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jakeem

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...Valentina Cortese (born on January 1, 1923), the Academy Award-nominated Italian actress who made several films in Hollywood. She recently wrote a memoir, "Quanti sono i Domani Passati" ("The Many Days that Have Gone By").
 
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She has been been nominated once for an Academy Award: 
  • Séverine in "La nuit américaine" ("Day for Night," 1974). Best Supporting Actress.

A native of Milan, Cortese began her film career in Italian pictures in the 1940s. She became a star in the two-part 1948 Italian version of Les Misérables, directed by Riccardo Freda. She appeared as Fantine in Part 1 and Cosette (pictured below with Aldo Nicodemi as Marius and Gino Cervi as Jean Valjean) in Part 2. The second part also featured an uncredited appearance by a young Marcello Mastroianni.

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Cortese co-starred with the American actor Richard Conte in Jules Dassin's film noir tale "Thieves' Highway" (1949). Conte played a World War II vet who set out to avenge his truck driver father, ruined by a powerful San Francisco produce dealer (Lee J. Cobb). Cortese played a streetwalker who helped the vet achieve a measure of revenge.
 
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Also in 1949, Cortese co-starred with Spencer Tracy and James Stewart in the World War II drama "Malaya." Directed by Richard Thorpe, the film was the story of an American effort to extract rubber from territory occupied by the Japanese.
 
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In Robert Wise's 1951 film noir effort "The House on Telegraph Hill," Cortese co-starred with William Lundigan and Richard Basehart. She and Basehart married that same year. The marriage lasted until 1960. Their son John Anthony "Jackie" Basehart became an actor in Italian films. He died in 2015 at the age of 63,
 
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In Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "The Barefoot Contessa" (1954) Cortese played  Eleanora Torlato-Favrini, the widowed sister of the dashing Italian count (Rossano Brazzi) who marries the Spanish film star Maria Vargas (Ava Gardner). Humphrey Bogart starred as the filmmaker Harry Dawes, who discovered Vargas and groomed her into stardom. Edmond O'Brien won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as a publicist. 
 
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Cortese (pictured below at the rear right) was one of the stars of the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1955 drama "Le Amiche" (or "The Girlfriends"). The film, set in Turin, Italy, focused on the relationship of a group of young upper class women. Also starring were Yvonne Furneaux, Eleonora Rossi Drago and Anna Maria Pancani. 
 
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In Federico Fellini's first feature-length color film -- the phantasmagoric "Juliet of the
Spirits" (1965) -- Cortese co-starred with the director's wife Giulietta Masina (pictured below right), who played the troubled title character. Titled "Giulietta degli Spiriti" in Italian, Masina played a neglected housewife who suspected that her husband (Mario Pisu) was having an affair. As a result, she began to have experiences that may have been dreams -- or reality. Cortese played a friend named Valentina.
 
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Cortese earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in French director François Truffaut's acclaimed 1973 comedy/drama "La Nuit américaine" (or "Day for Night"). The film, which also starred Jacqueline Bisset and Jean-Pierre Léaud, was an inside look at the making of a motion picture in southern France. Cortese played a fading actress with a fondness for alcohol and a tendency to forget her lines and scene blocking. The picture won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film on April 2, 1974. Cortese's nomination was for the following year.
 
 
At the 47th Academy Awards, held on April 8, 1975, the Best Supporting Actress Oscar went to Ingrid Bergman for her performance in "Murder on the Orient Express." It was her third gold statuette. During her acceptance speech, the Swedish actress struck an apologetic tone as she praised Cortese's performance in "Day for Night." 
 
 
Cortese appeared as The Queen of the Moon in Terry Gilliam's 1988 fantasy "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." The film starred John Neville as the fictional title character, an 18th-century German nobleman known for telling tall tales. Robin Williams played The King of the Moon. 
 
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What a treat to see this thread this morning, jakeem!

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...Cuba Gooding, Jr. (born on January 2, 1968), the Academy Award-winning actor known for playing heroic African-American characters -- and an occasional complicated one.
 
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He has been nominated once for an Academy Award: 
  • Rod Tidwell in "Jerry Maguire" (1996). Won Best Supporting Actor.
Gooding's father, Cuba Gooding, Sr. (1944-2017), was the lead singer of the 1970s R&B group The Main Ingredient, which had Top 10 hits on the Billboard pop chart with the songs "Everybody Plays the Fool" (1972) and "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely" (1974). 
 
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Gooding Jr.'s breakthrough film was John Singleton's 1991 drama "Boyz n the Hood," the story of teenagers growing up in a tough neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. The film marked the screen debut of the rap artist Ice Cube (pictured below with Gooding), who went on to become an accomplished actor and filmmaker. Also in the cast: Morris Chestnut (in his screen debut), Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long and Regina King. The film earned Singleton Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. At the age of 24, he became the first African-American director and the youngest person to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar.
 
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Gooding played U.S. Marine Corporal Carl Edward Hammaker in "A Few Good Men"(1992), Rob Reiner's film version of the 1989 play by Aaron Sorkin. The drama starred Tom Cruise as a member of the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG). His assignment: To defend two U.S. Marines (played by James Marshall and Wolfgang Bodison) court-martialed for the death of a fellow Leatherneck at the American naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Cpl. Hammaker, who knew both men, was called on to provide testimony during the case. The film earned four Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Sound (Kevin O'Connell, Rick Kline and Robert Eber) and Best Film Editing (Robert Leighton). The picture also starred Demi Moore, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak and J.T. Walsh. 
 
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In the 1993 HBO film "Daybreak," Gooding and Moira Kelly starred as futuristic lovers in an authoritarian American society that sends carriers of an AIDS-like virus to secret concentration camps. Gooding's character Torch, who is infected, becomes the leader of a resistance movement in New York City. Kelly's character, an uninfected young woman named Blue, joins the effort.Directed by Stephen Tolkin, the film was based on the play "Beirut" by AIDS victim Alan Bowne (1945-1989).
 
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In "The Tuskegee Airmen,"  a 1995 HBO production about the fabled African-American flying aces of World War II, Gooding played the fictional pilot Lt. Billy "A-Train" Roberts. Directed by Robert Markowitz, the film also starred Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Courtney B. Vance, Andre Braugher, Mekhi Phifer and John Lithgow.
 
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As the flamboyant Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell, Gooding was a scene stealer in Cameron Crowe's "Jerry Maguire" (1996). The film reunited the actor with Cruise, who played the title character, a sports agent who developed a conscience. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Tom Cruise), Best Supporting Actor (Gooding), Best Original Screenplay (Crowe) and Best Film Editing (Joe Hutshing). It also made Renée Zellweger, cast as the agent's secretary and love interest, a star. "Show me the money!" -- introduced in the movie by Tidwell -- became a popular catchphrase. In 2005, the American Film Institute ranked it at No. 25 on its list of the 100 greatest quotes in movie history.
 
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At the 69th Academy Awards ceremony on March 24, 1997, Gooding won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. His acceptance speech became memorable because he had to battle the orchestra's attempt to cut him short.
 
 
The 2000 biopic "Men of Honor" starred Gooding as Carl Brashear (1931-2006), who in 1970 became the U.S. Navy's first African-American master diver. Directed by George Tillman, Jr., the film also starred Robert De Niro as Master Chief Petty Officer Leslie William "Billy" Sunday -- who gradually became Brashear's ally. 
 
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Gooding appeared as the real-life Petty Officer Dorie Miller in Michael Bay's 2001 film "Pearl Harbor," a drama set in Hawaii during the Japanese sneak attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet on December 7, 1941. Miller was a black crew member of the U.S.S. West Virginia when the explosions began. Because the U.S. military was segregated at the time, Miller served in the mess and was not authorized to use weapons. But he stepped up and manned anti-aircraft machine guns. He also Miller saved lives by pitching in and moving injured sailors.  For his heroism, Miller became the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross. In November 1943, he was reported missing in action after the escort carrier U.S.S. Liscome Bay was torpedoed during the Battle of Makin.
 
 
In the 2009 TNT made-for-television movie  "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story," Gooding portrayed the brilliant neurosurgeon who is now the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Directed by Thomas Carter, the critically acclaimed film also starred Kimberly Elise and Aunjanue Ellis.
 
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Gooding returned to the saga of The Tuskegee Airmen in the 2012 feature film "Red Tails," produced by George Lucas. This time, the actor played Major Emanuel Stance, a character based on the real-life aviator Major George "Spanky" Roberts (1918-1984). Directed by Anthony Hemingway, the picture also starred Terrence Howard, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Michael B. Jordan, Tristan Wilds, Leslie Odom, Jr., Method Man and Bryan Cranston. 
 
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Based on a true story, the 2013 historical drama "Lee Daniels' The Butler" starred Oscar winner Forest Whitaker and Gooding as longtime members of the White House servant staff. Whitaker's character was based on Eugene Allen (1919-2010), who worled for seven U.S. presidents over 34 years. The film was produced and directed by Daniels, who received two Academy Award nominations for the 2009 Best Picture nominee "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire."
 
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Ava DuVernay's 2014 historical drama "Selma" starred David Oyelowo as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gooding as civil rights attorney Fred Gray. The film, which re-created the eventful 1965 voting rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. It won the Best Original Song Oscar for "Glory" by Common and John Legend.
 
Cuba Gooding Jr.
 
The 2016 FX miniseries "The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story" starred Gooding as the football hero-turned-murder suspect in June 1994. The television production re-created the mesmerizing "Trial of the Century" that followed a year later. The miniseries earned 22 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including recognition for Gooding in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (he lost to his co-star Courtney B. Vance, pictured below right, who portrayed defense attorney Johnnie Cochran). Overall, the project won nine Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series.
 
Image result for cuba gooding jr the people vs. o.j. simpson
 
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...Thelma Schoonmaker (born on January 3, 1940), the Academy Award-winning film editor long associated with director Martin Scorsese and his pictures. Their latest collaboration, "The Irishman," is expected to be streamed by Netflix later in the year.  
 
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She has been nominated for Academy Awards seven times (Oscar wins in bold): 
  • Best Film Editing for "Woodstock" (1970).
  • Best Film Editing for "Raging Bull" (1980). 
  • Best Film Editing for "Goodfellas" (1990).
  • Best Film Editing for "Gangs of New York" (2002).
  • Best Film Editing for "The Aviator" (2004).
  • Best Film Editing for "The Departed" (2006).
  • Best Film Editing for "Hugo" (2011). 
 
Born in Algeria to American parents -- her father was a Standard Oil agent -- Schoonmaker studied political science at Cornell University for a time. But she became interested in film editing after she answered an ad in The New York Times that promised on-the-job training. She later took a class at New York University, where she met Scorsese. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 
 
Happy birthday to three-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker!
 
Schoonmaker edited Scorsese's first film, the 1967 drama "Who's That Knocking at My Door," which marked the screen debut of actor Harvey Keitel. He would become a Scorsese regular, appearing in several other projects, including "Mean Streets" (1973), "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (1974), "Taxi Driver" (1976), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988) and the upcoming crime film "The Irishman."
 
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At NYU, Schoonmaker also met the filmmaker and cinematographer Michael Wadleigh, who hired her to edit his documentary about the Woodstock Music Festival in August 1969. Scorsese also worked on the project. The result was "Woodstock," which won the 1970 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Schoonmaker received an Oscar nomination for her editing of the film -- a rare honor for a documentary. 
 
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Schoonmaker has edited every Scorsese film since "Raging Bull (1980), which earned her the first of her three Academy Awards. The black-and-white biopic featured Robert De Niro in his Oscar-winning portrayal of the middleweight boxing great Jake LaMotta (1922-2017).
 
 
On May 19, 1984, Schoonmaker married the great British director Michael Powell (pictured below with the film editor and actor Jeremy Irons). She was introduced to the filmmaker -- who was 34 years her senior -- by Scorsese. The marriage lasted until Powell's death from cancer on February 19, 1990 at the age of 84. In the years since, both Scorsese and Schoonmaker have devoted themselves to preserving Powell's films, which include such classics as "Black Narcissus" (1947), "The Red Shoes" (1948) and "Peeping Tom" (1960).
 
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Schoonmaker's second Oscar win was for "The Aviator," Scorsese's 2004 screen biography that starred Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes (1905-1976). The film, nominated for 11 Academy Awards (including Best Picture), re-created Hughes' July 7, 1946 crash in Beverly Hills, California while piloting the XF-11 -- a reconnaissance aircraft commissioned by the U.S. Air Force.
 
 
Both Schoonmaker and Scorsese won Academy Awards for "The Departed" (2006), a taut crime drama set in Boston and based on the 2002 Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs." The film, which was named Best Picture, starred Matt Damon and DiCaprio as law enforcers working undercover for different sides. An Oscar also went to writer William Monahan for his adapted screenplay. Scorsese's Best Director award was his only Academy Award win in nine nominations.
 
 
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At the 79th Academy Awards ceremony held on February 25, 2007, Schoonmaker -- as she always has -- paid tribute to Scorsese during her acceptance speech.
 
 
"The Irishman" stars Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa and De Niro as Frank Sheeran, the hitman who claimed to have liquidated the powerful boss of the Teamsters Union in 1975. The Netflix production, said to cost more than $140 million, is based on Charles Brandt's 2003 book "I Heard You Paint Houses: Frank 'The Irishman' Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa." The film, which also stars Keitel, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, Bobby Cannavale, Ray Romano and Jesse Plemons, will likely get a theatrical release to qualify it for Academy Awards consideration.
 
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Beautifully composed tribute befitting a great actress. Much thanks also for the wonderful photos of Valentina throughout her career.

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...the British actress Julia Ormond (born on January 4, 1965), who was expected to become the Next Big Thing in Hollywood movies during the 1990s. It didn't work out that way, although she distinguished herself years later in movies and television productions.
 
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The stage-trained actress from Surrey County in England made a splash in the 1989 British miniseries "Traffik," in which she played the heroin-addicted daughter of Britain's antidrug minister (Bill Paterson). The production inspired Steven Soderbergh's 2000 feature film "Traffic," for which the American filmmaker won an Oscar for Best Director.
 
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The 1994 drama "Legends of the Fall," set in Montana during the World War I years, was the first of three films that saw Ormond characters involved in tricky romantic entanglements. In this one, she played a woman who became engaged to a college sweetheart (Henry Thomas) and then moved West with him to his family's ranch. But she eventually became involved with his brothers (played by Brad Pitt and Aidan Quinn). The film, which starred Sir Anthony Hopkins as the family patriarch, won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography (John Toll).
 
 
The 1995 medieval romance "First Knight" was based on the legendary romantic triangle involving England's King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. Sir Sean Connery starred as the king, Ormond was the queen and Richard Gere took on the role of Lancelot. As the Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert wrote, the movie was unlucky enough "to open third in the same season that also brought 'Rob Roy' and 'Braveheart,' two better examples of the medieval swordcraft-and-seduction genre." 
 
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Also in 1995, Ormond starred in "Sabrina," a remake of Billy Wilder's 1954 Cinderella story about a chauffeur's daughter (Audrey Hepburn) wooed by members of a prominent family (Humphrey Bogart and William Holden). The new version, directed by Sydney Pollack, teamed Ormond with Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford. Although it fizzled as a box-office attraction, the movie earned Oscar nominations for composer John Williams -- Best Original Score and Best Original Song ("Moonlight," with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). 
 
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Although she didn't become an established Hollywood star, Ormond continued to act. In 1997, she starred in Danish director Bille August's mystery/thriller "Smilla's Sense of Snow." Based on the 1992 novel "Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow" by the Danish author Peter Høeg, the film featured Ormond as Smilla Jaspersen -- who began her own investigation into the mysterious death of a young boy at her Copenhagen apartment building. The drama also starred Gabriel Byrne, Richard Harris, Robert Loggia and Vanessa Redgrave.
 
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In David Fincher's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008) -- inspired by a 1922 F. Scott Fitzgerald story -- Brad Pitt played the title character, a unique figure who aged in reverse order. Ormond played the daughter of Button's lifelong love interest (Cate Blanchett), who was on her deathbed in a New Orleans hospital as Hurricane Katrina approached. The film was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won for Best Art Direction (Donald Graham Burt and Victor J. Zolfo), Best Makeup (Greg Cannom) and Best Visual Effects (Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron).
 
 
In the 2010 HBO biopic "Temple Grandin," Clare Danes played the real-life title character -- an autistic woman who earned a Ph.D and became an animal science professor at Colorado State University. She also became a key consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. Ormond portrayed Grandin's mother, Eustacia Cutler, who became an advocate for autistic children in the 1950s. 
 
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"Temple Grandin" received seven Primetime Emmys -- including Outstanding Made for Television Movie -- at the 62nd annual awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on August 29. 2010. Ormond won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. She thanked Grandin's mother, the woman she portrayed in the production. "This is yours as much as it is mine -- in fact probably more yours," she said. Three months later, at an autism conference in West Los Angeles, Ormond presented her Emmy to Cutler.
 
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The 2011 film "My Week With Marilyn" was a behind-the scenes story behind the filming of the 1957 romantic comedy "The Prince and the Showgirl," which starred Sir Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Ormond portrayed the great British actress Vivien Leigh, who was married to Olivier at the time. Directed by Simon Curtis, the picture received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Michelle Williams as Monroe) and Best Supporting Actor (Sir Kenneth Branagh as the actor and director Olivier).
 
 
From 2012 to 2015, Ormond made occasional appearances on the AMC hit series "Mad Men," in which she appeared as Marie Calvet -- the French-Canadian mother-in-law of ad executive Don Draper (series star Jon Hamm). For her work on the program during Season 5, Ormond received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
 
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Y'know, I just quickly scrolled through most of these TWO POSTS because I really don't have the TIME to sit here and read all of them (PLUS rick the hemorrhoids )  ;)

So I think a mention of who's birthday it is, and a quick list of film credits should suffice.

And though not related to "filmdom", but of significance to ME, I'll mention (and post just ONE sufficient clip) that it's guitar virtuoso JOHN McLAUGHLIN'S 77th birthday today.  ;)

First playing guitar for GEORGIE FAME, he then went on to MILES DAVIS' band, then formed his own successful MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA in the '70's, and still wows audiences in his many solo projects, plus the remarkable "Mediterranean Concerto" in '88.   An excerpt----

My sweet wife and I saw him perform this with the DSO 30 years ago, a month before we were married.

 

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...Bradley Cooper (born on January 5, 1975), the Philadelphia product who has evolved into one of the top actors and filmmakers in the entertainment business today.
 
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He has been nominated for Academy Awards four times:
  • Pat Solatano Jr. in "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012). Best Actor.
  • Richie DiMaso in "American Hustle" (2013). Best Supporting Actor.
  • Chris Kyle in "American Sniper" (2014). Best Actor.
  • As a producer: Best Picture for "American Sniper" (shared with Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar and Peter Morgan).
 
The comedian Louis CK once declared that no actor who ever asked a question on the television show "Inside the Actors Studio" would ever become famous. Cooper, who attended the famed drama school in the late 1990s, proved him wrong -- twice. As a second-year student in 1999, Cooper (pictured below) asked a question of guest Sean Penn about his appearance in the movie "Hurlyburly" -- 10 years after starring in a stage version. He also once asked Robert De Niro a question about his acting technique in the 1990 film "Awakenings."
 
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Cooper's first acting credit was from a Season 2 episode of HBO's "Sex and the City." In the 1999 episode -- titled "They Shoot Single People, Don't They?" -- Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) backs out of a date with Cooper's character after he sees her unflattering photo on the cover of New York magazine.
 
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From 2001 to 2006, Cooper co-starred in the ABC espionage series "Alias" as Will Tippin, the best friend of superspy Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner). After his role began to get smaller and smaller through the years, he requested that he be written out of the series.
 
ALIAS - 'There's Only One Sydney Bristow' - In the milestone 100th episode of the award-winning spy drama, Sydney's maternity
 
His big break was in the 2005 hit film "Wedding Crashers," in which he played a prospective bridegroom who loses his fiancee (Rachel McAdams) because of the antics of the title characters (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn). The film, directed by David Dobkin, was a monster hit that grossed $285 million worldwide.
 
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Four years later, Cooper became a breakout star at the age of 34, thanks to the comedy "The Hangover." Directed by Todd Phillips, the film focused on four friends (played by Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Bartha) who experienced some changes after a wild bachelor party in Las Vegas. The picture grossed $467 million worldwide, became the biggest R-rated comedy hit in North America and spawned sequels in 2011 and 2013.
 
 
Cooper played  Templeton "Face" Peck in a 2010 screen version of "The A-Team," based on the popular 1980s TV series about escaped military prisoners turned soldiers of fortune in Los Angeles. Also starring in the action film Liam Neeson (as John "Hannibal" Smith), mixed martial arts star Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (as B.A. Baracus), Sharlto Copley as "Howling Mad" Murdock and Jessica Biel (as Face's ex-girlfriend Charissa Sosa).
 
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De Niro and Cooper starred in the 2011 sci-fi thriller "Limitless," based on the 2001 novel "The Dark Fields" by Ireland's Alan Glyn. Cooper starred as Eddie Morra, a New Yorker whose brainpower was boosted by an experimental drug. As he became more successful, he also found himself involved in intrigue. De Niro appeared as a financier aptly named Von Loon. The film's box-office success led to a television spinoff -- also titled "Limitless" -- which aired on CBS during the 2015-2016 season. It starred Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Cooper, a co-producer of the series, made occasional appearances as Eddie Morra, who had become a U.S. senator.
 
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Also in 2011, Cooper joined host James Lipton for a conversation on "Inside the Actors Studio." Lipton, the dean emeritus of the school, said the hour was emotional for both of them. "I auditioned him," Lipton said later. "If I had turned him down, he would have stayed at Georgetown and become a diplomat -- and a great one."
 
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Later that year, People magazine named Cooper "The Sexiest Man Alive!" The weekly publication attributed his selection to his "box-office appeal...undeniable good looks and the lengths he'll go to for romance." When asked about the sexiest thing he'd ever done while courting members of the opposite gender, he responded: "Getting on a plane to go get them."
 
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Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence received Academy Award nominations for their performances in David O. Russell's 2012 comedy/drama "Silver Linings Playbook." Based on a 2008 novel by Matthew Quick, the picture starred the leads as social misfits who become an unlikely dance contest team -- and a couple. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Russell), Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Lawrence, who won), Best Supporting Actor (De Niro) and Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver). It was the 14th time in history that a film earned Oscar nominations in all four acting categories.
 
 
A year later, Cooper and Lawrence reunited with Russell for "American Hustle" -- a black comedy based on the FBI's sting operations against bribery-prone U.S. congressmen in the 1970s and 1980s. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations -- including Best Picture and Best Director. Once again, a Russell film picked up nominations in all four acting categories: Best Actor (Christian Bale), Best Actress (Amy Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Cooper) and Best Supporting Actress (Lawrence). 
 
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Cooper earned two more Oscar nominations for "American Sniper," the 2014 biopic of the U.S. Navy Seal and expert marksman Chris Kyle (1974-2013). The drama, directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood, grossed $547.1 million worldwide. Cooper received his second Best Actor nod as well as recognition for co-producing the film, which was nominated for Best Picture. 
 
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In the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbusters "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (2017), Cooper provided the voice for the anthropomorphic Rocket Raccoon (pictured below with Baby Groot). The sharp-tongued, ever-scheming character also appeared with his team members in the 2018 hit "Avengers: Infinity War."
 
08 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol
 
Cooper (pictured below with Lady Gaga) could be a quadruple threat for Academy Awards when the annual nominations are revealed on January 22, 2019. He directed, co-produced, co-wrote and starred in the latest version of "A Star Is Born." The Hollywood tale about a celebrity couple -- one on the rise, the other in decline -- previously was filmed in 1937, 1954 and 1976. The 1932 drama "What Price Hollywood?" -- directed by George Cukor, who also helmed the 1954 version of "A Star Is Born" -- had a similar storyline. 
 
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...John Singleton (born on January 6, 1968), the filmmaker who in 1992 became the youngest person and first African-American to receive a Best Director nomination for an Academy Award. He has directed action films as well as stories about inner-city residents.
 
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He has been nominated twice for Academy Awards:
  • Best Director for "Boyz in the Hood" (1991)
  • Best Original Screenplay for "Boyz in the Hood" (1991).

Singleton had just graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic when he made his directorial debut with "Boyz in the Hood," the story of black teens growing up tough in South Central Los Angeles. "As the movie was going along, I was learning how to direct," Singleton told The Guardian in 2016. "As it becomes more intense and comes on to the third act, the camera work is more and more fluid, because I’m getting better and better -- and taking more chances."

Wrote Jonny Coleman of L.A. Weekly in 2016: "Boyz n the Hood's brutally realistic portrait of South L.A. got the world’s attention. Our opinions and associations of what South-Central is are largely formed by this one film. It was absolutely revolutionary upon its release, a genuine shock to white America and, in hindsight, a fascinating portrayal of a community that would explode in riots a year later."
 
The film marked the screen debuts of actors Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube and Regina King, who is a likely Oscar nominee for her performance in the 2018 drama "If Beale Street Could Talk."
 
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Singleton directed the music video for Michael Jackson's 1992 hit song "Remember the Time." Set in ancient Egypt, the production featured Jackson as a magical performer who charmed the queen (Iman) -- but earned the wrath of a jealous pharaoh (Eddie Murphy). The video, choreographed by Fatima Robinson, also featured NBA great Ervin "Magic" Johnson as an anachronistic courtier.
 
 
Singleton's second film, the 1993 romantic drama "Poetic Justice," also took place in South Central Los Angeles. It focused on the relationship between a budding poet named Justice (Janet Jackson) and a single father named Lucky (played by the rap artist Tupac Shakur). The song "Again," performed in the movie by Jackson and written by her producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song. It lost to Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" from "Philadelphia."
 
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The 1994 academic drama "Higher Learning" took place on the fictional campus of Columbus University (some scenes actually were shot at UCLA). The film's diverse cast featured Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, Tyra Banks and King. Laurence Fishburne was a standout as Mr. Phipps, a demanding political science professor.
 
 
Based on a true story from the 1920s, "Rosewood" (1997) re-created a shameful series of events in a small Florida town populated by many self-sufficient black families. Things changed when a white woman from a neighboring town falsely claimed that she was assaulted by a black man. The result: The total destruction of Rosewood by white mobs. The film starred Jon Voigt as a sympathetic white merchant and Ving Rhames as a
World War I vet who tried to stop the violence.
 
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In the 2000 film "Shaft," Singleton revived the detective series that starred Richard Roundtree as a fearless 1970s New York private detective. But the focus this time was on John Shaft's nephew (Samuel L. Jackson) -- a relentless NYPD police detective named John II. The younger Shaft's primary case: Find a missing eyewitness (played by Toni Collette) who could connect a young real estate heir (Christian Bale) to a murder. Also starring in the picture: Vanessa L. Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Dan Hedaya, Busta Rhymes and Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Jackson and Roundtree will reprise their roles in a 2019 "Shaft" film, but Singleton is not involved in the project.
 
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The 2001 cult film "Baby Boy" provided the screen debuts of Taraji P. Henson and the erstwhile R&B singer Tyrese Gibson (both pictured below). Set in South Central Los Angeles, the drama starred Gibson as Joseph "Jody" Summers, an irresponsible 20-year-old bicycle mechanic who lived with his mother (A.J. Johnson). Jody somehow managed to balance romances with two women (Henson, Tamara LaSeon Bass) who had given birth to his children. Could Jody become a better person? There are legions of movie fans who would love to find out for sure in a sequel. Written, directed and produced by Singleton, the film also starred Ving Rhames, Omar Gooding (younger brother of Cuba Jr.) and Snoop Dogg.
 
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In 2003, Singleton directed "2 Fast 2 Furious," the first sequel to the blockbuster hit from two years earlier -- "The Fast and the Furious." Although Vin Diesel declined a chance to reprise his character in the second film, his once-and-future co-star Paul Walker returned as the former undercover cop Brian O'Conner. This edition -- in which authorities persuaded O'Conner to help them bring down a major drug kingpin (Cole Hauser) -- also starred Tyrese, Eva Mendes, Ludacris, Devon Aoki, Michael Ealy and Amaury Nolasco. The film was another success for the franchise, earning $236 million worldwide. Singleton became only the third African-American director -- after Sidney Poitier ("Stir Crazy") and Keenan Ivory Wayans ("Scary Movie") -- to have a film earn more than $100 million at the domestic box office. 
 
 
"Four Brothers" (2005) focused on a quartet of revenge-minded men (Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson, Garrett Hedlund and André Benjamin) determined to find out who murdered the woman that adopted them all. The film was inspired by the 1965 John Wayne Western "The Sons of Katie Elder." Also starring in the production were Terrence Howard and Fionnula Flanagan.
 
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Singleton is the co-creator and an execuitive producer of the FX television series "Snowfall," which premiered on July 5, 2017. Set in South Central Los Angeles in the early 1980s, the drama is an examination of the crack epidemic that plagued the area. Season 3 will air later in 2019.
 
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...Jeremy Renner (born on January 7, 1971), the veteran actor who rose to starring roles in the late 2000s. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he plays the expert archer Clint Burton (a.k.a Hawkeye), one of the few Avengers who hasn't been given a solo film yet.
 
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He has been nominated twice for Academy Awards:
  • Sergeant First Class William James in "The Hurt Locker" (2009). Best Actor.
  • James "Jem" Coughlin in "The Town" (2010). Best Supporting Actor.
 
In the 2005 drama "North Country," Charlize Theron played Josey Aimes, a Minnesota mine worker harassed on the job by her ex-boyfriend (played by Renner). The film was based on the true story of female mine workers in Minnesota who filed the first U.S. class-action sexual harassment lawsuit in 1988. Directed by Niki Caro, the film received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Theron) and Best Supporting Actress (Frances McDormand).
 
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In "28 Weeks Later" -- the 2007 sequel to Danny Boyle's 2002 zombie-like apocalypse tale "28 Days Later" -- Renner played a U.S. Delta Force sniper working with NATO forces in London. The character risked his life to protect an Army medical officer (Rose Byrne) and a couple of refugee siblings (Mackintosh Muggleton and Imogen Poots). Directed by the Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, the thriller also starred Robert Carlyle, Catherine McCormack, Harold Perrineau and Idris Elba.
 
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The 2007 Western "The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford" featured Renner (pictured below with Sam Rockwell and Garret Dillahunt) as Wood Hite (1850-1851), a sometime member of the outlaw James-Younger gang. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik, the drama starred Brad Pitt as Jesse James, Sam Shepard as Frank James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford. Affleck received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance.
 
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Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker" (2009) starred Jeremy Renner as Sergeant First Class William James, a member of an elite bomb disposal unit during the Iraqi War. The drama also starred Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse and Guy Pearce. 
 
 
"The Hurt Locker" was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won six: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal), Best Film Editing (Chris Innis and Bob Murawski), Best Sound Editing (Paul N. J. Ottosson) and Best Sound Mixing (Ottosson and Ray Beckett). It also was nominated for Best Actor (Renner), Best Original Score (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders) and Best Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd). Bigelow became the first woman to direct a Best Picture winner and receive the Best Director award. 
 
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Renner's second Oscar nomination was for his performance in the 2010 heist picture "The Town," which starred the film's director, Ben Affleck. Based on the 2004 novel "Prince of Thieves" by Chuck Hogan, the thriller focused on the plans of a group of Bostoners to steal the gate receipts from Fenway Park. The drama also starred Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper and Pete Postlethwaite (in his penultimate film role).
 
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Renner's first appearance as Clint Barton was a cameo in the 2011 Marvel film "Thor." He reprised the character in the blockbusters "The Avengers" (2012), "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015) and "Captain America: Civil War (2016, pictured below with Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch). Renner is said to be returning for the upcoming installment "Avengers: Endgame." The status of Olsen's character is in doubt, thanks to her disappearance in "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018).
 
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When Matt Damon decided not to star in "The Bourne Legacy" (2012), Renner stepped in as a Jason Bourne surrogate. He starred as a black ops agent named Aaron Cross in the fourth installment of the series. The film also featured Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac, Joan Allen and Albert Finney.In 2016, Damon returned for "Jason Bourne," the fifth film based on characters created by the author Robert Ludlum (1927-2001). 
 
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Renner and the British actress (and onetime Bond Girl) Gemma Arterton played grownup versions of the fairy tale siblings in "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters." The 2013 fantasy action picture, directed by the Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola, also starred Famke Janssen and Peter Stormare. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay were co-producers of the picture.
 
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Amy Adams and Renner starred in the 2016 sci-fi thriller "Arrival," which revolved around the sudden appearance of a dozen alien spacecrafts at different Earth locations. She played a noted linguist and he appeared as a physicist. Both were recruited by the U.S. government to try and communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (Denis Villeneuve). It won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing (Sylvain Bellemare).  
 
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Between appearances in Marvel movies, Renner and Olsen co-starred in "Wind River," a 2017 murder mystery that marked the directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan ("Sicario," "Hell or High Water"). Renner played a U.S. Fish and Wildlife service agent who discovered a dead body on a Native American reservation in Wyoming. Olsen appeared as the FBI agent who persuaded him to help her solve the murder case. Written by Sheridan, the film also starred Graham Greene, Gil Birmingham and Jon Bernthal.
 
 
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...Yvette Mimieux (born on January 8, 1942), the American actress who signed with MGM and appeared in six movies before she turned 21. She was the product of a French father and a Mexican mother.
 
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Mimieux's first major film role was in "Platinum High School" (1960), in which Mickey Rooney played a businessman determined to find out why his son died at an exclusive military academy. The drama, which also starred Terry Moore, Dan Duryea, Richard Jaeckel, Elisha Cook, Jr. and Conway Twitty, was re-released four years later as "Trouble at 16." Mimieux played a shopkeeper's daughter who provided assistance to Rooney's character during his personal investigation. For her performance in the film, the starlet received a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer -- Female.
 
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Also in 1960, Mimieux co-starred with Rod Taylor in "The Time Machine," George Pal's Oscar-winning adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic story about a British inventor who creates a device that can travel back or forward in time. On New Year's Eve in 1899, the time traveler, George (played by Taylor), tested the machine and wound up in the year 802701 A.D. He discovered a post-apocalyptic society populated by the peace-loving Eloi and the barbarous, underground-dwelling Morlocks. Mimieux appeared as Weena, George's Eloi love interest. Alan Young, who later starred with a talking horse on TV's "Mr. Ed" from 1961 to 1966, played a dual role -- George's best friend, Filby, and Filby's lookalike son. The movie won an Academy Award for its time-lapse visual effects by Gene Warren and Tim Baar.
 
 
Mimieux appeared with Delores Hart, Connie Francis and Paula Prentiss in the 1960 romantic comedy "Where the Boys Are," the story of four college students who head for Fort Lauderdale, Fla. during spring break. It was the screen debut for the accomplished recording artist Francis, who performed the title song. Directed by Henry Levin, the film was based on the 1960 novel by Glendon Swarthout. Also starring in the picture: George Hamilton and Jim Hutton, who went on to star in three other films with Prentiss. Hart retired from acting three years later to take religious vows and become a Roman Catholic nun in Connecticut. 
 
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The poignant 1962 drama "Light in the Piazza" starred Mimieux as Clara Johnson, a mentally challenged young woman traveling through Italy with her mother Meg (played by Dame Olivia de Havilland). In Florence, Clara attracted the attention of Fabrizio Naccarelli (George Hamilton), a member of a wealthy Italian family. When a romance developed between Clara and Fabrizio, Mrs. Johnson became hopeful that marriage might keep Clara from being institutionalized. As a result, she decided not to mention Clara's disability. Directed by Guy Green ("A Patch of Blue"), the film also starred Rossano Brazzi and Barry Sullivan. In 2005, a musical version of the story opened on Broadway, starring Victoria Clark as Mrs. Johnson, Kelli O'Hara as Clara and Matthew Morrison as Fabrizio. Directed by Bartlett Sher, "Light in the Piazza" earned 11 Tony Award nominations -- including Best Musical. It won six awards, including Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical (Clark).
 
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In January 1964, Mimieux guest starred in a two-part episode of the NBC drama series "Dr. Kildare," which starred Richard Chamberlain as the title character. In the Season 3 installments of "Tyger, Tyger," the actress appeared as a surfing enthusiast plagued by epileptic seizures. Kildare became involved with the case of the young woman, who refused to give up surfing despite her condition. For her performances in the series, Mimieux received a Golden Globe nomination in the Best TV Star -- Female category. 
 
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Mimieux teamed with Chamberlain again in the 1965 romantic drama "Joy in the Morning," based on a 1963 novel by Betty Smith ("A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"), The stars played 1920s Irish immigrants who married young and tried to stay together while he pursued legal studies at a Midwest college. Directed by Alex Segal, the film also starred Arthur Kennedy, Oscar Holmolka, Sidney Blackmer and Virginia Gregg.
 
Richard Chamberlain & Yvette Mimieux in Joy in the Morning (1965))
 
The 1967 Disney comedy "Monkeys, Go Home!" starred Dean Jones as an American who inherited a rundown olive farm in southern France. In his attempt to revive the property, he bypassed hiring laborers and brought in four chimpanzees once trained for the United States' space program. As a result, the newcomers earn the ire of the local townspeople. Mimieux played a local villager who befriends the determined American. Maurice Chevalier co-starred as a priest named Father Sylvain. The picture was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, known for his collaborations with John Wayne and James Stewart. 
 
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Mimieux reunited with her "Time Machine" co-star Taylor in the 1968 drama "Dark of the Sun." Set in the Congo in 1960, the adventure film featured Taylor as Captain Bruce Curry, -- who led a band of mercenaries on a mission to rescue white settlers endangered by militant rebels. The mission also involved a search for valuable uncut diamonds said to be in a mining plant's vault. The group included a Congolese mercenary (Jim Brown) educated in the United States, an alcoholic British doctor (Kenneth More) and a former Nazi officer (Peter Carsten). Mimieux appeared as a Belgian woman caught up in the revolutionary turmoil. Directed by the great cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Jack Cardiff ("Sons and Lovers," "The Long Ships"), the movie was based on Wilbur Smith's 1965 novel "The Dark of the Sun." 
 
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In the 1968 American Independent Pictures feature "Three in the Attic," Mimieux starred as a college student who discovered that her boyfriend (Christopher Jones) had been unfaithful. So she joined forces with two of his other playmates (Maggie Thrett and Judy Pace) for vengeance. As a result, they held him captive in the attic of a dormitory and took turns exhausting him sexually. The film was one of AIP's highest-grossing films of the 1960s.
 
ta3
 
From 1972 to 1982, Mimieux was married to the director Stanley Donen. After their divorce, she married real estate executie Howard Ruby in 1986. She retired from acting in 1992.
 
Yvette Mimieux and Howard F. Ruby
 
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...Imelda Staunton (born on January 9, 1956), the British actress who has had a long career in films and on stage, television and radio. She probably is best known for her appearances in the "Harry Potter" film series as Dolores Umbridge, the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at the Hogwarts School.
 
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She has been been nominated once for an Academy Award: 
  • Vera Drake in "Vera Drake" (2004). Best Actress.

One of Staunton's first highly visible roles was Staff Nurse White in the acclaimed 1986 BBC miniseries "The Singing Detective." Written and created by Dennis Potter, the production starred Sir Michael Gambon as the hospitalized mystery writer Philip E. Marlow. The patient enters a fantasy world, and in one sequence, Nurse White is killed during a shootout involving Marlow and would-be assailants. Since it was a fantasy, the nurse was unharmed in real life.

 
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Kate Beckinsale (in her screen debut) and Staunton played characters in a 1993 star-studded screen version of William Shakespeare's late 16th-century comedy "Much Ado About Nothing." The adaptation was written, co-produced and directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, who headlined the film with his then-wife, Dame Emma Thompson. Also appearing in the production: Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Robert Sean Leonard and Brian Blessed.
 
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In Ang Lee's 1995 version of Jane Austen's 1811 novel "Sense and Sensibility," Staunton played Charlotte Palmer, pictured below with Mr. Palmer (Hugh Laurie). She invited the Dashwood sisters -- Elinor (Thompson) and her younger sister Marianne (Kate Winslet) -- to her mansion. Also invited: Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), who became enchanted with Marianne.
 
Thompson won an Academy Award for adapting Austen's novel for the screen. She became the first person to win Oscars for acting -- she received the 1992 Best Actress award for "Howard's End" -- and screenwriting. 
 
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In the 1998 historical comedy, "Shakespeare in Love," Staunton played the nurse of the well-to-do London maiden Viola de Lesseps, who wanted to become an actress in the late 16th century. The problem: Women weren't allowed to act in public plays, and female roles were played by men. Viola eventually accomplished her goal by disguising herself as a boy. She also became an inspiration for The Bard -- William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes). Directed by John Madden, the film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Paltrow) and Best Supporting Actress (Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I). 
 
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Staunton appeared as Mrs. Micawber in the BBC's 1999 television production of Charles Dickens' 1850 novel "David Copperfield." 
 
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The young David, who was befriended by Mrs. Micawber and her husband (Bob Hoskins), was played by a 10-year-old newcomer named Daniel Radcliffe.
 
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Staunton earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in "Vera Drake" (2004), the story of a 1950s London housewife who provided free abortions for women in need. Her secret moonlighting eventually resulted in trouble with the law. The drama was written and directed by Mike Leigh, who received Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
 
 
Staunton's Dolores Umbridge arrived in 2007's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) -- the fifth installment of the wizarding series created by the author J.K. Rowling -- and became an immediate adversary of the title character (Radcliffe). 
 
 
Potter -- in disguise -- attained a measure of revenge against Umbridge in the penultimate film of the series: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part I" (2010).
 
 
Staunton portrayed Alma Reville, the wife and longtime filmmaking collaborator of the director Sir Alfred Hitchcock, in the 2012 HBO drama "The Girl." The film, which explored the director's obsession with actress 'Tippi' Hedren, was based on author Donald Spoto's 2009 book "Spellbound By Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies." The HBO production starred Toby Jones as Hitchcock and Sienna Miller as Hedren. 
 
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In April 2016, Staunton was made a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace for services to drama. She received the honor from the Duke of Cambridge, who told her that his children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, enjoyed listening to her readings of Julia Donaldson's "The Gruffalo" books during auto trips. Staunton previously had been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
 
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Since 1983, Staunton has been married to actor Jim Carter, who played the head butler Carson in the Emmy Award-winning television series "Downton Abbey." They have a 25-year-old daughter, Bessie, who has taken up the family trade of acting. Carter was made an OBE in the Queen's 2019 New Year Honours for services to drama. He will return as Carson for the upcoming screen version of "Downton Abbey," scheduled for a September release. Staunton will co-star in the film in the role of Lady Bagshaw.
 
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...Sarah Shahi (born Aahoo Jahansouz Shahi on January 10, 1980), the former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader who became an actress thanks to advice from the distinguished director Robert Altman (1925-2006). Born in the Metroplex suburb of Euless, Texas, she is the great-great-granddaughter of a 19th-century shah of the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled Iran from 1797 to 1834.
 
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Shahi, who is of Iranian and Spanish ancestry, was a musical theater enthusiast who had always been interested in acting. In 2000, when she was a college freshman at SMU, she successfully tried out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Her photo was used for the cover of the DCC's 2000 swimsuit calendar. "Cheerleading was my way in," she once said. "It was one of the most rigorous audition processes ever. It definitely groomed me for Hollywood."
 
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Her big break was the result of the Cheeleaders' participation in the filming of Altman's 2000 romantic comedy "Dr. T and the Women," which starred Richard Gere as a prosperous Dallas gynecologist. Kate Hudson played his eldest daughter, a member of the famed cheerleading squad. Laura Dern co-starred as the doctor's sister-in-law.
 

Altman (pictured below with Gere) took an interest in Shahi. "We were buds," she said. "He took a huge liking to me. He invited me to sit next to him every day for two weeks at video village. We talked about everything other than the entertainment business. We had so much to talk about, he and I." Thanks to Altman's advice, Shahi decided to become an actress.

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One of her first film roles was in the 2003 comedy "Old School," which starred Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn. Shahi played Erica, a bridesmaid in the wedding of Frank (Ferrell) and Marissa (Perrey Reeves).

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Shahi had a recurring role on the ABC spy thriller "Alias" in 2001 and 2002. She played Jenny, an assistant (and love interest) for newspaper reporter Will Tippin (played by series regular and future film superstar Bradley Cooper). 

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Shahi starred as Carmen de la Pica Morales during Seasons 2 and 3 of Showtime's "The L Word," the dramatic series about lesbians and their relationships. Her character left the series after being jilted at the altar by Shane McCutcheon (Katherine Moennig, pictured below left).
 
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In the 2007 episode of "The Sopranos" titled "Kennedy and Heidi," Shahi played Sonya Aragon, a stripper who spends time with mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) during an impromptu visit to Las Vegas. The episode, which was scripted by series creator David Chase and Matthew Weiner, was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. Alan Taylor won an Emmy for the episode in the category of Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
 
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Shahi made an early appearance in the 2007 action sequel "Rush Hour 3." She and Mia Tyler (the daughter of rocker Steven Tyler) played young women arrested amd handcuffed by LAPD officer James Carter (Chris Tucker) after a vehicular incident.
 
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The NBC drama series "Life," which ran from 2007 to 2009, starred Damian Lewis (pictured below right) as Charlie Crews, a former LAPD detective restored to active duty after wrongly serving 12 years in prison. As the result of a successful suit against the City of Los Angeles, he also received an estimated $50 million. Shahi co-starred as Detective Dani Reese, who grudgingly became Crews' partner. The series also starred Adam Arkin, who played Crews' best friend and adviser. 
 
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From 2013 to 2016, Shahi co-starred as the lethal assassin Sameen Shaw on the CBS crime drama "Person of Interest." Shaw had studied to be a physician, but she left the profession because of an Axis II personality disorder that prevented her from being empathetic. First, she joined the U.S. Marine Corps ("Figured I was better at killing people than fixing them," she once explained). She became a U.S. Army intelligence operative and later joined the crime-prevention team of billionaire Harold Finch (Michael Emerson), the creator of a sentient supercomputer.
 
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...Mary J. Blige (born Mary Jane Blige on January 11, 1971), the multi-Grammy Award-winning R&B/rap star who became a double threat at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018. 
 
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She has been been nominated for two Academy Awards: 
  • Florence Jackson in "Mudbound" (2017). Best Supporting Actress.
  • Best Original Song (2017, shared with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson) for "Mighty River" from "Mudbound" 
 
Blige was discovered when an amateur recording she made at a shopping mall made its way to a record executive. He liked what he heard and signed her to a contract. The Bronx-born star has won nine Grammy Awards in 31 nominations. Her 2006 song "Be Without You" was nominated for four Grammys -- including Record of the Year and Song of the Year -- at the 49th annual awards show held on February 11, 2007. She won in the categories of Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Performance. She also earned the Best R&B Album Grammy that year for "The Breakthrough," which featured "Be Without You." 
 
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Directed by the veteran photographer and designer Matthew Rolston, the music video for "Be Without You" featured Terrence Howard as Blige's boyfriend.
 
 
Blige (pictured below center) played a nightclub bartender with a powerful singing voice in the romantic comedy/drama "Tyler Perry's 'I Can Do Bad All By Myself' " (2009). The film starred Taraji P. Henson as a performer at the club who became involved with a Colombian handyman (Adam Rodriguez). Also appearing in the movie was another singer turned actress -- Gladys Knight.
 
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On February 2, 2013, Lifetime aired the made-for-television movie "Betty & Coretta," the story of the real-life friendship between the widows of two African-American civil rights activists. Blige portrayed Betty Shabazz, whose husband was Malcolm X. Angela Bassett appeared as Coretta Scott King, who was married to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bassett portrayed Shabazz in Spike Lee's 1993 screen biopic "Malcolm X."
 
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In March 2015, Blige was reunited with actor Howard in a Season 1 episode of the FOX drama series "Empire." Howard stars as Lucious Lyon, the head of an entertainment dynasty. In the season's 10th episode, Blige guest starred as Angie, a woman with a past connection to Lyon. They performed "Shake Down," a cover of a Blige song.
 
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Blige appeared as  Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West in NBC's "The Wiz Live!" on December 3, 2015. The television special was a new version of "The Wiz," the 1975 Afrocentric hit musical based on "The Wizard of Oz." The 19-year-old newcomer Shanice Williams (below right) played Dorothy Gale. Queen Latifah was the title character.
 
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In 2016, Blige made two appearances during Season 3 of the ABC drama series "How to Get Away with Murder." She played the hair stylist for Annalise Keating -- the beleaguered criminal defense attorney/law professor played by Emmy winner Viola Davis.
 
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Blige received a 2017 Oscar nomination for her supporting performance in "Mudbound," Dee Rees' acclaimed tale about hard times in post-World War II Mississippi. She played Florence Jackson, the matriarch of a poor black family in the drama based on the 2008 novel by Hillary Jordan. The film also starred Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Jonathan Banks. 
 
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Blige performed her song "Mighty River" at the 90th Academy Awards ceremony on March 4, 2018. She became the first person ever to be nominated for an acting award and a songwriting award during the same year. Another actress-singer, Lady Gaga, could duplicate the feat when the Oscar nominations for the 2018 film year are announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Gaga is a likely nominee as Best Actress for her performance in "A Star Is Born." She also could be recognized in the Best Original Song category for co-writing "Shallow."
 

 

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...Wayne Wang (born on January 12, 1949), the Hong Kong-reared filmmaker who began his career making independent features about Chinese Americans and Chinese culture. He eventually directed several mainstream films, including "The Joy Luck Club" (1993). 
 
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Wang's second film was the groundbreaking drama "Chan Is Missing," the 1982 story of two San Francisco cab drivers (Wood Moy and Marc Hayashi) who conducted a search in Chinatown for a man who owed them money. In 1995, the film was named for inclusion into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry for its cultural significance. 
 
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Hayashi, Wang and Moy
 
The Chicago-based film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert were enthusiastic about "Chan Is Missing" when they discussed it during a July 1982 installment of their PBS movie review series "Sneak Previews." In his newspaper review for The Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert said the film "isn't really a thriller or a whodunit and doesn't pretend to be. It's an excursion. It takes us through a part of America we haven't been able to see before in the movies. It takes us into the kitchens of Chinese restaurants, and into the offices of Chinese-American social workers. It takes us into hotels for transients, sleazy bars and politicians' offices."
 
 
Wang's first major mainstream film was "The Joy Luck Club," which was based on the Chinese-American author Amy Tan's best-selling 1989 novel. Like the book, the film explored the relationships of four Chinese matriarchs and their Americanized daughters. Pictured below (from left to right): Kiều Chinh and Ming-Na Wen; Tamlyn Tomita and Tsai Chin; France Nuyen and Lauren Tom; and Lisa Lu and Rosalind Chao. "The Joy Luck Club" was the second Hollywood film to feature a majority Asian-American cast in a contemporary setting. The first was the 1961 film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Flower Drum Song."

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Wang's next film was the 1995 comedy/drama "Smoke," which starred Harvey Keitel as the owner of a New York City tobacco shop. Based on a screenplay by Paul Auster, the film followed the lives of many of the characters who patronized the store. Also starring in the production: William Hurt, Stockard Channing, Forest Whitaker, Ashley Judd and Harold Perrineau. Wang directed a followup film, "Blue in the Face," that also was written by Auster and released in 1995. 

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"Maid in Manhattan" was a 2002 Cinderella story starring Ralph Fiennes as a U.S. Senate candidate enchanted by a New York hotel worker and single mother (played by Jennifer Lopez). The romantic comedy/drama also starred Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci, Frances Conroy, Amy Sedaris, Bob Hoskins and Tyler Posey. The film was a box-office smash that grossed $155 million worldwide.

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The 2005 family film "Because of Winn-Dixie" was based on the 2000 children's novel by Kate DiCamillo. It marked the screen debut of the child actress AnnaSophia Robb, who played the rescuer of a mischievous dog that caused havoc in a Winn-Dixie supermarket. She took the canine home with her and named it after the store. Directed by Wang, the film also starred Jeff Daniels, Cicely Tyson, Dave Matthews, Eva Marie Saint, Harland Williams and another child actress, Elle Fanning.

Wang directed the 2006 romantic comedy/drama "Last Holiday," which starred Queen Latifah as a terminally ill woman who decided to go out in style via an expensive vacation in Europe. The film also starred LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Gérard Depardieu, Alicia Witt and Giancarlo Esposito. The movie was a remake of the 1950 British film that starred Sir Alec Guinness.

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In July 2018, Wang and several members of the cast of "The Joy Luck Club" reunited for a 25th-anniversary celebration of the film. In the aftermath of the recent boxoffice success of "Crazy Rich Asians," there has been talk of a sequel to Wang's 1993 film.
 
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...Orlando Bloom (born on January 13, 1977), the British actor who became an international heartthrob in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. 
 
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Bloom first played the warrior elf Legolas in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001), the first installment of the film series based on the fantasy writings of J.R.R Tolkein. Filmed in director Jackson's native New Zealand, the series continued with "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003).
 
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Sir Ridley Scott's 2001 real-life drama "Black Hawk Down" was a re-creation of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia. American Rangers, part of a U.N. peacekeeping task force during a civil war in the East African nation, were involved in a deadly firefight with Somali militia. Bloom played PFC Todd Blackburn, a member of the Rangers under fire. The film also starred Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, Ioan Gruffudd, Jason Isaacs, Tom Hardy, Sam Shepard, Eric Bana, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jeremy Piven.
 
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Bloom and Keira Knightley played the young lovers Will Turner, Jr. and Elizabeth Swann in four installments of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, which starred Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Bloom and Knightley appeared in the episodes subtitled "The Curse of the Black Pearl" (2003), "Dead Man's Chest" (2006), "At World's End" (2007) and "Dead Men Tell No Tales" (2017).
 
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At the 76th Academy Awards on February 29, 2004, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" received an unprecedented 11 awards in 11 categories, including Best Picture.
 
 
In the 2004 drama "Troy," Bloom starred as the Trojan prince Paris, whose courtship of the married Greek queen Helen (Diane Kruger) led to war with the Greeks. Based on Homer's "The Iliad," the film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot") and co-starred Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Peter O'Toole, Julie Christie and Saffron Burrows.
 
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Bloom reunited with "Black Hawk Down" director Scott for "Kingdom of Heaven," a 2005 historical drama set during the late 12th century. The actor starred as Balian of Ibelin (circa 1143–93), a real-life French blacksmith who set out for the Holy Land to defend Jerusalem during the Crusades. The film also starred Liam Neeson (pictured below with Bloom), Eva Green, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Edward Norton and Michael Sheen. 
 
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Cameron Crowe's 2005 romantic comedy/drama "Elizabethtown" starred Kirsten Dunst as an engaging flight attendant who helped a suicidal shoe designer (Bloom) cope with his many problems. The movie's title refers to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, where Bloom's character went to make arrangements for his father's funeral. Written and directed and co-produced by Crowe ("Almost Famous," "Jerry Maguire"), the film also starred Alec Baldwin, Jessica Biel and Susan Sarandon.
 
 
In 2007, Bloom became romantically involved with the Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr, known for her longtime association with Victoria's Secret. They married in 2010 and became the parents of a son named Flynn (b. 2011). They divorced in 2013.
 
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Bloom portrayed George Villiers, Britain's 1st Duke of Buckingham in league with the villainess Milady de Winter (Milla Jovovich) in the 2011 version of "The Three Musketeers." The film was based on the writings of the French author Alexandre Dumas the Elder (1802-1870). Set mostly in 17th-century France, the film also featured Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan, Matthew Macfadyen as Athos, Ray Stevenson as Porthos, Luke Evans as Aramis and Gabriella Wilde as Constance Bonacieux. The adaptation was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
 
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In the 2010s, Bloom reprised the role of Legolas in two of Jackson's films based on "The Hobbit" -- Tolkein's novel published before his "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The actor appeared in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014). He did not appear in "The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey" (2012).
 
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Since 2017, Bloom has had an off-and-on romantic relationship with the Grammy Award-nominated singer Katy Perry. So far in 2019, they're still an item.
 
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...Actress Faye Dunaway (born Dorothy Faye Dunaway on January 14, 1941), the Academy Award-winning star who headlined many memorable films of the late 1960s and 1970s. She was the first Oscar winner to portray one in a motion picture.
 
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She has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won once. Her recognized roles and movies are as follows (Oscar win in bold): 
  • Bonnie Parker in "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967). Best Actress.
  • Evelyn Cross Mulwray in "Chinatown" (1974). Best Actress
  • Diana Christensen in "Network" (1976). Best Actress. 
 
Her screen debut was in "The Happening," a 1967 comedy starring Anthony Quinn as a retired Miami businessman (and former mobster) abducted by a quartet of bored young people (Dunaway, Michael Parks, George Maharis and Robert Walker, Jr.). Before long, the abductee took control over his own kidnapping to get a $3 million ransom. 
 
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"Bonnie and Clyde" -- the story of the infamous bank robbers of the 1930s -- received 10 1967 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (Arthur Penn). It also earned Oscar nominations for all five actors who played members of the Barrow Gang -- Dunaway, Warren Beatty, Gene Hackman, Michael J. Pollard and Estelle Parsons. The film won awards for Best Supporting Actress (Parsons, as Clyde's excitable sister-in-law Blanche) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey). Co-writer Robert Benton has called the film "an American French New Wave movie." Robert Towne, who later won a 1974 Oscar for his "Chinatown" original screenplay, was listed as a consultant. He did final revisions to Benton and David Newman's screenplay but did not receive a screenwriting credit. Although the film drew widespread attention -- and criticism -- because of its emphasis on violence, the critic Pauline Kael raved about it in The New Yorker as "the most excitingly American American movie since 'The Manchurian Candidate'."
 
 
"The Thomas Crown Affair," director Norman Jewison's splashy, '60s-style cat-and-mouse game, starred Steve McQueen as a polished thief who became involved with the skilled insurance investigator (Dunaway) suspicious of him. The 1968 film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song -- "The Windmills of Your Mind" by Michel Legrand and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. A successful 1999 remake starred Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo, Denis Leary and Dunaway.  
 
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In Arthur Penn's 1970 Western comedy "Little Big Man," Hoffman starred as 121-year-old Jack Crabb -- the only white survivor of Custer's Last Stand in 1876. Dunaway appeared as Louise Pendrake, a minister's wife who went through a personal evolution. Based on the 1964 novel by Thomas Berger, the film also starred Chief Dan George (a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee), Martin Balsam, Jeff Corey, William Hickey and Richard Mulligan.
 
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Produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, "Oklahoma Crude" was set in the Sooner State in 1913. The 1973 film starred George C. Scott as a man hired to protect a woman (played by Dunaway) whose property might be teeming with oil. Jack Palance played a representative of powerful interests desirous of her land. 
 
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In Richard Lester's "The Three Musketeers: The Queens Diamonds" (1973), Constance de Bonacieux (Raquel Welch) battled the evil Milady (Dunaway) for possession of the royal gems. Their rivalry continued in "The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge" (1974). Both films were based on the writings of the French author Alexandre Dumas the Elder (1802-1870). Set in 17th-century France, the films -- shot at one time, which infuriated the actors -- also starred Michael York (as D'Artagnan). Cast as the title characters were Oliver Reed (Athos), Frank Finlay (Porthos) and Richard Chamberlain (Aramis).
 
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In 1974, Dunaway starred opposite Jack Nicholson in "Chinatown" -- a classic detective tale about sex, political corruption and murder in pre-World War II Los Angeles. Directed by Roman Polanski ("Rosemary's Baby," "The Pianist"), the drama starred Nicholson as private detective J.J. "Jake" Gittes (pronounced GIT-us) who investigated a labyrinthine case involving water rights. The picture was written by Towne, who won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
 
 
Dunaway reunited with McQueen in the 1974 disaster film "The Towering Inferno," but her character's romantic interest was played by Paul Newman. The drama, produced by Irwin Allen and directed by John Guillerman, was about the outbreak of a fire in the world's tallest building, located in San Francisco. McQueen played a dedicated firefighter; Newman was the building's architect. Other members of the film's cast: Holden, Chamberlain, Fred Astaire (an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor), Susan Blakely, Jennifer Jones, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner and O.J. Simpson.
 
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In the 1975 thriller "Three Days of the Condor," Robert Redford starred as a CIA researcher who left the New York headquarters for a lunch errand. When he returned, he discovered that co-workers had been liquidated. Not knowing who to trust, he kidnapped a woman (played by Dunaway) at gunpoint and holed up in her apartment until he could figure out what to do next. The characters gradually bonded once she realized the seriousness of his situation. Directed by Sydney Pollack, the drama also starred Cliff Robertson and Max von Sydow.
 
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Directed by Sidney Lumet and written by the great screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, "Network" was a biting satire of the 1970s network television news industry. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Nominated for five performances by actors, the production became only the second motion picture to win in three acting categories. The 1951 drama "A Streetcar Named Desire" won Oscars for Best Actress (Vivien Leigh), Best Supporting Actor (Karl Malden) and Best Supporting Actress (Kim Hunter). The only omission was Marlon Brando's bid for the Best Actor award, which was won by Humphrey Bogart for his performance in "The African Queen." No film in history has ever won Academy Awards in all four acting categories.
 
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At the 50th Academy Awards ceremony on March 25, 1977, "Network" won four Oscars: Best Actor (Peter Finch, posthumously), Best Actress (Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (Beatrice Straight) and Best Original Screenplay (Chayefsky). The film's other nominations were for Best Director (Lumet), Best Actor (William Holden), Best Supporting Actor (Ned Beatty), Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman) and Best Film Editing (Alan Heim).
 
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John Carpenter wrote the original screenplay -- revised by others -- for "Eyes of Laura Mars," the 1978 thriller starring Dunaway as an ace fashion photographer who began to "see" the crimes of a serial killer. Directed by Irvin Kerschner, who went on to film "The Empire Strikes Back," the picture also starred Tommy Lee Jones. Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois and Raul Julia.  
 
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In the 1981 screen biography "Mommie Dearest," Joan Crawford (portrayed by Dunaway) feigned an illness on Oscar night in 1946. She learned about her Best Actress win for "Mildred Pierce" at home while listening to the Academy Awards ceremony on the radio. Dunaway became the first Oscar winner to portray one in a motion picture.

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Dunaway played a wannabe sorceress named Selena in "Supergirl," a 1984 film by the producers of the "Superman" movie series. Helen Slater played Superman's Kryptonian cousin Kara Zor-El, who tried to thwart Selena's attempt to become a powerful threat to the world. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc the film also starred Brenda Vaccaro (pictured below left. as Selena's assistant), Peter O'Toole and Mia Farrow.

 
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At the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony, Best Picture presenters Dunaway and Beatty inadvertently led everyone to believe that "La La Land" had won the top Oscar. The actual winner: "Moonlight." The announcement was corrected about two-and-a-half minutes later -- after "La La Land" producers had already delivered acceptance speeches. In all fairness, Beatty was handed a duplicate envelope for the Best Actress category by a representative of the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. A year later, the Academy gave Dunaway and Beatty a second opportunity to present the Best Picture award. The announcement (pictured above) was uneventful that time.
 
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...Regina King (born on January 15, 1971), the versatile actress who has won three Primetime Emmy Awards during the past four years. She is considered a likely Academy Award nominee for her supporting performance in the 2018 drama "If Beale Street Could Talk." 
 
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King's acting career began when she was a teenager. From 1985 to 1991, she was a regular in the NBC sitcom "227." She played Brenda Jenkins, the daughter of Washington, D.C. residents Mary and Lester Jenkins (played by Marla Gibbs and Hal Williams, respectively). The series also starred Alaina Reed Hall, Helen Martin and Jackée Harry, who won a 1986-1987 Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
 
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King made her screen debut as the opinionated teen Shalika in John Singleton's 1991 drama "Boyz n the Hood," the story of teenagers growing up in a tough neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. The film also starred Cuba Gooding, Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne and Nia Long. For his efforts, Singleton earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. At the age of 24, he became the first African-American director and the youngest person to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar. King also co-starred in the Singleton films "Poetic Justice" (1993) and "Higher Learning" (1995).

 
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In "Jerry Maguire" (1996), King played Marcee Tidwell, the wife of the flamboyant Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Gooding). She also acted as his hardline negotiator during contract talks. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe, the film starred Tom Cruise as the title character, a sports agent who developed a conscience. Gooding won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.
 
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In "Ray," Taylor Hackford's 2004 screen biography of singer Ray Charles, King portrayed the real-life Margie Hendrix (1935-1973). She was the leader of the Raelettes -- Charles' backup singers -- and had a rocky personal relationship with the renowned performer, as well as a substance abuse problem. For his uncanny impersonation of Charles (1930-2004), Jamie Foxx won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
 
 
Beginning in 2005, King provided the voices for the outspoken characters Huey and Riley King in "The Boondocks," the animated television series based on the long-running Afrocentric comic strip by Aaron McGruder. The program aired for four seasons over 11 years on The Cartioon Network's Adult Swim lineup.
 
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In April 2009, NBC replaced its long-running hit series "e.r." with "Southland," a police  drama set in Los Angeles. King starred as LAPD Detective Lydia Adams, who balanced a stressful career with a sometimes difficult personal life. NBC canceled the series after its first season, but it was picked up by TNT and aired for four more years. The series also starred Michael Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie, Shawn Hatosy and C.Thomas Howell. 
 
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The ABC series "American Crime," which ran from 2015 to 2017, used the same cast of actors but featured them in different roles and storylines each season. In Season 1, King played a devout American Muslim (pictured below) determined to mount a strong defense for a brother suspected of murder in Modesto, California. The role won King a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie. In Season 2, King (below right) played the mother of an Indianapolis high school basketball player whose team was implicated in a sexual assault. King again won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie.
 
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King earned a third Primetime Emmy nomination for Season 3 of "American Crime," in which she played a dedicated North Carolina social worker who offered assistance to a teen prostitute,
 
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The 2018 Netflix drama series "Seven Seconds" starred King as a distraught mother searching for answers in the aftermath of her young son's death in a police-related accident. Based on "The Major," a 2013 Russian film by Yuri Bykov, this version --set in New Jersey -- was written by its executive producer Verna Sud (AMC's "The Killing").
 
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For her performance in "Seven Seconds," King won the 2017-2018 Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie. She was surprised and overwhelmed by the win. "The performances in this category were just so powerful. I saw all of them," she said backstage after her acceptance speech.
 
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"If Beale Street Could Talk," directed by Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight") is based on the 1974 novel by James Baldwin. King stars as Sharon Rivers, the mother of a pregnant teen who seeks justice for her wrongly imprisoned boyfriend. So far, King has received more than 30 critics' and guild awards for her performance in the film. Also starring in the production, which Jenkins adapted from Baldwin's novel, are KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Ed Skrein and Brian Tyree Henry.
 

In addition to her busy acting career, King has had a busy schedule as a director. Her first effort was an episode of "Southland" in 2013. Since then, she has helmed TV episodes of "Animal Kingdom" (pictured below), "Being Mary Jane," "Scandal," "Greenleaf," "This Is Us," "Shameless," "The Good Doctor" and "Insecure."

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 Happy Birthday, as well, to the always lovely Margaret O'Brien (82 today.)

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...Lin-Manuel Miranda (born on January 16, 1980), the ubiquitous award-winning actor, composer and playwright. He currently stars onscreen in Disney's "Mary Poppins Returns." Meanwhile, he has just brought his acclaimed rap-musical stage production "Hamilton" to his ancestral home of Puerto Rico.
 
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Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur "Genius" Award. He also has received three Grammys, a Primetime Emmy and  three Tony Awards. He only needs an Academy Award to become the 16th person ever to win all four entertainment awards. Here are the people who have accomplished the feat (in chronological order):
  • Richard Rodgers, composer (won an Emmy in 1962 to complete the cycle).
  • Helen Hayes, actress (won a Grammy in 1977)
  • Rita Moreno, actress (won a Primetime Emmy in 1977)
  • Sir John Gielgud, actor (won a Primetime Emmy in 1991)
  • Audrey Hepburn, actress (awarded a Grammy posthumously in 1994)
  • Marvin Hamlisch, composer (won two Primetime Emmys in 1995)
  • Jonathan Tunick, composer (won a Tony in 1997)
  • Mel Brooks, actor, comedian, producer/director, screenwriter (won three Tonys in 2001)
  • Mike Nichols, comedian, producer/director (won two Primetime Emmys in 2001)
  • Whoopi Goldberg, actress (won a Tony in 2002)
  • Scott Rudin, producer (won a Grammy in 2012)
  • Robert Lopez, composer (won an Oscar in 2014)
  • Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer (won a Primetime Emmy in 2018).
  • Sir Tim Rice, lyricist (won a Primetime Emmy in 2018).
  • John Legend, singer-songwriter (won a Primetime Emmy in 2018).

Miranda goes way back with MSNBC prime-time host Chris Hayes (pictured below with the performer). In the late 1990s, when they attended Hunter College High School on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Hayes directed Miranda in a high school musical. "I can still hum the tunes of that show," said Hayes, explaining that it was "a 20-minute musical that featured a maniacal fetal pig in a nightmare that [Miranda] had cut up in biology class."

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In 2008, Miranda's Broadway stage production of "In the Heights" was nominated for 13 Tony Awards. It won four: Best Musical, Best Musical Score (Miranda), Best Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler) and Best Orchestrations (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman). The musical, with a book by Quiara Alegria Hudes and music and lyrics by Miranda, focused on the lives of Latino residents in the Washington Heights section of northern Manhattan. Miranda also played Usnavi, the show's narrator. 
 
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In 2014, Miranda and co-writer Tom Kitt shared a Primetime Emmy Award for the song "Bigger," which was performed by host Neil Patrick Harris during the crowd-pleasing opening of the 67th annual Tony Awards the year before. The Emmy category was Outstanding Music and Lyrics.
 

image.gifMiranda (pictured below with actresses Renée Elise Goldsberry and Phillipa Soo) had a year to remember in 2016. His Broadway stage production "Hamilton: An American Musical" -- based on the life and times of the founding father Alexander Hamilton -- was a box-office sensation that earned a record 16 Tony Award nominations. It won 11 awards (including Best Musical) -- one shy of tying the mark set by Mel Brooks' musical "The Producers" in 2001. Miranda himself picked up two Tonys, although he lost the Best Actor in a Musical award to his co-star Leslie Odom, Jr. (now frequently seen crooning jingles in TV spots for an insurance company).

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The "Hamilton" Broadway cast album also won a 2015-2016 Grammy Award. It was Miranda's second Grammy. "In the Heights" won the 2008-2009 award for Best Musical Theater Album. 
 
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Also in 2016, Miranda was featured on a Time cover as one of the magazine's "100 Most Influential People" in the world. "Like Alexander Hamilton, Miranda is a powerful reminder that greatness comes from unlikely places," wrote producer J.J. Abrams for the issue. "His Puerto Rican parents’ collection of Broadway-musical records was as strong an influence during his New York City upbringing as the hip-hop he would come to love. There is no recipe for genius, but one can see the disparate elements that Miranda has miraculously seized and synthesized, embraced and celebrated, to create something profoundly moving and wholly original. He has redefined the musical and made us see anew the origins of the remarkable experiment called democracy."
 
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On October 6, 2016, Miranda served as the guest host of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." He opened with a parody of his song "My Shot" from "Hamilton."
 
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Miranda received a 2016 Academy Award nomination for writing the Best Original Song contender "Where I'll Go" from the animated Disney film "Moana."
 
 
At the 89th annual Oscars ceremony held on February 27, 2017, he performed the song with Auliʻi Cravalho, the Hawaii-born teen who provided the voice of Moana for the movie. 
 
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On December 2, 2018, the co-creators of Hamilton -- choreographer Blankenbuehler, Miranda, director Thomas Kail and music director Lacamoire  -- were given special recognition at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.
 
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In "Mary Poppins Returns," Emily Blunt takes over the role of the magical British nanny, while Miranda plays a London lamplighter named Jack. The film was direced by Rob Marshall, who helmed "Chicago" (2002) -- the last musical to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Since it was released to theaters last month, "Mary Poppins Returns has has grossed almost $300 million worldwide.
 
 
After Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017, Miranda vowed to star in a new series of "Hamilton" performances on the island. The first shows began last week in San Juan. "I just love this island so much. And I just want it to be proud of me," he told reporters after the premiere presentation. "Today Puerto Rico gave me more energy than ever in my life in that moment. I have never felt anything like that," 
 
Lin-Manuel Miranda, composer and creator of the award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton, proudly waves a Puerto Rican flag after receiving a standing ovation at the end of the play's premiere held at the Santurce Fine Arts Center, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, . The musical is set to run for two weeks and will raise money for local arts programsHamilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico - 11 Jan 2019

 

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...James Earl Jones (born on January 17, 1931), the Mississippi-born actor who became an industry heavyweight for his powerful acting as well as his vocal contributions to the "Star Wars" movie franchise (as Darth Vader) and "The Lion King" (as Mufasa).
 
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He has been nominated once for an Academy Award:
  • Jack Jefferson in "The Great White Hope" (1970). Best Actor.
 
His father was an actor. Robert Earl Jones (1910-2006) played grifter Luther Coleman, the mentor and partner of Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) in "The Sting." Coleman's murder by henchmen for crime kingpin Doyle Lonnigan (Robert Shaw) prompted Hooker to seek revenge with the help of Luther's old associate, Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman). 
 
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After years of stage performances, Jones made his first screen appearance in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 black comedy "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." The actor played B-52 bombardier Lt. Lothar Zogg. The tale about the Cold War and mutually assured destruction earned four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Peter Sellers for a triple role, including the title character). 
 
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In 1969, Jane Alexander and Jones won Tony Awards for their performances in Howard Sackler's drama "The Great White Hope." The Broadway hit was inspired by the tumultuous career of Jack Johnson (1878-1946), who became the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion in the 1910s. For he 1970 film version, directed by Martin Ritt, the actors reprised their roles as the fictional Jack Jefferson and his wife Eleanor. Jones received an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. Alexander was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. 
 
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In the 1972 political drama "The Man," Jones starred as Douglass Dilman, the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. As a result of a fateful accident and an incapacitated vice president, Dilman became America's first black president. Based on the 1964 novel by Irving Wallace, the movie's screenplay was written by Rod Serling. Directed by Joseph Sargent, the film also starred Martin Balsam, Burgess Meredith, Lew Ayres, William Windom, Barbara Rush, Georg Stanford Brown and Janet MacLachlan. Jack Benny also made his final screen appearance in the production.
 
The Man, James Earl Jones
 
Although Jones had a stuttering problem as a youth, he overcame it and became known for powerful speaking voice. He was the voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" film series. In Star Wars: Episode V -- The Empire Strikes Back," Jones as Vader delivered one of filmdom's memorable lines. 
 
 
Jones appeared as the author Alex Haley (1921-1992) in ABC's "Roots: The Next Generations" (1979), the continuation of the African-American family saga begun in the acclaimed 1977 miniseries "Roots." Episode 7 of the drama re-created Haley's extraordinary 1966 Playboy magazine interview with American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell (1918-1967). Marlon Brando (pictured below left) won a Primetime Emmy Award for his portrayal of Rockwell. 
 
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Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, the 1989 film "Field of Dreams" focused on Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) who was encouraged by a mysterious voice to turn his cornfield into a baseball diamond. After he complied, he discovered that his new baseball field had magically attracted some of the greatest players in history.The film was based on the 1982 novel "Shoeless Joe" by the Canadian author W.P. Kinsella (1935-2016). Jones played Terence Mann, a character modeled after the reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. At one point in the film, Mann delivered a stirring monologue about baseball.
 
 
At the 43rd Primetime Emmy Awards held on August 25, 1991, Jones achieved a rare feat. He won awards for two different projects. He was named Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performace in the pilot episode of the NBC drama series "Gabriel's Fire." He also won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for "Heat Wave," a TNT TV movie about the 1965 Watts riots.
 
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Jones showed up near the end of the 1992 comedy/drama and caper film "Sneakers," which starred Robert Redford as the leader of a group of hackers in possession of an important black box. Anxious to get his hands on the item for national security purposes, Jones' character, NSA Agent Bernard Abbott, made concessions to the team, Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, the film also starred Sidney Poitier, Sir Ben Kingsley, Dan Aykroyd, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix and David Strathairn. 
 
 
In Disney's 1994 animated feature "The Lion King," Jones provided the voice of Mufasa, the doomed monarch of the African savannah known as The Pride Lands. The actor again will provide the character's voice for an upcoming live-action film version of the tale. 
 
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In December 2002, Jones was one of the artists celebrated at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Also honored were the singer-songwriter Paul Simon, actress-dancer Chita Rivera, conductor and pianist James Levine and actress Elizabeth Taylor. 
 
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On November 12, 2011, Jones was presented an honorary Oscar for his film career. He was cited by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "for his legacy of consistent excellence and uncommon versatility." The award gave the actor technical E.G.O,T. status -- he already had two Tonys, two Primetime Emmys, a Daytime Emmy and a Grammy (for the Best Spoken Word Recording category, naturally). 
 
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In a Season 7 episode of the CBS hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," Dr. Sheldon Cooper (played by series star Jim Parsons) got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hang out with Jones. Among their memorable activities: Ringing the doorbell at Carrie Fisher's house and running away before she answered the door. The episode, titled "The Convention Conundrum," originally aired on January 30, 2014.
 
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...Kevin Costner (born on January 18, 1955), the actor, producer and director who became a major star after being cut out of "The Big Chill" in 1983. He headlined three memorable movies about baseball.
 
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He has been nominated for three Academy Awards -- all for the same film (Oscar wins in bold):
  • 1990 -- Best Picture (for "Dances with Wolves," shared with Jim Wilson).
  • 1990 -- Best Director (for "Dances with Wolves").
  • 1990 -- Best Actor (as Lt. John Dunbar in "Dances with Wolves").
 
One of the biggest hits of 1983 was "The Big Chill," Lawrence Kasdan's comedy/drama about a group of 1960s college friends holding an unscheduled reunion in South Carolina after one of their own commits suicide. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) and Best Original Screenplay (Kasdan and Barbara Benedek). Costner was cast as Alex, the group's onetime leader at the University of Michigan and the man whose death brought its members together. But his major scenes were cut from the final version of the film. Parts of him can be seen in the movie's opening credits -- as a corpse being prepared for a funeral.
 
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Kasdan made up for Costner's omission from "The Big Chill" by casting him in the 1985 buddy Western "Silverado," which helped establish the actor as a star. The film also starred Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover, Jeff Goldblum, John Cleese, Linda Hunt, Brian Dennehy and Rosanna Arquette. 
 
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During the 1985-1986 television season, Costner starred as a World War II bomber pilot in "The Mission," an episode of Steven Spielberg's NBC anthology series "Amazing Stories." The episode was directed by Spielberg.
 
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In the 1987 political thriller "No Way Out," Costner played a Naval officer who became involved with a key Cabinet official's mistress (Sean Young). Her death, witnessed by Costner's character, set off an intense search for the killer -- and led to one of the great surprise endings of the decade. Based on the 1948 film noir effort "The Big Clock," the drama was one of two summer releases that made Costner a major star. The other picture: "The Untouchables." 
 
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Costner starred as the real-life federal agent Eliot Ness in Brian De Palma's 1987 screen version of "The Untouchables" -- the television crime-drama that ran from 1959 to 1962. Sir Sean Connery co-starred as a savvy 1920s Chicago cop who joined Ness' crusade against the notorious mob boss Al Capone (portrayed by Robert De Niro). Connery won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. Charles Martin Smith and Andy Garcia played other key members of the government team. The movie's screenplay was written by the playwright David Mamet.
 
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In Ron Shelton's 1988 baseball tale "Bull Durham," Costner starred as a longtime catcher closing in on an unheralded record -- the most career home runs at the minor-league level. Susan Sarandon appeared as the ultimate baseball groupie whose favorite players were Costner's character and a young pitching prospect played by Tim Robbins. Sarandon and Robbins became a couple while filming the movie. Their relationship -- which produced two sons -- lasted until 2009.
 
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Directed by Phil Alden Robinson, the 1989 film "Field of Dreams" focused on Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Costner) who was encouraged by a mysterious voice to turn his cornfield into a baseball diamond. After he complied, he discovered that his new baseball field had magically attracted some of the greatest players in history.Based on the 1982 novel "Shoeless Joe" by the Canadian author W.P. Kinsella (1935-2016), the film also starred Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Frank Whaley, Timothy Busfield, Gaby Hoffmann and  Burt Lancaster (in his final screen appearance).
 
 
Costner was the star, producer and director of the 1990 Western "Dances with Wolves," which was based on the 1988 novel by Michael Blake. The film was the story of told Lt. John Dunbar, a Union officer who headed west after the Civil War and befriended a tribe of Native Americans. The drama also starred Mary McDonnell and Graham Greene.
 

At the 63rd annual Academy Awards ceremony on March 25, 1991, "Dances with Wolves" won seven awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Blake), Best Original Score (John Barry), Best Cinematography (Dean Semler), Best Film Editing (Neil Travis) and Best Sound (Russell Williams II, Jeffrey Perkins, Bill W. Benton and Gregory H. Watkins). It was the first Western to win the Best Picture Oscar since "Cimarron" (1931). 

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Oliver Stone's 1991 drama "JFK" starred Costner as the real-life New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who developed a criminal conspiracy court case in the aftermath of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. The film received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Stone) and Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones). It won for Best Cinematography (Robert Richardson) and Best Film Editing (Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia).
 
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Singer Whitney Houston made her screen debut opposite Costner in "The Bodyguard" (1992), the story of a music idol protected from a stalker by an ex-Secret Service agent. The film was a major box-office hit with a worldwide gross of $411 million. The movie's soundtrack was a popular seller, too. Houston won three Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Record of the Year ("I Will Always Love You") and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Two other tunes from the movie -- "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing" -- received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. After Houston accidentally drowned in February 2012, Costner delivered a eulogy at her funeral.
 
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In "For Love of the Game" (1999), Costner starred as Billy Chapel -- an aging Detroit Tigers pitcher on the verge of retirement. He also chased a difficult feat -- a perfect game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film also starred Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone, Brian Cox, J.K. Simmons and Carmine Giovinazzo.
 
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Costner played a composite of several NASA officials in "Hidden Figures" (2016), based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book "Hidden Figures: The Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race." The drama featured Taraji P. Henson (pictured below with Costner), Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as real-life NASA mathematicians in the 1960s. Directed by Theodore Melfi, the film also starred Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell and Mahershala Ali. On January 29, 2017, the picture won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. It was a major hit worldwide, grossing $236 million.
 
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...Dolly Parton (born January 19, 1946), the actress and award-winning country music superstar and songwriter. She also has excelled as an entrepreneur through her co-ownership of Dollywood, the theme park that ranks as Tennessee's top ticketed tourist attraction.
 
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She has been nominated for songwriting Academy Awards twice:
  • Best Original Song: "9 to 5" from "9 to 5" (1980).
  • Best Original Song: "Travelin' Thru" from "Transamerica" (2005).
 
From 1966 to 1974, Parton was a featured performer on "The Porter Wagoner Show," a syndicated country music program that usually appeared on Saturdays in numerous markets. Her debut hit on the country charts was "Dumb Blonde" in 1967.
 
 
The 1980 screen comedy "9 to 5" starred Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as secretaries who rebelled against their chauvinist boss (Dabney Coleman). Parton wrote the film's catchy theme song, which became her first No. 1 hit on the Billboard pop chart. It also was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song.
 
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Burt Reynolds and Parton starred in the 1982 screen musical comedy "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," based on the 1978 Broadway hit. Both productions were derived from writer Larry L. King's 1974 Playboy article about a brothel in La Grange, Texas. Directed by Colin Higgins ("Silver Streak"), the film also starred Jim Nabors, Charles Durning, Dom DeLuise, Noah Beery Jr., Robert Mandan, Lois Nettleton, Theresa Merritt, Barry Corbin, Mary Jo Catlett and Mary Louise Wilson. Durning received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as the slippery Texas governor.
 
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"Islands in the Stream," Parton's 1983 duet with Kenny Rogers, was a No, 1 hit on the Billboard pop chart. The song was written by The Bee Gees -- Barry, Robin amd Maurice Gibb.
 
 
In 1986, Parton became involved in the purchase of a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that had changed hands (and names) several times. As a result of her participation in the project, the park was renamed Dollywood.
 
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In March 1994, Whitney Houston’s hit version of “I Will Always Love You,” from the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, earned her Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Parton wrote the song, which originally was a track from her 1974 album "Jolene." She presented the Best Female Pop Vocal award with David Foster (pictured below with Houston), who produced Houston’s version. "On behalf of myself and the Internal Revenue Service, I’d like to thank Whitney for making my song such an enormous hit,” Parton said. "When I wrote that song 22 years ago, I had a heartache. But it’s amazing how healing money can be."

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In December 2006, Parton's career was celebrated at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. Also honored that year: The songwriter and musical theater impresario Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, conductor Zubin Mehta, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

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The preteen actress Alyvia Alyn Lind portrayed the young Parton in the 2015 NBC made-for-television movie "Dolly Parton's 'Coat of Many Colors'." The special was a critical success as well as the highest-rated network TV movie in three years. The project's success prompted a 2016 sequel: "Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love," which also starred Lind.

Image result for alyvia alyn lind coat of many colors daily mail
 
Parton's goddaughter is the recording artist Miley Cyrus, the former star of TV's "Hannah Montana." In a November 2016 episode of NBC's "The Voice," they performed a rendition of Parton's 1974 hit "Jolene" with the vocal group Pentatonix. Three months later, the song won Parton and Pentatonix a 2016-2017 Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. It was Parton's eighth Grammy win in 47 nominations. When it comes to female artists, only Beyoncé has had more nominations with 66. 
 
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Parton was included in the 2018 edition of the Guinness World Records for longevity as a performer. She was  presented certificates recognizing her as the female artist with the most hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. She also has had Top 20 hits on the chart for the most decades -- six.
 
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Parton's song "Girl in the Movies" is from the 2018 Netflix film "Dumplin'," which stars Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston. The tune is a contender for an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Song category.
 

 

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...Tom Baker (born January 20, 1934), best known as the fourth of 13 actors to star as The Doctor in the British television series "Doctor Who." His stint on the long-running, sci-fi program was from 1974 to 1981, and he proved to be a favorite among enthusiasts of The Time Lord's adventures.
 
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Baker appeared as the mystical figure Rasputin in "Nicholas and Alexandra," Franklin J. Schaffner's 1971 historical drama about the final years of Russia's last tsar. The film earned six Academy Award nominations: Best Picture (producer Sam Speigel), Best Actress (Janet Suzman), Best Cinematography (Freddie Young), Best Original Score (Richard Rodney Bennett), Best Costume Design (Yvonne Blake and Antonio Castillo) and Best Art Direction (John Box, Ernest Archer, Jack Maxsted and Gil Parrondo). It won Oscars in the two latter categories. 
 
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Baker appeared ln the 1973 British anthology "Vault of Horror," which was inspired by the old EC Comics title. In the segment titled "Drawn and Quartered," he played a struggling artist in Haiti who used voodoo to gain a measure of revenge against men who cheated him. Directed by Roy Ward Baker ("Five Million Miles to Earth," 'The Vampire Lovers"), the film also starred Daniel Massey, Terry-Thomas, Curd Jürgens, Dawn Addams, Michael Craig and Edward Judd.
 
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The 1973 fantasy film "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" featured Baker as Prince Koura, a formidable villain with a few black magic tricks up his sleeve. Directed by Gordon Hessler, the film starred John Phillip Law as Sinbad and Caroline Munro as the slave girl Margiana. The movie's special effects were created by the great stop-motion wizard Ray Harryhausen. Barry Letts, the producer of the BBC's "Doctor Who" series, saw Baker's performance in this film and signed him for the sci-fi program.
 
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Baker starred as The Doctor for seven years -- longer than any other incarnation of the time and space-traveling Gallifreyan. Known for his felt hat and long scarves, this version also was the first to appear regularly on American television (via PBS stations).
 
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The Doctor's companion from 1979 to 1981 was a regenerated Romana (played by Lalla Ward, who replaced Mary Tamm -- the actress who starred as the original character in 1978 and 1979). Baker and Ward became romantically involved while filming the series. They were married from 1980 to 1982.
 
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After his departure from "Doctor Who," Baker played Sherlock Holmes in a 1992 BBC miniseries version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The House of the Baskervilles." The four-part tale also starred Terence Rigby as Dr. John Watson.
 
Tom Baker as Dr. Who as Sherlock
 
From 2003 to 2007, Baker -- whose voice has been a familiar one to television viewers --- introduced segments of the British sketch comedy "Little Britain."
 
 
In November 2013, Baker appeared in "The Day of the Doctor," a 50th anniversary episode of "Doctor Who."  In a scene with Matt Smith, who played the Eleventh Doctor, Baker guest starred as The Curator -- who may or may not have been the Fourth Doctor.
 
 
Animated versions of Baker as The Fourth Doctor have occasionally appeared in episodes of "The Simpsons." The show's creator, Matt Groening, is a "Doctor Who" fan.
 
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Happy Birthday to David Lynch, director of Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Elephant Man and many more great films! He turns 73.

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:lol: 

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