Albert Brooks, who is turning 70 today, is a man of many talents and achievements. He has been a successful comedian, who received a Grammy nomination for his 1975 album A Star is Bought. He has written, directed, and starred in several critically successful films, such as Lost in America, Defending Your Life, and Mother. He has also given critically praised acting performances in films like Broadcast News (for which he was Oscar-nominated) and Drive.
What many people will recognize Brooks for, though, is his work as a voice actor. He has appeared (or rather, been heard) in several episodes of The Simpsons, and was the voice of Jacob the Tiger in Dr. Dolittle and The Businessman in The Little Prince. These roles, however, take a back seat to his work in a pair of Pixar features, where he was the voice of Marlin, a clownfish in search of his son.
Well look at this—I found a picture of today’s headliners together (with Janice Dickinson of America’s Next Top Model fame in between them).
Jon Lovitz is celebrating his 60th today. He became a member of the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1985, remaining a regular through 1990 and returning on occasion thereafter. He has starred on the TV comedies Foley Square and Mr. Box Office and was the voice of the lead character, Jay Sherman, on the ABC/Fox animated series The Critic. He has also had a long list of TV guest roles. He made his Broadway debut in the cast of Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party in 2001. And, he has appeared in a variety of feature films, now and then in a lead role, as in High School High, but more commonly in a supporting part, as in A League of Their Own or 3000 Miles to Graceland.
But no matter what, many people will think of him as a pathological liar…
It’s Movieline list time! In the July 1997 issue, Cindy Pearlman polled thirty famous actors and asked them which role was their favorite. Some answers are more surprising than others but it’s fun to see who picked which part. A few participants fudge their answers a bit by naming more than one movie. And one actor, notorious for not playing along with reporters, refused to answer at all. No points for guessing who that might have been.
It’s Judy Greer’s 42nd birthday today. Greer studied theater at DePaul University and began working in film and television soon after her graduation. In 1999 she had her first two noticeable roles, a memorable cameo in Three Kings (a sex scene with George Clooney) and a major supporting role in the high school black comedy Jawbreaker. In 2003 she began appearing in one of her best known roles, as Kitty Sanchez on Arrested Development.
In the mid-90’s Skeet Ulrich seemed like a likely candidate for heart-throb status and A-list stardom. After making some noise in a couple of cult films, Ulrich was poised for success. While few would deny the actor’s status as a heart-throb, movie stardom proved elusive. These days, Ulrich has gone from dangerous teen to TV dad.
What the hell happened?
This past weekend Disney held their D23 Expo, a fan biennial event which Disney uses to make make announcements and promote upcoming products. It’s kind of like the company’s own private Comic-Con. The last couple of events have been light on Disney World news, but the 2017 expo was packed with goodies for fans of the Orlando resort.
If you have been following Disney World rumors, none of these announcements were all that surprising. We’ve been talking about Star Wars for years now and last year we were buzzing about a Guardians of the Galaxy project and a replacement for the Great Movie Ride. But the Expo provided additional details as well as confirmation that these things are happening.
Let’s take a closer look at all of this year’s announcements.
Today our headliners are a pair of directors, who, while not known for big commercial successes, have both made a number of well-regarded films.
Abel Ferrara is turning 66 today. He studied film at SUNY-Purchase and made several short films while he was there. He began to get some attention beginning at the end of the 1970s with a pair of low-budget features, The Driller Killer and Ms. 45. During the 1980s he worked with Michael Mann, directing the pilot for Crime Story and a pair of episodes of Miami Vice. His adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Cat Chaser did not go well—the film was taken away from him and rather severely edited. However, at the beginning of the 1990s he came back with one of his best known films, and worked for the first time with Christopher Walken.
The July/Aug 2002 issue of Movieline magazine was dubbed The Music issue. Like a lot of publications in the dawn of the digital age, Movieline was struggling to reinvent itself. Part of its ongoing evolution was to do a double-sized issue that focused more on music than the medium the magazine had been devoted to covering for the last several decades. That issue included a profile piece with Incubus lead singer, Brandon Boyd.
Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra is celebrating her 35th today. She was the winner of the Miss World pageant of 2000, following which she began her film career. She worked very hard, making over 30 features in her first decade. She has been nominated for eleven Filmfare Awards (the Bollywood equivalents of the Oscars), winning five times including Best Actress for the 2008 film Fashion.
Chopra lived in the US for a few years as a teenager and in the past few years has begun to work outside of Bollywood. She was one of the narrators for the 2013 documentary Girl Rising. For the past two months she has been on multiplex screens in the film version of Baywatch, and she has a couple of other projects in the pipes, including an adaptation of Daniel Pearle’s play A Kid Like Jake. But her biggest success so far has been on television, as the first South Asian to be topcast in an American TV series, as Alex Parrish on ABC’s Quantico.
Movies teach us things. Whether we are aware of it or not, we learned how to interact with the world around us partially by watching and imitating movies. But what about the people who make movies? According to author David Thomson, the Hollywood power set has learned life lessons from the movies as well. In the July 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, he offers ten examples.
We’re a little more than halfway through the third (and presumably final) season of Twin Peaks and David Lynch is starting to reward us for our patience. The first several episodes introduced seemingly random, disjointed plot threads. Characters would appear for a scene and then disappear for weeks at a time. It was easy to think that a lot of these diversions served no purpose other than to entertain the show’s eccentric creator. But it turns out a lot of those dangling plot threads are actually connected. This episode connects some dots without giving viewers the full picture.
Donald Sutherland is celebrating his 82nd birthday today. After earning his college degree, the Canadian-born Sutherland moved to England. During the sixties he began working in British film and television. He appeared in a few horror films starring Christopher Lee and on several British television programs, of which The Saint and The Avengers are likely the best known to American viewers. His film career progressed when he had a good supporting role in The Dirty Dozen, and he emerged as a star in 1970 when he appeared in two more war films: as the hippie tanker Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes, and as a Korean war Army doctor nicknamed “Hawkeye.”
Josie and her band-mates look confused and maybe even a little disgusted. Perhaps they are wondering why it’s taken so long for a new “What the Hell Happened?” article to appear here at the site. If so, they wouldn’t be the first. It’s been almost a year since the more recent article on Top Gun and Witness star, Kelly McGillis. During that time the most persistent question from readers has been some variation of “Are you ever going to write another WTHH article?” For the last eleven months or so, I have been assuring readers that the series would return and this week it finally did with What the Hell Happened to Rachel Leigh Cook?