The Greater Los Angeles Portal
The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is a term used for both the urbanized region and Combined Statistical Area (a group of interacting metropolitan areas) sprawling over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties. Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000; as of the 2010 U.S. Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of about 12.8 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, and a 2011 estimate reported a population of about 18.1 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world.
The agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of Los Angeles County; the regional term is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura County to the southern border of Orange County and from the Pacific Ocean to the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire. The US Census Bureau defines the Greater Los Angeles area to include the entire Los Angeles county, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire, making up the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA" Combined Statistical Area; however this Census definition includes large, sparsely populated and primarily desert swaths of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that are not part of the urbanized region. The term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego and Imperial counties, whose urbanized areas are not geographically continuous with the urbanized area surrounding Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA); the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 NBA championships, their last being in 2010; as of 2013, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $1 billion.
The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL; the new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Initially a member of the National Basketball League, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America and winning five of the next six BAA and NBA championships in Minneapolis after the NBA formed in 1949; the team was propelled by center George Mikan, who is described by the NBA's official website as the league's "first superstar". After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Angelina Jolie, DCMG ( joh-LEE, born Angelina Jolie Voight; June 4, 1975), is an American actress, film director, screenwriter, and author. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009, 2011, and 2013. Jolie promotes humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with refugees as a Special Envoy and former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), she has been cited as the world's "most beautiful" woman by various media outlets, a title for which she has received substantial publicity.
Jolie made her screen debut as a child alongside her father, Jon Voight, in Lookin' to Get Out (1982), but her film career began in earnest a decade later with the low-budget production Cyborg 2 (1993), her first leading role in a major film was in the cyber-thriller Hackers (1995). She starred in the critically acclaimed biographical television films George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998), and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the drama Girl, Interrupted (1999).
Jolie achieved wide fame after her portrayal of the video game heroine Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and established herself among the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood with the sequel The Cradle of Life (2003), she continued her action star career with Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and The Tourist (2010)—her biggest live-action commercial successes to date with international revenues of US$478 million, $341 million, $293 million and $278 million respectively—and she received further critical acclaim for her performances in the dramas A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008), which earned her a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actress. Jolie made her directorial debut with the wartime drama In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011).
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