1-50 of 893 names.

Rachel McAdams

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 was performing in Shakespearean productions in summer theater camp; she went on to graduate with honors with a BFA degree in Theater from York University. After her debut in an episode of Disney's The Famous Jett Jackson, she co-starred in the Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows, a comedy-drama about the trials and travails of a Shakespearean theater group, and won a Gemini award for her performance in 2003.

Her breakout role as Regina George in the hit comedy Mean Girls instantly catapulted her onto the short list of Hollywood's hottest young actresses. She followed that film with a star turn opposite Ryan Gosling in the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks bestseller The Notebook, which was a surprise box office success and became the predominant romantic drama for a new, young generation of moviegoers. After filming, McAdams and Gosling became romantically involved and dated through mid-2007. McAdams next showcased her versatility onscreen with the manic comedy Wedding Crashers, the thriller Red Eye, and the holiday drama The Family Stone.

McAdams then explored the independent film world with Married Life, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and also starred Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper and Patricia Clarkson. Starring roles in the military drama The Lucky Ones, the newspaper thriller State of Play, and the romance The Time Traveler's Wife followed before she starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's international blockbuster Sherlock Holmes. McAdams played the plucky producer of a failing morning TV show in Morning Glory, the materialistic fiancée of Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, and returned to romantic drama territory with the hit film The Vow opposite Channing Tatum. The actress also stars with Ben Affleck in Terrence Malick's To the Wonder and alongside Noomi Rapace in Brian De Palma's thriller Passion.

In 2005, McAdams received ShoWest's "Supporting Actress of the Year" Award as well as the "Breakthrough Actress of the Year" at the Hollywood Film Awards. In 2009, she was awarded with ShoWest's "Female Star of the Year." As of 2011, she has been romantically linked with her Midnight in Paris co-star Michael Sheen.

Brad Pitt

An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club. But his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography.

Pitt was born William Bradley Pitt on December 18th, 1963, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and was raised in Springfield, Missouri. He is the son of Jane Etta (Hillhouse), a school counselor, and William Alvin Pitt, a truck company manager. He has a younger brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt, and a younger sister, Julie Neal Pitt. At Kickapoo High School, Pitt was involved in sports, debating, student government and school musicals. Pitt attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism with a focus on advertising. He occasionally acted in fraternity shows. He left college two credits short of graduating to move to California. Before he became successful at acting, Pitt supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for "el Pollo Loco".

Pitt's earliest credited roles were in television, starting on the daytime soap opera Another World before appearing in the recurring role of Randy on the legendary prime time soap opera Dallas. Following a string of guest appearances on various television series through the 1980s, Pitt gained widespread attention with a small part in Thelma & Louise, in which he played a sexy criminal who romanced and conned Geena Davis. This lead to starring roles in badly received films such as Johnny Suede and Cool World.

But Pitt's career hit an upswing with his casting in A River Runs Through It, which cemented his status as an multi-layered actor as opposed to just a pretty face. Pitt's subsequent projects were as quirky and varied in tone as his performances, ranging from his unforgettably comic cameo as stoner roommate Floyd in True Romance to romantic roles in such visually lavish films as Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles and Legends of the Fall, to an emotionally tortured detective in the horror-thriller Se7en. His portrayal of frenetic oddball Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys won him a Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Pitt's portrayal of Achilles in the big-budget period drama Troy helped establish his appeal as action star and was closely followed by a co-starring role in the stylish spy-versus-spy flick Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It was on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith that Pitt, who married Jennifer Aniston in a highly publicized ceremony in 2000, met his current partner Angelina Jolie. Pitt left Aniston for Jolie in 2005, a break-up that continues to fuel tabloid stories years after its occurrence.

He continues to wildly vary his film choices, appearing in everything from high-concept popcorn flicks such as Megamind to adventurous critic-bait like Inglourious Basterds and The Tree of Life. He has received two Best Actor Oscar nominations, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Moneyball. In 2014, he starred in the war film Fury, opposite Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Michael Peña.

Pitt and Jolie have six children, including two sons and a daughter who were adopted.

Zac Efron

Zachary David Alexander Efron was born October 18, 1987 in San Luis Obispo, California. He is the son of Starla Baskett, a former secretary, and David Efron, an electrical engineer. He has a younger brother, Dylan. His surname, "Efron", is a Biblical place name, and comes from Zac's Polish Jewish paternal grandfather. The rest of Zac's recent ancestry is English, German, and Scottish. Zac was raised in Arroyo Grande, CA. He took his first step toward acting at the age of eleven, after his parents noticed his singing ability. Singing and acting lessons soon led to an appearance in a production of "Gypsy" that ran 90 performances, and he was hooked.

After appearing on-stage in "Peter Pan", "Auntie Mame", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Music Man", guest parts quickly followed on television series, including Firefly, ER, CSI: Miami, NCIS, and The Guardian. After guest-starring in several episodes of Summerland, Zac joined the regular cast as girl-crazy Cameron Bale. He also starred in several pilots, such as The Big Wide World of Carl Laemke and Triple Play, and played an autistic child in the television movie Miracle Run, alongside Mary-Louise Parker and Aidan Quinn. He graduated from Arroyo Grande High School in June 2006.

Efron came to fame for starring in the Disney Channel original film High School Musical, for which he won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout Star. He returned to the role of Troy Bolton in High School Musical 2, which broke cable TV records with 17.5 million viewers.

He played title roles of the fantasy romance Charlie St. Cloud and the comedy 17 Again, both from director Burr Steers, and as the lovable Link Larkin in 2007's smash hit musical Hairspray, directed by Adam Shankman. As part of the all-star cast he shared a Critics Choice Award for Best Acting Ensemble, the 2007 Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, and was honored with a Screen Actors Guild Award® nomination for Outstanding Motion Picture Cast. In addition, he won an MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Performance.

Efron also starred in Richard Linklater's Me and Orson Welles, an adaptation of the novel by Robert Kaplow, which premiered to rave reviews at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. That same year, he starred in Kenny Ortega's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which set a box office record for the highest grossing opening weekend for a musical.

In 2012, Efron took the lead in The Lucky One, a film adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel, playing a marine who returns to North Carolina after serving in Iraq in search for the unknown woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war. He also lent his voice to the animated feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, and co-starred in Lee Daniels' thriller The Paperboy, alongside Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey and Scott Glenn, as well as Josh Radnor's Liberal Arts, which premiered to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. Another indie film he co-starred in, At Any Price, was released in 2013.

Most recently, Zac starred with Seth Rogen in the hit comedy film Neighbors. His upcoming roles include the drama We Are Your Friends, and the comedies Dirty Grandpa, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Neighbors 2 (2016).

Efron's favorite sports include golf, skiing, rock climbing, and snowboarding. He added surfing after spending days on the beach for "Summerland." He played the piano at home. He has also fixed up two cars in his spare time, a Delorean and '65 Mustang convertible, both treasured hand-me-downs from his even-more-treasured grandfather.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale was born on 26 July 1973 in England, and has resided in London for most of her life. Her mother is Judy Loe, who has appeared in a number of British dramas and sitcoms and continues to work as an actress, predominantly in British television productions. Her father was Richard Beckinsale, born in Nottingham, England. He starred in a number of popular British television comedies during the 1970s, most notably the series Rising Damp, Porridge and The Lovers. He passed away tragically early in 1979 at the age of 31.

Kate attended the private school Godolphin and Latymer School in London for her grade and primary school education. In her teens she twice won the British bookseller W.H. Smith Young Writers' competition - once for three short stories and once for three poems. After a tumultuous adolescence (a bout of anorexia - cured - and a smoking habit which continues to this day), she gradually took up the profession of acting.

Her major acting debut came in a TV film about World War II called One Against the Wind, filmed in Luxembourg during the summer of 1991. It first aired on American television that December. Kate began attending Oxford University's New College in the fall of 1991, majoring in French and Russian literature. She had already decided that she wanted to act, but to broaden her horizons she chose university over drama school. While in her first year at Oxford, Kate received her big break in Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Kate worked in three other films while attending Oxford, beginning with a part in the medieval historical drama Royal Deceit, cast as Ethel. The film was shot during the spring of 1993 on location in Denmark, and she filmed her supporting part during New College's Easter break. Later in the summer of that year she played the lead in the contemporary mystery drama Uncovered. Before she went back to school, her third year at university was spent at Oxford's study-abroad program in Paris, France, immersing herself in the French language, Parisian culture and French cigarettes.

A year away from the academic community and living on her own in the French capital caused her to re-evaluate the direction of her life. She faced a choice: continue with school or concentrate on her flourishing acting career. After much thought, she chose the acting career. In the spring of 1994 Kate left Oxford, after finishing three years of study. Kate appeared in the BBC/Thames Television satire Cold Comfort Farm, filmed in London and East Sussex during late summer 1994 and which opened to spectacular reviews in the United States, grossing over $5 million during its American run. It was re-released to U.K. theaters in the spring of 1997.

Acting on the stage consumed the first part of 1995; she toured in England with the Thelma Holts Theatre Company production of Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull". After turning down several mediocre scripts "and going nearly berserk with boredom", she waited seven months before another interesting role was offered to her. Her big movie of 1995 was the romance/horror movie Haunted, starring opposite Aidan Quinn and John Gielgud, and filmed in West Sussex. In this film she wanted to play "an object of desire", unlike her past performances where her characters were much less the siren and more the worldly innocent. Kate's first film project of 1996 was the British ITV production of Jane Austen's novel Emma. Her last film of 1996 was the comedy Shooting Fish, filmed at Shepperton Studios in London during early fall. She played the part of Georgie, an altruistic con artist. She had a daughter, Lily, in 1999 with actor Michael Sheen.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan endeared himself to audiences with his recurring role on ABC's smash hit series, Grey's Anatomy. His dramatic arc as heart patient "Denny Duquette", who wins the heart of intern "Izzie Stevens" (Katherine Heigl) in a star-crossed romance, made him a universal fan favorite. He also had recurring roles on The CW and Warner Bros. Television's drama series, Supernatural, and on Showtime and Lions Gate Television's award-winning comedy series, Weeds.

Morgan starred in Warner Bros.' Watchmen, director Zack Snyder's (300) adaptation of the iconic graphic novel. He played the pivotal role of "The Comedian", a Vietnam vet who is a member of a group of heroes called "the Minutemen". He next appeared in producer Joel Silver's The Losers, for Warner Bros. It is an adaptation of DC-Vertigo's acclaimed comic book series about a band of black ops commandos who are set up to be killed by their own government. The team barely survives and sets out to get even. James Vanderbilt adapted the screenplay, and Sylvain White directed. He appeared in Focus Features' Taking Woodstock, directed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee. He also starred opposite Uma Thurman in Yari Film Group's romantic comedy, The Accidental Husband. Additional feature credits include a cameo role opposite Rachel Weisz in Warner Bros.' comedy, Fred Claus, and the independent office comedy, Kabluey, in which he played a charismatic yet smarmy co-worker to Lisa Kudrow's character.

In 2011, the in-demand actor starred in the independent murder mystery, Texas Killing Fields. In the film, based on a true story, Morgan plays a detective transplanted from New York who teams with a local investigator (Sam Worthington) to work on a series of unsolved murders in industrial wastelands surrounding Gulf Coast refineries, where as many as 70 bodies turned up over the past two decades. Together, they wage a war against the unknown assailants. Michael Mann produced the film, while his daughter, Ami Canaan Mann, directed. The actor traveled to Thailand, where he filmed the Weinstein Company's period drama, Shanghai, under the direction of Mikael Håfström (1408). John Cusack stars as an American who returns to a corrupt, Japanese-occupied Shanghai four months prior to Pearl Harbor and learns that his friend "Connor" (Morgan) has been killed. While trying to solve the murder, he discovers a much larger secret that his own government is hiding. In addition, Morgan has a role in Michael London's Groundswell Productions' All Good Things, starring Kirsten Dunst and Ryan Gosling, also for The Weinstein Co.

He also stars opposite two-time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank in the suspense thriller, The Resident, for Hammer Films. It is the story of a young doctor (Swank) who moves into a Brooklyn loft and becomes suspicious that she is not alone. Morgan plays "Max", her charming new landlord who she discovers has developed a dangerous obsession with her. Morgan previously co-starred with Swank in Warner Bros.' P.S. I Love You.

Morgan also appeared in the MGM/UA reboot of the 1984 action movie, Red Dawn. The plot focuses on a group of teenagers who form an insurgency, called "the Wolverines", when their town is invaded by Cuban and Russian soldiers. Morgan plays the role of "Lieutenant Andrew Tanner", leader of the U.S. Special Forces who finds the Wolverines.

Morgan was born in Seattle, Washington, to Sandy Thomas and Richard Dean Morgan. In his spare time, Morgan enjoys barbecuing on the grill, reading, watching movies and listening to his favorite band, The Eagles. He also loves to root for his home team, the Seattle Seahawks. He resides in Los Angeles with his dogs, Bisou and Bandit Mogan, a puppy he rescued in Puerto Rico while filming The Losers.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Wanted, Salt and Maleficent. Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international charity projects, especially those involving refugees. She often appears on many "most beautiful women" lists, and she has a personal life that is avidly covered by the tabloid press.

Jolie was born Angelina Jolie Voight in Los Angeles, California. In her earliest years, Angelina began absorbing the acting craft from her actor parents, Jon Voight, an Oscar-winner, and Marcheline Bertrand, who had studied with Lee Strasberg. Her good looks may derive from her ancestry, which is German and Slovak on her father's side, and French-Canadian, Dutch, German, Czech, and remote Huron, on her mother's side. At age eleven, Angelina began studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, where she was seen in several stage productions. She undertook some film studies at New York University and later joined the renowned Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles. At age 16, she took up a career in modeling and appeared in some music videos.

In the mid-1990s, Jolie appeared in various small films where she got good notices, including Hackers and Foxfire. Her critical acclaim increased when she played strong roles in the made-for-TV movies True Women, and in George Wallace which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination. Jolie's acclaim increased even further when she played the lead role in the HBO production Gia. This was the true life story of supermodel Gia Carangi, a sensitive wild child who was both brazen and needy and who had a difficult time handling professional success and the deaths of people who were close to her. Carangi became involved with drugs and because of her needle-using habits she became, at the tender age of 26, one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. Jolie's performance in Gia again garnered a Golden Globe Award and another Emmy nomination, and she additionally earned a SAG Award.

Angelina got a major break in 1999 when she won a leading role in the successful feature The Bone Collector, starring alongside Denzel Washington. In that same year, Jolie gave a tour de force performance in Girl, Interrupted playing opposite Winona Ryder. The movie was a true story of women who spent time in a psychiatric hospital. Jolie's role was reminiscent of Jack Nicholson's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the role which won Nicholson his first Oscar. Unlike "Cuckoo", "Girl" was a small film that received mixed reviews and barely made money at the box office. But when it came time to give out awards, Jolie won the triple crown -- "Girl" propelled her to win the Golden Globe Award, the SAG Award and the Academy Award for best leading actress in a supporting role.

With her new-found prominence, Jolie began to get in-depth attention from the press. Numerous aspects of her controversial personal life became news. At her wedding to her Hackers co-star Jonny Lee Miller, she had displayed her husband's name on the back of her shirt painted in her own blood. Jolie and Miller divorced, and in 2000, she married her Pushing Tin co-star Billy Bob Thornton. Jolie had become the fifth wife of a man twenty years her senior. During her marriage to Thornton, the spouses each wore a vial of the other's blood around their necks. That marriage came apart in 2002 and ended in divorce. In addition, Jolie was estranged from her famous father, Jon Voight.

In 2000, Jolie was asked to star in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. At first, she expressed disinterest, but then decided that the required training for the athletic role was intriguing. The Croft character was drawn from a popular video game. Lara Croft was a female cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond. When the film was released, critics were unimpressed with the final product, but critical acclaim wasn't the point of the movie. The public paid $275 million for theater tickets to see a buffed up Jolie portray the adventuresome Lara Croft. Jolie's father Jon Voight appeared in "Croft", and during filming there was a brief rapprochement between father and daughter.

One of the Croft movie's filming locations was Cambodia. While there, Jolie witnessed the natural beauty, culture and poverty of that country. She considered this an eye opening experience, and so began the humanitarian chapter of her life. Jolie began visiting refugee camps around the world and came to be formally appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Some of her experiences were written and published in her popular book "Notes from My Travels" whose profits go to UNHCR.

Jolie has stated that she now plans to spend most of her time in humanitarian efforts, to be financed by her actress salary. She devotes one third of her income to savings, one third to living expenses and one third to charity. In 2002, Angelina adopted a Cambodian refugee boy named Maddox, and in 2005, adopted an Ethiopian refugee girl named Zahara. Jolie's dramatic feature film Beyond Borders parallels some of her real life humanitarian experiences although, despite the inclusion of a romance between two westerners, many of the movie's images were too depressingly realistic -- the film was not popular among critics or at the box office.

In 2004, Jolie began filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith with co-star Brad Pitt. The film became a major box office success. There were rumors that Pitt and Jolie had an affair while filming "Smith". Jolie insisted that because her mother had been hurt by adultery, she herself could never participate in an affair with a married man, therefore there had been no affair with Pitt at that time. Nonetheless, Pitt separated from his wife Jennifer Aniston in January 2005 and, in the months that followed, he was frequently seen in public with Jolie, apparently as a couple. Pitt's divorce was finalized later in 2005.

Jolie and Pitt announced in early 2006 that they would have a child together, and Jolie gave birth to daughter Shiloh that May. They also adopted a three-year-old Vietnamese boy named Pax. The couple, who married in 2014, continue to pursue movie and humanitarian projects, and now have a total of six children.

Kristen Stewart

Though most famous for her role as Isabella "Bella" Swan in The Twilight Saga, Kristen Stewart has been a working actor since her early years in Los Angeles, California. Her parents, John Stewart and Jules Stewart, both work in film and television. Her mother is Australian. The family includes three boys, her older brother Cameron Stewart and two adopted brothers Dana and Taylor.

After a talent scout caught her grade school performance in a Christmas play at the age of eight, she appeared on television in a few small roles. Her first significant role came when she was cast as Sam Jennings in The Safety of Objects. Soon after that, she starred alongside Jodie Foster in the hit drama, Panic Room and was nominated for a Young Artist Award.

Praised for her Panic Room performance, she went on to join the cast of Cold Creek Manor as the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone. Though the film did not do well at the box office, she received another nomination for a Young Artist Award. After appearing in a handful of movies and a Showtime movie called Speak, Stewart was cast in the role of a teenage singer living in a commune in Sean Penn's Into the Wild, a critically acclaimed biopic. A third Young Artist Award nomination resulted in a win for this role. She also appeared in Mary Stuart Masterson's The Cake Eaters that same year.

Just 17, Stewart took on the starring role in Twilight which was based on a series of the same name written by Stephenie Meyer, the novel already had a huge following and the film opened to fans anxious to see the vampire romance brought to life. Awarded the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance, Stewart's turn as Bella continued in the sequels The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The final installments of the series start filming in late 2010.

Despite her stratospheric launch into stardom with the Twilight films, she stayed true to her roots by working on a number of indie projects, including Adventureland (filmed prior to the Twilight series) and Welcome to the Rileys. And she took on the daunting task of playing hard rocker Joan Jett in Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways alongside Dakota Fanning. Stewart received praise for her acting and musical performances and later won the 2010 BAFTA Rising Star Award and best actress at the Milan International Film Festival for Welcome to the Rileys.

Stewart starred in several other movies filmed between the Twilight Saga installments including the #1 summer box office hit, Snow White and the Huntsman, and the Cannes selection On the Road

A few of Stewart's following projects are: Sundance drama Camp X-Ray, Cannes selection Clouds of Sils Maria for which she won a César award, and the Lionsgate distributed action comedy, American Ultra, starring the Adventureland duo.

Stewart continues to live in Los Angeles, California.

James Spader

James Todd Spader was born on February 7, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of teachers Jean (Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover with director Peter Sellars; he dropped out in eleventh grade. He bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga before landing his first roles. Spader's first major film role was as Brooke Shields' brother in the romance drama Endless Love. Spader graduated from television movies to Brat Pack films, playing the scoundrel. In Sex, Lies, and Videotape, he played a sexual voyeur who complicates the lives of three Baton Rouge residents. This performance earned him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and led to bigger and more varied roles. His best known role is the colorful attorney Alan Shore on the David E. Kelley television series The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal.

He won 3 prime time Emmy Awards in the Best Actor, Drama category for playing the same character Alan Shore in two different television series 'The Practice' and 'Boston Legal' out of the 4 nominations he received for the same between the years 2004-2008. He also received a Golden Globe and several Screen Actor Guild Award Best Actor nominations for reprising this role.

Al Pacino

One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family. His parents, Rose (Gerardi) and Sal Pacino, divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies, one of his favorite activities. Bored and unmotivated in school, the young Al Pacino found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting on the stage, he went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many '70s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, he finally hit it big with "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?". His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a junkie in The Panic in Needle Park after his film debut in Me, Natalie. What came next would change his life forever. The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of others either wanted it or were mentioned for it, but director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino for the role, although pretty much everyone else--from the studio to the producers to some of the cast members--didn't want him. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in constant fear of being fired during the hellish shoot. Much to his (and Coppola's) relief, the film was a monster hit that did wonders for everyone's career, including Pacino's, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, however, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon. He opened eyes around the film world for his brave choice of roles, and he was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield, but regained his stride with ...and justice for all., for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This would, unfortunately, signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced such critical and commercial flops as Cruising and Author! Author!. He took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult hit Scarface, but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino became terribly ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script also further derailed a project that seemed doomed from the start anyway. The Revolutionary War film is considered one of the worst films ever, not to mention one of the worst of his career, resulted in his first truly awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino has done much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic, but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love as a hard-drinking cop. It marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, he made The Godfather: Part III and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful Dick Tracy. This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross. He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny. In 1992 he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman. A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro, although they only had a few scenes together. He returned to the director's chair for the highly acclaimed and quirky Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard. City Hall, Donnie Brasco and The Devil's Advocate all came out in this period. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave two commanding performances in The Insider and Any Given Sunday.

In the 2000s, Pacino starred in a number of theatrical blockbusters, including _Ocean's Thirteen (2007)_, but his choice in television roles (the vicious Roy Cohn in HBO's miniseries Angels in America and his sensitive portrayal of Jack Kevorkian, in the television movie You Don't Know Jack) are reminiscent of the bolder choices of his early career. Each television project garnered him an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.

In his personal life, Pacino is one of Hollywood's most enduring and notorious bachelors, having never been married. He has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a new set of twins with longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes a long-time romance with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. With his intense and gritty performances, Pacino was an original in the acting profession. His Method approach would become the process of many actors throughout time, and his unbeatable number of classic roles has already made him a legend among film buffs and all aspiring actors and directors. His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends.

Pacino has never abandoned his love for the theater, and Shakespeare in particular, having directed the Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard and played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

Nicole Kidman

Elegant redhead Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas.

Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Nicole's father pursued his research on breast cancer, and then, three years later, made the pilgrimage back to her parents' native Sydney in Australia. Young Nicole's first love was ballet, but she eventually took up mime and drama as well (her first stage role was a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant). In her adolescent years, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge -- as her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Kidman retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked regularly at the Philip Street Theater, where she once received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Kidman eventually dropped out of high school to pursue acting full-time. She broke into movies at age 16, landing a role in the Australian holiday favorite Bush Christmas. That appearance touched off a flurry of film and television offers, including a lead in BMX Bandits and a turn as a schoolgirl-turned-protester in the miniseries Vietnam (for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award). With the help of an American agent, she eventually made her US debut opposite Sam Neill in the at-sea thriller Dead Calm.

Kidman's next casting coup scored her more than exposure. While starring as Tom Cruise's doctor/love interest in the racetrack romance Days of Thunder, she won over the Hollywood hunk hook, line and sinker. After a whirlwind courtship (and decent box office returns), the couple wed on December 24, 1990. Determined not to let her new marital status overshadow her fledgling career, the actress pressed on. She appeared as a catty high school senior in the Australian film Flirting, then as Dustin Hoffman's moll in the gangster flick Billy Bathgate. She reunited with Cruise for Far and Away, the story of young Irish lovers who flee to America in the late 1800s, and starred opposite Michael Keaton in the tear-tugger My Life. Despite her steady employment, critics and moviegoers still had not quite warmed to Kidman as a leading lady. She tried to spice up her image by seducing Val Kilmer in Batman Forever, but achieved her real breakthrough with Gus Van Sant's To Die For. As a fame-crazed housewife determined to eliminate any obstacle in her path, Kidman proved that she had an impressive range and deadly comic timing. She took home a Golden Globe and several critics' awards for the performance. In 1996, Kidman stepped into a corset to work with her countrywoman and onetime admirer, Jane Campion, on the adaptation of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady. A few months later, she tore across the screen as a nuclear weapons expert in The Peacemaker, adding "action star" to her professional repertoire.

She and Cruise then disappeared into a notoriously long, secretive shoot for Stanley Kubrick's sexual thriller Eyes Wide Shut. The couple's on-screen shenanigans prompted an increase in public speculation about their sex life (rumors had long been circulating that their marriage was a cover-up for Cruise's homosexuality); tired of denying tabloid attacks, they successfully sued The Star for a story alleging that they needed a sex therapist to coach them through love scenes. Family life has always been a priority for Kidman. Born to social activists (mother was a feminist; father, a labor advocate), Nicole and her little sister, Antonia Kidman, discussed current events around the dinner table and participated in their parents' campaigns by passing out pamphlets on street corners. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 17-year-old Nicole stopped working and took a massage course so that she could provide physical therapy (her mother eventually beat the cancer). She and Cruise adopted two children: Isabella Jane (born 1993) and Connor Antony (born 1995). Despite their rock-solid image, the couple announced in early 2001 that they were separating due to career conflicts. Her marriage to Cruise ended mid-summer of 2001.

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon was born in New York City, New York, to Lenora Marie (Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin, a television producer and advertising executive. She is of Italian (mother) and English, Irish, Welsh, and German (father) descent. Soon after the 1968 Democratic convention, there was a casting call for a film with several roles for the kind of young people who had disrupted the convention. Two recent graduates of Catholic University in Washington DC, went to the audition in New York for Joe. Chris Sarandon, who had studied to be an actor, was passed over. His wife Susan got a major role.

That role was as Susan Compton, the daughter of ad executive Bill Compton (Dennis Patrick). In the movie Dad Bill kills Susan's drug dealer boyfriend and next befriends Joe (Peter Boyle)-- a bigot who works on an assembly line and who collects guns.

Five years later, Sarandon made the film where fans of cult classics have come to know her as "Janet", who gets entangled with transvestite "Dr. Frank 'n' Furter" in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. More than 15 years after beginning her career Sarandon at last actively campaigned for a great role, Annie in Bull Durham, flying at her own expense from Rome to Los Angeles. "It was such a wonderful script ... and did away with a lot of myths and challenged the American definition of success", she said. "When I got there, I spent some time with Kevin Costner, kissed some ass at the studio and got back on a plane". Her romance with the Bull Durham supporting actor, Tim Robbins, had produced two sons by 1992 and put Sarandon in the position of leaving her domestic paradise only to accept roles that really challenged her. The result was four Academy Award nominations in the 1990s and best actress for Dead Man Walking. Her first Academy Award nomination was for Louis Malle's Atlantic City.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949, a decision for which he was severely criticized when his star began to dim in the 1960s and he was excoriated for squandering his talents. No actor ever exerted such a profound influence on succeeding generations of actors as did Brando. More than 50 years after he first scorched the screen as Stanley Kowalski in the movie version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and a quarter-century after his last great performance as Col. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, all American actors are still being measured by the yardstick that was Brando. It was if the shadow of John Barrymore, the great American actor closest to Brando in terms of talent and stardom, dominated the acting field up until the 1970s. He did not, nor did any other actor so dominate the public's consciousness of what WAS an actor before or since Brando's 1951 on-screen portrayal of Stanley made him a cultural icon. Brando eclipsed the reputation of other great actors circa 1950, such as Paul Muni and Fredric March. Only the luster of Spencer Tracy's reputation hasn't dimmed when seen in the starlight thrown off by Brando. However, neither Tracy nor Olivier created an entire school of acting just by the force of his personality. Brando did.

Marlon Brando, Jr. was born on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a calcium carbonate salesman, and his artistically inclined wife, the former Dorothy Julia Pennebaker. "Bud" Brando was one of three children. His ancestry included English, and smaller amounts of Irish, German, Dutch, French Huguenot, Welsh, and Scottish; his surname originated with a distant German immigrant ancestor named "Brandau". His oldest sister Jocelyn Brando was also an actress, taking after their mother, who engaged in amateur theatricals and mentored a then-unknown Henry Fonda, another Nebraska native, in her role as director of the Omaha Community Playhouse. Frannie, Brando's other sibling, was a visual artist. Both Brando sisters contrived to leave the Midwest for New York City, Jocelyn to study acting and Frannie to study art. Marlon managed to escape the vocational doldrums forecast for him by his cold, distant father and his disapproving schoolteachers by striking out for The Big Apple in 1943, following Jocelyn into the acting profession. Acting was the only thing he was good at, for which he received praise, so he was determined to make it his career - a high-school dropout, he had nothing else to fall back on, having been rejected by the military due to a knee injury he incurred playing football at Shattuck Military Academy, Brando Sr.'s alma mater. The school booted Marlon out as incorrigible before graduation.

Acting was a skill he honed as a child, the lonely son of alcoholic parents. With his father away on the road, and his mother frequently intoxicated to the point of stupefaction, the young Bud would play-act for her to draw her out of her stupor and to attract her attention and love. His mother was exceedingly neglectful, but he loved her, particularly for instilling in him a love of nature, a feeling which informed his character Paul in Last Tango in Paris ("Last Tango in Paris") when he is recalling his childhood for his young lover Jeanne. "I don't have many good memories," Paul confesses, and neither did Brando of his childhood. Sometimes he had to go down to the town jail to pick up his mother after she had spent the night in the drunk tank and bring her home, events that traumatized the young boy but may have been the grain that irritated the oyster of his talent, producing the pearls of his performances. Anthony Quinn, his Oscar-winning co-star in Viva Zapata! told Brando's first wife Anna Kashfi, "I admire Marlon's talent, but I don't envy the pain that created it."

Brando enrolled in Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at New York's New School, and was mentored by Stella Adler, a member of a famous Yiddish Theatre acting family. Adler helped introduce to the New York stage the "emotional memory" technique of Russian theatrical actor, director and impresario Konstantin Stanislavski, whose motto was "Think of your own experiences and use them truthfully." The results of this meeting between an actor and the teacher preparing him for a life in the theater would mark a watershed in American acting and culture.

Brando made his debut on the boards of Broadway on October 19, 1944, in "I Remember Mama," a great success. As a young Broadway actor, Brando was invited by talent scouts from several different studios to screen-test for them, but he turned them down because he would not let himself be bound by the then-standard seven-year contract. Brando would make his film debut quite some time later in Fred Zinnemann's The Men for producer Stanley Kramer. Playing a paraplegic soldier, Brando brought new levels of realism to the screen, expanding on the verisimilitude brought to movies by Group Theatre alumni John Garfield, the predecessor closest to him in the raw power he projected on-screen. Ironically, it was Garfield whom producer Irene Mayer Selznick had chosen to play the lead in a new Tennessee Williams play she was about to produce, but negotiations broke down when Garfield demanded an ownership stake in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Burt Lancaster was next approached, but couldn't get out of a prior film commitment. Then director Elia Kazan suggested Brando, whom he had directed to great effect in Maxwell Anderson's play "Truckline Café," in which Brando co-starred with Karl Malden, who was to remain a close friend for the next 60 years.

During the production of "Truckline Café", Kazan had found that Brando's presence was so magnetic, he had to re-block the play to keep Marlon near other major characters' stage business, as the audience could not take its eyes off of him. For the scene where Brando's character re-enters the stage after killing his wife, Kazan placed him upstage-center, partially obscured by scenery, but where the audience could still see him as Karl Malden and others played out their scene within the café set. When he eventually entered the scene, crying, the effect was electric. A young Pauline Kael, arriving late to the play, had to avert her eyes when Brando made this entrance as she believed the young actor on stage was having a real-life conniption. She did not look back until her escort commented that the young man was a great actor.

The problem with casting Brando as Stanley was that he was much younger than the character as written by Williams. However, after a meeting between Brando and Williams, the playwright eagerly agreed that Brando would make an ideal Stanley. Williams believed that by casting a younger actor, the Neanderthalish Kowalski would evolve from being a vicious older man to someone whose unintentional cruelty can be attributed to his youthful ignorance. Brando ultimately was dissatisfied with his performance, though, saying he never was able to bring out the humor of the character, which was ironic as his characterization often drew laughs from the audience at the expense of Jessica Tandy's Blanche Dubois. During the out-of-town tryouts, Kazan realized that Brando's magnetism was attracting attention and audience sympathy away from Blanche to Stanley, which was not what the playwright intended. The audience's sympathy should be solely with Blanche, but many spectators were identifying with Stanley. Kazan queried Williams on the matter, broaching the idea of a slight rewrite to tip the scales back to more of a balance between Stanley and Blanche, but Williams demurred, smitten as he was by Brando, just like the preview audiences.

For his part, Brando believed that the audience sided with his Stanley because Jessica Tandy was too shrill. He thought Vivien Leigh, who played the part in the movie, was ideal, as she was not only a great beauty but she WAS Blanche Dubois, troubled as she was in her real life by mental illness and nymphomania. Brando's appearance as Stanley on stage and on screen revolutionized American acting by introducing "The Method" into American consciousness and culture. Method acting, rooted in Adler's study at the Moscow Art Theatre of Stanislavsky's theories that she subsequently introduced to the Group Theatre, was a more naturalistic style of performing, as it engendered a close identification of the actor with the character's emotions. Adler took first place among Brando's acting teachers, and socially she helped turn him from an unsophisticated Midwestern farm boy into a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan artist who one day would socialize with presidents.

Brando didn't like the term "The Method," which quickly became the prominent paradigm taught by such acting gurus as Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Brando denounced Strasberg in his autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me" (1994), saying that he was a talentless exploiter who claimed he had been Brando's mentor. The Actors Studio had been founded by Strasberg along with Kazan and Stella Adler's husband, Harold Clurman, all Group Theatre alumni, all political progressives deeply committed to the didactic function of the stage. Brando credits his knowledge of the craft to Adler and Kazan, while Kazan in his autobiography "A Life" claimed that Brando's genius thrived due to the thorough training Adler had given him. Adler's method emphasized that authenticity in acting is achieved by drawing on inner reality to expose deep emotional experience

Interestingly, Elia Kazan believed that Brando had ruined two generations of actors, his contemporaries and those who came after him, all wanting to emulate the great Brando by employing The Method. Kazan felt that Brando was never a Method actor, that he had been highly trained by Adler and did not rely on gut instincts for his performances, as was commonly believed. Many a young actor, mistaken about the true roots of Brando's genius, thought that all it took was to find a character's motivation, empathize with the character through sense and memory association, and regurgitate it all on stage to become the character. That's not how the superbly trained Brando did it; he could, for example, play accents, whereas your average American Method actor could not. There was a method to Brando's art, Kazan felt, but it was not The Method.

After A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he received the first of his eight Academy Award nominations, Brando appeared in a string of Academy Award-nominated performances - in Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar and the summit of his early career, Kazan's On the Waterfront. For his "Waterfront" portrayal of meat-headed longshoreman Terry Malloy, the washed-up pug who "coulda been a contender," Brando won his first Oscar. Along with his iconic performance as the rebel-without-a-cause Johnny in The Wild One ("What are you rebelling against?" Johnny is asked. "What have ya got?" is his reply), the first wave of his career was, according to Jon Voight, unprecedented in its audacious presentation of such a wide range of great acting. Director John Huston said his performance of Marc Antony was like seeing the door of a furnace opened in a dark room, and co-star John Gielgud, the premier Shakespearean actor of the 20th century, invited Brando to join his repertory company.

It was this period of 1951-54 that revolutionized American acting, spawning such imitators as James Dean - who modeled his acting and even his lifestyle on his hero Brando - the young Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. After Brando, every up-and-coming star with true acting talent and a brooding, alienated quality would be hailed as the "New Brando," such as Warren Beatty in Kazan's Splendor in the Grass. "We are all Brando's children," Jack Nicholson pointed out in 1972. "He gave us our freedom." He was truly "The Godfather" of American acting - and he was just 30 years old. Though he had a couple of failures, like Désirée and The Teahouse of the August Moon, he was clearly miscast in them and hadn't sought out the parts so largely escaped blame.

In the second period of his career, 1955-62, Brando managed to uniquely establish himself as a great actor who also was a Top 10 movie star, although that star began to dim after the box-office high point of his early career, Sayonara (for which he received his fifth Best Actor Oscar nomination). Brando tried his hand at directing a film, the well-reviewed One-Eyed Jacks that he made for his own production company, Pennebaker Productions (after his mother's maiden name). Stanley Kubrick had been hired to direct the film, but after months of script rewrites in which Brando participated, Kubrick and Brando had a falling out and Kubrick was sacked. According to his widow Christiane Kubrick, Stanley believed that Brando had wanted to direct the film himself all along.

Tales proliferated about the profligacy of Brando the director, burning up a million and a half feet of expensive VistaVision film at 50 cents a foot, fully ten times the normal amount of raw stock expended during production of an equivalent motion picture. Brando took so long editing the film that he was never able to present the studio with a cut. Paramount took it away from him and tacked on a re-shot ending that Brando was dissatisfied with, as it made the Oedipal figure of Dad Longworth into a villain. In any normal film Dad would have been the heavy, but Brando believed that no one was innately evil, that it was a matter of an individual responding to, and being molded by, one's environment. It was not a black-and-white world, Brando felt, but a gray world in which once-decent people could do horrible things. This attitude explains his sympathetic portrayal of Nazi officer Christian Diestl in the film he made before shooting One-Eyed Jacks, Edward Dmytryk's filming of Irwin Shaw's novel The Young Lions. Shaw denounced Brando's performance, but audiences obviously disagreed, as the film was a major hit. It would be the last hit movie Brando would have for more than a decade.

One-Eyed Jacks generated respectable numbers at the box office, but the production costs were exorbitant - a then-staggering $6 million - which made it run a deficit. A film essentially is "made" in the editing room, and Brando found cutting to be a terribly boring process, which was why the studio eventually took the film away from him. Despite his proved talent in handling actors and a large production, Brando never again directed another film, though he would claim that all actors essentially direct themselves during the shooting of a picture.

Between the production and release of One-Eyed Jacks, Brando appeared in Sidney Lumet's film version of Tennessee Williams' play "Orpheus Descending", The Fugitive Kind which teamed him with fellow Oscar winners Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. Following in Elizabeth Taylor's trailblazing footsteps, Brando became the second performer to receive a $1-million salary for a motion picture, so high were the expectations for this re-teaming of Kowalski and his creator (in 1961 critic Hollis Alpert had published a book "Brando and the Shadow of Stanley Kowalski). Critics and audiences waiting for another incendiary display from Brando in a Williams work were disappointed when the renamed The Fugitive Kind finally released. Though Tennessee was hot, with movie versions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly, Last Summer burning up the box office and receiving kudos from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The Fugitive Kind was a failure. This was followed by the so-so box-office reception of One-Eyed Jacks in 1961 and then by a failure of a more monumental kind: Mutiny on the Bounty, a remake of the famed 1935 film.

Brando signed on to Mutiny on the Bounty after turning down the lead in the David Lean classic Lawrence of Arabia because he didn't want to spend a year in the desert riding around on a camel. He received another $1-million salary, plus $200,000 in overages as the shoot went overtime and over budget. During principal photography, highly respected director Carol Reed (an eventual Academy Award winner) was fired, and his replacement, two-time Oscar winner Lewis Milestone, was shunted aside by Brando as Marlon basically took over the direction of the film himself. The long shoot became so notorious that President John F. Kennedy asked director Billy Wilder at a cocktail party not "when" but "if" the "Bounty" shoot would ever be over. The MGM remake of one of its classic Golden Age films garnered a Best Picture Oscar nomination and was one of the top grossing films of 1962, yet failed to go into the black due to its Brobdingnagian budget estimated at $20 million, which is equivalent to $120 million when adjusted for inflation.

Brando and Taylor, whose Cleopatra nearly bankrupted 20th Century-Fox due to its huge cost overruns (its final budget was more than twice that of Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty), were pilloried by the show business press for being the epitome of the pampered, self-indulgent stars who were ruining the industry. Seeking scapegoats, the Hollywood press conveniently ignored the financial pressures on the studios. The studios had been hurt by television and by the antitrust-mandated divestiture of their movie theater chains, causing a large outflow of production to Italy and other countries in the 1950s and 1960s in order to lower costs. The studio bosses, seeking to replicate such blockbuster hits as the remakes of The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, were the real culprits behind the losses generated by large-budgeted films that found it impossible to recoup their costs despite long lines at the box office.

While Elizabeth Taylor, receiving the unwanted gift of reams of publicity from her adulterous romance with Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton, remained hot until the tanking of her own Tennessee Williams-renamed debacle Boom!, Brando from 1963 until the end of the decade appeared in one box-office failure after another as he worked out a contract he had signed with Universal Pictures. The industry had grown tired of Brando and his idiosyncrasies, though he continued to be offered prestige projects up through 1968.

Some of the films Brando made in the 1960s were noble failures, such as The Ugly American, The Chase and Reflections in a Golden Eye. For every "Reflections," though, there seemed to be two or three outright debacles, such as Bedtime Story, Morituri, A Countess from Hong Kong, Candy, The Night of the Following Day. By the time Brando began making the anti-colonialist picture Burn! in Colombia with Gillo Pontecorvo in the director's chair, he was box-office poison, despite having worked in the previous five years with such top directors as Arthur Penn, John Huston and the legendary Charles Chaplin, and with such top-drawer co-stars as David Niven, Yul Brynner, Sophia Loren and Taylor.

The rap on Brando in the 1960s was that a great talent had ruined his potential to be America's answer to Laurence Olivier, as his friend William Redfield limned the dilemma in his book "Letters from an Actor" (1967), a memoir about Redfield's appearance in Burton's 1964 theatrical production of "Hamlet." By failing to go back on stage and recharge his artistic batteries, something British actors such as Burton were not afraid to do, Brando had stifled his great talent, by refusing to tackle the classical repertoire and contemporary drama. Actors and critics had yearned for an American response to the high-acting style of the Brits, and while Method actors such as Rod Steiger tried to create an American style, they were hampered in their quest, as their king was lost in a wasteland of Hollywood movies that were beneath his talent. Many of his early supporters now turned on him, claiming he was a crass sellout.

Despite evidence in such films as The Chase, The Appaloosa and Reflections in a Golden Eye that Brando was in fact doing some of the best acting of his life, critics, perhaps with an eye on the box office, slammed him for failing to live up to, and nurture, his great gift. Brando's political activism, starting in the early 1960s with his championing of Native Americans' rights, followed by his participation in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's March on Washington in 1963, and followed by his appearance at a Black Panther rally in 1968, did not win him many admirers in the establishment. In fact, there was a de facto embargo on Brando films in the recently segregated (officially, at least) southeastern US in the 1960s. Southern exhibitors simply would not book his films, and producers took notice. After 1968, Brando would not work for three years.

Pauline Kael wrote of Brando that he was Fortune's fool. She drew a parallel with the latter career of John Barrymore, a similarly gifted thespian with talents as prodigious, who seemingly threw them away. Brando, like the late-career Barrymore, had become a great ham, evidenced by his turn as the faux Indian guru in the egregious Candy, seemingly because the material was so beneath his talent. Most observers of Brando in the 1960s believed that he needed to be reunited with his old mentor Elia Kazan, a relationship that had soured due to Kazan's friendly testimony naming names before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps Brando believed this, too, as he originally accepted an offer to appear as the star of Kazan's film adaptation of his own novel, The Arrangement. However, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Brando backed out of the film, telling Kazan that he could not appear in a Hollywood film after this tragedy. Also reportedly turning down a role opposite box-office king Paul Newman in a surefire script, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Brando decided to make Burn! with Pontecorvo. The film, a searing indictment of racism and colonialism, flopped at the box office but won the esteem of progressive critics and cultural arbiters such as Howard Zinn.

Kazan, after a life in film and the theater, said that, aside from Orson Welles, whose greatness lay in filmmaking, he only met one actor who was a genius: Brando. Richard Burton, an intellectual with a keen eye for observation if not for his own film projects, said that he found Brando to be very bright, unlike the public perception of him as a Terry Malloy-type character that he himself inadvertently promoted through his boorish behavior. Brando's problem, Burton felt, was that he was unique, and that he had gotten too much fame too soon at too early an age. Cut off from being nurtured by normal contact with society, fame had distorted Brando's personality and his ability to cope with the world, as he had not had time to grow up outside the limelight.

Truman Capote, who eviscerated Brando in print in the mid-'50s and had as much to do with the public perception of the dyslexic Brando as a dumbbell, always said that the best actors were ignorant, and that an intelligent person could not be a good actor. However, Brando was highly intelligent, and possessed of a rare genius in a then-deprecated art, acting. The problem that an intelligent performer has in movies is that it is the director, and not the actor, who has the power in his chosen field. Greatness in the other arts is defined by how much control the artist is able to exert over his chosen medium, but in movie acting, the medium is controlled by a person outside the individual artist. It is an axiom of the cinema that a performance, as is a film, is "created" in the cutting room, thus further removing the actor from control over his art. Brando had tried his hand at directing, in controlling the whole artistic enterprise, but he could not abide the cutting room, where a film and the film's performances are made. This lack of control over his art was the root of Brando's discontent with acting, with movies, and, eventually, with the whole wide world that invested so much cachet in movie actors, as long as "they" were at the top of the box-office charts. Hollywood was a matter of "they" and not the work, and Brando became disgusted.

Charlton Heston, who participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington with Brando, believes that Marlon was the great actor of his generation. However, noting a story that Brando had once refused a role in the early 1960s with the excuse "How can I act when people are starving in India?", Heston believes that it was this attitude, the inability to separate one's idealism from one's work, that prevented Brando from reaching his potential. As Rod Steiger once said, Brando had it all, great stardom and a great talent. He could have taken his audience on a trip to the stars, but he simply would not. Steiger, one of Brando's children even though a contemporary, could not understand it. When James Mason' was asked in 1971 who was the best American actor, he had replied that since Brando had let his career go belly-up, it had to be George C. Scott, by default.

Paramount thought that only Laurence Olivier would suffice, but Lord Olivier was ill. The young director believed there was only one actor who could play godfather to the group of Young Turk actors he had assembled for his film, The Godfather of method acting himself - Marlon Brando. Francis Ford Coppola won the fight for Brando, Brando won - and refused - his second Oscar, and Paramount won a pot of gold by producing the then top-grossing film of all-time, The Godfather, a gangster movie most critics now judge one of the greatest American films of all time. Brando followed his iconic portrayal of Don Corleone with his Oscar-nominated turn in the high-grossing and highly scandalous Last Tango in Paris ("Last Tango in Paris"), the first film dealing explicitly with sexuality in which an actor of Brando's stature had participated. He was now again a Top-Ten box office star and once again heralded as the greatest actor of his generation, an unprecedented comeback that put him on the cover of "Time" magazine and would make him the highest-paid actor in the history of motion pictures by the end of the decade. Little did the world know that Brando, who had struggled through many projects in good faith during the 1960s, delivering some of his best acting, only to be excoriated and ignored as the films did not do well at the box office, essentially was through with the movies.

After reaching the summit of his career, a rarefied atmosphere never reached before or since by any actor, Brando essentially walked away. He would give no more of himself after giving everything as he had done in "Last Tango in Paris," a performance that embarrassed him, according to his autobiography. Brando had come as close to any actor to being the "auteur," or author, of a film, as the English-language scenes of "Tango" were created by encouraging Brando to improvise. The improvisations were written down and turned into a shooting script, and the scripted improvisations were shot the next day. Pauline Kael, the Brando of movie critics in that she was the most influential arbiter of cinematic quality of her generation and spawned a whole legion of Kael wanna-bes, said Brando's performance in Last Tango in Paris had revolutionized the art of film. Brando, who had to act to gain his mother's attention; Brando, who believed acting at best was nothing special as everyone in the world engaged in it every day of their lives to get what they wanted from other people; Brando, who believed acting at its worst was a childish charade and that movie stardom was a whorish fraud, would have agreed with Sam Peckinpah's summation of Pauline Kael: "Pauline's a brilliant critic but sometimes she's just cracking walnuts with her ass." Probably in a simulacrum of those words, too.

After another three-year hiatus, Brando took on just one more major role for the next 20 years, as the bounty hunter after Jack Nicholson in Arthur Penn's The Missouri Breaks, a western that succeeded neither with the critics or at the box office. From then on, Brando concentrated on extracting the maximum amount of capital for the least amount of work from producers, as when he got the Salkind brothers to pony up a then-record $3.7 million against 10% of the gross for 13 days work on Superman. Factoring in inflation, the straight salary for "Superman" equals or exceeds the new record of $1 million a day Harrison Ford set with K-19: The Widowmaker. Before cashing his first paycheck for Superman, Brando had picked up $2 million for his extended cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now in a role, that of Col. Kurtz, that he authored on-camera through improvisation while Coppola shot take after take. It was Brando's last bravura star performance. He co-starred with 'George C. Scott' and 'John Gielud' in _The Formula_, but the film was another critical and financial failure. Years later though, he did receive an eighth and final Oscar nomination for his supporting role in A Dry White Season after coming out of a near-decade-long retirement. Contrary to those who claimed he now only was in it for the money, Brando donated his entire seven-figure salary to an anti-apartheid charity. He then did an amusing performance in the comedy The Freshman, winning rave reviews. He portrayed Tomas de Torquemada in the historical drama 1492: Conquest of Paradise, but his performance was denounced and the film was a box office failure. He made another comeback in the Johnny Depp romantic drama Don Juan DeMarco, which co-starred Faye Dunaway as his wife.

Brando had first attracted media attention at the age of 24, when "Life" magazine ran a photo of himself and his sister Jocelyn, who were both then appearing on Broadway. The curiosity continued, and snowballed. Playing the paraplegic soldier of The Men, Brando had gone to live at a Veterans Administration hospital with actual disabled veterans, and confined himself to a wheelchair for weeks. It was an acting method, research, that no one in Hollywood had ever heard of before, and that willingness to experience life.

Courteney Cox

Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 in Birmingham, Alabama, into an affluent Southern family. She is the daughter of Courteney (Bass) and Richard Lewis Cox (1930-2001), a businessman. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard, Jr. She was raised in an exclusive society town, Mountain Brook, Alabama. Courteney was the archetypal daddy's girl, and therefore was understandably devastated when, in 1974, her parents divorced, and her father moved to Florida.

She became a rebellious teen, and did not make things easy for her mother, and new stepfather, New York businessman Hunter Copeland. Now, she is great friends with both. She attended Mountain Brook High School, where she was a cheerleader, tennis player and swimmer. In her final year, she received her first taste of modeling. She appeared in an advert for the store, Parisians. Upon graduation, she left Alabama to study architecture and interior design at Mount Vernon College. After one year she dropped out to a pursue a modeling career in New York, after being signed by the prestigious Ford Modelling Agency. She appeared on the covers of teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and Little Miss, plus numerous romance novels. She then moved on to commercials for Maybeline, Noxema, New York Telephone Company and Tampax.

While modeling, she attended acting classes, as her real dream and ambition was to be an actress. In 1984, she landed herself a small part in one episode of As the World Turns as a young débutante named Bunny. Her first big break, however, was being cast by Brian De Palma in the Bruce Springsteen video "Dancing in The Dark". In 1985, she moved to LA to star alongside Dean Paul Martin in Misfits of Science. It was a flop, but a few years later, she was chosen out of thousands of hopefuls to play Michael J. Fox's girlfriend, psychology major Lauren Miller in Family Ties.

In 1989, Family Ties ended, and Cox went through a lean spell in her career, featuring in unmemorable movies such as Mr. Destiny with Michael Caine. Fortunes changed dramatically for Cox, when in 1994, she starred alongside Jim Carrey in the unexpected hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and a year later she was cast as Monica Geller on the hugely successful sitcom Friends. It was this part that turned her into an international superstar and led to an American Comedy Award nomination. In 1996 Cox starred in Wes Craven's horror/comedy Scream . This movie grossed over $100 million at the box office, and won Cox rave reviews for her standout performance as the wickedly bitchy and smug TV reporter Gale Weathers. She went on to play this character again in each of the three sequels. Not only did her involvement in this movie lead to critical acclaim, but it also led to her meeting actor husband David Arquette. He played her on-screen love interest Dewey, and life imitated art as the two fell in love for real. Their wedding took place in San Francisco, at the historic Grace Cathedral atop Nob Hill, on June 12th, 1999. Joined by 200 guests, including Cox's film star friends Liam Neeson and Kevin Spacey, the happy couple finally became Mr. and Mrs. Arquette.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is an American songwriter, singer, actress, philanthropist, dancer and fashion designer.

Gaga was born on March 28, 1986 in Manhattan, New York City, to Cynthia Louise (Bissett) and Joseph Anthony Germanotta, Jr., an internet entrepreneur. Her father is of Italian descent, and her mother is of half Italian and half French-Canadian, English, German, and Scottish ancestry. Gaga was able to sing and play the piano from a young age. She attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart from age 11 where was bullied for her appearance (she was small and plumper than other girls with large front teeth) and eccentric habits.

By the age of 14, Gaga was performing at open mike nights in clubs and bars. By age 17, she had gained early admission to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to sharpening her songwriting skills, she composed essays and analytical papers on art, religion, social issues and politics. At the age of 19 Gaga withdrew from her studies and moved out of her parents' home in order to pursue a musical career. During this time she started a band which began to gain local attention.

After a brief partnership with talent scout Rob Fusari, which resulted in the creation of her stage name, Gaga was signed to Def Jam Records in 2006; however she was dropped from the label after just three months. Devastated, Gaga returned home, and became increasingly experimental: fascinating herself with emerging neo-burlesque shows, go-go dancing at bars dressed in little more than a bikini in addition to experimenting with drugs.

Gaga met performance artist Lady Starlight during this time; after a performance at Lollapalooza Festival in 2007 Gaga was signed by Vince Herbert to Streamline Records, an imprint of Interscope Records. Having served as an apprentice songwriter under an internship at Famous Music Publishing, which was later acquired by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Gaga subsequently struck a music publishing deal with Sony/ATV. As a result, she was hired to write songs for Britney Spears and labelmates New Kids on the Block, Fergie, and the Pussycat Dolls. At Interscope, singer-songwriter Akon recognized her vocal abilities when she sang a reference vocal for one of his tracks in studio; Akon then convinced Interscope-Geffen-A&M Chairman and CEO Jimmy Iovine to form a joint deal by having her also sign with his own label Kon Live, making her his "franchise player."

In 2008 Gaga released her first album 'The Fame' to lukewarm radio play; Gaga toured around Europe and in gay clubs in the US to promote the album - however it was not until her first hit 'Just Dance' came to mainstream attention in 2009 that Gaga exploded onto the music scene.

Since then Gaga has gained numerous awards and nominations for a string of hits; her first album spawned several more smash hits ('Paparazzi' 'LoveGame' and 'Poker Face'); while touring the album Gaga wrote 'The Fame Monster', an EP examining the darker side to her new-found fame. The Fame Monster was released in 2009 and won multiple awards, spawning her most iconic single 'Bad Romance' as well as 'Telephone' and 'Alejandro'. During this time Gaga came under increased public and critical scrutiny for her eccentric and often bizarre style choices. Gaga embarked on her second tour, The Monster Ball; upon finishing in May 2011, the critically acclaimed and commercially accomplished tour ran for over one and a half years and grossed $227.4 million, making it one of the highest-grossing concert tours of all time and the highest-grossing for a debut headlining artist. Concerts performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City were filmed for an HBO television special. The special accrued one of its five Emmy Award nominations and has since been released on DVD and Blu-ray.

In 2011 Gaga released her second full-length album 'Born this Way'; the album was received vastly more critically than her previous two for touching on themes of politics, sexuality, and religion. Despite this, the album's songs were praised critically, and Born This Way sold 1.108 million copies in its first week in the US, debuting atop the Billboard 200, and topping the charts in more than 20 other countries. In addition to exceeding 8 million copies in worldwide sales, Born This Way received 3 Grammy Award nominations, including her third consecutive for Album of the Year. In March 2012, Gaga was ranked fourth on Billboard's list of top moneymakers of 2011, grossing $25,353,039 dollars, which included sales from Born This Way and her Monster Ball Tour.

At the end of April 2012, Gaga's Born This Way kicked off in Korea - the tour would last 2 years and take the singer to every continent of the globe. However in February 2012 the tour was abruptly cancelled; Gaga had a labral tear in her right hip which she had been nursing secretly for several weeks in the hopes that she would be able to continue the tour. After a performance in Toronto left her unable to walk and in considerable pain, she was taken to hospital for surgery and the tour was cancelled. Through to Jan. 17, the tour had grossed $168.2 million and moved 1.6 million tickets to 85 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore, with the Asian, European, and South American legs already completed in 2012. The North American leg, which was to wrap the tour and was almost completely sold out, would have likely put the tour at more than $200 million gross, easily in the top 20 tours of all time and probably in the top 15, according to Billboard. As it stands, Gaga finished sixth among all touring artists in 2012, with a gross of $125 million and attendance of more than 1.1 million, according to Boxscore.

Gaga wrote her third album, ARTPOP, released in 2013. Gaga made her acting debut in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, the sequel to his 2010 film Machete, and also appeared in Rodriguez's sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Dave Franco

David John Franco was born in Palo Alto, California. His mother, author Betsy Franco, is Jewish, and his father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, was of Portuguese and Swedish descent, and ran a Silicon Valley business. He has two older brothers, actor James Franco and Tom. Dave made his first television appearance at the age of 21, in 2006, in an episode of 7th Heaven. A string of high-profile TV work followed, interspersed with roles in some moderately successful movies, including Charlie St. Cloud and Fright Night, and he came to bigger prominence when he played Eric Molson in the hit movie version of the cult TV series 21 Jump Street. He subsequently co-starred in the zombie romance Warm Bodies and the thriller Now You See Me, and provided a voice role for The Lego Movie. His upcoming films include Neighbors, 22 Jump Street, and Unfinished Business.

Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth was born on January 13, 1990, in Melbourne, Australia, and is the younger brother of actors Chris Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth. He is the son of Leonie (van Os), a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. He is of Dutch (from his immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scottish, and German ancestry. His uncle, by marriage, was Rod Ansell, the bushman who inspired the film Crocodile Dundee.

The Hemsworth family lived primarily on Phillip Island, a small island located south of Melbourne. Following in the footsteps of his older brothers, who went into acting in their teens, Liam scored his first audition at age 16 and appeared on the Australian TV series Home and Away and McLeod's Daughters before taking on a recurring character role on the soap opera Neighbours, in which his brother Luke had also appeared. Roles on TV shows The Elephant Princess and Satisfaction followed before Liam moved to the United States to pursue a big-screen career.

After suffering two setbacks - his character was written out of the script for The Expendables days before filming and he lost the title role of Thor to his brother Chris - Liam was cast opposite Miley Cyrus in the Nicholas Sparks drama The Last Song. The two, who played love interests in the film, soon started dating, and Liam appeared in Cyrus' music video "When I Look at You." Following that film's modest commercial success, and the attendant press coverage of his rising career and high-profile romance, he was almost immediately thrust into leading man status, and was cast as Gale Hawthorne in the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling novel The Hunger Games. Following the blockbuster success of that film, Liam nabbed a number of roles, including a supporting part in The Expendables 2 and leading roles in the war drama Love and Honor, the crime drama Empire State, and the thriller Paranoia. He will also star as Ali Baba in a 3D production of Arabian Nights and will reprise the role of Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Hemsworth was engaged to Miley Cyrus from June 2012 to September 2013.

Viggo Mortensen

Since his screen debut as a young Amish Farmer in Peter Weir's Witness, Viggo Mortensen's career has been marked by a steady string of well-rounded performances.

Mortensen was born in New York City, to Grace Gamble (Atkinson) and Viggo Peter Mortensen, Sr. His father was Danish, his mother was American, and his maternal grandfather was Canadian. His parents met in Norway. They wed and moved to New York, where Viggo Jr. was born, before moving to South America where Viggo Sr. managed chicken farms and ranches in Venezuela and Argentina. Two more sons were born, Charles and Walter, before the marriage grew increasingly unhappy. When Viggo was seven, his parents sent him to a a strict boarding school, isolated in the foothills of the mountains of Argentina. Then, at age eleven, his parents divorced. His mother moved herself and the children back to her home state of New York.

Viggo attended Watertown High School, and became a very good student and athlete. He graduated in 1976 and went on to St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. After graduation, he moved to Denmark - driven by the need for a defining purpose in life. He began writing poetry and short stories while working many odd jobs, from dock worker to flower seller. In 1982, he fell in love and followed his girlfriend back to New York City, hoping for a long romance and a writing career. He got neither. In New York, Viggo found work waiting tables and bar tending and began taking acting classes, studying with Warren Robertson. He appeared in several plays and movies, and eventually moved to Los Angeles, where his performance in "Bent" at the Coast Playhouse earned him a Drama-logue Critic's Award.

He made his film debut with a small part in Witness. He appeared in Salvation!: Have You Said Your Prayers Today? and married his co-star, Exene Cervenka. The two had a son, Henry Mortensen. But after nearly eleven years of marriage, the couple divorced.

In 1999, Viggo got a phone call about a movie he did not know anything about: The Lord of the Rings. At first, he didn't want to do it, because it would mean time away from his son. But Henry, a big fan of the books, told his father he shouldn't turn down the role. Viggo accepted the part and immediately began work on the project, which was already underway. Eventually, the success of Lord of the Rings made him a household name - a difficult consequence for the ever private and introspective Viggo.

Critics have continually recognized his work in over thirty movies, including such diverse projects as Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady, Sean Penn's The Indian Runner, Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane, Tony Scott's Crimson Tide, Andrew Davis's A Perfect Murder, Ray Loriga's La pistola de mi hermano, and Tony Goldwyn's A Walk on the Moon.

Mortensen is also an accomplished poet, photographer and painter.

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver was born Susan Alexandra Weaver in Leroy Hospital in New York City. Her father, TV producer Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., originally wanted to name her Flavia, because of his passion for Roman history (he had already named her elder brother Trajan). Her mother, Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins), was an English actress who had sacrificed her career for a family. Sigourney grew up in a virtual bubble of guiltless bliss, being taken care by nannies and maids. By 1959, the Weavers had resided in 30 different households. In 1961, Sigourney began attending the Brearley Girls Academy, but her mother moved her to another New York private school, Chapin. Sigourney was quite a bit taller than most of her other classmates (at the age of 13, she was already 5' 10"), resulting in her constantly being laughed at and picked on; in order to gain their acceptance, she took on the role of class clown.

In 1962, her family moved to San Francisco briefly, an unpleasant experience for her. Later, they moved back east to Connecticut, where she became a student at the Ethel Walker School, facing the same problems as before. In 1963, she changed her name to "Sigourney", after the character "Sigourney Howard" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" (her own birth name, Susan, was in honor of her mother's best friend, explorer Susan Pretzlik). Sigourney had already starred in a school drama production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and, in 1965, she worked during the summer with a stock troupe, performing in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "You Can't Take It With You" (she didn't star in the latter because she was taller than the lead actor!). After graduating from school in 1967, she spent some months in a kibbutz in Israel. At that time, she became engaged to reporter Aaron Latham, but they soon broke up.

In 1969, Sigourney enrolled in Stanford University, majoring in English Literature. She also participated in school plays, especially Japanese Noh plays. By that time she was living in a tree house, alongside a male friend, dressed in elf-like clothes! After completing her studies in 1971, she applied for the Yale School of Drama in New Haven. Despite appearing at the audition reading a Bertolt Brecht speech and wearing a rope-like belt, she was accepted by the school but her professors rejected her, because of her height, and kept typecasting her as prostitutes and old women (whereas classmate Meryl Streep was treated almost reverently). However, in 1973, while making her theatrical debut with "Watergate Classics", she met up with a team of playwrights and actors and began hanging around with them, resulting in long-term friendships with Christopher Durang, Kate McGregor-Stewart and Albert Innaurato.

In 1974, she starred in such plays as Aristophanes' "Frogs" and Durang's "The Nature and Purpose of the Universe" and "Daryl and Carol and Kenny and Jenny", as "Jenny". After finishing her studies that year, she began seriously pursuing a stage career, but her height kept being a hindrance. However, she continued working on stage with Durang (in "Titanic" [1975]) and Innaurato (in "Gemini" [1976]). Other 1970s stage works included "Marco Polo Sing a Song", "The Animal Kingdom", "A Flea in Her Ear", "The Constant Husband", "Conjuring an Event" and others. However, the one that really got her noticed was "Das Lusitania Songspiel", a play she co-wrote with Durang and in which she starred for two seasons, from 1979 to 1981. She was also up for a Drama Desk Award for it. During the mid-70s, she appeared in several TV spots and even starred as "Avis Ryan" in the soap opera Somerset.

In 1977, she was cast in the role Shelley Duvall finally played in Annie Hall, after rejecting the part due to prior stage commitments. In the end, however, Woody Allen offered her a part in the film that, while short (she was on-screen for six seconds), made many people sit up and take notice. She later appeared in Madman and, of course, Alien. The role of the tough, uncompromising "Ripley" made Sigourney an "overnight" star and brought her a British Award Nomination. She next appeared in Eyewitness and The Year of Living Dangerously, the latter being a great success in Australia that won an Oscar and brought Sigourney and co-star Mel Gibson to Cannes in 1983. The same year she delivered an honorary Emmy award to her father, a few months before her uncle, actor Doodles Weaver, committed suicide. That year also brought her a romance with Jim Simpson, her first since having broken up two years previously with James M. McClure. She and Simpson were married on 1 October 1984. Sigourney had, meanwhile, played in the poorly received Deal of the Century and the mega-hit Ghostbusters. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for her tour-de-force performance in the play "Hurly Burly". Then followed One Woman or Two, Half Moon Street and Aliens. The latter was a huge success, and Sigourney was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

She then entered her most productive career period and snatched Academy Award nominations, in both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, for her intense portrayal of Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist and her delicious performance as a double-crossing, power-hungry corporate executive in Working Girl. She ended up losing in both, but made up for it to a degree by winning both Golden Globes. After appearing in a documentary about fashion photographer Helmut Newton, Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge, and reprising her role in the sequel Ghostbusters II, she discovered she was pregnant and retired from public life for a while. She gave birth to her daughter, Charlotte Simpson, on 13 April 1990, and returned to the movies as a (now skinhead) Ripley in Alien³ and a gorgeous "Queen Isabella of Spain" in 1492: Conquest of Paradise, her second film with director Ridley Scott. She starred in the political comedy Dave alongside Kevin Kline, and then a Roman Polanski thriller, Death and the Maiden.

In 1995, she was seen in Jeffrey and Copycat. The next year, she "trod the boards" in "Sex and Longing", yet another Durang play. She hadn't performed in the theater in many years before that play, her last stage performances occurring in the 1980s in "As You Like It" (1981), "Beyond Therapy" (1981), "The Marriage of 'Bette and Boo'" (1985) and "The Merchant of Venice" (1986). In 1997, she was the protagonist in Grimm's Snow White: A Tale of Terror, The Ice Storm and Alien: Resurrection. Her performance in The Ice Storm got her a BAFTA prize and another Golden Globe nod. She also gave excellent performances in A Map of the World and the sci-fi spoof Galaxy Quest. Her next comedy, Company Man, wasn't quite so warmly welcomed critically and financially, however. She next played a sexy con artist in Heartbreakers and had a voice role in Big Bad Love. Her father died at the age of 93. Sigourney herself has recently starred in Tadpole and is planning a cinematic version of The Guys, the enthralling September 11th one-act drama she played on stage on late 2001. At age 60, she played a crucial role in Avatar, which became the top box-office hit of all time. The film reunited her with her Aliens director James Cameron. Her beauty, talent, and hard-work keeps the ageless actress going, and she has continued to win respect from her fans and directors.

John Cusack

John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, he has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. John was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish-American family. With the exception of mom Nancy (née Carolan), a former math teacher, the Cusack clan is all show business: father Dick Cusack was an actor and filmmaker, and John's siblings Joan Cusack, Ann Cusack, Bill Cusack and Susie Cusack are all thespians by trade. Like his brother and sisters, John became a member of Chicago's Piven Theatre Workshop while he was still in elementary school. By age 12, he already had several stage productions, commercial voice overs and industrial films under his belt. He made his feature film debut at 17, acting alongside Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy in the romantic comedy Class. His next role, as a member of Anthony Michael Hall's geek brigade in Sixteen Candles, put him on track to becoming a teen-flick fixture. Cusack remained on the periphery of the Brat Pack, sidestepping the meteoric rise and fall of most of his contemporaries, but he stayed busy with leads in films like The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead.... Young Cusack is probably best remembered for what could be considered his last adolescent role: the stereo-blaring romantic Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything.... A year later, he hit theaters as a grown-up, playing a bush-league con man caught between his manipulative mother and headstrong girlfriend in The Grifters.

The next few years were relatively quiet for the actor, but he filled in the gaps with off-screen projects. He directed and produced several shows for the Chicago-based theater group The New Criminals, which he founded in 1988 (modeling it after Tim Robbins' Actors' Gang in Los Angeles) to promote political and avant-garde stage work. Four years later, Cusack's high school friends Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis joined him in starting a sister company for film, New Crime Productions. New Crime's first feature was the sharply written comedy Grosse Pointe Blank, which touched off a career renaissance for Cusack. In addition to co-scripting, he starred as a world-weary hit man who goes home for his ten-year high school reunion and tries to rekindle a romance with the girl he stood up on prom night (Minnie Driver). In an instance of life imitating art, Cusack actually did go home for his ten-year reunion (to honor a bet about the film's financing) and ended up in a real-life romance with Driver. Cusack's next appearance was as a federal agent (or, as he described it, "the first post-Heston, non-biblical action star in sandals") in Con Air, a movie he chose because he felt it was time to make smart business decisions. He followed that with Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, in which he played a Yankee reporter entangled in a Savannah murder case.

Cusack has always favored offbeat material, so it was no surprise when he turned up in the fiercely original Being John Malkovich. Long-haired, bearded and bespectacled, he was almost unrecognizable in the role of a frustrated puppeteer who stumbles across a portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich. The convincing performance won him a Best Actor nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards. In 2000, Cusack was back to his clean-shaven self in High Fidelity, another New Crime production. He worked with Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis to adapt Nick Hornby's popular novel (relocating the story to their native Chicago), then starred as the sarcastic record store owner who revisits his "Top 5" breakups to find out why he's so unlucky in love. The real Cusack has been romantically linked with several celebs, including Driver, Alison Eastwood, Claire Forlani and Neve Campbell. He's also something of a family man, acting frequently opposite sister Joan Cusack and pulling other Cusacks into his films on a regular basis. He seems pleased with the spate of projects on his horizon, but admits that he still hasn't reached his ultimate goal: to be involved in a "great piece of art".

Jackie Sandler

Jacqueline Samantha Titone, born in 1974 in Coral Springs, Florida, was raised a Christian. She later converted to Judaism after marrying her husband, Adam Sandler. She began modeling during high school and eventually became nationally, and internationally, known for modeling such clothing for big name companies. Jackie was later introduced into the acting world, by Rob Schneider in the 1999 hit movie, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, as "Sally".

With the success of this movie, Rob Schneider put in a good word for Jackie to his good-friend, Adam Sandler, who offered a part to Jackie in the movie, Big Daddy, in the year of 1999. She played the waitress and was also a music assistant. In the year of 2000, she played a part in the movie, Little Nicky, alongside Adam Sandler, Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette and Quentin Tarantino.

A year later, Adam Sandler and Jackie Titone came together in a relationship that has resulted into an engagement.

Two years later, Jackie was given a main part in the animated movie, Eight Crazy Nights as the voice of "Jennifer", making this her first major role in a movie alongside a big star. In 2003, Danny DeVito offered a part to Jackie as the bartender in the movie, Duplex.

On the 22nd of June, 2003. Adam and Jackie finally tied the knot and married.

In 50 First Dates, a 2004 hit comedy/romance movie, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were offered parts in sharing the screen, together. Drew and Adam have co-starred in major movies previously but, this time, Adam demanded that his wife, Jackie, be given somewhat of a part in this movie, the director, Peter Segal, didn't want to lose Adam as the main co-star, and gave the part of the dentist to Jackie. Because Adam only starred in this movie, he wasn't able to offer a bigger part or a co-star part to his wife, Jackie.

In the year of 2004, Jackie starred as herself on the TV episode, Celebrity Weddings, just one day before her one-year wedding anniversary with Adam.

Rodrigo Santoro

One of Brazil's most talented and famous actors, Rodrigo Junqueira dos Reis Santoro was born in Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Maria José Junqueira dos Reis, an artist, and Francesco Santoro, an engineer. His father is Italian, while his mother, who is Brazilian, has Portuguese ancestry.

Santoro is known for his performance in Warner Bros. 300, based on the Frank Miller's graphic novel, which broke box office records throughout the world. Rodrigo starred as Xerxes, the Persian King who sent his massive army to conquer Greece in 480 B.C. He was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain. Rodrigo has also gained attention for his role of Paulo in ABC's hit series Lost.

In 2008, Santoro was featured in writer/director David Mamet's film Redbelt, the story of Mike Terry, a Jiu-jitsu master who has avoided the prize fighting circuit, instead choosing to pursue a life by operating a self-defense studio in Los Angeles. Also in 2008, Rodrigo was honored to receive the Ischia award for International Contribution at the 2008 Ischia Global Film Festival in Italy. In 2007, at the Cancun International Film Festival Rodrigo received a Best Actor award for his portrayal of an obsessive photographer in the Brazilian film "Nao por acaso" (Not By Chance).

Santoro can be seen as Raul Castro, in Steve Soderbergh's film, Che. He can also be seen in Lion's Den by Pablo Trapero, which competed against Che at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009, Rodrigo starred in Fox Searchlights' Post Grad along side Michael Keaton and Carol Burnett. You will also see Rodrigo in I Love You Phillip Morris with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as Jim Carrey's first love.

Rodrigo was part of the star-studded ensemble cast of Universal's romantic comedy Love Actually, starring alongside Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth and Liam Neeson. In the role of Karl, he starred opposite Laura Linney as co-workers grappling with the dicey protocol of an office romance. Prior to this film, Rodrigo made his American debut in the highly sought after role of Randy Emmers in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, directed by McG, starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.

Rodrigo has also been seen starring as the "mystery man" opposite Nicole Kidman in the Baz Luhrmann directed commercial for Chanel.

In 2004 Rodrigo's starred in the Brazilian film, Carandiru, directed by Hector Babenco, which broke all Brazilian box office records for Brazil's entry in the Foreign Film category for the Academy Awards. Carandiru premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where Rodrigo received the Chopard Award for Male Revelation of the year. For his role in Carandiru he was also nominated for the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize of Best Actor and won for Best Supporting Actor at the Cartagena Film Festival. The movie was distributed in the US by Sony Pictures Classics and was a groundbreaking portrayal of the largest penitentiary in Latin America, the Sao Paulo House of Detention, and the lives of the people in it. Dr. Dráuzio Varella based the movie on the best-selling book "Carandiru Station".

Rodrigo has won a total of eight Best Actor awards, including the first ever award for Best Actor from the Brazilian Academy of Arts and Film, for his portrayal of a young man forced into a mental institution by his parents in Brainstorm, the critically acclaimed film by director Lais Bodansky.

For Rodrigo's role in Bicho de Sete Cabecas (2001) he won five of his eight Best Actor awards including, Best Actor for the Brazilia Festival of Brazilian Cinema, Best Actor for the Cartagena Film Festival, Best Actor for Cinema Brazil Grand Prize, Best Actor for Recife Cinema Festival, and Best Actor for the Sao Paulo Association of Art Critics Awards.

He has also been celebrated for his performance in the Miramax film Behind the Sun directed by Walter Salles (Central Station), in which he played Tonio, the middle son of a Brazilian family caught in the middle of an age-old family feud in 1910. He is forced by tradition and honor to kill a member of the neighboring family, positioning him next in line to be killed. The heart of the movie finds Tonio and his little brother discovering a world outside their family and home. Behind the Sun was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2002 for Best Foreign Language Film.

Previous to that Rodrigo appeared opposite Helen Mirren, Olivier Martinez and Anne Bancroft in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, directed by Robert Allan Ackerman, for Showtime. Based on the novella by Tennessee Williams, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was nominated for five Emmy Awards in 2003.

Rodrigo Santoro resides in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith was born on August 9, 1957, in New York City, New York, to model and actress Tippi Hedren, and advertising executive and former actor Peter Griffith. Her mother, from Minnesota, is of Swedish, German, and Norwegian ancestry, and her father, from Maryland, was of English, as well as Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, descent.

Her parents' marriage ended in 1961 and Tippi came to Los Angeles to get a new start. Tippi caught the eye of the great director Alfred Hitchcock, who gave her starring roles in The Birds and Marnie. Tippi married her then-agent, Noel Marshall, in 1964 (they divorced in 1982), and Melanie grew up with three stepbrothers. Meanwhile, her father married Nanita Greene Samuels, with whom he had two more children: Tracy Griffith and Clay A. Griffith.

Melanie also grew up with tigers and lions, as Tippi and Noel were raising them for the movie Roar, in which the family later starred. Her career began as a model at just nine months old and she later appeared as an extra in Smith! and The Harrad Experiment, where she fell in love with her mother's co-star, Don Johnson. She was only fourteen years old, while he was a twice-divorced 22-year-old. Tippi took a very liberal approach and allowed Melanie to move in with Don at a tender age. Even though Melanie didn't like modeling, she continued to do so to pay the bills. One day, she went to meet with director Arthur Penn for what she thought was a modeling assignment. It was actually an audition for his film Night Moves, and Penn gave her the role of a runaway nymphet, which got her noticed in Hollywood. She didn't really want to be an actress, but Johnson encouraged her to do it. She agreed but was terrified of performing in front of the camera. Penn took a paternal interest in her, and she felt confident and gave a riveting performance, doing racy nude scenes. She was immediately typecast in more nymphet roles, with her beautiful nude body a permanent fixture in films like Smile and Joyride. She also married Johnson, but it ended shortly afterwards, possibly because her early movie success outshone his.

Unfortunately, as her career progressed, she became increasingly dependent on drugs and alcohol, a fact well known to studio executives, who stopped considering her for film roles. She started doing television work, and met her second husband, Steven Bauer, on the set of the TV movie She's in the Army Now. He helped her to overcome her addictions and got her to take acting classes with Stella Adler in New York. The classes paid off, and she returned to acting in feature films, when director Brian De Palma cast her as a porno actress in his murder mystery Body Double and her sexy, funny performance won her rave reviews and the Best Supporting Actress Award by the National Society of Film Critics. Jonathan Demme was so impressed with her performance that he gave her the title role in Something Wild without even auditioning her. The film became a cult favorite, with Melanie again getting critical plaudits and a Golden Globe nomination.

The birth of her first child, Alexander, in 1985, didn't help to save her struggling marriage, and she and Bauer divorced in 1987. Soon after, Melanie's career skyrocketed when Mike Nichols cast her in Working Girl, a box-office hit for which she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actress and won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Comedy. However, her ongoing substance abuse problems almost destroyed her career yet again, and Nichols pushed her into a rehabilitation clinic. En route to the clinic she called ex-husband Johnson for support, and they reconciled after her release from the clinic. She got pregnant and they remarried in 1989, and soon thereafter their daughter Dakota Johnson was born.

A sober Melanie concentrated on her film career, but her competition was stiff since younger actresses like Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, and Demi Moore became major stars during the two years that Melanie was absent from the screen since "Working Girl." Worse, Melanie made some bad choices, such as The Bonfire of the Vanities. Even though she gave heartfelt performances in all her films, she was often miscast, with her breathy little-girl voice not helping matters in her starring roles as a spy in Shining Through and as a homicide detective going undercover in the Hassidic Jewish community in New York City in A Stranger Among Us. Melanie had other high-profile flops with Born Yesterday and Milk Money. It seemed like she was on the verge of a comeback when she received glowing reviews for her supporting role as a desperate housewife in Nobody's Fool, reuniting her with Bruce Willis, her co-star in "Bonfire", and Paul Newman, her co-star from The Drowning Pool. She returned to television and received a Golden Globe nomination for the mini-series Buffalo Girls. Her personal life was making headlines again, though, as she left Johnson because of his own substance-abuse problems, reconciled with him briefly when he became sober, only to leave him again, this time for Antonio Banderas, her married co-star from Two Much. Both she and Banderas created a scandal in 1995 with their torrid romance, and the tabloids followed their every move, including her divorce from Johnson and his divorce from wife Ana Leza. Melanie became pregnant with her third child, and she and Banderas married in 1996. Their daughter Stella Banderas was born, and the notorious couple were forgiven by the public and the media.

Melanie again tried to resurrect her career by signing onto the television series Me & George, but it never even aired. She turned to independent films and earned strong reviews for her role as a heroin user on the run in the crime drama Another Day in Paradise. She also acted in Woody Allen's Celebrity, and portrayed actress Marion Davies in the made-for-cable TV movie RKO 281, a part that garnered her both Golden Globe and Emmy nominations. Melanie also starred in Crazy in Alabama, which marked the directorial debut of her husband and produced by the couple's production company, Greenmoon Productions. Unfortunately, the film was yet another major flop for Melanie. As a result, film offers dried up. Melanie became dependent to pain killers, and returned to rehab in 2000. She wrote about her struggle and recovery in her journal on her official website.

In 2003, Melanie turned to the Broadway stage, and packed houses with her turn as the murderess "Roxie Hart" in the musical "Chicago," for which she received a rave review from the New York Times theater critic. It renewed her confidence, as she had never sang, danced or been on the Broadway stage before. In 2005 she surprised viewers by playing a sexy mom to two grown women in the TV series Twins, which was canceled after one season. Her career took another blow when her next attempt at a TV series, Viva Laughlin, was canceled after just two episodes. Melanie would not act again for the remainder of the decade, because, by self-admission, she couldn't obtain any worthwhile roles. In 2009, Melanie was back in rehab yet again for continued substance-abuse problems, and emerged after a three-month stay. Professionally, she was faced with more disappointment in 2012 when This American Housewife, a Lifetime series that Banderas produced for her to star in, never aired. She went back to the stage in 2012 and played mother to Scott Caan in a play that he wrote titled "No Way Around but Through." She impressed Caan enough to recommend her to the producers of his television show Hawaii Five-0. In 2014, she played a recurring role as his mother on the show.

Also in 2014, Melanie filed for divorce from Banderas citing "irreconcilable differences" after nearly twenty years together. She never publicly discussed her reasons for the divorce, and she didn't promote her feature film Automata, the final time that she acted with Banderas. It took a year for the divorce to be finalized, during which time, she and Banderas made one important appearance together at their daughter Stella's high school graduation. She also made another public appearance with another ex-husband, Don Johnson, on Saturday Night Live to promote their daughter Dakota, who was the host for that week. Dakota was promoting her star-making turn in Fifty Shades of Grey, thus carrying on the family tradition of being a film actress. Melanie maintains close ties with her three children and her mother Tippi Hedren. She is involved in various charities, including raising funds for Tippi's Shambala preserve, a refuge for wild animals. Melanie also runs a non-profit organization for benefiting burned children. She continues to seek out acting roles.

Michael Douglas

An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny knack for choosing projects that reflect changing trends and public concerns. Over the years, he has been involved in such controversial and politically influential motion pictures as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The China Syndrome and Traffic, and such popular films as Fatal Attraction and Romancing the Stone.

The son of Kirk and Diana Douglas, Michael was born in New Jersey. He attended the elite preparatory Choate School and spent his summers with his father on movie sets. Although accepted at Yale, Douglas attended the University of California, Santa Barbara.

After receiving his B.A. degree in 1968, Douglas moved to New York City to continue his dramatic training, studying at the American Place Theatre with Wynn Handman, and at the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he appeared in workshop productions of Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author (1976) and Thornton Wilder's Happy Journey (1963).

A few months after he arrived in New York, Douglas got his first big break when he was cast in the pivotal role of the free-spirited scientist who compromises his liberal views to accept a lucrative job with a high-tech chemical corporation in the CBS Playhouse production of Ellen M. Violett's drama, The Experiment, which was televised nationwide on February 25, 1969.

Douglas' convincing portrayal won him the leading role in the adaptation of John Weston's controversial novel, Hail, Hero!, which was the initial project of CBS's newly organized theatrical film production company, Cinema Center Films. Douglas starred as a well-meaning, almost saintly young pacifist determined not only to justify his beliefs to his conservative parents but also to test them under fire in the jungles of Indochina. His second feature, Adam at Six A.M. concerned a young man's search for his roots. Douglas next appeared in the film version of Ron Cowen's play Summertree, produced by 'Kirk Douglas'' Bryna Company, and then Napoleon and Samantha, a sentimental children's melodrama from the Walt Disney studio.

In between film assignments, he worked in summer stock and off-Broadway productions, among them "City Scenes", Frank Gagliano's surrealistic vignettes of contemporary life in New York, John Patrick Shanley's short-lived romance "Love is a Time of Day" and George Tabori's "Pinkville", in which he played a young innocent brutalized by his military training. He also appeared in the made-for-television thriller, "When Michael Calls", broadcast by ABC-TV on February 5, 1972 and in episodes of the popular series "Medical Center" and "The FBI".

Impressed by Douglas' performance in a segment of The F.B.I. (1965), producer 'Quinn Martin' signed the actor for the part of Karl Malden's sidekick in the police series "The Streets of San Francisco", which premiered September of 1972 and became one of ABC's highest-rated prime-time programs in the mid-1970s. Douglas earned three successive Emmy Award nominations for his performance and he directed two episodes of the series.

During the annual breaks in the shooting schedule for The Streets of _San Francisco (1972)_, Douglas devoted most of his time to his film production company, Big Stick Productions, Ltd., which produced several short subjects in the early 1970s. Long interested in producing a film version of Ken Kesey's grimly humorous novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Douglas purchased the movie rights from his father and began looking for financial backing. After a number of major motion picture studios turned him down, Douglas formed a partnership with Saul Zaentz, a record industry executive, and the two set about recruiting the cast and crew. Douglas still had a year to go on his contract for "The Streets of San Francisco", but the producers agreed to write his character out of the story so that he could concentrate on filming "Cuckoo's Nest".

A critical and commercial success, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress, and went on to gross more than $180 million at the box office. Douglas suddenly found himself in demand as an independent producer. One of the many scripts submitted to him for consideration was Mike Gray's chilling account of the attempted cover-up of an accident at a nuclear power plant. Attracted by the combination of social relevance and suspense, Douglas immediately bought the property. Deemed not commercial by most investors, Douglas teamed up with Jane Fonda and her own motion picture production company, IPC Films.

A Michael Douglas-IPC Films co-production, The China Syndrome starred Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, and 'Michael Douglas' and received Academy Award nominations for Lemmon and Fonda, as well as for Best Screenplay. The National Board of Review named the film one of the best films of the year.

Despite his success as a producer, Douglas resumed his acting career in the late 1970s, starring in Michael Crichton's medical thriller Coma with Genevieve Bujold, Claudia Weill's feminist comedy It's My Turn starring Jill Clayburgh, and Peter Hyams' gripping tale of modern-day vigilante justice, "The Star Chamber" (1983). Douglas also starred in Running, as a compulsive quitter who sacrifices everything to take one last shot at the Olympics, and as Zach the dictatorial director/choreographer in Richard Attenborough's screen version of the Broadway's longest running musical A Chorus Line.

Douglas' career as an actor/producer came together again in 1984 with the release of the tongue-in-cheek romantic fantasy "Romancing the Stone". Douglas had begun developing the project several years earlier, and with Kathleen Turner as Joan Wilder, the dowdy writer of gothic romances, Danny DeVito as the feisty comic foil Ralphie and Douglas as Jack Colton, the reluctant soldier of fortune, "Romancing" was a resounding hit and grossed more than $100 million at the box office. Douglas was named Producer of the Year in 1984 by the National Association of Theater Owners. Douglas, Turner and DeVito reteamed in 1985 for the successful sequel The Jewel of the Nile.

It took Douglas nearly two years to convince Columbia Pictures executives to approve the production of Starman, an unlikely tale of romance between an extraterrestrial, played by 'Jeff Bridges', and a young widow, played by Karen Allen. Starman was the sleeper hit of the 1984 Christmas season and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for 'Jeff Bridges'. In 1986 Douglas created a television series based on the film for ABC which starred 'Robert Hays'.

After a lengthy break from acting, Douglas returned to the screen in 1987 appearing in two of the year's biggest hits. He starred opposite Glenn Close in the phenomenally successful psychological thriller, "Fatal Attraction", which was followed by his performance as ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko in 'Oliver Stone''s Wall Street, earning him the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Douglas next starred in Ridley Scott's thriller Black Rain and then teamed up again with 'Kathleen Turner' and Danny DeVito in the black comedy The War of the Roses which was released in 1989.

In 1988 Douglas formed Stonebridge Entertainment, Inc. which produced Flatliners, directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Kiefer Sutherland, 'Julia Roberts', 'Kevin Bacon' and 'William Baldwin' and Radio Flyer starring Lorraine Bracco and directed by Richard Donner. Douglas followed with David Seltzer's adaptation of Susan Issac's best-selling novel, "Shining Through", opposite Melanie Griffith. In 1992 he starred with Sharon Stone in the erotic thriller from 'Paul Verhoeven' Basic Instinct, one of the year's top grossing films.

Douglas gave one of his most powerful performances opposite Robert Duvall in Joel Schumacher's controversial drama Falling Down. That year he also produced the hit comedy "Made in America" starring Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson and Will Smith. In 1994/95 he starred with Demi Moore in Barry Levinson's "Disclosure,." based on the best seller by Michael Crichton. In 1995 Douglas portrayed the title role in Rob Reiner's romantic comedy The American President opposite Annette Bening, and in 1997, starred in The Game directed by David Fincher and co-starring 'Sean Penn'.

Douglas formed Douglas/Reuther Productions with partner Steven Reuther in May 1994. The company, under the banner of Constellation Films, produced, The Ghost and the Darkness, starring Douglas and Val Kilmer, and John Grisham's The Rainmaker, based on John Grisham's best selling novel, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Matt Damon,Claire Danes, Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Mickey Rourke, Mary Kay Place, Virginia Madsen, Andrew Shue, 'Teresa Wright', Johnny Whitworth and 'Randy Travis'.

Michael Douglas and Steve Reuther also produced John Woo's action thriller Face/Off starring 'John Travolta' and Nicolas Cage, which proved to be one of '97's major hits.

In 1998, ' Michael Douglas' starred with Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen in the mystery thriller A Perfect Murder, and formed a new production company, 2000 was a milestone year for Douglas. "Wonder Boys" opened in February 2000 to much critical acclaim. Directed by Curtis Hanson and co-starring Toby Maguire, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr. and 'Katie Holmes', Douglas starred in the film as troubled college professor Grady Tripp. Michael was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Film award for his performance.

"Traffic" was released by USA Films on December 22, 2000 in New York and Los Angeles went nationwide in January 2001. Douglas played the role of Robert Wakefield, a newly appointed drug czar confronted by the drug war both at home and abroad. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and co-starring Don Cheadle, Benedico Del Toro, Amy Irving, Dennis Quaid and Catherine Zeta-Jones, "Traffic" was named Best Picture by New York Film Critics, won Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG Awards, won four Academy Awards (Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for Benicio del Toro) and has been recognized over on over 175 top ten lists.

In 2001, Douglas produced and played a small role in USA Films' outrageous comedy "One Night at McCool's" starring Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, John Goodman, Paul Reiser, and was directed by Harald Zwart. "McCool's" was the first film by Douglas' company Furthur Films. Also in 2001, Douglas starred in "Don't Say A Word" for 20th Century Fox. The psychological thriller, directed by Gary Fleder, also starred Sean Bean, Famke Janseen and Brittany Murphy.

In 2002, Douglas appeared in a guest role on the hit NBC comedy "Will & Grace", and received an Emmy Nomination for his performance.

Douglas starred in two films in 2003. MGM/BVI released the family drama "It Runs in the Family", which Douglas produced and starred with his father Kirk Douglas, his mother Diana Douglas and his son Cameron Douglas, Rory Culkin and Bernadette Peters. He also starred in the Warner Bros. comedy "The-In Laws", with Albert Brooks, Candice Bergen Ryan Reynolds.

In 2004 Douglas, along with his father Kirk, filmed the intimate HBO documentary "A Father, A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood". Directed by award-winning filmmaker Lee Grant, the documentary examines the professional and personal lives of both men, and the impacts they each made on the motion picture industry.

In summer 2005, Douglas produced and starred in "The Sentinel", which was released by 20th Century Fox in spring 2006. Based on the Gerald Petievich novel and directed by Clark Johnson, "The Sentinel" is a political thriller set in the intriguing world of the Secret Service. Douglas stars with Keifer Sutherland, Eva Longoria and Kim Bassinger. Douglas filmed "You, Me & Dupree", starring with Owen Wilson, Kate Hudson and Matt Dillon. The comedy is direct by Anthony and Joe Russo, and was released by Universal Pictures during the summer of 2006. In 2007 he made "King of California", co-starring Evan Rachel Wood and is written and directed by Michael Cahill, and produced by Alexander Payne and Michael London.

Michael had two films released in early '09, "Beyond A Reasonable Doubt" directed by Peter Hyams and "Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past" starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner directed by Mark Waters. He followed with the drama "Solitary Man" directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, co-starring Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary Louise-Parker, and Jenna Fischer, produced by Paul Schiff and Steven Soderbergh and in Fall '10 starred in "Wall Street 2 - Money Never Sleeps" reprising his Oscar winning role as Gordon Gekko and once again was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. Again directed by Oliver Stone, he co-starred with Shia Labeouf, Cary Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.

Douglas had a cameo role in Steven Soderbergh's action thriller "Haywire." "Behind the Candelabra" based on the life of musical '70's/80's icon Liberace and his partner Scott Thorson, directed by Steven Soderbergh costarring Matt Damon, premiered on HBO in May 2013. Douglas won an Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award as Best Actor in a television movie or mini series for his performance as the famed entertainer. He followed with the buddy comedy "Last Vegas" directed by John Turtletaub co-starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline and the romantic comedy "And So It Goes" co-starring Diane Keaton directed by Rob Reiner.

Douglas recently starred in and producing the thriller "Beyond The Reach" directed by Jean-Baptiste Leonetti costarring Jeremy Irvine and portrays Dr. Hank Pym in Marvel's "Ant Man" opposite Paul Rudd. It will be his first venture into the realm of comic book action adventure. Most recently he completed a spy thriller "Unlocked" co-starring Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, John Malkovich and is directed by Michael Apted. In 1998 Douglas was made a United Nations Messenger of Peace by Kofi Annan. His main concentrations are nuclear non-proliferation and the control of small arms. He is on the Board of Ploughshares Foundation and The Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Michael Douglas was recipient of the 2009 AFI Lifetime Achievement as well as the Producers Guild Award that year. In Spring '10 he received the New York Film Society's Charlie Chaplin Award.

Douglas has hosted 11 years of "Michael Douglas and Friends" Celebrity Golf Event which has raised over $6 million for the Motion Picture and Television Fund. Douglas is very passionate about the organization, and each year he asks his fellow actors and to come out and show that "we are an industry that takes care of own".

Douglas is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones. The couple has one son, Dylan, and one daughter, Carys. Douglas also has one son, Cameron, from a previous marriage.

James Cameron

James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director, miniature-set builder, and process-projection supervisor on Roger Corman's Battle Beyond the Stars and debuted as a director with Piranha Part Two: The Spawning the following year. In 1984, he wrote and directed The Terminator, a futuristic action-thriller starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton. It was a huge success. After this came a string of successful science-fiction action films such as Aliens, The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In 1990, Cameron formed his own production company, Lightstorm Entertainment. In 1997, he wrote and directed Titanic, a romance epic about two young lovers from social classes who meet on board the famous ship. The movie went on to break all box office records and earned eleven Academy Awards. It became the highest grossing movie of all time. The rest is history. James Cameron is now one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood. He was formerly married to producer Gale Anne Hurd, who produced several of his films. In 2000, he married actress Suzy Amis, who appeared in Titanic, and they have three children.

Brooke Shields

"Want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing". If you have not heard of Brooke Shields before, this tagline from her Calvin Klein Jeans ad had to grab your attention. Not that she has not had a previously noteworthy resume. She was born on May 31, 1965 in New York City and, at age 12, she starred as a child prostitute in Pretty Baby. Could this movie even be made today? It was considered risky and controversial in 1978. It was followed by another blockbuster, the romance adventure drama The Blue Lagoon. Brooke has proved herself to be so much more than her early films. Her broad range of work as an adult would be quite an achievement for anyone, especially given how difficult transitioning from child actor to adult often is.

She has never stopped working, whether it be a Bob Hope Christmas special, her own sitcom Suddenly Susan or as an author. She also managed to work on a degree from Princeton University. She has received a number of awards during her career, most notably The People's Choice award for 1981 through 1984 in the category of Favorite Young Performer. In 1997, she was honored again with The People's Choice award for Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series in 1997 for her work in Suddenly Susan. In her personal life, she was married in 1997 to tennis player Andre Agassi and was devastated when they divorced two years later. She married for the second time in 2001 to Chris Henchy. She has been open about using fertility treatments to become pregnant with their daughter, Rowan, born in 2003.

When suffering debilitating depression after the birth of her daughter, she made the decision to put her feelings down on paper. Her book, "Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression", takes a hard, honest look at what she and many other women experience after childbirth. She still lives in New York City, and is still sought after for work in movies, television, and on stage. Pretty nice list of achievements for the once Calvin Klein jeans girl.

Billy Crudup

Known as much for his rigorous career choices as for his talent and chiseled good looks, Billy Crudup has been straddling the line between serious actor and "it" leading man for several years.

Crudup was born in Manhasset, New York (a Long Island suburb) in 1968, the middle child in a family of three boys. He is the son of Georgann (Gaither) and Thomas Henry Crudup III, and the grandson of prominent attorney William Cotter "Billy" Gaither, Jr.

Crudup was raised in Florida and Texas. His family frequently moved and always being the new kid meant Billy had to develop some way of gaining acceptance. Being the class clown was his ticket in. He found roles in school pageants and developed funny impersonations to entertain family and friends. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina (where he confirmed his interest in acting). Upon graduation, Crudup headed to NYC to live with his brother Tommy (who was at that time a publicist) and study at New York University, where he joined a theatre troupe called "the lab!" and did little plays and musicals - he even played "Schroeder" in the famed children's musical "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown!".

He then went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts from the Tisch School of the Arts at NY in 1994. A year later, he'd already made a name for himself on Broadway, earning the Outer Critics Circle Outstanding Newcomer Award for his performance in Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia".

Crudup's first big-screen acting gig was in the indie film Grind, which was shot in 1994, but ended up on the shelf for three years. In 1996, he landed another, more lucrative role, opposite Hollywood hotshots Brad Pitt and Jason Patric in the Barry Levinson drama, Sleepers. He followed that up with a brief appearance in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You and a higher-profile turn as the rakish older brother in Inventing the Abbotts.

A self-described student of human nature, Crudup has said that he looks for characters wrestling with their mistakes. Rumor has it that he declined an audition for the lead in Titanic in order to seek out more challenging projects--like the "Steve Prefontaine" biopic Without Limits. "Limits" showcased Crudup's ability to completely transform himself for a role (a quality that would help him skirt stardom while continuing to land substantive parts). In 2000, with three major films in release, Crudup's already bustling movie career reached a fever pitch. He first hit the festival circuit in Keith Gordon's Waking the Dead, the tale of an up-and-coming politician who is haunted by the death of his young wife. Next came the art-house favorite Jesus' Son. Finally, he starred as the semi-fictional '70s rocker "Russell Hammond" in Cameron Crowe's much-lauded Almost Famous. In 2002, his production of "The Elephant Man" on Broadway closed after 65 performances, due to low ticket sales.

Crudup lives in New York and returns regularly to the stage - in fact, it was during the 1996 Broadway run of "Bus Stop" that he began his romance with longtime girlfriend, Mary-Louise Parker. That romance ended in 2004, when Crudup left the then-pregnant Parker for his Stage Beauty co-star, Claire Danes. He seems to prefer quiet anonymity to the pomp and circumstance of the movie star lifestyle, but his ever-growing popularity guarantees that he won't be able to avoid the spotlight altogether.

Justin Long

A likable, boyish-looking actor with thick eyebrows and a friendly smile, Justin Long is a native of Connecticut.

He was born and raised in Fairfield, the second of three sons. His father, R. James Long, is a Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University, and his mother, Wendy Lesniak, is a former Broadway actress. He attended Fairfield Prep, and after graduating, he attended Vassar College. He first really showed his promise as a member of the comedy troupe "LaughingStock." His performing talent garnered favorable notices and he won roles in some independent productions, notably Galaxy Quest. However, he refused to act full time until after he graduated, which he did in 2000. He first gained notice when he played the nervous teenager Warren Cheswick in the TV series Ed. The following year, he starred in the offbeat horror film Jeepers Creepers. The film, with its surprise ending, was a major hit on the horror circuit and raised his profile. He played the boyfriend of Britney Spears in Crossroads, and won a supporting role in the Vince Vaughn comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. He had high-profile roles in some offbeat independent films, most notably Raising Genius and Waiting..., and scored commercial success again when he played Lindsay Lohan's boyfriend in Herbie Fully Loaded. He continues to win acclaim and fans. He scored commercial success again with a role in the Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy The Break-Up. He is private about his personal life and does not make a point of attending nightclubs and parties. However, his personal life did get scrutiny in 2008, due to his romance with actress Drew Barrymore that year.

In addition to his film appearances, he is a spokesman for the Apple Mac computers, appearing with John Hodgman in its commercials.

Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette achieved television immortality in her role as Bob Newhart's wife in the 1970s classic situation comedy, The Bob Newhart Show. For her role as "Emily Hartley", wife of psychologist "Bob Hartley" (played by Bob Newhart), Pleshette was nominated for the Emmy Award twice, in 1977 and 1978. She was also nominated for an Emmy in 1962 for a guest appearance on the TV series, Dr. Kildare and, in 1991, for playing the title role in Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean in a 1990 TV movie. Her acting career lasted almost 50 years. Suzanne Pleshette was born on January 31, 1937, in New York, New York, to Eugene Pleshette, a TV network executive who had managed the Paramount theaters in Manhattan and Brooklyn during the Big Band era, and the former Geraldine Kaplan, a dancer who performed under the name Geraldine Rivers. Her paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, and her maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria-Hungary and Russia.

Pleshette claims that she was not an acting natural but just "found" herself attending New York City's High School of the Performing Arts. After graduating from high school, she attended Syracuse University for a semester before returning to New York City to attend Finch College, an elite finishing school for well-to-do young ladies. After a semester at Finch, Pleshette dropped out to take lessons from famed acting teacher Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. She made her Broadway debut in 1957 as part of the supporting cast for the play Compulsion. Initially cast as "The Fourth Girl", she eventually took over the ingénue role during the play's run.

Blessed with beauty, a fine figure, and a husky voice that made her seem older than her years, she quickly achieved success on both the small and big screens. She made her TV debut, at age 20, in Harbormaster, then was chosen as the female lead opposite superstar Jerry Lewis in his 1958 comedy, The Geisha Boy. On Broadway, she replaced Anne Bancroft in the Broadway hit The Miracle Worker.

Once Pleshette started acting, her career never lagged until she was afflicted with cancer. Her most famous cinematic role was in Alfred Hitchcock's classic, The Birds, as the brunette schoolteacher jilted by the hero of the film, "Mitch Brenner" (played by Rod Taylor). Pleshette's warm, earthy character was a perfect contrast to the icy blonde beauty, "Melanie Daniels" (Tippi Hedren). But it is for "Emily Hartley" that she'll be best remembered.

After The Bob Newhart Show ceased production, Suzanne Pleshette worked regularly on television, mostly in TV movies. Although she was a talented dramatic actress, she had a flair for comedy and, in 1984, she headlined her own series at CBS, which had aired "The Bob Newhart Show". She helped develop the half-hour sitcom, and even had the rare honor of having her name in the title. Suzanne Pleshette Is Maggie Briggs, however, was not a success. She co-starred with Hal Linden in another short-lived CBS TV series, "The Boys Are Back", in the 1994-95 season, then had recurring roles in the TV series Good Morning, Miami and 8 Simple Rules.

Pleshette was married three times: In 1964, she wed teen idol Troy Donahue, her co-star in the 1962 film Rome Adventure and in 1964's A Distant Trumpet, but the marriage lasted less than a year. By contrast, her union with Texas oil millionaire, Tom Gallagher, lasted from 1968 until his death in 2000. After becoming a widow, she and widower Tom Poston (a Newhart regular) rekindled an old romance they had enjoyed when appearing together in "The Golden Fleecing", a 1959 Broadway comedy. They were married from 2001 until Poston's death, in April 2007.

Pleshette was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent chemotherapy in the summer of 2006; she rallied, but in late 2007, she barely survived a bout of pneumonia. She died of respiratory failure on Saturday, January 19, 2008, a few days shy of her 71st birthday. Suzanne Pleshette, the actress who achieved television immortality in her role as Bob Newhart's wife in the 1970s classic situation-comedy, The Bob Newhart Show, will be remembered as a gregarious, down-to-earth person who loved to talk and often regaled her co-stars with a naughty story. Newhart and his producers had picked her for the role of "Emily" in "The Bob Newhart Show" after watching her appearances with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where she showed herself to be a first-rate raconteuse. Because she could hold her own with Newhart's friend Carson, they thought she would be a perfect foil as Newhart's TV wife.

She accepted the part, and TV history was made.

James Caan

A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York-born and bred.

He was born in the Bronx, to Sophie (Falkenstein) and Arthur Caan, Jewish immigrants from Germany. His father was a meat dealer and butcher. The athletically gifted Caan played football at Michigan State University while studying economics, holds a black belt in karate and for several years was even a regular on the rodeo circuit, where he was nicknamed "The Jewish Cowboy". However, while studying at Hofstra University, he became intrigued by acting and was interviewed and accepted at Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse. He then won a scholarship to study under acting coach Wynn Handman and began to appear in several off-Broadway productions, including "I Roam" and "Mandingo".

He made his screen debut as a sailor in Irma la Douce and began to impress audiences with his work in Red Line 7000 and the western El Dorado alongside John Wayne and Robert Mitchum. Further work followed in Journey to Shiloh and in the sensitive The Rain People. However, audiences were moved to tears as he put in a heart-rending performance as cancer-stricken Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo in the highly rated made-for-TV film Brian's Song.

With these strong performances under his belt, Francis Ford Coppola then cast him as hot-tempered gangster Santino "Sonny" Corleone in the Mafia epic The Godfather. The film was an enormous success, Caan scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination and, in the years since, the role has proven to be the one most fondly remembered by his legion of fans. He reprised the role for several flashback scenes in the sequel The Godfather: Part II and then moved on to several very diverse projects. These included a cop-buddy crime partnership with Alan Arkin in the uneven Freebie and the Bean, a superb performance as a man playing for his life in The Gambler alongside Lauren Hutton, and pairing with Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady. Two further strong lead roles came up for him in 1975, first as futuristic sports star "Jonathon E" questioning the moral fiber of a sterile society in Rollerball and teaming up with Robert Duvall in the Sam Peckinpah spy thriller The Killer Elite.

Unfortunately, Caan's rising star sputtered badly at this stage of his career, and several film projects failed to find fire with either critics or audiences. These included such failures as the hokey Harry and Walter Go to New York, the quasi-western Comes a Horseman and the saccharine Chapter Two. However, he did score again with the stylish Michael Mann-directed heist movie Thief. He followed this with a supernatural romantic comedy titled Kiss Me Goodbye and then, due to personal conflicts, dropped out of the spotlight for several years before returning with a stellar performance under old friend Francis Ford Coppola in the moving Gardens of Stone.

Caan appeared back in favor with fans and critics alike and raised his visibility with the sci-fi hit Alien Nation and Dick Tracy, then surprised everyone by playing a meek romance novelist held captive after a car accident by a deranged fan in the dynamic Misery. The 1990s were kind to him and he notched up roles as a band leader in For the Boys, another gangster in Honeymoon in Vegas, appeared in the indie hit Bottle Rocket and pursued Arnold Schwarzenegger in Eraser.

The demand on Caan's talents seems to have increased steadily over the past few years as he is making himself known to a new generation of fans. Recent hot onscreen roles have included The Yards, City of Ghosts and Dogville. In addition, he finds himself at the helm of the hit TV series Las Vegas as casino security chief "Big Ed" Deline. An actor of undeniably manly appeal, James Caan continues to surprise and delight audiences with his invigorating performances.

Kate del Castillo

One of Mexico's most acclaimed and popular actresses, Kate del Castillo broke through in America as a result of her award-winning performance in the hit Fox Searchlight/Weinstein movie Under the Same Moon, which is to date the highest-grossing Spanish-language theatrical release in U.S. history.

Kate is starring in the coveted role of "Queen of the South" in La Reina del Sur a short form prime-time telenovela for Telemundo (NBC/Universal) and Antena 3 (Spain.) This adaptation of the bestseller by Spanish novelist Arturo Perez-Reverte. drew more than 8.1 million viewers in its debut week, making it the most successful telenovela premiere week in the web's history. It continues to break records attracting male viewers and non-Spanish speaking viewers.

Del Castillo appeared as a guest star in six episodes of the fifth season of the Showtime hit comedy series _Weeds_. She starred as 'Pilar Zuazo,' a powerful Mexican crime boss who threatened Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and Esteban's romance then hit with a mallet by Nancy's son.

Del Castillo recently starred in Univision.com's first-ever webnovela (which she co-produced), "Vidas Cruzadas" (Crossed Lives). The series was a huge success and generated more than two million video streams through September 15, 2009 making it one of the three most-watched online properties ever according to the network.

L'Oréal Paris signed del Castillo to an exclusive U.S. contract as a spokesperson for the company and its beauty brands. The advertising was shot in Los Angeles and Paris and is currently appearing in the U.S. and Mexico. The California Ford dealers tapped her as its spokesperson to star in their television and radio ads. The History Channel named her Network Spokesperson for Hispanic Heritage Month in 2007.

Kate del Castillo, was appointed Ambassador for the Mexican Commission on Human Rights to combat human trafficking in 2009, and launched the Blue Heart campaign in Mexico City with U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Mira Sorvino in 2010..

She began her acting career as a child, but it wasn't until the enormously successful telenovela "Muchachitas" that she became a full-fledged star in Mexico. She went on to become the leading ingénue of nine telenovelas, including "Ramona" and "La Mentira" taking them to the top of the Nielsen charts every time. Her telenovelas have aired multiple times in more than 100 countries worldwide. Kate received various accolades for her critically acclaimed performance as a Bolivian dancer in American Visa including "Best Actress" awards in film festivals in Spain and Brazil, and a "Best Actress" nomination at the Ariel Awards, Mexico's equivalent to the Oscars. In the United States, the movie premiered at the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, to a sold-out crowd. She also did a cameo in Bordertown as Antonio Banderas's long-suffering wife. Kate returned to her theater roots in Mexico for a sold-out eight week theatre run in the two character David Harrower play "Blackbird" ("Pájaro Negro.) She won the "Best Actress" award from the Theatre Critics Association in Mexico.

Among her many awards, Kate received the "Outstanding Performance in a Motion Picture" award for her performances in _Trade_ and Under the Same Moon by the National Hispanic Media under the umbrella of the National Latino Media Council. In August 2008, she won the Imagen "Best Actress" award for "Under the Same Moon."

Kate has graced the covers of the top Spanish-language magazines, and was People en Español's 2007 cover Actress of the Year, as well as one of their "Most Beautiful People." On September 13, 2009, Kate served as Grand Marshall in Los Angeles' Mexican Independence Day Parade.

Kate was the voice of Sally Carrera in the Spanish version of Pixar/Disney's Cars and will soon appear in the animated Rio_ as a bird/wife to George Lopez. She made her crossover debut on television in the U.S. in the Golden Globe-nominated PBS series American Family alongside Edward James Olmos.

She is currently developing a project for television, which she hopes will showcase her love of extreme sports. She published in Mexico her first novel called "Tuya" based on her screenplay, and it's now in its third printing.

Anne Heche

Anne Heche's tumultuous childhood began on May 25, 1969, when she was born in Aurora, Ohio, into the fundamentalist Christian family of Nancy Abigail (Prickett) and Donald Joseph Heche. She has Swiss, German, Norwegian, and British Isles ancestry. Her father was an itinerant Baptist minister and choir director who relocated his family yearly in search of work. It was not until 1983 when it was discovered that he had, in actuality, been holding down a double life as a homosexual businessman. Heche lived in several towns in Ohio and in Atlantic City, NJ among other places, while enduring what she claimed was a painful and loveless childhood that included sexual abuse by her father. Heche admittedly retreated into her own fantasy land to escape, standing out with her childhood forays into acting. Before long, though, her family's desperate financial situation necessitated that everyone do their share to bring home the rent, and 12-year-old Heche obliged after landing her first professional acting job at a New Jersey dinner theater. The following year, her father was diagnosed with the then-rare disease AIDS, and his secretive lifestyle was disclosed on his deathbed. Heche's only brother was tragically killed in a car accident weeks later.

Heche and her mother made a new start in Chicago, IL where Heche was active in high school theater and was even courted by an agent to audition for a role on As the World Turns. The 16-year-old was flown to New York City and offered a job, but she did not want to uproot her barely stabilized family again, so she opted to stay and finish high school. Less than two years later, Heche went back to New York where she landed her first major TV role, that of good and evil twins Vicky and Marley on the NBC soap opera Another World. Heche made quite an impression with the complicated dual role, earning Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Awards, though off-screen she was becoming completely unraveled. She had begun therapy to try to make some sense of her childhood and uncovered haunting memories of sexual abuse, causing her behavior to grow more erratic. Heche taped her final episode of "As the World Turns" in 1992 and the following year made a significant TV film debut alongside Jessica Lange in the Golden Globe-nominated adaptation of Willa Cather's O Pioneers!.

Perhaps her fracturing real-life personality lent an interesting perspective to her acting craft, but whatever it was, Heche was undoubtedly a true talent. Off-screen she embraced a second personality that claimed to be from another dimension and able to talk to the dead and heal the sick. Onscreen, she made her feature debut as Mary Jane Wilks in The Adventures of Huck Finn and gradually landed larger roles in I'll Do Anything and TV movies Against the Wall and Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, playing the notorious Southern politician's mistress. Her breakthrough role was that of a doctor friend of Demi Moore who falls victim to a hit man in the thriller The Juror. She went on to co-star with Catherine Keener in the acclaimed indie Walking and Talking before giving an exceptional performance opposite Johnny Depp as the long-suffering wife of Donnie Brasco, an FBI agent whose intensely guarded job as a mafia infiltrator threatens to destroy his own life and family. Heche then teamed with Tommy Lee Jones in the disaster flick Volcano and continued her rise with a well-reviewed turn as a presidential advisor in Barry Levinson's political satire Wag the Dog.

Heche's well-deserved attention for her 1997 performances was overshadowed by bigger news that year; news that she and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres were in love. The news came hot on the heels of DeGeneres' public admission of her own sexuality and the groundbreaking episode of her sitcom Ellen in which her lead character also came out. Prior to this, Heche had been romantically linked to her male co-stars, including a two-year relationship with Steve Martin, so even gay community supporters were left scratching their heads. Meanwhile, the actress had just landed a co-starring role with Harrison Ford in the romantic adventure Six Days Seven Nights, and producers hoped that Heche's updated sexual status would not compromise the audiences' ability to accept her in a heterosexual role, especially after her every move with DeGeneres began being chronicled by the press and paparazzi.

Unfortunately, "Six Days" itself failed to bring in audiences, as did Return to Paradise, in which she co-starred as a lawyer opposite Vince Vaughn. Meanwhile, she and DeGeneres morphed into poster children of the gay community, causing a commotion on the red carpet that rivaled that of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. They also announced that they would be getting married in Vermont, where it was soon to become legal for same sex couples to do so. Due no doubt in part to her personal life, Heche's feature career cooled a bit from her whirlwind of the previous year. Her portrayal of Marion Crane (again opposite Vaughn as Norman Bates) in Gus Van Sant's lambasted shot-for-shot remake of Psycho did not help matters. In 1999, she played the skeptical daughter of a woman proposed as a candidate for sainthood in The Third Miracle while rumors persisted that she was the model for the ruthlessly ambitious actress played by Heather Graham in ex-beau Steve Martin's comedy Bowfinger. Heche wrote and directed the "2000" segment of the Emmy-nominated HBO movie If These Walls Could Talk 2, an anthology about the lesbian experience in America, in a piece starring DeGeneres and Sharon Stone as a couple trying to have a baby. For the pair's second creative collaboration, Heche accompanied DeGeneres on a comedy tour as the director of Ellen De Generes: American Summer Documentary. It was on this tour that she met a cameraman Coleman 'Coley' Laffoon.

Before the film was released, however, the power lesbian couple called it quits, reportedly devastating DeGeneres for a very long time. Days after moving out of their shared home, Heche was picked up by police in a rural area of California's Central valley, where she was found wandering in a confused state claiming to be looking for a spaceship that was supposed to be meeting her. Later in the year, Heche released the hastily written memoir Call Me Crazy in which she explained that the event was the culmination of many years of living with a second personality, Celestia, and attempting to process her childhood abuse by finding love and security. Heche claimed that following the experience and single day on a mental ward, she literally snapped out of it, put her alter ego behind her, and resumed her life with new clarity. In a further unexpected twist - and one that alienated her legions of gay supporters - Heche married her cameraman beau, Laffoon within the year and became pregnant with their child.

The press eventually settled down from the field day of Heche's personal journey, and her career got back on track surprisingly quickly. She had a featured role in the Denzel Washington thriller John Q and also played Dr. Sterling in the long-delayed adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's bestseller Prozac Nation. Television writer-producer David E. Kelley cast her in a recurring role on the hit Ally McBeal as the eccentric, Tourette's-addled soul-mate of John Cage (Peter MacNicol) during the 2000-01 season. Following the birth of her son, Homer, in 2002, Heche replaced Jennifer Jason Leigh in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "Proof" on Broadway. In 2004, the resilient actress received an Emmy nomination for playing a drug-addicted mother who neglects her children in the Lifetime movie Gracie's Choice. She also appeared in a recurring role on the drama Everwood before returning to Broadway where she was nominated for a Tony Award for a revival of the showbiz-themed comedy "Twentieth Century," starring opposite Alec Baldwin.

Clearly, by the time she took on a recurring role on Nip/Tuck in 2005 as an ex-mob wife and Witness Protection Program subject who requires plastic surgery, Heche had reclaimed a great deal of her once-tarnished professional luster. By next fall, she was headlining her own prime time show, ABC's quirky comedy-drama Men in Trees where she starred as a transplanted New York author living in small town Alaska which happens to be abundant with single men and few women. The show was well-received by critics and Heche was singled out for her charming performance, a performance that also charmed hunky co-star James Tupper, with whom Heche began a romance following the breakup of her marriage to Laffoon in 2006, who filed for divorce from Heche in February, 2007, claiming the affair began prior to their divorce. The split was yet another bitter one for Heche who fought hard in court against paying alimony or child support to her estranged husband, who claimed that she was an unfit parent and had exhibited "bizarre and delusional behavior;" that Homer should stay with him in L.A. while Heche filmed on location in Canada. In the end, the cameraman was granted primary physical custody. Things only went downhill from there, with "Men in Trees" getting the ax following the 2007-08 writer's strike, leaving Heche to insist to the court that she could no longer pay Laffoon the monthly installments of $14,978 in child support.

Thus motivated, Heche quickly went back to work in projects like the straight-to-DVD eco-disaster movie Toxic Skies, co-starring her new beau Tupper, and as an overly indulgent sugar mama in the little-seen Ashton Kutcher vanity project Spread. After two years as a couple, she and Tupper welcomed a son, Atlas, into the world in early 2009. Professionally, things took an upturn for Heche when she was cast on the sexy comedy series Hung as Jessica, the spoiled, yet unfulfilled ex-wife of a high school athletic coach (Thomas Jane) who becomes a male escort to supplement his income. Along with the rest the stellar cast, Heche received some of the highest marks of her career for her work on the under-appreciated series. More accolades came her way for her turn as a fun-loving insurance saleswoman who finds an unexpected romance with an incredibly naïve colleague (Ed Helms) in the indie comedy Cedar Rapids. That same year, a supporting role as the ex-wife of a self-destructive LAPD officer (Woody Harrelson) in the gritty police drama Rampart further bolstered her Hollywood reputation. Working steadily, Heche also co-starred with Tupper as parents of a teenage girl whose vicious beating at the hands of fellow schoolgirls is caught on tape in the TV drama Girl Fight. The following year, the actress was seen in several limited-release efforts, including That's What She Said and Arthur Newman.

Donnie Yen

Martial artist and Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen was born to newspaper editor Klyster Yen and martial arts master Bow Sim Mark. At the age of four Yen started taking up martial arts from his mother, who taught him wushu and tai chi until the age of eleven when his family emigrated to Boston, MA. From there he continued mastering wushi and tai chi. But after developing a huge interest in martial arts he eventually began getting into various others martial art styles, such as taekwondo, kick-boxing, boxing, karate etc. When Yen was sixteen his parents sent him to Beijing Wushu Academy so he could train Chinese martial arts under Master Wu Bin, well known as the coach of Jet Li. He underwent intensive training for three years.

After three years Yen was about to leave back to the US but made a side trip to Hong Kong. There he was accidentally introduced to famous Hong Kong action film-maker Woo-Ping Yuen, who was responsible for bringing Jackie Chan to super stardom and was looking for someone new to star in his films. Yen was offered a screen test - which he passed - and thereafter a 4-picture deal. Yen started out with stunt doubling duty on the magical martial arts film The Miracle Fighters. From there he starred in his first film, Drunken Tai Chi at the age of 19. He continued his early film career working independently with Woo-Ping Yuen and also applied for acting lessons as well as roles in TV series at TVB to gain more acting experience. He started getting a bit of attention in the late 1980s and mid 1990s, after he was offered a contract by D&B Films Co's Dickson Poon. Poon gave Yen major roles in the action films Tiger Cage, In the Line of Duty 4 and Tiger Cage 2, which became cult classics after their initial releases. These films eventually spread outside the Hong Kong film circuit and gave Yen a good reputation as a formidable onscreen action performer. But after a while, the company did not do well and in the end went bankrupt. This left Yen with no choice but to go back to TVB as well as venture into low-budget film-making making films, such as Crystal Hunt and Revenge of the Cheetah.

But the misfortune didn't last long. Famous director Hark Tsui had just made a successful attempt to revive the kung fu genre with Once Upon a Time in China which starred Jet Li. For the sequel Once Upon a Time in China II Hark was looking for someone to play the new nemesis. Through Yen's early films and his rep as one of the most effective pound-for-pound on-screen fighters in Hong Kong, Hark became fascinated and decided to approach, discuss, and eventually cast him in the role of General Lan. The film became a turning point in Yen's career and his two fight scenes with Jet Li revolutionized the standards of Hong Kong martial arts choreography at the time, and are still regarded as among the best fight scenes ever created in Hong Kong film history. Another acclaim by critics and movie goers was Yen's acting performance. It was so outstanding that he was nominated for "Best Supporting Actor" at the 1992 Hong Kong Film Awards.

After the excellent showcase, Yen starred in other successful and classic films, such as Dragon Inn for director Raymond Lee and Butterfly and Sword by Michael Mak. But he still continued to work with Woo-Ping Yuen on films including Heroes Among Heroes, Iron Monkey and Wing Chun. But after creative differences between them became apparent, both of them decided it was best to work on their own so they ended up going separate ways and haven't collaborated with each other ever since.

During this period Yen got into TV and worked on a couple of series for ATV as actor and action director. The first was The Kung Fu Master which depicted the life of martial arts legend Hung Hei-Kwan. The TV series was a big success and Yen continued the success by action directing and starring in the second successful series; Fist of Fury. It retold the story of Chen Zhen, the character made famous by Bruce Lee in the original 1972 film classic with the same title. Aside the TV work, he was offered roles by prolific director/producer Jing Wong in films such as The Saint of Gamblers and got other offers which includes Circus Kids where he co-starred with action star Biao Yuen, and Asian Cop: High Voltage which was shot in the Philippines.

In 1996 - after fulfilling his contract deal with Wong Jing and returning deposit money to refuse making more films for him - Yen signed with the independent film company My Way Film Co. This became another turning point in his career in that he started learning directing and experimenting with film cameras. In 1997, he finally made his directorial debut with Legend of the Wolf and had created a different style of martial arts choreography. The film made a huge impact within fan communities around the world for its' daring, braving, and fresh attempt of accomplishing something new for the then dying martial arts action genre in Hong Kong. There was and still is a mixture of people both admiring and looking down on this particular style. Yen continued to work as lead actor/director/action director on films such as Ballistic Kiss, Shanghai Affairs. In 1999, he decided to try something different and ended up flying to Germany to work on the local TV film Der Puma - Kämpfer mit Herz and its' TV series counterpart.

In 2000, things took a turn for Yen once again when US-based film company Dimension Films called and offered him a major role in Highlander: Endgame as the immortal Jin Ke, making it his US debut. But sadly the film didn't perform well at the box-office and many fans consider it to be a part of its' own franchise. Nevertheless, Yen's fan-base consider his action scenes to be highlights of the film; especially his duel with Adrian Paul. To Dimension Films' credit though, offers followed shortly afterward. Yen was invited to work behind the camera on The Princess Blade for Japanese director Shinsuke Sato and Blade II by Guillermo del Toro, the latter of which he also appeared in as the mute vampire Snowman.

In 2002 and 2003 respectively, Yen's career further progressed after he took on two memorable roles. Firstly, highly acclaimed Chinese director Yimou Zhang offered Yen the part of assassin Sky in Hero starring Jet Li and resulted in one of the most anticipated Chinese films of 2002 which eventually became a mega hit around Asia. Secondly, director David Dobkin casted him alongside Jackie Chan as the traitorous Wu Chow in Shanghai Knights, the sequel to Shanghai Noon. This film marked the first time Yen worked with Chan in his career. Both of these collaborations gave Yen more recognition in the US and in Hong Kong, which in turn gave him more opportunities as an actor and action director.

In the same year Yen decided to put hold of pursuing a career in Hollywood and flew back to Hong Kong to find quality work. Through his good friend and Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan he signed up as action director for Vampire Effect, produced by Emperor Multimedia Group Co. (EMG) and starring the pop stars Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi with in a cameo appearance by Jackie Chan. The film earned him a nomination for "Best Action Design" at the 2003 Hong Kong Film Awards as well as the 2003 Golden Horse Awards, both of which he won prices for. He continued to work on few films after that, including Black Rose Academy as director and action director, and The Twins Effect II as actor where he once again worked with Jackie Chan on an anticipated fight scene which was satisfying enough for fans to see.

Later on in 2004 Yen's career took a totally different turn when Hark Tsui offered him a leading role in Seven Swords which was an adaptation of a lengthy novel written by Liang Yu-Sheng about seven warriors and their mystical swords. Despite the disappointing box-office reception when it was released locally, the film was nonetheless a great showcase for Yen as an actor and action performer unlike anything he did previously in his career. Around the same time, Yen also teamed up with acclaimed Hong Kong director Wilson Yip and together they made the highly anticipated crime drama SPL: Kill Zone. The film was remarkable in that it successfully combined strong acting and unique storytelling/visuals with groundbreaking martial arts action. This concept went on to become favored by action film fans and Hong Kong Cinema fans in general after its' release. Yen's way of shooting martial arts action - which was nothing like people had already seen - earned him a nomination and a price at the 2005 Hong Kong Film Awards for "Best Action Design". The movie also led to a trend of similar Hong Kong action films where storytelling/visuals along with hard-hitting action scenes were to be highlighted as much as possible.

After the success, Yen and Yip teamed up immediately for more projects which includes the comic book adaptation Dragon Tiger Gate and the hard-hitting action drama Flash Point, both of which were very successful at the box-office and within fan communities globally. These accomplishments made people regard Yen as the new pinnacle of Hong Kong martial arts/action films. Yen both earned the "Best Action Design" nomination at the 2006 Hong Kong Film Awards as well as the "Best Action Direction" nomination at 2006 Golden Bauhinia Awards for Dragon Tiger Gate. He won a price for the latter while he was awarded for his action design on Flash Point at both the 2007 Golden Bauhinia Awards and the 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards.

From there on Yen continued to work as a lead actor and also developed an interest in improving his acting skills. He got a leading role in the battle epic An Empress and the Warriors, directed by acclaimed Hong Kong action director Siu-Tung Ching, which was a big success in Mainland China. He continued work starring in the supernatural romance film Painted Skin by Gordon Chan. Then he starred in the martial arts biopic Ip Man helmed by Wilson Yip. This film was based on the life of one of Bruce Lee's wing chun teachers, Yip Man. The film became a sensational mega success all over Asia and people within the Hong Kong film industry started taking note after Wilson Yip's matured style of film-making, Sammo Hung's fresh martial arts choreography which many action film fans consider to be a redefinition of Hung's career as action director. But most impressive about the film for the audiences and critics was Yen's acting performance. During production, people had been very skeptical about Yen being the choice for the Yip Man role. But when the film was released, all pressure from the cast and crew were gone and people eventually went on to praise Yen for his portrayal of Yip Man. The success of the film also led to other successful directors and producers approaching Yen and giving him offers to work in front of the camera.

Through his progression in the Hong Kong film industry from the start - when he was just like other action performers in Hong Kong trying to make a name for themselves - to nowadays as arguably among the most offering leading Hong Kong actors and the most promising action director, as long as Donnie Yen is still active in film-making (whether working in front of or behind the camera), he will almost certainly break new grounds and create more innovative concepts of action choreography for the martial arts action genre.

Ansel Elgort

Ansel Elgort is an American actor, known for playing Augustus Waters in the romance The Fault in Our Stars.

Ansel was born in New York City to photographer Arthur Elgort and opera director Grethe Barrett Holby. His father is of Russian Jewish heritage, while his mother has English, German, and Norwegian ancestry.

As a child, Ansel tried out for the School of American Ballet, and attended Stagedoor Manor summer camp and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. He began his professional acting career on stage, appearing in Matt Charman's play "Regrets," which was performed off-Broadway. Ansel made his film debut in the horror remake Carrie, and co-starred with Shailene Woodley in both the science-fiction tale Divergent (playing her character's brother) and the romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars (playing male lead Augustus Waters, who is Woodley's character's love interest). Ansel also had a role in Jason Reitman's drama film Men, Women & Children, and returned for the sequel to Divergent, Insurgent.

Julie Christie

Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses", was born in Chukua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1941, the daughter of a tea planter, Frank St. John Christie, and his wife, Rosemary (Ramsden), who was a painter. Her family was of English, and some Scottish, origin. The young Christie grew up on her father's tea plantation before being sent to England for her education. Finishing her studies in Paris, where she had moved to improve her French with an eye to possibly becoming a linguist (she is fluent in French and Italian), the teenager became enamored of the freedom of the Continent. She also was smitten by the bohemian life of artists and planned on becoming an artist before she enrolled in London's Central School of Speech Training. She made her debut as a professional in 1957 as a member of the Frinton Repertory of Essex.

Christie was not fond of the stage, even though it allowed her to travel, including a professional gig in the United States. Her true métier as an actress was film, and she made her screen debut in the science-fiction television serial A for Andromeda in 1961. Her first film role was as the unlikely wife of Leslie Phillips' in the Ealing-like comedy Crooks Anonymous, which was followed up by an ingénue role in another comedy, The Fast Lady. The producers of the "James Bond" series were sufficiently intrigued by the young actress to consider her for the role that subsequently went to Ursula Andress in Dr. No, but dropped the idea because she was not busty enough.

Christie first worked with the man who would kick her career into high gear, director John Schlesinger, when he choose her as a replacement for the actress originally cast in Billy Liar. Christie's turn in the film as the free-wheeling "Liz" was a stunner, and she had her first taste of becoming a symbol if not icon of the new British cinema. Her screen presence was such that the great John Ford cast her as the Irish prostitute, Daisy Battles, in Young Cassidy. Charlton Heston wanted her for his film The War Lord, but the studio refused her salary demands.

Although Amercan magazines portrayed Christie as a "newcomer" when she made her breakthrough to super-stardom in Schlesinger's seminal Swinging Sixties film Darling, she actually had considerable work under her professional belt and was in the process of a artistic quickening. Schlesinger called on Christie, whom he adored, to play the role of mode "Diana Scott" when the casting of Shirley MacLaine fell through. (MacLaine was the sister of the man who would become Christie's long-time paramour in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Warren Beatty, whom some, like actor Rod Steiger, believe she gave up her career for. Her Doctor Zhivago co-star, Steiger -- a keen student of acting -- regretted that Christie did not give more of herself to her craft).

As played by Christie, Diana is an amoral social butterfly who undergoes a metamorphosis from immature sex kitten to jaded socialite. For her complex performance, Christie won raves, including the Best Actress Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Film Academy. She had arrived, especially as she had followed up Darling with the role of "Lara" in two-time Academy Award-winning director David Lean's adaptation of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, one of the all-time box-office champs.

Christie was now a superstar who commanded a price of $400,000 per picture, a fact ruefully noted in Charlton Heston's diary (his studio had balked at paying her then-fee of $35,000). More interested in film as an art form than in consolidating her movie stardom, Christie followed up Doctor Zhivago with a dual role in Fahrenheit 451 for director François Truffaut, a director she admired. The film was hurt by the director's lack of English and by friction between Truffaut and Christie's male co-star Oskar Werner, who had replaced the more-appropriate-for-the-role Terence Stamp. Stamp and Christie had been lovers before she had become famous, and he was unsure he could act with her, due to his own ego problems. On his part, Werner resented the attention the smitten Truffaut gave Christie.

Stamp overcame those ego problems to sign on as her co-star in John Schlesinger's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, which also featured two great English actors, Peter Finch and Alan Bates. It is a film that is far better remembered now than when it was received in 1967. The film and her performance as the Hardy heroine "Bathsheba Everdene" was lambasted by film critics, many of whom faulted Christie for being too "mod" and thus untrue to one of Hardy's classic tales of fate. Some said that her contemporary, Vanessa Redgrave, would have been a better choice as "Bathsheba", but while it is true that Redgrave is a very fine actress, she lacked the sex appeal and star quality of Christie, which makes the story of three men in love with one woman more plausible, as a film.

Although no one then knew it, the period 1967-68 represented the high-water mark of Christie's career. Fatefully, like the Hardy heroine she had portrayed, she had met the man who transformed her life, undermining her pretensions to a career as a movie star in their seven-year-long love affair, the American actor Warren Beatty. Living his life was always far more important than being a star for Beatty, who viewed the movie star profession as a "treadmill leading to more treadmills" and who was wealthy enough after Bonnie and Clyde to not have to ever work again. Christie and Beatty had visited a working farm during the production of Far from the Madding Crowd and had been appalled by the industrial exploitation of the animals. Thereafter, animal rights became a very important subject to Christie. They were kindred souls who remain friends four decades after their affair ended in 1974.

Christie's last box-office hit in which she was the top-liner was Petulia for Richard Lester, a film that featured one of co-star George C. Scott's greatest performances, perfectly counter-balanced by Christie's portrayal of an "arch-kook" who was emblematic of the '60s. It is one of the major films of the decade, an underrated masterpiece. Despite the presence of the great George C. Scott and the excellent Shirley Knight, the film would not work without Julie Christie. There is frankly no other actress who could have filled the role, bringing that unique presence and the threat of danger that crackled around Christie's electric aura. At this point of her career, she was poised for greatness as a star, greatness as an actress.

And she walked away.

After meeting Beatty, Julie Christie essentially surrendered any aspirations to screen stardom, or at maintaining herself as a top-drawer working actress (success at the box office being a guarantee of the best parts, even in art films). She turned down They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and Anne of the Thousand Days, two parts that garnered Oscar nominations for the second choices, Jane Fonda and Geneviève Bujold. After shooting In Search of Gregory, a critical and box office flop, to fulfill her contractual obligations, she spent her time with Beatty in California, renting a beach house at Malibu. She did return to form in Joseph Losey's The Go-Between, a fine picture with a script by the great Harold Pinter, and she won another Oscar nomination as the whore-house proprietor in Robert Altman's minor classic McCabe & Mrs. Miller that she made with her lover Beatty. However, like Beatty, himself, she did not seek steady work, which can be professional suicide for an actor who wants to maintain a standing in the first rank of movie stars.

At the same time, Julie Christie turned down the role of the Russian Empress in Nicholas and Alexandra, another film that won the second-choice (Janet Suzman) a Best Actress Oscar nomination. Two years later, she appeared in his landmark mystery-horror film Don't Look Now, but that likely was as a favor to the director, Nicolas Roeg, who had been her cinematographer on Fahrenheit 451, Far from the Madding Crowd and Petulia. In the mid-70s, her affair with Beatty came to an end, but the two remained close friends and worked together in Shampoo (which she regretted due to its depiction of women) and Heaven Can Wait.

Christie was still enough of a star, due to sheer magnetism rather than her own pull at the box-office, to be offered $1 million to play the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis character in The Greek Tycoon (a part eventually played by Jacqueline Bisset to no great acclaim). She signed for but was forced to drop out of the lead in Agatha (which was filled by Vanessa Redgrave) after she broke a wrist roller-skating (a particularly southern Californian fate!). She then signed for the female lead in American Gigolo when Richard Gere was originally attached to the picture, but dropped out when John Travolta muscled his way into the lead after making twin box-office killings as disco king "Tony Manero" in Saturday Night Fever and greaser "Danny Zuko" in Grease. Christie could never have co-starred with such a camp figure of dubious talent. When Travolta himself dropped out and Gere was subbed back in, it was too late for Christe to reconsider, as the part already had been filled by model-actress Lauren Hutton.

Finally, the end of the American phase of her movie career was realized when Christie turned down the part of "Louise Bryant" in Reds, a part written by Warren Beatty with her in mind, as she felt an American should play the role. (Beatty's latest lover, Diane Keaton, played the part and won a Best Actress Oscar nomination). Still, she remained a part of the film, Beatty's long-gestated labor of love, as it is dedicated to "Jules".

Julie Christie moved back to the UK and become the UK's answer to Jane Fonda, campaigning for various social and political causes, including animal rights and nuclear disarmament. The parts she did take were primarily driven by her social consciousness, such as appearing in Sally Potter's first feature-length film, The Gold Diggers which was not a remake of the old Avery Hopwood's old warhorse but a feminist parable made entirely by women who all shared the same pay scale. Roles in The Return of the Soldier with Alan Bates and Glenda Jackson and Merchant-Ivory's Heat and Dust seemed to herald a return to form, but Christie -- as befits such a symbol of the freedom and lack of conformity of the '60s -- decided to do it her way. She did not go "careering", even though her unique talent and beauty was still very much in demand by filmmakers.

At this point, Christie's movie career went into eclipse. Once again, she was particularly choosy about her work, so much so that many came to see her, essentially, as retired. A career renaissance came in the mid-1990s with her turn as "Gertrude" in Kenneth Branagh's ambitious if not wholly successful Hamlet. As Christie said at the time, she didn't feel she could turn Branagh down as he was a national treasure. But the best was yet to come: her turn as the faded movie star married to handyman Nick Nolte and romanced by a younger man in Afterglow, which brought her rave notices. She received her third Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, and showed up at the awards as radiant and uniquely beautiful as ever. Ever the iconoclast, she was visibly relieved, upon the announcement of the award, to learn that she had lost!

Christie lived with left-wing investigative journalist Duncan Campbell (a Manchester Guardian columnist) since 1979, first in Wales, then in Ojai, California, and now in London's East End, before marrying in 2008. In addition to her film work, she has narrated many books-on-tape. In 1995, she made a triumphant return to the stage in a London revival of Harold Pinter's "Old Times", which garnered her superb reviews. In the decade since Afterglow, she has worked steadily on film in supporting roles.

Christie -- an actress who eschewed vulgar stardom -- proved to be an inspiration to her co-star Sarah Polley who was in No Such Thing and The Secret Life of Words. Polley says that Christie is uniquely aware of her commodification by the movie industry and the mass media during the 1960s. Not wanting to be reduced to a product, she had rebelled and had assumed control of her life and career. Her attitude makes her one of Polley's heroes, who calls her one of her surrogate mothers. (Polley lost her own mother when she was 11 years old).

Polley wrote the screenplay for her adaptation of Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" with only one actress in mind: Julie Christie. Polley had first read the short story on a flight back from Iceland, where she had made No Such Thing with Christie and, as she read, it was Julie whom she pictured as "Fiona", the wife of a one-time philandering husband, who has become afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and seeks to save her hubby the pain of looking after her by checking herself into a home. After finishing the screenplay, it took months to get Christie to commit to making the film. Polley then found out why Christie is so reticent about making movies: "She gives all of herself to what she does. Once she said yes, she was more committed than anybody".

According to David Germain, a cinema journalist who interviewed Christie for the Associated Press, "Polley and Christie share a desire to do interesting, unusual work, which generally means staying away from Hollywood. The collaboration between the two rebels yielded a small gem of a film. Lions Gate Films was so impressed, it purchased the American distribution rights to the film in 2006, then withheld it until the following year to build up momentum for the awards season. Julie Christie's performance in Away from Her is superb, and already has garnered her the National Board of Review's Best Actress Award.

Fisher Stevens

Fisher Stevens moved from his native Chicago to New York at the age of 13 to pursue an acting career. He tried, unsuccessfully, to get any kind of job and was, he recalls, even rejected as extra for a Crest commercial.

When his acting teacher, Dan Fauci, lost the lease to his teaching studio, he rented Fisher's loft and built a stage in the living room. He later studied with Uta Hagen. His first professional theatrical production was playing Tiny Tim's brother, Harry, in the musical version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" in the basement of an off-off-off Broadway theatre when he was 14. Since then he has performed in more than 20 stage productions including 544 performances in Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Triology", both on and off Broadway. He also played Eugene in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memories". Most recently, he played the leads in Thomas Babe's "Carrying School Children", "Almost Romance" opposite Helen Slater and Jules Feiffer's "Little Murders" with Christine Lahti. He also sang and danced in the musicals "Miami" by Wendy Wasserstein and the late Michael Bennett's Broadway production of "Scandal" with Swoosie Kurtz and Treat Williams. He also appeared in the recent New York City Shakespeare Festival production of "A Midsummer Nights Dream".

Fisher made his motion picture debut getting his fingers chopped off in the horror film The Burning when he was 16-years-old. After that he appeared in Baby It's You and The Brother from Another Planet. He co-starred with Matt Dillon in the hit comedy film The Flamingo Kid where he met the then fledgling producer Gary Foster. He appeared as sidekick to Steve Guttenberg's character in Short Circuit.

In television he has performed in ABC's Ryan's Hope, Showtime's Tall Tales & Legends and CBS' Early Edition.

Despite having lived in New York City for more than a decade, where, with some other actors, Stevens has started an off-off-off Broadway theatre company called Naked Angels, he insists that he is still a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Katharine Hepburn

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them. For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.

After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in "Art and Mrs. Bottle" (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in "A Warrior's Husband" (1932). The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement, opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women was the most successful picture of its day.

But stories were beginning to leak out of her haughty behavior off- screen and her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews. Audiences were shocked at her unconventional behavior instead of applauding it, and so when she returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in "The Lake", the critics panned her and the audiences, who at first bought up tickets, soon deserted her. When she returned to Hollywood, things didn't get much better. From the period 1935-1938, she had only two hits: Alice Adams, which brought her her second Oscar nomination, and Stage Door; the many flops included Break of Hearts, Sylvia Scarlett, Mary of Scotland, Quality Street and the now- classic Bringing Up Baby.

With so many flops, she came to be labeled "box-office poison." She decided to go back to Broadway to star in "The Philadelphia Story" (1938), and was rewarded with a smash. She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars. The film version of The Philadelphia Story, was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year, she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam's Rib, Pat and Mike, and Desk Set.

With The African Queen, Hepburn moved into middle-aged spinster roles, receiving her fifth Oscar nomination for the film. She played more of these types of roles throughout the 50s, and won more Oscar nominations for many of them, including her roles in Summertime, The Rainmaker and Suddenly, Last Summer. Her film roles became fewer and farther between in the 60s, as she devoted her time to her ailing partner Spencer Tracy. For one of her film appearances in this decade, in Long Day's Journey Into Night, she received her ninth Oscar nomination. After a five-year absence from films, she then made Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, her last film with Tracy and the last film Tracy ever made; he died just weeks after finishing it. It garnered Hepburn her tenth Oscar nomination and her second win. The next year, she did The Lion in Winter, which brought her her eleventh Oscar nomination and third win.

In the 70s, she turned to making made-for-TV films, with The Glass Menagerie, Love Among the Ruins and The Corn Is Green. She still continued to make an occasional appearance in feature films, such as Rooster Cogburn, with John Wayne, and On Golden Pond, with Henry Fonda. This last brought her her twelfth Oscar nomination and fourth win - the latter currently still a record for an actress.

She made more TV-films in the 80s, and wrote her autobiography, 'Me', in 1991. Her last feature film was Love Affair, with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and her last TV- film was One Christmas. With her health declining she retired from public life in the mid-nineties. She died at the age of 96 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

John Cho

John Yohan Cho was born in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to Los Angeles, California as a child, where his father was a Christian Minister. Cho was educated at Herbert Hoover High School at Glendale before moving on to the University of California at Berkeley where he studied English Literature. Upon graduation, Cho moved back to Los Angeles, working for a while as a teacher at Pacific Hills School. He also began acting with the famed Asian American theater company East West Players.

A screen acting career began with small roles in projects such as Wag the Dog and Bowfinger. His breakthrough came when he appeared in the teen romance comedy American Pie and helped coin the phrase "MILF". Other roles followed, and he scored another hit in the slacker comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. Cho also starred in the hugely successful franchise reboot Star Trek, in the sought after role of Hikaru Sulu. As well as acting, Cho is also a singer and performs in the band Viva La Union. He is married to actress Kerri Higuchi and they have two children.

Lucille Ball

The woman who will always be remembered as the crazy, accident-prone, lovable Lucy Ricardo was born Lucille Desiree Ball on August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Her father died before she was four, and her mother worked several jobs, so she and her younger brother were raised by their grandparents. Always willing to take responsibility for her brother and young cousins, she was a restless teenager who yearned to "make some noise". She entered a dramatic school in New York City, but while her classmate Bette Davis received all the raves, she was sent home; "too shy". She found some work modeling for Hattie Carnegie's and, in 1933, she was chosen to be a "Goldwyn Girl" and appear in the film Roman Scandals.

She was put under contract to RKO Radio Pictures and several small roles, including one in Top Hat, followed. Eventually, she received starring roles in B-pictures and, occasionally, a good role in an A-picture, like in Stage Door or The Big Street. While filming Too Many Girls, she met and fell madly in love with a young Cuban actor-musician named Desi Arnaz. Despite different personalities, lifestyles, religions and ages (he was six years younger), he fell hard, too, and after a passionate romance, they eloped and were married in November 1940. Lucy soon switched to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where she got better roles in films such as Du Barry Was a Lady; Best Foot Forward and the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy vehicle Without Love. In 1948, she took a starring role in the radio comedy "My Favorite Husband", in which she played the scatterbrained wife of a Midwestern banker. In 1950, CBS came knocking with the offer of turning it into a television series. After convincing the network brass to let Desi play her husband and to sign over the rights to and creative control over the series to them, work began on the most popular and universally beloved sitcom of all time.

With I Love Lucy, she and Dezi pioneered the 3-camera technique now the standard in filming sitcoms, and the concept of syndicating television programs. She was also the first woman to own her own studio as the head of Desilu Productions. Lucille Ball died at home, age 77, of an acute aortic aneurysm on April 26, 1989 in Beverly Hills, California.

Aamir Khan

Aamir was first introduced as a child artiste in the 1970's hit Yaadon Ki Baaraat -- he was the youngest child in the trio. He then concentrated on school and became a state tennis champion for Maharashtra. Aamir fell in love with the girl next door in the meantime. He proposed to her the day he turned 21, and she accepted. But apparently, there was opposition since she was from a Hindu family and he, from a devout Islamic one. So, they eloped, got married and returned to their homes. Aamir's wife Reena even appears in the song "Papa Kehte Hain".

His performance in Earth as the Ice-Candy man has received rave reviews from Indian and International critics. Using classic "method acting" and adopted an acting technique inspired by his seniors Sanjeev Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor, Aamir acts in all genres of Indian films - comedy, action, drama and romance. He is regarded as complete Indian actor of the post 1990 generation of actors for his diverse choice of roles and films.

Keith Carradine

It seems the second generation of acting Carradines -- David, Keith and Robert -- are proudly continuing the family tradition and begetting a third generation of talent. The dynasty began with veteran Hollywood patriarch John Carradine, the son of a surgeon and a correspondent for the Associated Press. Keith was a child, born of John's second marriage to actress Sonia Sorel.

Lanky, laid-back and highly likable, Keith Ian Carradine was born in San Mateo, California, on August 8, 1949. His parents divorced when Keith was six. Following in the footsteps of older half-brother and mentor David Carradine, Keith studied theater arts at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, but dropped out after only one semester to pursue his career. Soon after, he auditioned for "Hair" in Los Angeles and made his Broadway debut in the 1969 rock musical, playing the role of Claude for an extended period of time. Keith next appeared with his father in a stage production of "Tobacco Road" (1970) in Florida.

The following year Keith broke into films with a part in the Kirk Douglas/Johnny Cash western A Gunfight. Legendary director Robert Altman was quite taken by Keith's work in the film and gave him a part in his own movie McCabe & Mrs. Miller, which sparked the first of many endeavors together. Keith also made a strong showing on TV, making his mini-movie debut with Man on a String, and appearing with brother David in the TV movie pilot and various episodes of the cult series Pilot as the teenage version (seen in flashbacks) of David's character Kwai Chang Caine.

Keith continued to impress in Altman's films. He played one of three convicts in the critically-acclaimed movie Thieves Like Us, but scored Oscar gold with his next Altman film, Nashville -- not with his acting but with his songwriting. His composition "I'm Easy" won both the Oscar and Golden Globe for "Best Song". Keith also earned a Grammy nomination in 1976 for his contribution to "Nashville" in the "Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special" category.

Keith first association with Altman's protégé, Alan Rudolph, occurred filming Welcome to L.A., to which he again contributed his music talent. Keith's rangy handsomeness and low-keyed acting style were on full display as he increased his popularity with appearances in such films as Ridley Scott's The Duellists; Louis Malle's first American film, the visually-striking Pretty Baby, that made a controversial star out of young Brooke Shields; and the comedy/romance An Almost Perfect Affair. One acting trick that worked was pairing all three Carradine brothers in The Long Riders, which recalled the infamous lives of brothers Cole, Jim and Bob Younger, and boasted three other sets of acting brothers (Keach, Quaid and Guest) as various other outlaw siblings.

Keith's acting reviews throughout much of his career would be decidedly mixed -- some would find his unassuming, introspective acting too listless while others found it beautifully realized and understated. Many of his best notices came from the Altman and Rudolph films, appearing in two of Rudolph acclaimed 80s works -- Choose Me and The Moderns. He also persevered on TV with award-worthy work. His role in the mini-series Chiefs netted an Emmy nomination, while his recurring role as Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood earned a Golden Satellite nomination and his work in the made-for-TV-film Half a Lifetime scored a CableACE nomination. Regular series work came late in his career, starring in Fast Track, Outreach and Complete Savages, all of which were short-lived.

Keith's career was revitalized on the 80s and 90s stage. In addition to strong roles in "Another Part of the Forest" (1982) and "Detective Story" (1984), he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for his excellent work in 1982's "Foxfire" opposite Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn_ and then roped a Tony and Drama Desk nomination as humorist Will Rogers in the Broadway musical "The Will Rogers Follies" (1991). Most recently (2005) he starred in the American premiere of David Hare's satire "Stuff Happens" as none other than George W. Bush while expounding on the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Keith has been married twice. Of his two children born from his first union to actress Sandra Will, who played opposite him in the film Choose Me, son Cade Carradine recently portrayed Lord Oxford in the film Richard III and daughter Sorel Carradine has been seen on TV. Keith and Sandra eventually divorced and he married actress Hayley DuMond in 2006; they met while appearing in the film The Hunter's Moon. Keith's daughter Martha Plimpton, a highly gifted actress on her own, was a child from his relationship to actress Shelley Plimpton, whom he met when both were cast members in "Hair" back in 1969.

Keith continues to write and compose. More recently he hosted The History Channel's Wild West Tech and appeared on a season of the hit cable series Dexter.

Helen Slater

Helen Slater was born in Bethpage, New York, to Alice Joan (Citrin), a lawyer and peace activist, and Gerald Slater, a television executive. She was raised in Massapequa, Long Island, New York, and is of Eastern European Jewish descent. Appearing in many shows as a child, she attended the New York High School of Performing Arts, graduating in 1982. Having made her acting debut in Amy & the Angel, co-starring with James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine. Helen took her career very seriously. Within months of her graduation, she attended auditions for the upcoming spin-off of the famous Superman franchise, Supergirl. It was to be shot in England at Pinewood Studios, where the first "Superman" movies were filmed. Slater even spoke to Christopher Reeve about playing a superhero to assure herself she could do it. After being the first to present herself for audition, she was cast as the lead in the film and her career took off. Although Supergirl received mixed reviews, most critics were impressed with Helen's abilities. In fact, the critics' consensus was that she did a better job at keeping a secret identity (a mousy schoolgirl) than Reeve did as Clark Kent. In her next film, she was cast as a modern-day "Joan of Arc" in The Legend of Billie Jean with Yeardley Smith and Peter Coyote. The film, though not particularly successful, has managed to attract a somewhat cult following. She next appeared in one of her best-received roles, that of the female half of the bumbling husband-and-wife team that kidnaps Bette Midler in the comic blockbuster, Ruthless People, and scored again in the hit The Secret of My Succe$s. Both roles helped to cement her status as an actress of note. Next, she and her friend, Melanie Mayron, starred in the feminist comedy, Sticky Fingers, a critical but not financial success. It was in this film and her next, Happy Together, that she was able to prove that she could do comedy as well as drama. She went on to do more feature films such as City Slickers, A House in the Hills and Lassie, before making regular appearances on television. Her regional stage credits include appearances in such plays as "Grease" and "Shakespeare and Friends". On Broadway, she starred in "Responsible Parties" and "Almost Romance". She also attended classes at both NYU and UCLA, trying to broaden her acting abilities. On television, she has appeared in Caroline in the City, as well as many others. She also became a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oreal in both TV and print ads. She is an accomplished pianist and now has an album out called "One of These Days". She co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with her friend Gina Gershon. In 1990, she married award-winning editor Robert Watzke and they have a daughter, born in 1995. She stepped out of the limelight for a couple of years, appearing mainly in the occasional TV show, but came back strong in 2003, showing moviegoers and TV audiences how great an entertainer she really is.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Presley (née Gladys Love Smith) and Vernon Presley (Vernon Elvis Presley). He had a twin brother who was stillborn. In September 1948, Elvis and his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he attended Humes High School. In 1953, he attended the senior prom with the current girl he was courting, Regis Wilson. After graduating from high school in Memphis, Elvis took odd jobs working as a movie theater usher and a truck driver for Crown Electric Company. He began singing locally as "The Hillbilly Cat", then signed with a local recording company, and then with RCA in 1955.

Elvis did much to establish early rock and roll music. He began his career as a performer of rockabilly, an up-tempo fusion of country music and rhythm and blues, with a strong backbeat. His novel versions of existing songs, mixing 'black' and 'white' sounds, made him popular - and controversial - as did his uninhibited stage and television performances. He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" later embodying the style. Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop music. Teenage girls became hysterical over his blatantly sexual gyrations, particularly the one that got him nicknamed "Elvis the Pelvis" (television cameras were not permitted to film below his waist).

In 1956, following his six television appearances on The Dorsey Brothers' "Stage Show", Elvis was cast in his first acting role, in a supporting part in Love Me Tender, the first of 33 movies he starred in.

In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the military, and relocated to Bad Nauheim, Germany. There he met and fell in love with 14-year old army damsel Priscilla Ann Wagner (Priscilla Presley), whom he would eventually marry after an eight-year courtship, and with whom he had his only child, Lisa Marie Presley. Elvis' military service and the "British Invasion" of the 1960s reduced his concerts, though not his movie/recording income.

Through the 1960s, Elvis settled in Hollywood, where he starred in the majority of his thirty-three movies, mainly musicals, acting alongside some of the most well known actors in Hollywood. Critics panned most of his films, but they did very well at the box office, earning upwards of $150 million total. His last fiction film, Change of Habit, deals with several social issues; romance within the clergy, an autistic child, almost unheard of in 1969, rape, and mob violence. It has recently received critical acclaim.

Elvis made a comeback in the 1970s with live concert appearances starting in early 1970 in Las Vegas with over 57 sold-out shows. He toured throughout the United States, appearing on-stage in over 500 live appearances, many of them sold out shows. His marriage ended in divorce, and the stress of constantly traveling as well as his increasing weight gain and dependence upon stimulants and depressants took their toll.

Elvis Presley died at age 42 on August 16, 1977 at his mansion in Graceland, near Memphis, shocking his fans worldwide. At the time of his death, he had sold more than 600 million singles and albums. Since his death, Graceland has become a shrine for millions of followers worldwide. Elvis impersonators and purported sightings have become stock subjects for humorists. To date, Elvis Presley is the only performer to have been inducted into three separate music 'Halls of Fame'. Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales, and remains one of the best-selling and most influential artists in the history of popular music.

Anne Archer

Anne Archer was nominated for an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe and the British (BAFTA) Academy Award for her role as Michael Douglas' sympathetic, tortured wife, "Beth Gallagher", in Adrian Lyne's 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction. Archer is also well-known for her poignant Golden Globe-winning performance in the ensemble cast of Robert Altman's Short Cuts and for playing CIA agent Jack Ryan's beleaguered wife, "Cathy", in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, both based on Tom Clancy bestsellers.

Archer was born into a show business family in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actors Marjorie Lord (née Marjorie F. Wollenberg), who appeared on TV's Make Room for Daddy, and John Archer (born Ralph Bowman), who starred in White Heat. Her ancestry includes German, English, Czech, and Scots-Irish.

Archer studied theatre arts at Claremont College before debuting on the motion picture screen opposite Jon Voight in The All-American Boy. She won critical acclaim for her leading role in Lifeguard as Sam Elliott's old flame.

Throughout her motion picture career, Archer has starred opposite some of Hollywood's most dynamic and respected leading men, not only Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford, but also Gene Hackman in Narrow Margin, Tom Berenger in director Alan Rudolph's romantic comedy Love at Large, Donald Sutherland in Eminent Domain and Sylvester Stallone in Paradise Alley. In 2000, she appeared in The Art of War with Wesley Snipes and Rules of Engagement (her first project with Tommy Lee Jones), which was one of the box office hits in Spring of that year.

With husband Terry Jastrow (an Emmy-winning sports producer), she co-produced and starred in the feature Waltz Across Texas, a modern romance set in the Texas oil fields. In 1998, Archer worked with husband Jastrow again as co-producer and co-host, with Isabella Rossellini, on ABC's World Fashion Premiere from Paris, a history-making two-hour special. Again the following year, she served as a producer on the telecast. With complete backstage access, the shows spotlighted the haute couture shows of the most famous designers in the world.

Archer has essayed dramatic roles as complex and disparate characters in cable productions of equally distinct genres. She starred with Michael Murphy in the contemporary romantic drama Indiscretion of an American Wife for Lifetime and opposite William Petersen in Present Tense, Past Perfect, based on a bittersweet story by Richard Dreyfuss, who also directed the Showtime drama. Previously, for the same network, she portrayed Dennis Hopper's sexy former wife in the contemporary, gritty Nails and for HBO, again, starred with Jon Voight in the period piece The Last of His Tribe.

Her television performances have also included Neil Simon's Jake's Women opposite Alan Alda and CBS's Jane's House opposite James Woods. Recently, she received acclaim for a three episode arc on Fox-TV's series Boston Public, created by David E. Kelley.

She had a starring role opposite Courteney Cox in the independent feature November and appeared in Revolution Studios' comedy Man of the House, portraying Prof. Molly McCarthy, opposite Tommy Lee Jones. She also had a role on Showtime's provocative series The L Word with Jennifer Beals, Mia Kirshner and Pam Grier.

Her stage work includes the world premiere of "The Poison Tree" at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" in Massachusetts and the starring role in the London West End production of "The Graduate", for which she received rave reviews. Archer's New York stage debut was as "Maude Mix" in the celebrated Off-Broadway production of John Ford Noonan's "A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking".

Linda Kozlowski

Kozlowski is a Juilliard graduate with Broadway play experience, who found movie success in the billabongs of Australia with frequent co-star Paul Hogan. The film romance with her Crocodile Dundee costar grew into a real-life relationship during the filming of the first two movies. Linda married Paul Hogan in 1990. The couple reside in California and have one son, named Chance. In 2001, Linda and Paul returned to their popular on-screen romance roles to complete the Crocodile Dundee trilogy.

Jamie Luner

Jamie Michelle Luner was born on Thursday, May 12, 1971 to Stuart and Susan Luner in Palo Alto, California. She grew up with her older brother, David Luner, and her mom Susan in California. Before landing her roles on Just the Ten of Us as dizzy "Cindy Lubbock", Jamie began her career in front of the cameras at the tender age of three doing TV commercials. When she was 15, she won the L.A. Shakespeare Festival in the category of monologues. While still working on Just the Ten of Us, Jamie was still in high school. She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1989. She took a break from acting and she attended culinary school and was a chef in Drai's, a French restaurant, after Just the Ten of Us was canceled in 1991.

She returned to TV in Moment of Truth: Why My Daughter? in 1993, then she had a few small parts in shows such as Married with Children, Diagnosis Murder. Then, she got her first break as Southern seductress "Peyton Richards" in Savannah. After the prime time soap was canceled, Jamie and her then-boyfriend, Johnny Braz, travel around the US in an Airstream motor home before she landed the role of "Lexi" in Melrose Place. After the Fox soap ended in 1999, so did her 4 year romance with her boyfriend. Then, after Ally Walker left, Jamie joined the cast of Profiler as "Rachel Burke".

Later on, she was in ABC's short-lived 10-8: Officers on Duty. Then, in 2005, she had lead roles in Lifetime's, Blind Injustice, Stranger in My Bed and, in 2006, The Suspect, The Perfect Marriage and a guest spot on The War at Home.

Jamie has also done theater work in Santa Monica in "Black & Bluestein", Other Space, Santa Monica and The Young Playwrites Festival in Los Angeles.

Jay Hernandez

A rising talent with the requisite good looks and plenty of on-screen charisma, Jay Hernandez was born in Montebello, California, to Isis (Maldonado), an accountant and secretary, and Javier Hernandez, Sr., a mechanic. Jay had a serendipitous experience that led to his career. While riding an elevator in a high-rise in his native Los Angeles, the young man was approached by talent manager Howard Tyner, who suggested Hernandez had what it took to have a successful career in Hollywood. In 1998, he made his TV series debut as "Antonio Lopez", one of the high school basketball players in the NBC Saturday morning teen sitcom, Hang Time, and stayed with the show for two seasons. Departing NBC, Hernandez moved to MTV with the short-term role of pizza delivery guy "Eddie" on the popular late-night serial, Undressed, before segueing to the big screen. In 2001, Hernandez co-starred with Kirsten Dunst in the teen romance, Crazy/Beautiful, portraying stalwart, straight-A high school student "Carlos Nunez", whose plans to attend the US Naval Academy are threatened by his growing attraction to a self-destructive rich girl, (Kirsten Dunst). He next appeared in Disney's surprise hit film, The Rookie, as high school baseball team captain Joaquin "Wack" Campos. He also had a supporting role in the video-game-ish actioner, Torque. Also in 2004, he was in the action-packed drama, Ladder 49, as "Keith Perez", and in the other action-packed drama, Friday Night Lights. In 2006, he next starred in Eli Roth's Hostel, a brutal horror flick about two American college buddies (Hernandez and Derek Richardson) lured to an out-of-the-way hostel in a Slovakian town rumored to house desperate, but beautiful Eastern European women. Following their wrong heads, both Americans get trapped in a truly sinister situation that plunges them into the dark recesses of human nature.

Ursula Andress

The quintessential jet-set Euro starlet, Ursula Andress was born in the Swiss canton of Berne on March 19, 1936, one of seven children in a German Protestant family. Although often seeming icily aloof, a restless streak early demonstrated itself in her personality, and she had a desire from an early age to explore the world outside Switzerland. The stunning young woman ran away from home at the tender age of 17, found work as an art model in Rome and did walk-ons in three quickie Italian films before coming to the United States. At 19, she met matinée idol John Derek, who left his first wife and two children to marry Ursula in 1957 despite the fact that she only spoke a few words of English at the time, and persuaded the new bride to postpone her acting ambitions for several years thereafter.

The year 1962 saw the virtually unknown Swiss beauty back on the set, co-starring with Sean Connery in the first movie version of Ian Fleming's fanciful "James Bond" espionage novels, "Dr. No". Andress' smoldering-yet-aloof screen presence immediately established her as one of the most desired women in the world, helped to start the James Bond franchise that continues to this day and set the "Bond Girl" standard beside which all future Bond actresses would be judged (notwithstanding the fact that her Swiss/German accent was so strong that her voice had to dubbed in the movie).

The success of "Dr. No" established her as a spectacular ornament to put on-screen alongside the most bankable talent of the 1960s, and she was cast in vehicles for such icons as Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.. In 1965, she was one of several European starlets to co-star in What's New Pussycat -- a film that perhaps sums up mid-'60s pop culture better than any other -- written by Woody Allen, starring Allen and Peter Sellers, with music by Burt Bacharach, a title song performed by Tom Jones and much on-screen sexual romping.

Andress made many more movies in the United States and Europe from the mid-'60s to the late '70s, including The 10th Victim, in which she wears a famously ballistic bra; The Blue Max, in which she is aptly cast as the sultry, sexually insatiable wife of an aristocratic World War I German general; and Casino Royale, another foray into the world of James Bond. Her charms seemingly undiminished by age, at 39 she could still easily play a bombshell nurse hired to titillate a doddering millionaire to death in the slight sex comedy The Sensuous Nurse.

Having divorced the controlling Derek in 1966 after she began a well-publicized affair with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Andress played the field for years, reportedly involved at various times with Dennis Hopper, Ryan O'Neal, Fabio Testi and Marcello Mastroianni. In 1979, she began what would be a long-term romance with Harry Hamlin, her handsome young co-star from Clash of the Titans (in which she was cast, predictably, as "Aphrodite"). While subsequently traveling in India, Andress' belly began to swell out of her clothing, and she felt very nauseous. What at first seemed a severe case of "Delhi Belly" turned out to be pregnancy, her first and only, at age 43. She and Hamlin named the child, who was born in 1980, Dimitri Hamlin.

After the birth of her son, Andress scaled back her career, which now focused mostly on European television and films, as she was raising Dimitri in Rome. Her relationship with Hamlin ended in 1983, and she last worked on a film in 2005.

Stephen Dorff

Stephen Dorff has become one of the most respected young actors in Hollywood. His recent credits include Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, Robert Ludlum's Covert One: The Hades Factor, .45 with Milla Jovovich, Shadowboxer with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren, and the Disney thriller, Cold Creek Manor, with Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone for director Mike Figgis.

He also starred in Scott Kalvert's street gang drama, Deuces Wild, for MGM and as the champion of bad cinema in the John Waters comedy, Cecil B. DeMented, co-starring Melanie Griffith.

Dorff has an impressive list of screen credits, chief among them New Line's Blade, in which he starred opposite Wesley Snipes and won the "Best Villain" at both the MTV Movie and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. He also co-starred with Susan Sarandon in HBO's Earthly Possessions, based on Anne Tyler's novel about an unlikely romance between a young, fumbling bank robber and his hostage.

Additional credits include XIII: The Conspiracy, Entropy, Blood and Wine with Jack Nicholson, and opposite Harvey Keitel in City of Industry. He starred as the fifth Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe, in Iain Softley's Backbeat, and as the notorious Candy Darling in I Shot Andy Warhol.

Chosen from over 2000 young men from around the world, he auditioned and won the coveted role of "PK" in John G. Avildsen's The Power of One in 1992. For his performance, he was awarded the Male Star of Tomorrow Award from the National Association of Theater Owners.

Olivia Hussey

At age 15, when most young women are nurturing dreams of romance, Olivia Hussey was giving life to Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet. Her performance in one of the most celebrated roles ever written in the English language won her the Golden Globe and two successive Best Actor Donatello Awards (Italy's Oscar equivalent), an incredible achievement for an actress in only her third film.

Olivia, a seasoned veteran of the London stage where she debuted opposite Vanessa Redgrave in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie", has appeared in over two dozen films, including Death on the Nile with Bette Davis and Peter Ustinov, Jesus of Nazareth (united again with the great Zeffirelli), Last Days of Pompeii opposite Sir Laurence Olivier, Lost Horizon, The Bastard, Hallmark's Hall of Fame Ivanhoe with James Mason, Showtime's Psycho IV: The Beginning and It. She has also guest-starred in numerous television series.

Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful women in the world, Olivia may owe this "title" to her "exotic" blend; her father was Argentinian and her mother was of English and Scottish ancestry. She spent her early youth in Buenos Aires, her father being Andreas Osuna, aka Isvaldo Ribo, renowned Argentine opera and tango singer, and her English mother encouraging her early inclinations for the performing arts. At the age of seven. she moved with her mother and younger brother to England, where she spent the next five years attending drama school. From there, she landed the role of "Jenny" in "Jean Brodie". It was in that theater production that Zeffirelli spotted her. After auditioning over 500 other young actresses for the part of Juliet, he awarded the part to Olivia, and the rest, as they say, is history.

She then moved to Los Angeles, where she met and married Dean Paul Martin, son of the late and great entertainer Dean Martin. They had a son, Alexander Martin, who is now an actor. She and Martin eventually divorced, and Olivia later married Akira Fuse, one of Japan's premier singers. That marriage produced a second son, Max, born in 1983. Two years later, she signed on to star with Burt Lancaster and Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire) in The Jeweller's Shop, a screen adaptation of a story written by Pope John Paul II (at the time he wrote it he was called Karol Wotyla). Following the filming, Olivia was invited to view the film at the Vatican as a guest of His Holiness.

Never seeming to be able to stop the constant work schedule and travel, Olivia finally decided she needed a break. After taking some much deserved time off for herself and to raise her young daughter, India Joy, she returned to work starring in two back-to-back features. The first, El grito (known as "Bloody Proof" in America), was shot in Mexico City and required her to deliver the role bilingually, applying her native command of Spanish. The second was Tortilla Heaven, a comedy written and directed by Sundance Film Festival winner Judy Hecht Dumontet, in which Olivia plays the town nudist(!).

Most recently, Olivia has completed her life's dream, portraying Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a movie shot entirely on location in Sri Lanka and Italy. Her performance was received with open arms by the Sisters of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity when it was screened for them in Italy. Also present at the screening, and pleased with her portrayal, was Agi Bojaxhiu, a wonderful lady and the niece and only direct living relative of Mother herself.

Olivia lives outside of Los Angeles with her family, as well as her menagerie of animals.

Stefanie Powers

Stefanie Powers, a graduate of Hollywood High, is a veteran of over 200 television appearances as well as the star of ABC's '80s hit Hart to Hart. At the early age of 15, Stefanie was signed to a movie deal with Columbia Pictures and labeled as one of the brightest up-and-coming stars in America. After a relatively short stint in films, Stefanie took a break from Hollywood for almost five years. When she returned, she focused her acting talents on television with over 100 guest appearances in a few years. In addition to her international fame as Jennifer Hart, Stefanie was also the star of such TV series as The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Feather and Father Gang and Maggie. Her marriage to actor Gary Lockwood (of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame) in 1966 ended in 1972. In 1974, Stefanie formed a friendship with actor William Holden. Through many similarities and interests, their relationship blossomed into one of romance that lasted until the sudden death of Holden in 1981.

Stefanie is also President of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, Director of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch, an international speaker on wildlife preservation, and spokesperson for AVID Microchip Technology and works with both the Cincinnati Zoo and Zoo Atlanta. Stefanie finished in the off-Broadway play "Applause!" and was signed to be hostess of the new cable channel, Romance Classics. As of November 1999, Stefanie was still heavily involved with her true passion, the William Holden Wildlife Foundation, as well as many other philanthropic causes. She has also lent her support to many Internet projects, including Expedia's Mungo Park, A Doctor in Your House, and Interactive Travel. She has also worked on a series of PBS shows teaching women about finance called "Funding Your Dreams". Her latest movie project, Someone Is Watching, is in limited television release in Europe and the United States.

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