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HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage) *** Local Caption *** Scarlett Johansson

Quelle:

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiegel

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror

  

Ein Spiegel (von lat. speculum „Spiegel, Abbild” zu lat. specere „sehen”) ist eine reflektierende Fläche – glatt genug, dass reflektiertes Licht nach dem Reflexionsgesetz seine Parallelität behält und somit ein Abbild entstehen kann. Die Rauheit der Spiegelfläche muss dafür kleiner sein als etwa die halbe Wellenlänge des Lichts. Eine rauere weiße Fläche remittiert ebenfalls alles Licht, jedoch wird dieses hierbei ungeordnet in alle Richtungen gestreut.

  

Auch nicht sichtbare elektromagnetische Wellen und Schallwellen können an geeigneten Flächen gespiegelt werden („Reflexion“).

  

Die Transparenz und Absorption (halbtransparent, nicht-transparent, wellenlängenabhängige Transparenz oder Absorption) des Spiegels hat Einfluss auf Helligkeit und Farbe des Spiegelbildes. Ferner wird niemals die gesamte Energie gespiegelt, es gibt immer einen Verlust – der Reflexionsgrad ist immer kleiner 100 %.

Planspiegel (ebene Spiegel) liefern ein gleich großes virtuelles Spiegelbild. Tripelspiegel liefern seitenverkehrte, auf dem Kopf stehende Bilder.

  

Das Spiegelbild in einem ebenen Spiegel gibt ein wahrheitsgetreues bzw. unverzerrtes Abbild sowohl von Längen als auch von Winkeln. Der Spiegel vertauscht allerdings die ihm zugewandte mit der ihm abgewandten Seite. Dadurch wechselt die ‚Händigkeit‘. Wenn sich der Beobachter in die Lage seines Spiegelbildes versetzen möchte, so erscheint es ihm, als ob rechts und links vertauscht wären – alles erscheint im Wortsinne spiegelbildlich. Es liegt also nahe, die falsche Händigkeit als eine Vertauschung von rechts und links zu interpretieren, was dann zum scheinbaren Widerspruch führt, dass im Gegensatz dazu oben und unten nicht vertauscht wird. Um in diesem Bild zu bleiben, kann man formulieren, dass der Spiegel nicht links und rechts, sondern vielmehr vorn und hinten vertauscht.

  

Fällt der Blick über zwei Spiegel auf das Objekt, erscheint es wieder mit richtiger Händigkeit. Dieses Phänomen machen sich Periskope und Spiegelreflexkameras zunutze. Man kann nur durch Verwendung von zwei Spiegeln sich selbst so betrachten, wie man von anderen gesehen wird.

  

Wenn die Spiegelfläche nicht eben ist, ist das Spiegelbild verzerrt. Bei konvexen Spiegeln (gewölbt wie eine Kugeloberfläche) erscheint das (virtuelle) Spiegelbild immer verkleinert.[1][2] Hingegen kann durch Hohlspiegel ein vergrößertes (reelles) Spiegelbild erzielt werden. Das Abbild entsteht in der entfernungs- und krümmungsabhängigen Fokusebene. Mit welligen Spiegeln können Zerrbilder erzeugt werden, wie man sie in Kuriositäten- oder Lachkabinetten findet.

Spiegel können nach ihrem Aufbau unterteilt werden. Zum einen gibt es Spiegel für alltägliche Zwecke, bei denen ein durchsichtiges Trägermaterial von hinten beschichtet wird. Heute ist eine mit Aluminium beschichtete Glasplatte am häufigsten zu finden, aber auch Silber wird eingesetzt. Die Metallschicht ist hinten durch eine Lackschicht vor Oxidation geschützt. Die Reinigung der Sicht-Seite von Staub, Wasserrändern und anderen Verschmutzungen, z. B. durch Berühren mit Fingern, ist gelegentlich erforderlich, jedoch verhältnismäßig unkritisch. Früher verwendete man Quecksilber und Zinn. Ein Decklack war nicht notwendig, weil das Amalgam chemisch sehr stabil ist.

  

Im Gegensatz dazu sind optische Spiegel (auch Oberflächenspiegel genannt) häufig so aufgebaut, dass die spiegelnde Fläche weitgehend offen vorne auf einem (undurchsichtigen) Trägermaterial aufgebracht ist. Das hat den Vorteil, dass die Grenzfläche vom Glas, die zweifach vom Strahl durchquert wird, entfällt und somit nicht in der Lage ist, Schatten- und Mehrfachbilder zu bewirken. Als Beschichtung wird hier typischerweise Aluminium verwendet, das wesentlich weniger korrodiert als Silber und außerdem einen vergleichsweise flachen Spektralverlauf des Reflexionsvermögens auf hohem Niveau aufweist. Das Trägermaterial für einen solchen Spiegeltyp muss deshalb im Unterschied keineswegs transparent sein und kann damit ein relativ breites Spektrum an weiteren, gewollten Eigenschaften umsetzen, z. B. Bruchsicherheit, Abführung von Verlustenergie. Ein solcher Spiegel kann deshalb sogar aus Vollmaterial hergestellt werden, erfordert also für die Funktion selbst keinerlei Beschichtungen. Verschmutzungen sind hierbei nach Möglichkeit zu vermeiden und für die (seltene) Reinigung ist die verwendete Methode mit Bedacht zu wählen.

  

Eine andere Variante von optischen Spiegeln wird durch Prismenspiegel und Strahlteiler realisiert, bei denen das Licht durch eine plane Glasfläche in den eher großvolumigen Glaskörper fällt und dann an einer Schräge unter Ausnutzung der Totalreflexion in eine andere Richtung teilweise oder vollständig abgelenkt wird, um nach etwas Weg wieder aus dem Glaskörper auszutreten. Ein solcher Spiegel benötigt somit keine reflektierende Schicht, sondern nutzt das Grenzschichtverhalten des Materials, in dem sich das Licht bewegt. Auf der anderen Seite der Grenzschicht ist typischerweise Luft zu finden. Bei diesem Konzept kann z. B. Kondensation, also Feuchtigkeit auf der Grenzfläche, die Funktion vorübergehend beeinträchtigen. Die Ein- und Austrittsflächen dagegen sind nur bedingt kritisch.

  

Die bekanntesten Spiegel sind die Garderoben- und Badezimmerspiegel im Haushalt. Für sie wird meistens Floatglas verwendet, weil es besonders planparallel ist. Optische Planspiegel dienen in Versuchsaufbauten und/oder optischen Bänken der Umleitung von Strahlengängen in andere Richtungen.

  

Planspiegel erzeugen von einem Objekt kein reelles Bild wie beispielsweise eine Sammellinse. Der Spiegel zeigt einen vor dem Spiegel stehenden Gegenstand so, als wenn er im gleichen Abstand hinter dem Spiegel stünde. Dadurch ist der Gegenstand für den Betrachter scheinbar weiter entfernt, so dass er wegen der Perspektive kleiner erscheint. Die eigentliche Abbildung erledigt hierbei aber nicht der Spiegel, sondern die Augenlinse des Betrachters, der Spiegel kehrt lediglich die Lichtstrahlverläufe um.

  

Konvexspiegel stehen als Verkehrsspiegel im Straßenverkehr an unübersichtlichen Kreuzungen und Ausfahrten. Ihre zweiachsig-konvexe Form ermöglicht es, die Straße trotz der geringen Spiegelfläche gut zu überblicken. Ihre Wirkungsweise entspricht der einer konkaven Linse, bildet also das Licht von einem weiten Bild auf ein deutlich kleineres Sichtfeld ab.

  

Rück- und Seitenspiegeln an modernen Fahrzeugen sind oft ab einem bestimmten Punkt einachsig-konvex gekrümmt, um den Blickwinkel zu vergrößern und so den Toten Winkel zu verkleinern.

  

Rasier- und Kosmetikspiegel sind konkave Hohlspiegel. Hier befindet sich der Betrachter innerhalb der Brennweite und sieht deshalb von sich selbst ein vergrößertes virtuelles Bild, ähnlich wie bei einer Lupe.

  

Lichtbündelung durch Parabolspiegel

  

Lichtbündelung durch halb-zylindrischen Spiegel

Konkave Spiegel oder Hohlspiegel werden auch für Spiegelteleskope verwendet. Sie erzeugen von weit entfernten Objekten in ihrer Brennebene ein reelles Bild, ähnlich wie konvexe Linsen. Gegenüber Linsenteleskopen besteht aber der Vorteil, dass keinerlei chromatische Aberration auftritt. Zudem verformen sich große Linsen durch ihr Eigengewicht, sodass für große Teleskope ausschließlich große oder unterteilte Spiegel verwendet werden – nur sie können ganzflächig gelagert, ausreichend dick und somit steif sein. Sehr große Spiegelteleskope besitzen rückseitige Stellelemente, um mögliche Verformungen und Abbildungsfehler zu kompensieren. Die Formgenauigkeit eines Spiegels muss jedoch etwa viermal höher sein, als dies bei Linsenteleskopen der Fall ist (vgl. Brechungsgesetz, Reflexionsgesetz).

  

Die Abbildung von sphärischen Hohlspiegeln, das heißt von Spiegeln in der Form einer Kugelfläche, ist prinzipiell fehlerbehaftet, außer wenn ein Objekt auf sich selbst abgebildet wird. Sollen dagegen parallel eintreffende Strahlen von der gesamten Spiegeloberfläche in einem Punkt fokussiert werden, so muss ein Parabolspiegel verwendet werden. Eine weitere Möglichkeit zur Beseitigung des Abbildungsfehlers bei sphärischen Spiegeln ist eine Korrekturplatte nach Bernhard Schmidt (siehe Schmidt-Teleskop).

  

Zur Fokussierung einer Punktlichtquelle in einem zweiten Punkt muss die Spiegelfläche die Form eines Ellipsoids haben (Beispiel: Lichtquellen mit Höchstdruck-Quecksilberdampflampen für die Fotolithografie).

  

Parabolspiegel werden auch in solarthermischen Kraftwerken verwendet, um das Sonnenlicht auf den Dampferzeuger zu konzentrieren und so möglichst hohe Temperaturen zu erreichen. Auch Autoscheinwerfer (außer den sogenannten Projektionsscheinwerfern) enthalten Parabolspiegel. Bei Projektionsscheinwerfern (Auto, Bühne) erzeugt ein sphärischer Spiegel ein Abbild neben der Glühwendel. Das Licht der Wendel und des Abbildes werden mit einer davor befindlichen asphärischen Linse parallel gerichtet.

  

Die Zauberkunst verwendet bei optischen Tricks auf der Bühne Spiegel, um Gegenstände scheinbar verschwinden zu lassen (Bild unten). Unterhaltsame Beispiele dazu: siehe Unsichtbarkeit.

  

Zerrspiegel sind verformte Spiegel. Durch gewellte Spiegelflächen entstehen vielfache Verzerrungen. Die teilweise bizarren Effekte wurden früher in Wunderkammern und auf Jahrmärkten zur Belustigung der Betrachter eingesetzt, heute noch findet man solche Spiegel in Lachkabinetten. Konvexspiegel (Wölbspiegel) und Hohlspiegel wirken verkleinernd bzw. vergrößernd. Teilweise werden in Kleidergeschäften Zerrspiegel verwendet, welche das Abbild schlanker erscheinen lassen: „Der Spiegel lügt.“

  

Die medizinische Diagnostik verwendet Spiegel beispielsweise in Endoskopen (daher der Begriff Magenspiegelung) und zur Inspektion unzugänglicher Hohlräume.

  

Spiegel in Lasern und zu deren Strahlführung und -fokussierung haben besonders hohe Leistungsdichten zu ertragen. Daher müssen sie entweder besonders verlustarm reflektieren oder sie müssen die entstehende Wärme ableiten bzw. gekühlt werden. Man verwendet Interferenz- und Metallspiegel. Erforderlich sind voll reflektierende Spiegel (Endspiegel, Fokussierspiegel) und teiltransparente Spiegel (10 bis 99,9 % Reflexionsgrad, etwa für Auskoppelspiegel und Strahlteiler).

  

Durch die Art der Beschichtung kann man den gewünschten Wellenlängenbereich mit hohem Reflexionsfaktor vorgeben:

  

Metallbeschichtungen reflektieren im sichtbaren Bereich gut (≈ 95 %), versagen aber bei Silber und Gold im UV-Bereich, wie im nebenstehenden Bild zu sehen ist.

Dichroitische dielektrische Spiegel (Interferenzspiegel) bestehen aus mehreren transparenten Schichten mit abwechselnd jeweils unterschiedlichem Brechungsindex auf einem Glassubstrat. Sie reflektieren nur in einem begrenzten Wellenlängenbereich sowie in einem begrenzten Einfallswinkel. Man kann sie so aufbauen, dass sie entweder nur in einem sehr schmalen Wellenlängenbereich sehr gut reflektieren (≈ 99,9 %) oder beispielsweise den gesamten IR-Bereich durchlassen (Kaltlichtspiegel bei Halogenlampen).

Als Substrat kommen auch Metalle, Kunststoffe und sogar einkristalline Stoffe zum Einsatz. Kriterien für die Substratwahl sind dessen Bearbeitbarkeit, Wärmeausdehnungskoeffizient, Preis und – besonders bei hohen Leistungen – die Wärmeleitfähigkeit. Zur Materialbearbeitung mit Kohlendioxidlasern werden oft Ganzmetallspiegel aus Kupfer eingesetzt.

  

Haushaltspiegel und Spiegel an KFZ (Außenspiegel, Scheinwerfer) bestehen aus einer Aluminiumschicht hinter Glas oder auf Kunststoffen. Früher verwendete man für Haushaltspiegel Silberschichten, diese neigten jedoch zum Anlaufen und liefern ein leicht gelbstichiges Bild.

  

Silber- und Goldschichten, aber auch Kupfer sind jedoch für Infrarot gut geeignet. Die Reflexion im Mittleren und Fernen Infrarot korreliert mit der spezifischen elektrischen Leitfähigkeit des verwendeten Metalls.

  

Für Ultraviolett werden Aluminium oder dielektrische Schichten verwendet.

  

Röntgenstrahlung kann nur in einem sehr flachen Winkel zur Oberfläche (Einfallswinkel ≈ 90°) von Metallen reflektiert werden. Ursachen sind die sehr geringe Kohärenzlänge und der Abstand der Atome, der etwa genauso groß ist wie Wellenlänge. Durch den flachen Auftreffwinkel wird der scheinbare Atomabstand verringert.

  

Für gute Abbildungseigenschaften muss ein Spiegel (z. B. in Spiegelreflexkameras, Spiegelgalvanometern und Spiegelteleskopen) im Gegensatz zu Haushaltspiegeln die Spiegelschicht vorn tragen (Oberflächenspiegel). Die Spiegelschicht muss in diesem Fall meist durch eine dünne, möglichst harte transparente Deckschicht vor Oxidation und mechanischer Beschädigung geschützt werden.

  

Als Interferenzspiegel werden oft auch als Spiegel ausgebildete Reflexionsgitter bezeichnet, sie bestehen aus einer mit mikroskopischen Rillen versehenen Spiegelschicht. Sie werden in Spektrometern und Monochromatoren verwendet, um einzelne Wellenlängen zu separieren.

  

Teildurchlässige Metallschicht-Spiegel beruhen auf einer Eigenschaft, die bereits auch unbeschichtete Glasoberflächen besitzen: Sie sind in einem breiten Wellenlängenbereich teilreflektierend.

  

Solche teiltransparenten Spiegel haben auf einer Glasscheibe eine reflektierende Schicht (Silber, Gold oder andere Metalle), die wesentlich dünner (einige 10 nm) ist als bei einem normalen Spiegel, so dass nur noch ein Teil des auftreffenden Lichts reflektiert wird und ein weiterer Teil absorbiert wird oder ungehindert hindurchtritt.

  

Halbdurchlässige Spiegel sind auch als „Spionspiegel“ oder Teilerspiegel bekannt und dienen als Strahlteiler: Ein Teil des einfallenden Lichtes wird reflektiert, der Rest durchgelassen (eine Absorption werde hier vernachlässigt). Die jeweiligen Anteile lassen sich durch Wahl einer geeigneten Zusammensetzung der aufgetragenen Reflexionsschicht bestimmen.

  

Dünne Goldschichten reflektieren vorrangig im Infrarot, sind jedoch im sichtbaren Licht bläulich transparent.

  

In der Verhaltensforschung gilt das Erkennen des eigenen Spiegelbildes, das mittels Spiegeltest experimentell untersucht werden kann, als ein Zeichen von Intelligenz und Abstraktionsvermögen. Kleinkinder müssen für diese Fähigkeit erst elementare Entwicklungsstufen durchlaufen, während die meisten Tiere gar nicht in der Lage sind, die Bildinformation eines Spiegels auf sich selbst zu beziehen.

Der Spiegel ist ein äußerst zweideutiges Symbol. Einerseits gilt er als Zeichen der Eitelkeit und der Wollust. Andererseits symbolisiert er auch Selbsterkenntnis, Klugheit und Wahrheit: Ursprung für die heute noch gebräuchliche Redensart „Jemandem einen Spiegel vorhalten“ bzw. „Spiegelbild der Seele“. In den Augen mancher Christen ist der Spiegel auch ein Attribut Marias, weil sich in ihr gewissermaßen das Ebenbild Gottes, nämlich Jesus, spiegelt.

  

In antiken Kulturen stand der Spiegel als Abbild der Seele einer Person, in dem – je nach mythologischer Vorstellung – die Seele auch eingefangen und festgehalten werden konnte. Im Alten Ägypten waren die Worte „Spiegel“ und „Leben“ identisch. Keltinnen wurden aus demselben Grund mit ihrem Spiegel begraben. In der griechischen Mythologie wird Dionysos' Seele von den Titanen in einem Spiegel gefangen. Die Reflexion seines Selbstbildes hielt Narziss auf dem Wasser fest. Auch im Buddhismus wird die Existenz des Menschen mit der Reflexion in einem Spiegel verglichen.

  

In der jüdischen Überlieferung dient der Spiegel zur Erläuterung der überragenden Rolle von Moses als Prophet. Maimonides vergleicht die göttliche Offenbarung mit der Erhellung einer Nacht durch den Blitz. Einigen Propheten wurde nur ein einziges Mal die Gnade eines solch blitzartigen Aufleuchtens gewährt, anderen wiederum des Öfteren, während Moses einer dauernden, ununterbrochenen Erleuchtung teilhaftig war. Die Rabbiner erklären, dass seine Seele die göttliche Botschaft wie von einem klaren Spiegel zurückwarf.

  

Im Neuen Testament wird der Spiegel von Paulus zum einen in Anknüpfung an die rabbinische Deutung als Bild für die dem Mose allerdings überlegene christliche Gotteserkenntnis benutzt (2 Kor 3,18 EU). Zum anderen dient der Spiegel (der damals als blank geputzte Metallplatte nur dunkel und verschwommen spiegeln konnte) als Bild für die (im Vergleich zur Liebe) unvollkommene irdische Erkenntnis:

  

„Jetzt schauen wir in einen Spiegel und sehen nur rätselhafte Umrisse, dann aber schauen wir von Angesicht zu Angesicht. Jetzt erkenne ich unvollkommen, dann aber werde ich durch und durch erkennen, so wie ich auch durch und durch erkannt worden bin.(1 Kor 13,12 EU).“

  

In vielen Kulturen, so auch in der mitteleuropäischen Sagenwelt, gehören Spiegel und übersinnliche Erkenntnis (Weissagen, Wahrsagen) zusammen. Laut dem Volkskundler Trachtenberg haben noch im Mittelalter jüdische Gelehrte geglaubt, dass Spiegel beim Hineinsehen die Kraft der Augen wiedergeben und sie auf diese Weise stärkten. Gelehrte hätten deshalb während des Schreibens einen Spiegel vor sich hingestellt. Spiegelnde Oberflächen herzustellen hatte auch noch etwas Magisches an sich.

  

In Klöstern waren Spiegel zum Teil verboten, um die Eitelkeit nicht zu fördern. In der chinesischen Tradition sah man den Spiegel als Verbanner des Bösen, denn wenn das Böse in den Spiegel sieht und seine Missbildung sieht, überkommt es der Schreck. In der sozialen Umgebung bedeutete dies Loyalität und in der geistlichen Sichtweise sah man es als Attribut des weisen Mannes, der seinen Verstand dem Spiegel ähnlich äußert.

  

In Japan spielte der Spiegel eine herausragende Rolle; er war eine der kaiserlichen Kostbarkeiten neben dem Thron und dem Schwert. Die shintoistische Tradition assoziiert einen achtkantigen Spiegel mit der Symbolik des Elements Metall und des kosmischen Epos über die Sonnengöttin Amaterasu. Der Legende nach war es der Spiegel, der sie dazu gebracht hat, aus ihrem Versteck herauszukommen und der Welt das Licht zurückzubringen. Der Spiegel, der die Göttin reflektiert und sie erweckt, ist damit das Symbol der Welt, des Raums, in dem die Erscheinung entsteht. Der Spiegel wird mit der Zahl „8“ assoziiert und mit dem Symbol der göttlichen Vollendung. Der Spiegel ist ein Mondsymbol, denn er ist wie der Mond eine Reflexion der Erscheinung. Der Spiegel wird mit dem Wasser verglichen und dient dem Wahrsagen und zu magischen Ritualen bei den Völkern von Kongo, Bambara und Asien. In einer Schale mit Wasser oder in einem Spiegel sieht der Wahrsager die Geister. In Altrussland haben junge Frauen magische Rituale mit Spiegeln durchgeführt: An Heiligabend stellte man einen großen Spiegel gegenüber einem kleineren, dazwischen stand eine Kerze. Dann bat man den Spiegel, seinen zukünftigen Mann zu zeigen, und wenn dieser sichtbar wurde, musste man schnell „Gott stehe mir bei“ rufen, sonst würde der Doppelgänger des Gezeigten aus dem Spiegel treten und der Frau viel Übel bringen, die ihn gerufen hat.

  

Im Mittelalter wurde der Spiegel als die Reflexion des Gotteswortes und als Mittel seiner Deutung aufgefasst. Sich Gedanken machen bedeutete, einen Spiegel zu besitzen, der die göttlichen Gesetze widerspiegelt und diese dadurch erkennen zu können. Er ist ein Mittel, Himmelskörper und den Kosmos zu beobachten.

  

In E. T. A. Hoffmanns Sammlung Phantasiestücke in Callots Manier, Unterkapitel: Die Abenteuer der Sylvesternacht, verkauft in der Erzählung Die Geschichte vom verlorenen Spiegelbild der Protagonist Erasmus Spikher seiner im Bund mit dem Teufel stehenden Geliebten Giulietta sein Spiegelbild und damit seine Seele. (In der Oper Hoffmanns Erzählungen von Jacques Offenbach tut dieses Hoffmann selbst.)

In einer Erzählung mit dem Titel Spiegelgeschichte erzählt Ilse Aichinger das Leben einer Frau rückwärts, beginnend mit dem Tod bis hin zur Geburt.

Ein autobiographisch-poetischer Film von Regisseur Andrei Tarkowski trägt den Titel Der Spiegel (1975), und diese nahmen in seiner Filmsprache immer eine gewichtige Rolle ein. (Tarkowski plante auch, über E. T. A. Hoffmann und unter anderem Die Geschichte vom verlorenen Spiegelbild zu filmen.)

Der Film Orpheus (Orphée) von Jean Cocteau zeigt das Motiv des Dichters, der durch einen Spiegel ins Jenseits schreitet.

Das Buch Alice im Wunderland von Lewis Carroll zeigt den Spiegel als Tür zum Wunderland.

Herta Müller nennt ein Buch mit Essays zu ihrer Poetik Der Teufel sitzt im Spiegel. Das Sprichwort stammt von der Großmutter, schreibt sie, es soll vor Hoffart warnen.

Die Verbindung Tod/Teufel mit einem Spiegel ist seit dem Spätmittelalter, verstärkt seit dem Barock ein Vanitas-Symbol. In Daniel Hoffers (* 1470, † 1536) Holzschnitt erscheinen Tod und Teufel der eitlen Schönen im Spiegel. Ein Holzschnitt Der Teufel im Spiegel des eitlen Mädchens stammt aus dem Ritter von Turn, Verlag Johann Bergmann von Olpe, Basel 1493;

Grimms Märchen Schneewittchen; ferner bei Rainer Maria Rilke, Nikolaus Lenau und Annette von Droste-Hülshoff im Motiv des Doppelgängers.

Giovanni Segantini zeichnet die Vanitá als Schöne, die sich eitel im spiegelnden Wasser betrachtet.[3]

Aberglauben[Bearbeiten]

Spiegel sind schon seit langem häufige Elemente des Aberglaubens. Beispiele hierfür:

  

Wenn man einen Spiegel zerbricht, würde man sieben Jahre lang von Unglück heimgesucht, denn im Spiegel befände sich ein Doppelgänger. Sollte man diesen verletzen, würde er sich rächen. Man könne das Unglück auch abwenden, wenn man die Splitter schwarz färbt oder sie in fließendes Wasser eintaucht.

Sollte man einem kleinen Kind den Spiegel zeigen, könne es ängstlich oder oft krank werden.

Wenn man aus dem Haus geht und feststellt, dass man etwas vergessen hat, solle man in seine Widerspiegelung schauen, sonst würde man auf seinem Weg auf viele Hindernisse treffen.

Im Hause eines Toten solle man alle Spiegel zuhängen, damit sich seine Seele dort nicht ansiedeln kann und die Lebenden erschreckt.

Eine Frau dürfe nicht in den Spiegel schauen, wenn sie menstruiert, schwanger ist oder gerade geboren hat, denn in dieser Zeit sehe sie ihr offenes Grab.

Man solle vor dem Spiegel nichts Böses sagen und auch sich selbst nicht kritisieren, denn er spiegle das Gesagte.

Man solle sich jeden Morgen vor den Spiegel stellen und ihn darum bitten, alles Böse im Haus zurückzuwerfen und alle, die in dem Haus wohnen, zu beschützen.

Man könne seine Energie mit Hilfe des Spiegels aufladen, wenn man einige Minuten in seine Augen schaut, und zwar morgens vor Sonnenaufgang oder abends nach Sonnenuntergang. Die Erklärung hierfür ist, dass die Sonne die Energie wie ein Magnet anziehe.

Im Schlafzimmer solle der Spiegel den Schlafenden möglichst nicht widerspiegeln, sonst würde man unruhig schlafen. Man könne die Spiegel auch während der Nacht zuhängen. Wenn man unruhig schläft, solle man einen großen Spiegel unter das Bett mit der Spiegelseite nach unten legen; er würde alle Einflüsse auf den Schlafenden in die Erde zurückwerfen.

Vampire (die selbst ein Aberglaube sind) haben kein Spiegelbild.

  

A mirror is an object that reflects light in a way that preserves much of its original quality subsequent to its contact with the mirror.

  

Some mirrors also filter out some wavelengths, while preserving other wavelengths in the reflection. This is different from other light-reflecting objects that do not preserve much of the original wave signal other than color and diffuse reflected light. The most familiar type of mirror is the plane mirror, which has a flat surface. Curved mirrors are also used, to produce magnified or diminished images or focus light or simply distort the reflected image.

  

Mirrors are commonly used for personal grooming or admiring oneself (in which case the archaic term looking-glass is sometimes still used[clarification needed]), decoration, and architecture. Mirrors are also used in scientific apparatus such as telescopes and lasers, cameras, and industrial machinery. Most mirrors are designed for visible light; however, mirrors designed for other types of waves or other wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation are also used, especially in non-optical instruments.

  

The first mirrors used by people were most likely pools of dark, still water, or water collected in a primitive vessel of some sort. The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. Examples of obsidian mirrors found in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) have been dated to around 6000 BC.[1] Polished stone mirrors from Central and South America date from around 2000 BC onwards.[1] Mirrors of polished copper were crafted in Mesopotamia from 4000 BC,[1] and in ancient Egypt from around 3000 BC.[2] In China, bronze mirrors were manufactured from around 2000 BC,[3] some of the earliest bronze and copper examples being produced by the Qijia culture. Mirrors made of other metal mixtures (alloys) such as copper and tin speculum metal may have also been produced in China and India.[4] Mirrors of speculum metal or any precious metal were hard to produce and were only owned by the wealthy.[5]

  

Metal-coated glass mirrors are said to have been invented in Sidon (modern-day Lebanon) in the first century AD,[6] and glass mirrors backed with gold leaf are mentioned by the Roman author Pliny in his Natural History, written in about 77 AD.[7] The Romans also developed a technique for creating crude mirrors by coating blown glass with molten lead.[8]

  

Parabolic mirrors were described and studied in classical antiquity by the mathematician Diocles in his work On Burning Mirrors.[9] Ptolemy conducted a number of experiments with curved polished iron mirrors,[10] and discussed plane, convex spherical, and concave spherical mirrors in his Optics.[11] Parabolic mirrors were also described by the physicist Ibn Sahl in the 10th century,[12] and Ibn al-Haytham discussed concave and convex mirrors in both cylindrical and spherical geometries,[13] carried out a number of experiments with mirrors, and solved the problem of finding the point on a convex mirror at which a ray coming from one point is reflected to another point.[14] By the 11th century, clear glass mirrors were being produced in Moorish Spain.[15][verification needed]

  

In China, people began making mirrors with the use of silver-mercury amalgams as early as 500 AD.[16] Some time during the early Renaissance, European manufacturers perfected a superior method of coating glass with a tin-mercury amalgam. The exact date and location of the discovery is unknown, but in the 16th century, Venice, a city famed for its glass-making expertise, became a centre of mirror production using this new technique. Glass mirrors from this period were extremely expensive luxuries.[17] The Saint-Gobain factory, founded by royal initiative in France, was an important manufacturer, and Bohemian and German glass, often rather cheaper, was also important.

  

The invention of the silvered-glass mirror is credited to German chemist Justus von Liebig in 1835.[18] His process involved the deposition of a thin layer of metallic silver onto glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This silvering process was adapted for mass manufacturing and led to the greater availability of affordable mirrors. Nowadays, mirrors are often produced by the wet deposition of silver (or sometimes aluminum via vacuum deposition)[19] directly onto the glass substrate.

Mirrors are manufactured by applying a reflective coating to a suitable substrate. The most common substrate is glass, due to its transparency, ease of fabrication, rigidity, hardness, and ability to take a smooth finish. The reflective coating is typically applied to the back surface of the glass, so that the reflecting side of the coating is protected from corrosion and accidental damage by the glass on one side and the coating itself and optional paint for further protection on the other.

  

In classical antiquity, mirrors were made of solid metal (bronze, later silver) and were too expensive for widespread use by common people; they were also prone to corrosion. Due to the low reflectivity of polished metal, these mirrors also gave a darker image than modern ones, making them unsuitable for indoor use with the artificial lighting of the time (candles or lanterns).[citation needed]

  

The method of making mirrors out of plate glass was invented by 16th-century Venetian glassmakers on the island of Murano, who covered the back of the glass with mercury, obtaining near-perfect and undistorted reflection. For over one hundred years, Venetian mirrors installed in richly decorated frames served as luxury decorations for palaces throughout Europe, but the secret of the mercury process eventually arrived in London and Paris during the 17th century, due to industrial espionage. French workshops succeeded in large scale industrialization of the process, eventually making mirrors affordable to the masses, although mercury's toxicity remained a problem[citation needed].

  

In modern times, the mirror substrate is shaped, polished and cleaned, and is then coated. Glass mirrors are most often coated with silver[20] or aluminium, implemented by a series of coatings:[citation needed]

  

Tin(II) chloride

Silver

Chemical activator

Copper

Paint

The tin(II) chloride is applied because silver will not bond with the glass. The activator causes the tin/silver to harden. Copper is added for long-term durability.[21] The paint protects the coating on the back of the mirror from scratches and other accidental damage.[citation needed]

  

In some applications, generally those that are cost-sensitive or that require great durability, mirrors are made from a single, bulk material such as polished metal.[citation needed] For technical applications such as laser mirrors, the reflective coating is typically applied by vacuum deposition on the front surface of the substrate. This eliminates refraction and double reflections (a weak reflection from the surface of the glass, and a stronger one from the reflecting metal) and reduces absorption of light by the mirror. Technical mirrors may use a silver, aluminium, or gold coating (the latter typically for infrared mirrors), and achieve reflectivities of 90–95% when new. A protective transparent overcoat may be applied to prevent oxidation of the reflective layer. Applications requiring higher reflectivity or greater durability, where wide bandwidth is not essential, use dielectric coatings, which can achieve reflectivities as high as 99.999% over a narrow range of wavelengths.

  

There are many types of glass mirrors, each representing a different manufacturing process and reflection type.

  

An aluminium glass mirror is made of a float glass manufactured using vacuum coating, i.e. aluminium powder is evaporated (or "sputtered") onto the exposed surface of the glass in a vacuum chamber and then coated with two or more layers of waterproof protective paint.

  

A low aluminium glass mirror is manufactured by coating silver and two layers of protective paint on the back surface of glass. A low aluminium glass mirror is very clear, light transmissive, smooth, and reflects accurate natural colors. This type of glass is widely used for framing presentations and exhibitions in which a precise color representation of the artwork is truly essential or when the background color of the frame is predominantly white.[citation needed]

  

A safety glass mirror is made by adhering a special protective film to the back surface of a silver glass mirror, which prevents injuries in case the mirror is broken. This kind of mirror is used for furniture, doors, glass walls, commercial shelves, or public areas.[citation needed]

  

A silkscreen printed glass mirror is produced using inorganic color ink that prints patterns through a special screen onto glass. Various colors, patterns, and glass shapes are available. Such a glass mirror is durable and more moisture resistant than ordinary printed glass and can serve for over 20 years. This type of glass is widely used for decorative purposes (e.g., on mirrors, table tops, doors, windows, kitchen chop boards, etc.).[citation needed]

  

A silver glass mirror is an ordinary mirror, coated on its back surface with silver, which produces images by reflection. This kind of glass mirror is produced by coating a silver, copper film and two or more layers of waterproof paint on the back surface of float glass, which perfectly resists acid and moisture. A silver glass mirror provides clear and actual images, is quite durable, and is widely used for furniture, bathroom and other decorative purposes.[citation needed]

  

Decorative glass mirrors are usually handcrafted. A variety of shades, shapes and glass thickness are often available.

A beam of light reflects off a mirror at an angle of reflection equal to its angle of incidence (if the size of a mirror is much larger than the wavelength of light). That is, if the beam of light is shining on a mirror's surface at a \theta° angle vertically, then it reflects from the point of incidence at a \theta° angle from vertically in the opposite direction. This law mathematically follows from the interference of a plane wave on a flat boundary (of much larger size than the wavelength).

  

In a plane mirror, a parallel beam of light changes its direction as a whole, while still remaining parallel; the images formed by a plane mirror are virtual images, of the same size as the original object (see mirror image).

In a concave mirror, parallel beams of light become a convergent beam, whose rays intersect in the focus of the mirror. Also known as converging mirror

In a convex mirror, parallel beams become divergent, with the rays appearing to diverge from a common point of intersection "behind" the mirror.

Spherical concave and convex mirrors do not focus parallel rays to a single point due to spherical aberration. However, the ideal of focusing to a point is a commonly-used approximation. Parabolic reflectors resolve this, allowing incoming parallel rays (for example, light from a distant star) to be focused to a small spot; almost an ideal point. Parabolic reflectors are not suitable for imaging nearby objects because the light rays are not parallel.

  

If one looks in a mirror, one's image reverses (e.g., if one raises one's right hand, one's left hand will appear to go up in the mirror). However, a mirror does not "swap" left and right, any more than it swaps top and bottom. A mirror reverses the forward/backward axis, and we define left and right relative to front and back. Flipping front/back and left/right is equivalent to a rotation of 180 degrees about the vertical axis (in the same way that text which is back-to-front and upside-down simply looks like it has been rotated 180 degrees on the page). Therefore, looking at an image of oneself with the front/back axis flipped is the same as looking at an image with the left/right axis flipped and the whole figure rotated 180 degrees about the vertical axis, which is exactly what one sees when standing in front of a mirror.

Convex mirrors

Convex mirrors provide a wider field of view than flat mirrors, and are often used on vehicles, especially large trucks, to minimize blind spots. They are sometimes placed at road junctions, and corners of sites such as parking lots to allow people to see around corners to avoid crashing into other vehicles or shopping carts. They are also sometimes used as part of security systems, so that a single video camera can show more than one angle at a time.[citation needed]

Mouth mirrors or "dental mirrors"

Mouth mirrors or "dental mirrors" are used by dentists to allow indirect vision and lighting within the mouth. Their reflective surfaces may be either flat or curved. Mouth mirrors are also commonly used by mechanics to allow vision in tight spaces and around corners in equipment.

Rear-view mirrors

Rear-view mirrors are widely used in and on vehicles (such as automobiles, or bicycles), to allow drivers to see other vehicles coming up behind them. On rear-view sunglasses, the left end of the left glass and the right end of the right glass work as mirrors.

  

One-way mirrors (also called two-way mirrors) work by overwhelming dim transmitted light with bright reflected light. A true one-way mirror that actually allows light to be transmitted in one direction only without requiring external energy is not possible as it violates the second law of thermodynamics: if one placed a cold object on the transmitting side and a hot one on the blocked side, radiant energy would be transferred from the cold to the hot object. Thus, though a one-way mirror can be made to appear to work in only one direction at a time, it is actually reflective from either side.

One-way windows

One-way windows can be made to work with polarized light in the laboratory without violating the second law. This is an apparent paradox that stumped some great physicists, although it does not allow a practical one-way mirror for use in the real world.[22][23] Optical isolators are one-way devices that are commonly used with lasers.

  

With the sun as light source, a mirror can be used to signal by variations in the orientation of the mirror. The signal can be used over long distances, possibly up to 60 kilometres on a clear day. This technique was used by Native American tribes and numerous militaries to transmit information between distant outposts.

  

Mirrors can also be used for search to attract the attention of search and rescue helicopters. Specialized signalling mirrors are available and are often included in military survival kits.

  

Microscopic mirrors are a core element of many of the largest high-definition televisions and video projectors. A common technology of this type is Texas Instruments' DLP. A DLP chip is a postage stamp-sized microchip whose surface is an array of millions of microscopic mirrors. The picture is created as the individual mirrors move to either reflect light toward the projection surface (pixel on), or toward a light absorbing surface (pixel off).

  

Other projection technologies involving mirrors include LCoS. Like a DLP chip, LCoS is a microchip of similar size, but rather than millions of individual mirrors, there is a single mirror that is actively shielded by a liquid crystal matrix with up to millions of pixels. The picture, formed as light, is either reflected toward the projection surface (pixel on), or absorbed by the activated LCD pixels (pixel off). LCoS-based televisions and projectors often use 3 chips, one for each primary color.

  

Large mirrors are used in rear projection televisions. Light (for example from a DLP as mentioned above) is "folded" by one or more mirrors so that the television set is compact.

  

Mirrors are integral parts of a solar power plant. The one shown in the picture to the right uses concentrated solar power from an array of parabolic troughs.

  

Telescopes and other precision instruments use front silvered or first surface mirrors, where the reflecting surface is placed on the front (or first) surface of the glass (this eliminates reflection from glass surface ordinary back mirrors have). Some of them use silver, but most are aluminium, which is more reflective at short wavelengths than silver. All of these coatings are easily damaged and require special handling. They reflect 90% to 95% of the incident light when new. The coatings are typically applied by vacuum deposition. A protective overcoat is usually applied before the mirror is removed from the vacuum, because the coating otherwise begins to corrode as soon as it is exposed to oxygen and humidity in the air. Front silvered mirrors have to be resurfaced occasionally to keep their quality. There are optical mirrors such as mangin mirrors that are second surface mirrors (reflective coating on the rear surface) as part of their optical designs, usually to correct optical aberrations.

The reflectivity of the mirror coating can be measured using a reflectometer and for a particular metal it will be different for different wavelengths of light. This is exploited in some optical work to make cold mirrors and hot mirrors. A cold mirror is made by using a transparent substrate and choosing a coating material that is more reflective to visible light and more transmissive to infrared light.

  

A hot mirror is the opposite, the coating preferentially reflects infrared. Mirror surfaces are sometimes given thin film overcoatings both to retard degradation of the surface and to increase their reflectivity in parts of the spectrum where they will be used. For instance, aluminum mirrors are commonly coated with silicon dioxide or magnesium fluoride. The reflectivity as a function of wavelength depends on both the thickness of the coating and on how it is applied.

  

For scientific optical work, dielectric mirrors are often used. These are glass (or sometimes other material) substrates on which one or more layers of dielectric material are deposited, to form an optical coating. By careful choice of the type and thickness of the dielectric layers, the range of wavelengths and amount of light reflected from the mirror can be specified. The best mirrors of this type can reflect >99.999% of the light (in a narrow range of wavelengths) which is incident on the mirror. Such mirrors are often used in lasers.

  

In astronomy, adaptive optics is a technique to measure variable image distortions and adapt a deformable mirror accordingly on a timescale of milliseconds, to compensate for the distortions.

  

Although most mirrors are designed to reflect visible light, surfaces reflecting other forms of electromagnetic radiation are also called "mirrors". The mirrors for other ranges of electromagnetic waves are used in optics and astronomy. Mirrors for radio waves (sometimes known as reflectors) are important elements of radio telescopes.

  

Two or more mirrors aligned exactly parallel and facing each other can give an infinite regress of reflections, called an infinity mirror effect. Some devices use this to generate multiple reflections:

  

Fabry–Pérot interferometer

Laser (which contains an optical cavity)

3D Kaleidoscope to concentrate light

momentum-enhanced solar sail

  

It has been said that Archimedes used a large array of mirrors to burn Roman ships during an attack on Syracuse. This has never been proven or disproved; however, it has been put to the test. Recently, on a popular Discovery Channel show, MythBusters, a team from MIT tried to recreate the famous "Archimedes Death Ray". They were unsuccessful at starting a fire on the ship. Previous attempts to light the boat on fire using only the bronze mirrors available in Archimedes' time were unsuccessful, and the time taken to ignite the craft would have made its use impractical, resulting in the MythBusters team deeming the myth "busted". It was however found that the mirrors made it very difficult for the passengers of the targeted boat to see, likely helping to cause their defeat, which may have been the origin of the myth. (See solar power tower for a practical use of this technique.)

  

Due to its location in a steep-sided valley, the Italian town of Viganella gets no direct sunlight for seven weeks each winter. In 2006 a €100,000 computer-controlled mirror, 8×5 m, was installed to reflect sunlight into the town's piazza. In early 2007 the similarly situated village of Bondo, Switzerland, was considering applying this solution as well.[28][29] In 2013, mirrors were installed to reflect sunlight into the town square in the Norwegian town of Rjukan.[30] Mirrors can be used to produce enhanced lighting effects in greenhouses or conservatories.

Mirrors are a popular design theme in architecture, particularly with late modern and post-modernist high-rise buildings in major cities. Early examples include the Campbell Center in Dallas, which opened in 1972,[31] and the John Hancock Tower in Boston.

  

More recently, two skyscrapers designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, the Vdara in Las Vegas and 20 Fenchurch Street in London, have experienced unusual problems due to their concave curved glass exteriors acting as respectively cylindrical and spherical reflectors for sunlight. In 2010, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported that sunlight reflected off the Vdara's south-facing tower could singe swimmers in the hotel pool, as well as melting plastic cups and shopping bags; employees of the hotel referred to the phenomenon as the "Vdara death ray".[32] In 2013, sunlight reflecting off 20 Fenchurch Street melted parts of a Jaguar car parked nearby and scorching the carpet of a nearby barber shop.

Painters depicting someone gazing into a mirror often also show the person's reflection. This is a kind of abstraction—in most cases the angle of view is such that the person's reflection should not be visible. Similarly, in movies and still photography an actor or actress is often shown ostensibly looking at him- or herself in the mirror, and yet the reflection faces the camera. In reality, the actor or actress sees only the camera and its operator in this case, not their own reflection.[citation needed]

  

The mirror is the central device in some of the greatest of European paintings:[citation needed]

  

Édouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

Titian's Venus with a Mirror

Jan van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait

Pablo Picasso's Girl before a Mirror (1932)

Diego Velázquez's Las Meninas, wherein the viewer is both the watcher (of a self-portrait in progress) and the watched, and the many adaptations of that painting in various media

Veronese's Venus with a Mirror

Mirrors have been used by artists to create works and hone their craft:

  

Filippo Brunelleschi discovered linear perspective with the help of the mirror.[citation needed]

Leonardo da Vinci called the mirror the "master of painters". He recommended, "When you wish to see whether your whole picture accords with what you have portrayed from nature take a mirror and reflect the actual object in it. Compare what is reflected with your painting and carefully consider whether both likenesses of the subject correspond, particularly in regard to the mirror."[citation needed]

Many self-portraits are made possible through the use of mirrors:

Without a mirror, the great self-portraits by Dürer, Frida Kahlo, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh could not have been painted.[citation needed]

M. C. Escher used special shapes of mirrors in order to achieve a much more complete view of his surroundings than by direct observation in Hand with Reflecting Sphere (also known as Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror).

Mirrors are sometimes necessary to fully appreciate art work:

  

István Orosz's anamorphic works are images distorted such that they only become clearly visible when reflected in a suitably shaped and positioned mirror.

  

Some other contemporary artists use mirrors as the material of art:

  

A Chinese magic mirror is an art in which the face of the bronze mirror projects the same image that was cast on its back. This is due to minute curvatures on its front.[34]

Specular holography uses a large number of curved mirrors embedded in a surface to produce three-dimensional imagery.

Paintings on mirror surfaces (such as silkscreen printed glass mirrors)

Sculptures comprised entirely or in part of mirrors

Infinity Also Hurts is a mirror, glass and silicone sculpture by artist, Seth Wulsin

Sky Mirror is a public sculpture by artist, Anish Kapoor

Special mirror installations

Follow Me mirror labyrinth by artist, Jeppe Hein (see also, Entertainment: Mirror mazes, below)

Mirror Neon Cube by artist, Jeppe Hein

  

Mirrors are frequently used in interior decoration and as ornaments:

  

Mirrors, typically large and unframed, are frequently used in interior decoration to create an illusion of space and amplify the apparent size of a room.[citation needed] They come also framed in a variety of forms, such as the pier glass and the overmantle mirror.

Mirrors are used also in some schools of feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space, to achieve harmony with the environment.

The softness of old mirrors is sometimes replicated by contemporary artisans for use in interior design. These reproduction antiqued mirrors are works of art and can bring color and texture to an otherwise hard, cold reflective surface. It is an artistic process that has been attempted by many and perfected by few.[citation needed]

A decorative reflecting sphere of thin metal-coated glass, working as a reducing wide-angle mirror, is sold as a Christmas ornament called a bauble.

Illuminated rotating disco balls covered with small mirrors are used to cast moving spots of light around a dance floor.

The hall of mirrors, commonly found in amusement parks, is an attraction in which a number of distorting mirrors are used to produce unusual reflections of the visitor.

Mirrors are employed in kaleidoscopes, personal entertainment devices invented in Scotland by Sir David Brewster.

Mirrors are often used in magic to create an illusion. One effect is called Pepper's ghost.

Mirror mazes, often found in amusement parks as well, contain large numbers of mirrors and sheets of glass. The idea is to navigate the disorientating array without bumping into the walls. Mirrors in attractions like this are often made of Plexiglas as to assure that they do not break.

Candyman is a horror film about a malevolent spirit summoned by speaking its name in front of a mirror.

Mirrors is a horror film about haunted mirrors that reflect different scenes than those in front of them.

Poltergeist III features mirrors that do not reflect reality and which can be used as portals to the afterlife.

The 10th Kingdom miniseries requires the characters to use a magic mirror to travel between New York City (the 10th Kingdom) and the Nine Kingdoms of fairy tale.

Mirrors play a powerful role in cultural literature.

  

Christian Bible passage, 1 Corinthians 13:12 ("Through a Glass Darkly"), references a dim mirror image or poor mirror reflection.

Narcissus of Greek mythology wastes away while gazing, self-admiringly, at his reflection in water.

In the European fairy tale, "Snow White" (collected by the Brothers Grimm in 1812), the evil queen asks, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall... who's the fairest of them all?"

In Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem "The Lady of Shalott" (1833, revised in 1842), the titular character possesses a mirror that enables her to look out on the people of Camelot, as she is under a curse that prevents her from seeing Camelot directly.

Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871) is one of the best-loved uses of mirrors in literature. The text itself utilizes a narrative that mirrors that of its predecessor, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.[citation needed]

In Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), a portrait serves as a magical mirror that reflects the true visage of the perpetually youthful protagonist, as well as the effect on his soul of each sinful act.[35][36]

The short story "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by Jorge Luis Borges begins with the phrase "I owe the discovery of Uqbar to the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia" and contains other references to mirrors.

The magical objects in the Harry Potter series (1997-2011) include the Mirror of Erised and two-way mirrors.

Under "Appendix: Variant Planes & Cosmologies" of the Dungeons & Dragons Manual Of The Planes (2000), is The Plane of Mirrors (page 204).[37] It describes the Plane of Mirrors as a space existing behind reflective surfaces, and experienced by visitors as a long corridor. The greatest danger to visitors upon entering the plane is the instant creation of a mirror-self with the opposite alignment of the original visitor.

  

Only a few animal species have been shown to have the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror, most of them mammals. Experiments have found that the following animals can pass the mirror test:

  

All great apes:

Humans. Humans tend to fail the mirror test until they are about 18 months old, or what psychoanalysts call the "mirror stage".

Bonobos[41]

Chimpanzees

Orangutans

Gorillas. Initially, it was thought that gorillas did not pass the test, but there are now several well-documented reports of gorillas (such as Koko[44]) passing the test.

Bottlenose dolphins

Orcas

Elephants

European Magpies

  

Other types of reflecting device are also called "mirrors".

  

Acoustic mirrors are passive devices used to reflect and perhaps to focus sound waves. Acoustic mirrors were used for selective detection of sound waves, especially during World War II. They were used for detection of enemy aircraft prior to the development of radar. Acoustic mirrors are used for remote probing of the atmosphere; they can be used to form a narrow diffraction-limited beam.[49] They can also be used for underwater imaging.

Active mirrors are mirrors that amplify the light they reflect. They are used to make disk lasers.[50] The amplification is typically over a narrow range of wavelengths, and requires an external source of power.

Atomic mirrors are devices which reflect matter waves. Usually, atomic mirrors work at grazing incidence. Such mirrors can be used for atomic interferometry and atomic holography. It has been proposed that they can be used for non-destructive imaging systems with nanometer resolution.[51]

Cold mirrors are dielectric mirrors that reflect the entire visible light spectrum, while efficiently transmitting infrared wavelengths. These are the converse of hot mirrors.

Corner reflectors use three flat mirrors to reflect light back towards its source, they may also be implemented with prisms that reflect using total internal reflection that have no mirror surfaces. They are used for emergency location, and even laser ranging to the Moon.

Hot mirrors reflect infrared light while allowing visible light to pass. These can be used to separate useful light from unneeded infrared to reduce heating of components in an optical device. They can also be used as dichroic beamsplitters. (Hot mirrors are the converse of cold mirrors.)

Metallic reflectors are used to reflect infrared light (such as in space heaters or microwaves).

Non-reversing mirrors are mirrors that provide a non-reversed image of their subjects.

X-ray mirrors produce specular reflection of X-rays. All known types work only at angles near grazing incidence, and only a small fraction of the rays are reflected.[52] See also X-ray optics.

   

140

 

Hello again, actors and actresses. As the world is still a stage, and all men and women are still merely players; in order not to get axed, we will need to keep on acting. There are quite a few different ways of acting; I am not a big fan of method acting, I prefer putting on a different persona as in the good old Greek tragedy.

 

How to act accordingly

 

1. Get to know the set and surroundings

 

2. Understand the scenes you are in, do not get turn up in the wrong scene, things may get awkward

 

3. Do not stay in the scene for too long, you may become a scene queen

 

4. Then get to know the acts

 

5. Acts are the overall pictures of the scenes, which means it's the bigger picture

 

6. Know the other players

 

7. Try and understand the sort of interaction you will have and practise with the players

 

8. Put on a Persona once you start to real deal

 

9. Hide yourself behind these personae

 

10. No one cares to see the real you, because the whole play revolve around personae

 

12. Read the other personae and their body languages

 

13. Avoid Italian body languages because it is closer to being in a ballet; avoid Japanese gestures too, it is rather stiff and formalised

 

14. Remember to change your persona really quickly once you are switching scenes

 

15. Read the lines/blurbs clearly, even when your voice is obscured by the persona

 

Caution

You will not be awarded an Oscar or a BAFTA, but at least you will remain on stage if you are a good actor and handle your personae well.

 

Extra-Caution

Remember: wearing a persona for too long will mould your face; you are advised to change your persona, or remove it once it a while - unless you wear a happy one all the time; but do be careful, tears still crack through and your persona will forever be ruined.

  

This theatrical tutorial is brought to you by Linus & The Feel Good Factory.

Belgian postcard by P Magazine, no. 37 in the series 'De mooiste vrouwen van de eeuw' (the 100 most beautiful women of the century). Photo: Sante D'Orazio / Outline.

 

Vivacious Kate Winslet (1975) is often seen as the best English-speaking film actress of her generation. The English actress and singer was the youngest person to acquire six Academy Award nominations, and won the Oscar for The Reader (2008).

 

Kate Elizabeth Winslet was born Reading, England, in 1975. She is the second of four children of stage actors Sally Anne (née Bridges) and Roger John Winslet. Winslet began studying drama at the age of 11. The following year, Winslet appeared in a television commercial for Sugar Puffs cereal, in which she danced opposite the Honey Monster. Winslet's acting career began on television, with a co-starring role in the BBC children's science fiction serial Dark Season (Colin Cant, 1991). On the set, Winslet met Stephen Tredre, who was working as an assistant director. They would have a four-and-a-half-year relationship, and remained close after their separation in 1995. He died of bone cancer during the opening week of Titanic, causing her to miss the film's Los Angeles premiere to attend his funeral in London. Her role in Dark Season was followed by appearances in the made-for-TV film Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (Diarmuid Lawrence, 1992), the sitcom Get Back (Graeme Harper, 1992), and an episode of the medical drama Casualty (Tom Cotter, 1993). She made her film debut in the New Zealand drama film Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994) . Winslet auditioned for the part of Juliet Hulme, an obsessive teenager in 1950s New Zealand who assists in the murder of the mother of her best friend, Pauline Parker (played by Melanie Lynskey). Winslet won the role over 175 other girls. The film included Winslet's singing debut, and her a cappella version of Sono Andati, an aria from La Bohème, was featured on the film's soundtrack. The film opened to strong critical acclaim at the 51st Venice International Film Festival in 1994 and became one of the best-received films of the year. Winslet was awarded an Empire Award and a London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actress of the Year. Subsequently she played the second leading role of Marianne Dashwood in the Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee, 1995) featuring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. The film became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of $135 million and various awards for Winslet. She won both a BAFTA and a Screen Actors' Guild Award, and was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. In 1996, Winslet starred in Michael Winterbottom's Jude, based on the Victorian novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. She played Sue Bridehead, a young woman with suffragette leanings who falls in love with her cousin (Christopher Eccleston). She then played Ophelia, Hamlet's drowned lover, in Kenneth Branagh's all star-cast film version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1996). In mid-1996, Winslet began filming James Cameron's Titanic (1997), alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. She was cast as the passionate, rosy-cheeked aristocrat Rose DeWitt Bukater, who survives the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. Against expectations, Titanic (1997) became the highest-grossing film in the world at the time and transformed Winslet into a commercial movie star. Young girls the world over both idolized and identified with Winslet. Despite the enormous success of Titanic, Winslet next starred in were two low-budget art-house films, Hideous Kinky (Gillies MacKinnon, 1998), and Holy Smoke! (Jane Campion, 1999). In 1997, on the set of Hideous Kinky, Winslet met film director Jim Threapleton, whom she married in 1998. They have a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton (2000). Winslet and Threapleton divorced in 2001.

 

Since 2000, Kate Winslet's performances have continued to draw positive comments from film critics. She appeared in the period piece Quills (Philip Kaufman, 2000) with Geoffrey Rush and Joaquin Phoenix, and inspired by the life and work of the Marquis de Sade. The actress was the first big name to back the film project, accepting the role of a chambermaid in the asylum and the courier of the Marquis' manuscripts to the underground publishers. Well received by critics, the film garnered numerous accolades for Winslet. In Enigma (Michael Apted, 2001), she played a young woman who finds herself falling for a brilliant young World War II code breaker (Dougray Scott). She was five months pregnant at the time of the shoot, forcing some tricky camera work. In the same year she appeared in Iris (Richard Eyre, 2001), portraying novelist Iris Murdoch. Winslet shared her role with Judi Dench, with both actresses portraying Murdoch at different phases of her life. Subsequently, each of them was nominated for an Academy Award the following year, earning Winslet her third nomination. Also in 2001, she voiced the character Belle in the animation film Christmas Carol: The Movie, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel. For the film, Winslet recorded the song What If, which was a Europe-wide top ten hit. Winslet began a relationship with director Sam Mendes in 2001, and she married him in 2003 on the island of Anguilla. Their son, Joe Alfie Winslet Mendes, was born in 2003 in New York City. In 2010, Winslet and Mendes announced their separation and divorced in 2011. In the drama The Life of David Gale (Alan Parker, 2003), she played an ambitious journalist who interviews a death-sentenced professor (Kevin Spacey) in his final weeks before execution. Next, Winslet appeared with Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004). In this neo-surrealistic indie-drama, she played Clementine Kruczynski, a chatty, spontaneous and somewhat neurotic woman, who decides to have all memories of her ex-boyfriend erased from her mind. The film was a critical and financial success and Winslet received rave reviews and her fourth Academy Award-nomination. Finding Neverland (Marc Forster, 2004), is the story of Scottish writer J.M. Barrie (Johnny Depp) and his platonic relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Winslet), whose sons inspired him to pen the classic play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. The film received favourable reviews and became Winslet's highest-grossing film since Titanic.

 

In 2005, Kate Winslet played a satirical version of herself in an episode of the comedy series Extras by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. While dressed as a nun, she was portrayed giving phone sex tips to the romantically challenged character of Maggie. Her performance in the episode led to her first nomination for an Emmy Award. In the musical romantic comedy Romance & Cigarettes (John Turturro, 2005), she played the slut Tula, and again Winslet was praised for her performance. In Todd Field's Little Children (2006), she played a bored housewife who has a torrid affair with a married neighbor (Patrick Wilson). Both her performance and the film received rave reviews. Again she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, and at 31, became the youngest actress to ever garner five Oscar nominations. Commercial successes were Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy The Holiday (2006), also starring Cameron Diaz, and the CG-animated Flushed Away (2006), in which she voiced Rita, a scavenging sewer rat who helps Roddy (Hugh Jackman) escape from the city of Ratropolis and return to his luxurious Kensington origins. In 2007, Winslet reunited with Leonardo DiCaprio to film Revolutionary Road (2008), directed by her husband at the time, Sam Mendes. Portraying a couple in a failing marriage in the 1950s, DiCaprio and Winslet watched period videos promoting life in the suburbs to prepare themselves for the film. Winslet was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance, her seventh nomination from the Golden Globes. Then she starred in the film adaptation of Bernhard Schlink's 1995 novel The Reader, (Stephen Daldry, 2008) featuring Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in supporting roles. Employing a German accent, Winslet portrayed a former Nazi concentration camp guard who has an affair with a teenager (Kross) who, as an adult, witnesses her war crimes trial. While the film garnered mixed reviews in general. The following year, she earned her sixth Academy Award nomination and went on to win the Best Actress award, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress, a Screen Actors' Guild Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.

 

In 2011, Kate Winslet headlined in the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, based on James M. Cain's 1941 novel and directed by Todd Haynes. She portrayed a self-sacrificing mother during the Great Depression who finds herself separated from her husband and falling in love with a new man (Guy Pearce), all the while trying to earn her narcissistic daughter's (Evan Rachel Wood) love and respect. This time, Winslet won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Roman Polanski's Carnage (2011) premiered at the 68th Venice Film Festival. The black comedy follows two sets of parents who meet up to talk after their children have been in a fight that day at school. Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz co-starred in the film. In 2012, she was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In Jason Reitman's big screen adaptation of Joyce Maynard's novel Labor Day (2013), she starred with Josh Brolin and Tobey Maguire. Winslet received favorable reviews for her portrayal of Adele, a mentally fragile, repressed single mom of a 13-year-old son who gives shelter to an escaped prisoner during a long summer week-end. For her performance, Winslet earned her tenth Golden Globe nomination. Next she appeared in the science fiction film Divergent (Neil Burger, 2014), as the bad antagonist Jeanine Matthews. It became one of the biggest commercial successes of her career. This year, Winslet also appeared alongside Matthias Schoenaerts in Alan Rickman's period drama A Little Chaos (2014) about rival landscape gardeners commissioned by Louis XIV to create a fountain at Versailles. Next she can be seen in the crime-thriller Triple Nine (John Hillcoat, 2015), the sequel in the Divergent series: Insurgent (Robert Schwentke, 2015) and in The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015). Since 2012, Kate Winslet is married to Ned Rocknroll, a nephew of Richard Branson; The couple's son have a son, Bear Blaze Winslet. They live in West Sussex.

 

Sources: Tom Ryan (Encyclopedia of British Film), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

 

Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

 

The Music Box Theater survives today as one of the historic playhouses that symbolize American theater for both New York and the nation. Constructed shortly after the end of World War I, the Music Box was built by producer Sam Harris to house Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Sam Harris was a legendary Broadway producer, who first reached fame through his successful partnership with George M. Cohan, and then collaborated with Irving Berlin and later with Kaufman and Hart. Irving Berlin is among the greatest and best-known American songwriters of this century. Together they staged Berlin's Music Box Revues for the first five years of the 1920s.

 

C. Howard Crane was a nationally prominent theater architect when Harris and Berlin hired him, along with his associate E. George Kiehler, to design the Music Box. Besides his two Broadway houses (the Music Box and the Guild -- now the Virginia), he designed legitimate theaters and grand movie palaces in cities across the country, and later in England.

 

The Music Box Theater represents a special and important aspect of the nation's theatrical history. Beyond its historical importance, its facade is an unusually handsome Palladian-inspired design.

 

For over half a century, beginning with the Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues, the Music Box Theater has served as home to countless numbers of the plays through which the Broadway theater has come to personify American theater. As such, it continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

The development of the Broadway Theater District

 

The area of midtown Manhattan known today as the Broadway theater district encompasses the largest concentration of legitimate playhouses in the world. The theaters located there, some dating from the turn of the century, are significant for their contributions to the history of the New York stage, for their influence upon American theater as a whole, and in many cases for their architectural design.

 

The development of the area around Times Square as New York's theater district at the end of the 19th century occurred as a result of two related factors: the northward movement of the population of Manhattan Island (abetted by the growth of several forms of mass transportation), and the expansion of New York's role in American theater. The northward movement of Manhattan's residential, commercial, and entertainment districts had been occurring at a steady rate throughout the 19th century. In the early 1800s, businesses, stores, hotels, and places of amusement had clustered together in the vicinity of lower Broadway. As New York's various businesses moved north, they began to isolate themselves in more or less separate areas: the financial institutions remained downtown; the major retail stores situated themselves on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, eventually moving to Herald Square and Fifth Avenue after the turn of the century; the hotels, originally located near the stores and theaters, began to congregate around major transportation centers such as Grand Central Terminal or on the newly fashionable Fifth Avenue; while the mansions of the wealthy spread farther north on Fifth Avenue, as did such objects of their beneficence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The theater district, which had existed in the midst of stores, hotels, and other businesses along lower Broadway for most of the 19th century, spread northward in stages, stopping for a time at Union Square, then Madison Square, then Herald Square. By the last two decades of the 19th century, far-sighted theater managers had begun to extend the theater district even farther north along Broadway, until they had reached the area that was then known as Long Acre Square and is today called Times Square.

 

A district of farmlands and rural summer homes in the early 1800s, Long Acre Square had by the turn of the century evolved into a hub of mass transportation. A horsecar line had run across 42nd Street as early as the 1860s, and in 1871, with the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways, it was comparatively simple for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners to reach Long Acre Square. Transportation continued to play a large part in the development of the area; in 1904 New York's subway system was inaugurated, with a major station located at 42nd Street and Broadway. The area was then renamed Times Square in honor of the newly erected Times Building. The evolution of the Times Square area as a center of Manhattan's various mass transit systems made it a natural choice for the location of legitimate playhouses, which needed to be easily accessible to their audiences.

 

The theater business that invaded Long Acre Square at the end of the 19th century consisted of far more than a few playhouses, for at that time New York was the Starting-point for a vast, nationwide entertainment

 

network known as "the road." This complex theater operation had its beginnings in the 1860s when the traditional method of running a theater, the stock system, was challenged by the growing popularity of touring "combination" shows. In contrast to the stock system, in which a theater manager engaged a company of actors for a season and presented them in a variety of plays, the combination system consisted of a company of actors appearing in a single show which toured from city to city, providing its own scenery, costumes, and sometimes musical accompaniment. Helped by the expansion of the nation's railroads after the Civil War, the combination system soon killed off the majority of stock companies. By 1904 there were some 420 combination companies touring through thousands of theaters in cities and towns across the country.

 

Of crucial importance to the operation of the combination system was a single location where combination shows could be cast, rehearsed, tried out, and then booked for a cross-country tour. Since New York was already regarded as the most important theater city in America, it is not surprising that it became the headquarters for the combination system. In addition to the many theaters needed for an initial Broadway production for the combinations before they went on tour, New York's theater district encompassed rehearsal halls, the headquarters of scenery, costume, lighting, and makeup companies, offices of theatrical agents and producers, theatrical printers and newspapers, and other auxiliary enterprises. Close to the theater district were boarding houses catering to the hundreds of performers who came to New York in the hope of being hired for a touring show or a Broadway production.

 

As theaters were built farther uptown, the auxiliary enterprises also began to move north. By the turn of the century,

 

the section of Broadway between 37th Street and 42nd Street was known as the Rialto. Theater people gathered or promenaded there. Producers could sometimes cast a play by looking over the actors loitering on the Rialto; and out-of-town managers, gazing out of office windows, could book tours by seeing who was available.^

 

The theater district that began to move north to Long Acre Square in the 1890s was thus a vast array of business enterprises devoted to every facet of theatrical production.

 

The movement of the theater district north along Broadway had proceeded at a steady pace during the latter part of the 19th century. The Casino Theater was opened on the southeast corner of Broadway and 39th Street in 1882. A year later, it was joined by a most ambitious undertaking--the construction of the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets. In 1888, the Broadway Theater was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 41st Street. Five years later, the American Theater opened its doors at Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, as did Abbey's Theater at Broadway and 38th Street and the Empire Theater at Broadway and Fortieth Street.

 

It remained for Oscar Hammerstein I to make the move into Long Acre Square itself. At the close of the 19th century, Long Acre Square housed Manhattan's harness and carriage businesses, but was little used at night,

 

when it seems to have become a "thieves' lair."^ In 1895 Hammerstein erected an enormous theater building on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets. The original plan for the Olympia called for a "perfect palace of entertainment--which would have included three theaters, a bowling alley, a turkish bath, cafes and restaurants." Only part of this visionary plan ever became a reality. On November 25, 1895, Hammerstein opened the Lyric Theater section of the building, and a little over three weeks later he inaugurated the Music Hall section. Never a financial success, the Olympia closed its doors two years after it opened. Nevertheless, it earned Hammerstein the title of "Father of Times Square."

 

By the turn of the century Hammerstein had built two more theaters in the Long Acre Square area, and in the years 1901-1920 a total of forty-three additional theaters appeared in midtown Manhattan, most of them in the side streets east and west of Broadway. Much of this theater-building activity was inspired by the competition between two major forces in the industry, the Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert Brothers, for control of the road. As each side in the rivalry drew its net more tightly around the playhouses it owned or controlled, the other side was forced to build new theaters to house its attractions. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of playhouses, both in New York and across the country. After World War I, as the road declined and New York's theatrical activity increased, the general economic prosperity made possible the construction of thirty additional playhouses in the Times Square area, expanding the boundaries of the theater district so that it stretched from just west of

 

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Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and from 39th Street to Columbus Circle.

 

The stockmarket crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression causec a shrinkage in theater activity. Some playhouses were torn down, many were converted to motion picture houses, and later to radio and television studios. From the time of the Depression until the 1960s no new Broadway playhouses were constructed. Fortunately, the theaters that survive from the early part of the century represent a cross - section of types and styles, and share among them a good deal of New York's rich theatrical history.

 

Evolution of Theater Design

 

The frenzy of theater construction that occurred in New York during the first thirty years of this century brought with it an evolution in architecture and decoration. At the close of the 19th century American theaters were still being built in the style of traditional European opera houses, with high proscenium arches, narrow auditoriums, two or three balconies built in a horseshoe configuration, and dozens of boxes, some set into the front of the first balcony. Although contemporary notices of the theaters attributed specific (though often vague) styles or periods to them, their interiors were more often than not a melange of styles and colors.

 

With the increase of theater construction after the turn of the century came a new attitude toward theater architecture and decoration as firms such as Herts and Tallant, Thomas W. Lamb, and others, began to plan the playhouse's exterior and interior as a single, integrated design. The

 

Art Nouveau style New Amsterdam Theater, which opened in 1903, signalled this new seriousness in theater design.

 

Perhaps influenced by such European experiments as Wagner's Festival Theater at Bayreuth, American theater architects after the turn of the century began to structure their playhouses along different lines. Proscenium openings were made lower and wider, auditoriums were made shallower, seating was planned in a fan shape, and the number of balconies was usually reduced to one. Boxes were cut back to a minimum. The theaters that were built just before and after World War I for the most part shared this new configuration.

 

Because many of New York's extant playhouses were built during the period in which New York was serving as the starting-point for nationwide tours, they represent a style of theater architecture that is characteristic not only of New York but also of other cities across the United States, for a show which was originally produced in a New York theater would require similar conditions in the theaters in which it toured, and theater owners often hired the same architects to design and build theaters in several cities. Thus, New York's theaters set the standard for theater construction across the United States, as an inspection of designs for theaters in various cities will show.

 

The Broadway Theater in American Theatrical History

 

The playhouses scj.ll standing in the Broadway theater district share among them over eighty years of American theatrical history. In the early years of the century, when American theater was still heavily influenced by Europe, the theaters played host to such great international stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and to adaptations of such European successes as The Merry Widow and Floradora.

 

It was in the Broadway theaters that the beginnings of a distinctly American drama could be seen in the Western melodramas of David Belasco, the social comedies of Clyde Fitch and Langdon Mitchell, and the problem plays of Edward Sheldon and Eugene Walter. With the rise of the "little theater" movement in the second decade of the century, it seemed that theatrical leadership had passed from Broadway to such experimental "art" theaters as the Provincetown Playhouse and the Neighborhood Playhouse. Before long, however, the innovations of the little theaters infused Broadway with new life. Beginning with the production of Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, on Broadway in 1920, the playhouses of Broadway presented the work of a new generation of playwrights, including, in addition to O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S.N. Behrman, Rachel Crothers, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly and Elmer Rice.

 

The Depression of the 1930s brought with it a new concern with political and social issues, and the dramas presented in the Broadway playhouses reflected that concern. Commercial producers gave us plays by Lillian Hellman, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder, whle the Group Theater and other new organizations introduced such writers as Clifford Odets and Sidney Kingsley. The Broadway theaters continued to house

 

challenging plays during the 1940s and 1950s, when new talents such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Killer, and William Inge first began writing for the theater.

 

Meanwhile, musical comedy had blossomed from the adaptations and imitations of European operetta popular at the turn of the century to a uniquely American art form. By the 1940s and 1950s the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and many others, were being exported from the stages of Broadway to theaters around the world.

 

The 1960s and 1970s were decades of ferment and change, both in and out of the theater. As in the 1920s, the impetus for theatrical experimentation came from outside of Broadway, and as in the 1920s, the experimentation helped to revitalize the Broadway theater. Today, the playhouses of Broadway are showcases for the best plays of the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theaters, as well as for exciting productions from theatrical workshops, regional theaters, and outstanding foreign companies.

 

Having moved gradually northward all during the 19th century, New York's theater district finally came to rest at Times Square, where it has remained for almost ninety years. The economic Depression of the 1930s discouraged speculative ventures such as the construction of new theaters, while after prosperity returned in the wake of World War II, the cost of renting land and constructing a theater was prohibitively high. The northward movement of the theater district may also have been discouraged for a number of years by the existence of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railway, which crossed from Sixth to Ninth Avenues 53rd Street, thereby providing a natural northern boundary for the theater district.

 

The Music Box Theater, as one of the Broadway playhouses surviving today in the theater district, contributes to the totality of the district's history by virtue of its participation in that history.

 

Irving Berlin and Sam H. Harris

 

The Music Box was built for Sam Harris and Irving Berlin, legendary Broadway figures who each played an important role in shaping the history of American theater entertainment. Sam Harris was a soft-spoken, behind-the-scenes genius whose percentage of hits is still one of the highest in Broadway history.^ Irving Berlin is one of the great American

 

songwriters of this century. Together they created the Music Box Theater and made it what one writer called "the home of the hits!"

 

Sam Harris, a native New Yorker, was born February 3, 1872, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He left school at the age of fourteen, and by the age of seventeen was organizing local holiday entertainment and athletic exhibitions. Harris also raised thoroughbred racing horses and promoted prize fighters, including the featherweight champion of 1897, "Terrible Terry" McGovern. The enterprising Harris figured "Terrible Terry" could do more than just box in the ring, so beginning in 1898 he had McGovern delivering punch lines on the stage, first in The Bowery After Dark, a financial success which went on to tour the country, and then in The Gay Morning Glories, not nearly as popular.

 

In 1904, Sam Harris began a lengthy collaboration with composer George M. Cohan. Their first great success was Little Johnnie Jones. It was Cohan's show; he acted in it and wrote the music, including the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway." Harris, however, knew better than anyone the

 

business end of good popular entertainment; together Cohan and Harris are still regarded as one of the most successful teams in Broadway history.

 

Harris also controlled several theaters with Cohan: in 1913, they built the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street and Third Avenue (extant), and together they took control of the Cohan and Harris Theater. Their personal lives were linked through their marriages to sisters, Alice Nolan (Harris's first wife), and Agnes Nolan (Cohan's wife). Their partnership eventually dissolved over a disagreement during the actors' strike which preceded the formation of Actors' Equity in 1920. Despite their feud, Cohan and Harris remained good friends and even revived their partnership in 1937 to produce one more show, Fulton of Oak FalIs.

 

When Harris parted with Cohan, he joined Irving Berlin in the Music Box Theater project. In addition to Berlin, Harris went on to collaborate with George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on a number of productions, including Once In a Lifetime, Dinner At Eight, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Three of his productions won Pulitzer Prizes: Icebound in 1923, Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and You Can't Take It With You in 1937. Harris died in 1941, a successful and respected stage figure whose name, Max Gordon once said, "stood for impeccable taste and something called for lack of a better word, 'class.'"

 

Irving Berlin, still alive today at the age of 99, has been one of the most versatile and popular songwriters of the twentieth century. Born May 11, 1888, in Eastern Russia, Israel Baline immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 when he was only four years old."* His first published song (1907) was "Mario From Sunny Italy." A printer's error on the cover spelled his name I. Berlin, and he kept the name. Unable to read music and without any formal training, Berlin nonetheless has had over 1500 songs published, many of them internationally known. He can play the piano only in the key of F-sharp, and even has a special instrument furnished with a clutch that enables him to switch automatically to any key.

 

At the beginning of his career, Irving Berlin was a "Tin Pan Alley" pioneer, helping to win wide acceptance for ragtime jazz and the accompanying dance craze. His first great musical success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," became an international hit when vaudeville star Emma Carus introduced its syncopated march rhythms to Chicago audienpes in 1911. By 1915, the song had sold over two million sheet copies and Berlin had become identified in the public mind with ragtime.

 

In 1914 Berlin wrote his first complete score for the Vernon and Irene Castle revue Watch Your Step that popularized "Play a Simple Melody." At that time he was also performing in vaudeville, appearing at such theaters as the London Hippodrome, where he was billed as the "king of ragtime." Drafted into the army in 1918, Berlin wrote and starred in Yip-Yip Yaphank, a service musical in which he first introduced "I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

 

In 1919, the songwriter formed his own musical publishing company, Irving Berlin, Inc. During the 1920s Berlin wrote for a number of revues including the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1927 and his own Music Box Revues of 1921-24. In 1925, he scored his first musical comedy, The Cocoanuts, for the Marx Brothers. His work took on a more sober tone in

 

the early 1930s with two political satires, Face the Music (1932) and As Thousands Cheer (1933), the latter featuring his holiday classic, "Easter Parade." In 1935 Berlin began writing for the movies. Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland owed some of their greatest hits to him. Top Hat (1935) featured Rogers and Astaire dancing to "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek," Crosby introduced "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942), and Garland and Astaire walked up the avenue in Easter Parade (1948). On Broadway, Berlin was particularly identified with Ethel Merman who starred in his greatest hit Annie Get Your Gun (1944) and later spoofed Perle Mesta in Call Me Madam (1950).

 

In 1954 Berlin went into retirement. He returned to Broadway in 1962 with the score for Mr. President, a great popular success despite a lukewarm reception from the critics. In 1955, President Eisenhower presented Berlin with a gold medal "in recognition of his services in composing warm patriotic songs," the most famous of these being "God Bless America."

 

(PD, GH)

 

C. Howard Crane and E. George Kiehler

 

During a career that spanned almost fifty years, Charles Howard Crane designed more than two hundred theaters in the United States and some 125 more in Canada and Great Britain. Among the most widely publicized of these were his only two Broadway playhouses, the Music Box (1921) and the Guild (later the ANTA, currently the Virginia; 1924-25). Quite different from each other in appearance - - the GuiId is mode 1 ed on a Tuscan villa while the Music Box is severely Palladian in style -- both theaters display Crane's academically correct eclecticism. Crane believed that

 

theaters ought to exemplify architecture as an art of dramatization. Unlike many other theater architects of the time, who blended various historical elements into a personal style, Crane never developed a "signature" in his work.

 

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, Crane began his career in that city in 1904. He moved to Detroit in 1905 where he apprenticed himself to Albert Kahn. Only a year later he had become the chief draftsman for the firm of Field, Hynchman & Smith, and by 1909 he had established his own practice. His expertise in theater design and construction, and specifically in acoustics, gained him a solid reputation and kept his services in constant demand, particularly during the 1920s. At one time he employed fifty-three draftsmen who assisted him with projects in almost every major American city. In Detroit alone, he designed almost fifty theaters, the most heralded two being the Majestic (1917) and Orchestra Hall (1919).

 

Crane employed two senior associates: Ben A. Dore, chief designer in the Detroit office, who collaborated on, or was in charge of, many mid-western projects' and Kenneth Franzheim (1891-1959), who ran Crane's New York City office. Two well publicized examples of Crane and Franzheim's collaboration were the twin Selwyn and Harris Theaters in Chicago. Archie and Edgar Selwyn, both prominent New York producers, commissioned one; and Sam Harris, impressed with his architect's 1921 Music Box design, commissioned Crane to build the other. The two separate but adjoining structures were roughly the same size and consisted of similarly fashioned Renaissance style facades. Another Crane and Franzheim collaboration was the Capitol Theater and Office Building in Boston in 1926. This elaborate design incorporated a two-story Ionic colonnaded facade into a standard fourteen-story office tower with an extremely plush and decorative interior. E. George Kiehler was also a collaborator on some of Crane's theater projects, including the Music Box, but his specific contributions are not known.

 

At the height of Crane's career, shortly before the Depression, many American film studios and theater corporations had attained their greatest financial and popular success. Individual theaters and theater chains became one part of an expanding entertainment empire. Beginning in 1925, for example, the Fox Theater Corporation embarked on a campaign to build or acquire what would amount to 800 theaters by the year 1929. Crane alone was commissioned by Fox to design twenty-five new theaters. Two of them, the Detroit Fox and the St. Louis Fox, both completed in 1928, were among the largest theaters in the country. Typically for Crane, the style of the Detroit Fox blended East Indian, Byzantine and Baroque motifs. Another similar theater in the Fox chain, the Brooklyn Fox, also by Crane in 1928, had a seating capacity of 4,305, and became a famous showcase for first-run motion pictures.

 

United Artists took advantage of Crane's talents too in 1927 when they commissioned him to design the Spanish Gothic style United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. With a lobby that resembled a vaulted Spanish cathedral, the theater also featured intricate tracery and a mirrored auditorium ceiling.^

 

In 1932, one of the worst years of the Depression, Crane moved to Europe, first to Milan where he designed Italy's first skyscraper, then to London where he settled permanently. Although his reasons for leaving the United States remain unclear, Crane continued to build theaters in England and maintained his office in Detroit. Perhaps his greatest architectural challenge, and certainly his finest engineering accomplishment, resulted in 1937 in his Earl's Court Exhibition Hall, sports and amusement center. Faced with a triangular twelve-acre site above a network of railway tracks, Crane created a modern curvilinear structure with a 118-foot high arena and five exhibition halls which could be opened into one vast amphitheater seating 30,000. It also featured an Olympic-sized swimming pool which could be raised, frozen for skating, or used as a stage or playing field. All this, it Is said, was erected without stopping a single train below the construction.

 

During and after World War II, Crane rechanneled his efforts into industrial design while working on the rebuilding of London factories and the modernization of other British plants. He continued to visit the United States frequently to lecture, but resided in London until his death there in 1952.

 

(PD, FD)

 

The Music Box Theater

 

According to one account, Sam Harris first mentioned his interest in building a theater to Irving Berlin in 1919. Berlin responded, "If you ever do, I have a great title for you." "A title for a song?" asked Harris. "No, a title for a theater, the Music Box," replied Berlin.

 

The following year Harris joined with Berlin to build the Music Box Theater, shortly after the termination of Harris's partnership with George M. Coh an. Harris built the Music Box Theater specifically to house Berlin's Music Box Revues. (Harris and Berlin were joined in the venture by a mutual friend, motion picture magnate Joseph Schenck, who soon after the theater's completion sold his interest to the Shubert Organization.) A site on 45th Street was purchased from the Astor Realty Co., and on September 22, 1921 the Music Box Theater opened with an extravaganza Berlin wrote especially for the new house. The property cost $400,000, the building $600,000, and more than $240,000 was spent for Hassard Short to produce and stage the first show. Theatre Magazine's reviewer obviously thought the expense well worthwhile, for he proclaimed Berlin's Music Box Revue and the Music Box theater "a wonderful new show in a superlatively beautiful new theatre.""*

 

For another reviewer the theater and show were "the most eye-filling and appealing combination of play and playhouse that local playgoers accustomed as they are to things gorgeous theatrically -- have ever been treated to." "Say It With Music" became Berlin's theme song for the theater and for his Music Box Revues of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924.

 

The Music Box was one of the small number of theaters built in the 1920s for an individual producer, rather than for a large organization like the Shuberts or the Chanins. Harris and Berlin turned to C. Howard Crane for an unusual and individual design that would mark the theater as the home of Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Crane's design for the Music Box combined Palladian and Adamesque motifs from an architectural tradition that was essentially English and neo-Georgian. Its most prominent feature was a delicate limestone Ionic

 

colonnade screening the gallery, with pedimented doorways and finely designed lanterns. The bays on either side were framed by double pilasters and punctuated by Palladian windows on the second level, and a single window on the third. The theater was then crowned by a mansard roof with four dormer windows and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade running the length of the 100 foot theater. As described by the contemporary architectural press:

 

The delicate limestone colonnade and gallery with its finely designed doorways and lanterns is the central feature. Pylon like at the sides the structural masses give strength and proportion to the design and the mansard roof with its dormer windows and balustrades is decidedly a crowning feature. The freedom of the front from the blatant electric advertising sign is a relief. Two signs of small size designed and proportioned in keeping with the whole scheme proclaim the purpose of the building and the marquise-a concession to the needs of a stormy night-is so submerged as not to obtrude to the detriment of the composition.

 

The overall effect of Crane's design for the Music Box was distinctly domestic. The combination of Palladian and neo-Georgian elements was suggestive of a grand country house. Such an approach was not new to the

 

theater district; a number of earlier theaters built as headquarters/homes for theatrical impresarios followed similar themes. David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theater (today the Belasco) used a neo-Georgian facade to suggest an Intimate, if luxurious, 1ivingroom housing his productions. Winthrop Ames's Little Theater used a similarly styled facade to suggest a domestic home for his intimate "little theater" productions, and his architects, Ingalls & Hoffman, did something similar for Henry Miller's Theater a few years later. Contemporary with the Music Box was the Theater Guild's home (also designed by Crane), whose Italian pa1azzo-inspired facade deliberately evoked the homes of the Renaissance princes who patronized the theatrical arts. This connection between neo-Georgian architecture and intimate theater appears to have been generally understood at the time, and a contemporary architectural periodical noted of the Music Box:

 

This small theatre seats one thousand and is designed for the so-called "intimate" production. This idea is well carried into the design by the use of the style of the Georgian period following the delicacy of domestic architecture more than the monumental.

 

From the first the Broadway critics were impressed with the beauty and refinement of the Music Box's design. Jack Lait of Variety called it "the daintiest theatre in America," and the Evening Telegram's reviewer dubbed it "a theatre unparalleled....so beautiful and so satisfying that its like is not to be found here or even on the continent.." For the Herald's reviewer the Music Box's facade provided a welcome contrast to the more mundane theater buildings then going up in the Broadway area:

 

The audience which gathered to witness the brilliant opening of the Music Box last night had its first surprise on approaching the building. The new theater actually has a front -- it even deserves to be called a facade -- Vith pillars and other dignified architectural decorations....

 

The architectural press was equally enthusiastic, though perhaps less colorful in its praise. A number of journals published photos, plans, and descriptions of the Music Box. The American Architect-Architectural Review devoted eight pages to Crane's playhouse in the February 1, 1922, issue, calling it one of the most "artistic additions to New York's large number of theaters." The journal added "how remarkable" the Music Box was "for the quiet dignity of its desien and in its plan for those elements of comfort and luxurious ease____"

 

A few years later in the American Spirit in Architecture, Talbot Hamlin ranked the Music Box "among the most beautiful of modern theaters" saying:

 

It is in a modernized Adam style, and borrows much from our own native tradition in its quiet wall and roof surfaces and its delicately proportioned loggia. Proportion, detail, atmosphere make its facade a true ornament to the city, and prove that gayety is quite compatible with repose and dignity.

 

Berlin presented a Music Box Revue in each of the next four years. He moved on to other creative projects after 1925 but maintained his controlling interest with Sam Harris in the Music Box Theater. Their careful supervision of outside productions using the theater gave the Music Box an outstanding performance record: in its first twenty-five years only three shows ran less than 100 performances.

 

Today Irving Berlin retains a share in the ownership of the Music Box Theater -- "What the hell does a songwriter want with a theater?" he said in 1971. "I've sold real estate, but I've held on to the Music Box. It's a sentimental interest." The Music Box remains remarkably intact inside and out, its facade largely unaltered from the day it was built.

 

The Music Box as a Playhouse^

 

Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues occupied the Music Box Theater for its first four years. The Mail called the Revue of 1922 "four hours of jazz, girls, gorgeous costuming, spectacles that at times were dazzling, dancing acrobatics, arui all the hurly-burly of color movement associated with its predecessor."

 

The first straight play produced at the Music Box following Berlin's Revues was The Cradle Snatchers (1925), whose cast included the young Humphrey Bogart. Two more hit comedies followed, Chicago with Charles Bickford and Francine Larrimore in 1926 and Philip Barry's Paris Bound with Hope Williams in 1927. Music returned to the theater in 1928 with Cole Porter's Paris starring the glamorous Irene Bordoni. The following year Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Libby Holman appeared in the Little Show revue. In 1931, the third edition of this series also appeared at the Music Box featuring Bea Lillie's rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." For the most part, however, during the 'thirties the Music Box was given over to the the works of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart who either together or in collaboration with others supplied the house with one hit after another. The decade opened with Kaufman and Hart's first joint effort,

 

Once in a Lifetime, a Hollywood satire with Jean Dixon that convulsed audiences for 410 performances. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind collaborated on the Music Box's next production, the Gershwin musical Of Thee Sing, which ran 446 performances in 1931-32 and won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a musical. Subsequent productions involving Kaufman or Hart included Dinner at Eight (1932, Kaufman and Edna Ferber), As Thousands Cheer (1933, book by Hart), Merrily We Roll Along (19 34, Kaufman and Hart), First Lady (1935, Kaufman and Katherine Dayton), Stage Door (19 36, Kaufman and Ferber) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (19 39, Kaufman and Hart). Kaufman also directed all of the above productions as well as John Steinbeck's dramatization of his novel Of Mice and Men which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1938.

 

Following the death of Sam Harris in 1941 the Music Box was leased to independent producers on a show-by-show basis. Continuing to attract strong productions, it retained its reputation as one of the most successful theaters on Broadway. Contributing to this success was Mike Todd's Star and Garter, a rowdy revue starring Gypsy Rose Lee that racked up an impressive 605 performances in 1942-43. Rodgers and Hammerstein's productions of John Van Druten's I Remember Mama also enjoyed great success with 714 performances in 1944-45. The young Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut in this production which also starred Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka. Other notable productions from the forties included Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1948) and the Maxwell Anderson-Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars (1949).

 

The fifties were marked by a happy association between the Music Box and playwright William Inge who supplied the theater with three hits: the Pulitzer Prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1954), and Dark at the Top £f the Stairs (1958). Other highlights of the 'fifties included Separate Tables which featured a Tony Award-winning performance by actress Margaret Leighton, and Five Finger Excercise which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play of the 1959/60 season.

 

During the 1960s the Music Box housed a number of distinguished dramas, inc luding A Far Country (1961) with Steven Hill and Kim Stanley, and The Homecoming (1967) with Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant. Its most popular attraction, however, was a romantic comedy Any Wednesday (1964) which ran 983 performances and and garnered paeans of praise from the critics for actress Sandy Dennis.

 

Two thrillers dominated the 1970s, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970), a British import with Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter, and Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978), the Music Box's longest running play to date. In addition there was another long running comedy with Sandy Dennis, Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Side by Side by Sondheim (1977), with Millicent Martin and Julie McKenzie. In recent years the Music Box has housed the stark drama Agnes of God (1983) with Elizabeth Ashley, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer, a charming revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever (1985) with Rosemary Harris and Roy Dotrice, and a critically acclaimed production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987).

 

The success of the Music Box as a theater may be best summarized in the words of Moss Hart:

 

The Music Box is everybody's dream of a theatre. If there is such a thing as a theatre's making a subtle contribution to the play being given on its stage, the Music Box is that theatre. Except for the Haymarket Theatre in London, I know of no other that possesses so strong an atmosphere of its own, as living and as personal, as the Music Box. Even in broad daylight, as we stepped inside its doors and into its darkened auditorium, there was an undefinable sense that here the theatre was always at its best.

 

Description

 

The Music Box Theater has a symmetrically-organized facade which is wider than it is high. The ground floor, which is of stone (with concrete infill and patches) is dominated by its doorways. Four pairs of original bronze and glass doors adorned with curvilinear motifs, lead into the ticket lobby at the right (east). These are flanked by original bronze -painted wood and glass signboards, framed by colonnettes with grotesques and crowned by stylized pediments (of sheetmetal over wood) composed of waves f 1 ank ing lyres in wreath surrounds. A modern marquee extends out over the entrance doors. Three pairs of original bronze and gl ass exit doors from the auditorium are flanked by similar s ignboards of bronze -painted iron, and doorways, that to the east with a single door, and that to the west with a decorative painted wrought - iron gate at the foot of the fire stairs. Decorative iron railings flank the two granite steps leading from the gate. Two large original iron signboards are placed on the wall adjacent to the recessed paired bronze stage doors.

 

A single bronze stage door in an iron frame is at the western end. These two stage door openings flank a single original sign board. The ground floor is surmounted by a cornice with a wide Adamesque frieze containing vertical ribs, urns, and swags. The major portion of the facade, rising from the ground floor base, is faced with stone and is organized into a colonnaded center section with flanking end bays. Double-height fluted columns with stylized Corinthian capitals are linked by wrought-iron railings with cast-iron panels which shield a recessed portion of the facade. The gallery thus created serves as the exit for a set of fire stairs at the east and for the three doorways from the balcony level of the auditorium. These doorways have pane led doors and are surmounted by entablatures with urn- and swag-adorned friezes supporting triangular pediments (at the outer doors) and a scrol led broken pediment with pineapple finial (at the center door). Three wrought-iron and glass lanterns are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The end bays are flanked by pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals.

 

A Palladianesque window with fan-filled tympanum is placed at the second floor of each bay. The windows have multi-paned casement sash. At the third floor of each bay is a window with a simple molded surround. The sash are mul ti-paned casements. A vertical sign projects from the wall of the eastern bay. An entablature with rosette-adorned frieze, dentils, and modi 11ioned cornice spans the facade. This is surmounted by a slate -covered sloping roof punctuated by round-arched sheetmetal dormers with multi-paned sash. Wrought - and cast - iron railings are placed above the cornice and at the roofline.

 

- From the 1987 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

French postcard, no. C 469. Sorry, for the poor technical quality of the card.

 

Belgian martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme (1960) is best known for his Hollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s. His most successful films include Bloodsport (1988), Universal Soldier (1992), and Timecop (1994). But the Belgian crime drama JCVD (2008) gave him his best reviews ever and paved the way for his come-back to the mainstream.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme (or JCVD) was born Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg in Brussels, Belgium, in 1960. He was the son of Eliana and Eugène Van Varenberg, who was an accountant. He began martial arts at the age of ten, enrolled by his father in a Shotokan karate school. At the age of 11, Van Damme joined the Centre National De Karaté (National Center of Karate) under the guidance of Claude Goetz in Belgium. Van Damme trained for four years and he earned a spot on the Belgian Karate Team. Later he was trained in full-contact karate and kickboxing by Dominique Valera. He eventually earned his black belt in karate. At the age of 15, Van Damme started his competitive karate career in Belgium. From 1976-1980, Van Damme compiled a record of 44 victories and 4 defeats in tournament and non-tournament semi-contact matches. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which eventually led to a Mr. Belgium bodybuilding title and the nickname ‘The Muscles from Brussels’. At the age of 16, he took up ballet, which he studied for five years. According to Van Damme, ballet "is an art, but it's also one of the most difficult sports. If you can survive a ballet workout, you can survive a workout in any other sport." Van Damme began his full-contact career in 1977, when Claude Goetz promoted the first ever full-contact karate tournament in Belgium. From 1977 to 1982, Van Damme compiled a record of 18 victories (18 knockouts) and 1 defeat. Van Damme retired from competition in 1982.

 

In 1982, Jean-Claude Van Damme and childhood friend, Michel Qissi, moved to America in the hope of becoming action stars. He took English classes while working as carpet layer, pizza delivery man, limo driver, and thanks to Chuck Norris he got a job as a bouncer at a club. He and Qissi were cast as extras in the break dancing film, Breakin' (Joel Silberg, 1984). Van Damme had his first part as a ‘Gay Karate Man’ in the short film Monaco Forever (William A. Levey, 1984). After a small part in Missing In Action (Joseph Zitto, 1984), Van Damme was next cast in the low-budget martial arts-film No Retreat, No Surrender/Karate Tiger (Corey Yuen, 1986), as the Russian villain Ivan Kraschinsky. Van Damme worked for director John McTiernan for Predator (1987) as the titular alien, before being removed and replaced by Kevin Peter Hall. He also had a non-speaking part as a Secret Service agent who carries a polio-crippled President Franklin Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) out of a pool in the TV miniseries War and Remembrance (1988). His breakout film was Bloodsport (Newt Arnold, 1988), based on the alleged true story of martial arts artist Frank Dux. He performed numerous physical feats such as helicopter-style, jump spinning heel kicks, and a complete split. Shot on a 1.5 million dollar budget, it became a box-office hit grossing more than 11 million dollar in the US and 30 million world-wide. A new sensational action star was born. He then starred in Cyborg (Albert Pyun, 1989), shot for less than $500,000 and filmed in 24 days. Despite negative reviews, it became another box-office hit. Then the films followed rapidly. In Kickboxer (Mark DiSalle, 1989), his character fights to avenge his brother who has been paralyzed by a Thai kickboxing champion (Qissi). In Double Impact (Sheldon Lettich, 1991) he played the dual role of Alex and Chad Wagner, estranged twin brothers fighting to avenge the deaths of their parents. This film reunited him with his Bloodsport co-star, Bolo Yeung. In the science fiction action film Universal Soldier (Roland Emmerich, 1992), he co-starred with Dolph Lundgren as soldiers who kill each other in Vietnam but are reanimated in a secret Army project along with a large group of other previously dead soldiers. While it grossed $36,299,898 in the US, it was an even bigger success in the rest of the world, making over $65 million.With a modest $23 million budget, it was Van Damme's highest grossing film at the time.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme starred in the action dramas Nowhere To Run (Robert Harmon, 1993) with Rosanna Arquette, and Hard Target (John Woo, 1993). Again, both were financially successful but received mixed reviews. In his next film, the science fiction action film Timecop (Peter Hyams, 1994),Van Damme played a time travelling cop, who tries to prevent the death of his wife (Mia Sara). With a box office of over $100 million worldwide Timecop remains Van Damme's highest grossing film in a lead role to date and is also generally regarded as one of his better films by critics. After this huge success, Street Fighter (Steven E. de Souza, 1994) with Raul Julia was universally panned by critics and fans of the video game series alike, but it was another commercial success. Sudden Death (Peter Hyams, 1995) did fairly well and was considered one of his best films to date. Then Van Damme’s projects started to fail at the box office. The Quest (Jean-Claude Van Damme, 1996) with Roger Moore, Maximum Risk (Ringo Lam, 1996) – again in a double role, Double Team (Tsui Hark, 1997) with sport star Dennis Rodman, and Knock Off (Rsui Hark, 1998) were all box-office flops. There was more trouble. The stress led him to develop a cocaine habit, on which he spent up to $10,000 a week, and consuming up to 10 grams per day by 1996. In 1997, Frank Dux, the martial artist whom Van Damme portrayed in Bloodsport, filed a lawsuit against Van Damme for $50,000 for co-writing and consultation work Dux did on The Quest. According to the lawsuit, Dux also accused Van Damme of lying to the public about his martial arts fight record. Van Damme won the court case. Van Damme’s next film Universal Soldier: The Return (Mic Rodgers, 1999) was again a box-office flop, and his last theatrically released film until 2008. Van Damme was arrested for driving under the influence in 1999. Attempts at drug rehabilitation were unsuccessful, and he resorted to resolve his addiction via quitting cold turkey and exercise.

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme returned to the mainstream with the Belgian crime drama JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2008). He played a down and out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he is caught in the middle of a post office heist in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium. The film was screened at various festivals and Time Magazine named Van Damme's performance in the film the second best of the year (after Heath Ledger's The Joker in The Dark Knight). According to Time, he even deserved an Oscar. Van Damme reprised his role as Luc Deveraux in Universal Soldier: Regeneration (John Hyams (2009), directed by John Hyams, son of Peter Hyams. Sylvester Stallone offered him a lead role in The Expendables (2010), but Van Damme turned it down. He voiced Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2 (Jennifer Yuh Nelson, 2011), the highest grossing animated feature film of the year. He also appeared in commercials for Coors Light beer, showing him on a snow-covered mountain wearing a sleeveless denim jacket, and for the washing powder Dash. He returned to the Universal Soldier series with Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012), again opposite Dolph Lundgren. Then he did participate with Stallone in The Expendables 2 (Simon West, 2012), along with other veteran action stars as Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren. That year he was honoured with a life-size statue of himself in his hometown of Brussels. Van Damme has been married five times to four different women. His first two wives were Maria Rodriguez (1980-1984) and Cynthia Derderian (1985-1986). He was married to his third wife, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, until 1992, when he began an affair with actress Darcy LaPier, whom he married in February 1994. That same year he had an affair with his Street Fighter co-star Kylie Minogue during filming in Thailand, though LaPier, who was pregnant at the time with their son Nicholas, did not become aware of this until Van Damme publicly admitted this in 2012. After leaving LaPier, Van Damme remarried bodybuilder Portugues, in 1999. They have two children: Kristopher van Varenberg (1987) and Bianca Bree (1990). He appeared with both children in the action film Six Bullets (Ernie Barbarash, 2012). Van Damme has been planning to make a comeback to fight former boxing Olympic gold-medalist Somluck Kamsing. The fight was a focal point in his ITV reality show Jean Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors. However, the fight has been repeatedly postponed, and critics doubt it will ever occur. But no worries, the Muscles of Brussels keeps himself busy and three new films with him are scheduled for 2014.

 

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

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Created By : Prateek Mathur

German postcard by Film und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. A 1799. Photo: J. Arthur Rank Film.

 

English actress Hayley Mills (1946) began her acting career as a popular child star and was hailed as a promising newcomer for Tiger Bay (1959), and Pollyanna (1960). During the late 1960s she played in more mature roles. Although she has not maintained the box office success she experienced as a child actress, she has always continued to make films.

 

Hayley Catherine Rose Vivien Mills was born in London, England in 1946. She was the daughter of actor Sir John Mills and playwright Mary Hayley Bell, and the younger sister of actress Juliet Mills. As an infant she made her first film appearance in her father’s So Well Remembered (1947). At 12 she was noticed playing at her parent's home by director J. Lee Thompson. He was looking for a boy to play the lead role of a murder witness in his thriller Tiger Bay (1959) opposite Horst Buchholz and John Mills, but immediately cast Mills’ tomboy daughter. For her role she won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer and a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Walt Disney's wife, Lillian Disney, saw her performance and suggested that Mills be given the lead role in Pollyanna (1960, David Swift). The role of the orphaned but infectiously optimistic girl who moves in with her crusty aunt Polly (Jane Wyman) made Mills a superstar in the USA. She earned a special Juvenile Oscar and a Golden Globe. Disney subsequently cast Mills as twins Sharon and Susan who reunite their divorced parents (Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara) in the charming and highly entertaining The Parent Trap (1961, David Swift), based on the classic book by Erich Kästner. In the film, Mills sings the song Let's Get Together, which reached no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The success led to the album Let's Get Together with Hayley Mills, which also included her only other hit song, Johnny Jingo (1962). She made four additional films for Disney in a four-year span, including In Search of the Castaways (1962, Robert Stevenson) with Maurice Chevalier, and Summer Magic (1963, James Neilson). Her final two Disney films, The Moon-Spinners (1964, James Neilson) with Pola Negri, and the suspense comedy That Darn Cat! (1965, Robert Stevenson), did well at the box office. During her six-year run at Disney, Mills was arguably the most popular child actress of the era. In addition to her Disney movies, Mills starred in several British films. Opposite Alan Bates she appeared in Whistle Down the Wind (1961, Bryan Forbes), based on the book of the same title written by her mother Mary Hayley Bell. The Chalk Garden (1964, Ronald Neame) with Deborah Kerr was based on a play by Enid Bagnold, and in The Truth About Spring (1965, Richard Thorpe) her real father, John Mills, was cast as her father. The 16-year-old Mills was considered for the role of Lolita Haze in Stanley Kubrick's film version of Lolita (1962). However, Walt Disney discouraged the casting, feeling the role was not up to Disney's wholesome standard, and the part eventually went to Sue Lyon. In later years, Mills admitted that she regretted not taking the part.

 

After her contract with Disney expired in 1965, Hayley Mills starred in the comedy The Trouble with Angels (1966, Ida Lupino), opposite Rosalind Russell. Looking to break from her sunny, innocent Pollyanna image, Mills returned to England to appear as a mentally challenged teenager in the film Sky West and Crooked (1966), which was directed by her father and written by her mother. She made her stage debut in a West End revival of Peter Pan (1966). Shortly thereafter, Mills starred with Hywell Bennett in the comedy The Family Way (1966, Roy Boulting) as a couple of newlyweds having difficulty consummating their marriage. The film, in which she played a brief nude scene, featured a score by Paul McCartney and arrangements by Beatles producer George Martin. She then starred as the protagonist of Pretty Polly (1967, Guy Green) , opposite famous Indian film actor Shashi Kapoor in Singapore, and another film for director Roy Boulting, the thriller Twisted Nerve (1968) again opposite Hywell Bennett. While filming The Family Way, the 20-year-old Mills had fallen in love with Boulting, who was 53-year-old and married. After his divorce, they married in 1971. Boulting took control of his young wife’s career, and, as a result, she made bad film choices that left critics and audiences cold, such as the Agatha Christie adaptation Endless Night (1972, Sidney Gilliat) co-starring Britt Ekland and George Sanders. After the even worse drama The Kingfisher Caper (1975, Dirk de Villiers) and the comedy What Changed Charley Farthing? (1976, Sidney Hayers), Mills dropped out of the film industry for a few years. In 1977 she divorced Boulting. And as Tommy Peter at IMDb observes: “her film career had pretty much tanked”.

 

In 1981 Hayley Mulls made a come-back in a starring role in the TV Mini-series The Flame Trees of Thika (1981, Roy Ward Baker), based on Elspeth Huxley's memoir of her childhood in East Africa. The series was well-received, prompting Mills to accept more acting roles. She returned to the US, and hosted for TV an episode of Disneyland (1981), sparking renewed interest in her Disney work. In 1986 she reprised her roles as twins Sharon and Susan for a trio of Parent Trap television movies: The Parent Trap II (1986, Ronald F. Maxwell), The Parent Trap III (1989, Mollie Miller), and The Parent Trap IV: Hawaiian Honeymoon (1989, Mollie Miller). Mills also starred as the title character in the Disney Channel-produced television series Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987-1989). The show was cancelled after 14 episodes, and the rights were acquired by NBC, which reformatted Good Morning, Miss Bliss into Saved by the Bell (without Mills). Hayley Mills was involved with the ‘Hare Krishna’ movement, and wrote the preface to The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking (1984). In 1988 she co-edited, with Marcus Maclaine, the book My God, which consisted of brief letters from celebrities on their beliefs (or lack thereof) regarding God and the life to come. She then concentrated on a stage career and had success as Anna in The King and I, which she played in touring stage productions throughout the 1990's. In 2000 she made her Off Broadway debut in Sir Noël Coward's Suite in Two Keys, for which she won a Theatre World Award. In recognition for her work with The Walt Disney Company, Mills was awarded the prestigious Disney Legends award in 1998. Mills recalled her childhood in the documentary film Sir John Mills' Moving Memories (2000) which was written by her brother Jonathan. Later she appeared in the acclaimed short film, Stricken (2005, Jayce Bartok), the ITV1 African vet drama Wild at Heart (2007-) with her sister Juliet Mills, and in the family adventure Mandie and the Cherokee Treasure (2010, Joy Chapman), based on one of the popular Mandie novels of Lois Gladys Leppard. Most recently she was seen in Foster (2011, Jonathan Newman) with Toni Colette. In 2008, Mills was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had surgery and chemotherapy and told Good Housekeeping Magazine in January 2012 that she had recovered. Hayley Mills currently lives in New York City. Her son, Crispian Mills (1973), is known as the lead singer and guitarist of the psychedelic rock band Kula Shaker. He is now part of The Jeevas. She has a second son, Jason Lawson, from British actor Leigh Lawson, with whom she had a relationship between 1976 and 1984.

 

Sources: Tommy Peter (IMDb), Reel Classics, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 54. Photo: publicity still for Carmen de la Ronda/The Devil Made a Woman (1959, Tulio Demicheli).

 

Spanish singer and actress Sara Montiel (1928) is also known as Sarita Montiel and Saritísima. She is still a much-loved and internationally known name in the Spanish-speaking cinema. In the late 1950’s, Montiel achieved the status of mega-star in Europe and Latin America with El Último Cuple/The Last Torch Song (1957). This film and La Violetera/The Violet Peddler (1958) netted the highest gross revenues ever recorded for films made in the Spanish speaking film industry. She was the first woman to distill sex openly in Spanish cinema at a time when even a low cut dress was not acceptable.

 

Sara Montiel was born as María Antonia Alejandra Vicenta Elpidia Isidora Abad Fernández in the village of Campo de Criptana in the province of Ciudad Real, Spain in 1928. Her parents were Isidoro Abad, a peasant who later operated a bar, and Maria Vicenta Fernández, a door-to-door beautician. At 15, Montiel won a beauty and talent contest held by Cifesa, the most influential film studio at that time in Spain. The next year, she made her film debut in Te Quiero Para Mí/ I want you for myself (1943, Ladislao Vajda), credited as Maria Alejandra, a shortened version of her real name. In spite of the small part, the young actress caught the attention of producers and directors who realized her enormous potential. By the end of 1944 she was given the starring role in the film Empezó En Boda/It Started at the Wedding, (1944, Raffaello Matarazzo) which introduced her with a new image and a new name: she was now a sophisticated blonde named Sara Montiel. In the next four years she appeared in 14 films. Soon her colleagues started calling her Sarita (Little Sara) due to her youth. The nickname caught on with the press and the public consequently, since then, both Sara and Sarita have been used in credits and publicity. In 1947, she played the role of Antonia, the niece of Don Quixote, in in Don Quijote de la Mancha/Don Quixote (1947, Rafael Gil) , the Spanish film version of Cervantes's great novel. Her first international success was her role as an Islamic princess in Locura de Amor/The Mad Queen (1948, Juan de Orduña) with Fernando Rey. Locura de Amor led to a contract in Mexico where she established herself as one of the most popular film actors of the decade. She made a total of 13 films between 1950 and 1954. Due to her popularity in Mexico, Hollywood came calling, and she was introduced to American filmgoers in the Western Vera Cruz (1954, Robert Aldrich) co-starring with Gary Cooper and Burt Lancaster. She was offered the standard seven-year contract at Columbia Pictures, but she refused, afraid of Hollywood's typecasting policies for Hispanics. Instead she free-lanced at Warner Bros. in Serenade (1956, Anthony Mann) with Mario Lanza and Joan Fontaine, and at RKO in Run of the Arrow (1957, Samuel Fuller), opposite Rod Steiger and Charles Bronson. Director Anthony Mann became her first husband.

 

Back in Europe, Sara Montiel became the most commercially successful Spanish actress during the mid-20th century. The film musical El Ultimo Cuplé/ The Last Torch Song (1957, Juan de Orduña) was an unexpected success. It played for a year in the same theaters in which it opened. A similar reaction followed in the other European countries and in Latin America. El Ultimo Cuplé turned Montiel into an overnight sensation both as an actor and a singer. Then she achieved the status of mega-star with La Violetera/The Violet Peddler (1958, Luis César Amadori) with Raf Vallone. It broke the box-office records set by El Ultimo Cuplé. She won the Premio del Sindicato (at the time Spain's equivalent to the Oscar) for best actress two years in a row for her performances in El Último Cuplé and La Violetera. From then on she combined filming highly successful vehicles, recording songs in five languages and performing live all over the world. Among the films that continued her immense popularity were Carmen, la de Ronda/The Devil Made A Woman (1959, Tulio Demicheli) with Jorge Mistral, Mi Ultimo Tango/My Last Tango (1960, Luis César Amadori), and Pecado de Amor/ Sin of Love (1961, Tulio Demicheli). By 1962 she had become a legend to millions worldwide reaching markets that had previously been ‘uncharted territory for the Spanish cinema. La Bella Lola (1962, Tulio Demicheli ) a new version of Camille with Antonio Cifariello and Maurice Ronet, La Reina del Chantecler (1963), and Noches de Casablanca/ (1963, Henri Decoin) with Maurice Ronet spread Sarita's popularity to Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Japan. Samba (1964, Rafael Gil) wuth Italian actor Fosco Giachetti, La mujer perdida/ The Lost Woman (1966, Tulio Demicheli) with Massimo Serato, Tuset Street (1967, Jorge Grau, Luis Marquina) with Patrick Bauchau, and Esa Mujer/That Woman (1969, Mario Camus) followed . In 1973, her film Varietés (1971, Juan Antonio Bardem) was banned in Beijing. By then she had become a legend to her millions of fans but became dissatisfied with the film industry when producers started offering her roles in soft core porno films. In 1974 Montiel announced her retirement from movies but continued performing live, recording and starring on her own variety television shows in Spain.

 

Sara Montiel has been married four times: to American film director Anthony Mann (1957-1963), industrial attorney José Vicente Ramírez Olalla (1964-1978), attorney-journalist José Tous Barberán (1979-1992), and Cuban videotape operator Antonio Hernández (2002-2005). With José Tous Barberán, she adopted two children: Thais (1979) and Zeus (1982). Before, during and after these marriages she had countless affairs. During the Franco dictatorship, Spanish stars were forbidden to behave in any way that could be perceived at odds with Christian principles and morality, consequently they kept their private lives very private. Montiel was no exception. Pre-marital or out of wedlock relationships were never mentioned and her civil marriage to Anthony Mann was underplayed along with the divorce. After starring in the film Cinco Almohadas Para Una Noche/ Five pillows for a night (1974, Pedro Lazaga), Montiel announced her retirement from the cinema. She complained about the almost pornographic turn taken by the Spanish film industry after censorship was abolished in the post-Franco era. For a long time she concentrated on stage musicals which were highly successful: Sara en Persona (1970-1973), Saritísima (1974-1975), Increible Sara (1977-1978), Super Sara Show (1979-1980), Doña Sara de La Mancha (1981-1982), Taxi Vamos Al Victoria (1983-1984), Nostalgia (1984-1985), Sara, Mes Que Mai !! (1986), Sara, Siempre Sara (1987-1988) and Saritízate (1989-1990).

 

In the 1990’s, Sara Montiel surprised everyone by branching out into television: Sara y Punto (1990), a mini-series of seven one-hour episodes, included a serialized biography of the star, many popular guests including Luciano Pavarotti and Charles Aznavour, and Montiel singing her greatest hits in addition to new songs written especially for her. Next came Ven al Paralelo (1992), taped in a Barcelona theater where Montiel hosted, sang and acted in comedy sketches in front of a live audience. In 2000, she published her autobiography Vivir es un placer (Memories: To Live Is A Pleasure), an instant bestseller with ten editions to date. A sequel Sara and Sex followed in 2003. In these books Montiel revealed other relationships in her past including one-night stands with writer Ernest Hemingway as well as actor James Dean. She also claimed a long term affair in the 1940’s with playwright Miguel Mihura and mentioned that science wizard Severo Ochoa, a Nobel Prize winner, was the true love of her life. Currently she remains one of the highest paid celebrities in Spain's TV talk and reality shows. She was portrayed in the Pedro Almodóvar film La mala educación/Bad Education (2004) by Gael García Bernal as the transsexual character Zahara, and a clip from one of her films was used as well. In 2009, the pop group Fangoria invited Montiel to record a track for the re-release of the band's album Absolutamente. The title track Absolutamente became an instant Top 10 hit. After almost 40 years without making a film, she accepted a role in the comedy Abrázame/Hold (2011, Óscar Parra de Carrizosa). The film was shot on location in Montiel's birth place in La Mancha. According to the star, in this film she dares to do "a parody of her old screen image, just for fun."

 

Sources: InfoMontiel, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

 

Beautiful Swiss actress Marthe Keller (1945) appeared in several French, Italian and German films but she became a star when she played a beautiful princess in the TV series La demoiselle d'Avignon/The lady of Avignon (1972). She then seemed to make it big in Hollywood with an award winning role in Marathon Man (1976) and a much-publicized affair with Al Pacino. But the failure of Fedora (1978) halted a major international film career. She continued to act in European productions, and since 1999 she has a new career as an opera director.

 

Marthe Keller was born on a horse farm located near Basel, Switzerland in 1945. She studied ballet as a child, but stopped after a skiing accident at age 16 and changed to acting. She studied three years at the Stanislavsky School in Munich, and meanwhile modeled to pay the rent. She worked in Berlin at the Schiller Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble. From 1964 on, Keller appeared in German TV films like Der trojanische Krieg findet nicht statt/The Trojan war will not take place (1964, Franz Josef Wild) and Corinne und der Seebär/Corinne and the Fur Seal (1966, Thomas Engel). Keller's film debut was an uncredited bit part in the spy thriller Funeral in Berlin (1966, Guy Hamilton) starring Michael Caine. She had a bigger role in the German film comedy Wilder Reiter GmbH/Wild Rider Ltd. (1967, Franz-Josef Spieker). In 1968 she moved to Paris. In France she appeared in the comedy Le diable par la queue/The Devil by the Tail (1969, Philippe de Broca) starring Yves Montand. She and director Philippe de Broca started a relationship. She played the title role in his romantic comedy Les caprices de Marie/Give Her the Moon (1970, Philippe de Broca), and in 1971 their son, Alexandre was born. In Paris she also played on stage as Sheila in Peter Nichols' Un jour dans la mort de Joe Egg/A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (1970). For this part she was awarded the French Critics' Award for the best stage performance. In the following years she appeared in a series of French films, including Un cave/A Loser (1971, Gilles Grangier) opposite Claude Brasseur, and the comedy La vieille fille/The Old Maid (1972, Jean-Pierre Blanc) starring Annie Girardot. Another medium made her a star though. She won the hearts of millions of European TV viewers as Princess Kristina of Kurland aka Koba Lye-Lye in the popular series La demoiselle d'Avignon/The lady of Avignon (1972, Michel Wyn). Nicholas Rhodes reviews it at IMDb: “This series is a piece of pure magic (...) and captivated the whole of France (99.4 percent of satisfied viewers at the time!). Although the picture quality is pretty bad, the story itself and the sets are absolutely magnificent. It's all about a love affair between a Frenchman whose mother owns a chateau near Avignon and a princess from the imaginary country of ‘Kurland'” She followed it with a leading role in the romance Toute une vie/And Now My Love (1974, Claude Lelouch), and a part opposite Marcello Mastroianni in the Italian-French drama Per le antiche scale/Down the Ancient Staircase (1975, Mauro Bolognini).

 

In the mid-1970’s Marthe Keller made the cross-over to Hollywood. She played Dustin Hoffman's girlfriend in the thriller Marathon Man (1976, John Schlesinger). The film became a huge hit and Keller was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. She played a femme fatale Arab terrorist who leads an attack on the Super Bowl in the suspense thriller Black Sunday (1977, John Frankenheimer). Next she appeared alongside Al Pacino in the auto racing film Bobby Deerfield (1977, Sydney Pollack), and subsequently the two stars were involved in a relationship. She garnered a great deal of publicity from these movies and from her love affair with Pacino. Keller’s next film was expected to make her a major star. Hollywood legend Billy Wilder was making Fedora (1978), based on Tom Tryon’s best seller Crowned Heads about Old Hollywood and the Old Star System and offered her the title role opposite William Holden. Jon C Hopwood in his IMDB bio describes what went wrong: “Wilder had wanted to cast Faye Dunaway as ‘Fedora’, a pastiche of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich (...) He expected the actress to play the fictional movie queen both in her youthful incarnation and as an older woman (now known as ‘Countess Sobryanski’). When Dunaway passed on the part, the red-hot Keller was cast in the movie. However, Wilder was dismayed when the makeup prepared to transform Keller into the older Fedora (as Countess Sobryanski) aggravated a large scar on her forehead and caused so much pain that she couldn't act under those conditions. Wilder was forced to cast an older actress (Hildegard Knef) as the Countess. Wilder and Keller never established a good working relationship, with the result that her poor performance essentially was blamed for the failure of the film both artistically and at the box office.” She appeared in another Hollywiood production, the thriller The Formula (1980, John G. Avilssen) with George C. Scott and Marlon Brando, and in 1982 she returned to Europe.

 

Since then, Marthe Keller mainly worked in the European cinema and for TV. Mauro Bolognini directed her again in the Mini-series La certosa di Parma/The Charterhouse of Parma (1982), based on the novel by Stendhal and co-starring Gian Maria Volonté. She reunited with Marcello Mastroianni in Oci Cionie/Dark Eyes (1987, Nikita Mikhalkov), which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and in Sostiene Pereira/According to Pereira (1995, Roberto Faenza). Interesting is also the Yukio Mishima adaptation L'école de la chair/The School of Flesh (1998, Benoit Jacquot) in which she appeared with Isabelle Huppert. In 2001, Keller appeared in a Broadway adaptation of Abby Mann's play Judgment at Nuremberg as Mrs. Bertholt (the role played by Marlene Dietrich in the 1961 film version). She was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress for this performance. In addition to her work in film and theatre, Keller has developed a career in classical music as a speaker and opera director. She has performed the speaking role of Joan of Arc in the oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher of Arthur Honegger on several occasions, with conductors such as Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur. She has recorded the role for Deutsche Grammophon with Ozawa. Keller has also recited the spoken part in Igor Stravinsky's Perséphone. She has performed classical music melodramas for speaker and piano in recital. The Swiss composer Michael Jarrell wrote the melodrama Cassandre, after the novel of Christa Wolf, for Keller, who gave the world premiere in 1994. Keller's first production as an opera director was Dialogues des Carmélites, for Opéra National du Rhin, in 1999. This production subsequently received a semi-staged performance in London that year. She has also directed Lucia di Lammermoor for Washington National Opera and for Los Angeles Opera. Her directorial debut at the Metropolitan Opera was in a 2004 production of Don Giovanni. More recently she was seen in a small role in Clint Eastwood’s fantasy drama Hereafter (2010) starring Cécile de France and Matt Damon. It was followed by a bigger role in the German WW II comedy Mein bester Feind/My Best Enemy (2011, Wolfgang Murnberger) starring Moritz Bleibtreu, the Belgian drama Les géants/The Giants (2011, Bouli Lanners), and the BBC TV thriller Page Eight (2011, David Hare) starring Bill Nighy. In 2012 the French government named her Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.

 

Sources: Jon C. Hopwood (IMDb), Sandra Brennan (AllMovie), Wikipedia and IMDb.

“Canoe” Canadian Diamond Necklace.

International winner - Canadian Diamonds Master Craftsman Award.

Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition 2011-2012.

Canadian diamonds. 28.96 carats. 18K white gold.

 

Diamonds: Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd. Canada

Photo: Crossworks Manufacturing Ltd., Rick Bannerot, Rio Tinto (Academy Award winning actress, Marcia Gay Harden at the Oscar Styling Suite 2012).

Design Statement

 

'Canoe' necklace is inspired by the poetic image of a magical Canadian landscape and its pristine white winters. Snow covered Canoe in a frozen, crystalline lake. The necklace comes together with two diamond-studded links embracing the neck that represent the fluidity of a lake. Irregular intersecting lines, studded with ideal square-cut diamonds characterizes chunks of floating ice. The necklace culminates into a canoe-shaped element with an angled faceted interior.

 

''Celebrating the magic and beauty of Canada, my home, is the inspiration for my design. Canoe is a carrier of Canadian myths, a symbol very unique to Canada that represents voyage, harmony with nature, discovery and courage. It is one of the greatest gifts the First Nations people gave to all those who came after. A crystalline perspective, this necklace hopes to capture the luminous magic of the True North.” -- Reena Ahluwalia

 

For more info visit Reena's website:

 

www.reenaahluwalia.com

 

or check out her Facebook Page:

 

www.facebook.com/Reena.Ahluwalia.Design

 

©Reena Ahluwhalia

A Photographic Digital Art Composition. This image is available to purchase as a greeting card, print, poster, calendar, framed or canvass artwork via my RedBubble web site. www.redbubble.com/people/davidelder/works/11420581-jennif...?

 

Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (born August 15, 1990) is an American actress. Her first major role was as a lead cast member on the TBS sitcom The Bill Engvall Show (2007–2009). She subsequently appeared in the independent films The Burning Plain (2008) and Winter's Bone (2010), for which she received nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Satellite Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. At age 20, she was, at the time, the third-youngest actress ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

 

At age 22, Lawrence's performance in the romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook (2012) earned her the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress, amongst other accolades, making her the youngest person ever to be nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and the second-youngest Best Actress winner. Her performance in the comedy-drama American Hustle (2013) has earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as nominations for the Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award and Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, amongst other accolades. Lawrence is also known for playing Raven Darkhölme / Mystique in the 2011 superhero film X-Men: First Class, a role she will reprise in the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past. Beginning in 2012, she gained international fame for playing the leading heroine, Katniss Everdeen, in the The Hunger Games film series, an adaptation of Suzanne Collins' best-selling trilogy of novels. Her performance in the films garnered her notable critical praise and marked her as the highest-grossing action heroine to date.

 

Lawrence's performances thus far have prompted Rolling Stone to call her "the most talented young actress in America. In 2013, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world, ELLE Magazine named her the most powerful woman in the entertainment business and she ranked No. 2 on AskMen's list of Top 99 Most Desirable Women of the year.

 

French postcard by Humour a la Carte, Paris, no. 3713.

 

Elegant brunette Fanny Ardant (1949) appeared in more than fifty films since 1976. Initially, her youthful beauty brought her popularity in two films by François Truffaut, but over time her sophistication and acting skills have made her one of France's most admired actresses. She was four times nominated for a César, the French Oscar, and won for Pédale douce (1997). Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, Ardant has also starred in several international films.

 

Fanny Marguerite Judith Ardant was born in Saumur, France in 1949. Her father Jean Ardant was a military attaché. Fanny grew up in Monaco where her father worked for the Grimaldi family. At 17, she moved to Aix-en-Provence to study at the Institut d'études politiques d'Aix-en-Provence. She was more interested in the theatre and took drama classes from Jean Périmony. In 1974 she made her first stage appearance in Polyeucte by Pierre Corneille. The play was directed by Dominique Leverd, who would be the father of her first daughter, Lumir. Roles in plays by Henry de Montherlant, Jean Racine and Jean Giraudoux followed. Her film debut was a part in Marie-poupée/Marie, the Doll (1976, Joël Séria). For TV she played one of the leading roles in the mini-series Les Dames de la Côte/The ladies of the coast (1979, Nina Companéez) starring Edwige Feuillère. Legendary film director François Truffaut saw the series and invited her to a lunch with Gerard Depardieu, with whom he had just made Le Dernier metro/The Last Metro (1980, François Truffaut). Dépardieu and Ardant had earlier acted together in the film Les chiens/The Dogs (1979, Alain Jessua). Truffaut then cast Depardieu and Ardant as tragic lovers in La Femme d'à côté/The Woman Next Door (1981, François Truffaut). Tom Wiener at AllMovie: “The Woman Next Door has a story line right out of a soap opera. Fortunately, it plays like variations of a half-dozen other intelligent Truffaut films on the vagaries of love. Depardieu and Ardant evince such potent chemistry that it's hard not to root for their characters, Bernard and Mathilde, even as you see them slide toward tragedy.” Her role became her international breakthrough and Ardant received her first César nomination for Best Actress in 1982. During the production of the film, director and actress had fallen in love. Ardant became the last muse and partner of Truffaut. In 1983 she gave birth to their daughter, Joséphine.

 

By the early 1980’s, Fanny Ardant had turned into a major European film star. Fluent in English, Spanish and Italian, she played serious, passionate roles in several international films. In Italy she worked with director André Delvaux at Benvenuta (1983) as a pianist unhappy in love with Vittorio Gassman, and with Ettore Scola at the award winning family drama La famiglia/The Family (1987). In France, she worked with Truffaut again at the comedy Vivement dimanche!/Confidentially Yours (1984, François Truffaut), a homage to Hitchcock and the film noir shot in black & white. She played a self-assured secretary who helps a murder suspect (Jean-Louis Trintignant) to prove his innocence. For her role she received her second César nomination. In 1984, Truffaut died from a cancerous brain tumour, and left Ardant devastated. However, her career flourished She played several plum roles for major directors. For Volker Schlöndorf, she appeared in his Marcel Proust adaptation Un amour de Swann/Swan in Love (1984) opposite Jeremy Irons, for Alain Resnais in L’Amour à mort/Love Unto Death (1984) with Sabine Azéma, and in Mélo/Melodrama (1986), for Costa-Gavras in Conseil de famille/Family Business (1986) with Johnny Hallyday, and later for Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders in Al di là delle nuvole/Beyond the Clouds (1995). Among her English language roles were Afraid of the Dark (1991, Mark Peploe) with James Fox, and Sabrina (1995, Sydney Pollack) with Harrison Ford. Over time, her sophistication and acting skills have made Ardant one of France's most admired actresses.

 

In 1996, Fanny Ardant proved her versatility, playing a comedic role in Pédale douce/Soft Pedal (1996, Gabriel Aghion) for which she won the 1997 César Award for Best Actress. Another major success was her role as the acidic noblewoman Madame de Blayac at the court of Louis XVI in Ridicule (1996, Patrice Leconte). This historic film was also very popular with the public, won the César for Best Film and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. She was then directed by Roman Polanski as Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's play Master Class, at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin. For her portayal, Ardant was nominated for the Molière award as best stage actress. She portrayed the opera diva again in the English-language film Callas Forever (2003, Franco Zeffirelli). A year earlier, she was nominated for another César for 8 Femmes/8 Women (2002, François Ozon), again a commercial and critical hit. Other films were La cena/The diner (1998, Ettore Scola), Elizabeth (1998, Shekhar Kapur) featuring Cate Blanchett, Le libertine/The Libertine (2000, Gabriel Aghion) with Vincent Pérez, Paris, je t'aime (2006) with 18 seemingly unrelated vignettes by 18 different directors about love in the city of lights, and Roman de gare/Crossed Tracks (2007, Claude Lelouch). In a 2007 interview, she expressed admiration for Renato Curcio, ex leader of the militant Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse), saying that it was good of him to adhere to his principles. She later discovered that it would be difficult to attend a film festival in Venice, as her declaration had created much scandal in Italy. The Governor of Veneto said that he would prefer that Ardant not visit his region. She then pleaded for forgiveness from victims of terrorism. Ardant became a director and screenwriter with Cendres et sang/Ashes and Blood (2009). She also directed the short film Chimères absentes/Chimeras lacking (2010). Fanny Ardant has three daughters: Lumir (1975) with Dominique Leverd, Josephine (1983) with François Truffaut, and Baladine (1990) with cameraman Fabio Conversi. Her most recent feature film was Interno giorno (2011), directed by Tommaso Rossellini, grandson of Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. At the time of writing, she is filming Les beaux jours/The Beautiful Days (2012, Marion Vernoux).

 

Sources: Rebecca Flint Marx (AllMovie), Wikipedia (French, German and English) and IMDb.

Cover of Quick news weekly magazine, December 31, 1951, Vol. 6 No. 1

 

Iconic, beautiful actress, former child star, and international sex symbol Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011); received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends". Taylor won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in the 1960 movie "BUtterfield 8" and a second Oscar for the 1966 film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

 

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Fair use/no known copyright. If you use this photo, please provide attribution credit; not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).

German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg-Bergedorf, no. 3689. Photo: Philips / Winkler / Fontana.

 

Gorgeous Anita Lindblom (1937) is an iconic Swedish singer and actress, who starred in several Swedish entertainment films. She was one of Sweden’s and Germany’s most popular pop artists of the 1960’s. Her hit Sånt är livet (That's life) (1961) is an evergreen in Scandinavia.

 

Anita E. Lindblom was born in Hille, Sweden in 1937. Her parents were Elsy Kristina and Karl Erik Bruno. She studied ballet and piano. Very young, she married her dance treacher Sven Aage Andersen Lykke with whom she had a son, Jörgen (1955). The marriage soon ended in a dicorce. In 1957 she had her breakthrough in the Scalarevyn (Scala revue) in which she sang När den svenska flickan kysser, kysser hon med öppen mun (When you kiss a Swedish girl, kiss her with open mouth). She was a versatile artist, who did a lot more than just her revue work. She made her film debut in the comedy Räkna med bråk/ Expect trouble (1957, Rolf Husberg). It was followed by more parts in such entertainment films as the comedy Åsa-Nisse i full fart/Åsa-Nisse at Full Speed (1957, Ragnar Frisk), and the thriller Mannekäng i rött/Mannequin in Red (1958, Arne Mattsson) starring Anita Björk. She got a record contract and made a Swedish version of Edith Piaf Milord. It became Lindblom’s first hit. It was followed by other successful covers - such as Lili Marlene and Gigi. In 1961 she performed Sånt är livet (That's life) with Sven-Olof Walldoffs orchestra, a Swedish cover of Roy Hamilton’s You Can Have Her (1961). Stig Andersson had written the Swedish text to the melody by Bill Cook, who was Roy Hamilton's manager. The success was a historic mile pole in the Swedish entertainment history. The song has been voted as the greatest Swedish pop song of all time. Her German version Lass die Liebe aus dem Spiel (1962) was also a great success and became a silver and golden record. Lindblom became as known in Germany as she was in her home country Sweden. The Germans called her lovingly the daughter of Zarah Leander because of her deep, memorable voice. With Lill-Babs, Vivi Bach, Lill Lindfors and Siw Malmqvist, she belonged to a generation of Scandinavian ‘imports’ who had successful careers in Germany during the 1960’s.

 

In Scandinavia, Anita Lindblom performed in film, radio and television as well as in folk music halls and parks. She was the star of the comedy Tre dar i buren/Three days in the cage (1963, Ragnar Frisk), the musical Blåjackor/Sailors (1964, Arne Mattsson) with Dirch Passer, and the romantic drama En kärlekshistoria/A Swedish Love Story (1970, Roy Andersson). In 1968 she was chosen as Woman of the Year in Sweden and she won the Anna Lisa award, the Swedish Oscar. The artist was always surrounded by myths and scandals. Between 1966 and 1970 she had a stormy marriage with boxing champion Bo Reine Högberg, got into tax trouble and fled from Sweden in the late 1960's. Lindblom had bad nerves and her many breakdowns were a constant fodder for the gossip columns. She returned to Sweden to star in the film Rännstensungar/Guttersnipes (1974, Torgny Anderberg) opposite Dutch singer Cornelis Vreeswijk. She also made a highly acclaimed restaurant show at Hamburger Börs in Stockholm. For a time she lived with actor and director Gunnar Hellström. Lindblom retired again from the spotlights in the early 1980’s. She felt persecuted by the media with their articles on her tax troubles, romances and collapses. Since then she has received several offers to make a comeback, but she declined them all. For long she resided near Cannes in France and she has not visited Sweden for many years. In France she incidentally performed as a singer and she wrote her memoirs, Anita. She was going to move on to the U.S. to start a new career there, but a Swedish firm demolished her piano and other furniture during the move. Therefore she decided to stay in France. The American film trade magazine Variety announced in 2011 that the biopic Knockout about Lindblom is in preproduction. Actress Noomi Rapace, who was Lisbeth Salander, the techno-goth hacker heroine in the Swedish film versions of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, will play Lindblom. Director is Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight and Red Riding Hood) and Noomi’s husband Ola Rapace plays Bo Högberg. In the meanwhile, Anita Lindblom herself still lives quietly with her cat in a small studio in Theoule-sur-mer in the South of France.

 

Sources: Klaus Lorenzen (Anita Lindblom Starinfo), Film.nieuws.nl, Cinema Blend Com, Wikipedia (Swedish and German), and IMDb.

East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 2869. Retail price: 0,20 MDN.

 

Seductive Italian actress Virna Lisi (1936) appeared in more than 100 film and TV productions and is internationally best known as a tempting blue-eyed blonde in Hollywood productions of the 1960’s. But she proved to be more than a pretty face. Later she had a career Renaissance with three-dimensional character parts in a wide variety of Italian and French. A triumph was her portrayal of a malevolent Catherine de Medici in La Reine Margot (1994) for which she won both the David di Donatello and the César awards.

 

Virna Lisi was born as Virna Lisa Pieralisi in Ancona, Italy in 1936. Her brother, Ubaldo, will become a talent agent. Her sister is actress Esperia Pieralisi. Virna began her film career as a teenager. She was discovered by two Neapolitan producers (Antonio Ferrigno and Ettore Pesce) in Paris. Her debut was in La corda d'acciaio/The line of steel (1953-1958, Carlo Borghesio). Initially, she did musical films, like in E Napoli canta/Napoli sings (1953, Armando Grottini) and the successful four-episode film Questa è la vita/Such is life (1954, Luigi Zampa a.o.), with the popular Totò. Her looks were more valued than her talent in some of her early films, like in Le diciottenni/Eighteen Year Olds (1955, Mario Mattoli) with Marisa Allasio, and Lo scapolo/The Bachelor (1955, Antonio Pietrangeli) with Alberto Sordi. She incarnated more demanding roles in Il cardinale Lambertini/Cardinal Lambertini (1954, Giorgio Pastina) opposite Gino Cervi, La Donna del Giorno/The Doll That Took the Town (1956, Francesco Maselli), the peplum Romolo e Remo/Duel of the Titans (1961, Sergio Corbucci) featuring musclemen Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott as the two legendary brothers, and Eva/Eve (1962, Joseph Losey) starring Jeanne Moreau. In the late 1950’s, Lisi played on stage at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, and appeared in I giacobini by Federico Zardi, under the direction of Giorgio Strehler. During the 1960’s, Lisi played in stage comedies and she also participated in some very popular dramatic television productions. On TV she also promoted a toothpaste brand, with a slogan which would become a catchphrase amongst the Italians: "con quella bocca può dire ciò che vuole" (with such a mouth, she can say whatever she wants).

 

In the 1960’s, Hollywood producers were looking for a successor to Marilyn Monroe and so Virna Lisi made a dent in Hollywood comedies as a tempting blue-eyed blonde. She first starred opposite Jack Lemmon in George Axelrod’s satirical How to Murder Your Wife (1965, Richard Quine). At IMDb reviewer Mdantonio takes hit hat off for her performance: “What most everyone fails to mention in the comments is the incredible skill of Virna Lisi. She is a natural mixing it up with Lemmon, (Claire) Trevor and the other veterans like she had been making movies for years. I have watched many movies in my day and I must say that Virna Lisi is right at the top, not only in beauty and sexuality but in carrying her role as good as anyone else could have. Ms. Lisi, my hat is off to you.” She also gained attention with the March 1965 cover of Esquire magazine on which she was shaving her face. The following year she appeared in another comedy, Not with My Wife, You Don't! (1966, Norman Panama) now with Tony Curtis. She also starred with Frank Sinatra in Assault on a Queen (1966, Jack Donohue), with Rod Steiger in La Ragazza e il Generale/The Girl and the General (1967, Pasquale Festa Campanile), and twice with Anthony Quinn, in the war drama La vingt-cinquième heure/The 25th Hour (1967, Henri Verneuil), and in The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969, Stanley Kramer). To overcome her typecasting as a sexy, seductive woman, Lisi sought new types of roles, and found these in such Italian comedies as Le bambole/Four Kinds of Love (1965, Dino Risi a.o.), Signore & signori/The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1966, Pietro Germi) and Le dolci signore (1968), and Roma bene (1971, Carlo Lizzani) with Senta Berger. At Rovi, Robert Firsching reviews Signore & signori: “Pietro Germi's funny anthology combines the standard sex comedy format with some unexpectedly subtle observations about village life. The film centers on three stories exposing the sexual secrets of the Italian town of Treviso. (...) Signore e Signori won the Best Film award at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.”

 

In the early 1970’s, Virna Lisi decided to focus on her family, husband Franco Pesci and her son Corrado, born in 1962. In the later 1970’s she had a career renaissance with a series of major Italian films, including the Nietzsche biography Al di là del bene e del male/Beyond Good and Evil (1977, Liliana Cavani) starring Dominique Sanda, Ernesto (1979, Salvatore Samperi), La cicala/The Cricket (1980, Alberto Lattuada), and I ragazzi di via Panisperna/The Boys of the Via Panisperna (1989, Gianni Amelio) with Andrea Prodan and Mario Adorf. Prodan’s brother Luca is the singer of the Argentinean band later made a song for Lisi. A Brazilian rock band, Virna Lisi, is even named after her. Her greatest triumph was the French film La Reine Margot (1994, Patrice Chéreau) in which Lisi played a malevolent Catherine de Medici, ordering assaults, poisonings, and instigations to incest. Karl Williams writes at Rovi about the film: “The historical novel by Alexandre Dumas was adapted for the screen with this lavish French epic, winner of 5 Césars and a pair of awards at the Cannes Film Festival. Isabelle Adjani stars as Marguerite de Valois, better known as Margot, daughter of scheming Catholic power player Catherine de Medici (Virna Lisi).” For her magnificent portrayal Lisi won not only the César and Best Actress award in Cannes, but also the David di Donatello award, the Italian equivalent of the Oscar. Since the late 1990’s, she did many successful dramatic TV productions, including L'onore e il rispetto/Honour and respect (2006, Salvatore Samperi) with Gabriel Garko and Giancarlo Giannini. In 2002, Lisi starred in her last film, Il più bel giorno della mia vita/The Best Day of My Life (2002, Cristina Comencini) with Margherita Buy, but a new film is in production: Boogie Woogie (2011, Andrea Frezza) with Paul Sorvino. Vira Lisi is still married to architect Franco Pesci and they live in five villas in Rome, the Italian countryside and the mountains. They have three grandchildren: Franco, Federico and Riccardo.

 

Sources: Hal Erickson (Rovi), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen, Wikipedia and IMDb.

Susannah York by Philip Townsend.

 

Susannah York (9 January 1939 – 15 January 2011) was a British film, stage and television actress. She was awarded a BAFTA as Best Supporting Actress for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for the same film. She won best actress for Images at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. In 1991 she was appointed an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Her appearances in various hit films of the 1960s formed the basis of her international reputation, and an obituary in The Telegraph characterised her as "the blue-eyed English rose with the china-white skin and cupid lips who epitomised the sensuality of the swinging Sixties".

 

@The Philip Townsend Archive

One of a series of photographs of British actress of stage and screen, Carol Royle, pictured at home in 2011 with her 2005 portrait painted by expressionist artist, Stephen B Whatley.

 

The ever- beautiful actress appears on the London stage this month in the play 'Storm In A Flower Vase' at the Art's Theatre in the West End of London; 20 September- 12 October 2013. The new play by Anton Burge is about Constance Spry the high society florist who styled two royal weddings and the Queen's coronation and invented the dish, Coronation Chicken. Heralded as a woman ahead of her time, she changed the lives of ordinary people by showing with a little imagination homes could be transformed with little money.

 

Carol Royle's numerous television credits include Blakes 7, The Professionals, Bergerac , Oxbridge Blues, The Bill , Heartbeat, Casualty & Doctors; her film credits include The Greek Tycoon & Tuxedo Warrior; and many theatre productions including including Shakespeare's Hamlet (for which she was acclaimed by the London Drama Critics), Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest; & Festen, a British stage adaption of the Danish film of the same name.

 

To see more about Carol Royle and her career: www.carolroyle.co.uk

 

Carol Royle. 2005 by Stephen B Whatley

Oil on canvas, 30 x 24in/76 x 61cm

Private collection of Ms Royle, UK.

www.stephenbwhatley.com

 

Rosamund Mary E Pike (born 27 January 1979) is an English actress. She first came to attention for playing Bond girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day in 2002. Her best known film roles include Pride and Prejudice (2005), Johnny English Reborn (2011), Wrath of the Titans (2012), Jack Reacher, and The World's End (2013). In 2014, she starred in David Fincher's Gone Girl, which earned her over a dozen critics awards for Best Actress of the year and nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award, and a BAFTA Award.

Natacha Rambova and Rudolph Valentino

 

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Natacha Rambova was born Winifred Shaughnessy in Salt Lake City on January 19th 1897. Her father Michael Shaughnessy, was an Irish Catholic who fought for the Union during the American Civil War. Her mother Winifred Kimball, was nicknamed "Muzzie" and was a granddaughter of Mormon Patriarch Heber C. Kimball. Her father was a businessman who partook in mining interests, but eventually his alcohol and gambling problems became too much for her mother. Her mother became an interior designer and moved to San Francisco. She was married four times (Michael was her second husband), eventually settling on millionaire perfume mogul Richard Hudnut. Rambova was adopted by her stepfather, making her legal name Winifred Hudnut. Before her marriage to Hudnut, Rambova's mother married Edgar De Wolfe, brother of Elsie De Wolfe, a prominent interior decorator. With this marriage her mother became socially successful and wealthy. Rambova was rebellious, and mocked her stepfather for being passive. She was sent home from a boarding school for "conduct unbecoming of a lady". She was sent to a strict British boarding school, where she learned ballet, French, drawing, and studied mythology.

 

Rambova was gifted at ballet, and trained with Rosita Mauri at the Paris Opéra during the summers. She traveled to London frequently to watch other performers including Pavlova, Nijinsky, and Theodore Kosloff. Right before World War I broke out, Rambova returned to San Francisco where she clashed with her mother once again and insisted she would pursue ballet as a career. Her family had trained her in ballet as a social grace and were appalled at the thought of it becoming a career. Aunt Teresa intervened, offering to move with Rambova to New York where she could study under Kosloff. Rambova, now 17, changed her name to Natacha Rambova at this time. At 5'8" she was too tall to be a classical ballerina, but Kosloff continually gave her leading parts. She performed with him in his Imperial Russian Ballet Company.

 

Around this time Rambova fell for the 32 year old Kosloff (who had a wife and an invalid daughter in Europe) and the pair began a tumultuous love affair. Muzzie was outraged when she found out, and brought charges of statutory rape and kidnapping against Kosloff hoping to have him deported. Rambova fled New York and hid in Canada, and later England, to hide from her mother. While in England she posed as a governess to Kosloff's wife and child. Muzzie, wanting to bring her daughter home, relented by dropping the charges. She allowed Rambova to keep performing with the company and promised to underwrite the costumes.

 

Rambova returned and began touring with the Kosloff company. In addition to dancing she began costume designing as well. After the tour ended Kosloff had been hired by Cecil B. DeMille to perform as well as contribute designs. Rambova joined him and was dismayed to find herself as part of Kosloff's "arty harem". Kosloff had taken several lovers amongst the dancers, who would perform with his company, teach at his studio, and assist him uncredited in his film work. Rambova took to researching historical accuracy for her designs, which Kosloff would then use without giving her credit, stealing her sketches and claiming them as his own.

 

Kosloff met fellow Russian Alla Nazimova and convinced her to use his services for her an upcoming planned project based on Aphrodite. Kosloff sent Rambova to show sketches to Nazimova, claiming they were his own when they were actually Rambova's. Nazimova was impressed and when she asked for revisions to some costumes, Rambova took out a pencil and began to make the revisions, showing that she had done the work. Nazimova offered Rambova a position on her production staff as an art director and costume designer. The work would pay up to $5,000 a picture.

 

Rambova's work had been used in four DeMille films, including, Why Change Your Wife? Which featured Gloria Swanson and Thomas Meighan, before her signing with Nazimova. Metro feared censors' reactions, and thus the Aphrodite picture was never made. Her first film for Nazimova was Billions in 1920. She met Rudolph Valentino on the set of Uncharted Seas in 1921. They began working together on Camille soon after. Hans Poelzig and Emil-Jaques Ruhlmann were her inspiration for various sets on the film. Rambova was determined to bring the art deco look to America, as it was transforming film making in Europe. The film flopped, with many contemporary critics finding it too odd. The failure of "Camille" eventually led Metro to terminate Nazimova's contract.

 

Rambova took on teaching design and selling some of her jewellery. She wound up earning more than Valentino, who had notoriously bad contract deals. She next designed for a film Nazimova wrote titled, A Doll's House. By 1922 Rambova had left Metro to join Nazimova on her artistic productions. Valentino negotiated a slightly better contract and was now earning more than Rambova. Rambova's designs for Salome were based on drawings by Aubrey Beardsley for Oscar Wilde's version. In addition to costume design, Rambova contributed to the film's scenario under the alias "Peter M. Winters". The film cost $350,000 to make and flopped at the box office. It was one of Nazimova's last releases. It was also the last film Nazimova and Rambova would work on together.

 

Rambova met Valentino on the set of Uncharted Seas in 1921. They began working together on the set of Camille shortly after. The pair did not hit it off instantly, as by Rambova's own account she thought he was dumb as he was constantly goofing off and telling jokes...then forgetting the point to them. However she soon realized he was just lonely and trying to be liked, and she took pity on him. They began to take picnics together and attended a costume ball together. They formed a relationship based on a love of reading, art, antiques, and the finer things in life.

 

The pair moved in together less than a year later but had to separate (or at least pretend to) as the divorce proceedings for Valentino's marriage to Jean Acker began. Once the divorce was final, the pair married on May 13, 1922 in Mexicali, Mexico. However, the law at the time required a year to pass before remarriage and Valentino was jailed as a bigamist. Valentino's studio at the time, Famous Players-Lasky, refused to post bail. June Mathis, George Melford, and Thomas Meighan eventually were able to raise enough to post bail. Rambova had been sent to New York by the studio before Valentino's jailing, and was informed at a stop in Chicago. Throughout the bigamy scandal she refused to speak to the press. The pair had to wait a year to remarry (less risking Valentino being jailed again), forced to live in separate apartments with roommates. They legally remarried on March 14, 1923.

 

September 2, 1922. SS Olympic Sails. Mr. Richard Hudnut, Mrs. Rudolph Valentino, Mrs. Richard Hudnut with Valentino. The movie actor went on the Olympic, sailing September 2, to see his bride and her parents off for a European trip.

 

Though they shared similar passions, Valentino and Rambova held very different views when it came to home and personal life. Valentino cherished old world ideals of a woman being a housewife and mother, while Rambova was a feminist who wanted to continue to work and had no plans of being a housewife. Valentino was known as an excellent cook, while actress Patsy Ruth Miller suspected Rambova didn't know "how to make burnt fudge," although the truth was she did occasionally bake and was an excellent seamstress. Valentino deeply wanted children, Rambova did not.

 

Rambova did not get along with Valentino's friends and family, with the exception of Paul Ivano. Rambova complained during their trip to Italy, and she never got along with either of his siblings. She eventually sparred with Douglas Gerrad, June Mathis, and George Ullman; costing Valentino his friendship with Mathis. The marriage began to be strained as the press scrutinized Rambova and blamed her for Valentino's failures. Actress Myrna Loy claimed that Rambova was unfairly criticized, that Valentino was like a little boy wanting to please people by saying yes to everything, while Rambova took the blame by going after these people and saying no. After signing with United Artists (which stipulated Rambova could not be present on Valentino's sets or take part in his films).

 

Rambova turned cold and ignored her husband's 30th birthday, mocking him for staying home all day while she went to work (he was waiting for his contract to finalize), sparring with him in public, embarrassing him in front of Hollywood elite on the night of his 'Rudolph Valentino Medal' ceremony, and eventually cheating on him with her cameraman on What Price Beauty Rambova left four weeks after Valentino began shooting The Eagle and announced the separation soon after, catching Valentino off guard.The pair took to sparring back and forth in the press. When Valentino suddenly took ill, Rambova was in Europe. At Valentino's request, Ullman sent a telegram to Rambova. Rambova believed a reconciliation had taken place and the two sent telegrams right until the final moments of Valentino's life.

 

After her divorce from Valentino began, Rambova produced and starred in another picture, Do Clothes Make the Woman? She had brought forty trunks back from Europe for the picture and would act opposite Clive Brook. Eventually it was retitled to When Love Grows Cold much to Rambova's horror. Rambova was reportedly so upset that the distributor promoted the film with her name as "Mrs. Valentino" that she never acted in film again. Most of the film is lost except small fragments from a promotional trailer. After Valentino's death, Rambova appeared on stage via vaudeville and Broadway. She wrote an unproduced play, All that Glitters, supposedly detailing her life with Valentino, although by the end of the play there is a happy ending and the couple reconcile.

 

Rambova opened an elite couture shop on Fifth Avenue in 1927. She urged women to express themselves through fashion. She would later close the shop after meeting her second husband in 1934. With her husband in Mallorca, Rambova began a business of buying up old villas and modernizing them for tourists; a venture she financed with her inheritance from her stepfather who had died in 1928.

 

After divorcing her second husband, Rambova remained in France, where she remained until the Nazi invasion, at which point she returned to New York. Rambova's interest in the metaphysical grew during the 1940s, with her supporting the Bollingen Foundation, which she believed help her see a past life in Egypt. She published various articles on healing and astrology during this time. Eventually she helped decipher ancient scarabs and tomb inscriptions which led her to edit a series of publications titled, "Egyptian Texts and Religious Representations". She also conducted classes in her apartment about myths, symbolism, and comparative religion.

 

She never spoke of Valentino publicly, turning away reporters on the 25th anniversary of his death and threatening to sue if an upcoming picture about him had a caricature of her in it.

 

She favoured designers such as Paul Poiret, Leon Bakst, Aubrey Beardsley. She specialized in "exotic" and "foreign" effects in both costume and stage design. For costumes she favored bright colors, baubles, bangles, shimmering draped fabrics, sparkles, and feathers. She also used the effect of sparkle on half nude bodies slathered in paint. When Rambova began work in film costume design she took to researching historical accuracy for her designs.

 

During her marriage to Valentino, Rambova was seen as a fashion icon. During a trip to Paris her shopping trips caused a sensation with the press reporting on her outfits.

 

Rambova loathed the world of high society, and even though her mother had married well she refused to live off her stepfather's money, insisting on making her own living. Valentino was said to be shocked when he first viewed her parents' lavish home, as Rambova had never spoken of their wealth. During Valentino's strike from Famous Players, she still intended to make money herself, and never mentioned her parents as a source of income.

 

Both Rambova and Valentino were Spiritualists. She had been interested in ancient religions since her teen years. She believed in reincarnation and psychic powers. Later in life she became an Egyptologist, an author on astrology, and a follower of Madame Blavatsky and George Gurdjieff. During her marriage to Valentino they both visited psychics, partook in séances, and automatic writing. Through these practices Valentino was eventually moved to write a book of poetry, Daydreams, with many poems about Rambova.When Valentino died Rambova wrote a book about the time she had spent with him, and also her claims to be in contact with him in the afterlife via psychics.

 

Rambova met Alvaro de Urzaiz on a trip to Europe in 1934. Urzaiz was a British educated, Spanish aristocrat. After closing her shop, Rambova moved with her husband to the island of Mallorca. When the Spanish Civil War erupted, Urzaiz was on the pro-fascists nationalist side, becoming a naval commander. Rambova fled to Nice, where she suffered a heart attack at age 40. Soon after, she and Urzaiz divorced.

 

In the mid 1960s she was struck with scleroderma, and became malnourished and delusional as a result. A cousin brought her to Pasadena, California where she died of a heart attack on June 5, 1966 at the age of 69. Her collection of Egyptian antiquities were donated to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. She willed a huge collection of Nepali and Lamaistic art to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Rambova's ashes were scattered in Arizona.

 

There is a biography for her; 'Madame Valentino, The Many Lives of Natacha Rambova' by Michael Morris Available here.

 

Text source from Wikipedia

 

See text with Photos @ The French Sampler

The 1978 blockbuster musical "Grease" is the highest grossing film musical of all time, with the 2002 "Chicago" in second place. It was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar and five Golden Globes. Directed by Randal Kleiser, the film's cast members included John Travolta (b. February 18, 1954), Olivia Newton-John (b. September 26, 1948), Stockard Channing (February 13, 1944), Jeff Conaway (October 5, 1950 - May 27, 2011), Didi Conn (b. July 13, 1951), Dinah Manoff (b. January 25, 1958), Jamie Donnelly (b. 1947), Barry Pearl (b. March 29, 1950), Michael Tucci (b. April 15, 1946), and Kelly Ward (b. November 17, 1956). Also in the cast, in smaller roles, were older actors who had had major or character TV or film roles predominantly during the 1950s and 1960s: Eve Arden (April 30, 1908 - November 12, 1990), Edd Byrnes (b. July 30, 1933), Sid Caeser (September 8, 1922 - February 12, 2014), Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979), Dody Goodman (October 28, 1914 - June 22, 2008), Fannie Flagg (b. September 21, 1944), Alice Ghostley (August 14, 1923 - September 21, 2007), and singer-actor Frankie Avalon (b. September 18, 1939) as Teen Angel. The film's opening song was sung by Four Seasons' lead singer Frankie Valli and was written by Barry Gibb.

 

Synopsis, via IMDb:

A musical about teens in love in the 50's! It's California 1959 and greaser Danny Zuko and Australian Sandy Olsson are in love. They spend time at the beach, and when they go back to school, what neither of them knows is that they both now attend Rydell High. Danny's the leader of the T-Birds, a group of black leather jacket-wearing greasers, while Sandy hangs with the Pink Ladies, a group of pink-wearing girls led by Rizzo. When they clash at Rydell's first pep rally, Danny isn't the same Danny from the beach. They try to be like each other so they can be together.

 

Some film trivia, via IMDb:

In the stage play, the song "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" had a reference to Sal Mineo, who was murdered in 1976. For the movie, the lyric was changed to reference Elvis Presley, who died the same day the scene was filmed.

 

"Hopelessly Devoted to You" was written and recorded after the movie had wrapped. The producers felt they needed a strong ballad and had Olivia Newton-John come back to film her singing this song. This song ended up receiving an Academy Award nomination.

 

The song "Greased Lightning" was supposed to be sung by Jeff Conaway's character Kenickie, as it is in the stage version. John Travolta used his clout to have his character sing it. The director felt it was only right to ask Conaway if it was okay. At first he refused, but he eventually gave in.

 

The high school is filmed at Venice High School in Venice, CA. The dance contest scene was filmed during the summer when the school was closed. The gym had no air conditioning and the doors had to be kept closed to control lighting, so the building became stifling hot. On more than one occasion, an extra had to be taken out due to heat-related illness. The high school was right next to a pork plant, so everything smelled like bacon.

 

John Travolta insisted that he have "blue black hair like Elvis Presley and Rock Hudson in the movies" because "it's surreal and it's very 1950s."

 

Most of the extras won a nationwide contest to be in the film.

 

Due to a zipper breaking, Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into the spandex pants she wears in the last sequence (the carnival at Rydell). "They sewed me into those pants every morning for a week," Newton-John claimed. "Believe me, I had to be very careful about what I ate and drank. It was excruciating." It was 106 degrees on the set for the carnival finale.

 

Set in high school, most of the principal cast were way past their high school years. When filming began in June 1977, John Travolta was 23, Olivia Newton-John was 28, Stockard Channing was 33, Jeff Conaway was 26, Barry Pearl was 27, Michael Tucci was 31, Kelly Ward was 20, Didi Conn was 25; Jamie Donnelly was 30, Eddie Deezen was 20, and Annette Charles was 29; Dinah Manoff and Lorenzo Lamas were both 19.

 

Scenes inside the Frosty Palace contain obvious blurring of various Coca-Cola signs. Prior to the film's release, Allan Carr had made a product-placement deal with Coca-Cola's main competitor Pepsi (for example, a Pepsi logo can be seen in the animated opening sequence). When Carr saw the footage of the scene with Coca-Cola products and signage, he ordered Randal Kleiser to either reshoot the scene with Pepsi products or remove the Coca-Cola logos from the scene. As reshoots were deemed too expensive and time-consuming, optical mattes were used to cover up or blur out the Coca-Cola references. The "blurring" covered up trademarked menu signage and a large wall poster, but a red cooler with the logo could not be sufficiently altered, so was left unchanged. According to Kleiser, "We just had to hope that Pepsi wouldn't complain. They didn't."

 

This was the film in which Jeff Conaway became addicted to drugs. While he was shooting the "Greased Lightning" musical number, he was accidentally dropped, hurting his back. He started taking pain killers, eventually then abusing prescription drugs, starting Conaway on the downward spiral into drug addiction, until he died in 2011 at age 60.

 

Randal Kleiser shot a scene of Kenickie and Rizzo getting into a heated argument, which explained their attitude towards each other in the diner scene (where Rizzo threw the malt at Kenickie). The fight scene was cut because it didn't match the tone of the rest of the film; it was much grittier, described by one crew member as "looking like something Martin Scorsese might have directed."

 

Stockard Channing was not the first choice for the role of Rizzo; Lucie Arnaz was allegedly dropped from consideration when her mother, Lucille Ball, called Paramount and said, "I used to own that studio; my daughter's not doing a screen test!" (Ball actually owned the studio Desilu, which was bought by Paramount). The part went to Channing when the casting director remembered seeing her with Lucie in the play "Vanities" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (the third member of the cast was Sandy Duncan).

 

John Travolta started rehearsals just four days after completing filming for "Saturday Night Fever" (1977). Having two mega-hit movies in a row made it difficult to return to honor his contract for "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975), but he fulfilled his contract, albeit with a reduced presence, and eventually left the show to pursue a movie career full-time.

 

The film was released in Spain and Latin America as "Brillantina" (Brilliantine) - because its English title translated as "Grasa" or "fat" in Spanish. Released as "Vaselina" in Mexico.

  

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French postcard by EDUG, no. 377. Photo: Sam Levin.

 

American actress Jane Fonda (1937) is a two-time Academy Award winner. In 2014, she was the recipient of the American Film Institute AFI Life Achievement Award.

 

Jane Fonda was born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda in New York in 1937. She was the daughter of actor Henry Fonda and the Canadian-born socialite Frances Ford Brokaw, née Seymour. She has a brother, actor Peter Fonda, and a maternal half-sister, Frances. Before starting her acting career, Fonda was a model, gracing the cover of Vogue twice. In 1958, she met Lee Strasberg and she went to the Actors Studio. In 1960, she made her Broadway debut in the play There Was a Little Girl, for which she received the first of two Tony Award nominations. Later the same year, she made her screen debut in the romantic comedy Tall Story (Joshua Logan, 1960), in which she recreated one of her Broadway roles as a college cheerleader pursuing a basketball star, played by Anthony Perkins. In Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962), she played a prostitute, and earned a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. She rose to fame in such films as Period of Adjustment (1962), Sunday in New York (Peter Tewksbury, 1963), Cat Ballou (Elliot Silverstein, 1965) opposite Lee Marvin, and Barefoot in the Park (Gene Saks, 1967), co-starring Robert Redford. In 1968, she played the title role in the science fiction spoof Barbarella, which established her status as a sex symbol. Barbarella director Roger Vadim became her first husband. In France, Fonda also starred as a reporter alongside Yves Montand in Tout Va Bien (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1972). A seven-time Academy Award nominee, she received her first nomination for They Shoot Horses, Don't They (Sydney Pollack, 1969) and went on to win two Best Actress Oscars for the crime thriller Klute (Alan J. Pakula, 1971) and the Vietnam drama Coming Home (1978). Her other nominations were for for her portrayal of the playwright Lillian Hellman in Julia (Fred Zinnemann, 1977), The China Syndrome (James Bridges, 1979) oppossite Michael Douglas, On Golden Pond (Mark Rydell, 1981) with Katherine Hepburn and her father Henry Fonda, and The Morning After (Sidney Lumet, 1986) with Jeff Bridges.

 

In 1982, Jane Fonda released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling video of the time. It would be the first of 22 workout videos released by her over the next 13 years which would collectively sell over 17 million copies. Divorced from second husband Tom Hayden, she married billionaire media mogul Ted Turner in 1991 and retired from acting. Divorced from Turner in 2001, she returned to acting with her first film in 15 years with the comedy Monster in Law (Robert Luketic, 2005) opposite Jennifer Lopez. Subsequent films have included Georgia Rule (Garry Marshall, 2007) with Lindsay Lohan, the French drama Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/All Together (Stéphane Robelin, 2011), The Butler (Lee Daniels, 2013) as First Lady Nancy Reagan, and This Is Where I Leave You (Shawn Levy, 2014). In 2009, she returned to Broadway after a 45 year absence, in the play 33 Variations, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, while her recurring role in the HBO drama series The Newsroom (2012-2014), has earned her two Emmy Award nominations. She also released another five exercise videos between 2010 and 2012. Jane Fonda has been an activist for many political causes. Her counterculture era opposition to the Vietnam War included her being photographed sitting on an anti-aircraft battery on a 1972 visit to Hanoi, which was very controversial. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women, and describes herself as a feminist. In 2005, she, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Fonda currently serves on the board of the organization. She published an autobiography in 2005. In 2011, she published a second memoir, Prime Time.

 

Source: Wikipedia.

Italian postcard in the 'Hobby' series by Bromostampa, Milano, no. 1181/5310.

 

Dorian Gray (1928-2011) was a very elegant Italian actress in films by Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini. She was also sexy seductress in comedies with Totò. In 1965, Gray completely vanished from the public eye.

 

Dorian Gray was born as Maria Luisa Mangini in Bolzano, Italy in 1928. Gray made her stage debut in 1950, and quickly became a known and acclaimed actress. However, after only five years she left the world of the theatre and devoted herself to the cinema. In 1951, she had made her film debut in the crime drama Amo un assassin/Appointment for Murder (Baccio Bandini, 1951) with Delia Scala. The role she played most often in films was that of a seductive sex kitten in comedies like Totò, Peppino e i fuorilegge/Totò, Peppino and the outlaws (Camillo Mastrocinque, 1956). For this film Peppino De Filippo was awarded with a Silver Ribbon for best supporting actor. She played another titular ‘bad girl’ in Totò, Peppino e la malafemmina/Toto, Peppino, and the Hussy (Camillo Mastrocinque, 1956). It was the top grossing film of the year in Italy and is now considered as one of the classics of Italian comedy. The following year, she had the chance to demonstrate her dramatic talents in Michelangelo Antonioni's Il grido/The Cry (1957). She co-starred with starring Steve Cochran, Alida Valli and Betsy Blair to great critical acclaim. At the peak of her popularity, she also took part in Le notti di Cabiria/Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957) featuring Giulietta Masina. The film was loaded with awards, including an Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film in 1958.

 

After 1957, Dorian Gray made several more films, but none ever had the shine of her works of 1956 and 1957. She starred with Vittorio Gassman in the comedy Il mattatore/Love and Larceny (Dino Risi, 1960). She also plated in one of the Peplums of that era. La regina delle Amazzoni/Colossus and the Amazons (Vittorio Sala, 1960) In this Italian sword and sandal satirical comedy she starred opposite two actors imported from America, Rod Taylor and bodybuilder Ed Fury. She was among the all-star cast of the whodunit-comedy Crimen/...And Suddenly It's Murder! (Mario Camerini, 1960). She played the love interest of Foreign Legion captain Stewart Granger in the action drama, Marcia o crepa/Commando (Frank Wisbar,1962), set during the Algerian War. Her career ended by choice soon thereafter. In 1965, she made her final film, Fango sulla metropolis/City Criminals (Gino Mangini, 1965) with Tony Kendall. That year, awaiting the birth of her son, she retired completely from acting. She never made another public appearance. In 2011, Dorian Gray committed suicide by gunshot at her home in Torcegno. She was 83 years old. IMDb and other media, however, report her age as 75, since she herself claimed to have been born in 1936.

 

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia and IMDb.

Cover of Quick weekly magazine, September 4, 1950, Vol. 3 No. 10

 

Iconic, beautiful actress, former child star, and international sex symbol Elizabeth Taylor (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011); she received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends". Taylor won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as call girl Gloria Wandrous in the 1960 movie, "BUtterfield 8" and a second Oscar for her powerful performance as aging, bitter Martha in the 1966 film, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

 

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Danish postcard by Go Card, no. 2194, 1996. Photo: Camera Film. Publicity still for Le hussard sur le toit/The Horseman on the Roof (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1995).

 

French actress Juliette Binoche (1964) has appeared in more than 60 international films. She won numerous international awards, and has appeared on stage across the world. André Téchiné made her a star in France with the leading role in his drama Rendez-vous (1985). Her sensual performance in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988) launched her international career. Other career highlights are her roles in Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993), The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), for which she won an Oscar, and Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005).

 

Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, in 1964. She was the daughter of Jean-Marie Binoche, a director, actor, and sculptor, and Monique Yvette Stalens, a teacher, director, and actress. She is the sister of actress/photographer Marion Stalens. Her parents divorced when she was four, so she grew up living between each parent and a Catholic boarding school. In her teenage years Juliette began acting at school in stage-productions. At 17 she directed and starred in a student production of the Eugène Ionesco play, Exit the King. She studied acting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD), but quit after a short time as she disliked the curriculum. In the early 1980s, she found an agent through a friend and joined a theatre troupe, touring France, Belgium and Switzerland under the pseudonym Juliette Adrienne. After performing in several stage productions and a few TV productions, Binoche secured her first feature-film appearance with a minor role in the drama Liberty Belle (Pascal Kané, 1983). Her role required just two days on–set, but was enough to inspire Binoche to pursue a career in film. In 1983, she auditioned for the female lead in Jean-Luc Godard's' controversial Je vous salue, Marie/Hail Mary (1985), a modern retelling of the Virgin birth. She spent six months on the set of the film in Geneva, although her role in the final cut only contained a few scenes. She gained more significant exposure in Jacques Doillon's critically acclaimed La Vie de Famille/Family Life (1985), cast as the volatile teenage step-daughter of Sami Frey's central character. Director André Téchiné made her a star in France with the leading role in his provocative erotic drama Rendez-vous (1985). The film, co-starring Lambert Wilson and Jean-Louis Trintignant, premiered at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival, winning Best Director. Rendez-vous was a sensation and Binoche became the darling of the festival. In 1986, Binoche was nominated for her first César for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance. She starred opposite Michel Piccoli in the avant-garde thriller Mauvais Sang/Bad Blood (Leos Carax, 1986). Binoche plays Anna the vastly younger lover of Marc (Piccoli) who falls in love with Alex (Denis Lavant), a young thief. Mauvais Sang was a critical and commercial success, leading to Binoche's second César nomination. She gave a sensual performance opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988), the adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel. It was Binoche's first English language role and was a worldwide success with critics and audiences alike. In the summer of 1988, Binoche returned to the stage in an acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull directed by Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky at Théâtre De L'odéon in Paris. Later that year she began work on Léos Carax's Les Amants du Pont-Neuf. The film was beset by problems and took three years to complete, requiring investment from three producers and funds from the French government. When finally released in 1991, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf was a critical success. Binoche won a European Film Award and her third César nomination for her performance.

 

Juliette Binoche chose to pursue an international career outside France. Binoche relocated to London for the Emily Bronte adaptation Wuthering Heights (Peter Kosminsky, 1992) with Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff, and Damage (Louis Malle, 1992) with Jeremy Irons, both enhanced her international reputation. For her performance in Damage, Binoche received her fourth César nomination. She sparked the interest of Steven Spielberg, who offered her roles in three films: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Jurassic Park (1993), and Schindler's List (1993). which she declined. Instead, she chose for Trois couleurs : Bleu/Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993), for which she won the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a César. The first film in a trilogy inspired by the ideals of the French republic and the colors of its flag, Three Colors: Blue is the story of a young woman who loses her composer husband and daughter in a car accident. Though devastated she learns to cope by rejecting her previous life by rejecting all people, belongings and emotions. Binoche made cameo appearances in the other two films in Kieślowski's trilogy, Trois couleurs : Blanc/Three Colors: White (1994) and Three Colors: Red/ Trois couleurs : Rouge (1994). Binoche took a short sabbatical during which she gave birth to her son Raphaël in September 1993. In 1995, she returned to the screen in a big-budget adaptation of Jean Giono's Le hussard sur le toit/The Horseman on the Roof (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1995) with Olivier Martinez. At the time, it was the most expensive film in the history of French cinema. The film was a box-office success around the world and Binoche was again nominated for a César for Best Actress. She gained further acclaim in The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), for which she was awarded an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in addition to the Best Actress Award at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival. Juliette Binoche was reunited with director André Téchiné for Alice et Martin (1998), the story of a relationship between an emotionally damaged Parisian musician and her younger lover who hides a dark family secret. Binoche appeared on stage in a 1998 London production of Luigi Pirandello's Clothe the Naked retitled Naked and in a 2000 production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Between 1995 and 2000, she was also the advertising face of the Lancôme perfume Poème.

 

Juliette Binoche was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance opposite Johnny Depp in the romantic comedy Chocolat (Lasse Hallström, 2000). Another hit was the period drama La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (Patrice Leconte, 2000), for which she was nominated for a César for Best Actress. Opposite Daniel Auteuil she played the role of a woman who attempts to save a condemned man from the guillotine. The film won favourable reviews, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Next she appeared in Code Unknown (Michael Haneke, 2000), a film which was made following Binoche's approach to the Austrian director. Her critically acclaimed role was a welcome change from playing the romantic heroine in a series of costume dramas. During the following decade, she maintained a successful career, alternating between French and English language roles in both mainstream and art-house productions. "La Binoche" appeared in such films as Jet Lag (Daniele Thompson, 2002) opposite Jean Reno, Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005), Breaking and Entering (Anthony Minghella, 2006) with Jude Law, and Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2007). Paying homage to Albert Lamorisse's 1957 short The Red Balloon, Hou's film tells the story of a woman's efforts to juggle her responsibilities as a single mother with her commitment to her career as a voice artist. Shot on location in Paris, the film was entirely improvised by the cast. In 2008 Binoche began a world tour with a modern dance production titled in-i, co-created in collaboration with Akram Khan. In 2010, she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy making her the first actress to win the European ‘Best Actress Triple Crown’ for winning best actress award at the Berlin, Cannes and Venice film festivals. Later films include Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2011) with Robert Pattinson, Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013) and Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014). In 2015, Binoche starred on stage in a new English language translation of Antigone.directed by Ivo van Hove. Binoche has two children: a son Raphaël (1993), whose father is André Halle, a professional scuba diver, and a daughter Hana (1999), whose father is actor Benoît Magimel, with whom Binoche starred in Les Enfants du Siècle/Children of the Century (Diane Kurys, 1999).

 

Sources: Wikipedia, and IMDb.

French postcard by Editions P.I., offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane', no. 1135. Photo: Sam Lévin.

 

American actress Jane Fonda (1937) is a two-time Academy Award winner. In 2014, she was the recipient of the American Film Institute AFI Life Achievement Award.

 

Jane Fonda was born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda in New York in 1937. She was the daughter of actor Henry Fonda and the Canadian-born socialite Frances Ford Brokaw, née Seymour. She has a brother, actor Peter Fonda, and a maternal half-sister, Frances. Before starting her acting career, Fonda was a model, gracing the cover of Vogue twice. In 1958, she met Lee Strasberg and she went to the Actors Studio. In 1960, she made her Broadway debut in the play There Was a Little Girl, for which she received the first of two Tony Award nominations. Later the same year, she made her screen debut in the romantic comedy Tall Story (Joshua Logan, 1960), in which she recreated one of her Broadway roles as a college cheerleader pursuing a basketball star, played by Anthony Perkins. In Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962), she played a prostitute, and earned a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. She rose to fame in such films as Period of Adjustment (1962), Sunday in New York (Peter Tewksbury, 1963), Cat Ballou (Elliot Silverstein, 1965) opposite Lee Marvin, and Barefoot in the Park (Gene Saks, 1967), co-starring Robert Redford. In 1968, she played the title role in the science fiction spoof Barbarella, which established her status as a sex symbol. Barbarella director Roger Vadim became her first husband. In France, Fonda also starred as a reporter alongside Yves Montand in Tout Va Bien (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, 1972). A seven-time Academy Award nominee, she received her first nomination for They Shoot Horses, Don't They (Sydney Pollack, 1969) and went on to win two Best Actress Oscars for the crime thriller Klute (Alan J. Pakula, 1971) and the Vietnam drama Coming Home (1978). Her other nominations were for for her portrayal of the playwright Lillian Hellman in Julia (Fred Zinnemann, 1977), The China Syndrome (James Bridges, 1979) oppossite Michael Douglas, On Golden Pond (Mark Rydell, 1981) with Katherine Hepburn and her father Henry Fonda, and The Morning After (Sidney Lumet, 1986) with Jeff Bridges.

 

In 1982, Jane Fonda released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling video of the time. It would be the first of 22 workout videos released by her over the next 13 years which would collectively sell over 17 million copies. Divorced from second husband Tom Hayden, she married billionaire media mogul Ted Turner in 1991 and retired from acting. Divorced from Turner in 2001, she returned to acting with her first film in 15 years with the comedy Monster in Law (Robert Luketic, 2005) opposite Jennifer Lopez. Subsequent films have included Georgia Rule (Garry Marshall, 2007) with Lindsay Lohan, the French drama Et si on vivait tous ensemble?/All Together (Stéphane Robelin, 2011), The Butler (Lee Daniels, 2013) as First Lady Nancy Reagan, and This Is Where I Leave You (Shawn Levy, 2014). In 2009, she returned to Broadway after a 45 year absence, in the play 33 Variations, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, while her recurring role in the HBO drama series The Newsroom (2012-2014), has earned her two Emmy Award nominations. She also released another five exercise videos between 2010 and 2012. Jane Fonda has been an activist for many political causes. Her counterculture era opposition to the Vietnam War included her being photographed sitting on an anti-aircraft battery on a 1972 visit to Hanoi, which was very controversial. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women, and describes herself as a feminist. In 2005, she, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Fonda currently serves on the board of the organization. She published an autobiography in 2005. In 2011, she published a second memoir, Prime Time.

 

Source: Wikipedia.

Natalie Portman looking stunning at the Oscars 2011 with side swept, soft curled hair.

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Image property and copyright Rex Features.

 

(History.com) May 31 - Best known to his many fans for one of his most memorable screen incarnations--San Francisco Police Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan--the actor and Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood is born on this day in 1930, in San Francisco, California.

 

With his father, Eastwood wandered the West Coast as a boy during the Depression. Then, after four years in the Army Special Services, Eastwood went to Hollywood, where he got his start in a string of B-movies. For eight years, Eastwood played Rowdy Yates in the popular TV Western series Rawhide, before emerging as a leading man in a string of low-budget “spaghetti” Westerns directed by Sergio Leone: Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). All three were successful, but Eastwood made his real breakthrough with 1971’s smash hit Dirty Harry, directed by Don Siegel. Though he was not the first choice to play the film’s title role--Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman all reportedly declined the part--Eastwood made it his own, turning the blunt, cynical Dirty Harry into an iconic figure in American film.

 

Also in 1971, Eastwood moved behind the camera, making his directorial debut with the thriller Play Misty for Me, the first offering from his production company, Malpaso. Over the next two decades, he turned in solid performances in films such as The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Escape From Alcatraz (1979) and Honkytonk Man (1982), but seemed to be losing his star power for lack of a truly great film. By the end of the 1980s, after four Dirty Harry sequels, released from 1973 to 1988, Eastwood was poised to escape the character’s shadow and emerge as one of Hollywood’s most successful actor-turned-directors. In 1992, he hit the jackpot when he starred in, directed and produced the darkly unconventional Western Unforgiven. The film won four Oscars, including Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Film Editing, Best Director and Best Picture, both for Eastwood. He also found box-office success as a late-in-life action and romantic hero, in In the Line of Fire (1993) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995), respectively.

 

As a director, Eastwood worked steadily over the next decade, making such films as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), Absolute Power (1997) and, most notably, the crime drama Mystic River (2003), for which he was again nominated for the Best Director Oscar. The following year, he hit a grand slam with Million Dollar Baby, in which he also starred as the curmudgeonly coach of a determined young female boxer (Hilary Swank, in her second Oscar-winning performance). In addition to Swank’s Academy Award for Best Actress, the film won Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman) and Eastwood’s second set of statuettes for Best Director and Best Picture.

 

In 2006, Eastwood became only the 31st filmmaker in 70 years to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America (DGA). That year, he directed a pair of World War II-themed movies, Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). The latter film, which featured an almost exclusively Japanese cast, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and a fourth Best Director nomination for Eastwood (his 10th nomination overall).

 

Off-screen, Eastwood has pursued an interest in politics, serving as mayor of Carmel, California, from 1986 to 1988. He was married to Maggie Johnson in 1953, and the couple had two children, Kyle and Alison (who co-starred in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), before separating in 1978 and divorcing in 1984. Eastwood also had long-term relationships with the actresses Sondra Locke and Frances Fisher (with whom he had a daughter, Francesca). He married his second wife, Dina Ruiz Eastwood, in 1996. Their daughter, Morgan, was born that same year.

Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

 

Golden-haired, blue-eyed Peter O'Toole (1932) became an international superstar with his unforgettable turn as the British expatriate T.E. Lawrence in David Lean's epic masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia (1962). After surviving cancer and alcoholism, O’Toole made a triumphant come-back with Oscar nominated appearances in The Stunt Man (1980) and My Favorite Year (1982).

 

Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole was born in 1932. In his autobiography Loitering with Intent: the Child (1992), O’Toole writes that he is not certain of his birthplace, while he has birth certificates from two countries. According to IMDb, he was born in Connemara, Ireland. Others sources indicate Leeds, England, where he also grew up, as his birthplace. However, he was the son of Constance Jane (née Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish metal plater, football player and racecourse bookmaker. As a boy, Peter decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter, he discovered the theater and made his stage debut at 17. He served as a radioman in the Royal Navy for two years. From 1952 to 1954 he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a scholarship student. His classmates included Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris. While at RADA he was active in protesting British involvement in the Korean War. Later in the 1960’s he would be an active opponent of the Vietnam War. O'Toole began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company, before making an inconspicuous film debut in the Walt Disney production Kidnapped (1960, Robert Stevenson), a faithful adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. Two years later, O'Toole was chosen by director David Lean to play Thomas E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962, David Lean). The part of the conflicted British liaison officer caught at the center of an Arab revolt made O'Toole an international superstar. Brian McFarlane observes in the Encyclopedia of British Film: “It was a remarkable study in obsession, catching the right balance between mystic and man of action, bringing to the role kinds of intensity and zeal that few other British actors could have done”. He continued successfully in artistically rich films as well as less artistic but commercially rewarding projects. He was nominated as Best Actor for King Henry II in Becket (1964, Peter Glenville) starring Richard Burton. Two years later he was nominated again for portraying Henry II, this time in The Lion in Winter (1968, Anthony Harvey) alongside Katharine Hepburn.

 

Peter O‘Toole is one of the greatest actors of his generation. During his career, he received eight Academy Award nominations but never won the Oscar. (He has more nominations without winning than any other actor.) TCM suggests that his flamboyant personal life was maybe to blame: “Known as one of Hollywood's most infamous party animals in his prime, O'Toole earned a reputation as a prodigious drinker alongside his contemporaries and fellow countrymen Richard Harris, Richard Burton, and Oliver Reed. O'Toole's booze-fueled hijinks eventually took their toll, however, on both his career and his health. While the actor did manage to pick up his fifth Oscar nomination for the wickedly funny The Ruling Class (1972, Peter Medak), the seventies were, generally speaking, a decade long low-point in the actor's personal life and career.” Once considered one of the most beautiful men ever to grace the silver screen only a decade earlier, O'Toole's alcoholism had cost him his looks. In 1979, his 20-year marriage to Irish actress Sian Phillips ended in divorce, when she left him for a younger man. Medical problems threatened to destroy his life. Originally he thought the problems were the result of his drinking but it turned out to be stomach cancer. He survived by giving up alcohol and by serious medical treatment. He returned to the cinema with two triumphant performances: a sadistic, tyrannical director in the behind-the-scenes comedy The Stunt Man (1980, Richard Rush), and an ageing swashbuckling film star strongly resembling Errol Flynn in My Favorite Year (1982, Richard Benjamin). For both films he received an Oscar nomination. On stage, he received good reviews as John Tanner in Man and Superman and as Henry Higgins in Pygmalion (1984), and he won a Laurence Olivier Award for his performance in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1989). However, O'Toole found meaningful film roles increasingly difficult to come by. He appeared in such duds as Supergirl (1984, Jeannot Swarc), Creator (1985, Ivan Passer) and Club Paradise (1986, Harold Ramis), but fortunately he also appeared in the much-garlanded grand epic The Last Emperor (1987, Bernardo Bertolucci). The film about the final Emperor of China (John Lone) won the Oscar for Best Picture.

 

After another series of lesser films, Peter O'Toole made again a come-back in the new decennium. In 1999 he already won an Emmy Award for his role in the mini-series Joan of Arc (1999, Christian Duguay). In 2003, he received a Special Oscar for lifetime achievement, an honor O'Toole only reluctantly accepted. He wrote the Academy a letter stating that he was “still in the game” and proved to be so in the following years. In the blockbuster Troy (2004, Wolfgang Petersen) he played the dying King Priam opposite Brad Pitt. In the BBC drama serial Casanova (2005), he appeared as the older version of legendary 18th century Italian adventurer. He was once again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Maurice in the May-December romantic comedy Venus (2006, Roger Michell), scripted by Hanif Kureishi. It was his eighth nomination. O'Toole co-starred as the voice of food critic Anton Ego in the Pixar box office hit Ratatouille (2007, Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava), an animated film about a rat with dreams of becoming the greatest chef in Paris. O'Toole appeared in the second season of Showtime's hit drama series The Tudors (2008), portraying Pope Paul III, who excommunicates King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) from the church. This act leads to a showdown between the two men in seven of the ten episodes. Most recently, O'Toole narrated the horror comedy Eldorado (2011, Richard Driscoll). He has two daughters, actresses Patricia O'Toole and Kate O'Toole (1960), from his marriage to actress Siân Phillips. He also has a son, actor Lorcan O'Toole (1983), by American model Karen Brown. For his body of work he has won four Golden Globes, a BAFTA, and an Emmy. Peter O’Toole resides in Galway, Ireland and London, England.

 

Sources: Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Nathan Southern (AllMovie), Jim Beaver (IMDb), TCM, Filmreference.com, Wikipedia and IMDb.

Jane Fonda (born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda;[1] December 21, 1937) is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model and fitness guru. She is a two-time Academy Award winner. In 2014, she was the recipient of the American Film Institute AFI Life Achievement Award.

 

Fonda made her Broadway debut in the 1960 play There Was a Little Girl, for which she received the first of two Tony Award nominations, and made her screen debut later the same year in Tall Story. She rose to fame in 1960s films such as Period of Adjustment (1962), Sunday in New York (1963), Cat Ballou (1965), Barefoot in the Park (1967) and Barbarella (1968). Her first husband was Barbarella director Roger Vadim. A seven-time Academy Award nominee, she received her first nomination for They Shoot Horses, Don't They (1969) and went on to win two Best Actress Oscars in the 1970s for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978). Her other nominations were for Julia (1977), The China Syndrome (1979), On Golden Pond (1981) and The Morning After (1986). Her other major competitive awards include an Emmy Award for the 1984 TV film The Dollmaker, two BAFTA Awards for Julia and The China Syndrome and four Golden Globe Awards.

 

In 1982, she released her first exercise video, Jane Fonda's Workout, which became the highest-selling video of the time. It would be the first of 22 workout videos released by her over the next 13 years which would collectively sell over 17 million copies. Divorced from second husband Tom Hayden, she married billionaire media mogul Ted Turner in 1991 and retired from acting. Divorced from Turner in 2001, she returned to acting with her first film in 15 years with the 2005 comedy Monster in Law. Subsequent films have included Georgia Rule (2007), The Butler (2013) and This Is Where I Leave You (2014). In 2009, she returned to Broadway after a 45 year absence, in the play 33 Variations, which earned her a Tony Award nomination, while her recurring role in the HBO drama series The Newsroom (2012-2014), has earned her two Emmy Award nominations. She also released another five exercise videos between 2010 and 2012.

 

Fonda has been an activist for many political causes. Her counterculture era opposition to the Vietnam War included her being photographed sitting on an anti-aircraft battery on a 1972 visit to Hanoi, which was very controversial. She has also protested the Iraq War and violence against women, and describes herself as a feminist. In 2005, she, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem co-founded the Women's Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Fonda currently serves on the board of the organization. She published an autobiography in 2005. In 2011, she published a second memoir, Prime Time.

(History.com) Dec. 18 - On this day in 1946, Steven Spielberg, who will become one of the most successful directors in modern movie history with such blockbusters as Jaws, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan, is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

After studying film at California State University, Spielberg directed his first full-length feature, the 1971 thriller Duel, which starred Dennis Weaver and originally aired on television, to strong reviews. Spielberg’s first directorial effort to be released in theaters was 1974’s The Sugarland Express, starring Goldie Hawn. The young director grabbed Hollywood’s attention with his next film, Jaws (1975), about a killer shark that terrorizes a beach community. Jaws, which co-starred Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider, became the first movie in history to gross over $100 million.

 

Spielberg’s next film, the UFO-themed Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), also starred Dreyfuss and achieved similar box-office success. It was followed by yet another massive hit, 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, which starred Harrison Ford as the adventurous archeologist Indiana Jones. The movie, co-written by George Lucas (Star Wars), was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It became a successful movie franchise, with Spielberg helming the sequels: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008).

 

Spielberg’s Midas touch continued with the 1982 sci-fi drama E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, about a boy (played by Henry Thomas) who befriends an alien. The movie was an enormous commercial and critical success, earning nine Oscar nominations. Spielberg turned away from action thrillers and special effects with 1985’s The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name by Alice Walker about a young black woman growing up in the South in the early 20th century. The film, which featured Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, received 11 Oscar nominations.

 

Spielberg’s 1991 film Hook was based on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan and starred Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams and Julia Roberts. Although Hook did well at the box office, it received mixed reviews. Spielberg’s next film, 1993’s Jurassic Park, based on Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel about cloned dinosaurs, featured cutting-edge, computer-generated special effects and became one of the top-grossing movies in history. Also that year, Spielberg helmed the Holocaust drama Schindler’s List, which starred Liam Neeson in the title role and earned Spielberg his first Best Director Academy Award. He earned his second Best Director Oscar for 1998’s World War II drama Saving Private Ryan, which featured an ensemble cast that included Tom Hanks and Matt Damon.

 

Spielberg went on to direct such films as A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), with Tom Cruise; Catch Me if You Can (2002), with Leonardo DiCaprio; and Munich (2005), which earned Spielberg another Best Director Oscar nomination.

 

In addition to writing and directing, Spielberg has served as a producer on a variety of television and film projects, including the 2001 HBO series Band of Brothers and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006). Spielberg was married to the actress Amy Irving (Crossing Delancey) from 1985 to 1989 and has been married to the actress Kate Capshaw (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) since 1991.

Poster art featuring French actresses Brigitte Baardot and Annie Girardot.

 

Annie Girardot 1931 - 2011

Versatile French actor whose work ranged from popular comedy to melodrama

 

Annie Girardot, who has died aged 79 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was an extremely versatile performer whose distinguished career stretched from the Comédie-Française, through popular comedies and melodramas to the French New Wave and beyond. Jean Cocteau, in whose play La Machine à Ecrire (The Typewriter) she starred, called her "the finest dramatic temperament of the postwar period". Hardly ever considered a sex goddess like her near contemporaries Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot, the petite Girardot, with her strongly etched features, often set off by short hair, and a warm deep voice was, nevertheless, able to create an erotic charge when needed.

 

Ironically, following her screen debut in 1956, and after nine French films in four years, she came to international prominence when her voice was dubbed into Italian in Luchino Visconti's Rocco e i Suoi Fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers, 1960). Girardot is truly magisterial as the tragic prostitute Nadia, who comes between two brothers, the brutish Simone (Renato Salvatori) and the saintly Rocco (Alain Delon). The jealous Simone beats up Rocco and rapes Nadia. One of the most powerful, almost operatic, moments is when Simone continually stabs Nadia, as she submits in a sacrificial way, a scene that did not escape the Italian censors' scissors.

 

Girardot also appeared in two Visconti stage productions in Paris: William Gibson's Two for the Seesaw (1958), opposite Jean Marais, and Arthur Miller's After the Fall (1964). Before Rocco, Girardot had already played a prostitute or a woman of dubious morality doomed to a violent end in a number of routine films. In contrast, she was known for her comic juvenile leads in Molière and Marivaux during her period at the Comédie-Française between 1954 and 1957. Her favourite part was that of the witty maid in Molière's Tartuffe.

 

Born in Paris, and brought up during the German occupation, Girardot studied acting at the Paris Conservatoire, before gaining a place at the Comédie-Française. While there she took time off to perform on radio, television and in Parisian nightclubs.

 

In 1960, the same year as Rocco, Girardot consolidated her newfound fame in La Proie pour l'Ombre (Shadow of Adultery), Alexandre Astruc's ultra chic contribution to the Nouvelle Vague. Girardot played the wife of a rich building contractor who begins to tire of being merely a social asset to her husband and finds an outlet by running a gallery and taking a lover. In the end, she sacrifices both men for her independence.

 

The film also liberated Girardot from the submissive roles in which she had been plunged. In 1962, she married Salvatori, her co-star from Rocco, and started to appear in comedies and dramas as forceful women. In La Bonne Soupe (How to Make a French Dish, 1963), she was back to prostitution, but in boulevard comedy mode, and in Marco Ferreri's cynical comedy La Donna Scimmia (The Ape Woman, 1964), a hirsute Girardot brought some poignancy to the title role of a creature exploited at a funfair by her husband Ugo Tognazzi. Again for Ferreri, she was the maid seduced by Michel Piccoli, while his wife is in bed with a headache, in Dillinger è Morto (Dillinger Is Dead, 1969).

 

Girardot won the best actress award at Venice in 1965 for her performance as a cynical outcast in Marcel Carné's Trois Chambres à Manhattan (Three Rooms in Manhattan), based on the novel by Georges Simenon. In Vivre Pour Vivre (Live for Life, 1967), directed by Claude Lelouch, she played the abandoned wife of a philandering TV news reporter (Yves Montand). She would continue to vary her roles over the next decade between the gloss of Lelouch (six films), the didacticism of André Cayatte (four films, including Mourir d'Aimer – To Die of Love – 1970, as a teacher driven to suicide after an affair with a pupil) and the vivacity of Philippe de Broca (four films). One of the most successful of her de Broca movies was Tendre Poulet (Dear Inspector, 1977), in which she was a police inspector in love with a professor of Greek (Philippe Noiret).

 

She and Noiret made an endearing couple in several films such as La Vieille fille (The Old Maid, 1972), in which they are thrown together on holiday: she a shy, self-effacing single woman, he a carefree womanising bachelor. Girardot adeptly captured first the anger and then the courage of the eponymous cancer victim in Docteur Françoise Gailland (1975), winning the first of her three Césars (the French equivalent of the Oscar). The other two were for supporting roles in Lelouch's Les Misérables (1995), as a crude farmer's wife, and as Isabelle Huppert's demanding mother in Michael Haneke's perverse La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher, 2001). On receiving the statuette for the former, she burst into tears, saying: "Your love makes me think that perhaps, and I say perhaps, I'm not completely dead."

 

Although she made fewer films in the 1980s and 1990s, Girardot retained her status as a box-office star on the level of Montand, Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo as well as being critically celebrated. In 2005, Haneke cast her again in a short but key role in the intriguing Caché (Hidden, 2005) as Daniel Auteuil's bed-ridden but sharp-witted mother. Before that, she had returned to the Paris stage to acclaim in a one-woman play, Madame Marguerite, in which she displayed her generosity of spirit.

 

From 2007, she lived in a home in Paris with her older brother Jean, also diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Girardot, who had a long relationship with the director, songwriter and singer Bob Decout, is survived by the actor Giulia Salvatori, her daughter by Salvatori, who died in 1988.

 

• Annie Suzanne Girardot, actor, born 25 October 1931; died 28 February 2011

 

Ronald Bergan The Guardian 1 March 2011

Gautham Vasudev Menon (born 25 February 1973), more commonly known as Gautham Menon, is an Indian film director and producer, who predominantly works in Tamil cinema. Many of his films have been critically acclaimed, most notably his semi-autobiographical Vaaranam Aayiram (2008), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010) and his action-thrillers Kaakha Kaakha (2003), Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006). Vaaranam Aayiram won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. Gautham Menon spearheaded releasing movies of same content in different languages, simultaneously. He produces films through his London Stock Exchange-listed Photon Kathaas film production company.Early life and education[edit]

Gautham was born to a Malayali father and Tamil mother on 25 February 1973 in Ottapalam, a town in Palakkad district of Kerala. Although, born in Kerala he grew up in Trichy, Tamil Nadu.[1][2] He studied Mechanical Engineering in Mookambigai College of Engineering, Trichy.[3][4]

 

Career[edit]

Early work, 2001[edit]

Gautham Menon was a student of mechanical engineering at Mookambigai College of Engineering, Trichy in the batch of 1993, and his time there inspired to make his lead characters of Minnale, Vaaranam Aayiram and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, students of the same course.[5] He claims to have been inspired by films such as Dead Poets Society and Nayagan and expressed his desire to his parents to change career path and become a filmmaker and consequently wrote his first film at his college hostel. His mother insisted he became an ad film maker by shooting various commercials and took an apprenticeship under filmmaker Rajiv Menon. He went on to work as an assistant director for Minsara Kanavu in 1997, in which he also appeared in a cameo role.[6]

 

Gautham Menon launched a Tamil romantic film O Lala in 2000 with the project eventually changing producers and title into Minnale with Madhavan, who was at the beginning of his career, being signed on to portray the lead role.[7] About the making of the film, Menon revealed that he found it difficult as the team was new to the industry with only the editor of the film, Suresh Urs, being a prominent technician in the industry.[8] Menon had come under further pressure when Madhavan had insisted that Menon narrated the story to his mentor, Mani Ratnam, to identify if the film was a positive career move after the success of his Alaipayuthey. Despite initial reservations, Menon did so and Ratnam was unimpressed; however Menon has cited that he thought that Madhavan "felt sorry" and later agreed to continue with the project.[8] The film also featured Abbas and newcomer Reemma Sen in significant roles, whilst Menon introduced Harris Jayaraj as music composer with the film.[7] The film was advertised as a Valentine's Day release in 2001 and told the tale of a young man who falls in love with the girl engaged to his ex-college rival and how he manages to get married to her. Upon release it went on to become a large success commercially and won positive reviews from critics with claims that the film had a lot of " lot of verve and vigour" and that it was "technically excellent".[9]

 

The success of the film led to producer Vashu Bhagnani signing him on to direct the Hindi language remake of the film, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which also featured Menon in a short role; having Madhavan with Dia Mirza and Saif Ali Khan added to the film. Menon was initially apprehensive but said it took "half an hour" to agree and against his intentions, the producer opted against retaining the technical crew of the original.[6] He changed a few elements, deleted certain scenes and added some more for the version. However in comparison, the film gained poor reviews with a critic citing that "the presentation is not absorbing" though stating that he " handled certain sequences with aplomb"; the film subsequently went on to become a below average grosser at the box office.[10] The failure of the film left him disappointed, with Menon claiming in hindsight that the film lacked the simplicity of the original with the producer's intervention affecting proceedings.[11] In 2011, the producer of the film approached him to remake the film with the producer's son Jackky Bhagnani in the lead role, but Menon was uninterested with the offer.[12]

 

Police duology, 2003–06[edit]

Menon returned in 2003 by directing the realistic police thriller Kaakha Kaakha featuring Suriya, Jyothika and Jeevan in the lead roles. The film portrayed the personal life of a police officer and how his life is affected by gangsters, showing a different perspective of police in comparison to other Tamil films of the time.[11] Menon revealed that he was inspired to make the film after reading of articles on how encounter specialists shoot gangsters and how their families get threatening calls in return, and initially approached Madhavan, Ajith Kumar and then Vikram for the role without success, with all three actors citing that they did not want to play a police officer. The lead actress Jyothika asked Menon to consider Suriya for the role, and he was subsequently selected after Menon saw his portrayal in Nandha.[13] He held a rehearsal of the script with the actors, a costume trial with Jyothika and then enrolled Suriya in a commando training school before beginning production, which he described as a "very planned shoot".[13] The film consequently opened to very positive reviews from critics on the way to becoming another success for Menon, with critics labeling it as a "career high film".[14] Furthermore, the film was described as for "action lovers who believe in logical storylines and deft treatment" with Menon being praised for his linear narrative screenplay.[15]

 

Gautham Menon subsequently remade the film in the Telugu language for producer Venkata Raju and went on to claim that the new version was better than the previous version and that his new lead actor Venkatesh was more convincing that Surya in the role.[16] The film also featured actress Asin and Saleem Baig in prominent roles and went on to earn commercial and critical acclaim with reviewers citing that "film redeems itself due to the technical excellence and masterful craft of Gautham", drawing comparisons of Menon with noted film makers Mani Ratnam and Ram Gopal Varma.[17] In July 2004, Menon also agreed terms to direct and produce another version of Kaakha Kaakha in Hindi with Sunny Deol in the lead role and revealed that the script was written five years ago with Deol in mind, but the film eventually failed to take off.[18] Producer Vipul Shah approached him to direct the Hindi version of the film in 2010 as Force with John Abraham and Genelia D'Souza, and Menon initially agreed before pulling out again.[19] Menon and the original producer, Dhanu, also floated an idea of an English-language version with a Chechnyan backdrop, though talks with a potential collaboration with Ashok Amritraj collapsed.[13]

 

Gautham Menon was then signed on to direct a venture starring Kamal Haasan and produced by Kaja Mohideen, and initially suggested a one-line story which went on to become Pachaikili Muthucharam for the collaboration.[13] Kamal Haasan wanted a different story and thus the investigative thriller film Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, was written with Jyothika, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Prakash Raj, Daniel Balaji and Saleem Baig added to the cast. The film told another episode from a police officer's life, with an Indian cop moved to America to investigate the case of psychotic serial killers before returning to pursue the chase in India. During the shooting, the unit ran into problems after the producer had attempted suicide and as a result, Kamal Haasan wanted to quit the project.[13] Menon subsequently convinced him to stay on as they had taken advance payments. He has since revealed that unlike Kamal Haasan's other films, he did not take particular control of the script or production of the film. The film however had gone through change from the original script with less emphasis on the antagonists than Menon had hoped and he also revealed that scenes for songs were forced in and shot without him.[13] The film released in August 2006 and went on to become his third successive hit film in Tamil and once again, he won rave reviews for his direction.[20][21] Menon later expressed interest in remaking the film in Hindi with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead role without the love angle, though the project fell through after discussions. In 2012, he re-began negotiations with producers to make a Hindi version of the film with Shahrukh Khan in the lead role.[22] He has stated his intent on making a trilogy of police episode films, with a possible third featuring Vikram in the lead role.[13]

 

Success, 2007–08[edit]

His next project, Pachaikili Muthucharam, based on the novel Derailed by James Siegel, featured Sarath Kumar and Jyothika in the lead roles and was released in February 2007. Initially the lead role was offered to Kamal Haasan who passed the opportunity, while actors Cheran and Madhavan declined citing date and image problems respectively.[23] Menon met Sarath Kumar at an event where he cited he was looking to change his 'action' image and Menon subsequently cast him in the lead role.[23] During production, the film ran into further casting trouble with Simran dropping out her assigned role and was replaced by Shobana after another actress, Tabu, also rejected the role.[24] Shobana was also duly replaced by a newcomer, Andrea Jeremiah to portray the character of Kalyani in the film. The film was under production for over a year and coincided with the making of his previous film which was largely delayed. The film initially opened to positive reviews with a critic citing that Menon is "growing with each passing film. His style is distinctive, his vision clear, his team rallies around him and he manages to pull it off each time he attempts".[25][26] However the film became a financial failure for the producer, Venu Ravichandran and in regard to the failure of the film, Menon went on to claim that Sarath Kumar was "wrong for the film" and that he tweaked the story to fit his image; he also claimed that his father's ailing health and consequent death a week before the release had left him mentally affected.[23]

 

His next release, Vaaranam Aayiram, saw him re-collaborate with Suriya, who played dual roles in the film. The film illustrates the theme of how a father often came across in his son's life as a hero and inspiration, and Menon dedicated the film to his late father who had died in 2007.[27] The pre-production of the film, then titled Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam began in 2003, with Menon planning his a romantic film with Suriya as a follow-up to their successful previous collaboration, Kaakha Kaakha.[28] Abhirami was signed and then dropped due to her height before a relatively new actress at the time Asin was selected to make her debut in Tamil films with the project. The first schedule of the film began in January 2004 in Visakhapatanam and consequently romantic scenes with Suriya and Asin were shot for ten days and then a photo shoot with the pair.[28] The film was subsequently stalled and was eventually relaunched with a new cast including Divya Spandana, Simran and Sameera Reddy in 2006 with Oscar Ravichandran stepping in as producer, who opted for a change of title. Menon has described the film as "autobiographical and a very personal story and if people didn’t know, that 70% of this [the film] is from my life".[23] The film's production process became noted for the strain and the hard work that Suriya had gone through to portray the different roles with production taking close to two years.[27] The film released to a positive response, with critics heaping praise on Suriya's performance while claiming that the film was "just a feather in Gautam's hat" and that it was "hardly a classic".[29] The film was made at a budget of 150 million rupees and became a commercial success, bringing in almost 220 million rupees worldwide.[27] It went on to become Menon's most appreciated work till date winning five Filmfare Awards, nine Vijay Awards and the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil for 2008 amongst other accolades.

 

Romance and experimentation, 2010–present[edit]

In 2010, Menon made a return to romantic genre after nine years with the Tamil romantic film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, starring Silambarasan and Trisha Krishnan.[30] The film explored the complicated relationship between a Hindu Tamil assistant director, Karthik, and a Syrian Christian Malayali girl, Jessie and their resultant emotional conflicts. The film featured music by A. R. Rahman in his first collaboration with Menon whilst cinematographer Manoj Paramahamsa was also selected to be a part of the technical crew. Menon cited that he was "a week away from starting the film with a newcomer" before his producer insisted they looked at Silambarasan, with Menon revealing that he was unimpressed with the actor's previous work.[8] The film was in production for close to a year and throughout the opening week of filming, promotional posters from classic Indian romantic films were released featuring the lead pair.[31] Prior to release, the film became the first Tamil project to have a music soundtrack premiere outside of India, with a successful launch at the BAFTA in London.[32] Upon release, the film achieved positive reviews, with several critics giving the film "classic" status, whilst also become a commercially successful venture.[33][34] Reviewers praised Menon citing that "credit for their perfect portrayal, of course, goes to Gautam Menon. This is one director who's got the pulse of today's urban youth perfectly" and that "crafted a movie that will stay in our hearts for a long, long time."[34] The film was simultaneously released with a Telugu version, titled Ye Maaya Chesave featuring a fresh cast of Naga Chaitanya and debutante Samantha in the lead roles. Like the Tamil version, the film won critical acclaim and being given "classic" status from critics.[35][34][36]

 

Menon had also made progress over the previous two years directing the psychological thriller Nadunisi Naaygal featuring his assistant and debutant Veera Bahu and Sameera Reddy in the lead roles. Menon claimed that the film was inspired by a true event from the USA, while also claiming that a novel also helped form the story of the film.[8] During the making, he explicitly revealed that the film was for "the multiplex audience" and would face a limited release, citing that "it will not cater to all sections of the audience".[8] He promoted the film by presenting a chat show dubbed as Koffee with Gautham where he intereviewed Bharathiraja and Silambarasan, both of whom had previously worked in such psychological thriller films with Sigappu Rojakkal and Manmadhan. The film, which was his first home production under Photon Kathaas and did not have a background score, told the story of a victim of child abuse and the havoc he causes to women, narrating the events of a particular day. The film opened to mixed reviews with one critic citing it as "above average" but warning that "don’t go expecting a typical Gautham romantic film" and that it "is definitely not for the family audiences", while criticizing that "there are too many loopholes in the story, raising doubts about logic".[37] In contrast another critic dubbed it as an "unimpressive show by l director Menon, as it is neither convincing nor appealing, despite having some engrossing moments".[38] A group of protesters held a protest outside Gautham's house on reason for misusing a goddess name in his film and also showing explicit sex and violent scenes, claiming that it was against the Indian, in particular Tamil culture.[39]

 

Menon returned to Bollywood with the Hindi remake of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, titled Ekk Deewana Tha, with Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson in the lead roles.[40] Unlike the South Indian versions, the film opened to unanimously below average reviews, with critics noting the story "got lost in translation",[41] and became a box office failure.[42] Post-release, Menon admitted that he "got the casting wrong", and subsequently other Hindi films he had pre-planned were dropped.[43] During the period, Menon also began pre-production work on the first film of an action-adventure series of films titled Yohan starring Vijay in the title role. However after a year of pre-production, the director shelved the film citing differences of opinion about the project.[44] Menon's next releases were the romantic films Neethaane En Ponvasantham in Tamil and Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu in Telugu, both co-produced by Photon Kathaas. Jiiva and Nani played the lead roles in each version respectively, while Samantha was common in both films. Ilaiyaraaja was chosen as music composer for the film, which told the story of three stages in the life of a couple.[45][46] A third Hindi version Assi Nabbe Poorey Sau, was also shot simultaneously with Aditya Roy Kapoor essaying the lead role, though the failure of Ek Deewana Tha saw production ultimately halted.[47][48] The films both opened to average reviews and collections, with critics noting Menon "falls into the trap every seasoned filmmaker dreads -- of repeating his own mandatory formula" though noting that the film has its "sparkling moments".[49][50] The lukewarm response of the film prompted a legal tussle to ensue between Menon and the film's producer Elred Kumar, prompting the director to release an emotionally charged letter attempting to clear his name of any financial wrongdoing.[51] Menon was then briefly associated with the anthology film, X, helping partially direct a script written by Thiagarajan Kumararaja before opting out and being replaced by Nalan Kumarasamy.[52] He also began production work on a big-budgeted venture titled Dhruva Natchathiram, signing up an ensemble cast including Suriya, Trisha Krishnan and Arun Vijay, with a series of posters issued and an official launch event being held. However in October 2013, the lead actor walked out of the film citing Menon's lack of progress in developing the script and the film was subsequently dropped.[53]

 

Menon's upcoming films include the romantic drama Sattendru Maaruthu Vaanilai with Silambarasan,[54] and an untitled project with Ajith Kumar that entered production in April 2014.[55]

As Many of us gathered around our flat screen TV's with family and friends or attended a fancy Oscar party, I decided to take some time to do a little street photography to capture images of daily life for many people who call the City of Angels home.

 

I think many people are surprised to learn that Los Angeles boasts the worlds 9th largest economy, but at the same time holds to distinction of the homeless capitol of the world.

 

It was very interesting to me that a movie about America's ugly and disgusting past was so well received, even taking best actress and best picture nominations. While another movie centered around HIV and AIDS. Both movies were awesome and I wish to congratulate the winners from each movie.

 

But before we skid down the yellow brick road holding hands and patting each other on the back and before we get this twisted any further let me drop some information on the subjects of homelessness which has been called the "new slavery" and the current numbers of HIV and AIDS.

 

According to the LA Times

"The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped by 16% over the last two years, fueled by lingering economic devastation from the recession and rising rents and housing prices, according to a survey released."

 

"The sharp increase from 50,000 to more than 58,000 homeless people marked a departure from counts in 2011 and 2012, which showed reductions of 3% to 7% over previous years. And it came despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid pouring into the county each year to get people off the streets."

 

However, According Weingart Center, "an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

 

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles. Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

 

HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles

 

"More than 31,448 people have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began.

More than 44,450 people are living with HIV, of which 24,600 are living with AIDS. Most are male (88%) and aged 40 or older (70%). An estimated 72% are gay or bisexual men, 7% of whom are also injection drug users.

 

Although African-Americans comprise less than 9% of the city’s population, they account for nearly 22% of those living with AIDS.

 

The communities with the highest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS are Long Beach, Hollywood, West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles."

(source AIDS/LifeCycle)

 

Having lived through 29 months of homelessness I know the homeless numbers are much higher than reported and living with HIV and experiencing many obstacles to care and treatment I also know the numbers for HIV and AIDS are also higher.

 

I guess what I'm saying is this, we still have lots of work to do nationally when it comes to homelessness (slavery) as well as HIV and AIDS, but especially right here in Los Angeles. We cant simply continue to blame homelessness on homeless people or blame the economy. Just like we cant blame the rate of new infections and AIDS deaths in populations of color (Black and Latino) on stigma, guilt, shame, churches or families.

 

We MUST begin to hold the powers that be accountable for work they claim to be doing so well. We only need to look at the numbers to know that the problem ISN'T homeless people or Black and Latino churches, families and radio stations, but instead a clear breakdown of caring and knowing how to fully engage populations where homelessness, HIV and AIDS go unchecked.

 

It's easy to point the finger at people who have no voice. After all they are the fish in the fish bowl.

 

Again these two movies were awesome and the performances were award worthy, but so are the lives of people dealing with the harsh reality and ugly disrespect of homelessness and the often times degrading, disrespectful and stigma filled treatment towards people LIVING with HIV or AIDS by the very people, places and things we MUST turn to for help.

 

We have work to do because people are STILL in slavery and people still become infected with HIV and die in record numbers from AIDS related complications.

 

These men, women and children ALSO deserve to have their stories told, but most importantly the right to LIFE.

 

We deserve to have our lives guarded, protected and held in such high places as the people inside the Dolby Theater.

British postcard. Photo: publicity still for The French Lieutenant's Woman (Karel Reisz, 1981).

 

Tall and elegant British actor Jeremy Irons (1948) made his name in the classic TV series Brideshead Revisited (1981) and thought provoking films such as The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers (1988) and Reversal of Fortune (1990). He became a major Hollywood star with box office hits such as the animated musical The Lion King (1994), Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005).

 

Jeremy John Irons was born in 1948 in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island just off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. A typical islander, he used to go to mainland England only once a year. He wound up being grounded when his family settled down in Hertfordshire. At the age of 13 he enrolled in Sherborne School, Dorset, where he was happy as he could practise his favourite sport, horse-riding. Before becoming an actor, he had considered a veterinarian surgeon's career. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic School for two years. In 1969, he joined Bristol Old Vic repertory company where he gained much experience working in everything from Shakespeare to contemporary dramas. He moved to London in 1971 and had a number of odd jobs before landing the roles of John the Baptist and Judas opposite David Essex in the hit musical Godspell (1971). He went on to a successful early career in the West End theatre and on TV, including an adaptation of H.E. Bates' novel Love for Lydia (1977). He debuted on-screen as dancer Mikhail Fokine in the biographical film Nijinsky (Herbert Ross, 1980). In the early 1980s, he gained international attention with his starring role as the lovelorn Charles Ryder in the TV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel Brideshead Revisited (Charles Sturridge, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1981), after which he was much in demand as a romantic leading man. Irons' first major film role came in the romantic drama The French Lieutenant's Woman (Karel Reisz, 1981), for which he received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor. He was described as 'the thinking woman's pin up', for his lean good looks, air of faintly brooding melancholy and eloquent articulation. In spite of all this, Irons proved to be a considerable actor in dramas such as Moonlighting (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1982), Betrayal (David Jones, 1983) with Ben Kingsley, and Cannes Palme d'Or winner The Mission (Roland Joffé, 1986) opposite Robert De Niro. In 1984, he made his Broadway debut opposite Glenn Close in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing for which he won Broadway's 1984 Tony Award as Best Actor. In the mid-1980s, he also appeared in three lead roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 

Jeremy Irons made his name with his portrayal in the dual role of insane twin gynaecologists in the thought provoking Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988), for which he won the New York Critics Best Actor Award. He then gained a Golden Globe Award in addition to an Oscar for Best Actor in 1990 for his role as Claus von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune (Barbet Schroeder, 1990) alongside Glenn Close. In the West End, he played Professor Higgins in Loewe-Lerner's famous musical My Fair Lady in 1987. He married to actress Sinéad Cusack, with whom he appeared in Waterland (1992) and in the Royal Shakespeare Company plays. He appeared with his son Samuel Irons and his father-in-law Cyril Cusack in Danny the Champion of the World (Gavin Millar, 1989), based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Other notable films included the mystery thriller Kafka (Steven Soderbergh, 1991), the British/French film Damage (Louis Malle, 1992) with Juliette Binoche, The House of the Spirits (Bille August, 1993) based on the novel by Isabel Allende, and the romantic drama M. Butterfly (David Cronenberg, 1993). His was the voice of Scar in Disney's animated epic musical The Lion King (Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff, 1994). Irons played Simon Gruber, the obligatory well-spoken Brit villain in the action film Die Hard with a Vengeance (John McTiernan, 1995), the third in the Die Hard film series starring Bruce Willis and the highest-grossing film at the worldwide box-office that year. Later followed Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty (1996), the American-French remake Lolita (Adrian Lyne, 1997) - the second screen adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's classic novel, Musketeer Aramis in The Man in the Iron Mask (Randall Wallace, 1998) with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the poorly received American-Czech fantasy film Dungeons & Dragons (Courtney Solomon, 2000). He co-starred with Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice (2004), based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. In the comedy-drama Being Julia (István Szabó, 2004), he co-starred with Annette Bening. In 2005, he won an Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Elizabeth I (Tom Hooper, 2005), featuring Helen Mirren. An international success was the epic historical drama Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005), set during the Crusades of the 12th century. Other films include the British-American action-fantasy Eragon (Stefen Fangmeier, 2006), the Western Appaloosa (Ed Harris, 2008) with Viggo Mortensen, and the indie drama Margin Call (J.C. Chandor, 2011). Last year, he appeared in Assassin's Creed (Justin Kurzel, 2016) with Michael Fassbender and, starting that year, he plays Alfred Pennyworth in the DC Extended Universe, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016) starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, and later reprising the role in Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017) and The Batman (Matt Reeves, 2018). Jeremy Irons married twice. His first marriage in 1969 to actress Julie Hallam was soon annulled. With his second wife Sinéad Cusack he has two sons, Samuel Irons (1978), who works as a photographer, and Max Irons (1985), who is also an actor.

 

Sources: Gustaf Molin and Guy Bellinger (IMDb), Brian McFarlane (Encyclopedia of British Film), Wikipedia and IMDb.

French postcard in the Le jour se lève series by Editions Humour à la carte, Paris, no. ST-170. Photo: Jean-Pierre Larcher.

 

French actress Juliette Binoche (1964) has appeared in more than 60 international films. She won numerous international awards, and has appeared on stage across the world. André Téchiné made her a star in France with the leading role in his drama Rendez-vous (1985). Her sensual performance in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988) launched her international career. Other career highlights are her roles in Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993), The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), for which she won an Oscar, and Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005).

 

Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, in 1964. She was the daughter of Jean-Marie Binoche, a director, actor, and sculptor, and Monique Yvette Stalens, a teacher, director, and actress. She is the sister of actress/photographer Marion Stalens. Her parents divorced when she was four, so she grew up living between each parent and a Catholic boarding school. In her teenage years Juliette began acting at school in stage-productions. At 17 she directed and starred in a student production of the Eugène Ionesco play, Exit the King. She studied acting at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD), but quit after a short time as she disliked the curriculum. In the early 1980s, she found an agent through a friend and joined a theatre troupe, touring France, Belgium and Switzerland under the pseudonym Juliette Adrienne. After performing in several stage productions and a few TV productions, Binoche secured her first feature-film appearance with a minor role in the drama Liberty Belle (Pascal Kané, 1983). Her role required just two days on–set, but was enough to inspire Binoche to pursue a career in film. In 1983, she auditioned for the female lead in Jean-Luc Godard's' controversial Je vous salue, Marie/Hail Mary (1985), a modern retelling of the Virgin birth. She spent six months on the set of the film in Geneva, although her role in the final cut only contained a few scenes. She gained more significant exposure in Jacques Doillon's critically acclaimed La Vie de Famille/Family Life (1985), cast as the volatile teenage step-daughter of Sami Frey's central character. Director André Téchiné made her a star in France with the leading role in his provocative erotic drama Rendez-vous (1985). The film, co-starring Lambert Wilson and Jean-Louis Trintignant, premiered at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival, winning Best Director. Rendez-vous was a sensation and Binoche became the darling of the festival. In 1986, Binoche was nominated for her first César for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance. She starred opposite Michel Piccoli in the avant-garde thriller Mauvais Sang/Bad Blood (Leos Carax, 1986). Binoche plays Anna the vastly younger lover of Marc (Piccoli) who falls in love with Alex (Denis Lavant), a young thief. Mauvais Sang was a critical and commercial success, leading to Binoche's second César nomination. She gave a sensual performance opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Philip Kaufman, 1988), the adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel. It was Binoche's first English language role and was a worldwide success with critics and audiences alike. In the summer of 1988, Binoche returned to the stage in an acclaimed production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull directed by Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky at Théâtre De L'odéon in Paris. Later that year she began work on Léos Carax's Les Amants du Pont-Neuf. The film was beset by problems and took three years to complete, requiring investment from three producers and funds from the French government. When finally released in 1991, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf was a critical success. Binoche won a European Film Award and her third César nomination for her performance.

 

Juliette Binoche chose to pursue an international career outside France. Binoche relocated to London for the Emily Bronte adaptation Wuthering Heights (Peter Kosminsky, 1992) with Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff, and Damage (Louis Malle, 1992) with Jeremy Irons, both enhanced her international reputation. For her performance in Damage, Binoche received her fourth César nomination. She sparked the interest of Steven Spielberg, who offered her roles in three films: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Jurassic Park (1993), and Schindler's List (1993). which she declined. Instead, she chose for Trois couleurs : Bleu/Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1993), for which she won the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a César. The first film in a trilogy inspired by the ideals of the French republic and the colors of its flag, Three Colors: Blue is the story of a young woman who loses her composer husband and daughter in a car accident. Though devastated she learns to cope by rejecting her previous life by rejecting all people, belongings and emotions. Binoche made cameo appearances in the other two films in Kieślowski's trilogy, Trois couleurs : Blanc/Three Colors: White (1994) and Three Colors: Red/ Trois couleurs : Rouge (1994). Binoche took a short sabbatical during which she gave birth to her son Raphaël in September 1993. In 1995, she returned to the screen in a big-budget adaptation of Jean Giono's Le hussard sur le toit/The Horseman on the Roof (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, 1995) with Olivier Martinez. At the time, it was the most expensive film in the history of French cinema. The film was a box-office success around the world and Binoche was again nominated for a César for Best Actress. She gained further acclaim in The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996), for which she was awarded an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in addition to the Best Actress Award at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival. Juliette Binoche was reunited with director André Téchiné for Alice et Martin (1998), the story of a relationship between an emotionally damaged Parisian musician and her younger lover who hides a dark family secret. Binoche appeared on stage in a 1998 London production of Luigi Pirandello's Clothe the Naked retitled Naked and in a 2000 production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. Between 1995 and 2000, she was also the advertising face of the Lancôme perfume Poème.

 

Juliette Binoche was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance opposite Johnny Depp in the romantic comedy Chocolat (Lasse Hallström, 2000). Another hit was the period drama La Veuve de Saint-Pierre (Patrice Leconte, 2000), for which she was nominated for a César for Best Actress. Opposite Daniel Auteuil she played the role of a woman who attempts to save a condemned man from the guillotine. The film won favourable reviews, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Next she appeared in Code Unknown (Michael Haneke, 2000), a film which was made following Binoche's approach to the Austrian director. Her critically acclaimed role was a welcome change from playing the romantic heroine in a series of costume dramas. During the following decade, she maintained a successful career, alternating between French and English language roles in both mainstream and art-house productions. "La Binoche" appeared in such films as Jet Lag (Daniele Thompson, 2002) opposite Jean Reno, Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005), Breaking and Entering (Anthony Minghella, 2006) with Jude Law, and Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2007). Paying homage to Albert Lamorisse's 1957 short The Red Balloon, Hou's film tells the story of a woman's efforts to juggle her responsibilities as a single mother with her commitment to her career as a voice artist. Shot on location in Paris, the film was entirely improvised by the cast. In 2008 Binoche began a world tour with a modern dance production titled in-i, co-created in collaboration with Akram Khan. In 2010, she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy making her the first actress to win the European ‘Best Actress Triple Crown’ for winning best actress award at the Berlin, Cannes and Venice film festivals. Later films include Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2011) with Robert Pattinson, Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013) and Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014). In 2015, Binoche starred on stage in a new English language translation of Antigone.directed by Ivo van Hove. Binoche has two children: a son Raphaël (1993), whose father is André Halle, a professional scuba diver, and a daughter Hana (1999), whose father is actor Benoît Magimel, with whom Binoche starred in Les Enfants du Siècle/Children of the Century (Diane Kurys, 1999).

 

Sources: Wikipedia, and IMDb.

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, communément appelée Liz Taylor, est une actrice britannico-américaine, née le 27 février 1932 à Londres, dans le quartier d'Hampstead, et morte le 23 mars 2011 à Los Angeles.

   

Elisabeth Taylor was a fabulous actress in the golden age of Cinema and also of incredible beautiful woman ;)) Any film I saw of her is always captivating, she take all the screen with her performance. It is a shame that I learn more of her today now that she is gone, like her generous contributions to all kinds of good causes like SIDA.

 

Actress who gave happiness to millions of people, it also offered millions in the fight against AIDS by engaging in the fight long before it was fashionable to wear a red bow on his jacket.

 

"The failure to treat sick or infected as outcasts, to touch them, kiss them, to be photographed with them, had a phenomenal impact"

 

"Le fait de ne pas traiter les malades ou les séropositifs comme des parias, de les toucher, de les embrasser, de se faire photographier avec eux, eut un impact phénoménal"

 

"It has improved the lives of millions of people and his voice will continue to be heard by future generations."

 

Not content to have contributed to the creation of amfAR for which it would give more than 50 million, it also creates The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation that will raise no less than $ 270 million for research against the disease ...

   

This photo is taken from the film The V.I.P. in 1963

  

Full Synopsis

 

Terrence Rattigan, the playwright who brought us the multicharactered, multistoried Separate Tables, again offers us an episodic cross-section of humanity in The V.I.P.'s. When a heavy London fog paralyzes all air traffic, the lives of several people are profoundly affected. As indicated by the title, most of the characters in this portmanteau film are of the social and/or financial elite. Elizabeth Taylor wishes to leave her enormously wealthy husband Richard Burton in favor of playboy Louis Jourdan. Peripatetic European film producer Orson Welles is hoping to escape London with his newest protegee Elsa Martinelli in order to avoid paying his income tax. Australian businessman Rod Taylor, accompanied by his devoted (and adoring) secretary Maggie Smith, is anxious to head to New York to stave off a hostile takeover of his firm. And impoverished aristocrat Margaret Rutherford (who won an Oscar for her performance) would rather not go to Florida to accept a job as a social arbiter, but the wolf must be kept from the door. Before the fog disperses, you can be sure that at least one of the many plotlines will intersect with another. David Frost, in a tiny part as a reporter, was fond of recalling in later years that, while the major stars of The VIPS were introduced in the opening titles with animated limousines, he was consigned a tiny Volkswagen; alas, no such cartoon joke appears in the film, though on occasion the actors-particularly Mr. Welles-behave as though they were cartoons. Mercilessly skewered by the critics, The VIPS was a winner at the box-office, due in great part to the Cleopatra-inspired publicity concerning the top-billed Liz Taylor and Dick Burton. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

 

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, communément appelée Liz Taylor, est une actrice britannico-américaine, née le 27 février 1932 à Londres, dans le quartier d'Hampstead, et morte le 23 mars 2011 à Los Angeles

  

Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43 072.

 

Vanessa Redgrave (1937) is one of the great actresses of her generation. She started her career in the late 1950’s and went on to win the Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Tony awards. On screen, she has starred in more than 80 films; including such classics as Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, Blowup, Julia, Prick Up Your Ears and Atonement. On-screen and off, she represents forward-thinking women both, essaying non-conforming free-thinkers like dazzling modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan in Isadora (1968) and a 19th century American feminist in The Bostonians (1984), while earning her share of controversy for her outspoken political activism.

 

Vanessa Redgrave was born in Greenwich, London in 1937 into an acting dynasty. Her grandparents were actor Roy Redgrave and actress Daisy Scudamore. Vanessa was the daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, and the older sister of Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave. Laurence Olivier announced her birth in a curtain speech to the audience at a performance of Hamlet at the Old Vic: "Ladies and gentlemen, tonight a great actress has been born; Laertes (played by Michael Redgrave) has a daughter." She was educated at The Alice Ottley School, Worcester and Queen's Gate School, London. In 1954 she started to train for the stage at the Central School for Speech and Drama in London. She first appeared in the West End in 1958, and a year later she became a member of the acclaimed Stratford-Upon-Avon Theatre Company. In 1960, Redgrave had her first starring role in Robert Bolt's The Tiger and the Horse, in which she co-starred with her father. Redgrave rose to prominence in 1961 playing Rosalind in As You Like It with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since made more than 35 appearances on London's West End and Broadway, winning both the Tony and Olivier Awards. She made her film debut in the old-fashioned hospital drama Behind the Mask (1958, Brian Desmond Hurst), in which she played the onscreen daughter of Michael Redgrave. Redgrave would not venture into films again for another eight years, but in 1966 she became a key figure in the 1960’s revolution in British film, appearing for New Wave directors, Karel Reisz and her husband, Tony Richardson. She had her first starring role in the seminal Swinging Sixties comedy Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966, Karel Reisz) in which she played the long-suffering ex-wife of a half-mad eccentric artist (David Warner). For her role she earned an Oscar nomination, a Cannes award, a Golden Globe nomination and a BAFTA Film Award nomination. Redgrave followed Morgan up by playing a mysterious, willowy model in the stylish Blowup (1966, Michelangelo Antonioni). TCM: “Both pictures helped solidify Redgrave's screen persona as a modern, intelligent woman whose cool and impassive exterior masked a range of conflicting emotions and passions.” For Richardson, she starred in The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967, Tony Richardson), the short and arty Red and Blue (1967, Tony Richardson), and The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968, Tony Richardson), as sexually willing Mrs Codrington. Other highlights of Redgrave's early film career include the role of Guinevere in the Hollywood adaptation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical Camelot (1967, Joshua Logan) with Richard Harris and Franco Nero; her spirited portrayal of modern dance innovator Isadora Duncan in Isadora (1968, Karel Reisz; for which she won a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress, a second Prize for the Best Female Performance at the Cannes film festival, along with a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination in 1969); and various portrayals of historical figures – ranging from Andromache in The Trojan Women (1971, Mihalis Kakogiannis), to the tragic Mary Stuart in Mary, Queen of Scots (1971, Charles Jarrott). She had also been offered the role of Margaret More in the Oscar-laden story of Sir Thomas More's defiance of Henry VIII, A Man for All Seasons (1966, Fred Zinnemann), but she had to turn it down due to her stage commitments. She opted for the cameo role of Anne Boleyn instead, and refused to accept any money for this part. Susannah York was cast as Margaret More.

 

Both Vanessa Redgrave and sister Lynn were nominated for the 1967 Best Actress Academy Award. Vanessa was nominated for Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966) and Lynn for Georgy Girl (1966, Silvio Narizzano). They both lost to Elizabeth Taylor, who won for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, Mike Nichols). That same year, Redgrave was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to drama. Thirty years later, she allegedly refused the D.B.E. (Dame of the order of the British Empire) in 1999. Since the 1960’s, Redgrave has supported a range of political causes, including opposition to the Vietnam War, nuclear disarmament, freedom for Soviet Jews (in 1993 she was awarded the Sakharov medal by Sakharov's widow, Yelena Bonner), and aid for Bosnian Muslims and other victims of war. Her opposition to Stalinism led her to join the Workers' Revolutionary Party (WRP), which advocated the dissolution of capitalism and the British monarchy. She ran four times for a seat in the British Parliament as a candidate. In 2004, Vanessa Redgrave and her brother Corin Redgrave launched the Peace and Progress Party, which campaigned against the Iraq War and for human rights. However, a year later Redgrave left the party. She has advocated the unification of Ireland and periodically defended the Provisional IRA. She was a co-founding member of Artists Against Racism. In 1977, Redgrave funded and narrated a documentary film on the Palestinian people and the activities of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. That same year she starred in the film Julia (1977, Fred Zinnemann), based on playwright Lillian Hellman's own friendship with a woman who later enlists her in a fight against the growing tide of Nazism in Europe. Her co-star in the film was Jane Fonda (playing Hellman). When Redgrave was nominated for an Oscar in 1978, for her role in Julia, members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), led by Rabbi Meir Kahane, burned effigies of Redgrave and picketed the Academy Awards ceremony to protest against both Redgrave and her support of the Palestinian cause. Despite the protests Redgrave's performance in Julia garnered an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. However, the controversy had a chilling effect on her career. In 1980, Redgrave made her American TV debut in the Arthur Miller-scripted TV movie Playing for Time (1980, Daniel Mann) as concentration camp survivor Fania Fénelon who during her internment participated in an all-female orchestra. The decision to cast Redgrave as Fénelon was, however, a source of controversy. In light of Redgrave's support for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), even Fénelon objected to her casting. However, Redgrave won the Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in 1981 for this part.

 

In the next decades Vanessa Redgrave balanced turns in big budget productions such as crime boss Max in Mission: Impossible (1996, Brian de Palma) and a doomed earthling in the summer blockbuster Deep Impact (1998) with stellar performances in smaller, independent films, like those of suffragist Olive Chancellor in The Bostonians (1984, a fourth Best Actress Academy Award nomination); transsexual tennis player Renée Richards in Second Serve (1986, Anthony Page); literary agent Peggy Ramsay in the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears (1987, Stephen Frears); Mrs. Wilcox in Howards End (1992, James Ivory; her sixth Academy Award nomination, this time in a supporting role); Oscar Wilde’s mother in Wilde (1997, Brian Gilbert); Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway (1997, Marleen Gorris); Dr. Sonia Wick in Girl, Interrupted (1999, James Mangold); and a small role in the Friedrich Dürrenmatt adaptation The Pledge (2001, Sean Penn).These roles proved that she has grown only more impressive with age. Her performance as a lesbian grieving the loss of her longtime partner in the HBO series If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000, Jane Andersen a.o.) earned her a Golden Globe for Best TV Series Supporting Actress in 2000, as well as earning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries. In 2003 she won the Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. With this award, she became the sixteenth performer to win the Triple Crown of acting: the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Julia (1977), the Tony for Best Actress-Play in Long Day's Journey into Night (2003), and two Emmys for Best Actress-Limited TV Series/Special in Playing for Time (1980) ánd for Best Supporting Actress-TV Miniseries/TV Movie in If These Walls Could Talk 2 (2000). She was also the first actress to win the Best Actress award twice at Cannes Film Festival. She won for Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966) and Isadora (1968). At IMDb, Dale O’Connor writes in his bio: “Her rich auburn hair was long, her physique lean, her countenance inscrutable. Three decades later a Redgrave who takes the pictures has hair that is short, the auburn shade muted. The physique is still lean and it is strong from the work it has taken to keep it that way. And the countenance is a lot easier to read. Add expertise with body language and a superb sense of timing and here is a comedienne who should still be carrying films when she is in her 90’s.”

 

Vanessa Redgrave married twice. She was married to director Tony Richardson from 1962 till 1967, and they had two children, actresses Natasha Richardson and Joely Richardson. In her 1967 divorce from Tony Richardson she named Jeanne Moreau as co-respondent on grounds of adultery. Redgrave met the Italian actor Franco Nero during the shooting of Camelot (1967). They had a son Carlo Gabriel Nero (né Carlo Sparanero), a future writer and film director. After filming Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), The Devils (1971, Ken Russell) and The Trojan Women (1971), Vanessa Redgrave suffered a miscarriage. The boy would have been her and Franco Nero's second child. Redgrave and Nero separated. She was then in a long-term relationship with actor Timothy Dalton (a former James Bond), with whom she had starred in the film Mary, Queen of Scots (1971). Since 2006 she is married to her old flame Franco Nero. Her daughter Natasha Richardson tragically passed away in 2009 as the result of a skiing accident at Mont Tremblant, Quebec. After the death of her daughter, Redgrave subsequently dropped out of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010) in which she had a supporting role. Eileen Atkins replaced her. In the space of just 14 months, she also lost her younger brother and sister, Corin Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave, who died within a month of one another. In October 2010 she returned to the Broadway stage to star in Driving Miss Daisy opposite James Earl Jones. The show premiered at the John Golden Theatre to rave reviews. The production was originally scheduled to run through 29 January 2011 but due to a successful response and high box office sales, was extended to 9 April 2011. In a poll of ‘industry experts’ and readers conducted by the magazine The Stage in 2010, Redgrave was ranked as the ninth greatest stage actor of all time. In the cinema she was seen in Letters to Juliet (2010, Gary Winick) opposite her husband Franco Nero. She also had small roles in Eva (2010, Adrian Popovici), a Romanian drama film that premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival as well as in Julian Schnabel's Palestinian drama, Miral (2010) that was screened at the 67th Venice International Film Festival. She has a supporting role in the Bosnia-set political drama, The Whistleblower (2010, Larysa Kondracki), which premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. She has also filmed leading lady roles for two historical films, Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut of Shakespeare's Coriolanus (2010, Ralph Fiennes) in which Redgrave plays Volumnia opposite Fiennes and Gerard Butler; and Anonymous (2011, Roland Emmerich), a political thriller about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare - Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford-- set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave), and the Essex Rebellion against her.

 

Sources: Brian McFarlane (Encyclopaedia of British Cinema), Dale O'Connor (IMDb), TCM, Wikipedia and IMDb.

British postcard by Heroes Publishing LTD., London, no. SPC2569.

 

Attractive American actor and producer Brad Pitt (1963) has received multiple awards and nominations including an Academy Award as producer under his own company Plan B Entertainment. Pitt wildly varies his film choices, appearing in everything from high-concept popcorn flicks such as Troy (2004) to adventurous critic-bait like Inglourious Basterds (2009) and The Tree of Life (2011). He has received two Best Actor Oscar nominations, for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011).

 

William Bradley ‘Brad’ Pitt was born in 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. His parents were William Alvin Pitt, who ran a trucking company, and Jane Etta (née Hillhouse), a school counsellor. He has a younger brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt, and a younger sister, Julie Neal Pitt. Following his graduation from high school, Brad enrolled in the University of Missouri in 1982, majoring in journalism. Two weeks before earning his degree, Pitt left the university and moved to Los Angeles, where he took acting lessons and worked odd jobs. Pitt's acting career began with uncredited parts in such films as Less Than Zero (Marek Kanievska, 1987). His television debut came in May 1987 with a two-episode role on the soap opera Another World. In November of the same year Pitt had a guest appearance on the sitcom Growing Pains. He appeared in four episodes of the legendary prime time soap opera Dallas (1987-1988). In 1989 he made his film debut with a featured role in the slasher Cutting Class (Rospo Pallenberg, 1989) with Donovan Leitch. He first gained recognition as a sexy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991), who romances and cons Thelma (Geena Davis). Biograpy.com: “Pitt's combination of charming bad boy charisma and sensual playfulness—particularly in a fiery love scene with Geena Davis—made him a genuine sex symbol (and wore out the rewind button on many a VCR).“ His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with the dramas A River Runs Through It (Robert Redford, 1992) and Legends of the Fall (1994), for which Pitt received his first Golden Globe Award nomination, in the Best Actor category. He starred opposite Tom Cruise and Antonio Banderas as the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in the romantic horror film Interview with the Vampire (Neil Jordan, 1994), based on the novel by Anne Rice. Pitt also garnered attention for a brief appearance in the cult hit True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993) as a stoner named Floyd, providing comic relief to the action film written by Quentin Tarantino. Pitt gave critically acclaimed performances as an emotionally tortured detective in the gory horror-thriller Se7en (David Fincher, 1995) and as frenetic oddball Jeffrey Goines in the psychological Science Fiction film 12 Monkeys (Terry Gilliam, 1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Seven earned $327 million at the international box office. Pitt also starred in the legal drama Sleepers (Barry Levinson, 1996), and in an unglamorous, disturbing role in the cult film Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) about a bloody diversion for young professional males.

 

Brad Pitt was cast as an Irish Gypsy boxer with a barely intelligible accent in the British gangster film Snatch (Guy Ritchie, 2000). He then played Rusty Ryan in the heist film Ocean's Eleven (Steven Soderbergh, 2001) with George Clooney. Well received by critics, Ocean's Eleven was highly successful at the box office, earning $450 million worldwide. It had two sequels, Ocean's Twelve (Steven Soderbergh, 2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (Steven Soderbergh, 2007). Ocean's Twelve earned $362 million worldwide, and the third sequel earned $311 million at the international box office. Pitt and Clooney's dynamic was described by CNN's Paul Clinton as "the best male chemistry since Paul Newman and Robert Redford." Another commercial success was Troy (Wolfgang Petersen, 2004), based on the Iliad. For his part as Achilles, he spent six months sword training and it helped establish his appeal as action star. Troy was the first film produced by Plan B Entertainment, a film production company he had founded two years earlier with Jennifer Aniston and Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures. He then had a hit with the stylish action comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Doug Liman, 2005), opposite Angela Jolie. Mr. & Mrs. Smith earned $478 million worldwide, making it one of the biggest hits of 2005. Pitt starred opposite Cate Blanchett in Alejandro González Iñárritu's multi-narrative drama Babel (2006). Pitt's performance was critically well-received. Babel received seven Academy and Golden Globe award nominations, winning the Best Drama Golden Globe, and earned Pitt a nomination for the Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe. Pitt's then appeared in the black comedy Burn After Reading (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2008), his first collaboration with the Coen brothers. The film received a positive reception from critics, with The Guardian calling it "a tightly wound, slickly plotted spy comedy", noting that Pitt's performance was one of the funniest. Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher, 2008) and Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011). In Benjamin Button Pitt played the title character, who is born as a 70-year-old man and ages in reverse. The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations in total, and grossed $329 million at the box office worldwide. Pitt's next leading role came in the war film Inglourious Basterds, (Quentin Tarantino, 2009) which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Pitt played Lieutenant Aldo Raine, an American resistance fighter battling Nazis in German-occupied France. The film was a box office hit, taking $311 million worldwide, and garnered generally favourable reviews.

 

Brad Pitt had another commercial success with World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013), a thriller about a zombie apocalypse. Pitt produced the film which grossed $540 million against a production budget of $190 million. He also produced The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006) and 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also the experimental drama The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2009), a historical drama based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup. His productions Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011) and the comedy-drama The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015), garnered Best Picture nominations too. Moneyball received six Academy Award nominations including Best Actor for Pitt. Not only his work, his personal life is also the subject of wide publicity. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Pitt was involved in successive relationships with several of his co-stars, including Robin Givens, Jill Schoelen and Juliette Lewis. In addition, Pitt had a much-publicized romance and engagement to his Seven co-star Gwyneth Paltrow, whom he dated from 1994 to 1997. From 2000 till 2005, he was married to actress Jennifer Aniston. During their divorce, he fell in love with actress Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The entertainment media dubbed the couple "Brangelina" and they married in 2014. They have six children together, three of whom were adopted internationally. In 2015, Pitt starred opposite Jolie, in her third directorial effort, By the Sea, a romantic drama about a marriage in crisis, based on her screenplay. In September 2016, Jolie filed in real life for divorce from Pitt. Brad Pitt’s most recent film is the World War II romantic thriller Allied (Robert Zemeckis, 2016) in which he and Marion Cotillard play an intelligence officer and resistance fighter, respectively, who fall in love during a mission to kill a German official.

 

Sources: Biography.com, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

  

The beautiful British actress of stage and screen, Carol Royle, photographed earlier this month at her home, with her iconic portrait, painted in 2005 by expressionist artist Stephen B Whatley.

 

Carol Royle is the daughter of actor Derek Royle and film make-up artist Jane Royle, whose talents were to be seen in many films; from The Rocky Horror Show (1975) to the Harry Potter films (2001-2004).

 

Carol Royle's extraordinary beauty and great talent as an actress has shone on television since the 1970s in numerous television productions; including Blakes 7 (1978), The Professionals (1978-79), Bergerac (1983), Oxbridge Blues (1983), The Bill (1996-2001), Heartbeat (1997-2003), Casualty (1990-2010) & Doctors (2005-2011).

 

The actress has also starred in an eclectic range of theatre productions over the years, including Shakespeare's Hamlet (for which she was acclaimed by the London Drama Critics), Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest; & Festen, a British stage adaption of the Danish film of the same name.

 

Her film credits include The Greek Tycoon (1978), Tuxedo Warrior(1982); and Miss In Her Teens - a period drama also featuring Ian McKellen; due for release in 2012.

 

Ms Royle is also blessed with a wonderful eloquent voice; that is invaluable in voiceover work in commercials and documentaries.

 

Carol Royle exhuded a spirit of grace and serenity as she gazed out at her garden during the 2005 portrait sitting; and calls her portrait "wonderful". She remains one of Stephen B Whatley's favourite sitters - for her great patience, warmth and kindness as he painted; that has lead to a continued heartfelt correspondence.

 

To see more about Carol Royle and her career: www.carolroyle.co.uk

 

Carol Royle. 2005 by Stephen B Whatley

Oil on canvas, 30 x 24in/76 x 61cm

Private collection of Ms Royle, UK.

www.stephenbwhatley.com

   

Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin. Photo: publicity still for Les soeurs Brontë/The Bronte Sisters (André Téchniné, 1979) with Marie-France Pisier as Charlotte Bronte, Isabelle Huppert as Anne Bronte, and Isabelle Adjani as Emily Brontë.

 

Refined beauty Marie-France Pisier (1944-2011) was a French actress, screenwriter, and director. She was discovered by François Truffaut and became his muse. She later also worked with such auteurs as Luis Buñuel, Jacques Rivette, Raúl Ruiz and André Techiné. Pisier twice earned the César Award for Best Supporting Actress. The international success of the comedy Cousin, Cousine (1977) brought her to Hollywood, where she had a short and unhappy detour.

 

Versatile French actress Isabelle Huppert (1953) appeared in more than 90 film and television productions since 1971. With 14 nominations for the César, she is the most nominated actress ever. However, the cool, innocent-looking Huppert won the French Oscar only once, for La Cérémonie (1996).

 

Isabelle Adjani (1955) is a dark-haired beauty with a porcelain skin and expressive blue eyes, who has appeared in 30 films since 1970. The French film actress holds the record for most César Awards for Best Actress with five, for Possession (1981), L'Été Meurtrier/One Deadly Summer (1983), Camille Claudel (1988), La Reine Margot/Queen Margot (1994) and La journée de la jupe/Skirt Day (2009). She also received two Oscar nominations for Best Actress.

 

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As Many of us gathered around our flat screen TV's with family and friends or attended a fancy Oscar party, I decided to take some time to do a little street photography to capture images of daily life for many people who call the City of Angels home.

 

I think many people are surprised to learn that Los Angeles boasts the worlds 9th largest economy, but at the same time holds to distinction of the homeless capitol of the world.

 

It was very interesting to me that a movie about America's ugly and disgusting past was so well received, even taking best actress and best picture nominations. While another movie centered around HIV and AIDS. Both movies were awesome and I wish to congratulate the winners from each movie.

 

But before we skid down the yellow brick road holding hands and patting each other on the back and before we get this twisted any further let me drop some information on the subjects of homelessness which has been called the "new slavery" and the current numbers of HIV and AIDS.

 

According to the LA Times

"The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped by 16% over the last two years, fueled by lingering economic devastation from the recession and rising rents and housing prices, according to a survey released."

 

"The sharp increase from 50,000 to more than 58,000 homeless people marked a departure from counts in 2011 and 2012, which showed reductions of 3% to 7% over previous years. And it came despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid pouring into the county each year to get people off the streets."

 

However, According Weingart Center, "an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

 

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles. Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

 

HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles

 

"More than 31,448 people have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began.

More than 44,450 people are living with HIV, of which 24,600 are living with AIDS. Most are male (88%) and aged 40 or older (70%). An estimated 72% are gay or bisexual men, 7% of whom are also injection drug users.

 

Although African-Americans comprise less than 9% of the city’s population, they account for nearly 22% of those living with AIDS.

 

The communities with the highest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS are Long Beach, Hollywood, West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles."

(source AIDS/LifeCycle)

 

Having lived through 29 months of homelessness I know the homeless numbers are much higher than reported and living with HIV and experiencing many obstacles to care and treatment I also know the numbers for HIV and AIDS are also higher.

 

I guess what I'm saying is this, we still have lots of work to do nationally when it comes to homelessness (slavery) as well as HIV and AIDS, but especially right here in Los Angeles. We cant simply continue to blame homelessness on homeless people or blame the economy. Just like we cant blame the rate of new infections and AIDS deaths in populations of color (Black and Latino) on stigma, guilt, shame, churches or families.

 

We MUST begin to hold the powers that be accountable for work they claim to be doing so well. We only need to look at the numbers to know that the problem ISN'T homeless people or Black and Latino churches, families and radio stations, but instead a clear breakdown of caring and knowing how to fully engage populations where homelessness, HIV and AIDS go unchecked.

 

It's easy to point the finger at people who have no voice. After all they are the fish in the fish bowl.

 

Again these two movies were awesome and the performances were award worthy, but so are the lives of people dealing with the harsh reality and ugly disrespect of homelessness and the often times degrading, disrespectful and stigma filled treatment towards people LIVING with HIV or AIDS by the very people, places and things we MUST turn to for help.

 

We have work to do because people are STILL in slavery and people still become infected with HIV and die in record numbers from AIDS related complications.

 

These men, women and children ALSO deserve to have their stories told, but most importantly the right to LIFE.

  

French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. FK 115. Photo: UFA.

 

Blonde French actress and singer Catherine Spaak (1945) worked in France, Spain, Germany and Hollywood, but she spent most of her career in Italy. There she started as a Lolita-like vamp in films of the early 1960’s, made records and became a teenage star. She played in several classic Italian comedies and was a popular TV host. Spaak is still active on TV, writes books and has now appeared in some 100 films.

 

Catherine Spaak was born at Boulogne-Billancourt, France in 1945. Her father was the Belgian critic and screenwriter Charles Spaak, her mother the actress Claudie Clèves and her sister is actress-photographer Agnès Spaak. As a teenager, Catherine started her career with small roles in French films like the short L’hiver/The winter (1959, Jacques Gautier) and the thriller Le Trou/Nightwatch (1960, Jacques Becker). When she moved to Italy later that year, her father introduced her to film director Alberto Lattuada, who cast her in his film I dolci inganni/Sweet Deceptions (1960, Alberto Lattuada) . That coming of age film made her a star in Italy. She played a young Roman girl in love, who spends the day observing other lovers' behaviors and considering whether she is ready to jump. J.C. Mohsen at IMDb: “This film's unpredictability is refreshing. Whether written or filmed, coming-of-age stories often fail to surprise or intrigue the audience. In I Dolci Inganni, most characters seem at first to be crazily entertaining walking clichés, but they later astonish the audience by revealing their depth and their inner struggles.” From age 15 to 18, Spaak was the lead actress in a dozen films, including La voglia matta/Crazy Desire (1961, Luciano Salce) opposite Ugo Tognazzi, the classic comedy Il sorpasso/The Easy Life (1962, Dino Risi) with Vittorio Gassman, La parmigiana/The Girl from Parma (1963, Antonio Pietrangeli) with Nino Manfredi, and the Alberto Moravia adaptation La noia/The Empty Canvas (1963, Damiano Damiani) with Horst Buchholz and Bette Davis. For her performance in La noia she was awarded in 1954 the David di Donatello, the Italian Oscar. Spaak often played the Lolita-type who seduced men, and the Italian scandal press wrote about herself in that way. In their articles, journalists always included that she was the niece of the Belgian prime minister, Paul-Henri Spaak.

 

Catherine Spaak’s screen success, combined with her love of singing and guitar playing, led to an offer of the Ricordi label in 1962. She recorded covers of Françoise Hardy originals and songs in Hardy’s style. Ready steady girls!, the site on Europe’s fab female singers of the 1960’s in their bio: “Perdono – written by Gino Paoli (who had worked with stars such as Mina) and arranged by Ennio Morricone – was issued as her debut single and swiftly made the Italian top 20. Vocally, Catherine drew comparisons with France’s newest star, Françoise Hardy, so Ricordi opted to have their young signing record a couple of Hardy songs for the Italian market. Issued in 1963, the bilingual Tous les garçons et les filles (Quelli della mia età) – backed with J’ai jeté mon coeur (Ho scherzato con il cuore) – gave Hardy’s original a run for its money, reaching number seven in September 1963 and confirming Catherine as a new star.” In 1964, she returned to France to appear in La Ronde (1964, Roger Vadim) and the war drama Week-end à Zuydcoote/Weekend at Dunkirk (1964, Henri Verneuil) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. Back in Italy she played in some more highlights of the commedia all'italiana such as L'armata Brancaleone/Brancaleone's Army (1965, Mario Monicelli) featuring Vittorio Gassman, and Made in Italy (1965, Nanni Loy). Other notable appearances include L'uomo dei cinque palloni/Break up (1965, Marco Ferreri) starring Marcello Mastroianni, and La matriarca/The Libertine (1968, Pasquale Festa Campanile) with Jean-Louis Trintignant. In 1967 she went to Hollywood to play Rod Taylor’s love interest in Hotel (1967, Richard Quine), based on the novel by Arthur Hailey. Hal Erickson at AllMovie: “Once she came to Hollywood, however, Spaak was packaged and promoted as just another foreign starlet, interchangeable with Claudia Cardinale, Camilla Sparv, Elke Sommer and the rest of the batch.” The result was not a success and soon she was back in Italy. Two years later she did a cameo in another Hollywood production, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969, Mel Stuart).

 

Seeking a new direction, Catherine Spaak joined fellow singer Johnny Dorelli in the operetta La vedova allegra in 1968. The pair went on to enjoy a lasting relationship, both personally and professionally. They enjoyed success as a duo with Song sung blue (1972) and Una serata insieme a te (1973). During the early 1970’s, she continued to appear in many Italian films, but they became less interesting. She starred with James Franciscus in the giallo Il gatto a nove code/The Cat o' Nine Tails (1971, Dario Argento). In France she made the crime film Un meurtre est un meurtre/A Murder Is a Murder... Is a Murder (1972, Étienne Périer) with Jean-Claude Brialy. In the American-Italian western Take a Hard Ride (1975, Antonio Margheriti), she co-starred with Jim Brown and Lee van Cleef. From then on, her film appearances became more incidental. In 1978, she had success on stage in the musical Cyrano, and would continue to play on stage. She hosted several Italian TV shows such as Forum (1985-1988) and Harem (1989-2002), and wrote articles for newspaper Il corriere della sera and Italian magazines. She also published six books in Italian, such as 26 Donne/26 women (1984), Un cuore perso/A lost heart (1996), Lui/He (2006) and L’amore blu/Blue Love (2011). Her later films include the sex comedy anthology Sunday Lovers (1980, Bryan Forbes, Edouard Molinaro, Dino Risi, Gene Wilder) as Ugo Tognazzi’s psychoanalyst, Scandalo Segreto/Secret Scandal (1989, Monica Vitti) and Tandem (2000, Lucio Pellegrini) starring the comic duo Luca & Paolo. Recently she was seen in the film Alice (2009, Oreste Crisostomi), the BBC mini-series Zen (2011, John Alexander, Jon Jones, Christopher Menaul) starring Rufus Sewell as detective Aurelio Zen and Spaak as his Mamma, and the film I più' grandi di tutti/The greatest of all (2012, Carlo Virzì). Catherine Spaak was married to actor and producer Fabrizio Capucci (1963-1971) and Italian singer-actor Johnny Dorelli (1972-1979). Her present husband is actor Orso Maria Guerrini. With Capucci, she has a daughter, stage actress Sabrina Capucci (1963), and with Dorelli a son, Gabriele Dorelli.

 

Sources: Hal Erickson (Rovi), CatherineSpaak.eu, Ready Steady Go!, Wikipedia (Italian, French, German and English) and IMDb.

The British actress of stage and screen, Carol Royle , during a photo shoot last year; when artist Stephen B Whatley photographed her at her home, with the portrait he painted of her in 2005.

 

Carol Royle is currently in Hong Kong starring as Lady Bracknell in the Rose Theatre Kingston's production of the Oscar Wilde classic, The Importance of Being Earnest; as part of the 40th Hong Kong Arts Festival.

 

To see more about this beautiful and talented actress : www.carolroyle.co.uk

 

Carol Royle. 2005

Oil on canvas

30 x 24in/76 x 61cm

Private collection of Ms Royle, UK.

www.stephenbwhatley.com

Academy Award for Best Actress in BUtterfield 8, 1960

As Many of us gathered around our flat screen TV's with family and friends or attended a fancy Oscar party, I decided to take some time to do a little street photography to capture images of daily life for many people who call the City of Angels home.

 

I think many people are surprised to learn that Los Angeles boasts the worlds 9th largest economy, but at the same time holds to distinction of the homeless capitol of the world.

 

It was very interesting to me that a movie about America's ugly and disgusting past was so well received, even taking best actress and best picture nominations. While another movie centered around HIV and AIDS. Both movies were awesome and I wish to congratulate the winners from each movie.

 

But before we skid down the yellow brick road holding hands and patting each other on the back and before we get this twisted any further let me drop some information on the subjects of homelessness which has been called the "new slavery" and the current numbers of HIV and AIDS.

 

According to the LA Times

"The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped by 16% over the last two years, fueled by lingering economic devastation from the recession and rising rents and housing prices, according to a survey released."

 

"The sharp increase from 50,000 to more than 58,000 homeless people marked a departure from counts in 2011 and 2012, which showed reductions of 3% to 7% over previous years. And it came despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid pouring into the county each year to get people off the streets."

 

However, According Weingart Center, "an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

 

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles. Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

 

HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles

 

"More than 31,448 people have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began.

More than 44,450 people are living with HIV, of which 24,600 are living with AIDS. Most are male (88%) and aged 40 or older (70%). An estimated 72% are gay or bisexual men, 7% of whom are also injection drug users.

 

Although African-Americans comprise less than 9% of the city’s population, they account for nearly 22% of those living with AIDS.

 

The communities with the highest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS are Long Beach, Hollywood, West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles."

(source AIDS/LifeCycle)

 

Having lived through 29 months of homelessness I know the homeless numbers are much higher than reported and living with HIV and experiencing many obstacles to care and treatment I also know the numbers for HIV and AIDS are also higher.

 

I guess what I'm saying is this, we still have lots of work to do nationally when it comes to homelessness (slavery) as well as HIV and AIDS, but especially right here in Los Angeles. We cant simply continue to blame homelessness on homeless people or blame the economy. Just like we cant blame the rate of new infections and AIDS deaths in populations of color (Black and Latino) on stigma, guilt, shame, churches or families.

 

We MUST begin to hold the powers that be accountable for work they claim to be doing so well. We only need to look at the numbers to know that the problem ISN'T homeless people or Black and Latino churches, families and radio stations, but instead a clear breakdown of caring and knowing how to fully engage populations where homelessness, HIV and AIDS go unchecked.

 

It's easy to point the finger at people who have no voice. After all they are the fish in the fish bowl.

 

Again these two movies were awesome and the performances were award worthy, but so are the lives of people dealing with the harsh reality and ugly disrespect of homelessness and the often times degrading, disrespectful and stigma filled treatment towards people LIVING with HIV or AIDS by the very people, places and things we MUST turn to for help.

 

We have work to do because people are STILL in slavery and people still become infected with HIV and die in record numbers from AIDS related complications.

 

These men, women and children ALSO deserve to have their stories told, but most importantly the right to LIFE.

  

Susannah York, the actress who died on January 15 aged 72, was, along with Julie Christie and Sarah Miles, one of the quintessential faces of the 1960s, when her blonde hair and startling blue eyes won her an army of male admirers.

 

She starred with Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don’t They (1969), for which she won a Bafta and an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. She was Thomas More’s daughter in A Man For All Seasons (1966) and the uniformed section officer yelling at Kenneth More in Battle Of Britain (1969). She also won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her portrayal of Cathryn in the 1972 film Images.

 

But her most memorable performance was surely as Childie, the young lesbian in Robert Aldrich’s film adaptation of Frank Marcus’s hit play The Killing of Sister George (1969).

 

The film, which is now viewed by many as one of Aldridge’s best, encountered numerous difficulties during and after the production, partly due to behind-the-scenes bitching between Beryl Reid and Coral Browne – Susannah York’s alcoholic co-stars, and rivals (in the film) for her affection.

 

It also ran into trouble on account of its most notorious sequence, an extended scene of lesbian lovemaking between Childie and Mercy Croft (Coral Browne) that was so explicit that it caused the film to be X-rated and banned in several locations. (It also caused Aldrich’s longtime collaborator Frank DeVol to quit in disgust).

 

Susannah York was extremely uncomfortable playing the scene, but the scene carried a strong erotic charge, and Susannah York’s performance in the role of Childie demonstrated her versatility as an actress, allowing her shed her typecast image as the demure English Rose.

 

All the same, Susannah York’s memorable films were probably outnumbered by forgettable ones, and her career was shaped less by artistic ambition than by the need to support two children on her own.

 

She was born Susannah Yolande Fletcher in Chelsea on January 9 1939 (although in her Who’s Who entry she put the year at 1942). Her father was a merchant banker, her mother the daughter of a diplomat. Her parents divorced when she was five and she saw her father only a handful of times during her childhood; when her mother married a Scottish businessman and moved the family to Scotland, all contact was severed.

 

Susannah attended Marr College in Troon, Ayrshire, where her unhappiness bred a rebellious streak that manifested itself when, aged 13, she was expelled for swimming naked at midnight in the school pool: “My big mistake was my sense of fair play,” she recalled. “I wasn’t even caught in the pool but owned up anyway.”

 

Stage-struck from the age of nine, when she played an Ugly Sister in a school production of Cinderella, Susannah went on to study at Rada.

 

She was playing Nora in a Rada production of A Doll’s House when a Hollywood agent approached her and offered to make her a star, landing her the part of Alec Guinness’s daughter in Tunes Of Glory (1960). In 1961 she played the leading role in The Greengage Summer, opposite Kenneth More. Two years later she took the part of Sophie Western opposite Albert Finney in the Oscar-winning Tom Jones (1963).

 

She went on to appear with Glenda Jackson in The Maids (1974) and with Elizabeth Taylor in Zee and Company (1972). Other credits included the title role in a television production of Jane Eyre (1970).

 

In 1960, at the age of 18, Susannah York had fallen in love with and married a Rada contemporary, Michael Wells. The wedding was front-page news, but as her career blossomed it swiftly eclipsed that of her husband, causing resentment and conflict. They had a son and a daughter, but the marriage eventually ended in a painful divorce in 1976.

 

Several romances followed, but motherhood and Susannah York’s film career overshadowed all of them. As her domestic responsibilities continued to dominate her life, she found it increasingly difficult to land serious roles. She played Superman’s mother Lara on the doomed planet Krypton in Superman (1978) and in its sequels, Superman II (1980) and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).

 

She also appeared in television series, including Prince Regent (1979), as Mrs Fitzherbert, and We’ll Meet Again (1982), and was Mrs Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (1984). But in the late 1980s, as film and television offers dried up, she was forced to sell jewellery and paintings to pay the mortgage.

 

Alongside her film career she had continued to appear from time to time on stage, and in the 1990s, no longer considered “hot” by film makers and with her children grown up, she revitalised her stage career. In 1996 and 1997 she played Gertrude and Mistress Ford in the RSC’s productions of Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Subsequently she wrote a critically-acclaimed one-woman show, The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women, with which she toured extensively in Britain and abroad. She also directed several fringe theatre productions.

 

Susannah York combined a keen sense of justice with a famously volatile, prickly temper. When she was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? she famously snubbed the Academy by declaring that it offended her to be nominated without being asked. On the set of Freud, John Huston’s 1962 film biography of the psychoanalyst (in which she played a hopeless neurotic), she was so outraged when Huston sarcastically suggested that Montgomery Clift should get a guide dog (after the actor confessed that his eyesight was failing) that she punched him.

 

During her career as an actress Susannah York was associated with a number of causes, such as CND and rainforests, and on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu, who was jailed for confirming that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. While performing The Loves of Shakespeare’s Women in Tel Aviv in 2007, she dedicated the performance to Vanunu, provoking jeers (and some cheers) from the audience.

 

Yet when it came to talking about herself, her career and her private life, interviewers found her disarmingly honest about her own faults. She was her own harshest critic.

 

Susannah York retained into her final years the youthful, nervy, restless quality that she had brought to the screen in the 1960s. In 2009 she starred alongside Jos Vantyler in a Tennessee Williams triple bill at the New End Theatre in London.

 

In 1991 she was appointed an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an award of which she was always proud.

 

She is survived by her son and daughter.

 

from The Telegraph 16 January 2011

 

As Many of us gathered around our flat screen TV's with family and friends or attended a fancy Oscar party, I decided to take some time to do a little street photography to capture images of daily life for many people who call the City of Angels home.

 

I think many people are surprised to learn that Los Angeles boasts the worlds 9th largest economy, but at the same time holds to distinction of the homeless capitol of the world.

 

It was very interesting to me that a movie about America's ugly and disgusting past was so well received, even taking best actress and best picture nominations. While another movie centered around HIV and AIDS. Both movies were awesome and I wish to congratulate the winners from each movie.

 

But before we skid down the yellow brick road holding hands and patting each other on the back and before we get this twisted any further let me drop some information on the subjects of homelessness which has been called the "new slavery" and the current numbers of HIV and AIDS.

 

According to the LA Times

"The number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped by 16% over the last two years, fueled by lingering economic devastation from the recession and rising rents and housing prices, according to a survey released."

 

"The sharp increase from 50,000 to more than 58,000 homeless people marked a departure from counts in 2011 and 2012, which showed reductions of 3% to 7% over previous years. And it came despite hundreds of millions of dollars in government aid pouring into the county each year to get people off the streets."

 

However, According Weingart Center, "an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Unaccompanied youth, especially in the Hollywood area, are estimated to make up from 4,800 to 10,000 of these.

 

Although homeless people may be found throughout the county, the largest percentages are in South Los Angeles and Metro Los Angeles. Most are from the Los Angeles area and stay in or near the communities from which they came. About 14 to 18 percent of homeless adults in Los Angeles County are not U.S. citizens compared with 29% of adults overall. A high percentage - as high as 20 percent - are veterans. African Americans make up approximately half of the Los Angeles County homeless population - disproportionately high compared to the percentage of African Americans in the county overall (about 9 percent).

 

HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles

 

"More than 31,448 people have died of AIDS-related causes since the epidemic began.

More than 44,450 people are living with HIV, of which 24,600 are living with AIDS. Most are male (88%) and aged 40 or older (70%). An estimated 72% are gay or bisexual men, 7% of whom are also injection drug users.

 

Although African-Americans comprise less than 9% of the city’s population, they account for nearly 22% of those living with AIDS.

 

The communities with the highest numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS are Long Beach, Hollywood, West Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles."

(source AIDS/LifeCycle)

 

Having lived through 29 months of homelessness I know the homeless numbers are much higher than reported and living with HIV and experiencing many obstacles to care and treatment I also know the numbers for HIV and AIDS are also higher.

 

I guess what I'm saying is this, we still have lots of work to do nationally when it comes to homelessness (slavery) as well as HIV and AIDS, but especially right here in Los Angeles. We cant simply continue to blame homelessness on homeless people or blame the economy. Just like we cant blame the rate of new infections and AIDS deaths in populations of color (Black and Latino) on stigma, guilt, shame, churches or families.

 

We MUST begin to hold the powers that be accountable for work they claim to be doing so well. We only need to look at the numbers to know that the problem ISN'T homeless people or Black and Latino churches, families and radio stations, but instead a clear breakdown of caring and knowing how to fully engage populations where homelessness, HIV and AIDS go unchecked.

 

It's easy to point the finger at people who have no voice. After all they are the fish in the fish bowl.

 

Again these two movies were awesome and the performances were award worthy, but so are the lives of people dealing with the harsh reality and ugly disrespect of homelessness and the often times degrading, disrespectful and stigma filled treatment towards people LIVING with HIV or AIDS by the very people, places and things we MUST turn to for help.

 

We have work to do because people are STILL in slavery and people still become infected with HIV and die in record numbers from AIDS related complications.

 

These men, women and children ALSO deserve to have their stories told, but most importantly the right to LIFE.

  

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