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Charlie Chaplin Biography

Posted On March 1st, 2011 By Celebrity Biographies

Charlie Chaplin Biography

Charlie Chaplin

English writer, director and actor, Charlie Chaplin happened to be one of the most unique creators in the history of cinema. His performances often reflect the sympathetic comic character with a moustache and ill-fitting clothes. He was recognized and applauded all over the globe.

Childhood

Charlie Chaplin was born as Charles Spencer Chaplin on 16th April, 1889, in a small district of London, England. His father’s name was Charles Spencer Chaplin Sr and was an accomplished singer until he started drinking whereas his mother’s name was Hannah Chaplin, which was a talented piano player, a singer and an actress. His mother spent most of his years in and out of the mental hospitals. Once his parents separated, Charlie spent his time with his half-brother Sidney, who was forced to move into orphanages. They often slept hungry here and were beaten up if they were found misbehaving.

Charlie left school and went out on a tour with a small group of comedy entertainers. He could barely read or write. He was seen starring in small comedy acts later on. At the age of 19, he turned out to be one of the renowned music-hall performers in London.

Journey to United States

Charlie Chaplin went to United States in 1910 and was chosen by Mack Sennet, a successful filmmaker, to appear in silent comedy acts of Keystone. After his early movies such as “Tillie’s Punctured Romance” and “Making a Living”, Charlie decided to change his acting style. He refused to overact and got precisely delicate with his comic movements. This is when he created the role of a “tramp”.

He appeared in more than 30 short films for Sennet, however he realized that the speed at which he was working, eventually held back his personal talent. He later quit working with Sennet and moved on to Essanay Studios. A few of his notable films during this period were “The Tramp”, “His New Job”, and “The Champion”, recognized for their sympathetic and comic moments. However the films shot in 1917, as a part of the Mutual Company, such as “The Immigrant”, “The Pilgrim”, “Easy Street” and “The Cure” portrayed sharp humor. Charlie Chaplin built his personal studio and penned down a million-dollar contract to produce silent-screen classics with National Films. The films made here touched some of the sensitive issues pertaining to slum life and life after the World War.

After a series of successful films, Charlie Chaplin was caught in a controversy, based on his political views about United States and its people. He was highly criticized for his behavior and was later caught in another controversy about his personal life. A woman claimed him to be a father of her child, however Charlie won the case and it was proved that he was not the father of her child.

In 1970s, Chaplin was recognized for his contribution to films and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of England as “Sir Charlie Chaplin”. Two years after this honor, Charlie Chaplin died in his sleep on 25th December 1977, in Vevey, Switzerland.


Johnny Cash Biography

Posted On July 20th, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash is often referred to as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was an American singer, actor, songwriter and author. Although he is majorly remembered for his contribution in country music, his tunes have also spanned across different genres such as rock and roll. He is specifically recognized for his profound, characteristic deep baritone voice coupled with a humble demeanor. His concerts typically start with his introduction line ‘Hi this is Johnny Cash’ and then usually proceed with ‘Folsom Prison Blues’.

Early Life

Johnny Cash was born on February 26th, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. He belonged to a royal descent from Scotland, however he discovered this only after searching for his ancestry. In his younger days, he believed that he was majorly Irish and partly belongs to Native America. Even after learning about his ancestry, he still remained compassionate towards Native Americans and this was clearly portrayed in his songs from the album called ‘Bitter Tears’.

Johnny Cash was given the name J.R. Cash since his parents could not agree on a single name. At the time when he enlisted for US Air Force, he had to change his name since the military would not accept initials for a name. Hence, he took a name John R. Cash. When he signed the Sun records in 1955, he adopted ‘Johnny’ as his stage name.

Johnny was one of the seven children to parents Ray and Carrie Cash. Tommy Cash, his younger brother, also became one of the successful country artists. He started singing songs while working with his family in cotton farms at the age of 5. His family experienced a lot of personal and economic struggles during the ‘Great Depression’, which was reflected in a majority of his songs. His early memories of music were dominated by radio and gospel music. His mother as well his childhood friend introduced him to writing songs and playing guitar. He used to sing at the local radio station in childhood and years later, he released an album of gospel songs as a tribute called ‘My Mother’s Hymn book’. Cash was highly influenced by the traditional Irish songs.

Later on, Cash was enlisted in the US Air Force and was posted in Landsberg, Germany as a code intercept operator, where he developed his first band called ‘The Landsburg Barbarians’. He then returned to Texas after being respectfully released as a sergeant.

Marriages

During his Air Force training in San Antonio, Johnny met Vivian Liberto at a skating rink when she was only 17. The couple dated for three weeks before Cash left for Germany and stayed in touch thereafter. After being discharged, they got married on 7th August, 1954. They had four daughters out of this marriage. However with increasing drug and alcohol abuse, constant alliance with other women, extreme closeness with June Carter and several other affairs urged Liberto to file for a divorce in the year 1966.
Jonny Cash finally proposed June Carter, a fellow country singer he met 12 years ago, in a live performance. They got married on 1st March 1968 and they had one child out of the marriage. The couple worked together and produced some of the biggest hits of all times ‘Ring of Fire. They won two Grammys for their duets, during their professional relationship of 35 years.

Career

After getting married to Liberto, the couple moved to Tennessee. He visited the Sun records studio with the hope of getting a music contract. However when he met the producer Sam Phillips, he was told that his gospel songs were unmarketable. With a lot of improvements, he finally impressed the producer with songs like ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ and ‘Hey Porter’, which were released by Sun studios in 1955.

His next record called ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ made it to the top 5 country songs whereas his other record called ‘I Walk the Line’ topped the country charts and was entered the top 20 of the pop charts. After the success of ‘Home of the Blues’ in 1957, he recorded an album with Sun. Although he was recording best-selling songs, he felt constrained with a small label. Thereafter he signed an attractive deal with Columbia Records and recorded one of his biggest hits called ‘Don’t take your guns’. During the 1960’s, he toured with the Carter Family. In the year 1961, he acted in a film called ‘5 Minutes to Live’ which was later released as ‘Door-to-Door Maniac’.

Last Years and Death

Johnny Cash was diagnosed with Shy-Drager Syndrome, a neurodegenerative disease, in the year 1997. Later on, he was diagnosed of autonomic neuropathy, often linked with diabetes. Due to this illness, he was forced to shorten his touring. In 1998, he has to be hospitalized due to severe pneumonia that damaged his lungs to a great extent. His last two American albums called ‘The Solitary Man’ and ‘The Man Comes Around’ released in 2002 contained his response to the diseases in the form of songs.

His 73-years old wife June Carter died on 15th May 2003 and had asked him to continue recording. Cash performed a few shows thereafter. On 5th July 2003, he gave his last public performance as a tribute to his wife. Four months after the death of his wife June Carter, his health worsened due to diabetes and was hospitalized at a hospital in Nashville. He died at 2am on 12th September 2003. Cash was buried in Hendersonville Memory gardens, next to his wife. One of his final works called ‘A Hundred Highways’ produced by Rick Rubin was released after his death on 4th July 2006. The album was an instant hit and got the first position on the charts. On 26th February 2010, Rick Rubin along with the Cash Family released another posthumous record called ‘Aint No Grave’ to mark the 78th birthday of Johnny Cash.


Amitabh Bachchan Biography

Posted On March 1st, 2010 By Celebrity Biographies

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was born on 11th of October, 1942. He is one of the prominent Indian film actors who gained popularity as the ‘angry young man’ during the 1970s. Throughout his journey in the Indian cinema, he has won three national awards and thirteen Filmfare awards.

Early Life & Family

Amitabh Bachchan was born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh and belongs to a Hindu-Sikh family. His father, Dr.Harivanshrai Bachchan was a famous poet and his mother Teji Bachchan belonged to Faisalabad. Amitabh was originally named ‘Inquilab’ inspired from the Indian independence struggle, however was later renamed as Amitabh, which means the ‘light that would never go off’. Although his surname was ‘Srivastava’, his father used ‘Bachchan’ as his pen name to publish all his works. Later on, Amitabh debuted in the film industry with the same last name.

Amitabh was the eldest of the two sons in the family, the other one being Ajitabh. His mother had some amount of influence on his career choice since she insisted that he should take up theatre. He attended Jnana Prabodhini and Boy’s High School in Allahabad, followed by the Sherwood College in Nainital where he took up majors in art. He later went to the Kirori Mal College of the Delhi University and completed his Bsc. During his twenties, he ended up with a job as a freight broker with Bird & Co in Kolkata. Amitabh Bachchan was married to film actress Jaya Bhaduri in the year 1973.

Career

Amitabh Bachchan made his Hindi film debut in the year 1969 and happened to be one of the seven protagonists in the film “Saat Hindustani”. Although the film did not do well commercially, he was awarded the National Film Award for the Best Newcomer. His first commercial success came with the film “Anand” in the year 1971, followed by “Parwana”, “Reshma Aur Shera” and a guest appearance in the film “Guddi”. He was recognised for his deep baritone voice and was offered to narrate the initial part of the film “Bawarchi”.

After “Bombay to Goa” in the year 1972, there was a significant progress in Amitabh’s career. Director Prakash Mehra offered him a lead role in the film “Zanjeer” in 1973. With this role, he was famously known as the “angry young man” of the Indian Cinema. The film was a huge hit all across India and there was no looking back thereafter. He also did non-conventional roles in the films like “Abhimaan”, “Namak Haram”, “Majboor”, “Mili”, “Chupke Chupke” and “Faraar”.

“Deewar”, released in the year 1975 went on to become one of the “Must-Watch Bollywood Films” of all times. In the same year, Amitabh was a part of the highest grossing film in the history of Indian cinema, “Sholay”, earning a total of $60 million. Bachchan became a pre-eminent action hero of India after the phenomenal success of Sholay and retained the top spot from 1976 to 1984. A series of comedies and romantic films attributed its success to Amitabh Bachchan, which includes “Amar Akbar Anthony”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Don”, “Trishul”, “Kasme Vaade” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”. François Truffaut, the French director referred to Indian cinema as a “One Man Industry” due to the unprecedented success of Amitabh Bachchan.

He continued to give breath-taking performances in films like “Kaala Patthar”, “Dostana”, “Mr.Natwarlal”, “Shaan”, “Ram Balram”, “Silsila”, “Lawaaris” and “Shakti”. Throughout his career, he was pitted against the other legendary actors of the Indian film industry and successfully carved a niche of his own.

The Crucial Injury of Coolie in 1982

While filming a fight scene in the film “Coolie” with the co-actor Punit Issar, he suffered intestinal injury. Bachchan was supposed to perform his own stunts in the movie and in one of the scenes, he was asked to fall on the table and then roll off on the ground. However, while jumping on the table, the angle of the table stuck hard on his abdomen, resulting into a splenic rupture and loss of blood. He was rushed to the hospital immediately and remained crucially ill for several months. The massive public response included prayers and long queues of fans outside the hospital.

Politics

Amitabh took a sabbatical from acting in the year 1984 and entered politics to support a long time family friend Rajiv Gandhi. He contested from Allahabad for the 8th Lok Sabha against the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, H.N. Bahuguna. His political career was pretty short lived and he resigned within three years. A newspaper implied his involvement in the “Bofors Scandal” and was later found not guilty in the ordeal.

The Decline

Amitabh Bachchan returned to films in the year 1988, with the film “Shahenshah”. After the success of this film, his star power started weakening since all the films thereafter failed at the box office. “Hum”, “Agneepath, “Khuda Gawah” and “Insaniyat” did not create the same success as before and he chose to retire for a while.

During his retirement, he became a producer by setting up ABCL (Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd.) in the year 1996. However, the company did not make any profits, instead lost a lot of funds on some events such as the “Miss World Beauty Pageant” in Bangalore. The company was declared bankrupt in the year 1997 and Bachchan decided to revive his acting career. “Bade Miyaan Chote Miyaan” was a moderately successful film followed by box office failures of “Lal Baadshah”, “Sooryavansham” and “Hindustan Ki Kasam”.

The Return

Amitabh Bachchan stepped up the television platform with the Indian version of the entertainment show “Who wants to be a millionaire?” He gained immense popularity with the show and soon returned to silver screen with the film “Mohabbatein”. With astonishing performances thereafter, he soon regained the losses of his company and was highly rewarded for his work in recent films like “Baghban”, “Black”, “Sarkar”, “Sarkar Raj”, “Aankhen”, “Baabul”, “Viruddh”, and “Bhootnath”. One of the latest films “Paa” happens to be the most challenging film of his career where he plays a character of a 12 year old.

Despite a few rough years of his life, Amitabh Bachchan remains to be one of the most identified names of Indian cinema all across the globe. His popularity and his dedication towards films are unparalleled even today.


Johnny Depp Biography

Posted On December 30th, 2009 By Celebrity Biographies

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Musician, actor and director Johnny Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky as John Christopher Depp, Jr. on June 9, 1963. His parents were Betty Sue and John Depp. At the same time as his father was a civil engineer, his mother was a waitress and a housewife. He happened to be the youngest of four children and was often withdrawn and a self-admitted oddball. Due to his father’s profession, they often moved to different places and finally landed in Miramar, Florida.

Early Life

At the age of 7, Johnny lived with his family in a motel in Miramar for 12 months, until his father found another job. At the age of 12, he began smoking and started experimenting with drugs. He was frequently disturbed by the stress of family problems. He would often lock himself in a room and play guitar for hours. When he was 15, his parents got divorced in the year 1978. It is known that the split caused a huge rift between his father and himself.

Johnny dropped out of school when he was 16 and joined the garage band called ‘The Kids’. The group became pretty popular and started opening for ‘Talking Heads’ and the ‘B-52’s’, however the income wasn’t enough. Johnny lived for months in his friend’s Chevy Impala. At the age of 20, in 1983, he met and later married the 25 year old make-up girl Lori Allison. The couple moved to LA in the same year, looking forward to the success of the band. With a small budget, the band mates would sell pens for a telemarketing firm, in order to make some extra money.

Career

His wife introduced Johnny to her ex-boyfriend, Nicolas Cage a year later. It is known that Cage sported a lot of potential in the young musician and introduced him to a Hollywood agent. After a few small roles, Johnny got his first legitimate movie role in the popular horror film called ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’. The garage band was broken apart by 1985 and he got divorced in the same year. After his divorce, he met Sherilyn Fenn on the set of his upcoming film, ‘Dummies’. The couple dated for a few months and then got engaged, but the affair was fairly short lived. After this break-up, Johnny was associated to actress Jennifer Gray; however that romance didn’t last long enough as well.

He then focused solely on acting and attended classes at the Loft Studios in LA. His dedication towards acting paid off in 1987 where he replaced the actor Jeff Yagher for the role of an undercover cop in the Canadian TV series ’21 Jump Street’. This role took him to an instant stardom and he soon became a teen-idol. He started pursuing better roles after the series ended in 1989. Johnny starred in the John Waters musical in 1990 called ‘Cry Baby’, which became a major cult hit and led to changing his image completely.

The Stardom

Johnny got to exhibit his flexibility as an actor in the movie called ‘Edwards Scissorhands’ in the year 1990. This movie not only brought him to the list of best actors, but also grossed about $54 million at the box office. He gradually engraved a niche for himself as a dark, serious and a characteristic performer, selecting only those roles that would click with the audiences. He met another actress Winona Ryder while shooting for this film and they soon became the next power couple of Hollywood. The couple split in 1993 when Winona’s parents forbade her to marry at the age of 17.

Besides his personal life, he continued to flourish as an actor and gained critical acclaim for his work. Some of his notable movies include ‘Benny & Joon’ as well as ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ Along with two other business partners, Johnny bought ‘The Viper Club’ in LA and it became one of the hottest spots in the Sunset Stripe. He used this club as a platform to introduce patrons to his newly formed musical band ‘P’. However actor River Phoenix experienced a drug overdose in this club and died on October 31.

The Depression

After the incident in the club, Johnny submerged himself into drugs and started losing control of his life. He then had a disparaging relationship with the model Kate Moss in the year 1994 and the couple started making headlines for their erratic behaviour. The happenings in his personal life didn’t seem to affect his professional life and he continued his critically acclaimed movies such as ‘Ed Wood’ and ‘Don Juan DeMarco’.

He split with Kate Moss in the year 1998 and was involved in a relationship with a French actress, Vanessa Paradis who later became the biological mother of his first daughter, ‘Lily-Rose Melody Depp’. He became popular with some of his movies thereafter such as ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, ‘The Ninth Gate’, ‘The Astronaut’s Wife’ and ‘Sleepy Hollow’. A few of the big-budget films to follow include ‘Blow’, ‘From Hell’ and ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’. His relationship with Vanessa continued and she gave birth to his second child called ‘Jack’.

The Academy Award Nominations

Jonny received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the year 2004 for the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. The film was a box office hit and he starred in another critically acclaimed movie called ‘Finding Neverland’. This movie received as many as 10 award nominations and he stared in both the sequels for the pirate series. He then emerged as a dark character in the movie called ‘Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’. He received a Golden Globe Award for his work in this movie. Three of his films are slated to release this year which also include the adaptation of the classic ‘Alice in Wonderland’.


Elvis Presley Biography

Posted On March 14th, 2008 By Celebrity Biographies

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley was officially known as Elvis Aaron Presley. He was born on January 8, 1935 to Vernon Presley and Gladys Love Presley (nee Smith) in a humble house in Tupelo, Mississippi. He had a twin brother named Jessie Garon was a stillborn. Such circumstance left Elvis as an only child. Born during the Depression Period, Elvis was no stranger to life’s hardship. In 1948, his parents moved to Memphis, Tennessee where Elvis finished his secondary schooling at Humes High School in 1953.

Elvis’s contribution to the music industry is legendary. John Lennon was reportedly quoted as saying: “Before Elvis, there was nothing!” His musical influence was a rich tapestry of pop, country music, gospel music and the black R&B which he heard on historic Beale Street, Memphis. It was in 1954 when Elvis he began his singing career. His records where produced by the Sun Records label in Memphis. However, in the late 1955, his recording contract was sold to RCA Victor.

Elvis Presley was not only the symbol of the American Idol Dream; he lived the American Idol Dream. He was popular, sensational, scandalous and revolutionary. He rose to international fame in 1956. Elvis displayed his uniqueness by producing a sound and style that showcased his diverse musical influence. The way he danced on stage caused a furor among the moralists of society. Elvis’s gyrations on stage earned him the moniker “Elvis the Pelvis.” His danced steps were immortalized on his version of the songs “Hound Dog” and “Heart Break Hotel.” As the protectors of morality expressed their disapproval of Elvis’s dance steps, his audience loved it. The more controversial he became, the more he became famous and adulated by his teenage fans. Without any doubt, the combined effect of Elvis’s unique sound and style was considered revolutionary. His style broke the social and racial barriers prevalent during his time. His songs broke not only the record charts but international barriers, as well.

Elvis did a lot of concert tours which were often record-breaking. Due to the technological upheaval of the time, Elvis’s fame was fueled by his television appearances and TV specials. His fame did not stop from being a singer. He starred in 33 films considered successful not only in the USA but and in any other country as well. His first movie was, Love Me Tender, which was initially shown at the Paramount Theater in New York City. The movie was originally titled The Reno Brothers, but was re-named to bank on the soon-to-be-released single from the soundtrack. Surprisingly for a rookie, the movie critics rated his acting “not bad” for a melodrama.

On March 24, 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army and was assigned serial number 53310761. The Army draft did not post a hindrance from his career nor his popularity. On September 19, 1958, Elvis found himself on a train bound to New York, where he boarded the USS. Randall on his way to Germany. He was stationed in Friedberg for 18 months. While in Europe, Elvis discovered that his European fans accepted him as much as his American fans did. While the army, Elvis’s manager Colonel Tom Parker, worked to ensure that Elvis’s career be kept alive via promotions and sure-hit record releases.

In November, 1959, Elvis met Priscilla Ann – then a fourteen and a half year old teenager – the step-daughter of Captain Joseph Beaulieu. He was with his wife – Ann Beaulieu. Priscilla Ann was an only child from Ann Beaulieu’s first marriage to James Wagner – a Navy pilot killed in a plane crash when Priscilla was an infant. Through a mutual friend, Priscilla was invited to Elvis’s party at his home after her arrival in Germany.

While serving the army, Elvis was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on January 20, 1960. He was officially discharged from active duty on March 5, 1960. After his official discharge, the public was treated to a more mature Elvis Presley. Besides the series of movies and concerts he did during this period, Elvis’s involvement in giving back to society was highly notable. He supported about 50 charities in the Memphis, Tenessee alone.

On December, 1966, Elvis proposed marriage to Priscilla. On May 1, 1967, they got married at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada in a very private ceremony attended only by family members and a highly select group of friends. Priscilla gave birth on February 1, 1968 and presented Elvis a daughter – nine months to the day after their her marriage. The named the baby Lisa Marie Presley. The marriage lasted until late 1971. Sometime early 1972, Elvis and Priscilla separated and Priscilla . She moved out on her own with daughter – Lisa Marie.

The 60’s and early 70’s saw Elvis performing as a movie actor and doing live concerts and charitable works. Come 1973, Elvis was hospitalized in Memphis. At this time, he was battling health problems which included increased dependency on prescription drugs. On August 16, 1977, Elvis Presley died of heart failure.


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