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.