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#1376 2023-09-20 21:36:49

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1338) Emil Jannings

Summary

Emil Jannings (born Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, 23 July 1884 – 2 January 1950) was a Swiss-born German actor, popular in the 1920s in Hollywood. He was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. As of 2023, Jannings is the only German ever to have won the category.

Jannings is best known for his collaborations with F. W. Murnau and Josef von Sternberg, including the 1930 film The Blue Angel (Der blaue Engel), with Marlene Dietrich. The Blue Angel was meant as a vehicle for Jannings to score a place for himself in the new medium of sound film, but Dietrich stole the show. Jannings later starred in a number of Nazi propaganda films, which made him unemployable as an actor after the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Details

Emil Jannings, original name Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, (born July 23, 1884, Rorschach, Switzerland—died January 2, 1950, Strobl, near Salzburg, Austria), was a German actor who was internationally known for his tragic roles in motion pictures. He was the recipient of the first Academy Award for best actor.

Jannings was reared in Görlitz, Germany, where he began his stage career. He joined a traveling stock company and in 1906 began acting for Max Reinhardt, the leading German theatrical director, in Berlin. He made his film debut in 1914 and had his first major success in the role of Louis XV in Madame Dubarry (1919; also released as Passion), directed by Ernst Lubitsch.

The 1924 film Der letzte Mann (The Last Laugh), directed by F.W. Murnau, featured Jannings’s best-remembered role—an aging hotel doorman demoted to the position of washroom attendant. In Varieté (1925; Variety) he was a married sideshow operator deceived by a female trapeze artist. And in Der blaue Engel (1930; The Blue Angel), which introduced the sultry leading lady Marlene Dietrich, he was an aging professor hopelessly in love with a young but worldly-wise nightclub singer. Critics acclaimed Jannings as one of the finest actors in the world on the basis of these three motion pictures.

Jannings was a versatile actor whose enormous emotional range was well suited to an array of character roles. Although he occasionally lapsed into the unbridled hamminess that was characteristic of acting styles of the era, he was also capable of great subtlety and nuance, even in such grandiose roles as Mephistopheles in Faust (1926), wherein he projected inner rage and turmoil beneath a cool cynical exterior. He excelled at portraying once-proud men forced to endure suffering or humiliation, and such roles (The Last Laugh, Variety, The Blue Angel, The Last Command) are the ones for which he is best remembered.

In 1929, the first year of the Academy Awards, Jannings won a best actor award for his performances in the American-made films The Way of All Flesh (1927, now lost), in which he played an embittered family man, and The Last Command (1928), in which he was an exiled Russian general reduced to playing bit parts in war films. (During the early years of the awards, actors could be nominated for multiple performances.) With the advent of sound in American cinema, Jannings was forced because of his thick accent to abandon his career in the United States. He continued to work in German films, but his support of the Nazi regime made him a pariah elsewhere in the world. He remains a subject of great controversy, though many of his detractors begrudgingly admit that he was one of the finest actors of his generation.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1377 2023-09-22 00:14:24

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1339) Warner Baxter

Summary

Warner Leroy Baxter (March 29, 1889 – May 7, 1951) was an American film actor from the 1910s to the 1940s. Baxter is known for his role as the Cisco Kid in the 1928 film In Old Arizona, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 2nd Academy Awards. He frequently played womanizing, charismatic Latin bandit types in Westerns, and played the Cisco Kid or a similar character throughout the 1930s, but had a range of other roles throughout his career.

Baxter began his movie career in silent films with his most notable roles being in The Great Gatsby (1926) and The Awful Truth (1925). Baxter's most notable talkies are In Old Arizona (1929), 42nd Street (1933), Slave Ship (1937) with Wallace Beery, Kidnapped (1938) with Freddie Bartholomew, and the 1931 ensemble short film, The Stolen Jools. In the 1940s, he was well known for his recurring role as Dr. Robert Ordway in the Crime Doctor series of 10 films.

For his contributions to the motion-picture industry, Baxter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Details

(1891–1951). American actor Warner Baxter began his career during the silent film era before successfully turning to talkies (see motion pictures). He won an Academy Award for best actor for his role as the Cisco Kid in the adventure film In Old Arizona (1929).

Warner Leroy Baxter was born on March 29, 1889, in Columbus, Ohio. When he was still a child he moved to San Francisco, California, with his mother (his father had died). Baxter began his career in vaudeville, and by 1914 he had secured a bit part in a silent film. By the early 1920s he was starring in several silent movies a year, and at the end of the decade he was able to transition into talkies successfully. Baxter became a well-known star after the film In Old Arizona. In it he used his smoldering glances and a heavy Mexican accent to charm audiences and critics alike. Baxter reprised the same role in the films The Cisco Kid (1931) and Return of the Cisco Kid (1939).

In the 1930s Baxter starred opposite several leading ladies, including Carole Lombard in the western The Arizona Kid (1930) and Loretta Young in the comedies Wife, Doctor and Nurse (1937) and Wife, Husband and Friend (1939). He was also successfully paired numerous times with Myrna Loy in films such as Penthouse (1933), Broadway Bill (1934), and To Mary—with Love (1936) and with Janet Gaynor—the winner of the first Oscar for best actress—in films such as Daddy Long Legs (1931) and Paddy the Next Big Thing (1933).

In the 1940s Baxter completed a series of crime dramas starring as the character Dr. Robert Ordway. Those films included Crime Doctor (1943), Just Before Dawn (1946), and The Crime Doctor’s Diary (1949). Baxter died from pneumonia on May 7, 1951, in Beverly Hills, California, shortly after undergoing brain surgery in order to alleviate pain caused by arthritis.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1378 2023-09-24 00:10:34

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1340) George Arliss

Summary

George Arliss (born Augustus George Andrews; 10 April 1868 – 5 February 1946) was an English actor, author, playwright, and filmmaker who found success in the United States. He was the first British actor to win an Academy Award – which he won for his performance as Victorian-era British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli in Disraeli (1929) – as well as the earliest-born actor to win the honour. He specialized in successful biopics, such as Disraeli, Voltaire (1933), and Cardinal Richelieu (1935), as well as light comedies, which included The Millionaire (1931) and A Successful Calamity (1932).

His career ranged from being a star of the legitimate theatre, then silent films, then sound films.

Details

George Arliss, original name Augustus George Andrews, (born April 10, 1868, London, Eng.—died Feb. 5, 1946, London), was an actor noted for his portrayal of historic personages in many motion pictures.

Arliss began his acting career in 1887 but did not have his first substantial success until he appeared with Mrs. Patrick Campbell in London during the 1900–01 season. In 1902 he played in The Second Mrs. Tanqueray in New York City, and in 1911 he played the title role in Disraeli.

Arliss was already established as a leading actor when he turned to films in 1920. His pictures include The Green Goddess (1930), Old English (1930), Alexander Hamilton (1931), The House of Rothschild (1934), and Cardinal Richelieu (1935). He won an Oscar for best actor of 1929–30 for his role in the film version of Disraeli. Arliss wrote several plays and two autobiographical works: Up the Years from Bloomsbury (1927) and My Ten Years in the Studios (1940).

Additional Information

One of the oldest actors on the screen in the 1920s and 1930s, George Arliss starred on the London stage from an early age. He came to the United States and starred in several films, but it was his role as British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli in Disraeli (1929) that brought him his greatest success.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1379 2023-09-25 00:05:10

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1341) Lionel Barrymore

Summary

Lionel Barrymore (born Lionel Herbert Blyth; April 28, 1878 – November 15, 1954) was an American actor of stage, screen and radio as well as a film director. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in A Free Soul (1931), and is known to modern audiences for the role of villainous Mr. Potter in Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.

He is also particularly remembered as Ebenezer Scrooge in annual broadcasts of A Christmas Carol during his last two decades. He is also known for playing Dr. Leonard Gillespie in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's nine Dr. Kildare films, a role he reprised in a further six films focusing solely on Gillespie and in a radio series titled The Story of Dr. Kildare. He was a member of the theatrical Barrymore family.

Details

Lionel Barrymore, original name Lionel Herbert Blythe, (born April 28, 1878, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died November 15, 1954, Van Nuys, California), was an American stage, film, and radio actor who forged a career as one of the most important character actors of the early 20th century. Perhaps the least flamboyant member of the Barrymore acting family, he was best known to modern audiences for his performance as Mr. Potter in the classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

Barrymore was the son of the stage actors Maurice and Georgiana Barrymore, founders of the celebrated family of actors. Although he appeared in a few plays in his teens, he did not intend to enter the family profession and instead studied painting in Paris for three years. He found that he was unable to earn a living as a painter, however, and he returned to the United States and to acting. He soon established his reputation as an actor in New York City in such plays as Peter Ibbetson (1917), The Copperhead (1918), and The Jest (1919).

In 1926 Barrymore left Broadway permanently for Hollywood and began a long line of outstanding screen characterizations. His early notable films included Sadie Thompson (1928) and The Mysterious Island (1929). His performance as an alcoholic defense attorney in A Free Soul (1931) won him an Academy Award as best actor. He appeared with his brother, John, in Grand Hotel (1932) and with both John and their sister, Ethel, in Rasputin and the Empress (1932). Other memorable movies were Captains Courageous (1937), The Valley of Decision (1945), Duel in the Sun (1947), and Key Largo (1948). In the popular and long-running Dr. Kildare film series, which began with Young Dr. Kildare in 1938, he played Dr. Gillespie.

In his later years Barrymore projected an image of an irascible (but usually lovable) curmudgeon, a role in which he exploited to the fullest his distinctive traits—a tall stooped posture (though, because of arthritis and other injuries, he usually performed in a wheelchair from 1938 on), shaggy eyebrows, and a hoarse, rasping voice. His portrayal of the avaricious Mr. Potter in Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life belongs to this period. He was also a radio actor and was noted for his annual radio performance as Scrooge in Charles Dickinson’s A Christmas Carol.

In addition to acting, Barrymore made etchings and drawings and also composed music. We Barrymores (1951), by Lionel Barrymore as told to Cameron Shipp, is basically an autobiography but contains much information on his famous siblings, John and Ethel.

Additional Information

The legendary Lionel Barrymore, one of the great cinema character actors, was the oldest of the three Barrymmore siblings. Along with Ethel Barrymore and John Barrymore, he shares a prominent place in American acting in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to winning a Best Actor Academy Award (for A Free Soul (1931)), Lionel also was an Oscar-nominated director (for Madame X (1929)) and a prolific composer of songs as well as an accomplished graphic artist. He now is best known for his portrayal of the evil banker Mr. Potter in It's a Wonderful Life (1946), though he once was renowned for playing Ebeneezer Scrooge each year on the radio broadcast of Charles Dickinson's "A Christmas Carol" as well as appearing as the irascible Doctor Gillespie in the Doctor Kildare movie series.

He was born Lionel Herbert Blythe on April 28, 1878 in Philadelphia, the son of actors Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew Barrymore. ("Barrymore" was a stage name.) Though raised a Catholic, he attended Philadelphia's Episcopal Academy. He joined the family business and first trod the boards in the mid-1890s, acting with his maternal grandmother, Louisa Lane Drew. He also appeared with his maternal uncle, John Drew, Jr. in Broadway plays after the turn of the century. He first acted with his kid brother John in the 1905 play "Pantaloon".

Lionel never developed the heightened reputation as a stage actor enjoyed by his siblings John (who still reigns as the definitive American Hamlet) and sister Ethel. As a screen actor, he was ranked among the best. (Ethel, like Lionel, would win an Oscar. John, despite his reputation as the greatest actor of his generation, was never even nominated, handicapped in those days by being a freelance actor with no ties to a studio, which practiced block voting for Oscars.)

He wed the actress Doris Rankin, whose sister Gladys was married to Lionel's uncle Sidney Drew, and they moved to Paris in the latter part of the first decade of the 20th century, returning to the States in 1910. On Broadway, Lionel established a solid reputation as a dramatic character actor, appearing often with Doris. In 1919, he appeared with his brother John in "The Jest" (1919), but unlike John, he did not prove his mettle as a Shakespearean actor. His performance as Macbeth in a 1921 production of The Scottish Play was unsuccessful, and he began focusing more on films, which he first began making at Biograph in 1911 under the direction of D.W. Griffith. At the time he made his first films, movies were considered beneath the dignity of a stage actor.

Lionel and Doris suffered tragedy as their children, two daughters, did not survive infancy. Their first child, named Ethel after his sister, was born and died in 1908. Their second child, Mary, died within a few months of her birth in 1916. He apparently never got over the loss of his two girls (he never had any other children), and he divorced Doris in 1923 and married actress Irene Fenwick, a former lover of his brother John. The marriage strained his relationship with his brother, and they were not reconciled until 1926.

In addition to acting at Biograph, Lionel also tried his hand at directing. At Metro Pictures, he helmed many pictures, including directing his sister Ethel in Life's Whirlpool (1917) (1917). That was his last silent picture as director; he would not sit in the director's chair again until the advent of the talkies. His success as a movie actor was assured when he joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1926, two years after the studio's formation, having already developed a strong relationship with Louis B. Mayer at Metro Pictures. He would remain a contract player with MGM until his death 30 years later, though he occasionally was loaned out.

At MGM, he became a star in the talkies and continued as a stalwart character lead and supporting player for parts of four decades, appearing opposite the studio's biggest stars, including John Gilbert, Lon Chaney (for whom he served as a pallbearer at his funeral), Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Norma Shearer, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy. In non-MGM films, he appeared with Gloria Swanson in Sadie Thompson (1928) and was reunited with D.W. Griffith in the director's Drums of Love (1928). He also was loaned out to director Frank Capra for You Can't Take It with You (1938) and It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and to producer David O. Selznick for the Technicolor Western potboiler Duel in the Sun (1946).

With the arrival of the talkies, Lionel's stage-trained, mellifluous voice proved to be a great asset, though initially the studio assigned him to directing assignments. He directed Gilbert in His Glorious Night (1929) and guided Ruth Chatterton to consideration for an Oscar in Madame X (1929), for which he garnered his own Oscar nod as best director. He returned to acting full time in 1931, giving the performance that won him a Best Actor Oscar in A Free Soul (1931) with Shearer and Gable. He was memorable as Rasputin the 1932 film Rasputin and the Empress (1932), in which he co-starred with John and Ethel. He also appeared with John in the classics Grand Hotel (1932) and Dinner at Eight (1933), although in the latter film, they had no scenes together.

In the 1930s, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt was asked if he thought Lionel Barrymore was the greatest actor in America, FDR replied, "I am the greatest actor in America." Both were masters of the radio waves, FDR with his fireside chats, Lionel with his annual broadcast of "A Christmas Carol" in which he played Scrooge.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the aging Barrymore played grouchy old men, for MGM and on loan-out (including John Huston's Key Largo (1948) with Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson at Warner Bros.). He was well known for playing Doctor Gillespie in the Doctor Kildare movies of the 1930s and 1940s. By the time of Doctor Kildare, Barrymore was disabled, having broken his hip twice, with his deteriorating condition exacerbated by arthritis. After 1938's _Captains Courageous (1938)_, he was never filmed standing again, playing his roles in a wheelchair. (He appeared in Frank Capra's 1938 Best Picture Academy Award winning You Can't Take It with You (1938) on crutches, which caused him a great deal of pain.) His last movie was the musical comedy Main Street to Broadway (1953), in which he appeared with his sister Ethel. (John had passed away from the deleterious effects of alcoholism in 1942.) He died the following year, on November 15, 1954 at the age of 76 after suffering a heart attack.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1380 2023-09-26 21:09:28

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1342) Wallace Beery

Summary

Wallace Fitzgerald Beery (April 1, 1885 – April 15, 1949) was an American film and stage actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill (1930) opposite Marie Dressler, as General Director Preysing in Grand Hotel (1932), as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1934), as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa! (1934), and his titular role in The Champ (1931), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Beery appeared in some 250 films during a 36-year career. His contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer stipulated in 1932 that he would be paid $1 more than any other contract player at the studio. This made Beery the highest-paid film actor in the world during the early 1930s. He was the brother of actor Noah Beery and uncle of actor Noah Beery Jr.

For his contributions to the film industry, Beery was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion-picture star in 1960. His star is located at 7001 Hollywood Boulevard.

Details

Wallace Beery, in full Wallace Fitzgerald Beery, (born April 1, 1885, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.—died April 15, 1949, Los Angeles, California), was an American actor who played in more than 250 motion pictures between 1913 and 1949.

Beery’s first job in entertainment was as an elephant trainer for the Ringling Brothers Circus. He later joined his brother, the actor Noah Beery, Sr., in New York City, where they both worked in the choruses of theatrical productions. He was given the lead in the play The Yankee Tourist and subsequently worked for several years as a dramatic actor in touring and stock theatrical companies.

In 1913 Beery joined the Essanay Studios in Chicago and began his motion-picture career as a director as well as an actor. He worked as a comedian in the Keystone comedies but in 1917 switched to playing villains for several years. He returned to comedy in the 1930s, playing gruff but lovable characters. His most notable performances were in The Champ (1931), for which he won an Academy Award as best actor, and Tugboat Annie (1933).
Additional Information

In 1902, 16-year-old Wallace Beery joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant to the elephant trainer. He left two years later after a leopard clawed his arm. Beery next went to New York, where he found work in musical variety shows. He became a leading man in musicals and appeared on Broadway and in traveling stock companies. In 1913 he headed for Hollywood, where he would get his start as the hulking Swedish maid in the Sweedie comedy series for Essanay. In 1915 he would work with young ingénue Gloria Swanson in Sweedie Goes to College (1915). A year later they would marry and be wildly unhappy together. The marriage dissolved when Beery could not control his drinking and Gloria got tired of his abuse. Beery finished with the Sweedie series and worked as the heavy in a number of films. Starting with Patria (1917), he would play the beastly Hun in a number of films. In the 1920s he would be seen in a number of adventures, including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), Robin Hood (1922), The Sea Hawk (1924) and The Pony Express (1925). He would also play the part of Poole in So Big (1924), which was based on the best-selling book of the same name by Edna Ferber. Paramount began to move Beery back into comedies with Behind the Front (1926). When sound came, Beery was one of the victims of the wholesale studio purge. He had a voice that would record well, but his speech was slow and his tone was a deep, folksy, down home-type. While not the handsome hero image, MGM executive Irving Thalberg saw something in Beery and hired him for the studio. Thalberg cast Beery in The Big House (1930), which was a big hit and got Beery an Academy Award nomination. However, Beery would become almost a household word with the release of the sentimental Min and Bill (1930), which would be one of 1930's top money makers. The next year Beery would win the Oscar for Best Actor in The Champ (1931). He would be forever remembered as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1934) (who says never work with kids?). Beery became one of the top ten stars in Hollywood, as he was cast as the tough, dim-witted, easy-going type (which, in real life, he was anything but). In Flesh (1932) he would be the dim-witted wrestler who did not figure that his wife was unfaithful. In Dinner at Eight (1933) he played a businessman trying to get into society while having trouble with his wife, Jean Harlow. After Marie Dressler died in 1934, he would not find another partner in the same vein as his early talkies until he teamed with Marjorie Main in the 1940s. He would appear opposite her in such films as Wyoming (1940) and Barnacle Bill (1941). By that time his career was slowing as he was getting up in age. He continued to work, appearing in only one or two pictures a year, until he died from a heart attack in 1949.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1381 2023-09-28 00:18:32

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1343) Fredric March

Summary

Fredric March (born Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel; August 31, 1897 – April 14, 1975) was an American actor, regarded as one of Hollywood's most celebrated stars of the 1930s and 1940s. As a performer he was known for his protean versatility. He received numerous accolades including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two Tony Awards as well as nominations for three BAFTA Awards and three Emmy Awards.

He began his career in 1920, by working as an extra in movies filmed in New York City. He made his stage debut on Broadway in 1926 at the age of 29, and by the end of the decade, he signed a film contract with Paramount Pictures. He made seven pictures in 1929. He went on to receive two Academy Awards for his performances in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), and The Best Years of Our Lives (1947). His other Oscar-nominated performances were in the films The Royal Family of Broadway (1930), A Star is Born (1937), and Death of a Salesman (1951).

March gained popularity after establishing himself with leading man with roles in films such as Honor Among Lovers (1931), Merrily We Go to Hell (1932), Design for Living (1933), Death Takes a Holiday (1934), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Les Misérables (1935), Anna Karenina (1935), The Dark Angel (1935), Nothing Sacred (1937), and I Married a Witch (1942). His later film roles include Executive Suite (1954), The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954), The Desperate Hours (1955), Inherit the Wind (1960), and Seven Days in May (1964). He made his final film appearance in The Iceman Cometh (1973).

Also known for his stage roles, he made his Broadway debut in the play The Melody Man (1926). During his career acting on stage he had twice won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performances in the Ruth Gordon play Years Ago (1947) and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night (1956). He along with Helen Hayes are the only actors to have won both the Academy Award and the Tony Award twice.

Details

Fredric March, original name Frederick Ernest McIntyre Bickel, (born August 31, 1897, Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.—died April 14, 1975, Los Angeles, California), was a versatile American stage and film actor, adept at both romantic leads and complex character roles.

March developed his interest in acting while a student at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating in 1920, he moved to New York City to work in a bank, but he soon began to pursue a career in acting. For the next six years March accepted numerous small roles in plays and in films before landing his first Broadway leading role in The Devil in the Cheese (1926). While appearing in a stock company, he met actress Florence Eldridge, who became his wife in 1927. In the decades that followed, they built a reputation as a prominent theatrical team.

March’s parody of John Barrymore in a 1928 touring production of The Royal Family earned him a five-year contract with Paramount Pictures, and he received his first Academy Award nomination for reprising the Barrymore role in the retitled screen adaptation, The Royal Family of Broadway (1930). His best-known film performance from his early years was a dual role in the horror classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931); it won March his first Academy Award.

His Paramount contract, which expired in 1933, was March’s only long-term studio contract; for the remainder of his lengthy career, he freelanced—a rarity in the days of the Hollywood studio system. Throughout the next decade, he created memorable roles in films for various studios, most notably The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Death Takes a Holiday (1934), Les Misérables (1935), Anthony Adverse (1936), Nothing Sacred (1937), A Star Is Born (1937; his third Oscar-nominated performance), The Buccaneer (1938), Bedtime Story (1941), I Married a Witch (1942), and The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944).

In 1942 March returned to Broadway in Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth, and for the rest of his career he alternated between Hollywood films and the New York stage. He needed little training to adapt his skills to either medium, instinctively knowing if a gesture or facial expression was too broad for the screen or too subtle for the stage. March disdained the internal “method” approach to his craft. Upon accepting a script, he learned his lines quickly so that he had time to absorb the nuances of each word. This cerebral approach occasionally resulted in stolid, emotionally unconvincing performances (especially during his younger years when he was often cast in one-dimensional leading man roles), but it more often produced compelling, complex characterizations.

March aged gracefully into the character roles he was offered in later years. Two of his Broadway performances received considerable acclaim: A Bell for Adano (1944) and Years Ago (1947), the latter performance winning a Tony Award. In between playing the two stage roles, he won a second Oscar for what may be his most renowned screen role, that of the emotionally repressed World War II veteran in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). His career faltered somewhat during the 1950s and into the ’60s, but highlights include his Oscar-nominated performance as math Loman in Death of a Salesman (1951), his role as a suburban homeowner terrorized by a gang of thugs in The Desperate Hours (1955), his William Jennings Bryan-based character in Inherit the Wind (1960), a turn as the president of the United States in Seven Days in May (1964), and a role as the corrupt Indian agent in Hombre (1967). March appeared on Broadway between film roles, winning a second Tony Award for originating the role of James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (1956). His final performance, as Harry Hope in the film adaptation of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (1973), was especially strong.

Additional Information

Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He starred on the Broadway stage first in 1926 and would return there between screen appearances later on. He won plaudits (and an Academy Award nomination) for his send-up of John Barrymore in The Royal Family of Broadway (1930). Four more Academy Award nominations would come his way, and he would win the Oscar for Best Actor twice: for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). He could play roles varying from heavy drama to light comedy, and was often best portraying men in anguish, such as math Loman in Death of a Salesman (1951). As his career advanced he progressed from leading man to character actor.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1382 2023-09-29 17:22:43

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1344) Charles Laughton

Summary

Charles Laughton (1 July 1899 – 15 December 1962) was an English actor. He was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and first appeared professionally on the stage in 1926. In 1927, he was cast in a play with his future wife Elsa Lanchester, with whom he lived and worked until his death.

He played a wide range of classical and modern roles, making an impact in Shakespeare at the Old Vic. His film career took him to Broadway and then Hollywood, but he also collaborated with Alexander Korda on notable British films of the era, including The Private Life of Henry VIII, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the title character. He portrayed everything from monsters and misfits to kings. Among Laughton's biggest film hits were The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Mutiny on the Bounty, Ruggles of Red Gap, Jamaica Inn, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Big Clock, and Witness for the Prosecution. Daniel Day-Lewis cited Laughton as one of his inspirations, saying: "He was probably the greatest film actor who came from that period of time. He had something quite remarkable. His generosity as an actor; he fed himself into that work. As an actor, you cannot take your eyes off him."

In his later career, he took up stage directing, notably in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell, in which he also starred. He directed one film, the thriller The Night of the Hunter, which after an initially disappointing reception is acclaimed today as a film classic.

Details

Charles Laughton, (born July 1, 1899, Scarborough, Yorkshire, England—died December 15, 1962, Hollywood, California, U.S.), was a British actor and director who defied the Hollywood typecasting system to emerge as one of most versatile performers of his generation.

The son of a Yorkshire hotel keeper, Laughton was expected to go into the family business after graduating from Stonyhurst School at age 16. He was instead drawn to performing, and in 1925 he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Making his first professional London stage appearance in a 1926 production of The Government Inspector, he was able to avoid the usual typecasting brought on by a plain face and bulky frame, playing a wide variety of characters both villainous and virtuous. He made his film debut in the two-reel British comedy Blue Bottles in 1928, the same year that he met his future wife, actress Elsa Lanchester. He went to New York City in 1931, where he repeated his London stage success in Payment Deferred (1932), and was signed by Paramount Pictures the following year. Cast as a raving lunatic in his first American picture, Devil and the Deep (1932), he immediately counteracted this image with his portrayal of a good-natured industrialist in The Old Dark House (1932). Shortly afterward he switched gears again to play the depraved Nero in The Sign of the Cross (1932). He returned to England in 1933 to play the title role in The Private Life of Henry VIII, a rich, robust performance that won him an Academy Award.

Continuing to play such unpleasant film characters as Javert in Les Misérables (1935) and Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), he balanced these assignments with such sympathetic roles as the mild-mannered British valet in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) and the pathetic Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). He even dabbled in broad comedy, most memorably in Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952). Laughton’s inclination toward hammy self-indulgence was not universally appreciated by his coworkers, but audiences adored him, excesses and all. Near the end of his career, his acting style mellowed considerably, and many observers regard his evenly measured performances in Spartacus (1960) and Advise & Consent (1962) as his finest work. He also proved to be an accomplished film director with the allegorical thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955).

Laughton became a U.S. citizen in 1950, shortly after he began to tour extensively with his readers’ theatre presentations of George Bernard Shaw’s Don Juan in Hell and Stephen Vincent Benét’s John Brown’s Body. Many of Laughton’s best readings have been preserved in audio recordings and in the filmed television series This Is Charles Laughton (1953). Laughton also produced and directed the long-running Broadway drama The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1953).

Additional Information

Charles Laughton was born on July 1, 1899 in Yorkshire, England. He was the son of Robert Laughton, a Yorkshire hotel keeper. His mother, Eliza (nee Conlon) Laughton, was a devout Roman Catholic of Irish ancestry, and raised her children in that faith. Laughton briefly attended Scarborough College, a local boys' school in his area before attending Stonyhurst College, an English Jesuit school.

Laughton was expected to take over the family business after graduating from Stonyhurst at age 16. His passion, however, like in the performance arts and he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1925. In 1926, Laughton made his inaugural professional stage appearance in London in the production of The Government Inspector. This role allowed him to show his versatility as a thespian, by portraying both villainous and virtuous characters.

After many successful stage performances, Laughton made his film debut in the 1928 British silent comedy Blue Bottles (1928), where he would meet his future wife Elsa Lanchester. In 1931, Laughton made his New York stage debut which led to many film offers, and he would star in his first Hollywood film the following year, the 1932 The Old Dark House (1932). Laughton's true breakout role occurred in the 1933 The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933), for which Laughton won the Academy Award for Best Actor for portraying the titular King Henry VIII, upon whom the film was loosely based.

Laughton soon gave up the stage for films and would go on to star in many films, including White Woman (1933), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Les Misérables (1935), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), Rembrandt (1936), This Land Is Mine (1943), The Suspect (1944), It Started with Eve (1941), The Paradine Case (1947), The Big Clock (1948), Arch of Triumph (1948), The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949), O. Henry's Full House (1952), Witness for the Prosecution (1957) and Spartacus (1960).

In 1955, Laughton made his directorial debut on the big screen with The Night of the Hunter (1955), which starred Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters. Although the film was a critical and box-office flop, it has since been cited by many as one of the greatest films of the 1950s by many critics. It has also been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. This would become the only feature-film Laughton directed in his career.

charles_laughton.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1383 2023-09-30 17:38:03

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1345) Clark Gable

Summary

William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor. Often referred to as The King of Hollywood, he had roles in more than 60 motion pictures in a variety of genres during a career that lasted 37 years, three decades of which was as a leading man. He was named the seventh greatest male movie star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.

Gable won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the romantic comedy It Happened One Night (1934). He was further Oscar-nominated for his roles as Fletcher Christian in the drama Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), and Rhett Butler in the historical romance drama Gone with the Wind (1939). He received Golden Globe Award nominations for his comedic roles in Teacher's Pet (1958), and But Not for Me (1959). He also starred in Call of the Wild (1935), Key to the City (1950), and Mogambo (1953). His final on-screen role was as an aging cowboy in The Misfits (1961).

Gable was one of the most consistent box-office performers in the history of Hollywood, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll sixteen times. He appeared opposite many of the most popular actresses of their time. He frequently acted alongside Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, Norma Shearer and Ava Gardner. Gable died of a heart attack at the age of 59.

Details

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, where he stayed until he was two. His father then returned to take him back to Cadiz. At 16, he quit high school, went to work in an Akron, Ohio, tire factory, and decided to become an actor after seeing the play "The Bird of Paradise". He toured in stock companies, worked oil fields and sold ties. On December 13, 1924, he married Josephine Dillon, his acting coach and 15 years his senior. Around that time, they moved to Hollywood, so that Clark could concentrate on his acting career. In April 1930, they divorced and a year later, he married Maria Langham (a.k.a. Maria Franklin Gable), also about 17 years older than him.

While Gable acted on stage, he became a lifelong friend of Lionel Barrymore. After several failed screen tests (for Barrymore and Darryl F. Zanuck), Gable was signed in 1930 by MGM's Irving Thalberg. He had a small part in The Painted Desert (1931) with starred William Boyd. Joan Crawford asked for him as co-star in Dance, Fools, Dance (1931) and the public loved him manhandling Norma Shearer in A Free Soul (1931) the same year. His unshaven lovemaking with Jean Harlow in Red Dust (1932) made him MGM's most important star.

His acting career then flourished. At one point, he refused an assignment, and the studio punished him by loaning him out to (at the time) low-rent Columbia Pictures, which put him in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934), which won him an Academy Award for his performance. The next year saw a starring role in Call of the Wild (1935) with Loretta Young, with whom he had an affair (resulting in the birth of a daughter, Judy Lewis). He returned to far more substantial roles at MGM, such as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).

After divorcing Maria Langham, in March 1939 Clark married Carole Lombard, but tragedy struck in January 1942 when the plane in which Carole and her mother were flying crashed into Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, killing them both. A grief-stricken Gable joined the US Army Air Force and was off the screen for three years, flying combat missions in Europe. When he returned the studio regarded his salary as excessive and did not renew his contract. He freelanced, but his films didn't do well at the box office. He married Sylvia Ashley, the widow of Douglas Fairbanks, in 1949. Unfortunately this marriage was short-lived and they divorced in 1952. In July 1955 he married a former sweetheart, Kathleen Williams Spreckles (a.k.a. Kay Williams) and became stepfather to her two children, Joan and Adolph ("Bunker") Spreckels III.

On November 16, 1959, Gable became a grandfather when Judy Lewis, his daughter with Loretta Young, gave birth to a daughter, Maria. In 1960, Gable's wife Kay discovered that she was expecting their first child. In early November 1960, he had just completed filming The Misfits (1961), when he suffered a heart attack, and died later that month, on November 16, 1960. Gable was buried shortly afterwards in the shrine that he had built for Carole Lombard and her mother when they died, at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

In March 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to a boy, whom she named John Clark Gable after his father.

Clark Gable was an American film actor, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or just simply as "The King." The 1930s saw him at the peak of his acting ability and his popular appeal, as he often portrayed down-to-earth, bravado characters with a carefree attitude. He was known as the epitome of masculinity with his unmatched charm and knowing smile. He was named the seventh greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.

Gable was born in Cadiz, Ohio, to William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller, and his wife, Adeline, in 1901. When he was six months old, his mother baptized him as a Roman Catholic and she would pass away just a month later. He quit high school at the age of 16 and was inspired to become an actor after seeing the play The Bird of Paradise. However, he was unable to begin a legitimate career until the age of 21, at which point he had inherited some money.

In 1924, Gable moved to Hollywood with his theatre coach Josephine Dillon, who was 17 years older than him. She paid for him to have his teeth repaired and his hair styled. She also trained him to lower his voice and attain better body posture, attributes that that were instrumental in contributing to his later success and eventual iconic status. She became his manager and the two eventually got married, although they divorced in 1930, a year before marrying his second wife Maria Franklin Gable.

Gable worked as an extra in Hollywood before making his talking film debut in The Painted Desert (1931), a western in which he played an archetypal villain named Brett. Gable would go on to star in many films including Red Dust (1932), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Wife vs. Secretary (1936), San Francisco (1936), Call of the Wild (1935), Saratoga (1937), Too Hot to Handle (1938), Possessed (1931), China Seas (1935) and Manhattan Melodrama (1934). While starring in various films, he signed a contract with MGM that lasted for twenty-three years.

In the 1930s, Gable firmly cemented his status as a cinematic legend. He starred in the now classic romantic comedy film It Happened One Night (1934), a film that earned all 5 of the major Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Gable and Best Picture. He also starred alongside Vivien Leigh in the Oscar-winning epic Gone with the Wind (1939), a film that, adjusted for inflation, would be the top-grossing movie of all time as it was estimated to have grossed an adjusted $4.4 billion. Arthur Miller, writer of The Misfits (1961), had described Gable as "the man who did not know how to hate".

Additional Information

Clark Gable, in full William Clark Gable, (born February 1, 1901, Cadiz, Ohio, U.S.—died November 16, 1960, Los Angeles, California), was an American film actor who epitomized the American ideal of masculinity and virility for three decades. An enormously popular star during his lifetime, Gable was dubbed the “King of Hollywood.”

Early life and career

Gable was the only son of an itinerant oil-field worker, and his mother died when he was not yet 10 months old. He grew up in Ohio and reportedly dropped out of high school at age 16. Gable held various jobs before embarking on an acting career in his early 20s. While in Oregon, he became the protégé of veteran actress Josephine Dillon, who coached Gable in poise and elocution and paid for his orthodontic work. Although 17 years her junior, Gable married Dillon in 1924, about the same time he began to land small roles in silent films. His first big break came when he was cast in the lead of the Broadway play Machinal (1928).

Stardom: It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty, and San Francisco

In 1930 Gable’s performance in a Los Angeles stage production of The Last Mile brought him to the attention of Hollywood producers. Although he failed his first screen test at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer—in part because producers thought Gable’s ears were too big for a leading man’s—his supporting performance in the low-budget western The Painted Desert (1931) convinced MGM executives of Gable’s talent and screen presence. The actor garnered public attention with his aggressive masculine performances in such films as A Free Soul and Night Nurse (both 1931). This forceful persona—equal parts “man’s man” and “ladies’ man”—helped make him one of Hollywood’s top stars within a year.

Among Gable’s most successful films for MGM during this period were Red Dust (1932), Strange Interlude (1932), Dancing Lady (1933), Hold Your Man (1933), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), and Men in White (1934). Despite his macho persona in such films, Gable’s screen presence was largely nonthreatening: his magnetic smile and playful winks rendered him a charming rogue who did not take himself too seriously. Although Gable himself maintained a self-deprecating attitude toward his own talent throughout the years, he often proved himself most competent in demanding roles and was equally deft at romantic comedy and epic drama.

As punishment for refusing a role, MGM lent Gable to Columbia Pictures—a studio then known derisively as “poverty row”—for the Frank Capra comedy It Happened One Night (1934). The punishment turned out to be a coup for Gable, as the film—the story of a spoiled runaway heiress (portrayed by Claudette Colbert) and the newspaper reporter (Gable) who tries to exploit her story—swept the Academy Awards in all five major categories: best picture, actress, director, and screenplay and best actor for Gable. Many of Gable’s best films of the period were either those he resisted doing or those that were made on loan-out to other studios. He did not feel himself right for the role of mutineer Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), yet the film proved hugely popular and earned Gable another Oscar nomination. Also in 1935 he played Jack London’s hero in Call of the Wild for Twentieth Century Fox; during filming he had an affair with Loretta Young, and she had a daughter later that year, though Gable was not publicly revealed as the father until well after his death. He reluctantly accepted the role of rakish political boss Blackie Norton in San Francisco (1936), one of the most praised and popular films of Gable’s career. It was also the first movie in which he costarred with Spencer Tracy; they would also team in the hit films Test Pilot (1938) and Boom Town (1940).

Gone with the Wind, tragedy, and later films of Clark Gable

Wary of period films after flopping in the costume drama Parnell (1937), Gable at first declined the role of Rhett Butler in David O. Selznick’s production of the Margaret Mitchell best seller, Gone with the Wind (1936). As the book had been the best-selling novel of all time, Gable also felt that no screen adaptation could live up to the expectations of the general public. Studio coercion and widespread public demand compelled Gable to reconsider, and the resulting film was, and remains to this day, one of the most popular movies ever made. The grand epic-scale four-hour Civil War melodrama, which was released in 1939, won the Oscar for best picture (during what many historians consider to be the benchmark year for Hollywood filmmaking), and Gable garnered his third Oscar nomination for the role with which he is most associated.

During the filming of Gone with the Wind, Gable married (1939) actress Carole Lombard. The couple had met on the set of No Man of Her Own (1932), though they did not begin dating for several years. After two failed marriages, Gable appeared to have found his perfect mate in the gifted comedienne. However, his happiness was short-lived. In 1942 Lombard was killed in a plane crash while returning home from a war bond rally. The business of making movies suddenly seemed frivolous to the devastated Gable, who walked away from his Hollywood commitments to join the Army Air Corps, even though he was well past draft age. He served as a tail gunner during the war, making him a greater hero than ever in the eyes of his fans, and attained the rank of major. Gable returned to films upon his discharge, but the joyous insouciance of his earlier performances was largely absent in the films he made after Lombard’s death.

Gable made several good films during the 1940s and ’50s, but none rank as classics. With the possible exceptions of The Hucksters (1947) and Mogambo (1953), the best of Gable’s later films were those he made near the end of his career, including Band of Angels (1957), a Civil War potboiler in which he played a plantation owner; Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), a tense submarine adventure in which Gable costarred with Burt Lancaster; and the romantic farces Teacher’s Pet (1958), with Doris Day, and It Started in Naples (1960), with Sophia Loren.

Gable’s final film, John Huston’s The Misfits (1961), was his best in many years and features one of Gable’s finest performances, but it is a film clouded by tragedy. It was the final movie for both Gable and Marilyn Monroe, two of Hollywood’s most-enduring icons, and it was one of the last films for the gifted Montgomery Clift. Gable, who insisted on doing his own stunt work for grueling scenes involving the roping of wild horses, died of a heart attack within days of the film’s completion. Several months later, his fifth wife, Kay Williams, gave birth to John Clark Gable, his only son. The Misfits, in which Gable portrays a cowboy out of place in the modern world, was a fitting final movie for an actor who epitomized Hollywood’s Golden Age and who himself was something of a misfit in the era of television and method actors. Upon his death, several newspapers throughout the country displayed the same banner headline: “The King is Dead.”

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1384 2023-10-01 17:16:26

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

1346) Victor McLaglen

Summary

Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen (10 December 1886 – 7 November 1959) was a British boxer-turned-Hollywood actor. He was known as a character actor, particularly in Westerns, and made seven films with John Ford and John Wayne. McLaglen won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1935 for his role in The Informer.

Early life

McLaglen claimed to have been born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, although his birth certificate records 505 Commercial Road, Stepney in the East End of London as his true birthplace. His father, Andrew Charles Albert Mclaglen, was a missionary in the Free Protestant Church in South Africa, and was later a bishop of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England.

The McLaglen family is ultimately of Scottish origin, descended from a MacLachlan who settled in South Africa in the 19th century. The name was rendered into McLaglen from Dutch pronunciation. A.C.A. McLaglen was christened Andries Carel Albertus McLaglen in Cape Town on 4 April 1851.

One of ten siblings, Victor had eight brothers and a sister. Four of his brothers also became actors: Arthur, an actor and sculptor, and Clifford, Cyril, and Kenneth.

Other siblings included Frederick, Lewis, and a sister, Lily. Another brother, Sydney Temple Leopold McLaglen, who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to World War I as a showman and self-proclaimed world jujutsu champion, who authored a book on the subject.

Victor moved with his family to South Africa for a time, where his father was Bishop of Claremont.

Details

Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen was an English boxer and World War I veteran who became a leading American film actor.

McLaglen was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. His father, an Anglican bishop, moved the family to South Africa when McLaglen was a child. He had eight brothers and a sister. Four of his brothers also became actors: Arthur, an actor and sculptor, and Clifford, Cyril and Kenneth. Other siblings included Frederick, Sydney, Lewis, and a sister, Lily. Another brother, Leopold McLaglen, who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to World War I as a showman and self-proclaimed World Jujutsu Champion, who authored a book on the subject.

He left home at fourteen to join the British Army with the intention of fighting in the Second Boer War. However, much to his chagrin, he was stationed at Windsor Castle with the Life Guards and was later forced to leave the army when his true age was discovered.

Four years later, he moved to Canada, where he earned a living as a wrestler and heavyweight boxer, with several notable wins in the ring. One of his most famous fights was against Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson, in a 6 round exhibition bout. Between bouts, McLaglen toured with a circus, which offered $25 to anyone who could go three rounds with him. He returned to England in 1913 and during World War I served as a Captain with the 10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, part of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. Later he claimed to have served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He served for a time as military Provost Marshal for the city of Baghdad. He also continued boxing, and was named Heavyweight Champion of the British Army in 1918. After the war, he began taking roles in British silent films.

Additional Information

Rambunctious British leading man (contrary to popular belief, he was of Scottish ancestry, not Irish) and later character actor primarily in American films, Victor McLaglen was a vital presence in a number of great motion pictures, especially those of director John Ford. McLaglen (pronounced Muh-clog-len, not Mack-loff-len) was the son of the Right Reverend Andrew McLaglen, a Protestant clergyman who was at one time Bishop of Claremont in South Africa. The young McLaglen, eldest of eight brothers, attempted to serve in the Boer War by joining the Life Guards, though his father secured his release. The adventuresome young man traveled to Canada where he did farm labor and then directed his pugnacious nature into professional prizefighting. He toured in circuses, vaudeville shows, and Wild West shows, often as a fighter challenging all comers. His tours took him to the US, Australia (where he joined in the gold rush) and South Africa. In 1909 he was the first fighter to box newly-crowned heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, whom he fought in a six-round exhibition match in Vancouver (as an exhibition fight, it had no decision). When the First World War broke out, McLaglen joined the Irish Fusiliers and soldiered in the Middle East, eventually serving as Provost Marshal (head of Military Police) for the city of Baghdad. After the war he attempted to resume a boxing career, but was given a substantial acting role in The Call of the Road (1920) and was well received. He became a popular leading man in British silent films, and within a few years was offered the lead in an American film, The Beloved Brute (1924). He quickly became a most popular star of dramas as well as action films, playing tough or suave with equal ease. With the coming of sound, his ability to be persuasively debonair diminished by reason of his native speech patterns, but his popularity increased, particularly when cast by Ford as the tragic Gypo Nolan in The Informer (1935), for which McLaglen won the Best Actor Oscar. He continued to play heroes, villains and simple-minded thugs into the 1940s, when Ford gave his career a new impetus with a number of lovably roguish Irish parts in such films as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and The Quiet Man (1952). The latter film won McLaglen another Oscar nomination, the first time a Best Actor winner had been nominated subsequently in the Supporting category. McLaglen formed a semi-militaristic riding and polo club, the Light Horse Brigade, and a similarly arrayed precision motorcycle team, the Victor McLaglen Motorcycle Corps, both of which led to apparently erroneous conclusions that he had fascist sympathies and was forming his own private army. The facts prove otherwise, and despite rumors to the contrary, McLaglen did not espouse the far right-wing sentiments often attributed to him. He continued to act in films into his 70s and died, from heart failure, not long after appearing in a film directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1385 2023-10-02 17:49:48

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1347) Paul Muni

Summary

Paul Muni (born Frederich Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund; September 22, 1895 – August 25, 1967) was an American stage and film actor from Chicago. He started his acting career in the Yiddish theater and during the 1930s, he was considered one of the most prestigious actors at the Warner Bros. studio and was given the rare privilege of choosing his own parts.

Muni often played powerful characters, such as the lead role in Scarface (1932), and was known for his intense preparation for his parts, often immersing himself in the study of the real characters' traits and mannerisms. He was also highly skilled in makeup techniques, a talent that he had learned from his parents, who were also actors, and from his early years on stage with the Yiddish theater in Chicago. At the age of 12, he played the stage role of an 80-year-old man, and in his film Seven Faces, he played seven characters.

Muni appeared in 22 films and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, winning the award for his role in the 1936 film The Story of Louis Pasteur. He also starred in numerous Broadway plays and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role in the 1955 production of Inherit the Wind.

Details

Paul Muni, original name Meshilem Meier Weisenfreund, (born September 22, 1895, Lemberg, Austria [now Lviv, Ukraine]—died August 25, 1967, Montecito, California, U.S.), was an American stage, film, and television actor acclaimed for his portrayals of noted historical figures.

Weisenfreund was born to a family of Polish Jewish actors, and he began appearing onstage with his parents while still a young child. After the family’s immigration to the United States, he played in Yiddish stock companies on the East Coast, and in 1918 he joined New York’s Yiddish Art Theatre. As a young actor he mastered the art of makeup—a skill that served him well throughout his film career—and often played characters older than his years. During the 1920s he was a star of the Yiddish stage, and that helped him land his first Broadway role in We Americans (1926–27). Hollywood took notice, and in 1929 he made his film debut in The Valiant. Paul Muni, as he was by then known, received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a murderer. However, the film was a box-office disappointment, as was Seven Faces (1929), in which he played seven characters. Muni resumed his stage career, and he earned particular praise for his work in Counsellor-at-Law (1931–33).

In 1932 Muni returned to the big screen with a series of notable films. He first appeared in the classic crime drama Scarface, playing a cruel, explosive gangster. He then was cast as an impoverished World War I veteran forced into a life of crime in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, an exposé that helped end chain gangs in the American South. The film earned Muni his second Oscar nomination. He signed with Warner Brothers, and during the 1930s he became its most-prestigious star. His reputation as a prominent stage actor prevented Hollywood from molding him into a marketable image or into a typical big-screen leading man. It also allowed him the luxury of script approval—a concession granted to very few actors during the days of the studio system. Consequently, Muni’s film roles were diverse and generally superior to most Hollywood fare. He became known for his in-depth portrayals of prominent historical figures as well as for films with important social themes. Whatever the role, Muni did extensive research into the character, studying dialects and reading literary works. He also made an effort to disguise his own well-known features under extensive makeup in order to create a physical representation of the subject.

In 1935 Muni starred as a coal miner involved in a union dispute in Black Fury, and for his performance he earned his third Oscar nomination (as a write-in candidate). He then fought with Warner Brothers to make The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936). Despite a shoestring budget, the biopic of the French microbiologist was a major hit, and Muni finally won an Oscar for best actor. After playing a Chinese farmer in the 1937 adaptation of Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, Muni starred in The Life of Emile Zola (1937). The acclaimed drama about the French novelist received an Oscar for best picture, and Muni earned a nod for best actor. He then was cast as the Mexican national hero Benito Juárez in Juarez (1939). However, the drama, which also starred Bette Davis, did not match the success of Muni’s earlier biopics.

After the lackluster We Are Not Alone (1939), Muni returned to Broadway, starring in Key Largo (1939–40). He subsequently divided his time between stage, screen, and, later, television. He won a Tony Award for the Broadway production of Inherit the Wind (1955–57), in which he portrayed a character modeled on Clarence Darrow. His later notable films include Angel on My Shoulder (1946), a comedy about gangsters, and his final film, The Last Angry Man (1959), for which he received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a crusading doctor. Muni also had prominent roles in several TV anthology series, and after a 1962 appearance on the show Saints and Sinners, he retired from acting.

Additional Information

Paul Muni was born Sept. 22, 1895, in Lemberg, Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Salli and Phillip Weisenfreund, who were both professionals. His family was Jewish, and spoke Yiddish. Paul was educated in New York and Cleveland public schools. He was described as 5 feet 10 inches, with black hair and eyes, 165 pounds. He joined the Yiddish Art Theatre in New York (1908) for 4 years, and then moved to other Yiddish theaters until 1926, when he "went into an American play" called "We Americans", his first English-language role. In 1927-28, he appeared in the plays "Four Walls", "This One Man", "Counsellor-at-Law", and others. He began with Fox in 1928. He would later alternate between Broadway and Hollywood for his roles, becoming one of the more distinguished actors in either venue. Failing eyesight and otherwise poor health forced him into retirement after his appearance in The Last Angry Man (1959).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1386 2023-10-03 17:11:33

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1348) Spencer Tracy

Summary

Spencer Bonaventure Tracy (April 5, 1900 – June 10, 1967) was an American actor. He was known for his natural performing style and versatility. One of the major stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, Tracy was the first actor to win two consecutive Academy Awards for Best Actor from nine nominations. During his career, he appeared in 75 films and developed a reputation among his peers as one of the screen's greatest actors. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Tracy as the 9th greatest male star of Classic Hollywood Cinema.

Tracy first discovered his talent for acting while attending Ripon College, and he later received a scholarship for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He spent seven years in the theatre, working in a succession of stock companies and intermittently on Broadway. His breakthrough came in 1930, when his lead performance in The Last Mile caught the attention of Hollywood. After a successful film debut in John Ford's Up the River (in which he starred with Humphrey Bogart), he was signed to a contract with Fox Film Corporation. Tracy's five years with Fox featured one acting tour de force after another that were usually ignored at the box office, and he remained largely unknown to movie audiences after 25 films, nearly all of them starring him as the leading man. None of them were hits, although his performance in The Power and the Glory (1933) was highly praised at the time.

In 1935, he joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), at the time Hollywood's most prestigious studio. His career flourished from his fifth MGM film Fury (1936) onwards, and in 1937 and 1938 he won consecutive Oscars for Captains Courageous and Boys Town. He teamed with Clark Gable, the studio's most prominent leading man for three major box office successes, so that by the early 1940s Tracy was one of MGM's top stars. In 1942, he appeared with Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year, beginning a professional and personal partnership, which led to nine films over 25 years. In 1955, Tracy won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film Bad Day at Black Rock.

Tracy left MGM in 1955, and continued to work regularly as a freelance star, despite several health issues and an increasing weariness and irritability as he aged. His personal life was troubled, with a lifelong struggle against severe alcoholism and guilt over his son's deafness. Tracy and his wife Louise became estranged in the 1930s, but the couple never divorced; his 25-year long relationship with Katharine Hepburn was an open secret. Towards the end of his life, Tracy worked almost exclusively for director Stanley Kramer. It was for Kramer that he made his last film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), completed just 17 days before he died.

Details

Spencer Tracy was the second son born on April 5, 1900, to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While attending Marquette Academy, he and classmate Pat O'Brien quit school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. Tracy was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the end of the war. After playing the lead in the play "The Truth" at Ripon College he decided that acting might be his career.

Moving to New York, Tracy and O'Brien, who'd also settled on a career on the stage, roomed together while attending the Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1923 both got nonspeaking parts as robots in "R.U.R.", a dramatization of the groundbreaking science fiction novel by Czech author Karel Capek. Making very little money in stock, Tracy supported himself with jobs as bellhop, janitor and salesman until John Ford saw his critically acclaimed performance in the lead role in the play "The Last Mile" (later played on film by Clark Gable) and signed him for The William Fox Film Company's production of Up the River (1930). Despite appearing in sixteen films at that studio over the next five years, Tracy was never able to rise to full film star status there, in large part because the studio was unable to match his talents to suitable story material.

During that period the studio itself floundered, eventually merging with Darryl F. Zanuck, Joseph Schenck and William Goetz's William 20th Century Pictures to become 20th Century-Fox). In 1935 Tracy signed with MGM under the aegis of Irving Thalberg and his career flourished. He became the first actor to win back-to-back Best Actor Oscars for Captains Courageous (1937) and, in a project he initially didn't want to star in, Boys Town (1938).

During Tracy's nearly forty-year film career, he was nominated for his performances in San Francisco (1936), Father of the Bride (1950), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Old Man and the Sea (1958), Inherit the Wind (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).

Tracy had a brief romantic relationship with Loretta Young in the mid-1930s, and a lifelong one with Katharine Hepburn beginning in 1942 after they were first paired in Woman of the Year by director George Stevens. Tracy's strong Roman Catholic beliefs precluded his divorcing wife Louise, though they mostly lived apart. Tracy suffered from severe alcoholism and diabetes (from the late 1940s), which led to his declining several tailor-made roles in films that would become big hits with other actors in those roles. Although his drinking problems were well known, he was considered peerless among his colleagues (Tracy had a well-deserved reputation for keeping co-stars on their toes for his oddly endearing scene-stealing tricks), and remained in demand as a senior statesman who nevertheless retained box office clout. Two weeks after completion of Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), during which he suffered from lung congestion, Spencer Tracy died of a heart attack.

Additional Information

Spencer Tracy, in full Spencer Bonaventure Tracy, (born April 5, 1900, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.—died June 10, 1967, Beverly Hills, California), was a rough-hewn American film star who was one of Hollywood’s greatest male leads and the first actor to receive two consecutive Academy Awards for best actor.

As a youth Tracy was bored by schoolwork and joined the U.S. Navy at age 17. Despite his distaste for academics, he eventually became a premed student at Wisconsin’s Ripon College. While there, he auditioned for and won a role in the commencement play and discovered acting to be more to his liking than medicine. In 1922 he went to New York City, where he and his friend Pat O’Brien enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. That same year, both men made their joint Broadway debut, playing bit roles as robots in Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. For the next eight years, Tracy bounced between featured parts in short-running Broadway plays and leading roles in regional stock companies, finally achieving stardom when he was cast as death-row inmate Killer Mears in the 1930 Broadway hit The Last Mile. He subsequently appeared in two Vitaphone short subjects, but he was displeased with himself and pessimistic about his chances for screen stardom.

Nevertheless, director John Ford hired Tracy to star in the 1930 feature film Up the River, which resulted in a five-year stay at Fox Studios in Hollywood. Although few of his Fox films were memorable—excepting perhaps Me and My Gal (1932), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), and The Power and the Glory (1933)—his tenure at the studio enabled him to develop his uncanny ability to act without ever appearing to be acting. His friend Humphrey Bogart once attempted to describe the elusive Tracy technique: “[You] don’t see the mechanism working, the wheels turning. He covers up. He never overacts or is hammy. He makes you believe what he is playing.” For his part, Tracy always denied that he had come up with any sort of magic formula. Whenever he was asked the secret of great acting, he usually snapped, “Learn your lines!”

In 1935 he was signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he would do some of his best work, beginning with his harrowing performance as a lynch-mob survivor in Fritz Lang’s Fury (1936). He received his first of nine Oscar nominations for San Francisco (1936) and became the first actor to win two consecutive Academy Awards, for his performance as the Portuguese fisherman Manuel in Captains Courageous (1937) and for his role as the priest who founded the eponymous facility in Boys Town (1938). In the course of his two decades at MGM he settled gracefully into character leads, conveying everything from paternal bemusement in Father of the Bride (1950) to grim determination in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). In later years his health was eroded by respiratory ailments and a lifelong struggle with alcoholism, but Tracy worked into the early 1960s, delivering exceptionally powerful performances in producer-director Stanley Kramer’s Inherit the Wind (1960) and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961).

Married since 1923 to former actress Louise Treadwell, Tracy lived apart from his wife throughout most of their marriage, though as a strict Roman Catholic he refused to consider divorce. From 1942 onward, he maintained a warm, intimate relationship with actress Katharine Hepburn. Tracy and Hepburn were also memorably teamed in nine films, including Woman of the Year (1942), Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), Desk Set (1957), and Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), which was completed three weeks before Tracy’s death.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1387 2023-10-04 17:24:51

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1349) Robert Donat

Details

Friedrich Robert Donat (18 March 1905 – 9 June 1958) was an English actor. He is best remembered for his roles in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), winning for the latter the Academy Award for Best Actor.

In his book, The Age of the Dream Palace, Jeffrey Richards wrote that Donat was "British cinema's one undisputed romantic leading man in the 1930s". "The image he projected was that of the romantic idealist, often with a dash of the gentleman adventurer."

Donat suffered from chronic asthma, which affected his career and limited him to appearing in only 19 films.

Early life

Friedrich Robert Donat was born and baptised in Withington, Manchester, the fourth and youngest son of Ernst Emil Donat, a civil engineer of German origin from Prussian Poland, and his wife, Rose Alice Green. He was of English, Polish, German and French descent and was educated at Manchester Central Grammar School for Boys. His older brother was Philip Donat, father of actors Richard and Peter Donat.

To cope with a bad stammer, he took elocution lessons with James Bernard, a leading teacher of "dramatic interpretation". He left school at 15, working as Bernard's secretary to fund his continued lessons.

Stage career

Donat made his first stage appearance in 1921, at the age of 16, with Henry Baynton's company at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Birmingham, playing Lucius in Julius Caesar. His break came in 1924 when he joined the company of Shakespearean actor Sir Frank Benson, where he stayed for four years. He also worked in provincial repertory theatre.

In 1928, he began a year at the Liverpool Playhouse, starring in plays by John Galsworthy, George Bernard Shaw and Harold Brighouse, among others. In 1929, he played at the Festival Theatre in Cambridge under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie. He appeared in a number of plays, some with Flora Robson, and also directed.

In 1929, Donat married Ella Annesley Voysey (1903 West Bromwich, Staffordshire – 1994), the daughter of Rev. Ellison Annesley Voysey and Rachel Voysey née Enthoven. Ellison was the youngest son of the theist Rev. Charles Voysey. The couple had two sons and a daughter, but divorced in 1946.

In 1930, Donat and his wife moved to London, where he eventually made his debut in Knave and Quean at the Ambassadors Theatre. He received acclaim for a performance in a revival of Saint Joan.

In 1931, he achieved notice as Gideon Sarn in a dramatisation of the Mary Webb novel, Precious Bane, and he played various roles at the 1931 Malvern Festival. In the early 1930s, he was known in the industry as "screen test Donat" because of his many unsuccessful auditions for various film producers. MGM producer Irving Thalberg spotted him on the London stage in Precious Bane, and offered him a part in the 1932 film Smilin' Through, which he declined.

Film appearances

Donat made his film debut in a quota quickie Men of Tomorrow (1932) for Alexander Korda's London Films. An abysmal screen test for Korda had ended with Donat's laughter.[20] Reputedly, Korda reacted by exclaiming: "That's the most natural laugh I have ever heard in my life. What acting! Put him under contract immediately."

Korda cast Donat in the lead in That Night in London (1932), directed by Rowland V. Lee. He had a key role in Cash (1933), directed by Zoltan Korda, co-starring Edmund Gwenn.

Donat's first great screen success came in his fourth film, playing Thomas Culpeper in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) for the same producer. The film, starring Charles Laughton in the title role, was an enormous success around the world, including Hollywood. Donat started receiving Hollywood offers.

At the 1933 Malvern Festival, Donat received good reviews for his performance in A Sleeping Clergyman, which transferred to the West End. He was also in Saint Joan.

Korda loaned Donat to Edward Small for the only film Donat made in Hollywood, The Count of Monte Cristo (1934). In exchange, Leslie Howard was sent to Korda to make The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The Count of Monte Cristo was successful and Donat was offered the lead role in a number of films for Warners, including Anthony Adverse (1935) and another swashbuckler, Captain Blood (1935). However, he did not like America and returned to Britain.

In 1934, he appeared in the West End stage production of Mary Read, opposite Flora Robson.

In England, Donat had the star role in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935) opposite Madeleine Carroll. His performance was well-received: "Mr. Donat, who has never been very well served in the cinema until now, suddenly blossoms out into a romantic comedian of no mean order", wrote the film critic C. A. Lejeune in The Observer at the time of the film's release. Lejeune observed that he possessed "an easy confident humour that has always been regarded as the perquisite of the American male star. For the first time on our screen we have the British equivalent of a Clark Gable or a Ronald Colman, playing in a purely national idiom. Mr. Donat, himself, I fancy, is hardly conscious of it, which is all to the good."

Hitchcock wanted Donat for the role of Edgar Brodie in Secret Agent (1936) and Detective Ted Spencer in Sabotage (1936), but this time Korda refused to release him. John Gielgud replaced him in Secret Agent, while John Loder took the role in Sabotage. MGM wanted him for Romeo and Juliet but he turned them down. Sam Goldwyn made several offers which were also turned down, as was an offer from David O. Selznick to appear in The Garden of Allah, and from Small to make The Son of Monte Cristo.

Donat's next film was for Korda, The Ghost Goes West (1935), a comedy directed by René Clair.

In 1936, Donat took on the management of the Queen's Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, where he produced Red Night by J. L. Hodson.

Korda wanted Donat to make Hamlet. Instead, the actor appeared in Korda's Knight Without Armour (1937). Korda became committed to the latter project because of Donat's indecision. Madeleine Carroll had read the James Hilton novel while shooting The 39 Steps, and had persuaded Donat that it could be a good second film for them to star in together. Donat acquired the rights and passed them on to Korda, although Carroll was unavailable by then. His eventual co-star, Marlene Dietrich, was the source of much attention when she arrived in Britain. Donat was caught up in the furore, and the stress was so great that he suffered a nervous collapse a few days into the shooting and had to enter a nursing home. The production delay caused by Donat's asthma led to talk of replacing him. Dietrich, whose contract with Korda was for $450,000, threatened to leave the project if that happened, and production was halted for two months, until Donat was able to return to work.

He planned to return to the U.S. in 1937 to make Clementine for Small at RKO but changed his mind, fearing legal reprisals from Warners.

In 1938, Donat signed a contract with MGM British for £150,000 with a six-film commitment.

In The Citadel (1938), he played Andrew Manson, a newly qualified Scottish doctor, a role for which he received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination.

He played in Shaw's The Devil's Disciple (1938) on stage at the Piccadilly Theatre in London and the Old Vic.

Donat is best remembered for his role as the school master in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). Australian film critic Brian McFarlane writes: "Class-ridden and sentimental perhaps, it remains extraordinarily touching in his Oscar-winning performance, and it ushers in the Donat of the postwar years." His rivals for the Best Actor Award were Clark Gable for Gone with the Wind, Laurence Olivier for Wuthering Heights, James Stewart for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Mickey Rooney for Babes in Arms.

The Second World War

MGM wanted Donat to star in a movie about Beau Brummell and a new version of Pride and Prejudice but that was delayed by the war.

During the early days of the Second World War Donat focused on the stage. He played three roles at the 1939 Buxton Festival, including a part in The Good-Natur’d Man.

He had the title role in the film The Young Mr. Pitt (1942) for 20th Century Fox and played Captain Shotover in a new staging of Heartbreak House at the Cambridge Theatre in London from 1942 to 1943. For MGM British he starred in the film The Adventures of Tartu (1943), with Valerie Hobson. Donat wanted to play the Chorus in Olivier's Henry V, but the role went to Leslie Banks.

In 1943, he took over the lease of the Westminster Theatre, staging a number of plays there until 1945, including An Ideal Husband (1943–44), The Glass Slipper (1944) and The Cure for Love (1945) by Walter Greenwood. With the latter, which he directed, he began his professional association with Renée Asherson, later his second wife.

Donat was reunited with Korda for the film Perfect Strangers (1945), known in the United States as Vacation from Marriage, with Deborah Kerr. It was his last film for MGM British.

Later career

In 1946, Donat and Asherson appeared at the Aldwych Theatre in a production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Donat. He also directed The Man Behind the Statue by Peter Ustinov. Both lost money.

Donat had a small but crucial scene as Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell in Captain Boycott (1947) with Stewart Granger. He appeared on stage in a revival of A Sleeping Clergyman in 1947.

He auditioned as Bill Sikes in David Lean's Oliver Twist (1948), but Lean thought him wrong for the part and cast Robert Newton instead. Donat played the male lead in The Winslow Boy (1948), a popular adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play.

Donat and Asherson reprised their stage roles in the film version of The Cure for Love (1949). His only film as director, its production was affected by his ill health. The film's soundtrack had to be re-recorded after shooting was completed because Donat's asthma had severely affected his voice. Modestly received by a reviewer in The Monthly Film Bulletin, and described as "pedestrian" by Philip French in 2009, it was a hit in the North. In this film, Donat used his natural Mancunian accent, which his early elocution lessons had attempted to suppress completely.

Donat appeared on radio. In 1949, he did a performance of Justify by John Galsworthy on Theatre Guild on the Air for America. Donat and Asherson also appeared in The Magic Box (1951), in which Donat played William Friese-Greene. However, his asthma continued to affect his ability to perform.

He was cast as Thomas Becket in T. S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral in Robert Helpmann's production at The Old Vic theatre in 1952 but, although his return to stage was well received, his illness forced him to withdraw during the run. For the same reason, he dropped out of the film Hobson's Choice (1954). Scheduled to play math Mossop, he was replaced by John Mills. Author David Shipman speculates that Donat's asthma may have been psychosomatic: "His tragedy was that the promise of his early years was never fulfilled and that he was haunted by agonies of doubt and disappointment (which probably were the cause of his chronic asthma)." David Thomson also suggested this explanation, and Donat himself thought that his illness had a 90% basis in his psychology. In a 1980 interview with Barry Norman, his first wife, Ella Annesley Voysey (by then known as Ella Hall), said that Donat had an asthma attack as a psychosomatic response to the birth of their daughter. According to her, "Robert was full of fear".

Lease of Life (1954), made by Ealing Studios, was his penultimate film. In it, Donat played a vicar who discovers that he has a terminal illness.

Donat's final role was the Mandarin of Yang Cheng in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958). His last words in the film, an emotional soliloquy in which the Mandarin confesses his conversion to Christianity, were prophetic: "We shall not see each other again, I think. Farewell". It reduced Ingrid Bergman, playing the missionary Gladys Aylward, to tears. He had collapsed with a stroke during filming but managed to recover enough to complete the film.

Personal life

In 1929, Donat married Ella Annesley Voysey, niece of architect Charles Voysey. They had one daughter, Joanna Donat (born 1931) and two sons, John Donat (born 1933) and Brian Donat (born 1936), but divorced in 1946.

On 4 May 1953, Donat married again, to actress Renée Asherson, born Dorothy Renee Ascherson, daughter of Charles Ascherson and Dorothy Lilian Wiseman. They lived at 8 The Grove, Highgate until their separation three years later, partly due to the severity of his asthma. They may have been close to a reconciliation when he died. She never remarried.

Death

Donat died at the West End Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Soho, London, on 9 June 1958, aged 53. His biographer Kenneth Barrow said he had "... a brain tumour the size of a duck egg and cerebral thrombosis was certified as the primary cause of death". His body was cremated privately in Marylebone three days after his death. He left an estate worth £25,236.

Legacy

Donat has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6420 Hollywood Blvd. A blue plaque also commemorates his life at 8 Meadway in Hampstead Garden Suburb. His place of birth, at 42 Everett Road in Withington, is commemorated by a similar plaque.

Additional Information

Robert Donat's pleasant voice and somewhat neutral English accent were carefully honed as a boy because he had a stammer and took elocution lessons starting at age 11 to overcome the impediment. It was not too surprising that freedom from such a vocal embarrassment was encouragement to act. His other handicap, acute asthma, did not deter him. At the age of 16 he began performing Shakespeare and other classic roles in a number of repertory and touring companies throughout Britain. In 1924 he joined Sir Frank Benson's repertory company, and later he was with the Liverpool Repertory Theater.

His work was finally noticed by Alexander Korda, who gave him a three-year film contract. Three minor films were followed by his role as Katherine Howard's lover, Thomas Culpepper, in the hit The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933). Donat's style of acting, whether comic or dramatic, was usually reserved, with the subtleties of face and voice being his talents to complement the role. A top draw in Britain, he went to Hollywood for The Count of Monte Cristo (1934), but he did not care for the Hollywood scene--the fishbowl lifestyle of the movie star. "Cristo" gave him the opportunity for Captain Blood (1935), but he eventually declined. (With a nod to hindsight, it is hard to think of anyone but a fresh-faced Flynn doing the role.) Although he would have contracts with MGM, Warner Bros. and RKO through the remainder of the 1930s, he begged off many a film role or broke commitments, ostensibly because of health problems, though, along with being finicky about roles, he was also such a conscientious actor that lack of confidence sometimes stymied his forward progress.

Hollywood usually had to shoot in England if it wanted him badly enough. And that was not a problem after the box office reception given The 39 Steps (1935), the big hit for Alfred Hitchcock. There was a hint of whimsy in Donat's face that worked especially well with the sophisticated comedic elements that crept into several of his dramatic roles. His portrayal of individualist Canadian Richard Hannay--which registered with North Americans both above and below the 49th parallel--in "Steps" was the first of such popular characters. Some of Hitch's famous on-the-set practical jokes ensued on the first day of shooting "Steps." The first scene was the escape on the moors from the master spy's henchmen by Donat and Madeleine Carroll handcuffed together. Donat and Carroll had not met before this, and Hitchcock handcuffed them together hours before filming so that they could get very well acquainted. He insisted he had misplaced the key when in fact he had slipped it to a studio security officer for safekeeping.

Hitchcock attempted to land Donat for three other roles, Sabotage (1936) and Secret Agent (1936) and Rebecca (1940), but illness, commitments, and more illness, respectively, supposedly kept Donat from accepting each. Hollywood would be treated in kind, for Donat was more dedicated to stage work. Hollywood did get him for The Citadel (1938), for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar. He won the Oscar the next year for perhaps his best known role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) (MGM's with Greer Garson). Since 1939 was one of the most competitive film years in Hollywood history, Donat's reward for his mild Mr. Chipping was something of a stunner. This was the year of Gone with the Wind (1939), and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler seemed a shoo-in for best actor. But there is something of a myth that since both pictures were from MGM and "Wind" had so many nominations (including best actor, actress, and picture), MGM head and strongman Louis B. Mayer used his weight to spread the wealth toward "Chips".

Unlike other British actors who came to work in America during World War II, Donat stayed in Britain. He did mostly theater but also some British films--only four--with one for Korda and one for Carol Reed. Only six more films were allotted Donat after the war and into the 1950s, all but one British productions. He starred, directed and co-wrote The Cure for Love (1949) and starred in The Magic Box (1951), a well-crafted and delightful (if a bit fictionalized) salute to the history of the British film industry. By 1955, all of Donat's acting efforts required a bottle of oxygen kept off stage and at the ready as his health continued to turn toward the worse. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958), a Twentieth Century Fox production shot in the UK, was Donat's final film. His fragility was poignantly obvious on screen, and he died shortly after the film was finished. He received a posthumous Special Citation from the USA National Board of Review and was nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe. It was a career for Robert Donat that should have gone on, yet it was filled with many notable screen memories just the same.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1388 2023-10-05 17:34:13

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1350) James Stewart

Summary

James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor and military officer. Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart's film career spanned 80 films from 1935 to 1991. With the strong morality he portrayed both on and off the screen, he epitomized the "American ideal" in the mid-twentieth century. In 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked him third on its list of the greatest American male actors. He received numerous honors including the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 1968, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1980, the Kennedy Center Honor in 1983, as well as the Academy Honorary Award and Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 1985.

Born and raised in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Stewart started acting while at Princeton University. After graduating in 1932, he began a career as a stage actor, appearing on Broadway and in summer stock productions. He landed his first supporting role in The Murder Man (1935) and had his breakthrough in Frank Capra's ensemble comedy You Can't Take It with You (1938). The following year, Stewart garnered his first of five Academy Award nominations for his portrayal of an idealized senator in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). The following year he received the Academy Award for Best Actor, the only competitive Oscar of his career, for his performance in the George Cukor romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940). His acting career was paused after he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, deputy commanding the 2nd Bombardment Wing and commanding the 703d Bombardment Squadron. He later transferred to the Air Force Reserves, and held various command positions until his retirement in 1968 as a brigadier general.

Stewart's first postwar role was as George Bailey in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Although the film was not a major success upon release, he earned an Oscar nomination, and the film has become a Christmas classic, as well as one of his best-known roles. As one of the most popular film stars of the '50s, Stewart played darker, more morally ambiguous characters in movies directed by Anthony Mann, including Winchester '73 (1950), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), and The Naked Spur (1953), and by Alfred Hitchcock in Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Vertigo (1958). During this time he received Academy Award nominations for his roles in the comedy Harvey (1950) and the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959). Stewart also starred in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) as well as the Western films How the West Was Won (1962), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). He appeared in many popular family comedies during the 1960s.

Stewart remained unmarried until his 40s and was dubbed "The Great American Bachelor" by the press. In 1949, he married former model Gloria Hatrick McLean. They had twin daughters, and he adopted her two sons from her previous marriage. The marriage lasted until McLean's death in 1994; Stewart died of a pulmonary embolism three years later.

Details

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he was a keen athlete (football and track), musician (singing and accordion playing), and sometime actor.

In 1929, he won a place at Princeton University, where he studied architecture with some success and became further involved with the performing arts as a musician and actor with the University Players. After graduation, engagements with the University Players took him around the northeastern United States, including a run on Broadway in 1932. But work dried up as the Great Depression deepened, and it was not until 1934, when he followed his friend Henry Fonda to Hollywood, that things began to pick up.

After his first screen appearance in Art Trouble (1934), Stewart worked for a time for MGM as a contract player and slowly began making a name for himself in increasingly high-profile roles throughout the rest of the 1930s. His famous collaborations with Frank Capra, in You Can't Take It with You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, after World War II, It's a Wonderful Life (1946) helped to launch his career as a star and to establish his screen persona as the likable everyman.

Having learned to fly in 1935, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 as a private (after twice failing the medical for being underweight). During the course of World War II, he rose to the rank of colonel, first as an instructor at home in the United States, and later on combat missions in Europe. He remained involved with the United States Air Force Reserve after the war and officially retired in 1968. In 1959, he was promoted to brigadier general, becoming the highest-ranking actor in U.S. military history.

Stewart's acting career took off properly after the war. During the course of his long professional life, he had roles in some of Hollywood's best-remembered films, starring in a string of Westerns, bringing his everyman qualities to movies like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)), biopics (The Stratton Story (1949), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), and The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), for instance, thrillers (most notably his frequent collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock), and even some screwball comedies.

On June 25, 1997, a thrombosis formed in his right leg, leading to a pulmonary embolism, and a week later on July 2, 1997, surrounded by his children, James Stewart died at age 89 at his home in Beverly Hills, California. His last words to his family were, "I'm going to be with Gloria now".

Additional Information

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he was a keen athlete (football and track), musician (singing and accordion playing), and sometime actor.

In 1929, he won a place at Princeton University, where he studied architecture with some success and became further involved with the performing arts as a musician and actor with the University Players. After graduation, engagements with the University Players took him around the northeastern United States, including a run on Broadway in 1932. But work dried up as the Great Depression deepened, and it was not until 1934, when he followed his friend Henry Fonda to Hollywood, that things began to pick up.

After his first screen appearance in Art Trouble (1934), Stewart worked for a time for MGM as a contract player and slowly began making a name for himself in increasingly high-profile roles throughout the rest of the 1930s. His famous collaborations with Frank Capra, in You Can't Take It with You (1938), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, after World War II, It's a Wonderful Life (1946) helped to launch his career as a star and to establish his screen persona as the likable everyman.

Having learned to fly in 1935, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1940 as a private (after twice failing the medical for being underweight). During the course of World War II, he rose to the rank of colonel, first as an instructor at home in the United States, and later on combat missions in Europe. He remained involved with the United States Air Force Reserve after the war and officially retired in 1968. In 1959, he was promoted to brigadier general, becoming the highest-ranking actor in U.S. military history.

Stewart's acting career took off properly after the war. During the course of his long professional life, he had roles in some of Hollywood's best-remembered films, starring in a string of Westerns, bringing his everyman qualities to movies like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)), biopics (The Stratton Story (1949), The Glenn Miller Story (1954), and The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), for instance, thrillers (most notably his frequent collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock), and even some screwball comedies.

On June 25, 1997, a thrombosis formed in his right leg, leading to a pulmonary embolism, and a week later on July 2, 1997, surrounded by his children, James Stewart died at age 89 at his home in Beverly Hills, California. His last words to his family were, "I'm going to be with Gloria now".

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1389 2023-10-06 16:58:13

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1351) Gary Cooper

Summary

Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper; May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American actor known for his strong, quiet screen persona and understated acting style. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice and had a further three nominations, as well as an Academy Honorary Award in 1961 for his career achievements. He was one of the top-10 film personalities for 23 consecutive years and one of the top money-making stars for 18 years. The American Film Institute (AFI) ranked Cooper at number 11 on its list of the 25 greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.

Cooper's career spanned 36 years, from 1925 to 1961, and included leading roles in 84 feature films. He was a major movie star from the end of the silent film era through to the end of the golden age of classical Hollywood. His screen persona appealed strongly to both men and women, and his range included roles in most major film genres. His ability to project his own personality onto the characters he played contributed to his natural and authentic appearance on screen. Throughout his career, he sustained a screen persona that represented the ideal American hero.

Cooper began his career as a film extra and stunt rider, but soon landed acting roles. After establishing himself as a Western hero in his early silent films, he appeared as the Virginian and became a movie star in 1929 with his first sound picture, The Virginian. In the early 1930s, he expanded his heroic image to include more cautious characters in adventure films and dramas such as A Farewell to Arms (1932) and The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935). During the height of his career, Cooper portrayed a new type of hero, a champion of the common man in films such as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Meet John Doe (1941), Sergeant York (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943). He later portrayed more mature characters at odds with the world in films such as The Fountainhead (1949) and High Noon (1952). In his final films, he played nonviolent characters searching for redemption in films such as Friendly Persuasion (1956) and Man of the West (1958).

Details

Gary Cooper, original name Frank James Cooper, (born May 7, 1901, Helena, Mont., U.S.—died May 13, 1961, Los Angeles), was an American motion-picture actor whose portrayal of homespun characters established him as a glamorized image of the average man. He was one of Hollywood’s most consistently popular and beloved stars.

The son of a Montana Supreme Court justice, Cooper left Grinnell College, Iowa, in 1924 and went to Hollywood, where he earned a living as a cowboy extra and stunt rider. His agent changed his name, and he advanced to leading parts in modestly budgeted westerns that were often box-office hits. A major stroke of luck was his being cast in The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926). He rose to stardom in The Virginian (1929), one of his first talking pictures, and became one of Hollywood’s leading male actors with his appearances in such films as Morocco (1930), A Farewell to Arms (1932), Design for Living (1933), The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935), Desire (1936), The Plainsman (1937), Beau Geste (1939), and The Westerner (1940).

Cooper often played a brave, laconic, and somewhat reticent man whose upright character compels him to perform heroic actions that he does not purposely seek. He typified the role of the unsophisticated man fighting for what he thought was right in two films directed by Frank Capra, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Meet John Doe (1941). Among Cooper’s other important films were Sergeant York (1941), Ball of Fire (1941), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and The Fountainhead (1949). His role as the aging town marshall in High Noon (1952) is considered Cooper’s finest performance and the film one of the greatest westerns ever made. Among his last films are Friendly Persuasion (1956) and Love in the Afternoon (1957).

Cooper won the Academy Award for best actor in 1941 (for Sergeant York) and 1952 (for High Noon) and in 1961 was honoured with a Special Academy Award for his career and the international reputation he won for the film industry.

Additional Information

Born to Alice Cooper and Charles Cooper. Gary attended school at Dunstable school England, Helena Montana and Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa (then called Iowa College). His first stage experience was during high school and college. Afterwards, he worked as an extra for one year before getting a part in a two-reeler by the independent producer Hans Tiesler . Eileen Sedgwick was his first leading lady. He then appeared in The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926) for United Artists before moving to Paramount. While there he appeared in a small part in Wings (1927), It (1927), and other films.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1390 2023-10-07 16:45:44

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1352) James Cagney

Summary

One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time, James Cagney was also an accomplished dancer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City, to Carolyn (Nelson) and James Francis Cagney, Sr., who was a bartender and amateur boxer. Cagney was of Norwegian (from his maternal grandfather) and Irish descent. Ending three decades on the screen, he retired to his farm in Stanfordville, New York (some 77 miles/124 km. north of his New York City birthplace), after starring in Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961). He emerged from retirement to star in the 1981 screen adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel "Ragtime" (Ragtime (1981)), in which he was reunited with his frequent co-star of the 1930s, Pat O'Brien, and which was his last theatrical film and O'Brien's as well). Cagney's final performance came in the title role of the made-for-TV movie Terrible Joe Moran (1984), in which he played opposite Art Carney.

Details

James Francis Cagney Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American actor, dancer and film director. On stage and in film, he was known for his consistently energetic performances, distinctive vocal style, and deadpan comic timing. He won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of performances. Cagney is remembered for playing multifaceted tough guys in films such as The Public Enemy (1931), Taxi! (1932), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), City for Conquest (1940) and White Heat (1949), finding himself typecast or limited by this reputation earlier in his career. He was able to negotiate dancing opportunities in his films and ended up winning the Academy Award for his role in the musical Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked him eighth on its list of greatest male stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Orson Welles described him as "maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera".

In his first professional acting performance in 1919, Cagney was costumed as a woman when he danced in the chorus line of the revue Every Sailor. He spent several years in vaudeville as a dancer and comedian, until he got his first major acting part in 1925. He secured several other roles, receiving good notices, before landing the lead in the 1929 play Penny Arcade. Al Jolson saw him in the play and bought the movie rights, before selling them to Warner Bros. with the proviso that James Cagney and Joan Blondell be able to reprise their stage roles in the movie. After rave reviews, Warner Bros. signed him for an initial $400-a-week, three-week contract; when the executives at the studio saw the first dailies for the film, Cagney's contract was immediately extended.

Cagney's fifth film, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for a famous scene in which Cagney pushes half a grapefruit against Mae Clarke's face, the film thrust him into the spotlight. He became one of Hollywood's leading stars and one of Warner Bros.' biggest contracts. In 1938 he received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his subtle portrayal of the tough guy/man-child Rocky Sullivan in Angels with Dirty Faces. In 1942 Cagney won the Oscar for his energetic portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was nominated a third time in 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me with Doris Day. Cagney retired from acting and dancing in 1961 to spend time on his farm with his family. He came out of retirement 20 years later for a part in the movie Ragtime (1981), mainly to aid his recovery from a stroke.

Cagney walked out on Warner Bros. several times over the course of his career, each time returning on much improved personal and artistic terms. In 1935 he sued Warner for breach of contract and won. This was one of the first times an actor prevailed over a studio on a contract issue. He worked for the independent film company Grand National (starring in two films: the musical Something to Sing About and the drama Great Guy) for a year while the suit was being settled, then in 1942 establishing his own production company, Cagney Productions, before returning to Warner seven years later. In reference to Cagney's refusal to be pushed around, Jack L. Warner called him "the Professional Againster". Cagney also made numerous USO troop tours before and during World War II and served as president of the Screen Actors Guild for two years.

Additional Information

James Cagney, in full James Francis Cagney, Jr., (born July 17, 1899, New York, New York, U.S.—died March 30, 1986, Stanfordville, New York), was an American actor who was noted for his versatility in musicals, comedies, and crime dramas. He was one of the top movie stars from the 1930s through the ’50s, known for his jaunty manner and explosive energy. Cagney excelled at playing tough guys but was equally adept at comedy and as a song-and-dance man.

Cagney, the son of an Irish bartender, grew up in the rough Lower East Side of New York City. He toured in vaudeville as a song-and-dance man with his wife, Frances, in the 1920s and scored his first major success opposite Joan Blondell in the Broadway musical Penny Arcade (1929). He made his film debut in the movie adaptation of the play, entitled Sinners’ Holiday (1930), and his well-received performance resulted in a contract with Warner Bros. studios. After taking on a few supporting roles, Cagney became a star with his chilling portrayal of gangster Tom Powers in William Wellman’s The Public Enemy (1931). Thereafter he was typecast as a sneering, explosive “tough guy” in several films, including Taxi (1931) and Lady Killer (1933), but he occasionally worked in musicals—he demonstrated considerable skill as a dancer in Footlight Parade (1933)—and he even had a Shakespearean role, as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935). He was on the right side of the law in the popular ‘G’ Men (1935), whereas such films as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938; Oscar nomination for best actor), Each Dawn I Die (1939), and The Roaring Twenties (1939) featured Cagney in increasingly complex studies of criminal pathology. Cagney’s repertoire during this period also included westerns (The Oklahoma Kid, 1939), comedies (The Bride Came C.O.D., 1941), and melodramas (The Strawberry Blonde, 1941).

Cagney’s uniqueness as an actor lay in his ability to convey emotional extremes in a manner that was both broad and natural. He exuded a tremendous energy that rendered any character larger-than-life, yet his innate grasp of the subtleties of the script ensured that his performances were multidimensional and credible. Although he eschewed an internal “method” approach to acting, his perennially pugnacious screen persona was a natural extension of his real-life character, formed in part during his pugilistic youth among Irish street gangs. Cagney’s philosophy of acting, revealed in his autobiography, Cagney by Cagney (1975), was simple, direct, and sagacious: “Plant yourself, look the other fellow in the eye and tell the truth.”

Although specializing in charismatic criminals for much of his career, Cagney’s best-known role is that of the legendary Broadway song-and-dance man George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Exhibiting the same brash charm in his dancing style that he brought to his portrayals of street toughs, Cagney’s tour-de-force as Cohan earned him an Academy Award for best actor. After this film, Cagney devoted his energies to entertaining troops overseas, serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild (an organization he helped found in the early 1930s), and, with his brother, establishing William Cagney Productions, a company that was moderately successful for several years, producing such noteworthy films as an adaptation of William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life (1948). Cagney ended the 1940s with his portrayal of Cody Jarrett, perhaps the most pathologically Oedipal criminal in screen history, in the B-film classic White Heat (1949). His legendary performance climaxed with one of the cinema’s most indelible images, that of the cornered Jarrett atop an oil refinery tank, screaming “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” as he unloads his gun into the tank and perishes in the ensuing inferno.

Cagney experienced continued success throughout the 1950s, with highlights such as his roles as a gruff ship captain in Mister Roberts (1955) and as silent-screen legend Lon Chaney in Man of a Thousand Faces (1957). His most acclaimed performance of the decade was in Love Me or Leave Me (1955) as Chicago racketeer Martin “The Gimp” Snyder, the man who obsessively controlled the career of torch singer Ruth Etting (played by Doris Day). As Snyder, Cagney created one of his most frightening screen characterizations and was nominated for an Oscar. He was also memorable as Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey, Jr., in The Gallant Hours (1960) and as a harried Coca-Cola executive in the Billy Wilder farce One, Two, Three (1961).

After One, Two, Three, Cagney spent the next 20 years in retirement on his farms in New England and California. In 1974 he made one of his few public appearances during these years when he received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Cagney’s health deteriorated during the late 1970s, and his doctors suggested a return to work. He performed admirably in his final two films, Ragtime (1981) and the television film Terrible Joe Moran (1984). Contrary to the popular perception created by scores of impressionists throughout the years, Cagney said neither “You dirty rat!” nor “All right, you guys!” in any film.

James_Cagney.jpg?itok=udY_d5kZ&timestamp=1523989218


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1391 2023-10-08 16:51:56

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1353) Paul Lukas

Summary

Paul Lukas was an Austrian-Hungarian-born actor.

Born Pál Lukács in Budapest, he arrived in Hollywood in 1927 after a successful stage and film career in Hungary, Germany and Austria where he worked with Max Reinhardt. He made his stage debut in Budapest in 1916 and his film debut in 1917. At first, he played elegant, smooth womanizers, but increasingly he became typecast as a villain. In 1933, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

He was busy in the 1930s, appearing in such films as the melodrama Rockabye, the crime caper Grumpy, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, the comedy Ladies in Love, and the drama Dodsworth. He followed William Powell and Basil Rathbone portraying the series detective Philo Vance, a cosmopolitan New Yorker, once in 1935 in The Casino Murder Case, but his major role came in 1943’s Watch on the Rhine, when he played a man working against the Nazis. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role, winning out over luminary efforts as Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, Gary Cooper in For Whom the Bell Tolls, Walter Pidgeon in Madame Curie, and Mickey Rooney in The Human Comedy.

To modern viewers, Paul Lukas is best known for his role as Professor Aronnax in Walt Disney’s classic 1954 film version of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. By that time, however, he was, at age 60, suffering from memory problems during the production, apparently leading him to lash out at cast and crew alike. Even fellow Hungarian and friend Peter Lorre was not immune to the abuse.

Details

Paul Lukas (born Pál Lukács; 26 May 1894 – 15 August 1971) was a Hungarian actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, for his performance in the film Watch on the Rhine (1943), reprising the role he created on the Broadway stage.

Biography

Lukas was born Pál Lukács in Budapest into a Hungarian-Jewish family, the son of Adolf Munkácsi and Mária Schneckendorf. He was later adopted by Mária (née Zilahy) and János Lukács, an advertising executive.

Lukas made his stage debut in Budapest in 1916, and his film debut in 1917. At first, he played elegant, smooth womanizers, but increasingly, he became typecast as a villain. He had a successful stage and film career in Hungary, Germany, and Austria, where he worked with Max Reinhardt. He arrived in Hollywood in 1927, and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1937. In 1935, he built a home near the new Racquet Club of Palm Springs, California.

Lukas was busy in the 1930s, appearing in such films as the melodrama Rockabye, the crime caper Grumpy, Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, the comedy Ladies in Love, and the drama Dodsworth. He followed William Powell and Basil Rathbone, portraying the series detective Philo Vance, a cosmopolitan New Yorker, once in The Casino Murder Case (1935).

His major film success came in Watch on the Rhine (1943), where he played a man working against the Nazis, a role he originated in the Broadway premiere of the play of the same name in 1941. His portrayal of Kurt Mueller, a German émigré with an American wife, played by Bette Davis, was universally lauded by critics. Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times, wrote: "As the enemy of fascism, Mr. Lukas' haggard, loving, resourceful determination becomes heroic by virtue of his sincerity and his superior abilities as an actor." He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the role. He also received the New York Film Critics Award for his performance.

In 1943, Lukas guest-starred as the lead character in an episode of the radio program Suspense, "Mr. Markham, Antique Dealer", as well as the character of a blind composer in the episode "A World of Darkness". On 2 April 1944, he starred in "The Steadfast Heart" on Silver Theater. In the 1940s, Lukas was a charter member of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a conservative lobbying group opposed to possible Communist influence in Hollywood.

Lukas also starred as Professor Aronnax in Walt Disney's film version of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954).

Lukas' film career continued into the 1960s, with nine films, including Fun in Acapulco with Elvis Presley in 1963 and Lord Jim with Peter O'Toole in 1965. His final film, The Challenge, was released in 1970.

The remainder of his career moved from Hollywood to the stage, and to television. His only singing role was as Cosmo Constantine in the original 1950 Broadway stage version of Irving Berlin's Call Me Madam, opposite Ethel Merman for over 600 performances (although he is heard singing a song in the 1933 film Little Women).

Lukas died 15 August 1971, in Tangier, Morocco, reportedly while searching for a place to spend his retirement years. He is buried in Spain.

Recognition

Lukas was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6821 Hollywood Boulevard, on February 8, 1960.

Additional Information

Oscar-winning actor Paul Lukas was born in Hungary and graduated from the School for Dramatic Arts. In 1916 he went to Kosice (Kassa) to be an actor; in 1918 he became an actor specializing in comedy. For ten years he was the most popular character player and romantic lead of the company. In 1918 he began making movies in Budapest and in the 1920s he began appearing in films in Austria as well. He journeyed to Hollywood in 1927, where he finally settled down. He wasn't untrue to the stage--he played Dr. Rank to Ruth Gordon's Nora in Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" in the Morosco Theatre in New York in 1937--but concentrated on films until 1948. In the '50s he started appearing on stage more and more, and worked in films and on TV only sporadically.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1392 2023-10-09 17:02:35

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1354) Bing Crosby

Details

Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby Jr. (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer, actor, television producer, television and radio personality and businessman. The first multimedia star, he was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century worldwide. He was a leader in record sales, network radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1926 to 1977. He was one of the first global cultural icons. He made over 70 feature films and recorded more than 1,600 songs.

His early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed, such as Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Dickinson Haymes, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. In 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music in America.

Crosby won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Going My Way (1944) and was nominated for its sequel, The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), opposite Ingrid Bergman, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character. He was the number one box office attraction for five consecutive years, 1944 to 1948. At his screen apex in 1946, Crosby starred in three of the year's five highest-grossing films: The Bells of St. Mary's, Blue Skies and Road to Utopia. In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. He is one of 33 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the categories of motion pictures, radio, and audio recording.[13] He was also known for his collaborations with his friend Bob Hope, starring in the Road to... films from 1940 to 1962.

Crosby influenced the development of the post World War II recording industry. After seeing a demonstration of a German broadcast quality reel-to-reel tape recorder brought to the United States by John T. Mullin, he invested $50,000 in the California electronics company Ampex to build copies. He then persuaded ABC to allow him to tape his shows. He became the first performer to prerecord his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. Crosby has been associated with the Christmas season since Irving Berlin's musical film Holiday Inn, in which he starred and famously sang "White Christmas". Through audio recordings, he produced his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) used in motion picture production, a practice that became the industry standard. In addition to his work with early audio tape recording, he helped finance the development of videotape, bought television stations, bred racehorses, and co-owned the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, during which time the team won two World Series (1960 and 1971).

Additional Information

Bing Crosby, byname of Harry Lillis Crosby, (born May 3, 1903, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.—died October 14, 1977, near Madrid, Spain), was an American singer, actor, and songwriter who achieved great popularity in radio, recordings, and motion pictures. He became the archetypal crooner of a period when the advent of radio broadcasting and talking pictures and the refinement of sound-recording techniques made the climate ideal for the rise of such a figure. His casual stage manner and mellow, relaxed singing style influenced two generations of pop singers and made him the most successful entertainer of his day.

Crosby acquired the nickname Bing when in elementary school, either from a prank on a teacher or from a love for the comic strip The Bingville Bugle. He came from a musical family and began to sing and to play the drums while studying law at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. After a period spent singing with the Paul Whiteman orchestra in 1927, he appeared in the early sound film King of Jazz (1931). Crosby became a star after getting his own program on the CBS radio station in New York City in 1932. He began appearing in more films, and by the late 1930s his records were selling millions of copies. His songwriting activities included part-authorship of “A Ghost of a Chance” and “Where the Blue of the Night” (his radio theme song). In the 1940s he was the star of a popular radio variety show.

During this time, Crosby became a bankable actor. He starred with Fred Astaire in the box-office hit Holiday Inn (1942), and in that musical Crosby first sang “White Christmas.” His recording of the Irving Berlin ballad became one of the most popular songs of the century, exceeded in record sales only by his “Silent Night.” Crosby then won an Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Father O’Malley in the film Going My Way (1944). He reprised the role in The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), for which he received another Oscar nomination.

Crosby’s career took a turn to comedy in the series of seven “Road” films in which he appeared with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, beginning with Road to Singapore (1940). Perhaps the best known in the series was Road to Morocco (1942), which was widely regarded as a classic. His other films included White Christmas and The Country Girl (both 1954); for the latter, Crosby received his third and final Academy Award nomination. He continued to act into the 1970s, many of his later appearances being on television. His last credited role was in the TV movie Dr. Cook’s Garden (1971).

Crosby ran a successful television production company in the 1960s. An astute businessman, he amassed one of the largest fortunes in Hollywood from his earnings as an entertainer and from shrewd investments. By the mid-1970s, 400 million copies of his records had been sold. He was a notable sportsman and died of a heart attack while on a golf course. His autobiography, Call Me Lucky, appeared in 1953.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1393 2023-10-10 16:56:45

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1355) Ray Milland

Summary

Ray Milland, original name Reginald Truscott-Jones, (born Jan. 3, 1907, Neath, Glamorganshire, Wales—died March 10, 1986, Torrance, Calif., U.S.), was a Welsh-born American actor.

Milland made his film debut in 1929 and moved to Hollywood in 1930. He was the debonair romantic leading man in many movies of the 1930s and ’40s. He won acclaim for his performance as an alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend (1945, Academy Award) and also played dramatic parts in The Big Clock (1948), Something to Live For (1952), and Dial M for Murder (1954). In his later years he generally played only minor roles. He directed several movies in the 1950s and early ’60s.

Details

Ray Milland (born Alfred Reginald Jones; 3 January 1907 – 10 March 1986) was a Welsh-American actor and film director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985. He is often remembered for his portrayal of an alcoholic writer in Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend (1945), which won him Best Actor at Cannes, a Golden Globe Award, and ultimately an Academy Award—the first such accolades for any Welsh actor.

Before becoming an actor, Milland served in the Household Cavalry of the British Army, becoming a proficient marksman, horseman and aeroplane pilot. He left the army to pursue a career in acting and appeared as an extra in several British productions before getting his first major role in The Flying Scotsman (1929). This led to a nine-month contract with MGM, and he moved to the United States, where he worked as a stock actor. After his MGM contract ended, Milland was picked up by Paramount, which used him in a range of lesser speaking parts, usually as an English character. He was loaned to Universal for the Deanna Durbin musical Three Smart Girls (1936), and its success led to Milland's playing the lead role in The Jungle Princess (also 1936) alongside new starlet Dorothy Lamour. The film was a big success and raised both to stardom. Milland remained with Paramount for almost 20 years.

Milland appeared in many other notable films, including Easy Living (1937), Beau Geste (1939), Billy Wilder's The Major and the Minor (1942), opposite a corrupt John Wayne in Reap the Wild Wind (1942), The Uninvited (1944), Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear (1944), The Big Clock (1948), and The Thief (1952)—for which he was nominated for his second Golden Globe. Two standout films later in his career include Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954) and Love Story (1970). After leaving Paramount, he began directing and moved into television acting. Once Paramount Pictures' highest-paid actor, Milland co-starred alongside many of the most popular actresses of the time, including Gene Tierney, Jean Arthur, Grace Kelly, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich, Maureen O'Hara, Ginger Rogers, Jane Wyman, Loretta Young, and Veronica Lake.

Additional Information

Ray Milland became one of Paramount's most bankable and durable stars, under contract from 1934 to 1948, yet little in his early life suggested a career as a motion picture actor.

Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones in the Welsh town of Neath, Glamorgan, to Elizabeth Annie (Truscott) and Alfred Jones. He spent his youth in the pursuit of sports. He became an expert rider early on, working at his uncle's horse-breeding estate while studying at the King's College in Cardiff. At 21, he went to London as a member of the elite Household Cavalry (Guard for the Royal Family), undergoing a rigorous 19-months training, further honing his equestrian skills, as well as becoming adept at fencing, boxing and shooting. He won trophies, including the Bisley Match, with his unit's crack rifle team. However, after four years, he suddenly lost his means of financial support (independent income being a requirement as a Guardsman) when his stepfather discontinued his allowance. Broke, he tried his hand at acting in small parts on the London stage.

There are several stories as to how he derived his stage name. It is known, that during his teens he called himself "Mullane", using his stepfather's surname. He may later have suffused "Mullane" with "mill-lands", an area near his hometown. When he first appeared on screen in British films, he was billed first as Spike Milland, then Raymond Milland.

In 1929, Ray befriended the popular actress Estelle Brody at a party and, later that year, visited her on the set of her latest film, The Plaything (1929). While having lunch, they were joined by a producer who persuaded the handsome Welshman to appear in a motion picture bit part. Ray rose to the challenge and bigger roles followed, including the male lead in The Lady from the Sea (1929). The following year, he was signed by MGM and went to Hollywood, but was given little to work with, except for the role of Charles Laughton's ill-fated nephew in Payment Deferred (1932). After a year, Ray was out of his contract and returned to England.

His big break did not come until 1934 when he joined Paramount, where he was to remain for the better part of his Hollywood career. During the first few years, he served an apprenticeship playing second leads, usually as the debonair man-about-town, in light romantic comedies. He appeared with Burns and Allen in Many Happy Returns (1934), enjoyed third-billing as a British aristocrat in the Claudette Colbert farce The Gilded Lily (1935) and was described as "excellent" by reviewers for his role in the sentimental drama Alias Mary Dow (1935). By 1936, he had graduated to starring roles, first as the injured British hunter rescued on a tropical island by The Jungle Princess (1936), the film which launched Dorothy Lamour's sarong-clad career. After that, he was the titular hero of Bulldog Drummond Escapes (1937) and, finally, won the girl (rather than being the "other man") in Mitchell Leisen's screwball comedy Easy Living (1937). He also re-visited the tropics in Ebb Tide (1937), Her Jungle Love (1938) and Tropic Holiday (1938), as well as being one of the three valiant brothers of Beau Geste (1939).

In 1940, Ray was sent back to England to star in the screen adaptation of Terence Rattigan's French Without Tears (1940), for which he received his best critical reviews to date. He was top-billed (above John Wayne) running a ship salvage operation in Cecil B. DeMille's lavish Technicolor adventure drama Reap the Wild Wind (1942), besting Wayne in a fight - much to the "Duke's" personal chagrin - and later wrestling with a giant octopus. Also that year, he was directed by Billy Wilder in a charming comedy, The Major and the Minor (1942) (co-starred with Ginger Rogers), for which he garnered good notices from Bosley Crowther of the New York Times. Ray then played a ghost hunter in The Uninvited (1944), and the suave hero caught in a web of espionage in Fritz Lang's thriller Ministry of Fear (1944).

On the strength of his previous role as "Major Kirby", Billy Wilder chose to cast Ray against type in the ground-breaking drama The Lost Weekend (1945) as dipsomaniac writer "Don Birnam". Ray gave the defining performance of his career, his intensity catching critics, used to him as a lightweight leading man, by surprise. Crowther commented "Mr. Milland, in a splendid performance, catches all the ugly nature of a 'drunk', yet reveals the inner torment and degradation of a respectable man who knows his weakness and his shame" (New York Times, December 3, 1945). Arrived at the high point of his career, Ray Milland won the Oscar for Best Actor, as well as the New York Critic's Award. Rarely given such good material again, he nonetheless featured memorably in many more splendid films, often exploiting the newly discovered "darker side" of his personality: as the reporter framed for murder by Charles Laughton's heinous publishing magnate in The Big Clock (1948); as the sophisticated, manipulating art thief "Mark Bellis" in the Victorian melodrama So Evil My Love (1948) (for which producer Hal B. Wallis sent him back to England); as a Fedora-wearing, Armani-suited "Lucifer", trawling for the soul of an honest District Attorney in Alias Nick Beal (1949); and as a traitorous scientist in The Thief (1952), giving what critics described as a "sensitive" and "towering" performance. In 1954, Ray played calculating ex-tennis champ "Tony Wendice", who blackmails a former Cambridge chump into murdering his wife, in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954). He played the part with urbane sophistication and cold detachment throughout, even in the scene of denouement, calmly offering a drink to the arresting officers.

With Lisbon (1956), Ray Milland moved into another direction, turning out several off-beat, low-budget films with himself as the lead, notably High Flight (1957), The Safecracker (1958) and Panic in Year Zero! (1962). At the same time, he cheerfully made the transition to character parts, often in horror and sci-fi outings. In accordance with his own dictum of appearing in anything that had "any originality", he worked on two notable pictures with Roger Corman: first, as a man obsessed with catalepsy in The Premature Burial (1962); secondly, as obsessed self-destructive surgeon "Dr. Xavier" in X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)-the Man with X-Ray Eyes, a film which, despite its low budget, won the 1963 Golden Asteroid in the Trieste Festival for Science Fiction.

As the years went on, Ray gradually disposed of his long-standing toupee, lending dignity through his presence to many run-of-the-mill television films, such as Cave in! (1983) and maudlin melodramas like Love Story (1970). He guest-starred in many anthology series on television and had notable roles in Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969) and the original Battlestar Galactica (1978) (as Quorum member Sire Uri). He also enjoyed a brief run on Broadway, starring as "Simon Crawford" in "Hostile Witness" (1966), at the Music Box Theatre.

In his private life, Ray was an enthusiastic yachtsman, who loved fishing and collecting information by reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica. In later years, he became very popular with interviewers because of his candid spontaneity and humour. In the same self-deprecating vein he wrote an anecdotal biography, "Wide-Eyed in Babylon", in 1976. A film star, as well as an outstanding actor, Ray Milland died of cancer at the age of 79 in March 1986.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1394 2023-10-11 17:39:19

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1356) Ronald Colman

Summary

Ronald Charles Colman (9 February 1891 – 19 May 1958) was an English-born actor, starting his career in theatre and silent film in his native country, then emigrating to the United States and having a highly successful Hollywood film career. He starred in silent films and successfully transitioned to sound, aided by a distinctive, pleasing voice. He was most popular during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He received Oscar nominations for Bulldog Drummond (1929), Condemned (1929) and Random Harvest (1942). Colman starred in several classic films, including A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937) and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). He also played the starring role in the Technicolor classic Kismet (1944), with Marlene Dietrich, which was nominated for four Academy Awards. In 1947, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for the film A Double Life.

Colman was an inaugural recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in motion pictures. He was awarded a second star for his television work.

Details

Ronald Colman, in full Ronald Charles Colman, (born February 9, 1891, Richmond, Surrey, England—died May 19, 1958, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.), was a Hollywood film actor whose screen image embodied the archetypal English gentleman. His elegant accent and polished demeanour gave voice to characters who were sophisticated yet graciously heroic, which contrasted with the rugged, action-oriented screen images of American-bred leading men.

Though Colman showed an interest in acting at an early age, his financial responsibilities to his family prevented him from pursuing the stage as a career. During World War I he joined the London Scottish Regionals regiment; he was decorated and discharged for wounds suffered at Messines, Belgium. Free from family obligations, he pursued his interest in acting and received his first break in 1916 when Gladys Cooper selected him to play opposite her in The Misleading Lady. The following year he made his first film, a two-reel comedy called The Live Wire, though the shy, inexperienced actor was anything but what the title suggests, prompting one executive to remark, “He doesn’t screen well.”

In 1920 Colman moved to the United States in order to pursue a stage career in New York City, where his supporting performance in the 1923 Broadway play The Green Goddess attracted the attention of director Henry King and screen legend Lillian Gish. It was Gish who insisted on Colman for her leading man in King’s The White Sister (1923) and who tutored Colman on the fine points of acting for the camera. The film launched Colman’s screen career in Hollywood and defined his image as a gracious, self-sacrificing hero. He became a star of the silent cinema and was teamed with Hungarian actress Vilma Banky in such films as The Dark Angel (1925), The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926), The Night of Love (1927), The Magic Flame (1927), and Two Lovers (1928). This pairing established them as a romantic screen couple who rivaled the popularity of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. Unlike the films of Garbo and Gilbert, however, those of Colman and Banky offered no public expression of offscreen passion. In the words of writer John Baxter, “[Banky] spoke no English at all. For their love scenes in The Dark Angel, she chatted away in her own language while costar Ronald Colman chatted away about cricket.”

Colman’s success in talking pictures was assured by a resonant, mellifluous speaking voice with a unique, pleasing timbre. Though he had been a star in silent films, the screen character with which Colman is most associated—that of a well-bred, noble English adventurer—was established during the 1930s. As Charles' martyred hero Sidney Carton in the MGM production of A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Colman uttered the line that was to become associated with him: “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done…,” though it was a role Colman was reluctant to accept as it demanded shaving his trademark mustache. He depicted idealism incarnate in Lost Horizon (1937), another trademark role. During the 1940s he attempted to break away from his image by playing into it. In Random Harvest (1942), his character suffers from a speech impediment, which capitalized on the audience’s familiarity with Colman’s sonorous voice. In his most significant film, A Double Life (1947), he portrayed a dashing, sophisticated stage actor—not unlike himself—who begins to live his roles offstage. For this performance, one of the last of his career, he won an Academy Award.

Additional Information

British leading man of primarily American films, one of the great stars of the Golden Age. Raised in Ealing, the son of a successful silk merchant, he attended boarding school in Sussex, where he discovered amateur theatre. He intended to attend Cambridge and become an engineer, but his father's death cost him the financial support necessary. He joined the London Scottish Regionals and at the outbreak of World War I was sent to France. Seriously wounded at the battle of Messines--he was gassed--he was invalided out of service scarcely two months after shipping out for France. Upon his recovery he tried to enter the consular service, but a chance encounter got him a small role in a London play. He dropped other plans and concentrated on the theatre, and was rewarded with a succession of increasingly prominent parts. He made extra money appearing in a few minor films, and in 1920 set out for New York in hopes of finding greater fortune there than in war-depressed England. After two years of impoverishment he was cast in a Broadway hit, "La Tendresse". Director Henry King spotted him in the show and cast him as Lillian Gish's leading man in The White Sister (1923). His success in the film led to a contract with Samuel Goldwyn, and his career as a Hollywood leading man was underway. He became a vastly popular star of silent films, in romances as well as adventure films. The coming of sound made his extraordinarily beautiful speaking voice even more important to the film industry. He played sophisticated, thoughtful characters of integrity with enormous aplomb, and swashbuckled expertly when called to do so in films like The Prisoner of Zenda (1937). A decade later he received an Academy Award for his splendid portrayal of a tormented actor in A Double Life (1947). Much of his later career was devoted to "The Halls of Ivy", a radio show that later was transferred to television The Halls of Ivy (1954). He continued to work until nearly the end of his life, which came in 1958 after a brief lung illness. He was survived by his second wife, actress Benita Hume, and their daughter Juliet Benita Colman.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1395 2023-10-12 15:52:12

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1357) Laurence Olivier

Summary

Laurence Olivier, in full Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier of Brighton, also called (1947–70) Sir Laurence Olivier, (born May 22, 1907, Dorking, Surrey, England—died July 11, 1989, near London, England), was a towering figure of the British stage and screen, acclaimed in his lifetime as the greatest English-speaking actor of the 20th century. He was the first member of his profession to be elevated to a life peerage.

The son of an Anglican minister, Olivier attended All Saints Choir School, where at age nine he made his theatrical debut as Brutus in an abridgement of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Five years later he played the female lead in The Taming of the Shrew at Oxford’s St. Edward’s School, repeating this performance at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. These early stage appearances did not go unnoticed by the theatrical notables of the era, who encouraged Olivier to consider acting as a profession. At first he dismissed the notion, hoping to follow the example of his older brother by managing an Indian rubber plantation; but his father, who had heretofore been ambivalent on the subject of acting, all but demanded that young Laurence embark upon a stage career.

Olivier enrolled at the Central School of Dramatic Art in 1924, then began his professional career with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company (1926–28). In 1929 he made his first significant West End appearance, playing the title role in a staging of P.C. Wren’s Beau Geste. Also that year he made his Broadway debut in Murder on the Second Floor. Having acted in British films from 1930, he was briefly signed by Hollywood’s RKO Radio Pictures in 1931, but he failed to make much of an impression at this early date. What could have been his first Hollywood break in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s Queen Christina (1933) was scuttled when star Greta Garbo vetoed Olivier as her leading man in favour of her former lover John Gilbert.

During this period Olivier broadened his acting range by tackling difficult classical roles; he also chose to accept character parts that allowed him to hide what he considered his shortcomings behind heavy makeup and false beards. As he gained confidence in himself and his craft, audiences responded positively to him. The theatre critics also liked his work—though their comments were guarded, and they often compared Olivier unfavourably with such contemporaries as John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson. He scored a significant triumph as star of an unabridged 1937 staging of Hamlet. He returned to Hollywood to play the tormented Heathcliff in Samuel Goldwyn’s production of Wuthering Heights (1939). This time around, movie audiences took notice, and Olivier’s subsequent international stardom was a fait accompli.

Exhibiting the same tenacity and dedication that distinguished his theatrical work, Olivier accumulated enough flight hours on his own to qualify for the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm in World War II. Demobilized in 1944, he launched a new facet of his career by teaming with longtime friend Ralph Richardson to revitalize the fabled Old Vic Theatre. This assignment not only provided him the opportunity to appear in an extensive repertory of choice Shakespearean roles but also allowed him to direct, something he had been doing on a sporadic basis since the 1930s. In 1944 he also returned to film as star and director of Shakespeare’s Henry V (1944), an outstanding blend of old-fashioned theatricality and “pure” cinema that earned him a special Academy Award. He went on to star in three additional Shakespearean film adaptations, two of which he also directed: Hamlet (1948), which won him Academy Awards for both best picture and best actor; Richard III (1955), and Othello (1965), a “filmed theatre” version of his earlier stage triumph, directed by Stuart Burge. Olivier’s other movie directorial credits included The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), with Marilyn Monroe; the 1967 television movie version of Uncle Vanya; and Three Sisters (1970).

Ever on the lookout for new challenges, and eager not to be regarded as an anachronism during the British theatre’s Angry Young Men period, Olivier asked John Osborne to write a play for him. The result was The Entertainer (play 1957, film 1960), in which the actor astonished even his most ardent admirers with his shattering portrayal of pathetic end-of-pier music hall performer Archie Rice. Olivier’s list of accomplishments was further extended in 1962 when he became producer-director of the National Theatre company. To raise money for this enterprise, he accepted virtually every film role—good or bad—that came his way, and even appeared in a series of American television commercials for Polaroid cameras.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Olivier appeared in more than 30 films; most were forgettable, but memorable exceptions included Sleuth (1972, Oscar nomination for best actor), Marathon Man (1976, Oscar nomination for best supporting actor), the television films Love Among the Ruins (1975) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976), and the British miniseries Brideshead Revisited (1981). It was also during this period that Olivier was suddenly and inexplicably stricken with a severe case of stage fright. Even after overcoming this debility, he insisted upon “shielding” himself from the audience by retreating further into character roles, donning elaborate makeups, and adopting thick foreign accents as a form of self-protection. In his last two decades he was tormented by illness, including near-fatal bouts with thrombosis and prostate cancer. His frailties added a poignant note to his much-praised performance in the title role of King Lear (1983; made for television), his last major Shakespearean role.

Olivier published two highly-regarded volumes of memoirs, Confessions of an Actor (1984) and On Acting (1986). He was married three times, to actresses Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright. Knighted in 1947, he became the first actor to receive a peerage in 1970, allowing him to sit in the House of Lords. Despite these honours, he retained his essential modesty; whenever asked if he should be addressed as Sir Laurence or Lord Olivier, the actor invariably replied, “Call me Larry.” Upon his death, he became only the second actor since Edmund Kean to be interred in Poets’ Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Details

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career he had considerable success in television roles.

His family had no theatrical connections, but Olivier's father, a clergyman, decided that his son should become an actor. After attending a drama school in London, Olivier learned his craft in a succession of acting jobs during the late 1920s. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film. In 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Peggy Ashcroft, and by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a highly respected company. There his most celebrated roles included Shakespeare's Richard III and Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant-garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer, a part he later played on film. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars. His own parts there included the title role in Othello (1965) and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1970).

Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), and a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor/director: Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955). His later films included Spartacus (1960), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Sleuth (1972), Marathon Man (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). His television appearances included an adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence (1960), "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1973), Love Among the Ruins (1975), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976), Brideshead Revisited (1981) and King Lear (1983).

Olivier's honours included a knighthood (1947), a life peerage (1970), and the Order of Merit (1981). For his on-screen work he received two Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards. The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, and he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre. He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, and Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death.

Additional Information

Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a great-great-grandfather who was of French Huguenot origin.

One of Olivier's earliest successes as a Shakespearean actor on the London stage came in 1935 when he played "Romeo" and "Mercutio" in alternate performances of "Romeo and Juliet" with John Gielgud. A young Englishwoman just beginning her career on the stage fell in love with Olivier's Romeo. In 1937, she was "Ophelia" to his "Hamlet" in a special performance at Kronborg Castle, Elsinore (Helsingør), Denmark. In 1940, she became his second wife after both returned from making films in America that were major box office hits of 1939. His film was Wuthering Heights (1939), her film was Gone with the Wind (1939). Vivien Leigh and Olivier were screen lovers in Fire Over England (1937), 21 Days Together (1940) and That Hamilton Woman (1941).

There was almost a fourth film together in 1944 when Olivier and Leigh traveled to Scotland with Charles C. Bennett to research the real-life story of a Scottish girl accused of murdering her French lover. Bennett recalled that Olivier researched the story "with all the thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes" and "we unearthed evidence, never known or produced at the trial, that would most certainly have sent the young lady to the gallows". The film project was then abandoned. During their two-decade marriage, Olivier and Leigh appeared on the stage in England and America and made films whenever they really needed to make some money.

In 1951, Olivier was working on a screen adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novel "Sister Carrie" (Carrie (1952)) while Leigh was completing work on the film version of the Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). She won her second Oscar for bringing "Blanche DuBois" to the screen. Carrie (1952) was a film that Olivier never talked about. George Hurstwood, a middle-aged married man from Chicago who tricked a young woman into leaving a younger man about to marry her, became a New York street person in the novel. Olivier played him as a somewhat nicer person who didn't fall quite as low. A PBS documentary on Olivier's career broadcast in 1987 covered his first sojourn in Hollywood in the early 1930s with his first wife, Jill Esmond, and noted that her star was higher than his at that time. On film, he was upstaged by his second wife, too, even though the list of films he made is four times as long as hers.

More than half of his film credits come after The Entertainer (1960), which started out as a play in London in 1957. When the play moved across the Atlantic to Broadway in 1958, the role of "Archie Rice"'s daughter was taken over by Joan Plowright, who was also in the film. They married soon after the release of The Entertainer (1960).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1396 2023-10-13 15:19:16

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1358) Broderick Crawford

Summary

William Broderick Crawford (December 9, 1911 – April 26, 1986) was an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Willie Stark in the film All the King's Men (1949), which earned him an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Often cast in tough-guy roles, he later achieved recognition for his starring role as Dan Mathews in the crime television series Highway Patrol (1955–1959).

Details

Broderick Crawford is best remembered for two roles: his Oscar-winning turn as Willie Stark in All the King's Men (1949) and as Chief Dan Mathews on the syndicated TV series Highway Patrol (1955). He was also memorable as Judy Holliday's vulgar partner in Born Yesterday (1950), roles both actors had originated on Broadway to great acclaim.

He was born William Broderick Crawford on December 9, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to vaudeville performers Lester Crawford and Helen Broderick. His mother had a brief movie career acting in Hollywood comedies. Broderick Crawford, large and burly, was no one's idea of a leading man due to his rough-and-tumble looks, but he broke through playing John Steinbeck's simple-minded giant Lenny in the Broadway adaptation of Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men". After this Broadway success, Crawford moved to Hollywood and made his cinema debut in the comedy Woman Chases Man (1937), in a supporting role to stars Joel McCrea and Miriam Hopkins. When producer-director Lewis Milestone was casting the movie version of Steinbeck's classic (Of Mice and Men (1939)), he passed over Crawford and selected Lon Chaney Jr. to play Lenny.

After many supporting roles (including a memorable turn as a big but kindhearted lug in the comedy Larceny, Inc (1942)) and a stint in the military during World War II, Crawford had his breakthrough role in Robert Rossen's adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "All the King's Men". Crawford gave a masterly performance as the southern U.S. politician based on Louisiana's Huey Long. In addition to the Oscar, he also won the New York Film Critics' Award for Best Actor. All the King's Men (1949) was a hit, as was Born Yesterday (1950). (Crawford had also played the role on Broadway, succeeding Paul Douglas, who originated the role.) However, Crawford soon after became typecast as crude or brutish.

Five years after copping the Academy Award, TV producer Frederick W. Ziv hired Crawford to play the lead role in his syndicated police drama "Highway Patrol". The show ran for four seasons. Crawford's career, moribund in the early 1950s, revived, but he generally eschewed the big screen, preferring television, for the remainder of his career. He continued to act almost up until his death in Rancho Mirage, California, on April 26, 1986, at age 74, following a series of strokes.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1397 2023-10-14 17:44:30

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1359) José Ferrer

Summary

José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón (January 8, 1912 – January 26, 1992) was a Puerto Rican actor and director of stage, film and television. He was one of the most celebrated and esteemed Hispanic American actors—or, indeed, actors of any ethnicity—during his lifetime and after, with a career spanning nearly 60 years between 1935 and 1992. He achieved prominence for his portrayal of Cyrano de Bergerac in the play of the same name, which earned him the inaugural Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play in 1947. He reprised the role in a 1950 film version and won an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him the first Hispanic actor and the first Puerto Rican-born to win an Academy Award.

His other notable film roles include Charles VII in Joan of Arc (1948), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (1952), defense attorney Barney Greenwald in The Caine Mutiny (1954), Alfred Dreyfus in I Accuse! (1958), which he also directed; the Turkish Bey in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Siegfried Rieber in Ship of Fools (1965), and Emperor Shaddam IV in Dune (1984). Ferrer also maintained a prolific acting and directing career on Broadway, winning a second Best Actor Tony for The Shrike, and Best Director for The Shrike, The Fourposter, and Stalag 17.

Ferrer was the father of actor Miguel Ferrer, the brother of Rafael Ferrer, the grandfather of actress Tessa Ferrer, and the uncle of actor George Clooney. His contributions to American theatre were recognized in 1981 when he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. In 1985, he received the National Medal of Arts from President Reagan, becoming the first actor so honored.

Details

José Ferrer, in full José Vincente Ferrer de Otero y Cintron, (born January 8, 1912, Santurce, Puerto Rico—died January 26, 1992, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.), was an American actor and director, who was perhaps best known for his Academy Award-winning performance in the title role of the film Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) and for his portrayal of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge (1952).

Ferrer, a graduate of Princeton University (1934), was a gifted pianist and had intended to become an architect before launching his acting career in 1935. He earned acclaim in the comic title role of the Broadway hit Charley’s Aunt (1940) before appearing as Iago with Paul Robeson in Othello (1943), which set an all-time record run for a Shakespearean play on Broadway to that time. Ferrer earned his first Tony Award in 1947 for his performance in Cyrano de Bergerac and won two more in 1952, one for directing the plays Stalag 17, The Fourposter, and The Shrike and the other for acting in The Shrike.

Following his motion-picture debut in Joan of Arc (1948), Ferrer appeared in Whirlpool (1949), Crisis (1950), The Caine Mutiny (1954), The Shrike (1955), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). As a director, he cast himself in starring roles in The Great Man (1956), I Accuse (1958), and The High Cost of Loving (1958). The last films he directed were Return to Peyton Place (1961) and State Fair (1962). During the 1970s and ’80s he was cast mainly as villains, mostly for television, and he made his final stage appearance in 1990. He was married four times; among his wives were actress Uta Hagen and singer Rosemary Clooney. Ferrer was the first actor to receive the National Medal of Arts (1985).

Additional Information

José Ferrer was a Puerto Rican actor and film director. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for playing the title character in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950). Ferrer was the first Puerto Rican actor to win an Academy Award, and also the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award.

In 1912, Ferrer was born is San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico. Established as a Spanish colonial city in 1521, San Juan is the third oldest European-established capital city in the Americas, following Santo Domingo (established in 1496) and Panama City (established in 1521). Ferrer's father was Rafael Ferrer, a lawyer and author who was born and raised in San Juan. Ferrer's mother was María Providencia Cintrón, a native of the coastal town of Yabucoa. Ferrer's paternal grandfather was Dr. Gabriel Ferrer Hernández, who had campaigned for Puerto Rican independence from the Spanish Empire.

The Ferrer family moved to New York City in 1914, when José was 2-years-old. As a school student, Ferrer was educated abroad at the Institut Le Rosey, a prestigious boarding school located in Rolle, Switzerland. In 1933, Ferrer was enrolled at Princeton University, located in Princeton, New Jersey. He studied architecture, and wrote a senior thesis about French Naturalism and the literary works of Spanish naturalist writer Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921). In 1934, Ferrer transferred to Columbia University, where he studied Romance languages.

In 1934, while still a college student, Ferrer made his theatrical debut in Long Island-based theatre. In 1935, he was hired as the stage manager at the Suffern Country Playhouse. Later in 1935, Ferrer made his Broadway debut in the comedy play "A Slight Case of Murder" by Damon Runyon (1880-1946) and Howard Lindsay (1889-1968). This stage production of the play ran for 69 performances, with Ferrer appearing in all of them.

Ferrer's major success as a Broadway actor was performing in the play "Brother Rat" by John Monks Jr. (1910-2004) and Fred F. Finklehoffe (1910-1977). The play had a ran of 577 performances from 1936 to 1938. Among his subsequent theatrical appearances, the most successful were staged productions of Mamba's Daughters (1938), which ran for 163 performances, and "Charley's Aunt" (1940-1941), which ran for 233 performances. His role in "Charley's Aunt" required him to perform in drag, for the first time in his career.

Ferrer had one of the greatest theatrical successes of his career when playing the villainous Iago in a Broadway production of "Othello' by William Shakespeare. The production had a ran of 296 performances, lasting from 1943 to 1944. Ferrer played his most famous role as the historical figure of Cyrano de Bergerac (1619-1655) in the 1946-1947 Broadway season. For this role, Ferrer won the 1947 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play.

Ferrer made his film debut in the Technicolor epic "Joan of Arc" (1948). He played the historical monarch Charles VII of France (1403-1461, reigned 1422-1461), the ruler who Joan of Arc served during the Hundred Years' War. For his debut role, Ferrer was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Award was instead won by rival actor Walter Huston (1883-1950).

Ferrer's success as a film actor, helped him gain more film roles in Hollywood-produced films. He played the "smooth-talking hypnotist David Korvo" in the film noir "Whirlpool" (1949), and dictator Raoul Farrago in the film noir "Crisis". He had a career highlight with a film adaptation of the play "Cyrano de Bergerac", where he played the title role. For this role, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

His next critically successful role was that of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) in the historical drama "Moulin Rouge" (1952). For this role, Ferrer was again nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The award was instead won by rival actor Gary Cooper (1901-1961). The film also marked a financial success for Ferrer, who received 40% of the film's profits.

Ferrer also appeared in other box office hits of the 1950s, such as the musical "Miss Sadie Thompson" (1953), the Navy-themed drama "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), and the biographical film "Deep in My Heart" (1954). Ferrer was also interested in becoming a film director. He made his directing debut with the film noir "The Shrike" (1955). His subsequent directing efforts included war film "The math Heroes" (1955), the film noir "The Great Man" (1956), the biographical film I Accuse! (1958), and the comedy film "The High Cost of Loving" (1958). While still critically well-received, several of these films were box office flops. He took a hiatus from films productions.

Ferrer attempted a comeback as a film director with the sequel film "Return to Peyton Place" (1961) and the musical film "State Fair" (1962). Both films were box office flops. As an actor, Ferrer had a supporting role as a Turkish Bey in the historical drama "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962). While a relatively minor role, Ferrer considered the finest role of his film career.

In television, Ferrer gained a notable role as the narrator in the pilot episode of the hit sitcom "Bewitched" (1964-1972). In films, Ferrer started playing mostly supporting roles. He briefly returned to the role of Cyrano de Bergerac in the French adventure film "Cyrano and d'Artagnan". He had another notable role as a historical monarch, playing Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea (reigned 4 BC-39 AD) in the Biblical epic "The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965).

Ferrer had his first notable role as a voice actor, playing the villain Ben Haramed in the Rankin/Bass Christmas "The Little Drummer Boy" (1968). But at this time, he started having legal troubles. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accused Ferrer of still owing unpaid taxes since 1962.

Ferrer had many film roles in the 1970s, but no outstanding highlights. As a voice actor, he voiced Cyrano de Bergerac in an episode of "The ABC Afterschool Special". In the 1980s, Ferrer played a monarch again, playing Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV in the science fiction film "Dune". The film was an adaptation of the 1965 novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert (1920-1986), and Shaddam was one of the film's villains. This was among the last notable roles of Ferrer's long career.

Ferred retired from acting entirely in 1991, due to increasing health problems. His last theatrical performance was a production of the generation-gap drama "Conversations with My Father". Ferrer died in 1992, due to colorectal cancer. He was 80-years-old. He died in Coral Gables, Florida, but was buried in the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Several of his children had acting careers of their own.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1398 2023-10-15 16:59:26

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1360) Humphrey Bogart

Summary

Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957), colloquially nicknamed Bogie, was an American actor. His performances in classic Hollywood cinema films made him an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute selected Bogart as the greatest male star of classic American cinema.

Bogart began acting in Broadway shows. Debuting in film in The Dancing Town (1928), he appeared in supporting roles for more than a decade, regularly portraying gangsters. He was praised for his work as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936). Bogart also received positive reviews for his performance as gangster Hugh "Baby Face" Martin, in Dead End (1937), directed by William Wyler.

His breakthrough came in High Sierra (1941), and he catapulted to stardom as the lead in The Maltese Falcon (1941), considered one of the first great noir films. Bogart's private detectives, Sam Spade (in The Maltese Falcon) and Philip Marlowe (in 1946's The Big Sleep), became the models for detectives in other noir films. His first romantic lead role was a memorable one, pairing him with Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942), which earned him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Raymond Chandler, in a 1946 letter, wrote that "Like Edward G. Robinson when he was younger, all he has to do to dominate a scene is to enter it."

Forty-four-year-old Bogart and nineteen-year-old Lauren Bacall fell in love during filming of To Have and Have Not (1944). In 1945, a few months after principal photography for The Big Sleep, their second film together, he divorced his third wife and married Bacall. After their marriage, they played each other's love interest in the mystery thrillers Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948). Regarding her husband's enduring popularity, Bacall later said, "There was something that made him able to be a man of his own and it showed through his work. There was also a purity, which is amazing considering the parts he played. Something solid too. I think as time goes by we all believe less and less. Here was someone who believed in something."

Bogart's performances in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and In a Lonely Place (1950) are now considered among his best, although they were not recognized as such when the films were released. He reprised those unsettled, unstable characters as a World War II naval-vessel commander in The Caine Mutiny (1954), which was a critical and commercial hit and earned him another Best Actor nomination. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a cantankerous river steam launch skipper opposite Katharine Hepburn's missionary in the World War I African adventure The African Queen (1951). Other significant roles in his later years included The Barefoot Contessa (1954) with Ava Gardner and his on-screen competition with William Holden for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954). A heavy smoker and drinker, Bogart died from esophageal cancer in January 1957.

Details

Humphrey Bogart, in full Humphrey DeForest Bogart, (born December 25, 1899, New York, New York, U.S.—died January 14, 1957, Hollywood, California), was an American actor who became a preeminent motion picture “tough guy” and was a top box-office attraction during the 1940s and ’50s. In his performances he projected the image of a worldly-wise individualistic adventurer with a touch of idealism hidden beneath a hardened exterior. Off-screen he gave the carefully crafted appearance of being a cynical loner, granting only minimal concessions to Hollywood conventions. He became a cult hero of the American cinema.

Early life and career

Bogart’s father was a prominent surgeon, and his mother was a commercial artist. He served in the United States Navy at the end of World War I, and he later began a stage career in New York City playing juvenile roles in drawing-room and country-house comedies. By the mid-1920s he had won a leading role in the comedy Cradle Snatchers (1925) and other plays, and the young actor with the distinctive lisp began receiving good notices from critics. Bogart often played the ascot-wearing playboy or country-club fixture who seemingly frolicked through life in dinner jacket and tails, which is ironic in light of his later screen persona as the hard-bitten world-weary man of few words. He is reported to have originated the classic line of the mindless society fellow: “Tennis, anyone?”

Bogart’s Broadway success led to roles in two film shorts—The Dancing Town (1928) and Broadway’s like That (1930)—and a contract with the Fox Film Corporation. His supporting roles in some 10 films made between 1930 and 1934 failed to make an impact, and the disillusioned Bogart returned to the Broadway stage. He scored his biggest triumph to date as the ruthless killer Duke Mantee in Robert Sherwood’s The Petrified Forest (1935). The following year he finally garnered some serious attention in Hollywood after reprising the role in the Warner Brothers’ film adaptation of the play. Bogart spent the next five years playing numerous supporting roles—mostly gangster types—and occasional leading roles in B-films. His best pictures of this period included Black Legion (1937), Marked Woman (1937), Dead End (1937), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), The Roaring Twenties (1939), Dark Victory (1939), and They Drive by Night (1940).

Stardom: The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The African Queen

Two films in 1941 marked the turning point of Bogart’s career. In High Sierra he played a killer with a tortured soul and a sense of morality—a departure from the one-dimensional thugs he had portrayed earlier. His performance as detective Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon (1941), John Huston’s adaptation of the Dashiell Hammett detective thriller, helped make the film a classic. He followed this with leading roles in such well-regarded films as All Through the Night and Across the Pacific (both 1942) before he was cast in what is perhaps his quintessential screen characterization, that of cabaret owner Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1942). Despite its hurried, chaotic production, begun when the script was only half-finished, Casablanca is one of the best in moviemaking history; it ranked third to Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941) and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) on the American Film Institute’s 2007 list of the top 100 American films. Released just after America’s entrance into World War II, Casablanca’s topicality and sentimental cynicism helped to make it an enormous success. The film won the Oscar for best picture, and Bogart’s Oscar-nominated performance secured his newfound status as Warner Brothers’ top male star.

From this success Bogart went on to compile an impressive list of screen credits. Few actors can match his track record for quality films: To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), In a Lonely Place (1950), The African Queen (1951), Sabrina (1954), and The Caine Mutiny (1954; Oscar nomination) are all regarded as screen classics. For his portrayal of a slovenly riverboat captain in The African Queen, which also starred Katharine Hepburn, Bogart received his first and only Academy Award. He seldom appeared in a truly bad picture, and his legend helped such minor films as Sahara (1943), Passage to Marseilles (1944), Dark Passage (1947), Beat the Devil (1953), and The Barefoot Contessa (1954) to achieve cult status.

Bogart’s screen persona was that of laconic reserve with the suggestion of complex underlying emotions. It was this duality that distinguished him from other “tough guy” actors, who relied on swagger and bravado to convey their anger with the world. Bogart, conversely, employed cool detachment to suggest world-weariness. He often gave his most ruthless characters a slight hint of decency, whereas the heroes he portrayed often had a dark or vulnerable side. He succeeded in making cynicism an endearing quality.

Bogart and Bacall

After three troubled marriages, Bogart found lasting happiness when he wed actress Lauren Bacall in 1945. Their rapport was evident in their memorable onscreen pairings in To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo. They teamed again for a well-received television adaptation of The Petrified Forest (1955) that also starred Henry Fonda and were planning another screen collaboration when Bogart died in 1957.

Although he was a popular actor during the 1940s and ’50s, Bogart achieved the status of a legend after his death. In 1999 he was named the top male film star of the 20th century by the American Film Institute.

Additional Information

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon. Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in preparation for medical studies at Yale. He was expelled from Phillips and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve. From 1920 to 1922, he managed a stage company owned by family friend William A. Brady (the father of actress Alice Brady), performing a variety of tasks at Brady's film studio in New York. He then began regular stage performances. Alexander Woollcott described his acting in a 1922 play as inadequate. In 1930, he gained a contract with Fox, his feature film debut in a ten-minute short, Broadway's Like That (1930), co-starring Ruth Etting and Joan Blondell. Fox released him after two years. After five years of stage and minor film roles, he had his breakthrough role in The Petrified Forest (1936) from Warner Bros. He won the part over Edward G. Robinson only after the star, Leslie Howard, threatened Warner Bros. that he would quit unless Bogart was given the key role of Duke Mantee, which he had played in the Broadway production with Howard. The film was a major success and led to a long-term contract with Warner Bros. From 1936 to 1940, Bogart appeared in 28 films, usually as a gangster, twice in Westerns and even a horror film. His landmark year was 1941 (often capitalizing on parts George Raft had stupidly rejected) with roles in classics such as High Sierra (1940) and as Sam Spade in one of his most fondly remembered films, The Maltese Falcon (1941). These were followed by Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948). Bogart, despite his erratic education, was incredibly well-read and he favored writers and intellectuals within his small circle of friends. In 1947, he joined wife Lauren Bacall and other actors protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunts. He also formed his own production company, and the next year made The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Bogie won the best actor Academy Award for The African Queen (1951) and was nominated for Casablanca (1942) and as Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954), a film made when he was already seriously ill. He died in his sleep at his Hollywood home following surgeries and a battle with throat cancer.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1399 2023-10-16 17:24:25

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 45,619

Re: crème de la crème

1361) William Holden

Summary

William Franklin Holden (born Beedle Jr.; April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) was an American actor and one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s. Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film Stalag 17 (1953) and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for the television miniseries The Blue Knight (1973). Holden starred in some of Hollywood's most popular and critically acclaimed films, including Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sabrina (1954), Picnic (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), The Wild Bunch (1969) and Network (1976). He was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times (1954–1958, 1961), and appeared as 25th on the American Film Institute's list of 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema.

Details

William Holden, original name William Franklin Beedle, Jr., (born April 17, 1918, O’Fallon, Illinois, U.S.—found dead November 16, 1981, Santa Monica, California), was an American film star who perfected the role of the cynic who acts heroically in spite of his scorn or pessimism.

Beedle grew up in South Pasadena, California. While attending Pasadena Junior College, he acted in local radio plays and became involved with the Pasadena Playhouse. He was discovered by a Paramount Pictures talent scout and given the more glamorous surname “Holden.” Drawing on his muscular build and good looks, the studio assigned him the lead in the boxing melodrama Golden Boy (1939). The role was a challenge for the inexperienced young actor, who was tutored by costar Barbara Stanwyck in the basics of performing before a camera.

Columbia Pictures picked up half of his contract, and Holden alternated between the two studios, appearing in several forgettable movies before serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. His service included acting in training films. After the war, he continued to perform in what he referred to as “smiling Jim” parts. In later years, Holden bitterly resented the studios’ exploitation of his physical appearance at the expense of his development as an actor.

Director Billy Wilder rescued Holden’s career by hiring him for the lead in Sunset Boulevard (1950). As Joe Gillis, the jaded screenwriter so desperate for a job that he becomes the gigolo of a faded silent-film star, Holden found his niche and turned in an Academy Award-nominated performance as the cynical leading man. He went on to produce his strongest body of work during the 1950s. He costarred with Judy Holliday in George Cukor’s comedy Born Yesterday (1950). His performance as the cynical Sergeant J.J. Sefton in a German prisoner-of-war camp in Stalag 17 (1953) earned him the best actor Oscar. Holden costarred with Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954) and with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in The Country Girl (1954), based on a play by Clifford Odets. He portrayed a heroic fighter-pilot in the Korean War drama The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) and a washed-up football player in Picnic (1955). Holden memorably played the escaped POW Shears in the classic The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).

In later years Holden appeared in few films of quality. Disillusioned with Hollywood, he spent much of his time and money supporting conservation efforts in Africa. The roles that do stand out from his later career—those of Pike Bishop in Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969), TV executive Max Schumacher in Network (1976; his last Oscar nomination), and hard-drinking film producer Tim Culley in Blake Edwards’s S.O.B. (1981; Holden’s final film)—captured a bit of Holden’s real-life bitterness and depression and added a tinge of melancholy to his screen image.

Holden’s death was especially unfortunate and probably quite unnecessary. Evidence suggests that after an evening of drinking, Holden slipped and fell, suffering a severe laceration to his forehead. He remained conscious for at least half an hour after the accident but did not realize the severity of his injury and did not make the phone call that would surely have saved his life. He subsequently passed out and bled to death; his body was discovered some four days later.

Additional Information

William Holden was an American actor. Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1954, and the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1974. One of the top stars of the 1950s, he was named one of the “Top 10 stars of the year” six times and appeared on the American Film Institute’s AFI’s 100 Years?100 Stars list as #25.

Holden, eldest of three sons, was born as William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O’Fallon, Illinois, the son of Congregationalist parents Mary Blanche, a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. The family, which moved to South Pasadena, California when he was three, was of English descent; Holden’s paternal great-grandmother, Rebecca Westfield, was born in England in 1817, while some of his mother’s ancestors emigrated in the 17th century to Millenback, Lancaster County, Virginia in the U.S. from England.

After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Holden attended Pasadena Junior College, where he became involved in local radio plays. Contrary to legend and theatre publicity, he did not study at the Pasadena Playhouse, nor was he discovered in a play there. Rather, he was spotted by a talent scout from Paramount Pictures in 1937 while playing the part of an 80-year-old man, Marie Curie’s father-in-law, in a play at the Playbox, a separate and private theatre owned by Pasadena Playhouse director Gilmor Brown. His first film role was in Prison Farm the following year.

His first starring role was in Golden Boy, in which he played a violinist turned boxer. That was followed by the role of George Gibbs in the film adaptation of Our Town.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1400 2023-10-17 19:19:05

Jai Ganesh
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Re: crème de la crème

1362) Ernest Borgnine

Summary

Ernest Borgnine (born Ermes Effron Borgnino; January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012) was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades. He was noted for his gruff but relaxed voice and gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin. A popular performer, he also appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows and as a panelist on several game shows.

Borgnine's film career began in 1951 and included supporting roles in China Corsair (1951), From Here to Eternity (1953), Vera Cruz (1954), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), and The Wild Bunch (1969). He also played the unconventional lead in many films, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1956 for Marty (1955), which also won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Picture. Borgnine then starred as the title character in the sitcom McHale's Navy (1962–1966) and co-starred as Dominic Santini in the action series Airwolf (1984–1986).

Borgnine earned his third Primetime Emmy Award nomination at age 92 for his work on the 2009 series finale of ER. He was known as the original voice of Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants from 1999 until his death in 2012. He replaced the late Vic Tayback as the voice of the villainous Carface Caruthers in both All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996) and All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series (1996–1998).

Details

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, but took no real interest in acting. At age 18, after graduating from high school in New Haven, and undecided about his future career, he joined the United States Navy, where he stayed for ten years until leaving in 1945. After a few factory jobs, his mother suggested that his forceful personality could make him suitable for a career in acting, and Borgnine promptly enrolled at the Randall School of Drama in Hartford. After completing the course, he joined Robert Porterfield's famous Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, staying there for four years, undertaking odd jobs and playing every type of role imaginable. His big break came in 1949, when he made his acting debut on Broadway playing a male nurse in "Harvey".

In 1951, Borgnine moved to Los Angeles to pursue a movie career, and made his film debut as Bill Street in The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951). His career took off in 1953 when he was cast in the role of Sergeant "Fatso" Judson in From Here to Eternity (1953). This memorable performance led to numerous supporting roles as "heavies" in a steady string of dramas and westerns. He played against type in 1955 by securing the lead role of Marty Piletti, a shy and sensitive butcher, in Marty (1955). He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, despite strong competition from Spencer Tracy, Frank Sinatra, James Dean and James Cagney. Throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Borgnine performed memorably in such films as The Catered Affair (1956), Ice Station Zebra (1968) and Emperor of the North (1973). Between 1962 and 1966, he played Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in the popular television series McHale's Navy (1962). In early 1984, he returned to television as Dominic Santini in the action series Airwolf (1984) co-starring Jan-Michael Vincent, and in 1995, he was cast in the comedy series The Single Guy (1995) as doorman Manny Cordoba. He also appeared in several made-for-TV movies.

Ernest Borgnine has often stated that acting was his greatest passion. His amazing 61-year career (1951 - 2012) included appearances in well over 100 feature films and as a regular in three television series, as well as voice-overs in animated films such as All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 (1996), Small Soldiers (1998), and a continued role in the series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999). Between 1973 until his death, Ernest was married to Tova Traesnaes, who heads her own cosmetics company. They lived in Beverly Hills, California, where Ernest assisted his wife between film projects. When not acting, Ernest actively supported numerous charities and spoke tirelessly at benefits throughout the country. He has been awarded several honorary doctorates from colleges across the United States as well as numerous Lifetime Achievement Awards. In 1996, Ernest purchased a bus and traveled across the United States to see the country and meet his many fans. On December 17, 1999, he presented the University of North Alabama with a collection of scripts from his film and television career, due to his long friendship with North Alabama alumnus and actor George Lindsey (died May 6, 2012), who was an artist in residence at North Alabama.

Ernest Borgnine passed away aged 95 on July 8, 2012, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, of renal failure. He is survived by his wife Tova, their children and his younger sister Evelyn (1926-2013).

Additional Information

Ernest Borgnine, original name Ermes Effron Borgnino, (born January 24, 1917, Hamden, Connecticut, U.S.—died July 8, 2012, Los Angeles, California), was an American actor whose portly physique and coarse features made him a commanding presence in scores of films and television productions, in which he skillfully portrayed characters ranging from brutish thugs to hapless everymen.

Borgnino was born to Italian immigrant parents. As a small child, he moved with his mother to northern Italy for several years before returning to Connecticut, at which point his family changed its surname. After graduating from high school in 1935, Borgnine served in the U.S. Navy for six years and then reenlisted once the United States entered World War II, rising to the rank of gunner’s mate first class by the time of his discharge in 1945. Initially ambivalent about his civilian career prospects, Borgnine pursued acting at the encouragement of his mother, taking advantage of the G.I. Bill to study for six months at the Randall School in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1946 he joined the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, where he worked backstage before earning roles in more than a dozen productions.

In 1949 Borgnine made his Broadway debut in the comedy Harvey, which led to further work onstage as well as in the burgeoning medium of television. He embarked on a film career with a role as a factory foreman in the docudrama The Whistle at Eaton Falls (1951), but he did not receive significant attention until his performance as the belligerent jailer Fatso Judson in the widely praised military drama From Here to Eternity (1953). Thereafter Borgnine appeared in similarly menacing supporting parts in several high-profile films, including the westerns Johnny Guitar (1954), Vera Cruz (1954), and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). In 1955, however, he starred in the romantic drama Marty, an adaptation of a television drama written by Paddy Chayefsky. For his against-type performance as a lonesome, kindhearted butcher, Borgnine received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for best actor.

Steady and versatile film work followed, from The Catered Affair (1956), in which Borgnine played another dramatic lead (opposite Bette Davis), to the adventure movie The Vikings (1958), in which he was cast as the bloodthirsty chieftain Ragnar. Drawing on his naval experience, he then portrayed the waggish Lieut. Comdr. Quinton McHale in the television comedy series McHale’s Navy (1962–66) as well as the 1964 film of the same name. Borgnine’s most notable film roles in the late 1960s were in gritty male-dominated ensemble pieces, including the World War II movie The Dirty Dozen (1967), the Cold War action film Ice Station Zebra (1968), and the revisionist western The Wild Bunch (1969). He later appeared in the big-budget disaster film The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and portrayed a Depression-era train conductor with a vendetta against hoboes in Emperor of the North Pole (1973; also released as Emperor of the North), his fifth and final collaboration with director Robert Aldrich.

Borgnine maintained a prolific output in the late 20th century and into the 21st century. In addition to his film work, he continued to appear on television, with supporting parts in the action-adventure series Airwolf (1984–86) and the sitcom The Single Guy (1995–97) and, from 1999, a recurring role on the children’s cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. Borgnine’s autobiography, Ernie, was published in 2008, and three years later he received a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild.

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