The beat goes on ... and on ... and as strong as ever for this superstar entertainer who has well surpassed the four-decade mark while improbably transforming herself from an artificial, glossy "flashionplate" singer into a serious, Oscar-worthy, dramatic actress ... and back again! With more ups and downs than the 2008 Dow Jones Industrial Average, Cher managed to rise like a phoenix from the ashes each time she was down and counted out, somehow re-inventing herself with every changing decade and finding herself on top all over again. As a singer Cher is the only performer to have earned "top 10" hit singles in four consecutive decades; as an actress, she and Barbra Streisand are the only two Best Actress Oscar winners to have a #1 hit song on the Billboard charts. At age 62, Cher has yet to decide to get completely off her fabulous roller coaster ride, although she has threatened to on occasion.
The daughter of a truck driver, John Sarkisian, and an Arkansas-born mother, Georgia Holt (the former Jackie Jean Crouch), Cher was born in El Centro, California, on May 20, 1946. She has a sister, Georganne LaPiere. Cher is of Armenian heritage on her father's side, and of English and German, with more distant Irish, Dutch, and French, heritage on her mother's side. The father deserted the family when Cher was young, and she was raised by their mother who later married Gilbert LaPiere, a banker. Cher's mother, who had aspirations of being an actress and model herself, paid for Cher's acting classes despite her daughter having undiagnosed dyslexia, which acutely affected her studies. Frustrated, Cher quit Fresno High School at the age of 16 in search of her dream. At that time, she had a brief relationship with actor Warren Beatty.
Meeting the quite older (by 11 years) Sonny Bono in 1962 changed the 16-year-old's life forever. Bono was working for record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood at the time and managed to persuade Spector to hire Cher as a session singer. As such, she went on to record backup on such Spector classics as "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Be My Baby". The couple's relationship eventually shifted from soul mates to lovers and she and Sonny married on October 27, 1964.
At first Cher sang solo with Sonny behind the scenes writing, arranging and producing her songs. The records went nowhere. Sonny then decided they needed to perform as a team so they put out two songs in 1964 under the recording names of Caesar and Cleo ("The Letter" and "Baby Don't Go"). Again, no success. The changing of their names, however, seemed to make a difference and in 1965, they officially took on the music world as Sonny & Cher and earned instant rewards.
The now 19-year-old Cher and 30-year-old Sonny became huge hits following the release of their first album, "Look at Us" (summer, 1965), which contained the hit single "I Got You Babe". With the song catapulting to #1, they decided to re-release their earlier single "Baby Don't Go", and it also raced up the charts to #8. An assembly line of mild hits dotted the airwaves over the next year or two, culminating in the huge smash hit "The Beat Goes On" (#6, 1967). Between 1965 and 1972 Sonny & Cher charted a total of six "Top 10" hits.
The kooky couple became icons of the late '60s "flower power" scene, wearing garish garb and outlandish hairdos and makeup. However, they found a way to make it trendy and were embraced around the world. TV musical variety and teen pop showcases relished their contrasting styles -- the short, excitable, mustachioed, nasal-toned simpleton and the taller, exotic, unflappable fashion maven. They found a successful formula with their repartee, which became a central factor in their live concert shows, even more than their singing. With all this going on, Sonny still endeavored to promote Cher as a solo success. Other than such hits with "All I Really Want to Do" (#16) and "Bang, Bang" (#2), she struggled to find a separate identity. Sonny even arranged film projects for her but Good Times, an offbeat fantasy starring the couple and directed by future powerhouse William Friedkin, and Cher's serious solo effort Chastity both flickered out and died a quick death.
By the end of the 1960s, Sonny & Cher's career had stumbled as they witnessed the American pop culture experience a drastic evolutionary change. The couple maintained their stage act and all the while Sonny continued to polish it up in a shrewd gamble for TV acceptance. While Sonny on stage played the ineffectual object of Cher's stinging barbs on stage, he was actually the highly motivated mastermind off stage and, amazingly enough, his foresight and chutzpah really paid off. Although the couple had lost favor with the new 70s generation, Sonny encouraged TV talent scouts to catch their live act.
The network powers-that-be saw potential in the duo as they made a number of guest TV appearances in specials and on variety and talk shows and in what was essentially "auditioning" for their own TV vehicle. The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was given the green light as a summer replacement series and was an instant sensation when it earned its own time spot that fall season. The show received numerous Emmy Award nominations during its run and the couple became stars all over again. Their lively, off-the-wall comedy sketch routines, her outré Bob Mackie fashions and their harmless, edgy banter were the highlights of the hour-long program. Audiences took strongly to the couple who appeared to have a deep-down sturdy relationship. Their daughter Chaz Bono occasionally added to the couple's loving glow on the show. Cher's TV success also generated renewed interest in her as a solo recording artist and she came up with three #1 hits during this time ("Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves," "Half-Breed" and "Dark Lady").
Behind the scenes, though, it was a different story. A now-confident Cher yearned to be free of husband Sonny's Svengali-like control over her life and career. The marriage split at the seams in 1974 and they publicly announced their separation. The show, which had earned Cher a Golden Globe Award, took a fast tumble as the separation and divorce grew more acrimonious. Eventually they both tried to launch their own solo variety shows, but both failed to even come close to their success as a duo. Audiences weren't interested in Cher without Sonny, and vice versa.
In late June of 1975, only three days after the couple's divorce, Cher married rock musician Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band. That marriage imploded rather quickly amid reports of out-of-control drug use on his part. They were divorced by 1977 with only one bright outcome -- son Elijah Allman.
In 1976 Sonny and Cher attempted to "make up" again, this time to the tune of a second The Sonny and Cher Show. Audiences, however, did not accept the "friendly" divorced couple after so much tabloid nastiness. After the initial curiosity factor wore off, the show was canceled amid poor ratings. Moreover, the musical variety show format was on its way out as well. Once again, another decade was looking to end badly for Cher.
Cher found a mild success with the "top 10" disco hit "Take Me Home" in 1979, but not much else. Not one to be counted out, however, the ever resourceful singer decided to lay back and focus on acting instead. At age 36, Cher made her Broadway debut in 1982 in what was essentially her first live acting role with "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean". Centering around a reunion of girlfriends from an old James Dean fan club, her performance was critically lauded. This earned her the right to transfer her stage triumph to film alongside Karen Black and Sandy Dennis. Cher earned critical raves for Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, her first film role since 1969.
With film #2 came a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for her portrayal of a lesbian toiling in a nuclear parts factory in Silkwood, starring Meryl Streep and Kurt Russell. This in turn was followed by her star turn in Mask as the blunt, footloose mother of a son afflicted with a rare disease (played beautifully by Eric Stoltz). Once again Cher received high praise and copped a win from the Cannes Film Festival for her poignant performance.
Fully accepted by this time as an actress of high-caliber, she integrated well into the Hollywood community. Proving that she could hold up a film outright, she was handed three hit vehicles to star in: The Witches of Eastwick, Suspect, and Moonstruck, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Along with all this newfound Hollywood celebrity came interest in her as a singer and recording artist again. "If I Could Turn Back Time (#3) and the Peter Cetera duet "After All" (#6) placed her back on the Billboard charts.
During the 1990s Cher continued to veer back and forth among films, TV specials and expensively mounted concerts. In January of 1998, tragedy struck when Cher's ex-husband Sonny Bono, who had forsaken an entertainment career for California politics and became a popular Republican congressman in the process, was killed in a freak skiing accident. That same year the duo received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contribution to television. In the meantime an astounding career adrenalin rush came in the form of a monstrous, disco-flavored hit single ("Believe"). The song became a #1 hit and the same-titled album the biggest hit of her career. "Believe" reached #1 in 23 different countries.
Having little to prove anymore to anyone, Cher decided to embark on a "Farewell Tour" in the early part of the millennium and, after much stretching, her show finally closed in 2005 in Los Angeles. It didn't take long, however, for Cher to return from this self-imposed exile. In 2008, she finalized a deal with Las Vegas' Caesars Palace for the next three years to play the Colosseum. Never say never. Cher returned to films, co-starring opposite Christina Aguilera in Burlesque.
In other facets of her life, Cher has been involved with many humanitarian groups and charity efforts over the years, particularly her work as National Chairperson and Honorary Spokesperson of the Children's Craniofacial Association, which was inspired by her work in Mask.
Paula Patton was born in Los Angeles, California, to Joyce (Vanraden) and Charles Patton. Her father is African-American and her mother, who is caucasian, has German, English, and Dutch ancestry. Her family lived across the street from the 20th Century Fox lot when she was growing up and she was a fan of films from her earliest years. Her mother, who also appreciated good films, was a schoolteacher, and her father was a lawyer. Paula claims that as a girl she would escape by "pretending to be someone else" so it was not a surprise that she acted in high school plays at Hamilton Magnet Arts High School. Her favorite role was that of "Abigail" in "The Crucible". However, she went on to study film at the University of Southern California in a summer program, and won a 3-month assignment making documentaries for PBS. This led to her working as a production assistant for TV documentaries, and also for Howie Mandel's talk show. She progressed to actually producing documentary segments for Medical Diaries airing on Discovery Health Channel. Paula now professes that she liked what she was doing, but her dream remained the same as when she was small so she took acting lessons and shifted gears to become a performer. She was almost immediately successful and, within three years, had played parts in major features, Hitch and Idlewild and the female lead in Deja Vu opposite Denzel Washington.
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of study, including computer science, criminology, and psychology, before the theater department, with its freedom of emotional expression, drew him in.
However, Renner recognized the potential in acting as much through the local police academy as through drama classes. During his second year at Modesto Junior College, Renner role-played a domestic disturbance perpetrator as part of a police-training exercise for an easy $50. Deciding to shift his focus away from schoolwork, Renner left college and moved to San Francisco to study at the American Conservatory Theater. From there he moved to Hawaii and, in 1993, to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Renner devoted himself to theater, most notably starring in and co-directing the critically acclaimed "Search and Destroy." He pursued other projects during this time as well, landing his first film role in 1995's Senior Trip. After several commercials and supporting roles in television movies and series, Renner captured the attention of critics with his gripping, complex portrayal of the infamous serial killer in the 2002 film Dahmer. Renner's performance, which earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination, is especially remarkable for painting a humane and sympathetic, yet deeply disturbing, portrait of the title character.
In 2003, Renner took a break from small indie films to work on his first commercially successful movie, S.W.A.T., with Colin Farrell. In 2005, he played the leading role in Neo Ned as an institutionalized white supremacist in love with a black girl, winning the Palm Beach International Film Festival's best actor award. Renner's pivotal supporting roles in 2005's 12 and Holding and North Country earned him accolades from critics, and his 2007 turn in Take garnered him the best actor award at California's Independent Film Festival. Also in 2007, Renner played a leading role in the horror film 28 Weeks Later as well as a supporting role in the underrated Western epic The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, with Casey Affleck, Brad Pitt, and Sam Rockwell.
Renner's depiction of Jeffrey Dahmer in 2002 caught the attention of director Kathryn Bigelow, and, in 2008, she cast him in his most famous role as Sergeant First Class William James in The Hurt Locker. Renner's performance as a single-minded bomb specialist scored him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. He also earned best actor nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and the BAFTA Awards, as well as wins in this category from several film critics groups.
In 2009, Renner starred in the short-lived TV series, The Unusuals, and in 2010 he played the chilling but loyal criminal Jem in Ben Affleck bank-heist thriller The Town. In the fall of 2010, Renner began filming Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. He has also since starred in The Avengers, American Hustle, and Kill the Messenger.
Renner's strengths as an actor derive not only from his expressive eyes but also from his ability to thoroughly embody the characters he portrays. His visceral depiction of these individuals captivates audiences and empowers him to steal scenes in many of his films, even when playing a minor role. Renner gravitates toward flawed, complicated, three-dimensional characters that allow him to explore new territory within himself.
In addition to his work as an actor, Renner continues to cultivate his lifelong love of music. A singer, songwriter, and musician, he performed with the band Sons of Ben early in his career. Scenes in Love Comes to the Executioner, North Country, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford briefly showcase Renner's singing talents.
Despite traveling the world for film roles and, recently, as a United Nations Goodwill Peace Ambassador to raise awareness for mine-clearing efforts in Afghanistan, Renner remains close to his roots. In 2010, Modesto Junior College presented him the Distinguished Alumnus award in recognition of his body of work as an actor. He also headlined at a benefit for Modesto's Gallo Center for the Arts in the fall of 2010.
Renner maintains a sense of humility and gratitude, even in the wake of his recent successes and recognition. He keeps himself grounded by renovating and restoring old and rundown iconic Hollywood homes, an enterprise he began back in his early days in Los Angeles. He values loyalty and a sense of both age and history, and enjoys the opportunity to help conserve these qualities in a town that favors the young and the new.
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor.
James Eugene Carrey was born on January 17, 1962 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, and is the youngest of four children of Kathleen (Oram), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey, an accountant and jazz musician. The family surname was originally "Carré", and he has French-Canadian, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. Carrey was an incurable extrovert from day one. As a child, he performed constantly, for anyone who would watch, and even mailed his résumé to The Carol Burnett Show at age 10. In junior high, he was granted a few precious minutes at the end of each school day to do stand-up routines for his classmates (provided, of course, that he kept a lid on it the rest of the day).
Carrey's early adolescence took a turn for the tragic, however, when the family was forced to relocate from their cozy town of Newmarket to Scarborough (a Toronto suburb). They all took security and janitorial jobs in the Titan Wheels factory, Jim working 8-hour shifts after school let out (not surprisingly, his grades and morale both suffered). When they finally deserted the factory, the family lived out of a Volkswagen camper van until they could return to Toronto.
Carrey made his stand-up debut in Toronto after his parents and siblings got back on their feet. He made his (reportedly awful) professional stand-up debut at Yuk-Yuk's, one of the many local clubs that would serve as his training ground in the years to come. He dropped out of high school, worked on his celebrity impersonations (among them Michael Landon and James Stewart), and in 1979 worked up the nerve to move to Los Angeles. He finessed his way into a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he impressed Rodney Dangerfield so much that the veteran comic signed him as an opening act for an entire season. During this period Carrey met and married waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter (Jane). The couple would later go through a very messy divorce, freeing Carrey up for a brief second marriage to actress Lauren Holly. Wary of falling into the lounge act lifestyle, Carrey began to look around for other performance outlets. He landed a part as a novice cartoonist in the short-lived sitcom The Duck Factory; while the show fell flat, the experience gave Carrey the confidence to pursue acting more vigorously.
Carrey also worked on breaking into film around this time. He scored the male lead in the ill-received Lauren Hutton vehicle Once Bitten, and had a supporting role in Peggy Sue Got Married, before making a modest splash with his appearance as the alien Wiploc in Earth Girls Are Easy. Impressed with Carrey's lunacy, fellow extraterrestrial Damon Wayans made a call to his brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans, who was in the process of putting together the sketch comedy show In Living Color. Carrey joined the cast and quickly made a name for himself with outrageous acts (one of his most popular characters, psychotic Fire Marshall Bill, was attacked by watchdog groups for dispensing ill- advised safety tips).
Following his time on In Living Color, Carrey's transformation from TV goofball to marquee headliner happened within the course of a single year. He opened 1994 with a starring turn in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a film that cashed in on his extremely physical brand of humor (the character's trademark was talking out his derrière). Next up was the manic superhero movie The Mask, which had audiences wondering just how far Carrey's features could stretch.
Finally, in December 1994, he hit theaters as a loveable dolt in the Farrelly brothers' Dumb & Dumber (his first multi-million dollar payday). Now a box-office staple, Carrey brought his manic antics onto the set of Batman Forever, replacing Robin Williams as The Riddler. He also filmed the follow-up to his breakthrough, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, and inked a deal with Sony to star in The Cable Guy (replacing Chris Farley) for a cool $20 million--at the time, that was the biggest up-front sum that had been offered to any comic actor. The movie turned out to be a disappointment, both critically and financially, but Carrey bounced back the next year with the energetic hit Liar Liar. Worried that his comic shtick would soon wear thin, Carrey decided to change course.
In 1998, he traded in the megabucks and silly grins to star in Peter Weir's The Truman Show playing a naive salesman who discovers that his entire life is the subject of a TV show, Carrey demonstrated an uncharacteristic sincerity that took moviegoers by surprise. He won a Golden Globe for the performance, and fans anticipated an Oscar nomination as well--when it didn't materialize, Carrey lashed out at Academy members for their narrow-minded selection process. Perhaps inspired by the snub, Carrey threw himself into his next role with abandon. After edging out a handful of other hopefuls (including Edward Norton) to play eccentric funnyman Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon, Carrey disappeared into the role, living as Kaufman -- and his blustery alter-ego Tony Clifton -- for months (Carrey even owned Kaufman's bongo drums, which he'd used during his audition for director Milos Forman). His sometimes uncanny impersonation was rewarded with another Golden Globe, but once again the Academy kept quiet.
An indignant Carrey next reprised his bankable mania for the Farrelly brothers in Me, Myself & Irene, playing a state trooper whose Jekyll and Hyde personalities both fall in love with the same woman (Renée Zellweger). Carrey's real-life persona wound up falling for her too--a few months after the film wrapped, the pair announced they were officially a couple. By then, Carrey had already slipped into a furry green suit to play the stingy antihero of Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Although Carrey maintains a foothold in the comedy world with films such as Bruce Almighty and Mr. Popper's Penguins, he is also capable of turning in nuanced dramatic performances, as demonstrated in films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the drama/comedy Yes Man. In 2013, he costars with Steve Carell in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented actress Tilda Swinton have been appreciated by a more international audience of late.
She was born Katherine Mathilda Swinton on November 5, 1960, in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian, and her father, Major-General Sir John Swinton, an army officer, was English-born. Her ancestry is Scottish, Northern Irish, and English, including a long tapestry of prominent Scottish ancestors. Born into a patrician military family, she was educated at an English and a Scottish boarding school. Tilda subsequently studied Social and Political Science at Cambridge University and graduated in 1983 with a degree in English Literature. During her time as a student, she performed countless stage productions and proceeded to work for a season in the Royal Shakespeare Company. A decided rebel when it came to the arts, she left the company after a year as her approach shifted dramatically: With a taste for the unique and bizarre, she found some genuinely interesting gender-bending roles come her way, such as the composer Mozart in Pushkin's "Mozart and Salieri", and as a working class woman impersonating her dead husband during World War II, in Karges' Man to Man: Another Night of Rubbish on the Telly. In 1985 the pale-skinned, carrot-topped actress began a professional association with gay experimental director Derek Jarman. She continued to live and work with Jarman for the next nine years, developing seven critically acclaimed films. Their alliance would produce stark turns, such as turner-prize nominated Caravaggio, The Last of England, The Garden, Edward II, and Wittgenstein. Jarman succumbed to complications from AIDS in 1994. His untimely demise left a devastating void in Tilda's life for quite some time. Her most notable performance of that period however comes from a non-Jarman film: For the title role in Orlando, her nobleman character lives for 400 years while changing sex from man to woman. The film, which Swinton spent years helping writer/director Sally Potter develop and finance, continues to this day to have a worldwide devoted fan following. Over the years she has preferred art to celebrity, opening herself to experimental projects with new and untried directors and mediums, delving into the worlds of installation art and cutting-edge fashion. Consistently off-centered roles in Female Perversions, Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon, Teknolust, Young Adam, Broken Flowers and Béla Tarr's The Man from London have only added to her mystique. Hollywood too has picked up on this notoriety and, since the birth of her twins in 1997, she has successfully moved between the deep-left-field art-house and quality Hollywood blockbusters. The thriller The Deep End, earned her a number of critic's awards and her first Golden Globe nomination. Such mainstream U.S. pictures as The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio, fantasy epic Constantine with Keanu Reeves, her Oscar-decorated performance in Michael Clayton alongside George Clooney and of course her iconic White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have cemented her place as one of cinema's most outstanding women.
Judy Greer was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, as Judith Therese Evans. She is the daughter of Mollie Ann (née Greer), a hospital administrator and former nun, and Richard Evans, a mechanical engineer. She has German, Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish ancestry. After training for nearly ten years in classical Russian ballet, Greer shifted her interest to acting and was accepted into Chicago's prestigious Theater School at DePaul University.
After a variety of odd jobs during college, from telemarketer to oyster shucker, Greer landed her first on-screen role just three days after graduation -- a small part in the Jason Lee-David Schwimmer comedy Kissing a Fool. She flew to Los Angeles for the film's premiere and never left. Greer quickly landed a role in the dark comedy Jawbreaker, with Rose McGowan and Rebecca Gayheart. Greer starred as a school wallflower-turned-babe in a story about high school girls who accidentally kill their best friend and try to cover up the murder.
She went on to play a news correspondent in David O. Russell's Three Kings, landing a memorable opening love scene with George Clooney. Her performance caught the eye of Hollywood, and she appeared next in Mike Nichols's What Planet Are You From? as a flight attendant opposite Garry Shandling.
Greer recently starred opposite Jennifer Garner in Columbia Pictures' romantic comedy 13 Going on 30, directed by Gary Winick. Greer played an office colleague alongside Garner's character, with whom she shares a checkered past.
She co-starred in writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, opposite Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sigourney Weaver, and William Hurt. Set in 1897, the film revolves around a close-knit community that lives with the knowledge that a mythical race of creatures resides in the woods surrounding them. The Village was released July 30, 2004, by Touchtone Pictures.
The busy actress also landed a co-starring role opposite Orlando Bloom and Susan Sarandon in writer-director Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown. Greer will play the sister of Bloom's character and daughter of Sarandon's character.
She also joined Jeff Bridges and Jeanne Tripplehorn in the independent film The Amateurs by writer-director Michael Traeger. The film revolves around a motley group of friends who band together to make an amateur porn film. Greer plays a young temptress at the local mattress store who secures a role in the movie by allowing the store to be used as a film location.
Greer wrapped production in New York on a co-starring role opposite Tom McCarthy ("The Station Agent") in Danny Leiner's The Great New Wonderful for Serenade Films/Sly Dog Films. The dark comedy tells five different stories against the backdrop of an uncertain post-September 11 New York. The cast also includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Edie Falco and Tony Shalhoub.
She also appeared in writer-director Adam Goldberg's psychological drama I Love Your Work, opposite Giovanni Ribisi. The film is about a fictional movie star (Ribisi) and his gradual meltdown and increasing obsession with a young film student and his girlfriend. The stellar cast also included Franka Potente, Christina Ricci, and Jason Lee and debuted at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, Greer plays Samantha, the personal assistant of Ribisi's character.
Greer had a starring role as the female lead role in the comedy The Hebrew Hammer as the feisty, fearless Esther, who joins forces with an Orthodox Jewish Blaxploitation hero (Adam Goldberg) to save Hanukkah from an evil son of Santa Claus (Andy Dick). The Hebrew Hammer debuted at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and premiered on Comedy Central followed by a theatrical release.
She also appeared in Adaptation., from director Spike Jonze. In the film, Nicolas Cage stars as self-loathing writer Charlie Kaufman (and twin brother Donald) as he attempts to adapt the novel "The Orchid Thief" for the big screen. Greer played Alice, the waitress with whom he becomes obsessed -- the object of his fantasies.
Greer turned in a scene-stealing comedic performance in The Wedding Planner, with Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, in which she played Penny, Lopez's sweet but ditsy assistant who tries hard, but often falls a little short.
Equally adept at more dramatic roles, Greer gave a standout performance opposite Mel Gibson in What Women Want, playing a suicidal file clerk rescued by the one man who can hear women's thoughts. Greer's pivotal scene with Gibson is the heart of the film.
With a genuine gift for comedy and an engaging on-screen presence, Judy Greer has quickly become one of Hollywood's most captivating young talents. Having appeared in such diverse films as Jawbreaker, What Women Want, The Wedding Planner, and Adaptation., as well as a number of upcoming feature film projects, Greer turns in scene-stealing performances opposite some of the industry's biggest stars.
Ally Sheedy was born in New York City, to Charlotte (Baum), a press agent and writer, and John J. Sheedy, Jr., an advertising executive. She is of Russian Jewish (mother) and Irish (father) descent.
While at New York's Bank Street School, 12-year-old Ally Sheedy wrote about a mythical encounter between Queen Elizabeth I and an inquisitive mouse. The result, "She Was Nice to Mice", was published by McGraw-Hill and became an instant best seller. Although it proved a springboard to an acting career, Sheedy's strongest memories of childhood remain those of "dancing and doing plays". From six until fourteen, she danced with the American Ballet Theatre and, during summers at Fire Island, she'd "get a bunch of kids together and stage shows on back lawns and porches". When she discovered that to stay with dancing meant staying with starvation diets, she shifted her focus to acting for good. Meanwhile, her book brought her requests from several publications. The Village Voice asked her to review movies and the New York Times wanted her to review children's books. The assignment she accepted was from Ms. Magazine, which requested an article about her mother and herself. It was an appearance on "The Mike Douglas Show to promote her book, however, that brought Sheedy work as a performer. Signed by an agent who caught the show, she was sent out on television commercials, immediately. Only 15 at the time, she also performed off-Broadway and on a series of after-school specials. The day she turned 18, Sheedy packed her bags and headed for Los Angeles, where she enrolled in the drama department at USC, and soon landed roles in the television drama The Best Little Girl in the World, The Day the Loving Stopped, Splendor in the Grass and Homeroom and played a recurring character on Hill Street Blues. The strength of her performances led directly to her film debut as Sean Penn's naive-but-knowing girlfriend, "J.C.", in Bad Boys. That same year (1983), she starred as Matthew Broderick's zany partner in WarGames. After starring as Rob Lowe's would-be romantic interest in Oxford Blues, the withdrawn adolescent of The Breakfast Club and Gene Hackman's adoring daughter in Twice in a Lifetime, Sheedy played her first fully-adult role in St. Elmo's Fire, the 1985 hit about college friends.
Best known as "Lacey Underall" in Caddyshack, and "Yori" in TRON, Cindy Morgan was born Cynthia Ann Cichorski on September 29 in Chicago, Ill, not far from Wrigley Field. The daughter of a Polish factory worker and German mother, Cindy survived 12 years of Catholic school and was the first in her family to attend college.
While studying communications at Northern Illinois University, Cindy spun records on the radio. A commercial station in town wanted her to report the news for them as well, and so a slight deception was needed. She used the name Cindy Morgan, taken from a story Cindy read about Morgan le Fay, when she was twelve years old.
After graduation, Cindy gave all the latest meteorological news on a TV station in Rockford, Ill. She also kept her hand in radio by working the graveyard shift at a local rock station. Then she returned to Chicago and deejayed on WSDM (now WLUP). During a labor dispute at the station, she literally quit on the air and walked out with a record still spinning on the turntable.
She found employment at auto shows for Fiat, which took her to both coasts. Cindy moved to Los Angeles in 1978, and became the Irish Spring girl. While she did TV commercials, she studied acting, and was rewarded with her first screen role in "Caddyshack", playing the role of "Lacey Underall", an over-amorous ingénue.
One of Hollywood's edgier, more intriguing characters running around and about for decades, Eric Anthony Roberts started life in Biloxi, Mississippi. He is the son of Betty Lou (Bredemus) and Walter Grady Roberts, one-time actors and playwrights. His siblings are actors Lisa Roberts Gillian and Julia Roberts, and he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. He began his acting career at age 5 in a local theater company called the "Actors and Writers Workshop", founded by his late father. After his schooling at Grady High, he studied drama at age 17 in London for two years at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, then returned to the States and continued his studies at the American Academy in New York. He made his NY stage debut in "Rebel Women" in 1976 at age 20 and appeared in regional productions, once playing the newspaper boy in a production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" starring Shirley Knight and Glenn Close.
After appearing in such daytime soaps as Another World and How to Survive a Marriage, his career began to shift fast forward when he copped a leading role in a major film. In King of the Gypsies, based on Peter Maas' best-seller about a fracturing dynasty of New York City gypsies, he made his debut alongside an intimidating roster of stars including Judd Hirsch, Susan Sarandon, Shelley Winters and Sterling Hayden. Young Eric held his own expertly (winning a Golden Globe nomination) while his burning intensity and brooding charm marked sure signs of star potential. After this, he won the lead opposite Milo O'Shea in the 1980 stage production of "Mass Appeal". He suffered serious injuries in a car accident during his nascent film career but lost no fans by the time he returned to co-star with Sissy Spacek as a small-town stranger in Raggedy Man. It was, however, his stark and frightening portrayal of two-bit hustler Paul Snider, the cast-off boyfriend who slays Playmate-turned-movie starlet Dorothy Stratten (played by Mariel Hemingway) in Star 80 that really put him on the movie map and earned him a second Golden Globe nomination. A wide range of fascinating, whacked-out roles were immediately offered to him on a silver plate. He played another dangerous streetwise hustler type in The Pope of Greenwich Village opposite fellow rebel Mickey Rourke; a cocky soda pop sales exec in the Australian comedy The Coca-Cola Kid; appeared with more charm and restraint opposite Rosanna Arquette in the offbeat romantic comedy Nobody's Fool and topped his prolific period off with an Academy Award nomination as a young prison escapee hiding out with Jon Voight aboard an out-of-control train in the ultra-violent, character-driven action adventure Runaway Train. Good things continued to happen when he was a replacement lead in the original run of "Burn This" and won a Theatre World Award for his 1988 Broadway debut.
A risky, no-holds-barred actor, he was often guilty of overacting if given half the chance. His film career began to slide in the late 1980s, appearing in more quantity than quality pictures. A series of missteps led to unheralded appearances in such bombs as the karate-themed Best of the Best; the NY urban thriller The Ambulance; the action western Blood Red, which took three years to release and is the only film Eric and his sister Julia Roberts appeared in together; and Rude Awakening when he filled in as a burned-out hippie opposite a Chong-less Cheech Marin. More under appreciated "B" filming came with the 1990s (Freefall, Sensation, The Nature of the Beast, etc.), while also chewing the scenery with a number of mobster types in TV-movies, including one as "Al Capone". He soon began appearing as flashy secondary villains and creepies that showcased other stars instead, such as Final Analysis starring Richard Gere, Heaven's Prisoners top lining Alec Baldwin, and The Dark Knight, part of the "Batman" series with Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger.
Eric's undeniable, unconventional talent would occasionally mesh with the perfect role. At the Sundance Film Festival in 1996, he received critical applause for his starring role as a man dying of AIDS in the uplifting and emotional film It's My Party and earned more honors as a writer marked for murder in the mob-themed story La Cucaracha. He was also perfectly cast as one of the cold-blooded killers in the Emmy-nominated TV adaptation of Truman Capote's chiller In Cold Blood. Eric continued to appear sporadically on TV in such dramatic series as Law & Order: Criminal Intent, while sometimes showing a fun side as well in comedy (The King of Queens). His own series work included Less Than Perfect and, more recently, and in the cult program Heroes where promise for a longer participation ended with his character's death.
Recovered from a long-standing cocaine problem, Eric wed, for the first time, actress/writer Eliza Roberts (nee Garrett). They have appeared in such films as Killer Weekend and Final Approach. His daughter from a former relationship, Emma Roberts, is a newly popular and fast-rising "tween" actress from the series Unfabulous and has played youthful super-sleuth Nancy Drew on film. Eric's unpredictable, volatile nature which works so mesmerizing on screen has also led to troubling times off camera; his relationship with younger sis Julia Roberts has been seriously strained for quite some time.
Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Lesley-Ann Brandt has become one of the biggest South African exports via New Zealand after immigrating to Auckland with her parents and brother in 1999. With her mixed ethnic background, Lesley-Ann is Hollywood's exciting new discovery.
As a child, she participated in almost every kindergarten and school play and was a natural singer. It was when she starting modeling and booking TV commercials that she caught the eye of casting directors. Encouraged by them, she began studying the Meisner technique as well as doing every possible acting workshop she could find and after only a few months her natural ability to perform, take direction and work with the camera saw her commercial auditions shift towards television and film auditions.
Lesley-Ann was discovered by local New Zealand producer Chris Hampson and creator/writer James Griffen (Siones Wedding, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) who were on the hunt for the leading lady of their quirky new half hour comedy Diplomatic Immunity. They'd been searching for an actress for months and were 3 weeks away from shooting when Lesley-Ann auditioned. She was hired within a week, had to quit her job as an IT recruitment consultant and went on to star opposite Craig Parker (of Spartacus, Lord of the Rings and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans), quickly moving her into the hearts of the New Zealand nation.
In 2010 Brandt commanded the world take notice with her role as "Naevia" in the breakout Starz hit, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Naevia the beautiful slave girl who's story with Manu Bennett's character Crixus emerged as the show's big love story creating a fan frenzy worldwide.
Working with producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and actors John Hannah (The Mummy and Four Weddings and a Funeral), Peter Mensah (300 and Avatar), Lucy Lawless (Xena), Lesley-Ann captivated audiences with her performance, and became one of the shows break out stars.
Lesley-Ann continued to work on back to back projects, This is not My Life (2010) and ABC's Legend of the Seeker (2010) as well as her feature film debut Insight starring opposite Natalie Zea and Christopher Lloyd.
In 2011 she resurrected her role as "Naevia" in the prequel season of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Roles on Chuck, CSI: New York (recurring) and TNT's Memphis Beat soon followed as well as a lead role in Syfy's highest rated original feature for 2011 Zombie Apocalypse starring opposite Ving Rhames and Taryn Manning.
Lesley-Ann has been named as one of 2013's faces to watch in film by South Africa's largest newspaper publication City Press. This year she can be seen in the much anticipated feature film Drift starring opposite Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation) and Xavier Samuel (Twilight: Eclipse, Anonymous) as well as the dark comedy, Killing Winston Jones starring opposite Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Masterson, Danny Glover , Jon Heder and directed by Joel David Moore (Avatar, Dodgeball).
Lesley-Ann is now permanently based in Los Angeles.
In 1980 Henry Rollins was a teenager living in Arlington, Virginia, just over the river from Washington, DC. He worked as the shift manager for a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop near Georgetown University, and was a huge fan of a Southern California punk rock band called Black Flag. One day he and his friend Ian MacKaye (who later formed Fugazi) drove to New York City to see Black Flag play at the Peppermint Lounge. They played later at a small club down the street, and Henry jumped on stage and took the mike for a song. A few days later he was called back to New York to audition for the band. Henry spent the next six years riding in vans, sleeping in the back of trucks, getting beaten and mauled on stage and fronting the baddest, most primal rock-and-roll band in the history of the world. Since 1986 Henry has enjoyed a more pleasant lifestyle and career as a singer. He is a published (and often lucid) poet. His band, Rollins Band, was a highlight of the Woodstock '94 concert. His autobiography, "Get In The Van", is available in print and as a self-narrated compact disc. He has written several articles for Details, an American magazine.
Michael Vartan was born on 27th November 1968 in France, an only child. Michael's father, Eddie Vartan, was a French musician, whose ancestry was Armenian and Bulgarian on one side, and Hungarian Jewish on the other. Michael's mother, Doris Vartan (née Pucher), is a Polish Jewish immigrant to the United States. His aunt is singer Sylvie Vartan. His parents divorced when he was five (his mother later re-married to screenwriter Ian La Frenais. He spent his childhood shuttling between the tiny Normandy village of Fleury, France (where his father lived) and the United States (where his mother lived). At the age of eighteen, after deciding against joining the French military service (mandatory for all males above 18 in France), Michael shifted to the States. His mother encouraged him to take acting classes, and he enrolled in an acting school after being told by many people that he had the potential for it. He made his acting debut in the French film Un homme et deux femmes and followed that with another French film, Promenades d'été. It was with the Italian film Fiorile, in which he played, ironically, a French soldier, that he made his international debut. Vartan, who was nominated for a French Caesar Award for Best Up-and-Coming Actor, played two characters in this fable of a curse that haunts a family through centuries. Of his performance, New York Post movie critic Mike Medved heralded the actor, saying, "[Vartan] is so hugely effective that it's hard to understand how he could have (so far) avoided discovery by Hollywood". Soon after, Vartan signed with an agent and landed a role in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar playing the bigoted small-town thug who harasses three drag queens (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo).
He went on to star opposite David Schwimmer, as one of his character's best friends in The Pallbearer, a comedy of escapades surrounding three old high school pals coping with bachelorhood, marriage and a case of mistaken identity. He also gave an impressive performance in The Myth of Fingerprints as Jake, who, during a Thanksgiving family reunion tries to gain some perspective into the nature of love and family relationships. Michael's true mettle as an actor was seen when he played a character that he has described as being most unlike him. The role was that of the English Lit teacher-cum-Prince Charming Sam Coulson in the 1999 hit Never Been Kissed. He followed his talked-about NBK performance with similar good ones in The Next Best Thing and It Had to Be You. Meanwhile, he joined stellar company by being one among the biggest names in Hollywood to feature on shows like Ally McBeal and Friends.
In 2001, he became a regular feature on TV, playing CIA agent Michael Vaughn in the series Alias, and came to international acclaim, playing the role for five seasons. Vartan also appeared in the two-part TNT mini-series The Mists of Avalon, a retelling of the legendary story of Camelotm which was shot on location in Prague. He portrayed "Sir Lancelot", opposite Anjelica Huston, Julianna Margulies and Joan Allen. He then starred opposite Robin Williams in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo, playing "Will Yorkin", a husband and father whose family becomes the obsession of Williams' character, an employee at the local "One-Hour Photo".
Vartan starred opposite Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in New Line Cinema's summer blockbuster Monster-in-Law. He portrayed Kevin, a man whose overprotective mother (Fonda) tries to derail his engagement to his fiancée (Jennifer Lopez).
In the fall of 2007, Vartan was one of the leads of the ABC/Warner Bros. Television series, Big Shots. He played James Walker, the moral center of the drama, which revolved around four high-powered CEOs who socialize at the same exclusive golf club. Vartan also had a starring role in the action/thriller Rogue for the Weinstein Company. He played a cynical American travel writer who embarks on a river cruise in the Australian outback, where the group finds themselves stranded in a treacherous lagoon. The role offered a departure from his romantic male leads in the comedies as Monster-in-Law and Never Been Kissed. Rogue was written and directed by Aussie Greg McLean (whose debut film Wolf Creek has received rave reviews). With a reported $25 million budget, it was one of the most expensive locally-produced movies made in Australia. Around the same time, Michael also had a lead role in the independent feature "Jolene: My Life", for director Dan Ireland (The Whole Wide World). Based on a story from critically acclaimed author E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate), the film revolved around a woman who at the age of 15, escapes an oppressive foster care system only to jump into three disastrous marriages, each of which forces her to rely on her survival instincts and determination to make something of her life. Vartan played "Brad Benton", the only son and heir to an oil drilling fortune who uses his charms to pursue an uninterested Jolene.
In his limited free time, Vartan has fed his obsession with sports, particularly ice hockey. "If it weren't for acting, I'd give anything to play a professional sport", he has said, still holding onto his lifelong dream.
|Clifton Collins Jr.
An acting chameleon who can easily lose himself in the life of his film and television characters, Clifton Collins Jr. is a native Angeleno who grew up destined to become a part of the Latino entertainment industry. His great-grandparents on his mother's side were a Mexican trumpet player and Spanish dancer who formed a traveling family act, and his grandfather was well-known character actor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, most famous for his humorous sidekick roles in 1950s/1960s John Wayne westerns (he played the excitable hotel keeper in Rio Bravo) and in sitcoms. His uncle and aunt dabbled in the business at one point as well. While his famous grandfather was unable to break out of the old unflattering Latino stereotypes, Collins Jr. has done Pedro proud in the new millennium. Playing everything from policemen to boxers to serial killers, he has managed to transcend the typical racial trappings of his grandfather's era and play flesh-and-blood, three-dimensional characters. It was not always that way.
Born short, lean and mean on June 16, 1970, he started his career in 1988 using his real name of Collins, but two years later began billing himself as "Clifton Gonzales-Gonzales" as a tribute to his aged grandfather and his early accomplishments. Pedro, who died in 2006, lived long enough to witness his grandson's achievements. Toiling in typical "barrio" roles at the beginning of his career, Collins Jr. found himself stuck in bit parts either as a struggling blue-collar worker or urban thug. In the mid-1990s, he began to search out and wing standout roles that enabled him to break the confines of the Latino stereotype. He slowly moved up in billing, even in mediocre material such as the futuristic prison film Fortress and the mindless 1970s rock-era comedy The Stöned Age. His breakout role as Cesar, the vicious student and gangbanger in One Eight Seven opposite Los Angeles substitute teacher Samuel L. Jackson, set him on the right path. This led to a mesmerizing collection of other portrayals, both good-guy and bad-guy, in such films as The Replacement Killers, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Tigerland. His versatility finally tested, he played everything from a gay Mexican hitman in the critically acclaimed Traffic to a psychological profiler for the FBI in the mainstream actioner Mindhunters. A number of top guest appearances came his way on such series as NYPD Blue and The Twilight Zone and he had recurring roles on Resurrection Blvd. and Alias.
A monumental shift forward in his career happened recently with his hypnotic portrayal of killer Perry Smith, the object of writer Truman Capote's obsession, in the art-house favorite Capote. Decades ago, Robert Blake played the same part in the gripping Capote book-to-film In Cold Blood. This heralded achievement has enabled Collins to move into the co-producer's chair of late, notably for Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders, in which he inhabits the role of serial killer Kenneth Bianchi. Obviously, there is plenty more in the works for this major talent.
Mackenzie Crook, one of British comedy's best-known faces, who collected Star Wars figurines as a child, is now immortalized in plastic as a six-inch-high pirate action figure. He was born Paul Mackenzie Crook on September 29, 1971, in Maidstone, Kent, England, UK. His father worked for British Airways. His mother was a hospital manager. He went to grammar school in Dartford, and did his first plays there. In the summers, he spent time with his uncle in Zimbabwe.
Young Mackenzie Crook expressed his creativity through painting and even copied a pre-Raphaelite's painting on to the back of his biker's jacket. He also joined a local youth theater. At the age of 18, he failed to secure a place at art college and turned to writing comedy sketches. Crook ended up working at Pizza Hut, then at a chicken factory and at hospitals. However, the principal of the youth theater believed in his potential and became his manager, guiding Crook to a career as a stand-up comedian. In 1996, he made his film debut in The Man Who Fell in Love with a Traffic Cone!. In 1997, Crook was scouted by Bob Mortimer at the Edinburgh Festival. Soon he made his debut on television as a stand-up comedian on The 11 O'Clock Show, then worked on other TV shows playing grotesques and exaggerated characters.
He shot to fame as Gareth Keenan, a quirky geek with a funny haircut in a TV hit comedy, The Office, and earned himself a British Comedy Award nomination. He also was a member of the main cast of the BBC show "TV to Go" (2001)_. After that, Crook shared the screen with Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, with Heath Ledger in The Brothers Grimm, and with Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland. Depp bonded with Crook during the making of 'Neverland' and it was Depp who recommended him for the part of Ragetti, his best-known role, in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Crook is also billed as Ragetti in the third installment of the 'Pirates' franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
After having spent about a decade on a stand-up comedian circuit, Crook made a perfect tool out of that character-actor face and added experience to his effortless style. It is in the 'Pirates' trilogy that Mackenzie Crook had showed his funniest and widest variety of emotions, effortlessly shifting his facial expression from a deep philosophical pensiveness to a grotesque excitement, and from a comically exaggerated fear to such a gleeful exuberance while removing his wooden eyeball. For that particular scene he was wearing two contact lenses sandwiched on top of each other.
In 2004, Crook appeared as Billy Bibbit opposite Christian Slater in the West End stage production of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," which initially opened at Gielgud Theatre and then was shown at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. At the same time, Crook has been writing a script for his own future project; he describes it as a period production that is set in London around the same period as the 'Pirates' movies.
Mackenzie Crook has been enjoying a happy family life with his wife, Lindsay, a former advertising executive and club owner, and their son Jude (born in 2003). He is fond of gardening and is also focused on maintaining an organic way of life. He resides with his family in Peter Sellers' old art-deco house in Muswell Hill, North London, England.
|Mary Tyler Moore
Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to Marjorie (Hackett) and George Tyler Moore, a clerk. Her maternal grandparents were English immigrants, and her father was of English, Irish, and German descent. Moore's family relocated to California when she was eight. Her childhood was troubled, due in part to her mother's alcoholism. The oldest of three siblings, she attended a Catholic high school and married upon her graduation, in 1955. Her only child, Richie, was born soon after.
A dancer at first, Moore's first break in show business was in 1955, as a dancing kitchen appliance - Happy Hotpoint, the Hotpoint Appliance elf, in commercials generally broadcast during the popular TV program The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. She then shifted from dancing to acting, and work soon came, at first a number of guest roles on TV series, but eventually a recurring role as "Sam", Richard Diamond's sultry answering service girl, on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, her performance being particularly notorious because her legs (usually dangling a pump on her toe) were shown instead of her face.
Although these early roles often took advantage of her willowy charms (in particular, her famously-beautiful dancer's legs), Moore's career soon took a more substantive turn as she was cast in two of the most highly regarded comedies in television history, which would air first-run for most of the Sixties and Seventies. In the first of these, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Moore played "Laura Petrie", the charmingly loopy wife of star Dick Van Dyke. The show became famous for its very clever writing and terrific comic ensemble - Moore and her fellow performers received multiple Emmy awards for their work. Meanwhile, she had separated from her first husband, and later married ad man (and, later, network executive) Grant Tinker.
After the end of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Moore focused on movie-making, co-starring in five between the end of the show and the start of Mary Tyler Moore, including Thoroughly Modern Millie, in which she plays a ditsy aspiring actress, and an inane Elvis Presley vehicle, Change of Habit, in which she plays a nun-to-be and love interest for Presley. Also included in this mixed bag of films was a first-rate TV movie, Run a Crooked Mile, which was an early showcase for Moore's considerable talent at dramatic acting.
After trying her hand at movies for a few years, Moore decided, a bit reluctantly, to return to TV, but on her terms. The result was Mary Tyler Moore, which was produced by MTM Enterprises, a company she had formed with Tinker, and which later went on to produce scores of other television programs. Moore starred as "Mary Richards", who moves to Minneapolis/St. Paul on the heels of a failed relationship. Mary finds work at the news room of WJM-TV, whose news program is the lowest-rated in the city, and establishes fast friendships with her colleagues and her neighbors. The show was a commercial and critical success and for years was a fixture of CBS television's unbeatable Saturday night line-up. Moore and Tinker were determined from the start to make the show a cut above the average, and it certainly was - instead of going for a barrage of gags, the humor took longer to develop, and arose out of the interaction between the characters in more realistic situations. It was also one of the earliest TV portrayals of a woman who was happy and successful on her own rather than simply being a man's wife. Mary Tyler Moore is generally included amongst the finest television programs ever produced in America.
Moore ended the show in 1977, while it was still on a high point, but found it difficult to flee the beloved "Mary Richards" persona - her subsequent attempts at television series, variety programs and specials (such as the mortifying disco-era Mary's Incredible Dream) usually failed, but even her dramatic work, which is generally excellent, fell under the shadow of "Mary Richards". With time, however, her body of dramatic acting came to be recognized on its own, with such memorable work as in Ordinary People, as an aloof WASP mother who not-so-secretly resents her younger son's survival; in Finnegan Begin Again, as a middle-aged widow who finds love with a man whose wife is slowly slipping away, in Lincoln, as the troubled "Mary Todd Lincoln", and in Stolen Babies, as an infamous baby smuggler (for which she won her sixth Emmy award). She also inspired a new appreciation for her famed comic talents in Flirting with Disaster, in which she is hilarious as the resentful adoptive mother of a son who is seeking his birth parents. Moore has also acted on Broadway, and she won a Tony Award for her performance in "Whose Life Is It Anyway?".
Widely acknowledged as being much tougher and more high-strung than her iconic image would suggest, Moore has had a life with more than the normal share of ups and downs. Both of her siblings predeceased her, her sister Elizabeth of a drug overdose in 1978 and her brother of cancer after a failed attempt at assisted suicide, Moore having been the assistant. Moore's troubled son Richie shot and killed himself in what was officially ruled an accident in 1980. Moore has long been diagnosed an insulin-dependent diabetic, and had a bout with alcoholism in the mid-70s. Divorced from Tinker since 1981, she has been married to physician Robert Levine since 1983. Despite the opening credits of Mary Tyler Moore, in which she throws a package of meat into her shopping cart, Moore is a vegetarian and a proponent of animal rights. She is an active spokesperson for both diabetes issues and animal rights. She and Levine live in Upstate New York and Manhattan.
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her sensitive portraits of wounded and conflicted young women in independent films.
She was born into a show business family: her step-father, Michael Polley, appeared with her in the movie The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and on the television series Avonlea; and her mother, Diane Polley, was an actress and casting director. It was her mother's connections that launched Sarah, at her own insistence, on an acting career at the age of four, following in the footsteps of her older half-brother Mark Polley. A second half-brother, John Buchan, is a casting director and producer.
Her career as a child actress shifted into high gear when she was cast as the Cockney waif Jody Turner in Lantern Hill, for which she won a Gemini Award, the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy, in 1992. Produced by Kevin Sullivan, the film was based on the book by Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. When Sullivan created a television series based on Montgomery's work, he cast Polley in the lead role of Sara Stanley in Avonlea. The series propelled Polley into the first rank of Canadian TV stars and made her independently wealthy by the age of 14.
Her personal life was deeply affected by the death of her mother Diane from cancer shortly after her 11th birthday, a development that ironically paralleled the fictional life of her character Sara. Highly intelligent and politically progressive at a young age, Polley eventually rebelled against what she felt was the Americanization of the series after it was picked up by the Disney Channel for distribution in the US, eventually dropping out of the show. Though she does not blame her parents, she remains publicly disenchanted over the loss of her childhood and, in October 2003, said she is working on a script about a 12-year-old girl on a TV show.
Polley, who picked up a second Gemini Award for her performance in the TV series Straight Up, subsequently quit acting and high school to turn her attention to politics, positioning herself on the extreme left of Canada's left-of-center New Democratic Party. The publicity ensuing from her losing some teeth after being slugged by an Ontario policeman during a protest against the Conservative provincial government, plus the stinging cynicism from some other activists unimpressed by her celebrity, led her to lower her political profile temporarily and return to acting in Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter. It was her appearance as Nicole, the teenage girl injured in a school bus accident who serves as the conscience of the small town rent by the tragedy, that first brought her to the attention of critics in the US. In Canada, the role was heralded by critics as her successful breakthrough to adult roles. It was her second film with Egoyan, who wrote the part with her in mind when he adapted the novel by Russell Banks, who, ironically, is American. Predictions of an Academy Award nomination and future stardom were part of the critical consensus, and she received her first Best Actress Genie nomination from Canada's Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the Best Supporting Actress award from the Boston Society of Film Critics. It was the buzz created at the Sundance Festival, where her starring role in the film Guinevere was showcased, when the entertainment media crowned her the it-girl of 1999. Intensely private and extremely ambivalent about the personal cost of celebrity and the Hollywood ethos Fame is the Name of the Game, Polley could be seen as rebelling against the expectations of mainstream cinema when she embarked on a career path that took her out of the spotlight thrown by the harsh lights of the Hollywood hype/publicity machine after shooting the film Go. She dropped out of Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous, the US$60 million mega-hyped vehicle that was supposed to make her a mainstream star in the US, choosing to return to Canada to make the CDN$1.5 million The Law of Enclosures for Genie Award-winner John Greyson, a director she admires greatly. The film grossed poorly in Canada and was not released in the US, but it did garner Polley her second Genie nomination for Best Actress. While her replacement in Almost Famous went on to win an Oscar nomination and a career above the title in glossy Hollywood films, she took a wide variety of parts, large and small, in independent films, including significant roles in the ensemble pieces The Claim and The Weight of Water; bit parts in eXistenZ and Love Come Down; and the lead in No Such Thing. Her choice of projects showed her to be a questing spirit more focused on learning the art of her craft than on stardom.
She has said that her choice of film roles, eschewing mainstream Hollywood movies for chancier, non-commercial independent fare, was the result of an ethical decision on her part to make films with social importance. A less-observant viewer might think that the rebel Polley played in her political life that had previously manifested itself in her profession was now driving her to the verge of career suicide in terms of popularity, marketability, and choice of future roles. However, that interpretation does not recognize the extraordinary talent that will always keep her in demand by directors, if not casting agents, with an eye on the opening weekend box office. One must understand Polley's career progression in light of her attendance at the Canadian Film Centre's directors program and her production of short films, including Don't Think Twice and the highly praised I Shout Love. Polley is a cinema artist. This woman wants to make, and will make films. Thus, we can understand her career choices as a desire to work with and understand the technique of some of the best directors in film, including David Cronenberg, Michael Winterbottom, and Hal Hartley.
Polley is as renowned for her intelligence as for her remarkable talent. The problem of the intelligent person in the acting field is that the actor, as artist, in not ultimately in control of their medium, and it is artistic control that is the hallmark of the great artist. The controlling intelligence on a movie set is the director, and her attendance at the Canadian Film Centre has given her a new perspective on acting. The actor, she says, should not try to give a complete performance for the camera (that is, control the representation on film) but must remember that the function of the actor is to give the director as much coverage as possible as a film, as well as a performance, is made in the editing room. According to Polley, this realization, that the film actor exists to serve the director, has given her new enthusiasm for acting. Thus, her career, and her career choices, can be seen as a quest for knowledge about the art of cinema, a journey whose fruition we will see in her future feature work as both actor and director.
Matthew W. Davis (born May 8, 1978), also professionally known as Matt Davis, is an American actor who is known for his roles as Adam Hillman on the ABC comedy-drama What About Brian from 2006 to 2007 and Alaric Saltzman on The CW fantasy drama The Vampire Diaries from 2009 to 2012. In 2014, he returned as a series regular for the sixth season, he starred on the short-lived CW mystery and horror drama Cult as Jeff Sefton, and had a recurring role on the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Sean Yeager.
Davis was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Woods Cross High School, and the University of Utah. He was briefly married to actress Leelee Sobieski in 2008.
Davis co-starred with Reese Witherspoon and Selma Blair in the comedy Legally Blonde (2001), as Warner Huntington III, who breaks up with Elle Woods (Witherspoon).
His notable film credits include Blue Crush (2002) with Kate Bosworth and Michelle Rodriguez, Tigerland (2000) with Colin Farrell and BloodRayne (2005) with Kristanna Loken.
Davis starred in The CW fantasy drama The Vampire Diaries, as Alaric Saltzman since 2009 and starred in the short-lived CW mystery and horror drama Cult, as Jeff Sefton that same year.
Davis had a recurring role in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation from 2013 to 2014 in the 14th season, as swing shift CSI Sean Yeager. He appeared in the sixth episode titled "Passed Pawns", the eighth episode titled "Helpless", and the 13th episode titled "Boston Brakes".
He later returned to the hit The CW show The Vampire Diaries as Alaric Saltzman once again as a series regular.
A native of New Jersey and son of a mechanic, African-American John Amos has relied on his imposing build, eruptive nature and strong, forceful looks to obtain acting jobs, and a serious desire for better roles to earn a satisfying place in the annals of film and TV. He has found it a constant uphill battle to further himself in an industry that tends to diminish an actor's talents with severe and/or demeaning stereotypes and easy pigeonholing. A tough, often hot-headed guy with a somewhat tender side, John would succeed far better on stage than on film and TV...with one extremely noteworthy exceptions.
Born on December 27, 1939, John was first employed as an advertising copywriter, a social worker at New York's Vera Institute of Justice, and an American and Canadian semi-professional football player before receiving his calling as an actor. A stand-up comic on the Greenwich Village circuit, the work eventually took him West and, ultimately, led to his hiring as a staff writer on Leslie Uggams' musical variety show in 1969. Making his legit stage debut in a 1971 L.A. production of the comedy "Norman, Is That You?", John went on to earn a Los Angeles Drama Critics nomination for "Best Actor". As such, he formed his own theater company and produced "Norman, Is That You?" on tour.
The following year he returned to New York to take his first Broadway bow in "Tough To Get Help". By this time he had secured secondary work on the classic Mary Tyler Moore as Gordy the weatherman. His character remained on the periphery, however, and he left the show after three discouraging seasons. On the bright side, he won the recurring role of the sporadically-unemployed husband of maid Florida Evans (played by Esther Rolle) on Norman Lear's Maude starring Bea Arthur. The two characters were spun-off into their own popular series as the parental leads in Good Times.
Good Times, a family sitcom that took place in a Chicago ghetto high-rise, initially prided itself as being the first network series ever to be created by African-Americans. But subsequent episodes were taken over by others and John was increasingly disgruntled by the lack of quality of the scripts and the direction Lear was taking the show. Once focused on the importance of family values, it was shifting more and more toward the silly antics of Jimmie Walker, who was becoming a runaway hit on the show as the aimless, egotistical, jive-talking teenage son JJ. John began frequently clashing with the higher-ups and, by 1976, was released from the series, with his character being killed in an off-camera car accident while finding employment out of state.
Amos rebounded quickly when he won the Emmy-nominated role of the adult Kunte Kinte in the ground-breaking epic mini-series Roots, one of the most powerful and reverential TV features ever to hit television. It was THE TV role of his career, but he found other quality roles for other black actors extremely difficult to come by. He tried his best to avoid the dim-headed lugs and crime-motivated characters that came his way. Along with a few parts (the mini-movie Willa and the films The Beastmaster and Coming to America), he had to endure the mediocre (guest spots on "Love Boat", "The A-Team", "Murder, She Wrote" "One Life to Live"). John also toiled through a number of action-themed films that focused more on grit and testosterone than talent.
He found one answer to this acting dilemma on the proscenium stage. In 1985, the play "Split Second" earned him the NAACP Award as Best Actor. He also received fine reviews in a Berkshire Theater festival production of "The Boys Next Door", a tour of O'Neill's towering play "The Emperor Jones", and in a Detroit production of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold...and The Boys". In addition, John directed two well-received productions, "Miss Reardon Drinks a Little" and "Twelve Angry Men", in the Bahamas. He took on Shakespeare as Sir Toby Belch in "Twelfth Night" at Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare and earned strong notices in the late August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Fences" at the Capital Repertory Company in Albany, New York. Overseas he received plaudits for his appearance in a heralded production of "The Life and Death of a Buffalo Soldier" at the Bristol's Old Vic in England. Capping his theatrical career was the 1990 inaugural of his one-man show "Halley's Comet", an amusing and humanistic American journey into the life of an 87-year-old who recalls, among other things, World War II, the golden age of radio, the early civil rights movement, and the sighting of the Comet when he was 11. He wrote and has frequently directed the show, which continues to play into the 2007-2008 season.
In recent years, John has enjoyed recurring parts on "The West Wing" and "The District", and is more recently appearing in the offbeat series Men in Trees starring Anne Heche. John Amos has two children by his former wife Noel Amos and two children. Son K.C. Amos director, writer, producer, editor and daughter Shannon Amos a director, writer and producer. Amos has one grand child,a grand-daughter, Quiera Williams.
Nicki Aycox has lived a full artistic life since the age of nine, when she fell in love with the family piano and began playing music. By the time she had reached her preteens Nicki was performing Beethoven for audiences all around Oklahoma, until her family had a huge financial setback and was forced to sell her piano. Nicki has said that this sad circumstance played a major role in her shift to the theater. Like a lot of kids her age she began performing in her high school theater, and also in drama competitions. She won state titles in different categories, and became very comfortable with being in front of an audience. She once said that she was on stage long before she ever actually sat in an audience. After high school graduation she attended the University of Oklahoma and began serious academic study. Soon, however, she found herself driving to California to enroll in the theater department at Long Beach State. While working two jobs and participating in the theater department, Nicki found little time to study and take a full class load. In her second year at Long Beach State Nicki was able to sign with a small agency in Hollywood, and thus began her career as a professional performer - a career which began relatively quickly compared to most. She was working small bit parts on several popular networks and shows within a year of making the move from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. In the beginning of her career Nicki acted opposite actor Stephen Rae in an HBO film called "Double Tap", as well as appearing in shows like "Third Rock from the Sun", NBC's "Providence", David Kelley's "Ally McBeal", and in the X-Files episode "Rush" in 1999. That role from the TV show lead to a role in the second "X-Files" film "I Want to Believe" in 2008. In a time when an unspoken difference between "film" actors and "television" actors existed, Aycox did not allow this rule to apply to her.
Her work during these early years has included guest spots on "CSI", and "Dark Angel", a recurring role n NBC's "ED" playing the wild and crazy sister of Julie Bowen. At some points Nicki would be pulling double duty playing roles on different shows. She played the sister of Katherine Morris on CBS's "Cold Case", while shooting the series "LAX" with Heather Locklear. By 2005, Aycox was made a series regular on shows such as FX's "Over There" created by Steven Bochco and Chris Gerolmo. She moved on from there to play a very memorable role as a psychotic serial killer in an episode of "Criminal Minds" titled "The Perfect Switch". The following year Nicki appeared in the Halle Berry film "Perfect Stranger". One of her most widely known roles has been that of Meg Masters in "Supernatural".
In the years 2009-2013 Aycox enjoyed success as a series regular as Jamie Allen in the Bruckheimer series "Dark Blue". Next she was cast as Lisa Matthews in the Indie film "Lifted", directed by Oscar nominated director Lexi Alexander. Around this time she also awarded a best actress award by the Buffalo Niagara film festival for her portrayal as a German woman fighting to save her sanity in the World War II film "Christina". Her co-star, Stephen Lang, was also awarded for his role as Inspector Reinheart. Today Aycox has reclaimed her love of music, playing the guitar and singing for audiences, as well as continuing her acting career. She lives on both the East and West coasts.
He symbolized the 70s American dream of success -- the former kid from the ghetto who rose to wisecracking TV superstardom. While in his element as the broadly strutting, gleamy-toothed J.J. Evans of the popular urban-styled sitcom Good Times, Jimmie Walker lived the extremely good life. Following the series' demise, however, reality again checked in. Still and all, he has not self-destructed as others before him have and continues to enjoy a comedy career now approaching four decades.
Jimmie was born on June 25, 1947, in New York's tough South Bronx neighborhood. His ambitions were not originally to entertain. Basketball was his prime interest but the idea that a gawky, stringbean-framed teenager could become a hoop star did not seem realistic. Instead he abruptly quit school and worked an odd assortment of jobs until wisely returning to night classes at Theodore Roosevelt High School and redeeming himself with a diploma. The federally-funded Search for Education, Evaluation and Knowledge (SEEK) next came through for Jimmie as he was able to learn a trade: radio engineering/announcing. Within a year he was hired as an engineer for a small radio station, but gained a minor reputation on the sly as a funny guy and good writer. This side interest is what motivated Jimmie to try comedy performance.
He made his stand-up debut as an opening act on New Year's Eve in 1967 for "The Last Poets," a militant poetry group, and was such a hit that he stayed with the group for a year and a half building and polishing his jive-styled act. At one point Jimmie was seen at a Manhattan club by comedian David Brenner who referred him and others (such as Freddie Prinze) to Budd Friedman and his Improv stage in New York. Jimmie eventually became a regular. His debut shot on TV variety came with Jack Paar's show and his successful 1972 appearance propelled him to main attraction billing.
He was quickly checked out by the Norman Lear team and practically handed stardom on a silver platter with Good Times, a spin-off of Esther Rolle's domestic character on the popular Maude series. Skinny, energetic and youthful-looking with plenty of harmless sass and attitude, Jimmie and the show were instant cross-over hits despite the fact that he was a 27-year-old playing the teenage son of Rolle. His catchphrase "Dyn-o-mite!" became a popular item in the American vernacular. Jimmie became such a major celebrity that Time Magazine named him "Comedian of the Decade." Clothing, belts, and even a talking doll that blurted out his familiar phrase were soon on the open market. To the dismay of other actors on the show, his exaggerated character stole prime focus and shifted the well-intentioned direction of a positive black family image into a much broader and stereotyped caricature. This caused dissension in the troops and both adult leads, Ms. Rolle and John Amos, departed the series (Rolle came back later). Nevertheless, the series managed to last six seasons.
During that time Jimmie made use of his ever-surging popularity with lightweight appearances elsewhere on primetime ("The Love Boat," "Fantasy Island") and on game shows ("The Match Game," "Tattletales"). He became a hot item in Las Vegas and even churned out a best-selling comedy album entitled, of course, "Dyn-o-mite!" His attempt at film stardom came with a top supporting role in Let's Do It Again starring Sidney Poitier and Bill Cosby, a comedy that also featured his TV dad John Amos. Jimmie was featured as a highly unlikely, scrawny-framed boxer promoted by Poitier and Cosby. As enjoyable as he was, it did not lead to other major film offers. Most of his later movies have been self-mocking guest parts or cameo bits in spoofs such as in Airplane!, the Frankenstein take-off Monster Mash: The Movie and the slasher movie parody Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth.
Upon the series' demise in 1979, Jimmie returned to the stand-up stage while looking for a sophomore TV hit. Unable to capitalize on his TV stardom, he instead found himself extremely pigeon-holed by the J.J. character. The short-lived B.A.D. Cats, which had him playing a support role as a comic car thief-cum-repossessor, lasted only a month. The military comedy At Ease had Jimmie starring as a Sergeant Bilko-like conman. It too came and went quickly. Hoping the third time would be a charm, Jimmie was a bust again in the syndicated show Bustin' Loose, based loosely on Richard Pryor's 1981 movie, with the comedian playing another of his genial con artists.
Jimmie's main focus has remained the stand-up circuit, touring an average of 25-30 weeks a year. The rubbery-faced, tunnel-mouthed comic continues to pop up occasionally on the late night talk show forum. In his spare time he writes scripts for TV and films.
Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City to Lamont Waltman Marvin, an advertising executive, and his wife Courtenay Washington Davidge, a fashion writer. The young Marvin was thrown out of dozens of schools for incorrigibility. His parents took him to Florida, where he attended St. Leo's Preparatory School near Dade City. Dismissed there as well, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. In the battle of Saipan in June 1944, he was wounded in the buttocks by Japanese fire which severed his sciatic nerve. He received a medical discharge and got menial work as a plumber's apprentice in Woodstock, NY. While repairing a toilet at the local community theater, he was asked to replace an ailing actor in a rehearsal. He was immediately stricken with a love for the theater and went to New York City, where he studied and played small roles in stock and Off-Broadway. He landed an extra role in Henry Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now, and found his role expanded when Hathaway took a liking to him. Returning to the stage, he made his Broadway debut in "Billy Budd", and after a succession of small TV roles, moved to Hollywood, where he began playing heavies and cops in roles of increasing size and frequency. Given a leading role in Eight Iron Men, he followed it with enormously memorable heavies in The Big Heat and The Wild One. Now established as a major screen villain, Marvin began shifting toward leading roles with a successful run as a police detective in the TV series M Squad. A surprise Oscar for his dual role as a drunken gunfighter and his evil, noseless brother in the western comedy Cat Ballou placed him in the upper tiers of Hollywood leading men, and he filled out his career with predominantly action-oriented films. A long-term romantic relationship with Michelle Triola led, after their breakup, to a highly publicized lawsuit in which Triola asked for a substantial portion of Marvin's assets. Her case failed in its main pursuit, but did establish a legal precedent for the rights of unmarried cohabitors, the so-called "palimony" law. Marvin continued making films of varying quality, always as a star, until his sudden death from a heart attack in 1987.
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery.
Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in Grand Junction, Colorado, where his parents moved in 1908. His father, Orus, worked in a shoe store. Dalton, the first child and only son, was later joined by sisters Catharine and Elizabeth. The young Dalton peddled the produce from his father's vegetable garden around town and had a paper route. While attending Grand Junction High School (Class of 1924), he worked at The Daily Sentinel as a cub reporter. Of his early politics, a much older Dalton Trumbo told how he asked his father for five dollars so he could join the Ku Klux Klan, a mass organization after the First World War. He didn't get the five dollars.
While at university, he realized that his calling was as a writer. He worked on the school's newspaper, humor magazine and yearbook, while also toiling for the Boulder newspaper. He left school his first year to follow his family to Los Angeles. The family moved due to financial difficulties after his father had been terminated by the shoe company. In L.A., Dalton enrolled at the University of Southern California but was unable to complete enough credits for a degree. Orus Trumbo died of pernicious anemia in 1926, and Dalton had to take a job to become the breadwinner for his widowed mother and two younger sisters. Dalton Trumbo took on whatever jobs were available, including repossessing motorcycles and bootlegging, which he quit because it was too dangerous. Eventually, Trumbo took a job at the Davis Perfection Bakery on the night shift and remained for nearly a decade. Trumbo continued to write, mostly short stories, becoming more and more anxious and eventually desperate to leave the bakery, fearing that he would never achieve his destiny of becoming an important writer. During this time, he sold several short stories, written his first novel and worked for the "Hollywood Spectator" as a writer, critic and editor. His work also appeared in "Vanity Fair" and "Vogue" magazines. Trumbo's first novel, "Eclipse" (1934), was set in fictional Shale City, Colorado (a thinly veiled Grand Junction) during the 1920s and 1930s, with characters who resembled notable community members. One of its main characters, John Abbott, is modeled after Trumbo's father. Dalton had tried, perhaps unfairly he admitted later, to avenge his father on the town where he had failed.
In 1934, Warner Bros. hired Trumbo as a reader, a job that entailed reading and summarizing plays and novels and advising whether they might be adapted into movies. It lead to a contract as a junior screenwriter at its B-pictures unit. In 1936, the same year he of his first screen credit for the B-move Road Gang, Trumbo met his future soulmate Cleo Fincher and they married two years later. Daughter Nikola was born in 1939 and son Christopher in 1940. A daughter was added, Mitzi, the baby of the family.
He wrote the story for Columbia's Canadian-made Tugboat Princess, clearly influenced by Captain January, which had been made into a silent in 1924 before being remade with superstar Shirley Temple, substituting a tugboat in the original with a lighthouse. His screenplays for such films as Devil's Playground showed some concern for the plight of the disenfranchised, but the Great Depression still existed, and social commentary was inevitable in all but fantasies and musicals.
After leaving Warners, he worked for Columbia, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, and beginning in 1937, M.G.M., the studio for which he would do some of his best work in the 1940s. By the late 1930s, he had worked himself up to better assignments, primarily for RKO (though he returned to Warners for The Kid from Kokomo), and was working on A-list pictures by the turn of the decade. He won his first Oscar nod for RKO's Kitty Foyle, for which Ginger Rogers won the Academy Award for best actress as a girl from a poor family who claws her way into the upper middle class via a failed marriage to a Main Line Philadelphia swell.
By the time of America's entry into World War II, Trumbo was one of the most respected, highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood. He had also established a name for himself as a left-wing political activist whose sympathies coincided with those of the American Communist Party (CPUSA), which hewed to the line set by Moscow.
Trumbo was part of the anti-fascist Popular Front coalition of communists and liberals in the late 1930s, at the time of the Spanish Civil War. The Popular Front against Nazism and Fascism was been torn asunder in August 1939 when the USSR signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. Many party members quit the CPUSA in disgust, but the true believers parroted the party line, which was now pro-peace and against US involvement in WWII.
Trumbo reportedly did not join the Party until 1943 and harbored personal reservations about its policies as regards enforcing ideological conformity. However, the publication of his anti-war novel "Johnny Got His Gun" in 1939 coincided with the shift of the CPUSA's stance from anti-Hitler to pro-peace, and his novel was embraced by the Party as the type of literature needed to keep the US out of the war. Trumbo agreed with the Party's pro-peace platform. The book, about a wounded World War One vet who has lost his limbs, won the American Book Sellers Award (the precursor to the National Book Award) in 1939. In a speech made in February 1940, four months before the Nazi blitzkrieg knocked France out of the war, Trumbo said, "If they say to us, 'We must fight this war to preserve democracy,' let us say to them, 'There is no such thing as democracy in time of war. It is a lie, a deliberate deception to lead us to our own destruction. We will not die in order that our children may inherit a permanent military dictatorship.'"
His speech was a rebuke to New Deal liberals. The Party began demonizing President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who hated Hitler and was pro-British, as a war-monger. The Party ordered its members to henceforth be pro-peace and anti-FDR in their work and statements. In June 1941, after Nazi Germany invaded the USSR, the CPUSA shifted gears to become pro-war, supportive of FDR's aggressive behavior towards Nazi Germany.
Shortly after the German invasion, Trumbo instructed his publisher to recall all copies of "Johnny Got His Gun" and to cease publication of the book. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war against the U.S. catapulted the U.S. into both the Asian and European theaters of World War II, the book - always popular with peace-lovers and isolationists who opposed America's involvement in foreign wars - suddenly became popular among native fascists, too. However, it proved hard to get a copy of the book during the war years.
Trumbo joined the CPUSA in 1943, the same year Victor Fleming's great patriotic war movie A Guy Named Joe, with a Trumbo screenplay, appeared on screens. In 1944, Original Story was a separate Oscar category and David Boehm and Chandler Sprague were nominated in that category for an Academy Award. Trumbo's screenplay was overlooked. Like other communist screenwriters, he proved to be an enthusiastic writer of pro-war propaganda, though except for the notorious pro-Stalin Mission to Moscow, few films displayed any overt communist ideas or propaganda. One that did was Tender Comrade , which Trumbo wrote as a Ginger Rogers vehicle for RKO. Directed by his future Hollywood 10 comrade Edward Dmytryk, it depicted a mild form of socialism and collectivization among women working in the defense industry. He also wrote the patriotic classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo for M.G.M., which was based on the Doolittle Raid of 1942.
Trumbo voluntarily invited FBI agents to his house in 1944 and showed them letters he had received from what he perceived were pro-fascist peaceniks who had requested copies of "Johnny Got His Gun", then out-of-print due to Trumbo's orders to his publisher. He turned those letters over to the FBI and later kept in contact with the Bureau, a fact that would later haunt blacklisted leftists, urging that the F.B.I. deal with them. His actions conformed to the CPUSA policy of denouncing anyone who opposed the war.
In 1945, the last year of the war, MGM released the Margaret O'Brien / Edward G. Robinson vehicle, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, penned by Trumbo. Robinson was a future member of the Hollywood "gray-list" with those, like Henry Fonda who were suspected of leftist sympathies or for being Fellow Travelers, but who could not be officially blacklisted. Drawing on his own rural childhood, it was a picture of a young girl's life on a farm in rural Wisconsin. The year 1945 was crucial for Trumbo and other Hollywood party members in terms of the CPUSA's desire to have their work reflect the party's ideological agenda.
HCUA was originally created in 1934 as the Special Committee on Un-American Activities to look into the activities of fascist and pro-Nazi organizations. Then popularly known as the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, the Special Committee on Un-American Activities exposed fascist organizations, including a planned coup d'etat against President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the so-called Business Plot. Later on, it became known as the House Un-American Activities Committee or the Dies Committee after the new chairman, Martin Dies. HCUA originally was tasked with investigating the involvement of German Americans with the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.
HCUA became a standing committee in 1946, still tasked with investigating suspected threats of subversion or propaganda that attacked "the form of government guaranteed by our Constitution." The focus was solely on the communists and their allies, so-called Fellow Travelers who made common cause with communists during the War Years. Fellow Travelers was a loose term that seemed to embrace many liberal FDR New Deal Democrats.
HCUA subpoenaed suspected communists in the entertainment industry. Trumbo's screenplay for Tender Comrade, which concerned three Army wives who pool their resources while their husbands are away fighting was denounced as communist propaganda. However, writer-producer James Kevin McGuinness, a conservative who was a friendly witness before HCUA, testified that left-wing screenwriters did not inject propaganda into their movie scripts during World War II. McGuiness testified "[The movie industry] profited from reverse lend-lease because during the [war] the Communist and Communist-inclined writers in the motion picture industry were given leave of absence to be patriotic. During that time...under my general supervision Dalton Trumbo wrote two magnificent patriotic scripts, A Guy Named Joe and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo."
Appearing before HCUA in October 1947 with Alvah Bessie, Herbert J. Biberman, Lester Cole, John Howard Lawson, 'Ring Lardner Jr' , Albert Maltz, Adrian Scott, and Samuel Ornitz, Trumbo - like the others - refused to answer any questions. In a defense strategy crafted by CPUSA lawyers, the soon-to-be-known-as "Hollywood 10" claimed that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave them the right to refuse to answer inquiries into their political beliefs as well as their professional associations. One line of questioning of HCUA was to ask if the subpoenaed witnesses were members of the Screen Writers Guild in order to smear the SWG. It was a gambit played by the Committee as it knew that which of the 10 were in the unions, and it knew which were communist. As Arthur Miller has pointed out, HCUA left the Broadway theater alone, despite the fact that there were communists working in it, because no one outside of the Northeastern U.S. really cared about theater or knew who theatrical professionals were, and thus, it could not generate the publicity that HCUA members craved and courted through their hearings.
HCUA cited them for contempt of Congress, and the Hollywood 10 were tried and convicted on the charge. All were fined and jailed, with Trumbo being sentenced to a year in federal prison and a fine of $1,000. He served 10 months of the sentence. The Hollywood 10 were blacklisted by the Hollywood studios, a blacklist enforced by the very guilds they helped create. Trumbo and the other Hollywood 10 screenwriters were kicked out of the Screen Writers Guild (John Howard Lawson had been one of the founders of the SWG and its first president), which meant, even if they weren't blacklisted, they could not obtain work in Hollywood. Those who continued to write for the American cinema had to do so under assumed names or by using a "front", a screenwriter who would take credit for their work and pass on all or some of the fee to the blacklisted writer. Later, as one of the Hollywood Ten, Trumbo claimed for himself the mantle of "Martyr for Freedom of Speech" and attacked, as rats, those who became informers for HCUA by naming names. In 1949, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., wrote in The Saturday Review of Books, that Trumbo was in fact NOT a free speech martyr since he would not fight for freedom of speech for ALL the people, such as right-wing conservatives, but only for the freedom of speech of CPUSA members. The anti-communist Schlesinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard historian, thought Trumbo and others like him were doctrinaire communists and hypocrites. In response, Trumbo wrote a scathing letter to The Saturday Review to defend himself, characterizing himself as a paladin championing free speech for all Americans under the aegis of the First Amendment, which the Hollywood 10 claimed gave them the right to refuse to cooperate with HCUA.
After his blacklisting and failure of the Hollywood 10's appeals, the Trumbo family exiled themselves to Mexico. In Mexico, chain-smoking in the bathtub in which he always wrote, usually with a parrot given to him by 'Kirk Douglas' perched on his shoulder, Trumbo wrote approximately thirty scripts under pseudonyms and using fronts who relayed the money to him. His works included the film noir classic Gun Crazy (AKA Gun Crazy), co-written under the pseudonym Millard Kaufman, Oscar-winning Roman Holiday (with screenwriter Ian McLellan Hunter as a front), and The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell for director Otto Preminger and upon which blacklisted Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Wilson also worked).
At the 1957 Academy Awards, Robert Rich won the Oscar for best original story of 1956 for The Brave One. Rich was not present to accept the award, which was accepted on his behalf by Jesse Lasky Jr. of the Screen Writers Guild. When journalists began digging in to the background of the phantom Mr. Rich, they found out he was the nephew of a producer. Suspicion then arose that Rich was a pseudonym for the blacklisted Trumbo.
Though Hollywood has always been inundated with writers, Trumbo, even while blacklisted, was prized as a good writer who was fast, reliable and could write in many genres. Despite being a communist, Trumbo's favorite themes were more in the vein of populism than Marxism. Trumbo celebrated the individual rebelling against the powers that be.
With rumors circulating that Trumbo had written the Oscar-winning The Brave One, it triggered a discussion in the industry about the propriety of the blacklist, since so many screenplays were being written by blacklisted individuals who were being denied screen credit. The blacklist only worked to suppress the prices of screenplays by these talented writers. In 1958, Pierre Boulle won the Oscar for the screenplay adapted from his novel The Bridge on the River Kwai, which was unusual since Boulle could not speak nor write in English, which may have been the reason he did not attend the awards ceremony to pick up the Oscar in person. It was immediately realized that the screenplay had likely been written by a blacklisted screenwriter. It was - Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman.
Kirk Douglas hired Trumbo to write the script for Spartacus in 1958. In the summer of 1959 Otto Preminger hired Trumbo to write the script for Exodus. On January 20, 1960, the New York Times carried the story that Otto Preminger had hired Dalton Trumbo to write the script for Exodus, and that he would start shooting in April. On August 8, of the same year Kirk Douglas announced in Variety that Trumbo had written the script for Spartacus. Both pictures opened in the winter of 1960.
Trumbo wrote many more screenplays for A-list films, including Lonely Are the Brave, The Sandpiper, Hawaii (1966) , and _Fixer, The (1968). In 1970, he was awarded the Laurel Award for lifetime achievement by the Screen Writers Guild. He made a famous speech that many saw as a reconciliation of the two sides of fight. In 1971, he wrote and directed the movie adaptation of his famous anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun. His last screenwriting credit on a feature film was for Papillon, in which he also had a cameo role.
A six-pack-a-day smoker, he developed lung cancer in 1973. Two years later, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (which had supported the black list), Walter Mirisch, personally delivered a belated Oscar to Trumbo for his The Brave One script, now officially recognized by AMPAS as his creation. Eighteen years later, AMPAS would award him a posthumous Oscar for Roman Holiday.
Dalton Trumbo died from a heart attack in California on September 10, 1976. At his memorial service, Ring Lardner Jr., his close friend and fellow Hollywood 10 member, delivered an amusing eulogy. "At rare intervals, there appears among us a person whose virtues are so manifest to all, who has such a capacity for relating to every sort of human being, who so subordinates his own ego drive to the concerns of others, who lives his whole life in such harmony with the surrounding community that he is revered and loved by everyone with whom he comes in contact. Such a man Dalton Trumbo was not."
Vicky Jeudy is best known for her breakout role on the American comedy-drama hit series, Orange Is the New Black as Janae Watson, a former high school track star, who after one wrong turn becomes an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary.
Vicky got her start in the entertainment world competing in beauty pageants. She was a top 25 Semifinalist in the Miss NY USA competition, where she took home the title of Miss Photogenic. After gaining her BA in theatre studies, her interest shifted from pageants to acting. Vicky landed her first few roles in small independent films. Through these projects she learned that her emotionally nuanced performances, coupled with her professionalism, would create fast opportunities for her future as an artist.
Born and raised in Queens, New York and of Haitian descent, Vicky is an activist at heart. Vicky believes that as an artist, she should express her world views through each of her character portrayals.
Vicky is an avid reader in holistic health and when not on set, can be seen empowering the youth in her urban community. Vicky keeps physically fit and in her free time is a certified kick boxing and aerobics instructor.
Finola Hughes was born in London. She studied at Arts Educational Schools and began her career in the Northern Ballet Company, after winning the Markova award. She went on to work in the West End, in the original cast of "Cats" and continued working with Andrew Lloyd Webber in "Song & Dance". After making Staying Alive in LA, she moved to California in 1984 and began working on General Hospital, winning an Emmy award in 1991. She continued to make TV series and various movies for the next few years, Jack's Place, Aspen Extreme, Blossom, Charmed, and returned to ABC daytime, in 1999, to join the cast of All My Children in New York. Once in NY, she began entering the Fashion World and returned to Los Angeles to begin a 4-year stint on the Style Network, with a fabulous makeover show, How Do I Look?. She returned for a brief sojourn to General Hospital, and it's spin-off, "Night Shift". Finola lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, artist Russell Young, and their 3 children.
Dan Blocker is one of the true television immortals, having played Hoss Cartwright -- the heart and soul of _"Bonzanza" (1959) -- 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" (1957). 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 Jones was a brief cult star of the late 60s counterculture era and a would-be successor to James Dean had he wanted it. Born Billy Frank Jones amid rather impoverished surroundings to a grocery clerk in Jackson, Tennessee in 1941, his artist mother had to be institutionalized when Chris was 4. She died in a mental facility in 1960 and this was always to haunt him. Shifted back and forth between homes and orphanages and placed in Boys Town at one point to straighten out his life, Chris joined the service as a young adult but went AWOL two days later. After serving out his time on Governor's Island for this infraction, he moved to New York and studied painting, meeting a motley crew of actors and artists. Friends were startled by his uncanny resemblance to James Dean - his brooding good looks and troubled nature were absolutely eerie. Encouraged to try out for the Actor's Studio, he was accepted and eventually won a role on Broadway in "The Night of the Iguana" in 1961. He ended up marrying acting coach Lee Strasberg's daughter, Susan Strasberg, in 1965 but his erratic behavior sent her packing within three years. Chris' undeniable charisma led him to Hollywood for a role in Chubasco with his wife Susan, and then brief cult stardom in Wild in the Streets as a rock star who becomes president. This popular satire, in turn, led to international projects such as The Looking Glass War and Ryan's Daughter. But the trappings of success got to him. Numerous entanglements with the Hollywood "in crowd" took its toll, including those with Pamela Courson (Jim Morrison's girlfriend at the time), the ill-fated Sharon Tate, one-time co-star Pia Degermark and Olivia Hussey (who rushed into a marriage with Dean Paul Martin shortly after Chris turned his back on marriage). The workload left him emotionally spent and Tate's brutal murder left him devastated. He split the scene but ended up a victim of Sunset Strip drug culture. Little was heard of Chris until decades later, when Quentin Tarantino offered him a part in Pulp Fiction. The now reclusive and eccentric Jones refused the role, but this was not the case with a lower-profile role in Mad Dog Time a couple of years later. This proved to be only a minor comeback or not has yet to be determined. After a 26 year retirement from his acting career, that Sharon Tates extremely brutal murder and bloody death, on Saturday, August 9th, 1969, Bob did make one final acting appearance, in Mad Dog Time.
Sondra Locke was born May 28, 1944, in Shelbyville, Tennessee, a quiet little town about 60 miles southeast of Nashville. She was the daughter of Raymond Smith, a military man stationed in the area, and Pauline Bayne. Smith departed the scene before Sondra's birth. Later, her mother wed Alfred Locke, and together they had a son, Donald, in 1946. Sondra's stepfather was a carpenter, and her mother worked in a pencil factory. For the smart, fanciful Locke, "My childhood felt as if I had been dropped off at an extended summer camp for which I was waiting to be picked up." The bright girl loved to read, which puzzled her simple mother, who was always pushing her to spend more time outside. Sondra's happiest moments occurred on weekend visits to the local movie theater.
Locke was a cheerleader in junior high and graduated as valedictorian of her eighth grade class in 1958. At Shelbyville Central High School, the "classroom was the one place where I felt like I had a chance to prove myself and I continued to excel. I felt safe there and I liked it." Her best friend was classmate Gordon Anderson. He was a fey young man, who shared many of Sondra's fanciful hopes about the future and was her collaborator in devising harmless ways to make their lives in Shelbyville more magical. One of the duo's frequent activities was making home movies with Gordon's Super 8 camera.
When Gordon attended Middle Tennessee State University in the fall of 1962, Sondra enrolled there, too. (With her school record, she could have had a scholarship to Vassar or Radcliffe.) After completing her first year of studies, Sondra had a blowup with her mother, left home, and did not return to college. Instead, she worked in Nashville in assorted menial posts at radio station WSM, with occasional work as a model and in commercials. While in Nashville, Locke began acting in community theater. Meanwhile, Gordon revealed to her that he was homosexual. He went off to Manhattan to study acting and, for a while, had a lover there. Anderson was talented but unfocused about his theater craft and eventually returned to Tennessee. Because of Locke's spiritual kinship with Anderson, she and Gordon decided to wed. The unconventional couple were married in a simple church service in Nashville on September 25, 1967. (Reputedly, the marriage was never consummated.)
If Gordon was unable to launch his own acting career, he had no such problems igniting Sondra's. He learned that Warner Bros. was holding an open casting call for a young actress to play a key role in the screen adaptation of Carson McCullers's novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Anderson helped Locke research the part of Mick, a teenage waif in a southern town who befriends a suicidal deaf-mute (played by Alan Arkin) boarding at the house where she lives. For the audition, Gordon bleached her eyebrows and bound her bosom so that she would instantly impress casting agents. The ploy worked, and, after several callbacks, Locke - who lied about her age to seem younger - was hired. The movie was released in the summer of 1968 and earned respectful reviews from critics, although many filmgoers found the picture too arty. Sondra was Oscar-nominated for her sensitive portrayal.
Next, Sondra moved to Los Angeles, with Gordon in tow. She hoped to parlay her Academy Award nomination into further acting assignments. The big-eyed, petite, wiry blonde found it difficult to win suitable parts, making her accept lesser projects, the most famous of which was Willard, a film about marauding rats. The majority of Locke's screen appearances during the first half of the 1970s were on episodic television, including The F.B.I., Cannon, Kung Fu and Barnaby Jones. Among the few other theatrical motion pictures she made were Cover Me Babe (aka "Run Shadow Run") alongside Robert Forster and The Second Coming of Suzanne, a peculiar experimental film co-starring Richard Dreyfuss, in which she played a Christ figure.
Her fortunes began to shift in 1975, when she was offered the role of Clint Eastwood's love interest in The Outlaw Josey Wales. Off-screen, the two quickly became an item, Sondra recalling, "We were almost living together from the very first days of the film." She was 14 years younger and a foot shorter than the serially womanizing megastar, who confided he'd never been in love before and would boast that she made him monogamous. Despite the fact that her dormant career was now revitalized, the actress ceased from pursuing film roles independently in order to attend to wifely duties and appeared on the big screen exclusively in Eastwood-related projects, with one minor exception (The Shadow of Chikara, shot in Arkansas in 1976 during the honeymoon period of their relationship). "Clint wanted me to work only with him," she said. "He didn't like the idea of me being away from him."
Over the next few years, Locke had two abortions from her relationship with Eastwood. In 1979, she underwent a tubal ligation to prevent further pregnancies. She and Clint moved into a Bel-Air home, which she spent months renovating and decorating, and which she believed would be hers forever. She continued to spend platonic time with Gordon Anderson, whom she never divorced, nurtured by their spiritual relationship. Gordon moved in and out of gay relationships, and sometimes he and a boyfriend would socialize with Clint and Sondra. As for the professional side of things, the paramours co-starred in the road actioner The Gauntlet, the slapstick comedy Every Which Way But Loose and its sequel, Any Which Way You Can, the western satire Bronco Billy, and the fourth "Dirty Harry" film, Sudden Impact - all of which performed outstandingly well at the box office and cemented them as one of filmdom's top on-screen duos.
During this period, Sondra took a few TV roles when Clint was starring in a movie that had no part for her to play (such as Escape from Alcatraz or Firefox). The first time she worked apart from him for any length of time since 1976 was in Rosie: The Rosemary Clooney Story, a CBS biopic Rosemary Clooney asked her to do on the strength of her performance in "Bronco Billy." She also made an appearance on the anthology series Tales of the Unexpected, but for the most part found herself sitting on the sidelines waiting for Eastwood to cast her in something.
By the mid-1980s, Sondra, over 40, was acutely aware that in Hollywood terms her leading lady days were nearly finished. She had long been interested in film directing and had observed carefully how Eastwood and others directed the pictures she was in. With his blessing, she found a property that intrigued her and that his production company would package. She developed it into a project for Warner Bros., where Clint had a long-term working relationship. She made Ratboy, but despite good reviews, the film received scant distribution. In retrospect, Locke concluded that her exertion of authority over the project caused her longtime lover to turn away from her, to find someone who was more compliant. (In a surreptitious affair with stewardess Jacelyn Reeves, Eastwood became the father of two children born in 1986 and 1988, in Monterey - a betrayal Locke was unaware of.)
The showdown between Sondra and Clint occurred on December 29, 1988 in Sun Valley, Idaho. After an unpleasant confrontation, Eastwood suggested Locke return to Los Angeles. She sensed their relationship had passed a point of reconciliation, a fact confirmed when she scarcely saw Eastwood in subsequent months and when industry friends they knew in common shunned her. As she admitted later, "In my head I guess I knew it was over, but in my heart we were still not severed." On April 10, 1989, as she was directing a demanding sequence in a new big-screen thriller, Impulse, Eastwood had the locks changed on the couple's Bel-Air home and ordered her possessions to be boxed and put in storage. A letter addressed to "Mrs. Gordon Anderson" was dropped off on her husband's doorstep, imperatively telling her not to come home. When Gordon telephone Sondra on the set and read her the letter, she fainted dead away in front of the cast and crew.
On April 26, 1989, Sondra filed a palimony lawsuit against her domestic partner of 13 years. Her "brazenness" in taking on the powerful Eastwood amazed and shocked Tinseltown and titillated the public. Her action sought unspecified damages and an equal division of the property she and Eastwood had acquired during their relationship. Locke asked for title to the Bel-Air home they had shared and to the Crescent Heights (West Hollywood) place Eastwood had purchased in 1982 (in which Gordon Anderson lived). The closed hearing was held on May 31, 1989, before a private judge. Before any court decision could be made, a private settlement was reached between the parties. Locke received $450,000, the Crescent Heights property, and a $1.5 million multiyear development-directing pact at Warner Bros. In return, she dropped her suit. By then, the fall of 1990, she was happy to end the hassle. (In the past months she had been diagnosed with cancer, undergone a double mastectomy, and endured chemotherapy.)
For the next three years Locke submitted over 30 projects to Warner Bros., but none received a green light to move ahead. Moreover, the studio refused to assign her to direct any of their in-house projects. In the mid-1990s, Sondra discovered that Eastwood had, in fact, arranged to reimburse Warner Bros. for her three-year studio contract - a matter that he had never mentioned to her. It became obvious that the studio's negative professional attitude toward her had little or nothing to do with her directing or project-finding abilities. On June 5, 1995, Locke sued Eastwood a second time, alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. She claimed that Clint's behind-the-scene actions had sent a message "to the film industry and the world at large ... that Locke was not to be taken seriously." (According to Sondra's lawyer, the situation was Clint's "way of terminating the earlier palimony suit.")
While Locke's case was revving up in the courtroom, Eastwood reached an out-of-court settlement with her. The jubilant plaintiff said, "This was never about money. It was about my fighting for my professional rights." According to the victor, "I didn't enjoy it. But sometimes you have to do things you don't enjoy." Locke added, "In this business, people get so accustomed to being abused, they just accept the abuse and say, 'Well, that's just the way it is.' Well, it isn't."
But Locke was not finished. She had a pending action against Warner Bros. for allegedly harming her career by agreeing to the sham movie-directing deal that Eastwood had purportedly engineered. On May 24, 1999, just as jury selection was beginning, the studio reached an out-of-court settlement with Sondra.
In the years following her courtroom saga, Sondra did not direct another movie. She did make a brief return to acting with supporting roles in the independent features The Prophet's Game and Clean and Narrow, both of which failed to secure a cinematic release. In 2001, she sold her home in the Hollywood Hills and moved to another part of Los Angeles. She had a live-in relationship with Scott Cunneen, a physician 17 years her junior who had treated her during her cancer siege.
Born in Walnut Creek, California, (USA) Alice Greczyn grew up mainly in the mid-west until finally landing in Colorado. She had no idea that she would stumble into life as an actress. Starring in television shows and films had not even crossed her mind. Instead, her childhood goal was to compete as a figure skater. As she got a little older her focus shifted to more humanitarian purposes, which led her to attend college with plans of being a nurse or paramedic. That all changed when Greczyn was approached by a talent manager in Colorado, who then set her career in motion. Greczyn spends most of her off time traveling, whether it's to visit with family or visit places as far as Mongolia. Her true passion is cooking and exploring other cultures. Greczyn's stunning exotic beauty stems from a unique European-Asian blend of ethnicity.
This American film actor also multitasks as a producer, composer and production manager. He rose to fame in the 1970s, praised for his range and sensitivity. His blonde rugged looks helped viewers connect even more easily to his powerful performances.
Born John Youngs in Old Bethpage, New York, Savage attended the American Academy of Performing Arts. The Long Island boy debuted on Broadway in the chorus of "Fiddler On the Roof". He ended up playing one of the sons, after another actor fell sick. During this production, managers Stewart Cohen and Rudy Altobelli discovered Savage. Between 1972 and 1975, Savage did a number of films, a TV show and spent three years doing theater in Chicago; "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Dance on a Country Grave".
He subsequently moved to Los Angeles to star in "Eric" with Patricia Neal and Mark Hamill, and then was cast by director Ulu Grosbard to play "Bobby" in the original production of David Mamet's "American Buffalo".
Savage first made a major splash with The Deer Hunter, winner of the 1979 Best Picture Oscar. The film's impact on Hollywood and America remains enormous. Director Michael Cimino cast him as "Steven", who returns from Vietnam missing his legs.
The following year, this actor enjoyed leads in two more big pictures: the film adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh's The Onion Field and Milos Forman's musical Hair. Savage played the corn-fed recruit "Claude Hooper Bukowski", who turns on, tunes in and drops out. Critics and film historians celebrated his performance -- both then and now. In fact, John Willis' "Screen World" hailed him as one of the 12 promising new actors of 1979 (Vol. 31).
In another major role, Savage appeared as the suicide-survivor in Richard Donner's Inside Moves. Sensitive and moving, this feel-good film delivers a powerful message about overcoming adversity. He was nominated for Best Actor-Foreign for his work in The Amateur. He went on to co-star in Maria's Lovers with Nastassja Kinski, backed by cinema legend Robert Mitchum.
Later films include Oliver Stone's Salvador and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather: Part III in place of Robert Duvall (who refused to appear due to a salary dispute). During the late 80s, Savage threw his star power behind the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. He continues to work despite his activism, including guest appearances in The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Dark Angel and various "Law & Order" episodes.
He first collaborated with director Spike Lee as the bike-riding gentrifier in Do the Right Thing, and then shifted to the camera's other side for Malcolm X and Summer of Sam. He also had a brief, but powerful, role in Terrence Malick's war epic, The Thin Red Line.
Chrissie started singing at the age of five and always had a flare for the dramatic. She discovered the world of acting when she was about ten years old and was hooked. She performed in countless plays and musicals throughout her school years, and eventually started working with theatre companies in her hometown of Miami, Florida.
After studying and working in Miami, Chrissie decided to move to Los Angeles. Since moving to Hollywood, Chrissie has been making quite a name for herself. Working on shows such as SouthLAnd (TNT), HOUSE, M.D. (FOX), Night Shift (SOAPnet), The Middleman (ABC Family), and Zoey 101 (Nickelodeon), and she plays Mercedes on General Hospital (ABC). She recently was part of the 2011 Disney/ABC Talent Showcase, which presents up-and-coming talent to industry professionals in an effort to diversify television programming.
Chrissie has also worked on various films. One of which was directed by Wayne Kramer and starred Harrison Ford (Crossing Over). In 2012, she will be going to Sundance with a film called Filly Brown (Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jenni Rivera, and Gina Rodriguez).
Aside from acting, Chrissie has been working on her writing. She finished her first screenplay, Love's A Trip, with friend and writing partner, Cyrina Fiallo. They are now working on a screenplay for producer Barney Cohen, and continue to write for their web series, The Subpranos.
Jason Cermak is the younger of two children, and as a youth growing up in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada he pursued every sport and academic extracurricular activity the small rural town had to offer. While attending the University of Calgary attaining his Bachelor of Commerce, Jason focused his athletic endeavors and started a 12 year career in track and field competing in decathlon.
Jason's acting career started in 2000 after meeting Matt Damon on location of "The Bourne Identity" in Prague where Jason was living at the time. His experience on that set encouraged him to get an agent and start training as a professional film and television actor. Jason's approach to pursuing his acting career was to use his commerce degree to "pay the bills" and then gradually switch the focus to acting full time. Upon convocation from the University of Calgary in 2000, Jason worked as a University instructor as well as an IT consultant for Deloitte while pursuing film and TV on the side. In 2006 while living in Melbourne, Australia Jason took the leap of faith and did a self-tape audition for the Canadian First World War film Passchendaele, resigned from his job and returned to Canada. Upon returning he discovered that he had indeed booked a role in the film and shifted his focus to acting full time while continuing to own and operate an IT consulting company on the side.
Born in Tenafly, New Jersey, U.S. Adam Rothenberg was born to Gillian and Kenneth Rothenberg. He has starred in many off-Broadway shows. These include the lead in Second Stage's revival of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (2004), as well as his critically acclaimed role in The Women's Project's Birdy (2003). In a 2008 interview with People Magazine, Rothenberg discussed his work before turning to acting as a garbage man and a fact checker for Mademoiselle. The worst was as a security guard: gruesome 12-hour shifts in front of an elevator. In 2006, Rothenberg played the Scottish storyteller "Chimney Bosch" in the MCC Theater's The Wooden Breeks, directed by Trip Cullman.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui (born 1974) also known as Nowaz is an Indian film actor who has appeared in some of Bollywood's major films including, Black Friday (2004), New York (2009), Peepli Live (2010), Kahani (2012), Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) and Gangs of Wasseypur - Part 2 (2012).
Early life and education
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is from Budhana a small town of Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh, where his father is a farmer.  Siddiqui grew up amongst nine siblings, seven brothers and two sisters. 
After graduating in science from a local college, he worked as a chemist in a petrochemical company for a short while. But boredom set in soon, and he moved to Delhi, here in the next one and a half year period, he started watching plays, while working a watchman at an office. He got associated with Sakshi Theatre Group and worked with actors like Manoj Bajpai and Saurabh Shukla.
Eventually he graduated from the The National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi in 1996.Now he is a well known actor. Career
After passing out of NSD, he shifted to Mumbai. Nawazuddin made his Bollywood debut in 1999, with a small role in Aamir Khan starrer, Sarfarosh. After moving to Mumbai he tried to get work in television serials, but did not achieve much success. After his debut, he appeared in minor roles, where he remained largely unnoticed, despite his strong performances. He did a short film The Bypass in 2003, where he appeared with actor, Irrfan Khan. Beyond that between 2002-05, he was largely out of work, and lived in a flat he shared with four other people, and survived by conducting occasional acting workshops. His appearance in Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday (2007) paved way for other powerful roles. His first lead role in a feature film was in Prashant Bhargava's PATANG, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, for which Nawazuddin's performance has been praised by world renown film critic Roger Ebert (awarding the film 4 stars), a role which 'transformed his acting style'. In 2009, he appeared in a cameo role in hit song "emotional attyachar" in the movie Dev D in his moniker as Rangila along with his duo Rasila (known together as Patna ke Presley). However it was his role of a journalist in Aamir Khan Productions's Peepli Live (2010), that first got him recognition as an actor. This was followed by a role as police informer Gopi in biopic, Paan Singh Tomardirected by Tigmanshu dhulia also in the same year.
He however became a household name post Kahaani (2012), where he played the archetypal short tempered cop Khan. Gangs of Wasseypur followed which furthered his fame. He played his first primary role as Sonu Duggal in Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely which premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, a role Nawazuddin describes as his "most real performance so far." Nawazuddin also played the lead role in the upcoming films, Gangs of Wasseypur - Part II and Aatma. He will be appearing in Aamir Khan's 2012 release, Talash. Gangs of Wasseypur is being touted as the career defining film for Nawazuddin where he played the role of Faizal Khan, as the second son of Sardar Khan, played by Manoj Bajpai. His gaudy style of dress, magnificent accent and out-of-the-way mannerism in Gangs of Wasseypur has left an impression on Bollywood critics. His film PATANG currently in release in the U.S. and Canada, is garnering much attention for Nawazuddin with rave reviews from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Roger Ebert.
Kimberly Denise Jones, was born on July 11, 1974, to parents Linwood Jones and Ruby Mae. She is of Native American and African American descent. Standing just 4 feet 11 inches tall Kimberly Jones seems much less than being just your average girl in the hood, but when "Lil' Kim" was introduced to the world she became known for her provocative over-the-top outfits, glamorous blonde hair-dos, pornographic attitude, sexy man-crazed looks, and a groundbreaking triumph that eventually secured her place as one of the few female rappers in a male-dominated industry. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Kimberly was born into a broken home, by age 9 her parents had filed for divorce, leaving her and older brother Christopher under the custody of their father. A rebellious child living under the strict rules of her dad, Kimberly and her father had constant fights, and eventually she ran away from home. As a teenager she lived with friends, drug-dealing boyfriends, and, occasionally, on the streets. After meeting her mentor and life saver Christopher Wallace, (Notorious B.I.G/Biggie Smalls), she began to clean up her life and it was Christopher who helped her develop a career in music. By then Kimberly had taken in the slogan "Lil' Kim" after her height and curbing her name to just Kim. With the help of Christopher she became the only female member of the short lived rap group Junior M.A.F.I.A. Their 1995 debut album Conspiracy debuted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnered the hit singles "Player's Anthem" (#13) and "Get Money" (#17). Following the release, Lil' Kim appeared on records by Mona Lisa, the Isley Brothers, Total, and Skin Deep. And it was obvious that it was time for her to come out with her own solo album, and that's just what she did in 1996, with the release of "Hard Core". Lil' Kim's marketing campaign for the album was quite challenging - she was dressed in a skimpy bikini and furs in advertisements, as well as the album covers - but instead of resulting in criticism, the album became a hit, debuting at # 11 on the pop charts. The first single from the album, "No Time" a duet with Sean "Puffy" Combs, became a #1 rap single and #20 on the pop charts. A top ten single followed with "Not Tonight" (#6). But while Lil Kim's career was blossoming, her life was shattered along with the music world when her father like figure Notorious B.I.G. was murdered on March 9, 1997. Following that incident, Lil' Kim took a hiatus from recording her own music, but she still kept busy with a string of other projects. She was one of the featured performers of Puff Daddy's highly successful 1998 "Bad Boy Tour", and built her own business with the launch of Queen Bee Records, with Lil' Kim herself as CEO. Her long-awaited "Notorious K.I.M." was released in the summer of 2000 under the Queen Bee record label and debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Charts. By then, she had lost weight but still kept the sexual techniques and provocative antics coming for fans that were hungry for more. She had also taken a shift into films debuting in the 1999 teen flick "She's All That" and playing Tina Parker in the 2002 comedy "Juwanna Man". In 2001 Lil Kim gained her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in a remake of Patti Labelle's hit "Lady Marmalade" that collaborated her with singers Mya, Pink, and Christina Aguilera, the success awarded them a Grammy in 2002 for Best Pop Collaboration. Her third full-length album "La Bella Mafia" was released in 2003 debuting at #5 on the pop charts and earned her two more hits with "The Jump Off" (#17) and "Magic Stick/feat.50Cent" that shot to #2. Her album The Naked Truth released in September 2005 debuted at No. 6 on Billboard's Top 200 Album's chart and sold 109,000 copies during the first week of its release.
A bizarre, gloriously one-of-a-kind Hollywood gypsy and self-affirmed outcast, San Francisco-born actress Susan Tyrrell (born Susan Jillian Creamer) was a teenager when she made her stage debut in "Time Out for Ginger" in 1962. A product of the entertainment industry, her father was a top agent at one time with the William Morris firm. She built up her resumé in summer stock and regional plays usually cast in standard ingénue roles. Her nascent career took an abrupt shift in direction, however, when, as a member of New York's Lincoln Repertory Company, she was cast in an array of seamy, salty-tongued, highly dysfunctional character parts. After striking performances on and off Broadway in such fare as "The Rimers of Eldritch" (1967), "A Cry of Players" (1968), "The Time of Your Life" (1969) and "Camino Real" (1970) Hollywood took keen notice of this special talent and, in the early 1970s, began to cast her in their more offbeat projects.
In only her fourth film, Susan earned an Academy Award nomination for her powerhouse portrayal of a cynical, low-life boozer girlfriend opposite Stacy Keach's has-been boxer in John Huston's potent but highly depressing Fat City. Pulling out all the stops after this, she continued to show her fearless attraction toward the dark side throughout the late 1970s with flashy roles in lesser quality material such as The Killer Inside Me, Andy Warhol's Bad, Islands in the Stream, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and September 30, 1955 as various harridans and grotesques. The 1980s proved no different with manic behavior on full display in Tales of Ordinary Madness, Forbidden Zone, Liar's Moon, Fast-Walking, Night Warning, Big Top Pee-wee and underground director John Waters' more mainstream film Cry-Baby, many of which have now achieved cult status.
Toned down a bit for TV, she nevertheless demonstrated in both the one-season series Open All Night and on MacGruder and Loud that she wasn't about to change. When her TV and movie career started to simmer down, the Los Angeles-based actress opted for the avant-garde stage with such productions as "Why Hannah's Skirt Won't Stay Down" (1986), "Landscape of the Body" (1987), "The Geography of Luck" (1989) and her trenchant one-woman piece "My Rotten Life: A Bitter Operetta" (1989), which she performed over a long period of time.
Real-life tragedy struck in late April of 2000 when Susan contracted a near-fatal illness. Both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee as a result of multiple blood clots due to a rare blood disease -- thrombocythemia. Never say die, she valiantly tried to maintain a positive outlook, and continued to perform on occasion while going through rehabilitation. She also spent time writing and painting before passing away on June 16, 2012. A wild, boisterous trooper, she was the definitive underground raconteur for those who desired the more sordid side of Hollywood.
From a talented acting generation of brothers, Timothy James Bottoms, who was this close to out-and-out super-stardom in the 1970s, is the oldest of four acting siblings. All four boys were born in Santa Barbara, California (Timothy on August 30, 1951; some sources indicate 1950), as children of James "Bud" Bottoms, a sculptor and high school art teacher, and his wife Betty. Artistic expression was certainly encouraged in this family and Timothy expressed an avid interest, even during his preschool years, of wanting to perform. Raised in Santa Barbara, he was a member of the Youth Theater Productions at school and in 1967 toured Europe along with the Santa Barbara Madrigal Society, which sealed his aspirations.
Following high school, Timothy was spotted by Universal in a stage production of "Romeo and Juliet" and chosen (with no prior film experience) for a lead part in director Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun. As Joe, a young American soldier who is shelled and left armless and legless on the last day of World War I, Timothy received excellent reviews and earned a Golden Globe nomination as "Most Promising Newcomer." His next starring role propelled him into the top leagues. Cast as aimless Texas-boy "Sonny," the sensitive, mournful-eyed, youthful focus of Peter Bogdanovich's downbeat Oscar winner The Last Picture Show, the film went on to make full-fledged stars not only of Timothy, but of Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd. Younger brother Sam, who frequently visited the set, wound up touchingly cast as another young but ill-fated character.
The early 1970s was a time of great personal accomplishments for Bottoms in film. Engagingly maladroit and looking slightly uncomfortable in his own skin, he proved that his first reviews were no flukes. He appeared to great advantage in the touching drama Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing opposite British acting doyenne Maggie Smith and as the tousle-haired college protagonist in the coming-of-age box-office hit The Paper Chase. In an effort to break free of his sensitive prototype, he delved into stranger, darker characters with The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder and Rollercoaster. These efforts were less successful, however, and he quickly began to discover his film career slipping away at the early age of 26.
Outgrowing his awkward adorableness, he shifted to the smaller screen in order to secure challenging roles, such as the biblical lead in The Story of David; his ex-convict in A Small Town in Texas; his bank teller in Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers; his fatally-stricken track runner in A Shining Season, and the Raymond Massey role (in which he aged 30 years) in the ambitious mini-series East of Eden, with brother Sam recreating the James Dean part.
Timothy's success certainly encouraged his younger siblings. By this time Joseph, Sam and Ben were were all experiencing significant lifts in their own respective careers. As a group, the four brothers hooked up together for the TV movie Island Sons, in which they all played brothers and used their real first names. The movie was promoted as a pilot for an upcoming weekly series, but it failed to make the grade. While Timothy continued to work steadily throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the quality of material he was given grew more standard. Roles in such films as Invaders from Mars, The Drifter and the foreign-made Istanbul did little to reignite his earlier success. A sequel to his famous "The Last Picture Show", entitled Texasville, could have had heads turning but the movie decided instead to focus instead on Jeff Bridges (who at this juncture was a big name star) while Timothy's character was given short shrift with what was essentially a cameo.
Into the millennium Timothy had a slight taste of his former glory while showing a keen talent for parody with his uncanny impersonation of, of all people, the emotionally-challenged George W. Bush. Who would have thought? Bottoms' dead-on spoof on That's My Bush!, courtesy of the creators of "South Park", led to a brief Bush cameo in the family film The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course and the much more serious TV-movie DC 9/11: Time of Crisis. Interestingly, Timothy needed little in the way of prosthetics. He simply parted his hair differently, added a bit of a drawl and imitated his walk!
The still boyish-looking actor with that same trickle of sadness and discomfort has worked continuously for the past thirty years and appeared in over 65 films. Of late he has shined in small independent features such as with his dysfunctional father in Gus Van Sant Elephant, which chronicled a Columbine High School-like massacre, and his closer-to-home portrayal as a middle-aged actor in search of his early fame in Paradise, Texas. More recently is a role in the remake of Jack London's Call of the Wild.
Timothy's marriage to folk singer Alicia Cory from 1975 to 1978, produced son Bartholomew. He has three other children (Benton, William, Bridget) with current wife (since 1984) Marcia Morehart. Bottoms divides his time between his acting work and his other great love of training wild horses at his two ranches near Big Sur, California. On the sly he has worked as a surveyor's assistant. While two of his brothers, Joseph and Ben, have virtually abandoned their film careers for satisfying lives outside the Hollywood realm, Sam died at 53 of brain cancer. Timothy continues to pursue his Hollywood career decided to venture on.
BoJesse Christopher - Biography (Actor/Filmmaker)
American actor BoJesse Christopher was born and raised in San Francisco, Ca, and is best known for his portrayal of Grommet/LBJ, the reckless younger brother of Patrick Swayze in the 20th Century Fox classic original feature film 'Point Break', directed by academy award winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) in 1991.
BoJesse has starred, co-starred, reoccurred, guest starred, appeared in a wide variety of notable film and television projects over the years, earning BoJesse praise early on as a young mysterious edgy likeable mischievous up and comer.
Some of BoJesse's memorable television roles include; Billy O'Connell in David E. Kelly's Emmy award winning, and critically acclaimed 'Picket Fences' for CBS, as well as Mr. Andy in Aaron Spelling's smash hit 'Beverly Hills 90210' for FOX TV.
BoJesse has worked on over 40 feature film and television projects, acting opposite an assortment of Hollywood's elite actors such as; Mickey Rourke, Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Lori Petty, John C. McGinley, John C. Riley, Jennifer Aniston, Norman Reedus, John Diehl, Hilary Swank, Christina Applegate, Tobey Maguire, Delroy Lindo, James Le Gros, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Edgar Ramirez Stella Adler, Shelly Winters, Scott Leet, Brian Austin Green, Jason Priestly, Christopher Walken, Ed O'Neil, Katey Sagal, David Faustino, Tom Skerritt, Kathy Baker, Scott Bakula, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Ruffalo, Corey Feldman, Christian Slater, Ed Begley Jr., Kevin Connolly, Jeremy Sisto, Cole Hauser, Alanna Ubach, David Hemmings, Mimi Rogers, Kurt Russell, Kirstie Alley, Mila Jovovich, Peter Fonda, etc.
In 1999 BoJesse transitioned to filmmaker, writing, producing, directing and co-starring in the Lions Gate feature film 'Out In Fifty' starring the legendary Mickey Rourke. Thereafter, BoJesse enjoyed a two year overhead producer arrangement, developing and packaging film content for veteran producers Alan Riche & Tony Ludwig at Eagle Cove Entertainment who's 1rst look deal was at Warner Bros.
After 911, BoJesse put his filmmaking career on hold, shifted his focus in 2001, and launched his nightlife entertainment marketing company BJC Events, Inc.
Since 1988, BoJesse has been a staple of Hollywood nightlife, forging his path as an industry leader, cultivating relationships, building his BJC Events, Inc. brand, and growing his business well into 2015.
BJC Events, Inc. is a full service event marketing company that produces unforgettable experiences for clientele through lifestyle, special events and nightlife programs.
Leveraging unparalleled entertainment industry relationships and access to the most exclusive venues, BJC has created events that are the pinnacle of where to "see and be seen".
BoJesse Christopher is a film and television veteran who has become a true innovator in the nightlife and promotions industry. His weekly nightclub promotions are the premiere nightlife events in Hollywood. BJC special events and concert promotions and after parties regularly attract A-List celebrities from the worlds of music, fashion, action sports and entertainment.
Moreover, BoJesse has cultivated a loving family during this time. He is blessed with a beautiful and talented wife and three children. BoJesse lives in southern California by the ocean and is a dedicated husband, father and surfer.
Although BoJesse has enjoyed the success of BJC Events, Inc. he has always desired to return to his acting roots when the timing was right.
In 2012, BoJesse committed, got organized, and threw himself into Sandy Marshall's renowned advanced Meisner acting class to re-connect with himself, as well as refine his craftsmanship as a truthful actor.
Soon after, BoJesse was inspired to share this technique, and created a weekly acting collective where he currently directs/coaches weekly workshops at The Zephyr Theatre, entitled 'Truth Be Told'. BoJesse also teaches Masters Acting Classes for Camera at both Relativity School (integrated with Relativity Media/Studios), and The New York Film Academy, as well as private coaching, on set, and in studio by appointment.
BoJesse coaches with an emphasis on moment to moment truth, utilizing Stanislavski's 'building a character' components in the preparation leading up to the moment, along with Meisner's 'repetition exercises' in the moment.
Previously, BoJesse personally trained with legendary acting coach Stella Adler at prestigious The Stella Adler Conservatory Theatre, while being mentored and privately coached by two time academy award winner, actress Shelley Winters at The Actors Studio West from 1988-1990, studying various method techniques.
After years of being away from the film and television industry, BoJesse was finally ready to return to his original passion of acting/filmmaking in 2013, realigning himself with former talent manager David Fleming, along with Nick Todisco at Atlas Artists, and is excited to work with like-minded creative forces.
Over the course of 2014, BoJesse forged an impressive and proactive return to acting. He co-starred in the independent films, 'The Human' as a corrupt LA cop, directed by Jesse Gordon, a compassionate NY cop in 'Endless' directed by Scott Beardslee, a deranged serial killer in 'No Escape' directed by Todd Jeffrey, multiple personality disorder in 'The Head Theives' directed by Mike Hermosa, homeless with ptsd in 'M3' directed by Jason Baumgardner, child psychologist in 'Remember My Story' directed by Nathanael Matanick, unfiltered and zainy in the TV pilot presentation 'Ur In Analysis' directed by Bernie Gewissler, a hard edged detective in the supernatural thriller TV Pilot 'Strange Ones' directed by Brian A. Metcalf, as well as the Director of the FBI in the reimagined 'Point Break' directed by Ericson Core, distributed by Warner Bros., opening Christmas Day, 2015.
As a filmmaker, BoJesse is also attached to direct the psychological thriller 'Method To Madness', and the emotional feel good drama 'Good-time Charlie'. BoJesse is always seeking out inspiring new material to develop as an actor/producer/director, including a handful of unannounced Ken Nolan (Blackhawk Down) writing specs.
The name BoJesse is his Fathers creation: 'Bo' after the legendary blues guitarist Bo Diddley and 'Jesse' after the infamous cowboy outlaw Jesse James (all one word and capitol J. BoJesse - An outlaw with rhythm). Stay tuned...
Having made his feature film debut starring in the teen comedy Cavegirl Daniel Roebuck quickly realized that there was only one direction to travel in his career. Up!
Soon after Cavegirl, Roebuck established himself as one of the industry's youngest character actors with his haunting portrayal as the teenage killer, Samson in The River's Edge.
Daniel Roebuck was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, A fan of movies and television from a very early age he was immediately drawn to the actors and comedians. As his obsession with performing grew his parents unwittingly fomented his future by gifting him with a cardboard TV on his seventh Christmas.
At the age of 10, he started performing in talent shows doing impressions of movie stars he loved. He joined a local circus two years later and made his debut as one of the youngest clowns in the country. Roebuck's clown act eventually segued into a magic act and he performed that throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
It was only a matter of time before Roebuck discovered the theater and from that point he never looked back. Over the next few years while still in Pennsylvania, Roebuck continued to hone his craft, acting in, directing, and even writing over 40 plays. He also began performing stand up comedy.
Now, nearly 30 years later, Roebuck has amassed a substantial resume as an actor, writer and director. He has moved easily between all mediums having continued working on television, in movies and on the stage.
His film credits are myriad, having starred in blockbusters like The Fugitive, US Marshals,and final Destination, as well as popular titles including Agent Cody Banks and it's sequel, That's What I Am, Money Talks, Flash Of Genius and so many more.
Lately, Roebuck has enjoyed working in a number of horror movies - his favorite genre. He has collaborated with filmmaker Rob Zombie on Halloween, Halloween 2, Devil's Rejects, and Lords of Salem (as well as a commercial for AMDRO, the insecticide). He also appeared in Don Coscarelli's cult favorite Bubba Ho Tep as well as the director's Reggie's Tales and John Dies At The End.
Daniel has also been a familiar face on television for nearly 3 decades, he was a regular for three seasons on the evergreen hit drama, Matlock, portraying attorney 'Cliff Lewis," the junior partner of the law firm headed by Andy Griffith's beloved character, 'Ben Matlock.' Interestingly, his landing the role was the fulfillment of a promise made several years earlier with his first appearance on "Matlock" in its inaugural season. At that time, Roebuck was told that Griffith had been so impressed with his work that he would be back as a regular on the show. It took five seasons, two more guest shots as different characters, and a change of networks, but Griffith kept his promise and Roebuck indeed became a series regular.
He portrayed the irascible Rick Bettina on many episodes of Nash Bridges and in the fall of 2003 Daniel returned to series television as Pete Peterson, the gay owner of a local diner in A Minute With Stan Hooper.
As a television guest star, Daniel has played countless characters. Some of his most memorable are a cop who literally turns into a pig on Grimm, a Romulan on Star Trek, Next Generation, a gun toting hostage taker on NYPD Blue, a cranky studio owner on Sonny With A Chance and a grieving father on Glee. He played other memorable roles on New Adventures of Old Christine, NCIS, Ghost Whisperer, CSI, Boston Legal, CSI Miami, Law And Order, Desperate Housewives and Hot in Cleveland.
On the popular show, Lost, Roebuck portrayed the infamous Dr. Leslie Arzt, the aggravating science teacher whose explosive exit in the finale of the first season remains one of television's most surprising and talked about moments.
He has starred in dozens of TV Movies. Perhaps his most famous turn was his critically acclaimed portrayal of Jay Leno in The Late Shift. He stepped into another pair of famous shoes when he played Garry Marshall in Behind The Camera; Mork and Mindy, The Unauthorized Story. Other Movies for television include A Family Lost, A Glimpse Of Hell, Murder At The Presidio, Shredderman Rules, A Borrowed Life, Quints and many others. Daniel's voice over work includes Christmas Is Here Again (a film he also produced),The Haunted World Of El Super Beasto and the groundbreaking video game, L.A. Noire.
The theater remains Roebuck's first love and he has continued that passion in the Los Angeles area. He appeared in the world premiers of Sarcophagus and Crooks. He has also starred in No Time For Sergeants, Here Lies Jeremy Troy, Arsenic and Old Lace and The Man Who Came To Dinner among others. In 2006 Daniel founded THE Saint Francis Stage Company.
Behind the camera, Roebuck has produced, written and directed/co-directed a number of documentaries including Halloween: The Happy Haunting of America and it's sequel as well as Goolians, Movieland Memories and a number of documentaries for the Monsterama series.
Daniel has fulfilled nearly every dream of his childhood like appearing in Mad Magazine, becoming a toy and a Halloween mask and having his mug on a few trading cards.
When not performing, Roebuck writes articles about Horror Movies, raises two children, teaches The Audition is the Job Experience and mentors young actors.
Christopher Anton Knight was born November 7, 1957 in Manhattan, New York, the second of four children: three boys and one girl. Around the time he was three, his family moved to Los Angeles, where his father, an actor, later began seeking auditions for his two oldest sons as a means of saving money for their college education. Although both Christopher and his older brother Mark tried out, only Christopher was offered parts.
At the young age of seven, he began landing appearances in commercials for companies such as Toyota, Tide, and Cheerios and in television shows such as Gunsmoke and Mannix. Soon, however, he found himself involved with what would become one of the most successful television shows of all time. Partially because his dark looks matched that of Robert Reed who was already cast as the show's father, Christopher won the part of the middle brother, "Peter Brady", in The Brady Bunch. Airing from September 1969 through August 1974, the show was highly popular with teenagers of that era. Although ending thirty years ago, it acquired instant syndication and has never since left the airways.
Being a reluctant icon as well as having an innate interest in science and machines led Christopher to his new career in the computer industry in 1988. Constant celebrity status from youth has provided him with people skills and has proven to be excellent preparation for life in sales and marketing. Entering the industry as an account sales manager at Martec, Inc., he logged the company's first $1 million sales order within his first eighteen months, quickly becoming Martec's top performer, and employee of the year.
In October 1989, Christopher took the responsibility of Vice President of Design System Marketing and Sales at New Image Industry, moving the company into 3D rendering/imaging technologies. Then in mid 1991, he, and a few other key employees successfully moved the software engineering staff and the 3D technologies into a new privately held company, Visual Software. As co-founder of Visual Software, Christopher was a pioneer in the consumer 3D graphics market. His efforts were responsible for enormous sales growth, moving the company from $.4 million annual sales to $4.2 million within 10 months. Visual Software was acquired by Micrografx in January.
In late 1995, Christopher partnered with friend and associate Frank Paniagua, and founded Kidwise Learningware. This company proposed to design, produce and publish interactive edutainment products for children. Christopher served as Executive Producer, with duties ranging from production and design, projects management and sales strategy.
In February of 1996, he took on the responsibility of Vice President of Sales at Adesso, a Keyboard manufacturer, providing keyboards for Macintosh and PC/Win95 systems, where he oversaw a doubling of sales within his first four months.
He and Mr. Paniagua reunited again in August of 1997 at Integrated Micro Solutions (I.M.S.) which later became IXMICRO. Initially hired in the capacity of Vice President of Strategic Marketing, Christopher was promoted to Vice President of Marketing after only four months. With Mr. Paniagua, he was able to influence annual sales from less than $2 million in early 1997 to $63 million in 1998.
In late 1998, Christopher would again team up with Paniagua and another associate, David Smith, to form Eskape Labs. Knight, Smith and Paniagua had all been part of IXMICRO's executive staff when the company decided to concentrate on a path divergent from the common interests of the three. Sensing a shift in the focus of the computer technology industry beyond the personal computer to intelligent devices, Eskape Labs was born. The company's mission, to provide "on wire" digital appliances that easily plug into computers, has led Eskape to develop a number of first-to-market video devices. Eskape Labs was purchased by Hauppauge Computer Works in the summer of 2000. Hauppauge is the world's largest manufacturer of computer based TV tuner products and, with Eskape Labs, now has a line of TV tuners compatible with the Macintosh.
Christopher continued to work for Hauppauge Computer as the head of the Eskape Labs brand until the spring of 2003, and then as a consultant to the company throughout the remainder of the year.
Mid-year 2003, he became more involved on an executive level with an investment that had taken flight and was in need of interim management. Casting Networks Inc. (doing business as LA Casting and SF Casting) is an online (web based) talent exchange. Nine months from the introduction of the service to the Los Angeles commercial casting marketplace in late 2002, LA Casting had completely revolutionized the casting process by replacing archaic and time-consuming methods of handling clients' information with a much more efficient method using the Internet.
While Christopher's career in the high tech industry has prevented much involvement in entertainment, it did not constitute a full retirement from show business; he has starred or otherwise participated in the abundance of Brady films, television movies, series, gatherings, discussions and retrospectives. Christopher also has utilized his celebrity status by serving as host and/or spokesperson for several projects. In 2003, for example, Christopher hosted the series "TV Road Trip" for the Travel Channel and was involved with the celebrity version of Discovery Health Channel's "Body Challenge," for debut in the fall of 2004. This year also marks the fourth consecutive year that he has been the spokesperson for the American Counseling Association's "Healthy Skin, Healthy Outlook" campaign, which has received the Gold Triangle Award recognizing excellence in public education of dermatology issues the past two years. In 2002-2003, Christopher also was privileged to be the spokesperson for the National Consumer League's "AD/HD Campaign to Inform the Nation," speaking in Washington D.C. at the National Press Club on the sensitive subject of AD/HD (Christopher himself was diagnosed with lifelong ADD at the age of 40). The campaign's laudable goal is to broadcast the truth about AD/HD, dispelling myths and tearing down the barriers of ignorance and stigma that prevent AD/HD sufferers from obtaining the proper diagnoses and medical treatments they need.
Cognizant of his celebrity status and seasoned by maturity, Christopher is ready and eager to return more fully to the industry that gave him his start and to expand his public identity, but his plan to re-establish his place in the entertainment industry is not designed to displace his interests in the corporate world.
A man of all mediums, this veteran, Manhattan-born character actor was named after his great-grandfather, Lincolnesque Congressman William Windom. Born in 1923, the son of Paul Windom, an architect, and the former Isobel Wells Peckham, Bill attended Williams College and the University of Kentucky, among others, before serving in the Army during WWII. After the war, he studied at both Fordham and Columbia universities in New York City before settling on an acting career. Trained at the American Repertory Theatre (1946-1961), he made his minor Broadway debut with the company in November of 1946 with revolving productions of "Henry VIII", "What Every Woman Knows", "John Gabriel Borkman" and "Androcles and the Lion". The following year, he continued building up his Broadway resume with roles in "Yellow Jack" and as the "White Rabbit" in a production of "Alice in Wonderland".
In the early 1950s, a new avenue opened up to Bill: television. For the duration of the decade, he shifted between stage, which included Broadway roles in "A Girl Can Tell" (1953), "Mademoiselle Colombe" (1954), "Fallen Angels" (1956), "The Greatest Man Alive" (1957) and "Viva Madison Avenue!" (1960), and TV drama, with stalwart work in such programs as Robert Montgomery Presents and Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Major attention came Windom's way on TV moving into the following decade. In addition to hundreds of guest appearances on the most popular shows of the day (Combat!, The Fugitive, All in the Family, Dallas, Highway to Heaven), his standout work included a co-starring role opposite the luminous Inger Stevens in the popular light comedy series The Farmer's Daughter. On the show, Windom portrayed widower "Glenn Morley", a decent congressman who eventually falls in love with his pert and pretty Swedish governess "Katy Holstrum" (played by Stevens). Prior to this success, both he and Ms. Stevens had been singularly recognized for their sterling performances on various episodes of The Twilight Zone. Following this success, Windom enjoyed critical notice as the cartoonist/protagonist whose vivid imagination causes problems on the homefront on the Thurberesque weekly series My World and Welcome to It. Despite the show's critical merit and Windom's "Best Actor" Emmy win, the show, years ahead of its time, lasted only one season. Decades later, Windom would play James Thurber on stage in one-man shows.
The native New Yorker went on to essay a number of loungy Southerners and down-home types with incredible ease--both heroes and villains. He offered strong support in his film debut as Gregory Peck's opposing counsel in the Alabama-based To Kill a Mockingbird, and went on to play prelate Norman Vincent Peale's father in One Man's Way starring Don Murray. Windom demonstrated the maturity to carry off the character even though he was only 5 years older than Murray. He also delivered a variety of pungent roles in such films as The Detective (as a closeted gay married man), Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud (as a mayor facing a series of murders) and The Man (as a racist politician).
Growing slier and stockier over the years, Windom provided TV audiences with a colorful gallery of characters, ranging from avuncular and ingratiating, to cantankerous and unscrupulous. He became a regular for over a decade on the Angela Lansbury whodunit series Murder, She Wrote, joining the show in its second season as "Dr. Seth Hazlitt". He briefly left "Murder" to work on another series, Parenthood, which was based on the highly popular 1989 movie starring Steve Martin. Here, Ed Begley Jr. took over the Martin part and Windom assumed Jason Robards's patriarchal role as Begley's father. The show was off the air within a few months, however, and Windom was invited back to the mystery series -- a semi-regular until the show folded in 1997.
In addition, Windom reprised a Star Trek portrayal as "Commodore Matt Decker," appeared in scores of mini-movies, has given voice to various book readings, presented a second one-man show (this time that of combat reporter Ernie Pyle), and continued to film at age 80+, his latest being Yesterday's Dreams.
The five-times-married Windom was wed (for 36 years) to writer Patricia Veronica Tunder at the time of his death of congestive heart failure at age 88. A chess, tennis and sailing enthusiast, he is survived by four children: Rachel, Heather Juliet, Hope and Rebel Russell, as well as four grandchildren. He died at his home in Woodacre, California, on August 16, 2012.
T.C. Stallings was born in Cleveland, Ohio with an early interest in becoming and actor. At the age of 9, performance opportunities began for him via school plays and local church productions. But at age 12, his passions shifted to becoming a professional football player.
After graduating from Bedford High School, T.C. went on to play football at the University of Louisville. He then played professionally in the Arena League, Europe, and in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. After his professional football career came to a close, T.C. began to focus exclusively on becoming an actor.
T.C. first appeared on television as a contestant on "Animal Planet's King of the Jungle" reality series, emerging as the show's champion of season two. Just a few years later, T.C. made his feature debut, portraying "TJ" in the award-winning Kendrick Brother's film "Courageous".
T.C. is a passionate public speaker and is requested regularly to speak at various events. He resides in California with his wife Levette and their two children.
|Robert Bailey Jr.
Robert Bailey Jr was just three years-old when Family Circle magazine came to his school looking for children for an advertising campaign. Bailey landed the job out of hundreds of others, and by age six he already knew he wanted to be an actor.
Born in Minneapolis, Bailey's film credits include M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, starring Mark Wahlberg, Coraline with Dakota Fanning, From The Rough, starring Taraji P. Henson and Michael Clarke Duncan, To Save A Life, Dragonfly, starring Kevin Costner and Kathy Bates, Mission to Mars and What the #$*! Do We Know!?. Robert played the title role in Hallmark Hall of Fame's Little John, as well as starring roles in NBC's Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Diff'rent Strokes' and VH1's Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story. For television, Bailey had recurring roles on The Parenthood, Diagnosis Murder and Becker, the latter of which garnered him a Young Artist Award. Bailey was also a series regular on Wanda At Large and had guest starring roles on E.R, The Practice, Touched By An Angel, CSI:Miami, and Memphis Beat to name a few. He is currently a series regular on NBC's new series, The Night Shift, where he plays Dr. Paul Cummings.
Benjamin Hollingsworth was born on September 7th, 1984 in Brockville, Ontario. At the age of 12, Benjamin and his family moved to a small city outside of Toronto, called Peterborough where he attended St. Peter's Secondary School. Throughout high school, Benjamin was highly active in the community and appeared in more than 20 professional and regional theatre productions. After graduating, Benjamin dedicated the next 3 years of his life to study acting at the prestigious National Theatre School of Canada. He graduated from their rigorous three year conservatory program in 2006. Soon after, under the direction of fellow NTS alumni, Ted Dykstra, Benjamin was nominated for a Robert Merritt Award for his portrayal of Lance Corporal Dawson, in the Canadian Premier of Neptune Theatre's "A Few Good Men" by Aaron Sorkin. In 2007, Benjamin began to shift his focus from theatre to film and television. He quickly found his footing in the industry and began guest starring on several popular Canadian TV series including "Degrassi," "Heartland" and George F. Walker's "The Line." In 2009, Benjamin landed a lead role alongside Demi Moore, David Duchovny and Amber Heard in the critically acclaimed film "The Joneses." While filming the Joneses, Benjamin was introduced to Ashton Kutcher who, at the time, happened to be producing a new TV series for the CW called "The Beautiful Life" starring Misha Barton and Sara Paxton. After auditioning, Kutcher cast Hollingsworth as 'Chris Andrews," a small town kid who was thrown into the deep end of the cut- throat modeling world. The role was loosely based on Ashton's experiences as a model living in New York City. In 2011, Ben landed a recurring role as "Kyle Durant" on the USA network's hit series "Suits." Since then, you may have seen him on CBS's "CSI; Miami," ABC's "Once Upon a Time," Hallmark's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," CW's "Cult" and "Tomorrow People," Lifetime's "The Lottery" and Fox's new series "Backstrom" starring Rainn Wilson. In addition, Ben has several films premiering in 2014-2015, including the romantic comedy "Lucky in Love" opposite Gossip Girl's Jessica Szohr, 20th Century Fox's thriller "Joy Ride 3," the psychological thriller "Popfan" opposite Chelsea Kane (Baby Daddy), and the Lionsgate feature "Vendetta" opposite Dean Cain and Michael Eklund.
Zak Penn's career began as a screenwriter when he sold his first script, Last Action Hero, at the age of twenty-three. Since then, Penn has become known for his work on numerous films based on Marvel comics, including X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, The Incredible Hulk, and The Avengers. He has also dabbled in other genres, writing scripts for disparate films such as P.C.U., Behind Enemy Lines and Suspect Zero.
Penn's shift into independent cinema began when he collaborated with his idol, Werner Herzog, on the script for Rescue Dawn. Penn directed and co-starred with Herzog in Incident at Loch Ness, his award-winning "hoax" documentary about the legendary director's attempts to make a film about the equally legendary monster. The Grand, Penn's second completely improvised film, was his third film with Herzog, and featured an eclectic cast including Woody Harrelson, David Cross, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Dennis Farina and Gabe Kaplan.
In addition, Penn co-wrote the original story for Antz and produced the animated film Osmosis Jones. His first foray into television was the critically acclaimed SyFy Channel original series "Alphas" starring David Strathairn. His most recent endeavor was video game documentary Atari: Game Over, which recently premiered on Xbox Live.
Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1979), professionally referred to as Mýa, is an American R&B and pop recording artist, entertainer, philanthropist, and actress. A Washington, D.C. native, as a young child, Harrison took ballet lessons from the age of two and added jazz and tap dancing lessons to her schedule two years later. As she entered her teens, Harrison began to shift her focus to music. Gifted and musically-inclined, with the help of her parents she put together a demo tape when she was 15 and found the interest of a record label while still attending high school. At the age of 16, she began recording her first solo album later to be released on Interscope Records.
Harrison's eponymous debut album through Interscope Records was released in the spring of April 1998. It sold over one million copies in the United States, producing the gold-certified top ten single "It's All About Me" featuring Sisqó.
Chris Barrie was born Christopher Jonathan Brown on March 28, 1960, in Hannover, Germany. He was brought up in Northern Ireland, and was a boarder at a Methodist College in Belfast. He was Head Boy in his final year, and played the lead in a "Dial M for Murder" production. He eventually started a business course at Brighton Polytechnic, but dropped out after a time. After working at various jobs and developing his impressionist skills, he decided to shift careers to television and film.
He originally met Rob Grant and Doug Naylor on Jasper Carrott's Carrott's Lib, and eventually went on to perform on the radio, for a show called "Son of Cliche", which both Rob Grant and Doug Naylor were working on. Around this time, he was working on the television show, Spitting Image.
This association with Rob Grant and Doug Naylor later caused the two of them to have him audition for Red Dwarf. A few years after the beginning of Red Dwarf, he brought life to another character in the sitcom The Brittas Empire.
He currently lives in Berkshire, England, with his wife Alecks.
The daughter of a noted surgeon, Dana Wynter was born Dagmar Winter in Berlin, Germany, and grew up in England. When she was 16 her father went to Morocco to operate on a woman who wouldn't allow anyone else to attend her; he visited friends in Southern Rhodesia, fell in love with it and brought his daughter and her stepmother to live with him there. Wynter later enrolled as a pre-med student at Rhodes University (the only girl in a class of 150 boys) and also dabbled in theatrics, playing the blind girl in a school production of "Through a Glass Darkly", in which she says she was "terrible." After a year-plus of studies, she returned to England and shifted gears, dropping her medical studies and turning to an acting career. She was appearing in a play in Hammersmith when an American agent told her he wanted to represent her. She left for New York on November 5, 1953, "Guy Fawkes Day," a holiday commemorating a 1605 attempt to blow up the Parliament building. "There were all sorts of fireworks going off," she later told an interviewer, "and I couldn't help thinking it was a fitting send-off for my departure to the New World." Wynter had more success in New York than in London, acting on TV (Robert Montgomery Presents, Suspense, Studio One in Hollywood, among others) and the stage before "going Hollywood" a short time later. The willowy, dark-eyed actress appeared in over a dozen films, worked in "Golden Age" television (such as Playhouse 90) and even co-starred in her own short-lived TV series, the globe-trotting The Man Who Never Was. Married and divorced from hotshot Hollywood lawyer Greg Bautzer, Dana Wynter, once called Hollywood's "oasis of elegance," now divides her time between homes in California and County Wicklow, Ireland.
Multiple award winning film and stage actor David Richmond-Peck is one of Canada's most visible and versatile actors. From the polygraph operator in 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' opposite Keanu Reeves to his portrayal of Olivier Duval (the man with the tail) in the now cult BBC hit 'Orphan Black', he has made a career of transforming his appearance for the camera. Rumored to be nicknamed Canada's Philip Seymour Hoffman he continues to shift between the big and small screen in what amounts to over a hundred film and television credits. His work opposite Chris Cooper, Viola Davis, Keanu Reeves, and countless seasoned directors, has garnered Richmond-Peck the reputation of being one of Canada's busiest performers.
Born into a medical family and raised in Oakville, Ontario, Richmond-Peck now lives in Toronto with his wife, award winning actor Alisen Down, and their new son Lucas. As he juggles time between work and family he continues to be an avid Kiteboarder and can be seen on the water anywhere between British Colombia, Ontario, or Hatteras, North Carolina.
Brian was born in Waseca, Minnesota. He is best known for his portrayal of Basil Karlo aka the shape-shifting DC Comics villain Clayface on the FOX TV show Gotham. He has an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA in acting from the School for Theater at Boston University.
Chase Coleman is an American actor, director and musician. Coleman is best known for portraying the character Billy Winslow in the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. He was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and raised in Monroe, Louisiana. He first attended Grace Episcopal School for elementary and Junior High education and graduated to Saint Frederick High School. While in his 2nd year of high school he began singing and playing music in his first rock band. Throughout high school he played in the local Monroe, Louisiana rock band Crawl Space until graduation. He attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe majoring in Business Marketing. Throughout college he played in the local band Fallstaff. In his second year in college he began to gain interest in acting. He performed with the Straus Community Theatre and the Theatre of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and during his Junior year of college he signed with the Baton Rouge agency, Stage 2000 recruited by Ron Randell.
Coleman was invited to Dallas to compete at the Mike Beauty Model and Talent Expo. It was there that Chase won several awards including best monologue and overall fitness model. He was discovered by talent manager Suzanne Schachter and invited to go to New York to test the market for the summer. He was offered the role of Garrett on One Life to Live. He received many offers of professional acting work and he stayed in New York, shifting to online courses in order to finish his Business Marketing degree. In 2006, he signed with the company Suzelle Eenterprises and Abrams Artists Agency through Paul Reisman. During his time in New York, he studied at the HB Studio with Lorraine Serabien, with Susan Batson at Black Nexxus, and with Jennifer Gelfer at the Haymarket Annex Master Class.
Coleman is most recognized for his role as Billy Winslow in Season One of Boardwalk Empire, as well as guest starring on The Good Wife, Gossip Girl, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Kings. He has had many starring and supporting roles in independent films such as New York City Serenade, Catahoula, and God Don't Make the Laws. He also played the lead of Andrew in the Off Broadway play My Big Gay Italian Wedding.
He founded the production company Bloodstone Productions and created the short film Into the Rose Garden that he wrote, directed, and starred in. Coleman guest starred as Rob in the pilot of the TV Series The Americans in the Summer of 2012, and is scheduled to film Season two of In Between Men in autumn 2012.