Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Ginger Rogers

Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), American motion-picture actor, singer, and dancer, best remembered for her graceful ballroom dancing as the partner of Fred Astaire in classic musical comedies of the 1930s. Born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri, she began dancing professionally at the age of 14 and toured the vaudeville circuit until 1929, when she was cast as the second lead in the popular Broadway musical Top Speed.
She began her film career while still starring on the New York City stage and in 1931 went to Hollywood, where she shot a series of minor comedies and dramas for the Pathé, Paramount, and Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) studios.
Rogers was first matched with Astaire in the 1933 film Flying Down to Rio. Although they danced together in only one scene, their elegance, agility, and obvious chemistry stole the show. Subsequently, RKO paired them in vehicles of their own, including the legendary musicals Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and Follow The Fleet (1936). Their ten feature films together perfectly exemplified the refined and light-hearted charm of Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age (from about 1920 to about 1950).
Astaire was considered the better dancer of the duo, but Rogers had far greater acting range, as she proved with an Academy Award-winning performance in Kitty Foyle (1940). She was equally effective in the bubbly romantic farce The Major and the Minor (1942).
Rogers appeared regularly on screen throughout the 1940s and 1950s and returned briefly to the Broadway stage in 1965, replacing Carol Channing in Hello Dolly! In later years she made occasional television appearances and served as a fashion consultant for the J.C. Penney stores. Her autobiography, Ginger: My Story, was published in 1991.

Swing Time~Rogers and Astair

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer, (born December 13, 1929) is a Canadian theatre, film and television actor. In a career that spans over five decades and includes substantial roles in film, television, and theater, Plummer is perhaps best known for the iconic role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
He was also a leading member of Britain's National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier, the Royal Shakespeare Company under Sir Peter Hall where he won London’s best actor Evening Standard Theatre Award. In its formative years, he played at the Stratford Festival of Canada under Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. He has played most of the great roles in the classic repertoire.
He also appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller and performed at Lincoln Center. Plummer's performance as Lear garnered him his sixth Tony nomination. He returned to Broadway in 2007 as Henry Drummond in a revival of Inherit the Wind, winning a Drama Desk Award nomination as well as his seventh Tony nomination.
Owing to the box office success and continued popularity of The Sound Of Music, Plummer is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Captain Von Trapp.

The Sound of Music~Edelweiss!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Lana Turner

Lana Turner (1920–1995), American actress,born Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner on February 8, 1920, in Wallace, Idaho. According to legend, she was discovered at a Hollywood soda fountain at the age of 16 by a journalist, who recommended her to director Mervyn LeRoy. LeRoy immediately placed her under contract and gave her a small but telling role in his film They Won't Forget (1937).
After two more unremarkable Warner Brothers films—The Great Garrick (1937) and Four's a Crowd (1938)—Turner, known for her lazy, carnal look, moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with LeRoy. Her new studio promoted her as “The Sweater Girl,” nearly always blonde, a trifle vulgar, and sexily clad in a clinging top. Posed in a tight-fitting sweater, she became a popular pinup girl during World War II (1939-1945).
Turner’s career in films spanned over 30 years, and although she was an actress with a limited range, she made good use of her gifts as the murderous wife in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and as the emotional heroine of Homecoming (1948). Another memorable role was as a film star (inspired by the life of Diana Barrymore) in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), directed by Vincente Minnelli. But more often her films were trivial, until she began working at Twentieth Century Fox and was interestingly cast as a repressed mother in Peyton Place (1957).
In 1958, Turner’s real-life teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, killed Turner’s gangster lover, Johnny Stompanato, in the belief that her mother’s life was in danger. The death was ruled justifiable homicide. Afterward, Turner was snapped up by Universal Studios and skillfully cast in the melodramatic Imitation of Life (1959), directed by Douglas Sirk, as an actress who has a difficult relationship with her daughter. The scandal was exploited to the hilt, and the film proved a great success. Thereafter, although Turner continued to make the occasional film until the early 1970s, she never achieved anything like a comeback. In the 1980s, however, she had a role in the television melodrama Falcon Crest.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly Actress and Princess of Monaco.1947 Grace enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York City,1949 She made her professional debut on Broadway.
1951 She moved to Hollywood and appeared in the film Fourteen Hours which was her debut in the big screen.
1954 Grace Kelly acted with Bing Crosby in the film The Country Girl and she was awarded an Oscar for best actress.She was also invited to the Film Festival in Cannes, where she met Prince Rainier.She also acted in several Hitchcock’s movies such as Dial M for Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief .1956 She married Prince Rainier, and became a princess. She quit acting.
1957 Grace gave birth to her first daughter, Princes Caroline.1958 Prince Albert was born.
1982 Princess Grace died on September 14th, after a car accident that occured when she and her daughter Stephanie were driving along the Nice – Monaco highway. She is buried at the Cathedral of Monaco.

True Love~Trailer from the movie~High Society!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Ronald Colman

British leading man of primarily American films, one of the great stars of the Golden Age.
Born to middle-class British parents (his father was an import merchant), actor Ronald Colman was raised to be as much a gentleman as any "high born" Englishman, and strove to maintain that standard both on and off screen all his life. Acting was merely a hobby to Colman while he attended the Hadley School at Littlehampton, Sussex, but after a few years' drudgery as a bookkeeper with the British Steamship Company, the theatre seemed a more alluring (if not more lucrative) life's goal.He went in to acting full time making his debut in a tiny role in the play The Maharanee of Arakan (1916). A subsequent better role in a production of Damaged Goods led to Colman's being hired to star in a two-reel film drama, The Live Wire. The film was never released, which is why Colman's "official" debut is often listed as his first feature film The Toilers (1919).
He later went to New York City making his American movie debut in Handcuffs or Kisses? (1920). His next film was also his Big Break: The White Sister (1923), directed in Italy by Henry King, in which Colman was co-starred opposite prestigious actress Lillian Gish. The association with King and Gish was Colman's entry into Hollywood, and by 1925 he'd begun his nine-year association with producer Sam Goldwyn. Most of Colman's silent films were lush romantic costume dramas, in which he usually co-starred with the lovely Vilma Banky.
This sort of glorious nonsense was rendered anachronistic by the advent of talking pictures, but Goldwyn wisely cast Colman in a sophisticated up-to-date adventure, Bulldog Drummond (1929), for the actor's talkie debut. Colman scored an instant hit with his beautifully modulated voice and his roguishly elegant manner, and was one of the biggest and most popular screen personalities of the 1930s. A falling out with Goldwyn in 1934 prompted Colman to avoid long-term contracts for the rest of his career.
As good as his pre-1935 films were, Colman was even more effective as a free-lancer in such films as Tale of Two Cities (1935), Lost Horizon (1937), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), The Light That Failed (1939) and Talk of the Town (1942). The actor also began a fruitful radio career during this period, first as host of an intellectual celebrity round-robin discussion weekly The Circle in 1939; ten years later, he and his actress wife Benita Hume starred in a witty and well-written sitcom about a college professor and his spouse, The Halls of Ivy, which became a TV series in 1954.
Perhaps the most famous of Colman's radio appearance were those he made on The Jack Benny Program as Jack's long-suffering next door neighbor. Colman won an Academy Award for his atypical performance in A Double Life (1947) as an emotionally disturbed actor who becomes so wrapped up in his roles that he commits murder. Curtailing his film activities in the 1950s, Colman planned to write his autobiography, but was prevented from doing so by ill health -- and in part by his reluctance to speak badly of anyone. Colman died shortly after completing his final film role as the Spirit of Man in The Story of Mankind (1957), a laughably wretched extravaganza from which Colman managed to emerge with his dignity and reputation intact.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Ava Gardner

Born on a tobacco farm, where she got her lifelong love of earthy language and going barefoot, Ava grew up in the rural South. At age 18, her picture in the window of her brother-in- law's New York photo studio brought her to the attention of MGM, leading quickly to Hollywood and a film contract based strictly on her beauty.
With zero acting experience, her first 17 film roles, 1942-5, were one-line bits or little better. After her first starring role in B-grade Whistle Stop (1946), MGM loaned her to Universal for her first outstanding film, The Killers (1946). Few of her best films were made at MGM which, keeping her under contract for 17 years, used her popularity to sell many mediocre films. Perhaps as a result, she never believed in her own acting ability, but her latent talent shone brightly when brought out by a superior director, as with John Ford in Mogambo (1953) and George Cukor in Bhowani Junction (1956).
After 3 failed marriages, dissatisfaction with Hollywood life prompted Ava to move to Spain in 1955; most of her subsequent films were made abroad. By this time, stardom had made the country girl a cosmopolitan, but she never overcame a deep insecurity about acting and life in the spotlight. Her last quality starring film role was in The Night of the Iguana (1964), her later work being (as she said) strictly "for the loot". In 1968, tax trouble in Spain prompted a move to London, where she spent her last 22 years in reasonable comfort. Her film career did not bring her great fulfillment, but her looks may have made it inevitable; many fans still consider her the most beautiful actress in Hollywood history.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Al Jolson

Al Jolson (1886-1950),most noted for his role in the motion picture The Jazz Singer.
He was born Asa Yoelson in Seredzius, Russia (now in Lithuania). As a child he sang in the synagogue where his father was a cantor.
At the age of 13 he made his first stage appearance in Children of the Ghetto in New York City. He became a circus performer and café entertainer. Then he toured in vaudeville and with a company known as Dockstader's Minstrels; minstrel-style singing in blackface makeup became Jolson's trademark. In 1911 he made his musical comedy debut in La Belle Paree.
Jolson achieved wide popularity starring on Broadway in many musicals tailored to his talents; these included Robinson Crusoe, Jr. (1916), Sinbad (1918), Big Boy (1925), and Wonder Bar (1931). In 1927 he starred in The Jazz Singer, the first important motion picture with synchronized sound and the first of many successful films for the star. He was also a popular radio and recording artist.

Trailers from the movie "The Jazz Singer"
"Blue Skies" Toot Toot Tootsie" "My Mammy"

Blue Skies

Toot Toot Tootsie

My Mammy