30 December, 2012
Gerry Adams is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála (TD) for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern Ireland and the largest nationalist party. From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and subsequently with the Irish and British governments and then other parties. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) indicated that its armed campaign was over and that it is now exclusively committed to democratic politics. Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism towards Oireachtas Éireann, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, in 1986 and later took seats in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly.
In films from 1941, American character actor Norman Leavitt spent much of his career in uncredited bits and supporting roles. Leavitt can briefly be seen in such "A" pictures of the 1940s and 1950s as The Inspector General (1949) and Harvey (1950). His larger roles include Folsom in the 1960 budget western Young Jesse James. Three Stooges fans will immediately recognize Norman Leavitt The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962), in which he player scientist Emil Sitka's sinister butler--who turned out to be a spy from Mars! - Hal Erickson, Rovi
25 July, 2012
Darryl G. Hart is a religious and social historian. Hart is an Adjunct Professor of church history at Westminster Seminary California. He served as dean of academic affairs from 2000-2003. He also taught church history at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, directed the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals at Wheaton College, and was Director of Partnered Projects, Academic Programs and Faculty Development at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute in Wilmington, Delaware. He is an elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
08 July, 2012
Arthur Wontner was a British actor best known for playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master detective Sherlock Holmes in five films from 1931 to 1937.
These films are:
The Sleeping Cardinal (1931) (US title: Sherlock Holmes' Fatal Hour) based on Doyle's two stories, "The
Adventure of the Empty House" and "The Final Problem"
The Missing Rembrandt (1932) (still considered lost) based on "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"
The Sign of Four: Sherlock Holmes' Greatest Case (1932)
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935) based on The Valley of Fear
Silver Blaze (1937) (US title:Murder at the Baskervilles, release 1941) based on "Silver Blaze"
Reportedly, Wontner landed the role of Sherlock Holmes thanks to his performance of Holmes imitation Sexton Blake in a 1930 stage production.
Silver Blaze was renamed Murder at the Baskervilles on its US release in order to make the most of the publicity which had been generated by Basil Rathbone's version of The Hound of the Baskervilles. In many respects Wontner's film can be seen as a sequel as it is set twenty years after the events of the more famous story.
Walter Slezak was a portly Austrian character actor who appeared in numerous Hollywood films. Slezak often portrayed villains or thugs, most notably the German U-boat captain in Alfred Hitchcock's film Lifeboat (1944), but occasionally he got to play lighter roles, as in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962). He also played a cheerfully corrupt and philosophical private detective in the film noir Born to Kill (1947) and appeared as Squire Trelawney in Treasure Island (1972).
Turhan Bey is an American actor of Turkish and Czech descent. Bey was active in Hollywood from 1941 to 1953. He was dubbed "The Turkish Delight" by his fans for his exotic handsome looks. After his return to Europe, he pursued careers as a photographer and stage director.
Returning briefly to Hollywood to receive an award, he made several guest appearances in 1990s television series and in a number of films.
Since retiring he has appeared in a number of documentaries, including a German-language documentary on his life.
Charles Puffy born Károly Hochstadt in Budapest, was a Hungarian film actor. He appeared in 134 films between 1914 and 1938. He was the earliest slapstick star in Hungary's silent film era, appearing under the name "Pufi". His other stage names were "Károly Huszár" or "Pufi Huszár". Besides his work on films, he frequently appeared on stage, mostly in comical roles.
Later, he worked in films in both Germany and the United States, including such classics as Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler) (1922) and Josef von Sternberg's Der blaue Engel (The Blue Angel) (1930). He used the names "Karl Huszar", "Karl Huszar-Puffy" or "Charles Puffy". In the sound era, he returned to his native Hungary, where he was featured in smaller roles in a number of films.
05 July, 2012
Holmes, who first appeared in publication in 1887, was featured in four novels and 56 short stories. The first novel, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887 and the second, The Sign of the Four, in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine in 1890. The character grew tremendously in popularity with the first series of short stories in Strand Magazine, beginning with A Scandal in Bohemia in 1891; further series of short stories and two novels published in serial form appeared between then and 1927. The stories cover a period from around 1880 up to 1914.
03 July, 2012
Percy Marmont was an English film actor. He appeared in over 80 films between 1916 and 1968. He is best remembered today for playing the title character in Lord Jim (1925) the first film version of Joseph Conrad's novel, and for playing one of Clara Bow's love interests in the Paramount Pictures film Mantrap (1926).
He was born and died in London, England. Marmont had one daughter, Patricia Marmont, born in 1922.
01 July, 2012
Donald James Ross was an influential golf course designer. He was born in Dornoch, Scotland, but became a citizen of and spent most of his adult life in the United States. He was involved in designing or redesigning around 400 courses from 1900–1948, laying the foundation for America's golf industry.
Ross served an apprenticeship with Old Tom Morris in St Andrews before investing his life savings in a trip to the U.S. in 1899 at the suggestion of a Harvard professor named Robert Wilson, who found him his first job in the America at Oakley Country Club in Watertown, Massachusetts. In 1900 he was appointed as the golf professional at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, where he began his course design career and eventually designed four courses. He had a successful playing career, winning three North and South Opens (1903, 1905, 1906) and two Massachusetts Opens (1905, 1911), and finishing fifth in the 1903 U.S. Open and eighth in the 1910 British Open. As his fame grew, he began to teach and play less and to focus on golf course design, running a substantial practice with summer offices in Little Compton, Rhode Island. At its height, Donald J. Ross and Associates, as his practice was known, oversaw the work of thousands of people. However, Ross always kept up his professional golf standing. His brother Alec won the 1907 U.S. Open.
Ross's most famous designs are Pinehurst No. 2, Aronimink Golf Club, Seminole Golf Club, Oak Hill and Oakland Hills. Some of his early work was in Virginia and includes Jefferson Lakeside Country Club and Sewell's Point Golf Course. He displayed great attention to detail. Often he created challenging courses with very little earth moving; according to Jack Nicklaus, "His stamp as an architect was naturalness." His most widely known trademark is the crowned or "turtleback" green, most famously seen on Pinehurst No. 2, though golf architecture writer Ron Whitten argued in Golf Digest in 2005 that the effect had become exaggerated compared to Ross's intention because greenkeeping practices at Pinehurst had raised the centre of the greens. Ross also designed one of Westchester, N.Y.'s best courses, Whippoorwill Country Club, in Armonk, NY, however Charles Banks was hired by Whippoorwill to redesign the course in 1928.
Ross often created holes which invited run-up shots but had severe trouble at the back of the green, typically in the form of fallaway slopes. In the 1930s he revolutionized greenskeeping practices in the Southern United States when he oversaw the transition of the putting surfaces at Pinehurst No. 2 from oiled sand to Bermuda grass. Ross also designed the course at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina which is home to the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship. Currently, Sedgefield Country Club is the only regular Donald Ross design on the PGA Tour. Aronimink Golf Club, located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, played host to the AT&T National in 2010 and 2011.
Ross was a founding member and first president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, which was formed at Pinehurst in 1947. He was admitted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977, a high honor rarely awarded for anything other than playing success.
Ross is unmatched in the quality of courses he completed. Alister MacKenzie and A.W. Tillinghast come in close after Ross on the list of well known architects of the early 20th century.
Ross died while completing his final design at Raleigh Country Club in North Carolina.
Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master's degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest but left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.
Living on the West Coast, Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not just a religion. Like Aldous Huxley before him, he explored human consciousness in the essay, "The New Alchemy" (1958), and in the book, The Joyous Cosmology (1962).
Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. His legacy has been kept alive by his son, Mark Watts, and by many of his recorded talks and lectures that have found new life on the Internet. According to the critic Erik Davis, his "writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity."
Jonah J. "Bud" Greenspan was a film director, writer, and producer known for his sports documentaries. His distinctive appearance in later years included wearing his large, dark-framed glasses atop his shaved head.
Greenspan was born in New York City. He overcame a lisp in adolescence and went into sports broadcasting after graduating from New York University. In 1947 Greenspan became sports director at New York City's WMGM (AM), at that time the largest sports radio station in the US, when he was 21 years old. When he left WMGM, Greenspan began contributing articles to magazines while also producing television commercials.
He dabbled in documentary filmmaking in 1952, with The Strongest Man in the World, a 15-minute feature on weightlifter John Davis, but he began his filmmaking career in earnest in 1964, accompanying Jesse Owens to West Berlin to film Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin. In 1967, he formed his own film company, Cappy Productions, Inc., with wife Cappy Petrash Greenspan (deceased 1983). He and his wife had one son. After his wife's death, Greenspan ran Cappy Productions with his companion Nancy Beffa.
Several hour-long productions followed. Greenspan won his first Emmy for 1976's The Olympiad, 22 hour-long documentary specials on the Olympics (including Jesse Owens Returns to Berlin). The series was broadcast in 80 countries. In 1977, he branched into docudrama with the two-hour movie of the week biography of gold-medalist Wilma Rudolph. Wilma, starring Cicely Tyson, featured Denzel Washington in his first movie role. In 1979, he launched the first of several vignette series: This Day in Sports, which aired on CBS, featured 365 30-second film shorts highlighting exciting sports moments from years past. It was followed in 1980 by the similar Olympic Moments, Olympic Events and Olympic Vignettes.
In addition to his prolific film work, Greenspan continued working in other media. He was a contributing editor for PARADE magazine. He also authored a number of books, including several on the Olympics, a book of sports bloopers called Play It Again, Bud, and We Wuz Robbed, which addresses sports controversies. Great Moments in Sports, his first album, went gold and led him to produce 18 more spoken word albums.
Greenspan's work was recognized many times. He received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Directors Guild of America in 1995 and from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 2006 Annual Sports Emmy Awards. In 1996, he received a George Foster Peabody Award to recognize "distinguished and meritorious public service", cited as one of the industry's most prestigious awards.
Greenspan received the Olympic Order award in 1985, at which time International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch said, "Mr. Greenspan has been called the foremost producer, writer and director of Olympic films; more than that, he is an everlasting friend of the Olympic family." In 2004, Greenspan was inducted as a "Special Contributor" into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. His visual and musical The Spirit of the Olympics is on display permanently at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1994, Greenspan was inducted in the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was given the Al Schoenfield Media Award by the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Greenspan died of Parkinson's disease on Christmas Day 2010, at the age of 84 in New York City.
Dom Mintoff is a Maltese politician, journalist and architect, who served as leader of the Labour Party from 1949 to 1984, Prime Minister of Malta from 1955 to 1958 (when Malta was still a British crown colony) and again, post-Independence, from 1971 to 1984. Mintoff's time as Prime Minister was notable for a general increase in the average standard of living and the establishment of a comprehensive welfare state.
Gordon MacQuarrie was an American writer and journalist. Born in Superior, Wisconsin, he is best known for his short stories involving hunting and fishing, and for his semi-fictional organization known as The Old Duck Hunters' Association, Inc.(ODHA, Inc.) He died unexpectedly in Milwaukee, Wisconsin of a heart attack.
30 June, 2012
William Holden was an American actor. Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1954 and the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1974. One of the most popular and well known movie stars of all time, Holden was one of the biggest box office draws of the 1950s, he was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times (1954–1958, 1961) and appeared on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list as number 25. He starred in some of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time, including such blockbusters as Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, The Towering Inferno, and Network.
Charles Starrett was an American actor best known for his starring role in the Durango Kid Columbia Pictures western series. He was born in Athol, Massachusetts.
A graduate of Worcester Academy in 1922, Starrett went on to study at Dartmouth College. While on the Dartmouth football team, he was hired to play a football extra in the 1926 film The Quarterback. In 1930 he played the romantic lead in Fast and Loose, which also featured Miriam Hopkins, Carole Lombard and Frank Morgan. He also starred in the Canadian production The Viking (1931), filmed on location in Newfoundland, which had begun as a Paramount Pictures project.
After that, he was very active for the next two years but his roles were unremarkable. In 1933 he was featured in Our Betters and helped organize the Screen Actors Guild, and in 1936 signed with Columbia Pictures and become one of the top ten western stars, starring in 115 movies the following 16 years.
After playing assorted sheriff and rangers roles, Starrett gained fame for his role as the Durango Kid. The first film in which he played his famous alter-ego character was known as The Durango Kid, which was released in 1940, but for some reason, Columbia did not see fit to continue with the series at that time. The character was revived in 1944 and lasted through 1952. Dub Taylor, as "Cannonball", worked with Starrett until 1946. At that time, Smiley Burnette, who had been a very popular sidekick to Gene Autry, was brought in to replace Taylor. Burnette, appropriately enough, played a character called Smiley Burnette. The Durango Kid films combined vigorous action sequences – often with speeded up camera work and spectacular stunts performed by Jock Mahoney – and western music. Each film featured a singing group, and many gave free rein to Burnette's singing and playing.
José Iturbi Báguena was a Spanish conductor, harpsichordist and pianist. He appeared in several Hollywood films of the 1940s, notably playing himself in the 1943 musical, Thousands Cheer, and the 1945 film, Anchors Aweigh.
Born in Valencia, Spain, of Basque descent, Iturbi studied in Barcelona and at the Valencia and Paris conservatories on scholarship; at this time, he also undertook extensive private studies in keyboard technique and interpretation with the harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. His worldwide concert tours, beginning around 1912, were very successful. He made his American debut in New York City in 1929. He made his first appearance as a conductor in Mexico City in 1933 when presented by impresario Ernesto de Quesada from Conciertos Daniel. In April 1936, Iturbi was injured in the crash and sinking of Pan American Airways' Puerto Rican Clipper in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. After the incident, he said he would not be able to play "for some time", and "I may not be able to conduct again." Later that year, he was named conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Rochester, New York, serving until 1944. He also led the Valencia Symphony Orchestra for many years. He often appeared in concert with his sister, Amparo, also a renowned pianist.
Iturbi was also a noted harpsichordist, and made several short length instructional films utilizing the re-emergent early 20th Century French Pleyel et Cie pedal, metal-framed harpsichord made famous by Wanda Landowska.
He appeared as an actor-performer in several filmed musicals of the 1940s, beginning with 1943's Thousands Cheer for MGM and again in Three Daring Daughters in 1948 again playing himself, and starring along with Jeanette MacDonald. He usually appeared as himself in these films. He later was featured in MGM's Anchors Aweigh, which starred Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, as well as several other MGM movies. In the biopic about Frédéric Chopin, A Song to Remember, Iturbi's playing was used in the soundtrack in scenes where Cornel Wilde, as Chopin, was playing the piano.
José Iturbi continued his public performances into his eighties. Finally he was ordered by his doctors to take a sabbatical in March 1980. He died on 28 June 1980, five days after being admitted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital for heart problems. He was 84 years old.
Hal Skelly was an American Broadway and film actor.
J. Harold Skelly was born in Alleghenyville, Pennsylvania and spent his early years in Davenport, Iowa. He left home at the age of 15 and joined the circus. He acted in his first stage production, The Time, the Place and the Girl, at the LaSalle Theater in Chicago. He became a veteran of medicine shows, musical comedy, burlesque, Lew Dockstader's minstrels and opera. His eccentric dancing ability earned him the nickname "Tumbling Harold Skelly".
Skelly made his Broadway debut in Fiddler’s Three (1918) and went on to appear in ten other shows on Broadway. In 1927, he played a starring role alongside Barbara Stanwyck, in her first Broadway hit, the musical Burlesque. The two were invited by Paramount Studio to star in the 1929 film version of the show, retitled The Dance of Life since Paramount executives thought the original title too risqué. Stanwyck turned down the offer, while Skelly reprised his role as 'Skid' Johnson. Skelly made a total of ten films, including the Woman Trap (1929), Behind the Make-Up (1930), and The Shadow Laughs (1933). He was also featured on two movie soundtracks.
Skelly was killed in a train-auto accident in West Cornwall, Connecticut when the truck he was driving was struck by a New York-Pittsfield train at a crossing.
Fredric March was an American stage and film actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and in 1946 for The Best Years of Our Lives.
March was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the son of Cora Brown (née Marcher), a schoolteacher, and John F. Bickel, a devout Presbyterian Church elder who worked in the wholesale hardware business. March attended the Winslow Elementary School (established in 1855), Racine High School, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. He began a career as a banker, but an emergency appendectomy caused him to reevaluate his life, and in 1920 he began working as an extra in movies made in New York City, using a shortened form of his mother's maiden name, Marcher. He appeared on Broadway in 1926, and by the end of the decade signed a film contract with Paramount Pictures.
March received an Oscar nomination in 1930 for The Royal Family of Broadway, in which he played a role based upon John Barrymore (which he had first played on stage in Los Angeles). He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1932 for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (tied with Wallace Beery for The Champ although March accrued one more vote than Beery), leading to a series of classic films based on stage hits and classic novels like Design for Living (1933) with Gary Cooper, Death Takes a Holiday (1934), Les Misérables (1935) with Charles Laughton, Anthony Adverse (1936) with Olivia de Havilland, and as the original Norman Maine in A Star is Born (1937) with Janet Gaynor, for which he received his third Oscar nomination.
March was one of the few leading actors of his era to resist signing long-term contracts with the studios, and was able to freelance and pick and choose his roles, in the process also avoiding typecasting. He returned to Broadway after a ten year absence in 1937 with a notable flop Yr. Obedient Husband, but after the huge success of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth he focused his work as much on Broadway theatre as often as on Hollywood film, and his screen career was not as prolific as it had been. He won two Best Actor Tony Awards: in 1947 for the play Years Ago, written by Ruth Gordon; and in 1957 for his performance as James Tyrone in the original Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. He also had major successes in A Bell for Adano in 1944 and Gideon in 1961, and played Ibsen's An Enemy of the People on Broadway in 1951. He also starred in such films as I Married a Witch (1942) and Another Part of the Forest (1948) during this period, and won his second Oscar in 1946 for The Best Years of Our Lives. March also branched out into television, winning Emmy nominations for his third attempt at The Royal Family for the series The Best of Broadway as well as for a television performances as Samuel Dodsworth and Ebenezer Scrooge. On March 25, 1954, March co-hosted the 26th Annual Academy Awards ceremony from New York City, with co-host Donald O'Connor in Los Angeles.
In 1957, March was awarded The George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film.
March's neighbor in Connecticut, playwright Arthur Miller, was thought to favor March to inaugurate the part of Willy Loman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman (1949). However, March read the play and turned down the role, whereupon director Elia Kazan cast Lee J. Cobb as Willy, and Arthur Kennedy as one of Willy's sons, Biff Loman, two men that the director had worked with in the film Boomerang (1947). March later regretted turning down the role and finally played Willy Loman in Columbia Pictures's 1951 film version of the play, directed by Laslo Benedek, receiving his fifth-and-final Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe Award. March also played one of the two leads in The Desperate Hours (1955) with Humphrey Bogart when Bogart and Spencer Tracy both insisted upon top billing and Tracy withdrew, leaving the part available for March. Perhaps March's greatest later career role was in Inherit the Wind (1960), this time working opposite Spencer Tracy. In the 1960s, March's film career proceeded apace with a notable performance as President Jordan Lyman in the political thriller Seven Days in May (1964) in which he co-starred with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, and Edmund O'Brien; the part earned March a nomination as Best Actor by Golden Globes.
When March underwent major surgery for prostate cancer in 1970, it seemed his career was over, yet he managed to give one last great performance in The Iceman Cometh (1973), as the complicated Irish bartender, Harry Hope.
March died in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 77 from cancer.
Elwood Dager Cromwell, known as John Cromwell, was an American film actor, director and producer.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Cromwell made his New York City stage debut in Marian De Forest's adaptation of Little Women (1912) on Broadway. It was a hit and ran for 184 performances. He then directed the play The Painted Woman (1913), which failed. Next, he acted in and co-directed with Frank Craven the hit show Too Many Cooks (1914), which ran for 223 performances.
Cromwell played Charles Lomax in the original Broadway production of George Bernard Shaw's play Major Barbara (1915), about a woman of The Salvation Army, and he played the role as Capt. Kearney in the revival of Shaw's Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1916). Among others, he also had a role in The Racket (1927), which ran for 119 performances. The following year while the Broadway company was playing The Racket in Los Angeles, Cromwell was signed to a Paramount Pictures contract as an actor and student director.
He made his motion picture debut playing Walter Babbing in the comedy The Dummy (1929), a talkie starring Ruth Chatterton and Fredric March, with Jack Oakie, and Zasu Pitts. His work as co-director with Edward Sutherland on the musical/romance Close Harmony starring Buddy Rogers, Nancy Carroll, Harry Green, and Jack Oakie, and the musical/drama The Dance of Life (both released in 1929), was so skillful he was allowed to begin directing without collaboration, beginning with The Mighty that same year starring George Bancroft, in which he also played the part of Mr. Jamieson.
He directed Tom Sawyer (1930) starring Jackie Coogan in the title role; Sinclair Lewis's Ann Vickers (1933) starring Irene Dunne, Walter Huston, Conrad Nagel, Bruce Cabot, and Edna May Oliver; and Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage (1934) starring Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Frances Dee.
The latter two movies were at RKO and both had censorship trouble. In the novel by Lewis, Ann Vickers is a birth control advocate and reformer who has an extramarital affair. The screenplay was finally approved by the Production Code when the studio agreed to make Vickers an unmarried woman at the time of her affair, thus eliminating the issue of adultery. The screenplay for Maugham's Of Human Bondage was unacceptable because the prostitute, Mildred Rogers (played by Davis), whom the club-footed medical student, Philip Carey (played by Howard), falls in love with, comes down with syphilis. Will Hays's office demanded that Mildred be made a waitress who comes down with TB, and that she be married to Carey's friend she cheats on him with. RKO agreed to everything to keep from having to pay a $25,000 fine.
Cromwell won the 1952 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as John Gray in Point of No Return (1951) starring Henry Fonda. Of his Shakespearean roles on Broadway, Cromwell played Paris, kinsman to the prince, in Romeo and Juliet (1935) starring Katharine Cornell, who also produced the play, and Maurice Evans, in the title roles; Rosencrantz in Hamlet (1936), which was staged and produced by Guthrie McClintic (Cornell's husband, who had been married to Estelle Winwood), starring John Gielgud in the title role, Judith Anderson as Gertrude, and Lillian Gish as Ophelia; and Lennox in the revival of Macbeth (1948) starring Michael Redgrave in the title role and Flora Robson as Lady Macbeth, with Julie Harris as a witch, Martin Balsam as one of the three murderers, and Beatrice Straight as Lady MacDuff.
Cromwell also appeared on Broadway in the role of Brother Martin Ladvenu in Katharine Cornell's revival of Saint Joan (1936), which was directed by Guthrie McClintic; and as Freddy Eynsford Hill in Cedric Hardwicke's revival of Pygmalion (1945) starring Gertrude Lawrence as Eliza Doolittle and Raymond Massey as Henry Higgins.
Among the movies Cromwell directed are Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936) starring Freddie Bartholomew and Dolores Costello; The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) starring Ronald Colman and Madeleine Carroll, with Raymond Massey, Mary Astor, David Niven, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.; Algiers (1938) starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr; Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) starring Raymond Massey, Gene Lockhart, and Ruth Gordon; Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942) starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney; Since You Went Away (1944) starring Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Shirley Temple, Robert Walker, and Monty Woolley, with Hattie McDaniel, Agnes Moorehead, Alla Nazimova, Lionel Barrymore and Keenan Wynn; Anna and the King of Siam (1946) starring Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Lee J. Cobb, and Gale Sondergaard; Dead Reckoning (1947) starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott; the women's prison drama Caged (1950) and the noir crime/drama The Racket (1951) starring Robert Mitchum, Lizabeth Scott, and Robert Ryan, which Cromwell had appeared in onstage in New York and on tour.
Cromwell was cast by Robert Altman in the role as Mr. Rose in the movie 3 Women (1977) starring Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek, and as Bishop Martin in A Wedding (1978) starring Desi Arnaz, Jr., Carol Burnett, Geraldine Chaplin, Mia Farrow, Vittorio Gassman and Lillian Gish.
He died at age 91 in Santa Barbara, California. His remains were cremated.
Born Joseph Shovlin on June 30, 1902, in Wilkes-Barre, Penssylvania, he took piano lessons as a child but the talent never went anywhere. He eventually was hired by the Woolworths department store chain and worked his way up to manager by the time he resigned at the age of 23. During an extensive period of travel, he stopped in New York City and became hooked on acting after catching a Broadway show. He apprenticed and made his stage debut with Eva Le Gallienne's repertory company. To make do, the handsome hopeful worked as an artist's model, including the renowned 'James Montgomery Flagg'.
Whalen came to Hollywood in 1933 and started out on the L.A. stage with roles in "When Knighthood Was in Flower" (as the Dauphin) and "Common Flesh." Noticed by Twentieth Century-Fox talent agents, he made his debut with a second-lead role in Professional Soldier (1935) starring Victor McLaglen. On screen he appeared opposite a bevy of Hollywood lovelies, notably Alice Faye, Gloria Stuart, Claire Trevor andJune Lang, in standard "B" filmmaking, playing a series of virile, flashy roles including Hollywood producers and sports editor types. He also had the adult male leads in two of little Shirley Temple's popular vehicles -- Poor Little Rich Girl (1936) and Wee Willie Winkie (1937). In 1938 he starred as newsman Barney Callahan in a string of murder mystery tales (Time Out for Murder (1938), While New York Sleeps (1938) and Inside Story (1939)) alongside love interest Jean Rogers.
By the early 1940s his leading man career started to falter. He went to Broadway for two years in "Ten Little Indians" (1944), then toured with the show on the road. By the 1950s he was appearing less frequently on film and more and more into character roles. TV became a source of income for him. His last movie was an unbilled bit in Elmer Gantry (1960), and in 1964 he made his final appearance on an episode of "My Three Sons" (1960).
Whalen remained a bachelor and lived with his mother until her death in the 1960s. He collected antiques and enjoyed gardening until his death of bronchial pneumonia in 1974 at age 71.
Edmund Hall North, was an American screenwriter who shared an Academy Award for "Best Original Screenplay" with Francis Ford Coppola in 1970 for their script for Patton.
He was a son of Bobby North and Stella Maury who performed in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies. North began writing plays while attending Culver Military Academy in Indiana and at Stanford University. As a major in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II he made training and educational films.
North was a former president of the screen branch of the Writers Guild of America in which he served on more than 40 committees, including the contract-bargaining panel.
Charles Clarence Robert Orville Cummings, known professionally as Robert Cummings but sometimes as Bob Cummings, was an American film and television actor.
Cummings performed mainly in comedies, but was effective in his few dramas, especially two Alfred Hitchcock films, Saboteur (1942) and Dial M for Murder (1954).
Bob Cummings was born in Joplin, Missouri, a son of Dr. Charles Clarence Cummings and his wife Ruth Annabelle Kraft. His father was a surgeon, who was part of the original medical staff of St. John's Hospital in Joplin. He was the founder of the Jasper County Tuberculosis Hospital in Webb City, Missouri. Cummings' mother was an ordained minister of the Science of Mind.
While attending Joplin High School, Cummings was taught to fly by his godfather, Orville Wright. His first solo was on 3 March, 1927. During high school Cummings would give Joplin residents rides in his plane for $5 per person. When the government began licensing flight instructors, Cummings was issued flight instructor certificate number 1, making him the first official flight instructor in the United States.
Cummings studied briefly at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, but his love of flying caused him to transfer to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied aeronautical engineering for a year before being forced to drop out for financial reasons, his family having lost heavily in the 1929 stock market crash. Since the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City paid its male actors $14 a week, Cummings decided to study there.
He studied drama for two years before appearing in Broadway in 1931. As British actors were heavily in demand, Cummings traveled to England and learned to mimic an upper-class English accent. He had a brief career on Broadway under the name Blade Stanhope Conway, posing as an Englishman.
In 1933, he met and married his second wife, Vivian Janis. They were both appearing in the Ziegfeld Follies, with Cummings as the male lead opposite comedian, Fanny Brice. In 1934, he moved to Hollywood, where he acted at first under the name Bruce Hutchens, assuming the persona of a wealthy Texan. He made his film debut the following year in The Virginia Judge.
Cummings then decided to use his own name, acting throughout the 1930s as a contract player in a number of supporting roles.
He achieved stardom in 1939 in Three Smart Girls Grow Up, opposite Deanna Durbin. His many film comedies include: The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) with Jean Arthur, and The Bride Wore Boots (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Cummings gave memorable performances in three notable dramas: Kings Row (1942) with friend Ronald Reagan, Saboteur (1942) with Priscilla Lane and Norman Lloyd, and Dial M for Murder (1954), with Grace Kelly and Ray Milland. Cummings also starred in You Came Along (1945), which featured a screenplay by Ayn Rand. The Army Air Forces pilot Cummings played ("Bob Collins") died off camera, but was resurrected ten years later for his television show.
Cummings made his mark in the CBS Radio network's dramatic serial entitled Those We Love, which ran from 1938 to 1945. Cummings played the role of David Adair, opposite Richard Cromwell, Francis X. Bushman, and Nan Grey.
In November 1942, Cummings joined the United States Army Air Corps. During the war he served as a flight instructor. Cummings had worked as a flight instructor for many years prior to the war. He was, in fact, the first certified flight instructor in the United States, having gained certification in 1938. After the war, Cummings served as a pilot in the United States Air Force Reserve.
Cummings began a long career on television in 1952, starring in the comedy My Hero. He received an Emmy award for his portrayal of "Juror Number Eight," in the first televised performance of Twelve Angry Men, a live production which aired in 1954 (Henry Fonda played the same role in the feature film adaptation). Cummings was one of the anchors on ABC's live broadcast of Disneyland's opening day in 1955.
From 1955 through 1959, Cummings starred on a successful NBC sitcom, The Bob Cummings Show (known as Love That Bob in reruns), in which he played Bob Collins, an ex-World War II pilot who became a successful professional photographer, and as a bachelor in 1950's Los Angeles, thought himself to be quite the ladies' man. This sitcom was noted for some very risque humor for its time. His co-stars were Rosemary DeCamp, as his sister, Margaret MacDonald, and Dwayne Hickman, as his nephew, Chuck MacDonald. Cummings also was a guest on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood. He also made an appearance at Disneyland's grand opening on July 17, 1955.
The New Bob Cummings Show followed on CBS for one season, from 1961 to 1962. He also starred one season in My Living Doll which co-stars Julie Newmar as Rhoda the robot (1964), another CBS sitcom. His last significant role was the 1973 TV movie Partners in Crime, co-starring Lee Grant. He also appeared as Gopher's dad Eliott Smith on The Love Boat in 1979.
On December 2, 1990, Cummings died of kidney failure and complications from pneumonia at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He was interred in the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
Lee J. Cobb was an American actor. He is best known for his performance in 12 Angry Men (1957), his Academy Award-nominated performance in On the Waterfront (1954), and one of his last films, The Exorcist (1973). He also played the role of Willy Loman in the original Broadway performance of Arthur Miller's 1949 play Death of a Salesman under the direction of Elia Kazan.
Born Leo Jacob in New York City to a Jewish family of Russian and Romanian extraction. He grew up in The Bronx, New York, on Wilkins Avenue, near Crotona Park. His parents were Benjamin (Benzion) Jacob, a compositor for a foreign-language newspaper, and Kate Neilecht. Cobb studied at New York University before making his film debut in The Vanishing Shadow (1934). He joined the Manhattan-based Group Theatre in 1935.
Cobb did summer stock at Pine Brook Country Club located in the countryside of Nichols, Connecticut, in the 1930s and early 1940s. Pine Brook was the summer home of the Group Theatre (New York) from 1931 until the 1940s. During World War II Cobb served in the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Force.
Cobb entered films in the 1930s, successfully playing middle-aged and even older men while he was still a youth. He was cast as the Kralahome in the 1946 non-musical film Anna and the King of Siam. He also played the sympathetic doctor in The Song of Bernadette and appeared as James Coburn's supervisor in the spy spoofs In Like Flint and Our Man Flint. He reprised his role of Willy Loman in the 1966 CBS television adaptation of Death of a Salesman, which included Gene Wilder, James Farentino, Bernie Kopell and George Segal. Cobb was nominated for an Emmy Award for the performance. Mildred Dunnock, who had co-starred in both the original stage version and the 1951 film version, again repeated her role as Linda, Willy's devoted wife.
In 1957 he appeared in Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men as the abrasive Juror #3. In 1959, on CBS' DuPont Show of the Month, he starred in the dual roles of Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote in the play I, Don Quixote, which years later became the musical Man of La Mancha. Cobb also appeared as Wyoming ranch owner Judge Henry Garth in the first four seasons of the long-running NBC western television series The Virginian. His co-stars were James Drury, Doug McClure, Roberta Shore, Gary Clarke, Randy Boone, Clu Gulager and Diane Roter.
In 1968 his performance as King Lear with Stacy Keach as Edmund, René Auberjonois as the Fool and Philip Bosco as Kent achieved the longest run for the play in Broadway history, although the 1950 Broadway production of the play, with Louis Calhern as Lear, played 48 performances as opposed to Cobb's 47.
One of his final film roles was that of police detective Lt. Kinderman in the 1973 horror film The Exorcist.
Cobb died of a heart attack in 1976 in Woodland Hills, California, and was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Helmut Dantine was a film actor remembered for playing many Nazis in thriller films of the 1940s. The Vienna-born actor appeared uncredited in Casablanca early in his career.
Dantine's father was the head of the Austrian railway system. As a young man, Dantine became involved in an anti-Nazi movement in Vienna. In 1938, when he was 21 years old, the Nazis took over Austria during the Anschluss. Dantine was rounded up, with hundreds of other enemies of the Third Reich, and imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp outside Vienna. Three months later, using their influence, his parents got his release and immediately sent him to California to live with a friend. Both his parents would later die in a Nazi concentration camp.
He began his U.S. acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse, where he was spotted by a talent scout and
signed to a Warner Bros. contract. Dantine spent the early 1940s there, appearing in International Squadron (1941) with Ronald Reagan, Casablanca (1942), Edge of Darkness (his first lead role), Mission to Moscow, Northern Pursuit (all 1943), Passage to Marseille, The Mask of Dimitrios (both 1944), Hotel Berlin, and Escape in the Desert (both 1945).
Dantine was also loaned out to other film companies for two notable films in 1942. To Be or Not to Be and Mrs. Miniver were both released in 1942. In 1944 exhibitors voting for "Stars of Tomorrow" picked Dantine at number ten.
Dantine appeared as Dolokhov in King Vidor's War & Peace in 1956. His last screen appearances were in three films he executive produced including, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), and The Killer Elite (1975), both directed by Sam Peckinpah, and The Wilby Conspiracy.
Helmut Dantine died from a heart attack at the age of 64.
Tim Holt was an American film actor perhaps best known for co-starring in the 1948 film The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
Born Charles John Holt III in Beverly Hills, California, he was the son of actor Jack Holt and his wife, Margaret Woods. Holt was sent to study at Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, from which he graduated in 1936. Immediately afterward, he went to work in the Hollywood film business.
In 1938 at the age of 19, Holt, after five minor roles, landed a major role under star Harry Carey in The Law West of Tombstone. It was the first of the many Western films he made during the 1940s. During this time his sister, Jennifer Holt, also became a leading star in the western film genre.
After playing young Lieutenant Blanchard in the 1939 classic Stagecoach, Tim Holt had one of the leading roles in Orson Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). He also starred as a Nazi in Hitler's Children (1943). After making this film, he became a decorated combat veteran of World War II, flying in the Pacific Theatre with the United States Army Air Force as a B-29 bombardier. He returned to films after the war, appearing as Virgil Earp to Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp in the John Ford western My Darling Clementine.
Holt was next cast in the role that he is probably most remembered for (in a film in which his father also appeared in a small part)—that of Bob Curtin to Humphrey Bogart's Fred C. Dobbs in John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Before the film was released, Holt did another four westerns and afterward made two dozen more up until 1952. He was then absent from the screen for five years until he starred in a less-than-successful horror film, The Monster That Challenged the World, in 1957. Over the next 16 years, he appeared in only two more motion pictures.
In 1973, at the age of 54, Tim Holt died from bone cancer in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where he had been managing a radio station. He was interred in the Memory Lane Cemetery in Harrah, Oklahoma.
Edgard Félix Pierre Jacobs, better known under his pen name Edgar P. Jacobs, was a Belgian comic book creator (writer and artist), born in Brussels, Belgium. He was one of the founding fathers of the European comics movement, through his collaborations with Hergé and the graphic novel series that made him famous, Blake and Mortimer.
Edgar Pierre Jacobs was born in Brussels in 1904. Jacobs remembered having drawn for as far back as his memory would go. His real love though was for the dramatic arts and the opera in particular. In 1919 he graduated from the commercial school where his parents had sent him, and privately swore he would never work in an office. He kept on drawing in his spare time, focusing his greatest attention on musical and dramatic training. He took on odd jobs at the opera, including decoration, scenography, and painting, and sometimes got to work as an extra. In 1929 he received the annual Belgian government medal for excellence in classical singing. Financial good fortune did not follow, since the Great Depression hit the Brussels artistic community very hard.
After a career as extra and baritone singer in opera productions between 1919 and 1940 in Brussels and Lille, punctuated by small drawing commissions, Jacobs turned permanently to illustration, drawing commercial illustrations and collaborating in the Bravo review until 1946, after he was introduced there by Jacques Laudy. This review or periodical was a smashing success, hitting a circulation of 300,000 at times.
When the American comic strip Flash Gordon was prohibited in Belgium by the German forces of occupation during World War II, he was asked to write an end to the comic in order to provide a denouement to the readers. German censorship banned this continuation after only a couple of weeks. Jacobs subsequently published in Bravo his first comic strip, Le Rayon U (The U Ray), largely in the same Flash Gordon style.
Around this time, he became a stage painter for a theatre adaptation for Hergé's Cigars of the Pharaoh. Although the play was only a modest success, it brought him into contact with Hergé and the two quickly become friends. As a direct result, he assisted Hergé in colorizing the black and white strips of The Shooting Star from Le Soir in preparation for book publication in 1942, and from 1944 on he helped him in the recasting of his earlier albums Tintin in the Congo, Tintin in America, King Ottokar's Sceptre and The Blue Lotus for color book publication. After the project, he continued to contribute directly in the drawing as well as the storyline for the new Tintin double-albums The Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun. Jacobs, as a fan of opera, decided to take Hergé with him to a concert. Hergé did not like opera, however, and for decades he would gently lampoon his friend Jacobs through the device of opera singer Bianca Castafiore, a supporting character in The Adventures of Tintin. Hergé also gave him tiny cameo roles in Tintin adventures, sometimes under the name Jacobini, for example in The Calculus Affair where Jacobini is the name of an opera singer advertised as starring alongside La Castafiore in Gounod's Faust, and as a mummified egyptologist on the cover of Cigars of the Pharaoh, as well as in the rewritten version.
In 1946, he was part of the team gathered by Raymond Leblanc around the new comics magazine Le Journal de Tintin, where his story Le secret de l’Espadon (The Secret of the Swordfish) was published on September 26, the first of the Blake and Mortimer series.
In 1947, Jacobs asked to share the credit with Hergé on The Adventures of Tintin. When Hergé refused, their collaboration suffered a bit of a setback. Hergé still remained a friend however, and as before Blake et Mortimer continued to be serialised in Tintin magazine. In 1950, Jacobs published The Mystery of the Great Pyramid. Many others soon followed. Jacobs finally published in 1970 the first volume of The Three formulas of Professor Sato, which was staged in Japan.
In 1973 he restyled his first full-length album, Le Rayon U, and wrote his autobiography under the title Un opéra de papier: Les mémoires de Blake et Mortimer. He then wrote the scenario for the second episode of Les Trois Formules du Professeur Sato, but the artwork remained unfinished at the time of his death. Bob de Moor was drafted in to complete the album, which was published in 1990.
Jacobs had not one but two stone sphinxes to commemorate him. One of them is in the Bois des Pauvres near Brussels, where his home used to stand, and the other one is over his tomb at the Lasne cemetery, also near Brussels. The cemetery sphinx has a "collar" beard, and his face looks a lot like Philip Mortimer, the protagonist of most of the Jacobs albums.
Jacobs’ style varies greatly from one album to another. There are however many common threads, such as the theme of subterranean descent and the consistent Ligne claire drawing style.
Sergio Kokis is a novelist and painter Quebec born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
He had a difficult childhood that led him to the age of nine years in correctional institution. He continued his studies, however, and attended the School of Fine Arts in Rio , before studying in philosophy .
In 1966 he obtained a scholarship in France , where he completed a Masters in psychology at the University of Strasbourg . He immigrated to Canada in 1969 and was hired as a psychologist at the Psychiatric Hospital in Gaspe . The following year he became doctor of clinical psychology from the University of Montreal .
He teaches in the department of psychology from the University of Quebec at Montreal . Since 1975 , he also worked as part-time psychologist at the Sainte-Justine Hospital .
From 1973 he studied at the School of Art and Design's Fine Arts Museum of Montreal and the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal .
Since May 1997 , he devoted himself solely to painting and to writing .
Poncet studied law at the University of Geneva . After internships in Geneva, Zurich, London and Washington DC, he was admitted to the bar in 1972. From 1975 worked in the family's law firm Poncet, Turrettini, Amaudruz & Neyroud, and later at Lalive Budin. He received his doctorate in Geneva. In 1986,
Poncet his own law firm Ziegler Poncet Grumbach ZPG today Carrard Lüscher. He is a specialist in international affairs and arbitration. He has long been active in international arbitration, first as secretary and subsequently as an arbitrator, chairman or adviser. Poncet is the author of numerous legal publications.
Poncet sat from 1989 to 1996 for the Liberal Party in the National Council and the Grand Council of the Canton of Geneva .
Roger Martin du Gard was a French author and winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Trained as a paleographer and archivist, Martin du Gard brought to his works a spirit of objectivity and a scrupulous regard for details. For his concern with documentation and with the relationship of social reality to individual development, he has been linked with the realist and naturalist traditions of the 19th century.
His major work was Les Thibault, a roman fleuve about the Thibault family, originally published as a series of eight novels. The story follows the fortunes of the two Thibault brothers, Antoine and Jacques, from their prosperous bourgeois upbringing, through the First World War, to their deaths. He also wrote a novel, Jean Barois, set in the historical context of the Dreyfus Affair. This novel was compared with Augustin ou le Maître est là of Joseph Malègue. There are two different attitudes in front of death (linked to the return to faith in the two novels for the two heroes) : Finally, "Augustin ou le Maître est là" sharply departs from "Jean Barois" in the dramatic and moral functions attributed to suffering. Barois' physical and mental anguish provokes a state of moral depression and a yearning for childhood coziness. Barois chooses to die in his native village, surrounded by familiar faces and familiar objects. But for Augustin suffering is an exalting experience which elevates him to the "icy zones" of spiritual mediation. It is no coïncidence that, unlike Barois, he chooses to die in a quintessential solitude, in the impersonal sickroom of a Swiss mountain sanatorium. The very attitude symbolizes a spiritual state capable of transmuting suffering into beauty.
During the Second World War, he resided in Nice, where he prepared a novel, which remained unfinished (Souvenirs du lieutenant-colonel de Maumort); an English-language translation of this unfinished novel was published in 2000.
Roger Martin du Gard died in 1958 and was buried in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez, a suburb of the city of Nice, France.
Peter Vilhelm Glob, also P.V. Glob, was a Danish archaeologist who worked as the Director General of Museums and Antiquities of the state of Denmark and was also the Director of the National Museum in Copenhagen. Glob was most noted for his investigations of Denmark's bog bodies such as Tollund Man and Grauballe Man -- mummified remains of Iron and Bronze Age people found preserved within peat bogs. His anthropological works include The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved; Denmark: An Archaeological History from the Stone Age to the Vikings; and Mound People: Danish Bronze-Age Man Preserved. He was co-founder of the Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism. Glob was the son of the Danish painter Johannes Glob and the father of the Danish ceramic artist Lotte Glob. His most famous investigation was that of the Tollund Man.
Brian Blessed is an English actor, known for his sonorous voice and "hearty, king-sized portrayals".
The son of William Blessed, a socialist miner, and Hilda Wall, Blessed was born at the Montague Hospital in the town of Mexborough, England. He attended Bolton on Dearne Secondary Modern School, but after his father suffered an industrial accident, he was forced to leave school early at 14 and spent several years working at a variety of jobs, ranging from undertaker to plasterer's assistant. At the age of eighteen, he suffered a nervous breakdown, from which he gradually recovered with the help of friends and family. He completed his National Service as a parachutist in the Royal Air Force. He began his acting training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, alongside Patrick Stewart. He has written about his early life in his autobiography, Dynamite Kid (1992).
An early role was that of PC 'Fancy' Smith in the BBC police drama Z-Cars from 1962 to 1965. In 1966, Blessed appeared in "Incident at Vichy" at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Blessed had small roles in such cult shows as The Avengers (1967, 1969) and the original Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969). He portrayed Caesar Augustus in the BBC series I, Claudius. He portrayed the father of Robin Hood, Lord Locksley, in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He has appeared in a number of Shakespearean roles on both stage and screen, including four of the five Shakespeare films directed by Kenneth Branagh: as The Duke of Exeter in Henry V (1989), Antonio in Much Ado About Nothing (1993), The Ghost of Hamlet's Father in Hamlet (1996) and the dual role of Duke Frederick and Duke Senior in As You Like It (2006). He also provided the voices of Bob in the animated series Kika & Bob (2008) and Grampy Rabbit in Peppa Pig.
Other roles have emphasized his comedic abilities: notably Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon (1980) – for which he is frequently remembered for the famous line "Gordon's alive!"; the mad, comic figure of Richard IV in the first series of The Black Adder (1983); and Spiro in the BBC adaptation of My Family and Other Animals (1987). He also played the role of General Yevlenko in the 1988 miniseries War and Remembrance. Blessed jokes he almost starred in Blackadder II (1986) as Queen Elizabeth but he wasn't available at the time of filming.
He provided the vocal links on the Sony-Award-winning Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio and introduced adverts for Orange mobile phones. At Christmas 2006, he presented a panto Cinderella for Virgin Radio starring actors such as David Tennant and Thandie Newton. In November 2006, Blessed made a surprise appearance on the midday talk show Loose Women. Also, he is featured reading the story "The White City Part 1" which is the final piece on the album Late Night Tales: Nightmares on Wax. Blessed was also the voice of Jean Valjean in Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's audio dramatic adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
Blessed has also starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats as both Old Deuteronomy and Bustopher Jones during the original West End theatre production. In 2002, under the direction of Royal Shakespeare Company director, Adrian Noble, Blessed originated the role of Baron Bomburst for the stage musical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
During December 2005 to January 2006, Blessed headlined the pantomime production of Peter Pan, alongside CBBC Television presenter Kirsten O'Brien at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich. In late 2007 and early 2008, Blessed starred in the panto version of Peter Pan as Captain Hook at the Grove Theatre in Dunstable. He played the same role again in "Peter Pan" in late 2007, early 2008 and again at Christmas 2008 at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon.
Since October 2008, Blessed presents the UK showings of the Japanese gameshow Unbeatable Banzuke on the Challenge channel under the name Banzuke Brian. He also guest hosted an episode of Have I Got News for You in May 2008.
In 2009 Blessed played the world's worst explorer, Sir Basil Champion – a character based upon Blessed's fictional inspiration, The Lost World's Professor Challenger – in the fourth story in The Scarifyers series.
In late 2009, Blessed starred as the Narrator in the In the Wings production of Peter and the Wolf at the New Victory Theatre, New York.
In September 2010 Blessed recorded the voiceover to Sheherazade, or The Princess, the Pirate and the Baboon!, an album of children's stories set to the classical music composition Scheherazade by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and also featuring the voices of Rory Bremner, Jess Murphy, Sam Morris and Nigel Garton. Brian voiced the role of the Great Sultan Shahryār; the album was released as the first in a series entitled Grandma Dingley's Ingeniously Musical Tales in March 2011.
21 June, 2012
Jean-Pierre Petit is a French scientist, senior researcher at National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) as an astrophysicist in Marseille Observatory, now retired. His main working fields are fluid mechanics, kinetic theory of gases, plasma physics applied in magnetohydrodynamics power generation and propulsion as well as topology and astrophysics applied in cosmology. He is a pioneer in magnetohydrodynamics and has worked out the principle and techniques of parietal MHD converter. In cosmology, he worked on the bi-gravity theory.
Besides his adventure in the UFO topic as well as his assertions about the existence of Ummo, Petit has succeeded in pursuing a scientific career within the CNRS.
Now retired, he is involved with UFO-Science which he co-founded and LAMBDA (Laboratory for Applications of MHD in Bitemperature Discharges to Aerodynamics) which he founded. He claims a true scientific study of the UFO phenomenon would improve our scientific knowledge and help mankind.