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Happy 100th Kirk Douglas


Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday with a party attended by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

His son, Michael Douglas, and daughter-in-law, Catherine Zeta-Jones, were in attendance, as well as other members from the Douglas clan, including Michael and Catherine’s two children, Dylan Michael and Carys Zeta.

About 135 guests arrived to a private room in the Beverly Hills Hotel at about 2:30 p.m. on Friday before later gathering at tables named after some of his favorite films. Kirk’s family table was named, “Lonely Are the Brave.”

“It’s Kirk’s favorite film of his,” a source tells PEOPLE.

The Douglas family arrived at the hotel at 3:00 p.m., with Kirk wearing his rust-colored tweed jacket, comfortable shoes and plain slacks.

Christopher Briscoe

His son, Michael, kicked off the speeches, saying, “I owe a lot of my career and success to him,” and remembering how his father gave the reins of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to him when Kirk couldn’t make a deal on it.

Michael also played tribute to his stepmother, Anne, who has been married to Kirk for 62 years.


“She was never the wicked stepmother. My father wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for Anne,” he said. He also added an emotional message to his father, “He is always asking about what kind of father he was. Dad, you are an amazing, amazing father.”

Anne paid tribute to her husband, calling him her “friend” and “lover,” before turning to her stepson, Michael, and thanking him for doing “such wonderful things at a time he needs them most.”

Zeta-Jones lit the candles on the birthday cake — a chocolate cake from The Butter End with a gold bust of Kirk’s head on top — and led everyone in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

The wishes were quickly followed by Kirk’s speech, where he jokingly told the crowd, “My three boys got together and they took a vote and they decided that Michael would be the host because, after all, he has the most money.”

Christopher Briscoe

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, attended along with Steven Spielberg, Arthur Cohn and Jeff Kanew — who directed Kirk and Burt Lancaster in the film Tough Guys.

Spielberg arrived late and on crutches, after suffering an accident on set about a week ago. He delivered a speech in which he mentioned that his own father, Arnold, was turning 100 years old in February.

Christopher Briscoe

“I’ve worked with the best of them,” he said of Kirk. “But, you’re the only movie star I’ve ever met.”

He spoke of Kirk’s “optimistic ferocity on the screen,” claiming he makes his “actors watch your movies to inspire them.”

The party ended at about 5 p.m., but not before Kirk’s cardiologist, Dr. PK Shah, handed him a large glass of vodka that he’d promised Kirk years ago when he’d forbidden the actor from drinking alcohol.

Christopher Briscoe

“He got what he came for,” Douglas’s rep told PEOPLE, referring to the vodka. “He enjoyed it indeed, and then he zipped out. Twenty minutes later, he was tucked into bed.” (The glass wasn’t filled to the rim with vodka, only one shot’s worth of vodka was poured inside of it.)

Back at the Douglas’s house, a source tells PEOPLE the home was jam-packed with flowers from well wi

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Harry Dean Stanton – Sings “Cancion Mixteca”-Very Cool


Harry Dean Stanton on Life, Film, Music & The Void


Wim Wenders – Paris Texas – Ry Cooder – Cancion Mixteca.


Paris, Texas – Opening (Full)


Paris, Texas The Observer
Harry Dean Stanton: ‘Life? It’s one big phantasmagoria’
The wine, the women, the song… The great Harry Dean Stanton talks to Sean O’Hagan about jogging with Dylan, Rebecca de Mornay leaving him for Tom Cruise and why Paris, Texas is his greatest film
Harry Dean Stanton
Harry Dean Stanton: ‘I surrender to acting in the same way I surrender to life’ Photograph: Steve Pyke
Sean O’Hagan
Saturday 23 November 2013 15.00 EST Last modified on Thursday 22 May 2014 05.00 EDT

Harry Dean Stanton is singing “The Rose of Tralee”. His wavering voice echoes across the rows of people gathered in the Village East cinema in New York, where a special screening of a new documentary about his life and work, Partly Fiction, has just finished. You can tell that the director, Sophie Huber, and the cinematographer, Seamus McGarvey, who are sitting beside him, are used to this sort of thing from Harry, but the rest of us are by turns delighted and a little bit nervous on his behalf. Now that he’s 87, Stanton’s voice is as unsteady as his gait, but he steers the old Irish ballad home in his inimitable manner and the audience responds with cheers and applause.

“Singing and acting are actually very similar things,” says Stanton when I ask him about his other talent, having seen him perform about 15 years ago with his Tex-Mex band in the Mint Bar in Los Angeles. “Anyone can sing and anyone can be a film actor. All you have to do is learn. I learned to sing when I was a child. I had a babysitter named Thelma. She was 18, I was six, and I was in love with her. I used to sing her an old Jimmie Rodgers song, ‘T for Thelma’.” Closing his eyes, he breaks into song: “T for Texas, T for Tennessee, T for Thelma, that girl made a wreck out of me.” He smiles his sad smile. “I was singing the blues when I was six. Kind of sad, eh?”


There is indeed a peculiar kind of sadness about Harry Dean Stanton, a mix of vulnerability, honesty and seeming guilelessness that has lit up the screen in his greatest performances. It’s there in his singing cameo in 1967’s prison movie Cool Hand Luke, in his leading role in Alex Cox’s underrated cult classic Repo Man in 1984 and, most unforgettably, in his almost silent portrayal of Travis, a man broken by unrequited love in Wim Wenders’s classic, Paris, Texas. “After all these years, I finally got the part I wanted to play,” Stanton once said of that late breakthrough role. “If I never did another film after Paris, Texas I’d be happy.”

Paris Texas

Now, with mortality beckoning, Stanton still gives off the air of someone who, as he puts it, “doesn’t really give a damn”. In his room in a hip hotel on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the aircon is on full blast despite his runny nose and troubling cough, and he smokes like a train as if oblivious to the law and the health police. He looks scarecrow thin, but dapper, in his western suit, embroidered shirt and ornately embossed cowboy boots: a southern dandy even in old age. His hearing is not so good, but his voice remains unmistakable, that soft trace of his southern upbringing in rural Kentucky still detectable. “I’ve worked with some of the best of them,” he says. “Not just directors like Sam Peckinpah and David Lynch, but writers like Sam Shepard and singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. I could have made it as a singer, but I went with acting, surrendered to it, in a way.”


Paris Texas
Harry Dean Stanton in 1984’s Paris, Texas – the film of which he is most proud. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive
Before Paris, Texas, Stanton had appeared in around 100 films and since then he has acted in more than 50 more, though often as a supporting actor. The lead roles did not materialise in the way he expected them to, perhaps because he is so singular, both in looks and acting ability. When given the right script and a sympathetic director, though, he is as charismatic as anyone, as his role in David Lynch’s The Straight Story showed. Recently he has shone fitfully in Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths, and in the HBO series Big Love as a self-proclaimed Mormon prophet. He has also appeared in action pics such as The Last Stand with Arnie Schwarzenegger and in the Marvel blockbuster Avengers Assemble. He appears not to care too much about the kind of fame and huge earning power that other actors without an iota of his onscreen presence command.


“Harry is a walking contradiction,” says Huber, who has known him for 20 years. “He has this pride in appearing to not have to work hard to be good. He definitely does not want to be seen to be trying. It’s part of his whole Buddhist thing.” His worldview is a mixture of various Buddhist and other more esoteric eastern philosophies, shaped in the late 60s by the writings of Alan Watts, the Beat poet and Zen sage, and adapted over the years to suit Stanton’s singular, slightly eccentric lifestyle.


Lately, though, at screenings of Huber’s documentary, he has reacted angrily to Wim Wenders’s onscreen observation that Stanton was insecure about playing the lead role in Paris, Texas. “I asked him: ‘Harry, how come you are angry at that scene? I thought you didn’t have an ego,'” says Huber. “He just nodded and said: ‘Yeah, I guess I should shut up.’ But it had obviously got to him.”

Stanton tells me more than once that he has no ego and no regrets, but you have to wonder if that is true. He is, as Partly Fiction shows, a kind of lone drifter in Hollywood, perhaps the last of that generation of great American postwar character actors, and certainly one of the most singular.

Back in the late 60s, he shared a house in Hollywood with Jack Nicholson, and they partied hard with the David Crosby, Mama Cass Elliot and the burgeoning Laurel Canyon rock aristocracy of the time. Now, still an unrepentant bachelor, he speaks fondly on camera about the great lost love of his life, the actor Rebecca de Mornay – “She left me for Tom Cruise.”

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
Harry Dean Stanton with Sophie Huber, the director of Partly Fiction. Photograph: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
When a wag in the audience asks him what Debbie Harry was like “in the sack”, he shoots back: “As good as you think!” adding that the Nastassja Kinski was pretty good, too.


Stanton spends most evenings, when he is not working in Dan Tana’s bar in East Hollywood, drinking with a small bunch of regulars and telling anyone who can’t quite place his face that he is a retired astronaut. “He’s an outsider but has lots of good friends,” says Huber. “He’s happy compared to most 87-year-olds. He says he doesn’t care about dying, but some days, I suspect, he thinks about it a lot. You never really know what’s going on in his head.”

This is exactly how Stanton likes it, of course. In Huber’s slow, almost meditative film, Stanton looms large while revealing little. The New York Times reviewer concluded: “You won’t learn much, but you’ll be strangely happy that you didn’t.” Stanton quotes the line back to me, grinning. “She got it,” he says approvingly. “That’s a very Buddhist thing to say.”

Huber describes Partly Fiction as “a portrait of his face” and those expressive eyes and weathered features, shot close-up in black and white by McGarvey’s luminous cinematography, do indeed speak volumes about how Stanton has made silence and stillness his most powerful means of onscreen communication. There is a great scene where David Lynch, his equal in eccentricity, talks about what Stanton does “in between the lines” and how he is “always there – whatever ‘there’ needs to be”.

Stanton smiles when I mention it. “I guess he was talking about being still and listening. Being attentive even when it’s not your line. For me, acting is not too different from what we are doing right now. We’re acting in a way, but we are not putting on an act. That’s the crucial difference for me. I just surrender to it in much the same way I surrender to life. It’s all one big phantasmagoria anyway. In the end I’ve really got nothing to do with it. It just happens, and there’s no answer to it.”

Harry Dean Stanton with Jack Nicholson
Harry Dean Stanton with Jack Nicholson. The two actors shared a house in Hollywood in the 60s. Photograph: Rex Features
In all kinds of ways, Stanton has travelled lunar miles from his smalltown upbringing in East Irvine, Kentucky. Born in 1926, he is the eldest of three sons to Ersel, who worked as a hairdresser, and Sheridan, a tobacco farmer and Baptist. Stanton describes his childhood as strict and unhappy. “My father and mother were not that compatible. She was the eldest of nine children and she just wanted to get out. I don’t think they had a good wedding night, and I was the product of that. We weren’t close. I think she resented me when I was a kid. She even told me once how she used to frighten me when I was in the cradle with a black sock.”

He laughs soundlessly but looks unbearably sad. “I brought all that stuff up with her just after I started seeing a psychiatrist. I did group therapy and all that and it all came out. So I called her one night and told her I hated her.” He shakes his head and smiles ruefully. “We made up shortly before she died. Got pretty close then, actually. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

Was acting in some way an attempt to escape that grim childhood?

“Yes, I guess so. You can do stuff onstage that you can’t do offstage. You can be angry as hell and enraged and get away with it onstage, but not off. I had a lot of rage for a time, but I let go of all that stuff a long time ago.”

Stanton served in the US Navy during the Second World War, working as a ship’s cook. “Most actors don’t have that kind of life experience now,” he says matter-of-factly. “I was lucky not to have been blown up or killed. I was there when the Japanese suicide planes were coming in. Fortunately they missed our boat. Took me a while to readjust after I went back home and went to college in Lexington, Kentucky.” There he started acting in the college drama group while studying journalism. “I acted in Pygmalion with a Cockney accent. I knew right then what I wanted to do, so I quit college and went to the Pasadena Playhouse in 1949.”

He landed his first job after answering a “singers wanted” advert in the local paper and toured for a while with a 24-piece choral group. “Twenty-four guys on a bus playing small towns. When I quit, there were only 12 guys left. The rest deserted along the way. We sang on street corners, in department stores and, at the end of a week, in a local venue. It’s called paying your dues.”

The dues-paying continued with myriad supporting roles on television in the 1950s, including appearances in popular western series such as Wagon Train and Gunsmoke. In 1967 he had a brief, but resonant, role as a guitar-strumming convict in Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman. By the early 1970s, he had become a cult actor courtesy of two indie classics directed by the mercurial Monte Hellman: Two-Lane Blacktop and Cockfigher. In the former he befriended the singer James Taylor, who wrote a song, “Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox”, on Harry’s favourite guitar. He later befriended Bob Dylan during the famously difficult shoot for Sam Peckinpah’s elegiac western Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid in 1973. “Dylan and I got to be very close. We recorded together one time. It was a Mexican song. He offered me a copy of the tape and I said no. Shot myself in the foot. It’s never seen the light of day. I’d sure love to hear it.”

In Partly Fiction (which has yet to get a UK release date), Kris Kristofferson, who played the lead in that film, recalls Peckinpah throwing a knife in anger at Stanton when the actor messed up a crucial scene by running through the shot. “As I recall, he pulled a gun on me, too. It was because me and Dylan fucked up the shot.”

On purpose? “No, we were jogging and we ran right across the background.” The vision of Dylan and Stanton jogging together seems altogether too absurd, but I let it pass. He describes Peckinpah as “a fucking nut, but a very talented nut”. Likewise the maverick British director Alex Cox, who cast him in Repo Man in 1984. “He was another nut. Brilliantly talented and a great satirist, but an egomaniac.”

That same year, Stanton made Paris, Texas, and created his most iconic role. “It’s my favourite film that I was in. Great directing by Wenders, great writing by Sam Shepard, great cinematography by Robby Müller, great music by Ry Cooder. That film means a lot to a lot of people. One guy I met said he and his brother had been estranged for years and it got them back together.”

Does he think he should have had bigger, better roles in the years since? He lights up another cigarette and stares into the middle distance, lost in some private reverie. “You get older,” he says finally. “In the end, you end up accepting everything in your life – suffering, horror, love, loss, hate – all of it. It’s all a movie anyway.”

He closes his eyes and recites a few lines from Macbeth, sounding suddenly Shakespearean, albeit in his own wavering way. “A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” He opens his eyes again. “Great line, eh?” he says, smiling and reaching for a cigarette. “That’s life right there.”




The life and times of Leonardo DiCaprio


16-Year-Old Leonardo DiCaprio FIRST Interview!


Leonardo DiCaprio: ‘The Master of the Freak-Out’



Leonardo DiCaprio is one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and a keen environmentalist.

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 Born in Hollywood on November 11th 1974, Leonardo was an only child whose parents divorced when he was a baby. His mother signed her young son up with a talent agent and, aged five, Leonardo made his debut on a popular children’s television show before being removed for being too disruptive!

DiCaprio attended the John Marshall High School and the Centre for Enriched Studies but was, by his own admission, never destined for a career in academia (he is, however, fluent in German -DiCaprio spent a part of his childhood there with his maternal grandparents).

When he was 14 he signed to an agency and popped-up in a Matchbox cars commercial before landing acting roles in a few short-lived TV shows, most notably ‘Parenthood’ where he met Tobey Maguire and nominated for the ‘Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor.’

DiCaprio made his movie debut in 1991 with direct-to-video horror ‘Critters 3’ which indirectly led to a regular role in TV’s ‘Growing Pains’. Stardom beckoned when he was picked by Robert de Niro to play the lead in ‘This Boy’s Life’ (1993).

In the same year DiCaprio teamed up with Johnny Depp to play a teenager with learning difficulties in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ The film was a huge success and earned DiCaprio an Academy Award nomination.1995’s ‘The Quick and the Dead’ wasn’t met with such favour, DiCaprio was a controversial choice from the off as Sony weren’t convinced by his suitability for the role so co-star Sharon Stone paid the young actor out of her own pocket.

In the same year DiCaprio starred in the relatively successful ‘Total Eclipse’ playing poet Arthur Rimbaud opposite David Thewlis’ Paul Verlaine. A fictionalised, at times, graphic account of their homosexual relationship DiCaprio was lucky to get the part having been brought in to replace River Phoenix who’d died during pre-production.

Also in 1995 was Jim Carroll biopic ‘The Basketball Diaries’ and ‘Don’s Plum’ which wasn’t released until 2001 after DiCaprio and co-star Toby Maguire attempted to get the film blocked by court order. Also starring Kevin Connolly, ‘Don’s Plum’ is a largely improvised movie that, DiCaprio and Maguire claim, was a project for/by an aspiring film director and not intended for theatrical release. Ironically, its DiCaprio’s most critically acclaimed effort of that year.

 In 1996, DiCaprio starred in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Notable for retaining the ‘original’ Shakespearean dialogue the movie was a huge hit but financially eclipsed by 1997 blockbuster ‘Titanic’ which was, until 2010, the highest grossing film ever made, even if DiCaprio wasn’t happy about his character, Jack Dawson.

DiCaprio was now a bonafide star.

In 1998 he had a cameo role in Woody Allen’s ‘Celebrity’ (1998) and starred in ‘The Man with the Iron Mask’ that, despite negative criticism, was a box-office success. In 2000 he took the lead in ‘The Beach’, another critical flop but enormously successful at theatres worldwide.

In 2002, a change of fortune. DiCaprio starred in two critically acclaimed movies, Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Catch me if you Can’ (co-starring Tom Hanks, Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken) is based on the life of a confidence trickster who made a fortune in the 1960’s and Martin Scorsese’s ‘Gangs of New York’, a historically based feature set in NYC in the mid 1800’s. DiCaprio went on to work with Scorsese again in 2004 with the critically acclaimed ‘The Aviator’ and won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination for his troubles.

DiCaprio’s third collaboration with Martin Scorsese was 2006 thriller, ‘The Departed’ with Matt Damon. The movie became one of the most acclaimed of the year but it was ‘Blood Diamond’ that earned DiCaprio his third Academy Award nomination playing a diamond smuggler opposite co-stars Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou.

Ridley Scott’s ‘Body of Lies’ (2008) visually aped the style and flavour of 1970s political films but received mixed reviews. In the same year he teamed up again with Kate Winslet in ‘Revolutionary Road’, directed by Winslet’s then husband Sam Mendes. The film is set in the 1950s and tells the story of a couple as their marriage collapses earning DiCaprio another Golden Globe nomination.

Scorsese and DiCaprio collaborated a third time for the hugely successful ‘Shutter Island’ in 2010 in which DiCaprio plays an unstable US Marshal investigating a psychiatric facility. The same year he played Dom Codd in Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller ‘Inception’ and, again, the movie was received favourably by critics and public alike.

 Not quite as successful was Clint Eastwood’s biopic of J Edgar Hoover, ‘J Hoover’. Starring alongside Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer, DiCaprio’s role was well received but the critics turned on the finished article claiming the film lacked cohesion. The following year, 2012, DiCaprio received yet another Golden Globe nomination for his villainous role in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Dango Unchained’.

In 2013 he worked again with Baz Lurhrmann for a big-screen adaptation of ‘The Great Gatsby’. As with ‘J Hoover’, the film had mixed reviews while DiCaprio was given the thumbs up by critics. That year he also starred in another Scorsese picture, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, based on the life of a stockbroker who was arrested in the late 1990’s for fraud. Another Golden Globe to add to his collection, a fourth Academy Award nomination and with other projects in the pipeline, it seems we’ve not heard the last of Leonardo DiCaprio just yet.

In addition to random acts of philanthropy, DiCaprio is a committed environmentalist and has been nominated for awards in his efforts to raise awareness of man’s impact on the planet. In January 2013 he announced he was going to take break from acting and ‘fly around the world doing good for the environment.’

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Kathy Bates winning Best Actress


Kathy Bates in Dolores Claiborne (Sometimes Being A



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KATHY BATES has been honored numerous times for her work on stage, screen and television. She won an Academy Award® and a Golden Globe for her portrayal of obsessed fan Annie Wilkes in Rob Reiner’s 1990 hit “Misery,” based on Stephen King’s novel. In 1999, she received Oscar®, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and won a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® and a Critics Choice Award for her performance in Mike Nichols’ “Primary Colors.” Bates more recently earned her third Oscar® nomination for her role in Alexander Payne’s “About Schmidt,” for which she also garnered Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations and won a National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her film work has also been recognized with Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations for Jon Avnet’s “Fried Green Tomatoes,” and she also shared in a SAG Award® nomination with the ensemble cast of James Cameron’s all-time, top-grossing blockbuster “Titanic” as well as a nomination for the ensemble of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”.

Bates currently stars as Harriet “Harry” Korn, a curmudgeonly ex-patent lawyer in the hit NBC television show “Harry’s Law” garnering her an Emmy® nomination for lead actress in a drama series. While the role was originally written for a man, it is a role Kathy now owns. She has been quoted as saying, “In my private life, I am just as curmudgeonly as Harriet and I share some of her disillusion. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She has a very irreverent sense of humor, which I do also. She tells it like it is. Sometimes I think David has been doing some kind of background research on me, the lines are so close.” “Harry’s Law” is written and executive produced by David E. Kelley.

Recently, Bates was seen in “Midnight in Paris”; “Valentine’s Day”; “The Blind Side”; Stephen Frears’ period drama “Cheri,” in which she starred with Michelle Pfeiffer; Sam Mendes’ acclaimed drama “Revolutionary Road,” which reunited her with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet; the sci-fi remake “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” which opened at the top of the box office; and the independent drama “Personal Effects,” with Pfeiffer and Ashton Kutcher. Upcoming projects include the films “A Little Bit of Heaven”, the animated short “Cadaver” and the highly anticipated 3D release of James Cameron’s “Titanic”.

Among Bates’ long list of film credits are “P.S. I Love You,” “Fred Claus,” “Failure to Launch,” “Little Black Book,” “Dragonfly,” “American Outlaws,” “The Waterboy,” “The War at Home,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “A Home of Our Own,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Shadows and Fog,” “At Play in the Fields of the Lord,” “Dick Tracy,” “Men Don’t Leave,” “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean,” “Straight Time” and “Taking Off.” Bates lent her voice to Jerry Seinfeld’s animated comedy “Bee Movie,” as well as “Charlotte’s Web” and “The Golden Compass.”

On television, in addition to her current projects, Bates appeared in the FX miniseries “Alice,” playing the Queen of Hearts, for which she earned an Emmy® Award nomination for her performance. She won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award® and earned an Emmy® Award nomination for the 1996 HBO film “The Late Shift.” Her television honors also include Emmy®, Golden Globe and SAG Award® nominations for her performance in the musical “Annie”; another SAG Award® nomination for her role in the telefilm “My Sister’s Keeper”; and four additional Emmy® Award nominations for her work on the projects “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Six Feet Under,” “Warm Springs,” and “Ambulance Girl,” which she also directed. Most recently, she guest starred on both “The Office” and “Two and a Half Men”.

Bates has also been honored for her work behind the camera as a director. She helmed the A&E telefilm “Dash and Lilly,” starring Sam Shepard and Judy Davis, which earned nine Emmy® nominations, including one for Bates as Best Director. She also directed five episodes of the acclaimed HBO series “Six Feet Under,” earning a Directors Guild of America Award for the episode entitled “Twilight.” Her directing credits also include episodes of such series as “Oz,” “NYPD Blue” and “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

Bates first gained the attention of critics and audiences on the New York stage. She was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of the suicidal daughter in the original Broadway production of Marsha Norman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “`night, Mother.” She has been honored with Obie Awards for her performance as Frankie in the original off-Broadway production of “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” as well as for her portrayal of Elsa Barlow in Athol Fugard’s “The Road to Mecca,” which Kathy also starred in when filmed.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Bates received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1970 from Southern Methodist University, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2002.





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Permanent outdoor recreation areas have been around at least as long as written history. Public areas are among the essential amenities any society develops, and their improvement is relatively cheap advertising for the local monarch (large statues make great decorations). But public resort areas with amusement facilities did not appear in Europe until the Renaissance. In England, they were called “pleasure gardens,” and they flourished from about 1550 to 1700. They first appeared in the form of resort grounds operated by inns and taverns. They quickly proved good for  business, and became more elaborate. Vauxhall Gardens opened in  London in 1661 covering 12 acres, and admission was free. Entertainment was provided: acrobatic acts, fireworks, music — Mozart performed there as an 8-year-old prodigy in 1764. Professional showmen saw the money-making potential of the concept, and began operating them for profit.

In early America, amusement parks began as picnic grounds. Some were built by local breweries (there’s much more profit when you can sell your beer directly, rather than through middlemen). These “beer gardens” offered the working man an inexpensive day’s relaxation for the family, including plenty of open space, concerts, sometimes bathing, and always beer and food. Attendance was promoted by streetcar companies and local railroad and excursion boat operators. Many parks were developed by trolley companies. They bought their electricity at a flat monthly rate — build amusement parks at the end of the line and you boosted weekend use at little added expense! Before long, hundreds of such parks were built all over the country.

Expositions, particularly the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, provided another model for American amusement parks. The Chicago event was the first to concentrate rides, shows and concessions in a separate “midway.” As discussed in a previous chapter, these expositions attracted teeming crowds with a multitude of lures: entertainment, education, recreation, and trade. Entrepreneurs soon learned that each attraction could boost its attendance by virtue of its proximity to every other popular feature, and that all of them together could turn profits that could never be realized by stand-alone attractions.

The story of amusement parks is largely the story of George C. Tilyou, a masterful entrepreneur whose vision created the amusement park in a form that remained unchanged until Disney created theme parks.

Coney Island

New York City had the money and the crowds: finances to build parks and a huge pool of working-class families looking for close and affordable relief from the grim realities of daily life. Coney Island, a five-mile stretch of beach at the entrance to New York Harbor where Brooklyn meets the sea, was already a popular seaside resort for the city and environs. A pleasant and largely undeveloped spot so close to a huge population in need of close and cheap recreation, it was destined to become home to a succession of wonderful parks.

The first attractions on Coney Island were racetracks built for wealthy vacationers in 1880. A collection of attractions suited to more moderate incomes followed. Amusement rides were popular. In 1884, Lamarcus Thompson built the first amusement railroad in the world, the “Switchback Railroad.” Its two wooden undulating tracks started ran down a 600-foot structure. It cost Thompson $1600 to build, but at 10¢ per ride, it took in $600-700 per day.

Young George Tilyou, owner of an array of single rides scattered around the island, saw the gigantic 250′ Ferris wheel at the 1893 Chicago exposition. Unable to buy it (it had already been sold), he had his own 125-foot version built. It was the most popular single attraction on Coney Island until Captain Paul Boyton came to town.

Hugely famous for daredevil swimming feats performed in an inflatable, rubberized suit of his own invention, Boyton had opened Chutes Park in Chicago the previous year to take advantage of the crowds visiting the World’s Columbian Exposition. On Coney Island, Boyton opened Sea Lion Park in 1895,enclosed by a fence and featuring a one-price admission that entitled the visitor to enjoy all the attractions, including the spectacular “Shoot-the-Chutes” (a water-flume ride) and the Captain’s own swimming exhibitions.

Once Tilyou understood the idea, he ran with it. He bought and improved an 1100-foot gravity-driven mechanical ride, the “Steeplechase Horses,” and opened Steeplechase Park on 15 ocean-front acres the next year. In 1902 he hired a huge illusion ride, Frederic Thompson’s “A Trip to the Moon,” that he had seen at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. The next year, Thompson took the ride away to open competing Luna Park with Elmer Dundy.

Boyton’s early success, without significant competition (at first), made him reluctant to tamper with a successful and imperfectly-understood formula. With his “it ain’t broke so don’t fix it” attitude, he failed to add or improve attractions. However, Tilyou’s changing array of attractions at Steeplechase Park, each more spectacular than the last, followed the public taste for the new and different, a taste that turned quickly into a distinct preference, then a demand. What pleased the paying public one year was old-hat the next. Sea Lion Park, hopelessly out of date, fell out of favor and closed. Its 22 acres were purchased by Thompson and Dundy, who retained only the “Chute the Chutes” from Sea Lion and opened Luna Park on the site in 1903. 

Luna Park featured hundreds of thousands of electric lights (the technological sensation of the time), including nightly displays by huge searchlights mounted in its central tower, illuminating the dozens of other fanciful towers and minarets. The influence of the Chicago fair is reflected in the names of many of Luna’s attractions: “The Canals of Venice,” “Eskimo Village,” “A Trip to the North Pole.” There was a $1.95 one-price admission available, but most visitors opted to pay 10¢ for most attractions, 25¢ for the spectacular ones. Luna Park repaid its entire $700,000 cost in just six weeks.

The next season, Luna was rivaled by Dreamland, whose policy seemed to be to do everything twice as big as its competitors. Attractions included a copy of the “Shoot the Chutes,” “Fighting the Flames,” a show in which firefighters demonstrated rescues from a six-story blazing building (two stories higher than the one premiered by Luna, and later expanded to an entire burning city block). Dreamland affected a higher tone than its competitors, presenting attractions with cultural and even biblical themes. Dr. Martin Couney’s “Infant Incubator” displayed premature infants and the scientific wonders developed to help them live (of the 8,000 babies brought to Dr. Couney during his residence at Dreamland, 7500 survived).

 All three parks were built in the same style, white plaster fantasies similar to those already familiar to the public from the World’s Columbian Exposition.

See 1903 Edison film of Luna Park and Steeplechase Park


See a 1940 sound film of Coney Island

Samuel W. Gumpertz came to Dreamland to build “Lilliputia,” a midget city where he housed 300 midgets for the 1904 opening season. The background midi for this page is the sweet waltz “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland,” written for that inaugural season. Gumpertz scoured the world for freaks, visiting Egypt, Asia and Africa five times each (including two trips to Africa’s unexplored center) and dozens of trips to Europe. Besides freaks, he imported exotic humans: Filipino blowgun shooters, Algerian horsemen, Somali warriors, “Wild Men from Borneo” who really were from Borneo and plate-lipped Ubangi women. Never as popular as its competitors, Dreamland burned to the ground in 1911. Gumpertz’s Dreamland Circus Sideshow prospered for years thereafter in another location. Its success brought copiers, like the World Circus Freak Show opened in 1922, followed by Hubert’s Museum, the Palace of Wonders Freak Show and more. All had fat ladies, seal boys, pinheads, electric girls, dog-faced boys and on and on. Gumpertz left Coney Island in 1929 to manage the Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Steeplechase, “The Funny Place,” was every bit as good as its nickname. With rides and attractions updated every year, the public could count on novelty, thrills, and the delight of seeing other people have fun. Involvement was the name of the game at Steeplechase. At every turn (beginning with the entrance) customers were tricked into pratfalls and comic indignities, then allowed to recover with a laugh as they viewed others suffering the same treatment. At the “Blowhole Theater,” you could watch as patrons exiting the Steeplechase ride passed a dwarf clown who would control air jets to blow men’s hats off and ladies’ dresses upward. The spills and the thrills were all designed to allow the odd moment of “I couldn’t help it” contact with one’s pretty date … a ride on the double-saddled Steeplechase Horses wasn’t safe without a firm hug, and a tumble on the Human Roulette Wheel often brought a flash of ankle and a friendly pile-up. Especially popular was the El Dorado carousel, restored from the Dreamland fire and restored to its full glory of 42 feet high and lit with 6000 lamps over three platforms in ascending tiers, each revolving at a different speed.

Built of wood and plaster, the grand old parks were like well-laid fires ready to burn. And burn they did, some repeatedly. Things were never quite the same after the beginning of the Great War (WWI). Faced with unprecedented horrors in real life, many patrons lost the taste for freaks, mock battles and burning blocks of buildings. Then the subway to the city opened, and paradoxically, it only hastened the decline in “business as usual.” It brought millions of people to the resort, but few of them had much money to spend. They crowded out the beaches, and their lower-class manners made former patrons, people with a little more couth and a little more money, uncomfortable. The people with enough money to go elsewhere went elsewhere and took their money with them. Attractions that had prospered when patronized by the middle class went bankrupt trying to lower prices and deliver the same services to the poor.  

The Depression finished the job for most of the parks. The 1939-40 World’s Fair stole away many paying customers. The sideshows were hit hard by a late 1930s ban on outside ballys. New York’s notoriously hard-on-business regulations had not helped businesses weakened by years of falling attendance and neglect, followed by a “clean up the decaying area” campaign that was just a thinly-disguised attempt to make way for profitable redevelopment. Steeplechase, the first to prosper, was the last to close. Tilyou’s grand vision, by then only a shadow of its former grandeur, wheezed to a halt in 1964, a victim of changing times and urban decay. Its few remaining buildings were quickly bulldozed by the land’s new owner before the city could declare it a historic landmark.

Today, the island is still home to beach and boardwalk, but there is nothing as spectacular as the early amusement parks. The New York Aquarium now stands on Dreamland’s site. Steeplechase’s famed 250-foot Parachute Tower is the sole standing reminder of the glorious past. Ironically, the forces that killed the freak shows support one as a curiosity: “Coney Island USA” operates “Sideshows by the Seashore”, partially funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Atlantic City


Atlantic City, New Jersey, was a seaside resort, the eastern terminus of a railroad which helped develop the resort. Its boardwalk dates from 1870. Starting in 1882, a series of piers were built out over the ocean, offering all types of entertainment for a single admission price. In 1898 the 2,000-foot Steel Pier was built, followed in 1902 by the Million Dollar Pier, from which  Houdini dove shackled into the ocean, and on which Teddy Roosevelt campaigned for his Bull Moose party. Top bands and entertainers attracted visitors. In the summer, famous acts like Steel Pier’s Diving Horse and a high-wire motorcycle act swelled attendance. H.J. Heinz was so taken with the sheer numbers of people coming to Atlantic City, people on whom advertising impressions could be made, that in 1898 he opened Heinz Pier. The pier’s unusual premise was peace and quiet, a place to get away from the crowds. There was a sun parlor with reclining chairs and writing desks, free food samples (Heinz products, of course), and a Heinz pickle pin as a parting gift. Coney Island impresario George Tilyou built a branch of his Steeplechase Park here in Atlantic City in 1908, calling it Steeplechase Pier, where the amusements included the Sugar Bowl Slide, the Mexican Hat Bowl, and Flying Chairs that swung riders out over the ocean. Like Coney Island, Atlantic City enjoyed a sparkling heyday and a long decline, until legalized gambling revitalized at least part of its tourist trade.

Other parks all over the country went through charming beginnings and fantastic developments. Some have prospered continuously, others flickered and died.

Starting in 1915, new diversions (motion pictures) and new mobility (the automobile) made their mark. Many parks closed, and the Depression that began in 1929 forced the closing of many others. 2000 parks had flourished in the U.S. in 1910, but by 1934 there were fewer than 500. The same economic changes that forced circuses to adapt or die caused the park business to decline throughout World War II. Some parks failed because they did not learn what George Tilyou had always understood, and Captain Paul Boyton did not: no matter what wonders you have created, the public demands something better every year. Other parks had no room to change — the automobile would bring a vast influx of customers from greater distances, but only if they could get there on good roads and only if they found room to park. The rising value of real estate demanded more intensely profitable use of every acre in developing areas, a factor that also hit drive-in movie theaters. The postwar prosperity and the “Baby Boom” injected a little new life into a moribund industry, helped by the introduction of children’s areas, “Kiddielands,” spearheaded by Kennywood near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 

Disneyland and after

In 1955, Walt Disney, already a wildly successful maker of family movies and television, marshalled his already-considerable resources: universal brand name recognition, an established stable of instantly recognizable characters, a weekly nationwide television audience, and a large parcel of unused land in Anaheim, California. He invented the “theme park,” though the term was not used then: Disneyland, an environment completely under control with every element approved by the family-friendly and trusted Disney, designed for the whole family. And it was designed to be more than just a local attraction; it was meant as a destination for vacationers nationwide.

Disney was always a canny businessman. He had no need to pay for advertising … his hour-long promotional “documentaries” on Disneyland’s opening aired as profitable program material!

Disneyland’s image, like the rest of the Disney image, was squeaky-clean. Everything was guaranteed to be safe, spotless, entertaining and profitable. All was made in the Disney image, owned and operated without middlemen. Gone were the carnival’s tawdry games, the questionable food stands, the itinerant performers. In their place were the very same hard-to-win games run by the company and staffed by earnest teenagers on summer break, and food stands run by the company. The shows were all family-friendly, with well-scrubbed college-age performers working for low wages on the premise that this experience would be good training for their future entertainment careers. The hot-to-trot girl shows remained only as a sanitized pastiche, as fresh-faced college girls performed hourly musical revues in Disney-studio costumes. The sole reminder of the ten-in-one talker was the scripted “hurry, hurry, hurry” of the youthful trained announcer twirling his fake mustache and calling everyone to his attraction — not a “Museum of Oddities” or a “Gallery of Freaks,” but a barbershop quartet or a banjo band. There were no more freaks … well, there was this really big mouse. Disneyland, and later Disney World in Orlando, Florida, still attract families on the strength of an image the rest of the Disney operation seems to have abandoned (that sound you hear is Walt spinning in his grave as the next episode of Disney-distributedEllen or one of its successors airs).

Several companies tried to copy Disneyland’s success, but none had Disney’s pre-sold combination of name recognition and (essentially free) nationwide advertising on the weekly Disney television show. In 1961, Six Flags Over Texas opened, followed by several other Six Flags parks across the nation, successfully establishing themselves as regional, not national, destination parks.

Walt Disney World, which opened in 1971, is still the largest theme park ever built. The park turned into a multi-attraction complex with the (self-styled) “visionary” EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) Center, recalling the corporate advertising of a world’s fair, in 1982. Subsequent additions to the complex include the world’s biggest water park, interconnecting but still self-contained getaways for grownups, and one more amazing innovation. Taking as a model Universal Studios Hollywood, where studio tours added a new profit center to an existing movie/tv production facility, Disney and MGM created Disney/MGM Studios, a combined theme-park/studio. It was a stroke of show business genius! Florida’s motion picture industry was already well known as the home of low-budget productions, drive-in movies and the like. Some producers, like Ivan Tors of Flipper fame, had made national entertainment careers based in Florida instead of Hollywood. The area had an established craft, technical and talent base, and was a right-to-work haven for producers looking to make shows on budgets uninflated by Hollywood and New York craft unions. The result: two big-money businesses for the price of one!Less than the price of one, if you figure in the development perks and tax breaks local governments often offer to those who bring thousands of jobs to any community. 

Parks of all sorts have felt one overwhelming pressure that affects all businesses and all traditions: the public’s easy boredom and demand for change. Some have successfully given the people what they want, others have not tried, or have tried and failed to find an innovation that intrigues the public.

“Things aren’t the way they used to be,” one old-timer has been heard to say; “and, you know what? They never were the way they used to be.”

If Steeplechase and Luna and Dreamland seem to us like wonders that should never have been allowed to fade, recall the plea on the marquee of a run-down pre-renewal Times Square porn theater: “It’s new until you’ve seen it.”

Large theme parks continue to innovate, with bigger (or at least different) shows, newer rides, wilder roller coasters, and ever-higher prices, even though some are operating on a scale not much bigger than the average former local park. Many older, smaller amusement parks, like Pennsylvania’s Kennywood, still find new and different ways to entertain, their charms only enhanced by their modest, comfortable size and careful preservation as reminders of bygone days.

History Section Index

1 – Early Fairs & Carnivals    2 – Expositions    3 – Freak Shows & Museums

4 – Circuses    4a – Circus Acts    4b – Clowns

5a – Wild West Shows    5b – Medicine Shows

6 – Carnivals    7 – Amusement & Theme Parks    8 – Vaudeville

Design a Roller CoasterTry your hand at designing your own roller coaster. You will be building a conceptual coaster using the physics concepts that are used to design real coasters. You won’t need to compute any formulas.

You will decide the following – the height of the first hill, the shape of the first hill, the exit path, the height of the second hill, and the loop.

When you’re done, your coaster will need to pass an inspection for both safety and fun.

Here we go!

First you need to determine theheight of the first hill. Start building your coaster by clicking on the “Begin” button.

Note: We’ll assume that your coaster is a single-car coaster running on a frictionless track. It has a mass of 800 kg (1760 lbs). The acceleration due to gravity is 32 ft/s/s. Back to Roller Coaster“Amusement Park Physics” is inspired by programs from The Mechanical Universe…and Beyond.


History of Amusement & Theme Parks

Amusement park is the more generic term for a collection of amusement rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a fairly large group of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, as an amusement park is meant to cater to adults, teenagers, and small children.

An amusement park may be permanent or temporary, usually periodic, such as a few days or weeks per year. The temporary (often annual) amusement park with mobile rides etc. is called a funfair or carnival.

The original amusement parks were the historical precursors to the modern theme parks as well as the more traditional midway arcades and rides at county and state fairs (in the United States). Today, amusement parks have largely been replaced by theme parks, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.

For a remarkable example of a European park, dating from 1843 and still existing, see Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen. Even older is the Oktoberfest which is not only a beer festival but also provides a lot of amusement park features, dating back to 1810, when the first event was held in Munich, Germany.

History of American amusement parks

The first American amusement park, in the modern sense, was at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Illinois. The 1893 World’s fair was the first to have a Ferris wheel and an arcade midway, as well as various concessions. This conglomeration of attractions was the template used for amusement parks for the next half-century, including those known as trolley parks.

In 1897, Steeplechase Park, the first of three significant amusement parks opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Often, it is Steeplechase Park that comes to mind when one generically thinks of the heyday of Coney Island. Steeplechase Park was a huge success and by the late 1910s, there were hundreds of amusement parks in operation around the world. The introduction of the world-famous Cyclone roller coaster at Steeplechase Park in 1927 marked the beginning of the roller coaster as one of the most popular attractions for amusement parks as well as the later modern theme parks of today.

During the peak of the “golden age” of amusement parks from roughly the turn of the 20th century through the late 1920s, Coney Island at one point had three distinct amusement parks: Steeplechase Park, Luna Park (opened in 1903), and Dreamland (opened in 1904). However, the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II during the 1940s saw the decline of the amusement park industry. Furthermore, fire was a constant threat in those days, as much of the construction within the amusement parks of the era was wooden. In 1911, Dreamland was the first Coney Island amusement park to completely burn down; in 1944, Luna Park also burned to the ground.

By the 1950s, factors such as urban decay, crime, and even desegregation led to changing patterns in how people chose to spend their free time. Many of the older, traditional amusement parks had closed or burned to the ground. Many would be taken out by the wrecking ball to make way for suburban development. In 1964, Steeplechase Park, once the king of all amusement parks, closed down for the last time.

In 1955, Disneyland in Anaheim, California revived the amusement industry with its themed lands and matching attractions instead of using the older formula with traditional rides in one area and a midway, concessions, and sideshow attractions in another. The idea of theme parks caught on and, by the 1980s, became a billion dollar-a-year industry in the United States and around the world.



Bonnie-Clyde-movie-02 Faye Dunaway-LMK-031266 Faye Dunaway-PPF-016681 download (14) download (6)

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BARFLY 1987 -my favorite movie about Charles Bukowski (my idol!)






Faye Dunaway Biography

Theater Actress, Television Actress, Film Actor/Film Actress(1941–)


Actress Faye Dunaway was born on January 14, 1941, in Bascom, Florida. She worked onstage before moving to the big screen and starring in the pioneering film Bonnie and Clyde, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She’s appeared in several iconic films throughout her career, including The Thomas Crown Affair and Chinatown. She won an Academy Award in 1976 for her role in Network.

Early Life

American actress Dorothy Faye Dunaway was born on January 14, 1941, in Bascom, Florida, to career Army officer John MacDowell Dunaway and homemaker Grace April Dunaway. After graduating from high school in 1958, Dunaway entered the University of Florida in Gainesville to pursue a career in education, but later transferred to Boston University’s School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Acting Career

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Dunaway declined further opportunities to study and, instead, accepted a role in the American National Theater and Academy’s production of A Man for All Seasons(1962). Three years later, she found off-Broadway success with a critically acclaimed role in William Alfred’s Hogan’s Goat, which led to her television debut in the 1965 series Seaway, as well as appearances in several small films.

In 1967, Dunaway landed the lead role of bank robber Bonnie Parker inBonnie and Clyde, launching her into Hollywood stardom. A year later, she starred alongside Steve McQueen as a determined investigator in The Thomas Crown Affair. She continued her career throughout the 1970s, with such films as Little Big Man (1970) and The Three Musketeers: The Queen’s Diamonds (1973).

As her career progressed, Dunaway took on more complex roles, including the troubled wife Evelyn Mulwray in Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown; a civilian who is abducted by a CIA researcher in Three Days of the Condor, a 1975 film directed by Sydney Pollack; and Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest (1981), based on the best-selling memoir by Christina Crawford. Dunaway won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1976, for her role as an intimidating television executive in Network, a film about a TV network that exploits an ex-employee for its own profit. In 1987, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her performance in Barfly (1987), alongside Mickey Rourke.

The 1990s saw Dunaway perform in several films, including The Handmaid’s Tale (1991); Arizona Dreams (1993); The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1998); The Yards (1998), a crime-thriller; and The Rules of Attraction(2001), a dark comedy. One of Dunaway’s most acclaimed performances of the decade came in 1993, with her guest role as Laura Staton in the TV series Columbo; she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in the series in 1994.

Additionally, from 1966 to 1967, Dunaway starred as opera diva Maria Callas in the American tour of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Since then, she has made several TV appearances, including on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in 2006 and Grey’s Anatomy in 2009.

Personal Life

Dunaway has been married twice. She was married to Peter Wolf, lead singer of rock group The J. Geils Band, from 1974 to 1979; and to British photographer Terry O’Neill, from 1984 to 1987. She and O’Neill have one child, Liam O’Neill, who was born in 1980.



Busey,_Gary ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Busey,_Gary Videos  RSS feed







Gary Busey

Birth Name: Gary Busey
Born: 06/29/1944
Birth Place: Goose Creek, Texas, USA

Gary Busey was born in the east coast Texas town of Goose Creek (now Baytown) on June 29, 1944 and grew up in Tulsa, OK, where his father worked in construction. A born entertainer, Busey’s first outlet was music, and he constructed a drum set out of oatmeal canisters before driving his family truly crazy with a set of Ludwigs. He also sang at the Christian camp where he spent summers and broadened his interests to include acting after he was mesmerized by a matinee of Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah” (1949). As a teen, Busey cultivated an athletic build while working on local ranches and excelled at football, landing an athletic scholarship to Pittsburg State University in Kansas. When a serious knee injury sidelined his sports aspirations, Busey turned his attention to drama, eventually joining the theater department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. While a student there in 1966, Busey co-founded a bluesy rock band called Carp. After several years of playing local parties and biker bars, they headed to Hollywood in search of a record deal, landing one with Epic and releasing a self-titled album in 1969. When Carp failed to generate much commercial success, most of the band’s members went on to become studio musicians, while Busey took advantage of his new locale to revive his earlier acting efforts.

Busey landed his first small screen role in a 1970 episode of the Western “The High Chaparral” (NBC, 1967-1971) and the following year made his big screen debut as a hippie in the low budget Roger Corman biker flick “Angels Hard as They Come” (1971). In 1972, he returned to Tulsa, where he became a regular performer on a local sketch comedy show and appeared in the locally filmed “Dirty Little Billy” (1972) before snaring a high profile role alongside Jeff Bridges in “The Last American Hero” (1973), about NASCAR racer Elroy Jackson, Jr. That same year he earned the unusual pop culture distinction of being the last character ever to die on “Bonanza” (NBC, 1959-1973). Busey joined the fine supporting cast (including Bridges, again) of Michael Cimino’s feature directing debut “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974) before enjoying a brief stint as series regular Truckie Wheeler of “The Texas Wheelers” (ABC, 1974-75). Busey returned to the music business in 1975 touring as drummer for Oklahoma songwriter Leon Russell, who had first become a fan of Busey through his popular Tulsa TV character Teddy Jack Eddy. Busey also played drums on Russell’s classic album Will o’ the Wisp that year, in addition to recording with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kinky Friedman, and contributing the song “Since You’ve Gone Away” to Robert Altman’s epic film “Nashville” (1975).

Busey’s music background proved key to truly igniting his film career. His turn as the road manager who keeps Kris Kristofferson in line in “A Star Is Born” (1976) brought him his first widespread attention, though his title role in “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978) made him a star. Busey had always felt a special spiritual kinship with the iconic Texas songwriter-guitarist who died tragically young in an icy plane crash, and his spot-on portrayal of the man and his music earned Busey a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his efforts. Despite his highly acclaimed leading role, Busey’s ensuing career consisted mainly of charismatic supporting roles, his potential possibly compromised by a new cocaine addiction that he would battle for decades. He was convincing as a small time carnival hustler in the atmospheric road movie “Carny” (1980) and provided able country boy-support as the protégé of a legendary outlaw (Willie Nelson) in the well-received “Barbarosa” (1982). In one of his rare appearances in a comedy Busey played one of a crew of misfit taxi drivers in “D.C. Cab” (1983) and also contributed the song, “Why Baby Why” to the soundtrack.

His sports prowess and ability to crank up the high-drama masculine energy made for strong performances as Alabama State football coach Paul Bryant in “The Bear” (1984), and as a baseball playing icon in “Insignificance” (1985), Nicolas Roeg’s gloriously cinematic examination of fame in America. But Busey’s highest profile role of the era was as a nasty drug dealing Vietnam vet in “Lethal Weapon” (1988). His Mr. Joshua had ice in his veins, and though the ruthless albino killer was the actor’s first screen villain, it would certainly not be his last. Busey would go on to make a name for himself with supporting characters that were truly terrifying. His career was interrupted, however, by a motorcycle accident in 1988 that fractured his skull. The actor received a lot of press during his recovery for defending his choice not to wear a helmet and for his claim of a roadside, near-death experience. Doctors feared Busey had suffered brain damage, and his increasingly strange ramblings and pseudo-philosophy while making public appearances seemed to support that theory.

Busey returned to the screen to co-star with Danny Glover in the minor sc-fi hit “Predator 2” (1990) and the absurd but blockbusting caper/extreme sports hybrid “Point Break” (1991) starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. He was a little too good as the disturbed former psychiatric patient in the routine thriller “Hider in the House” (1991) and continued his villainous run as the evil thug plotting to steal nuclear weapons in Steven Seagal’s mega-hit actioner “Under Siege” (1992). Busey enjoyed a supporting role as a private investigator in the legal thriller “The Firm” (1993) before returning to the sports genre with a co-starring role as an aging pro baseball player in the light “Rookie of the Year” (1993). Busey’s role as a former DEA agent in John Badham’s 1994 actioner “Drop Zone” was ironic, as the actor was shortly thereafter arrested for drug possession, suffered a drug overdose, and spent time in rehab at the Betty Ford Center. Newly sober, Busey became an enthusiastic born-again Christian and ordained minister active with the Promise Keepers men’s group. But just as the unpredictable actor seemed to be gaining a new lease on life, he averted disaster yet again when he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his sinus cavity.

After recuperating from surgery and radiation treatment, Busey seemed poised to resume his improved Hollywood standing, landing in a remake of the TV series “Hawaii Five-O” (CBS, 1968-1980), but the show’s pilot was reportedly a disaster and the project never moved forward. Busey rebounded with a starring role in the well-received Spanish-American war miniseries “Rough Riders” (TNT, 1997) and enjoyed cameos in art house flicks “Lost Highway” (1997) and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998) before a pair of arrests for domestic violence charges filed by ex-wife Tiani Warden and a string of dismal low-budget films reduced Busey’s name to a pop culture curiosity, known more for the mug shot seen ’round the world than for the promise he had once shown as an actor. Embracing his new reputation, Busey began to appear as an oddball artifact on “The Man Show” (Comedy Central, 1999-2004) and Howard Stern’s radio show before cementing his tarnished image as the center of Comedy Central’s “I’m with Busey” reality show (2003). Over 13 uncomfortable episodes, Busey shared his off-kilter wisdom of the world with alleged fan and buddy Adam de la Pena. It was unclear whether Busey’s bizarre philosophical outbursts and explosive behavior were due to a mental unraveling or whether he was amping up the crazy factor for audience benefit.

The show did not paint a flattering portrait of the star but it raised his profile enough to land a recurring role (as himself) on HBO’s hot Hollywood drama “Entourage” (HBO, 2004- ). Busey’s personal life was back in the headlines in 2004 when he was taken to court for failing to pay rent on his rented Malibu home and arrested for not showing up at a hearing related to alleged millions owed his ex-wife. In 2005, Busey claimed his prayers for a fitness opportunity were answered when he was asked to join the cast of the VH1 weight loss chronicle “Celebrity Fit Club 2,” during which he allegedly lost 50 pounds. Busey’s film career was busier than ever regardless of his reputation, with the actor headlining over 20 low-budget and direct-to-DVD titles from 2004-06. He made gossip column headlines in February of 2008 for a red carpet appearance at the Academy Awards that sent nervous stars including Jennifer Garner – whose neck he appeared to either bite or kiss – and E! host Ryan Seacrest looking for the exit. Busey next appeared on the second season of “Celebrity Rehab” (VH1, 2008- ). He claimed to appear on the show not as an addict, but as an inspirational figure for the other patients, which initially confused the show’s star, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Busey nonetheless went through an enormously successful transformation. Following a cameo appearance in the hit comedy “Grown Ups” (2009), starring Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Rock, Busey joined the season four cast of the celebrity version of “The Apprentice” (NBC, 2004- ), playing for charity against the likes of model Niki Taylor, former “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch, and rap star Lil Jon.






Film director

images (150)James R. “Jim” Jarmusch is an American independent film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, editor and composer. Jarmusch has consistently been a major proponent of independent cinema since the 1980s. Wikipedia

Born: January 22, 1953 (age 61), Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Height: 6′ 2″ (1.88 m)

Partner: Sara Driver (1980–)
Awards: Cannes Grand Prix, Short Film Palme d’Or, Caméra d’Or, More

Albums: Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity
Jim Jarmusch: ‘Women are my leaders’

•Permanent Vacation (1980)
•Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
•Down By Law (1986)
•Mystery Train (1989)
•Night on Earth (1991)
•Dead Man (1995)
•Year of the Horse (1997)
•Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)
•Int. Trailer. Night (2002)
•Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
•Broken Flowers (2005)
•The Limits of Control (2009)
•Unmade/rumored films
•”The Garage Tapes” (1992)

His new film, Only Lovers Left Alive, is a great romance between two vampires unanswerable to time. But Jarmusch doesn’t want to live for ever – unless it’s with Tilda Swinton or Patti Smith

David Ehrlich

The Guardian, Thursday 20 February 2014 12.15 EST

Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska, in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive
Tilda Swinton and Mia Wasikowska, in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive. Photograph: Soda Pictures/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

‘I’ve seen my dog dreaming,” says Jim Jarmusch over lunch in New York on a snowy December day. His voice is sedate, but excitement pops in his eyes. Other animals have imaginations, too, he thinks. “Once I left a mop outside the window of my apartment, and I saw a sparrow examining it for several days. It kept coming back, and then it started biting through to take away some strands to build a nest. It was thinking, you know?” Jarmusch does a sparrow voice, which sounds identical to his usual voice: “Man, I think this might work …”

Only Lovers Left Alive
Production year: 2013
Country: USA
Runtime: 122 mins
Directors: Jim Jarmusch
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston
More on this film

Speaking to Jim Jarmusch, it turns out, isn’t so different from watching one of his films. His work, like his conversation, doesn’t cohere into stories so much as constellations, networks of seemingly isolated ideas which achieve a greater meaning arranged together just so. As a man, he’s immediately identifiable: the Lee Marvin face, that shock of white hair that looks like Andy Warhol touched up with a Tesla coil.

As a director, too, there are recurring elements: a minimalist aesthetic, laconic but lovable characters (often played by musicians), a cool compositional remove that invites humour without sacrificing sincerity. These are films that believe everything is connected; theirs is a cinema of culture in conversation with itself. A young Japanese couple obsessed with Elvis. William Blake reborn into the American west. Instruments that resonate with every note that’s been played on them, the world bound together by cab rides and cups of coffee. “Each one of us is a set of shifting molecules, spinning in ecstasy,” says one character in The Limits of Control. “In the future, worn-out things will be made new again by reconfiguring their molecules.”

Only Lovers Left Alive is a film about the urgency of that recycling process, a snickering genre tale that shacks up with a pair of exhausted paramours desperate to become new yet frustrated that they can’t grow old. Jarmusch has been trying to make the movie for seven years, and whenever a bump in the road had him ready to abandon the project, Tilda Swinton would insist: “That’s good news, it means that now is not the time. It will happen when it needs to happen.” Now that the vampire film has become petrified by its own popularity, Only Lovers Left Alive may be arriving just in time. Every generation is convinced that they’re living at the end of the world, and not a single one of them has yet to be proved right.

I’d happily argue Only Lovers Left Alive is Jarmusch’s best film, but it might be more helpful to say it’s his most fluent. The leads are Eve (Swinton) in Tangier, an ancient city forever on the cusp of rebirth, and Adam (Tom Hiddleston), in Detroit, contemporary America’s most famous icon of decay. Both are exotic in their own way. She Skypes him on an iPhone. He answers on a rotary relic that he’s rigged up through a tube television. They’re vampires, and they’re in love.

Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton in Only Lovers Left Alive.
Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. Photograph: Soda Pictures/Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar

They live apart because they can, because it doesn’t deprive them of time together. “If you live that long, separation for a year might feel like a weekend,” says Jarmusch, his voice a spacey drawl. “It’s not an obligation, it’s an emotional connection.” It’s one so strong that Adam, a natural romantic who sees poetry in science, intimates that his relationship with Eve is an example of Einstein’s theory of entanglement: “When you separate an entwined particle, and you move both parts away from the other, even on opposite ends of the universe if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”

In Detroit, Adam grows despondent about the stale state of human culture. In Tangier, Eve packs her favourite books into a small metal suitcase and arranges a series of night flights to the Motor City in order to see her immortal beloved, reserving her tickets under the name Fibonacci. “All entities in the universe are spherical, round or spiral,” says Jarmusch. Circles are so crucial to the film that his script was originally threaded with quotes from Rumi, a dervish dancer, about waterwheels and turning. “It seemed a bit pretentious,” he says.

It’s hard not to see the theatrically suicidal Adam as Jarmusch in disguise, the director’s neuroses in almost human form. For one thing, both of them love Swinton. “It’s everything about her,” says Jarmusch, eyes lost over my shoulder. “It’s her physicality, the way that she moves … like a vestigial predator, like a wolf.”

There’s certainly a feral element to Eve’s appearance; her character comes off as a Nobel laureate raised by wild animals. For Jarmusch, though, it’s her clear eyes that are most compelling. “She has an ability to prioritise what’s really important in life. Once I was listening to her, I think we were at lunch with Patti Smith, and I thought: ‘Oh boy, if all culture breaks down, I’m following them. They’re my leaders, the women are the way to go.’ One of the great moments in my life,” he continues, “was when we were shooting The Limits of Control, and we finished a take and I said: ‘Oh Tilda, that was so beautiful, will you marry me?” And she replied: ‘Oh darling, we already are.’ I could have died.”

Adam’s problem, of course, is that he can’t. Or he doesn’t really want to. Like his creator, he’s not suicidal, simply tormented by nausea at the sense that culture has run its course. Convinced that humans – whom he refers to as zombies – are rotting the world, he’s the Platonic ideal of a hipster; how can you think anything is cool when you’ve lived for enough centuries to know that coolness is false? There’s jaded, and then there’s dismissing your old pals as “Shelley, Byron, and those French arseholes I used to hang around with … I don’t have any heroes,” he scoffs. “I’m sick of it – these zombies, what they’ve done to the world, their fear of their own imaginations.”

Adam lives like a hermit, creating ambient drone music in his decrepit house on the edge of town (Jarmusch himself wrote the songs, performed by his band SQÜRL). Having insisted the music never leaves his house, Adam is livid to learn that Eve’s younger sister, Eva (Mia Wasikowska), played one of his tracks in an LA club. He can recite the theory of entanglement verbatim, but struggles to embrace it. He thinks he can go it alone, but through Eve he’s inextricably tied up in all things.

Only Lovers Left Alive director Jim Jarmusch.
Jim Jarmusch. Photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

What Adam learns, and what Jarmusch understands, is that there’s no upside to stepping out of the circle. Survival is an instinct, and for some it’s the only option. Artists need to steal, and vampires need to feed. What Adam perceives as entropy, Eve recognises as hunger. Does Jarmusch desire immortality? “I wouldn’t mind living to be maybe 300 years old … but eternally? Oh man, there’s something about the cycle of life that’s very important, and to have that removed would be a burden.”

So Adam, it seems, isn’t Jarmusch’s proxy so much as his pale shadow. Unlike Adam, Jarmusch never stops looking for new heroes. It might seem a throwaway gag when Eve drives by the childhood home of a local Detroit legend and exclaims, without a hint of sarcasm, “I love Jack White!” In fact, the praise of a 3,000-year-old vampire is the ultimate artistic validation. “I believe her,” says Jarmusch. “I despise hierarchical evaluation of culture. I go nuts when you say ‘crime fiction is not an academically valid literature, or pop music vs classical music or whatever.'”

Link to video: The Guardian Film Show: Nymphomaniac, Stranger by the Lake, Winter’s Tale and Only Lovers Left Alive

Auteur theory is, unsurprisingly, anathema. “I put ‘A film by’ as a protection of my rights, but I don’t really believe it. It’s important for me to have a final cut, and I do for every film. So I’m in the editing room every day, I’m the navigator of the ship, but I’m not the captain, I can’t do it without everyone’s equally valuable input. For me it’s phases where I’m very solitary, writing, and then I’m preparing, getting the money, and then I’m with the crew and on a ship and it’s amazing and exhausting and exhilarating, and then I’m alone with the editor again … I’ve said it before, it’s like seduction, wild sex, and then pregnancy in the editing room. That’s how it feels for me.”

I tell Jarmusch that I always likened the process to preparing a meal. I see pre-production as listing the ingredients, production as shopping for them, and the pivotal step of post-production as the actual cooking. Jarmusch thinks this over for a moment, his eyes falling back to his empty plate. He stands, abruptly, and extends a big hand beneath a bigger smile: “Cooking is good too, but I prefer sex.”



Jessica Lange
untitled (33)


untitled (32)


Showing all 33 items

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (3) | Salary (1)
Overview (3)
Date of Birth 20 April 1949 , Cloquet, Minnesota, USA

Birth Name Jessica Phyllis Lange
Height 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)
On April 20, 1949, Jessica Lange was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, USA, where her father worked as a traveling salesman. She obtained a scholarship to study art at the University of Minnesota, but instead went to Paris to study drama. She moved to New York, working as a model for many years, until producer Dino De Laurentiis cast her as the female lead in King Kong (1976). The film attracted much unfavorable comment and, as a result, Lange was off the screen for three years. She was given a small but showy part in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (1979), before giving a memorable performance in Bob Rafelson’s The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), as an adulterous waitress. The following year, she won rave reviews for her exceptional portrayal of actress Frances Farmer in Frances (1982) and a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her work in Sydney Pollack’s Tootsie (1982) (as a beautiful soap-opera actress). She was also outstanding as country singer Patsy Cline in Karel Reisz’s Sweet Dreams (1985) and as a lawyer who defends her father and discovers his past in Music Box (1989). Other important films include Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear (1991) (as a frightened housewife) and Tony Richardson’s Blue Sky (1994), for which she won a Best Actress Academy Award as the mentally unbalanced wife of a military officer. She made her Broadway debut in 1992, playing “Blanche” in Tennessee Williams “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

In addition to acting, Lange is a photographer with two published works,and is a humanitarian, holding a position as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, specializing in the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Congo and Russia.

  • IMDb Mini Biography By: Thanassis Agathos

    Spouse (1)
    Francisco Paco Grande (29 July 1970 – 1981) (divorced)

    Trade Mark (3)
    Platinum blonde hair


p>Voluptuous figure

Deep sultry voice

Trivia (21)
Born at 11:00am-CST

Had a long term relationship with actor Sam Shepard (1982-2009).

Lange has three children: Aleksandra “Shura” (1981) whose father is Mikhail Baryshnikov; Hanna Jane Shepard (January 13, 1986) and Samuel Walker Shepard (June 14, 1987) who goes by his middle name) whose father is Sam Shepard.

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#64).

She is a big supporter for rights of the Monks of Nepal.

Lived in Minnesota with Sam and their children for a few years, but now living in New York (2004).

Between modeling jobs, she waitressed at the Lion’s Head in Greenwich Village.

In 1970s Manhattan, Lange was represented by Wilhelmina Models, the same agency that later discovered Gia Carangi.

Her interpretation of the pushed-to-the-limit Cora in the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) was partially inspired by the downbeat life of B-movie actress Barbara Payton. In a Rolling Stone interview, Lange mentioned how she thought her character might have first drifted to Hollywood as an aspiring starlet, and co-star Jack Nicholson gave her Payton’s lurid, tell-all autobiography “I Am Not Ashamed” to look over on the set. Coincidentally, Lange and the blonde Payton were both born in Cloquet, Minnesota.

She is one of the elite ten thespians to have been nominated for both a Supporting and Lead Acting Academy Award in the same year for their achievements in two different movies. The other nine are Fay Bainter, Teresa Wright, Cate Blanchett, Barry Fitzgerald (he has been nominated in both categories for the same role in the same movie), Sigourney Weaver, Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore and Jamie Foxx.

Beat Meryl Streep for the role of Patsy Cline in Sweet Dreams (1985), according to Streep. Streep said it was one of the few if not the only role she ever went after. Then later said that she couldn’t however, imagine the movie without her (Lange).

She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 (2000 season) for Best Actress for her performance in “Long Day’s Journey into Night” at the Lyric Theatre.

Attended the Guthrie Theater Drama School at the prestigious Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Received the Anton Chekhov Fine Arts Award.

Daughter Shura (Alexandra) Baryshnikov, whose father is Mikhail Baryshnikov, graduated from Marlboro College in Vermont, the same college that Chris Noth attended in the 1970s.

Jessica’s grandparents were born in four different countries. Her paternal grandfather was German and her paternal grandmother was Dutch. Her maternal grandfather was Finnish and her maternal grandmother was born in Minnesota, to Finnish parents.

Her performance as Frances Farmer in Frances (1982) is ranked #85 on Premiere Magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).

Parents: Dorothy (1913-1968) and Al (1911-1988).

Has two older sisters named Ann Lange and Jane Lange and a younger brother named George Lange who is a pilot.

She was one of the favorite actresses of Benazir Bhutto.

Had a fall at her home in Minnesota on March 17, 2009, breaking her collarbone and dislocating her arm. After an overnight stay in the hospital, she was released the next day.

Her only husband, Paco Grande, was a photographer. They met in 1968 and married two years later. He began losing his sight from retinitis pigmentosa in the early 1970s. They did not divorce until 1982, following a long separation, and she paid him alimony afterwards.

Personal Quotes (3)
It took Sydney Pollack a long time to get me to do Tootsie (1982). I asked myself if I wanted to play some frothy, ditzy character after I had just done Frances (1982). Obviously, I’m thrilled that I did.

All through life, I’ve harbored anger rather than expressed it at the moment. Once I started on Frances (1982), I discovered it was literally a bottomless well. It devastated me to maintain that for eighteen weeks, to be immersed in this state of rage for twelve to eighteen hours a day. It spilled all over, into other areas of my life. I was really hell to be around.

[on what counts in her career] Box office success has never meant anything. I couldn’t get a film made if I paid for it myself. So I’m not ‘box office’ and never have been, and that’s never entered into my kind of mind set. It is the kind of acknowledgment by other actors, really. That’s really what is most meaningful.

Salary (1)
Losing Isaiah (1995) $1,500,000


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