Archive for the ‘Actors’ category

Fav Actors of 1993

February 15, 2013

1993 was a great year for movies, and men in the movies. When you look at 1993 and the awards shows that year, not many of the actresses really stand out, but the men really shine. Some of the best actors that have ever graced the screen were in great films in 1993. Some are here, and some did not make my list, but these are the performances that I remember.

Actors 19931. Tom Hanks- Philadelphia: His role as the attorney fighting AIDS and his employer, the largest law firm in Philadelphia is by far the best performance in 1993, that is why he won the best actor Oscar.

2. Johnny Depp - Benny & Joon and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?: No one can play those eccentric characters the way Johnny can, and he continues to this day.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio-What’s Eating Gilbert Grape: Amazing star even when he first started making films, this performance was one of his best.

4. Daniel Day-Lewis- In the Name of the Father; There is a reason why he has become the greatest actor of our generation and maybe of all time, and this film is one of those reasons.

5. Pete Postlewaite- In the Name of the Father: His role as Daniel Day-Lewis father is short of amazing.

6. Tommy Lee Jones- The Fugitive; Tommy Lee finally received his just rewards in 1993 when he walked away with an Oscar for Supporting Actor with his portrayal of the man who was called upon to catch Harrison Ford’s fugitive.

7. Robert DeNiro- This Boys Life- Opposite Leonardo in this film, Robert as always never disappoints.

8. Harrison Ford- The Fugitive; Stellar performance that even David Janseen would be proud of.

9. Denzel Washington-Philadelphia: As Tom Hanks leery attorney, Denzel showed Hollywood his versatility and his abilities.

10. Ralph Fiennes- Schindler’s List; yes, Liam Nisson was the hero of this film as Schindler, but ralph was his antagonist, and was superb.

Maybe you agreed with these choices, maybe not, but those are my favorite actors and favorite roles in 1993.  What were yours?

Clark Gable ~ 1901-1960

December 7, 2012

Clark Gable, born in Cadiz, Ohio as William Clark Gable on February 1, 1901. The former blue-collar worker from Ohio became the “King of Hollywood,” a title based on his being the leading male box-office attraction throughout the 1930s. The dashing, mustachioed image of Rhett Butler in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) remains indelibly associated with the name Clark Gable.
Following his marriage to actress Josephine Dillon, Gable played bit parts in several silent Hollywood features but he first achieved fame as a leading man on Broadway in the late 20s. With the flourishing of sound films, Gable joined the new generation of movie actors who made the move from New York to Hollywood in the early 30s. On the advice of director/actor Lionel Barrymore MGM granted him a screen test and, after a talkie debut in a Pathé western (THE PAINTED DESERT, 1931), Gable signed a contract with the prestigious Metro, where he remained until 1954. In his first year alone, Gable appeared in a dozen features, quickly rising from supporting player to romantic lead. He was teamed with all of MGM’s leading ladies, most notably opposite Norma Shearer in A FREE SOUL (1931), Greta Garbo in SUSAN LENOX: HER FALL AND RISE (1931) and Joan Crawford in THE POSSESSED (1931) — though he proved equally adept in male-oriented action sagas (THE SECRET SIX, 1931, SPORTING BLOOD, 1931, HELL DIVERS, 1932).
Despite his rising popularity, Gable balked at having to play gangsters and overly callous characters. In a now legendary act of studio disciplining, Louis B. Mayer “punished” Gable by loaning him out to lowly Columbia for a role in a minor romantic comedy. The project, Frank Capra’s IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934), unexpectedly became the first film to sweep the five major Oscars (for best actor, actress, director, writer, and picture) and vaulted Gable to new prominence in the industry. His sensational appearance sans undershirt in the film’s bedroom scene went down in Hollywood legend as the event that caused American males to make fewer trips to the haberdasher. While its effect on undershirt purchases may be purely apochryphal, the publicity from the event no doubt led to Gable’s next major role, that of the bare-chested Fletcher Christian in MGM’s MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935), another Oscar-winner for Best Picture.
With such success under his belt, Gable commanded even greater star treatment at Metro and began appearing in fewer films each year, although his range of genre vehicle expanded. He continued his string of romantic comedies with Jean Harlow (RED DUST, 1932, HOLD YOUR MAN, 1933, CHINA SEAS, 1935, WIFE VS. SECRETARY, 1936, and SARATOGA, 1937), but also made offbeat musical appearances (SAN FRANCISCO, 1936, CAIN AND MABEL, 1936, IDIOT’S DELIGHT, 1939, in which he sang “Puttin’ on the Ritz”), action dramas (CALL OF THE WILD, 1935, TEST PILOT, 1938) and romances (LOVE ON THE RUN, 1936). With MGM even promoting his image in its other feature films (Judy Garland singing “Dear Mr. Gable –You Made Me Love You” in BROADWAY MELODY OF 1938 and Mickey Rooney doing Gable impressions in BABES IN ARMS, 1939) Clark Gable remained King of the Hollywood box office throughout the decade, culminating in his highly publicized and memorable performance in GONE WITH THE WIND.
Gable’s reign at the top of Hollywood stardom in 1939 was enhanced by his storybook romance and marriage to actress Carole Lombard. Her untimely death in a plane crash in January 1942 marked a tragic downturn in Gable’s life. He turned his back on his film career and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. After two years of decorated combat service, Gable returned to the screen in 1945 with his macho hero’s image only further amplified. But despite much studio publicity for his return in ADVENTURE (“Gable’s Back and Garson’s Got Him”) and some box-office success, Gable’s post-war film career consisted mostly of routine, undistinguished vehicles. He consistently starred in one film a year, but never regained his status of 30s. Still, there were no pretenders to the throne. When MGM remade RED DUST in 1953 as MOGAMBO, Ava Gardner was in for Harlow, Grace Kelly played the Mary Astor role, and Gable’s part? Only Gable could fill Gable’s shoes, even twenty-one years later.
After a short-lived marriage (Lady Sylvia Ashley) and an unsuccessful attempt at independent production in the 1950s, Gable proved himself the King one last time, romancing the fragile Marilyn Monroe in John Huston’s THE MISFITS (1961). His performance was greatly praised, but Gable had insisted on performing his own stunts, including breaking a horse. Doctors had warned him about an already weakened heart and the exertion proved too much (this would be Monroe’s last completed film as well), and just 12 days after filing was complete Clark Gable died of a heart attack on November 16, 1960 at the age of only 59.  He widowed his fifth wife, the former Kay Spreckles, who gave birth to John Clark Gable only four months after his death.

A Star is Born – Sean Penn

November 25, 2012

1960 was a good year for the movies. In the next few days I will be sharing some of my favorites and some of the worst of my own birth year, 1960.

1960 was a good year for the future of movies as well. Many of today’s stars were born in 1960. Some of them are more well known than others, and some are well, just a little more talented that others. But one of our most talented stars to enter the world in 1960 was …

Sean Penn

Sean Justin Penn was born August 17, 1960 in Santa Monica, California. Sean Penn is the second son of actress Eileen Ryan & director Leo Penn. After a few TV roles his first film was the acclaimed 1981 film Taps, where he palyed Cadet Captain Alex Dwyer. In 1982, he played the role that brought him to the attention of audiences nationwide (whether it was good or bad) as a surfer dude who is said in the film to have been high since the third grade. His performance as “Jeff Spicoli” in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) is ranked #9 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. He went on during he 80′s with some films such as Falcon and the Snowman, Colors and We’re no Angels. One day prior to his 25th birthday he married the pop icon, Madonna, on August 16, 1985. They were married for four years, divorcing in September of 1989. In 1996 he married actress Robin Wright, with whom had had two children.
During the 1990′s, Sean continued to shine, and reach acclaim with the Academy in his role of Matthew Poncelet, Death Row inmate pleading with a caring nun played by Susan Sarandon(Who one the Oscar for best Actress for her role) to save his life in Dead Man Walking. In 2003 he won the first of two Best Actor Oscars for his role of Jimmy Markum in Clint Eastwood’s Best Picture winner, Mystic River. His charecter is an ex-con whose daughter is murdered. His second Best Actor Oscar came in 2008 for his role in Milk, the story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected officail, and was later assasinated by a disgruntled former employee.
Sean continues to be avoice to reckon with in Hollywood, as an actor, director and activist. His upcoming roles are that of gangster Mickey Cohen in Gangster Squad and is rumored to be starring in a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

The King’s Speech

June 7, 2011

A charming, personal period drama, The King’s Speech follows England’ King George VI  played by Colin Firth, as he struggles to get over a stuttering problem with the help of a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) in 1936. A scene in which George attempts to address a public crowd is heartbreaking as he gets caught on the consonants. Helena Bonham Carter sparkles as his wife (the future Queen Mum), a remarkable performance from one of the most under-rated actresses of our time. She played an impeccable Queen Mum.

The King’s Speech kept me involved and almost had me wanting to talk for him. Colin Firth has made his place in Cinema history with this role and his role in the film The Single Man.

Charlton Heston ~ 1924 – 2008

April 5, 2008

In a long career, Heston was known for playing heroic roles, such as Harry Steele in Secret of the Incas , Moses in The Ten Commandments, Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes and Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur. Early in his career, he was one of a handful of Hollywood stars to publicly speak out against racism and was active in the civil rights movement. During the latter part of his movie career, he starred in films such as The Omega Man and Soylent Green that had a strong environmental message. He was president of the National Rifle Association from 1998 to 2003.

Heston was born on October 4, 1924, in Evanston, Illinois, and his original name was John Charlton Carter.  

He was renowned for his chiseled features and compelling speaking voice and for his numerous roles as historical figures and famous literary characters.

“I have a face that belongs in another century,” he often remarked.

Ben Hur won 11 Academy Awards, tying it for the record with the more recent Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). 

Heston liked to cite the number of historical figures he had portrayed: Andrew Jackson (`The President’s Lady, The Buccaneer), Moses (The Ten Commandments), title role of El Cid, John the Baptist (The Greatest Story Ever Told, Michelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy), General Gordon (Khartoum‘), Marc Antony (Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra), Cardinal Richelieu (The Three Musketeers), Henry VIII (The Prince and the Pauper).

Heston decided to become an actor after impulsively auditioning for a high-school play. His stage experience in high school resulted in a scholarship to Northwestern University.

After serving in the United States Air Force (1944-1947), he went into theatre and radio, making his Broadway stage debut in Antony and Cleopatra in 1947. He also performed on television in the late 1940s, making notable appearances in televised productions of Julius Caesar, Wuthering Heights (1950), and The Taming of the Shrew.

Heston made his movie debut in the 1940s in two independent films by a college classmate, David Bradley, who later became a noted film archivist.

He had the title role in Peer Gynt in 1942 and was Marc Antony in Bradley’s 1949 version of Julius Caesar, for which Heston was paid $50 a week.

Film producer Hal B. Wallis (Casablanca) spotted Heston in Wuthering Heights and offered him a contract.

When his wife reminded him that they had decided to pursue theatre and television, he replied, “Well, maybe just for one film to see what it’s like”.

Heston made his Hollywood film debut with star billing as a tormented, cynical young man in Dark City (1950), a crime thriller, and then gained wide commercial and critical success with a role as the circus manager in the all-star The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), by American director Cecil B. DeMille.

The Greatest Show On Earth was named by the Motion Picture Academy as the best picture of 1952.

In the 1950s and 1960s Heston achieved tremendous fame by playing larger-than-life roles in historical epics that featured his rugged resolve and commanding physical presence, including The President’s Lady (1953), DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956),  Ben Hur (1959), El Cid (1961), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). In 1959 he won an Academy Award for best actor for his performance in Ben Hur.

During this period Heston also starred in several films made on a more modest scale, including Touch of Evil (1958), 55 Days at Peking (1963), and Major Dundee (1965).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s he adapted his powerful screen presence to star in several science-fiction and disaster films, such as Planet of the Apes (1968), Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), The Omega Man (1971), Soylent Green (1973), Earthquake (1974), and Airport 1975 (1974). Most of his later roles are as indomitable authority figures in war sagas and Westerns.

Heston also directed Mother Lode (1982) and A Man for All Seasons (1988), a film he made for television.

An influential member of the Hollywood film community, Heston served six terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, from 1966 to 1971. He also became an outspoken supporter for a number of conservative political causes.

In 1998 Heston was elected president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), becoming a popular symbol for the pro-gun political lobby, for which he had posed for ads holding a rifle.

He delivered a jab at then-President Bill Clinton, saying, “America doesn’t trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don’t trust you with our guns.”

Heston stepped down as NRA president in April 2003, telling members his five years in office were “quite a ride. … I loved every minute of it”.

That same year, Heston was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honour.

“The largeness of character that comes across the screen has also been seen throughout his life,” President George W. Bush said at the time.

Heston died on April 5, 2008 at his home in Beverly Hills, California with Lydia, his wife of 64 years by his side. Heston was 83. Heston had been given the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2002

Roy Scheider ~ 1932-2008

February 10, 2008

Tragic Hollywood News ~ Heath Ledger Found Dead

January 22, 2008

heath.jpgHeath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan apartment, and police said drugs may have been a factor. The Australian-born actor was 28. Police said Ledger was naked in his bed with an unknown number of sleeping pills near the body.Ledger had an appointment for a massage at a residence in the tony SoHo neighborhood, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. A housekeeper who went to let him know the massage therapist had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.

One of this generations most outstanding, multi-facted and talented stars has faded away too soon.

#1 Favorite Actor of the 60′s ~ Gregory Peck

July 18, 2007

In 1999, Gregory Peck was named among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, by the American Film Institute, ranking at No. 12. With a career that spanned 5 decades, and a list of films that include some of the best ever made, Peck was a true master of the Cinema.
In 1960′s he made 10 films during that decade, such as; The Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear, How the West Was Won and Mackenna’s Gold. But in 1963 a film was released in which he starred as the soft spoken, yet strong Alabama attorney Atticus Finch. The film was To Kill A Mockingbird, and the role would become the role of a lifetime, and one that would define Gregory Peck for the rest of his life. It would also be the role that gave him the Academy Award for Best Actor. His character from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Atticus Finch, was voted the greatest screen hero of all time by the American Film Institute in May 2003, only two weeks before his death (beating out Indiana Jones, who was placed second, and James Bond who came third).
Peck continued to make films up until his death in 2003, and was also outspoken politically, aligning himself with the Democratic party. Peck was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning once. He was nominated in 1946 for The Keys of the Kingdom, in 1947 for The Yearling, in 1948 for Gentleman’s Agreement, and in 1950 for Twelve O’Clock High. He won the Oscar in 1963 for To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1968, he was awarded with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Peck received many Golden Globe awards. He won in 1947 for The Yearling, in 1963 for To Kill a Mockingbird, and in 1999 for Moby Dick. He was nominated in 1978 for The Boys from Brazil. He received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1969, and was given the Henrietta Award in 1951 and 1955 for World Film Favorite — Male.
In 1969, Lyndon Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
In 1971, the Screen Actors Guild presented Peck with the SAG Life Achievement Award. In 1989, the American Film Institute gave Peck the AFI Life Achievement Award. He received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema in 1996.

#2 Favorite Actor of the 1960′s ~ Paul Newman

July 17, 2007

Name some characters, go ahead. Paul Newman has probably played them. Characters like Brick Pollit, Billy the Kid, Eddie Felson, Hud Bannon, Luke Jackson, Butch Cassidy, Judge Roy Bean, Buffalo Bill, and many more. He began his film career in the 1950′s, but by the 1960′s he was one of the biggest names, and highest paid actors in Hollywood. Not only that, but he was one of the most respected, and still is today.
Some of his greatest roles were made in the 1960′s. Hud Bannon in 1963′s movie of the same name. “Fast” Eddie Felson in 1961′s The Hustler. Luke Jackson in 1967′s Cool Hand Luke and of course Butch Cassidy in 1969′s Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.
Of all the actors I grew up with, Paul Newman was the best in my book, next to Gregory Peck. He was handsome, talented, and gave every performance all he could give. Newman should have won the Oscar much sooner than he did (1987, for his reprisal of the character Eddie Felson, in the Color of Money). Nominated 10 times he was honored in 1986 for an honorary Oscar, and in 1994 with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

# 3 Favorite Actor of the 60′s ~ Sidney Poitier

July 13, 2007

All you need to do is take a look at the list of movies that Sidney Poitier starred in during the 1960’s and you can understand why he is in my top five list of favorite stars of that decade;

A Raisin in the Sun
Paris Blues
Pressure Point
Lillies of the Field
The Long Ships
The Bedford Incident
The Greatest Story Ever Told
A Patch of Blue
The Slender Thread
To Sir, With Love
In the Heat of the Night
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
For the Love of Ivy
The Lost Man

His powerful on screen presence to this day mystifies me when I watch one of his movies. He is adept at playing any role, and each time it is as perfect as the last. Only nominated for the Oscar twice, winning once for his role in Lillies of the Field and winning an Honorary Oscar in 2002, for his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence. Not only is he one of the greatest actors of our time, but one of the greatest humanitarians, civil rights leaders, dignitaries but a true example of a true artist and outstanding human being


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