Rebecca Ferguson grew up in the Vasastaden district in central Stockholm. Her mother, Rosemary, is British, and moved to Sweden from England at the age of 25. Rebecca attended an English-speaking school in Sweden and was raised bilingual, speaking Swedish and English. As a student, she attended the Adolf Fredrik's Music School in Stockholm and graduated in 1999.
She came into prominence with her breakout role of upper-class girl Anna Gripenhielm in the soap-opera Nya tider, when she was 16 years old.
She currently lives in the seaside town of Simrishamn, on the Swedish south coast. Ferguson has said she wanted to get away from city life and the public spotlight following her soap opera success. Swedish director Richard Hobert, spotted her at the town market in 2011, which led to her starring in his film A One-Way Trip to Antibes.
Ferguson taught Argentinian Tango at a dance company in Sweden for a few years.
In 2013, Rebecca played Queen Elizabeth Woodville in the BBC historical drama The White Queen, for which she got a Golden Globe nomination.
In 2015, Ferguson played Ilsa Faust, the female lead in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. Her co-star, Tom Cruise, chose her for the film after having seen her in the mini-series The White Queen. Her performance in the movie was highly praised and Rebecca will reprise her role in the sixth Mission: Impossible film.
Thomas Stanley Holland was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, to Nicola Elizabeth (Frost), a photographer, and Dominic Holland (Dominic Anthony Holland), who is a comedian and author. His paternal grandparents were from the Isle of Man and Ireland, respectively. He lives with his parents and three younger brothers - Paddy and twins Sam and Harry. Tom attended Donhead Prep School. Then, after a successful eleven plus exam, he became a pupil at Wimbledon College. Having successfully completed his GCSEs, in September 2012 Tom started a two-year course in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology notable for its numerous famous alumni.
Holland began dancing at a hip hop class at Nifty Feet Dance School in Wimbledon, London. His potential was spotted by choreographer Lynne Page (who was an Associate to Peter Darling, choreographer of Billy Elliot and Billy Elliot the Musical) when he performed with his dance school as part of the Richmond Dance Festival 2006. After eight auditions and subsequent two years of training, on 28 June 2008 Tom made his West End debut in Billy Elliot the Musical as Michael, Billy's best friend. He gave his first performance in the title role of Billy on 8 September 2008 getting rave reviews praising his versatile acting and dancing skills.
In September 2008 Tom (together with co-star Tanner Pflueger) appeared on the news programme on channel FIVE and gave his first TV interview. In 2009 Tom was featured on ITV1 show "The Feel Good Factor". At the launch show on 31 January he and two other Billy Elliots, Tanner Pflueger and Layton Williams, performed a specially choreographered version of Angry Dance from Billy Elliot the Musical, after which Tom was interviewed by host Myleene Klass. Then he became involved into training five ordinary British schoolboys learning to get fit and preparing their dance routine (fronted by Tom) for the final "The Feel Good Factor" show on 28 March 2009. On 11 March 2010 Tom Holland along with fellow Billy Elliots Dean-Charles Chapman and Fox Jackson-Keen appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV1.
On 8 March 2010, to mark the fifth anniversary of Billy Elliot the Musical, four current Billy Elliots, including Tom Holland, were invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It was Tom Holland who was chosen to be a lead at the special fifth anniversary show on 31 March 2010. Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical composer, who was at the audience, called Tom's performance "astonishing" and said that he was "blown away" by it. Holland had been appearing on a regular basis as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical rotating with three other performers till 29 May 2010 when he finished his run in the musical.
In two months after leaving Billy Elliot the Musical, Holland successfully auditioned for a starring role in the film The Impossible (directed by Juan Antonio Bayona) alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. The Impossible was based on a true story that took place during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2012, and was released in Europe in October 2012, and in North America in December 2012.
Tom has received universal praise for his performance, in particular: "What a debut, too, from Tom Holland as the eldest of their three lads" (The Telegraph); "Tom Holland, making one of the finest feature debuts in years" (HeyUGuys); "the excellent Tom Holland" (The Guardian); "The child performers are uncanny and there is an especially terrific performance from Tom Holland as the resourceful, levelheaded Lucas terrified but tenacious in the face of an unspeakable ordeal" (Screen Daily); "Young Holland in particular is astonishingly good as the terrified but courageous Lucas." (The Hollywood Reporter); "However, the real acting standout in The Impossible is the performance of Tom Holland as the eldest son Lucas. His portrayal is genuine, and at no moment does it feel melodramatic and forced. The majority of his scenes are separate from the lead actors and for the most part it feels like The Impossible is Holland's film" (Entertainment Maven); "Mr. Holland, meanwhile, matures before our eyes, navigating the passage from adolescent self-absorption to profound and terrible responsibility. He is a terrific young actor" (New York Times).
Tom has given a number of interviews about his role in The Impossible. In particular, he talked on video to Vanity Fair Senior West Coast editor Krista Smith and with IAMROGUE's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick. He has also given interviews to The Hollywood Reporter, to the MovieWeb, to Today Show on NBC and to other outlets. Tom's director and co-stars have also talked about him. Juan Antonio Bayona: "He had this extraordinary ability to get into the emotion and portray it in a very, very easy way. The best I'd ever seen in a kid." Ewan McGregor: "It was wonderful watching Tom who had never worked in front of a camera before, to see him really get it and grow as a film actor as he went along. He's really talented and polite to everyone. It's very easy for children to lose perspective but he's absolutely on the right road and a brilliant actor." Naomi Watts: "He has an incredible emotional instrument and an unbelievable sense of himself... Tom Holland and I had a couple of moments where we came together and I could just tell how wonderful he was and what a beautiful instrument he had. It was just easy to work with him, that was one of the greatest highlights for me: discovering a friendship with Tom off-screen and this beautiful relationship between mother and son on-screen. The intimacy that develops through the course of the film between Lucas and Maria, I just loved that relationship. I mean, Tom is a beyond gifted actor. He's just a raw, open talent that is just so easy to work with. And Tom, he's inspiring, he kind of lifts everyone's game around him because he can do nothing but tell the truth. He was great."
In his turn, Tom Holland has returned favours to Naomi Watts when he was asked to present Desert Palm Achievement Award to her at Palm Springs International Film Festival. According to HitFix: "One recurring theme of the night was how the introductions were often better than actual winner's speeches... The best intro, however, had to go to 16-year-old Tom Holland who intro'd his "Impossible" co-star Watts. Holland admitted of all of Watts' great performances his dad had only let him see "King Kong" and while they spent six weeks shooting in a water tank he didn't know it was "difficult" because he actually "loved it"... Most important, this was Holland's first film role and he sweetly noted, "From the moment I met you, you took my hand and you never let go." Cue the "awwww" from the audience." The presentation is available on video.
In 2011, Holland was cast in British version of the animation film Arrietty, produced by Japan's cult Studio Ghibli. He has provided voice over for the principal character Sho. In 2012 Tom Holland played the starring role of Isaac in the film "How I lived Now" (directed by Kevin Macdonald) alongside Saoirse Ronan. The film is due to be released in 2013. Awards, nominations and affiliations
On 17 October 2012, Holland became a recipient of Hollywood Spotlight Award for his role in The Impossible. "We are very excited that we will be able to recognize acting talents that are on the road to discovery and stardom," said Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive director of the Hollywood Film Awards in a statement. On 6 December 2012 it was announced that Holland became a winner of the National Board of Review award in the "Breakthrough Actor" category. In the end of December 2012, Holland was voted a winner for the year's Best Youth Performance in Nevada Critics Awards.
In December 2012, Holland received a number of nominations (pending) for his role in The Impossible: for the 18th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards, in the "Best Young Acror/Acress" category; for Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2012 in the "Most Promising Performer" category; for the 27th Goya Awards in the "Best New Actor" category; for the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2012 in the "Best Youth Performance" category; for the London Film Critics Circle Awards 2012 in the "Young British Performer of the Year" category.
Kristopher Tapley, Editor-at-Large of HitFix, reported on 27 August 2012 that Summit Entertainment, the company responsible for distribution of The Impossible in USA, would be campaigning Holland rather than McGregor as the lead, and strongly argued that Tom Holland deserved to be nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category. The fact of long-listing for an Academy Award was confirmed in the article in the Hollywood Reporter: "And though McGregor stars as his father in the film, Holland has been submitted as the lead actor for awards consideration. Regardless if he receives any nominations, his performance as the strong-willed and determined eldest son is garnering critical acclaim."
As one of the most promising young actors, Holland was featured in Screen International's "UK Stars of Tomorrow - 2012" and in Variety's "Youth Impact Report 2012". Holland has been signed up by William Morris Endeavor (WME) global talent agency and is represented by Curtis Brown literary and talent agency.
Katherine Marie Heigl was born on November 24, 1978 in Washington, D.C., to Nancy Heigl (née Engelhardt), a personnel manager, and Paul Heigl, an accountant and executive. Her father is of German/Swiss-German and Irish descent, and her mother is of German ancestry. A short time after her birth, the family moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where Katherine was to spend the majority of her childhood; the youngest member of her family, Katherine--or "Katie" as she is nicknamed--has two elder siblings, John and Meg. Tragically, her older brother Jason died in 1986 of brain injuries suffered in a car accident, after being thrown from the back of a pickup truck. When doctors determined he was brain-dead, the family made the difficult decision to donate his organs. Not only did this painful chapter give Katherine a greater perspective and appreciation for life, but it motivated her to use her celebrity to promote the importance of organ donation.
Katherine was first thrust into the limelight as a child model. An aunt, visiting the family in New Canaan, took a number of photographs of Katherine, then aged nine, in a series of poses to advertise a hair care product she had invented. Upon returning to New York, with permission from Katherine's parents, she sent the photos to a number of modeling agencies. Within a few weeks, Katherine had been signed to Wilhelmina, a renowned international modeling agency. Almost immediately, she made her debut in a magazine advertisement and soon followed this with an inaugural television appearance in a national commercial for Cheerios breakfast cereal.
Following a number of commercials and modeling assignments for Sears and Lord & Taylor, she made her big-screen debut in That Night, which starred Juliette Lewis and C. Thomas Howell. It was then that she realized that acting rather than modeling was her passion. In 1993, Katherine appeared in Steven Soderbergh's critically-acclaimed Depression-era drama, King of the Hill, before landing her first leading role as a rebellious teenager, alongside Gérard Depardieu, in My Father the Hero. During this time, Katherine continued to attend New Canaan High School, balancing her academic studies with work on films and modeling, which she undertook during holidays, vacations and weekends.
In 1995, she played "Sarah Ryback", the niece of Steven Seagal's character, in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, which was her "debut" in the action film genre. Acting was now becoming a stronger focus for Katherine, although she still modeled extensively, appearing regularly in magazines such as "Seventeen". Television appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien soon followed, before she took the lead role in Disney's Wish Upon a Star in 1996. It was also during that year that Katherine's parents divorced and, following her graduation from high school in 1997, she moved with her mother into a four-bedroom house in Los Angeles' Malibu Canyon area. This enabled her to focus upon acting with the guidance and support of her mother, who now managed her career.
In 1997, Katherine portrayed "Taffy Entwhistle", Rita Hayworth's stand-in, in Stand-ins and was also cast as the beauteous "Princess Ilene" in the European production, Prince Valiant. She then made her made-for-TV movie debut, co-starring with Peter Fonda in a re-working of the classic Shakespearean play, The Tempest, updated with an American Civil War theme. In this film, she played "Miranda Prosper", a young woman torn between her love for both her father and a Union soldier. Bug Buster and Bride of Chucky represented a venture into the horror genre for Katherine. While both films could be described as rather tongue-in-cheek despite their gory emphases, Bride of Chucky was the better received, both critically and commercially.
In 1999, Katherine decided to branch out into series television when she accepted the role of the haughty, yet vulnerable, "Isabel Evans", on Roswell, a show that blended teen angst with sci-fi drama. Though she had never planned to embark on a career in television, the role of Isabel, a teenager with a secret life, was an offer she found impossible to refuse. In the series, Isabel, her brother Max (Jason Behr) and their friend Michael (Brendan Fehr) are aliens passing as humans in Roswell, New Mexico, as they desperately try to hide the truth from government agencies, the people of Roswell and even their own adopted families. To publicize her role on the show, Katherine graced the covers of magazines such as "TV Guide", "Maxim" and "Teen" and was interviewed on Later and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Along with her mother Nancy, she also appeared in an episode of the Sci-Fi TV talk show, Crossing Over with John Edward, during which she spoke with John Edward, a psychic medium, about her late brother, Jason. During the three years Roswell was in production, Katherine found time to work on several movies. 100 Girls, an independent film released in 2001, is the story of a college freshman who meets the girl of his dreams in an elevator during a blackout, and spends the rest of the movie trying to find her again. Her cameo role is that of Arlene, the competitive tomboy. The second film, Valentine, a horror film starring David Boreanaz and Denise Richards, appeared in U.S. theaters on February 2, 2001. In this movie, which is based upon the 1996 novel by Tom Savage, Katherine plays "Shelley", a medical student who meets a sudden demise.
In the spring of 2001, Katherine accepted a role in NBC's Critical Assembly, a two-hour original television thriller. Katherine and Kerr Smith (Dawson's Creek) co-starred as brilliant and politically concerned college students who build a nuclear device to illustrate the need for a change in national priorities, but are betrayed by a fellow student when the bomb ends up in the hands of a terrorist. Unfortunately, the telefilm, directed by Eric Laneuville, written by Tom Vaughan, and based on the best-seller "The Seventh Power" by James Mills, was shelved when its storyline was deemed too close for comfort to the events of September 11, 2001. It was eventually broadcast in 2003. Since the cancellation of Roswell in the spring of 2002, Katherine has been busy with various projects, including an appearance on UPN's update of the classic television series, The Twilight Zone. That episode, entitled Cradle of Darkness, aired on October 2, 2002, and featured Katherine in the role of a woman who goes back in time to stop one of the most notorious murders in history. In addition, she completed a movie, Descendant, a psychological thriller inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher". She has also starred as "Romy" in ABC/Touchstone's two-hour telepic, Romy and Michele: In the Beginning, a prequel to the 1997 feature, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. During the summer of 2002, Katherine made a major decision in the direction of her career when she signed on for representation in all areas with the William Morris Agency, one of the biggest and most prestigious agencies in the entertainment industry. She is now being represented by Norman Aladjem at Paradigm Agency and being managed by Nancy Heigl and Stephanie Simon and Jason Newman at Untitled Entertainment.
Reeve Carney originated the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, in the record-breaking Broadway musical, "Spider-Man: Turn Off Thee Dark" in 2010. A lifelong musician, Reeve jumped at the opportunity to perform a score by U2's Bono and The Edge--not to mention re-team with director Julie Taymor, who he'd worked with in her film, "The Tempest".
In 2013, however, Reeve finally hung up his Spidey suit and headed to Dublin for his latest project: Showtime's much buzzed about new John Logan/Sam Mendes series, "Penny Dreadful". Reeve plays reckless hedonist Dorian Gray.
When he's not finding new ways to terrify himself as an actor, Reeve is diving headfirst into his music. He's currently putting the finishing touches on his upcoming album, "Youth is Wasted," which he recorded primarily in his New York apartment. With his demanding "Spider-Man" schedule, it was impossible to get back and forth to the studio, so Reeve decided to build his own studio--right in his living room.
His bizarre Broadway hours also made teaming up with other musicians all but impossible,so Reeve took matters into his own hands, literally, playing every single instrument himself. Thus, the album has a homespun quality, a la Paul McCartney's "Ram"--which just so happens to be Reeve's all-time favorite album.
Making music is nothing new to Reeve. He signed with Interscope at age 22, and formed his namesake band, Carney, soon after, with his brother, Zane. The bank released its debut album, "Mr. Green Vol. 1,"(DASLabel/Interscope)in 2010 and a live album, "Live at Molly Malone's," in 2007(DASLabel/Interscope).
Reeve becoming a performer was all but a foregone conclusion: pretty much everybody in his family works in the arts. His great-uncle was actor Art Carney. His jewelry designer mother has a degree from Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music, his father wrote jingles. From early childhood. Reeve sang on his father's jingles. and at age 10, he was already recording with Michael Jackson on "HIStory"
Reeve spent much of his high school years hanging out at blues clubs around Los Angeles, playing with musicians over twice his age--and getting a better music education than any class could provide. His dedication paid off, and, after graduating from Hamilton High School Academy of Music, he got into USC's prestigious Thornton School of Music, but left after a year to pursue his music in earnest.
In an upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic, Reeve will play the late singer, marrying his love of music and acting.
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.
|Richard Dean Anderson
The future MacGyver and Stargate SG-1 star was born on January 23, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His father, Stuart Anderson, was a teacher at a local high school and his mother, Jocelyn, was an artist who was talented in both sculpting and painting. He and his two younger brothers, Thomas John and James Stuart, grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis called Roseville. During his childhood and teenage years, he developed a love for sports, music (especially jazz) and acting.
Richard dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player as a teenager, a dream shared by his future Stargate SG-1 co-star Michael Shanks. However, this was not to be as, at age sixteen, he broke both of his arms in separate incidents, the second of which was so bad that he had to be hospitalized for three months. Although his dream became an impossibility, he never lost his love for the sport. Richard was very much a restless teenager, having had many adventures hitchhiking on the open road. This sense of adventure is most evident from his 5,641-mile bicycle trip from his home in Minnesota to Alaska. Though accompanied by several friends at the beginning of this trip, he traveled the last thirty-three days alone. This experience gave him a more centered sense of direction in his life.
After studying drama at St. Cloud State University and at Ohio University (without completing his degree), he briefly moved to New York before settling in Los Angeles, where he worked as a juggler and a street mime and in a Renaissance-style cabaret. He worked briefly in Marineland, where his jobs included holding fish in his mouth for killer whales to leap up and snatch. Subsequently, he appeared in plays and formed a rock band called "Rick Dean and the Dante" with his friend Carl Dante in which he sang and played the guitar.
His big break came in 1976, when he was cast in the popular daytime drama General Hospital as Dr. Jeff Webber. He continued to play the role for five years until he felt it was time to move on to prime-time drama. He made numerous guest appearances in series such as The Facts of Life and The Love Boat and was cast as the star in two CBS series, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Emerald Point N.A.S., but both lasted just one season.
His next big success came in 1985, when he won the role as the title character in the ABC adventure series MacGyver. He was cast because the producers were impressed by the lack of pretension he showed at his audition. As he is nearsighted, it was necessary for him to wear his glasses for the reading. The series lasted seven seasons and ran for 139 episodes. It was hugely successful throughout its run and has continued to be popular all over the world. He reprised his role in two TV movies, MacGyver: Lost Treasure of Atlantis and MacGyver: Trail to Doomsday, both produced by his own production company, Gekko Film Corp, which he co-founded with Michael Greenburg.
Having made a huge impression in Ordinary Heroes as a blinded Vietnam veteran struggling to rebuild his life in America, after "MacGyver" ended he moved on to TV movies such as In the Eyes of a Stranger, Through the Eyes of a Killer, Beyond Betrayal, Past the Bleachers and Pandora's Clock. He was particularly impressive in Past the Bleachers, in which he played a grieving father struggling to come to terms with his young son's death.
He returned to series television in 1995, when he was cast as Ernest Pratt/Nicodemus Legend in Legend, an adventure series that aired on UPN. He also served as executive producer of the series, in which one of his co-stars was his close friend John de Lancie. His character was a dime novelist (Pratt) who took on the persona of the protagonist in his novels (Legend). The series was primarily a comedy, a blend of the western and science fiction. It has also been Richard's favorite role to date.
He found major success again when cast as Colonel (later Brigadier General) Jack O'Neill in Stargate SG-1, an adventure/science fiction series based on the blockbuster Stargate starring Kurt Russell and James Spader. The series began filming in Vancouver on February 19, 1997, and premiered on Showtime on July 27, 1997 and on Fox Friday nights. The series has remained extremely successful since then, eventually resulting in the creation of a spin-off series, Stargate: Atlantis, in 2004, and the now-canceled video game "Stargate SG-1: The Alliance" in 2005. Both series have aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. He has also appeared, sporadically, in the latest spin-off series, SGU Stargate Universe. Richard's role in the SG-1 series was substantially reduced in its seventh and eighth seasons, which culminated in his departure from the series in 2005.
He has never married but has dated many women, including actresses Teri Hatcher, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sela Ward and German ice-skater Katarina Witt. Since 1996, his partner has been Apryl A. Prose, who is the mother of his only child, Wylie Quinn Annarose Anderson, who was born on August 2, 1998. Like her father and grandfather (who passed away in 2003), she is fond of jazz. Because of his young daughter, he has temporarily taken a break from acting in order to spend time with her and help her develop. Richard has made it a point throughout his career to choose roles that demonstrate his versatility as an actor. Many of his characters, particularly MacGyver and O'Neill, are strong characters who, although tormented by personal tragedies such as the death of family members and friends, can continue on bravely and valiantly.
Katherine Elizabeth Upton was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, to Shelley Fawn (Davis), a state tennis champion from Texas, and Jefferson Matthew Upton, a high school athletics director. Her uncle is Michigan congressman Fred Upton. Upton always knew she wanted to be a model. Since signing with IMG Models in 2010, Kate has taken the world by storm. For the past two years, Kate has graced the cover of the legendary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which has led to an onslaught of media buzz about the 21-year-old. Kate's stardom was elevated to an even higher level with her June 2013 American Vogue cover shot by Mario Testino, whose byline proclaims "American Dream Girl: How Kate Upton Became the Hottest Supermodel on Earth." She has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen Show, The Late Show, Saturday Night Live, The Dan Patrick Show, and Le Grand Journal, and continues to be one of the most searched-for names on Google.
Beyond Sports Illustrated, Kate has been featured on the covers of Vogue Italia, British Vogue, CR Fashion Book, Cosmopolitan, French ELLE, GQ, Italian GQ, German GQ, Jalouse, Sunday Times Style, Esquire, The Daily, and Muse Magazine. She has appeared in fashion editorials for American Vogue, Vogue Spain, V Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and Russian Interview, and has worked with photographers such as Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Terry Richardson, Alasdair McLellan, Bruce Weber, Sebastian Kim, Guy Aroch, Matt Jones, Miguel Reveriego, Norman Jean Roy, Josh Olins, Gilles Bensimon, Yu Tsai, Sebastian Faena, Walter Iooss, Ellen von Unwerth, and Stewart Shining. A favorite of high-fashion notables such as Stephen Gan, Tonne Goodman, Carlyne Cerf, Carine Roitfeld, and Katie Grand, Kate was also shot for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" Exhibition Catalogue in 2012. Models.com exclaims, "The sexy market just got a little more competitive thanks to the meteoric rise of Kate Upton. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition was a major coup, but the momentum keeps building with cover after cover. We can't remember the last time a newbie made such a splash!"
Kate's YouTube video of her dancing to Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie" last year was the number one watched video on Twitter and Google for multiple weeks. She has an enterprising reputation for creating viral hits, and the clip has over 8 million views.
Known for her vivacious personality and incredible physique, Kate has been the face for Sam Edelman, Accessorize, Guess Lingerie, Guess Jeans, Guess Accessories, Liverpool, Dylan George, and Dooney & Burke. She has also worked with Gillette, Skullcandy Headphones and Beach Bunny Swimwear, even designing a Beach Bunny Swimwear collection herself. She has starred in commercials for Mercedes-Benz, Carl's Junior and Sobe, and starred in The Other Woman, by director Nick Cassavetes.
Kate resides in New York City. Kate is a five-time world champion equestrian, and she enjoys hanging out at the barn, horseback riding, and is an avid sportsfan.
|Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Born into a traditional south Indian family, Aishwarya started modeling at a young age. This green-blue-eyed beauty appeared in advertisements for many prestigious firms; the ones that brought her into the limelight were the garden sari and the Pepsi ad. Crowned Miss India 1994 runner-up, she was a hot favorite in the run for miss world title, which she won, her beauty and charm made her India's darling. Ash stormed into the Indian movie industry, where she has proven herself a brilliant & genuine actress. Her performance in The Duo was critically acclaimed, and she won the Screen best female debutant award for her role in ...Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. She was adored in movies like Taal, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, her item number in 'Bunty & Bubbly' had sent waves of rhythm across the nation. With her successful Bollywood movies and prestigious Hollywood projects lined up for release it is impossible to ignore this Indian diva in international scenes.
Tall, dark, but somewhat gentle-looking actor Ray Stevenson was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland on 25 May 1964, on a British army base. His father was a British pilot in the Royal Air Force, and his mother is Irish. He moved with his family to Lemington, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England in 1972 at the age of eight, and later to Cramlington, Northumberland, where he was raised.
As a child, he dreamed to become an actor, but he also thought that dream was impossible. So he pursued his other love, art, and went to art school instead. He was an interior designer with an architectural firm in London when he at 25 decided to try out acting. Eventually he attended Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating at the age of 29. At the beginning of 90s, he began his career on films. He did a few TV films, one of them is The Return of the Native (1994), where he appeared opposite Clive Owen, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Steven Mackintosh. He also filmed The Theory of Flight (1998) Greenwich Mean Time (1999), Green-Eyed Monster (2001) (TV) and a lot of TV guest roles in series. Finally, he made a international breakout with King Arthur (2004), as quiet, but loyal knight Dagonet, again with Clive Owen (who played Arthur), Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Ray Winstone and Stellan Skarsgard. After a few more TV films, Stevenson's popularity started to rise by each film. But, his real fame came with HBO's "Rome" (2005 - 2007), as funny, but heroically fearless legionary Titus Pullo, opposite Kevin McKidd.
Another two well-known roles were in the action horror Outpost (2008) and as comic book dark hero The Punisher / Frank Castle in the extremely violent Punisher: War Zone (2008), opposite Dominic West (Jigsaw), Doug Hutchison, Colin Salmon, Wayne Knight (Microchip), Dash Mihok (Det. Marin Soap) and Julie Benz. Stevenson also worked on the stage where he played the part of Christ in the York Mystery Plays in 2000 at York Minster. In 2001, he took the part of Roger in the play Mouth to Mouth by Kevin Elyot, at the Albery Theatre in London with Lindsay Duncan and Michael Maloney. His most well-known part is perhaps that of the Cardinal in The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster with Janet McTeer at the Royal National Theatre in 2003.
Ray was married to actress Ruth Gemmell from 1997 to 2005. His girlfriend Elisabetta Caraccia have a son, Sebastiano Derek Stevenson, who was born in 2007. Besides acting, he loves art and has a passion for water color painting.
A Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee, Dylan McDermott has proved his talent in film, television and theater. He was born Mark Anthony McDermott in Waterbury, Connecticut, to Diane (Marino) and Richard McDermott. Diane was 15 and Richard was 17 when Dylan was born. Richard earned money by hustling pool. Dylan is of Italian (from his maternal grandfather), Irish, English and French descent. During Dylan's early years, his parents separated. In 1967, when Dylan was five, his mother was murdered by her live-in boyfriend. The murder was initially ruled an accidental shooting occurring while her boyfriend cleaned his gun, but police reopened the case in 2012 and revealed evidence showing it was impossible for her death to be have been accidental. Dylan and his sister Robin, who was then six months old, were taken in by their grandmother, Avis (Rogers) Marino.
When Dylan was 15, his father met and married playwright/activist Eve Ensler. Eve adopted Dylan. Eve encouraged him to go to acting school and Fordham University in New York City. He met his now ex-wife, Shiva Rose, at a coffee shop in Venice, California, on the same day he got a big acting break by being cast in the film In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood. As a result of his connection with Eastwood, Dylan attended a dinner honoring Clint. There, he met Jeffrey Kramer, a man who used to frequent a bar where Dylan had earlier worked. Kramer was, at that time, the president of David E. Kelley Productions. He asked Dylan to meet David E. Kelley for a then-upcoming series about lawyers, The Practice, and the rest was history. Another mentor of Dylan is Joanne Woodward, who discovered him while he was doing workshops at the Neighborhood Playhouse. The series earned him a Golden Globe in 1999 and nominations in 2000 and 2001, as well as an Emmy nomination in 1999.
His film credits include The Pang Brother's The Messengers; Wonderland; Home for the Holidays; Steel Magnolias; Hamburger Hill; Miracle on 34th Street; In the Line of Fire and Burning Palms. McDermott's television credits include the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced TNT drama, Dark Blue; and TNT's dramatic limited series, The Grid, opposite Julianna Margulies.
In 2008, McDermott starred in Nicky Silver's "Three Changes" at Playwrights Horizons. Starring opposite Maura Tierney, the play follows an uncomfortably married Upper West Side couple. Additionally, in September 2006, McDermott was on stage in Eve Ensler's new play, "The Treatment". Ensler's play explored the relationship between a traumatized former military interrogator (McDermott) and his psychologist Colonel, who is assigned to give him routine treatment. The play opened the Impact Festival 2006, a New York City-wide arts festival as part of the Culture Project. McDermott was nominated for a Drama League Award for his performance.
McDermott co-starred in Jay Roach's comedy, The Campaign, opposite Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. McDermott played "Tim Wattley", a political consultant who runs the campaign of a candidate from North Carolina. The Warner Bros. film was released on August 10, 2012. That year, McDermott was also seen in the indie coming-of-age drama, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, alongside Logan Lerman (playing Lerman's character's father), Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Ezra Miller and Mae Whitman.
In 2013, McDermott had a supporting role in Antoine Fuqua's Olympus Has Fallen, alongside Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler. The film followed a former Secret Service agent who becomes America's only hope when the President is taken hostage by terrorists.
Born in Scotland, trained at the Welsh College of Music and Drama where he was named most promising drama student. Scott's early work was in Scottish national theatre and television, first appearing in the series Soldier Soldier as well as on the stage in the Tim Fleming directed production of Wallace. Early television credits to follow included The Rover, Taggart: Nest of Vipers, Lovejoy, and Soldier Soldier. Scott followed this up with impactful turns in the films You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, Black Beauty, and Another Nine & a Half Weeks. Shortly thereafter, Scott could be seen opposite Drew Barrymore in the hit film Ever After, opposite Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni, and Vanessa Redgrave in the film Deep Impact, as well as the second installment in the hit Mission: Impossible franchise, Mission: Impossible 2. Scott also appeared opposite Kate Winslet in Michael Apted's Enigma as well as the 2002 film Ripley's Game, opposite Ray Winstone. Starring opposite Jennifer Connelly in the 2005 film Dark Water and the 2007 film Hit Man, Scott soon appeared in US television for the first time in the ABC miniseries The Ten Commandments as well the Hallmark TV movie Arabian Nights.
US television audiences next saw Scott in the NBC series Heist as well as the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives. He followed these impressive turns with the BBC miniseries adaptation of the cult classic novel The Day of the Triffids. Scott was most recently seen in the critically-acclaimed movie My Week With Marilyn, the hit Netflix series Hemlock Grove, and the Cinemax series Strike Back. Scott can next be seen in the films Last Passenger and Lionsgate's The Vatican Tapes.
Scott's impressive theatre resume includes the 2000 Donmar premiere of To The Green Fields Beyond, directed by Sam Mendes, The Rover, directed by Jules Wright, and The Power and the Glory, directed by Tim Luscombe.
A slim, stunning, stylish-looking actress, British Jill Haworth (born Valerie Jill Haworth on August 15, 1945 in Sussex) was a free-spirited product of the 1960s. Her father was a textile magnate and sometime race car driver and mother an aspiring ballerina. Trained in dance herself, she attended the Corona Stage School and appeared unbilled as a schoolgirl in a couple of movies before fame came knocking at her door.
The diminutive (5'2") Jill was discovered by ever-formidable director Otto Preminger after he happened upon her photo from her acting school. Looking for a new face to play the refugee role of Karen in his monumental Oscar-winning film Exodus, Jill made a touching impression as Sal Mineo's ill-fated Jewish girlfriend. An impressed Preminger went on to cast the actress in two other of his other important epics that same decade -- The Cardinal and In Harm's Way. Both, however, were received with much less fanfare.
At this juncture Jill had gained a sympathy vote in Hollywood as many of her ingénues seemed to meet untimely ends. Despite a dusky, untrained singing voice, the lovely blonde went to Broadway in 1966 and fashioned the role of the capricious Britisher Sally Bowles (played with a dark wig) in the musical "Cabaret," which co-starred Bert Convy as her naive American boyfriend and the irrepressible Joel Grey as the seedy Master of Ceremonies. The Kander/Ebb musical, which took place in decadent pre-Nazi Berlin, was based on Christopher Isherwood's popular "Berlin Stories". A huge hit, it won numerous Tony awards, including best musical of the 1966-67 season. Although Jill received mixed reviews, she played the role for two years.
Interestingly, it was veterans Lotte Lenya and Jack Gilford who received Tony nominations for their elderly roles in the production and not the young leads Haworth and Convy. Later on, while Grey was asked to recreate his magnetic Tony-winning part for the 1972 film Cabaret), Jill and Bert were snubbed again when the leads went to others. It should be noted that by the time Bob Fosse's screen version was ready to go, Jill's star had dimmed considerably. The movie was now geared as a showcase for the fast-rising Liza Minnelli. As such, the Bowles character was Americanized and her boyfriend, played now by Michael York, served as her British counterpart. Both Minnelli and Grey won well-deserved Oscars for their dazzling performances.
After the "Cabaret" success, things died down and Jill returned to England, relegated to a few horror films here and there, including It!, Horror House and Horror on Snape Island. She also appeared on several American TV series from time to time, including "Mission: Impossible," "The F.B.I.," "Baretta" and "Vega$". By the 1980s, however, Jill was pretty much out of sight.
In 2001 she appeared out of nowhere in a support role for the America film Mergers & Acquisitions. She was living in New York and reportedly had just finished working on a voiceover YMCA spot in 2011 when she died suddenly in her Manhattan home of "natural causes" at age 65.
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 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 _Tang sha da xiong (1971)_ (A.K.A. "The Big Boss"). 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 (A.K.A. "The Chinese Connection", A.K.A. "Fist of Fury"). 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. 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, _Meng long guojiang (1972)_ (A.K.A. "Way of the Dragon", A.K.A. "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 over dubs 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.
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.
Thomas Edward Hulce was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Plymouth, MI, where he was raised with his two sisters and older brother. He is the son of Joanna (Winkleman), who had sung professionally, and Raymond Albert Hulce, who worked for Ford. He has English, German, and Irish ancestry. Wanting to be a singer, Tom had to make a switch in plans when his voice began changing. Knowing that if he wanted to be in show business he needed to become an actor, Tom began taking the necessary steps almost immediately.
When asked once why he chose acting Tom replied, "Because someone told me I couldn't." It is determination like this that has helped him achieve his respected position in the acting community to this day. Tom set goals early on. Graduating from school at 19 years old, he gave himself a decade to succeed as an actor. Working in Ann Arbor as usher and ticket seller with a small theatrical company was a start. It was around this time he saw the first play and actor that made him realize that acting was "cool." Christopher Walken was in a play in Stratford, Ontario. The performance made quite an impression on Tom.
While Mr. and Mrs. Hulce weren't totally sold on the idea of their son becoming a thespian, Tom had determination and headed off for the training he knew he'd need if he was going to achieve his goal. He studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem; at Booth Bay Harbor, Maine; Sarasota, Florida; and spent a summer in England before heading off to New York City to try his hand at Broadway. Within a month after his arrival, Tom was chosen to understudy the role being performed by Peter Firth in the Broadway play "Equus." He had originally been hired to play one of the horses but it was decided that his time was better spent learning the understudy role and so he never donned the attire of the horse.
Tom had pangs of guilt where this role was concerned. On one hand he wanted the role ... badly. On the other hand he wondered what would happen if Peter left the role; could he fill those shoes? When the time came, nine months after being hired, Tom found out that it was up to him to play the role as his own. He wasn't expected to be another Peter Firth... he had been hired to play the role his way. "... it actually went quite well, " Tom recalled. "I realized I was a different actor and that I would tackle the part in my own way." And tackle it he did! Equus has a few "firsts" for Tom. One, it was his first big role; two, it was his first Broadway role and third, it was his first nude performance. For nine minutes Tom and his costar, Roberta Maxwell, were naked in a scene that seemed impossible for the stage a decade earlier (1960s). In a past interview Tom reflected, "It's so skillfully written and developed that it doesn't seem an unusual thing to do. There's no embarrassment, I just don't think about it at all." During the run of "Equus," Tom turned down a big television offer, to the delight of the director and cast. At that time in Tom's life the stage was all there was, and he was going to do it right! Other plays that followed "Equus" were George S. Kaufman's "Butter and Egg Man," Arthur Miller's "Memory of Two Mondays," along with such works as "Julius Caesar," "Romeo and Juliet," Shaw's "Candida," and Chekhov's "The Sea Gull," and, again on Broadway in his Tony nominated role in Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men."
Tom has even directed the off-Broadway musical "Sleep Around Town" at Playwrights Horizon. Back in 1977 Tom landed his first motion picture role in the film about the day James Dean died, September 30, 1955 This was to be the first of a long line of period films. His next was National Lampoon's Animal House. Set in the 1960's, Tom played "Pinto" along with such comedy alumni as'John Belushi', Tim Matheson, and Donald Sutherland.
1984 gave him the role that put him on the map. The title role of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Oscar-winner Amadeus was such a wonder that it even boosted the sales of Mozart's music by 30%! Filmed in Prague, it was eerie for Tom to actually be standing in the very spot where the original Amadeus had stood conducting the opera Tom was recreating for the film. Dressed in a purple velvet jacket, knickers and white hose, wearing a bushy white wig and doling out a hilarious laugh (often likened to that of a hyena's) Tom's portrayal of the "man-child" musical genius was an Oscar-nominated performance.
Tom has been in many more films set in the past: Those Lips, Those Eyes(1950s), Shadowman (World War II), Mary Shelley's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1800s), Wings of Courage(1930's), and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame(1500s). Tom appeared in Echo Park with Susan Dey, a film that had a struggle to get released remains one of Tom's best performances and one that he is quite proud of. Another film that Tom feels a lot of pride for is Dominick and Eugene. Starring with Ray Liotta and Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom played Dominick Luciano, a mentally handicapped twin brother to Liotta's Eugene. The young man works as a garbage collector to help put his brother through medical school so he can become a "rich doctor" and they can afford to get a "house by a lake." Tom spent time studying people in a Pittsburgh neighborhood and handicapped people in an occupational training center so he could master the innocence and determination that the lead role required. He received the Best Actor award at the Seattle Fest for his performance.
Murder in Mississippi was Tom's second television movie (the first was Forget-Me-Not-Lane (aka "Neli, Neli"), a Hallmark Hall of Fame production). Playing the role of Michael Schwerner, the New York social worker and Freedom Fighter who is murdered by K.K.K. members in 1964 during Freedom Summer, Tom received an Emmy nomination and his third Golden Globe nomination.
The Inner Circle (aka "The Projectionist") took Tom to Russia where he was Ivan Sanshin, the private film projectionist to Stalin within the Kremlin walls. Based on a true story, Ivan was a perfect example of how many were blinded to the horrific conditions that men like Stalin conducted and followed in ignorant loyalty. While there, Tom was fortunate to meet and spend time with Alexander Ganshin, upon whose life the film was based.
The next three years held special items for Tom. His portrayal of Peter Patrone, in T.N.T.'s The Heidi Chronicles, earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special, and 1994 and 1996 brought two of Tom's last period pieces. Mary Shelley's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein had Tom playing opposite Kenneth Branagh as Victor Frankenstein's college chum, Henry. And 1996 was a whole new experience for Tom. Disney was looking for someone special to portray their gentle Quasimodo in their newest full feature animation motion picture, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Tom had never done voiceover work for a full film; to sing before a microphone was one thing, but to do song and voice for someone that he couldn't watch while performing was a whole new experience for him. Herecalled that when he first auditioned he thought it strange that the producers and director stood looking at the floor while he sang...until he noticed they were looking at sketches of Quasimodo and were trying to "feel" if he sounded like their bell ringer.
1998 saw Tom returning to the stage but this time as director again, as he undertook the enormous task of bringing John Irving's 1985 novel, "The Cider House Rules", to the stage. An 8-hour production which required the audience two days to see the whole performance, it was quite an undertaking. Co-directing with Jane Jones (of "BookIt" in Seattle, Washington) Tom took the play from its Seattle opening to the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California where it received wonderful reviews.
For the past eight years Tom has resided in Seattle, Washington where he owns his own home. He figures he could live in Los Angeles or New York - the acting hubs - but in Seattle, he's near the things he loves. "Up in Seattle people look after their lives in a way you can't do in New York or Los Angeles," he says. But no matter where he calls home, we can always count on Tom for bringing us into a world that will thrill, excite, fascinate, move and inspire us either through his films, the stage, or his beautiful singing.
|Pruitt Taylor Vince
Vince first started to get noticed for his excellent performances at the start of his career in Shy People and Mississippi Burning. In both these films he played something of a blathering redneck idiot, although there was a streak of pathos in both performances which made it impossible to dismiss his characters as just 'bad' people. In 'David Lynch''s Wild at Heart and Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder, he put in performances which showed he was merely biding his time before his next great role came along. Well, as luck would have it, two great roles came along in two years. As Rub Squeers, Paul Newman's emotional work partner in Nobody's Fool, he put in an excellent performance. However, this performance was nothing compared to the acting powerhouse which was Heavy. In this tender indie film, also marking Liv Tyler's first proper film role, Vince practically carries the whole film, and does so with style. Watching him gradually lose grip of his life breaks your heart, and it is without doubt one of the most underrated performances of the 90s.
Vince has not really had a film role to touch this since, but he has been in the cult hit crime show, Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer, as Clifford Banks. It was a rare opportunity for Vince to flex his acting muscles as a slightly different type of character. Vince undoubtedly has the ability to be a major star; he just needs to be given the opportunity.
|W. Earl Brown
As a rule, W. Earl Brown does not usually speak of himself in the third-person. However, the Internet Movie Database will not accept biographical information written in the first person, therefore:
W Earl Brown was born and raised in western Kentucky. Realizing early in life that he had aversion to manual labor, he knew that farming life was not for him. The first theater he ever attended was on his grandparents' front porch, where, in following family tradition, they would entertain themselves after a day's work with songs and stories. He was much better suited to that part of Kentucky farm life rather than the fields and barns.
In high school, Earl was actively involved, and quite successful, in forensic competition where his coach fired a competitive spirit and taught his students the value of hard work and sacrifice. It was during those years, Earl's love of movies blossomed and he first had the dream of working in films; however, at the point in his life such an idea seemed impossible to achieve. The first in his family to go to college, Earl took an acting class on a whim at Murray State University and it was in that class that he found his Calling. He began performing in numerous productions on campus. It was in a production of "That Championship Season" in 1983 that he first had the experience of craft being elevated to art, and due to that, he was hooked.
Earl received his MFA from DePaul University's Theatre School in 1989. After graduation, he performed in numerous plays around Chicago. His first job on a film set was teaching dialect on Backdraft (1991). Not long after that, his performance in "A View From the Bridge" at the Steppenwolf Theatre catapulted his career as an actor into television and film. He landed numerous roles and within a couple of years had hit the proverbial glass ceiling. In 1993, he relocated to Los Angeles and started over.
Wes Craven was an early supporter of Earl's; he cast him in New Nightmare (1994), A Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) and the role of "Kenny" in the classic, Scream (1996). Two years after the success of Scream, Earl played "Warren", Cameron Diaz's mentally challenged brother, in There's Something About Mary (1998). Among his many other film credits are the highly regarded films: Being John Malkovich (1999), The Master (2012), The Sessions (2012), Wild (2014), and Black Mass (2015)
On television, Earl has guest starred in many series, including: Luck (2011), Seinfeld (1995), American Horror Story (2011), Justified (2009), X-Files (2002), Six Feet Under (2001), and NYPD Blue (2000 & 2005). Among the TV movies he has been involved with, was the starring role in VH1's Meatloaf: To Hell and Back (2000). He played "Tom Carlin" in ABC's highly acclaimed anthology series American Crime (2015) and "Teague Dixon" in HBO's True Detective (2015). He is probably best known as "Dan Dority" in HBO's Deadwood (2003). During that series' second season, the show's creator, David Milch, invited him to join the writing staff. In 2007, Earl earned a WGA nomination for writing on a drama series and a SAG nomination for best drama ensemble acting. Establishing himself on a show as critically lauded as Deadwood opened doors for other writing projects, including the Sony release, Bloodworth (2011), which Earl wrote and produced.
In addition to his television and film work, Earl co-starred in Sony's The Last Of Us, 2013 Video Game Of The Year. He also writes music and records with Sacred Cowboys, an LA based Americana band.
One other thing of note, because W. Earl Brown gets asked it often and it seems as hoity-toity as speaking of himself in the third person: The "W" was added to his name upon joining the Screen Actors Guild. The guild has a rule that two actors can not have the same name, he was told that there was an "Earl Brown" and a "William Brown", hence he became W. Earl Brown (a name he remembered from the label of an Elvis Presley record)... Then when his recording work in Sacred Cowboys necessitated his joining the songwriter's rights association, ASCAP, (where songwriter W. Earl Brown was represented) he had to become "William Earl Brown." It's confusing - he knows.
Oscar-winning character actor Martin Landau was born on June 20, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. At age 17, he was hired by the New York Daily News as a staff cartoonist and illustrator. In his five years on the paper, he served as the illustrator for Billy Rose's "Pitching Horseshoes" column. He also worked for cartoonist Gus Edson on "The Gumps" comic strip. Landau's major ambition was to act, and in 1951, he made his stage debut in "Detective Story" at the Peaks Island Playhouse in Peaks Island, Maine. He made his off-Broadway debut that year in "First Love".
Landau was one of 2000 applicants who auditioned for Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio in 1955 - only he and Steve McQueen were accepted. Landau was a friend of James Dean and McQueen, in a conversation with Landau, mentioned that he knew Dean and had met Landau. When Landau asked where they had met, McQueen informed him he had seen Landau riding into the New York City garage where he worked as a mechanic on the back of Dean's motorcycle.
He acted during the mid-1950s in the television anthologies Playhouse 90, Studio One in Hollywood, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, Goodyear Playhouse and Omnibus. He began making a name for himself after replacing star Franchot Tone in the 1956 off-Broadway revival of Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya", a famous production that helped put off-Broadway on the New York theatrical map.
In 1957, he made a well-received Broadway debut in the play "Middle of the Night". As part of the touring company with star Edward G. Robinson, he made it to the West Coast. He made his movie debut in Pork Chop Hill but scored on film as the heavy in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller North by Northwest, in which he was shot on top of Mount Rushmore while sadistically stepping on the fingers of Cary Grant, who was holding on for dear life to the cliff face. He also appeared in the blockbuster Cleopatra, the most expensive film ever made up to that time, which nearly scuttled 20th Century-Fox and engendered one of the great public scandals, the Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton love affair that overshadowed the film itself. Despite the difficulties with the film, Landau's memorable portrayal in the key role of Rufio was highly favored by the audience and instantly catapulted his popularity.
In 1963, Landau played memorable roles on two episodes of the science-fiction anthology series The Outer Limits, "The Bellero Shield" and "The Man Who Was Never Born". He was Gene Roddenberry's first choice to play Mr. Spock on Star Trek, but the role went to Leonard Nimoy, who later replaced Landau on Mission: Impossible, the show that really made Landau famous. He originally was not meant to be a regular on the series, which co-starred his wife Barbara Bain, whom he had married in 1957. His character, Rollin Hand, was supposed to make occasional, though recurring appearances, on Mission: Impossible, but when the producers had problems with star Steven Hill, Landau was used to take up the slack. Landau's characterisation was so well-received and so popular with the audience that he was made a regular. Landau received Emmy nominations as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for each of the three seasons he appeared. In 1968, he won the Golden Globe award as Best Male TV Star.
Eventually, he quit the series in 1969 after a salary dispute when the new star, Peter Graves, was given a contract that paid him more than Landau, whose own contract stated he would have parity with any other actor on the show who made more than he did. The producers refused to budge and he and Bain, who had become the first actress in the history of television to be awarded three consecutive Emmy Awards (1967-69) while on the show, left the series, ostensibly to pursue careers in the movies. The move actually held back their careers, and Mission: Impossible went on for another four years with other actors.
Landau appeared in support of Sidney Poitier in They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, the less successful sequel to the Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night, but it did not generate more work of a similar caliber. He starred in the television movie Welcome Home, Johnny Bristol on CBS, playing a prisoner of war returning to the United States from Vietnam. The following year, he shot a pilot for NBC for a proposed show, "Savage". Though it was directed by emerging wunderkind Steven Spielberg, NBC did not pick up the show. Needing work, Landau and Bain moved to England to play the leading roles in the syndicated science-fiction series Space: 1999.
Landau's and Bain's careers stalled after Space: 1999 went out of production, and they were reduced to taking parts in the television movie The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island. It was the nadir of both their careers, and Bain's acting days, and their marriage, soon were over. Landau, one of the most talented character actors in Hollywood, and one not without recognition, had bottomed out career-wise. In 1983, he was stuck in low-budget sci-fi and horror movies like The Being, a role far beneath his talent.
His career renaissance got off to a slow start with a recurring role in the NBC sitcom Buffalo Bill, starring Dabney Coleman. On Broadway, he took over the title role in the revival of "Dracula" and went on the road with the national touring company. Finally, his career renaissance began to gather momentum when Francis Ford Coppola cast him in a critical supporting role in his Tucker: The Man and His Dream, for which Landau was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor. He won his second Golden Globe for the role. The next year, he received his second consecutive Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his superb turn as the adulterous husband in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors. He followed this up by playing famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal in the TNT movie Max and Helen. However, the summit of his post-"Mission: Impossible" carer was about to be scaled. He portrayed Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's biopic Ed Wood and won glowing reviews. For his performance, he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Martin Landau, the superb character actor, finally had been recognized with his profession's ultimate award. His performance, which also won him his third Golden Globe, garnered numerous awards in addition to the Oscar and Golden Globe, including top honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics. Landau continued to play a wide variety of roles in motion pictures and on television, turning in a superb performance in a supporting role in The Majestic. He received his fourth Emmy nomination in 2004 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Without a Trace.
Martin Landau was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.
Jenette Goldstein is a true chameleon. She is so effective as an actress, it is nearly impossible to recognize her from role to role. Jenette spent most of her childhood in Los Angeles. Born to theater-loving parents, she attended fine arts-oriented schools, and was the young star of the drama classes. She often competed in citywide drama competitions with soon-to-be famous peers Val Kilmer, Gina Gershon, Kevin Spacey and Mare Winningham. To hone her craft after high school, Jenette studied at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and at Circle in the Square Theater in New York City, mastering drama theory, physicality, dialects and the classics. It was in London, while performing in local theater productions, where Jenette answered an audition request for American actors with British Equity cards. Thinking it was another play or a small film, she read for a tough, macho Latina character, named 'Vasquez' And shot to fame in James Cameron's iconic film Aliens. Cameron was so pleased with Jenette's creativity and strong work ethic, he recast her as 'Janelle' in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and a cameo role as the loving 'Irish Mother' in the epic Titanic.
Her resume is testament to her range and versatility: Vampy killer Diamondback in Near Dark, good cop Meagan Shapiro in Lethal Weapon 2, Patti Jean Lynch in The Presidio, Alice the Maid in a one-scene role in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, et cetera.
In addition to film, Jenette has made several appearances on the small screen. She guest-starred on such award-winning shows as Six Feet Under, L.A. Law, Strong Medicine and ER - where she guest-starred on the 100th anniversary show as a grieving mother, and in a separate episode opposite Anthony Edwards, as a heroic flight nurse. It was only after Jenette was hired for the second role that the show's producers realized she had done the show before.
Jenette has continued working in theater throughout her career, appearing plays in New York, London and Los Angeles. She has performed the classics, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, to more contemporary pieces, such as Arthur Miller's After The Fall, which won the 2002 Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Production. Currently, Jenette is excited about her latest creation: a one-woman show she is writing herself.
Born Rolf Åke Mikael Nyqvist in Stockholm, Sweden, it wasn't until he was over a year old when he was finally adopted from the orphanage he had been given to. His father was a lawyer and his mother a writer. It wasn't until he had his first child that he decided to seek out his biological parents. After a long journey, he met his biological mother who is Swedish and is now close to his biological father who is Italian and a pharmacist.
Acting wasn't always originally on the agenda for Nyqvist. A career in hockey was desired until an injury lead to an early retirement. At the age of 17, Nyqvist went to Omaha, Nebraska in America as an exchange student for a year. This is where his passion for acting first sparked. He took his first acting classes and played amongst other roles, a part in a school version of the drama Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
However, upon returning to Sweden he got accepted into Ballet school but after one year gave it up insisting he was too "stiff" and twirls and twists were not for him. An ex-girlfriend suggested to try theatre instead and at 19 years old, he was accepted into the Swedish Academic School of Drama in Malmö. He then went onto work mainly in theatre but also had several parts in film productions.
He became well known for his role as police officer Banck in the first series of Beck films made in 1997. His big breakthrough in European cinema came three years later, as he starred as Rolf, an alcoholic and abusive husband, in a film by Lucas Moodysson called Together. This role landed him his first Guldbagge nomination (Best Supporting Actor) and won him the Best Actor award at the Gijón International Film Festival.
The accolades, awards and nominations flowed on from there. In 2002, Nyqvist played the leading man in the Swedish romantic comedy-drama, The Guy in the Grave Next Door directed by Kjell Sundvall and based on the novel of the same name written by Catherine Mazetti. He won a Best Actor Guldbagge award for his performance. The following year, Nyqvist starred as the leading role in the As It Is in Heaven which was Academy Award nominated for Best Foreign Film and his performance as an internationally renowned, struggling conductor earned Nyqvist his second nomination for a Best Actor Guldbagge award. In 2006, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Guldbagge award for his role in the film, Mother of Mine.
Over the next few years he went on to star in several other films and plays as part of the Royal Dramatic Theatre. A notable role that Nyqvist portrayed was that of Swedish ambassador Harald Edelstam in the film the Black Pimpernel. Edelstam was a hero that saved several lives from execution in Chile during and after the military coupe in September 1973.
In 2008, it was announced that Nyqvist was chosen to star as Mikael Blomkvist of the literary phenomenon, the Millenium Trilogy written by Stieg Larsson. It was long speculated by Scandinavian tabloids that fellow Swedish actor, Mikael Persbrandt could be chosen for the role of Blomkvist until Oplev claimed that 'he would not have been right for the role.' Oplev needed 'a humanist with his heart in the right place, a Swedish teddy bear whom women would feel safe in his arms...a man who respects women, regardless of what type they are.' Nyqvist's capabilities as an actor and his public persona scored him the role.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, the Girl who Played with Fire and the Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest were released throughout 2009 throughout Europe and in the following year, throughout the rest of the world. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has garnered international critical acclaim. Oplev, Rapace (who starred as Lisbeth Salander, female protagonist of the trilogy) and Nyqvist all gained international recognition Nyqvist has said that his role as Blomkvist 'put him on the map internationally.' He has recently finished filming The Chinese Man based on the novel The Man from Beijing by well-known Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, and Abduction directed by John Singleton. There has been speculation and talk from Mankell that Nyqvist would be his first choice to play Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme who was assassinated in 1986. Nyqvist is currently filming Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and is reportedly starring as the lead male villain of the film.
Nyqvist is married to set designer, Catharina Ehrnrooth and has two children Ellen (born in 1991) and Arthur (born in 1996).
Stefanie Butler is an American film and television actress born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Stefanie spent the better part of her childhood in baseball stadiums around the country. In addition to an endless supply of hot dogs and bobble head dolls made in the likeness of her father, each night Stefanie and her siblings were given an audience of 50,000 spectators to dazzle with their latest renditions of The Little Mermaid or Maggie and the Shoemaker. Alas, the need to be a storyteller was born.
Stefanie left Atlanta in 2002 and moved to Los Angeles, where she completed a degree in Theater from Pepperdine University. In 2006, Stefanie began her film and television career and has since appeared in a broad range of productions.
In 2014, Stefanie starred in the independent films, I Remember You and Car Dogs playing opposite Patrick J. Adams. She has also appeared on CSI: NY, Shark, Rizzoli & Isles and Frank Darabont's Mob City. Stefanie's film debut was opposite Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) in the Billy Graham biopic, Billy:The Early Years, starring as Ruth Graham. She recently joined the cast of Stranger Things, as Cynthia, the bubble gum chewing ball-buster girlfriend of Lonnie, played by Ross Partridge. She has also appeared in numerous national campaigns for companies such as: Burger King, Jeep, Pizza Hut and Toyota.
The past few years, Butler has been writing and creating her own content. She has written a number of short films, two features and is working on publishing a children's book. She completed her first full-length screenplay in 2014, The Silent Queen. It is a historical fiction depicting a Irish queen kidnapped by Vikings and forced into a seemingly impossible decision. It is loosely based on actual events from her Icelandic heritage.
Dan Blocker is one of the true television immortals, having played Hoss Cartwright -- the heart and soul of Bonanza -- for 13 seasons, before his untimely death in 1972 at the age of 43. "Bonanza" was the most popular TV series of the 1960s, ranked #1 for three straight seasons (1964-65 through 1966-67) and spending a then-unprecedented nine seasons in the Top 5. After Blocker's death, "Bonanza" -- still in the Top 20 with Hoss after being #8 the previous year -- didn't last another entire season.
The character of Hoss was conceived as a stereotype: The Gentle Giant. The 6'4", 300 lbs. Blocker filled Hoss's cowboy boots and ten-gallon hat admirably but brought something extra to the role, a warmth and empathy that helped ground the show. Personal accounts of Blocker testify to the fact that the man was gregarious and friendly to everyone. He brought that upbeat personality to the character of Hoss.
Hoss originally had been conceived as dull-witted, but ironically, Dan Blocker's professional acting career was assured after he moved his family to California so he could pursue a PhD at U.C.L.A. A native of West Texas, he reportedly was discovered while making a call in a phone booth while outfitted in Western garb, including a straw cowboy hat, his standard dress being a native son of Texas, soon after arriving in California. Even after being cast in "Bonanza", he intended to complete his PhD, but the great success of the series made that impossible, due to the work load of 30+ episodes per year necessitating a 7AM-9PM work schedule five days a week.
Donny Dany Blocker made his debut on December 10, 1928 in De Kalb, Texas, weighing in at 14 lbs. He reportedly was the biggest baby ever born in Bowie County. By the age of 12, he already was 6' tall and weighed 200 lbs. (Towards the end of "Bonanza", he reportedly had ballooned past his stated weight of 300 to as much as 365 lbs.) A "TV Guide" story after his death reported that back in Texas, the young Dan once lifted a car off of a man after it slid off a jack and pinned him under the auto.
"My daddy used to say that I was too big to ride and too little to hitch a wagon to," Blocker said, "no good for a damn thing."
His father Ora Blocker was hurt by the Great Depression that began the year after his son Dan's birth. He moved his family to O'Donnell, which is just south of Lubbock, where he ran a grocery store. His "no good" son went to the Texas Military Institute, and in 1946 started his undergraduate work at Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, Texas), where he played football. It was there he fell in love with acting when he was recruited by a girlfriend to play a role in campus production of Arsenic and Old Lace as they needed a strong man to lift the bodies that the spinster aunts had dispatched up from the cellar.
After graduating in 1950 with a degree in English, Blocker went east where he did repertory work in Boston. A 1960 "TV Guide" article says that he appeared on Broadway in the 1950-51 production of King Lear, which starred Louis Calhern. The draft soon ended his apprenticeship, and he served in the Army in the Korean War, making sergeant.
After being demobilized in 1952, he attended attended Sul Ross State Teacher's College (Alpine, Texas), earning a master's degree in dramatic arts. He taught English and drama at a Sonora, Texas high school before moving to Carlsbad, New Mexico, where he taught sixth grade. He then moved his family to California, where he again taught school while preparing for his PhD studies.
Blocker picked up bit parts in television, making his debut as a bartender in The Sheriff of Cochise. His career rise was steady and rapid, and he appeared on many Westerns, including Gunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, The Rifleman, and Maverick. He claimed his turn as Hognose Hughes on "Maverick", the comic Western starring James Garner, was the seminal role of his career. As Hoss, Blocker would often star in light-hearted episodes on "Bonanza".
He was cast in the recurring role of "Tiny" Carl Budinger in the short lived Western series, Cimarron City. Its cancellation after one season made him available for "Bonanza", which was "Cimarron City" creator David Dortort's next project. He had previously appeared on Dortort's Western series, The Restless Gun.
"Bonanza" debuted in September 1959 on Saturdays at 7:30PM on N.B.C., which was owned by R.C.A., opposite the popular Perry Mason, the #10 rated show for the 1959-60 season. The new Western was shot in color, and R.C.A. made color TV sets and saw the program as a good advertisement for its wares. The company sponsored the first two seasons of the show, and the sponsorship and R.C.A.'s ownership of N.B.C. was likely why it wasn't canceled after its shaky first season, when it placed #45 in the ratings for the 1959-60 season. The following year, it cracked the top 20 at #17, but it wasn't until it was shifted to Sundays at 9PM in the 1961-62 season that it became a ratings phenomenon, coming in at #2. It was the first of nine straight seasons in the top 5.
Once "Bonanza" was ensconced as America's favorite Western, Blocker and his three co-stars, Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts and Michael Landon were paid an extremely handsome salary that eventually rose to approximately $10,000 per episode each by the time Roberts quit after the sixth season, its first at #1. Commenting on Roberts' departure, Landon said, "After he left we took one leaf out of the dining room table and we all made more money because we split the take three ways instead of four." Salary, royalties from Bonanza-related merchandise and business ventures (Blocker started the Bonanza Steak House chain in 1963), and an eventual $1-million payout from N.B.C. to buy out the residual rights of each of the three remaining stars made them all rich.
"Bonanza" made Dan Blocker a very wealthy man, but more importantly, it made him a television immortal. The series continues to be re-run in syndication 40 years after Hoss exited the stage.
Christopher McQuarrie is an acclaimed producer, director and an Academy Award® winning writer. McQuarrie grew up in Princeton Junction, New Jersey and in lieu of college, he spent the first five years out of school traveling and working at a detective agency. He later moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film.
In 1995, his screenplay for The Usual Suspects, directed by childhood pal, Bryan Singer, garnered him the Academy Award® and the BAFTA Award for "Best Original Screenplay". McQuarrie also went on to win the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Independent Spirit Award. The Usual Suspects has been named one of the greatest screenplays of all time by the Writer's Guild of America.
In the years following, McQuarrie directed The Way of the Gun, starring Ryan Phillippe, Benicio Del Toro and James Caan. In 2008, he collaborate with Singer once again to produce and co-write Valkyrie, starring Tom Cruise. This film would lead to many more McQuarrie-Cruise collaborations. McQuarrie re-teamed with Cruise in 2012 for his sophomore directorial outing, Jack Reacher Within hours of completing the film, he was at work with Cruise again, this time re-writing the script for Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow. It was while working together on the sci-fi action film that Cruise suggested McQuarrie direct what would become Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. The highly anticipated fifth installment of the Ethan Hunt saga, written also by McQuarrie, garnered the biggest opening in the history of the Mission: Impossible franchise, was the highest-grossing 2D Hollywood film ever at the Chinese box office, earning $124 million, and garnered over $680 million worldwide. McQuarrie is confirmed to write and direct the sixth chapter in the franchise, making him the first repeat director in the film's two-decade history.
Of Irish/English ancestry, Agnes was born near Boston, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister (her mother was a mezzo-soprano) who encouraged her to perform in church pageants. Aged three, she sang 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on a public stage and seven years later joined the St. Louis Municipal Opera as a dancer and singer for four years. In keeping with her father's dictum of finishing her education first (then doing whatever she wished to do with her career), Agnes attended Muskingum College (Ohio) and, subsequently, the University of Wisconsin, where she graduated with an M.A. in English and public speaking, later adding a doctorate in literature from Bradley University to her resume. When her family moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin, where her father had a pastorate, Agnes taught public school English and drama for five years. In between, she went to Paris to study pantomime with Marcel Marceau.
In 1928, she began studies at the American Academy for Dramatic Arts and graduated with honors the following year. In order to supplement her income , Agnes had turned to radio early on. She had her first job in 1923 as a singer for a St. Louis radio station. Her love for that medium remained with her all her life, and, from the 1930's to the 1950's, she appeared on numerous serials, dramas and children's programs. She was Min Gump in "The Gumps" (1934), the 'dragon lady' in "Terry and the Pirates" (1937), Margot Lane of classic comic strip fame in "The Shadow", Mrs.Danvers in "Rebecca" and the bed-ridden woman about to meet her end in "Sorry, Wrong Number" . Acting on the airwaves was so important to her that she would insist on its continuation as a precondition of a later contract with MGM. Significantly, through her radio work on "The Shadow"and "March of Time" in 1937, she met and befriended fellow actor Orson Welles. Welles soon invited her to join him and Joseph Cotten as charter members of his Mercury Theatre on the Air. Agnes was involved in the famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast of 1938, which attracted nationwide attention and resulted in a lucrative $100,000 per picture deal with RKO in Hollywood. The Mercury players (the other principals were Ray Collins, Everett Sloane, Paul Stewart and George Coulouris) packed up and went west.
An ebullient and versatile character actress, Agnes was impossible to typecast: she could play years older than her age, appear as heroine or villainess, tragedienne or comedienne. In her first film, the iconic Citizen Kane she played the titular character's mother. She received her greatest critical acclaim for her emotive second screen performance, as Aunt Fanny Minafer, in The Magnificent Ambersons. In addition to being voted the year's best female performer by the New York Film Critics, she was also nominated for an Academy Award. Through the years, Agnes would be nominated three more times: for her touching portrayal of the jaded but sympathetic Baroness Conti in Mrs. Parkington; for her role as the title character's Aunt Aggie in Johnny Belinda and for playing Velma, the hard-boiled, suspicious housekeeper of Bette Davis in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, co-starring her old friend Joseph Cotten. Other notable film appearances included Jane Eyre, with Orson Welles, The Woman in White as Countess Fusco), The Lost Moment (as a 105-year old woman) and Dark Passage, a classic film noir in which she had third billing behind Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall as the treacherous , malevolent Madge Rapf. She had a rare starring role in the campy horror flick The Bat, giving (according to the New York Times of December 17) 'a good, snappy performance'.
On Broadway, she appeared in several noted plays, such as "All the King's Men" and "Candlelight". She enjoyed success with "Don Juan in Hell", touring nationally, the first time (1951-2) with Charles Laughton and Cedric Hardwicke, the second time (receiving fewer critical plaudits) with Ricardo Montalban and Paul Henreid in 1973. She also starred with Joseph Cotten in "Prescription Murder" (1962), which, while not a great critical success was much liked by audiences and introduced a famous detective named Lieutenant Columbo. From 1954, she also toured the U.S. and Europe with her own a one-woman show, entitled "The Fabulous Redhead". Agnes performed numerous times on television before landing the role of Endora on Bewitched. One particularly interesting part came her way through the director Douglas Heyes, who remembered her from "Sorry, Wrong Number", and cast her in the starring - and indeed, only role in The Invaders episode, "The Invaders". As the lonely old woman confronted by tiny alien invaders in her remote farmhouse, Agnes never utters a single word, cleverly acting her scenes as a pantomime of unspoken terror.
Of course, the genial Agnes Moorehead has been immortalized as Elizabeth Montgomery's flamboyant witch-mother, Endora, though that was not a role the actress wished to be remembered for, in spite of several Emmy Award nominations. Indeed, she had considered the whole witchcraft theme to be too far-fetched and was somewhat taken aback by the show's huge popularity. Agnes had a special clause inserted in her contract which limited her appearances to eight out of twelve episodes, giving her the opportunity to work on other projects. Commenting on the acting profession in one of her many interviews (New York Times, May 1, 1974), she found the key to success in being " sincere in your work " and to "just go right on whether audiences or critics are taking your scalp off or not".
Jeffrey Hunter (born in Louisiana as Henry Herman McKinnies Jr.) was an only child. His parents met at the University of Arkansas, and when he was almost four his family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his teens he acted in productions of the North Shore Children's Theater, and from 1942 to 1944 performed in summer stock with the local Port Players, along with Eileen Heckart, Charlotte Rae and Morton DaCosta, and was a radio actor at WTMJ, getting his first professional paycheck in 1945 for the wartime series "Those Who Serve". After graduation from Whitefish Bay High School, where he was co-captain of the football team, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and underwent training at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois, in 1945-1946. On the eve of his transfer to duty in Japan, however, he took ill and received a medical discharge from the service. He attended Northwestern University in Illinois and graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1949, where he acquired more stage experience in Sheridan's "The Rivals" and Ruth Gordon's "Years Ago". He also did summer stock with Northwestern students at Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania, in 1948, worked on two Northwestern Radio Playshop broadcasts, was president of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and was active in the campus film society with David Bradley, later acting in Bradley's production of Julius Caesar in 1949. Hunter went to graduate school at the University of Califiornia, Los Angeles, where he studied radio and drama. He was in the cast of a UCLA production of "All My Sons" in May 1950, and on opening night talent scouts for Paramount and 20th Century-Fox in the audience zeroed in on the tall, blue-eyed and impossibly good-looking Hunter. He made a screen test with Ed Begley in a scene from "All My Sons" at Paramount (where he met Barbara Rush, his future wife), but after an executive shake-up at that studio derailed his hiring, he was signed by 20th Century-Fox (where he remained under contract to 1959) and almost immediately sent on location in New York for Fourteen Hours, all before the month was over. Hunter was kept fairly busy in pictures, working his way from featured roles to starring roles to first billing within two years in Sailor of the King. His big break came with The Searchers, where he played the young cowboy who accompanies John Wayne on his search for a child kidnapped by Comanches. Hunter got excellent reviews for his performance in this film and justifiably so, as he held his own well with the veteran Wayne. Starring roles in two more John Ford movies followed, and in 1960 Hunter had one of his best roles in Hell to Eternity, the true story of World War II hero Guy Gabaldon. That same year Hunter landed the role for which he is probably best known (although it's far from his best work) when he played the Son of God in King of Kings, which, due to Hunter's still youthful looks, was dubbed by some Hollywood wags "I Was a Teenage Jesus," although he was 33 when he was cast. After the cancellation of his television western series Temple Houston in 1964 and his decision not to continue in the lead role of the new series Star Trek in 1965, his career took a downturn, and Hunter eventually wound up in Europe working on cheap westerns, at the time a sure sign of a career in trouble. In 1969 Hunter suffered a stroke (after just recovering from an earlier stroke), took a bad fall and underwent emergency surgery, but died from complications of both the fall and the surgery.
Klaus Kinski was born Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski in Zoppot, Free City of Danzig (now Sopot, Poland), to Susanne (Lutze), a nurse, and Bruno Nakszynski, a pharmacist. He grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began acting on the stage, quickly gaining a reputation for his ferocious talent and equally ferocious temper. He started acting in films shortly afterwards, showing an utter disregard for the quality of the productions he appeared in and churning out so many that a complete filmography is almost impossible to assemble. However, he did turn out memorable work for director Werner Herzog, a similarly driven and obsessive character. Herzog and Kinski pushed each other to extremes over a 15-year working relationship, which finally ended after filming Cobra Verde, a production plagued by volcanic clashes between the star and director, involving--among other things--violent physical altercations and mutual death threats. Kinski subsequently directed and starred in the notorious Paganini, his only film as director and which was marked by (again) clashes between Kinski and his producers, who accused him of turning their movie into a pornographic film and sued him in court. His autobiography "All I Need is Love", one of the most vicious attacks on the film business ever written, was withdrawn for legal reasons and subsequently re-released as "Kinski Uncut" in the US & UK, "Ich brauche Liebe" in Germany, and in various other languages.
Barbara Bain was born in Chicago, graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. She then relocated to New York City where she gained work as a dancer and high-fashion model. Ms. Bain studied with Martha Graham, permanently cementing her love of dance; however, it was with Lee Strasberg at the prestigious Actors Studio that she discovered her true first love - acting. She is probably best known for her work in the landmark television series Mission: Impossible, created by Bruce Geller, where she created the pivotal role of Impossible Missions Force Agent "Cinnamon Carter", and, in the process, became the first actress in the history of television to receive three consecutive Emmy Awards for Best Dramatic Actress. Ms. Bain followed with the role of "Dr. Helena Russell" in the now classic British syndicated science fiction television series Space: 1999, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson. Her stage work has garnered her Los Angeles Critic's Circle and DramaLogue Awards for her work on Arthur Kopit's "Wings", Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days" and Eugène Ionesco's "The Chairs". Ms. Bain has worked on behalf of numerous charitable causes and is the founder of the Screen Actors Guild's "BookPals" Program which currently has some 300 of her colleagues reading to children in Los Angeles schools. Following the success of the program there, she helped the program to develop in other major cities throughout North America.
On the stage and on the big screen, Delroy Lindo projects a powerful presence that is almost impossible to ignore. Alhough it was not his first film role, his portrayal of the bipolar numbers boss West Indian Archie in Spike Lee's Malcolm X is what first attracted attention to Lindo's considerable talents. Since then, his star has slowly been on the rise.
The son of Jamaican parents, Lindo was born and raised in Lewisham, England, United Kingdom, until his teens when he and his mother, a nurse, moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. A little later, they moved to the United States, where Lindo would graduate from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. After graduation, Lindo landed his first film role, that of an Army sergeant in More American Graffiti. However, he did not appear in another film for ten years. In the meantime, Lindo worked on stage and, in 1982, debuted on Broadway in "Master Harold and the Boys" directed by the play's author, Athol Fugard. In 1988, Lindo earned a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Harald Loomis in Joe Turner's Come and Gone.
Though he was obviously a talented actor with a bright future, Lindo's career stalled. Wanting someone more aggressive and appreciative of his talents, Lindo changed agents (he'd had the same one through most of his early career). It was a smart move, but it was director Spike Lee who provided the boost Lindo's career needed. The director was impressed enough with Lindo to cast him as patriarch Woody Carmichael in Lee's semi-autobiographical comedy Crooklyn.
For Lindo, 1996 was a big year. He landed major supporting roles in six features, including a heavy in Barry Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty, another villainous supporting role in Lee's Clockers, and still another bad guy in Feeling Minnesota. Lest one believe that Lindo is typecast into forever playing drug lords and gangsters, that year he also played baseball player Leroy "Satchel" Paige in the upbeat Soul of the Game (a.k.a. Baseball in Black and White), for which he won a NAACP Image Award nomination. Since then, the versatile Lindo has shown himself equally adept at playing characters on both sides of the law. In 1997, he played an angel opposite Holly Hunter in Danny Boyle's offbeat romantic fantasy A Life Less Ordinary and, in 2009, a vengeful cop in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Lindo graduated from San Francisco State University in 2004 with a degree in Cinema.
One of television's premier African-American series stars, elegant actress, singer and recording artist Diahann Carroll was born Carol Diann (or Diahann) Johnson on July 17, 1935, in the Bronx, New York. The first child of John Johnson, a subway conductor, and Mabel Faulk Johnson, music was an important part of her life as a child, singing at age 6 with her Harlem church choir. While taking voice and piano lessons, she contemplated an operatic career after becoming the 10-year-old recipient of a Metropolitan Opera scholarship for studies at New York's High School of Music and Art. As a teenager she sought modeling work but it was her voice, in addition to her beauty, that provided the magic and the allure.
When she was 16, she teamed up with a girlfriend from school and auditioned for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts show using the more exotic sounding name of Diahann Carroll. She alone was invited to appear and won the contest. She subsequently performed on the daily radio show for three weeks. In her late teens, she began focusing on a nightclub career and it was here that she began formulating a chic, glamorous image. Another TV talent show appearance earned her a week's engagement at the Latin Quarter.
Broadway roles for black singers were rare but at age 19, Diahann was cast in the Harold Arlen/Truman Capote musical "House of Flowers". Starring the indomitable Pearl Bailey, Diahann held her own quite nicely in the ingénue role. While the show itself was poorly received, the score was heralded and Diahann managed to introduce two song standards, "A Sleepin' Bee" and "I Never Has Seen Snow", both later recorded by Barbra Streisand.
In 1954 she and Ms. Bailey supported a riveting Dorothy Dandridge as femme fatale Carmen Jones in an all-black, updated movie version of the Georges Bizet opera "Carmen." Diahann later supported Ms. Dandridge again in Otto Preminger's cinematic retelling of Porgy and Bess. During this time she also grew into a singing personality on TV while visiting such late-nite hosts as Jack Paar and Steve Allen and performing.
Unable to break through into the top ranks in film (she appeared in a secondary role once again in Paris Blues, a Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward vehicle), Diahann returned to Broadway. She was rewarded with a Tony Award for her exceptional performance as a fashion model in the 1962 musical "No Strings," a bold, interracial love story that co-starred Richard Kiley. Richard Rodgers, whose first musical this was after the death of partner Oscar Hammerstein, wrote the part specifically for Diahann, which included her lovely rendition of the song standard "The Sweetest Sounds." By this time she had already begun to record albums ("Diahann Carroll Sings Harold Arlen" (1957), "Diahann Carroll and Andre Previn" (1960), "The Fabulous Diahann Carroll" (1962). Nightclub entertaining filled up a bulk of her time during the early-to-mid 1960s, along with TV guest appearances on Carol Burnett, Judy Garland, Andy Williams, Dean Martin and Danny Kaye's musical variety shows.
Little did Diahann know that in the late 1960s she would break a major ethnic barrier on the small screen. Though it was nearly impossible to suppress the natural glamour and sophistication of Diahann, she touchingly portrayed an ordinary nurse and widow struggling to raise a small son in the series Julia. Despite other Black American actresses starring in a TV series (i.e., Hattie McDaniel in "Beulah"), Diahann became the first full-fledged African-American female "star" -- top billed, in which the show centered around her lead character. The show gradually rose in ratings and Diahann won a Golden Globe award for "Best Newcomer" and an Emmy nomination. The show lasted only two seasons, at her request.
A renewed interest in film led Diahann to the dressed-down title role of Claudine, as a Harlem woman raising six children on her own. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1975, but her acting career would become more and more erratic after this period. She did return, however, to the stage with productions of "Same Time, Next Year" and "Agnes of God". While much ado was made about her return to series work as a fashionplate nemesis to Joan Collins' ultra-vixen character on the glitzy primetime soap Dynasty, it became much about nothing as the juicy pairing failed to ignite. Diahann's character was also a part of the short-lived "Dynasty" spin-off The Colbys.
Throughout the late 1980s and early 90s she toured with her fourth husband, singer Vic Damone, with occasional acting appearances to fill in the gaps. Some of her finest work came with TV-movies, notably her century-old Sadie Delany in Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years and as troubled singer Natalie Cole's mother in Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story. She also portrayed silent screen diva Norma Desmond in the musical version of "Sunset Blvd." and toured America performing classic Broadway standards in the concert show "Almost Like Being in Love: The Lerner and Loewe Songbook." Most recently she has had recurring roles on Grey's Anatomy and White Collar.
Paul Lynde was born in 1926 in Mount Vernon, Ohio (one of six children and the middle of four boys). His father was a local police officer and the sheriff of the Mount Vernon Jail for two years. Lynde got his inspiration to become an actor at the age of four or five after his mother took him to see the original silent film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. After graduating from Northwestern University, Lynde relocated to New York City where his first break came from being a stand-up comedian at the Number One Fifth Avenue nightclub. Then came an appearance on a Broadway show, "New Faces of 1952".
Lynde also had a two-year run on TV with Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall and the Broadway and film versions of Bye Bye Birdie. Throught his life, Lynde appeared in the Broadway plays "The Impossible Years", "Don't Drink the Water", and "Plaza Suite". His many film credits include New Faces, Send Me No Flowers, and Rabbit Test. One of his most memorable roles was a recurring role on Bewitched playing the sneering, sarcastic Uncle Arthur. He appeared on TV's The Dean Martin Show, The Kraft Music Hall, Donny and Marie, and both the prime-time and daytime versions of the game show The Hollywood Squares where he occupied the famous center square. He had two TV series of his own, The Paul Lynde Show and The New Temperatures Rising Show. Paul Lynde's witty, wisecracking one-liners and his novel line delivery made him one of Hollywood's funniest and best loved entertainers. Paul Lynde died under mysterious circumstances when he was found dead in his bed after possibly suffering a heart attack in January 1982 at age 55. He had been in ill-health for over a year with cancer or some other illness that was never fully revealed to the public before or after his death.
Unlike virtually all his contemporaries, Ken Loach has never succumbed to the siren call of Hollywood, and it's virtually impossible to imagine his particular brand of British socialist realism translating well to that context. After studying law at St. Peter's College, Oxford, he branched out into the theater, performing with a touring repertory company. This led to television, where in alliance with producer Tony Garnett he produced a series of docudramas, most notably the devastating "Cathy Come Home" episode of The Wednesday Play, whose impact was so massive that it led directly to a change in the homeless laws. He made his feature debut Poor Cow the following year, and with Kes, he produced what is now acclaimed as one of the finest films ever made in Britain. However, the following two decades saw his career in the doldrums with his films poorly distributed (despite the obvious quality of work such as The Gamekeeper and Looks and Smiles) and his TV work in some cases never broadcast (most notoriously, his documentaries on the 1984 miners' strike). But he made a spectacular comeback in the 1990s, with a series of award-winning films firmly establishing him in the pantheon of great European directors - his films have always been more popular in mainland Europe than in his native country or the US (where Riff-Raff was shown with subtitles because of the wide range of dialects). Hidden Agenda won the Special Jury Prize at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival; Riff-Raff won the Felix award for Best European Film of 1992; Raining Stones won the Cannes Special Jury Prize for 1993, and Land and Freedom won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival - and was a substantial box-office hit in Spain where it sparked intense debate about its subject matter. This needless to say, was one of the reasons that Loach made the film!
A classmate of director Sergio Leone with whom he would form one of the great director/composer partnerships (right up there with Eisenstein & Prokofiev, Hitchcock & Herrmann, Fellini & Rota), Ennio Morricone studied at Rome's Santa Cecilia Conservatory, where he specialized in trumpet. His first film scores were relatively undistinguished, but he was hired by Leone for A Fistful of Dollars on the strength of some of his song arrangements. His score for that film, with its sparse arrangements, unorthodox instrumentation (bells, electric guitars, harmonicas, the distinctive twang of the jew's harp) and memorable tunes, revolutionized the way music would be used in Westerns, and it is hard to think of a post-Morricone Western score that doesn't in some way reflect his influence. Although his name will always be synonymous with the spaghetti Western, Morricone has also contributed to a huge range of other film genres: comedies, dramas, thrillers, horror films, romances, art movies, exploitation movies - making him one of the film world's most versatile artists. He has written nearly 400 film scores, so a brief summary is impossible, but his most memorable work includes the Leone films, Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers , Roland Joffé's The Mission, Brian De Palma's The Untouchables and Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso, plus a rare example of sung opening credits for Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Hawks and the Sparrows.
|Philip Michael Thomas
Philip Michael Thomas - the multi-talented performer best known as Detective Rico Tubbs in the iconic 1980s TV series Miami Vice - made his Broadway debut in 1971 in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play No Place to Be Somebody...and hasn't looked back since.
In a remarkable career that spans nearly four decades, PMT has worked with some of the top stage, screen, and recording personalities in the world.
He first guest starred on TV in 1973 in the pilot for the series Pilot, followed by parts in Good Times, Police Woman, Medical Center, Wonder Woman (1978)_, _Starsky and Hutch (1978)_, and Trapper John, M.D. before landing the role on Miami Vice in 1984 that made him a household name - and took him on a whirlwind tour of the globe and into the presence of heads of state (including President Ronald Reagan and Nelson Mandela), fellow celebrities, and countless adoring fans.
Despite world-wide stardom as an actor of both stage and screen, it is music that is PMT's biggest passion. He wrote his first song at the age of 11 and, over the next 40 years, wrote, composed, and sung everything from Gospel to R&B to pop standards to rock. One long-time friend recently referred to the musical side of PMT as "an undiscovered diamond."
During the stratospheric years of Miami Vice (1984-1989), PMT released two highly regarded albums: Livin' the Book of My Life (1985) and Somebody (1988), both on his own Starship Records label, with distribution by industry giant Atlantic Records. Although much loved by fans to this day, his albums didn't sell as well as expected (perhaps due to a wide range of musical styles that defied pigeonhole) and remain out of print, although they often fetch a tidy sum on eBay. PMT is considering reissuing his solo albums with bonus tracks sometime in 2007 or 2008.
The power of imagination and love to overcome circumstances is a theme that runs through the fabric of his life. He cites singing "The Impossible Dream" (from Man of La Mancha) while at Oakwood College in 1967 as a turning point for him.
Considered by long-time friends and family members alike to be one of the most compassionate, spiritual, and generous men they've ever known, PMT credits his uplifting, positive outlook on life to a vegetarian diet, regular exercise, life-long learning, friends he's made through the years, and books such as The Holy Bible, Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, and Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, among many others.
PMT loves Florida and has chosen to make his home there instead of L.A. or New York as do most of his colleagues. Naturally, this keeps him out of the limelight, but it's a mistake to assume that just because his name isn't regularly splashed across the tabloids that he's not keeping himself busy. In fact, he is working (2007) on his autobiography, his official web site, reading scripts, performing, writing music, and helping young performers reach the heights he has reached - and doing it all with characteristic charm, grace, vitality...and with his trademark banner, "Treasure beyond measure!" flying proudly overhead.
Rose Rollins was raised in Yonkers, New York, growing up with five brothers. She is an accomplished actress who has garnered attention on both the big and small screens.
Rollins now stars in ABC's The Catch opposite Mireille Enos. The series centers on a gutsy female forensic accountant who exposes fraud for a living and has finally found fulfillment both at work and in love until a case comes along that threatens to turn her world upside down. The Catch is produced by Shonda Rhimes.
Prior to The Catch, Rollins most recently guest starred in an eight-episode arc on Amazon Studios crime drama Bosch and starred in the TNT pilot Guilt By Association.
Rollins has built her body of work with numerous roles on prominent television series including the critically acclaimed Showtime series The L Word, the Jerry Bruckheimer produced NBC drama Chase, NBC's The West Wing co-starring Allison Janney , Southland, ABC's In Justice opposite Kyle MacLachlan, The CW's Nikita and CBS's NCIS and CSI: NY, among many others.
On the big screen, the actress' voice can be heard as the White House press secretary in the 2015 Adam Sandler/Kevin James action sci-fi comedy Pixels. Additional film credits include Mission: Impossible III directed by J.J. Abrams, Undisputed opposite Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes, the romantic comedy Something New and 13 Moons starring Steve Buscemi, Jennifer Beals, and Peter Dinklage.
Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters front-man, will always be remembered as the drummer for Nirvana. But, drumming for a great band such as Nirvana is not Dave's only claim in the world of music. Dave's musical career began at age 15 as the guitarist and later as the drummer for a punk band called "Freak Baby". A year later, he was behind the drums for "Mission Impossible" and later that summer drumming for "Dain Bramage". Another year down the road, an opportunity to drum with one of his favorite punk bands, "Scream", was just too great to pass up. This leads us to 1990 when "Scream" seemed to be coming to an end and "Nirvana" was in need of a drummer. While recording and touring with "Nirvana", Dave continued to write lyrics and music that he would record during breaks with "Nirvana". After the tragic end of "Nirvana", Dave eventually turned to his music to create Foo Fighters. While playing guitar and singing with Foo Fighters is his main job, you can also find Dave channeling his musical genius throughout the world of rock. Dave has drummed for "Queens Of The Stone Age" and "Killing Joke". He has also recorded and guest performed with his buddies "Tenacious D". All the while recording for his own hardcore project, "Probot".
A gorgeous, pneumatic blonde rival to pouty sex kitten Ann-Margret, singer/dancer/actress Joey Heatherton was also a product of the swinging 60s and taunted the film and TV variety scenes with her own version of a purring young sexpot. Born in 1944 as "Davenie Johanna Heatherton" and the daughter of veteran song-and-dance man Ray Heatherton (1909-1997), Joey trained in ballet as a youngster and started her career off as a teen performer on the New York stage as one of the children in "The Sound of Music". She also began recording about that same time. She went on to gain national exposure as a regular on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, portraying an innocent young coed who developed a crush on the star. The gimmick worked and Joey eventually tried to parlay this success into an acting career.
The payoff worked. She started to appear in such TV dramas as The Virginian, The Doctors and the Nurses and Route 66. For a time, she showed extreme promise, playing troubled, vulnerable, often neurotic young girls opposite cinema's established or up-and-coming talent of the day, including the films, Twilight of Honor with Richard Chamberlain and Nick Adams, Where Love Has Gone starring Bette Davis and Susan Hayward, and My Blood Runs Cold opposite Troy Donahue. The promise was short-lived, however, but since music was deemed her forte anyway, Joey wisely refocused on her musical gifts and went on to project a mod, sulky "Lolita" image fully-decked out in mini-skirts and go-go boots. A much better singer than Ann-Margret and an equally good dancer, she appealed to the male masses in droves with her high-octane dance moves and saucy glances as huge selling points. By the late 60s, the talented, all-round entertainer had developed into a solid Vegas showroom and TV variety favorite. On the plus side as well, she had soldiers swooning on both land and sea as she toured with Bob Hope on his USO tours. She proved quite fetching in the TV movie, The Ballad of Andy Crocker with Lee Majors, and was part of the eclectic casting in Of Mice and Men that toplined George Segal and Nicol Williamson. On top of all this, she was seductively pitching RC Cola and Serta mattresses in TV ads on a regular basis.
Joey's problems began in 1971, stemming with a major tabloid-troubled marriage and divorce from 'Lance 'Rentzel'. The 70s also saw a radical change in audience taste as witnessed by her diminishing popularity. Despite showing extreme potential as a Billboard chart-maker with a "Top 40" pop hit in the Ferlin Husky song, "Gone", in 1972, Hollywood made it nearly impossible for her to escape the blast-from-the-past image, finding herself more and more unemployable as the decade wore on. She did enjoy a fun, short-lived fling on a summer variety series, that co-starred her beloved dad Ray Heatherton, (Joey & Dad).
Unfortunately, Joey encountered other problems in the throes of her career decline, with a life-threatening substance addiction and eating disorder which deeply hindered any game attempts to climb back into favor. She was crassly featured in the critically-panned Richard Burton starrer, Bluebeard; portrayed Xaviera Hollander in the lurid The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington to little fanfare; and then pretty much disappeared, except as eccentric tabloid fodder or popping up unexpectedly in the cult John Waters film, Cry-Baby, or the April 1997 Playboy spread.
On her side, however, she is a survivor and Hollywood has always encouraged big comeback stories. If anybody has ever proven to be a certifiable talent deserving of such, it's Joey Heatherton. She remains, however, a prime example of how devastating and destructive a fickle entertainment business can be.
One of seven children, Frank Capra was born on May 18, 1897, in Bisacquino, Sicily. On May 10, 1903, his family left for America aboard the ship Germania, arriving in New York on May 23rd. "There's no ventilation, and it stinks like hell. They're all miserable. It's the most degrading place you could ever be," Capra said about his Atlantic passage. "Oh, it was awful, awful. It seems to always be storming, raining like hell and very windy, with these big long rolling Atlantic waves. Everybody was sick, vomiting. God, they were sick. And the poor kids were always crying."
The family boarded a train for the trip to California, where Frank's older brother Benjamin was living. On their journey, they subsisted on bread and bananas, as their lack of English made it impossible for them to ask for any other kind of foodstuffs. On June 3, the Capra family arrived at the Southern Pacific station in Los Angeles, at the time, a small city of approximately 102,000 people. The family stayed with Capra's older brother Benjamin, and on September 14, 1903, Frank began his schooling at the Castelar Elementary school.
In 1909, he entered Los Angeles' Manual Arts High School. Capra made money selling newspapers in downtown L.A. after school and on Saturdays, sometimes working with his brother Tony. When sales were slow, Tony punched Frank to attract attention, which would attract a crowd and make Frank's papers sell quicker. Frank later became part of a two-man music combo, playing at various places in the red light district of L.A., including brothels, getting paid a dollar per night, performing the popular songs. He also worked as a janitor at the high school in the early mornings. It was at high school that he became interested in the theater, typically doing back-stage work such as lighting.
Capra's family pressured him to drop out of school and go to work, but he refused, as he wanted to partake fully of the American Dream, and for that he needed an education. Capra later reminisced that his family "thought I was a bum. My mother would slap me around; she wanted me to quit school. My teachers would urge me to keep going....I was going to school because I had a fight on my hands that I wanted to win."
Capra graduated from high school on January 27, 1915, and in September of that year, he entered the Throop College of Technology (later the California Institute of Technology) to study chemical engineering. The school's annual tuition was $250, and Capra received occasional financial support from his family, who were resigned to the fact they had a scholar in their midst. Throop had a fine arts department, and Capra discovered poetry and the essays of Montaigne, which he fell in love with, while matriculating at the technical school. He then decided to write.
"It was a great discovery for me. I discovered language. I discovered poetry. I discovered poetry at Caltech, can you imagine that? That was a big turning point in my life. I didn't know anything could be so beautiful." Capra penned "The Butler's Failure," about an English butler provoked by poverty to murder his employer, then to suicide."
Capra was singled out for a cash award of $250 for having the highest grades in the school. Part of his prize was a six-week trip across the U.S. and Canada. When Capra's father, Turiddu, died in 1916, Capra started working at the campus laundry to make money.
After the U.S. Congress declared War on Germany on April 6, 1917, Capra enlisted in the Army, and while he was not a naturalized citizen yet, he was allowed to join the military as part of the Coastal Artillery. Capra became a supply officer for the student soldiers at Throop, who have been enrolled in a Reserve Officers Training Corps program. At his enlistment, Capra discovered he was not an American citizen; he became naturalized in 1920.
On September 15, 1918, Capra graduated from Throop with his bachelor's degree, and was inducted into the U.S. Army on October 18th and shipped out to the Presidio at San Francisco. An armistice ending the fighting of World War One would be declared in less than a month. While at the Presidio, Capra became ill with the Spanish influenza that claimed 20 million lives worldwide. He was discharged from the Army on December 13th and moved to his brother Ben's home in L.A. While recuperating, Capra answered a cattle call for extras for John Ford's film "The The Outcasts of Poker Flat (Capra, cast as a laborer in the Ford picture, introduced himself to the film's star, Harry Carey. Two decades later, Capra, designated the #1 director in Hollywood by "Time" magazine, would cast Carey and his movie actress wife Olive in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington for which Carey won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination).
While living at his mother's house, Capra took on a wide variety of manual laboring jobs, including errand boy and ditch digger, even working as an orange tree pruner at 20 cents a day. He continued to be employed as an extra at movie studios and as a prop buyer at an independent studio at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street, which later became the home of Columbia Pictures, where Capra would make his reputation as the most successful movie director of the 1930s. Most of his time was spent unemployed and idle, which gave credence to his family's earlier opposition to him seeking higher education. Capra wrote short stories but was unable to get them published. He eventually got work as a live-in tutor for the son of "Lucky" Baldwin, a rich gambler. (He later used the Baldwin estate as a location for Dirigible).
Smitten by the movie bug, in August of that year, Capra, former actor W. M. Plank, and financial backer Ida May Heitmann incorporated the Tri-State Motion Picture Co. in Nevada. Tri-State produced three short films in Nevada in 1920, Don't Change Your Husband, The Pulse of Life, and The Scar of Love (1920), all directed by Plank, and possibly based on story treatments written by Capra. The films were failures, and Capra returned to Los Angeles when Tri-State broke up. In March 1920, Capra was employed by CBC Film Sales Co., the corporate precursor of Columbia Films, where he also worked as an editor and director on a series called "Screen Snapshots." He quit CBC in August and moved to San Francisco, but the only jobs he could find were that of bookseller and door-to-door salesman. Once again seeming to fulfill his family's prophecy, he turned to gambling, and also learned to ride the rails with a hobo named Frank Dwyer. There was also a rumor that he became a traveling salesman specializing in worthless securities, according to a "Time" magazine story "Columbia's Gem" (August 8, 1938 issue, V.32, No. 6).
Still based in San Francisco in 1921, producer Walter Montague hired Capra for $75 per week to help direct the short movie The Ballad of Fisher's Boarding House, which was based on a poem by Rudyard Kipling. Montague, a former actor, had the dubious idea that foggy San Francisco was destined to become the capital of movies, and that he could make a fortune making movies based on poems. Capra helped Montague produced the one-reeler, which was budgeted at $1,700 and subsequently sold to the Pathe Exchange for $3,500. Capra quit Montague when he demanded that the next movie be based upon one of his own poems.
Unable to find another professional filmmaking job, Capra hired himself out as a maker of shorts for the public-at-large while working as an assistant at Walter Ball's film lab. Finally, in October 1921, the Paul Gerson Picture Corp. hired him to help make its two-reel comedies, around the time that he began dating the actress Helen Edith Howe, who would become his first wife. Capra continued to work for both Ball and Gerson, primarily as a cutter. On November 25, 1923, Capra married Helen Howell, and the couple soon moved to Hollywood.
Hal Roach hired Capra as a gag-writer for the "Our Gang" series in January, 1924. After writing the gags for five "Our Gang" comedies in seven weeks, he asked Roach to make him a director. When Roach refused (he somewhat rightly felt he had found the right man in director Bob McGowan), Capra quit. Roach's arch rival Mack Sennett subsequently hired him as a writer, one of a six-man team that wrote for silent movie comedian Harry Langdon, the last major star of the rapidly disintegrating Mack Sennett Studios, and reigning briefly as fourth major silent comedian after Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd. Capra began working with the Harry Langdon production unit as a gag writer, first credited on the short Plain Clothes.
As Harry Langdon became more popular, his production unit at Sennett had moved from two- to three-reelers before Langdon, determined to follow the example of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd, went into features. After making his first feature-length comedy, His First Flame for Sennett, Langdon signed a three-year contract with Sol Lesser's First National Pictures to annually produce two feature-length comedies at a fixed fee per film. For a multitude of reasons Mack Sennett was never able to retain top talent. On September 15, 1925, Harry Langdon left Sennett in an egotistical rage, taking many of his key production personnel with him. Sennett promoted Capra to director but fired him after three days in his new position. In addition to the Langdon comedies, Capra had also written material for other Sennett films, eventually working on twenty-five movies.
After being sacked by Sennett, Capra was hired as a gag-writer by Harry Langdon, working on Langdon's first First National feature-length film, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp. The movie was directed by Harry Edwards who had directed all of Harry Langdon's films at Sennett. His first comedy for First National, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp did well at the box office, but it had ran over budget, which came out of Langdon's end. Harry Edwards was sacked, and for his next picture, The Strong Man, Langdon promoted Capra to director, boosting his salary to $750 per week. The movie was a hit, but trouble was brewing among members of the Harry Langdon company. Langdon was increasingly believing his own press.
His marriage with Helen began to unravel when it is discovered that she had a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy that had to be terminated. In order to cope with the tragedy, Capra became a work-a-holic while Helen turned to drink. The deterioration of his marriage was mirrored by the disintegration of his professional relationship with Harry Langdonduring the making of the new feature, Long Pants.
The movie, which was released in March 1927, proved to be Capra's last with Harry Langdon, as the comedian soon sacked Capra after its release. Capra later explained the principle of Langdon comedies to James Agee, "It is the principal of the brick: If there was a rule for writing Langdon material, it was this: his only ally was God. Harry Langdon might be saved by a brick falling on a cop, but it was verboten that he in any way motivated the bricks fall."
During the production of Long Pants, Capra had a falling out with Langdon. Screenwriter Arthur Ripley's dark sensibility did not mesh well with that of the more optimistic Capra, and Harry Langdon usually sided with Ripley. The picture fell behind schedule and went over budget, and since Langdon was paid a fixed fee for each film, this represented a financial loss to his own Harry Langdon Corp. Stung by the financial set-back, and desiring to further emulate the great Chaplin, Harry Langdon made a fateful decision: He fired Capra and decided to direct himself. (Langdon's next three movies for First National were dismal failures, the two surviving films being very dark and grim black comedies, one of which, The Chaser, touched on the subject of suicide. It was the late years of the Jazz Age, a time of unprecedented prosperity and boundless bonhomie, and the critics, and more critically, the ticket-buying public, rejected Harry. In 1928, First National did not pick up his contract. The Harry Langdon Corp. soon went bankrupt, and his career as the "fourth major silent comedian" was through, just as sound was coming in.)
In April of 1927, Capra and his wife Helen split up, and Capra went off to New York to direct For the Love of Mike for First National, his first picture with Claudette Colbert. The director and his star did not get along, and the film went over budget. Subsequently, First National refused to pay Capra, and he had to hitchhike back to Hollywood. The film proved to be Capra's only genuine flop.
By September 1927, he was back working as a writer for Mack Sennett, but in October, he was hired as a director by Columbia Pictures President and Production Chief Harry Cohn for $1,000. The event was momentous for both of them, for at Columbia Capra would soon become the #1 director in Hollywood in the 1930s, and the success of Capra's films would propel the Poverty Row studio into the major leagues. But at first, Cohn was displeased with him. When viewing the first three days of rushes of his first Columbia film, That Certain Thing, Cohn wanted to fire him as everything on the first day had been shot in long shot, on the second day in medium shot, and on the third day in close-ups.
"I did it that way for time," Capra later recalled. "It was so easy to be better than the other directors, because they were all dopes. They would shoot a long shot, then they would have to change the setup to shoot a medium shot, then they would take their close-ups. Then they would come back and start over again. You lose time, you see, moving the cameras and the big goddamn lights. I said, 'I'll get all the long shots on that first set first, then all the medium shots, and then the close-ups.' I wouldn't shoot the whole scene each way unless it was necessary. If I knew that part of it was going to play in long shot, I wouldn't shoot that part in close-up. But the trick was not to move nine times, just to move three times. This saved a day, maybe two days."
Cohn decided to stick with Capra (he was ultimately delighted at the picture and gave Capra a $1,500 bonus and upped his per-picture salary), and in 1928, Cohn raised his salary again, now to to $3,000 per picture after he made several successful pictures, including Submarine. The Younger Generation, the first of a series of films with higher budgets to be directed by Capra, would prove to be his first sound film, when scenes were reshot for dialogue. In the summer of that year, he was introduced to a young widow, Lucille Warner Reyburn (who became Capra's second wife Lou Capra). He also met a transplanted stage actress, Barbara Stanwyck, who had been recruited for the talkie but had been in three successive unsuccessful films and wanted to return to the New York stage. Harry Cohn wanted Stanwyck to appear in Capra's planned film, Ladies of Leisure, but the interview with Capra did not go well, and Capra refused to use her.
Stanwyck went home crying after being dismissed by Capra, and her husband, a furious Frank Fay, called Capra up. In his defense, Capra said that Stanwyck didn't seem to want the part. According to Capra's 1961 autobiography, "The Name Above the Title," Fay said, "Frank, she's young, and shy, and she's been kicked around out here. Let me show you a test she made at Warner's." After viewing her Warners' test for The Noose, Capra became enthusiastic and urged Cohn to sign her. In January of 1930, Capra began shooting Ladies of Leisure with Stanwyck in the lead. The movies the two made together in the early '30s established them both on their separate journeys towards becoming movieland legends. Though Capra would admit to falling in love with his leading lady, it was Lucille Warner Reyburn who became the second Mrs. Capra.
"You're wondering why I was at that party. That's my racket. I'm a party girl. Do you know what that is?"
Stanwyck played a working-class "party girl" hired as a model by the painter Jerry, who hails from a wealthy family. Capra had written the first draft of the movie before screenwriter Jo Swerling took over. Swerling thought the treatment was dreadful. According to Capra, Swerling told Harry Cohn, when he initially had approached about adapting the play "Ladies of the Evening" into Capra's next proposed film, "I don't like Hollywood, I don't like you, and I certainly don't like this putrid piece of gorgonzola somebody gave me to read. It stunk when Belasco produced it as Ladies of Leisure, and it will stink as Ladies of Leisure, even if your little tin Jesus does direct it. The script is inane, vacuous, pompous, unreal, unbelievable - - and incredibly dull."
Capra, who favored extensive rehearsals before shooting a scene, developed his mature directorial style while collaborating with Stanwyck, a trained stage actress whose performance steadily deteriorated after rehearsals or retakes. Stanwyck's first take in a scene usually was her best. Capra started blocking out scenes in advance, and carefully preparing his other actors so that they could react to Stanwyck in the first shot, whose acting often was unpredictable, so they wouldn't foul up the continuity. In response to this semi-improvisatory style, Capra's crew had to boost its level of craftsmanship to beyond normal Hollywood standards, which were forged in more static and prosaic work conditions. Thus, the professionalism of Capra's crews became better than those of other directors. Capra's philosophy for his crew was, "You guys are working for the actors, they're not working for you."
After "Ladies of Leisure," Capra was assigned to direct Platinum Blonde starring Jean Harlow. The script had been the product of a series of writers, including Jo Swerling (who was given credit for adaptation), but was polished by Capra and Robert Riskin (who was given screen credit for the dialogue). Along with Jo Swerling, Riskin would rank as one of Capra's most important collaborators, ultimately having a hand in 13 movies. (Riskin wrote nine screenplays for Capra, and Capra based four other films on Riskin's work.)
Riskin created a hard-boiled newspaperman, Stew Smith for the film, a character his widow, the actress Fay Wray, said came closest to Riskin of any character he wrote. A comic character, the wise-cracking reporter who wants to lampoon high society but finds himself hostage to the pretensions of the rich he had previously mocked is the debut of the prototypical "Capra" hero. The dilemma faced by Stew, akin to the immigrant's desire to assimilate but being rejected by established society, was repeated in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and in Meet John Doe.
Capra, Stanwyck, Riskin and Jo Swerling all were together to create Capra's next picture, The Miracle Woman, a story about a shady evangelist. With John Meehan, Riskin wrote the play that the movie is based on, "Bless You, Sister," and there is a possibly apocryphal story that has Riskin at a story conference at which Capra relates the treatment for the proposed film. Capra, finished, asked Riskin for his input, and Riskin replied, "I wrote that play. My brother and I were stupid enough to produce it on Broadway. It cost us almost every cent we had. If you intend to make a picture of it, it only proves one thing: You're even more stupid than we were."
Jo Swerling adapted Riskin's play, which he and his brother Everett patterned after Sinclair Lewis' "Elmer Gantry." Like the Lewis novel, the play focuses on the relationship between a lady evangelist and a con man. The difference, though, is that the nature of the relationship is just implied in Riskin's play (and the Capra film). There is also the addition of the blind war-vet as the moral conscience of the story; he is the pivotal character, whereas in Lewis' tale, the con artist comes to have complete control over the evangelist after eventually seducing her. Like some other Capra films, The Miracle Woman is about the love between a romantic, idealizing man and a cynical, bitter woman. Riskin had based his character on lady evangelist Uldine Utley, while Stanwyck based her characterization on Aimee Semple McPherson.
Recognizing that he had something in his star director, Harry Cohn took full advantage of the lowly position his studio had in Hollywood. Both Warner Brothers and mighty MGM habitually lent Cohn their troublesome stars -- anyone rejecting scripts or demanding a pay raise was fodder for a loan out to Cohn's Poverty Row studio. Cohn himself was habitually loathe to sign long-term stars in the early 1930s (although he made rare exceptions to Peter Lorre and The Three Stooges) and was delighted to land the talents of any top flight star and invariably assigned them to Capra's pictures. Most began their tenure in purgatory with trepidation but left eagerly wanting to work with Capra again.
In 1932, Capra decided to make a motion picture that reflected the social conditions of the day. He and Riskin wrote the screenplay for American Madness, a melodrama that is an important precursor to later Capra films, not only with It's a Wonderful Life which shares the plot device of a bank run, but also in the depiction of the irrationality of a crowd mentality and the ability of the individual to make a difference. In the movie, an idealistic banker is excoriated by his conservative board of directors for making loans to small businesses on the basis of character rather than on sounder financial criteria. Since the Great Depression is on, and many people lack collateral, it would be impossible to productively lend money on any other criteria than character, the banker argues. When there is a run on the bank due to a scandal, it appears that the board of directors are rights the bank depositors make a run on the bank to take out their money before the bank fails. The fear of a bank failure ensures that the failure will become a reality as a crowd mentality takes over among the clientèle. The board of directors refuse to pledge their capital to stave off the collapse of the bank, but the banker makes a plea to the crowd, and just like George Bailey's depositors in It's a Wonderful Life, the bank is saved as the fears of the crowd are ameliorated and businessmen grateful to the banker pledge their capital to save the bank. The board of directors, impressed by the banker's character and his belief in the character of his individual clients (as opposed to the irrationality of the crowd), pledge their capital and the bank run is staved off and the bank is saved.
In his biography, "The Name Above the Picture," Capra wrote that before American Madness, he had only made "escapist" pictures with no basis in reality. He recounts how Poverty Row studios, lacking stars and production values, had to resort to "gimmick" movies to pull the crowds in, making films on au courant controversial subjects that were equivalent to "yellow journalism."
What was more important than the subject and its handling was the maturation of Capra's directorial style with the film. Capra had become convinced that the mass-experience of watching a motion picture with an audience had the psychological effect in individual audience members of slowing down the pace of a film. A film that during shooting and then when viewed on a movieola editing device and on a small screen in a screening room among a few professionals that had seemed normally paced became sluggish when projected on the big screen. While this could have been the result of the projection process blowing up the actors to such large proportions, Capra ultimately believed it was the effect of mass psychology affecting crowds since he also noticed this "slowing down" phenomenon at ball games and at political conventions. Since American Madness dealt with crowds, he feared that the effect would be magnified.
He decided to boost the pace of the film, during the shooting. He did away with characters' entrances and exits that were a common part of cinematic "grammar" in the early 1930s, a survival of the "photoplays" days. Instead, he "jumped" characters in and out of scenes, and jettisoned the dissolves that were also part of cinematic grammar that typically ended scenes and indicated changes in time or locale so as not to make cutting between scenes seem choppy to the audience. Dialogue was deliberately overlapped, a radical innovation in the early talkies, when actors were instructed to let the other actor finish his or her lines completely before taking up their cue and beginning their own lines, in order to facilitate the editing of the sound-track. What he felt was his greatest innovation was to boost the pacing of the acting in the film by a third by making a scene that would normally play in one minute take only 40 seconds.
When all these innovations were combined in his final cut, it made the movie seem normally paced on the big screen, though while shooting individual scenes, the pacing had seemed exaggerated. It also gave the film a sense of urgency that befitted the subject of a financial panic and a run on a bank. More importantly, it "kept audience attention riveted to the screen," as he said in his autobiography. Except for "mood pieces," Capra subsequently used these techniques in all his films, and he was amused by critics who commented on the "naturalness" of his direction.
Capra was close to completely establishing his themes and style. Justly accused of indulging in sentiment which some critics labeled "Capra-corn," Capra's next film, Lady for a Day was an adaptation of Damon Runyon's 1929 short story "Madame La Gimp" about a nearly destitute apple peddler whom the superstitious gambler Dave the Dude (portrayed by Warner Brothers star Warren William) sets up in high style so she and her daughter, who is visiting with her finance, will not be embarrassed. Dave the Dude believes his luck at gambling comes from his ritualistically buying an apple a day from Annie, who is distraught and considering suicide to avoid the shame of her daughter seeing her reduced to living on the street. The Dude and his criminal confederates put Annie up in a luxury apartment with a faux husband in order to establish Annie in the eyes of her daughter as a dignified and respectable woman, but in typical Runyon fashion, Annie becomes more than a fake as the masquerade continues.
Robert Riskin wrote the first four drafts of Lady for a Day, and of all the scripts he worked on for Capra, the film deviates less from the script than any other. After seeing the movie, Runyon sent a telegraph to Riskin praising him for his success at elaborating on the story and fleshing out the characters while maintain his basic story. Lady for a Day was the favorite Capra film of John Ford, the great filmmaker who once directed the unknown extra. The movie cost $300,000 and was the first of Capra's oeuvre to attract the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, getting a Best Director nomination for Capra, plus nods for Riskin and Best Actress. The movie received Columbia's first Best Picture nomination, the studio never having attracted any attention from the Academy before Lady for a Day. (Capra's last film was the flop remake of Lady for a Day with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford, Pocketful of Miracles)
Capra reunited with Stanwyck and produced his first universally acknowledged classic, The Bitter Tea of General Yen, a film that now seems to belong more to the oeuvre of Josef von Sternberg than it does to Frank Capra. With "General Yen," Capra had consciously set out to make a movie that would win Academy Awards. Frustrated that the innovative, timely, and critically well-received American Madness had not received any recognition at the Oscars (particularly in the director's category in recognition of his innovations in pacing), he vented his displeasure to Columbia boss Cohn.
"Forget it," Cohn told Capra, as recounted in his autobiography. "You ain't got a Chinaman's chance. They only vote for that arty junk."
Capra set out to boost his chances by making an arty film featuring a "Chinaman" that confronted that major taboo of American cinema of the first half of the century, miscegenation.
In the movie, the American missionary Megan Davis is in China to marry another missionary. Abducted by the Chinese Warlord General Yen, she is torn away from the American compound that kept her isolated from the Chinese and finds herself in a strange, dangerous culture. The two fall in love despite their different races and life-views. The film ran up against the taboo against miscegenation embedded in the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association's Production Code, and while Megan merely kisses General Yen's hand in the picture, the fact that she was undeniably in love with a man from a different race attracted the vituperation of many bigots.
Having fallen for Megan, General Yen engenders her escape back to the Americans before willingly drinking a poisoned cup of tea, his involvement with her having cost him his army, his wealth, and now his desire to live. The Bitter Tea of General Yen marks the introduction of suicide as a Capra theme that will come back repeatedly, most especially in George Bailey's breakdown on the snowy bridge in It's a Wonderful Life.
Despair often shows itself in Capra films, and although in his post-"General Yen" work, the final reel wraps things up in a happy way, until that final reel, there is tragedy, cynicism, heartless exploitation, and other grim subject matter that Capra's audiences must have known were the truth of the world, but that were too grim to face when walking out of a movie theater. When pre-Code movies were rediscovered and showcased across the United States in the 1990s, they were often accompanied by thesis about how contemporary audiences "read" the films (and post-1934 more Puritanical works), as the movies were not so frank or racy as supposed. There was a great deal of signaling going on which the audience could read into, and the same must have been true for Capra's films, giving lie to the fact that he was a sentimentalist with a saccharine view of America. There are few films as bitter as those of Frank Capra before the final reel.
Despair was what befell Frank Capra, personally, on the night of March 16, 1934, which he attended as one of the Best Director nominees for Lady for a Day. Capra had caught Oscar fever, and in his own words, "In the interim between the nominations and the final voting...my mind was on those Oscars." When Oscar host Will Rogers opened the envelope for Best Director, he commented, "Well, well, well. What do you know. I've watched this young man for a long time. Saw him come up from the bottom, and I mean the bottom. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Come on up and get it, Frank!"
Capra got up to go get it, squeezing past tables and making his way to the open dance floor to accept his Oscar. "The spotlight searched around trying to find me. 'Over here!' I waved. Then it suddenly swept away from me -- and picked up a flustered man standing on the other side of the dance floor - Frank Lloyd!"
Frank Lloyd went up to the dais to accept HIS Oscar while a voice in back of Capra yelled, "Down in front!"
Capra's walk back to his table amidst shouts of "Sit down!" turned into the "Longest, saddest, most shattering walk in my life. I wished I could have crawled under the rug like a miserable worm. When I slumped in my chair I felt like one. All of my friends at the table were crying."
That night, after Lloyd's Cavalcade, beat Lady for a Day for Best Picture, Capra got drunk at his house and passed out. "Big 'stupido,'" Capra thought to himself, "running up to get an Oscar dying with excitement, only to crawl back dying with shame. Those crummy Academy voters; to hell with their lousy awards. If ever they did vote me one, I would never, never, NEVER show up to accept it."
Capra would win his first of three Best Director Oscars the next year, and would show up to accept it. More importantly, he would become the president of the Academy in 1935 and take it out of the labor relations field a time when labor strife and the formation of the talent guilds threatened to destroy it.
The International Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences had been the brainchild of Louis B. Mayer in 1927 (it dropped the "International" soon after its formation). In order to forestall unionization by the creative talent (directors, actors and screenwriters) who were not covered by the Basic Agreement signed in 1926, Mayer had the idea of forming a company union, which is how the Academy came into being. The nascent Screen Writers Union, which had been created in 1920 in Hollywood, had never succeeded in getting a contract from the studios. It went out of existence in 1927, when labor relations between writers and studios were handled by the Academy's writers' branch.
The Academy had brokered studio-mandated pay-cuts of 10% in 1927 and 1931, and massive layoffs in 1930 and 1931. With the inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 4, 1933, Roosevelt took no time in attempting to tackle the Great Depression. The day after his inauguration, he declared a National Bank Holiday, which hurt the movie industry as it was heavily dependent on bank loans. Louis B. Mayer, as president of the Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. (the co-equal arm of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association charged with handling labor relations) huddled with a group from the Academy (the organization he created and had long been criticized for dominating, in both labor relations and during the awards season) and announced a 50% across-the-board pay cut. In response, stagehands called a strike for March 13th, which shut down every studio in Hollywood.
After another caucus between Mayer and the Academy committee, a proposal for a pay-cut on a sliding-scale up to 50% for everyone making over $50 a week; which would only last for eight weeks, was inaugurated. Screen writers resigned en masse from the Academy and joined a reformed Screen Writers Guild, but most employees had little choice and went along with it. All the studios but Warner Bros. and Sam Goldwyn honored the pledge to restore full salaries after the eight weeks, and Warners production chief Darryl F. Zanuck resigned in protest over his studio's failure to honor its pledge. A time of bad feelings persisted, and much anger was directed towards the Academy in its role as company union.
The Academy, trying to position itself as an independent arbiter, hired the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse for the first time to inspect the books of the studios. The audit revealed that all the studios were solvent, but Harry Warner refused to budge and Academy President 'Conrad Nagel' resigned, although some said he was forced out after a vote of no-confidence after arguing Warner's case. The Academy announced that the studio bosses would never again try to impose a horizontal salary cut, but the usefulness of the Academy as a company union was over.
Under Roosevelt's New Deal, the self-regulation imposed by the National Industrial Relations Act (signed into law on June 16th) to bring business sectors back to economic health was predicated upon cartelization, in which the industry itself wrote its own regulatory code. With Hollywood, it meant the re-imposition of paternalistic labor relations that the Academy had been created to wallpaper over. The last nail in the company union's coffin was when it became public knowledge that the Academy appointed a committee to investigate the continued feasibility of the industry practice of giving actors and writers long-term contracts. High salaries to directors, actors, and screen writers was compensation to the creative people for producers refusing to ceded control over creative decision-making. Long-term contracts were the only stability in the Hollywood economic set-up up creative people,. Up to 20%-25% of net earnings of the movie industry went to bonuses to studio owners, production chiefs, and senior executives at the end of each year, and this created a good deal of resentment that fueled the militancy of the SWG and led to the formation of the Screen Actors Guild in July 1933 when they, too, felt that the Academy had sold them out.
The industry code instituted a cap on the salaries of actors, directors, and writers, but not of movie executives; mandated the licensing of agents by producers; and created a reserve clause similar to baseball where studios had renewal options with talent with expired contracts, who could only move to a new studio if the studio they had last been signed to did not pick up their option.
The SWG sent a telegram to FDR in October 1933 denouncing this policy, arguing that the executives had taken millions of dollars of bonuses while running their companies into receivership and bankruptcy. The SWG denounced the continued membership of executives who had led their studios into financial failure remaining on the corporate boards and in the management of the reorganized companies, and furthermore protested their use of the NIRA to write their corrupt and failed business practices into law at the expense of the workers.
There was a mass resignation of actors from the Academy in October 1933, with the actors switching their allegiance to SAG. SAG joined with the SWG to publish "The Screen Guilds Magazine," a periodical whose editorial content attacked the Academy as a company union in the producers' pocket. SAG President Eddie Cantor, a friend of Roosevelt who had bee invited to spend the Thanksgiving Day holiday with the president, informed him of the guild's grievances over the NIRA code. Roosevelt struck down many of the movie industry code's anti-labor provisions by executive order.
The labor battles between the guilds and the studios would continue until the late 1930s, and by the time Frank Capra was elected president of the Academy in 1935, the post was an unenviable one. The Screen Directors Guild was formed at King Vidor's house on January 15, 1936, and one of its first acts was to send a letter to its members urging them to boycott the Academy Awards ceremony, which was three days away. None of the guilds had been recognized as bargaining agents by the studios, and it was argued to grace the Academy Awards would give the Academy, a company union, recognition. Academy membership had declined to 40 from a high of 600, and Capra believed that the guilds wanted to punish the studios financially by depriving them of the good publicity the Oscars generated.
But the studios couldn't care less. Seeing that the Academy was worthless to help them in its attempts to enforce wage cuts, it too abandoned the Academy, which it had financed. Capra and the Board members had to pay for the Oscar statuettes for the 1936 ceremony. In order to counter the boycott threat, Capra needed a good publicity gimmick himself, and the Academy came up with one, voting D.W. Griffith an honorary Oscar, the first bestowed since one had been given to Charles Chaplin at the first Academy Awards ceremony.
The Guilds believed the boycott had worked as only 20 SAG members and 13 SWG members had showed up at the Oscars, but Capra remembered the night as a victory as all the winners had shown up. However, 'Variety' wrote that "there was not the galaxy of stars and celebs in the director and writer groups which distinguished awards banquets in recent years." "Variety" reported that to boost attendance, tickets had been given to secretaries and the like. Bette Davis and Victor McLaglen had showed up to accept their Oscars, but McLaglen's director and screenwriter, John Ford and Dudley Nichols, both winners like McLaglen for The Informer, were not there, and Nichols became the first person to refuse an Academy Award when he sent back his statuette to the Academy with a note saying he would not turn his back on his fellow writers in the SWG. Capra sent it back to him. Ford, the treasurer of the SDG, had not showed up to accept his Oscar, he explained, because he wasn't a member of the Academy. When Capra staged a ceremony where Ford accepted his award, the SDG voted him out of office.
To save the Academy and the Oscars, Capra convinced the board to get it out of the labor relations field. He also democratized the nomination process to eliminate studio politics, opened the cinematography and interior decoration awards to films made outside the U.S., and created two new acting awards for supporting performances to win over SAG.
By the 1937 awards ceremony, SAG signaled its pleasure that the Academy had mostly stayed out of labor relations by announcing it had no objection to its members attending the awards ceremony. The ceremony was a success, despite the fact that the Academy had to charge admission due to its poor finances. Frank Capra had saved the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he even won his second Oscar that night, for directing Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. At the end of the evening, Capra announced the creation of the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award to honor "the most consistent high level of production achievement by an individual producer." It was an award he himself was not destined to win.
By the 1938 awards, the Academy and all three guilds had buried the hatchet, and the guild presidents all attended the ceremony: SWG President Dudley Nichols, who finally had accepted his Oscar, SAG President Robert Montgomery, and SDG President King Vidor. Capra also had introduced the secret ballot, the results of which were unknown to everyone but the press, who were informed just before the dinner so they could make their deadlines. The first Irving Thalberg Award was given to long-time Academy supporter and anti-Guild stalwart Darryl F. Zanuck by Cecil B. DeMille, who in his preparatory remarks, declared that the Academy was "now free of all labor struggles."
But those struggles weren't over. In 1939, Capra had been voted president of the SDG and began negotiating with AMPP President 'Joseph Schenck', the head of 20th Century-Fox, for the industry to recognize the SDG as the sole collective bargaining agent for directors. When Schenck refused, Capra mobilized the directors and threatened a strike. He also threatened to resign from the Academy and mount a boycott of the awards ceremony, which was to be held a week later. Schenck gave in, and Capra won another victory when he was named Best Director for a third time at the Academy Awards, and his movie, You Can't Take It with You, was voted Best Picture of 1938.
The 1940 awards ceremony was the last that Capra presided over, and he directed a documentary about them, which was sold to Warner Bros' for $30,000, the monies going to the Academy. He was nominated himself for Best Director and Best Picture for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but lost to the Gone with the Wind juggernaut. Under Capra's guidance, the Academy had left the labor relations field behind in order to concentrated on the awards (publicity for the industry), research and education.
"I believe the guilds should more or less conduct the operations and functions of this institution," he said in his farewell speech. He would be nominated for Best Director and Best Picture once more with It's a Wonderful Life in 1947, but the Academy would never again honor him, not even with an honorary award after all his service. (Bob Hope, in contrast, received four honorary awards, including a lifetime membership in 1945, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award in 1960 from the Academy.) The SDG (subsequently renamed the Directors Guild of America after its 1960 with the Radio and Television Directors Guild and which Capra served as its first president from 1960-61), the union he had struggled with in the mid-1930s but which he had first served as president from 1939 to 1941 and won it recognition, voted him a lifetime membership in 1941 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1959.
Whenever Capra convinced studio boss Harry Cohn to let him make movies with more controversial or ambitious themes, the movies typically lost money after under-performing at the box office. The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Lost Horizon were both expensive, philosophically minded pictures that sought to reposition Capra and Columbia into the prestige end of the movie market. After the former's relative failure at the box office and with critics, Capra turned to making a screwball comedy, a genre he excelled at, with It Happened One Night. Bookended with You Can't Take It with You, these two huge hits won Columbia Best Picture Oscars and Capra Best Director Academy Awards. These films, along with Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and It's a Wonderful Life are the heart of Capra's cinematic canon. They are all classics and products of superb craftsmanship, but they gave rise to the canard of "Capra-corn." One cannot consider Capra without taking into account The Bitter Tea of General Yen, American Madness, and Meet John Doe, all three dark films tackling major issues, Imperialism, the American plutocracy, and domestic fascism. Capra was no Pollyanna, and the man who was called a "dago" by Mack Sennett and who went on to become one of the most unique, highly honored and successful directors, whose depictions of America are considered Americana themselves, did not live his cinematic life looking through a rose-colored range-finder
In his autobiography "The Name Above the Title," Capra says that at the time of American Madness, critics began commenting on his "gee-whiz" style of filmmaking. The critics attacked "gee whiz" cultural artifacts as their fabricators "wander about wide-eyed and breathless, seeing everything as larger than life." Capra's response was "Gee whiz!"
Defining Hollywood as split between two camps, "Mr. Up-beat" and "Mr. Down-beat," Capra defended the up-beat gee whiz on the grounds that, "To some of us, all that meets the eye IS larger than life, including life itself. Who ca match the wonder of it?"
Among the artists of the "Gee-Whiz:" school were Ernest Hemingway, Homer, and Paul Gauguin, a novelist who lived a heroic life larger than life itself, a poet who limned the lives of gods and heroes, and a painter who created a mythic Tahiti, the Tahiti that he wanted to find. Capra pointed to Moses and the apostles as examples of men who were larger than life. Capra was proud to be "Mr. Up-beat" rather than belong to "the 'ashcan' school" whose "films depict life as an alley of cats clawing lids off garbage cans, and man as less noble than a hyena. The 'ash-canners,' in turn, call us Pollyannas, mawkish sentimentalists, and corny happy-enders."
What really moves Capra is that in America, there was room for both schools, that there was no government interference that kept him from making a film like American Madness. (While Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Joseph P. Kennedy had asked Harry Cohn to stop exporting Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Europe as it portrayed American democracy so negatively.) About Mr. Up-beat and Mr-Downbeat and "Mr. In-between," Capra says, "We all respect and admire each other because the great majority freely express their own individual artistry unfettered by subsidies or strictures from government, pressure groups, or ideologists."
In the period 1934 to 1941, Capra the created the core of his canon with the classics It Happened One Night, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Meet John Doe, wining three Best Director Oscars in the process. Some cine-historians call Capra the great American propagandist, he was so effective in creating an indelible impression of America in the 1930s. "Maybe there never was an America in the thirties," John Cassavetes was quoted as saying. "Maybe it was all Frank Capra."
After the United States went to war in December 1941, Frank Capra rejoined the Army and became an actual propagandist. His "Why We Fight" series of propaganda films were highly lauded for their remarkable craftsmanship and were the best of the U.S. propaganda output during the war. Capra's philosophy, which has been variously described as a kind of Christian socialism (his films frequently feature a male protagonist who can be seen a Christ figure in a story about redemption emphasizing New Testament values) that is best understood as an expression of humanism, made him an ideal propagandist. He loved his adopted country with the fervor of the immigrant who had realized the American dream. One of his propaganda films, The Negro Soldier, is a milestone in race relations.
Capra, a genius in the manipulation of the first form of "mass media," was opposed to "massism." The crowd in a Capra film is invariably wrong, and he comes down on the side of the individual, who can make a difference in a society of free individuals. In an interview, Capra said he was against "mass entertainment, mass production, mass education, mass everything. Especially mass man. I was fighting for, in a sense, the preservation of the liberty of the individual person against the mass."
Capra had left Columbia after "Mr. Smith" and formed his own production company. After the war, he founded Liberty Films with John Ford and made his last masterpiece, It's a Wonderful Life. Liberty folded prior to its release (another Liberty film, William Wyler's masterpiece, The Best Years of Our Lives was released through United Artists). Though Capra received his sixth Oscar nomination as best director, the movie flopped at the box office, which is hard to believe now that the film is considered must-see viewing each Christmas. Capra's period of greatness was over, and after making three under-whelming films from 1948 to '51 (including a remake of his earlier Broadway Bill), Capra didn't direct another picture for eight years, instead making a series of memorable semi-comic science documentaries for television that became required viewing for most 1960's school kids. His last two movies, A Hole in the Head and Pocketful of Miracles his remake of Lady for a Day did little to enhance his reputation.
But a great reputation it was, and is. Capra's films withstood the test of time and continue to be as beloved as when they were embraced by the movie-going "masses" in the 1930s. It was the craftsmanship: Capra was undeniably a master of his medium. The great English novelist Graham Greene, who supported himself as a film critic in the 1930s, loved Capra's films due to their sense of responsibility and of common life, and due to his connection with his audience. (Capra, according to the 1938 "Time" article, believed that what he liked would be liked by moviegoers). In his review of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Greene elucidated the central theme of Capra
Mike Henry was born August 15th, 1936. He was an athletic professional football player at the time he entered the movies. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1958-61) and the Los Angeles Rams (1962-64). During part of that time (1961-64) he was under contract with Warner Brothers and played a variety of bit parts (TV's Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, Cheyenne & the movie, Spencer's Mountain). He earned the role of Tarzan when series producer, Sy Weintraub began looking for a "younger Burt Lancaster" type, anticipating not only more Tarzan movies but a TV series as well. Weintraub was a Rams fan and had seen a TV documentary about them called Men from the Boys, produced by and featuring Mike Henry. Mike only made three Tarzan movies. He suffered animal bites, food poisoning, infections, and impossible work schedules in Mexico and especially Brazil. He wound up suing Weintraub for "maltreatment, abuse, and working conditions detrimental to my health and welfare." Just before his second Tarzan release in 1967 he was signed as Sgt. Kowalski in John Wayne's The Green Berets. He made more movies, including the part of "Junior", as a naive son of Jackie Gleason, with the role of Buford T. Justice! in the Smokey and the Bandit movie set there were three.
Actor, father, motorbike fanatic: Charley Boorman is the epitome of the modern adventurer in pursuit of fresh challenges away from the success of his personal life. Choosing two wheels as his preferred mode of transport, Charley harnessed the challenges of a 'round the World trip with Ewan McGregor. Now his sights are set on the unyielding sands of the desert.
Charley Boorman has been riding motorcycles since he was seven years old. The son of renowned film director John Boorman, he grew up on a farm in Ireland and used to ride through the fields on his first motorbike and took part in schoolboy motor cross and Enduro races. The bike bug remained with Charley and, for four years, he ran a motorcycle race team and spent the years riding with David Jeffries and Matt Llewelyn.
In 2004, Charley and his best mate Ewan McGregor came up with the madcap idea of circumnavigating the globe on motorbikes. After months of intense preparations when at times, it looked like the project would not get off the ground, the pair set off from London in April 2004.
Over the next three grueling months, they traveled through three continents and fifteen countries. Long Way Round was the realisation of a dream born out of two friends' love of motorbikes, the freedom of the open road, and the adrenaline rush of an extreme challenge. Their entire journey was filmed for Long Way Round, a unique television series that was broadcast on Sky One in the UK and Bravo (USA) and spawned a best-selling DVD, book and CD soundtrack. It has now sold the world over into many territories including Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Spain, and Italy.
Following the overwhelming success of Long Way Round, Charley has become an icon in the motorcycling world. On the Long Way Round, UK Tour Charley visited motorcycle and adventure exhibitions plus BMW dealerships across the UK to talk about his adventures. Each event was a sell-out as crowds flocked to catch a glimpse of Charley and have their book or DVD signed. A similar tour of the southern hemisphere is to take place this winter.
Next up, Charley is taking on the desert with one of the World's harshest challenges: the Lisbon-Dakar Rally. This is not just a race out of Europe via the Iberian Peninsula and down through West Africa. This is one of the most physically and emotionally demanding battles across inhospitable terrain, alone, to achieve the impossible. But for Charley, it is, as for many others, one of the most romantic and dangerous races known to man.
It remains the only race open to both amateur and professional bikers and for a first time participant like Charley, finishing the race in Dakar will be the ultimate goal.
Born in January, 1969, she's the daughter of August Gil Matamala, a prestigious lawyer. Grew up studying singing, dancing and the violin. She even appeared occasionally singing with her two brothers in their banda named "Matamala". At 17, she appeared on the cover of an avant-garde Catalonian magazine and from there she began working in local theatre companies and on local Catalonian TV channels, including giving Catalan language classes on Canal 33. It was here where she caught the eye of Bigas Luna, which led to Lola, her first film and, thus, her future was set. It was in 1991 that she became well-known in the film Amo tu cama rica, a comedy with Javier Bardem, consolidated a year later in Fernando Trueba's romantic comedy Belle Epoque, starring Penélope Cruz. However, her better and more serious roles appeared from the mid-nineties onwards, and she showed she was able to take on the most difficult parts, most notably in Malena es un nombre de tango and Black Tears. She also had time to do a few theatre productions in Catalonia, such as Anton Chekhov's "The Seagull", among other plays. She has a daughter, Violeta Rodríguez, named after her character in Belle Epoque, born from her romance with the director David Trueba. She is extremely interested in working in Iberamerican cinema and has already worked in Argentina. To date, she has shown she is an extremely versatile actress, such that she is known here in Spain as the actress for "impossible roles". Much now depends on whether she can be offered the right parts so that she can continue to develop as a serious character actress.
Lucio Fulci, born in Rome in 1927, remains as controversial in death as he was in life. A gifted craftsman with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of dark humor, Fulci achieved some measure of notoriety for his gore epics of the late 1970s and early 1980s, but respect was long in coming.
Abandoning his early career as a med student, Fulci entered the film industry as a screenwriter and assistant director, working alongside such directors as Steno and Riccardo Freda. Granted his debut feature in 1959, with a seldom seen comedy called I ladri (The Thieves), Fulci quickly established himself as a prolific craftsman adept at musicals, comedies and westerns.
In 1968, Fulci made his first mystery thriller, One on Top of the Other, and its success was sufficient to garner the backing for his pet project The Conspiracy of Torture. Based on a true story, the film details the trial of a young woman accused of murdering her sexually abusive father amid fear and superstition in 16th Century Italy. A scathing commentary on church and state, the film was the first to give voice to its director's passionate hatred of the Catholic Church. Predictably, the film was misunderstood, and Fulci's career was thrown into jeopardy. Deciding it would be best to leave his political feelings on the back burner, Fulci pressed on with a series of slickly commercial ventures.
In 1971 and 1972, Fulci re-established himself in the thriller arena, directing two excellent giallos: the haunting A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and the disturbing Don't Torture a Duckling. The former, with its vivid hallucinations involving murderous hippies and vivisected canines, and the latter, with its psychotic religious zealots and brutal child killings, were -- to say the least -- controversial. In particular, Don't Torture a Duckling, despite a huge box-office success, painted too graphic a portrait of perverted Catholicism, and Fulci's career was derailed... some would say, permanently. Blacklisted (albeit briefly) and despised in his homeland, Fulci at least found work in television and with the adventure genre with two financially successful Jack London 'White Fang' adventure movies in 1973 and 1974 which were Zanna Bianca, and Il ritorno di Zanna Bianca. Also during the mid and late 1970s, Fulci also directed two 'Spaghetti Westerns'; Four of the Apocalypse and Silver Saddle, (Silver Saddle) and another 'giallo'; The Psychic, as well as a few sex-comedies which include the political spoof The Senator Likes Women (aka: The Eroticist), and the vampire spoof Dracula in the Provinces (aka: Young Dracula), and the violent Mafia crime-drama Contraband.
In 1979, Fulci's film making career hit another high point with him breaking into the international market with Zombie, an in-name-only sequel to George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, which had been released in Italy as 'Zombi'. With its flamboyant imagery, graphic gore and moody atmospherics, the film established Fulci as a gore director par excellence. It was a role he accepted, but with some reservations.
Over the next three years, Fulci plied his trade with finesse and flair, rivaling even the popularity of his "opponent" Dario Argento, with such sanguine classics as City of the Living Dead and The Beyond. Frequently derided as sheer sensationalism, these films, as well as the reviled The New York Ripper are actually intelligently crafted, with sound commentaries on everything from American life to religion. High on vivid imagery and pure cinematic style, Fulci's films from this period of the early 1980s represent some of his most popular work in America and abroad, even if they do pale in comparison to his 1972 masterpiece and personal favorite Don't Torture a Duckling (an impossible act to follow, as it happens).
In the mid-1980s, at the peak of his most prolific period, Fulci became beset with personal problems and worsening health. Much of his work from the mid-1980s onward is disappointing, to say the least, but flashes of his brilliance can be seen in works like Murder-Rock: Dancing Death and Il miele del diavolo. A Cat in the Brain, one of Fulci's last works, remains one of his most original. Though strapped by budgetary restraints and marred by mediocre photography, the film is wickedly subversive and comical. With Fulci playing the lead role (as more or less himself, no less -- a harried horror director who fears that his obsession with sex and violence is a sign of mental disease), Fulci also proves to be an endearing and competent actor (he also has cameos in many of his films, frequently as a detective or doctor figure).
By the 1990s, Fulci went on a hiatus with film making for further health and personal reasons as the Italian cinema market went into a further decline. While in pre-production for the Dario Argento-produced The Wax Mask, Lucio Fulci passed away at his home on March 13, 1996 at the age of 68. A serious diabetic most of his adult life, he inexplicably forgot to take his insulin before retiring to bed; some consider his death a suicide, others consider it an accident, but his many fans all consider it to be a tragedy. Whether one considers him to be a hack or a genius, there's no denying that he was unique.
Sarah, who credits her striking looks to an eclectic mix of Australian and Sri Lankan was born Sarah Kathryn Roberts in Melbourne, Australia. Her youth was spent at a dance studio. At age 18, promptly after high school graduation, she left her Melbourne life for a career in dance in Tokyo, Japan. She got distracted and started deejaying and singing as a hobby with her best friend in the local clubs around town. They called themselves VAMP. This led to writing and recording a song ("Neon Lights") with Grammy Award winning American rapper Eve, known for such songs as "Let Me Blow Ya Mind", with Gwen Stefani. Paying her bills every month were her appearances in commercials. Acting was not high on the young dancer's priority list until she returned from Tokyo, aside from a series of commercials and appearances on Australian soap, Neighbours, not for lack of interest but for the fact that she was content with her life in Tokyo as it was. It was in 2012, that a new chapter began in her fairy tale life. Gregory Apps, a casting director known for such films as Mission Impossible II (2000), spotted Sarah. Shortly thereafter Sarah found herself with one very important audition... Felony (2013). She was determined she wanted the supporting role and after three call backs, beat out the competition.
Radames Pera was born in New York City in 1960. He moved to Hollywood with his mother in 1963 so she could pursue an acting career. In 1967 Radames was "discovered" by director Daniel Mann and cast as Stavros, the dying son of Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, in A Dream of Kings. He got an agent and he ended up guest-starring in many TV shows in the late '60s and throughout the '70s. Due to typecasting, and because he could "deliver the emotional goods" he portrayed a variety of troubled boys and young men. This reputation led to his landing the co-starring role of "Grasshopper" (the Young Caine) in the seminal TV series Kung Fu and later as the writer/poet John Jr. (and fiancé of Mary Ingalls) in Little House on the Prairie. In the summer of 1978 Radames began a three-year intensive study of acting and directing with Stella Adler, first in L.A. and then in New York City. While in New York he played Alan Bates' estranged son in the British feature Very Like a Whale. After returning to L.A. in 1981 he discovered the painful reality that so many child actors face: the almost impossible transition to an adult acting career (very different from this era of the paparazzi/E! mill). His last feature film role was with Charlie Sheen, Patrick Swayze and Lea Thompson as Russian radar tracking Sgt. Stepan Gorsky in John Milius' Red Dawn. His last TV role was as a Nazi vigilante youth-gang leader in The New Mike Hammer opposite Stacy Keach in 1986. In 1988 he started his own business designing and installing home theater and residential sound systems in Los Angeles working for several superstars (Depp, Cage, Downey, Jr., Theron, Stiller, and others. In 1993 he moved that business to Portland, Oregon for 10 years. He then lived in Austin, TX between 2004 and 2012 and continues in the same profession after moving to San Diego that same year - in between short filmmaking, surfing, and writing his memoirs.
Mark Cuban was born July 31, 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Shirley (Feldman) and Norton Cuban, an automobile upholsterer. He graduated from Indiana University in 1981 with a degree in Business. After college, Cuban moved to Dallas, Texas and created a computer consulting business called "MicroSolutions" which transformed him into a millionaire when he sold the business to CompuServe in 1990. In 1995, Mark and his business partner Todd Wagner began working on an idea (that later became known as Broadcast.com) in order to stream live events over the Internet. This innovative duo sold their company to Yahoo.com in 1999 for billions of dollars in Yahoo! stock. Mr. Cuban went on to purchase the NBA's Dallas Mavericks basketball franchise for $285 million on January 14, 2000, dramatically changing the team for the better. Mark's brilliant ability to lead this organization and mold the Mavericks into an evolving superior force led the team to reach the NBA Finals in 2006 for the first time in franchise history.
Beyond that, Cuban launched the high-definition television network "HDNet" in September of 2001 with Philip Garvin. HDNet provides the highest level of digital broadcast quality available. Mark and Todd Wagner established a media company named "2929" with holdings that cover many aspects of entertainment. This includes film production companies HDNet Films and 2929 Productions, movie distributor Magnolia Pictures, home video distributor Magnolia Home Entertainment, the Landmark Theatres chain, and a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment.
Mr. Cuban is famous for his bold, unambiguous views and mindset, which has a great deal to do with his perpetual success. He continues to challenge the status quo in the worlds of media and technology. In 2005, Mark announced he was financially backing the underdog in a U.S. Supreme Court "peer-to-peer" file-sharing case. Also in 2005, Cuban experimented with a "day-and-date" model when he produced the film Bubble which was released simultaneously across theatrical, television and home video platforms. His stated goal of collapsing the traditional release windows was intended to give consumers the choice in terms of exactly how they might be interested in viewing a film.
It's impossible to truly know what Mark Cuban will create, produce, buy, or sell next, but you can bet it will be considered "genius" just like the man himself.
|Stephen J. Cannell
Stephen J. Cannell was raised in Pasadena, California. His father ran an interior design firm. From an early age, Stephen suffered from undiagnosed dyslexia, which made it nearly impossible from him to do well in school, he either flunked or was held back many times. Even though one of the courses he had trouble with was English, he wrote in one of his yearbooks that it was his ambition to be an author. After a lot of work, he managed to graduate from high school and attend the University of Oregon. He worked for his father's design firm while he wrote television scripts and story ideas after work. He sold his first story ideas to Mission: Impossible and his first script to It Takes a Thief. His first steady job in television was as a story editor on Adam-12. He created a character named Jim Rockford for a script he wrote for the series Toma, a show he was producing at the time. That script was rejected by ABC, so it was rewritten and eventually became the pilot for the classic NBC series, The Rockford Files. From there, it becomes nearly impossible to list all of his work. He has either written or co-written over 300 television scripts, created or co-created over two dozen television series, formed a successful production company, wrote best-selling police novels and even acted in his own and other producers' shows. He has won an Emmy, two Writer's Guild Awards, two Edgar Award Nominations and has a star on the Hollywood Blvd. Walk of Fame. Despite his many accolades, his first love continued to be writing. A co-worker of his on "Rockford", writer and The Sopranos creator David Chase, was once quoted as saying no person he ever met seemed to love writing as much as Stephen J. Cannell.
Francine was born in the small mining town of Aurora, Minnesota to her parents, Frank and Sophie Yerich. When Francine was five, her family (including her younger sister, Deanne) moved to Cleveland, where she began to write short stories and take an interest in acting. At age nine, Francine made her theatrical debut in the Hodge Grammar School production of Cinderella, playing Griselda. Initially quite upset that she did not get the starring role, Francine ended up stealing the show with her performance as the evil stepsister. Right after the show, Francine ran into the audience and told her mother that she wanted to be an actress.
When Francine was twelve, the family moved back to Aurora, where she continued to perform in class plays, as well as writing, producing, directing and starring in a three-act play called Keen Teens or Campus Quarantine. Francine, displaying an entrepreneurial spirit at a young age, charged five cents admission to the show, and the whole town turned out for the production.
While studying journalism and drama at Aurora High School, Francine worked as the feature editor of the school newspaper, Aurora Borealis, and she won all of the school's declamation contests with her dramatic readings. Additionally, she was the baton-twirling majorette for the school band, and active in the 4-H club, where she won several blue ribbons for cooking in both county and state fairs. This proved to be valuable experience for Francine later on, when she would not only host, but do all of the gourmet cooking for dinner parties for some of Hollywood's biggest names.
At age seventeen, Francine won the Miss Eveleth contest (Eveleth being a nearby town), and became a runner-up in the Miss Minnesota contest, which was hosted by former Miss America BeBe Shopp. For the talent portion of the Miss Minnesota pageant, Francine, who was not afraid to be less than glamorous during a performance, donned some old clothes, removed her makeup, grayed her hair, and performed a reading of a monologue called "The Day That Was That Day" by Amy Lowell, in which she played a dual role of two elderly Southern women. BeBe Shopp encouraged Francine in her theatrical ambitions, and predicted that she would end up in Hollywood very soon. At this point, however, Hollywood was still a dream for Francine, who wanted desperately to leave Minnesota and make her mark in show business.
Moving to Minneapolis, she got a job modeling sweaters for New York-based Jane Richards Sportswear and began traveling throughout the U.S., ending up in San Francisco. After leaving Jane Richards, Francine began a modeling course at the House of Charm agency, which started her off on a very successful modeling career for all of the major department stores, including Macy's. Her modeling work got the attention of the producers of the Miss San Francisco beauty pageant, which she subsequently entered and was voted runner-up, but ended up taking over the title after the winner became too ill to participate. Soon after, Francine got a job as a showgirl at Bimbo's, a well-known San Francisco nightclub, which was highly disapproved of by Francine's modeling agency, but it turned out to be the right choice for Francine when she met Bimbo's headliner, singer Mary Meade French, who brought Francine to Hollywood and, later, got her signed with her first agent.
Arriving in Los Angeles, Francine once again found herself working as a showgirl at Frank Sennes' Moulin Rouge, a popular nightclub on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, where she performed in three shows a night, seven nights a week for six months. Tired of sharing a stage with elephants, pigeons, and horses, she moved on to pursue her acting career and began study with famed actor/teacher Jeff Corey. While performing in Corey's class, Francine was spotted by a theatrical producer, who cast her in a play called Whisper In God's Ear at the Circle Theatre. During this time, the same producer gave Francine her very first movie role, starring in Secret File: Hollywood, a film about the day-to-day operations of a sleazy Hollywood tabloid. The movie premiered in Francine's hometown of Aurora, which gave her the biggest thrill of her life as the whole town, the press, her family, friends, and even the high school band turned out at the airport to greet her with banners proclaiming, "Welcome Home, Francine!"
Francine's first big break came when Jerry Lewis cast her in his film, It's Only Money, in which she played a tantalizing sexpot, a role which brought her a tremendous amount of publicity. This led to Lewis hiring her for five more of his films, including The Nutty Professor, The Patsy, The Disorderly Orderly, The Family Jewels, and Cracking Up, in which she played a fifteenth century marquise. Other notable film appearances include Bedtime Story (with Marlon Brando and David Niven), Tickle Me (with Elvis Presley), Cannon For Cordoba (with George Peppard), and science fiction cult films Curse of the Swamp Creature, Mutiny From Outer Space, and Space Probe Taurus. Francine's most popular film was the 1973 cult classic The Doll Squad, where she played Sabrina Kincaid, leader of an elite team of gorgeous female assassins who attempt to stop a diabolical madman from destroying the world with a deadly plague virus. Francine also delivered a stunning performance as Marilyn Monroe in an otherwise lackluster film, Marilyn: Alive and Behind Bars. (Film critic Tom Weaver has been quoted as saying that Francine's performances often rise above the low-budget films she's been cast in.) More recently, Francine played Nicolas Cage's mother-in-law in The Family Man.
Francine has also had tremendous success in television, with appearances on Route 66, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip, My Favorite Martian, Burke's Law, Perry Mason, Batman, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., Lost In Space, It Takes A Thief, Green Acres, The Wild Wild West, Ironside, I Dream Of Jeannie, Love American Style, Mannix, Bewitched, Adam-12, Mission: Impossible, Kojak, Columbo, Matlock, The King Of Queens, and Las Vegas, among many others. Francine's personal favorites among her TV roles include her portrayal of nineteenth century British actress Lily Langtry in the "Picture Of A Lady" episode of Death Valley Days, and her role as the princess opposite Shirley Temple (one of Francine's childhood idols) in NBC's presentation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." One of Francine's other favorite roles was that of high-class prostitute and blackmailer Lorraine Temple on Days Of Our Lives.
While Francine was enjoying great success as a film and television actress, she was also making a name for herself as a fitness/nutrition expert and gourmet cook. She made many appearances on television demonstrating her culinary skills, and many of her recipes, as well as her exercise programs, were published in national health magazines. Francine also became known as one of Hollywood's leading hostesses, cooking for such celebrities as Clint Eastwood, Rex Harrison, Vincent Price, Regis Philbin, Jean Stapleton, Neil Sedaka, James Arness, Glenn Ford, and Peter Ustinov.
Francine continues to act in films and on television. Two recent TV appearances include Hot In Cleveland (as British matriarch Lady Natalie), and Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventures (as Aunt Bitsy). She is also keeping quite busy working on her autobiography, something her fans are looking forward to with great interest. In 1996, she met director Vincent Sherman (Mr. Skeffington, Adventures Of Don Juan, The Young Philadelphians), and was his companion until his death in 2006. Francine has never married - she once said, "Like Cinderella, I always wanted to marry the handsome prince...but they don't make glass slippers in size ten!"
Easily the best known actor/martial artist during the 1980s ninja cinema craze, Kosugi was a proficient martial artist & skilled weapons performer which was highlighted in his several starring roles.
Kosugi grew up as the youngest child and only son of a Tokyo fisherman, and began his martial arts training at the age of five studying karate at a local dojo. Sho expanded upon his martial arts studies, also learning judo & kendo, and by his 18th birthday he had achieved the status of All Japan Karate Champion. Intent on entering the world of international finance, Sho left Japan at only 19 years old to study and reside in Los Angeles, USA where he achieved a Bachelor's Degree in Economics, yet he also remained focused on constantly improving his martial arts skills. Throughout the early 1970s, Sho competed in hundred's of martial arts tournaments & demonstrations including winning the L.A. Open in 1972, 1973 & 1974. In addition, he also met a young Chinese woman named Shook, who was eventually to become his wife and mother of his children, plus Sho had his first foray into the cinema with part's in a minor Taiwanese film titled "The Killers", and then in a Korean production, shot in Los Angeles known as "The Stranger From Korea".
Sho's big break came in 1981 when karate legend Mike Stone pitched a screenplay under the title of "Dance of Death" to Cannon Films. Cannon was at the time, a lackluster production house that had two years prior been purchased by film producer cousins Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus. The innovative cousins quickly turned Cannon into a profitable key player in the independently produced film market by latching onto topics popular to the youth market, having rapid shooting schedules, relatively unknown casts and tight budgets. Menehem Golan once remarked that he believed it was impossible to lose money on a film shot for the US market with a budget of under $5 million!!
Cannon Films backed Stone's screenplay and the title was changed to _Enter The Ninja (1981)_ starring Franco Nero, Christopher George & Susan George with filming completed in the Phillipines in early 1981. Sho's role was as the evil black ninja "Hasegawa", and his icy screen presence and martial arts skills grabbed the attention of martial arts film fans, and ignited the huge fascination with ninjitsu that engulfed martial arts for the next decade. With the financial success of their first "ninja" film, Cannon readily backed a further ninja movie, only this time Sho was elevated to being the star of the film and had become a good guy!! Revenge of the Ninja was shot in Salt Lake City, Utah in late 1982 and featured Sho as a ninja master forced to flee from Japan to America with his only surviving son, after the rest of his family are butchered by opposing ninjas's. Launching into an art importing business with an American business partner, Sho finds out too late that his partner is also a ninja, importing drugs hidden in Sho's Japanese dolls. The second film outstripped the first on box office takings, and Sho Kosugi was now the hottest star in martial arts cinema!
Based on those booming ticket sales, Cannon were once again happy to back another ninja movie, and in late 1983 shooting commenced in Phoenix, Arizona on Ninja III: The Domination. The plot line however, was a rather strange affair, with the spirit of dead ninja possessing the body of dance instructor Christie (played by Solid Gold dancer Lucinda Dickey)......it was a misguided attempt by Cannon to combine ninjutsu with the 80s break dancing craze and horror movies about possession. None the less, fans didn't seem to mind, and the third installment in Cannon's ninja trilogy did reasonable business at the box office.
Kosugi then starred in the short lived action TV series _"The Master" (1984)_ alongside legendary screen bad guy 'Lee van Cleef', before going onto star in several more ninja films, including taking on Mafia thugs in the bloody Pray for Death, stopping terrorists as a ninja commando in Nine Deaths of the Ninja and as a ninja secret agent taking on "the Muscles from Brussels" Jean-Claude Van Damme in the military adventure Black Eagle.
However, by 1990 the US movie going public had grown tired of a decade of black clad ninja's hurling shuriken's and swords at each other, and Sho Kosugi left Hollywood to venture back to Japan where he became involved in numerous TV productions again centered around martial arts. In 1992, Kosugi starred in his biggest budgeted movie to date, a samurai epic titled _Journey of Honor (1992)_ also featuring screen legends Toshirô Mifune and Christopher Lee. Since then, Kosugi has remained very active in Japanese TV, was involved in contributing martial arts choreography for the highly popular Sony Playstation game "Tenchu; Stealth Assassins", plus he returned to Hollywood in the late 1990s to set up the Sho Kosugi Institute to assist Asian actors wishing to break into the mainstream US film market.
Undeniably, many of the ninja films featuring Sho Kosugi were marred by low budgets & cheap production....however his superb martial arts skills and captivating on screen presence have assured him a unique place in the history of martial arts cinema, and his name has become synonymous with the art of ninjitsu.
Simply he was, and for many people still is, the greatest football player of the world. Not a single thing was impossible for him: he won three World Cup with his National Team of Brazil (Sweden 1958, Chile 1962, Mexico 1970). He scored more than 1.200 goals during his long career (more than 1.300 official matches). He also won many national Leagues and Continental Cup ("Copa Libertadores"), with his team, the Santos Futebol Clube (of Brazilian 'São Paulo' State). In the Sixties he was nick-named "O Rei" (The King) and in the Seventies 95 peoples out of 100 knew his name. ("Wow, man, you're popular!" said Robert Redford, some years ago, after seeing Pelé give dozens of autographs in New York while he was not asked for one). In the late 1960's, when he and his team, Santos, went to Nigeria to play a few friendly matches, the ongoing civil war stopped for the duration of his visit. He finished his career in the New York Cosmos, in 1977. Now he is a United Nation's Ambassador and has been also Minister for Sports in his country, but, for the people who saw him make magics with his right foot, he is, now and forever, the biggest footballer in the world, and the one and only "King".
Born in Mexico City, Mexico on December 12, 1956, Ana Alicia became the third of four children to Carlos Celestino Ortiz and Alicia Torres Ortiz. She grew up in El Paso, Texas from age 6 after the passing of her father. There, she lived with her grandmother, widowed mother, her uncle Louie and three siblings in a house her father had purchased for her grandmother.
Ana Alicia received a full scholarship to attend the prestigious Wellesley College in Massachusetts. Upon arrival, Ana Alicia auditioned and won the lead role for Jules Feiffer's "Crawling Arnold". On summer break after her freshmen year, Ana Alicia auditioned for The Adobe Horseshoe Dinner Theatre outside El Paso, Texas. The theatre offered her a position as a recurring actress in all feature productions. The opportunity would allow her to work with name actors from Hollywood and New York and receive a large weekly salary. She accepted the offer and also acquired her actor's equity card through her term. She left Wellesley and finished her education at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Ana Alicia spent the next three years, performing in main stage productions at UTEP as well as having significant roles in the Adobe Horseshoe repertoire.
After graduation, Ana Alicia moved to Los Angeles and struggled to attain success as an actress while studying for her law school entrance exam. Six months later, her big acting break came when she won the role of Alicia Nieves on ABC's Ryan's Hope. According to Ana Alicia, working on the show in New York was exciting - not only because it was an acting job, but because she was a fan of the the show. Although the role was a secondary one - Nieves had romances with policeman Bob Reid and Dr. Pat Ryan. It provided her with much-needed exposure.
After 15 months, Ana Alicia left the show to become one of the last Universal Studios contract players. She moved to Los Angeles and in addition to her work as a contract player, she attended Southwestern University Law School at night. As she acquired larger roles that required her to leave town, it became impossible to continue the grueling schedule of acting during the day and studying for school at night. She had to make a choice so she sat down and wrote the pros and cons of each decision and when she realized her passion was to act, she made the very difficult decision to drop out of law school. Once she was focused, her career began to open up quickly.
She landed several roles on major television films and series' episodes. Within a year, the Universal terminated their contract player department. It was the end of an era. Soon after, her teacher Milton Katselis suggested she stop playing virginal roles and turn to roles such as the tortured, sexually deprived Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Exploring this previously undiscovered part of her acting range, Ana Alicia pursued an audition for Falcon Crest. In the room was a female casting director Doris Sabbagh along with Earl Hamner, Robert McCollough, and Larry Elikann. Ana Alicia's job was to seduce Lorenzo, played in the room by Doris. As Ana Alicia ran her fingers up Doris' stockings, conservative Southerner Earl Hamner stood up and stopped the scene, and said, "Thank you very much. That was wonderful." Less than an hour later, Ana Alicia's agent called to let her know she had won the role of Melissa Agretti.
Ana Alicia was on the show for seven years, playing the ambitious, scheming Melissa Agretti, and playing opposite Jane Wyman as Angela Channing and a plethora of handsome men. In October of 1988, Ana Alicia was written out of Falcon Crest, and the show subsequently dropped considerably in the ratings. In a last ditch attempt to revitalize the show, she was brought back to the show later that season as a look-a-like of Melissa's, named Samantha Ross. The guest stint was short-lived and Ana Alicia quickly moved on to other projects, including the TV movies Miracle Landing and Rio Shannon, as well as the feature film, Romero. Ana Alicia has also devoted much of her time to various animal and human causes. She was the national spokesperson for the Humane Society, and has presented awards promoting Hispanic achievements in the media on behalf of the Golden Eagle Awards. Lorenzo Lamas was co-presenter.
In 1991, while in France hosting an episode of The World's Greatest Stunts for GRB Entertainment, she met and fell madly in love with her now husband Gary Benz. In 1996, after finishing the pilot for Acapulco Heat, Ana Alicia made the decision to leave her acting career and invest in being a mother to her two young children Cathryn and Michael, her new passion in life.
In March 2015, having raised her children and with her youngest in college, she returned to her first love but as a producer opening up her own production company Quebrada Entertainment: its purpose is to develop scripted and unscripted film and television that reaches a culturally and demographically diverse audience across all genres through the development and execution of quality storytelling.
A blessing or a curse? Every silver lining has a cloud, yet sadly Andrew Roy Gibb had to find that out the hard way. Born the fifth and final child to parents Barbara (Born 2 November 1920) and Hugh Gibb (Born 15 January 1916) Andy grew up with his three older siblings dominating the music charts, collectively known as The Bee Gees. Performing at clubs from the age of 13, it was suspected that Andy was to join The Bee Gees, yet Andy always wanted to be his own personality.
Victimised at the many schools he went to by other students who were convinced he had a superiority complex due to his famous brothers, Andy escaped into his music. But it all came too fast and too soon. Andy was performing and making music by the time he was 20 years old, and it was virtually impossible to break away from his brothers shadows when older brother Barry wrote 90% of his songs, and the Bee Gees sang back up vocals on half of his songs. Andy got it all too fast, and his life was intermingled with years of depression that he tried to stay away with booze, drugs and women. While they all may have provided temporary relief, Andy was plagued by depression and the fact that no matter what he did, he could never escape his heritage. Toward the end of his life, Andy vowed to change and reform. He planned to clean up his act and reform. he was dabbling in stage musicals and TV, and he had a new album planned for release. On his 30th birthday he promised the people most dear to him: He was a changed man. Sadly Andy's heart and Andy's body were two very different things, and five days after his 30th birthday his body finally succumbed to the seemingly endless years of alcohol abuse. Andy may have been dead for almost two decades, but his music lives on. Andy Gibb was a legendary music figure, and when listening to some of his hit songs, such as '(Our Love) Don't throw it all away', 'man on fire' and 'I just want to be your everything' you don't hear death, you hear life.
|Mark Edward Fischbach
Perhaps one of the icons of famous Internet and YouTube stars is Markiplier. As of December 2015, his channel has over 11 million subscribers, over 3 billion total video views, and is the 27th most subscribed channel on YouTube. Fischbach specializes in Let's Play gameplay commentary videos and indie games, commonly of survival horror and action video games.
Mark Edward Fischbach (born (born June 28, 1989), known by his Internet persona and main YouTube username Markiplier, is an American Internet and YouTube personality star. Originally from O'Oahu, Hawaii, Fischbach began his career in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Generally, he is a YouTube star who gained fame as Markiplier, uploading videos of him and his friends playing and commenting on video games. His channel has earned over 11 million subscribers. Originally from Oahu, Hawaii, Fischbach began his career in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is based in Los Angeles, California.
He was born on June 28th, 1989 in Oahu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, Hawaii, United States and has American and Korean ancestry. Fischbach was born on an air force base stationed in O'Oahu, Hawaii. His father served in the military where he met his mother of Korean origin. His family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally, Fischbach studied to become a medical engineer at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out of college to pursue his YouTube career. Before his YouTube fame, He originally aspired to become a voice actor.
Starting his Internet web video YouTube career, Fischbach first joined YouTube on May 26, 2012, creating a channel under the username "Markiplier". Fischbach's first series was a playthrough of the video game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. After playing several other game series, including Penumbra and Dead Space, YouTube banned Fischbach's AdSense account. Though he appealed to YouTube as a last effort, the appeal was ultimately lost. Because of this, a new and current channel was created and dubbed MarkiplierGAME. In 2014, Fischbach's YouTube Channel, Markiplier, was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #61.
Since then, he has collaborated with many others, including Jacksepticeye, LordMinion777, Muyskerm, PewDiePie, Matthias, GameGrumps, Cyndago, Yamimash, Jacksfilms, CaptainSparklez and LixianTV, as well as acting appearances in TomSka's asdfmovie series (voice only) and in Smosh: The Movie. He has also played many games on his channel, including the Five Nights at Freddy's series, Garry's Mod, Happy Wheels, Surgeon Simulator 2013, Minecraft (while intoxicated), SCP - Containment Breach, HuniePop, SOMA, Until Dawn, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, To the Moon, The Evil Within, Alien: Isolation, Among the Sleep, Grand Theft Auto V, and many more. He has also done "Impossible Challenges" (spicy peppers, painful trials, etc.), sketch comedy with Matthias and Cyndago, and played horror spin-off parodies from games like Slender: The Eight Pages and Five Nights at Freddy's. At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con, Fischbach appeared on a panel with Red Giant Entertainment including Benny R. Powell (Wayward Sons), David Campiti (Pandora's Blogs), Mort Castle (Darchon), David Lawrence, and Brian Augustyn. He also co-hosted the 2015 South By Southwest (SXSW) Gaming Awards with The Legend of Korra voice actor Janet Varney. Fischbach and fellow Youtuber Jenna Mae appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in September of 2014 following backlash that Kimmel received regarding jokes he had made about YouTube and Let's Play videos. Fischbach joined the Red Giant Entertainment board in November 2014. He was featured in Youtube Rewind 2015. Fischbach is often referred to as one of the most kind, generous, and down-to-earth YouTubers. He has done many charity livestreams, donating to charities such as Doctors Without Borders and to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, located in his hometown. Fischbach also enjoys keeping a close relationship with his viewers, often going to conventions and interacting with them on social media. He also highly praises his community's support, taking much pride in how his viewers care about each other as well as him.
In his Cyndago collaboration, Fischbach made many comedy videos together with the YouTube sketch comedy and music channel, Cyndago. The channel was founded in 2012 by Daniel Kyre and Ryan Magee in South Carolina, stemming from Magee's post-high school film work. Matt Watson from Maker Studios later joined Cyndago after they moved to Los Angeles. Their work was noted for having unexpected endings and dark, often disturbing, humor. Following Kyre's attempted suicide on September 16, 2015 and subsequent death two days later, the remaining members of Cyndago chose to disband. At the time of their disbandment, the group had done forty sketches and fourteen original songs, many of them featuring Fischbach. Watson and Magee then decided to work on Watson's own comedy and music channel, Kids w/ Problems, and they continue to collaborate with Fischbach. After the death of Daniel Kyre and disbandment of Cyndago, Fischbach temporarily halted uploads and went on hiatus from September 17 to October 5, 2015.
On March 23 2015, he had emergency surgery and posted a video from his hospital bed which received over 5 million views. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and mark returned to vlogging afterwards.