Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in over 150 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with Akira Kurosawa in such works as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress, Throne of Blood, Yojimbo, he portrayed Miyamoto Musashi in Hiroshi Inagaki's Samurai Trilogy and one earlier Inagaki film, Lord Toranaga in the NBC television miniseries Shōgun, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto in three different films. Toshiro Mifune was born on 1 April 1920 in Qingdao, China, at the time still under Japanese occupation following their capture of the city from German colonial rule during WWI. Hoping to preserve their control of the region, the Japanese government maintained a large garrison and encouraged Japanese citizens to move there with promises of important and rewarding work. Among the Japanese living there before the Republic of China took over the city in 1922 were Toshiro's parents, who were working as Methodist missionaries. Mifune grew up with his parents and two younger siblings in Dalian, China, from 4 to 19 years of age, in Manchuria.

In his youth, Mifune worked in the photography shop of his father Tokuzo, a commercial photographer and importer who had emigrated from northern Japan. After spending the first 19 years of his life in China, as a Japanese citizen, he was drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Aviation division, where he served in the Aerial Photography unit during World War II. In 1947, one of Mifune's friends who worked for the Photography Department of Toho Productions suggested Mifune try out for the Photography Department, he was accepted for a position as an assistant cameraman. At this time, a large number of Toho actors, after a prolonged strike, had left to form their own company, Shin Toho. Toho organized a "new faces" contest to find new talent. Mifune's friends submitted an photo, without his knowledge, he was accepted, along with 48 others, allowed to take a screen test for Kajirō Yamamoto. Instructed to mime anger, he drew from his wartime experiences. Yamamoto took a liking to Mifune; this led in Shin Baka Jidai.

Mifune first encountered director Akira Kurosawa when Toho Studios, the largest film production company in Japan, was conducting a massive talent search, during which hundreds of aspiring actors auditioned before a team of judges. Kurosawa was going to skip the event, but showed up when Hideko Takamine told him of one actor who seemed promising. Kurosawa wrote that he entered the audition to see "a young man reeling around the room in a violent frenzy... it was as frightening as watching a wounded beast trying to break loose. I was transfixed." When Mifune, finished his scene, he sat down and gave the judges an ominous stare. He lost the competition but Kurosawa was impressed. "I am a person impressed by actors," he said. "But in the case of Mifune I was overwhelmed." Among Mifune's fellow performers, one of the 32 women chosen during the new faces contest was Sachiko Yoshimine. Eight years Mifune's junior, she came from a respected Tokyo family, they fell in love and Mifune soon proposed marriage.

Director Senkichi Taniguchi, with the help of Akira Kurosawa, convinced the Yoshimine family to allow the marriage. The wedding took place in February 1950 at the Aoyama Gakuin Methodist Church. Yoshimine was a Buddhist but since Mifune was a Christian, they were married in church as per Christian tradition. In November of the same year, their first son, Shirō was born. In 1955, they had Takeshi. Mifune's daughter Mika was born to his mistress, actress Mika Kitagawa, in 1982, his imposing bearing, acting range, facility with foreign languages and lengthy partnership with acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa made him the most famous Japanese actor of his time, the best known to Western audiences. He portrayed samurai or rōnin who were coarse and gruff, inverting the popular stereotype of the genteel, clean-cut samurai. In such films as Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, he played characters who were comically lacking in manners, but replete with practical wisdom and experience, understated nobility, and, in the case of Yojimbo, unmatched fighting prowess.

Sanjuro in particular contrasts this earthy warrior spirit with the useless, sheltered propriety of the court samurai. Kurosawa valued Mifune for his effortless portrayal of unvarnished emotion, once commenting that he could convey in only three feet of film an emotion for which the average Japanese actor would require ten feet, he was known for the effort he put into his performances. To prepare for Seven Samurai and Rashomon, Mifune studied footage of lions in the wild. Mifune has been credited as originating the "roving warrior" archetype, which he perfected during his collaboration with Kurosawa, his martial arts instructor was Yoshio Sugino of the Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō-ryū. Sugino created the fight choreography for films such as Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, Kurosawa instructed his actors to emulate his movements and bearing. Clint Eastwood was among the first of many actors to adopt this wandering ronin with no name persona for foreign films, which he used to great effect in his Western roles in Spaghetti Westerns directed by Sergio Leone where he played the Man with No Name, a character similar to Mifune's seemingly-nameless ronin in Yojimbo.

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Down in L.A.

Down in L. A. was the first album released by Shipley. All tracks composed by Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley, except where indicated Side A"Truly Right" – 2:46 "She Thinks She's a Woman" – 3:26 "Time and Changes" – 2:05 "Small Town Girl" – 2:10 "I Can't See Her" – 2:50 "Green Bamboo" – 3:10Side B"An Incredible State of Affairs" – 3:10 "Keeper of the Keys" – 3:24 "Love, Love" – 3:12 "Dreamin' in the Shade" – 2:10 "Mass for M'Lady" – 3:17 Mike Brewer – vocals, percussion Tom Shipley – vocals, percussion Nick DeCaro – strings, horns Jim Gordondrums Hal Blaine – drums Milt Holland – percussion Lyle Ritzbass Jim Messina – bass Joe Osborn – bass Russell Bridges – electric piano, organ Mike Melvoin – organ Lance Wakely – electric guitar, harp

Jason Gedrick

Jason Michael Gedrick is an American actor best known for his work on the television series Murder One and Boomtown, the motion picture Iron Eagle as Doug. Jason Michael Gedroic is of Polish descent, he changed his surname to the homonymous "Gedrick" and began his career as an extra in films such as Bad Boys and Risky Business. After roles in The Heavenly Kid, Iron Eagle, Promised Land with director Michael Hoffman, Iron Eagle II, Born on the Fourth of July, the cult classic Rooftops and Crossing the Bridge, Gedrick appeared in television series such as Class of'96 and Sweet Justice. In 1994, Gedrick starred in the film The Force with Kim Delaney, he starred in the first season of Steven Bochco's 1995 television series Murder One, which followed the trial of Gedrick's character, bad-boy actor Neil Avedon, alleged to have murdered a 15-year-old girl. Due to struggling ratings, he was among several cast members removed from the show and replaced by Anthony LaPaglia, his next major project was the three-hour TV film The Third Twin, a thriller based on the best-selling 1996 novel by the British writer Ken Follett.

Gedrick next took roles in television series such as EZ Streets and The Beast, none of which were major successes. In 1999, he guest starred on Ally McBeal as the "hot car wash guy", he appeared in Mario Puzo's 1997 miniseries, The Last Don, in its sequel, The Last Don II. Gedrick returned to television screens as Tom Turcotte in 2002's Boomtown; the series, which starred Donnie Wahlberg and Neal McDonough, was a moderate success, but ratings plummeted – after the second season altered the show’s format, Boomtown was cancelled. In 2003, Gedrick played Andrew Luster, the infamous rapist in a Lifetime movie based on his trial, A Date with Darkness. Gedrick was part of the cast of the 2006 NBC television series Windfall starring Luke Perry and Gedrick's former Boomtown alumnus, Lana Parrilla. In 2007, Gedrick again starred alongside Donnie Wahlberg in the A&E original movie Kings of South Beach, he was the new love interest at Scavo's Pizzeria in Desperate Housewives in seasons 3 and 4, on ABC. In 2009, he appeared in Lie to Me.

In 2011, he appeared in Necessary Roughness as Dr. J. D. Aldridge, a former graduate school professor and possible love interest for series lead Callie Thorne, he starred in the 2006 movie Hidden Places alongside Shirley Jones. Gedrick was a member of the cast of the HBO series Luck, which ran for one season in 2012. Gedrick appears in a multi-episode arc playing the manager of a Miami-area gentlemen’s club that becomes linked to a high-profile murder case in season 7 of Dexter. Beginning in November 2012, Gedrick starred as Evan Farnsworth, a struggling professor at a prestigious Maine boarding school, in the Hallmark film The Wishing Tree. In late 2012, Gedrick appeared on an episode of NBC's Grimm. In 2015, he had a season-long arc as serial killer Raynard Waits in the Amazon Prime original television series Bosch, along with a recurring role as Liam in The CW's 2012 series Beauty & the Beast. In 2016, Gedrick starred as estranged Det. Mark Hickman, Lt. Mike Tao's ex-partner, on Major Crimes.

Jason Gedrick on IMDb