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The New Divas

Hollywood loves its divas.  Even when their demands drive everybody crazy, there’s something about a starlet who knows what she wants and how to get it.  The 90’s ushered in a new crop of divas (and divas in training).  In the October 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Stephen Rebello ran through some of Tinseltown’s most fabulous actresses.  Some were on their way out while others were ascendant.  Find out how the biggest divas of the decade lived twenty years ago.

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August 9: Happy Birthday Gillian Anderson and Whitney Houston


Gillian Anderson is celebrating her 49th birthday today.  She studied theater at DePaul University and then moved to New York, where she pursued a classic career path for aspiring actresses—waitressing.  Her acting debut came in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends, and brought her a Theatre World Award.  She had added only a couple of other roles to her resume when she was cast as an FBI agent on a new series that made its debut on Fox in the fall of 1993.

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August 9: Happy Birthday Anna Kendrick and Melanie Griffith


Two actresses with Oscar nominations as well as musical theater experience headline today’s birthday post.

Anna Kendrick’s career started on Broadway, playing Dinah Lord in the musical adaptation of the movie High Society.  She was 12 on opening night in 1998, which did not prevent her from impressing enough people to get a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.  Her movie debut, at about 18, was in Camp, a musical about high schoolers at a summer theater camp.  Anna had a big scene performing “The Ladies Who Lunch” from Stephen Sondheim’s Company:

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Movieline Magazine: All the Right Moves – 1994

Movieline Nicole Kidman Cover March 1994

It’s time for another retro flashback as I dig into old issues of Movieline Magazine.  For this installment, I went back 20 years to March 1994.  Nicole Kidman was the cover story in which she discussed being overshadowed by her more-famous then-husband, Tom Cruise.  Stephen Dorff was labeled “The Next Big Thing” (Isn’t hindsight funny?)  Reese Witherspoon, Ben Stiller and Brendan Fraser were up-and-coming actors interviewed for the issue.

The article I’m focusing on was titled All The Right Moves.  In this article, Movieline played armchair agent and placed 10 young (at the time) actors in roles they thought would be perfect for them.  Were they right?  How did things play out?  With the benefit of 20 years of 20/20 hindsight, I will be answering those questions.

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