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Desmond Tester

Desmond Tester
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Aaron Harris

 

Aaron Harris

Aaron Harris is known for his work on Returned (2015), Used to Temporary Happiness(2013) and Finesse (2014).

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Leon Vitali

Leon Vitali
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Clu Gulagher

Clu Gulagher

IMDB Entry:

Clu Gulager was born William Martin Gulager in Holdenville, Hughes County, Oklahoma. His nickname was given to him by his father for the clu-clu birds (known in English as martins, like his middle name) that were nesting at the Gulager home at the time Clu was born. He grew up on his uncle’s ranch as a cowhand and when he was old enough he joined the United States Marine Corps for a stint from 1946-1948. He got the acting bug being in army plays so when he left he used the GI Bill of Rights to study acting. During this time he met his wife, actress Miriam Byrd Nethery. They had two children together –John, born in 1957, and Tom, born 1965. He was married over 50 years until his wife passed away in 2003 from cancer. Clu’s career started off as bit parts on popular western shows usually playing the heavy. Shows like Wanted Dead or Alive, Have Gun Will Travel, Laramie, Riverboat. He scored big with The Untouchables as Mad Dog Coll, which led to him being offered the role of Billy the Kid on The Tallman from 1960-1961, which also starred Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett. The show was pulled after two seasons by Congress because they didn’t like the idea that kids were seeing the outlaw Billy the Kid as a hero. Clu’s next big break was playing Deputy Emmett Ryker on The Virginian from 1964-1968. During this time he also fared very well as Lee Marvin’s sidekick in the 1964 TV film The Killers, which was considered too violent for TV so it went to theaters. Having being burned out being a TV star he tried to break into films, mostly as a character actor. His stand out films were The Last Picture Show (1971, playing Ellen Burstyn’s lover), McQ (1974) with John Wayne and A Force of One (1979) with Chuck Norris, with whom he would work in the 1990’s on Walker, Texas Ranger. Clu was also cast in San Francisco International Airport, with Lloyd Bridges, which failed big time. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s he was in almost every show around, playing bit parts. Then the unthinkable happened: he found a second career as a horror film actor; he followed the footsteps of other TV actors who were stuck in TV hell, like his costar from The Virginian –Doug McClure– and Christopher George. Both of them in late 70’s and early 80’s found new careers in B movies and late night horror films. Clu finally got a lead part in Dan O’ Bannon’s cult classic The Return of the Living Dead (1985). He also was in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) Throughout the 80’s and 90’s he would appear in TV and in the occasional horror flick. In 2005 he started acting in his son’s horror films –the Feasts movies and Piranha DD in his 80’s. Not letting age get in his way, he has been a horror fan favorite and still shows up at conventions at almost 90 now. You can say one thing about Clu: what a diverse career it has been for this awesome cowboy!

– IMDb Mini Biography By: cgay

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William Campbell

William Campbell

“Guardian” obituary from 2011 by Ronald Bergan

The actor William Campbell, who has died aged 87, had a long and varied career in films and on television, finding recognition from his association with several low-budget horror pictures and with the TV sci-fi series Star Trek. However, although he had the hooded eyes and languid manner of Robert Mitchum and something of the laid-back anarchism of Jack Nicholson, entry into the major league of stardom eluded him.

Campbell was in the first series of Star Trek, in an episode entitled The Squire of Gothos (1967), in which he has a field day as General Trelane, a foppish, childish humanoid, swinging wildly from joviality to sulkiness to anger. In The Trouble With Tribbles (1967), in the second season, Campbell was equally impressive as Koloth, a bearded, bureaucratic Klingon, a character that he revived 27 years later, towards the end of his working life, in Blood Oath, in the series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1994).

Born in Newark, New Jersey, he studied acting with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof at the latter’s celebrated studio in New York, before serving in the Pacific with the US navy during the second world war. Campbell made his screen debut as a dockside character in The Breaking Point (1950), the second film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not, starring John Garfield. Sporting a “ducktail” haircut, fashionable in the 1950s, he would continue to give good support to big stars, often stealing a scene or two from them.

Among his early roles were as a nasty perjurer trying to help convict an innocent man defended by lawyer Spencer Tracy in The People Against O’Hara (1951); a cocky rookie baseball player giving his manager (Edward G Robinson) a few headaches, in Big Leaguer (1953); and a callow second officer riling an ageing pilot, John Wayne, in The High and the Mighty (1954). Wise guy Campbell and gruff old-timer William Demarest, at odds as Confederate prisoners, brought some comic relief to Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) before they are tracked down by cavalry officer William Holden; and the 32-year-old Campbell justified his co-starring credit in Man Without a Star (1955) by being convincing as a young drifter (“Don’t call me kid”) who latches on to cowboy Kirk Douglas.

In the same year, Campbell won his first leading role, in Cell 2455, Death Row, as Caryl Chessman, convicted of robbery, kidnapping and rape, the first person to be sentenced to death in California for kidnapping under the
‘Little Lindbergh’ law without having murdered anyone. Campbell as Chessman is riveting as he develops from a teenage hoodlum in reform school, to a ruthless thug in prison to a respected legal mind. Chessman, who was still fighting his sentence at the time, approved Campbell and the film, hoping it would help his case. However, he was executed five years later.

Following what was arguably his best film performance, Campbell got further starring roles in B-movies and supporting ones in A-movies. An example of the latter was the civil war drama Love Me Tender (1956), in which Elvis Presley made his screen debut. Campbell, who bore a resemblance to the king of rock’n’roll, played Presley’s brother, and got to sing We’re Gonna Move with him, although he was dubbed.

A few years later, Campbell signed for five pictures with the Z-movie mogul Roger Corman. Perhaps Corman was attracted by Campbell’s portrayal of off-kilter types. In The Young Racers (1963), Campbell plays an arrogant and reckless Lotus driver who endangers his own life and those of his fellow drivers. At the climax, we discover that he is a sensitive and confused personality. In Corman’s The Secret Invasion (1964), written by Campbell’s screenwriting brother, R Wright Campbell, and predating The Dirty Dozen by three years, he was part of a crew of five convicts out to rescue an Italian general being held hostage by Nazis during the second world war.

Corman produced Francis Ford Coppola’s first credited feature, Dementia 13 (1963), a horror quickie shot in Ireland, in which Campbell portrayed a taciturn sculptor suspected of beheading two people with an axe. Cashing in on his creepy persona, Campbell was a deranged artist trying to steal a Titian painting in Portrait in Terror (1965) and, more notoriously, in Blood Bath (aka Track of the Vampire, 1966), he stalks girls and kills them, by dropping them into boiling wax, and then paints them.

Campbell appeared in only two more features, as a cop questioning a schoolteacher (actually a psychopathic killer), played by Rock Hudson, in Roger Vadim’s dire soft-core sex satire Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) and an Italian gangster in the blaxploitation movie Black Gunn (1972), both of which might have convinced him to stick to television, where he had led a parallel career as guest star on almost all the main shows since 1951, though he only had one series in which he starred, Cannonball (in 39 episodes from 1958 to 1959), about long-distance truckers.

In 1952, Campbell married Judith Immoor, who later (after their divorce, in 1958) claimed to have had affairs with Frank Sinatra and John F Kennedy (from 1960 into his presidency). As Judith Exner (from her second marriage), she wrote a memoir, My Story, in 1977, on which the TV drama Power and Beauty (2002) was based, in which Campbell was portrayed by a Canadian actor, Grant Nickalls. “What mutual friends we had you could count on one hand,” Campbell once commented. “How she ever met the president, I don’t know.”

Campbell is survived by his third wife, Tereza, whom he married in 1963.

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Nicola Coughlan

Nicola Coughlan
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Brian Weske

Brian Weske

Brian Weske was born on December 23, 1932 in Stockwell, London, England. He is known for his work on The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), The Saint (1962) and Vacation from Marriage (1945). He was married to Yole Marinelli. He died on October 15, 2001 in London.

Daily Mail article on Brian Weske’s photography collection from the 1960s:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1209940/Revealed-Mystery-photographer-s-dusty-box-negatives-treasure-trove-Sixties-showbiz-portraits.html

 

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Alvin Stardust

Alvin Stardust

“Guardian” obituary from 2014:

It was in the era of 1970s glam rock that Alvin Stardust, who has died aged 72, became a household name. Thanks to a dramatic appearance on Top of the Pops in 1973, his debut single My Coo Ca Choo climbed to No 2 in the British charts and blossomed into an international hit. The follow-up, Jealous Mind, went to No 1. During the 80s, Stardust’s allure proved durable enough to take him back into the Top 10 with Pretend (1981), I Feel Like Buddy Holly (1984) and I Won’t Run Away (1984).

Yet before he adopted the chartbusting persona of Alvin Stardust, who resembled a glittery 70s version of the 50s rocker Gene Vincent, he had already had a trial run at pop stardom as Shane Fenton, lead singer with Shane Fenton and the Fentones. The group scored a handful of minor hits at the start of the 60s, beginning with 1961’s I’m a Moody Guy. In 1962, they managed to crack the Top 20 with Cindy’s Birthday, and that year Fenton appeared in the Michael Winner-directed movie Play It Cool alongside Billy Fury and Helen Shapiro. However, the Fentones split up after a subsequent string of flops.

He was born Bernard Jewry in east London, to Bill, a salesman, and his wife, Margaret, but the family soon moved to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. His father got a sales job that came with a large three-storey house, and Margaret started providing lodgings for performers from the local Palace Theatre. Doubtless it was here that the young Bernard acquired an early taste for the showbusiness life.

Sent to Southwell Minster Collegiate grammar school as a boarder, he had his enthusiasm for blues, jazz and rock’n’roll fired by listening to the American Forces Network and Radio Luxembourg. He became close friends with a local band, Johnny Theakstone and the Tremeloes, and would help carry their equipment. However, their lead singer Theakstone died suddenly, the result of a childhood illness that had weakened his heart.

The Tremeloes split up, but were subsequently contacted by the BBC’s Saturday Club show. They had received an audition tape sent in by Theakstone, under the pseudonym Shane Fenton, and were now inviting the band to perform on the show. Jewry was asked if he would impersonate the fictional Fenton, and he was happy to oblige. The group went down well enough to be invited back for numerous BBC broadcasts, which led to them signing a contract with Parlophone in 1961.

His transformation into Alvin Stardust came about through another bizarre identity-switch. The songwriter and producer Peter Shelley, co-founder of Magnet Records with Michael Levy (now Lord Levy, the former chief fundraiser for the Labour party), had written and recorded My Coo Ca Choo under the invented name Alvin Stardust. Shelley then had to pretend to be Stardust when Magnet’s PR department landed the fictional performer a promotional slot on TV. When the song charted, Shelley realised they would need a permanent Alvin Stardust to do the job properly, and Hal Carter, agent for Shane Fenton, suggested his client.

After his early huge chart success, Stardust’s career seemed to be fading when punk rock came along, but he proved remarkably resilient. Pete Waterman supplied him with a song, Pretend, but several labels turned him down for sounding “too seventies”. Dave Robinson, boss of the wilful Stiff Records, stepped in and signed Stardust. Pretend became one of his biggest hits, and they followed up with Wonderful Time Up There (1981), I Want You Back in My Life Again (1982) and Walk Away Renee (1983). Stardust then left the by-now-ailing Stiff for Chrysalis, where he scored in 1984 with Mike Batt’s song I Feel Like Buddy Holly and I Won’t Run Away.

In the 90s, he set out to pursue his long-cherished ambition to act. He appeared on radio, fronted his own Sunday morning children’s show for ITV, It’s Stardust, and was seen on TV in Hollyoaks, Doctors and The Grimleys. He racked up a list of theatre appearances in productions including Uriah Heep in David Copperfield – The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera and Side By Side By Sondheim. He played the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the lead in The Billy Butlin Story at the London Palladium. Having previously been married to the actor Liza Goddard – their relationship foundered after Stardust’s sudden conversion to Christianity, apparently following his meeting with some American Baptist missionaries on a train to Waterloo – Stardust married the actor and and choreographer Julie Paton, whom he met during rehearsals for Godspell.

In 2010, Universal released Stardust’s album I Love Rock’n’Roll, comprising new recordings of his old hits alongside some new songs. He had recently been working on a new album, Alvin, for release this autumn, his first new studio collection since 1984.

He is survived by Julie and their daughter Millie; a daughter, Sophie, and stepson, Thom, from his marriage to Goddard; and two sons, Shaun and Adam, from his first marriage, to Iris Caldwell.

 Alvin Stardust (Bernard William Jewry), singer and actor, born 27 September 1942; died 23 October 2014

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Ian Holm

Ian Holm

IMDB:

Sir Ian Holm is one of the world’s greatest actors, a Laurence Olivier Award-winning, Tony Award-winning, BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated British star of films and the stage. He was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company and has played more than 100 roles in films and ontelevision.

He was born Ian Holm Cuthbert on September 12, 1931, in Goodmayes, Essex, UK, to Scottish parents who worked at the Essex mental asylum. His mother, Jean Wilson (Holm), was as a nurse, and his father, Doctor James Harvey Cuthbert, was a psychiatrist. Young Holm was brought up in London. At the age of seven he was inspired by the seeing ‘Les Miserables’ and became fond of acting. Holm studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1950 to the Royal Shakespeare Company. There he emerged as an actor whose range and effortless style allowed him to play almost entire Shakespeare’s repertoire. In 1959 his stage partner Laurence Olivier scored a hit on Ian Holm in a sword fight in a production of ‘Coriolanus’. Holm still has a scar on his finger.

In 1965 Holm made his debut on television as Richard III on the BBC’s The Wars of the Roses (1965), which was a filmed theatrical production of four of Shakespeare’s plays condensed down into a trilogy. In 1969 Holm won his first BAFTA Film Award Best Supporting Actor for The Bofors Gun (1968), then followed a flow of awards and nominations for his numerous works in film and on television. In 1981 Holm shot to fame with one of his best known roles, as Sam Mussabini in Chariots of Fire (1981), for which he was nominated for Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He is best known for his big action film roles, such as Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element (1997), as Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), and as Professor Fitz in The Aviator(2004).

Ian Holm has five children, three daughters and two sons from the first three of his five wives. In 1989 Holm was created a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), and in 1998 he was knighted for his services to drama.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

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Bernard Miles

Bernard Miles

IMDB:

The British character actor Bernard Miles was born in Uxbridge, Middlesex, England, in 1907; his father was a farm laborer and his mother was a cook. After graduation from Pembroke College, Oxford, he was a teacher for a while and then joined the New Theatre in London. In 1937, he worked in Herbert Farjeon‘s revue company and established his theatrical career. He made appearances in relatively few films, serving as director, producer, and screenwriter, as well as actor, on a number of them. In 1959, Miles opened the Mermaid Theatre in London; his contributions to the London stage won him a knighthood in 1969 and a life peerage ten years later.

– IMDb Mini Biography By: Lyn Hammond