The word “breakthrough” is reserved for people and things that change the status quo forever. For instance, the Internet was a breakthrough for how we communicate and conduct research. Electric cars changed the way we transport ourselves without relying on oil and gas. Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African-American President of the United States.
Similarly, in the entertainment world, Viola Davis has broken the glass ceiling and ethnic boundaries by becoming the first black woman to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting” – winning Academy Awards for film, Tony Awards for the stage, and Emmy Awards for TV
In the history of Hollywood, you can count on one hand how many child actors managed to weather the transition to becoming a full-grown movie star.
Take Kurt Russell, for instance. Maybe it’s the luck of the Irish since he was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1951 in Springfield, Mass. And it so happens that both of his parents were in show business – his father was actor Neil “Bing” Russell and his mother is dancer, Louise Julia Russell. His father and sister had a lot to do with his childhood.
For most of us who grew up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the memories of flower children, hippies, Woodstock, and tiedye remain like tattoos. The same goes for the music of the era, including the unmistakable harmonic voice of one of the most colorful and talented singers of then and now — Carly Simon.
Known as “The Boss” to his fans, fellow musicians, and just about everyone around the world, Bruce Springsteen continues to bring his indelible style of rock music to the universe with passion and energy most singers at age 71 wish they still had.
If I asked you who is the undisputed modern queen of country music and you answered Dolly Parton, you would be 100 percent correct. You also would be right if you added a few other descriptors, like an award-winning actress, songwriter, musician, and entrepreneur.
Nobody in the history of show business lights up the stage like Dolly, with her curly blonde hair, voluptuous figure, her winning smile, insatiable sense of humor and humility, and most of all, her unmistakable voice.
It is safe to say that when it comes to Hollywood, the stars of movies and television come from widely diverse backgrounds. Their ethnicity and personalities vary like the Southern California landscape.
Take Cheech Marin, for instance. His emergence into fame derived from South Los Angeles, not Beverly Hills. His mom was a secretary, his dad an LAPD cop. At birth in July 1946, he had his cleft lip surgically repaired. And despite his Mexican American heritage and the fact that he calls himself a Chicano, he is not fluent in Spanish. However, the story of his name identifies Richard Anthony (Cheech) Marin in a most unique way. “Cheech” is short for “chicharron,” the Spanish word for fried pork rind, a popular snack and ingredient in Latin American cuisine. “I came home from the hospital, I was like a couple of days old or something, my uncle Cheech Marin came over and he looked in the crib and he said [in Spanish],‘Ay, parece un chicharrón.’ Looks like a little chicharrón, you know?’”
Fast approaching 89, actress Rita Moreno – the queen of the original “West Side Story” continues to shine her light off and on the entertainment stage. Last year alone, she appeared on six different TV shows while producing and appearing in Steven Spielberg’s new film adaptation of the iconic Broadway play that was scheduled to premiere on Dec. 20.
Moreno will be playing Valentina, a re-conceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony, played by Ansel Elgort, works. She’s also currently portraying the role of the matriarch Lydia Margarita del Carmen Inclan Maribona Leyte-Vidal de Riera in the remake of “One Day At a Time.”
To most of us, we associate Alan Alda to one thing and one thing only: his acting role as Hawkeye Pierce in “MASH” one of the most popular TV series ever produced.
The last episode in 1983 remains the most watched episode in American broadcast history. However, Alda’s role in the famous TV production – and his entire career – goes much deeper into the story of this 84-year-old American actor, director, screenwriter, comedian, author, and philanthropist.
At 66, Marisa Tomei belies her age with her cutsie girl-nextdoor looks and impish personality. But here she is, still dazzling audiences as one of the premier female actresses of our generation.
Her recent appearances in the movie “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and the TV special “All in the Family: Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” in which she played Edith, attest to her everlasting attraction to her adoring fans.
If your family is like my family, watching “Jeopardy” on TV every evening is as routine as waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night. You could always count on the host Alex Trebek to visit your living room or wherever you may be with your TV or mobile devices to educate and entertain with a barrage of encyclopedic questions for very smart contestants.
Lately, however, our routine faces the possibility of an abrupt change as Trebek faces a major health challenge that threatens to take him off the air for good.