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Archive for February, 2016

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Frank Kelly

 

Frank Kelly will always be remembered as “Fr Jack” in the classic cult TV series “Fr Ted”.   He died in 2016.

“Telegraoh” obituary:

Frank Kelly, who has died aged 77, was the actor best known for playing the irascible, foul-mouthed Father Jack Hackett in the sitcom Father Ted, which was broadcast on Channel 4 from 1995 until 1998.

Kelly’s acting career spanned some 60 years and he was already well known in his native Ireland for his work on the satirical television comedy show Hall’s Pictorial Weekly

(1971-1980), before his role as Father Jack brought him to a wider audience. Father Ted followed the hapless adventures of three priests who have found themselves exiled – for various misdemeanours – on Craggy Island, a fictional island off the west coast of Ireland, along with their chaotic and batty housekeeper, Mrs Doyle.

Much of the success of the series lay in the fond irreverence of the writing (by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan) and the interaction between the amiable but somewhat wayward Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan – who died in 1998, shortly after the series ended), the doltish Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O’Hanlon) and Kelly’s Father Jack, best known for his liberal use of the word “feck” (as well as “arse”, “girls” and “drink”).

With his wall eye, wild grey hair, alcoholic incoherence and occasional lapses into mindless violence, Father Jack delighted viewers and became something of a cult figure. The reason behind his enforced exile was, as with his fellow priests, somewhat unclear, but seemed to be connected to his behaviour at a wedding. Once ensconced on Craggy Island, however, he was always treated with benign tolerance by Fathers Ted and Dougal.

Despite his appalling antics (including, in his attempt to get hold of some “drink”, downing both Toilet Duck and Windolene), Father Jack somehow retained a grandfatherly presence in the series. Kelly later said that he was occasionally approached by young priests who would tell him that they too were taking care of a much older man. “They’ll say, ‘how do you know about ours?’” he explained in 2015. “[He’s] not without foundation in reality.”

Kelly himself could not have been less like his character. Softly spoken, genial and conservative in temperament, he was modest about his own achievements in the show (“Every raised eyebrow is in the script”) and did not seem to mind that other professional achievements were often overshadowed by his role as the outrageous old priest. He treasured one particular page of the script, which he kept for years after the show ended. It read: “Caution. It is very dangerous to approach Father Jack.”

Frank Kelly was born Francis O’Kelly in Dublin on December 28 1938, one of six children of the Irish cartoonist and satirist, Charles E Kelly, and educated at Blackrock College, where he was a schoolboy opera star, before going on to read Law at University College, Dublin. He was called the bar at King’s Inns but decided to switch to acting as a career.

His first film role was as a prison officer in The Italian Job (1969), and from 1968 until 1982 he appeared in the RTÉ children’s series Wanderly Wagon. His work on Hall’s Pictorial Weekly, made his name in Ireland. The show’s satirical take on the country’s politics was such that it was said to have played a part in bringing down the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition government in 1977.

From 1999 to 2001 Kelly starred in the RTÉ series Glenroe. Other parts included a role in 2003 as John Smith, leader of the Labour Party, in the Stephen Frears drama The Deal.

In 2010, he joined the ITV soap Emmerdale, but left after five months because he missed his family and Ireland. He also appeared as the judge in Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie.

He married Bairbre Neldon in 1964. She survives him with their seven children.

Frank Kelly, born December 28 1938, died February 28 2016

 
 
Frank Kelly
Frank Kelly
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Isobel Elsom

Isobel Elsom

IMDB Entry:

The epitome of opulent, grande dame haughtiness, British character actress Isobel Elsom began on the stage in 1911 and went on to grace a number of silent and sound pictures in England, marrying and divorcing director Maurice Elvey in the interim. In the late 30s she settled in America and earned major Broadway success with the play “Ladies in Retirement,” which she also took to film in 1941. What the tiny-framed Elsom lacked in stature, she certainly made up for in pure chutzpah. The matronly actress remained in Hollywood and played a number of huffy bluebloods in both comedies and drama for over two decades, often as a minor Margaret Dumont-like foil to Jerry Lewisin his solo pictures of the late 50s and early 60s. She sometimes was billed under the last name of a second husband, appearing as Isobel Harbord.

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

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

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Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret
Ann-Margret

Ann-Margret. Wikipedia.

Ann-Margret Olsson (born April 28, 1941), known simply as Ann-Margret, is a Swedish-born American actress, singer, and dancer.

As an actress, Ann-Margret is best known for her roles in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Viva Las Vegas (1964), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Carnal Knowledge (1971), The Train Robbers (1973), Tommy (1975), Grumpy Old Men (1993), Grumpier Old Men (1995), and All’s Faire in Love(2009). She has won five Golden Globe Awards and been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards. In 2010, she won an Emmy Award for her guest appearance on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Her singing and acting careers span five decades, starting in 1961; initially, she was billed as a female version of Elvis Presley. She has a sultry vibrant contralto voice.[1][2] She had a minor hit in 1961 and a charting album in 1964, and scored a disco hit in 1979. In 2001, she recorded a critically acclaimed gospel album, and an album of Christmas songs in 2004.

In 1961, she filmed a screen test at 20th Century Fox and was signed to a seven-year contract.  Ann-Margret made her film debut in a loan-out to United Artists in Pocketful of Miracles, with Bette Davis. It was a remake of the 1933 movie Lady for a Day. Both versions were directed by Frank Capra.

Then came a 1962 remake of Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s musical State Fair, playing the “bad girl” role of Emily opposite Bobby Darin and Pat Boone. She had tested for the part of Margie, the “good girl”, but seemed too seductive to the studio bosses, who decided on the switch. The two roles represented two sides of her real-life personality – shy and reserved offstage, but wildly exuberant and sensuous onstage. In her autobiography, the actress wrote that she changed “from Little Miss Lollipop to Sexpot-Banshee” once the music began.

Her next starring role, as the all-American teenager Kim from Sweet Apple, Ohio, in Bye Bye Birdie (1963), made her a major star. The premiere at Radio City Music Hall, 16 years after her first visit to the famed theater, was a smash hit: the highest first-week grossing film to date at the Music Hall. Life put her on the cover for the second time and announced that the “torrid dancing almost replaces the central heating in the theater.”  She was then asked to sing “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” at President John F. Kennedy‘s private birthday party at the Waldorf-Astoria, one year after Marilyn Monroe‘s famous “Happy Birthday“.

Ann-Margret met Elvis Presley on the MGM soundstage when the two filmed Viva Las Vegas (1964). She recorded three duets with Presley for the film: “The Lady Loves Me”, “You’re The Boss”, and “Today, Tomorrow, and Forever”; only “The Lady Loves Me” made it into the final film and none of them were commercially released until years after Presley’s death, due to concerns by Colonel Tom Parker that Ann-Margret’s presence threatened to overshadow Elvis. Ann-Margret introduced Presley to David Winters, whom she recommended as a choreographer for their film. Viva Las Vegas was Winters’ first feature film choreography job and was his first of four movies with Presley, and his first of five films, including Kitten with a Whip (1964), Bus Riley’s Back in Town (1965), Made in Paris (1966), and The Swinger (1966), and two TV specials with Ann-Margret. Winters was nominated for the 1970 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for his CBS Television Special: Ann-Margret: From Hollywood with Love (1969)

In 1963, Ann-Margret guest-starred in a popular episode of the animated TV series The Flintstones, voicing Ann-Margrock, an animated version of herself. She sang the ballad “The Littlest Lamb” as a lullaby and the (literally) rocking song, “Ain’t Gonna Be a Fool”. Decades later, she recorded the theme song, a modified version of the Viva Las Vegas theme, to the live-action film The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, in character as Ann-Margrock.

While working on the film Once a Thief (1965), she met future husband Roger Smith, who after his successful run on the private-eye television series 77 Sunset Strip, was performing a live club show at the Hungry i on a bill with Bill Cosby and Don Adams. That meeting began their courtship, which met with resistance from her parents.

Ann-Margret starred in The Cincinnati Kid in 1965 opposite Steve McQueen. She also co-starred along with friend Dean Martin in the spy spoof Murderers’ Row (1966). Finally, she starred as the lead in The Swinger in 1966 with Tony Franciosa.

Her red hair color (she is a “natural brunette”) was the idea of Sydney Guilaroff, a hairdresser who changed the hair color of other famous actresses such as Lucille Ball.

She was offered the title role in Cat Ballou (1965), but her manager turned it down without telling her.  In March 1966, Ann-Margret and entertainers Chuck Day and Mickey Jonesteamed up for a USO tour to entertain U.S. servicemen in remote parts of Viet Nam and other parts of South-East Asia. She still has great affection for the veterans and refers to them as “my gentlemen”. Ann-Margret, Day, and Jones reunited in November 2005 for an encore of this tour for veterans and troops at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

During a lull in her film career in July 1967, Ann-Margret gave her first live performance in Las Vegas, with her husband Roger Smith (whom she had married in 1967) taking over as her manager after that engagement. Elvis Presley and his entourage came to see her during the show’s five-week run and to celebrate backstage. From thereon until his death, Presley sent her a guitar-shaped floral arrangement for each of her Vegas openings. After the first Vegas run ended, she followed up with a CBS television special The Ann-Margret Show, produced and directed by David Winters on December 1, 1968, with guest-stars Bob HopeJack BennyDanny Thomas, and Carol Burnett. Then, she went back to Saigon as part of Hope’s Christmas show. A second CBS television special followed, Ann-Margret: From Hollywood With Love, directed and choreographed by David Winters and produced and distributed by Winters’ company Winters-Rosen, with guest-stars Dean Martin and Lucille Ball. David Winters and the show were nominated for a Primetime Emmy in Outstanding Choreography.

In 1970, she returned to films with R. P. M., where she starred in alongside Anthony Quinn, and C.C. and Company with Joe Namath as a biker and she portraying a fashion journalist.

In 1971, she starred in Carnal Knowledge by director Mike Nichols, playing the girlfriend of a neglectful, arguably abusive character played by Jack Nicholson, and garnered a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

On the set of The Train Robbers in Durango, Mexico, in June 1972, she told Nancy Anderson of Copley News Service that she had been on the “grapefruit diet” and had lost almost twenty pounds (134 to 115) eating unsweetened citrus.

On Sunday, September 10, 1972, while performing at Lake Tahoe, she fell 22 feet from an elevated platform to the stage and suffered injuries including a broken left arm, cheekbone, and jawbone. She required meticulous facial reconstructive surgery that required wiring her mouth shut and putting her on a liquid diet. Unable to work for 10 weeks, she ultimately returned to the stage almost back to normal.

For her contributions to the film industry, Ann-Margret received a motion pictures star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1973. Her star is located at 6501 Hollywood Boulevard.

Throughout the 1970s, Ann-Margret balanced her live musical performances with a string of dramatic film roles that played against her glamorous image. In 1973, she starred with John Wayne in The Train Robbers. Then came the musical Tommy in 1975, for which she was again nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, she has been nominated for 10 Golden Globe Awards, winning five, including her Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for Tommy. On August 17, 1977, Ann-Margret and Roger Smith traveled to Memphis to attend Elvis Presley’s funeral. Three months later, she hosted Memories of Elvis featuring abridged versions of the Elvis 1968 TV and Aloha from Hawaii specials.

Other notable films she co-starred in during the late 1970s include Joseph Andrews (1977), The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), the horror/suspense thriller Magic, with Anthony Hopkins (1978), and she had a cameo role in The Cheap Detective (1978).

Ann-Margret was an early choice of Allan Carr‘s to play the role of Sandy Dumbrowski in the 1978 film Grease. At 37 years old, she was ultimately determined to be too old to convincingly play the role of a high school student. Olivia Newton-John got the role instead, and the character was renamed “Sandy Olsson” (after Ann-Margret’s birth surname) in her honour.

In 1980 Ann-Margret appeared opposite Bruce Dern in Middle Age Crazy. In 1982, she co-starred with Walter Matthau and Dinah Manoff in the film version of Neil Simon‘s play I Ought to Be in Pictures. That same year, she appeared with a six-year-old Angelina Jolie in Lookin’ to Get Out, playing Jolie’s mother. To round out 1982, she appeared alongside Alan BatesGlenda Jackson, and Julie Christie in the film adaptation.

She also starred in the TV movies Who Will Love My Children? (1983) and a remake of A Streetcar Named Desire (1984). These performances collectively won her two Golden Globe Awards and two Emmy nominations. In 1985’s Twice in a Lifetime she portrayed the woman Gene Hackman’s character left his wife for. The next year she appeared as the wife of Roy Scheider‘s character in the crime thriller 52 Pick-Up. In 1987 she co-starred with Elizabeth Ashley (and also with Claudette Colbert, in the last on-screen role of the film legend’s career) in the NBC 2-part series “The Two Mrs. Grenvilles“. It earned Ann-Margret another Emmy Award nomination, this time for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini Series or a Special.

In 1989, an illustration was done of Oprah Winfrey that was on the cover of TV Guide, and although the head was Oprah’s, the body was referenced from a 1979 publicity shot of Ann-Margret. The illustration was rendered so tightly in color pencil by freelance artist Chris Notarile that most people thought it was a composite photograph.[27]

In 1991, she starred in the groundbreaking Our Sons opposite Julie Andrews as mothers of sons who are lovers, one of whom is dying of AIDS. In 1992, she co-starred with Robert Duvall and Christian Bale in the Disney musical, Newsies. In 1993, Ann-Margret starred in the hit comedy Grumpy Old Men reuniting with Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Her character returned for Grumpier Old Men (1995), the equally successful sequel which this time co-starred Sophia Loren.

Ann-Margret published an autobiography in 1994 titled Ann-Margret: My Story, in which she publicly acknowledged her battle with and ongoing recovery from alcoholism. In 1995, she was chosen by Empire as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history; she ranked 10th.

She also filmed Any Given Sunday (1999) for director Oliver Stone, portraying the mother of football team owner Cameron Diaz. She filmed a cameo appearance for The Limey, but her performance was cut from the movie.

Ann-Margret also starred in several television films, including Queen: The Story of an American Family (1993) and Life of the Party (1999), the latter of which she received nominations for an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

She made guest appearances on the television shows Touched by an Angel in 2000 and three episodes of Third Watch in 2003. In 2001, she made her first appearance in a stage musical, playing the character of brothel owner Mona Stangley in a new touring production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The production co-starred Gary Sandy and Ed Dixon. She played Jimmy Fallon‘s mother in the 2004 comedy Taxi, co-starring Queen Latifah. In 2001, Ann-Margret worked with Art Greenhaw on the album God Is Love: The Gospel Sessions. The critically acclaimed project resulted in her first Grammy Award nomination and first Dove Award nomination for Best Album of the Year in a Gospel category. They teamed up again in 2004 for the album Ann-Margret’s Christmas Carol Collection. She performed material from the album at two auditorium church services at Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, and broadcast worldwide on the program Hour of Power.

In 2006, Ann-Margret had supporting roles in the box-office hits The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, and The Santa Clause 3 with Tim Allen. She also starred in several independent films, such as Memory (2006) with Billy Zane and Dennis Hopper. In 2009, she appeared in the comedy Old Dogs with John Travolta and Robin Williams.

Ann-Margret guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, “Bedtime“, which first aired on March 31, 2010 on NBC.[31] She received her sixth Emmy nomination for her performance. She also appeared in the Lifetime series, Army Wives, in the episode “Guns and Roses” (season four, episode five), which originally aired May 9, 2010. On August 29, 2010, she won an Emmy Award for Guest Performance by an Actress for her SVU performance. It was the first Emmy win of her career, and she received a standing ovation from the Emmy venue audience as she approached the stage to receive her award.

On October 14, 2010, Ann-Margret appeared on CBS’ CSI.

In Fall 2011 she co-starred with Andy Williams for a series of concerts at his Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri. These proved to be Williams’ last performances before his death in 2012.

In 2014, she began appearing in a recurring role in the Showtime original series Ray Donovan.[33] On October 1, 2018, it was announced that she had joined the second season of the Syfy series Happy! in a recurring role.[34]

In 2018, she guest-starred in The Kominsky Method, portraying Diane, a widow and possible love interest for the recently widowed Norman, played by Alan Arkin.

Ann-Margret has no children, but she was stepmother to the three children of husband Roger Smith, an actor who later became her manager. She and Smith were married from May 8, 1967 until his death on June 4, 2017. Prior to this, she dated Eddie Fisher and was romantically linked to Elvis Presley during the filming of Viva Las Vegas.

A keen motorcyclist, Ann-Margret rode a 500 cc Triumph T100C Tiger in The Swinger (1966) and used the same model, fitted with a nonstandard electric starter, in her stage show and her TV specials. She was featured in Triumph Motorcycles‘ official advertisements in the 1960s. She suffered three broken ribs and a fractured shoulder when she was thrown off a motorcycle in rural Minnesota in 2000.[36]

The 2005 CBS miniseries Elvis includes the story of her affair with Elvis Presley during the filming of Viva Las Vegas. She was portrayed by actress Rose McGowan.

The Flintstones had a character named Ann-Margrock on the episode “Ann-Margrock Presents”, as a reference to Ann-Margret, for which she supplied the voice and the vocals. Ann-Margret was also referenced in Mad Men’s Season 3 Episode 3 “My Old Kentucky Home” and Season 3 Episode 4 “The Arrangement”. The “Bye Bye Birdie” video was shown in the show featuring her.

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Robert Walker Jr.

Robert Walker Jr.
Robert Walker Jr.

IMDB entry:

Born at Queens Hospital on April 14, 1940. As the son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones, Robert Walker Jr. certainly had the right pedigree to make the grade in Hollywood. His parents separated when Robert was only three, and at age 9 his stepfather became the powerful film mogul David O. Selznick who by this time had already taken firm control of his mother’s career.

Robert Walker Jr. began training at the Actors’ Studio in the early 1960s. He also married wife Ellie Wood in the early 60s and they had three children. Walker Jr. preferred to find his own place in the entertainment field and tried to avoid the obvious comparisons, but his startling resemblance to his late father made it extremely difficult for film audiences to separate the two. He started his film career in good company and with two strong roles in The Hook (1963), a morality story set during the Korean war starring Kirk Douglas and Nick Adams, and The Ceremony (1963) in which he received a Golden Globe Award for “promising newcomer” as Laurence Harvey‘s brother. Walker Jr. also worked on TV and earned a Theatre World Award for his two 1964 off-Broadway roles in “I Knock at the Door” and “Pictures in the Hallway.”

Of slight build and boyishly handsome, Robert seemed on his way when he was handed the biggest challenge of his film career taking over Jack Lemmon‘s Oscar-winning role as Ensign Pulver (1964) in the sequel to the popular service comedy Mister Roberts(1955). Unfortunately, his comparison to Lemmon paled significantly and the script had neither the charm nor wit of its predecessor. The film and Walker were torpedoed by the reviewers and Walker lost major ground in Hollywood. Despite his obvious talent, his subsequent films lacked the quality and promise of his first two, which included The Happening (1967), The Savage Seven (1968), Killers Three (1968) and the title role in Young Billy Young (1969) starring Robert Mitchum. He and his wife Ellie appeared in roles in the hit cult film Easy Rider (1969).

Robert had guest roles in many popular television series during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. In The Big Valley episode, “My Son, My Son,” aired on November 3, 1965, Walker portrayed Evan Miles, an emotionally disturbed college dropout who becomes obsessed with childhood friend Audra Barkley. He played the title role and another emotionally disturbed character, a troubled actor who lived and performed on the streets and in circuses, in The Naked City episode “Dust Devil on a Quiet Street” from Nov. 28, 1962. He had a memorable role in Star Trek as “Charles ‘Charlie’ Evans” in the episode “Charlie X”, which aired 15 September 1966. In addition, he played Billy the Kid in episode 22 of The Time Tunnel, which originally aired on February 10, 1967, and also portrayed Nick Baxter, an ill alien who caused the deaths of humans by touch, in the episode “Panic” in the television series The Invaders, which aired on April 11, 1967. He played Mark Cole in the October 29, 1967 episode of Bonanza titled ‘The Gentle Ones’. He also had a role in an episode of Columbo, “Mind Over Mayhem”, (1974) and in the 5th season of the series Combat! in the episode “Ollie Joe”. In later years, Walker maintained on TV episodes, his final appearances occurring in 1991 with L.A. Law and In the Heat of the Night.

Robert Walker died in 2019naged 79.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: JT Atkin

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

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Melina Mercouri

Melina Mercouri
Melina Mercouri

Melina Mercouri obituary from “The Independent” in 1994.

Maria Amalia Mercouris (Melina Mercouri), actress and politician: born Athens 18 October 1920; Member of Parliament (Pasok) for Piraeus 1977- 94; Minister of Culture and Sciences 1981-89, 1993-94; married 1942 Panayiotis Harokopos, 1966 Jules Dassin; died New York City 6 March 1994.

IN 1983 Melina Mercouri delivered the Herbert Read Memorial Lecture at the ICA, writes Peter Thompson. As she was already Greece’s Minister of Culture, and on a private visit, she did her best to steer clear of controversy. But nobody would have missed her meaning when she closed by apologising for her accent and added: ‘I hear it and am reminded of what Dylan Thomas said of a British broadcaster: ‘He speaks as if he had the Elgin Marbles in his mouth.’ ‘

The then director of the British Museum, Sir David Wilson, was in the audience that night. At the reception afterwards he found himself sharing a sofa with Mercouri and manfully keeping up his end of a vigorous – and anything but uncontroversial – conversation. His gallantry, however, became ever more tight-lipped as Mercouri’s campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles (she contemptuously rejected the term ‘Elgin Marbles’) gathered pace, even though she insisted her quarrel was with the British government, not the British Museum.

Melina Mercouri grew up in a household drenched with politics. Her grandfather was elected Mayor of Athens a record four times, and her father was a left-wing MP in the difficult period after the Greek civil war. Her happy marriage to the film director Jules Dassin was infused with his own radical and unwavering intellectual commitment.

By chance Mercouri was playing in a musical on Broadway when that infamous band of colonels staged their coup d’etat against Greek democracy in April 1967. From the start she was in the front line of the expatriate struggle for their overthrow, and joined the handful of those deprived of their citizenship by Brigadier Pattakos, the junta’s Interior Minister. ‘I was born a Greek, and I will die a Greek. Pattakos was born a Fascist and will die a Fascist,’ was her riposte.

Her home in Paris became an open house for Greek political exiles, whatever their party affiliations, but the first anniversary of the coup she spent in London, addressing a rally of some 20,000 people in Trafalgar Square which will not be forgotten by anyone who was there.

So when in 1974 the colonels finally departed in ignominy, Mercouri was well set for a political career. She joined forces with Andreas Papandreou’s Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), and three years later was elected MP in the working-class port city of Piraeus. She wore her wealth with ease, was proud that her male constituents accepted her as an equal, and campaigned spectacularly both for practical neighbourhood improvement and for the advancement of women’s rights in a still largely macho society.

When Pasok won the 1981 elections, Mercouri was appointed Minister of Culture, a post she uniquely retained throughout the eight years of socialist rule. What had been a marginal ministry leapt on to the front pages. Among her successes were the impetus given to cultural activity in the provinces, while she most regretted her inability to win a greater share of state budget for the arts. Above all, though, her ministry became an exciting place, buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm, and drawing on talent and energy rather than political loyalty.

Mercouri brought the same dynamism and eagerness to international cultural co-operation, particularly within the EC, where she was much helped by her friendship with Francois Mitterrand and Jack Lang. During the Greek presidency in 1983 she initiated regular meetings of the community’s Culture ministers, and can also take credit for the institution of Cultural Capitals of Europe. Athens was the first such Cultural Capital in 1985.

But it was with the Parthenon Marbles campaign that her name became synonymous. And what a campaign it was. With Mercouri’s glamour and sense of drama to spearhead it, and an erudite and energetic British lobby to disseminate it, the cause penetrated people’s awareness so deeply that it even provided a theme for political cartoons dealing with the 1983 general election in Britain. After any number of leading articles, television documentaries, opinion polls, diplomatic demarches, and an Oxford Union debate, as well as a new book on the subject, it was still making news 10 years later.

Mercouri summed up the argument for the return of the Marbles in her closing words to the Oxford Union: ‘We say: ‘You have kept those sculptures for almost two centuries. You have cared for them as well as you could, for which we thank you. But now in the name of fairness and morality please give them back.’ I believe such a gesture from Great Britain would ever honour your name.’

Mercouri remained loyal to Pasok through all its tribulations after the party lost the 1989 election. She had tribulations of her own, fighting a battle against cancer, but was re-elected to Parliament in 1989, and came close to being elected Mayor of Athens the following year. When Papandreou returned to power last October he re- appointed her Minister of Culture. At one of her last election rallies she told the Athenians: ‘You can be sure the Parthenon Marbles will come back to their home.’ She would have liked nothing better than to live to see it happen.

Film career as per Wikipedia:

Her first movie was the Greek language film Stella (1955), directed by Zorba the Greek director Michael Cacoyannis. The film received special praise at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, where she met American film director Jules Dassin, with whom she would share not only her career but also her life. Their first professional pairing was 1957’s He Who Must Die. Other films by Dassin and featuring Mercouri followed, such as The Law (1959). She became well-known to international audiences when she starred in Never on Sunday (1960), in which Dassin was the director and co-star, and for which she earned the Best Actress Award at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and theBAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.[2]

After her first major international success, she went on to star in Phaedra (1962), for which she was nominated again for the BAFTA Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Drama. The recognition of her acting talent did not stop though, as her role in Topkapi (1964) granted her one more nomination, this time for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She worked with such directors as Joseph Losey, Vittorio De Sica, Ronald Neame, Carl Foreman, Norman Jewison, and starred in films like Spanish language The Uninhibited by Juan Antonio Bardem.

She continued her stage career in the Greek production of Tennessee Williams‘s Sweet Bird of Youth (1960), under the direction of Karolos Koun. In 1967, she played the leading role inIllya Darling (from 11 April 1967 to 13 January 1968) on Broadway,[3] for which she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, while her performance in Promise at Dawn (1970) earned her another Golden Globe Award nomination.

On 8 October 1962,[4] Mercouri appeared on the American TV show What’s My Line. After the panel were blindfolded, a strange man appeared on-stage and proclaimed himself “the second mystery guest”. Host John Charles Daly quickly called for “the relieving crew” and said “schedule two” (a code word used on live broadcasts in case of an emergency: the cameras are turned to a neutral position and the sound is cut off). The man talked a bit about a dating service he apparently owned before being hustled off the stage by announcer Johnny Olson and executive producer Gil Fates. Daly apologized to the panel and the program continued.[5]

Mercouri concentrated on her stage career for the following years, playing in the Greek productions of The Threepenny Opera and, for a second time, Sweet Bird of Youth, in addition to the ancient Greek tragedies Medea andOresteia. She retired from film acting in 1978, when she played in her last film, A Dream of Passion, directed by her husband, Jules Dassin. Her last performance on stage was in the opera Pylades at the Athens Concert Hall in 1992, portraying Clytemnestra.

 

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Karola Ebeling

Karola Ebeling was born on May 23, 1935 in Berlin, Germany. She is an actress, known for Kreuze am Horizont (1960), Der jähzornige junge Mann (1963) and Oppermann Family (1983).

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Cordula Trantow

Cordula Trantow
Cordula Trantow

Cordula Trantow (b. 29 December 1942 in Berlin, Germany) is a German actress and director. For her performance as Geli Raubal in the 1962 film, Hitler, she was nominated for a 1962Golden Globe in the category Most Promising Newcomer – Female. Today, she works mostly as a stage actress and director.

Cordula Trantow
Cordula Trantow
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Nick Mancuso

Nick Mancuso
Nick Mancuso

TCM Overview:

Effectively cast as both amiable heroes and imposing figures of evil, Italian-born actor Nick Mancuso established himself as a new and valuable performer on stage in productions put on by the Stratford Festival and the Toronto Free Theater. He made his Hollywood motion picture debut in the horror outing “Nightwing” (1979), which proved to be a failure, but Mancuso quickly bounced back with one of his finest performances in “Ticket to Heaven” (1981) as a downtrodden man seduced into joining a cult. From that point onward, he alternated between working in the United States and Canada, including the fondly remembered “Stingray” (NBC, 1985) and its short-lived series offshoot, and such major studio pictures as “Under Siege” (1992) and “Rapid Fire” (1992). Moving back and forth from lead roles to more character-oriented assignments, Mancuso’s dark good looks and multilingual abilities also made him the perfect choice to play different ethnicities. Although he was rarely at a loss for employment, Mancuso launched a new career path later in life as an enthusiastic advocate for healthy life choices and homeopathic alternatives to conventional medication. While never a bona fide star by Hollywood standards, Mancuso commanded a great deal respect amongst both his peers and the public for an impressively lengthy and varied acting history in three mediums.

The above TCM Overview can also be accessed online here.

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Warren Beatty

Warren Beatty

Warren Beatty. TCM Overview

TCM Overview:

Though his romantic adventures as the womanizer du-jour for over four decades occasionally overshadowed his creative endeavors, star Warren Beatty was an actor and Academy Award-winning director and writer who starred in and made some of the most ambitious and influential films of the 1960s on through the 1990s.

Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty


His list of credits may have come up shorter than some of his more celebrated peers, but few could boast such films as “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” (1971), “Shampoo” (1975), “Reds” (1981) and “Bugsy” (1991) as their own. In truth, his list of romantic conquests probably exceeded his film credits, with the likes of Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Carly Simon, Madonna, Diane Sawyer, Natalie Wood, Cher, Julie Christie and Michelle Phillips all making the rounds with Beatty.

Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty

But ultimately it was actress Annette Bening who tamed the wild man and claimed him as her husband after meeting on the set of “Bugsy.” Beatty settled down into marriage shortly after, while his career eased to a crawl after directing and starring in the political satire, “Bulworth” (1998).

After the disastrous flop “Town & Country” (2001), Beatty retreated from filmmaking altogether, seemingly content with watching Bening earn accolades for one stellar performance after another.

Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty

His deep involvement in liberal politics sparked rumors of a run for office – governor or perhaps even president – but Beatty always brushed aside such talk. It was, in fact, a return to filmmaking that excited his fans the most, as Beatty held out hope for a highly-anticipated return.

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Eve Green

Eve Greene
Eve Greene
 

IMDB Entry:

Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. She has a sororal twin sister. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar (1966). Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children’s book writer. Eva’s mother was born in Algeria, of Sephardi Jewish heritage (during that time, Algeria was part of France), and Eva’s father is of Swedish and French descent. Eva left French school at 17. She switched to English in Ramsgate, Kent, and went to the American School in France for one year. She studied acting at Saint Paul Drama School in Paris for three years, then had a 10-week polishing course at the Weber Douglas Academy of dramatic Art in London. She also studied directing at the Tisch School of Arts at New York University. She returned to Paris as an accomplished young actress, and played on stage in several theater productions: “La Jalousie en Trois Fax” and “Turcaret”. There, she caught the eye of director Bernardo Bertolucci. Green followed a recommendation to work on her English. She studied for two months with an English coach before doing The Dreamers (2003) with Bernardo Bertolucci. During their work, Bertolucci described Green as being “so beautiful it’s indecent”. Green won critical acclaim for her role in The Dreamers (2003). She also attracted a great deal of attention from male audiences for her full frontal nudity in several scenes of the film. Besides her work as an actress, Green also composed original music and recorded several sound tracks for the film score. After “The Dreamers”, Green’s career ascended to the level where she revealed more of her multifaceted acting talent. She played the love interest of cult French gentleman stealer, Adventures of Arsene Lupin (2004), opposite Romain Duris. In 2005, she co-starred, opposite Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson, in Kingdom of Heaven (2005), produced and directed by Ridley Scott. The film brought her a wider international exposure. She turned down the femme fatale role inThe Black Dahlia (2006), that went to Hilary Swank, because she didn’t want to end up always typecast as a femme fatale after her role in “The Dreamers”. Instead, Eva Green accepted the prestigious role of “Vesper Lynd”, one of three Bond girls, oppositeDaniel Craig, in Casino Royale (2006) and became the 5th French actress to play a James Bond girl, after Claudine Auger in Thunderball (1965), Corinne Cléry inMoonraker (1979), Carole Bouquet in For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Sophie Marceau inThe World Is Not Enough (1999). Since her school years, Green has been a cosmopolitan multilingual and multicultural person. Yet, since her father always lived in France with them and her mother, she and her twin sister can’t speak Swedish. She developed a wide scope of interests beyond her acting profession and became an aspiring art connoisseur and an avid museum visitor. Her other activities, outside of acting, include playing and composing music, cooking at home, walking her terrier, and collecting art. She shares time between her two residencies, one is in Paris, France, and one in London, England.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov