Billie Honor Whitelaw was an English actress. She worked in close collaboration with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett for 25 years and was regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of his works, she was known for her portrayal of Mrs. Baylock, the demonic nanny in the 1976 horror film The Omen. Whitelaw was appointed a CBE in the 1991 Birthday Honours. Whitelaw was born in Coventry, the daughter of Frances Mary and Gerry Whitelaw, she had one sister, 10 years older. Whitelaw grew up in a working class part of Bradford and attended Grange Girls' Grammar School in Bradford. At age 11, she began performing as a child actress on radio programmes, including the part of Bunkle, an extrovert prep-schoolboy on Children's Hour from Manchester, worked as an assistant stage manager and acted with the repertory company at the Prince's Theatre in Bradford during high school, her father died of lung cancer. Money was tight, her mother struggled to support the family. "It's something I haven't come to terms with...
I'm rather ashamed of having the good life I have", she recalled. Whitelaw trained at RADA and made her stage debut at age 18 in London 1950, she made her film debut in The Sleeping Tiger, followed by roles in Carve Her Name with Pride and Hell Is a City. Whitelaw soon became a regular in British films of early 1960s. In her early film work, she specialised in blousy blondes and secretaries, but her dramatic range began to emerge by the late 1960s, she starred with Albert Finney in Charlie Bubbles, a performance which won her a BAFTA award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She would win her second BAFTA as the sensuous mother of college student Hayley Mills in the psychological study Twisted Nerve, she continued in film roles including Leo the Last, Start the Revolution Without Me, Gumshoe and the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Frenzy. Whitelaw gained international acclaim for her chilling role as Mrs. Baylock, the evil guardian of the demon child Damien in The Omen, her performance was considered one of the more memorable of the film, winning her the Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Actress.
Other films included performing the voice of Aughra in The Dark Crystal, as the hopelessly naive Mrs. Hall in Maurice, one of two sisters, with Joan Plowright, struggling to survive in war-time Liverpool in The Dressmaker, the fiercely domineering and protective mother of psychopathic twin murderers in The Krays, a performance that earned her a BAFTA nomination, as the nurse Grace Poole in Jane Eyre, the blind laundress in Quills, she returned in a comedy turn, as Joyce Cooper in Hot Fuzz. In 1970, she was a member of the jury at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival. In 1963, Billie Whitelaw met Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, she and Beckett enjoyed an intense professional relationship until his death in 1989. He wrote many of his more experimental plays for her, referring to Whitelaw as "a perfect actress". Whitelaw became Beckett's muse, as he created and revised each play while she physically, at times to the point of total exhaustion, acted each movement. Whitelaw remained the foremost interpreter of his work.
She gave lectures on the Beckettian technique, explained, "He used me as a piece of plaster he was moulding until he got just the right shape". They collaborated on Beckett plays such as Play, Eh Joe, Happy Days, Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby for both stage and screen. From 1964 to 1966, Whitelaw was a member of Britain's National Theatre Company. In 1965, she took the part of Desdemona opposite Laurence Olivier's Othello from Maggie Smith. Whitelaw appeared on television and won acclaim for her work. A early TV appearance was in the first series of the long-running BBC1 police series Dixon of Dock Green, as Mary Dixon, daughter of George, she appeared as a woman who tries to join Robin Hood's outlaw band in a 1957 episode of The Adventures of Robin Hood, "The Bride of Robin Hood", won a BAFTA award as Best Actress for her performance in The Sextet. She starred on the 1958-59 sitcom Time Out for Peggy, she appeared in an episode of Wicked Women, the BBC adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales, A Tale of Two Cities, Private Schulz, A Murder of Quality, Duel of Hearts, Firm Friends with Madhur Jaffrey, Jane Eyre, Born to Run, Merlin and A Dinner of Herbs.
Whitelaw was married first to the actor Peter Vaughan from 1952 to 1966 to the writer and drama critic Robert Muller, with whom she had a son, until his death in 1998. Her autobiography Billie Whitelaw... Who He? was published by St. Martin's Press in 1996. In her years, she lived at a nursing home in Hampstead, where she died on 21 December 2014, aged 82. Daily Telegraph obituary Billie Whitelaw on IMDb Video of Billie Whitelaw performing Beckett's Not I Billie Whitelaw at the BFI's Screenonline Billie Whitelaw.
Hugh Emrys Griffith was a Welsh film and television actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ben-Hur and received an additional Oscar nomination in the same category for his work in Tom Jones. Griffith was born in Marian-glas, Wales, the youngest son of Mary and William Griffith, he was educated at Llangefni County School and attempted to gain entrance to university, but failed the English examination. He was urged to make a career in banking, becoming a bank clerk and transferring to London to be closer to acting opportunities. Just as he was making progress and gained admission to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he had to suspend his plans in order to join the British Army, serving for six years with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in India and the Burma Campaign during the Second World War, he resumed his acting career in 1946. Between 1946 and 1976, Griffith won acclaim for many stage roles, in particular for his portrayals of Falstaff and Prospero. Griffith performed on both sides of the Atlantic, taking leading roles in London, New York City and Stratford.
In 1952, he starred in the Broadway adaption of Legend of Lovers, alongside fellow Welsh actor Richard Burton. In 1958, he was back in New York, this time taking a lead role in the opening production of Look Homeward, alongside Anthony Perkins. Both he and Perkins were nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. Griffith began his film career in British films during the late 1940s, by the 1950s was working in Hollywood, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ben-Hur, was nominated for his performance in Tom Jones. In 1968, he appeared as the magistrate in Oliver!. His career was blighted by his chronic alcoholism, he played the funeral director Caradog Lloyd-Evans in the 1978 comedy Grand Slam. While visibly unwell at the time of shooting, Griffith's portrayal received widespread acclaim and helped the movie attain cult status. On television, he had major roles in Quatermass II, a miniseries adaptation of A. J. Cronin's The Citadel and Clochemerle, he received an honorary degree from the University of Wales, Bangor, in 1980.
Griffith died of a heart attack in London in 1980, shortly before his 68th birthday. Hugh Griffith on IMDb Hugh Griffith at the Internet Broadway Database Hugh Griffith at Find a Grave
Vincent Canby was an American film and theatre critic who served as the chief film critic for The New York Times from 1969 until the early 1990s its chief theatre critic from 1994 until his death in 2000. He reviewed more than one thousand films during his tenure there. Canby was born in Chicago, the son of Katharine Anne and Lloyd Canby, he attended boarding school in Christchurch, with novelist William Styron, the two became friends. He introduced Styron to the works of E. B. White and Ernest Hemingway. After war service in the Pacific theater, he didn't graduate, he obtained his first job as a journalist in 1948 for the Chicago Journal of Commerce. In 1951, he left Chicago for New York and was employed as a film critic by Variety for six years before starting to work for The New York Times. Canby was viewed as biased in his reviews, as he was an enthusiastic supporter of only specific styles of filmmakers. On the other hand, Canby was heavily critical of some otherwise acclaimed films, such as Rocky, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Night of the Living Dead, After Hours, Blazing Saddles, A Christmas Story, Mask, The Natural, Rain Man, The Exorcist, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Godfather Part II, Alien and The Thing.
Among the best-known texts written by Canby was an negative review of the movie Heaven's Gate by Michael Cimino. In the early 1990s, Canby switched his attention from film to theatre. Canby, was an occasional playwright and novelist, penning the novels Living Quarters and Unnatural Scenery and the plays End of the War, After All and The Old Flag, a drama set during the civil war; the career of Vincent Canby is discussed in the film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism by contemporary critics such as The Nation's Stuart Klawans, who talks of Canby's influence. Canby never was, for many years, the companion of English author Penelope Gilliatt, he died from cancer in Manhattan on October 15, 2000. Three years upon the death of Bob Hope, the late Canby's byline appeared on the front page of The New York Times. Canby had written the bulk of Hope's obituary for the newspaper several years before. Vincent Canby Reviews at The New York Times Vincent Canby on IMDb
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still read today. Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, campaigned vigorously for children's rights and other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour and keen observation of character and society.
His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense; the instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, he modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features, his plots were constructed, he wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers. Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age, his 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are frequently adapted, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London.
His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton and Tom Wolfe—for his realism, prose style, unique characterisations, social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, a vein of sentimentalism; the term Dickensian is used to describe something, reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812, at 1 Mile End Terrace, Landport in Portsea Island, the second of eight children of Elizabeth Dickens and John Dickens, his father was temporarily stationed in the district. He asked Christopher Huffam, rigger to His Majesty's Navy and head of an established firm, to act as godfather to Charles. Huffam is thought to be the inspiration for Paul Dombey, the owner of a shipping company in Dickens's novel Dombey and Son.
In January 1815, John Dickens was called back to London, the family moved to Norfolk Street, Fitzrovia. When Charles was four, they relocated to Sheerness, thence to Chatham, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11, his early life seems to have been idyllic, though he thought himself a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy". Charles spent time outdoors, but read voraciously, including the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding, as well as Robinson Crusoe and Gil Blas, he reread The Arabian Nights and the Collected Farces of Elizabeth Inchbald. He retained poignant memories of childhood, helped by an excellent memory of people and events, which he used in his writing, his father's brief work as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office afforded him a few years of private education, first at a dame school, at a school run by William Giles, a dissenter, in Chatham. This period came to an end in June 1822, when John Dickens was recalled to Navy Pay Office headquarters at Somerset House, the family moved to Camden Town in London.
The family had left Kent amidst mounting debts, living beyond his means, John Dickens was forced by his creditors into the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London in 1824. His wife and youngest children joined him there. Charles 12 years old, boarded with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, at 112 College Place, Camden Town. Roylance was "a reduced old lady, long known to our family", whom Dickens immortalised, "with a few alterations and embellishments", as "Mrs Pipchin" in Dombey and Son, he lived in a back-attic in the house of an agent for the Insolvent Court, Archibald Russell, "a fat, good-natured, kind old gentleman... with a quiet old wife" and lame son, in Lant Street in Southwark. They provided the inspiration for the Garlands in The Old Curiosity Shop. On Sundays—with his sister Frances, free from her studies at the Royal Academy of Music—he spent the day at the Marshalsea. Dickens used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit. To pay for his board and to help his family, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station, where he earned six shillings
Eugene Kal Siskel was an American film critic and journalist for the Chicago Tribune. Along with colleague Roger Ebert, he hosted a series of popular review shows on television from 1975 to 1999. Siskel was born in Chicago and was the son of Ida and Nathan William Siskel, his parents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Siskel was raised by his uncle after both his parents died when he was ten years old, he attended Culver Academies and graduated from Yale University with a degree in philosophy in 1967, where he studied writing under Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Hersey, who helped him land a job at the Chicago Tribune in 1969. His first print review was for the film Rascal, written one month before he became the paper's film critic. Siskel served in the US Army Reserve, graduating from basic officers training in early 1968 and serving as a military journalist and public affairs officer for the Defense Information School. In 1975, Siskel teamed up with Roger Ebert, film reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times, to host a show on local Chicago PBS station WTTW which became Sneak Previews.
Their "thumbs-up, thumbs-down" system soon became an recognizable trademark, popular enough to be parodied on comedy shows such as Second City Television, In Living Color, in movies such as Hollywood Shuffle and Godzilla. Sneak Previews gained a nationwide audience in 1977 when WTTW offered it as a series to the PBS program system. Siskel and Ebert left PBS in 1982 for syndication, their new show, At the Movies, was produced and distributed by Tribune Broadcasting, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. Sneak Previews continued on PBS for 14 more years with other hosts. In 1986, Siskel and Ebert left Tribune Broadcasting to have their show produced by the syndication arm of The Walt Disney Company; the new incarnation of the show was titled Siskel & Ebert & the Movies, but shortened to Siskel & Ebert. At the Movies continued a few more years with other hosts. A early appearance of Siskel, taken from Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You, the predecessor to Sneak Previews, is included in For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism.
In this 2009 documentary film, he is seen debating with Ebert over the merits of the film version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Siskel and Ebert would refuse to guest-star in movies or television series, except for talk shows, as they felt it would undermine their "responsibility to the public". However, they both "could not resist" appearing on an episode of the animated television series The Critic, the title character of, a film critic who hosted a television show. In the episode and Ebert split and each wants Jay Sherman, the eponymous critic, as his new partner, they once appeared in an episode of the children's television series Sesame Street. Siskel appeared as himself on an episode of The Larry Sanders Show. Siskel was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor on May 8, 1998, he underwent brain surgery three days later. He had announced on February 3, 1999 that he was taking a leave of absence but that he expected to be back by fall, stating: "I'm in a hurry to get well because I don't want Roger to get more screen time than I."Siskel died from complications of another surgery on February 20, at the age of 53.
The last film that Siskel reviewed on television with cohost Ebert was The Theory of Flight on January 23, 1999. The final film that he reviewed in print was the Freddie Prinze Jr. romantic comedy She's All That, which he gave a favorable review. Siskel was a diehard Chicago sports fan of his hometown basketball team, the Chicago Bulls, would cover locker-room celebrations for WBBM-TV news broadcasts following Bulls championships in the 1990s. Siskel was a member of the advisory committee of the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a strong supporter of the Film Center mission, he wrote hundreds of articles applauding the Film Center's distinctive programming and lent the power of his position as a well-known film critic to urge public funding and audience support. In 2000, the Film Center was renamed The Gene Siskel Film Center in his honor. One of his favorite films was Saturday Night Fever. Another all-time favorite was Dr. Strangelove. and a favorite from childhood was Dumbo, which he mentioned as the first film that had an influence on him.
On the other hand, Siskel said that he walked out on three films during his professional career: the 1971 comedy The Million Dollar Duck starring Dean Jones, the 1980 horror film Maniac, the 1996 Penelope Spheeris film Black Sheep. Siskel compiled "best of the year" film lists from 1969 to 1998, which helped to provide an overview of his critical preferences, his top choices were: From 1969 until his death in early 1999, he and Ebert were in agreement on nine top selections: Z, The Godfather, The Right Stuff, Do the Right Thing, GoodFellas, Schindler's List, Hoop Dreams, Fargo. There would have been a tenth, but Ebert declined to rank the documentary Shoah as 1985's best film because he felt it was inappropriate to compare it to the rest of the year's candidates. Seven times, Siskel's #1 choice did not appear on Ebert's top ten list at all: Straight Time, Once Upon a Time in America, The Last Emperor, The Last Temptation of Christ, Hearts of Darkness, The Ice Storm. Six times, Ebert's top selection did not appear on Siskel's.
Only once during his long association with Ebert did Siskel change his vote on a movie dur
Helen Fraser (actress)
Helen Fraser is an English actress, who has appeared in many television series since the early 1960s. For international audiences, she may be best known for her roles in Billy Repulsion, she is well known for portraying the role of miserable warder Sylvia Hollamby in the prison drama series Bad Girls. She appeared in the series from the first episode in 1999 to the last in 2006, she trained among others. She got her breakthrough role alongside Courtenay in Billy Liar, they played the parents of character Dave Best in the Christmas special of The Royle Family. She is best known to television viewers for her long-running role in the ITV women's prison drama Bad Girls as unpleasant prison officer Sylvia Hollamby from the first episode in 1999 to the last in 2006, she reprised the role in the West End production of Bad Girls: The Musical in 2007. She made her TV debut in the early 1960s and her credits include Z-Cars, Dixon of Dock Green, The Likely Lads, Doctor in the House,The Dustbinmen, On the Buses, Rising Damp, Tales of the Unexpected, Duty Free, One Foot in the Grave and Casualty.
She worked on TV with comedians like Dick Emery and the Two Ronnies in the 1970s. She has appeared on stage, including with the Royal National Theatre, in the West End and in regional theatres across the country. In 2009 and 2010 she toured the UK as Mrs Fisher in a stage version of Billy Liar. In 2011 she joined the tour of Calendar Girls. Fraser has appeared in the ITV soap Coronation Street twice – in 1998 as Magenta Savannah and again in 2013 as Doris Babbage. In 2015 she appeared in an episode of the BBC daytime soap Doctors. In 1964 she married the recording engineer Peter Handford, the couple had met on the set of Billy Liar. Handford died in 2007. Fraser lives in Suffolk. Helen Fraser on IMDb Image & voice sample
Come Blow Your Horn (film)
Come Blow Your Horn is a 1963 American comedy film starring Frank Sinatra, directed by Bud Yorkin with a screenplay by Norman Lear, based on the play of the same name by Neil Simon. Buddy Baker is bored living with his parents, he goes to the big-city apartment of older brother Alan, who works for their father's artificial-fruit company but never lets business interfere with a good time. A confirmed bachelor, Alan is all too willing to teach his younger brother a few tricks, improve his wardrobe introduce him to Peggy, a girl with an apartment upstairs. Alan's steadiest companion is Connie, but she's running out of patience with his lack of interest in settling down. A jealous husband beats him up. Alan begins rethinking his life, he proposes marriage to Connie and intervenes when he hears that his own parents are contemplating a divorce. Giving up his own ways for good, Alan turns over his swinging bachelor pad to Buddy. Frank Sinatra as Alan Baker Lee J. Cobb as Harry R. Baker Molly Picon as Mrs. Sophie Baker Barbara Rush as Connie Jill St. John as Peggy John Dan Blocker as Mr. Eckman Phyllis McGuire as Mrs. Eckman Tony Bill as Buddy BakerNorman Lear and Dean Martin both make cameo appearances in this film.
Come Blow Your Horn was the 15th highest-grossing film of 1963, grossing $12,705,882 in the United States, earning $6 million in domestic rentals. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. Frank Sinatra filmography Come Blow Your Horn on IMDb Come Blow Your Horn at Rotten Tomatoes Come Blow Your Horn at the TCM Movie Database