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RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#40)

 
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RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#40) - 22/1/2011 12:42:42 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#40.

Jean-Pierre Léaud (1944, France)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Jean-Pierre Léaud is not everybody's cup of tea for sure, but will remain an important name in film history. As an actor he can be adored or hated for exactly the same reasons: he is one of those rare players that directors let improvise his dialogue, which gets on certain viewers' nerves while it fascinates others. The same is true for his very personal staccato diction and elocution and his many mannerisms, the most obvious one being his way to run his hand through his long hair. But there is no denying Léaud is not just another actor, whether you love him or are allergic to him. The son of actress Jacqueline Pierreux and scriptwriter/assistant director Pierre Léaud, Jean-Pierre started acting very early.

Indeed, he was only thirteen when he first appeared on a screen, playing a small role in a swashbuckling film directed by veteran Georges Lampin "la Tour, prends garde!" (1957). And he was still only fourteen when he answered an ad placed in a newspaper by François Truffaut, who was seeking a young actor able to play Antoine Doinel, a troubled adolescent, in his first feature film "The 400 blows". Jean-Pierre was tested among a hundred other candidates and proved so amazingly spontaneous and so gifted for improvisation that not only was he hired but he would go on to play the role in four subsequent Truffaut semi-autobiographies concluding with "Love on the run" (1978), a unique experience indeed. Thanks to Truffaut he was introduced to the other stars of the French New Wave, mainly Jean-Luc Godard for whom he would appear in eight films and one TV film, and gradually became their icon. Not too sure about his acting talents, he planned to become a director (which he actually did only once) and worked as an assistant to Truffaut and Godard.

But his success both as Truffaut's alter ego and as the leftist movie makers' spokesman encouraged him to go on playing rather than directing. "Masculin Féminin" (1966) by Godard even earned him an Award for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival. An ardent leftist militant himself, he worked with equally committed directors, including abroad. He was in Italian Pasolini's "Porcile" (1968), in Polish Skolimovski's "Dialog 20-40-60" (also '68) Brazilian Carlos Diegues' Os herdeiros (1970) and Glauber Rocha's Der Leone have sept cabeças (1971). Bertolucci also hired him for "Last tango in Paris" starring Marlon Brando (who so petrified Léaud that he could not play his scenes alongside him), but this one was filmed in Paris. This busy period ended after an excellent role in a classic art movie in the French style: Jean Eustache's "La maman et la putain".

In the late seventies and throughout the eighties Léaud worked irregularly, mainly on television, occasionally giving a crazy performance in a mainstream film, as was the case in Josiane's Balasko crime comedy "Les keufs", for which he got a César nomination. But he made an exciting comeback in the nineties when several "new New Wave" directors hired Léaud to pay homage to their elders. Among them French movie makers such as Olivier Assayas, Danièle Dubroux , Serge Le Péron or Bertrand Bonello and foreigners like Finnish Aki Käurismäki and Taiwanese Tsai Ming-Liang. A second youth for eternally young, rebellious, ill-at-ease, annoyingly romantic,touchingly annoying Jean-Pierre Léaud, whose round face staring at the camera in the last shot of "The 400 blows" will never be forgotten.

Favourite film:
The Mother and the Whore (1973)

Favourite performance:
As Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows (1959)




Walter Matthau (1920-2000, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:


Born Walter Matthow on October 1, 1920, to a pair of Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York City, Matthau grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side and started out selling soft drinks and playing bit parts at a Yiddish theater troupe at age 11. He was paid 50 cents for each of his occasional on-stage appearances. His father, a peddler from Kiev, left home when he was 3 years old. He lived with his older brother, Henry, and their mother, a garment worker, on the Lower East Side of New York. After graduating from Seward Park High School during the Depression, he took government jobs as a forest ranger in Montana, a gym instructor for the Works Progress Administration, and a boxing coach for policemen. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio cryptographer in a heavy bomber unit in Europe and returned home a sergeant with six battle stars.

In 1948, his first Broadway role was when he was hired as an understudy for the role of an 83 year old English bishop in 'Anne of the Thousand Days' starring Rex Harrison. His fame came with The Fortune Cookie (1966) and The Odd Couple (1968). While making the former, he suffered a serious heart attack. This was due to heavy smoking and chronic gambling. Matthau immediately quit smoking and began a life-long regime of walking 2-5 miles per day.

Matthau's acting career continued to flourish for the next 30 years with him playing memorable lead and supporting characters in both dramatic and comic films, several of them alongside Jack Lemmon. Unbeknownst to his fans, Matthau continued to battle heart disease and was later diagnosed with two forms of cancer. In 1976, he had heart bypass surgery. In 1993, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia. In 1995, he had a benign colon tumor removed. In 1999, he was hospitalized again for pneumonia where he was diagnosed again with cancer. Walter Matthau died on July 1, 2000, at age 79.

Favourite film:
The Odd Couple (1968)

Favourite performance:
As Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple (1968)




Kang-Ho Song (1967, South Korea)


 
IMDb Mini Biography:

Song Kang-ho never professionally trained as an actor, beginning his career in social theatre groups after graduating from Kimhae High School. Later he joined Kee Kuk-seo's influential theatre company with its emphasis on instinctive acting and improvisation which proved Song's training ground. Although regularly approached to act in films, he always turned down the opportunity until taking a role as an extra in Hong Sang-soo's The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (1996). In the following year, after portraying one of the homeless in Jang Sun-woo's docu-drama Timeless Bottomless Bad Movie, he gained cult notoriety for his show-stealing performance in Song Neung-han's No. 3 (1997) as a gangster training a group of young recruits, winning his first Best Actor award.

Since that time he's been cast in several supporting roles before his high-profile role as Han Suk-kyu's secret agent partner in Kang Jae-gyu's blockbuster thriller Swiri (1999). In early 2000, Song became a star with his first leading role in the box office smash The Foul King, for which he reputedly did most of his own stunts. But it is with his award-winning role as a North Korean sergeant in Joint Security Area, that Song has come to the forefront as one of Korea's leading actors. Song also starred in Park Chan-wook's next feature, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, which centers around a father's pursuit of his daughter's kidnappers.

In 2002 Song will be starring in another major production by Myung Film, YMCA Baseball Team, about Korea's first baseball team which formed in the early 20th century. He will also star in the second film by director Bong Joon-ho (Barking Dogs Never Bite), which is based on a true story about a vicious serial killer.

Favourite film:
The Host (2006)

Favourite performance:
As Priest Sang-hyeon in Thirst (2009)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 31
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#39) - 25/1/2011 6:11:48 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#39.

Harrison Ford (1942, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

His father was Irish, his mother Russian-Jewish. He was a lackluster student at Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge Illinois (no athletic star, never above a C average). After dropping out of Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he did some acting and later summer stock, he signed a Hollywood contract with Columbia and later Universal. His roles in movies and TV ("Ironside" (1967), "The Virginian" (1962)) remained secondary and, discouraged, he turned to a career in professional carpentry. He came back big four years later, however, as Bob Falfa in American Graffiti (1973). Four years after that he hit colossal with the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). Another four years and Ford was Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Four years later and he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role as John Book in Witness (1985). All he managed four years after that was his third starring success as Indiana Jones; in fact, many of his earlier successful roles led to sequels as did his more recent portrayal of Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992). Another Golden Globe nomination came his way for the part of Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1993). He is clearly a well-established Hollywood superstar. He also maintains an 800-acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
 
Favourite film:
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Favourite performance:
As Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 32
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#37) - 25/1/2011 6:38:56 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#37.

Robert Duvall (1931, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Veteran actor and director Robert Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, the son of a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a two-year hitch in the army after graduating in 1953. He began attending The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre In New York City on the G.I. Bill in 1955, studying under Sanford Meisner along with Dustin Hoffman, with whom Duvall shared an apartment. Both were close to another struggling young actor named Gene Hackman. Meisner cast Duvall in the play "The Midnight Caller" by Horton Foote, a link that would prove critical to his career, as it was Foote who recommended Duvall to play the mentally disabled "Boo Radley" in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). This was his first "major" role since his 1956 motion picture debut as an MP was in Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), starring Paul Newman.

Duvall began making a name for himself as a stage actor in New York, winning an Obie Award in 1965 playing incest-minded longshoreman "Eddie Carbone" in the off-Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge", a production for which his old roommate Hoffman was assistant director. He found steady work in episodic TV and appeared as a modestly billed character actor in films, such as Arthur Penn's The Chase (1966) with Marlon Brando and in Robert Altman's Countdown (1968) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (1969), in both of which he co-starred with James Caan.

He was also memorable as the heavy who is shot by John Wayne at the climax of True Grit (1969) and was the first "Maj. Frank Burns", creating the character in Altman's Korean War comedy MASH (1970). He also appeared as the eponymous lead in George Lucas' directorial debut, THX 1138 (1971). It was Francis Ford Coppola, casting The Godfather (1972), who reunited Duvall with Brando and Caan and provided him with his career breakthrough as mob lawyer "Tom Hagen". He received the first of his six Academy Award nominations for the role.

Thereafter, Duvall had steady work in featured roles in such films as The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Killer Elite (1975), Network (1976), The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Occasionally this actor's actor got the chance to assay a lead role, most notably in Tomorrow (1972), in which he was brilliant as William Faulkner's inarticulate backwoods farmer. He was less impressive as the lead in Badge 373 (1973), in which he played a character based on real-life NYPD detective Eddie Egan, the same man his old friend Gene Hackman had won an Oscar for playing, in fictionalized form as "Popeye Doyle" in The French Connection (1971).

It was his appearance as "Lt. Col. Kilgore" in another Coppola picture, Apocalypse Now (1979), that solidified Duvall's reputation as a great actor. He got his second Academy Award nomination for the role, and was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most versatile actor in the world. Duvall created one of the most memorable characters ever assayed on film, and gave the world the memorable phrase, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning!".

Subsequently, Duvall proved one of the few established character actors to move from supporting to leading roles, with his Oscar-nominated turns in The Great Santini (1979) and Tender Mercies (1983), the latter of which won him the Academy Award for Best Actor. Now at the summit of his career, Duvall seemed to be afflicted with the fabled "Oscar curse" that had overwhelmed the careers of fellow Academy Award winners Luise Rainer, Rod Steiger and Cliff Robertson. He could not find work equal to his talents, either due to his post-Oscar salary demands or a lack of perception in the industry that he truly was leading man material. He did not appear in The Godfather: Part III (1990), as the studio would not give in to his demands for a salary commensurate with that of Al Pacino, who was receiving $5 million to reprise Michael Corleone.

His greatest achievement in his immediate post-Oscar period was his triumphant characterization of grizzled Texas Ranger Gus McCrae in the TV mini-series "Lonesome Dove" (1989), for which he received an Emmy nomination. He received a second Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in Stalin (1992) (TV), and a third Emmy nomination playing Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in The Man Who Captured Eichmann (1996) (TV).

The shakeout of his career doldrums was that Duvall eventually settled back into his status as one of the premier character actors in the industry, rivaled only by his old friend Gene Hackman. Duvall, unlike Hackman, also has directed pictures, including the documentary We're Not the Jet Set (1977), Angelo My Love (1983) and Assassination Tango (2002). As a writer-director, Duvall gave himself one of his most memorable roles, that of the preacher on the run from the law in The Apostle (1997), a brilliant performance for which he received his third Best Actor nomination and fifth Oscar nomination overall. The film brought Duvall back to the front ranks of great actors, and was followed by a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod for A Civil Action (1998).

Robert Duvall will long be remembered as one of the great naturalistic American screen actors in the mode of Spencer Tracy and his frequent co-star Marlon Brando. His performances as "Boo Radley" in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), "Jackson Fentry" in Tomorrow (1972), "Tom Hagen" in the first two "Godfather" movies, "Frank Hackett" in Network (1976), "Lt. Col. Kilgore" in Apocalypse Now (1979), "Bull Meechum" in The Great Santini (1979), "Mac Sledge" in Tender Mercies (1983), "Gus McCrae" in "Lonesome Dove" (1989) and "Sonny Dewey" in The Apostle (1997) rank as some of the finest acting ever put on film. It's a body of work that few actors can equal, let alone surpass.

Favourite film:
The Godfather (1972)

Favourite performance:
As Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now (1979)




Harvey Keitel (1939, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:


Came to prominence in the early films of Martin Scorsese after working in theatre for around ten years, particularly Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976). Faded into anonymity in the eighties even though he turned in some impressive performances in films by some of America's leading directors. He re-emergered into star status with his role as Mr. White in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992), Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Piano (1993) 0110912.

Favourite film:
Smoke (1995)

Favourite performance:
As The Lieutenant in Bad Lieutenant (1992)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 33
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#36) - 25/1/2011 6:53:48 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#36.

Spencer Tracy (1900-1967, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the end of the war. At Ripon College he did well in the lead of "The Truth" and decided on acting as a career. In New York he roomed with O'Brien while they attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1923 they both got nonspeaking parts as robots in "R.U.R". In stock he supported himself with jobs as bellhop, janitor and salesman.

John Ford saw his critically acclaimed performance in the lead role in in The Last Mile (1932) and signed him to Up the River (1930) for Fox. Despite appearing in 16 films there over the next 5 years, Tracy never achieved star status there (during his stint the studio had floundered and was absorbed into Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures). In 1935 he signed with MGM under the aegis of Irving Thalberg and his career flourished. He became the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars for Captains Courageous (1937) and in a project he initially didn't want to star in, Boys Town (1938). He was nominated for San Francisco (1936), Father of the Bride (1950), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Old Man and the Sea (1958), Inherit the Wind (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967).

He had a brief romantic relationship with Loretta Young in the 1930s and a lifelong one with Katharine Hepburn beginning in 1942. His Catholic beliefs precluded ever divorcing his wife Louise, though they lived apart. Tracy suffered from severe alcoholism and diabetes (from the late 1940's), which unfortunately impacted his willingness to accept several tailor-made roles in films that would become big hits. Although his drinking problems were well known, he was inarguably considered one of the best actors in Hollywood among his peers (he had a well deserved reputation for keeping co-stars on their toes for his oddly endearing scene-stealing tricks) and remained in demand. A few weeks after completion of Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), during which he suffered from lung congestion, he died of a heart attack.
 
Favourite film:
Woman of the Year (1942)

Favourite performance:
As John J. Macreedy in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 34
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#35) - 25/1/2011 7:01:17 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#35.

Buster Keaton (1895-1966, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

When at six months he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with The Three Keatons: Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton. Their act, one of the most dangerous in vaudeville, was about how to discipline a prankster child. Buster was thrown all over the stage and even into the audience. No matter what the stunt, he was poker-faced. By age 21 his father was so alcoholic the stunts became too dangerous to perform and the act dissolved. He first saw a movie studio in March 1917 and on April 23 his debut film, 'Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle' 's The Butcher Boy (1917), was released. He stayed with Fatty through 15 two-reelers, even though he was offered much more to sign with Fox or Warner Bros. after returning from ten months with the U.S. Army (40th Infantry Division) in France.

His first full-length feature, The Saphead (1920), established him as a star in his own right. By the middle of 1921 he had his own production company--Buster Keaton Productions--and was writing, directing and starring in his own films. With a small and close team around him, Keaton created some of the most beautiful and imaginative films of the silent era. The General (1926), his favorite, was one of the last films over which he had artistic control. In 1928, he reluctantly signed with MGM after his contract with independent producer Joe Schenk expired. MGM quickly began to enforce their rigid, mechanized style of film-making on Keaton, swamping him with gag-writers and scripts. He fought against it for a time, and the compromise was initially fruitful, his first film for MGM - _Cameraman, The (1928)_ - being one of his finest. But with his creativity becoming increasingly stifled, he began to drink excessively, despondent at having to perform material that was beneath him. Ironically, his films around 1930 were his most successful to date in terms of box-office, which confirmed to MGM that their formula was right. His drinking led to a disregard for schedules and erratic behaviour on the MGM lot, and a disastrous confrontation with Louis Mayer resulted in him being fired. The diplomatic producer Irving Thalberg attempted to smooth things over but Keaton was past caring.

By 1932 he was a divorced alcoholic, getting work where he could, mostly in short comedies. In 1935 he entered a mental hospital. MGM rehired him in 1937 as a $100-a-week gag-man (his salary ten years before was more than ten times this amount). The occasional film was a boost to this steady income. In 1947 his career rebounded with a live appearance at Cirque Medrano in Paris. In 1952 James Mason, who then owned Keaton's Hollywood mansion, found a secret store of presumably lost nitrate stock of many of Buster's early films; film historian and archivist Raymond Rohauer began a serious collection/preservation of Buster's work. In 1957 Buster appeared with Charles Chaplin in Limelight (1952) and his film biography, The Buster Keaton Story (1957) was released. Two years later he received a special Oscar for his life work in comedy, and he began to receive the accolades he so richly deserved, with festivals around the world honoring his work. He died at 70 years of age.

Favourite film:
The General (1926)

Favourite performance:
As Johnny Gray in The General (1926)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 35
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#34) - 5/2/2011 3:26:38 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#34.

Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

The son of a moderately wealthy Manhattan surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium) and a famed magazine illustrator, Humphrey Bogart was educated at Trinity School, New York City, sent to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in preparation for medical studies at Yale. He was expelled from Phillips and joined the U.S. Naval Reserve. From 1920 to 1922, he managed a stage company owned by family friend William A. Brady (the father of actress Alice Brady), performing a variety of tasks at Brady's film studio in New York. He then began regular stage performances. Alexander Woollcott described his acting in a 1922 play as inadequate. In 1930, he gained a contract with Fox, his feature film debut in a ten-minute short, Broadway's Like That (1930), co-starring Ruth Etting and Joan Blondell. Fox released him after two years.

After five years of stage and minor film roles, he had his breakthrough role in The Petrified Forest (1936) from Warner Bros. He won the part over Edward G. Robinson only after the star, Leslie Howard, threatened Warner Bros. that he would quit unless Bogart was given the key role of Duke Mantee, which he had played in the Broadway production with Howard. The film was a major success and led to a long-term contract with Warner Bros. From 1936 to 1940, Bogart appeared in 28 films, usually as a gangster, twice in Westerns and even a horror film. His landmark year was 1941 (often capitalizing on parts George Raft had stupidly rejected) with roles in classics such as High Sierra (1941) and as Sam Spade in one of his most fondly remembered films, The Maltese Falcon (1941). These were followed by Casablanca (1942), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948). Bogart, despite his erratic education, was incredibly well-read and he favored writers and intellectuals within his small circle of friends. In 1947, he joined wife Lauren Bacall and other actors protesting the House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunts.

He also formed his own production company, and the next year made The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Bogie won the best actor Academy Award for The African Queen (1951) and was nominated for Casablanca (1942) and as Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954), a film made when he was already seriously ill. He died in his sleep at his Hollywood home following surgeries and a battle with throat cancer.
 
Favourite film:
Casablanca (1942)

Favourite performance:
As Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 36
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#32) - 5/2/2011 3:48:50 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#32.

Steve Buscemi (1957, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg. He began writing and performing original theatre pieces with fellow actor/writer Mark Boone Junior. This led to his being cast in his first lead role in Parting Glances (1986). Since then, he has worked with many of the top filmmakers in Hollywood, including Quentin Tarantino, Jerry Bruckheimer, and The Coen Brothers. He is a highly respected actor.

Favourite film:
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Favourite performance:
As Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs (1992)




Peter O'Toole (1932, Ireland)



IMDb Mini Biography:


A leading man of prodigious talents, Irish-born Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, England, the son of a bookie. As a boy, he decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter, he discovered the theater and made his stage debut at 17. He served as a radioman in the Royal Navy for two years, then attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where his classmates included Albert Finney, Alan Bates and Richard Harris. He spent several years on-stage at the Bristol Old Vic, then made an inconspicuous film debut in 1960. In 1962, O'Toole was chosen by David Lean to play T.E. Lawrence in Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia (1962). The part made O'Toole an international superstar.

He continued successfully in artistically rich films as well as less artistic but commercially rewarding projects. He received Academy Award nominations (but no Oscar) for seven different films. However, medical problems (originally thought to have been brought on by his drinking but which turned out to be stomach cancer) threatened to destroy his career and life in the 1970s. He survived by giving up alcohol and, after serious medical treatment, returned to films with triumphant performances in The Stunt Man (1980) and My Favorite Year (1982). His youthful beauty lost to time and drink, O'Toole has found meaningful roles increasingly difficult to come by, though he remains one of the greatest actors of his generation. He has two daughters, Pat and Kate O'Toole (I), from his marriage to actress Siân Phillips. He also has a son, Lorcan O'Toole (I), by model Karen Brown. He partnered with Jules Buck in Keep Productions.

Favourite film:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Favourite performance:
As Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney in The Ruling Class (1972)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 37
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#31) - 5/2/2011 4:07:44 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#31.

Gabriel Byrne (1950, Ireland)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Byrne was the first of six children, born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a cooper and his mother a hospital worker. He was raised Catholic and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers. He spent five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a Catholic priest. He later said, "I spent five years in the seminary and I suppose it was assumed that you had a vocation. I have realized subsequently that I didn't have one at all. I don't believe in God. But I did believe at the time in this notion that you were being called." He attended University College Dublin, where he studied archeology and linguistics, and became proficient in Irish. He played football (soccer) in Dublin with the Stella Maris Football Club.

Byrne worked in archeology after he left UCD but maintained his love of his language, writing Draíocht (Magic), the first drama in Irish on Ireland's national Irish television station, TG4, in 1996.

He discovered his acting ability as a young adult. Before that he worked at several occupations which included being an archaeologist, a cook, a bullfighter, and a Spanish schoolteacher. He begin acting when he was 29. He began on stage at the Focus Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, later he joined the Royal Court Theatre and the Royal National Theatre in London.

Byrne came to prominence on the final season of the Irish television show The Riordans, later starring in the spin-off series, Bracken. He made his film début in 1981 as Lord Uther Pendragon in John Boorman's King Arthur epic, Excalibur.

Byrne is featured as therapist Dr. Paul Weston in the critically acclaimed HBO series In Treatment (2008).

In his return to theater in 2008, he appeared as King Arthur in Lerner and Loewe's Camelot with the New York Philharmonic which was featured in a PBS broadcast in the Live From Lincoln Center series in May of 2008.

Byrne did not visit America until he was 37. In 1988, Byrne married actress Ellen Barkin with whom he has two children. The couple separated amicably in 1993 and divorced in 1999. Byrne resides in Brooklyn, New York.

In November 2004, Byrne was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador.

In 2007 Byrne was presented with the first of the newly created Volta awards at the 5th Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. This was for lifetime achievement in acting. He also received the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society, of Trinity College, Dublin on February 20, 2007. He was awarded an honorary degree in late 2007 by the National University of Ireland, Galway, in recognition of Byrne's "outstanding contribution to Irish and international film".
 
Favourite film:
Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Favourite performance:
As Tom Reagan in Miller’s Crossing (1990)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 38
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#30) - 5/2/2011 4:21:26 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#30.

Tom Hanks (1956, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Born in California, Tom Hanks grew up in what he calls a "fractured" family. His parents were pioneers in the development of marriage dissolution law in that state, and Tom moved around a lot, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no abuse, no alcoholism, just a confused childhood. He had no acting experience in college and, in fact, credits the fact that he couldn't get cast in a college play with actually starting his career - he went downtown, auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. He met his second wife, actress Rita Wilson on the set of the his television show "Bosom Buddies" (1980), she appeared in one episode in the second season (1981) - they have two children and Tom has another son and daughter by his first wife. In 1996, he made his first step behind the camera, directing as well as starring and writing the film That Thing You Do! (1996).

Favourite film:
Road to Perdition (2002) / Toy Story (1995)

Favourite performance:
As Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump (1994)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

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Post #: 39
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#29) - 12/2/2011 2:25:47 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#29.

Johnny Depp (1963, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Born John Christopher Depp in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, Johnny Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school at age 15 in the hopes of becoming a rock musician. He fronted a series of garage bands including The Kids, which once opened for Iggy Pop. Depp got into acting after a visit to Los Angeles, California, with his former wife, Lori Anne Allison (Lori A. Depp), who introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage. He made his film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). In 1987 he shot to stardom when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular TV series "21 Jump Street" (1987).

In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a handful of great collaborations with director Tim Burton came about when Depp played the title role in Edward Scissorhands (1990). Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprised critics and audiences alike. He continued to gain critical acclaim and increasing popularity by appearing in many features before re-joining with Burton in the lead role of Ed Wood (1994). In 1997 he played an undercover FBI agent in the fact-based film Donnie Brasco (1997), opposite Al Pacino; in 1998 he appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), directed by Terry Gilliam; and then, in 1999, he appeared in the sci-fi/horror film The Astronaut's Wife (1999). The same year he teamed up again with Burton in Sleepy Hollow (1999), brilliantly portraying Ichabod Crane.

Depp has played many characters in his career, including another fact-based one, Insp. Fred Abberline in From Hell (2001). He stole the show from screen greats such as Antonio Banderas in the finale to Robert Rodriguez's "mariachi" trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). In that same year he starred in the marvelous family blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), playing a character that only the likes of Depp could pull off: the charming, conniving and roguish Capt. Jack Sparrow. Now Depp is collaborating again with Burton in a screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

Off-screen, Depp has dated several female celebrities, and has been engaged to Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. He was married to Lori Anne Allison in 1983 but they divorced her in 1985. Depp is living with French singer-actress Vanessa Paradis, with whom he has two children: Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999 and Jack, born in 2002.
 
Favourite film(s):
Ed Wood (1994) and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Favourite performance:
As Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 40
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#28) - 12/2/2011 2:45:54 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#28.

Michael Caine (1933, England)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Born Maurice Micklewhite in London, Michael Caine was the son of a fish-market porter and a charlady. He left school at 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean War, where he saw combat. Upon his return to England he gravitated toward the theater and got a job as an assistant stage manager. He adopted the name of Caine on the advice of his agent, taking it from a marquee that advertised The Caine Mutiny (1954).

In the years that followed he worked in more than 100 television dramas, with repertory companies throughout England and eventually in the stage hit, "The Long and the Short and the Tall." Zulu (1964), the 1964 epic retelling of a historic 19th-century battle in South Africa between British soldiers and Zulu warriors, brought Caine to international attention. Instead of being typecast as a low-ranking Cockney soldier, he played a snobbish, aristocratic officer. Although "Zulu" was a major success, it was the role of Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File (1965) and the title role in Alfie (1966) that made Caine a star of the first magnitude.

He epitomized the new breed of actor in mid-'60s England, the working-class bloke with glasses and a down-home accent. However, after initially starring in some excellent films, particularly in the 1960s, including Gambit (1966), Funeral in Berlin (1966), Play Dirty (1969), Battle of Britain (1969), Too Late the Hero (1970), The Last Valley (1971) and especially Get Carter (1971), he seemed to take on roles in below-average films, simply for the money he could by then command. There were some gems amongst the dross, however. He gave a magnificent performance opposite Sean Connery in The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and turned in a solid one as a German colonel in The Eagle Has Landed (1976). Educating Rita (1983) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) (for which he won his first Oscar) were highlights of the 1980s, while more recently Little Voice (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999) (his second Oscar) and Last Orders (2001) have been widely acclaimed.

Favourite film(s):
Zulu (1964)

Favourite performance:
As Jack Carter in Get Carter (1971) 

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 41
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#27) - 12/2/2011 2:58:35 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#27.

William Powell (1892-1984, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

William Powell was on the New York stage in 1912 and it would be ten years before his film career would begin. In 1924 he would go to Paramount Pictures, where he would be employed for the next seven years. During these years he played in a number of interesting films, but stardom was elusive. He did attract attention with The Last Command (1928) as Leo, the arrogant film director. Stardom would come with his role as Philo Vance in The Canary Murder Case (1929), where he investigates the death of Louise Brooks, "the Canary". Unlike many silent actors, sound boosted Powell's career. He had a fine, urbane voice and his stage training and comic timing greatly aided his introduction to sound pictures. However, he was not happy with the type of roles he was playing at Paramount, so in 1931 he switched to Warner Bros. He would again be disappointed with his roles and would make his last appearance as Philo Vance in The Kennel Murder Case (1933). In 1934 Powell went to MGM, where he would be teamed with Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama (1934). While Philo made Powell a star, another detective, Nick Charles, made him famous. He would receive an Academy Award nomination for The Thin Man (1934) and star in the Best Picture winner for 1936, The Great Ziegfeld (1936).

Powell could play any role with authority, whether in a comedy, thriller or drama. He would receive his second Academy Award Nomination for My Man Godfrey (1936). He was on top of the world until 1937. His first picture with Jean Harlow was Reckless (1935) and they clicked offscreen as well as onscreen, and shortly became engaged. While he was filming Double Wedding (1937) on one MGM sound stage, Harlow became ill on another and finally went to the hospital, where she died. Her death greatly upset both Powell and Myrna Loy and he would be off the movie for six weeks to deal with his sorrow. After that he would travel and did not make another MGM film for a year. He would do four sequels to "The Thin Man", with the last one being made in 1947. He would also receive his third Academy Award nomination for his work in Life with Father (1947). After that, his screen appearances became fewer and his last role was in 1955. He had come a long way from playing the villain in 1922.
 
Favourite film(s):
The Thin Man (1934)

Favourite performance:
As Larry Wilson (also known as George Carey) in I Love You Again (1940)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 42
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#26) - 12/2/2011 3:13:42 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#26.

Willem Dafoe (1955, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

In 1979, Willem Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980) from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless (1982). From there, he went on to perform in over 70 films - in Hollywood (Spider-Man (2002), The English Patient (1996), Finding Nemo (2003), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), Clear and Present Danger (1994), White Sands (1992), Mississippi Burning (1988), Streets of Fire (1984) and in independent cinema in the U.S. (The Clearing (2004), Animal Factory (2000), Basquiat (1996), The Boondock Saints (1999), American Psycho (2000)) and abroad (Lars von Trier's Manderlay (2005), Ho Yim's Pavilion of Women (2001), Yurek Bogayevicz's Edges of the Lord (2001), Wenders' Faraway, So Close! (1993) (aka "Faraway So Close!) and Brian Gilbert's Tom & Viv (1994)).

He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)), Martin Scorsese (The Aviator (2004), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)), Paul Schrader (Auto Focus (2002), Affliction (1997), Light Sleeper (1992)), David Cronenberg (eXistenZ (1999)), Abel Ferrara (New Rose Hotel (1998)), David Lynch (Wild at Heart (1990)), William Friedkin (To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)) and Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Platoon (1986)).

He was nominated twice for the Academy Award (Platoon (1986) and Shadow of the Vampire (2000)) and once for the Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he received an LA Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award.

Recent projects include Mr. Bean's Vacation (2007), Henry Miller's Anamorph (2007), Paul Schrader's The Walker (2007) and Adam Resurrected (2008), Theodoros Angelopoulos' The Dust of Time (2008) (aka "The Dust of Time"), Abel Ferrara's Go Go Tales (2007), Spike Lee's Inside Man (2006), Paul Weitz's American Dreamz (2006) and Giada Colagrande's Before It Had a Name (2005) (which was co-written by Mr. Dafoe) and the Nobuhiro Suwa segment of Paris, Je T'Aime (2006).

Other upcoming films include Andrew Stanton's John Carter of Mars (2012), Lars von Trier's Antichrist (2009), Fireflies in the Garden (2008) opposite Julia Roberts, Julian Schnabel's Miral (2010), Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009), Christian Carion's Farewell (2004), Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Giada Colagrande's A Woman (2010), Paul Weitz's The Vampire's Assistant (2000) and the Lionsgate film Daybreakers (2009) co-starring with Ethan Hawke.
Dafoe is one of the founding members of "The Wooster Group", the New York-based experimental theatre collective. He has created and performed in the group's work since 1977, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Favourite film(s):
Platoon (1986)

Favourite performance:
As Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 43
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#25) - 12/2/2011 3:23:40 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#25.

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977, England)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Charlie Chaplin, considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular "Little Tramp" character; the man with the toothbrush mustache, bowler hat, bamboo cane, and a funny walk. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, England on April 26th, 1889 to Charles and Hannah (Hill) Chaplin, both music hall performers, who were married on June 22nd, 1885. After Charles Sr. separated from Hannah to perform in New York City, Hannah then tried to resurrect her stage career. Unfortunately, her singing voice had a tendency to break at unexpected moments. When this happened, the stage manager spotted young Charlie standing in the wings and led him on stage, where five-year-old Charlie began to sing a popular tune. Charlie and his half-brother, Syd Chaplin (born Sydney Hawkes), spent their lives in and out of charity homes and workhouses between their mother's bouts of insanity. Hannah was committed to Cane Hill Asylum in May of 1903 and lived there until 1921, when Chaplin moved her to California.

Chaplin began his official acting career at the age of eight, touring with The Eight Lancashire Lads. At 18 he began touring with Fred Karno's vaudeville troupe, joining them on the troupe's 1910 US tour. He traveled west to California in December 1913 and signed on with Keystone Studios' popular comedy director Mack Sennett, who had seen Chaplin perform on stage in New York. Charlie soon wrote his brother Syd, asking him to become his manager. While at Keystone, Chaplin appeared in and directed 35 films, starring as the Little Tramp in nearly all. In November 1914, he left Keystone and signed on at Essanay, where he made 15 films. In 1916, he signed on at Mutual and made 12 films. In June 1917, Chaplin signed up with First National Studios, after which he built Chaplin Studios. In 1919, he and Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith formed United Artists (UA).

Chaplin's life and career was full of scandal and controversy. His first big scandal was during World War I, during which time his loyalty to England, his home country, was questioned. He had never applied for US citizenship, but claimed that he was a "paying visitor" to the United States. Many British citizens called Chaplin a coward and a slacker. This and his other career eccentricities sparked suspicion with FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover and the House Un-American Activities Council (HUAC), who believed that he was injecting Communist propaganda into his films. Chaplin's later film The Great Dictator (1940), which was his first "talkie", also created a stir. In the film, Chaplin plays a humorous caricature of Adolf Hitler. Some thought the film was poorly done and in bad taste. However, it grossed over $5 million and earned five Academy Award Nominations. Another scandal occurred when Chaplin briefly dated 22-year-old Joan Barry.

However, Chaplin's relationship with Barry came to an end in 1942, after a series of harassing actions from her. In May of 1943 Barry returned to inform Chaplin that she was pregnant, and filed a paternity suit, claiming that the unborn child was his. During the 1944 trial, blood tests proved that Chaplin was not the father, but at the time blood tests were inadmissible evidence and he was ordered to pay $75 a week until the child turned 21. Chaplin was also scrutinized for his support in aiding the Russian struggle against the invading Nazis during World War II, and the U.S. government questioned his moral and political views, suspecting him of having Communist ties. For this reason HUAC subpoenaed him in 1947. However, HUAC finally decided that it was no longer necessary for him to appear for testimony. Conversely, when Chaplin and his family traveled to London for the premier of Limelight (1952), he was denied re-entry to the United States. In reality, the government had almost no evidence to prove that he was a threat to national security.

He and his wife decided, instead, to settle in Switzerland. Chaplin was married four times and had a total of 11 children. In 1918, he wed Mildred Harris, they had a son together, Norman Spencer Chaplin, who only lived three days. Chaplin and Mildred were divorced in 1920. He married Lita Grey in 1924, who had two sons, Charles Chaplin Jr. and Sydney Chaplin. They were divorced in 1927. In 1936, Chaplin married Paulette Goddard and his final marriage was to Oona O'Neill (Oona Chaplin), daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill in 1943. Oona gave birth to eight children: Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Chaplin, Josephine Chaplin, Victoria Chaplin, Eugene, Jane, Annette-Emilie and Christopher Chaplin. In contrast to many of his boisterous characters, Chaplin was a quiet man who kept to himself a lot. He also had an "un-millionaire" way of living. Even after he had accumulated millions, he continued to live in shabby accommodations.

In 1921, Chaplin was decorated by the French government for his outstanding work as a filmmaker, and was elevated to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor in 1952. In 1972, he was honored with an Academy Award for his "incalculable effect in making motion pictures the art form of the century." He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 1975 Queen's Honours List for his services to entertainment. Chaplin's other works included musical scores he composed for many of his films. He also authored two autobiographical books, "My Autobiography" in 1964 and its companion volume, "My Life in Pictures" in 1974. Chaplin died of natural causes on December 25, 1977 at his home in Switzerland. In 1978, Chaplin's corpse was stolen from its grave and was not recovered for three months; he was re-buried in a vault surrounded by cement. Charlie Chaplin was considered one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of American cinema, whose movies were and still are popular throughout the world, and have even gained notoriety as time progresses. His films show, through the Little Tramp's positive outlook on life in a world full of chaos, that the human spirit has and always will remain the same.
 
Favourite film(s):
Modern Times (1936)
 
Favourite performance:
As The Tramp in City Lights (1931) 

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

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Post #: 44
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#24) - 16/2/2011 5:57:24 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#24.

Marlon Brando (1924-2004, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949, a decision for which he was severely criticized when his star began to dim in the 1960s and he was excoriated for squandering his talents. No actor ever exerted such a profound influence on succeeding generations of actors as did Brando. More than 50 years after he first scorched the screen as Stanley Kowalski in the movie version of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and a quarter-century after his last great performance as Col. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), all American actors are still being measured by the yardstick that was Brando. It was if the shadow of John Barrymore, the great American actor closest to Brando in terms of talent and stardom, dominated the acting field up until the 1970s. He did not, nor did any other actor so dominate the public's consciousness of what WAS an actor before or since Brando's 1951 on-screen portrayal of Stanley made him a cultural icon. Brando eclipsed the reputation of other great actors circa 1950, such as Paul Muni and Fredric March. Only the luster of Spencer Tracy's reputation hasn't dimmed when seen in the starlight thrown off by Brando. However, neither Tracy nor Olivier created an entire school of acting just by the force of his personality. Brando did.

Born Marlon Brando Jr. on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a calcium carbonate salesman and his artistically inclined wife, the former Dorothy Pennebaker, "Bud" Brando was one of three children. His oldest sister Jocelyn Brando was also an actress, taking after their mother, who engaged in amateur theatricals and mentored a then-unknown Henry Fonda, another Nebraska native, in her role as director of the Omaha Community Playhouse. Frannie, Brando's other sibling, was a visual artist. Both Brando sisters contrived to leave the Midwest for New York City, Jocelyn to study acting and Frannie to study art. Marlon managed to escape the vocational doldrums forecast for him by his cold, distant father and his disapproving schoolteachers by striking out for The Big Apple in 1943, following Jocelyn into the acting profession. Acting was the only thing he was good at, for which he received praise, so he was determined to make it his career - a high-school dropout, he had nothing else to fall back on, having been rejected by the military due to a knee injury he incurred playing football at Shattuck Military Academy, Brando Sr.'s alma mater. The school booted Marlon out as incorrigible before graduation.

Acting was a skill he honed as a child, the lonely son of alcoholic parents. With his father away on the road, and his mother frequently intoxicated to the point of stupefaction, the young Bud would play-act for her to draw her out of her stupor and to attract her attention and love. His mother was exceedingly neglectful, but he loved her, particularly for instilling in him a love of nature, a feeling which informed his character Paul in Last Tango in Paris (1972) ("Last Tango in Paris") when he is recalling his childhood for his young lover Jeanne. "I don't have many good memories," Paul confesses, and neither did Brando of his childhood. Sometimes he had to go down to the town jail to pick up his mother after she had spent the night in the drunk tank and bring her home, events that traumatized the young boy but may have been the grain that irritated the oyster of his talent, producing the pearls of his performances. Anthony Quinn, his Oscar-winning co-star in Viva Zapata! (1952) told Brando's first wife Anna Kashfi, "I admire Marlon's talent, but I don't envy the pain that created it."

Brando enrolled in Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop at New York's New School, and was mentored by Stella Adler, a member of a famous Yiddish Theatre acting family. Adler helped introduce to the New York stage the "emotional memory" technique of Russian theatrical actor, director and impresario Konstantin Stanislavski, whose motto was "Think of your own experiences and use them truthfully." The results of this meeting between an actor and the teacher preparing him for a life in the theater would mark a watershed in American acting and culture.
Brando made his debut on the boards of Broadway on October 19, 1944, in "I Remember Mama," a great success. As a young Broadway actor, Brando was invited by talent scouts from several different studios to screen-test for them, but he turned them down because he would not let himself be bound by the then-standard seven-year contract. Brando would make his film debut quite some time later in Fred Zinnemann's The Men (1950) for producer Stanley Kramer. Playing a paraplegic soldier, Brando brought new levels of realism to the screen, expanding on the verisimilitude brought to movies by Group Theatre alumni John Garfield, the predecessor closest to him in the raw power he projected on-screen. Ironically, it was Garfield whom producer Irene Mayer Selznick had chosen to play the lead in a new Tennessee Williams play she was about to produce, but negotiations broke down when Garfield demanded an ownership stake in "A Streetcar Named Desire." Burt Lancaster was next approached, but couldn't get out of a prior film commitment. Then director Elia Kazan suggested Brando, whom he had directed to great effect in Maxwell Anderson's play "Truckline Café," in which Brando co-starred with Karl Malden, who was to remain a close friend for the next 60 years.

During the production of "Truckline Café", Kazan had found that Brando's presence was so magnetic, he had to re-block the play to keep Marlon near other major characters' stage business, as the audience could not take its eyes off of him. For the scene where Brando's character re-enters the stage after killing his wife, Kazan placed him upstage-center, partially obscured by scenery, but where the audience could still see him as Karl Malden and others played out their scene within the café set. When he eventually entered the scene, crying, the effect was electric. A young Pauline Kael, arriving late to the play, had to avert her eyes when Brando made this entrance as she believed the young actor on stage was having a real-life conniption. She did not look back until her escort commented that the young man was a great actor.

The problem with casting Brando as Stanley was that he was much younger than the character as written by Williams. However, after a meeting between Brando and Williams, the playwright eagerly agreed that Brando would make an ideal Stanley. Williams believed that by casting a younger actor, the Neanderthalish Kowalski would evolve from being a vicious older man to someone whose unintentional cruelty can be attributed to his youthful ignorance. Brando ultimately was dissatisfied with his performance, though, saying he never was able to bring out the humor of the character, which was ironic as his characterization often drew laughs from the audience at the expense of Jessica Tandy's Blanche Dubois. During the out-of-town tryouts, Kazan realized that Brando's magnetism was attracting attention and audience sympathy away from Blanche to Stanley, which was not what the playwright intended. The audience's sympathy should be solely with Blanche, but many spectators were identifying with Stanley. Kazan queried Williams on the matter, broaching the idea of a slight rewrite to tip the scales back to more of a balance between Stanley and Blanche, but Williams demurred, smitten as he was by Brando, just like the preview audiences.

For his part, Brando believed that the audience sided with his Stanley because Jessica Tandy was too shrill. He thought Vivien Leigh, who played the part in the movie, was ideal, as she was not only a great beauty but she WAS Blanche Dubois, troubled as she was in her real life by mental illness and nymphomania. Brando's appearance as Stanley on stage and on screen revolutionized American acting by introducing "The Method" into American consciousness and culture. Method acting, rooted in Adler's study at the Moscow Art Theatre of Stanislavsky's theories that she subsequently introduced to the Group Theatre, was a more naturalistic style of performing, as it engendered a close identification of the actor with the character's emotions. Adler took first place among Brando's acting teachers, and socially she helped turn him from an unsophisticated Midwestern farm boy into a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan artist who one day would socialize with presidents.

Brando didn't like the term "The Method," which quickly became the prominent paradigm taught by such acting gurus as Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Brando denounced Strasberg in his autobiography "Songs My Mother Taught Me" (1994), saying that he was a talentless exploiter who claimed he had been Brando's mentor. The Actors Studio had been founded by Strasberg along with Kazan and Stella Adler's husband, Harold Clurman, all Group Theatre alumni, all political progressives deeply committed to the didactic function of the stage. Brando credits his knowledge of the craft to Adler and Kazan, while Kazan in his autobiography "A Life" claimed that Brando's genius thrived due to the thorough training Adler had given him. Adler's method emphasized that authenticity in acting is achieved by drawing on inner reality to expose deep emotional experience
Interestingly, Elia Kazan believed that Brando had ruined two generations of actors, his contemporaries and those who came after him, all wanting to emulate the great Brando by employing The Method. Kazan felt that Brando was never a Method actor, that he had been highly trained by Adler and did not rely on gut instincts for his performances, as was commonly believed. Many a young actor, mistaken about the true roots of Brando's genius, thought that all it took was to find a character's motivation, empathize with the character through sense and memory association, and regurgitate it all on stage to become the character. That's not how the superbly trained Brando did it; he could, for example, play accents, whereas your average American Method actor could not. There was a method to Brando's art, Kazan felt, but it was not The Method.

After A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), for which he received the first of his eight Academy Award nominations, Brando appeared in a string of Academy Award-nominated performances - in Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953) and the summit of his early career, Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954). For his "Waterfront" portrayal of meat-headed longshoreman Terry Malloy, the washed-up pug who "coulda been a contender," Brando won his first Oscar. Along with his iconic performance as the rebel-without-a-cause Johnny in The Wild One (1953) ("What are you rebelling against?" Johnny is asked. "What have ya got?" is his reply), the first wave of his career was, according to Jon Voight, unprecedented in its audacious presentation of such a wide range of great acting. Director John Huston said his performance of Marc Antony was like seeing the door of a furnace opened in a dark room, and co-star John Gielgud, the premier Shakespearean actor of the 20th century, invited Brando to join his repertory company.

It was this period of 1951-54 that revolutionized American acting, spawning such imitators as James Dean - who modeled his acting and even his lifestyle on his hero Brando - the young Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. After Brando, every up-and-coming star with true acting talent and a brooding, alienated quality would be hailed as the "New Brando," such as Warren Beatty in Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961). "We are all Brando's children," Jack Nicholson pointed out in 1972. "He gave us our freedom." He was truly "The Godfather" of American acting - and he was just 30 years old.

In the second period of his career, 1955-62, Brando managed to uniquely establish himself as a great actor who also was a Top 10 movie star, although that star began to dim after the box-office high point of his early career, Sayonara (1957) (for which he received his fifth Best Actor Oscar nomination). Brando tried his hand at directing a film, the well-reviewed One-Eyed Jacks (1961) that he made for his own production company, Pennebaker Productions (after his mother's maiden name). Stanley Kubrick had been hired to direct the film, but after months of script rewrites in which Brando participated, Kubrick and Brando had a falling out and Kubrick was sacked. According to his widow Christiane Kubrick, Stanley believed that Brando had wanted to direct the film himself all along.

Tales proliferated about the profligacy of Brando the director, burning up a million and a half feet of expensive VistaVision film at 50 cents a foot, fully ten times the normal amount of raw stock expended during production of an equivalent motion picture. Brando took so long editing the film that he was never able to present the studio with a cut. Paramount took it away from him and tacked on a re-shot ending that Brando was dissatisfied with, as it made the Oedipal figure of Dad Longworth into a villain. In any normal film Dad would have been the heavy, but Brando believed that no one was innately evil, that it was a matter of an individual responding to, and being molded by, one's environment. It was not a black-and-white world, Brando felt, but a gray world in which once-decent people could do horrible things. This attitude explains his sympathetic portrayal of Nazi officer Christian Diestl in the film he made before shooting One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Edward Dmytryk's filming of Irwin Shaw's novel The Young Lions (1958). Shaw denounced Brando's performance, but audiences obviously disagreed, as the film was a major hit. It would be the last hit movie Brando would have for more than a decade.

One-Eyed Jacks (1961) generated respectable numbers at the box office, but the production costs were exorbitant - a then-staggering $6 million - which made it run a deficit. A film essentially is "made" in the editing room, and Brando found cutting to be a terribly boring process, which was why the studio eventually took the film away from him. Despite his proved talent in handling actors and a large production, Brando never again directed another film, though he would claim that all actors essentially direct themselves during the shooting of a picture.

Between the production and release of One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Brando appeared in Sidney Lumet's film version of Tennessee Williams' play "Orpheus Descending", The Fugitive Kind (1960) which teamed him with fellow Oscar winners Anna Magnani and Joanne Woodward. Following in Elizabeth Taylor's trailblazing footsteps, Brando became the second performer to receive a $1-million salary for a motion picture, so high were the expectations for this re-teaming of Kowalski and his creator (in 1961 critic Hollis Alpert had published a book "Brando and the Shadow of Stanley Kowalski). Critics and audiences waiting for another incendiary display from Brando in a Williams work were disappointed when the renamed The Fugitive Kind (1960) finally released. Though Tennessee was hot, with movie versions of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) burning up the box office and receiving kudos from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The Fugitive Kind (1960) was a failure. This was followed by the so-so box-office reception of One-Eyed Jacks (1961) in 1961 and then by a failure of a more monumental kind: Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), a remake of the famed 1935 film.

Brando signed on to Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) after turning down the lead in the David Lean classic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) because he didn't want to spend a year in the desert riding around on a camel. He received another $1-million salary, plus $200,000 in overages as the shoot went overtime and over budget. During principal photography, highly respected director Carol Reed (an eventual Academy Award winner) was fired, and his replacement, two-time Oscar winner Lewis Milestone, was shunted aside by Brando as Marlon basically took over the direction of the film himself. The long shoot became so notorious that President John F. Kennedy asked director Billy Wilder at a cocktail party not "when" but "if" the "Bounty" shoot would ever be over. The MGM remake of one of its classic Golden Age films garnered a Best Picture Oscar nomination and was one of the top grossing films of 1962, yet failed to go into the black due to its Brobdingnagian budget estimated at $20 million, which is equivalent to $120 million when adjusted for inflation.

Brando and Taylor, whose Cleopatra (1963) nearly bankrupted 20th Century-Fox due to its huge cost overruns (its final budget was more than twice that of Brando's Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)), were pilloried by the show business press for being the epitome of the pampered, self-indulgent stars who were ruining the industry. Seeking scapegoats, the Hollywood press conveniently ignored the financial pressures on the studios. The studios had been hurt by television and by the antitrust-mandated divestiture of their movie theater chains, causing a large outflow of production to Italy and other countries in the 1950s and 1960s in order to lower costs. The studio bosses, seeking to replicate such blockbuster hits as the remakes of The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959), were the real culprits behind the losses generated by large-budgeted films that found it impossible to recoup their costs despite long lines at the box office.

While Elizabeth Taylor, receiving the unwanted gift of reams of publicity from her adulterous romance with Cleopatra (1963) co-star Richard Burton, remained hot until the tanking of her own Tennessee Williams-renamed debacle Boom! (1968), Brando from 1963 until the end of the decade appeared in one box-office failure after another as he worked out a contract he had signed with Universal Pictures. The industry had grown tired of Brando and his idiosyncrasies, though he continued to be offered prestige projects up through 1968.
Some of the films Brando made in the 1960s were noble failures, such as The Ugly American (1963), The Chase (1966) and Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967). For every "Reflections," though, there seemed to be two or three outright debacles, such as Bedtime Story (1964), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) and The Night of the Following Day (1968). By the time Brando began making the anti-colonialist picture Burn! (1969) in Colombia with Gillo Pontecorvo in the director's chair, he was box-office poison, despite having worked in the previous five years with such top directors as Arthur Penn, John Huston and the legendary Charles Chaplin, and with such top-drawer co-stars as David Niven, Yul Brynner, Sophia Loren and Taylor.

The rap on Brando in the 1960s was that a great talent had ruined his potential to be America's answer to Laurence Olivier, as his friend William Redfield limned the dilemma in his book "Letters from an Actor" (1967), a memoir about Redfield's appearance in Burton's 1964 theatrical production of "Hamlet." By failing to go back on stage and recharge his artistic batteries, something British actors such as Burton were not afraid to do, Brando had stifled his great talent, by refusing to tackle the classical repertoire and contemporary drama. Actors and critics had yearned for an American response to the high-acting style of the Brits, and while Method actors such as Rod Steiger tried to create an American style, they were hampered in their quest, as their king was lost in a wasteland of Hollywood movies that were beneath his talent. Many of his early supporters now turned on him, claiming he was a crass sellout.

Despite evidence in such films as The Chase (1966), The Appaloosa (1966) and Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967) that Brando was in fact doing some of the best acting of his life, critics, perhaps with an eye on the box office, slammed him for failing to live up to, and nurture, his great gift. Brando's political activism, starting in the early 1960s with his championing of Native Americans' rights, followed by his participation in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's March on Washington in 1963, and followed by his appearance at a Black Panther rally in 1968, did not win him many admirers in the establishment. In fact, there was a de facto embargo on Brando films in the recently segregated (officially, at least) southeastern US in the 1960s. Southern exhibitors simply would not book his films, and producers took notice. After 1968, Brando would not work for three years.
Pauline Kael wrote of Brando that he was Fortune's fool. She drew a parallel with the latter career of John Barrymore, a similarly gifted thespian with talents as prodigious, who seemingly threw them away. Brando, like the late-career Barrymore, had become a great ham, evidenced by his turn as the faux Indian guru in the egregious Candy (1968), seemingly because the material was so beneath his talent. Most observers of Brando in the 1960s believed that he needed to be reunited with his old mentor Elia Kazan, a relationship that had soured due to Kazan's friendly testimony naming names before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee. Perhaps Brando believed this, too, as he originally accepted an offer to appear as the star of Kazan's film adaptation of his own novel, The Arrangement (1969). However, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Brando backed out of the film, telling Kazan that he could not appear in a Hollywood film after this tragedy. Also reportedly turning down a role opposite box-office king Paul Newman in a surefire script, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Brando decided to make Burn! (1969) with Pontecorvo. The film, a searing indictment of racism and colonialism, flopped at the box office but won the esteem of progressive critics and cultural arbiters such as Howard Zinn.

Kazan, after a life in film and the theater, said that, aside from Orson Welles, whose greatness lay in filmmaking, he only met one actor who was a genius: Brando. Richard Burton, an intellectual with a keen eye for observation if not for his own film projects, said that he found Brando to be very bright, unlike the public perception of him as a Terry Malloy-type character that he himself inadvertently promoted through his boorish behavior. Brando's problem, Burton felt, was that he was unique, and that he had gotten too much fame too soon at too early an age. Cut off from being nurtured by normal contact with society, fame had distorted Brando's personality and his ability to cope with the world, as he had not had time to grow up outside the limelight.

Truman Capote, who eviscerated Brando in print in the mid-'50s and had as much to do with the public perception of the dyslexic Brando as a dumbbell, always said that the best actors were ignorant, and that an intelligent person could not be a good actor. However, Brando was highly intelligent, and possessed of a rare genius in a then-deprecated art, acting. The problem that an intelligent performer has in movies is that it is the director, and not the actor, who has the power in his chosen field. Greatness in the other arts is defined by how much control the artist is able to exert over his chosen medium, but in movie acting, the medium is controlled by a person outside the individual artist. It is an axiom of the cinema that a performance, as is a film, is "created" in the cutting room, thus further removing the actor from control over his art. Brando had tried his hand at directing, in controlling the whole artistic enterprise, but he could not abide the cutting room, where a film and the film's performances are made. This lack of control over his art was the root of Brando's discontent with acting, with movies, and, eventually, with the whole wide world that invested so much cachet in movie actors, as long as "they" were at the top of the box-office charts. Hollywood was a matter of "they" and not the work, and Brando became disgusted.
Charlton Heston, who participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington with Brando, believes that Marlon was the great actor of his generation. However, noting a story that Brando had once refused a role in the early 1960s with the excuse "How can I act when people are starving in India?", Heston believes that it was this attitude, the inability to separate one's idealism from one's work, that prevented Brando from reaching his potential. As Rod Steiger once said, Brando had it all, great stardom and a great talent. He could have taken his audience on a trip to the stars, but he simply would not. Steiger, one of Brando's children even though a contemporary, could not understand it. When James Mason' was asked in 1971 who was the best American actor, he had replied that since Brando had let his career go belly-up, it had to be George C. Scott, by default.

Paramount thought that only Laurence Olivier would suffice, but Lord Olivier was ill. The young director believed there was only one actor who could play godfather to the group of Young Turk actors he had assembled for his film, The Godfather of method acting himself - Marlon Brando. Francis Ford Coppola won the fight for Brando, Brando won - and refused - his second Oscar, and Paramount won a pot of gold by producing the then top-grossing film of all-time, The Godfather (1972), a gangster movie most critics now judge one of the greatest American films of all time. Brando followed his iconic portrayal of Don Corleone with his Oscar-nominated turn in the high-grossing and highly scandalous Last Tango in Paris (1972) ("Last Tango in Paris"), the first film dealing explicitly with sexuality in which an actor of Brando's stature had participated. He was now again a Top-Ten box office star and once again heralded as the greatest actor of his generation, an unprecedented comeback that put him on the cover of "Time" magazine and would make him the highest-paid actor in the history of motion pictures by the end of the decade. Little did the world know that Brando, who had struggled through many projects in good faith during the 1960s, delivering some of his best acting, only to be excoriated and ignored as the films did not do well at the box office, essentially was through with the movies.

After reaching the summit of his career, a rarefied atmosphere never reached before or since by any actor, Brando essentially walked away. He would give no more of himself after giving everything as he had done in "Last Tango in Paris," a performance that embarrassed him, according to his autobiography. Brando had come as close to any actor to being the "auteur," or author, of a film, as the English-language scenes of "Tango" were created by encouraging Brando to improvise. The improvisations were written down and turned into a shooting script, and the scripted improvisations were shot the next day. Pauline Kael, the Brando of movie critics in that she was the most influential arbiter of cinematic quality of her generation and spawned a whole legion of Kael wanna-be's, said Brando's performance in "Last Tango" had revolutionized the art of film. Brando, who had to act to gain his mother's attention; Brando, who believed acting at best was nothing special as everyone in the world engaged in it every day of their lives to get what they wanted from other people; Brando, who believed acting at its worst was a childish charade and that movie stardom was a whorish fraud, would have agreed with Sam Peckinpah's summation of Pauline Kael: "Pauline's a brilliant critic but sometimes she's just cracking walnuts with her ass." Probably in a simulacrum of those words, too.

After another three-year hiatus, Brando took on just one more major role for the next 20 years, as the bounty hunter after Jack Nicholson in Arthur Penn's The Missouri Breaks (1976), a western that succeeded neither with the critics or at the box office. From then on, Brando concentrated on extracting the maximum amount of capital for the least amount of work from producers, as when he got the Salkind brothers to pony up a then-record $3.7 million against 10% of the gross for 13 days work on Superman (1978). Factoring in inflation, the straight salary for "Superman" equals or exceeds the new record of $1 million a day Harrison Ford set with K-19: The Widowmaker (2002). Before cashing his first paycheck for Superman (1978), Brando had picked up $2 million for his extended cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) in a role, that of Col. Kurtz, that he authored on-camera through improvisation while Coppola shot take after take. It was Brando's last bravura performance, though he did receive an eighth and final Oscar nomination for A Dry White Season (1989) after coming out of a near-decade-long retirement. Contrary to those who claimed he now only was in it for the money, Brando donated his entire seven-figure salary to an anti-apartheid charity.

Brando had first attracted media attention at the age of 24, when "Life" magazine ran a photo of himself and his sister Jocelyn, who were both then appearing on Broadway. The curiosity continued, and snowballed. Playing the paraplegic soldier of The Men (1950), Brando had gone to live at a Veterans Administration hospital with actual disabled veterans, and confined himself to a wheelchair for weeks. It was an acting method, research, that no one in Hollywood had ever heard of before, and that willingness to experience life.

Favourite film(s):
The Godfather (1972)

Favourite performance:
As Terry Malloy in On The Waterfront (1954)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 45
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#23) - 16/2/2011 6:11:32 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#23.

Leonardo DiCaprio (1974, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heart-throb in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic, to then become a leading man in Hollywood blockbusters, made by internationally renowned directors such as Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. But such as rich, varied career is what you would expect from someone who has had such an unusual upbring as DiCaprio.

Leonardo DiCaprio is the only child of former comic book artist George and Irmelin DiCaprio (both born 1943). Leonardo's father, George, had achieved minor status as an artist and distributor of cult comic book titles, and was even depicted in several issues of American Splendor, the cult semi-autobiographical comic book series by the late Harvey Pekar, a friend of George's. However, Leonardo's performance skills became obvious to his parents early on, and after signing him up with a talent agent who wanted Leonardo to perform under the stage name 'Lenny Williams', DiCaprio began appearing on a number of television commercials and educational programs. DiCaprio began attracting the attention of producers, who cast him in bit part roles in a number of TV programs, such as Roseanne and The New Lassie, but it wasn't until 1991 that DiCaprio made his film debut in Critters 3, a low-budget horror movie.

While Critters 3 did little to help showcase DiCaprio's acting abilities, it did help him develop his show-reel, and attract the attention of the people behind the hit sitcom 'Growing Pains', in which Leonardo was cast in the 'Cousin Oliver' role of a young homeless boy who moves in with the Seavers.

While DiCaprio's stint on Growing Pains was very short, as the sitcom was axed the year after he joined, it helped bring DiCaprio into the public's attention, and after the show ended DiCaprio began auditioning for roles in which he would get the chance to prove his acting chops.

Leonardo took up a diverse range of roles in the early 1990s, including a mentally challenged youth in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a young gunslinger in The Quick and the Dead and a drug addict in one of his most challenging roles to date, Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries, a role which the late River Phoenix originally expressed interest in.

While these diverse roles helped establish Leonardo's reputation as an actor, it wasn't until his role as Romeo in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet that Leonardo became a household name, a true movie star. The following year DiCaprio starred in another movie about doomed lovers, Titanic, which went on to beat all box office records held before then, as, at the time, Titanic became the highest grossing movie of all time, and cemented DiCaprio's reputation as a teen heart-throb.

Following his work on Titanic, DiCaprio kept a low profile for a number of years, with roles in The Man in the Iron Mask and the low budget The Beach being some of his few notable roles during this period. However, in 2002 he burst back into screens throughout the world with leading roles in Catch Me if You Can and Gangs of New York, his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese.

With a current salary of $20 million a movie, DiCaprio is now one of the biggest movie stars in the world. However, he has not limited his professional career to just acting in movies, as DiCaprio is a committed environmentalist, who is actively involved in many environmental causes, and his commitment to this issue led to his involvement in The 11th Hour, a documentary movie about the state of the natural environment.

As someone who has gone from bit parts in television commercials to one of the most respected actors in the world, DiCaprio has had one of the most diverse careers in cinema. DiCaprio continues to defy conventions about the types of roles he will accept, and with his career now seeing him leading all star casts in action thrillers such as The Departed, Shutter Island and Christopher Nolan's Inception, DiCaprio continues to wow audiences by refusing to conform to any cliché about actors. DiCaprio is not merely a former teen heart-throb turned leading man, he is one of the most respected, daring and challenging actors working today.
 
Favourite film(s):
The Departed (2006)

Favourite performance:
As Cobb in Inception (2010)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 46
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#22) - 16/2/2011 6:23:29 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#22.

Bill Murray (1950, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Bill is the fifth of nine children born to Edward and Lucille Murray. He and most of his siblings worked as caddies, which paid his tuition to Loyola Academy, a Jesuit school. He played sports and did some acting while in that school, but in his words, mostly "screwed off." He enrolled at Regis College in Denver to study pre-med but dropped out after being arrested for marijuana possession. He then joined the National Lampoon Radio Hour with fellow members Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi. However, while those three became the original members of Saturday Night Live (1975), he joined "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell" (1975), which premiered that same year. After that show failed, he later got the opportunity to join Saturday Night Live (1975).

Favourite film(s):
Groundhog Day (1993)

Favourite performance:
As Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (1993)

< Message edited by Sugarman Treacle -- 16/2/2011 6:24:04 PM >


_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 47
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#20) - 16/2/2011 6:46:05 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#20.

Gene Hackman (1930, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:


A child of a broken home, Gene Hackman left home at 16 for a 3-year hitch with the Marines. Moving to New York after being discharged, he worked in a number of menial jobs before studying journalism and television production on the G.I. Bill at the University of Illinois. Hackman would be over 30 years old when he finally decided to take his chance at acting by enrolling at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Legend says that Hackman and Dustin Hoffman were voted "least likely to succeed." Hackman next moved back to New York, where he worked in summer stock and off-Broadway. In 1964, he was cast as the young suitor in the Broadway stage play "Any Wednesday." This role would lead to him being cast in the small role of Norman in Lilith (1964), starring Warren Beatty. When Beatty was casting for Bonnie and Clyde (1967), he cast Hackman as Buck Barrow, Clyde's brother. That role earned Hackman a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, an award for which he would again be nominated in I Never Sang for My Father (1970). In 1972, he won the Oscar for his role as Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection (1971).

At 40 years old, Hackman was a Hollywood star whose work would rise to the heights with Night Moves (1975) and Bite the Bullet (1975), or fall to the depths with The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Eureka (1983). Hackman is a versatile actor who can play comedy (the blind man in Young Frankenstein (1974)) or villainy (the evil Lex Luthor in Superman (1978)). He is the doctor who puts his work above people in Extreme Measures (1996) and the captain on the edge of nuclear destruction in Crimson Tide (1995). After initially turning down the role of Little Bill Daggett in Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992), Hackman finally accepted it as a different slant on the western that interested him. For his performance he won the Oscar and Golden Globe and decided that he wasn't tired of westerns after all. He has since appeared in Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), Wyatt Earp (1994), and The Quick and the Dead (1995).
 
Favourite film(s):
The French Connection (1971)

Favourite performance:
As Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in The French Connection (1971)




Robert Mitchum (1917-1997, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:


Underrated American leading man of enormous ability who sublimates his talents beneath an air of disinterest. Born to a railroad worker who died in a train accident when he was two, Robert Mitchum and his siblings (including brother John Mitchum, later also an actor) were raised by his mother and stepfather (a British army major) in Connecticut, New York, and Delaware. An early contempt for authority led to discipline problems, and Mitchum spent good portions of his teen years adventuring on the open road. On one of these trips, at the age of 14, he was charged with vagrancy and sentenced to a Georgia chain gang, from which he escaped. Working a wide variety of jobs (including ghostwriter for astrologist Carroll Righter), Mitchum discovered acting in a Long Beach, California, amateur theater company. He worked at Lockheed Aircraft, where job stress caused him to suffer temporary blindness.

About this time he began to obtain small roles in films, appearing in dozens within a very brief time. In 1945, he was cast as Lt. Walker in Story of G.I. Joe (1945) and received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His star ascended rapidly, and he became an icon of 1940s film noir, though equally adept at westerns and romantic dramas. His apparently lazy style and seen-it-all demeanor proved highly attractive to men and women, and by the 1950s, he was a true superstar despite a brief prison term for marijuana usage in 1949, which seemed to enhance rather than diminish his "bad boy" appeal. Though seemingly dismissive of "art," he worked in tremendously artistically thoughtful projects such as Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter (1955) and even co-wrote and composed an oratorio produced at the Hollywood Bowl by Orson Welles. A master of accents and seemingly unconcerned about his star image, he played in both forgettable and unforgettable films with unswerving nonchalance, leading many to overlook the prodigious talent he can bring to a project that he finds compelling. He moved into television in the 1980s as his film opportunities diminished, winning new fans with "The Winds of War" (1983) and "War and Remembrance" (1988). His sons James Mitchum and Christopher Mitchum are actors, as is his grandson Bentley Mitchum. His last film was James Dean: Race with Destiny (1997) (TV) with Casper Van Dien as James Dean.

Favourite film(s):
The Lusty Men (1952)

Favourite performance:
As Jeff Bailey in Out of the Past (1947)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 48
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#19) - 22/6/2011 6:58:20 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#19.

Henry Fonda (1905-1982, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, Henry Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater troupe directed by Dorothy Brando. He moved to the Cape Cod University Players and later Broadway, New York to expand his theatrical career from 1926 to 1934. His first major roles in Broadway include "New Faces of America" and "The Farmer Takes a Wife". The latter play was transfered to the screen in 1935 and became the start-up of Fonda's lifelong Hollywood career. The following year he married Frances Seymour Fonda with whom he had two children: Jane and Peter Fonda also to become screen stars. He is most remembered for his roles as Abe Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), for which he received an Academy Award Nomination, and more recently, Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond (1981), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1982. Henry Fonda is considered one of Hollywood's old-time legends and was friend and contemporary of James Stewart, John Ford and Joshua Logan. His movie career which spanned almost 50 years is completed by a notable presence in American theater and television.
 
Favourite film(s):
12 Angry Men (1957)

Favourite performance:
As Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 49
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#18) - 23/6/2011 6:34:01 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#18.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. After becoming involved in high school theatrics, he attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, graduating with a B.F.A. degree in Drama in 1989. He made his feature film debut in the indie production Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991) as Phil Hoffman, and his first role in a major release came the next year in My New Gun (1992). While he had supporting roles in some other major productions, his breakthrough role came in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997). He quickly became an icon of indie cinema, establishing a reputation as one of the screen's finest actors, in a variety of supporting and second leads in indie and major features, including Todd Solondz's Happiness (1998), Flawless (1999), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), Almost Famous (2000) and State and Main (2000). He also appeared in supporting roles in such mainstream, big-budget features as Red Dragon (2002), Cold Mountain (2003) and Mission: Impossible III (2006).

Hoffman is also quite active on the stage. On Broadway, he has earned two Tony nominations, as Best Actor (Play) in 2000 for a revival of Sam Shepard's "True West" and as Best Actor (Featured Role - Play) in 2003 for a revival of Eugene O'Neill (I)'s "Long Day's Journey into Night". His other acting credits in the New York theater include "The Seagull" (directed by Mike Nichols for The New York Shakespeare Festival), "Defying Gravity", "The Merchant of Venice" (directed by Peter Sellars), "Shopping and F*@%ing" and "The Author's Voice" (Drama Desk nomination). He is the Co-Artistic Director of the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York, for which he directed "Our Lady of 121st Street" by Stephen Adly Guirgis. He also has directed "In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings" and "Jesus Hopped the A Train" by Guirgis for LAByrinth, and "The Glory of Living" by Rebecca Gilman at the Manhattan Class Company.

Hoffman consolidated his reputation as one of the finest actors under the age of 40 with his turn in the title role of Capote (2005), for which he won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award as Best Actor. In 2006, he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for the same role.
 
Favourite film(s):
Magnolia (1999)

Favourite performance:
As Caden Cotard in Synecdoche, New York (2008)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 50
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#17) - 24/6/2011 11:26:27 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#17.

Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997, China)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in his father's studio for a time after graduating from Dalian Middle School. He was automatically drafted into the Japanese army when he turned 20, and enlisted in the Air Force where he was attached to the Aerial Photography Unit for the duration of the World War II. In 1947 he took a test for Kajirô Yamamoto, who recommended him to director Senkichi Taniguchi, thus leading to Mifune's first film role in Shin baka jidai [Go] (1947). Mifune then met and bonded with director Akira Kurosawa, and the two joined to become the most prominent actor-director pairing in all Japanese cinema. Beginning with Drunken Angel (1948), Mifune appeared in 16 of Kurosawa's films, most of which have become world-renowned classics. In Kurosawa's pictures, especially Rashomon (1950), Mifune would become the most famous Japanese actor in the world.

A dynamic and ferocious actor, he excelled in action roles, but also had the depth to plumb intricate and subtle dramatic parts. A personal rift during the filming of Red Beard (1965) ended the Mifune-Kurosawa collaboration, but Mifune continued to perform leading roles in major films both in Japan and in foreign countries. He was twice named Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival (for Yojimbo (1961) and "Akahige"). In 1963 he formed his own production company, directing one film and producing several others. In his later years he gained new fame in the title role of the American TV miniseries "Shogun" (1980), and appeared infrequently in cameo roles after that. His last years were plagued with Alzheimer's Syndrome and he died of organ failure in 1997, a few months before the death of the director with whose name he will forever be linked, Akira Kurosawa.

Favourite film(s):
Seven Samurai (1954)

Favourite performance:
As Tajômaru in Rashomon (1950)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 51
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#16) - 25/6/2011 10:17:55 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#16.

Brad Pitt (1963, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Brad Pitt was born in 1963 in Oklahoma and raised in Springfield, Missouri. His mother's name is Jane Etta Hillhouse. His father, William (Bill) Pitt, worked in management at a trucking firm in Springfield. He has a younger brother, Douglas (Doug) Pitt and a younger sister Julie Neal Pitt. At Kickapoo High School, Pitt was involved in sports, debating, student government and school musicals. Pitt attended the University of Missouri, where he majored in journalism with a focus on advertising. He occasionally acted in fraternity shows. He left college two credits short of graduating to move to California. Before he became successful at acting, Pitt supported himself by driving strippers in limos, moving refrigerators and dressing as a giant chicken while working for "el Pollo Loco."

Favourite film(s):
Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Favourite performance:
As Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 52
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#15) - 26/6/2011 12:37:16 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#15.

Kevin Spacey (1959, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

As enigmatic as he is talented, Kevin Spacey has always kept the details of his private life closely guarded. As he explained in a 1998 interview with the London Evening Standard, "It's not that I want to create some bullshit mystique by maintaining a silence about my personal life, it is just that the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person".

There are, however, certain biographical facts to be had - for starters, Kevin Spacey Fowler was the youngest of three children born to Thomas and Kathleen Fowler in South Orange, New Jersey. His mother was a personal secretary, his father a technical writer whose irregular job prospects led the family all over the country. They eventually settled in southern California, where young Kevin developed into quite a little hellion - after he set his sister's tree house on fire, he was shipped off to the Northridge Military Academy, only to be thrown out a few months later for pinging a classmate on the head with a tire. Spacey then found his way to Chatsworth High School in the San Fernando Valley, where he managed to channel his dramatic tendencies into a successful amateur acting career. In his senior year, he played "Captain von Trapp" opposite classmate Mare Winningham's "Maria" in "The Sound of Music" (the pair later graduated as co-valedictorians). Spacey claims that his interest in acting - and his nearly encyclopedic accumulation of film knowledge - began at an early age, when he would sneak downstairs to watch the late late show on TV. Later, in high school, he and his friends cut class to catch revival films at the NuArt Theater. The adolescent Spacey worked up celebrity impersonations (James Stewart and Johnny Carson were two of his favorites) to try out on the amateur comedy club circuit.

He briefly attended Los Angeles Valley College, then left (on the advice of another Chatsworth classmate, Val Kilmer) to join the drama program at Juilliard. After two years of training he was anxious to work, so he quit Juilliard sans diploma and signed up with the New York Shakespeare Festival. His first professional stage appearance was as a messenger in the 1981 production of "Henry VI".

Festival head Joseph Papp ushered the young actor out into the "real world" of theater, and the next year Spacey made his Broadway debut in Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts". He quickly proved himself as an energetic and versatile performer (at one point, he rotated through all the parts in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly"). In 1986, he had the chance to work with his idol and future mentor, Jack Lemmon, on a production of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night". While his interest soon turned to film, Spacey would remain active in the theater community - in 1991, he won a Tony Award for his turn as "Uncle Louie" in Neil Simon's Broadway hit "Lost in Yonkers" and, in 1999, he returned to the boards for a revival of O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh".

Spacey's film career began modestly, with a small part as a subway thief in Heartburn (1986). Deemed more of a "character actor" than a "leading man", he stayed on the periphery in his next few films, but attracted attention for his turn as beady-eyed villain "Mel Profitt" on the TV series "Wiseguy" (1987). Profitt was the first in a long line of dark, manipulative characters that would eventually make Kevin Spacey a household name: he went on to play a sinister office manager in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), a sadistic Hollywood exec in Swimming with Sharks (1994), and, most famously, creepy, smooth-talking eyewitness Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects (1995).
The "Suspects" role earned Spacey an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and catapulted him into the limelight. That same year, he turned in another complex, eerie performance in David Fincher's thriller Se7en (1995) (Spacey refused billing on the film, fearing that it might compromise the ending if audiences were waiting for him to appear). By now, the scripts were pouring in. After appearing in Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996), Spacey made his own directorial debut with Albino Alligator (1996), a low-key but well received hostage drama. He then jumped back into acting, winning critical accolades for his turns as flashy detective Jack Vincennes in L.A. Confidential (1997) and genteel, closeted murder suspect Jim Williams in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997). In October 1999, just four days after the dark suburban satire American Beauty (1999) opened in US theaters, Spacey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Little did organizers know that his role in Beauty would turn out to be his biggest success yet - as Lester Burnham, a middle-aged corporate cog on the brink of psychological meltdown, he tapped into a funny, savage character that captured audiences' imaginations and earned him a Best Actor Oscar.

No longer relegated to offbeat supporting parts, Spacey seems poised to redefine himself as a Hollywood headliner. He says he's finished exploring the dark side - but, given his attraction to complex characters, that mischievous twinkle will never be too far from his eyes.

In February 2003 Spacey made a major move back to the theatre. He was appointed Artistic Director of the new company set up to save the famous Old Vic theatre, The Old Vic Theatre Company. Although he did not undertake to stop appearing in movies altogether, he undertook to remain in this leading post for ten years, and to act in as well as to direct plays during that time. His first production, of which he was the director, was the September 2004 British premiere of the play Cloaca by Maria Goos (made into a film, Cloaca (2003) (TV)). Spacey made his UK Shakespearean debut in the title role in Richard II in 2005. In 2006 he got movie director Robert Altman to direct for the stage the little-known Arthur Miller play Resurrection Blues, but that was a dismal failure. However Spacey remained optimistic, and insisted that a few mistakes are part of the learning process. He starred thereafter with great success in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten along with 'Colm Meaney' and Eve Best, and in 2007 that show transferred to Broadway. In February 2008 Spacey put on a revival of the David Mamet 1988 play Speed-the-Plow in which he took one of the three roles, the others being taken by Jeff Goldblum and Laura Michelle Kelly.

Favourite film(s):
Se7en (1995)

Favourite performance:
As Roger "Verbal" Kint in The Usual Suspects (1995)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 53
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#14) - 26/6/2011 11:32:38 AM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#14.

Tony Leung Chiu Wai (1962, Hong Kong)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Tony Leung Chiu Wai was born in Hong Kong on 27 June 1962. He and his younger sister were raised by their mother after his father left them. In 1982, after passing the training courses of TVB, Tony became a TV actor and became famous for his comedy style in such TV shows as Lu ding ji (1983) or Jue dai shuang jiao (1979). However, he didn't limit himself to television and began showing his versatility in films like Sha shou hu die meng (1989) and A City of Sadness (1989). After he starred in several movies directed by 'Kar wai Wong'; such as Chungking Express (1994) and Happy Together (1997), he gained more respect as an actor and finally received the Best Actor Award at the Cannes International Film Festival for his outstanding performance in In the Mood for Love (2000). In addition to his acting career, he is also known as a singer.

Favourite film(s):
In the Mood for Love (2000)

Favourite performance:
As Chow Mo-wan in In the Mood for Love (2000)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 54
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#13) - 28/6/2011 11:19:41 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#13.

Klaus Kinski (1926-1991, Poland)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Klaus Kinski grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army in 1944 and captured by British forces in Holland. After the war he began acting on the stage, quickly gaining a reputation for his ferocious talent and equally ferocious temper. He started acting in films shortly afterwards, showing an utter disregard for the quality of the productions he appeared in and churning out so many that a complete filmography is almost impossible to assemble. However, he did turn out memorable work for director Werner Herzog, a similarly driven and obsessive character. Herzog and Kinski pushed each other to extremes over a 15-year working relationship, which finally ended after filming Cobra Verde (1987), a production plagued by volcanic clashes between the star and director, involving--among other things--violent physical altercations and mutual death threats. Kinski subsequently directed and starred in the notorious Kinski Paganini (1989), his only film as director and which was marked by (again) clashes between Kinski and his producers, who accused him of turning their movie into a pornographic film and sued him in court. His autobiography "All I Need is Love", one of the most vicious attacks on the film business ever written, was withdrawn for legal reasons and subsequently re-released as "Kinski Uncut" in the US & UK, "Ich brauche Liebe" in Germany, and in various other languages.

Favourite film:
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)

Favourite performance:
As Don Lope de Aguirre in Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 55
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#12) - 28/6/2011 11:22:49 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#12.

Takashi Shimura (1905-1982, Japan)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Japanese character actor, one of the finest film actors of the twentieth century and a leading member of the "stock company" of master director Akira Kurosawa. A native of southern Japan, Shimura was a descendant of the samurai warrior class. Following university training, he founded a theatre company, Shichigatsu-za ("July Theatre"). In 1930, he joined a professional company, Kindai-za ("Modern Theatre). Four years later he signed with the Kinema Shinko film studio. He found a niche playing samurai roles for various studios, then signed a long-term contract with Toho Studios in 1943. He appeared in an average of more than six films a year for Toho over the next four decades. His greatest critical acclaim came in more than twenty roles for director Kurosawa, though he is almost as well recognized outside Japan for his kindly doctor role in the original 'Godzilla' (Gojira (1954)). Shimura's finest triumph was his unforgettable performance as a dying bureaucrat in Kurosawa's Ikiru (1952). He continued to act steadily in good films and bad, almost until his death, culminating with Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980). He is often described as filling the spot for Kurosawa that Ward Bond filled for John Ford, that of an ever-present and reliable character player who consistently supplied a solidity and strength to whatever film he appeared in. Shimura was, to be sure, even a finer actor than Bond, and his range was enormous, from Ikiru's diffident clerk to the leader of the Seven Samurai in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954). He died in 1982, a reluctant icon of Japanese cinema.

Favourite film:
Ikiru (1952)

Favourite performance:
As Kanji Watanabe in Ikiru (1952)

< Message edited by Sugarman Treacle -- 24/7/2011 7:23:59 PM >


_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 56
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#11) - 28/6/2011 11:34:25 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#11.

James Cagney (1899-1986, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

One of Hollywood's pre-eminent male stars of all time (eclipsed, perhaps, only by "King" Clark Gable and arguably by Gary Cooper or Spencer Tracy), and the cinema's quintessential "tough guy." Was also an accomplished if rather stiff hoofer and easily played light comedy. Ending three decades on the screen, retired to his farm in Stanfordville, New York (some 77 miles/124 km. north of his New York City birthplace), after starring in Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three (1961). Emerged from retirement to star in the 1981 screen adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime (1981), in which he was reunited with his frequent co-star of the 30's, the actor 'Pat O'Brien', and which was his last theatrical film. (Ironically - or fittingly, if one prefers - it was O'Brien's last film as well.) Cagney's final performance came in the title role of the made-for-TV movie Terrible Joe Moran (1984) (TV), in which he played opposite Art Carney.

Favourite film:
The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Favourite performance:
As George M. Cohan in Yanke Doodle Dandy (1942)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 57
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#10) - 29/6/2011 10:34:56 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#10.

Paul Newman (1925-2008, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

Paul Leonard Newman was born in January of 1925, the second son of Arthur and Theresa (nee' Fetsko) Newman in Cleveland, Ohio. The Newmans were a well-to-do family and Paul grew up in a nice home in Shaker Heights. Newman's father, the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Hungary, was the owner of a highly successful sporting goods store. Paul's mother, a practicing Christian Scientist of Slovakian decent, and his uncle Joe had an interest in creative arts and it rubbed off on him.

By 1950, the 25 year old Newman had graduated high school, been kicked out of Ohio University for unruly behavior, served three years in the Navy during World War II as a radio operator, graduated from Ohio's Kenyon College, married his first wife, Jackie, and had his first child, Scott. 1950 was also the year that Paul's father died. When he became successful in later years, Newman said if he had any regrets it would be that his father wasn't around to see it. He brought Jackie back to Shaker Heights and he ran his father's sporting goods store for a short period. Then, knowing that wasn't the career path he wanted to take, he moved Jackie and Scott to New Haven, Connecticut where he would attend Yale University's School of Drama. While doing a play there, Paul was spotted by two agents who invited him to come to New York City to pursue a career as a professional actor.

After moving to New York, Paul acted in guest spots for various television shows and in 1953 came a big break. He got the part as an understudy of the lead role in the successful Broadway play Picnic. Through this play is how he met actress Joanne Woodward, who was also an understudy in the play. While they got on very well and there was a strong attraction, Paul was married and his second child, Susan, was born that year. During this time Newman was also accepted into the much admired and popular New York Actor's Studio, although he wasn't technically auditioning.

In 1954 a film Paul was very reluctant to do was released. It was called The Silver Chalice (1954). To this day, he his still embarrassed about the film and revels in making fun of it. He immediately wanted to return to the stage and performed in The Desperate Hours. In 1956, Newman got the chance to redeem himself in the film world by doing Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956) and critics praised his performance. In 1957, with a handful of films to his credit, he was cast in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) co-starring none other than Joanne Woodward. During the shooting of this film, they realized they were meant to be together and by now, so did Paul's wife Jackie. After Jackie gave Paul a divorce, he and Joanne married in Las Vegas in January of 1958. They went on to have three daughters together and raised them in Westport, Connecticut. In 1959 Paul received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). The 1960's would bring Paul Newman into superstar status as he became one of the most popular actors of the decade and garnered three more Best Actor Oscar nominations for The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963) and Cool Hand Luke (1967). In 1968 his debut directorial effort Rachel, Rachel (1968) was given good marks and although the film and Joanne Woodward were nominated for Oscars, Newman was not nominated for Best Director. He did, however, win a Golden Globe for his direction. 1969 would bring the popular screen duo Paul Newman and Robert Redford together for the first time when Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) was released. It was a box office smash. Throughout the 1970's, Newman would have hits and misses from such popular films as The Sting (1973) and The Towering Inferno (1974) to lesser known films as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) to a now cult classic Slap Shot (1977). After the death of his only son, Scott, in 1978, Newman's personal life and film choices moved in a different direction. His acting work in the 1980's and on is what is often most praised by critics today.

He became more at ease with himself and it was evident in The Verdict (1982) for which he received his 6th Best Actor Oscar nomination and in 1987 finally received his first Oscar for The Color of Money (1986). Friend and director of Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Robert Wise accepted the award on Newman's behalf as he did not attend the ceremony. Films were not the only thing on his mind during this period. A passionate race car driver since the early 1970's, Newman would become co-owner of Newman-Haas racing in 1982 and also founded Newman's Own, a successful food company he built from the ground up in which all the proceeds go to charity. He would also start The Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, an organization for terminally ill children.

He is as well known today for his philanthropic ways and highly successful business ventures as he his for his legendary actor status. Now in his 80s, Newman enjoys a near 50-year marriage to Joanne in Connecticut, their main residence since moving away from the bright lights of Hollywood in 1960, still attends races, is very much involved in his charitable organizations and in 2006 opened a restaurant called Dressing Room, which helps out the Westport Country Playhouse, a place the Newman's take great pride in. In 2007 he made some headlines when he said he was losing his invention and confidence in his acting abilities and that acting is "pretty much a closed book for me." Whether he's on the screen or not, Paul Newman remains synonymous with the anti-heroism of the 1960s and 1970s cinema and rebellious nature his characters so often embodied.

Favourite film:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Favourite performance:
As Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 58
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#9) - 29/6/2011 10:45:29 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#9.

Orson Welles (1915-1985, USA)



IMDb Mini Biography:

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein. In 1931 he graduated from the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois; he turned down college offers for a sketching tour of Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the London and Broadway stages, traveling some more in Morocco and Spain (where he fought in the bullring). Recommendations by Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woollcott got him into Katherine Cornell's road company, with which he made his New York debut as Tybalt in 1934.

The same year he married, directed his first short, and appeared on radio for the first time. He began working with John Houseman and formed the Mercury Theatre with him in 1937. In 1938 they produced "The Mercury Theatre on the Air", famous for its broadcast version of "The War of the Worlds" (intended as a Halloween prank). His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane (1941), a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956 he directed Touch of Evil (1958); it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since.

Favourite film:
Citizen Kane (1941)

Favourite performance:
As Kane in Citizen Kane (1941)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 59
RE: The Empire Forum's Top 100 Actors: The Results (#8) - 3/7/2011 4:12:35 PM   
Sugarman Treacle


Posts: 7191
Joined: 1/12/2008
#8.

Alec Guinness (1914-2000, England)



IMDb Mini Biography:

While working in advertising, he studied at the Fay Compton Studio of Dramatic Art, debuting on stage in 1934 and played classic theater with the Old Vic from 1936. In 1941, he entered the Royal navy as a seaman and was commissioned the next year. Beyond an extra part in Evensong (1934), his film career began after World War II with his portrayal of Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946). A string of films, mostly comedies, showed off his ability to look different in every role, eight of them, including a woman, in one movie alone, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). His best known recent work was as the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) trilogy. He earned a best actor Oscar and Golden Globe in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and an Honorary Academy Award (1980) for "advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances". Academy nominations have included The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) (actor); The Horse's Mouth (1958) (screenplay); Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) (supporting) and Little Dorrit (1988) (supporting). He was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 1959 Queen's Honours List for his accomplishments in theater and film.

Favourite film:
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Favourite performance:
As George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979)

_____________________________

I'm turning turning turning turning turning around, and all that I can see is just a yellow lemmon-tree...

(in reply to Sugarman Treacle)
Post #: 60
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