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  1. {name}

    Mary J Blige

    Mary Jane Blige ( born January 11, 1971), also known as Mary J. Blige, is an American singer, producer, songwriter, actress, and rapper. A recipient of nine Grammy Awards and many other honors, Blige has recorded eight multi-platinum albums. Blige has received the World Music Legends Award for combining hip hop and soul in the early 1990s. She was named one of the 100 greatest singers of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. As of 2010, Blige has sold 50 million records Blige has cited Anita Baker, Chaka Khan and Aretha Franklin as influences. 1971–1990: Early life Blige was born in the Bronx New York City, New York. She is the second of four children born to parents Cora (a nurse; 1951— ) and Thomas Blige (a jazz musician; 1948–2007). Blige was taught to sing by her father. When Blige was four, her father (who is reported to have been physically abusive to Blige's mother) abandoned the family. At the age of five, Blige was molested by a family friend. Blige spent her early years in Richmond Hill, Georgia, where she sang in a Pentecostal church. She later moved to Schlobohm Houses in Yonkers, New York, where she lived with her mother, older sister, five cousins, and two aunts. She dropped out of school in the eleventh grade. At the age of 17, Blige recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker's "Caught Up In the Rapture" at a recording booth in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York. Her mother's boyfriend at the time later played the cassette for Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records. Redd sent it to the president and CEO of the label, Andre Harrell. Harrell met with Blige and in 1989 she was signed to the label, becoming the company's youngest and first female artist. After signing up to sing with H. Frison, Blige's early years there were dormant; the label continued to focus most of its attention on its more established acts. During this time, Blige occasionally did session work as a background singer for her label mates. In 1990, she was introduced as a background singer for Redd, during a performance at the Apollo Theatre. The same year she sang the hook on "I'll Do 4 U" by rapper and label mate Father MC, appearing in the concert-themed music video of the same name; In 1991, she was spotted on the syndicated TV show, Showtime at the Apollo, singing back up for Jeff Redd. In early fall of 1992, Blige guest spotted with Grand Puba with his single, Check It Out. Blige's first national debut appearance was in the summer of 1992 when she appeared on MTV. 1992–1993: What's the 411? Production for Blige's debut album began in 1992, with Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was at the time an A&R executive at Uptown who oversaw the project. On July 28, 1992, Uptown Records released What's the 411?. "You Remind Me", the album's first single, peaked at number one on the R&B singles chart that summer. The second single, "Real Love", was released in the fall. It too topped the R&B singles chart, and became Blige's first top ten Hot 100 single, peaking at number seven. Both singles were certified gold for their sales volume. More What's the 411? singles followed into 1993, including "Sweet Thing", a cover of Rufus's "Sweet Thing", and "Love No Limit". By the end of the year, What's the 411? had sold three million copies. Blige, meanwhile, released a hip hop single "You Don't Have to Worry". After the success of What's the 411, Sean "Puffy" Combs hailed the singer as "the queen of hip-hop soul". The name of her album, What's the 411? stems from her previous job as Directory Assistance operator. The album's success spun off What's the 411? Remix, a remix album released in December that was used to extend the life of the What's the 411? singles on the radio into 1994, as Blige recorded her follow up album. With combined sales of over 5 million albums and singles from her debut album, Blige was the best selling female artist on the Uptown label. 1994–1995: My Life On November 29, 1994, Uptown Records released Blige's second album, My Life which was again overseen by Combs and also produced more than 50% of the album along with Washington DC native Carl "Chucky" Thompson (despite his having recently left the label), who with Thompson co-produced all but one of the album's tracks, and took over as Blige's manager. Unlike What's the 411?, Blige co-wrote a large body of the material, basing it on her personal life. "Be Happy", the album's single, peaked at number 29 and number six on the Hot 100 and R&B singles chart, respectively. In early 1995, it was followed up with a cover of Rose Royce's 1976 hit "I'm Goin' Down", which became her first top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 12. Other My Life singles include "You Bring Me Joy" and "I Love You". "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" and "My Life" received heavy radio play, despite never being officially released as singles apart from the UK, where "Mary Jane (All Night Long)" became Blige's second top 20 hit from the album there. My Life was eventually certified triple platinum. In spite of its success and her growing fame, Blige later admitted that she was simultaneously dealing with long time bouts of drug addiction, alcoholism, and depression, as well as an abusive relationship with then-boyfriend K-Ci Hailey of Jodeci. Blige involved herself in several outside projects, recording a cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" for the soundtrack to the FOX series New York Undercover, and "Everyday It Rains" (co-written by R&B singer Faith Evans) for the soundtrack to the hip hop biopic, The Show. That summer she dueted with rapper Method Man on his song, "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" (which sampled Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need to Get By", and for which she won a Grammy award.) Later in the year, she recorded the Babyface-penned and produced "Not Gon' Cry", for the soundtrack to motion picture Waiting to Exhale. The platinum-selling single rose to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in early 1996, and became her biggest commercial hit at the time. Blige won her first Grammy Award – 'Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group' for her collaboration with Method Man. My Life was also nominated for Best R&B Album, but lost to TLC's CrazySexyCool. 1996–1997: Collaborations and other projects In 1996, after winning her first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the platinum selling certified single, "I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need to Get By with Wu Tang Clan member Method Man, later that year, she appeared on another Wu-Tang Clan member, Ghostface Killah's single, "All That I Got Is You", for which she co-wrote, and sung the second verse of the song, which is Ghostface's account of his early boyhood. She was unavailable for the music video, and was replaced by a backing singer named Megan Powell at the last minute; her original vocals remained on Ghostface's debut album, Ironman. In December of that year, My Life, was certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA. In February 1997, Blige performed her hit at the time, "Not Gon' Cry" at the 1997 Grammy Awards, which gained her third (and first) Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, as Blige was recording the follow up to My Life. 1997–1998: Share My World On April 22, 1997, MCA Records (parent company to Uptown Records, which was in the process of being dismantled) released Blige's third album, Share My World. By now, she and Combs had dissolved their working relationship. In his place were the TrackMasters who executive produced the project along with Steve Stoute. Sharing production duties were producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, R. Kelly, Babyface and Rodney Jerkins. The album was made at a time where Blige was trying to "get her life together", by trying to overcome drugs and alcohol, as well as the ending of her relationship with Hailey. After an encounter with a person who threatened her life the previous year, she tried to quit the unhealthy life style and make more upbeat, happier music. As a result, songs such as "Love Is All We Need" and "Share My World", were made. Share My World debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawned five hit singles: "Love Is All We Need" (featuring Nas), "I Can Love You" (featuring Lil' Kim), "Everything", "Missing You" (UK only) and "Seven Days." The album became Blige's most commercially successful; selling three million copies in the U.S.. In early 1998, Blige won an American Music Award for "Favorite Soul/R&B Album." That summer she embarked on the Share My World Tour, which resulted in a Gold-certified live album released later that year, simply titled The Tour. The album spawned one single, "Misty Blue." 1999–2000: Mary On August 17, 1999, Blige's fourth album, titled Mary was released. It marked a departure from her more familiar hip hop-oriented sound; this set featured a more earthy, whimsical, and adult contemporary-tinged collection of songs, reminiscent of 1970s to early 1980s soul. On December 14, 1999, the album was re-released as a double-disc set. The second disc was enhanced with the music videos for the singles "All That I Can Say" and "Deep Inside" and included two bonus tracks: "Sincerity" (featuring Nas, Andy Hogan and DMX) and "Confrontation" (a collaboration with hip hop duo Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap originally from their 1999 album The Tunnel). The Mary album was critically praised, becoming her most nominated release to date, and was certified double platinum (selling over two million in sales.) It wasn't as commercially successful as Blige's prior releases, though all of the singles: "All That I Can Say", "Deep Inside", "Your Child", and "Give Me You" performed considerably on radio. In the meantime, MCA used the album to expand Blige's demographic into nightclub market, as club-friendly dance remixes of the Mary singles were released. The club remix of "Your Child" peaked at number-one hit on the Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart in October 2000. In 2001, a Japan-only compilation, Ballads, was released. The album featured covers of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed", and previous recordings of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and Dorothy Moore's "Misty Blue". 2001–2002: No More Drama On August 28, 2001, MCA released Blige's fifth studio album, No More Drama. The album's first single, "Family Affair" (produced by Dr. Dre) became her first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for six consecutive weeks. It was followed by two further hit singles, the European only single "Dance for Me" featuring Common and the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-produced title track (originally recorded for the Mary album), which sampled "Nadia's Theme", the piano-driven theme song to the daytime drama The Young and the Restless. Though the album sold nearly two million copies in the U.S., MCA was underwhelmed by its sales, and subsequently repackaged and re-released the album on January 29, 2002. The No More Drama re-release featured a new album cover, deleted three of the songs from the original track listing, while adding two brand-new songs—one of which was the fourth single and top twenty Hot 100 hit "Rainy Dayz", (featuring Ja Rule), plus two remixes; one of the title track, serviced by Puff Daddy and the single version of "Dance for Me" featuring Common. The album sold another million-plus units (3.2 million in total) in the U.S. and seven million worldwide. Blige won a Grammy for 'Best Female R&B Vocal Performance' for the song "He Think I Don't Know." In April 2002, Blige performed with Shakira with the song "Love Is a Battlefield" on VH1 Divas show live in Las Vegas, she also performed "No More Drama" and "Rainy Dayz" as a duet with the returning Whitney Houston. On July 22, 2002, MCA released Dance for Me, a collection of club remixes of some of her past top hits including the Junior Vasquez remix of "Your Child", and the Thunderpuss mix of "No More Drama." This album was released in a limited edition double pack 12" vinyl for DJ-friendly play in nightclubs. 2003–2004: Love & Life On August 26, 2003, Blige's sixth album Love & Life was released on Geffen Records (which had absorbed MCA Records.) Blige heavily collaborated with her one-time producer Sean Combs for this set. Due to the history between them on What's the 411? and My Life, which is generally regarded as their best work, and Blige having just come off of a successful fifth album, expectations were high for the reunion effort. Despite the album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and becoming Blige's fourth consecutive UK top ten album, Love & Life's lead-off single, the Diddy-produced "Love @ 1st Sight", which featured Method Man, barely cracked the top ten on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, while altogether missing the top twenty on the Hot 100 (although peaking inside the UK top twenty). The following singles, "Ooh!", "Not Today" featuring Eve, "Whenever I Say Your Name"featuring Sting on the international re-release, and "It's a Wrap" fared worse. Although the album was certified platinum, it became Blige's lowest-selling to date. Critics and fans alike largely panned the disc, citing a lack of consistency and noticeable ploys to recapture the early Blige/Combs glory. Blige and Combs reportedly struggled and clashed during the making of this album, and again parted ways upon the completion of it. 2005–2006: The Breakthrough and Reflections – A Retrospective Geffen Records released Blige's seventh studio album, The Breakthrough on December 20, 2005. For the album, Blige collaborated with J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Rodney Jerkins, will.i.am, Bryan Michael Cox, 9th Wonder, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Raphael Saadiq, Cool and Dre, and Dre & Vidal. The cover art was photographed by Markus Klinko & Indrani. It debuted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Selling 727,000 copies in its first week, it became the biggest first-week sales for an R&B solo female artist in SoundScan history (a record subsequently broken by 2007 Alicia Keys' album As I Am), the fifth largest first-week sales for a female artist, and the fourth largest debut of 2005. Since its release, The Breakthrough has sold over three million copies in the U.S and over seven million copies worldwide, becoming one of the five best-selling albums of 2006. The lead-off single, "Be Without You", peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, while peaking at number one on the R&B chart for a record-setting fifteen consecutive weeks; it remained on the chart for over sixteen months. "Be Without You" found success in the UK (peaking in the lower end of the top forty) it became Blige's longest charting single on the UK Singles Chart. It is her second longest charting single to date. The album produced three more singles including two more top five R&B hits—"Enough Cryin'", which features Blige's alter ego Brook-Lynn (as whom she appeared on the remix to Busta Rhymes's "Touch It" in 2006); and "Take Me as I Am" (which samples Lonnie Liston Smith's "A Garden of Peace"). Blige's duet with U2 on the cover of their 1992 hit, "One" gave Blige her biggest hit to date in the UK, peaking at number two on the UK Singles Chart eventually being certified one of the forty highest-selling singles of 2006; it was her longest charting UK single. The success of The Breakthrough won Blige nine Billboard Music Awards, two American Music Awards, two BET Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, and a Soul Train Award. She received eight Grammy Award nominations at the 2007 Grammy Awards, the most of any artist that year. "Be Without You" was nominated for both "Record of the Year" and "Song of the Year". Blige won three: "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", "Best R&B Song" (both for "Be Without You"), and "Best R&B Album" for The Breakthrough. Blige completed a season sweep of the "big three" major music awards, having won the American Music Awards in November 2006, the Billboard Music Awards in December 2006, and the Grammy Awards in February 2007. In December 2006, a compilation called Reflections - A Retrospective was released. It contained many of Blige's greatest hits and four new songs, including the worldwide lead single "We Ride (I See the Future)". In the UK, however, "MJB da MVP" (which appeared in a different, shorter form on The Breakthrough) was released as the lead single from the collection. The album peaked at number nine in the U.S, selling over 170,000 copies in its first week, while reaching number forty in the UK. It has sold more than 1.6 million copies. In 2006, Blige recorded a duet with rapper Ludacris, "Runaway Love", which is the third single on his fifth album, Release Therapy. It reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B chart. Blige was featured with Aretha Franklin and The Harlem Boys Choir on the soundtrack to the 2006 motion picture Bobby, on the lead track "Never Gonna Break My Faith". The song was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. 2007–2008: Growing Pains Blige's eighth studio album, Growing Pains, was released on December 18, 2007, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It sold 629,000 copies in its first week, marking the third time since Nielsen SoundScan began collecting data in 1991 that two albums sold more than 600,000 copies in a week in the United States. In its second week, the album climbed to number one, making it Blige's fourth number-one album. The lead single, "Just Fine", peaked at number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number three on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Just Fine" was nominated for the Grammy Award for "Best Female R&B Vocal Performance", and Blige won "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" for the Chaka Khan duet "Disrespectful" (featured on Khan's album Funk This) which Blige wrote. Speaking in January 2008 to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning 'Blues & Soul', Blige explained the significance of the album's title 'Growing Pains': "I started writing the record right after that whole gigantic day I had at the Grammies last year. So it was important to me to get across to my fans that whole feeling I was going through of 'How do I sustain this breakthrough? How do I continue to remind myself I'm in a better place?'... And the only way to continue to stay in that place is to GROW! I believe the majority of people out there, if something uncomfortable is going on in their lives, are forced to either go back to where they were, or to GROW – and that that tension is called PAIN. So the light, happy songs on the album are celebrating my growth. While the less poppy, darker tracks represent the places I'm forced to grow out of. So in that way the title represents the growth, as well as the understanding that – in order for anything to develop – it has to have some kinda tension behind it." Growing Pains was not released in the UK until February 2008, where it became Blige's fifth top ten and third-highest charting album.The Breakthrough and Reflections (A Retrospective) were released in the Christmas rush and therefore settled for lower peaks, although both selling more than her top five album Mary. "Just Fine" returned Blige to the UK singles chart top 20 after her previous two singles failed to chart highly. Subsequent singles from Growing Pains include "Work That", which accompanied Blige in an iTunes commercial, and "Stay Down". Blige was featured on 50 Cent's 2007 album, Curtis, in the song "All of Me". In March 2008, she toured with Jay-Z in the Heart of the City Tour. They released a song called "You're Welcome". In the same period, cable network BET aired a special on Blige entitled The Evolution of Mary J. Blige, which showcased her career. Celebrities such as Method Man and Ashanti gave their opinions about Blige and her music. Blige is featured on singles by Big Boi, and Musiq Soulchild. Growing Pains was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary R&B Album", at the 51st Grammy Awards to be held on February 8, 2009, earning Blige her 27th Grammy nomination, in a mere decade. Blige went on the Growing Pains European Tour, her first tour there in two years. A tour of Australia and New Zealand was scheduled for June but was postponed due to "weariness from an overwhelming tour schedule" and then eventually canceled entirely. On August 7, 2008, it was revealed Blige faced a US$2 million federal suit claiming Neff-U wrote the music for the song "Work That", but was owned by Dream Family Entertainment. The filing claimed that Dream Family never gave rights to use the song to Blige, Feemster or Geffen Records. Rights to the lyrics of the song used in an iPod commercial are not in question. 2009–present: Stronger with Each Tear Blige returned to performing in January, 2009 by performing the song "Lean On Me" at the Presidential Inauguration Committee's, "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial". Blige also performed her hit 2007 single, "Just Fine", with a new intro at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball after Barack Obama was sworn in on January 20, 2009. Blige appeared as a marquee performer on the annual Christmas in Washington television special. Blige's ninth studio album, Stronger with Each Tear, was released on December 21, 2009, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, it became her fifth non-number one album in the United States. The lead single, "The One", which features the Canadian rapper Drake, was released for airplay in June 2009, and was officially and digitally released on July 21, 2009. Blige recorded "Stronger", as the lead single from the soundtrack to the basketball documentary "More Than a Game" August 2009. The second single from "Stronger with Each Tear" “I Am", was released for airplay November 22, 2009 and released two weeks later in December 8, 2009. Blige was honored at the 2009 BET Honors Ceremony and was paid tribute by Anita Baker and Monica. On November 4, 2009, Blige sang the The Star-Spangled Banner at Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies played the last game (Game 6) of the World Series. Blige performed two songs from her ninth album, Stronger with Each Tear, including her new single, "I Am", as well as her previous hits, "No More Drama" and "Be Without You" as well as the song "Color" which is featured on Precious soundtrack, on December 20 on A&E Television's "Private Sessions". Blige appeared as a guest judge on the 2010 series of American Idol on January 13, 2010. On January 23, 2010, Blige released a track "Hard Times Come Again No More" with The Roots as well as performing it at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon. At the 2010 Grammy Awards, Blige and Andrea Bocelli performs Bridge Over Troubled Water. Blige also performed on BET's SOS Help For Haiti, singing "Gonna Make It" with Jazmine Sullivan and "One." Blige also took part in February 2010's We Are the World 25 for Haiti, singing the solo originally sung by Tina Turner in the original 1985 We Are The World version. At the 41st NAACP Image Awards Blige won Outstanding Female Artist and Outstanding Album for Stronger with Each Tear. On March 22, 2010, Blige released Stronger with Each Tear in the United Kingdom, as well in the European markets. The international version of the album has a completely altered tracklisting than the U.S. edition, as Blige covered two recordings from British rock band Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love" (the album's opener), and "Stairway to Heaven" (for which she performed on Idol Gives Back), which features Travis Barker on drums, as well as musician Orianthi and American Idol judge Randy Jackson on guitars. Also, the album includes two new songs "City On Fire", "I Can't Wait" featuring Will.I.Am, as well "Stronger" from the More Than a Game soundtrack, and a Dave Aude remix version of "I Am". The album performed modestly in the United Kingdom, debuting at number thirty-three on the UK Albums Chart and at number four on the UK R&B Chart. It reached the top 100 in other countries. On April 13, 2010, Blige appeared on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where she be performed the hit "Each Tear" and her rendition of the Led Zeppelin classic, "Stairway to Heaven", which is featured on the Stronger withEach Tear international edition and on iTunes as a digital single. "We Got Hood Love" (feat. Trey Songz) was released as her third single in the US along with the music video. Blige also provided backing vocals and chorus/hook to the song "Fancy" off of Canadian rapper Drake's debut album, Thank Me Later, which also features rapper T.I. and producer Swizz Beatz, the original leaked version (which can be found via YouTube) had Blige guest vocals on the song, with Beatz rapping. "Good Love" is rumored to be the fifth single to be released sometime in 2010 as well "I Feel Good" rumored to be the fifth. A Mary J. Blige rep reported to US Weekly magazine that a tour in support of Stronger withEach Tear will take place Fall 2010. Acting career In 1998, Blige made her acting debut on the sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show playing a character, the apparently southern Ola Mae; a preacher's daughter who wanted to sing more than gospel music. Her father was portrayed by Ronald Isley of The Isley Brothers. In 2001, Blige starred opposite rapper Q-Tip in the independent film Prison Song. That same year, Blige made a cameo on the Lifetime network series, Strong Medicine; playing the role of Simone Fellows. Blige's character was the lead singer of a band who was sick, but would not seek treatment. In 2000, Blige was featured in a superhero web cartoon in junction with Stan Lee. Blige used the cartoon as part of her performance while on her 2000 Mary Show Tour. In 2004, Blige starred in an off-Broadway play, The Exonerated. The play chronicled the experiences of death row inmates. Blige portrayed Sunny Jacobs, a woman who spent 20 years in prison for a crime she did not commit. In late 2005, it was reported that Blige landed the starring role in the upcoming MTV Films biopic on American singer/pianist Nina Simone. According to IMDB.com the film will be released in 2012. In February 2007, Blige guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, in an episode called "Mean Ghost", as the character Jackie Boyd, the school's cheer leader coach grieving for the death of her brother and affected by the ghost of a dead cheerleader. The episode features many of Blige's songs. In August 2007, Blige was a guest star on Entourage, in the role of herself, as a client of Ari Gold's agency. In October 2007, Blige was also a guest star on America's Next Top Model, as a creative director for a photo shoot by Matthew Rolston. In May 2009, Mary made a guest appearance on 30 Rock, as an artist recording a benefit song for a kidney. Blige also had a supporting role in Tyler Perry's Movie I Can Do Bad All By Myself, which was released in September 2009. Business ventures In 2004 Blige launched her own record label, Matriarch Records, distributed through Interscope. On July 31 Blige will launch her first perfume, My Life (through Carol's Daughter), exclusively on HSN. Blige will also release her eyewear line, MELODIES. Blige's production company, along with William Morris Endeavor is also working on several TV and film projects. Blige has had endorsement contracts with Reebok, Air Jordan, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Gap, Target, American Express, AT&T, M·A·C, Apple Inc. and Chevrolet. She has also been a spokesperson with Carol's Daughter beauty products and Citibank's Nickelback program. Personal life In 2000, Blige met record industry executive Martin Kendu Isaacs (known as "Kendu") who became her manager. The two were married on December 7, 2003, in a small private ceremony at Blige's home attended by 50 guests. According to a December 24, 2009, article in the New York Post, Blige "punched husband Kendu Isaacs in the face at her record release party at club M2" because "he was flirting with a waitress that night". After earning her GED, Blige claimed to be enrolled at Howard University, and that she was a member of the class of 2014. Howard University, however, disputed this, saying she was not accepted or enrolled yet. Blige's representative later reversed the statement and said that Blige was too busy too attend. Philanthropy On May 9, 2008, The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. (FFAWN) was inaugurated at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers, New York. FFAWN's purpose is to inspire women "to reach their individual potential". The foundation offers scholarships and programs whose aim is to foster self-esteem and career development. The Mary J. Blige Center for Women has opened in Yonkers.
  2. {name}

    Stevie Nicks

    Stephanie Lynn "Stevie" Nicks (born May 26, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac and an extensive solo career, which collectively have produced over forty Top 50 hits and sold over 120 million albums. She has been noted for her ethereal visual style and symbolic lyrics. Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 along with her then boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood Mac's second album after the incorporation of Nicks and Buckingham, 1977's Rumours, produced four U.S. Top 10 singles (including Nicks' song "Dreams", which was the band's first and only U.S. number one) and remained at #1 on the American albums chart for over 30 weeks, as well as reaching the top spot in various countries around the world. To date the album has sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Nicks began her solo career in 1981 with the 5 million selling album Bella Donna, and she has produced five more solo studio albums to date. After the release of her first solo album, Rolling Stone deemed her "The Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll". Overcoming cocaine addiction, dependency on tranquilizers, and chronic fatigue syndrome, Nicks remains a popular solo performer. She has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards and, with Fleetwood Mac, won the 1977/1978 Grammy for Album of the Year for Rumours. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Nicks has a contralto vocal range. Early life Nicks was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona to Jess Nicks, a corporate executive, and Barbara Nicks, a homemaker. Nicks' grandfather, Aaron Jess Nicks, a struggling country music singer, taught Nicks to sing, performing duets with her by the time she was four years old. Nicks' mother was very protective of her, keeping her at home "more than most people were" and fostering in her a love of fairy tales. As a young child, Nicks had difficulty pronouncing her given name Stephanie, instead pronouncing it "tee-dee", which became the nickname "Stevie". As Stevie's father Jess, a food business executive, climbed the ladder of success, he and the family moved from one Southwestern outpost to another. The list of places where Stevie lived sounds like an uninspired lyric from a blues country tune; baby years in Phoenix, a year in Albuquerque, New Mexico, five years in El Paso, Texas, two years in Salt Lake City, Utah, two years in Los Angeles, several years in the suburbs of San Francisco. With the Goya guitar that she received for her sixteenth birthday, Nicks wrote her first song called "I've Loved and I've Lost, and I'm Sad But Not Blue". She joined her first band "The Changing Times" while attending Arcadia High School in Arcadia, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles Nicks first met her future musical and romantic partner Lindsey Buckingham during her senior year at Menlo Atherton High School She attended a Young Life social event, saw Buckingham playing "California Dreamin'", and joined in with the harmony Buckingham contacted Nicks a few years later and asked her to join him and his bandmates Javier Pacheco and Calvin Roper in a band called Fritz. Fritz became popular as a live act from 1968 until 1972, opening for popular musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, among others, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Nicks and Buckingham attended San Jose State University in Northern California, where Nicks majored in Speech Communication. They dropped out in 1968 and moved to Los Angeles together to pursue a career in music when Nicks' family moved to Chicago. Buckingham Nicks: 1972–1974 After Fritz disbanded in 1972, Nicks and Buckingham continued to write and record as a duo, producing demo tapes at the coffee plant belonging to Buckingham's father Morris. They secured a deal with Polydor Records. Polydor used tracks from the demo tapes to release the album Buckingham Nicks in 1973. The album was not a commercial success, despite the live shows that Nicks and Buckingham performed together to support it, and Polydor dropped the pair from the label. To support herself and Buckingham, who wrote music while recovering from mononucleosis, Nicks worked a variety of jobs, which included waiting tables and a stint cleaning engineer/producer Keith Olsen's house, where Nicks and Buckingham lived for a time. Nicks says that she first used cocaine during this time. Nicks and Buckingham briefly relocated to Aspen, Colorado. While there, Buckingham landed a guitar-playing gig with the Everly Brothers, and toured with them while Nicks stayed behind. During this time, Nicks wrote "Rhiannon" after seeing the name in the novel Triad by Mary Leader, unaware at the time of the Mabinogi legend of Rhiannon. She also wrote "Landslide", inspired by the scenery of Aspen and her inner turmoil over her decision to pursue music. Fleetwood Mac and Rumours: 1975–1978 Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac on December 31, 1974, after Keith Olsen played their track "Frozen Love" for drummer Mick Fleetwood, who had come to Studio City, California to find a new studio to record Fleetwood Mac's next studio album. Fleetwood remembered Buckingham's guitar work after guitar player Bob Welch's departure to pursue a solo career. Initially extending the offer only to Buckingham, Fleetwood later included Nicks in the offer when Buckingham insisted that they were "a package deal". In 1975, the band released the album Fleetwood Mac, which hit number one, sold 5 million in the US alone, and had three Top 20 songs in 1976. Nicks' "Rhiannon" reached #11, and the album also included Nicks' "Landslide", and "Crystal", though the latter featured lead vocals by Buckingham. That same year, Nicks worked with clothing designer Margi Kent to develop Nicks' unique onstage look, with costumes that featured flowing skirts, shawls and platform boots. Following the success of Fleetwood Mac, increasing tension between Nicks and Buckingham began to take its toll on their creativity, and Nicks ended the relationship. Fleetwood Mac began recording their follow-up album, Rumours, in early 1976 and continued until late in the year. Sessions were marked by heavy drug use, faulty drum tracks, and tension between the band members, which influenced the songwriting. Also, Nicks and Buckingham sang back-up on Warren Zevon's debut album. Nicks' contributions to Rumours were "I Don't Want to Know", "Gold Dust Woman", and "Dreams" (which became the band's only Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit single to date), as well as co-writer on "The Chain". Nicks had also written and recorded the song "Silver Springs", but it was ultimately not included on the album because of space limitations for studio albums on vinyl records (24 minutes per side). Instead, it was relegated to the B-side of the "Go Your Own Way" single release, and would remain in some obscurity for many years until its triumphant re-release as part of the 4-disc Fleetwood Mac retrospective 25 Years - The Chain in 1992. The song was, and has always been, very special to Nicks - song rights are owned by her mother, Barbara Nicks - and she was not told about the omission from "Rumours" until after the decision had been made. Nicks was devastated. Rumours was released to widespread acclaim and Grammy award for album of the year in February 1977. By 2008, Rumours had sold over 20 million copies in the U.S. alone (certified as a diamond album by the RIAA) and today is officially accredited with worldwide sales of over 40 million, maintaining its status as one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. In November 1977, after a New Zealand concert for the Rumours tour, Nicks and Fleetwood, who was married to Jenny Boyd, secretly began an affair. The affair ended the next year, in October 1978, when Mick Fleetwood left his wife for Nicks' best friend Sara Recor. After the success of the Rumours album and tour in 1977–78, Fleetwood Mac began recording their third album with Buckingham and Nicks, Tusk, in the spring of 1978. That year, Nicks sang back-up on Walter Egan's "Magnet & Steel" from Egan's 1978 album Not Shy, which was produced by Lindsey Buckingham and Richard Dashut. Tusk, Bella Donna and Mirage: 1978–1982 By 1978, Nicks had amassed a large backlog of songs dating back to her Buckingham Nicks days that she was unable to record and release with Fleetwood Mac because of the constraint of having to accommodate three songwriters on each album.[26] During Tusk sessions in 1979, Nicks began laying down demos for a solo album, continuing to write and record for the solo project during the world tour for Tusk in 1979–80. With Danny Goldberg and Paul Fishkin, Nicks founded Modern Records, a vehicle to record and release her own material. Between Tusk sessions, Nicks recorded two duets that became hits: with Kenny Loggins on "Whenever I Call You Friend" (1978), and with John Stewart on "Gold" (1979). After thirteen months of recording and editing, Tusk was released as a 20-track double album in October 19, 1979. Nicks' wistful ballads "Storms" and "Beautiful Child" were speculated to be about her doomed affair with Mick Fleetwood, while the Billboard Hot 100 #7 hit "Sara" alluded to the love-triangle between herself, Fleetwood and Sara Pesnell (later Sara Fleetwood). Other Nicks tracks included "Angel" and "Sisters of the Moon". One notable Nicks omission from Tusk was Planets of the Universe, originally written in 1976 as part of the "Rumours" sessions. Buckingham is said to have had unresolvable problems with production on the song, and it would not be until 2001 that a release would be forthcoming via a Nicks' solo album Trouble in Shangri-La. During the huge 18 month sellout Tusk Tour of 1979 and 1980, Nicks began writing and recording demos for what would become her first and most successful solo effort. Band sessions for Nicks' solo debut album began in April 1980, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Tom Moncrieff. Sessions continued through the end of the Tusk tour in late 1980, ending in the spring of 1981, helmed by Jimmy Iovine and featuring various contributions from Petty and his band. During 1981 Nicks toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and New Zealand band Split Enz as a guest. Nicks released Bella Donna on July 27, 1981. The album reached #1 on the Billboard album chart in September. As of 1990 it was certified 'quadruple platinum' for sales of over 4 million copies in the US alone. All four of its singles (Stop Draggin' My Heart Around, Leather and Lace, Edge of Seventeen, and After the Glitter Fades) charted in the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's ten tracks included five songs written in previous years, and five new songs. Several unreleased songs from the Bella Donna sessions were included on soundtracks, in concert sets, and later Fleetwood Mac albums. Other tracks remain unreleased. Bella Donna was the first album to feature Nicks' back-up singers, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry. Nicks met Perry in the mid-1970s while working with her then-husband, producer Gordon Perry. Nicks befriended Perry after inviting her to contribute back-up vocals for the tracks she was working on. During a trip to Hawaii, Nicks visited a club where Celani was performing and joined her on stage during a rendition of "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me". Celani later accepted Nicks' invitation to join her forthcoming solo project. Sharon Celani and Lori Perry-Nicks, who is married to Nicks' brother Christopher, have contributed vocals to all of Nicks' solo albums since then. The day that Bella Donna reached #1 on the Billboard 200, Nicks' best friend since the age of 15, Robin Anderson, was diagnosed with leukemia. Robin managed to give birth to a son, appointing Nicks as the child's godmother. Robin died six months before medical research discovered a treatment. Following Robin's death in 1982, Nicks married Robin's widower Kim Anderson. They divorced eight months later. In October 1981 Nicks embarked on the hugely successful White Winged Dove tour, which she had to cut short to record the Mirage album with Fleetwood Mac. For Mirage, Nicks contributed the track "Gypsy", a song originally tested for Bella Donna, which became one of the album's hit singles. "Gypsy" reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 in Canada. Nicks' other tracks included "That's Alright", written during the Buckingham Nicks era, and a new track entitled "Straight Back". The short Mirage tour took place between September and October 1982, and included Nicks' performance of "Sisters of the Moon", her 1979 Tusk album track and concert encore. After the tour, Nicks prepared to record her second solo album. Wild Heart and Rock a Little: 1983–1986 Nicks released The Wild Heart on June 10, 1983, inspired in part by the death of Robin Anderson. The album introduced songwriter and performer Sandy Stewart who co-wrote three tracks, and contributed backing vocals, keyboards, and synthesizer. The Wild Heart went double platinum, reached #5 on the Billboard album chart, and featured three hit singles. Nicks performed a 90-minute set at the second US Festival at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California, and later went on an arena and amphitheater tour from June 1983 to November 1983 throughout the United States in support of The Wild Heart album. The album produced three Top 40 singles in "Stand Back (#5), "If Anyone Falls (#14) and "Nightbird" (#33). Nicks appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1983, performing Stand Back and Nightbird. The album sold nearly 3 million copies in the United States. Following the tour for The Wild Heart, Nicks commenced work on her third solo album. Originally titled Mirror Mirror, Nicks recorded songs for the album during 1984, including "Mirror Mirror", "Thousand Days", "Running Through the Garden", and "At the Fair". However, Nicks was unhappy with the lead track "Mirror Mirror", and opted to record a new batch of songs in 1985. Rock a Little, as it was re-titled, was released November 18, 1985 and quickly became Stevie's third consecutive platinum album success. The album reached #12 on the Billboard album chart, and scored two major hit singles in "Talk To Me" (#4) and "I Can't Wait" (#16). Both tracks were aided by popular music videos. A third single, "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You" was written for the Eagles member Joe Walsh. "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You" became Nicks' first solo single to miss the Top 40, peaking at #60 on the Billboard Hot 100. A solo outing with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan in Australia followed, but Nicks was threatened by Australian authorities with expulsion from the country for not carrying a work permit. The tour marked a turning point in Nicks' career: although she had achieved significant critical acclaim, drugs were taking a toll on her performing, limiting her vocal range and pitch severely and changing her on-stage persona. She saw a plastic surgeon in 1986 who warned her of severe health problems if she did not stop using cocaine. It was at the end of the Australian tour that Nicks checked herself into the Betty Ford Center to recuperate and wean herself off of her cocaine addiction. Later that year, a doctor prescribed the tranquilizer Klonopin to help her avoid a cocaine relapse. Following the release of Rock A Little, Nicks toured in 1986. The successful tour resulted in a one-hour filmed concert released on VHS/DVD as Stevie Nicks: Live at Red Rocks, filmed at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado in August. The tour ended on October 10, 1986 in Sydney, Australia. Tango in the Night and The Other Side of the Mirror: 1987–1990 In 1985, Fleetwood Mac began work on Tango in the Night, which was released in April 1987, five years after Mirage. Joined in the latter stages of production in late 1986 by a detoxed Nicks (following a stint at Betty Ford), the album included Nicks' performance of "Seven Wonders" (Billboard #19), and well as two other self-penned tracks. Creative differences and unresolved personal issues within the band led Buckingham to quit the group right before their world tour. A "physically ugly" confrontation between Nicks and Buckingham ensued when Nicks violently rejected Buckingham's decision to leave the band. Fleetwood Mac toured despite Buckingham's departure, replacing him with Rick Vito and Billy Burnette for the Shake The Cage Tour from September to December 1987. The tour had to be cut short due to Nicks' bout with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and developing addiction to tranquilizers, though resumed in 1988.[13] A concert from this tour performed at the Cow Palace in San Francisco was filmed and released on video and later on DVD. Following the triple platinum success (10-million worldwide) of Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac released their Greatest Hits album in November 1988, to which Nicks contributed the new song "No Questions Asked". A massive multi-platinum seller worldwide, the album has spent almost 500 weeks to date on the US charts alone. Also in 1988, Nicks began work on a fourth solo album with British producer Rupert Hine. The Other Side of the Mirror was released on May 11, 1989. The album reached #10 on the U.S. Billboard album charts and #3 on the UK chart, propelled by the album's biggest hit single "Rooms on Fire" (#16), which Nicks wrote about Hine with whom she was romantically involved for a time. The follow-up single, "Two Kinds of Love", a duet with Bruce Hornsby, became Nicks' first solo single that failed to achieve any position on the charts. The album was certified Gold shortly after its release, and finally reached Platinum status in 1997. Nicks toured the U.S. and Europe from August to November 1989, the only time she has toured Europe as a solo act. She has famously been quoted since as stating that she has 'no memory of this tour' due to her increasing dependancy on the tranquillizer Klonopin, prescribed in ever increasing amounts by a psychiatrist between 1987 and 1994 in an attempt to keep Nicks from regressing to her former abuse of cocaine. In 1989, Nicks set to work with Fleetwood Mac on a new album, Behind The Mask. Nicks' contributions included the co-writes "Love is Dangerous", "Freedom", and "The Second Time", and also "Affairs of the Heart" which she wrote herself. Released in 1990, the album was only a moderate success in the U.S., peaking at #18 and achieving Gold status. In the UK, however, the album entered the chart at #1 and has been certified Platinum there. The band went on a world tour to promote the album, on the last night of which Buckingham and Nicks reunited on stage to perform "Landslide".[36] After the tour concluded, Nicks left the group over a dispute with Mick Fleetwood, who would not allow her to release the 1977 track "Silver Springs" on her album Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks, because of his plans to release it on a forthcoming Fleetwood Mac box set. Timespace and Street Angel: 1991–1996 On the tenth anniversary of her solo career debut, Nicks' record label, Modern Records, issued a fourteen-song retrospective gathering selected tunes and new material. Released September 3, 1991, Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks (#30 on The Billboard 200) included contributions from Jon Bon Jovi ("Sometimes It's a Bitch", for which a video was shot to promote the compilation), and Bret Michaels of Poison ("Love's a Hard Game to Play"). The third new song, "Desert Angel", was dedicated to the men and women serving in Operation Desert Storm. The compilation also included re-mastered editions of some of Nicks' most commercially successful singles. The album went platinum in 1997. Fleetwood Mac also released a four-disc box set, 25 Years – The Chain, which featured the previously unreleased Nicks track "Paper Doll" (which Nicks co-wrote), and the afore-mentioned "Silver Springs". The full 5 1/2 minute version of "Gypsy" would also be included, as well as a punchy live version of Stand Back from 1988. During the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, Bill Clinton used the Fleetwood Mac hit "Don't Stop" as his campaign theme song, and Nicks joined her band mates to perform the song at Clinton's 1993 Inaugural Gala. No plans for an official reunion were made at that time, while Nicks was widely observed as being massively overweight and under the visible effects of Klonopin. In late 1993, while Nicks held a baby shower at her house, she tripped and cut her forehead near a fireplace. Not feeling any pain from the injury, Nicks realized she needed help and endured a painful 47-day detox from Klonopin in a hospital. Her weight had also reached a peak at 175 lb (79.4 kg). Nicks used material written mostly in previous years to record a solo album in 1992 and 1993 entitled Street Angel, which was ultimately released following her detox in May 1994. The album included "Greta", "Love is Like a River", and "Listen to the Rain" dating from the mid-1980s Rock a Little sessions, "Destiny" - a new take on 1983's Enchanted, and "Rose Garden", originally written when Nicks was 17. Other material came from working with various co-writers, including the single "Blue Denim" with frequent late '80s/early '90s collaborator Mike Campbell, and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". Nicks has expressed major disappointment with the album, claiming that a lot of production work took place during her second stint in rehab, meaning she had little to no say over the final product. Released May 23, 1994, Street Angel (#45 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and #16 on the UK chart) became the most poorly received record of her solo career. "Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind" as the lead single from the album made #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and #42 on the UK chart, while "Blue Denim" was an even less successful hit in the summer, although the song did gain more promotion, such as her appearance on Late Night With David Letterman, and was accompanied by a promotional video. Despite praise from critics and fans for her vocals on the three-month Street Angel tour, which also featured friends and old band musicians including drummer Russ Kunkel and Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Rick Vito, Nicks was crushed by the focus on her weight and the poor reception of the album itself. Highlights from the tour included "Stand Back"; "Rhiannon" and "Talk To Me"; "Edge of Seventeen"; and a rare solo version of the Fleetwood Mac hit, "The Chain". But disgusted by the criticism she received during the tour for being overweight, Nicks vowed to never set foot on a stage again unless she slimmed down. In 1995, Nicks was reunited with Lindsey Buckingham and contributed the duet "Twisted" to the Twister movie soundtrack, while in 1996 the Sheryl Crow penned "Somebody Stand By Me" featured on the Boys on the Side soundtrack, and Nicks also remade Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" for Fox's TV hit Party of Five. The Dance: 1997–1998 In 1996 Lindsey Buckingham, working on a planned solo album, enlisted the help of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, which eventually led to a reunion of the entire band. A newly invigorated and slimmed down Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac for The Dance, a 1997 tour that coincided with the 20th anniversary of the release of Rumours. Prior to the tour, Nicks started work with a voice coach, to lend her voice more control and protect it from the stress of lengthy touring schedules. The tour was a major success, with the opening shows recorded for video and album release. The video, which was recorded in surround sound on the first and second night of the tour, featured the band performing a full set together for the first time in 15 years and garnered huge critical acclaim, ultimately selling over 2 million copies in the US alone. It was recorded on a Hollywood sound stage at Warner Bros. Studios with an audience that included many of Hollywood's elite, and featured the USC Trojan Marching Band on the songs "Tusk" and "Don't Stop". The live CD release, The Dance, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the autumn of 1997, sold over 5 million copies in the US, and earned the group a Grammy nomination. Two promotional singles — both Nicks songs — were released: "Silver Springs", for which Nicks earned a Rock Vocal Performance Grammy nomination, and "Landslide". In 1998, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won the Outstanding Contribution at the BRIT Awards. Nicks put work on a new solo album on hold when she was approached by Warner Music to release a solo career-spanning box set, to finish her contract with Atlantic Records in the US. After the culmination of the Fleetwood Mac reunion tour, Nicks settled down in Los Angeles and Phoenix with close friends and colleagues to devise a track list for this three-disc collection. Enchanted and Trouble in Shangri-La: 1998–2001 The box set Enchanted, was released to acclaim on April 28, 1998 with liner notes from Nicks, as well as exclusive rare photographs, and pages from her journals. Featuring successful solo hits, Nicks also included b-sides, rare soundtrack contributions, duets, covers, demos, live recordings, and a solo piano rendition of "Rhiannon" recorded for the set. The box set was supported with a successful US tour with a more varied set list incorporating rare material such as "Rose Garden", "Garbo" and "Sleeping Angel". The set sold 56,000 units in its first week and was certified Gold. In 1998, Nicks contributed songs to the Practical Magic soundtrack, including a new version of "Crystal" with Nicks on lead vocals, and "If You Ever Did Believe", both produced by Sheryl Crow. Nicks and Crow released a music video to VH1 for "If You Ever Did Believe". Nicks also took part in a benefit concert for Don Henley's Walden Woods Project, singing two songs including "At Last", which would later be included on an AT&T promotional CD. Nicks received further accolades when People magazine named her one of the 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 1999, she ranked #14 on a list of VH1's Greatest Women of Rock, and #1 Greatest Woman of Rock voted by VH1 viewers. VH1 also featured an episode of their Behind The Music documentary program on Nicks' career and comeback. In viewer polls, it was voted the best episode at the time of its broadcast. Nicks was a featured artist on the acclaimed VH1 Storytellers Concert Program that same year. Nicks had begun writing actively for Trouble in Shangri-La in 1994 and 1995 with "Trouble in Shangri-La" and "Love Is", as she came out of her Klonopin dependency. According to Nicks, friend and former musical partner Tom Petty was responsible for convincing her to write music again when he rebuffed her request that he write a song with her. The "Trouble in Shangri-La" concept, which emerged during the final months of the O.J. Simpson trial, deals with those who reach the height of their field and are unable to handle the ensuing pressure. In 1999, Nicks resumed recording songs for the Trouble in Shangri-La album with Sheryl Crow, who produced five tracks. When Crow dropped out of the project over a scheduling conflict, Nicks approached R&B producer Dallas Austin to work on tracks at his Atlanta recording studio. She had been impressed with his production work on TLC's song "Unpretty". The Dallas Austin sessions have never surfaced. Nicks finally called on John Shanks to produce the remainder of the album, with contributions from producers David Kahne, Rick Nowels, Pierre Marchand, and Jeff Trott, and even produced and played on one of the tracks herself, "Bombay Sapphires". Released May 1, 2001, Trouble in Shangri-La restored Nicks' solo career to critical and commercial success. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, her best album chart position since The Wild Heart almost two decades earlier, and sold a staggering 500,000 copies in its first week of release. The singles "Every Day", "Planets of the Universe", and "Sorcerer" (which originally appeared on the 1984 Streets of Fire soundtrack with Marilyn Martin singing lead and Stevie singing backup) helped promote the album, performing well in the Adult Album Alternative radio markets. One of the dance remixes for "Planets of the Universe" reached #1 on the Billboard Dance and Club Play chart. The original Trouble in Shangri-La album version of the song was later nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance). The RIAA certified the album Gold in June 2001. VH1 named Nicks their "Artist of the Month" for May 2001, airing short interviews and Nicks' catalog of videos throughout the month, including a new video for "Every Day". The video for "Sorcerer" began airing later in the year. The album featured collaborations with Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) on the country duet "Too Far from Texas", Sarah McLachlan on the ballad "Love Is" and Macy Gray on the soft, funky "Bombay Sapphires". Sheryl Crow was also featured playing various instruments and performing on background vocals on many of the tracks. Nicks performed the new track "Fall From Grace" at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards on Fox in March 2001, with Sheryl Crow on backing vocals. Crow also presented Nicks with a Songwriters Award at the ceremony. Nicks promoted the album with various appearances on television including an interview and performances on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, as well as Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and other appearances. In August 2001 she performed the single "Sorcerer" at the 2001 Radio Music Awards, introduced by Bush front-man Gavin Rossdale. Nicks supported the album with a successful tour, although some shows were canceled or postponed because of Nicks' bout with acute bronchitis. Shows were also canceled because of the September 11 attacks in the U.S. Say You Will: 2001–2004 In 2001, while touring for Trouble in Shangri-La, Nicks received the news that the other members of Fleetwood Mac were planning a new studio album. The line-up consisted of the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, as well as Lindsey Buckingham, but Christine McVie opted out of the project in its early stages, as she had retired from the group's heavy touring schedule. Nicks sent a demo tape of around 20 previously unreleased songs. After the end of her solo tour, Nicks convened with the other members of the band for recording during 2002. The album, which Buckingham had planned as a two-disc set, became a half-Buckingham, half-Nicks record, with nine songs each. Nicks contributed the 'Phoenix Four' (a set of songs specially written at her home prior to recording sessions): "Say You Will", "Illume" (her reaction to the September 11 attacks), "Destiny Rules" and "Silver Girl" (a tribute to friend Sheryl Crow), plus five songs from earlier eras: "Smile At You", "Thrown Down" "Everybody Finds Out", "Running Through the Garden", and "Goodbye Baby". Nicks was ranked #52 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists in 2002, while Say You Will was released on Reprise Records to mixed reviews in April 2003, becoming a Top 3 hit on the Billboard 200 (#6 in the UK), and selling over 300,000 copies in its first week of release. Nicks joined the group to support the album with a world tour lasting until September 2004. A limited 2-disc deluxe edition of Say You Will also featured another Nicks composition "Not Make Believe", as well as a live version of the title track. Nicks has recently stated in several interviews that she was not happy with the album or the successful world tour that followed, citing production disputes with Buckingham as a core factor, as well as the marked absence of fellow female band member Christine McVie. A documentary of the making of the album, "Destiny Rules", was released on DVD in 2004 and chronicles the sometimes turbulent relationships between band members, especially Buckingham and Nicks, during that time in the studio. In 2002, prior to the release of Say You Will, and as a lead promotion for it, a second greatest hits album from Fleetwood Mac, the 2-disc The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac, was released, becoming a platinum-selling success and featuring a more expansive track list of the Buckingham-Nicks era than the previous greatest hits release. Crystal Visions and Soundstage Sessions: 2007–2009 On March 27, 2007, Reprise Records released Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks in the U.S. The album debuted at #21 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The compilation includes her hit singles, a dance remix, and one new track, a live version of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". There are two versions of this album, one with just the audio CD and another version with an included DVD featuring all of Nicks' music videos with audio commentary from Nicks, as well as rare footage from the Bella Donna recording sessions. A tour with Chris Isaak, opening in Concord, California on May 17, 2007 supported the release. Reprise Records initially released two radio only promos, the live version of "Landslide" with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and "Rock and Roll". Both tracks failed to garner much airplay making an impact on the charts. Reprise Records released "Stand Back" (issued with club mixes) on May 29, 2007. "Stand Back", which peaked at #5 on the pop singles chart in 1983, reached #2 on the "Billboard Club Chart". Nicks previously reached #1 on this chart, with "Planets Of The Universe" (from Trouble in Shangri-La) in 2001. The remix single of "Stand Back" debuted on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales Chart on September 15, 2007 at #10 peaking at #4 the following week. It also debuted on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales Chart at #3 peaking at #1. According to The Tennessean, in early 2008, Nicks was spotted "in Nashville recording an album with Joe Thomas for a CD that accompanies a DVD of Soundstage".[42] On March 31, 2009, Stevie released the album, The Soundstage Sessions, via Reprise Records. The album debuted at #47 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The first single from the album was "Crash Into Me" and was released as a digital download, along with "Landslide" (orchestra version) as a B-side, on March 17, 2009. Along with the CD, Nicks also released a DVD on the 31st, titled Live In Chicago. Both are of her October 2007 Soundstage performance which was filmed and recorded before an intimate audience at Grainger Studio in Chicago. The DVD features special guest Vanessa Carlton for whom Nicks provided backing vocals on her 2007 album Heroes & Thieves, and rare solo performances of stand-out tracks such as the Fleetwood Mac standard "Sara" and the celebrated blues ballad "How Still My Love" from Bella Donna. For unknown reasons, the soaring encore of "Beauty and the Beast" was omitted from the DVD release, but included on the CD. A New Album and Other Projects: 2010 Stevie playing tambourine on her new album.In February 2010, Michelle Branch commented on her Twitter account that she was recording a song for a Fleetwood Mac tribute album, a cover of the Christine McVie 1975 hit "Say You Love Me", and that Nicks was producing the track. In late February 2010, David A. Stewart (musician and record producer, best known for his work with Eurythmics) revealed, using his Twitter account, that he was working with Nicks on at least four new songs, including one called "Everybody Loves You".A 38-second snippet of the song was posted on Stewart's Twitter account. He confirmed that he and Stevie are working on an album, and said that it is being done "in a very new way". On March 16, 2010, Dave reported on his Twitter that he and Stevie are now recording songs together. Later, on April 9, Dave (in reply to a question) stated that he and Stevie's new album could be out this year. On BBC Radio 2 on May 3, 2010, he stated in an interview with DJ Simon Mayo that the new album will be recorded throughout June with a release later this year. On July 5, 2010, Dave tweeted several pictures and messages about him and Stevie working in the studio. In one of the tweets, Dave stated that he, Stevie, Waddy Wachtel, Mike Campbell (of the Heartbreakers), Mike Rowe, and Steve Ferrone were all working on the album - Mick Fleetwood has also contributed drums to at least one track. Waddy Wachtel has been Stevie's lead guitarist for most of her solo career, featuring prominently on all of Stevie's albums to date. Dave also stated in that tweet that seven tracks have been completed thus far and it was their final day of these sessions in the studio together. Stevie will now play five dates in cities in the US in August, and then return to the studio to complete writing and recording on the album. Tours After a few months' respite from the Say You Will tour, Nicks did a four-night stint in May 2005 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and then did a 10-show tour with Don Henley. During the summer of 2005, Nicks continued the tour solo with pop singer Vanessa Carlton as the opening act, playing over 20 dates nationwide. She played venues at: Boston's Tweeter Center, Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, New York, Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO, Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, and the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. She ended the tour where it began, at Caesars Palace. There her set included the rarely performed-live "If Anyone Falls", the moving "How Still My Love" from Bella Donna and a rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". At the "Fashion Rocks" concert of September 2005 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, soul singer Joss Stone and singer Rob Thomas covered the Stevie Nicks – Tom Petty 1981 smash hit "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" to kick-start the Fall Fashion Week. In October 2005, she attended the Melbourne Cup Week in Australia, and one of the horse racing stakes was named after her: The Stevie Nicks Plate. She used this opportunity to launch her promotion of an Australian/New Zealand extension to her Gold Dust Tour in February and March 2006. Nicks toured in Australia and New Zealand with popular Australian performer John Farnham. She also appeared in concert with Tom Petty in June near Manassas, Virginia and at the Bonnaroo Music Festival that same month. She later appeared as a guest performer with Petty during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August of the same year. In 2006, Nicks also performed with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the first leg of their tour in the summer, and later in the year returned as a guest performer for a number of songs on the tour celebrating Petty's 30th anniversary since his debut album. Tom Petty's Homecoming Concert in Gainesville, FL, which contained performances with Stevie Nicks, was filmed for PBS Soundstage as well as DVD release for March 2007. Nicks was also the featured performer for Bette Midler's benefit function, Hullaween, in October 2006. On December 8, 2006, Nicks performed at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip as a benefit for the Epicurean Charitable Foundation. On February 4, 2007 Nicks performed her classic solo hit song "Stand Back" at the 2007 Super Bowl XLI Pre-game Show on CBS. She also made performance appearances on NBC's The Today Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Beginning in May 2007, Nicks began touring with pop/rock artist Chris Isaak. The last Stevie Nicks/Chris Isaak show was June 17, 2007 at the Tweeter Center in Boston, MA. Nicks continued the tour solo, with Vanessa Carlton opening on some dates. The tour finished at The Borgata in Atlantic City on August 24, 2007. In 2008, Nicks did a few spot shows in the Spring and then conducted a brief 1 month tour in June 2008 before preparing for a 2009 tour with Fleetwood Mac. In 2009, Fleetwood Mac embarked on a global hits tour. The Unleashed Tour took place in arenas on multiple continents. The tour ended in December with two sell-out shows of 35,000 people at the New Plymouth TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Zealand. A handful of dates have recenty been announced for a short 2010 tour. The official Stevie Nicks website has published details of shows which will take place in the US in August. It is currently unknown whether the shows will promote Stevie's new studio material. Stevie Nicks' Band of Soldiers In late 2004, Nicks began visiting Army and Navy medical centers in Washington, D.C. While visiting wounded service men and women, Nicks became determined to find an object she could leave with each soldier that would raise their spirits, motivate, and give them something to look forward to each day. She eventually decided to purchase hundreds of iPod Nanos, load them with music, artists, and play-lists which she would hand select, and autograph them. She now regularly delivers these tokens of her appreciation, bringing her closest friends to share the experience. In 2006, Nicks held a get-together to raise money for her charity work. Many of her peers made contributions. Nicks continues to develop this philanthropic endeavor. “ I call it a soldiers' iPod. It has all the crazy stuff that I listen to, and my collections I've been making since the '70s for going on the road, when I'm sick...Or the couple of times in my life that I have really been down, music is what always dances me out of bed. ” “ So, as Mick [Fleetwood] and I went from room to room delivering their tiny iPod, they told us their stories. Mick became his tall, loving, father figure, English self, taking in every word they said, remaining calm (at least on the outside) inspiring them. We floated from room to room down thru the halls of the 2 hospitals over a three-day period. We gave out all our iPods. Right before I left for D.C., Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry dug into their pockets and came up with $10,000 for me. In my eyes they went from the coolest rock stars to generous great men; as my press agent Liz Rosenberg said, every returning wounded soldier should be given an iPod. It will be an integral part of their recovery. ” Influence One of the reasons for Nicks' continued career is the devotion she inspires in her fans. Stacy Dupree, Courtney Love, Michelle Branch, Belinda Carlisle, the Dixie Chicks, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Taylor Swift, Laura Branigan, Sarah McLachlan, Kelly Clarkson, Vanessa Carlton, Georgi Cussick, Tori Amos, Michelle Hotaling, Jennifer Hanson, and Delta Goodrem have all cited her work as an inspiration. She has participated in duets or provided guest vocals for several of their albums and some have returned the favour, notably Crow and the Dixie Chicks. The Dixie Chicks covered her 1975 classic "Landslide", which became a Top 10 hit (#1 on the Adult Contemporary chart) and a #1 Hit on the Country Chart. Alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins made an acoustic cover of the song that was featured on their 1994 B-side collection Pisces Iscariot. The cover was a hit and made it to the top three on the Modern Rock Tracks chart in the U.S. that year. She recorded a duet of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with Chris Isaak on his 2004 Christmas album Chris Isaak Christmas and sang with Isaak on his PBS Christmas television special. Other successful covers have included The Corrs' "Dreams", and Courtney Love's former band Hole with "Gold Dust Woman". "Edge Of Seventeen" was sampled on Destiny's Child's 2001 #1 single "Bootylicious". Nicks appeared in the video for "Bootylicious" and in an episode of MTV's Making The Video that featured it, in which she expressed her admiration for both the song and the group. Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys has expressed extreme interest in working with Nicks. Lindsay Lohan covered "Edge of Seventeen" on her 2005 album, A Little More Personal. Deep Dish fulfilled their "Dreams" of working with Nicks in 2005 when Nicks offered to re-record vocals on a remix of her #1 penned song, "Dreams". The Deep Dish version went on to reach #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay Chart, as well as providing Nicks with her third UK top 40 hit. She helped with additional vocals and writing on Vanessa Carlton's 2007 album Heroes and Thieves. Carlton was on tour with Stevie in 2005 and 2006. The Dixie Chicks' cover of Stevie Nicks' Fleetwood Mac classic "Landslide" also earned Stevie Nicks a BMI Songwriters Award in 2003. The award is given to the songwriter of the track, regardless of the performer, and Stevie Nicks' "Landslide" won the prestigious "Song Of The Year" award. According to BMI, "Landslide" earned songwriter Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac the 35th Robert J. Burton Award as Most Performed Country Song of the Year. This distinction is given to the song tallying the most feature US broadcast performances during the eligibility period. Nicks is also publisher of the song, through her company Welsh Witch Music. Included on the Dixie Chicks' platinum Monument album Home, "Landslide" was a Country, Adult Top 40, Hot 100 and AC Billboard charts smash. Nicks previously collected a Pop Award in 1998 for Fleetwood Mac's recording of the song, which has achieved Million-Air status with over three million airplays. On January 31, 2010, Stevie performed with Taylor Swift at the 52nd Grammy Awards. Swift, who describes Nicks as one of her childhood heroes, introduced her to the audience by saying "It's a fairy tale and an honor to share the stage with Stevie Nicks." Personal life During the Rumours tour, Nicks had a relationship with singer/songwriter Don Henley of the Eagles and with Fleetwood Mac concert promoter David Pesnell. Nicks ended her relationship with Henley at the beginning of the Tusk tour, but her relationship continued with Pesnell until the end of the tour. Her only marriage was to Kim Anderson, the widower of her friend Robin Anderson, soon after Robin died of leukemia while Bella Donna was on the top of the charts. Stevie and Kim were soon divorced: "We didn't get married because we were in love, we got married because we were grieving and it was the only way that we could feel like we were doing anything." On August 10, 2005 her father, Jess Nicks, died. Jess introduced his daughter during several of her concert tours and was a large influence on Nicks. Nicks remarked, after Jess's health had deteriorated, that she asked her father to "hang on" for her to finish her tour and his death came shortly after Nicks wrapped up her summer 2005 Gold Dust Tour. She was able to be with him when he died. Nicks dated cable television pioneer Timothy O'Brien while living in Aspen, Colorado in the 1970s. Of her lifestyle today, Nicks stated "I am a very different girl from the one who was so wrapped up in rock and roll and the drugs and everything else. I'll never take it all for granted again, ever. Because I also now really realize how quickly that it can go, and that you can be the darling one year, and be nobody the next year. So you have to learn to accept and deal with that." Until July 2007 Nicks lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix in a home she had built in 1981 and shared with brother Chris, his wife Lori and their daughter Jessica. She announced in mid-2007 that her Paradise Valley home would be put up for sale, citing her aspirations to "downsize" and focus more on her charity work, and the fact that in the last year she had only "spent about two weeks there." The house was put on the market for a reported $3.8 million and many fans (feeling it was the end of a major era in her life and career) tagged it as a "Kingdom Up For Sale", a line from the song "Gold Dust Woman". She also owns a home in Pacific Palisades, California. According to a September 2007 article in the Daily Telegraph (UK), Nicks says she is again selling her home, her recently purchased Pacific Palisades home (purchased two years before by Nicks, right down the street from a rental home she had for years in Pacific Palisades). She has said it's a "house for adults", "And even though I'm pushing 60 I don't feel that I'm that old yet." She will be moving to a penthouse apartment on the beach and the old house is already on the market. Beginning in 2007, reports surfaced concerning Lindsay Lohan's interest in buying the rights to Nicks' life story and developing a motion picture in which she planned to play Nicks. In March 2007, while promoting her album Crystal Visions, Nicks was asked about this rumor. Nicks told Access Hollywood, "That is completely insane and crazy. There is no movie in the works on my life. Nobody can do a movie about my life without me being involved. Because nobody knows what really happened in my life until I tell them. So, nobody can make a movie about my life. And if anybody ever went and made a movie about my life without my permission and my being involved, I would slam it so hard to the press that it would never do anything." Nicks has gone on record to the New York Times as being strongly opposed to the prospect, and was quoted in 2009 as saying "Over my dead body. She needs to stop doing drugs and get a grip. Then maybe we'll talk." Image Stevie Nicks is known for her mystical image, her billowing chiffon skirts, shawls, top hats, layers of lace and long blonde hair. Margi Kent, a designer from California, has worked with Nicks since the 1970s to perfect her style. Perhaps the most famous part of Nicks' wardrobe is her platform boots. Nicks has worn suede platform boots in various colors, usually black, cream, tan or maroon in almost all of her performances since 1975. Standing at 5 ft 1 in (1.55 m), Nicks has stated she felt a little ridiculous standing next to the much taller Mick Fleetwood. For this reason she developed a penchant for 6-inch (15 cm) platform boots. "Even when platforms went completely out of style, I kept wearing them because I didn't want to go back to being 5-foot-3 inches [1.60 m] in heels", she told Allure magazine in 1995.Over the years, Nicks has developed a style which she calls her "uniform", which is best exemplified by the outfit worn on the cover of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, perhaps the base inspiration for many of her costumes. Another trademark of Nicks' is a Dickens-style gentleman's formal top hat, which she began wearing in the late 1970s. During the early 1980s she wore velvet Renaissance poets' berets with plume feathers (as shown in the vintage photo used on the cover of her March 2007 CD release Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks). In the late 1980s and early 1990s, she wore fashionable ladies hats on stage and to this day, often still sports a black top hat adorned with giant plumes. Many of Nicks' shawls and capes also have an association with her songs in her live performances, many becoming as signature in live performances as the songs themselves. These include a red/crimson shawl for "Sara", white for "Edge of Seventeen", gold for "Gold Dust Woman" and black with round gold circles for "Stand Back". One of her trademarks is twirling across the stage with shawls flying during the interlude of her classic songs, notably "Stand Back" and "Gypsy". Nicks has said that her vocal style and performance antics evolved from female singers like Grace Slick and Janis Joplin. She admitted inspiration when she saw Joplin perform live (and opened for with her first band "Fritz") shortly before Joplin's death. Nicks owns a strand of Joplin's stage beads. She also commented that she once saw a woman in her audience dressed in dripping chiffon with a Gibson Girl hairstyle and big boots and Nicks knew she wanted something similar. She took the look and made it her own. Another important part of Nicks' image is her jewelry. Nicks typically introduces one signature piece of jewelry during each tour. Such items have included silver bracelets, crescent moon pendant, pyramid shaped pendant, winged-heart pendant, gold crosses and, most recently, a Tiffany pendant with diamonds meaning "longevity." The crescent moon pendant is arguably the most iconic of all Nicks' jewelry – the original was bought while she was in England on tour with Fleetwood Mac during the Tusk era. Nicks then had her personal jeweler, Henri David of Philadelphia, make replicas of the moon pendant which become treasured gifts to her friends. In recent years, celebrity pals such as Bette Midler and ice-skating star Tai Babilonia have been photographed wearing their "Stevie moons". Nicks has even commented in interviews recently that she never would have dreamed that her trademark "Bella Donna/Witchy Woman" image would have been taken so seriously by her fans, often joking that she doesn't live her private life in her stage clothes and "Stevie garb" as many people seem to think. However, she greatly credits her career/stage image for its role in giving her a trademark that has made her unique and "timeless". Microphone and tambourine Stevie Nicks is known for her use of the Sennheiser MD-441-U5 microphone. It was a frequent sight in Nicks' early tours. Also synonymous with Nicks' microphone are the items with which she chooses to decorate her microphone stand. Over the years, such items have included roses, ribbons, chiffon, crystal beads, scarves and small stuffed animals. Upon being asked in a question forum on her official website about playing the tambourine, Nicks stated that she began playing the tambourine upon joining Fleetwood Mac in 1975, feeling the need to do something onstage during songs that featured Lindsey or Christine. Like her microphone, her tambourine usually features scarves and/or streamers. Nicks' trademark tambourine since the early 1980s is in the shape of a black half-moon. Rumors of witchcraft A rumor that has trailed Nicks through the years is that she is a witch and is heavily involved in Wicca. While she admits to having a high regard for the mythic and gothic, she denies any solitary dedication to any one religion, including Wicca. She speaks about this erroneous image in a 2006 interview.Nicks' music is copyrighted under the name Welsh Witch Music, a reference to her song Rhiannon, which she introduced as "a song about a Welsh witch" in concerts between 1975 and 1978. In a Yahoo! interview on April 28, 1998, Nicks said of the rumor: "I have no idea what precipitated those rumors...I am not a witch. Get a life!" Nicks also stated in a 1983 Entertainment Tonight interview: "I spent thousands of dollars on beautiful black clothes and had to stop wearing them for a long time because a lot of people scared me. And that's really unfair to me, I think, for people – other people – to conjure up their ideas of what I am or what I believe in." In a 1998 Redbook magazine article, Nicks spoke of her faith, stating that she believes in angels and knows that she is alive today because "there was a God looking out" for her during her years of addiction.
  3. {name}

    Li Bingbing

    Li Bingbing (Chinese: 李冰冰; pinyin: Lǐ Bīngbīng; born February 27, 1976) is a Chinese actress and singer. Becoming active in her acting career since 1994, Li has steadily achieved success in both television and film, especially in Mainland China and other Asian countries. She is also a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador and WWF Earth Hour Global Ambassador in China. Life and career Li had no intention of becoming an actress initially and enrolled specifically in a high school for prospective school teachers. However, upon graduation, she discovered her interest in acting and was eventually persuaded by a friend to join the Shanghai Drama Institute in 1993. Her film debut was Zhang Yuan's Seventeen Years (1999), which won her the "Best Actress" Award in the 1999 Singapore Film Festival. In 2001, Li starred in a TV series Young Justice Bao, which propelled her to become one of the most famous actresses in China. That year she was awarded the title of one of the "Top Ten Best TV actors/actresses in China". From then on, Li was approbated as an "action actress" as she starred in a number of wuxia TV series, such as Taiji Prodigy and Eight Heroes. In 2004, Li starred in the romantic comedy film Waiting Alone, which received three Chinese Academy Award nominations, including "Best Picture" and "Best Actress". That same year, Li won the title of "The Most Popular Actress" at the 12th Beijing College Film Festival. She went on to star in Feng Xiaogang's A World Without Thieves, which earned her a nomination for "Best Supporting Actress" Award at the 2005 Golden Rooster Awards. Li won the "Best Actress" Awards at the 2007 Huabiao Awards and at the 2008 Golden Rooster Awards for her performance in The Knot; the film is also China's entry for the Best Foreign Film award at the 2008 Academy Awards. She also co-starred with Jet Li and Jackie Chan in the 2008 film The Forbidden Kingdom as the White-haired Witch Ni-Chang. In November 2009, Li won the Best Leading Actress Award at the 46th Golden Horse Film Awards for her role in the espionage spy thriller The Message. Li's most recent notable performance is for the role of Shangguan Jing'er in Tsui Hark's 2010 film Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Her character is loosely based on Shangguan Wan'er, a poet, writer and politician of the Tang Dynasty. She will co-star and co-produce with Jackie Chan in the film The 1911 Revolution, which will be released in September 2011 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution.
  4. {name}

    Laura Dern

    Laura Elizabeth Dern (born February 10, 1967) is an American actress, film director and producer. Dern has acted in such films as Smooth Talk (1985), Blue Velvet (1986), Fat Man and Little Boy (1988), Wild at Heart (1990), Jurassic Park (1993) and October Sky (1999). She has won awards for her performance in the 1991 film Rambling Rose, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her portrayal of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the film Recount (2008). Early life and career Dern was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd and the great-granddaughter of former Utah governor George Dern. Scottish-American poet, writer and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish was her great-uncle. Laura Dern's film debut was a cameo in her mother's film White Lightning. She also made a brief appearance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, one of Ladd's signature roles. Her mother objected to her 13-year-old daughter's presence on the set of Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, but Dern sued for emancipation. In the mid-1980s she gained critical acclaim for roles in Mask, Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart. Dern's starring role in Blue Velvet was a breakthrough however her next notable film took almost four years to be released, Wild at Heart. Dern's affiliation with Lynch has continued with her role in Inland Empire. In 1992, Dern and her mother became the first mother and daughter to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in the same film in Rambling Rose. They did not play mother and daughter in the film. Dern starred as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park. That same year, Clint Eastwood enlisted the actress for his film A Perfect World. She also starred as Ruth in the 1996 satire Citizen Ruth, the directorial debut of Alexander Payne. In a reversal of roles, Dern's mother makes a cameo appearance, with Dern's character screaming a torrent of abuse at her. In 1997, Dern was featured in Widespread Panic's music video for their song, "Aunt Avis", which was directed by Dern's then boyfriend and future fiancé, Billy Bob Thornton. In 1998, Dern co-starred in the Jodie Foster's film The Baby Dance. While dating Thornton in 1999, she was cast as his love interest in his film Daddy and Them, which also includes Diane Ladd. Dern also appeared in Joe Johnston's film October Sky. Robert Altman called upon Dern's talents to play a Champagne-loving Aunt in his Texas-based comedy Dr. T & the Women in 2000. She co-starred in Within These Walls, Arthur Miller's Focus, and Novocaine. She had a minor role in Jurassic Park III, and was a supporting actor in the film I Am Sam. She starred in the 2002 film Damaged Care and the 2004 film We Don't Live Here Anymore. Dern was part of the ensemble dramedy Happy Endings in 2005, and she appeared in the 2006 film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. In 2006, David Lynch and Dern reunited for Inland Empire and, also in 2006, Dern had a supporting role in Lonely Hearts. [Mike White (scriptwriter)|Mike White]], known for writing School of Rock and The Good Girl, hired Dern for his directorial debut in 2007, the comedy titled Year of the Dog and starring Molly Shannon, John C. Reilly and Peter Sarsgaard, and in 2008 Dern starred in Recount for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film. Since then, Dern was seen in the independent 2009 drama Tenderness and, in 2010, she appeared in Little Fockers, playing an advanced school principal who dated Owen Wilson's character Kevin Rawley. In an interview, Dern stated that she would reprise her role as Ellie Sattler for Jurassic Park IV. Dern has done much work on television, most notably Afterburn, for which she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie. She guest-starred on The West Wing, as a voice on King of the Hill and as a lesbian who coaxes Ellen DeGeneres out of the closet in the famous "The Puppy Episode" of the television series Ellen. On the April 24, 2007 airing of DeGeneres' talk show, Dern revealed she did not work for more than a year following her appearance in that episode because of resulting backlash, but nevertheless called it an "extraordinary experience and opportunity." Dern has been acknowledged with several awards from the independent film industry including the Sundance Institute and was the subject of an aggressive media campaign by David Lynch to win her an Academy Award nomination for her work in Inland Empire. On November 1, 2010, she received the 2,420th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her parents, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern, were presented with stars too. In late 2011 Dern will star in a new HBO television series called Enlightened. She has also been cast in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master along with Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, set for release in 2012. Politics and personal life Dern is known as an activist and supporter of many charities, such as Healthy Child Healthy World, which aims to raise awareness about toxic substances that can affect a child's health. During the 66th Golden Globe Awards, on January 11, 2009, Dern expressed support for the incoming administration of Barack Obama during her acceptance speech for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her work on the film Recount. She is quoted as saying, "I will cherish this as a reminder of the extraordinary, incredible outpouring of people who demanded their voice be heard in this last election so we can look forward to amazing change in this country. Thank you so much!" Dern had high-profile romances with Kyle MacLachlan, Nicolas Cage, Renny Harlin, Jeff Goldblum, and Billy Bob Thornton (who ended their relationship abruptly by marrying Angelina Jolie). She married musician Ben Harper on December 23, 2005, after dating him for five years. They have two children together, one son, Ellery Walker (born August 21, 2001), and one daughter, Jaya (born November 28, 2004). Dern's husband, Ben Harper, filed for divorce on October 8, 2010 in California, citing irreconcilable differences. Harper is asking the judge to deny Dern spousal support and requesting that he have joint custody of their two children. Filmography Film 1973 White Lightning Sharon Anne Uncredited 1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Girl eating ice cream cone Uncredited 1980 Foxes Debbie 1981 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains Jessica McNeil 1984 Teachers Diane 1985 Mask Diana Adams Smooth Talk Connie Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead 1986 Blue Velvet Sandy Williams Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead 1987 Predator: The Concert 1988 Haunted Summer Claire Clairmont 1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Kathleen Robinson 1990 Wild at Heart Lula Fortune 1991 Rambling Rose Rose Montréal World Film Festival Award for Best Actress (tied with Hye-suk Lee) Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress 1993 Jurassic Park Dr. Ellie Sattler Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress A Perfect World Sally Gerber 1996 Citizen Ruth Ruth Stoops Montréal World Film Festival Award for Best Actress Bastard Out of Carolina Narrator Voice Only 1999 October Sky Miss Frieda Riley 2000 Dr. T & the Women Peggy 2001 Daddy and Them Ruby Montgomery Jurassic Park III Dr. Ellie Sattler Novocaine Jean Noble Focus Gertrude 'Gert' Hart I Am Sam Randy Carpenter 2002 Searching for Debra Winger Herself 2004 We Don't Live Here Anymore Terry Linden Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress (tied with Sharon Warren) 2005 Happy Endings Pam Ferris The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio Dortha Schaefer 2006 Lonely Hearts Rene Inland Empire Nikki Grace/Susan Blue Also Producer Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress Nominated — Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress 2007 Year of the Dog Bret 2009 Tenderness Aunt Teresa 2010 Little Fockers Prudence Everything Must Go Delilah 2012 The Master Television 1981 Shannon "Gotham Swansong" (Season 1, Episode 1) 1983 Happy Endings Audrey Constantine 1984 The Three Wishes of Billy Grier Crissy 1989 Nightmare Classics Rebecca "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (Season 1, Episode 3) 1990 Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted Heartbroken Woman 1992 Afterburn Janet Harduvel Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie 1993 Fallen Angels Annie Ainsley "Murder, Obliquely" (Season 1, Episode 5) 1994 The Gift (Director) 1995 Down Came a Blackbird Helen McNulty (also executive producer) Frasier June (Voice) "Sleeping With the Enemy" (Season 3, Episode 6) 1996 The Siege at Ruby Ridge Vicki Weaver Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film 1997 Ellen Susan Richmond The Puppy Episode: Part 1 (Season 4, Episode 22) The Puppy Episode: Part 2 (Season 4, Episode 23) Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Comedy Series 1998 The Larry Sanders Show Herself "I Buried Sid" (Season 6, Episode 8) The Baby Dance Wanda LeFauve Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film 1999 A Season for Miracles Berry Thompson 2001 Within These Walls Sister Pauline Quinn 2002 The West Wing Laureate Tabatha Fortis "The U.S. Poet Laureate" (Season 3, Episode 16) Damaged Care Linda Peeno (also producer) 2002–2003 King of the Hill Serving Wench & Katherine (Voice) Joust Like a Woman (Season 6, Episode 8) Patch Boomhauer (Season 8, Episode 1) 2008 Recount Katherine Harris Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie 2011 Enlightened Amy Jellicoe
  5. {name}

    Michael Douglas

    Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He has won three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards, first as producer of 1975's Best Picture, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as Best Actor in 1987 for his role in Wall Street. Douglas received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2009. Early life Douglas was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, a son of Kirk Douglas and Bermudian actress Diana Dill. His paternal grandparents, Herschel Danielovitch and Bryna Sanglel, were Jewish immigrants from Gomel in Belarus (at that time a part of the Russian Empire). His mother and maternal grandparents, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill and Ruth Rapalje Neilson, were natives of Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. Thomas Dill served as Attorney General of Bermuda and was commanding officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery. Douglas has a younger brother, Joel Douglas (b. 1947), and two younger half-brothers, Peter Douglas (b. 1955) and Eric Douglas (1958–2004). Michael Douglas attended the Allen-Stevenson School, the International School of Geneva, and graduated from Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1960 and The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut in 1963. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1966, where he is also the Honorary President of the UCSB Alumni Association. Career Douglas co-starred in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco from 1972 to 1976, with Karl Malden, who became a second father to him during the show's run. After Douglas left the show, he had a long association with his mentor until Malden's death on July 1, 2009. Long before his death, Malden and Douglas would occasionally run into each other—in 1996, Malden paid tribute to him at the People's Choice Awards. In 2004, Douglas presented Malden with the Monte Cristo Award of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut, for the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1975, he received an Academy Award as producer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Although Douglas was a capable actor on Streets, his career was somewhat stagnant after the series, and he only appeared in occasional movies which were usually less than popular (e.g., Running in 1979). One exception was The China Syndrome (1979), a dramatic film co-starring Jane Fonda about a disaster at a nuclear power plant. It mirrored the real-life Three Mile Island accident which took place 12 days after the film's release. Douglas's fortunes changed when he starred in the 1984 romantic adventure comedy Romancing the Stone. The film was a respectable hit and earned over $86,572,238 worldwide in box-office receipts and an additional $36 million in video rentals. This film also helped launch Kathleen Turner to stardom, reintroduced Douglas to the public as a capable leading man, and gave Bob Zemeckis his first box-office success. It was followed a year later in 1985 by a sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. 1987 was another pivotal year for Douglas, one that won him massive attention as a serious actor. He starred in the thriller Fatal Attraction with Glenn Close, and the film became a worldwide hit. That same year he played the insidious tycoon Gordon Gekko in Wall Street for which he received an Academy Award as Best Actor. It was announced in April 2009 that Douglas would be reprising his role as Gekko in Wall Street 2 with the original film's director Oliver Stone. Douglas also starred as Mr. Rose, a successful lawyer similar to Gordon Gekko's personality, in The War of the Roses, which featured previous co-stars Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In 1989, he starred in the hit international police crime drama Black Rain opposite Andy Garcia and Kate Capshaw and was directed by filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) and filmed in Osaka. In 1992, Douglas revived his slick, worldly character when he appeared alongside Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct. The movie was a huge hit, and sparked controversy over its depictions of bisexuality and lesbianism. In 1994, Douglas and Demi Moore starred in the hit movie Disclosure focusing on the hot topic of sexual harassment with a twist—Douglas plays a man harassed by his new female boss. In 1998, Douglas received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Douglas's skill at character acting continued to make him one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, commanding a hefty sum for his roles. After the commercial failure of It Runs in the Family, a 2003 film that starred three generations of his family, Douglas did not star in a movie for three years, until the action-thriller The Sentinel in 2006. A year prior to the release of It Runs in the Family, he guest-appeared on the episode, "Fagel Attraction", of the popular television sitcom Will and Grace, as a gay cop attracted to Will Truman (Eric McCormack); the performance earned Douglas an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Show. His Fatal Attraction co-star, Glenn Close, appeared in the following episode of the series and also earned an Emmy nomination for her performance. Douglas on being asked to do Basic Instinct 2: "Yes, they asked me to do it a while ago, I thought we had done it very effectively; [Paul] Verhoeven is a pretty good director. I haven't seen the sequel. I've only done one sequel in my life, The Jewel of the Nile, from Romancing The Stone. Besides, there were age issues, you know? Sharon still looks fabulous. The script was pretty good. Good for her, she's in her late-40s, and there are not a lot of parts around. The first one was probably the best picture of her career—it certainly made her career and she was great in it". Douglas will soon star in Tragic Indifference, a courtroom thriller based on a landmark liability case against Ford, according to Variety. Douglas will play the attorney who took Ford to court on behalf of a single mother from Texas who was paralyzed and nearly died after an accident. The trial exposed the automaker's indifference to flaws in its SUVs. The movie will be based on Adam Penenberg's 2003 book of the same name. Douglas will play Attorney Tab Turner, who represented Donna Bailey after the Ford Explorer she was riding in rolled over following a Firestone tire failure On December 17, 2007 it was announced that Douglas was to be the new voice at the beginning of NBC Nightly News, some two years after Howard Reig, the previous announcer, retired. Personal life Douglas married Diandra Luker, 14 years his junior, on March 20, 1977. They had one son, Cameron (born December 13, 1978). In 1980, Douglas was involved in a serious skiing accident which sidelined his acting career for three years. In September 1992, the same year Basic Instinct came out, he underwent treatment for alcoholism at Sierra Tucson Center. In 2000, after 23 years of marriage, Diandra divorced Douglas. Douglas married Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones on November 18, 2000; they were both born on September 25, though 25 years apart. Zeta-Jones says that when they met in Deauville, Douglas used the line "I want to father your children." They have two children, Dylan Michael (born August 8, 2000) and Carys Zeta (born April 20, 2003). Douglas and Zeta-Jones hosted the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway, on December 11, 2003. They acted as co-masters of ceremony in the concert celebrating the award given to Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. In 2006, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Douglas and his family divide their time among their homes in Pacific Palisades, California; New York City; Aspen, Colorado; Bermuda; Majorca, Spain; Swansea, Wales, Ridgewood, New Jersey, and La Conception, Quebec. Douglas is an advocate of nuclear disarmament, a supporter of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and sits on the Board of Directors of the anti-war grantmaking foundation Ploughshares Fund. In 1998, he was appointed UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.He is a notable Democrat and has donated money to Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, and Al Franken. In 1997, New York caddy James Parker sued Douglas for USD$25 million. Parker accused Douglas of hitting him in the groin with an errant golf ball, causing Parker to lose a testicle and his job. The case was later settled out of court. Humanitarian initiatives In 2009 joined the project "Soldiers of Peace", a movie against all wars and for a global peace. Douglas lent his support to the campaign to release Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of committing adultery.
  6. {name}

    Barbara Bach

    Barbara Bach (born Barbara Goldbach, August 27, 1947) is an American actress and model known as the Bond girl from the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). She is married to former Beatle Ringo Starr. Life and career Early life Bach was born in Rosedale, New York, and grew up in neighboring Jackson Heights, NY, the daughter of Marjorie and Howard I. Goldbach (1922–2001), a policeman. Her mother is Irish Catholic, her father was Austrian Jewish and her grandmother Romanian. She attended a Catholic high school, Dominican Commercial, in Jamaica, Queens. Bach left school at age 16 to become a model, quickly rising to the ranks of top models. Career In 1971, Bach co-starred with two other Bond girls, Claudine Auger and Barbara Bouchet in the mystery La Tarantola dal ventre nero (a giallo film) and had small roles in other Italian films. In 1977, her role as the Russian spy Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me gained her recognition as an international sex symbol. Although her character Anya is seen as the first Bond girl who is an equal to Bond since she is also an experienced spy, Bach still walked away from the film saying that Bond is "a chauvinist pig who uses girls to shield him against bullets." The following year she appeared in the movie Force 10 from Navarone. She lost a role to actress Shelley Hack when she auditioned for the television series Charlie's Angels. Bach has 28 films to her credit. She has not worked as an actress since the mid-1980s. She appeared in Playboy several times, from 1977 to 1981, in 1985, and in 2008. Personal life Bach met Italian businessman Augusto Gregorini on a flight to Rome in 1966. They were married in 1968 and moved to Italy where they had a daughter, singer-songwriter Francesca Gregorini (born August 7, 1968) and a son Gianni (born in 1972). In 1975, Bach separated from Gregorini and moved back to the United States with her two children. Bach met Ringo Starr on the set of the film Caveman in February 1980, and they were married on April 27, 1981, a few weeks after the film's release. In recent years, Bach has accompanied Starr on his tours and has appeared on some of Ringo's music videos, playing on some of his songs. Bach holds a master's degree (UCLA, 1993) in psychology. She started the Self Help Addiction Recovery Program (S.H.A.R.P.) with the help of George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd, the former wife of both Harrison and Clapton. Bach and Starr created The Lotus Foundation, a charity with many sub-charities. Joe Walsh, guitarist with the band, the Eagles, married Barbara Bach's sister, Marjorie Bach, in Los Angeles on December 13, 2008.
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    Victoria Principal

    Victoria Principal (born January 3, 1950) is an American actress, best known for her role as Pamela Barnes Ewing on the CBS nighttime drama Dallas from 1978 to 1987. Biography Early life Victoria Principal was born in Fukuoka, Japan, the eldest daughter of a United States Air Force sergeant. Her paternal grandparents were immigrants from Italy; her mother was born in Georgia and was of English descent. Since her father was a career sergeant in the Air Force, they moved often and she grew up in London, Puerto Rico, Florida, Massachusetts, and Georgia, among other places. She attended 17 different schools, including studying at the Royal Academy of Ballet while her family was stationed in England. Principal acted in her first commercial when five, and enjoyed a successful career in commercials. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College, intending to study medicine. Months before completing her first year of studies, she was seriously injured in a car crash while driving home from the library. The other driver was convicted of drunk driving and served jail time. Principal spent months in recovery and was faced with the prospect of having to take her first year of studies over again. After a period of serious introspection, she drastically changed her life by moving to New York to pursue her acting career, and shortly thereafter to Europe. While living in London, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and then in 1971 she moved to Los Angeles. Personal life Principal met Christopher Skinner in 1978 when he played a bit role on Dallas. Soon after, they married, but then divorced in 1980. She dated teen idol Andy Gibb after meeting him on The John Davidson Show in 1981. The two hit it off immediately, and she sang a duet with Gibb. A year later, she gave him an ultimatum, "Choose me, or choose drugs"; Principal split with Gibb in March 1982. On June 23, 1985, Principal married Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Harry Glassman. They divorced in December 2006, splitting assets in excess of $50 million and setting aside a pre-nup that had been an issue in the proceedings. It is not clear whether their divorce is related to a domestic violence incident in 2002 that resulted in Principal's brief hospitalization and Glassman's arrest. Glassman released the following statement re: their divorce: "I am saddened that Victoria is using the incident of my arrest in 2002 in an effort to gain leverage in our divorce proceedings. I have never physically abused my wife. My arrest was a consequence of her abuse of alcohol that resulted in her detention in the Cedars Sinai ER for psychiatric evaluation. My being taken into custody was police error, no charges were ever filed, and the arrest has been expunged from my record." Subsequently, Principal moved to Malibu. She maintains other homes in Big Sur, California, and Switzerland. In 2006, Principal formed a charitble organization to help subsidize the environmental movement, which she had been a part of since 1978. In 2007, it was reported that she was training for her booked flight on Richard Branson's commercial space flight venture. Principal and Branson flew to New Mexico and held a joint world-wide press conference on the space center to be built in New Mexico In 2008, Principal quietly stepped up to aid those in need after the California wildfires. On June 2, 2010, Principal donated $200,000 to the cleanup effort in the Gulf Coast region. Principal's donation brought together two huge environmental non-profits, Oceana and NRDC, to work together on the cleanup. Principal appeared with other celebrities June 21, 2010 on a CNN Larry King sponsored Telethon to support the Gulf Coast Region. Victoria was on a panel with Larry and also answered phones and spoke to donors for the entire two hours. The telethon raised over $1.8 Million in just two hours. Career Acting In 1970, Principal moved to Hollywood. She had no money, no car, no agent, and no prior television or movie making experiences beside the commercials she had made in her teenage years. She supported herself by teaching backgammon, which she had learned while living in London, that was becoming a popular game played by many in Hollywood. Nine months later Principal had a car, an agent, still little money but auditioned and won her first film role, as Marie Elena, a Mexican mistress in Paul Newman's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), for which she earned a Golden Globe Nomination as Most Promising Newcomer Because of the response to Principal's footage in the film, the role was enlarged on a daily basis by the writer, John Milius. Producers, agents, and other interested parties began showing up at the remote location in Benson, Arizona. For the most part they were showing up to sign Principal to her next film. During this period of time Warren Cowan flew in, introduced himself to Principal, and offered to represent her free of charge for the next year. Principal has been a client of Rogers & Cowan ever since. She flew to Arizona a complete unknown; when she returned to Los Angeles three months later, the commercial flight she was on was greeted by throngs of paparazzi. Subsequently, she appeared in The Naked Ape (1973) with Johnny Crawford and appeared nude in Playboy magazine to promote the film. The film's failure disappointed her. In 1974, she was cast in the disaster film Earthquake. Although the role had been narrowed down to three actresses, Principal won the role when she showed up for the third audition having cut off her waist-length brown hair, dyed it black, and put it into an afro. The producer was stunned and impressed by Principal's risky transformation in order to look more closely like the Italian character Rosa. Principal won the part in that moment. She continued to act in lesser-known films such as I Will, I Will...For Now and Vigilante Force with Kris Kristofferson. She was given a 3-picture deal with Brute Productions. However, Principal decided to stop acting and became an agent, which was her profession from 1975 to late 1977. In 1977, Aaron Spelling offered her a role in the pilot of his television series Fantasy Island, which she accepted. Soon after, in 1978, she landed her most famous role, playing Pamela Barnes Ewing in the evening soap opera television series Dallas. In 1983, she earned a Golden Globe Nomination as Best Actress in a Television Series for her role on Dallas. After nine years, Principal left Dallas in 1987. She went on to star in various made-for-television movies such as Mistress, Blind Witness, Naked Lie, Sparks: The Price of Passion, and Don't Touch My Daughter, a few of which she co-produced. In 1994, she appeared in an episode of the hit sitcom Home Improvement. Principal returned to primetime soap operas in 2000, when she appeared in another Aaron Spelling production, the short-lived NBC television series Titans. Entrepreneur When Principal signed her Dallas contract, she omitted the clause that would have given the network the right to consent and profit from her outside endeavors. She explained, "As a result that’s why, you can only notice in hindsight, I was the only person in the cast who did commercials, who was doing movies of the week, who wrote books and these all belong to me. I retained the control and ownership of my image. No one owns me." When she left the show in 1987, she began her own production company, Victoria Principal Productions, producing mostly movies for television. In the mid-1980s, she became interested in natural beauty therapies and in 1989 she created a self-named line of skin care products, Principal Secret, which has amassed over $1 Billion in sales to date. In 1995, she was named "Entertainment Business Woman of the Year" by the National Association of Women Business Owners and received an honorary degree from Drexel University's Business School. In 2003, Principal became a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. In addition, she became a best-selling author, writing three books about beauty, skin care, and health: The Body Principal (1983), The Beauty Principal (1984), and The Diet Principal (1987). She published a fourth book, Living Principal, in 2001.
  8. {name}

    Susan Anton

    Susan Ellen Anton (born October 12, 1950) is an American actress and singer. Life and career Youth Anton attended Yucaipa High School in Yucaipa, California, and graduated in 1968. After high school, Anton attended San Bernardino Valley College. She first experienced fame by winning the Miss Redlands and Miss California contests in 1969 and tied as second runner-up in the 1970 Miss America Scholarship Pageant held September 6 that year. Career By the mid-1970s, Anton developed a following for her Muriel Cigar commercials where she provocatively sang, "Let Muriel turn you on / That is my desire / Muriel lights a flame in me / Where there's Muriel smoke, there's fire". Later in the 1970s, Anton appeared approximately 30 times on Merv Griffin's TV show. She was frequently seen and heard in television, print and radio ads for the Perfect Sleeper mattress by Serta. In these ads, she announced her name and sang the company's jingle. In 1978, ABC gave her and country singer Mel Tillis a summertime variety series, Mel and Susan Together, produced by the Osmond Brothers. The pairing of Anton and Tillis was an unlikely one: he was popular in country music circles but hardly a national household name while Susan was barely known at all. The show disappeared after four weeks; nevertheless, she was later chosen as one of Time magazine's "Most Promising Faces of 1979." She later starred in her own variety show, Presenting Susan Anton, one of three serials in the Cliffhangers series, and in the films Goldengirl, Spring Fever and Cannonball Run II. She also recorded music, her biggest hit being "Killin' Time" in 1980, a duet with country singer Fred Knoblock. The record made Top 10 on the country charts and hit #28 on Billboard's Hot 100. In 1990, Anton appeared on the TV comedy series Night Court in an episode called "The Talk Show" where she played talk show producer Margo Hunter. Anton graces the cover of the mass trade paperback edition of "Goldengirl" by Peter Lear (pseudonym for Peter Lovesey) having played the title character in the film version known as "Golden Girl," starring James Coburn and directed by Joseph Sargent. Anton was the host of the successful "Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular" show at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas for over 5,000 performances until July 31, 2000. She was then replaced by Dorothy Hamill and the show was discontinued soon after. She also appeared in the Las Vegas company of the musical Hairspray and on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies, Hurlyburly and All Shook Up. She had a recurring role on the TV series Baywatch from 1992 to 1994 and has appeared as herself on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2006), The Larry Sanders Show (1993) and It's Garry Shandling's Show (1987), as well as in several films. Anton appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU which aired on March 31, 2010. Personal life She dated English film and TV star Dudley Moore with much being made of their height difference. He was 5 feet 2.5 inches (1.59m) tall and she is 5 feet 11 inches (1.80m) tall. Anton married television actor Jeff Lester on August 15, 1992, her second marriage. She currently resides in Las Vegas.
  9. {name}

    Evanna Lynch

    Evanna Lynch (born 16 August 1991) is an Irish actress who rose to prominence playing Luna Lovegood, a supporting role in the Harry Potter film series adapted from the book series of the same name. Lynch was cast as Luna at the age of 14, having previously acted only in school plays. From 2007 to 2010, she was in three Harry Potter films and their tie-in video games; she will return for the final film and the film's two tie-in video games. Lynch's work on the series has earned her two award nominations. Early life and educationLynch was born in the Termonfeckin townland of County Louth, Ireland to Marguerite and Donal Lynch. One of a family of six, she has two sisters, Emily and Mairead, and one brother, Patrick. As a child, Lynch read the Harry Potter series and became a fan, sending letters to the author, J. K. Rowling. For two years from the age of 11, Lynch suffered from anorexia. During this time, Rowling sent her letters of encouragement; Lynch has described her as being "like a counsellor". Lynch attended Cartown National School, a public primary school in Termonfeckin, until June 2004 and then moved to Our Lady's College, a Catholic school for girls, in Drogheda, County Louth, where her father was the deputy principal. In 2008, Lynch studied speculative fiction and drama at the Centre for the Talented Youth of Ireland, a summer school for gifted teens, in Glasnevin, Dublin. While on the Harry Potter set, she was tutored for at least three hours a day. From September 2010, Lynch attended the Institute of Education to repeat her Leaving Certificate. Career In 2006, Lynch auditioned at a casting call in London for the role of Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film in the series adapted from the books. After auditioning against 15,000 other girls, and a subsequent screen test with lead actor Daniel Radcliffe, she was cast at the age of 14. Producers were impressed with her affinity for the character; David Heyman said "The others could play Luna; Evanna Lynch is Luna." Although uninvolved in the casting process, Rowling believed that Lynch was perfect for the role. She had never acted professionally before the Harry Potter series, her experience limited to school plays. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was Lynch's debut screen performance in 2007. The film was a box office hit, taking US$938 million worldwide, and garnered generally favorable reviews. Critics praised the performances of the supporting cast, often singling out Lynch for particular acclaim; A. O. Scott of The New York Times called her performance "spellbinding", and Jane Watkins of Country Life said she "[brought] an appealing sweetness to her character that's not so developed in the book". She reprised her role as Luna in the film's tie-in video game. Two years later, Lynch again starred as Luna in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth instalment in the series. The film was critically and financially successful. Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote that Lynch as Luna "combats the movie’s occasional sluggishness with a hilarious sluggishness of her own", and Michael Dwyer of The Irish Times called her the best Irish actress of 2009 for her work on the film. Her performance earned her Scream Award and Young Artist Award nominations, and she again reprised her role in the film's tie-in video game. The seventh and final instalment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was divided into two parts for scripting reasons. The first part was released in 2010 and the second part is scheduled for release in 2011. Part one was critically and financially successful. In their respective reviews for part one, James Verniere of The Boston Herald commented that Luna "is still delightfully lunar,"while Moira Macdonald of The Seattle Times said Luna "as usual, steals the movie with a line". She again reprised her role in the film's tie-in video game. Personal life Lynch has made and helped design a number of fashion accessories for the Harry Potter films, and modeled for Katrin Thomas and Ciaran Sweeney. She has also recorded an abridged audiobook version of Claire Keegan's short story Foster, and opened an exhibition for Irish artist Shauna Blanchfield. She has a tattoo of Michael Jackson's eyes on the back of her neck Her charity work includes participation with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland, in which she launched their MS Readathon fundraiser in 2010. Lynch has also been actively involved with non-profit organization, the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA). With the HPA, she has supported same-sex marriage in Maine, took part in a webcast fundraiser, wrote an article about body image, and contributed to a fundraising book.
  10. {name}

    Samantha Mathis

    Samantha Mathis (born May 12, 1970) is an American actress. The daughter of actress Bibi Besch, Mathis made her film debut in Pump Up the Volume (1990). Early life Mathis was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, the daughter of actress Bibi Besch, and granddaughter of actress Gusti Huber. Her parents divorced when she was 2 years old, and Mathis was raised by her mother. She relocated to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California at the age of 5. Mathis' mother discouraged her from pursuing acting, but growing up on locations, in theaters, and in acting classes, Mathis knew she wanted to act.She decided to become an actress at the age of 12. Career Mathis began acting professionally at the age of sixteen, her first job was a commercial for "Always Slender Pads - Just For Teens". She co-starred in the television series Aaron's Way and Knightwatch from 1988 to 1989. Her first starring role in a feature film was that of Nora in Pump Up the Volume (1990), opposite Christian Slater, whom she briefly dated at the time. Mathis dyed her natural blonde hair black for the role to change her image from sweet and innocent, to strong willed. Mathis appeared in the television movies Extreme Close-Up, 83 Hours 'Til Dawn, and To My Daughter in 1990. Mathis and Slater had voice roles in the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). She next appeared in the comedy This Is My Life (1992), written and directed by Nora Ephron, playing an insecure teenager Mathis appeared in the play Fortinbras in New York City in October 1992. Super Mario Bros. (1993), where she played Princess Daisy from the popular Nintendo video game, was a box office bomb. Mathis met actor River Phoenix on the set of the country music film The Thing Called Love (1993) and the two started a relationship. She was with Phoenix the night he died of a drug overdose after collapsing outside West Hollywood's Viper Room on Halloween, October 31, 1993; he died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She made the film Jack and Sarah (1995), which was shot in London, in order to get out of the country after his death because of the large amount of press coverage. Mathis appeared in Little Women, the 1994 film version of the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and How to Make an American Quilt (1995), both starring Winona Ryder, an actress she was often compared to early in her career. She then co-starred with Michael Douglas in The American President (1995), playing the assistant to the President of the United States. Mathis co-starred with Christian Slater again, along with John Travolta, in John Woo's Broken Arrow (1996). She took a little over a year off from acting after her mother died in 1996. She was later in American Psycho (2000), directed by Mary Harron, an adaptation of the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name. She starred opposite Gretchen Mol, Tom Everett Scott and Matthew Settle in Attraction (2000), and in The Simian Line (2001), opposite William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave and Harry Connick, Jr. She starred in the TNT television miniseries The Mists of Avalon (2001), with Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen and Julianna Margulies. Mathis starred with Thomas Jane in The Punisher (2004). Mathis had a guest role on the ABC television show Lost as Dharma Initiative member Olivia Goodspeed; her character was supposed to play a larger role in Season 5 as the wife of Horace Goodspeed, although for unknown reasons she did not appear and her character was removed altogether. Mathis's film, Lebanon, PA, had its world premiere at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. Awards and nominations She was nominated in 1995 for a Young Artist Award at the Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture for This Is My Life (1992) and in 2005 for a Saturn Award by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Supporting Actress on Television for 'Salem's Lot (2004) (TV).
  11. {name}

    Martina McBride

    Martina McBride (born Martina Mariea Schiff on July 29, 1966, in Sharon, Kansas) is an American country music singer and songwriter. McBride has been called the "Céline Dion of Country Music" for her big-voiced ballads and soprano range. McBride was signed to RCA Records in 1991 and made her debut the following year as a neo-traditionalist country singer with the single, "The Time Has Come. It was not until 1997, when she released her fourth album, Evolution, that she broke through into the country music industry with a new pop-styled crossover sound, similar to that of Faith Hill and Shania Twain. From that point on, McBride has had a string of major hit singles on the Billboard country chart and occasionally on the adult contemporary chart. Five of these singles went to #1 on the country chart between 1995 and 2001, and one peaked at #1 on the adult contemporary chart in 2003. McBride has recorded a total of nine studio albums, one "greatest hits" compilation, one "live" album, a "Christmas" compilation, as well as two additional compilation albums. Seven of her studio albums and two of her compilations have received an RIAA certification of "Gold", or higher. Worldwide, she has sold over 16 million albums. In addition, Martina has won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" award four times (tied with Reba McEntire for the most wins) and the Academy of Country Music's "Top Female Vocalist" award three times. Early life McBride was born Martina Mariea Schiff in Sharon, Kansas to Daryl and Jeanne Schiff on July 29, 1966. She has two brothers, Martin and Steve, who currently plays in her concert band, and a sister, Gina. She was raised in Sharon, Kansas, a small town with population of about 200. Her father, who was a farmer and cabinetry shop owner, exposed McBride to country music at a young age. Listening to country music helped her acquire a love for singing. After school, she would spend hours singing along to the records of such popular artists as Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. Around the age of 8 or 9, McBride began singing with a band her father fronted, "The Schiffters." As Schiff grew older her role in the band progressively increased, from simply singing, to also playing keyboard with them. Although she enjoyed performing, Schiff never thought about taking it on as a full-time profession At the end of high school, Schiff was offered a scholarship to a local college, but she only attended it for one semester. She realized her passions lay in music and she began performing with local rock bands, including the Penetrators and Private Parts throughout her home area.In 1987, Schiff arranged a group of musicians and started to look for rehearsal space. She began renting space by studio engineer John McBride, whom Schiff met and became engaged to four months later After marrying McBride, the two moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1989 in the hope of beginning a career in country music. John McBride joined the sound crew of Garth Brooks and later become his concert production manager. Martina occasionally joined her husband on the road and helped sell Garth Brooks souvenirs. Brooks, who was impressed by McBride's enthusiastic spirit, offered her the position of his opening act on his 1992 tour, though only if she could obtain a recording contract During this time, while her husband was working with country artists Charlie Daniels and Ricky Van Shelton, he also helped produce her a demo tape, which helped her gain a recording contract with RCA Nashville Records, in 1991 Country success: 1992-1996 McBride released her debut studio album through the RCA Records label in 1992, titled The Time Has Come, which contained a variety of differently styled songs from "Honky Tonk" to "Country-Folk."Although the album gained many positive reviews, the singles the album spawned did not gain enough radio airplay to become major hits. The album's titled track was the biggest hit, peaking at #23. It was her second album, 1993's The Way That I Am, that gave McBride her first major hits. Its first single, "My Baby Loves Me", went to #2 on the Billboard Country Chart, and its follow-up, "Life #9", also reached the Country Top 10. The third single, "Independence Day", a song about domestic abuse, nearly reached the Top 10. "Independence Day" was originally offered to Reba McEntire, but she did not record the song. The song didn't reach the Top 10 particularly because many radio programmers objected to the song's subject of a mother fighting back against abuse by burning the family home to the ground. However, the song has become one of McBride's signature hits and helped lead to the major success of her second album, which has sold a million copies in the United States to date. "Independence Day" won "Video of the Year" by the Country Music Association Awards, and since then she has rarely released a single without a music video to accompany it McBride's third studio album was 1995's Wild Angels, which spawned her third Top 10 hit, "Safe in the Arms of Love." The album's title track became her first #1 hit single in 1996. Like her previous album, Wild Angels sold a million copies, and was produced by McBride, Paul Worley, and Ed Seay. That same year she also joined the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The album's final three singles released between 1996 and 1997, ("Phones Are Ringin' All Over Town," "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road," and "Swingin' Doors") only reached the Top 40 on the country chart. Breakthrough: 1997-2003 In 1997, McBride released her fourth album, Evolution, which became her first Top 10 country album, reaching #4 on the Top Country Albums chart. The third single spawned from the album, "Valentine," a duet with Jim Brickman, produced by pop producer Dan Shea, was not just a Top 10 hit on the Billboard Country Chart, but also went to #3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart, giving her one of her first major hits on Adult Contemporary radio. From the album, McBride had two singles that reached #2 on the country charts, "Happy Girl" and "Whatever You Say," as well as two #1 singles, "A Broken Wing" and "Wrong Again." The album was McBride's breakthrough into the country music industry, after acquiring 5 Top 10 hits from it. Towards the end of 1998, the album was certified double platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America for selling two million units. In addition, she also won the Country Music Association Awards' "Female Vocalist of the Year" award in 1999 and also performed for President Bill Clinton during the same time. In 1998 she also issued a Christmas album, White Christmas, which was later reissued. Her fifth studio album, Emotion, was released in 1999. Its lead single, "I Love You," reached #1 on the Billboard Country Chart in 1999, and also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary chart. The song's three follow-ups, "Love's the Only House," "There You Are," and "It's My Time" were also successful country hits that made the Top 10. In 2001, she released her first compilation, Greatest Hits, which featured four new songs. It was her first album to reach #1 on the Top Country Albums chart, and eventually sold enough copies for it to peak at #5 on the Billboard 200. The four new songs were all released as singles, beginning with "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues," followed by "Blessed," (which reached #1), "Where Would You Be," and "Concrete Angel," all of which reached the Country Top 10 between 2001 and 2002.To date, the album has been certified 3× Multi-Platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, and is her highest-selling album. In 2003, McBride released her sixth studio album, Martina, which celebrated womanhood. The first single, "This One's for the Girls," went to #3 on the Billboard Country Chart and also went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The second single, "In My Daughter's Eyes," reached #3 as well on the country chart and reached the Top 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. These first two were McBride's first Top 10 solo hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, giving her a larger audience that included Pop music listeners. Two additional singles followed in 2004 that reached the Top 20 on the country chart. Also in 2003, McBride presented the second, Joy of Christmas Tour, and began to plan it as an annual event. That year she was also featured on an episode of Country Music Television's Crossroads show with her idol from childhood, Pat Benatar. Together they sang Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" and McBride's "Independence Day," as well as other songs. In 2004 McBride won the CMA's Female Vocalist award for the fourth time, following the wins in 2003, 2002 & 1999, which tied her for the most wins in that category with Reba McEntire. Timeless & Waking Up Laughing: 2005-2009 After finding success in country pop-styled music, McBride released her next studio album in 2005, Timeless, which was an album consisting of country covers. The album included cover versions of country music standards, such as Hank Williams' "You Win Again," Loretta Lynn's "You Ain't Woman Enough," and Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night." To make the album fit its older style, McBride and her husband hired older Nashville session players and outdated analog equipment. The album was very successful, selling over 250,000 copies within its first week, the highest sales start for a Martina McBride album. The lead single, a cover of Lynn Anderson's 5-week #1 hit from 1970, "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden," was a major hit, peaking at #18 on the Billboard Country Chart. The album's other two singles, "I Still Miss Someone" and "You Ain't Woman Enough," were not as successful. In 2006, McBride served as a guest coach on Canadian Idol. The remaining five finalists traveled to Nashville, where McBride worked with the competitors on the songs they had chosen by country artists such as Gordon Lightfoot and Patsy Cline. Among the other guest judges that year were Nelly Furtado and Cyndi Lauper.McBride later joined Canadian Idol on a tour in the Spring. In 2007, McBride also served as a guest coach on Fox Networks television series, American Idol. In 2007, McBride released her eighth studio album, Waking Up Laughing. It was the first album in which McBride co-wrote some of the tracks. She set up her Waking Up Laughing Tour in 2007, which included country artists Rodney Atkins, Little Big Town, and Jason Michael Carroll The album's lead single, "Anyway," went to #5 on the Billboard Country Chart, becoming her first Top 10 hit since 2003. Its follow-up, "How I Feel," reached the Top 15. In Spring 2008, McBride released Martina McBride: Live In Concert, a CD/DVD set.It was taped in Moline, Illinois in September 2007. In July 2007, The ABC Television Network announced a special program called Six Degrees of Martina McBride where individuals from around the country were challenged to find their way to Martina McBride on their own connections and research using a maximum of six methods. The "winner" of this challenge eventually located a direct connection to Martina through her husband John McBride who knew someone, who knew someone else. McBride recently recorded an electronically-produced duet with the late Elvis Presley, performing his song "Blue Christmas" as a duet with him on his latest compilation, The Elvis Presley Christmas Duets. A compilation collection entitled Playlist: The Very Best of Martina McBride was released on December 16, 2008 as part of Sony BMG Playlist series. The album features 11 previously released tracks and three unreleased tracks. Shine: 2009-present Martina McBride wrapped up production of her tenth studio album in late 2008. The first single, "Ride", was released to radio in October 2008 and debuted at #43 on the Hot Country Songs chart. It barely missed the Top 10 on the chart, peaking at #11 in March 2009. A music video produced by Kristin Barlowe was also released at the end of the year. The album, Shine, was released by RCA Records on March 24, 2009, and debuted at the top of the U.S. Country album chart as well as #10 on the Billboard 200. McBride co-produced the album with Dann Huff, and it featured "Sunny Side Up", a song that she co-wrote. The second single, "I Just Call You Mine", was released in May 2009 and reached the Top 20 on the Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at #18 in December 2009. A music video produced by Theresa Wengert was also released in June 2009. Martina is currently on the Shine All Night Tour, a co-headlining venture with fellow country star and friend Trace Adkins and opening act Sarah Buxton. The tour began in November 2009 and ended in May 2010. On July 15, 2009 she performed on the Today Show Throws a Wedding reception. In May 2010, Martina was nominated for the first round of CMT Music awards, but lost the second round to Mirand Lambert, Reba McEntire, Carrie Underwood & Taylor Swift. On June 10, 2010, Billboard annouced that McBride has collaborated on a song with Kid Rock for his upcoming new album. The song will also feature rapper T.I. In late June 2010, Martina was nominated for a Teen Choice Award, "Favorite Country Female Artist", alongside country stars Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift & Gretchen Wilson. The third single from the critically acclaimed album "Shine" was "Wrong Baby Wrong." It was released in February 2010, and has recently peaked at #10 on the Hot Country Singles Charts. She also has been added to the line-up of women for the Lilth Fair, alongside other women in music. It was announced in early July 2010 that a fourth single would be released from "Shine." McBride's twitter account (@TeamMcBride) announced that fans have a vote as to which song will be released. The choices are "Walk Away", "You're Not Leaving Me", and "Lies. "Walk Away" was the winning song, thus it is expected to be the next single from "Shine." Charity work Martina McBride works with a variety of charities. She is currently the spokeswoman for the "National Domestic Violence Hotline" as well as for the "National Network to End Domestic Violence" and national spokeswoman for the Tulsa Domestic Violence and Intervention Services. Every year since 1995, she has hosted Middle Tennessee's YWCA, "Celebrity Auction", and it has raised nearly $400,000 so far. In 2004, she worked with "Kids Wish Network" to fulfill the wish of a young girl dying from Muscular Dystrophy McBride was awarded the "Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award" in 2003. McBride explained that educating girls and women on domestic violence is something she works on at home with her own daughters, stating that: “ A lot of teenage girls will be first dating and they'll think, 'Oh he doesn't want me to see my friends. He just wants me all to himself. Isn't that sweet?' Or 'Oh, he's just being protective. Isn't that sweet?' And then it turns into something else and it's controlling. They don't recognize that until it's too late. So it's an ongoing education that you have to give young girls, I think. McBride has also teamed up with, "Loveisrespect, National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline," working with them on a new program called, "My Time to Shine." Personal life McBride has been married to sound engineer John McBride, since May 15, 1988. The couple has three daughters: Delaney Katharine (b. 22 December 1994), Emma Justine (b. 29 March 1998), and Ava Rose Kathleen (b. 20 June 2005).
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    Yvonne Craig

    Yvonne Joyce Craig (born May 16, 1937) is an American actress known for her role as Batgirl from the 1960s TV series Batman. Early life and career Yvonne Craig was born in Taylorville, Illinois. She was originally trained to be a ballet dancer and was a member of the corps de ballet of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the 1950s. Gradually, she moved into acting, and in 1959 appeared in three films: The Young Land, The Gene Krupa Story, and Gidget. In 1960, she appeared as a busty young coed with Bing Crosby in High Time, where she met and married singer/actor Jimmy Boyd. In the following year, she appeared with Cesar Romero in Seven Women from Hell. Romero would later play one of the primary villains in Batman. Another connection to Batman occurred when Craig appeared in "The Case of the Lazy Lover", a 1958 episode of the television series Perry Mason, which also featured Neil Hamilton as her stepfather. Hamilton would later play her father in Batman. After divorcing Boyd in 1962, Yvonne starred in several films, including roles with Elvis Presley in "It Happened At The World's Fair" and Kissin' Cousins and with Dennis Hopper, and appeared in In Like Flint (the sequel to Our Man Flint) as a Russian Ballet dancer opposite James Coburn. Move into television In the mid-1960s, with film roles beginning to taper off, she moved into television, notably as Marta, a green-skinned Orion in the third season Star Trek episode "Whom Gods Destroy" (1968). In this episode, she is interned in an insane asylum and does a memorable dance number. In a 1965 episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ("The Brain Killer Affair"), she helps solve the mystery of a brain-endangering poison. In 1966 U.N.C.L.E. released a theatrical film, One Spy Too Many. This was made from a two-part episode plus new footage with more violence and risque content than seen on television. Craig was hired to do a semi-nude sunbathing scene and carry on a flirtatious relationship with Napoleon Solo. In a 1966 episode of The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Grand Emir"), she plays an assassin who does an exotic Arabian dance. She also played an exotic dancer in an episode of McHale's Navy ("Pumpkin Takes Over", 1965). And she appeared in an episode of The Big Valley with Lee Majors and Barbara Stanwyck. In a 1968 episode of The Ghost & Mrs. Muir ("Haunted Honeymoon"), she plays a bride-to-be stranded overnight at Gull Cottage. But her fame would come with the cult 1960s television series Batman as Batgirl. Her spouses were: Kenneth Aldrich (1988 - ?) Jimmy Boyd (1960–1962) (divorced) Batman Most famously, in Batman, she had the role of Batgirl (and her alter ego, librarian Barbara Gordon, Commissioner Gordon's daughter). She appeared in the final 1967–1968 season. Batgirl's true identity was unknown to Batman and Robin, and their true identity was unknown to her; only Alfred, the butler for Bruce Wayne/Batman, was aware of Batgirl's identity. Although the Batman TV show has been criticized as "campy," (and Adam West himself said that the show was intentionally a lampoon and farce) many have praised Yvonne Craig's portrayal as having paved the way for many other television heroines in the years that followed. Craig appeared in the last season of the series and was often put in "perilous" situations, along with Batman and Robin. Craig felt some connection to the character and complained to DC Comics about her fate after Barbara Gordon was shot/paralyzed by The Joker in the 1988 graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke. Later career After Batman, Yvonne Craig continued to act sporadically in movies and television. Notably, she appeared in guest roles in Love, American Style (the first episode), Kentucky Jones, It Takes a Thief, The Mod Squad, and Emergency! From 1969–1972, she appeared in four episodes of the comedy series Love, American Style. She also did a guest role on The Six Million Dollar Man (1974). Craig eventually moved into private business. For a time, she was a coproducer of industrial shows, after which she worked successfully in the real estate business. She maintains her own internet website. Craig appears in the documentary Ballets Russes. Selected filmography Gidget (1959) The Gene Krupa Story (1959) High Time (1960) By Love Possessed (1961) Seven Women from Hell (1961) It Happened at the World's Fair (1963) Kissin' Cousins (1964) Ski Party (1965) Mars Needs Women (1966) One Spy Too Many (1966) In Like Flint (1967) How to Frame a Figg (1971)
  13. {name}

    Danielle Fishel

    Danielle Christine Fishel (born May 5, 1981) is an American actress and television personality best known for her role as Topanga Lawrence on the 1990s TV sitcom Boy Meets World and as the host of Style Network's The Dish. She also appeared in National Lampoon's Dorm Daze and its sequel and was a spokesperson for NutriSystem. Early life Fishel was born in Mesa, Arizona, the daughter of Jennifer, a personal manager, and Rick Fishel, a medical equipment sales executive. The family relocated to Yorba Linda, California when she was three weeks old. She has one younger brother, Christopher Fishel. She graduated from Calabasas High School class of 1999. Career In 1991, the then 10-year-old Fishel was discovered in a community theater where she performed in two productions, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan. She quickly moved on to do voice-overs and commercials, including several as a Barbie Girl for Mattel. Soon after, she appeared on two episodes of the hit show Full House, guest starring as a character named Jennifer. She also had a small role on Harry and the Hendersons, playing Jessica. Fishel's mother became her full-time manager. In 1993, at the age of 12, Fishel began her well-known role as Topanga Lawrence on ABC's pilot series Boy Meets World. Originally written as a small part, Topanga became a recurring role. After a successful first year, Fishel became a show regular. Fishel's character was a sparky, intelligent girl who was mature beyond her years; she replaced the nerdy Stuart Minkus as the brains of the class. The long-running show ended in 2000 after seven years. Fishel was on the cover of Seventeen in December 1998. She took home a 1998 Young Star for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series. In June 1999, she was one of "The 21 Hottest Stars Under 21" as presented by Teen People. Fishel was on the cover of GQ's hottest stars to watch in GQ's 1997 September issue. (GQ 1997 9) Since Boy Meets World ended, Fishel has appeared in several films, including National Lampoon's Dorm Daze. In 2006, she appeared in three made-for-DVD releases: National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2: College at Sea (appearing again as "Marla" from the first film), the action film Gamebox 1.0 (playing a dual role), and The Chosen One, an independent animated film in which she provides the voice of the lead female character. In 2006, Fishel appeared as a guest on The Tyra Banks Show where she discussed her dramatic weight loss with the use of the Nutrisystems Diet. Following her appearance on the show, Fishel became a spokesperson for NutriSystem. She also became a special correspondent for The Tyra Banks Show, starting in early February 2007. By 2010 she had gained some of the weight back, and told People magazine she could not maintain her NutriSystem weight. From August 2008 to March 2011 Fishel hosted The Dish for the Style Network, which satirized pop culture in a format similar to sister network E! Entertainment Television's The Soup. Fishel was also on Fuse TV as host of The Fuse 20, and was a guest star on the round table on an episode of Chelsea Lately. Personal life In real life, Fishel dated her Boy Meets World co-star Ben Savage. She dated former 'N Sync member Lance Bass, who was her date to her high school prom. Filmography Film 2000 Longshot Gloria 2003 National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze Marla 2004 Gamebox 1.0 Kate/Princess 2006 National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2 Marla Direct-to-DVD Release Television Year Title Role Other notes 1992–1993 Full House Jennifer P. Episode: I'm Not D.J. Episode: Silence is Not Golden 1993 Harry and the Hendersons Jessica Episode: The Long Goodbyes - Part 2 1996 Kirk Heather Episode: Stuck on You 1993–2000 Boy Meets World Topanga Lawrence Young Artist Award (nominated-2) YoungStar Award (won-1) (nominated-1) 2000 Rocket's Red Glare Sarah Miller FOX Family TV-Movie 2001–2002 Nikki Stacy Episode: Vaya con Nikki Episode: Welcome to the Rest of Your Life 2002 The Nightmare Room Camp Counselor 2003 Yes, Dear Katie Episode: Sorority Girl 2006 The Tyra Banks Show Herself Episode: Danielle Fishel; Jordin Sparks 2008–2011 The Dish Herself/Host 2009 The Fuse 20 Herself/Host 2011 Parenthood Animal Lady
  14. {name}

    Ingrid Bergman

    Born on August 29, 1915 in Stockholm, Sweden. She was a lead actress in many European countries before she came to America. Her first American film was the movie "Intermezzo", made in 1939. She is ranked #4 on the Greatest Female Star list of American Cinema by the American Film Institute. Her awards include: 1945-won the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in "Gaslight" 1946-won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in The Bells of St. Mary 1947-won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for "Joan of Lorraine" 1957-won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in "Anastasia" 1975-won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Murder on the Orient Express" 1982-Ingrid won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her last role in "A Woman Called Golda" 1983-she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television She passed away in London on August 29, 1982 after battling breast cancer.
  15. {name}

    Pola Negri

    Born Barbara Apolonia Chalupie on Jan. 3, 1897. Born in Lipno, Poland then moved to Warsaw where she became a popular stage actress. She moved to the states in 1922 where she became popular but only for a short time. When "talkies" started she no longer had appeal to audiences due to her thick polish accent. She traveled to Europe and made more films there but came back to the states and became a citizen. She died on Aug. 1, 1987 in San Antonio, TX of pneumonia. She was also suffering from a brain tumor at that time.
  16. {name}

    Joan Crawford

    Lucille Fay LeSueur was born on March 23, 1905 in San Antonio, TX. She passed on May 10, 1977 In New York City of a heart attack. She also has pancreatic cancer. In November of 1978 her daughter Christina wrote "Mommie Dearest". A book that changed the way we look at child abuse today. Many of Joan's peers, companions, and her other daughters Cathy and Cindy refused to support the book and said it was all a lie. But Bette Davis supported Christina's story.
  17. {name}

    Mary Astor

    Mary Astor (May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) was an American actress. Most remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Humphrey Bogart, Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually made a successful transition to talkies, but almost saw her career destroyed due to public scandal in the mid-1930s. She was sued for support by her parents and was later branded an adulterous wife by her ex-husband during a custody fight over her daughter. Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to even greater success on the screen, eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Sandra Kovak in The Great Lie (1941). She was an MGM contract player through most of the 1940s and continued to act in movies, on television and on stage until her retirement from the screen in 1964. Astor was the author of five novels. Her autobiography became a bestseller, as did her later book, A Life on Film, which was specifically about her career. Director Lindsay Anderson wrote of her in 1990: "...that when two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress of special attraction, whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played." Early life She was born Lucile de Vasconcellos Langhanke in Quincy, Illinois. Astor was the only child of Otto Ludwig Langhanke (October 2, 1871 – February 3, 1943) and Helen Marie de Vasconcellos (April 19, 1881 – January 18, 1947) who were both teachers. Her father, who was born in Berlin, emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1891 and became a naturalized citizen; her mother was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, of Portuguese and Irish extraction.They married on August 3, 1904 in Lyons, Kansas. Otto was a German teacher at Quincy High School until the U.S. entered World War I. He then began doing light farming. Helen, who had always wanted to be an actress, began teaching drama and elocution. Lucile was home-schooled in academics and taught to play the piano by her father, who insisted she practice daily. In 1919, she sent a photograph of herself to a beauty contest in Motion Picture Magazine and became a semifinalist. Her father then moved the family to Chicago, where he took a position teaching German in public schools. Lucile took drama lessons and appeared in various amateur stage plays. The following year, she sent another photograph to the magazine and this time became a finalist, this time being named runner-up in the national contest. Her father then moved the family to New York, in order for his pretty daughter to become an actress in motion pictures. He managed all her affairs from September 1920 to June 1930. A Manhattan photographer, Charles Albin, saw a photograph and asked the young girl with haunting eyes and long auburn hair, whose nickname was "Rusty," to pose for him. The Albin photographs were seen by Harry Durant of Famous Players-Lasky and Lucile was signed to a six-month contract with Paramount Pictures. Her name was changed to Mary Astor during a conference between Paramount chief Jesse Lasky, gossip columnist Louella Parsons, and producer Walter Wanger. Silent movie career Astor made her debut in the 1920 film The Scarecrow. At age 14, she appeared in the 1921 film Sentimental Tommy, but her small part in a dream sequence wound up on the cutting room floor. Paramount let her contract lapse. She then appeared in some movie shorts with sequences based on famous paintings. She received critical recognition for the 1921 two-reeler The Beggar Maid. Her first feature-length movie was John Smith (1922), which was followed that same year by The Man Who Played God. In 1923, she and her parents moved to Hollywood. After appearing in several larger roles at various studios, she was signed by Paramount again, this time to a one-year contract at $500 a week. She had appeared in several more movies when John Barrymore saw a photograph of her in a magazine and wanted her cast in his upcoming movie. On loan-out to Warner Bros., she starred with him in Beau Brummel (1924). The older actor wooed the young actress, but their relationship was severely constrained by Astor's parents' unwillingness to let the couple spend time alone together. It was only because Barrymore convinced the Langhankes that his acting lessons required privacy that the couple managed to be alone at all. Their secret engagement ended largely because of the Langhankes' interference and Astor's inability to escape their heavy-handed authority, but also because Barrymore became involved with Astor's fellow WAMPAS Baby Star Dolores Costello, whom he later married. In 1925, Astor's parents bought a Moorish style mansion with 1-acre (4,000 m2) of land known as "Moorcrest" in the hills above Hollywood. The Langhankes not only lived lavishly off Astor's earnings, but kept her a virtual prisoner inside Moorcrest. Moorcrest is notable not only for its ornate style, but its place as the most lavish residence associated with the Krotona Colony, a utopian society founded by the Theosophical Society in 1912. Built by Marie Russak Hotchener, a Theosophist with no formal architectural training, the house combines Moorish and Mission Revival styles and contains such Arts and Crafts features as art glass windows (whose red lotus design Astor called "unfortunate"), and Batchelder tiles. Moorcrest, which recently has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation, is still standing. Before the Langhankes bought it, it was rented by Charlie Chaplin, whose tenure is memorialized by an art glass window featuring the Little Tramp. Astor's parents were not Theosophists, though the family was friendly with both Marie Hotchener and her husband Harry, both prominent TS members. Marie Hotchener was the person who negotiated Astor's right to a $5 a week allowance (at a time when she was making $2500 a week) and the right to go to work unchaperoned by her mother. The following year when she was 19, Astor, fed up with her father's constant physical and psychological abuse as well as his control of her money, climbed from her second floor bedroom window and escaped to a hotel in Hollywood, as recounted in her memoirs. Hotchener facilitated her return by persuading Otto Langhanke to give Astor a savings account with a $500 and the ability to come and go as she pleased. Nevertheless, she did not gain control of her salary until she was 26 years old, at which point her parents sued her for financial support. Astor settled the case by agreeing to pay her parents $100 a month. Otto Langhanke put Moorcrest up for auction in the early 1930s, hoping to get more than the $80,000 he had been offered for it; it went for $25,000. Astor went on appearing in movies at various studios. When her Paramount contract ended in 1925, she was signed at Warner Bros. Among her assignments was another role with John Barrymore, this time in Don Juan (1926). She was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926, along with Mary Brian, Dolores Costello, Joan Crawford, Dolores del Río, Janet Gaynor, and Fay Wray. On loan to Fox Film Corporation, Astor starred in Dressed To Kill (1928), which received good reviews. That same year, she starred in the sophisticated comedy Dry Martini at Fox. She later said that, while working on the latter, she "absorbed and assumed something of the atmosphere and emotional climate of the picture." She said it offered "a new and exciting point of view; with its specious doctrine of self-indulgence, it rushed into the vacuum of my moral sense and captivated me completely." When her Warner Bros. contract ended, she signed a contract with Fox for $3,750 a week. In 1928, she married director Kenneth Hawks at her family home, Moorcrest. He gave her a Packard automobile as a wedding present and the couple moved into a home high up on Lookout Mountain in Los Angeles above Beverly Hills. As the movie industry made the transition to talkies, Fox gave her a sound test, which she failed because the studio found her voice to be too deep. Though this was probably due to early sound equipment and the inexperience of technicians, the studio released her from her contract and she found herself out of work for eight months in 1929. New beginnings Astor took voice training and singing lessons during her time off, but no roles were offered. Her acting career was then given a boost by her friend, Florence Eldridge (wife of Fredric March), whom she confided in. Eldridge, who was to star in the stage play Among the Married at the Majestic Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, recommended Astor for the second female lead. The play was a success and her voice was deemed suitable, being described as low and vibrant. She was happy to be back at work, but her happiness soon ended. On January 2, 1930, while filming sequences for the Fox movie Such Men Are Dangerous, Kenneth Hawks was killed in a mid-air plane crash over the Pacific. Astor had just finished a matinee performance at the Majestic when Florence Eldridge came to her with the news. She was rushed from the theatre and taken to Eldridge's apartment; a replacement, Doris Lloyd, stepped in for the next show. Astor remained with her friend, Eldridge, at her apartment for some time, but she soon went back to work. Shortly after her husband's death, she debuted in her first "talkie", Ladies Love Brutes (1930) at Paramount, which co-starred friend Fredric March. While her career picked up, her private life remained difficult. After working on several more movies, she suffered delayed shock over her husband's death and had a nervous breakdown. During the months of her illness, she was attended to by Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, whom she married on June 29, 1931. In May 1932, the Thorpes purchased a yacht and sailed to Hawaii. Astor was expecting a baby in August, but gave birth in June in Honolulu. The child, a daughter, was named Marylyn Hauoli Thorpe: her first name combined her parents' names and her middle name is Hawaiian. When they returned to Southern California, Astor freelanced and gained the pivotal role of Barbara Willis in MGM's Red Dust (1932) with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. In late 1932 though, Astor signed a featured player contract with Warner Bros. Meanwhile, besides spending lavishly, her parents invested in the stock market, which turned out in many instances to be unprofitable. They still lived in Moorcrest, Astor had dubbed it a "white elephant", and she refused to maintain the house. She had to turn to the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1933 to pay her bills. In 1933, she appeared as the female lead, Hilda Lake, the niece of the murder victims, in The Kennel Murder Case, co-starring with William Powell playing detective Philo Vance. Film critic William K. Everson pronounced it a "masterpiece" in the August 1984 issue of Films in Review. Unhappy with her marriage, she took a break from movie making in 1933 and went to New York by herself. While there, enjoying a whirlwind social life, she met the playwright George Kaufman and they had an affair, which she documented in her diary. Scandals A legal battle drew press attention on Astor in 1936. Dr. Franklyn Thorpe divorced Astor in 1935 and a custody battle resulted over their four year old daughter, Marylyn. Thorpe threatened to use Astor's diary in the proceedings, which told of her affairs with many celebrities, including George S. Kaufman. The diary was never offered as evidence during the trial, but Thorpe and his lawyers constantly used it as evidence. Astor maintained that the diary entries were forgeries but later acknowledged that the Kaufman entries were real. A judge later ordered the diary sealed and impounded. Astor had just begun work on Dodsworth as news of the diary became public. Producer Samuel Goldwyn was urged to fire her, as her contract had a morality clause, but Goldwyn refused and the movie went on to be a hit. Career continues Ultimately, the scandals caused no harm to Astor's career, which was actually revitalized because of the custody fight and the huge amount of publicity it generated; Dodsworth (1936), with Walter Huston, was released to rave reviews, and the public's acceptance assured the studios that she was still a viable commercial property. In 1937, she returned to the stage in a well-received productions of Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30, The Astonished Heart, and Still Life. She also began performing regularly on radio. Some of her best movies were still to come, including The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), John Ford's The Hurricane (1937), and Brigham Young (1940). In John Huston's The Maltese Falcon (1941), Astor was cast in her best known role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy, the scheming temptress who is eventually revealed to have murdered Sam Spade's partner, Miles Archer. The film also starred Humphrey Bogart, with Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. Another noteworthy performance was her Oscar-winning role as Sandra Kovak, the selfish, self-centered concert pianist, who willingly gives up her child, in The Great Lie (1941). George Brent played her intermittent love interest, but the film's star was Bette Davis. Davis wanted Astor cast in the role after watching her screen test and seeing her play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. She then recruited Astor to collaborate with her on rewriting the script, which Davis felt was mediocre and needed work to make it more interesting. Astor further followed Davis's advice and sported a brazenly bobbed hairdo for the role. The soundtrack of the movie during the scenes where she plays the concerto, with violent hand movements on the piano keyboard, was actually dubbed by pianist Max Rabinovitch. Davis deliberately stepped back to allow Astor to shine in her key scenes. As a result of her performance, Astor won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, thanking Bette Davis and Tchaikovsky in her acceptance speech. Astor and Davis became good friends. Astor was not propelled into the upper echelon of movie stars by these successes, however. She always declined offers of starring in her own right. Not wanting the responsibility of top billing and having to "carry the picture," she preferred the security of being a featured player. In 1942 she was reunited with Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in John Huston's Across the Pacific. She also played the Princess Centimillia in the Preston Sturges film, The Palm Beach Story (1942) for Paramount. In February 1943, Astor's father, Otto Langhanke, died in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital as a result of a heart attack complicated by influenza. His wife and daughter were both at his bedside. That same year, Astor signed a seven-year contract with MGM, which turned out to be a regrettable mistake. She was kept busy playing what she considered mediocre mother roles. After Meet Me In St. Louis (1944), the studio allowed her to make her Broadway debut in Many Happy Returns (1945). The play was a miserable failure, but Astor received good reviews. On loan-out to 20th Century Fox, she played a wealthy widow in Claudia and David (1946). She was also loaned to Paramount to play Fritzi Haller in Desert Fury (1947) in which she played the tough owner of a saloon and casino in a small mining town. Before Helen Langhanke died of a heart ailment in January 1947, Astor said she sat in the hospital room with her mother, who was delirious and did not know her, and listened quietly as Helen told her all about terrible, selfish Lucile. After her death, Astor said she spent countless hours copying her mother's diary so she could read it and was surprised to learn how much she was hated. Back at MGM, Astor went on being cast in undistinguished, colorless mother roles. One exception was when she played a prostitute in the film noir Act of Violence (1948). The last straw came when she was cast as Marmee March in Little Women (1949). Astor found no redemption in playing what she considered another humdrum mother and became despondent. The studio wanted to renew her contract, promising to give her better roles, but she declined the offer. Middle years At the same time, Astor's drinking was getting much worse. She admitted to having a problem with alcohol as far back as the 1930s, but it had never interfered with her work schedule or performance. She hit bottom in 1949 and went into a sanitarium for alcoholics. In 1951, she made a frantic call to her doctor and told him she had taken too many sleeping pills. She was taken to a hospital and the police reported that she had attempted suicide, this being her third overdose in two years, and the story made headline news. She maintained it had been an accident. That same year, she joined Alcoholics Anonymous and converted to Roman Catholicism. She credited her recovery to a priest, Peter Ciklic, also a practicing psychologist, who encouraged her to write about her experiences as part of therapy. She also separated from her fourth husband, Thomas Wheelock (a stockbroker she had married on Christmas Day 1945), but did not actually divorce him until 1955. In 1952, she was cast in the leading role of the stage play Time of the Cuckoo, which was later made into the movie Summertime (1955), and subsequently toured with it. After the tour, Astor lived in New York for four years and worked in the theatre and on television. Her TV debut was in The Missing Years (1954) for Kraft Television Theatre. She acted frequently in TV during the ensuing years and appeared on most of the big shows of the time, including The United States Steel Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Rawhide, Dr. Kildare, Burke's Law, and Ben Casey. She also starred on Broadway in The Starcross Story (1954), which was another failure. She returned to Southern California in 1956. She then went on a successful theatre tour of Don Juan in Hell directed by Agnes Moorehead and co-starring Ricardo Montalban. Astor's memoir, My Story: An Autobiography, was published in 1959, becoming a sensation for its day and a bestseller. It was the result of Father Ciklic urging her to write. Though she spoke of her troubled personal life, her parents, her marriages, the scandals, her battle with alcoholism, and other things about her life, she did not mention the movie industry or her career in any detail. In 1971, another book was published, A Life on Film, where she discussed her career. It too became a bestseller. Astor also tried her hand at fiction, writing the novels The Incredible Charley Carewe (1960), The Image of Kate (1962), The O'Conners (1964), Jahre und Tage (1964) (a German translation of The Image of Kate), Goodbye, Darling, be Happy (1965), and A Place Called Saturday (1968). She appeared in several movies during this time, including A Stranger in My Arms (1959). She made a comeback in Return to Peyton Place (1961) playing Roberta Carter, the domineering mother who insists the "shocking" novel written by Allison Mackenzie should be banned from the school library, and received good reviews for her performance. Later life After taking a trip around the world in 1964, Astor was lured away from her Malibu home, where she was spending time gardening and working on her third novel, to make what she decided would be her final movie appearance. When she was offered the small role as a key figure in the murder mystery Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, starring her friend Bette Davis, Astor decided it would serve as her swan song in the movie business. After 109 movies during a career spanning 45 years, she turned in her Screen Actors Guild card and retired. She later moved to Fountain Valley, California, where she lived near her son, Tono del Campo (from her (third) marriage to Mexican-born film editor Manuel del Campo) and his family, until 1971. That same year, suffering from a chronic heart condition, she then moved to a small cottage on the grounds of the Motion Picture & Television Country House, the industry's retirement facility in Woodland Hills, where she had her own private table when she chose to eat in the resident dining room.[3] In 1980, she appeared in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film, produced by Kevin Brownlow, in which she discussed her roles during the silent film period Astor died on September 25, 1987, at age 81, of respiratory failure due to pulmonary emphysema while a patient in the hospital in the Motion Picture House complex. She is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Mary Astor has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6701 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.
  18. {name}

    Holly Hunter

    Holly Hunter (born March 20, 1958) is an American actress. Hunter starred in The Piano for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She has also been nominated for Oscars for her roles in Broadcast News, The Firm, and Thirteen. Hunter has also won two Emmy Awards with seven nominations and has won a Golden Globe Award with another six nominations. Early life and career Holly Hunter was born in Conyers, Georgia, the daughter of Opal Marguerite, a housewife, and Charles Edwin Hunter, a farmer and sporting-goods manufacturer's representative. Hunter earned a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and for a while performed in the theatre scene there, playing ingenue roles at City Theatre, then named the City Players. She eventually moved to New York City and roomed with fellow actress Frances McDormand. Hunter, in 2008, described living in The Bronx "at the end of the D [subway] train, just off 205th Street, on Bainbridge Avenue and Hull Avenue. It was very Irish, and then you could go just a few blocks away and hit major Italian" A chance encounter with playwright Beth Henley, when the two were trapped alone in an elevator, led to Hunter's being cast in Henley's plays Crimes of the Heart (succeeding Mary Beth Hurt on Broadway), and Off-Broadway's The Miss Firecracker Contest. "It was like the beginning of 1982. It was on 49th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue on the south side of the street", Hunter recalled in an interview. "We were trapped 10 minutes; not long. We actually had a nice conversation. It was just the two of us". Stage and film Hunter made her screen debut in the 1981 horror movie The Burning. After moving to Los Angeles in 1982, Hunter appeared in TV movies before being cast in a supporting role in 1984's Swing Shift. That year, she had her first collaboration with the writing-directing-producing team of brothers Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, in Blood Simple, making an uncredited appearance as a voice on an answering-machine recording. More film and television work followed until 1987, when thanks to a starring role in the Coens' Raising Arizona and her Academy Award-nominated turn in Broadcast News, Hunter became a critically acclaimed star. She went on to the screen adaptation of Henley's Miss Firecracker; Steven Spielberg's Always, a romantic drama with Richard Dreyfuss; and the made-for-TV 1989 docudrama about the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Following her second collaboration with Dreyfuss, in Once Around, Hunter garnered critical attention for her work in two 1993 films, resulting in her being nominated for two Academy Awards the same year: Hunter's performance in The Firm won her a nomination as Best Supporting Actress, while her portrayal of a mute Scottish woman entangled in an adulterous affair with Harvey Keitel in Jane Campion's The Piano won her the Best Actress award. Hunter went on to appear in films such as the comedy-drama Home for the Holidays and the thriller Copycat. She also appreared in David Cronenberg's Crash and as a sardonic angel in A Life Less Ordinary. The following year, she played a recently divorced New Yorker in Richard LaGravenese's Living Out Loud; starring alongside Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, and Martin Donovan. Hunter rounded out the 1990s with a minor role in the independent drama Jesus' Son and as a housekeeper torn between a grieving widower and his son in Kiefer Sutherland's drama Woman Wanted. Following a supporting role in the Coens' O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Hunter took top billing in the same year's television movie Harlan County War, an account of labor struggles among Kentucky coal-mine workers. Hunter would continue her small screen streak with a role in When Billie Beat Bobby, playing tennis pro Billie Jean King in the fact-based story of King's famed exhibition match with Bobby Riggs; and as narrator of Eco Challenge New Zealand before returning to film work with a minor role in the 2002 drama Moonlight Mile. The following year found Hunter in the redemption drama Levity. Also in 2003, Hunter had a supporting role in the film Thirteen for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination. In 2004, Hunter starred alongside Brittany Murphy in the romantic satire Little Black Book, and the same year lent her voice to the animated film The Incredibles as the voice of Helen Parr, a.k.a. the superheroine Elastigirl. In 2005, Hunter starred alongside Robin Williams in the black comedy-drama The Big White. Hunter became an executive producer, and helped develop a starring vehicle for herself with the TNT cable-network drama Saving Grace, which premiered in July 2007. For her acting, she received a Golden Globe Award nomination, two Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, and an Emmy Award nomination. On May 30, 2008 Hunter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award. Personal life Hunter has been in a relationship with British actor Gordon MacDonald. In January 2006, Hunter's publicist announced that Hunter had given birth to the couple's twin boys. In a 2009 interview, Hunter stated to TV Guide that she does not discuss her children with the media. Hunter is deaf in one ear, which sometimes leads to complications at work and some scenes have to be altered from the script for her to use her healthy ear. Filmography Year Film Role Notes 1981 The Burning Sophie 1984 Swing Shift Jeannie Blood Simple Helene Trend (voice only) uncredited 1987 Raising Arizona Edwina 'Ed' McDunnough End of the Line Charlotte A Gathering of Old Men Candy Marshall Broadcast News Jane Craig Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Silver Bear for Best Actress – Berlin Film Festival Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress National Board of Review Award for Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 1989 Miss Firecracker Carnelle Scott Animal Behavior Coral Grable Always Dorinda Durston 1991 Once Around Renata Bella 1993 The Piano Ada McGrath Academy Award for Best Actress Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress National Board of Review Award for Best Actress National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress The Firm Tammy Hemphill Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role 1995 Copycat M.J. Monahan Special Mention Award at the Festival du Film Policier de Cognac (Shared with Sigourney Weaver for their acting performances) Home for the Holidays Claudia Larson 1996 Crash Helen Remington 1997 A Life Less Ordinary O'Reilly 1998 Living Out Loud Judith Moore Nominated — American Comedy Award for Funniest Actress in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 1999 Jesus' Son Mira 2000 Woman Wanted Emma Riley Timecode Renee Fishbine, Executive O Brother, Where Art Thou? Penny Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture 2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Rebecca Waynon 2001 Festival in Cannes Herself Uncredited 2002 Moonlight Mile Mona Camp 2003 Levity Adele Easley Thirteen Melanie Freeland Bronze Leopard Award for Best Actress Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated — Prism Award for Best Performance in a Theatrical Feature Film Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress 2004 Little Black Book Barb Campbell-Dunn The Incredibles Helen Parr/Elastigirl voice Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best On-Screen Team 2005 Nine Lives Sonia Bronze Leopard Award for Best Actress (Shared with the film's ensemble of actresses) Nominated — Gotham Award for Best Cast The Big White Margaret Barnell Television Year Film Role Notes 1989 Roe vs. Wade Ellen Russell/Jane Doe Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film 1993 The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom Wanda Holloway CableACE Award for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film 2000 Harlan County War Ruby Kincaid Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Rebecca Weyman Segment – "Fantasies About Rebecca" Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Miniseries or a Movie 2002 When Billie Beat Bobby Billie Jean King Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie 2007–2010 Saving Grace (TV series) Grace Hanadarko Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Actress — Drama Series (2007) Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Drama Series (2008, 2009) Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2007) Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series (2007–2009) Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television (2008) Nominated — People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama Diva (2009) Nominated — Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series Episode (2008) Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (2008)
  19. {name}

    Katey Sagal

    Katey Sagal (born January 19, 1954) is a multiple Golden Globe nominated American actress and singer-songwriter, best known for portraying Peggy Bundy on Married... with Children. She is also known for her roles as Cate S. Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules, Turanga Leela on Futurama, and Gemma Teller Morrow on Sons of Anarchy. Early life Katey Sagal was born Catherine Louise Sagal in Hollywood, California, to a Jewish show business family of five children including younger sisters Jean and Liz Sagal, a pair of twin actresses. Their parents died before Katey Sagal turned 25: Mother Sara Zwilling, a writer and producer, of heart disease, and father Boris Sagal, a director, in an accident on the set of the television movie World War III. Sagal and her siblings grew up in the Mandeville Canyon section of Brentwood, Los Angeles. She studied at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Career Sagal began her career working the Hollywood circuit. She appeared in several made for TV movies between 1971 and 1975, including a small role as a receptionist in the Columbo film Candidate for Crime (directed by her father) and in 1973 working as a backing vocalist for various singers, including Bob Dylan and Tanya Tucker. In 1978, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons asked her to sing background vocals on his self-titled solo album. During this time she was also a member of the rock group The Group With No Name. She also sang backup for Bette Midler, who hired her for her 1979 tour as one of The Harlettes. Sagal returned to television in 1985 in the television series Mary starring Mary Tyler Moore. This led to her being cast as Peggy Bundy on the sitcom Married... with Children (1987–1997). She portrayed the lower-class, sex-starved wife of shoe salesman Al Bundy. During her audition for the role, Sagal brought her own red bouffant wig and with the producers' approval, the look transitioned into the show. As Peg, she wore the wig, capris-length leggings with a large belt, and high slip-on heels, which were all fashion styles from the 1960s. Sagal's career focused strongly on this series for its 11-year run. After the end of Married... with Children, several more television films followed, and she also contributed to the children's cartoon Recess as the voice of Spinelli's mother. In 1999, Matt Groening cast her as the purple-haired, cycloptian spaceship captain, Turanga Leela, in his science fiction cartoon comedy Futurama. The show developed a cult following, but was canceled after four seasons. However, airings in syndication on Adult Swim and Comedy Central increased the show's popularity and led Comedy Central to commission a series of Futurama direct-to-DVD films, which the network later rebroadcast as 16 episodes. Sagal reprised her role as Leela in these films and in the new season that began airing June 24, 2010. Sagal also guest starred as Edna Hyde, Steven Hyde's mother, in three 1999 episodes of That '70s Show. She starred in the short-lived NBC sitcom Tucker the following year. In the Disney Channel movie Smart House, she played a computerized maid that develops sentience. Sagal was cast as the wife of John Ritter in the sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter in 2002. Following Ritter's death in 2003, Sagal carried most of the show (with help from new cast members David Spade and James Garner). Ritter completed only three episodes of the second season of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, with Sagal introducing each episode. The show was cancelled in 2005 after its third season. In 2005, she made two guest appearances on Lost, playing John Locke's (Terry O'Quinn fiancee, Helen Norwood; one guest appearance on CBS' Ghost Whisperer; and another on The Shield, which she would reprised in 2007. She hosted The Search for the Funniest Mom In America 2 and had a recurring role on Boston Legal. In 2007, she had a role in the season finale of The Winner as Glen Abbot's former, and Josh's current, teacher, with whom Glen has his first sexual experience. The following year, she appeared in four episodes of Eli Stone as Marci Klein, one of the founding partners of the show's law firm. She has a starring role as Gemma Teller Morrow on the TV show Sons of Anarchy, created by her husband, Kurt Sutter. In January 2009, Sagal reunited with her TV son David Faustino (Bud Bundy from Married with Children) for an episode of Faustino's show Star-ving. In 2010, she appeared twice more on Lost. Musical career Sagal is also a songwriter. In 1976, while a member of The Group With No Name, she contributed to the album Moon over Brooklyn. She also performed backing vocals on the self-titled solo album by Gene Simmons as well as background vocals on Olivia Newton-John's 1985 single "Soul Kiss". On April 19, 1994, she released her first solo album, Well.... Ten years later, on June 1, 2004, she released her second album, Room. Personal life Sagal was married to Freddie Beckmeier (1978–1981) and Jack White (November 26, 1993 – July 24, 2000). In 1991, Sagal discovered she was pregnant. This was unexpected by the directors of Married... with Children, so the pregnancy was written into the storyline of the show. However, in October 1991, she had to have an emergency Caesarean section in her seventh month of pregnancy, ending in the stillbirth of a daughter, whom Sagal named Ruby Jean. The pregnancy on the show was then regarded as a "dream". She also had an early miscarriage around this time. She and White eventually had a daughter named Sarah Grace (born on August 7, 1994) and a son named Jackson James (born on March 1, 1996). Sagal married writer-producer Kurt Sutter in a private ceremony on October 2, 2004, at their home in Los Feliz, California. They had a daughter, Esme Louise, born January 10, 2007.
  20. {name}

    Carol Kane

    Carolyn Laurie "Carol" Kane (born June 18, 1952) is an American actress, known for her work on stage, screen and television. Early life Kane was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of Joy, a jazz singer, teacher, dancer, and pianist, and Michael Kane, an architect who worked for the World Bank. Her family is Jewish, her grandparents having emigrated from Russia. Her parents divorced when she was 12 years old. She attended the Cherry Lawn School, a progressive boarding school in Darien, Connecticut, until 1965. She attended the Professional Children's School, in New York City, and made her professional theatre debut in a 1966 production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Tammy Grimes. Career Kane is perhaps best-known for her portrayal of Simka Dahblitz-Gravas, wife of Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman), on the American television series Taxi, from 1981 to 1983, and also for her role as Allison Portchnik in Woody Allen's Annie Hall. Kane earned two Emmy Awards for her work in the series and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the film Hester Street. She also appeared in The Princess Bride (1987) and Scrooged (1988), with Bill Murray, in which Variety called her, "unquestionably [the] pic's comic highlight." Kane was a regular on the 1986 NBC series, All Is Forgiven, a regular on the 1990-1991 NBC series American Dreamer, guest-starred on a 1994 episode of Seinfeld and had a supporting role in the short-lived 1996-1997 sitcom, Pearl, which starred Rhea Perlman. She also appeared in the NBC television live action production of The Year Without a Santa Claus in December 2006. In January 2009, Kane appeared in the TV series Two and a Half Men as the mother of Alan Harper's receptionist. She stars in the Off-Broadway play, Love, Loss, and What I Wore beginning February 3, 2010. In March 2010, Kane appeared in the TV series Ugly Betty as Justin Suarez's acting teacher. Wicked Kane's is known most notable by fans of the show, for her portrayal of evil headmistress Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical Wicked, in which she played in various productions from 2005 to 2009. Kane made her Wicked debut on the 1st National Tour, originating the role from March 9 through December 19, 2005. She then reprised the role in the Broadway production from January 10 through November 12, 2006. She again originated the role for the Los Angeles production which began performances on February 7, 2007. She left the production on December 30, 2007, and later returned from August 26, 2008 until the production closed on January 11, 2009. She then transferred with the L.A. company, to originate the role once again, in the San Francisco production which began performances January 27, 2009. She ended her limited engagement on March 22, 2009.
  21. {name}

    Josh Brolin

    Josh James Brolin (pronounced /ˈbroʊlɨn/; born February 12, 1968) is an American actor. He has acted in theater, film and television roles since 1985, and won acting awards for his roles in the films W., No Country for Old Men, Milk and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He appeared in True Grit, a 2010 western film adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. Early life Brolin was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Jane Cameron Agee, a wildlife activist who was a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and actor James Brolin. Brolin was raised on a California ranch with little exposure to his father's acting career. His parents divorced when he was 18 and his stepmother is singer/actress Barbra Streisand. He became interested in acting after taking an improv acting class in high school. Career Brolin started his career in TV movies and guest spots on TV shows before getting a more notable role as Brand Walsh in the Richard Donner-directed movie The Goonies (1985). He was considered for the role of Tom Hanson in the series 21 Jump Street; he and Johnny Depp were the finalists for the role, and at that time the two became friends. The role was ultimately awarded to Depp, but the two of them remained friends. Brolin guest-starred in an episode of the show in its first season. Brolin implied that he turned away from film acting for years after the premiere of his second film, Thrashin', where he witnessed what he called "horrendous" acting on his part. For several years, he appeared in stage roles in Rochester, New York, often alongside mentor and friend Anthony Zerbe. One of Brolin's more prominent roles early in his career was that of Wild Bill Hickok in the ABC western TV series The Young Riders, which lasted three seasons (1989–92). Two other TV series he was involved in include the Aaron Spelling production Winnetka Road (1994) and Mister Sterling (2003), both of which were cancelled after a few episodes. Brolin's extensive film work consists mainly of supporting, villainous roles. His most recent film work includes the Planet Terror segment of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez collaboration Grindhouse, the Coen brothers' Academy Award-winning film No Country for Old Men, and Gus van Sant's Milk. Brolin also starred in director Oliver Stone's 2008 film W., a biopic about key events in the life of President George W. Bush. Stone pursued an initially hesitant Brolin for the role. He said of his decision to cast Brolin in the leading role: It always seemed to me that he was the right person. Although classically handsome, I think he would consider himself a character actor first and foremost, and it was in this context that I thought of him as W. Josh certainly has star appeal and could be a leading man, but I don’t think he necessarily wants to be that. I think he really enjoys disappearing into a character. Brolin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Gus Van Sant's biopic Milk as city supervisor Dan White, who assassinated San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. He made news by wearing a White Knot to the Academy Awards ceremony to demonstrate solidarity with the marriage equality movement. Brolin told an interviewer that costar Sean Penn, who portrayed Milk, decided to dispel any nerves the actors had about playing gay men by grabbing the bull by the horns. At the first cast dinner, which included castmates James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna, Brolin said, "[Penn] walked right up and grabbed me and planted a huge one right on my lips." Brolin has received critical acclaim for his performance and, in addition to his Oscar nomination, NYFCC and NBR Awards for Best Supporting Actor and a nomination for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. He portrayed Jonah Hex in the film with the same name In 2009, Brolin executive produced and performed in The People Speak a documentary feature film that uses dramatic and musical performances of the letters, diaries, and speeches of everyday Americans, based on historian Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. When he is not acting, Brolin is an active stock trader and is co-founder of the site MarketProbability.com. Brolin wrote and directed the short film "X", as his directorial debut. The film, about an inmate who escapes prison to reunite with his daughter and search for her murdered mother, was the opening film at the first annual Union City International Film Festival in Union City, New Jersey in December 2010. Personal life Brolin was married to actress Alice Adair from 1988 to 1992; they have two children, Trevor Mansur (b. 26 June 1988) and Eden (b. 1994). He was engaged to actress Minnie Driver for six months. He has been married to actress Diane Lane since August 15, 2004. On December 20, 2004, Lane called the police after an altercation with Brolin and he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery. Lane declined to press charges and the couple's spokesperson characterized the incident as a misunderstanding. On July 12, 2008, Brolin was arrested, along with actor Jeffrey Wright and five other crew members of W., after an altercation at the Stray Cat Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana. Brolin was released after posting a cash bond of US$334. Of his arrest, Brolin told a reporter, "It was nice to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong. And it was maddening to be in jail knowing that I hadn’t done anything wrong." Charges against all seven men were later dropped by Shreveport prosecutors. Filmography Film and television 1985 Goonies, TheThe Goonies Brandon "Brand" Walsh 1986 Thrashin' Corey Webster 1987 Private Eye Johnny Betz TV series 1989 Young Riders, TheThe Young Riders James Butler Hickok TV series 1995 Outer Limits, TheThe Outer Limits Jack Pierce TV series, episode: "Virtual Future" 1996 Bed of Roses Danny 1996 Flirting with Disaster Tony Kent 1997 Mimic Josh 1997 Nightwatch James Gallman 1999 Mod Squad, TheThe Mod Squad Billy Waites 1999 Best Laid Plans Bryce 1999 It's the Rage Tennel 2000 Picnic Hal Carter TV 2000 Hollow Man Matt Kensington Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Supporting Actor – Science Fiction 2000 Slow Burn Duster 2003 Mister Sterling Senator Bill Sterling TV series 2005 Melinda and Melinda Greg Earlinger 2005 Into the West Jedediah Smith TV miniseries 2005 Into the Blue Derek Bates 2006 Dead Girl, TheThe Dead Girl Tarlow 2007 Grindhouse Dr. William Block Segment: Planet Terror 2007 In the Valley of Elah Chief Buchwald 2007 No Country for Old Men Llewelyn Moss National Board of Review Award for Best Cast Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama 2007 American Gangster Det. Reno Trupo Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 2008 W. George W. Bush Nominated—IFTA Award for Best International Actor Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy 2008 Milk Dan White Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actor New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role 2009 People Speak, TheThe People Speak Himself Documentary 2010 Jonah Hex Jonah Hex 2010 Tillman Story, TheThe Tillman Story Himself Narrator 2010 You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Roy 2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Bretton James 2010 True Grit Tom Chaney 2012 Men In Black III Younger Kevin Brown/Agent K filming
  22. {name}

    Alice Cooper

    Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American rock singer, songwriter and broadcaster whose career spans more than five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors and baby dolls, Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and violent brand of heavy metal that was designed to shock. Alice Cooper was originally in a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit "I'm Eighteen" from the album Love it to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single "School's Out" in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies. Furnier's solo career as Alice Cooper, adopting the band's name as his own name, began with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2008 he released Along Came a Spider, his 18th solo album. Expanding from his original Detroit rock roots, over the years Cooper has experimented with many different musical styles, including conceptual rock, art rock, glam metal, hard rock, new wave, pop rock, soft rock, experimental rock, heavy metal, and industrial rock. In recent times he has returned more to his garage rock roots Alice Cooper is known for his social and witty persona offstage, The Rolling Stone Album Guide going so far as to refer to him as the world's most "beloved heavy metal entertainer". He helped to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and has been credited as being the person who "first introduced horror imagery to rock'n'roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre". Away from music, Cooper is a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ with his classic rock show Nights with Alice Cooper. On VH1's "100 Greatest artists of Hard Rock", Cooper was ranked #20. Childhood and early life Cooper was born as Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Ella Mae and Ether Moroni Furnier, a lay preacher in the fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ. He has French Huguenot, Sioux Native American, and Irish ancestry,and was named after one of his uncles and the writer Damon Runyon. His paternal grandfather, Thurman Sylvester Furnier, was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ based in Monongahela, Pennsylvania, and Vincent Furnier was very active in the Church of Jesus Christ at the ages of 11 and 12. While in Detroit, Furnier attended Washington Elementary School, and then a middle school that is now Lutheran High School Westland. Following a series of childhood illnesses, Furnier moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona. Furnier attended Cortez High School in northern Phoenix. He was also a member of the Order of DeMolay. 1960s At the age of 16, Furnier was eager to take part in the local annual letterman's talent show and gathered fellow cross-country teammates to form a group for the show. They named themselves The Earwigs, and since they did not know how to play any instruments at the time, they dressed up like The Beatles and mimed their performance to Beatles songs. As a result of winning the talent show and loving the experience of being onstage, the group immediately proceeded to learn how to play instruments they acquired from a local pawn shop. They soon renamed themselves The Spiders, featuring Furnier on vocals, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, John Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and John Speer on drums. Musically, the group were inspired by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, and The Yardbirds. For the next year the band performed regularly around the Phoenix area with a huge black spider's web as their backdrop, the group's first stage prop. In 1965, they also recorded their first single, "Why Don't You Love Me" (originally performed by The Blackwells). Furnier learned the harmonica for the song. In 1966, the members of The Spiders graduated from high school. After North High School footballer Michael Bruce replaced John Tatum on rhythm guitar, the band scored a local #1 radio hit with "Don't Blow Your Mind," an original composition from their second single release. By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles, California to play shows. They soon renamed themselves The Nazz and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now," backed with future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down And Die, Goodbye." At around this time drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith. By the end of the year the band had relocated to Los Angeles permanently. In 1968, upon learning that Todd Rundgren also had a band called Nazz, the band were again in need of another stage name. Believing that the group needed a gimmick to succeed and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage, Furnier chose Alice Cooper as the band's name and adopted this stage name as his own.Cooper admitted in 2007 that the name change was one of his most important and successful career moves. Early press releases claimed that the name was agreed upon after a session with a Ouija board, during which it was revealed that Furnier was the reincarnation of a 17th century witch named Alice Cooper. Nonetheless, at the time Cooper and the band realized that the concept of a male playing the role of an androgynous witch, in tattered women's clothing and wearing make-up, would have the potential to cause considerable social controversy and grab headlines. Cooper stated in a 2008 interview that his look was inspired in part by the film Barbarella. "When I saw Anita Pallenberg playing the Great Tyrant in that movie in 1968, wearing long black leather gloves with switchblades coming out of them, I thought, 'That's what Alice should look like'. That, and a little bit of Emma Peel from The Avengers". The classic Alice Cooper group line-up consisted of singer Alice Cooper (Vincent Furnier), lead guitarist Glen Buxton, rhythm guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway, and drummer Neal Smith. With the exception of Smith, who graduated from Camelback High School (which is referred to in the song "Alma Mater" on the School's Out album), all of the band members were on the Cortez High School cross-country team, and many of Cooper's stage effects were inspired by their cross-country coach, Emmett Smith (one of Smith's class projects was to build a working guillotine for slicing watermelons). Cooper, Buxton and Dunaway were also art students, and their admiration for the works of surrealist artists such as Salvador Dalí would further inspire their future stage antics. One night, after an unsuccessful gig at a club in Venice, California called The Cheetah, where the band emptied the entire room of patrons after playing just ten minutes, they were approached and enlisted by music manager Shep Gordon, who ironically saw the band's negative impact that night as a force that could be turned in a more productive direction. Shep then arranged an audition for the band with composer and renowned record producer Frank Zappa, who was looking to sign bizarre music acts to his new record label, Straight Records. For the audition, Zappa told them to come to his house "at 7 o'clock." The band mistakenly assumed he meant 7 o'clock in the morning. Being woken up by a band willing to play that particular brand of psychedelic rock at seven in the morning impressed Zappa enough to sign them to a three-album deal. Another Zappa-signed act, the all-female GTOs, who liked to "dress the Cooper boys up like full size barbie dolls," played a major role in developing the band's early onstage look. Cooper's first album Pretties for You, released in 1969, had a slight psychedelic feel. Although it touched the US charts for one week at #193, it was ultimately a critical and commercial failure. Alice Cooper's "shock rock" reputation apparently developed almost by accident at first. An unrehearsed stage routine involving Cooper and a live chicken garnered attention from the press, and the band decided to capitalize on the tabloid sensationalism, creating in the process a new subgenre, shock rock. Cooper claims that the infamous "Chicken Incident" at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in September 1969, was an accident. A chicken somehow made its way on stage during Cooper's performance; not having any experience around farm animals, Cooper presumed that, because the chicken had wings, it would be able to fly. He picked it up and threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away. The chicken instead plummeted into the first few rows occupied by disabled people in wheelchairs, who reportedly proceeded to tear the bird to pieces. The next day, the incident made the front page of national newspapers, and Zappa phoned Cooper to ask if the story, which reported that he had bitten the head off the chicken and drunk its blood on stage, was true. Cooper denied the rumor, whereupon Zappa told him, "Well, whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it", obviously recognising that such publicity would be priceless for the band. Despite the publicity from the Chicken Incident, the band's stronger second album, Easy Action, released in 1970, met with the same fate as its predecessor. Music label Warner Bros. Records purchased the band's Straight Records contract from Frank Zappa, and the Alice Cooper group was set to receive a higher level of promotion from the more major label. At around this time the band, fed up with Californians' indifference to their act, relocated to Cooper's birthplace, Detroit, where their bizarre stage act was much better received. Detroit would remain their steady home base until 1972. "LA just didn’t get it," Cooper stated. "They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else...." 1970s In 1970, after two failed albums, the Alice Cooper group was teamed up with now-legendary producer Bob Ezrin for their third album, the last in their contract with Straight Records, and the band's last chance to create a hit. That hit came with the single "I'm Eighteen", released in November 1970, which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album that followed, Love it to Death, released in February 1971, proved to be their breakthrough record, reaching number 35 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album charts. It would be the first of eleven Alice Cooper group and solo albums produced by Ezrin, who is widely seen as being instrumental in helping to create and develop the band's definitive sound. Alice Cooper appeared at the Woodstock-esque, Strawberry Fields Festival near Toronto, Ontario in August of 1970. The band's trailblazing mix of glam and increasingly violent stage theatrics stood out in stark contrast to the bearded, denim-clad hippie bands of the time.[31] As Cooper himself stated: "We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation". Sporting tight sequined costumes by the prominent rock fashion designer Cindy Dunaway (sister of band member Neal Smith, and wife of band member Dennis Dunaway) and stage shows that involved mock fights, staged execution, and Gothic torture modes being imposed on Cooper, the androgynous stage role now presented a villainous side which posed a potential threat to modern society. The success of the band's single, the album, and their tour of 1971, which saw their first and hugely successful tour of Europe (audience members reportedly included Elton John and David Bowie), provided enough encouragement for Warner Bros. to offer the band a new multi-album contract. Their follow-up album Killer, released in 1971, continued the commercial success of Love It To Death and included further single success with "Under My Wheels" and "Be My Lover" in early 1972, and "Halo Of Flies", which became a Top 10 hit in the Netherlands. Thematically, Killer expanded on the villainous side of Cooper's androgynous stage role, with its music becoming the soundtrack to the group's morality-based stage show, which by then featured a boa constrictor hugging Cooper onstage and the murderous axe chopping of bloodied dead baby dolls. The summer of 1972 saw the release of the single "School's Out". It went Top 10 in the US, was a #1 single in the UK, and remains a staple on classic rock radio to this day. School's Out the album reached #2 on the US charts and sold over a million copies. The band now relocated to their new mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. With Cooper's on-stage androgynous persona completely replaced with brattiness and machismo, the band solidified their success with subsequent tours in the US and Europe, and won over devoted fans in droves while at the same time horrifying parents and outraging the social establishment. In England, Mary Whitehouse, a well known campaigner for values of morality and decency, succeeded in having the BBC ban the video for "School's Out" and Member of Parliament Leo Abse petitioned Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to have the group banned altogether from performing in the country.However, this seemed to have little effect on the band's popularity, as they were selected to be the first band to appear on the television series ABC In Concert in September 1972, and in February 1973 Billion Dollar Babies appeared, which was the band's most commercially successful album reaching #1 in both the US and UK. "Elected", a 1972 Top 10 UK hit from the album, which inspired one of the first MTV-style story-line promo videos ever made for a song (three years before Queen's promotional video for "Bohemian Rhapsody"), was followed by two more UK Top 10 singles, "Hello Hooray" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy", the latter of which was the last UK single from the album; it reached #25 in the US. The title track, featuring guest vocals by Donovan, was also a US hit single. Due to Glen Buxton's health problems, around this time, Mick Mashbir was added to the band (who also played, without credit, on Muscle of Love). With a string of successful concept albums and several hit singles, the band continued their grueling schedule and toured the US once again. Continued attempts by politicians and pressure groups to ban their shocking act only served to fuel the myth of Alice Cooper further and generate even greater public interest. Their 1973 US tour broke box office records previously set by The Rolling Stones and raised rock theatrics to new heights; the multi-level stage show by then featured numerous special effects, including Billion Dollar Bills, decapitated baby dolls and mannequins, a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth, and the ultimate execution prop and highlight of the show: the guillotine. The guillotine and other stage effects were designed for the band by magician James Randi, who appeared on stage during some of the shows as executioner. The Alice Cooper group had now reached its peak and it was among the most visible and successful acts in the industry. (Cooper's stage antics would influence a host of later bands, including, among others, Kiss, Blue Öyster Cult, GWAR, W.A.S.P. and, later, Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie.) Beneath the surface, however, the repetitive schedule of recording and touring had begun to take its toll on the band, and Cooper, who was under the constant pressure of getting into character for that night's show, was consistently sighted nursing a can of beer. Muscle of Love, released at the end of 1973, was to be the last studio album from the classic line-up, and marked Alice Cooper's last UK Top 20 single of the 1970s with "Teenage Lament '74". A theme song was recorded for the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, but a different song of the same name by Lulu was chosen instead. By 1974, the Muscle of Love album had not matched the top-charting success of its predecessor, and the band began to have constant disagreements. Cooper wanted to retain the theatrics in the show that had brought them so much attention, while the rest of the group thought they should be toned down so that they could concentrate more on the music which had given them credibility. Largely as a result of this difference of opinion, the band decided to take a much-needed hiatus. During this time, Cooper relocated back to Los Angeles and started appearing regularly on TV shows such as Hollywood Squares, and Warner Bros. released the Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits compilation album which featured classic artwork and which performed better than Muscle of Love, reaching the US Top 10. However, the band's feature film Good To See You Again, Alice Cooper (mainly concert footage with a faint storyline and 'comedic' sketches woven throughout), released on a minor theatrical run mostly to drive-in theaters, saw little box office success. As some of the Alice Cooper band's members had begun recording solo albums Cooper decided to do the same himself, and 1975 saw the release of his first solo album Welcome To My Nightmare. Its success marked the final break with the original members of the band, with Cooper collaborating with their producer Bob Ezrin who recruited Lou Reed's backing band, including guitarist Dick Wagner to play on the album. Spearheaded by the US Top 20 hit "Only Women Bleed", a ballad, the album was released by Atlantic Records in March of that year and became a Top 10 hit for Cooper. It was a concept album, based on the nightmare of a child named Steven, featuring narration by classic horror movie film star Vincent Price (several years after Welcome To My Nightmare, he guested on Michael Jackson's "Thriller"), and serving as the soundtrack to Cooper's new stage show, which now included more theatrics than ever (including an eight foot tall furry Cyclops which Cooper decapitates and kills). However, by this time alcohol was clearly affecting Cooper's performances. During the Welcome to My Nightmare tour in Vancouver, and only a few songs into the routine, Cooper tripped over a footlight, staggered a few paces, lost his bearings and plunged head first off the stage and onto the concrete floor of the Pacific Coliseum. Some fans, thinking it was all part of the act, reached through the barriers to pull at his blood-matted hair before bouncers could pull him away for help. He was taken to a local hospital, where medical staff stitched his head wound and provided him with a skullcap. Cooper returned to the venue a couple of hours later and tried to perform a couple of more songs, but within minutes he had to call it a night. The opening act, Suzi Quatro, had already left the building and the remainder of the concert was cancelled. Accompanying the album and stage show was the TV special The Nightmare, starring Cooper and Vincent Price in person, which aired on US prime-time TV in April 1975. The Nightmare, the first rock music video album ever made (it was later released on home video in 1983 and gained a Grammy Awards nomination for Best Long Form Music Video), was regarded as another groundbreaking moment in rock history. Adding to all that, a concert film, also called Welcome to My Nightmare and filmed live at London's Wembley Arena in September 1975, was released to theaters in 1976. Though it failed at the box office, it later became a midnight movie favorite and a cult classic. Such was the immense success of this solo project that Cooper decided to continue alone as a solo artist, and the original band became officially defunct. It was also during this time that Cooper co-founded the legendary drinking club The Hollywood Vampires, which gave him yet another reason to indulge his continued ample appetite for alcohol. Following the 1976 US #12 hit "I Never Cry",another ballad, two albums, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell and Lace and Whiskey, and another ballad hit, the US #9 "You and Me", it became clear from his performances during his 1977 US tour that he was in dire need of help with his alcoholism (at his alcoholic peak it was rumoured that Cooper was consuming up to two cases of Budweiser and a bottle of whiskey a day). Following the tour, Cooper had himself hospitalized in a New York sanitarium for treatment, during which time the live album The Alice Cooper Show was released. His experience in the sanitarium was the inspiration for his 1978 semi-autobiographical album From The Inside, which Cooper co-wrote with Bernie Taupin. The release spawned another US Top 20 hit "How You Gonna See Me Now", which peaked at #12, and was yet another ballad, based on his fear of how his wife would react to him after his spell in hospital. The subsequent tour's stage show was based inside an asylum, and was filmed for Cooper's first home video release, The Strange Case of Alice Cooper, in 1979. Around this time, Cooper performed "Welcome To My Nightmare", "You and Me", and "School's Out" on The Muppet Show (episode # 307) on March 28, 1978 (he played one of the devil's henchmen trying to dupe Kermit the Frog and Gonzo into selling their souls). He also appeared in an against-type casting in the campy role of a piano playing, disco bellboy in Mae West's final film, Sextette. Cooper also led celebrities in raising money to remodel the famous Hollywood Sign in California. Cooper himself contributed over $27,000 to the project, buying an O in the sign in memory of friend and comedian Groucho Marx. 1980s Cooper's albums from the beginning of the 80s, Flush the Fashion, Special Forces, Zipper Catches Skin, and DaDa, were not as commercially successful as his past releases, and Cooper has claimed that, suffering from acute alcoholic amnesia, he has no recollection of recording the latter two of these albums. Flush the Fashion, produced by Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker, had a thick, edgy New Wave musical sound that baffled even long-time fans, though it still yielded the US Top 40 hit "(We're All) Clones". The album Special Forces featured a more aggressive but consistent form of New Wave style, and included a new version of "Generation Landslide". The following album, Zipper Catches Skin was a more power pop-oriented recording, with lots of quirky high-energy guitar-driven songs. While those three albums engaged the experimental New Wave sound with energetic results, 1983 marked the return collaboration of producer Bob Ezrin and guitarist Dick Wagner with the haunting epic DaDa, the final album in his Warner Bros. contract. In 1983, after the recording of DaDa, Cooper was re-hospitalized for alcoholism. In a deathly state of health, he relocated back to Phoenix, Arizona, in order to try and save his marriage from collapse and so that he could receive the support of family and friends. Cooper was finally clean and sober by the time DaDa and The Nightmare home video (of his 1975 TV Special) were released in the fall of that year; however, both releases performed below expectations. Even with The Nightmare scoring a nomination for 1984's Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video (he lost to Duran Duran), it was not enough for Warner Bros. to keep Cooper on their books, and, in 1984, Cooper became, for the first time in his career, a free agent. After over a year on hiatus, during which time he spent being a full-time father, perfecting his golf swing everyday on the golf course, and also finding time to star in the Spanish B-grade horror movie production Monster Dog, Cooper sought to pick up the pieces of his musical career, and in 1985 he met and began writing songs with guitarist Kane Roberts. Cooper was subsequently signed to MCA Records, and appeared as guest vocalist on Twisted Sister's song "Be Chrool To Your Scuel". A video was made for the song, featuring Cooper donning his black snake-eyes make-up for the first time since 1979, but any publicity it may have given to Cooper's return to the music scene was cut short as the video was promptly banned due to its graphically gory make-up (by Tom Savini) of the innumerable zombies in the video and their insatiable appetite for gorging on human flesh. In 1986, Alice Cooper officially returned to the music industry with the album Constrictor. The album spawned the hits "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" (the theme song for the movie Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives; in the video of the song Cooper was given a cameo role as a deranged psychiatrist) and the fan favorite "Teenage Frankenstein". The Constrictor album was a catalyst for Cooper to make (for the first time since the 1982 Special Forces tour) a triumphant return to the road, on a tour appropriately entitled The Nightmare Returns. The Detroit leg of this tour, which took place at the end of October 1986 during Halloween, was captured on film as The Nightmare Returns, and is viewed by some as being the definitive Alice Cooper concert film. The concert, which received rave reviews in the rock music press, was also described as bringing "Cooper’s violent, twisted onstage fantasies to a new generation". The Constrictor album was followed by Raise Your Fist and Yell in 1987, which had an even rougher sound than its predecessor, as well the Cooper classic "Freedom". The subsequent tour of Raise Your Fist and Yell, which was heavily inspired by the slasher horror movies of the time such as the Friday the 13th series and Nightmare on Elm Street, served up a similar shocking spectacle as its predecessor, and courted the kind of controversy, especially in Europe, that recalled the public outrage caused by Cooper’s public performances in America in the early 1970s. In Britain, Labour M.P. David Blunkett called for the show to be banned, saying "I'm horrified by his behaviour – it goes beyond the bounds of entertainment". The controversy spilled over into the German segment of the tour, with the German government actually succeeding in having some of the gorier segments of the performance removed.It was also during the London leg of the tour that Cooper met with a near fatal accident during the hanging execution sequence at the end of the show. Needless to say the attendant publicity served only to increase public interest and ensure that the tour was completely sold out. Constrictor and Raise Your Fist and Yell were recorded with lead guitarist Kane Roberts and bassist Kip Winger, both of whom would leave the band by the end of 1988 (although Kane Roberts played guitar on "Bed Of Nails" on 1989's album Trash). Roberts would continue as a solo artist while Kip Winger would go on to form Winger. In 1987, Cooper made a brief appearance as a vagrant in the horror movie Prince of Darkness, directed by John Carpenter. His role had no lines and consisted of generally menacing the protagonists before eventually impaling one of them with a bicycle frame. Cooper also appeared at WrestleMania III, escorting wrestler Jake 'The Snake' Roberts to the ring. After the match was over, Cooper got involved and threw Jake's snake Damien at The Honky Tonk Man's manager Jimmy Hart. Jake considered the involvement of Cooper to be an honor, as he had idolized Cooper in his youth and was still a huge fan. In 1988 Cooper's contract with MCA Records expired and he signed with Epic Records. Then, in 1989, his career finally experienced a real revival with the Desmond Child produced album Trash, which spawned a hit single "Poison", which reached #2 in the UK and #7 in the US, and a worldwide arena tour. 1990s 1991 saw the release of Cooper's 19th studio album Hey Stoopid, again featuring several of rock music’s glitterati guesting on the record. Released as glam metal's popularity was on the wane, and just before the explosion of grunge, it failed to have the same commercial impact as its predecessor. The same year also saw the release of the video Alice Cooper: Prime Cuts which chronicled his entire career using in depth interviews with Cooper himself, Bob Ezrin, and Shep Gordon. One critic has noted how Prime Cuts demonstrates how Cooper had used (in contrast to similar artists who succeeded him) themes of satire and moralisation to such good effect throughout his career. It was in the Prime Cuts video that Bob Ezrin delivered his own summation of the Alice Cooper persona: "He is the psycho killer in all of us. He's the axe murderer, he's the spoiled child, he's the abuser, he's the abused; he's the perpetrator, he's the victim, he's the gun slinger, and he's the guy lying dead in the middle of the street". By the early 1990s Cooper had become a genuine cultural icon, guesting on records by the most successful bands of the time, such as the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion I, (on which he shared vocal duties with Axl Rose on the track "The Garden"); making a brief appearance as the abusive stepfather of Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare On Elm Street film Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991); and making a famous cameo appearance in the 1992 comedy film Wayne's World, in which he and his band intellectually discuss (after a performance of the song "Feed My Frankenstein" from Hey Stoopid) the history of Milwaukee in surprising depth. In a now famous scene, the movie's main characters Wayne and Garth, upon seeing Cooper, kneel and bow reverently before him while chanting "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" He later makes an appearance on That 70s Show. Cooper released in 1994 The Last Temptation, his first concept album since DaDa, which dealt with issues of faith, temptation, alienation, and the frustrations of modern life, and which has been described as "a young man's struggle to see the truth through the distractions of the 'Sideshow' of the modern world". Concurrent with the release of The Last Temptation was a three-part comic book series written by Neil Gaiman, fleshing out the album's story. This was to be Cooper’s last album with Epic Records, and his last studio release for six years, though during this period the live album A Fistful of Alice was released, and in 1997 he lent his voice to the first track of Insane Clown Posse's The Great Milenko. In 1999, the four-disc box set The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper appeared, which contained an authorized biography of Cooper, Alcohol and Razor Blades, Poison and Needles: The Glorious Wretched Excess of Alice Cooper, All-American, written by Creem magazine editor Jeffrey Morgan. During his absence from the recording studio, Cooper toured extensively every year throughout the latter part of the 1990s, including, in 1996, through South America, which he had not visited since 1974. Also in 1996, Cooper sang the role of Herod on the London cast recording of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. 2000s The 2000s saw a sustained period of activity from Alice Cooper. In the decade that he turned sixty, he toured extensively and released (after a significant break) a steady stream of studio albums to favorable critical acclaim. During this period Cooper was also recognized and awarded in various ways: he received a Rock Immortal award at the 2007 Scream Awards; was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003;he received (in May 2004) an honorary doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University;was given (in May 2006) the key to the city of Alice, North Dakota; he scooped the living legend award at the 2006 Classic Rock Roll of Honour event; he won the 2007 Mojo music magazine Hero Award; and fans twice tried to induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The lengthy break between studio albums ended in 2000 with Brutal Planet, which was a return to horror-lined heavy metal, with a vicious injection of industrial rock, and with subject matter thematically inspired by the brutality of the modern world, set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, and also inspired by a number of news stories that had recently appeared on the CNN news channel. The album was produced by Bob Marlett, with longtime Cooper production collaborator Bob Ezrin returning as Executive Producer. The accompanying world tour, which included Cooper's first concert in Russia, was a resounding success, introducing Alice Cooper to a new audience and producing the live home video, Brutally Live, in 2001. During one memorable episode in Brutally Live, Britney Spears (being played by Alice Cooper's real life daughter, Calico), and representing "everything that my audience hates - the softening of rock and roll...the sweetness of it" is executed by Cooper. Brutal Planet was succeeded by the sonically similar and widely acclaimed sequel Dragontown, which saw Bob Ezrin back at the helm as producer. The album has been described as leading the listener down "a nightmarish path into the mind of rock's original conceptual storyteller" and by Cooper himself as being "the worst town on Brutal Planet".Like The Last Temptation, both Brutal Planet and Dragontown are albums which explore Cooper's personal faith perspective (born again Christianity). It is commonly perceived in the music media that Dragontown forms the third chapter in a trilogy begun with The Last Temptation; however, Cooper has himself indicated that this is not in fact the case. Cooper again adopted a leaner, cleaner sound for his critically acclaimed2003 release The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. Recognizing that many contemporary bands were having great success with his former sounds and styles, Cooper worked with a somewhat younger group of road and studio musicians who were very familiar with his oeuvre of old. However, instead of rehashing the old sounds, they updated them, often with surprisingly effective results. The resulting Bare Bones tour adopted a less-orchestrated performance style that had fewer theatrical flourishes and a greater emphasis on musicality. The success of this tour helped support the growing recognition that the classic Cooper songs were exceptionally clever, tuneful and unique. Cooper's radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper, began airing on January 26, 2004 in several US cities. The program showcases classic rock, Cooper's personal stories about his life as a rock icon, and interviews with prominent rock artists. The show appears on nearly 100 stations in the US and Canada, and has also been sold all over the world. In 2005, Alice Cooper was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. A continuation of the songwriting approach adopted on The Eyes of Alice Cooper was again adopted by Cooper for his 24th studio album, Dirty Diamonds, released in 2005. Dirty Diamonds became Cooper's highest charting album since 1994's The Last Temptation. The Dirty Diamonds tour launched in America in August 2005 after several European concerts, including a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 12. Cooper and his band, including Kiss drummer Eric Singer, were filmed for a DVD released as Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux 2005. One critic, in a review of the Montreux release, commented that Cooper was to be applauded for "still mining pretty much the same territory of teenage angst and rebellion" as he had done more than thirty years previously. In December 2006 the original Alice Cooper band reunited to perform six classic Alice Cooper songs at Cooper's annual charity event in Phoenix, entitled "Christmas Pudding". On July 1, 2007 Cooper performed a duet with Marilyn Manson at the B'Estival event in Bucharest, Romania. The performance represented a reconciliation between the two artists; Cooper had previously taken issue with Manson over his overtly anti-Christian onstage antics, which included tearing up Bibles, and he had sarcastically made reference to the originality of Manson's choosing a female name and dressing in women's clothing. Cooper and Manson have been the subject of an academic paper on the significance of adolescent antiheroes. In January 2008 he was one of the guest singers on the new Avantasia album The Scarecrow, singing the 7th track, The Toy Master. In July 2008, after lengthy delays, Cooper released Along Came a Spider, his 25th studio album. It was Cooper's highest charting album since 1991's Hey Stoopid, reaching #53 in the US and #31 in the UK. The album, visiting similar territory explored in 1987's Raise Your Fist and Yell, deals with the nefarious antics of a deranged serial killer named "Spider" who is on a quest to use the limbs of his victims to create a human spider. The album generally received positive reviews from music critics, though Rolling Stone magazine opined that the music on the record sorely missed Bob Ezrin's production values.The resulting Theatre of Death tour of the album (during which Cooper is executed on four separate occasions) was described in a long November 2009 article about Cooper in The Times as "epic" and featuring "enough fake blood to remake Saving Private Ryan". 2010s On January 22, 2010, Cooper announced that he would be touring with Rob Zombie on the "Gruesome Twosome" tour. On March 29, 2010, Cooper revealed during his weekly radio show on Planet Rock that his next record is to be titled The Night Shift. Cooper stated he has 10 demos ready. Cooper also appears on a song on Slash's debut solo album, along with Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussycat Dolls, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Steven Adler, the drummer from the original Guns N' Roses. The song "Baby Can't Drive" is a bonus track on the UK version of the album. On May 26, 2010, Cooper made an appearance during the beginning of the season finale of the reality-show, American Idol, in which he sung School's Out. On June 12, 2010, Cooper was the featured guest on That Metal Show. On June 25, 2010, Cooper played on Hamar Music Festival in Norway. On June 15, 2010 to coincide with the release of the "Alice Cooper Track Pack" for Guitar Hero, a free download of the newly-recorded "Elected" was made available on Alice Cooper's official website. On July 30, 2010, Alice cooper is scheduled to play Sonisphere Festival,Knebworth where he is headlining the saturn stage on the opening friday. According to Radio Metal while in France Alice appeared at a press conference with a CD he said featured the first three songs from the "Welcome To My Nightmare II" project. Of the album Alice said "This album is more bloody and more accomplished than the first, It sounds like the early years" Influences and fans During an interview for the program Entertainment USA in 1990 Cooper stunned interviewer Jonathan King by stating that The Yardbirds were his favorite band of all time Perhaps King should not have been so taken aback, as Cooper had as far back as 1969 gone on record as saying that it was music from the mid-sixties, and particularly from British bands The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones, as well as The Yardbirds, that had had the greatest influence on him. Cooper would later pay homage to The Who by appearing in A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who in 1994 at Carnegie Hall in New York, and performing a cover of "My Generation" on the Brutal Planet tour of 2000. During an interview that Cooper himself conducted with Ozzy Osbourne on his radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper in 2007, Cooper again affirmed his debt of gratitude to these bands, and to The Beatles in particular. During their discussion, Cooper and Osbourne bemoaned the often inferior quality of songwriting coming from contemporary rock artists. Cooper stated that in his opinion the cause of the problem was that certain modern bands "had forgotten to listen to The Beatles". On the 25th Anniversary DVD of Cabaret, Liza Minnelli stated that her good friend, Alice Cooper, had told her that his whole career was based on the movie Cabaret. Evidence of Cooper's eclectic tastes in both classic and contemporary rock music, from the 1960s to the present, can be seen in the track listings of his radio show; in addition, when Cooper appeared on the BBC Radio 2 program "Tracks of My Years" in September 2007, he cited his favourite tracks of all time as being the following: "19th Nervous Breakdown" (1966) by The Rolling Stones, "Turning Japanese" (1980) by The Vapors, "My Sharona" (1979) by The Knack, "Beds Are Burning" (1987) by Midnight Oil, "My Generation" (1965) by The Who, "Welcome To The Jungle" (1987) by Guns N' Roses, "Rebel Rebel" (1974) by David Bowie, "Over Under Sideways Down" (1966) by The Yardbirds, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" (2003) by Jet and "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) by The Beatles. Rob Zombie, former frontman of White Zombie, claims his first "metal moment" was seeing Alice Cooper on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. In a 1978 interview with Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan stated, "I think Alice Cooper is an overlooked songwriter". In the foreword to Alice Cooper's CD retrospective box set The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper, John Lydon of The Sex Pistols pronounced Killer as the greatest rock album of all time, and in 2002 Lydon presented his own tribute program to Cooper on BBC radio. The Flaming Lips are longtime Alice Cooper fans and used the bass line from "Levity Ball" (an early song from the 1969 release Pretties for You) for their song "The Ceiling Is Bending". They also covered "Sun Arise" for an Alice Cooper tribute album. (Cooper's version, which closes the album Love It To Death, was itself a cover of a Rolf Harris song.) In 1999 Cleopatra Records released Humanary Stew: A Tribute to Alice Cooper featuring a number of contributions from rock and metal all-star collaborations, including Dave Mustaine, Roger Daltrey, Ronnie James Dio, Slash, Bruce Dickinson, and Steve Jones.The album was notable for the fact that it was possible to assemble a different supergroup for each cover version on the record, which gave an indication of the depth of esteem in which Cooper is held by other eminent musicians within the music industry. Heavy metal rocker Jon Mikl Thor, also known as Thor, stated in an interview that Alice Cooper was his idol and hero. A song by alternative rock group They Might Be Giants from their 1994 album John Henry entitled "Why Must I Be Sad?" mentions 13 Cooper songs, and has been described as being "from the perspective of a kid who hears all of his unspoken sadness given voice in the music of Alice Cooper; Alice says everything the kid has been wishing he could say about his alienated, frustrated, teenage world". Such unlikely non-musician fans of Cooper included Groucho Marx and Mae West, who both reportedly saw the early shows as a form of vaudeville revue,and artist Salvador Dalí, who on attending a show in 1973 described it as being surreal, and made a hologram, First Cylindric Chromo-Hologram Portrait of Alice Cooper's Brain. Personal life In the period when the Alice Cooper group was signed to Frank Zappa's Straight label, Miss Christine of the GTOs became Cooper's girlfriend. Miss Christine (real name: Christine Frka), who had actually recommended Zappa to the group, died on November 5, 1972 of an overdose.Another long-time girlfriend of Cooper's was Cindy Lang, with whom he lived for several years. They separated in 1975. Lang sued Cooper for palimony, and they eventually settled out of court in the early 1980s.After his separation from Lang, Cooper was briefly linked with sex symbol/actress Raquel Welch. Cooper then reportedly left Welch, however, to marry, on March 20, 1976, ballerina instructor/choreographer Sheryl Goddard, who performed in the Alice Cooper show from 1975 to 1982. In November 1983, at the height of Cooper's alcoholism, Sheryl filed for divorce, but by mid-1984, she and Cooper had reconciled. The couple has remained together since. In a 2002 television interview, Cooper claimed that he had "never cheated" on his wife in all the time they had been together. In the same interview, he also claimed that the secret to a lasting and successful relationship is to continue going out on dates with your partner. The couple have three children: elder daughter Calico Cooper (born 1981), an actress and singer who has been performing in the Alice Cooper show since 2000; son Dash (b. 1985), a student at Arizona State University, and also plays in a band called Runaway Phoenix; and younger daughter Sonora Rose (b. 1993). Cooper, a huge fan of The Simpsons, was asked to contribute a storyline for the September 2004 edition of Bongo Comics's Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, a special Monsters of Rock issue that also included stories plotted by Gene Simmons, Rob Zombie and Pat Boone. Cooper's story featured Homer Simpson being a Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th style killer and Alice and the citizens of Springfield are being stalked by Homer. On June 20, 2005, ahead of his June–July 2005 tour, Cooper had a wide-ranging interview with interviewer of celebrities Andrew Denton for the Australian ABC Television's Enough Rope. Cooper discussed various issues during a revealing and frank talk, including the horrors of acute alcoholism and his subsequent cure, being a Christian, and his social and work relationship with his family. During the interview, Cooper remarked "I look at Mick Jagger and he's on an 18-month tour and he's six years older than me, so I figure, when he retires, I have six more years. I will not let him beat me when it comes to longevity." In 1986, Megadeth was asked to open for Cooper for dates on his US tour. After noticing the hardcore drug and alcohol abuse in the band, Cooper personally approached the band members to try to help them control their abuse, and he has stayed close to front man Dave Mustaine ever since; Mustaine in fact considers him his godfather. Since conquering his own addiction to alcohol in the mid 1980s, Cooper has continued to help and counsel other rock musicians battling addiction problems who turn to him for help. "I've made myself very available to friends of mine - they're people who would call me late at night and say, 'Between you and me, I've got a problem.'" In recognition of the work he has done in helping other addicts in the recovery process, Cooper received in 2008 the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at the fourth annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert in Los Angeles. The actual ownership of the Alice Cooper name is often cited[citation needed] by intellectual property lawyers and law professors as an example of the value of a single copyright or trademark. Since "Alice Cooper" was originally the name of the band, and not the lead singer (e.g. Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Meat Loaf, etc.), and it was actually owned by the band as whole, Cooper paid, and continues to pay, a yearly royalty to his original bandmates for the right to use the name commercially. Although the exact amount is not known, insiders agree that it is large enough for the other band members to live comfortably. Religion and politics Although he originally tended to shy away from speaking publicly about his religious beliefs, Cooper has in recent years been quite vocal about his faith as a born-again Christian. He has avoided so called "celebrity Christianity" because, as Cooper states himself: "It's really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I'm a rock singer. I'm nothing more than that. I'm not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians". "So, don't look for answers from me". When asked by the British Sunday Times newspaper in 2001 how a shock-rocker could be a Christian, Cooper is credited with providing this response "Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's real rebellion!" Throughout his career, Cooper's philosophy regarding politics is that politics should not be mixed with rock music. He has consistently kept his political views to himself, sometimes even speaking out against musicians who promote or opine on politics. He proved his disgust for musicians mixing their music with politics in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, 2004, when he declared that the then crop of rock stars campaigning for and touring on behalf of Democratic candidate John Kerry were "treasonous morons".This statement caused a certain amount of controversy, and led to Cooper releasing an official statement, clarifying and reiterating that the "treason" concerned in the above label was not against the state but against the ethos of rock itself. In a 2008 interview, Cooper described Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin as "a breath of fresh air". Alice is a registered Republican but has gone on record to be at times supportive of both Democrats and Republicans. Love of golf Cooper has on several occasions credited golf as having played a major role in helping him to overcome his addiction to alcohol,and has even gone as far to say that when he took up golf, it was a case of replacing one addiction with another.The importance that the game has had in his life is also reflected in the title to his 2007 autobiography, Alice Cooper, Golf Monster. Cooper, who has participated in a number of Pro-Am competitions,plays the game six days a week, off a handicap of three or four.Since 1997, he has hosted an annual golf competition, the Alice Cooper Celebrity AM Golf Tournament, all proceeds from which go to his charity, the Solid Rock Foundation. Cooper has also appeared in commercials for Callaway Golf equipment, was a guest of veteran British player and broadcaster Peter Alliss on A Golfer's Travels.He wrote the foreword to the Gary McCord book Golf for Dummies. In August 2006, Cooper took part in an annual celebrity golf version of the Ryder Cup called the All*Star Cup in South Wales. He won his match on the first day, but lost his match on day two. The competition was shown live on UK television, and commentators made numerous references to Cooper being the best player, and to the fact that he played the game six days a week back home in Arizona. In an interview with VH1, friend and fellow golfer Pat Boone said that Cooper was "'this close' to being a pro".
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    ABC Soccer Players

    Alessandro Nesta
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    ABC Television Characters

    Al Swearengen, Deadwood
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    Suranne Jones

    Suranne Jones (born Sarah Anne Jones; 27 August 1978) is an English actress. She first rose to prominence playing the role of Karen McDonald in ITV1's soap opera Coronation Street over a period of four years. In 2004, she left Coronation Street, later remarking: "I just thought, while [Karen]'s brilliant and I'm enjoying her, I've got to get out". Upon leaving, Jones took on roles in many drama series broadcast on ITV1 and BBC1, such as Vincent, Strictly Confidential, Unforgiven, Five Days and Single Father, whilst also appearing in various theatre productions, earning her critical acclaim, described by Andrew Billen of The Times as being in a category of "those brave, talented few who earn their wings on a soap and then fly gloriously beyond it". In 2011 Jones starred in Scott & Bailey as DC Rachel Bailey, with the television series being an original idea conceived by Jones herself and fellow actress Sally Lindsay. Early life Suranne Jones was born Sarah Anne Jones in Chadderton, Greater Manchester, on 27 August 1978, the daughter of Chris and Jenny Jones, an engineer and a secretary, respectively. She also has a sibling, an older brother named Gary. Jones was raised a Catholic; her priest suggested to her father she be christened Sarah Anne, instead of Suranne, her great-grandmother's name, as Suranne was not "a proper name". Jones grew up in a house surrounded by two farms and their fields and commented that one of her earliest memories is of "cows looking in the window as we ate our tea". As a child she was talkative, and later recounted that her priest would say "I'm praying you can concentrate just a bit more". Jones suffers from carpophobia (fear of wrists), which she believes possibly developed from viewing imagery of Christ's crucifixion and stigmata as a child. Talking of her childhood, Jones commented that "I think I always wanted to be different and felt very stifled at school". Jones also stated, "I was bullied at school and I let that get hold of me and withdrew into myself - I regret letting that happen". She became a member of the Oldham Theatre Workshop, where she befriended Antony Cotton, who now plays Sean Tully on Coronation Street. She completed a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts, though she felt "that [wasn't] quite the same as drama school". Career Career beginnings Jones began acting professionally aged 16. Andrew Billen of The Times, while acknowledging her professional career beginnings at 16, noted that "she took to the stage at 8". Jones later recalled that her first role was at the age of 8, in Wait Until Dark as Gloria. Upon joining the trade union Equity, Jones took on the stage name 'Suranne', as her birth name was already taken, and union rules dictate that each union member must have a different name. Having secured herself an agent aged 15, she soon after began to act in the theatre. Jones' television career began, however, in 1997, where she had a very small role in Coronation Street in April 1997 as Mandy Phillips, a girlfriend of Chris Collins. She was then cast in a television advert for Maltesers, guest starred in episodes of series such as City Central and had a small role in My Wonderful Life. She auditioned for the role of Charity Dingle on the soap opera Emmerdale, becoming one of the final four actors considered for the part, though the role was eventually given to Emma Atkins. She also auditoned for the part of Geena Gregory on Coronation Street, though she felt she knew Jennifer James would win the role—which she did—upon seeing her at the auditions. In 2000, some weeks after her unsuccessful audition for Geena Gregory, she was contacted by Coronation Street bosses, who offered her a part of a new character. Jones took on the role of Karen Phillips (no relation to Mandy), making her first appearance on 21 June. The character, after marrying Steve McDonald, took on his surname, and became Karen McDonald. Described as "a bulldog in hoop earrings" and a "Victoria Beckham wannabe", the role garnered Jones public attention, with episodes involving feuds between her and rival Tracy Barlow receiving millions of viewers; the episode featuring Karen and Steve's (second) wedding, ruined by Tracy Barlow's revelation that her daughter Amy Barlow was Steve's love child, received 16.3 million viewers. In May 2004 it was announced that she was to leave Coronation Street in the end of that year after four years of playing Karen. Jones described working on a soap opera as "exhausting", remarking, "I was living and breathing Karen McDonald". Jones made her last appearance as Karen on Boxing Day 2004. Departure from Coronation Street You have to believe you can have a life after a soap. Jones, in an interview with The Observer Jones stated that upon her departure from Coronation Street, she received numerous offers to appear in reality TV programmes, which she declined, quipping: "lots of money to go off and eat a crocodile's knob, or whatever". Ignoring reality TV offers, in Autumn 2005, Jones starred in an ITV's detective drama series Vincent, with Ray Winstone in the title role; this was Jones' first television role since leaving Coronation Street the previous year. In the same year she starred on the West End stage in A Few Good Men opposite Rob Lowe and John Barrowman, which earnt her the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in the musical special Celebrate Oliver! which was screened on BBC1. In 2006, she starred as Snow White in the pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the Manchester Opera House alongside Justin Moorhouse and fellow Coronation Street actor John Savident. She also appeared in Kay Mellor's Strictly Confidential in which she played a bisexual sex therapist. On New Year's Day 2007, Jones starred in a Yorkshire and London based black comedy, Dead Clever with Helen Baxendale and Dean Lennox Kelly on ITV1. In autumn 2007, Jones undertook a national tour in the stage run of the film Terms of Endearment, where she played Emma, opposite Linda Gray and John Bowe. In 2008 she played Martha, one of the female leads, in the ITV medical series Harley Street, though the programme's tepid critical reception, combined with poor viewer ratings signalled the end of the programme after its first series. In January 2009, she appeared in Unforgiven, a three-part drama on ITV1, where she plays Ruth Slater, a woman released from prison after serving a 15-year prison sentence for the murder of two policemen. Naturally brown-haired, Jones dyed her hair "tobacco yellow" with "big roots"; Jones joked that whilst not filming she "really should have worn a wig". Additionally, the character of Ruth wore no make-up throughout, with Jones stating she was left feeling "quite exposed", but nonetheless saying "Ruth wouldn't have worn any make-up, I don't think". Jones received favourable reviews for her portrayal, with Brian Viner of The Independent writing: "a stunning performance, the stuff of Bafta nominations if ever I saw it. Heck, on the back of it she might even get propelled into the movies, and bring a bit of North Country sense to the Golden Globes". Viner summarised his review of Unforgiven by stating, "Five stars all round, and six for Jones". Suranne later stated, "I loved that role. They don't come along that often. It was seen by the broadsheets as well as the tabloids. It gave me a little bit of credibility, I suppose". Later in the year, in November, she played the role of the Mona Lisa in the two-part episode "Mona Lisa's Revenge" in The Sarah Jane Adventures. In December, Jones starred in the Manchester Royal Exchange's production of Blithe Spirit, by Noël Coward, which ran until late January 2010.Jones was nominated for the Times Breakthrough Award at the 2010 South Bank Show Awards, the last ever ceremony, but lost to David Blandy. When discussing her nomination she said, "You do question 'What am I breaking through?' Am I breaking through the perception of people who just thought I was a screaming banshee in Coronation Street? Is it that I've worked hard and I've got better? Is it that now it's alright to say that I'm alright? I don't know what I was breaking through, but I knew that it was nice to feel included and patted on the back for a lot of hard work". In March 2010 Jones starred in Five Days, a non-connected sequel to the 2007 series of the same name, as the female lead DC Laurie Franklin. Later in the year she starred as Sarah in Single Father on BBC1, a character who falls in love with a widower, Dave (David Tennant), who was married to her best friend before her death. On 14 May 2011 she played the central character of Idris in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Wife". Jones was cast due to writer Neil Gaiman wanting an actress, in the words of Jones, who is "odd; beautiful but strange looking, and quite funny" to play the role of Idris. Dan Martin, reviewer for The Guardian, noted that "Suranne Jones arguably sets the standard by which all guest stars must now be judged here Jones was electrifying throughout". Later, Jones played DC Rachel Bailey in ITV's new six-part detective series, Scott & Bailey, alongside Lesley Sharp, who plays DC Janet Scott. The series is based upon an original idea by Jones and Sally Lindsay, a former Coronation Street co-star. In July, Jones starred as Marlene, a career-woman living in Thatcher's Britain, in the Minerva Theatre's production of Top Girls by Caryl Churchill in Chichester. Michael Billington, reviewer for The Guardian, remarked that "Suranne Jones captures excellently the hidden regrets of the go-getting Marlene". The production was later transferred to the West End's Trafalgar Studios. In August it was announced that Jones would star alongside John Hannah in a spoof detective drama written by Charlie Brooker and Daniel Maier called A Touch of Cloth. The programme, which as of yet does not have an air date, is set to be broadcast on Sky1. Jones plays DC Anne Oldman, the "plucky, no-nonsense sidekick" of DCI Jack Cloth (John Hannah). Personal life Jones remains in Manchester and lives in a "150-year-old cottage", though stated in 2010 she was searching for a flat in London too, due to her career requiring that she spend most of the week there. She lives with her Jack Russell Terrier, Baxter. Whilst playing Karen McDonald in Coronation Street, Jones became engaged to Jim Phelan, an IT consultant, however, the couple separated. Jones has been involved with various charitable organisations; as a teenager, Jones' mother Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer, with Jones saying "at the time we did a breast cancer campaign together. I still do a lot of charity runs". Jones also has worked with Christian Aid, travelling to Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo (the latter accompanied by Sally Lindsay), helping with projects concerning HIV, women's rights and child soldiers. Filmography Year Series Role Notes 1997 Coronation Street Mandy Phillips 1998 City Central Emma 1999 My Wonderful Life Linda 2000–2004 Coronation Street Karen McDonald British Soap Award for Best Actress 2004 British Soap Award for Best Actress 2005 National Television Award for Most Popular Actress 2004 Nominated— National Television Award for Most Popular Actress 2003 2004 Punch Judy Short film 2005 Celebrate "Oliver!" Nancy 2005–2006 Vincent Beth 2006 Strictly Confidential Linda Nelson 2007 Dead Clever: The Life and Crimes of Julie Bottomley Julie Bottomley Television film 2008 Harley Street Dr Martha Elliot 2009 Love and a Long Shot Sarah Film Unforgiven Ruth Slater Nominated—Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor (female) The Sarah Jane Adventures Mona Lisa Episode: "Mona Lisa's Revenge" 2010 Five Days DC Laurie Franklin Nominated—National Television Award for Outstanding Drama Performance Nominated— TV Choice Award for Best Actress Single Father Sarah 2011 Doctor Who Idris/TARDIS Episode: "The Doctor's Wife" Scott & Bailey DC Rachel Bailey Pending—TV Choice Award for Best Actress A Touch of Cloth DC Anne Oldman
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