laurence Olivier's worthy 'successor' in the best sense too, such as _King Lear (2008)_ directed by Trevor Nunn and in a range of other staggering performances full of generously euphoric delight that have included "Peter Pan" and Noël Coward's "Present Laughter", as well as Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" and Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land", both in acclaimed productions brilliantly directed by Sean Mathias.
Born in 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 and danced with them in several other productions. 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, Rupert Graves directed by Robert Cavanah. No 1 tours in the UK as well as lead roles in British theatre followed; Faust, The Merchant of Venice, No Mean City, Men Should Weep, The Caucasian Chalk Circle. After filming 'Above Their Station' for ITV with Denis Lawson, Ruth began working in LA on such features as the award winning indie film "Folklore" as well as performing on stage with The Blank Theatre in their award winning; "Peter Pan; The Boy Who Hated Mothers". She was nominated as "Best Leading Actress" in the BroadwayWorld awards for her portrayal of Mrs Darling/Captain Hook. Ruth is Disney Pixar's official voice match for Princess Merida in "Brave" and can be heard on other national voice over campaigns.
East Coaster Thomas Barbusca followed his older sister Brielle's footsteps in to acting when he was just a toddler. At 6 the industry brought Thomas to Los Angeles, when his sister Brielle, booked a series regular role on the hit USA series The Starter Wife.
In Los Angeles, ginger haired Thomas quickly became a favorite amongst commercial ad agencies; booking award winning campaigns for products like Dominos, Ford, Kraft, JC Penney, & Lunchables; just to name a few. Was not long after that, that Thomas began booking television on shows like Body of Proof (ABC), The New Girl (FOX), Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon), Anger Management (FX), and The Thunderman's (Nickelodeon). Thomas also began recurring on shows like The New Normal (NBC) & Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
In 2015 Thomas began work on the Wet Hot American Summer reboot for Netflix. Thomas' witty remarks as Camper Drew, quickly gained Hollywood's attention; making him one of the breakout stars of the series. Post Wet Hot, Thomas began work, recurring on American Horror Story:Hotel (FX), as well as Preacher (AMC). In between filming both shows, Thomas also found time take flight as Peter Pan in the 2015-16 Geico commercial campaign.
Coming up in 2016 you can catch Thomas in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life for CBS Films; based on the James Patterson book series, and coming up in 2017, you can catch Thomas weekly in The Mick on Fox.
Bonnie Morgan is a talented actress, a daring stunt woman and an extraordinary contortionist with an uncanny ability to bend herself to fit any role. The mad-capped redhead is an eccentric comedienne, yet she is most often cast to play dramatic, horrific monsters!
In "The Ring Two," she shocked horror fans with her terrifying and now infamous "spider crawl" performance as 'Samara,' chasing Naomi Watt's character out of the well.
Bonnie has now taken over the iconic role of 'Samara' in the upcoming "Rings 3," where she returns with a familiar video tape to strike terror once again. "Rings 3," the latest in the $400 million horror franchise, will be released by Paramount on April 1st, 2016.
In addition, Bonnie can be seen as 'Tree Witch' in Lionsgate's supernatural action film "The Last Witch Hunter," starring Vin Diesel.
In the 2012 hit Paramount thriller "The Devil Inside," Bonnie terrified audiences as the demonically possessed 'Rosa,' showcasing both her acting and contortionist abilities in a role that was both physically and emotionally demanding.
Bonnie grew up in a castle on a crest of the Hollywood Hills, raised by third-generation circus performers who also have a fantastic horror lineage. Bonnie's father Gary Morgan is an incredible stuntman/actor who played 'Billy' in the sci-fi classic "Logan's Run" and doubled the dog in "Cujo," and her aunt Robbi Morgan played 'Annie,' Jason's first victim in "Friday the 13th."
Before she could walk, Bonnie's dad started teaching her acrobatics, and, as she grew, she showed a remarkable aptitude for trapeze, silks, stilts and tight rope. Expanding on her repertoire, she soon discovered her astounding powers as a contortionist at the tender age of nine.
She began her acting career as a child, doing commercials and guest-starring on such family-favorite series as "Blossom," "The Nanny" and "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." She went on to follow in her father's footsteps, augmenting her acting career with stunts and creature characters in such films as "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," where she marauded through the troll market; and "Men in Black II," where a head-like appliance was placed on her behind - hence the moniker 'Jabba the Butt.'
Bonnie's acting and contorting talents have also merged in such features as "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," marking her third film with Jim Carrey; "National Lampoon's Transylmania"; Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise; and "Piranha 3D" where she was hilariously eaten alive through an inner tube. More recently, she appeared opposite Robert Englund in "Fear Clinic," playing 'Paige,' a patient who perishes during the opening credits, yet haunts Englund's character throughout the story, eventually merging as Evil itself!
Fearless and uniquely agile, Bonnie has also contributed her skills to daring stunts in such films as "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," "Fright Night" and "Peter Pan," also showcasing her acting talents in each film with roles as a Who, a vampire and a fairy, respectively.
For the small screen, she partied on Showtime's "Shameless," was broken and bent as the Terminator Rosie on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," and was beaten to a pulp by Michelle Rodriguez in the short "Sorority Pillow Fight." In "Criminal Minds," she had a recurring role as a broken, tortured human marionette doll. She has also appeared on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "Castle" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Most recently, she contorted for Patrick Stewart in his Starz original series "Blunt Talk."
Bonnie's diverse appearances have ranged from Shakespearean troupes to Los Angeles-based circuses, in addition to opening for the legendary Paul McCartney in his Driving USA Tour. She was the opening act this past year for the Mistress of Darkness' "Elvira's Big Top" show at Knott's Scary Farm. She has performed in numerous Shakespeare productions, including the role of 'Gertrude' in "Hamlet." Her favorite Shakespearean character is the clever, mischievous sprite 'Puck' in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which she has played in seven productions.
She is also a regular performer at the historic and uber-exclusive Brookledge Theater in Hollywood, owned by the Magic Castle's Larsen Family. Bonnie and her family also perform annually at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, and Bonnie has recently starred in and directed a Commedia del Arte with her family at the Faire, among other venues. Another feather in her cap is a Guinness World Record for her remarkable contortionist abilities!
The Morgan Family is known for throwing legendary, by-invitation-only parties in their eccentric home, known as Morgan Castle, which sits high above Los Angeles on a peak in Laurel Canyon. Recent themes have been "Back to the Future Prom," "Jungle Boogie" and "Beatlemania," as well as the most epic New Year's Eve party to ring in 2015!
Bonnie is also consistently in demand for commercials, becoming such famous characters as FLO-BOT in the Progressive Insurance commercials, the Kia Sock Monkey, the Comcast Robot, The Silk Soy Milk Cow, the Awkward Robot Butler for WINK, and a menacing creature in the #7000 Chemicals campaign.
Aileen was introduced to show business by her mother, Helenann, who was doing theatre when Aileen was growing up. Aileen begged to audition too, and she began to get parts near her home of Yardley, Pennsylvania. Her first show being, ironically "Annie Get Your Gun."
Aileen's first movie part was one line in Paternity, starring Burt Reynolds. At the time Aileen was picked for the movie, she was in the Broadway show, "Annie" as the "swing orphan." 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, averaging 2 or 3 times a week.
A year later, she was chosen to be Annie in the film version from over 8,000 girls throughout the world. The announcement was made in January 1981 by director John Huston, who introduced Aileen as his Annie to the world on nationwide TV. Annie was filmed from April to September 1981. Aileen was under contract for 6 years to make "Annie 2," and possibly "Annie 3," but those projects never materialized. When the contract expired, Aileen was then approached to star in a new film version of - The Frog Prince - which they aired on The Disney Channel often. While Aileen was under contract, she continued to perform and went back to her theatre roots. She starred in a variety of productions in Fort Bragg, North Carolina including Dorothy in 'The Wizard Of Oz', Kim in "Bye Bye Birdie," Jenny in "Shenandoah," and Annie in "Annie," opposite Harve Presnell as Daddy Warbucks. She also starred in "A Day In Hollywood, A Night In The Ukraine" in Bristol, Pennsylvania as Harpo Marx.
Aileen decided to take a break from show business and attended Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She received a B.A. with honors in Spanish and minored in Political Science. She spent 6 months living with a family in Chile as part of an exchange program at La Universidad Católica with all of her classes in Spanish. She considers it one of her life's most rewarding experiences.
After graduation from Drew, Aileen once again took to the stage playing Bette in "Oliver!" at the famous Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. She then begin a 5 year stint doing Broadway National Tours including "Fiddler On The Roof," "Peter Pan," and "Saturday Night Fever." In between touring, Aileen starred in two off-Broadway shows, "Dreamstuff," and "Yiddle With a Fiddle."
Starting in 2007, Aileen returned to film getting roles in various projects, including independent and studio backed. So, she decided to leave her East Coast roots, and moved to Los Angeles in the Fall of 2011, where she resides, but keeps a home in New York. The following year she formed a Rockabilly, Swing, Blues Band appropriately named "Aileen Quinn and the Leapin' Lizards." The band released their debut album in 2015, "Spin Me," which includes 10 tracks of all original material. Aileen has gone back into the recording studio as she did when she was 9 years old, recording the double platinum "Annie" soundtrack as well as her solo album, "Bobby's Girl," and is enjoying it as much now, as she did then. Her current band performs all over California in hopes to tour throughout the US and the world.
In addition to performing, Aileen teaches Master Classes all over the US in drama and musical theatre, and has directed and co-directed various children's theatre productions.
Rachel Clare Hurd-Wood is an English actress and model, best known for her roles as Wendy Darling in Peter Pan, Corrie McKenzie in Tomorrow, When the War Began, and Sibyl Vane in Dorian Gray. She was born on 17 August 1990 in the Streatham district of South London, England, as daughter of Philip and Sarah Hurd-Wood. Hurd-Wood's career in acting started in 2002 when she was picked for the role of Wendy Darling, after her grandparents spotted a television clip that said P.J. Hogan was searching for a "young English rose" for the feature film Peter Pan. She traveled to Gold Coast, Australia for eight months for filming. Her performance received good reviews and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, and a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress. Hurd-Wood portrayed the character Imogen Helhoughton in the 2004 TV film Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, as a 13-year-old victim of a serial killer. Also in 2004, she had a major role of Betsy Bell in the thriller An American Haunting, as a girl who is haunted and tormented by an unrelenting demon. Hurd-Wood was nominated for the 2006 Teen Choice Awards in the category Movie - Choice Scream for her role. In 2005 she appeared in an adaptation of the best-selling novel by German writer Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Set in 18th century France, Hurd-Wood portrayed Laura Richis, the red-headed virgin daughter of a politically connected merchant played by Alan Rickman. She had her brunette hair dyed red. She was nominated for the "Best Supporting Actress" award at the 33rd Saturn Awards by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for her role. The year 2007 saw Hurd-Wood starring as a waitress in the music video for the song "A Little Bit" by Madeleine Peyroux. In the 2008 film Solomon Kane, she played Meredith Crowthorn, a Puritan captured by a band of marauders who killed her family and whom Kane sought to rescue. Her younger brother Patrick appears in the film as her brother Samuel. During filming, Hurd-Wood studied for her GCSE A-levels at Godalming College in Surrey. Later in the year she acted in the film Dorian Gray based on the Oscar Wilde novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. She was in the small but key role of the young budding actress Sibyl Vane, with whom Gray falls in love. She was studying in the first year of the linguistics course at UCL while working in this film. In her first contemporary role, Hurd-Wood was cast as Corrie Mackenzie, one of the principal characters in the 2009 Australian action-adventure film Tomorrow, When the War Began, based on the novel by John Marsden. At this point, she discontinued studying for a Linguistics degree to concentrate full-time on acting. Hurd-Wood portrayed the lead character Mae-West O'Mara in the 2010 film Hideaways, narrating a story to her six-year-old daughter, about the strange powers of the men in the Furlong family. Her performance was well-received by critics. Later in the year, she played the younger version of the character Isabel, played by Jenny Agutter, in the short film The Mapmaker. Also in the same year, she was featured in the music video for "Revolver" by Warehouse Republic. In 2014, Hurd-Wood played the female lead role of Elisabeth James in the film Highway to Dhampus, a story about the effect foreigners in Nepal and Nepali expatriates have on the locals.
Actress Jacqueline Byers grew up outside of Toronto in Mississauga and received her B.A. in Acting from Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.
On stage, she has performed in "Here" at Toronto Fringe Festival, "Spelling Bee" for Collective Productions, "Chess" at Theater Aquarius, and both "Annie" and "Peter Pan" at Oakville Centre for Performing Arts. Her first staring role was on Syfy's Ascension as Nora Bryce.
Ian Ziering was born on March 30, 1964, and was raised in West Orange, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City. By the mid-1970s, young Ian was landing spots in national commercials at the age of 12, which led to roles in various soap operas and stage plays, most notably Guiding Light, the Broadway production of I Remember Mama and, in a national touring production of Peter Pan. In 1981 he made his feature film debut in Endless Love (as Brooke Shields' little brother) - a film that also marked the big-screen debuts of Tom Cruise and James Spader.
However, in 1990, Ziering landed the role that would change his life - "Steve Sanders" on the teen drama, Beverly Hills 90210. The show brought instant, worldwide fame to the cast. Ian was suddenly an international heartthrob and played the role for the show's entire ten-year run. During his years on 90210 he was also featured in various films and television shows, including Russell Crowe's No Way Back, What I Like About You and Melrose Place, to name a few.
Since 90210, Ziering has appeared on numerous television shows including CSI: NY, JAG and Fran Drescher's Happily Divorced. In addition, he has continued to be one of the most in-demand actors for various animated films and television shows including Spider-Man, Mighty Ducks, Batman Beyond and Biker Mice from Mars. In 2005, in a real change of pace from his normal acting roles, Ziering also appeared in the Tony Scott feature film thriller, Domino, with Keira Knightley. Other film credits include National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus, That's My Boy with Adam Sandler, An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars with Nia Vardalos, Snake and Mongoose, and, Christmas In Palm Springs.
In 2007, Ziering showed the world that he was a true triple threat when he signed on to the fourth season of the hit ABC series, Dancing with the Stars. A fan and judge favorite with his partner, two-time Mirror Ball Champion Cheryl Burke, the pair eventually danced their way into the show's semifinals. In addition to his ongoing acting roles and voiceover work, Ian is a much sought-after television host and, was most recently seen hosting HGTV's A-List Pets.
2013 proved to be a pivotal year for Ziering both professionally and personally. At the age of 49, Ian became a Las Vegas headliner when he starred as the celebrity guest host of the award-winning production of Chippendales at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. Taking on this new role, the actor hit the gym and dropped 30 pounds, transforming himself into a fit and muscled man, thrilling the sold-out audiences. His Chippendales engagement brought him a new wave of fans and international acclaim, thrusting him once again into the limelight. The engagement was such a huge success, establishing Ian as a major Las Vegas box-office draw, he was asked to return to the show in Summer 2014 for another sold-out run at the Rio with the world-famous brand.
However, it was during his final week with the Chippendales in 2013 that Ian's small-budget film Sharknado aired on the SyFy Channel and instantly became a social media and worldwide phenomenon. Garnering more than 5,000 tweets per minute during its initial broadcast - more than any other television show to date - Sharknado became an instant science fiction, cult classic and, even received a theatrical release in movie theatres around the world due to its popularity with fans.
The franchise exploded so much that in July 2014 Ian reprised his role as Fin Shepard in SyFy's Sharknado 2: The Second One, and the film went on to devour the world and become an even bigger pop culture phenomenon than the first. The record-setting sequel had nearly 4 million viewers in its first broadcast and went on to claim the title as the "most social movie on TV ever" by garnering one billion (that is NOT a typo) twitter impressions. At one point, Sharknado 2 held all top 10 trending topics in the United States with more mentions on Twitter than #MileyCyrus on the day of MTV's 2013 VMAs, and #kimye on Kim and Kanye's wedding day. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! stormed the world in July 2015 and chomped its way to over 2 billion twitter impressions - doubling those of Sharknado 2. Generating more Twitter activity than every episode of the final season of Mad Men, every episode of last season's The Bachelor and Hillary Clinton's presidential announcement, Sharknado 3 trended #1 in the United States and #2 worldwide. The latest film in the hit franchise, Sharknado 4: The Fourth Awakens, debuts on July 31, 2016 on SyFy.
A true philanthropist, Ian used his brains, brawn (and his heart) when he competed on NBC's 7h season of the hit series, Celebrity Apprentice. Along with his other contestants, Ian endured challenging tasks that tested his ability to work with his colleagues while ultimately raising over $320,000 for the EB Medical Research Foundation (www.ebkids.org). Ian is proud to be the fourth highest celebrity fundraiser in the history of Celebrity Apprentice. Inspired by his entrepreneurial tasks during Celebrity Apprentice, Ian has created a new clothing line, Chainsaw Brands (ChainsawBrands.com), featuring classic American style athleisure and apparel. In keeping with his philanthropic nature, a portion of all proceeds from the sale of his signature line will benefit those less fortunate. In addition, in February 2016, Ian launched CelebrityHideaways.com, a luxury destination based website for the discerning traveler looking for unique experiences typically frequented by the rich and famous. His extensive travel over the last 30 years lends itself to revealing the less beaten path for site visitors to browse, get information, and book their perfect vacation.
And, it's not just his professional career that is soaring. Ian's personal life has seen some wonderful changes as well over the last few years. He and his wife, nurse Erin Ziering, welcomed their second daughter, Penna Mae in 2013. Their first daughter, Mia Loren, was born on the same day, two years earlier. The quintessential father and family man, Ian was named DaddyScrubs "Daddy of the Year 2013," an award which recognizes fathers who are extremely proactive in raising their children. In June 2016, Ian and his wife launched the family blog, AtHomeWithTheZierings.com, a creative resource for other families. Ian currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and daughters. Follow Ian on Twitter and Instagram @IanZiering.
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.
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: Episode IV - A New Hope. He subsequently took acting lessons at age 6 and began appearing in community theater. He also attended the Albany Academy.
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.
Corey Fogelmanis is best known for his current role as 'Farkle' on Disney's Girl Meets World. Born and raised in California, he is greatly immersed in the world of theatre, television, and photography. Starting his stage career at age 6, Corey has since performed in 18 productions around the country. His most current performance was in the production of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell at The Pasadena Playhouse in Southern California. In 2016, he stars in the next Mostly Ghostly film: Mostly Ghostly 3: One Night in Doom House, a popular franchise. After high school, Corey plans to attend college and continue pursing a career in television, film and theatre. In his free time, Corey constantly works on his photography skills and spends a great deal of time with animals at local rescues.
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.
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.
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 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 Texaco Star Theatre, 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.
Claudie, born Claudia, Blakley is the sister of Kirsten Blakley, the lead singer with indie band Little Spitfire. Their mother is actress Lin Blakley and their father was Alan Blakley, 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.
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's Family: The Hogans 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.
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 on April 27, 1937 in Hastings, the daughter of Yvonne (Hudson), a secretary, and Jack Dennis, a postal clerk. 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.
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.
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. In 2010 he won the Craig Noel Award for his performance as George in the San Diego Old Globe's production of The Madness of King George and in 2013 he won another Craig Noel award at the same venue for his performance as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. 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 Northampton, England
"Look for the Silver Lining" became the appropriate signature song for one of Broadways's most popular musical stage stars of the 1920s, Marilyn Miller, for she embodied a vibrant, child-like optimism in her very best "happily ever after" showcases. Such happiness, however, did not extend into her personal life.
She was born Mary Ellen Reynolds in Evansville, Indiana, in 1898. Her father was a telephone lineman and her mother a theater aspirant. Her parents divorced when Marilyn was a child and she was raised by her mother and stepfather (last name Miller), who was an acrobat and song-and-dance man in vaudeville. She joined her family (which included two sisters) in a family act billed as "The Five Columbians" which proved popular on the Midwest circuit. They also toured outside of the country when bookings were slim. When she went out on her own she abbreviated her first name to Marilyn and adopted her stepfather's last name of Miller.
While performing in a London club in 1914, she caught the eye of Broadway producer Lee Shubert, who brought her to New York for his "Passing Show" revues of 1914, 1915 and 1917. Marilyn became an instant hit with her vivid, yet delicate, beauty. However, it was her association with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. in 1918 that put her over the top. Seeing her great potential, he took her under his wing, expanded her repertoire, focused on her tap and ballet talents and provided her with singing and acting lessons. She became a top headliner in his Follies shows of 1918 and 1919. Her first full-out performance was in Ziegfeld's "Sally" in 1920, where she introduced the song "Look for the Silver Lining." The show was a monster hit. Their professional and personal relationship became badly intertwined, however, and she soon severed the union. Producer Charles B. Dillingham, Ziegfeld's rival, signed her on and handed her the title role in "Peter Pan," which received lukewarm reviews. Her second show with Dillingham was entitled "Sunny," which introduced the soon-to-be standards "Who?" and "D'Ye Love Me?" Marilyn became the toast of Broadway once again and her salary soared to $3,000 per week, making her the highest-paid musical comedy performer in New York at the time.
She reconciled with Ziegfeld in 1928 and performed in the Gershwin musical "Rosalie" to enthusiastic audiences. Hollywood took an interest but Marilyn's venture into films would be very brief. She recreated two of her stage hits to film at the advent of sound. Sally and Sunny were warmly received, as was the musical Her Majesty, Love, but that would be her third and final film. Most of Marilyn's showcases were based on Cinderella-like, poor-girl-meets-rich-boy romances. Unlike her sweet-natured stage characters, however, Marilyn had an extremely volatile diva-like demeanor and proved highly difficult to work with. Her three marriages were also immensely unhappy ones. Her first husband, stage actor Frank Carter, was killed in a car crash after only a year of marriage; second husband Jack Pickford, the brother of silent screen legend Mary Pickford, was a drug and alcohol abuser (they divorced); and third husband, stage manager Chester "Chet" O'Brien was a ne'er-do-well and opportunist. She died before they were divorced.
Marilyn's last stage triumph was "As Thousands Cheer" in 1933. Her health began to deteriorate rapidly after that, aggravated by an increasing dependency on alcohol. Suffering from recurring sinus infections, she was in a severely weakened state by the time she died of complications following nasal surgery at the age of 37. A sad end to such a bright symbol of hope and youthful exuberance. A superficial, highly sanitized version of Marilyn's life was made in the form of the biopic Look for the Silver Lining with June Haver starring as Marilyn.
Frank John Gorshin Jr. was born on April 5, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Frank John Sr., was a railroad worker and his mother, Frances, 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 age 17, he won a local talent contest. The prize was a one-week engagement at Jackie Heller's Carousel nightclub, where Alan King was headlining. It was Frank's first paid job as an entertainer and launched his show business career. Frank attended Carnegie-Mellon Tech School of Drama and did plays and performed in nightclubs in Pittsburgh in his spare time.
In 1953, at age 19, he was drafted into the United States Army and was posted in Germany. Frank served for two years as an entertainer attached to Special Services. In the Army, Frank met Maurice A. 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 television dramas followed. In 1957, while visiting his folks in Pittsburgh, his agent phoned him to rush back to Hollywood for an audition for Run Silent Run Deep. For some odd reason, instead of catching a plane, Frank decided to drive his car to Los Angeles. 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, a Los Angeles 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 television, Frank appeared on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show and had a dozen guest shots on 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 on the television series Black Scorpion and on Corman's The Phantom Eye. He had appeared in over 70 movies and made over 40 guest appearances in television series. Frank Gorshin died at age 72 of lung cancer, emphysema and pneumonia in Burbank, California on May 17, 2005.
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.
|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 Tiger Lily in "Peter Pan". Her father is a sales manager and consultant in the natural/organic foods industry and her mother is a poet, spiritual healer and full-time mother.
Ashley was home-schooled during her high school years while pursuing acting full time. She then moved to New York City to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (where she received the Charles Jehlenger Award for Excellence in Acting). Ashley has "trod the boards" at New York's La MaMa E.T.C, the Cherry Lane Theaters, 59E59 Theaters and Center Stage NY.
Nikki SooHoo is an American-born actress from Southern California. Best known for her roles in the movies: "The Lovely Bones," directed by Peter Jackson, "Stick It," the gymnastics movie starring alongside Jeff Bridges, and "Bring It On: Fight to the Finish," the cheerleading movie costarring with Christina Milian.
SooHoo has utilized her athletic background for many roles she's landed in the industry. Growing up a dancer, she attended both UCLA and Orange County High School of the Arts as a dance major. She trains traditional kung fu and wushu, along with other sports like Crossfit and Yoga.
Nikki also does work behind the mic, voicing the character of Princess Samira on Nick Jr.'s hit show, "Shimmer and Shine." She has done voice over work for commercials, video games, feature films, and television.
More recently in her career she entered the theater world, playing Juliet in Shakespeare Orange County's production of "Romeo and Juliet." She also got the amazing opportunity to perform as Tiger Lily in Pasadena Playhouse's production of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell: A Pirates Christmas.
Find out more about Nikki at her website or on her social media.
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.
William Charles Merrick was born on April 9th 1993 in Ledbury in Herefordshire and started acting as a child in productions at the Downs School and Dean Close School in Cheltenham. Joining the Close Up Theatre Will appeared with them at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2010 and 2011 in 'The History Boys' and 'Death of a Salesman' and continued appearing at the festival with the Close Up's off-shoot company No Prophet in 2012 and 2013 before launching his own production Consent in 205. In 2012 he received the Royal Television Society award as best actor for his role in teen-age drama 'Skins' and has continued to appear on the box, notably as Steve Davis in the 2016 snooker-based one off film 'The Rack Pack' as well as joining the ensemble cast for comedy-drama 'Brief Encounters, also in 2016'. On stage Will has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in their play 'Wendy and Peter Pan' and at the Royal Exchange in the famous old comedy 'The Ghost Train'.
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.
Comic eccentric and gifted raconteur, Victor Spinetti was born in Wales on September 2, 1929, the son of Giuseppe Spinetti and Lily (Watson) Spinetti. He was educated at Monmouth School. Initially interested in a teaching degree, he turned to acting instead and studied for the stage at the College of Music and Drama, Cardiff. A familiar stage presence in London's West End, his roles included "Expresso Bongo" with Paul Scofield and Leonard Bernstein's "Candide". He also spent six years with Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop. Noticed in some of his more important theater pieces such as "The Hostage", "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be", "Henry IV, Parts I & II", and "Every Man in His Humour", his triumph in "Oh! What a Lovely War" led to Broadway and both the Tony and Theatre World awards. In the late 1960s, Victor co-starred in "The Odd Couple" with Jack Klugman when it toured London. A noted performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has been equally adept in theatre musicals, providing delicious villainy as Fagin in "Oliver!" and Captain Hook in "Peter Pan". A theatre director of both legit and musical plays as well, Victor's one man show "A Very Private Diary" has played all over the world. At age 70+, Victor is still quite active on stage, more recently playing Baron Bomburst in the musical version of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" in 2003, and "The Merry Widow" in 2004. In 1960s film, Victor became a vital part of the "Beatlemania" phenomenon earning international recognition as he added to the insanity of three of The Beatles' cult vehicles: A Hard Day's Night, Help! and their hour-long Magical Mystery Tour. A TV favorite in England, he scored in many comedy series over the years. He is an excellent conversationalist and storyteller who has often extended his talents into writing.
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.
Dinah Sheridan was considered the quintessential English rose. With an alertness, elegance and quiet beauty second to none, she won the hearts of war-torn England during WWII. Born Dinah Nadyejda Mec in Hampstead in 1920, her Russian father and German mother were photographers to the Royal Family, by appointment to both the Queen and Queen Mother. Dinah's first stage role was at age 12 and she subsequently went on tour as Wendy in "Peter Pan" starring Charles Laughton as Captain Hook and wife Elsa Lanchester as the titular hero(ine).
Lovely Dinah broke into films at age 16 and appeared in such films as Irish and Proud of It until her momentum was interrupted by WWII. In 1942 she married actor Jimmy Hanley and had three children. One daughter, Jenny Hanley, followed in her parents' footsteps and became a noted actress and TV presenter. Dinah and Jimmy appeared winningly together in such popular features as Salute John Citizen, The Facts of Love and The Huggetts Abroad. Dinah's acting career, however, peaked with the sparkling comedy Genevieve co-starring John Gregson, Kenneth More and the sublime Kay Kendall. Despite the fact this sparkling classic made her an "overnight" success and opened many doors, she did not achieve the stardom expected for her.
Divorced from Hanley, she abruptly retired following her 1954 marriage to Sir John Davis, the President of the Rank Organization. Following her second divorce 11 years later, she returned to the stage and eventually was seen on film and TV again. She has worked at a relatively easy pace since. She married for a third time to actor John Merivale in 1986, but he died four years later. Her fourth marriage, to American businessman Aubrey Ison, ended ended with his death in 2007.
Thespian Betty Field was born in Boston on February 8, 1916, the daughter of a salesman and his wife. Ancestors on her father's side were Mayflower colonists Priscilla and John Alden. Her parents divorced while she was still young and Betty eventually learned to speak Spanish while traveling with her mother to various Spanish-speaking countries during her childhood. Mother and daughter settled in Newton, Massachusetts, after the mother remarried. Betty's passion for the theatre was sparked during her early teens and by 1932 she was enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Art. She made her professional debut in a 1933 summer stock production of "The First Mrs. Fraser" and soon was cast in stage roles elsewhere. She even found work in a London theater production of "She Loves Me" in early 1934.
Rather plaintive in appearance with flat but highly distinctive tones, Betty's Broadway debut came about as an understudy in the comedy "Page Miss Glory" in November of 1934, courtesy of George Abbott, in which Betty also had a minor role. Therafter she performed frequently in the comedy mold, and in the service of Abbott, with such delightful plays as "Three Men on a Horse (1935), "Boy Meets Girl" (1936) "Room Service" (1937) and "The Primrose Path (1939), and earning fine reviews for the last two.
After seeing her performance on stage as Henry Aldrich's girlfriend Barbara in "What a Life" (1938), Paramount executives utilized her services when they transferred What a Life to film. The studio not only liked what they saw but signed her to a seven-year contract. Throughout the 1940s Betty appeared in a variety of leading ingénue and co-star roles. The important part of Mae, the farm girl, in John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney was an early highlight, although it didn't provide her the necessary springboard for stardom. Part of the problem was that the rather reserved actress tended to shun the Hollywood scene (she still lived quietly with her mother).
While performing for Abbott again on Broadway in "Ring Two" (1939), Betty met the show's playwright Elmer Rice and the couple married in 1942. Their three children, John Alden, Judith and Paul, would appear on occasion with their mother on the summer stock stage. Betty also enhanced husband Rice's plays "Flight to the West" (1940) and "A New Life" (1943), which were designed especially for her.
Betty offered consistent, quality work even when the movies she appeared in met with less-than-stellar reviews. She was afforded the opportunity to work with some of Hollywood's finest leading men, including Fredric March in Victory and Tomorrow, the World!, John Wayne in The Shepherd of the Hills, Robert Cummings in Flesh and Fantasy and Joel McCrea in The Great Moment. Tops on the list was her heart-tugging performance as the anguished daughter victimized by father Claude Rains in the classic soaper Kings Row.
She purposely did not renew her Paramount contract at this point and, following another sterling performance in The Southerner, took a long break from camera work. Back on Broadway, she appeared in such distinguished plays as "The Voice of the Turtle" and her husband's "Dream Girl" (Rice also directed) for career sustenance. She won the New York Drama Critics Circle award for the latter in 1946. Her Hedvig in Ibsen's "The Wild Duck" was also critically lauded.
An isolated return to Paramount to play what should have been a career highlight ended up a major disappointment,. While her Daisy Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby had mixed reviews (some felt she was miscast and not glamorous enough for the part), the movie itself (which was extensively trimmed) and her underwhelming co-star Alan Ladd were also cited as problems. Still a marquee value on Broadway, however, she displayed great range in such fare as "Twelfth Night", "The Rat Race", "Peter Pan" (taking over for Jean Arthur), "The Fourposter" (she and Burgess Meredith replaced Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn) and "Ladies of the Corridor"
Betty's soulful features took on a hardened, careworn veneer by the time she returned to Hollywood in the mid-1950's. Nevertheless, she had a "Field" day as a character player appearing in a number of drab, dressed-down roles. She lent credence to a number of fascinatingly flawed small-town moms and matrons in films, among them cream-of-the-crop hits Picnic, starring Kim Novak, Bus Stop with Marilyn Monroe and Peyton Place headlining Lana Turner and Hope Lange. The stage plays "The Seagull", "Waltz of the Toreadors", "Touch of the Poet" and "Separate Tables" also accentuated this newly mature phase of her career.
TV took up a large percentage of Betty's time in the 1950s and 1960s with a number of showcase roles. She continued at a fairly steady pace but without much fanfare (as she preferred). Divorced from Rice in 1956, she married and split from lawyer and criminologist Edwin J. Lukas before settling down permanently with husband/artist Raymond Olivere in 1968. Betty's swan song in films was a small, featured part in Clint Eastwood's Coogan's Bluff as a floozie type, looking noticeably older than she was. Mixing in such stalwart, brittle roles on stage as Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie" and Birdie in "The Little Foxes", she made one of her last theater appearances in the difficult role of the mother in "The Effect of Gamma Rays on "Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" in 1971.
Betty suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1973, just as she was about to leave and film The Day of the Locust. Cast in the flashy role of "Big Sister", an evangelist, her part was taken over by Geraldine Page. At age 57, Hollywood lost a somewhat undervalued talent who enjoyed the work more than the stardom that often accompanied it.
Asim Chaudhry is a EMMY winning and BAFTA nominated actor/writer from West London known for co-creating the hit show 'People Just Do Nothing' which started as a YouTube web series that Asim shot and edited. Asim has played alongside Benedict Cumberbatch on the BBC series Sherlock, he also worked with Stanley Tucci in the ITV Christmas special Peter Pan. Asim co-wrote and starred in a short film for BBC iPlayer & Baby Cow in 2015, Eid Mubarak, which received rave reviews. Asim is the co star and writer in the critically acclaimed mockumentary 'Hoff The Record' with David Hasselhoff, made by the same people behind An Idiot Abroad. BBC3 have ordered two more series of People Just Do Nothing after the incredible impact of series two.
Jessi Goei, originally from Long Island, New York, lives in Wilmington, North Carolina with her parents and two sisters. Jessi is very involved with church, enjoys hanging out with friends, and loves to perform. Starting gymnastics at three years old then onto dance, gave her many opportunities to appear in front of an audience. Jessi quickly advanced in dance, learning modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, acrobatics, theatre dance, and ballet (pointe). Always intrigued by violin, at six years old she begged her parents for her to start lessons, which eventually led to playing for weddings. The desire to start acting began at nine years old when she saw her older sister perform in A Christmas Carol. Ever since that moment, Jessi has been engrossed in musical theatre. She has performed in numerous shows in Wilmington and a few of her favorites are, The King and I (fan dancer/princess), Peter Pan (Tigerlilly), West Side Story (Consuela), High School Musical (Gabriella), Aladdin (Jasmine) and Cats(Assistant director and choreographer). In the fall of 2015, she started private voice lessons to strengthen her ability as an singer. Though she loves performing on stage, she equally enjoys being in front of the camera. Her most recent credits include an episode of the TV series Sleepy Hollow (2015) and a principal on the independent film, Where Angels Dwell (2014). She uses her God given talents to glorify Him and wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
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.
Zak Sutcliffe was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire to parents Shaun sutcliffe, a builder and his mother Ursula Sutcliffe, an early years practitioner. He is the fifth child of six brothers and sisters.
As a youngster he enjoyed lot's of different activities such as street dance, karate, gymnastics and free running. It was in high school where he discovered acting and quickly found a school that catered for film acting training. Zak quickly fell in love with acting and knew he had found the right path for him.
In October 2013 he started classes at the Yorkshire school of acting in Bradford.
After only attending his first two classes Zak auditioned and was cast in a short university film, of which he is said to have found the experience invaluable to learning his trade, as he felt a class couldn't teach the work ethic, scene set up and overall dedication of working with a team to make a film.
Lot's of auditions quickly came for Zak and then in (2014) he was cast in Sacha Baron Cohen new movie, Grimsby, where he traveled to South Africa for four weeks to play Sachas son, Luke. Again, Zak showed impressive work for a boy of his age especially when able to put his improv work to the test.
Six months after finishing filming for Grimsby, Zak was cast as Peter Pan for a television film, Peter and Wendy, This was Zak's first lead role.
When Zak is not filming he enjoys being at home playing his computer games, hanging out with his school friends and drawing.
Spade-jawed British character actor Norman Rossington was born in Liverpool, so it shouldn't be considered THAT ironic that he would end up appearing in The Beatles' debut film smash, A Hard Day's Night, as "Norm", the Fab Four's chagrined road manager. The son of a publican, he never finished high school, leaving at age 14 and living a rather wanderlust adolescent life as messenger, office boy, carpenter apprentice, etc. Later, he went to night school and studied industrial design in order to become a draughtsman. Interest in acting happened by accident and, eventually, Rossington joined a local theatre group. He trained seriously at the Bristol Old Vic and began appearing in both straight plays ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") and musicals ("Salad Days") by the mid-50s. Within a few years, he had extended his visability to films and TV, setting up his rather bumbling persona as "Private Cupcake" on the TV comedy series, The Army Game. Along with roles in a few of the zany "Carry On..." slapstick films, Rossington established himself firmly as a comedy performer with I Only Arsked!, Crooks Anonymous and Nurse on Wheels, representing a few of his farcical credits. Yet his finest creation was arguably in the "kitchen sink" drama, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, as Albert Finney's sensible, down-to-earth, blue-collar pal. Though he never attained outright stardom, Rossington became a reliable, familiar mug with minor roles in such epic British and U.S. films as Saint Joan, The Longest Day, Lawrence of Arabia, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes, The Charge of the Light Brigade and Young Winston, not to mention the equally epic TV miniseries, I, Claudius and Masada. Rossington's greatest impression would lie in musical theatre, especially in his later career. Such spirited roles in "Peter Pan" (as "Starkey"), "My Fair Lady" (as "Alfred Doolittle"), "Annie Get Your Gun" (as "Charlie Davenport"), "Pickwick: The Musical" (as "Tony Weller"), "Guys and Dolls" (as "Nathan Detroit") and, lastly, as Beauty's father in "Beauty and the Beast", made him an endearing favorite in the West End. Cancer claimed him at age 70 in 1999.
Chris Reinacher is an actor, writer and vegetarian when it's convenient. Failing at sports from an early age, Chris has been doing theatrical competitions his entire life. He recently won iO West's Los Angeles X-ecution, "the search for the best improviser in the city" and received Best Actor at the 2010 Campus Movie Fest International Grand Finale. His short films have been screened at numerous festivals including Cannes, Sundance, SLOIFF, Out Of Bounds Comedy Festival and NYU's Next Reel in Singapore. Upon graduating UCLA's school of Theatre, Film & Television, he flew away for a year to do the National Tour of the play Peter Pan from London's West End, working along the way with Second City in Chicago and The Upright Citizen's Brigade in Los Angeles. This fall he can be seen on 'The Mindy Project' on FOX, Adult Swim's 'You're Whole' and in the credits as a Creative Producer at MTV's Ridiculousness. He eats granola, drinks whiskey and is friends with his mom on Facebook.
Lulu is a native L.A. girl, born in Santa Monica, California. From the time she could walk, Lulu could be found singing and dancing on any stage in sight- real or makeshift. By age four Lulu was performing at various local community theaters in children's productions. Lulu performed on stage through age nine, starring in Annie, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Jungle Book and other original productions. Lulu also completed five seasons studying and performing Shakespeare at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. At nine years old, while performing in a showcase produced by her acting academy, Lulu was scouted by talent agents and was signed within days.
Lulu's television credits include national commercials, extensive work for AwesomenessTV and DreamworksTV, guest starring roles on Nickelodeon's sketch comedy show AwesomenessTV and Nick Jr.'s Mutt & Stuff. Most recently, Lulu can be seen in the recurring role of Ellie Peters on Disney Channel's Stuck in the Middle, now in its second season. When not working, Lulu tries to get to dance class or pick up her guitar as often as possible, and enjoys spending her free time with her friends, mom and dad and three dogs.
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.
Michelle Schumacher is an American actor born in Belleville, Illinois. She moved to San Diego, California when she was one year old. She started her career on Broadway in Cats, and later played Tiger Lily in Cathy Rigby's, Peter Pan where she met her future husband, J.K. Simmons (Captain Hook). She completed the Writer's Program at UCLA and is a registered black belt with the Kukkiwon World Taekwondo Headquarters. Michelle started Rubber Tree Productions LLC in 2004.
Lili Bordan was born in New York City to Hungarian actress Iren Bordan. Her first role on stage was the Marquis de Lafayette in a 4th grade performance of the American Revolutionary War. She followed up in local productions playing the title role in "Annie" and Wendy in "Peter Pan." Lili lived abroad for several years in Hungary and France, where she stayed with relatives and studied acting, but her most influential teachers were stateside. Iren took her along to classes where she was able to study at a young age with strong teachers such as Susan Batson and Sandra Seacat. She breathed and ate film and theater, but also fed her interest in history, literature and philosophy, all of which she studied at Sarah Lawrence College. Post graduation, Lili moved to Hungary and became part of a children's theater troupe, where she learned that kids really are the most challenging audience to please, but their laughter is all the more rewarding. While in Europe, Lili continued to film in both Hungarian and International productions. In 2008, Lili decided to make LA her base. She joined Moth Theatre Company and her performance in Moth's production of David Hare's "The Blue Room" won her a Scenie award for "best featured actress in a drama or intimate play." On the big screen, her award winning American feature "Cherry." directed by Quinn Saunders was picked up at Cannes for distribution by Warner Brothers. She has since filmed her second feature with Saunders, playing the lead alongside Katrina Law in "Apparition." Lili is best known to fans as the sensitive and flawed Becca Kelly in "Battle Star Galactica: Blood and Chrome," and the powerful, refined German security officer Hannah Strauss on ABC's "The River." A recurring role on hit BBC series "Silent Witness" introduced her to British audiences. A trained fighter, dancer and singer, Lili's interest in virtually everything, has allowed her to play a broad range of characters and genres, from Virginia Madsen's wild hippie sister in Disney's "American Girl," to weathered war correspondent and loyal wife of Goran Kostic in "Kiss a Robber."
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.
Stuart Gordon started his film directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist apprentice prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Unable to get into the film classes, he enrolled in an acting class and ended up majoring in theater. In 1968, he directed a psychedelic adaptation of Peter Pan as a political satire. He was arrested on obscenity charges and Gordon dropped out of the university. He and his wife Carolyn formed the Organic Theater and moved the group to Chicago.
The Organic performed their work on and off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, and toured Europe. Among their productions were the world premiere of David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," which launched Mamet's playwriting career, the improv-based comedy "Bleacher Bums," which ran for over ten years in Los Angeles, and the hospital comedy E/R, which became a TV series produced by Norman Lear.
He joined with Brian Yuzna and Charles Band's Empire Pictures to create the company's first major hit, Re-Animator, based on the story by H.P. Lovecraft, which won a Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Gordon then helmed another Lovecraft adaptation From Beyond and tackled the murderous Dolls followed by Robot Jox. Gordon co-created the story for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids a major hit for Disney. The same year, he directed the remake and more graphic version of The Pit and the Pendulum. Other works include Fortress, and the screenplay for The Dentist and Body Snatchers, which he co-wrote with long-time writing partner Dennis Paoli.
He contributed to the horror anthology series Masters of Horror with the episode "Dreams in the Witch House," 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. And in 2008, he directed "Eater" for the NBC series Fear Itself.
He is also known for frequently murdering his wife, actress 'Carolyn Purdy-Gordon' in many of his films.