Witt was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Diane (Pietro), a high school teacher, and Robert Witt, a photographer and science teacher. Her ancestry includes Irish, Italian, French-Canadian, Polish, and English.
Alicia is an accomplished singer/songwriter. A classically-trained pianist for the past five years, she has been performing her original piano-driven rock all across the world, and has opened for Ben Folds Five, Jimmy Webb and John Fullbright. Her self-titled first EP was released on iTunes in 2009 and her Kickstarter-funded first full length album, "Live at Rockwood", which was recorded at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, was released following a self-booked national tour in 2012. Witt performed live as the musical guest on CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
In 1994, Witt appeared in the critically-acclaimed Fun, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Rafal Zielinski, depicts a tale of two disturbed young girls whose quest for fun leads them to murder. Witt received the "Special Jury Recognition" Award at Sundance and a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award. In 1998, she starred in Columbia Tristar's hit horror movie, Urban Legend.
On television, Witt has made guest appearances on the phenomenally successful HBO series, The Sopranos, and the Emmy award- winning Ally McBeal, in which she sang opposite Randy Newman. She previously starred for four seasons, as Cybill Shepherd's daughter "Zoey", on the hit CBS sitcom, Cybill.
Witt combined her acting talents, with her skills as a pianist, in the romantic comedy, Playing Mona Lisa. For this role, she won a Best Actress Award at the US Comedy Arts Festival. Alicia made her film debut in 1984 in David Lynch's Dune, and by age 14, received her high school diploma and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time. Once in Los Angeles, Lynch cast her in his cult classic television series, Twin Peaks, as "Gersten Hayward", a part that he had written specifically for Witt. Following this, Lynch utilized Alicia's talents once again in his HBO trilogy, Hotel Room, in which she portrayed a young woman with a multiple personality disorder, opposite Crispin Glover.
Witt was seen in Paramount's Last Holiday, with Queen Latifah and Timothy Hutton. She also appeared, opposite Joan Allen, Kevin Costner, Erika Christensen, Evan Rachel Wood and Keri Russell in New Line's critically-acclaimed film, The Upside of Anger, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She is also well-known for her role in the Warner Bros. hit romantic comedy, Two Weeks Notice, opposite Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock.
Witt appeared on-stage in fall 2006 at London's Royal Court Theatre in Terry Johnson's "Piano/Forte". She made her West End debut with Neil LaBute's "The Shape of Things". She was also seen on stage in "Dissonance" at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. In April 2013, Alicia performed in the 24 Hour Musicals off-Broadway, for the 3rd time. She has previously taken the stage in the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and in the West End.
Alicia made her directorial debut with the short film, 'Belinda's Swan Song', which she also wrote. The film premiered at the 2006 Rhode Island International Film Festival and was screened at 9 additional festivals around the world, including the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
She also appeared in Mr. Holland's Opus, opposite Richard Dreyfuss, as clarinet player "Gertrude Lang", as well as Four Rooms (Miramax), with Tim Roth, Madonna, and Lili Taylor, and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Allison Anders, Robert Rodriguez and Alexandre Rockwell. She was also seen in the John Waters film, Cecil B. DeMented, with Stephen Dorff and Melanie Griffith, as well as director Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, opposite Tom Cruise.
Other film credits include Mike Figgis' Liebestraum, starring Kevin Anderson; 'Bodies, Rest and Motion', starring Tim Roth and Bridget Fonda; 'Bongwater' opposite 'Luke Wilson'; 'Peep World' with Sarah Silverman, Michael C. Hall and Rainn Wilson; The Pond with David Morse; and 'Away from Here' opposite Nick Stahl.
Alicia is on Season 5 of the Emmy-award winning FX series, Justified with Timothy Olyphant, in which she is heavily recurring as "Wendy Crowe", the smart and sexy paralegal sister of crime lord "Danny Crowe", played by Michael Rapaport. The season premiere, in which Alicia is introduced, airs January 5, 2014.
She starred, opposite Peter Bogdanovich and Cheryl Hines, in the independent family dramedy 'Pasadena', in limited theatrical release Nov 15, 2013, following its festival run. She also can be heard on the closing credits song, which she wrote and co-performed with Ben Folds. The music video can be seen at themefrompasadena.com. Alicia will appear that same month in her Hallmark film 'A Very Merry Mix-Up', in which she stars as a girl who goes home to spend Christmas with her fiancé for the first time, only to discover that she may or may not be about to marry the wrong guy.
She also appeared in Tyler Perry's feature 'A Madea Christmas', which was released through Lionsgate theatrically worldwide on December 14, 2013. To round out her trio of holiday films, 'A Snow Globe Christmas' premieres on Lifetime December 17. Additionally, she is recurring this year on the ABC series 'Betrayal', as the long-estranged sister of Sara (Hannah Ware). Her first episode aired Nov. 10.
The critically-acclaimed independent feature film 'I Do' opened nationwide in May 2013, after screening at 25 festivals worldwide and winning 10 awards. Alicia has two songs featured in this film as well, including her latest single, 'Do It'.
In 2012, she was in the Samuel Goldwyn film 'Cowgirls n Angels' with James Cromwell, which premiered at the Dallas Film Festival and opened on May 25, 2012. She appeared in the Emmy award winning series finale of Friday Night Lights on NBC, in which she reprised her Season 4 role as Becky's mom Cheryl, and recurred on CBS' 'The Mentalist' as blind pianist Rosalind. Alicia starred opposite Al Pacino in the feature film '88 Minutes' for director Jon Avnet. Witt played a graduate student and teaching assistant with whom Pacino's character, a forensic psychiatrist, has a complicated relationship. She played Detective Nola Falacci opposite Chris Noth on NBC's 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' for half a season; she was also featured on the Emmy-award winning CBS comedy 'Two and a Half Men' as a teacher turned stripper in an episode featuring an extended lap dance that has been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube.
Helen Slater was born in Bethpage, New York, to Alice Joan (Citrin), a lawyer and peace activist, and Gerald Slater, a television executive. She was raised in Massapequa, Long Island, New York, and is of Eastern European Jewish descent. Appearing in many shows as a child, she attended the New York High School of Performing Arts, graduating in 1982. Having made her acting debut in Amy & the Angel, co-starring with James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine. Helen took her career very seriously. Within months of her graduation, she attended auditions for the upcoming spin-off of the famous Superman franchise, Supergirl. It was to be shot in England at Pinewood Studios, where the first "Superman" movies were filmed. Slater even spoke to Christopher Reeve about playing a superhero to assure herself she could do it. After being the first to present herself for audition, she was cast as the lead in the film and her career took off. Although Supergirl received mixed reviews, most critics were impressed with Helen's abilities. In fact, the critics' consensus was that she did a better job at keeping a secret identity (a mousy schoolgirl) than Reeve did as Clark Kent. In her next film, she was cast as a modern-day "Joan of Arc" in The Legend of Billie Jean with Yeardley Smith and Peter Coyote. The film, though not particularly successful, has managed to attract a somewhat cult following. She next appeared in one of her best-received roles, that of the female half of the bumbling husband-and-wife team that kidnaps Bette Midler in the comic blockbuster, Ruthless People, and scored again in the hit The Secret of My Succe$s. Both roles helped to cement her status as an actress of note. Next, she and her friend, Melanie Mayron, starred in the feminist comedy, Sticky Fingers, a critical but not financial success. It was in this film and her next, Happy Together, that she was able to prove that she could do comedy as well as drama. She went on to do more feature films such as City Slickers, A House in the Hills and Lassie, before making regular appearances on television. Her regional stage credits include appearances in such plays as "Grease" and "Shakespeare and Friends". On Broadway, she starred in "Responsible Parties" and "Almost Romance". She also attended classes at both NYU and UCLA, trying to broaden her acting abilities. On television, she has appeared in Caroline in the City, as well as many others. She also became a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oreal in both TV and print ads. She is an accomplished pianist and now has an album out called "One of These Days". She co-founded the New York theater group, The Naked Angels, with her friend Gina Gershon. In 1990, she married award-winning editor Robert Watzke and they have a daughter, born in 1995. She stepped out of the limelight for a couple of years, appearing mainly in the occasional TV show, but came back strong in 2003, showing moviegoers and TV audiences how great an entertainer she really is.
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer.
Steven Allan Spielberg was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Leah Frances (Posner), a concert pianist and restaurateur, and Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer who worked in computer development. His parents were both born to Russian Jewish immigrant families. Steven spent his younger years in Haddon Township, New Jersey, Phoenix, Arizona, and later Saratoga, California. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic western Wagon Train. Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad (1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere, which featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and The Last Gun, a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years, Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would portend his future career in movies. In 1964, he directed Firelight, a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1967, he directed Slipstream, which was unfinished. However, in 1968, he directed Amblin', which featured the desert prominently, and not the first of his movies in which the desert would feature so prominently. Amblin' also became the name of his production company, which turned out such classics as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg had a unique and classic early directing project, Duel, with Dennis Weaver. In the early 1970s, Spielberg was working on TV, directing among others such series as Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Murder by the Book. All of his work in television and short films, as well as his directing projects, were just a hint of the wellspring of talent that would dazzle audiences all over the world.
Spielberg's first major directorial effort was The Sugarland Express, with Goldie Hawn, a film that marked him as a rising star. It was his next effort, however, that made him an international superstar among directors: Jaws. This classic shark attack tale started the tradition of the summer blockbuster or, at least, he was credited with starting the tradition. His next film was the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a unique and original UFO story that remains a classic. In 1978, Spielberg produced his first film, the forgettable I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and followed that effort with Used Cars, a critically acclaimed, but mostly forgotten, Kurt Russell\\Jack Warden comedy about devious used-car dealers. Spielberg hit gold yet one more time with Raiders of the Lost Ark, with Harrison Ford taking the part of Indiana Jones. Spielberg produced and directed two films in 1982. The first was Poltergeist, but the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point was the alien story E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Spielberg also helped pioneer the practice of product placement. The concept, while not uncommon, was still relatively low-key when Spielberg raised the practice to almost an art form with his famous (or infamous) placement of Reece's Pieces in "E.T." Spielberg was also one of the pioneers of the big-grossing special-effects movies, like "E.T." and "Close Encounters", where a very strong emphasis on special effects was placed for the first time on such a huge scale. In 1984, Spielberg followed up "Raiders" with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which was a commercial success but did not receive the critical acclaim of its predecessor. As a producer, Spielberg took on many projects in the 1980s, such as The Goonies, and was the brains behind the little monsters in Gremlins. He also produced the cartoon An American Tail, a quaint little animated classic. His biggest effort as producer in 1985, however, was the blockbuster Back to the Future, which made Michael J. Fox an instant superstar. As director, Spielberg took on the book The Color Purple, with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, with great success. In the latter half of the 1980s, he also directed Empire of the Sun, a mixed success for the occasionally erratic Spielberg. Success would not escape him for long, though.
The late 1980s found Spielberg's projects at the center of pop-culture yet again. In 1988, he produced the landmark animation/live-action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The next year proved to be another big one for Spielberg, as he produced and directed Always as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Back to the Future Part II. All three of the films were box-office and critical successes. Also, in 1989, he produced the little known comedy-drama Dad, with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson, which got mostly mixed results. Spielberg has also had an affinity for animation and has been a strong voice in animation in the 1990s. Aside from producing the landmark "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", he produced the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid!, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, Family Dog and Toonsylvania. Spielberg also produced other cartoons such as The Land Before Time, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Casper (the live action version) as well as the live-action version of The Flintstones, where he was credited as "Steven Spielrock". Spielberg also produced many Roger Rabbit short cartoons, and many Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons specials. Spielberg was very active in the early 1990s, as he directed Hook and produced such films as the cute fantasy Joe Versus the Volcano and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. He also produced the unusual comedy thriller Arachnophobia, Back to the Future Part III and Gremlins 2: The New Batch. While these movies were big successes in their own right, they did not quite bring in the kind of box office or critical acclaim as previous efforts. In 1993, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park, which for a short time held the record as the highest grossing movie of all time, but did not have the universal appeal of his previous efforts. Big box-office spectacles were not his only concern, though. He produced and directed Schindler's List, a stirring film about the Holocaust. He won best director at the Oscars, and also got Best Picture. In the mid-90s, he helped found the production company DreamWorks, which was responsible for many box-office successes.
As a producer, he was very active in the late 90s, responsible for such films as The Mask of Zorro, Men in Black and Deep Impact. However, it was on the directing front that Spielberg was in top form. He directed and produced the epic Amistad, a spectacular film that was shorted at the Oscars and in release due to the fact that its release date was moved around so much in late 1997. The next year, however, produced what many believe was one of the best films of his career: Saving Private Ryan, a film about World War Two that is spectacular in almost every respect. It was stiffed at the Oscars, losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love.
Spielberg produced a series of films, including Evolution, The Haunting and Shrek. he also produced two sequels to Jurassic Park, which were financially but not particularly critical successes. In 2001, he produced a mini-series about World War Two that definitely *was* a financial and critical success: Band of Brothers, a tale of an infantry company from its parachuting into France during the invasion to the Battle of the Bulge. Also in that year, Spielberg was back in the director's chair for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a movie with a message and a huge budget. It did reasonably at the box office and garnered varied reviews from critics.
Spielberg has been extremely active in films there are many other things he has done as well. He produced the short-lived TV series SeaQuest 2032, an anthology series entitled Amazing Stories, created the video-game series "Medal of Honor" set during World War Two, and was a starting producer of ER. Spielberg, if you haven't noticed, has a great interest in World War Two. He and Tom Hanks collaborated on Shooting War, a documentary about World War II combat photographers, and he produced a documentary about the Holocaust called Eyes of the Holocaust. With all of this to Spielberg's credit, it's no wonder that he's looked at as one of the greatest ever figures in entertainment.
Elizabeth Ann Perkins was born on November 18, 1960, in the borough of Queens, New York, and was raised in Vermont. Her mother, Jo Williams, was a concert pianist and drug treatment counselor, and her father, James Perkins, was a businessman, farmer, and writer. She is of Greek and English descent. Perkins studied acting at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University for three years, then launched her professional career with a co-starring gig in the touring company of Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs. Seasoned, she returned to New York in the spring of 1984 to make her Broadway debut as a replacement in the Simon play. As a stage actress, she has trod the boards with Playwrights Horizon, the Ensemble Studio, The New York Shakespeare Festival, and, back in Chcago, with the Steppenwolf Theater. She found time out to marry the Chicago actor Terry Kinney.
Her first major film role was in the underwhelming screen adaptation of David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago," which was turned into a Rob Lowe/Demi Moore star vehicle retitled About Last Night.... Perkins sparkled as the grown woman interested in Tom Hanks in Big, but her career was spotty and she never gained the traction to bring her the stardom that seemed to be within her grasp. In 1991, Perkins starred with Kevin Bacon in He Said, She Said (thus giving her a Bacon Factor of exactly 1) but, sadly, for such a talented actress, her biggest box-office hit has proven to be The Flintstones, in which she portrayed Wilma.
Perkins made her television debut in For Their Own Good, a 1993 TV movie based on the true story of a woman who underwent mandatory sterilization to work in a chemical plant. She starred in the NBC comedy series Battery Park produced by Gary David Goldberg (who recently directed her in Must Love Dogs in a supporting role to her good friend Diane Lane), and HBO's If These Walls Could Talk 2. Her other TV work includes Babilônia 2000, Rescuers: Stories of Courage: Two Women, and From the Earth to the Moon in an episode directed by Sally Field.
Perkins divorced Kinney and now is married to the cinematographer Julio Macat. Recently, she starred in John Patrick Shanley's black comedy "Four Dogs and a Bone" at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse. She also has a starring role in the series Weeds for Showtime. Her talent, personality, and good looks keep her steadily employed, and it wouldn't be surprising if now, on the other side of 40, she makes a breakthrough and does some major work commensurate with her early promise.
Molly Ringwald was born in Roseville, California, to Adele Edith (Frembd), a chef, and Robert Ringwald, a blind jazz pianist. Her ancestry includes German, English, and Swedish. She released an album at the age of 6 entitled, "I Wanna Be Loved By You, Molly Sings". She is the youngest daughter of Bob Ringwald, the blind jazz pianist. At age five she starred in a stage production of "Alice in Wonderland", playing the dormouse.
Adrien Nicholas Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the only child of retired history professor Elliot Brody and Hungarian-born photographer Sylvia Plachy. He accompanied his mother on assignments for the Village Voice, and credits her with making him feel comfortable in front of the camera. Adrien attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in New York.
Despite a strong performance in The Thin Red Line, time constraints forced the director to edit out much of Adrien's part. In spite of his later work with Spike Lee and Barry Levinson, he never became the star many expected he would become until Roman Polanski called on him to play a celebrated Jewish pianist in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. He pulled off a brilliant performance in The Pianist, drawing on the heritage and rare dialect of his Polish-born grandmother, as well as his father, who lost family members during the Holocaust, and his mother, who fled Communist Hungary as a child during the 1956 uprising against the Soviet Union.
Humanitarian and actor Richard Gere was born on August 31, 1949, in Philadelphia, the second of five children of Doris Ann (Tiffany), a homemaker, and Homer George Gere, an insurance salesman, both Mayflower descendants. Richard started early as a musician, playing a number of instruments in high school and writing music for high school productions. He graduated from North Syracuse Central High School in 1967, and won a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he majored in philosophy. He left college after two years to pursue acting, landing a lead role in the London production of the rock musical "Grease" in 1973. The following year he would be in other plays, such as "Taming of the Shrew." Onscreen, he had a few roles, and gained recognition in Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Offscreen, he spent 1978 meeting Tibetans when he traveled to Nepal, where he spoke to many monks and lamas. Returning to the US, on Broadway he portrayed a concentration-camp prisoner in "Bent," for which he received the 1980 Theatre World Award. Back in Hollywood, he played the title role in American Gigolo, establishing himself as a major star; this status was reaffirmed by An Officer and a Gentleman. In the early 1980s, Richard went to Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador (amidst ongoing wars and political violence); he traveled with a doctor and visited refugee camps. It is said that he was romantically linked with lovely Brazilian painter Sylvia Martins. In 1990 Richard teamed up with Julia Roberts to star in the blockbuster Pretty Woman; his cool reserve was the perfect complement to Julia's bubbling enthusiasm. The film captured the nation's heart, and won the People's Choice award for Best Movie. Fans clamored for years for a sequel, or at least another pairing of Julia and Richard. They got that with Runaway Bride, which was a runaway success (Richard got $12 million, Julia made $17 million, the box office was $152 million, which shows what happens when you give the public what it wants!). Offscreen, Richard and Cindy Crawford got married December 12, 1991 (they were divorced in 1995). Afterwards, Richard started dating actress Carey Lowell. They had a son, Homer James Jigme Gere, on February 6, 2000. Richard was picked by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the world in 1991, and as their Sexiest Man Alive in 1999. He is an accomplished pianist and music writer. Above all, Richard is a humanitarian. He's a founding member of "Tibet House," a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture. He has been an active supporter of "Survival International" for several years, a worldwide organization supporting tribal peoples, affirming their right to decide their own future and helping them protect their lives, lands and human rights (these tribes are global, including the natives of the Amazon, the Maasai of East Africa, the Wichi of Argentina, and others). In 1994 Richard went to London to open Harrods' sale, donating his £50,000 appearance fee to Survival. He has been prominent in their charity advertising campaigns.
Alia Shawkat was born in Riverside, California, to Dina Burke and actor Tony Shawkat. Her maternal grandfather, Paul Burke, was also an actor. Her father is from Baghdad, Iraq, and her mother has Irish, Italian, and Norwegian ancestry. Success arrived early for Alia. Her career began at the young age of 11 when she landed a role on the ABC Family series State of Grace. She later starred as "Maeby Funke" on Fox's Emmy-award winning Arrested Development where she portrayed a rebellious and mischievous member of a dysfunctional Orange County family trying to adjust to their loss of wealth.
Alia was introduced to show business by appearing in a Calvin Klein catalog, which immediately attracted the attention of commercial and theatrical agents in Hollywood. She soon landed a role opposite George Clooney in Three Kings. This was followed by a supporting lead in the Ron Perlman' movie The Trial of Old Drum.
But it was State of Grace that catapulted her into the forefront of young actresses. She has also had guest-starring roles on JAG, Without a Trace, Boomtown and Presidio Med and she recently starred opposite Martin Lawrence in Rebound.
At 16 years old, when she was not filming, Alia attended a private school near her home in Rancho Mirage where she was able to continue her studies in English, Physics, Math, Geography and Drama. Her ambition is eventually to attend Yale University studying International Relations.
In her free time, Alia enjoys horseback riding, ice-skating and dancing. She is an accomplished pianist and speaks several languages. She splits her time between her home and Rancho Mirage and Los Angeles where she resides with her parents and her two brothers.
Chevy Chase was born Cornelius Crane Chase in Lower Manhattan, New York, to Cathalene Parker (Browning), a concert pianist and librettist, and Edward Tinsley "Ned" Chase, an editor and writer. His parents both came from prominent families, and his grandfathers were artist and illustrator Edward Leigh Chase and admiral Miles Browning. His recent ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, and Danish.
His grandmother gave him the nickname "Chevy" when he was two years old. Chase was a part of the Saturday Night Live cast from its debut in 1975 until 1976, and then embarked on a highly successful movie career. He scored in the eighties with hits such as Caddyshack, the National Lampoon movies and the Fletch movies. All his films show his talent for deadpan comedy. Sadly, his career has generally worsened throughout the nineties, starring in disappointments such as the mediocre Memoirs of an Invisible Man, and Cops and Robbersons.
Miranda grew up in Burnham Thorpe on the North Norfolk coast and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Her father, Nick, is a jazz pianist and her mother, Caroline, read the news for Anglia television. In 2011, she played the title role in 'Anne Boleyn' at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to great critical acclaim.
Nat Wolff is an American actor and singer-songwriter. He was born in Los Angeles, to jazz pianist Michael Wolff and actress/writer Polly Draper. He is the older brother of actor/musician Alex Wolff, and grew up in New York City.
Nat is known for his work starring in the television series The Naked Brothers Band, along with his brother, and co-starring in the television film Mr. Troop Mom, and the theatrical films Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, Stuck in Love, Admission, and Behaving Badly. He also co-starred with Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in the adaptation of the popular John Green novel The Fault in Our Stars, and will next himself play the lead role in an adaptation of a Green book, Paper Towns, opposite Cara Delevingne.
Madeleine Stowe was born in Los Angeles, California, to Mireya Maria (Mora Steinvorth) and Robert Alfred Stowe, a civil engineer. Her mother was a from a prominent political family in Costa Rica, while her father was of English and German ancestry. Stowe grew up in Eagle Rock, a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles. At age ten she started practicing for a career as a concert pianist and trained every day for hours. However, when her instructor died in 1976 she more or less quit playing.
She went to University of Southern California and studied cinema and journalism before taking up acting at Beverly Hills' Solaris Theater. She made a few appearances in TV and on film but her breakthrough came in 1987 with Stakeout. Other major credits include The Last of the Mohicans and Short Cuts.
When not filming she spends her time at her ranch in Texas, which she shares with her husband Brian Benben.
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. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who changed the family name to "Roth"; Ernie had been in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry.
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
One of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, film actress Jayne Mansfield was born Vera Jayne Palmer on April 19, 1933 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to Vera J. and Herbert W. Palmer. Her parents were well-to-do, with her father a successful attorney in Phillipburg, New Jersey, where Jayne began her girlhood. Her parents were both born with the same surname, and her ancestry was 7/8ths English and 1/8th German. Jayne was a talented pianist and violin player as a child.
Tragedy struck when Jayne was three, when her father suddenly died of a heart attack. Three years later, her mother remarried and the family moved south to Dallas, Texas. The family bought a little home where she had violin concerts in the driveway of their home. Up until the move, Jayne had no aspirations of being a star, but with maturity and the fact that she devoured the fan magazines of the day convinced her to try acting.
Amazingly, her I.Q. was reported to be a 163, and she attended the University of Dallas and participated in little-theatre productions. In 1949, at age 16, she married a man five years her senior named Paul Mansfield, the next year when Jayne was 17. Their daughter, Jayne Marie Mansfield, was born in November.
After some productions there and elsewhere, Jayne decided to go to Hollywood. Her first film was a bit role as a cigarette girl in Pete Kelly's Blues. Although the roles in the beginning were not much, she was successful in gaining those roles because of her ample physical attributes which placed her in two other films that year, Hell on Frisco Bay and Illegal. Her breakout role came the next year with a featured part in The Burglar. By the time she portrayed Rita Marlowe in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and Too Hot to Handle, Jayne was now known as the poor man's Marilyn Monroe. She did not get the plum roles that Marilyn got in her productions. Instead, Jayne's films were more of a showcase for her body more than anything else. Jayne did have a real talent for acting, but the movie executives insisted she stay in her dumb blonde stereotype roles. For the balance of her career, Jayne never received any standout performances although she was more than capable of doing them.
By the 1960s, Mansfield's career had options that grew lower. She made somewhat embarrassing guest appearances like on the popular game show What's My Line?, she appeared on the show four times in 1956, 1957, 1964, and 1966 and many other 1950s and 1960s game shows. By 1962, she was dropped from 20th Century Fox and the rest of her career had smaller options like being in B movies and low budget movies or performing at food stores or small nightclubs.
While traveling from a nightclub in Biloxi, Mississippi and 30 miles from New Orleans to where she was to be on television the following day, she was killed instantly on Highway 90 in a car crash in the early hours of June 29, 1967, when the car in which she was riding in slammed into the back of a semi-tractor trailer truck that had stopped due to a truck in front of the tractor trailer that was spraying for bugs, and the car in which she was riding went under the truck at nearly 80 miles per hour along with boyfriend Samuel Brody and their driver Ronnie Harrison. The damage to the car was so bad that the engine was twisted sideways.
The beautiful woman who starred in 31 movies, the woman who fought so hard for respect, the woman who, in her own right, was a very good actress, was dead at age 34. Mansfield's funeral was on July 3, 1967 which was a small ceremony which her family, first child, and second husband Mickey Hargitay attended the same place in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, where her father was buried. Her final film, Single Room Furnished, was released the following year of her death.
Jayne Mansfield's fame lives on in the success of her best movies, her documentary film appearances, her 22 television appearances, and in the career of her 4th child, actress Mariska Hargitay who plays Olivia Benson on the popular NBC crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Samantha Isler who is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, first caught people's attention in 2009 when she was featured on NBC's Today Show as a Kid Reporter. Having been selected from thousands of kids, Isler traveled to New York and appeared on the show several times, rubbing elbows with the Today Show cast and featured guests.
Isler was cast in 2011 to play Kendricks in the feature film "Home Run," released in 2013 and directed by David Boyd. In 2012, she was cast as 13-year-old Hannah, the lead role in the short film "No One Knows." This film deals with the harsh reality of child abuse and has picked up a number of national sponsors supporting the film as it begins hitting film festivals.
In early 2013, Isler had the lead role in P.J. Fishwick and Hunter Adam's film "Dig Two Graves." In this thriller/mystery, Isler plays 14-year-old Jake, opposite Ted Levine, as she wrestles with a hard decision offered by three mysterious characters: a chance to bring her dead brother back to life in exchange for another life.
In the fall of 2013, Samantha stared as Ellie, Sean's spunky teenage daughter, on NBC's multi-cam comedy "Sean Saves the World", starring Sean Hayes, Linda Lavin, Tom Lennon, Megan Hilty and Echo Kellum.
In 2014 Isler filmed the feature film Captain Fantastic, opposite Viggo Mortensen, Kathryn Hahn and Frank Langella. The film tells the story of an idealistic father who returns to society from living off the grid for a decade in the Pacific Northwest with his six children. The film is to be release in 2016.
In the fall of 2015, Samantha had guest starring roles on The CW Network primetime show - Supernatural, and ABC's Emmy award winning show - Grey's Anatomy.
Prior to hitting her stride with feature film and TV roles, Isler had roles in various stage productions of "Annie," "Oklahoma" and "Alice in Wonderland," to name a few. She is an accomplished pianist and was a competitive gymnast, having been born and raised around her family's gymnastic school.
Carol Kane was born Carolyn Laurie Kane on June 18, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Elaine Joy (Fetterman), a jazz singer and pianist, and Michael Myron Kane, an architect. Her family is Jewish (from Russia, Poland, and Austria). Due to her parents' divorce, Carol spent most of her childhood in boarding schools, starting at age twelve, when she attended the Cherry Lawn School, a progressive boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965, followed by enrollment at the Professional Children's School in New York City.
She made her professional theater debut in a 1966 production of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". She worked prolifically in several successful received films of the 1970s, Carnal Knowledge (her film film debut), Dog Day Afternoon, Hester Street (for which she earned an Oscar nomination for her performance), Annie Hall and When a Stranger Calls. From 1981-1983 she played the part of what is considered to be her most memorable role. Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, the wife of Latka Gravas (played by 'Andy Kaufman), on the American television series _Taxi_. For her performance in the series, she earned two Emmy Awards. Other notable credits include: Pandemonium, Racing with the Moon, Transylvania 6-5000, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Ishtar, The Princess Bride, Scrooged, The Lemon Sisters and Addams Family Values. Carol is first and foremost an actress of the stage and is known for her portrayal of the evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical "Wicked". She played in various productions from 2005-2009.
Robbie Coltrane, one of Britain's most popular comedians who was head of debating society at school and won prizes for his art, is now a film star who played in two James Bond films and in the "Harry Potter" franchise.
Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a suburb of Glasgow, Scotland, UK. His mother, Jean Ross (Howie), was a teacher and pianist. His father, Ian Baxter McMillan, was a general surgeon who also worked for police pathology. Young Robbie was fond of art, music, films and cars. He was a voracious reader of his dad's books on medicine and crime. At age 12 he made his acting debut on stage at Glenalmond College, delivering rants from "Henry V". At that time he was fascinated with Marlon Brando and Orson Welles.
He attended Glasgow Art School, majoring in drawing, painting and film, then studied art at Edinburgh's Moray House College of Education for a year. In 1973 he made a documentary titled "Young Mental Health", which was voted Film Of The Year by the Scottish Education Council. At that time Robbie took the name Coltrane, due to his love of jazz, and began a career of a stand-up comedian at night clubs, at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as an actor with Edinburgh's renowned Traverse Theatre.
In 1980 Coltrane made his debut on television as "Border Guard" in BBC's mini-series The Lost Tribe, then made his big screen debut as a limousine driver in Death Watch. In 1981 he appeared in his first leading role as Detective Fritz Langley in Subway Riders, by famed underground director Amos Poe.
He became a well-known face through appearances in The Comic Strip series, then in Alfresco and Comic Strip movies The Supergrass and The Pope Must Diet, among other films. At that time Coltrane had a drinking problem, downing as much as a bottle of whiskey a day. In 1986 he flew to a clinic in Mexico and was treated for obesity. In 1987 his partner for 15 years, Robin Paine, left him for good, leaving her portrait in Coltrane's barn.
In 1988 Coltrane met then 18-year-old Rhona Gemmell in a pub. They married and had a son, Spencer, and a daughter, Alice. His career took off during the early 1990s with the leading role as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a forensic psychologist, in the popular TV series Cracker.
He made such a good performance as Valentin Zukovsky, a KGB man turned St. Petersburg mafia lord, in GoldenEye the producers called him back for the same character in The World Is Not Enough. Then Coltrane hit another lucrative franchise; he was personally selected by J.K. Rowling as her choice to play half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the 'Harry Potter' films.
In early 1990s Coltrane wrote an autobiography, "Coltrane in a Cadillac", and also starred in the eponymous TV series, Coltrane in a Cadillac, in which he indulges his passion for vintage cars and tells with great humor about his 4000-mile journey across America from Los Angeles to New York. In 2003 he separated from his wife. His interests outside of his acting profession has been reading books, and rebuilding and collecting vintage cars. Robbie Coltrane resides in a converted farmhouse in Stirlingshire, Scotland, UK.
Sharni Vinson was born in New South Wales, Australia and grew up in Sydney's southern beach superb of Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire. As a teenager, she trained and competed at a National Level in swimming, holding a total of 4 State records throughout high school. Sharni began singing, dancing and acting at a young age, becoming the 3rd generation of performers in her family. Her Mother was a performer in musical theater, and her grandmother was Australia's youngest ballerina in 1945 to be offered a scholarship in the Borovansky Ballet Company in England. At the age of 12, Sharni enrolled as a student in the Brent Street School of Performing Arts in Sydney, where she trained in ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, drama, singing, and musical theater over the next 10 years. At the age of 17 Sharni graduated high school and within a month, was signed to Roadshow Music Australia as a member of the all girl pop group, "Foxfire IV", whose debut single 'Roses' reached the top 50 on Australia's ARIA's charts.
Vinson is still best known amongst Australian audiences for her role as 'Cassie Turner' in the long running television series, "Home and Away". After having previously appeared twice on the show as minor characters, Vinson was asked to join the show permanently in 2004. Her performance earned her a nomination for 'Most Popular New Talent' at the TV Week Logie Awards in 2006. In 2008, Sharni announced she would be leaving the #1 Australian drama series to pursue a career in America, where she was immediately embraced by the entertainment industry.
In January 2008, she was chosen by director David Nutter (Smallville, Supernatural), to appear in the $50M LG 'Scarlet' TV series advertisement campaign, shot in Bangkok,Thailand. From there, she booked continuous guest roles on CSI:NY, NCIS, My Boys, Cold Case, and CW pilot 'Austin Golden Hour'. She also secured herself the lead role in the pilot presentation, 'The Depths', produced by Gregory Bonann (creator/producer 'Baywatch').
In March 2009, after an extensive search for a leading lady with amazing dance capability, Vinson booked the coveted lead role of 'Natalie' in Disney's "Step Up 3D"- the third installment of the 'Step Up' dance film franchise. The physically demanding role required a brutal 5 month 'boot camp', which included lengthly days of weight lifting, dance rehearsals, dialect coaching, capoeira classes and parkour training. The 'Step Up' series has since become the most successful series of dance films in the world, with a total of 5 films collectively grossing over $450M worldwide. 'Step Up 3D', was released in August 2010 and has since alone, grossed over $180M worldwide.
In need of an actress highly accomplished in water skills, Vinson portrayed the bitchy, pro-surfer 'Tara' in 'Blue Crush 2, Wild Coast' - a role which was later written in to add Vinson to the film. It was then asked that Vinson display her ocean savvy skills in the middle of shark infested waters in Durban, South Africa. The film required all of its actors to partake in a vigorous surf camp, where they all learned the ambidextrous skills of surfing. The film was released in June 2011 by Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
By the end of 2011, Sharni had headed back to her home country, where she joined the Australian/Singaporean co-produced shark thriller 'BAIT 3D', written by Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil- Extinction). The film was renamed 'Shark 3D' for Chinese audiences, which literally took a bite out of the China box office after it opened #1 in October 2012, grossing over $25M in its first 3 weeks in theaters.
But it was Vinson's next role which would finally earn her the industry credibility and recognition she had been seeking. In March 2011, Sharni had auditioned for the low budget, indie horror film, titled "YOU'RE NEXT", which for months had been unable to cast its lead female actress. It was during her audition that the director and producers became convinced they had finally found their lead girl, and writer Simon Barrett re-created the role of 'Erin' to suit the actresses' native Australian background. During the film's premiere screening in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival, an immediate bidding war erupted, which eventually saw 'Lionsgate' win the battle to acquire the film. The company then soon merged with Summit Entertainment, creating a back log in their combined list of films, and by the time "YOU'RE NEXT" was finally released in September 2013, it had sat 'on the shelf' for 2 years. However, due to the buzz which had been building throughout the industry and by word of mouth of horror fans across the globe, the film managed to open to overwhelming success. 'YOU'RE NEXT' was across the board, named one of the "best horror movies of 2013", and Vinson's role as the perfect blend of girl-next-door meets tough action survivalist, has since earned her the title of America's new 'scream queen'. Vinson's most critically acclaimed role saw her take home Best Horror Actress at Fantastic Fest 2011.
In October 2012 Sharni starred in the music video "Put Your Hands Up" for Matchbox 20.
In November 2012, Sharni led the way in 'PATRICK', the remake of an Australian cult classic, originally released in 1978. She was asked to play the lead role of 'Nurse Kathy' opposite Charles Dance (Game of Thrones, Alien) and Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under, Brothers and Sisters). The film was shot in Melbourne, Australia, and again, earned Sharni critical acclaim for her portrayal of a caring nurse who becomes the subject of her telepathic, murderous coma patient. The Australian Film Critics Association nominated her performance for Best Actress in 2014 at the AFCA Awards.
In June 2014, Sharni was asked to join Jackie Chan in his latest action adventure epic, "Dragon Blade", opposite John Cusack (Being John Malkovich) and Adrien Brody (The Pianist). As one of most costly Chinese films of all time, it released in February 2015 breaking all records at the box office in China. In "Dragon Blade", Sharni plays the Queen of the Roman Empire in the days of early war on the Silk Road.
In October 2014, Sharni teamed up with NYFA film student Shantal Freedman to play small town cop 'Jackie' in her final graduation project at the New York Film Academy. The short film titled "TICKETED" went on to become an official selection for the 2015 Short Film Corner at Cannes International Film Festival, the LA Shorts Fest, and won Best Student Film at the LA Cinema Festival of Hollywood. Vinson also received an honorable mention for Best Principal Actress at the Independent Film Awards 2015.
Most recently, Sharni was asked to join Adi Shankar's highly anticipated 'Gods and Secrets' which has generated interest from HBO. In the dark superhero series, Sharni plays the first female version of superhero 'The Flash,' set for release in early 2016. The series also stars Jane Seymore, Denise Richards, and WWE wrestler Diamond Dallas Page.
Noah Emmerich was born and raised in New York City, to Constance, a concert pianist, and André Emmerich, an art dealer and gallery owner. He attended Yale University, where he sang with the a capella group the Yale Spizzwinks. He attended NYU Film School where he wrote and directed an award winning short film called "The Painter." Emmerich came to prominence with starring roles in the cult hit Beautiful Girls and the Jim Carrey blockbuster The Truman Show. He is considered a real "actor's actor," noted for his understated, subtle realism and his deep emotional presence on screen. His production company, Sandbox Entertainment, has a first-look production deal with New Line Cinema. His older brother is Toby Emmerich.
Alex Wolff, an award-winning actor, musician, singer, and composer, was born on November 1, 1997 in New York, New York. He is the son of actress Polly Draper and jazz pianist Michael Wolff. His elder brother is actor and musician Nat Wolff.
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein. In 1931, he graduated from the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois; he turned down college offers for a sketching tour of Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the London and Broadway stages, traveling some more in Morocco and Spain (where he fought in the bullring). Recommendations by Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woollcott got him into Katherine Cornell's road company, with which he made his New York debut as Tybalt in 1934. The same year, he married, directed his first short, and appeared on radio for the first time. He began working with John Houseman and formed the Mercury Theatre with him in 1937. In 1938, they produced "The Mercury Theatre on the Air", famous for its broadcast version of "The War of the Worlds" (intended as a Halloween prank). His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane, a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956, he directed Touch of Evil; it failed in the United States but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984, the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a filmmaker has climbed steadily ever since.
As one of the best known, awarded, and financially successful composers in US history, John Williams is as easy to recall as John Philip Sousa, Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein, illustrating why he is "America's composer" time and again. With a massive list of awards that includes over 41 Oscar nominations (five wins), twenty-odd Gold and Platinum Records, and a slew of Emmy (two wins), Golden Globe (three wins), Grammy (18 wins), National Board of Review (including a Career Achievement Award), Saturn (six wins), and BAFTA (seven wins) citations, along with honorary doctorate degrees numbering in the teens, Williams is undoubtedly one of the most respected composers for Cinema. He's led countless national and international orchestras, most notably as the nineteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980-1993, helming three Pops tours of the US and Japan during his tenure. He currently serves as the Pop's Conductor Laureate. Also to his credit is a parallel career as an author of serious, and some not-so-serious, concert works - performed by the likes of Mstislav Rostropovich, André Previn, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Leonard Slatkin, James Ingram, Dale Clevenger, and Joshua Bell. Of particular interests are his Essay for Strings, a jazzy Prelude & Fugue, the multimedia presentation American Journey (aka The Unfinished Journey (1999)), a Sinfonietta for Winds, a song cycle featuring poems by Rita Dove, concerti for flute, violin, clarinet, trumpet, tuba, cello, bassoon and horn, fanfares for the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Summer Olympics, the 2002 Winter Olympics, and a song co-written with Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman for the Special Olympics! But such a list probably warrants a more detailed background...
Born in Long Island, New York on February 8, 1932, John Towner Williams discovered music almost immediately, due in no small measure to being the son of a percussionist for CBS Radio and the Raymond Scott Quintet. After moving to Los Angeles in 1948, the young pianist and leader of his own jazz band started experimenting with arranging tunes; at age 15, he determined he was going to become a concert pianist; at 19, he premiered his first original composition, a piano sonata.
He attended both UCLA and the Los Angeles City College, studying orchestration under MGM musical associate Robert Van Eps and being privately tutored by composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, until conducting for the first time during three years with the U.S. Air Force. His return to the states brought him to Julliard, where renowned piano pedagogue Madame Rosina Lhevinne helped Williams hone his performance skills. He played in jazz clubs to pay his way; still, she encouraged him to focus on composing. So it was back to L.A., with the future maestro ready to break into the Hollywood scene.
Williams found work with the Hollywood studios as a piano player, eventually accompanying such fare such as the TV series Peter Gunn, South Pacific, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as forming a surprising friendship with Bernard Herrmann. At age 24, "Johnny Williams" became a staff arranger at Columbia and then at 20th Century-Fox, orchestrating for Alfred Newman and Lionel Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, and other Golden Age notables. In the field of popular music, he performed and arranged for the likes of Vic Damone, Doris Day, and Mahalia Jackson... all while courting actress/singer Barbara Ruick, who became his wife until her death in 1974. John & Barbara had three children; their daughter is now a doctor, and their two sons, Joseph Williams and Mark Towner Williams, are rock musicians.
The orchestrating gigs led to serious composing jobs for television, notably Alcoa Premiere, Checkmate, Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, and his Emmy-winning scores for Heidi and Jane Eyre. Daddy-O and Because They're Young brought his original music to the big theatres, but he was soon typecast doing comedies. His efforts in the genre helped guarantee his work on William Wyler's How to Steal a Million, however, a major picture that immediately led to larger projects. Of course, his arrangements continued to garner attention, and he won his first Oscar for adapting Fiddler on the Roof.
During the '70s, he was King of Disaster Scores with The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and The Towering Inferno. His psychological score for Images remains one of the most innovative works in soundtrack history. But his Americana - particularly The Reivers - is what caught the ear of director Steven Spielberg, then preparing for his first feature, The Sugarland Express. When Spielberg reunited with Williams on Jaws, they established themselves as a blockbuster team, the composer gained his first Academy Award for Original Score, and Spielberg promptly recommended Williams to a friend, George Lucas. In 1977, John Williams re-popularized the epic cinema sound of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman and other composers from the Hollywood Golden Age: Star Wars became the best selling score-only soundtrack of all time, and spawned countless musical imitators. For the next five years, though the music in Hollywood changed, John Williams wrote big, brassy scores for big, brassy films - The Fury, Superman, 1941, Raiders of the Lost Ark ... An experiment during this period, Heartbeeps, flopped. There was a long-term change of pace, nonetheless, as Williams fell in love with an interior designer and married once more.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial brought about his third Oscar, and The River, Empire of the Sun, The Accidental Tourist and Born on the Fourth of July added variety to the 1980s, as he returned to television with work on Amazing Stories and themes for NBC, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. The '80s also brought the only exceptions to the composer's collaboration with Steven Spielberg - others scored both Spielberg's segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie and The Color Purple.
Intending to retire, the composer's output became sporadic during the 1990s, particularly after the exciting Jurassic Park and the masterful, Oscar-winning Schindler's List. This lighter workload, coupled with a number of hilarious references on The Simpsons actually seemed to renew interest in his music. Two Home Alone films (1990, 1992), JFK, Nixon, Sleepers, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan, Angela's Ashes, and a return to familiar territory with Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace recalled his creative diversity of the '70s.
In this millennium, the artist shows no interest in slowing down. His relationships with Spielberg and Lucas continue in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the remaining Star Wars prequels (2002, 2005), Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and a promised fourth Indiana Jones film. There is a more focused effort on concert works, as well, including a theme for the new Walt Disney Concert Hall and a rumored light opera. But one certain highlight is his musical magic for the world of Harry Potter (2001, 2002, 2004, etc.), which he also arranged into a concert suite geared toward teaching children about the symphony orchestra. His music remains on the whistling lips of people around the globe, in the concert halls, on the promenades, in album collections, sports arenas, and parades, and, this writer hopes, touching some place in ourselves. So keep those ears ready wherever you go, 'cause you will likely hear a bit of John Williams on your way.
Six foot six inches tall, with brown eyes and dark hair, Rory McCann from Glasgow began his working life at the top - as a painter on the Forth Bridge in Scotland. He came to notice in a television commercial for Scotts' Porridge Oats, in which he appeared as a scantily-clad hunk in a vest and kilt and little else wandering snowbound streets but warmed by the inner glow of the porridge. He claims that as a consequence he was often approached by people demanding that he "lift his kilt." In 2002 he was seen in the TV comedy-drama 'The Book Group' playing a wheelchair-bound lifeguard, a part for which he won a Scottish BAFTA award for the best television performance of 2002. Since then he has taken television roles as Peter the Great and a priest in 'Shameless'. He made his Hollywood debut in Oliver Stone's 'Alexander'. He divides his time between homes in London and Glencoe, Scotland, where he aims to have his own castle. He is an accomplished singer, pianist and harmonica-player as well as an all-round sportsman. From 2012 to 2014 he was part of the international television block-buster 'Game of Thrones'.
Thomas Dekker was born to parents who possess very artistic and theatrical characteristics. His mother is an acting coach, actress, singer and concert pianist, while his father was an artist, set designer, opera singer and actor.
Dekker began acting at age six, when he received a minor role on The Young and the Restless. A year later he was given the opportunity to act with Patrick Stewart, Malcolm McDowell and William Shatner in Star Trek: Generations, playing Thomas Picard. He went on to score guest spots on The Nanny, Seinfeld, Star Trek: Voyager and Caroline in the City before finally landing a regular spot on Disney Channel's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show. For three years he took on the role of Nick Szalinkski, creating a name for himself and finding a nice niche in the Disney universe. When he wasn't on set filming, he was lending his voice to sequels for The Land Before Time and An American Tale.
Honey I Srunk The Kids ended its run in 2000, but Dekker continued to make appearances in television, including a recurring role on the family drama 7th Heaven. A big break presented itself when he was cast as Zach in the first season of Heroes. Though after appearing in only eleven episodes, he was offered the role of John Connor in Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in 2008. While the premise of the show was widely popular (having been adapted from James Cameron's Terminator franchise), it struggled to maintain a steady audience and was canceled after only two seasons.
2008 was still a busy year for Dekker. He took on the role of Aidan, a troubled teen in the horror flick From Within. Meanwhile, he also took part in the web-based series IQ-145. Though his biggest project came when he decided to try his hand in film production. He wrote, directed and starred in Whore, a film about a group of teenagers who travel to Hollywood to pursue their dreams but discover a much darker side to fame. A year later, he received the part of Taylor Ambrose, a Leukemia patient in the drama My Sister's Keeper alongside Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin. The role was rather timid and intelligent because it let Dekker immerse himself in a character he has never played before. In early 2010, he took a stab as Jesse Braun in the re-imagining of A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Connor Paolo was born July 11, 1990 in New York City, New York, to Julia Mendelsohn, a vocal coach and classical pianist, and Colin Paolo, a writer. In 2006, he attended the professional performing arts school featured in the movie Fame. Then he began taking acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and now studies with Peggy Lewis. For several summers beginning in 2005, he has attended Appel Farm Arts and Music Center Summer Arts Camp located in Elmer, New Jersey.
Paolo acting career began at the age of nine, with his first TV appearance on the soap opera All My Children. In 2002, he played Zachary Connor, a preteen murderer-rapist in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. His motion picture debut was in 2003 Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated Mystic River, playing Young Sean.
In 2004, Paolo got a recurring role in the daytime soap opera One Life To Live as Travis O'Connell. He also appear in the motion picture Alexander as Young Alexander. Paolo in 2006, made a second appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as Teddy Winnock, a disturbed teenager (based on the real case of Justin Berry). His latest motion picture role was Steven McLoughlin in World Trade Center for Oliver Stone in 2006. He has also starred in two other films that are soon to be released in 2007: Warren Hardesty in Snow Angels, directed by David Gordon Green, and Ross Embry in Favorite Son, his first leading role in a movie.
Paolo has a background in theatre, and commercials. He appeared on the Broadway stage in the hit musical The Full Monty and off-Broadway in the New York public theater production of Shakespeare's, Richard III. Paolo also played Bottom in an abridged production of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
|David Hyde Pierce
David Hyde Pierce was born on 3 April 1959 in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. He is the youngest child of George and Laura Pierce (both deceased) and has two older sisters (Barbara and Nancy) and an older brother (Thomas). As a child, he was very interested in music (particularly piano) and regularly played the organ at his local church (Bethesda Episcopal Church). David discovered a love of drama in high school and, upon his graduation in 1977, he received the Yaddo Medal which is to honor academic achievement and personal character. However, his love of music was still strong so he decided to study classical piano at Yale University. Unfortunately, he soon grew bored with music history lessons and found that he wasn't dedicated enough to practice the required amount of hours to become a successful concert pianist. Instead, he returned to his love of drama and graduated in 1981 with a double major in English and Theatre Arts. He then moved to New York where he worked several menial jobs (including selling ties at Bloomingdales and working as a security guard) while acting in the theater during the late 80s and early 90s. He appeared in small roles in films such as Bright Lights, Big City before his life and career changed forever when he landed the role of "Dr. Niles Crane" in the television series Frasier. Throughout the show's eleven year run (1993-2004), David was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series each year (he won four times: 1995, 1998-1999 and 2004). David resides in Los Angeles with his romantic partner, Brian Hargrove, and their two Wheaton Terriers, Maude and Mabel. He remains very close to his three siblings.
David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo (pronounced "oh-yeh-lo-wo"), a classically trained stage actor, has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents. He was born in Oxford, England, to Nigerian parents; his father, Stephen, worked for an airline company and his mother for the railway. Oyelowo graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), and received the "Scholarship for Excellence" from Nicholas Hytner in 1998.
David received numerous accolades for the recent independent film, Middle of Nowhere, which screened to rave reviews at last year's Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. The emotionally inspiring film portrays the universal dilemma of how a person maintains oneself as they commit to loving and supporting someone through hardship. David has received nominations for "Best Supporting Actor" for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards and the 44th Annual NAACP Image Awards on behalf of his work in the film.
He also was seen recently in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed drama Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. Lincoln has already been the recipient of many awards which include being named one of the top films of the year by the National Board of Review and AFI Awards. It has also received nominations for the 2013 Critics Choice Awards for "Best Acting Ensemble" and "Best Picture." Lincoln also leads the 2013 Oscar race with a total of 12 nominations, including "Best Picture."
This past winter, he starred opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher, a drama based on a book in Lee Child's popular crime series. The film tells the story of a homicide investigator who digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who has shot five random victims.
Films awaiting release featuring Oyelowo include Lee Daniels' drama, The Butler, alongside Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey and Nina, the story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone, which also stars Zoe Saldana. The British television movie, Complicit, also debuted this year.
In The Paperboy David stars opposite Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron. Directed by Lee Daniels, the film follows a journalist and his writing partner (David), who return to a small hometown to uncover the truth about a death row inmate, whom they believe was wrongly convicted. The film screened to a 16 minute standing ovation at the Cannes. Additional film credits include the George Lucas produced, Red Tails, which tells the story of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen who fought in WWII and won Best Picture at the NAACP Image Awards, Rise of the Planet of the Apes alongside James Franco and Frieda Pinto, the Academy Award nominated drama The Help, 96 Minutes which premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival, Default, a thriller directed by Simon Brand, Kevin MacDonald's The Last King of Scotland opposite Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy, Who Do You Love in which he played the iconic Muddy Waters, A Sound of Thunder for Warner Bros., Derailed, for Miramax, The Best Man for Redbus and one of his most challenging screen roles to date, the acclaimed BBC2 film Shoot the Messenger.
Oyelowo first impressed audiences on the stage when he starred in The Suppliants at the Gate Theatre playing King Palasgus, for which he received the Ian Charleson award commendation. Following this he played the title role of Henry VI, becoming the first black actor to play an English king for the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company). The role won him The Ian Charleson Award and an Evening Standard award nomination. Other theatre credits include an acclaimed performance in Richard Bean's The God Botherers at the Bush Theatre and the title role in Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, which was off-Broadway and for which David received rave reviews.
Beyond theatre David starred in the BAFTA-award winning series Spooks/MI:5 playing Danny Hunter. MI:5 also aired in the US on BBC America. Additionally, he won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor and was also nominated for a BAFTA for the same role for his work on Small Island. David also starred in the BBC1 original television movie Born Equal opposite Colin Firth. As well as ABC's 2008 production of A Raisin in the Sun alongside Sanaa Lathan, Audra MacDonald and Phylicia Rashad.
David made his U.S. debut in two HBO productions. First starring in the Kenneth Branagh directed As You Like It, in which he played Orlando opposite Bryce Dallas Howard, which aired in August 2006. In October of the same year he was again seen on HBO as the lead in the mini-series Five Days, for which he won the Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for his performance. In 2008, David guest starred in an episode of the acclaimed adaptation of the Alexander McCall Smith novel The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency directed by the late Anthony Minghella.
David resides in Los Angeles, CA.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1972. He moved to Los Angeles, California in 1974 where his sister Terry Duval (his only sibling) was born. He attended Gladstone High School in Covina, California from 1986 to 1989 as well attending Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, and Fair Valley in Covina. Although he was trained as a classical pianist as a child he eventually moved to the guitar. He used to play for "Antoneus Maximus & The Nuthouze Band" who had been playing gigs at local venues in Los Angeles. 2004 saw them working on their 1st album which included guest appearances by such luminaries as 'Apl.de.Ap', 'DjMotiv8' and 'Dante Santiago' from "Black Eyed Peas" as well as 'Kid' (Chris) from "Kid'N'Play". He practices/teaches Hatha Yoga in between films and now plays Guitar/Piano and sings in the band "Gene Wilder" with friends and fellow actors "Brian McGuire" and Brett Roberts".
Dancer, cellist, actress -- it's not just "Virtual Reality". Lori Jacqueline Singer was born on November 6, 1957 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Her father Jacques Singer was a symphony conductor, and her mother Leslie a concert pianist. Lori grew up in Texas, Portland, Vancouver and London. Lori always wanted to become a dancer. At age 12, she fell in love with cello music and wanted to study that, too. Lori was a prodigy, because at age 14, she got accepted to the Juilliard Performing Arts School in New York, where she majored in music. Lori became the school's youngest undergraduate student, and only one year after enrolling, she made her debut as a soloist with the Western Washington Symphony. In 1980, Lori won the Bergen Philharmonic Competition. In 1981, Lori married Richard Emery (they would divorce in 1998). This lovely lady (5' 10") also pursued a successful modeling career with the Elite Model Agency.
Inspired by her brother Marc Singer's success in Hollywood, Lori had started taking acting lessons at age 17, and in 1982, she landed a role in the television series Fame. She was a natural to play the tall, beautiful cellist Julie Miller, displaying her dancing and singing skills. Lori portrayed a model in the television movie Born Beautiful, and won a Silver Halo Award for her performance. Lori went on to do movies, her breakout film being Footloose which grossed $80,000,000 (and Lori had beat out Madonna for the part). In 1985, Lori was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead in Trouble in Mind. Lori had a son, Jacques Rio, in 1991. In 1993, Lori won a Golden Globe Award for her outstanding performance in Short Cuts. In 1995, Lori starred in VR.5 the short-lived sci-fi series. That same year, she was also listed in People magazine as one of the "Most Beautiful People".
Lori still plays the cello regularly, and although she was classically trained, Lori plays rock music as well (sometimes she gathers her friends in her apartment for a jam). Big-hearted Lori also devotes a lot of time and effort to the "DISHES Project" for Pediatric AIDS. (DISHES -- Determined Involved Super-role models Helping to End Suffering) Their mission "is to raise funds and awareness for programs dedicated to direct care, prevention and education, foster care and adoptive services." Lori is one of many generous celebrities (including Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum, Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, and many others) who have donated their time, image and money for this noble project. Lori lives with her son in Manhattan. And, as Lori writes occasionally when she signs an autograph: "Stay Footloose!"
Stacy Keach has played to grand success a constellation of the classic and contemporary stage's greatest roles, and he is considered a pre-eminent American interpreter of Shakespeare. His SRO run as "King Lear" at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. received the best reviews any national leader has earned in that town for decades. Peter Marks of the Washington Post called Mr. Keach's Lear "magnificent". He recently accepted his third prestigious Helen Hayes Award for Leading Actor in 2010 for his stellar performance. His next stage appearance premiering January 13, 2011 at the Lincoln Center in New York is "Other Desert Cities" by Jon Robin Baitz and teaming him with Stockard Channing, Linda Lavin and Elizabeth Marvel.
His latest television series, Lights Out, on the FX network is a major new mid-season dramatic show, taking him back to the world of boxing which has been a rich setting for him before, notably in Huston's Fat City which ignited Keach's career as a film star.
Versatility embodies the essence of Stacy Keach's career in film and television as well as on stage. The range of his roles is remarkable. His recent performance in Oliver Stone's "W" prompted fellow actor Alec Baldwin to blog an impromptu review matching Huston's amazement at Keach's power. Perhaps best known around the world for his portrayal of the hard-boiled detective, Mike Hammer, Stacy Keach is also well-known among younger generations for his portrayal of the irascible, hilarious Dad, Ken Titus, in the Fox sitcom, Titus, and more recently as Warden Henry Pope in the hit series, Prison Break. Following his triumphant recent title role performance in King Lear for the prestigious Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Keach joined the starring cast of John Sayles' recent film, Honeydripper. In the most recent of his non-stop activities, he has completed filming Deathmatch for the Spike Channel, and The Boxer for Zeitsprung Productions in Berlin, Germany.
German audiences will also see him as one of the co-stars in the multi-million dollar production of Hindenburg, scheduled to air in January, 2011 with worldwide release thereafter. Mr. Keach co-stars in the new FX series entitled Lights Out about a boxing family, where he plays the Dad-trainer of two boxing sons played by Holt McCallany and Pablo Schreiber. The series is also scheduled to air in January, 2011. Keach returns to the New York stage at the start of the 2011 in Jon Robin Baitz's new play, "Other Desert Cities," at the Lincoln Center.
Capping his heralded accomplishment on the live stage of putting his own stamp on some of the theatre world's most revered and challenging roles over the past year when he headed the national touring company cast of "Frost/Nixon," portraying Richard M. Nixon, bringing still another riveting characterization to the great legit stages of Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, the nation's capitol and other major cities. He won his second Best Actor Helen Hayes Award for his outstanding performance. His second triumphant portrayal of King Lear in the past three years, this time for the Shakespeare Theatre Company in the nation's capital earned reviews heard around the world, with resulting offers for him to repeat that giant accomplishment in New York, Los Angeles and even Beijing.
An accomplished pianist and composer, Mr. Keach composed the music for the film, Imbued, directed by Rob Nilssen, a celebrated film festival favorite, in which Keach also starred. He has also completed composing the music for the Mike Hammer audio radio series, "Encore For Murder", written by Max Collins, directed by Carl Amari, and produced by Blackstone Audio.
Mr. Keach began his film career in the late 1960's with _The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter_, followed by _The New Centurions_ with George C. Scott; Doc Holiday with Faye Dunaway in the film 'Doc'; an over-the-hill boxer,Billy Tully in Fat City; directed by John Huston, and The Long Riders, which he co-produced and co-wrote with his brother, James Keach, directed by Walter Hill. On the lighter side, his characterization of Sgt. Stedenko in Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke, and the sequel, Nice Dreams, gave a whole new generation a taste of Mr. Keach's comedic flair, which he also demonstrated in Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud, playing the oldest living lecherous Wright Brother; and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean where he played a crazed albino out to kill Paul Newman.
Historical roles have always attracted him. In movies he has played roles ranging from Martin Luther to Frank James. On television he has been Napoleon, Wilbur Wright, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Barabbas, Sam Houston, and Ernest Hemingway, for which he won a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a mini-series and was nominated for an Emmy in the same category. He played an eccentric painter, Mistral, in the Judith Krantz classic, Mistral's Daughter, a northern spy in the civil war special, The Blue and the Gray, more recently as the pirate Benjamin Hornigold in the Hallmark epic Blackbeard.
As a director, his production of Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy for PBS was, according to Mr. Miller in his autobiography, Timebends, "the most expressive production of that play he had seen." He won a Cine Golden Eagle Award for his work on the dramatic documentary, The Repeater, in which he starred and also wrote and directed.
But it is perhaps the live theatre where Mr. Keach shines brightest. He began his professional career with the New York Shakespeare Festival in 1964, doubling as Marcellus and the Player King in a production of Hamlet directed by Joseph Papp and which featured Julie Harris as Ophelia. He rose to prominence in 1967 in the Off-Broadway political satire, MacBird, where the title role was a cross between Lyndon Johnson and Macbeth and for which he received the first of his three Obie awards. He played the title roles in Henry 5, Hamlet (which he played 3 times), Richard 3, Macbeth, and most recently as King Lear in Robert Falls' modern adaptation at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, which Charles Isherwood of the NY Times called "terrific" and "a blistering modern-dress production that brings alive the morally disordered universe of the play with a ferocity unmatched by any other production I've seen." Mr. Keach's stage portrayals of Peer Gynt, Falstaff and Cyrano de Bergerac, and Hamlet caused the New York Times to dub him "the finest American classical actor since John Barrymore."
Mr. Keach's Broadway credits include his Broadway debut, Indians, where he played Buffalo Bill and was nominated for a Tony award as Best Actor. He starred in Ira Levin's Deathtrap, the Pulitzer Prize winning Kentucky Cycle (for which he won his first Helen Hayes award as Best Actor), the Rupert Holmes one-man thriller, Solitary Confinement, where Mr. Keach played no less than six roles, all unbeknownst to the audience until the end of the play. In the musical theatre, he starred in the national tour of Barnum, played the King in Camelot for Pittsburgh's Civic Light Opera, and the King in The King and I, which he also toured in Japan. He starred in the Jon Robin Baitz play, Ten Unknowns, at the Mark Taper Forum in 2003. The LA Times said: "And then there's Keach. What a performance! How many actors can manage such thunder and such sweet pain. He's been away from the LA stage too long. Welcome back."
In 2004, he starred as Scrooge in Boston's Trinity Rep musical production of A Christmas Carol; earlier in 2004, he starred as Phil Ochsner in Arthur Miller's last play Finishing The Picture, directed by Robert Falls at the Goodman Theatre.
As a narrator his voice has been heard in countless documentaries; as the host for the Twilight Zone radio series; numerous books on tape, including the Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. In the year 2000, he recorded a CD of all of Shakespeare's Sonnets. He recently recorded the voice of St. Paul for a new audio version of The New Testament:, The Word of Promise and Job for the Old Testament edition. He is the narrator on CNBC's new hit show, American Greed, and recently narrated the award-winning documentary, The Pixar Story. He has also reprised his role as Mike Hammer in the Blackstone audio series, the most recent being "Encore for Murder". A charter-member of LA Theatre Works, Mr. Keach recently played the title role in Bertolt Brecht's Galileo, recorded both for radio and CD. He was seen on CBS's hit show Two and a Half Men as the gay Dad of Charlie's fiance.
Stacy Keach also believes strongly in 'giving back' and has been the Honorary Chair for the Cleft Palate Foundation for the past twenty-five years. He is also the national spokesman for the World Craniofacial organization. He has served on the Artist's Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors for two decades, is on the board of directors for Genesis at the Crossroads, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to bringing peoples of combatant cultures together through the shared artistic expressions of the visual and culinary arts, music, dance, and theater. He also serves on the artistic board for Washington DC's Shakespeare Theatre National Council, where he was also honored in 2000 with their prestigious Millennium Award for his contribution to classical theatre. Some years ago Hollywood honored him with a Celebrity Outreach Award for his work with charitable organizations.
He has been the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from Pacific Pioneer's Broadcasters, the San Diego Film Festival, the Pacific Palisades Film Festival, and The 2007 Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany. Later this year, he will be awarded the 2010 Lifetime Award from the St. Louis Film Festival. In 2008, he received the Mary Pickford Award for versatility in acting.
Mr. Keach was a Fulbright scholar to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, attended the University of California at Berkeley and the Yale Drama School. He has always been a star of the American stage, especially in Shakespearen roles such as Hamlet, Henry 5, Coriolanus, Falstaff, Macbeth, Richard 3, and most recently, King Lear.
Of his many accomplishments, Mr. Keach claims that his greatest accomplishment is his family. He has been married to his beautiful wife Malgosia for twenty-five years, and they have two wonderful children, Shannon Keach (1988), and daughter Karolina Keach (1990).
Noah George Taylor, the elder of two boys, was born in 1969 in London, England, to Maggie (Miller), a journalist and book editor, and Paul Taylor, a copywriter and journalist. His family lived in both England and New Zealand before returning to his parents' native Australia in 1974. His parents divorced when he was a teenager and his father remarried--to theater publicist, Suzie Howie. Noah left home at age 16 before graduating from University High School in Melbourne when he fell into acting. He decided to pursue his craft at St. Martin's Youth Theater. Despite his intense studies, the remote, slim-framed actor did not make his professional theater debut until March 1997 with Chekhov's "The Seagull."
His work at St. Martin's led to an auspicious debut playing the painfully shy and sensitive teen Danny Embling in the coming-of-age film The Year My Voice Broke. This affecting performance lost none of its heart-tugging appeal when the sequel Flirting came out four years later. Noah won awards for both films. Unconventionally typecast as the gawky, gloomy-eyed, somewhat manic depressive, directors started lining up to use the young actor. It all culminated in what is arguably the best known perf of his career--as the young, tortured genius, pianist David Helfgott, in Shine. Working in tandem with Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush, who played Helfgott as an older adult, Noah's scenes with Armin Mueller-Stahl, who played the pianist's egregiously abusive father, were incredibly powerful and helped him to win the Film Critics Circle of Australia and Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival awards. The variety of Noah's performances have been stunning over the years. He played a young Adolf Hitler in the drama Max, a "what-if" spin on Hitler growing up as an angry tortured artist instead of a Fascist dictator following World War I. He played the darkly humorous protagonist in _He Died with a Felafel In His Hand (2001)_ and the titular Jewish outcast in _Simon Magus (1999/I)_.
Music, songwriting and art have been other strong passions for Noah. In 1994 he became part of a band called "The Honky Tonk Angels. A singer-guitarist, included in this band were Noah's co-stars from previous movies Loene Carmen and Kym Wilson. He has also formed other bands with such names as Cardboard Box Man, Flipper & Humphrey and The Thirteens, a country-western rock group.
American audiences have taken an equal "shine" to Noah recently, particularly as the manager of Stillwater in the popular film Almost Famous; as Bryce in the popular adventure film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and its sequel which both starring Angelina Jolie; a featured role in the Tom Cruise starrer Vanilla Sky; and in the "Willy Wonka" extravaganza Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Mr. Bucket.
Nicki Aycox has lived a full artistic life beginning at the very young age of nine. It was here, that Nicki began playing music and fell in love with the family piano. By the time she had reached her preteens she was introducing Beethoven to audiences all around Oklahoma. The child pianist played her heart out until the Oklahoma native's family suffered greatly financially and was forced to sell her piano. The actress has said this unfortunate circumstance played a major role in her interest shifting towards the theater. Thus her performance now changed from sitting delicately behind the piano to projecting her own voice for an audience to enjoy. Like many she began acting in her high school years performing in the theater and drama competitions. She won state titles in different categories, and became very comfortable with being in front of an audience. She has been known to say, living in Oklahoma, she was on stage long before she ever actually sat in an audience. After graduation she attended The University of Oklahoma where she broke from performing and began studying her basic courses required by schools to obtain a degree. This shift however, did not take hold and soon she found herself driving to California to enroll in the theater department at Long Beach State. While working two jobs, attending classes, and participating in the theater department, Nicki found little time to just be a typical college student. In her second year of studies, Nicki was able to sign with a small agency in Hollywood, and begin her long withstanding career as a performer. Her career began relatively quickly compared to most. She was working small bit parts on several popular networks and shows within a year of making the move from Oklahoma to Los Angeles. In her earlier years Nicki can be viewed in scenes opposite actor Stephen Rae in an HBO film called "Double Tap", along with shows like "Third Rock from the Sun", NBC's "Providence", and David Kelley's "Ally McBeal. Aycox also played a major guest starring role in a famous episode of "The X-Files" called Rush in 1999, which subsequently lead to a role in the second major "X-Files" film "I Want to Believe", in 2008. In a time when there was an unspoken difference between "film" actors and "television" actors, Aycox clearly did not allow this rule to apply to her. She not only continued her work on high profile network shows, but can be seen doing Indie films simultaneously such as Killer Film's "Crime in Punishment in Suburbia". Her work during these early years included guest spots on "CSI", and "Dark Angel". She had a major stint with NBC's "ED", playing the wild and crazy sister of Julie Bowen. Soon she would be pulling double duty playing roles on different shows. She played the sister of Katherine Morris in a long stint on CBS's "Cold Case", while shooting the series "LAX" with Heather Locklear. By 2005, Aycox was made a series regular on shows such as FX's "Over There" created by Steven Bochco and Chris Gerolmo. She moved on from there to play a very memorable role as a psychotic serial killer in an episode of "Criminal Minds" titled "The Perfect Switch". Continuing on, she also played opposite Halle Berry in "Perfect Stranger", and was double-teaming projects yet again with the widely known role of "Meg Masters" portrayed in "Supernatural". In the years 2009-2013, Aycox had significant success. She was once again made a series regular as Jamie Allen in the Bruckheimer series titled "Dark Blue". She was cast as Lisa Matthews in the Indie film "Lifted", directed by Oscar nominated director Lexi Alexander. She was also awarded a best actress award by the Buffalo Niagara film festival for her portrayal as a torn World War II German woman fighting to save her sanity in the film "Christina". Her co-star, Stephen Lang, was also awarded for his role as Inspector Reinheart. Today Aycox has reclaimed her love of music, playing the guitar and singing for audiences, as well as continuing her acting career. She lives on both the East and West coast.
Holly Rachel Valance was born on 11th May 1983 in Melbourne, to parents Rachel and Ryko. Holly's mother is from Southampton, England and her father hails from Yugoslavia. Both her parents were fashion models and her father is a pianist and guitarist. Her parents live in Melbourne with Holly's two younger sisters, Coco Melody, and Olympia Montana. Holly has a home in the lively Melbourne suburb of Brighton, but lives in London, England. In her early teens, Holly did modelling for catwalk shows, commercials, editorial and catalogues. After leaving school, she started a three year contract on the popular Australian soap Neighbours, and her popularity soared as feisty Felicity Scully. She left Neighbours in August 2002 to further pursue her pop career; that awarded her with a #1 hit with her debut single in the UK and Australia - "Kiss Kiss" in May 2002. Not only has Holly been a talented singer since her childhood days, but she's proved to be an accomplished dancer, and has even penned some tracks on her album - "Footprints". When Holly isn't busy, she likes to swim, go for walks and even watch kickboxing after previously practising Muay Tai. Holly enjoys visits to clubs, bars and restaurants, but confesses that she much prefers a quiet night in with one of her favourite meals - antipasto, Greek and Lebanese food, or rocket and parmesan salad.
Erich Bergen is an American television, film and stage actor raised in New York City. He co-stars on CBS's Madam Secretary opposite Tea Leoni. He previously starred as Bob Gaudio in the Clint Eastwood-directed feature film Jersey Boys. Bergen played that role on stage for more than 1,000 performances in the Grammy- and Tony-winning Best Musical of the same name. He also performed with the 2012 Roundabout Theatre Company National Tour's production of Anything Goes as Billy Crocker. When not acting on screen, Bergen performs live shows as a solo singer and pianist, modeling his shows off the romantically old school feel of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
|Clarence Williams III
As the son of a displaced musician, Harlem-born African-American actor Clarence Williams III was raised by his musical grandparents, the legendary jazz and boogie-woogie composer/pianist Clarence Williams, who wrote such classics as "T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do" and "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," and blues singer Eva Taylor (1895-1977). While attending a local YMCA as a teen, Williams became interested in dramatics. After a two-year hitch with the U.S. Air Force, he started up his acting career, making a minor New York stage debut with "The Long Dream" in 1960. He continued impressively with roles in "Walk in Darkness" (1963), "Sarah and the Sax" (1964) and "Doubletalk" (1964), and capped his early career with a Theatre World Award and Tony-nomination for the three-person play "Slow Dance on the Killing Ground" (1964). Continuing on with powerful work in "Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?" (1966) and "King John," Vietnam-era Hollywood finally began to take notice of his "angry young man" charisma.
His casting as former delinquent-turned-undercover cop Linc Hayes on the highly popular TV cop series Mod Squad along with fellow white partners Michael Cole and Peggy Lipton was a huge break for all three relative unknowns. Sporting a huge Afro, paisley shirts, dark shades and spouting hip language like "dig it" and "solid", the trio showed the requisite anti-establishment defiance and coolness to attract the angry, young generation--while still playing the good guys.
Following the series' demise in 1973, he purposely avoided the "blaxploitation" Hollywood scene and returned to the stage, notably on Broadway opposite Maggie Smith in Tom Stoppard's play "Night and Day" (1979). In the 80s he launched an enviable character career in films, often playing a cool, streetwise character or threatening menace. Among his better-known on-screen assignments is the role of Prince's abusive father in Purple Rain, a burnt-out political activist in the spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, the recurring part of Roger Hardy in the twisted cult TV series Twin Peaks, a good-guy cop in Deep Cover, an rioter in the Attica-themed mini-series Against the Wall and Wesley Snipes heroin-addicted dad in Sugar Hill, among others. Powerful roles on such shows as "Law & Order," "Profiler" and "Judging Amy" has kept him newsworthy but not strongly in the limelight.
Once married to actress Gloria Foster, they appeared together in the movie The Cool World. Following their divorce, they remained friendly and upon her death in 2001, it was he who made the formal announcement.
Scott Cohen was born in the Bronx, New York, on December 19th. The son of a jazz musician (Jack Cohen), Scott's original aspirations were toward music - and to this day he remains an accomplished and talented pianist. Scott attended the State University of New York at New Paltz where a course in clowning led to the start of his acting career. After developing his skills in upstate New York, Scott returned to the city where he found work as a substitute teacher, a waiter, a messenger, and even at one time a toy demonstrator. Finally in 1990 (just after his marriage to playwright Anastasia Traina in 1989) Scott was offered his breakthrough role in Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder. After completing his first feature film, Scott continued to rise as a star and has received critical acclaim for many roles, both on and off the screen.
Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High.
According to an in-depth article on Kim Hunter by Joseph Collura in the October 2009 issue of "Classic Images", Kim was quiet and painfully shy as a child and overcame it through the guidance of a local dramatics teacher, a Mrs. Carmine. Included were diction, voice and posture lessons.
She studied at the Actors Studio and her first professional appearance was as "Penny" in "Penny Wise" in Miami in November 1939. Then, she joined a repertory group called "Theatre of Fifteen", but it disbanded in 1942 when WWII took away most of its male members.
She made her Broadway debut performance as "Stella" in "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York, in December 1947 that was the 1947-1948 season's success and for which she won the Critics Circle and Donaldson awards.
A one-time student of the Pasadena Playhouse, she was appearing in the 1942 production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" when she was discovered by an RKO talent hunter who signed her to a seven-year contract for David O. Selznick's company. Selznick suggested she change her first name to "Kim" and a RKO secretary suggested the last name of "Hunter". A few years later, Irene Mayer Selznick, David's ex-wife by then, recommended Kim for her reprise role of "Stella" in A Streetcar Named Desire, for which she won an Oscar.
Sean Patrick Hayes was born and raised in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, Illinois. His father, Ronald, a lithographer, left the family when Sean was a young child, leaving his mother to raise Sean and his four siblings as a single mother. His mother, Mary, works at a food bank. Sean supported himself as a classical pianist and as a member of a pop band for five years, while attending Illinois State University, where he majored in performance and orchestral conducting. He began his post-collegiate professional career in Chicago theatre, as musical director at the Pheasant Run Theater for several years, appearing on stage in several productions as well. He also appeared in the original production of "Role Play" at the Organic Theatre.
An alumnus of Chicago's famed Second City improvisational comedy group, Hayes had gigs as a stand-up comic, performing at The Comedy Club in Los Angeles. While still in Chicago, Hayes won roles in television shows as well as the television movie A & P, based on a story by John Updike, before landing the role which earned him an Emmy Award in 2001 - Jack McFarland - on the hit NBC comedy series Will & Grace. He has also been honored with a SAG Award, an American Comedy Award and a TV Guide Award as well as with two Golden Globe Nominations. Hayes made his feature film debut in 1998 in the title role of the art-house hit Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss, which won critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. He also co-starred in the box-office hit Cats & Dogs for Warner Bros Studios.
Of Irish descent, Sean Hayes makes his home in Los Angeles with his long time boyfriend, now husband (as of November 2014), Scotty Icenogle, a Los Angeles music producer.
Peter Bogdanovich was conceived in Europe but born in Kingston, New York. He is the son of immigrants fleeing the Nazis, Herma (Robinson) and Borislav Bogdanovich, a painter and pianist. His father was a Serbian Orthodox Christian, and his mother was from a rich Austrian Jewish family. Peter originally was an actor in the 1950s, studying his craft with legendary acting teacher Stella Adler and appearing on television and in summer stock. In the early 1960s he achieved notoriety for programming movies at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. An obsessive cinema-goer, sometimes seeing up to 400 movies a year in his youth, Bogdanovich prominently showcased the work of American directors such as John Ford, about whom he subsequently wrote a book based on the notes he had produced for the MOMA retrospective of the director, and the then-underappreciated Howard Hawks. Bogdanovich also brought attention to such forgotten pioneers of American cinema as Allan Dwan.
Bogdanovich was influenced by the French critics of the 1950s who wrote for Cahiers du Cinema, especially critic-turned-director François Truffaut. Before becoming a director himself, he built his reputation as a film writer with articles in Esquire Magazine. In 1968, following the example of Cahiers du Cinema critics Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer who had created the Nouvelle Vague ("New Wave") by making their own films, Bogdanovich became a director. Working for low-budget schlock-meister Roger Corman, Bogdanovich directed the critically praised Targets and the not-so-critically praised Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women, a film best forgotten.
Turning back to journalism, Bogdanovich struck up a lifelong friendship with the legendary Orson Welles while interviewing him on the set of Mike Nichols' film adaptation of Catch-22 from the novel by Joseph Heller. Subsequently, Bogdanovich has played a major role in elucidating Welles and his career with his writings on the great actor-director, most notably his book "This is Orson Welles" (1992). He has steadily produced invaluable books about the cinema, especially "Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors," an indispensable tome that establishes Bogdanovich, along with Kevin Brownlow, as one of the premier English-language chroniclers of cinema.
The 32-year-old Bogdanovich was hailed by a critics as a Wellesian wunderkind when his most famous film, The Last Picture Show was released. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Bogdanovich as Best Director, and won two of them, for Cloris Leachman and "John Ford Stock Company" veteran Ben Johnson in the supporting acting categories. Bogdanovich, who had cast 19-year-old model Cybill Shepherd in a major role in the film, fell in love with the young beauty, an affair that eventually led to his divorce from the film's set designer Polly Platt, his longtime artistic collaborator and the mother of his two children.
Bogdanovich followed up The Last Picture Show with a major hit, What's Up, Doc?, a screwball comedy heavily indebted to Hawks' Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday, starring Barbra Streisand and 'Ryan O'Neal'. Despite his reliance on homage to bygone cinema, Bogdanovich had solidified his status as one of a new breed of A-list directors that included Academy Award winners Francis Ford Coppola and William Friedkin, with whom he formed The Directors Company. The Directors Company was a generous production deal with Paramount Pictures that essentially gave the directors carte blanche if they kept within strict budget limitations. It was through this entity that Bogdanovich's next big hit, the critically praised Paper Moon, was produced.
Paper Moon, a Depression-era comedy starring Ryan O'Neal that won his ten-year-old daughter Tatum O'Neal an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress, proved to be the highwater mark of Bogdanovich's career. Forced to share the profits with his fellow directors, Bogdanovich became dissatisfied with the arrangement. The Directors Company subsequently produced only two more pictures, Francis Ford Coppola's critically acclaimed The Conversation which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture of 1974 and garnered Coppola an Oscar nod for Best Director, and Bogdanovich's Daisy Miller, a film that had a quite different critical reception.
An adaptation of the Henry James novella, Daisy Miller spelled the beginning of the end of Bogdanovich's career as a popular, critically acclaimed director. The film, which starred Bogdanovich's lover Cybill Shepherd as the title character, was savaged by critics and was a flop at the box office. Bogdanovich's follow-up, At Long Last Love, a filming of the Cole Porter musical starring Cybill Shepherd, was derided by critics as one of the worst films ever made, noted as such in Harry Medved and Michael Medved's book "The Golden Turkey Awards: Nominees and Winners, the Worst Achievements in Hollywood History" (1980). The film also was a box office bomb despite featuring Burt Reynolds, a hotly burning star who would achieve super-nova status at the end of the 1970s.
Once again beholden to the past, Bogdanovich insisted on filming the musical numbers for At Long Last Love live, a process not used since the early days of the talkies, when sound engineer Douglas Shearer developed lip-synching at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The decision was widely ridiculed, as none of the leading actors were known for their singing abilities (Bogdanovich himself had produced a critically panned album of Cybill Shepherd singing Cole Porter songs in 1974). The public perception of Bogdanovich became that of an arrogant director hamstrung by his own hubris.
Trying to recapture the lightning in the bottle that was his early success, Bogdanovich once again turned to the past, his own and that of cinema, with Nickelodeon. The film, a comedy recounting the earliest days of the motion picture industry, reunited Ryan O'Neal and 'Tatum O'Neal' from his last hit, Paper Moon with Burt Reynolds. Counseled not to use the unpopular (with both audiences and critics) Cybill Shepherd in the film, Bogdanovich instead used newcomer Jane Hitchcock as the film's ingénue. Unfortunately, the magic of Paper Moon could not be repeated and the film died at the box office. Jane Hitchcock, Bogdanovich's discovery, would make only one more film before calling it quits.
After a three-year hiatus, Bogdanovich returned with the critically and financially underwhelming Saint Jack for Hugh M. Hefner's Playboy Productions Inc. Bogdanovich's long affair with Cybill Shepherd had ended in 1978, but the production deal making Hugh M. Hefner the film's producer was part of the settlement of a lawsuit Shepherd had filed against Hefner for publishing nude photos of her pirated from a print of The Last Picture Show in Playboy Magazine. Bogdanovich then launched the film that would be his career Waterloo, They All Laughed, a low-budget ensemble comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and the 1980 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Dorothy Stratten. During the filming of the picture, Bogdanovich fell in love with Stratten, who was married to an emotionally unstable hustler, Paul Snider, who relied on her financially. Stratten moved in with Bogdanovich, and when she told Snider she was leaving him, he shot and killed her, sodomizing her corpse before committing suicide.
They All Laughed could not attract a distributor due to the negative publicity surrounding the Stratten murder, despite it being one of the few films made by the legendary Audrey Hepburn after her provisional retirement in 1967 (the film would prove to be Hepburn's last starring role in a theatrically released motion picture). The heartbroken Bogdanovich bought the rights to the negative so that it would be seen by the public, but the film had a limited release, garnered weak reviews and cost Bogdanovich millions of dollars, driving the emotionally devastated director into bankruptcy.
Bogdanovich turned back to his first avocation, writing, to pen a memoir of his dead love, "The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980)" that was published in 1984. The book was a riposte to Teresa Carpenter's "Death of a Playmate" article written for The Village Voice that had won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize. Carpenter had lambasted Bogdanovich and Hugh M. Hefner, claiming that Stratten was as much a victim of them as she was of Paul Snider. The article served as the basis of Bob Fosse's film Star 80, in which Bogdanovich was portrayed as the fictional director "Aram Nicholas".
Bogdanovich's career as a noted director was over, and though he achieved modest success with Mask, his sequel to his greatest success The Last Picture Show, Texasville, was a critical and box office disappointment. He directed two more theatrical films in 1992 and 1993, but their failure kept him off the big screen until 2001's The Cat's Meow. Returning once again to a reworking of the past, this time the alleged murder of director Thomas H. Ince by Welles' bete noir William Randolph Hearst, The Cat's Meow was a modest critical success but a flop at the box office. In addition to helming some television movies, Bogdanovich has returned to acting, with a recurring guest role on the cable television series The Sopranos as Dr. Jennifer Melfi's analyst.
Bogdanovich's personal reputation suffered from gossip about his 13-year marriage to Dorothy Stratten's 19-year-old-kid sister Louise Stratten, who was 29 years his junior. Some gossip held that Bogdanovich's behavior was akin to that of the James Stewart character in Alfred Hitchcock's necrophiliac masterpiece Vertigo, with the director trying to remold Stratten into the image of her late sister. The marriage ended in divorce in 2001.
Now in his mid-60s, Bogdanovich clearly has imitated his hero Orson Welles, but in an unintended fashion, as a type of monumental failure much beloved by the mythmakers of Hollywood. However, unlike the widely acclaimed master Welles, the orbit of Bogdanovich's reputation has never recovered from the apogee it reached briefly in the early 1970s.
There has been speculation that Peter Bogdanovich's ruin as a director was guaranteed when he ditched his wife and artistic collaborator Polly Platt for Cybill Shepherd. Platt had worked with Bogdanovich on all his early successes, and some critics believe that the controlling artistic consciousness on The Last Picture Show was Platt's. Parting company with Platt after Paper Moon, Bogdanovich promptly slipped from the heights of a wunderkind to a has-been pursuing epic folly, as evidenced by Daisy Miller and At Long Last Love.
In 1998 the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress named The Last Picture Show to the National Film Registry, an honor awarded only to the most culturally significant films. Viewing Daisy Miller alongside The Last Picture Show should be a standard part of film school curriculum, as it tends to debunk the auteur theory. Bogdanovich's career gives truth to the contention that film is an industrial process and each movie has many "authors," not just one (the director). If the auteur theory were true, Bogdanovich arguably would have returned to form eventually and produced more good films, if not another masterpiece.
He didn't - he didn't even come close. Thus, Bogdanovich will remain a footnote in cinema history, more valuable for his contributions to the literature of film than to the medium itself.
Bud Cort, American actor/comedian, was born Walter Edward Cox in New Rochelle, New York. The second of five children, he grew up in Rye, New York, the son of Joseph P. Cox, an orchestra leader, pianist, and owner of a successful men's clothing store in Rye, and Alma M. Court a former newspaper and Life magazine reporter and an executive asst. at M.G.M. in New York City. From early childhood on, Bud displayed a remarkable acting ability and appeared in countless school plays and community theatre. Also a talented painter, he earned extra money doing portraits at art fairs and by commission to the people in Rye. However, he knew acting was his real dream and began riding trains into New York City at the age of 14 to begin studying with his first teacher Bill Hickey at the HB Studios in Greenwich Village.
Upon graduation from Iona Prep School run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Bud applied to the NYU School of the Arts, now known as Tisch. Unfortunately, the acting department was full but after seeing Bud's art portfolio he was admitted as a scenic design major in 1967. Bud continued to study with Bill Hickey and secretly began to work in commercials, - off Broadway Theater, and the soap opera, "The Doctors."
He formed a comedy team with actress Jeannie Berlin, and later with Judy Engles, performing Bud's original comedy material all over Manhattan's burgeoning nightclub scene. Bud and Judy won first place during amateur night at the famed Village Gate and were signed to a management contract with the club's owner. Soon after, while appearing at the famed Upstairs at the Downstairs in the musical revue "Free Fall," Bud was spotted by Robert Altman who was in New York looking for actors for his film "M. A. S. H." Bud was hired and from that went on to play the title role in Altman's next film "Brewster McCloud."
A quirky May-Dec. love story, "Harold and Maude," next saw Cort opposite Ruth Gordon in arguably his most famous role. After a confused reception, the film went on to become not only one of the most successful cult movies in history, but eventually was crowned an American Film Classic. Bud was also awarded the French equivalent of the Oscar, the Crystal Star, for Best Actor of the Year. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe and a British Academy Award.
Resisting type casting, Bud turned down the role of Billy Bibbit in Milos Forman's "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" and returned to the theater. He made his Broadway debut opposite Donald Pleasance in Simon Gray's "Wise Child" at the Helen Hayes Theatre in 1971. Again he resisted being type cast by Hollywood and finally made his first film five years after "Harold and Maude," in the political thriller "Darkness of the Brain" or "Flash" opposite Marcel Bozzuffi (The Conformist).
Title roles in "Why Shoot the Teacher?" (one of the most successful films in Canadian history), "The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud," (a comedy with Klaus Kinski and Carol Kane), and "She Dances Alone" (a documentary/fantasy about the real life daughter of Vaslav Nijinski, with Max Von Sydow) followed and led to countless more films. His latest films being the Wes Anderson comedy "The Life Aquatic" (with Bill Murray and Cate Blanchett) as well as "The Number 23" (with Jim Carrey). Besides his film and theater work, Bud has sung all over the world from Carnegie Hall in New York, to the Alcazar in Paris. He was the youngest actor ever given an homage at the Cinematheque in Paris in an evening hosted by the great comedic actor, Jacques Tati.
Bud lived as a house guest for many years with his dear friend Groucho Marx. In 1979 Bud survived a near fatal car crash on the Hollywood Freeway. He continued working in film and theater and co-founded the LA Classic Theatre Works with, among others, Richard Dreyfuss and Rene Auberjonois. Bud performed the entire J. D. Salinger novel "The Catcher in the Rye" live in-studio, as well as the one man show, "An Evening with Truman Capote" for the radio station KCRW. He appeared with Tom Waits in the L.A. Premiere of Thomas Babe's "Demon Wine" and was nominated for the LA Theatre Critics Best Actor award for his performance in Samuel Beckett's "ENDGAME," which he first played in New York at the Cherry Lane Theatre. For his performance as Clov, Bud was awarded the Dramalogue Award as Best Actor.
Recent films include Kevin Smith's "Dogma", Ed Harris' "Pollock", and his own controversial film, "Ted and Venus" (Col. Tri Star Home Video) which Bud directed, co-wrote, and starred in with Woody Harrelson and Gena Rowlands and which initially, like "Harold and Maude" disturbed some critics and yet was hailed as a "tiny masterpiece," and "a courageous film, Bud Cort's finest performance."
Bud is a member of the Director's Unit of the Actor's Studio. Besides Bill Hickey, he has studied extensively with Stella Adler, Joan Darling, David Craig, and Del Close of 2nd City. Bud recently starred in televisions "Arrested Development," "Funny or Die Presents", the highly regarded "Mosley Lane" episode of "Criminal Minds and Chris Elliot's "Eagleheart" ("Exit Wound the Gift Shop).
Born in the Bronx, New York, Trina McGee is the eldest child to her classical pianist mother and her Haitian photographer/revolutionist father. Although her father was absent from the family unit, his political legacy continued to shape Trina's life. Exiled from Haiti in the 1960s for publishing pamphlets denouncing Papa Doc, he spent Trina's youth fleeing the Haitian authorities, who would find out his whereabouts periodically and force him to run for his life. Meanwhile, Trina learned to play piano, write songs and showed an interest in acting, creative writing and political issues. As a child, she attended the prestigious and politically-acclaimed Manhattan Country School, founded in 1968, as a result of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Children of all races and financial backgrounds were able to learn and compete on an equal playing field. This base of this education has been the crux of her crossover appeal in the present day. After attending Howard University for two years with political science as her major, she decided that wasn't her path and returned home to New York to pursue music. She was convinced she could make it when a song she wrote was passed on to some local Minneapolis, Prince-affiliated producers. The song became #1 on a local Minneapolis station and gave her the inspiration to go for a music career. Shortly after, she was approached by a movie producer in New York who thought, based on Trina's unique physical appearance, she could procure work as an actress. The producer let Trina use his name to get an agent, and soon after she found herself in the original production of "Chelsea Walls", acting with Marisa Tomei and Gina Gershon, directed by Jane Alexander and Edwin Sherin. After that run, she did three Hip Hop musicals, of which she was the lead rapper and vocalist. This background came in handy when, shortly after the musicals, there was an open casting opportunity from Quincy Jones, who was searching for girls who could act, dance and sing. His vision was a television show based on 'The Monkees' sixties phenomenon, but with a girl group in place. After seeing eight hundred girls around the country, and a rough auditioning process, which turned away a young 'Lauren Hill' and Regina King, Trina lasted to become one of the final four. Although Quincy's vision never met fruition, the assistance she received from Quincy in starting a life in California has been crucial to her development as an artist.
During the next phase of her life, she got married, did numerous sitcoms and dramatic television guest spots, an action movie with Sylvester Stallone and the The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen, worked with Mike Nichols in The Birdcage, and somehow managed to have three children, in-between. The last child was born while filming the sitcom, Boy Meets World, where Trina spent three years on the seven-year ABC, TGIF staple. Although she was now a mother of three, she portrayed a teenager, simultaneously, on television. This was also one of the first interracial relationships portrayed by teenagers on television and was the result of a LA Times article which subsequently published an editorial reply written by Trina, herself, on the importance of racial tolerance.
Always a survivor, when Trina became a single mom at the end of her "Boy Meets World" run, she focused on the repairing of her family unit, which meant at that time being an at-home mom, taking on a slew of commercial work. She shook her bottom in a hot commercial with Kid Rock, was smoothed out sophisticated with a car ad alongside Halle Berry's ex, soul singer Eric Benét (directed by Rob Cohen of the Fast and Furious), and currently has the AT&T logo slapped on her backside as her good friend, D.L. Hughley, lustfully looks on. She also starred in the last Ice Cube Friday franchise, Friday After Next, and several more guest television spots. She is a consistent entity in the entertainment field and is recognized daily wherever she goes, especially by kids 5-17, who grew up on her work. She is also finding herself as a writer and currently has several television sitcoms in development. Not only has she penned these works herself, she has procured commitment from the array of star power she's come in contact with over the years. It seems next level of stardom is Trina's destiny.
Trina now lives in the San Fernando Valley with her three kids. She also likes painting and putting on plays, with her talented children, in her spare time.
Excellent, prolific and versatile character actor Gregg Lee Henry was born on May 6, 1952 in Lakewood, Colorado. Henry studied acting at the University of Washington in Seattle. Right after graduating from college, Gregg moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue an acting career. He played in a band for three or four months and worked as an apprentice at the Old Globe theater in San Diego prior to getting his first television acting gig as Nick Nolte's son, Wesley Jordache, in Rich Man, Poor Man - Book II. Henry's most memorable movie roles include nice guy drifter Paul Ramsey in Mean Dog Blues, swaggering macho braggart Warren in the superior backwoods slasher movie Just Before Dawn, rugged ex-Navy Seal Lt. Matt Ryder in The Patriot; splendidly sneaky as Mel Gibson's backstabbing, duplicitous partner Val Resnick in Payback and a hilarious scene-stealing turn as pompous good old boy small town mayor Jack MacReady in the delightful horror comedy Slither.
Gregg has acted in several films for director Brian De Palma; he is especially fine and impressive as the smarmy Sam Bouchard in Body Double. Henry has recurring parts on the television series Reasonable Doubts, Gilmore Girls and The Riches. Among the numerous television series he has done guest spots on are The Love Boat, Simon & Simon, Remington Steele, Airwolf, Moonlighting, Designing Women, Magnum, P.I., Falcon Crest, Cagney & Lacey, In the Heat of the Night, L.A. Law, Walker, Texas Ranger, Matlock, Chicago Hope, Murder, She Wrote, EZ Streets, Family Law, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Boston Public, Firefly, Star Trek: Enterprise, Judging Amy and 24.
Moreover, Gregg has appeared in many made-for-TV movies, with his supremely chilling and convincing portrayal of the infamous Dennis Ryder in The Hunt for the BTK Killer rating as a definite crowning achievement in this particular medium. Outside of his film and television work, Henry has acted on stage; he has won thirteen Drama Logue Awards, an L.A. Weekly Award, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his stage work. Besides acting, Gregg is also a professional singer, songwriter (Dwight Yoakam recorded a single of his song "The Back of Your Hand"), and pianist who has recorded several albums. He is a good friend of fellow actor and musician Bruce Greenwood. Gregg Henry lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife Lisa James; she is a noted director for the American Theater who Gregg has collaborated with on various stage productions as both an actor and producer.
Warner first rose to national prominence by starring on the celebrated and long-running classic television series "The Cosby Show." His work on the show garnered him a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
As a seasoned director, Warner has worked on a host of television series, including being a regular director [and producer] on the comedy series "Malcolm & Eddie," and also having directed several episodes of "The Cosby Show," "All That," "Keenan & Kel," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Sesame Street," and the AIDS awareness video "Timeout: The Truth about HIV, AIDS, and You' [which starred Magic Johnson and Arsenio Hall, and earned Warner the NAACP Key of Life Image Award. His short film, "This Old Man," received critical acclaim on the theater festival circuit.
In addition to his television credits, Warner made his feature film debut in Paramount Pictures' "Drop Zone," and was also seen in Warner Bros' Pictures "Fools Gold" opposite Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, and Donald Sutherland. He also co-starred in the independent films "Restaurant" with Adrien Brody, "A Fare to Remember," and "The List" with Wayne Brady.
On stage, Warner has starred in the off-Broadway plays "Three Ways Home," "Cryin' Shame," for which he received the NAACP Theater Award for Best Supporting Actor, "Freefall" at the Victory Garden Theatre in Chicago, and in "A Midsummer Nights' Dream," at the La Jolla Playhouse in California. Warner received critical acclaim for his West Coast debut of his one-man theatrical production of "Love and Other Social Issues." He will return to the stage in September 2014, reprising Sidney Poitier's role as Dr. John Prentice in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," opening in Boston at The Huntington Theatre. Warner has held this role before, previously performing in the play at Washington D.C.'s esteemed Arena Theater.
In 2014, Warner can be seen recurring on two hit series: TNT's "Major Crimes," and FX's "Sons of Anarchy." He was most recently seen on NBC's critically acclaimed series "Community," and recently guest starred on "The Michael J. Fox Show," TNT's "Hawthorne", AMC's "The Cleaner," and Showtime's "Dexter." In 2011, Warner produced, directed, and starred in the BET original series "Reed Between the Lines" opposite Tracee Ellis Ross.
Warner's voice may be as well known as his likeness, for four seasons he was heard as the voice of the "Producer" on PBS' "The Magic School Bus." Currently, he can be heard on the audio book version of "The Marvelous Effect" published by Berkley Trade, as well as in Simon & Schuster's "Fatherhood" by Bill Cosby. When not acting and directing, Warner is a poet and a bass player. His jazz-funk band Miles Long has performed in several major jazz festivals, including the Playboy Jazz Festival, and has opened for high profile artists including Earl Klugh and the late Luther Vandross, and he recently performed at the historic Apollo Theater. Both of Warner's independently distributed CD's, "The Miles Long Mix Tape" and "Love and Other Social Issues". Warner is set to release brand new music, fall 2014.
Warner currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
|Donna Lynne Champlin
OBIE and Drama Desk winner Donna Lynne Champlin graduated with high honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993. A Princess Grace Foundation award winner and a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, she also received intensive training in Shakespeare and Chekhov at Oxford University on the Advanced Acting Scholarship and The Vira I. Heinz Grant to study abroad. While still in college, she received her Equity card starring as "Dorothy" in The Wizard of Oz with the celebrated Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
Champlin made her New York Debut in 1994 at Carnegie Hall starring as "May" in a concert version of Very Warm for May under the direction of acclaimed conductor John McGlinn. Her Broadway debut in 2000 as "Mary Jane" in James Joyce's The Dead was quickly followed by another Broadway turn as "Honoria Glossop" in the Alan Ayckbourn/Andrew Lloyd Webber musical By Jeeves in 2001. In 2002, came the opportunity to work with Carol Burnett and Hal Prince in Broadway's Hollywood Arms - the dramatization of Carol's biography One More Time, in which Champlin played the iconic comedienne. Critics across the country proclaimed Champlin a "show-stopping star in the making" and described her performance as "brilliant", "a triumph", and "a tour de force."
Next on Broadway, Champlin played "Pirelli" (and the accordion, flute and piano) in the groundbreaking 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd where the press called her both "hilarious" and "superb". She then joined the Broadway company of Billy Elliot as "Lesley" in 2009 and simultaneously self-produced her solo debut CD "Old Friends" which was voted "One of the Best Ten Albums of 2009" and was hailed by critics as "brilliant", "a masterpiece" and "breath taking". She can also be heard on numerous cast albums including See Rock City, Sweeney Todd, By Jeeves, three and My Life With Albertine as well as many voice-overs.
Her film credits include Birdman, A Secret Promise, The Audition, The Dark Half, By Jeeves, and Sweet Surrender. And while her TV credits include The Good Wife, Law And Order, Mother's Day, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Annual Tony Awards on CBS, The View (guest star), The Rosie O'Donnell Show, Regis and Kelly and Emily Dickinson of the PBS Voices and Visions series, she is perhaps most well known for her work as the caustic "Kim Gifford' on the hit web-series Submissions Only.
Off Broadway, her performance as "Cora Flood" in the 2009 production of The Dark At The Top of the Stairs at The Transport Group (hailed by the NY press as "perfection", "brilliant" and "a privilege to watch"), earned her the prestigious OBIE award. DL went on to win the 2013 Drama Desk Award for her performance as "Woman #3" in Working, The Musical at the Prospect Theatre and the NYMF Award for "Outstanding Performance" for not one but three separate productions including as "Jane Austen" in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Other favorite Off-Broadway credits include "Audrey" opposite Oliver Platt's "Touchstone" in Shakespeare In The Park's As You Like It and "Sophie" in Master Class opposite Edie Falco at the Broadhurst produced by the Metropolitan Opera.
Champlin also continues to perform her critically acclaimed one-woman show Finishing The Hat in NYC (SRO at Birdland, Ars Nova and The Laurie Beechman Theatres) and across the country while teaching master classes in acting at many prestigious colleges such as CMU, Hartt and NYU. Also of particular importance to Champlin is her fundraising for three of her favorite charitable organizations, BC-EFA, the ALSA and The Actors' Fund.
In addition to being an actress, Donna Lynne also works as a director, writer, stand-up comedienne, pianist, composer, musical director and choreographer. A free-lance writer for Comedy Central, she is currently working on two books; a humorous non-fiction book inspired by her (mis)adventures in the theatre and the other a 'how-to of comedy'.
Donna Lynne lives in New York City with her husband, actor Andrew Arrow and her son, Charlie.
Sally Kellerman arrived quite young on the late 1950s film and TV scene with a fresh and distinctively weird, misfit presence. It is this same uniqueness that continues to makes her such an attractively offbeat performer today. The willowy, swan-necked, flaxen-haired actress shot to film comedy fame after toiling nearly a decade and a half in the business, and is still most brazenly remembered for her career-maker -- the irreverent hit MASH, for which she received supporting Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. From there she went on to enjoy a number of other hallmark moments as both an actress and a vocalist.
California native Sally Clare Kellerman was born on June 2, 1937, in Long Beach to John Helm Kellerman and Edith Baine (née Vaughn) Kellerman. Raised along with her sister in the San Fernando Valley area, Sally was attracted to the performing arts after seeing Marlon Brando star in the film Viva Zapata!. Attending the renowned Hollywood High School as a teenager, she sang in musical productions while there, including a version of "Meet Me in St. Louis". Following graduation, she enrolled at Los Angeles City College but left after a year when enticed by acting guru Jeff Corey's classes.
Initially inhibited by her height (5'10"), noticeably gawky and slinky frame and wide slash of a mouth, Sally proved difficult to cast at first but finally found herself up for the lead role in Otto Preminger's "A"-level film Saint Joan. She lost out in the end, however, when Preminger finally decided to give the role of Joan of Arc to fellow newcomer Jean Seberg. Hardly compensation, 20-year-old Sally made her film debut that same year as a girls' reformatory inmate who threatens the titular leading lady in the cult "C" juvenile delinquent drama Reform School Girl starring "good girl" Gloria Castillo and "bad guy" Edd Byrnes of "777 Sunset Strip" teen idol fame, an actor she met and was dating after attending Corey's workshops. Directed by infamous lowbudget horror film Samuel Z. Arkoff, her secondary part in the film did little in the way of advancing her career. At the same time Sally pursued a singing career, earning a recording contract with Verve Records.
The 1960s was an uneventful but growing period for Kellerman, finding spurts of quirky TV roles in both comedies ("Bachelor Father," "My Three Sons," "Dobie Gillis" and "Ozzie and Harriet") and dramas ("Lock Up," "Surfside 6," "Cheyenne," "The Outer Limits," "The Rogues," "Slattery's People" and the second pilot of "Star Trek"). Sally's sophomore film was just as campy as the first but her part was even smaller. As an ill-fated victim of the Hands of a Stranger, the oft-told horror story of a concert pianist whose transplanted hands become deadly, the film came and went without much fanfare. Studying later at Los Angeles' Actors' Studio (West), Sally's roles increased toward the end of the 1960s with featured parts in more quality filming, including The Third Day, The Boston Strangler (as a target for killer Tony Curtis) and The April Fools.
Sally's monumental break came, of course, via director Robert Altman when he hired her for, and she created a dusky-voiced sensation out of, the aggressively irritating character Major Margaret ("Kiss My 'Hot Lips'") Houlihan. Her highlighting naked-shower scene in the groundbreaking cinematic comedy MASH had audiences ultimately laughing and gasping at the same time. Both she and the film were a spectacular success with Sally the sole actor to earn an Oscar nomination for her marvelous work here. She shouldn't have lost but did to the overly spunky veteran Helen Hayes in Airport.
Becoming extremely good friends with Altman during the movie shoot, Sally went on to film a couple more of the famed director's more winning and prestigious films of the 1970s, beginning with her wildly crazed "angelic" role in Brewster McCloud, and finishing up brilliantly as a man-hungry real estate agent in his Welcome to L.A., directed by Alan Rudolph. Sally later regretted not taking the Karen Black singing showcase role in one of Altman's best-embraced films, Nashville, when originally offered.
Putting out her first album, "Roll With the Feelin'" for Decca Records around this time (1972), Sally continued to be a quirky comedy treasure in both co-star and top supporting roles of the 1970s. She was well cast neurotically opposite Alan Arkin in the Neil Simon comedy Last of the Red Hot Lovers and again alongside ex-con James Caan as a sexy but loony delight in Slither, a precursor to the Coen Bros.' darkly comic films. She also co-starred and contributed a song ("Reflections") to the Burt Bacharach/Hal David soundtrack of the Utopian film Lost Horizon, a musical picture that proved lifeless at the box office.
More impressive work came with the movies A Little Romance as young Diane Lane's quirky mom; Foxes as Jodie Foster's confronting mother; Serial, a California comedy satire starring Martin Mull; That's Life!, a social comedy with Jack Lemmon and Julie Andrews; and Back to School, comic Rodney Dangerfield's raucous vehicle hit.
Kellerman's films from the 1980s on have been pretty much a mixed bag. While some, such as the low-grade Moving Violations, Meatballs III: Summer Job, Doppelganger American Virgin and Women of the Night have been completely unworthy of her talents, her presence in others have been, at the very least, catchy such as her Natasha Fatale opposite Dave Thomas' Boris Badenov in Boris and Natasha; director Percy Adlon's inventive Younger and Younger, which reunited her with MASH co-star Donald Sutherland, and in Robert Altman's rather disjointed, ill-received all-star effort Ready to Wear in which she plays a fashion magazine editor.
When her quality film output faltered in later years, Sally lent a fine focus back to her singing career and made a musical dent as a deep-voiced blues and jazz artist. She started hitting the Los Angeles and New York club circuits with solo acts. In 2009, Kellerman released her first album since "Roll With The Feelin'" simply titled "Sally," a jazz and blues-fused album. Along those same lines, Sally played a nightclub singer in the comedy Limit Up and later co-starred in the movie Night Club where friends and residents start a club in a retirement home. Sally's seductively throaty voice has also put her in good standing as a voice-over artist of commercials, feature films and TV.
Dudley Moore, the gifted comedian who had at least three distinct career phases that brought him great acclaim and success, actually started out as a musical prodigy as a child. He was born in Dagenham, Essex, England, in 1935, to working class parents, Ada Francis (Hughes), an English secretary, and John Havlin Moore, a Scottish railway electrician (originally from Glasgow). Dudley won a music scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, to study the organ. At university, he also studied composition and became a classically trained pianist, though his forte on the piano for public performance was jazz. After graduating from Magdalen College in 1958, Moore was offered a position as organist at King's College, Cambridge, but turned it down in order to go to London and pursue a music and acting career. Fellow Oxonian Alan Bennett (Exter Colelge, B.A., Medieval History, 1957) had already recommended him to John Bassett, who was putting together a satirical comedy revue called "Beyond The Fringe". "Beyond The Fringe" was to be Moore's first brush with fame, along with co-stars Bennett, future theatrical director Jonathan Miller (now Sir Jonathan, who studied Medicine at Cambridge and was a physician), and Peter Cook, who was destined to become Moore's comic partner during the 1960s and '70s.
It was Miller who had recommended Cook for "Beyond the Fringe", in much the same way that Bennett had bird-dogged Moore. Cook, who had studied modern languages at Cambridge, had been part of the famous Cambridge theatrical, the Footlights revue in 1959, had subsequently gone to London to star in a West End revue for Kenneth Williams, "Pieces of Eight". This old-fashioned review was such a success there was a sequel, "One Over The Eight". He was advised by his agent not to star in the fringe with the three others as he was a professional whereas they were amateurs. Ironically, the great success of "Beyond the Fringe", which was a new kind of satirical comedy, would doom the very old-fashioned reviews that Cook had just tasted success in. "Beyond the Fringe" not only won great acclaim in the UK, but it was a hit in the U.S.. The four won a special Tony Award in 1963 for their Broadway production of "Beyond The Fringe" and there was a television program made of the revue in 1964.
Moore and Cook were offered the TV show Not Only... But Also by the BBC in 1965. Peter Cook was on as a guest. Their pairing was so successful, it enjoyed a second season in 1966 and a third in 1970. They were particularly funny as the working-class characters "Pete" and "Dud". The duo then broke into the movies, including The Wrong Box and Bedazzled. In 1974, the duo won their second Tony Award for their show "Good Night", which was the stage version of their TV series "Not Only... But Also".
In the mid- to late 1970s, they issued three comic albums in the guise of the characters "Derek" and "Clive" (Moore and Cook, respectively), two lavatory attendants that many viewed as reincarnations of their earlier TV characters "Pete" and "Dud". The albums, ad libbed in a recording studio while the two drank vast quantities of alcohol, were noted at the time for their obscenity. Their typical routine was a stream-of-consciousness fugue by Cook, interspersed with interjections by Moore. With their obscenity-laden, free-formed riffs, Derke and Clive presaged the more free-wheeling shock comedy of the 1980s and '90s.
After marrying American actress Tuesday Weld in 1975, Moore moved to the U.S. and began a second career as a solo screen comedian, stealing the show from Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn as the horny conductor in the movie comedy, Foul Play. When George Segal dropped out of the movie 10, director Blake Edwards cast Moore in the lead role as the composer undergoing a mid-life crisis. It was a huge hit, but was surpassed by his Oscar-nominated turn as the dipsomaniac billionaire in Arthur. In the early 1980s, Moore was a top box office attraction. In 1983, the National Alliance of Theater Owners named him the Top Box Office Star-Male of the Year.
His career began petering out after he turned down the lead in Splash, a role that helped establish Tom Hanks as a top movie comedian and position him for his transition into movie drama and super-stardom. As Hanks star waxed, Moore's star waned, and by 1985 he was reduced to playing an elf in Santa Claus, one of the all time turkeys. Even a second turn as "Arthur" in Arthur 2: On the Rocks couldn't revive his box office, the dependent clause of the title all too well describing his career. His TV series Dudley [TV-Series] was a bust, and the 1990s proved a wasteland for the once-honored and prosperous comedian.
Moore was deeply affected by the January 1995 death of Peter Cook by a gastrointestinal hemorrhage at the age of 57. Moore organized a two-day memorial to Cook in Los Angeles that was held in November 1995. Less than four years later, in September 1999, Moore announced that he was afflicted with progressive supra-nuclear palsy, a disease for which there is no treatment.
Dudley Moore was invested as a Commander of the Order of The British Empire (one step below knighthood) in June 2001. Moore personally attended the ceremony at Buckingham Palace to accept his CBE from Prince Charles, despite being unable to speak and being wheelchair-bound. He died in Watchung, New Jersey on March 27, 2002, from the pneumonia related to progressive supra-nuclear palsy. He was 66 years old.
Husky voiced Glynis is the daughter of actor Mervyn Johns. Best known for her light comedy roles and often playful flirtation, Glynis was born in South Africa while her parents were on tour there (her mother was a concert pianist) but was always proud of her Welsh roots and took delight in playing the female lead (opposite Richard Burton) in the classic Under Milk Wood. Glynis is probably best known for her role as the suffragette mother in Mary Poppins although she is probably best loved for her fishy roles in Miranda and Mad About Men. She had earlier showed she could take on the serious roles as well as in Frieda. Most recently seen (at the time of writing) in Superstar.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Tatiana Pajkovic is the daughter of Montenegrin actor Dragomir Pajkovic. As her father before her, she trained as a martial artist from a young age and started lessons at 5 to become a classic pianist. By 21 she made the big move from Copenhagen to New York to pursue her music career, this led to years of touring and a contract with ONE model management in NYC. Tatiana decided that acting would perfectly combine her interests and all her performing talents, she soon after landed a prominent role in the action film The Transporter Refueled produced by Luc Besson and directed by Camille Delamarre.
|Maria de Medeiros
Maria de Medeiros is the oldest of three daughters by the pianist, maestro and composer António Vitorino D'Almeida and Maria Armanda Esteves. Her sisters are Inês de Medeiros, stage actress and film and stage director and Ana Medeiros, violinist, composer, and music teacher.
Studied at Lycée Français Charles Le Pierre, Lisbon, and when she was 15 years old, she acted in her father's movie, Silvestre. Went to Paris in 1984, aiming to take a college degree in the Beaux Arts, and ended by taking Philosophy, and Drama instead, at the National Schools of Arts and Theatre Techniques.
Lived and filmed in Portugal, and abroad, then she returned to Paris, where she is established since 1987. She married a Catalonian (Spain), and has two daughters. She acquired the French nationality because of her children, and because she has a French culture as well as a Portuguese one. She is fluent in Portuguese, French, English, German and Spanish.
Prince Rogers Nelson was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Mattie Della (Shaw), a jazz singer, and John L. Nelson, a lyricist and pianist. His parents were both from African-American families from the U.S. south. They separated during his youth, which lead him to move back and forth. Prince had a troubled relationship with his step-father which lead him to run away from home. Prince was adopted by a family called the Andersons. Prince soon after became friends with the Anderson's son, Andre Anderson (Cymone) together along with Charles Smith they joined a band called Grand Central. The band later renamed themselves Champagne and were a fairly successful live band, however soon diminished.
Prince at the age of eighteen started working on high-quality demo tracks with Chris Moon. With these demo tracks Prince eventually ended up signing a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records and was the youngest producer associated with the label. Prince made his debut on the record label with his 1978 album, For You. It wasn't a strong successful album, however it was fair for a beginning artist and ranked 163 on the U.S. Pop Charts. Prince's next releases would tend to do much better on the charts with his singles, "Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?" and I Wanna Be Your Lover in 1979. This would start to introduce Prince as a person who presented sexually explicit material into the music industry. However Prince didn't begin to attract mainstream artists until he release his single, 1999. This single began to be noticed by M.T.V. viewers and this would make him a part of the main-stream music media. Prince released two more singles called Little Red Corvette and Delirious. The album featured Prince's new band, The Revolution. In 1984 Prince would release what would be seen as an admired and profound masterpiece the feature film/sound-track album, Purple Rain in 1984. Prince's father, John L. Nelson would contribute to this album, by cowriting the chord sequence for a couple of his songs. Prince continued to give cowriting credit to his father on several other albums, as his famous chord sequence would be used in several of Prince's singles and albums.
A lot of Prince's songs did not agree with listeners and one of his songs, Darling Nikki prompted a group of people to start a censorship organization called, Parents Music Resource Center (P.M.R.C.) as the track implemented grinding ludicrous acts such as masturbating, which stunned listeners. Prince however continued to release various other singles with the same platform his memorable releases being, Around The World In A Day, Parade, Love Sexy, and Batman.
Prince released a sequel to Purple Rain in 1990 called Graffiti Bridge, a soundtrack album accompanied this movie entitled, Graffiti Bridge. The film did terrible in box-office and was nominated for several Razzie awards. Many people saw the sound-track album, as the high point of the film.
In 1991, Prince assembled a new band called, The New Power Generation with this band he would release singles such as Diamond And Pearls, Cream, and Gett Off. Prince eventually changed his stage name from Prince to a symbol, which lead people to call him, "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince". Prince soon took back his old stage name.
Prince in the 90s continued to release singles such as Came, The Gold Experience, Chaos And Disorder, and Emancipation. With the rise of the new millennium Prince continued to release material such as a religious album called The Rainbow Children,One Nite Alone,The Chocolate Invasion,The Slaughter House, and did a collaboration with Stevie Wonder on Stevie's single called, What The Fuss in 2005. Prince will be known as an artist whom inspired millions through his music and set an inspirational platform in terms of music which artists still abide by, his tones can still be heard from songs by other artists because of the influence Prince had on them.