The youngest son of a gas station owner, who ran an oil pipe supply business and mother - substitute school teacher, Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas, but grew up in Longview, Texas where he graduated from the local High School (1988). Showing little interest in his father's oil business, which his two brothers later joined, Matthew was longing for a change of scenery, and spent a year in Australia, washing dishes and shoveling chicken manure. Back to the States, he attended the University of Texas in Austin, originally wishing to be a lawyer. But, when he discovered an inspirational Og Mandino book "The Greatest Salesman in the World" before one of his final exams, he suddenly knew he had to change his major from law to film. He began his acting career in 1991, appearing in student films and commercials in Texas and directed short films as Chicano Chariots. Once, in his hotel bar in Austin, he met the casting director and producer Don Phillips, who introduced him to director Richard Linklater for his next project. At first, Linklater thought Matthew was too handsome to play the role of a guy chasing high school girls in his coming-of-age drama Dazed and Confused, but cast him after Matthew grew out his hair and mustache. His character was initially in three scenes but the role grew to more than 300 lines as Linklater encouraged him to do some improvisations. In 1995, he starred in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, playing a mad bloodthirsty sadistic killer, opposite Renée Zellweger. Shortly thereafter moving to L.A., Matthew became a sensation with his performances in two high-profile 1996 films Lone Star, where he portrayed killing suspected sheriff and in the film adaptation of John Grisham's novel A Time to Kill, where he played an idealistic young lawyer opposite Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey. The actor was soon being hailed as one of the industry's hottest young leading man inspiring comparisons to actor Paul Newman. His following performances were Robert Zemeckis' Contact with Jodie Foster (the film was finished just before the death of the great astronomer and popularizer of space science Carl Sagan) and Steven Spielberg's Amistad, a fact-based 1839 story about the rebellious African slaves. In 1998, he teamed again with Richard Linklater as one of the bank-robbing brothers in The Newton Boys, set in Matthew's birthplace, Uvalde, Texas. During this time, he also wrote, directed and starred in the 20-minute short The Rebel. Later, in Jonathan Mostow's U-571, McConaughey portrayed the officer Lt. Tyler in a WW II story of a daring mission of American submariners, trying to capture the Enigma cipher machine. Matthew also took a part in comedies such as The Wedding Planner, opposite Jennifer Lopez and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days in which he co-starred with Kate Hudson. His most interesting role was playing Denton Van Zan, an American warrior and dragons hunter in the futuristic thriller Reign of Fire, where he co-starred with another young actor, Christian Bale.
Kathleen Robertson launched her career in her native Toronto in the George Lucas-produced Maniac Mansion and continues to work with prolific producers. She transitioned from David E. Kelley's acclaimed Girls Club into Gus Van Sant's Golden Globe-winning Starz political drama Boss, with Kelsey Grammar, and now is the lead in Steven Bochco's TNT drama Murder In The First, opposite Taye Diggs, set to launch next summer. She's simultaneously enjoying an arc on A&E's acclaimed Bates Motel, and just wrapped Lakeshore Entertainment's feature Vatican Tapes with Jean Reno and Michael Pena. Also in development is the series Your Time Is Up -- about a wildly successful, yet deeply troubled, psychologist -- for which she will write, produce, and potentially star as the lead. This marks Robertson's second produced script within a year, coming on the heels of the indie feature Gravity Pulls, in which she stars and co-wrote. Robertson headlined IFC's Gemini Award-winning mockumentary-style comedy series The Business, for which she also serves double duty as Executive Producer. The six-hour mini-series take on "The Wizard of Oz" called Tin Man, in which she starred as the wicked sorceress sister to Zooey Deschanel, recently garnered the highest ratings in the SyFy network's history, along with multiple Emmy nominations. She most recently starred in the Weinstein Company's Seal Team Six, from the producers of the Best Picture Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker," which follows the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. No stranger to the big screen, she starred alongside Academy Award-winners Ben Affleck and Adrien Brody in the dramatic thriller Hollywoodland, a dramatic speculation on the mysterious death of George Reeves, the Nineteen-fifties' TV Superman. Robertson starred opposite Mark Ruffalo in IFC Films' sexual drama XX/XY that was in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival. In direct contrast, she also starred for Keenen Ivory Wayans in the sequel to Dimension Films' blockbuster, Scary Movie. Previously, Robertson collaborated with writer/director Gregg Araki on the films Splendor in which she starred as Veronica, a girl caught in the middle of a love triangle, and Nowhere, in which she portrayed the overbearing, purple-haired lesbian "Lucifer." Additional feature credits include Beautiful, with Minnie Driver for director Sally Field; Bruce McCulloch's Dog Park; and Sundance favorite Psycho Beach Party. Robertson has also co-starred with Bill Murray in director John McNaughton's comedy Speaking of Sex; starred as notorious Canadian murderess Evelyn Dick in the grisly 1946 true story Torso, for which she garnered her third Best Actress Gemini Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Emmy) nomination; and had a coveted cameo opposite Sean Penn in New Line Cinema's I Am Sam. In addition, she appeared in the Adam Goldberg helmed I Love Your Work with Giovanni Ribisi and Franke Potente, the dramatic thriller Static, the romantic comedies Not Since You and Losing Control, TIFF's A Night for Dying Tigers, and the sequel to Writer/Director Don Shebib's 1970 Canadian classic Goin' Down The Road, fittingly titled Down The Road Again. Robertson's film resume also includes the dramatic thriller Last Exit for which she received her second Gemini Award-nomination, Player 5150 and The Hill. Other credits include In The Dark opposite Charlotte Rampling; Until The Night with Norman Reedus; director Tim Hunter's Control alongside Willem Dafoe and Ray Liotta; and Mall Cop which marks director David Greenspan's first full-length feature after winning the Cannes Film Festival's coveted Palm D'or for his short Bean. A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Robertson resides in Los Angeles.
Yancy Butler was born and grew up in Greenwich Village, New York City during the 1970s, so it's not unusual that she chose to be an actor, being third generation showbiz. Her father is Joe Butler, the lead singer and drummer for the reunited Lovin' Spoonful; her step-mother, Kim, was a company manager for Broadway shows, and her grandparents were also involved in various aspects of the theater. At the age of 13, Butler began studying at the prestigious HB Studios in New York, and continued to do so until entering Sarah Lawrence College. Ms Butler made her motion picture starring debut in John Woo's "Hard Target" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Yancy's television debut in "Law & Order" landed her the series lead in "Mann and Machine", which led to the starring role in "South Beach."
Emily Jordan Osment was born in Los Angeles on March 10th, 1992. She is the younger sister of The Sixth Sense star, Haley Joel Osment. Her father is also an actor of some renown. Following in their footsteps, Emily started her acting career performing in several commercials, including a radio spot with Dick Van Dyke, before making her film debut in "The Secret Life of Girls." The same year she landed a role in the Hallmark film, "Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End," as the daughter of Glenn Close and Christopher Walken. That role led to a nomination for Best Young Actor.
After that Emily played several smaller roles for television, which include, "3rd Rock from the Sun," "Touched by an Angel," and "Friends." During this time she also did voice acting alongside her brother and John Cleese, Catherine O'Hara, and Harry Shearer in the short animated-film, "Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big."
Finally, Emily landed the much sought after role of Gerti Giggles in, "Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams." Writer/Director Robert Rodriguez was so impressed by her audition that he made the role longer without even knowing that she was the sister of Haley Joel Osment. She then appeared in the sequel, "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over."
She appeared as a regular on the hit Disney Channel show, "Hannah Montana," in which she played the hyperactive, Lily Truscott, alongside co-stars Miley Cyrus and Mitchell Musso.
Jim Carrey, a Canadian-born actor who became a U.S. citizen in 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 seventeenth, 1962, in Ontario, Canada, and is the youngest of four children. Carrey was a natural performer even as a child, to the point of regularly doing stand-up routines for his class-mates in junior high.
Following a period of severe financial hardship that included living with his family in a camper van, Carrey made his stand-up debut in Toronto after his parents and siblings got back on their feet. Determined to pursue his dream to be a comic, Carrey dropped out of high school to work on his act. He moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and eventually caught the attention of Rodney Dangerfield, who signed Carrey to open for him during his tour. Carrey also worked on breaking into film around this time, landing small roles until he met Damon Wayans on the set of Earth Girls Are Easy, in which both actors played aliens. Wayans and his brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans, recruited Carrey for the cast of In Living Color, where he quickly became a stand-out thanks to his array of outrageous comedic personalities such as Fire Marshal Bill.
Following his time on In Living Color, Carrey appeared in roles that capitalized on his physical comedic ability, breaking out as a star with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, a film that proved to be a box-office smash. Later, his performance in Liar Liar earned him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, and would mark a turning point in his career. Two films that followed, The Truman Show and his turn as Andy Kaufman in the biopic Man on the Moon, each netted Carrey a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
Although Carrey maintains a foothold in the comedy world with films such as Bruce Almighty and Mr. Popper's Penguins, he's 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.
Taylor Mikel Momsen was born on July 26th, 1993 in St Louis, Missouri to parents Michael and Colette Momsen. Her Mom took her to NYC because she was so bubbly, outgoing and so talented for her young age! She began her acting career at age 3 with a national commercial for "Shake-N-Bake". She also appeared in commercials for "Snuggle" fabric softener. She first landed the role of "Honey Bee Swan" in The Prophet's Game. Her first big role was as "Cindy Lou Who" in Jim Carrey's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. After that, Taylor landed the role of "Julie Moore" in We Were Soldiers, which also starred her younger sister, Sloane Momsen. After landing roles in movies such as Hansel & Gretel,Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams,Saving Shiloh, Spy School, Taylor landed Gossip Girl a few years later and is known as the infamous "Lil-J"! Taylor starting touring with The Pretty Reckless when she appeared on Van's Warp Tour summer of 2010. Taylor is the lead singer and she writes all of her own lyrics. She has toured all over the UK, topping rock charts right away! Then touring U.S. cities in 2011.
She has been writing, singing and dancing since she could walk and talk.
He was born Andy Serkis on April 20, 1964, in Ruislip Manor, West London, England. He has three sisters and a brother. His father, an ethnic Armenian, named Serkissian, was a Medical Doctor working abroad, in Iraq, and the Serkis family spent a lot of time traveling around the Middle East. For the first ten years of his life, Andy Serkis used to go backwards and forwards between Baghdad and London. His mother was busy working as a special education teacher of handicapped children, so Andy and his four siblings were raised with au pairs in the house. Young Andy Serkis wanted to be an artist; he was fond of painting and drawing, and visualized himself working behind the scenes in productions. He attended St. Benedict's School, a Roman Catholic School for boys at the Benedictine Abbey in London. Serkis studied visual arts at Lancaster University in the north-west of England. There, he became involved in mechanical aspects of the theatre and did stage design and set building for theatrical productions. Then, Serkis was asked to play a role in a student production, and made his stage debut in Barrie Keeffe's play, "Gotcha"; thereafter, he switched from stage design to acting, which was a real calling that transformed his life.
Instead of going to an acting college, Serkis, in 1985, began his professional acting career at the Duke's Playhouse in Lancaster, where he was given an Equity card and performed in fourteen plays, one after another, as an apprentice of Jonathan Petherbridge. After that, he worked in touring theatre companies, doing it for no money, fueled by a sense of enthusiasm, moving to a new town every week. He has thus appeared in a host of popular plays and on almost every renowned British stage. In 1989, he appeared in a stage production of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", so beginning his long association with the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he would return many times, to appear in "She Stoops to Conquer", "Your Home in the West" and the "True Nature of Love", among other plays. In the 1990s, Serkis began to make his mark on the London stage, appearing at the Royal Court Theatre as "The Fool" in "King Lear", making his interpretation of "The Fool" as the woman that "Lear", a widower, could relate to - a man, in drag, as a Victorian musician. He also appeared as "Potts" in the hit play, "Mojo", playing in front of full houses and earning huge critical success. In 1987, Serkis made his debut on television, and he acted in several major British TV miniseries throughout the 1990s.
In 1999, Andy Serkis landed the prize role of "Gollum" in Peter Jackson's epic film trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's saga, "The Lord of the Rings". He spent four years in the part and received awards and nominations for his performance as "Gollum", a computer-generated character in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won 11 Oscars. "Gollum" was the collaborative team's effort around Serkis's work in performance capture - an art form based on CGI-assisted acting. Serkis's work was an interactive performance in a skin-tight CGI suit with markers allowing cameras to track and register 3D position for each marker. Serkis' every nuance was picked up by several cameras positioned at precisely calculated angles to allow for the software to see enough information to process the image. The images of Serkis' performances were translated into the digital format by animators at Weta Digital studio in New Zealand. There, his image was key-frame animated and then edited into the movie, Serkis did have one scene in "The Return of the King" showing how he originally had the ring, killing another hobbit to posses it after they found it during a fishing trip. He drew from his three cats clearing fur balls out of their throats to develop the constricted voice he produced for "Gollum" and "Sméagol", and it was also enhanced by sound editing in post-production.
Serkis spent almost two years in New Zealand and away from his family, and much of 2002 and 2003 in post-production studios for large periods of time, due to complexity of the creative process of bringing the character of "Gollum" to the screen. Serkis had to shoot two versions for every scene; one version was with him on camera, acting with (chiefly) Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, which served both to show Wood and Astin the moves so that they could precisely interact with the movements of "Gollum", and to provide the CGI artists the subtleties of Gollum's physical movements and facial expressions for their manual finishing of the animated images. In the other version, he'd do the voice off-camera, as Wood and Astin repeated their movements as though "Gollum" were there with them; that take would be the basis for inserting the CGI Gollum used in the released movie. In post-production, Serkis was doing motion-capture wearing a skintight motion capture suit with CGI gear while acting as a virtual puppeteer redoing every single scene in the studio. Additional CGI rotomation was done by animators using the human eye instead of the computer to capture the subtleties of Serkis' performance. Serkis also used this art form in his performance as "Kong" in King Kong, which won him a Toronto Film Critics Association Award (2005) for his unprecedented work helping to realize the main character in "King Kong", and a Visual Effects Society Award (2006) for Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Motion Picture.
Apart from his line of CGI-driven characters, Serkis continued with traditional acting in several leading and supporting roles, such as his appearances as "Richard Kneeland" opposite Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30, and "Alley" opposite David Bowie in The Prestige, among other film performances. On television, he starred as 'Vincent Van Gogh' in the sixth episode of Simon Schama's Power of Art, the BBC2 series about artists. Serkis is billed as "Capricorn" in the upcoming adventure film, Inkheart. At the same time, he continued the development of performance capture while expanding his career into computer games. He starred as "King Bothan" in the martial arts drama, Heavenly Sword, a Playstation 3 title, for which he provided a basis for his in-game face and also acts as a dramatic director on the project.
Andy Serkis married actress and singer Lorraine Ashbourne, and the couple have three children: daughter Ruby Serkis (born in 1998), and two sons Sonny Serkis (born in 2000) and Louis George Serkis (born on 19 June 2004). Away from acting, Andy Serkis is an accomplished amateur painter. Since his school years at Lancaster, being so close to the Lake District, Serkis developed his other passion in life: mountaineering. He is pescetarian. Serkis has been active in charitable causes, such as The Hope Foundation, which provides essential life-saving medical aid for children suffering from Leukemia and children from countries devastated by war. In October 2006, he was a presenter at the first annual British Academy Video Games Awards at the Roundhouse, London. Andy Serkis lives with his family in North London, England.
Sharlto Copley's childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content for broadcast. Rather than acting in front of the camera, Copley found himself the businessman running the production behind the scenes, becoming South Africa's youngest television producer at age 25. It was during this time that he met a then-teen-aged Neill Blomkamp, who worked at Copley's company in exchange for use of the computers to pursue his talent for design. Blomkamp would many years later go on to direct Copley in his star-making debut as nervous bureaucrat Wikus van de Merwe in the Oscar nominated science fiction hit 'District 9 (2009)'. Copley followed this by fulfilling another childhood dream, landing the role of H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock in the big screen adaption of the 1980's TV hit 'The A-Team (2010)' and was also directed by Blomkamp once again in the movie 'Elysium (2013)'. He now continues to split his time between his native South Africa and Hollywood, pursuing more opportunities in front of and behind the camera.
Walton Goggins received an Emmy® nomination and two Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his role as 'Boyd Crowder' on FX's Peabody Award-winning Drama series Justified.
Goggins reprised his turn as the transgender escort 'Venus Van Dam' (a play on his character Shane's alias of 'Cletus Van Damme' on The Shield) on the highly-rated FX drama series Sons of Anarchy. The role reunites Goggins with series creator Kurt Sutter who was also a writer on The Shield.
Goggins completed production on writer/director William Monahan's Mojave with Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Issacs. He plays 'Jim,' an entertainment lawyer experiencing an existential crisis. He has also completed production on writer/director Ross Clarke's adaptation of Craig Clevenger's novel Dermaphoria. Goggins plays 'Eliah Blanc,' a wealthy New Orleanian whose pastimes include the funding of meth labs.
Goggins has had pivotal roles in films by two of Hollywood's most important auteurs: Quentin Tarantino, in Django Unchained; and Steven Spielberg in Lincoln. He also appeared in such diverse films as G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Robert Rodriguez's Predators and Machete Kills, Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens, and Rod Lurie's Straw Dogs.
Goggins previously garnered much acclaim for his complex and edgy portrayal of 'Detective Shane Vendrell' on FX's gritty, award-winning drama series The Shield. In 2009, he was nominated for a Television Critics Association (TCA) Award in the category of "Individual Achievement in Drama."
In the last ten years, Goggins has also taken his turn behind the camera. He recently collaborated with writer Adam Fierro ("The Shield") on the pilot "Gringo" which sold to FOX. Goggins' prior collaborations with his partners at Ginny Mule Pictures include winning an Academy Award® for their short film, The Accountant, which he produced and starred in. The team produced, directed and starred in their first feature, Chrystal, starring Billy Bob Thornton, which was accepted into the 2005 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Competition. For their third collaboration, Goggins produced and starred in the feature Randy and the Mob, which won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2007 Nashville Film Festival.
Goggins and his Ginny Mule partners completed their fourth feature, That Evening Sun, starring Hal Holbrook and Goggins. The film made its world premiere at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, TX in March 2009, where it won the Narrative Feature Audience Award and received the Special Jury Award for "Best Ensemble Cast." The film continued winning awards at over 14 film festivals, culminating with the honor of the "Wyatt Award" from the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and two Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Goggins also takes time to lend a hand to various non-profit organizations and has joined forces with City Hearts, whose focus is bringing the arts to underfunded schools. He has also worked closely with Global Green USA, which is committed to sustainable development and the legislation to support it.
He enjoys traveling the world and has spent time in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Central America, Morocco and India last spring. Goggins is an avid photographer and has captured many of his journeys on film.
|Carice van Houten
Carice (Anouk) van Houten was born in Leiderdorp (near Leiden) on 5 September 1976. Her parents are Margje Stasse (on the board of Dutch educational TV) and writer and broadcaster Theodore van Houten. She is the elder sister of actress and designer Jelka van Houten. When she was five, her father took her to a screening of Abel Gance's epic Napoleon, which fascinated her. She has demonstrated great interest in cinema since. Carice convincingly demonstrated her acting talents at the Bonifatius Lyceum high school, "Utrecht", in the early 90s. One of her first parts was the title role in Hugo Claus' play, "Tijl Uilenspiegehel". She also developed a skill in clarinet playing. In 1995, she was rather uniquely accepted by both the Maastricht and Amsterdam drama academies, and started her TV career (Labyrint, VPRO TV 1997) as a student of the Kleinkunst Academie Amsterdam. There, she was awarded the 1999 Pisuisse Prize, and the 2000 Top Naeff Prize for her theatre work. A day before the Top Naeff Prize, she was awarded the 'Gouden Kalf' as best TV actress in Martin Koolhoven's Suzy Q. In 2001, she starred in AmnesiA, by the same director. In September 2000, she joined the Noord-Nederlands Toneel, starring as a both singing and acting "Polly" in a contemporary staging of the Threepenny Opera to fabulously stunning reviews. Her great talent for dark comedy was demonstrated in a parody on City Lights' blind girl in the Amsterdam Kleine Komedie. Carice is a great admirer of American silent comedies - particularly Charles Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy - although she can display an equally dramatic talent. In 2001, she made Miss Minoes, in the title role of the cat-woman after Annie M.G. Schmidt. In the 2001-02 season, she won the main role in a theatre production of Schmidt's musical, "Foxtrot".
Van Houten's role in Black Book launched her international career. She went on to play in films such as Valkyrie, alongside Tom Cruise, who asked for her to specifically play his wife after seeing her performance in "Zwartboek". However, after this, her international career was unsuccessful, until she was offered the role of "Melisandre" in the HBO series, Game of Thrones, in 2011.
Amy was a relatively new arrival when she first gained notice for her supporting roles in the 1999 hit teen films Varsity Blues and Outside Providence. With her blonde, carefree California girl good looks, the Los Angeles native got her start in TV-movies and made her feature debut in Stephen Kay's The Last Time I Committed Suicide screened at 1997's Sundance Film Festival alongside Keanu Reeves. She was briefly seen in Paul Verhoeven's big-budget sci-fi actioner Starship Troopers with actor Casper Van Dien and had an impressive turn in the vastly different, quirkily independent How to Make the Cruelest Month. In the latter, she played Dot, the graceful golden girl who seduces the one-time boyfriend of her sister, the troubled protagonist Bell (Clea DuVall). The by-the-numbers horror film Campfire Tales followed in 1997, along with the topically chilling but clumsily executed internet stalker thriller, Dee Snider's Strangeland, written, produced and starring the titular Twisted Sister frontman as a deranged torturer who meets his victims in web chatrooms. Amy reached her widest audience with a co-starring role opposite James Van Der Beek in Brian Robbins' surprise box office hit "Varsity Blues". The actress played Jules Harbor, a girl who longs for life beyond her small town's high school football-obsessed culture but who, as sister of the injured star quarterback (Paul Walker) and girlfriend of his idealistic replacement (Van Der Beek), is tied to it. Her next role was that of Shawn Hatosy's upper-class love interest in Michael Corrente's poignant 1970s era comedy "Outside Providence". Based on Peter Farrelly's novel, the film followed a working-class teenaged boy (Hatosy) sent by his abrasive but loving father (Alec Baldwin) to a tony prep school after running into trouble at home.
|Jean-Claude Van Damme
When Jean-Claude Van Damme became an international film star, there was some debate as to his kick-boxing accomplishments. Former multiple World Kickboxing Champion Don "The Dragon" Wilson even offered Jean-Claude a "$100,000" bounty match to get into the ring and fight him. Van Damme brushed off the "challenge" as a publicity stunt. But, the truth of the matter was that Jean-Claude Van Damme was a successful semi-contact and full-contact fighter who competed in Europe and briefly in the United States from 1976-1982.
At the age of 12, Van Damme began his martial arts training at Centre National De Karate (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Master Claude Goetz in Ixelles, Belgium. Van Damme trained for 4 years and earned a spot on the Belgium Karate Team.
In 1976 at the age of sixteen, Jean-Claude started his Martial Arts fight career. Over the next 6-years, he competed in both full-contact and semi-contact matches.
He debuted under his birth name of Jean Claude Van Varenberg. In his first match, Jean-Claude was staggered by a round-house kick thrown by fellow countryman, Toon Van Oostrum in Brussels, Belgium. Van Damme was badly stunned, but came back to knockout Van Oostrum moments later.
In 1977, at the WAKO Open International in Antwerp, Belgium, Jean-Claude lost a decision to fellow team mate Patrick Teugels in a semi-contact match.
At the 1978 Challenge De Espoirs Karate Tournament (1st Trials),Jean-Claude placed 2nd in the semi-contact division. He defeated twenty-five opponents during the week long tournament, but lost in the finals to Angelo Spataro from the Naha Club.
Later in 1978,Jean-Claude lost a 3-round match for the Belgium Lightweight Championship (semi-contact) to his fellow team-mate to Patrick Teugels.
In 1979, Jean-Claude traveled to the United States of America, to Tampa, Florida. In his first and only match against a United States opponent, Van Damme faced 'Sherman 'Big Train'Bergman', a kick-boxer from the Miami Beach, Florida. For the first and only time in his career, Jean-Claude was knocked to the canvas after absorbing a powerful left hook from Bergman. However, Jean-Claude climbed off the canvas and with a perfectly timed ax-kick, knocked Bergman out in 56 seconds of the first round.
Jean-Claude was a member of the Belgium team which competed on December 26, 1979 at the La Coupe Fancois Persoons Karate Tournament which was sanctioned by the Federation bruxelloise de Karate. Van Damme's final match victory enabled his team to win the European Team Karate Championship.
In Full-Contact karate, Jean-Claude knocked out England's Micheal Heming in 46 seconds of the first round.
In 1980, Jean-Claude Van Damme knocked out France's Georges Verlugels in 2 rounds of a match fought under kick-boxing rules.
Jean-Claude wanted to defeat his rival Patrick Teugels. At the Forest Nationals in Brussels, on March 8, 1980, Jean-Claude knocked Teugels down and Teugels suffered a nose injury and was unable to continue. Jean-Claude was awarded a first round victory.
Jean-Claude retired from martial arts in 1982, following a knockout over Nedjad Gharbi in Brussels,Belgium.
Jean-Claude posted a 18-1 (18 knockouts) Kickboxing record, and a Semi-Contact record of 41-4.
After Jean-Claude's film career took off, controversy arose because none of his fights were found. Some experts blasted Van Damme as a fake, saying he only had one amateur fight which he lost. But research and the Internet have finally cleared things up. Jean-Claude Van Damme fought his entire fight career under his birth name of Van Varenberg; thus the mix-up.
|Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan has starred in two of the most significant television dramas of the past decade. First, Michael received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the hard-shelled, softhearted young urbanite "Wallace" in HBO's dramatic hit series "The Wire". He then went on to star as the role of quarterback "Vince Howard" on "Friday Night Lights" (NBC). Currently, he can be seen playing a recovered alcoholic "Alex," on NBC's "Parenthood".
Graced with the opportunity to begin a professional acting career early in his life, Michael caught the eye of Dr. Bill Cosby and was cast in the recurring role of "Michael" for the CBS sitcom series "Cosby" in 1999. Almost simultaneously, he appeared on the HBO series "The Sopranos". The following year, he was selected from hundreds of hopefuls, to play "Jamal," in the Paramount Pictures feature film, Hardball starring Keanu Reeves.
In 2003, Michael became the youngest African American actor to be contracted with the ABC network daytime drama series, "All My Children," in the role of "Reggie," Jackson Montgomery's adopted son. Michael later moved to Los Angeles where he soon landed a lead role in the independent film Blackout, starring Melvin Van Peebles, Jeffrey Wright, and Zoe Saldana. In the fall of 2007, Michael was cast to The N network's sitcom "The Assistants." He also appeared in his first feature film when he was cast in Rockmund Dunbar's ensemble "Pastor Brown" which premiered in the American Black Film Festival in the summer of 2009. He has had guest appearance roles for "CSI," "Cold Case," "Lie to Me," "Without a Trace" and "Law & Order."
Michael has received NAACP Image Award Nominations for "Outstanding Male Actor in a Television Daytime Drama Series" in 2005, 2006 & 2007.
He resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys supporting charities such as Help USA and Lupus LA.
Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England to parents Irene and Harry McShane, a soccer player for Manchester United, Ian originally planned to follow in his father's 'footballer' steps, until his high school teacher encouraged him to be an actor. McShane landed a spot at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art where, just before graduation, he got his first break, the lead role in The Wild and the Willing in 1962--he later revealed that he had told his acting teacher that he had a dentist's appointment and ditched class to audition for the role.
From a lawless saloon owner to the sexiest of beastly British mobsters, award-winning actor Ian McShane has, time and time again, captured the public's attention (as well as many plaudits, including from the Hollywood Foreign Press), by playing bad guys, scoundrels and thieves. "The devil has the best tunes!" he has said with a gleam in his eye. McShane was named "TV's Sexiest Villain" by People Magazine, and was one of GQ's "Men of the Year," which described his portrayal of Deadwood's Al Swearengen as "infectious" and "irresistible." Classically trained, with a voice like none other, McShane has a range for rogues and other multi-faceted characters on TV, the silver screen, as a voiceover artist and on the boards.
McShane played Ron, Nick Frost's salsa dance instructor in the independent film Cuban Fury, a heart-felt comedy for director James Griffiths and starred as the good King Brahmwell in Jack the Giant Slayer for director Bryan Singer in New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers modern-day fairytale.
McShane starred as the lead dwarf Beith opposite Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron in Universal's Snow White and the Huntsman, the dark fantasy film from director Rupert Sanders. He starred in Disney's billion-dollar blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as the fearsome pirate Blackbeard opposite Johnny Depp. Highlights of McShane's previous film roles include the darkly perverse 44 Inch Chest, which McShane starred in, as well as produced and Woody Allen's Scoop. McShane was singled out for his portrayal of the twisted and handsome Teddy Bass, in the cult indie hit Sexy Beast, which prompted one London critic to name McShane, "The King of Cool." McShane's earlier, break-out parts were as the game-playing Anthony in the 1973 cult favorite The Last of Sheila, as Wolfe Lissner in Villain, Fred C. Dobbs in Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You, and as ladies man Charlie Cartwright in 1970's If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.
In addition to his screen work, McShane has also made his mark as a voiceover artist. His dulcet tones narrated The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and brought life to the eccentric magician Mr. Bobinsky in Coraline as well as the sinister Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda. Additionally, he lent his rich, resonant voice to The Golden Compass and to the devilish Captain Hook in Shrek The Third.
McShane has also enjoyed a long and diverse career on both British and American television. Most recently, he was the very, very bad Santa/serial killer in the award-winning drama American Horror Story for F/X. He starred in 2010's Emmy-nominated Pillars of the Earth as the conniving Waleran Bigod, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Mini Series, and in NBC's Kings as the ruthless King Silas Benjamin. Most notably, in 2004, McShane exploded onto the small screen as Al Swearengen on HBO's Deadwood, for which he earned the coveted Best Actor in a Television Drama Golden Globe Award; his charismatic and alluring performance also led him to 2005 Emmy and SAG nominations for Lead Actor--about playing Swearengen, McShane has said, "there was humanity tempered by reality, and he was never sentimental."
Earlier in his TV career, he formed McShane Productions, and produced the lauded Lovejoy for the BBC and A&E, in which he starred in the title role of the lovable rogue antiques dealer, as well as directed several episodes. Fans of this beloved series, which first aired in 1986, spanned the continents, and made their voices heard--they successfully demanded that it be brought back by popular demand, and the series aired again from 1991-1994. McShane also had strong and memorable appearances in the U.S. on Dallas, and in the saga War and Remembrance.
McShane played Sejanus in the mini series A.D., the eponymous Disraeli, produced by Masterpiece Theater and Judas in NBC's Jesus of Nazareth. He was also featured in the U.S. landmark blockbuster Roots, and brought pathos to the disabled Ken Harrison in Whose Life Is It Anyway? McShane was the smoldering Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. He also appeared in Harold Pinter's Emmy-Award-winning The Caretaker.
McShane is an accomplished and award-winning stage actor. In 2008, he celebrated two anniversaries: the 40th Anniversary revival of Harold Pinter's The Homecoming on Broadway and the 40th Anniversary of his Broadway debut. He made his musical debut in the West End production of The Witches of Eastwick, as the devilish Darryl Van Horne. In Los Angeles, he starred in a trio of productions at The Matrix Theatre, including the world premiere of Larry Atlas' Yield of the Long Bond, for which he received the 1984 Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award, Inadmissible Evidence and Betrayal. Other on-stage work has included roles as Hal in the original cast of Joe Orton's Loot, as The Admirable Chrichton at the Chichester Festival, as Tom in The Glass Menagerie, and as Charlie in The Big Knife. McShane's West End debut in 1967 was co-starring with Dame Judi Dench and Ian McKellen in The Promise and in 1968 they brought the play to Broadway.
McShane next stars as Amphiarus (part priest, part prophet, part warrior), opposite Dwayne Johnson in MGM's Hercules for director Brett Ratner. He plays Leland, a retired sheriff with violent tendencies, opposite Patrick Wilson in the gritty drama The Man on Carrion Road for director Gonzalo López-Gallego and Atlas Independent and Relativity. He will appear in cameo roles in Sacha Baron Cohen's new comedy Grimsby for director Louis Leterrier at Sony; in the highly touted Spanish director Daniel Monzón's new film El Niño; in John Wick opposite Keanu Reeves, as Winston (club owner/conceivable ex-assassin) for directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski; and as the flamboyant actor Edmond, in the charming independent feature Road to Capri, opposite Giancarlo Giannini and Virginia Madsen for director Boris Damast.
Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Smith in London, England on May 14, 1961 to mother Ann, a teacher and landscape painter, and father Ernie, an American born journalist who changed the family name to "Roth". Tim grew up in Dulwich, a middle-class area in the south of London. He demonstrated his talent for picking up accents at an early age when he attended school in Brixton, where he faced persecution from classmates for his comfortable background and quickly perfected a cockney accent to blend in. He attended Camberwell Art College and studied sculpture before he dropped out and pursued acting.
The blonde actor's first big break was the British TV movie Made in Britain. Roth made a huge splash in that film as a young skinhead named Trevor. He next worked with director Mike Leigh on Meantime, which he has counted among his favorite projects. He debuted on the big screen when he filled in for Joe Strummer in the Stephen Frears neo-noir The Hit. Roth gained more attention for his turn as Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent & Theo and his work opposite Gary Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.
He moved to Los Angeles in search of work and caught the eye of young director Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino had envisioned Roth as a possible Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink in his heist flick Reservoir Dogs, but Roth campaigned for the role of Mr. Orange instead, and ultimately won the part. It proved to be a huge breakthrough for Roth, as audiences found it difficult to forget his performance as a member of a group of jewelry store robbers who is slowly bleeding to death. Tarantino cast Roth again in the landmark film Pulp Fiction. Roth and actress Amanda Plummer played a pair of robbers who hold up a restaurant. 1995 saw the third of Roth's collaborations with Tarantino, a surprisingly slapstick performance in the anthology film Four Rooms. That same year Roth picked up an Academy Award nomination for his campy turn as a villain in the period piece Rob Roy.
Continuing to take on disparate roles, Roth did his own singing (with an American accent to boot) in the lightweight Woody Allen musical Everyone Says I Love You. He starred opposite Tupac Shakur in Shakur's last film, the twisted comedy Gridlock'd. The pair received positive critical notices for their comic chemistry. Standing in contrast to the criminals and baddies that crowd his CV, Roth's work as the innocent, seafaring pianist in the Giuseppe Tornatore film The Legend of 1900 became something of a fan favorite. Grittier fare followed when Roth made his directorial debut with The War Zone, a frank, critically acclaimed drama about a family torn apart by incest. He made his next high-profile appearance as an actor as General Thade, an evil simian in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes. Roth was, of course, all but unrecognizable in his primate make-up.
Roth has continued to enjoy a mix of art house and mainstream work, including everything from the lead role in Francis Ford Coppola's esoteric Youth Without Youth to becoming "The Abomination" in the special effects-heavy blockbuster The Incredible Hulk. Roth took his first major American television role when he signed on to the Fox-TV series Lie to Me
Jonathan is from Toledo, Ohio. He headed straight to New York to pursue acting after graduating from the theater program at Otterbein. He was actually discovered by an agent while sitting on a train. Six months later he signed on to the iconic soap opera "All My Children," playing J.R. Chandler. Since then Jonathan's career has been on fire. He has appeared in a slew of teen comedies, side-by-side with some of the biggest and brightest stars of their time including; "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (with Steve Martin) and "Lovewrecked" (with Amanda Bynes). He also stepped into and took over the iconic role replacing Ryan Reynolds as Van Wilder in "Van Wilder: Freshman Year."
Originally a teen star (generally in "troubled youth" roles), who has since matured into one of Hollywood's most enjoyable actors to watch on screen with a wonderful versatility in his acting range, tall, lean and handsome Matt Dillon was born in February 1964 in New Rochelle, New York, and was discovered by pure chance. Talent scouts were roaming the halls of Hommocks School, spied the good-looking Dillon, and asked him to attend a casting call. He showed up, put on a swagger and petulant attitude for the casting director and landed his first film role, appearing in Over the Edge, a "troubled-youth" film about bored Colorado teenagers fighting developers, their parents and the police. His next role was as a teen bully who gets his comeuppance in the "feel-good" movie My Bodyguard. He was the object of teenage female desire in Little Darlings, and followed that as a poor boy eloping with a rich girl in Liar's Moon.
Dillon was now a hot property, and his next three film roles were in quality productions of best-selling novels, by author S.E. Hinton, that cemented him as the US' #1 teen star. First, he starred as a fatherless country boy in Tex, then he headlined a cast of superb young actors, including Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, in the moving The Outsiders, and, finally, he was back in trouble once more in the superb Rumble Fish. As his looks matured, Dillon moved into broader roles such as a Brooklyn teenager from a hard-working middle class family, who gets involved in the lives of the wealthy members of the "El Flamingo Beach Club" on Long Island, in 1963, in The Flamingo Kid. He made his first foray into adult action with Gene Hackman in the thriller Target, followed by several B-grade romantic efforts, before striking gold with the critics with his performance in the uncompromising 'Gus van Sant' film about drug addicts, Drugstore Cowboy. Unfortunately, his next few films fell back into a degree of mediocrity until another intriguing performance as a young schizophrenic in The Saint of Fort Washington, then another romantic comedy role in Mr. Wonderful. He worked again with van Sant as naive husband "Larry Maretto" opposite murderous Nicole Kidman in the icy thriller To Die For.
Dillon remained busy and turned in excellent performances in the sexy thriller of murder and double-crosses, Wild Things. He was hilarious as a sleazy private eye lovestruck by Cameron Diaz in the box-office smash There's Something About Mary. He starred in the black comedy One Night at McCool's, made his feature film directorial debut with City of Ghosts, had a day that goes from bad to worse in Employee of the Month. And, for his work in the Best Picture Academy Award winner Crash, Dillon received a long-overdue Oscar nomination, as Best Supporting Actor.
|Dick Van Dyke
Although he'd had small roles beforehand, Dick Van Dyke was launched to stardom in the 1960 musical "Bye-Bye Birdie", for which he won a Tony Award, and, then, later in the movie based on that play, Bye Bye Birdie. He has starred in a number of films throughout the years including Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Fitzwilly, as well as a number of successful television series which won him no less than four Emmys and three made-for-CBS movies. After separating from his wife, Margie Willett, in the 1970s, Dick later became involved with Michelle Triola. Margie and Dick had four children born during the first ten years of their marriage: Barry Van Dyke; Carrie Beth van Dyke; Christian Van Dyke and Stacy Van Dyke, all of whom are now in their forties and married themselves. He has seven grandchildren, including Shane Van Dyke, Carey Van Dyke, Wes Van Dyke and Taryn Van Dyke (Barry's children) and family members often appear with him on Diagnosis Murder.
Known to audiences worldwide as spitfire advertising executive Pete Campbell on Mat Weiner's Golden Globe, Emmy, and SAG Award-winning drama series Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser has actually been acting since a teen. Starting with Untamed Heart alongside Marisa Tomei, Kartheiser accumulated an impressive number of credits during his youth inclusive of Little Big League, Ironwill, Indian In The Cupboard, and Alaska. He has since appeared in the likes of Another Day In Paradise with James Woods and Melanie Griffith, Crime And Punishment in Suburbia, and most recently, the sci-fi thriller In Time which reunited him with his Alpha Dogs co-star Justin Timberlake.
During his Mad Men hiatus, Kartheiser filmed the indie Beach Pillows and performed the lead role in Death of the Novel which brought him back to his stage roots that originated at the renown Guthrie theatre.
Kartheiser previously starred on Joss Whedon's Angel, and has guest-starred in numerous other series including ER, BBC America's Money, and The Cleveland Show. He's also lent his voice to the big screen's Rango and will next lead the cast of FOX's High School USA.
A native of Minneaplois, MN, Kartheiser was named after Vincent Van Gogh and grew up surrounded by his works.
|Brian Austin Green
Brian Green was born on July 15th 1973 in Van Nuys, California to parents Joyce and George L. Green. He has a brother Keith and sister Lorelei. Brian's father was a Country & Western artist and used to frequently take him along to gigs and soon got him interested in the world of music. His first full-time television acting job came when he portrayed the role of "Brian Cunningham" on Knots Landing between 1986 and 1989. He later went on to star as "David Silver" in the long-running teen show Beverly Hills, 90210. He also appeared in several television movies, such as Her Costly Affair and Unwed Father and guest-starred on other shows such as Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. He released an album in 1996 called "One Stop Carnival" and still continues to work on producing music, especially hip-hop, with his production company and in his home studio. More recently, he has had roles as "Luke Bonner" in Resurrection Blvd. as well as in independent films as "Randy Mecklin" in Purgatory Flats and "Jack O'Malley" in Southside. He was engaged to his Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star Vanessa Marcil and the couple have a son named Kassius Lijah Marcil-Green, born on March 30, 2002.
Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar was born on March 1, 1974, in Panorama City, California. His father, Hans Gosselaar, who is from the Netherlands, is of Dutch Jewish and German descent. His mother, Pauline (van den Brink), who is from Indonesia, is of Dutch and Indonesian ancestry. His parents are divorced. He has an older brother, Mike, and two older sisters, Linda and Sylvia. In 1989, after a career with small movies and commercials, Gosselaar started in the teen hit Saved by the Bell, co-starring Tiffani Thiessen who played his girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski, throughout the show's run. The characters eventually married each other after the show and its spin-off, Saved by the Bell: The College Years , ended production. It was there he met his future real-life wife, Lisa Ann Russell, whom he married in 1996 in Maui, Hawaii.
Most recently, he starred with Geena Davis in Commander in Chief for executive producer Steven Bochco, with whom he also worked when he starred as detective John Clark in Bochco's critically-acclaimed drama NYPD Blue
Gosselaar's other television credits include TV movies Atomic Twister, The Princess & the Marine, For the Love of Nancy, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, She Cried No, Dying to Belong and Born Into Exile.
Gosselaar's sporting interests include cycling, motocross and auto racing. He is also an avid pilot. Gosselaar lives outside of Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa, and their 2 children.
Sally Margaret Field was born in 1946 in Pasadena, California, to actress Margaret Field and salesman Richard Dryden Field. Her parents divorced in 1950 and her mother then married stuntman Jock Mahoney, and they had a daughter, Princess O'Mahoney. She also has a brother, Richard Field. Sally attended Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, California.
Her acting career began in 1965, when she landed the role of Frances Elizabeth 'Gidget' Lawrence in Gidget; it was canceled after only one season because of bad ratings. She went on to star in The Flying Nun, which ran for three seasons. She also appeared in her first film in 1967, The Way West opposite Kirk Douglas. In the next few years she appeared in numerous TV movies and TV shows such as Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring, Marriage: Year One, The Girl with Something Extra, and Sybil. In 1977 she starred alongside Burt Reynolds in the box office hit Smokey and the Bandit, which led to a less successful sequel in 1980. In 1979 she starred in the popular film Norma Rae and she received her first Oscar for that role.
In the years that followed she starred in films such as Absence of Malice, Kiss Me Goodbye, Places in the Heart (she received her second Oscar for her role), Murphy's Romance, Punchline and Steel Magnolias. In 1993 she starred alongside Robin Williams and Pierce Brosnan in the popular comedy Mrs. Doubtfire. A year after, she played the role of Tom Hanks character's mother (even though she's only ten years older than he is in real life) in the film Forrest Gump. The film was a huge commercial success and won six Academy awards.
Since then she has appeared in TV movies and miniseries such as A Woman of Independent Means, Merry Christmas, George Bailey, From the Earth to the Moon and David Copperfield. In 2000 she appeared in the film Where the Heart Is with Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, and in 2003 she starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. She also appeared in 12 episodes of ER from 2000 to 2006. In recent years she has played the role of matriarch Nora Walker in the hit television show Brothers & Sisters, which earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007.
Sally has been married twice, first to Steven Craig from 1968 to 1975. They had two sons together, Peter Craig and Eli Craig. Her second marriage was to film producer Alan Greisman from 1984 to 1993. They had one son together, Samuel Greisman (born December 2, 1987).
|Drew Van Acker
Drew Van Acker was born in Philadelphia, but lived in Medford, New Jersey his entire life. He began acting in high school drama classes, where he also played on his school's soccer and lacrosse teams. His soccer abilities led him to receive a soccer scholarship to Towson University in Maryland. While attending Towson, Drew took a number of theater courses in order to refocus on acting. He then made the decision to move to New York City, followed by a move to Los Angeles.
Born June 12, 1970 in New York City, New York and raised in Roslyn Heights, New York, Rick Hoffman graduated from The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, NY before attending the University of Arizona. After graduating from University of Arizona, Rick moved to Los Angeles to start an acting career. He landed his first role as a security guard in Conspiracy Theory . He was so nervous he flubbed his two lines. Fortunately, his misread got laughs from Julia Roberts , Richard Donner and the entire crew, and was included in the final cut, giving him some much-needed attention.
After other small roles, he had his breakout role as the Freddie Sacker on Darren Star 's Wall Street series The $treet which allowed him to quit his job waiting tables and move back to New York. He has had several memorable roles on series like Terry Loomis on the critically acclaimed Steven Bochco law drama Philly . These roles caught Variety magazine's attention who elected Rick one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch. Then came the role of Jerry Best on The Bernie Mac Show, and Patrick Van Dorn on the John Stamos comedy series Jake in Progress.
He has had many supporting appearances in movies including The Day After Tomorrow, Blood Work, Hostel, Cellular, and Lions Gate Films The Condemned. He suffered a near-death experience during the filming of the latter in Australia.
Hoffman presently resides in Los Angeles.
|James Van Der Beek
James David Van Der Beek, Jr. was born on March 8, 1977, in Cheshire, Connecticut, USA as the oldest of three children to father Jim Van Der Beek, a cellular-phone company executive and mother Melinda Van Der Beek, a gymnastics studio owner and former Broadway dancer. James has a brother named Jared who was born in 1979 and a sister named Juliana who was born in 1981. James started acting at 13 after suffering a concussion playing football that prevented him from playing for a year on doctor's orders. He landed the role of Danny Zuko in his school production of "Grease." After that, the acting bug sank in and the next three years he spent time doing local theater. Around 16, he and his mother went to New York City to find an agent and possible auditions. A year later, he was cast in an off-Broadway play called "Finding the Sun." After doing another play called "Shenandoah" in 1994, James received an academic scholarship to Drew University in NJ, where he was working towards obtaining a major in English with a minor in sociology and also at that time he won the role of Rick Sanford in the movie Angus. In 1996, he won a very small supporting role in I Love You, I Love You Not which starred Claire Danes. After that film his acting career was at a dead end and he decided to continue with his schooling and eventually made the Dean's list. The college experience soon became old for James, so he took some time off to travel and when he returned he auditioned for a role in Dawson's Creek. He won the lead in the show, and his life changed forever. Though James has taken a hiatus from his college studies to shoot the series, he still plans to finish his degree. He has also been seen starring in several hit films over the past couple of years like Varsity Blues and Texas Rangers.
|Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City on August 15, 1963 to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu. Though raised in middle class neighborhood in downtown Mexico City their family was shaken when his successful father, a banker, declared bankruptcy, forcing them into lesser circumstances. His father, however, reinvented himself by becoming a fruit and vegetable vendor to restaurants which provided the family with stability and a steady income. Some favorite film memories for the future director included Prietenii (aka "Friends"), Jesus Christ Superstar and Milos Forman's Hair. His literary influences included many of the Latin novelists such as Julio Cortázar and Jorge Luis Borges, enjoying the non-linear narrative and the magic realism sometimes used.
In 1984, while studying communications at Universidad Iberoamericana, Iñárritu became a radio host at a rock-and-roll station, WFM, putting on a three-hour talk show which included sketches and commentary, not only of music, but of politics and pop culture as well. In 1988 he became the director of the station.
Claiming he has always been a frustrated musician, with a better ear than an eye, he simultaneously composed soundtracks for six Mexican feature films, including Garra de tigre.
But the dramatic urge persisted and he studied theater for three years including time with the Polish film director Ludwik Margules.
In the nineties he created the production company Zeta Films with Raul Olvera. This involved Iñárritu in even more creative aspects of entertainment, including writing, editing, and directing and he created 30, 60 and 90-second spots for TV, as well as TV pilots. Iñárritu wrote, produced and directed a half-length feature in 1995, Detrás del dinero, which follows the fate of a one hundred dollar bill, that aired on national TV.
He met Guillermo Arriaga in 1996 and the collaborated to weave together several disparate story lines into the film, Amores Perros. It was a critical and commercial success, introduced Gael García Bernal to the world and, along with the arrival of the works of Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón, created a Renaissance in Mexican film, an industry that had been proclaimed dead by some, just a few years earlier.
Iñárritu and Arriaga worked together twice more. First on 21 Grams (which was described as the weight lost upon death, with the implication that it's the weight of the soul) starring Melissa Leo, Benicio Del Toro, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Del Toro and Watts received Academy Award nominations for their performances.
Their next project was the international film, Babel, comprising four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan, in four different time frames. The film starred Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and, much like Amores Perros, introduced some new actors such as Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi to audiences. Babel earned Iñárritu the Best Director Prize (Prix de la mise en scène) at the 2006 Cannes film festival, won Best Motion Picture: Drama at the Golden Gloves, and received seven nominations at the 79th annual Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director and winning for Best Original Score (which went to composer Gustavo Santaolalla).
The creation of Babel, a film about the need for reconciliation and communication, ironically lead to the dissolution of the collaboration between Ariagga and Iñárritu. Even before Cannes Arriaga had started a personal campaign stating that screenwriters and directors should share credit as the auteur in the film industry. So bad was the blood between the two that Arriaga was dis-invited to the Cannes 2006 premiere of the film. Almost a year later, as the accolades continued to stack up and authorship continued to be contested, a letter was published in February 2007 in a Mexican magazine called Chilango. It was signed by Iñárritu, actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Adriana Barraza, and compose Santaolalla, wherein the signatory parties criticized Arriaga for having an "unjustified obsession with claiming credit for the entire film," and not recognizing that "filmmaking is an art of profound collaboration."
Iñárritu himself has added to the efforts of several compilations and multi-segment/multi-themed efforts including: . creating the fifth short (Powder Keg) in the BMW The Hire series along with Ang Lee, Kar Wai Wong, Guy Ritchie and John Frankenheimer. . directing a segment of the independent feature September 11, a collective movie about the influence of the events of 9-11 on the world, along with Wim Wenders, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Amos Gitai and Sean Penn. His short included the phone calls of people from the collapsing World Trade Center buildings. . directing the short film, ANNA, part of the 60th anniversary of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, inside To Each His Own Cinema, a series of shorts by 33 world-renown film directors such as Roman Polanski, Abbas Kiarostami, the Coen brothers, Theo Angelopoulos, David Cronenberg, the Dardenne brothers, Manoel de Oliveria, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Aki Kaurismaki, Takeshi Kitano, David Lynch, Nanni Moretti, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, and Zhang Yimou. . directing Write the Future, a football-themed commercial for Nike ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which featured famous footballers Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Franck Ribéry, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, tennis player Roger Federer, basketball player Kobe Bryant, the famous cartoon character Homer Simpson, and long-time González Iñárritu collaborator Gael García Bernal, among several others.
In 2008, he produced the feature film Rudo y Cursi, a comedy-drama directed by Carlos Cuarón (brother of the director Alfonso Cuarón) in which Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna play brothers who are professional soccer players and fierce, though loving, rivals. The film was a commercial success in Mexico.
In 2010 Iñárritu's film Biutiful starring 'Javier Bardem' (qvL, won Bardem the award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, which also started an avalanche of other nominations throughout the year including a Goya win and an Academy Best Actor nod. Biutiful was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year as well.
He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife María Eladia Hagerman de González and their two children María Eladia and Eliseo
Robert Reiner was born to Emmy-Winning actor, comedian, writer, and producer Carl Reiner, and mother, Estelle Reiner.
Robert as a child often looked up to his father as his inspiration and role-model. Carl Reiner was on The Dick Van Dyke Show which Carl Reiner created and also starred in. Estelle Reiner was the inspiration for Rob Reiner to become a director. Robert's mother was a singer, and Robert as a director it helped him understand how music was used in a scene, how the color on a set should be, the acting, and writing, and that was heavily influenced by his mother. Rob Reiner due to his father's success eventually knew he was going to be apart of the industry. Rob Reiner often felt pressured how he would measure up to his father's twelve Emmys and prestigious awards and honor success streak.
When Rob Reiner graduated high school, he began to express further interest in show business, his parents advised him to go to Summer Theater. Reiner got a job as an apprentice in the Buck's County Playhouse in Pennsylvania. Reiner then went to be further educated at UCLA Film School. Reiner felt he still wasn't successful even having a recurring role on one of the hit-shows in the country. It was not until he was a director he felt truly successful. Rob Reiner directed Oscar-nominated movies such as The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, and This Is Spinal Tap.
With these successful box-office movies in 1987, Robert Reiner founded his own production company called, Castle Rock Entertainment. Robert Reiner co-founded it along with Martin Shafer,Andrew Scheinman,Glenn Padnick, and Alan Horn. On Castle Rock Entertainment he went to direct several other Oscar-nominated movies, When Harry Met Sally, Misery, and A Few Good Men. Reiner often credits former co-star, Carroll O Connor in help him get into the directing business, and showing Reiner the "ropes".
Reiner also is known as a political activist, co-founding the American Foundation For Equal Rights. This group was an advisory for same-sex-marriage. Reiner has spoken at several rally's on several controversial topics, still continuing to address controversial topics after being on the hit-show, All In The Family. Reiner was also seen as an advocate on social issues such as violence and tobacco use.
Reiner has also made cameos on show like 30 Rock,The First Wives Club, Bullets Over Broadway, Primary Colors,Throw Momma From The Train, The Simpsons, Hannah Montana, and several others.
Bridgit Claire Mendler was born in Washington DC,and lived there until she was eight years old. Her family moved to the west coast, just outside of San Francisco, California. This is when she first expressed an interest in acting and began booking local jobs. In 2004 she landed her first role in the animated film The Legend of Buddah as Lucy. When she was 13 she landed her first acting role as a guest star on General Hospital. In 2008 she landed a role as Kristen Gregory in the film The Clique. In 2009 Mendler became a recurring character on the Disney channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place as Juliet Van Heusen until the sires finale in 2012. Also in 2009 Mendler auditioned for the role of Sonny Monroe in Sonny with a Chance. But the Place was taken by Demi Lovato. In 2010 Mendler made the role of Teddy Duncan on Good Luck Charlie. In 2011, she starred as Olivia White, the lead role in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Lemonade Mouth. Also in 2011, Mendler had the role of Appoline in the film Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. Mendler later co-wrote and sang the Disney's Friends for Change Games anthem called "We Can Change the World." In 2012, she guest starred in the television series House as Callie Rogers. She later voiced the lead role of Arrietty in the Secret World of Arrietty. Mendler's debut album, Hello My Name Is..., was released on October 22 2012 by Hollywood Records. On February 12, 2013, her second single, "Hurricane", was released for radio airplay. The song peaked at number 1 Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100, in United States, and sold over 300,000 digital copies.
Born in Chicago, Stefanie moved to Melbourne at the age of six. She began her acting career at the age of eight in a production of "Annie." Stefanie continued being cast in commercials, print work, live vocal performances and theatre before relocating to Los Angeles.
After her best known starring role as Lexi Reed on Disney Channel's "A.N.T. Farm", she segued into a groundbreaking, recurring role on NBC's long running series "Law & Order: SVU" and portraying Kimber Benton - the lead keyboardist in the highly anticipated feature film "Jem and the Holograms" directed by Jon Chu and produced by Scooter Braun.
Scott has always had a passion for music and was listed by USA Today as being next in line to follow fellow breakout artists including Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez. Joining forces with musician Spencer Sutherland in their duet cover of "Everything Has Changed", originally performed by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, gave them national attention. "I Don't Wanna Let You Go", is Scott's first original single, which she co-wrote with British singer/songwriter Neon Hitch.
On the big screen Scott lent her voice to the Oscar-nominated animated adventure "Wreck-It Ralph", and also starred in Rob Reiner's "Flipped" based on the novel by Wendelin Van Draanen.
Stefanie teamed up with the national non-profit Cookies for Kids' Cancer to encourage kids and teens to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer by hosting bake sales and other local events. In recognition of her support, Cookies for Kids' Cancer named Stefanie their National Ambassador with the mission to urge all students to join the cause and advance pediatric cancer research, the number one cause of death by disease in children in the U.S.
Frances Fisher began by apprenticing at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. She spent 14 years based in New York City, playing leads in over 30 productions of plays by such noted writers as John Arden, Noel Coward, Emily Mann, Joe Orton, Sam Shepard, William Shakespeare, Jean Claude Van Italie, Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams. She won a Drama Logue Award - Best Ensemble for the American Premier of Caryl Churchill's "Three More Sleepless Nights", played in the American premier of Judith Thompson's "The Crackwalker" and originated roles in Elia Kazan's "The Chain" and Arthur Miller's last play "Finishing the Picture". Besides working with Kazan and Miller, some of Ms. Fisher's more interesting theater experiences were creating roles from two great works of literature: George Orwell's "1984" and Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Ms. Fisher worked at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles alongside Annette Bening and Alfred Molina in Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard". Fisher starred in "Sexy Laundry" with Paul Ben-Victor at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles. She studied with Stella Adler and became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio by actually "walking up the stairs" and auditioning for legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Ms. Fisher recently completed The Host, Adventures of Sweet Yellow, Red Wing and will work with Catherine Hardwicke in her new film Plush in August 2012. Ms. Fisher was honored for a Lifetime Achievement Award 2011 in her old hometown of the Pacific Palisades, California.
Born in Florida, educated at Purchase, and coming from the NYC based theatre scene, Shea Whigham's big break came when director Joel Schumacher cast him opposite Colin Farrell in Tigerland (2000). Since then he has racked up impressive credits working with such legendary Hollywood directors as Martin Scorcese, Robert Redford, Terrence Malick, Werner Herzog, Oliver Stone, David O'Russell and Robert Rodriguez as well as the next generation such as Tim Van Patten, David Gordon Green and Jeff Nichols, among others. Shea has worked opposite such forces as Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins, Christian Bale, Sean Penn and many others; and continues his role as 'Eli Thompson' on HBO's award-winning series Boardwalk Empire. He is married with 4 children and splits his time between NY and LA.
Born in San Diego, California, Betsy Russell, is best known for her starring role as "Jill Tuck," the ex-wife of the Jigsaw Killer in the Saw film series. Russell was born into a family of educators, her father, iconic economist Richard Russell has written a news letter"about the stock market for over 60 years called "Dow Theory Letters," and her grandfather, 'Max Lerner, was an author and syndicated columnist, and said to be one of the great minds of our time. Russell was destined for greatness, and decided to set the bar high for herself when making career moves and setting goals. At 16 years old, she landed her first real gig in the business, a Pepsi commercial in her hometown of San Diego, California. This sparked a fire within her, and she immediately made the move to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time.
Russell landed her first television role on a series called The Powers of Matthew Star with one line. After that television roles began to pour in, until she landed an audition for a film that would change her career, the 1983 sex-comedy, cult classic film Private School. She booked the role on the spot, being cast as "Jordon Leigh-Jensen," playing opposite her idol Phoebe Cates. The film launched Russell into Hollywood stardom, and she quickly became known as the "it-girl". Her scene riding a horse topless in slow motion made Russell an 80s icon. She continued to work steadily in film, starring in movies such as Tomboy, Avenging Angel, Cheerleader Camp, and did guest-starring roles in top television series including The A-Team, T.J. Hooker and Family Ties. In the height of her career, she met actor and tennis star Vincent Van Patten at The Playboy Mansion, where she visited frequently as her grandfather was a close friend of Hugh M. Hefner. Van Patten and Russell married in 1989, and had two beautiful boys. Russell decided to take a hiatus from acting, to focus on her family, and raising her children.
Van Patten and Russell divorced in 2001, and Russell decided to move to Malibu, California, to continue raising her family. Soon after her divorce, she received a call from Saw producer Mark Burg about an upcoming role in the series. Russell jumped at the opportunity to work in one of the biggest horror franchises in the history of film, and returned to the silver screen starring as "Jill Tuck" in Lionsgate and Twisted Picture's Saw III, Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, and Saw 3D (2010)
Russell is an avid writer, has a huge passion for various charities, she holds a real-estate license and is a certified hypnotist. While she continues to love acting she considers "Spiritual Psychology" and life coaching her other passion. She completed a three-year Masters program at The University of Santa Monica in this field with an emphasis on consciousness health and healing and hopes to help others in regards to healing their issues, and learning communication skills and has begun teaching work-shops to actors on this subject.
Evan Ellingson has begun to forge a varied career that spans from comedy to drama. After landing guest spots on MAD TV, Evan's television career began to take shape with a series regular role on the FOX sitcom "Titus". Then, in 2004, Evan was chosen to play "Kyle Savage," son of single dad Keith Carradine in the Mel Gibson/Simpson's Producers in an ABC sitcom "Complete Savages." Although the series was short lived, Evan wasted no time in finding other ways to expand his dramatic acting as Josh Baur in "24" and now Kyle Harmon (Caruso's son) on CSI Miami. Evan's just finished his next project, My Sister's Keeper, playing the son of Cameron Diaz/Jason Patric, brother to abigail Breslin. In 2006 Evan was cast by Clint Eastwood in Letters From Iwo Jima (1 of 10 Amercians)
Evan Ellingson grew up in La Verne, California with his three brothers. He is an active sports enthusiast/extremist, who enjoys surfing, snowboarding, skating and currently is exploring mountain climbing and scuba diving. In fact it was Evan's love of sports that put him on the road to stardom. At ten, Evan was discovered at a skate park and was asked to not only skate for the Vans PeeWee team, but to do a commercial for the Vans Company. It was Evan's unmistakable charisma and talent which prompted him to be asked to do a trilogy of short films playing a character that was written specifically for him. This short led to the start of his rapidly developing career.
The actress Wendie Malick was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1950 and attended Ohio Wesleyan University, from which she graduated in 1972. The 5-foot, 10-inch beauty was a Wilhelmina model in the 1970s, giving it up to go to work for Buffalo-area Congressman Jack Kemp. She quickly left Washington, DC, behind to act in the theater.
She appeared as Judith Tupper Stone in the early 1990s on the HBO comedy Dream On for which she won four CableACE Awards as Best Actress in a Comedy Series. Malick has proved a gifted comedienne with great comic timing and reached the height of her career as one of the stars of the sitcom Just Shoot Me!. Malick was hilarious as the beautiful fashion editor Nina Van Horn, a neurotic and pretentious ex-model struggling with middle age. For her work on the series, Malick won a Golden Globe and two Emmy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
On television, she has also had regular roles in the series Trauma Center and Good Company and recurring roles on NYPD Blue, Anything But Love, Baywatch, Kate & Allie, and Frasier. She also starred in several made-for-TV movies, including Paper Dolls, Dynasty: The Reunion and Perfect Body. She also starred in North Shore Fish on cable TV, based on a role which she originated on stage. Malick's work has included roles in the movies The American President, Scrooged, and Bugsy. With her distinctive voice, she is in high demand for voice-over work.
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.
|Lee Van Cleef
One of the great movie villains, Lee Van Cleef started out as an accountant. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers and subchasers during World War II. After the war he worked as an office administrator, becoming involved in amateur theatrics in his spare time. An audition for a professional role led to a touring company job in "Mr. Roberts". His performance was seen by Stanley Kramer, who cast him as henchman Jack Colby in High Noon, a role that brought him great recognition despite the fact that he had no dialogue. For the next decade he played a string of memorably villainous characters, primarily in westerns but also in crime dramas such as The Big Combo. His hawk nose and steely, slit eyes seemed destined to keep him always in the realm of heavies, but in the mid-'60s Sergio Leone cast him as the tough but decent Col. Mortimer opposite Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More. A new career as a western hero (or at least anti-hero) opened up, and Van Cleef became an international star, though in films of decreasing quality. In the 1980s he moved easily into action and martial-arts movies, and starred in The Master, a TV series featuring almost non-stop martial arts action. He died of a heart attack in December 1989, and was buried at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills.
Khleo Thomas has a definite passion for acting. Khleo recently made the outstanding "Black Stars Rising: 10 young African-Americans to Watch" by AOL's Film Fixation joining the ranks of Joy Bryant, Megan Good, and Kerry Washington to name a few. From digging holes as 'Zero' with Sigourney Weaver and John Voight in Walt Disney's Holes to MGM's Walking Tall opposite "The Rock," this promising young actor proves that he has what it takes to take Hollywood by storm. In fact, from the words of Holes co-star, Jon Voight, a long-lasting Hollywood star and one of the men who recognize Khleo's talent as an incredible "teen" actor, Voight admits, "He is a great one and I'll be watching him all the way."
Khleo recently wrapped the lead male role in the feature film "The Hurricane Season". A story of a High school basketball team brought together a year after Hurricane Katrina by Al Collins, played by Academy Award Winner "Forest Whitaker" a high school basketball coach in Marrero, Louisiana who assembles a team of players who had previously attended five different schools before the disaster and leads them on the path to the state championship. An all star cast of actors such as Bonnie Hunt, Isiah Washington, Bow Wow and Lil Wayne. Directed by Tim Story
Khleo was featured The Beautiful Ordinary opposite Alexa Vega and Brie Larsen. He plays the role of 'Dylan,' a troubled teen who is much involved with alcohol, sex, and drugs. The story revolves around a group of affluent suburban kids on the last day of school. The film won the Critics Choice Awards at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
In addition, Khleo can be seen as 'Splooge' in Sony Pictures' Dirty, opposite Academy-Award Winning Actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Clifton Collins Jr. The film is an edgy, suspenseful and action-packed story about a day in the life of two corrupt cops going for one final score. Dirty cuts through the thin blue line between police corruption, gang violence and street justice. The film was released in February 2006. Khleo also recently starred opposite an all star cast of young actors including "Bow Wow" in 20th Century Fox's Roll Bounce, a roller skating comedy set in the late 70's.
Demonstrating his diversity in the past, Khleo has been playing roles as a bad boy in Ice Cube and New Line Cinema's Friday After Next, a bully in John Singleton's short film, Time Out, to a dramatic role as a young Mario Van Peebles in Sony Pictures Classics' Baadasssss! (2003) Based on a true story, this film earned its accolades in 2004 as "Best Picture and Audience" in festivals across the world including the Philadelphia Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival. Additionally, it received Two Big Thumbs Up as "One of the Best Movies of the Year" by Richard Roeper of the acclaimed duo, Ebert & Roeper.
Also honoring his skill for television, Khleo was featured in a starring role in Disney Channel's original movie, Going to the Matt, opposite Wayne Brady and Andrew Lawrence. Additional television credits include popular shows, such as the NBC's Emmy Award-Winning drama series "ER," CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," NBC's "Teachers," "Family Law," "The Bernie Mac Show," "City Guys" and "House MD" to name a few.
A force of many talents, Khleo is currently pursuing a career as a hip-hop artist, and performed for audiences across the country, including "Disney Jingle Jam 2003", "2004 Black Expo," and "The Scream IV Tour 2005" a thirty-one city tour taking the stage with artist like Bow Wow, Chris Brown, Ciara, Omarion and T-Pain just to name a few. Following that up with a twenty-one city Holiday Tour. Khleo has performed on MTV Asia in Tokyo, Japan. In fact, he is no stranger to chart topping success as he co-wrote and performed "Dig It" which was featured on the Holes soundtrack and maintained its spot at #1 on Radio Disney for 12 consecutive weeks in 2003. Khleo is currently working on his album under his own independent label ZERO Unlimited Inc. which has partnered up with Plus Records to form ZERO Unlimited/Plus with a release date to be announced.
Khleo remains humble and attributes his success on the big screen to his fans who give him the motivation to keep doing what he is doing. "The love that I get from people all over the world is amazing," says Khleo. He spends his spare time with his family, in the studio and responding to emails from kids all over the world. He enjoys traveling to schools to speak to youth on issues, such as peer pressure, drugs, and violence.
Giuseppe Andrews was born in Key Largo, Florida. His real name is Joey Andrews, but as he grew up he thought his name sounded too young and changed it to Giuseppe after Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. After his parents divorced, Andrews became interested in acting. He and his father moved to Los Angeles because of his father's work, and for a time lived in a van. One day he saw an ad in a magazine for auditions for an agency and decided to go for it. He was signed up and says that it was really hard to get into the industry, but he was very lucky.
Since that time he has been in many films, television movies and programs, and music videos. He is best known as his role for Lex in Detroit Rock City and for his role as Germ on the TV series Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. He can also be seen in Smashing Pumpkins "1979" music video and their "Perfect" music video. His next goal is to be more involved behind a camera, like writing and directing his own films. He also writes music and hopes to combine them into his future films, too.
Born on March 25, 1962 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, Marcia Cross is an incredibly beautiful and talented actress. In the 1980s and 1990s, she did soap operas like The Edge of Night, Knots Landing and One Life to Live. In 1992, she got her big break when she was picked for the cast of the nighttime soap opera Melrose Place. Her character, Dr. Kimberly Shaw, is one of the most memorable characters in television and considered by most the glue of the show. In 1993, her longtime companion and fiance, Richard Jordan, died. In 1997, after six years on Melrose Place, she left the show to get her Master's Degree in Psychology. She did several films from 1997 to 2003, when she snapped back into television on the drama series Everwood.
She left Everwood after one season to take what has proven to be the biggest role in her career: Bree Van De Kamp on the comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives. For her work on "Desperate Housewives", she has gotten herself her first award nominations: a Golden Globe, Golden Satelitte, TV Guide Award and SAG Award. The conventional wisdom is that she will be sticking with "Desperate Housewives" for awhile, and is likely to be nominated for more awards because of it. She continues at act on the television series, and became an A-lister and well-appreciated actress.
As the short, hypertensive male counterpart of the stellar husband-and-wife comedy team "Stiller & Meara", Jerry Stiller and wife Anne Meara were on top of the comedy game in the 1960s, a steady and hilarious presence on television variety, notably The Ed Sullivan Show, on which they appeared 36 times. Decades later, his career was revitalized in the role of the raucous, gasket-blowing Frank Costanza on the sitcom classic Seinfeld. The New York-born Stiller was, in the beginning, a drama major at the University of Syracuse. Though he had played rather uneducated, blue-collar sorts for most of his career, he received a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Drama before making his 1951 acting debut on stage with Burgess Meredith in "The Silver Whistle". While a member of the improvisational team The Compass Players (the company later evolved into the well-known Second City troupe), he met Anne.
They married in 1954 and began touring together on the national club circuit while giving new and inventive meaning to the term spousal comedy. After well over a decade of fame together, they decided to pursue individual successes and both found it. A Broadway favorite in such shows as "Hurlyburly", "The Ritz" (he later recreated his role on film), "The Golden Apple", "Three Men on a Horse", "What's Wrong with This Picture" and "The Three Sisters", Stiller even appeared with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner as Dogberry in William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" in 1988. Musicals were not out of his range, either, as he created the role of Launce in "Two Gentlemen of Verona" and co-starred as Nathan Detroit in a production of "Guys and Dolls". Although he kept afloat on television as a 1970s regular on The Paul Lynde Show and Joe and Sons, he had some rocky years and Anne's pilot fizzled when they reunited for a possible "Stiller & Meara" sitcom.
Then came eight seasons as Frank Costanza and his character star was reborn. Nominated for a 1997 Emmy Award and the recipient of the 1998 American Comedy Award, Stiller found back-to-back sitcom hits with The King of Queens as the irascible Arthur Spooner. He has also appeared in a number of his successful son, Ben Stiller's, comedy pictures including Heavy Weights and Zoolander. Daughter Amy Stiller is also a thriving actress. He and Anne have written, performed and produced award-winning radio commercials together for such products as Blue Nun Wine, United Van Lines and Amalgamated Bank, among others. His autobiography "Married to Laughter" came out in 2000.
Paola Andino was born in Bayamón, Puerto Rico and moved to Dallas, Texas a few months shy of her 3rd birthday. She found her passion for performing at a young age, as an active member of a local Dance Company. At the age of 10, she started taking acting classes and her love for film acting was immediate. Paola realized she wanted to be a professional actor and started traveling back and forth to Los Angeles frequently. In 2010, she landed a lead role in Hallmark Hall of Fame's TV movie Beyond the Blackboard opposite Emily Van Camp. Paola's heart warming performance as Maria, a young homeless girl made people in the industry take notice. Soon after, Paola booked a guest star role on Grey's Anatomy playing Lily, a young girl suffering from a rare trachea disorder. In December 2012, she landed the lead role on Nickelodeon's new TV series Every Witch Way, playing Emma Alonso, a good witch who tries to navigate high school and her new found powers. EWW is based on the popular Latin American Series Grachi.
Valerie Bertinelli was born in Wilmington, Delaware. Her father was a General Motors executive. In her early teens, her father was transferred to a GM assembly plant in the Detroit, Michigan area and her family resided in Clarkston, Michigan where she attended Clarkston Middle School. A short time later, her father again was transferred to another GM automotive plant in Van Nuys, California. At this time, Ms. Bertinelli became neighborhood friends of the daughter of a TV producer and soon enrolled in the Tami Lynn School of Artists to study acting. Tami Lynn launched Valerie's career in the CBS hit TV series, One Day at a Time. Tami Lynn was Valerie's Personal Manager from 1971 through 1979.
In January 1975, the situation comedy One Day at a Time, produced by Norman Lear, premiered on CBS with Bertinelli as "Barbara Cooper", one of two daughters of a recently divorced woman. The show was a long-time hit and ended production in 1984, without being canceled.
Ms. Bertinelli has starred in three feature films: C.H.O.M.P.S., Ordinary Heroes, and Number One with a Bullet. She was also the protagonist of the miniseries, I'll Take Manhattan, based on a novel by Judith Krantz. She has appeared in made-for-TV movies almost annually since 1979. She was also the star of two other situation comedies, Sydney and Cafe Americain, both of which were canceled after short runs. In 1981, she married rock guitarist Edward Van Halen. They had homes in the Hollywood Hills and Malibu and have a son, Wolfgang Van Halen. They separated in 2001, when Van Halen had tongue cancer. In 2005, Bertinelli filed for divorce for irreconcilable differences and, it was finalized two years later. Ms. Bertinelli is still chiefly remembered by her television fans for her work on One Day at a Time.
An adored actress, Bertinelli's long and celebrated career has expanded to include equally beloved TV personality, spokesperson and best-selling author. She stars as "Melanie Moretti" on the Emmy® Award-winning series, Hot in Cleveland, which in 2011 was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award® for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. The comedy revolves around three fabulous LA women of a certain age, and best friends (Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick) whose lives are changed forever when their plane, bound for Paris, unexpectedly lands in Cleveland. Once safely on the ground, they soon rediscover themselves in this new "promised land" -- meeting their new landlord, played by Betty White, along the way.
Best known in the United Kingdom and abroad as Agatha Christie's suave Belgian super-sleuth Hercule Poirot in scores of late 1980s and '90s mini-movies, London-born actor David Suchet's early interest in the theater led to his membership with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain in the 1960s following graduation from high school. He then studied for three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and, after much work in repertory, became a company member of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1973. Balding and stocky-framed with cruel eyes, arched brows and a dark, sinister countenance, he reveled in Shakespearean villainy with expertly loathsome portrayals of Iago in "Othello", Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet" and Caliban in "The Tempest" to his credit and became one of the dominant players of the RSC by decade's end.
In the 1970s Suchet also began to come into his own on British television. In classical tradition, his first television movie was A Tale of Two Cities. He actually played his first detective in the Disney mystery-comedy Trenchcoat. His looks were perfect for playing ethnic heavies or dignitaries in 1980s films. He was a Middle Eastern terrorist in The Little Drummer Girl, a Russian operative in The Falcon and the Snowman, a French hunter in Harry and the Hendersons, a Polish bishop in To Kill a Priest and Napoleon himself in Sabotage!.
He also had some masterful television roles portraying a number of historical, biblical and entertainment figures, including Sigmund Freud in the mini-series Freud, news reporter William L. Shirer in the biopic Murrow, Aaron in Moses, and movie mogul Louis B. Mayer in RKO 281.
While the Poirot mysteries and other TV dramatic showcases still figure into much of his work today, Suchet also has given potent, award-winning performances on the non-Shakespearean stage, particularly his George in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1996 and, from 1998 to 2001, composer Salieri in "Amadeus", which he took to Broadway and for which he received a Tony nomination. Short in stature (5' 7") but tall in talent and imposing in figure, Suchet continues to impress, more recently as Cardinal Wolsey in Henry VIII and vampire nemesis Van Helsing in Dracula. Long wed to former actress Sheila Ferris, the couple has a son and daughter. His older brother is BBC newscaster-turned-journalist John Suchet.
Lisa was born in Littlefield, Texas, USA. She is the daughter of James "Jimmy" and Virginia "Genny" Whelchel. Her parents divorced in 1981, and her mother married Roy Coleman in 1983. Whelchel is the oldest sister of James (Cody) Whelchel and half-brother, Casey Coleman. She was raised for most of her childhood in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. She is an American actress, singer-songwriter, author and speaker. Whelchel discovered acting at the age of eight and proceeded to perform in musical theater for the next four years. She became a born-again Christian and devoted her life to her Christian faith at age ten. When Lisa was twelve years old, she wrote to the Disney Studios asking for an audition as a Mouseketeer on The New Mickey Mouse Club. She moved to California the next year and appeared in syndication from 1977-1978. In 1979, she played the role of preppy and wealthy "Blair Warner" on The Facts of Life. The show lasted nine years and she filmed the last episode in March 1988. On July 9, 1988, she married Steven Cauble, who was an associate pastor at "The Church On the Way" in Van Nuys, California, where Whelchel attended at the time. She gave birth on January 17, 1990 to a son, Tucker Stephenson Cauble, her first child. She gave birth on September 26, 1991 to a daughter, Haven Katherine Hill Cauble, her second child. Her third child, a daughter named Clancy Elizabeth Cauble (aka Clancy Cauble), was born on November 12, 1992. She released a Christian pop album called "All Because of You" in 1984. The next year, she was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance. She has written many books including "Creative Correction", "So Your're Thinking About Homeschooling", "The Facts of Life (and Other Lessons My Father Taught Me)", "Friendships for Grown-Ups", "Taking Care of the Me in Mommy" and "Speaking Mom-Ese". In 2001, she reprised her role of "Blair Warner" for the made-for-television movie, The Facts of Life Reunion, on the ABC Network. On March 7, 2004, She and Charlotte Rae performed "The Facts of Life" theme song at the 2nd Annual TV Land Awards. On April 10, 2011, Whelchel and the cast of The Facts of Life, including Charlotte Rae, Nancy McKeon, Mindy Cohn, Kim Fields, Geri Jewell and Cloris Leachman were honored with the Pop Culture Award at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center in New York City. She officially divorced her husband, Steven Cauble, on March 1, 2012 after 23 years of marriage. She appeared on the 25th season of Survivor, located in the Philippines, as part of the Tandang tribe. The first episode aired on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. She appeared on the CBS talk show, The Talk, to promote her appearance on "Survivor" on September 19, 2012. Whelchel appeared on "The Jeff Probst Show" (2012) on October 29, 2012 on the episode "Teen Star Lisa Whelchel: Surviving 'Survivor' and Divorce". She also appeared on a second episode titled "Survivor Finalists" along with fellow 'Survivor: Philippines' contestants, Abi-Maria Gomes, Michael Skupin, Denise Stapley and Malcolm Freberg for being in the final five. On December 16, 2012 during the 25th Season Reunion Show on CBS, "America's Sweetheart" won the fan-voted Sprint Player of the Season by 0.7% over Malcolm which is the closest margin of victory in Survivor history. The prize money that Lisa Whelchel won was $100,000 U.S. Lisa will began to co-host on "The Jeff Probst Show" (2012) with tapings airing in January 2013.
Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen (born on March 19, 1985) is a Dutch/Spanish actress, born on the Spanish island of Ibiza. As a little girl all she wanted to do was acting and at the age of 16 she had her first significant part. Now she had to choose between going to acting school or acting in practice. She chose the last option and decided to pursue a serious acting career.
Yolanthe starred in the "School TV " series "Chromosomen " in which she played the young Julia of 14 years old. Subsequently she played in several music videos the lady of Boris (Dutch Idols winner), Ali B (which she had to go into the studio for the Spanish lyrics) and Charly Luske, for which Yolanthe had to travel to Turkey. Soon thereafter Yolanthe had to go to Turkey again, this time for the film "Costa!". Hereafter Yolanthe went to Austria, where she acted in the film "Snow Fever". Until October 2008 Yolanthe played the role of Julia on the Dutch soap "Onderweg Naar Morgen". In 2006 and 2007 Yolanthe started presenting BNN's program "URBNN". In 2007 she was also a member of the team on another BNN program "Try before you die". She hosted the BNN program "Crazy 88" as well. At the end of September 2006 the film Turkish Chick by film director Lodewijk Crijns was a nominee at the Dutch 'Gouden Kalf' Film Festival. In this film Yolanthe played the role of a Turkish girl Dilara, who stole the heart of a young skateboarder. At the end of 2008 Yolanthe started to work for the broadcaster "TROS". On October 24, 2008 she won the first 'Televizier Talent Award'. She presented several live programs for TROS, such as "Twinzz" and "Buma Gouden Harpen Gala". She also presented programs for the channel Nederland 3, such as "Te leuk om waar te zijn" and "Ei van Columbus". Additionally, Yolanthe is one of the permanent jury members for AVRO's live shows of the Junior European Song Festival. Yolanthe played the role of Kate Witte in RTL4 series "Voetbalvrouwen" during the season 2009-2010. In 2009 Yolanthe played the role of the thoroughly evil 'Miss Volta' in the first ever "Mega Mindy" film. Yolanthe also presented "Stedenspel" Belgium in April 2010, a television program in which Belgium and the Netherlands were battling against each other. Yolanthe also hosted live the 2010 National Song Festival and presented the family program "Mijn vader is de beste" and she played a part in the series "Flikken Maastricht" in 2010 as well. In 2010 Giro d'Italia chose Yolanthe as 'Madrina', the hostess of the Giro d'Italia. This included that Yolanthe was the face of Giro d'Italia of 2010. She followed the cyclists the 3 weeks in Italy to do short interviews and presentations, wearing the jerseys of the Giro d'Italia. In 2011 she appeared in tv shows. In 2012 Yolanthe was starring in the main role in an episode of the tv-series "Van God Los'.
In addition to her presenting and acting career, Yolanthe started her own foundation "Stop Kindermisbruik" ( Stop child abuse ). The main goals of this foundation are to prevent child abuse and to rescue children who are being abused, to help them to deal with those experiences and to offer them a secure future.
Since the end of 2007 she has a body fashion line "Yolanthe's Choice" (lingerie, bath and nightwear).
Readers of the Dutch men's magazine FHM voted Yolanthe as being the sexiest Dutch woman in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2007 Yolanthe won the BNN's award for best actress.
Sylvia Hoeks was born in Maarheeze, a southern town of the Netherlands. At age 14 she was scouted by Elite Models and traveled to many European countries to model. After doing this she finished high school and attended the Maastricht Theatre Academy.
After graduation, she made her national breakthrough with the Jos Stelling film Duska (2007), for which she won a Golden Calf (the Dutch equivalent of the Oscars) at the annual Dutch Film Festival. Sylvia quickly became in-demand for both stage and screen directors and stars in prestigious Dutch TV series like Overspel (VARA), Bloedverwanten (AVRO) and several theatre plays.
Within two years after graduating, Sylvia had the opportunity to play her first leading role as Julia in the feature film The Storm (Ben Sombogaart, 2009), which became a major box office hit. The film was a national success and reached the Stony Brook Film Festival (NY, USA) and Festroia International Film Festival (Setubal, Portugal), where she received the award for 'best actress'.
In 2010, Sylvia starred as Tirza in the feature film Tirza by director Rudolf van den Berg, which won the 'Best Film' award at Festroia International Film Festival in Portugal. In 2011, Sylvia was presented at the Berlinale as Shooting Star, the unique Pan European initiative which puts a spotlight on Europe's best actors.
In 2011, Sylvia played the main character, Johanna, in feature film De Bende van Oss. Five years after her national breakthrough, she started working together again with director Jos Stelling on his new feature film The Girl and Death, in a Russian-German co production (release 2012).
In 2013 Sylvia plays her first international role in "The Best Offer", directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring next to Geoffrey Rush. The film was a box office hit in several European countries as Italy and Spain and is nominated for Best Film at the European Film Awards 2013. Release in the Netherlands and the US in 2014.
|Mario Van Peebles
Mario Van Peebles was born in Mexico City. He was an analyst for the New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget under Mayor Ed Koch during the city's fiscal crisis in 1979, going by the name Mario Peebles. Assigned to the Environmental Protection Agency budget task force.
David Oakes is a British actor who trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and graduated in 2007. He is represented by Jeremy Conway at Conway Van Gelder Grant Inc.
Before training professionally as an actor he studied at Manchester University where he received a first class degree in English and Drama. David was also on the board of governors for the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama.
He went to school in Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he eventually became the head boy at Bishop Wordsworth's Grammar School.
Actor/Singer Max Schneider began performing at the age of three and hasn't stopped since. He started off singing and dancing for family and friends on his living room table, but ended up singing and dancing on a Broadway stage.
He began his professional career in the Broadway musical, 13, and things just set off from there. Shortly after 13 closed, Max booked a guest starring role on "Law and Order SVU." He has also appeared on television shows such as "One Life to Live" and "The View." In January 2010, Max was lucky enough to be chosen out of 6,000 applicants to attend the YoungArts Program in Miami. He was one of twenty theater finalists, and he specialized in musical theater at the program. He studied with incredibly talented performers such as Liv Ullman, Malcolm Gets and Kevin Carroll. In early May 2010, Max walked into a casting for the Fall/Winter 2010 ad campaign for Dolce & Gabbana featuring Madonna. A week later he was posing arm in arm with Madonna for world-renowned photographer, Steven Klein. The ad campaign was released in August of 2010 in 44 countries. In late 2010 after attending NYU Tisch for Musical theater (New Studio on Broadway), Max booked his first role in a feature film, The Art Of Love (The Last Keepers) starring Olympia Dukakis, Virginia Madsen and Aidan Quinn. Max is best known for his role on Nickelodeon's "How to Rock (2012)," playing the popular character of "Zander Robbins." The show can currently be seen in reruns on the channel. Max co-starred with Keke Palmer in the TV musical movie for Nickelodeon, RAGS, which premiered on May 28, 2012. The movie was directed by Bille Woodruff, with choreography by Rosero McCoy and music my Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins. It also stars Drake Bell, Avan Jogia and Isaiah Mustafa. The soundtrack and DVD are currently available on iTunes and Amazon. An avid singer and songwriter, Max has written for several other projects and artists. His song, "Last One Standing," co-written with Matt Wong and Claire Demorest, is featured in two episodes of "How to Rock" and his song, "Show You How to Do," co-written with Ben Charles, was featured on the Disney show "Shake It Up." He also wrote the song "Standing in China" which was featured on Cody Simpson's album Paradise in 2012! During the summer of 2012, Max was invited to open for Victoria Justice on her "Making it in America" national tour. In addition to putting together a new band and opening for her in over 17 major cities to sold-out crowds, Max teamed up with Victoria once again to create their viral YouTube hit, "Bruno Mars Medley" (directed by Kurt Schneider). The Tour received rave reviews and Max and his band extended the tour by "headlining"-and selling out-Webster Hall (NYC) and House of Blues (Chicago). During the tour, Max debuted two of his original songs: "Everyday" (co-written by Jon Feldmann) and "Quicksand" (co-written by Matt Wong). In late 2012, Max guest starred on the CW's "Beauty and the Beast." Most recently during spring of 2013, Max released the single, "Nothing Without Love," the video has garnered almost over 2 million views on YouTube. He also collaborated in a duet with actress/singer Keke Palmer for Jason Derulo, entitled "The Other Side," which has almost 5 million views on YouTube.
He is one of the stars of 2014 drama series for NBC entitled, "Crisis." The show centers on an idealistic Secret Service agent who finds himself at the center of an international crisis on his first day on the job. On his search for the truth, he will have to cross moral and legal lines as he navigates the highest levels of power and corruption. The show stars Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson and Lance Gross. On the music side, MAX (as he goes by for music) performed the song "Mug Shot," which he also wrote, on the soundtrack for the Veronica Mars movie.
In addition to "Crisis," Max can also be seen in a supporting role in the indie feature Love & Mercy about the life of reclusive musician Brian Wilson from the '60s surfing band, The Beach Boys, from his successes with highly-influential orchestral pop albums to his nervous breakdown and subsequent encounter with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Max played the role of Singer, Songwriter and Producer Van Dyke Parks, best known for his lyrical contributions to The Beach Boys' Smile project. The movie starred Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti and John Cusack.
Virginia Clara Jones was born on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of a newspaper reporter and his wife. The family had a rich heritage in the St. Louis area: her great-great-great-grandfather served in the American Revolution and later founded the city of East Saint Louis, Illinois, located right across the Mississippi River from its namesake. Virginia was interested in show business from an early age. Her aunt operated a dance studio and Virginia began taking lessons at the age of six. After graduating from high school in 1937, she became a member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera before she was signed to a contract by Samuel Goldwyn after being spotted by an MGM talent scout during a Broadway revue. David O. Selznick gave her a screen test, but decided she wouldn't fit into films. Goldwyn, however, believed that her talent as an actress was there and cast her in a small role in 1943's Jack London. She later had a walk-on part in Follies Girl that same year. Believing there was more to her than her obvious ravishing beauty, producers thought it was time to give her bigger and better roles. In 1944 she was cast as Princess Margaret in The Princess and the Pirate, with Bob Hope and a year later appeared as Ellen Shavley in Wonder Man. Her popularity increasing with every appearance, Virginia was cast in two more films in 1946, The Kid from Brooklyn, with Danny Kaye, and The Best Years of Our Lives, with Dana Andrews, and received good notices as Andrews' avaricious, unfaithful wife. Her roles may have been coming in slow, but with each one her popularity with audiences rose. She finally struck paydirt in 1947 with a plum assignment in the well-received The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as Rosalind van Hoorn. That same year she married Michael O'Shea and would remain with him until his death in 1973 (the union produced a daughter, Mary Catherine, in 1953). She got some of the best reviews of her career in James Cagney's return to the gangster genre, White Heat, as Verna, the scheming, cheating wife of homicidal killer Cody Jarrett (Cagney). The striking beauty had still more plum roles in the 1950s. Parts in Backfire, She's Working Her Way Through College and South Sea Woman all showed she was still a force to be reckoned with. As the decade ended, Virginia's career began to slow down. She had four roles in the 1960s and four more in the following decade. Her last role was as Janet Wilson in 1990's Evil Spirits. She died on January 17, 2005.