20 February, 2009

Ewen Montagu

Captain Ewen Edward Samuel Montagu was a British judge, writer and intelligence officer.

Montagu was born March 19, 1901, the second son of the prominent peer Louis Samuel Montagu, 2nd Baron Swaythling. He was educated at Westminster School before becoming a machine gun instructor during World War I at a United States Naval Air Station. After the war he studied in Trinity College, Cambridge and in Harvard University before he was called to the bar in 1924.

During World War II, Montagu served in the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty, where he conceived Operation Mincemeat, a major deception plan against the Germans during the war. For his role in Mincemeat, he was awarded the Military Order of the British Empire. From 1945 to 1973 he held the position of Judge Advocate of the Fleet. He wrote The Man Who Never Was (1953), a fair, responsible account of Operation Mincemeat, which was made into a movie three years later. Montagu himself appeared in the film adaptation of The Man Who Never Was, playing an RAF officer who disparaged his own character (played by Clifton Webb) in a briefing.

He was president of the United Synagogue, 1954-62, and vice-president of the Anglo-Jewish Association.

He died on July 19, 1985 at the age of 84.

19 February, 2009

Millicent Fenwick

Millicent Hammond Fenwick was an American fashion editor, politician and diplomat. A four-term Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey, she entered politics late in life and was renowned for her energy and colorful enthusiasm. She was regarded as a moderate and progressive within her party and was outspoken in favor of civil rights and the women's movement.

Born Millicent Vernon Hammond, she was the middle of three children born to renowned politician and later ambassador to Spain, Ogden Haggerty Hammond (October 13, 1869 – October 29, 1956) of Louisville, Kentucky and his first wife, Mary Picton Stevens (May 16, 1885 – May 7, 1915) of Hoboken, New Jersey. Her paternal grandparents were General John Henry Hammond (June 30, 1833 – April 30, 1890), who served as chief of staff for William Tecumseh Sherman during the Vicksburg Campaign, and Sophia Vernon Wolfe (1842 – May 20, 1923), daughter of Nathaniel Wolfe, a lawyer and legislator from Louisville. Her maternal grandparents were John Stevens (July 1856 – January 21, 1895), oldest son of Stevens Institute of Technology founder Edwin Augustus Stevens and grandson of inventor John Stevens, and Mary Marshall McGuire (May 4, 1850 – May 2, 1905).

She had a sister, Mary Stevens Hammond, and a brother, Ogden H. Hammond, Jr. When Millicent was five, her mother died in the sinking of the British ocean liner RMS Lusitania, which her father survived. He remarried Marguerite McClure Howland two years later and by that marriage Fenwick had a step-brother, McClure (Mac) Howland.

Raised in comfortable circumstances in Bernardsville, New Jersey, she attended the exclusive Nightingale-Bamford School in nearby Manhattan, and college at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. She married and divorced, and worked for 14 years as an editor at Vogue, with a wardrobe and style to match the position.

In the 1950s, Fenwick became involved in politics via the Civil Rights Movement. Often described as being blessed with exceptional intelligence, striking good looks, and a keen wit, she rose rapidly in the ranks of the Republican Party. She was elected to the Bernardsville Borough Council in 1957, serving until 1964, and around the same time was appointed to the New Jersey Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, on which she served from 1958 to 1974. She was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1969, serving from 1970 to 1973, when she left the Legislature to become director of New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

Elected to Congress from New Jersey in 1974 at age sixty-four, Fenwick became a media darling. Television commentator Walter Cronkite called her "the conscience of Congress." During her four terms in the House of Representatives, she emerged as arguably one of the most colorful politicians in American history. She was known for her opposition to corruption by both parties and special interest groups. She was one of the most liberal Republicans in the House. Fenwick was also instrumental in establishing the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), which oversaw the implementation of the Helsinki Accords, which covered relations between states and human rights across Europe.

Once, when a conservative male congressman attacked a piece of equal rights legislation by saying, "I’ve always thought of women as kissable, cuddly, and smelling good," Fenwick responded, "That’s what I’ve always thought about men, and I hope for your sake that you haven’t been disappointed as many times as I’ve been." In 1982, she ran for a U.S. Senate seat, but narrowly lost the general election to businessman Frank Lautenberg. Lautenberg had used Fenwick's age at the time- she was 72- as part of an attack upon her fitness to serve as a U.S. Senator.

After leaving the House of Representatives following the 1982 election, Fenwick was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the United States representative, with rank of ambassador, to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy. She held this position from June 1983, to March 1987, when she retired from public life at the age of 77. Fenwick died in her home town of Bernardsville on September 16, 1992.

17 February, 2009

Hans Albers

Hans Albers was a German actor and singer. He was the single biggest male movie star in Germany between 1930 and 1945 and one of the most popular German actors of the twentieth century.

He was born Hans Philipp August Albers as the son of a butcher and grew up in the Hamburg district of St. Georg. He had been seriously interested in acting by his late teens and took acting classes without the knowledge of his parents. In 1915 Albers was drafted to serve the fatherland in the Great War (World War I), but he was, in retrospect, lucky enough to be wounded early on. After the war Albers moved to Berlin, where he found work as a comedic actor in various Weimar-Era Berlin theatres. His breakthrough performance was that of a waiter in the play Verbrecher (Criminals). It was also in Weimar Berlin that Albers began a long-term relationship with half-Jewish actress Hansi Burg (d 1975). The relationship ended only when he died in 1960.

After roles in over one hundred silent films, Albers starred in the first German talkie Die Nacht gehört uns (The Night Belongs to Us) in 1929. Soon thereafter, Albers played big-mouthed strong man Mazeppa alongside Marlene Dietrich in her star-making classic Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel). Albers himself shot to fame in 1930 with the movie "Der Greifer" and constantly enhanced his star status with similar daredevil roles in the 1930s. He was probably at his best when teamed-up with fellow German movie legend Heinz Rühmann, as in "Bomben auf Monte Carlo" (1931) and "Der Mann, der Sherlock Holmes war" (1937). Many of Albers' songs from his movies became huge hits and some even remain popular to this day. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Albers and his Jewish girlfriend Hansi Burg moved to Starnberger See in Bavaria. While Albers himself never needed to show public support for the Nazi regime, he became the most popular actor under Nazi rule. The actor nevertheless, although being a party member, avoided an overly close association in public. As the ultimate sign of his popularity, the Nazis even silently accepted his relationship with Hansi Burg for a long time. But Albers finally gave in to the pressure. Hansi Burg went to Switzerland and then to Great Britain in 1939, but they secretly remained a couple with him even managing to send her financial support. They were reunited after the war, when she returned to Germany in a British uniform.

In 1943, Albers was paid a huge sum of money to star in Ufa's big-budgeted anniversary picture Münchhausen but was careful not to give the impression that he was endorsing the National Socialist regime, which was indeed, never asked of him. Also in 1943, Albers starred in another classic German film Große Freiheit Nr. 7 with actress Ilse Werner. Some of the scenes are said to have been be shot in Prague because of bomb damage to Hamburg. The sailing ship "Padua" for the outdoor scenes of the film has survived under Soviet and Russian flag until this day as "Krusenstern".

After World War II, well-funded Albers avoided the financial plight and professional banning many actors faced on account of his association with Hansi Burg. Nevertheless, German "heroes" were considered undesirable by the occupation government that wanted to promote their own. This accounted for a major break in his career and made him hard to cast. Eventually he found an opening with respectful wisdom-with-age type character parts with some public acclaim, but with these never again enjoyed the huge stardom of the 1930s and early 1940s. By the early 1950s, his age finally showed and his powerful presence and freshness was almost gone. This was promoted by his increasing alcoholism during the 1950s. Yet he remained active in movies until the very end. Albers died in 1960 in a sanatorium near the Starnberger of internal bleeding. The whole nation mourned his loss.

Taking a position in Germany that roughly corresponds with that of John Wayne in the USA, Albers' name will forever be closely associated with the North German port city of Hamburg, and especially the Hamburg neighbourhood of St. Pauli, where there is a "Hans Albers Platz

Many of Albers' songs were humorous tales of drunken, womanizing sailors on shore-leave, with double entendres such as "It hurts the first time, but with time, you get used to it" in reference to a girl falling in love for the first time. Albers' songs were often peppered with expressions in Low German, which is spoken in Northern Germany. His most famous song is by far "Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins," ("On the Reeperbahn at half past midnight") which has become the unofficial anthem of the colourful neighbourhood of St. Pauli.

14 February, 2009

Neil Gordon Kinnock

Neil Gordon Kinnock, Baron Kinnock is a British politician. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1970 to 1995, and was Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party leader from 1983 to 1992, when he resigned after the 1992 general election defeat.

He subsequently served as a UK Commissioner of the European Commission from 1995 until 2004, and is now Chairman of the British Council and President of Cardiff University.

Kinnock, an only child, was born in Tredegar, Wales. His father was a coal miner who suffered from dermatitis and had to find work as a labourer and his mother was a district nurse. In 1953 Kinnock went to the Lewis School, Pengam from where he won a place to University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, obtaining a degree in industrial relations and history in 1965. A year later, Kinnock obtained a postgraduate diploma in education and between August 1966 and May 1970 Kinnock worked as a tutor for a Workers' Educational Association (WEA).

Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served almost two terms as the second democratically elected President of South Africa from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, he announced his resignation after being recalled by the African National Congress's National Executive Committee. following a conclusion by Judge Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption. On 12 January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned Judge Nicholson’s judgment, but the resignation stood.

Thabo Mbeki was the executive face of governement in South Africa from 1994. Not rated as a statesman domestically, his government was characterised by centralising power and a mixed legacy of poor delivery, corruption, nepotism, good economic growth, and successful foreign policy (excluding Zimbabwe).

Economically he managed a world beating 4.5% average growth. Mbeki created employment in the middle sectors of the economy and oversaw a fast growing black middle class with the implementation of BEE. This growth exacibated the demand for trained professionals strained by emigration due to violent crime, but failled to address unemployment amongst the unskilled bulk of the population. He attracted the bulk of Africa’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and made South Africa the focal point of African growth. He was the architect of NEPAD whose aim is to develop an integrated socio-economic development framework for Africa[10]. He also and oversaw the successful building of economic bridges to BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations with the eventual formation of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum to "further political consultation and co-ordination as well as strengthening sectoral co-operation, and economic relations".

His domestic policy allowed the economy to flourish at the expense of cross-class employment. Education and health care became more broadly accessible, and were accompanied by an alarming drop in standards. Safety generally improved except for uncontrolled violent crime. His focus on being an African Prime Minister and failure to surround himself with better people led him into the same trap as General Louis Botha whose foreign acclaim did little to alleviate the resentment of his domestic failings. This, and his failure to continue the progress made under Nelson Mandela in nation-building, his obsession with racist rhetoric, conspiracy eventually cumulated in the failure to anticipate and deal adequately with the 2008 Xenophobia Attacks.

Mbeki's international acclaim is well deserved. He had many successes in resolving difficult and complex issues on the African continent including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Ivory Coast, and some important peace agreements. He oversaw the transition from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU). His 'quiet diplomacy' in Zimbabwe is blamed for protracting the survival of Robert Mugabe's regime, but may yet yield longer-term stability at the cost of thousands of lives and intense economic pressure on Zimbabwe's neighbours. He became a vocal leader of the Non-Aligned Movement in the United Nations and while leveraging South Africa's seat on the Security Council, aggitating for reform of the Security Council.

Mbeki was slammed worldwide on his HIV/AIDS stance. His questioning of the link between HIV/AIDS and poverty and the AIDS rate in Africa was widely misunderstood as a challenge of the viral theory of AIDS. His fate was not helped by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the overhaul of the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa. The delay in distributing Anti-Retro Virals (ARVs) is attributed to South Africa having one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection and death rates in the world.

Pierre Mac Orlan

Pierre Mac Orlan, sometimes written MacOrlan was a French novelist and songwriter.

His novel Quai des Brumes was the source for Marcel Carné's 1938 film of the same name, starring Jean Gabin. He was also a prolific writer of chansons, many of which were recorded and popularized by French singers such as Juliette Gréco, Monique Morelli, Catherine Sauvage, and Germaine Montero.

Born in Peronne in northern France, Mac Orlan lived in Rouen and Paris as a young man, working at a variety of jobs and learning to play the accordion. In his twenties, he travelled widely in Europe, before returning to Paris and becoming a noted figure in Bohemian art circles. In particular, his song performances were a regular feature at the Lapin Agile cabaret. During this period, he was part of a broad circle of writers and painters including Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, Maurice Utrillo and Francis Carco.

He fought in the war against Germany until wounded in 1916, following which he worked as a war correspondent. In later years, he lived as a writer at Saint Cyr-sur-Morin, outside Paris. In the late 1920s, he became an influential critic of film and photography, writing important essays about the work of Eugene Atget, Germaine Krull and others.

In addition to Quai des Brumes, his many novels included A Bord de l’Etoile Matutine, translated into English by Malcolm Cowley as On Board the Morning Star. Among the popular chansons written by Mac Orlan are "Fille de Londres", "Le Pont du Nord" and "Nelly".

Robert Escarpit

Escarpit Robert was an academic, journalist and writer French.

He spent his childhood and adolescence in Gironde. At eighteen, he must pursue their studies. He made English, by necessity rather than interest. Normalien, Associate English, Doctor of Humane Letters. It advocates the SFIO in the time of the Popular Front. He is a professor in the School of Arcachon (Gironde) from 1943 to 1945. Professor Emeritus, a specialist in English literature, he is the author of fifty books, divided between literary and sociological essays and novels. Involved in the Resistance, he will participate in 1945, fighting in the Médoc with the Brigade Carnot.

After the war, he was Secretary General and Director of the French Institute of Latin America to Mexico. He taught English, then a professor of comparative literature at the Faculty of Arts de Bordeaux (1951 - 1970) and creator of the Center of Sociology of the literature in 1960 (later Institute of Literature and artistic techniques of mass: ILTAM) . Banknotes of the World, literary critic for many magazines, founder of the journalism IUT de Bordeaux (1970 - 1975). He was President of the University of Bordeaux III (1975 - 1978). Meanwhile, he directed from 1958 the laboratory of information science and communication, attached to the CNRS. He was the author of tickets that each day appear on the front page of the World as well as numerous books, both scholarly and sometimes humorous.

He was editor of the Canard Enchainé during the Algerian war. Traveling companion of the PCF, Escarpit Robert became the Aquitaine Regional Council (1986 - 1992) and municipal adviser on lists of the PCF. Co-founder of "Friends Franco-Albanian" and director of "Albania", he maintained until after the Stalinist regime in Tirana. He was a columnist for the Morning in 1983, then South-West Sunday.

Author of a Summary of English Literature (1953), Sociology of Literature (1958), the book of Revolution (1965) he received in 1960 the price of humor to paint fresh. He has published several novels, including Jeune Homme et la nuit (1980), a serious and lyrical, and a beautiful day to die (1992).

In 1953, with the approval of the Director of the company of "Bateaux Mouches" in Paris, Robert Escarpit wrote a biography of Jean-Sébastien Mouche, which he is both the collaborator of Baron Haussmann, the inventor of boats and the creator of a corps of inspectors of the specialized police intelligence, "cookies".

Roland Topor

Roland Topor was a French illustrator, painter, writer and filmmaker, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish Jewish origin and spent the early years of his life in Savoy where his family hid him from the Nazi peril.

Roland Topor wrote the novel The Tenant (Le Locataire chimérique, 1964), which was adapted to film by Roman Polanski in 1976. The Tenant is the story of a Parisian of Polish descent, a chilling exploration of alienation and identity, asking disturbing questions about how we define ourselves. The later novel Joko's Anniversary (1969), another fable about loss of identity, is a vicious satire on social conformity.

He died on April 16, 1997.

Bertrand Blier

Bertrand Blier is a French screenwriter and film director.

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. He is the son of Bernard Blier.

John Gardner

John Champlin Gardner, Jr. was a well-known and controversial American novelist and university professor, best known for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth.

Gardner was born in Batavia, New York. His father was a lay preacher and dairy farmer, and his mother taught English at a local school. Both parents were fond of Shakespeare and often recited literature together. As a child, Gardner attended public school and worked on his father's farm, where, in April of 1945, his younger brother Gilbert was killed in an accident with a cultipacker. Gardner, who was driving the tractor during the fatal accident, carried guilt for his brother's death throughout his life, suffering nightmares and flashbacks. The incident informed much of Gardner's fiction and criticism — most directly in the 1977 short story "Redemption," which included a fictionalized recounting of the accident.

Gardner began his university education at DePauw University, but received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1955. He received his M.A. from the University of Iowa.

Gardner's most popular novels are: The Sunlight Dialogues, about a brooding, disenchanted policeman who is asked to engage a madman fluent in classical mythology; Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf legend from the monster's point of view; and October Light, about an aging and embittered brother and sister living and feuding together in rural Vermont. This last novel won the National Book Critics' Circle Award in 1976. Each book features brutish, isolated figures struggling for integrity and understanding in an unforgiving society.

Gardner was a lifelong teacher of fiction writing. He was a favorite at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. His two books on the craft of writing fiction—The Art of Fiction and On Becoming a Novelist—are considered classics. He was famously obsessive with his work, and acquired a reputation for advanced craft, smooth rhythms, and careful attention to the continuity of the fictive dream. At one level or another, his books nearly always touched on the redemptive power of art.

In 1978, Gardner's book of literary criticism, On Moral Fiction, sparked a controversy that excited the mainstream media, vaulting Gardner into the spotlight with an interview on The Dick Cavett Show (May 16, 1978) and a cover story on The New York Times Magazine (July, 1979). His judgments of contemporary authors—including such luminaries of American fiction as John Updike and John Barth—which could be termed either direct, courageous, or unflattering, depending on one's perspective, harmed his relations with many in the publishing industry. Gardner claimed that lingering animosity from critics of this book led to the lukewarm critical reception of his final novel, Mickelsson's Ghosts. What was unfortunately lost in the furor over On Moral Fiction was Gardner's compelling thesis, perhaps the most clear articulation of his normative fictional philosophy: that fiction should be moral. Gardner meant "moral" not in the sense of narrow religious or cultural "morality," but rather that fiction should aspire to discover those human values that are universally sustaining. Gardner felt that few contemporary authors were "moral" in this sense, but instead indulged in "winking, mugging despair" (to quote his assessment of Thomas Pynchon) or trendy nihilism in which Gardner felt they did not honestly believe. Gore Vidal found the book, as well as Gardner's novels, sanctimonious and pedantic, and he called Gardner the "late apostle to the lowbrows, a sort of Christian evangelical who saw Heaven as a paradigmatic American university."

In 1977, Gardner published The Life and Times of Chaucer. In a review in the October 1977 issue of Speculum, Sumner J. Ferris pointed to several passages that were allegedly lifted either in whole or in part from work by other authors without proper citation. Ferris charitably suggested that Gardner had published the book too hastily, but on April 10, 1978, reviewer Peter Prescott, writing in Newsweek, cited the Speculum article and accused Gardner of plagiarism, insinuations that were met by Gardner "with a sigh."

On December 10, 1977, Gardner was hospitalized with colon cancer. He remained in Johns Hopkins Hospital for about a month and a half.

He died on September 14, 1982 in a motorcycle crash near Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.

Gardner is buried next to his brother Gilbert in Batavia's Grandview Cemetery.

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson

Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, a native of Iceland, was instrumental in helping to gain recognition by the Icelandic government for the pre-Christian Norse religion. The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið ("Icelandic fellowship of Æsir faith"), which he founded in 1972, and for which he acted as goði (priest), was officially recognised as a religious body in 1973.

Sveinbjörn lived his entire life in West Iceland. From 1944 on, he was a sheep farmer while also pursuing literary interests on the side. He published a book of rímur in 1945, a textbook on the verse forms of rímur in 1953, two volumes of his own verse in 1957 and 1976, and edited several anthologies.

Sveinbjörn was regarded with much respect and affection amongst Ásatrú. Not only was he a well known rímur singer, or kvæðamaður, in Iceland, he also gained an audience and followers in Europe and North America. He sometimes performed at rock concerts and is the opening act in the film Rokk í Reykjavík, directed by Friðrik Þór Friðriksson. Sveinbjörn can be heard performing Ásatrú marriage rites for Genesis and Paula P-Orridge (now Alaura O'Dell) on Psychic TV's LP Live in Reykjavik and on the double LP entitled Those who do not. Additionally, former Psychic TV member David Tibet (né David Michael Bunting) released a CD of Sveinbjörn performing his own rímur and reciting the traditional Poetic Edda under the title Current 93 presents Sveinbjörn 'Edda' in two editions through the now defunct record company World Serpent Distribution. He died on December 23, 1993.

Fiorello La Guardia

Fiorello Henry La Guardia was Mayor of New York for three terms from 1934 to 1945. He was popularly known as "the Little Flower," the translation of his Italian first name, Fiorello, and, most likely, a reference to his short stature. A Republican, he was a popular mayor and a strong supporter of the New Deal. La Guardia led New York's recovery during the Great Depression and became a national figure, serving as President Roosevelt's director of civilian defense during the run-up to the United States joining the Second World War.

La Guardia was born in Greenwich Village to an Italian lapsed-Catholic father, Achille La Guardia, from Foggia, and an Italian mother of Jewish origin from Trieste, Irene Coen Luzzato; he was raised an Episcopalian. His middle name Enrico was changed to Henry (the English form of Enrico) when he was a child. He lived in Prescott, Arizona, his mother's hometown, after his father was discharged from his bandmaster position in the U.S. Army in 1898. La Guardia served in U.S. consulates in Budapest, Trieste, and Rijeka (1901–1906). Fiorello returned to the U.S. to continue his education at New York University. During this time, he worked for New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and as an interpreter for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration at the Ellis Island immigrant station (1907–1910).

He became Deputy Attorney General of New York in 1914. In 1916, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he had a reputation as a fiery and devoted reformer. In Congress, La Guardia represented then-Italian East Harlem almost continuously until 1933. According to his biographer-historian Howard Zinn, there were two brief interruptions, one to fly with U.S. forces in Italy during World War I, and the other to serve during 1920 and 1921 as president of the New York City Board of Aldermen.

La Guardia briefly served in the armed forces from 1917–1919, commanding a unit of the United States Army Air Service on the Italian-Austrian front in World War I, rising to the rank of major.

La Guardia won a seat in Congress again in 1922 and served in the House until March 3, 1933. Extending his record as a reformer, La Guardia sponsored labor legislation and railed against immigration quotas. In 1929, he ran for mayor of New York, but was overwhelmingly defeated by the incumbent Jimmy Walker. In 1932, along with Senator George Norris (R-NE), La Guardia sponsored the pro-union Norris-La Guardia Act. In 1932, he was defeated for re-election to the House by James J. Lanzetta, the Democratic candidate.

La Guardia was elected mayor of New York City on an anti-corruption Fusion ticket during the Great Depression, which united him in an uneasy alliance with New York's Jewish population and liberal bluebloods (WASPs). These included the architect and historian Isaac Newton Phelps-Stokes whose patrician manners La Guardia detested. Surprisingly, the two men became friends. Phelps-Stokes had nursed his wife during the last five years of her life, during which she was paralyzed and speechless due to a series of strokes. On learning of Phelps-Stokes's experience, so like his own, La Guardia ceased bickering and the two developed genuine affection.

Being of Italian descent and growing up in a time when crime and criminals were prevalent in New York, La Guardia loathed the gangsters who brought a negative stereotype and shame to the Italian community. When he was elected to his first term in 1933, the first thing he did after being sworn in was to pick up the phone and order the chief of police to arrest mob boss Lucky Luciano on whatever charges could be found. La Guardia then went after the gangsters with a vengeance, stating in a radio address to the people of New York in his high-pitched, squeaky voice, "Let's drive the bums out of town." In 1934, La Guardia went on a search-and-destroy mission looking for mob boss Frank Costello's slot machines, which La Guardia executed with gusto, rounding up thousands of the "one armed bandits," swinging a sledgehammer and dumping them off a barge into the water for the newspapers and media. In 1936, La Guardia had special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, a future Republican presidential candidate, single out Lucky Luciano for prosecution. Dewey led a successful investigation into Luciano's lucrative prostitution operation, eventually sending Luciano to jail with a 30-50 year sentence.

La Guardia was hardly an orthodox Republican. He also ran as the nominee of the American Labor Party, a union-dominated anti-Tammany grouping that supported Franklin Delano Roosevelt for President beginning in 1936. La Guardia supported Roosevelt, chairing the Independent Committee for Roosevelt and Wallace with Senator Norris during the 1940 presidential election.

La Guardia was the city's first Italian-American mayor, but was not a typical Italian New Yorker. He was a Republican Episcopalian who had grown up in Arizona, and had an Istrian Jewish mother and a Roman Catholic-turned-atheist Italian father. He reportedly spoke seven languages, including Hebrew, Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Yiddish.

La Guardia's fans credit him for, among other things, restoring the economic lifeblood of New York City during and after the Great Depression. His massive public works programs administered by his Parks Commissioner Robert Moses employed thousands of unemployed New Yorkers, and his constant lobbying for federal government funds allowed New York to develop its economic infrastructure. He is remembered for reading the newspaper comics on WNYC radio during a 1945 newspaper strike, and pushing to have a commercial airport (Floyd Bennett Field, and later LaGuardia Airport) within city limits. Responding to popular disdain for the sometimes corrupt City Council, La Guardia successfully proposed a reformed 1938 City Charter that created a powerful new New York City Board of Estimate, similar to a corporate board of directors.

He was an outspoken and early critic of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. In a public address in 1934, La Guardia warned, "Part of Hitler's program is the complete annihilation of the Jews in Germany." In 1937, speaking before the Women's Division of the American Jewish Congress, La Guardia called for the creation of a special pavilion at the upcoming New York World's Fair "a chamber of horrors" for "that brown-shirted fanatic."

In 1941, during the run-up to American involvement in World War II, President Roosevelt appointed La Guardia as the director of the new Office of Civilian Defense (OCD). The OCD was responsible for preparing for the protection of the civilian population in case America was attacked. It was also responsible for the maintenance of public morale, promoting volunteer service, and co-ordination with other federal departments to ensure they were serving the needs of a country in war. La Guardia remained Mayor of New York during this appointment, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 he was succeeded at the OCD by a full-time director, James M. Landis.

La Guardia was the director general for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in 1946.

He died of pancreatic cancer at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx at the age of 64 and is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen was a leading Welsh author of the 1890s. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. He also is well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.

Machen was born Arthur Llewelyn Jones, in Caerleon (now part of Newport), Monmouthshire, though he usually referred to the county by its Welsh name Gwent. His father, John Edward Jones, became vicar of the tiny church of Llandewi Fach, near Caerleon, and his son was brought up at the rectory there. His father had adopted his wife's maiden name, Machen, to inherit a legacy, legally becoming "Jones-Machen", and his son was baptized under this name, and he later used a shortened version of his full name, Arthur Machen, as a pen-name.

Machen's love of the beautiful landscape of Monmouthshire with its associations with Celtic, Roman, and medieval history made a powerful impression on him which is at the heart of many of his works.

At the age of eleven, Machen boarded at Hereford Cathedral School, where he received an excellent classical education. Family poverty ruled out attendance at university, and Machen was sent to London, where he sat exams to attend medical school but failed to get in. Machen, however, showed literary promise, publishing in 1881 a long poem "Eleusinia" on the subject of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Returning to London, he lived in relative poverty, attempting to work as a journalist, as a publisher's clerk, and as a children’s tutor while writing in the evening and going on long rambling walks across London.

In 1884, he published his second work, the pastiche The Anatomy of Tobacco, and secured work with the publisher and bookseller George Redway as a cataloguer and magazine editor. This led to further work as a translator from French, translating the Heptameron of Marguerite de Navarre, Le Moyen de Parvenir (Fantastic Tales) of Béroalde de Verville, and the Memoirs of Casanova. Machen's translations in a spirited English style became standard ones for many years.

In 1887, Machen married Amy Hogg, an unconventional music teacher with a passion for the theatre, who had literary friends in London's Bohemian circles. Hogg had introduced Machen to the writer and occultist A. E. Waite, who was to become one of Machen's closest friends. Machen also made the acquaintance of other literary figures, such as M. P. Shiel and Edgar Jepson. Soon after his marriage, Machen began to receive a series of legacies from Scottish relatives that allowed him to gradually devote more time to writing.

Around 1890 Machen began to publish in literary magazines, writing stories influenced by the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, some of which used gothic or fantastic themes. This led to his first major success, "The Great God Pan". It was published in 1894 by John Lane in the noted Keynotes Series, which was part of the growing aesthetic movement of the time. Machen’s story was widely denounced for its sexual and horrific content and subsequently sold well, going into a second edition.

Machen next produced The Three Impostors, a novel composed of a number of interwoven tales, in 1895. The novel and the stories within it were eventually to be regarded as among Machen’s best works.

However, following the scandal surrounding Oscar Wilde later that year, Machen’s association with works of decadent horror made it difficult for him to find a publisher for new works. Thus, though he would write some of his greatest works over the next few years, some were published much later. These included The Hill of Dreams, Hieroglyphics, A Fragment of Life, the story "The White People", and the stories which make up Ornaments in Jade.

In 1899, Machen’s wife Amy died of cancer after a long period of illness. This had a devastating effect on Machen. He only gradually recovered from his loss over the next year, partially through his close friendship with A. E. Waite. It was through Waite’s influence that Machen joined at this time the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though Machen’s interest in the organization was not a lasting one.

Machen’s recovery was further helped by his sudden change of career, becoming an actor in 1901 and a member of Frank Benson’s company of travelling players, a profession which took him round the country. This led in 1903 to a second marriage, to Dorothie Purefoy Hudleston, which brought Machen much happiness. Machen managed to find a publisher in 1902 for his earlier written work Hieroglyphics, an analysis of the nature of literature, which concluded that true literature must convey ecstasy. In 1906 Machen’s literary career began once more to flourish as the book The House of Souls collected his most notable works of the nineties and brought them to a new audience. He also published a satirical work, Dr Stiggins: His Views and Principles, generally considered one of his weakest works.

Machen also was at this time investigating Celtic Christianity, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. Publishing his views in Lord Alfred Douglas’s The Academy, for which he wrote regularly, Machen concluded that the legends of the Grail actually were based on dim recollections of the rites of the Celtic Church. These ideas also featured strongly in the novel The Secret Glory, which he wrote at this time, marking the first use of the idea in fiction of the Grail surviving into modern times in some form, an idea much utilised ever since as by Charles Williams (UK writer), Dan Brown and in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In 1907, The Hill of Dreams, generally considered Machen’s masterpiece, was finally published, though it was not recognized much at the time.

The next few years saw Machen continue with acting in various companies and with journalistic work, but he was finding it increasingly hard to earn a living and his legacies were long exhausted. Machen was also attending literary gatherings like the New Bohemians and the Square Club.

Finally Machen accepted a full-time journalist’s job at Alfred Harmsworth’s Evening News in 1910. In February 1912 his son Hilary was born, followed by a daughter Janet in 1917. The coming of war in 1914 saw Machen return to public prominence for the first time in twenty years due to the publication of "The Bowmen" and the subsequent publicity surrounding the "Angels of Mons" episode. He published a series of stories capitalizing on this success, most of which were morale-boosting propaganda, but the most notable, The Great Return (1915), and the novella The Terror (1917), were more accomplished. He also published a series of autobiographical articles during the war, later published as Far Off Things. During the war years Machen also met and championed the work of a fellow Welshman, Caradoc Evans.

In general, though, Machen thoroughly disliked work at the newspaper, and it was only the need to earn money for his family which kept him at it. The money came in useful, allowing him to move in 1919 to a bigger house with a garden, in St John's Wood, which became a noted location for literary gatherings attended by friends like the painter Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis, and Jerome K. Jerome. Machen’s dismissal from the Evening News in 1921 came as a relief in one sense, though it caused financial problems. Machen, however, was recognized as a great Fleet Street character by his contemporaries, and he remained in demand as an essay writer for much of the twenties.

The year 1922 also saw a revival in Machen’s literary fortunes. The Secret Glory was finally published, as was his autobiography Far Off Things, and new editions of Machen’s Casanova, The House of Souls and The Hill of Dreams all came out. Machen’s works had now found a new audience and publishers in America, and a series of requests for republications of books started to come in. Vincent Starrett, James Branch Cabell, and Carl Van Vechten were American Machen devotees who helped in this process.

A sign of his rising fortunes were shown by publication in 1923 of a collected edition of his works and a bibliography. That year also saw the publication of a recently completed second volume of autobiography, Things Near and Far—the final volume, The London Adventure, being published in 1924. Machen’s earlier works suddenly started becoming much sought after collectors items at this time, a position they have held ever since. In 1924 he issued a collection of bad reviews of his own work, with very little commentary, under the title Precious Balms. In this period of prosperity Machen's home saw many visitors and social gatherings and Machen made new friends such as Oliver Stonor.

By 1926 the boom in republication was mostly over, and Machen’s income dropped. He continued republishing earlier works in collected editions, as well as writing essays and articles for various magazines and newspapers and contributing forewords and introductions to both his and other writers' works, but produced little new fiction. In 1927, he became a manuscript reader for the publisher Ernest Benn, which brought in a much-needed regular income until 1933.

In 1929, Machen and his family moved away from London to Amersham in Buckinghamshire, but they still faced financial hardship. He received some recognition for his literary work when he received a Civil List pension of one hundred pounds in 1932, but the loss of work from Benns a year later made things difficult once more. A few more collections of Machen’s shorter works were published in the thirties, partially as a result of the championing of Machen by John Gawsworth, who also began work on a biography of Machen that was only published in 2005 thanks to The Friends of Arthur Machen.

Machen’s financial difficulties were only finally ended by the literary appeal launched in 1943 for his eightieth birthday. The initial names on the appeal show the general recognition of Machen’s stature as a distinguished man of letters, as they included Max Beerbohm, T. S. Eliot, Bernard Shaw, Walter de la Mare, Algernon Blackwood, and John Masefield. The success of the appeal allowed Machen to live the last few years of his life, until his death on December 15, 1947, in relative comfort.

13 February, 2009

Jean-Toussaint Desanti

Jean-Toussaint Desanti was a philosopher of French origin born on Corsica 8 October 1914 in Ajaccio and died on 20 January 2002.

It is primarily a philosopher of mathematics. His masterpiece, The ideality mathematics, research on the epistemological development of the theory of functions of real variables, seems to Threshold in 1968.

It is also distinguished by its research on the phenomenology, it publishes Introduction to phenomenology by Gallimard in 1976. It offers a fresh phenomenology of Husserl and the central concept of ego.

Jean-Toussaint Desanti taught philosophy to teacher training colleges in rue d'Ulm and St. Cloud and the Sorbonne. He took students to Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, which has strongly influenced the political commitment and leadership including the doctoral thesis of State of Jacques Derrida (1980) and that of Souleymane Bachir Diagne.

He gave many interviews where he explains his design philosophy. For him, a philosopher is a "gambler", ie he must surrender Thursday in its knowledge, ideas, every time, playing all out like a poker player.

Resistance, activism, intellectual, trail lovers, it is all in on Freedom loves us still, a book of dialogues in which his partner Dominique Desanti him and confide in Roger-Pol Droit.

Desi Arnez

Desi Arnaz (March 2, 1917 – December 2, 1986) was a Cuban musician, actor and television producer.

Desi Arnaz was born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III in Santiago de Cuba to Desiderio Alberto Arnaz (1894-1973) and Dolores de Acha (1896-1988). His father was Santiago's youngest mayor and then served in the Cuban House of Representatives. The 1933 revolution, led by Fulgencio Batista, overthrew the American-backed President Gerardo Machado, landed his father in jail for six months, and stripped his family of its wealth and power. Arnaz's father was released when U.S. officials, who believed him to be neutral during the revolt, intervened on his behalf. Arnaz and his parents then fled to Miami, Florida.

In 1939, he starred on Broadway in the successful musical Too Many Girls. He then went to Hollywood to appear in the 1940 movie version at RKO, which starred actress, comedienne, and future wife Lucille Ball. At the time, he also played guitar for Xavier Cugat.

Arnaz appeared in several movies in the 1940s, most notably Bataan (1943). Shortly after he received his draft notice, but before he was actually inducted, he injured his knee. Although he made it through boot camp, he was eventually classified for limited service, and ended up directing United Service Organization (U.S.O.) programs at a military hospital in the San Fernando Valley. In his memoirs, he recalled discovering that the first thing soldiers requested was almost invariably a glass of cold milk, so he arranged for beautiful starlets to greet the wounded soldiers as they disembarked and pour milk for them. After leaving the Army, he formed another orchestra, which was successful in live appearances and recordings. After he became engaged in television, he kept the orchestra on his payroll throughout the period he remained an active producer.

On October 15, 1951, Desi produced and starred in the premiere of I Love Lucy, in which he played a fictitious version of himself, Cuban orchestra leader Enrique "Ricky" Ricardo. His co-star was his real-life wife, Lucille Ball, who played Ricky's wife, Lucy. Television executives had been pursuing Ball to adapt her very popular radio series My Favorite Husband for television. Ball insisted on Arnaz playing her on-air spouse so the two would be able to spend more time together. The original premise was for the couple to portray Lucy and Larry Lopez, a successful show business couple (he a band leader, she an actress) whose glamorous careers interfered with their efforts to maintain a normal marriage. Market research indicated, however, that this scenario would not be popular, so Arnaz changed it to make Ricky a struggling young orchestra leader and Lucy an ordinary housewife who had show business fantasies but no talent. Desi would often appear at, and later own, the Tropicana Club which, under his ownership, he renamed Club Babalu. Initially, the idea of having Ball and the distinctly Latino Arnaz portray a married couple encountered resistance as they were told that Desi's Cuban accent and Latin style would not be agreeable to American viewers. The couple overcame these objections, however, by touring together in a live vaudeville act they developed with the help of Spanish clown Pepito Pérez, together with Ball's radio show writers. Much of the material from their vaudeville act was used in the original "I Love Lucy" pilot, including Lucy's memorable seal routine. (Segments of the pilot originally ran as the sixth episode of the show's first season.)

With Ball, he founded Desilu Productions. At this time, most television programs were broadcast live, and as the largest markets were in New York, the rest of the country received only kinescope images. Karl Freund, Arnaz's cameraman, developed the multiple-camera setup production style using adjacent sets that became the standard for all subsequent situation comedies to this day. The use of film enabled every station around the country to broadcast high-quality images of the show. Arnaz was told that it would be impossible to allow an audience onto a sound stage, but he worked with Freund to design a set that would accommodate an audience, allow filming, and also adhere to fire and safety codes.

Network executives considered the use of film an unnecessary extravagance. Arnaz convinced them to allow Desilu to cover all additional costs associated with the filming process, under the stipulation that Desilu owned and controlled all rights to the film. Arnaz's unprecedented arrangement is widely considered to be one of the shrewdest deals in television history. As a result of his foresight, Desilu reaped the profits from all reruns of the series.

Arnaz also pushed the network to allow them to show Lucille Ball while she was pregnant. According to Arnaz, the CBS network told him, "You cannot show a pregnant woman on television." Arnaz consulted a priest, a rabbi, and a minister, all of whom told him that there would be nothing wrong with showing a pregnant Lucy or with using the word pregnant. The network finally relented and let Arnaz and Ball weave the pregnancy into the story line, but remained adamant about eschewing use of pregnant, so Arnaz substituted expecting, pronouncing it 'spectin' in his Cuban accent. Oddly, the official title of the episode announcing the pregnancy was "Lucy Is Enciente," employing the French word for pregnant, although the episode titles never appeared on the show itself.

In addition to I Love Lucy, he produced December Bride, The Mothers-in-Law, The Lucy Show, Those Whiting Girls, Our Miss Brooks, The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Untouchables, and Star Trek TOS, all top shows in their time, and the 1956 feature film Forever, Darling, in which he and Ball starred. His foresight in filming and retaining post-broadcast ownership of shows had a huge impact on the future of television syndication (reruns).

Arnaz married Lucille Ball on November 30, 1940, and she initiated divorce proceedings in 1944, but returned to him before the interlocutory decree became final. He and Ball are the parents of actress Lucie Arnaz (born 1951) and actor Desi Arnaz, Jr. (born 1953).

Arnaz's marriage with Ball began to collapse under the strain of his serious problems with alcohol, drugs, and womanizing. According to his memoir, the combined pressures of managing the production company as well as supervising its day-to-day operations had greatly worsened as it grew much larger. Arnaz was also suffering from diverticulitis. He and Ball divorced in 1960. When Ball returned to weekly television, she and Arnaz worked out an agreement regarding Desilu, wherein she bought him out.

Arnaz married his second wife, Edith Mack Hirsch, on March 2, 1963, and greatly reduced his show business activities. He served as executive producer of The Mothers-in-Law, and during its two-year run, made four guest appearances as a Spanish matador, Señor Delgado. He was widowed in 1985, when his wife Edith died.

Although Arnaz remarried after his divorce from Ball in 1960, they remained friends, and grew closer in his final decade. Family home movies later aired on television showed Ball and Arnaz playing together with their grandson, Simon (or "Simón", if Arnaz's mock protests are to be believed), shortly before Arnaz's death.

In the 1970s, Arnaz co-hosted a week of shows with daytime TV host/producer Mike Douglas. Vivian Vance appeared as a guest. Arnaz also headlined a Kraft Music Hall special on NBC that featured his two children, with a brief appearance by Vance. To promote his autobiography, A Book, Arnaz, on February 21, 1976, served as a guest host on Saturday Night Live, with his son, Desi, Jr., also appearing. The program contained spoofs of I Love Lucy and The Untouchables. The spoofs of I Love Lucy were supposed earlier concepts of the show that never made it on the air. They were "I Love Louie", where Desi lived with Louie Armstrong, "I Loathe Lucy", where Desi was a wife beater, and "I Love Desi", where Desi was married to a clone of himself. He also read Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" in a heavy Cuban accent (he pronounced it "Habberwocky"). Arnaz, Jr. played the drums and, supported by the SNL band, Desi sang both "Babalu" and another favorite from his dance band days, "Cuban Pete"; the arrangements similar to the ones used on I Love Lucy. He ended the broadcast by leading the entire cast in a raucous conga line through the SNL studio.

Arnaz and his wife eventually moved to Del Mar, California, where he lived the rest of his life in semi-retirement. He owned a 45-acre (18 ha) horse breeding farm in Corona, California, and raced thoroughbreds. He contributed to charitable and non-profit organizations, including San Diego State University. Arnaz would make a guest appearance on the TV series Alice, starring Linda Lavin and produced by I Love Lucy co-creators Madelyn Pugh (Madelyn Davis) and Bob Carroll, Jr.

Arnaz was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 1986. He died several months later on December 2, 1986.

Pierre Sabbagh

Pierre Sabbagh was a major personality in French television, journalist, producer and director.

Pierre Alain Sabbagh was born in Lannion (Côtes-d'Armor) and died in Paris. He was son of the artist Georges Hanna Sabbagh and the art historian and resistance heroine Agnès Humbert.

Pierre Sabbagh became a journalist in order to find out what had happened to his mother Agnès in World War II. He had visited her in Fresnes Prison and the Prison de la Santé in 1942, a few days before she was deported by the Nazis, sentenced to slave labour in Germany. In 1944 he travelled into Germany behind the advancing American army, but did not find her until he returned to Paris in 1945.

Pierre Sabbagh presented the first television news in France on 29 June 1949.

His greatest success was the creation, in 1966, of the programme "Au théâtre ce soir" ("Tonight in the Theatre") following a strike on French television and the success of a Belgian television comedy called "La Bonne planque", which provoked the appetite of the public for this kind of programme: over 300 plays were produced in the series. To his credit also is the first audiovisual game which reunited France of the 1960s in front of the black-and-white screen: "L'Homme du XXe siècle" ("Man of the 20th Century"), a game of general cultural questions which went on for many years and which finished with the final "Super homme du XXe siècle" ("Superman of the 20th Century") which brought together all the previous winners of whom the comedian, Robert Manuel, beat a professor of complementary medicine, Georges Rivault.

He was Director-General of the television network France 2 between September 1971 and July 1972.

11 February, 2009

Pascal Lainé

Pascal Lainé is a French writer born in 1942 in Anet (Eure-et-Loir).

He studied philosophy at l'École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud and began his career as a teacher first at the Lycée technique de Saint-Quentin and later at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris. He then became a professor in 1974 at the Institut universitaire de technologie in Villetaneuse. He currently serves as an administrator at the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD).

Awarded both the Prix Médicis (1971 for l'Irrévolution) and the Goncourt (1974 for La Dentellière), Pascal Lainé has published over twenty novels and has written for television, theater and film.

Lainé discovered Dumas and Hugo as he recovered from childhood illnesses and he aspired to that kind of voluminous writing. But he focused on philosophy and history in school, becoming an avid student of Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger. He was also drawn to Marxism (both by conviction and a desire to rile his parents) and he chose Russian as his second foreign language, permitting him to read Chekhov and Dostoyevsky in the original.

With Rimbaud, he discovered the "fireworks" of poetry, and in Mallarmé he discovered the pleasure of deciphering a text and studying its structure. He is also fascinated by Witold Gombrowicz: "I felt with this joker, this aristocratic Rabelais an instant kinship. He taught me that a writer gives up his homeland and is always a foreigner wherever he finds himself."

Julius W. Hobson

Julius W. Hobson was the People's Party Vice Presidential candidate in 1972. Benjamin Spock was the People's Party Presidential candidate. They polled 0.1014% of the popular vote and no electoral votes.

Hobson was also a "key early founder" of the D.C. Statehood Party. In 1971, he ran as a member of the party to be the District's delegate to the House of Representatives but lost to Democrat Walter E. Fauntroy. Hobson was elected in 1974 as one of the at-large members of the Council of the District of Columbia at its creation, and he served in that position until his death in 1977. virus.

Rossano Brazzi

Rossano Brazzi was an Italian actor.

Brazzi was born in Bologna and attended San Marco University, in Florence, Italy, a city in which he lived since age 4. He made his film debut in a 1939 Italian film.

Brazzi had an extensive filmography, much of it in Italian and French films, but the film that propelled him to international fame was Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), a Hollywood blockbuster, followed by the leading male role in David Lean's romance Summertime (1955). Other Brazzi's notable roles include an early Hollywood part in Little Women (1948), as well as visible roles in The Story of Esther Costello (1957), South Pacific (1958), The Barefoot Contessa, The Light in the Piazza (1962), and as the murdered "Roger Beckermann" in The Italian Job. In 1966, he starred in the family feature, The Christmas That Almost Wasn't.

In 1940, Brazzi married baroness Lidia Bertolini (1921-1981), to whom he stayed married until her death. The couple had no children. In 1982, he married the German Ilse Fischer. There were no children from the marriage. Brazzi died in Rome on Christmas Eve 1994 at the age of 78, from a neural

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor.

After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart also turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest. He had been acclaimed for his performance in the play, and his friend Leslie Howard saw to it that he reprised his role in the 1936 film version. Despite rave reviews, Bogart was typecast as a gangster in B-movies. His breakthrough came in 1941, with High Sierra (though he still played a criminal) and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca finally raised him to the peak of his profession and at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. Other triumphs followed, including To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948), opposite his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award (for Best Actor); and The Caine Mutiny (1954). Altogether, he appeared in 75 feature motion pictures.

Donald Crisp

Donald George Crisp was an Academy Award winning English film actor. He was also an early motion picture scriptwriter, producer and director.

Donald Crisp was born George William Crisp in London, England, at the family home in Bow (historically known as Stratford) on July 27, 1882. Some sources say he was born in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland in 1880, but U.S. Census records indicate the London birthplace and date are correct. He was one of eight children (four boys and four girls) born to James and Elizabeth Crisp. He was educated at the University of Oxford and allegedly at Eton College, though the Eton archivist denies this.

Prior to graduation, Crisp served as a trooper in the 10th Hussars in the Boer War. This experience, among other things, allowed him to cross paths with a young Winston Churchill just at the start of Churchill's long political career. According to family memories, Donald's brother-in-law James Needham provided him with the fare to travel to America in 1906.

Crisp claimed to be Scottish for his entire career. While on the boat coming to America, Crisp's singing talents during a ship's concert caught the attention of opera impresario John C. Fisher, who immediately offered him a job with his company. It was while touring with the company in the United States and Cuba that Crisp first became interested in pursuing a career in the theatre. By 1910, Crisp, now using the name Donald (he retained George as a middle name), was working as a stage manager for the renowned entertainer, composer, playwright, and director George M. Cohan. It was during this time he met and became friends with soon-to-be legendary director D.W. Griffith, himself a former stage actor, who was looking to direct films. When Griffith went to seek his fortune in Hollywood in 1912, Crisp accompanied him.

From 1908 to 1930, Crisp, in addition to directing dozens of films, also appeared in nearly 100 silent films, many in bit or small parts. One notable exception was his casting by Griffith as General Ulysses S. Grant in Griffith's landmark film Birth of a Nation in 1915. Another was his acclaimed role in the 1919 film Broken Blossoms as the brutal and abusive father "Battling Burrows" opposite Lillian Gish.

Crisp worked as an assistant to Griffith for several years and learned much during this time from Griffith, an early master of movie story telling who was influential in advancing a number of early techniques, such as cross cutting in editing his films. This experience fostered a similar passion in Crisp to become a director in his own right. His first directing credit was Little Country Mouse, made in 1914. Owing to the assembly line manner in which films were made in the early years of movie making, many directors (and actors) would find themselves turning out a dozen or more films in a single year. Over the next fifteen years, Crisp directed some 70 films in all, most notably The Navigator (1924) with Buster Keaton and Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) with Douglas Fairbanks.

When asked later by an interviewer why he eventually gave up directing and returned full time to acting, Crisp commented that directing had become extremely wearisome because he was so often called upon, if not forced, to do favors for studio chiefs by agreeing to employ their relatives in his films. His final directorial effort was the 1930 film The Runaway Bride starring Mary Astor.

While pursuing a dual career in acting and directing, Crisp managed to serve in the war effort against Germany and her allies during the First World War (1914-1918). Between working for Griffith, other producers, and his many acting roles, Crisp managed to return to England where he served in the army intelligence section. During the Second World War (1939-1945), Crisp again answered the call to duty at a time when his acting career was at its peak. This time, he served in U.S. Army Reserves, where he rose to the rank of colonel.

With the advent of sound in films, Crisp abandoned directing and devoted himself entirely to acting after 1930. He became a much sought after character actor. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he appeared in a wide range of roles alongside some of the era's biggest stars, including Katharine Hepburn in The Little Minister (1934), Charles Laughton and Clark Gable in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Bette Davis and Henry Fonda in That Certain Woman (1937), Laurence Olivier in Wuthering Heights (1939), Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk (1940), and Gregory Peck in The Valley of Decision (1945).

A versatile supporting actor, Crisp could be equally good in either lovable or sinister roles. During the same period he was playing loving father figures or charming old codgers in classic films like National Velvet and Lassie Come Home, he also turned in an acclaimed performance as Commander Beach, the tormented presumptive grandfather in Lewis Allen's The Uninvited (1944). Undoubtedly, however, Crisp's most memorable role was as the taciturn but loving father in How Green Was My Valley directed by John Ford. The film received ten Oscar nominations, winning five, including Best Picture with Crisp winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1941.

Crisp eventually became one of the more wealthy members of the film industry. His "banker's sobriety", extensive contacts, and clarity of thought allowed him to make good investments, particularly in the real estate market. He continued to appear in films throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s. During more than half century as an actor in both the early silent and later the sound era, he appeared in as many 400 short reel and feature length productions. His final screen role was as Grandpa Spencer opposite Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara in the 1963 film Spencer's Mountain. This film, adapted from the novel by Earl Hamner was the basis for the popular television series The Waltons which would premier a decade later in 1972.

Crisp was in his eighties by the time he quit acting entirely, continuing to work long after financially necessary simply because he enjoyed it. He was married twice. He was divorced from his first wife in 1919. He later married film screenwriter Jane Murfin, whom he divorced in 1944. Crisp died in 1974, a few months short of his 92nd birthday, due to complications from a series of strokes.

Larry Semon

Larry Semon was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter during the silent film era. During that era, Semon was considered a "Comedy King", but is now mainly remembered for working with both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy) before they started working together.

He is also sometimes noted for directing (as well as appearing in) Wizard of Oz, a 1925 silent film that had a slight influence on the more famous 1939 MGM talkie version.

Born in West Point, Mississippi, Semon was the son of a vaudeville magician, Zera the Great, while his mother worked as his assistant. Along with his older sister, Semon joined his parents' act until his father's death. After completing his education in Savannah, Georgia, Semon moved to New York where he worked for The New York Sun and later, The New York Morning Telegraph, as a cartoonist and graphic artist. While working as a artist, Semon appeared in monologues in vaudeville where he attracted the attention of Vitagraph Studios. In 1915, he was offered a contract with the company.

After signing with Vitagraph, Semon worked behind the scenes as a scenario writer, director, and film producer for actor Hughie Mack's films. He occasionally cast himself in bit parts in the films he worked on before Mack signed on with another studio. When Mack left Vitagraph, Semon began playing the lead roles. He usually played a white-faced goof in derby hat and overalls, who would enter any given setting (a bakery, a restaurant, a construction site, a prison camp, etc.) and cause chaos, with people being covered with debris, and property being destroyed. His short slapstick comedies were made and released quickly and prolifically, making Semon very familiar to moviegoers.

As his fame grew, the films expanded from one to two reels each, and Semon was given a free hand in making them. This became a dangerous policy, because Semon became notorious for being expensive and extravagant: his two-reel comedies could easily cost more than an average five-reel feature film. A former cartoonist, Semon staged similarly cartoony sight gags, using elaborate special effects. No gag was too big for Semon. He loved chase sequences involving airplanes (sometimes using three in a film) exploding barns, falling water towers, auto wrecks and/or explosions, and liberal use of substances in which to douse people. A typical Semon comedy might involve barrels of flour, soot, ink, jam, mud pits, etc.

In The Bell Hop, a man sleeping under the spray of a malfunctioning fountain imagines he's swimming in the ocean, and in his sleep he dives off the bed, through the floor, and into a tremendous vat of paint standing in the lobby below. Oliver Hardy recalled in an interview that Semon, when staging his comedy short The Sawmill in a lumber camp, would not use traditional, painted stage sets. Instead, Semon insisted on building permanent log cabins, complete with modern conveniences. The production budget soared, and his bosses at Vitagraph Studios finally demanded that Semon become his own producer and underwrite his productions personally.

Semon tried to reverse his financial problems by entering the more lucrative field of feature films. He produced and starred in a few features in the mid-twenties, but by 1927 he was back in short subjects, released through Educational Pictures. After filing for bankruptcy in 1928, Semon returned to vaudeville. While traveling on the vaudeville circuit, he suffered a nervous breakdown and went back to Los Angeles.

After returning to Los Angeles, Semon was sent to a sanatorium in Victorville, California where, on October 8, 1928, he died of pneumonia and tuberculosis

Pat O'Malley

James Patrick O'Malley was an English singer and character actor, who appeared in many American films and television programs during the 1940s–1970s, using the stage name J. Pat O'Malley. He also appeared on the Broadway stage in Ten Little Indians (1944) and Dial M for Murder. A New York Times drama critic praised O'Malley's performance in Ten Little Indians, calling him "a rara avis, a comedian who does not gauge the success of his efforts by the number of laughs he induces at each performance".

O'Malley began his entertainment career in 1925 as a recording artist and then as principal singer with Jack Hylton and his Orchestra in the United Kingdom from 1930 to 1933. Known at that time as Pat O'Malley, he recorded over 400 popular songs of the day. O'Malley began a solo recording career in 1935 in parallel with his work with Hylton. At the end of 1935, Hylton and O'Malley went to the U.S. to record with a band composed of American musicians, thus emulating Ray Noble and Al Bowlly. The venture was short-lived but O'Malley remained in the United States.

Now known as J. Pat O'Malley, he had a long and varied acting career including the film Lassie Come Home in 1943 as "Hynes" and later in Walt Disney's Spin and Marty hit television serials as the always-faithful "Perkins" (1955–1957). In 1959–1960, O'Malley starred eight times as Judge Caleb Marsh in the ABC western series Black Saddle starring Peter Breck as a gunslinger-turned-lawyer, with Russell Johnson as a peace officer. In 1960, O'Malley guest starred on the short-lived The Tab Hunter Show sitcom on NBC and on ABC's The Law and Mr. Jones legal drama with James Whitmore and Conlan Carter.

In 1961, he guest starred in ABC's drama Bus Stop, starring Marilyn Maxwell as the owner of a diner in a fictitious small Colorado town. O'Malley appeared in 1962 on CBS's Twilight Zone episode called "The Fugitive". In the 1962–1963 season, he guest starred twice on both Gene Kelly's ABC's Going My Way, about a Roman Catholic priest in New York City, and on the CBS anthology The Lloyd Bridges Show. O'Malley and Spring Byington starred in an episode of Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth, which aired in the 1963—1964 season.

In the 1964–1965 season, O'Malley appeared as a handyman on the ABC's sitcom Wendy and Me with costars George Burns, Connie Stevens, Ron Harper, and James T. Callahan. He guest starred in 1965 in Christopher Jones's ABC western, The Legend of Jesse James, and in 1966 in Jack Sheldon's CBS's short-lived unconventional sitcom Run, Buddy, Run. O'Malley also appeared occasionally as "Vince" in the 1966 ABC comedy/western series The Rounders, with Ron Hayes, Patrick Wayne, and Chill Wills.

In 1969, O'Malley portrayed Carol Brady's (Florence Henderson) father in the premiere episode of ABC's The Brady Bunch. He made several appearances in the television series Maude, as Hermione Baddeley's beau, from 1973-1975. He appeared in a cameo on NBC's Emergency! in its third season.

Walt Disney also engaged O'Malley to provide voices for animated films such as the Cockney coster in the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" sequence in Mary Poppins 1964 and the role of Colonel Hathi and the vulture Buzzie in The Jungle Book in 1967. His voice can also be heard in Alice in Wonderland (1951), in which he performs all character voices in the "Walrus and Carpenter" segment, and the role of the Colonel and Jasper in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) and in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in several roles including the original voice of the Pirate Captain dunking the magistrate into the well.

In 1982, O'Malley made his final television appearance on Taxi.

O'Malley died from cardiovascular disease in San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California, shortly before what would have been his 81st birthday.

Douglass Montgomery

Douglass Montgomery was an American film actor.

He was known in his earlier films as Kent Douglass.

He appeared as a ruggedly handsome fair-haired man, often slightly naive. He started his career in Hollywood, often playing the second male lead. Montgomery moved to Britain in the 1940s and made films there. He returned to the USA and appeared in a number of TV shows.

He died of cancer in Norwalk, Connecticut on 23 July 1966.

Barry Sullivan

Barry Sullivan was an American movie actor who appeared in over 100 movies from the 1930s to the 1980s.

Born in New York City, the seventh son of a seventh son, Sullivan fell into acting when in college playing semi-pro football. During the later depression years, Sullivan was told that because of his 6'3" stature and rugged good looks he could "make money" simply standing on a Broadway stage. This began an extremely successful career on Broadway culminating in his 1954 portrayal of Captain Queeg in " The Caine Mutiny Court- Martial."

One of Sullivan's most memorable roles was playing a movie director in The Bad and the Beautiful opposite Kirk Douglas. Sullivan starred in movies with Joan Crawford, Loretta Young, and most of the forties and fifties leading ladies. Sullivan toured the US with Bette Davis in theatrical readings of the poetry of Carl Sandburg and starred opposite her in the 1951 film Payment on Demand.

In 1950, Sullivan appeared in the film A Life of Her Own and replaced Vincent Price in the role of Leslie Charteris' Simon Templar on the NBC Radio show The Saint. Unfortunately, Sullivan only lasted two episodes before the show was cancelled, and then resurrected five weeks later with Vincent Price once again playing the starring role.

In 1960, Sullivan played frontier sheriff Pat Garrett opposite Clu Gulager as outlaw Billy the Kid in the western television series The Tall Man (although the series ran for seventy-five half-hour episodes, the one in which Garrett kills Billy was never filmed). He also cameoed in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) as John Chisum, but his scene was excised from the release print (though later restored to the film). He had a featured role in the 1976 miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man Book II. IN additional to The Tall Man, Sullivan starred in two other television series Harbor Master and The Road West.

Sullivan guest starred in many series, including The Reporter, The Love Boat, Little House on the Prairie, and McMillan and Wife. Sullivan also starred in many Hallmark Hall of Fame specials including a highly acclaimed production of "The Price" opposite George C. Scott. Sullivan was consistently in demand for the entirety of his career. His acting career spanned romantic leading man roles to villains and finally to character roles.

In his later years, Sullivan had roles in the films, Oh God with George Burns and Earthquake, where he shared scenes with Ava Gardner.

Gary Cooper

Frank James “Gary” Cooper was an American film actor and iconic star. He was renowned for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic, individualistic, emotionally restrained, but at times intense screen persona, which was particularly well suited to the many Westerns he made. His career spanned from 1925 until shortly before his death, and comprised more than one hundred films.

During his lifetime, Cooper received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, winning twice, for Sergeant York and High Noon. He also received an Honorary Award in 1961 from the Academy.

Cooper was born Frank James Cooper in Helena, Montana, one of two sons of a Bedfordshire, England, farmer turned American lawyer and judge, Charles Henry Cooper, and Kent, England-born Alice (née Brazier) Cooper. His mother hoped for their two sons to receive a better education than that available in Montana and arranged for the boys to attend Dunstable Grammar School in Bedfordshire, England between 1910 and 1913. Upon the outbreak of World War I, Mrs. Cooper brought her sons home and enrolled them in a Bozeman, Montana, high school.

When he was 13, Cooper injured his hip in a car accident. He returned to his parents' ranch near Helena to recuperate by horseback riding at the recommendation of his doctor. Cooper studied at Iowa's Grinnell College until the spring of 1924, but did not graduate. He had tried out, unsuccessfully, for the college's drama club. He returned to Helena, managing the ranch and contributing cartoons to the local newspaper. In 1924, Cooper's father left the Montana Supreme Court bench and moved with his wife to Los Angeles. Gary, unable to make a living as an editorial cartoonist in Helena, joined them, moving there that same year, reasoning that he "would rather starve where it was warm, than to starve and freeze too."

Failing as a salesman of electric signs and theatrical curtains, as a promoter for a local photographer and as an applicant for newspaper work in Los Angeles, Cooper found work as an actor in 1925. He earned money as an "extra" in the motion picture industry, usually cast as a cowboy. He is known to have had an uncredited role in the 1925 Tom Mix Western, Dick Turpin. The following year, he had screen credit in a two-reeler, Lightnin' Wins, with actress Eileen Sedgewick as his leading lady.

After the release of this short film, he accepted a long-term contract with Paramount Pictures. He changed his name to Gary in 1925, following the advice of casting director Nan Collins, who felt it evoked the "rough, tough" nature of her native Gary, Indiana.

"Coop", as he was called by his peers, went on to appear in over 100 films. He became a major star with his first sound picture, The Virginian, in 1929. The lead in the screen adaptation of A Farewell to Arms (1932) and the title role in 1936's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town furthered his box office appeal. Cooper was producer David O. Selznick's first choice for the role of Rhett Butler in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. When Cooper turned down the role, he was passionately against it. He is quoted as saying, "Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his nose, not me". Alfred Hitchcock wanted him to star in Foreign Correspondent (1940) and Saboteur (1942). Cooper later admitted he had made a "mistake" in turning down the director. For the former film, Hitchcock cast look-alike Joel McCrea instead.

In 1942, he won his first Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as the title character in Sergeant York. Alvin York refused to authorize a movie about his life unless Gary Cooper portrayed him.

In 1953, Cooper won his second Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Marshal Will Kane in High Noon, considered his finest role. Ill with an ulcer, he wasn't present to receive his Academy Award in February 1953. He asked John Wayne to accept it on his behalf, a bit of irony in light of Wayne's stated distaste for the film.

Cooper continued to appear in films almost to the end of his life. Among his later box office hits was his portrayal of a Quaker farmer during the American Civil War in William Wyler's Friendly Persuasion in 1956. His final motion picture was a British film, The Naked Edge (1961), directed by Michael Anderson. Among his final projects was narrating an NBC documentary, The Real West, in which he helped clear up myths about famous Western figures.
In April 1960 Cooper underwent surgery for prostate cancer after it had spread to his colon. It then spread to his lungs and then, to his bones.

Cooper was too ill to attend the Academy Awards ceremony in April 1961, so his close friend James Stewart accepted the honorary Oscar on his behalf. Stewart's emotional speech hinted that something was seriously wrong, and the next day newspapers all over the world ran the headline, "Gary Cooper has cancer". One month later Cooper was dead, six days after his 60th birthday.

Roland Giraud

Roland Giraud, born in Rabat (Morocco) on 14 February 1942, is a French actor.

He begins to take over the theater in 60 years. He entered the troupe Coluche in 1971 and this time it binds the troupe of Splendid.

He obtained his first film role in 1974 with Michel Audiard in Bons baisers ... à lundi . to Monday.

It has a growing reputation with Papy fait de la résistance. Then, three men and a cradle of Coline Serreau in fact one of the most popular of 80 years.

Robert Vaughn

Robert Francis Vaughn is an American Academy Award-nominated actor noted for stage, film and television work. He is perhaps best known as suave spy Napoleon Solo in the popular 1960's TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., along with his villainous performance as Ross Webster in Superman III, and most recently in the hit British drama, Hustle, while continuing to be a popular television actor.

Vaughn was born in New York City to showbiz parents Marcella Frances (née Gaudel), a stage actress, and Gerald Walter Vaughn, a radio actor. He was raised in an Irish Catholic family. His parents separated when he was young, with Vaughn and his mother relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended North High School and later enrolled in the University of Minnesota as a journalism major. He quit after a year and moved to Los Angeles, California. He enrolled in Los Angeles City College, then transferred to Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences, where he earned his Master's degree in theater. Continuing his higher education even through his successful acting career, Vaughn earned a Ph.D. in communications from the University of Southern California, in 1970, publishing his dissertation as the book Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting in 1972.

Vaughn made his television debut on the November 21, 1955 "Black Friday" episode of the American TV series Medic, the first of more than 200 episodic roles by mid-2000. His first movie appearance was as an uncredited extra in The Ten Commandments (1956), playing a golden calf idolater and also visible in a scene in a chariot behind that of Yul Brynner. Vaughn's first credited movie role came the following year in the Western Hell's Crossroads (1957), in which he played the real-life Bob Ford, the killer of outlaw Jesse James.

Vaughn's first notable appearance was in The Young Philadelphians (1959) for which he was nominated for a Supporting Actor Academy Award. Next he appeared as gunman Lee in The Magnificent Seven (1960), a role he essentially reprised 20 years later in Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), both films being adaptations of filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's 1954 Japanese samurai epic, Seven Samurai. Vaughn played a different role, Judge Oren Travis, on the 1998-2000 syndicated TV series The Magnificent Seven. Vaughn is the only surviving member of the title cast of the original 1960 film (although Eli Wallach, who portrayed the villain Calvera, is still living).

In the 1963-1964 season, Vaughn appeared in The Lieutenant as Captain Raymond Rambridge alongside Gary Lockwood, the Marine second lieutenant at Camp Pendleton. His dissatisfaction with that role led him to request a series of his own. Earlier, Vaughn had guest starred on Lockwood's ABC series Follow the Sun.

From 1964 to 1968 he starred as "Napoleon Solo" in the television series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement), with British co-star David McCallum playing his fellow agent Illya Kuryakin. This production spawned a spin-off show, large amounts of merchandising and overseas theatrical movies of re-edited episodes. In the year the series ended Vaughn landed a large role playing an ambitious Californian politician in the film Bullitt starring Steve McQueen.

Vaughn continued to act, in television and in mostly B movies. He starred in two seasons of the Gerry Anderson detective series The Protectors in the early 1970s, and a decade later starred with friend George Peppard in the final season of The A-Team. According to Dirk Benedict, Vaughn was actually added to the cast of that show because of his friendship with Peppard. It was hoped Vaughn would help ease tensions between Mr. T and Peppard.

In 2004, after a string of guest roles on series such as Law & Order, in which he had a recurring role during season eight, Vaughn experienced resurgence. He began co-starring in the British series Hustle, made for the channel BBC One, which was also broadcast in the United States on the cable network AMC. In the series Vaughn plays elder-statesman con artist Albert Stroller, a father figure to a group of younger grifters. In September 2006, he guest-starred in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Vaughn became a spokesman in a set of generic advertisements for various law firms around the U.S. A television commercial features Vaughn urging injured complainants to "...tell the insurance companies you mean business."

Vaughn also appeared as himself narrating and being a character in a radio play broadcast by BBC Radio 4 in 2007 about making a film in Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the Russian invasion of 1968. Frequent references are made to his playing Napoleon Solo and the character's great spying abilities.