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									ENRIQUE IGLESIAS
At the dawn of the new millennium, Enrique Iglesias was the best-selling Latin recording
artist in the world. The son of multimillion-selling singer Julio Iglesias, Enrique was born
in Madrid, Spain, where he lived with his mother, his brother Julio, and his sister Chabeli.
In 1982, his mother sent them to live in Miami with their father. While there, Enrique
was exposed to three different cultures and musical influences -- Hispanic, European, and
American.

Iglesias' own career started when he was still attending Gulliver Private School, a very
prestigious school in Miami. He made his singing debut in a production of Hello, Dolly,
after which he began practicing his singing without his parents knowing. After a year
studying business at the University of Miami, he decided to follow his passion for music.
In 1995, he sang in person for his soon-to-be manager, who at Iglesias' insistence of not
wanting to use his family name, first shopped his demos as an unknown Central
American singer named Enrique Martinez. It wasn't until he earned a record deal with
Fonovisa that Enrique told his father and mother of his aspirations. Then he flew to
Toronto where no one knew him and he could concentrate just on music, to record for
five months.

That first album, Enrique Iglesias (1996), sold more than a million copies in three months
(it earned him his first gold record in Portugal in a mere seven days) and to date has sold
more than six million worldwide. The second album, Vivir (1997), enjoyed global sales
of more than five million discs and launched his first world tour, backed by sidemen for
Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Joel. In a mere three years, Iglesias had sold
more than 17 million Spanish-language albums, more than anyone else during that
period. (The U.S. was his biggest market.) He also won the 1996 Grammy for Best Latin
Performer, 1996's Billboard Artist of the Year, Billboard's Album of the Year for Vivir,
two American Music Awards, a World Music Award, eight Premio Lo Nuestro Awards,
two ACE Performer of the Year Awards, and ASCAP prizes for Best Composer of 1996
and 1997, in addition to countless accolades around the world.

Iglesias was already a major star singing in Spanish before Enrique became his first
English-language album. 1995's Grammy-winning Enrique Iglesias and 1997's Vivir are
each RIAA-certified platinum in the U.S., with 1998's Cosas del amor gold and nearing
platinum. The singer-songwriter sold more than 13 million albums of his first three
releases- in a mere three years. In the Americas, Europe and Asia, songs such as Si tú te
vas, Por amarte, Experiencia religiosa, Trapecista, No llores por mí, Enamorado por
primera vez, Sólo en tí, Miente, Revolución, Esperanza and Nunca te olvidaré reached
number one on various charts in the US and 18 other countries.

Iglesias racked up 132 platinum records, 251 gold albums and scores of awards. Among
the latter are the 1996 Grammy for Best Latin Performer; 1996's Artist of the Year for
Billboard, 1998's American Music Award for Best Latin Artist, 1997's Billboard Album
of the Year for Vivir; a World Music Award for Best-Selling Artist; eight Premio Lo
Nuestro Awards; two ACE Performer of the Year Awards; and ASCAP prizes for Best
Composer of 1996 and 1997.
Then came Enrique and "Bailamos". Will Smith caught an Iglesias show in L.A. and
made a special request of him to contribute to the soundtrack for Smith's film Wild Wild
West (released jointly by Overbrook Records, Smith's label, and Interscope Records).
Fusing full-throttle dance beats with Latin rhythms and Iglesias' characteristically rich,
seductive vocals, "Bailamos" (pronounced "By-LA-Mos" and translated as "We Dance")
was bootlegged by US radio stations playing European versions well before its official
release, and it quickly became the most-requested track in several of the largest markets
in the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Dallas.

Upon its official debut, "Bailamos" shot to the top and so has Iglesias. As a co-writer, he
won yet another ASCAP award for the song. An international artist in every sense of the
word, he was named both Favourite Latino Artist at the 2000 Blockbuster Entertainment
Awards and Male International Artist of the Year at the CCTV-MTV Music Honours in
Beijing, China.

On July 5, 2010, Iglesias released his ninth studio album, Euphoria, his first work to be
released under his new label, Universal Republic. The album is Iglesias's first bilingual
album with seven original English songs and six original Spanish songs. Iglesias worked
with three producers whom he has worked with before; RedOne, Mark Taylor and Carlos
Paucer. The album features collaborations with Akon, Usher, Nicole Scherzinger, Pitbull,
Juan Luis Guerra and his third duet with Wisin y Yandel. In a joint venture with
Universal Latino Iglesias will release different singles in both languages simultaneously
to different formats.

The first English single from the album, "I Like It", which features Cuban rapper Pitbull,
was released on May 3, 2010 in the U.S. and became a success, reaching number 4 on the
Billboard Hot 100. After weeks on the chart, it reached to #1 on the Billboard Hot/Dance
Club Play, making it Enrique's 7th number one song on that chart and also making him
the male singer with most number-ones tying with Prince & Michael Jackson. "Cuando
Me Enamoro" was released as the lead Spanish single from the album. The song debuted
at number 8 and number 25 on U.S Latin Pop Songs and U.S. Hot Latin Songs,
respectively. The song became his 25th top 10 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot Latin
Songs & after 4 weeks of its release date it became his 21st No.1 song on this chart.

Enrique now recorded in four languages-Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English. An
inveterate consumer of any and all music that comes his way, no matter its origins, he is
deeply grateful for the musical education afforded by his immersion in three cultures-
Latin, European and American.
JACKIE CHAN
Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong on April 7th, 1954. His parents, Charles and Lee-lee
Chan named him Chan Kong-sang which means "born in Hong Kong." Jackie weighed
12 pounds when he was born and his mother required surgery to deliver him. Jackie's
parents were so poor that they had to borrow money from friends to pay the doctor.
Although Jackie's parents were poor, they had steady jobs at the French embassy in Hong
Kong. Charles was a cook and Lee-lee was a housekeeper. Together, the Chan family
lived on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. When Jackie was young, his father would wake
him early in the morning and together they would practice kung fu. Charles Chan
believed that learning kung fu would help build Jackie's character, teaching him patience,
strength, and courage.

When Jackie was seven years old Charles took a job as the head cook at the American
embassy in Australia. He felt that it would be best for Jackie to stay behind in Hong Kong
to learn a skill and so enrolled him in the China Drama Academy where Jackie would live
for the next 10 years of his life. During Jackie's time at the school, he learned martial arts,
acrobatics, singing, and acting. The school was meant to prepare boys for a life in the
Peking Opera. Chinese opera was very different from any other kind of opera. It included
singing, tumbling, and acrobatics as well as martial arts skills and acting. Students at the
school were severely disciplined and were beaten if they disobeyed or made mistakes. It
was a very harsh and difficult life but Jackie had nowhere else to go, so he stayed. He
rarely saw his parents for many years.

While at the China Academy, Jackie made his acting debut at age eight in the Cantonese
movie "Seven Little Valiant Fighters: Big and Little Wong Tin Bar." He later teamed
with other opera students in a performance group called "The Seven Little Fortunes."
Fellow actors Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao were also members. Years later the three
would work together and become known as The Three Brothers. As Jackie got older he
worked as a stuntman and an extra in the Hong Kong film industry. When Jackie was 17,
he graduated from the China Drama Academy. Unfortunately the Chinese opera was no
longer very popular, so Jackie and his classmates had to find other work. This was
difficult because at the school they were never taught how to read or write. The only
work available to them was unskilled labor or stunt work. Each year many movies were
made in Hong Kong and there was always a need for young, strong stuntmen. Jackie was
extraordinarily athletic and inventive, and soon gained a reputation for being fearless;
Jackie Chan would try anything. Soon he was in demand.

Over the next few years, Jackie worked as a stuntman, but when the Hong Kong movie
industry began to fail, he was forced to go to Australia to live with his parents. He
worked in a restaurant and on a construction site. It was there that he got the name
"Jackie." A worker named Jack had trouble pronouncing "Kong-sang" and started calling
Jackie "little Jack." That soon became ―Jackie‖ and the name stuck. Jackie was very
unhappy in Australia. The construction work was difficult and boring. His salvation came
in the form of a telegram from a man named Willie Chan. Willie Chan worked in the
Hong Kong movie industry and was looking for someone to star in a new movie being
made by Lo Wei, a famous Hong Kong producer/director. Willie had seen Jackie at work
as a stuntman and had been impressed. Jackie called Willie and they talked. Jackie didn't
know it but Willie would end up becoming his best friend and manager. Soon Jackie was
on his way back to Hong Kong to star in "New Fist of Fury." It was 1976 and Jackie
Chan was 21 years old.

Once Jackie got back to Hong Kong, Willie Chan took control over Jackie's career. To
this day Jackie is quick to point out that he owes his success to Willie. However, the
movies that Jackie made for Lo Wei were not very successful. The problem was that
Jackie's talents were not being used properly. It was only when Jackie was able to
contribute his own ideas that he became a star. He brought humor to martial arts movies;
his first success was "Snake in Eagle's Shadow." This was followed by "Drunken Master"
(another blockbuster) and Jackie's first ever directing job, "Fearless Hyena." All were big
hits. Jackie was becoming a huge success in Asia. Unfortunately, it would be many years
before the same could be said of his popularity in America. After a series of lukewarm
receptions in the U.S., mostly due to miscasting, Jackie left the States and focused his
attention on making movies in Hong Kong. It would be 10 years before he returned to
make Rumble in the Bronx, the movie that introduced Jackie to American audiences and
secured him a place in their hearts (and their box office). Rumble was followed by the
Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon series which put Jackie on the Hollywood A List.

Despite his Hollywood successes, Jackie became frustrated by the lack of varied roles for
Asian actors and his own inability to control certain aspects of the filming in America. He
continued to try, however, making The Tuxedo, The Medallion, and Around the World in
80 Days, none of which was the blockbuster that Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon had been.
jackie biography Jackie's lifelong devotion to fitness has served him well as he continues
to do stunt work and action sequences in his films. In recent years, Jackie's focus has
shifted and he is trying new genres of film – fantasy, drama, romance – and is spending
more and more time on his charity work. He takes his work as Ambassador for
UNICEF/UNAIDS very seriously and spends all his spare time working tirelessly for
children, the elderly, and those in need. He continues to make films in Hong Kong,
including the blockbuster drama New Police Story in 2004. Jackie has been married to
Lin Feng-Jiao since 1982 and has a son, actor-singer Jaycee Chan.
WAYNE GRETKSY
Wayne Douglas Gretzky, OC (born January 26, 1961) is a former professional ice hockey
player. Born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, he is known as "The Great One", and
considered by many to be the best player of all time. Taught by his father Walter, Gretzky
was a classic prodigy. At 6, he was skating with 10 year-olds. At 10, he scored 378 goals
in 85 games, and the first story on him was published in the Toronto Telegram (now the
Toronto Sun). At 14, playing against 20 year-olds, he left Brantford to further his career
and signed with his first agent.

He played one year in the Ontario Hockey League at the age of 16, with the Sault Ste.
Marie Greyhounds. There he began wearing 99 on his jersey. He had wanted 9 — for his
hero Gordie Howe — but it was already being worn by another teammate. At Coach
Muzz MacPherson's suggestion, Gretzky tried and settled on 99. The next year, he signed
with the Indianapolis Racers of the World Hockey Association. Eight games into the
season, his contract was bought by Peter Pocklington, owner of the Alberta Oilers aka
Edmonton Oilers.

 Gretzky played on four different NHL teams over a 20 year period: the Edmonton Oilers,
the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers. After the 1978-
79 season, four WHA teams, including the Alberta Oilers (who would become the
Edmonton Oilers), joined the National Hockey League. The other three WHA teams were
the Quebec Nordiques, Winnipeg Jets, and Hartford Whalers. In his first NHL season,
1979-80, Gretzky was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the League's Most Valuable
Player (the first of eight in a row) and tied for the scoring lead with Marcel Dionne with
137 points (Dionne was awarded the Art Ross Memorial Trophy as the league's leading
scorer because he had scored more goals, even though Gretzky played fewer games).
Gretzky was not eligible for the Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the top NHL rookie,
because of his previous year of professional experience. The rule, however, was changed
a few years later. Teemu Selänne is a case in point of this rule change. He won rookie of
the year with 76 goals even though he previously had professional experience.

In his second season, Gretzky won the Art Ross (the first of seven consecutive years)
with a single-season record 164 points, and won his second straight Hart Trophy. The
Oilers were a young, strong team featuring forwards Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson and
Jari Kurri, defenseman Paul Coffey, goalie Grant Fuhr, and Gretzky as its captain. In
1983, they made it to the Stanley Cup finals, only to be swept by the three-time defending
champion New York Islanders. The following season, the Oilers met the Islanders in the
Finals again, this time winning their first of four Stanley Cups over the next five years.

In only Gretzky's second NHL season, he broke both Bobby Orr's record for assists in a
season and Phil Esposito's record for points in a season. In 1981, Gretzky surpassed one
of the game's most cherished records — 50 goals in 50 games — set by Maurice
"Rocket" Richard during the 1944-45 season and tied by Mike Bossy during the 1980-81
season. On December 30, 1981, in Edmonton's 39th game, Gretzky scored his 50th goal
of the season (and fifth of the game) into an empty net in the final seconds of a 7-5 win
against Philadelphia. On 24 February, 1982, Gretzky broke Esposito's record for most
goals in a season (76), when he scored four goals to help beat the Buffalo Sabres, 6-3. He
ended the 1981-1982 season with 92 goals and a record 212 points in 80 games. Gretzky
broke the season points record again in 1985-86 with 215 points and also set a season
record with 163 assists.

On August 9, 1988, in a move that drastically changed the dynamics of the NHL, Gretzky
was traded with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski by the Oilers to the Los
Angeles Kings for Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $15 million cash and the Kings' first-
round draft picks in 1989, 1991 and 1993. "The Trade," as it came to be known, so upset
Canadians that one lawmaker demanded the government block it, and Pocklington was
burned in effigy. Gretzky himself was considered a "traitor" by many Canadians for
turning his back on his adopted hometown, his home province, and his home country.
After "The Trade", Gretzky's personal popularity sank across Canada.

 Gretzky's first season in Los Angeles saw a marked increase in attendance and fan
interest in a city not previously known for following ice hockey. The Kings, who then
played their home games at the Great Western Forum, boasted numerous sellouts on their
way to reaching the 88-89 playoffs. Despite being heavy underdogs against his old squad,
Gretzky led the new-look Kings on and off the ice to a shocking upset of the defending
Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers, as Gretzky led his team back from a 3-1 deficit
to win the series 4-3. Many credit Gretzky's arrival with putting Southern California on
"the NHL map"; now California is home to three NHL franchises.

 Gretzky's time with the Kings reached its peak when he led the team to its first Cup
finals in 1993. After winning the first game of the series, however, the team lost the next
four in a row to the Montreal Canadiens. The team began a long slide that continued
despite numerous player and coaching moves and failed to even qualify for the playoffs
again until 1998. Long before that, running out of time and looking for a team with which
he could win again, Gretzky had been traded from the Kings at his request. On February
27, 1996 he joined the St. Louis Blues in a trade for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig
Johnson, and draft picks. While he scored 37 points in 31 games for the team (regular
season and playoffs), and they got within one overtime game of the Conference finals, he
never clicked with the team or with sniper Brett Hull on the ice as well as many had
expected. On July 21, he signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent, rejoining
Messier.

He ended his professional career with the Rangers, playing his final three seasons there
and helping the team reach the conference finals in 1997. His last NHL game in Canada
was on April 16, 1999, and his final game was a 2-1 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh
Penguins on April 18. The national anthems in that game were adjusted to accomodate
Gretzky's departure. "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee" was changed to "We're
going to miss you Wayne Gretzky". The Star-Spangled Banner was changed from "the
land of the free" to "the land of Wayne Gretzky". Gretzky was named as the first, second
and third star of both April 16th and 18th games. In 2003, Gretzky took to the ice one last
time to help celebrate the Edmonton Oilers' 25th anniversary as an NHL team. The
Heritage Classic, was the first NHL game to be played outdoors. Preceding the NHL
game was an exhibition game that reunited Gretzky and many of the old-guard Oilers
against a superstar Montreal Canadiens team.
JOHN TRAVOLTA
John Joseph Travolta was born on the 18th of February, 1954, in Englewood, New
Jersey. His father, Salvatore, was a semi-pro footballer turned tyre salesman. His mother,
Helen, was the entertainer in the family. She had played in a radio vocal group called The
Sunshine Sisters, and had acted and directed before becoming a high school drama
teacher. John also had five brothers and sisters - Joey and Sam, and Ellen, Ann and
Margaret. All of them have worked in TV, film or music. This clearly had much to do
with Helen's influence, but also Salvatore's who encouraged his children by assembling a
small theatre in the family's basement.

At 16, with his parents' blessing, he dropped out of High School and went to live with
sister Ann in Manhattan, aiming to break into theatre. In the early Seventies, he nabbed a
few small TV roles, beginning as an injured hitch-hiker in Emergency! He also featured
in a 1973 ad for the US Army. Then, in 1975, came the first big break, when he was cast
as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back Kotter, a huge hit involving a teacher returning to
the inner city to teach a gang of lippy, witty teenagers. As Barbarino, the swaggering
leader of the pack, armed with a mighty arsenal of rhyming insults, Travolta became the
star of the show. Dumb but cool, he became the hero of drop-outs and young girls across
the nation.

With his charming smile and strut, Travolta had the teenage hooligan off to a tee, so he
was perfect as the jealous Nancy Allen's brutish, pig-killing boyfriend in Brian De
Palma's Carrie. But he also wanted more serious roles, and so played Tod Lubitch in The
Boy In The Plastic Bubble, the tale of a young man confined to a virus-proof
environment by a deficiency of his immune system. This was a touching movie, with
Travolta performing well. It also saw him begin a relationship with his co-star, Diana
Hyland, an actress 18 years his senior who played his mother in the movie. That cocky
strut was about to take the world by storm as, prior to The Boy In The Plastic Bubble,
Travolta had filmed a movie to be named Saturday Night Fever. Here he was Tony
Manero - shop assistant by day, disco king by night - and he was fantastic.

Yet, just as all was going so fabulously well, life dealt him a hammer-blow. In 1977, the
year Saturday Night Fever was released, Diana Hyland died of cancer, in Travolta's arms.
It was a tragedy, accentuated by his mother's death a year later. And it added a terrible
pathos to Travolta's next movie, Moment By Moment, where he played a young man in a
turbulent love affair with an older woman, Lily Tomlin. But, much as he may have liked
to have taken an elongated sabbatical, Travolta's star was remorselessly rising. Next, in
Grease, he was Danny Zuko - another ladykilling teenager, this time subdued by the prim
Olivia Newton-John. The movie spawned huge hit singles for Travolta (You're The One
That I Want, Sandy) and itself made over $400 million, making it the most successful
musical ever.

After a string of moderate hits and box office bombs, it's often said that Travolta was
saved by Quentin Tarantino. And that's so. But Tarantino only cast Travolta in Pulp
Fiction because Michael Madsen chose to appear in Kevin Costner's epic Wyatt Earp
instead. So, Madsen's bitter loss (and he is hilariously bitter about it) was Travolta's gain.
Accepting a mere $140,000 for his services, his Vincent Vega was a brilliantly jovial
partner for born-again assassin Samuel L. Jackson. He was sleazy and cruel, but also,
with his dopey speeches about chicken burgers and his groovy dancing with Uma
Thurman, much like Tony Manero. Once again he was Oscar-nominated.

Battling to regain his footing in the industry, Travolta now went populist. First he stepped
onto the comic-book bandwagon with The Punisher (an earlier version, starring Dolph
Lundgren, had actually been in the vanguard of this new wave of comic adaptations).
Here Thomas Jane played the titular vigilante who swears revenge on all criminals when
his family is massacred by Travolta, a notorious money launderer who's thoroughly
ticked off when his son is killed in an FBI sting. Now expert at these baddie roles,
Travolta would add depth with his convincing exhibition of grief for his son and jealous
possessiveness over his wife. Following this would be Ladder 49, another action movie
lifted above its genre by excellent characterisations. This would see Joaquin Phoenix as a
fireman trapped in a major conflagration, with Travolta as his chief and mentor, single-
mindedly co-ordinating the rescue attempt. Throughout, the movie would flash back over
Phoenix's career, thoghtfully contemplating who'd be a fireman and why.

Ladder 49 and The Punisher would pull Travolta back up again after his second fall from
grace. Having been boosted by a series of comical Sky ads wherein he moves in with a
family simply because they have Sky TV, he'd rise further up the Hollywood food-chain
with 2005's Be Cool, reprising his role as Chili Palmer in Get Shorty.

Travolta's only release of 2008 would be another success. This was Disney's Bolt, a
family film reminiscent of The Truman Show, where Travolta would voice a dog who
stars in a TV show and believes it all to be real, including his own superpowers. Trouble
ensues, then, when he believes his owner, Miley Cyrus, to be kidnapped, and he takes off,
aided by a reluctant cat and a hamster, to seek and save her on the mean streets of
Manhattan.

2009 would begin with real tragedy for Travolta. Back in 1989, while filming The
Experts, he'd met actress Kelly Preston. She was married at the time, but soon became
single and met up once more with Travolta, the couple being married in September, 1991,
first by a French minister of Scientology and then, when that was declared illegal, by
someone deemed more official. The couple would have two children, son Jett and
daughter Ella Bleu. Sadly, from an early age Jett had suffered from Kawasaki syndrome,
causing a dangerous inflammation of the blood vessels and occasional fits. On January
2nd, 2009, while the family were holidaying at the Old Bahama Bay resort on Grand
Bahama, Jett, would suffer a fatal seizure.

Travolta still loves dancing, and music, and he loves to fly jets, owning at least four. In
1993, after a total electric failure, at night and in icy conditions, he managed to safely
land his Gulfstream. He'd do something similar in 2007, making an emergency landing of
a 34-seater at Shannon when problems hit his flight from Germany to New York. That's
Travolta - smooth beyond the call of duty.
JULIA ROBERTS
One of the few bankable female stars of the 1990s, actress Julia Roberts remained an
iconic figure whose assured, winsome performances underscored her undeniable public
appeal. Following a breakthrough role in ―Mystic Pizza‖ (1988), Roberts earned critical
acclaim and award recognition for her portrayal of the ill-fated Shelby in ―Steel
Magnolias‖ (1989). But it was her performance as a hooker with a heart of gold opposite
Richard Gere in ―Pretty Woman‖ (1990) that propelled Roberts into the upper tier of
Hollywood actresses. Roberts quickly became one of the highest paid stars – male or
female – in the world, eventually raking in $25 million for a film. Equally in the limelight
for a torrent of high-profile and often rocky romances, Roberts managed to maintain an
output of projects that consistently topped the box office. While sometimes accused of
lacking the chops to be a serious actress, she erased all doubts with her Oscar-winning
performance in ―Erin Brockovich‖ (2001), as well as other acclaimed roles in ―Closer‖
(2004) and ―Charlie Wilson’s War‖ (2007), all of which underscored Roberts’ unique
ability to be both a huge box office draw and an accomplished performer.

Born Oct. 28, 1967 in Atlanta, GA, Roberts was raised by her father, Walter, a vacuum
cleaner salesman and her mother, Betty, a former church secretary-turned-real estate
agent. Despite solid middle class jobs, her parents were also part-time actors who ran the
Atlanta-based Actors and Writers Workshop out of their home. But in 1971, her domestic
tranquility was shattered when her parents divorced. Roberts moved the following year to
Smyrna, CA with her mother and sister, Lisa, while her brother, Eric, stayed behind with
their father. Though she was intent on becoming a veterinarian, Roberts was suddenly
interested in acting after landing her first stage role playing Elizabeth Dole in a mock
election campaign. Immediately following graduation, she moved to New York City to
pursue acting alongside her sister. After losing her thick Georgia accent with the help of a
speech coach, Roberts worked at an Athlete’s Foot and an ice cream parlor to make ends
meet, while she honed her craft in classes – which she quickly dropped – and looked for
acting work. She first gained notice starring in "Mystic Pizza" (1988), playing a recent
high school grad working with two friends at a Connecticut pizza parlor who is unsure
what she wants from life, even to the point of doubting her relationship with a law school
dropout. Roberts landed her big break in ―Steel Magnolias‖ when fellow actress Meg
Ryan backed out to star in her own breakthrough film, ―When Harry Met Sally…‖
(1989), though Roberts went through a tough audition process in order to land the part of
Shelby, the diabetic daughter of a woman dealing with both happiness and hardships with
her female friends in a small Louisiana town. Roberts earned an Oscar nomination for
Best Supporting Actress for her affecting performance as the doomed daughter.

Already a star on the rise, Roberts was catapulted into the stratosphere of stardom with
her next performance in Garry Marshall's charming and immensely successful rags-to-
riches saga, "Pretty Woman" (1990). Thanks to her winning performance – which earned
her a surprising Oscar nod for Best Actress – and box office triumph, Roberts became
one of Hollywood’s most popular and bankable stars overnight. At the peak of her early
fame, Roberts took an unexpected break from acting to get her highly publicized personal
life in order. Romances with costars Liam Neeson, Dylan McDermott – with whom she
was briefly engaged – and most notably Kiefer Sutherland – whom she left just days
before their wedding after discovering that he had been unfaithful. Adding to her laundry
list was a whirlwind romance with odd-looking singer Lyle Lovett that resulted in a bare-
footed marriage in 1993 only three weeks after meeting. But just two years later, the
couple separated and eventually divorced. Once her affairs were in order, Roberts made
her much ballyhooed return to the screen after two years, reasserting her commercial
magic opposite Denzel Washington in the political thriller, "The Pelican Brief" (1993).

In 1997, the actress reasserted her position as both America's sweetheart and a box-office
winner with her starring role in the hit comedy, "My Best Friend's Wedding." Cast as a
scheming restaurant critic who sets out to break up the wedding of the man she thinks she
loves, Roberts turned what could have become an unsympathetic character into an
audience favorite through the sheer force of her natural charm and vibrancy. She was
abetted by Rupert Everett's scene-stealing supporting turn as her gay editor and a subtle
script by Ron Bass that inverted many of the clichés of screwball comedy. In contrast,
Roberts' much-anticipated teaming with Mel Gibson in Richard Donner's "Conspiracy
Theory" (1997) proved to be somewhat disappointing, thanks to a muddled script. Ron
Bass was one of several writers who worked on the script of "Stepmom" (1998), a
comedy-drama that cast Roberts as the much younger girlfriend of a divorced man coping
with his two children and his saintly ex-wife. Most critics dismissed the film as
sentimental pap, but audiences lapped it up and made it a modest box-office success.

Roberts followed with a turn as a world-famous movie star who falls in love with a
bumbling British bookseller (Hugh Grant) in "Notting Hill" (1999), an uneven romantic
comedy that nevertheless did extremely well at the box office. The much ballyhooed
reunion with Richard Gere under Garry Marshall's guidance in "Runaway Bride" (1999)
brought out the crowds, but the film could in no way compete with the "Pretty Woman"
legacy that came before. Together these films earned over $300 million domestically,
justifying the actress' standing as the highest paid female actor. Just as critics thought she
was all charm and no real acting chops, Roberts took on the role of her life, essaying the
real-life legal secretary who assisted in turning a water poisoning case into one of the
largest class-action lawsuits in U.S. history, in "Erin Brockovich" (2000). In perhaps the
best performance of her career, Roberts was in top form, thanks in part to the direction of
Steven Soderbergh. Roberts earned just about every accolade in 2001, including an
Academy Award for Best Actress.

After such a heavy project, Roberts made a welcome return to comedy, playing the
frustrated girlfriend of a low-level, somewhat bumbling gangster (Brad Pitt) in the "The
Mexican" (2001). Although she and Pitt were not on screen together for very long, the
pair shared an easy chemistry, though she had better rapport with James Gandolfini as the
hit man who kidnaps her as insurance.

Thanks to her collaborations with Soderbergh, Roberts was the only female member of a
new Brat Pack crowd of actors that included Clooney, Pitt, Damon and Don Cheadle. She
joined Clooney for his directorial debut, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" (2002), the
life story of game show producer and host, Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell), who
supposedly led a double life as a CIA hit man. Roberts delivered a game performance as
a spy femme fatale who tries to ensnare Barris into a web of deceit. Roberts settled into
more standard fare with "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003), playing Katherine Watson, a liberal-
minded educator who takes a feminist position at Wellesley in the 1950s and quickly
comes under fire for teaching her female students to aspire to something other than
marriage and kids. While the film's premise and storyline – a female spin on the familiar
"Dead Poets' Society" model – was predictable, Roberts' delivered a mature and engaging
performance that in ways different from her previous efforts had audiences once again
rooting for her.

Just as Roberts began filming the anticipated sequel "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), the
actress, who was by then onto her second marriage to cameraman Danny Moder,
announced to the world that she was pregnant with twins. Perhaps due to the impending
birth, Roberts appeared to be having more fun than in the first "Oceans," gamely playing
off of her pregnancy and – in a harder-to-swallow plot spin – her character's uncanny
resemblance to movie star Julia Roberts. Just prior to the release of that film, Roberts
made international headlines when she gave birth to a boy and a girl, Phinnaeus and
Hazel, in November 2004.
ELLEN DEGENERES
Ellen DeGeneres attracted massive media attention when she came out as a lesbian on her
television show in 1997. Known as "the puppy episode," the program stirred controversy
and drew criticism from conservative sectors. DeGeneres and her partner, actress Anne
Heche, came out at the same time, DeGeneres appearing on the covers of national
magazines. The caption accompanying her photograph on the cover of Time read, "Yep,
I'm Gay Her place in history as TV's first gay lead character was thus secured.

Born in New Orleans in 1958, DeGeneres' sometimes difficult life inspired her to use
humor as a coping device. After her parents' divorce when she was 13, she and her
mother, Betty, moved to Texas. It was a hard time, and DeGeneres used humor to buoy
her mother's spirits. "My mother was going through some really hard times and I could
see when she was really getting down, and I would start to make fun of her dancing,"
DeGeneres has said. "Then she'd start to laugh and I'd make fun of her laughing. And
she'd laugh so hard she'd start to cry, and then I'd make fun of that. So I would totally
bring her from where I'd seen her start going into depression to all the way out of it."

After graduating from high school in 1976, DeGeneres moved back to New Orleans
where she worked a series of dead-end jobs: house painter, secretary, oyster shucker,
sales clerk, waitress, bartender, and vacuum salesperson. At the encouragement of
friends, she tried out her comedy on an amateur-hour audience, in 1981. Her act went
over well, and her niche had been found. Only a year later, she entered and won
Showtime's "Funniest Person in America" contest. The title, which brought both criticism
and high expectations, was her springboard to stardom.

One of her better-known stand-up routines, "A Phone Call to God," came from one of her
own darkest moments of despair, when a close friend and roommate had been killed in a
car accident while out on a date. The girl was only 23, and it seemed very unfair to
DeGeneres. She wanted to question God about a lot of things that seemed unnecessary,
and again she turned to humor. She sat down one night and considered what it would be
like if she could call God on the phone and ask him about some of the things that troubled
her. As if it was meant to be, the monologue poured from her pen to paper, and it was
funny, focusing on topics such as fleas and what their purpose might be. DeGeneres
performed "A Phone Call to God" on the Johnny Carson show six years later. Everything
clicked that night, and Carson signaled her over to sit on the couch after her performance.
She was the only female comedian Carson ever called to come over and talk to him on a
first appearance on the Tonight Show.

DeGeneres continued on the comedy circuit and started acting; one memorable
performance was with dancing fruit in Very Fine juice commercials. She eventually
landed small roles in several short-lived television series: Duet, Open House, and Laurie
Hill. Her feature acting debut was in the 1993 movie Coneheads. By 1994 she was
starring in a series called These Friends of Mine on ABC. The first season was aided by a
prime slot, following Tim Allen's Home Improvement. The network had such confidence
in her that they announced that she would be the ABC spokesperson for radio ads and on-
air promos, allowing her to introduce the debut of every show in the fall lineup. She also
co-hosted the 1994 Emmy Awards ceremony.

Despite DeGeneres' fervent backing by ABC, the show had a number of problems, not
the least of which were critical comparisons to Seinfeld, and a number of personnel
changes on both sides of the camera. The show's name was changed to Ellen for its
second season, its concept was changed, and Ellen was given more creative input.

By the third season, Ellen had failed to find an audience, however, and the show needed a
boost. DeGeneres and her producers decided to announce the character's homosexuality
to give the show a new edge--and to tell the truth. As DeGeneres told Time: "I never
wanted to be the lesbian actress. I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay
community. Ever. I did it for my own truth." After months of hinting around on the show,
Ellen came out in an hour-long episode featuring guest stars Laura Dern, Melissa
Etheridge, k.d. lang, Demi Moore, Billy Bob Thornton, and Oprah Winfrey. The result
was a clamor among conservatives and the religious right; evangelist Jerry Falwell called
DeGeneres a "degenerate." The show won an Emmy for best writing in a comedy series,
and a Peabody award for the episode. Entertainment Weekly named DeGeneres the
Entertainer of the Year in 1997. In 1998, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against
Defamation (GLAAD) awarded DeGeneres the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for being an
openly gay celebrity who has battled homophobia. The series itself was given the award
for Outstanding TV Comedy. The show was even praised by vice president Al Gore for
forcing Americans "to look at sexual orientation in a more open light."

In the following season the show continued to focus mainly on gay issues, despite
declining ratings, and ABC decided not to renew the show for a sixth season. Critics
noted that the show had become one-dimensional, with Ellen's homosexuality
overshadowing all other topics. As the show declined, however, DeGeneres began
branching out, writing a book, My Point ... And I Do Have One, in 1996 and releasing an
album collection of stand-up material called Taste This. She also had her first leading
role in a film, a romantic comedy with actor Bill Pullman called Mr. Wrong. Meanwhile,
her series was picked up in syndication by the Lifetime channel in 1998. Is now in
syndication today on the Oxygen channel. (2006)

DeGeneres returned to series TV in 2001 with a new CBS sitcom, The Ellen Show.
Though her character was again a lesbian, it was not the central theme of the show. It
received critical praise but low viewership and was cancelled after one season. Although
her second sitcom was not a success, Ellen did receive wide exposure on November 4,
2001, when she served as hostess of the Emmy Awards-TV show. Presented following
two cancellations due to fears that a showy ceremony would appear insensitive following
the September 11, 2001 attacks, the show required a newer, more somber tone that at the
same time allowed viewers to temporarily forget the tragedy. DeGeneres delivered this,
receiving several standing ovations for her performance that evening. She memorably
delivered the following line: "We're told to go on living our lives as usual, because to do
otherwise is to let the terrorists win, and really, what would upset the Taliban more than a
gay woman wearing a suit in front of a room full of Jews?"
DeGeneres lent her voice to the role of "Dory," a fish with short-term memory loss, in the
summer 2003 hit animated Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo. Finding Nemo was a box
office hit, it had the biggest opening weekend of any animated film upon it's release on
May 30rd, 2003. Pulling in over 330 million dollars total at the box office. It also
Claimed the all-time first day USA record for home-release sales with 8 million copies
sold (80% of which were on DVD). As of January 2005, it is the bestselling DVD of all
time in the world with 22 million copies sold. The movie returned DeGeneres to the
limelight, with critics giving her rave reviews. 2003 was a busy year for Ellen, she also
narrated one of the highly successful VH1 Divas shows and wrote another book The
Funny Thing Is.

In September of 2003, DeGeneres launched a daytime television talk show, The Ellen
DeGeneres Show. Amid a crop of several talk shows surfacing in 2003 and hosted by
high-profile celebrities (including Sharon Osbourne and Rita Rudner), DeGeneres' show
has consistently risen in the Nielsen Ratings and received widespread critical praise.
DeGeneres' show was nominated for eleven Daytime Emmy Awards in its freshman
season, winning four, including Best Talk Show. The show has won 15 Emmy Awards in
its first three seasons on the air. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is the first talk show in
television history to win the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show for its first three seasons
on the air. Ellen is known for her dancing with the audience in the beginning of the show.

In August 2005, Ellen was selected once again as host of the 2005 Primetime Emmy
Awards ceremony, which was held on September 18, 2005. (The awards show came three
weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, making it the second time Ellen
hosted the Emmys following a national tragedy. Because Ellen is from New Orleans, the
tragedy literally hit close to home) When she announced that she'd be again hosting the
Emmys, she joked, "You know me, any excuse to put on a dress." She also hosted the
Grammy Awards in 1996 and in 1997.

DeGeneres' relationship with former Another World actress Anne Heche turned into
material for the tabloid press. After several years in the spotlight, Heche broke up with
DeGeneres and went on to marry male cameraman Coley Laffoon. DeGeneres then had a
relationship with Actress/Director/Photographer Alexandra Hedison. They appeared on
the cover of The Advocate magazine (ironically, after their split up had already been
announced to the press). DeGeneres is now in a relationship with Arrested Development
and former Ally McBeal star Portia de Rossi, which began in December 2004, they
bought a 120 acre ranch together. In August 2008, Portia and Ellen married in Los
Angeles.
MARISKA HARGITAY
Mariska Magdolina Hargitay (born January 23, 1964) is an American actress. She is the
daughter of the late actor and professional bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and late actress
Jayne Mansfield. After winning the Miss Beverly Hills 1982 beauty pageant, she went on
to study theater at the University of California and started acting at the age 20 with her
film debut in the 1985 horror-comedy film Ghoulies. She made her first major television
debut in season seven and eight of the soap opera Falcon Crest (1987) and appeared
mostly in television shows throughout the late 1980's and most of the 90's, in small roles
and guest appearances.

In 1999 she was cast as Olivia Benson, a New York City detective who investigates sex
crimes on the NBC television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a role that has
earned her multiple award nominations and an Emmy and Golden Globe since the shows'
debut. She met her future husband Peter Hermann, who played Defense Attorney Trevor
Langan on SVU. They were married in 2004, the same year she established an
organization that provides support to women who have been sexually abused called the
Joyful Heart Foundation and also volunteers as a rape crisis counselor.

Early life and education
Hargitay was born at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, the daughter of
Jayne Mansfield, an actress and 1950s-era sex symbol, and Hungarian-born former Mr.
Universe Mickey Hargitay. Her first and middle names are Hungarian and refer to Mary
Magdalene (Mariska is a diminutive of Maria). Her family name means "of Hargita".
Hargitay has two half-sisters, Jayne Marie Mansfield and Tina Hargitay; two brothers,
Miklós and Zoltán Hargitay; and a half-brother, Antonio Ottaviano (a.k.a. Tony Cimber),
a former director whose works include the female wrestling show Gorgeous Ladies of
Wrestling.

Hargitay's parents had divorced in May 1963, but a judge later found their Mexican
divorce invalid. They had reconciled a few months before Mariska's birth in January
1964 but soon separated again; and in August 1964, the Mexican divorce was ruled legal.
A few weeks later, Mansfield married the director Matt Cimber, who had directed her in
a 1964 production of the William Inge play Bus Stop.

On June 29, 1967, Jayne Mansfield was killed in an automobile accident on a stretch of
U.S. Highway 90 between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. Her boyfriend, Sam
Brody, and the driver were also killed. Asleep in the back of the vehicle, Mariska, then
three-and-a-half years old, was left with a zig-zag scar on one side of her head. Her
brothers, Miklós and Zoltán were also in the car, but escaped with minor injuries. After
the death of their mother, the three siblings were raised by their father and his third wife,
Ellen Siano.

Hargitay was active in the theater program of her secondary school Marymount High
School, and she attended UCLA School of Theater Film and Television (where she was a
member of Kappa Kappa Gamma), until she left before graduating when she began her
acting career.
In 1982, Hargitay was crowned Miss Beverly Hills USA, and was fourth runner up at the
Miss California USA Pageant in Oxnard. Within a few years she had landed recurring
roles in the television series Downtown and Falcon Crest, in which she played the
character Carly Fixx. She portrayed police officer Angela Garcia in the 1992 series
Tequila & Bonetti, and appeared in an episode of the fourth season of Seinfeld. Two
years later, Hargitay portrayed Didi Edelstein, the sexy next-door neighbor, in the 1995
sitcom Can't Hurry Love, which starred Nancy McKeon. In 1997, Hargitay played
detective Nina Echeverria on the drama series Prince Street, and had a recurring role as
Cynthia Hooper during the fourth season of ER.

Hargitay has appeared on numerous other television programs, including: Freddy's
Nightmares, Ellen, All American Girl, Baywatch, Cracker, Gabriel's Fire, In the Heat of
the Night, JoJo's Circus, The Single Guy, Wiseguy, and thirtysomething. Her voice is
featured on the 2005 video game True Crime: New York City. Hargitay also had a minor
role ("Hooker in Bar") in the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas, and briefly replaced
Gabrielle Fitzpatrick in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, although the
footage was deemed unusable.

Since 1999, Hargitay has portrayed Det. Olivia Benson, the female lead in Law & Order:
Special Victims Unit. "As a woman, it’s gratifying to play such a multilayered part," she
stated on her official website. "Olivia is not only a competent, street-smart cop, she’s also
an empathetic woman who can respond emotionally to victims of terrible crimes without
compromising her professionalism." As a result of her casting, Hargitay was
acknowledged as the "highest paid TV actress" working today in the Guinness Book of
World Records 2008 Edition.


Hargitay is a polyglot and speaks Hungarian, French, Spanish and Italian as well as
English. On August 28, 2004, in Santa Barbara, California, she married Peter Hermann,
an actor and writer who has often appeared on SVU as Defense Attorney Trevor Langan.
During the last months of her pregnancy, she took maternity leave from SVU, and was
temporarily replaced by Connie Nielsen. On June 28, 2006, Hargitay gave birth to her
son August Miklos Friedrich Hermann, by an emergency caesarean section. She appeared
in the January 2007 issue of Self magazine she stated that the 15-hour work days on the
set of SVU, combined with the stress of an increase in episodes filmed each week caused
her to resort to food for comfort and by her third trimester, she gained 54 pounds and
contracted gestational diabetes. She cited in the interview, "I was overwhelmed by my
lack of energy. All I could do to survive was to eat". That same month she and August
appeared in a Got Milk? ad.

Upon winning her Emmy on August 27, 2006, Hargitay made a point of thanking her
father for everything he had done for her in her life. Just 17 days later, on September 14,
2006, her father died from multiple myeloma in Los Angeles, California, at age 80. In
late December 2008, she suffered a partially collapsed lung after taking a fall during a
stunt on the set of SVU. She underwent surgery in January and returned to work shortly
after. On March 3, 2009, Hargitay was hospitalized after suffering chest pains related to
the injury. It was disclosed that she would probably need more surgery. Despite this, she
missed only one episode of season 10 of SVU. She has begun working on the 11th
season of SVU, which premiered on Wednesday, September 23, 2009.


Hargitay is founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization that
was set up in 2004 to provide support to women who have been sexually assaulted.
Hargitay has also worked with the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention
program, Santa Monica Rape Crisis Treatment Center where she is a certified rape crisis
counselor. She also appeared in the 17th season of NBC's ―The More You Know‖ public
service announcement in 2006, and again in Spring 2009. She is an honorary board
member director of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
 CAROL BURNETT
Carol Creighton Burnett is an American actress, comedian, singer, dancer and writer.
Burnett started her career in New York. After becoming a hit on Broadway, she debuted
on television. After successful appearances on The Garry Moore Show, Carol moved to
Los Angeles and began an eleven-year run on the The Carol Burnett Show which was
aired on CBS television from 1967 to 1978. With roots in vaudeville, The Carol Burnett
Show was a variety show combining comedy sketches, song, and dance. The comedy
sketches ranged from movie parodies to character pieces which featured the many talents
of Burnett herself who created and played several well-known and distinctive characters.

Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Ina Louise (née Creighton), a
publicity writer for movie studios, and Joseph Thomas Burnett, a movie theatre manager.
Both of her parents, particularly her father, suffered from alcoholism, and at a young age
she was left with her grandmother, Mabel Eudoria White. Her parents divorced in the late
1930s, and Burnett and her grandmother moved to an apartment near her mother’s in an
impoverished area of Hollywood, California. There, they stayed in a boarding house with
her younger half-sister Chrissy.

When Burnett was in the fourth grade she created for a short time an imaginary twin
sister named Karen, with Shirley Temple-like dimples. Motivated to further the pretense
Burnett recalled fondly that she "fooled the other boarders in the rooming house where
we lived by frantically switching clothes and dashing in and out of the house by the fire
escape and the front door. Then I became exhausted and Karen mysteriously vanished."

After graduating from Hollywood High School in 1951, Burnett won a scholarship to the
University of California, Los Angeles where she initially planned on studying journalism.
During her first year of college, Burnett switched her focus to theater arts and English,
with the purpose of becoming a playwright. During this time, Burnett performed in
several university productions, garnering recognition for her comedic and musical
abilities. In 1954, during her junior year, Burnett and her boyfriend, Don Saroyan, left
college and moved to New York in order to pursue acting careers. Burnett and Saroyan
got their money to get to New York from a man who approved of their dreams whom
they met at a cocktail party. The man gave each of them a check for one thousand dollars.
That same year, Burnett's father died of causes related to alcoholism.

Burnett's mother disapproved of her acting desires: "She wanted me to be a writer. She
said you can always write, no matter what you look like. When I was growing up she told
me to be a little lady, and a couple of times I got a whack for crossing my eyes or making
funny faces. Of course, she never, I never, dreamed I would ever perform."

Burnett's first true taste of success came with her appearance on Broadway in the 1959
musical Once Upon a Mattress. In the same year, she became a regular player on The
Garry Moore Show, which she would continue until 1962. She won an Emmy that year
for her "Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series" on the
show. Burnett portrayed a number of characters, most memorably the put-upon cleaning
woman who would later become her signature alter-ego. With her success on the Moore
show, Burnett finally rose to headliner status and appeared in the 1962 special Julie and
Carol at Carnegie Hall, co-starring her friend Julie Andrews. The show was produced by
Bob Banner, directed by Joe Hamilton, and written by Mike Nichols and Ken Welch.
Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall won an Emmy for Outstanding Musical. Burnett also
guest-starred on a number of shows during this time including the Twilight Zone, and a
recurring role as a tough female Marine in Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.. Burnett became good
friends with the latter show's star Jim Nabors, who would later be her first guest every
season on her variety show.


The hour-long Carol Burnett Show, which debuted in 1967, garnered 23 Emmy Awards
and won or was nominated for multiple Emmy Awards every season it was on the air. Its
ensemble cast included Tim Conway (who was a guest player until the 9th season).
Harvey Korman, Lyle Waggoner, and the teenaged Vicki Lawrence (who was cast partly
because she looked like a young Burnett). The network did not want her to do a variety
show because they believed only men could be successful at variety but Burnett's contract
required that they give her one season of whatever kind of show she wanted to make. She
chose to carry on the tradition of past variety show successes and the rest is history.

Burnett became known for her acting and talent, and for ending each show by tugging her
ear, which was a message to the grandmother who had raised her to let her know that she
was doing well and that she loved her.

A true variety show in its simplest of forms, The Carol Burnett Show struck a chord with
viewers through parodies of films ("Went With the Wind"), television ("As the Stomach
Turns") and commercials. Burnett and team struck gold with the original skit "Mama's
Family" which eventually spun off into its own television show starring Lawrence.

The Carol Burnett Show ceased production in 1978, and is generally regarded as the last
successful major network variety show, to date. It continues to have success in syndicated
reruns. She was open to her fans, never refusing to give an autograph and had limited
patience for "Those who've made it, then complain about loss of privacy."

Burnett starred in a few films while her variety show was running, including Pete 'n'
Tillie (1972). After the show ended, Burnett assumed a number of roles that departed
from comedy. She appeared in several dramatic roles, most notably in the television
movie Friendly Fire. She appeared as Beatrice O'Reilly in the film Life of The Party: The
Story of Beatrice, a story about a woman fighting her alcoholism. Her other film work
includes The Four Seasons, Annie, Noises Off, and her newest movie "Horton Hears a
Who"

Burnett also made occasional returns to the stage: in 1974, she appeared at The Muny
Theater in St. Louis, Missouri in I Do! I Do! with Rock Hudson and eleven years later,
she took the supporting role of Carlotta Campion in the 1985 concert performance of
Stephen Sondheim's Follies.
In the 1980s and 1990s, she made several attempts at starting a new variety program. She
also appeared briefly on The Carol Burnett Show's The Family sketches spinoff, Mama's
Family, as her stormy character, Eunice Higgins. She also played the matriarch in the cult
comedy miniseries Fresno, which parodied the night-time soap opera Falcon Crest, co-
starring with Dabney Coleman, Charles Grodin, Teri Garr and Gregory Harrison.

The first house Burnett lived in was the Beverly Hills house formerly owned by Harry
James and Betty Grable. Growing up in rented rooms, a home was "a luxury" as "A
Murphy bed was [her] idea of spacious."

She married Don Saroyan on December 15, 1955; the couple divorced in 1962. On May
4, 1963, Burnett married TV producer Joe Hamilton, a divorced father of eight, with
whom she had three daughters: actress and writer Carrie Hamilton, Jody Hamilton, and
singer Erin Hamilton. The marriage ended in divorce in 1984, and Joe Hamilton later
died of cancer. On November 24, 2001, she married Brian Miller (principal drummer in
and contractor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra), who is twenty-three years her junior.

In January 2002, her daughter Carrie Hamilton died of lung and brain cancer at the age of
38. Carrie Hamilton had become addicted to drugs as a teenager, but overcame the
addictions with the help of her husband. Burnett and Carrie wrote a play together called
Hollywood Arms, which was adapted from Burnett's bestselling memoir, One More
Time. The Broadway production featured Linda Lavin as Burnett's character's beloved
grandmother.
PAUL NEWMAN
Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio. With more
than five decades’ worth of great performances to his credit, Paul Newman was one of
Hollywood’s most talented and beloved actors. He was not only an actor, but a
humanitarian, donating 100% of the profits from the food company he founded to
numerous charities. Newman grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with his older brother
Arthur and his parents, Arthur and Teresa. His father owned a sporting-goods store and
his mother was a homemaker who loved the theatre. Newman got his first taste of acting
while doing school plays, but it was not his first love at the time. In high school, he
played football and hoped to be a professional athlete. Graduating high school in 1943,
Newman briefly attended college before enlisting in the U.S. Navy Air Corps. He wanted
to be a pilot, but he was told that he could never fly a plane as he was colorblind. He
ended up serving as a radio operator and spent part of World War II serving in the
Pacific.

After leaving the military in 1946, Paul Newman attended Kenyon College in his home
state of Ohio. He was on an athletic scholarship and played on the school’s football team.
But after getting into some trouble, Newman changed course. ―I got thrown in jail and
kicked off the football team. Since I was determined not to study very much, I majored in
theater the last two years,‖ he told Interview magazine in 1998. After finishing college in
1949, Paul Newman did summer stock in Wisconsin where he met his first wife, actress
Jacqueline Witte. The couple soon married, and Newman continued to act until his
father’s death in 1950. He and his wife moved to Ohio to run the family business for a
time. Their first child, a son named Scott, was born there. After asking his brother to take
over the business, Newman and his family relocated to Connecticut where he studied at
the Yale School of Drama.

Newman made his Broadway debut in William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy
Picnic in 1953. During rehearsals he met actress Joanne Woodward, who was serving as
an understudy for the production. While they were reportedly attracted to each other, the
happily-married Newman did not pursue a romantic relationship with the young actress.
Around this time, Newman and his wife welcomed their second child together, a daughter
named Susan. Picnic ran for 14 months, helping Newman support his growing family. He
also found work on the then-emerging medium of television.

In 1954, Paul Newman made his film debut in The Silver Chalice for which he received
terrible reviews. He had better success on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning The
Desperate Hours (1955), in which he played an escaped convict who terrorizes a
suburban family. During the run of the hit play, he and his wife added a third child (a
daughter named Stephanie) to their family.

In 1956, Paul Newman starred as Brick in the film version of Tennessee Williams' play
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) opposite Elizabeth Taylor. He gave another strong
performance as a hard-drinking former athlete and disinterested husband who struggles
against different types of pressures exerted on him by his wife (Taylor) and his
overpowering father (Burl Ives). Once dismissed as just another handsome face, Newman
showed that he could handle the challenges of such a complex character. He was
nominated for his first Academy Award (Best Actor) for this role. During this year, he
also remarried to actress Joanne Woodward.

Newman continued to thrive professionally. He starred in Otto Preminger’s Exodus
(1960) about the founding of the state of Israel. The following year, he took on one of his
most famous roles. In The Hustler (1961), Newman played Fast Eddie, a slick, small-time
pool shark who takes on the legendary Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). For his work on
the film, Paul Newman received his second Academy Award nomination.

Taking on another remarkable part, Newman played the title character—an arrogant,
unprincipled cowboy—in Hud (1963). The movie posters for the film described the
character as ―the man with the barbed wire soul,‖ and Newman earned critical acclaim
and another Academy Award nomination for his work as yet another on-screen antihero.
In Cool Hand Luke (1967), Newman played a rebellious inmate at a southern prison. His
convincing and charming portrayal led audiences to cheer on this convict in his battle
against prison authorities. No matter how hard they leaned on Luke, he refused to bend to
their will. This thoroughly enjoyable and realistic performance led to Paul Newman’s
fourth Academy Award nomination.

A lesser-known film from this time helped trigger a new passion for the actor. While
working on the car racing film, Winning (1969), Newman went to a professional driving
program as part of his preparation for the role. He discovered that he loved racing and
started to devote some of his time to the sport. That same year, Newman starred
alongside Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). He played
Butch to Redford’s Sundance, and the pairing was a huge success with
audiences,bringing in more than $46 million domestically. Recapturing their on-screen
camaraderie, Newman and Redford played suave con men in The Sting (1973), another
hit at the box office.

 Around this time, Paul Newman scored his first racing victory at a Connecticut track in
1972. He went on to win a national Sports Car Club of America title four years later. In
1977, Newman made the leap and became a professional racer. Newman’s life was
rocked by a personal tragedy around this time. In 1978, his only son Scott died of an
accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs. Newman established the Scott
Newman Center, which seeks to stop drug abuse through educational programs.

Shifting some of his energy away from acting, Newman started his own food company in
the early 1980s. He was making bottles of salad dressing to give them out as gifts for
Christmas one year with his friend, writer A. E. Hotchner. Newman then had an unusual
idea as to what to do with the leftovers—he wanted to try selling dressing to stores. The
two went on to found Newman's Own, whose profits and royalties are used for
educational and charitable purposes. The company’s product line now extends from
dressings to sauces to snacks to cookies. Since Newman’s Own inception, over $250
million has been donated to thousands of charities worldwide.
A few years later, Paul Newman established the Hole in the Wall Camps to give children
with life-threatening illnesses a memorable, free holiday. In 1988, the first residential
summer camp was opened in Ashford, Connecticut. There are now eight camps in the
United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. Some of the funds raised by
Newman’s Own have gone to support the Hole in the Wall Camps.

In addition to his charitable efforts, Newman continued to perform. He returned to the
character of Fast Eddie from The Hustler in 1986’s The Color of Money. This time
around, his character was no longer the up-and-coming hustler, but a worn-out liquor
salesman. He is drawn back in the world of pool by mentoring a young upstart (Tom
Cruise). For his work on the film, Paul Newman finally won the Academy Award for
Best Actor.

In his later years, Paul Newman took fewer acting roles, but was still able to deliver
impressive performances. He earned an Emmy Award for his nuanced depiction of a lay-
about father in the television miniseries Empire Falls (2005), which was adapted from the
Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo novel. The miniseries also provided him the
opportunity to work with his wife Joanne Woodward.

 Known for his love of race cars, he lent his distinctive voice to the 2006 animated film
Cars, playing the part of Doc Hudson—a retired racecar. He also served as the narrator
for the 2007 documentary The Price of Sugar, which explored the work of Father
Christopher Hartley and his efforts to help the workers in Dominican Republic’s sugar
cane fields.

A private man, Newman chose to keep the true nature of his illness to himself. He
succumbed to cancer at his Westport, Connecticut home on September 26, 2008. This is
where he and his wife had lived for numerous years to get away from the spotlight and
where they chose to raise their three daughters, Nell, Melissa, and Clea. Paul Newman
will be long remembered for his great films, his vibrant lifestyle and his extensive
charitable works. And his relationship with Joanne Woodward will always be regarded as
one of the most successful and enduring love stories in Hollywood history.
MERYL STREEP
Meryl Streep began her acting career with a level of worship typically reserved for
seasoned veterans. From her early work in ―The Deer Hunter‖ (1978) and ―Kramer vs.
Kramer‖ (1979), it quickly became apparent to the sharpest of critics – even the most
casual of moviegoers – that the chameleon-like Streep was an unparalleled master of
character, accents and genres. The benchmark was set for every working actress with
Streep’s work as a Polish Nazi camp survivor, damaged by the unthinkable decision she
was once forced to make in her Oscar-winning performance in ―Sophie’s Choice‖ (1982).
Through ―Silkwood‖ (1983), ―Out of Africa‖ (1985) and ―A Cry in the Dark‖ (1988)
Streep continued to set a standard few could hope to achieve – primarily with her mastery
of accents, including Polish, Danish and Australian, among others. After he peak in the
early 1980s, the multi-Oscar winner spent the subsequent decades maintaining her
brilliance, showcasing yet another of her talents – singing – in ―Postcards from the Edge‖
(1990), capturing the aching desire of an aging woman in ―The Bridges of Madison
County‖ (1995) and proving she could draw laughter as well as tears in ―The Devil
Wears Prada (2006). Simply put, Streep could do it all, and generations of actresses
coming up behind her, often cited her work as the reason they pursued the craft of acting
in the first place.

Mary Louise Streep was born on June 22, 1949 in Summit, NJ and raised in
Bernardsville, the oldest sibling ahead of two older brothers, Harry and Dana. Her mother
was a commercial artist; her father, an executive at a pharmaceutical company. Streep
was extremely serious about music as a child, taking opera singing lessons from
renowned coach, Estelle Liebling. By high school, shedding her braces and a dark-haired,
bespectacled appearance, she willed herself into a dynamic, blonde-haired social
butterfly, cheerleading and swimming on the Bernards High School squads and
ultimately becoming its homecoming queen. Her mother devised the shortened version of
her name, and ―Meryl‖ was christened. Streep also took acting classes in school, which
became the dominant interest, leading her to Vassar College and an exchange program
for one semester of playwriting and set design at Dartmouth. After earning her acting
degree at Vassar in 1971, she headed to the prestigious Yale School of Drama, where her
classmates and friends included actress Sigourney Weaver and playwright Wendy
Wasserstein. Streep performed in over 40 plays, including ―The Father‖ with Rip Torn,
before obtaining her master’s degree in 1975.

After Tony and Emmy wins and just shy of her 30th birthday, Streep solidified her early
reign over stage and screen with a supporting actress Oscar nomination for the five-time
Oscar-winning ―Deer Hunter.‖ Streep’s nod came on the heels of a small, but pivotal role
opposite Woody Allen in his sweetly comical ―Manhattan‖ (1979), with her character Jill,
as Allen’s former wife, now living with a woman and writing a tell-all book about their
love life. Heading into a new chapter of career and life, she was cultivating an audience
of fans eager to watch the rising young star’s increasingly staggering command of craft.
She wrapped up the decade with Robert Benton’s adaptation of ―Kramer vs. Kramer‖
(1979). Streep won raves opposite Dustin Hoffman, as Joanna Kramer, an unhappy
woman who leaves her husband and son, only to return to claim the child in a messy
divorce case. Streep’s real life was quite the opposite, as she and Gummer blissfully
welcomed a son, Henry, into the fold, with the couple vacating New York to raise their
family in northern Connecticut.

At turns sympathetic and icy, Streep’s role in ―Kramer‖ won her an Academy Award in
1980, and the film made winners out of Hoffman, Benton and a nominee out of eight-
year-old Justin Henry. Her reputation for immersing herself in character and accents
served her well as she donned an impeccable English accent to play both a modern
actress and a destitute Victorian woman engaged in parallel love affairs in the Harold
Pinter-adapted movie-in-a-movie, ―The French Lieutenant’s Woman‖ (1981), bringing
her back for a third Oscar nomination. Then came the part by which all others would be
measured. Easing flawlessly into a Polish accent with ―Sophie’s Choice‖ (1982), Streep
played Sophie Zawistowski, a Brooklyn-based concentration camp survivor living with
her schizophrenic lover whose past, as told to their neighbor, reveals her torment from an
unthinkable, life-changing decision. Streep’s seamless technique made for one of
cinema’s finest and most heartbreaking performances, garnering her a well-earned second
Oscar in 1983, a prize rivaled only by that year’s birth of her first daughter, Mary Willa.

She continued to seek out characters with dramatic urgency, and Streep’s instincts proved
to be rock solid, as evidenced in ―Silkwood‖ (1983), an account of the doomed, feisty
real-life factory whistleblower Karen Silkwood, which netted her another Oscar
nomination. Streep lightened things up with the sentimental drama ―Falling in Love‖
(1984), re-teaming with Robert De Niro in a tale of attraction between two modern-day
married people, before returning to her trademark sweeping films with Sydney Pollack’s
―Out of Africa‖ (1985). In the grand epic, she gave yet another Oscar-nominated turn as
Karen Blixen, a Danish plantation owner embarking on a love affair with a hunter, Denys
Finch Hatton (Robert Redford), amidst an unhappy politically-motivated marriage.
Following ―Africa,‖ Streep and Gummer took time out to add to their family with a
second daughter, Grace.

Expertly donning an Australian accent, she also went on to add yet another nomination to
her impressive count with that year’s ―A Cry in the Dark‖ (1988), which focused on the
country’s infamous Lindy Chamberlain case. In the film, the black-wigged Streep played
the pariah Chamberlain, who was accused of coldly murdering her baby despite her
insistence that it was eaten by a dingo during a camping trip. Amazingly, ―Silkwood,‖
―Out of Africa,‖ ―Ironweed‖ and ―A Cry in the Dark‖ brought her an astounding four
Oscar nominations in only five years, for a total of eight. Whatever the roles required –
coldness or passion – and in whichever time or place they required her to be, Streep
seemed capable of always finding the center. Still, when it came to comedy, despite
inching closer, the weight of her dramatic work was often a liability toward her entry into
other genres she was eager to tackle. In the critical hit, ―Postcards from the Edge‖ (1990),
Streep’s actress and recovering addict Suzanne Vale tries to rebuild a bridge to the world
by moving in with her alcoholic former actress mother, deftly portrayed by Shirley
MacLaine, who managed to steal the scenes from her younger co-star, except when
Streep was called on to sing. Not only did she have peerless acting ability, it turned out
that had she also possessed surprisingly good pipes, bringing down the house with the
film’s finale number, ―I’m Checking Out.‖
By the time another Oscar nomination came around for ―Postcards,‖ an almost-glowing
Streep had found her comic groove, signing on to help veteran comic filmmaker Albert
Brooks find love in the white-robed hereafter with the charming fantasy ―Defending Your
Life‖ (1991). She and Gummer had recently relocated to Brentwood, CA for her work,
where Streep gave birth to one more daughter, Louisa.

In 1995, Streep was back in Connecticut and returned to the hallmark dramas of her early
days, appearing with Clint Eastwood in his adaptation of the popular Robert Waller novel
―The Bridges of Madison County‖ (1995), a flashback story of a daydreaming, Iowa-
based Italian-born housewife, Francesca, and her brief, passionate love affair with the
photographer sent to take pictures of her town’s famed bridges. Eastwood and Streep
displayed a palpable chemistry, with the director/actor putting Streep’s Academy Award-
nominated role center stage.

Approaching 50 years of age, Streep still had a luminosity that shined through even as
she took on the role of the sick patient herself, the cancer-stricken matriarch Kate Gulden
of ―One True Thing‖ (1998), based on Anna Quindlen’s book. The film gave Streep her
eleventh Oscar nomination in 1999. Before the end of that year, she was back on screens
in ―Music of the Heart‖ (1999), earning her twelfth Oscar nomination.

Streep sense of play as an ensemble player was further displayed in Robert Altman’s
meditative swan song, ―A Prairie Home Companion‖ (2006), a funny and somber account
of the fictitious last show of Garrison Keillor’s long-running radio program. As Yolanda,
one of the country-flavored Johnson Sisters along with co-star Lily Tomlin, Streep acted
and served up her robust singing voice yet again. At the same time, Yolanda was as warm
as Miranda Priestly – the Anna Wintouresque career-driven fashion editor of ―The Devil
Wears Prada‖ (2006) – was cold. Her record-high 14th Oscar nomination showed Streep
could even be good by being bad. With a Golden Globe Award for the role as well, she
now laid claim to a record six Globe wins. In 2007, Streep also celebrated her first
onscreen teaming with her oldest daughter, ―Mamie‖ Gummer in ―Evening,‖ with
Gummer subbing for a young Streep as the 1950s Rhode Island bride Lila Wittenborn of
Susan Minot’s adapted novel. Through 2008 and beyond, she had lined up a long list of
projects, ones that would see her slide from period pieces to political thrillers to a musical
based on the music of ABBA – ―Mamma Mia!‖ (2008) –even going from an imprisoned
criminal to becoming the President of the United States, a dizzying array of roles which,
in her hands, seemed completely plausible.
CLINT EASTWOOD
A tall, soft-spoken and leathery leading man who, since the 1960s, has diversified into
directing and producing after achieving iconic status, Clint Eastwood arose from the
world of television westerns to become the number-one box-office star in the world, and
subsequently earned critical acclaim as a director. His production company, Malpaso, has
crafted moderate-budget features that range from mainstream fare to personal and
ambitious endeavors. Eastwood is not entirely part of the Hollywood establishment—his
business is run out of Carmel, California, on the Monterey Peninsula, where he has also
served as mayor and ran a restaurant.

Eastwood grew up in Depression-era California, where his parents were itinerant
workers. After high school, he worked as a lumberjack in Oregon, played honky-tonk
piano and was a swimming instructor in the US Army. On the GI Bill, he studied at Los
Angeles City College, after which he was signed by Universal. One of his first
experiences with the indignity actors must suffer was in a "Francis the Talking Mule"
movie, "Francis in the Navy" (1955). Also that year, Eastwood made a brief appearance
as a Lab Technician in ―Revenge of the Creature‖, the sequel to ―Creature From the
Black Lagoon‖ (1954). The movie was later lampooned on the popular cult television
show, ―Mystery Science Theater 3000‖ (1989-2000)—Eastwood did not escape the barbs
hurled by Mike and the bots. Many B-movies later, he moved to New York and gained
recognition as trail boss Rowdy Yates in the successful television series "Rawhide"
(1959-66)—a role he got despite trouble remembering lines in his screen test.

A strong sensibility and understanding of the characters he played helped Eastwood
develop the minimalist acting style for which he’s famous. It was first appreciated in
Europe where he starred in a trilogy of popular spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio
Leone in Spain. As the laconic and lethal Man With No Name, Eastwood embodied
archetypal violent American whose philosophy in "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964) was
"everybody gets rich or dead." The sequels, "For a Few Dollars More" (1965) and "The
Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" (1966), became classic revisionist Westerns and made
Eastwood an international star. He returned stateside and starred in "Coogan's Bluff"
(1968), a smart urban Western that marked the beginning of a long and successful
collaboration with director Don Siegel.

Eastwood's second famed screen incarnation was Harry Callahan, the rogue cop of
Siegel's "Dirty Harry" (1971) who found it easier to shoot suspects than interrogate
them—hence the immortal line in "Sudden Impact" (1983): "Go ahead, make my day.‖
Despite controversy about Dirty Harry’s penchant for violence over procedure, Eastwood
and Siegel were more interested in making an exciting film than a political statement.
Eastwood has stated "My characters are usually callused men with a sensitive spot for
right and wrong." He has also noted that "My movies add up to a morality, not a politics."
Even his friendship with Ronald Reagan has attracted criticism from some, but
Eastwood's concern for the environment, he claims, would make him befriend any
President.
Eastwood became a fixture of masculine action flicks, but he also did well in several
popular comedies—"Every Which Way But Loose" (1978) and ―Any Which Way You
Can" (1980). Though he could have coasted on his established persona, Eastwood chose
to take chances with his material and subjected his image to thoughtful, but not always
flattering scrutiny. His portraits of tormented men with intense inner lives and little
ability to communicate reached an apogee with his acclaimed directorial effort, "Bird"
(1988), a moody look at troubled jazz musician Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker). Over
the years, Eastwood has attained virtual artistic control on his projects, which has enabled
him to make unusual Westerns—"High Plains Drifter" (1973) and "Pale Rider" (1985)—
and cop movies exploring feminist concerns—"Sudden Impact (1983) and "Tightrope"
(1984).

Eastwood's commercial viability appeared to be in decline by the late 80s—the fifth Dirty
Harry movie, "The Dead Pool" (1988), was less successful than its predecessors. In 1990,
Eastwood saw two significant box-office failures: "The Rookie,‖ a formula cop outing,
and "White Hunter, Black Heart", an interesting, semi-fictional account of the making of
"The African Queen". Eastwood enjoyed a popular and critical rebirth, however, with
"Unforgiven" (1992), a so-called anti-Western which earned Eastwood Oscars for Best
Picture and Best Director as well as several other major awards. A spellbinding morality
tale about the effects of killing on a man’s soul, "Unforgiven" took both an ironic and
sentimental view of several of Eastwood's earlier gunfighter incarnations. Dedicated to
his mentors—"Sergio" (Leone) and "Don" (Siegel)—the film was a solid commercial hit,
grossing over $100 million over its long run.

Even the most jaded critics praised Eastwood's restrained adaptation of "The Bridges of
Madison County" (1995), which took a treacly best-seller and turned it into a well-acted
adult love story. A detailed, mature look at passion, the film not only exhibited
Eastwood's directorial skill but also provided him with a romantic lead that he played
with confidence and charm. Starring opposite Meryl Streep, he exuded sex in a low-key
manner and revealed a soft, yet masculine side. Eastwood contributed compositions to the
soundtrack, released on his newly-launched Malpaso Records. That same year, Eastwood
made an uncredited cameo in the fantasy "Casper.‖

In 2002, Eastwood was once again the director and star of a feature film, "Bloodwork," a
competent, yet standard thriller with Eastwood as a detective taunted by a clever serial
killer. Eastwood received high praise when he stepped behind the camera for "Mystic
River" (2003), an adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s crime novel which explores the
interwoven history of three men—played by Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin
Bacon—and the terrible events from their boyhood that later force them to make
irrevocable choices. It earned six Oscar nominations, including Eastwood's second as
Best Director. Oscar buzz ignited anew with his follow up, ―Million Dollar Baby‖ (2004),
which was an even more effective than "Mystic River." Co-starring Hilary Swank and
Morgan Freeman, Eastwood played Frankie Dunn, an old-school boxing trainer afraid of
intimacy after a painful rift with his daughter. Praised by a majority of critics as an
exquisite and subtle film, ―Million Dollar Baby‖ received wide acclaim after earning five
Golden Globe nominations, including Best Director, the trophy that Eastwood ultimately
claimed. He also beat out "The Aviator's" sentimental favorite Martin Scorsese at the
Directors Guild Awards, and when Oscar nominations were announced in January 2005,
―Million Dollar Baby‖ came away with seven nods, including Best Picture, Best Director
and a surprising Best Actor nomination for Eastwood—only the second of his long
career. Eastwood didn't win for acting, but he did take home two Oscars, one as Best
Director and one as one of the producers of the film, which was named Best Picture.

As he mellowed with age, Eastwood became more ruminative and thought-provoking on
a variety of themes—echoes were seen in his examination of violence in ―Unforgiven.‖
With ―Flags of Our Fathers‖ (2006), an epic World War II drama that focused on the
three surviving U.S. servicemen who raised the American flag during the hellacious
battle for Iwo Jima, Eastwood used the war genre to explore how a single image can rally
a nation in a time of great need while cynical politicians callously disregard the truth and
the people being propped up as gods among men. Leapfrogging from the violence of the
black sand beaches to the war bond campaign back home, ―Flags of Our Fathers‖ focused
on two Marines (Adam Beach and Jesse Bradford) and a Navy corpsman (Ryan
Phillippe) being shuttled across the nation by the government to raise money as they cope
with the official sanitized version of events in contrast to the nightmare of battle that
continually haunts them.

Even before the film was released, ―Flags of Our Fathers‖ was considered to be a top
contender for Oscar consideration, including Eastwood, whose rich and deeply engaging
direction seemed to poise him for a third straight nomination. But it was his companion
film, ―Letters from Iwo Jima‖ (2006), which focused the oft-told tale on the unique
perspective of the Japanese defenders of the black-sanded island, that earned Eastwood
major award recognition. After winning Best Film from the National Board of Review
and Best Picture of the Year from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, ―Letters
from Iwo Jima‖ earned to Golden Globe Award nominations in 2006, including one for
Best Director – Motion Picture for Eastwood. But he wasn’t finished—Eastwood earned
a second Best Director nod for his work on ―Flags of Our Fathers.‖ He took one out of
three nominations, winning a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film for ―Letters
from Iwo Jima." He went on to earn yet another Best Director nomination at the
Academy Awards, setting the stage for a potential third win.
BARACK OBAMA
Barack Hussein Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, Barack
Obama, Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He grew up herding
goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British. Although reared
among Muslims, Obama, Sr., became an atheist at some point.

Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Her father worked on oil
rigs during the Depression. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he signed up for
service in World War II and marched across Europe in Patton’s army. Dunham’s mother
went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G. I. Bill,
bought a house through the Federal Housing Program, and moved to Hawaii.

Meantime, Barack’s father had won a scholarship that allowed him to leave Kenya pursue
his dreams in Hawaii. At the time of his birth, Obama’s parents were students at the East–
West Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s parents separated when he
was two years old and later divorced. Obama’s father went to Harvard to pursue Ph. D.
studies and then returned to Kenya. His mother married Lolo Soetoro, another East–
West Center student from Indonesia. In 1967, the family moved to Jakarta, where
Obama’s half-sister Maya Soetoro–Ng was born. Obama attended schools in Jakarta,
where classes were taught in the Indonesian language.

Four years later when Barack (commonly known throughout his early years as "Barry")
was ten, he returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and
Stanley Dunham, and later his mother (who died of ovarian cancer in 1995). He was
enrolled in the fifth grade at the esteemed Punahou Academy, graduating with honors in
1979. He was only one of three black students at the school. This is where Obama first
became conscious of racism and what it meant to be an African–American.

In his memoir, Obama described how he struggled to reconcile social perceptions of his
multiracial heritage. He saw his biological father (who died in a 1982 car accident) only
once (in 1971) after his parents divorced. And he admitted using alcohol, marijuana and
cocaine during his teenage years. After high school, Obama studied at Occidental College
in Los Angeles for two years. He then transferred to Columbia University in New York,
graduating in 1983 with a degree in political science. After working at Business
International Corporation (a company that provided international business information to
corporate clients) and NYPIRG, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985. There, he worked as
a community organizer with low-income residents in Chicago’s Roseland community and
the Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the city’s South Side. It was during
this time that Obama, who said he "was not raised in a religious household," joined the
Trinity United Church of Christ. He also visited relatives in Kenya, which included an
emotional visit to the graves of his father and paternal grandfather.

Obama entered Harvard Law School in 1988. In February 1990, he was elected the first
African–American editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama graduated magna cum
laude in 1991. After law school, Obama returned to Chicago to practice as a civil rights
lawyer, joining the firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland. He also taught at the University of
Chicago Law School. And he helped organize voter registration drives during Bill
Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

Obama met his wife, Michelle, in 1988 when he was a summer associate at the Chicago
law firm of Sidley & Austin. They were married in October 1992 and live in Kenwood on
Chicago's South Side with their daughters, Malia (born 1998) and Sasha (born 2001).

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United
States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The choice of the
announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered
his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Throughout the campaign, Obama
emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence,
and providing universal health care.

During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set
numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations On June 19,
Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing
in the general election since the system was created in 1976.
Obama delivering his presidential acceptance speech.

A large number of candidates initially entered the Democratic Party presidential
primaries. After a few initial contests, the field narrowed to a contest between Obama and
Senator Hillary Clinton, with each winning some states and the race remaining close
throughout the primary process. On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed
to seat all of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each
with a half-vote, narrowing Obama's delegate lead. On June 3, with all states counted,
Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee. On that day, he gave a
victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him
on June 7. From that point on, he campaigned for the general election race against
Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

On August 23, 2008, Obama selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential
running mate. At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Obama's
former rival Hillary Clinton gave a speech in support of Obama's candidacy and later
called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation as the Democratic presidential
candidate. On August 28, Obama delivered a speech to the 84,000 supporters in Denver.
During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted
his party's nomination and presented his policy goals.

After McCain was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, there were three
presidential debates between Obama and McCain in September and October 2008. In
November, Obama won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote and a wide electoral
college margin. His election sparked street celebrations in numerous cities in the United
States and abroad.
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the general election with
365 electoral votes to McCain's 173 and became the first African American to be elected
President of the United States. In his victory speech, delivered before a crowd of
hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, Obama proclaimed that
"change has come to America."
MICHAEL JACKSON
Singer, songwriter. Jackson was born August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana, to an African-
American working-class family. His father, Joseph Jackson, had been a guitarist but had
put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. Believing
his sons had talent, he molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. At first, the
Jackson Family performers consisted of Michael's older brothers Tito, Jermaine, and
Jackie. Michael joined his siblings when he was five, and emerged as the group's lead
vocalist. He showed remarkable range and depth for such a young performer, impressing
audiences with his ability to convey complex emotions. Older brother Marlon also
became a member of the group, which evolved into the Jackson 5.

Behind the scenes, Joseph Jackson pushed his sons to succeed. Michael and his brothers
spent endless hours rehearsing and polishing up their act. At first, the Jackson 5 played
local gigs and built a strong following. They recorded one single on their own, "Big Boy"
with the b-side "You've Changed," but it failed to generate much interest. The Jackson 5
moved on to working an opening act for such R&B artists as Gladys Knight and the Pips,
James Brown, and Sam and Dave. Many of these performers were signed to the
legendary Motown record label, and it has been reported that Gladys Knight may have
been the one to tell Motown founder Berry Gordy about the Jackson 5. Impressed by the
group, Gordy signed them to his label in 1968. Relocating to Los Angeles, Michael and
his brothers started work on their music and dancing with their father as their manager.
They lived with Gordy and also with Supremes singer Diana Ross when they first arrived
there. In August 1969, the Jackson 5 was introduced to the music industry at a special
event, and later served as the opening act for the Supremes. Their first album, Diana Ross
Presents the Jackson 5, hit the charts in December of that year. It's first single, "I Want
You Back," hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1970.

For several years, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 maintained a busy tour and
recording schedule, under the supervision of Berry Gordy and his Motown staff. Gordy
wrote many of the songs recorded by the group and by Michael Jackson as a solo artist.
The group became so popular that they even had their own self-titled cartoon show,
which ran from 1971 to 1973.

Despite Jackson's individual achievements and the group's great success, there was
trouble between the Jacksons and their record company. Tensions mounted between
Gordy and Joseph Jackson over the management of his children's careers, and their level
of participation in making their music. The Jacksons wanted more control over their
recordings, which led to most of the Jacksons breaking ties with Motown in 1975.
Jermaine Jackson remained with the label and continued to pursue a solo career, having
previously released several albums—none of which had matched the success of his
younger brother Michael.

Now calling themselves the Jacksons, the group signed a new recording deal with Epic
Records. With 1978's Destiny, Michael Jackson and his brothers (which by now included
younger brother Randy) emerged as talented songwriters, penning all of the record's
tracks. Working with producer Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson wowed the music world
with his next solo album, 1979's Off the Wall. It featured ann infectious blend of pop and
funk with such hit tracks as the Grammy Award-winning "Don't Stop 'til You Get
Enough," "Rock with You," and the title track. He also found success with the ballad
"She's Out of My Life."

His next solo album, Thriller (1982), generated seven top 10 hits. On a television special
honoring Motown, Jackson performed "Billie Jean"—eventually a number one hit—and
debuted his soon-to-be-famous dance move called the moonwalk. Jackson, a veteran
performer by this time, created this step himself and choreographed the dance sequences
for the video of his other No. 1 hit, "Beat It."

His most elaborate video, however, was for the album's title track. John Landis directed
the horror-tinged video, which featured complex dance scenes, special effects, and a
voice-over done by actor Vincent Price. The video for "Thriller" became immensely
popular, boosting sales for the already successful album. It stayed on the charts for 80
weeks, holding the No. 1 spot for 37 weeks. In addition to its unparalleled commercial
achievements, Thriller earned 12 Grammy Award nominations and won eight of those
awards.

At the top of his game creatively and commercially, Jackson signed a $5 million
endorsement deal with Pepsi-Cola around this time. He, however, was badly injured
while filming a commercial for the soda giant in 1984, suffering burns to his face and
scalp. Jackson had surgery to repair his injuries, and is believed to have begun
experimenting with plastic surgery around this time. His face, especially his nose, would
become dramatically altered in the coming years. Releasing his follow-up to Thriller in
1987, Jackson reached the top of the charts with Bad. It featured five No. 1 hits, including
"Man in the Mirror," "The Way You Make Me Feel," and the title track, which was
supported by a video directed by Martin Scorsese. Jackson spent more than a year on the
road, playing concerts to promote the album. While successful, Bad was unable to
duplicate the phenomenal sales of Thriller.

In 1991, Jackson released Dangerous, featuring the hit "Black or White." The video for
this song included an appearance by child star Macaulay Culkin, and was directed by
John Landis. In the video's final minutes, Jackson caused some controversy with his
sexual gesturing and violent actions. Many were surprised to see the Peter Pan-like
Jackson act this way. Jackson's music continued to enjoy wide-spread popularity in the
upcoming years. In 1993, he performed several important events, including the half-time
show at Superbowl XXVII. Jackson gave a rare television interview, which aired that
February. Sitting down with Oprah Winfrey, he explained that the change in his skin tone
was the result of a disease known as vitiligo.

In August 1994, Jackson announced that he had married Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of
rock icon Elvis Presley. The couple gave a joint television interview with Diane Sawyer,
but the union proved to be short-lived. They divorced in 1996. Later that same year,
Jackson wed nurse Debbie Rowe. The couple had two children through artification
insemination. Son Prince Michael Jackson was born in 1997 and daughter Paris Michael
Jackson was born in 1998. (Jackson later had a third child, Prince Michael Jackson II,
nicknamed "Blanket," with an unknown woman.) Rowe and Jackson divorced in 1999
with Jackson receiving full custody of their two children.

His musical career began to decline with the lukewarm reception to 1995's HIStory: Past,
Present, and Future, Book I, which featured some of his earlier hits as well as new
material. The record spawned two hits, "You Are Not Alone" and his duet with sister
Janet Jackson, "Scream." "Scream" earned Michael and Janet a Grammy Award for Best
Music Video, Short Form that year. Another track from the album, "They Don't Care
About Us," however, brought Jackson intense criticism for using an anti-Semitic term.

Reportedly in dire financial straits, Jackson sold his Neverland Ranch in 2008. He,
however, sued to block the auction of some of his personal items from the home the
following year. Around this same time, the largely reclusive Jackson announced that he
would be performing a series of concerts in London as his "final curtain call." There had
been some speculation regarding whether often fragile-appearing singer would be able to
handle the rigors of 50 concerts. However, despite all of the allegations and stories of odd
behavior, Jackson remained a figure of great interest, as demonstrated by the strong
response to his concert plans. Set to appear at the O2 Arena beginning July 8, 2009,
Jackson saw the tickets to these shows sell out in only four hours. Michael Jackson, one
of the most popular artists of all time, died suddenly of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 in
Los Angeles just before the concert series. He was 50 years old.
OPRAH WINFREY
American television host, actress, producer, philanthropist. Oprah Gail Winfrey was born
January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. After a troubled adolescence in a small
farming community, she moved to Nashville to live with her father, Vernon, a barber and
businessman. She entered Tennessee State University in 1971 and began working in radio
and television broadcasting in Nashville.

In 1976, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, where she hosted the TV chat show, People Are
Talking. The show became a hit and Winfrey stayed with it for eight years, after which
she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show, A.M. Chicago.
Her major competitor in the time slot was Phil Donahue. Within several months,
Winfrey's open, warm-hearted personal style had won her 100,000 more viewers than
Donahue and had taken her show from last place to first in the ratings. Her success led to
nationwide fame and a role in Steven Spielberg's 1985 film, The Color Purple, for which
she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 as a nationally syndicated program.
With its placement on 120 channels and an audience of 10 million people, the show
grossed $125 million by the end of its first year, of which Winfrey received $30 million.
She soon gained ownership of the program from ABC, drawing it under the control of her
new production company, Harpo Productions ('Oprah' spelled backwards) and making
more and more money from syndication.

In 1994, with talk shows becoming increasingly trashy and exploitative, Winfrey pledged
to keep her show free of tabloid topics. Although ratings initially fell, she earned the
respect of her viewers and was soon rewarded with an upsurge in popularity. Her projects
with Harpo have included the highly rated 1989 TV miniseries, The Women of Brewster
Place, which she also starred in. Winfrey also signed a multi-picture contract with
Disney. The initial project, 1998's Beloved, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by
Toni Morrison and starring Winfrey and Danny Glover, got mixed reviews and generally
failed to live up to expectations.

Winfrey, who became almost as well-known for her weight loss efforts as for her talk
show, lost an estimated 90 pounds (dropping to her ideal weight of around 150 pounds)
and competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, in 1995. In the wake of
her highly publicized success, Winfrey's personal chef, Rosie Daley, and trainer, Bob
Greene, both published best-selling books.

The media giant contributed immensely to the publishing world by launching her
"Oprah's Book Club," as part of her talk show. The program propelled many unknown
authors to the top of the bestseller lists and gave pleasure reading a new kind of popular
prominence. With the debut in 1999 of Oxygen Media, a company she co-founded that is
dedicated to producing cable and Internet programming for women, Winfrey ensured her
place in the forefront of the media industry and as one of the most powerful and wealthy
people in show business. In 2002, she concluded a deal with the network to air a prime-
time complement to her syndicated talk show. Her highly successful monthly, O: The
Oprah Magazine debuted in 2000, and in 2004, she signed a new contract to continue The
Oprah Winfrey Show through the 2010-11 season. In 2009, Winfrey announced that she
would be ending her program when her current contract with ABC ends. Winfrey is
expected to move to the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery
Communications. The show is currently seen on 212 U.S. stations and in more than 100
countries worldwide.

According to Forbes magazine, Oprah was the richest African American of the 20th
century and the world's only Black billionaire for three years running. Life magazine
hailed her as the most influential woman of her generation. In 2005, Business Week
named her the greatest Black philanthropist in American history. Oprah's Angel Network
has raised more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs, including girls' education in
South Africa and relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Winfrey is a dedicated activist for children's rights; in 1994, President Clinton signed a
bill into law that Winfrey had proposed to Congress, creating a nationwide database of
convicted child abusers. She founded the Family for Better Lives foundation and also
contributes to her alma mater, Tennessee State University. In September, 2002, Oprah
was named the first recipient of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Bob Hope
Humanitarian Award.

Winfrey campaigned for Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama in December
2007, attracting the largest crowds of the primary season to that point. Winfrey joined
Obama for a series of rallies in the early primary/caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire,
and South Carolina. It was the first time Winfrey had ever campaigned for a political
candidate. The biggest event was at the University of South Carolina football stadium,
where 29,000 supporters attended a rally that had been switched from an 18,000-seat
basketball arena to satisfy public demand. "Dr. (Martin Luther) King dreamed the dream.
But we don't have to just dream the dream any more," Oprah told the crowd. "We get to
vote that dream into reality by supporting a man who knows not just who we are, but who
we can be." The power of Winfrey's political endorsement was unclear (Obama won
Iowa and South Carolina, but lost New Hampshire). But she has a clear track record of
turning unknown authors into blockbuster best-sellers when she mentions their books on
her program.

Since 1992, Winfrey has been engaged to Stedman Graham, a public relations executive.
The couple lives in Chicago, and Winfrey also has homes in Montecito, California,
Rolling Prairie, Indiana, and Telluride, Colorado. The 2010-2011 season of the Oprah
Winfrey Show marked its 25th anniversary and the final season of the show.
BONO
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Paul "Bono" Hewson is the second child of Bobby
and Iris Hewson. His brother, Norman, is the oldest. Described by Bobby as "a bloody
exasperating child", Paul got a reputation at an early age for being both absent-minded
yet argumentative...traits which earned him the unholy and ironic nickname "the
Antichrist" from both family and friends. At the same time, he was starry-eyed and
wickedly curious...the kind of youngster who viewed the world through rose-colored
glasses, while at the same time questioning what he saw.

The most notable example of this was witnessed by both Bobby and Iris Hewson when
Paul was three-years-old, playing in their backyard garden: the couple watched with both
horror and fascination as their toddler lifted honeybees off the flowers on his fingertip,
talked to them, then put them back on the petals without ever getting stung. At the age of
15, Paul suffered a tragic and devastating loss, when his mother died of a brain aneursym
while attending the funeral of her own father. (It's this incident which many fans and
writers alike speculate may be the reason Bono has such a restless and inquisitive nature).
During this time, Paul also found himself drawn to music and playing the
guitar...absorbing inspiration from the music of such bands as Patti Smith, Thin Lizzy,
The Ramones and Television.

In high school, Paul's natural gift of gab and flair for the dramatic allowed him to move
within nearly every school circle, and to experiment with a variety of artistic mediums. It
was also during this time that Paul got his new name. Credit for this goes to his friend,
Guggi, a high school cohort who stole it from a hearing aid store on O'Connell Street in
Dublin. Fittingly enough, the original moniker meant "good voice" in cockeyed Latin. In
school, Bono was a popular kid and a half-decent student. He excelled in history, chess
and art, was considered a good painter, and had many girlfriends who adored his
romantic, sweet-talking ways...although it was the feisty, no-bull nature of his dark-
haired sweetheart Alison Stewart which eventually got him to become a "one woman"
man. His greatest enjoyment, however, seemed to come from performing with a school
theater troupe...during which he often could be seen on stage, singing.

One day in 1976, he answered an ad posted on a bulletin board at the Mount Temple
Comprehensive School in Dublin, asking for anyone who was interested in forming a
band to meet after school at the house of one Larry Mullen Junior. With the younger, no-
nonsense Larry serving as the talented drumming catalyst for the group's formation, the
other members filled out what was to eventually become U2, one of the world's most
memorable and famous rock groups: a gifted guitarist/guitar builder named Dave Evans,
whose eventual nickname "The Edge" (by varying accounts) came from either the shape
of his skull or his low-key personality; an amateur bassist named Adam Clayton, whose
caftan coats, tinted glasses and use of such cool words as "gig" and "amp" made him
seem like he knew more about music than he actually did; and finally, Bono...who
couldn't play guitar or really carry a tune (yet), but whose earnest charm, intense poetic
songwriting, and theatrical persona ultimately won him the position as the band's
frontman and songwriter.
At the same time, he has repeatedly flogged himself in the press for not being a proper
"pop star" and has continually expressed a desire to become a great singer. Yet his
powerful voice has evolved and morphed over the years with a versatility rarely heard in
most rock bands: at the start of the decade, it was a teenage croon full of longing and
rebellion on such 80's albums as "Boy" and "War"; near the end, it was a throaty roar full
of anger and passion on "The Unforgettable Fire," "The Joshua Tree," and "Rattle and
Hum."

Though he is known as a socially-conscious songwriter who has tried to inspire crowds
with his lyrics, Bono is a rarity in that he also tries to connect with them physically
during a performance. The best example of this was seen by millions during the
1980's...especially the Live Aid concert in 1985, when (mid-way through an epic
rendition of "Bad") he leapt off the stage, over a security barricade to the floor of the
arena, and pulled a woman from the crowd to dance with her.

In the 90's, when U2's political earnestness ultimately threatened to turn them into a
caricature (due mostly to Bono's often politically-charged, on-stage sermonizing), the
band vanished into Berlin, Germany to remake itself with a new sound.

Having a full appreciation for the Brechtian and surrealist origins of rock performance,
the lead singer followed suit...and altered his own earnest image into something more
cyberpunk. With the help of band stylist "Fighting" Fintan Fitzgerald, Bono stylized his
once-brown shoulder length hair into a jet-black coif, donned a pair of bubble-eye
wraparound sunglasses, and slid into a skin-tight leather suit to become a funkified
banshee called The Fly, a cool phantom hoodlum who howled amid the dark electronic
flash and shash of the band's watermark album, "Achtung Baby."

This character --part Jim Morrison, part Lou Reed and all trash -- begat other characters
who appeared onstage during the band's worldwide Zoo TV tour: the Mirrorball Man, a
glittering tribute to televangelists all over the world...and Mister MacPhisto, a gold lame-
suited cross between the devil and Elvis all wrapped up in the frame of a broken-down
soul singer during his final Vegas days.

During this time, Bono also established himself as having a gift for lionizing others, as
evidenced by his moving induction of both Bob Marley into the Rock 'n Roll Hall Of
Fame, and his lifetime achievement tribute to Frank Sinatra at the 1994 Grammy Awards.
More recently, he gave Bruce Springsteen an equally-memorable induction into the Rock
'n Roll Hall.

Beyond U2, Bono has extended himself to other projects and causes, and has emerged
over the years to be both a social animal and an activist...and has rallied numerous actors,
artists and activists to his cause...most recently, his bid to end Third World Debt as
spokesman for the Jubilee 2000 project and Netaid. Bono was recently presented with the
Free Your Mind Award at the MTV Europe Awards held in Dublin, Ireland, in
acknowledgement for his work on behalf of the Jubilee 2000 project to end Third World
Debt. After receiving the award from Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger, the clearly-
humbled singer humorously remarked: "This is only going to make me worse."

Despite the obvious privilege of his lifestyle, Bono continues to display a generosity and
genuine nature that is impressive to both friends and fans alike...the kind of person who
could work a roomful wealthy socialites, then stop to chat with fans on the street about
music, and then be seen giving cash handouts to the homeless. He and his wife, Ali,
continue to make their home in Dublin with their four children.
AL PACINO
Alfredo James Pacino was born to a family of Italian immigrants in East Harlem, New
York, on the 25th of April, 1940, his grandparents having crossed the Atlantic from
Sicily. His father, Salvatore, was an insurance agent who split from Alfredo's mother
Rose when the boy was just two - mother and child moving in with her parents in a dirt-
poor area near the Bronx zoo. As an only child, he was zealously protected by his
grandparents, hardly leaving the house till the age of seven. When he was older, his
mother would take him to the cinema (he was terribly hurt when she died young in 1962)
and he'd act out the plotlines to his grandma on his return. Shy and insular, he'd impress
his school-mates with a fictional past he'd invented for himself, claiming for instance that
he'd been raised in Texas.

Thankfully, his teachers spotted his talent, cast him in school plays and asked him to read
from the Bible at assembly. He enjoyed this but did not consider acting as a profession
till, at age 14, he saw Chekov's The Seagull performed at the Elsmere Theatre in the
South Bronx. This led to him enrolling at the prestigious High School of the Performing
Arts but, flunking everything but English, he eventually, at 17, dropped out.

In 1967, he spent a season at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, performing in Awake And
Sing and America, Hurrah. Now, after The Indian Wants at Astor Place in New York,
he'd play young hoodlum Graham in The Local Stigmatic at the Actors' Playhouse, then
star as Bickham, a sadistic psycho in a drug rehab centre, in Does The Tiger Wear A
Necktie? at the Belasco. This was another storming performance and deservedly won him
a Tony. 1970 would see him move on to direct and perform in Rats and also star in
Tennessee Williams' Camino Real at the Lincoln Centre. In theatre, he was now big
news.

Onscreen, his career was also moving fast. 1968 had seen him on TV in an episode of
NYPD, playing a racist Southerner who's planted a bomb that killed two black girls and
now finds himself pursued by black militants (the show would also feature Pacino's then
girlfriend, actress Jill Clayburgh). The next year would bring a brief big screen
appearance in Me, Natalie where he could be spied dancing with and then being an arse
to Patty Duke at a party. But it was his ability to convincingly portray the intensity of
street life, and in particular addiction - he'd spent much time researching in methadone
centres - that really broke him in movies. The mortally depressing Panic In Needle Park,
a tale of prostitution, incarceration and revenge where he was drug-driven to destruction
along with Kitty Winn (soon to be seen as Ellen Burstyn's PA in The Exorcist) pushed
him into the limelight. And then it really took off. With his very Italian combination of
menacing contemplation and terrifyingly focused rage, he was chosen above Warren
Beatty and Jack Nicholson to play Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The
Godfather. Thoughtful, dignified, self-righteous and utterly ruthless, he was superb as
Marlon Brando's initially reluctant heir, charged with the task of legitimising an ugly
business.

Pacino found himself rightly Oscar-nominated for his efforts ands, aside from 1973's The
Scarecrow, wherein he crosses the existential emptiness of America along with Gene
Hackman, he would be nominated for his next three roles too. First, he was the
incorruptible cop in Sidney Lumet's gritty Serpico: then Corleone once more, even
whacking his own brother in Godfather Part 2 (poor, silly Fredo!): and finally there was
1975's Dog Day Afternoon, again with Lumet, where he played a bi-sexual, horribly
botching a bank robbery he'd hoped would pay for his lover's sex-change operation.

Throughout this incredible spate of movie success, Pacino would continue to return to his
first love - the stage. Indeed, he'd only make eight movies in the next 15 years. 1972 had
seen him return to Boston for Richard III and The Basic Training Of Pavlo Hummel, both
these productions serving him well. Reprising his Pavlo Hummel in New York in 1977,
he'd pick up his second Tony. He'd also bring his Richard Crookback to New York, in
1979, and would famously use the play to spread the Shakespearean word when he made
the documentary Looking For Richard. Another oft-repeated role would come in Brecht's
The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui which Pacino would perform in Boston in 1975, then
later in New York and London. 1976 would see him back in The Local Stigmatic, at New
York's Public Theatre. 1979 would see him read Brecht's The Jungle Of The Cities at the
Circle In The Square, then rehearse Othello at the Lincoln Centre and work through
Hamlet with Joseph Papp. The next year he'd begin a long on-and-off run as Walter Cole
in David Mamet's American Buffalo, between 1980 and '84 performing in New Haven, at
New York's Circle In The Square and Booth Theatre, and in London.

When he did venture back into the movies, he usually chose only the most intense and
controversial parts. He was Oscar-nominated again in 1979, as the battling attorney in
Norman Jewison's And Justice For All, then played an undercover cop in a relentlessly
sleazy gay underground in William Friedkin's Cruising. In 1983, he was a blistering Tony
Montana in Brian De Palma's lurid drug-drama, Scarface. Then came his one generally
accepted failure (with the possible exception of Godfather 3), 1985's Revolution. As an
early-American epic, directed by Hugh Hudson (then on a role after Chariots Of Fire and
Greystoke), it should have worked. But it was too long and too slow, and critics were
merciless in their mockery of Pacino's inappropriate New York accent. Badly stung, he
would not return to the Silver Screen for four years, concentrating instead on his stage-
work, playing Marc Antony in Julius Caesar and also acting in and producing a pet
project - a short independent movie version of Heathcote Williams' The Local Stigmatic.
Indeed, this tiny movie would become something of an obsession. In it, Pacino would
reprise his stage performances as a crazed English gangster bent on absolute power - the
play being concerned both with the nature of wickedness and the ways in which all of us
are actors. For years, he would show it to small groups of friends and colleagues,
tirelessly fascinated by their reaction.

Of course, as a major filmic player of some 20 years standing, Pacino would not be kept
from the Silver Screen for long, returning with a bang with 1989's Sea Of Love, a
superior thriller with Ellen Barkin. Then he was a hilariously evil Big Boy Caprice in
Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy, earning another Oscar nomination for his efforts. Next came
Frankie And Johnny, a hugely popular romance, despite the critics' disbelief at Pacino
and Michelle Pfeiffer slaving in a greasy spoon. Then, finally, came the Oscar, for his
performance as the romantic, predatory, abrasive and blind Lieutenant Colonel Frank
Slade in Scent Of A Woman, a remake of a 1975 Italian movie. He would be nominated
for the eighth time the very same year, as a pushy real-estate salesman in Mamet's
excellent Glengarry Glen Ross.

More excellence followed. Pacino was tremendous as the street-wise players in De
Palma's Carlito's Way (alongside a fantastically coke-addled Sean Penn) and Mike
Newell's Donnie Brasco ("Fugg-ED about it!"). But it also seemed that his close-to-
overblown portrayal of Frank Slade had left its mark. In Michael Mann's Heat, he almost
became a parody of himself as the explosive cop hunting down the ultra-cool Robert De
Niro, and he carried the same over-expansive qualities into The Devil's Advocate

The list of movies Pacino has turned down is nearly as impressive as his filmography.
There was Kramer Vs Kramer, Born On The 4th Of July, Apocalypse Now, Pretty
Woman, Crimson Tide, even the part of Han Solo in Star Wars. But, in general, his
choices have been good. Offscreen, he's had a harder time. He was once quoted as saying
"The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful - my personal life
suffers", and this does seem to have been the way for much of the time.
TOM BRADY
By the mid-2000s Tom Brady was the undisputed king of the gridiron. In 2002 he
became the youngest quarterback in the history of the National Football League (NFL) to
lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. Two years later, in 2004, he proved the magic was
still strong when he led the New England Patriots to their second Super Bowl title in
three years. In addition, Brady was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player (MVP)
in 2002 and 2004. The dimpled, clean-cut quarterback had reached career heights that
most veteran football players envied, and he had done it all before he was thirty years old.

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. was born on August 3, 1977, in San Mateo, California,
the youngest child, and only son, of Galynn and Tom Brady. The Bradys were a close-
knit family, and they were all sports enthusiasts. The three Brady girls (Maureen, Nancy,
and Julie) played every sport imaginable, including softball, soccer, and basketball.
Tommy, as his family calls him, always went to their games and cheered them on. He
also caught their competitive spirit. As Julie Brady explained to People Weekly, "We
used to compete for absolutely everything, and we pushed [Tom] all the time." The
nightly battles to control the television remote were especially fierce, and frequently the
fighting took place with water pistols.

Brady first played organized football as a freshman at San Mateo's Junipero Serra High
School, a Catholic all-boys school. By his junior year he was a starting quarterback, and
by his senior year he was being noticed by college and pro scouts. During Brady's high
school quarterback career, he completed 236 of 447 passes (52.8 percent) for 3,702 yards,
and thirty-one touchdowns. The multi-talented Brady was also a star catcher on the
school's baseball team, and, when he graduated from high school in 1995, he was
recruited to play professional baseball for the Montreal Expos. Instead, he opted to accept
a scholarship to play football for the University of Michigan (U of M), in Ann Arbor.

During his first two years as a U of M Wolverine, Brady warmed the bench as a backup
quarterback for future NFL stars Brian Griese (1975–) and Scott Driesbach (1975–). He
was frustrated by his lack of play, and at one point, considered transferring back to
California. However, Brady stuck it out, and in 1998, his junior year, he earned the
starting quarterback position. He went on to earn an All–Big Ten Conference honorable
mention; he was an Academic All–Big Ten Pick (he had a 3.3 grade point average); and
he set several University of Michigan records, including the record for most attempts
(350) and completions (214) in one season. Brady also led the Wolverines to victory at
the Citrus Bowl in 1999 and was named team co-captain the same year. In 2000 he
became team captain.

Despite his success, Brady faced a setback his senior year when he was forced to share
his quarterbacking duties with teammate Drew Henson (1980–). Henson was only a
freshman, but he had been highly recruited in both football and baseball, and Wolverine
coach Lloyd Carr feared that if not played, Henson might leave U of M in favor of a pro
baseball career. Brady worked all the harder and completed the year by throwing the
twenty-five-yard pass that brought victory to U of M over the University of Alabama in
the 2000 Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl, like the Citrus Bowl is a post-season
competition between two college football teams. The four most prestigious bowl games
are the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. Bowl games
are always played as close as possible to New Year's Day.

During the 2000 NFL draft he was the 199th player chosen, and he was picked up by the
struggling New England Patriots. According to sports analysts, coaches were leery of
Brady. They questioned his speed, but mostly they wondered why Henson, a freshman,
had received so much playing time at the University of Michigan over the more seasoned
senior. Brady showed up at the Patriot's training camp determined to prove himself. His
U of M coach expected nothing less. "The more he gets knocked down," Carr commented
to People Weekly, "the harder he competes. You can't underestimate Tom."

Although he was a fourth-string Patriot quarterback, Brady did not complain. Instead he
watched and studied and prepared. He learned the Patriot playbook front to back, and he
hit the weight room to bulk up his six-foot-four-inch frame from 204 to 220 pounds. He
also pelted veteran teammates with questions about ways to improve his on-field strategy.
By the end of his first season, Brady had played in only one game, during which he
completed one pass. The game was against the Detroit Lions, and the Patriots lost 34 to 9.
The team ended the season at the very bottom of the AFC East division with a record of
five wins and eleven losses. The thirty-two football teams that are part of the NFL are
divided evenly into two conferences: the American Football Conference (AFC) and the
National Football Conference (NFC). Within each conference, there are four divisions:
North, South, East, and West.

During the off-season, Brady continued to work on improving his game, and at the 2001
training camp he was one of the team's most improved players. Brady so impressed his
coaches that he was named back-up to the Patriot's star quarterback, Drew Bledsoe
(1972–). On September 23, 2001, during the second game of the season, Bledsoe
received a stunning blow to his chest, and barely made it off the field. A jittery Brady,
who had not expected to play, stepped in to finish the game, which the Patriots ended up
losing.

With Bledsoe out of commission, it seemed that the Patriots were doomed to face another
losing season. However, as Brady began to get comfortable in his new role, things began
to change. "I'm a big fan of Drew's," former Patriot safety Lawyer Milloy (1973–) told
Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated, "but it was obvious the team needed something
different, and Tom brought that youthful energy." With the calm confidence of someone
much older than his twenty-four years, Brady helped the Patriots rack up a string of wins.
In 2000 they finished at the bottom of the heap; in 2001 they were AFC Division
champions, and they were going to the Super Bowl.

Regardless of the predictions, Brady was so calm before the big game that he took a nap
in the locker room. "When I woke up," Brady explained to Dave Kindred of The Sporting
News, "I told myself it's a football game. It just comes down to playing football. I felt
calm and confident." Brady's confidence was key since the game turned out to be a nail-
biting battle. When the Rams tied things up with only one minute, thirty-nine seconds to
go, people expected the game to go into overtime. Brady, however, set up a spectacular
nine-play drive that positioned the Patriots for a field goal. With mere seconds left on the
clock, the Patriots defeated the Rams, 20 to 17.

The Super Bowl win was only the beginning of Brady's Cinderella story. He not only led
his team to victory, he was also named MVP of the game, and he set a new record as the
youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at twenty-four years and 184 days old. One of
the previous record-holders was his childhood idol, Joe Montana. In addition, Brady
emerged as a true leader of his team, earning the respect of his coaches, teammates, and
the sports press. According to sportswriter Paul Attner, "he has embraced his position
with a passion and intelligence rarely seen in the game." Analyst Phil Simms of CBS
noted that Brady "really knows how to play quarterback, how to interact with teammates,
when to be their friend, when to be their leader and when to be their enemy when he has
to. He can influence an entire franchise."
Sweet repeat

After the thrill of the Super Bowl, the following season was disappointing for the
Patriots, and they did not make the playoffs. A determined Brady, however, rallied his
team in 2003. The season started off slow with two wins and two losses, but then Brady
and the Patriots took off on a winning streak. After winning fourteen games in a row,
they were headed, once again, to the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXXVIII, played on February 1, 2004, was a memorable match-up between
the Patriots and the Carolina Panthers. The first half was agonizingly long as both teams
fought hard to control the field. At half-time, the score stood at Patriots 14, Panthers 10.
The second half of the game proved to be a humdinger. The two teams scored a
combined 37 points in the fourth quarter, and with four seconds left on the clock, New
England's Adam Vinatieri made a forty-one-yard field goal to win the game, 32 to 29. For
the second time in three years, the underdog Patriots took home the championship.

For Brady, it was a sweet repeat. His game statistics were impressive: thirty-two
completions in forty-eight attempts for 354 yards, and three touchdowns. He was named,
once again, Most Valuable Player, and he broke another record by becoming, at age
twenty-six, the youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls.
MICHAEL J FOX
Michael J. Fox (born June 9, 1961) is a Grammy Award winning Canadian-American
actor, author and voice-over artist. With a film and television career spanning from the
1970s to the present, Fox's roles have included Marty McFly from the Back to the Future
trilogy (1985–1990); Alex P. Keaton from Family Ties (1982–1989), for which he won
three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award; and Mike Flaherty from Spin City
(1996–2000), for which he won an Emmy, three Golden Globes, and two Screen Actors
Guild Awards.

Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991, and disclosed his condition to the
public in 1998. Fox semi-retired from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his disease
worsened. He has since become an advocate for research toward finding a cure. In recent
years, he had guest-starred on various television shows, and appeared as himself in his
Emmy-nominated prime-time special Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable
Optimist (A Personal Journey of Hope) in May 2009.

Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of Phyllis, an
actress and payroll clerk, and William Fox, a police officer and member of the Canadian
Forces. Fox's family lived in various cities and towns across Canada because of his
father's career. The family finally settled in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, British
Columbia, when his father retired in 1971. Fox attended Burnaby Central Secondary
School, and currently has a theatre named after him in Burnaby South Secondary.

Fox co-starred in the Canadian television series Leo and Me (at age fifteen), and in 1979,
at eighteen, moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He was "discovered" by
producer Ronald Shedlo and made his American television debut in the television movie
Letters from Frank, credited under the name "Michael Fox". He intended to continue to
use the name, but when he registered with the Screen Actors Guild, which does not allow
duplicate registration names to avoid credit ambiguities, he discovered that Michael Fox,
a veteran character actor, was already registered under the name. As he explained in his
autobiography, Lucky Man: A Memoir, and in interviews, he needed to come up with a
different name. He did not like the sound of "Andrew" or "Andy" Fox. He decided
against using his middle initial because he didn't want to fit into a Canadian stereotype, as
in Michael "Eh?" Fox, and because he did not want teen fan magazines referring to him
as "Michael, A Fox!" He decided to adopt a new middle initial and settled on "J", in
reference to actor Michael J. Pollard. Sometimes he jokes that the J stands for "Jenius" or
"Jenuine".

In addition to commercials such as Tilex and McDonald's, and his first role in a feature
film in Midnight Madness (1980), Fox's first important role was as "Young Republican"
Alex P. Keaton in the show Family Ties which aired on NBC for seven seasons, from
1982 to 1989. It had been sold to the network using the pitch "hip parents, square kids,"
and the parents were originally intended to be the main characters. However, the
audience reacted so positively to Fox's character Alex P. Keaton during the taping of the
fourth episode that he became the focus on the show. This happened despite the fact that
Fox received the role only after Matthew Broderick was unavailable.
Brandon Tartikoff, one of the show's producers, felt that Fox was too short in relation to
the actors playing his parents, and tried to have him replaced. Tartikoff reportedly said
that "this is not the kind of face you'll ever find on a lunch-box". After his later successes,
Fox presented Tartikoff with a custom-made lunch-box with the inscription "To Brandon,
this is for you to put your crow in. Love and Kisses, Michael J.Fox". Tartikoff kept the
lunch-box in his office for the rest of his NBC career.

A few years into Family Ties, Gary David Goldberg was approached and asked to let Fox
star in a Steven Spielberg produced film about a time-travelling teenager. At first,
Goldberg did not inform Michael about the offer, not wanting to lose Michael to film
stardom. Months later, Goldberg was again asked about Michael because Eric Stoltz, who
had been chosen for the part after Goldberg stated that Fox wasn't available, was
reportedly not giving the energetic performance that Robert Zemeckis, the director, was
looking for. Goldberg finally told Michael about the offer and he quickly agreed to play
the role of Marty McFly in the film Back to the Future. Fox would rehearse for Family
Ties from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. After he was done, he would be rushed to the Back to
the Future set where he would rehearse and shoot until 2:30 A.M. This schedule lasted
for two full months. On July 4, 1985 Back to the Future was number one at the box
office. The film was number one for 11 consecutive weeks and eventually earned a
worldwide total of $381.11 million. Two sequels, Back to the Future Part II and Back to
the Future Part III were released in 1989 and 1990, respectively.

During and immediately after the Back to the Future trilogy, Fox starred in Light of Day
(1987), The Secret of My Succe$s (1987), Bright Lights, Big City (1988) and Casualties
of War, (1989). In The Secret of My Succe$s, Fox played a graduate student from Kansas
State University who moves to New York City where he has landed a job as a financier.
During the shooting of Bright Lights, Big City, Michael was reunited with one time on
screen girlfriend Tracy Pollan. Pollan had played Ellen Reed on Family Ties, a dance
major at Leland college with whom Alex became involved. Pollan had played Ellen Reed
for only one year on the show. Fox then starred in Casualties of War, a war drama about
the Vietnam War, alongside Sean Penn.

Casualties of War was not a box office hit, but Fox, playing a Private serving in Vietnam,
received good reviews for his performance. In 1991, he starred in two films, Doc
Hollywood, a romantic comedy about a talented medical doctor who decides to become a
plastic surgeon and while relocating from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, California,
he winds up as a doctor in a small southern town; and The Hard Way, playing a famous
actor, who is known for his action films. Between 1992 and 1996, he continued making
several films, such as For Love or Money (1993) or The Concierge in some countries ,
Life With Mikey (1993), Greedy (1994), The American President (1995), and Mars
Attacks! (1996). His last major film role was in The Frighteners (1996).

He has also done voice work providing the voice of Stuart Little in the movie of the same
name and its sequel, both of which were based on the popular book by E. B. White. He
also voiced the bulldog Chance in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and its
sequel Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco as well as Milo Thatch in Atlantis:
The Lost Empire.

Fox had decided to return to television during his shoot for The Frighteners which was
filmed in New Zealand. His twin daughters had just been born and he was halfway across
the world. While filming the movie in New Zealand, he would watch videotapes of
American television shows, such as Seinfeld, Friends, Ellen and more. He saw what good
things were going on in television and wanted to return. Also, television meant a more
regular schedule and it would allow much more time to spend with his family.

Spin City aired to critical acclaim and high ratings. The show ran from 1996 to 2002 on
ABC, based on a fictional local government running New York City, originally starring
Fox as Mike Flaherty, a Fordham Law grad serving as the Deputy Mayor of New York.
During the third season of Spin City Fox made the announcement to the cast and crew of
the show that he had Parkinson's Disease. During the fourth season of Spin City, Fox
decided to retire from the show and focus on spending more time with his family. He
announced that he planned to continue to act and would make guest appearances on Spin
City (he made three more appearances on the show during the final season). After leaving
the show, he was replaced by Charlie Sheen, who portrayed the character Charlie
Crawford. Altogether 145 episodes were made. Fox also served as executive producer
during his time on the show, alongside co-creators Bill Lawrence and Gary David
Goldberg, and continued to be credited as executive consultant after he left.

In 2004, Fox guest starred in two episodes of the comedy-drama Scrubs as Dr. Kevin
Casey, a surgeon with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. The series was created by
Spin City creator Bill Lawerence, and Fox was one of many Spin City co-stars to appear
on that series. In 2006, he appeared in four episodes of Boston Legal as a lung cancer
patient who used his influence in an experimental drug test to ensure he received the real
drug instead of a placebo. The producers brought him back in a recurring role for Season
3, beginning with the season premiere, where his character is arrested for trying to buy a
lung. Though his character did not survive the season (it was revealed that his character
died in Trick or Treat), Fox was nominated for an Emmy Award for best guest
appearance. Also in 2006, E! True Hollywood Story profiled Fox in a two-hour episode
about his life which continues to re-air on the network. In 2009, he appeared in five
episodes of the television series Rescue Me which earned him an Emmy for Outstanding
Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He was also a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 28,
2009 (airing past midnight in some time zones). Additionally, his prime time special
based on the New York Times Bestseller Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable
Optimist aired on ABC on May 7, 2009.
DIANE SAWYER
Diane Sawyer is anchor of ABC's flagship broadcast World News. She is also the
network's principal anchor for breaking news, election coverage, and special events. Ms.
Sawyer is one of the most respected journalists in the world. She has traveled the globe
delivering in-depth and breaking news reports and has conducted interviews with almost
every major newsmaker of our time. Her primetime documentaries have won critical
acclaim for shedding light on difficult and previously under-reported topics.
During the historic 2008 presidential election, Ms. Sawyer co-anchored ABC News'
coverage of the political conventions, Election Night, and the Inauguration. Over the
course of the campaign, she conducted wide-ranging interviews with the candidates and
also reported "Portrait of a President," two hour-long specials that revealed new insight
into Barack Obama, John McCain and their families. In June 2009, along with Charles
Gibson, Ms. Sawyer moderated "Questions for the President: Prescription for America," a
conversation with President Obama about healthcare reform at the White House.
Through her distinguished documentary work, Ms. Sawyer has tackled challenging issues
in primetime. In 2006, her report on the crises in the foster care system was recognized
with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. In January 2007, Ms. Sawyer delivered
an eye-opening report on poverty in America, "Waiting on the World to Change," which
gave viewers insight into the lives of families in Camden, New Jersey -- the poorest city
in America. Ms. Sawyer and her team of producers spent two years in the hills of
Appalachia reporting the February 2009 special "A Hidden America: Children of the
Mountains."
Ms. Sawyer's other primetime documentaries include: an investigation into the
warehousing of Russian children in state-run orphanages; a diary of life inside a woman's
maximum security prison where she spent two days and nights with inmates; an
investigation into the neglect and abuse at state-run institutions for the mentally retarded;
and a landmark investigation into pharmacy prescription errors. In October 2006, Ms.
Sawyer traveled to North Korea and brought viewers an unprecedented look inside that
secretive country. The first American journalist to ever report live from North Korea, Ms.
Sawyer also anchored "North Korea: Inside The Shadows," an hour-long primetime
special that included interviews with key government and military officials and new
information on what life is like for North Koreans.
In February of 2007, Ms. Sawyer traveled to Syria and Iran, where she had conducted
exclusive interviews with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In April 2008, Ms. Sawyer anchored Good Morning America
from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Ms. Sawyer also reported from Southeast Asia in the
wake of the deadly 2005 tsunami; from Moscow, where she made her way into the office
of Boris Yeltsin at the pinnacle of the Soviet coup; from Egypt during the Gulf War,
where she interviewed President Hosni Mubarak; and Amman, Jordan, where she
interviewed King Hussein and Queen Noor. During the Iraq War, she conducted an
exclusive interview with one of the main architects of Saddam Hussein's biological
weapons program, Dr. Rihab Taha, nicknamed "Dr. Germ."
Domestically, Ms. Sawyer reported from New Orleans on the devastating aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005. She also conducted a live, exclusive interview with
President George W. Bush in the midst of widespread criticism of his Administration's
handling of the storm. On September 11, 2001, Ms. Sawyer, along with Charles Gibson,
began the network's award-winning coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon. In the days that followed, Ms. Sawyer reported live from Ground Zero
and later interviewed more than 60 widows who gave birth after the World Trade Center
disaster.
Ms. Sawyer's reporting has been recognized with numerous awards including duPonts,
Emmys, Peabodys, the grand prize of the premier Investigative Reporters and Editors
Association, an IRTS Lifetime Achievement Award, and the USC Distinguished
Achievement in Journalism Award. In 1997, she was inducted into the Television
Academy of Hall of Fame.
Ms. Sawyer joined ABC News in February 1989 as co-anchor of "Primetime." In
addition to that role, she was named co-anchor of "Good Morning America" in January
1999 and held the post until taking over the World News anchor chair in December 2009.
In August 2009, "GMA" was recognized with its third consecutive Emmy Award for
Outstanding Morning program.
Prior to joining ABC News, Ms. Sawyer spent nine years at CBS News. There she made
history as the first female correspondent of 60 Minutes. She also co-anchored the CBS
Morning News and was CBS News' State Department correspondent. While at CBS, Ms.
Sawyer covered the 1980, '84 and '88 national conventions as a floor and then podium
correspondent. Ms. Sawyer was part of the Nixon-Ford transition team from 1974 to
1975 and assisted former President Nixon in the writing of his memoirs in 1974 and
1975. She began her career in broadcasting in 1967 in Louisville, Kentucky, where she
was a reporter for WLKY-TV until 1970. A native of Glasgow, Kentucky, and raised in
Louisville, Ms. Sawyer received a B.A. from Wellesley College and completed a
semester of law school before embarking on a career in broadcasting.
TOM HANKS
Actor, director. Born July 9, 1956, in Concord, California. His parents divorced when
Hanks was five years old; he was raised, along with his older brother and sister, by their
father, Amos, a chef. The family moved frequently, finally settling in Oakland,
California, where Hanks attended high school. After graduating in 1974, Hanks attended
junior college in Hayward, California. He decided to pursue acting after reading and
watching a performance of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, and transferred into the
theater program at California State University in Sacramento. In 1977, Hanks was
recruited to take part in the summer session of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in
Lakewood Ohio. Over the next three years, Hanks spent his summers acting in various
productions of Shakespeare's plays, and his winters working backstage at a community
theater company in Sacramento. He won the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best
Actor in 1978, for his portrayal of Proteus in The Two Gentleman of Verona.
By 1980, Hanks had dropped out of college, and after his third season with the Great
Lakes festival, he moved to New York City. Many rounds of auditions later, he landed a
small part in the 1980 slasher film, He Knows You're Alone. That same year, he was
spotted by a talent scout for ABC, and was cast in the television sitcom Bosom Buddies,
as one of two advertising executives who dress in drag in order to rent an apartment in an
all-female building. The show was cancelled after two seasons, but it gave Hanks some
exposure and led to his casting in guest roles on various episodes of popular shows like
Happy Days, Taxi, The Love Boat and Family Ties. In 1982, Ron Howard, co-star of
Happy Days, remembered Hanks from his guest stint on the show, and had him read for a
supporting part in a movie he was directing. That supporting role eventually went to John
Candy, and Hanks instead landed the lead role in Howard's Splash, as a man who falls in
love with a mermaid, played by Daryl Hannah. The movie, released in 1984, became a
surprise hit, and Hanks was suddenly a recognizable face.
A string of critically panned movies followed, most notably Bachelor Party (1984), The
Man With One Red Shoe (1985), Volunteers (1985), The Money Pit (1986), and Dragnet
(1987). Hanks managed to emerge relatively unscathed from these critical failures, as
critics often pointed to his performance as the best thing about each movie. In 1988, he
was finally cast in a star-making role, in director Penny Marshall's Big, as a 13-year-old
boy transplanted overnight into the body of a 35-year-old man. His performance charmed
both critics and audiences, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best
Actor. With Big, Hanks established his reputation as a box-office draw as well as a
talented actor. Over the next several years, however, his films failed to match the critical
or commercial success of that film, although they did display Hanks's wide range, from
light-hearted comedies (1989's Turner and Hooch, 1990's Joe Versus the Volcano) to
more serious fare (1988’s Punchline, 1990's Bonfire of the Vanities).
In 1993, Hanks emerged with two huge hits: Sleepless in Seattle, a romantic comedy
written by Nora Ephron that rematched him with his Joe Versus the Volcano co-star, Meg
Ryan; and Philadelphia, co-starring Denzel Washington. In the latter film, Hanks played
a lawyer fired from his high-paying firm because he has AIDS, delivering a courageous
performance that earned him an Oscar for Best Actor. He followed up on that tremendous
year with the release of Forrest Gump (1994), the sprawling story of an unlikely hero's
path through late twentieth-century American history. The film was a phenomenal box
office success, winning Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Zemeckis). For
his part, Hanks brought home his second straight Best Actor statuette, becoming the first
person in 50 years to accomplish that feat.

In 1996, Hanks starred in another blockbuster, Apollo 13, a Ron Howard film based on
the abortive lunar landing mission of the Apollo 13 spacecraft in 1970. The film was
released in the IMAX format in 2002. Like Forrest Gump, the film made over $500
million at the box office. That same year, Hanks made his directorial and screenwriting
debut with That Thing You Do!, which enjoyed moderate success. He continued his
behind-the-camera duties in the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, From the Earth to the
Moon, for which he produced, directed, wrote, and acted in various episodes.
In 1998, he starred in another groundbreaking blockbuster, Saving Private Ryan, a World
War II drama directed by Steven Spielberg and filmed with gruesome accuracy. While
the film was nominated for Best Director and Best Actor, and was a favorite for Best
Picture, only Spielberg took home the Oscar. In late 1998, Hanks also teamed once more
with Ryan and Ephron, in the hit romantic comedy You've Got Mail. Hanks soared to the
top of the holiday box office in late 1999, as he reprised his role as the voice of Woody,
the cowboy at the center of 1995's animated Toy Story. Toy Story 2, also featuring the
voice of Tim Allen, surpassed all expectations at the box office, grossing a record-
breaking $80.8 million when it opened over Thanksgiving weekend. He also starred in
The Green Mile, which shot to No. 2 at the box office, behind Toy Story 2, in its opening
weekend. The film was set in a Depression-era prison and adapted from a story by
Stephen King.
Hanks underwent a striking physical transformation to play a man stranded on a desert
island in his next film, the long-awaited Cast Away, directed by Zemeckis and co-starring
Helen Hunt. His performance propelled the film to the top of the holiday box office,
earning Hanks critical raves and yet another well deserved Oscar nomination for Best
Actor. In the 1990s, Hanks compiled an imposing record of box office hits and has
emerged as arguably the most powerful and well-respected actor in Hollywood. His
accessible good looks and regular-guy charisma has earned him comparisons with screen
legends of the past, such as Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, and Gary Cooper.
In 2002, Hanks was honored with the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement
Award, the youngest actor ever to receive the award.
In 2002, Hanks produced the surprise hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding. His next producing
projects include the drama Society Cab and the Imax space documentary Magnificent
Desolation. In 2004, the actor starred in the Coen brothers' remake of the classic 1955
comedy Ladykillers. He teamed with Steven Spielberg for the drama Terminal, and
starred in the family film The Polar Express. Hanks next starred in the highly anticipated
The Da Vinci Code, based on the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. It grossed over $750
million worldwide. For Christmas 2007, Hanks appeared as the lead in Charlie Wilson's
War, a drama based on a Texas congressman's efforts to assist Afghan rebels in their war
with the Soviets have some unforeseen and long-reaching effects. The performance
earned Hanks a Golden Globe nomination for his role.
Hanks met his first wife, actress and producer Samantha Lewes (real name: Susan
Dillingham), while he was in college. They were married in 1978 and had two children,
Colin and Elizabeth, before divorcing in 1987. In 1988, he married actress Rita Wilson,
with whom he co-starred in Volunteers. Hanks and Wilson have two children, Chester
and Truman.
BILL GATES
Entrepreneur. Born William Henry Gates, III, on October 28, 1955, in Seattle,
Washington. Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13
at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college. Striking out on his own
with his friend and business partner Paul Allen, Gates found himself at the right place at
the right time. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy, and aggressive
competitive tactics he built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the
process he became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates grew up in an upper middle-class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is
older, and Libby, who is younger. Their father, William H. Gates, Sr., was a promising, if
somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an
athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student
affairs and leadership. The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three
children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill showed early
signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer
house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite)
and excelled in Monopoly.
Bill had a very close relationship with his mother, Mary, who after a brief career as a
teacher devoted her time to helping raise the children and working on civic affairs and
with charities. She also served on several corporate boards, among them First Interstate
Bank in Seattle (founded by her grandfather), the United Way, and International Business
Machines (IBM). She would often take Bill along on her volunteer work in schools and
community organizations.
Bill was a voracious reader as a child, spending many hours pouring over reference books
such as the encyclopedia. Around the age of 11 or 12, Bill's parents began to have
concerns about his behavior. He was doing well in school, but he seemed bored and
withdrawn at times. His parents worried he might become a loner. Though they were
strong believers in public education, when Bill turned 13 they enrolled him in Seattle's
Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school. He blossomed in nearly all his
subjects, excelling in math and science, but also doing very well in drama and English.
While at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time
for the students. The Mother's Club used proceeds from the school's rummage sale to
purchase a teletype terminal for students to use. Bill Gates became entranced with what a
computer could do and spent much of his free time working on the terminal. He wrote a
tic-tac-toe program in BASIC computer language that allowed users to play against the
computer.
It was at Lakeside School where Bill met Paul Allen, who was two years his senior. The
two became fast friends, bonding on their common enthusiasm over computers, even
though they were very different. Allen was more reserved and shy. Bill was feisty and at
times combative. They both spent much of their free time together working on programs.
Occasionally, they disagreed and would clash over who was right or who should run the
computer lab. On one occasion, their argument escalated to the point where Allen banned
Gates from the computer lab. On another occasion, Gates and Allen had their school
computer privileges revoked for taking advantage of software glitches to obtain free
computer time from the company that provided the computers. After their probation, they
were allowed back in the computer lab when they offered to debug the program. During
this time, Gates developed a payroll program for the computer company the boys hacked
into, and a scheduling program for the school.
Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the college
SAT test, a feat of intellectual achievement that for several years he boasted about when
introducing himself to new people. He enrolled at Harvard University in the fall,
originally thinking of a career in law. But his freshman year saw him spend more of his
time in the computer lab than in class. Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead,
he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade.
In February of 1976, Gates wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists saying that
continued distribution and use of software without paying for it would "prevent good
software from being written." In essence, pirating software would discourage developers
from investing time and money into creating quality software. The letter was unpopular
with computer enthusiasts, but Gates stuck to his beliefs and would use the threat of
innovation as a defense when faced with charges of unfair business practices.
Gates had a more acrimonious relationship with MITS president Ed Roberts, often
resulting in shouting matches. The combative Gates clashed with Roberts on software
development and the direction of the business. Roberts considered Gates spoiled and
obnoxious. In 1977, Roberts sold MITS to another computer company, and went back to
Georgia to enter medical school and become a country doctor. Gates and Allen were on
their own. The pair had to sue the new owner of MITS to retain the software rights they
had developed for Altair.
Microsoft wrote software in different formats for other computer companies and, at the
end of 1978, Gates moved the company's operations to Bellevue Washington, just east of
Seattle. Bill Gates was glad to be home again in the Pacific Northwest, and threw himself
into his work. All 25 employees of the young company had broad responsibilities for all
aspects of the operation, product development, business development, and marketing.
With his acumen for software development and a keen business sense, Gates placed
himself as the head of Microsoft, which grossed $2.5 million in 1978. Gates was only 23.
In November 1985, Bill Gates and Microsoft launched Windows; nearly two years after
his announcement. Visually the Windows system looked very similar to the Macintosh
system Apple Computer Corporation had introduced nearly two years earlier. Apple had
earlier given Microsoft full access to their technology while it was working on making
Microsoft products compatible for Apple computers. Gates had advised Apple to license
their software but they ignored the advice, being more interested in selling computers.
Once again, Gates took full advantage of the situation and created a software format that
was strikingly similar to the Macintosh. Apple threatened to sue and Microsoft retaliated,
saying it would delay shipment of its Microsoft compatible software for Macintosh users.
In the end, Microsoft prevailed in the courts because it could prove that while there were
similarities in how the two software systems operated, each individual function was
distinctly different.
Outside the company, Bill Gates was gaining a reputation as a ruthless competitor.
Several tech companies led by IBM began to develop their own operating system called
OS/2 to replace MS-DOS. Rather than give into the pressure, Gates pushed ahead with
the Windows software, improving its operation and expanding its uses. In 1989,
Microsoft introduced Microsoft Office which bundled office productivity applications
such as Microsoft Word and Excel into one system that was compatible with all
Microsoft products. The applications were not as easily compatible with OS/2.
Microsoft's new version of Windows sold 100,000 copies in just two weeks and OS/2
soon faded away. This left Microsoft with a virtual monopoly on operating systems for
PCs. Soon the Federal Trade Commission began to investigate Microsoft for unfair
marketing practices.

Microsoft faced a string of Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department
investigations throughout the 1990s. Some related allegations that Microsoft made unfair
deals with computer manufactures who installed the Windows operating system on their
computers. Other charges involved Microsoft forcing computer manufactures to sell
Microsoft's Internet Explorer as a condition for selling the Windows operating system
with their computers.
At one point, Microsoft faced a possible break up of its two divisions—operating systems
and software development. Microsoft defended itself, harking back to Bill Gates' earlier
battles with software piracy, and proclaiming that such restrictions were a threat to
innovation. Eventually, Microsoft was able to find a settlement with the federal
government to avoid a breakup. Through it all, Gates found some inventive ways to
deflect the pressure with light-hearted commercials and public appearances at computer
trade shows posing as Star Trek's Mr. Spock. Gates continued to run the company and
weather the federal investigations through the 1990s.
Bill Gates stepped down from the day-to-day operations of Microsoft in 2000, turning
over the job of CEO to college friend Steve Ballmer who had been with Microsoft since
1980. He positioned himself as chief software architect so he could concentrate on what
was for him the more passionate side of the business. He still remains chairman of the
board. Over the next few years, his involvement with the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation occupied much of his time and even more of his interest. In 2006, Gates
announced he was transitioning himself from full-time work at Microsoft, to devote more
quality time to the Foundation. His last full day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008.
In addition to all the accolades of being one of the most successful and richest
businessmen in the history of the world, Bill Gates has also received numerous awards
for philanthropic work. Time magazine named Gates one of the most influential people of
the 20th century. The magazine also named Gates, his wife Melinda, and rock band U2's
lead singer Bono as the 2005 Persons of the Year.
Gates also holds several honorary doctorates from universities throughout the world and
an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth
II. In 2006, Gates and his wife were awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the
Mexican government for their philanthropic work throughout the world in the areas of
health and education.
 DREW BARRYMORE
Actress. Born Drew Blythe Barrymore, on February 22, 1975, in Los Angeles,California.
The daughter of actor John Drew Barrymore Jr. and Ildiko Jaid, Barrymore's great-
grandparents were actors Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew, and her grandparents
were actors John Barrymore and Dolores Costello. The director Steven Spielberg is her
godfather. Barrymore, a talented young actress, has been as well known for her wild
antics off-screen as for her acting ability. Ildiko Jaid, estranged from husband John
Barrymore Jr., began taking her daughter to auditions as a baby. The youngest Barrymore
appeared in her first television commercial for Puppy Choice dog food before she was a
year old.
She made her big screen debut at the age of four in Ken Russell's Altered States (1980).
At the age of seven, Barrymore landed her most famous role as Gertie, the adorable little
sister in E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982). The role pushed Barrymore into the spotlight.
After the movie she appeared on NBC's The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and
became the youngest-ever host of Saturday Night Live. Jaid began taking her daughter to
night clubs, and it was at Studio 54 and the China Club that Barrymore developed a pre-
teenage fondness for drugs and alcohol. At age 13, an enraged Barrymore became violent
when she was unable to throw her mother out of the house. She was placed in a
rehabilitation center, and later wrote of the experience in her autobiography, Little Girl
Lost.
Because of her reputation as a wild child in trouble, film projects were slow to
materialize. Barrymore made some minor films, including Irreconcilable Differences,
Firestarter and Cat's Eye. In the 1990s, she began starring in a series of films that
exploited her bad-girl image, including Poison Ivy (1992), Guncrazy (1992), and The
Amy Fisher Story (1993), a made-for-TV movie based on the Joey Buttafuoco scandal.
Barrymore entered into a short-lived marriage to bar owner Jeremy Thomas at age 19,
which lasted from March to May of 1994. She continued her controversial behavior
throughout the early 1990s by posing nude for spreads in Andy Warhol's Interview and in
Playboy. She also made headlines when she exposed herself on live TV to a shocked
David Letterman during his Late Night show birthday celebration.
Her luck began to change in 1995, when Barrymore founded her own production
company, Flower Films. The same year, she gave a solid performance in the film Boys on
the Side co-starring Whoopi Goldberg and Mary-Louise Parker. The next year she made
a memorable terror-filled appearance in the blockbuster Scream (1996) and co-starred in
Woody Allen's musical Everybody Says I Love You (1996). In 1998, she proved her
strength as a romantic leading lady when she co-starred in the popular comedy, The
Wedding Singer with Adam Sandler and in Ever After, a version of the Cinderella story
co-starring Anjelica Huston.
In 1999, she earned her first credit as an executive producer with the likable comedy
Never Been Kissed, in which she also starred. The next year, she also produced and
starred in the hit film Charlie's Angels, playing alongside Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and
Bill Murray. The movie became a blockbuster hit, bringing in more than $40 million in
its opening weekend. Charlie's Angels signaled the beginning of true financial success for
Flower Films. Barrymore's next choice for the company was the dark drama, Donnie
Darko, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film, in which Barrymore also co-starred, became
an instant cult classic and was nominated for more than a dozen independent film awards.
In 2002, Barrymore appeared as the love interest of Chuck Barris in the critically
acclaimed biopic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, also starring Sam Rockwell.
Through this performance, Barrymore's reputation as a legitimate film actress was finally
solidified. Barrymore brought back her successful Charlie's Angels franchise in 2003
with Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. This time, she also brought actress Demi Moore and
comedian Bernie Mac onboard. The film was another box-office smash. That same year
Flower Films also released the comedy Duplex, in which Barrymore starred with Ben
Stiller.
The next year, Barrymore starred in another Flower Films movie, 50 First Dates, a
romantic comedy co-starring Adam Sandler. She also earned a star on the Hollywood
Walk of Fame. Flower Films—and Barrymore— kept busy the next few years, producing
such films as Fever Pitch (2005), Music and Lyrics (2007) and the recent box office hit,
He's Just Not That Into You (2009). Barrymore is reportedly in talks to direct the third
movie in the Twilight film series, Eclipse. Barrymore's other recent acting projects
include Lucky You (2007), Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008), and the biopic Grey Gardens
(2009) co-starring Jessica Lange.
In addition to acting, Barrymore has a successful career as a model, becoming the face of
CoverGirl Cosmetics and Gucci Jewelry in 2007. That same year, she was listed No. 1 in
People magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People list. After her marriage with
Thomas ended in 1994, Barrymore has had a string of romantic relationships. In 2000,
she became engaged to the eccentric Canadian comic Tom Green, of MTV's The Tom
Green Show. After many false wedding rumors (some started by Green himself), the pair
eloped in March 2001. The couple filed for divorce six months later. Since then, she has
been linked to Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti and actor Justin Long. Barrymore and
Long split in 2008.
DAVID BECKHAM
David Beckham is one of Britain's most iconic athletes whose name is also an elite global
advertising brand. He was captain of the English national team from 2000 to 2006, scored
in three different FIFA World Cups, and played midfield for clubs in Manchester,
England and Madrid, Spain, before agreeing to move to Los Angeles, to play for Los
Angeles Galaxy team on a five year contract beginning on July 1, 2007
He was born David Robert Joseph Beckham on May 2, 1975, in Leytonstone, East
London, England, son of Ted Beckham, a kitchen fitter, and Sandra West, a hairdresser.
Beckham's maternal grandfather is Jewish, and he has been mentioning the religion as
influence; he wears a tattoo written in Hebrew from the 'Song of Songs' in the Hebrew
Bible (Old Testament), albeit he is not known to practice Judaism or any other faith.
Beckham has always played in long sleeve shirts to cover up his tattoos in consideration
of others who may feel uncomfortable due to their beliefs.
He was brought up by his parents, supporters of Manchester United, attended Bobby
Charlton's football school in Manchester, and won a spot in a training session at FC
Barcelona as a child. In 1986 he was a Manchester United's mascot for a match against
West Ham United. From 1992 - 2003 Beckham made almost 400 appearances for
Manchester United and scored 85 goals, although his official record counts only 62 goals
in 265 official senior team's matches. In the 1998 FIFA World Cup he played all of
England's qualifying matches and scored in several important victories. He received a red
card for violent conduct in England's match against Argentina, albeit his opponent later
admitted to trying to send Beckham off by over-reacting to their contact during the game
and by urging the referee to send Beckham off. After losing the game England was
eliminated, Beckham was made a scapegoat and became the target of criticism and abuse
in media.
He had a good season in 1999 - 2000 and helped Manchester United to win the Premier
League. At that time, he married singer Victoria Beckham (nee' Adams) from the popular
musical group The Spice Girls, and the couple had their first son, Brooklyn, born in 1999.
That same year, Beckham was given a permission to miss training routine, in order to
look after his son Brooklyn, who suffered from a stomach infection. Meanwhile, the
Manchester United's manager, Alex Ferguson, fined Beckham £50,000 (about $80,000
then) the maximum amount that was permitted, for babysitting with his sick child, while
his wife was spotted at a London fashion Week event on the same night. Ferguson's claim
that Beckham should be able to train if his wife stayed home that day, caused a serious
personal tension between two men. In February 2003, following the defeat to Arsenal, the
Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguson entered the changing room and kicked a
football boot that struck Beckham over the eye, causing a cut that required stitches.
David Beckham has been a good scorer and a major attraction for public. On the field he
has been demonstrating his consistent ability to see a big picture even under severe
pressure during the most rapidly changing and unpredictable games. His field vision has
been remarkable, allowing him to create many assists in a number of important matches.
Beckham's forte has been his delivery from the right-hand side as well as his efficient
free kicks. His superior performances in the midfield position has required a higher
physical endurance through the entire game. "David Beckham's right foot" was
mentioned, although humorously, as one of British national treasures in the movie Love
Actually (2003).
He signed a four-year contract with Real Madrid, beginning on July 1, 2003, and worth a
potential 40 million dollars. In Madrid, Beckham was not allowed to wear his favorite
number seven, because another player had the right to wear it written into his contract.
Beckham decided to wear the number 23 instead, being a big fan of Michael Jordan. He
immediately became popular with the Real Madrid fans, but the team did not perform
well enough to win either the Spanish League or the Champions League. However,
Beckham remained a reliable scorer and his performances attracted more public. His
shirts sales and other merchandising deals remained lucrative for the club, which
continued to under-perform, regardless of the Real's management's higher expectations.
In 2005 Beckham became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He was also involved in
promoting London's successful bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. His third season in
Madrid was unremarkable, and he was criticized a lot, mainly because the team finished
second to Barcelona in Spanish "La Liga" and lost to Arsenal in the European Champions
League. However, during that season, he expanded his international presence by
establishing football academies in Los Angeles and East London. During the FIFA World
Cup 2006, he played for England, and became the first ever English player to score in
three World Cups. In the quarter final game against Portugal, Beckham was replaced
because of his injury in the middle of the game. Without him the English team lost and
was knocked out of the World Cup.
In June 2007 Beckham played his final game for Real Madrid, winning a medal and
celebrating with his friends Tom and Katie Cruse, who attended the game. This was his
fourth, and last season there, ending his contract with the club. He announced that he had
signed a five-year contract to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy from July 1, 2007 through
June 2012. The 5-year deal includes up to $10 million a year in direct salary, and with
merchandising endorsements and profit-sharing could earn Beckham up to $50 million a
year, and may end up worth about $250 million in five years, making him one of the
highest earning athletes of all time.
In 2009, in a unique time share agreement David played on loan at AC Milan to maintain
his fitness after ending the season with the Galaxy. He ended up staying with Milan for
five months, from January to May 2009. In 2010, he also arranged to embark on a second
loan spell at AC Milan from the Galaxy, to play for Milan for another five months. He
said the he "genuinely enjoyed playing for Milan."
The Beckhams, who have become known as "Posh and Becks", have three sons:
Brooklyn Joseph Beckham (born 1999), Romeo James Beckham (born 2002), and Cruz
David Beckham (born 2005) who was named "Cruz" in honor of their friend Tom Cruise.
They are expecting their fourth child in the summer of 2011.
SHAUN WHITE
Shaun White is many things but most notably he's driven. He holds many of the highest
accolades within snowboarding and skateboarding, and at 23, he's only getting started.
An X Games double threat with medals in both snowboarding and skateboarding, as well
as a gold medal from the 2006 Winter Olympics, Shaun White possesses insane skills and
instantly recognizable looks. This amazing combination has made him one of the most
recognizable sports figures of his time.
Born in San Diego, California in 1986, Shaun Roger White endured two major surgeries
to correct a heart defect before he was a year old. Despite these conditions, the growing
youngster proved that he was far from frail, charging into sports like surfing, soccer and
snowboarding at a young age. Shaun grew up in a family of five: Mom (Cathy), Dad
(Roger), Sister (Kari) and Brother (Jesse). One of the family's favorite pastime included
skiing. With no close mountain resorts, they would take weekend road trips up to local
mountains. At the age of four, Shaun proved to be fearless on his skis as he raced down
the slopes with older brother Jesse. At six, in an attempt to slow him down, Cathy
decided to put him on a snowboard and instructed him to copy everything Jesse did.
Shaun did just that, unfortunately for her, it only encouraged Shaun to go faster.
His parents supported Shaun's snowboarding ability and took him to the mountains as
often as possible. At seven, Shaun entered his first amateur snowboard contest and won,
earning him a wildcard entry into Nationals, where he placed just outside of the top 10.
At that time, Cathy sent Burton a homemade video of Shaun just as the company was
coincidentally developing a kid-sized snowboard line. Not surprisingly, they were
impressed, and offered the seven-year-old a sponsorship deal. With the support of
Burton, he turned pro at 13.
After winning five national titles as an amateur, Shaun captured his first major win as a
pro in 2001 at the Arctic Challenge. He earned his first Winter X Games medal when he
was 16, and between Slopestyle and Superpipe hasn't failed to stand on the Winter X
podium since. Between skateboarding and snowboarding Shaun now holds 16 X Games
medals, and a record 10 of them are gold. While Shaun was being lauded as a snowboard
prodigy, he was simultaneously turning heads on the skateboard scene. Professional
skateboarder Tony Hawk befriended the nine-year-old at a local skatepark and mentored
the up-and-comer, helping Shaun turn pro in skateboarding at the age of 17. In 2003 he
became the first athlete ever to compete and medal in both the Summer and Winter X
Games in two different sports. In 2007, Shaun set unparalleled standards by winning the
overall title and prestigious honor of Action Sports Tour Champion thanks to his
impressive skills in skateboarding vert.
One of Shaun's rare disappointments had been failing to make the 2002 Winter Olympic
lineup; he narrowly missed earning a spot on the U.S. team by three tenths of a point. In
the 2006 qualifiers for Torino, however, he took no prisoners. Shaun went undefeated
with 12 victories that season, becoming the first athlete ever to sweep the five-event U.S.
Grand Prix series, which serves as the Olympic qualifiers. His come-from-behind gold
medal win in Halfpipe was compelling enough, but his unscripted wit and casual
charisma with the media and fans sealed the deal: Shaun White was now a household
name. At 23, Shaun shows no sign of letting up on the competition, taking on the world
in contests leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics to be held in Vancouver, Canada.
Shaun wanted to pull out all the stops and introduce new tricks to the snowboard world
this year, and with the help of Red Bull, a halfpipe was created with snowboarding's first-
ever on-mountain foam pit. The Red Bull foam pit allowed Shaun to attempt tricks he
never thought would be possible. The one-month training session, dubbed "Red Bull
Project X" allowed Shaun to push the progression of snowboarding, and he emerged from
Project X with an arsenal of new tricks, including the first ever back-to-back double cork
variations which he then debuted at the Burton New Zealand Open in August '09. In
addition to his athletic talents, Shaun has a knack for business. By partnering with
companies that he thinks are cool, Shaun has been able to reach out beyond his sport and
embraced the position of brand ambassador for companies like Burton, Target, and
Ubisoft.
Last year he debuted his original clothing line, Shaun White 4 Target. Shaun and his
brother Jesse work together to create a stylish and affordable line of T-shirts, woven
shirts, shorts and denim jeans for boys and young men. Shaun also spends time at Target
House, a residence for families and patients receiving long-term treatment at St. Jude
Children's Research Hospital. He recently designed and funded the creation of the Shaun
White Great Room--a place to hang out, explore and meet new friends.
Along with Burton Snowboards, Shaun has collaborated on a signature outerwear line
named the White Collection. His signature men's outerwear line debutted in the fall of
2005; expanding into boots, boards, bags, glove, and as of 2008, Womens Outerwear.
The 2010 line embodies both a cultural and musical revolution inspired by the
underworld that emerged in England's post-punk society. It was in this revolutionary
spirit that Shaun set out to recreate the new line. The White Collection hit stores and
Burton.com in August 2009. In addition, last October Burton released "The B", a
snowboard film featuring the riding of Shaun White and the Burton snowboard team.
In 2008, Shaun partnered with Ubisoft on the development of his first video game, Shaun
White Snowboarding: Road Trip. The game was a worldwide success, selling over 3
million copies since its launch and establishing a new sports brand for Ubisoft. Building
upon the success of last year's game, Shaun and Ubisoft have teamed up again on the
holiday 2009 release of Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage. With creative control
from conception to completion, Shaun takes a hands-on approach ensuring everything in
his game is just right. Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage follows Shaun and his
crew of friends as they go from chasing the best powder to pursuing the world's top
competitions. The new game infuses the snowboarding experience with the most
authentic elements of Shaun's riding style, personality, and sense of humor.
Shaun has also been a pioneer for eyewear since he joined the Oakley family in 1998. He
was the first athlete to ever co-design a sunglass with Oakley, which he named "The
Montefrio," while simultaneously releasing the first ever signature series A-Frame
goggle. For 2010, Shaun's collection includes a Signature Jupiter sunglass and a new
Signature A-Frame goggle. Whether in a halfpipe or on a vert ramp, this five time ESPY
award winner is undoubtedly a talented athlete. Along with his athletic accomplishments
Shaun still finds time to give back, frequently stopping by Target House as well as
supporting other organizations such as Tony Hawk Foundation, Heartgift, Make-A-Wish
Foundation and Summit on the Summit. Despite his hectic schedule Shaun makes sure
there's always enough time for his friends and family.
JERRY SEINFELD
Jerome "Jerry" Seinfeld was born on April 29, 1954. He is an American stand-up
comedian, actor, writer, television and film producer, best known for playing a semi-
fictional version of himself in the situation comedy Seinfeld (1989–1998), which he co-
created and co-wrote with Larry David, and, in the show's final two seasons, co-
executive-produced. Seinfeld was born in New York, New York. His father, Kalman
Seinfeld was of Austrian Jewish background and was a sign maker. His mother, Betty is
of Syrian Jewish descent. Seinfeld grew up in Massapequa, New York. In September
1959, his mother enrolled him at Birch Lane Elementary School, from which he
continued to Massapequa High School. At the age of 16, he spent a short period of time
volunteering in Kibbutz Sa'ar in Israel. He went to SUNY Oswego, and after his
sophomore year he transferred to Queens College, City University of New York,
graduating with a degree in communications and theater.
Seinfeld developed an interest in stand-up comedy after brief stints in college
productions. In 1976 after graduation from Queens College, he tried out at an open-mic
night at New York City's Catch a Rising Star, which led to an appearance in a Rodney
Dangerfield HBO special. In 1979 he had a small recurring role on the Benson sitcom as
"Frankie", a mail delivery boy who had comedy routines that no one wanted to hear, but
he was abruptly fired from the show due to creative differences. Seinfeld has said that he
was not actually told he had been fired until he turned up for the read-through session for
an episode, and found that there was no script for him. In May 1981, Seinfeld made a
highly successful appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, impressing
Carson and the audience and leading to regular appearances on that show and others,
including Late Night with David Letterman.
Seinfeld created The Seinfeld Chronicles with Larry David in 1989 for NBC. The show
was later renamed Seinfeld to avoid confusion with the short-lived teen sitcom The
Marshall Chronicles and, by its fourth season, had become the most popular and
successful sitcom on American television. The final episode aired in 1998, and the show
has been a popular syndicated re-run. The show also starred Saturday Night Live veteran
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, as well as experienced actors Michael Richards and Jason
Alexander. On the show, Seinfeld played a caricature of himself. He has said that his
show was influenced by the 1950s sitcom The Abbott and Costello Show. Citing Jean
Shepherd as an influence in his commentary for "The Gymnast" episode on "Seinfeld,
Season 6," he said, "He really formed my entire comedic sensibility--I learned how to do
comedy from Jean Shepherd." Seinfeld also holds the distinction of being the only actor
to appear in every episode of the show. From 2004–2007, the former Seinfeld cast and
crew recorded audio commentaries for episodes of the DVD releases of the show.
Seinfeld himself provided commentary for numerous episodes.
After his sitcom ended, Seinfeld returned to stand-up comedy instead of pursuing a film
career. In 1998 Seinfeld went on tour and recorded a comedy special entitled I'm Telling
You for the Last Time. The process of developing and performing new material at clubs
around the world was chronicled in a 2002 documentary, Comedian, which focused also
on fellow comic Orny Adams, directed by Christian Charles. He has written several
books, mostly archives of past routines. In the late 1990s Apple Computer came up with
an advertising slogan called "Think different" and produced a 60-second commercial to
promote the slogan which showed people who were able to "think differently", like
Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and many others. This
commercial was later cut short to thirty seconds and ended up paying tribute to Jerry
Seinfeld. This commercial aired only once, during the series finale of Seinfeld.

In 2004 Seinfeld also appeared in two commercial webisodes promoting American
Express, entitled The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman, in which he appeared together
with an animated rendering of Superman, who was referenced in numerous episodes of
Seinfeld as Seinfeld's hero, voiced by Patrick Warburton, who had portrayed David
Puddy on Seinfeld. The webisodes were aired in 2004 and directed by Barry Levinson.
Seinfeld and "Superman" were also interviewed by Matt Lauer in a specially-recorded
interview for the Today show. On November 18, 2004, Seinfeld appeared at the National
Museum of American History to donate the "Puffy Shirt" he wore in the famous Seinfeld
episode of the same name. He also gave a speech when presenting the "Puffy Shirt",
claiming humorously that, "This is the most embarrassing moment of my life."
Seinfeld had a special appearance on May 13, 2006, Saturday Night Live episode as Julia
Louis-Dreyfus' assassin. Louis-Dreyfus was the host of that episode and in her opening
monologue she mentioned the "Seinfeld Curse". While talking about how ridiculous the
"curse" was, a stage light suddenly fell next to her. The camera moved to a catwalk above
the stage that Seinfeld was standing on, holding a large pair of bolt cutters. He angrily
muttered, "Dammit!", angry that it didn't hit her. Louis-Dreyfus then continued to say that
she is indeed not cursed.
On February 24, 2008, Seinfeld appeared as the voice of his Bee Movie animated
character Barry, at the 80th Academy Awards as the presenter for "Best Animated Short".
Before announcing the nominees, he showed a montage of film clips featuring bees,
claiming that they were some of his early work (as Barry). Amidst his spring 2008 tour
Seinfeld made a stop in his hometown of New York City for a one-night-only
performance on June 2, 2008 at the Hammerstein Ballroom to benefit Stand Up for a
Cure, a charity aiding lung cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
In August 2008 the Associated Press reported that Jerry Seinfeld would be the pitchman
for Windows Vista, as part of a $300 million advertising campaign by Microsoft. The
adverts, which were intended to create buzz for Windows in support of the subsequent
"I'm a PC" adverts, began airing in mid-September 2008 and were cut from television
after just 3 installments, Microsoft opting instead to continue with the "I'm a PC"
advertisements, and instead continued running the Seinfeld adverts on the Microsoft
website as a series of longer advertisements
Seinfeld dated Carol Leifer, a fellow comedian and rumored to be the inspiration for the
character of Elaine from his eponymous sitcom Seinfeld, although both parties deny it.
When he was in his late thirties, Seinfeld began a romantic relationship with then-
seventeen year old high school student Shoshanna Lonstein. A while later, after meeting
Jessica Sklar at the Reebok Sports Club, he began dating her. Sklar, a public relations
executive for Tommy Hilfiger, had just returned from a three-week honeymoon in Italy
with Eric Nederlander, a theatrical producer and scion of a theater-owning family. Sklar
divorced Nederlander and married Seinfeld on December 25, 1999. Comedian, George
Wallace, was the best man at the wedding. After the nuptials Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld
bought Billy Joel's Amagansett, Long Island house for $32 million in March 2000.
Seinfeld and his wife have one daughter and two sons: daughter Sascha was born on
November 7, 2000 in New York City; son Julian Kal was born on March 1, 2003 in New
York City; and Shepherd Kellen was born on August 22, 2005 at New York's Cornell
Medical Center. His son Julian's middle name is Kal, which is the first name of Seinfeld's
father. Kal is also the first name of Seinfeld's hero Kal-El (Superman). In 2000 Jessica
Seinfeld launched Baby Buggy, a charity that provides clothing and gear for
underprivileged women and children. She is the author of the best-seller Deceptively
Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food, released by
HarperCollins in October 2007.
TIM McGRAW
When Tim McGraw debuted in the early '90s, few would have predicted that he would
eventually take over Garth Brooks' position as the most popular male singer in country
music. Yet that's exactly what he did, thanks to a string of multi-platinum albums, a high-
profile marriage to fellow superstar Faith Hill, and Brooks' own inevitable decline. His
sound epitomized the strain of commercial country that dominated his era: updated honky
tonk and Southern-fried country-rock on the uptempo tunes, well-polished, adult
contemporary-tinged pop on the ballads. Helped out early in his career by several novelty
items, McGraw simply wound up cranking out hookier hits on a more consistent basis
than any of his peers. By the late '90s, he was not only a superstar among country fans,
but a mainstream celebrity with a large female following.

Samuel Timothy McGraw was born in Delhi, LA, on May 1, 1967. Though he didn't
know it until years later, his father was baseball player Tug McGraw, a star relief pitcher
for the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets who'd had a brief affair with McGraw's
mother. He was raised mostly in the small town of Start, LA, near Monroe, and grew up
listening to a variety of music: country, pop, rock, and R&B. He attended Northeast
Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship, studying sports medicine, and it was only
then that he started playing guitar to accompany his singing. He played the local club
circuit and dropped out of school in 1989, heading to Nashville on the same day his hero
Keith Whitley passed away. He sang in Nashville clubs for a couple of years and landed a
deal with Curb in 1992. His debut single, the minor hit "Welcome to the Club," was
released later that year, and his self-titled debut album appeared in 1993 but failed to
even make the charts.

McGraw's fortunes changed with the lead single from his 1994 sophomore effort, Not a
Moment Too Soon. "Indian Outlaw" was embraced as a light-hearted, old-fashioned
novelty song by fans but was heavily criticized for what some regarded as patronizing
caricatures of Native Americans. Despite some radio stations' refusal to air the song, it
reached the country Top Ten and even crossed over to the pop Top 20. All the publicity
helped send McGraw's next single, the ballad "Don't Take the Girl," all the way to the top
of the country charts; it too made the pop Top 20. The album kept spinning off hits:
"Down on the Farm" hit number two, the title track went to number one in 1995, and the
novelty tune "Refried Dreams" also reached the Top Five. Not a Moment Too Soon was a
genuine blockbuster hit, eventually selling over five million copies and topping both the
country and pop album charts; it was also the best-selling country album of the year.

McGraw's follow-up, 1995's All I Want, immediately consolidated his stardom with the
number one smash "I Like It, I Love It." The album topped the country charts, reached
the pop Top Five, and sold over two million copies. Once again, it functioned as a hit
factory thanks to the number two "Can't Be Really Gone," the number one "She Never
Lets It Go to Her Heart," and the Top Five "All I Want Is a Life" and "Maybe We Should
Just Sleep on It." Over 1996, McGraw supported the album with an extensive tour,
accompanied by opening act Faith Hill. In October, after the tour was over, McGraw and
Hill married, in a union of country star power that drew plenty of attention from
mainstream media. It doubtlessly helped McGraw's next album, 1997's Everywhere,
become another crossover smash; it topped the country charts, fell one spot short of doing
the same on the pop side, and sold four million copies. The lead single was a McGraw-
Hill duet called "It's Your Love," which not only hit number one country, but made the
pop Top Ten. Three more singles from the album -- "Everywhere," "Where the Green
Grass Grows," and "Just to See You Smile" -- hit number one, and two others -- "One of
These Days" and "For a Little While" -- reached number two. Meanwhile, "Just to Hear
You Say That You Love Me," another husband-and-wife duet from Hill's 1998 album
Faith, climbed into the Top Five.

With the multi-platinum success of Everywhere, McGraw was poised to take over
Brooks' throne as the king of contemporary country, a transition that only accelerated
when Brooks confounded his fans with the Chris Gaines project. McGraw, meanwhile,
just kept topping the charts. His next album, 1999's triple-platinum A Place in the Sun,
hit number one country and pop, and four of its singles also hit number one: "Please
Remember Me" (which featured Patty Loveless), "Something Like That," "My Best
Friend," and "My Next Thirty Years." 2000 brought McGraw's first Greatest Hits
compilation, a best-selling smash, and another Top Ten duet from Hill's Breathe album,
"Let's Make Love." The song later won McGraw his first Grammy, for Best Country
Vocal Collaboration. Also in 2000, McGraw had a brush with the law when he and
tourmate Kenny Chesney got involved in a scuffle with police officers, after Chesney
attempted to ride one of the officers' horses; McGraw was later cleared of assault charges
and spent the rest of 2000 on a second tour with Hill.

Released in 2001, Set This Circus Down (number one country, number two pop) kept
McGraw's hit streak going into the new millennium, giving him four more number ones -
- "Grown Men Don't Cry," "Angry All the Time," "The Cowboy in Me," and "Unbroken"
-- just like that. In 2002, his duet with protégée Jo Dee Messina, "Bring on the Rain," also
went to number one. For the follow-up album, McGraw defied country convention by
entering the studio not with session musicians, but with his road band, the Dancehall
Doctors, a unit that had been together since 1996 (with some members around even
before that). Tim McGraw was released in late 2002 and produced Top Ten hits in "Red
Rag Top" and "She's My Kind of Rain"; it also featured a startlingly faithful cover of
Elton John's "Tiny Dancer." McGraw kept the formula the same on 2004's chart-topping
Live Like You Were Dying, utilizing his road band, as well as co-mixing/producing the
record himself. Let It Go followed in 2007, with Southern Voice arriving in 2009.

Tim McGraw can also add acting to his resume of many talents. His first acting
appearance came in a 1995 episode of The Jeff Foxworthy Show, where he played
Foxworthy's rival. In 2004, McGraw played a sheriff in Rick Schroder's independent
release Black Cloud. Later in the same year, McGraw received critical acclaim as the
overbearing father of a running back in the major studio Texas high school football
drama Friday Night Lights. The Dallas Observer said the role was "played with
unexpected ferocity by country singer Tim McGraw." The movie went on to gross over
$60 million dollars worldwide at the box office, and sold millions in the DVD market.
Most recently, the movie was named one of the Top 50 High School Movies of All Time
by Entertainment Weekly.
McGraw's first lead role was in the 2006 film Flicka, which was released in theatres
October 20, 2006. In the remake of the classic book "My Friend Flicka", McGraw played
the father, Rob, costarring with Alison Lohman and Maria Bello. The family-friendly
movie debuted in the top 10 list and has grossed over $25 million at the box office.
McGraw again achieved critical acclaim for his acting. Shortly before Flicka opened,
McGraw received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is located at 6901
Hollywood Blvd. near stars in the sidewalk honoring Julie Andrews, William Shatner,
and the late Greta Garbo. One of his Flicka co-stars, Alison Lohman, attended the
ceremony that included comments from Billy Bob Thornton, McGraw's co-star in the
film Friday Night Lights.
McGraw appeared in the 2009 film The Blind Side as Sean Tuohy, husband of Sandra
Bullock’s character, Leigh Anne Tuohy. The Blind Side is based on the true story of
Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in and
adopted by the Tuohys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. In
addition to his appearance in the film, Tim's hit song "Southern Voice" was played during
the closing credits of the film. He is among the stars of Dirty Girl, a film that premiered
on September 12, 2010 at the Toronto Film Festival, along with Juno Temple, Milla
Jovovich, William H. Macy and Dwight Yoakam. Also in 2010, McGraw starred in
Country Strong as James Canter, the husband and manager of the fictional country singer
Kelly Canter (portrayed by Gwyneth Paltrow).
STEVEN TYLER
Steven Tyler was born Stephen Victor Tallarico on March 26, 1948. He is an American
singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and the frontman and lead singer of the Boston-
based rock band Aerosmith, in which he also plays the harmonica, and occasional piano
and percussion. He is also known as the "Demon of Screamin'" and is equally known for
his on-stage acrobatics. During his high-energy performances, he usually dresses in
bright, colorful outfits with his trademark scarves hanging from his microphone stand.
Steven was the second of two children. He was born in New York City and his family
later moved to Yonkers, NY, where he attended Roosevelt High School. He was expelled
from Roosevelt for drug use and later graduated from Jose Quintano's School for Young
Professionals. Before working as a professional musician, Tyler says he worked several
odd jobs, including a stint at a bakery. Music has always played a large role in Tyler's life
as he was the son of a classical musician who helmed the Vic Tallarico Orchestra. His
father taught music at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx for many years.
Steven Tyler also took a liking to blues and in the 1960s, he was a drummer and singer in
a variety of local rock and roll bands including The Strangeurs/Chain Reaction, The
Chain, and William Proud. Tyler spent time in the summers of his youth in the NH lakes
region where he met his future band mates. He has residences in Marshfield MA and
Lake Sunapee NH.
In 1969, Steven met a guitarist named Joe Perry in Sunapee, New Hampshire. In 1970,
they met again in Boston and formed Aerosmith with bassist Tom Hamilton. Later, they
added a second guitarist, Tyler's childhood friend Ray Tabano (who was quickly replaced
by Brad Whitford), and drummer Joey Kramer. After spending time on the Boston club
circuit, under the tutelage of their first manager, Frank Connelly, the band began working
with New York managers Steve Leber and David Krebs. They subsequently signed a
record deal in 1972 and released their eponymous debut album in 1973. It was followed
by Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, Rocks, and Draw the Line. These albums
catapulted Aerosmith to international fame and recognition. These albums produced
legendary hits like Dream On, Walk This Way, and Sweet Emotion. Aerosmith's first five
albums have also all gone multi-platinum, and Toys in the Attic and Rocks are
considered to be among the greatest hard rock albums of all time. However, as the decade
wore on, the fast-paced life of touring, recording, living together, and using drugs began
to take its toll on the band. Tyler and Perry were often called the Toxic Twins, for their
legendary intake of stimulants and heroin. Their relationship is well documented in many
of Aerosmith's video releases as well as in the Aerosmith Behind the Music. Tyler,
apparently much more dedicated to the band, seemed to resent Perry's passive attitude
and envied Perry's prioritization of the women in his life. The tense dynamic between
Tyler, Perry, and their once-friendly girlfriends was apparently a leading factor in the
gradual decay of Aerosmith, circa 1980. Additionally, the constant touring and recording,
the major drug abuse, and long-harbored differences between band members helped lead
to Aerosmith's near collapse at the end of the 1970s, just after completion of 1979's Night
in the Ruts.
On February 14th, 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, who left the band in 1979 and
1981 respectively, showed up to an Aerosmith show. According to the band's Behind the
Music special on VH1, Tyler alleges he made the first phone call to Joe Perry
encouraging them to meet up again. Backstage, they all met and Perry and Whitford
agreed to join the band once again. Aerosmith embarked on a reunion tour called, The
Back in the Saddle Tour, and proceeded to record once again. One problem was still
remaining, however, and that was the drug addictions of the band members, especially
Tyler, who had collapsed onstage during several performances in the early 1980s and had
long suffered a heroin addiction. Aerosmith's new manager Tim Collins and the rest of
the reunited band knew that they wouldn't get anywhere with their leader Steven Tyler
still under the heavy influence of drugs. In 1986, they held a meeting in which they
pressured Tyler into entering a strict drug rehabilitation program. After Tyler had
completed drug rehab, every other member of Aerosmith eventually went into rehab and
all had successfully exited their respective programs at various times in the mid-late
1980s. Since then, all members have refrained from using drugs and alcohol, and even
have gone so far as to try and prevent any member of the band's road crew from using
drugs or alcohol in their presence.
In 1985, Aerosmith released their comeback album Done With Mirrors, which produced
generally lackluster results for the band. In 1986, however, Tyler and Perry collaborated
with Run-D.M.C. for a remake of Aerosmith's 1976 hit Walk This Way, which hit #4 on
the charts and was recently in Rolling Stone Magazine as song #27 for top 100 songs that
changed the world. Walk This Way introduced both rap music and Aerosmith to a new
generation, as well as helping sow the seeds for a major comeback. Aerosmith came back
big in 1987 with Permanent Vacation, which charted three Top 20 singles and sold five
million copies. The band followed up in 1989 with Pump and once again in 1993 with
Get a Grip, both of which sold seven million copies apiece and launched the band into
global superstardom, well eclipsing their success in the 1970s. The three albums won
critical acclaim for their innovative musical styles, featured a dozen Top 40 singles,
produced theatrical music videos, and won the band dozens of awards. Aerosmith's
subsequent touring and appearance on television and in film turned the band into one of
the biggest pop culture icons. Steven Tyler, as the frontman for the group, became a
symbol for the band, a pop icon, and a household name in his own right. The band took a
healthy break in 1995 to spend time with their families, in the wake of their grueling
lifestyle of the previous ten years, under the helm of manager Tim Collins, who helped
orchestrate much of the band's comeback and sustained success. However, Aerosmith
almost came to a screeching halt as Collins pressured the exhausted band members and
spread rumors that the band was breaking up and that Steven Tyler was being unfaithful
to his wife and using drugs again, all of which were lies. He was subsequently fired. This,
along with a producer change, delayed the recording process for Nine Lives, which was
finally released in 1997. While not coming close to the sales figures of Get a Grip, it still
went double platinum, and the band managed to stay on top and toured for over two years
in support of the album. In 1997, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were featured in a
commercial for the GAP, performing a bluesy number with Tyler on harmonica. This was
part of an ad campaign by Gap featuring a variety of music artists. In 1998, while on tour
in support of the album Nine Lives, Steven Tyler suffered a ligament injury when his mic
stand came crashing into his knee. Tyler and the band finished the show, but they had to
cancel several dates and Tyler still had trouble walking for the filming of the video for I
Don't Want to Miss a Thing, which hit #1 on the charts that year. Surprisingly enough,
that has been their only #1 hit to date.
The beginning of the 21st century saw Aerosmith spotlight at the Super Bowl XXXV
Halftime Show, be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and release another
platinum album. Since 2001, Aerosmith has launched a successful tour every year and
has maintained an active role in the music industry, recording the albums Just Push Play
(2001) and Honkin' on Bobo (2004). In addition to this, Steven Tyler has kept busy with
a variety of side projects and guest appearances. On 27 May, 2001, at the 85th
Indianapolis 500, Steven Tyler sang the national anthem of the USA. He came under
criticism when he replaced 'Home Of The Brave' with 'home of the Indianapolis 500'. He
immediately apologized and reaffirmed his patriotism after the incident. After the
September 11, 2001 attacks, the band performed at the benefit concert United We Stand
in Washington, D.C. Tyler donned a full-length jacket featuring the American flag and
the band performed a brief set including the moving numbers Livin on the Edge and I
Don't Want to Miss a Thing, which seemed to take on new meaning in wake of the
attacks. Amazingly, the band flew back to Indianapolis to perform a show that same
night. In December 2002, Steven Tyler played Santa on a holiday episode of the
children's television show Lizzie McGuire. He also performed the song Santa Claus Is
Coming to Town. This was also the last episode of Lizzie McGuire that was shot. In
2003, Tyler received an honorary degree from Berklee College of Music, and, in 2005,
received an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston. In 2003,
Tyler also inducted AC/DC into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after he and his band
were inducted two years earlier. Tyler sang with AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson for a
performance of You Shook Me All Night Long. In 2004, Tyler appeared in a television
commercial for Sony digital cameras. The Grind, from Aerosmith's Honkin' on Bobo, is
also featured. The 2004 Christmas movie The Polar Express featured Steven Tyler
singing the lyrics to a rocking number entitled Rockin on Top of the World as well as a
group of computer-animated elves resembling Aerosmith performing the song. While Joe
Perry kept busy in 2005 with his self-titled solo album, Steven Tyler kept busy with a
variety of projects. That year, he sang lead vocals on Santana's hit single Just Feel Better.
Tyler also cameoed in the film Be Cool which stars John Travolta and Uma Thurman. In
the film, Steven Tyler does a duo of Cryin with upcoming singer Linda Moon (played by
Christina Milian). In 2006, after healing from throat surgery and the grueling Rockin' the
Joint Tour, Steven Tyler came back better than ever. One noteworthy event was when he
performed with Joe Perry and the Boston Pops Orchestra for the orchestra's annual Fourth
of July spectacular, his first major public appearance since the surgery. During the
concert, which was broadcast nationally on CBS, Tyler, Perry, and the orchestra
performed a medley of Walk This Way, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing and Dream On.
On August 5, 2009, while on the Guitar Hero Aerosmith Tour, Tyler fell off a stage near
Sturgis, South Dakota, injuring his head and neck and breaking his shoulder. He was
airlifted to Rapid City Regional Hospital. Aerosmith was forced to cancel the rest of their
2009 tour, except for two shows in Hawaii in October. Back in 2007, Aerosmith had to
cancel their first concert in Maui, which resulted in a class action lawsuit involving 8,000
plaintiffs. Attendees received tickets and, in some cases, reimbursements for out of
pocket expenses. The band also performed in early November at an auto race in Abu
Dhabi.
On November 9, 2009, it was reported that Steven Tyler had no contact with the other
members of Aerosmith and that they were unsure if he was still in the band. On
November 10, 2009, Joe Perry confirmed that Steven Tyler had quit Aerosmith to pursue
a solo career and was unsure whether the move was indefinite. No replacement was
announced. Despite rumors of leaving the band, and notwithstanding Perry's comment as
reported earlier the same day, Tyler joined The Joe Perry Project onstage November 10,
2009, at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza and performed "Walk This Way."
According to sources at the event, Tyler assured the crowd that despite rumors to the
contrary, he is "not quitting Aerosmith." On December 22, 2009, Rolling Stone reported
that Tyler had checked into rehab for pain management. In late 2010, Fox Television
confirmed that Tyler would join American Idol as a member of the judging panel for the
program's tenth season, alongside Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez.
RON HOWARD
Actor, director, and producer. Ron Howard was born on March 1, 1954 in Duncan,
Oklahoma. He is part of a theatrical family; his mother, Jean, was an actress and father,
Rance, was an actor and director. Howard appeared in his first movie, Frontier Woman
(1956), when he was just 18 months old, and made his stage debut at the age of two in a
production of The Seven Year Itch. The child star began making frequent television
appearances, and was subsequently cast opposite Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr and Jason
Robards in 1959's The Journey. His performance earned him regular roles on CBS's
Playhouse 90, where he caught the eye of Sheldon Leonard, the producer behind the
sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show.
On October 3, 1960, Howard first appeared as Andy Griffith's son, Opie, on The Andy
Griffith Show, a role that earned him nationwide fame. Throughout this early success,
Howard's family provided a grounding influence and asserted that Howard should be able
to experience his childhood. They limited Howard's work schedule, and only allowed him
to perform in a small number of productions during the show's off-season, such as The
Music Man (1962) and The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963). At his father's request,
Howard maintained a public school education at John Burroughs High School and,
around this time, began to dabble in amateur filmmaking with a Super-8 camera. On the
sets of his various productions, Howard quizzed crews about the technical aspects of
directing.
When The Andy Griffith Show ended in 1968, Howard followed it with 1971's The
Smith Family, where he starred opposite Henry Fonda. Fonda encouraged Howard's
ambition, and when he graduated from high school in 1972, he matriculated at the
University of Southern California's film school. Howard's time there was short-lived;
soon after enrolling, he landed a role in American Grafitti (1973), George Lucas' seminal
teen film. The movie spawned a 50s revival craze which, in turn, led to the hit show
Happy Days. The 1974 series featured Howard in its leading role, and his turn as Richie
Cunningham elevated him to superstardom.
During the show's run, Howard wed high school sweetheart Cheryl Alley in 1975. He
also appeared in productions on the side, including John Wayne's final film The Shootist
(1976). During this time, Howard brokered a deal with producer Roger Corman: Howard
would star in Corman's Eat My Dust (1976) and, in return, Corman would help Howard
direct his first major film project. The collaboration led to Grand Theft Auto (1977),
which not only helped Howard to cut his chops behind the camera, but also spurred him
to found his own company, Major H Productions. Three years later he inked a three-year
deal with NBC, and produced and directed several programs for the network.
Howard's wife gave birth to their son Bryce in 1981, the first of the couple's four
children. That same year, Howard met producer Brian Grazer. In 1982, the two teamed
up to direct and produce Night Shift, a dark comedy starring Howard's Happy Days co-
star Henry Winkler. Howard and Grazer partnered again two years later for Splash, the
hit romantic comedy featuring Tom Hanks, Darryl Hannah and John Candy. The film
established Howard as a director, and he went on to helm 1985's Academy Award-
winning Cocoon. He and Grazer solidified their relationship in 1986, and the duo co-
founded Imagine Films Entertainment. The company has been the powerhouse behind
hits including the Howard-directed Willow (1988), Parenthood (1989), Backdraft (1991),
Apollo 13 (1995) and Ransom (1996).
In 1998, Howard began expanding his company's efforts to television productions with
the drama, Felicity. The show, about a young girl's foray into college life, became wildly
popular with teens. Its success led the company to start more television series, including
the 2001 action/adventure drama, 24. The series, which examines 24 hours in the life of
government employee Jack Bauer as he handles domestic threats, also became a hit with
fans. It ran for seven seasons.
Howard produced A Beautiful Mind in 2002, which earned him an Academy Award for
Best Director, an Academy Award for Best Picture, and a Golden Globe for Best Film.
The next year, he worked as the anonymous narrator and executive producer for another
television show the heady comedy, Arrested Development. The show was nominated for
multiple awards, and won Howard an Emmy award for Outstanding Comedy Series in
2004. The next year Howard directed the boxing drama Cinderella Man, which was
nominated for more than 22 awards. He followed the critical success of the film with his
blockbuster hit The Da Vinci Code (2006). The film grossed more than $750 million
worldwide, and was nominated for a Golden Globe. Most recently, Howard won the Best
Director Oscar for 2008's Frost/Nixon, a film exploring the post-Watergate TV
interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard
Nixon. He is also the director of 2009's Angels & Demons, the sequel to The Da Vinci
Code. Howard currently lives in Connecticut with his wife, Cheryl, and their four
children.
Howard has consistently appeared on popular television shows throughout his life – even
if only as a guest star. Howard appeared as himself twice on the popular show The
Simpsons. When he hosted Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, Eddie Murphy called him
"Opie Cunningham." In the South Park episode, "Ginger Kids", Cartman asks a crowd of
fellow gingers to name great Americans with red hair, the only name they can think of is
"Ron Howard", and when asked to name a second, one responds "Ron Howard" again.
On a VH1 special about the 100 greatest Child Stars, many of the interviewees
considered Ron Howard to be the most successful child star of all-time, considering his
two major television acting roles and his directing career. In the series finale of the
Emmy Award-winning, critically acclaimed series Arrested Development (which he was
an executive producer and the narrator of), Howard appears as himself in an epilogue at
the end of the episode and refers to himself as "a Hollywood icon."
In October 2008, Howard reprised his roles as Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham for
the first time in over 20 years when he appeared in a video on funnyordie.com in which
he endorsed Barack Obama and urged people to vote. The video, titled "Ron Howard’s
Call to Action," also features Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler. As seen in the video,
Howard is seen shaving his beard and wearing wigs to recreate his younger look. Ron
Howard recently made a cameo appearance in the 2009 music video for fellow Academy
Award winner Jamie Foxx's song "Blame It" along side Academy Award winner Forrest
Whittaker, Academy Award nominee, Jake Gyllenhaal and Samuel L. Jackson. In the
video he is shown holding a glass of champagne.
JENNIFER LOPEZ
Born July 24, 1969, in Castle Hill "Bronx", New York, Lopez began her career as a
dancer, appearing in stage musicals and various music videos. In 1990, she won a
national competition and earned a spot dancing on the popular Fox comedy television
series, "In Living Color," as one of the "Fly Girls." A series of small acting jobs
followed, including parts in two more series and a TV movie, Nurses on the Line: The
Crash of Flight 7, in 1993. Lopez's first feature film was the critically acclaimed Mi
Familia, or My Family, in 1995. She also appeared in Money Train (1995), opposite
Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, and in Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford
Coppola and starring Robin Williams.
Lopez's first big break came in 1997, when she was chosen to play the title role in Selena,
a biopic of the Tejano pop singer Selena Quintillana Perez, who was killed by a crazed
fan in 1995. She earned widespread praise for her performance, including a Golden
Globe nomination, and became the highest-paid actress in history with her paycheck of
$1 million. That same year, Lopez starred in the forgettable Anaconda and in Blood and
Wine, opposite Jack Nicholson. Her role as federal marshal Karen Sisco in Steven
Soderbergh's Out of Sight, a film based on the Elmore Leonard novel and co-starring
George Clooney, further enhanced her image as a bankable movie star.
Lopez's musical career also began to take off, as she released her debut Latin pop album,
On the 6 in June 1999. The album, fueled by the success of her hit single, "If You Had
My Love," went platinum within two weeks, making Lopez—along with Ricky Martin—
one of the most influential examples of the growing Latin cultural influence in pop
music. Early in 2000, Lopez was nominated for Best Dance Performance for her second
hit single "Waiting for Tonight," but lost the award to veteran diva Cher. In the summer
of 2000, she starred in the science fiction-thriller The Cell, in which she plays a child
psychologist helping to track a terrifying serial killer. The same year, she starred in
Enough, a portrayal of spousal abuse.
The popularity of the multi-talented Lopez reached new heights in early 2001, when her
album, J. Lo debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts, while her film, the romantic comedy The
Wedding Planner, shot to the top spot at the box office in its first week of release. In
December 2002, she performed another one-two punch with the release of the record This
Is Me ... Then and a starring role in the comedy Maid in Manhattan, which was a box
office hit, if not a critical one. In 2003, she co-starred with Ben Affleck in the box office
bomb, Gigli. Other projects included Jersey Girl (also with Affleck) and An Unfinished
Life, in which she played a single mom taken in by her father-in-law played by Robert
Redford. She also starred opposite Richard Gere in Shall We Dance?, a remake of the
top-grossing Japanese flick.
Lopez was briefly married, in 1997, to Ojani Noa, a model and actor. She then had a
lengthy and widely publicized relationship with rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs. In
December 1999, Combs and Lopez were allegedly involved in a shooting incident
outside a New York City nightclub, in which three people were injured. Combs was later
charged with gun possession and bribery, as prosecutors claimed he offered his driver,
Wardel Fenderson, $50,000 to say that the loaded gun police found at the scene of the
crime was Fenderson's. He was acquitted of all charges, but Combs confirmed in mid-
February that he and Lopez had separated.
Shortly after her breakup from Combs was made public, Lopez began dating Cris Judd, a
dancer who appeared in the video for her hit single "Love Don't Cost a Thing." After
much media speculation, the couple announced their engagement in August 2001. They
were married in late September. Nine months later, the couple separated. In the fall of
2002, the star began dating actor Ben Affleck; they announced their engagement in
November. Following rumors of the relationship's demise, the couple broke up in early
2004. Lopez subsequently married singer Marc Anthony in June 2004 at a private
ceremony at her Los Angeles mansion.

Returning to the big stage, Lopez has found time to join forces with her husband in 2006.
She acted along side him in the film El Cantante. In the film, Anthony played Hector
Lavoe, the internationally acclaimed salsa singer. True to life, Lopez played Puchi,
Lavoe's wife. In 2007, Lopez released her first Spanish language album, Como Ama una
Mujer, which did well on the Latin and pop charts. She found musical success again later
that same year with Brave. While the title track has received some attention, Lopez's
personal life has generated more media interest. Once known for her revealing fashions,
she started wearing loose-fitting tops, creating speculation about whether she was
pregnant. Many photos of her seemed to show a "baby bump," but the official
announcement didn't come until Nov. 7, 2007. Lopez gave birth to twins February 22,
2008. The baby boy and girl are the first children for Lopez and the fourth and fifth for
her husband, salsa star Marc Anthony.

In June 2010, following the departure of Ellen DeGeneres from American Idol, it was
reported that Lopez was in talks to join season ten's judging panel. However, it was then
reported that Lopez was out of the running due to "outrageous demands," something
which returning Idol producer, Nigel Lythgoe responded to by saying "[Jennifer] is in no
way a diva, I've worked with her on quite a few occasions and I have never yet seen her
be a diva." He did not confirm or deny reports of the contract negotiations between Lopez
and the other Idol producers. It was then revealed then reported that both Lopez and
husband, Marc Anthony, were being considering for a role on the The X Factor for their
appeal to 'Latin' and 'International' markets. Lopez's involvement in The X Factor was
ruled out when the media reported that she had accepted an offer to become a judge on
season ten of Idol, despite being offered roles on both shows. The announcement was
made official on September 22, 2010. MTV said "the deal was mutually beneficial to all
those involved" whilst CNN reported that Lopez was viewing it as a decision to revive
her career while Idol producers believe Lopez and Steven Tyler's appointments will
strengthen viewing figures. Alongside this, Brad Falchuk, executive producer of the
music-based series Glee, confirmed that Lopez had entered discussions to appear in the
next season of Glee as a cafeteria worker.
JK ROWLING
My mother and father were both Londoners. They met on a train travelling from King's
Cross station to Arbroath in Scotland when they were both eighteen; my father was off to
join the Royal Navy, my mother to join the WRNS (the women's equivalent). My mother
said she was cold, my father offered her a half share in his coat, and they got married just
over a year later, when they were nineteen Both left the navy and moved to the outskirts
of Bristol, in the West of England. My mother gave birth to me when she was twenty. I
was a rotund baby. The description in 'Philosopher's Stone' of the photographs of 'what
appeared to be a beach ball wearing different coloured bobble hats' would also apply to
the pictures of my early years.

My sister Di arrived a year and eleven months after me. The day of her birth is my
earliest memory, or my earliest datable memory, anyway. I distinctly remember playing
with a bit of plasticine in the kitchen while my father rushed in and out of the room,
hurrying backwards and forwards to my mother, who was giving birth in their bedroom. I
know I didn't invent this memory because I checked the details later with my mother. I
also have a vivid mental picture of walking into their bedroom a little while later, hand in
hand with my father, and seeing my mother lying in bed in her nightdress next to my
beaming sister, who is stark naked with a full head of hair and looks about five years old.
Although I clearly pasted together this bizarre false memory out of bits of hearsay when I
was a child, it is so vivid that it still comes to mind if I ever think about Di being born.

The small amount of time that we didn't spend fighting, Di and I were best friends. I told
her a lot of stories and sometimes didn't even have to sit on her to make her stay and
listen. Often the stories became games in which we both played regular characters. I was
extremely bossy when I stage-managed these long-running plays but Di put up with it
because I usually gave her star parts.

There were lots of children around our age living in our new street, among them a brother
and sister whose surname was Potter. I always liked their name, whereas I wasn't very
fond of my own; 'Rowling' (the first syllable of which is pronounced 'row' as in boat,
rather than 'row' as in argument) lent itself to woeful jokes such as 'Rowling stone',
'Rowling pin' and so on. Anyway, the brother has since cropped up in the press claiming
to 'be' Harry. His mother has also told reporters that he and I used to dress up as wizards.
Neither of these claims is true; in fact, all I remember of the boy in question was that he
rode a 'Chopper', which was the bicycle everybody wanted in the seventies, and once
threw a stone at Di, for which I hit him hard over the head with a plastic sword (I was the
only one allowed to throw things at Di).

I enjoyed school in Winterbourne. It was a very relaxed environment; I remember lots of
pottery making, drawing and story writing, which suited me perfectly. However, my
parents had always harboured a dream of living in the country, and around my ninth
birthday we moved for the last time, to Tutshill, a small village just outside Chepstow, in
Wales. The move coincided almost exactly with the death of my favourite grandparent,
Kathleen, whose name I later took when I needed an extra initial. No doubt the first
bereavement of my life influenced my feelings about my new school, which I didn't like
at all. We sat all day at roll-top desks facing the blackboard. There were old inkwells set
into the desktops. There was a second hole in my desk, which had been gouged out with
the point of a compass by the boy who had sat there the year before. He had obviously
worked away quietly out of the sight of the teacher. I thought this was a great
achievement, and set to work enlarging the hole with my own compass, so that by the
time I left that classroom you could comfortably wiggle your thumb through it.

I left school in 1983 and went to study at the University of Exeter, on the south coast of
England. I studied French, which was a mistake; I had succumbed to parental pressure to
study 'useful' modern languages as opposed to 'but-where-will-it-lead?' English and really
should have stood my ground. On the plus side, studying French meant that I had a year
living in Paris as part of my course. After leaving university I worked in London; my
longest job was with Amnesty International, the organisation that campaigns against
human rights abuses all over the world. But in 1990, my then boyfriend and I decided to
move up to Manchester together. It was after a weekend's flat-hunting, when I was
travelling back to London on my own on a crowded train, that the idea for Harry Potter
simply fell into my head.

I had been writing almost continuously since the age of six but I had never been so
excited about an idea before. To my immense frustration, I didn't have a functioning pen
with me, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one. I think, now, that this
was probably a good thing, because I simply sat and thought, for four (delayed train)
hours, and all the details bubbled up in my brain, and this scrawny, black-haired,
bespectacled boy who didn't know he was a wizard became more and more real to me. I
think that perhaps if I had had to slow down the ideas so that I could capture them on
paper I might have stifled some of them (although sometimes I do wonder, idly, how
much of what I imagined on that journey I had forgotten by the time I actually got my
hands on a pen).

I began to write 'Philosopher's Stone' that very evening, although those first few pages
bear no resemblance at all to anything in the finished book. I moved up to Manchester,
taking the swelling manuscript with me, which was now growing in all sorts of strange
directions, and including ideas for the rest of Harry's career at Hogwarts, not just his first
year. Then, on December 30th 1990, something happened that changed both my world
and Harry's forever: my mother died. It was a terrible time. My father, Di and I were
devastated; she was only forty five years old and we had never imagined - probably
because we could not bear to contemplate the idea - that she could die so young. I
remember feeling as though there was a paving slab pressing down upon my chest, a
literal pain in my heart.

Nine months later, desperate to get away for a while, I left for Portugal, where I had got a
job teaching English in a language institute. I took with me the still-growing manuscript
of Harry Potter, hopeful that my new working hours (I taught in the afternoon and
evening) would lend themselves to pressing on with my novel, which had changed a lot
since my mother had died. Now, Harry's feelings about his dead parents had become
much deeper, much more real. In my first weeks in Portugal I wrote my favourite chapter
in Philosopher's Stone, The Mirror of Erised. I had hoped that when I returned from
Portugal I would have a finished book under my arm. In fact, I had something even
better: my daughter. I had met and married a Portuguese man, and although the marriage
did not work out, it had given me the best thing in my life. Jessica and I arrived in
Edinburgh, where my sister Di was living, just in time for Christmas 1993.

I intended to start teaching again and knew that unless I finished the book very soon, I
might never finish it; I knew that full-time teaching, with all the marking and lesson
planning, let alone with a small daughter to care for single-handedly, would leave me
with absolutely no spare time at all. And so I set to work in a kind of frenzy, determined
to finish the book and at least try and get it published. Whenever Jessica fell asleep in her
pushchair I would dash to the nearest cafe and write like mad. I wrote nearly every
evening. Then I had to type the whole thing out myself. Sometimes I actually hated the
book, even while I loved it.

Finally it was done. I covered the first three chapters in a nice plastic folder and set them
off to an agent, who returned them so fast they must have been sent back the same day
they arrived. But the second agent I tried wrote back and asked to see the rest of the
manuscript. It was far and away the best letter I had ever received in my life, and it was
only two sentences long. It took a year for my new agent, Christopher, to find a publisher.
Lots of them turned it down. Then, finally, in August 1996, Christopher telephoned me
and told me that Bloomsbury had 'made an offer.' I could not quite believe my ears. 'You
mean it's going to be published?' I asked, rather stupidly. 'It's definitely going to be
published?' After I had hung up, I screamed and jumped into the air; Jessica, who was
sitting in her high-chair enjoying tea, looked thoroughly scared.

And you probably know what happened next.
SHAQUILLE O’NEAL
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's
Boston Celtics. Standing 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he is
one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. Throughout his 18-year career,
O'Neal has used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds.
After the retirement of Lindsey Hunter on March 5, 2010, O'Neal became the oldest
active player in the NBA.

After graduating from high school, O'Neal attended Louisiana State University, where he
studied business. He had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach at that time,
years before in Europe. With O'Neal's stepfather stationed on a U.S. Army base at
Wildflecken, West Germany, and his godfather a First Sergeant at Brooke Army Medical
Center in San Antonio,Texas, O'Neal attended Fulda American High School, a DODDS
school. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time
SEC player of the year, and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's
basketball player of the year in 1991. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career,
but returned to school in 2000 and received a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. He
was later inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame.

The Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft.
During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in
Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. During his rookie
season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks
per game for the season. He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became
the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic
finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season; however, the team
ultimately missed the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaker with the Indiana Pacers. On more
than one occasion during the year, Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum overheard
O'Neal saying, "We've got to get [head coach] Matty [Guokas] out of here and bring in
[assistant] Brian [Hill]."

In O'Neal's second season, Hill was the coach and Guokas was reassigned to the front
office. O'Neal improved his scoring average to 29.4 points (second in the league to David
Robinson) while leading the NBA in field goal percentage at 60%. On November 20,
1993, against the New Jersey Nets, O'Neal registered the first triple-double of his career,
recording 24 points to go along with career highs of 28 rebounds and 15 blocks. He was
voted into the All-Star game and also made the All-NBA 3rd Team. Teamed with newly-
drafted Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, the Magic finished with a record of 50–32 and
made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. In his first playoff series, O'Neal
averaged 20.7 points and 13.3 rebounds in a losing effort as the Magic were swept in the
first round by the Indiana Pacers.

In his third season, O'Neal led the NBA in scoring with an average of 29.3 points per
game. He finished second in MVP voting to David Robinson and was voted into his third
straight All-Star Game along with teammate Penny Hardaway. O'Neal and Hardaway
formed one of the top duos in the league and helped Orlando to a 57–25 record and the
Atlantic Division crown. The Magic won their first ever playoff series against the Boston
Celtics in the first round of the 1995 NBA Playoffs. They then defeated the Chicago
Bulls in the conference semi-finals, dealing Michael Jordan one of his few playoff losses
of the decade. After beating Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers, the Magic reached the NBA
Finals, where they would face the defending NBA champion Houston Rockets. O'Neal
played well in his first Finals appearance, averaging 28 points on 59.5% shooting, 12.5
rebounds, and 6.3 assists. Despite this, the Rockets, led by future Hall-of-Famers Hakeem
Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, swept the series in four games.

O'Neal was injured for a great deal of the 1995–96 season, missing 28 games. He
averaged 26.6 points and 11 rebounds per game, made the All-NBA 3rd Team, and
played in his 4th All-Star Game. Despite O'Neal's injuries, the Magic finished with a
regular season record of 60–22, second in the Eastern conference to the Chicago Bulls,
who finished with an NBA record 72 wins. Orlando easily defeated the Detroit Pistons
and the Atlanta Hawks in the first two rounds of the 1996 NBA Playoffs; however, they
were no match against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, who swept them in the
Eastern Conference Finals.

O'Neal became a free agent after the 95–96 NBA season. In the summer of 1996, O'Neal
was named to the United States Olympic basketball team, and was later part of the gold
medal-winning team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. On the team's first full day at the
Olympics in Atlanta, it was announced that O'Neal would join the Los Angeles Lakers on
a seven-year, $121 million contract. He insisted he did not choose Los Angeles for the
money. "I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money," O'Neal said
after the signing. "I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok," he added,
referring to a couple of his product endorsements. The Lakers won 56 games during the
1996–97 season. O'Neal averaged 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in his first season with
Los Angeles; however, he again missed over 30 games due to injury. The Lakers made
the playoffs, but were eliminated by the Utah Jazz in five games.

In 1999, the Lakers hired Phil Jackson as their new head coach, and the team's fortunes
soon changed. Using Jackson's triangle offense, O'Neal and Bryant went on to enjoy
tremendous success on the court, as they led the Los Angeles Lakers to three consecutive
NBA titles (2000, 2001, and 2002). O'Neal was named MVP of the NBA Finals all three
times and has the highest scoring average for a center in NBA Finals history.

O'Neal was also voted the 1999–2000 regular season Most Valuable Player, coming just
one vote short of becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. Fred Hickman,
then of CNN, was the sole voter who did not cast his first-place vote for O'Neal, instead
choosing Allen Iverson, then of the Philadelphia 76ers who would go on to win MVP the
next season. O'Neal also won the scoring title that year while finishing second in
rebounds and third in blocked shots. Jackson's influence resulted in a newfound
commitment by O'Neal to defense, resulting in his first All-Defensive Team selection
(second-team) in 2000.
On July 14, 2004, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom,
Brian Grant and a future first-round draft choice. O'Neal reverted from (his Lakers jersey)
number 34 to number 32, which he wore while playing for the Orlando Magic. Upon
signing with the Heat, O'Neal promised the fans that he would bring a championship to
Miami. He claimed that one of the main reasons for wanting to be traded to Miami was
because of their up-and-coming star, Dwyane Wade. With O'Neal on board, the new-look
Heat surpassed expectations, claiming the best record in the Eastern Conference. He
averaged 22.9 ppg and 10.4 rpg, made his 12th consecutive All-Star Team, and made the
All-NBA 1st Team. Despite being hobbled by a deep thigh bruise, O'Neal led the Heat to
the Eastern Conference Finals and a Game 7 against the defending champion Detroit
Pistons, losing by a narrow margin. Afterwards, O'Neal and others criticized Heat head
coach Stan Van Gundy for not calling enough plays for O'Neal. O'Neal also narrowly lost
the 2004–05 MVP Award to Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash in one of the closest votes
in NBA history. In the 2006 NBA Playoffs, the Miami Heat would go on to win their first
NBA Championship. Led by both O'Neal and eventual NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade,
the 2nd seeded Heat defeated the defending Eastern Conference Champion and top-
seeded Detroit Pistons in a rematch of the 2005 Conference Finals, and then defeated the
Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals.

To date, O’Neal has played for three other NBA teams: Phoenix Suns (2008-2009),
Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010), and the Boston Celtics (2010-present.) This brings his
team total to five teams. In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap
albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. He has also appeared in numerous
films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.
JON STEWART
Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz on November 28, 1962. He is an
American political satirist, writer, television host, actor, media critic and stand-up
comedian. He is widely known as host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program that
airs on Comedy Central.

Stewart started as a stand-up comedian, but branched into television as host of Short
Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central. He went on to host his own show on MTV,
called The Jon Stewart Show, and then hosted another show on MTV called You Wrote
It, You Watch It. He has also had several film roles as an actor. Stewart became the host
of The Daily Show on Comedy Central in early 1999. He is also a writer and co-
executive-producer of the show. After Stewart joined, The Daily Show steadily gained
popularity and critical acclaim, which led to his first Emmy Award in 2001.

Stewart has gained acclaim as an acerbic, satirical critic of personality-driven media
shows, in particular those of the US media networks CNN, Fox News Channel, and
MSNBC. Critics say Stewart benefits from a double standard: he critiques other news
shows from the safe, removed position of his "fake news" desk. Stewart agrees, saying
that neither his show nor his channel purports to be anything other than satire and
comedy. In spite of its self-professed entertainment mandate, The Daily Show has been
nominated for news and journalism awards. Stewart hosted the 78th and 80th Academy
Awards. He is the co-author of America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy
Inaction, which was one of the best-selling books in the U.S. in 2004 and Earth (The
Book): A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race released in 2010.

Stewart was born into a Jewish family in New York City. He and his older brother, Larry
Leibowitz (presently Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange), grew up
in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where they attended Lawrence High School. Jon's mother,
Marian, is an educational consultant and teacher. His father, Donald Leibowitz, was a
professor of physics at The College of New Jersey from 2001 through 2008; he now
teaches an online course at Thomas Edison University. Jon's parents were divorced when
Stewart was eleven years old, and Stewart no longer has any contact with his father.

Stewart has said that he was subjected to anti-Semitic bullying as a child. He describes
himself in high school as "very into Eugene Debs and a bit of a leftist."

Stewart graduated in 1984 from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, where he
majored in psychology and played on the soccer team. After college, Stewart held
numerous jobs. He was a contingency planner for the New Jersey Department of Human
Services, a contract administrator for the City University of New York, a puppeteer for
children with disabilities, a caterer, a busboy, a shelf stocker at Woolworth's, and a
bartender at the Franklin Corner Tavern, a local blue-collar bar. During part of this time,
Stewart roomed with future congressman Anthony Weiner, who still is the only politician
to have received campaign donations from Stewart.
With a reputation for being a funny man in school, Jon Stewart moved to New York City
in 1986 to try his hand at the comedy club circuit, but he could not muster the courage to
get on stage until the following year. He made his stand-up debut at The Bitter End, the
same place where his comedic idol, Woody Allen, began. He began using the stage name
"Jon Stewart" by dropping his last name and changing the spelling of his middle name
"Stuart" to "Stewart." He often jokes this is because people had difficulty with the
pronunciation of Leibowitz or it "sounded too Hollywood" (a reference to Lenny Bruce's
joke on the same theme). He has implied that the name change was actually due to a
strained relationship with his father with whom Stewart no longer has any contact.

Stewart became a regular at the Comedy Cellar, where he was the last performer every
night. For two years, he would perform at 2 a.m. while developing his comedic style. In
1989, he landed his first television job as a writer for Caroline's Comedy Hour. In 1991,
he began co-hosting Comedy Central's Short Attention Span Theater along with Patty
Rosborough. In 1992, Stewart hosted the short-lived You Wrote It, You Watch It on
MTV, which invited viewers to send in their stories to be acted out by the comedy troupe,
The State. When David Letterman left NBC in 1993, Stewart was a finalist to replace
him, but Conan O'Brien was hired instead.

In 1999, Stewart began hosting The Daily Show on Comedy Central when Craig Kilborn
left the show to replace Tom Snyder on The Late Late Show. The show, which has been
popular and successful in cable television since Stewart became the host, blends humor
with the day's top news stories, usually in politics, while simultaneously poking fun at
politicians and many newsmakers as well as the news media itself. In an interview on The
O'Reilly Factor, Stewart denies the show has any intentional political agenda, saying the
goal was "schnicks and giggles." "The same weakness that drove me into comedy also
informs my show," meaning that he was uncomfortable talking without hearing the
audience laugh.

Stewart has since hosted almost all airings of the program, except for a few occasions
when correspondents such as Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, and Steve Carell subbed for
him. Stewart has won a total of thirteen Emmys for The Daily Show as either a writer or
producer. In 2005, The Daily Show and Jon Stewart also received a Best Comedy Album
Grammy Award for the audio book edition of America (The Book). In 2000 and 2004,
the show won two Peabody Awards for its coverage of the presidential elections relevant
to those years, called "Indecision 2000" and "Indecision 2004", respectively.

One of the show's most serious moments remains the September 20, 2001, show—the
first show after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The show began with no introduction.
Before this, the introduction included footage of a fly-in towards the World Trade Center
and New York City. The first nine minutes of the show included a tearful Stewart
discussing his personal view on the event. His remarks ended as follows:
―The view... from my apartment... was the World Trade Center... and now it's gone, and
they attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity, and strength, and labor, and
imagination and commerce, and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The
Statue of Liberty. The view from the South of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty.
You can't beat that.‖

In April 2010, Comedy Central renewed Stewart's contract to host The Daily Show into
2013. Stewart is paid a reported $1.5 million for one season of The Daily Show.
According to the Forbes list of Celebrities, he earns $14 million a year. On September 16,
2010, Stewart along with Stephen Colbert announced a rally for October 30, known as
the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. It took place on the National Mall in Washington
D.C. and attracted an estimated 215,000 particpants. In December 2010 Stewart was
credited by the White House and other media and political news outlets for bringing
awareness of the Republican filibuster on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and
Compensation Act to the public, leading to the ultimate passing of the bill which provides
health benefits to first responders whose health has been adversely affected by their work
at Ground Zero.

As a result of such high-profile political stands, Stewart is being recognized as a political
force rather than merely as a comedian. The New York Times suggested that he is "the
modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow" and the UK national newspaper The
Independent called him the "satirist-in-chief."

In the middle of 2002, amid rumors that David Letterman was going to make a switch
from CBS to ABC when his contract ran out, Stewart was rumored to be the person who
would take over Letterman's show on CBS. Ultimately, Letterman renewed his contract
with CBS. On the March 9, 2002, episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Stewart, a
"Weekend Update" sketch poked fun at the situation. In the middle of the sketch,
"Weekend Update" anchor Jimmy Fallon said that he could not continue doing the
broadcast and he brought Stewart in to replace him. Stewart glowed with excitement and
chattered to himself about this chance to prove himself on network television. His pep
talk went on too long, however, and before Stewart could deliver any headlines, Fallon
returned and said he would be able to finish out the broadcast himself. Later that year,
ABC offered Stewart his own talk show to air after Nightline. Stewart's contract with The
Daily Show was near expiring and he expressed strong interest. ABC, however, decided
to give another Comedy Central figure, Jimmy Kimmel, the post-Nightline slot.
STEVEN SPIELBERG
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven
Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest
filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed
credits to his name, as producer, director and writer. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in
1946. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his
entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic
western "Wagon Train" (1957). Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad
(1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground
that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere (1961), which
featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and
The Last Gun (1959), a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years,
Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would portend his future career in movies. In
1964, he directed Firelight (1964), a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1967,
he directed Slipstream (1967), which was unfinished. However, in 1968, he directed
Amblin' (1968), which featured the desert prominently, and not the first of his movies in
which the desert would feature so prominently. Amblin' also became the name of his
production company, which turned out such classics as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
(1982). Spielberg had a unique and classic early directing project, Duel (1971) (TV), with
Dennis Weaver. In the early 1970s, Spielberg was working on TV, directing among
others such series as Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" (1970), "Marcus Welby, M.D."
(1969) and "Columbo: Murder by the Book (#1.1)" (1971). All of his work in television
and short films, as well as his directing projects, were just a hint of the wellspring of
talent that would dazzle audiences all over the world.

Spielberg's first major directorial effort was The Sugarland Express (1974), with Goldie
Hawn, a film that marked him as a rising star. It was his next effort, however, that made
him an international superstar among directors: Jaws (1975). This classic shark attack tale
started the tradition of the summer blockbuster or, at least, he was credited with starting
the tradition. His next film was the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), a
unique and original UFO story that remains a classic. In 1978, Spielberg produced his
first film, the forgettable I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), and followed that effort with
Used Cars (1980), a critically acclaimed, but mostly forgotten, Kurt Russell\Jack Warden
comedy about devious used-car dealers. Spielberg hit gold yet one more time with
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), with Harrison Ford taking the part of Indiana Jones.
Spielberg produced and directed two films in 1982. The first was Poltergeist (1982), but
the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point was the alien story E.T.: The
Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Spielberg also helped pioneer the practice of product placement.
The concept, while not uncommon, was still relatively low-key when Spielberg raised the
practice to almost an art form with his famous (or infamous) placement of Reece's Pieces
in "E.T." Spielberg was also one of the pioneers of the big-grossing special-effects
movies, like "E.T." and "Close Encounters", where a very strong emphasis on special
effects was placed for the first time on such a huge scale. In 1984, Spielberg followed up
"Raiders" with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), which was a commercial
success but did not receive the critical acclaim of its predecessor. As a producer,
Spielberg took on many projects in the 1980s, such as The Goonies (1985), and was the
brains behind the little monsters in Gremlins (1984). He also produced the cartoon An
American Tail (1986), a quaint little animated classic. His biggest effort as producer in
1985, however, was the blockbuster Back to the Future (1985), which made Michael J.
Fox an instant superstar. As director, Spielberg took on the book The Color Purple
(1985), with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, with great success. In the latter half
of the 1980s, he also directed Empire of the Sun (1987), a mixed success for the
occasionally erratic Spielberg. Success would not escape him for long, though.

The late 1980s found Spielberg's projects at the center of pop-culture yet again. In 1988,
he produced the landmark animation/live-action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
The next year proved to be another big one for Spielberg, as he produced and directed
Always (1989) as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Back to the
Future Part II (1989). All three of the films were box-office and critical successes. Also,
in 1989, he produced the little known comedy-drama Dad (1989), with Jack Lemmon and
Ted Danson, which got mostly mixed results. Spielberg has also had an affinity for
animation and has been a strong voice in animation in the 1990s. Aside from producing
the landmark "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", he produced the animated series "Tiny Toon
Adventures" (1990), "Animaniacs" (1993), "Pinky and the Brain" (1995), "Freakazoid!"
(1995), "Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain" (1998), "Family Dog" (1993) and "Toonsylvania"
(1998). Spielberg also produced other cartoons such as The Land Before Time (1988),
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Casper (1995) (the live action version) as well as
the live-action version of The Flintstones (1994), where he was credited as "Steven
Spielrock". Spielberg also produced many Roger Rabbit short cartoons, and many Pinky
and the Brain, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons specials. Spielberg was very active in the
early 1990s, as he directed Hook (1991) and produced such films as the cute fantasy Joe
Versus the Volcano (1990) and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991). He also
produced the unusual comedy thriller Arachnophobia (1990), Back to the Future Part III
(1990) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). While these movies were big successes
in their own right, they did not quite bring in the kind of box office or critical acclaim as
previous efforts. In 1993, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park (1993), which for a short time
held the record as the highest grossing movie of all time, but did not have the universal
appeal of his previous efforts. Big box-office spectacles were not his only concern,
though. He produced and directed Schindler's List (1993), a stirring film about the
Holocaust. He won best director at the Oscars, and also got Best Picture. In the mid-90s,
he helped found the production company DreamWorks, which was responsible for many
box-office successes.

As a producer, he was very active in the late 90s, responsible for such films as The Mask
of Zorro (1998), Men in Black (1997) and Deep Impact (1998). However, it was on the
directing front that Spielberg was in top form. He directed and produced the epic Amistad
(1997), a spectacular film that was shorted at the Oscars and in release due to the fact that
its release date was moved around so much in late 1997. The next year, however,
produced what many believe was one of the best films of his career: Saving Private Ryan
(1998), a film about World War Two that is spectacular in almost every respect. It was
stiffed at the Oscars, losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love (1998).
Spielberg produced a series of films, including Evolution (2001), The Haunting (1999)
and Shrek (2001). he also produced two sequels to Jurassic Park (1993), which were
financially but not particularly critical successes. In 2001, he produced a mini-series
about World War Two that definitely *was* a financial and critical success: "Band of
Brothers" (2001), a tale of an infantry company from its parachuting into France during
the invasion to the Battle of the Bulge. Also in that year, Spielberg was back in the
director's chair for A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), a movie with a message and a huge
budget. It did reasonably at the box office and garnered varied reviews from critics.

Spielberg has been extremely active in films there are many other things he has done as
well. He produced the short-lived TV series "SeaQuest 2032" (1993), an anthology series
entitled "Amazing Stories" (1985), created the video-game series "Medal of Honor" set
during World War Two, and was a starting producer of "ER" (1994). Spielberg, if you
haven't noticed, has a great interest in World War Two. He and Tom Hanks collaborated
on Shooting War (2000) (TV), a documentary about World War II combat photographers,
and he produced a documentary about the Holocaust called Eyes of the Holocaust (2000).
With all of this to Spielberg's credit, it's no wonder that he's looked at as one of the
greatest ever figures in entertainment.

								
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