Happy Birthday Jack Lemmon

Today is Jack Lemmon’s 90th birthday.  Throughout his career, he turned in consistently top notch performances and made his “every man” persona so desirable.  Watch him with Judy Holliday in “It Should Happen To You,” with Shirley MacLaine in “The Apartment” and Sandy Dennis in “The Out of Towners.”  You won’t take your eyes off him.  Then watch “The China Syndrome” and you will witness the range of his 50 year resume.  He is one of my very favorite actors.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

 

NAME: John Uhler Lemmon III
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: February 08, 1925
DEATH DATE: June 27, 2001
EDUCATION: Harvard University
PLACE OF BIRTH: Boston, Massachusetts
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Jack Lemmon was an American actor who starred in over 60 films, including Some Like It Hot, The Odd Couple, The Out-of-Towners, and Grumpy Old Men.

A versatile performer, actor Jack Lemmon was equally adept at comedy and drama. He grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. The son of a doughnut company executive, Lemmon had an affluent upbringing. He attended private schools and studied at the prestigious Phillips Andover Academy.

In his teens, Lemmon taught himself how to play piano. He enrolled at Harvard University in 1943 where he got involved in the theater. Lemmon even served as the president of the famed Hasty Pudding Club, known for its musical comedy performances.

Lemmon took a break from his studies during World War II. Serving in the U.S. Navy, he was stationed on an aircraft carrier for a time. Lemmon returned to Harvard after the war and finished his degree in 1947.

After college, Lemmon borrowed $300 from his father and headed to New York City. He spent much of his first year there, playing piano in a bar. But before long, Lemmon started to land roles on the raido, the stage and television. He appeared in such television programs as The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse and Robert Montgomery Presents.

In 1953, Lemmon made his Broadway debut in Room Service, a comedy revival. The production only lasted for a few performances before closing. While disappointed, Lemmon soon had reason to cheer. He landed his first film around this time, appearing in George Cukor’s It Should Happen to You (1954) with Judy Holliday.

Two years later, Lemmon tackled the role that made him a star. He appeared in the comedic war drama Mister Roberts (1955) with Henry Fonda and James Cagney. Playing Ensign Pulver, Lemmon managed to make his scheming, somewhat sketchy character appealing and sympathetic. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this film.

Lemmon went on to work on a number of films with comedian Ernie Kovacs, including Bell Book and Candle (1958). The pair became good friends off-screen as well, up until Kovacs’s death in 1962. In 1959, Lemmon gave one of the top comedic performances of his career in Some Like It Hot. This comedy starred Lemmon and actor Tony Curtis pretending to be women in an all-female musical group, which also included Marilyn Monroe. This film marked the first collaboration between Lemmon and writer-director Billy Wilder.

Working again with Wilder, Lemmon also enjoyed great success with 1960’s The Apartment. He played a young professional seeking to get ahead by loaning out his apartment to executives in his company for their romantic trysts. The movie, which also starred Shirley MacLaine, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 1962, Lemmon proved that he was more than just a funny guy. He gave a heartbreaking performance as an alcoholic husband in The Days of Wine and Roses opposite Lee Remick. With the critical acclaim he garnered for this film, Lemmon demonstrated that he could excel at serious roles. For the rest of his career, he would comfortably shift back and forth between light comedic fare and serious dramas.

Lemmon began his comedic partnership with Walter Matthau with 1966’s The Fortune Cookie. The pair reunited two years later for one of their most famous films together, The Odd Couple. In the film adaptation of the Neil Simon play, Lemmon played the neurotic clean-freak roommate to Matthau’s sportswriter slob.

For Lemmon, the 1970s were a time of great dramatic performances. He won a Best Actor Academy Award in 1973 playing a man having a midlife crisis in Save the Tiger. Returning to the stage in 1978, Lemmon starred as a press agent dying of cancer in Tribute. He reprised his role for the 1980 film version. In The China Syndrome (1979), Lemmon co-starred with Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas. He portrayed a nuclear plant employee who becomes a whistleblower about an incident at the plant.

Lemmon also undertook some light-hearted projects. One close to his heart was the 1972 television special ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Gershwin. A longtime fan of George Gershwin, Lemmon won an Emmy Award for this musical tribute. He also reteamed with Wilder and Matthau for the 1974 newspaper comedy The Front Page around this time.

In 1982, Lemmon gave another riveting dramatic performance in Missing. He played a father searching for his politically radical son who disappeared in Chile during the 1973 coup. On the Broadway stage, Lemmon won raves for his portrayal of James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night in 1986. Peter Gallagher and Kevin Spacey played his sons in this production. He soon worked with Spacey again on the film adaptation of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Lemmon once again became a box office sensation in 1993 with Grumpy Old Men. This film about two elderly curmudgeons, played by Lemmon and good friend Matthau, won over audiences of all ages. The pair reunited for the 1995 sequel Grumpier Old Men.

One of Lemmon’s most significant later roles came in 1999 with the television movie Tuesdays with Morrie. He played the title character, a professor struggling with Lou Gehrig’s disease, who develops a friendship with one of his former students (Hank Azaria). For this role, Lemmon won an Emmy Award in 2000.

By this time, Lemmon was battling cancer. He died of complications related to his disease on June 27, 2001, in Los Angeles, California. His memorial service was a who’s who of Hollywood, with such friends as Kick Douglas, Gregory Peck, Billy Wilder and Shirley MacLaine among the many mourners. He was also survived by his second wife Felicia Farr, their daughter Courtney and his son Christopher from his first marriage.

Sometimes called “America’s Everyman,” Lemmon had the ability to be familiar to the audience. He seemed like he could be their neighbor, their boss, their cousin or their friend. Many of his characters also managed to convey of some of the anxiety and neuroses of modern times. As he once said, “I’m attracted primarily to contemporary characters. I understand them and their frustrations.”

 

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Happy Birthday Isabella Rossellini

Today is the 62nd birthday of Isabella Rossellini.  Have you seen Blue Velvet recently?  Watch it again, you will fall in love all over again.

NAME: Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Model
BIRTH DATE: June 18, 1952
PLACE OF BIRTH: Rome, Italy

BEST KNOWN FOR: The daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini is an Italian-born actress known for such films as Blue Velvet, Cousins, and Immortal Beloved.

IIsabella Rossellini appeared in her first film in 1976, and has since made over 50 other films, including Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and Big Night. She was also the face of Lancôme cosmetics for 14 years.

After growing up in Italy, Isabella Rossellini came to the United States when she was 19 and studied at Finch College and the New School for Social Research in New York City. Rossellini made her first movie appearance in 1976, with a small part in her mother’s film A Matter of Time. She then appeared in several European TV dramas before her first big-screen starring role in 1979’s The Meadow.

In the early 1980s, Rossellini’s acting career went on a brief hiatus so she could focus on modeling, becoming the face of Lancôme cosmetics in 1982 (a post she held until 1996). While her modeling career has since become secondary to her acting career, she has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Elle. In 1985, she returned strongly to film, appearing in the hit White Nights and in the ultimate cult classic, Blue Velvet, in 1986. In Blue Velvet she played Dorothy Vallens, an abused small-town nightclub singer. The character proved to be her breakthrough role. Soon after, she starred with Ted Danson in Cousins, receiving noteworthy reviews for her performance.

Isabella Rossellini kicked off the 1990s by appearing in the controversial David Lynch film Wild at Heart. The film went on to become yet another Lynch cult classic, and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, all while offending audiences and critics alike. Her next several films included more mainstream fare, and she found herself in big-budget Hollywood films such as Death Becomes Her, Wyatt Earp and Immortal Beloved.

The year 1995 was a good one for Isabella Rossellini, as she starred in the hit Big Night, which had a powerhouse cast and was released to wide American and international acclaim. On the heels of Big Night, she starred again in offbeat films, such as Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996), the Dutch film Left Luggage (1998), and the 1998 comedy The Imposters. Despite her success in larger films, Rossellini continued to seek out roles in small, sometimes oddball, films such as The Saddest Music in the World, My Dog Tulip and Chicken with Plums.

In addition to her work as an actress, Isabella Rossellini is also known for her activism. She holds prominent roles in such groups as the Wildlife Conservation Network, the George Eastman House, and the Central Park Conservancy.

 

Happy Birthday Cher

Today is the 68th birthday of Cher.  Love her or love her, there are any number of reasons you love her more, any decade that you love more, any humanitarian cause you love more, but you love her.  She is bad ass at everything she does, be it a Vegas show that would kill performers half her age or calling into C-SPAN to support body armor for our troops.  You love her, it is in our American DNA to love her.

 

NAME: Cher
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Singer
BIRTH DATE: May 20, 1946
PLACE OF BIRTH: El Centro, California
ORIGINALLY: Cherilyn Sarkisian

BEST KNOWN FOR: Equally famous for her unusual outfits as for her musical talent, Cher is a singer and actress who got her start as half of Sonny and Cher in the 1960s.

Cher  (born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946) is an American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in film, music and television. She is the only person in history to have received all of these awards. Cher began her career as a backup singer and later came to prominence as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny & Cher with the success of their song “I Got You Babe” in 1965. She subsequently established herself as a solo recording artist, and became a television star in 1971 with The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a variety show for which she won a Golden Globe. A well received performance in the film Silkwood earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress of 1983. In the following years, Cher starred in a string of hit films including Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, and Moonstruck, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress of 1987.

Cher, throughout a career spanning over 45 years, has broken many records. She is the only artist to reach number one on the Billboard charts in each of the previous six decades. Her hit dance single “Believe” is her biggest-selling recording and was the best-selling single of 1999, having sold over 10 million copies worldwide. She holds the Hot 100 record for the longest hit-making career span, with 33 years between the release of her first and most recent Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles, in 1965 and 1999 and 45 years between her first and most recent #1 ranking on any Billboard chart Cher ended her 3-year-long “Farewell Tour” in 2005 as the most successful tour by a female solo artist of all time. Cher has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. After a three-year hiatus and retirement from touring, Cher returned to the stage in May 2008 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where she performed her show Cher at the Colosseum until February 2011. Cher has a deep contralto vocal range.

Unlike her late ex-husband Sonny Bono, Cher has always been a staunch Democrat. She has attended and performed at Democratic Party conventions and events. Today, she considers herself a Democrat by default, but more of an Independent. Cher has always defined herself as an anti-war activist; she demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and the video for “Turn Back Time” in 1989 was sometimes interpreted as an admonition against the military: “Make love, not war.”  On October 27, 2003, Cher anonymously called a C-SPAN phone-in program. She recounted a visit she had made to maimed soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and criticized the lack of media coverage and government attention given to injured servicemen.  She also remarked that she watches C-SPAN every day. Though she simply identified herself as an unnamed entertainer with the USO, she was recognized by the C-SPAN host.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2006, Cher called in again, endorsing Operation Helmet, an organization started by a doctor that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to those ordered to deploy in the near future. She identified herself as a caller from Malibu, California, and proceeded to complain about the current presidential administration. She read aloud a letter from a soldier on the ground in Iraq, praising Operation Helmet’s efforts, and decrying the lack of protection afforded by the military’s provisions for troops. It has been reported that Cher has so far donated over US$130,000 to Operation Helmet.

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Jack Lemmon

Tomorrow is Jack Lemmon’s 89th birthday.  Throughout his career, he turned in consistently top notch performances and mad his “every man” persona so desirable.  Watch him with Judy Holliday in “It Should Happen To You,” with Shirley MacLaine in “The Apartment” and Sandy Dennis in “The Out of Towners.”  You won’t take your eyes off him.  Then watch “The China Syndrome” and you will witness the range of his 50 year resume.

NAME: John Uhler Lemmon III
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: February 08, 1925
DEATH DATE: June 27, 2001
EDUCATION: Harvard University
PLACE OF BIRTH: Boston, Massachusetts
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Jack Lemmon was an American actor who starred in over 60 films, including Some Like It Hot, The Odd Couple, The Out-of-Towners, and Grumpy Old Men.

Jack Lemmon (b. Feb. 8, 1925) was an American actor who starred in over 60 films, including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts, Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger (for which he won the 1973 Best Actor Academy Award), The Out-of-Towners, The China Syndrome, Missing (for which he won ‘Best Actor’ at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival), Glengarry Glen Ross, Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1955 for his performance in Mister Roberts, establishing him as one of the screen’s new comic stars. He was respected for his ability to play high-strung and neurotic characters.

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Isabella Rossellini – Style Icon

NAME: Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Model
BIRTH DATE: June 18, 1952 (Age: 59)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Rome, Italy

BEST KNOWN FOR: The daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini is an Italian-born actress known for such films as Blue Velvet, Cousins, and Immortal Beloved.

IIsabella Rossellini appeared in her first film in 1976, and has since made over 50 other films, including Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and Big Night. She was also the face of Lancôme cosmetics for 14 years.

ter growing up in Italy, Isabella Rossellini came to the United States when she was 19 and studied at Finch College and the New School for Social Research in New York City. Rossellini made her first movie appearance in 1976, with a small part in her mother’s film A Matter of Time. She then appeared in several European TV dramas before her first big-screen starring role in 1979’s The Meadow.

In the early 1980s, Rossellini’s acting career went on a brief hiatus so she could focus on modeling, becoming the face of Lancôme cosmetics in 1982 (a post she held until 1996). While her modeling career has since become secondary to her acting career, she has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Elle. In 1985, she returned strongly to film, appearing in the hit White Nights and in the ultimate cult classic, Blue Velvet, in 1986. In Blue Velvet she played Dorothy Vallens, an abused small-town nightclub singer. The character proved to be her breakthrough role. Soon after, she starred with Ted Danson in Cousins, receiving noteworthy reviews for her performance.

Isabella Rossellini kicked off the 1990s by appearing in the controversial David Lynch film Wild at Heart. The film went on to become yet another Lynch cult classic, and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, all while offending audiences and critics alike. Her next several films included more mainstream fare, and she found herself in big-budget Hollywood films such as Death Becomes Her, Wyatt Earp and Immortal Beloved.

The year 1995 was a good one for Isabella Rossellini, as she starred in the hit Big Night, which had a powerhouse cast and was released to wide American and international acclaim. On the heels of Big Night, she starred again in offbeat films, such as Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996), the Dutch film Left Luggage (1998), and the 1998 comedy The Imposters. Despite her success in larger films, Rossellini continued to seek out roles in small, sometimes oddball, films such as The Saddest Music in the World, My Dog Tulip and Chicken with Plums.

In addition to her work as an actress, Isabella Rossellini is also known for her activism. She holds prominent roles in such groups as the Wildlife Conservation Network, the George Eastman House, and the Central Park Conservancy.

Isabella Rossellini – Style Icon

NAME: Isabella Fiorella Elettra Giovanna Rossellini
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Model
BIRTH DATE: June 18, 1952 (Age: 59)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Rome, Italy

BEST KNOWN FOR: The daughter of Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini, Isabella Rossellini is an Italian-born actress known for such films as Blue Velvet, Cousins, and Immortal Beloved.

IIsabella Rossellini appeared in her first film in 1976, and has since made over 50 other films, including Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and Big Night. She was also the face of Lancôme cosmetics for 14 years.

ter growing up in Italy, Isabella Rossellini came to the United States when she was 19 and studied at Finch College and the New School for Social Research in New York City. Rossellini made her first movie appearance in 1976, with a small part in her mother’s film A Matter of Time. She then appeared in several European TV dramas before her first big-screen starring role in 1979’s The Meadow.

In the early 1980s, Rossellini’s acting career went on a brief hiatus so she could focus on modeling, becoming the face of Lancôme cosmetics in 1982 (a post she held until 1996). While her modeling career has since become secondary to her acting career, she has appeared on the covers of such magazines as Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Elle. In 1985, she returned strongly to film, appearing in the hit White Nights and in the ultimate cult classic, Blue Velvet, in 1986. In Blue Velvet she played Dorothy Vallens, an abused small-town nightclub singer. The character proved to be her breakthrough role. Soon after, she starred with Ted Danson in Cousins, receiving noteworthy reviews for her performance.

Isabella Rossellini kicked off the 1990s by appearing in the controversial David Lynch film Wild at Heart. The film went on to become yet another Lynch cult classic, and won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, all while offending audiences and critics alike. Her next several films included more mainstream fare, and she found herself in big-budget Hollywood films such as Death Becomes Her, Wyatt Earp and Immortal Beloved.

The year 1995 was a good one for Isabella Rossellini, as she starred in the hit Big Night, which had a powerhouse cast and was released to wide American and international acclaim. On the heels of Big Night, she starred again in offbeat films, such as Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral (1996), the Dutch film Left Luggage (1998), and the 1998 comedy The Imposters. Despite her success in larger films, Rossellini continued to seek out roles in small, sometimes oddball, films such as The Saddest Music in the World, My Dog Tulip and Chicken with Plums.

In addition to her work as an actress, Isabella Rossellini is also known for her activism. She holds prominent roles in such groups as the Wildlife Conservation Network, the George Eastman House, and the Central Park Conservancy.

Cher – Style Icon

Love her or love her, there are any number of reasons you love her more, any decade that you love more, any humanitarian cause you love more, but you love her.  She is bad ass at everything she does, be it a Vegas show that would kill performers half her age or calling into C-SPAN to support body armor for our troops.  You love her, it is in our American DNA to love her.

NAME: Cher
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Singer
BIRTH DATE: May 20, 1946 (Age: 65)
PLACE OF BIRTH: El Centro, California
ORIGINALLY: Cherilyn Sarkisian

BEST KNOWN FOR: Equally famous for her unusual outfits as for her musical talent, Cher is a singer and actress who got her start as half of Sonny and Cher in the 1960s.

Cher  (born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946) is an American recording artist, television personality, actress, director, record producer and philanthropist. Referred to as the Goddess of Pop, she has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globes and a Cannes Film Festival Award among others for her work in film, music and television. She is the only person in history to have received all of these awards. Cher began her career as a backup singer and later came to prominence as one half of the pop rock duo Sonny & Cher with the success of their song “I Got You Babe” in 1965. She subsequently established herself as a solo recording artist, and became a television star in 1971 with The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, a variety show for which she won a Golden Globe. A well received performance in the film Silkwood earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress of 1983. In the following years, Cher starred in a string of hit films including Mask, The Witches of Eastwick, and Moonstruck, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress of 1987.

Cher, throughout a career spanning over 45 years, has broken many records. She is the only artist to reach number one on the Billboard charts in each of the previous six decades. Her hit dance single “Believe” is her biggest-selling recording and was the best-selling single of 1999, having sold over 10 million copies worldwide. She holds the Hot 100 record for the longest hit-making career span, with 33 years between the release of her first and most recent Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles, in 1965 and 1999 and 45 years between her first and most recent #1 ranking on any Billboard chart Cher ended her 3-year-long “Farewell Tour” in 2005 as the most successful tour by a female solo artist of all time. Cher has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. After a three-year hiatus and retirement from touring, Cher returned to the stage in May 2008 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where she performed her show Cher at the Colosseum until February 2011. Cher has a deep contralto vocal range.

Unlike her late ex-husband Sonny Bono, Cher has always been a staunch Democrat. She has attended and performed at Democratic Party conventions and events. Today, she considers herself a Democrat by default, but more of an Independent. Cher has always defined herself as an anti-war activist; she demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and the video for “Turn Back Time” in 1989 was sometimes interpreted as an admonition against the military: “Make love, not war.”  On October 27, 2003, Cher anonymously called a C-SPAN phone-in program. She recounted a visit she had made to maimed soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and criticized the lack of media coverage and government attention given to injured servicemen.  She also remarked that she watches C-SPAN every day. Though she simply identified herself as an unnamed entertainer with the USO, she was recognized by the C-SPAN host.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2006, Cher called in again, endorsing Operation Helmet, an organization started by a doctor that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to those ordered to deploy in the near future. She identified herself as a caller from Malibu, California, and proceeded to complain about the current presidential administration. She read aloud a letter from a soldier on the ground in Iraq, praising Operation Helmet’s efforts, and decrying the lack of protection afforded by the military’s provisions for troops. It has been reported that Cher has so far donated over US$130,000 to Operation Helmet.