Senin, 21 November 2011

Charlie Chaplin: A Short Biograpy

What could be said about this great and prolific actor? An article isn't sufficient to describe the life of this immortal legend. A library of books written on him may still fall short of portraying the life of this never to be forgotten hero of Hollywood who gave innumerable memorable movies to us. Though he rose to fame mostly due to his silent movies but he conveyed so many things that many actors couldn't do through speech. Charles Spencer Chaplin popularly known as Charlie Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, U.K. on April 16, 1889. The people had given him nick names like Charlie, Charlot and The Little Tramp. 

Charlie Chaplin was born in the family of entertainers. His parents Charles and Hannah Chaplin were musical entertainers. No wonder why he took to stage so early. He was only five years old when he had to sing a song on his mother's behalf as she became ill. There was no stopping this boy who toured in a musical called "The Eight Lancaster Lads" at the age of eight. The wonder kid continued his marvelous work appearing in "Giddy Ostende" at London's Hippodrome. After that he worked with Fred Karno who had an English Vaudeville Troupe until the age of twenty-four. The troupe also brought him to New York in 1921 at the age of twenty one. He got his first break in December 1913 with Mack Sennet of Keystone. He moved to Hollywood, California the every next month to begin his long carrier both as actor and director. Charlie Chaplin's first movie was "Making a Living" which released in February 1914. He acted and directed about thirty-five films with Keytone before moving to Essanay in 1915 where he did another fourteen films. Then he signed up with Mutual in 1916 and did another 12 films. He worked with Mutual until 1917. Then again next year he joined First National, which was later, acquired by Warner Bros. After a year i.e. in the year 1919 Charlie Chaplin formed United Artists collaborating with Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. Then he gave his first ever full-length movie "The Kid" in 1921 produced under the banner of United Artists which was directed by him. 

Rabu, 09 November 2011

Michael Jackson: A Short Biography

Born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was the seventh child of the family of nine. They were six brothers and three sisters - Sigmund, Toriano, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, Steven, Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya. He started his career by becoming the lead singer of the band Jackson 5, at the age of five. Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon were the other band members. 

They played at local parties and clubs and also entered competitions which allowed them to grow as a band. They got their big first big break in 1968 when Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers heard about the Jackson 5 and got them auditioned for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. They were signed immediately and they moved to California. "I want you back", "The love you save" and "I'll be there" were among their first few singles which became huge hits of America. They made fourteen albums with Motown till 1976 and Michael Jackson recorded four other albums. They later signed up with Epic and their group name was changed to The Jacksons, as Jackson 5 was the copyright of Motown. They made a total of six albums with Epic many of them being great hits until 1984. 

Michael met Quincy Jones on the sets of "The Wiz", which was also his film debut. He played the role of crow along with Diana Ross who played Dorothy. He made "Off The Wall" with Quincy, who was the producer. It was the first album whose all four songs were US #1 singles and was a hit all over the world. "Thriller" was the largest selling album of all time, which was released in 1982. Over fifty million copies of the album were sold worldwide and the album had seven hits.

Michael Jackson laid great emphasis on the videos. He called them as short films of his albums and chose the best producers and directors to work with. He even used special effects and the latest technologies, his hit song Billie Jean was a good example of this. Excellent choreography was combined with detailed make-up to make this fourteen minute long video. This short film boosted the sales of the album, Thriller and it became the world's largest selling home video. 

Selasa, 23 Agustus 2011

The Golden Age of Hollywood

According to many experts and people the golden era of Hollywood was during 1930's and 1940's when the industry was thriving. But many experts agree that although 30's brought in the commercial success but the actual golden age from artistic point of view began in 1920s itself when it drew talent from all over the world. Before this period Hollywood was just like any other film making locations but it was after First World War that it created a niche for itself in the world. The obvious reason was the magnitude of damage the European countries suffered in the World War and subsequent economic hardships faced by them thus affecting the film industry. Before the advent of Hollywood as a top destination Germany was the most popular destination known for its artistic excellence. America benefited from the fact that it suffered relatively less casualties and loss of property compared to European Nations. 

The popular names during the Golden Era were Clark Cable, Bette Davis, Charlie Chaplin, Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Bob Hope, Ingrid, Judy Garland, Bergman, James Cagney, Jennifer Jones, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Gran, the list is endless. These actors became the house hold names throughout the country in 1930's and 1940's. The film industry during this era was so wealthy and powerful that studios like Paramount, MGM, Universal, 20th Century Fox and RKO kept adding more buildings to their studios. More than 7,000 films were released by these studios during the period of 1930's and 1940's. More than 75 million people flocked to see at least one film in a week during the peak years of Hollywood. 

Selasa, 16 Agustus 2011

Clark Gable: A Short Biography

William Clark Gable who is popularly known as Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in a small town called Cadiz in Ohio. Clark Gable was also known by nicknames such "Gabe" and "The King". Clark Gable had five marriages. The first two ended in divorce with Josephine Dillon and Ria Langham respectively. The third marriage took place with Carole Lombard but that too was short lived as she died after three years of marriage. Clark Gable married Sylvia Ashley nearly 7 years after the death of his third wife. But that too ended within 3 years of marriage. His last wife survived Clark Gable when he died of a heart attack on November 16, 1960.

Clark Gable's had a miserly childhood. He was only seven months old when his mother passed away. He quit his school at the age of 16 and began working in a tire factory in Akron, Ohio. Still his tough days were not over. He worked in stock companies, oil fields and sold ties. It was after watching the play The Bird of Paradise that he wanted to be an actor. In the year 1924 Clark Gable was able to reach Hollywood somehow with the help of Josephine Dillon who was a theater manager of Portland, Oregon who also coached him on acting. Josephine Dillon who later on became his first wife who was twelve years senior to him played an important role in helping Clerk Gable enter Hollywood.

Lionel Barrymore the famous actor and the director recommended Gable to MGM's Irving Thalberg that he be screen tested. After the screening Irving Thalberg was not impressed particularly with his looks. But the studio eventually hired him after several screen tests in 1930. He worked as a co-actor with Joan Crawford in 1931 film Dance, Fools, Dance. Public liked his on screen chemistry with Jean Harlow in Red Dust in 1932 which took to top of the popularity chart. There was a spat between Gable and MGM as refused to do assignment for which he was heavily punished by loaning him out to low rent paying Columbia Pictures. Again his destiny wanted him to be a star, working with Columbia Pictures in Frank Capra's "It happened One Night" Gabel won an Oscar which was one of the best romantic comedies to be ever produced. 

Selasa, 12 Juli 2011

Kate Winslet: A Short Biography

Kate Winslet was born in Reading, U.K. on October 5, 1975 to Roger Winslet and Sally Bridges-Winslet. Her birth name was Kate Elizabeth Winslet. Having Blonde hair and hazel eyes Kate Winslet has proved herself to be one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to be around these days. The actress is popular for portraying courageous and straightforward pretty girl roles. The actress has built quite an impressive resume with movies ranging from Shakespearean tragedy to mystic movies to erotica. Acting was not difficult for her as she born in the family of stage actors. Her parents were stage actors, her maternal grandparents ran a theater and her uncle was a fixture in London's West End Theater. So, naturally it was easy for Kate to get into acting after having realized her acting talent at an early age. She started off doing gigs and she did her first gig at the age of eleven for kid's cereal. She took acting classes around the same age and also got formal training in a performing arts school. She kept doing regular stage shows for next few years. Ultimately this landed her into sitcoms doing bit roles. 

Kate Winslet's first break in movies came at the age of seventeen when she took the role of an obsessive teenager in "Heavenly Creatures" released in 1994. Although the film got a lukewarm response at the box office it was highly acclaimed by the critics. Still a novice to Hollywood she attended a cattle call audition for Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" in 1995. Kate Winslet who outperformed hundreds of other aspirants immensely impressed the film's star Emma Thompson. She played the character of plucky Marianne Dashwood. She was rewarded for hard work with a British Academy Award and also an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and she holds the distinction of being nominated at the youngest age. Her string of impressive performances continued and she worked in two more period movies "Jude" in 1996 and "Hamlet" in 1996.

Rabu, 27 April 2011

Tom Hanks : A Short Biography

Born on July 9, 1956 in Concord, California Thomas Jeffrey Hanks ala Tom Hanks is one of the gifted Hollywood stars with immense acting talent and perfection. Tom Hanks did not have the happiest of childhoods, as his parents got divorced when he was only 5 years old. Tom was third of four children born to Amos and Janet Hanks.  His parents were avant-gardes in the development of marriage dissolution law in California. He moved around with his father changing schools and changing stepmothers and he was just confused. 
After finally settling down in Oakland, CA Tom began taking part in high school plays. He continued to act in plays while attending California State University. Then he left the university to pursue his acting career further. 

Hanks went to the city of opportunities, New York. This is when he got married to actress/producer Samantha Lewes on January 24, 1978. The marriage lasted nearly 9 years and they got divorced on March 19, 1987. Tom Hank's first break as an actor came in a low budget movie called "He Knows You're Alone" in 1980 where he was reportedly paid just $800 for the movie. After few months he moved to Los Angeles and co-starred in the TV Sitcom "Bosom Buddies" where he portrayed a man forced to dress as a woman in order to stay at a women's only hotel. The show didn't touch cord with the viewers and was shelved after only two seasons. He also worked in TV Series like "Taxi" and "Family Ties". His acting career remained silent until 1984 when he got a big break in a Disney Film's comedy called "Splash" which was about a mermaid in 1984. The movie proved to be a box office hit and the audience liked the charm and comic timing of the actor. Tom Hank was reportedly paid $70,000 for this movie.

Selasa, 12 April 2011

Katharine Hepburn : A Short Biography

Born on May 12, 1907 in Hartford, CT Katharina Houghton Hepburn was the best of the best actresses that Hollywood has seen.  She was born to a highly respectable family, the mother being a feminist and a suffragist. He father was a doctor who led a struggle against the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Both her parents endorsed the birth control. Katharine owes her life to her parents for her upbringing that gave her enough freedom to be adventurous in life. She had 5 siblings one elder to her and four younger than her. One of the traumatic experiences of life was when her elder brother Tom died hanging by her aunt's attic. The incident had left an indelible trauma, which haunted her for years. 

Hepburn went to Bryn Mawr College and she graduated in 1928 from there. She happened to meet Ludlow Smith in the college and she married him the same year she graduated. But the marriage didn't last too long and they got divorced in 1934. During her student days at the college she took active participation in theatre arts and she even appeared in 2 theatrical productions after her senior year in Baltimore, MD. Then she moved to New York and began training as an actor. She got her first break in theater in her first New York Production "The Big Pond". But that didn't go well and she was discontinued from the show only after one showing. But there was no dearth of work for her and she regularly worked in Broadway shows. 

The turning point in her life came when she did a Broadway show in 1932 called "The Warrior's Husband" in which her performance was greatly appreciated and thus led her to many screen tests. She eventually ended up getting a role in the film "A Bill of Divorcement" released in 1932. She won rave reviews for her role in the film and there was no looking back for her after that. Many production houses lined up at her home to cast them in their movies. She had an excellent run of movies in 1930's which included her first Academy Award winning movie "Morning Glory" in 1933 for which she won the award for best actress.  What better start can an actor get, being only a year old and winning an Oscar.