Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas

(born Issur Danielovitch; December 9, 1916) is an American actor, producer, director, and author.
After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s, known for serious dramas, including westerns and war movies. During a sixty-year acting career, he has appeared in over 90 movies, and in 1960 was responsible for helping to end the Hollywood blacklist.

In 1949, after a lead role as an unscrupulous boxing hero in Champion,
for which he was nominated as Best Actor, Douglas became a star.
His style of acting relied on expressing great concentration, realism,
and powerful emotions, and he subsequently gravitated toward roles requiring strong characters.

Among his early films were Young Man with a Horn, playing opposite Lauren Bacall (1950),
Billy Wilder's controversial Ace in the Hole (1951), and Detective Story (1951).
He received a second Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952),
where he played opposite Lana Turner. And his powerful acting as Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life (1956)
is considered one of his finest roles. He is one of the last living actors from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

In 1955, he established Bryna Productions, which began producing films as varied
as Paths of Glory (1957) and Spartacus (1960). In those two films, he starred and
collaborated with then relatively unknown director, Stanley Kubrick. He produced
and starred in Lonely Are the Brave (1962), considered a cult classic,
and Seven Days in May (1964), opposite Burt Lancaster, with whom he made seven films.

In 1963, he starred in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,
a story he purchased, which he later gave to his son Michael Douglas,
who turned it into an Oscar-winning film.

As an actor and philanthropist, Douglas has received three Academy Award nominations,
an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Medal of Freedom. As an author,
he has written ten novels and memoirs. Currently, he is No. 17 on the
American Film Institute's list of the greatest male screen legends of
classic Hollywood cinema, and the highest-ranked living person on the list.

After barely surviving a helicopter crash in 1991 and
then suffering a stroke in 1996, he has focused on renewing his
spiritual and religious life. He lives with producer
Anne Buydens, his wife of over 60 years.

Source: Wikipedia

Friday, November 20, 2015

Elvis

Elvis Aaron Presley

(January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King".

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi as a twinless twin, and when he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was an early popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who managed the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. He was regarded as the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.

In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. In 1958, he was drafted into military service. He resumed his recording career two years later, producing some of his most commercially successful work before devoting much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and their accompanying soundtrack albums, most of which were critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed televised comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours. In 1973, Presley was featured in the first globally broadcast concert via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. Several years of prescription drug abuse severely damaged his health, and he died in 1977 at the age of 42.

Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, with estimated record sales of around 600 million units worldwide.He won three Grammys, also receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.

Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Clint Eastwood

Clinton "Clint" Eastwood Jr.

(born May 31, 1930) is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and political figure. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s, and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made him an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.

For his work in the Western film Unforgiven (1992) and the sports drama Million Dollar Baby (2004), Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best Director and Producer of the Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations for Best Actor. His greatest commercial successes have been the adventure comedy Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and its sequel, the action comedy Any Which Way You Can (1980), after adjustment for inflation.[5] Other popular films include the Western Hang 'Em High (1968), the psychological thriller Play Misty for Me (1971), the crime film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), the Western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), the prison film Escape from Alcatraz (1979), the action film Firefox (1982), the suspense thriller Tightrope (1984), the Western Pale Rider (1985), the war film Heartbreak Ridge (1986), the action thriller In the Line of Fire (1993), the romantic drama The Bridges of Madison County (1995), and the drama Gran Torino (2008).

In addition to directing many of his own star vehicles, Eastwood has also directed films in which he did not appear, such as the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the war film Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations, and the drama Changeling (2008). The war drama biopic American Sniper (2014) set box office records for the biggest January release ever and was also the biggest opening ever for an Eastwood film. He received considerable critical praise in France for several films, including some which were not well received in the United States. He has been awarded two of France's highest honors: in 1994 he became a recipient of the Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2007 he was awarded the L├ęgion d'honneur medal. In 2000, he was awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.

Since 1967, Eastwood has run his own production company, Malpaso, which has produced all except four of his American films. From 1986 to 1988, he served as the nonpartisan mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Denise Richards

Denise Lee Richards (born February 17, 1971)

is an American actress and a former fashion model. She has appeared in numerous films, including Starship Troopers (1997), Wild Things (1998), Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), The World Is Not Enough (1999) as a Bond girl, and in Valentine (2001).

She played Monica and Ross Geller's cousin on Friends (2001). From 2008 to 2009, she starred on the E! reality show Denise Richards: It's Complicated. Between 2010 and 2011, she was a series regular on the comedy Blue Mountain State.

Source: Wikipedia

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cory Michael Smith


Cory Michael Smith

(born November 14, 1986) is an American actor and native of Columbus, Ohio, Smith was raised by his parents, David Smith and Theresa Fagan–Smith, with his one older brother Chad and graduated from Hilliard Darby High School in 2005.

He had had aspirations ranging from becoming a concert pianist to a lawyer. While at Otterbein University Smith was cast in such plays as The Scene, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Tartuffe.

He currently portrays Edward Nygma in FOX's television drama series Gotham. He appeared in Camp X-Ray in 2014. He appeared in 2013 in Breakfast at Tiffany's on Broadway, which starred Emilia Clarke. 

Information Source: Wikipedia

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Fonz



Henry Winkler as "The Fonz" in the 1970s sitcom "Happy Days".

Although Winkler had already shot the film, The Lords of Flatbush,
he was a relative unknown. In 1973, a year before that film was released, producer Tom Miller was instrumental in Winkler getting cast for the role of Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli, nicknamed "The Fonz" or "Fonzie", in Happy Days, which first aired in January 1974.

For Happy Days, director/producer Garry Marshall originally had in mind a completely opposite physical presence. Marshall sought to cast a hunky, blonde, Italian model-type male in the role of Fonzie, intended as a stupid foil to the real star, Ron Howard. However, when Winkler, a Yale School of Drama graduate, interpreted the role in auditions, Marshall immediately snapped him up. According to Winkler, "The Fonz was everybody I wasn't. He was everybody I wanted to be."

Winkler's character, though remaining very much a rough-hewn outsider, gradually became the focus of the show as time passed (in particular after the departure of Ron Howard). Initially, ABC executives did not want to see the Fonz wearing leather, thinking the character would appear to be a criminal. The first 13 episodes show Winkler wearing two different kinds of windbreaker jackets, one of which was green.

As Winkler said in a TV Land interview, "It's hard to look cool in a green windbreaker". Marshall argued with the executives about the jacket. In the end, a compromise was made. Winkler could only wear the leather jacket in scenes with his motorcycle, and from that point on, the Fonz was never without his motorcycle until season 2. Happy Days ended its run in 1984.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Clark Gable

Clark Gable
(February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960)
was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or
just simply as "The King". Gable began his career as a stage actor and
appeared as an extra in silent films between 1924 and 1926, and progressed to supporting roles with a few films for MGM in 1931. The next year he landed his first leading Hollywood role and became a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures over the next three decades.
Gable won an Academy Award for Best Actor for It Happened One Night (1934),and was nominated for leading roles in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
and for his, arguably best-known, role as Rhett Butler in the epic Gone with the Wind (1939).
Gable also found success commercially and critically with films like Red Dust (1932), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), San Francisco (1936), Saratoga (1937) Boom Town (1940), The Hucksters (1947) Homecoming (1948) and The Misfits (1961) which was his final screen appearance.[3]
Gable appeared opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time: Joan Crawford, who was his favorite actress to work with, was partnered with Gable in eight films; Myrna Loy worked with him seven times, and he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions.
He also starred with Lana Turner in four features, and with Norma Shearer and Ava Gardner in three each.
Gable's final film, The Misfits (1961), united him with Marilyn Monroe (also in her last screen appearance). Gable is considered one of the most consistent box-office performers in history, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll sixteen times.
He was named the seventh greatest male star of classic American Cinema by the American Film Institute.
Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Kurt Vonnegut



 
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American author. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Vonnegut attended Cornell University, but dropped out in January 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army. He was deployed to Europe to fight in World War II, and was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was interned in Dresden and survived the Allied bombing of the city by taking refuge in a meat locker. After the war, Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox, with whom he had three children. He later adopted his sister's three sons, after she died of cancer and her husband died in a train accident. Vonnegut published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. The novel was reviewed positively, but was not commercially successful. In the nearly twenty years that followed, Vonnegut published several novels that were only marginally successful, such as Cat's Cradle (1963) and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1964). Vonnegut's magnum opus, however, was his immediately successful sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The book's antiwar sentiment resonated with its readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War, and its reviews were generally positive. After its release, Slaughterhouse-Five went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list, thrusting Vonnegut into fame. He was invited to give speeches, lectures, and commencement addresses around the country and received many awards and honors. Later in his career, Vonnegut published several autobiographical essay and short-story collections, including Fates Worse Than Death (1991), and A Man Without a Country (2005). After his death, he was hailed as a morbidly comical commentator on the society in which he lived, and as one of the most important contemporary writers. Vonnegut's son Mark published a compilation of his father's unpublished compositions, titled Armageddon in Retrospect. Numerous scholarly works were released, examining Vonnegut's writing and humor.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Festus Haggen

Ken Curtis (July 2, 1916 – April 28, 1991) was an American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running CBS western television series Gunsmoke. Although he appeared on Gunsmoke in other roles he first appeared in his iconic role along in season 8 and episode 13, "Us Haggens." His next appearance was with his mule Ruth in "Prairie Wolfer," season 9 and episode 16, also featuring Noah Beery, Jr. as the episode's villain.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

TS Eliot


Thomas Stearns Eliot AKA TS Eliot

(26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965),
usually known as T. S. Eliot, was an essayist, publisher,
playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets".

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to the old Yankee Eliot family descended from Andrew Eliot,

who migrated to Boston, Massachusetts from East Coker, England in the 1660s.
He immigrated to England in 1914 (at age 25), settling, working and marrying there.
He was eventually naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39,
renouncing his American citizenship.

Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915),
which is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement.
It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language,
including The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930),
and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays,
particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948,
"for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry."

Source: Wikipedia