1-50 of 5,024 names.

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie was born in Dalby, Queensland, Australia and raised on the Gold Coast, spending much of her time at the farm belonging to her grandparents. Her mother, Sarie Kessler, is a physiotherapist. Robbie attended and graduated from Somerset College. In her late teens, she moved to Melbourne to pursue an acting career. Her first break came when she appeared in two films directed by Aash Aaron - Vigilante and I.C.U.. In 2008, she began appearing as Donna Freedman in the soap opera Neighbours. The role and performance was popular and Robbie was nominated for several Logie Awards. She left the series in 2010 and set off to pursue Hollywood opportunities, quickly landing the role of Laura Cameron on the ABC drama Pan Am.

Margot made her big screen debut in Richard Curtis' romantic comedy-drama About Time, and co-starred in Martin Scorsese's biography The Wolf of Wall Street. In 2015, Robbie co-starred in the romantic comedy-drama Focus; appeared in the romantic World War II drama Suite Française; and starred in the sci-fi drama Z for Zachariah. In May 2012, Robbie joined the cast of Richard Curtis romantic comedy About Time, alongside Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. "About Time" was released in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2013 and in the United States on November 1, 2013. The film received positive reviews and grossed $87 million on its $12 million budget. In June 2012, this was announced that Robbie was in talks to appear in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey.

In 2015, Robbie starred opposite Will Smith in the romantic comedy-drama Focus. In the film, she plays an inexperienced grifter learning the craft from Smith's character. The film was released on February 27, 2015 to generally mixed reviews, however Robbie's performance was praised. In 2016, she headlined two summer blockbusters, first as Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan and then as the maniacal Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.

Gina Gershon

Since making her uncredited debut as a dancer in Beatlemania, Gina Gershon has established herself as a character actress and one of the leading icons of American camp. For it was fourteen years after her movie debut that Gina made movie history as the predatory bisexual who was the leading light of a Las Vegas leg-line in director Paul Verhoeven's kitsch classic Showgirls. Exploding out of a plaster-of-Paris volcano clad in nothing but body makeup and a G-string, Gina Gershon obtained cinema immortality. After Showgirls, she solidified her reputation, playing a lesbian sexpot in the Wachovski Bros' neo-noir Bound.

Gina Gershon was born in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, the last in a brood of three kids. Her mother, Mickey (Koppel), worked as an interior decorator, and her father, Stanley Gershon, was a salesman and worked in the import/export business. Her paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families, and her maternal grandparents were born in Holland and Belgium, both of them to Jewish families from Poland. Gina was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and got the acting bug early, appearing at the age of seven in a school production of Bye Bye Birdie. Because of her acting ambitions, her parents moved to Beverly Hills so Gina could attend Beverly Hills High, where she indulged her acting jones by appearing in a student production of The Music Man. Her first love, she says, is singing.

After graduating from high school in 1980, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but took a part in the musical "Runaways". She transferred to New York University, where her official biography says she studied philosophy and psychology, but she graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts, taking a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama in 1983. In New York City, while perfecting her craft, she co-founded the theater company Naked Angels with Helen Slater.

Her big-screen breakthrough came with a part in the 1986 "Brat Pack" teenage hit Pretty in Pink. She also had parts in the Tom Cruise vehicle Cocktail and Arnold Schwarzenegger's Red Heat. Of this period, she says, "One of my first gigs, a movie called Cocktail, I found myself at 8 in the morning, in bed, practically naked, having to make out with Tom Cruise; hmmmm... movie business - so far, so good".

Citing Frank Sinatra's song "My Way" as an inspiration, she says that following Cocktail, "I was fortunate enough to play many diversified roles in film, television and stage. Not always to the liking of my managers and agents, but I always did what I wanted...." She played Nancy Sinatra, Frank's first wife, in the TV miniseries Sinatra.

Gina Gershon became a celebrity in Showgirls. The following year, Gershon solidified her claim on second-tier stardom playing the calculating lesbian "Corky" in the crime movie Bound. She never did capitalize on her mid-1990s breakthrough, but Gershon is established as a character actress and is never out of work, unlike most of her female peers who started out in the industry at the same time. Though no classic beauty, the talented thespian remains gainfully employed while many actresses of her vintage are out of work as she is possessed of a unique look and smoldering sex appeal that comes across on camera.

Gershon is versatile, too, as at home on stage as she is in front of the camera. After appearing in off-Broadway and regional theater productions, she made her Broadway debut as a replacement in Sam Mendes' revival of Cabaret in January 2001. For six months, she played the key role of "Sally Bowles", returning that October to reprise the role for another month. In 2008, she once again appeared on Broadway in the revival of the farce "Boeing Boeing" on Broadway, which won the Tony award for Best Revival.

Gina Gershon also is a children's book writer. In 2008, Putmam Juvenile published her "Camp Creepy Time", a tale of a boy who discovers aliens at his summer camp, which she co-wrote with her brother, Dann Gershon. "Camp Creepy Time" recently was optioned by DreamWorks, which plans to turn it into a movie. In 2008, she also released "In Search Of Cleo", a CD featuring nine songs which she wrote or co-wrote.

Beth Dover

Positioned to be the next big name in comedy, actress Beth Dover has quickly become known in the entertainment industry for the charismatic characters she has brought to life on screen. Whether it be her undeniable comedic timing or her ability to improv and play in any situation thrown her way, Dover is one to watch, this year. She can currently be seen co-starring on the Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award-winning series "Orange is the New Black" for Netflix. Introduced during season three, Dover shines as Linda Ferguson, an administrative stickler for MCC, the private company that owns Litchfield prison. Linda also just happens to be Caputo's (Nick Sandow) girlfriend. "Orange is the New Black" is slated to premiere season five June 9, 2017.

In addition to "OITNB" Dover can be seen returning to season three of Comedy Central's historical satire series "Another Period," this summer. The show follows the lives of the obscenely rich Bellacourt family and their many servants in turn-of-the-century Rhode Island in 1902. Dover plays Blanche, the long suffering housemaid who works for the family and is regularly in and out of mental hospitals. The show also stars Natasha Leggero, Riki Lindhome, Michael Ian Black, David Wain, Christina Hendricks, Jason Ritter, and Paget Brewster. Lastly, Dover will be seen reprising her role as Shari in Netflix's "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later," a follow up to the eight-episode limited series "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Meloni, Janeane Garofalo, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm and Kirsten Wiig.

Born in Chicago, Dover's family was in the military and she moved every two years until she was 13 years old, even living in South Korea for a time. From an early age she loved creating characters and storytelling, memorizing commercials as a kid and begging her mom to let her be in them. Dover attended high school in Florida and went on to be a theatre major in college, then moved to New York City where she studied Meisner. She went on to settle in Los Angeles, where she discovered improv comedy and fell even further in love with the craft.

In 2010 Dover landed the role of Nurse Beth on the satirical comedy TV series "Childrens Hospital" for Adult Swim. The show, starring actor/comedian Rob Corddry, parodied the medical drama genre and went on for seven seasons with Dover appearing in 20 episodes. In 2012-13 Dover appeared as Lexie on 20 episodes of the E! series "Burning Love," a comedic sendup of dating shows like "The Bachelor" starring Ken Marino. Additional television credits include some of the biggest series in comedy: "Son of Zorn," "Bob's Burgers," "New Girl," "Truth Be Told," "Difficult People," "Big Time in Hollywood, FL," "Fresh Off the Boat," "Comedy Bang! Bang!," "Newsreaders," "Chasing Life," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "Dads," and "Whitney." On the film front, Dover appeared in "Life Partners" for Magnolia Pictures opposite Gillian Jacobs, Leighton Meester, Gabourey Sidibe, and Adam Brody.

When she isn't on set Dover is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the HRC. For fun, she spends entirely too much time in private karaoke rooms with friends, singing her heart out to her favorite jams. Dover currently lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, actor Joe Lo Truglio, and their son.

Lee Pace

In 2003, Lee Grinner Pace starred in the Sundance hit, Soldier's Girl, an extraordinary telefilm created for Showtime. The film was based on the true story of a transgender nightclub performer in love with a soldier who is brutally murdered for their relationship. His breakthrough performance garnered him nominations for both the Golden Globes and the Independent Spirit Award, and he won a Gotham Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance.

Lee was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, to Charlotte (Kloeckler), a schoolteacher, and James Roy Pace, an engineer. He is of German, as well as English, Scottish, and Welsh, descent. Lee spent his early years living in the Middle East. His family eventually moved back to the States, first to New Orleans and later, Houston, Texas.

Lee attended high school in Houston, where he first began acting. He got so involved with his craft that he actually dropped out of high school to perform at the local Alley Theatre. Once he completed his final high school courses, Lee was accepted to The Juilliard School's Drama Division in 1997.

During his time at Juilliard, Lee honed his acting skills in such classic roles as Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet", the title role in "King Richard II" and Cassius in "Julius Caesar", among others.

After graduating with a BFA from Juilliard, Lee starred in the critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway play, "The Credeaux Canvas", as well as being part of the Vineyard production of "The Fourth Sister".

In the spring of 2004, Lee starred a limited engagement of the Off-Broadway production "Small Tragedy", and was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Awards in the category of Outstanding Actor.

On the small screen, he was recently seen displaying a delightful comedic side on the brilliant, though sadly short-lived, FOX series Wonderfalls.

Rooney Mara

Actress and philanthropist Rooney Mara was born on April 17, 1985 in Bedford, New York. She made her screen debut in the slasher film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, went on to have a supporting role in the independent coming-of-age drama Tanner Hall, and has since starred in the horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street, the biographical drama The Social Network, the thriller remake The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and the romantic drama Carol.

Patricia Rooney Mara is one of four children of Kathleen McNulty (née Rooney) and NFL football team New York Giants executive Timothy Christopher Mara. Her grandfathers were Wellington Mara, co-owner of the Giants, and Timothy Rooney, owner of Yonkers Raceway, and her grand-uncle is Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, the former Ambassador to Ireland. She is the great-granddaughter of Art Rooney, the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers football franchise. Her father has Irish, German, and French-Canadian ancestry, and her mother is of Irish and Italian descent.

After graduating from Bedford's Fox Lane High School, she went to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in South America for four months as part of the Traveling School, an open learning environment. She attended George Washington University for a year and then transferred to New York University, where she studied international social policy psychology and nonprofits. She took her degree from New York University in 2010. Her studies focused on non-profit organizations, as her family has a tradition of involvement in philanthropic causes.

She had thought of acting after watching old movies and attending musical theater, but did not think of it as a serious vocation and was afraid she might fail at this. As a result of her reservations, she appeared in only one play while in high school.

She began seriously focusing on acting when she was at New York University, appearing in student films. Inspired by her older sister, actress Kate Mara, she began to pursue the craft, auditioning for acting jobs at age 19. She appeared with her sister Kate in the video horror movie Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, billing herself as "Patricia Mara". As "Tricia Mara", she had guest roles on television and won her first lead in the movie Tanner Hall, which was shot in the fall of 2007.

She originally auditioned for the supporting role of Lucasta in "Tanner Hall", a $3-million independent film, but director Tatiana von Furstenberg was so impressed by the young actress, she had her return to audition for the lead role of Fernanda, which Mara won. Furstenberg was delighted with her nuanced performance, saying, "Still waters run deep".

Continuing to call herself Tricia Mara, this was during the making of "Tanner Hall" that she considered changing her professional name to Rooney Mara, soliciting the advice of the cast and crew. After premiering at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, her performance in "Tanner Hall" brought the rechristened Rooney Mara a "Rising Star" award at the 2009 Hamptons Film Festival and a "Stargazer Award" at the 2010 Gen Art Film Festival.

She received her first lead role in a major feature, in the $35 million remake A Nightmare on Elm Street. The movie proved disappointing at the box office, grossing only $63 million domestically and racking up a worldwide gross of just under $116 million. However, she was noticed by critics in the small but pivotal role of the Boston University undergrad Erica Albright who dumps Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Director David Fincher subsequently cast her as the lead, Lisbeth Salander, in his thriller remake, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium book series. She received critical acclaim for her performance, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

She starred in the thriller film Side Effects, the independent drama Ain't Them Bodies Saints, and the acclaimed sci-fi romantic drama Her. The following year, she starred in the adventure drama Trash. She garnered further critical acclaim for her performance in Todd Haynes' romantic drama Carol, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama and the SAG, BAFTA, and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In the spirit of her family's philanthropic endeavors, Rooney created Faces of Kibera, a charity that provides food, medical care and housing to orphans in Nairobi, Kenya's Kibra district, a small slum that houses a million people. There are many orphans as AIDS is rampant in the slum.

Kate Mulgrew

Katherine Kiernan Mulgrew, or Kate Mulgrew, was born on April 29, 1955. She grew up in Dubuque, Iowa, the oldest girl in an Irish Catholic family of eight. When Kate, as a 12-year-old, expressed an interest in acting, her mother, Joan, brought home biographies of great actresses and sent Kate to summer acting schools. At age 17, she left home and traveled to New York City to study acting. At New York University, she was accepted into Stella Adler's Conservatory. At the end of her junior year, she left the university to commit herself full time to her craft. Her early career included portraying Mary Ryan for two years on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope while also playing the role of Emily in the American Shakespeare Theatre production of "Our Town" in Stratford, Connecticut. When Kate was only 23, she played Kate Columbo in a series created especially for her, Mrs. Columbo. In this series, she was playing the wife of one of television's most beloved detectives, Lt. Columbo. While a critical success, the series was canceled after two seasons.

Kate also starred in several feature films, such as Lovespell, A Stranger Is Watching with Rip Torn, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins and Throw Momma from the Train with Danny DeVito. In 1981, she traveled to Europe to film the ABC miniseries The Manions of America with Pierce Brosnan. About that time, she married theater director Robert H. Egan and, a few years later, she had two sons: Ian Thomas and Alexander James. In the drama series, Heartbeat, Kate played Dr. Joanne Springsteen, the head of a medical clinic. However, in series such as: Murphy Brown, Murder, She Wrote, St. Elsewhere and Cheers, she only had guest roles.

In 1993, Kate separated from her husband, Robert H. Egan, with whom she had been married for 12 years. In 1995, the divorce became final, and she was on the verge of having to sell her house (and move into an apartment in Westwood) when something incredible happened. She had been called to resume a role in a television series after the original actress, Geneviève Bujold, left two days into filming. What she did not know then was that this role was going to become her most famous one. The role in question was Captain Kathryn Janeway in Star Trek: Voyager. At the moment, she played Katharine Hepburn in the play "Tea at Five" on some stages in the United States.

Nicole Kidman

Elegant blonde 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, where Nicole was raised. 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.

Camila Mendes

Camila Mendes attended the NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated with an Bachelor of Fine Arts. While at NYU Tisch, Camila was enrolled for two semesters in the Stonestreet Film Acting Conservatory, one of the NYU advanced drama conservatories. Camila was recognized immediately for her talent and craft during her academic years, and she was sought after by several filmmakers for casting.

Adria Arjona

Accustomed to airplanes and distant countries since she can recall, Adria Arjona was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Mexico City. Falling asleep in Guatemala and waking up in Argentina was not out of norm for her. Her father Ricardo Arjona, a renowned singer-songwriter in Latin America, took her along on his tours allowing her to breathe art, music and a bohemian lifestyle since she was born. At age 12 she moved to Miami and lived there until she was 18 when she took a plunge and made the brave decision to move to New York City on her own. In order to assure her professional success and personal growth, her father made the tough decision in making sure nothing was secure and easily given to her. While studying to become an actor at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Adria worked as a hostess and waitress at several New York restaurants in order to pay her bills and sustain her life. Having had a front row seat to stardom, Adria saw the bigger picture for her career, in that fame and fortune does not ameliorate her work and passion. She set out to achieve her goals with a focus on maintaining the pleasure of pursuing what she loves, while honing her craft and creating with pride.

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, Polish, 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.

Mary-Louise Parker

Southern-bred Mary-Louise Parker, from Fort Jackson, South Carolina, was born on August 2, 1964, the youngest of four born to Judge John Morgan Parker and the former Caroline Louise Morell. She comes from Swedish, English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, German, and Dutch ancestry. Her father's occupation took the family both around the country and abroad while growing up.

Parker showed potential in her teens and majored in acting in her college years, graduating from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Beginning her acting career with a part on the daytime soap Ryan's Hope, Mary decided to test the waters in New York, and after work on the off-Broadway stage in the late 1980s, made her Broadway debut with "Prelude to a Kiss" in 1990, where she won the Theatre World Award, the Clarence Derwent Award and a Tony nomination. Films and TV quickly followed and she quickly gained attention. She provided both poignant and amusing as the token femme friend to a group of gay men in the AIDS drama Longtime Companion, but really caught fire with her feisty, standout performance in Fried Green Tomatoes, holding her own against such female powerhouses as Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates and Mary Stuart Masterson. Dubbed by some as the "long-suffering girl next door", she played such noble offbeat miserables and cast-asides in Grand Canyon, Naked in New York, Bullets Over Broadway, The Client Boys on the Side, in which she was the AIDS victim this time, The Portrait of a Lady, The Maker, Let the Devil Wear Black, Red Dragon and Pipe Dream. Preferring quality over quantity, she perfected her craft with offbeat roles in independent features and did not abandon her theater roots. She copped a slew of acting prizes for her stage work in "How I Learned to Drive" (1996) and, most notably, "Proof" in 2000, wherein she won nearly every award there is to attain, including the prestigious Tony. Her marquee name still does not command what it should, but a picture or production with Mary-Louise Parker in it usually guarantees a strong critical reception. Unmarried, she did enter into a longtime companionship with actor Billy Crudup after the twosome appeared opposite each other in the 1996 play, "Bus Stop". They went their separate ways in 2003, amid major controversy (she was pregnant at the time).

Mary Louise continues to divide her time equally and skillfully on TV, film and the stage. The powerful TV miniseries adaptation of Tony Kushner heralded award-winning Broadway play Angels in America, directed by Mike Nichols, earned the actress supporting performance Golden Globe and Emmy awards. She also earned a Tony nomination for the Broadway show, "Reckless", a year later but truly turned heads and wowed audiences the year after that in the highly acclaimed 7-season Showtime series Weeds, earning another Golden Globe and several Emmy nominations for her amazing performance as Nancy Botwin, a relatively naïve suburban housewife and mother who courts serious trouble with the law and drug cartels when she turns into a neighborhood drug dealer for sustenance after her husband dies suddenly. Since then she has appeared in RED 2, R.I.P.D., Jamesy Boy, Behaving Badly, Chronically Metropolitan

Adopting a second child from Ethiopia, Mary Louise was acknowledged in 2013 for her significant contributions to Hope North, an organization that works in the educating and healing of young victims caught in Uganda's civil war. Her memoir-in-letters, Dear Mr. You, came out in 2015.

Zach McGowan

Zach McGowan was born and raised in New York City, where he started acting at an early age in school productions. His passion for the stage followed him through his high school and college years and landed him on the New York City stage in 2003 where he honed his craft in numerous off Broadway productions. In 2005 Zach moved to Los Angeles to work in film and Television. Zach's film work includes "Terminator Salvation" directed by McG "The Hunt For Eagle One" (Sony Screen Gems) directed by Brian Clyde, "Crash Point" (Sony Screen Gems) directed by Henry Crum, and "Seal Team Six" directed by Mark Andrews. On Television Zach Guest-starred in the premiere episode of the 5th season of "Numb3rs", and in season 7 episode 6 of "CSI Miami." Zach's short film work includes leading roles in "The 14th Morning" (LA International Short Film Festival, New Haven Film Festival, and The Method Festival), and "Sadiq" (official 2006 MTVU Student Film Maker Award Nominee, and winner "Best Short" at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival) by Sean Mullin. Zach can also be heard in numerous advertisements, video games, and animation projects doing Voice Over work. Zach lives in Los Angeles and is a member of both SAG and AFTRA.

Ben Foster

Ben Foster was born October 29, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster, restaurant owners. His younger brother is actor Jon Foster. His paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families that immigrated to Massachusetts (his grandfather became a prominent judge in Boston), while his mother's family is from Maryland.

During his childhood, his family moved to Fairfield, Iowa, where he was raised. Fairfield had four community theaters. His passion for acting was discovered early on, and after starring in the title role in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown", put on by one of the community theaters, he wrote, directed, and starred in his own play at age 12, a play that won second place in an international competition. After attending Interlochen Theater Arts Summer Program at age 14 in Interlochen, Michigan, it was only a matter of time before Ben dropped out of high school at age 16 and moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was almost immediately snapped up for the Disney series Flash Forward, in which two friends narrate the highs and lows of high school.

His film debut was a small role in the little-seen Kounterfeit, after which he was solicited for several made-for-TV movies and appearances on television series before reaching his next milestone, Liberty Heights, where he played alongside Adrien Brody and Joe Mantegna as a rebellious Jewish teenager who engages in a forbidden relationship with a Black girl. His first starring movie role was in the film Get Over It, where he starred along with Kirsten Dunst as a lovelorn teenager, and then the beautifully crafted Bang Bang You're Dead, in which he played Trevor Adams, the starring role. Still, until 2005, his parts for the most part were small but beautifully played, and then he landed the role of Marshall Krupcheck in the movie Hostage, an intense piece of acting that made people begin to take notice and recognize his potential and talent.

Since then, he played major roles in many movies, X-Men: The Last Stand, Alpha Dog, 3:10 to Yuma, The Messenger, The Mechanic, Rampart, Kill Your Darlings, and Lone Survivor.

Timothy Olyphant

From Timothy Olyphant's first screen appearances, such as his two-minute bit in The First Wives Club, to "Nicko", whose presence at times dwarfed the island in A Perfect Getaway, he has been a force to be reckoned with.

Born in Hawaii, Timothy David Olyphant was raised in Modesto, California. He is the son of Katherine Lyon (Gideon) and John Vernon Bevan Olyphant, a college teacher who was also an executive at E & J Gallo Winery. He has an older brother, Andy, who is in A&R for Warner Bros. Records, and a younger brother, Matt Olyphant, who was the lead singer for the punk rock group, Fetish, and is also an artist. He is a descendant of the prominent Vanderbilt and Olyphant families of businesspeople, and his ancestry includes Russian Jewish (from a maternal great-grandfather), English, German, Scottish, Dutch, and Irish. Timothy quickly became Modesto's favorite son, competing as a pro swimmer and excelling at drawing. It was, by chance, that he enrolled in an acting course as an elective and decided to pursue an acting career. He took his family and headed to New York City, where he studied the craft and began auditioning for roles. From the beginning, he tried to choose diversified roles and take chances with every genre and always approached everything he did with commitment, humor and grace. Timothy is married to his college sweetheart, Alexis Knief, and, together, they raise three children, one son and two daughters in California. He has managed to keep his personal life out of the tabloids. He obviously has his priorities straight, as this is no easy task in Hollywood.

Highlights of Olyphant's career include his riveting portrayal of "Sheriff Seth Bullock" in HBO's hit drama, Deadwood. He now personifies intensity as complex Kentucky Marshal, "Raylan Givens", in FX's Justified. On the big screen, in 2010's The Crazies, he had the chance to infuse his character with doubts, fears and humaneness in an inhumane situation. Mr. Olyphant proved he could carry a major movie on his talent, alone. He recently appeared in I Am Number Four, a Steven Spielberg sci-if thriller, in which Tim provided the adult mentorship, taking a back seat to the teen cast.

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, 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 Appaloosa and Reflections in a Golden Eye. For every "Reflections," though, there seemed to be two or three outright debacles, such as Bedtime Story, Morituri, The Chase, 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 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. He subsequently appeared in the British film The Nightcomers, a prequel to "Turn of the Screw" and another critical and box office failure.

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. Following The Godfather and Tango, Brando's performance was disappointing for some reviewers, who accused him of giving an erratic and inconsistent performance. In 1977, Brando made a rare appearance on television in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, portraying George Lincoln Rockwell; he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his performance. In 1978, he narrated the English version of Raoni, a French-Belgian documentary film directed by Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Luiz Carlos Saldanha that focused on the life of Raoni Metuktire and issues surrounding the survival of the indigenous Indian tribes of north central Brazil.

Later in his career, 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. He agreed to the role only on assurance that he would be paid a large sum for what amounted to a small part, that he would not have to read the script beforehand, and his lines would be displayed somewhere off-camera. Brando also filmed scenes for the movie's sequel, Superman II, but after producers refused to pay him the same percentage he received for the first movie, he denied them permission to use the footage.

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 Gielgud 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 another box office failure. He made another comeback in the Johnny Depp romantic drama Don Juan DeMarco, which co-starred Faye Dunaway as his wife. He then appeared in The Island of Dr. Moreau, co-starring Val Kilmer, who he didn't get along with. The filming was an unpleasant experience for Brando, as well as another critical and box office failure.

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.

Meryl Streep

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep, Jr., a pharmaceutical executive. Her father was of German and Swiss-German descent, and her mother had English, Irish, and German ancestry.

Meryl's early performing ambitions leaned toward the opera. She became interested in acting while a student at Vassar and upon graduation she enrolled in the Yale School of Drama. She gave an outstanding performance in her first film role, Julia, and the next year she was nominated for her first Oscar for her role in The Deer Hunter. She went on to win the Academy Award for her performances in Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice, in which she gave a heart-wrenching portrayal of an inmate mother in a Nazi death camp.

A perfectionist in her craft and meticulous and painstaking in her preparation for her roles, Meryl turned out a string of highly acclaimed performances over the next decade in great films like Silkwood; Out of Africa; Ironweed; and A Cry in the Dark. Her career declined slightly in the early 1990s as a result of her inability to find suitable parts, but she shot back to the top in 1995 with her performance as Clint Eastwood's married lover in The Bridges of Madison County and as the prodigal daughter in Marvin's Room. In 1998 she made her first venture into the area of producing, and was the executive producer for the moving ...First Do No Harm. A realist when she talks about her future years in film, she remarked that "...no matter what happens, my work will stand..."

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder was born and raised in the small southern town of Covington, Louisiana. His mother, Edna (née Israel), is a massage therapist, and his father, Robert Somerhalder, is a building contractor. He has Cajun (French), English, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Boating, swimming, fishing and training horses filled much of his recreational time growing up, as did the school drama club and performing with the local theater group. With his mother's encouragement, at age 10, he began a modeling career that took him to New York each summer. By junior high, he opted to put modeling on the back burner and focus more on sports and school. A few years later, when the opportunity to model in Europe arose, Somerhalder grabbed it, embarking on an enriching path of work, travel and study that took him to cities, including Paris, Milan and London. At 17, he began studying acting in New York and, by 19, had committed himself to the craft, working with preeminent acting coach William Esper. His fate was sealed while working as an extra in a club scene in the feature film, Black & White. A talent manager visiting a client on the set spotted Somerhalder in a crowd scene of 400 and immediately signed him for representation. He was cast later for the drama Changing Hearts directed by Martin Guigui. Happy to be anchored in New York, Somerhalder spends much of his time studying acting, writing and practicing yoga. His recreational interests include water and snow skiing and horseback riding.

Katie Holmes

Born two months premature at four pounds, Kate Noelle Holmes made her first appearance on December 18, 1978, in Toledo, Ohio. She is the daughter of Kathleen Ann (Craft), a philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., a lawyer. She is of German, Irish, and English ancestry. Her parents have said that her strong-willed personality is probably from being born premature. Being the youngest in the Holmes clan, completing the family of three other sisters and one brother, Katie was always the baby.

As a teenager, she began attending modeling school. When she was sixteen, her teacher invited her to go to a modeling competition with other girls from her class. She competed in the International Modeling and Talent Association by singing, dancing, and reciting a monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird. By the end of that time in New York, Katie won many awards. But she said she didn't want to model because it wasn't challenging enough. So when she was seventeen, Katie went to Los Angeles to audition for movies. Luckily, on her second audition, she was cast in the movie, The Ice Storm, directed by Ang Lee. Katie's character was Libbets Casey, a rich New Yorker, who is pursued by two of the main characters. It was a small part, but it marked the beginning of her professional acting career.

After the excitement of her first movie, Katie began sending in audition tapes for pilot shows. During that time, she was also starring in her all-girls Catholic high school musical, Damn Yankees, as Lola. After Kevin Williamson received her audition tape for his new show, Dawson's Creek, the producers wanted her to come to Hollywood right away and read live for them. But because they wanted her to come on the opening night for Damn Yankees, Katie had to tell them she couldn't make it. Fortunately, the show's producers wanted her so much for that role, they rescheduled her callback and the result was she got the part as Joey Potter. During her first year with Dawson's Creek, Katie was able to do two movies, Disturbing Behavior and Go, and, for the former, she won Best Breakthrough Female Performance in the 1999 MTV Movie Awards.

The following year, she starred next to Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys, playing Hannah Green, a published author and a boarder at her teacher's (Douglas) house, who has a crush on him, and tries to seduce him. Her first leading role came in 2002, with Abandon. She played a college student named Katie Burke, who is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend who vanished two years prior. With Dawson's Creek coming to a close after six years in May of 2003, it was a bittersweet thing for all the cast. Accustomed to being in North Carolina filming ten months out of a year, the cast members now had the opportunity to make more movies.

Katie demonstrated this in October, when she had two new movies, Pieces of April and The Singing Detective, coming out in that month alone. Pieces of April is a charming Thanksgiving movie about April (Holmes), the black sheep of her family, who wants to give her family the perfect dinner before her mother passes on. The Singing Detective is a dark musical where the main character (Robert Downey Jr.) is a writer in a hospital for skin conditions who writes a dark world of seduction and murder in his mind. Katie Holmes plays the kind Nurse Mills who tends to his every need. She also gets to lip sync and dance in this movie. In 2004, she starred in the romantic movie First Daughter, in which she played the President's (Michael Keaton) daughter, Samantha, who wants to go to college without any Secret Service tagging along. In 2005, Holmes co-starred in Batman Begins, where she played Rachel Dawes, a childhood sweetheart and love interest to Batman/Bruce Wayne.

Sofia Black-D'Elia

Sofia Black-D'Elia grew up in northern New Jersey with her parents and older brother, Kyle. Her mother is of Russian Jewish descent and her father is of Italian ancestry. Prior to graduating Clifton High School, Sofia booked her first role in All My Children and discovered an affinity for acting. Soon after, she began her study of the craft at The William Esper Studio under the wonderful instruction of Mr. Bill Esper. Now a dedicated graduate of his two year Meisner program, Sofia happily lives in New York City.

Christopher Walken

Nervous-looking lead and supporting actor of the American stage and films, with sandy colored hair, pale complexion and a somewhat nervous disposition. He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Deer Hunter, and has been seen in mostly supporting roles, often portraying psychologically unstable characters, though that generalization would not do justice to Walken's depth and breadth of performances.

Walken was born in Astoria, Queens, to Rosalie (Russell), a Scottish immigrant, and Paul Walken, a German immigrant who ran Walken's Bakery. He learnt his stage craft, including dancing, at Hofstra University & ANTA, and picked up a Theatre World award for his performance in the revival of the Tennessee Williams play "The Rose Tattoo". Walken then first broke through into cinema in 1969 appearing in Me and My Brother, before appearing alongside Sean Connery in the sleeper heist movie The Anderson Tapes. His eclectic work really came to the attention of critics in 1977 with his intense portrayal of Diane Keaton suicidal younger brother in Annie Hall, and then he scooped the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1977 for his role as Nick in the electrifying The Deer Hunter. Walken was lured back by The Deer Hunter director Michael Cimino for a role in the financially disastrous western Heaven's Gate, before moving onto surprise audiences with his wonderful dance skills in Pennies from Heaven, taking the lead as a school teacher with telepathic abilities in the Stephen King inspired The Dead Zone and then as billionaire industrialist Max Zorin trying to blow up Silicon Valley in the 007 adventure A View to a Kill. Looking at many of Walken's other captivating screen roles, it is easy to see the diversity of his range and even his droll comedic talents with humorous appearances in Biloxi Blues, Wayne's World 2, Joe Dirt, Mousehunt and America's Sweethearts. Most recently, he continued to surprise audiences again with his work as a heart broken and apologetic father to Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can.

Molly Parker

Molly Parker, the extremely talented and versatile Canadian actress is best known in the United States for playing the Western widow "Alma Garret" on the cable-TV series Deadwood. Raised on a commune, she described as "a hippie farm" in Pitt Meadows, B.C., Parker got the acting bug when she was 16 years old, after 13 years of ballet training. Parker's uncle was an actor, and his agent took her on as a client, enabling her to launch her career in small roles on Canadian television. She enrolled at Vancouver's Gastown Actors' Studio after she graduated from high school, and continued to act on TV in series and TV-movies while learning her craft at acting school.

Parker began attracting attention when she appeared as the daughter of a lesbian military officer in the TV-movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story. She earned a Gemini nomination (the Canadian TV industry's equivalent of the Emmy) for her performance in the TV-movie Paris or Somewhere. However, it was her debut in theatrical films that gave her her big breakthrough, playing a necrophiliac in Lynne Stopkewich's 1996 film Kissed. It was "Kissed" that set Molly's career into overdrive.

A friend got her an audition for the low-budget independent feature film, and she hit if off with the director, who not only cast her, but became her friend. As the character "Sandra Larson", a poetic soul obsessed with death who engages in sexual congress with a corpse, Parker created a sympathetic character in a difficult role. The film garnered her rave revues and she won a Genie Award, the Canadian cinema's Academy Award, for her performance. She parlayed the accolades into a sustained career on film and in TV.

On TV, Parker was part of the cast of CBC-TV's six-part sitcom Twitch City, playing the girlfriend of Don McKellar, which enabled her to showcase her comedic skills. Other memorable TV roles was the female rabbi on Home Box Office's series Six Feet Under and, of course, the regular role on HBO's Deadwood. She has appeared in many ambitious films, including Jeremy Podeswa's The Five Senses, István Szabó's Sunshine and Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland. She also re-teamed with director Lynne Stopkewich for Suspicious River.

Parker made waves with another provocative film with sex as its subject, director Wayne Wang's The Center of the World. In the movie, Parker played a San Francisco lap dancer who becomes a paid escort to a Silicon Valley nerd. For her performance, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. In 2002, she was nominated twice as best supporting actress at the Genies for her roles in the British/Canadian co-production War Bride and Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding, winning for her appearance in the latter film.

Parker's reputation as an outstanding actress is based on her assaying of strong, yet flawed, definitely complex women in character-leads and supporting parts in challenging films. Not only does she convey intelligence, but there is an unconscious elegance to her, a true inner beauty that radiates on-screen. She will be gracing the screen, both large and small, with her unique presence for many years to come.

Harry Dean Stanton

Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes.

Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco farmer. Stanton served as a cook in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and was on board an LST during the Battle of Okinawa. He then returned to the University of Kentucky to appear in a production of "Pygmalion", before heading out to California and honing his craft at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse. Stanton then toured around the United States with a male choir, worked in children's theater, and then headed back to California. His first role on screen was in the tepid movie Tomahawk Trail, but he was quickly noticed and appeared regularly in minor roles as cowboys and soldiers through the late 1950s and early 1960s. His star continued to rise and he received better roles in which he could showcase his laid-back style, such as in Cool Hand Luke, Kelly's Heroes, Dillinger, The Godfather: Part II, and in Alien. It was around this time that Stanton came to the attention of director Wim Wenders, who cast him in his finest role yet as Travis in the moving Paris, Texas. Next indie director Alex Cox gave Stanton a role that really brought him to the forefront, in the quirky cult film Repo Man.

Stanton was now heavily in demand, and his unique look got him cast as everything from a suburban father in the mainstream Pretty in Pink to a soft-hearted, but ill-fated, private investigator in Wild at Heart and a crazy yet cunning scientist in Escape from New York. Apart from his film performances, Stanton is also an accomplished musician, and "The Harry Dean Stanton Band" and their unique spin on mariachi music have been playing together for well over a decade. They have toured internationally to rave reviews. Stanton became a cult figure of cinema and music and when Debbie Harry sang the lyric "I want to dance with Harry Dean..." in her 1990s hit "I Want That Man", she was talking about him.

As he moved into the time in his life when most other people would be calling it a day, Harry Dean Stanton has remained consistently active on screen, most recently appearing in films including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Green Mile and The Man Who Cried. A true gem amongst character actors, and with an on screen presence capable of adding that something extra to any production.

Samantha Morton

Samantha Morton has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation, winning Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown and Jim Sheridan's In America. She has the talent to become one of the major performers in the cinema of this young century.

Samantha Morton was born on May 13, 1977 in Nottingham, England to parents who divorced when she was three years old. Peter and Pamela Morton took other spouses and made Samantha part of a mixed family of 13; she has eight brothers and sisters. She turned to play-acting early in her life, while she was a school-girl.

At 13, she left regular school to train as an actress at the Central Junior Television Workshop, where she learned her craft for three years. It was at the end of her training then that she decided that a life as a professional actress was for her.

She honed her skills in television roles, working her way up from series television to TV-movies and prestigious mini-series, such as Emma and Jane Eyre. Her first major film role, Under the Skin, won her the Best Actress Award from the Boston Film Critics Society. Woody Allen cast her as Hattie, the "dumb" (unspeaking) lover of Sean Penn's caddish jazz guitarist in Sweet and Lowdown, a beautiful performance in a role that could have flummoxed a less-talented performer. Penn was Oscar-nominated for his performance, but it was Morton's Hattie that was central to the success of the film, Allen's last unqualified success. She provided the moral and narrative center of the film. It was quite a remarkable performance for a 21-year old as she had to do all her acting with her face, having been shorn of her voice. The role of Hattie won Morton a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination.

Ironically, Morton had never seen a Woody Allen movie before. (She grew up watching the TV and listening to the radio.) She agreed to do the film after reading the script (as she says, well-written roles for women are hard to find), and the movie made her a hot commodity in Hollywood after she won the Oscar nomination. (She lost out to the ultra-hyped Angelina Jolie). Morton was offered many roles, but was very choosy as she was not in acting as a game with a payoff of stardom and money.

She had consolidated her reputation by following up the Allen film with work in indie features that showed that she was not only talented, but quite courageous as a performer. She played a heroin addict in the underrated Jesus' Son and gave a brilliant performance in Morvern Callar, the story of a Scottish supermarket clerk coping with her boyfriend's suicide.

Steven Spielberg cast her, opposite superstar Tom Cruise, as the clairvoyant in Minority Report, in which she more than held her own opposite Cruise and the special effects. (She took the role as Cruise and Speilberg are favorites of hers). As good as she was, Morton was better served by Irish director Jim Sheridan, Sheridan cast her as a character modeled after his wife in an autobiographical picture more in line with persona and that made better use of her talents. Her performance as the young Irish mother coping with life in New York City in In America won her numerous critics' awards and another Oscar nod, this time as Best Actress.

At this point, one feels that the odds of her winning the Oscar are even or better. Samantha Morton continues to deliver fine work in provocative films such as Michael Winterbottom's Code 46, though she is branching out towards the mainstream, taking a role in the remake of that perennial family favorite, Lassie.

Richard Harris

A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature. Unfortunately, a bout of tuberculosis as a teenager ended his aspirations to a rugby career, but he became fascinated with the theater and skipped a local dance one night to attend a performance of "Henry IV". He was hooked and went on to learn his craft at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, then spent several years in stage productions. He debuted on screen in Shake Hands with the Devil and quickly scored regular work in films, including The Wreck of the Mary Deare, The Night Fighters and a good role as a frustrated Australian bomber pilot in The Guns of Navarone.

However, his breakthrough performance was as the quintessential "angry young man" in the sensational drama This Sporting Life, which scored him an Oscar nomination. He then appeared in the WW II commando tale The Heroes of Telemark and in the Sam Peckinpah-directed western Major Dundee. He next showed up in Hawaii and played King Arthur in Camelot, a lackluster adaptation of the famous Broadway play. Better performances followed, among them a role as a reluctant police informer in The Molly Maguires alongside Sir Sean Connery. Harris took the lead role in the violent western A Man Called Horse, which became something of a cult film and spawned two sequels.

As the 1970s progressed, Harris continued to appear regularly on screen; however, the quality of the scripts varied from above average to woeful. His credits during this period included directing himself as an aging soccer player in the delightful The Hero; the western The Deadly Trackers; the big-budget "disaster" film Juggernaut; the strangely-titled crime film 99 and 44/100% Dead; with Connery again in Robin and Marian; Gulliver's Travels; a part in the Jaws ripoff Orca and a nice turn as an ill-fated mercenary with Richard Burton and Roger Moore in the popular action film The Wild Geese.

The 1980s kicked off with Harris appearing in the silly Bo Derek vanity production Tarzan the Ape Man and the remainder of the decade had him appearing in some very forgettable productions.

However, the luck of the Irish was once again to shine on Harris' career and he scored rave reviews (and another Oscar nomination) for The Field. He then locked horns with Harrison Ford as an IRA sympathizer in Patriot Games and got one of his best roles as gunfighter English Bob in the Clint Eastwood western Unforgiven. Harris was firmly back in vogue and rewarded his fans with more wonderful performances in Wrestling Ernest Hemingway; Cry, the Beloved Country; The Great Kandinsky and This Is the Sea. Further fortune came his way with a strong performance in the blockbuster Gladiator and he became known to an entirely new generation of film fans as Albus Dumbledore in the mega-successful Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. His final screen role was as "Lucius Sulla" in Caesar.

A diverse, vigorous and captivating actor, Richard Harris passed away from Hodgkin's Disease on October 25, 2002.

Mark Strong

British actor Mark Strong, who played Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is often cast as cold, calculating villains. But before he became a famous actor, he intended to pursue a career in law.

Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in London, England, to an Austrian mother and an Italian father. His father left the family not long after he was born, and his mother worked as an au pair to raise the boy on her own. Strong's mother had his name legally changed when he was young in order to help him better assimilate with his peers.

Strong attended Wymondham College in Norfolk, and studied at the university level in Munich with the intent of becoming a lawyer. After a year, he returned to London to study English and Drama at Royal Holloway. He went on to further master his craft of at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Although Americans are most familiar with Strong's roles as Sinestro in Green Lantern, mob boss Frank D'Amico in Kick-Ass, and Lord Blackthorn in Sherlock Holmes, British audiences know him from his long history as a television actor. He also starred in as numerous British stage productions, including plays at the Royal National Theatre and the RSC.

His most prominent television parts include Prime Suspect 3 and Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness as Inspector Larry Hall, and starring roles in the BBC Two dramas Our Friends in the North and The Long Firm, the latter of which netted Strong a BAFTA nomination. He also played Mr. Knightley in the 1996 adaptation of Jane Austen's classic tale Emma.

Strong resides in London with his wife Liza Marshall, with whom he has two sons, the younger of which is the godson of his longtime friend Daniel Craig.

Clive Owen

British actor Clive Owen is one of a handful of stars who, though he is best known for his art house films, can handle more mainstream films with equal measures of grace and skill. Owen is typically cast as characters whose primary traits are a balance of physical strength, intellect, conflicting soul but forceful will. He is best known to film audiences for his work in Children of Men, Closer and his breakout part in Croupier. He recently portrayed Ernest Hemingway in the HBO made-for-TV movie Hemingway & Gellhorn.

Born in Coventry, in England's West Midlands county, on 3 October 1964, Owen is the fourth of five brothers. He is the son of Pamela (Cotton) and Jess Owen, a country and western singer. His father abandoned the family when he was three years old, and Owen was subsequently raised by his mother and stepfather. He attended Binley Park Comprehensive School and joined the youth theater at 13 after playing the scene-stealing role of the Artful Dodger in a production of "Oliver!"

Acting was not his first choice as a profession, but he changed his mind and went on to graduate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1987. Owen proceeded to join the Young Vic Theatre Company, where he honed his craft while performing in a number of Shakespearean productions.

Clive made his film debut in the British-made Vroom co-starring with David Thewlis as two fellows who restore a classic American car and take off on the road. Within two years, Clive became a full-fledged TV star playing devilish rogue Stephen Crane in Chancer. However, the now-sought-after Clive abandoned the star-making part at the height of the show's popularity because of unwanted invasion of privacy and his fear of typecasting. His next project raised more than a few eyebrows when he filmed Close My Eyes in which he played a brother who acts on his incestuous desires for his older sister. Clive's reputation as a lovable shyster was completely shattered and he lost profitable commercial endorsements following the film's release. Offers fell off for the next two years as a result. But the persistent Clive carried on with stage work, including the role of a bisexual in a production of Noël Coward's "Design For Living." He returned to TV at that time as well and played a number of roles in both mini-movies and series.

In 1997, Clive had a huge hit on the London stage with "Closer," a cynical, contemporary ensemble piece about relationships. Controversy surrounded him again in the film role of Max in Bent playing a brash, reckless homosexual lothario in decadent pre-war Germany who finds unconditional love while interned in a Nazi war camp. His biggest film break, however, was in Mike Hodges' Croupier, as a struggling writer-turned-casino employee who gets in over his head with a femme fatale scam artist. English audiences stayed away in droves but the U.S. embraced the film and Hollywood took notice of Clive, who was virtually unknown outside of England. Despite playing detective Ross Tanner in a series of successful "Second Sight" mini-movies and finding critical acclaim on stage with "The Day in the Death of Joe Egg" in 2001, Clive has focused primarily on film, including the offbeat Brit romantic comedy Greenfingers, the classy and popular Robert Altman film Gosford Park, the Matt Damon star-vehicle The Bourne Identity, and the title role in King Arthur. He has since reached the top rungs of the Hollywood ladder with the film version of his stage smash Closer, in which he received an Academy Award nomination and won the BAFTA award for "Supporting Actor"; opposite Denzel Washington in Inside Man; and alongside Julianne Moore and Michael Caine in Children of Men. Upcoming is his portrayal of Sir Walter Raleigh opposite Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I in the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

Owen is married to Sarah-Jane Fenton, who played Juliet to his Romeo at the Young Vic in 1998. The couple has two daughters.

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska (Ma-rish-ka) Magdolna Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. Her parents are Mickey Hargitay and Jayne Mansfield. She is the youngest of their three children. In June 1967, Mariska and her brothers Zoltan and Mickey Jr. were in the back seat of a car when it was involved in the fatal accident which killed her mother. The children escaped with minor injuries. Her father remarried a stewardess named Ellen, and they raised the three children and gave them a normal childhood. They also financially supported the children, since Jayne Mansfield's debt-ridden estate left no money for them.

Mariska majored in theater at UCLA. Her first motion picture feature was the cult favorite, Ghoulies, where she gave a memorable performance as Donna. Unlike her mother Jayne, who had changed her name, her hair color, and did nude pictorials to become a star, Mariska took a very different approach on her journey to become a star. She rejected advice to change her name and appearance. And she refused to copy her mother's sexy image by turning down nude scenes in her next film Jocks. She told casting directors that she was her own person when she held onto her dark locks and athletic figure, when they were expecting another blond, buxom Jayne Mansfield. Mariska continued with her acting classes and waited on tables, while she landed forgettable roles in short-lived television shows. She appeared a few times on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest. She also appeared in the hit film Leaving Las Vegas, credited as 'Hooker at the bar', and in the flop film Lake Placid as Myra Okubo. Her recurring role on the top-rated show ER in 1998 gave her career enough of a jolt to land her the starring role of Det. Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the first spin off from the excellent franchise of Law & Order. The hour-long show deals with sex crimes and the detectives who solve these cases. Mariska played Olivia as a tough, compassionate detective, who did action scenes and her own stunt work. She reaped the rewards from the hit TV show, after struggling and studying her craft for fifteen years. She became the highest paid actress on television, and she won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her performance. The show also changed her personal life, since she met her husband actor Peter Hermann on the set and married him on August 28, 2004. That same year, she appeared in the television movie Plain Truth, in which she played attorney Ellie Harrison. Mariska became an activist, when fans of her show who were abused, would write to her, and she founded a non-profit organization called "Joyful Heart Foundation" to help "survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse."

Mariska gave birth to her son August in 2006. But that tremendous joy was soon followed by tremendous sadness when her beloved father Mickey died just two months later at the age of 80. Mariska and her husband Peter adopted two children, a girl named Amaya, and a boy named Andrew, within a span of few months in 2011.

Mariska speaks English, Hungarian, French, Spanish, and Italian, and her husband also speaks several languages, including his native language German. They divide their time between New York and Los Angeles.

Wendy Makkena

Wendy Makkena is an accomplished actress, musician and entrepreneur from New York City, with a diverse background in film, television, theatre, and the arts. Ms. Makkena is a classically trained Juilliard harpist, performing at Carnegie Hall. She also plays R&B guitar, danced for six years with Balanchine's New York City Ballet, and is the founder of a successful startup.

In feature films Ms. Makkena recently appeared in "The Discovery" with Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, and Robert Redford, as Mr. Redford's beloved wife Maggie; "The Enchanted Forest", directed by Josh Klausner, and as the British real estate agent Maggie in "Fair Market Value", which had its world premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival winning the Best Ensemble Award. Other films include State of Play as Ben Affleck's erstwhile assistant Greer Thornton and leads in "Finding North", "Camp Nowhere", "Noise", "Air Bud" and John Sayle's "Eight Men Out". Wendy is perhaps best known for her role of shy novice sister Mary Robert in "Sister Act" and "Sister Act 2".

In television, Wendy has a recurring role on "NCIS" as Kate Todd's sister Dr. Rachel Cranston. She has also starred in the Fox comedy series "Oliver Beene"; the CBS series "Listen Up" opposite Jason Alexander; the ABC series "The Job" opposite Denis Leary; Fox's "The Mob Doctor" and the role of "All the Way" Mae in the TV series A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall. Other TV roles include recurring roles on "Judging Amy" opposite Tyne Daly; "NYPD Blue" opposite David Caruso; "Alpha House" on Amazon Prime; "Rizzoli & Isles", "The Good Wife", "Desperate Housewives", "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU", "CSI", "House", "The Nine" and "Philly".

As a theatre actress, her roles on stage as varied as they are on screen, ranging from leads in the farce of Broadway's "Lend Me a Tenor", to the holocaust drama, Cynthia Ozick's "The Shawl" opposite Dianne Wiest and directed by Sidney Lumet. On Broadway, Wendy has appeared in numerous productions earning rave reviews, including the leading role of Crazy Terry in Roundabout's "Side Man", Tony Award winner for Best Play, and "Pygmalion" with Peter O'Toole. Off Broadway, she has appeared in Richard Greenberg's "American Plan"; Donald Margulies's "Loman Family Picnic" and "Prin" with Eileen Atkins. At Playwrights Horizons, Wendy originated the roles of Carmen Berra in "Bronx Bombers" and Megan in The Water Children (NY & LA), winning the LA Drama Critics Circle Award and the Robby Award for Best Actress. She was selected by Harold Pinter to appear in the American premiere of "Mountain Language", opposite David Strathairn, and performed in "The Birthday Party" with Jean Stapleton. She has also worked with such artists as Beth Henley at New York Stage & Film and Julie Taymor in "The Taming of the Shrew".

A successful entrepreneur, Wendy is the founder and recipe inventor behind "Ruby's Rockets" frozen fruit and veggie pops. Conceived and crafted with her daughter Ruby, their first-to-market recipes have won the Masters Of Taste Award, The New Hope Editor's Choice NEXTY Award, and the SupplySide West Award. Ruby's Rockets have been featured on The Today Show, Forbes, and NY Business Insider, among others, and were selected to be in Oprah's coveted O list. They are now in over 3,000 doors nationwide.

Clive Standen

Clive Standen is a British actor, he was born on a British Army base in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, and grew up in the East Midlands in England. He went to school at King Edward VII School (Melton Mowbray) followed by a performing arts course at Melton Mowbray College. In his late teens, Standen was an international Muay Thai Boxer and later Fencing gold medalist. He married his wife Francesca in 2007 at Babington House. They live in London with their three children, Hayden, Edi and Rafferty.

His first experience of stunts and sword fighting was at the tender age of 12 when Standen got his first job working in a professional stunt team in Nottingham learning to ride, joust and sword fight. His sword fighting skills are seamless, he is left-handed but learned to fight with his right hand in his early years making him uniquely ambidextrous in the craft. At the age of fifteen, Clive was both a member of the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre performing lead roles in plays and musicals in West End and at venues such as The Royal Albert Hall and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He then won a place at the London Academy of Dramatic Art LAMDA on their three-year acting course.

He is best known for playing the battle hardened warrior 'Gawain' a series regular in the Starz networks TV series 'Camelot' and also 'Archer', the swashbuckling brother of Robin Hood in the BBC TV series Robin Hood; a role which brought Standen much critical acclaim with many of the national press comparing Standen's charming but edgy performance and seemingly effortless sword fighting Skill to Errol Flynn. It was much speculated at the end of the 3rd season that after his brothers death "Archer" would pick up the mantle of Robin Hood and become the shows new hero. Clive is also known for a previous recurring role as Private Harris in the British sci-fi show Doctor Who.

Prior to his role in Camelot & Robin Hood Standen appeared in 3 episodes of Doctor Who,the crime thriller "Waking the dead",the Second World War drama documentary "Ten days to D-day", three episodes of "Doctors" and "Tom Brown's Schooldays", the acclaimed ITV adaptation of the book by Thomas Hughes. He also played the lead role of Major Alan Marshall in the Zero Hour TV dramatization of the SAS mission in Sierra Leone known as operation Barras. Standen took a lead role in the mainstream Bollywood film "Namastey London" alongside Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar. Clive was also the face of Evian water 2008.

In 2012 Clive landed a lead role in the Vertigo films feature "Hammer of the Gods" and the new series "Vikings" produced by MGM/History both slated to be released in spring 2013

Bridget Fonda

Bridget Jane Fonda was born in Los Angeles, California, to Susan Brewer and actor Peter Fonda. She is the granddaughter of Henry Fonda and niece of Jane Fonda, both famous actors. Bridget made her film debut at age five as an extra in Easy Rider, but first became interested in acting after appearing in a high school production of "Harvey." At age 18, she enrolled at New York University and spent four years there and at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

She went on to hone her craft in workshop productions and worked on such stage projects as "Just Horrible," written by Nicholas Kazan, who later cast Bridget in his directorial debut, "Professional Man," an episode for The Edge series on HBO. She also starred in PBS's Jacob Have I Loved and in a segment of Aria, a film composed of short works by 10 respected directors.

Bridget Fonda's film credits include The Godfather: Part III, Strapless, Doc Hollywood, Singles, and Single White Female.

Stephen Root

One of the most prolific character actors working today, Stephen Root has worked alongside many of the biggest names in Hollywood. Born in Sarasota, Root majored in acting and broadcasting at the University of Florida and remains a die-hard Gator fan. After three years of touring the U.S. and Canada with the National Shakespeare Company, Root settled in New York, honing his craft in many regional theaters and starring off-Broadway in 'Journey's End' and 'The Au Pair Man'. His Broadway debut came in 'So Long On Lonely Street', which was followed by the Tony award-winning production of 'All My Sons', with Richard Kiley. A starring role as 'Boolie', in the Broadway national touring company of 'Driving Miss Daisy' with Julie Harris, brought Root to Los Angeles where he now resides. Back on the boards, he recently starred with Helen Hunt and Lyle Lovett in ;Much Ado About Nothing', an LA Shakespeare Production. His first acting role on screen came in George A. Romero's cult horror classic Monkey Shines. After that, many more under-the-radar supporting roles came his way until he found some moderate fame in the acclaimed series NewsRadio, where he played the somewhat eccentric owner of a radio station, Jimmy James, with Dave Foley as the station manager. The show ran from 1995 to 1999. Root has played more eccentric characters in recent years, voicing several characters in the hit animated TV series King of the Hill, a show created by and starring Mike Judge. Judge would later cast Root in another cult classic film, 1999's Office Space, where Root played the squirrelly and unforgettable Milton Waddams, a man who is pushed around at work and has a fetish for Swingline staplers. More recently Root has worked with such directors as the Coen brothers and Kevin Smith creating more oddball characters as well as making guest appearances on numerous TV shows.

Sarah Rafferty

Sarah Rafferty's character Donna on USA network's hit show "Suits" is one of the most formidable minds at their law firm, Pearson Hardman. With her razor sharp wit and knowledge of all the firm's happenings, Donna is admired and feared by everyone there, and she's not afraid to wield that power when it suits her needs.

While still in prep school, Sarah was bit by the acting bug at a very young age. When her drama teacher caught her cutting across his lawn in an effort not to be late for field hockey practice, he told her to skip practice and join the cast of "Richard III," and thus began her adoration of acting.

Sarah decided to take her love for this craft and educate herself by double majoring in English and Theatre at Hamilton College, studying theatre abroad in London and Oxford during her junior year, and, after graduating magna cum laude from Hamilton, went on to study at Yale Drama school. Her passion for learning about the arts was supported by her parents; her mother, the Chairwoman of the English Department at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT, and her father, an accomplished painter.

Her education and natural talent clearly paid off. In addition to starring on USA Network's "Suits" playing the role of Donna, she has appeared in numerous TV series such as "Law & Order," "Six Feet Under," "_Brothers & Sisters_," "Samantha Who?," "Without a Trace," "CSI: Miami," and "Bones," and feature films including: "Four Single Fathers" and "Falling For Grace," along with countless professional stage productions like "Gemini" and "As You Like It."

In addition to her acting roles on television, Sarah is an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Association and consistently speaks on the matter. Sarah has hosted their annual Sardi's event three years in a row and presented at the organization's final Sardi's event in March 2016.

Sarah currently resides on both east and west coasts with her husband and two daughters and travels back and forth to Toronto for work.

Ben Whishaw

Proclaimed by many critics as one of the best young actors of his generation, Benjamin John Whishaw was born in Clifton, Bedfordshire, to Linda (Hope), who works in cosmetics, and Jose Whishaw, who works in information technology. He has a twin brother, James. He is of French, German, Russian (father) and English (mother) descent.

Ben attended Samuel Whitbread Community College where his interest in theatre grew and he became a member of the Bancroft Players Youth Theatre at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre. During his time there he rose to prominence in many productions, most notably If This Is a Man, based on the book of the same name by Primo Levi, a survivor of Nazi World War II prisoner of war camp. The play was taken to the Edinburgh Festival in 1995 where it garnered five-star reviews and great critical acclaim with Ben Whishaw getting rave reviews for his portrayal of Levi.

Ben then enrolled in, RADA from where he graduated in 2004 and soon landed the role of Hamlet in Trevor Nunn's 2004 production making him one of the youngest actors to portray Hamlet on-stage. Hamlet opened to rave reviews with many critics hailing Ben as the next Laurence Olivier and applauding his portrayal of Hamlet with leading critics haling the birth of a star. Whishaw's film and TV credits include Layer Cake and Christopher Morris 2005 sitcom Nathan Barley, in which he played a character called Pingu. He was named "Most Promising Newcomer" at the 2001 British Independent Film Awards (for My Brother Tom) and, in 2005, nominated as best actor in four award ceremonies for his Hamlet. He also played Keith Richards in the Stephen Woolley biopic Stoned. Whishaw played in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer as Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a perfume maker whose craft turns deadly getting raves once again for his stunning portrayal. Whishaw appeared in 2007's I'm Not There. as one of the Bob Dylan reincarnations and in 2008 in Criminal Justice a TV series. He appears in the forthcoming films The Tempest and Bright Star.

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and European cinema and audiences the way it has over the past four decades.

The influence of East Asian martial arts cinema can be seen today in so many other film genres including comedies, action, drama, science fiction, horror and animation.....and they all have their roots in the phenomenon that was Bruce Lee.

Lee was born "Lee Jun Fan" November twenty-seventh 1940 in San Francisco, the son of Lee Hoi Chuen, a singer with the Cantonese Opera. Approximately one year later the family returned to Kowloon in Hong Kong and at the age of five years, a young Bruce begins appearing in children's roles in minor films including The Birth of Mankind and Fu gui fu yun. At the age of 12, Bruce commenced attending La Salle College. Bruce was later beaten up by a street gang, which inspired him to take up martial arts training under the tutelage of "Sifu Yip Man" who schooled Bruce in wing chun kung fu for a period of approximately five years. This was the only formalized martial arts training ever undertaken by Lee. The talented & athletic Bruce also took up cha-cha dancing and, at the age of 18, won a major dance championship in Hong Kong.

However, his temper and quick fists got him in trouble with the Hong Kong police on numerous occasions. His parents suggested that he head off to the United States. Lee landed in San Francisco's Chinatown in 1959 and worked in a close relative's restaurant. He eventually made his way to Seattle, Washington, where he enrolled at university to study philosophy and found the time to practice his beloved kung fu techniques. In 1963, Lee met Linda Lee Cadwell (aka Linda Emery) (later his wife) and also opened his first kung fu school at 4750 University Way. During the early half of the 1960s, Lee became associated with many key martial arts figures in the USA, including kenpo karate expert Ed Parker and tae kwon do master Jhoon Rhee. He made guest appearances at notable martial arts events including the Long Beach Nationals. Through one of these tournaments Bruce met Hollywood hair-stylist Jay Sebring who introduced him to T.V. producer William Dozier. Based on the runaway success of Batman, Dozier was keen to bring the cartoon character of The Green Hornet to T.V. and was on the lookout for an East Asian actor to play the Green Hornet's sidekick, Kato. Around this time Bruce also opened a second kung fu school in Oakland, California and relocated to Oakland to be closer to Hollywood.

Bruce's screen test was successful, and The Green Hornet starring Van Williams aired in 1966 with mixed success. His fight scenes were sometimes obscured by unrevealing camera angles, but his dedication was such that he insisted his character behave like a perfect bodyguard, keeping his eyes on whoever might be a threat to his employer except when the script made this impossible. The show was surprisingly terminated after only one season (twenty-six episodes), but by this time Lee was receiving more fan mail than the show's nominal star. He then opened a third branch of his kung fu school in Los Angeles and began providing personalized martial arts training to celebrities including film stars Steve McQueen and James Coburn as well as screenwriter Stirling Silliphant. In addition he refined his prior knowledge of wing chun and incorporated aspects of other fighting styles such as traditional boxing and Okinawan karate. He also developed his own unique style "Jeet Kune Do" (Way of the Intercepting Fist). Another film opportunity then came his way as he landed the small role of a stand over man named "Winslow Wong" who intimidates private eye James Garner in Marlowe. Wong pays a visit to Garner and proceeds to demolish the investigator's office with his fists and feet, finishing off with a spectacular high kick that shatters the light fixture. With this further exposure of his talents, Bruce then scored several guest appearances as a martial arts instructor to blind private eye James Franciscus on the TV series Longstreet.

With his minor success in Hollywood and money in his pocket, Bruce returned for a visit to Hong Kong and was approached by film producer Raymond Chow who had recently started "Golden Harvest" productions. Chow was keen to utilize Lee's strong popularity amongst young Chinese fans, and offered him the lead role in The Big Boss, (aka "The Big Boss", aka Fists Of Fury"). In it, Lee plays a distant cousin coming to join relatives working at an ice house, where murder, corruption, and drug-running lead to his character's adventures and display of Kung-Fu expertise. The film was directed by Wei Lo, shot in Thailand on a very low budget and in terrible living conditions for cast and crew. However, when it opened in Hong Kong the film was an enormous hit. Chow knew he had struck box office gold with Lee and quickly assembled another script entitled The Chinese Connection (aka "Fist Of Fury", aka "The Chinese Connection"). The second film (with a slightly bigger budget) was again directed by Wei Lo and was set in Shanghai in the year 1900, with Lee returning to his school to find that his beloved master has been poisoned by the local Japanese karate school. Once again he uncovers the evil-doers and sets about seeking revenge on those responsible for murdering his teacher and intimidating his school. The film features several superb fight sequences and, at the film's conclusion, Lee refuses to surrender to the Japanese law and seemingly leaps to his death in a hail of police bullets.

Once more, Hong Kong streets were jammed with thousands of fervent Chinese movie fans who could not get enough of the fearless Bruce Lee, and his second film went on to break the box office records set by the first! Lee then set up his own production company, Concord Productions, and set about guiding his film career personally by writing, directing and acting in his next film, The Way of the Dragon (aka "Return of The Dragon"). A bigger budget meant better locations and opponents, with the new film set in Rome, Italy and additionally starring hapkido expert Ing-Sik Whang, karate legend Robert Wall and seven-time U.S. karate champion Chuck Norris. Bruce plays a seemingly simple country boy sent to assist at a cousin's restaurant in Rome and finds his cousins are being bullied by local thugs for protection.

By now, Lee's remarkable success in East Asia had come to the attention of Hollywood film executives and a script was hastily written pitching him as a secret agent penetrating an island fortress. Warner Bros. financed the film and also insisted on B-movie tough guy John Saxon starring alongside Lee to give the film wider appeal. The film culminates with another show-stopping fight sequence between Lee and the key villain, Han, in a maze of mirrors. Shooting was completed in and around Hong Kong in early 1973 and in the subsequent weeks Bruce was involved in completing overdubs and looping for the final cut. Various reports from friends and coworkers cite that he was not feeling well during this period and on July twentieth 1973 he lay down at the apartment of actress Betty Ting Pei after taking a head-ache tablet and was later unable to be revived. A doctor was called and Lee was taken to hospital by ambulance and pronounced dead that evening. The official finding was death due to a cerebral edema, caused by a reaction to the head-ache tablet.

Fans world-wide were shattered that their virile idol had passed at such a young age, and nearly thirty thousand fans filed past his coffin in Hong Kong. A second, much smaller ceremony was held in Seattle, Washington and Bruce was laid to rest at Lake View Cemetary in Seattle with pall bearers including Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Dan Inosanto. Enter the Dragon was later released in the mainland United States, and was a huge hit with audiences there, which then prompted National General films to actively distribute his three prior movies to U.S. theatres... each was a box office smash.

Fans throughout the world were still hungry for more Bruce Lee films and thus remaining footage (completed before his death) of Lee fighting several opponents including Dan Inosanto, Hugh O'Brian and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was crafted into another film titled Game of Death. The film used a look-alike and shadowy camera work to be substituted for the real Lee in numerous scenes. The film is a poor addition to the line-up and is only saved by the final twenty minutes and the footage of the real Bruce Lee battling his way up the tower. Amazingly this same shoddy process was used to create Game of Death II (A.K.A. "Game of Death II"), with a look-alike and more stunt doubles interwoven with a few brief minutes of footage of the real Bruce Lee.

Tragically his son Brandon Lee, an actor and martial artist like his father, was killed in a freak accident on the set of The Crow.

Bruce Lee was not only an amazing athlete and martial artist but he possessed genuine superstar charisma and through a handful of films he left behind an indelible impression on the tapestry of modern cinema.

Constance Zimmer

Constance Zimmer decided to pursue a career in acting after she fell in love with the craft as a high school student. Once out of high school, Zimmer was accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, and began appearing in local theater. She was the recipient of a "Best Actress" Dramalogue Award, for one of her first stage appearances in "Catholic School Girls".

She is well-known for playing a number of standout characters in notable projects. Starting in 2005, and for six seasons, she played the role of Dana Gordon on HBO's critically acclaimed series Entourage. She will reprise this role when Warner Brothers releases the Entourage film on the big screen in June.

She also stars in Lifetime's new drama series UnReal, premiering on June 1st. On the show, she plays "Quinn" the executive producer of a fictional dating show. Other upcoming projects include the feature film Results opposite Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders, which premiered earlier this year at The Sundance Film Festival, a recurring role on USA's new series Complications, and a guest starring role on the IFC series Maron, and Cartoon Network's animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. Zimmer was most recently seen starring in the first and second season of the Netflix Emmy® nominated original series House of Cards, executive produced by David Fincher, as well as HBO's The Newsroom, executive produced by Aaron Sorkin.

Zimmer was also a series lead on ABC's Boston Legal, created by David E. Kelley, which earned her a SAG Award nomination and had major roles on Grey's Anatomy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Seinfeld and the sitcom Ellen.

Zimmer's feature film credits include The Babymakers, opposite Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn, Demoted, opposite Sean Astin and Michael Vartan, and the Warner Bros. feature Chaos Theory, starring Ryan Reynolds and Emily Mortimer.

She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Russ, a director, and their daughter.

Titus Welliver

Titus Welliver was born on March 12, 1961 in New Haven, Connecticut. His father was a famous landscape painter, Neil Welliver. His mother was a fashion illustrator, Norma Cripps. He has three brothers, one was killed overseas. He was raised in Philadelphia and New York City, surrounded by poets and painters. He credits them for his creativity. Originally wanting to be a painter like his father, he later decided to pursue acting. Titus moved to New York in 1980 to learn his craft. He enrolled in classes at New York's HB Acting Studios while attending New York University. To support himself, Titus did a variety of jobs including bartender and construction worker.

His first paid acting job was in Navy Seals with Charlie Sheen, playing a redneck in the bar." He soon began to appear in movies, including JFK and The Doors. While appearing in movies, he continued to work in live theatre. He appeared in stage productions of Riff Raff, American Buffalo, Naked at the Coast, and Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts I and II. During the 1990s, he guest starred on many TV shows like Matlock, L.A. Law, The X-Files, and The Commish, and appeared in many TV Movies including An American Story and Mind Prey. He had recurring roles on Murder One and High Incident.

Then he got a regular part on Steven Bochco's Brooklyn South as Officer Jack Lowery and played a recurring character on Bochco's and David Milch's NYPD Blue. He also had starring roles on Big Apple and the second season of That's Life playing Dr. Eric Hackett opposite Paul Sorvino and Ellen Burstyn. In 2004, he got a semi-regular role on David Milch's critically acclaimed HBO drama Deadwood as Silas Adams. After "Deadwood" ended, he mostly guest starred on TV shows including Law & Order, Jericho and NCIS, but also appeared in movies including in Ben Affleck's feature film directorial debut Gone Baby Gone. He has appeared in Affleck's The Town and Argo.

He also had recurring roles on Lost as Man in Black, Sons of Anarchy as Irish gun kingpin Jimmy O'Phelan, and The Good Wife as Glenn Childs. After "The Good Wife", he had recurring roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Touch, The Last Ship, Suits and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but also appeared in The Mentalist and White Collar. His notable movie roles include in Man on a Ledge, Promised Land and Transformers: Age of Extinction. In 2014, he was cast as LAPD Homicide Detective Harry Bosch in Bosch, which has its third season in 2017.

Like his father, Neil, Titus is an acclaimed landscape painter, and has had shows in Maine, California and Connecticut.

Vanessa Angel

British-born Vanessa Angel began her career at age 14 as a model, when she was discovered by world-renowned agent, Eileen Ford. She gained much life experience by traveling the world, relocating to New York and appearing on many magazine covers, including "Vogue" and "Cosmopolitan". Her transition from modeling to acting came in 1985, when she was chosen by director John Landis to play a Russian spy in Spies Like Us. She honed her craft by studying with Sondra Lee and became a member of The Actor's Studio in New York in 1987, studying with Frank Corsaro. This led to roles in films including King of New York, Sleep with Me and Kingpin, from The Farrelly Brothers with Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray, Kissing a Fool with David Schwimmer and Jason Lee. She has been in many films in the past few years including Paramount's The Perfect Score with Scarlett Johansson and opposite Jon Voight in Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2. In addition to her film work, Angel starred in the hit series, Weird Science, on the USA Network.

The unique range of characters earned her critical recognition for her comedic timing. She has played many roles on television, including the recurring role of police officer "Peggy Elliot" on NBC's Reasonable Doubts with Mark Harmon and Marlee Matlin, and a recent recurring role on Stargate SG-1. Most recently, she played herself in HBO's popular show, Entourage, where she played opposite Kevin Dillon, who she had also starred opposite in Out for Blood. She also recently starred in the Lifetime movie, Criminal Intent, and just finished the independent film, Blind Ambition, and the comedy, Endless Bummer. She reconnected with The Farrelly Bros in Hall Pass and made a memorable guest appearance in Showtime's Californication. She recently completed the films, Lycan and Trouble Sleeping Vanessa lives with her husband, Rick Otto, and their daughter India.

William Shatner

William Shatner has notched up an impressive 50-plus years in front of the camera, most recently displaying comedic talent, and being instantly recognizable to several generations of cult television fans as the square-jawed Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise.

Shatner was born in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Canada, to Anne (Garmaise) and Joseph Shatner, a clothing manufacturer. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while his maternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews. After graduating from university he joined a local Summer theatre group as an assistant manager. He then performed with the National Repertory Theatre of Ottawa and at the Stratford, Ontario Shakespeare Festival as an understudy working with such as Alec Guinness, James Mason, and Anthony Quayle. He came to the attention of New York critics and was soon playing important roles on major shows in live television.

Shatner spent many years honing his craft before debuting alongside Yul Brynner in The Brothers Karamazov. He was kept busy during the 1960s in films such as Judgment at Nuremberg and The Intruder and on television guest-starring in dozens of series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Defenders, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone. In 1966, Shatner boarded the USS Enterprise for three seasons of Star Trek, co-starring alongside Leonard Nimoy, with the series eventually becoming a bona-fide cult classic with a worldwide legion of fans known as "Trekkies".

After "Star Trek" folded, Shatner spent the rest of the decade and the 1970s making the rounds guest-starring on many prime-time television series, including Hawaii Five-O, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Ironside. He has also appeared in several feature films, but they were mainly B-grade (or lower) fare such as the embarrassingly bad Euro western White Comanche and the campy Kingdom of the Spiders. However, the 1980s saw a major resurgence in Shatner's career with the renewed interest in the original Star Trek series culminating in a series of big-budget "Star Trek" feature films including Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In addition, he starred in the lightweight police series T.J. Hooker from 1982 to 1986, alongside spunky Heather Locklear, and surprised many fans with his droll comedic talents in Airplane II: The Sequel, Loaded Weapon 1 and Miss Congeniality.

He has most recently been starring in the David E. Kelley television series The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal.

Outside of work he jogs and follows other athletic pursuits. His interest in health and nutrition led to him becoming spokesman for the American Health Institute's 'Know Your Body' Programme to promote nutritional and physical health.

Corbin Bernsen

Corbin Bernsen made his initial mark on the seminal television series L.A. Law as opportunistic divorce lawyer "Arnie Becker" earning him multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations over the show's eight-year run. He proved along the way the role was not to be a dead-end stereotype, maintaining a steady career in both television and film over the course of three decades. Moreover, his intent devotion to his career and love for the craft has compelled him in recent years to climb into the producer/writer, and director's chair.

Born in North Hollywood, California, on September 7, 1954, Corbin was raised in and around the entertainment business. The eldest of three children, his father film and television producer Harry Bernsen and mother, veteran actress Jeanne Cooper encouraged him to continue the family tradition. After high school he originally attended UCLA with the intention of pursuing law, but instead, he went on to receive a BFA in Theatre Arts and MFA in Playwriting. He worked on the Equity-waiver L.A. stage circuit as both actor and set designer, making his film debut as a bit player in his father's picture Three the Hard Way. He then set his sights on New York in the late 70s. In the early years he carved out a living as a carpenter building rooftop decks in NYC that still stand to this day. Then in 1983 he landed the role of "Ken Graham" on daytime's Ryan's Hope and he put his tool belt away. This break led to an exclusive deal with NBC and eventually the TV role in L.A. Law. The perks of his "newly-found stardom" on L.A. Law included a hosting stint on Saturday Night Live and the covers of numerous major magazines.

Not one to settle for what he knew could be fleeting comfort, he worked diligently to parlay his small screen success into a diverse resume of feature film roles, both starring and supporting, often enjoying the challenge of portraying unsympathetic characters with an infusion of charm and likability. He co-starred as Shelley Long's egotistical husband in the reincarnation comedy Hello Again; played an equally vain Hollywood star in the musical comedy Bert Rigby, You're a Fool; and starred as a disorganized ringleader of a band of crooks in the bank caper Disorganized Crime. He capped the 1980s decade opposite Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger in the box office hit Major League, which took advantage of his natural athleticism, playing ballplayer-cum-owner "Roger Dorn". Two sequels followed. Other notable feature film work includes the mystery thriller Shattered, directed by Wolfgang Peterson, which re-teamed him with Tom Berenger, Stephen Frears' Lay The Favorite, and a turn opposite Robert Downey Jr. in Shane Black's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

On the TV front, he has appeared in many MOW's including Line of Fire: The Morris Dees Story as the famed civil rights attorney who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center. Topping it off, Corbin's title role in the horror/ thriller The Dentist for HBO had audiences developing a similar paranoia of tooth doctors as Anthony Perkins invoked decades before to motel clerks. As spurned husband-turned-crazed dentist "Dr. Alan Feinstone", Corbin reached cult horror status. The movie spawned a sequel in which he also served as a producer. Most recently, he has reunited with Dentist director Brian Yuzna on a slate of films exploring similar themes starting with "The Plastic Surgeon."

More recently Bernsen wrapped eight seasons on USA Network's hit series Psych as Henry Spencer playing James Roday's retired cop father who taught his "fake psychic," crime solving son everything he knows.

In 2006 he formed his own production company, Team Cherokee Productions to exert more creative control over his projects and begin exploring material both as writer, director and producer. Today that company has taken root as Home Theater Films, an early player in the Faith and Family film genre. The company has explored a wide variety of themes beginning with the film "Rust" which was distributed by Sony Pictures. With five other films under their belt, including "25 Hill," "Beyond the Heavens," "Christian Mingle" starring Lacey Chabert, and the upcoming "Jesse and Naomi," Home Theater Films has firmly carved a niche and name in this lucrative genre.

Corbin has been happily married (since 1988) to British actress Amanda Pays who most recently be seen on "The Flash." They have appeared together in the sci-fi film Spacejacked and the TV-movies Dead on the Money and The Santa Trap, among others. The couple has four sons. Never one to become complacent or fall prey to the hype - a lesson learned from his mother - he still practices his carpenter skills at home as he continues to write, produce, and direct. Perseverance and dedication has played a large part in his continued success. Having a savvy take-charge approach hasn't hurt either -- characteristics worthy of many of the characters he's explored on screen.

Masiela Lusha

European-born actress/writer Masiela Lusha portrayed "Carmen Lopez" for five seasons as George Lopez's rebellious and passionate daughter on the syndicated ABC series, George Lopez. She was born on October 23, 1985 to parents Max and Daniela. Raised in Tirana, Albania; Budapest, Hungary; and Vienna, Austria, Masiela settled in Michigan at the age of seven; English is her fourth language. Her acting talents span well into films, voice-overs, print work with Ben Affleck and, of course, television. Among other roles, Masiela portrayed the voice of "Nina", the lovable and energetic best friend on the popular animated PBS series, Clifford's Puppy Days. Film work include "My Father's Eulogy", a biographical drama in which she portrayed "Lisa", the reflective lead who reminisces on her experiences with her father; Sony Picture's Blood: The Last Vampire, where she portrayed a demon vampire, Pathe's Time of the Comet, in which she starred as "Saint Agnes", and Muertas, in which she plays the determined and sensitive lead, "Aracelli". Masiela has been named "The Youngest Author in the World" to publish a book in two languages. She designed the cover herself at the age of twelve, and was also named as one of "The Best Top Ten Talented Poets for North America", for her first book "Inner Thoughts." She views writing as an expression of herself where she can "reach into humanity", and her second book of poetry "Drinking the Moon" was recently released in print this summer by Dorrance Publishing. Masiela's writing also includes screenplays, short stories, and her first completed novel, The Besa. Masiela founded Illuminary Pictures at the age of 23, and has since wrapped two films under the company name. Illuminary Pictures has a full slate of diverse film and television projects in various stages of production. Three important aspects of Masiela's life are 1736 Family Crisis Center based in Los Angeles, UNICEF, and her own 501(c)3 Children of the World Foundation. For Children of the World, she is starting close to home in southern California where she donated ten acres of land for the cause. Other chapters will develop across the United States and eventually expand in other parts of the world. Masiela graduated from high school at 15, and was accepted as a junior to UCLA at the age of eighteen, majoring in English. Before becoming an actor, she was named by Teen Magazine as one of five to "Most Likely to Succeed". After arriving in Michigan, Masiela first gained attention by modeling. She was discovered among 600 aspiring actors by a Los Angeles based talent agent, and shortly there after was one of three invited to Hollywood at the age of thirteen. She loves honing her craft in front of the camera and exploring different characters, and continues to pave her path to success as an actress and author.

Monica Potter

From Cleveland to Hollywood, actress, producer, entrepreneur, funny woman, tear-jerker, designer, decorator, builder, creator, fixer, cook, cleaner, host, wife, Browns fan, homemaker, (very) amateur bowler and -her favorite title- mom, Monica Potter has achieved success in several different ways....save having a concise bio intro.

Monica Potter was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Nora Marie (Sexton), a homemaker and part-time cleaning lady, and Paul Ely Brokaw, Jr., who -among many other widely-used innovations- invented the first flame-resistant car wax. Her maternal grandparents were Irish.

A passionate creator by genes and trade, Potter, along with her 12-person "Monica Potter Home" team, is producing a line of natural, locally-crafted home and beauty products sold on mrspotter.com as well as the company's first standalone store, which opened in Garrettsville Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland , this February. Building the company had been a dream for Potter. Through it, she aims to supplement the beauty and comfort of customers' homes at an affordable price, while creating sustainable job opportunities in the area. Appropriately enough, "Monica Potter Home" is headquartered in Potter's own childhood house in Cleveland; a structure Potter recently bought and renovated as part of an initiative to improve the neighborhood's condition.

When not running a company and knocking down walls, Potter is at work producing a sitcom, with Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. Television, in which she will star as a mom, living under the same roof as her three ex-husbands. The script is in development and a pilot will be shot this spring. She is also producing a docu-series, tracking the renovation of her childhood home, with her favorite cast of characters...her family.

To the dismay of its extraordinarily vocal fans, Potter recently wrapped production on five seasons of NBC's acclaimed drama series, Parenthood. For her portrayal of "Kristina Braverman" and her struggles to raise three children (including one with Autism), an emotional battle with breast cancer and run for mayor, Potter has garnered a 2014 Golden Globes nomination, a 2013 Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, a TCA Award nomination for Individual Achievement in Drama & continued Emmy buzz.

Potter's previous television credits include roles in Boston Legal, for which Potter and her cast mates were nominated for a 2005 Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, TNT's Trust Me, USA's Reversible Errors and the beginning of it all, The Young and the Restless.

Potter burst onto the film scene with her co-starring role, opposite Nicolas Cage in Michael Bay's Con Air. She then starred, with Robin Williams, in the acclaimed dramedy, Patch Adams" and appeared opposite Morgan Freeman in the thriller, Along Came a Spider. Other film credits include the comedies, Head Over Heels and I'm with Lucy, the mega-hit horror classic Saw, Without Limits, Lower Learning and The Last House on the Left.

Potter resides in both Cleveland and Los Angeles with her family.

Amy Davidson

Radiating the screen with her engaging presence and captivating talent, Amy Davidson has quickly become one of Hollywood's most intriguing young actresses.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Davidson discovered her love for entertaining when her parents enrolled her in dance classes as a young child. As a member of the award-winning dance production company, "Dance Motion", Davidson sharpened her skills for ballet, point, hip hop and modern dancing. After years of captivating audiences at national dance competitions and annual "Dance Motion" productions, the seasoned performer developed an affinity for acting.

During her last years in high school, Davidson was introduced to an agent and soon began doing commercial work. She also began mentoring with acting coach Gene Fowler, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to move to Hollywood to further her acting career. Davidson took his advice and, without having any connections in the entertainment industry, she packed her belongings and headed west.

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Davidson continued to study her craft with a variety of coaches, each offering their own unique acting style. As a result of her perseverance and discipline, Davidson soon landed a recurring role as "Cammie Morton" in the Mary-Kate Olsen-Ashley Olsen series, So Little Time, for ABC Family. She also guest-starred on the drama series, Judging Amy, and appeared in Lifetime's original movie, The Truth About Jane, prior to landing 8 Simple Rules.

Despite her active schedule, Davidson finds time to enjoy a variety of activities that keep her physically fit, such as running, weight training, hiking, boxing and snow skiing. She continues to keep her spirit of dance alive by attending classes at "Cardio Barre", a workout studio where exercisers can experience a high energy, aerobic class done at a ballet barre. In order to improve her "jam sessions" in the car, she recently began taking voice lessons. Davidson recently wrapped production in a starring role opposite television veterans Betty White and Richard Thomas in Annie's Point, a Hallmark Channel original movie. Davidson portrayed "Ella Eason", a 19-year-old college dropout who agrees to travel cross country with her grandmother (White) in order to spread her grandfather's ashes in a significant spot - "Annie's Point".

She co-starred on ABC's family comedy "8 Simple Rules" from 2002 to 2005, with an ensemble cast that included James Garner, Katey Sagal and David Spade. She played the cute middle child, "Kerry Hennessy", who is a confident and intelligent teenager who knows that she does not need to pretty herself up in order to succeed. In its second season, the Hennessy family faced the heart-wrenching task of moving on with their lives after the tragic death of "Paul", their beloved patriarch (John Ritter).

Davidson currently resides in Los Angeles, where's she recently purchased a new home.

Sean Faris

Sean Hardy Faris was born in Houston, Texas, to Katherine (Miller) and Warren Stephen Faris. His ancestry is English, along with some German, Scottish, and Irish.

Faris moved to Ohio at age 12 and has been honing his craft in Los Angeles since moving four years upon his high school graduation. He received an MTV Movie Award for his lead role in Summit Entertainment's hit Never Back Down, and starred as Betty White's grandson and Jennifer Love Hewitt's love interest in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilm The Lost Valentine. In addition to his central role in the rugby-inspired feature Forever Strong, he appeared as Dennis Quaid's eldest son in Paramount's hit remake of the classic Yours, Mine & Ours and previously starred as the hunky object of affection in MGM's comedy romp Sleepover. Next on the horizon is the crime thriller Pawn in which he stars opposite Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, and the coveted title role in The Story of Bonnie & Clyde. In direct contrast, Faris starred as the lead in FOX's acclaimed drama series Reunion which followed six close friends from their high school graduation to their 20th reunion. He previously led the cast of ABC's dramatic series Life As We Know It. Based upon British author Melvin Burgess' controversial novel Doing It, the acclaimed show chronicled the sexual antics of a group of high school friends in Seattle. For his role as sensitive jock Dino Whitman, he was heralded as a breakout talent by the likes of Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today. A more recent foray into television included a multi-episode arc on The CW's top-rated Vampire Diaries. No stranger to television, Faris has also guest-starred on such shows as Smallville, One Tree Hill, and Boston Public. His big screen debut featured him alongside the likes of Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in Michael Bay's epic Pearl Harbor.

Mary Wickes

From the grand old school of wisecracking, loud and lanky Mary Wickes had few peers while forging a career as a salty scene-stealer. Her abrupt, tell-it-like-it-is demeanor made her a consistent audience favorite on every medium for over six decades. She was particularly adroit in film parts that chided the super rich or exceptionally pious, and was a major chastiser in generation-gap comedies. TV holds a vault full of not-to-be-missed vignettes where she served as a brusque foil to many a top TV comic star. Case in point: who could possibly forget her merciless ballet taskmaster, Madame Lamond, putting Lucille Ball through her rigorous paces at the ballet bar in a classic I Love Lucy episode?

Unlike the working-class characters she embraced, this veteran character comedienne was actually born Mary Isabella Wickenhauser on June 13, 1910, in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a well-to-do banker. Of Irish and German heritage, she grew into a society débutante following high school and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in political science. She forsook a law career, however, after being encouraged by a college professor to try theater, and she made her debut doing summer stock in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The rest, as they say, is history.

Prodded on by the encouragement of stage legend Ina Claire whom she met doing summer theater, Mary transported herself to New York where she quickly earned a walk-on part in the Broadway play "The Farmer Takes a Wife" starring Henry Fonda in 1934. In the show she also understudied The Wizard of Oz's "Wicked Witch" Margaret Hamilton, and earned excellent reviews when she went on in the part. Plain and hawkish in looks while noticeably tall and gawky in build, Mary was certainly smart enough to see that comedy would become her career path and she enjoyed showing off in roles playing much older than she was. New York stage work continued to pour in, and she garnered roles in "Spring Dance" (1936), "Stage Door" (1936), "Hitch Your Wagon" (1937), "Father Malachy's Miracle (1937) and, in an unusual bit of casting, Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre production of "Danton's Death." All the while she kept fine-tuning her acting craft in summer stock.

A series of critically panned plays followed until a huge door opened for her in the form of Miss Preen, the beleaguered nurse to an acid-tongued, wheelchair-bound radio star (played by the hilarious Monty Woolley) in the George S. Kaufman/Moss Hart comedy "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Oddly enough, for once, it was Mary doing the cowering. The play was the toast of Broadway for two wacky years and she went on tour with it as well. She also become a Kaufman favorite.

Hollywood took notice as well, and when Warner Bros. decided to film the play, it allowed both Mary and Woolley to recreate their classic roles. The Man Who Came to Dinner, which co-starred Bette Davis and Ann Sheridan, was a grand film hit and Mary was now officially on board in Hollywood, given plenty of chances to freelance. At Warners she lightened up the proceedings a bit in the Bette Davis tearjerker Now, Voyager as the nurse to Gladys Cooper. Elsewhere she traded quips with Lou Costello as a murder suspect in the amusing whodunit Who Done It?; played a WAC in Private Buckaroo with The Andrews Sisters; and dished out her patented smart-alecky services in both Happy Land and My Kingdom for a Cook.

Mary returned to Broadway for a few seasons, often for Kaufman, and did some radio work as well, but returned to Hollywood and played yet another nurse in The Decision of Christopher Blake, a part written especially for her. She appeared with 'Bette Davis (I)' for a third time in June Bride, finding some fine moments playing a magazine editor. Mary went on to perform yeoman work in On Moonlight Bay and its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon; I'll See You in My Dreams; White Christmas and The Music Man, the last as one of the "Pick-A-Little, Talk-A-Little" housewives of River City.

Television roles also began filtering in for Mary as she continued to put her cryptic comedy spin on her harried housekeepers, teachers, servants and other working commoner types. Mary played second banana to a queue of comedy's best known legends in the 1950s and 1960s, notably Lucille Ball (who was a long-time neighbor and pal off-screen), Danny Thomas, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Peter Lind Hayes and Gertrude Berg. Her stellar work with Ms. Berg on the series The Gertrude Berg Show garnered Mary an Emmy nomination. Among babyboomers, she is probably best remembered as Miss Cathcart in Dennis the Menace.

In later years Mary's gangly figure filled out a bit as she continued to appear here and there on the small screen in both guest star and series' regular parts. Later in life she enjoyed a bit of a resurgence. Recalled earlier for her Sister Clarissa in the madcap comedy films The Trouble with Angels and its sequel, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows!, both with Rosalind Russell, Mary donned the habit once again decades later as crabby musical director Sister Mary Lazarus in the box-office smash Sister Act and its sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. She also churned out a few roles as cranky, matter-of-fact relatives in both Postcards from the Edge as Meryl Streep's grandmother and 'Shirley Maclaine''s mother, and in Little Women as Aunt March opposite Winona Ryder Jo. True to form, one of her last roles was voicing a gargoyle in the animated The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was released after her death.

The never-married Los Angeles-based performer died in October of 1995 after entering the hospital with respiratory problems. While a patient there, Mary suffered a broken hip from an accidental fall and complications quickly set in following surgery. She was 85 years young. When it came to deadpan comedy, Mary was certainly no second banana. She was a truly a star.

Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston was born on July 8, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, to prima ballerina Enrica "Ricki" (Soma) and director and actor John Huston. Her mother, who was from New York, was of Italian descent, and her father had English, Scottish, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Huston spent most of her childhood overseas, in Ireland and England, and in 1969 first dipped her toe into the acting profession, taking a few small roles in her father's movies. However, in that year her mother died in a car accident, at 39, and Huston relocated to the United States, where the tall, exotically beautiful young woman modeled for several years.

While modeling, Huston had a few more small film roles, but decided to focus more on movies in the early 1980s. She prepared herself by reaching out to acting coach Peggy Feury and began to get roles. The first notable part was in Bob Rafelson's remake of the classic noir movie The Postman Always Rings Twice (in which Jack Nicholson, with whom Huston was living at the time, was the star). After a few more years of on-again, off-again supporting work, her father perfectly cast her as calculating, imperious Maerose, the daughter of a Mafia don whose love is scorned by a hit man (Nicholson again) in his film adaptation of Richard Condon's Mafia-satire novel Prizzi's Honor. Huston won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, making her the first person in Academy Award history to win an Oscar when a parent and a grandparent (her father and grandfather Walter Huston) had also won one.

Huston thereafter worked prolifically, including notable roles in Francis Ford Coppola's -Gardens of Stone, Barry Sonnenfeld's film versions of the Charles Addams cartoons The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, in which she portrayed Addams matriarch Morticia, Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Probably her finest performance on-screen, however, was as Lilly, the veteran, iron-willed con artist in Stephen Frears' The Grifters, for which she received another Oscar nomination, this time for Best Actress. A sentimental favorite is her performance as the lead in her father's final film, an adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead -- with her many years of residence in Ireland, Huston's Irish accent in the film is authentic.

Endowed with her father's great height and personal boldness, and her mother's beauty and aristocratic nose, Huston certainly cuts an imposing figure, and brings great confidence and authority to her performances. She clearly takes her craft seriously and has come into her own as a strong actress, emerging from under the shadow of her father, who passed away in 1987. Huston married the sculptor Robert Graham in 1992, The couple lived in the Los Angeles area before Graham's death in 2008.

Barry Pepper

Barry Robert Pepper was born on April 4, 1970, in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada, as the youngest of three sons. He has two older brothers named Alex and Doug Pepper. The Peppers didn't stick around Campbell River for too long. They had been building a ship in their backyard for years. When Barry was five years old, the ship was done and the family set sail. The ship, named "The Moonlighter," was a 50-foot craft that would be their home for the next five years. They navigated through the South Pacific islands, using only a sextant and the stars as guides. While visiting such exotic locales as Fiji and Tahiti, Barry was educated through correspondence courses and sometimes enrolled in public schools. He grew up around Polynesian children and credits them for his love of dance, music and other expressive arts. Barry had plenty of time to practice his newfound loves, too. Without television as entertainment on the ship, the family relied on games and sketch acting for fun. When the five-year cruise was over, the Peppers returned to their native Canada, where they set up shop on a small island off the West Coast near Vancouver. They built a farm on the outskirts of a small artists' town, which was populated mainly by hippies, poets, musicians and other craftsmen. While in high school, Barry was enthusiastic about art and excelled in sports. In addition to playing volleyball, he was an excellent rugby player. He graduated in 1988 from George P. Vanier High School in Courtenay and then enrolled in college and majored in marketing and graphic design, but after getting involved with the Vancouver Actors Studio, he changed his course. Once again, he was using "the stars" to navigate. Barry landed his first role on Madison (a sort of Canadian 90210) and other prominent television series before moving on to more prestigious roles in the US. Television movies followed, most notably the mini-series Titanic, which costarred George C. Scott. Still, Barry's career really wasn't taking off. He was a hard-working actor, but not a star. That all changed in 1998. After a string of big screen duds, Pepper obtained his breakthrough role as a Bible-quoting sniper in Steven Spielberg's WW II drama Saving Private Ryan. With the success of the film came sudden stardom for its cast--complete with photo spreads, interviews and even some Oscar buzz. Barry followed the film with a small but noteworthy role in the blockbuster, Enemy of the State opposite Will Smith and Gene Hackman. Next he co-starred in an Oscar-worthy film starring Tom Hanks: Stephen King's The Green Mile. Barry received much critical acclaim in 2001 for his portrayal of Roger Maris in the made-for-cable drama about the 1961 home run race between Maris and Mickey Mantle called 61*.

James Garner

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, to Mildred Scott (Meek) and Weldon Warren Bumgarner, a carpet layer. He dropped out of high school at 16 to join the Merchant Marines. He worked in a variety of jobs and received 2 Purple Hearts when he was wounded twice during the Korean War. He had his first chance to act when a friend got him a non-speaking role in the Broadway stage play "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954)". Part of his work was to read lines to the lead actors and he began to learn the craft of acting. This play led to small television roles, television commercials and eventually a contract with Warner Brothers. Director David Butler saw something in Garner and gave him all the attention he needed when he appeared in The Girl He Left Behind. After co-starring in a handful of films during 1956-57, Warner Brothers gave Garner a co-starring role in the the western series Maverick. Originally planned to alternate between Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Bret Maverick (Garner), the show quickly turned into the Bret Maverick Show. As Maverick, Garner was cool, good-natured, likable and always ready to use his wits to get him in or out of trouble. The series was highly successful, and Garner continued in it into 1960 when he left the series in a dispute over money.

In the early 1960s Garner returned to films, often playing the same type of character he had played on "Maverick". His successful films included The Thrill of It All, Move Over, Darling, The Great Escape and The Americanization of Emily. After that, his career wandered and when he appeared in the automobile racing movie Grand Prix, he got the bug to race professionally. Soon, this ambition turned to supporting a racing team, not unlike what Paul Newman would do in later years.

Garner found great success in the western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff!. He tried to repeat his success with a sequel, Support Your Local Gunfighter, but it wasn't up to the standards of the first one. After 11 years off the small screen, Garner returned to television in a role not unlike that in Support Your Local Sheriff!. The show was Nichols and he played the sheriff who would try to solve all problems with his wits and without gun play. When the show was canceled, Garner took the news by having Nichols shot dead, never to return in a sequel. In 1974 he got the role for which he will probably be best remembered, as wry private eye Jim Rockford in the classic The Rockford Files. This became his second major television hit, with Noah Beery Jr. and Stuart Margolin, and in 1977 he won an Emmy for his portrayal. However, a combination of injuries and the discovery that Universal Pictures' "creative bookkeeping" would not give him any of the huge profits the show generated soon soured him and the show ended in 1980. In the 1980s Garner appeared in few movies, but the ones he did make were darker than the likable Garner of old. These included Tank and Murphy's Romance. For the latter, he was nominated for both the Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Returning to the western mode, he co-starred with the young Bruce Willis in Sunset, a mythical story of Wyatt Earp, Tom Mix and 1920s Hollywood.

In the 1990s Garner received rave reviews for his role in the acclaimed television movie about corporate greed, Barbarians at the Gate. After that he appeared in the theatrical remake of his old television series, Maverick, opposite Mel Gibson. Most of his appearances after that were in numerous TV movies based upon The Rockford Files. His most recent films were My Fellow Americans and Space Cowboys .

Julian Morris

Julian Morris began acting at the Anna Scher Theatre in London. After training under Scher, he went on to spend three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which he merits as being a major influence on his craft.

He has played popular characters in several of the most successful shows of the last decade: Agent Owen in '24', as Dr Andrew Wade in 'ER', as Prince Phillip in 'Once Upon A Time', and as part of the original cast in 'Pretty Little Liars'.

In film, he's appeared alongside Jon Voight in 'Beyond' and Tom Cruise in 'Valkyrie', starred in Universal's 'Cry Wolf', the British cult-hit 'Donkey Punch', and the BAFTA winning movie, 'Kelly + Victor' directed by Kieran Evans.

He recently played a popular guest-arc in 'New Girl' opposite Zooey Deschanel, and the lead in Universal's sequel to 'Dragonheart', produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis.

He's currently shooting the Amazon series 'Hand of God' directed by Marc Forster.

Juliana Harkavy

Juliana Harkavy is an American actress of Dominican, Russian, African, Chinese, and Hungarian descent. Born on New Years Day in New York City and raised in Los Angeles, Harkavy has been appearing in theater, film, and television since the age of nine. Juliana was born to mother Berta Carela, an artist, writer, and educator from Santo Domingo, and father Michael Harkavy, a Brooklyn native, also a writer, publisher, and athlete. Her only sibling, August, is thirteen years her junior. Juliana's passions were always based in the arts. She grew up playing music from the age of three, studying piano, guitar, voice, and flute. She also began writing and publishing music, stories, and poetry, as well as creating mixed-media visual art at a very young age. With a second passion for athletics and dance, she was able to create a balanced craft that would later prepare her for physically demanding roles, such as ex-military survivor Alicia in AMC's "The Walking Dead", and iconic comic book character Dinah Drake/The Black Canary on The CW's "Arrow". Harkavy studied theater under the Meisner studio at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Other working titles include: Two Streets Entertainment's "To Write Love on Her Arms", Warner Bros.' "Dolphin Tale", and "Dolphin Tale 2", NBC's "Constantine", and an award-winning performance as rookie detective Jessica Loren in Magnolia Picture's "Last Shift." Harkavy resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and partner of ten years, Peter. Together they share a deep passion for animal rescue, with a focused interest in pit bulls.

Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only person who ever had his back was himself, so he learned how to take care of both himself and younger brother, Julius. Curtis grew up in poverty, as his father, Emanuel, who worked as a tailor, had the sole responsibility of providing for his entire family on his meager income. This led to constant bickering between Curtis's parents over money, and Curtis began to go to movies as a way of briefly escaping the constant worries of poverty and other family problems. The financial strain of raising two children on a meager income became so tough that in 1935, Curtis's parents decided that their children would have a better life under the care of the state and briefly had Tony and his brother admitted to an orphanage. During this lonely time, the only companion Curtis had was his brother, Julius, and the two became inseparable as they struggled to get used to this new way of life. Weeks later, Curtis's parents came back to reclaim custody of Tony and his brother, but by then Curtis had learned one of life's toughest lessons: the only person you can count on is yourself.

In 1938, shortly before Tony had his Bar Mitzvah, tragedy struck when Tony lost the person most important to him, when his brother, Julius, was hit by a truck and killed. After that tragedy, Curtis's parents became convinced that a formal education was the best way Tony could avoid the same never-knowing-where-your-next-meal-is-coming-from life that they had known. However, Tony rejected this because he felt that learning about literary classics and algebra wasn't going to advance him in life as much as some real hands-on life experience would. He was to find that real-life experience a few years later, when he enlisted in the navy in 1942. Tony spent the next three years getting the life experience he desired by doing everything from working as a crewman on a submarine to honing his future craft as an actor by performing as a sailor in a stage play at the Navy Signalman School in Illinois.

In 1945, Curtis was honorably discharged from the navy, and when he realized that the GI Bill would allow him to go to acting school without paying for it, he now saw that his lifelong pipe dream of being an actor might actually be achievable. Curtis auditioned for the New York Dramatic Workshop, and after being accepted on the strength of his audition piece (A scene from "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" in pantomime), Curtis enrolled in early 1947. He then began to pay his dues by appearing in a slew of stage productions, including "Twelfth Night" and "Golden Boy". He then connected with a small theatrical agent named Joyce Selznick, who was the niece of film producer David O. Selznick. After seeing his potential, Selznick arranged an interview for Curtis to see David O. Selznick at Universal Studios, where Curtis was offered a seven-year contract. After changing his name to what he saw as an elegant, mysterious moniker--"Tony Curtis" (named after the novel Anthony Adverse by Hervey Allen and a cousin of his named Janush Kertiz)--Curtis began making a name for himself by appearing in small, offbeat roles in small-budget productions. His first notable performance was a two-minute role in Criss Cross, with Burt Lancaster, in which he makes Lancaster jealous by dancing with Yvonne De Carlo. This offbeat role resulted in Curtis's being typecast as a heavy for the next few years, such as playing a gang member in City Across the River.

Curtis continued to build up a show reel by accepting any paying job, acting in a number of bit-part roles for the next few years. It wasn't until late 1949 that he finally got the chance to demonstrate his acting flair, when he was cast in an important role in an action western, Sierra. On the strength of his performance in that movie, Curtis was finally cast in a big-budget movie, Winchester '73. While he appears in that movie only very briefly, it was a chance for him to act alongside a Hollywood legend, James Stewart.

As his career developed, Curtis wanted to act in movies that had social relevance, ones that would challenge audiences, so he began to appear in such movies as Spartacus and The Defiant Ones. He was advised against appearing as the subordinate sidekick in Spartacus, playing second fiddle to the equally famous Kirk Douglas. However, Curtis saw no problem with this because the two had recently acted together in dual leading roles in The Vikings.

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