Monday, January 18, 2016

James Whitmore

James Allen Whitmore, Jr. (October 1, 1921 – February 6, 2009) was an American film, theatre and television actor.[1] He won a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award, and was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Gabby Hayes

George "Gabby" Hayes..
George Francis "Gabby" Hayes (May 7, 1885 – February 9, 1969) was an American radio, film, and television actor. He was best known for his numerous appearances in Western films as the colorful sidekick to the leading man.
Early years
Hayes was born the third of seven children in his father's hotel in Stannards, New York, a hamlet just outside Wellsville, New York. (Hayes always gave Wellsville as his birthplace, but legally he was born in Stannards). He was the son of Elizabeth Morrison and Clark Hayes, and the nephew of George F. Morrison, vice president of General Electric.[citation needed] Hayes did not come from a cowboy background; in fact, he did not know how to ride a horse until he was in his forties and had to learn for film roles.
His father, Clark Hayes, operated the Hayes Hotel in Stannards and was also involved in oil production. George Hayes grew up in Stannards and attended Stannards School. He played semi-professional baseball while in high school, then ran away from home in 1902, at 17. He joined a stock company, apparently traveled for a time with a circus, and became a successful vaudevillian.
Hayes married Olive E. Ireland, daughter of a New Jersey glass finisher, on March 4, 1914. She joined him in vaudeville, performing under the name Dorothy Earle (not to be confused with film actress/writer Dorothy Earle). Hayes had become so successful that by 1928 he was able, at age 43, to retire to a home on Long Island in Baldwin, New York. He lost all his savings the next year in the 1929 stock-market crash. Dorothy Earle convinced Hayes to try his luck in films, and the couple moved to Los Angeles. They remained together until her death on July 5, 1957. The couple had no children.
Film career
On his move to Los Angeles, according to later interviews, Hayes had a chance meeting with producer Trem Carr[1], who liked his look and gave him 30 roles over the next six years. In his early career, Hayes was cast in a variety of roles, including villains, and occasionally played two roles in a single film. He found a niche in the growing genre of Western films, many of which were series with recurring characters. Ironically, Hayes would admit he had never been a big fan of Westerns.
Hayes, in real life an intelligent, well groomed and articulate man, was cast as a grizzled codger who uttered phrases such as "consarn it", "yer durn tootin'", "dadgummit", "durn persnickety female", and "young whippersnapper."
From 1935 to 1939, Hayes played the part of Windy Halliday, the sidekick to Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd). In 1939, Hayes left Paramount Pictures in a dispute over his salary and moved to Republic Pictures. Paramount held the rights to the name Windy Halliday, so a new nickname was created for Hayes' character, Gabby. As Gabby Whitaker, Hayes appeared in more than 40 films between 1939 and 1946, usually with Roy Rogers(44), but also with Gene Autry(7) or Wild Bill Elliott(14), often working under the directorship of Joseph Kane(34).
NBC publicity photo, 1953
Hayes was also repeatedly cast as a sidekick to western icons Randolph Scott (six times) and John Wayne (15 times, some as straight or villainous characters). Hayes played Wayne's sidekick in Raoul Walsh's Dark Command (1940), which featured Roy Rogers in a supporting role. Hayes became a popular performer and consistently appeared among the 10 favorite actors in polls taken of movie-goers of the period. He appeared in either one or both the Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice Magazine lists of Top Ten Money-making Western Stars for 12 straight years and a 13th time in 1954, four years after his last film.
The Western film genre declined in the late 1940s and Hayes made his last film appearance in The Cariboo Trail (1950). He moved to television and hosted The Gabby Hayes Show, a western series, from 1950 to 1954 on NBC, and a new version in 1956 on ABC. He introduced the show, often while whittling on a piece of wood, and would sometimes throw in some tall stories. Halfway through the show, he would say something else, and at the end of the show, also, but he did not appear as an active character in the stories themselves. When the series ended, Hayes retired from show business. He lent his name to a comic book series and to a children's summer camp in New York.
Grave of Gabby Hayes at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills
Following his wife's death on July 5, 1957, he lived in and managed a 10-unit apartment building he owned in North Hollywood, California. In early 1969, he entered Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California, for treatment of cardiovascular disease. He died there on February 9, 1969, at the age of 83. George "Gabby" Hayes was interred in the Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles.
For his contribution to radio, Gabby Hayes has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6427 Hollywood Boulevard, and a second star at 1724 Vine Street for his contribution to the television industry. In 2000, he was posthumously inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Popular culture
Homage was paid to Hayes in a different way in the 1974 satirical western Blazing Saddles. A lookalike actor named Claude Ennis Starrett, Jr. played a Gabby Hayes-like character. In keeping with one running joke in the movie, the character was called Gabby Johnson. After he delivered a rousing, though largely unintelligible speech to the townspeople, David Huddleston's character proclaimed, "Now, who can argue with that?!" and proclaimed it as "authentic frontier gibberish."
In the animated film Toy Story 2 the character Stinky Pete the Prospector voiced by Kelsey Grammer is modeled after Hayes. In the film's fictional universe, he is a toy version of a character on the marionette television western Woody's Roundup, where he is a colourful comic relief character. In contrast, the toy is intelligent and well spoken; a reference to Hayes' contrasting real life and film personas.
Hayes inspired Doppio Rhum character in Captain Miki, an Italian comic series.[citation needed] Hayes has also been portrayed in impressions by Fred LaBour (Too Slim), during Riders in the Sky performances. In a Mighty Carson Art Players sketch on The Tonight Show, Johnny Carson impersonated Gabby Hayes in the sketch with guest star Roy Rogers. This sketch has appeared on Carson's syndicated Carson's Comedy Classics series that features highlights from his years as The Tonight Show host.
Gabby was mentioned in The Simpsons episode "Radioactive Man", where Milhouse becomes Radioactive Man's sidekick, "Fallout Boy"; the director of the film comments that Milhouse is "going to be big, Gabby Hayes big!"[citation needed]
Every year in April at the beginning of trout season in Pennsylvania, the Gabby Hayes Memorial Fishing Expedition is held by a group of long-time friends and is so named in whimsical homage to the man whose early career began in the environs of his boyhood New York home near the northern Pennsylvania border. The first "expedition" was held in 1969, coincidentally the year of Hayes' death.[4]
Every year in early July, from 1983 through 1989, "Gabby Hayes Days" were celebrated in Wellsville, New York. The event featured a street sale, square dancing, and Gabby Hayes look-alike contests for adults and children. This celebration was eventually merged into the mid-July Wellsville Balloon Rally and gradually disappeared. A street is also named after him in Wellsville, Gabby Hayes Lane.
The famous Manhattan restaurant Danny's Hideaway at 151 East 45th Street called one of its main dining areas the Gabby Hayes Room, in honor of the friendship between owner Dante "Danny" Stradella and Hayes.
Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, January 7, 2016

John Cena

John Cena

is an American professional wrestler, rapper and an actor signed to WWE, but is currently on hiatus due to injury. Cena is credited by WWE as the public face of their organization, and has served as its franchise player since 2005.

Cena started his pro wrestling career in 1999 with Ultimate Pro Wrestling, and won its heavyweight title the following year. Cena signed a developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later renamed to WWE) in 2001, debuting on the main roster in 2002. As of January 2016, Cena has won 24 championships, with 15 reigns as a world champion; a record 12 reigns as WWE (World Heavyweight) Champion and three reigns as World Heavyweight Champion ( has repeatedly described him as a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion), five reigns as WWE United States Champion, and four reigns as world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team). He also is a 2012 Money in the Bank ladder match winner, a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013), and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012).

He has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE World Heavyweight Champion, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, and Hulk Hogan. He has also headlined WWE's flagship event, WrestleMania, on five different occasions (WrestleManias 22, 23, XXVII, XXVIII, and 29) over the course of his career.

Outside of wrestling, Cena has released the rap album You Can't See Me, which debuted at No. 15 on the US Billboard 200 chart, and starred in the feature films The Marine (2006), 12 Rounds (2009), Legendary (2010), The Reunion (2011), Trainwreck (2015), and Sisters (2015).[14] Cena has also made appearances on television shows including Manhunt, Deal or No Deal, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, Punk'd, Psych, and Parks and Recreation. He was also a contestant on Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, where he made it to the final round before being eliminated, placing third in the overall competition.

Cena is involved in numerous philanthropic causes; most notably with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cena has granted the most wishes in Make-A-Wish history. Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Cosmo Kramer

Cosmo Kramer...

usually referred to as simply "Kramer", is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998), played by Michael Richards.

The character is loosely based on comedian Kenny Kramer, Larry David's ex-neighbor across the hall. Kramer is the friend and neighbor of main character Jerry, residing in Apartment 5B, and is friends with George and Elaine. Of the series' 4 central characters, only Kramer has no visible means of support; what few jobs he holds seem to be nothing more than larks.

His trademarks include his upright hairstyle and vintage wardrobe, whose combination led Elaine to characterize him as a "hipster doofus"; his taste in fresh fruit; love of occasional smoking, Cuban cigars in particular; bursts through Jerry's apartment door; frequent pratfalls and penchant for nonsensical, percussive outbursts of noise to indicate skepticism, agreement, irritation and a variety of other feelings. He's been described as "an extraordinary cross between Eraserhead and Herman Munster". Kramer appeared in all but 2 episodes: "The Chinese Restaurant" and "The Pen", in the second and third seasons, respectively.  Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Dolph Lundgren

Hans "Dolph" Lundgren (born 3 November 1957) is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter, producer, martial artist, and chemical engineer. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the action hero stereotype, alongside Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Lundgren received a degree in chemistry from Washington State University, a degree in chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in the early 1980s, and a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney in 1982. He holds the rank of 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin karate and was European champion in 1980 and 1981. While in Sydney, he became a bodyguard for Jamaican singer Grace Jones and began a relationship with her. They moved together to New York City, where, after a short stint as a model and bouncer at the Manhattan nightclub The Limelight, Jones got him a small debut role as a KGB henchman in the James Bond film A View to a Kill.

Lundgren's breakthrough came when he starred in Rocky IV in 1985 as the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, he has starred in more than 40 films, almost all of them in the action genre. He portrayed He-Man in the 1987 science fantasy film Masters of the Universe and Frank Castle in the 1989 film The Punisher. In the early 1990s, he also appeared in films such as Dark Angel (1990), Universal Soldier (1992), Joshua Tree (1993), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and Blackjack (1998). In 2004, he directed his first film, The Defender, and subsequently directed The Mechanik (2005), Missionary Man (2007), Command Performance (2009), and Icarus (2010), also starring in the latter.

After a long spell performing in direct-to-video films since 1995, Lundgren returned to Hollywood in 2010 with the role of Gunner Jensen in The Expendables, alongside Stallone and an all-action star cast. He reprised his role in The Expendables 2 (2012) and The Expendables 3 (2014). Also in 2014, he co-starred in Skin Trade, an action thriller about human trafficking. The film marks his third collaboration with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, the previous two being Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) and Bridge of Dragons (1999). He is due to reprise his role as Gunner Jensen in The Expendables 4 (2017).