1-50 of 195 names.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard was born on March 2, 1981, in Los Angeles, California. She was conceived in Dallas, Texas (the reason for her middle name). Her father, Ron Howard, is a former actor turned Oscar-winning director. Her mother is actress and writer Cheryl Howard (née Alley). Her famous relatives include her uncle, actor Clint Howard, and her grandparents, actors Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard. She also has two younger twin sisters, Jocelyn and Paige Howard (also an actress), born in 1985, and a brother, Reed Howard, born in 1987. Her ancestry includes German, English, Scottish, and Irish.

Howard was raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, because her parents decided to raise their four children as far away from the trappings of showbiz milieu as possible. During most of her childhood she really did not have much access to a TV. She attended Greenwich Country Day School, and Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York. At that time, she discovered existentialism and devoured books by Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. She attended the prestigious Steppenwolf School and Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts camp at Catskills together with her friend Natalie Portman. She applied to drama school as Bryce Dallas, dropping her last name to eschew special treatment because of association with her renowned father. From 1999-2003, she studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory and at the New York University Tisch School of Arts and graduated with a BFA degree in Drama in 2003. At that time, she performed in Broadway productions of classical plays by George Bernard Shaw, William Shakespeare and Anton Chekhov.

Young Howard appeared in three of her father's films as an extra, including her appearance as a child together with her mother in Apollo 13. She made her feature-film debut as Heather, a supporting role in Book of Love by director Alan Brown. Director 'M. Night Shyamalan' was impressed by her performance in a Broadway play and cast her without an audition as a female lead in his two thrillers: The Village and Lady in the Water. Howard replaced Nicole Kidman in Dogville sequel, Manderlay. She stars as Rosalind in As You Like It, a reprise of her stage role that made such an impression on Shyamalan. She also played Gwen Stacy in the third installment of the Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man 3, and the female lead, Claire, in the sequel Jurassic World. Both films broke the records for highest openings weekends at the time of their release. Among Bryce's other major films are Terminator: Salvation (2009)_, _The Twilight Sage: Eclipse (2010)_, The Help, and 50/50.

Howard became a devoted vegan after Joaquin Phoenix showed her Earthlings, a documentary about animal cruelty. After seeing that, she has consumed no animal products, not even milk or eggs. Her other activities outside of the acting profession include playing basketball and writing.

On June 17, 2006, in Connecticut, she married her long-term boyfriend, actor Seth Gabel, whom she met at New York University and had dated for five years. On February 16, 2007, Bryce and her husband, Seth, became parents of their first child, a boy, named Theodore Norman Howard Gabel. Their second child, a daughter, was born in 2012.

Lesley-Ann Brandt

Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Lesley-Ann Brandt has become one of the biggest South African exports via New Zealand after immigrating to Auckland with her parents and brother in 1999. With her mixed ethnic background, Lesley-Ann is Hollywood's exciting new discovery.

As a child, she participated in almost every kindergarten and school play and was a natural singer. It was when she starting modeling and booking TV commercials that she caught the eye of casting directors. Encouraged by them, she began studying the Meisner technique as well as doing every possible acting workshop she could find and after only a few months her natural ability to perform, take direction and work with the camera saw her commercial auditions shift towards television and film auditions.

Lesley-Ann was discovered by local New Zealand producer Chris Hampson and creator/writer James Griffen (Siones Wedding, Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons) who were on the hunt for the leading lady of their quirky new half hour comedy Diplomatic Immunity. They'd been searching for an actress for months and were 3 weeks away from shooting when Lesley-Ann auditioned. She was hired within a week, had to quit her job as an IT recruitment consultant and went on to star opposite Craig Parker (of Spartacus, Lord of the Rings and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans), quickly moving her into the hearts of the New Zealand nation.

In 2010 Brandt commanded the world take notice with her role as "Naevia" in the breakout Starz hit, Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Naevia the beautiful slave girl who's story with Manu Bennett's character Crixus emerged as the show's big love story creating a fan frenzy worldwide.

Working with producers Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and actors John Hannah (The Mummy and Four Weddings and a Funeral), Peter Mensah (300 and Avatar), Lucy Lawless (Xena), Lesley-Ann captivated audiences with her performance, and became one of the shows break out stars.

Lesley-Ann continued to work on back to back projects, This is not My Life (2010) and ABC's Legend of the Seeker (2010) as well as her feature film debut Insight starring opposite Natalie Zea and Christopher Lloyd.

In 2011 she resurrected her role as "Naevia" in the prequel season of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Roles on Chuck, CSI: New York (recurring) and TNT's Memphis Beat soon followed as well as a lead role in Syfy's highest rated original feature for 2011 Zombie Apocalypse starring opposite Ving Rhames and Taryn Manning.

Lesley-Ann has been named as one of 2013's faces to watch in film by South Africa's largest newspaper publication City Press. This year she can be seen in the much anticipated feature film Drift starring opposite Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation) and Xavier Samuel (Twilight: Eclipse, Anonymous) as well as the dark comedy, Killing Winston Jones starring opposite Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Masterson, Danny Glover , Jon Heder and directed by Joel David Moore (Avatar, Dodgeball).

Lesley-Ann is now permanently based in Los Angeles.

Taylor Momsen

The Pretty Reckless

Who You Selling For

Between 2013 and 2015, The Pretty Reckless traveled the globe touring in support of their second album, the raucous, roaring, Catholic guilt-inspired Going To Hell. A bruising blend of ferocious rock and roll and inky blues, the album debuted in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top 200 and spun off three No. 1 Mainstream Rock singles, "Fucked Up World," "Follow Me Down" and 2014's most successful song at the format, "Heaven Knows," which spent a total of 18 weeks in the top spot. Going to Hell's success meant strong live demand for the New York City band, which is anchored by its songwriters, singer-guitarist Taylor Momsen and guitarist Ben Phillips, who have been making music together in partnership for ten years, and rounded out by bassist Mark Damon and drummer Jamie Perkins. The Going To Hell Tour sent The Pretty Reckless off on four separate jaunts across North America and three trips to Europe. Their explosive shows earned them legions of new fans at home and overseas.

Despite feeling physically and emotionally spent after returning from their two-year odyssey, Momsen and Phillips jumped right into writing the songs for their third album, the scorching yet soulful Who You Selling For, which will be released by Razor & Tie in October. "We had so much we wanted to say, it was like shaking a can of soda on tour, then when we started writing we cracked the seal," says Momsen. "The touring life is very isolating. You look at the world through a bus or airplane window. But music is the healing factor. It's the one thing that is grounding and a true companion through the forest. It saved us - again."

The necessity of music as a balm for the soul is a theme that threads its way through Who You Selling For, which finds Momsen and Phillips dealing with emotions ranging from confusion and frustration to depression and despair. "I think we felt a dire need to express those thoughts," says Phillips. "And they're things I think most humans feel on a daily basis but don't always have an outlet to express. In the end we're saying, 'Don't give up, your soul is all you have, so you've got to hang onto that.'" The album's opening track, "Hangman" (which was inspired by a poem by Chidiock Tichborne written on the eve of his execution), tells a story of having control over your own mind and soul no matter what is happening to you. From there, Who You Selling For delves deep into the psyche of Momsen and Phillips - two artists who believe very much in the fiery redemptive power of rock and roll.

The album's first single, "Take Me Down," is a story of desperation, with Momsen delivering such lyrics as "I spend all night and day / How much harder can I play? / You know I gave my life to rock and roll?" "It's about wanting something so much you'd sell your soul for it," Momsen says, adding that she and Phillips were inspired by blues artist Robert Johnson's song "Crossroads," which some have interpreted as Johnson singing about selling his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical ability. "Back To The River" is about the desire to get away from everything, to go where no one can reach you, while the strutting "Wild City" is influenced by being young and on your own in New York ("We wrote it while walking down Rivington Street on the Lower East Side," Momsen says). The most aggressive song on the album is "Oh My God," which Momsen describes as "self-confession right out of a journal. I think it speaks for itself." And finally "Who You Selling For" testifies to music being a form of salvation and describes how the rest of the album reaches into all forms of rock and roll looking for "The Answer." The song inspired the album's title, asking listeners to take a look at their own lives with its provocative query. "For me, it's a question that challenges what I'm doing with my life," Momsen says. "It questions the meaning of my actions whatever they are. It also defines the record in a grander way by asking the listener to look into the meaning of each song past the obvious."

Sonically, Who You Selling For alternates between blistering hard rock ("Oh My God," "Prisoner," "Wild City," "Living In The Storm") and gentler, more downtempo moments ("The Walls Are Closing In," "Take Me Down," "Back To The River," "Who You Selling For," acoustic ballad "Bedroom Window," and closing track "The Devil's Back"), giving Momsen a platform to showcase the power and versatility of her voice. She is one of rock's most compelling contemporary frontpersons, capable of being both brash and confrontational and sultry and seductive, daring listeners to ignore her at their own peril with a fiery swagger that has only grown more fascinating as Momsen gets older. (She was 15 when The Pretty Reckless wrote and recorded their rock-grunge-blues debut album Light Me Up, which was released in 2010.)

Momsen's voice sounds all the more intimate thanks to the unvarnished way that she and Phillips, along with their long-time producer Kato Khandwala, recorded the songs. "It's the most natural recording possible," says Phillips. "It's all performance-based, nothing was fixed. If Taylor walked in and sang the song and it didn't work, she'd walk right out." When more than just guitar, bass, and drums were needed, additional musicians were invited in, including guitarist Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers), guitarist Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel), and keyboardist Andy Burton (Ian Hunter), as well as backing vocalists Janice Pendarvis (David Bowie), Jenny Douglas-Foote (P!nk), and Sophia Ramos (Rod Stewart). "It was so great having that many musicians in a room playing together and just hitting the record button," Momsen says. "It's very gratifying to feel the players and singers represented as they are. It gave life to these songs that were written tucked away in a bedroom and it enabled us to really deliver the most honest performances possible. What you hear is what it sounded like, no frills. That's it."

It's the band's willingness to bare their souls that has earned them such a passionate fan base - people who identify with the raw candor of the lyrics and fearless way they are expressed. "I've had such a strange life," Momsen says. "I've always felt on my own, running around the world on some mission that I barely understood. Our fans have been the ones who were really there for us. They have supported us through the good times and the bad. I owe them gratitude. They are the inspiration when things look too bleak to keep going. I know it's been said a million times, but it's true, I wouldn't be here today without them. They make this all possible."


The Pretty Reckless: Taylor Momsen - vocals, guitar Ben Phillips - guitar Mark Damon - bass Jamie Perkins - drums

Candace Kita

Born in Los Angeles but raised in England, Belgium and Texas, Candace Kita graduated from college with degrees in philosophy and contemporary religion. After postgraduate work in sociology, she chose to pursue her dream of acting.

Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, Candace became a series regular lead in all 40 episodes of FOX-TV's "The Masked Rider". She went on to take series regular roles in "Son of the Beach" on the FX Network, "Running with Scissors" on the Oxygen Network and "Dance Fever" on ABC-Family.

Her most notable series recurring role was on ABC's "Complete Savages", portraying Mel Gibson's ill-fated girlfriend, Misty, doomed to die a new and horrible death at the end of each episode.

As a guest star, Candace's credits include "Nip/Tuck", "Two and a Half Men", "The Wayan;s Brothers", "VIP", "Method & Red", "Smith", "Pepper Dennis", "Quintuplets", "Girlfriends", "Ficity", "Even Stevens", "Pl of the Future", "Wall to Wall Records", "Beck and Call" , "The Probe", "Big Happy", "Movies at Our House", "Miriam Teitelbaum: Homicide", and "The Sweet Spot".

On the big screen, Candace can be seen in the Adam Sandler and Kevin James comedy "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry". She also appeared in "The Bad News Bears" with Billy Bob Thornton and Greg Kinnear, "Stealing Time" with Jennifer Garner, and "Barb Wire" with Pamela Anderson.

Candace has appeared in more than a dozen national commercials for brands such as Sprite, Coke, IBM, AIG and MSN. She also starred in a spot for Harvard Medical HMO that was featured on ABC-TV's "America's Funniest Commercials" and has served as an official spokesperson in several spots for the Food network, HGTV and DIY. As a model with prestigious print agency Wilhelmina, Candace walked the catwalk for Diesel, XOXO and Brighton among others.

Candace is the founder of Hotties With a Heart, an organization that brings together young women who donate their time to various charities throughout the United States. Recent events have included Read Across America, The Boys and Girls Club, The Salvation Army, and The Bob Hope USO. She also hosts a weekly radio show in Los Angeles, Hottie Help with Candace Kita. This live call-in show broadcasts each Sunday from 2-3 pm (PST) and is one of the highest-rated shows on LA Talk Radio. Each week Kita discusses women's safety issues with a celebrity guest.

Kita is also the author of "The Hottie Handbook: A Girl's Guide to Safety," a safety primer for young women.

Zach McGowan

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

Mikael Persbrandt

Mikael Persbrandt is internationally known for his starring role in the Academy Award winning foreign feature, "In A Better World," directed by Susanne Bier. His performance earned him a 2011 European Film Award nomination for Best Actor.

His interest in acting started when working as an extra in Ingmar Bergman's staging of William Shakespeare's "King Lear."

In the early 1990s, Mikael starred in a popular TV series, "Rederiet" ("The Shipping Company.") He has also starred in other series such as "Storstad," "Den vite riddare," "Anna Holt- Polis" and in "Medicinmannen." Mikael also has an extended theatre background and collaborated successfully with director Thorsten Flinck on several Swedish productions such as "Three Sisters" and "Death of a Salesman" at the Plaza Theatre, "Mr. Puntila and His Man Matti," "The Good Person of Szechwan" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night" at the Royal Dramatic Theatre. Among his other appearances at the Royal Dramatic Theatre mention can be made of "Maria Stuart" (directed by Ingmar Bergman,) "Don Juan," "The Wild Duck," "Miss Julie" and recently "The Sea Gull."

In 1997, Persbrandt starred for the first time as the tough detective, Gunvald Larsson, the role that ultimately became his major break-through. "Beck" was not only a major hit in Sweden but in Germany as well - and now consists of 24 theatrical and television movies based on the characters created by authors Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöo.

Mikael's other work includes starring roles in the Swedish films "The Hypnotist", the "Hamilton" series, "Nagon annanstans i Sverige" (for which he received a 2011 Guldbagge nomination), "Stockholm East," and "Day and Night." He has starred in IFC Films' "Everlasting Moments," for which he earned the 2009 Guldbagge Award for Best Actor. In 2006, he earned Best Actor nominations for both the Bodil (Denmark) and Guldbagge Awards for his performance opposite Lena Olin in Simon Staho's "Bang Bang Orangutang." He also starred in Staho's "Day and Night," which won the Chicago International Film Festival's Silver Hugo Award for Best Ensemble Acting. In 2005, Mikael received the highly coveted Ingmar Bergman award from the Guldbagge Awards. Mikael previously received Guldbagge nominations for his performances in director Peter Possne's 2002 film, "Everybody Loves Alice," and director Bo Norgren's 1999 film, "Deathly Compulsion."

He can be seen as the character Beorn in the highly anticipated, final installment of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies," set to release December 2014. Mikael also stars in the drama "Someone You Love," which tells the story of a world-famous, hard-living Danish singer-songwriter who returns to his homeland to record a new album. After opening the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, "Someone You Love" took home the Audience Award for Best International Film at the Los Angeles Film Festival. Mikael stars opposite Mads Mikkelson in the critically acclaimed feature "The Salvation," which premiered at 2014 Cannes Film Festival with a standing ovation, and will be distributed by IFC Films.

Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuarón Orozco was born on November 28th in Mexico City, Mexico. From an early age, he yearned to be either a film director or an astronaut. However, he did not want to enter the army, so he settled for directing. He didn't receive his first camera until his twelfth birthday, and then immediately started to film everything he saw, showing it afterwards to everyone. In his teen years, films were his hobby. Sometimes he said to his mother he would go to a friend's home, when in fact he would go to the cinema. His ambition was to know every theatre in the city. Near his house there were two studios, Studios Churubusco and Studios 212. After finishing school, Cuarón decided to study cinema right away. He tried to study at C.C.C. (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica) but wasn't accepted because at that time they weren't accepting students under twenty-four years old. His mother didn't support that idea of cinema, so he studied philosophy in the morning and in the afternoon he went to the C.U.E.C. (Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos). During that time he met many people who would later become his collaborators and friends. One of them was Luis Estrada. Cuaron also became good friends with Carlos Marcovich and Emmanuel Lubezki. Luis Estrada directed a short called "Vengance is Mine", on which Alfonso and Emmanuel collaborated. The film was in English, a fact which bothered many teachers of the C.U.E.C. such as Marcela Fernández Violante. The disagreement caused such arguments that in 1985, Alfonso was expelled from the university.

During his time studying at C.U.E.C. he met Mariana Elizondo, and with her he had his first son, Jonás Cuarón. After Alfonso was expelled, he thought he could never be a director and so went on to work in a Museum so he could sustain his family. One day, José Luis García Agraz and Fernando CáMara went to the museum and made an offer to Cuarón. They asked him to work as cable person in "La víspera", a job which was to prove to be his salvation. After that he was assistant director in Garcia Agraz's "Nocaut", as well as numerous other films.

He was also second unit director in "Gaby: A True Story", and co-wrote and directed some episodes in the series "A Hora Marcada". One New Year's Eve, he decided he would not continue to be an assistant director, and with his brother Carlos started writing what would be his first feature film: "Sólo con tu pareja" (Love in the time of Hysteria). After the screenplay was written, the problem became how to get financial backing for the movie. I.M.C.I.N.E. (Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografia), which supports movies financially, had already decided which projects it would support that year, much to Alfonso's initial chagrin. However, the director of one of those already-chosen projects was unable to direct it, so his project was canceled, and "Sólo con tu pareja" took its place. Despite this being chosen, there was a lot of tension between Alfonso and the I.M.C.I.N.E. executives. Nevertheless, after the movie was finished, it was a huge success. In Toronto festival the films won many awards, and Alfonso started to be noticed by Hollywood producers. Sydney Pollack was the first one to invite him to shoot in Hollywood. He proposed a feature film to be directed by Alfonso, but the project didn't work and was canceled. Alfonso moved to Los Angeles without anything concrete, and stayed with some friends, as he had no money. Soon after that, Pollack called him again to direct an episode called "Murder, Obliquely" of the series "Fallen Angels", that was the first job he had in U.S., and also the first time he worked with Alan Rickman.

After a while, and no real directing jobs, Alfonso wanted to direct something as he needed money. He finally signed a contract with Warner Brothers to direct the film Addicted to Love. However, one night, he read the screenplay for another film, A Little Princess and fell in love with it. He talked to Warner Brothers and after some meetings he gave up directing "Addicted to Love" in order to do "A Little Princess". Even thought it wasn't a great box office success, the film received two nominations for the Oscars, and won many other awards. After "A Little Princess" Alfonso developed a project with Richard Gere starring. The project was canceled, but Cuarón got an offer from Twentieth Century Fox to direct the modern adaptation of the Charles Dickens' classic Great Expectations. He initially didn't want to direct it but the studio insisted, and in the end he accepted it. The experience was very painful and difficult for him mainly because there was never a definitive screenplay.

He then reunited with producer Jorge Vergara and founded both Anhelo Productions and Moonson Productions. Anhelo's first picture was also Alfonso's next film, the erotic road movie "Y Tu Mamá También", which was a huge success. During the promotion of the film in Venice, Alfonso met the cinema critic Annalisa Bugliani. They started dating and married that same year. "Children of Men" was to be Alfonso's next film, a futuristic, dystopian story. During the preproduction of the film, Warner Brothers invited Alfonso to direct the third Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", an offer which he accepted after some consideration. The film would prove to be the greatest box office success of his career.

In 2003, he had a daughter named Tess Bu Cuarón, and in February 2005 another son, called Olmo Teodoro Cuarón. Alfonso Cuarón signed a three-year first-look deal with Warner Brothers, which allowed his films to be distributed world-wide. As a result of that deal, he developed two new projects, _History of Love, The (2007)_ and _Memory of Running, The (2007)_. He also developed another Mexican film "_México '68 (2007)_", about the violent students' revolt that happened in Mexico in 1968. He directed one five-minute segment of the anthology film Paris, je t'aime with Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier. His next project, the futuristic film Children of Men with Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2006 having been nominated for three Academy Awards. After his youngest son was diagnosed with autism and the divorce from Annalisa Bugliani he took a break from directing and settled in London where he plans to work on his next projects.

In 2013, Alfonso directed the space thriller Gravity, which would go win 7 academy awards.

Eileen Atkins

Eileen Atkins was born in a Salvation Army Women's Hostel in north London. Her father was a gas meter reader; her mother, a seamstress and barmaid. A drama teacher taught her how to drop her Cockney accent, and she studied Shakespeare and Greek tragedies. Her breakthrough role in "The Killing of Sister George" took her to Broadway.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

"There are no second acts in American lives," wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, who himself went from being the high priest of the Jazz Age to a down-and-out alcoholic within the space of 20 years, but not before giving the world several literary masterpieces, the most famous of which is "The Great Gatsby" (1924).

He was born in 1896 to a mother who spoiled him shamelessly, leading him to grow up an especially self-possessed young man. While he was obsessed by the image of Princeton University, he flunked out, less interested in Latin and trigonometry than bathtub gin and :bright young things". The brightest was an unconventional young lady from Montgomery, Alabama named Zelda Sayre. Fitzgerald invoked the jealousy of numerous local boys, some of whom had even begun a fraternity in Zelda's honor, by snagging her shortly before the publication of his first novel, "This Side of Paradise". The novel was a huge success, and Fitzgerald suddenly found himself the most highly-paid writer in America.

During the mid-to-late '20s the Fitzgeralds lived in Europe among many American expatriates including Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway and Thornton Wilder. He wrote what is considered his greatest masterpiece, "The Great Gatsby", while living in Paris. It was at the end of this period (1924-30) that his marriage to the highly strung, demanding and mentally unstable Zelda began to unravel. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent much of the rest of her life in a variety of mental institutions. Fitzgerald turned more and more to alcohol. In 1930 a major crisis came when Zelda had a series of psychotic attacks, beginning a descent into madness and schizophrenia from which she would never recover. Much of Fitzgerald's income would now be dedicated to keeping his wife in mental hospitals. Emotionally and creatively wrung out, he wrote "Tender is The Night" (1934), the story of Dick Diver and his schizophrenic wife Nicole, that shows the pain that he felt himself. In the mid-30s Fitzgerald had a breakdown of his own. He had become a clinical alcoholic, something he would detail in his famous "The Crack-Up" series of essays.

With Zelda institutionalized on the East Coast, it was Hollywood that proved to be Fitzgerald's salvation. Although he had little success in writing for films, which he had attempted several times previously, he was paid well and gained a new professional standing. His experiences there inspired "The Last Tycoon", his last--and unfinished--novel which some believe might have been his greatest of all. Fitzgerald died at the home of his mistress, writer Sheilah Graham, of a heart attack in 1940, believing himself to be a failed and broken man. He never knew that he would one day be considered one of the finest writers of the 20th century.

Teresa Wright

A natural and lovely talent who was discovered for films by Samuel Goldwyn, the always likable Teresa Wright distinguished herself early on in high-caliber, Oscar-worthy form -- the only performer ever to be nominated for Oscars for her first three films. Always true to herself, she was able to earn Hollywood stardom on her own unglamorized terms.

Born Muriel Teresa Wright in the Harlem district of New York City on October 27, 1918, her parents divorced when she was quite young and she lived with various relatives in New York and New Jersey. An uncle of hers was a stage actor. She attended the exclusive Rosehaven School in Tenafly, New Jersey. The acting bug revealed itself when she saw the legendary Helen Hayes perform in a production of "Victoria Regina." After performing in school plays and graduating from Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey, she made the decision to pursue acting professionally.

Apprenticing at the Wharf Theatre in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the summers of 1937 and 1938 in such plays as "The Vinegar Tree" and "Susan and God", she moved to New York and changed her name to Teresa after she discovered there was already a Muriel Wright in Actors Equity. Her first New York play was Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" wherein she played a small part but also understudied the lead ingénue role of Emily. She eventually replaced Martha Scott in the lead after the actress was escorted to Hollywood to make pictures and recreate the Emily role on film. It was during her year-long run in "Life with Father" that Teresa was seen by Goldwyn talent scouts, was tested, and ultimately won the coveted role of Alexandra in the film The Little Foxes. She also accepted an MGM starlet contract on the condition that she not be forced to endure cheesecake publicity or photos for any type of promotion and could return to the theater at least once a year. Oscar-nominated for her work alongside fellow cast members Bette Davis (as calculating mother Regina) and Patricia Collinge (recreating her scene-stealing Broadway role as the flighty, dipsomaniac Aunt Birdie), Teresa's star rose even higher with her next pictures.

Playing the good-hearted roles of the granddaughter in the war-era tearjerker Mrs. Miniver and baseball icon Lou Gehrig's altruistic wife in The Pride of the Yankees opposite Gary Cooper, the pretty newcomer won both "Best Supporting Actress" and "Best Actress" nods respectively in the same year, ultimately taking home the supporting trophy. Teresa's fourth huge picture in a row was Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Shadow of a Doubt and she even received top-billing over established star Joseph Cotten who played a murdering uncle to her suspecting niece. Wed to screenwriter Niven Busch in 1942, she had a slip with her fifth picture Casanova Brown but bounced right back as part of the ensemble cast in the "Best Picture" of the year The Best Years of Our Lives portraying the assuaging daughter of Fredric March and Myrna Loy who falls in love with damaged soldier-turned-civilian Dana Andrews.

With that film, however, her MGM contract ended. Remarkably, she made only one movie for the studio ("Mrs. Miniver") during all that time. The rest were all loanouts. As a freelancing agent, the quality of her films began to dramatically decline. Pictures such as Enchantment, Something to Live For, California Conquest, Count the Hours!, Track of the Cat and Escapade in Japan pretty much came and went. For her screenwriter husband she appeared in the above-average western thriller Pursued and crime drama The Capture. Her most inspired films of that post-war era were The Men opposite film newcomer Marlon Brando and the lowbudgeted but intriguing The Search for Bridey Murphy which chronicled the fascinating story of an American housewife who claimed she lived a previous life.

The "Golden Age" of TV was her salvation during these lean film years in which she appeared in fine form in a number of dramatic showcases. She recreated for TV the perennial holiday classic The Miracle on 34th Street in which she played the Maureen O'Hara role opposite Macdonald Carey and Thomas Mitchell. Divorced from Busch, the father of her two children, in 1952, Teresa made a concentrated effort to return to the stage and found consistency in such plays as "Salt of the Earth" (1952), "Bell, Book and Candle" (1953), "The Country Girl" (1953), "The Heiress" (1954), "The Rainmaker" (1955) and "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" (1957) opposite Pat Hingle, in which she made a successful Broadway return. Marrying renowned playwright Robert Anderson in 1959, stage and TV continued to be her primary focuses, notably appearing under the theater lights in her husband's emotive drama "I Never Sang for My Father" in 1968. The couple lived on a farm in upstate New York until their divorce in 1978.

By this time a mature actress now in her 50s, challenging stage work came in the form of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the Moon Marigolds", "Long Day's Journey Into Night", "Morning's at Seven" and "Ah, Wilderness!" Teresa also graced the stage alongside George C. Scott's Willy Loman (as wife Linda) in an acclaimed presentation of "Death of a Salesman" in 1975, and appeared opposite Scott again in her very last play, "On Borrowed Time" (1991). After almost a decade away from films, she came back to play the touching role of an elderly landlady opposite Matt Damon in her last picture, John Grisham's The Rainmaker. Teresa passed away of a heart attack in 2005.

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler was born in Madrid, Spain, to Spanish singer Julio Iglesias and Spanish-Filipino socialite Isabel Preysler. In 1979, his parents' marriage was annulled. He was eight years old when he moved to the U.S., and at the age of 15, secretly began writing music. He studied business administration at the University of Miami for a year before he dropped out to pursue a musical career. Five years later, on September 25, 1995, he released his first album at 18 years of age. His second album, which was recorded in Spanish, was released on January 29, 1997.

Iglesias has made 10 albums. "Insomniac" was released 2008 and he did the official song for UEFA Europa League 2008, "Can You Hear Me", which he sang at the soccer league's finale. After "Insomniac" he made "Greatest Hits" and went on tour in 2009. His album "Euphoria" was his first bilingual album, featuring Spanish and English songs. His latest album "Sex and Love" was also bilingual.

Iglesias has sold over 137 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling Latin artists ever. He has more number-one songs on Billboard's charts, more than any other single male artist.

Iglesias has recorded advertisements or provided songs for major brands, including Salsa Doritos (2002), PepsiCo (2003), Viceroy (2004), Tommy Hilfiger (2005), Azzaro (2009) Atlantico (2011-present), Soap opera theme songs (2013, 2014), Coty (2014), and Kia Soul (2014-2015). He also had guest acting roles on Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Two and a Half Men, and How I Met Your Mother.

Iglesias has supported many charities, including City of Hope, Red Cross, Music for Relief, Habitat For Humanity, Help for Heroes, Live Earth, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Music for Relief, Special Olympics, The Salvation Army, Alex's Lemonade, and Hunger Relief.

Bruce Forsyth

Veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth had a career spanning eight decades, in which he went from struggling variety performer to Saturday night TV stardom. On the way, he became one of the most recognisable entertainers in the business, driven by what appeared to be inexhaustible energy. He became synonymous with the plethora of game shows that seemed to dominate television light entertainment in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, although he often felt he had become typecast as the genial quizmaster. And at an age when most performers would have put their feet up, his career enjoyed a huge revival with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson was born in Edmonton, north London, on 22 February 1928. His father owned a local garage and both his parents were Salvation Army members who sang and played music at home.

Bruce was a direct descendant of William Forsyth, a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society, whose name was given to the plant forsythia. His interest in showbusiness was kindled at the age of eight and he was reportedly found tap-dancing on the flat roof after watching his first Fred Astaire film.

He made his stage debut at the age of 14 as Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom, appearing bottom of the bill at the Theatre Royal, Bilston. Live entertainment was a way of escaping the pressures and dangers of wartime Britain, and there was a huge demand for acts, no matter how bad they were.

But there was to be no fast track to success. For the next 16 years he performed in church halls and theatres across the country, sleeping in train luggage racks and waiting for the big break. It came in 1958, at a time when he had been unemployed for more than three months and was seriously considering giving up on showbusiness. He was asked to present Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium, a televised variety show, made by Lord Grade's ATV company for the ITV network. He'd finally found the fame he had always craved, appearing not in front of a couple of hundred people in a theatre, but the more than 10 million who regularly tuned in to the show.

Originally booked for two weeks, he stayed five years, by which time he was Britain's highest-paid entertainer, earning £1,000 a week (£18,700 in today's money). But he continued touring with his variety show and the strain of combining this with his Palladium appearances took a toll on his private life. He divorced his first wife, Penny Calvert, a dancer he'd met in the theatre, and she wrote an account of her husband's perpetual absence, called Darling, Your Dinner's in the Dustbin. A popular element in his Palladium show was a feature called Beat the Clock, in which contestants, egged on by Forsyth, had to complete quirky tasks as a huge clock ticked down.

The segment gave a hint of his future television role and he went on to host some of the most popular television game shows of the 1970s and 80s. With his catchphrases of "Nice to see you, to see you nice" and "Didn't he do well?" he reigned supreme at the helm of the BBC's Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game for six years from 1971, and again at the beginning of the 1990s. At its peak, the programme attracted 20 million viewers, who tuned in to watch Forsyth seemingly having more fun than the competitors, enthusing over the mundane prizes on the conveyor belt. The presenter argued with his BBC managers about the show's early evening timeslot but he eventually accepted his role as the "warm-up man" for Saturday night television.

His co-host on the show, Anthea Redfern, was each week encouraged to "give us a twirl". The couple married in 1973 but divorced six years later. It was on Bruce Forsyth and the Generation Game that he introduced his famous "thinker" pose, appearing in silhouette at the beginning of each show. The idea came from the classic circus strongman pose, something he'd perfected during his days in variety. He repeated his success on ITV's Play Your Cards Right, where the audience joined in the cries of "higher" or "lower" as the contestants tried to guess the value of a series of playing cards.

In 1995, a year after his final Generation Game appearance, he received a lifetime achievement award for variety at the British Comedy Awards and began hosting ITV's The Price Is Right. The entertainer was, by this time, a Rolls-Royce-driving multimillionaire and married since 1983 to Wilnelia Merced, a former Miss World. He later claimed that he regretted becoming so associated with game shows and wished he'd done more variety work on TV.

Play Your Cards Right was axed in 1999 and, with changing tastes in entertainment, his TV career began to slide. He returned to the theatre - but experienced an unexpected revival after his wife watched an edition of the satirical quiz, Have I Got News For You, and suggested he could present the programme. After calling show regular Paul Merton, he landed the gig and offered to be "a little bit deadpan". "But the team said, 'No, be Bruce Forsyth,'" he said. He used the occasion to parody some of his old game shows, much to the ill-disguised disgust of team captain Ian Hislop. But the appearance led to Forsyth, an accomplished tap dancer, being offered the job of hosting Strictly Come Dancing, which began a year later. Viewed with scepticism when it launched, the celebrity dance show became one of the most-watched programmes on TV by the time it reached its fifth series in 2007. He brought his own brand of avuncular good humour to the proceedings - reassuring many of the contestants with the phrase "you're my favourites".

After missing a handful of episodes because of illness, he decided to "step down from the rigours" of presenting Strictly in 2014.

He continued to host the Christmas and charity editions of Strictly until 2014 - all of which were taped, as opposed to live broadcasts. Away from entertainment, Forsyth's biggest passion was golf and he took part in many pro-celebrity tournaments. His house was next to the course at Wentworth, where he played with many of the world's best players, practising in the bunker in his own back garden.

During his career, Forsyth's multiple talents and years of application sparked an enduring appeal. In 2011 he was knighted after years of campaigning by his fans and a parliamentary Early Day Motion signed by 73 MPs. But he suffered from ill health towards the end of his life, and in 2016 his wife revealed he still had "a bit of a problem moving", following major surgery a year earlier. Sir Bruce was one of the last entertainers from the tradition of music hall to be working on British television. In many ways his act barely changed. The same corny gags, the same toothy smile and, above all, the same manic enthusiasm. He is particularly remembered for his ability to transform run-of-the-mill party games into glorious moments of mayhem that enthralled contestants and audiences alike.

He died in August 2017 at his home in Virginia Water, Surrey, England, UK following a period of ill health. He was 89. He was survived by his second wife.

Brian Steele

As a child, Brian Steele knew only two speeds: full throttle and off. Perpetually hyperactive and adventurous, young Brian constantly pushed boundaries and tested the patience of his parents and teachers.

But Brian's boundless energy and ambition had no direction, growing up in small-town Highland, Michigan. But soon a few local Detroit television programs changed all that. Brian discovered "Monster Week," The Ghoul, and Sir Graves Ghastly - fright fest-y shows whose creature-characters he found fascinating.

Towering over classmates at an astounding 6'7", Brian again found himself turning to onscreen icons for inspiration; watching over-the-top physical comedy by the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy helped him embrace his physical awkwardness.

But lacking an outlet for his energy or any focus on a career, Brian had no direction.

In 1985 he moved to the Florida Keys, hoping to discover his dreams there. But after two years working odd jobs like bagging groceries, working at a go-cart track, and on the docks at the local marina, Brian decided to move one more time. With only $700, a duffel bag full of clothes and a 10-speed bicycle, he bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles.

Brian's gamble paid off. L.A. loved him. Universal Studios Theme Park took one look at the awkward 24 year-old and knew exactly what to do with him; they hired him to perform as Frankenstein's monster.

When Universal was searching for a man to don the suit for the television version of Harry and the Henderson's, they didn't have to look far. Brian was thrilled to be surrounded with cast mates who helped nurture his talents as an actor. Always patient and supportive with him as he became familiar with his new job responsibilities, the cast of HATH gave Brian the confidence to cultivate his craft.

48 episodes as Harry led to a role on NBC's sci-fi series, Earth 2. Brian learned quickly about the niche in Hollywood for "creature actors." Glued, painted, Velcro-ed, snapped and harnessed into bodysuits and masks, Brian made a name for himself as the man who could bring monsters to life.

Since 1997, he has played characters tailor made to scare audiences. That year, The Relic opened the door for Brian to work with Hollywood heavy-hitters. He breathed life into villains in the Underworld Trilogy and Blade: Trinity. He's worked with acclaimed directors Guillermo Del Toro (both Hellboy films) and M. Night Shayamalan (Lady in the Water). He's taken on creatures alongside Adrian Brody, Christian Bale and Tom Sizemore. The menacing bear Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin battle in The Edge? That's Brian Steele.

After over 20 years breathing life into characters onscreen, keeping each character fresh and new is easier said than done. But Brian "enjoy(s) the challenge." In 2009, he got the opportunity to portray the T-600, Terminator Salvation's latest incarnation of the Terminator.

Éric Rohmer

Admirers have always had difficulty explaining Éric Rohmer's "Je ne sais quoi." Part of the challenge stems from the fact that, despite his place in French Nouvelle Vague (i.e., New Wave), his work is unlike that of his colleagues. While this may be due to the auteur's unwillingness to conform, some have argued convincingly that, in truth, he has remained more faithful to the original ideals of the movement than have his peers. Additionally, plot is not his foremost concern. It is the thoughts and emotions of his characters that are essential to Rohmer, and, just as one's own states of being are hard to define, so is the internal life of his art. Thus, rather than speaking of it in specific terms, fans often use such modifiers as "subtle," "witty," "delicious" and "enigmatic." In an interview with Dennis Hopper, Quentin Tarantino echoed what nearly every aficionado has uttered: "You have to see one of [his movies], and if you kind of like that one, then you should see his other ones, but you need to see one to see if you like it."

Detractors have no problem in expressing their displeasure. They use such phrases as "tedious like a classroom play," "arty and tiresome" and "donnishly talky." Gene Hackman, as jaded detective Harry Moseby in Night Moves, delivered a now famous line that sums up these feelings: "I saw a Rohmer film once. It was kind of like watching paint dry." Undeniably, his excruciatingly slow pace and apathetic, self-absorbed characters are hallmarks, and, at times, even his greatest supporters have made trenchant remarks in this regard. Said critic Pauline Kael, "Seriocomic triviality has become Rohmer's specialty. His sensibility would be easier to take if he'd stop directing to a metronome." In that his proponents will quote attacks on him, indeed Rohmer may be alone among directors. They revel in the fact that "nothing of consequence" happens in his pictures. They are mesmerized by the dense blocks of high-brow chatter. They delight in the predictability of his aesthetic. Above all, however, they are touched by the honesty of a man who, uncompromisingly, lays bear the human soul and "life as such."

Who is Eric Rohmer? Born Jean-Marie Maurice Scherer on December 1, 1920 in Nancy, a small city in Lorraine, he relocated to Paris and became a literature teacher and newspaper reporter. In 1946, under the pen name Gilbert Cordier, he published his only novel, "Elizabeth". Soon after, his interest began to shift toward criticism, and he began frequenting Cinémathèque Français (founded by archivist Henri Langlois) along with soon-to-be New Wavers Jean-Luc Godard, Jacques Rivette, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut. It was at this time that he adopted his pseudonym, an amalgam of the names of actor/director Erich von Stroheim and novelist Sax Rohmer (author of the Fu Manchu series.) His first film, Journal d'un scélérat, was shot the same year that he founded "Gazette du Cinema" along with Godard and Rivette. The next year, Rohmer joined seminal critic André Bazin at "Cahiers du Cinema", where he served as editor-in-chief from 1956 to 1963. As Cahiers was an influential publication, it not only gave him a platform from which to preach New Wave philosophy, but it enabled him to propose revisionist ideas on Hollywood. An example of the latter was "Hitchcock, The First Forty-Four Films", a book on which he collaborated with Chabrol that spoke of Alfred Hitchcock in highly favorable terms.

Rohmer's early forays into direction met with limited success. By 1958, he had completed five shorts, but his sole attempt at feature length, a version of La Comtesse de Ségur's "Les Petites filles modèles", was left unfinished. With Le signe du lion, he made his feature debut, although it was a decade before he achieved recognition. In the interim, he turned out eleven projects, including three of his "Six contes moraux" (i.e., moral tales), films devoted to examining the inner states of people in the throes of temptation. The Bakery Girl of Monceau and Suzanne's Career are unremarkable black-and-white pictures that best function as blueprints for his later output. They also mark the beginning of a business partnership with Barbet Schroeder, who starred in the former of the two. The Collector, his first major effort in color, has been mistaken for a Lolita movie; on a deeper plane, it questions the manner in which one collects or rejects experience. Rohmer's first "hit" was My Night at Maud's, which was nominated for two Oscars and won several international awards. It continues to be his best-known work. In it, on the eve of a proclaiming his love to Francoise, his future wife, the narrator spends a night with a pretty divorcée named Maud. Along with a friend, the two have a discussion on life, religion and Pascal's wager (i.e., the necessity of risking all on the only bet that can win.) Left alone with the sensual Maud, the narrator is forced to test his principles. The final parts in the series, Claire's Knee and Chloe in the Afternoon are mid-life crisis tales that cleverly reiterate the notion of self-restraint as the path to salvation.

"Comedies et Proverbs," Rohmer's second cycle, deals with deception. The Aviator's Wife is the story a naïve student who suspects his girlfriend of infidelity. In stalking her ex-lover and ultimately confronting her, we discover the levels on which he is deceiving himself. Another masterpiece is Pauline at the Beach, a seaside film about adolescents' coming-of-age and the childish antics of their adult chaperones. Of the remaining installments, Summer and Boyfriends and Girlfriends are the most appealing. The director's last series is known as "Contes des quatre saisons" (i.e., Tales of the Four Seasons), which too presents the dysfunctional relationships of eccentrics. In place of the social games of "Comedies et Proverbs", though, this cycle explores the lives of the emotionally isolated. A Tale of Springtime and A Tale of Winter are the more inventive pieces, the latter revisiting Ma Nuit chez Maud's "wager." Just as his oeuvre retraces itself thematically, Rohmer populates it with actors who appear and reappear in unusual ways. The final tale, Autumn Tale, brings together his favorite actresses, Marie Rivière and Béatrice Romand. Like "hiver," it hearkens back to a prior project, A Good Marriage, in examining Romand's quest to find a husband.

Since 1976, Rohmer has made various non-serial releases. Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle and Rendezvous in Paris, both composed of vignettes, are tongue-in-cheek morality plays that merit little attention. The lush costume drama The Marquise of O, in contrast, is an excellent study of the absurd formalities of 18th century aristocracy and was recognized with the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes. His other period pieces, regrettably, have not been as successful. Perceval, while original, is a failed experiment in stagy Arthurian storytelling, and the beautifully dull The Lady and the Duke is equally unsatisfying for most fans of his oeuvre. Nonetheless, the director has demonstrated incredible consistency, and that he was able to deliver a picture of this caliber so late in his career is astounding. The legacy that this man has bestowed upon us rivals that of any auteur, with arguably as many as ten tours de force over the last four decades. Why, then, is he the least honored among the ranks of the Nouvelle Vague and among all cinematic geniuses?

Stories of Rohmer's idiosyncrasies abound. An ardent environmentalist, he has never driven a car and refuses to ride in taxis. There is no telephone in his home. He delayed the production of Ma Nuit chez Maud for a year, insisting that certain scenes could only be shot on Christmas night. Once, he requested a musical score that could be played at levels inaudible to viewers. He refers to himself as "commercial," yet his movies turn slim profits playing the art house circuit. Normally, these are kinds of anecdotes that would endear a one with the cognoscenti. His most revealing quirk, however, is that he declines interviews and shuns the spotlight. Where Hitchcock, for instance, was always ready to talk shop, Rohmer has let his films speak for themselves. He is not worried about WHAT people think of them but THAT, indeed, they think.

It would be dangerous to supplant the aforementioned "je ne sais quoi" with words. Without demystifying Rohmer's cinema, still there are broad qualities to which one may point. First, it is marked by philosophical and artistic integrity. Long before Krzysztof Kieslowski, Rohmer came up with the concept of the film cycle, and this has permitted him to build on his own work in a unique manner. A devout Catholic, he is interested in the resisting of temptation, and what does not occur in his pieces is just as intriguing as what occurs. Apropos to the mention of his spirituality is his fascination with the interplay between destiny and free will. Some choice is always central to his stories. Yet, while his narrative is devoid of conventionally dramatic events, he shows a fondness for coincidence bordering on the supernatural. In order to maintain verisimilitude, then, he employs more "long shots" and a simpler, more natural editing process than his contemporaries. He makes infrequent use of music and foley, focusing instead on the sounds of voices. Of these voices, where his narrators are male (and it is ostensibly their subjective experience to which we are privy), his women are more intelligent and complex than his men. Finally, albeit deeply contemplative, Rohmer's work is rarely conclusive. Refreshingly un-Hollywood, rather than providing an escape from reality, it compels us to face the world in which we live.

Jean-Pierre Melville

The name "Melville" is not immediately associated with film. It conjures up images of white whales and crackbrained captains, of naysaying notaries and soup-spilling sailors. It is the countersign to a realm of men and their deeds, both heroic and villainous. It is the American novel, with its Ishmaels and its Claggarts a challenge to the European canon. It is Herman Melville. And yet, for over three decades, it was also worn by one of the French cinema's brightest lights, Jean-Pierre Melville, whose art was as revolutionary as that of the eponymous author.

Jean-Pierre Grumbach was born on October 20, 1917, to a family of Alsatian Jews. In his youth he studied in Paris, where he was first exposed to great films, among them Robert J. Flaherty's and W.S. Van Dyke's silent documentary White Shadows in the South Seas. It left so deep a mark upon the pubescent Grumbach that he became a regular at the cinema, an obsession that would benefit him in adulthood. His own earliest efforts, 16mm home movies, were made with a camera given to him by his father in this period. In 1937, however, his career was forestalled when he began obligatory service in the French army. He was still in uniform when the Nazis invaded in 1940; under the nom de guerre of Melville, he aided the Resistance and was eventually forced to flee to England. There he joined the Free French forces and took part in the Allies' liberation of continental Europe. After the war, despite a desire to revert to Grumbach, he found that pseudonym had stuck.

Eager to earn his place in the movie industry, Melville applied to the French Technicians' Union but was denied membership. Undaunted by what he regarded as party politics, he set up his own production company in 1946 and started releasing films outside the system. The first, a low-budget short titled 24 heures de la vie d'un clown, was a success, inspired by his boyhood love for the circus. His feature-length debut, Le Silence de la Mer, was highly innovative. An intimate piece on the horrors of World War II, it starred unknown actors and was filmed by a skeleton crew. Its schedule was unusual: It was shot over 27 days in the course of a year. Its production was unusual: it incorporated "on-location" scenes--rarities in that era--done without vital permits. Its provenance was unusual: it was adapted from a book before the author's consent was obtained. Above all, its style was unusual. Its dark, claustrophobic sets and bottom-lit close-ups signaled a departure from the highly cultured cinema of René Clair, Marcel Pagnol, Abel Gance and Jacques Feyder. It was neither comedietta nor costume drama nor avant-garde "cinéma pur." Where its roots may have been in Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion, it was clearly something new.

Over the following 12 years Melville continued to create films that would influence the auteurs of La Nouvelle Vague (i.e., the French New Wave.) In 1950 he collaborated with Jean Cocteau on an unsatisfying version of Les Enfants Terribles, the tale of a strange, incestuous relationship between siblings. When You Read This Letter, with French and Italian backing, was his first commercial project. While it was unprofitable, the fee he received allowed him to establish a studio outside of Paris. His next work, Bob le Flambeur, featured Roger Duchesne, a popular leading man of the 1930s who had drifted into the underworld during the war. As such, he was a uniquely apt choice for the role of the fashionable, self-immolating Bob. His supporting cast included Daniel Cauchy as toadying sidekick Paolo and newcomer Isabelle Corey as the temptress Anne. Although the picture was not a hit, it was a favorite of the aficionados that frequented Henri Langlois' Cinémathèque Français. Among them were the young savants Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, the latter of whom used Guy Decomble of "Bob le flambeur" in his The 400 Blows that ushered in the "New Wave" era. They adored the hip, new rendering of a tired scenario, much of it shot in the streets with hidden cameras. They viewed it as fresh and daring, a "freeing up" through the rejection of high-minded literary adaptations and the embracing of pop culture. Simply put, Melville refused to play by the rules, and they followed suit.

In retrospect, "Bob le flambeur" seems straightforward: A reformed mobster turned high-stakes gambler comes out of retirement to pull one last job. Its genius lies in its simplicity. Melville admired American culture, as his alias indicated. He drove around Paris in an enormous Cadillac, sporting a Stetson hat and aviator sunglasses. He drank Coca-Cola and listened to American radio. The works of American directors John Ford and Howard Hawks were appealing to him, as they were ageless sagas of heroes and villains. Melville strove to build his own pantheon by blending the American ethos with his postwar sensibilities. As he perceived it, it was America that had valiantly rescued France from German occupation. Still, for a young man with Alsatian roots, the line separating good guys and bad guys had been breached, and one can see this disillusionment from Le Silence de la Mer onward. Thus, while he borrowed from the American noir's revolt against the dichotomous Hollywood creations of the 1930s, the artist was forging his own apocryphal brand of dark tragedy. In his paradigm, a criminal could be a kind of hero within his milieu, so long as he stuck by his word and his allegiances. It was his personal style and his adherence to the code of honor that defined a "good guy"; obversely, it was his faith in others that was his downfall. It is a universe without the possibility for salvation, in which love and friendship are brief interludes in the cat-and-mouse games that lead to certain destruction. In that sense, Bob is a crucial link between Julien Duvivier's Pépé le Moko and Godard's Breathless, in which Melville gave a brilliant cameo performance.

Jean-Pierre Melville is often regarded as the godfather of the Nouvelle Vague. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that had it not been for his aforementioned passion for American film, he might have shown us a very different "Bob le flambeur". Originally conceived as a hard-boiled gangster flick about the step-by-step plotting of a heist, Melville was forced to rethink its narrative after watching John Huston's remarkably similar The Asphalt Jungle. It was only then that he had the idea to turn Bob into the comedy of manners that so delighted the cinephiles of the day. For this and other debts of gratitude, his next picture, Two Men in Manhattan, was "a love letter to New York" and the America he revered. It was also his third straight box-office flop, however, and it caused Melville to break away from a New Wave movement that he felt catered to the cognoscenti. He later said, "If . . . I have consented to pass for their adopted father for a while, I do not wish it anymore, and I have put some distance in between us."

The first step in this split came with Léon Morin, Priest, a wartime piece about a priest's endeavors to bring redemption to the inhabitants of a small town. Produced by Carlo Ponti, it was a big-budget affair with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Emmanuelle Riva, both household names by then. On the strength of its favorable reception, Melville released four consecutive cops-and-robbers movies, the most notable of which were Le Doulos and Le Samouraï. Belmondo again headlined in "Le Doulous", not as a clergyman but as the fingerman Silien, whose loyalty to his old mob cronies entangles him in a web of intrigue and disaster. During the making of "Le Samouraï", a hauntingly minimalist film about a doomed assassin, Melville's studio burned to the ground and the project was completed in rented facilities. Regardless, it was a critical and commercial success. Presenting Alain Delon as ultra-cool assassin Jef Costello, it was considered one of the most meticulously-crafted pictures in the history of the cinema. Delon would later star in a second masterpiece, Le Cercle Rouge, featuring the ultimate onscreen jewel heist. His Charles Bronson-cum-Jack Lord sang-froid toughness served as a counterpoint in Melville's oeuvre to the lighter and less predictable Belmondo. Another memorable production was Army of Shadows, an austere portrait of perfidy within the ranks of the French Resistance.

It is trite to say that a particular artist is "not for everyone." In Melville's case, this statement could not be more fitting. Despite a round belly and an unattractive face, he was a notorious womanizer, and his chauvinism is painfully obvious in his movies. They are cynical, male-driven works in which women are devoid of nobility, merely functioning as beautiful chess pieces. His men also lack spiritual depth, diligently playing out their roles toward the final showdown. A "profound moment" inevitably occurs before a mirror, a cliché for which many critics do not share the creator's enthusiasm. As a result of these peccadilloes, as well as its lack of back-stories and character motivations, Melville's later output has been accused of stiffness, with its wooden troupe of cops, crooks and general mauvais sujets. Further, well-structured plots notwithstanding, Melville films are methodically paced with tremendous attention paid to time and place. Hollywoodphiles often find them slow, with an overemphasis on tone and style.

Some have gone as far as to claim that the réalizateur's genius was outstripped by his importance to the development of the medium. They look to him as a sort of Moses figure, helping to guide the Nouvelle Vague to the promised land without partaking in its fruits. At his death by heart attack in 1973, the 55-year-old had directed just 14 projects, at least six of which are acknowledged classics. Aside from Godard and Truffaut, luminaries such as John Woo, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Mann, Volker Schlöndorff, Johnnie To and Martin Scorsese have pointed to him as an key influence. If a man's legacy is best measured not only by its quality but by the respect of his colleagues, Jean-Pierre Melville's contribution to cinema surely ranks with the greatest.

André Dae Kim

Andre Dae Hyun-Tae Kim, is an actor/writer who is known for his work in Degrassi: The Next Generation, Degrassi: Next Class, Salvation, etc. .Kim currently lives in Toronto, Ontario Canada. His heritage is South Korean and his birthplace was Edmonton Alberta. Kim studied classical theatre in various places in Toronto and made the transition into film at age 16.

Shane Hurlbut

Shane Hurlbut, A.S.C., is a world-renowned cinematographer who shoots multimillion dollar blockbuster films. Shane brings a level of unparalleled passion and excitement to everything he does. He is an innovative cinematic pioneer that deploys new techniques on every project to challenge him and enhance the quality of his work. He seamlessly blends different camera emulsions to enhance storytelling. One of his recent films, Act of Valor, was shot primarily using the Canon 5D Mark II camera and is the first HDSLR full-length feature released by a major studio.

He inspires his peers and extended community of fans and readers through the results he achieves and his positive, compelling attitude. Shane and his wife Lydia own Hurlbut Visuals, a source of information sharing and education dedicated to the film making industry. The Hurlbut Visuals Blog serves as a trusted and innovative learning authority for experienced and aspiring filmmakers all over the world.

The Hurlblog began as a way for Shane to share his many years of cinematography experience, his pioneering spirit, and his practical product knowledge on both commercials and feature films. Shane and his elite team of camera operators constantly test new products and experiment with innovative techniques. Shane shares these insights with the Hurlbut Visuals readership in a way that is both engaging and informative. The goal is to ignite the passion, creative ideas and dreams of the bloggers.

From the first blog entry in 2009, Shane started a dialogue that has expanded to include people with a thirst for filmmaking knowledge from all over the world. Hurlbut Visuals is the authoritative resource on new technology and proven applications, especially for those where film school is not an available option.

Shane Hurlbut is a member of the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is among a select group of cinematographers recognized by Canon as an "Explorer of Light" and by the Tiffen Company as an "ImageMaker". These companies are especially known for recognizing film making innovators in how they use equipment and the results they deliver.

The American Society of Cinematographers recognized Hurlbut after his first feature film "The Rat Pack," directed by Rob Cohen in 1998. Over the course of the next decade, Hurlbut lensed seventeen additional features including "Terminator: Salvation" and "We Are Marshall," directed by McG, "The Greatest Game Ever Played," directed by Bill Paxton, and "Drumline," directed by Charles Stone III. Recent work includes "Need For Speed", a much anticipated action-packed film about a revenge seeking street racer released in March 2014, teaming up again with director Scott Waugh. The cast includes: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Kid Cudi, Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez, Harrison Gilbertson and Michael Keaton. Hurlbut just wrapped Fathers and Daughters (2015) directed by Gabriele Muccino. The cast includes: Aaron Paul, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe, Diane Kruger and Jane Fonda

Shane, Lydia and the entire Hurlbut Visuals team make it a priority to give back to filmmakers, local communities, and needy global social causes. Their broad philanthropic reach includes seeking support for new and endeavoring film makers, protecting the environment, education, entertainment, and solutions for reversing global child abuse.

Shane lives in Hollywood CA with his wife and two children. He travels to on-site locations throughout the world in delivering his expertise on Productions Sets for months at a time. He writes articles and blogs constantly, wherever he is, to provide virtual feedback and creative insight in support of his Hurlbut Visuals information web site. Shane seeks sponsors for his Hurlbut Visuals blog as he expands the scope and scale of his ongoing commitment to information sharing, education, and philanthropy projects.

Emerson Brooks

Emerson Brooks is an American Film, Television and Voice actor. He is currently (2017) starring in The Last Ship as Capt. Joseph Meylan on TNT. He has made appearances in major television shows including NCIS: LA, MacGyver, Lost, and 24. His film credits include Captain America, Terminator: Salvation and Super 8. He has lent his voice and movements to over 20 video games and has had the opportunity to be a part of the highest grossing video game franchises in history: Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. In 2012, he won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama for his critically acclaimed performance in All My Children. Prior to becoming an actor, Emerson joined the Army and received a commission as an Infantry Officer. He finished his degree at the University of Arizona, earning a Baccalaureate of Science in Business. After his college graduation, he worked in Washington D.C. as an Engineer in the aerospace industry. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his true passion for acting.

Sean Cameron Michael

South African-born veteran actor Sean Cameron Michael started acting professionally at the age of twelve in musical theater. With a career spanning over thirty years, he is today regarded as one of Africa's most successful exports, having performed numerous leading and supporting roles in over eighty television and film productions and has worked with some of the top actors, directors and producers in the world today, including Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Ryan Reynolds, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, William Hurt and Michael Bay.

Theater highlights include the Vita Award-winning On the Open Road and as Father Huddleston in the Naledi award-winning musical-opera, The Mandela Trilogy.

He first gained international exposure in Bryan Singer and Dean Devlin's Emmy-winning mini-series The Triangle, as well as Fox's multi-Emmy and Golden Globe nominated feature 24: Redemption (opposite Jon Voight and Kiefer Sutherland). Over 12 million viewers tuned in for the premiere.

More recently he worked opposite Games of Thrones' Charles Dance in the Emmy-nominated Strike Back series, as well as Oscar winner William Hurt in BBC Films' Royal Television Society's award-winning The Challenger Disaster. In 2013 he secured the series regular role of Richard Guthrie in Michael Bay's hit pirate adventure series Black Sails for Starz Entertainment. Season 1 garnered 4 Emmy nominations and 2 wins, with Michael being considered for a 2014 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He returned in season 2 which premiered in over 200 countries and was once again considered for an Emmy, as well as a SAG Award.

A highlight of 2015 was Michael playing the supporting role of Lester in Zentropa/Universal's western feature The Salvation for director Kristian Levring, alongside Mads Mikkelsen, Jonathan Pryce and Eva Green. He also became a permanent US resident based in Los Angeles and a member of SAG-Aftra.

In 2016 he had supporting roles in feature films Dis Koue Kos Skat, Double Echo and American Girl: Lea to the Rescue, while on television he guest starred opposite Gary Sinise in CBS's Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Of Kings & Prophets (ABC), as well as the lead baddie role of Shane Copley in Scorpion opposite Robert Patrick on CBS.

In February 2017 Michael played the lead role in the sci-fi short film Tears in the Rain which won him the Jury and Audience Best Actor Award at the SciFi Underground Film Festival in Munich, Germany. The actor went on to win Best Performance by an Actor at the Boston SciFi Film Festival for his lead protagonist role of Sam in the indie feature film Broken Darkness.

Michael recurs on the hit Mark Wahlberg-produced conspiracy drama Shooter (USA) as Russian diplomat Grigory Krukov, opposite Ryan Phillippe and Omar Epps. He will next be seen on the big screen in Universal's The Mummy and recurring as Old Man Heart in the grindhouse series Blood Drive on Syfy.

Alexander Arnold

Alexander Arnold is a British actor born in Ashford, Kent on December 21st 1992. He has been a member of the National Youth Theatre since 2008, attending Norton Knatchbull school and later Highworth Grammar School, performing in numerous drama productions as well as with Ashford Youth Theatre. At 17 he attended an open audition for the E4 teen drama 'Skins', and was cast as regular Rich Hardbeck. The following year he played a key character suspected of murder in ITV drama 'A Mother's Son' and in September 2013 could be seen simultaneously in the Northern crime series 'Vera' and the BBC whodunnit 'What Remains'. He is soon to make his feature debut in Kristen Levring's 'The Salvation', alongside Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green.

Blanca Blanco

Born in Watsonville, California, Blanca Blanco came from a hard-working family where she dreamt of becoming an actress ever since she could remember. Growing up with immigrant parents, who worked multiple jobs to support the family, Blanca was instilled with a strong work ethic at a very early age. After moving to Chelan, Washington at the age of 9, Blanca took acting classes, singing lessons and organized theatrical performances all while going to school at the same time. She was an avid performer and enlisted her two brothers and two sisters to re-enact scenes from popular films for the family's amusement.

After high school, Blanca immediately attended Spokane Falls Community College earning an Associate of Science degree then transferred to Washington State University earning a bachelor degree in psychology, and a master's degree in Social work from Eastern Washington University. After completing her Master's degree, she left Washington State to move to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming a successful actress. Upon arriving in LA, Blanca immediately began working with, Gordon Hunt, twice nominated best Director by the Director Guild of America, and she performed with the Gordon Hunt group where she was seen in many stage productions. Blanca landed her first lead role in the feature film "Doomed Inheritance" quickly followed by "Dark Reel" (2005) where she worked with actor Edward Furlong. In 2006 she starred and produced the Independent film "Cruzando Barreras," which chronicled her life as an aspiring actress. Over the next few years Blanca landed many leading roles including "It's Patriotic to Pay Taxes," "Horror Shack," "Experiment Red," and "Little Black Dress." She is now filming the 2013 feature film "Spreading Darkness" co-starring Eric Roberts and John Savage.

Blanca's passion for helping those experiencing poverty has influenced her many humanitarian efforts becoming an active supporter of many organizations including; the Salvation Army, Autism Speaks, AIDS society, and the American Cancer Society. She is also an expert in End of Life Issues becoming a community leader in education for Death and Dying, Terminal Care.

Kyle Cassie

Born in British Columbia, Kyle Cassie was originally raised in a small town in the Kooteney Mountains before his parents decided that Vancouver was a better place to provide culture for him and his two younger brothers growing up. His passion for performing was discovered at an early age while running around the neighborhood in costume banging on doors and only grew over time. Kyle performed in a number of musicals throughout and after high school and wrote and performed creative pieces for school assemblies on various themes using any excuse to perform in front of a crowd.

A life-threatening car accident in 1995 left Kyle in coma and those around him questioning his survival. He awoke with a very real sense of life and decided to chase his burning desire to act in film and TV. Kyle has studied music all his life and has been playing piano since he was 6 years old. This came in handy when he auditioned for the first TV show he booked in 1999 where he played the part of a famous pianist performing Rachmaninoff's aggressive 'Prelude in C# minor'.

Kyle has since acted in a long list of projects most recently including a lead role on 'Lost Boys 2' for Warner Brothers, a recurring on 'Revolution", a pilot for NBC, and recurring guest stars on 'JPod', based on the esteemed Douglas Coupland Novel, where he played a pathological, self hating fast-food chain mascot named 'Klownsworthy'. For this he earned a nomination for 'Best Guest Star in a Dramatic Series' for the 2008 Leo Awards, which celebrate excellence in the British Columbia television industry.

His insatiable appetite for self-expression also spreads into writing and producing where he finds more ways to win the battle against his 'creative beast'. He co-wrote and co-produced a comical short film, 'Portrait of a Rebound', co-wrote a satirical monster horror feature film, 'Rare Breed' and has recently finished writing the short, darkly comedic drama, 'The Milkguy' which he's also producing for 2009. 'The Milkguy' is a modern day fairy-tale about learning to not cry over spilled milk. Kyle teamed up with fellow actor Teach Grant to create 'The Lido', a one-hour dramatic comedy packaged into 30 minutes for today's ADD generation. 'The Lido' is aggressive, sexy and unapologetic.

Moved by his haunting episode in a coma years ago, Kyle is developing a psychological thriller based on his compelling experience.Touching on questions about reality and the choices he faced in that alternate state of consciousness Kyle looks to share what he's learned through a harrowing tale of mystery, danger and ultimately, salvation.

Kyle resides in Vancouver, BC and lives with his girlfriend Emilie Ullerup.

Regis Toomey

Pittsburgh-born and -raised character actor Regis Toomey, of Irish descent, took an early interest in the performing arts and initially studied drama at the university of his home town. One of four children of Francis X. and Mary Ellen Toomey, John Regis Toomey initially pondered a law career, but acting won out and he gradually established himself as a musical stage performer. Dropping his first name for acting purposes, he was touring in a production of "Little Nellie Kelly" in England when he developed an acute case of laryngitis. The severity of the problem forced a serious rethinking of his career goals.

With the birth of sound pictures, Toomey made an auspicious debut with Alibi starring Chester Morris where a climactic death scene sparked controversy--and a movie career that would include almost 200 pictures and a number of other notorious death scenes. His lead/second lead status opposite such stars as Clara Bow, Constance Bennett, Barbara Stanwyck and Evelyn Brent fell away within a few years, and he found more work in streetwise character roles. Fast-paced crime action was his forte and he was prevalent throughout the 1930s and 1940s. He appeared in many classic films including 'G' Men, Meet John Doe, The Big Sleep, Rachel and the Stranger and Spellbound. In 1955 he played Uncle Arvide of The Salvation Army in Guys and Dolls alongside Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine, a role for which he is still well remembered.

In the 1950s he found employment on TV as a good guy, typically playing judges, sheriffs, businessmen and police sergeants. He was a regular on The Mickey Rooney Show. Fellow one-time singer Dick Powell became a friend and Powell, having turned producer, saw to it that Toomey had involving roles on a couple of his TV series such as Richard Diamond, Private Detective and Burke's Law. He was later a regular on Petticoat Junction. Toomey played roles well past his 80th year.

His marriage (from 1925) to Kathryn Scott produced two children. They met in 1924 when he appeared in a musical production of "Rose Marie" that Kathryn assistant choreographed. Toomey died of natural causes on October 12, 1991, at the Motion Picture Country House in Woodland Hills, California at age 93.

Jonathan Tiersten

Jonathan Tiersten, born in Queens and raised in New York City and Northern New Jersey, Tiersten has been involved in both music and acting since his teens. Tiersten, who studied French horn and guitar when he was growing up, was still a teenager when, in 1983, he played Ricky Thomas in Robert Hiltzik's cult horror film Sleepaway Camp. Tiersten went on to study acting at New York Universitys prestigious Circle in the Square Theater School (where one of his classmates was future "Saturday Night Live" cast member Molly Shannon), and in 1987, he had a principal role in the Emmy-winning ABC after-school special "Seasonal Differences" (which also starred Uta Hagen, Melba Moore, Gabrielle Carteris and Frank Whaley). It was also in the late 1980s that Tiersten had a part on the NBC soap opera "Another World." As a singer/songwriter, Tiersten made his presence felt on the Greenwich Village folk-rock/roots rock circuit in the late 1980s and early 1990s as one-half of the acoustic duo The Magic Box. But in 1991, Tiersten surprised his admirers by leaving the Big Apple and moving to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he opened a beer bar/live music venue called The Mountain Tap Tavern. Tierstens bar attracted its share of well known artists (including Dishwalla, David Gray and Victor Wooten), but he ended up selling it to devote more time to his own music. His contributions to the Colorado music scene included everything from solo performances to AC/DC and Black Sabbath cover bands to the alternative rock outfit Bambis Apartment (which he co-led with guitarist/singer Micah Stone). Tiersten (whose first solo album, Heaven, was released in 1998) also has been a member of the alternative funk-rock band Gaphiltaphunk, and now leads the band TEN TIERS, whose debut album, Don's Club Tavern, Part 1, was released in 2006. Having spent the 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s concentrating on music, Tiersten returned to acting in a big way in 2008, when he re-prised the role of Ricky Thomas in the Sleepaway Camp sequel Return to Sleepaway Camp. And 2010 proved to be an even busier year as an actor, thanks to major roles in two independent films: Redemption and The Perfect House. Redemption is a psychological thriller that also stars George Loros (best known for his portrayal of Raymond "Buffalo Ray" Curto on the HBO series "The Sopranos"), Meredith Ostrum (known for her roles in Love Actually, Men Don't Lie and other movies) and veteran film/television actor Barry Primus. The Perfect House, meanwhile, stars Felissa Rose , John Philbin and Monique Parent along with Tiersten. Rose and Tiersten go way back; she played Angela Baker in both Sleepaway Camp and Return to Sleepaway Camp, and it was Rose who recommended Tiersten for The Perfect House. 2010 was a year of dark, edgy characters for Tiersten, who portrays a pimp in Redemption and a serial killer in The Perfect House. "Apparently, I'm everyone's favorite bad guy now," jokes Tiersten, who explains that John Doesy (his character in The Perfect House) is an insane sociopath who sees the murders he commits not as crimes, but as artistic performances. In fact, Doesy keeps a woman hostage and makes her observe his crimes because he needs a "muse." Tiersten is preparing to reprise his The Perfect House role as the star of a full-length prequel centered around his character. "John Doesy sees himself as a performance artist akin to Andy Kaufman, who thought his whole life was a performance," Tiersten, who recently wrote the score for the short film Demption (a crime drama starring David Krumholtz of the hit TV series "Numb3rs"), is a triple threat: he can score films as well as produce and act in them. Tiersten, in fact, has been doing some work for the independent film company Brittany House Pictures, and recently was hired by its president, Anjul Nigam (Grey's Anatomy, Terminator Salvation) to help produce Good Ol' Boy (a film with a score from guitarist/composer Andy Summers of The Police) and also act and do soundtrack/score work on future projects. But Tiersten stresses that no matter how much acting he will do in the future, his music will never take a back seat.

Anne Revere

Veteran character actress Anne Revere became another in the long line of talented artists whose careers would crash under the weight of the "Red Scare" hysteria that tore through Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Manhattan and a direct descendant of Revolutionary War figure Paul Revere, Anne graduated from Wellesley College, then trained for the stage at the American Laboratory Theatre.

She made her Broadway bow in 1931 with "The Great Barrington" and her film debut in a version of another Broadway play, Double Door. Returning to Broadway after receiving no other film offers, she would not make another movie until 1940...then she stayed. She went on to epitomize the warm, wise and invariably stoic mother to a number of great "golden age" stars, her understated power and intensity capturing the hearts of critics and war-torn audiences alike. Her plain, freckled, careworn looks appeared equally at home on the frontier or in a tenement setting. Anne was nominated three times for an Oscar for her strong, matriarchal figures -- as Jennifer Jones' mother in The Song of Bernadette, Elizabeth Taylor's in National Velvet and Gregory Peck's in Gentleman's Agreement, winning the Oscar on her second try for National Velvet.

A versatile talent, she extended her range to include a number of brittle, neurotic and even crazy ladies. This all ended abruptly in 1951 when her name appeared as one of 300 on the infamous "Hollywood blacklist". She had just completed a major role as Montgomery Clift's Salvation Army mom in A Place in the Sun. She stood on her Fifth Amendment rights before the Communist-obsessed House Un-American Activities Committee and, as a result, her part in that film was reduced to a glorified cameo. She did not appear in another film for nearly 20 years (a starring role in a new TV series was also taken from her).

In the interim, she and husband Samuel Rosen, a stage actor, writer and director, ran an acting school in Los Angeles before relocating to New York, where she managed to find employment in stock productions and under the Broadway lights. She received the Tony Award during the 1960-1961 season for her fine portrayal of a spinster sister in Lillian Hellman's "Toys in the Attic," a part that went to British actress Wendy Hiller when it transferred to film. TV jobs began coming her way again in the mid-1960s, and by 1970 she was working sporadically on such daytime soaps as Search for Tomorrow and Ryan's Hope. She appeared briefly in Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon starring Liza Minnelli, and then earned a showier part in Birch Interval.

Anne passed away after contracting pneumonia at age 87 and was survived by a sister. She had no children. Although a victim of "Cold War" paranoia, she always persevered, showing the same kind of grit and courage that embodied her gallery of characters on film.

Tom Jackson

One of Canada's most popular actors, Tom Jackson is also well known as a humanitarian. He founded the annual Huron Carole fund-raising concerts in support of the Salvation Army. Jackson has been a popular folk-country singer in Canada for many years. In January 2000, Jackson was named to the Order of Canada, that country's highest civilian award.

Isabel Jewell

Isabel Jewell, like other actresses in Hollywood in the 1930s, suffered from chronic typecasting. The diminutive, platinum-haired daughter of a doctor and medical researcher seemed to be forever playing hard-boiled, tough-talking broads: gangster's molls, dumb blondes, prostitutes and, of course, poor "white trash" Emmy Slattery in Gone with the Wind. While stardom eluded her for the most part, she nonetheless remained a busy supporting actress with an impressive array of A-budget films to her credit. Signed as an MGM contract player, she reputedly earned up to $3,000 a week -- a small fortune at the time. Isabel was educated at St. Mary's Academy in Minnesota and at Hamilton College in Kentucky. After years in stock companies (including an 87-week stint in Lincoln, Nebraska), she hit the big time after getting a part on Broadway in "Up Pops the Devil" (1930). With just three hours of rehearsal time, she delivered her performance to great critical acclaim and had even better reviews as a fast-talking telephone operator in "Blessed Event". She reprised this role in the screen version of Blessed Event and her movie career was effectively launched. While her parts were often small, they could also be memorable, as in Ceiling Zero and Marked Woman. Other acting highlights include her consumptive prostitute finding salvation in Lost Horizon, and her poignant against-type performance as an ill-fated seamstress on her way to the guillotine in A Tale of Two Cities.

In the 1940s and '50s, her roles diminished from small to bits to uncredited and she fell on hard times: in 1959 she got into trouble with the law in Las Vegas for passing bad checks and, two years later, spent five days in jail for drunk driving. She was found dead in her home in April 1972, aged just 64. One of her two former husbands was writer-producer-director Owen Crump (1903-1998). A lasting memory of Isabel Jewell is her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Vine Street.

Patricia Kara

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patricia's attraction to the entertainment industry began when she was a teenager. Since then, her career has allowed her to live and travel all over the world.

Having starred as one of the spokes models on the Primetime and daytime versions of NBC's Deal or No Deal, Patricia has been on two hit television shows. Her selection, along with her costars, as one of People Magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People" and her starring role in Trace Adkins' hit country music video "Marry for Money" have only helped to increase visibility.

Patricia (aka Trisha Kara) has worked as a special correspondent on Extra, Fox Movie Channel and Celebtv. Some of her other appearances include: the TV Guide Channel, hosting the Red Carpet at the Catherine Zeta-Jones Benefit for the Motion Picture and Television Fund, E! Entertainment's Wild On: Kentucky Derby, and the U.S. Surf Open. 5 Factor and AbCoaster also utilized Patricia's hosting skills in their nationally televised advertisements. She was recently selected to be a Beauty Correspondent for the Greek beauty line "Korres" and recently released a workout DVD with several of the Deal or No Deal models called "Fast Fitness."

Theatrically, Patricia appeared in the short film Two-Eleven, which, since its release, has been in several prestigious film festivals. She has guest starred in hit shows such as Days of Our Lives, NBC's Las Vegas, All of Us, Passions, Mad TV, and The Young and the Restless. Commercially, Patricia has appeared in commercials for companies like Coors Light, Old Navy, Bally's Fitness, Kohl's, Ericsson Mobile and V8.

Patricia's portfolio includes print ads for: AT&T, Suave, Swiffer, Venus Swimwear, 24-Hr Fitness, Mitsubishi, Lexus, Disney, Reebok, and Snickers. Her images have adorned the covers and pages of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Shape, Fitness Magazine, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Day Spa, Women's Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, Fitness RX, Let's Live, Stuff, Maxim, and the book Sculpting Her Body Perfect.

Charitably, Patricia has been involved with Trinity Children's Foundation, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Make a Wish Foundation, the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Salvation Army, the American Heart Association, Read Across America, Women for Women International, and the Tiger Woods Foundation.

After receiving numerous inquiries from young women throughout the world on how to get started in the business, Patricia recently developed a series of workshops and private consultation seminars for young models, actresses, and young women called the "Secrets to a Successful You."

Besides visiting family and her native Greece, Patricia uses her time away from work and charity to expand her horizons. The performing arts, out door action sports, travel, photography, and exercise are just a few of her additional interests.

Erika-Shaye Gair

Erika-Shaye Gair found herself on set for the first time at barely four years old, in a Saturn Car commercial. The First A.D. asked her what she thought about doing this kind of work. Erika-Shaye nodded her head without hesitation and answered, "I love it!" Since then she has worked continuously in film/T.V. as a voice actor, landing roles with Nicholas Cage, Robin Williams and Kim Basinger. Now a teenager, she continues to perfect her talents as a performer. She has appeared in a number of T.V. series and continues her growing up years as the voice of Shiny and Annie on :Dinosaur Train".

When Erika-Shaye is not on set, in rehearsal or in school she can be found riding horses or volunteering for Circle F Horse Rescue Centre. She loves to help people in need and volunteers with her local Salvation Army soup kitchen and children's camps. She is also an accomplished musician who enjoys both jazz and classical trumpet. She loves to listen to Norwegian trumpet player Tine Thing Helselt.

Kylee Cochran

Kylee Cochran is an American actress known for The Crow: Salvation (2000), The Paper Brigade (1996) and the celebrated indie film, Sedona (2011). She met husband Seth Peterson, while guest appearing on Providence (2000). Married in May 2001, the couple has three children, including actor Lennon Peterson, who stars in American Horror Story: Hotel (2015).

Sharon Kane

Sharon Kane was without a doubt one of the single most prolific and ubiquitous actresses in hardcore porn. Born on February 24, 1956 in Ohio, Kane grew up as a tomboy in a rural community with her mother and grandparents. Sharon briefly worked as a secretary for the Salvation Army before beginning her career in the adult entertainment industry in the mid-1970's as an exotic dancer at the theater The Screening Room in San Francisco, California. After making her hardcore debut in Alex de Renzy's Pretty Peaches, Kane went on to act profusely in a slew of X-rated features over the course of several decades that encompass gay, straight, bondage, and even transsexual fare as well as 8mm loops and video productions. Outside of her acting credits, the versatile Sharon also worked on adult movies in a variety of behind-the-scenes capacities that include director, writer, producer, set designer, make-up artist, art director, set decorator, production assistant, and even composer (she often sang and played multiple instruments for the latter). Kane has since retired from the adult film industry and now resides in a remote rural area.

Bill Carr

Carr was born in Nova Scotia and raised on Prince Edward Island, graduating from Colonel Gray High School. He went on to Acadia University where he studied English and Theatre. While at Acadia, he met Evelyn Garbary, who offered him a role as the lead in Hamlet. In addition to his studies in theatre, Carr studied Philosophy and English followed years later by work towards his Masters of Theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax. Carr's thirty-five-year career has seen him perform on stages across Canada, most notably in Nova Scotia at Neptune Theatre, Mermaid Theatre and the Atlantic Theatre Festival. He has written and performed in radio dramas for CBC and has made appearances in television programs, movies and advertisements. In the 1980s, Carr performed regularly in the comedy review "Ole Charlie Farquharson's Testament and Magic Lantern Show" created by Donald Harron and Frank Peppiatt.

Carr was invited to join the Atlantic Theatre Festival by founding director Michael Bawtree. There, he performed the dual role of "Poche" and "Victor Chandebisse" in the festival's premiere performance, A Flea in Her Ear. Carr has also appeared at the festival as the title character in Moliere's Tartuffe, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, and Lopakhin in Anton Chekov's The Cherry Orchard. At the Neptune Theatre, Carr performed in The Government Inspector, Rave Reviews, and The Love List. Also at the Neptune, Carr co-wrote and performed in Cindy: A Feminist Musical, a takeoff on the Cinderella story, wherein he portrayed one of the ugliest stepsisters of all time. In a review of Love List, Carr was noted for "getting so many laughs he slowed down the action." Carr also was ensemble performer and head writer of the CBC radio series "Common Broadcasting Company" and a regular weekly columnist with the Sunday edition of the Daily News and the Chronicle-Herald. He also hosted a talk show on Rogers FM called Saturday Mornings with Bill Carr. Carr is also known for his work with the CBC's The Journal and Midday and received two Atlantic Journalism awards for his satirical commentaries.

Carr is an active volunteer in his community. He is the honorary spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Society of Nova Scotia and an honorary Trustee of the IWK Health Centre. He appears annually on the IWK telethon and serves as Master of Ceremonies for events in support of a number of charitable and arts organizations such as Unicef, Neptune Theatre (Halifax), Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Canadian Breast Cancer Society, the Abilities Foundation, Reaching out for Adolescent Mental Health and Phoenix House, the Salvation Army, the CNIB.

Carr travels throughout North America speaking and giving workshops and keynote addresses on creativity, communication and living deeply with humor. Recently, he has directed 2 short film documentaries entitled "A Way Through" and "Whirlwind" on community experiences of restorative processes. Together with wife Gola, Carr is a founding partner of the Atlantic Restorative Company, a social entrepreneurship deliberately focused on applying restorative practices to strengthen relationships in business, justice, schools, personal life and all aspects of community.

Kristian Levring

Danish Film Director Kristian Levring has produced a distinct body of work. With films ranging from thriller, through period drama, Shakespearean re-imagining and a Western, Levring has crafted an expression that is as visually stunning and unique as it is eclectic.

Born in 1957 in Copenhagen, Kristian Levring graduated from the National Danish Film School in 1984 as an editor but he soon switched to directing. In 1988 he began a very successful carrier directing TV commercials. Then in 1995, together with Lars Von Trier, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen and Thomas Vinterberg, Levring was one of the co-founders of the world renowned Dogme95 movement. In 2008 the four co-founders were awarded a European Film Award for their Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema.

In 2000 Levring premiered his own award winning Dogme film The King Is Alive as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival. The film starred Jennifer Jason Leigh, Janet McTeer and Romane Bohringer. Two years later The Intended, co-written with Janet McTeer, premiered in Toronto starring McTeer and Academy Award® winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker.

Levring returning to directing in 2005 with the highly acclaimed Fear Me Not starring Ulrich Thomsen. This Danish language psychological drama was among others selected for San Sebastian International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

In 2013 Levring co-wrote and directed a Western, The Salvation (film). The film starred Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce and Eric Cantona. The film made its world premiere as part of the official selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival before a worldwide release to critical acclaim.

Levring resides in Hampstead, North London.

He is represented worldwide by Frank Wuliger at The Gersh Agency, Los Angeles.

Ted Ferguson

From Mooretown to Motown, Hollywood to Nollywood (Nigeria), Paris to Papeete from KarlMarxstadt to the Congo and back again....

Ted Ferguson grew up in Mooretown, Shreveport's largest and toughest ghetto. He has 40 years of broadcasting experience before becoming a Film, TV and Commercial actor. Ted, having grown up in an African American community in Shreveport, an Urban station in Motown (Detroit)had to have been his destiny...Within a 6 month period in 1975, China Jones(Ted's Air name) became the number one night DJ (6pm to 10pm) in Detroit Radio...after 6 years in "The Motor City", China headed west, to Hollywood to become Program Director of Century Broadcasting's KWST (KWEST). Which shortly afterward became Power 106. Again an urban giant in Los Angeles.

After L.A. it was off to Amsterdam and Paris...to help build what is today, the largest and most successful private radio network in the World, NRJ, (900 stations). Working with Jean-Paul Baudecroux, Max Guazzini and Alan Weill, The NRJ success story is unequaled. Ted in the beginning was the only one with prior radio experience...so he took on the role of trainer, teacher, consultant and Head of International Programming and Sales... First project was build up the french part of the Network...Second task was to build 4 stations in the Old DDR (East Germany) in Leipzig, Dresden and KarlMarxStadt (Chemnitz). Third was to bring private radio to Sweden with the opening of 32 stations, nationwide. In Holland,for 2 years, Ted consulted the National Dutch Radio Company, (NOS) and created a music testing system that has become the industry standard throughout the world today.

Ted/China retired from radio and work at the age of 50 in 1999, but decided, in 2005, to go back to LSU at the age of 57, to fulfill a commitment he made to himself when he flunked out in 68 in the middle of the Vietnam war. The purpose was to get off scholastic probation (from 1968 to 2005, 40 years)...Ted Studied, full time, Drama/Film acting and psychology...and accomplished that mission after a year as a full time student...Other schools where Ted studied various courses are: The Sorbonne in Paris, UCLA Westwood, Victoria University Wellington, NZ...and LSUS.

After retirement Ted embarked upon a number of odd consulting jobs with Radio 1 and Tiare FM In Papeete, Tahiti, Hot Fm in Abuja, Nigeria, Smooth Fm in Lagos, Nigeria and Radio PRK in Bunia D R Congo. Ted had the pleasure of living in these places while working with the respective stations. The result, Ted is fluent in French, Proficient in German and Very Proficient in Spanish, with a working knowledge of Swahili. Later and most recently Ted spent time in The Congo serving in a missionary capacity, building a Christian Radio station for the Church of Christ. Additionally he did a mission assignment in Vera Cruz as an English teacher at a seminary. Thus spending time in the pulpit, leading Bible study classes...In addition, Ted has worked, over the years, teaching a Biblical 12 step program at the Shreveport Rescue Mission plus handling all the media advertising, Television Production and talent work for the mission and for the Salvation Army in Texarkana, Ark.

Datari Turner

With over 15 years of experience, Datari Turner has worked along side some of the biggest names in entertainment including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, Bruce Webber, and the late Herb Ritts to name a few.

In 2011 and 2012, as a feature film producer, Datari produced a total of eleven films. Turner produced films "Another Happy Day" and "Salvation Boulevard" both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011 with "Another Happy Day" winning the prestigious Waldo Salt Award for Best Screenplay. "Another Happy Day" starred Hollywood heavy weights Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin and Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. "Salvation Boulevard" starred Oscar Winners Marisa Tomei and Jennifer Connolly in addition to A- List veterans Pierce Brosnan and Ed Harris. Turner produced, co-starred, and wrote the film "Video Girl" starring Meagan Good and Academy Award nominee Ruby Dee. The film has developed cult following and catapulted star Meagan Good to leading lady status.

In 2012 "LUV," also produced by Turner, starring Rapper/Actor Common, Danny Glover, and Dennis Haysbert, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and opened in theaters across the country in January 2013. While working on "LUV" Turner also produced "About Cherry" starring Academy Award nominee James Franco, and Dev Petal, who starred in the Oscar winning film "Slumdog Millionaire." "About Cherry" premiered at the 62nd Annual Berlin Festival to critical acclaim. Turner then produced and starred in the popular indie comedy "Dysfunctional Friends "which premiered at both the SXSW and ABFF Film Festivals respectively. "Dysfunctional Friends" stars Turner, Meagan Good, Stacey Dash, Stacy Keibler, and NFL Icon Terrell "T.O." Owens in his acting debut. Other notable Turner produced films include the Julia Stiles, America Ferrera dark comedy "It's a Disaster" which opened in theaters in April, 2013 and was rated one of the 5 Best Independent films of 2013 by the Huffington Post.

"Kilimanjaro" starring Brian Geraghty and Abigail Spencer, and The Neil Labute film "Some Velvet Morning" starring Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci, both premiered at SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 respectively. Turner produced Kilimanjaro and was an Executive Producer on the Neil Labute film.

Other Turner produced films in post production are "Lap Dance" starring Briana Evigan, James Remar, Mariel Hemingway, and Omari Hardwick. And the John Stockwell thriller "Kid Cannabis."

In television Datari has produced over 50 hours of original programming for networks WE TV, BET, TvOne, Starz, and the Oxygen network. Most recent television credits include "The Ruckers: Southern Royalty" premiering on the WE Channel in 2014. Datari serves as the shows Creator and Executive Producer.

Datari resides in Beverly Hills, California and is an alum of the ABC/ Disney program. Turner is repped at CAA.

Chase Anderson

Chase is an actor/model from West Virginia. He began acting early in 2013 and has been blessed with several exciting opportunities. He's had lead and supporting roles in feature films and short films and has had roles in several TV shows. Chase has done commercial and print work, as well as a music video. Chase's enjoyment in front of the camera has landed him in cities including NYC, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Louisville, Raleigh and Knoxville.

In his free time, Chase enjoys school, reading, writing, singing at church, track, basketball and raising money for charities. He authored a book called Stomper the Elephant and has sold over 1400 copies and donated more than $13,000 to the Alzheimer's Association, the American Cancer Society and the Salvation Army.

You can find Chase, as well as his Stomper the Elephant book, on Facebook to follow his adventures!

Esodie Geiger

Born in western New York, Esodie was raised in the tiny S.U.N.Y town of Geneseo, where she attended college and received a B.A. in Theatre/ English. Her first acting gig was an elementary school play, where she played Little Red Riding Hood. In 2001 she landed a seasonal job at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where she worked as a Production Assistant for nine seasons. She resides in Albuquerque, N.M. and is known for her work in Terminator Salvation (2009), Love Ranch (2010) and Night Shift (2014).

Dawn Stern

Dawn was born into drama on a US Air Force base in Tachikawa, Tokyo, Japan. She was raised in a small town in Southern Illinois- the land of barns and farms. Books were her salvation. Shakespeare her first love. Dawn wrote her first play in 5th grade using the story of Snow White to explain the importance of trees for an Arbor Day celebration. Honor society meant St. Louis Cardinal tickets and a chance to go to the 'big' city. She caught the acting bug getting a laugh on her high school stage playing Hedy La Rue in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". She felt the energy exchange between herself and the audience and reports it was intoxicating. Off stage, she was a shy outsider but on stage she felt like she finally belonged somewhere.

The biology major she spent two years working on went out the window as she graduated from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with a BS in Theatre Performance and Broadcast Communications (TV/Radio). She earned her AFTRA card doing commercials and Equity card with the St. Louis Repertory Theatre. Then, Dawn moved to the 'windy city' upstate in search of a SAG card.

In Chicago, she watched Jordan win three championships and 'refrigerator' Perry run one in for a touchdown. Dawn scored a breakthrough, earning her SAG card with national commercials for 7-Up, McDonalds, and Sears. After five years,a hundred industrials, fifty conventions, eleven wins on Star Search, one of nine finalists in Revelon's Unforgettable Women Campaign and one divorce later, she was off to conquer Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, Dawn came into her own. Her credits won't fit on her resume even when using small font. After six pilots, three television series regular gigs, and over twenty-five guest star appearances, the most important aspects aren't listed on there at all.

Los Angeles is where she traveled, experimented, loved, lost, learned, and matured into a multi-faceted person and a multi-talented actor. She's paid her dues and earned the respect of her peers. Her professional code of conduct boils down to getting to set on time, knowing her lines and saving the drama for behind the camera. The rest of the work is pure play to her. She traveled across the country to marry the boy next door. Dawn and her husband run a not-for-profit for veterans called The Veterans Center for the Performing Arts. They mentor veterans teaching them Shakespeare and producing their original works to aid their transition from service life back to civilian. Thrilling work. She is proud of her journey, loves being an artist and could be seen tooling around Hollywood on Cleo -her purple 600 cc motorcycle. Dawn continues her work in theater and the VCPA and currently resides in New York with her husband.

Scott Crouch

Scott Kevin Crouch was born October 23, 1964 in San Diego, California, to Janet Lee and Leslie Milton Crouch, an Attorney at Law. His parents divorced when he was 5-years old and then was raised by his father. Not until recently, he pursued his dream of acting. He received rave reviews for his food pilot "Cheap Eats" and was good enough to earn him a trip to a Las Vegas food show. His film efforts were strictly small roles: "Thin Ice"(2010), "Salvation Boulevard" (2011), and "Rake" (2014) He's had minor roles in four movies. In his major production of "Thin Ice" (2010) he played 2-roles, as a Casino singer and a Sales recipient in the closing scene. He's also been casts in a commercials and modeling shoots. He lives in Del Mar, California.

Paul Aaron

Paul Aaron has been creating successful productions since he began his professional career directing a national company of "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie", starring Oscar-winning actress Kim Hunter. He made an impressive switch to films with the sensitive and critically acclaimed A Different Story, starring Meg Foster and Perry King. This film, which now appears regularly in film revival houses and on cable television, has become a "cult classic".

Following graduation from Bennington College, Paul Aaron arrived in Los Angeles to become the Casting and New Programs Director for the Mark Taper Forum. At the same time, he founded an actor's workshop and directed several plays, including a critically acclaimed production of "The Three Penny Opera". He was brought to New York to direct the successful, off-Broadway rock musical hit, "Salvation", featuring, among others, the then- unknowns Bette Midler, Barry Bostwick and Joe Morton. He next moved to Broadway to direct the comedy "Paris Is Out", starring Sam Levene and Molly Picon, becoming the youngest director in Broadway history.

After directing the first international company of "Salvation" in Amsterdam, he returned to New York to helm, among other plays, the Obie award-winning off-Broadway musical, "Love My Children", and, on Broadway, the John Kander and Fred Ebb musical, "70 Girls 70", the Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz musical, "That's Entertainment", and the American premier of Italian playwright Ugo Betti's drama, "The Burnt Flowerbed". Variety called his direction of that play "...nothing less than masterful".

Soon after moving back to the West Coast, Aaron directed an immensely successful revival of Paddy Chayefsky's, "The Tenth Man", starring Richard Dreyfuss. He was awarded the Los Angeles Drama Critic's Award as best director of the year for this presentation.

His second feature film as a director, A Force of One, an action-thriller staring Chuck Norris and Jennifer O'Neill, with a screenplay by Academy Award-winner Ernest Tidyman, was a tremendous box office success.

Paul's next challenge was to direct William Gibson's classic, The Miracle Worker, starring Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert. This NBC Special Event not only garnered some of the network's highest ratings for the season, but also won Paul a number of distinguished awards, both here and abroad. These include a Director's Guild nomination, the Director's prize from the Monte Carlo Film Festival, a Golden Globe nomination and the Christopher Award. "The Miracle Worker" was nominated for four Emmys and won three, including one for Patty Duke as "Lead Actress in a Dramatic Special" and, even more impressive, the Emmy as "Outstanding Dramatic Special" of the 1979-1980 season.

For his next project, he chose to direct the CBS movie, Thin Ice, starring Kate Jackson and the venerable film star, Lillian Gish.

He followed "Thin Ice" with a return to Broadway, directing Claudette Colbert in "A Talent For Murder", an original suspense-comedy that turned out to be her last work on the stage.

Next on film was the CBS Special, Maid in America, starring Mildred Natwick, Susan Clark and Fritz Weaver. Aaron then directed the ABC film, When She Says No, which starred Kathleen Quinlan, Jane Alexander and Rip Torn.

Aaron's company, "Elsboy Entertainment", purchased and developed the Jack Finney novel, "Marion's Wall", and Aaron adapted it for the screen with Patricia Resnick, who wrote the screenplay. The movie, entitled Maxie, starring Glenn Close and Mandy Patinkin and directed by Aaron, was produced in association with "Elsboy Entertainment" and was released by Orion Pictures.

He then directed the award-winning NBC television special, In Love and War, the story of Adm. Jim Stockdale, which starred James Woods and Jane Alexander. "In Love and War" garnered brilliant reviews and was chosen by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the top five shows televised during the season.

Aaron had also been concentrating on building a successful management and production company under the umbrella of "Elsboy Entertainment". In 1992, he sold the management division of his company to Erwin Stoff, who had worked with him for fifteen years. They met when Paul was a guest professor at the University of Washington in Seattle where Erwin was a grad student. Together, they developed the careers of several now-famous actors, writers and directors.

The reason Paul decided to leave the rigors of running a full-time management company was to concentrate on his writing and producing. The first project he sold was a three-hour mini-series for HBO, entitled Laurel Avenue, which he executive-produced, co-created and wrote with Michael Henry Brown. It aired in 1993 and was called "a golden moment in the history of television", by Pulitzer prize-winning critic Tom Shales of the Washington Post.

Paul returned to directing with a film, for the Lifetime Cable Network, entitled, Untamed Love. It is based on the book, "One Child", by Torey Hayden, and recounts the extraordinary true story of her work with special education students in the public schools.

Aaron's next project was a one-hour dramatic series for CBS entitled, Under One Roof, which he executive-produced with Michael Henry Brown and Thomas Carter, and which he co-created and co-wrote. It starred James Earl Jones and Joe Morton.

The summer of 1996 saw the premiere of Grand Avenue, a three-hour dramatic mini-series based on the book of the same title by Greg Sarris. Aaron and "Elsboy Entertainment" executive-produced the project with Robert Redford and his company, Wildwood Enterprises, Inc. This saga of three Native American families in Santa Rosa, California, was the first major exploration of contemporary Indian life on American television. It won critical acclaim among both the Native American and mainstream audiences, and scored the highest rating of any HBO program of the season. Paul is continuing to develop "Calle Ocho" (Eighth Street), the next installment in his 'American family' series for HBO, which focuses on an extended Cuban-American family in Miami.

In addition, Paul recently did a rewrite for "Jerry Bruckheimer Films" and another for 'Robert DeNiro''s "Tribeca Films" with his former writing partner, Michael Henry Brown. They also wrote "Land of Opportunity" (2000), adapted from the book by William Adler, and "Shadowman" (2000), based on the popular comic book, both for New Line Pictures. Their original screenplay In Too Deep was made into a major motion picture by Miramax Films which Paul also produced. Roger Ebert, among many other critics, gave the film two very "big thumbs up".

In 2005, Paul produced his most recent feature, Looking for Sunday, starring Michael Weston, Orlando Jones and Katharine Towne, independently, with the hopes for release in 2006.

Currently, Paul is producing the independent film which Suntaur developed, Skills Like This.

Amber Martinez

Amber Martinez is an American born actress of Scottish, Spanish, and Dutch descent. She was born in a small town in Kansas. Amber Martinez has many years worth of experience as a TV Host prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2008. Since 2008, she has been TV Hosting and Acting in Los Angeles. When she is not working on an entertainment project, she spends her free time aiding various charities. Some of these charities are including but not listed to: "Safe Passage", "Hollywood Education and Literacy Project", "The Salvation Army", and "LA Cloud 9". Amber Martinez is also holding the title of "Ms United Nations Globe 2016/2017" and held the title of "Ms North America United Nations 2016" prior to that.

Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell (born 7 July 1980) is a New Zealand actor who played the orc, Narzug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He is best known for his role as Dr. TK Samuels in the soap opera Shortland Street. He attended secondary school at St Johns College, Hamilton, New Zealand.

He also won Mr New Zealand in 1999. He moved to Auckland in 2000 to pursue an acting career. He has acted in shows like The Strip, Power Rangers and Outrageous Fortune. He was once a personal trainer, and is a fluent Te Reo speaker who is passionate about his work and cultural beliefs. Mitchell is incredibly anti-smoking and unafraid to speak out about it.

At the start of 2006, Mitchell joined the cast of Shortland Street as young doctor TK Samuels. One of "Shortland Street's most recognizable faces," Mitchell has "gained him great popularity throughout New Zealand, especially with female viewers."

Mitchell has been known for his support of the Ponsonby Hero parade [now Hero Festival] featuring in the parade from 2001-03 and also dancing at the Salvation Hero party in support of HIV charities. His daughter Mila Rose Amaia Mitchell was born June 2009. His second daughter, Sophia Grace was born in 2010.

Robert Hobbs

Robert Hobbs was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1972.

At an early age his family moved to Welkom, a small mining town in the interior of SA. There he was educated at Christian Brothers College and developed a love of performance through a series of school concerts and trips to the local Saturday morning film matinées.

Following his passion, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts / Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama from the University of Cape Town in 1993.

He was cast in a number of theatre roles including Macbeth for the SA State Theatre and his performance in Yasmina Reza's Life x 3 garnered him a Naledi Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

He became a founding member of Cape Town's longest running improvisational troupe - Theatresports, which still enjoys a cult following today. He also wrote and performed a trilogy of one man shows called Walking Joe and co-wrote the critically acclaimed For Better For Wors, which went on to be selected as one of the best new plays of that year by the SA National Arts Council. This production was acclaimed nationally for its brutal characterization of the South Africa psyche.

He starred in numerous hit South African television shows and became a popular figure due to his appearances in Rhythm City and Inkaba. He was then also cast in international television productions for amongst others the BBC, CBC, SABC and HBO.

His film breakthrough was Bravo Two Zero for the BBC. This was quickly followed by In My Country, directed by John Boorman. In My Country went on to be nominated for a Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Roger Ebert, reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times wrote of the film that it had "moments of real emotion".

Since then Hobbs has gone on to forge a prolific career as an actor.

In 2004 he filmed The Trail (Le Piste) directed by Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short - Eric Valli. Lisa Nesselson of Variety called it "a ravishingly lensed wide screen tale". He also completed the short documentary Born into Struggle for Uhuru Pictures.

2005 saw Robert Hobbs cast as a supporting lead character in the BBC's mini series, To the Ends of the Earth, opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. To the Ends of the Earth was nominated for 6 British Film and Television Awards (BAFTA's) including Best Drama Serial and won the Satellite Award for Best Mini Series.

Then, Krakatoa: The Last Days for the BBC/ Discovery went on to garner a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination in the US as well as a BAFTA nomination for best Visual Effects.

In 2006, Robert Hobbs joined the cast of Catch a Fire directed by Phillip Noyce for Focus/ Universal starring opposite Oscar winner Tim Robbins. This film established Robert Hobbs as a global actor and led to high profile interest in his career.

2007 saw Robert Hobbs complete a starring role in the South African blockbuster Jerusalema, for director Ralph Ziman. The film altered the local South African landscape both critically and at the box office. It won the prestigious Audience Award at the Durban International Film Festival 2008. In 2009 it was elevated to the International Watch List of films. Jerusalema generated near saturation coverage in the South African press and media. Barry Ronge, South Africa's premier film critic, wrote of Hobbs' performance that "he is shown to be a man of principle who really cares about the truth".

2009 saw Hobbs cast in director Neil Blomkamp's District 9. It was nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Following this Robert Hobbs was cast as a guest star in the HBO hit series Strike Back. He also voiced a lead part in the South African animated film Jock 3D.

2010 also saw Hobbs achieved a major personal milestone when he was cast by Clint Eastwood in Invictus, opposite Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. As a child, it was Mr. Eastwood's gritty westerns screened on a shaky projector that had inspired him to take up acting. Invictus received an Oscar nomination for Mr. Freeman's performance as Nelson Mandela.

2012 saw him back on the screen opposite Denzel Washington, Vera Farmiga and Ryan Reynolds in Safe House, which went on to box office success globally.

Robert Hobbs continued his quest to work on films that not only make a difference but which honor great heroes when he signed on to Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom. Cast as the Chief Warden of Robben Island, he starred opposite Idris Elba and Naomie Harris for director Justin Chadwick. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom premiered at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom won a 2014 Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

He also achieved another milestone when he appeared opposite William Hurt in the BBC 2 / Discovery television film, 73 Seconds: The Challenger Disaster, which combined his passion for science and one of his favorite actors.

2013 saw him sign on to Young Ones opposite Michael Shannon and Nicholas Hoult, for director Jake Paltrow. Young Ones premiered at Sundance 2014.He also featured opposite Mads Mikkelsen in Kristian Levring's Danish Western The Salvation for Zentropa Films. This film is slated for a late 2014 release.

Also completed in 2014 was Chappie, directed by Neil Blomkamp.

Robert Hobbs lives between Johannesburg, South Africa and Los Angeles, USA.

Charles MacArthur

"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers out there are starving!" When Patrick Dennis's fictional Auntie Mame uttered this pithy observation, she could have been speaking of Charles MacArthur. Charlie never shied away from the feast, and he certainly never went hungry. Arriving in November 1895 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Charlie was the second youngest of seven children born to stern evangelist William Telfer MacArthur and Georgiana Welsted MacArthur. His early life was dominated by his father's ministry, leading the family to travel cross country wherever the elder MacArthur's calling took them. Charlie spent much of his time during those years hiding in the bathroom -- the only place offering even a modicum of privacy for a member of such a large family -- reading virtually anything he could get his hands on. He developed a passion for the written word that would last him to his dying day. Resisting Reverend MacArthur's insistent urging that his son follow him into the ministry, young Charlie left the family's rural New York home soon after finishing high school. Heading off to the Midwest, he took a reporter's job at The Oak Leaves, a suburban Chicago newspaper owned by two of his older brothers and run by his older sister. His first professional taste of crafting something for others to read whetted his appetite for even more. Intently determined to pursue a calling which for him was as strong as the calling his father had heard, Charlie went to the City News Bureau of Chicago as the first step in his journey toward life as a journalist. Though only 19, the irreverent sense of humor and dislike for mindless authoritarianism for which he would later be so well known was already quite evident in the application he filled out for the job. In the space entitled "Tell us in exactly seventy-five words why you wish to become a reporter," Charlie wrote: "I want to become a reporter more because I like the work than for any other reason. I feel that even if I should branch off in another profession, the experience obtained in getting up on your toes after news would be valuable. These are my reasons. More words would be useless." The excitement of working in brash and brawling pre-1920s Chicago didn't quite satisfy Charlie's hunger for something more, however, and he soon hooked up with General "Black Jack" Pershing, galloping off to Mexico to join in the hunt for the infamous Pancho Villa. When World War I broke out, Charlie joined the Army's 149th Field Artillery, part of the Rainbow Division. During his time in France, he and his battery mate shot down a German plane with nothing more than a machine gun. Later in the war, Charlie sustained a mild shrapnel wound. In 1919 he penned his only book, A Bug's Eye View of the War (later republished in 1929 by Harper Collins as War Bugs) about his unit's adventures and misadventures during some of the most brutal and bloodiest fighting in history. Returning to Chicago just in time for Prohibition, the Roaring 20s, and Al Capone, Charlie became one of Chicago's most well-known and widely read reporters. He authored some of the most enduring pieces ever printed in the pages of the Chicago Tribune and Daily News. His style was inventive, charming, and witty. Readers couldn't get enough. Once, when writing about a dentist accused of sexually molesting his female patients, Charlie chose the headline "Dentist Fills Wrong Cavity". He also wrote several short stories, two of which, "Hang It All" (1921) and "Rope" (1923), were published in H.L. Mencken's The Smart Set magazine. His star continued to rise, and he eventually headed off to the greener pastures of New York City. Once settled in the Big Apple, he began to shift his efforts toward playwrighting. His first true Broadway success was in 1926 with the play "Lulu Belle", written in collaboration with Edward Sheldon. It would later be remade into a 1948 movie starring Dorothy Lamour and George Montgomery. His next play, "Salvation", written in collaboration with Sidney Howard, enjoyed a moderate Broadway run. During the summer of 1927, Charlie and long-time friend and collaborator, Ben Hecht, rented the premises of the Nyack Girl's Academy as a haven from which they could create their own special brand of playwrighting. Helen Hayes (the future Mrs. Charles MacArthur) would tell friends of times when she or Rose Hecht would visit to bring in food or other supplies for their men, and the building would be positively filled with shouts of laughter and merriment. The result of this seclusion was the 1928 Broadway debut of "The Front Page". The phenomenal stage success of "The Front Page" prompted Charlie to head to Hollywood and screenplay work. Having already developed such works as The Girl Said No, Billy the Kid and The Unholy Garden, he hit the jackpot in 1931, first with the movie version of The Front Page (again collaborating with Ben Hecht), which won Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Lewis Milestone), and Best Actor (Adolphe Menjou), and then, with the release of The Sin of Madelon Claudet, which netted a 1932 Best Actress Oscar for its star, Helen Hayes. The film also won awards at that year's Venice Film Festival for both its leading lady and its director, Edgar Selwyn. Charlie's screenplay for Rasputin and the Empress, the only movie ever to feature siblings John Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and Lionel Barrymore together in the same film, gained him his own first Academy Award nomination (in 1934, for Best Original Story). Even though their efforts had turned mostly to filmmaking by this point, it was also during this period that Hecht and MacArthur produced their second smash theatrical effort, "Twentieth Century", which debuted on Broadway in December 1932, and was later made into the well-received 1934 movie starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. Unhappy with the machinations of Hollywood's fledgling film industry, however, MacArthur and Hecht decided to set up their own shop in Astoria, New York, producing, writing, directing, and even making uncredited onscreen appearances in a series of films such as The Scoundrel (poking fun at themselves by playing downtrodden patrons of a charity flop house) and Crime Without Passion (in which they portrayed -- what else? -- newspaper reporters). Their work earned much critical acclaim, culminating in the 1936 Best Writing (Original Story) Academy Award for The Scoundrel. Their 1939 collaboration to turn Rudyard Kipling's epic poem into the movie Gunga Din, starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., was recognized in 1999 by the National Film Registry, and their adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights garnered the two yet another Academy Award Best Writing (Screenplay) nomination in 1940. That year also saw the remake of "The Front Page" into the popular movie, His Girl Friday, starring Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant. The advent of World War II prompted Charlie to interrupt his writing career and sign on in his country's service once again. He began his second stint of service years as a Major in the Chemical Warfare Service, returning home at the war's conclusion a Lt. Colonel. By now, the father of two children, Mary and James MacArthur, and husband to "The First Lady of the American Theatre", Charlie had amassed a considerable amount of fame in his own right, yet was still looking for something different. Resuming his theatrical and film work, he also took on the duties of editing and publishing the foundering Theatre World magazine, but left after little more than a year, dissatisfied with the politics and constraints of working in a corporate atmosphere. The tragic loss of his 19-year-old daughter to polio in 1949 was a blow from which Charlie would never quite recover. Though he continued to work on screenplays and movie scripts up until his death in 1956, some of which enjoyed a modicum of success, he would never again completely recapture the freewheeling enthusiasm of his earlier days. When his son grew old enough to begin considering a career of his own, his father advised, "Do anything you like, son, but never become a playwright. It's a death worse than fate!" Charles MacArthur left behind a lasting imprint upon both those who knew him personally and those who knew him only through his published works. Supremely disdainful of anything even remotely false or affected, Charlie nevertheless did follow the path his father wished him to take, albeit in his own inimical fashion. His words carried a truth and sincerity few writers have been able to achieve. His unique mix of subtle irony, gentle sarcasm, and poignant pathos reached as deeply into his audience at least as well as any fiery sermon from a pulpit ever could. As Ben Hecht said in the eulogy he delivered at his friend's memorial service (and later expanded upon in his 1957 book, "Charlie: The Improbable Life and Times of Charles MacArthur"), "Charlie was more than a man of talent. He was himself a great piece of writing. His gaiety, wildness and kindness, his love for his bride Helen, and his two children, and for his clan of brothers and sisters -- his wit and his adventures will live a long, long while".

Kymberly Harris

An award winning actor, writer and director Kymberly Harris began performing at a young age in her hometown of Bloomington-Normal, IL.

After graduating from Knox College (BA French) , Kymberly moved to Chicago where she worked extensively in theatre, including originating The roles of Holly and Patricia opposite Tracy Letts in Eric Simonson's Bang the Drum Slowly, and work opposite Michael Shannon and Jamie Denton in plays at Griffin Theatre.

Kymberly moved back to Bloomington to pursue her master's degree in theatre at Illinois State University where she was mentored by Alvin Goldfarb and Jean Scharfenburg, and lived with her boyfriend the late David Foster Wallace. Kymberly was then accepted into the Actors Studio Drama School where she received a double MFA in acting and playwriting, mentored by Arthur Penn, Ellen Burstyn, Susan Batson, Romulus Linney, and many other master teachers.

While in NYC Kymberly acted in plays at Labyrinth, the Public Theatre, Circle in the Square, Cherry Lane, LA Mamma, The McCarter Theater. Her original plays have been produced Off-Broadway where Bumping Umbrellas ran for a year directed by Kate Marks at Don't Tell Mama and the 42nd Street Theatre.

Kymberly founded Fresh Bread Productions, a 501(c)(3) non-profit company that produces theatre and film to reflect and affect social consciousness. Fresh Bread has received grants from Bravo Television, Illinois Art Council, State Farm, The Harmon Grant, and Cablevision. NYC Fresh Bread Productions credits include Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley at The Producers Club, and Rant directed by Peggy Davis at the Public Theatre, The Cherry Lane Theatre, which benefited Safe Horizon Battered Women Shelters. Fresh Bread Productions is produced the film Using with Phenom Features, which will benefit Salvation Army Safe Harbour Shelters, for which proceeds from Kymberly Harris' play Roses Turn went last summer, as well as Teen Challenge furthering their cause of raising awareness to the epidemic of teen addiction and recovery.

After moving back to Bloomington-Normal to raise her son, actor Ethan Harris Riggs (Velocity), Kymberly founded TheatresCool. She began TheatresCool inspired by her son and to teach kids to write and perform their original plays. She wanted to introduce the art of method acting that she had learned at the Actors Studio because there was nothing like it in the area. Interested students ranged from kids to pre-teens and eventually to teens and adults. TheatresCool became an artistic home celebrating diversity, self-expression and professionalism in Central Illinois. The students of TheatresCool have been learning the important truths of what it means to be an actor. Students who have studied with Kymberly have had the opportunities to work for companies like CBS, Seventeen Magazine, Nickelodeon, Mitsubishi, FOX, TNT, and attend colleges like NYU and Northwestern. Her students appear in a wide variety of commercials, independent films and TV shows.

Now living in Los Angeles, Kymberly is pursuing her own acting, writing, and directing career, and founded the production company Firsthand Films. She continues to teach acting Privately and at The Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute. Kymberly is a member of Rogue Machine Theatre and Skylight Theatre.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last leader of the Soviet Communist Party who initiated changes known as 'perestroika' and 'glasnost' which melted the rigid Soviet system and liberated 15 republics of the Soviet Union to become independent states, thus ending the existence of the USSR in December 1991.

He was born Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev into a peasant family on March 2, 1931, in the village of Privolnoe, Stavropol province, Southern Russia. His father, named Sergei Gorbachev, was a tractor driver. His mother, named Maria Panteleyeva, was a peasant. His grandparents were deported and sentenced for nine years under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, for their success in becoming richer independent farmers known as kulaks. Young Gorbachev witnessed the destruction of traditional farming and degradation of villages, that caused massive exodus of people from their land and to gloomy industrial Soviet cities, where they were doomed to become brainwashed by propaganda and live in small flats under restricting political and economic conditions for the rest of their lives. During the Second World War Gorbachev survived the Nazi occupation of his land in Stavropol province in 1942-1943. After the war, Gorbachev chose to remain on his land, although it was now taken by the Communist Government, the ranks of which he would penetrate later. Gorbachev privately described his life and work on a Soviet collective farm as serfdom.

In 1947 Gorbachev shot to fame at the age of 16, after helping his father, a combine harvester operator, to harvest a record crop on a collective farm. For this achievement he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and was promoted to the Communist Party at the age of 21. From 1950 - 1955 he studied law on a State scholarship at Moscow State University. There he met his future wife, Raisa Maksimovna Gorbacheva (nee Titarenko), they married in September 1953, and their daughter, Irina, was born in January 1957. After a brief stint as a Government Lawyer in Stavropol, Gorbachev made a career as a ranking leader of Komsomol (Union of Young Communists), then as a Communist Party leader of Stavropol province, climbing to the ranks as Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. At that time Gorbachev made his first travels outside of the Soviet Union. While the Soviet leaders were manipulating their own people into submission through fear and control, the West Europeans enjoyed freedom and prosperity that attracted East Germans and other Soviet satellites. Gorbachev learned his first lesson on his tour in East Germany, witnessing their rapid recovery after the Second World War. At the same time, in 1956, Yuri Andropov and Georgi Zhukov led the attack on Hungarian Revolution, and killed thousands of Hungarians who opposed the Soviet-imposed regime. Then Soviet leadership made more aggressive international actions by spreading military support to pro-communist regimes across the world and also by building the Berlin Wall and enforcing Soviet military and political domination in Eastern Europe. These Soviet actions alienated Europeans.

Open political discussions in the Soviet Union were not allowed under threat of prosecution, freedom of speech was never guaranteed, all media was owned and controlled by the Soviet government and independent activity was suppressed, and only some fragmented information was made available to ranking provincial communists, such as Gorbachev. In 1961 he attended the important 22nd Congress of the Communist Party in Moscow, where Nikita Khrushchev announced his Utopian plan to surpass the USA per capita income in 20 years. At the same 22nd Congress, upon Khrushchev's instruction, Gorbachev, among other top communists received a copy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's anti-Stalin publication "One day of Ivan Denisovich" which criticized the brutality of Gulag prison-camps and the Soviet regime in general. That gave Gorbachev and some other young communists a hope that Khrushchev may change the brutal Soviet regime. However, in 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was arrested and dismissed by pro-Stalin group led by Leonid Brezhnev who eventually established a remake of Stalinism for the next 18 years, albeit in a more grotesque and senile version of Soviet regime. Then Brezhnev's regime crushed the Prague Spring of 1968, fought the Chinese Army over a border dispute in 1969, sent Soviet Tanks and Air Force to Egypt and Syria against Israel in the 1970s, as well as in North Vietnam against the French and Americans. At that time Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa Maksimovna, were allowed to travel to the Western Europe and see the difference between reality in European countries and its distorted depiction by the Soviet propaganda. In 1972 he headed the Soviet official delegation to Belgium, then, in 1974 was made Member of the Supreme Soviet in charge of the Commission on Youth Affairs. During the 1970s Gorbachev enjoyed a highly privileged life of a ranking communist, having many perks such as a villa in a suburb of Moscow, a special limo with a chauffeur and guards, and regular luxurious vacations in Italy and in the South of France, all at the expense of the Communist Party. However, this allowed him to see the striking difference between the quality of life in the Western Europe and gloomy survival of masses in the Soviet Union.

Gorbachev witnessed that people were living hopeless lives having no choice. Workers of collective farms lived without identification documents up until the 1970s. Undocumented citizens at collective farms were disposable. Migrants were used as industrial slaves, for symbolic pay. Wages were set by the state and did not depend on productivity or quality. The economy was governed by the state 5-year plan. This mostly ignored the world and domestic market signals; and lacked the incentives for innovation and efficiency. Teachers were forced to indoctrinate children of all ages from kindergartens through schools and universities. Total control and manipulation was demonstrated twice a year at annual May Day parades and Great Revolution parades on November 7. Military parades were accompanied by marching masses of industrial workers and managers, doctors and scientists, as well as teachers and students from all schools and universities. Exemplary obedient people were rewarded with better food and perks. Taming millions to obedience by fear and hunger led to a massive degradation of human rights, poor spirituality, lack of initiative and creativity, and the decay of public health and vitality. The country of almost three hundred million people was stuck in stagnation, inefficiency, and apathy. Brighter students were taken into the military-industrial system, brainwashed and locked there for life with little choices. Opponents were locked in the "Gulag" prison-camps, mostly in Siberia. There, millions were working various hard labor jobs in grand-scale economic projects; like the Baikal-Amur railroad (BAM). Since the Communist Revolution of 1917, people had been continually stripped of their land and property. Under Khrushchev and Brezhnev the destruction of independent farming was finalized. By the 1960s and 1970s massive poverty and anxiety pushed millions to migrate to cities. Mass-construction of cheap panel buildings was lagging behind. Millions of families shared poor housing, hostels, and dorms in cities. Villages were deserted. Collective farms decayed. Agricultural output fell below the levels of the Tsar's age. Tens of thousands of churches and monasteries were destroyed across the Soviet Union, and many churches were replaced by offices and halls of the Communist party. Spiritual life was dominated by ugly propaganda. People were blinded by fear and pushed to wrong values. Meaningful human virtues were replaced with fake ideals of ruthless Soviet communism. Propaganda idolized members of the Soviet Politburo, their portraits were decorating every school and factory along with countless portraits and statues of the first Soviet leader V.I. Lenin.

In November 1979 Gorbachev was promoted Candidate Member of the Politburo, then less than a year later, he was made Full Member of Politbureau, the highest rank in the Communist Party which gave him unlimited direct access to Brezhnev and Andropov. The latter also promoted Gorbachev to sub for him at several Politburo meetings, and gave him a huge power in decision-making. Gorbachev developed a personal friendship with another Politburo member, Eduard Shevardnadze, and the two were vacationing together at the prestigious Black sea resort of Pitsunda. At that time the invasion of Afghanistan, ordered by senile Brezhnev in 1979, seriously undermined international credibility of the Soviet Union. Andrei Sakharov wrote an open letter to Brezhnev calling for a stop to the war. 50 nations boycotted the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Crackdown on intellectual freedom and human rights included the use of psychiatric terror, arrests, and the exile of dissidents. The head of the KGB Yuri Andropov declared Andrei Sakharov the "enemy No. 1." Sakharov was forcefully exiled from Moscow to the militarized 'closed' city of Gorky. He was placed under tight surveillance and restricted from any contacts. His wife was also under tight surveillance. By his 70th birthday Brezhnev's health declined dramatically; but he made himself a Generalissimus Marshal of the Soviet Union, similar to that of Joseph Stalin. Brezhnev accepted over 200 decorations and awards, including awards from all pro-Soviet governments, except China. Brezhnev accepted countless expensive gifts and amassed a collection of vintage cars and other bribes. His personal vanity and behavior was replicated at all levels of the Communist Party and led to massive corruption. The old Brezhnev lost his acting abilities and couldn't even read the script. Massive disillusionment was reflected in cynical jokes about the Soviet life. The ugly reality in the Soviet Union was reflected in its senile leader. Gorbachev saw that outdated economic and political system in the Soviet Union was doomed, but propaganda was still brainwashing the minds of millions, because it was controlled by the privileged few top communists who lived in denial of the big reality.

The youngest Politburo Member, Mikhail Gorbachev, was contemplating reforms. Leonid Brezhnev died on November 10, 1982, and was succeeded by Yuri Andropov who died just 16 months later. He was replaced by Konstantin Chernenko, who died in just 13 months. In 1983 Politbureau member Rashidov committed suicide, then, in 1984 the powerful Defence Minister Ustinov died. While the Soviet Union was in a dying mode, the real world was rapidly growing into computer age that reshaped global community. The rigid Soviet System was incompatible with the constantly innovating world. USSR failed to respond to rapidly changing reality and alienated forward-thinking people even in the pro-Soviet countries. During the early 1980s Soviet Politbureau was torn between two viciously fighting groups of Communists, one was made of the old hard-liners led by Andrei Gromyko, the apprentice of Joseph Stalin. The other, pro-democracy group, was made of the forward-thinking members of the Politbureau who chose Gorbachev as their leader along with Aleksandr Yakovlev who was the brain behind Gorbachev's moves. With Gorbachev's support Yakovlev managed to change all hard-liners in the Soviet media and propaganda system. In March 1985 Gorbachev was made the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, becoming the first Soviet leader to have been born after the disastrous Russian Revolution of 1917. He announced reforms called 'perestroika' (aka.. restructuring) and 'glasnost' (aka.. opening up), and lifted the walls of propaganda and denial. However, Gorbachev's first reform on regulations related to manufacturing and trade of alcohol became an economic disaster, causing a serious economic damage to the Soviet Union's State budget with annual losses exceeding tens of billions of dollars. Although his reforms were supported by public, many communist hard-liners openly opposed Gorbachev. Eventually, by the late 1980s Gorbachev's push for economic liberalization resulted in emergence of co-operatives and other forms of independent businesses, making the movement to freedom irreversible.

In December of 1986, Gorbachev personally contacted Andrei Sakharov in his exile. Gorbachev ordered that the KGB should release Sakharov and return him to Moscow. Back in Moscow Sakharov continued his work as a humanitarian. A few months before his death, he was elected as a representative of the Academy of Sciences to the Supreme Soviet in 1989. Sakharov showed to the World what an independent thinker can do by going to the extremes of science. He invented a bomb that could bring the most horrible extermination of life, and then took a stand to ban his own invention for the salvation of planet Earth. Gorbachev had important meetings with Ronald Reagan culminating in their summit in Reikjavik, Iceland, and leading to a more stable political and military situation in the world, that resulted in reunification of Germany and the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989. At that time the Soviet hard-liners criticized Gorbachev's international moves, saying that he was not a leader, but rather a follower of Ronald Reagan's instruction: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall" when the state of world affairs did not allow Gorbachev to disobey without a risk of losing his face. He also followed recommendations by Margaret Thatcher on opening the "Iron Curtain" to allow the Russian people to see the world and learn about the diverse international reality and travel freely on their own. A first, Gorbachev skillfully used hidden buttons within the rigid structure of the Soviet power tainted by the long tradition of obedience, fear and intimidation, which was installed by dictator Joseph Stalin within the ranks of Communist bureaucracy. That fear of the man in Kremlin served Gorbachev's plans well, as he managed to overcome the resistance of hard liners in ending the ruling powers of the Communist Party. Soon Gorbachev began giving away many power buttons in Moscow, which allowed his rivals to gain strength and independently form opposition groups. Andrei Gromyko, the last living member of Joseph Stalin's old Politbureau, had criticized Gorbachev's methods as "weak leadership" and also said "He (Gorbachev) is unfit for the Hat" (where the Hat means Kremlin, or an allusion to the Tsar's crown of power). Such criticism was ignored by most of the younger members of the Communist Politbureau and Central Committee, because weak central leadership allowed provincial bosses to privatize state property at a fraction of its real value.

Gorbachev replaced his hard-line critic Andrei Gromyko with Eduard Shevardnadze as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, and both Gorbachev and Shevardnadze pushed for international détente and withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan. In another effort to add weight to his gradually eroding power, in March of 1990 Gorbachev updated his official title by adding a newly created post as President of the Soviet Union, albeit he was not really a democratically elected president. He surrounded himself with the political council of 15 top politicians, but he was lacking the grass-roots connections with masses and mid-level bureaucracy across the country. At that time Gorbachev began to experience powerlessness in his efforts to change the gigantic Soviet system, he was known for expressing his powerlessness by using profanities and anger at his meetings with the ranks of Soviet Government and industrial leaders. Gorbachev was facing an impossible task of modernizing the brittle structure of the Soviet Communism, especially the massive and inefficient Soviet military-industrial complex where opposition to reforms was the most organized, and inefficiency was dissembled as a military secret, like a catch-22, thus making it unreformable. Gorbachev himself was still perceived as the Secretary General of the Soviet Communist Party, and that stigma became the weakest part of his image in the eyes of many open-minded and quickly learning people in the Soviet Union. His effort to gain political weight by adding a figure of Vice-President of the Soviet Union had failed and soon backfired. Gorbachev's fatal mistake was letting the Members of Politbureau to chose the Vice-President of the Soviet Union behind closed doors in Kremlin; the "chosen" one was a career communist Gennadi Yanayev who would very soon betray Gorbachev during the coup.

Eventually Gorbachev became overshadowed by a much stronger figure of Boris Yeltsin, who gained more popular support by pushing further economic and political reforms, and also criticized Gorbachev's manner of restructuring of the Soviet system as slow, indecisive and inefficient. The rivalry between two former Communist comrades ended in the August 1991 coup, when still powerful KGB and Soviet Army leaders tried to take the power away from both Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Their coup failed just a couple days later, after the entire country watched Gennady Yanayev and his coup members on TV. "Let me say that Mikhail Gorbachev is now on vacation. He is undergoing treatment, himself, in our country. He is very tired after all these years and he will need time to get better." said Gennadi Yanayev before the cameras, and his hands were visibly trembling from fear. Gorbachev's disappearance during the coup was also seen as his grave weakness. Boris Yeltsin disposed his Communist ID card in front of the cameras and publicly denounced Gorbachev. Then all ranks of communists deserted the Communist Party in a massive exodus, and that was the end of the Soviet Union. All regional leaders were anxious to rule as presidents of their own independent states, and Yeltsin was already elected the president of Russia, the biggest part of the Soviet Union. Yeltsin met with the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus and they made a treaty as independent states. By the end of December 1991 the Soviet Union became obsolete and Gorbachev retired after a formal signing of dissolution of the USSR.

Mikhail Gorbachev is still regarded in the Western world for his input in ending the Cold War and helping the reunification of Germany. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (1990) and received numerous international awards, decorations and privileges, such as the Honorary German Citizenship. However, in Russia Gorbachev's political standing failed to gain any substantial public support. He received less than 1% of popular vote in the 1996 presidential elections in Russia, when his former rival Boris Yeltsin was elected for his second presidential term. In 2001 Gorbachev founded the Social Democratic Party of Russia, but later, in 2003, he had resigned from the party leadership and stayed away from most of the current Russian political forces and media. In contrast to Gorbachev's popularity all over the world, he fell in obscurity in Russia, largely because in the new era of the wild Russian capitalism his outdated views and experience became obsolete. Instead he turned to business of giving lecture tours and speeches internationally and selling photo-ops with him for money that goes to humanitarian causes; he also sold his name and image to commercials such as the Pizza Hut and other businesses. He has been running the business of the Gorbachev Foundation, which handles his international appearances, while keeping a low profile in the current political life of Russia. In 2005 he was awarded the Point Alpha Prize for his role in re-unification of Germany. In 2006 Gorbachev underwent a carotid artery surgery in Munich, Germany.

He currently resides in Moscow, Russia.

Carlos Lopez Jr.

Carlos Lopez Jr., served 37 months in combat with the 1st Cavalry, 82nd Airborne, 101st, 451st CA Bn. After growing up in the South Sacramento area and witnessing many of his friends fall victims to Gang life violence and incarcerations. He found peace and salvation at The River Stage Theater department in Sacramento, CA, where he studied Theater Arts. In 2010 he stared in his first Theater project called, "True Life Stories."

Jermaine Washington

Jermaine's acting career started by accident when he took a friend to a local extra casting call. At first, Jermaine was not interested in the casting call, but a producer persuaded him to try out. After a few more extras casting calls and attending an acting workshop, the acting bug bit him.

He contacted Shari Rhodes, a local New Mexico and Texas casting director, for personal coaching in acting. Instead, she encouraged him to audition for a supporting role in the movie Urban Justice starring Steven Segal and Eddie Griffin. He was booked for the role, since then he has been on various movies and television series. He has had the privilege to work in such movies as Felon, Ring of Death, In Plain Sight, Terminator Salvation, Gamer, The Book of Eli, and Thor.

Jermaine continues to pursue an acting career with enthusiasm as well as opportunities to work in stunts.

Julius Erving

One of the NBA's first superstars Julius Erving's high flying hard powered style brought the NBA and basketball to levels previously unheard of. Julius Erving was born in Hempstead New York in 1950. He grew up in a housing project, the son of a single mother, with two siblings. His father having left when he was three his mother remarried, and they moved to nearby Roosevelt, New York. His mother wanted his children to have a better life, and she realized that basketball might be a way out for his young son. Before going to high school Erving averaged 11 points a game with his Salvation Army team. At Roosevelt High school he began to flourish, competing in statewide tournaments, getting named on many occasions to various all Long Island teams, and receiving other different awards. Erving averages 26 points and 20 rebounds, one of the few players in NCAA History to average 20 of both statistics. In a time when few players left college early to join the Pros Julius Erving did just that. He signed with the ABA's Virginia Squires, a league which was not opposed to players entering professional basketball early. He signed with the Atlanta Hawks in 1973, but legal entanglements prevented him from playing with the team, as well as the Milwaukee Bucks, which also drafted him. By this time the ABA was talking about a merger with the NBA, but Oscar Robertson's player union was preventing this from taking place. The ABA was taking a lot of top flight players from college who would have had excellent careers in the NBA, as well as taking current NBA players and placing them on ABA rosters. For a time it seemed as though the NBA would submerge in favor of the ABA. However extremely lackluster ABA markets, unstable ownership, too many team moves, and lackluster ABA markets proved too much for the league. After starting with the Squires, Erving was traded to the Nets. He became an incredible scorer, an incredible talent, and considered to possibly be the most explosive basketball players period, he won a few championships, scoring titles, and was one of the all around best players in basketball. By 1976 the ABA was no longer a significant force, teams collapsed, owners and players were both disgruntled, and the ABA didn't have any significant talent to market, except for Dr. J. What is not clear is how he got his nickname, but it is thought that as a doctor he would cure anyone who thought they could take him on. It was a nickname he had since college. In a contractual dispute with his team he was bought by the Philadelphia, for a then record then 3 million. Erving had been a basketball icon for years, with his Afro, his intense style, and his in your face on the court manor. It played very well with his fans, and would become a staple in Philadelphia, joining a high flying spectacular team of Darryl Dawkins, Lloyd B. Free, and others. The team went to a 50-32 record, the undoubted leader of his team. However the spectacular team yet again fell to fundamentals. Erving advanced his team to the finals, winning the first two. Erving and his teammates has said the series was over before they started. However their opponents the Portland Trailblazers, led by Bill Walton. Walton led his team to four straight finals victories to win the teams first ever finals. For the next two years the Sixers became a fun team to watch, and they would go deep into the playoffs routinely, but they never could win. By 1979 the NBA was in crisis, ratings, and attendance were down. The NBA was perceived to be too black, too into drugs, and disco, and was viewed as too much for one part of society, no doubt a result of bigotry, as a large percentage of players in the NBA were black. But that year would be a watershed year for the NBA. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson entered, and Erving changed his image. He cut of his afro, made his image a little more clean, took the in your face element out of his game, but remained none-the-less spectacular. While he was a player with a lot of flair a lot of observers said his game was not nearly as flaring as it was in the ABA. But in 1980 Erving would rekindle an old rivalry, and start a new one. The old one came against arch-rival Boston, led by Larry Bird. That was a crucial match-up as both players were the undoubted leaders of their teams, and both were small forwards. But the Sixers were revamped as well, a little less spectacle, and a little more fundamental. This was obvious in new point guard Maurice Cheeks and defensive minded six man Bobby Jones. While the team beat Boston, they were no match for the Mgic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes, and the L.A. Lakers in the finals losing in six. Next year Philadelphia had the best record in the NBA, split with Boston. L.A. suffered that year and was eliminated in the first round, so everyone knew that Philadelphia and Boston would meet in the Conference finals, and more than likely would win the finals. The matchup was one of the classics. Philadelphia was now a much more fundamental team, while the Celtics were now revamped with new big men Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. In the Boston Garden the series was split in the first two games. The next two in Philadelphia's Spectrum Philly won. Boston won the next one in the Garden, then the next one in the Spectrum, the margins in most of these games were as low as 1 and as high as 3, Philadelphia in many of the game blowing leads. In Game 7 in Boston Garden it happened again. Philadelphia was up by as many as eleven, but in a very physical fourth quarter a Larry Bird field goal, the only field goal in the last two minutes stopped the Sixers yet again. The next year a hotly contested series with Boston went the Sixers way in seven but yet again they lost to the Lakers n the finals. In 1982 the Sixers realized they had a minor problem: they had great offense, and fair defense, a defense that really could not compete with the elite teams. The Sixers signed Moses Malone, getting rid of power forward Caldwell Jones to Houston. This team, led by Erving and Malone with a supporting cast of Andrew Toney, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Mark Iavaroni, and an excellent bench, the team exploded and was considered one of the ten best ever. Moses Malone was MVP, Erving All Star MVP, both All NBA First Team, Bobby Jones was Sixth Man of the Year, leading the team to a 65-17 record. It was an NBA crowning achievement, proving to be the pride of Philadelphia, giving it's basketball team an elusive championship. But success proved fleeting for the Sixers. Next year the injured and aging Sixers lost in five in the first round to the upstart New Jersey Nets. While it was a sad way to go out it was obvious the Sixers especially Erving was older and not what he used to be. Despite that the team the next year would play the now stellar Boston Celtics in the conference finals, and lose in five. Afterward the Sixers never got to the conference finals again with Erving, despite acquiring emerging superstar, and legend Charles Barkley. He retired in 1987, a true legend in basketball, and in Philadelphia. He was considered an unofficial ambassador to the game, and also an avid philanthropist, helping the game reach heights of popularity never before seen. Since then Erving is on the board of directors of Coca Cola, a broadcaster for a short time, and always a legend who advertises and promotes the game.

Dmitri Schuyler-Linch

Dmitri began acting at the age of four, performing primarily in commercials. The one exception was a small role in the short film "Livewire" because he knew someone starring in it, the producer saw him, and thought he'd be perfect for the role. When he was seven, he made his feature film debut in the movie "Step Brothers" with Will Ferrell, Adam Scott and John C. Reilly. The part was a small one, but it was a particularly touching scene. Since then he's had leads in a few short films, all of which went to film festivals. "A Border Story" was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, and in "Salvation Road" he played, at the age of nine, a boy unloved by his stepmother, and brutally beaten by his father. He has a chance meeting with an assassin with a conscious and well, I'll leave it at that! Most recently he's co-starred in the feature film "Jessica's Journey", and the TV movie "Christmas Twister". He was seen in a smaller supporting, but adorable and energetic role in the TV movie Rock The House starring Jack Coleman, Cassi Thomson and Andy Milder. On the small screen he's acted in Suburgatory, Eagleheart, Parks and Recreation, NCIS, And Disney's Tasty Time with ZeFronk. Very soon you'll be able to catch him on Nickelodeon's, "Wendell and Vinnie" starring Jerry Trainor.

Dmitri loves being an actor, but is now branching out. He recently wrote, directed and co-starred in his first ten minute short film titled "The Hunt for Shadowman". It was a lot of hard work, and ambitious since it was an action film--and was done on a shoe-string budget. He learned a lot about camera angles, choreography, working with kids AND animals, lighting, and the importance of keeping to a schedule. He also contributed to the editing process, and found out how much post-production sound contributes to the mood of a project.

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