Archive for August, 2016
Appearing on Broadway, Andrew Prine soared to recognition in the leading role of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Look Homeward Angel, and in his film role in the Academy award winner, The Miracle Worker (1962). He has worked with Hollywood legends such as John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, William Holden, Glenn Ford, Dean Martin, Ben Johnson, Carl Reiner, Raquel Welch, and Anne Bancroft. When Westerns were king on television, he was the frequent guest star almost every week on the all the shows. His appearance in Western theatrical feature films include Chisum (1970), Bandolero! (1968), Texas Across the River (1966), and Gettysburg (1993). Not only appearing on television in war dramas, Prine had to learn to ski while filming The Devil’s Brigade (1968), shot in Italy with an all star cast that included William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Richard Jaeckel and Claude Atkins. Andrew starred in several television series, beginning with Earl Holiman in the series,Wide Country (1962), and joined forces with Barry Sullivan in, The Road West (1966), and inW.E.B. (1978), he portrayed the network executive, Dan Costello. Adept at comedy, he co-starred in the series, Room For Two (1992), and was featured in the cast of, Weird Science (1994). A member of the prestigious Actor’s Studio, Andrew’s work in theatre includes Long Day’s Journey Into Night with Charlton Heston and Deborah Kerr, The Caine Mutiny directed by Henry Fonda, and Sam Shepard’s Buried Child where he received his second Dramalogue Critics Award for Best Actor the leading role. Displaying his acting range by portraying a variety of characters in his long career, Andrew Prine has delighted fans of many genres; Westerns, Military, Science Fictions and Horror, and is considered one of Hollywood’s consummate actors.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Author: Deborah Miller
Kent Smith was born in 1907 and died in 1985.
He was one of Hollywood’s more interesting curiosities. Kent Smith, by most standards, had the makings of a topflight 40s and 50s film star — handsome; virile; personable; highly dedicated; equipped with a rich stage background; no slouch in the talent department. For some reason all these fine qualities did not add up and stardom would remain elusive in a career that nevertheless covered almost five decades. Today, Smith’s name and face has been almost completely forgotten. His solid body of work on stage, screen and TV certainly defies such treatment. Perhaps his looks weren’t distinctive enough; perhaps he was overshadowed once too often by his more popular female screen stars; perhaps there was a certain lack of charisma or sex appeal for audiences to latch onto; perhaps a lack of ego or even an interest in being a “name” star. Whatever the reason, this purposeful lead and second lead’s resumé deserves more than a passing glance.
Christened Frank Kent Smith, he was born in New York City on March 19, 1907, to a hotelier. An early experience in front of a crowd happened during childhood when he performed as an assistant to Blackstone the Magician. Kent graduated from boarding school (Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire) and attended Harvard University, finding theater work at various facilities during his time off. One such group, the University Players in West Falmouth, Massachusetts, produced such screen icons as James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Margaret Sullavan.
Kent made his theatrical debut in the short-lived play “Blind Window” at the Ford’s Theatre in Baltimore in 1929 in a cast that also featured young hopeful Clark Gable. Taking his first Broadway curtain call in “Men Must Fight” in 1932, a steady flow of theater work came his way throughout the rest of the 30s in which he performed opposite some of the theater’s finest grande dames — Lillian Gish, Katharine Cornell, Jane Cowl, Blanche Yurka and Ethel Barrymore. He proved equally adept in both classic (“Caesar and Cleopatra,” “Saint Joan,” “A Doll’s House”) and contemporary settings (“Heat Lightning,” “The Drums Begin”).
Aside from an isolated appearance in The Garden Murder Case (1936), Kent’s film output didn’t officially begin until 1942. RKO took an interest in the stage-trained actor and offered him a lead role in the low-budget horror classic Cat People (1942) as the husband of menacingly feline Simone Simon. He returned to his protagonist role in the lesser-received sequel The Curse of the Cat People (1944). After a few more decent films, including Hitler’s Children (1943) and This Land Is Mine (1943), Kent joined the U.S. Army Air Force and appeared in several government training films during his service, which ended in 1944.
He came back to films without a hitch during the post-war years posting major credits in The Spiral Staircase (1945), Magic Town (1947) , Nora Prentiss (1947), My Foolish Heart (1949) and The Fountainhead (1949), although he tended to pale next to his illustrious female stars — Dorothy McGuire, Jane Wyman, Ann Sheridan, Susan Hayward and Patricia Neal. Normally a third wheel in romantic triangles or good friend/rival to the star, he never found the one big film role (or TV show) that could have put a marquee name to the face.
Kent fared better on stage and in the newer medium of TV in the 1950s. Among the highlights: he complimented Helen Hayes both in the video version of her stage triumph “Victoria Regina” and in her Broadway vehicle “The Wisteria Tree”, which was based on Chekhov’s “‘The Cherry Orchard”. He was also given praise for his strong stage performances in “The Wild Duck” and “The Autumn Garden”, and appeared alongside Elaine Stritch in the national touring company of the musical “Call Me Madam”. He was everywhere on TV, guesting on such popular shows as “Wagon Train”, “Naked City”, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “The Outer Limits” and “Peyton Place”. In 1962, he replaced Melvyn Douglas in the national company of Gore Vidal‘s “The Best Man”. Also in the cast was actress Edith Atwater. The couple married that same year. His first marriage to minor actress Betty Gillette ended earlier in divorce after 17 years and one daughter.
The remainder of Kent’s career remained quite steady, if unremarkable, in both films and TV, lending able character support as assorted gray-haired authoritarians usually upstanding in reputation but certainly capable of shady dealings if called upon. The actor died at age 78 of heart disease in Woodland Hills, California, just outside of Los Angeles. His widow Edith died less than a year later of cancer.
Perhaps with such a common last name as “Smith”, it was destined that he would spend a life time trying to stand out. Nevertheless, a career as rich and respectable as his was, and with a wide range of roles that included everything from battling evil cats to spouting Shakespeare at Stratford, true recognition and reconsideration is long overdue.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / email@example.com
“New York Times” obituary from April 2016:
Anne Jackson, a distinguished star of the stage who was half of one of America’s best-known acting couples, sharing much of a long and distinguished career with her husband, Eli Wallach, died on Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 90. Her death was confirmed by her daughter Katherine Wallach. If not quite on the same level of stardom as Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne or Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, Ms. Jackson and Mr. Wallach came close. From the early 1950s to 2000, when they starred Off Broadway in Anne Meara’s comedy “Down the Garden Paths,” they captivated audiences with their onstage synergy, displaying the tense affections and sizzling battles of two old pros who knew both how to love and how to fight Ms. Jackson, who had endured a difficult life growing up in Brooklyn, carved out an impressive stage career of her own. Critics hailed her range and the subtlety of her characterizations — including all the women, from a middle-aged matron to a grandmother, in David V. Robison’s “Promenade, All!” (1972) — and a housewife verging on hysteria in Alan Ayckbourn’s “Absent Friends” (1977). She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as the daughter of a manufacturer, played by Edward G. Robinson, in Paddy Chayefsky’s “Middle of the Night” (1956).
The volatility that characterized much of Ms. Jackson and Mr. Wallach’s stage work often carried over into their dressing rooms, with life imitating art over some technique or timing in a performance. Friends called it candid shoptalk by perfectionists who respected each other intellectually, emotionally and professionally. Life in the Jackson-Wallach apartment on Riverside Drive was also a turbulent affair: a juggling of finances and schedules to meet the demands of show business, marriage and parenthood — raising three children in the competitive wilds of Manhattan. They hired help, tried to smooth frictions with gruff tact and bought a weekend home in East Hampton, N.Y., to get away from it all. n 1979, Ms. Jackson published a memoir that surprised critics. It was not about her career and had no spicy gossip or self-promotional revelations. The book, “Early Stages,” was instead a frank examination of her childhood and the years of turmoil that formed her, ending poignantly with the deaths of her parents. “She writes of it vividly, sensitively, modestly,” Seymour Peck wrote in a review for The New York Times. “She cherishes it: this family nurtured her, gave her the strength, let her go on to become an actress, somehow prepared her for her own good marriage (to Eli Wallach) and for motherhood.” She also examined her early days with Mr. Wallach. “We had a lot in common,” she wrote. “Neither of us could sing; both of us loved to act; we were both ambitious and idealistic; and we endowed each other with the most extraordinary virtues.”
Lucy Gutteridge was born on November 28, 1956 in London, England as Lucy Karima Gutteridge. She is an actress, known for Top Secret! (1984), A Christmas Carol (1984) and Hitler’s S.S.: Portrait in Evil (1985).
An award-winning actor, writer, producer and director, Bo Svenson has during his career worked with over one hundred Academy Award winners and/or nominees. He is a prolific writer in addition to being an accomplished actor. His first novel, “For Love and Country”, was published in December 2015. His screenplay “Don’t Call Me Sir!” won the 2015 New York Screenplay Contest’s “Park Avenue Prize for Drama” and 1st Place in Drama at the 2015 Los Angeles Screenplay Contest — and his screenplay “For Love and Country” won two Gold Awards at the International Independent Film Awards. He has several other screenplays in various stages of development and preproduction, including “Yakuzano”; “Misguided”; “Viking: The Red Cloth”; and “Fate, Two Kids and an ET”.
Born in Sweden to a Russian Jewish mother and a Swedish father, Svenson emigrated by himself to the US as a teenager and began by serving his new country with six years in the U.S. Marines. After an honorable discharge, he was spotted in Miami by James Hammerstein Jr. and cast in a revival of “South Pacific”. Curious to find out if acting was for him, he headed to New York where he landed the lead role as Yang Sun in Bertolt Brecht’s play “The Good Woman of Szechuan” at The Circle In The Square Theater in Greenwich Village — and cast in a starring role in the CBS TV pilot The Freebooters.
Other starring roles followed, as well as a recurring role as Big Swede on “Here Come the Brides”. His role as the Creature in the three-hour TV movie “Mary Shelley’s Original Frankenstein” brought him great acclaim and led to a starring role in “Maurie” and the co-starring role with Robert Redford in “The Great Waldo Pepper”.
Major starring roles followed: Sheriff Buford Pusser in “Walking Tall Part II”, “Walking Tall Final Chapter” and the “Walking Tall” TV series; crazed football player Jo Bob in “North Dallas Forty”; heroic airline pilot Captain Campbell in “The Delta Force”; jealous bar-owner Roy Jennings in Clint Eastwood’s “Heartbreak Ridge”; and cold-blooded killer Ivan in “Magnum, P.I.”
In addition to recently being the Russian mob boss Vadim in “Icarus”, he portrayed Reverend Harmony in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” and The Colonel in Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”. He was the only actor from the original “The Inglorious Bastards” cast included by Tarantino in his homage to that movie, one of his all-time favorites.
An accomplished athlete, he has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and/or international competition in judo, yachting, track, and ice hockey — and he drove NASCAR.
A black belt in judo, karate, and aikido, he has been inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame. He retired from judo competition after winning a silver in the 2009 USA Judo National Championships, a bronze in the IJF World Judo Masters Championships, and a gold in the 2013 USJA Winter Nationals.
He was recently Sports Commissioner at the Special Olympics World Games: 2015 LA — held at his alma mater UCLA where he had pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics until his film career took over. He is president and CEO of MagicQuest Entertainment, a California corporation engaged in international motion picture and television development, production, and branded advertainment. MagicQuest also provides consulting service to actors and writers.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscar.org) since 1987, he serves on the nominating committee for Best Foreign Language Film and is a juror on the Student Academy Award committee. He was Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-2004. His numerous honors and nominations include Lifetime Achievement Awards from Action On Film, the Movieville International Film Festival, and The Reel Cowboys Hall of Fame; the NAACP Image Award Nomination; the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award; the Hollywood Women’s Press Club Golden Apple; the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for Inglourious Basterds; and the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit.
His short film, “Made For Each Other” — that he wrote, produced and directed starring Dennis Hopper — was nominated for Best Short at numerous festivals and won the Award of Excellence at the Accolade Global Film Competition. He conducts “Acting for Life – Be All You That You Can Be” seminars in colleges, universities and corporate boardrooms around the globe.
– IMDb Mini Biography By: Val Verse