Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday Al Pacino!

Al Pacino is one of the most celebrated actors today. He has won Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.

Alfredo James "Al" Pacino was born April 25, 1940 in East Harlem, Manhattan, the son of Rose Gerardi and Salvatore Alfred Pacino.

Al Pacino attended the High School of Performing Arts, a division of the Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of Music and the Arts in New York City. Al Pacino failed nearly all of his classes except English and dropped out of school at the age of 17. He next worked at a string of low-paying jobs, including messenger boy, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk, in order to finance his acting studies.

He acted in basement plays in New York's theatrical underground, and then joined the Herbert Berghof Studio (HB Studio), where he met acting teacher Charlie Laughton, who became his mentor and best friend.

In 1966, after many previous unsuccessful attempts, he auditioned at The Actors Studio and got accepted. He studied under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg .

Al Pacino made his film debut as Tony in Me, Natalie (1969).

In 1972, Al Pacino was cast to play Michael Corleone in The Godfather. He would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.

Al Pacino would receive two more Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor one for Dick Tracy (1990) and one for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Al Pacino would received Academy Award nominations for Best Actor for Serpico (1973),
The Godfather: Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and for And Justice for All (1979).

Al Pacino would win the Academy Award for Best Actor for Scent of a Woman (1992).

Al Pacino would win a primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for: "Angels in America" (2003).

In 2001, Al Pacino would receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Al Pacino has also won three Golden Globe awards: Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama
for: Serpico (1973; Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
for: Scent of a Woman (1992); and Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for: "Angels in America" (2003).

Al Pacino made his Broadway debut in 1969 in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? He has also appeared in King Richard III, The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, American Buffalo, Hughie and Salome.

Al Pacino has received two Tony Awards: 1977 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Play & 1977 Tony Award Best Actor in Play both for The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy 82nd Birthday Shirley Temple Black!

From beloved child actress to Ambassador, Shirley Temple is one of the most celebrated persons of all time.

Shirley Jane Temple was born April 23, 1928 in Santa Monica, California to George Francis Temple, a bank employee and Gertrude Amelia Krieger, a housewife.

Early in 1931, Mrs. Temple took the first steps in bringing her daughter to the screen. She was convinced her three-year-old daughter had exceptional talent. She enrolled her daughter in the highly competitive Meglin's Dance School in Los Angeles, California on the Mack Sennett lot for twice weekly dance lessons.

Shortly after Shirley Temple's third birthday, Educational Pictures planned a series of one-reelers called Baby Burlesks to compete with the popular Our Gang comedy shorts. Charles Lamont, a film director with Educational, conducted a talent search among the children at the Meglin School, found Temple hiding behind a piano, and encouraged her to audition for the series. She did, and was signed to a two-year contract in January 1932 at $10 a day.

Shirley Temple made her screen debut in 1932 in the film Runt Page. Her first spoken screen line was "Mais oui, mon cher" in War Babies (1932). Shirley's first on screen tap dance and song, "She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage", occurred in Glad Rags to Riches (1933).

In Bright Eyes (1934) she introduced what would become her signature song "On the Good Ship Lollipop."

In 1935, she became the youngest person to receive an Academy Award when she was honored with the Juvenile Oscar. A month later, she added her foot and hand prints to the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

At the age of 6, she was the youngest presenter at the Oscars ever. She presented the "Best Actress" award in 1935. The winner was Claudette Colbert.

By the time Shirley Temple was ten years old, she had appeared in more than fifty shorts and films including Little Miss Marker (1934), Curly Top (1935), and Captain January (1936).

As a young adult, Shirley Temple appeared in films such as The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), Fort Apache (1948), and The Story of Seabiscuit (1949).

Shirley Temple retired from the silver screen at the age of after appearing on The Red Skelton show in 1963.

Shirley Temple now turned her attention to politics. She became active in the Republican Party in California, where, in 1967, she ran unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives.

In 1967, Shirley Temple was appointed Representative to the 24th General Assembly of the United Nations by President Richard M. Nixon.

From 1974 to 1976, Shirley Temple served as the United States Ambassador to Ghana.

In 1976, Shirley Temple was appointed the first female Chief of Protocol of the United States and was in charge of arrangements for President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and inaugural ball.

From 1989 to 1992, she served as the United States Ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

Shirley Temple has also served on numerous boards of directors of large enterprises and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte, Bank of America, the Bank of California, BANCAL Tri-State, Fireman's Fund Insurance, the United States Commission for UNESCO, the United Nations Association, and the National Wildlife Federation.

Shirley Temple is the recipient of many awards and honors including the Life Achievement Award from the American Center of Films for Children, the National Board of Review Career Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She also has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures.

Of all of Shirley Temple's accomplishments, she is most proud of her children and grandchildren.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy 95th Birthday Harry Morgan!

Long before he was Detective Bill Gannon on Dragnet (1967-70) and Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H (1975-83), Harry Morgan was one of the most popular character actors of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, appearing in more than 100 films.

Harry Morgan was born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit, Michigan on April 10, 1915.

A statewide debating champion in high school, Harry original aspired to obtain a law degree. However, when Harry was a junior in college he joined the acting club.

Morgan began acting on stage under his birth name, joining the Group Theatre in New York City in 1937, and appearing in the original production of the play Golden Boy, followed by a host of successful Broadway roles including plays such as The Gentle People, Thunder Rock, and Heavenly Express.

Harry Morgan made his screen debut (originally using the name "Henry Morgan") in the 1942 movie To the Shores of Tripoli. His screen name later would become "Henry 'Harry' Morgan" and eventually Harry Morgan, to avoid confusion with the then-popular humorist of the same name.

Harry Morgan appeared in films such as The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), State Fair (1945) ,Dragonwyck (1946), The Big Clock (1948), High Noon (1952), Bend of the River (1952), The Glenn Miller Story (1953), Thunder Bay (1953), The Far Country (1955) Strategic Air Command (1955); The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956), Inherit the Wind (1960), Cimarron (1960), How the West Was Won (1962), Frankie and Johnny (1966), Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), Support Your Local Gunfighter! (1971), The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), and The Shootist (1976).

In 1980, he won a Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series for: "M*A*S*H." He was also nominated seven other times for his role as Colonel Potter. He was also nominated in 1972 for a guest appearance on M*A*S*H when he appeared as a crazy general in the episode The General Flipped at Dawn.

A talented painter, in several episodes of M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter is seen painting, these are actually works by Harry Morgan.

Harry Morgan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for radio. Why he doesn't have one for television and motion pictures is beyond comprehension.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy 88th Birthday Doris Day!

Doris Day was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her parents were Alma Sophia Welz and Wilhelm von Kappelhoff, a music teacher. She was named after silent movie actress Doris Kenyon, whom her mother admired.

Doris Day developed an early interest in dance, and in the mid-1930s formed a dance duo that performed locally in Cincinnati. A car accident on October 13, 1937 damaged her legs and curtailed her prospects as a professional dancer. While recovering, Doris Day took singing lessons, and at 17 she began performing locally.

While singing with the Les Brown band and briefly with Bob Hope, Doris Day toured extensively across the United States. Her popularity as a radio performer and vocalist, which included a second hit record My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time, led directly to a career in films.

Doris Day made her film debut as Miss Georgia Garrett in Romance on the High Seas (1948).

The next twenty years she appeared in films such as Young Man with a Horn (1950),
Lullaby of Broadway (1951), Calamity Jane (1953), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956),
The Pajama Game (1957), Teacher's Pet (1958), Pillow Talk (1959), Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960), That Touch of Mink (1962), Send Me No Flowers (1964), The Glass Bottom Boat (1966), and With Six You Get Eggroll (1968).

From 1968 to 1973, Doris Day starred in her own television show The Doris Day Show.

After The Doris Day Show, she retired from the entertainment industry and devoted her time to animal rights.

Doris Day's interest in animal welfare and related issues apparently dates to her teen years when she was recovering from an automobile accident and took her dog Tiny for a walk without a leash. Tiny ran into the street and was killed by a passing car. Then tt was during the location filming of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), when she saw how camels, goats and other "animal extras" in a marketplace scene were being treated, that Doris Day began her lifelong commitment to preventing animal abuse.

Doris Day founded the Doris Day Animal League which was merged into The Humane Society of the United States in 2006. She also founded the annual Spay Day USA which is a one day spay/neuter event now managed by the Humane Society of the United States.

Doris Day was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom for improving conditions for animals throughout the US and beyond.

Doris Day was two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for Recording and one for Motion Pictures.

Doris Day was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
for: Pillow Talk (1959).

In 1989 she won the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

An accomplish singer and Grammy award winner, she has recorded over 650 songs. Doris Day is most known for her song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)", which she introduced in the 1956 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).

Sentimental Journey and Secret Love were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Other notable songs of Doris Day include Love Somebody, It's Magic, A Guy is A Guy, Tea for Two, Young Man with a Horn, On Moonlight Bay, My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time, Ain't We Got Fun, Autumn Leaves, and Imagination.

At the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy 59th Birthday Kurt Russell!

Kurt Vogel Russell was born on March 17, 1951 in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is the son of Louise Julia Crone, a dancer, and Bing Russell (photo below), a character actor, best-known for playing Deputy Clem Foster on Bonanza.

Kurt Russell began acting at the age of 6 when he appeared in several episodes of Sugarfoot (1957-1958). In 1960, Walt Disney himself signed Russell to a 10 year contract. He made his movie debut in It Happened At The World's Fair (1963).

As a child actor, Kurt Russell appeared in episodes of The Dick Powell Show, Sam Benedict, The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Virginian, Lost in Space and The Fugitive.

On February 6, 1965, Russell, not quite fourteen, played the role of Jungle Boy on an episode of CBS's Gilligan's Island.

As a child actor, he appeared in films such as Guns of Diablo (1964) Follow Me, Boys! (1966) and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969).

During the early 1970s, Kurt Russell had a baseball career. He played second base for the minor league team the El Paso Sun Kings. Kurt Russell's baseball career ended when he tore a rotator cuff during a game. Before his injury, he was leading the Texas League in hitting, with a .563 batting average. The injury forced his retirement from baseball in 1973 and led to his return to acting.

As an adult, Kurt Russell has appeared in films such as The Barefoot Executive (1971), Fools' Parade (1971), Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972), Superdad (1973), The Strongest Man in the World (1975), Used Cars (1980), Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Silkwood (1983), Swing Shift (1984), Overboard (1987), Tequila Sunrise (1988), Tango & Cash (1989), Backdraft (1991), Tombstone (1993), Escape from L.A. (1996), and Poseidon (2006).

In 1979, Kurt Russell gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC-TV movie Elvis. He was nominated for an Emmy for his performance.

Kurt Russell married actress Season Hubley, whom he had met on the set of Elvis in 1979 and they had a son, Boston Russell, in 1980. They divorced in 1983.

In 1983, he began a relationship with Goldie Hawn while filming Swing Shift. They had a son, Wyatt, in 1986. They have been together 26 years.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy 84th Birthday Jerry Lewis!

Jerry Lewis is an American comedian, actor, film producer, writer, film director and singer.

Jerry Lewis was born Joseph Levitch on March 16, 1926 in Newark, New Jersey. Jerry Lewis parents were Daniel Levitch (stage name of Danny Lewis), a Master of Ceremonies and vaudeville entertainer and Rachel Brodsky, a piano player.

When Jerry Lewis was five years old, he made his debut in New York's Borscht Circuit singing "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?" By the time he was fifteen, he had perfected a comic routine "Record Act" in which he exaggeratedly mimed the lyrics to songs on a phonograph.

In 1946, Jerry Lewis teamed with Dean Martin. Dean Martin served as straight man to Jerry Lewis's zany antics in the Martin and Lewis comedy team. They began in popular nightclubs, then had their own radio program, made numerous television appearances and then became popular in films.

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis made 17 films together beginning with My Friend Irma (1949). A few of their films include At War with the Army (1950), Sailor Beware (1952), Jumping Jacks (1952), Scared Stiff (1953), Money From Home (1953), and Hollywood or Bust (1956).

After Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis comedy team ended in 1956, Jerry Lewis went on to a successful solo career.

Jerry Lewis starred in films such as Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958), The Bellboy (1960), The Ladies Man (1961), It's Only Money (1962), The Nutty Professor (1963), The Disorderly Orderly (1964), Three on a Couch (1966), Hook, Line, & Sinker (1969), Which Way to the Front? (1970), Cracking Up (1983) and Funny Bones (1995).

In 1995, Jerry Lewis won the Theatre World Special Award for his performance in the Broadway musical Damn Yankees.

Jerry Lewis made his directoral debutin How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border (1949). Jerry Lewis has also directed films such as The Ladies Man (1961), The Nutty Professor (1963), The Family Jewels (1965), The Big Mouth (1967), and The Day the Clown Cried (1972).

Jerry Lewis is also a successful writer. He has written screenplays for How to Smuggle a Hernia Across the Border (1949), The Bellboy (1960), The Nutty Professor (1963), The Patsy (1964) and Hardly Working (1980).

As a producer, Jerry Lewis produced such classic films as The Delicate Delinquent (1957), The Bellboy (1960), Three on a Couch (1966), and The Nutty Professor (1996).

Jerry Lewis has appeared on episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Mad About You, Wiseguy, The Red Skelton Show and Ben Casey.

In 1950, Jerry Lewis became the national chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), a position he still holds today. Beginning in 1966, Jerry Lewis has hosted the nationwide telethon it holds on Labor Day each year.

In 1997, Jerry Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

In 2009, Jerry Lewis received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 81st Academy Awards for his work with MDA.

Jerry Lewis has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award, American Comedy Awards
(1997), Governors Award Primetime Emmy Awards (2005) and two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures and television.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy 74th Birthday Dean Stockwell!

Dean Stockwell was a popular child actor of the 1940s, known for his air of innocence, beautiful dimples, sparkling eyes and his crown of curls. Sixty plus years later, Dean Stockwell is still an actor in demand. He is one of the few child actors to transition to successful adult actor.

Dean Stockwell was born Robert Dean Stockwell on March 5, 1936 in Hollywood, California. Dean's father was Harry Stockwell, an actor an singer. His mother was Nina Olivette, an actress and dancer. Dean's elder brother is actor Guy Stockwell.

Dean's father Harry is most famous for supplying the speaking and singing voice for Prince Charming in Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

By the age of 10, Dean Stockwell had appeared on Broadway and in several movies.

Dean Stockwell made his debut in 1945 at the age of 9 in the film The Valley of Decision.

Dean's next role was Donald Martin in Anchor's Aweigh (1945) starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson.

In The Green Years (1946) he played Robert Shannon, as a child. In 1947, he played Nick Jr., son of Nick and Nora Charles in Song of the Thin Man. He also played Gregory Peck's son in Gentelman's Agreement (1947). In 1948, he had the lead role in The Boy with Green Hair. In 1949, he appeared in The Secret Garden. As a child actor, Dean also appeared in The Happy Years (1950) and Cattle Drive (1951).

In 1943, at the age of 7, Dean Stockwell appeared on Broadway in The Innocent Voyage.

In 1956, Dean Stockwell turned 20 years old and was still very active in movies and on television.

In 1957, Dean Stockwell appeared in the Broadway production of Compulsion.

In 1959, Dean Stockwell would appear in the film version of Compulsion.

During his 20s, he also appeared in films such as Sons and Lovers (1960), Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962) and Rapture (1965). On televison, he appeared in Climax, Cimarron City, General Electric Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, The Twlight Zone, and The Defenders.

As Dean Stockwell entered his 30s, he was still very much in demand. His movies include Psych-Out (1968), The Dunwich Horror (1970), The Last Movie (1971), The Loners (1972), The Werewolf of Washington (1973), and The Pacific Connection (1974) . He appeared in episodes of televsion shows such as Dr. Kildare, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Bonanza, and The Streets of San Francisco.

During Dean Stockwell's 40s, he appeared in such films as Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976), She Came to the Valley (1979), Dune (1984) Papa Was a Preacher (1985), To Kill a Stranger (1985), The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). He appeared on episodes of Police Story, McCloud, The A-Team, Simon & Simon, hart to Hart, and Miami Vice.

In 1986, Dean Stockwell turned 50 years old and had been acting for 41 years. The former child actor was still popular in films and on television. He appeared in movies such as Blue Velvet (1986), Banzai Runner (1987), Gardens of Stone (1987), Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), The Blue Iguana (1988), Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Married to the Mob (1988), Buying Time (1989), Friends and Enemies (1992) and The Player (1992) He appeared in episodes of televsion shows such as Hunter, Murder She Wrote, Burke's Law, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

At the age of 53, Dean Stockwell received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Married to the Mob (1988).

In 1989 to 1993, Dean Stockwell starred as Admiral Al Calavicci in Quantum Leap. He would receive four Emmy nominations for Oustanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.

After Quantum Leap and now in his 60s, Dean Stockwell was not slowing down. He appeared in films such as Last Resort (1996), Mr. Wrong (1996), McHale's Navy (1997), Midnight Blue (1997), Living in Peril (1997), Air Force One (1997), The Rainmaker (1997), The Shadow Men (1998), Restraining Order (1999), Face to Face (2001), Inferno (2002), and The Manchurian Candidate (2004).

He also had a reoccuring role on the television drama JAG as SecNav Edward Sheffield.

Now 70 years old, Dean Stockwell was cast as John Cavil in Battlestar Galactica.

Dean Stockwell is an accomplished artist. He creates both digitally enhanced photographs and original collages in the style of his friend and fellow artist, Wallace Berman. He is also a friend of musician Neil Young and designed the album cover art for "American Stars'n'Bars".

Dean Stockwell has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures.