With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception, English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. But the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his television debut in the miniseries Band of Brothers. After being cast in the World War II drama, Hardy left his studies at the prestigious Drama Centre in London and was subsequently cast as Twombly in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down and as the villain Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Tom was born on September 15, 1977 in Hammersmith, London; his mother, Elizabeth Anne (Barrett), is an artist and painter, and his father, Edward Hardy, is a writer. He is of English and Irish descent. Hardy was brought up in East Sheen, London, and first studied at Reed's School. His education continued at Tower House School, then at Richmond Drama School, and subsequently at the Drama Centre London, along with fellow Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender. After winning a modeling competition at age 21, he had a brief contract with the agency Models One.
Tom spent his teens and early twenties battling delinquency, alcoholism and drug addiction; after completing his work on Star Trek: Nemesis, he sought treatment and has also admitted that his battles with addiction ended his 5-year marriage to Rachael Speed.
Returning to work in 2003, Hardy was awarded the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer Award for his theatre performances in the productions of "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Blood". In 2003, Tom also co-starred in the play "The Modernists" with Paul Popplewell, Jesse Spencer and Orlando Wells.
During the next five years, Hardy worked consistently in film, television and theatre, playing roles as varied as Robert Dudley in the BBC's The Virgin Queen, Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist and starring in "The Man of Mode" at the National Theatre. On the silver screen, he appeared in the crime thriller Layer Cake with Daniel Craig, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and the romp Scenes of a Sexual Nature.
In 2006, Hardy created "Shotgun", an underground theatre company along with director Robert Delamere, and directed a play, penned by his father for the company, called "Blue on Blue". In 2007, Hardy received a best actor BAFTA nomination for his touching performance as Stuart Shorter in the BBC adaptation of Alexander Masters' bestselling biography Stuart: A Life Backwards. Hardy, hailed for his transformative character acting, was lauded for his emotionally and physically convincing portrayal in the ill-fated and warmhearted tale of Shorter, a homeless and occasionally violent man suffering from addiction and muscular dystrophy.
The following year, he appeared as gay hoodlum Handsome Bob in the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla, but it would be his next transformation that would prove his extensive range and stun critics. In the film Bronson, Hardy played the notorious Charles Bronson (given name, Michael Peterson), the "most violent prisoner in Britain". Bald, pumped-up, and outfitted with Bronson's signature strongman mustache, Hardy is unrecognizable and gives a harrowing performance that is physically fearless and psychologically unsettling. Director Nicolas Winding Refn breaks the fourth wall with Hardy retelling his tales directly to viewers as well as performing them outright before an audience of his own imagining. The performance mixes terrifying brutality, vaudevillian showmanship, wry humor, and an alarming amount of commitment, and won Hardy a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. The performance got Hollywood's attention and, in 2009, Hardy was named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch". That year, he continued to garner praise for his starring role in The Take, a four-part adaptation of Martina Cole's bestselling crime novel, as well as for his performance as Heathcliff in a version of Wuthering Heights.
Recent work includes the aforementioned breakthrough appearance in Inception alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard and Ellen Page. The movie was released in July 2010 and became one of top 25 highest grossing films of all time, collecting eight Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) and winning four.
Other films include Warrior, opposite Joel Edgerton, the story of two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime from director Gavin O'Connor, and This Means War, directed by McG and co-starring Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine. Tom also starred in the heralded Cold War thriller, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman.
Hardy rejoined Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises; he played the villain role of Bane opposite Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman. Hardy's menacing physique and his character's scrambled, hard-to-distinguish voice became a major discussion point as the film was released.
Outside of performing, Hardy is the patron for the charity "Flack", which is an organization to aid the recovery of the homeless in Cambridge. And, in 2010, Hardy was named an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust, which helps disadvantaged youth. On the recent stage, he starred in the Brett C. Leonard play "The Long Red Road" in early 2010. Written for Hardy and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, the play was staged at Chicago's Goodman Theater.
In 2015, Hardy starred as the iconic Mad Max in George Miller's reboot of his franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road. He also collected a British Independent Film Award for his portrayal of both the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie, in Legend, and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as John Fitzgerald in The Revenant.
He has an outlaw biker story among other projects in development. In 2010, Hardy became engaged to fellow English actress, Charlotte Riley, whom he starred with in The Take and Wuthering Heights, and is raising a young son, Louis, with ex-girlfriend Rachael Speed.
Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born in Paris, France, to English parents, Jacqueline Luesby and Chris Watson, both lawyers. She moved to Oxfordshire when she was five, where she attended the Dragon School. From the age of six, Emma knew that she wanted to be an actress and, for a number of years, she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school where she studied singing, dancing and acting. By the age of ten, she had performed and taken the lead in various Stagecoach productions and school plays.
In 1999, casting began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerers (2001), the film adaptation of British author J.K. Rowling's bestselling novel. Casting agents found Emma through her Oxford theatre teacher. After eight consistent auditions, producer David Heyman told Emma and fellow applicants, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, that they had been cast for the roles of the three leads, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. The release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) was Emma's cinematic screen debut. The film broke records for opening-day sales and opening-weekend takings and was the highest-grossing film of 2001. Critics praised the film and the performances of the three leading young actors. The highly distributed British newspaper, 'The Daily Telegraph', called her performance "admirable". Later, Emma was nominated for five awards for her performance in the film, winning the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress in a Feature Film.
After the release of the first film of the highly successful franchise, Emma became one of the most well-known actresses in the world. She continued to play the role of Hermione Granger for nearly ten years, in all of the following Harry Potter films: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). Emma acquired two Critics' Choice Award nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for her work in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. The completion of the seventh and eight movies saw Emma receive nominations in 2011 for a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award, and for Best Actress at the Jameson Empire Awards. The Harry Potter franchise won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in February 2011.
2011 saw Emma in Simon Curtis's My Week With Marilyn (2011), alongside a stellar cast of Oscar nominees including Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier, in addition to Eddie Redmayne, Dame Judi Dench, Dougray Scott, Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Dominic Cooper. Chronicling a week in Marilyn Monroe's life, the film featured Emma in the supporting role of Lucy, a costume assistant to Colin Clark (Redmayne). The film was released by The Weinstein Company and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical. In 2012 Emma was seen in Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his coming-of-age novel The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012), starring opposite Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller. This independent drama centered around Charlie (Lerman), an introverted freshman who is taken under the wings of two seniors (Watson and Miller) who welcome him to the real world. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and received rave reviews. The film won the People's Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic Movie and Emma also picked up the People's Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic Movie Actress. Emma was awarded a second time for this role with the Best Supporting Actress Award at the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards where the film also won the Best Ensemble Performance Award.
In summer 2013, Emma starred in Sofia Coppola's American satirical black comedy crime film, The Bling Ring (2013). The film took inspiration from real events and followed a group of teenagers who, obsessed with fashion and fame, burgled the homes of celebrities in Los Angeles. The film opened the Un Certain Regard section of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Emma also appeared in a cameo role as herself in Seth Rogen's apocalypse comedy This Is The End (2013). The film tells the story about what happens to some of Hollywood's best loved celebrities when the apocalypse strikes during a party at James Franco's house.
Emma was most recently seen in Darren Aronofsky's Noah (2014) opposite Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman and Anthony Hopkins. The film told the epic, biblical tale of Noah and the ark. Emma plays the role of Ila, a young woman who develops a close relationship with Noah's son, Shem (Booth). Noah has made an outstanding $300m since its release in March. Emma has completed filming her next project, Regression, written and directed by Alejandro Amenábar. Emma will star in the thriller opposite Oscar nominated Ethan Hawke. Set in Minnesota 1990, Regression tells the story of Detective Bruce Kenner (Hawke) who investigates the case of young Angela, played by Emma, who accuses her father of sexual abuse. The film is expected to be released in 2015. Emma will next play Kelsea Glynn in the film adaptation of The Queen Of The Tearling, Erika Johansen's page-turner of a novel about a young woman raised by foster parents in a cottage hidden away in a remote forest. On her 19th birthday, Kelsea is removed from her home to take her rightful place as sovereign of a fictional post-Utopian country that hides dark secrets and is menaced by a neighboring monarch. The screenplay for The Queen Of The Tearling has been written by Mark L. Smith. David Heyman will be producing the film and Emma will also serve as an executive producer. David and Emma worked together on all the Harry Potter films. The producer snapped up the rights to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series very early, before publication; and he and Warner Bros have done the same thing with the Tearling trilogy. Filming is due to commence next year.
In 2012, Emma was honored with the Calvin Klein Emerging Star Award at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards. In 2013, Emma was awarded the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards in April and was honored with the GQ Woman of the Year Award at the GQ Awards in September. Further to her acting career, Emma is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Emma graduated from Brown University in May 2014.
Taylor Schilling (born July 27, 1984) is an American actress. She is known for her role as Piper Chapman on the Netflix original comedy-drama series Orange Is the New Black (2013-present), for which she won the 2013 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Drama and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014. She made her film debut in 2007 with Meryl Streep in the drama Dark Matter. Schilling also starred as Veronica Flanagan Callahan in the short-lived NBC medical drama Mercy (2009-10). Her other films include Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011), the romantic drama The Lucky One (2012) and the political thriller Argo (2012).
Schilling was born on July 27, 1984 in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Patricia (née Miller), an MIT administrator, and Robert J. Schilling, a former prosecutor. She grew up in West Roxbury and Wayland, splitting time between her divorced parents. A fan of the NBC medical drama ER during her youth, she began acting at a young age. She became active in her middle school's theatre program when she appeared in a stage production of Fiddler on the Roof.
After graduating from Wayland High School in 2002, Schilling attended Fordham University's campus at Lincoln Center, where she continued to take part in stage productions before earning her Bachelor of Arts in 2006. She then entered the graduate program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts to continue her acting studies but left after her second year to start auditioning. While attempting to break into acting, she supported herself by working as a nanny for a Manhattan-based family.
Schilling made her feature film debut with a supporting role in the independent film Dark Matter (2007). In 2009, she was selected to star in the NBC medical drama Mercy, as Nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan, a tough Iraq War veteran and former military nurse-turned-medical practitioner. Reading for the part via videotape from New York City, she impressed the show's creator and executive producer, Liz Heldens, who then flew her out to Los Angeles to audition for the role. In Heldens' words, "she just blew the doors off the audition." The show ran for one season from September 2009 to May 2010.
Schilling won the Emerson College Playwright's Festival Outstanding Performance Award. She portrayed Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged: Part I (2011), and co-starred with Zac Efron in the romantic drama film The Lucky One (2012). She currently stars as Piper Chapman in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, based on the Piper Kerman memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. The show premiered on July 11, 2013. For her work on the show, Schilling was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2014.
American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to respected actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter, Wahlberg also is a solid comedy actor, proven by his starring role in Ted.
Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born June 5, 1971 in a poor working class district, Dorchester, of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the son of Alma Elaine (Donnelly), a nurse's aide and clerk, and Donald Edward Wahlberg, a delivery driver. Wahlberg is the youngest of nine children. He is of Irish, Swedish (from his paternal grandfather), and more distant French-Canadian and English, descent. The large Wahlberg brood didn't have a lot growing up, especially after his parents divorced when he was eleven. The kids crammed into a three bedroom apartment, none of them having very much privacy. Mark's mother has said that after the divorce, she became very self-absorbed with her own problems. She has blamed herself for her son's subsequent problems and delinquency. Wahlberg dropped out of high school at age 14 (but later got his GED) to pursue a life of petty crime and drugs. He'd spend his days scamming and stealing, working on the odd drug deal before treating himself to the substances himself.
The young man also had a violent streak - one which was often aimed at minorities. At age sixteen, he was convicted of assault against two Vietnamese men after he had tried to rob them. As a result of his assault conviction, he was sentenced to serve 50 days in prison at Deer Island penitentiary. Whilst there, he began working out to pass time and, when he emerged at the end of his sentence, he had gone from being a scrawny young kid to a buff young man. Wahlberg also credits the jail time as being his motivation to improve his lifestyle and leave the crime behind him.
Around this time, his older brother Donnie Wahlberg had become an overnight teen idol as a member of the 1980s boy band New Kids on the Block. A precursor to the boy-band craze, the group was dominating the charts and were on top of their game. Mark himself had been an original member of the band but had backed out early on - uncomfortable with the squeaky clean image of the group. Donnie used his connections in the music business to help his little brother secure a recording contract, and soon the world was introduced to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, with Wahlberg as a bad-boy rapper who danced in his boxers. Despite a lack of singing ability, promoters took to his dance moves and a physique they knew teenage girls would love.
Donnie scripted some easy songs for Mark, who collected a troupe of dancers and a DJ to become his "Funky Bunch" and "Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch" was born. His debut album, "Music for the People", was a smash hit, which was propelled along by the rapper's willingness to disrobe down to boxer-briefs on stage, not to mention several catchy tunes. Teenage girls thrilled to the rapping "bad boy". Record producer David Geffen saw in Wahlberg a cash-cow of marketing ability. After speaking to designer Calvin Klein, Marky Mark was set up as the designer's chief underwear model.
His scantily clad figure soon adorned billboards across the nation. Ironically, while the New Kids on the Block's fame was dwindling as audiences tired of their syrupy lyrics, "Marky Mark's" bad boy image was becoming even more of a commodity. He was constantly in the headlines (often of the tabloids) after multiple scandals. In 1992, he released a book dedicated to his penis. Wahlberg was constantly getting into rumored fights, most memorably with Madonna and her entourage at a Los Angeles party. While things were always intense, they were relatively harmless and made for enjoyable reading for the public. However, when the story of his arrest for assault (and the allegations of racism) broke in the press, things took on a decidedly darker note. People were not amused. Soon after, while on a British talk show along with rapper Shabba Ranks, he got into even more trouble. After Ranks made the statement that gays should be crucified, Wahlberg was accused of condoning the comments by his silence. Marky Mark was suddenly surrounded by charges of brutality, homophobia and racial hatred. His second album, "You Gotta Believe", had not been faring well and, after the charges surfaced, it plummeted from the charts.
Adding to the hoopla, Wahlberg was brought to court for allegedly assaulting a security guard. He was ordered to make amends by appearing in a series of anti-bias advertisements. Humbled and humiliated by his fall from grace in the music world, Wahlberg decided to pursue another angle, acting. He dropped the "Marky Mark" moniker and became known simply as Mark Wahlberg. His first big screen role came in Penny Marshall's Renaissance Man. Despite the name change, many people snickered at the idea of the has-been rapper thinking he could make it as an actor. From the get-go, he was proving them wrong. In Renaissance Man, he gave an utterly charming performance as a simple but sincere army recruit. What naysayers remained found it increasingly difficult to write Mark Wahlberg off as he delivered one fine performance after another. He blew them away in the controversial The Basketball Diaries and chilled them in Fear as every father's worst nightmare.
The major turning point in Wahlberg's career came with the role of troubled porn star Dirk Diggler in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights. Since then, Wahlberg has chosen roles that demonstrate a wide range of dramatic ability, starring in critically acclaimed dramas such as Three Kings and The Perfect Storm, popcorn flicks like Planet of the Apes and Contraband, and even indies such as I Heart Huckabees.
Wahlberg and his wife Rhea Durham have four children.
Milla Jovovich is an Ukrainian-born actress, supermodel, fashion designer, singer and public figure, who was on the cover of more than a hundred magazines, and starred in such films as The Fifth Element, Ultraviolet, and the Resident Evil franchise.
Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich was born on December 17, 1975 in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (now in Ukraine). Her Serbian father, Bogdan Jovovich, was a medical doctor in Kiev. There, he met her mother, Galina Jovovich (née Loginova), a Russian actress. At the age of 5, in 1981, Milla emigrated with her parents from the Soviet Union, moving first to London, UK, then to Sacramento, California, and eventually settled in Los Angeles. There her parents worked as house cleaners for the household of director Brian De Palma. Her parents separated, and eventually divorced, because her father was arrested and spent several years in prison.
Young Milla Jovovich was brought up by her single mother in Los Angeles. In addition to her native Russian, she also speaks Serbian and English. However, in spite of her cosmopolitan background, Milla was ostracized by some of her classmates, as a kid who emigrated from the Soviet Union amidst the paranoia of the Cold War. Many emotional scars had affected her behavior, but she eventually emerged as a resilient, multi-talented, albeit rebellious and risk-taking girl. She was coached by her actress mother since her childhood, first at home, then studied music, ballet, and acting in Los Angeles.
She shot to international fame after she was spotted by the photographer Richard Avedon at the age of 11, and was featured in Revlon's "Most Unforgettable Women in the World" advertisements, and on the cover of the Italian fashion magazine 'Lei' which was her first cover shoot. She made her first professional model contract at the age of 12, and soon made it to the cover of 'The Face', 'Vogue', 'Cosmopolitan' and many other magazines. In 1994, she appeared on the cover of 'High Times' in the UK, at the age of 18. The total number of her magazine covers worldwide was over one hundred by 2004, and keeps counting. In 2004, she made $10.4 million, becoming the highest paid supermodel in the world.
Milla appeared in ad campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Emporio Armani, Donna Karen, DKNY, Celine, P&K, H&H, and continues her role as the worldwide spokesmodel for L'Oreal. Thanks to their continued success with Milla, Giorgio Armani chose her to be the face of his fragrance, Night. In addition to Armani's fragrance, Milla was the face for Calvin Klein's Obsession and Christian Dior's Poison for over 10 years and has most recently become the new face for Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist fragrance, which debuts in August 2009. Milla continues to shoot with the fashion industry's most sought after photographers, including Peter Lindbergh, Mario Sorrenti, Craig McDean and Inez & Vinoodh.
Milla made her acting debut in the Disney Channel movie The Night Train to Kathmandu and she made guest appearances on television series including Married with Children (in 1989 as a French exchange student), Guns of Paradise and Parker Lewis Can't Lose. In 1988, at age 12, she made her film debut credited as Milla in a supporting role in Two Moon Junction by writer/director Zalman King. During the 1980s and early 1990s, she played several supporting roles as a teenage actress in film and on television, then starred in Return to the Blue Lagoon. In 1997, she co-starred opposite Bruce Willis in the sci-fi blockbuster The Fifth Element, then she starred as the title character of The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.
In the early 2000s, Milla had a few years of uncertainty in her acting career due to the uneven quality of her films, as well as some hectic events in her private life. She appeared with Mel Gibson in Wim Wenders' The Million Dollar Hotel which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. She went on to co-star with Wes Bentley and Sarah Polley in The Claim and in Ben Stiller's spoof of the world of models and high-fashion, Zoolander.
Milla achieved box office success in the U.S. and around the world with the action-packed thriller, Resident Evil, based on the wildly popular video game, Resident Evil. It was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Milla reprised her role as the zombie slaying heroine, Alice, in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and again in Resident Evil: Retribution. A sixth resident Evil movie is in pre-production.
She received glowing reviews opposite Oscar-winner Adrien Brody and Illeana Douglas in Dummy which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. In the spring of 2006, Milla returned to the big screen as action heroine, Violet, in the futuristic film Ultraviolet directed by Kurt Wimmer.
Focusing on her personal sense of style, her love of fashion led Milla and her friend and business partner, Carmen Hawk, to launch their Jovovich-Hawk clothing line, which achieved instant acclaim in the domestic and international fashion world. The fresh, unique line garnered the attention of red carpet watchers and fashion magazines, including American Vogue, who featured Jovovich-Hawk on their coveted list of "10 Things to Watch Out for in 2005." A student of voice and guitar since she was very young, Milla began writing songs for her first record at the age of 15.
Her first album, "The Divine Comedy", was released by EMI Records in 1994. Informed by her experiences as a child growing up as a Russian emigrant in the Red-bashing Reagan era, the introspective European-folkish debut drew favorable reviews for Milla's songwriting and performing. She continues to write music, and has had songs featured on several film soundtracks. She has been writing music and lyrics to her song-demos, playing her guitar and sampling other sounds from her computer, and allowing free download and remix of her songs from her website.
Charitable work also plays a major part in Milla's life. She has served as Master of Ceremonies and co-chaired with Elizabeth Taylor for the amfAR and Cinema Against AIDS event at the Venice Film Festival, and has been heavily involved with The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, as well as The Wildlands Project.
For many years Milla Jovovich has been maintaining a healthier lifestyle, practicing yoga and meditation, trying to avoid junk food, and cooking for herself. Since she was a little girl, Milla has been writing a private diary, a habit she learned from her mother. She has been keeping a record of many good and bad facts of her life, her travels, her relationships, and all important ideas and events in her career, planning eventually to publish an autobiography. After dissolution of her two previous marriages, Milla Jovovich became engaged to film director Paul W.S. Anderson; their daughter, Ever Anderson, was born on November 3, 2007.
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series, as well as for his lead roles in the romantic-comedy fantasy Kate & Leopold (2001), the action-horror film Van Helsing (2004), the drama The Prestige and The Fountain (2006), the epic historical romantic drama Australia (2008), the film version of Les Misérables (2012), and the thriller Prisoners (2013). His work in Les Misérables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 2013.
In Broadway theatre, Jackman won a Tony Award for his role in The Boy from Oz. A four-time host of the Tony Awards themselves, he won an Emmy Award for one of these appearances. Jackman also hosted the 81st Academy Awards on 22 February 2009. Jackman was born in Sydney, New South Wales, to Grace McNeil (Greenwood) and Christopher John Jackman, an accountant. He is the youngest of five children. His parents, both English, moved to Australia shortly before his birth. He also has Greek (from a great-grandfather) and Scottish (from a grandmother) ancestry.
Jackman has a communications degree with a journalism major from the University of Technology Sydney. After graduating, he pursued drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, immediately after which he was offered a starring role in the ABC-TV prison drama Correlli, opposite his future wife Deborra-Lee Furness. Several TV guest roles followed, as an actor and variety compere. An accomplished singer, Jackman has starred as Gaston in the Australian production of "Beauty and the Beast." He appeared as Joe Gillis in the Australian production of "Sunset Boulevard." In 1998, he was cast as Curly in the Royal National Theatre's production of Trevor Nunn's Oklahoma. Jackman has made two feature films, the second of which, Erskineville Kings, garnered him an Australian Film Institute nomination for Best Actor in 1999. Recently, he won the part of Logan/Wolverine in the Bryan Singer- directed comic-book movie X-Men. In his spare time, Jackman plays piano, golf, and guitar, and likes to windsurf.
Wentworth Miller is a compelling and critically acclaimed actor whose credits span both television and feature film.
Wentworth Earl Miller III was born June 2, 1972 in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, to American parents, Joy Marie (Palm), a special education teacher, and Wentworth Earl Miller II, a lawyer educator. He has two younger sisters, Gillian and Leigh. His father is of Afro-Jamaican and African-American (along with English and German) descent. His mother has Dutch, French, Swedish, Lebanese/Syrian, Austrian, and Polish ancestry.
When Miller turned a year old, his family moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. His father became an assistant district attorney over there. Wentworth retains a dual citizenship, but affirms that he has always been an American. He comes from a diverse background. Wentworth attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn, where he was a member of Sing!, an annual musical production that was started by Midwood. He later on transferred to Quaker Valley Senior High School in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Wentworth was a straight As student in high school and was involved in the AV club and school newspaper. After graduating from high school in 1990, he attended Princeton University. He was also a cartoonist for the school paper and a member of the A Capella group, The Princeton Tigertones, where he sang baritone. It was then that he realized he was interested in performing in front of big and small audiences. Five years later, in 1995, he graduated from Princeton with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and moved to California. That same year, he was hired by a small company who made movies for television. About a year and a half later, he realized that he had unconsciously moved to Los Angeles to be an actor. He then decided to quit his job at the production company even after his employee at the production company had offered him another stable job position.
Unfortunately for Wentworth, breaking into the industry was a tough job for him. He worked as a temp at several production companies before ending up working as a temp for his former employee's production office. It wasn't too long before Wentworth started landing guest roles on show such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ER, and Popular. He also starred in the Hallmark series, Dinotopia, playing the character, David Scott. These guest spots later on led to a role in the feature film, The Human Stain, which happened to be his breakthrough role, alongside Nicole Kidman and Sir Anthony Hopkins, where he played the younger version of Anthony Hopkins' character, Coleman Silk. Although the film didn't fare well in movie theaters, it was well received by viewers and critics, further catapulting Wentworth to bigger stardom.
After The Human Stain, he appeared in the movie _Underworld_, as Dr Adam Lockwood, opposite Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, playing the voice of EDI. He also guest-starred in the series finale of CBS' Joan of Arcadia, as Ryan Hunter, a charming-yet-sinister man who revealed to Joan that he also spoke to God. It was reported that his character would be Joan's greatest challenge, but in May, CBS decided to cancel the show, leaving fans to wonder what might have been. In 2005, Wentworth appeared in the pilot of Ghost Whisperer before eventually starring on FOX network's Prison Break. Wentworth played the role of Michael Scofield, a character helping his brother, Lincoln Burrows, escape death row after being found guilty of a crime he did not commit. He stars alongside actors, Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco and Robert Knepper. Prison Break became an instant hit and Wentworth secured a spot among viewers as one of the hottest up-and-coming actors around. His performance in the show earned him a Golden Globe nomination, a Saturn award nomination, as well as three Teen Choice Award nominations. The Brooklyn native also appeared in two of Mariah Carey's music videos, "It's Like That" and "We Belong Together" as Mariah's love interest.
Brett Ratner, who was signed on to direct both the music videos, directed the pilot episode of Prison Break and already knew who Wentworth was. Brett then brought up the idea to the songstress about using Wentworth in the videos. After showing Mariah pictures of Wentworth, she agreed to use him and Wentworth managed to work on both the videos and Prison Break with the help of crew members who constructed a special set on the set of the videos. Wentworth even admits that the two days he spent working with Mariah, was in fact, one of his career highs - even topping anything he's ever done prior to Prison Break because it gave him so much exposure. Wentworth describes himself as a very private person who likes to spend time just relaxing at home when he's not working. He enjoys swimming, reading, taking naps as well as going to different restaurants every week. He enjoys spending time at The Art Institute of Chicago because he believes that music, painting, movies and theater can all contribute to the work of an actor.
In 2013, he returned to his writing roots, linking up with acclaimed director Chan-wook Park and penning the screenplay for the film _Stoker_, which he submitted under an alias, Ted Foulke. He has also written a screenplay for a prequel called Uncle Charlie.
With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman attended Los Angeles City College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage including appearing in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly!.
Throughout the 1970s, he continued his work on stage, winning Drama Desk and Clarence Derwent Awards and receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance in The Mighty Gents in 1978. In 1980, he won two Obie Awards, for his portrayal of Shakespearean anti-hero Coriolanus at the New York Shakespeare Festival and for his work in Mother Courage and Her Children. Freeman won another Obie in 1984 for his performance as The Messenger in the acclaimed Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Lee Breuer's The Gospel at Colonus and, in 1985, won the Drama-Logue Award for the same role. In 1987, Freeman created the role of Hoke Coleburn in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Driving Miss Daisy, which brought him his fourth Obie Award. In 1990, Freeman starred as Petruchio in the New York Shakespeare Festival's The Taming of the Shrew, opposite Tracey Ullman. Returning to the Broadway stage in 2008, Freeman starred with Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher in Clifford Odets' drama The Country Girl, directed by Mike Nichols.
Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including "Easy Reader", "Mel Mounds" and "Count Dracula" on the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show The Electric Company. He then moved into feature film with another children's adventure, Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow!. Next, there was a small role in the thriller Blade; then he played Casca in Julius Caesar and the title role in Coriolanus. Regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica and Brubaker, Eyewitness, and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet. For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute decent enough performances in films that fluctuated in their quality. However, he really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination in the film version of Driving Miss Daisy opposite Jessica Tandy. The same year, Freeman teamed up with youthful Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade.
His star continued to rise, and the 1990s kicked off strongly with roles in The Bonfire of the Vanities, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and The Power of One. Freeman's next role was as gunman Ned Logan, wooed out of retirement by friend William Munny to avenge several prostitutes in the wild west town of Big Whiskey in Clint Eastwood's de-mythologized western Unforgiven. The film was a sh and scored an acting Oscar for Gene Hackman, a directing Oscar for Eastwood, and the Oscar for best picture. In 1993, Freeman made his directorial debut on Bopha! and soon after formed his production company, Revelations Entertainment.
More strong scripts came in, and Freeman was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption. He was then back out hunting a religious serial killer in Se7en, starred alongside Keanu Reeves in Chain Reaction, and was pursuing another serial murderer in Kiss the Girls.
Further praise followed for his role in the slave tale of Amistad, he was a worried US President facing Armageddon from above in Deep Impact, appeared in Neil LaBute's black comedy Nurse Betty, and reprised his role as Alex Cross in Along Came a Spider. Now highly popular, he was much in demand with cinema audiences, and he co-starred in the terrorist drama The Sum of All Fears, was a military officer in the Stephen King-inspired Dreamcatcher, gave divine guidance as God to Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty, and played a minor role in the comedy The Big Bounce.
2005 was a huge year for Freeman. First, he he teamed up with good friend Clint Eastwood to appear in the drama, Million Dollar Baby. Freeman's on-screen performance is simply world-class as ex-prize fighter Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris, who works in a run-down boxing gym alongside grizzled trainer Frankie Dunn, as the two work together to hone the skills of never-say-die female boxer Hilary Swank. Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination and, finally, impressed the Academy's judges enough to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. He also narrated Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds and appeared in Batman Begins as Lucius Fox, a valuable ally of Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne/Batman for director Christopher Nolan. Freeman would reprise his role in the two sequels of the record-breaking, genre-redefining trilogy.
Roles in tentpoles and indies followed; highlights include his role as a crime boss in Lucky Number Slevin, a second go-round as God in Evan Almighty with Steve Carell taking over for Jim Carrey, and a supporting role in Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. He co-starred with Jack Nicholson in the breakout hit The Bucket List in 2007, and followed that up with another box-office success, Wanted, then segued into the second Batman film, The Dark Knight.
In 2009, he reunited with Eastwood to star in the director's true-life drama Invictus, on which Freeman also served as an executive producer. For his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the film, Freeman garnered Oscar, Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations, and won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor.
Recently, Freeman appeared in RED, a surprise box-office hit; he narrated the Conan the Barbarian remake, starred in Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle; and capped the Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Freeman has several films upcoming, including the thriller Now You See Me, under the direction of Louis Leterrier, and the science fiction actioner Oblivion, in which he stars with Tom Cruise.
John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ. Travolta started acting appearing in a local production of "Who'll Save the Plowboy?". His mother, herself an actress and dancer, enrolled him in a drama school in New York, where he studied voice, dancing and acting. He decided to combine all three of these skills and become a musical comedy performer. At 16 he landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". He quit school at 16 and moved to New York, and worked regularly in summer stock and on television commercials. When work became scarce in New York, he went to Hollywood and appeared in minor roles in several series. A role in the national touring company of the hit 1950s musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave him his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", he became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred The Andrews Sisters. After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again. Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. He was seen on The Rookies, Emergency! and Medical Center and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain, which was shot in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, he was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called Welcome Back, Kotter. He got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season.
He starred in a number of monumental films, earning his first Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for his role in the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever, which launched the disco phenomenon in the 1970s. He went on to star in the big-screen version of the long-running musical Grease and the wildly successful Urban Cowboy, which also influenced trends in popular culture. Additional film credits include the Brian De Palma thrillers Carrie and Blow Out, as well as Amy Heckerling's hit comedy Look Who's Talking and Nora Ephron's comic hit Michael. Travolta starred in Phenomenon and took an equally distinctive turn as an action star in John Woo's top-grossing Broken Arrow. He also starred in the classic Face/Off opposite Nicolas Cage, and The General's Daughter, co-starring Madeleine Stowe. In 2005, Travolta reprised the role of ultra cool Chili Palmer in the Get Shorty sequel Be Cool. In addition, he starred opposite Scarlett Johansson in the critically acclaimed independent feature film A Love Song for Bobby Long, which was screened at the Venice Film Festival, where both Travolta and the films won rave reviews. In February 2011, John was honored by Europe's leading weekly program magazine HORZU, with the prestigious Golden Camera Award for "Best Actor International" in Berlin, Germany. Other recent feature film credits include box-office hit-comedy "Wild Hogs," the action-thriller Ladder 49, the movie version of the successful comic book The Punisher, the drama Basic, the psychological thriller Domestic Disturbance, the hit action picture Swordfish, the infamous sci-fi movie Battlefield Earth, based upon the best-selling novel by L. Ron Hubbard, and Lonely Hearts.
Travolta has been honored twice with Academy Award nominations, the latest for his riveting portrayal of a philosophical hit-man in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. He also received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for this highly acclaimed role and was named Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, among other distinguished awards. Travolta garnered further praise as a Mafioso-turned-movie producer in the comedy sensation Get Shorty, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. In 1998, Travolta was honored by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with the Britanna Award: and in that same year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chicago Film Festival. Travolta also won the prestigious Alan J. Pakula Award from the US Broadcast Critics Association for his performance in A Civil Action, based on the best-selling book and directed by Steven Zaillian. He was nominated again for a Golden Globe for his performance in Primary Colors, directed by Mike Nichols and co-starring Emma Thompson and Billy Bob Thornton, and in 2008, he received his sixth Golden Globe nomination for his role asEdna Turnblad in the big-screen, box-office hit Hairspray. As a result of this performance, the Chicago Film Critics and the Santa Barbara Film Festival decided to recognize Travolta with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his role.
In addition, Travolta starred opposite Denzel Washington in Tony Scott's remake The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and he provided the voice of the lead character in Walt Disney Pictures' animated hit _Bolt_, which was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, in addition to Best Song for John and Miley Cyrus' duet titled, "I Thought I Lost You."
Next, Travolta starred in Walt Disney Pictures' Old Dogs, along with Robin Williams, Kelly Preston and Ella Bleu Travolta, followed by the action thriller From Paris with Love, starring opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers. In 2012, John starred alongside Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demián Bichir in Oliver Stone's, Savages. The film was based on Don Winslow's best-selling crime novel that was named one of The New York Times' Top 10 Books of 2010. John was most recently seen in Killing Season co-starring Robert De Niro and directed by Mark Steven Johnson. John recently completed production on the Boston based film, The Forger, alongside Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer and Critic's Choice nominee Tye Sheridan. John plays a second generation petty thief who arranges to get out of prison to spend time with his ailing son (Sheridan) by taking on a job with his father (Plummer) to pay back the syndicate that arranged his release. John has received 2 prestigious aviation awards: in 2003 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Award for Excellence for his efforts to promote commercial flying, and in 2007 The Living Legends Ambassador of Aviation award.
John holds 11 jet licenses: 747, 707, Gulfstream II, Lear 24, Hawker 1251A, Eclipse Jet, Vampire Jet, Canadair CL-141 Jet, Soko Jet, Citation ISP and Challenger. Travolta is the Qantas Airways Global Goodwill "Ambassador-at-Large" and piloted the original Qantas 707 during "Spirit of Friendship" global tour in July/August 2002. John is also a business aircraft brand ambassador for Learjet, Challenger and Global jets for the world's leading business aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier. John flew the 707 to New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane disaster bringing food and medical supplies, and in 2010, again flew the 707, this time to Haiti after the earthquake, carrying supplies, doctors and volunteers.
John, along with his wife, actress Kelly Preston are also very involved in their charity, The Jett Travolta Foundation, which raises money for children with educational needs.
Academy Award-winning Actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton and her mother has Kabyle ancestry.
Raised in Orléans, France, she made her acting debut as a child with a role in one of her father's plays. She studied drama at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique in Orléans. After small appearances and performances in theater, Cotillard had occasional and minor roles in TV series such as Highlander and Extrême limite, but her career as a film actress began in the mid-1990s. While still a teenager, Cotillard made her cinema debut in the film L'histoire du garçon qui voulait qu'on l'embrasse, and had small but noticeable roles in films such as Arnaud Desplechin's My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument and Coline Serreau's comedy La belle verte.
In 1996, she had her first lead role in the TV film Chloé, playing the title role - a teenage runaway who is forced into prostitution. Cotillard co-starred opposite Anna Karina, the muse of the Nouvelle Vague.
In 1997, she won her first film award at the Festival Rencontres Cinématographiques d'Istres in France, for her performance as the young imprisoned Nathalie in the short film Affaire classée.
Her first prominent screen role was Lilly Bertineau in Gérard Pirès's box-office hit Taxi, a role which she reprised in two sequels: Taxi 2 and Taxi 3, this role earned her first César award nomination (France's equivalent to the Oscar) for Most Promising Actress in 1999.
In 1999, Cotillard starred as Julie Bonzon in the Swiss war drama War in the Highlands. For her performance in the film, she won the Best Actress award at the Autrans Film Festival in France.
In 2001, Marion starred in Pretty Things as the twin sisters Marie and Lucie, and was nominated for her second César award for Most Promising Actress.
Cotillard's breakthrough in France came in 2003, when she starred in Yann Samuell's dark romantic comedy Love Me If You Dare, in which she played Sophie Kowalsky, the daughter of Polish immigrants who lives a love-hate relationship with her childhood friend. The film was a box-office hit in France, became a cult film abroad and led Cotillard to bigger projects.
Her first Hollywood movie was Tim Burton's Big Fish, in which she played Joséphine, the wife of William Bloom (played by Billy Crudup). A few years later, Marion starred in Ridley Scott's A Good Year playing Fanny Chenal, a French café owner who falls in love with Russell Crowe's character.
In 2004, she won the Chopard Thophy of Female Revelation at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2007, Cotillard received international recognition for her iconic portrayal of Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. Director Olivier Dahan cast Cotillard to play the legendary French singer because to him, her eyes were like those of "Piaf". The fact that she can sing also helped Cotillard land the role of "Piaf", although most of the singing in the film is that of Piaf's. The role won Cotillard the Academy Award for Best Actress along with a César, a Lumière Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe. That made her only the second actress to win an acting Oscar performing in a language other than English next to Sophia Loren (Two Women). Only two male performers (Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful and Robert De Niro for The Godfather: Part II) have won an Oscar for solely non-English parts. Trevor Nunn called her portrayal of "Piaf" "one of the greatest performances on film ever". At the Berlin International Film Festival, where the film premiered, Cotillard was given a 15-minute standing ovation. When she won the César, Alain Delon presented the award and announced the winner as "La Môme Marion" (The Kid Marion), he also praised her at the stage saying: "Marion, I give you this César. I think this César is for a great great actress, and I know what I'm talking about".
Cotillard has worked much more frequently in English-language movies following her Academy Award recognition. In 2009, she acted opposite Johnny Depp in Michael Mann's Public Enemies, and later that year played Luisa Contini in Rob Marshall's musical Nine and received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Time magazine ranked her as the fifth best performance by a female in 2009. The following year, she took on the main antagonist role, Mal, in Christopher Nolan's Inception, and in 2011 she had memorable parts in Midnight in Paris and Contagion and reteamed with Christopher Nolan in The Dark Knight Rises.
In 2011 and 2012 respectively, Cotillard appeared on the top of Le Figaro's list of the highest paid actors in France, it was the first time in nine years that a female topped the list. Cotillard was also the highest paid foreign actress in Hollywood.
In 2012, Cotillard received wide-spread critical acclaim for her role as the legless orca trainer Stéphanie in Rust and Bone. The film was a box office hit in France and received a ten-minute standing ovation at the end of its screening at the 65th Cannes Film Festival. Cotillard won the Globe de Cristal (France's equivalent to the Golden Globe), the Étoile d'Or award and was nominated for the Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA, Critics' Choice and César Awards for her performance in the film. Cate Blanchett wrote an op-ed for Variety praising Cotillard's performance in "Rust and Bone", the two actresses competed for the Academy Awards for Best Actress in 2008, Cate was nominated for her performance in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Marion for her performance in La Vie en Rose and Cotillard won the Oscar.
She had her first leading role in an American movie in 2013, in James Gray's The Immigrant, in which she played Ewa Cybulska, a Polish immigrant who wants to experience the American dream. Cotillard received wide-spread acclaim for her performance in the film at the 66th Cannes Film Festival, where the film premiered, and also won several critics awards.
In 2014, Cotillard played Sandra in the Belgian film Two Days, One Night by the Dardenne brothers. Her performance was unanimously praised at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, earned several critics awards, Cotillard won her first European Award for Best Actress and also received her second Oscar nomination and her sixth César award nomination.
In 2015, she played Lady Macbeth opposite Michael Fassbender in Justin Kurzel's Macbeth and voiced two animated movies: The Little Prince in which she voiced The Rose, and April and the Extraordinary World, in which she voiced the lead role, Avril.
Her upcoming films for 2016 are Nicole Garcia's From the Land of the Moon, Xavier Dolan's It's Only the End of the World, Justin Kurzel's Assassin's Creed, in which she will work again with her Macbeth co-star, Michael Fassbender; and Robert Zemeckis's Allied.
Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family and was a hairdresser.
Young Bana grew up in suburban Melbourne. He was popular among his schoolmates for his talent of making comic impressions of his teachers. At that time, he was fond of Mel Gibson in Mad Max and also decided to become an actor. He moved to Sydney and worked odd jobs to support himself. In 1991, he began a career as a stand-up comedian, while working as a barman at Melbourne's Castle Hotel. In 1993, Bana made his television debut on Steve Vizard's Tonight Live with Steve Vizard talk show, then joined the Full Frontal TV-series. He gained popularity for making impressions of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Cruse and "Colombo". In 1996, he started his own show titled Eric, then launched a comedy series titled The Eric Bana Show Live. The show was canceled for the lack of substantial audience, however, in 1997, Bana received the Logie Award for "Most Popular Comedian" for his work on The Eric Bana Show Live.
He made his film debut in The Castle, in a supporting comic role. That same year, he was cast to portray Mark "Chopper" Read, the notorious Australian underworld figure. For the role, Bana gained 30 pounds, by eating junk food; he also spent a few days with Read in prison, in order to perfect his mimicry. Bana completely transformed himself into a bald, fat, disturbed criminal. He would arrive on the film set at four in the morning, spending several hours in makeup, being tattooed exactly like Read. Chopper became an international success and won three Australian Film Institute Awards. Bana won the Best Actor at the 2000 Stockholm Film Festival and also the AFI 2000 Best Actor Award. Then he co-starred in Black Hawk Down, then starred in Hulk. In 2002, he was cast as a Trojan "Prince Hector" in the historical epic Troy, after being recommended by Brad Pitt, who admired Bana for his work in Chopper. In 2005, Bana co-starred with Daniel Craig and Geoffrey Rush in the political drama Munich directed by Steven Spielberg.
In 1995, he began dating Rebecca Gleeson, a publicist and daughter of Australian High Court Chief Justice Murray Gleeson. The following year, he was named "Bachelor of the Year" by Cleo Magazine, and won a trip for two to the United States. He invited Gleeson, and proposed to her during that romantic trip. In 1997, the two were married; their son, Klaus, was born in 1999, their daughter, Sophia, was born in 2002. He currently resides in Melbourne with his wife and their two children. Bana is a passionate supporter of Australian football.
Matthias Schoenaerts was born on December 8, 1977 in Antwerp, Belgium. His mother, Dominique Wiche, was a costume designer, translator and French teacher, his father is actor Julien Schoenaerts. He made his film debut at the age of 13, alongside his father in the Belgian film Daens, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Schoenaerts enrolled in film school but was expelled for poor attendance in his second year. By age 21, he was enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Antwerp and was acting professionally in small roles on Belgian television and in Belgian film. By the time he graduated in 2003, Schoenaerts was already named one of "Europe's Shooting Stars" by the influential marketing organization, European Film Promotion.
In 2002, he starred in Dorothée Van Den Berghe's directorial debut Girl, which was also his first feature film since Daens. With his role in Tom Barman's Any Way the Wind Blows, he proved he was Flanders' young actor to watch.
In 2006, he had a small role as a member of the Dutch Resistance in Paul Verhoeven's Black Book, and landed his first starring role in the Belgian film Love Belongs to Everyone, playing Dennis, a mentally-challenged man learning to adjust to life after a prison sentence for a rape he may not have committed.
Though Schoenaerts garnered critical praise for his role in "Love Belongs to Everyone", the film that would make him a star in his homeland came in 2008, in Erik Van Looy's Loft, Schoenaerts played Filip, one of a group of married friends who share the rent on a downtown loft as a place to meet their respective mistresses. The dramatic thriller was a smash hit, becoming the top-grossing Flemish film of all time. In the same year, he also starred in the horror film Left Bank.
In 2011, Schoenaerts starred in Michaël R. Roskam's Bullhead, playing Jacky Vanmarsenille, a cattle farmer who becomes entangled with the underworld of bovine hormones and steroids. Impressed by the script, Schoenaerts committed to star in the film in 2005, and over the five years that it took first-time director Roskam to secure financing, the actor transformed his naturally thin body into that of a steroid abusing brute. His powerful performance in the tragic role won awards at numerous film festivals and propelled "Bullhead" to an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012.
In 2012, Schoenaerts got the lead role opposite Marion Cotillard in Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone, in the film he played Ali, an ex-boxer who falls in love with Cotillard's character. Like Audiard's previous films, "Rust and Bone" received a breathless reception at the Cannes Film Festival with a ten-minute standing ovation at the end of its screening and was a critical and box office hit in France. Schoenaerts' performance in the film earned him a César Award for Most Promising Actor in 2013.
Schoenaerts also starred in the Belgian short film Death of a Shadow, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2013 and won the European Film Award for Best European Short.
In 2013, he starred in Blood Ties, after being recommended for the film by his former co-star in "Rust and Bone", Marion Cotillard.
Following his breakthrough in "Rust and Bone", Matthias started a career in Hollywood and landed roles in American and British productions like Saul Dibb's Suite Française, Alan Rickman's A Little Chaos, Michaël R. Roskam's The Drop and Thomas Vinterberg's Far from the Madding Crowd.
In 2015, Schoenaerts returned to French cinema in Alice Winocour's Disorder, in which he plays an ex-soldier with PTSD. He also played one of the leads of Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, opposite Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, and played the art-dealer Hans Axgil in Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl.
Humanitarian and actor Richard Gere was born on August 31, 1949, in Philadelphia, the second of five children of Doris Ann (Tiffany), a homemaker, and Homer George Gere, an insurance salesman, both Mayflower descendants. Richard started early as a musician, playing a number of instruments in high school and writing music for high school productions. He graduated from North Syracuse Central High School in 1967, and won a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he majored in philosophy. He left college after two years to pursue acting, landing a lead role in the London production of the rock musical "Grease" in 1973. The following year he would be in other plays, such as "Taming of the Shrew." Onscreen, he had a few roles, and gained recognition in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Offscreen, he spent 1978 meeting Tibetans when he traveled to Nepal, where he spoke to many monks and lamas. Returning to the US, on Broadway he portrayed a concentration-camp prisoner in "Bent," for which he received the 1980 Theatre World Award. Back in Hollywood, he played the title role in American Gigolo, establishing himself as a major star; this status was reaffirmed by An Officer and a Gentleman. In the early 1980s, Richard went to Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador (amidst ongoing wars and political violence); he traveled with a doctor and visited refugee camps. It is said that he was romantically linked with lovely Brazilian painter Sylvia Martins. In 1990 Richard teamed up with Julia Roberts to star in the blockbuster Pretty Woman; his cool reserve was the perfect complement to Julia's bubbling enthusiasm. The film captured the nation's heart, and won the People's Choice award for Best Movie. Fans clamored for years for a sequel, or at least another pairing of Julia and Richard. They got that with Runaway Bride, which was a runaway success (Richard got $12 million, Julia made $17 million, the box office was $152 million, which shows what happens when you give the public what it wants!). Offscreen, Richard and Cindy Crawford got married December 12, 1991 (they were divorced in 1995). Afterwards, Richard started dating actress Carey Lowell. They had a son, Homer James Jigme Gere, on February 6, 2000. Richard was picked by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world in 1991, and as their Sexiest Man Alive in 1999. He is an accomplished pianist and music writer. Above all, Richard is a humanitarian. He's a founding member of "Tibet House," a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. He has been an active supporter of "Survival International" for several years, a worldwide organization supporting tribal peoples, affirming their right to decide their own future and helping them protect their lives, lands and human rights (these tribes are global, including the natives of the Amazon, the Maasai of East Africa, the Wichi of Argentina, and others). In 1994 Richard went to London to open Harrods' sale, donating his £50,000 appearance fee to Survival. He has been prominent in their charity advertising campaigns.
One of the hottest stars of the mid-1980s, Virginia Madsen has since played a variety of roles that have cemented her reputation as a fantastic actress who can adapt to any part.
Virginia was born in Chicago, Illinois, and belongs to an acting family -- with her brother, Michael Madsen, also an actor, and her mother, Elaine Madsen (née Melson), an Emmy-winning writer, poet, and producer. Her paternal grandparents were Danish, and her father, Calvin Madsen, was a firefighter. Audiences first caught a glimpse of her as "Princess Irulan" in the 1984 science fiction epic Dune. She followed that up with Electric Dreams; however, it was in 1986 that Virginia captured the hearts of the audience with an intense portrayal of a Catholic school girl who fell in love with a boy from a prison camp in Duncan Gibbins' Fire with Fire. Virginia played the role of "Lisa" and her co-star was Craig Sheffer, who played Lisa's love interest, "Joe Fisk". Kari Wuhrer also made an appearance as Virginia's best friend, "Gloria". Fire with Fire was a low-budget production, starring a bunch of fresh faces who were till then-unknown to Hollywood. However, the movie was a success and elevated its three young stars overnight. Virginia has never looked back since.
Not only did she receive amazing reviews for her Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated performance in Alexander Payne's hit film, Sideways, but this Independent Spirit Award-winning actress has an illustrious resume of roles alongside the most notable and respected actors in the business.
Also on Virginia's slate is her production company, with partner Karly Meola, called "Title IX Productions". Their first project was the documentary I Know a Woman Like That, which previewed at the Phoenix Film Festival in April 2009 and premiered at the Chicago Film Festival in October 2009. The doc was directed by Virginia's mother, Elaine Madsen, about the lives of extraordinary women ages 64-94. Next in the company's lineup is the documentary Fighting Gravity (2010), about women ski jumpers' ongoing battle for the right to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Title IX will team up with "Empire 8 Productions" and Vancouver-based "Screen Siren" on the project. The duo also has several projects in development that they're shopping around for financing including screenwriters Sebastian Gutierrez's screen adaptation of Martha O'Connor's novel "The Bitch Posse" and a remake of the 1984 film Electric Dreams, in which Virginia appeared.
Having been named one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch, Tye Sheridan has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after young talents. Most recently, he was seen in Bryan Singer's highly anticipated film X-Men: Apocalypse, release on May 27, 2016. He starred as young Cyclops alongside a star studded cast including Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Oscar Isaac and Olivia Munn. He will also be seen as the lead in the psychological thriller Detour (2016), opposite Emory Cohen and Bel Powley, which was acquired by Magnet Releasing shortly after the film premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.
Tye Kayle Sheridan was born in Elkhart, Texas, to Stephanie (Wright), a beauty salon owner, and Bryan Sheridan, a UPS employee. Tye had almost no acting experience when he was cast in a breakthrough role for Terrance Malick's "The Tree of Life" opposite Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain. The film won the 2011 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the 2011 Gotham Award for Best Picture, in addition to three Academy Award nominations. He was also featured in IndieWire's "Top 25 Filmmakers and Actors" of 2011.
Sheridan won the 2013 Marcello Mastroianni Award at the Venice Film Festival for his captivating performance in the Southern drama "Joe" opposite Nicolas Cage. That same year, he was recognized by numerous film critics for his starring role in Jeff Nichol's coming-of-age drama "Mud" opposite Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. He received a 2014 Critics' Choice nomination for Best Young Actor and the cast was honored with the 2014 Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
He had three films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival: "Stanford Prison Experiment", based on a shocking real-life psychological experiment, Rodrigo Garcia's "Last Days in the Desert" co-starring Ewan McGregor and the indie drama "Entertainment" starring alongside Michael Cera and John C. Reilly. These riveting performances were followed by a starring role opposite John Travolta in the crime thriller "The Forger", Paramount's horror comedy 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse", in addition to Gilles Paquet-Brenner's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's mystery novel "Dark Places" alongside Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Nicholas Hoult.
Sheridan recently wrapped production for Alexandre Moors' film adaptation of Kevin Power's novel "The Yellow Birds" alongside Jennifer Aniston, Alden Ehrenreich and Jack Huston. The film centers around two young soldiers who are taken under the wing of an older sergeant after being deployed to Iraq.
In both career and in real life, Bobby Cannavale tends to choose the unconventional way of doing things. In the beginning, his decisions may have cost the dark, swarthily good-looking actor some acting roles and/or good-paying money but, in the end, his strong work ethic and sense of self, despite a lack of formal training, allowed him to take a successful path off the crowded acting trail. From character goofball and cut-up, he has broken into the leading man ranks with his recent starring role as a reincarnated matchmaker in the TV series Cupid.
Born Roberto M. Cannavale in Union City, New Jersey, to an Italian father, Sal, and Cuban mother, Isabel, he was involved in various activities at his Union City Catholic school, St. Michaels, while growing up. An altar boy, choir boy and lector, he also appeared in the church school's various musicals including his very first, "Guys and Dolls", in which he showed up as one of the gangsters, and "The Music Man", appearing as the lisping, scene-stealing tyke, "Winthrop".
Bobby's parents divorced when he was five years old and his mother moved the family to Puerto Rico for a couple of years. Eventually, they returned to the States and settled in Coconut Creek, Florida, where he attended high school. Restless and uncomfortable in any sort of regimented setting, he often got suspended for playing the class clown. Graduating in the late 1980s, and bitten by the acting bug, Bobby chose to return to the New York/New Jersey area in order to jump start an acting career. Working in bars to support himself, he again avoided the confines of an acting school and, instead, gained experience as a "reader" on occasion with the Naked Angels theatre company. During this time (1994), he met and married Jenny Lumet, the actress-daughter of director Sidney Lumet. They had son, Jake, the following year. The couple divorced in 2003.
Spotted by playwright Lanford Wilson while performing in an East Village production of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart", Bobby was invited to join Wilson's prestigious Circle Repertory Theatre. As a "reader" for the company, he eventually earned stage parts in "Chilean Holidays" (1996) and in Wilson's "Virgil Is Still the Frog Boy." He also went on to serve as understudy to Mark Linn-Baker in a 1998 production of "A Flea in Her Ear" and later replaced him. A noticeable role in the company's play, "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" by Paul Rudnick led to Bobby's being cast in the recurring role of a tugboat operator in the TV series Trinity. Having only appeared in bit parts thus far in such movies as Night Falls on Manhattan, directed by Lumet, and I'm Not Rappaport, it was "Trinity" creator John Wells who caught Bobby's stage performance and handed him this career-making break on camera.
Bobby's "nice-guy" aura and blue-collar charm proved invaluable, if a bit restrictive. Once the "Trinity" series ended, Wells cast the 6'3" lug with the trademark caterpillar brows and crooked smile as lovelorn paramedic "Bobby Caffey" in his series Third Watch. The character became quite popular but Bobby, again feeling restricted and wishing to broaden his horizon as an actor, asked to be released from the show -- but "in a big way". Creator Wells obliged and had the paramedic fatally shot in the chest and then experience a "beyond the grave" union with his character's deceased, ne'er-do-well dad.
Bobby next joined the cast of father-in-law Sidney Lumet's acclaimed TV courtroom drama 100 Centre Street, starring Alan Arkin, cast against type as a brazenly opportunistic prosecutor. He subsequently earned recurring roles on Ally McBeal (in 2002) and Six Feet Under (in 2004). As for films, Bobby was featured in Gloria, The Bone Collector, Washington Heights and The Guru by the time he scored as the gregarious truck driver in the critically-hailed indie film The Station Agent, which paired him intriguingly opposite the diminutive actor Peter Dinklage.
Unwilling to shirk away from more controversial roles such as his gay drug dealer who has the hots for a fellow prisoner in the acclaimed series Oz or his closeted dancing neophyte in the film comedy Shall We Dance starring Richard Gere, Bobby continued to elevate his status seesawing between film (Shortcut to Happiness, Happy Endings, Romance & Cigarettes) and TV assignments (the miniseries Kingpin). He earned big viewer points with his recurring portrayal of "Will Truman"'s dour cop/boyfriend on the hit sitcom Will & Grace in 2004 and won a "Guest Star" Emmy award in the process. Elsewhere, on stage, he merited attention in such productions as "Hurlyburly" and earned a Tony Award nomination for his 2007 Broadway debut in "Mauritius".
After five consecutive failed pilots, Bobby has come front-and-center with his quirky starring role in the ABC series Cupid, recurring roles in Cold Case and Nurse Jackie, and topnotch Emmy-winning part in Boardwalk Empire. He also continues to rake up credits on the big screen (The Merry Gentleman, Diminished Capacity, The Take, 100 Feet, Roadie). This is a guy definitely here to stay.
Edward Walter Furlong was born in Glendale, California. His mother, Eleanor (Tafoya), is from a Mexican family, and worked at a youth center. Furlong had no acting ambitions until he was approached by casting agent Mali Finn, who was looking for a young actor to play the role of John Connor in what turned out to be one of the the biggest box-office hits of the 1990s, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Finn instantly recognized his ability, and suggested him for the part, feeling that he could hold his own playing opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.
For his career-starting role, Furlong earned an MTV movie award for best breakthrough role, and a Saturn Sci-Fi award for best young actor. From there, he took an unconventional route through Hollywood, which led to his working with some of the top people in the business, in both studio and independent films. His work has included starring opposite Jeff Bridges in American Heart for which he was nominated for an IFP Spirit award for best supporting actor. He has also starred in A Home of Our Own with Kathy Bates, Little Odessa with Tim Roth, The Grass Harp with Walter Matthau and Barbet Schroeder's Before and After.
He also starred opposite Edward Norton in Tony Kaye's controversial and gripping drama American History X and in the hit comedy Pecker. More recently, Furlong has been opposite Willem Dafoe in the prison drama Animal Factory, directed by Steve Buscemi. He recently starred in Pupi Avati's 11th-century tale, I cavalieri che fecero l'impresa ("The Knights of the Quest").
Born in 1992 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Demi Lovato started out as a child actor on Barney & Friends. In 2007, Demi Lovato got a part on a short Disney Channel show called As the Bell Rings, and then she landed the starring role of the movie Camp Rock. While filming Camp Rock, Demi Lovato began also recording three songs for the film's soundtrack and has had several solo releases since. In 2009, Lovato got the lead in the series Sonny with a Chance, another Disney Channel show. She later became a judge on the television competition show The X Factor from 2012 to 2013.
Singer and actress Demi Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lovato's mother, Dianna Lovato, was a former country music recording artist and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. Lovato is the middle child of three sisters. Her older sister, Dallas, is also a singer and actress, and her younger sister, Madison, was born in 2002.
Growing up, Lovato won several talent contests and performed in famous venues, including the Eismann Center and the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day Half Time Show with LeAnn Rimes. She started her show business career in earnest at the age of 10 when she became a series regular on the children's television show Barney & Friends. After her stint on Barney & Friends, Lovato also guest starred on television dramas Just Jordan (2007) and Prison Break (2006). Disney Star
In 2007, Demi Lovato began working with the Disney Channel. First she got a part on a short television show called As The Bell Rings. Her role on that ended, however, when Lovato was cast as Mitchie Torres in the starring role of the Disney Channel movie Camp Rock. While filming Camp Rock, Demi Lovato began also recording three songs with the pop group the Jonas Brothers for the film's soundtrack.
In 2008, Lovato covered the Academy Award-nominated song, "That's How You Know" from Enchanted on the DisneyMania 6 album. Later on in 2008, Demi began filming her second Disney Channel Original Movie, Princess Protection Program. The film was made in Puerto Rico and Lovato co-starred with her then-good friend Selena Gomez.
Demi Lovato was the star of her own Disney Channel television show called Sonny with a Chance. The series debuted in 2009, becoming one of the channel's most popular programs and making Lovato one of its brightest stars. Sonny with a Chance ran until 2011. Music Career
On September 23, 2008, Lovato released her debut album, Don't Forget. Several of the songs on the album were co-written by the Jonas Brothers. The album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. In promotion of this album, Lovato went on tour with the Jonas Brothers on their 2008 Burning Up Tour as the opening act.
On July 21, 2009, Demi Lovato released her second studio album, Here We Go Again. She went on tour again with the Jonas Brothers the following year and was romantically linked to Joe Jonas around this time. While on tour, Lovato got into an altercation with a dancer. The fight made headlines, and she sought treatment after the incident. According to People magazine, the singer sought help for "emotional and physical issues." Some of these issues were later revealed to be an eating disorder and self-harm through cutting.
Months after completing treatment, Lovato released the 2011 album Unbroken, which featured the hit "Skyscraper." She put out her next record, Demi, two years later. Other Endeavors
Outside of music, film and television, Lovato was also the national Hasbro "Hit Clips" spokes-girl. She has also done several successful voice-overs for radio and television for companies like Denny's, Radica and Hasbro.
In 2012, Lovato took on a new role. She joined The X Factor, a popular singing competition, in its second season as a judge. Lovato, Simon Cowell, music industry titan L.A. Reid and pop star Britney Spears worked together to review the contestants and helped determine who would win the $5 million recording contract. The show was canceled after its third season.
Lovato made a return to acting in 2013 with a recurring role on the hit musical series Glee. Around this time, she became more candid about her earlier personal struggles, acknowledging that she also battled a substance abuse problem. Lovato has also gone public with her diagnosis for bipolar disorder. According to Cosmopolitan for Latinas, she uses medication to help manage her condition. Recent Projects
In 2015, Lovato put out a new single entitled "Cool for the Summer." She has also tackled a variety of TV projects recently. Lovato appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race that year. She mixed her professional and personal sides to shoot a guest appearance on boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama's show From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.
Academy Award-nominated actress Maggie Gyllenhaal was born on November 16, 1977, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. Her parents, Naomi Foner (née Achs) and Stephen Gyllenhaal, are both filmmakers, and her brother is actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Her mother is from an Ashkenazi Jewish family, while her father has Swedish, English, Swiss-German, and German ancestry.
Maggie made her film debut in Stephen's film Waterland. She had sporadic roles throughout her teenage years, though she stepped away to receive a degree in literature from Columbia University in 1999. In addition, she studied briefly at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, which helped with her post-graduation transition back in to acting.
Soon after graduation, Gyllenhaal appeared in supporting roles in Cecil B. DeMented and alongside brother Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko. Her breakout role came a bit later, when she took on the daring, sexy title role in Secretary. That part wound up earning her a Golden Globe nomination, and Gyllenhaal followed that up with supporting turns in 40 Days and 40 Nights, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Adaptation., and Mona Lisa Smile, among other movies.
Gyllenhaal received her second Golden Globe nomination for playing a recent prison parolee in Sherrybaby. She followed that up with roles in World Trade Center and Stranger Than Fiction, and then replaced Katie Holmes in the role of Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight.
In 2009, Gyllenhaal received great acclaim for her role opposite Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, which earned the actress her first Oscar nomination. Since then, Gyllenhaal has been seen in Nanny McPhee Returns, Hysteria and Won't Back Down.
Gyllenhaal has two children with husband Peter Sarsgaard, whom she married in 2009.
Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (father) and English (mother) descent.
Ben attended Samuel Whitbread Community College where his interest in theatre grew and he became a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre. During his time there he rose to prominence in many productions, most notably If This Is a Man, based on the book of the same name by Primo Levi, a survivor of Nazi World War II prisoner of war camp. The play was taken to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995 where it garnered five-star reviews and great critical acclaim with Ben Whishaw getting rave reviews for his portrayal of Levi.
Ben then enrolled in, RADA from where he graduated in 2004 and soon landed the role of Hamlet in Trevor Nunn's 2004 production making him one of the youngest actors to portray Hamlet on-stage. Hamlet opened to rave reviews with many critics hailing Ben as the next Laurence Olivier and applauding his portrayal of Hamlet with leading critics haling the birth of a star. Whishaw's film and TV credits include Layer Cake and Christopher Morris 2005 sitcom Nathan Barley, in which he played a character called Pingu. He was named "Most Promising Newcomer" at the 2001 British Independent Film Awards (for My Brother Tom) and, in 2005, nominated as best actor in four award ceremonies for his Hamlet. He also played Keith Richards in the Stephen Woolley biopic Stoned. Whishaw played in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume maker whose craft turns deadly getting raves once again for his stunning portrayal. Whishaw appeared in 2007's I'm Not There. as one of the Bob Dylan reincarnations and in 2008 in Criminal Justice a TV series. He appears in the forthcoming films The Tempest and Bright Star.
One of Hollywood's edgier, more intriguing characters running around and about for decades, Eric Anthony Roberts started life in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is the son of Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights. His siblings are actors Lisa Roberts Gillian and Julia Roberts, and he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his acting career at age 5 in a local theater company called the "Actors and Writers Workshop", founded by his late father. After his schooling at Grady High, he studied drama at age 17 in London for two years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, then returned to the States and continued his studies at the American Academy in New York. He made his NY stage debut in "Rebel Women" in 1976 at age 20 and appeared in regional productions, once playing the newspaper boy in a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Shirley Knight and Glenn Close.
After appearing in such daytime soaps as Another World and How to Survive a Marriage, his career began to shift fast forward when he copped a leading role in a major film. In King of the Gypsies, based on Peter Maas' best-seller about a fracturing dynasty of New York City gypsies, he made his debut alongside an intimidating roster of stars including Judd Hirsch, Susan Sarandon, Shelley Winters and Sterling Hayden. Young Eric held his own expertly (winning a Golden Globe nomination) while his burning intensity and brooding charm marked sure signs of star potential. After this, he won the lead opposite Milo O'Shea in the 1980 stage production of "Mass Appeal". He suffered serious injuries in a car accident during his nascent film career but lost no fans by the time he returned to co-star with Sissy Spacek as a small-town stranger in Raggedy Man. It was, however, his stark and frightening portrayal of two-bit hustler Paul Snider, the cast-off boyfriend who slays Playmate-turned-movie starlet Dorothy Stratten (played by Mariel Hemingway) in Star 80 that really put him on the movie map and earned him a second Golden Globe nomination. A wide range of fascinating, whacked-out roles were immediately offered to him on a silver plate. He played another dangerous streetwise hustler type in The Pope of Greenwich Village opposite fellow rebel Mickey Rourke; a cocky soda pop sales exec in the Australian comedy The Coca-Cola Kid; appeared with more charm and restraint opposite Rosanna Arquette in the offbeat romantic comedy Nobody's Fool and topped his prolific period off with an Academy Award nomination as a young prison escapee hiding out with Jon Voight aboard an out-of-control train in the ultra-violent, character-driven action adventure Runaway Train. Good things continued to happen when he was a replacement lead in the original run of "Burn This" and won a Theatre World Award for his 1988 Broadway debut.
A risky, no-holds-barred actor, he was often guilty of overacting if given half the chance. His film career began to slide in the late 1980s, appearing in more quantity than quality pictures. A series of missteps led to unheralded appearances in such bombs as the karate-themed Best of the Best; the NY urban thriller The Ambulance; the action western Blood Red, which took three years to release and is the only film Eric and his sister Julia Roberts appeared in together; and Rude Awakening when he filled in as a burned-out hippie opposite a Chong-less Cheech Marin. More under appreciated "B" filming came with the 1990s (Freefall, Sensation, The Nature of the Beast, etc.), while also chewing the scenery with a number of mobster types in TV-movies, including one as "Al Capone". He soon began appearing as flashy secondary villains and creepies that showcased other stars instead, such as Final Analysis starring Richard Gere, Heaven's Prisoners top lining Alec Baldwin, and The Dark Knight, part of the "Batman" series with Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger.
Eric's undeniable, unconventional talent would occasionally mesh with the perfect role. At the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, he received critical applause for his starring role as a man dying of AIDS in the uplifting and emotional film It's My Party and earned more honors as a writer marked for murder in the mob-themed story La Cucaracha. He was also perfectly cast as one of the cold-blooded killers in the Emmy-nominated TV adaptation of Truman Capote's chiller In Cold Blood. Eric continued to appear sporadically on TV in such dramatic series as Law & Order: Criminal Intent, while sometimes showing a fun side as well in comedy (The King of Queens). His own series work included Less Than Perfect and, more recently, and in the cult program Heroes where promise for a longer participation ended with his character's death.
Recovered from a long-standing cocaine problem, Eric wed, for the first time, actress/writer Eliza Roberts (nee Garrett). They have appeared in such films as Killer Weekend and Final Approach. His daughter from a former relationship, Emma Roberts, is a newly popular and fast-rising "tween" actress from the series Unfabulous and has played youthful super-sleuth Nancy Drew on film. Eric's unpredictable, volatile nature which works so mesmerizing on screen has also led to troubling times off camera; his relationship with younger sis Julia Roberts has been seriously strained for quite some time.
|Ana de la Reguera
Ana de la Reguera grew up in the tropical state of Veracruz, on the Gulf Coast of Mexico. She began her performance arts studies in the Cultural Institute of Veracruz, then left for Televisa's Center for Artistic Education (CEA) and TV Aztecas' artistic institute (CEFAC) in Mexico City, later taking study with Lisa Robertson and Aaron Spicer in Los Angeles and acting coach Juan 'Carlos Corzza in Spain. In theatre she participated in "El Cartero" ("Il Postino") for which she received two awards: one for "Best Actress" from the Association of Theatre Journalists in Mexico and the other for the year's "Most Promising Actress" from the Association of Theatre Critics and Journalists.
De la Reguera's professional career began with her role in the telenovela Azul, followed by Pueblo chico, infierno grande--for which she received the Heraldo Award for "Best Breakout Female Actress"--and Desencuentro, which was her third telenovela under the direction of the internationally recognized Ernesto Alonso. _"Tentaciones" (1998)_ marked her beginning with powerhouse Argos Comunicación. She was immediately offered roles in _"Destino" (1998)_ and Todo por amor, for which she received "The Golden Palm Award." After that, it was non-stop work for de la Reguera. In 2002 she starred in Cara o Cruz, which was the first telenovela co-produced by Argos Comunicación and Telemundo, made exclusively for the Hispanic audience living in the US. The following year she played María in the telenovela Por tí for TV Azteca and the mini-series that followed up on Pedro el escamoso, Como Pedro por su casa, which was a co-production between Colombia's Caracol and Telemundo. Additionally, de la Reguera also had the lead role in the Peruvian soap opera Luciana y Nicolás.
De la Reguera's introduction into film began with Dust to Dust, which earned her two nominations: "El Heraldo de la Revelación Femenina" (Best New Actress) and "Eres Mejor Actriz" (Best Actress). Later she acted in A Beautiful Secret with Oscar nominee Katy Jurado. In 2003 Ana starred in the highly acclaimed comedy Ladies' Night, alongside Ana Claudia Talancón. The movie became the box-office success of the year and won her three major awards: "the Latin America MTV's Favorite Actress Award," the Mexican movie industry Award for Best Actress of the year, "CANACINE," and the "Diosa de Plata (Silver Godess) Award" for Best Supporting Actress (2003).
In 2005 she played the starring role in Gitanas, which aired on Telemundo in the US and now has been seen as far away as Ukraine, Spain and Argentina. In 2006 de la Reguera had the lead in the powerful Así del precipicio, which earned her her second "Diosa de Plata [Silver Goddess] Award" for best actress. In addition, she also starred in Paraiso Travel, playing the role of Milagros, singing and dancing for the first time in a movie. John Leguizamo and Colombian star Margarita Rosa de Francisco were also in the cast. The film was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and later released throughout the US and Latin America. That same year Ana received her big break into American cinema when she landed the role of Sister Encarnación in the comedy Nacho Libre. The film by Jared Hess--director of Napoleon Dynamite--and co-starring Jack Black gave her the opportunity to be seen around the world.
In 2008 she became the new face for Cover Girl worldwide, alongside celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Ellen DeGeneres and Rihanna. From there her career springboarded into many other impressive endorsements, including campaigns with Pantene, Special K and Flip, Macy's, Coca-Cola (Ciel), Pepsi (Be Light) and Caress, among many others. She began 2010 with a worldwide publicity campaign for Lipton Tea alongside actor Hugh Jackman. Most recently, she did an international campaign with Kahlúa benefiting her hometown of Veracruz, Mexico, left demolished after the resent destruction of Huricaine Karl.
In the action-thriller film Sultanes del Sur, filmed mainly in Argentina, she plays Monica Silvari, a mean and sophisticated bank robber alongside Spanish actors Jordi Mollà and Tony Dalton. In the spring of 2008 Ana began filming Capadocia, an HBO mega-production TV show about the chaotic and miserable life in a women's prison in Mexico. The show aired with record-breaking ratings in Mexico and Latin America, and was released in the US in the fall of 2008 for HBO OLE. Three of the most recognized directors in Latin America participated in this HBO original production: Epigmenio Ibarra, Jorge Aragón and Luis Peraza. The successful series got three International Emmy nominations for its first season, and this fall marked the opening of "Capadocia"'s second season.
In 2009 she shot _Di Di Hollywood (2009)_, from famed _Jamón, Jamón (2000)_ director Bigas Luna. That same year she went back to the Mexican theatre for six months where she played "Desdemona" in William Shakespeare "Othello". The play was hugely successful in Mexico's renowned Juan Ruiz de Alarcón theater, and she was named "Best Actress" by the Journalist Theatre Association at the annual Bravo Awards and by the ACTP. Later that year she filmed the extremely moving Mexican film Backyard, in which she played a cop in an outlaw border city controlled by drug traffickers and killers. Directed by Carlos Carrera (The Crime of Father Amaro, nominated for an Oscar for "Best Foreign Film"), the picture was chosen to represent Mexico in the 2010 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category, and earned de la Reguera the "Best Actress Award" at the Imagen Awards and the CANACINE Awards, and won the "Silver Plaque" in the Chicago Film Festival.
The beginning of 2010 brought the opening of her Hollywood film Cop Out, co-starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and directed by Kevin Smith. She played Gabriela, a strong-willed woman with very picante and colorful language, who gets rescued by Willis and Tracy--and gets them in trouble in the process. In that same year brought the release of her film Hidalgo - La historia jamás contada., about the controversial life of Mexico's independence hero, priest Miguel Hidalgo. She plays Hidalgo's second wife and shares credit with Demián Bichir (Weeds, Che: Part One).
In the US she also had a recurring role on the USA Network's series Royal Pains, and starred in the critically-acclaimed, Will Farrell-produced HBO comedy Eastbound & Down co-starring Danny McBride as down-and-out baseball player and love interest Kenny Powers. She also had a role in the Jon Favreau-directed Cowboys & Aliens starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell, produced by Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. The film crosses the classic Western with the alien-invasion movie in its story about a lone cowboy leading an uprising against murderous aliens from outer space.
As if her busy acting career isn't enough, de la Reguera is also heavily involved with charity work. Most recently she uploaded a video to YouTube in order to help raise awareness for Veracruz, her home state, affected by heavy rains and a devastating Hurricane Karl. In the video she speaks about a variety fo options for support and help that victims of the Hurrcane can utilize, and offers methods to make donations. The viral campaign went all over Twitter and other online sites, raising much needed money for the victims of the hurricane. She also founded the organization VeracruzANA AC, which is a philanthropic organization whose mission is to raise funds and build a tourist boulevard of Antigua--something that has been promised by political organizations for years. Antigua is one of the most important and historical communities in Veracruz, and also one of the areas the most damaged by the hurricane. This June marked the culmination of her hard work and the grando Opening ceremony for the touristic boulevard.
Blessed with a piercing, blue-eyed glint, brawny looks, cocky "tough guy" stance and effortless charisma, TV's Christopher Meloni has grabbed audiences' attention, male and female alike, finding breakthrough small screen stardom playing both sides of the law. Audiences first were taken in by his sexually arresting portrayal of a sociopathic killer in the gripping prison drama Oz on cable TV. Although his small screen roots were in 90s situation comedy, the network powers-that-be wisely discovered his power and allure as a dramatic star and quickly handed him his own prime-time crime series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as a not-quite-by-the-book crime detective. This one-two punch of "Oz" and "Law & Order: SVU" put Meloni, who seems to grow sexier with age, on the map and well on top, where he remains today.
Christopher Peter Meloni was born on April 2, 1961, in Washington, D.C., the son of Cecile (Chagnon) and Robert Meloni, an endocrinologist. Of Italian and French-Canadian parentage, he attended St. Stephen's School and played quarterback for his high school team. Developing an interest in acting rather early in life, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder following high school graduation. He initially majored in acting but wound up earning a degree in history in 1983. Acting won out in the long run, however, and Chris relocated to New York where he studied with acting guru Sanford Meisner at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse. Supplementing his income during these lean years by taking advantage of his powerful physique (as construction worker, bouncer, personal trainer), Meloni worked his way up the acting ladder via parts in commercials.
With a full head of hair in the early days, he broke into series TV in 1989, the first being the already-established cable football comedy 1st & Ten: The Championship. In this sitcom, which was HBO's very first back in 1984, Chris played ex-con quarterback Vito Del Greco (aka "Johnny Gunn"). The series' star Delta Burke had already left the cast by the time Chris came aboard in its final season. A second sitcom arrived almost immediately with the stereotypical Italian family sitcom The Fanelli Boys featuring Chris as dim-eyed, skirt-chasing Frankie Fanelli, one of the four "dees, dem and dos" sons of Brooklynite widow Theresa Fanelli (Ann Morgan Guilbert). Despite a strong, boisterous cast, the show was painfully obvious and met an early demise. True to nature, Chris gave voice and added to the fun as a cocky, mooching high school teen who knows the "how to's" of attracting pretty girl dinos in the animated prehistoric series Dinosaurs.
He also made a manly mark in mini-movies with co-starring roles in such "women" dramas as In a Child's Name starring Valerie Bertinelli, Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story, which top-lined Molly Ringwald, Without a Kiss Goodbye as the caring husband of Lisa Hartman, and the Connie Sellecca starrer A Dangerous Affair. An interchangeable ability to convey both heartfelt sympathy and virile menace did not go by unnoticed. After minor parts on the big screen with Clean Slate, Junior and Twelve Monkeys, Chris drew strong notices in the featured role of gangster Johnnie Marzzone in the classic neo-noir Bound, which earned cult status for its sexually-charged lesbian sub-storyline.
A tough recurring part on "NYPD Blue", a typical mafia role in the mini-series The Last Don and another short-lived comedic series lead (Leaving L.A.) finally led to a big payoff in the brutal and brilliant cable series Oz. Christopher's introduction to the Oz prison as bisexual psychopath Chris Keller was powerhouse casting and he drew immediate notice and critical applause into the show's second season. Unflinching in its blood-soaked presentation of life behind bars, Chris' raw animal magnetism was unparalleled on the show and his steamy, erotic couplings with another male prisoner on screen promoted him swiftly to gay icon status. Undaunted by the possible career-damaging effects that could occur, Chris' frank acceptance and acknowledgment was admirable indeed and his outright support of human rights causes earned him high marks.
The father of two (daughter Sophia Eva Pietra (born March 23, 2001), and son Dante Amadeo (born January 2, 2004), he has been married since 1995 to production designer 'Sherman Williams' (The Dark Backward). Chris' sudden burst of cable notoriety earned him his own prime time NBC series. With the veteran "Law & Order" program developing a sister spin-off, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Meloni raised the bar with his trenchant pairing with co-star Mariska Hargitay as partners of a special victims crime unit. Despite the show's reality-driven approach, Meloni and Hargitay's dynamite chemistry carried the show to a new level. Allowing their characters' more serious flaws to surface, Meloni, in particular, managed to convey Detective Stabler's private pain and personal turmoil with a raw poignancy. Both he and Hargitay have been honored with Emmy award nominations for their work here (she has won). Occasionally appearing on stage, Chris' theater credits include "The Rainmaker" (as Starbuck) (1998) and "Comers" (1998), both at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. He earned standout reviews as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge," which he performed at Dublin's Gate Theatre in 2005. In 2006 he joined the campy proceedings at an Actors' Fund of America Benefit of the soap opera spoof "Die, Mommie Die!" starring drag illusionist and "Oz" alumnus Charles Busch.
Going well over a decade's worth of service to the series that made him a household name, Meloni finally retired his TV detective in 2011. Throughout the show's run he continued to flaunt his humorous side, showing up on such parody shows as "Mad TV" and cracking up on the various night time TV haunts. On film he continues to shatter his dramatic image in such fare as The Souler Opposite, Wet Hot American Summer, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and its sequel Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. While he has not found outright stardom on the big screen (he has nominally played "other man" roles in such popular films as Runaway Bride and Nights in Rodanthe), Chris has more than proved his staying power since he left the popular series.
More recently, he moved forward as a writer/producer/director/star of the comedy film Dirty Movie, which also has in its cast "L&O: SVU" co-star Diane Neal. In addition, Chris supplied the voice of DC Comics classic character Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern) in the animated movie Green Lantern: First Flight. He also has held regular roles on the series True Blood in 2012 and Surviving Jack as well as strong cinematic parts in the Superman film Man of Steel and in Small Time.
A tall, wavy-haired US actor with a deep, resonant voice, Clancy Brown has proved himself a versatile performer with first-class contributions to theater, feature films, television series and even animation.
Clarence J. Brown III was born in 1959 in Urbana, Ohio, to Joyce Helen (Eldridge), a concert pianist, conductor, and composer, and Republican congressman Clarence J. "Bud" Brown, Jr., who helped manage the Brown Publishing Company, the family-owned newspaper started by Clancy's grandfather, Congressman Clarence J. Brown. Clancy spent much of his youth in close proximity to Washington, D.C. He plied his dramatic talents in the Chicago theater scene before moving onto feature film with a sinister debut performance bullying Sean Penn inside a youth reformatory in Bad Boys. He portrayed Viktor the Monster in the unusual spin on the classic Frankenstein story in The Bride, before scoring one of his best roles to date as the evil Kurgan hunting fellow immortals Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery across four centuries of time in Highlander.
Brown played a corrupt American soldier in the Walter Hill-directed hyper-violent action film Extreme Prejudice, another deranged killer in Shoot to Kill and a brutal prison guard, who eventually somewhat "befriends" wrongfully convicted banker Tim Robbins, in the moving The Shawshank Redemption. His superb vocal talents were in demand, and he contributed voices to animated series, including Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Street Sharks, Gargoyles and Superman. Brown then landed two more plum roles, one as a "tough-as-nails" drill sergeant in the science fiction thriller Starship Troopers, and the other alongside Robin Williams in the Disney comedy Flubber.
The video gaming industry took notice of Clancy's vocal abilities, too, and he has contributed voices to several top selling video games, including Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Lands of Lore III, Star Wars: Bounty Hunter and Crash Nitro Kart. His voice is also the character of cranky crustacean Mr. Eugene H. Krabs in the highly successful SpongeBob SquarePants animated series and films, and he contributed voices to The Batman, Jackie Chan Adventures and Justice League animated series. A popular and friendly personality, Clancy Brown continues to remain busy both through his vocal and acting talents in Hollywood.
Danielle Campbell (born January 30, 1995) is an American actress known for her role as Jessica Olson in the Disney Channel Original Movie StarStruck and as Simone Daniels in the Disney film Prom. She currently stars on the television series The Originals as Davina Claire.
Campbell is from Hinsdale, Illinois. Her parents are Georganne and John Campbell, and she has a younger brother, Johnny. She was discovered in a hair salon in Chicago at the age of 10. Her first big break was as a guest star on Prison Break, appearing in five episodes. She also appeared in a nationwide commercial for Build-A-Bear Workshop and played the character of Darla in the 2008 movie The Poker House. In 2010, she appeared in the Disney Channel television series Zeke and Luther, portraying Dani before starring in the television movie StarStruck in the same year. Upon StarStruck's release, she had signed a development deal with the company. She starred in the movie Prom, released on April 29, 2011, co-starring with Nicholas Braun, Nolan Sotillo and Aimee Teegarden. In 2013, she received a starring role in the television series The Originals, where she portrays the role of a powerful sixteen-year-old witch named Davina. In late 2013, Campbell was announced to star in the 2015 film 16 South, alongside Luke Benward. In April 2015 Campbell shot the movie Race To Redemption where she has the lead role, alongside Aiden Flowers and Luke Perry; the movie is set to release in 2016.
She lives in Atlanta, Georgia while filming The Originals and the rest of the time in Chicago, Illinois.
Kim's film career began in 1991 with The Last Boy Scout. Two Warner Brothers' hits followed: Innocent Blood and The Client. Since that time he has starred in over forty films, including Academy Award winners Black Hawk Down directed by Ridley Scott, and Pearl Harbor directed by Michael Bay. Other films include Waterworld and Open Range with Kevin Costner, Grilled with Ray Romano, Silent Hill opposite Sean Bean, Hostage with Bruce Willis, Assault on Precinct 13, Unforgettable, Skinwalkers, and Hero Wanted.
Kim returned to Entourage for it's final season as Carl Ertz, the sleazy movie Producer. His performance garnered so much attention in previous seasons that Ertz's return was a direct request. He appeared in a recurring role on CSI Miami. Other prominent guest starring television roles include CSI, CSI NY, Cold Case, and Prison Break. He has had roles in more than 20 MOW's including the NBC miniseries Hercules, and Disney's Scream Team. These dramatic turns on television have earned him Gemini nominations for Best Actor in a Featured Supporting Role for HBO's Dead Silence and Best Performance in a Guest Role Dramatic Series for The Outer Limits.
In 2008 Kim starred in and executive produced the film The Poet. Before its wide release it won best picture and best director (Damian Lee) at the New York Staten Island Film festival.
At the AOF International Film Festival in Pasadena, Kim received the Half Life Achievement Award for acting in 2009. Kim also won best actor for playing Steve Sorrano in King of Sorrow.
Kim starred on Broadway as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, as the title role in Macbeth at the legendary Stratford Theatre, and has appeared in over fifty plays in North America.
In the fall of 2010 Kim starred in the blockbuster 3D movie Resident Evil Afterlife, with Mila Jovovich.
In 2011, Kim starred in Sacrifice, with Cuba Gooding Jr., A Little Help, with Jenna Fisher, Sinners and Saints and Robosapien.
In 2012, Kim starred in the sports comedy Goon along side Seann William Scott, Live Schreiber and Jay Baruchel, for which Kim is nominated for Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards. Goon was much lauded by international audiences and critics alike.
The FX hit series Sons of Anarchy is going into its 6th season. Kim Coates is Tig Trager, the motorcycle club's sergeant at arms. Tig fears nothing, much like Kim throughout his career.
Kim has 3 feature films opening in 2013; Rufus, Ferocious, The Dark Truth which Kim co-produced and starred in along side Forrest Whitaker and Andy Garcia,
Kim is currently filming Crossing Lines in Prague with William Fichtner and Donald Sutherland.
Kim currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and their two children.
Danny Trejo was born Dan Trejo in Echo Park, Los Angeles, to Alice (Rivera) and Dan Trejo, a construction worker. A child drug addict and criminal, Trejo was in and out of jail for 11 years. While serving time in San Quentin, he won the lightweight and welterweight boxing titles. Imprisoned for armed robbery and drug offenses, he successfully completed a 12-step rehabilitation program that changed his life. While speaking at a Cocaine Anonymous meeting in 1985, Trejo met a young man who later called him for support. Trejo went to meet him at what turned out to be the set of Runaway Train. Trejo was immediately offered a role as a convict extra, probably because of his tough tattooed appearance. Also on the set was a screenwriter who did time with Trejo in San Quentin. Remembering Trejo's boxing skills, the screenwriter offered him $320 per day to train the actors for a boxing match. Director Andrey Konchalovskiy saw Trejo training Eric Roberts and immediately offered him a featured role as Roberts' opponent in the film. Trejo has subsequently appeared in many other films, usually as a tough criminal or villain.
Trejo is of Mexican descent.
Oliver Stone has become known as a master of controversial subjects and a legendary film maker. His films are filled with a variety of film angles and styles, he pushes his actors to give Oscar-worthy performances, and despite his failures, has always returned to success.
William Oliver Stone was born in New York City, to Jacqueline (Goddet) and Louis Stone, a stockbroker. His American father was from a Jewish family (from Germany and Eastern Europe), and his mother, a war bride, was French (and Catholic). After dropping out of Yale University, he became a soldier in the Vietnam War. Serving in two different regiments (including 1rst Cavalry), he was introduced to The Doors, drugs, Jefferson Airplane, and other things that defined the sixties. For his actions in the war, he was awarded a Bronze Star for Gallantry and a Purple Heart. Returning from the war, Stone did not return to graduate from Yale. His first film was a student film entitled Last Year in Viet Nam, followed by the gritty horror film Seizure for which he also wrote the screenplay. The next seven years saw him direct two films: Mad Man of Martinique and The Hand, starring Michael Caine. He also wrote many screenplays for films such as Midnight Express, Conan the Barbarian, and Scarface. Stone won his first Oscar for Midnight Express, but his fame was just beginning to show.
1986 was the year that brought him much fame to the U.S.A. and the world. He directed the political film Salvador starring Oscar-nominated James Woods. However, his big hit was the Vietnam war film Platoon starring Charlie Sheen,Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Francesco Quinn. Berenger and Dafoe received Oscar nominations for their roles as the polar opposite sergeants who each influence the tour of duty of Chris Taylor (Sheen). Stone won his first Oscar for directing this film, which won Best Picture and was a hit at the box office. After Platoon, Stone followed up with the critically acclaimed Wall Street. The movie, starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas, focuses on the business world of tycoons and stock brokers. The film was well received and won an Oscar for Douglas' portrayal of the villainous Gordon Gekko. Stone returned immediately the following year with Talk Radio, which talked of a foul-mouthed radio host (played by Eric Bogosian) who never fails to talk about the serious issues. Although it was not as successful as his last three films, Stone did not slow down at all. He directed Tom Cruise into an Oscar-nominated role in Born on the Fourth of July.
The movie talked about the return of an embittered, crippled Vietnam soldier from the war. Although it failed to win Best Picture or Best Actor, Oliver Stone won an Academy Award for Directing, his third win to date. After Born on the Fourth of July, Stone took a hand in producing several movies, including the Academy Award-winning film Reversal of Fortune. He returned to the director's chair in 1991, once again with two films. Val Kilmer starred as the legendary and controversial Jim Morrison in Stone's psychedelic film The Doors.
Despised by former Doors member Ray Manzarek, the film is nevertheless a wonderful achievement, with Kilmer pulling off an almost flawless impersonation of Morrison. Regardless of opinion, The Doors was overshadowed by Stone's colossal film JFK, which Stone himself considers the best of his films. In Stone's movie, Jim Garrison tackles the conspiracy behind the murder of America's president John F. Kennedy. The large cast featured such well-known names as Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, John Candy, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland, and Walter Matthau. This film represented a change in Stone's works, because it was with this film that he really began to explore the different camera styles and combining them together to create a multi-dimensional way of showing a movie. JFK, as with Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July, earned eight Oscar nominations and was one of Stone's most successful films. However, he failed to win a third Oscar for Best Director.
After this film, Stone directed his third Vietnam film to date. Heaven & Earth was a film about the war from the viewpoint of a Vietnamese girl, and also co-starred Tommy Lee Jones (who had received an Oscar nomination for JFK). Despite its new woman's perspective and several positive reviews, it was a box office failure. Stone was unfazed; his next film is perhaps his most notorious film to date. Adapting a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, Stone made Natural Born Killers starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore and Rodney Dangerfield in his only dramatic performance. The film was received well at the box office, while review were very mixed. Because of the violence that people claimed was inspired by the film, it was compared to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. As usual, Stone was at the center of controversial subjects; his next film Nixon was no exception. The film focused on the life of President Richard Nixon, played by Anthony Hopkins, while featuring another well-known cast, including Joan Allen in the role of Nixon's wife. Both went on to receive Oscar nominations, while Stone received his sixth Oscar nomination for Screenwriting. The film got mixed reviews, and failed to recoup its budget.
Aside from directing, Stone has worked as a producer on several different films. There was, of course, the successful film Reversal of Fortune, which won Jeremy Irons an Oscar and also nominated the director for an Oscar. There was also the highly praised and successful emotional drama The Joy Luck Club which centered around four Chinese immigrant women whose relationships with their daughters is affected by their own lives. Another highly praised Oscar nominated film was Milos Forman's classic film The People vs. Larry Flynt starring Woody Harrelson, Edward Norton, and Courtney Love. Whether the crime/action film The Corruptor or the brilliant war epic Savior, Stone has worked in a variety of film genres.
Stone had directed ten films in nine years; now however, he began to slow down. He directed the film U Turn starring Sean Penn and Jennifer Lopez. As with Natural Born Killers, it was a dark and twisted satire on violence, but did not have the same success as the former. Stone was set to direct several projects in the late 90's but they fell through and were not made. However, success came back to Stone in the Al Pacino film Any Given Sunday. This sports movie centered on the life behind the game of football, and it starred an impressive cast that included frequent Stone collaborators James Woods and John C. McGinley. This film was one of his most successful box office films, and put him back on track.
The following years brought Stone no new theatrical films, though he did make three fascinating TV documentaries. Two of them, 'Looking for Fidel' and Comandante were interviews of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, while 'Persona Non Grata' was an interview of several Palestinian leaders. Stone was also set to direct American Psycho with Leonardo DiCaprio and Beyond Borders, starring Angelina Jolie Pitt and at the time, Ralph Fiennes. However, Stone dropped out of both projects, as did a number of the actors mentioned. Finally, five years after Any Given Sunday, Stone directed a film he'd long wanted to make; the colossal epic Alexander. Starring Colin Farrell as the Macedonian leader, Stone attempted to capture the essence of Alexander the Great through his conquests of the known world. The film focused on Alexander's relationships with his parents (a brilliant performance by Val Kilmer and a less impressive one by Angelina Jolie Pitt) and his relationships with his wife and childhood friend/ gay lover (played by Rosario Dawson and Jared Leto respectively).
Alexander was a critical failure, and failed to win back its budget domestically. Despite being one of 2004's highest grossing films internationally, and recouping its budget through DVD sales, Stone's pet project was heavily criticized. Despite a far superior version (Alexander Revisited) being released on DVD, the film's reputation remains low by the majority. Stone was personally stung at these attacks, but managed to rebound, if mildly, with his hopeful film World Trade Center. The film centers on two firefighters trapped in the rubble of the twin towers. It received good reviews, and allowed Oliver to step forward from his failure towards the possibility of more films.
In late 2007, besides a number of projects Stone was set to direct "Pinkville", which would have been his fourth Vietnam film to date. It was set to star a large number of well known actors such as Bruce Willis, Toby Jones, Channing Tatum, Michael Pitt, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Peña. However, a week before shooting was to begin, the Writer's Strike was started, and the finance for the film was cut, using the strike as an excuse. After Willis backed out of the project, it was eventually scuttled, much like Stone's early productions of Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July. Stone turned to another project he had worked on with former Wall Street collaborator Stanley Weiser. The project was W., a biography on president George W. Bush. Stone initially cast Christian Bale in the role of Bush but the actor dropped out at the last minute. Josh Brolin was cast, and this followed with a large cast of well known Oscar nominated character actors such as Richard Dreyfuss, James Cromwell, and Ellen Burstyn. The film was made in a record four months, starting in June and released in October. The film opened to mixed reviews, and though film's budget was recouped, it was not a financial hit.
Stone then made the documentary South of the Border, a documentary which focused on bringing to light the positive aspects of the left-wing governments in South America, particularly Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Stone was much less critical than usual, instead making the documentary as a response to the harsh reputation that Chavez has in the States. The documentary was poorly received in the States. Stone also began work on Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Starring Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and Eli Wallach, the film focuses on the 2008 economic crisis, and the return of Gordon Gekko from prison. The film was screened at Cannes to positive reception, and hailed as Stone's triumphant return. After this, Stone made a film adaptation of "Savages", a novel by Don Winslow. The movie follows two highly successful marijuana growers (Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson ), whose shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) is kidnapped by a Mexican cartel and held for ransom. The movie also starred Salma Hayek, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, and Emile Hirsch. The film was a return to the tense action and violence of Stone's earlier films, though it polarized many audience members due to the colorful narrations of Lively's vapid and naive character, as well as the film's ending.
Oliver Stone is a three-time Oscar winner, and although he has mostly been stung by critics of his films, he remains a well-known name today in the film industry. The films he directed have been nominated for 31 Academy Awards, including eight for acting, six for screen writing, and three for directing. There is no denying that Stone has cemented himself a position among the legends of Hollywood.
From her breakout role as "Audrey Griswold" in Vegas Vacation, to her powerful performance in the prison drama Felon, to commanding the Counter Terrorist Unit in 24_, Nichols has consistently garnered award recognition and critical acclaim. Her evocative performances have cumulated three ALMA Award nominations and won the distinguished Golden Eagle Award for Most Promising Actress.
Nichols is currently recurring on the CBS series, NCIS, as Special Agent Zoe Keates. Nichols previously starred in the Darren Star / ABC series, GCB, opposite Kristin Chenoweth; Steven Bochco's drama Blind Justice; ABC series The Gates; ABC series In Justice; Fox's 24; Showtime's groundbreaking Resurrection Blvd. and an Emmy-nominated episode of ER, alongside Ewan McGregor. On the film side, in addition to Vegas Vacation and Felon, Nichols has also starred in Delta Farce, Big Momma's House 2, Mafia!, with special appearances in Scream 2, Can't Hardly Wait and Bowfinger.
In addition to her work on screen, Nichols has been fighting for human rights abuses for over a decade. Her most recent passion has been putting an end to the most egregious human rights violation, human trafficking. In the last two years, Nichols has made over eight trips to DC, meeting with members of Congress and other organizations and has supported imperative trafficking legislation. Nichols has produced two celebrity human trafficking events to raise awareness for this cause and is hard at work producing the third this September. Nichols is currently forming her own non-profit, 501(c)(3) to lend an even bigger voice for this issue.
Matt Dillon's successful film career has spanned over three decades and has showcased his wide range of dramatic and comedic talents. Dillon displayed his versatility with an arresting performance co-starring as a racist cop in the critically acclaimed Paul Haggis film Crash. This role earned him nominations for an Academy award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Critics Choice Award, BAFTA Award and won him an Independent Spirit Award. In addition, the film earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Critics Choice Award for Best Ensemble. As the New York Times' Film Critic A.O. Scott put it, "He seems to be getting better with every film."
He starred opposite Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson in Universal Pictures' comedy, You, Me and Dupree and in Factotum for which he received glowing reviews for portraying Charles Bukowski's alter ego when the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. From his breakthrough performance in The Outsiders to his hilarious turn as an obsessed private investigator in There's Something About Mary, he has proven himself to be one of the most diverse actors of his generation.
In 1990 Dillon won an IFP Spirit Award for his gritty performance as a drug addict in Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy. From there he went on to star in such films as Ted Demme's Beautiful Girls opposite Uma Thurman and Natalie Portman, Cameron Crowe's Singles, In & Out with Kevin Kline, Kevin Spacey's Albino Alligator, Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish, Garry Marshall's Flamingo Kid, Van Sant's To Die For with Nicole Kidman, and John McNaughton's Wild Things. He starred in Nothing But The Truth, opposite Kate Beckinsale and Vera Farmiga, Disney's Old Dogs, opposite John Travolta, Robin Williams and Kelly Preston, and the Screen Gems films Armored and Takers.
Aside from being an accomplished actor, Dillon wrote, and made his feature film directorial debut with City of Ghosts, in which he also starred with Gérard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgård, and James Caan. Prior to City of Ghosts, Dillon made his television directorial debut in 1997 with an episode of HBO's gritty prison drama Oz.
Dillon's achievements continued with television appearances in an HBO adaptation of Irwin Shaw's Return To Kansas City and a part co-narrating the documentary Dear America: Letters From Home.
Dillon's multi-talents have also landed him on stage starring on Broadway in The Boys In Winter as well as the PBS/American Playhouse production of The Great American Fourth Of July And Other Disasters.
His recent film credits include the comedy Girl Most Likely opposite Annette Bening and Kristen Wiig; the drama Sunlight, Jr. opposite Naomi Watts, and the heist comedy The Art Of The Steal opposite Kurt Russell. Dillon most recently starred in M. Night Shyamalan's hit television event series Wayward Pines for FOX.
One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer.
His mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced. At the age of 10, he appeared in his first play, "In My Many Names and Days," at a cramped little theater space in Manhattan. He continued on but managed to avoid the trappings of a child star per se, considering himself more a working child actor at the time. Billing himself as Larry Fishburne during this early phase, he never studied or was trained in the technique of acting. In 1973, at the age of 12, Laurence won a recurring role on the daytime soap One Life to Live that lasted three seasons and subsequently made his film debut in the ghetto-themed Cornbread, Earl and Me. At 14 Francis Ford Coppola cast him in Apocalypse Now, which filmed for two years in the Phillippines. Laurence didn't work for another year and a half after that long episode. A graduate of Lincoln Square Academy, Coppola was impressed enough with Laurence to hire him again down the line with featured roles in Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club, and Gardens of Stone.
Throughout the 1980s, he continued to build up his film and TV credit list with featured roles despite little fanfare. A recurring role as Cowboy Curtis on the kiddie show Pee-wee's Playhouse helped him through whatever lean patches there were at the time. With the new decade (1990s) came out-and-out stardom for Laurence. A choice lead in John Singleton's urban tale Boyz n the Hood catapulted him immediately into the front of the film ranks. Set in LA's turbulent South Central area, his potent role as a morally minded divorced father who strives to rise above the ignorance and violence of his surroundings, Laurence showed true command and the ability to hold up any film. On stage, he would become invariably linked to playwright August Wilson and his 20th Century epic African-American experience after starring for two years as the eruptive ex-con in "Two Training Running." For this powerful, mesmerizing performance, Laurence won nearly every prestigious theater award in the books (Tony, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Theatre World). It was around the time of this career hallmark that he began billing himself as "Laurence" instead of "Larry." More awards and accolades came his way. In addition to an Emmy for the pilot episode of the series "Tribeca," he was nominated for his fine work in the quality mini-movies The Tuskegee Airmen and Miss Evers' Boys.
On the larger screen, both Laurence and Angela Bassett were given Oscar nominations for their raw, seething portrayals of rock stars Ike and Tina Turner in the film What's Love Got to Do with It. To his credit, he managed to take an extremely repellent character and make it a sobering and captivating experience. A pulp box-office favorite as well, he originated the role of Morpheus, Keanu Reeves' mentor, in the exceedingly popular futuristic sci-fi The Matrix, best known for its ground-breaking special effects. He wisely returned for its back-to-back sequels. Into the millennium, Laurence extended his talents by making his screenwriting and directorial debut in Once in the Life, in which he also starred. The film is based on his own critically acclaimed play "Riff Raff," which he staged five years earlier. In 1999, he scored a major theater triumph with a multi-racial version of "The Lion in Winter" as Henry II opposite Stockard Channing's Eleanor of Acquitaine. On film, Fishburne has appeared in a variety of interesting roles in not-always-successful films. Never less than compelling, a few of his more notable parts include an urban speed chess player in Searching for Bobby Fischer; a military prisoner in Cadence; a college professor in Singleton's Higher Learning; a CIA operative in Bad Company; the title role in Othello (he was the first black actor to play the part on film); a spaceship rescue team leader in the sci-fi horror Event Horizon; a Depression-era gangster in Hoodlum; a dogged police sergeant in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River; a spelling bee coach in Akeelah and the Bee; and prominent roles in the mainstream films Predators and Contagion. He returned occasionally to the theatre. In April 2008, he played Thurgood Marshall in the one-man show "Thurgood" and won a Drama Desk Award. It was later transferred to the screen.
In the fall of 2008, Fishburne replaced William Petersen as the male lead investigator on the popular CBS drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, but left the show in 2011 to refocus on films and was in turn replaced by Ted Danson. Since then Fishburne has appeared in the Superman film Man of Steel as Daily Planet chief Perry White.
Hector Elizondo was born in New York City, New York, where he was raised, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. He is the son of Carmen Medina Reyes and Martín Echevarría Elizondo. Hector is of Basque and Puerto Rican descent, and "Elizondo" means "at the foot of the church" in Basque. His lifestyle in his pre-acting days was as diverse as the roles he plays today. He was a conga player with a Latin band, a classical guitarist and singer, a weightlifting coach, a ballet dancer and a manager of a bodybuilding gym. In his teens, he played basketball and baseball and was scouted by the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates farm teams. After a knee injury ended his dance career, he switched to drama. Since then, he has frequently appeared on Broadway, most notably with George C. Scott in Arthur Penn's production of "Sly Fox" for which he received a Drama Desk nomination and for his role as "God" in "Steambath", which won him an Obie Award. Other theatre credits include; "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"; "The Great White Hope"; "Dance of Death" with Robert Shaw and "The Rose Tattoo" opposite Cicely Tyson. Countless starring roles in television include: Foley Square; Medal of Honor Rag; Casablanca (in which he recreated the Claude Rains role of police chief "Capt. Renault"); Freebie and the Bean; Popi and as Sophia Loren's husband in the CBS special Courage. Guest appearances include: Kojak; Kojak: Ariana; A Case of Immunity; Baretta; All in the Family; The Rockford Files and Bret Maverick. In addition, he also directed a.k.a. Pablo, the first show to utilise seven cameras instead of the usual four. On the big screen, he has been seen in, among others, American Gigolo; The Taking of Pelham One Two Three; Cuba; Valdez Is Coming and in four films directed by Garry Marshall: Young Doctors in Love; The Flamingo Kid; Nothing in Common and Overboard. Elizondo starred with Dan Aykroyd and Michelle Pfeiffer in PBS' Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson (based on a collection of John O'Hara stories) and made his debut as a stage director with a production of "Villa!" starring Julio Medina. In addition, he performed in the 50th anniversary production of "War of the Worlds" co-starring Jason Robards and the TV-movie Addicted to His Love with Barry Bostwick.
Upon graduating from the prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2009, Benedict was immediately cast in several prominent Australian TV shows. Matchbox Pictures children's series, My Place, as the troublesome Hammer Pirovic on Home & Away and Michael in Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo.
2011 saw Benedict's theatre debut in the Malthouse production of Tis Pity She's A Whore directed by Marion Potts and Judith's Kiss in the Bondi Pavilion Theatre. He returned to the theatre again in 2013 in the experimental Tanya Goldberg's The Blind Date Project.
2012 Benedict was cast as Jonah in Underground, The Julian Assange Matchbox tele-movie directed by Robert Connolly.
In 2014 Benedict made his feature film debut starring in the indie flick Asthma, directed by Jake Hoffman.
2015 will be a big year for Benedict with 3 U.S. feature films being released; The Walk by Robert Zemeckis, The Stanford Prison Experiment by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, and By Way Of Helena directed by Kieran Darcy-Smith. He will also be seen later this year in the highly anticipated ABC series The Beautiful Lie produced by John Edwards and Imogen Banks and starring opposite Sarah Snook.
Benedict is currently shooting a recurring role in the popular horror apocalyptic US series The Walking Dead.
This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnould Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and mathematician. The youngest of three children, he spent much of his childhood in solitude. Demonstrating little initiative, he was guided into art as a possible direction. The family moved to Grimsby when he turned twelve and, despite an active early passion in acting, his parents thought less of it and enrolled him at the Grimsby Art School and St. Martin's School of Art where he showed some flourish. When he couldn't manage to get another scholarship to art school, his focus invariably turned to acting.
Accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, John made his stage debut in 1962 and remained there in typically offbeat form such plays as "Infanticide in the House of Fred Ginger". An odd, somber, pasty-looking fellow with an aquiline nose (injured while playing sports) and a mass of Irish freckles, he was hardly leading man material. His earlier focus as a painter, however, triggered a keen skill in the art of observation and it certainly advanced his talent for getting into the skin of his characters. His movie debut occurred that same year with a supporting role in the ill-received British "angry young man" drama Young and Willing.
Appearing in various mediums, John increased his profile (and respect) appearing in such theatre plays as "Inadmissible Evidence" (1965), "Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs" (1966), a role he later took to film as Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, "Macbeth" (as Malcolm) (1967) and "Man and Superman" (1969), while finding prime parts in such films as A Man for All Seasons, a role he was given after director Fred Zinnemann saw his stellar work in "Little Malcolm." He continued on the stage as an unlikely Romeo in 1973, and went on to garner great applause in Pinter's "The Caretaker" and "The Dumb Waiter", as well as "Travesties" (1974).
It was TV, however, that displayed the full magnitude and fearless range of his acting instrument. In the mid-70s he gained widespread acclaim for his embodiment of the tormented gay writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp in the landmark TV play The Naked Civil Servant, adapted from Crisp's autobiography. Way, way ahead of its time, Hurt's bold and unabashed take on the flamboyant and controversial gent who dared to be different was rewarded with the Emmy and the British TV Awards. Far and away one of the most marvelous creations ever captured on the small screen, he was altogether unsettling, unappetizing and unforgettable. Audiences cringed but were mesmerized at the same time -- like a car wreck. He WAS Quentin Crisp.
Doors immediately opened for John. He was handed the best parts film and TV had to offer. Once again he was strikingly disturbing as the cruel and crazed Roman emperor Caligula in the epic TV masterpiece I, Claudius. The chameleon in him then displayed a polar side as the gentle, pathetically disfigured title role in The Elephant Man, and when he morphed into the role of a tortured Turkish prison inmate who befriends Brad Davis in the intense drama Midnight Express, he was barely recognizable. The last two films earned Hurt Oscar nominations. Mainstream box-office films were offered as well as art films. He made the most of his role as a crew member whose body becomes host to an unearthly predator in Alien. Who can forget the film's most notorious scene as the creature explodes from Hurt's stomach and scurries away into the bowels of the spaceship?
Along with fame, of course, came a few misguided ventures generally unworthy of his talent. Such brilliant work as his steeple chase jockey in Champions or kidnapper in The Hit was occasionally offset by such drivel as the comedy misfire Partners with 'Ryan O'Neal (I)' in which Hurt looked enervated and embarrassed. But those were very few and far between.
As for the past couple of decades, the craggy-faced actor continues to draw extraordinary notices. Tops on the list includes his prurient governmental gadfly who triggers the Christine Keeler political sex scandal in the aptly-titled Scandal; the cultivated gay writer aroused and obsessed with struggling "pretty-boy" actor Jason Priestley in Love and Death on Long Island; and the Catholic priest embroiled in the Rwanda atrocities in Beyond the Gates.
His rich tones have also been tapped into frequently with a number of animated features and documentaries, often serving as narrator. Presently married to his fourth wife, genius is often accompanied by a darker, more self-destructive side and Hurt was no exception with alcohol being his choice of poison. He has since recovered. He has two children from his third wife.
Traci Lords is a study of a determined and complex woman with a very controversial background. She was born and raised in Ohio as Nora Louise Kuzma, to Patricia Louise (Kuzma) and Louis Kuzma. She moved with her divorced mother and three sisters to Los Angeles at age 12. While staying at the house of her mother's boyfriend, Roger, she began nude modeling at age 15, then adult films a year later.
An incredibly developed, full-figured girl, she easily duped photographers, producers and directors (with the help of a false birth certificate and driver's license). Her stage name is a combination of Traci, from a former school friend, and Lords, in honor of her favorite male actor, Jack Lord (Hawaii Five-O). She later owned a white Persian cat named Mr. Steve McGarrett, the name of the character Lord played on the show. Traci made somewhere between 80 and 100 X-rated movies (some consisted mostly of leftover footage from previous shoots) between 1984 and 1986.
In May 1986 she was arrested by FBI agents when it was discovered she was underage, which meant that any films with her in them were illegal to rent or buy, and video stores around the country rushed to remove them. The only legal porn movie Traci made was Traci, I Love You, which was filmed in Paris, France, on her 18th birthday. Since she controlled distribution rights, many people believed she orchestrated the revelation herself so she could be the only one to profit from her X-rated career. Many within the adult film industry made a tacit agreement to never promote Traci or talk about her, as they felt she betrayed the industry that had had been the source of her fame in the first place. The federal government tried to prosecute the producers of the movie Those Young Girls, the first adult film Traci appeared in, for child pornography. However, the case fell apart when the government admitted that it, too, had been duped when Lords traveled to Europe to shoot Traci, I Love You on a fake passport. After her exile from adult films, she began to resurrect her life and fulfill her lifelong ambition to star in "mainstream" films.
In 1987 she enrolled in the Lee Strasberg acting school, began voice lessons and built on her natural acting talents. Her first mainstream "break" came in Not of This Earth, a remake of the classic Roger Corman sci-fi film from the 1950s. It was the last time that Traci would bare her breasts for the camera.
Throughout the 1990s her hard work got her a reputation as a reliable and respected actress, in addition to being a singer and an advocate for gay rights. Her recurring role in early 1995 as a sneering sociopath, Rikki, on Melrose Place was critically acclaimed and landed her more roles in other movies, playing villains and psychotic characters. In the latter half of the 1990s she appeared in several B movies that went straight to video and/or cable in lead, minor or cameo roles. She even guest-starred in a number of TV shows ranging from Married with Children, Roseanne, MacGyver and Nash Bridges.
She has always despised being referred to as "an ex-porn star", and resents the fact that a celebrity like Tim Allen can be forgiven by Hollywood for past transgressions (he was convicted and served prison time selling drugs while he was in college) but she still to this day bears the stigma of her porn years. It's probably the fantasy of the underage girl who fooled an entire industry, and, at the height of her career, was unquestionably the most popular actress with fans and filmmakers alike.
Some of her most notable TV work was as a regular on season 2 of Profiler from 1997 to 1998 in playing the schizo-sicko serial killer Sharon Lesher, as well as the tough heroine Jordan Radcliffe during the last season of the sci-fi series First Wave from 2000 to 2001. She most recently has written her autobiography, published in 2003, and even tried her hand in writing and directing a short film which would lead her to another career as a writer-director of independent films.
Raised in the shadow of Rahway prison, Sutter spent most of his New Jersey childhood indoors, away from people, three feet from a TV screen. That's where he learned the essentials of storytelling and the comic significance of anvils.
After graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Film, Kurt spent several years as an actor in NYC, performing in off-off-Broadway theatres, lofts and holding cells. His theatre training led to teaching and directing and, in the mid-nineties, he joined the faculty of "The Gately-Poole Acting Studio" on Theatre Row, teaching the Sanford Meisner Technique and directing productions at "The Nat Horne Theatre".
In 1997, Kurt was awarded an MFA Fellowship to attend Northern Illinois University. In Chicago, Kurt's exposure to the dramatic masters - August Strindberg, Eugene O'Neill, Jean Genet - inspired him, and he began writing plays and cultivating ideas for the screen. After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts, Sutter moved to Los Angeles, where he began writing. In 2001, he landed a gig on FX's The Shield. Starting as a staff writer, he stayed on "The Shield" its entire seven season run, finishing up the last two seasons as Executive Producer.
Kurt continues his relationship with FX, with his new critically-acclaimed series, Sons of Anarchy. Along with his TV work, Sutter has feature projects in development at Warner Brothers and Paramount.
Sutter and his wife, actor/singer Katey Sagal, live in Los Angeles with their three children: Sarah, Jackson and Esmé. And their three dogs: Lola, Lumpy and Blue.
Edith Falco, called Edie, was born on July 5, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, to Judith Anderson, an actress, and Frank Falco, a jazz drummer. She is of Italian (father) and Swedish, English, and Cornish (mother) descent. Edie grew up on Long Island and attended SUNY Purchase, where she was trained in acting at the prestigious Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film. She moved to Manhattan after graduation, auditioning for roles and supporting herself as best she could; for example, working parties for an entertainment company where she would wear a Cookie Monster costume and urge people to get on the dance floor. Falco began getting film roles, mostly smaller supporting parts, starting in the late 1980s. Her first notable role was a supporting part in Bullets Over Broadway.
Ironically, it was in television where the conservatory-trained Falco's career first flowered. She obtained her first recurring roles in 1993, on the acclaimed police dramas Homicide: Life on the Street, as the wife of a blinded police officer, and Law & Order as a Legal Aid attorney. Next came a recurring role on the prison drama Oz, as a sympathetic corrections officer. All the while she continued to work in film, still in small supporting roles.
Supporting herself in acting continued to be a challenge until at last Falco found success in 1999, when she was cast in the HBO series The Sopranos, as Carmela, the wife of New Jersey Mafia street boss Tony Soprano. "The Sopranos" gained her a great deal of visibility and praise for her exceptionally strong dramatic skills. In 2000 Falco became one of the few actresses in history to sweep all of the major television awards (the Emmy, the Golden Globe and the SAG Award) in one year for a dramatic role. She is also the first female actor ever to receive the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama.
Interestingly, her roles have frequently put her on one side of the law or the other--a defense attorney, a corrections officer, a cop's wife, a mobster's wife, a police officer (in a pilot for a television adaptation of the movie Fargo). She has also worked frequently on the stage, such as her award-winning work in the play "Sideman," in "The Vagina Monologues," and in revivals of "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune" (which was hugely successful) and "'night Mother."
Unlike her brashly assertive alter-ego Carmela Soprano, Falco is self-described as shy, but is clearly a witty and down-to-earth person. She sometimes travels with her beloved dog Marley, driving so that the dog does not have to travel in the baggage compartment. At one point Falco had a relationship with her "Frankie and Johnny" co-star Stanley Tucci. She was treated for breast cancer in 2004 and her prognosis is very good. In December 2004, Falco adopted a baby boy, whom she named Anderson, after her mother's surname. Another adoption, of a baby girl named Macy, followed in 2008.
|Clifton Collins Jr.
An acting chameleon who can easily lose himself in the life of his film and television characters, Clifton Collins Jr. is a native Angeleno who grew up destined to become a part of the Latino entertainment industry. His great-grandparents on his mother's side were a Mexican trumpet player and Spanish dancer who formed a traveling family act, and his grandfather was well-known character actor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, most famous for his humorous sidekick roles in 1950s/1960s John Wayne westerns (he played the excitable hotel keeper in Rio Bravo) and in sitcoms. His uncle and aunt dabbled in the business at one point as well. While his famous grandfather was unable to break out of the old unflattering Latino stereotypes, Collins Jr. has done Pedro proud in the new millennium. Playing everything from policemen to boxers to serial killers, he has managed to transcend the typical racial trappings of his grandfather's era and play flesh-and-blood, three-dimensional characters. It was not always that way.
Born short, lean and mean on June 16, 1970, he started his career in 1988 using his real name of Collins, but two years later began billing himself as "Clifton Gonzales-Gonzales" as a tribute to his aged grandfather and his early accomplishments. Pedro, who died in 2006, lived long enough to witness his grandson's achievements. Toiling in typical "barrio" roles at the beginning of his career, Collins Jr. found himself stuck in bit parts either as a struggling blue-collar worker or urban thug. In the mid-1990s, he began to search out and wing standout roles that enabled him to break the confines of the Latino stereotype. He slowly moved up in billing, even in mediocre material such as the futuristic prison film Fortress and the mindless 1970s rock-era comedy The Stöned Age. His breakout role as Cesar, the vicious student and gangbanger in One Eight Seven opposite Los Angeles substitute teacher Samuel L. Jackson, set him on the right path. This led to a mesmerizing collection of other portrayals, both good-guy and bad-guy, in such films as The Replacement Killers, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Tigerland. His versatility finally tested, he played everything from a gay Mexican hitman in the critically acclaimed Traffic to a psychological profiler for the FBI in the mainstream actioner Mindhunters. A number of top guest appearances came his way on such series as NYPD Blue and The Twilight Zone and he had recurring roles on Resurrection Blvd. and Alias.
A monumental shift forward in his career happened recently with his hypnotic portrayal of killer Perry Smith, the object of writer Truman Capote's obsession, in the art-house favorite Capote. Decades ago, Robert Blake played the same part in the gripping Capote book-to-film In Cold Blood. This heralded achievement has enabled Collins to move into the co-producer's chair of late, notably for Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders, in which he inhabits the role of serial killer Kenneth Bianchi. Obviously, there is plenty more in the works for this major talent.
Considered by many to be hip-hop's greatest producer, Dr. Dre (b. André Young, February 18, 1965) pioneered gangsta hip-hop and his own variation of the sound, dubbed G-Funk. His very early albums were violent but cautionary tales of the criminal mind, but Dre's records with NWA celebrated the hedonistic, amoralistic side of gang life. Being around during the birth of west coast hip-hop during the early 1980s, Dre found himself performing at house parties and clubs with the World Class Wreckin' Cru around South-Central Los Angeles. Wearing a Doctor's mask when he preformed, he called himself Dr. Dre, Dre being a nickname from André. In 1986, Dre met Ice Cube. Instantly becoming good friends, the two MCs began writing songs for Ruthless Records, a label started by former drug pusher Eazy-E. Initially they were rejected by the record-buying public, but Eazy formed NWA', with Dre, Cube, and newcomers M.C. Ren and DJ Yella, releasing their first album in 1987. Then, in 1989, with distribution from Bryan Turner and his Priority Records label (now a part of EMI), N.W.A. delivered "Straight Outta Compton," a vicious, violent, and misogynistic record that became an underground hit with virtually no support from radio, the press, or the still hip-hop-free MTV. N.W.A. became notorious for their violent lyrics, which resulted in the FBI sending a warning letter to Ruthless and its distributor, Priority Records, suggesting that the group should watch their step. Dre would have several bad falls with the police during his life. While it seemed that the group was strong, Ice Cube suddenly departed in late 1989 amidst many financial disagreements with Dre. Suddenly the the music was in Dre's hands. Dre left the group the next year to form Death Row Records with Marion 'Suge' Knight. Knight held NWA's manager at gunpoint and threatening to kill him if he refused to let Dre out of his contract. Dre didn't know how he got out, nor did he care, he was making music. Then Dre discovered Snoop Dogg through his stepbrother 'Warren G', and he immediately began working with the brilliantly talented MC. Snoop would become great friends with the Doctor and was on Dre's 1992 debut "The Chronic" as much as Dre himself. But trouble was soon to follow. Dre grew frustrated with Knight's strong-arm techniques. At the time, Death Row was devoting itself to Tupac Shakur's label debut, "All Eyez on Me," and Snoop was busy recovering from his draining murder trial. Dre, fed up, left the label in the summer of 1996 to form Aftermath, declaring gangsta hip-hop was dead. Soon thereafter, both 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. were murdered, putting a sudden end to the East Side/West Side hip-hop war, and Suge was later arrested and sent to prison. It would be at least three years before anything big came out of the great producer. It wasn't until he began working on his 2001 album, and discovering an underground MC by the name of Eminem that Dre would make his comeback.
Alfred Lewis Enoch was born December 2, 1988 in Westminster, London, England, the son of English actor William Russell (William Russell Enoch) and Brazilian doctor Balbina Gutierrez. He is an actor, known for his role as Dean Thomas in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011). More recently, he has played Philotus in Timon of Athens (2012), and Titus Lartius in Coriolanus (2013 - 2014), by William Shakespeare, both at the Donmar Warehouse theater.
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers. Roman Polanski was born in Paris in 1933. His parents returned to Poland from France in 1936, three years before World War II began. On Germany's invasion in 1939, as a family of mostly Jewish heritage, they were all sent to the Krakow ghetto. His parents were then captured and sent to two different concentration camps: his father to Mauthausen-Gusen in Austria, where he survived the war, and his mother to Auschwitz where she was murdered. Roman witnessed his father's capture and then, at only 7, managed to escape the ghetto and survive the war, at first wandering through the Polish countryside and pretending to be a Roman-Catholic kid visiting his relatives. Although this saved his life, he was severely mistreated suffering nearly fatal beating which left him with a fractured skull. Local people usually ignored the cinemas where German films were shown, but Polanski seemed little concerned by the propaganda and often went to the movies. As the war progressed, Poland became increasingly war-torn and he lived his life as a tramp, hiding in barns and forests, eating whatever he could steal or find. Still under 12 years old, he encountered some Nazi soldiers who forced him to hold targets while they shot at them. At the war's end in 1945, he reunited with his father who sent him to a technical school, but young Polanski seemed to have already chosen another career. In the 1950s, he took up acting, appearing in Andrzej Wajda's A Generation before studying at the Lodz Film School. His early shorts such as Two Men and a Wardrobe, The Fat and the Lean and Mammals, showed his taste for black humor and interest in bizarre human relationships. His feature debut, Knife in the Water, was one of the first Polish post-war films not associated with the war theme. It was also the first movie from Poland to get an Oscar nomination for best foreign film. Though already a major Polish filmmaker, Polanski chose to leave the country and headed to France. While down-and-out in Paris, he befriended young scriptwriter, Gérard Brach, who eventually became his long-time collaborator. The next two films, Repulsion and Cul-De-Sac, made in England and co-written by Brach, won respectively Silver and then Golden Bear awards at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 1968, Polanski went to Hollywood, where he made the psychological thriller, Rosemary's Baby. However, after the brutal murder of his wife, Sharon Tate, by the Manson Family in 1969, the director decided to return to Europe. In 1974, he again made a US release - it was Chinatown. It seemed the beginning of a promising Hollywood career, but after his conviction for the statutory rape of a 13-year old girl, Polanski fled from the USA to avoid prison. After Tess, which was awarded several Oscars and Cesars, his works in 1980s and 1990s became intermittent and rarely approached the caliber of his earlier films. It wasn't until The Pianist that Polanski came back to full form. For that movie, he won nearly all the most important film awards, including the Oscar for Best Director, Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, the BAFTA and Cesar Award. He still likes to act in the films of other directors, sometimes with interesting results, as in A Pure Formality. By: Yuri German (blsidt1 AT imf.org) and edited by Steve Somers.
Omar Epps is an American actor, starring on the ABC drama Resurrection.
Epps was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised by his mother, Bonnie Maria Epps, an elementary school principal. No stranger to the big screen, Epps has appeared in lead roles in feature films, including Paramount's Against the Ropes, in which he starred opposite Meg Ryan, Paramount's Alfie, opposite Jude Law and Susan Sarandon, Paramount/MTV's The Wood, Miramax's In Too Deep, John Singleton's Higher Learning and Juice. His supporting roles include Breakfast of Champions, opposite Bruce Willis and Nick Nolte, Major League II, opposite Charlie Sheen, and The Program with Halle Berry. Omar was also seen in Hollywood's best-kept secret, Scream 2, MGM's remake of The Mod Squad, with Claire Danes, and Love & Basketball. He also starred in Takeshi Kitano's Brother for Sony Classics.
He co-starred on the critically-acclaimed FOX medical drama, House M.D., for which he received an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" in 2007. He was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series" in 2005, as well, as "Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series" in 2006. Epps was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Best Actor for his performance in the December 2002 Showtime Original movie, Conviction, in which he portrayed "Carl Upchurch", a hardened criminal from South Philadelphia, who spent most of his adult life in prison. It is the story of one man's journey from prisoner to peacemaker. Omar has starred in three HBO Original movies, First Time Felon, directed by Charles S. Dutton (Roc), Deadly Voyage, produced by Danny Glover, and Daybreak, co-starring Cuba Gooding Jr.. "First Time Felon" and "Deadly Voyage" are based on true stories. Epps also portrayed "Dr. Dennis Gant" on the Emmy Award-winning NBC drama, ER. As a surgical resident, he teamed up with "Dr. Carter" (Noah Wyle) and "Dr. Benton" (Eriq La Salle). In one of the most talked about departures, Omar left audiences wondering if his character committed suicide or not.
Donal Logue's versatility and talent makes him one of the most well respected and beloved actors today. Born in Ottawa, Canada, Logue moved all over the United States, from the Boston area as an infant to various towns on the Mexican border. He returned to Boston to attend Harvard University, where he majored in Intellectual History and discovered his love for the performing arts. While in college, he appeared in over thirty plays, worked for two summers in the American Repertory Theatre's Harvard/Radcliffe Summer Stock Company, and spent a short time doing theatre in England. After graduating, Logue joined the Cornerstone Theatre Company which developed community theatre in rural parts of the United States. From then on Logue dedicated himself to pursuing his passion for acting. In his 20 plus years in the industry, Logue has starred in films such as, The Tao of Steve, the story of a larger-than-life, philosophizing lothario, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and won him a Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance. His other film credits include Sneakers, Gettysburg, Blade, Runaway Bride, Reindeer Games, The Million Dollar Hotel, Comic Book Villains with Michael Rapaport, Confidence, Just Like Heaven, and The Groomsmen with Ed Burns. Recently, Donal co-starred in Max Payne with Mark Wahlberg, as well as Charlie St. Cloud with Zac Ephron. He also appeared in Zodiac, directed by David Fincher, based on the Robert Graysmith books about the notorious Zodiac serial killer. Following the US release of Zodiac, he co-starred in Mark Steven Johnson's Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. Logue made his directorial debut with the independent film Tennis, Anyone?, which appeared at the US Comedy Arts Festival. He wrote, starred, and directed the film about two Hollywood has-beens who try and find meaning in their lives through a series of celebrity tennis tournaments. In television, Logue joined the cast of the NBC series "LIFE" about a former police officer who returns to the force after having been wrongly imprisoned for years. In 2007, he headlined the critically lauded ABC comedy "The Knights of Prosperity" in which a group of blue collar guys band together to plan a heist of Mick Jagger's New York City apartment. Prior to "The Knights of Prosperity" Logue starred in the Carsey-Warner produced show, "Grounded for Life" which aired for five seasons. He was also featured in a recurring role on "ER" as Sherry Stringfield's love interest. In 2010, Logue finished a critically acclaimed season on "Terriers," a television series created by Ted Griffin and Shawn Ryan for FX. He begins production on the Marc Cherry pilot "Hallelujah" for ABC in March of 2011. Logue lives in Los Angeles and has two children.
|Tommy 'Tiny' Lister
If you ever want a 6' 5", musclebound, broad-shouldered, shaved-head actor to play a terrifying bodyguard, a soldier of fortune or a fearsome gangster, then Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr. is the man you want. This African-American basketball player turned actor first popped up in minor roles such as a prison guard in Runaway Train, as Andy Garcia's bodyguard in 8 Million Ways to Die and Powers Boothe's bodyguard in Extreme Prejudice. "Tiny" Lister also had a stint in both the WWE (Formerly WWF) & WCW professional wrestling circuits in the late 1980s appearing under the name "Zeus" and "ZGangsta". His wrestling exploits can be seen on Summerslam, Survivor Series and WWF Superstars.
However, unlike many musclebound athletic types, "Tiny" Lister is a reasonable actor, and he has managed to notch up appearances in over 80 movies, expanding upon his original "fierce bodyguard" roles to now include comedic and rather quirky performances in films such as Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, the African-American western Posse, as the Federated Territories President in the science fiction epic The Fifth Element, the cult comedy Friday and its sequel, Next Friday.
Lister has also recently appeared on screen with Adam Sandler in Little Nicky, and with Mike Myers in Austin Powers in Goldmember, plus he's been seen in a slew of B-horror films including Soulkeeper, Hellborn and Dracula 3000. Tommy "Tiny" Lister may not be an A list star, but he is certainly one of Hollywood's most instantly recognizable and busiest character actors.
|Yvonne De Carlo
Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite. Yvonne's mother wanted her to be in the entertainment field and enrolled her in a local dance school and also saw that she studied dramatics. Yvonne was not shy in the least. She was somewhat akin to Colleen Moore who, like herself, entertained the neighborhood with impromptu productions. In 1937, when Yvonne was 15, her mother took her to Hollywood to try for fame and fortune, but nothing came of it and they returned to Canada. They came back to Hollywood in 1940, where Yvonne would dance in chorus lines at night while she checked in at the studios by day in search of film work. After appearing in unbilled parts in three short films, she finally got a part in a feature.
Although the film Harvard, Here I Come! was quite lame, Yvonne shone in her brief appearance as a bathing beauty. The rest of 1942 and 1943 saw her in more uncredited roles in films that did not quite set Hollywood on fire. In The Deerslayer, she played Wah-Tah. The role did not amount to much, but it was much better than the ones she had been handed previously. The next year was about the same as the previous two years. She played small parts as either secretaries, someone's girlfriend, native girls or office clerks. Most aspiring young actresses would have given up and gone home in defeat, but not Yvonne. She trudged on. The next year, started out the same, with mostly bit parts, but later that year, she landed the title role in Salome Where She Danced for Universal Pictures. While critics were less than thrilled with the film, it was at long last her big break, and the film was a success for Universal. Now she was rolling.
Her next film was the western comedy Frontier Gal as Lorena Dumont. After a year off the screen in 1946, she returned in 1947 as Cara de Talavera in Song of Scheherazade, and many agreed that the only thing worth watching in the film was Yvonne. Her next film was the highly regarded Burt Lancaster prison film Brute Force. Time after time, Yvonne continued to pick up leading roles, in such pictures as Slave Girl, Black Bart, Casbah and River Lady. She had a meaty role in Criss Cross, a gangster movie, as the ex-wife of a hoodlum. At the start of the 1950s, Yvonne enjoyed continued success in lead roles. Her talents were again showcased in movies such as The Desert Hawk, Silver City and Scarlet Angel. Her last film in 1952 was Hurricane Smith, a picture most fans and critics agree is best forgotten.
In 1956, she appeared in the film that would immortalize her best, The Ten Commandments. She played Sephora, the wife of Moses (Charlton Heston). The film was, unquestionably, a super smash, and is still shown on television today. Her performance served as a springboard to another fine role, this time as Amantha Starr in Band of Angels. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Yvonne appeared on such television series as Bonanza and The Virginian. However, with film roles drying up, she took what turned out to be the role for which she will be best remembered--that of Lily Munster in the smash series The Munsters. However, she still was not completely through with the big screen. Appearances in such films as McLintock!, The Power, The Seven Minutes and La casa de las sombras kept her before the eyes of the moviegoing public. Yvonne De Carlo died at age 84 of natural causes on January 8, 2007 in Woodland Hills, California.
From the age of five, Linda Blair had to get used to the spotlight, first as a child model and then as an actress, when out of 600 applicants she was picked for the role of Regan, the possessed child, in The Exorcist. Linda quickly rose to international fame, won the Golden Globe, and seemed to be set to take the Academy Award for that role, but when it leaked how some parts of the role were not performed by her (the demonic voice was dubbed by Mercedes McCambridge, and eight seconds of a stunt dummy were used) that dream broke, and with that disappointment probably came the first blow to what looked like the beginning of an A-list career.
Over the next few years she had no trouble securing lead roles in a number of pictures, including the highly successful television films Born Innocent (the #1 TV movie of that year) and Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, as well as the Exorcist sequel Exorcist II: The Heretic. However, when she was peer pressured into buying cocaine at the age of 18, it led to an arrest and subsequent sentencing to three years probation. The much-publicized drug bust caused Linda to be blacklisted in Hollywood, and her career was soon reduced to B-movies and occasional TV guest appearances only.
Although her career never returned to its former glory, Linda proved to be a good sport about embracing the change, and out of the '80s emerged lead roles in two cult classics: the women-in-prison film Chained Heat and the femme fatale vigilante action film Savage Streets. She continued acting in numerous films throughout the '80s and '90s, including the Exorcist spoof Repossessed. In 1997, she also took to the Broadway stage and starred as "Rizzo" in the revival of "Grease." She received widespread mainstream attention again in the 2000's with the theatrical re-release of the Exorcist, followed by a hosting job on the hit Fox Family TV series Scariest Places on Earth, which ran for six years and followed Linda as she visited notorious "haunted" locations around the world.
Linda was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Elinore, a real estate agent, and James, an executive headhunter. She has a brother, Jimmy, and a sister, Debbie. Linda has been a Hollywood icon for over 40 years, but it is her first love of animals that has ultimately taken center stage in her life. She now runs the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, a non-profit 501C3 tax deductible organization dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused, neglected, and abandoned animals from the harsh streets of the Los Angeles area, as well as from the overcrowded and overwhelmed city and county animal shelters. She works and lives on the 2-acre rescue sanctuary full-time in California, which was featured on The Today Show in a segment titled "From Devil to Angel." Of course, she also makes frequent appearances at horror fan conventions to celebrate the legacy of the Exorcist.
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile, in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob. He followed with The Keep, an adaptation of F. Paul Wilson's novel about a mysterious force within a Nazi fortress. He hit it big in 1984, when he produced and created the long-running TV series Miami Vice, which made Don Johnson a household name. He followed that up in 1986 with the underrated, lesser-known TV series, Crime Story, and the thriller Manhunter a precursor of The Silence of the Lambs. He spent the next few years involved in television, directing films like L.A. Takedown and producing films like the Emmy-winning Drug Wars: The Camarena Story. In 1992, he returned to feature film with the box-office hit The Last of the Mohicans, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe.
One tough cookie who can definitely hold her own next to the boys on film and TV, lovely, dark-haired Rachel Ticotin has stepped up to the plate many times in strong-armed femme roles, playing everything from cops and bodyguards to military corporals. Born and raised in the Bronx, she learned the fine art of discipline at a young age with ballet training at age 8. She made her first stage appearance at age 10 as a Siamese princess in a production of "The King and I" at NYC's City Center Theatre. At age twelve she joined the Ballet Hispanico of New York and went on to work with such famed choreographers as Alvin Ailey, Geoffrey Holder and Anna Sokolow. She made her film debut at age 20 in a bit role as a gypsy dancer in the King of the Gypsies starring Eric Roberts. She gained valuable experience in off-Broadway shows and on the other side of the camera as a production assistant for such films as The Wanderers, Dressed to Kill and Raging Bull.
Rachel earned her big break after being handed the top female role opposite Paul Newman and Edward Asner in the brutal police film Fort Apache the Bronx. Television became a viable forum with the TV pilot For Love and Honor as Corporal Grace Pavlik. The pilot introduced her to up-and-coming actor David Caruso. They married later that year. Rachel went on to appear in the short-lived series version of For Love and Honor without Caruso. Other television projects included assertive roles in Prison Stories: Women on the Inside, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York and Warden of Red Rock. On the big screen she played tough in Critical Condition, Where the Day Takes You, and Falling Down.
Her best known role is probably the Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi blockbuster Total Recall in which the athletic Rachel has a memorable fisticuffs scene with Sharon Stone. In 1997, Rachel earned an ALMA award for her role as a prison guard in Con Air. Divorced from Caruso after six years in 1989, she later met actor Peter Strauss on the set of the TV movie Thicker Than Blood: The Larry McLinden Story. They married in 1998. In series drama she joined the cast of Ohara as a U.S. attorney and played detective in the police drama Crime & Punishment.
Although she has yet to hit the very top rungs of stardom, Rachel is a proven talent. Alluring as well as enduring, her latest work in the popular films Something's Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson and Oscar-nominated Diane Keaton, Man on Fire with Denzel Washington and the recent The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, not to mention the critically acclaimed bi-cultural series American Family, is proof of the pudding.
Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz, on Saturday, October 31st, 1936, in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. In 1941, he and his family moved to Collingswood, New Jersey.
When Eugene was in high school, he participated -- and did very well -- in track and field, especially javelin throwing, and his athletic skills earned him a scholarship to USC. However, an accident injured his arm, ending his athletic career -- and his term at USC -- and he worked a number of odd jobs and small roles to make ends meet and decided that acting was for him. However, he thought that his real name was not a suitable one for an aspiring actor, and so "Michael Landon" was born.
Two of his first big roles were as Tony Rivers in I Was a Teenage Werewolf and as Tom Dooley in the western The Legend of Tom Dooley. That same year he was approached by producer David Dortort to star in a pilot called The Restless Gun, which was renamed when the series was picked up to Bonanza. Landon played Little Joe Cartwright, the youngest of the three Cartwright brothers, a cocky and somewhat rebellious youth nevertheless had a way with the ladies. For 14 years, Landon became the heart and soul of the show, endearing himself to both younger and older viewers, and he became a household name during the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1968, after almost ten years of playing Little Joe, he wanted an opportunity to direct and write some episodes of the show. After the season finale in 1972, Dan Blocker, who played his older brother Hoss and was also a close friend, died from a blood clot in his lung, after gall bladder surgery, but Michael decided to go back to work, revisiting his own character in a two-part episode called "Forever."
Bonanza was finally canceled in early 1973, after 14 years and 430 episodes. Michael didn't have to wait long until he landed another successful role that most TV audiences of the 1970s would thoroughly enjoy, his second TV western, for NBC, Little House on the Prairie. That show was based on a popular book written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and he played enduring patriarch and farmer Charles Ingalls. Unlike Bonanza, where he was mostly just a "hired gun," on this show he served as the producer, writer, director, and executive producer. By the end of its eighth season in 1982, Landon decided to step down from his role on "Little House" as he saw his TV children grown up and moved out of their father's house, and a year later, the show was canceled. After 14 years on Bonanza and 8 years on Little House on the Prairie, it was about time to focus on something else, and once again, he didn't have to wait too long before Highway to Heaven came along. Unlike the western shows that he did for 23 years, this NBC fantasy/drama show focused on Jonathan Smith, an angel whose job was to save peoples' lives and work for God, his boss. Victor French played ex-cop Mark Gordon, who turned down a fortune but had redeemed himself by meeting Jonathan.
By the end of the fifth season in 1989, French was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in June of that same year. Landon was devastated by the loss and pulled the plug on Highway to Heaven. In early 1991, after 35 years of working on NBC, he was axed by the network, so he moved to CBS to star in the pilot of a two-hour movie, Us, in which he played Jeff Hayes, a man freed from prison by new evidence after 18 years wrongfully spent inside. This was going to be another one of Landon's shows but, in April 1991, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He later appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson to talk about his battle with the disease, and many people in the audience were affected by the courage and energy he showed. Unfortunately, he was already terminally ill by that time, and on Monday, July 1st, 1991, after a three-month battle, he finally succumbed to the disease. His family, his colleagues, and his children were all by his side. His life-time: Saturday, October 31st, 1936 to Monday, July 1st, 1991, was 19,966 days, equaling 2,852 weeks & 2 days.
Born in 15 March 1959 as Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola, he is the most successful Finnish film director in the history of Hollywood.
Harlin started his career in film business in the beginning of 1980s when he was directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later he worked as a buyer for Finnish film distributor and met Finnish Markus Selin in Los Angeles. They became friends and started writing a screenplay called "Arctic Heat". The project started fast and soon they had Chuck Norris signed on leading role for the film. But with money problems shooting schedule didn't hold and Norris left the project, but Selin and Harlin got Mike Norris for the leading role. They wrote new script, Born American, and got financial help from USA. In the year 1986 Born American was finished and the most expensive Finnish film ever opened in USA in over 1,000 theaters and reached no 9.
The film wasn't successful in Finland, where it was banned. Harlin moved to Los Angeles and got a job from _Halloween_ producer Irwin Yablans who offered him script of "Prison" to film. Film was made with low budget and distributed with only 42 copies. In the same year 1988 he got a job from New Line Cinema to direct A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master after meeting producer Robert Shaye numerous times, who at the first didn't want Harlin to direct the film. It became the highest-grossing film in the series, though its budget was seven times greater than the original "A Nightmare on Elm Street" film.
20th Century Fox wanted Harlin to direct the Andrew Dice Clay rock'n roll comedy The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and also a sequel to Die Hard. Harlin made the both, but only Die Hard 2 was commercially successful, with over 239 million dollar worldwide gross. Next he directed Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone which made $255 million worldwide and was nominated for 3 Oscar's. Before Cliffhanger Harlin was hired to direct "Alien³" but he left the project because of creative differences.
His next film Cutthroat Island was a pirate film made with $100 million budget. Unfortunately it came out without good promotion and flopped badly. It made only $10 million in USA and for a time became the biggest flop in Hollywood history. But for Harlin, it wasn't a total loss.
The Long Kiss Goodnight was a critical success, but was a box office flop, grossing only $30 million domestically with a $65 million budget.
In year 1998, Warner Bros. wanted a summer blockbuster for the year 1999 and Renny Harlin was the right name to direct. Deep Blue Sea came to theaters after costing 60 million dollars to film and made $160 million worldwide. The film never hit the top spot in the USA but still grossed $73 millions in the USA alone.
Harlin was hired to direct Exorcist: The Beginning after John Frankenheimer left the job and died shortly after it, and Paul Schrader was fired. Producers knew that Harlin could made a blockbuster even with the weak script, and so he did. With $50 million budget the film opened in number 1 and grossed $80 million worldwide.
Probably most liked Harlin's film Mindhunters was released in 2004 after years post-production. It was released in USA in 2005 in over 1,000 theaters but it only reached 10th place. In 9 weeks it grossed only $4 million dollars.
The Covenant was released in 2006. With non-famous (but attractive) actors, the film hit the top in its opening weekend and became a successful film. With a $20 million budget, it grossed $37 million worldwide and DVD sale brought $20 million more.