Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards, he has received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen's career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction; the BBC states that his "performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors". A recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK, McKellen is regarded as a British cultural icon, he started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their regarded repertory company. In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance. In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, he established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors.
In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III, James Whale in Gods and Monsters, Magneto in the X-Men films, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours, he has been gay since 1988, continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was awarded Freedom of the City of London in October 2014. McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, the son of Margery Lois and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer, he was their second child, with a sister, five years his senior. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan.
They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. The experience of living through the war as a young child had a lasting impact on him, he said that "only after peace resumed... did I realise that war wasn't normal." When an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of 11 September attacks, McKellen said: "Well, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old.". McKellen's father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen's grandfathers were preachers, his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a "strict, evangelical Protestant minister" in Ballymena, County Antrim, his home environment was Christian, but non-orthodox. "My upbringing was of low nonconformist Christians who felt that you led the Christian life in part by behaving in a Christian manner to everybody you met." When he was 12, his mother died of breast cancer.
After his coming out as gay to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, he said, "Not only was she not fazed, but as a member of a society which declared its indifference to people's sexuality years back, I think she was just glad for my sake that I wasn't lying anymore." His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a "grandfather of the modern weekend". McKellen attended Bolton School, of which he is still a supporter, attending to talk to pupils. McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre. An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three; when he was nine, his main Christmas present was a fold-away wood and bakelite Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.
His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan's Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls' production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen, who continued to act and produce amateur theatre until her death. In 1958, McKellen, at the age of 18, won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, where he read English literature, he has since been made an Honorary Fellow of the College. While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. At that young age he was giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi and Doctor Faustus. During this period McKellen had been directed by Peter Hall, John Barton and Dadie Rylands, all of whom would have a huge impact on McKellen's future career. McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Ol
A barrister is a type of lawyer in common law jurisdictions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy and litigation, their tasks include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy and history of law, giving expert legal opinions. Barristers are recognised as legal scholars. Barristers are distinguished from solicitors, who have more direct access to clients, may do transactional-type legal work, it is barristers who are appointed as judges, they are hired by clients directly. In some legal systems, including those of Scotland, South Africa, Pakistan, India and the British Crown dependencies of Jersey and the Isle of Man, the word barrister is regarded as an honorific title. In a few jurisdictions, barristers are forbidden from "conducting" litigation, can only act on the instructions of a solicitor, who performs tasks such as corresponding with parties and the court, drafting court documents. In England and Wales, barristers may seek authorisation from the Bar Standards Board to conduct litigation.
This allows a barrister to practise in a'dual capacity', fulfilling the role of both barrister and solicitor. In some countries with common law legal systems, such as New Zealand and some regions of Australia, lawyers are entitled to practise both as barristers and solicitors, but it remains a separate system of qualification to practise as a barrister. A barrister, who can be considered as a jurist, is a lawyer who represents a litigant as advocate before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. A barrister presents the case before a judge or jury. In some jurisdictions, a barrister receives additional training in evidence law and court practice and procedure. In contrast, a solicitor meets with clients, does preparatory and administrative work and provides legal advice. In this role, he or she may draft and review legal documents, interact with the client as necessary, prepare evidence, manage the day-to-day administration of a lawsuit. A solicitor can provide a crucial support role to a barrister when in court, such as managing large volumes of documents in the case or negotiating a settlement outside the courtroom while the trial continues inside.
There are other essential differences. A barrister will have rights of audience in the higher courts, whereas other legal professionals will have more limited access, or will need to acquire additional qualifications to have such access; as in common law countries in which there is a split between the roles of barrister and solicitor, the barrister in civil law jurisdictions is responsible for appearing in trials or pleading cases before the courts. Barristers have particular knowledge of case law and the skills to "build" a case; when a solicitor in general practice is confronted with an unusual point of law, they may seek the "opinion of counsel" on the issue. In most countries, barristers operate as sole practitioners, are prohibited from forming partnerships or from working as a barrister as part of a corporation. However, barristers band together into "chambers" to share clerks and operating expenses; some chambers grow to be large and sophisticated, have a distinctly corporate feel. In some jurisdictions, they may be employed by firms of solicitors, banks, or corporations as in-house legal advisers.
In contrast and attorneys work directly with the clients and are responsible for engaging a barrister with the appropriate expertise for the case. Barristers have little or no direct contact with their'lay clients' without the presence or involvement of the solicitor. All correspondence, invoices, so on, will be addressed to the solicitor, responsible for the barrister's fees. In court, barristers are visibly distinguished from solicitors by their apparel. For example, in Ireland and Wales, a barrister wears a horsehair wig, stiff collar, a gown. Since January 2008, solicitor advocates have been entitled to wear wigs, but wear different gowns. In many countries the traditional divisions between barristers and solicitors are breaking down. Barristers once enjoyed a monopoly on appearances before the higher courts, but in Great Britain this has now been abolished, solicitor advocates can appear for clients at trial. Firms of solicitors are keeping the most advanced advisory and litigation work in-house for economic and client relationship reasons.
The prohibition on barristers taking instructions directly from the public has been abolished. But, in practice, direct instruction is still a rarity in most jurisdictions because barristers with narrow specializations, or who are only trained for advocacy, are not prepared to provide general advice to members of the public. Barristers have had a major role in trial preparation, including drafting pleadings and reviewing evidence. In some areas of law, still the case. In other areas, it is common for the barrister to receive the brief from the instructing solicitor to represent a client at trial only a day or two before the proceeding. Part of the reason for this is cost. A barrister is entitled to a'brief fee' when a brief is delivered, this represents the bulk of her/his fee in relation to any trial, they are usually entitled to a'refresher' for each day of the trial after the first. But if a case is settled before the trial, the barrister is not needed and the brief fee would be wast
Joseph Hill Whedon is an American screenwriter, producer, comic book writer, composer. He is the founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-founder of Bellwether Pictures, is best known as the creator of several television series, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D.. Whedon co-wrote the Pixar animated film Toy Story and directed the Firefly film continuation Serenity, co-wrote and directed the Internet miniseries Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, co-wrote and produced the horror comedy film The Cabin in the Woods, he wrote and directed the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films The Avengers and its sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron, co-wrote the script for the DC Extended Universe superhero film Justice League, for which he served as director on reshoots. Born in New York City on June 23, 1964 as Joseph1 Hill Whedon, being a third-generation TV writer, he is a son of Tom Whedon, a screenwriter for Alice in the 1970s and The Golden Girls in the 1980s, a grandson of John Whedon, who worked on The Donna Reed Show in the 1950s and The Dick Van Dyke Show in the 1960s, as well as writing for radio shows like The Great Gildersleeve.
His mother, Ann Lee Stearns from Kentucky, was a teacher at Riverdale Country School as Lee Whedon, an aspiring novelist. His parents had both acted, appeared in a play together at the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club. Whedon is the younger sibling of Samuel and Matthew Whedon and older sibling of writers Jed and Zack Whedon. At a young age, he showed great interest in British television with series like Masterpiece and Monty Python, he started out as a staff writer for 1990 sitcom Rosanne Whedon attended Riverdale Country School in New York City where his mother taught history. He spent three years at Winchester College in England, taking note of omnipresent bullying, he concluded, "it was clear to me from the start that I must take an active role in my survival". Whedon graduated from Wesleyan University in 1987, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters in 2013. There, he studied under renowned academic Richard Slotkin. After leaving Wesleyan, Whedon came up with the first incarnation of Buffy Summers, "Rhonda, the Immortal Waitress".
From 1989 to 1990, Whedon worked as a staff writer on the sitcoms Parenthood. As a script doctor, Whedon was an uncredited writer on films including The Getaway, Speed and Twister. X-Men, on which Whedon worked on an early draft, contained at least two dialogue exchanges of Whedon's contribution, while the final cut of Speed left in most of his dialogue. While he was script consulting, he wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer—the film that would precede the series—Alien Resurrection and an early draft for Atlantis: The Lost Empire and co-wrote Toy Story and Titan A. E. the former of which earned him a shared Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Whedon has expressed strong dissatisfaction with the released versions of the films Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Titan A. E. and Alien Resurrection. In 1997, Whedon created his first television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.2 The series depicts Buffy Summers, the latest in a line of young women called to battle against vampires and other forces of darkness.
The idea came directly from his aversion to seeing the Hollywood formula of "the little blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed in every horror movie". Whedon said he wanted to subvert the idea and create someone, a hero; this conception came from "the first mission statement of the show, the joy of female power: having it, using it, sharing it". The writing process came together from conversations about the emotional issues facing Buffy Summers, how she would confront them in her battle against supernatural forces. Whedon directed episodes from his own scripts that held the most cathartic moments in Buffy's story; the series received numerous awards and nominations, including an Emmy Award nomination for the 1999 episode "Hush". The 2001 episode "The Body" was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2002, the fall 2001 musical episode "Once More, with Feeling" was nominated for a Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo Award and a Best Script Nebula Award; the final episode "Chosen" was nominated for a Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Hugo Award in 2003.
All written and directed by Whedon, they are considered some the most effective and popular episodes of the series. Scholar A. Asbjørn Jøn recognized that the series has shifted the way vampires have since been depicted in popular culture representations. Since the end of the series, Whedon has stated that his initial intention was to produce a "cult" television series and acknowledged a corresponding "rabid insane fan base" that subsequently emerged. In June 2012, Slate magazine identified it as the most written about popular culture text of all time. "ore than twice as many papers and books have been devoted to the vampire drama than any of our other choices—so many that we stopped counting when we hit 200". A lifelong comic book fan, Whedon authored the Dark Horse Comics miniseries Fray, which takes place in the far future of the Buffyverse. Like many writers of the show, he contributed to the series' comic book continuation, writing for the anthology Tales of the Slayers, the main storyline of the miniseries Tales of the Vampires.
Whedon and the other writers released a new ongoing series, taking place after the series finale "Chosen", which he recognizes as the canonical eighth season. Whedon returned to the world of Fray during the season eight-story arc "Time of Your
Stratford-upon-Avon known as just Stratford, is a market town and civil parish in the Stratford-on-Avon District, in the county of Warwickshire, England, on the River Avon, 91 miles north west of London, 22 miles south east of Birmingham, 8 miles south west of Warwick. The estimated population in 2007 was 25,505. Stratford was inhabited by Anglo-Saxons and remained a village before the lord of the manor, John of Coutances, set out plans to develop it into a town in 1196. In that same year, Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town; as a result, Stratford experienced an increase in commerce as well as urban expansion. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receives 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre; the name is a combination of the Old English strǣt, meaning'street', indicating a shallow part of a river or stream, allowing it to be crossed by walking or driving and avon, the Celtic word for river.
The ` street' was a Roman road. The ford, used as a crossing since Roman times became the location of Clopton Bridge. A survey of 1251-52 uses the name Stratford for the first time to identify Old Stratford and the newer manors; the name was used after that time to describe the area surrounding the Holy Trinity Church and the street of Old Town. The settlement which became known as Stratford was first inhabited by Anglo-Saxons following their 7th-century invasion of what would become known as Warwickshire; the land was owned by the church of Worcester and it remained a village until the late 12th century when it was developed into a town by lord of the manor, John of Coutances. John laid out a new town plan in 1196 based on a grid system to expand Stratford and allow people to rent property in order to trade within the town. Additionally, a charter was granted to Stratford by King Richard I in 1196 which allowed a weekly market to be held in the town, giving it its status as a market town; these two charters, which formed the foundations of Stratford's transformation from a village to a town, make the town of Stratford over 800 years old.
John's plans to develop Stratford into a town meant Stratford became a place of work for tradesmen and merchants. By 1252 the town had 240 burgages, as well as shops and other buildings. Stratford's new workers established a guild known as the Guild of the Holy Cross for their business and religious requirements. Many of the town's earliest and most important buildings are located along what is known as Stratford's Historic Spine, once the main route from the town centre to the parish church; the route of the Historic Spine begins at Shakespeare's Birthplace in Henley Street. It continues through Henley Street to the top end of Bridge Street and into High Street where many Elizabethan buildings are located, including Harvard House; the route carries on through Chapel Street where Nash's New Place are sited. The Historic Spine continues along Church Street where Guild buildings are located dating back to the 15th century, as well as 18th- and 19th-century properties; the route finishes in Old Town, which includes Hall's Croft and the Holy Trinity Church.
During Stratford's early expansion into a town, the only access across the River Avon into and out of the town was over a wooden bridge, thought to have been constructed in 1318. However, the bridge could not be crossed at times due to the river rising and was described by antiquarian John Leland as "a poor bridge of timber and no causey to it, whereby many poor folks and other refused to come to Stratford when Avon was up, or coming thither stood in jeopardy of life." In 1480, a new masonry arch bridge was built to replace it called Clopton Bridge, named after Hugh Clopton who paid for its construction. The new bridge made it easier for people to trade within Stratford and for passing travellers to stay in the town; the Cotswolds, located close to Stratford, was a major sheep-producing area up until the latter part of the 19th century, with Stratford one of its main centres for the processing and distribution of sheep and wool. Stratford became a centre for tanning during the 15th–17th centuries.
Both the river and the Roman road served as trade routes for the town. Despite Stratford's increase in trade, it grew between the middle of the 13th century and the end of the 16th century, with a survey of the town showing 217 houses belonged to the lord of the manor in 1590. Growth continued to be slow throughout the 17th century, with hearth tax returns showing that at most there were 429 houses in the town by 1670. However, more substantial expansion began following several enclosure acts in the late 18th century, with the first and largest development by John Payton who developed land on the north side of the old town, creating several streets including John Street and Payton Street. Before the dominance of road and rail, Stratford was the gateway to the network of British canals. In 1769, the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors; this contributed to the growing phenomenon of Bardolatry.
Stratford-upon-Avon is within the Stratford-on-Avon parliament constituency, represented by Nadhim Zahawi since 2010. Stratford is within the West Midlands Region
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is a drama school in Bristol, England that provides training in acting for film and theatre. It is one of the most prestigious drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded by Laurence Olivier in 1946; the Old Vic Theatre School is an affiliate of the Conservatoire for Drama. Its higher education awards are validated by the University of the West of England, its students graduate alongside members of UWE Bristol's Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education; the School began life in October 1946, only eight months after the founding of its parent Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company, in a room above a fruit merchant's warehouse in the Rackhay near the stage door of the Theatre Royal. The School continued in these premises for eight years because of the Old Vic's lack of funds in the post-war decade until 1954 when the Company produced a small-scale end-of season topical musical for the entertainment of regular patrons and to allow the actors to'let their hair down' after a season of serious productions.
This musical, Salad Days by Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds, proved popular with Bristol audiences and was subsequently transferred to London's West End where it was an instant hit and played for more than four years, making it the longest running production in West End history at the time. £7,000 from the'Salad Days profits – a large sum in those days— was given to the School towards the purchase and conversion of two large adjoining Victorian villas at 1 and 2 Downside Road in Clifton. In 1995 the enduring benefit to students of that donation was formally recognised when a new custom-built dance and movement studio in the School's back garden was named the Slade/Reynolds Studio. Many distinguished members of the theatrical profession have taught at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School; the best known was the legendary Rudi Shelly, who joined the teaching staff only two weeks after the School opened in 1946 and was still working into his nineties. Alumni from around the world gathered in Bristol for his funeral at which the eulogy was delivered by alumnus Stephanie Cole.
Apart from students of the School, over the years many established actors from around the world sought out Rudi Shelly's master classes when visiting or working in England. At the time of the School's move to its current premises in Downside Road, Clifton, in 1956, the Principal was Duncan Ross, who had succeeded the first Principal, Edward Stanley in 1954. After guiding the School through seven difficult years that are nonetheless still regarded by his former students as a golden age, Ross left in late 1961 to take up a teaching post in the USA. Soon after the departure of this much-loved principal, other key staff members resigned, including Daphne Heard and Maggie Collins, Paula Gwyn-Davies, the School Secretary. After a short interregnum under the actor Richard Ainley, in 1963 the post of Principal was taken by Nat Brenner, a distinguished actor and theatre technician and, at that time, general manager of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Brenner's stewardship was regarded by students of the time as another golden age.
He remained in the post until 1980, when he was succeeded by Christopher Denys, who retired in the summer of 2007 to be replaced by Paul Rummer as Principal and Sue Wilson in the new post of Artistic Director. Until the 1990s the Theatre School was part of the Bristol Old Vic Company, but it is now a financially independent organisation; the theatre school only accepts 14 people out of some 2500 applications a year for the three-year BA acting course, making it one of the most selective drama schools in the world. Applicants are purely judged on talent alone in two rounds of intensive auditions, it has its own premises in Clifton, bought with proceeds from the London success of Salad Days. It had working links with the Drama Department of the University of Bristol, which still holds many papers of the Theatre School in its Theatre Collection. For many years it presented regular student productions in the Department's experimental Drama Studio converted from an indoor tennis court off a corridor in the Wills Memorial Building behind the University's Bell Tower at the top of Bristol's fashionable Park Street.
Students from the School and the Drama Department shared many of each other's formal lectures and a number of the Department's graduates went on to continue their studies as full-time students at the School. Having struggled with limited resources until the 1960s, the School now has access to a number of local performance venues, including the Redgrave Theatre at Clifton College the Bristol Old Vic theatre complex, including the Theatre Royal, New Vic Studio and The Basement, Circomedia in Portland Square, it takes productions on tour to various locations in the West Country, a tradition dating back to the 1950s when for several years students moved to Dartington Hall in South Devon for two weeks each spring where they rehearsed and presented a public production in the Barn Theatre. The School was able to use broadcasting studio facilities at the University Drama Studio for radio drama training in the 1950s and ran occasional courses in conjunction with the BBC at their Bristol Studios in Whiteladies Road.
In 2002 the Theatre School bought the former BBC Christch
Walter Bruce Willis is an American actor and singer. Born to a German mother and American father in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, he moved to the United States with his family in 1957, his career began on the Off-Broadway stage in the 1970s. He achieved fame with his leading role on the hit television series Moonlighting, he has since appeared in over 70 films and is regarded as an "action hero", due to his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise, other such roles. His credits include Death Becomes Her, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, Sin City, Moonrise Kingdom, The Expendables 2, as David Dunn in the Unbreakable film series: Unbreakable and Glass, he made his Broadway debut in the stage adaptation of Misery in 2015. As a musician, Willis released his debut album, The Return of Bruno, in 1987, he has since released two more solo albums, in 1989 and 2001. Willis is the recipient of several accolades, including a Golden Globe, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two People's Choice Awards.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Walter Bruce Willis was born on March 1955, in the town of Idar-Oberstein, West Germany, his father, David Willis, was an American soldier. His mother, was German, born in Kassel. Willis is the oldest of four children with a sister named Florence and two brothers and David. After being discharged from the military in 1957, Willis's father took his family back to Carneys Point Township, New Jersey. Willis has described himself as having come from a "long line of blue collar people", his mother worked in a bank and his father was a welder, master mechanic, factory worker. Willis attended Penns Grove High School in his hometown, he was nicknamed "Buck-Buck" by his schoolmates. Willis joined the drama club in high school, acting on stage reduced his stutter, he was appointed student council president. After he graduated from high school in 1973, Willis took a job as a security guard at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant and transported work crews at the DuPont Chambers Works factory in Deepwater, New Jersey.
After working as a private investigator, Willis turned to acting. He enrolled in the Drama Program at Montclair State University, where he was cast in the class production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Willis left school in his junior year in 1977 and moved to New York City, where in the early 1980s he supported himself as a bartender at the West 19th Street art bar Kamikaze. At the time, he lived in Manhattan, he performed as an extra in Paul Newman's closing summation scene in The Verdict in 1982. Willis headed to California to audition for several television shows. In 1984, he appeared in an episode of the TV series Miami Vice, titled "No Exit". In 1985, he was the guest actor in the first episode of the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone, "Shatterday", he auditioned for the role of David Addison Jr. of the television series Moonlighting, competing against 3,000 other actors for the position. The starring role, opposite Cybill Shepherd, helped to establish him as a comedic actor, with the show lasting five seasons winning him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Television Series Musical or Comedy.
During the height of the show's success, beverage maker Seagram hired Willis as the pitchman for their Golden Wine Cooler products. The advertising campaign paid the rising star between $5–7 million over two years. In spite of that, Willis chose not to renew his contract with the company when he decided to stop drinking alcohol in 1988. Willis had his first lead role in a feature film in the 1987 Blake Edwards film Blind Date, with Kim Basinger and John Larroquette. Edwards cast him again to play the real-life cowboy actor Tom Mix in Sunset. However, it was his then-unexpected turn in the film Die Hard as John McClane that catapulted him to movie star and action hero status, he performed most of his own stunts in the film, the film grossed $138,708,852 worldwide. Following his success with Die Hard, he had a leading role in the drama In Country as Vietnam veteran Emmett Smith and provided the voice for a talking baby in Look Who's Talking, as well as its sequel, Look Who's Talking Too. In the late 1980s, Willis enjoyed moderate success as a recording artist, recording an album of pop-blues titled The Return of Bruno, which included the hit single "Respect Yourself" featuring The Pointer Sisters.
The LP was promoted by a Spinal Tap–like rockumentary parody featuring scenes of Willis performing at famous events including Woodstock. He released a version of the Drifters song "Under the Boardwalk" as a second single. S. Willis returned to the recording studio several times afterward. Having acquired major personal success and pop culture influence playing John McClane in Die Hard, Willis reprised his role in the sequels Die Hard 2 and Die Hard with a Vengeance; these first three installments in the Die Hard series grossed over US$700 million internationally and propelled Willis to the first rank of Hollywood action stars. In the early 1990s, Willis's career suffered a moderate slump, as he starred in flops such as The Bonfire of the Vanities, he gained more success with Striking Distance but flopped again with Color of Night: another box office failure, it was savaged by critics but did well in
Hampstead known as Hampstead Village, is an area of London, England, 4 miles northwest of Charing Cross. Part of the London Borough of Camden, it is known for its intellectual, artistic and literary associations and for Hampstead Heath, a large, hilly expanse of parkland, it has some of the most expensive housing in the London area. The village of Hampstead has more millionaires within its boundaries than any other area of the United Kingdom; the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon words ham and stede, which means, is a cognate of, the Modern English "homestead". Early records of Hampstead can be found in a grant by King Ethelred the Unready to the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster, it is referred to in the Domesday Book as being in the hundred of Ossulstone; the growth of Hampstead is traced back to the 17th century. Trustees of the Well started advertising the medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters in 1700. Although Hampstead Wells was most successful and fashionable, its popularity declined in the 1800s due to competition with other fashionable London spas.
The spa was demolished in 1882. Hampstead started to expand following the opening of the North London Railway in the 1860s, expanded further after the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway opened in 1907 and provided fast travel to central London. Much luxurious housing was created during the 1870s and 1880s, in the area, now the political ward of Frognal & Fitzjohns. Much of this housing remains to this day. In the 20th century, a number of notable buildings were created including: Hampstead Underground station, the deepest station on the Underground network Isokon building Hillfield Court 2 Willow Road Swiss Cottage Central Library Royal Free Hospital Cultural attractions in the area include the Freud Museum, Keats House, Kenwood House, Fenton House, the Isokon building, Burgh House, the Camden Arts Centre; the large Victorian Hampstead Library and Town Hall was converted and extended as a creative industries centre. On 14 August 1975 Hampstead entered the UK Weather Records with the Highest 155-min total rainfall at 169 mm.
As of November 2008 this record remains. The average price of a property in Hampstead was £1.5 million in 2018. Hampstead became part of the County of London in 1889 and in 1899 the Metropolitan Borough of Hampstead was formed; the borough town hall on Haverstock Hill, the location of the Register Office, can be seen in newsreel footage of many celebrity civil marriages. In 1965 the metropolitan borough was abolished and its area merged with that of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn and the Metropolitan Borough of St Pancras to form the modern-day London Borough of Camden. Hampstead is part of the Kilburn constituency, formed at the 2010 general election, it was part of the Hampstead and Highgate constituency. Since May 2015 the area has been represented on Camden Council by Conservative Party councillors Tom Currie, Oliver Cooper and Stephen Stark; the area has a significant tradition of educated liberal humanism referred to as "Hampstead Liberalism". In the 1960s, the figure of the Hampstead Liberal was notoriously satirised by Peter Simple of the Daily Telegraph in the character of Lady Dutt-Pauker, an immensely wealthy aristocratic socialist whose Hampstead mansion, Marxmount House, contained an original pair of Bukharin's false teeth on display alongside precious Ming vases, neo-constructivist art, the complete writings of Stalin.
Michael Idov of The New Yorker stated that the community "was the citadel of the moneyed liberal intelligentsia, posh but not stuffy." As applied to an individual, the term "Hampstead Liberal" is not synonymous with "champagne socialist" but carries some of the same connotations. The term is rather misleading; as of 2018, the component wards of Hampstead have mixed representation. Hampstead Town and Frognal and Fitzjohns wards elects 3 Conservative councillors, Swiss Cottage elects 3 Labour councillors, while Belsize is represented by 2 Liberal Democrat and 1 Conservative councillor. Swiss Cottage is a competitive Conservative and Labour marginal, Frognal and Fitzjohns is a safe Conservative ward. Hampstead Town has seen a number of tightly-fought Conservative and Liberal Democrat contests, the ward has had mixed representation in recent decades. In the most recent election, the highest scoring candidates for each of the three parties in Belsize were within 200 votes of each other. To the north and east of Hampstead, separating it from Highgate, is London's largest ancient parkland, Hampstead Heath, which includes the well-known and legally-protected view of the London skyline from Parliament Hill.
The Heath, a major place for Londoners to walk and "take the air", has three open-air public swimming ponds. The bridge pictured is known locally as'The Red Arches' or'The Viaduct', built in fruitless anticipation of residential building on the Heath in the 19th century. Local activities include major open-air concerts on summer Saturday evenings on the slopes below Kenwood House and poetry readings, fun fairs on the lower reaches of the Heath, period harpsichord recitals at Fenton House, Hampstead Scientific So