George Francis Abbott was an American theater producer and director, playwright and film director and producer whose career spanned nine decades. Abbott was born in Forestville, New York to George Burwell Abbott and he moved to the town of Salamanca, which twice elected his father mayor. In 1898, his family moved to Cheyenne, where he attended Kearney Military Academy, within a few years, his family returned to New York, and he graduated from Hamburg High School in 1907. Four years later, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester, Abbott went to Harvard University, to take a course in playwriting from George Pierce Baker. Under Bakers tutelage, he wrote The Head of the Family and he worked for a year as assistant stage manager at the Bijou Theatre in Boston, where his play The Man in the Manhole won a contest. Abbott started acting on Broadway in 1913, debuting in The Misleading Lady, while acting in several plays in New York City, he began to write, his first successful play was The Fall Guy.
Abbott acquired a reputation as a show doctor. He frequently was called upon to supervise changes when a show was having difficulties in tryouts or previews prior to its Broadway opening and his first great hit was Broadway and directed in partnership with Philip Dunning, whose play Abbott rejiggered. It opened on September 16,1926, at the Broadhurst Theatre, other successes followed, and it was a rare year that did not have an Abbott production on Broadway. He worked in Hollywood as a writer and director while continuing with his theater work, in 1963, he published his autobiography, Mister Abbott. Abbott was married to Edna Lewis from 1914 to her death in 1930, actress Mary Sinclair was his second wife. Their marriage lasted from 1946 until their 1951 divorce and he had a long romance with actress Maureen Stapleton from 1968 to 1978. She was 43 and he was 81 when they began their affair and his third wife was Joy Valderrama. They were married from 1983 until his death in 1995, Abbott was a vigorous man who remained active past his 100th birthday by golfing and dancing.
He died of a stroke on January 31,1995, in Miami Beach, Florida, at the age of 106, he walked down the aisle on opening night of the Damn Yankees revival and received a standing ovation. He was heard saying to his companion, There must be somebody important here.1 In 1965, the building was demolished in 1970. New York Citys George Abbott Way, the section of West 45th Street northwest of Times Square, is named after him. He received New York Citys Handel Medallion in 1976, honorary doctorates from the Universities of Rochester and Miami, and he was inducted into the Western New York Entertainment Hall of Fame and the American Theatre Hall of Fame
Altman’s first game writing assignment was reportedly in 1996, writing the CD Rom DC Universe for Judson Rosebush in a seedy back room of Carnegie Hall. After assessing Altman’s business acumen and marketing experience, Marks gave Altman full directorial control of Acclaim’s download division, in May 2010, Acclaim was purchased by Playdom, the fourth largest Social Game company, which in turn was acquired by Disney. In 2013, Altman wrote and narrative designed the popular Facebook/IOS story-driven Hidden Object game Pearls Peril for Berlin-based Wooga, Altman’s novels include Captain America is Dead, Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires, Fear Itself, The Killswitch Review, The Irregulars and Deprivers. His writing has inspired illustrations and cover art from artists such as Edward Gorey, John Jude Palencar, mobile Application Video Game Challenge - Finalist Judge Nominated for a Develop Award for Pearls Peril - Best Use of Narrative in a Game
Nabil Zouheir Abou-Harb is an Arab-American filmmaker, writer and director. He is co-founder of Five on Fifty Films and has directed and produced a number of commercials, Abou-Harb was born in Marietta, United States, to Zouheir Abou-Harb and Sally Cardinali Abou-Harb in 1984. Nabil was raised as a Muslim in Loganville, Georgia and he graduated from Loganville High School in 2003. As a senior at Loganville High School, Abou-Harb wrote and directed the film Starwars, after earning his CCNA, he co-founded a web design company with Nicholas Bowman, called Decaphase Productions, Inc. Although there was interest to see the film, Abou-Harb and Bowman abandoned the project as they went to college and he graduated in 2007, earning his Bachelors degree in Film/Television. A short, two-minute trailer from Star Wars, Rise of the Black Sun debuted on Loganville High Schools student-run news WDVL program, the trailer was posted online. As his senior year approached, Abou-Harb co-wrote a fifteen-page comedy screenplay titled, the film chronicles the journey of an American-born character named, Osama Ahmed Abou-Bakr and his plight to find a job in Americas post-9/11 atmosphere.
The story highlights the hardships of Middle Easterners and Muslims living in the United States, hes offered a high-paying job at a prestigious company. However, concealing his true identity turns into a task that unfortunately Sam cannot keep up. The script is based on real-life events that continue to plague Abou-Harbs cousin, Nidal Abou-Harb, his father, Zouheir Abou-Harb, his brother, Osama Abou-Harb. The subject matter and humorous tone of the screenplay attracted many students and faculty members to dedicate their expertise and time to help the ambitious project get off its feet. This encouraged Nabil to get in touch with Nic Applegate, a Savannah, GA investor, building contractor and band-manager, Applegate eventually became an equal partner in Nabil and Colins production company, Five on Fifty Films. The Arab in America short was shot over twelve days in Savannah and Atlanta and it debuted at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival followed by the United States premiere at the Arabian Sights Film Festival sponsored by The Washington D. C.
International Film Festival where Arab in America won the Audience Award for Best Short Film, Many talent agencies and production companies have shown interest in a feature version of the short Arab in America. Nabil Abou-Harb, co-writer Thomas Verrette, co-writer Colin Ferri, Five on Fifty Films has decided however to shoot the movie independently. The feature screenplay was completed and Five on Fifty Films is in negotiations to produce the feature. Abou-Harbs Arab in America won the award for Best Short Film at the Arabian Sights Film Festival. The festival is sponsored by The Washington D. C and it won the Grand Prize of 2008 One Nation Many Voices Online Film Contest
Benjamin Geza Ben Affleck-Boldt is an American actor and filmmaker. He began his career as a actor, starring in the PBS educational series The Voyage of the Mimi. He appeared in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused and various Kevin Smith films including Chasing Amy, Affleck gained recognition when he and childhood friend Matt Damon won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. He starred in films including Armageddon, Shakespeare in Love, Pearl Harbor, Changing Lanes. After a career downturn, during which he appeared in Daredevil and Gigli, Afflecks directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone, which he co-wrote, was well received. He directed, co-wrote, and starred in the crime drama The Town. For the political thriller Argo, which he directed and starred in, Affleck won the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award for Best Director, and the Golden Globe, BAFTA, in 2014, he starred in the psychological thriller Gone Girl. In 2016, Affleck began playing Batman in the DC Extended Universe, Affleck is the co-founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative, a grantmaking and advocacy-based nonprofit organization.
He is a member of the Democratic Party. His younger brother is actor Casey Affleck, with whom he has worked on films including Good Will Hunting. Following high-profile relationships with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, Affleck married Jennifer Garner in 2005, Affleck and Garner have three children together, and announced their separation in 2015. Benjamin Geza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15,1972 in Berkeley and his family moved to Massachusetts when he was two, living in Falmouth, where his brother Casey was born, before settling in Cambridge. His mother, Christopher Anne Chris, was a Radcliffe College- and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, worked sporadically as an auto mechanic, a carpenter, a bookie, an electrician, a bartender, and a janitor at Harvard University. In the mid-1960s, he had been an actor and stage manager with the Theater Company of Boston, during Afflecks childhood, his father had a self-described severe, chronic problem with alcoholism and Affleck has recalled him drinking all day, every day.
His parents divorced when he was 12, and he and his brother lived with their mother. In the following years, his fathers alcoholism worsened and he spent two years homeless, when Affleck was 16, his father moved to Indio, California to enter a rehabilitation facility and, after gaining sobriety, worked as an addiction counselor at the facility for many years. Affleck was raised in an active, liberal household. He and his brother were surrounded by people who worked in the arts, were taken to the theater by their mother
Ayad Akhtar is a Pakistani American playwright, novelist and actor who is best known for his play, Disgraced. The play received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, akhtars work covers various themes including the human condition, responsibility, the American-Muslim experience, immigration and aspects of culture. Akhtar was born in Staten Island, New York City and raised in Milwaukee, akhtars interest in writing was initially sparked in high school, when a teacher introduced him to European Modernism. Akhtar graduated from Brookfield Central High School in 1988 and attended Brown University where he majored in theater, after graduation he moved to Italy and studied acting with Jerzy Grotowski for a year, eventually becoming his assistant. Upon returning to the United States, Akhtar taught acting classes with Andre Gregory, while at Columbia he and classmates Tom Glynn and Joseph Castelo formed the idea for The War Within, a 2005 film about an ordinary man radicalized into becoming a terrorist.
Akhtar starred in the film playing Hassan, the would-be terrorist, in 2011 he played Neel Kashkari in the HBO film Too Big to Fail. Akhtar published his first novel, American Dervish in 2012, a story about a Pakistani-American boy, Hayat. The book was met with acclaim, described by the New York Times as self-assured. American Dervish marks the first in a cycle on the Muslim-American experience that will include one film. Of which one novel and all three plays have been completed, in 2012, Akhtar returned to the theatre to write his first play, Disgraced. The play premiered at The American Theater Company in Chicago before serving as the production of the new LCT3/Lincoln Center in New York. The play went on to win the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a new production of the play opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre on October 23,2014. The Broadway production was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in 2015. Akhtar had two subsequent plays produced, The Who & The What, which premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in February 2012, akhtars new play is Junk, The Golden Age of Debt.
Set in the eighties, it puts a corporate takeover onstage, the play received its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in August 2016. Junk will premiere on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, produced by the Lincoln Center Theater, directed by Doug Hughes, the sets are by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Ben Stanton, and original music and sound by Mark Bennett. The cast will be announced at a date,2016 Junk, The Golden Age of Debt 2015 The Invisible Hand. ISBN 978-03163245332014 The Who & The What, Little Brown, ISBN 978-0-316-32449-62013 Disgraced, Little Brown and Company
Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and film producer. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema and his style of filmmaking was unique among directors, in that his subjects covered most genres, but with a subversive twist that typically relies on satire and humor to express his personal vision. Altman developed a reputation for being anti-Hollywood and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style, actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise, thereby inspiring their own creativity. He preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors. This produced a natural, more dynamic, and more complex experience for the viewer. He used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen, critic Pauline Kael, writing about his directing style, said that Altman could make film fireworks out of next to nothing.
In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized Altmans body of work with an Academy Honorary Award and he never won a competitive Oscar despite five nominations. His films MASH, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Nashville have been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Altman is one of the few filmmakers whose films have won the Golden Bear at Berlin, the Golden Lion at Venice, and the Golden Palm at Cannes. Altmans ancestry was German and Irish, his grandfather, Frank Altman. Altman had a Catholic upbringing, but he did not continue to follow or practice the religion as an adult, although he has referred to as a sort of Catholic. He was educated at Jesuit schools, including Rockhurst High School and he graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri in 1943. In 1943 Altman joined the United States Army Air Forces at the age of 18, during World War II, Altman flew more than 50 bombing missions as a crewman on a B-24 Liberator with the 307th Bomb Group in Borneo and the Dutch East Indies.
Upon his discharge in 1946, Altman moved to California and he worked in publicity for a company that had invented a tattooing machine to identify dogs. He entered filmmaking on a whim, selling a script to RKO for the 1948 picture Bodyguard, Altmans immediate success encouraged him to move to New York City, where he attempted to forge a career as a writer. Having enjoyed little success, in 1949 he returned to Kansas City, in February 2012, an early Calvin film directed by Altman, Modern Football, was found by filmmaker Gary Huggins. Altman directed some 65 industrial films and documentaries before being hired by a businessman in 1956 to write. The film, titled The Delinquents, made for $60,000, was purchased by United Artists for $150,000, while primitive, this teen exploitation film contained the foundations of Altmans work in its use of casual, naturalistic dialogue
Roger Allers is an American film director, storyboard artist and playwright. He is most well known for co-directing the highest-grossing 2D animated film of all time, Walt Disney Animation Studios The Lion King, and for writing the Broadway adaptation, The Lion King. Born in Rye, New York but raised in Scottsdale, Allers became a fan of animation, at the age of five, after seeing Disneys Peter Pan. Deciding that he wanted to pursue a career at Disney and even work alongside Walt Disney himself, Allers, by a high school student, grew discouraged about achieving his dream when he heard of Walt Disneys death in 1966. Despite not getting the chance to meet Walt, Allers still pressed on to receive a Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University, but when he enrolled in a class at Harvard University, he realized his interest in animation has been revitalized. After receiving his degree in Fine Arts, he spent the two years traveling and living in Greece. While there, he spent some time living in a cave, and eventually met Leslee, whom he married.
As a young adult, Allers accepted a job with Lisberger Studios, where he worked as an animator for such as Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Make a Wish. In 1978, he relocated to Los Angeles with Steven Lisberger to work on a film titled Animalympics to which he provided story work, character design. Three years later, Allers found work serving as part of the team for Tron. In 1980, Allers and his moved to Toronto, Canada. For the next two years, he resided in Tokyo to serve as a director overseeing the Japanese artists. Returning to Los Angeles in 1985, he heard that Disney was looking for a storyboard artist to work on Oliver & Company. When he applied for the job, Allers was asked to draw some sample character model sheets as a tryout, and worked on a portfolio and was hired shortly thereafter. Since then, he served as a storyboard artist on The Little Mermaid, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Rescuers Down Under before he was appointed as Head of Story on Beauty and the Beast. When story work on Beauty was finished, Allers assisted as a storyboard artist during the re-writing of Aladdin, in October 1991, Allers signed on to co-direct King of the Jungle alongside its initial director George Scribner.
Allers brought on board Brenda Chapman, who would become the head of story, in April 1992, Allers was joined with Rob Minkoff who was assigned as co-director, and the title was changed to The Lion King. Following the release of The Lion King and writer Matthew Jacobs conceived the idea of Kingdom of the Sun, Disney Theatrical Group had begun production on the Broadway musical production of The Lion King as they had done with Beauty and the Beast
Sherman Joseph Alexie, Jr. is a Spokane-Coeur dAlene novelist, short story writer and filmmaker. Much of his writing draws on his experiences as an Indigenous American with ancestry from several tribes and he grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and now lives in Seattle, Washington. One of his books is The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It was adapted as the film Smoke Signals, for which he wrote the screenplay. His first novel Reservation Blues received one of the fifteen 1996 American Book Awards and his 2009 collection of short stories and poems, War Dances, won the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Alexie is the guest editor of the 2015 Best American Poetry, Alexie was born on October 7,1966, at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington. He was a child that lived on the Spokane Indian Reservation. His father, Sherman Joseph Alexie, was a member of the Coeur dAlene tribe, one of his paternal great-grandfathers was of Russian descent. Alexie was born with hydrocephalus, a condition occurs when there is an abnormally large amount of cerebral fluid in the cranial cavity.
He had to have brain surgery when he was six months old, Alexies surgery was successful, he suffered no mental damage but had other side effects. His father was an alcoholic who left the house for days at a time. To support her six children, Alexies mother Lillian sewed quilts, Alexie has described his life at the reservation school as challenging because he was constantly teased by other kids. They called him The Globe because his head was larger than usual, until the age of seven, Alexie suffered from seizures and bedwetting, he had to take strong drugs to control them. Because of his problems, he was excluded from many of the activities that are rites of passage for young Indian males. Alexie excelled academically, reading everything available, including auto repair manuals, in order to better his education, Alexie decided to leave the reservation and attend high school in Reardan, Washington. The school was twenty-two miles off the reservation and Alexie was the only Native American student and he excelled at his studies and became a star player on the basketball team, the Reardan High School Indians.
He was elected as president and participated as a member of the debate team. His successes in high school won him a scholarship in 1985 to Gonzaga University, originally Alexie enrolled in the pre-med program with hopes of becoming a doctor, but found he was squeamish during dissection in his anatomy classes
Richard Alfieri is an American playwright, screenplay writer, novelist and actor. A graduate of Yale University, Alfieri began his career in New York City. His awards include two Writers Guild Awards and an Emmy nomination and his play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater. Alfieri has adapted Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks into a film which was released in 2014
Alan Alda is an American actor, director and author. A six-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, he is known for his roles as Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H. He has appeared in feature films, most notably in Crimes and Misdemeanors as pretentious television producer Lester. Senator Owen Brewster, the latter of which saw Alda nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for 14 years, he served as the host of Scientific American Frontiers, a television show that explored cutting-edge advances in science and technology. He serves on the board of the World Science Festival and is a judge for Math-O-Vision and his father, Robert Alda, was an actor and singer, and his mother, Joan Browne, was a homemaker and former beauty-pageant winner. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry and his adopted surname, Alda, is a portmanteau of ALphonso and DAbruzzo. When Alda was seven years old, he contracted polio, to combat the disease, his parents administered a painful treatment regimen developed by Sister Elizabeth Kenny, consisting of applying hot woolen blankets to his limbs and stretching his muscles.
Alda attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, in 1956, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Fordham College of Fordham University in the Bronx, where he was a student staff member of its FM radio station, WFUV. Aldas half-brother, Antony Alda, born that year, became an actor, during Aldas junior year, he studied in Paris, acted in a play in Rome, and performed with his father on television in Amsterdam. In college, he was a member of the ROTC, and after graduation, he served for a year at Fort Benning, in 1956, while attending Fordham, he met Arlene Weiss, who was attending Hunter College. They bonded at a friends dinner party, when a rum cake accidentally fell onto the kitchen floor. A year after his graduation, on March 15, they were married and they have three daughters, Eve and Beatrice. Two of his eight grandchildren are aspiring actors, the Aldas have been longtime residents of Leonia, New Jersey. Alda began his career in the 1950s, as a member of the Compass Players comedy revue and he continued to play Felix the Owl for the 1964-5 Broadway season.
In 1966, he starred in the musical The Apple Tree on Broadway, although from away, Alan Alda says he became a Mainer in 1957 when he played at the Kennebunkport Playhouse. He made his Hollywood acting debut as a player in Gone are the Days. – a film version of the highly successful Broadway play Purlie Victorious, during this time, Alda frequently appeared as a panelist on the 1968 revival of Whats My Line. He appeared as a panelist on Ive Got a Secret during its 1972 syndication revival, in early 1972, Alda auditioned for and was selected to play the role of Hawkeye Pierce in the TV adaptation of the 1970 film MASH