Saturday, 11 April 2009

Rex Harrison

Sir Reginald “Rex” Carey Harrison (5 March 1908 - 2 June 1990) was an English actor of stage and screen, who won both an Oscar and Tony Award.
Debonair and distinguished British star of stage and screen for more than 50 years,
Sir Rex Harrison is best remembered for playing charming, slyly mischievous characters.
Born Reginald Carey in 1908, he made his theatrical debut at age 16 with the Liverpool Repertory Theater, remaining with that group for three years.
Making his British stage and film debut in 1930,
Harrison made the first of many appearances on Broadway in Sweet Aloes in 1936.
He became a bona fide British star that same year when he appeared in the theatrical production French Without Tears,
in which he showed himself to be very skilled in black-tie comedy.
He served as a flight lieutenant in the RAF during World War II, although this interruption in his career was quickly followed by several British films.

Harrison moved to Hollywood in 1945, where his career continued to prosper. Among his many roles was that of the king in the 1946 production of
Anna and the King of Siam.
Harrison was perhaps best known for his performance as Professor Henry Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady,
a character he played on Broadway from 1956-1958 (winning a Tony award in 1957) and again in its 1981 revival, as well as for a year in London in the late '50s; in 1964, he won an Oscar for his onscreen version of the role.
He had previously received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Julius Caesar in
Cleopatra (1963).
Harrison continued to act on both the stage and screen in the 1970s and into the '80s.
He published his autobiography, Rex, in 1975, and, four years later,
edited and published an anthology of poetry If Love Be Love.
Knighted in 1989, he was starring in the Broadway revival of Somerset Maugham's The Circle (with Stewart Granger and Glynis Johns) until one month before he died of pancreatic cancer in 1990.
Three of Harrison's six marriages were to actressesLilli Palmer, Kay Kendall, and
Rachel Roberts.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Cary Grant

Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant," Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."
His early years in Bristol, England, would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood except for one extraordinary event. At age nine, he came home from school one day and was told his mother had gone off to a seaside resort.
The real truth, however, was that she had been placed in a mental institution, where she would remain for years, and he was never told about it (he never saw his mother again until he was in his late 20s).
He left school at 14, lying about his age and forging his father's signature on a letter to join Bob Pender's troupe of knockabout comedians.
He learned pantomime as well as acrobatics as he toured with the Pender troupe in the English provinces, picked up a Cockney accent in the music halls in London, and then in July 1920, was one of the eight Pender boys selected to go to the US.
Their show on
Broadway, "Good Times," ran for 456 performances, giving Grant time to acclimatize.
He would stay in America. Mae West wanted Grant for She Done Him Wrong (1933) because she saw his combination of virility, sexuality and the aura and bearing of a gentleman.
Grant was young enough to begin the new career of fatherhood when he stopped making movies at age 62.
One biographer said Grant was alienated by the new realism in the film industry.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, he had invented a man-of-the-world persona and a style--"high comedy with polished words."
In To Catch a Thief (1955), he and
Grace Kelly were allowed to improvise some of the dialogue.
They knew what the director,
Alfred Hitchcock, wanted to do with a scene, they rehearsed it, put in some clever double entendres that got past the censors,
and then the scene was filmed. His biggest box-office success was another Hitchcock 1950s film, North by Northwest (1959) made with Eva Marie Saint since Kelly was by that time Princess of Monaco.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Lorreta Young

Gretchen Young was born on January 6, 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the daughter of Gladys Royal Young and John Earl Young. When she was three,
her parents separated and her mother moved Gretchen and her two sisters to California and into the home of Gladys' sister.
Loretta's father later moved to join them. Gladys later found him with the maid and told him to get out. His children never saw him again. The family moved to a boarding house that Gladys ran.
Around that time Loretta and her cousin went to live with actress Mae Murray, whom they called "Aunt Mazi". After a year, they both returned to their mothers.
When Loretta was 10, her mother married one of her boarders, George Belzer. They had daughter Georgianna two years later.
When Lorreta Young was three years old, her mother took her and her sisters to Hollywood, where she established a boarding house.
Gretchen was appearing on screen as a child extra by the time she was four, joining her elder sisters, Polly Ann Young and Elizabeth Jane Young (later better known as Sally Blane), as child players.
Gretchen then left the screen to attend convent school, but returned at age 14 with a bit appearance in the Colleen Moore vehicle
Naughty But Nice (1927).
Changing her name to Loretta Young, letting her blond hair revert to its natural brown and with her blue eyes, satin complexion and exquisite face, she quickly graduated from bit player to ingénue to leading lady.
She made headlines in 1930 when she and Grant Withers, who was previously married and nine years her senior, eloped to Yuma, Arizona, with the 17-year-old Loretta. They had both appeared in Warner Bros.' The Second Floor Mystery (1930).
The marriage was annulled in 1931, the same year in which the pair would again co-star on screen in a film ironically titled
Too Young to Marry (1931).
Loretta always showed an elegant sort of beauty in her films, many of which were rather pedestrian fare. Yet she could act if called upon. Examples of her acting ability are her performances in
The Farmer's Daughter (1947) or in Come to the Stable (1949).
She retired from films in 1953 and began a second, equally successful career as hostess of "Letter to Loretta" (1953), a half-hour drama anthology series which ran on NBC from September 1953 to September 1961.
In addition to hosting the series, she frequently starred in episodes.
Although she is most remembered for her stunning gowns and swirling entrances, over the broadcast's eight-year run she also showed again that she could act. She won Emmy
awards for best actress in a dramatic series in 1954, 1956 and 1958.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Certified Greatest Entertainment Blogger Award & Interesting Blog~2009

Thank you blue dreamer for both these awards and all the support you give to my site.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Dirk Bogarde

Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999), British actor and writer. Born Derek Niven Van den Bogaerde in Hampstead, London, he was originally a scenic designer until his stage debut in 1939.He was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde on March 28, 1921, to Ulric van den Bogaerde, the art editor of "The Times" (London) newspaper,
and actress Margaret Niven in the London suburb of Hampstead.
He was one of three children, with sister Elizabeth and younger brother Gareth. His father was Flemish and his mother was of Scottish descent.
Theatre roles in the post-war period brought him to the attention of the Rank Organisation, which made him a star for the first time in the film Esther Waters (1948).
Often cast as a spivvish type, Bogarde’s role in the comedy Doctor in the House (1954), a box-office success, encouraged Rank to cast him in several sequels and to mould him into a matinée idol.
He went against this character when he chose to play a homosexual in Victim (1961), the first major English-language film on the subject.
His portrayal of a valet in The Servant (1963) was the first of four films with the director Joseph Losey, and it gave serious impetus to his career, especially when he was given the Best Actor award for the role by the British Film Academy.

Bogarde’s first role in a Hollywood film was in Song Without End (1960), in which he played the composer Franz Liszt, but few of his American ventures were happy, with the possible exception of the underrated Justine (1969) by George Cukor.
Later that year he appeared in La Caduta Degli Dei (The Damned), a perverse group-portrait of a wealthy German family by Luchino Visconti.
Bogarde worked with Visconti again on Morte a Venezia (1971; Death in Venice), in which he played a musician so besotted with a youth that he cannot leave the plague-ridden city.
His few subsequent films, all made in Europe, were mostly less distinguished, although Daddy Nostalgie (1990; These Foolish Things) was a moving story of a dying man's reconciliation with his daughter, directed by Bertrand Tavernier.

Bogarde worked occasionally in radio dramas in his last years though he concentrated on his writing; both his volumes of autobiography and fiction were best-sellers.
He published his first volume of memoirs, A Postillion Struck by Lightning, in 1977, with the sixth and final volume appearing in 1995; he also wrote novels, including A Gentle Occupation (1980) and Jericho (1992).
His last book, For the Time Being, was published in 1998. He suffered a stroke in September 1996 and died of a heart attack on May 8, 1999. He was knighted in 1992.