Gina Joy Carano was born under a tornado warning in Dallas, Texas, to parents Dana Joy (Cason) and Glenn Thomas Carano. Her father played for the Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys as a backup quarterback for Roger Staubach and Danny White from 1977-1983. In 1984, he was the starting quarterback for the USFL Pittsburgh Maulers. Gina's parents divorced when she was a child, but her father remained involved in her upbringing and is her biggest fan. Gina has stated that she has a "small percentage" of Italian ancestry (her paternal grandfather was of three quarters Italian descent). Gina's other roots include English, Scottish, Dutch, German, and remote Mohawk Native American ancestry (from the 1600s). The middle child of three close-knit girls, Casey being a year older and Christie, the youngest, Gina is their self-proclaimed bodyguard and highly protective of them. All three girls were star athletes in high school. Growing up in Las Vegas, Gina, a natural born athlete and rambunctious tomboy, studied gymnastics, jazz, tap, ballet, rode horses, whooped up on her male cousins for fun at family gatherings, and wrestled and played football with the neighborhood boys. She graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she excelled on the volleyball, softball and basketball teams, the latter she helped secure a state title. Her collegiate studies include the University of Nevada, Reno where she attended one year, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three where she was offered positions on both the softball and basketball teams. Her academic goal was a degree in psychology, but with only a few credits remaining she dropped everything in order to help her older sister through a crisis. At the age of 21 Gina began training in Muay Thai, a form of Kickboxing, with Master Toddy at the suggestion of then boyfriend Kevin Ross. In pursuit of a life-changing experience he ended up at a local Las Vegas Muay Thai Gym and she tagged along. A trainer approached her, telling her point blank that she was fat and needed to lose weight. She weighed around 175 lbs. and had no direction at that point in her life. She began training and became addicted. Master Toddy saw potential in the way Gina handled herself. She took naturally to fighting with strong punches, deadly elbows and knees, a impressive overhand right, and rib-cracking hard kicks. Immersing herself completely in the sport, she advanced quickly. Months later she found herself in a "fight club" situation in San Francisco where she took on any female fighter plopped down in front of her. Since then she hasn't looked back. Initially, because of her pretty face, spectators refused to take her seriously as a fighter. It is a bias that will haunt her throughout her fighting career. Gina, who is openly laughed at, insulted, and ridiculed in front of crowds before fights, realizes she will have to cowgirl up in order to silence her taunters and she lets her fists do the talking. Her Muay Thai career is comprised of an impressive 12 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw and she becomes the first American woman to win a title in Thailand. The 2005 cult film Ring Girls follows Gina and her trainer, Master Toddy during her early Muay Thai career. Because of her beauty, spunk, and tenacity she develops a significant fan following. In June 2006, Gina's success in Muay Thai brings her to the attention of Jamie Levine of World Extreme Fighting in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. He offers her a fight against Leiticia Pestova who holds a MMA record of 11 wins and 2 losses. It is to be the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in the state of Nevada. Levine is impressed with Gina's statuesque size. Standing at 5'8" and 155 lbs., which is the starting weight class for men, she isn't a frail little girl and has power in her kicks comparable to a man. Still in its infancy, and because of its vicious nature, a lot of people were teetering on the fence about women fighting in MMA. Levine believed gender didn't matter and he wanted to give the two women a nationwide platform to show what they could do. Gina, under the moniker "Conviction", trains relentlessly for the history-making bout, weighing in at a muscular 135 pounds. She does not disappoint her fans, winning the fight in explosive ground-and-pound action in the 38th second of the first round. Critics begin to whine that Gina is receiving preferential treatment based on her striking good looks and that her talents as a fighter are less than stellar. She uses these criticisms as fuel for her next bout against British fighter Rosi Sexton. September 15, 2006 -- Sexton, a cerebral fighter with a mathematics degree from Cambridge and over 10 years of martial arts experience, possesses a 6-0 MMA record. Many believe Carano will go down in flames but, with six seconds left to go in the second round, Gina knocks Sexton out with a jaw dropping and show stopping overhand right. December 2006 -- She faces Elaina Maxwell. It is the second time the two have faced each other, the first time being in a Muay Thai bout. The fight goes 3 rounds and showcases Gina's powerful overhand right and improved grappling skills. She wins the unanimous decision. February 10, 2007 -- In what is billed the "Fight of the Night" and the first televised female fight on Showtime, she faces Julie Kedzie. Kedzie, who was once arrested with a group of 300 nuns at a protest, is a feisty brawler known for overpowering her opponents in the clench. She has a record of 8 wins and 4 losses. The exciting fight, an amazing stand-up brawl, goes the distance with Gina knocking Kedzie flat at the end of the second round. Kedzie, a scrappy fighter, refused to give in, taking Carano down in the third round in a submission attempt. Carano rallied, winning the unanimous decision. The appreciative crowd gave both fighters a roaring standing ovation. Julie and Gina became training partners and good friends and remain so to this day. Gina's popularity skyrockets and she is crowned "The Face of Women's MMA" a title she doesn't particularly care for since it detracts from other women in the sport. Her image is everywhere. Critics, some of them other female fighters, complain that she is using sex appeal to further her career, that she is compensating for something she is lacking in the ring, that what she is doing is disrespectful to the sport, but fans can't seem to get enough of the imposing brunette. Men fall in love with her. Little girls and women find her an inspirational combination of beauty, strength, and power. Everyone is taken in by her shy smile and laid back, good-natured personality. Gina, who believes the image of a powerful, feminine woman is something to be celebrated, is baffled by the criticisms and humbled by the attention and support from her fans. She wins her next two fights -- In September 2007 against Tonya Evinger, a wrestling champion, via rear naked choke -- Gina's first submission -- and in May 2008 against Kaitlin Young although Gina had to forfeit a little over 12% of the purse to keep the fight on the card. She failed to make EliteXC's newly created 140 lb. weight class. Most MMA organizations have the featherweight division at 145 lbs. (65.8 kg.) Coming into the fight with only a three-week training camp, Carano weighed in at 144.5 lbs. (65.5 kg.) In spite of everyone's dire predictions, she dominates and the fight is stopped at the end of the second round. Gina wins by TKO. June 2008. More criticism : A sportswriter reporting on the Carano vs. Young fight voices his suspicion that Gina's opponents must be handpicked to make sure of the outcome and that she is too pretty to fight. He finds women fighting in the MMA an unpleasant experience but concludes that she is quite the asset. 2008 -- Gina reluctantly joins the cast of American Gladiators. She has reservations about running around in itty-bitty superhero spandex, but the show's producers pursue her and finally convince her to sign on. She becomes known as "Crush" and cultivates a whole new fan base. She also appears as "Natasha", a Soviet Commando and Sniper, in the video game "Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3". MMA Legend Randy Couture, who Gina trains with, also appears. Critics are oddly silent on Couture 'going Hollywood', using his sex appeal, or being 'too pretty' to be in the video game. October 2008 -- Gina causes an unintentional frenzy at the weigh-in for the fight against Kelly Kobold. She has only fought once in the past year and there is speculation that she will not be able to make weight. Gina hired a nutritionist to help with her diet, but at the weigh-in she fails to make weight on her first two attempts. Gina, who has stated she will never pose naked for "Playboy" or any publication, boldly strips off all her clothes for the third attempt. Photographers shove and trip over each other trying to obtain the Holy Grail of photos, a bare naked Gina Carano. Severely dehydrated and towel-shielded from the cameras, she successfully makes weight at 141 pounds. Her father is one of the men holding up towels. October 5, 2008 -- With a 16-2-1 record, 6 wins by knockout and 8 by submission, Kelly Kobold vows to make Gina Carano the broken, bruised and bloodied face of MMA. Instead it is Gina who bloodies Kobold's face with a severe gash over the right eye. Gina unleashes killer kicks and knees and wins the fight. She remains undefeated and lovingly dedicates the win to her grandfather. 2009 -- She and fellow MMA athletes Kevin 'Kimbo Slice' Ferguson and Maurice Smith dabble in the Hollywood scene with small but memorable cameos in the Michael Jai White film Blood and Bone. Gina also appears on the cover of "ESPN The Magazine - The Body Issue". Posing mostly topless she shows off an impressive set of abdominals, amazing legs, and invokes more criticism. August 15, 2009 -- Gina makes history again by becoming the first female fighter to earn $100,000 for a fight. She faces Brazilian Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in the first Women's Championship. The championship is scheduled for 5 rounds, each lasting 5 minutes -- Another first. In a hard fought battle, she loses in a heartbreaker by TKO at the bell at the end of the first round. But on January 6, 2012, revelations come to light. The California State Athletic Commission announced that Santos had tested positive for steroids after a December 2011 fight. It throws suspicion on the legitimacy of all of Cyborg's wins, including her win against Gina. Cyborg is suspended for one year, receiving a $2,500 fine. Gina, though hurt and disappointed, remains gracious and supportive of her sister fighter. A Carano vs. Cyborg rematch would be a huge MMA event but it is unlikely that Gina will ever return to the sport that made her a superstar. Classified by the Unified Women's MMA Rankings as the third best 145 lb (66 kg.) female fighter in the world, her current MMA record stands at 7 wins and 1 loss. It was after that devastating loss, black eye and all, that a deflated Gina met with Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh for lunch in San Diego. He had seen her fight earlier on CBS and dreamed of building a film around her. Immediately he was struck with her presence and intriguing mix of muscular power and eye-catching femininity. Inspired, he wrote the role of Mallory Kane specifically for her although she is nothing like the unsmiling, structured, alpha female character. Soderbergh assembled an impressive cast and all heaped praise on the fighter and aspiring actress. Channing Tatum, a huge fan of Gina's and the MMA, immediately signed on when he learned she was involved in the project. Ewan McGregor, having no clue who Gina Carano was, studied many of her fights on YouTube. Initially horrified by the violence of the sport, he with met with her and was taken with how quiet, gentle and thoughtful she was out of the ring. He recalls hurting his hand when he accidentally punched Gina in the head during the film's final climatic fight scene. Gina, completely unaffected by the punch and worried she had injured the actor, immediately popped to her feet and asked if he was okay. Antonio Banderas found Gina to be beautiful, natural and real and believes she has a career in front of her. Michael Fassbender, who Gina now considers a mentor, thought her extraordinary and was impressed with her work ethic. Michael Douglas, who topped out the A-list cast, heralded Gina's self-control. Gina is proud to have been a pioneer in Women's MMA, for kicking down barriers and inspiring and paving the way for the next wave of female fighters. She recently joined the 87Eleven Stunt team, the same team that propelled her to star status with their work on Haywire. With film projects like Fast & Furious 6, In the Blood and rumors of Wonder Woman flying around, Gina Carano has found her niche in the Action Heroine film market. Her newest challenge as an athlete -- To cross over into film successfully.
Danish beauty Connie Nielsen consistently lights up the screen with an eclectic bevy of film roles. She was born in Frederikshavn, Denmark, to a mother who worked as an insurance clerk, and a father, Bent Nielsen, who was a bus driver. Nielsen began her acting career working alongside her mother on the local revue and variety scene. At 18, she headed to Paris to continue her pursuit of acting, which led her to further work and study in Rome and Milan. In addition to being an accomplished actress, Nielsen is also a trained singer, dancer and is fluent in English, German, Danish, Swedish, French and Italian. She resides in New York.
However, it was Nielsen's portrayal of "Princess Lucilla", opposite Russell Crowe's Maximus in Ridley Scott's Academy Award-winning Gladiator, which first garnered a mass appeal. She won Best Actress Awards from the Danish Academy Awards and from the San Sebastian Film Festival for her role in the Danish drama Brothers (aka Brothers), which was released by Focus Features and IFC Films. She then appeared in the World War II epic The Great Raid opposite Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes and James Franco for director John Dahl and produced by Miramax; the dramatic thriller Return to Sender directed by Bille August, which premiered at The Toronto Film Festival in 2004; and the black comedy The Ice Harvest with John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton and Randy Quaid, directed by Harold Ramis for Focus Features. In 2003, Nielsen starred as an industrial spy in a corporate war in the critically acclaimed suspense thriller Demonlover, directed by Olivier Assayas and co-starring Chloë Sevigny and Gina Gershon. Her other lead roles range from The Hunted by director William Friedkin (with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro; to Basic by director John McTiernan (opposite John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson); to One Hour Photo where she starred opposite Robin Williams; to Mission to Mars opposite Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins and Don Cheadle; to The Devil's Advocate starring Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves.
Additionally, Nielsen has received a Best Actress Award from the Empire Awards for her role in Gladiator, and has given unforgettable performances as a German heroin junkie in Permanent Midnight opposite Ben Stiller and as an unmatronly Texas mother in Rushmore opposite Bill Murray. Other film credits include Innocents (aka The Innocents) opposite Jean-Hugues Anglade, Voyage with Rutger Hauer and Eric Roberts.
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch, Jr. Eddie had aspirations of being in show business since he was a child. A bright kid growing up in the streets of New York, Murphy spent a great deal of time on impressions and comedy stand-up routines rather than academics. His sense of humor and wit made him a stand out amongst his classmates at Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. By the time he was fifteen, Murphy worked as a stand-up comic on the lower part of New York, wooing audiences with his dead-on impressions of celebrities and outlooks on life.
In the early 1980s, at the age of 19, Murphy was offered a contract for the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players of Saturday Night Live, where Murphy exercised his comedic abilities in impersonating African American figures and originating some of the shows most memorable characters: Velvet Jones, Mr. Robinson, and a disgruntled and angry Gumby. Murphy made his feature film debut in 48 Hrs., alongside Nick Nolte. The two's comedic and antagonistic chemistry, alongside Murphy's believable performance as a streetwise convict aiding a bitter, aging cop, won over critics and audiences. The next year, Murphy went two for two, with another hit, pairing him with John Landis, who later became a frequent collaborator with Murphy in Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop III. Beverly Hills Cop was the film that made Murphy a box-office superstar and most notably made him a celebrity worldwide, and it remains one of the all-time biggest domestic blockbusters in motion-picture history. Murphy's performance as a young Detroit cop in pursuit of his friend's murderers earned him a third consecutive Golden Globe nomination. Axel Foley became one of Murphy's signature characters. On top of his game, Murphy was unfazed by his success, that is until his box office appeal and choices in scripts resulted into a spotty mix of hits and misses into the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Films like The Golden Child and Beverly Hills Cop II were critically panned but were still massive draws at the box office. In 1989, Murphy, coming off another hit, Coming to America, found failure with his directorial debut, Harlem Nights. Another 48 Hrs. and his turn as a hopeless romantic in Boomerang did little to resuscitate his career. However, his remake of Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor brought Murphy's drawing power back into fruition. From there, Murphy rebounded with occasional hits and misses but has long proven himself as a skilled comedic actor with applaudable range pertaining to characterizations and mannerisms. Though he has grown up a lot since his fast-lane rise as a superstar in the 1980s, Murphy has lived the Hollywood lifestyle with controversy, criticism, scandal, and the admiration of millions worldwide for his talents. As Murphy had matured throughout the years, learning many lessons about the Hollywood game in the process, he settled down with more family-oriented humor with Doctor Dolittle, Mulan, Bowfinger, and the animated smash Shrek, in a supporting role that showcased Murphy's comedic personality and charm. Throughout the 2000s, he further starred in the hits The Haunted Mansion, Shrek 2, Dreamgirls (for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Norbit, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After.
Murphy was married to Nicole Mitchell Murphy from 1993 to 2006. Murphy has eight children.
Antonio Banderas, one of Spain's most famous faces, was a soccer player until breaking his foot at the age of fourteen; he is now an international film star known for playing Zorro in the eponymous film series.
He was born José Antonio Domínguez Banderas on August 10, 1960, in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain. His father, Jose Dominguez, was a policeman in the Spanish civil guards. His mother, Doña Ana Banderas Gallego, was a school teacher. Young Banderas was brought up a Roman Catholic. He wanted to play soccer professionally and made much success playing for his school team until the age of 14, albeit his dream ended when he broke his foot. At that time he developed a passion for theatre after seeing the stage production of 'Hair'. Banderas began his acting studies at the School of Dramatic Art in Málaga, and made his acting debut at a small theatre in Málaga. He was arrested by the Spanish police for performance in a play by Bertolt Brecht, because of political censorship under the rule of General Francisco Franco. Banderas spent a whole night at the police station, he had three or four such arrests while he was working with a small theatre troupe that toured all over Spain and was giving performances in small town theatres and on the street.
In 1979, at the age of 19, he moved to Madrid in pursuit of an acting career. Being a struggling young actor, he also worked as a waiter and took small modeling jobs. At that time he joined the troupe at the National Theatre of Spain, becoming the youngest member of the company. Banderas's stage performances caught the attention of film director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast the young actor in his film debut Labyrinth of Passion. Banderas and Almodovar joined forces in making innovative and sexually provocative movies during the 1980s. In 1984 Banderas made headlines in Spain with his performance as a gay man, making his first male-to-male on-screen kiss in Almodovar's Law of Desire. Banderas's long and fruitful collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar eventually prepared him for international recognition that came with his work in the Academy Award-nominated film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In 1991 he appeared as an object of Madonna's affection in Madonna: Truth or Dare.
In 1992 Banderas made his Hollywood debut with The Mambo Kings. Because he did not speak English at that time, his dialogue for the film was taught to him phonetically. Banderas shot to international fame with his sensitive performance as a lover of Tom Hanks' AIDS-infected lawyer in Philadelphia, then played opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles. Banderas further established himself as one of Hollywood's leading men after co-starring in Evita opposite Madonna in the title role. In 1998 he won acclaim for his portrayal of Zorro, opposite Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones, in The Mask of Zorro. For the role as Zorro Banderas took training with the Olympic national fencing team in Spain, and practiced his moves with real steel swords, then he used the lighter aluminum swords in the movie. He also took a month-long course of horse-riding before the filming. He later returned to the role in The Legend of Zorro. In 1999 Banderas made his directorial debut in Crazy in Alabama, starring his wife, Melanie Griffith. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Mexican artist David Alfaro Siqueiros opposite Salma Hayek in Frida. He voiced Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise.
Banderas established himself as internationally known Latin heartthrob with charismatic looks, and was chosen as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by the People magazine in 1996. He won numerous awards and nominations for his works in film, including three ALMA awards and three Golden Globe nominations, among many other. From 1996 to 2014, Banderas was married to American actress Melanie Griffith and the couple have one daughter Stella born in 1996. Outside of his acting profession, Banderas has been a passionate soccer fan and a staunch supporter of the Real Madrid Football Club. He shares time between his two residencies, one is in the United States, and one in the South of Spain.
Ivana Milicevic was born on April 26, 1974, in Sarajevo, Bosnia (part of Yugoslavia at that time), into an ethnic Croatian family of Tonka and Damir Milicevic. Ivana has a younger brother, Tomo Milicevic. The family emigrated to the United States, and young Ivana Milicevic was raised in Michigan. She attended Athens High school in Troy, Michigan, and worked as a model during her school years. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
In 1992, Milicevic graduated from high school and moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career. She was a struggling stand-up comedienne, trying to win over crowds with her stories of the modeling business. In 1996, she made her film debut under the name Ivana Marina with a one-line role as a Former Girlfriend of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire. In 1997, she followed up with a guest role on NBC's Seinfeld and made guest appearances on several other television shows. She played bit parts in Vanilla Sky and Love Actually, among her many other cameo appearances. Milicevic capitalized on her experience as a comedienne in a supporting role as Russian model Roxana Milla Slasnikova in the romantic comedy Head Over Heels. She appeared as a lookalike of Uma Thurman opposite Ben Affleck, trying to fool him into thinking she is Uma, in Paycheck. In a departure from her one-dimensional roles, Milicevic showed her dramatic talent in a supporting role as Milla Yugorsky in a dark and gritty drama Running Scared. In 2006, she started a recurring role on the CBS TV series Love Monkey.
In 2006, Milicevic made a big step forward in her career appearing as Valenka, one of three Bond girls in Casino Royale, for which she did most of her scenes on locations in Prague and in London. She is currently residing in Los Angeles, California.
Laurie Holden was born Heather Laurie Holden in Los Angeles, California, to actors Glenn Corbett and Adrienne Ellis. When she was five, her parents divorced, and her mother married director Michael Anderson. Laurie then split her time between L.A. and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Holden traveled the world with her family on various locations growing up, and got her first break as Rock Hudson's daughter in Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. The young actress who was cast to play Hudson's daughter suddenly fell through and, at the age of nine, Laurie was thrown in to take over. Not bad for her first acting job.
As a teenager, she won the "Look of the Year" modeling pageant in Toronto. An avid academic, Holden initially looked at acting as a hobby and had plans to pursue a career in investment banking. She attended McGill University, where she studied economics, but made an unexpected switch to theater at the end of her freshman year. She transferred to UCLA and completed her BA in theater arts in 1993. Laurie studied acting under the late Robert Reed (of The Brady Bunch fame).
A dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., Holden's career got off to the kind of start most actors can only dream of. Upon graduating from UCLA, Holden was accepted as part of the National Honor Society and received the "Natalie Wood Award" for Best Actress. She went on to study the classics at The Webber Douglas Academy of Art and honed her craft under the tutelage of Larry Moss at The Larry Moss Acting Studio. It was while performing on stage in "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof", that Holden was discovered by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile), who thought she was perfect for the lead in his Capra-esque drama, The Majestic. Laurie's captivating feature film debut, starring as Jim Carrey's long lost love in the film, was met with critical acclaim by the New York Times and film critics around the world. Holden has created an arsenal of memorable characters in film, theater and television since she began her career as a child.
Since then, she has worked steadily in original films for HBO and Showtime and co-starred with Vanessa Redgrave in the TNT miniseries, Young Catherine. She gained notoriety playing "Marita Covarrubias", the U.N. informant to Fox Mulder, on the long-running hit, The X-Files, and starred as the only female lead, opposite Michael Biehn, in the remake of the MGM classic, The Magnificent Seven, for CBS. Her episodic work on television is vast and includes a comedic turn in the critically-acclaimed, Due South, for which she was nominated for a Gemini Award (a Canadian Emmy). Her memorable roles in such hits as Fantastic Four (where she played Michael Chiklis' love interest) and the cult hero "Cybil Bennet" in Christophe Gans' artistic-horror video game adaptation of Silent Hill have made her a bit of a pop culture favorite with audiences of all ages. Holden recently starred "on the good side of the aisle" opposite Thomas Jane and Marcia Gay Harden in the Stephen King/Frank Darabont film, The Mist.
Named as one of the top 100 Most Creative People in Hollywood in Entertainment Weekly's "It List" and "One of Ten Actors to Watch" by Variety, Holden is actively producing film, theater and television projects, in addition to her acting pursuits.
A slight comic actor chiefly known for his boyish charm, Matthew Broderick was born on March 21, 1962 in New York City, to Patricia Broderick (née Biow), a playwright and painter, and James Broderick, an actor. His father had Irish and English ancestry, and his mother was from a Jewish family (from Germany and Poland).
Matthew initially took up acting at New York's upper-crust Walden School after being sidelined from his athletic pursuits (football and soccer) by a knee injury. His father got him his stage debut at age 17 in a workshop production of the play "On Valentine's Day". Matthew's career then accelerated with parts in two Neil Simon projects: the play "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1982-83) and the feature film Max Dugan Returns. Broderick reprised the role of Eugene in "Biloxi Blues" (1988), the second installment of the Simon trilogy, for both the Broadway production and the film adaptation (Biloxi Blues). For the third and final installment of the trilogy, he was replaced by Jonathan Silverman. In 1983, the same year as Max Dugan Returns, Broderick had his first big-screen success in the light comedy WarGames. Since then he has had his fair share of hits and misses, with some of his better films including Project X also starring Helen Hunt, whom he subsequently dated; Addicted to Love; and Inspector Gadget. Other films he has appeared in which may be known but not so much respected include Out on a Limb with his Ferris Bueller's Day Off co-star Jeffrey Jones; The Night We Never Met; The Road to Wellville; and The Cable Guy with Jim Carrey, which got him an MTV "Best Fight" award nomination; and the MTV film Election with Reese Witherspoon. In 1985 he was involved in a controversial car crash while driving in Ireland with his then fiancé Jennifer Grey. The crash killed a woman and her daughter. Although Broderick was cleared of all charges, he paid a small fine to the family of the victims. He broke his leg in the accident, which happened just as Ferris Bueller's Day Off, his biggest hit, was coming out in the US. The box office success (but critical flop) and special effects blockbuster Godzilla gave Broderick his first action role (should any "Godzilla" sequels be planned, he is under contract for two more). He has occasionally returned to the stage in New York, either in revivals of old musical warhorses such as "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" or in revivals of old "show people"plays, such as "Night Must Fall". In 1996 Broderick attempted to wear three hats as co-producer/director/actor in Infinity, working very closely with his mother, who also wrote the screenplay. It was not a critical or commercial success, and he has not directed or produced since. Since May 1997 he has been married to actress Sarah Jessica Parker. He was previously engaged to both Helen Hunt and dated Lili Taylor. In 1999 he donned a trenchcoat for the children's film Inspector Gadget, alongside Rupert Everett as the evil villain Claw. In March 2001 Broderick returned to Broadway in the musical smash "The Producers" (based on the 1968 Mel Brooks film of the same name). He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, which he lost to his co-star, Nathan Lane.
William Shatner has notched up an impressive 50-plus years in front of the camera, most recently displaying comedic talent, and being instantly recognizable to several generations of cult television fans as the square-jawed Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise.
Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Canada, to Anne (Garmaise) and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while his maternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews. After graduating from university he joined a local Summer theatre group as an assistant manager. He then performed with the National Repertory Theatre of Ottawa and at the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival as an understudy working with such as Alec Guinness, James Mason, and Anthony Quayle. He came to the attention of New York critics and was soon playing important roles on major shows in live television.
Shatner spent many years honing his craft before debuting alongside Yul Brynner in The Brothers Karamazov. He was kept busy during the 1960s in films such as Judgment at Nuremberg and The Intruder and on television guest-starring in dozens of series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Defenders, The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone. In 1966, Shatner boarded the USS Enterprise for three seasons of Star Trek, co-starring alongside Leonard Nimoy, with the series eventually becoming a bona-fide cult classic with a worldwide legion of fans known as "Trekkies".
After "Star Trek" folded, Shatner spent the rest of the decade and the 1970s making the rounds guest-starring on many prime-time television series, including Hawaii Five-O, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Ironside. He has also appeared in several feature films, but they were mainly B-grade (or lower) fare such as the embarrassingly bad Euro western White Comanche and the campy Kingdom of the Spiders. However, the 1980s saw a major resurgence in Shatner's career with the renewed interest in the original Star Trek series culminating in a series of big-budget "Star Trek" feature films including Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In addition, he starred in the lightweight police series T.J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986, alongside spunky Heather Locklear, and surprised many fans with his droll comedic talents in Airplane II: The Sequel, Loaded Weapon 1 and Miss Congeniality.
Outside of work he jogs and follows other athletic pursuits. His interest in health and nutrition led to him becoming spokesman for the American Health Institute's 'Know Your Body' Programme to promote nutritional and physical health.
Patricia Velasquez was born in Guajira, Venezuela on January 31, 1971, the fifth of six children. She was raised by her parents, both of whom were educators, in a third world country. Needless to say, Patricia's life was far from luxurious. She attended San Vicente de Paul High School, and after her graduation in 1987, headed for college to study engineering and accounting. Although she was being raised to go into the Venezuelan oil industry (which is basically the only choice for Native American children from Venezuela), a chance event led her to switch plans. A friend of hers wanted to become a model, and one of the pictures she sent to a casting call in Caracas included Patricia. As fate would have it, the agency wanted exotic Patricia. After a year of college studies, she left for Milan in pursuit of a modeling career. In 1998, she strutted down catwalks in ready-to-wear fashion shows for designers such as Antonio Berardi, Bella Freud, Corinne Cobson, Claude Montana and Dolce & Gabana, to name a few. As for print, Patricia appeared in ads for Chanel's Allure, Roberto Verino's Verino fragrance, as well as Victoria's Secret. She even donned swimsuits for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition in 1994 at the age of 23. She has participated in the mother of all beauty pageants, the Miss Venezuela pageant, and can be seen in such movies as The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. Patricia has tried and succeeded in branching out from the stereotype of a model. Besides, she has more noble reasons for her very full schedule. She grew up in a very poor family in Guajira, and promised herself that she would get her family out of that situation. After her first few modeling gigs, she bought her family a new home, made sure her 3 brothers received a college education, and still supports causes such as the advancement of Hispanics, fair treatment of indigenous peoples, and the fight against pediatric AIDS. She also launched a foundation to help Venezuelans.
Lean, angular-faced and authoritatively spoken lead / supporting actor Roy Scheider obviously never heard the old actor's axiom about "never appearing with kids or animals" lest they overshadow your performance. Breaking that rule did him no harm, though, as he achieved pop cult status by finding, fighting and blowing up a 25-foot-long Great White shark (nicknamed "Bruce") in the mega-hit Jaws and then electrocuting an even bigger Great White in the vastly inferior Jaws 2.
Athletic Scheider was born in November 1932 in Orange, New Jersey, to Anna (Crosson) and Roy Bernhard Scheider, a mechanic. He was of German and Irish descent. A keen sportsman from a young age, he competed in baseball and boxing (his awkwardly mended broken nose is a result of his foray into Golden Gloves competitions). While at college, his pursuits turned from sports to theater and he studied drama at Rutgers and Franklin and Marshall. After a stint in the military, Scheider appeared with the New York Shakespeare Festival and won an "Obie Award" for his appearance in the play "Stephen D."
His film career commenced with the campy Z-grade horror cheesefest The Curse of the Living Corpse, and he then showed up in Star!, Paper Lion, Stiletto and Puzzle of a Downfall Child. In 1971 he really came to the attention of film audiences with his role in the Jane Fonda thriller Klute and then as Det. Buddy Russo (scoring his first Oscar nomination) alongside fiery Gene Hackman in the crime drama The French Connection. His performance as a tough street cop in that film led him into another tough cop role as NYC Det. Buddy Manucci in the underappreciated The Seven-Ups, which features one of the best car chase sequences ever put on film.
In the early 1970s the Peter Benchley novel "Jaws" was a phenomenal best-seller, and young director Steven Spielberg was chosen by Universal Pictures to direct the film adaptation, Jaws, in which Scheider played police chief Brody and shared lead billing with Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss in the tale of a New England seaside community terrorized by a hungry Great White shark. "Jaws" was a blockbuster, and for many years held the record as the highest-grossing film of all time. Scheider then turned up as the shady CIA agent brother of Dustin Hoffman in the unnerving Marathon Man and in the misfired William Friedkin-directed remake of The Wages of Fear titled Sorcerer, before again returning to Amity to battle another giant shark in Jaws 2. Seeking a change from tough cops and hungry sharks, he took the role of womanizing, drug-popping choreographer Joe Gideon, the lead character of the semi-autobiographical portrayal of director Bob Fosse in the sparkling All That Jazz. It was another big hit for Scheider (and another Oscar nomination), with the film featuring a stunning opening sequence to the tune of the funky George Benson number "On Broadway", and breathtaking dance routines including the "Airotica" performance by the glamorous Sandahl Bergman.
Returning to another law enforcement role, Scheider played a rebellious helicopter pilot in the John Badham conspiracy / action film Blue Thunder, a scientist in the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey simply titled 2010, a cheating husband who turns the tables on his blackmailers in 52 Pick-Up, a cold-blooded hit man in Cohen and Tate and a CIA operative in the muddled and slow-moving The Russia House. The versatile Scheider was then cast as the captain of a futuristic submarine in the relatively popular TV series SeaQuest 2032, which ran for three seasons.
Inexplicably, however, Scheider had seemingly, and slowly, dropped out of favor with mainstream film audiences, and while he continued to remain busy, predominantly in supporting roles (generally as US presidents or military officers), most of the vehicles he appeared in were B-grade political thrillers such as The Peacekeeper, Executive Target, Chain of Command and Red Serpent.
|David Robert Mitchell
David Robert Mitchell is an American director mainly known for the breakout horror film ''It Follows'' which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014. in 2002, Mitchell wrote and directed ''Virgin'' a short film featuring Carolina Castro and Cameron Diskin about a local legend sees a vision of Virgin Mary which leads him to the pursuit of true love, in 2010, he wrote and directed ''The Myth of The American Sleepover'' which starred Claire Sloma and Marlon Morton, the film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2010. It was released on July 22, 2010 in a limited release. in 2014, Mitchell directed ''It Follows'' featuring Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist, the horror film was breakout hit and grossed over $14 million at the box office and was labeled one of the best indie films of 2015. The film was released on March 13, 2015, in a limited release, but because it was so successful it finally got a wide release on March 27, by Radius-TWC, a division of The Weinstein Company.
Billy Crystal was born on March 14, 1948 in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. He is the youngest of three sons born to Helen (Gabler) and Jack Crystal. His father was a well-known concert promoter who co-founded Commodore Records and his mother was a homemaker. His family were Jewish immigrants from Russia, Austria, and Lithuania. With his father in the music business, Billy was no stranger to some of the top performers of the time. Legends such as Billie Holiday, Pee Wee Russell, and Eddie Condon regularly stopped by the Crystal household. At age 15, Billy faced a personal tragedy when his father died of a heart attack at the relatively young age of 54. This gave Billy a real appreciation of what his dad was able to accomplish while alive and what his mother did to keep the family together. Despite this tragedy, Billy was very upbeat and likable as a kid. He had a unique talent for making people laugh. With television becoming a new medium, Billy got his influence from shows like The Honeymooners, and "The Ed Sullivan Show" and performers like Alan King, Ernie Kovacs and Jonathan Winters. He started doing stand-up comedy at the age of 16. However, his real dream was to be a professional baseball player. His idol growing up was Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle. He spent long hours in the summers playing softball in the middle of Park Avenue with his brothers and his father, a former pitcher at St. John's University . At Long Beach High, Billy played second base and was varsity captain in his senior year. This earned him a baseball scholarship from Marshall University in West Virginia which he accepted. However, he would never end up playing a game as the baseball program was suspended during his freshman year. This would lead him to leave the university and move back to New York. He then enrolled at nearby Nassau Community College, majoring in theater. It was there that he met and fell in love with a dancer named Janice Goldfinger. They would get married in 1970 and have two daughters. Shortly after, Billy got accepted in New York University, where he majored in Film and TV Direction. While at NYU, he studied under legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese. He also worked as house manager and usher on a production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown". After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NYU in 1970, Billy temporarily worked as a substitute teacher until he was able to get gigs as a stand-up comic. He formed his own improv group, 3's Company, and opened for musicians like Barry Manilow. His impression of Howard Cosell interviewing Muhammad Ali became a huge hit with the audience. He left Long Beach for Hollywood in August of 1976 in the hopes of trying to land a role on a television series. It only took a year before he got his big break when he was chosen for the role of gay character Jodie Dallas on the controversial ABC sitcom Soap. This would be the first time that an American TV show would feature an openly gay character as a regular. The show ran successfully for four seasons and helped to jump-start Billy's previously stagnant career. After Soap ended in 1981, Billy continued to do his stand-up routine, which was now attracting a larger audience with his growing celebrity status. During this time, he made many TV guest appearances and even hosted his own short-lived variety show, The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour. He became a regular on Saturday Night Live in 1984 where his Fernando Lamas impression with the catchphrase "You Look Mahvellous" was a huge hit with viewers. This would lead to appearances in feature-length films such as Running Scared and Throw Momma from the Train. In 1986, along with Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams, he started Comic Relief, an annual stand-up comedy show which helped to raise money for housing and medical care for the homeless. The show has since grown substantially with the continued support of all three comics. Billy's career would peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His roles in the blockbuster movies When Harry Met Sally... and City Slickers helped to establish himself as one of Hollwood's top movie stars. This star status was further validated when he was chosen to host the annual Oscars in 1990, an honor in which he would repeat seven more times. He made his big screen directorial debut in the 1992 film Mr. Saturday Night, which was about a washed-up stand-up comic who refuses to retire. He also wrote, produced and starred in the film. Although the film was not a huge hit, it proved that Billy was much more than an actor and comedian. In the following years, Billy continued to act in, produce, and direct several films. He had his share of hits (Analyze This, America's Sweethearts) and some flops (Fathers' Day, My Giant). His role in as a therapist to mobster Robert De Niro in Analyze This earned him critical praise. In 2001, Billy parlayed his childhood love of baseball and Mickey Mantle into a feature film. The movie, 61*, which premiered on HBO, centered on the relationship between Mantle and Roger Maris and their 1961 pursuit of Babe Ruth's home run record. The film for which Billy served as director and executive producer, garnered 12 Emmy nominations in all. Offscreen, Billy remains married to Janice Crystal and they have homes in California and New York. Both of his daughters are involved in the film business. Jennifer Crystal Foley is an aspiring actress, appearing in 61*, while Lindsay Crystal is an aspiring filmmaker, creating and directing the documentary My Uncle Berns.
Megan (pronounced Mee-gan) has two children, a daughter, Lyla, and a son, Russel. Megan comes from a showbiz family: father Ted Follows, mother Dawn Greenhalgh, and sister Samantha Follows are all actors; her other sister, Edwina Follows, is a producer and writer; and her brother Laurence Follows is a producer. Has done many commercials, the first of which was at the age of 9. Has appeared in many theatrical productions, including "Romeo and Juliet", "The Effects Of Gamma Rays On Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds", and "Seven Lears: The Pursuit Of The Good." Won two Gemini awards for her performances in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. Megan met her husband, Christopher Porter, while filming Deep Sleep, where he was a gaffer.
Julia Nickson was born in the beautiful island city of Singapore. Her early years were spent in the vales of Wiltshire, England followed by the red rock canyons of the Zambezi river in Africa, but she returned to Singapore after her father's death when she was only six. From the age of seven to seventeen,she watched Singapore transition from an unsophisticated British colony to a prosperous independent nation. After her Chinese mother remarried an American, she attended the Singapore American School.
Excelling in both studies as well as athletics, she competed in field hockey and track. Other pursuits included equestrian activities: dressage, show- jumping, cross country, and polo as well as gaining her license at 15 as an amateur jockey which entitled her to race at Pro Am Meets in both Singapore and Malaysia. She was a top competitor in all events, winning numerous three day shows and lower division polo tournaments. At 14, she even received a first place trophy from Sir Run Run Shaw, a most unexpected and rewarding moment of victory, having been raised on Shaw Brother epics; However, her greatest satisfaction came during her last two outs as a jockey in 1976, when at 17, she placed and then won her final two races at the Singapore Turf Club.
Graduating early from school, Nickson left a modeling career in Singapore to attend the University of Hawaii. Although intending to study Hotel Management, while passing the Drama Department, she gate crashed an audition, and won a role in her first play, Shakespeare's, "Winter's Tale." All desire to be in the hotel industry made a prompt departure, and Nickson's stage debut was followed with voice, dance and acting classes and attendant small roles in community theater and on Magnum PI.
In 1984, a search was conducted in New York, Los Angeles and Hawaii for a key role in an upcoming Sylvester Stallone film. After numerous auditions, Ms. Nickson was flown to LA for an old fashioned Hollywood screen test, resulting in her first international film, Rambo: First Blood, Part II, which became the second largest grossing film of 1985. To this day, Rambo, First Blood, Part II is still the most widely viewed action film nationwide on US television and the most successful and popular of all the Rambo sequels.
Following Rambo, Julia moved to Los Angeles. She became known for portraying beautiful, glamorous women starring in numerous television and film productions in the 80's and 90's. She was cast in Harry's Hong Kong by Aaron Spelling, and guest starring opposite David Soul, whom she later married, But it was James Clavell's Noble House that caused audiences and particularly NBC to take note. Nickson played Orlanda Ramos, the seductive Eurasian mistress, with such beauty, grace and glamor that she was given a second starring role on NBC opposite Pierce Brosnan, in Around the World in 80 Days. Merely, a month after the birth of her child, China Alexandra Soul, Nickson packed a suitcase of disposable diapers and trekked from the crystal caves in Serbia to the jungles of Thailand, playing the Indian Princess Aouda to Brosnan's, Phileas Fogg. When they reached Hong Kong, Julia stood awe struck as the company filmed on the famous Shaw Brothers lot.
After that, Nickson traveled fast, and in 1990 starred in China Cry, the true story of evangelist, Nora Lam, the young girl who risked her life to defend her faith during the Communist Revolution. By the time China Cry was released in 1990, along with critical acclaim, she was considered one of the top Asian American actors in the U.S.
Nickson then co-starred in Paramount's adventure film, K-2 with Michael Biehn and New Line's, Sidekicks, with Chuck Norris, and Beau Bridges. In 1994, she played Bortei, first and most beloved wife to Genghis Khan, and mother of the Mongol Empire. Aging from 18 to 55, and filming in the desolate regions of Central Asia, a year after the coup in the Soviet Union, became a life changing experience for Nickson.
Over the course of her career, Nickson has appeared on numerous television productions including Babylon 5, Walker, Texas Ranger, Nash Bridges, One West Waikiki, The Marshall, Seaquest, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Chicago Hope and more recently Castle and Rex is Not Your Lawyer.
Over the years, Nickson guested on talk shows with David Letterman, Regis Philbin, Good Morning America, as well as affiliate news and entertainment shows, both in the US and abroad. Julia has been a huge supporter of independent film makers and two of her films, Life Tastes Good, and Half Life, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her recent films, Dim Sum Funeral, which played the Singapore Film Festival in 2009, and Half Life, winner of numerous festival awards, have just been released on DVD. Nickson has just completed filming the feature, One Kine Day, lensed on the windward side of Oahu.
Nickson took some time off from her career to focus on her daughter, China Soul,who has just graduated with honors from the University of London, Royal Holloway, where in 2009, Ms. Soul received a first in play writing. Ms. Soul is also a singer songwriter, and her first album is available on Amazon UK presently. Her singles will be available on Itunes in late October, 2010
Writer, actor, comedian, doer of good works, excellent good friend to the famous and not, Fry lives in his London SW1 flat and his Norfolk house when not traveling. Famous for his public declaration of celibacy in the "Tatler" back in the 1980s, Emma Thompson has characterised her friend as "90 percent gay, 10 percent other."
Stephen Fry was born in Hampstead, London, to Marianne Eve (Newman) and Alan Fry, a physicist and inventor. His maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants, while his father's family was of English background. He grew up in Norfolk and attended Uppingham School and Stout's Hill. After his notorious three months in Pucklechurch prison for credit card fraud, he attended Queens College, Cambridge in 1979, finishing with a 2:1 in English in 1981/2. While at Cambridge, he was a member of the Cherubs drinking club, and Footlights with Thompson, Tony Slattery, Martin Bergman, and Hugh Laurie (to whom he was introduced by E.T.). His prolific writing partnership with Laurie began in 1981 with resulting Footlights revues for (among others) Mayweek, Edinburgh Festival, and a three month tour of Australia. In 1984, Fry was engaged to do the rewrite of the Noel Gay musical "Me and My Girl," which made him a millionaire before the age of 30. It also earned him a nomination for a Tony award in 1987. (Sidenote: It was upon SF's suggestion that Emma Thompson landed a leading role in the London cast of this show.) Throughout the 1980s, Fry did a huge amount of television and radio work, as well as writing for newspapers (e.g. a weekly column in the "Daily Telegraph") and magazines (e.g. articles for "Arena"). He is probably best known for his television roles in Black-Adder II and Jeeves and Wooster.
His support of the Terence Higgins Trust through events such as the first "Hysteria" benefit, as well as numerous other charity efforts, are probably those works of which he is most proud. Fry's acting career has not been limited to films and television. He had successful runs in Alan Bennett's "Forty Years On," Simon Gray's "The Common Pursuit" with John Sessions, Rik Mayall, John Gordon Sinclair, and others. Michael Frayn's "Look Look" and Gray's "Cell Mates" were less successful for both Fry and their playwrights, the latter not helped by his walking out of the play after only a couple of weeks. Fry has published four novels as well as a collection of his radio and journalistic miscellanea. He has recorded audiotapes of his novels (an unabridged version of "The Liar" was released in 1995), as well as many other works for both adults and children.
Steve Oedekerk, the Academy Award nominated multi-hyphenate, has built an extraordinary career, experiencing vast success in writing, directing, producing, acting, stand-up comedy and computer generated animation. He has written and directed films that have grossed over $1.9 billion in worldwide box office, including such blockbusters as Bruce Almighty, the Ace Ventura franchise, The Nutty Professor, and Patch Adams. He received an Academy Award nomination for his producing and creative leadership role on Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and with the addition of the CG animated feature Barnyard along with its Emmy Award winning TV series, Oedekerk has created a successful template for turning hit animated feature films into long running hit television series. Having just completed the screenplay for the upcoming live action/VFX, stereoscopic spectacle Stretch Armstrong for Universal, Oedekerk is currently prepping his next round of blockbuster feature films and TV series.
Cult Crazy: Also excelling in the coveted youth demographic, Oedekerk has created cult franchise properties, whose audience continues to grow with each passing year. From his initial indy feature film High Strung, and his Thumb filmettes, including Thumb Wars and Thumbtanic, to writing, directing and starring in the wild retro-martial arts comedy Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, Oedekerk has a steadily growing base of Oedefans, who religiously await, track down and tune into the future right-brained creations from Steve.
Television: Further expanding the Jimmy Neutron franchise for Nickelodeon Television, Steve executive produced 63 episodes of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, and 52 episodes of the Emmy Award winning Back at the Barnyard. The Neutron TV series initially released with $100 million dollars of sponsor support, and Back at the Barnyard continually lands in the top 20 ratings of all cable TV, reaching as high as the top 5. The new and raucous, Planet Sheen, a spin-off of the popular Neutron franchise will hit Nickelodeon air in 2010. Oedekerk also starred in his own television special for NBC, produced an animated Christmas special for ABC, and his six Thumb filmette titles: "Thumb Wars","Thumbtanic", "The Blair Thumb", "Bat Thumb", "Frankenthumb" and "The Godthumb" have aired on both Showtime and Cartoon Network.
Digital Media: Always in pursuit of the future of entertainment, Steve is not only focused on the burgeoning areas of new media and social networking, but has created an innovative model defining the future of successful franchise property development, including Gaming, Internet, Mobile, Virtual worlds and Digital Media production. Dirk Derby Wonder Jockey will be the first broadcast length comedy series released exclusively to the online digital media arena and digital hand held media market , including Sony PSP, iPhone and iPad. Dirk Derby will set the pace for the future transition from repurposed online media to full length original content available exclusively in the digital marketplace.
New Technologies: Oedekerk's company, O Entertainment, led the way with the first IMAX 3D animated film,Santa vs. the Snowman 3D, releasing November, 2002 and launching the return of stereoscopic 3D entertainment to the big screen. Oedekerk also created "Thumbmation" the technology behind the series of Thumb Parody projects distributed worldwide on DVD and video by Image Entertainment. Kicking off the series was "Thumb Wars", followed by "Thumbtanic", "The Blair Thumb", "Bat Thumb", "Frankenthumb" and "The Godthumb".
His writing credits include some of the most successful movies in recent history. While writing on the Fox series_"In Living Color" (1990)_, Oedekerk collaborated with Jim Carreyon the surprise hit comedy "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective." When that film became a break-out success, Oedekerk was asked to write and directed its sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, which proved to be one of those rare sequels that far surpassed the box office gross of the original.
Following the success of "Ace Ventura" franchise, Oedekerk wrote Universal's_The Nutty Professor (1996)_, which became one of the highest-grossing films of 1996. He also wrote, directed and appeared (in a scene-stealing cameo) in Touchstone Pictures' Nothing to Lose, starring Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence. He then went on to write the box office smash and Golden Globe nominated Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. On the small screen, Oedekerk directed, wrote, and starred in his own television special for NBC, produced an animated Christmas special for ABC as well as the original "Thumb Wars" special for UPN.
Oedekerk resides in Southern California with his wife, two children and a badger, pound for pound known to be the most vicious mammal on the planet.
|Kevin G. Schmidt
Kevin G. Schmidt is formerly best known as the chubby clarinet-playing son in the blockbuster Cheaper by the Dozen films or as "Noah Newman" on the #1 daytime drama The Young and the Restless. Kevin also co-starred with Selena Gomez & Demi Lovato in the Disney original movie, Princess Protection Program. As well as the first live-action Cartoon Network's scripted television series, Unnatural History. On top off all the acting, he managed to co-create, star, produce and direct his cult web-series, Poor Paul.
Originally from Andover, Kansas, Kevin did not set out to work in entertainment. But with two brothers who were finding initial success as actors in Los Angeles, Kevin was eventually persuaded to go out on an audition or two. He was ten when he began booking a string of guest-starring roles in prime time. Kevin's resume includes many notable television hits from dramas such as NCIS, BONES, Without a Trace, CSI:NY - to quirky comedies like HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and USA's Monk. Kevin also found success on the big screen. In addition to the Cheaper by the Dozen films, Kevin co-starred with Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect. In Catch That Kid, Kevin added Kristin Stewart to his list of talented co-stars. Transitioning to leading man, Kevin starred in the indie thriller Resurrection Mary as well as the family hit Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
Having undergone his own personal metamorphosis at age 17 from chubby kid to young leading man, Kevin shared what he has learned about fitness and health on his directorial debut, The Alyson Stoner Project. Teaming up with good friend and dance prodigy, Alyson Stoner, the pair produced an instructional musical/fitness hybrid that uses the latest dance moves to get the body moving. ASP not only teaches kids the importance of fitness, nutrition and making good lifestyle choices, but also does so in a fun, relatable way.
Kevin is now in production on - "The Great Migration" - an animated film he wrote and is producing. The film stars his younger brother, Kendall, Logan Henderson, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson. "The Great Migration" is the first of a multiple film slate in various stages of production.
Outside of the entertainment business, Kevin continues to expand his entrepreneurial pursuits. Kevin is founder and CEO of a commercial aquaponics corporation, Creative Organic Ventures, which is focused on advancing sustainable food production and research. Kevin hopes to be a vessel to ending childhood hunger and obesity worldwide. He's an avid workout enthusiast, creative writer, and passionate cook.
|Matthew Del Negro
Matthew Del Negro has built a solid career with varied roles in features, television and theater. His hot start to 2015 is simply a continuation of a busy 2014 where he had significant arcs on several hit shows, including ABC's "Scandal" and "Mistresses", MTV's "Teen Wolf, and CBS's "NCIS: Los Angeles".
This Spring, Matt can be seen as Interim Fire Chief Pat Pridgen in the 3rd season of the critically acclaimed NBC drama "Chicago Fire" while simultaneously continuing his controversial role of Michael Ambruso on Shonda Rhimes' "Scandal." Matt also stars in the MGM action comedy feature Hot Pursuit alongside Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, due out in theaters May of this year.
Matt's Hollywood success has been well earned, as he began his career in small theater productions in New York before landing a pivotal recurring role on Season 4 of HBO's groundbreaking series, "The Sopranos" opposite James Gandolfini and Edie Falco. Building on that momentum, Matt went on to land major arcs on NBC's critically-acclaimed "The West Wing" and Showtime's "The United States of Tara", as well as ABC Family's "Beautiful Poeple". In addition to these arcs, he kept himself busy with guest spots on shows across the television landscape, including recurring roles on "Parenthood", "Rizzoli & Isles" and "CSI: Miami". He also continued to grab notice with flashy spots on shows like "The Good Wife", "Damages" and "Marry Me", toggling the line between drama and comedy while returning to the boards in A.C.T.'s sold-out run of David Mamet's "Speed the Plow" to play the role of Bobby Gould, directed by Loretta Greco.
Having made his own short film, Christmas Break, in 2007, Matt stepped behind the camera again, as Creative Consultant, to help fellow actor Chris Messina with his directorial debut, Alex of Venice. Matt also acts in the film which premieres in April, starring Don Johnson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Derek Luke. He has had similarly prominent roles in an assortment of Festival and Independent films such as the gritty Sublime and Beautiful, Celeste & Jesse Forever starring Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones, Ira & Abby for Magnolia Pictures, and the Ethan Hawke directed Chelsea Walls.
Matthew grew up in Westchester County, New York and graduated from Boston College, where he played Division I Lacrosse and and consistently made the Dean's List.
He lives with his family in Los Angeles.
Iggy Azalea was born Amethyst Amelia Kelly, in Sydney, Australia. Her family later relocated to Mullumbimby, New South Wales, when she was still an infant, into a house on 12 acres that her father built by hand from mud bricks. Her father was a painter and comics artist, while her mother cleaned holiday houses and hotels. Azalea says her father "made her look at art as a teenager", which has always influenced her life and work. Azalea began rapping at age 14. Before embarking on a solo career, Azalea formed a group with two other girls from her neighbourhood.
In pursuit of her desire of moving to America, Azalea dropped out of high school; instead choosing to work and save the money she earned by cleaning hotel rooms and holiday houses with her mother. She claims to have hated school, which, besides her art class, only made her miserable. She also said she had no friends and was teased for her homemade outfits. Azalea traveled to the United States in 2006, right before she turned 16. She told her parents she was going "on a holiday" with a friend, but eventually decided to stay and shortly after told them she was not coming back home. After her arrival in America, she resided in the U.S. on a visa waiver for six years, leaving the country every three months to renew it. She is currently in the country on a five-year O visa, having previously earned money illegally.
Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City to Lamont Waltman Marvin, an advertising executive, and his wife Courtenay Washington Davidge, a fashion writer. The young Marvin was thrown out of dozens of schools for incorrigibility. His parents took him to Florida, where he attended St. Leo's Preparatory School near Dade City. Dismissed there as well, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. In the battle of Saipan in June 1944, he was wounded in the buttocks by Japanese fire which severed his sciatic nerve. He received a medical discharge and got menial work as a plumber's apprentice in Woodstock, NY. While repairing a toilet at the local community theater, he was asked to replace an ailing actor in a rehearsal. He was immediately stricken with a love for the theater and went to New York City, where he studied and played small roles in stock and Off-Broadway. He landed an extra role in Henry Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now, and found his role expanded when Hathaway took a liking to him. Returning to the stage, he made his Broadway debut in "Billy Budd", and after a succession of small TV roles, moved to Hollywood, where he began playing heavies and cops in roles of increasing size and frequency. Given a leading role in Eight Iron Men, he followed it with enormously memorable heavies in The Big Heat and The Wild One. Now established as a major screen villain, Marvin began shifting toward leading roles with a successful run as a police detective in the TV series M Squad. A surprise Oscar for his dual role as a drunken gunfighter and his evil, noseless brother in the western comedy Cat Ballou placed him in the upper tiers of Hollywood leading men, and he filled out his career with predominantly action-oriented films. A long-term romantic relationship with Michelle Triola led, after their breakup, to a highly publicized lawsuit in which Triola asked for a substantial portion of Marvin's assets. Her case failed in its main pursuit, but did establish a legal precedent for the rights of unmarried cohabitors, the so-called "palimony" law. Marvin continued making films of varying quality, always as a star, until his sudden death from a heart attack in 1987.
Tom Hollander was born the second child of educated parents, both teachers. He grew up in Oxford, (UK).
Hollander credits the happy atmosphere of the Dragon School with his childhood introduction to acting. There, encouraged by an influential teacher named Andrew Roberts, he won the title role in "Oliver". His studies continued at Abingdon, as did his pursuit of acting. At about this point, he won a place in the National Youth Theatre, a UK organization for young people in the field of musical theatre, based in London, and later at the Children's Music Theatre. It was during CMT's "The Leaving of Liverpool" (1981) that he came to the attention of BBC television, and subsequently found himself front and center as the young protagonist in a well-regarded John Diamond, based on the popular Leon Garfield adventure novel. He was just fourteen years old.
Other early projects included two roles in Bertholt Brecht's "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (1985) for the National Youth Theatre, and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for Oxford University Dramatic Society.
Hollander attended Cambridge University at about the same time as his childhood friend Sam Mendes in a visually bold (and well-remembered) staging of "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1988). Other collaborations with Mendes have followed, including work at the West End production of "The Cherry Orchard" (1989, with Judi Dench), and the Chichester Festival Theatre (1989) as well as a Toronto staging of "Kean" (1991) with Derek Jacobi. He also appeared in the Cambridge Footlights Revue (1988).
Upon graduation, Hollander hoped to gain entry to drama school, but found himself disappointed. The oversight did nothing to discourage a successful career already well under way: he garnered an Ian Charleson Award for his turn as Witwould in "The Way of the World" (1992), was nominated again for a "splendidly sinister, manic" performance as "Tartuffe" (1996), and yet again as a finalist for his Khlestakov ("a performance of ideal vigour and impudence"), in Gogol's "The Government Inspector" (1997). Inevitably, Hollander was urged to try films, and appeared in two films as early as 1996. True Blue (aka "Miracle at Oxford") found him in a small but memorable role as the cox for Oxford's noted 1987 "mutiny crew" that went on to win the that year's boat race against Cambridge, and in a thankless role in Some Mother's Son, a sober drama about an IRA gunman, playing a Thatcher representative.
Hollander's career has featured a number of memorable gay roles. His fans are especially fond of the larger-than-life Darren from Bedrooms and Hallways, a romantic comedy with what one reviewer called the "funniest bedroom scene of the year" involving Hollander's character and Hugo Weaving. The over-the-top Darren was so convincing that some viewers assumed Hollander was gay. "Sometimes I call myself a professional homosexual impersonator," he told an interviewer at the time, quickly adding, "you could say that ...Sir Ian McKellen and Rock Hudson do straight actors." The following year, he would take on a very different kind of "gay" role, playing the notorious "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas) against Liam Neeson's Oscar Wilde in "The Judas Kiss" (1998).
"Martha -- Meet Frank Daniel and Laurence" (aka The Very Thought of You, with Joseph Fiennes and Rufus Sewell, brought accolades for his standout role as Daniel, a difficult music executive. Variety, impressed, noted him for "U.K. legit work" and called him the "undisputed hit of the pic".
2001 brought Gosford Park, Robert Altman's masterfully stylized murder mystery, in which he played the quietly desperate Anthony Meredith against Michael Gambon's callously indifferent paterfamilias. Hollander's name figures in a half dozen or more "Best Ensemble" awards for this complex, multi-storied film.
Considered the character-actor-of-choice for roles with comedic qualities, Hollander has challenged assumptions about his capacity by taking on difficult, troubled characters such as the tightly-wound King George V in Stephen Poliakoff's The Lost Prince for BBC and the demented fascist dictator Maximillian II in Land of the Blind. Hollander himself is particularly proud of the film Lawless Heart, a slyly humorous, cleverly constructed comedy-drama told from three viewpoints. Hollander's character, the heart of the film, is a decent man, devastated by the death of his partner, and grieving privately as the stories of friends and family unfold around him. A study of desire, loyalty and courage, the film was very well reviewed and much respected.
More recent film work has brought him to the attention of mainstream movie audiences, who now know him as the magnificently petty tyrant Lord Cutler Beckett in the second and third installments of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. This role brought another kind of achievement: Hollander could now say that he'd been commemorated in collectible action-figure form.
He's worked three times with director Joe Wright, beginning with the prissy, yet strangely likeable Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice, as a clueless classical cellist in an unfortunately truncated role in The Soloist, and as Issacs, the German henchman in Hanna.
With In the Loop, Hollander brought a perfectly unbearable, delicate tension to the role of Simon Foster, the earnestly clueless "British Secretary of State for International Development" who says the wrong thing at exactly the wrong moment. The film acted as a kind of companion piece to the critically-acclaimed The Thick of It on BBC2, Armando Iannucci's furious political satire on the machinations of war and media. Hollander's contribution to the expanded story was apparently so well-received he was "brought back" (but in a different role, entirely) from film to television for a series-ending surprise-appearance in series 3, delighting fans of the show.
Recent work in television has brought him the opportunity to expand on his special capacity for conveying nuanced and contradictory characters. He earned an award for Best Actor at the FIPA International Television Festival for his portrayal of Guy Burgess in Cambridge Spies, and earned praise for the monstrously rude yet oddly endearing Leon in the satire Freezing, with Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) for BBC. He was unforgettable in an elegantly brief but very moving portrayal of King George III for HBO's John Adams.
2010 brought Hollander to widespread attention with Rev., which he co-created with James Wood. The show, initially described in what was assumed to be familiar terms ("vicar", "comedy") became something entirely new: "...an exploration of British hypocrisy and a warmly played character piece", wrote Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor at St Paul's Cathedral in a piece for The Sunday Telegraph. Rev. was much more than it appeared: reviews called it intelligent, realistic and very funny, with a stellar cast headed by Hollander as the sympathetic and very human vicar, Adam Smallbone. The show would garner a BAFTA in 2011 for Best Situation Comedy, among other awards and recognition.
Hollander supports a variety of charitable causes in innovative ways. In 2006 he ran his first race for the Childline Crisis hotline, and in 2007 ran for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He is a long-time supporter of the Helen and Douglas House in Oxford, which provides Hospice care for children, and continues to support charitable organizations by contributing readings and other appearances throughout the year. Hollander is a patron of BIFA, the British Independent Film Awards, and has supported the efforts of the Old Vic's "24 Hour Plays New Voices" Gala, which forwards the cause of young writers for the British stage.
Hollander continues to diversify with voicework roles in radio, reading audiobooks, doing voiceover work and onstage. He appeared in the Old Vic's production of Georges Feydeau's "A Flea in Her Ear" (2010), playing a demanding dual role: the upstanding Victor Emmanuel Chandebise and the lame-brained Poche. Reviews called it "insanity", and his performance "a breathtaking combination of lightning physical precision and shockingly true confusion".
Hollander is in production for series 2 of the winning comedy Rev..
Marshall Allman, born April 5th, 1984 in Austin, Texas, realized his talent for acting at the age of seventeen when he was given his first role in a summer production of Clive Barker's "The History of the Devil". Giving up his pursuits in art and athletics, he moved to Hollywood weeks after graduating from Austin High School to focus his pursuits in acting.
After arriving in Hollywood, he began a deeper study into the craft of acting and soon began working, first in commercials and then guest television spots on the shows Without a Trace and The Practice. It was only soon after, Marshall landed the role of "Kevin Kelly", alongside Jonathan Tucker and Ben Foster in the movie Hostage.
Since then, he has garnered worldwide attention with his intense role as "L.J. Burrows" on the international hit show Prison Break and has landed roles in various independent films including Fragments, costarring with Forest Whitaker and the leading role in acclaimed writer-directors David Russo's feature length debut, The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle.
Ray Milland became one of Paramount's most bankable and durable stars, under contract from 1934 to 1948, yet little in his early life suggested a career as a motion picture actor.
Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones in the Welsh town of Neath, Glamorgan, to Elizabeth Annie (Truscott) and Alfred Jones. He spent his youth in the pursuit of sports. He became an expert rider early on, working at his uncle's horse-breeding estate while studying at the King's College in Cardiff. At 21, he went to London as a member of the elite Household Cavalry (Guard for the Royal Family), undergoing a rigorous 19-months training, further honing his equestrian skills, as well as becoming adept at fencing, boxing and shooting. He won trophies, including the Bisley Match, with his unit's crack rifle team. However, after four years, he suddenly lost his means of financial support (independent income being a requirement as a Guardsman) when his stepfather discontinued his allowance. Broke, he tried his hand at acting in small parts on the London stage.
There are several stories as to how he derived his stage name. It is known, that during his teens he called himself "Mullane", using his stepfather's surname. He may later have suffused "Mullane" with "mill-lands", an area near his hometown. When he first appeared on screen in British films, he was billed first as Spike Milland, then Raymond Milland.
In 1929, Ray befriended the popular actress Estelle Brody at a party and, later that year, visited her on the set of her latest film, The Plaything. While having lunch, they were joined by a producer who persuaded the handsome Welshman to appear in a motion picture bit part. Ray rose to the challenge and bigger roles followed, including the male lead in The Lady from the Sea. The following year, he was signed by MGM and went to Hollywood, but was given little to work with, except for the role of Charles Laughton's ill-fated nephew in Payment Deferred. After a year, Ray was out of his contract and returned to England.
His big break did not come until 1934 when he joined Paramount, where he was to remain for the better part of his Hollywood career. During the first few years, he served an apprenticeship playing second leads, usually as the debonair man-about-town, in light romantic comedies. He appeared with Burns and Allen in Many Happy Returns, enjoyed third-billing as a British aristocrat in the Claudette Colbert farce The Gilded Lily and was described as "excellent" by reviewers for his role in the sentimental drama Alias Mary Dow. By 1936, he had graduated to starring roles, first as the injured British hunter rescued on a tropical island by The Jungle Princess, the film which launched Dorothy Lamour's sarong-clad career. After that, he was the titular hero of Bulldog Drummond Escapes and, finally, won the girl (rather than being the "other man") in Mitchell Leisen's screwball comedy Easy Living. He also re-visited the tropics in Ebb Tide, Her Jungle Love and Tropic Holiday, as well as being one of the three valiant brothers of Beau Geste.
In 1940, Ray was sent back to England to star in the screen adaptation of Terence Rattigan's French Without Tears, for which he received his best critical reviews to date. He was top-billed (above John Wayne) running a ship salvage operation in Cecil B. DeMille's lavish Technicolor adventure drama Reap the Wild Wind, besting Wayne in a fight - much to the "Duke's" personal chagrin - and later wrestling with a giant octopus. Also that year, he was directed by Billy Wilder in a charming comedy, The Major and the Minor (co-starred with Ginger Rogers), for which he garnered good notices from Bosley Crowther of the New York Times. Ray then played a ghost hunter in The Uninvited, and the suave hero caught in a web of espionage in Fritz Lang's thriller Ministry of Fear.
On the strength of his previous role as "Major Kirby", Billy Wilder chose to cast Ray against type in the ground-breaking drama The Lost Weekend as dipsomaniac writer "Don Birnam". Ray gave the defining performance of his career, his intensity catching critics, used to him as a lightweight leading man, by surprise. Crowther commented "Mr. Milland, in a splendid performance, catches all the ugly nature of a 'drunk', yet reveals the inner torment and degradation of a respectable man who knows his weakness and his shame" (New York Times, December 3, 1945). Arrived at the high point of his career, Ray Milland won the Oscar for Best Actor, as well as the New York Critic's Award. Rarely given such good material again, he nonetheless featured memorably in many more splendid films, often exploiting the newly discovered "darker side" of his personality: as the reporter framed for murder by Charles Laughton's heinous publishing magnate in The Big Clock; as the sophisticated, manipulating art thief "Mark Bellis" in the Victorian melodrama So Evil My Love (for which producer Hal B. Wallis sent him back to England); as a Fedora-wearing, Armani-suited "Lucifer", trawling for the soul of an honest District Attorney in Alias Nick Beal; and as a traitorous scientist in The Thief, giving what critics described as a "sensitive" and "towering" performance. In 1954, Ray played calculating ex-tennis champ "Tony Wendice", who blackmails a former Cambridge chump into murdering his wife, in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder. He played the part with urbane sophistication and cold detachment throughout, even in the scene of denouement, calmly offering a drink to the arresting officers.
With Lisbon, Ray Milland moved into another direction, turning out several off-beat, low-budget films with himself as the lead, notably The Safecracker and Panic in Year Zero!. At the same time, he cheerfully made the transition to character parts, often in horror and sci-fi outings. In accordance with his own dictum of appearing in anything that had "any originality", he worked on two notable pictures with Roger Corman: first, as a man obsessed with catalepsy in Premature Burial; secondly, as obsessed self-destructive surgeon "Dr. Xavier" in X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes-the Man with X-Ray Eyes, a film which, despite its low budget, won the 1963 Golden Asteroid in the Trieste Festival for Science Fiction.
As the years went on, Ray gradually disposed of his long-standing toupee, lending dignity through his presence to many run-of-the-mill television films, such as Cave In! and maudlin melodramas like Love Story. He guest-starred in many anthology series on television and had notable roles in Rod Serling's Night Gallery and the original Battlestar Galactica (as Quorum member Sire Uri). He also enjoyed a brief run on Broadway, starring as "Simon Crawford" in "Hostile Witness" (1966), at the Music Box Theatre.
In his private life, Ray was an enthusiastic yachtsman, who loved fishing and collecting information by reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica. In later years, he became very popular with interviewers because of his candid spontaneity and humour. In the same self-deprecating vein he wrote an anecdotal biography, "Wide-Eyed in Babylon", in 1976. A film star, as well as an outstanding actor, Ray Milland died of cancer at the age of 81 in March 1986.
American leading man famed as the star of one of the longest-running shows in U.S. television history, Gunsmoke. Born of Norwegian heritage (the family name, Aurness, had formerly been Aursness) in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Rolf and Ruth Duesler Aurness. His father was a traveling salesman of medical supplies and his mother later became a newspaper columnist. James attended West High School in Minneapolis. Although he appeared in school plays, he had no interest in performing, and dreamed instead of going to sea. After high school, he attended one semester at Beloit College before receiving his draft notice in 1943. He entered the army and trained at Camp Wheeler, Georgia, before shipping out for North Africa. After landing at Casablanca, Arness joined the 3rd Infantry Division in time for the invasion of Anzio. Ten days after the invasion, Arness was severely wounded in the leg and foot by German machine-gun fire. His wounds, which plagued him the rest of his life, resulted in his medical discharge from the army. While recuperating in a Clinton, Iowa hospital, he was visited by his younger brother Peter (later to gain fame as actor Peter Graves), who suggested he take a radio course at the University of Minnesota. James did so, and a teacher recommended him for a job as an announcer at a Minneapolis radio station. Though seemingly headed for success in radio, he followed a boyhood friend's suggestion and went with the friend to Hollywood in hopes of getting work as film extras. He studied at the Bliss-Hayden Theatre School under actor Harry Hayden, and while appearing in a play there was spotted by agent Leon Lance. Lance got the actor a role as Loretta Young's brother in The Farmer's Daughter. The director of that film, H.C. Potter, recommended that he drop the "u" from his last name and soon thereafter the actor was officially known as James Arness. Little work followed this break, and Arness became something of a beach bum, living on the shore at San Onofre and spending his days surfing. He began taking his acting career more seriously when he began to receive fan mail following the release of the Young picture. He appeared in a production of "Candida" at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, and married his leading lady, Virginia Chapman. She pressed him to study acting and to work harder in pursuit of a career, but Arness has been consistent in ascribing his success to luck. He began to get small roles with frequency, often, due to his size, villainous characters. Most notable among these was that of the space alien in The Thing from Another World. While playing a Greek warrior in a play, Arness was spotted by agent Charles K. Feldman, who represented John Wayne. Feldman introduced Arness to Wayne, who put the self-described 6' 6" actor under personal contract. Arness played several roles over the next few years for and with Wayne, whom he considered a mentor. In 1955, Wayne recommended Arness for the lead role of Matt Dillon in the TV series Gunsmoke. (Contrary to urban legend, Wayne himself was never offered the role.) Arness at first declined, thinking a TV series could derail his growing film career, but Wayne argued for the show, and Arness accepted. His portrayal of stalwart marshal Dillon became an iconic figure in American television and the series, on the air for twenty seasons, is, as of 2008, the longest-running dramatic series in U.S. television history. Arness became world-famous and years later reprised the character in a series of TV movies. After the surprising cancellation of "Gunsmoke" in 1975, Arness jumped immediately into another successful (though much shorter-lived) Western project, a TV-movie-miniseries-series combination known as "How The West Was Won." A brief modern police drama, McClain's Law, followed, and Arness played his mentor John Wayne's role in Red River, a remake of the Wayne classic. Following the aforementioned "Gunsmoke" TV movies (the last in 1994, when Arness was 71), Arness basically retired. His marriage to Virginia Chapman ended in divorce in 1960. They had three children together, one of whom, Jenny Lee, died a suicide in 1975. Arness subsequently married Janet Surtrees in 1978.
Kurt Fuller is best known for his work in the films Wayne's World with Mike Myers, Anger Management, with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, and most recently as part of the all star cast of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
Kurt was born in San Francisco and raised in the agricultural heartland of California's San Joaquin Valley. He became passionate about acting while attending UC Berkley, where he received a degree in English literature. After graduating, Kurt made the move to Los Angeles with everything he owned stuffed into the back of a 1967 Dodge Dart (including a king size foam rubber mattress). For the next ten years he was a Realtor by day and a stage actor by night. Then, in 1986, he created the leading role of "Frank" in Steven Berkoff's explosively successful Kvetch, earning rave reviews on both coasts.
Kurt has worked with Hollywood's best directors, including David O. Russell, Shawn Levy, Paul Schrader, Tony Scott, Wim Wenders, Taylor Hackford, Mike Newell, Harold Ramis, Brian De Palma and Ivan Reitman. His numerous film credits include Auto Focus, Ray, Pushing Tin, The Jack Bull, Scary Movie, Ghostbusters II, Mr. Woodcock, Nailed and _The Pursuit of Happyness_ (2006).
This Fall Kurt will appear as "Michael", opposite Jane Kaczmarek, in Fox's new comedy _"Us and Them"_. His most recent series was the ABC's 2011 comedy, Better With You. He also had series regular roles ABC's Big Day, in which he starred with Wendie Malick, and That's My Bush!, the television series from South Park & "The Book of Mormon" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. He has recurred and guest starred on over a hundred TV shows and telefilms over the years. Over the last year, Kurt has had recurring characters on many hit series including Parenthood, The Good Wife, Scandal and Psych (playing the lovable coroner Woody). In the past, Kurt has had arcs on, Supernatural, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, and Alias.
His other TV appearances include HBO's Live From Baghdad, with Michael Keaton, as well as hit shows such as Glee, _"Ugly Betty"_ (2006), CSI, Men of a Certain Age, Grey's Anatomy, House, My Name is Earl, Monk, and Drop Dead Diva.
Kurt still returns to the stage occasionally, his most recent theater work was The Cosmonaut's Last Message at the La Jolla Playhouse, and the highly acclaimed The Waiting Room at the Mark Taper Forum.
Kurt has been married to wife Jessica Hendra, a recently published author, since 1994. They have two children; Julia and Charlotte.
Born to immigrant parents from the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada) Chuck Connors and his two-years-younger sister, Gloria, grew up in a working-class section of the west side of Brooklyn, New York, where their father worked the local docks as a longshoreman.
Chuck's natural athletic prowess earned him a scholarship to Adelphi Academy, a private high school, and then to Seton Hall, a Catholic college in South Orange, New Jersey. Leaving Seton Hall after two years, on October 20, 1942, he joined the army, listing his occupation as a ski instructor. After enlistment in the infantry at Fort Knox, he later served mostly as a tank-warfare instructor at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and then finally at West Point. Following his discharge early in 1946, he resumed his athletic pursuits. He played center for the Boston Celtics in the 1946-47 season but left early for spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Baseball had always been his first love, and for the next several years he knocked about the minor leagues in such places as Rochester (NY), Norfolk (VA), Newark (NJ), Newport News (VA), Mobile (AL) and Montreal, Canada (while in Montreal he met Elizabeth Riddell, whom he married in October 1948. They had four sons during their 13-year marriage). He finally reached his goal, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, in May 1949, but after just five weeks and one at-bat he returned to Montreal. After a brief stint with the Chicago Cubs in 1951, during which he hit two home runs, Chuck wound up with the Cubs' Triple-A farm team, the L.A. Angels, in 1952. A baseball fan who was also a casting director for MGM spotted Chuck and recommended him for a part in the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn comedy Pat and Mike. Originally cast to play a prizefighter, but that role went instead to Aldo Ray. Chuck was cast as a captain in the state police. He now abandoned his athletic hopes and devoted full time to his acting career, which often emphasized his muscular 6'6" physique.
During the next several years he made 20 movies, culminating in a key role in William Wyler's 1958 western The Big Country. Also appearing in many television series, he finally hit the big time in 1958 with The Rifleman, which began its highly successful five-year run on ABC. Other television series followed, as did a number of movies which, though mostly minor, allowed Chuck to display his range as both a stalwart "good guy" and a menacing "heavy".
Chuck Connors died at age 71 of lung cancer and pneumonia on November 10, 1992 in Los Angeles, California. He is buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery with his tombstone carrying a photo of Connors as Lucas McCain in "The Rifleman" as well as logos from the three professional sports teams he played for: the Dodgers, Cubs and Celtics.
A marvelously quirky and distinctive 4' 3" character actress, with a larger-than-life presence on film and TV, Zelda Rubinstein gave up a long and stable career in the medical field as a lab technician in order to strive for something more self-fulfilling as middle age settled in. At the age of 45, the feisty lady gave up the comfort of a stable paycheck and attempt an acting career, a daunting task for anyone but especially someone of her stature and type. Within a few years, she had beaten the odds and became a major movie celebrity thanks to one terrific showcase in a Steven Spielberg horror classic. In the process, she served as an inspiration to all the "little people" working in Hollywood who are forced to toil in cruel and demeaning stereotypes.
Zelda May Rubinstein was born on May 28, 1933 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Dolores and George Rubinstein, who were Polish Jewish immigrants. Zelda was the youngest of three children, and the only "little person" in the family. Her childhood and teenage years were decidedly difficult in terms of coping with her "interesting variation," which was caused by a pituitary gland deficiency. With no designs on acting at the time, she went the normal route of college and received a scholarship to study at the University of Pittsburgh. She earned her degree in bacteriology and worked for a number of years as a lab technician in blood banks. In 1978, Zelda, in a pursuit of something more creative in her life, abandoned her cushy but mundane job and threw herself completely into acting. She made her movie debut as one of the little people in the Chevy Chase slapstick comedy Under the Rainbow. It all came together so quickly with her second film Poltergeist in the scene-stealing role of Tangina, the saucy, self-confident, prune-faced "house cleaner" with the whispery, doll-like voice who is brought in to rid a suburban home of demonic possession. Co-writer/producer Spielberg claims he designed the psychic role specifically for a "little person". The film became an instant summertime hit and Zelda created absolute magic and wonderment with the testy role, receiving some of the movie's best reviews. The character actress went on to appear in the two "Poltergeist" sequels. The "Poltergeist" movie projects were eventually dubbed "cursed" due to the untimely deaths of some of its performers, particularly two of the three children of film parents Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams. 22-year-old Dominique Dunne was slain in 1982 by a jealous ex-boyfriend only a few months after the first film's release, and angelic little Heather O'Rourke, age 12, died of an intestinal obstruction just months before Poltergeist III made it to the screen.
Although Zelda would not find a role quite up to the standards and popularity of Tangina, her subsequent career remained surprisingly active with a number of weird parts woven into both comedies and chillers -- often variations of her eccentric Tangina role. She played a mental patient in the Frances Farmer biopic Frances, which showcased Jessica Lange in the Oscar-nominated title role; a squeaky-shoed organist in John Hughes sweet-sixteen comedy classic Sixteen Candles co-starring "Brat Pack"ers Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall; the demented mom in the gruesome, Spanish-made horror-thriller Anguish [aka Anguish], which has since reached cult status; a mentor witch in the comic fantasy Teen Witch; a hermit in a National Lampoon-based slapstick Last Resort; a betting clerk in the sci-fi adventure Timemaster; an ill-fated nun in the thriller Little Witches, and; a theatre director in the flick Critics and Other Freaks.
Into the millennium, she made some odd, slapdash appearances in such minor fare as Maria & Jose, Wishcraft, Cages_, Angels with Angles, Unbeatable Harold and Southland Tales. In her last film, she furthered her horror icon status with a small cameo in the slim-budgeted indie Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon that also featured Robert Englund of "Freddy Krueger" fame. Zelda also found an "in" doing voiceovers, her doll-like tones ideal for cartoons and such, and in commercials promoting such items as Skittles candy. She enjoyed extended popularity on TV with a regular series role on the first couple of seasons of Picket Fences. Her character later was killed off in a freakish accident (fell into a freezer!). In her last years she narrated, and "Exorcist" child star Linda Blair hosted, TV's Scariest Places on Earth. The actress also appeared on stage in such productions as "Deathtrap" (as a psychic, of course), "To Kill a Mockingbird," "Suddenly, Last Summer," "The Slab Boys" and "Black Comedy". She also appeared as Yente in a production of "Fiddler on the Roof".
An outspoken social activist, Zelda was a staunch advocate for the rights of little people who formed the nonprofit Michael Dunn Memorial Repertory Theater Company in Los Angeles in 1985. The actress gained additional attention and respect, if not popularity (her career suffered for a time as a result), as an early and outspoken HIV/AIDS activist. As the poster mom for AIDS awareness, she valiantly appeared in a series of maternal newspaper/billboard advertisements imploring her gay son to practice safe sex. The series of ads ran from the mid-to-late 1980s. Zelda also participated in the first AIDS Project Los Angeles AIDS Walk and attended the 25th Anniversary Walk on October 12, 2009.
A couple of months before her death on January 27, 2010, Zelda suffered a heart attack. Complications set in (kidney and lung failure) and she passed away at age 76 on January 27, 2010, at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, California.
Courtney Baxter is from West Chester PA and joined both SAG and AFTRA at age 11 working around the country from that point forward. As a seasoned performer, those experiences helped develop her interest in all parts of film production. At 16, Courtney became an Executive Producer and lead in the drama "Reco" which did well on the festival circuit. As an 18 year old, she Executive Produced and starred as Eve in the horror feature film "Hallow's Eve" which gained eOne distribution in 2012, the same year she began college. In 2013 while interning at Tribeca Films, Courtney collaborated with her mentor and helped develop, produce, and star in the feature film "Running on Empty" which will premier in the US in 2014. In 2014, Courtney is proud to be part of the "Sharknado 2" team and had an awesome time filming the sequel to the instant cult classic "Sharknado." The film is set to premiere on the SYFY channel on July 31, 2014.
Courtney became a community activist at a young age and she is a founding member of a youth mentor program and a dance instructor and counselor in the crime ravaged city of Chester PA. She became active with community food banks, anti bullying and equal rights campaigns as a teen. In 2012 she represented America's oldest teen scholarship organization, ANTSO, as Miss National Sweetheart 2012 where she became involved in national charitable initiatives. Courtney has influenced many young people with her presence and constantly demonstrates the importance of an unbiased loving heart, strong work ethic, and the will to make a positive difference wherever she can by example and engagement.
Equally important to Courtney is her pursuit of a double Film Studies/Economics degree at Pace University in NYC as the recipient of their Presidential Scholarship. Additionally, she still tries to find a few weekends every year to travel around the country as a founding member of the Artists Simply Human/ASH Productions, National Dance Convention.
As a full time student and actor Courtney maintains a busy schedule, but believes her efforts are worthwhile as she loves the career path she has chosen.
British born Judi Shekoni is an exotic mix of African, Spanish and British descent. She is soon to be seen as 'Zafrina' the leader of the Amazons in Twilight Sagas: Breaking Dawn.
Brought up in Britain, she has trained extensively including Shakespeare and the Classics. Her career in the UK included roles on every major television channel - including the glamorous role of Precious on the UK's No1 Television series Eastenders (BBC) and national staples such as Casualty(BBC), Hollyoaks (Channel 4) and Fat Friends (ITV).
Judi's lead role in Hallmarks 'The Hidden City' struggling with an alcoholic father opposite Paul Barber led to her desire to work in the US.
Her first actual introduction to US audiences was with CBS's King of Queens where she caught both Deacon and Doug's heart. This was quickly followed playing a supermodel suspected of murder in NCIS (CBS) and other successful primetime shows such as Brothers and Sisters (ABC), All of Us (CW) and Pilots and TV movies including Damages as a professional escort opposite Cole Hauser (FOX).
Judi also appeared in studio films such as Garfield 2 (FOX) with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Billy Connelly and graced the large screen as the lead opposite Tony Todd in Jekyll and Hyde and opposite Connery in Private Moments, she also brought her essence to films such as Maybe Baby with Hugh Laurie and It was an Accident with Thandie Newton.
Her fearlessness and love of action in her work has taken her skydiving, swimming with sharks and driving tanks across the world including Africa, Dubai, India and Fiji.
Her unique looks and training have led to a diverse array of roles throughout her career from a Sierra Leone refugee, a Nigerian mother with AIDS fighting for her child, an Indian princess, a doctor, a lawyer, an alien to now an Amazonian Vampire with a supernatural power.
Currently residing in Los Angeles she enjoys reading as her number one pursuit.
Ashley Leggat, a twice Gemini nominated actress, was born into a large family in Hamilton, Ontario. She joined her parents, Roy (a car dealer) and Patty (a former Secondary School teacher) and four older brothers -Rob, Brett, and twins Todd and Bram.
Ashley's four brothers, all very athletic, played hockey in the winters and baseball in the summers, meaning she basically grew up in arenas and baseball parks.
Ashley never actually walked -she danced, so when she was two and a half she started Baby Ballet -and she fell in love. This was the beginning of Ashley's passion for dance. Until she graduated from high school, Ashley danced competitively in the top divisions in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, acrobatics, lyrical, musical theatre and hip hop. She was crowned the top soloist awards at all of the major dance competitions including, International Dance Challenge, Showstoppers, 5-6-7-8 Showtime, Flash Dance, and Dance, Dance, Dance to name a few.
Ashley excelled in all aspects of her dance career, but another passion had already taken her heart. When Ashley was just eight she heard about a summer school acting program at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton and insisted that she had to attend. Theatre became Ashley's second passion and without hesitation, she auditioned and won the coveted role in her first professional theatrical role of Marta in "The Sound of Music".
Over the next four years, she managed to combine her school work, 30 hours a week of dancing, and continued her acting career by starring in the following plays: "Jekyll and Hyde", "Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang", "The Wizard of Oz", "Anne of Green Gables", "Cinderella", and "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe".
When she was age 13, she won the role of Clara in "The Nutcracker". That same year, the young theatre veteran began to work in television and movies, and quickly discovered this was her third passion. Her first TV role was to star in "Real Kids, Real Adventures". She shone on set and there was no looking back.
By the time she was just age 18, she had recurring roles on: "I was a Sixth Grade Alien", "Ace Lightning", and guest starred in "The Zack Files", and "In A Heartbeat" (Shawn Ashmore).
She appeared in Disney's "Cadet Kelly" (Hilary Duff), "What Girls Learn", (Elizabeth Perkins), ABC's MOW "The Music Man" (Matthew Broderick), and "A Very Married Christmas" (Joe Mategna). Next, she hit the big screen with a lead role in "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" (Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox).
On her 18th birthday she decided she would put her acting career on hold to attend University in pursuit of a teaching degree, but fate had other plans for her. One week after classes began, she got an offer she couldn't refuse. Ashley had won the sought after lead role of Casey in "Life With Derek" and she made the decision to put school on hold. The next four years were an exciting adventure, collaborating with Shaftesbury Productions on this incredibly successful show. "Life with Derek" was ultimately sold to Disney and shown in over 100 countries around the world, breaking records on many networks.
The success of this show led to a movie called "Vacation with Derek" which opened to the highest ratings ever recorded by Family Channel and earned her second Gemini nomination for Best Actress. During breaks from shooting "Life with Derek",
Ashley was a recurring character on "Darcy's Wild Life" (Sara Paxton), a regular on the new genre TV series "11 Cameras", and guest starred on "The Latest Buzz", "Aaron Stone", and "Unnatural History". In 2008, a rare opportunity came to this rising star's lap.
She was asked to play Baby in "Dirty Dancing" at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. Although she hadn't been on stage in nearly ten years, she returned with a vengeance and won critical acclaim for her dead on portrayal of Baby.
Following a year back in the spotlight of the theatre, she returned to the small screen guest-starring in the popular TV show "Murdoch Mysteries". Ashley had a lead role in MTV's "Made, The Movie", the feature film "My Dog's Christmas Miracle" (Cynthia Gibb) and "The Perfect Roommate".
She most recently guest starred on one of her favorite prime time shows "Criminal Minds". She then went on to join the popular Hallmark movie series "The Good Witch's Charm" and the upcoming "The Good Witch's Destiny". Next up, Ashley is very excited for the premiere "The Perfect Boss" which airs on May 24th on Lifetime.
In her personal life, Ashley is heavily involved with children's hospitals, spending her spare time fundraising for McMaster Sick Kids Hospital, Toronto Sick Kids, and Manitoba Hospital for Children.
She is also a huge advocate for anti-bullying, and has toured across Canada to help the cause. She most enjoys spending time with her family and close friends, and her "fur-baby" Teacup Yorkie, Rambo -who has also had cameos in many of her TV shows and movies.
As for her love life, Ashley married her long time boyfriend Jeremy Williams in 2011. Jeremy is a successful hockey player, formerly with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings organization, and New York Rangers organization. Most recently he played in Austria and Germany, and this year he will play in Sweden, where Ashley will join him in her off time.
Born on July 18, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois, Jason Weaver has always been surrounded by the world of entertainment. His mother Kitty Haywood, a legendary studio singer, was a staple in his young life and encouraged his pursuit of singing as well as acting. In being surrounded by the some of the best entertainers to date, Jason learned some of the most intricate works of the industry and found himself even more intrigued and driven in his goal of stardom.
Weaver got his break in acting as a kid named Ernie, in the movie, "The Kid Who Loved Christmas". By the age of 12, Jason had appeared in two other projects; "The Long Walk Home", a film by Whoopi Goldberg and "Brewster's Place", a television series produced by Oprah Winfrey. Having been successful in his previous three roles, it was imminent that this young man's career would be of legendary status. In 1992, Weaver landed the role of a lifetime. He was cast to play the young and most talented Michael Jackson in the small screen film, "The Jackson's: An American Dream." This made for television movie garnered him raved reviews and proved to be a launching pad for other areas of his career.
1993 branded Weaver in one of the two most notable roles of his career. Playing alongside Brandy in the television series "Thea", Jason continued his acting success until the abrupt cancellation of the show later that year. Weaver landed a role in one of the top Disney film's in 1994. Jason was blessed with the opportunity to display his other talent; singing. He graced us with his passionate sound as the singing voice of Simba in the box office hit, "The Lion King". In 1997, he continued his on screen success as teenage sibling, Marcus Henderson, in the hit television series "Smart Guy".
After a two year hiatus, Jason was back at it with a role in the civil rights movie, "Freedom Song", starring Danny Glover and Loretta Divine, to name a few. The turn of the millennium also brought about a huge turn in Weaver's career. In 2002, he enjoyed a highly successful role as Earnest in the mega hit movie "Drumline", opposite Nick Cannon. The movie was set in Jason's hometown of Atlanta. In 2004, Weaver followed the success of "Drumline" with a role in "The Lady Killers", starring Tom Hank.
In 2006, Jason Weaver was back in Atlanta to shoot "ATL", starring T.I. The Chris Robinson film was set in a roller rink and depicted the life of a teenage male that deals with the everyday struggles of finance, school, and friendship, but finds solace in a female that he meets at the roller rink he frequents. Let it be known that TI's female costar is not as she appears. The movie was a huge box office success.
In addition to Jason's enormous success as an actor, he sets his site on his other love, music. After releasing only one of his two albums with Motown in the early 90s, Weaver enjoyed short lived success from "Love Ambition". He has since refocused his energy and dedication to long hours in the studio in pursuit of his musical dreams. The 2004 hit, "One Call Away" by Chingy, featured a rejuvenated Weaver singing the hook. This single topped the Billboard 100 chart at #2 in the U.S and #26 in the UK. In late 2006, Jason worked with BG on his new album and did several collaborations with close friend and super producer/writer Roger "Mista Raja" Green on his album, "Chip off the Ol' Block", due to be released in mid 2007.
With Weaver's long list of accomplishments in his star career, many power hitters in the entertainment industry suggest that this Hollywood story is only at its midpoint. Jason is set to release his second album, entitled, "Declaration of Independance", in early summer 2007.
This blue-eyed beauty was born in Missouri. She started taking dance classes at the age of two, and was performing in recitals and on stage almost immediately. Her pursuit of dance continued through high school with various dance classes and companies.
While a senior in high school she joined a theater troupe. A showcase with casting directors led to Adrienne being offered roles in two network series. In fact, these were her first two auditions. She had fallen in love with acting. At her parents' request, she put her new career on hold to finish high school. Then, two days after graduation she moved to Los Angeles to continue chasing her dream.
Almost immediately, Adrienne booked roles in short films and frequently landed guest spots on many shows. In 2000 she landed the role that would introduce her to the world and bring her international fame, playing the duel characters of Livia and Eve, the daughter of Xena, on the most watched show in the world - Xena: Warrior Princess. Adrienne soon became a fan favorite, and when the show wrapped she quickly moved on to the lead in the UPN series As If , where she played Nikki, the boy-obsessed college co-ed. From there she has continued to make many appearances in film and TV and is sought after for her voiceover work. Fortunate that she has never had a specific "type", Adrienne is able to move seamlessly from comedy to drama and from one distinct role to something completely different.
She is known for compelling performances that are brave, focused with intensity, and grounded in sincerity. Adrienne continues to pursue her passion and is striving to create a timeless career that can be celebrated for the unique choices she makes and the diverse characters she portrays. She surprises, delights and leaves you wanting more.
Song Kang-ho never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theater groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later, he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theater company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation, which proved to be Song's training ground. Although regularly approached to act in films, he always turned down the opportunity until taking a role as an extra in Hong Sang-soo's The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well. In the following year, after portraying one of the homeless in Sun-Woo Jang's docu-drama Timeless Bottomless Bad Movie, he gained cult notoriety for his scene-stealing performance in Neung-han Song No. 3 as a gangster training a group of young recruits, winning his first Best Actor award.
Since that time he was cast in several supporting roles before his high-profile role as Suk-kyu Han's secret-agent partner in Je-kyu Kang's blockbuster thriller Swiri. In early 2000, Song became a star with his first leading role in the box office smash The Foul King, for which he reputedly did most of his own stunts. But it was with his award-winning role as a North Korean sergeant in J.S.A.: Joint Security Area that Song has come to the forefront as one of Korea's leading actors. Song also starred in Chan-wook Park's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, which centers around a father's pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers.
In 2002 Song starred in another major production by Myung Film titled YMCA Baseball Team, about Korea's first baseball team, which formed in the early 20th century. He came to international attention with the film The Host, which reunited him with director Joon-ho Bong. With Snowpiercer, his third collaboration with Bong, he made his debut in an English-language film with international theatrical distribution.
Richard Riehle was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to Mary Margaret (Walsh), a nurse, and Herbert John Riehle, an assistant postmaster. He is of German and Irish descent. Richard attended the University of Notre Dame, where he became heavily involved with the University Theatre. Appearing in such productions as "Luther", "Antigone", "Rhinoceros", "Romeo and Juliet", and "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying", he also took on the task of stage manager on many of these productions, and it was not unusual to find him helping to build the sets or manage the costumes during this period. Graduating with a B.A. (cum laude) in 1970, Richard traveled to Salzburg and Innsbruck to study German, a language in which he is fluent. Progressing to Academy of Dramatic Art in Rochester, Michigan, Richard has had extensive experience as a stage actor, as well as teaching acting, and made his Broadway debut in 1986 with "Execution of Justice". One of his major triumphs in the theatre has been alongside Kevin Spacey in the acclaimed 1999 revival of O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh", in which he played the drunken, corrupt ex-cop Pat McGloin. Brief appearances in Rooster Cogburn, The Duchess and Dirtwater Fox, Joy Ride, and Twice in a Lifetime, as well as in such TV fare as Escape From Hell (1977), Joe Kennedy: The Forgotten Kennedy (1977), and the NBC series "Hot Pursuit" (1984) have disguised an expanding repertory theatre portfolio. Richard has also contributed to such diverse undertakings as Bay Area Radio's Eugene O'Neill Project (playing Smithers to Joe Morton's Brutis Jones in "The Emperor Jones") and the Adams-Jefferson Project of Carleton College, participating in a series of recordings of the correspondence between the two US Presidents. To this day, Richard has maintained his involvement in theatre workshops and encouraging the dramatic arts under the auspices of the Mark Taper Forum and A.S.K. However, since his scene-stealing cameo as the Quartermaster in 1989's Glory, with his trademark bushy mustache and heavyset frame, Richard has acquitted himself as one of the best, and busiest, character players on TV and in the movies.
Carter Mark Jenkins was born in Tampa, Florida, to Mary (Sanders) and Eric Jenkins, and grew up in Carrollwood, Florida. He has two older siblings, Tiffany and Renneker Jenkins, and was raised in a Jewish household. For Carter, acting class began at only 7 years old as an after school activity and a way to get out of his shell. He began by performing in community theater and then went on to local and national commercials. At the age of 10, he and his mother traveled to Los Angeles to explore film and television opportunities. Only 6 months later, his whole family picked up and moved cross country, to Sherman Oaks, California, to support his pursuit of an acting career.
His drive and work ethic made it clear to his family they had made the right decision. Since 2002, Carter has worked on over 20 television shows, including a leading role on NBC's "Surface". Carter starred alongside Emma Roberts as young lovers in "Valentine's Day" and battled aliens in FOX's "Aliens in the Attic". He has also appeared in the features "Bad News Bears", "Keeping Up with the Steins", and "Arcadia Lost".
|Pamela Sue Martin
Pamela Sue Martin attended public schools in Westport, Connecticut and graduated from Staples High School in February 1971. Before she graduated, Pamela was working in a hamburger stand for $1.45 per hour when a friend told her that she was earning $60 per hour modeling in New York. Liking the wages and being of an ambitious nature, Pamela Sue decided to emulate her friend and soon was earning a good living as a teenage model for print ads and television commercials. Although she was completely innocent of dramatic training, experience or even ambitions, when Pamela Sue heard that Columbia Pictures was auditioning girls for a film called To Find a Man, she decided to try. It took the producers three months to make up their minds, but in the end Pamela Sue had the female starring role. Pamela returned to Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut to finish high school. On the basis of her performance in To Find a Man, producer Irwin Allen cast her to co-star with five Academy Award winners in The Poseidon Adventure. Then came a starring role in the ABC Movie of the Week The Girls of Huntington House and a co-starring role with Jan-Michael Vincent in Buster and Billie. She is particularly proud of her portrayal in the production, The Hemingway Play. She has played the character Celia Grey in the television movie, Strong Medicine and has hosted "Saturday Night Live." Pamela enjoys athletic pursuits, especially scuba diving, tennis and skiing.
|Roger Lloyd Pack
A superbly versatile character actor of lugubrious countenance and strong physical presence, Roger was the son of Charles Lloyd Pack, a small-part supporting player in Hammer horror films of the 50's and 60's. Roger was educated at Bedales, a prestigious co-educational school in Hampshire, noted for a laid-back approach and a pronounced emphasis towards arts, crafts and drama. With inspiration provided by his drama teacher and rather liking the attention and applause that came with being on stage, Lloyd Pack managed to attain A-levels in languages. After leaving school, aged nineteen, he successfully auditioned for RADA, where one of his teachers was the actor Peter Barkworth. Soon after, he made his stage debut in the Elizabethan play "The Shoemaker's Holiday" at Northampton Repertory Theatre. From the beginning, Lloyd Pack always thought of becoming a Shakespearean actor. However, his career took him on quite a different path.
His first television appearances were similar peripheral 'no-name parts' as cleaners, soldiers and constables. After years of toiling in relative obscurity, he finally managed to secure a recurring role as the vacuous, simple-minded road sweeper Colin 'Trigger' Ball in the sitcom Only Fools and Horses..... Appearing in nearly every episode of the long-running series, Lloyd Pack came to be identified with this character in the national consciousness to such an extent, that he could "not go anywhere without anyone going on about it".
His next popular casting was no less fortuitous: that of the flatulent, somewhat seedy farmer Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley, lusting after Dawn French's extrovert cleric (when not entertaining dubious thoughts about farm animals). On the big screen, Lloyd Pack reached a wider audience as Bartemius Crouch Sr, a ruthless Ministry of Magic functionary in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, destined to be killed by his Death Eater son, played by David Tennant. Still more dramatic was his role as evil megalomaniac John Lumic (who creates an army of cybermen in his pursuit of immortality) menacing Tennant and company in the Doctor Who two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen" and "The Age of Steel", set on a parallel Earth. Lloyd Pack thoroughly enjoyed participating in the iconic series.
Lloyd Pack's theatrical work encompassed performances at the National, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court. He was much acclaimed for roles in plays by Harold Pinter and latterly portrayed the Duke of Buckingham in "Richard III" at the Globe. On screen, he was glimpsed as Inspector Mendel in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and as a friar, friend of Cardinal Della Rovere, in The Borgias. The actor was self-effacing in private life and was much esteemed by his peers. He was an avid supporter of Tottenham Hotspurs, cricket and left-wing causes.
About his career, Lloyd Pack commented in an interview for The Independent (19th February 2009): "I was not easy to cast, but also I have never been typecast. This was an advantage in the long run, because it opens a big range of parts for me, from Trigger to Freud. I have a rubbery face".
Shaun Cassidy is an American writer/producer and former singer and actor. He is the eldest son of Academy Award winning actress Shirley Jones and the late Tony award- winning actor Jack Cassidy.
Cassidy grew up in Los Angeles and New York City. While still in high school, he signed a recording contract with Warner Brothers, leading to his eponymous debut album which at the time became the biggest selling solo debut in history. The album netted him a Grammy nomination and a number one single. Three follow up singles were all top ten hits as well. Almost concurrently, Cassidy landed a starring roll on "The Hardy Boys Mysteries" which ran for three seasons on ABC television. A number of successful albums and concert tours followed including sold out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden and Los Angeles' Forum. His final concert was in front of 55,000 people at the Houston Astrodome in 1980, but by this time, he was already thinking about moving beyond performing.
Through most of the 1980's and early 90's, Cassidy worked as an actor in the theater. He appeared in a number of Broadway and West End productions including "Mass Appeal" with Milo O'Shea, "Bus Stop" with Jerry Hall (in London) and "Blood Brothers," which ran for over a year on Broadway. Throughout this period, Cassidy spent much of his time interfacing with playwrights, learning about their process and becoming more and more invested in the pursuit of writing.
While working on Broadway, Cassidy wrote his first one hour drama, "American Gothic", which he sold to CBS. When the show debuted it was met with great acclaim, The New York Times calling it "The most original new show of the season." After this, Cassidy was able to permanently transition behind the scenes where he has enjoyed his most successful career to date. Shaun Cassidy is responsible for creating and producing some of the most critically acclaimed television shows of the last two decades including "American Gothic" (produced by Sam Raimi), "Roar" (starring a then unknown Heath Ledger), "Cold Case," "The Agency," and "Invasion." He created a half-hour comedy for ABC Family, "Ruby & The Rockits" and worked as a consultant on the hit CBS drama "Blue Bloods." Shaun has had deals with all the major studios (he spent four years working out of Walt Disney's original office) and is under contract at NBC/Universal Studios. Cassidy's most recent drama, "Hysteria", is in pre-production for Amazon and will shoot in the summer of 2014.
Caroline was born and raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia. Classical piano and ballet were Caroline's earliest artistic pursuits. At 15, Caroline was invited to study dance at the prestigious Banff Centre and in the elite mentorship program at Ballet British Columbia. A natural triple-threat, Caroline was drawn to theatre in her senior year, followed by formal training at The BFA Acting Conservatory - University of Alberta; at The Royal National Theatre Studio, London; and with such esteemed theatre artists as Larry Moss, Kelly McEvenue, Selina Cadell, and Toby Jones.
Caroline made a swift transition into film and television, landing the feature films "Come L'America" opposite Sabrina Ferilli and "The War Bride", opposite Oscar award-winner, Brenda Fricker, "Christmas Rescue" opposite Aiden Quinn, and fan-favorite "Saw VI".
Caroline won a Gemini/Canadian Screen Award (Canada's Emmy) as Lead Actress in a dramatic series for her portrayal of attorney Catherine Scott in the series "Crash and Burn". Appearances at The Toronto International Theatre Festival include the feature films "Six Figures" (JR Bourne); "One Week" (Joshua Jackson); and "This Beautiful City", for which she also received the ACTRA Award (Canada's SAG) for Lead Actress.
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Michelle Clunie, who has won critical and popular audiences for her portrayal of the beautiful, intelligent, human Melanie Marcus of Showtime's groundbreaking series Queer as Folk, may have learned few specifics about playing a lesbian. But it was certainly there that she developed the talent, integrity and dedication to craft for which she is now known, regardless of the role she chooses. A gifted dancer, she accepted a scholarship to the Academy of Professional Ballet, and performed with the company until her focus turned to acting and she moved to Los Angeles. In addition to her featured and guest-starring roles on television drama/comedy series, she also worked in Los Angeles on stage, and in (year) produced and starred in the original play A Comedy of Eros for which she received the Drama-Logue Award for Best Actress. Clunie devotes time outside her professional pursuits to Destination Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants dream trips to people in the San Francisco Bay area who are living with life-threatening illness. She has also toured in The Vagina Monologues in performances which raised funds to fight violence againstwomen.
Virile, fair-haired, set-jawed actor Jamey Sheridan was born in 1951 and raised in Pasadena, California. He turned to acting after a knee injury ended his pursuit of a dancing career.
Beginning professionally on stage in 1978, he gained some momentum into the next decade and eventually reached Broadway where he earned a Tony Award nomination in 1987 for his potent performance in the revival of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons." He made his feature-film debut in Jumpin' Jack Flash starring Whoopi Goldberg and started making the TV guest star rounds on such series as "Spenser: For Hire" and "The Equalizer" at around the same time.
Sheridan received his first big on-camera break when he was cast in the title role of Shannon's Deal gaining quirky notice for two seasons. as a highly unconventional attorney. From this series he moved to the already established Chicago Hope set wherein he played a sympathetic role. Into the millennium, his best known role resides with the series Law & Order: Criminal Intent in the long-running (five seasons), less showy role of a police captain.
Other support roles in the movies include Stanley & Iris with Jane Fonda, A Stranger Among Us opposite with Melanie Griffith and The Ice Storm and Life as a House both starring Kevin Kline followed, while more recent work includes Nothing But the Truth with Kate Beckinsale and Matt Dillon, the title role in Handsome Harry and The East with Ellen Page.
While commanding some attention as a villain in the Stephen King miniseries The Stand, he also turned in an interesting performance as actor/director Ozzie Nelson in the TV movie Ricky Nelson: Original Teen Idol. He has been a steadfast presence these days in such series as Homeland, Arrow and "Smash" (2013)_.
Success and satisfaction always came from the stage. Having never left the theater lights for long, Sheridan playing Brutus in "Julius Caesar" at New York's Shakespeare-in-the-Park that also featured his wife, actress Colette Kilroy. Over the years he has continued to grace the Broadway boards with stimulating performances in such sterling revivals of "Biloxi Blues," "Ah, Wilderness!" "The Man Who Came to Dinner," "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "The Moon for the Misbegotten" and "The Shadow Box." He also appeared in "God of Hell" in 2004. A versatile actor to be sure, Sheridan is the father of three.
Born Alexandra Ainsworth in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to a dentist father and an art teacher mother, Lexi began her career dancing on stage at an early age with Ballet Oklahoma. This later lead to her acquiring the lead role of Scout in an Actors Equity production of To Kill a Mockingbird. But it was after attending a film camp in New York that she developed an interest in film and television acting. Furthering this pursuit she acquired an LA agent who sent her out on her first national commercial audition which she subsequently shot for Barbie and negotiated the lead role of Caroline in the AFI short film Caroline Crossing. Since then she's played major roles in several films. As Molly in Universal's Feature film Wild Child, she played Emma Roberts little sister and subsequently acquired the lead in an independent film in which Eric Roberts portrayed her father. The film she says she is most proud of is A Girl Like Her in which she portrays the main character who is a victim of bullying. She has also acted in multiple TV shows. She guest starred and then recurred on Gilmore Girls but most notable was her almost 3 year run on General Hospital which earned her an Emmy nomination at the age of 17. In between TV & film Lexi found time to further her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London where she received accreditation in their Shakespeare program.
Sean Marquette, born in Dallas, Texas, is successfully building a diverse and established career playing a variety of roles in television, film and animated series. Sean began his acting career starring as Jamie Martin on the Emmy award winning daytime soap, All My Children (ABC).
Sean starred in 13 Going On 30 (Sony Pictures) with Jennifer Garner; Surviving Christmas (DreamWorks) with Ben Affleck; Seabiscuit (Universal) with Toby Maguire; series regular on hit animated series Foster's home for Imaginary Friends (Cartoon Network) and Rocket Power (Nick). Sean has recently guest starred on Still Standing (CBS) and is the voice of Spiderman in 'Ultimate Spiderman' Electronic video game (Activision).
Sean has an impressive list of television credits to name a few, series regular on Hidden Hills (NBC) and guest starred on hit shows such as Without A Trace (CBS); Touched By An Angel (CBS); The Guardian (CBS); Judging Amy (CBS); Strong Medicine (Lifetime) and All My Children (ABC).
Sean's upcoming projects include Grilled (New Line Cinema) film directed by Jason Ensler. Sean stars as Burt Reynold's son who is getting Bar Mitzvah'd and at the request of his father, "becomes a man", with the help of a 19 year-old call girl in the back of a limo, on the way to the ceremony.
Sean is the youngest of the three Marquette brothers. Sean says his older brother Chris Marquette is his inspiration. Sometimes they audition for the same role. They help each other and enjoy the healthy competition. Acting soothes Sean's mind and body by allowing him to express himself. He feels what separates him from other actors is his ability not to limit himself when he acts.
Sean's favorite actor is Tom Hanks because he comes across as a regular normal guy. He admires Johnny Depp's sense of style, Denzel Washington's down to earth demeanor, Benicio Del Toro, strong, silent type persona. Sean's favorite movie is The Pianist. His favorite role in a movie is Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
In his spare time Sean enjoys reading, computers and movies. He successfully juggles school and his acting career. Sean participates in several charity events. His favorite pastimes are the pursuit of his Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and beating his brothers in a game of Diablo on the computer.
Sean's huge success on the animated series Fosters resulted in Sean presenting at the 2004 TEAM Awards Show and 32nd Annual Annie Awards. The Marquette brothers Sean, Christopher and Eric live in Los Angeles.
Kevin Fonteyne was born in San Antonio, Texas. But, shortly moved to Manchester New Hampshire there after. Son of Dave and June Fonteyne. He is the third oldest child out of six. After his parents divorced when he was in elementary school, all of the kids went to live with their mother in Portsmouth New Hampshire. Kevin became heavily involved in the acting programs around the area. After Graduating from Portsmouth High School, he moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of a job in the entertainment industry.
Chance played football for Ithaca College before earning degrees from New York University and Columbia University in English and Writing. But, after losing a bet and in spite of a profound fear of public speaking, he entered an acting class. He was so terrified that he gave his first monologue (Brick from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) to a brick wall. While pursuing his acting career, he also entered the amateur boxing circuit in NYC, winning the Superheavyweight division of the NYC Metros tournament. The following year, he entered the NYC Golden Gloves, winning his first fight by knockout, only to have to subsequently drop out of the competition for work on a film. He played the role of Lt. Col. Stephen "Godfather" Ferrando in HBO's Generation Kill. On Memorial Day 2009, he was appointed Honorary Marine by the Marine Corps League (Cpl. Philip A. Reynolds Detachment - 203, Freehold, New Jersey) for his work in Generation Kill. Chance remains forever indebted to the Marines for this honor, and regards them as the backbone of this country. He continues his writing pursuits and has three scripts in development now.
Dana Gourrier (pronounced Gu-Ree-A) is a native of New Orleans with ancestry dating back 7 generations. Since 8 years old she has been in front of audiences performing: be it singing, dancing, or acting. Her true love of theater began when she was 14 years old at the New Orleans Recreational Department Theater under the program's long-time, late director, Ty Tracy. After receiving her BFA in Performance Art from UL Lafayette, she went to New York in higher pursuits. She continued her studies participating in a five week program studying acting in affiliation with NYU. That summer, Dana saw Shakespeare in the Park's Twelfth Night, which inspired her. At the end of the program and with no place to live, Dana made the bold decision to stay in New York. Eventually she found a tiny studio in Spanish Harlem, waited tables, auditioned, gigged, did background vocals, and even taught theater at a community center in Brooklyn. Dana has performed and also produced original work at: The Red Room Theater, Birdland, Lennox Lounge, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Under St. Mark's, The Cherry Lane Theater, Summer Stages in Central Park, and La Mama Theater. At La Mama Theater, Dana was apart of a project called Soulagraphie: a series of plays about genocide written by renowned playwright Eric Ehn. She played the title character Maria Kizito: a play about a Rwandan Nun that was tried and convicted of aiding in the death of thousands.
In 2010, Dana completed her MFA in Acting from the reputable California Institute of the Arts, where she was in two world premieres and a long list of other full theatrical productions both Classic and Contemporary. Upon graduating, she came straight home and broke into Hollywood South, as Film and Television were also her great loves. Dana had one goal when deciding to move back home; it was to be on HBO's Treme; the David Simon executively produced show about her hometown. Not only was she on it, but she landed a recurring role.
Since then Dana has worked with some of Hollywood's biggest Academy Award Winners and Nominees. It all began when she landed the role of Cora in Winner Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. She felt so welcomed and connected to Quentin. She pitched ideas about her character to him, including a song for the funeral scene, which was shot, but would eventually land on the cutting room floor. Her next endeavor was working with Nominee Lee Daniels' on his film, The Butler. She portrayed the role of Helen Holloway, wife of James Holloway, played by Lenny Kravitz.
Additionally, Dana has worked directly with Academy Award Winners and Nominees: Angela Bassett, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Woody Harrelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Lang, Christoph Waltz, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey!
Dana considers herself Tri-Costal, but currently resides in New Orleans, which will always be home.
Adam, an English actor who was born in Hungerford, Berkshire.
Adam Brown's first film role came when he was cast as the dwarf Ori in the three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
He trained in Performing Arts at Middlesex University with John Wright.
He is co-founder of the comedy writing/performing team - 'Plested and Brown'. Shows include; Carol Smillie Trashed my Room, The Reconditioned Wife Show, Flamingo Flamingo Flamingo, Hot Pursuit, Minor Spectacular, Health & Stacey and The Perfect Wife Roadshow.
With 'Plested and Brown' he has toured the UK as well as performing at Festivals in Armenia, South Korea and New Zealand. With the rest of the 'Plested and Brown' team (Amanda Wilsher and Clare Plested) he has worked with David Sant (Peepolykus), Phelim McDermot (Improbable) and Cal McCrystal (Mighty Boosh).
Few actors are able to create a diverse and impressive body of work as quickly as Jarod Joseph has. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Jarod grew up being admired as an athlete, excelling in both hockey and basketball. Always the entertainer, Jarod never considered a career in the entertainment industry until a friend pointed out how suited to the business he would be.
In 2007, Jarod packed up a few belongings, hopped in his car and drove to Vancouver to try his luck as an actor. Within 4 years Jarod had established himself as an actor to watch, securing recurring roles on hit primetime shows for ABC, The CW and FOX.
Jarod was first cast in the blockbuster fantasy adventure film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief alongside an all-star cast including Sean Bean and Uma Thurman. This break was soon followed by guest star appearances on FOX's Human Target, Cartoon Network's Tower Prep, ABC's V, Showcase's Endgame and AMC's The Killing. Jarod's red-hot career continued to build momentum with recurring roles on FOX's sci-fi mystery Fringe and ABC's storybook fantasy Once Upon a Time. Jarod can currently be seen in the much anticipated second season of The CW's hit drama series The LA Complex.
Jarod's star is on the rise and there are no signs of it slowing down. The talented actor has recently been cast alongside Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness) in DirectTV's first original series Rogue, now in production.
Actor, father, motorbike fanatic: Charley Boorman is the epitome of the modern adventurer in pursuit of fresh challenges away from the success of his personal life. Choosing two wheels as his preferred mode of transport, Charley harnessed the challenges of a 'round the World trip with Ewan McGregor. Now his sights are set on the unyielding sands of the desert.
Charley Boorman has been riding motorcycles since he was seven years old. The son of renowned film director John Boorman, he grew up on a farm in Ireland and used to ride through the fields on his first motorbike and took part in schoolboy motor cross and Enduro races. The bike bug remained with Charley and, for four years, he ran a motorcycle race team and spent the years riding with David Jeffries and Matt Llewelyn.
In 2004, Charley and his best mate Ewan McGregor came up with the madcap idea of circumnavigating the globe on motorbikes. After months of intense preparations when at times, it looked like the project would not get off the ground, the pair set off from London in April 2004.
Over the next three grueling months, they traveled through three continents and fifteen countries. Long Way Round was the realisation of a dream born out of two friends' love of motorbikes, the freedom of the open road, and the adrenaline rush of an extreme challenge. Their entire journey was filmed for Long Way Round, a unique television series that was broadcast on Sky One in the UK and Bravo (USA) and spawned a best-selling DVD, book and CD soundtrack. It has now sold the world over into many territories including Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Spain, and Italy.
Following the overwhelming success of Long Way Round, Charley has become an icon in the motorcycling world. On the Long Way Round, UK Tour Charley visited motorcycle and adventure exhibitions plus BMW dealerships across the UK to talk about his adventures. Each event was a sell-out as crowds flocked to catch a glimpse of Charley and have their book or DVD signed. A similar tour of the southern hemisphere is to take place this winter.
Next up, Charley is taking on the desert with one of the World's harshest challenges: the Lisbon-Dakar Rally. This is not just a race out of Europe via the Iberian Peninsula and down through West Africa. This is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding battles across inhospitable terrain, alone, to achieve the impossible. But for Charley, it is, as for many others, one of the most romantic and dangerous races known to man.
It remains the only race open to both amateur and professional bikers and for a first time participant like Charley, finishing the race in Dakar will be the ultimate goal.
The lovely Susannah York, a gamin, blue-eyed, cropped blonde British actress, displayed a certain crossover star quality when she dared upon the Hollywood scene in the early 1960s. A purposefully intriguing, enigmatic and noticeably uninhibited talent, she was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher on January 9, 1939 in Chelsea, London, but raised in a remote village in Scotland. Her parents divorced when she was around 6. Attending Marr College, she trained for acting at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, winning the Ronson Award for most promising student. She then performed classical repertory and pantomime in her early professional career.
Making an impression on television in 1959 opposite Sean Connery in a production of "The Crucible" as Abigail Williams to his John Proctor, the moon-faced beauty progressed immediately to ingénue film roles, making her debut as the daughter of Alec Guinness in the classic war drama Tunes of Glory. She emerged quickly as a worthy co-star with the sensitively handled coming-of age drama Loss of Innocence, the more complex psychodrama Freud, as a patient to Montgomery Clift's famed psychoanalyst, and the bawdy and robust 18th century tale Tom Jones, with Susannah portraying the brazenly seductive Sophie, one of many damsels lusting after the bed-hopping title rogue Albert Finney.
Susannah continued famously both here and in England in both contemporary and period drama opposite the likes of Warren Beatty, William Holden, Paul Scofield and Dirk Bogarde. Susannah was a new breed. Free-spirited and unreserved, she had no trouble at all courting controversy in some of the film roles she went on to play. She gained special notoriety as the child-like Alice in her stark, nude clinches with severe-looking executive Coral Browne in the lesbian drama The Killing of Sister George. A few years later, she and Elizabeth Taylor traveled similar territory with X, Y and Zee.
Acting award ceremonies also began favoring her presence, winning the BAFTA film award as well as Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for her delusional Jean Harlow-like dance marathon participant in the grueling Depression-era film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. Her crazy scene in the shower with Oscar-winner Gig Young was particularly gripping and just one of many highlights in the acclaimed film. She also copped a Cannes Film Festival award for her performance in Images playing another troubled character barely coping with reality. On television, she was Emmy-nominated for her beautifully nuanced Jane Eyre opposite George C. Scott's Rochester.
Susannah's film career started to lose ground into the 1970s as she continued her pursuit of challengingly offbeat roles as opposed to popular mainstream work. The film adaptations of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s Happy Birthday, Wanda June opposite Rod Steiger and Jean Genet's The Maids with Glenda Jackson were not well-received. Her performances in such films as Gold, Conduct Unbecoming which starred another famous York (Michael York), That Lucky Touch, Sky Riders and The Shout were overlooked, as were the films themselves. In the one highly popular movie series she appeared in, the box-office smashes Superman and its sequel Superman II, she had literally nothing to do as Lara, the wife of Marlon Brando's Jor-El and birth mother of the superhero. While the actress continued to pour out a number of quality work assignments in films and television, she failed to recapture the glow of earlier star.
Wisely, Susannah began extending her talents outside the realm of film acting. Marrying writer Michael Wells in 1960, she focused on her personal life, raising their two children for a time. The couple divorced in 1980. In the 1970s, she wrote the children's books "In Search of Unicorns" and "Lark's Castle". She also found time to direct on stage and wrote the screenplay to one of her film vehicles Falling in Love Again. On stage Susannah performed in such one-woman shows as "Independent State", 'Picasso's Women", "The Human Voice" and "The Loves of Shakespeare's Women", while entertaining such wide and varied theatre challenges as "Peter Pan" (title role), "Hamlet" (as Gertrude), "Camino Real", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Private Lives", "Agnes of God" and the title role in "Amy's View".
At age 67, Susannah showed up once again on film with a delightful cameo role in The Gigolos, and seemed ripe for a major comeback, perhaps in a similar vein to the legendary Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. Sadly, it was not to be. Diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, the actress died in January 15, 2011, six days after her 72nd birthday. Her final films, Franklyn and The Calling, proved that she still possessed the magnetism of her earlier years.