On May 26, 1907, a 13 pound baby boy named Marion Morrison was born in Winterset, Iowa
. Nicknamed "Little Duke" after his childhood dog
, he grew up to become the most famous icon
of American patriotism
in the world
. When he was a football player at USC, Western filmstar Tom Mix
got him a summer job at Fox in exchange for game tickets. After two years working as a prop man for $75 a week, his first acting role was in The Big Trail
in 1930. "Marion Morrison" didn't sound like the right name for a trail scout though, so the studio took the last name from a Revolutionary War general
and replaced "Anthony" with "John." Voila!
A working actor from 1930 through the 1970s, this year John Wayne placed third
among America's favorite film stars, the only deceased star on the list and the only one who has appeared every year. He was an opinionated
patriot who, surprisingly, called himself a liberal
... bigger than life, the consummate cowboy star
, and the ultimate symbol of heroic action
and the Code of the West
. In the end, acting actually took his life indirectly thanks to radiation poisoning
during a movie
shoot in Utah (of the 220 persons on set, 91 had contracted cancer by the early 1980s), and almost three decades after his death, his family
continues to carry on his legacy
. He has an an airport
, an elementary school
, and various Cancer Foundations
named after him, and while he wasn't much of a singer
, he remains the ultimate symbol of American manliness
to this day. Apparently there are hundreds of reasons
to love the guy.
And for the record... no, he wasn't gay
posted by miss lynnster
on May 27, 2007 -
Good Day Mr. Kubrick!
In 1984 Stanley Kubrick placed an ad in Variety requesting audition tapes from unknown actors for his next movie, "Full Metal Jacket." This is allegedly one of those tapes.
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Oct 26, 2006 -
There was a time when his scowling, oversized visage, his battered black fedora, and his long black coat, were as familiar to horror fans as such characters as Frankenstein and Dracula. This character, who appeared in three films, was called "The Brute Man"
or "The Creeper."
Only that terrifying face wasn't a mask or a creation of makeup. It was an actual face, a product of a condition called agromegaly
. And The Creeper never planned to be an actor at all, he was simply decorated war veteran-turned-Tampa reporter
who had shown up one day to cover a film. The movie's director noticed him and recommended he move to Hollywood and pursue a career as a character actor.
He was Rondo Hatton
posted by Astro Zombie
on Mar 5, 2006 -
RIP Vincent Schiavelli
, a character actor who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
, Buckaroo Banzai
, Death to Smoochie
and a ton of other films. A cult favorite, he was one of those actors you looked at and thought, "who is
posted by dbiedny
on Dec 26, 2005 -
Losing Gilligan and Maxwell Smart
just a few weeks apart is sad. What great memories of a very funny show and a funny man.
posted by terrier319
on Sep 26, 2005 -
As I'm sure
you all know, today would've been the 74th birthday of actor Vic Tayback
, best known as everybody's favorite hairy, sweaty, ill-tempered (yet almost cuddly) diner chef
on that wacky piece of 70's tv Americana Alice
(Remember when Mel called Vera "dingy"? Sitcom gold!). Kept busy for years as a character actor with constant tv guest spots on everything from "I Dream of Jeannie" to "Gunsmoke," Vic embraced job security when given an opportunity to expand one character in particular, Mel Sharples from Martin Scorcese's drama "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
(starring Ellen Burstyn [she won an Oscar], Kris Kristofferson, Diane Ladd, Harvey Keitel and Jodie Foster). Thanks to Vic, the character of Mel smoothly adapted from his dramatic origins into his new home of sit-com hi-larity... one of the rare attempts of that kind to succeed.
Vic. Oh, and kiss my grits.
posted by miss lynnster
on Jan 6, 2005 -
Schwarzenegger caught in lie about affair, statutory rape.
After years of speculation and denials by both parties, Arnold Schwarzenegger's longtime "avenue of relaxation" and partner in outerwear spills the beans to British television. The affair was first alleged by Lacy H. Rich, Jr.
, a source of pictures and information for the infamous Spy Magazine article
. In 1995, with his health deteriorating and the mainstream media ignoring his full allegations, Rich made numerous posts to Usenet
with claims such as drug use, a longtime affair with Gigi that started when she was 16, car theft, and even prostituting himself to Paco Arce
, a gay Spanish millionaire with an interest in bodybuilders.
More plo chops, anyone?!
posted by insomnia_lj
on Aug 17, 2003 -
Leslie Cheung has died.
I have no idea how to express my grief, but I feel that this should be discussed here. Yet his death seems to go unmentioned. What could drive someone to do this, and how could the media ignore such a tragic event?
posted by son_of_minya
on Apr 1, 2003 -
Actor Richard Harris dies
"Don't let it be forgot - that once there was a spot - for one brief, shining moment - that was known as Camelot..." Such a sad day all around. R.I.P., Richard.
posted by dnash
on Oct 25, 2002 -
"Use the force, Luke"
Of course, Sir Alec Guinness hated being typecast by the Star Wars
films. But his death seems to mark the end of an generation of British actors who straddled the differing demands of stage and screen. Who will take their place?
posted by holgate
on Aug 6, 2000 -