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Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling
Charlotte Rampling

Charlotte Rampling began her film career in the 1960’s and became a delight of the critics with some key films in the 1970’s and 80’s. Her first film was the Boulting Brothers “Rotten to the Core”.   She supported Alan bates, James Mason and Lynn Redgrave in “Georgy Girl”.   In 1969 she made”The Damned” in Luchino Visconti” and then later in Hollywood “Farewell My Lovely” opposite Robert Mitchum and “The Verdict” with Paul Newman.

TCM overview:

An alluring presence in features and on television since the 1960s, actress Charlotte Rampling defined sexual freedom and fearlessness over the ensuing decades in such films as “Georgy Girl” (1966), “The Damned” (1969), “Vanishing Point” (1971) and “The Night Porter” (1974). Though her immediate appeal was her physicality, Rampling became a cinematic icon in the 1970s, thanks to a screen presence that was at the same time confident, passionate and reserved. After star turns in “The Verdict” (1982) and “Angel Heart” (1987), her star waned in the late 1980s due to personal turmoil, though she rebounded in the late 1990s as Aunt Maude in “Wings of a Dove” (1997). Rampling went on to impress audiences with performances as Miss Havisham in “Great Expectations” (BBC, 1999), as well as critical darlings “Under the Sand” (2000) and “Swimming Pool” (2003). As she entered her sixties, Rampling’s career was in full bloom, with steely supporting turns in “The Duchess” (2008) and “Never Let Me Go” (2010). The definition of class for many a moviegoer the world over, Rampling’s formidable body of work made her one of the most respected actresses on two continents.

She was born Tessa Charlotte Rampling on Feb. 5, 1946 in the village of Sturmer, in Essex county, England. Her father was Godfrey Rampling, a Royal Army officer and three-time gold medalist in the 400 meter and 4×400 meter relays in the 1932 and 1936 Summer Olympics, while her mother, Anne Isabelle Gurten, was a painter from France. Her childhood was spent in transit, moving throughout the U.K., France and Gibraltar with her father’s reassignments. She was educated in part at the Jeanne d’Arc Academie Pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles, which she later described as a lonely experience due to the language barrier. Happiness was found in a cabaret act she enjoyed with her older sister, Sarah, who died by her own hand in Argentina in 1967 after the premature birth of her daughter. She briefly studied Spanish at a college in Madrid before dropping out in 1963 to travel with a cabaret troupe. Upon her return to England in 1964, she modeled to support herself while learning the craft of acting at the Royal Court Stage School. At 17, she made her television debut in a commercial for Cadbury’s chocolates; her feature debut came with a bit role of a water skier in Richard Lester’s 1965 film “The Knack And How to Get It.” More supporting roles preceded her breakthrough in “Georgy Girl” (1966) as Lynn Redgrave’s glamorous yet shallow flatmate, who gives up her baby to pursue a hedonistic life. The character’s combination of icy beauty, open sexuality, and disregard for responsibility – which the press dubbed “The Look,” per a comment from her frequent co-star, Dirk Bogarde – would serve as a template for many of her future performances.

Rampling’s smoldering intensity was best served in roles that required her to plumb the depths of the human experience. In Luchino Visconti’s “The Damned” (1969), she was the wife of a German company’s vice president, who paid for his opposition to the Nazi regime by being sent to the Dachau concentration camp with her children. Her Anne Boleyn in “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” (1972) also trod a delicate line between seductiveness and sadness as she attempted to bend the will of Henry (Keith Michell) to hers before meeting her fabled end. Her most famous role during this period was in “The Night Porter” (1974), Liliana Cavani’s controversial film about a Holocaust survivor (Rampling) who became immersed in a sado-masochistic relationship with an SS officer (Bogarde) while interned at a camp, only to resume their tortured couplings years after the war. The film was condemned and celebrated with equal fervor during its release, but all parties agreed that Rampling’s performance, which featured her in feverish scenes of morbid fetishism, was the film’s highlight. The picture did much to cement Rampling as the thinking man’s sex symbol, as did a 1973 layout for Playboy shot by Helmut Newton and a widespread rumor that she lived in a ménage-a-trois with her then-husband, publicist Bryan Southcombe, and male model Randall Laurence.

“Night Porter” would prove a difficult film to surpass for any actress, but Rampling wisely sidestepped the problem by focusing on films that satisfied her as an actress, rather than those that simply generated more publicity. She criss-crossed the Atlantic on numerous occasions, playing an alluring femme fatale who ensnared Robert Mitchum’s world-weary Philip Marlowe in “Farewell, My Lovely” (1975), then made her American TV debut as Irene Adler, the ideal woman for Sherlock Holmes (Roger Moore) in the 1976 TV movie “Sherlock Holmes in New York” (NBC). Little needed to be said about films like “Orca” (1977), which pitted Rampling against a killer whale, but these were largely forgotten in the wake of pictures like “Stardust Memories” (1980), writer-director Woody Allen’s bittersweet tribute to his cinematic idols, Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman, with Rampling cast as a psychologically troubled former lover of Allen’s whose memory of her he simply cannot shake. Rampling also shone in a pivotal role in Sidney Lumet’s “The Verdict” (1982) as lawyer Paul Newman’s lover, whom defense attorney James Mason hired to keep track of him.

In the latter half of the decade and for much of the 1990s, Rampling stepped away from Hollywood product, preferring to – or, perhaps, finding more opportunities in – international films with a decided arthouse bent, including collaborations with Claude Lelouch with “Viva le vie” (1984) and Nagisha Oshima, who cast Rampling as a diplomat’s wife who left her husband for a chimpanzee in “Max mon Amour” (1986). In 1985, she was nominated for a French Cesar as the mistress of a murder victim who seduced inspector Michel Serrault in Jacques Deray’s “On ne meurt que 2 fois.” There were also supporting turns in American features, most notably as a victim of a grisly murder in Alan Parker’s “Angel Heart’ (1987) and the moribund remake of “D.O.A.” (1988).

During this period, Rampling also suffered from depression, which led to a nervous breakdown in the early 1990s. Therapy helped her emerge from this dark period and, quite possibly, made it possible to deal with the very public fallout from tabloid reports that revealed numerous infidelities committed by her second husband, composer Jean Michel Jarre. The dissolution of their marriage came about in 1997, the same year the Oscar-nominated “The Wings of the Dove” (1997) was released; her most widely-seen film in years, she was cast as Helena Bonham Carter’s cautious aunt who was determined her young charge would not follow in the footsteps of her disgraced mother. The worldwide success of “Dove” launched a revival of interest in Rampling, who soon resumed a steady and impressive schedule of quality projects. She was a ravishingly ruined Miss Havisham in the BBC’s 1999 adaptation of “Great Expectations,” then joined Alan Bates and Gerard Butler in Michael Cacoyannis’ 1999 film version of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.”

Her most substantive work during this period, however, came in partnership with French director Francois Ozon. Their first collaboration, 2000’s “Under the Sun,” gave her talent a magnificent showcase as a woman crippled by grief and doubt over her husband’s mysterious disappearance. Critics raved over the complexity of her performance, which explored unsettling depths of denial in its attempt to make sense of the tragedy, and for her work, Rampling received her second Cesar nomination. Her sophomore project with Ozon, 2003’s “Swimming Pool,” was a deeply personal project for the actress, as it allowed her to finally come to terms with her sister’s suicide. Rampling and her father had kept the truth about Sarah’s death from her mother for decades, until her own death in 2001; in the aftermath, Rampling began to develop a better understanding of her sister’s life and actions, and used her as motivation for her performance in “Swimming Pool.” She even used her sister’s name for her character, a mystery author plagued by writer’s block whose retreat to a country house in France is interrupted by a seemingly unhinged young woman (Ludivine Sagnier) who claimed Sarah was her mother. Another critical success, the film brought Rampling a third Cesar and a European Film Award for Best Actress.

As Rampling reached her sixth decade, her career showed no signs of slowing down. A fourth Cesar nod came in 2005 with “Lemming,” a psychological thriller with Rampling as the neurotic dinner guest whose arrival signaled an explosion of ill feelings and violence. More prominent turns followed, including that of Keira Knightley’s chilly royal mother in “The Duchess” (2008), a self-loathing woman who endured a one-night stand with paroled child molester Ciaran Hinds in Todd Solondz’s “Life During Wartime” (2009), and an instructor at a mysterious boarding school in Mark Romanek’s well-received “Never Let Me Go” (2010). Rampling also made news during this period for launching a lawsuit in 2009 to prevent the publication of a biography, penned by a close friend, that detailed her emotional travails in the wake of her sister’s suicide and the infidelities inflicted upon her by Jarre.

Meanwhile, Rampling starred “Rio Sex Comedy” (2010) opposite Bill Pullman and Fisher Stevens, and joined an ensemble cast for the biblically-themed drama “The Mill and the Cross” (2011). After playing the mother of Kristen Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” (2011), she narrated the animated box office hit, “Cars 2” (2011), before earning critical kudos as the dying matriarch of a family struggling to maintain control over the affairs of those around her in “The Eye of the Storm” (2011), co-starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. From there, Rampling was the superior of a Secret Service agent (Sean Bean) determined to stop a suicide bombing in the taut British thriller “Cleanskin” (2012). She went on to earn critical praise and A SAG award nod for her turn as a mother whose daughter investigates her past as a World War II spy in the made-for-cable movie “Restless” (Sundance Channel, 2012), which was adapted from William Boyd’s award-winning novel.

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

 

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Andreas Wisniewski

Andreas Wisniewski
Andreas Wisniewski

Andreas Wisniewski was born in 1959 in Berlin.   He made his film debut in 1986 in “Gothic” with  Gabriel Byrne and Natasha Richarsaon. The following year he made his mark in the James Bond in “The Living Daylights” and followed it as Alan Rickman’s henchman in “Die Hard”.   He is a practicing Buddhist and facilitates meditation classes.   He lives in Notting Hill, London.   Interview here.

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Ralph Richardson

Sir Ralph Richardson
Sir Ralph Richardson

Sir Ralph Richardson was most of that select group of English actors who became ‘knights of the realm’ and made major contributions to British theatre and film in the mid 20th Century.   The group included Laurence Oliver,John Gielgud, Michael Redgrave and Alec Guinness.   He was born in 1902 in Chelteham.   In 1925 he joined Barry Jackson’s famed Birmingham Repertory Company.   During the years of World War Two, he and Laurence Oliver had some major triumphs on stage at the ‘Old Vic’ in London.   Richardson won widespread critical acclaim for his roles in “Uncle Vanya” and “An Inspector Calls”.   His first film was “The Ghoul” in 1933 and his most noteworthy movies include “The Four Feathers” in 1939, “The Fallen Idol”, !”The Heiress” and “Doctor Zhivago”.  He was a keen motor biker and rode his machine until e was in his late 70’s. He died in 1983.

ile on TCM:

Described by the Times of London as “equipped to make an ordinary character seem extraordinary, or an extraordinary one seem ordinary,” Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the most celebrated British actors of the 20th century. He regularly brought humor and humanity to every role he played, from unsympathetic fathers in “The Heiress” (1949) and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (1962) to nearly every great Shakespearean role and even playing God in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits” (1981). A friend and frequent collaborator with the three great “knights” of the English acting profession – Lord Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Alec Guinness – Richardson joined them in their domination of the stage in the 1940s and 1950s. And if his film career was not as celebrated as that of Olivier or Guinness, he rarely endured bad films or overwhelming critical expectations. Viewers knew that Richardson would deliver a quietly mesmerizing performance every time he appeared on stage or screen, capturing attentions through carefully considered gestures and inflections. In doing so, he remained a presence in films from the late 1930s until the early 1980s, when he received a posthumous Oscar nomination as the Earl of Greystoke in “Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes” (1984). A gently eccentric but extraordinarily focused actor, he was also endearingly self-effacing, once describing the secret of his acting talent as “the art of keeping a large group of people from coughing.” His accomplishments as an actor remained the high water mark for his profession after nearly six decades.

Born Ralph David Richardson in the borough of Cheltenham, in Gloucestershire, England, on Dec. 19, 1902, he was the son of Arthur Richardson, an art teacher at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, and his wife, Lydia Russell. Richardson’s mother left his father when their son was still a baby, and she raised him in a series of homes in nearby Gloucester and other towns. He spent much of his childhood alone, and amused himself through play-acting, which spurred his interest in the theater. However, both parents had distinct ideas about Richardson’s career path; his father hoped that he would take up art, while Russell wanted him to become a priest. But after brief tenures at both art school and a Jesuit seminary, he took his inheritance of 500 pounds from a grandmother and auditioned for a theater company in Brighton. The tryout went poorly, and Richardson was forced to pay 10 shillings a week to remain in the company. He was initially put in charge of the sound props, but bungled the job badly.

But after a year’s time, he showed enough promise as an actor to graduate from walk-on roles to minor speaking parts and eventually, supporting and lead characters. He joined a Shakespearean repertory company and toured the United Kingdom for five seasons before joining the esteemed Birmingham Repertory Company, which counted Laurence Olivier, Paul Scofield and Derek Jacobi among its later members. In 1926, he made his London stage debut in “Oedipus at Colonus,” which was soon followed by his West End debut in “Yellow Sands,” which co-starred his wife, actress Muriel Hewitt. Richardson’s stage career hit its stride after he joined the Old Vic Theatre for two seasons; there, he performed with John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier in celebrated productions of Shakespeare’s plays, which resulted in a lifelong friendship between the three men.

Richardson made his feature film debut in “The Ghoul” (1933), an atmospheric British horror film with Boris Karloff as a mystic who appeared to return from the grave, and Richardson as a seemingly harmless local vicar. By this point in his career, he was well established as one of the leading performers of the world stage, thanks to a series of acclaimed turns in W. Somerset Maugham’s “Sheppy,” the 1934 production of “Romeo and Juliet,” for which he replaced Orson Welles as Mercutio, and Barre Lyndon’s “The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse,” which ran for 492 performances in 1936. That same year, he signed a multi-picture deal with producer Alexander Korda, which resulted in several classic films. In William Cameron Menzies’ adaptation of “The Shape of Things to Come” (1936), he was “The Boss,” a brutal, petty warlord who rose to power in the wake of global devastation, while in the Technicolor comedy “The Divorce of Lady X” (1938), he played a school friend of Laurence Olivier, who was convinced that the woman he had fallen in love with (Merle Oberon) was Richardson’s wife. And in the epic adventure The Four Feathers (1939), he gave one of the title objects, a sign of cowardice, to British officer John Clements, who in turn saved Richardson’s life in battle against the Sudanese. Richardson earned his first lead in “On the Night of the Fire” (1939), a dark drama about a town barber whose impulsive theft of 100 pounds led to devastating personal ruin.

During WWII, Richardson joined Olivier in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Volunteer Reserve, where he rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. The period was an emotionally devastating one for him; not only had his wife succumbed to sleeping sickness in 1942, but the Old Vic had been badly damaged during the German bombing raids on London. Both Richardson and Olivier were released early in 1944 to take over the company with director John Burrell. There, Richardson delivered what many would consider his finest performance, including Falstaff in a 1945 production of “Henry IV” and the title role in “Peer Gynt.” His tenure at the head of the Old Vic was regarded as the greatest period in the theater’s history – an opinion not shared by its board of governors, who sacked him and Olivier over fears that their popularity would overshadow that of the theater itself.

In 1947, Richardson was knighted for his contributions to the British theater. The following year, he appeared as Alexei Karenina, whose chilly relationship with his wife, Anna (Vivien Leigh) drove her to infidelity in the Korda-produced adaptation of Anna Karenina (1948). It preceded an acclaimed period in Richardson’s film career, which included Carol Reed’s The Fallen Idol (1948), which provided him with one of his best film roles as a butler whose young charge (Bobby Henrey) accidentally implicated him in his wife’s death. In 1949, he made his Hollywood film debut in William Wyler’s “The Heiress” (1949), for which he repeated his role from the stage production as Olivia de Havilland’s emotionally distant father, who bullied her into rejecting her suitor (Montgomery Clift). Richardson earned an Oscar nomination for his performance, as well as the National Board of Review’s award for best actor.

Richardson’s stage career took something of a downward turn in the early 1950s, with critically savaged turns in “The Tempest” and a Gielgud-directed “Macbeth.” He also turned down the chance to appear in the English-language debut of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” a decision he regretted for the rest of his career. Greater success was found in feature films, most notably in “Breaking the Sound Barrier” (1952), Carol Reed’s drama about a wealthy airplane designer whose single-minded drive to conquer the sound barrier resulted in the death of his daughter’s husband (Nigel Patrick). Richardson won his second National Board of Review Award for his stern performance, as well as the BAFTA and the New York Film Critics Award, but not the Oscar, as nearly all NYFC winners had done. Other superior film roles during this period came in “The Holly and the Ivy” (1952) as a clergyman who devoted more attention to his parish than his family, and as the corrupt Duke of Buckingham in Olivier’s celebrated 1955 film version of “Richard III.”

Richardson’s stage career rebounded in the late 1950s with acclaimed turns in “The Flowering Cherry” in London and “The Waltz of the Toreadors” on Broadway, which brought him a Tony nomination. He also settled into a string of character turns in Hollywood and British features, most notably as the mysterious operative “C” in Reed’s “Our Man in Havana” (1959) and an English general overseeing a Jewish internment camp in “Exodus” (1960). In 1962, he received one of his best screen roles as the miserly ex-actor and patriarch in Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1962). Abetted by Katherine Hepburn, as well as Jason Robards – the leading interpreter of O’Neill on the American stage – and Dean Stockwell, Richardson gave a searing portrait of a man no longer able to abide reality, who has descended into drink and dissolution. He and each of his castmates were each rewarded with the Best Actor and Actress Awards at the 1962 Cannes Film Festival, and he soon followed it with a string of expert turns in historical epics like “The 300 Spartans” (1962) for Rudolph Mate, and “Woman of Straw” (1964), Basil Dearden’s tense British noir with Sean Connery and Gina Lollobrigida as scheming lovers who plan to murder Connery’s cruel uncle (Richardson). In 1965, he played Sasha Gromeko, the kindly medical professor who took Omar Sharif under his wing in David Lean’s epic “Doctor Zhivago” (1965).

After “Zhivago,” Richardson devoted more time to rebuilding his stage career than on screen, and his ’60s era features were relegated to small but notable supporting turns as government officials in “Khartoum” (1966), opposite Olivier and Charlton Heston, “The Battle of Britain” (1969), and the espionage thriller The Looking Glass War (1969), based on a novel by John le Carre. He also appeared in the black comedy The Wrong Box (1966) alongside Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, Peter Cook, John Mills and Michael Caine and in Spike Milligan’s surreal anti-war film, “The Bed-Sitting Room” (1969), as an English lord who transformed, due to nuclear fallout, into the title room. The stage continued to be his greatest showcase, and he proved his mastery of the art in the 1960s in productions of Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” and the original 1969 production of Joe Orton’s controversial “What the Butler Saw” as a doctor overseeing an outbreak of sexual hysteria at a psychiatrist’s office. He also teamed with Gielgud in “Home” (1970), which was filmed for broadcast on the BBC series “Play for Today” (1970-1984). The TV version was historic in that it was the sole recording of Richardson’s monumental work on stage. The pair later appeared together in Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land,” which, like “Home,” traveled to Broadway for a successful run.

Richardson became remarkably active on film and in television during the 1970s at an age when most actors would consider a slower pace. In interviews, he stated that he could not afford to retire, not for financial reasons, but to sate his own boundless curiosity about his fellow man. There were oddities along the way, like a turn as the malevolent Crypt Keeper in the 1972 horror anthology “Tales from the Crypt,” and as the Caterpillar in a 1972 adaptation of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” But he lent considerable charm and wisdom to offbeat films like Lindsay Anderson’s “O Lucky Man!” (1973) and “Rollerball” (1975), and brought the weight of his theater experience to a little-seen production of “A Doll’s House” (1975) with Anthony Hopkins. He also appeared alongside nearly every leading English actor, including Olivier, James Mason, Peter Ustinov, Ian Holm, Ian McShane and Michael York in “Jesus of Nazareth” (NBC, 1977).

Richardson’s career eventually wound down on a positive note. After appearing as an ancient wizard in the costly, Disney-produced fantasy “Dragonslayer” (1981), he gave a charming comic performance as a disinterested Supreme Being in Terry Gilliam’s “Time Bandits.” He then filmed his final screen appearances – as a mysterious and possibly supernatural old man in the Paul McCartney vanity project, “Give My Regards to Broadstreet” (1984) and then as the aged Earl of Greystoke in “Greystoke” The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.” Richardson’s warm and thoughtful performance was the high point of the latter film, which introduced audiences to Christopher Lambert. The stage was never very far away, even at this late point in his life, and he was earning rave reviews as the lead in 1983’s “Inner Voices” before falling ill. On Oct. 10, 1983, he suffered a stroke and died. Both “Greystoke” and “Broad Street” were released after his passing, and Richardson earned a posthumous Oscar nomination for the former film.

The above TCM profile can also be accessed online here.

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Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton

Ms Swinton, a strikingly angular actress,  has been a favourite of film buffs for years and came into more wide stream international prominence with her Oscar performance in George Clooney’s “Michael Clayton” in 2007.   She was born in London in 1960 and is a graduate of Cambridge University.   “War Requiem” in 1989 directed by Derek Jarman was her first art house film. Recently she received critical acclaim for her performance as the mother in the filming of Lionel Shriver’s chilling “We Need to Talk About Kevin”.

Gary Brumburgh’s entry:

The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, who was born on November 5th, 1960, have been appreciated by a more international audience of late. Born into a patrician military family, she was educated at an English and a Scottish boarding school. Tilda subsequently studied Social and Politcal Science at Cambridge University and graduated in 1983 with a degree in English Literature. During her time as a student, she performed countless stage productions and proceeded to work for a season in the Royal Shakespeare Company. A decided rebel when it came to the arts, she left the company after a year as her approach shifted dramatically: With a taste for the unique and bizarre, she found some genuinely interesting gender-bending roles come her way, such as the composer Mozart in Pushkin’s “Mozart and Salieri”, and as a working class woman impersonating her dead husband during World War II, in Karges’ Screenplay: Man to Man: Another Night of Rubbish on the Telly (1992). In 1985 the pale-skinned, carrot-topped actress began a professional association with gay experimental director Derek Jarman. She continued to live and work with Jarman for the next nine years, developing seven critically acclaimed films. Their alliance would produce stark turns, such as turner-prize nominated Caravaggio (1986),The Last of England (1988), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991), and Wittgenstein(1993). Jarman succumbed to complications from AIDS in 1994. His untimely demise left a devastating void in Tilda’s life for quite some time. Her most notable performance of that period however comes from a non-Jarman film: For the title role in Orlando (1992), her nobleman character lives for 400 years while changing sex from man to woman. The film, which Swinton spent years helping writer/director Sally Potter develop and finance, continues to this day to have a worldwide devoted fan following. Over the years she has preferred art to celebrity, opening herself to experimental projects with new and untried directors and mediums, delving into the worlds of installation art and cutting-edge fashion. Consistently off-centered roles in Female Perversions (1996), Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998), Teknolust (2002), Young Adam (2003),Broken Flowers (2005) and Béla Tarr‘s The Man from London (2007) have only added to her mystique. Hollywood too has picked up on this notoriety and, since the birth of her twins in 1997, she has successfully moved between the deep-left-field art-house and quality Hollywood blockbusters. The thriller The Deep End (2001), earned her a number of critic’s awards and her first Golden Globe nomination. Such mainstream U.S. pictures asThe Beach (2000) with Leonardo DiCaprio, fantasy epic Constantine (2005) with Keanu Reeves, her Oscar-decorated performance in Michael Clayton (2007) alongside George Clooney and of course her iconic White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) have cemented her place as one of cinema’s most outstanding women.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

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Trisha Noble

Trisha Noble
Trisha Noble

Trisha Noble began her show business career as a singer Patsy Ann Noble in her native Australia.   She was born in 1944 in New South Wales.   In the 1970’s she moved to California and guest starred in such TV series as “Colombo” and “Baretta”.   In 1986 she returned to Australia and continued her career there.

IMDB entry:

Dick Clark, immediately signed her as a regular on his series “Bandstand”.

Around that time, Patsy Ann signed a deal with the HMV record label and issued her debut single “I Love You So Much It Hurts” in November 1960. She released three more singles on HMV, of which “Good Looking Boy” became her biggest hit when it reached #6 in Melbourne and #16 in Sydney. In 1961, she was the winner of the first Logie Award for the Best Female Singer on Australian Television. She followed that with a successful acting debut at the Independent Theatre, Sydney, playing the lead role of Carmel in “The Grotto”. Shortly thereafter, Patsy Ann and her mother left for London to further her career. She launched her British career in 1963 and shared her first BBC radio show withThe Beatles, with whom she also appeared on British television. During this period, she recorded for EMI (England and France) with some chart success and performed at the London Palladium and at the Olympia Theatre in Paris.

By 1965, she had turned to acting, taking the role of Francesca in the British thriller Love Is a Woman (1966). She toured England with Cliff Richard and began to work on English television in dramatic and variety shows. In 1967, she married law student Allan Sharpe. During that year, she changed her stage name from Patsy Ann to Trisha and continued to work in British television and film. In her early 20s, she appeared on an Engelbert Humperdinck musical special and was seen by an American producer, who signed her to star in revue at the Las Vegas Sands Hotel. After a six-month engagement, she moved to Los Angeles and made her home there, making guest appearances on various television series. Trisha returned to Australia briefly in the early 1970s and starred in the stage musical “Sweet Charity”. After seven years of marriage, she and Allan divorced and she threw herself into her work. Upon her return to the United States, she worked extensively in television series, miniseries and feature films.

In 1976, she wed American fashion model Scott MacKenzie and the following year gave birth to their son, Patrick. However, after four years of marriage, the couple divorced in 1980. Despite personal setbacks, Trisha’s acting career continued to thrive as she co-starred with Don Knotts and Tim Conway in The Private Eyes (1980) and she landed the role of Detective Rosie Johnson in the Aaron Spelling / Robert Stack police drama Strike Force (1981). In 1983, her father, Buster, had a heart attack and was not expected to live long. At that point, Trisha made a difficult and life-changing decision. She decided to leave her successful acting career in Hollywood to return home to Australia to be with her family. She enjoyed seven years with her father before his death in July 1990. In 1985, Trisha married pharmaceutical scientist Peter Field and started a mineral-water business, Noble Beverages. Several years later, though, her third marriage ended in divorce and the business fell on hard times. At that point, Trisha decided to sell the business and get back to her first love — show business.

In 1997, a 25-song CD collection of her early 1960s recordings was released: “The Story of Patsy Ann Noble: Hits & Rarities”. In August, she filmed a small role in the CBS miniseries Blonde (2001) and was cast in a secret role in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002). Shortly thereafter, Trisha was cast to co-star with David Campbell in the musical “Shout!” in the role of Thelma O’Keefe, mother of Australian rock ‘n’ roll star, Johnny O’Keefe. The musical opened on January 4, 2001 in Melbourne, Australia, and a cast recording followed in March. To top it all, she was nominated in May for an Australian Entertainment MO Award in the category: Female Musical Theatre Performer of the Year for her role in “Shout!”.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Tina Carwile

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

Spouse (3)

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Joe Duttine

Joe Duttine
Joe Duttine

Joe Duttine was born in 1970 in Bradford, West Yorkshire.   He has appeared in such television series as “Pie in the Sky”, “Life on Mars”, “Shameless” and “Coronation Street”.   His films include “My NIght With Reg” in 1997.

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Clive Wood

Clive Wood
Clive Wood

Clive Wood was born in 1954 in Croydon.   He was brilliant in 1982 in the series “A Kind of Loving” as Vic Brown.   This was the role created by Alan Bates in the 1962 film version.   His films include “The Knowledge” in 1979 and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”.

IMDB entry:

Clive Wood was born in Croydon, Surrey in 1954 and studied drama at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He first came to notice in the late 1970s at the Bristol Old Vic, playing such diverse roles as a singing gangster in “Guys and Dolls” and the titular hero of “Henry V”. In 1982, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, touring with them in North America in the mid-1980s and he has returned to the company at intervals throughout his career. In 2008, he was part of the ensemble group staging the entire canon of William Shakespeare‘s history plays. On television, he gained attention as the “angry young man” anti-hero, “Vic Brown”, in A Kind of Loving (1982) and has had continuing roles in populist ongoing dramas, such as The Bill (1984) and London’s Burning (1988), in which he was joined by his son, Daniel Maiden-Wood.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: don @ minifie-1

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Jeremy Bulloch

Jeremy Bulloch
Jeremy Bulloch

Jeremy Bulloch was born in 1945 in Leicestershire.   He is best known for his perfomances  in the “Star Wars” series.   Other roles include “Spare the Rod” in 1961, “Summer Holiday” with Cliff Richard and “Mary Queen of Scots” in 1971.

IMDB entry:

Jeremy Bulloch was born on February 16, 1945 in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England. He is one of six children and even at the young age of five was on stage in his school show enjoying acting and singing. After failing a school exam at the age of eleven, Jeremy seemed destined for the acting profession and was soon attending Corona Academy Drama School, making his first professional appearance at the age of twelve when he appeared in a commercial for a breakfast cereal.

Following many appearances on children’s television, Jeremy’s big break came at the age of 17 when he landed a major role in the musical film Summer Holiday (1963) which starred the pop idol Cliff Richard (now Sir Cliff). Shortly after, he went into a BBC soap opera called The Newcomers (1965) which ran for three years and made him a household name in the United Kingdom. In 1969, Jeremy was off to Madrid in Spain to play the leading role in a musical film called Las leandras (1969). This was followed by two major films: The Virgin and the Gypsy (1970) and Mary, Queen of Scots (1971).

During the 1970s, he made many other screen appearances, including the James Bond films, in which he portrayed the character ‘Smithers’ (Q’s assistant). In 1977, Jeremy spent six months in the Far East, where he was based in Singapore and travelled to the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia filming a BBC drama documentary called ‘The Sadrina Project’. This documentary was designed to teach the English language to people in the Far East, mainly the Chinese. On a trip to China some 15 years later, where Jeremy was performing in a stage play, he was instantly recognised by hundreds of people who said they had learnt their English from the Sadrina Project.

In 1978, he was starring in the television comedy series Agony (1979), which was co-written by an American called Len Richmond. It was during this series that Jeremy was asked to play a small part in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). The part, of course, was Boba Fett – proving the old theatrical saying that “there is no such thing as a small part”! Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) soon followed and Jeremy was invited to reprise the role of Boba.

Since the early 1980s, Jeremy has played many roles on television and on the stage in London’s West End. He has also done two worldwide theatre tours covering the Middle and Far East. Jeremy appeared regularly in the favourite television series Robin Hood(1984), in which he played the part of Edward of Wickham. Jeremy’s son Robbie was asked to play Matthew in the series. ‘Robin of Sherwood’ has a great following all around the world, and Jeremy attends the convention ‘Spirit of Sherwood’ in Novi, Michigan every year, work permitting. Another popular series he has appeared in is Doctor Who (1963) where he played Hal the Archer in ‘The Time Warrior’ with Jon Pertwee, and also Tor in the ‘Space Museum’ with William Hartnell as the Doctor.

Since the re-release of Star Wars in 1997, the interest in the character of Boba Fett has meant that Jeremy has been invited to many sci-fi conventions and events all around the world. His fan mail has increased five-fold, and he manages somehow to reply to everyone that writes to him. In the little leisure time he has left, he loves nothing more than a game of cricket with his friends. Jeremy also enjoys travelling; in the past few years he has spent more time abroad than at home. He has collected an awesome amount of Boba Fett memorabilia, some given to him by dedicated fans, and some he cannot resist buying at toy fairs. His office at home resembles a Boba Fett museum.

Jeremy has three grown-up sons, and lives in London with his wife Maureen, and lucky black cat ‘Percy’.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: The Boba Fett Fan Club

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

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Nick Cassavettes

Nick Cassavettes
Nick Cassavettes

Nick Cassavettes was born in New York in 1959.   He is the son of John Cassavettes and Gena Rowlands.   He has acted in such films as “Faces/Off” and “The Astronaut’s Wife” ,   He has directed such movies as “Unhook the Stars” and the wonderful “The Notebook” wich starred his mother, James Garner and Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdam.

TCM overview:

Nick Cassavetes began his career as a film and television actor, but made a stronger impact when he discovered his talent for writing and directing. He was born into independent film royalty as the son of Oscar-nominated writer-director-actor John Cassavetes and Oscar-nominated actress Gena Rowlands. Cassavetes’ family tearjerkers “The Notebook” (2004) and “My Sister’s Keeper” (2009) were a far cry from the cinéma vérité style favored by his father, though he shared a thematic interest in the unseen worlds lurking behind the American dream landscape in “She’s So Lovely” (1997) and “Alpha Dog” (2007). True to the family name, Cassavetes was dedicated to building a body of character-driven dramas and bringing a great deal of emotion to the movie screen.

The firstborn child of actress Gena Rowlands and actor-director John Cassavetes, the future filmmaker was born May 21, 1959 in New York City. He made several screen appearance in his father’s films while growing up, including “Husbands” (1970) and “A Woman Under the Influence” (1974), though he did yearn for a movie career – due perhaps to his troubled youth with his notoriously difficult and explosive filmmaker father. Sports was the younger Cassavetes main interest, and he attended Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship until a court injury sidelined the 6’4″ coed’s chances of turning pro. He experienced some success when he subsequently became involved in theater, and eventually shifted his major from literature to drama and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976. Cassavetes went on to train further at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which both of his parents had also attended.

During the 1980s, Cassavetes earned a living in mostly direct-to-video and B-movies, with the exception of a supporting role in Peter Bogdanovich’s award-winning drama “Mask” (1985), starring Eric Stoltz and Cher. Supporting work in “Assault of the Killer Bimbos” (1988) and a string of guest spots on TV crime dramas followed. He joined several other Hollywood offspring in the action adventure “Young Commandos” (1991) before starring in the three 1993 erotic thrillers “Sins of Desire,” “Body of Influence” and “Sins of the Night.” In 1994, the actor finally earned some positive attention for his portrayal of award-winning playwright and screenwriter Robert E. Sherwood in “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” (1994), director Alan Rudolph’s take on the artists and wits that made up the celebrated Algonquin Round Table of the 1920s.

Several more low-budget thrillers followed. In 1996, Cassavetes made his writing and directing debut with “Unhook the Stars,” starring Rowlands as a sixty-something widow with grown children who must deal with the sudden emptiness of her life. The film generally garnered positive reviews, and the following year the fledgling filmmaker’s sophomore effort, “She’s So Lovely” (1997), premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie was developed from an unfinished, unproduced script by father John Cassavetes, and focused on a woman caught between her present happily married state and her past, represented by her first husband. Co-starring real-life marrieds Robin Wright and Sean Penn and featuring John Travolta, the drama earned the Best Actor Prize for Penn at Cannes and showed audiences that, while visually, Cassavetes’ style was very different from his father’s, he shared his same talent for conveying a great deal of emotion on the movie screen.

Cassavetes returned in front of the camera with a villainous turn in the Nicholas Cage/John Travolta actioner “Face/Off” (1997), and appeared in another villainous supporting role in Ted Demme’s prison comedy “Life” (1998), starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. In another high-profile supporting role, Cassavetes appeared alongside Johnny Depp as a NASA astronaut who witnesses a life-changing event in outer space in “The Astronaut’s Wife” (1999). Off-camera, Cassavetes teamed with buddy Ted Demme again to co-write the latter’s Academy Award-nominated cocaine chronicle, “Blow” (2000). In 2003, Cassavetes scripted the short film directorial debut of actor Kevin Connolly, a buddy bonding dramedy called “Whatever We Do” (2003). Then, inspired by his own real-life experiences dealing with the treatment of his own seriously ill child, Cassavetes was inspired to direct “John Q” (2002), starring Denzel Washington as a father pushed to extreme measures when the health care system fails to come through for his sick son. While a well-assembled thriller with an intriguing social message at its core, the film did not spark major critical or commercial fires.

His follow-up, the lush and sentimental period love story “The Notebook” (2004), based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel, marked Cassavetes first blockbuster. Working with screenwriter Jeremy Leven, Cassavetes smartly restructured the threadbare novel into a sophisticated storyline with a hint of mystery, one focusing on the memories of young star-crossed lovers (Rachel McAdams, Ryan Gosling) as told by nursing home resident James Garner, and another featuring the elderly version of that story’s leading lady, played by Rowlands. A three-hanky film in the best sense of the expression, “The Notebook” demonstrated a new level of skill for Cassavetes, both cinematically and with his actors. Cassavetes moved away from sentimental territory and into true crime with “Alpha Dog” (2006), based on a true story of wealthy, suburban kids in Los Angeles who emulate movie criminals and gangsta rap but end up in over their heads when a drug deal turns into a kidnapping and murder. The gritty, visceral film featured an outstanding young cast including Justin Timberlake, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster.

Critics were divided over the ultimate effectiveness of “Alpha Dog” as they were over Cassavetes’ next film, “My Sister’s Keeper” (2009). An adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s novel about a family facing moral dilemmas in deciding how to treat their terminally ill daughter, the film’s heavy-handed melodrama detracted from the complicated issues involved. Cassavetes did, however, direct excellent performances from Cameron Diaz in her first “parent” role, as well as child actors Abigail Breslin and Sofia Vassilieva as the family’s young daughters.

By Susan Clarke

The above TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

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Michael Coles

Michael Coles.
Michael Coles.

Michael Coles was born in 1936 in London.   He had a lengthy career on television.   He was featured in roles in such series as “The Plane Makers” in 1963, “The Likely Lads”, “No Hiding Place” and “Justice” in 1971.   His movies include “”Man Detained” in 1961, “Privare Potter”, “H.M.S. Defiant” and “I Want What I Want” with Anne Heywood.

IMDB entry:

Michael Coles was born on August 12, 1936 in London, England as Ernest Michael Coles. He was an actor, known for The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), Dracula A.D. 1972(1972) and Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965). He was married to Maryon Kantaroff. He died on April 26, 2005 in Chelsea, England.