1-50 of 683 names.

Iwan Rheon

Iwan Rheon (born 13 May 1985) is a Welsh actor, singer and musician, best known for portraying Ramsay Bolton in the HBO series Game of Thrones, Simon Bellamy in the E4 series Misfits and Ash Weston in the ITV sitcom Vicious.

Rheon was born in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. When he was five years old, his family moved to Cardiff. He attended Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf where he began acting in school drama productions at age 17. He was later spotted at a National Eisteddfod of Wales, before studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

At age 17, Rheon joined Welsh language soap Pobol Y Cwm, in which he originated the role of Macsen White, but later left to train at LAMDA. His first notable stage part came in Eight Miles High, which was staged in 2008 at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool.

Also in 2008, he was cast as the haunted Moritz Stiefel in the London production of the Tony Award-winning rock-musical, Spring Awakening. He played this role from January 2009 at the Lyric Hammersmith and continued when the show was transferred to the Novello Theatre, until it closed in May 2009, five months earlier than planned. He earned a What's on Stage Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, which was eventually won by Oliver Thornton (Priscilla Queen of the Desert). For his performance he won the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical at the 2010 Olivier Awards. Immediately after Spring Awakening, Rheon was cast in the E4 channel's Misfits, a BAFTA winning program that was described by 247 Magazine as "a mix of Skins and Heroes". He plays nervous, shy Simon Bellamy, who gains the superpower of invisibility and precognition in season 3. On 20 December 2011, Rheon announced via Twitter that he had left the show, along with fellow cast member Antonia Thomas.

In 2011 he also appeared in the final episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. In 2011, he was nominated for a Golden Nymph in the "Outstanding Actor - Drama Series" category for his role in Misfits as Simon Bellamy. Rheon also made two guest appearances as the character Ben Theodore in Simon Amstell's comedy Grandma's House.

In early 2012, Rheon filmed the crime heist drama The Rise. In spring 2012, he began shooting Libertador in Venezuela and Spain. He plays Daniel O'Leary. In May 2012, it was announced that he had signed on to the gritty drama Driven.

In 2013, Rheon was cast as the villainous psychopath Ramsay Bolton in the HBO series Game of Thrones. In the DVD commentary for the series' third season, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss mentioned that Rheon previously auditioned for the role of Jon Snow in the first season, but lost to Kit Harington, with whom Rheon maintains a close friendship. Due to the vile nature of Bolton's character Rheon said that Bolton deserved his gruesome death in the series, in which he was eaten alive by dogs. He also portrays Ash Weston in the ITV sitcom Vicious.

In 2013, Rheon played a lead role in the philosophical radio play, Darkside, based on the themes of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon album.

In September 2014, Rheon joined the cast of BBC One's Our Girl as Dylan "Smurf" Smith.

Songwriting and singing since the age of 16, Rheon was lead singer in The Convictions until leaving the band to pursue his acting career. In 2010, he recorded his first solo work, Tongue Tied EP, at RAK Studios in London, produced by Jonathan Quarmby and Kevin Bacon. The EP, a four track release with acoustic guitar and voice, was released digitally in June 2010.

He returned to RAK Studios, in April 2011, to record his second EP Changing Times, again produced by Quarmby and Bacon, with the addition of three backing musicians. Changing Times was released on 10 October 2011.

On 7 April 2013, Rheon released his third EP Bang! Bang! and on 9 April 2013, released the music video for the title track.

Rheon recorded his first album Dinard at RAK Studios in London and Ty Cerdd Studios in Wales. The album was released in April 2015.

Rheon is fluent in Welsh and English, with the former being his first language. His older brother, Aled is a musician; the two performed together on the 2015 single "Rhodd".

Tim Roth

Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to "Roth"; Ernie was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry.

Tim grew up in Dulwich, a middle-class area in the south of London. He demonstrated his talent for picking up accents at an early age when he attended school in Brixton, where he faced persecution from classmates for his comfortable background and quickly perfected a cockney accent to blend in. He attended Camberwell Art College and studied sculpture before he dropped out and pursued acting.

The blonde actor's first big break was the British TV movie Made in Britain. Roth made a huge splash in that film as a young skinhead named Trevor. He next worked with director Mike Leigh on Meantime, which he has counted among his favorite projects. He debuted on the big screen when he filled in for Joe Strummer in the Stephen Frears neo-noir The Hit. Roth gained more attention for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo and his work opposite Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

He moved to Los Angeles in search of work and caught the eye of young director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino had envisioned Roth as a possible Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink in his heist flick Reservoir Dogs, but Roth campaigned for the role of Mr. Orange instead, and ultimately won the part. It proved to be a huge breakthrough for Roth, as audiences found it difficult to forget his performance as a member of a group of jewelry store robbers who is slowly bleeding to death. Tarantino cast Roth again in the landmark film Pulp Fiction. Roth and actress Amanda Plummer played a pair of robbers who hold up a restaurant. 1995 saw the third of Roth's collaborations with Tarantino, a surprisingly slapstick performance in the anthology film Four Rooms. That same year Roth picked up an Academy Award nomination for his campy turn as a villain in the period piece Rob Roy.

Continuing to take on disparate roles, Roth did his own singing (with an American accent to boot) in the lightweight Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You. He starred opposite Tupac Shakur in Shakur's last film, the twisted comedy Gridlock'd. The pair received positive critical notices for their comic chemistry. Standing in contrast to the criminals and baddies that crowd his CV, Roth's work as the innocent, seafaring pianist in the Giuseppe Tornatore film The Legend of 1900 became something of a fan favorite. Grittier fare followed when Roth made his directorial debut with The War Zone, a frank, critically acclaimed drama about a family torn apart by incest. He made his next high-profile appearance as an actor as General Thade, an evil simian in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes. Roth was, of course, all but unrecognizable in his primate make-up.

Roth has continued to enjoy a mix of art house and mainstream work, including everything from the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola's esoteric Youth Without Youth to becoming "The Abomination" in the special effects-heavy blockbuster The Incredible Hulk. Roth took his first major American television role when he signed on to the Fox-TV series Lie to Me

Naomi Scott

Naomi Scott was born in London, England. She first starting singing with the Bridge Church Youth Band and regularly performed in school musicals. Scott was eventually discovered by British pop star Kelle Bryan from the band Eternal who signed Naomi as a client. She then went to work with Xenomania. In 2009, Scott appeared in the Disney Channel UK series "Life Bites" as the character Megan. She is best known for her role as Mo Bangaree in the 2011 Disney Channel Original Movie "Lemonade Mouth". Naomi Scott also co-starred with Jason O'Mara and Shelley Conn in the series "Terra Nova". She was most recently stared in Power Rangers where she played Kimberly (Pink Ranger).

Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Jane Hurley was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, to Angela Mary (Titt), a teacher, and Roy Leonard Hurley, an army major. Wanting to be a dancer, Hurley went to ballet boarding school at 12, but soon returned home. When it came time to go to college, Hurley won a scholarship to the London Studio Centre which taught courses for dance and theater. Soon, Hurley wore the punk rock look with pink hair and a nose ring, but to get work, she had to change her image to one that was castable. After college, Hurley worked in the theater and made her screen debut in Aria. Roles in Television and a film, Rowing with the Wind, which included a young actor named Hugh Grant, soon followed. European films followed her appearance in the BBC serial Christabel. Her film debut in a Hollywood movie was in the Wesley Snipes action drama Passenger 57. When Hugh Grant was picked up with Divine Brown, Hurley became headline news. Added to this was the fact that she was the model representing top cosmetics house Estée Lauder, and there was nowhere Hurley could go to get away from the press. In 1994, Hurley and Hugh Grant set up Simian Films in partnership with Castle Rock Entertainment. As Head of Development, Hurley found the script and produced her first film Extreme Measures, which stars Hugh Grant.

Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952 in Peekskill, New York, to Judy (Rosen), a teacher, and Milton Rubenfeld, a car salesman who had flown for the air forces of the U.S., U.K., and Israel, becoming one of the latter country's pioneering pilots. Paul grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where his parents owned a lamp store. During winters, The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus called Sarasota home, and young Paul counted such big-top families as the Wallendas and the Zacchinis among his neighbors. When he was 11-years-old, he joined the local Asolo Theater, and during the next six years, he appeared in a variety of plays. After graduating from Sarasota High School in 1970, he attended Boston University for one year before deciding to seek his fortune as Paul Reubens in Hollywood, where he enrolled as an acting major at the California Institute of the Arts and accepted a string of pay-the-rent jobs ranging from pizza chef to Fuller Brush salesman.

In the mid 1970s, his acting career grew slowly and steadily with small roles in theater productions, gigs at local comedy clubs and four guest appearances on The Gong Show. During this time of education/employment, he joined an improvisational comedy troupe called The Groundlings. The popular gang of yuksters, whose roster has included Conan O'Brien, Lisa Kudrow, the late Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, and Julia Sweeney, wrung laughs from audiences with skits starring scads of imaginative, self-created characters. Among Reubens's contributions to this comedic community were a philandering husband named Moses Feldman, an Indian chief named Jay Longtoe, and the now fallen Pee-Wee Herman, who debuted in 1978.

Pee-Wee was a funny man-child of indeterminate age and sexuality who created a sarcastic enthusiasm for the popular culture of the '50s and '60s. The geeky character's wardrobe consisted of a gray suit, a white short-sleeved shirt accessorized with a red clip-on bow tie, and white patent-leather loafers. He wore his jet-black hair military short with a defiant tuft in front, and he accentuated his lily-white complexion with pink cheeks and red lipstick. Reubens drew inspiration for Pee-Wee's geeky behavior from a youth he had attended summer camp with, and derived his creation's boyish voice from a character he played as a child actor. Pee-Wee appeared for only 10 minutes of The Groundlings show, but he nonetheless built up a considerable following and turned out to be a star of the '80s and early '90s. The Pee Wee Herman Show, ran for five sellout months at the Los Angeles's Roxy nightclub, and HBO taped the performance and aired it as a special.

Now a genuine comedy-circuit star, he became a frequent guest of David Letterman and a favorite at Caroline's in New York. In 1984, he sold out Carnegie Hall. He later auditioned for the cast of Saturday Night Live, but when that didn't turn out as planned, he started writing a feature-length screenplay for Pee-Wee to star in, and asked friend Tim Burton to direct. Released to wildly divergent reviews, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, followed its star cross-country in a madcap search for his beloved, stolen bike. The $7 million picture ended up grossing $45 million. That following year, CBS which had been losing children's audiences to cable programming, was interested in finding something to shore up its Saturday Morning lineup. The network company signed him to act/produce and to direct its live-action children's program called Pee-wee's Playhouse. They doled out an eye-popping budget of $325,000 per episode - the same price as a prime- time sitcom. Reubens received complete creative control, albeit with three minor exceptions. During its five-year-run on CBS, he never appeared in general as himself. He even granted printed interviews in full Pee-Wee regalia.

The image of Pee-Wee was broken on July 26, 1991. On his summer vacation, Reubens was visiting his parents in Sarasota and sought escape from boredom by catching a showing of the X-rated film, Nurse Nancy. He fell victim to a police sting operation and was arrested for sex charges when detectives allegedly saw him playing with his private parts. He was released on $219 bail and nobody realized what had happened until somebody recognized him beneath his long hair and goatee. The media went berserk: 'Kids show star arrested for indecent exposure'. Because of his behavior, CBS dropped the Playhouse and related merchandise was released from its shelves. He agreed to pay a $50 fine plus $85 in court costs to Sarasota County, and he produced a 30 second public service message for the Partnership For Drug-Free America commercial. As part of the deal, the county sealed all legal papers relating to the actor's arrest and didn't leave Reubens with a criminal record. The scandal marked the virtual death of Pee-Wee Herman. Reubens appeared as his favorite character for the last time at that Autumn's MTV Music Video Awards. The enthusiastic reception was not surprising, as he had received 15 thousand supportive letters during his arrest. Regardless, he had recently made a promise not to play Pee-Wee anymore and used his arrest as an chance to portray other roles. A new feature length film by Netflix available beginning March 18, 2016 will allow Reubens to show Pee-Wee fans his character again in Pee-wee's Big Holiday.

Reubens has landed a series of offbeat character roles. One year after he was taken into custody, he appeared in Burton's Batman Returns as the Penguin's unloving father, and as a vampire henchman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Subsequent jobs have included a voice over for Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, a healthy stint as Andrew J. Lansing III on Murphy Brown, and roles in the feature films, Dunston Checks In, Matilda, Buddy and Mystery Men. He also signed to emcee a new game show based on the popular 'You Don't Know Jack' CD-ROM version.

Peter Sellers

Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born to a well-off English acting family in 1925. His mother and father worked in an acting company run by his grandmother. As a child, Sellers was spoiled, as his parents' first child had died at birth. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force and served during World War II. After the war he met Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, who would become his future workmates.

After the war, he set up a review in London, which was a combination of music (he played the drums) and impressions. Then, all of a sudden, he burst into prominence as the voices of numerous favorites on the BBC radio program "The Goon Show" (1951-1960), and then making his debut in films in Penny Points to Paradise and Down Among the Z Men, before making it big as one of the criminals in The Ladykillers. These small but showy roles continued throughout the 1950s, but he got his first big break playing the dogmatic union man, Fred Kite, in I'm All Right Jack. The film's success led to starring vehicles into the 1960s that showed off his extreme comic ability to its fullest. In 1962, Sellers was cast in the role of Clare Quilty in the Stanley Kubrick version of the film Lolita (1962) in which his performance as a mentally unbalanced TV writer with multiple personalities landed him another part in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964) in which he played three roles which showed off his comic talent in play-acting in three different accents; British, American, and German.

The year 1964 represented a peak in his career with four films in release, all of them well-received by critics and the public alike: "Dr. Strangelove," for which he was Oscar nominated, "The Pink Panther," in which he played his signature role of the bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau for the first time, its almost accidental sequel, "A Shot in the Dark," and "The World of Henry Orient." Sellers was on top of the world, but on the evening of April 5, 1964, he suffered a nearly fatal heart attack after inhaling several amyl nitrites (also called 'poppers'; an aphrodisiac-halogen combination) while engaged in a sexual act with his second wife Britt Eckland. He has been working on Billy Wilder's "Kiss Me, Stupid" (1964). In a move Wilder later regretted, he replaced Sellers with Ray Walston rather than hold up production. By October 1964, Sellers made a full recovery and was working again.

The mid-1960s were noted for the popularity of all things British, from the Beatles music (who were presented with their Grammy for Best New Artist by Sellers) to the James Bond films, and the world turned to Sellers for comedy. "What's New Pussycat" (1965) was another big hit, but a combination of his ego and insecurity was making Sellers difficult to work with. When the James Bond spoof, "Casino Royale" (1967) ran over budget and was unable to recoup its costs despite an otherwise healthy box-office take, Sellers received some of the blame. He turned down an offer from United Artists for the title role in "Inspector Clouseau" (1968), but was angry when the production went ahead with Alan Arkin in his place. His difficult reputation and increasingly erratic behavior, combined with several less successful films, took a toll on his standing. By 1970, he had fallen out of favor. He spent the early years of the new decade appearing in such lackluster B films as "Where Does It Hurt?" (1972) and turning up more frequently on television as a guest on "The Dean Martin Show" and a Glen Campbell TV special.

In 1974, Inspector Clouseau came to Sellers rescue when Sir Lew Grade expressed an interest in a TV series based on the character. Clouseau's creator, writer-director Blake Edwards, whose career had also seen better days, convinced Grade to bankroll a feature film instead, and "Return of the Pink Panther" (1975) was a major hit release during the summer of "Jaws" and restored both men to prominence. Sellers would play Clouseau in two more successful sequels, "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (1976) and "The Revenge of the Pink Panther" (1978), and Sellers would use his newly rediscovered clout to realize his dream of playing Chauncey Gardiner in a film adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski's novel "Being There." Sellers had read the novel in 1972, but it took seven years for the film to reach the screen. "Being There" (1979) earned Sellers his second Oscar nomination, but he lost to Dustin Hoffman of "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979).

Sellers struggled with depression and mental insecurities throughout his life. An enigmatic figure, he often claimed to have no identity outside the roles that he played. His behavior on and off the set and stage became more erratic and compulsive, and he continued to frequently clash with his directors and co-stars, especially in the mid-1970s when his physical and mental health, together with his continuing alcohol and drug problems, were at their worst. He never fully recovered from his 1964 heart attack because he refused to take traditional heart medication and instead consulted with 'psychic healers'. As a result, his heart condition continued to slowly deteriorate over the next 16 years. On March 20, 1977, Sellers barely survived another major heart attack and had a pacemaker surgically implanted to regulate his heartbeat which caused him further mental and physical discomfort. However, he refused to slow down his work schedule or consider heart surgery which might have expanded his life by several years.

On July 25, 1980, Sellers was scheduled to have a reunion dinner in London with his Goon Show partners, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. However, at around 12 noon on July 22, Sellers collapsed from a massive heart attack in his Dorchester Hotel room and fell into a coma. He died in a London hospital just after midnight on July 24, 1980 at age 54. He was survived by his fourth wife, Lynne Frederick, and three children: Michael, Sarah and Victoria. At the time of his death, he was scheduled to undergo an angiography in Los Angeles on July 30 to see if if he was eligible for heart surgery.

His last movie, The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu, completed just a few months before his death, proved to be another box office flop. Director Blake Edwards' attempt at reviving the Pink Panther series after Sellers' death resulted in two panned 1980s comedies, the first of which, Trail of the Pink Panther, deals with Inspector Clouseau's disappearance and was made from material cut from previous Pink Panther films and includes interviews with the original casts playing their original characters.

Amy Jo Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. As a child she competed as a gymnast, learning skills that would later be of great use to her in her breakthrough role as Kimberly Hart the Pink Ranger on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. She gave up competing when she was 17, and concentrated more on her acting interests, appearing in various community theatre projects. Once she graduated from high school she went to New York to study at the American Musical Dramatic Academy. After two years there she moved to California where she landed the aforementioned part as the Pink Ranger also in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie. After her stint there she went back to the theatre as well as doing several television movies. Amy's own talents as a musician have come into play in her role as Julie Emrick on Felicity. When not working on the show Amy appears with her band Valhalla, where she is the lead singer as well as a guitarist. Amy also paints, primarily with oil and acrylics, and is devoted to her pit bull, Lucy.

Kimiko Glenn

Kimiko Glenn was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, where she grew up with her sister Amanda, and parents Mark and Sumiko. She started doing theater when she was ten years old at Valley Youth Theatre and there, began developing her love for performing.

Halfway through her freshman year of college at the Boston Conservatory, she was cast in the 1st National Tour of Spring Awakening. After touring for two years, she finally settled her life in New York.

Since then, she starred as the title role in La Jolla Playhouse's "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots", directed by Des McAnuff; and played the bratty Princess Ssu-Ming in the Playhouse's production of "The Nightingale", directed by Moisés Kaufman. She was honored to perform at the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park, in The Public's "Love's Labour's Lost", directed by Alex Timbers. She had a blast originating the role of Emily in the Off-Broadway production of Julianne Moore's Freckleface Strawberry and is proud of the many exciting projects she has been a part of. Favorites include: Behind the Painting written by Maltby & Shire; Plop, written by Bare's Damon Intrabartolo; Yeast Nation from the creators of Urintetown at the NY Fringe festival '11; Crossing Over as part of the National Asian Artists' Project; and the staged reading of Cheer Wars -- her very first New York job.

Kimiko has also appeared in feature films Construction; Nous York; and HairBrained starring Brendan Fraser & Parker Posey; and the movie-musical short, Galaxy Comics, by director Kevin McMullin. You may have seen her in the 2011 Disney/ABC Diversity Showcase directed by Ted Sluberski and Joe Ward. She was thrilled to shoot NBCUniversal's half-hour comedy pilot Holding Patterns; and will be joining the cast of Orange Is the New Black, a Netflix series, as Brook Soso.

Pink

Pink was born Alecia Beth Moore in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and was later raised in Philadelphia. Her parents, Judith Moore (née Kugel), a nurse, and Jim Moore, a Vietnam veteran, divorced when she was very young. Her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, while her father has Irish, German, and English ancestry. As a child, all Pink wanted was to become a singer, and she was driven by the music of Madonna, Mary J. Blige, 4 Non Blondes, Janis Joplin, Billy Joel and Whitney Houston. Pink was a very unique teenager, and went through phases as a skateboarder, hip-hopper and gymnast. She spent several years as part of the club scene in Philadelphia, singing guest spots and performing for talent shows. At the age of 13, she was asked by a local DJ to sing back-up for his rap group, Schools of Thought. A short time later, she was discovered by a record executive and joined a female R&B group, Choice. When that didn't work out, she signed with LaFace Records and began her solo career. In spring 2000, she released her debut, "Can't Take Me Home". She co-wrote many songs and watched it go multi-platinum by the year's end. Her debut included the Top 10 hit, "There You Go", which was certified a gold single.

Nicki Minaj

Onika Tanya Maraj, better known as Nicki Minaj was born on December 8, 1982 in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York. She grew up in a troubled family with a father that was a drug addict who later changed after he checked into rehab and started going to church. Minaj went to LaGaurdia High School and studied singing and acting.

She was first spotted by the CEO of Young Money, and was later recruited for The Carter Edition of Young Money's own "The Come Up" DVD series. Her rapping skills caught the eyes of Lil Wayne who later worked with her for many collaborations with his mixtapes.

In April 2007, Minaj released her first mixtape "Playtime Is Over". One year later she made another mixtape "Sucka Free" which made her Female Artist of the Year at the Underground Music Awards. In 2009 she made her third mixtape "Beam Me Up Scotty" which got positive reviews from BET and MTV.

To date, Nicki has released 3 platinum selling studio albums, Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and the most recent The Pinkprint

Pauly Shore

Stand-up comic Pauly Shore (né Paul Montgomery Shore) tasted super-stardom in 1990 when his precedent-setting MTV show Totally Pauly hit the airwaves to major fan approval. The show ran for four years, opening the door wide for him for television and film roles. In 1993, he wrote and starred in a one-hour HBO television special, Pauly Does Dallas, which drew in even more loyal fans.

He had roles in films from 1988, providing supporting comedy relief, but it was the wildly popular Encino Man, partnered with Sean Astin and Brendan Fraser, that put Pauly squarely on the map. Manic showcases followed, including Son in Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty, Bio-Dome and The Curse of Inferno. However, Shore was met with an increasingly hostile reception and his lunacy was dismissed as crude, dumb and, for the most part, unfunny. His film career quickly tanked. This downhill spiral was not helped by the abrupt cancellation of his failed Fox sitcom Pauly. Lambasted unmercifully by both critics and media alike, he was soon becoming a running joke and forced to lie low and ride out the storm. He provided voices in animated features such as Casper: A Spirited Beginning and An Extremely Goofy Movie.

In better days, his first comedy album, "The Future of America," was named Best Comedy Album by the college music journalists in 1991, while the National Association of Record Merchandisers nominated his second album, "Scraps from the Future," for a Best Sellers Award. His third album, "Pink Diggly Diggly," was taped live at his mother Mitzi Shore's famed Los Angeles improv club The Comedy Store, where Pauly received his stand-up comedy initiation.

Pauly has made do in recent years as a recurring guest on Howard Stern's late-night show, as well as David Letterman's and Craig Kilborn's talk shows. And, of course, he tours the country with his stand-up act. He's been surrounded by show business all his life. In addition to mother Mitzi, father Sammy Shore was a well-known comedian who once opened for Elvis Presley during the Vegas years, while older brother Peter Shore has delved into producing/directing TV endeavors. In a career that skyrocketed quickly only to make a serious crash landing, never-say-die Pauly's latest bid for a comeback is the self-mockumentary Pauly Shore Is Dead, which he directed and co-wrote.

Camille Hyde

Camille Hyde, born and raised in Washington DC, began her acting career at age 4 in a school musical. She continued to pursue her passion for acting and singing throughout her childhood until she moved to California and was cast in Nickelodeon's Power Rangers Dino Charge as Shelby, the Pink Ranger. Her interests include horseback riding, world travel, cooking and music. She also plays piano and dances contemporary, pop, jazz and hip hop.

Jenny Wright

The talented, unpredictable, opinionated, and uniquely beautiful Jenny Wright was born March 23, 1962 in New York City. Her father was an artist and her mother was a teacher. They instilled a love of the arts and a strong devotion to self education in Jenny at an early age. Her parents later separated, and Jenny moved to Cambridge, New York to live with her mother and two sisters. After her sisters left for college, Jenny and her mother moved back to New York City. Once back home, Jenny decided to pursue acting, and enrolled herself in the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. There, she immediately captured the attention of modeling and casting agents. At the age of 16, Jenny modeled for artists Antonio Lopez and Salvador Dalí. She then went on to act on stage, in an off Broadway play, "Album", with Kevin Bacon. And in 1981, Jenny made a brief appearance in the TV film, Rape & Marriage (1991) with Mickey Rourke. She continued to act on stage, even garnering rave reviews for her portrayal of Dorcus Fray in Joseph Papp's Broadway production of "Plenty". In 1982, Jenny was cast in The World According to Garp, after impressing director George Roy Hill with her blend of sensuality and innocence. Jenny then arrived in London for "Pink Floyd: The Wall", where she played an abused groupie. She then quickly followed up with four months in Utah for the TV documentary/drama, "The Executioner's Song," which proved to be a more substantial role. Jenny returned to New York afterwards, and back to the stage and took a break from films. She went back to films in 1984, for "The Wild Life" with Eric Stoltz and Chris Penn. Jenny also made appearances in films such as "St. Elmo's Fire" (1984) and "Out of Bounds" (1986). By appearing in films with actors such as Rob Loew and Anthony Michael Hall, Jenny was put in the 'Brat Pack' category. It was something she found to be uncomfortable, and wanted to shake off. Thus, Jenny's film choices became edgier, starting with Near Dark in 1987. With her girl next door look, large soulful eyes, and sensuality, Jenny made the role of sweet yet dangerous Mae her most memorable part of her career. She credits director Kathryn Bigelow with creating the film's mood and atmosphere, which makes "Near Dark" a stand-out film in the vampire genre. While "Near Dark" didn't fair too well at the box office, it did receive cult status, bringing Jenny independent,'left of center' film roles. Finally, Jenny successfully rid herself of the 'Brat Pack' label. She went on to teen roles in the critically acclaimed film The Chocolate War and in the off-beat "Twister" (1988). Those roles then gave way to conventional parts in the mainstream films "Young Guns II" (1990)and "The Lawnmower Man" (1992). After that, Jenny quit the film business. Her last film appearance was a small role in "Enchanted" (1998).

Jake Zyrus

Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco, better known as Charice, was born in San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines. When she was three years old, she witnessed her abusive father point a gun at her mom during an episode of domestic violence. Along with her mother and younger brother Carl, they left their father in search of a better life.

Charice was very young when her mother noted that Charice's rendition of Happy Birthday was very high-pitched and on-key. When Charice was four years old, her mother Raquel came home to discover Charice standing on top of the kitchen table singing Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. She initially thought the radio was on and Celine was singing. Charice had learned to operate the karaoke machine by observing her mother, who was a singer in a band, practice with her band mates. It was then that Charice's singing talent was discovered.

At the age of seven, with money hard to come by and with little food to put on the table, Charice urged her mother to teach her how to sing and let her join singing contests to help support their family. She went around the provinces of Laguna and Batangas, joining amateur singing contests in town fiestas and later, on little-known shows on television. She started winning most of the contests she joined, often borrowing money from friends and neighbors for the bus fare then paying them back after she had won. She estimates she joined 80-100 singing contests all in all.

In 2005 when she was twelve years old, she joined Little Big Star, a singing contest for children on TV network ABS-CBN, loosely patterned after American Idol. She was eliminated after the first round, but was called back as a wild card contestant later on in the show. From there she was a consistent top scorer in the elimination rounds but only wound up as a third placer in the finals due to low text votes. Dejected as she was really counting on winning the grand prize of P1 million pesos ($20,000) for her family, she wanted to give up on singing. She made minor appearances on TV shortly after Little Big Star, dancing backup and singing in the background on variety shows, but she had basically fallen off the radar. She eventually decided to just give it all up and return to regular schooling.

Little did she know that David Dueñas (a.k.a FalseVoice), a fan of hers, was so in awe of her powerful vocals and performances on Little Big Star that he started uploading them on YouTube. Her videos were racking up millions of hits online and one of her videos caught the eye of StarKing, a Korean variety show. In 2007, StarKing invited then 15-year old Charice to come to South Korea to perform. Dressed in pink and wearing pigtails, Charice blew the roof off the set as she performed a hair-raising and powerful rendition of And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. The studio audience were floored to hear such a big voice coming out of such a small girl.

The video of that StarKing performance went viral on YouTube, garnering millions of views until the producers of The Ellen Degeneres Show took notice. Ellen aired an on-air invitation for Charice to come to her show. A month later, on December 2007, Charice and her mother flew to America for the first time to appear on the show, where Charice sang And I Am Telling You and Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. The audience was blown away, giving Charice the first two standing ovations she had ever received in her life. Charice went home to the Philippines an instant celebrity.

In May 2008, Charice was invited to guest on Oprah, for a themed show called World's Smartest Kids. She sang I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston and bought the audience to their feet, giving her another standing ovation. No one was more impressed than Oprah Winfrey herself though, incredulously asking her, "Girl, that was fantastic! Who are you?!"

The next day, Charice and her mother were already on a plane waiting to take off for the Philippines when Oprah called to stop the plane and bring them back to her office. Oprah had been so impressed with the girl and couldn't get her off her mind. She listened to Charice's story and told her, "Don't lose hope. I promise you something big will happen." She then called legendary music producer David Foster who took Charice on under his wing.

Charice, as David Foster's protégé, suddenly found herself singing duets with Andrea Bocelli in Italy and with her idol Celine Dion in Madison Square Garden. She also shared the stage with other big names such as Michael Buble and Josh Groban. She performed at three of President Barack Obama's pre-inauguration galas and made a cameo appearance as herself in 2009's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. She also went on to appear on the Oprah show three more times after her initial appearance, the most recent one being last May 11, 2010, a day after her 18th birthday, to debut her self-titled international album CHARICE. Her single Pyramid with singer Iyaz topped the Billboard Dance chart at #1. Her album sales during its first week landed her in the #8 spot on the US Billboard Hot 200 chart, making her the first ever Asian artist in history to enter the Billboard top 10.

In June 2010, it was announced that Charice landed a recurring guest role on the hit TV series Glee, playing the character of Sunshine Corazon, a Filipino foreign exchange student to rival actress Lea Michele's character, Rachel Berry.

Jennifer O'Neill

Jennifer O'Neill was born in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on February 20, 1948. Her father Oscar (who died 2009 at age 91) was of Irish-Spanish descent and her mother Irene ("Rene") was English. Whereas Elvis Presley was riding high on the fame of his hit record, "Blue Suede Shoes", in 1956, in 1957--when Jennifer was nine yeas old--schoolmates humiliated her over a pair of pink suede shoes. Things got worse when her parents refused to buy her a horse (she has always loved horses), and got her a cat, instead.

At age 14 she attempted suicide with her mother's sleeping pills; her parents only saw this as an attempt for attention. She woke up from a two-week coma to find that the incident had shocked her body into getting her period. She continued to ride horses every chance she could. However, at age 15 she broke her back and neck in three places when a horse she was riding fell on her. There would be no more horseback riding when her family moved from Connecticut to New York City soon after.

O'Neill started her highly successful modeling career in New York City and later in Paris, also when she was only 15, as a means to make money to buy her own horse. By age 15 she had also surrendered her virginity to a 20-year-old boyfriend in college--" . . . so he would love me"--who had given her his fraternity pin. She was a student at Dalton School in Manhattan, and she got into New York's Neighborhood Playhouse for aspiring actors, but dropped out to get married at age 17.

Her first film was For Love of Ivy. Although it was a small start, she did attract the interest of director Howard Hawks, who cast her to star opposite John Wayne in Rio Lobo. Her agent fought hard to get her an audition for the main role in the surprise sleeper, Summer of '42. This movie gave her national and international recognition, despite her having appeared for only 12 minutes; unfortunately, she would never have such a great role or film again. She continued to appear in profitable, though less critically acclaimed, movies, from Lady Ice through Scanners. In 1976 she was briefly in Europe, where she appeared in The Flower in His Mouth (aka "The Flower in His Mouth), as school teacher Elena Bardi, her only European film, in which she appeared totally nude. She also worked with Italian director Luchino Visconti, and gave an award-winning performance in his last film, L'innocente. At age 49 she appeared in the 1997 Playboy Channel cable TV movie The Corporate Ladder.

However, she is most remembered for her decades-long "Cover Girl" campaign--in an industry where some models are "over the hill" at age 25, she had a 30-year run with this makeup product. Due to this long-standing contract, she is listed in the Smithsonian Institute's American Museum of History, Center for Commercial Advertising.

O'Neill has had her ups and downs, successes and failures, marriages and divorces, and tragedies. She married her first husband, at age 17, in 1965 and had a daughter, Aimee Rossitter. During her first marriage she checked herself into a mental hospital for treatment for mental stress and underwent electroshock therapy. O'Neill got her first divorce in 1971 and had an abortion before she married her second husband in 1972, this time to former advertising executive and novelist and student of Eastern philosophy Joseph Roster, but that marriage also ended in a divorce, in 1974. O'Neill relates in her 1999 autobiography that it was only at age 24 with this second husband that she began to experience orgasms, having had " . . . no idea of what a woman was capable of experiencing physically until this relationship."

O'Neill married her third husband in 1975, Nick De Noia, her producer and choreographer; he was also the original choreographer for the Chippendale dancers. She divorced him in 1976; he was found shot to death with a large-caliber handgun in April of 1987.

O'Neill married husband #4 in 1978--Jeff Barry, a British drummer, singer and songwriter ("Leader of the Pack"; "I'm a Believer"; "Sugar, Sugar"), but divorced him in 1979.

O'Neill then married her manager, John Lederer, husband #5, in 1979 and he gave her a son, Reis. However, he also went through all her money. O'Neill knew at the time of the marriage that he was a convicted felon, but married him anyway; Lederer was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing her daughter Aimee three to four times a week for more than four years. O'Neill divorced Lederer in 1983.

She amassed money again and had a son, Cooper, with husband #6, Richard A. Alan, her limo driver with whom she went on a blind date and married him in 1984. Alan was unfaithful to her with prostitutes and she divorced him in 1987 but re-married him in 1993; Alan later divorced her.

At age 44 O'Neill married husband #7, Neil L. Bonin, in December of 1992 in Travis, TX, during a cross-country car trip, O'Neill's five-year-old son serving as the best man. O'Neill had met Bonin in a New York restaurant and he was 11 years her junior; O'Neill had the marriage annulled in May of 1993 after just five months, due to fraud which induced her into the marriage. She then married Mervin Sidney Louque, a music producer (her eighth husband, ninth marriage) in 1996 and she's still married to him.

In a 2008 interview, O'Neill stated that she had four grandchildren.

At age 34 O'Neill also suffered a gunshot wound. Police officers in Bedford, NY, who interviewed the actress in the mansion of her 25-room, 30-acre French-style estate, report that on October 23, 1982, O'Neill said that had she shot herself accidentally in the navel with her then-husband John Lederer's .38-cal. revolver in the bedroom, while she was trying to determine if it was loaded.

O'Neill reports that at age thirty-eight in 1986, she became a born-again Christian. She also describes many of her life experiences, including her marriages and career, getting shot, her guilt over her abortion and her depression, the sexual abuse of her daughter, and the drug abuse of one of her children, to her move to her Tennessee farm in 1996 and her arrest for driving while intoxicated, in her 1999 autobiography, ''Surviving Myself''.

O'Neill has served as chairperson for the American Cancer Society, being a breast cancer survivor herself (benign tumor), and has worked for other charitable causes, such as the March of Dimes, the National Right to Life, the Retinitis Pigmetosa Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation and the Silent No More national campaign. She is a tireless and ardent pro-life advocate for healing for post-abortion women, having experienced an abortion and nine miscarriages during the course of having her own three children.

She wrote her first book, an autobiography "Surviving Myself", in 1999, is the author of 8 books and remains active as a motivational speaker to groups of Christian women.

O'Neill and her husband live in Nashville, Tennessee, where her two sons also reside and where she can, at last, ride horses to her heart's content at her horse ranch called Hillenglade.

Kel Mitchell

Acting Career - Hailing from the Windy City, Kel Mitchell began his acting career at the young age of 12 with the ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Young Kel wowed audiences with his on-stage performances in Chicago theatrical productions such as "Kasimu & the Coconut Palm" and "Dirt." But it was his outstanding performance in "Eden" at the historic Victory Gardens Theater, which caught the attention of a prominent talent agent. At the age of 14, Kel got the opportunity of a lifetime. He flew to Florida to be on a TV show on the then new network for kids, Nickelodeon. Kel beat out thousands of other kids and was cast in what soon became a groundbreaking TV show. Mitchell was an original member on Nickelodeon's "All That" from 1994-1999. He and co-star Kenan Thompson also starred in the spin-off series "Kenan & Kel" from 1996-2000, as well as a 1997 major motion picture, titled "Good Burger", which is the movie version of one of his sketches from "All That". The duo also appeared together in episodes of "Sister Sister" and "The Steve Harvey Show" Kel Mitchell starred in the 1999 comedy "Mystery Men" with Ben Stiller and William H. Macy and in 2000, "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" with Robert De Niro, Jason Alexander and Rene Russo. Mitchell was also the voice of a mild-mannered and playful dog named T-Bone in the children's cartoon series "Clifford the Big Red Dog", alongside the late John Ritter from 2000 to 2003. In 2004, he also made an appearance in the Kanye West music video "All Falls Down" as a luggage collecting hotel valet. In 2005, Mitchell portrayed Manny Sellers in the sitcom "One on One" with Kyla Pratt, and in 2007 Kel starred in BET's new series "Take the Cake" Some of his other credits include in 2007 "Honeydripper" directed by John Sayles, with Danny Glover, Lisa Gay Hamilton, and Charles S. Dutton and in 2008, Mitchell appeared in two Detroit-based stage productions, "Affairs" and "Laundromat", the latter written by Carlos Faison and also starred comedian Buddy Lewis and Leanne "Lelee" Lyons of R&B group SWV. In 2009 Kel became the voice of Ant on "The Ant and the Ardvark" new cartoon series from MGM studios "Pink Panther and Pals" for Cartoon Network. He has also filmed his writing and producing movie debut called "Dance Fu" in which he also stars as the lead role. It was directed by Cedric the Entertainer and also starring Tommy Davidson, Rodney Perry, Katerina Graham, and Affion Crockett. Kel voices Dutch in the animated series "Motorcity" on Disney XD and Jay-Jay in the animated series WildGrinders on Nicktoons. Mitchell most recently made is directorial debut with a short film that he also wrote called, "She Is Not My Sister" & starred as "D-Rock" on the CW's new web series called, "Stupid Hype" alongside of "Heart of Dixie's" Wilson Bethel.

Music Career - In 1996 he was a featured rapper on IMX's Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hit "Watch Me Do My Thing" as his "Good Burger" character, Ed. In 1997 he wrote and performed "Were All Dudes" feat Less then Jake, the title song for the "Good Burger" movie. In 1999 his rap group with his two childhood friends wrote and performed "Who Are Those Mystery Men" on the "Mystery Men" movie soundtrack. In 2000 He was a featured rapper on Youngstown's "Pedal to the Steel" for the Disney television movie "Alley Cat Strike". In 2006 he and Dru Hill's Jazz wrote and performed "Up the game" for the movie "Like Mike 2: Streetball", and in 2008 he wrote and performed "Pray Together" for the gospel film "Don't Touch If You Aint Prayed 2" He has also done several parodies of hit songs, Kel has parodied celebrities such as Prince, 50 Cent and Michael Jackson just to name a few on a DVD called "Kel Videos Live" and in 2009 Mitchell directed Pop Artist Colby O'Donis's music video "Let You Go". He has voiced and wrote music for the animated cartoon called "Freaknik: the Musical" executive produced by T-Pain on Adult Swim.

Philanthropist - Kel motivates kids by giving speeches at many junior high and high school's, he has a genuine interest in the youth and mentoring them to be future leaders. He is a spokesperson for and works with organizations like Nccsa: National Center for Child Safety and Awareness, The Boys & Girls Club, The National College Association from the producers of The Black College Expo, LA's Best After School Enrichment Program, Young Visionaries, Black Carson Chambers of Commerce and many more. Kel also host's a web-series called "Ask Pastor Zeigler" with his Pastor from Spirit Food Christian Center Church teaching youth how to use the words of the Bible and how to put there Godly faith to work. Mitchell also puts on a live dance competition each month for the inner city youth called "The Back House Party" he executive produces the show along with his wife, designer and Christian rap artist Asia Lee. They put on the show at "The Dream Center Gallery" located in Compton, California.

Mitchell was honored with a Cable Ace Award in 1997 for Best Actor in a comedy series for his work in the Nickelodeon series "Kenan and Kel" and also honored with a Kids Choice Award in 1999 for Best Actor in a comedy series for both Nickelodeon series "All That" and "Kenan and Kel". Mitchell later earned two Daytime Emmy Award nominations for his voice work as the lovable "T-Bone" in the award winning PBS series and book series "Clifford the Big Red Dog" in 2001 and again in 2002. Most recently, Mitchell provides voice work for his character as skateboarding germaphobe, "Jay-Jay" on the Rob Dyrdek creation & Nicktoons cartoon series, "Wild Grinders" and as cool teen mechanic "Dutch" on the Disney XD cartoon series "Motorcity".

Having a genuine understanding of today's youth and roots in kid's television, Mitchell speaks to youth across the country encouraging them to follow their dreams, to walk by faith and not by sight and live a Godly lifestyle. Kel is involved in putting on and hosting uplifting concerts in inner cities teaming up with major Gospel and Christian music artist. Mitchell is also the spokesperson for "The Black College Expo" providing numerous scholarships for students through out the year. Mitchell and his wife Asia Lee-Mitchell were recently honored with an award from the "Carson Black Chambers of Commerce" for their work in the city of Compton, California, providing a safe program for kids to show off their creative talents in a dance variety live show created by the couple called, "The Back House Party". Hopeful in reducing Bullying in school's, Mitchell has written and directed a faith-based film that both teachers and youth pastors use to teach their students about how to eliminate bullying by using the principles of forgiveness and unconditional love.

Mitchell is also a music video director. He directed the high-octane video called, "Battery". He directed this video for Clear sight music's Christian Pop artist "V.Rose" featuring Billboard top charting Christian hip-hop artist "Flame". Mitchell's recent acting in television includes, TV One's "Love That Girl" CW's "Stupid Hype", Disney's "Good Luck Charlie", "First Family" and BET's "The Game".

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan had quite a prolific career, having catapulted from a Warner Bros. contract player and television star, into serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild, the governorship of California (1967-1975), and lastly, two terms as President of the United States (1981-1989).

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, to Nelle Clyde (Wilson) and John Edward "Jack" Reagan, who was a salesman and storyteller. His father was of Irish descent, and his mother was of half Scottish and half English ancestry.

A successful actor beginning in the 1930s, the young Reagan was a staunch admirer of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (even after he evolved into a Republican), and was a Democrat in the 1940s, a self-described 'hemophiliac' liberal. He was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947 and served five years during the most tumultuous times to ever hit Hollywood. A committed anti-communist, Reagan not only fought more-militantly activist movie industry unions that he and others felt had been infiltrated by communists, but had to deal with the investigation into Hollywood's politics launched by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, an inquisition that lasted through the 1950s. The House Un-American Activities Committee investigations of Hollywood (which led to the jailing of the "Hollywood Ten" in the late '40s) sowed the seeds of the McCarthyism that racked Hollywood and America in the 1950s.

In 1950, U.S. Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas (D-CA), the wife of "Dutch" Reagan's friend Melvyn Douglas, ran as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate and was opposed by the Republican nominee, the Red-bating Congressman from Whittier, Richard Nixon. While Nixon did not go so far as to accuse Gahagan Douglas of being a communist herself, he did charge her with being soft on communism due to her opposition to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nixon tarred her as a "fellow traveler" of communists, a "pinko" who was "pink right down to her underwear." Gahagan Douglas was defeated by the man she was the first to call "Tricky Dicky" because of his unethical behavior and dirty campaign tactics. Reagan was on the Douglases' side during that campaign.

The Douglases, like Reagan and such other prominent actors as Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson, were liberal Democrats, supporters of the late Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, a legacy that increasingly was under attack by the right after World War II. They were NOT fellow-travelers; Melvyn Douglas had actually been an active anti-communist and was someone the communists despised. Melvyn Douglas, Robinson and Henry Fonda - a registered Republican! - wound up "gray-listed." (They weren't explicitly black-listed, they just weren't offered any work.) Reagan, who it was later revealed had been an F.B.I. informant while a union leader (turning in suspected communists), was never hurt that way, as he made S.A.G. an accomplice of the black-listing.

Reagan's career sagged after the late 1940s, and he started appearing in B-movies after he left Warner Bros. to go free-lance. However, he had a eminence grise par excellence in Lew Wasserman, his agent and the head of the Music Corp. of America. Wasserman, later called "The Pope of Hollywood," was the genius who figured out that an actor could make a killing via a tax windfall by turning himself into a corporation. The corporation, which would employ the actor, would own part of a motion picture the actor appeared in, and all monies would accrue to the corporation, which was taxed at a much lower rate than was personal income. Wasserman pioneered this tax avoidance scheme with his client James Stewart, beginning with the Anthony Mann western Winchester '73 (1950). It made Stewart enormously rich as he became a top box office draw in the 1950s after the success of "Winchester 73" and several more Mann-directed westerns, all of which he had an ownership stake in.

Ironically, Reagan became a poor-man's James Stewart in the early 1950s, appearing in westerns, but they were mostly B-pictures. He did not have the acting chops of the great Stewart, but he did have his agent. Wasserman at M.C.A. was one of the pioneers of television syndication, and this was to benefit Reagan enormously. M.C.A. was the only talent agency that was also allowed to be a producer through an exemption to union rules granted by S.A.G. when Reagan was the union president, and it used the exemption to acquire Universal International Pictures. Talent agents were not permitted to be producers as there was an inherent conflict of interest between the two professions, one of which was committed to acquiring talent at the lowest possible cost and the other whose focus was to get the best possible price for their client. When a talent agent was also a producer, like M.C.A. was, it had a habit of steering its clients to its own productions, where they were employed but at a lower price than their potential free market value. It was a system that made M.C.A. and Lew Wasserman, enormously wealthy.

The ownership of Universal and its entry into the production of television shows that were syndicated to network made M.C.A. the most successful organization in Hollywood of its time, a real cash cow as television overtook the movies as the #1 business of the entertainment industry. Wasserman repaid Ronald Reagan's largess by structuring a deal by which he hosted and owned part of General Electric Theater, a western omnibus showcase that ran from 1954 to 1961. It made Reagan very comfortable financially, though it did not make him rich. That came later.

In 1960, with the election of the Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the black and gray lists went into eclipse. J.F.K. appointed Helen Gahagan Douglas Treasurer of the United States. About this time, as the civil rights movement became stronger and found more support among Democrats and the Kennedy administration, Reagan - fresh from a second stint as S.A.G. president in 1959 - was in the process of undergoing a personal and political metamorphosis into a right-wing Republican, a process that culminated with his endorsing Barry Goldwater for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964. (He narrated a Goldwater campaign film played at the G.O.P. Convention in San Francisco.) Reagan's evolution into a right-wing Republican sundered his friendship with the Douglases. (After Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, Melvyn Douglas said of his former friend that Reagan turned to the right after he had begun to believe the pro-business speeches he delivered for General Electric when he was the host of the "G.E. Theater.")

In 1959, while Reagan was back as a second go-round as S.A.G. president, M.C.A.'s exemption from S.A.G. regulations that forbade a talent agency from being a producer was renewed. However, in 1962, the U.S. Justice Department under Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy successfully forced M.C.A. - known as "The Octopus" in Hollywood for its monopolistic tendencies - to divest itself of its talent agency.

When Reagan was tipped by the California Republican Party to be its standard-bearer in the 1965 gubernatorial election against Democratic Governor Pat Brown, Lew Wasserman went back in action. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and though Wasserman was a liberal Democrat, having an old friend like Reagan who had shown his loyalty as S.A.G. president in the state house was good for business. Wasserman and his partner, M.C.A. Chairman Jules Styne (a Republican), helped ensure that Reagan would be financially secure for the rest of his life so that he could enter politics. (At the time, he was the host of "Death Valley Days" on TV.)

According to the Wall Street Journal, Universal sold Reagan a nice piece of land of many acres north of Santa Barbara that had been used for location shooting. The Reagans sold most of the ranch, then converted the rest of it, about 200 acres, into a magnificent estate overlooking the valley and the Pacific Ocean. The Rancho del Cielo became President Reagan's much needed counterpoint to the buzz of Washington, D.C. There, in a setting both rugged and serene, the Reagans could spend time alone or receive political leaders such as the Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and others.

Reagan was known to the world for his one-liners, the most famous of them was addressed to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall" said Reagan standing in front of the Berlin Wall. That call made an impact on the course of human history.

Ronald Reagan played many roles in his life's seven acts: radio announcer, movie star, union boss, television actor-cum-host, governor, right-wing critic of big government and President of the United States.

Divine

Originally born Harris Glen Milstead just after the end of WWII, Baltimore's most outrageous resident eventually became the international icon of bad taste cinema, as the always shocking and highly entertaining transvestite performer, Divine.

Milstead met maverick film director & good friend, John Waters, at high school in Baltimore, and the two combined to star in and direct several ultra low budget, taboo breaking cult films of the early 1970s. Their first efforts included Roman Candles, Eat Your Makeup and Mondo Trasho....however, their most infamous work together was the amazing Pink Flamingos, in which Divine starred as "Babs Johnson", the "filthiest person alive" living in a pink trailer with her egg-eating grandmother, chicken-loving son and voyeuristic daughter.

Divine also starred as career criminal Dawn Davenport in Female Trouble, as bored housewife Francine Fishpaw in Polyester, as outlaw gal Rosie Velez in Lust in the Dust and in Waters' loving (but still slightly bizarre) salute to teen dance TV shows as Ricki Lake's mother in the superb Hairspray.

Milstead's health deteriorated due to to his obese frame, and he passed away in his sleep from a combination of heart attack and apnea in 1988.

Nora Kirkpatrick

Nora created, wrote and directed the first ever comedy series in Virtual Reality, with SNL alum Mike O'Brien, which is set to air early 2017 on Hulu. She was a founding member and accordion player for the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, with whom she won a Grammy in 2013. Nora starred in the film Pink Grapefruit, which won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW 2015, and sold her TV show, Best-Seller, to Comedy Central, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Jessica Elbaum, and Olivia Wilde.

Christina Masterson

Christina Marie Masterson is an American film and television actress. She played Emma Goodall the Pink Power Ranger in the iconic Power Rangers Television series on Nickelodeon "Power Rangers Megaforce"(2013) and "Power Rangers Super Megaforce"(2014). Masterson began her career modeling in Los Angeles. She soon got to work all over Asia starring in many commercials and campaigns for the Asian market but also internationally. Masterson grew up in Southern California as a middle child with two older and two younger siblings.

Herbert Lom

Born September 11, 1917, Herbert Lom made his film debut in the Czech film Woman Below the Cross and played supporting and, occasionally, lead roles. His career picked up in the 1940s and he played, among other roles, Napoleon Bonaparte in The Young Mr. Pitt (and, again, in War and Peace). In a rare starring role, Lom played twin trapeze artists in Dual Alibi. He continued into the 1950s with roles opposite Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers in The Ladykillers and Robert Mitchum, Jack Lemmon and Rita Hayworth in Fire Down Below. His career really took off in the 1960s and he got the title role in Hammer Films' production of The Phantom of the Opera. He also played "Captain Nemo" in Mysterious Island and landed supporting parts in El Cid and an especially showy role in Spartacus as a pirate chieftain contracted to transport Spartacus' army away from Italy. The 1960s was also the decade in which Lom secured the role for which he will always be remembered: Peter Sellers' long-suffering boss, Commissioner Charles Dreyfus, in the "Pink Panther" films, in which he pulled off the not-inconsiderable feat of stealing almost every scene he and Sellers were in--a real accomplishment, considering what a veteran scene-stealer Sellers was. However, Lom did not concentrate solely on a film career. He had become a familiar face to British television viewers when he starred as Dr. Roger Corder in the series The Human Jungle. He moved into horror films in the 1970s, with parts in Asylum and And Now the Screaming Starts!. He played Prof. Abraham Van Helsing opposite Christopher Lee in Count Dracula, matching wits against the sinister vampire himself.

Lom appeared as one of the ten victims in Ten Little Indians, playing the drunken Dr. Edward Armstrong. His career continued into the 1980s, a standout role being that of Christopher Walken's sympathetic doctor in The Dead Zone. He also played opposite Walter Matthau in Hopscotch and returned to the murder mystery Ten Little Indians, this time playing The General. Lom has been taking it easy since then, though he returned to his familiar role of Commissioner Dreyfus in Son of the Pink Panther. He has always been a reliable and eminently watchable actor, unfortunately not receiving the stardom he probably should have.

Herbert Lom died in his sleep at age 95 on September 27, 2012, in London, England.

Ted Wass

Ted was born in Lakewood Ohio. He graduated from the acclaimed Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, where he performed in a wide array of the classics, from Shakespeare to Ibsen to Orton, Ted made his Broadway debut in the original production of GREASE, playing the role of DANNY ZUKO. Then came the lead role in the hit musical THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG. These performances launched a professional acting career that includes iconic roles from stage, film and television. Ted's film credits include principal roles in Blake Edwards' CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER, OH GOD YOU DEVIL and THE LONGSHOT. Among the many leads in television series, Ted may be best known for DANNY DALLAS in the groundbreaking comedy SOAP. It was while starring in the sit-com BLOSSOM, that Ted began a parallel career in directing, and after it wrapped, directing became his main focus. Regarded as one of the top multi-camera directors, sought after because of his skill working with actors, Ted has a long list of credits, which includes 25 pilots. Whether acting or directing, Ted is passionate about his work.

Elizabeth Ho

Elizabeth Ho stars as Jenny in Netflix's new highly anticipated ensemble comedy series Disjointed alongside Kathy Bates (Ruth). The timely and much buzzed about Disjointed is created and executive produced by comedy legend Chuck Lorre with whom Elizabeth worked with on Two and a Half Men. Elizabeth's character Jenny is a budtender at the fictional marijuana dispensary, Ruth's Alternative Caring (RAC) where she is straddling the two worlds of her family's expectations and her own personal ambitions. Elizabeth describes the show as a "live action adult animated series in the vein of Family Guy." Guest starring roles include ABC's Grey's Anatomy, ABC's Castle, Fox's Bones, CBS' NCIS and CBS' 2 Broke Girls and a recurring arc on Freeform's Melissa & Joey and more.

Starring roles in feature films include Lovesick opposite Ali Larter and Matt LeBlanc and in the spoof parody 50 Shades of Black opposite Marlon Wayans.

Raised Elizabeth was raised with her sister in Hillsborough, a suburb in the Bay Area, CA, with a mom who is a dancer/choreographer and has performed worldwide, and a father who is an Orthopedic Surgeon. She received her degree in Theater Arts from USC where she also studied Mandarin Chinese, although her family speaks Cantonese. Her parents hoped for a responsible degree that would lead to job security but it was landing the role of Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin Live Spectacular that changed the course. She was one of the very few students of color who excelled in the very traditional USC theatre program and was often cast as odd older characters as in A Mother and After Juliet and was selected to perform in the prestigious BFA showcase where she met her current agents and managers. College side jobs ranged from slinging coffee at Starbucks, to working for Apple as a campus rep, to serving tables in the restaurant industry (Disney's Soda Fountain and Pink Taco).

In her spare time Elizabeth considers herself "crafty" and shares her creative adventures on her personal lifestyle YouTube channel, The Real Hug Life. One of her favorite pastimes is creating and sharing one-of-a-kind greeting cards for friends and family and she is known on the Disjointed set as the "Birthday Card Wizard." She describes herself as an avid fan of nerdy pop culture like watching Star Trek, reading Urban Fantasy books, and everything Hello Kitty; she is also a reality television connoisseur, enjoying such delectable fare as The Bachelor, Rupaul's Drag Race, and The Great British Baking Show. Her fitness regimen includes pilates which she describes as a great reliever of mental and physical stress.

Her rescue dogs Coco and Cooper keep her busy due to their very active and highly popular Instagram account HanginWithMrCoops.

Jamie Donnelly

You know Jamie Donnelly from her double-wide smile and champagne personality. A veteran actress of stage, television, and movies, Jamie is a bonafide cult figure for not one but two major 20th century cultural events: The original "Rocky Horror Show", both at the Roxy in Los Angeles and on Broadway with Tim Curry, in which she coined the roles of Trixie and Magenta, and "Grease" on Broadway and in the movie with John and Olivia in which she played Jan, the "brusha brusha" Pink Lady.

After growing up in New Jersey where she could see the glittering skyline of New York City across the river, Jamie did a couple dozen summer stock musicals before she landed on Broadway at the age of seventeen in Kander and Ebb's, "Flora, The Red Menace". She both understudied Liza Minelli's Tony award winning title role and originated the character of Lulu. A darling of the New York theatre crowd, she continued starring in a succession of Broadway musicals such as "George M" at the Palace opposite Joel Grey. One of her favorite memories is having been taught "Falling in Love with Love" by Richard Rodgers which she sang at the Helen Hayes Theatre in "Rodgers and Hart".

Jamie also worked off-Broadway in the original company of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", in regional theatre for "Hot L Baltimore", overseen by the playwright, Lanford Wilson, in soap opera for a recurring role as Dusty Maguire on "The Guiding Light", guest starring on television series "Policewoman" and "Barnaby Jones", and television movies as a country western star with James Franciscus, "The Dream Makers".

In another favorite part of her life, Jamie spent years on a ranch in Montana riding horses and writing screenplays for Hollywood, including "Desperado" from the Eagles album, with the love of her life, her husband, novelist Stephen H. Foreman ("Toehold"). They have a son and daughter, Sevi (b. 1987) and Madden (b. 1989), young musicians in their own right. While her kids were growing up Jamie became the beloved acting coach of some of the best actors and actresses in Hollywood today.

She's excited about coming back to her public opposite Marisa Tomei and John C. Reilly in the upcoming Fox Searchlight feature, "The Untitled Duplass Brothers Film", a guest starring role in the final season of the Golden Globe and Emmy winner, "Monk", Nickelodeon's "The Naked Brothers Band", and Lifetime's "The Legend of Lucy Keyes". It should surprise no one that Jamie's blood type is, honest to God, "B Positive".

Michael Des Barres

Michael Des Barres is a European Marquis, raised in England and living in Los Angeles. As the host of Little Steven's Underground Garage on SiriusXM Radio Channel 21, he is heard by more than six million listeners, five days a week (5am-8am and 9pm-midnight PT). He has appeared in over 150 hours of American television and more than 40 feature films, and has sold over 7 million albums as both a recording artist and songwriter.

Over the past five decades, Michael has appeared in numerous feature films such as "To Sir With Love" with Sidney Poitier, "Pink Cadillac" with Clint Eastwood, "The Man From Elysian Fields" with Mick Jagger and "Diary of a Sex Addict" with Rosanna Arquette as well as countless television shows such as NCIS, Bones, CSI, Seinfeld, Frasier, Roseanne and Melrose Place, and as the infamous assassin Murdoc on MacGyver.

Michael Des Barres was also the touring singer for the Duran Duran spin-off group, The Power Station, performing at Live Aid with one of the most iconic live acts of the mid-1980s. From 1982 to 1984, Michael was a member of Chequered Past, which included Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, and Clem Burke and Nigel Harrison of Blondie. In 1983, Michael penned the song "Obsession," a number one hit in 27 countries for LA new wave group Animotion.

Recently, Michael narrated the one-night only performance of Frank Zappa's legendary 200 Motels with the LA Philharmonic, released a live follow up to his 2012 album Carnaby Street called Hot 'n Sticky, and co-starred alongside Gene Simmons of KISS on an episode of CSI: Las Vegas. His latest album, "The Key to the Universe" was released in 2015 on FOD Records and was produced by Bob Rose.

Vince Vieluf

Vince Vieluf recently wrapped Love Inc, a pilot for UPN, he quickly returned to Vancouver, British Columbia where he has been working alongside Paul Bettany and Harrison Ford in the feature film Firewall. Vince packed up all his belongings in 1996, rented a 13 foot U-haul and with his cat Groovy made the trek to Los Angeles. He quickly found a bartending job in a nightclub and in a vortex of timing, luck and preparation he met his first agent having a drink at his bar.

That relationship led him to his first role in a feature film, "Brad" in An American Werewolf in Paris. He has been working steadily since, landing roles alongside Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Pheonix in Clay Pigeons, Seth Green in Rat Race and Pinked with Rose McGowan. We have more recently seen Vince starring alongside The OC star Adam Brody in the skateboarder cult favorite Grind. Comfortable both on stage and in front of the camera, he starred in the plays Cool Cops and The World of Wrestling at the Actor's Gang Theatre in Los Angeles. Vince has also appeared in some of the most popular shows on television, guest starring on ER and Jesse, as well as appearing on Friends and CSI. In the fall of 2005 Love, Inc. will air Thursdays at 9:30pm.

Melvyn Douglas

Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka, but he was much, much more.

He was born Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg on April 5, 1901, in Macon, Georgia. His father, Edouard Gregory Hesselberg, was a Latvian Jewish immigrant (from Riga). His mother, Lena Priscilla (Shackelford), from Clark Furnace, Tennessee, was from a family with deep roots in the United States, and the daughter of a Col. George Taliaferro Shackelford; she had English ancestry (including antecedents who were Mayflower passengers), and remote Italian roots (from the Taliaferro family). Melvyn's father was a concert pianist who supported his family by teaching music at university-based conservatories. Melvyn dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.

He made his Broadway debut in the drama "A Free Soul " at the Playhouse Theatre on January 12, 1928, playing the role of a raffish gangster (a part that would later make Clark Gable's career when the play was adapted to the screen as A Free Soul ). "A Free Soul" was a modest success, running for 100 performances. His next three plays were flops: "Back Here" and "Now-a-Days" each lasted one week, while "Recapture" lasted all of three before closing. He was much luckier with his next play, "Tonight or Never," which opened on November 18, 1930, at legendary producer David Belasco's theater. Not only did the play run for 232 performances, but Douglas met the woman who would be his wife of nearly 50 years: his co-star, Helen Gahagan. They were married in 1931.

The movies came a-calling in 1932 and Douglas had the unique pleasure of assaying completely different characters in widely divergent films. He first appeared opposite his future Ninotchka co-star Greta Garbo in the screen adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's As You Desire Me, proving himself a sophisticated leading man as, aside from his first-rate performance, he was able to shine in the light thrown off by Garbo, the cinema's greatest star. In typical Hollywood fashion, however, this terrific performance in a top-rank film from a major studio was balanced by his appearance in a low-budget horror film for the independent Mayfair studio, The Vampire Bat. However, the leading man won out, and that's how he first came to fame in the 1930s in such films as She Married Her Boss and Garbo's final film, Two-Faced Woman. Douglas had shown he could play both straight drama and light comedy.

Douglas was a great liberal and was a pillar of the anti-Nazi Popular Front in the Hollywood of the 1930s. A big supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he and his wife Helen were invited to spend a night at the White House in November 1939. Douglas' leftism would come back to haunt him after the death of FDR.

Well-connected with the Roosevelt White House, Douglas served as a director of the Arts Council in the Office of Civilian Defense before joining the Army during World War II. He was very active in politics and was one of the leading lights of the anti-Communist left in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Helen Gahagan Douglas, who also was politically active, was elected to Congress from the 14th District in Los Angeles in 1944, the first of three terms.

Returning to films after the war, Douglas' screen persona evolved and he took on more mature roles, in such films as The Sea of Grass (Elia Kazan's directorial debut) and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. His political past caught up with him, however, in the late 1940s, and he - along with fellow liberals Edward G. Robinson and Henry Fonda (a registered Republican!) - were "gray-listed" (not explicitly blacklisted, they just weren't offered any work).

The late 1940s brought the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to Hollywood, a move that sowed the seeds of the McCarthy anti-red hysteria that would wrack Hollywood and sweep America in the 1950s. In 1950, Helen Gahagan Douglas ran as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate and was opposed by the Republican nominee, a small-time red-baiting candidate from Whittier named Richard Nixon. While Nixon did not go so far as to accuse her of actually being a Communist, he did charge her with being soft on Communism due to her opposition to HUAC and her stance insisting that the U.S. improve its relations with the USSR. Nixon tarred her as a fellow traveler of Communists, a pinko who was "pink right down to her underwear." Her opponent in the Democratic primary had given her the nickname "The Pink Lady", erroneously attributed to Nixon. But it was Helene Gahagan Douglas who gave Nixon his most famous nickname, "Tricky Dicky". While many historians have written that she was defeated by Nixon because of his unethical behavior and dirty campaign tactics, her pro-Soviet, anti-Cold War stance had alienated President Harry S. Truman, who had refused to campaign for her, and other Democratic Cold Warriors like Congressman John F. Kennedy, who hailed the election of fellow-Cold Warrior Nixon to the Senate.

The blacklist was implemented by Hollywood in 1947, after the HUAC grilling of the Hollywood help led to the "exposure" and subsequent persecution of the Hollywood 10. The post-World War II Red Scare targeted New Deal liberals as much as actual, genuine communists in a push to roll back liberalism, and Douglas was a marked man. After appearing in six films as a leading man and second lead in A-List pictures from 1947-49, Douglas made just two films in the decade of the 1950s - supporting roles at RKO in 1951 - until he reappeared a decade later in Peter Ustinov's Billy Budd in 1962. In the meantime, Douglas did play the eponymous private detective in the TV series Steve Randall in the 1952-53 season for the doomed DuMont network, which failed the next year, and, following the example of his old friend Reagan in his stint on General Electric Theater, appeared as the host of the western omnibus TV series Frontier Justice in 1958. Throughout the 1950s Douglas secured roles on such prestigious omnibus drama showcases as Playhouse 90 and even appeared on Reagan's General Electric Theater.

Then there was the theater. Douglas made many appearances on Broadway in the 1940s and 1950s, including in a notable 1959 flop, making his musical debut playing Captain Boyle in Marc Blitzstein's "Juno." The musical, based on Sean O'Casey's play "Juno and the Paycock", closed in less than three weeks. Douglas was much luckier in his next trip to the post: he won a Tony for his Broadway lead role in the 1960 play "The Best Man" by Gore Vidal.

In 1960, with the election of the Democratic President John F. Kennedy, the erstwhile Nixon supporter who had defeated Tricky Dicky for the Big Brass Ring of American electoral politics. About this time, as the civil rights movement became stronger and found more support among Democrats and the Kennedy administration, former liberal activist and two-term Screen Actors Guild president Reagan was in the process of completing his evolution into a right-wing Republican. Reagan and Douglas' friendship lapsed. After Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, Douglas said of his former friend that Reagan had begun to believe in the pro-business speeches he delivered for General Electric when he was the host of the General Electric Theater.

Douglas' own evolution into a premier character actor was completed by the early 1960s. His years of movie exile seemed to deepen him, making him richer, and he returned to the big screen a more authoritative actor. For his second role after coming off of the graylist, he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Paul Newman's father in Hud. Other films in which he shined were Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily, CBS Playhouse (a 1967 episode directed by George Schaefer called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", for which he won a Best Actor Emmy) and The Candidate, in which he played Robert Redford's father. It was for his performance playing Gene Hackman's father that Douglas got his sole Best Actor Academy Award nod, in I Never Sang for My Father. He had a career renaissance in the late 1970s, appearing in The Seduction of Joe Tynan, Being There and Ghost Story. He won his second Oscar for "Being There."

Helen Gahagan Douglas died in 1980 and Melvyn followed her in 1981. He was 80 years old.

Levon Helm

Levon Helm was in the right place at the right time. He saw the birth of rock and roll and, though he was too much of a gentleman to say it, his role in helping to keep that rebellious child healthy was more than just instrumental.

On May 26, 1940, Mark Lavon Helm was the second of four children born to Nell and Diamond Helm in Elaine, Arkansas. Diamond was a cotton farmer who entertained occasionally as a musician. The Helms loved music and often sang together. They listened to The Grand Ole Opry and Sonny Boy Williamson and his King Biscuit Entertainers regularly on the radio. A favorite family pastime was attending traveling music shows in the area. According to his 1993 autobiography, "This Wheel's On Fire", Levon recalled seeing his first live show, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, at six years old. His description: "This really tattooed my brain. I've never forgotten it." Hearing performers like Monroe and Williamson on the radio was one thing; seeing them live made a huge impression.

Levon's father bought him his first guitar at age nine. At ten and 11, whenever he wasn't in school or at work on the farm, the boy could be found at KFFA's broadcasting studio in Helena, Arkansas, watching Sonny Boy Williamson do his radio show, "King Biscuit Time". Helm made his younger sister Linda a string bass out of a washtub when he was 12 years old. She would play the bass while her brother slapped his thighs and played harmonica and guitar. They would sing songs learned at home and popular hits of the day, and billed themselves as "Lavon and Linda." Because of their fresh-faced good looks, obvious musical talent and Levon's natural ability to win an audience with sheer personality and infectious rhythms, the pair consistently won talent contests along the Arkansas 4-H Club circuit.

In 1954 Levon was 14 years old when he saw Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins do a show at Helena. Also performing was a young Elvis Presley, with Scotty Moore on guitar, and Bill Black on stand-up bass. They did not have a drummer. The music was early jazz-fueled rockabilly, and the audience went wild. In 1955 he saw Elvis once more, before Presley's star exploded. This time Presley had D.J. Fontana with him on drums and Black was playing electric bass. Helm couldn't get over the difference and thought it was the best band he'd seen. The added instruments gave the music solidity and depth. People jumped out of their seats dancing to the thunderous, heart-pumping rhythms. The melting pot that was the Mississippi Delta had boiled over and evolved. Its magnificently rich blues was uniting with all the powerful, new, spicy-hot sounds and textures that became rock and roll.

Natural progression led Levon to form his own rock band as a high-school junior, called The Jungle Bush Beaters. While Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis were making teens everywhere crazed, Levon would practice, play, watch and learn. After seeing Jerry Lee's drummer Jimmy Van Eaton, he seriously began thinking of playing the drums himself. Around this same time the 17-year-old musician was invited by Conway Twitty to share the stage with Twitty and his Rock Housers. He had met Twitty when "Lavon and Linda" opened for him at a previous show. Helm was a personable, polite teen who took his music seriously, so Twitty allowed him to sit in whenever the opportunity arose.

Ronnie Hawkins came into Levon Helm's life in 1957. A charismatic entertainer and front-man, Hawkins was gathering musicians to tour Canada, where the shows and money were steady. He had a sharp eye for talent. He needed a drummer and Levon fit the bill. Fulfilling a promise to Nell and Diamond to finish high school, Levon joined Ronnie and his "Hawks" on the road. The young Arkansas farm boy, once a tractor driving champion, found himself driving Hawkins' Cadillac to gigs, happily aware that all the unknown adventures of rock and roll would soon be his destiny.

In 1959 Ronnie got The Hawks signed to Roulette Records. They had two hits, "Forty Days" and "Mary Lou", sold 750,000 copies and appeared on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. Hawkins and Helm recruited four more talented Canadian musicians in the early 1960s--Richard Manuel, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson and Robbie Robertson. Under Ronnie's tutelage they would often perform until midnight and rehearse until four in the morning. Other bands began emulating their style; now they were the ones to watch and learn from.

Eventually the students surpassed their teacher. Weary of Ronnie's strict regulations and eager to expand their own musical interests, the five decided to break from Hawkins. They called themselves "Levon and the Hawks."

About 1965 Bob Dylan decided to change his sound. He was ready to "go electric" and wanted Levon and The Hawks to help him fire it up. The boys signed on to tour with Dylan, but unfortunately Dylan's die-hard folk fans resisted. Night after night of constant booing left Levon without the pleasure of seeing his audience enjoy themselves. He called his drummer's stool "the best seat in the house," because he could see his fellow musicians and his audience simultaneously. What pleased him most, always, was that his audience had a good time. He temporarily left the group and eventually landed back home in Arkansas. Dylan and the rest of the band took up residence in Woodstock, NY. They rented a large, pink house where they wrote and rehearsed new material. Danko called for Helm to join them when Capitol Records gave them a recording contract.

Woodstock residents called them "the band," so they kept the moniker. The name The Band fit. The sound was no-frills rock-and-roll, but far from simplistic. They fused every musical influence they were exposed to over the years as individuals and as a unit. The result was brilliant. Their development as musicians was perfected by years of playing. Living together at "Big Pink" allowed complete collaboration of their artistic expression. Americana and folklore themes, heart-wrenching ballads filled with naked emotion, majestic harmonies, hard-driving rhythms and exquisite instrumentation made critics, peers and fans realize that this music was unlike any heard before. Their first album, "Music from Big Pink", released in July of 1968, made them household names, and as a result they were invited to appear on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show in autumn of '69. Following "Big Pink"'s success the next album, called simply "The Band", is considered by some as their masterpiece. They made seven albums total, including one live recording in 1972, "Rock of Ages". Many of their hits--such as "The Weight", "W.S. Walcott's Medicine Show" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"--were spawned from stories of Levon's beloved South.

Helm was working in Los Angeles in 1974, at a Sunset Blvd. hotel, when he spotted a beautiful young brunette taking a dip in the pool. Her name was Sandra Dodd and when she looked up at him smiling, she didn't recognize him at first. The charming musician offered to take the lovely lady for sushi and never looked back. They were married on September 7, 1981, in Woodstock.

The barn and studio Helm built in Woodstock, which became his permanent home, was just about complete in 1975. He invited Muddy Waters to his new studio and they recorded "Muddy Waters in Woodstock". To the delight of everyone involved, it won a Grammy.

The Band held a farewell concert at Winterland in San Francisco on Thanksgiving 1976. It was a bittersweet time for many, who felt the group's demise was too soon. They called it "The Last Waltz", which included Ronnie Hawkins,Dr. John, Muddy Waters, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and an all-star guest list of peers and friends that read like the "Who's Who" of rock and roll. The event eventually sold as a triple album and was also filmed--The Last Waltz became the first historical "rockumentary."

Group members went on to individual pursuits. Levon cut his debut album, "The RCO All-Stars", in 1977. His next effort was the self-titled "Levon Helm", followed by "American Son", released in 1980. That same year was pivotal, as Helm turned his attention to acting. He played Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter, winning great reviews for his first film appearance. He did another self-titled album and Hollywood again came knocking in 1983, giving him a role in The Right Stuff. The authenticity he brought to his characters earned him numerous movie roles from 1980 until 2009. Levon gave a sensitive, convincing portrayal of a destitute blind man in the 2005 Tommy Lee Jones vehicle, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. In 2007 he filmed Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. His last role was in 2009. where he portrayed Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood in In the Electric Mist, again with his friend Tommy Lee Jones.

Rick Danko and Levon reunited to play music after Danko had been living in California. Rick moved back to Woodstock and the friends did an acoustic tour in early 1983. In San Jose the following year, they received excellent reviews when Hudson and Manuel joined them for their first U.S. appearance as The Band since 1976. They continued playing together until the tragic death of their dear friend and comrade, the 42-year-old Manuel.

During the 1990s three more Band albums were recorded: "Jericho", "High on the Hog" and "Jubilation". In 1998 Levon was diagnosed with throat cancer and the famous voice with the rich Southern nuances was silenced to a whisper. He still played the drums, mandolin and harmonica, often performing with his daughter, Amy Helm, also a vocalist and instrumentalist. A great emotional support to her father during this time, Amy appeared with him regularly at Levon Helm Studios. In 1999 Helm endured another tragic loss when Rick Danko passed away 19 days before his 56th birthday. His death marked the end of an era.

Miraculously, Levon's voice slowly returned. He felt comfortable enough to sing again live. With imagination and vision, he conceived The Midnight Ramble Sessions, a series of live performances at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock. Named for the traveling minstrel shows of his youth, the first Midnight Ramble was held in January, 2004. It featured one of the last performances by great blues pianist Johnnie Johnson. Friends old and new joined Levon on his stage, including Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, John Sebastian, Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello, Phil Lesh, Jimmy Vivino, Hubert Sumlin, Little Sammy Davis, Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters, The Muddy Waters Band, The Swell Season, Donald Fagen, Steve Jordon, Hot Tuna, Kris Kristofferson, The Black Crowes, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Norah Jones, The Bacon Brothers, Robbie Dupree, My Morning Jacket, Shemekia Copeland, The Wood Brothers, Steve Earle, Jackie Greene, Sam Bush, Brewer & Shipley, Carolyn Wonderland, Ollabelle and The Alexis P. Suter Band. The monthly Rambles at "The Barn" were wildly successful, drawing a worldwide audience.

Releases produced by Levon Helm Studios from Helm's personal "vault," were Volume I and II of "The Midnight Ramble Sessions", plus a live RCO All-Stars performance from New Year's Eve 1977, at the Palladium. The vitality and magnetism of these recordings speak for themselves. In September of 2007, Dirt Farmer Music and Vanguard Records released "Dirt Farmer", Levon's first solo, studio album in 25 years. A project particularly close to his heart, the CD contains music reminiscent of his past, and songs handed down from his parents. "Dirt Farmer" was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008 and landed Levon a spot in Rolling Stone's The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. That same year he was also recognized by the Recording Academy with a lifetime achievement award as an original member of The Band and was given the "Artist of the Year" Award by the Americana Music Association. In 2009 Levon released "Electric Dirt", which marked his highest debut in Soundscan era at #36 and spent six consecutive weeks at #1 on the Americana Radio Chart. He won a second Grammy for "Electric Dirt" in the inaugural category of Best Americana Album in 2010. In September 2008 Levon took "The Midnight Ramble" on the road to Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium. Buddy Miller, John Hiatt, Sheryl Crow, George Receli, Sam Bush and Billy Bob Thornton helped The Levon Helm Band create an evening of unforgettable musical joy. "Ramble at the Ryman - Live CD and DVD" (sold individually) won him his third consecutive Grammy, again as Best Album in the Americana category, in February 2012. Sadly, Levon's cancer returned shortly after this last triumph. He passed away on April 19, 2012. His funeral was a tearful, joyful, musical celebration of his life.

The intimacy of the shows performed at Levon's hearth offered a hospitality and warmth found in no other venue, not to mention the excellence of the performances themselves, hosted by a man whose gifts were truly legendary. Though always an enthusiastic and passionate performer, with sheer joy and gratitude, he effortlessly captivated his audience, young and old, with a rhythmic power all his own. During a career that spanned over five decades, Levon Helm nurtured a tradition of professionalism with a deep respect for his craft and remained refreshingly genuine in a world that often compromised integrity. He was a master storyteller who wove his tales with the magic thread of universality that ties us all. He beckoned us to come in, sit awhile and enjoy. We see ourselves in his stories and we are home.

--Dawn LoBue Copyright © 2006 ~ 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Kelli Maroney

Kelli Maroney began her career acting and studying at the Guthrie Theater in her native Minneapolis, MN., then went to New York to study at the National Shakespeare Company Conservatory. Two weeks after she arrived in Manhattan, Kelli was cast as evil adolescent "Kimberly Harris" on the daytime soap opera, Ryan's Hope. Maroney went on to play the vengeful "Tina Clayton Lord Roberts" on One Life to Live. She made her film debut as the 'Spirit Bunny' "Cindy Carr" in the teen comedy classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Kelli achieved her greatest enduring cult popularity with her delightful turn as the endearingly spunky "Samantha" in the science-fiction end-of-the-world film, Night of the Comet. She's especially memorable as the sweet, killer-robot slayer, "Alison Parks", in the entertaining romp, Chopping Mall. As self-deprecating humor is one of her trademarks, she cheerfully pokes fun at her own previous B-movie starlet image. Kelli delivered a very strong and impressive portrayal of schizophrenic femme fatale, "Meredith (Merre) Lake", in the superior Showtime mystery thriller, Face Down. Maroney acted in and co-produced the award-winning festival short, Sam and Mike. She has made numerous TV guest star appearances and, most recently, appeared as a crazed TV evangelist in HBO's True Blood. Los Angeles stage highlights include stripper "Brandy" in the long-running hit "Pink" at the Renegade Theater, taking over for Carrie-Anne Moss for the 1940s period piece, "Outward Bound", at the Hudson Backstage, and co-producing and appearing in "The Edge Of Allegiance", at the Met Theater. Kelli Maroney most recently was seen as homemaker "Grace" in the web series, "Rock & Roll Inc.", as "Janice", the stage mom-from-hell in the comedy Pop Star, as the brave cougar, "Deputy Wilma Power", in the SyFy Channel's Gila! The Giant Monster.", a tipsy stage mom-from-hell in Pop Star, and psychic Ezmerelda in Hell's Kitty. Kelli is the host of SMTCL TV and co-host of the podcast Rick's Martini Bar. She has several projects in development as actor/producer, and lives in Hollywood with her soulmate Sasha, the wonder dog.

Adriana Chechik

Lovely and slender long-haired 5'3" brunette knockout Adriana Chechik was born on November 30, 1992 in California. The green-eyed stunner first began performing in explicit hardcore movies in 2013. Among the notable companies Adriana has appeared in X-rated features for are 3rd Degree, Lethal Hardcore, and New Sensations. Moreover, Chechik has worked for various adult websites that include Bangbros, Naughty America, and Pink Fine Art. She's represented by the top agency L.A. Direct Models.

Behati Prinsloo

Behati Prinsloo was born on May 16, 1989 in Grootfonstein, Namibia. Prinsloo is best known for her work as a Victoria's Secrets lingerie model. She appeared in nine Victoria's Secret Fashion shows from 2007 through 2015, became a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2009 and has been the face of Victoria's Secret PINK line since 2008. She also is a brand ambassador for Seafolly since 2012 and Pepe Jeans since 2014. Prinsloo has appeared on the covers of international fashion magazines including Vogue, GQ, and Elle among others. She was discovered at age sixteen by modeling agency head, Sarah Doukas while on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been married to Adam Levine since July 19, 2014. They have one child.

William Hootkins

William Michael Hootkins was born on July 5, 1948, in Dallas, Texas. He moved to London, England in the early '70s and lived there up until 2002. Hootkins was an actor at Theatre Intime while attending Princeton University where he learned how to speak fluent Mandarin Chinese. He also trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, and attended St. Marks, where he was in the same theater group as Tommy Lee Jones. The imposingly bulky and heavyset Hootkins first began acting in films and TV shows alike in the mid '70s. His more noteworthy parts include the first of the Rebel fighter pilots to get killed while attacking the Death Star in "Star Wars", scientist Topol's bumbling oaf assistant in "Flash Gordon", Major Eaton, sent by the US government in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", one of Rod Steiger's demented sons in "American Gothic", a corrupt police lieutenant in "Batman", a disgusting sleazy voyeur in "Hardware", a coarse South African police chief in "Dust Devil", the mysterious and duplicitous Mr. X in "Hear My Song", a haughty corporate executive in "Death Machine", Santa Claus in "Like Father, Like Santa", and an opera-singing vampire in "The Breed". Moreover, Hootkins had small parts in two "Pink Panther" pictures: he's a taxi driver in both "The Trail of the Pink Panther" and "Curse of the Pink Panther".

Among the TV shows he did guest spots on are "Yanks Go Home", "Agony", "Play for Today", "Tales of the Unexpected", "The Life and Times of David Lloyd George", "Brett Maverick", "Cagney and Lacey", "Taxi", "Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense", "Poirot", "Chancer", "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles", "The Tomorrow People", "The West Wing", and "Absolute Power". Hootkins received many accolades for his outstanding performance as Sir Alfred Hitchcock in Terry Johnson's hit play "Hitchcock Blonde". In addition to his substantial film and TV credits, Hootkins was also a popular and prolific voice artist who recorded dozens of plays for BBC Radio Drama; he supplied the voices for such iconic individuals as Orson Welles, J. Edgar Hoover, and Winston Churchill. William Hootkins died of pancreatic cancer on October 23, 2005.

Gregory Sporleder

Gregory Michael "Spoonie" Sporleder was born and raised in University City Missouri, just across the St. Louis City line. After graduating from high School he attended Webster Universities Theater program for 2 years before being cut. Dusting himself off he was accepted to the Eugene O'Neill theater program in Waterford Conn. It was there that he met another actor, Jeremy Piven, and was convinced he was going about becoming a professional actor the wrong way.

He then moved to Chicago and started studying with both Joyce and Bryn Piven at the legendary Piven Theater workshop. There he met and worked with some of the most passionate actors and artist he has ever met. Chicagoan John Cusack returned to town, from LA, where he had acted in Tim Robbins Actor's Gang production of "After the Dog Wars" and became hooked to "The Style" that is modern day Commadia Del arte. John decided to start his own theater company called "New Crime Production". Greg is a proud founding member of that company.

Greg got his SAG card while in Chicago and his first job was a scene with John Cusack, Jeremy Piven and Pat O'Neal in Cameron Crows "Say anything". They improvised for their audition and Mr. Crowe put the scene in the movie.

Greg moved to LA in 1991. That year he and Bill Cusack were nominated for "best 2 man play" for a show called "Edgar and Edgar" that the group wrote. It was directed by Steve Pink. Loren Michaels flew the show to NCY for a personal viewing. Even though Mr. Michaels didn't hire either Bill or Greg, It was a dream come true to say the least. Greg's TV work has included everything from David Lynch's "On The Air", a pilot with Ryan O'Neill called "1776", an episode of "Murphy Brown"," NYPD Blue", "Chicago Hope", Robert Altman's "Gun", he went on a date with Phoebe on "Friends", "The Drew Carrey Show", "24", HBO's "Carnival". Greg's favorite job on TV, so far, was playing Mr. Edwards in the Disney mini series "Little House On The Prairie". Greg also loved being on "Monk", "The Mentalist" and "Memphis Beat". He was in 6 episodes of season 3 (the best season) of Allen Ball's "True Blood". As of late, Greg has appeared on "American Horror show", "Sons of Anarchy", "Criminal Minds" and "Agent Carter". Greg loves that the one Soap opera he as appeared in is "Days of our lives" his Grandma's favorite.

Greg's feature film work includes working with Director's Cameron Crowe, Stephen Frears, Penny Marshall twice, the legendary John Frankenheimer, Tony Scott, Carl Reiner, Jan da Bont, Michael Bay, Billy Zane, Minnie Driver, David Dobkin, Drew Barrymore, and Ridley's Scott's "Black Hawk Down".

Greg has taken to writing and director. He returned to St. Louis to hone his skills, writing 3 and directing 2 short films as well as staring in a mid west indie drama called "In The Wake Of Ire". He wrote, directed and produced a pilot called "Rob In The Hood" which stars his son Bodhi. He and his family have moved back to LA.

Greg is grateful and humbled by all the chances and great people he has come across in his 29 years as a professional actor.

Shelley Regner

Film, television and stage actress Shelley Regner is featured in Pitch Perfect 2, reprising the role of Ashley, an A Cappella singing Barden Bella member, whom she played in the original Pitch Perfect. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Regner has been dancing and singing since she was four-years-old. She attended Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge, where she was president of the Thespian Club in her senior year, and performed in her school's productions of Godspell, Grease (Jan), Beauty and the Beast (as Mrs Potts), Guys and Dolls (as Adelaide), and Neil Simon's Fools. She then attended Louisiana State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater. During her college years, Regner actively participated in productions with LSU's Theater program and at Theater Baton Rouge where she portrayed Maureen Johnson in Rent and Amber Von Tussle in Hairspray. Upon graduating from LSU, she heard about the audition for Pitch Perfect, which was held at the LSU School for Music and Dramatic Arts. For her audition, she sang Whitey Houston's "I Want to Dance with Somebody", got three call backs, and won the part of Ashley. Her immediate challenge was to become a "beat boxer" - essentially a vocal percussionist, pounding out the sound effect beats for the captivating a cappella tunes. Moving to Los Angeles, she booked episodic roles on Spike TV's Tattoo Nightmares and the Internet series, Singled. Regner also co-starred in Bite! The Musical, a zombie musical extravaganza that was shot in Puerto Rico, and has done well on the 2014-2015 film festival circuit. For her role as Olivia, the woman who chooses to join her husband as one of the undead, Regner won the Best Actress award at the Glendale International Film Festival. Additionally, Regner made her Carnegie Hall debut in Total Vocal, a concert by Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect 1 & 2 and The Sing Off producer) and DCINY concert series. She continues to be very active in musical theater in Los Angeles, where she has completed the role of the sequined Pink Pony in Bronies: The Musical, a stage show that showcases the nationwide phenomenon of guys who watch "My Little Pony," and she was Tasha Wood in Spank! Harder national tour, a musical sequel to Spank!, which is a wild parody of Fifty Shades of Grey. Most recently, Regner originated the role of Cecile Caldwell in The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions at The Rockwell Table and Stage and can be seen next in glory/struck's production of American Idiot in downtown Los Angeles at The Vortex warehouse. Regner is a new cast member of the sketch comedy show TMI Hollywood, and she has also been cast as a lead recurring role in the new web series, McMann & Bernstein, going into production in June 2015.

Liz Smith

Liz Smith found fame as an actress at an age when most people are considering retirement. It was a long road to eventual stardom, during which she struggled to raise a family after a broken marriage. She became best-known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and The Royle Family but her talents encompassed serious drama too. And while she made something of a name playing slightly dotty old ladies, the real Liz Smith was far removed from these on-screen personas. She was born Betty Gleadle in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. Her early life was not happy. Her mother died in childbirth when she was just two years old and her father abandoned her when he remarried. "My father was a bit of a sod, really. He just went off with loads of women and then married one who said he had to cut off completely from his prior life and that meant me." She started going to the local cinema with her grandfather when she was four and she quickly gained a fascination for acting.

By the age of nine, she was appearing in local dramatic productions, often playing the part of elderly ladies. World War Two thwarted her plans and she joined the WRNS because, as she later told the BBC's Desert Island Discs, she loved the cut of the naval uniform. She continued appearing in plays and entertainments while serving in the Royal Navy. She met her future husband Jack Thomas while she was stationed in India and the couple married at the end of the war. Her grandmother had left her enough money to buy a house in London. Smith later remembered that she had picked it at random from a magazine and bought it without crossing the threshold.

But what had been an idyllic marriage failed shortly after the family moved to Epping Forest in Essex and she was left to bring up her two children alone. With money tight, she worked in a number of jobs including delivering post and quality control in a plastic bag factory. But her love for acting remained and she began buying the theatrical magazine, The Stage, and sending her photograph to casting agents. Eventually she became part of a group studying method acting under a teacher who had come to the UK from America.

She performed at the Gate Theatre in west London and spent many years in repertory, as well as spells as an entertainer in Butlins holiday camps. In 1970, she was selling toys in London's Regent Street when she got a call from the director Mike Leigh to play the downtrodden mother in his film Bleak Moments. Leigh cast her again in Hard Labour, part of the BBC's Play for Today series, a role that allowed her to shine. She received critical acclaim as the middle-aged housewife who endures a life of domestic drudgery, constantly at the beck and call of her demanding husband and daughter.

It was the breakthrough she had sought for years and, as she later recalled: "I never went back to grotty jobs again." She was seldom off the screen over the next 20 years, with appearances in a number of TV programmes including Last of the Summer Wine, The Sweeney, The Duchess of Duke Street and The Gentle Touch. She was cast as Madame Balls in the 1976 film The Pink Panther Strikes Again, but her scenes were left on the cutting-room floor. However, she did appear in the role six years later in The Curse of the Pink Panther. In 1984 she received a Bafta for Best Supporting Actress when she played Maggie Smith's mother in the film A Private Function.

Two years later she appeared as Patricia Hodge's alcoholic mother in the BBC drama The Life and Loves Of A She Devil. It was a part, she said, that she really enjoyed as it gave her the chance to wear more glamorous outfits than her usual roles required. And she was able to dress up again for her next film appearance, this time in the role of Grace in Peter Greenaway's film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. She was still much in demand at the beginning of the 1990s, appearing in the sitcom 2point4 Children and in the series Lovejoy and Bottom.

In 1994 she became a household name with her portrayal of Letitia Cropley in the series The Vicar of Dibley. The character was famous for her idiosyncratic recipes such as parsnip brownies and lard and fish paste pancakes, but was killed off in 1996. Two years later Liz Smith starred as Nana in The Royle Family, a sitcom that ran for nearly four years. She took the part again in 2006 in a special edition in which Nana died. Typically, she attributed her success to Caroline Aherne's scripts rather than her own talent.

"They were great roles," she later remembered. "I was so lucky that things did come my way then." Unlike some actors, she watched recordings of her own performances looking for ways in which she could improve her acting. She continued to appear in feature films, playing Grandma Georgina in Tim Burton's 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and she was the voice of Mrs Mulch in Wallace & Gromit -The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. In 2006 she published her autobiography Our Betty and moved into a retirement home in north London but continued acting. She appeared in the BBC's Lark Rise to Candleford, finally announcing her retirement in 2008 at the age of 87. It was a belief in her own talent that drove Liz Smith on when her life was at a low ebb. "All I wanted was a chance," she told the BBC. "It was wonderful when it did happen."

Smith died on Christmas Eve 2016. She was 95.

Maureen Teefy

Maureen Teefy was born in Minneapolis. She is one of eight girls. Her early training includes the Minneapolis Children's Theater School, The Boston Conservatory and the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. She later studied with Larry Moss. Maureen's credits include theater, film, television, and voice over. She is most known for playing Doris Finsecker in the original movie, "Fame" and the pink lady Sharon Cooper in "Grease 2." Most recently, Maureen starred in Unbroken Circles at the Odyssey Theater, receiving critical acclaim. From there, she branched out into directing and writing. She directed Hedda Gabler at the Pacific Resident Theater in Venice, California. Maureen has also written a full length play, CLARA, based on silent film star Clara Bow. Currently, Maureen and Thomas Mitchell (fanaticSalon) are co-writing I'm Gonna Live Forever, an autobiographical solo show to debut in 2014.

Richard Greene

Before achieving his greatest fame in the 1950s as television's "Robin Hood", handsome Richard Greene had a significant if largely unremarkable film career, turning in several skillful leading man performances in the late 1930s before becoming type-cast in routine costume adventures. Like his friendly rival, Tyrone Power, Greene's good looks aided his entry into films but ultimately proved detrimental to his development as a film actor.

A descendant of four generations of film actors, and the grandson of film pioneer William Friese-Greene, Richard Marius Joseph Greene seemed destined for a career as a movie actor. Born August 25, 1918 (Some sources list his birth-date as 1914) in the port city of Plymouth, Devonshire, England, Greene was educated at the Cardinal Vaughn School in Kensington. At an early age, he became determined to pursue the acting profession, making his stage debut in 1933 at the Old Vic as a spear carrier in a production of William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". By this time, the formerly gawky teenager was rapidly maturing into an exceedingly good-looking young man with an athletic build, dark wavy hair, and a pleasant speaking voice. So handsome was he, in between acting gigs, supplanted his income as a shirt and hat model.

After a small role in a 1934 revival of "Journey's End and a bit part in the British musical film, Sing As We Go!, Greene joined the Brandon Thomas Repertory Company in 1936, traveling the length and breadth of the British Isles in a variety of productions. His first major break came in 1936 when he won accolades on the London stage as the juvenile lead in Terence Rattigan's "French Without Tears", which brought him to the attention of Alexander Korda then Darryl F. Zanuck. Fox signed the youngster in January, 1938, brought him to America, and immediately cast him in his first film: as the youngest of four brothers in John Ford's Four Men and a Prayer. His excellent reviews and camera-friendly physical appearance (which inspired mountains of fan mail from adoring feminine moviegoers) convinced Zanuck to rush Greene into a series of top-notch films which showed him to advantage and might have been the springboard to more substantive roles and super-stardom had fate and World War II not intervened.

Greene gave several notable performances as a Fox contractor. He was a banker's son-turned-horse trainer in the popular horse-breeding epic, Kentucky, a murdered baronet's son in the eerie "Sherlock Holmes" mystery, The Hound of the Baskervilles, a college student estranged from his alcoholic father in Here I Am a Stranger, and steamboat inventor Robert Fulton in the fanciful historical drama, Little Old New York. At the peak of his popularity, with a growing resume of critically-acclaimed film work, and fan mail rivaling Fox's number one heartthrob, Tyrone Power, Greene abandoned his studio contract in 1940 and returned to his homeland to aid in the war effort: an admirable personal decision which would have negative professional consequences. Enlisting in the Royal Armoured Corps of the Twenty-Seventh Lancers, he distinguished himself throughout World War II, eventually becoming a captain. He was discharged in December, 1944. During the war, he was given three furloughs to appear in three British propaganda features. After the conflict ended, Greene and his young bride, beautiful British actress, Patricia Medina (whom he married in 1941) remained in England for a time, where both appeared on stage and in British movies. Richard's films included the charming comedy, Don't Take It to Heart!, and the disappointing biopic, Showtime.

In 1946, the ambitious Greene (accompanied by his wife who'd been offered a Fox contract) returned to Hollywood hoping to take up where he'd left off. When his dreams of regaining his lost momentum did not materialize, he opted to take whatever film work he could find. After landing a solid supporting role in the wildly popular costumer, Forever Amber, he found himself cast as a swashbuckling hero in a long series of films, the most memorable of which was The Black Castle, in which the heroic Greene battled an evil one-eyed Bavarian count. By the 1950s, the increasingly restless actor turned away from filmmaking in favor of the stage and television. His TV credits of the period included memorable performances on several life drama series including Studio One in Hollywood and The United States Steel Hour. In 1955, Yeoman Films of Great Britain approached the still-youthful-looking middle-aged star to play the legendary "Robin of Locksley" in a proposed series, The Adventures of Robin Hood, aimed at the American market. The disillusioned, newly divorced (in 1951), financially-strapped actor eagerly signed on. The result was one of the most memorable and successful series of the decade, lasting five years, consisting of 143 half-hour episodes which made Greene a major television star and a rich man.

When the series ended, the veteran actor purchased an Irish country estate and settled into a life of leisure with his new wife, Brazilian heiress, Beatriz Summers. Together, they pursued many of his hobbies including traveling, sailing, and breeding champion horses. By the 1960s and 1970s, Greene appeared less and less interested in his profession, only occasionally accepting acting work. His latter films were mostly forgettable action adventures and horrors. His second marriage ended in divorce in 1980. Two years later, he suffered serious injuries in a fall followed by a diagnosis of a brain tumor. In the autumn of 1982, he underwent brain surgery from which he never fully recovered. Richard Greene died in Norfolk, England on June 1, 1985. He was survived by a daughter by his second marriage.

Although his movie career was ultimately a disappointment to him, eventually he came to accept, even embrace his cinematic fate as a swashbuckling hero. "This swashbuckler stuff is a bit rough on the anatomy", he revealed in a 1950s interview, "but I find it more exhilarating than whispering mishmash into some ingénue's pink little ear". Of his most famous swashbuckling role, "Robin Hood", Greene expressed a special fondness and pride. "Kids love pageantry and costume plays. But the most important thing is: Robin can be identified with any American hero. He's the British Hopalong!".

Dick Clark

Dick Clark was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York on November 30, 1929 to Julia Fuller and Richard Augustus Clark. He had one older brother, Bradley, who was killed in World War II. At the age of 16, Clark got his first job in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in Utica, New York, which was owned by his uncle and managed by his father. He worked his way up the ranks and was promoted to weatherman before becoming a radio announcer. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in business administration, Clark began working at several radio and television stations before landing at WFIL radio in 1952. While working at the station, Clark became a substitute host for Bob Horn's Bandstand, an afternoon program where teenagers danced to popular music, broadcast by WFIL's affiliated television station. In 1956, Horn was arrested for drunk driving, giving Clark the perfect opportunity to step in as the full-time host.

After acquiring nationwide distribution the newly reformatted program, now titled "American Bandstand", premiered on ABC on August 5, 1957. In addition to the name change, Clark added interviews with artists (starting with Elvis Presley), lip-sync performances, and "Rate-a-Record," allowing teens to judge the songs on the show - and giving birth to the popular phrase, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." Clark also established a formal dress code, mandating dresses and skirts for the women and a coat and tie for the men. But perhaps the most impactful change that Clark made to the show was ending "American Bandstand's" all-white policy, allowing African American artists to perform on the show.

Under Clark's influence, "Bandstand" became one of the most successful and longest-running musical programs, featuring artists including Chuck Berry, the Doors, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, and Smokey Robinson. Sonny and Cher, The Jackson 5, Prince, and Aerosmith were among the influential artists and bands that made their television debuts on "Bandstand", which is also credited with helping to make America more accepting of rock 'n' roll.

With the success of "American Bandstand", Clark became more invested in the music publishing and recording businesses, and began managing artists, hosting live sock hops, and arranging concert tours. But in 1960, when the United States Senate began investigating "payola", the practice in which music producing companies paid broadcasting companies to favor their products, Clark became caught up in the scandal. The investigation found he had partial copyrights to over 150 songs, many of which were featured on his show. Clark denied he was involved in any way, but admitted to accepting a fur and jewelry from a record company president. In the end, the Senate could not find any illegal actions by Clark, but ABC asked Clark to either sell his shares in these companies or leave the network so there was no conflict of interest. He chose to sell and continue on as host of "American Bandstand", which was unaffected by the scandal.

In 1964, Clark moved Bandstand from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and became more involved in television production. Under his company Dick Clark Productions, he produced such shows as "Where the Action Is", "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes", and more recently, "So You Think You Can Dance", as well as made-for-television movies including "Elvis", "The Birth of the Beatles", "Wild Streets", and "The Savage Seven". Clark also hosted television's "$10,000 Pyramid", "TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes" (with co-host Ed McMahon), "Scattergories", and "The Other Half". Clark also had several radio programs, including "The Dick Clark National Music Survey", "Countdown America", and "Rock, Roll & Remember".

In 1972, he produced and hosted the very first edition of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve", a musical program where Clark counted down until the New Year ball dropped in Times Square, featuring taped performances from musical artists. "New Year's Rockin' Eve" soon became a cultural tradition, airing on ABC every year with Clark as host (except in 1999 when ABC aired "ABC 2000: Today", a news milestone program hosted by Peter Jennings). In December 2004, Clark suffered a minor stroke and was unable to host, so Regis Philbin stepped in as a substitute. The following year, Clark returned as co-host alongside primary host Ryan Seacrest. Many were worried about Clark due to his slurred and breathless speech, and he admitted on-air he was still recovering but that he wouldn't have missed the broadcast for the world. The following year, Seacrest became "New Year's Rockin' Eve's" primary host, but Clark always returned for the countdown.

Clark has received several notable awards including four Emmy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and the Peabody Award in 1999. He was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976, The Radio Hall of Fame in 1990, Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. Clark had been in St. John's hospital in Los Angeles after undergoing an outpatient procedure the night of April 17, 2012. Clark suffered a massive heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he died the next morning of April 18, 2012.

Christina Lindberg

Gorgeous and voluptuous brunette beauty Britt Christina Marinette Lindberg was born on December 6, 1950, in Gothenburg, Sweden, to a working-class family, with one sister and two brothers. She studied Latin at school and initially planned on being an archaeologist. Doing some modeling while still in high school, she posed in bathing suits for several newspapers and then started doing nude pictorials in such men's magazines as "Playboy," "Penthouse" (she was the Penthouse Pet of the Month in the June 1970 issue), "Lui" and "Mayfair." With her lustrous long brown hair, doe eyes, sweetly comely face and full, ripe, well-endowed figure, Christina quickly became a popular pin-up girl. She made her film debut with a starring role as naive and virginal, yet still enticing, 16-year-old innocent Inga in Maid in Sweden. She went on to essay roles both minor and major as tantalizing sexpots in such racy exploitation fare as Rötmånad, Diary of a Rape, Schoolgirl Report Part 4: What Drives Parents to Despair, The Swinging Co-eds, Secrets of Sweet Sixteen and Anita: Swedish Nymphet. Lindberg was especially memorable as British spy and gambler Christina in the crazy Japanese pink crime entry Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô. She appeared in two soft-core flicks for acclaimed adult picture writer/director Joseph W. Sarno: the lackluster Every Afternoon and the gloriously bizarre Young Playthings. She achieved her most enduring cult cinema fame with her outstanding performance as Frigga, a much abused and traumatized one-eyed mute junkie prostitute, who exacts a harsh retribution on her tormentors in the brutal and controversial revenge opus Thriller: A Cruel Picture. Alas, her acting career began to falter in the mid-'70s because of her refusal to do hardcore sex scenes.

Christina studied journalism in the late 1970s and subsequently wrote articles for various men's magazines. She's the owner and editor-in-chief of the aviation magazine "Flygrevyn," which she took over following her fiancé Bo Sehlberg's death in 2004. More recently Lindberg made a cameo as Frigga in the over-the-top parody "Sex, Lies & Videoviolence". She owns two Siamese cats and was the onetime girlfriend of Swedish king King Carl XVI Gustaf in the early 1970s. Moreover, Christina is a keen mushroom picker (in 1993 she made a 20-minute instructional short "Christina's Mushroom School"), an animal rights activist, an environmentalist, and a vegetarian. Christina Lindberg lives in Stockholm, Sweden.

Lil' Kim

Kimberly Denise Jones, was born on July 11, 1974, to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. She is of Native American and African American descent. Standing just 4 feet 11 inches tall Kimberly Jones seems much less than being just your average girl in the hood, but when "Lil' Kim" was introduced to the world she became known for her provocative over-the-top outfits, glamorous blonde hair-dos, pornographic attitude, sexy man-crazed looks, and a groundbreaking triumph that eventually secured her place as one of the few female rappers in a male-dominated industry. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Kimberly was born into a broken home, by age 9 her parents had filed for divorce, leaving her and older brother Christopher under the custody of their father. A rebellious child living under the strict rules of her dad, Kimberly and her father had constant fights, and eventually she ran away from home. As a teenager she lived with friends, drug-dealing boyfriends, and, occasionally, on the streets. After meeting her mentor and life saver Christopher Wallace, (Notorious B.I.G/Biggie Smalls), she began to clean up her life and it was Christopher who helped her develop a career in music. By then Kimberly had taken in the slogan "Lil' Kim" after her height and curbing her name to just Kim. With the help of Christopher she became the only female member of the short lived rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Their 1995 debut album Conspiracy debuted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnered the hit singles "Player's Anthem" (#13) and "Get Money" (#17). Following the release, Lil' Kim appeared on records by Mona Lisa, the Isley Brothers, Total, and Skin Deep. And it was obvious that it was time for her to come out with her own solo album, and that's just what she did in 1996, with the release of "Hard Core". Lil' Kim's marketing campaign for the album was quite challenging - she was dressed in a skimpy bikini and furs in advertisements, as well as the album covers - but instead of resulting in criticism, the album became a hit, debuting at # 11 on the pop charts. The first single from the album, "No Time" a duet with Sean "Puffy" Combs, became a #1 rap single and #20 on the pop charts. A top ten single followed with "Not Tonight" (#6). But while Lil Kim's career was blossoming, her life was shattered along with the music world when her father like figure Notorious B.I.G. was murdered on March 9, 1997. Following that incident, Lil' Kim took a hiatus from recording her own music, but she still kept busy with a string of other projects. She was one of the featured performers of Puff Daddy's highly successful 1998 "Bad Boy Tour", and built her own business with the launch of Queen Bee Records, with Lil' Kim herself as CEO. Her long-awaited "Notorious K.I.M." was released in the summer of 2000 under the Queen Bee record label and debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. By then, she had lost weight but still kept the sexual techniques and provocative antics coming for fans that were hungry for more. She had also taken a shift into films debuting in the 1999 teen flick "She's All That" and playing Tina Parker in the 2002 comedy "Juwanna Man". In 2001 Lil Kim gained her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in a remake of Patti Labelle's hit "Lady Marmalade" that collaborated her with singers Mya, Pink, and Christina Aguilera, the success awarded them a Grammy in 2002 for Best Pop Collaboration. Her third full-length album "La Bella Mafia" was released in 2003 debuting at #5 on the pop charts and earned her two more hits with "The Jump Off" (#17) and "Magic Stick/feat.50Cent" that shot to #2. Her album The Naked Truth released in September 2005 debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 Album's chart and sold 109,000 copies during the first week of its release.

Lionel Stander

Lionel Stander, the movie character actor with the great gravelly voice, was born on January 11th, 1908 in The Bronx borough of New York City. Stander's acting career was derailed when he was blacklisted during the 1950s after being exposed as a Communist Party member during the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings. In his own HUAC testimony in May 1953, Stander denounced HUAC's use of informers, particularly those with mental problems.

Stander specialized in playing lovable hoodlums and henchmen and assorted acerbic, hard-boiled types. His physique was burly and brutish, and his head featured a square-jaw beneath a coarse-featured pan that was lightened by his charm. But it was his gruff, foghorn voice that made his fortune.

Stander attended the University of North Carolina, but after making his stage debut at the age of 19, he decided to give up college for acting. Along with a successful stage career, his unusual voice made him ideal for radio. His movie screen debut was in the comedy short Salt Water Daffy with Jack Haley and Shemp Howard. He went on to star in a number of two-reel comedy shorts produced at Vitaphone's Brooklyn studio before moving to Hollywood in 1935, where he appeared as a character actor in many A-list features such as Nothing Sacred.

John Howard Lawson, the screenwriter who was one of the Hollywood Ten and who served as the Communist Party's cultural commissar in Hollywood, held up Stander as the model of a committed communist actor who enhanced the class struggle through his performances. In the movie No Time to Marry, which had been written by Party member Paul Jarrico, Stander had whistled a few bars of the "Internationale" while waiting for an elevator.

Stander thought that the scene would be cut from the movie, but it remained in the picture because "they were so apolitical in Hollywood at the time that nobody recognized the tune".

Stander had a long history of supporting left-wing causes. He was an active member of the Popular Front from 1936-39, a broad grouping of left-wing organizations dedicated to fighting reactionaries at home and fascism abroad. Stander wrote of the time, "We fought on every front because we realized that the forces of reaction and Faciscm fight democracy on every front. We, too, have been forced, therefore, to organize in order to combat them on every front: politically through such organizations as the Motion Picture Democratic Committee; economically through our guilds and unions; socially, and culturally through such organizations as the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League."

The Front disintegrated when the U.S.S.R. signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, which engendered World War II by giving the Nazis the get-go to invade Poland (with the Soviet Union invading from the East). The Communist Party-USA dropped out of the Front and from anti-Nazi activities, and during the early days of the War, before Germany invaded the U.S.S.R. in June 1941, it tried to hamper US support for the UK under the aegis of supporting "peace," including calling strikes in defense plants. Many communists, such as Elia Kazan, dropped out of the Party after this development, but many others stayed. These were the Stalinists that the American non-communist left grew to despise, and eventually joined with the right to destroy, though much of their antipathy after 1947-48 was generated by a desire to save themselves from the tightening noose of reaction.

Melvyn Douglas, a prominent liberal whose wife Helen Gahagan Douglas would later be a U.S. Representative from California (and would lose her bid for the Senate to a young Congressman named Richard Nixon, who red-baited her as "The Pink Lady"), had resisted Stander's attempts to recruit him to the Party. "One night, Lionel Stander kept me up until dawn trying to sell me the Russian brand of Marxism and to recruit me for the Communist Party. I resisted. I had always been condemnatory of totalitarianism and I made continual, critical references to the U.S.S.R. in my speeches. Members of the Anti-Nazi League would urge me to delete these references and several conflicts ensued."

Douglas, his wife, and other liberals were not adverse to cooperating with Party members and fellow travelers under the aegis of the MPDC, working to oppose fascism and organize relief for the Spanish Republic. They believed that they could minimize Communist Party influence, and were heartened by the fact that the Communists had joined the liberal, patriotic, anti-fascist bandwagon. Their tolerance of Communists lasted until the Soviet-Nazi Pact of August 1939. That, and the invasion of Poland by the Nazis and the USSR shattered the Popular Front.

Stander had been subpoenaed by the very first House Un-American Activities Committee inquisition in Hollywood, in 1940, when it was headed by Texas Congressman Martin Dies. The Dies Committee had succeeded in abolishing the Federal Theatre Project of the Works Progress Administration as a left-wing menace in 1939 (the FTP had put on a revival of Lawson's play about the exploitation of miners, "Prcessional," that year in New York). The attack on the FTP had been opposed by many liberals in Hollywood. Stung by the criticisms of Hollywood, the Dies Committee decided to turn its attention on Hollywood itself.

Sending investigators to Hollywood, Dies' HUAC compiled a long-list of subversives, including Melvyn Douglas. John L. Leech, a police agent who had infiltrated the Communist Party before being expelled in 1937, presented a list of real and suspected communists to a Los Angeles County grand jury, which also subpoenaed Stander. The testimony was leaked, and the newspapers reported that Stander, along with such prominent Hollywood liberals as James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Frederic March and Francot Tone, had been identified as communists.

Committee chairman Dies offered all of the people named as communists the opportunity to clear themselves if they would cooperate with him in executive session. Only one of the named people did not appear, and Stander was the only one to appear who was not cleared. Subsequently, he was fired by his studio, Republic Pictures.

Stander was then subpoenaed to testify before the California Assembly's Committee on Un-American Activities, along with John Howard Lawson, the union leader John Sorrell and others. During the strike led by Sorrell's militant Conference of Student Unions against the studios in 1945, Stander was the head of a group of progressives in the Screen Actors Guild who supported the CSU and lobbied the guild to honor its picket lines. They were outvoted by the more conservative faction headed by Robert Montgomery, George Murphy and Ronald Reagan. The SAG membership voted 3,029 to 88 to cross the CSU picket-line.

Stander continued to work after being fired by Republic. He appeared in Hangmen Also Die!, a film about the Nazi Reinhard Heydrich, who was assassinated by anti-fascists. After the bitter CSU strike, which was smeared as being communist-inspired by the studios, HUAC once again turned its gaze towards Hollywood, starting two cycles of inquisitions in 1947 and 1951. The screenwriter Martin Berkeley, who set a record by naming 155 names before the the second round of Committee hearings, testified that Stander had introduced him to the militant labor union leader Harry Bridges, long suspected of being a communist, whom Stander called "comrade".

After being blacklisted, Stander worked as a broker on Wall Street and appeared on the stage as a journeyman actor. He returned to the movies in Tony Richardson's The Loved One, and he began his career anew as a character actor, appearing in many films, including Roman Polanski's Cul-De-Sac and Martin Scorsese's New York, New York. Other movies he appeared in included Promise Her Anything, The Black Bird, The Cassandra Crossing, 1941, Cookie and The Last Good Time, his final theatrical film.

Stander is best remembered for playing Max on TV's Hart to Hart (1979-84) with Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, a role he reprised in a series of "Hart to Hart" TV movies. Stander also appeared on Wagner's earlier TV series It Takes a Thief and on the HBO series Dream On.

Lionel Stander died of lung cancer on November 30, 1994 in Los Angeles, California. He was 86 years old.

Brian Donlevy

It seems that Brian Donlevy started out life as colorfully as any character he ever played on the stage or screen. He lied about his age (he was actually 14) in 1916 so he could join the army. When Gen. John J. Pershing sent American troops to invade Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa--Mexican rebels under Villa's command raided Columbus, NM, and killed 16 American soldiers and civilians--Donlevy served with that expedition and later, in WW I, was a pilot with the Lafayette Escadrille, a unit of the French Air Force comprised of American and Canadian pilots. His schooling was in Cleveland, OH, but in addition he spent two years at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD. However, he gave up on a military career for the stage. After having landed several smaller roles, he got a part in "What Price Glory" and established himself as a bona fide actor. Later such roles on stage as "Three for One", "The Milky Way" and "Life Begins at 8:30" gave him the experience to head off to Hollywood. Donlevy began his Hollywood career with the silent film A Man of Quality and his first talkie was Gentlemen of the Press (in which he had a bit part). There was a five- to six-year gap before he reappeared on the film scene in 1935 with three pictures: Mary Burns, Fugitive, Another Face and Barbary Coast, which was his springboard into film history. Receiving rave reviews as "the tough guy all in black", acting jobs finally began to roll his way. In 1936 he starred in seven films, including Strike Me Pink, in which he played the tough guy to Eddie Cantor's sweet bumpkin Eddie Pink. In all, from 1926 to 1969 Donlevy starred in at least 89 films, reprising one of his Broadway roles as a prizefighter in The Milky Way, and had his own television series (which he also produced), Dangerous Assignment. In 1939 he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the sadistic Sgt. Markoff in Paramount's Beau Geste, its remake of an earlier silent hit. The Great McGinty, a Preston Sturges comedy about a poor homeless slob who makes it to Governor of a state with the mob's help, is a brilliant character study of a man and the changes he goes through to please himself, those around him and, eventually, the woman he loves. A line in the film, spoken by Mrs. McGinty, seems a fitting description of the majority of roles Brian Donlevy would play throughout his career: ". . . You're a tough guy, McGinty, not a wrong guy." Donlevy's ability to make the roughest edge of any character have a soft side was his calling card. He perfected it and no one has quite mastered it since. He later, in 1944, reprised that role in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. By 1935 Donlevy was working for 20th Century-Fox and had just completed filming 36 Hours to Kill when he became engaged to young singer Marjorie Lane, and they married the next year. The marriage produced one child, Judy, but ended in divorce in 1947. It was 19 years before he remarried. In 1966, Bela Lugosi's ex-wife Lillian became Mrs. Brian Donlevy, and they were married until his death in 1972. Donlevy had always derived great pleasure from his two diverse interests, gold mining and writing poetry, so it was fitting that after his last film, Pit Stop, he retired to Palm Springs, CA, where he began to write short stories and had his income well supplemented from a prosperous California tungsten mine he owned. Having gone in for throat surgery in 1971 he re-entered the Motion Picture County Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA, on March 10th, 1972. Less than a month later, on April 6, he passed away from cancer.

Diane McBain

Signed on as a Warner Brothers starlet, bouncy, blonde-coiffed Diane McBain would develop a burgeoning career as lively 60s "bad girl" and "spoiled rich girl" types on film and TV. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 18, 1941, the family moved to California while still young and she started things off as a "sweet 16" model in print and commercial ads. Eventually TV got more than just a glimpse of this diverting beauty after a WB talent agent spotted her in a Los Angeles play and signed her on during her senior year at Glendale High School.

After busily apprenticing on various TV projects, Diane made her first big splash in 1960 (age 19) with a prominent role in Ice Palace co-starring Richard Burton, Carolyn Jones and Martha Hyer. Brimming with style and confidence, Diane was quickly ushered into other films as Warner's answer to Carroll Baker, winning parts in two consecutive soapers. The first was Parrish with (again) Donahue and screen legend Claudette Colbert; the other was the title role in Claudelle Inglish opposite up-and-comers Chad Everett and Robert Logan. Neither the tawdry scripts nor the box office receipts were anything to write home about unfortunately, and her leading lady career in films started to flounder with such fodder as The Caretakers with Joan Crawford, A Distant Trumpet, yet again with Donahue, and Spinout. The last was one of Elvis Presley' later vehicles that signified an inevitable fadeout was on the horizon. Significantly better was her dizzy good time girl and socialite "Daphne Dutton" on the hip Warner Bros. series Surfside 6 alongside Van Williams (later TV's "Green Hornet") and beef-cake film star Troy Donahue. The show ran for two seasons.

Diane proved popular with the teen set with her devilish débutantes and snobby sophisticates, even accompanying Bob Hope on one of his USO tours of South Vietnam in 1966/67. On the cult series Batman, she played "Pinky Pinkston" (with pink hair, pink outfits and a pink dog). By the late 1960s, however, her career began drifting into exploitation with terrible titles like I Sailed to Tahiti with an All Girl Crew, Maryjane and The Mini-Skirt Mob (miscast as a biker chick) representative of what she was being handed.

Diane instead laid low and focused on her child, Evan, more or less splitting from the Hollywood scene. A few plays (Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie") and lowbudget films came her way, and in the 80s she was seen a bit more on daytime soaps. The still young-looking and ever-elegant Diane was out and about in the 90s as well, playing good-looking grandmas on such shows as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. The victim of a rape attack in 1982, Diane chose to rise above her traumatic circumstances and help others as a rape counselor.

Burt Kwouk

Burt Kwouk was a British actor, he was best known for his role as Cato in the Pink Panther films, and for play Mr Ling in the third James Bond film Goldfinger.

Kwouk was born in Warrington, but was brought up in Shanghai. He made his film debut in the 1957 film Windom's Way. In Goldfinger (1964) he played Mr. Ling, a Chinese expert in nuclear fission; in the non-Eon spoof Casino Royale (1967) he played a general and in You Only Live Twice (1967) Kwouk played the part of a Japanese operative of Blofeld.

He also made appearances in many television programmes, including a portrayal of Imperial Japanese Army Major Yamauchi in the British drama series Tenko and as Entwistle in Last of the Summer Wine.

Kwouk died on 24 May 2016, at the age of 85.

Harry Van Gorkum

London-born, classically-trained actor Harry Van Gorkum holds an impressive career in all aspects of acting, including stage theater, film and television. After attending Lancaster University, Harry went on to act in theater, participating in stage productions throughout England, with an appearance in the award-winning Being At Home With Claude. On moving to America, Harry began to add to his acting resume with guest appearances on various television series including Seinfeld, Friends, Just Shoot Me, CSI, Jag, and perhaps most notably in The Nanny as a recurring character who was Fran Drescher's love interest. On film, Harry has appeared in Batman & Robin (1997), Gone In Sixty Seconds (2000) with Nicolas Cage and Escape Under Pressure (2000) with Rob Lowe. He also appeared with seasoned action stars Steven Seagal in The Foreigner (2003), with Bruce Willis in Tears of the Sun (2003) and Sylvester Stallone in Avenging Angelo (2002). Harry also brought his comic skills to the screen in Pink Panther 2 (2009) and was recurring on the final season of 24 (2010), playing the British Foreign Minister Louis Dalton. He has can also be seen in the top ten grossing film of 2010 Karate Kid, and two Disney shows I'm in the Band (2011) and Wizards of Waverly Place (2011).

Taryn Southern

Taryn Southern is a writer, producer, actress, and TV host primarily known for her work in the online world. Referred in 2009 as 'a webutante extraordinaire' by Tubefilter.tv, Taryn's online videos and series have been seen by more than 100 million people and featured in People, Cosmopolitan, USA Today, Redbook, Maxim, CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, ABC, and more.

Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Taryn grew up performing music theatre, landing her first lead role as the young Jane Eyre in the pre-Broadway musical "Jane Eyre,"written/directed by Les Miserables' creator John Caird.

In her teens, Taryn ventured into the world of television hosting and lead several teen talk shows on the WB and PBS. At the age of 19, Taryn graduated from the University of Miami and received degrees in Anthropology and Mixed Media Journalism. She then took several months off to travel South America and Europe before heading to Los Angeles.

Since moving to Los Angeles, Taryn has acted in a handful of films and web series, as well as hosted several network television series and specials for major award shows including the red carpet broadcasts for the American Music Awards, Grammys, Young Hollywood Awards, and Golden Globes.

More notably, however, Taryn is the first person to have sold two television shows - scripted and unscripted - based on produced online content. In 2006, she executive produced and starred in Project MyWorld, a travel series on DirecTV, in which she traveled the world and met her friends on MySpace. In 2009, Taryn sold a half-hour comedy pilot to MTV known as Private High Musical, based on a web series that Taryn had written, produced, and starred in.

Through her company, Pink Hamsta Productions, Taryn continues to write and produce one-off videos and serialized content for the internet.

John Byner

The proud owner of scores of dialects and hundreds of uncanny impersonations, slight, deadpan, rubber-faced, light-haired funnyman John Byner is the forerunner to such presently gifted comic impressionists as Dana Carvey and Frank Caliendo. Byner's spot-on impressions have run the entertainment and historical gamut -- from John Wayne, Walter Brennan and George Jessel to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. As icing on the cake, he could unleash hilariously over-done singing vocals to such stylists as Johnny Mathis and Dean Martin. At his heyday in the late 60s and early 70s, John and Rich Little were the cream of the mimicking crop -- deservedly recognized as the "Men of 1,000 Impressions".

Born John Biener on June 28, 1938 in New York City, he was the son of Michael Biener, an auto mechanic, and Christina Biener, a mental hospital attendant. His stand-up comedy career began in New York's Greenwich Village where he worked for a year for Max Gordon at Gordon's jazz club "Village Vanguard". He then went on to open for some of the finest jazz greats of his time and steadily became a favorite New York nightclub fixture. As he rose to the top of his game, he opened or headlined prominent niteries throughout the country included headlining stints at Basin Street East, Copa Cabana, Latin Quarter, The Rainbow Room and at such showrooms as Harrah's, The Sahara, The Sands, Caesar's Palace, The Tropicana and Las Vegas Hilton.

John's TV career break happened in New York City on Merv Griffin's "Talent Scouts Show" in 1964. After great exposure on both Garry Moore and Steve Allen's variety shows in 1966 and 1967, he clowned around on Ed Sullivan's showcase program over two dozen times and Johnny Carson late-night haunt over three dozen times. He added to the laughs on Carol Burnett, Mike Douglas and Dean Martin's self-titled shows and became a veritable favorite with David Letterman and Jay Leno at night. He hosted and starred in his own summer variety series with The John Byner Comedy Hour which focused on sketch comedy and sitcom spoofs. John's series "Comedy on the Road," which aired for four seasons on A&E earned him his second Ace Award. The first came for his uproarious series Bizarre, a half-hour sketch-styled program which aired for six seasons.

As an actor John contributed side-splitting moments on such established 60s and 70s shows as "Get Smart", "Soap," "Maude" and "The Odd Couple" and made his film debut in the Barbra Streisand/'Ryan O'Neal' gagfest What's Up, Doc?. While he never found a strong footing in film, he managed to add second-banana fun to a handful of slapstick vehicles for such top comic stars as Rodney Dangerfield.

John's penchant for creating voices led to an expansive career in cartoons and voiceovers for Disney projects as well as the animated programs "Duckman," "Angry Beavers" and "Rug Rats." A cartoon segment entitled "The Ant and the Aardvark" on "The Pink Panther Show" series had the title characters voiced by Byner, who gave dead-on impressions of Dean Martin and Jackie Mason, respectively. Married four times, John has four children from his first marriage.

Geoffrey Cantor

Geoffrey graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a degree in theater. He attended the National Theater Institute (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Conn), and continued his training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, in London, England.

Best known as Mitchell Ellison in both Marvel's Daredevil and The Punisher on Netflix, he will also be seen as Frank in the new Netflix series Maniac with Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. Other TV includes Agent Adams on Amazon's The Tick, Bobby Fletcher in TNT's Civil, AMC's Feed the Beast, Madam Secretary, House of Cards, Elementary, The Blacklist, Forever, Believe, The Americans, The Following, Deception, Zero Hour, Person of Interest, Pan Am, Damages, Smash, The Big C, Sopranos, Bored to Death, all of the Law & Order's, Mercy, Brotherhood, Life on Mars, Ed, Third Watch, All My Children, Guiding Light, and Spike TV's The Kill Point.

Film credits include the Coen Brothers' Hail, Ceasar!, Hot Air, MIB3, Bird People, Thanks for Sharing, The Longest Week, Man on a Ledge, Fair Game, Michael Mann's Public Enemies, When in Rome, The Notorious Betty Page, One Last Thing, the short film 411 with F. Murray Abraham, and the title role of Karl Manhair in the short Karl Manhair, Postal Inpsector.

Stage work Includes Side Man (Broadway), Warren Leight's Sec 310, Row D, Seats 5&6, Dinner With Friends, Julie Taymor's Titus Andronicus, Saturday Sunday Monday, Denial (Long Wharf), Death of a Salesman (with Judd Hirsh), Talley's Folly, Romeo and Juliet (Acting Company), and Lone Star (London and Edinburgh). Geoffrey has been featured in over 200 television and radio commercials, including two award-winning campaigns: Let It Out (Kleenex--the Good Listener), and Fair Enough (part of the Truth campaign).

Geoffrey began directing in college, and in London, he developed the play-reading series Readings at One at the Duke of York's Theater in the West End. There he directed the London premier reading of Allan Knee's The Man Who was Peter Pan, upon which the film Finding Neverland was based. Other directing credits include Sweet Texas Reckoning, Stripped (which he co-wrote), James Mclure's 1959 Pink Thunderbird (Lone Star and Laundry and Bourbon, For Our Daughters (Illuminart) in Staten Island, Prey (NYfringe 2010), My Secret Public Seder (an Original Piece, written for and with members of the Bergen County JCCY), Winterglass (an original piece), and Cowboys II, by Sam Shepard.

As a coach and teacher, he has worked all over the country with actors whose credits include all the major TV shows in New York, film and Broadawy. His students have also been accepted to some of the best theater programs in the country, including Ithaca, Fordham, Emerson, Michigan, Mason Gross, and UCSD.

Geoffrey is also the Chief Creative consultant for Rethink The Conversation, a nonprofit public awareness group focused on issues of serious concern that have been tinged by stigma, misinformation, lack of attention, or indifference, bringing them to the fore of social consciousness and activism.

Bekka Bowling

Bekka Bowling burst onto the scene in 2011 when she didn't quite win a Funny Women award (she was runner up, despite entering on a whim and having never done a single stand up gig in her life).

In 2016 she was the lead in BBC3 comedy 'Limbo', playing pink-haired hedonist 'Nicola' aka 'Neck'. Other credits include Some Girls for BBC3, Episodes for BBC2, Top Coppers for BBC3 and Phillip K Dick's Electric Dreams for channel 4.

She is currently writing her third sitcom script for Hat Trick Productions, following a commission from the BBC.

Bekka was named on the BBC's new talent hot list 2017 as 'one to watch' earmarked as a potential 'star of the future'.

Dick Elliott

In the thirties, forties, and especially the 1950's, if a director wanted a short, fat actor to play a windy storekeeper or a raucous conventioneer, he might well cast Dick Elliott. He was one of those actors who, whenever he appeared on screen, often for less than a minute, the audience would think, "Oh, it's that guy." Yet few would ever know his name.

Elliott was certainly short, probably not much more than five foot four. And he was certainly fat. His belly was large and round, so he looked a bit like a huge ball with arms and legs. One imagined him soft and pink, and always happy. A Hobbit, perhaps. Santa Claus without the whiskers. And like another short, fat actor, Eugene Pallette, Elliott had a distinctive voice. Not the bullfrog basso that rumbled out of Pallette's gullet, but higher-pitched, whiney or honey-smooth as the role demanded, with an "sh" in place of a lot of "s" sounds.

Elliott appeared in over 240 films. He was most often cast as judges, mayors, newspaper reporters, policemen, and blowhards, usually one who can't stop talking except when he'd burst into a loud laugh that bordered on a cackle.

As was the case with many character actors who never became featured players, not much record remains of his personal life. He was born Richard Damon Elliott on April 30, 1886, in Salem, Massachusetts. His gravestone says he was a loving husband and father. And we know he began performing in stock in 1931 and was on stage for nearly thirty years before his film debut, including appearing in the long-running hit, "Abie's Irish Rose." Other than that, we have only his film and television appearances to go on, and I'll mention some highlights.

His first movie was "Central Airport" in 1933 and he was Ned Buntline in "Annie Oakley" with Barbara Stanwyck in 1935. He was perfect for the role of Marryin' Sam in "L'il Abner" (1940), was amusing as the Judge in "Christmas in Connecticut" (1945) again starring Stanwyck, and made the most of his small role as a Whiskey Drummer in "The Dude Goes West" (1948) with Eddie Albert. Many film fans remember him best for another small role, as the man on the porch in the holiday perennial "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946), who tells Jimmy Stewart to stop jabbering and go ahead and kiss Donna Reed. Often his role in a film was so small his character didn't even have a name, and was sometimes listed in the cast simply as "Fat Man." He did have a good part in the under appreciated film "Park Row" in 1952. His last film role was in "Go, Johnny, Go!" in 1959.

The advent of television opened up a whole new world of roles. An unending stream of weekly comedies, dramas, and even variety shows needed performers. Some featured character actors like Gene Lockhart and Cecil Kellaway might star in an episode of an anthology series. Actors who had little screen time in films became invaluable featured players, and a few even attained the Holy Grail of being a series regular, Elliott among them. In the fifties he appeared in dozens and dozens of TV shows, including "Dick Tracy" (1950), in which he had a recurring role as Chief Murphy, "My Little Margie" (1952-55), "The Adventures of Superman" (1952-58), "I Love Lucy" (1954-56), "I Married Joan" (1955, in which his character was called "Fatso," "December Bride" (1957-59), and "Rawhide" (1959-61). One of his best roles was in the "Buffalo Bill, Jr." episode "The Rain Wagon" (1955), in which he played Osgood Falstaff, the Shakespeare-quoting rainmaker who is secretly a bank robber. It was rare for Elliott to play a villain, but he pulls it off, making his eyes look devious and sinister -- a cuddly fat man, but don't turn your back on him. At the other extreme, he often played Santa Claus on Christmas episodes of the Jimmy Durante, Red Skelton, and Jack Benny shows.

To many people, Elliott will always be remembered as Mayor Pike in "The Andy Griffith Show." Sadly, Elliott died during the second season of the show, on December 22, 1961, in Burbank, California.

Dick Elliott was one of those character actors who were almost anonymous, though they lit up the screen in short roles. Fortunately, because of "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas and "The Andy Griffith Show" in frequent reruns, his fans can still delight in the little fat man.

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