Michael Landon, born Eugene Maurice Orowitz (you heard me!) in Forest Hill, Queens, was “Joseph ‘Little Joe Cartwright” for 14 seasons of Bonanza. He went on to play the part of “Charles Ingalls” on Little House on the Prairie for nine seasons and then as “Jonathan Smith” for five seasons of Highway to Heaven. And let’s not forget “Tony Rivers” in I Was A Teenage Werewolf, which was Landon’s first major role.
Michael Landon had the reputation of being exactly like the kind, gentle, heroic characters he played. He once said about himself that he didn’t have the big, muscular look that many actors had and that he “was still 125 pounds and the five foot nine I’d always be”. He sure Llooks pretty hunky to me.
Robert Downey, Jr., born Robert John Downey, Jr. in New York City, became a member of the famed “Brat Pack” when he appeared in films such as Less Than Zero and The Pickup Artist. His performance in these films led to parts in bigger films like Air America, Soapdish and Chaplin which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.
It is true that Downey had his problems with alcohol and drugs but he finally got his life back on track and made a stunning comeback as the title character in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics Iron Man. The film made almost $100 million in US box offices on its opening weekend and garnered Downey rave reviews for his performance. After appearing in TropicThunder he received his second Oscar nomination, this time as Best Supporting Actor.
Robert Downey is quoted as having said: “The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven”. Take a look at that picture and you can’t help saying, “Robert Downey, Jr. you are gorgeous and we forgive you”!
Whether you call him Sly, The Italian Stallion, , Rambo or Rocky, Sylvester Stallone, born Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone in New York City, is one sexy hunk. He was so good at playing the mumbling, monosyllabic underdogs that he became one of Hollywood’s highest paid actors. “Rocky Balboa” made us cheer him on in four Rocky films and “John J. Rambo”, a somewhat mentally unstable Vietnam Vet, had us sympathizing with his plight in First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III.
Stallone tried his hand at comedy with Oscar, and Stop!Or My Mom Will Shoot, without much success. He did gain praise from some critics for his role a “Freddy Hefflin” in the film Cop Land which also starred Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro.
Sylvester Stallone shirtless is a definite knock-out!
Warren Beatty was born Henry Warren Beaty in Richmond, VA and is the brother of famous actress Shirley MacLaine. Beatty is a well-known Hollywood actor, producer, writer, and director. His first major film role was in Splendor in the Grass opposite Natalie Wood.
Beatty produced, directed, starred in and wrote the screen play for Heaven Can Wait. He also wrote, produced, directed and/or starred in Reds, Shampoo, Bonnie and Clyde, Dick Tracy, Bulworth, and Bugsy. Most of Beatty’s later works were done behind the camera as producer and director. Many of his films were nominiated for Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Writer’s Guild of America Awards.
Warren Beatty, handsome, charming and so talented brought entertainment at its finest to filmgoers.
Costner, born Kevin Michael Costner in Lynwood, CA, is an actor, producer, director, and musician. Musician? Yes. Costner is the singer in a rock/country band he founded called Kevin Costner and the Modern West. He and the band went on a worldwide tour in 2007 and again in 2009. An album titled Untold Truths was released in 2008.
Musician aside, Costner is better known as an actor and director. His first hit film was Bull Durham followed by two more blockbusters, Field of Dreams and Dances with Wolves. Next biggies were Robin Hood, JFK, The Bodyguard, and Tin Cup. . Costner starred in and directed three films. The first was Dances with Wolves which won seven Oscars with Costner receiving awards for Best Director and Best Picture. He was also nominated for, but didn’t win, Best Actor in a Leading Role. The next two were Waterworld (oops) and The Postman (oops).
Watch for Costner in the film The Company Men to be released in 2010. This film also start Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones. Should be a good one!
Clint Eastwood, born Clinton Eastwood, Jr. in San Francisco, CA, really came to audience attention when he played “Rowdy Yates” in the television western Rawhide. He then became a Western film icon when he created the mysterious character “Man with No Name” in A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. And, of course, there were four “Dirty Harry” films, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer and The Dead Pool. Eastwood also added directing to his list of talents. Some of the many films he both directed and starred in are Heartbreak Ridge, The Bridges of Madison County, True Crime, and the blockbuster hit Million Dollar Baby which won four Oscars.
Eastwood is one of two people that have been nominated twice for Best Actor and Best Director for the same film. For Eastwood the films were Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. Warren Beatty is the other actor/director to win twice with Heaven Can Wait and Reds.
According to “Harry Callahan”, “A man’s got to know his limitations”. Doesn’t seem Clint Eastwood has many.
Mel Gibson, born Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, in Peekskill, NY, first came to the attention of American film-goers in an Australian made movie called Mad Max. His next film, also Australian-made, was Tim. Gibson went on to do two more “Mad Max” movies and three Lethal Weapon films, all box office hits.
Other of Gibson’s films include Bird On A Wire co-starring Goldie Hawn, The Bounty, co-starring Anthony Hopkins and The Patriot with Heath Ledger.
Gibson starred in, and directed, The Man Without a Face, and Braveheart, for which he won an Oscar for Best Director. Another Gibson-directed film, The Passion of the Christ, was successful despite questions of historical accuracy and allegations of anti-Semitism.
Gibson has had an extremely successful career as actor, director, producer and sometimes writer of more than 40 films.
Connery, born Thomas Sean Connery in Edinburgh, Scotland, is undoubtedly best known for his role as “Bond, James Bond”. He was the definitive 007 and did seven Bond movies from Dr. No to Never Say Never Again. Connery appeared in many other excellent films such as: The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October,and The Rock. What was he thinking when he accepted the role of “Zed”. Evidently, Queen Elizabeth II is very forgiving or was completely unaware of Zardoz, because in July of 2000 he was knighted and became Sir Thomas Sean Connery.
Paul Newman, born Paul Leonard Newman in Shaker Heights, Ohio, was handsome, sexy, talented and a great humanitarian. Oh, and a race car driver and the owner of the most magnificent blue eyes to every gaze at you from the silver screen.
In an acting career that spanned more than five decades he played in dozens of memorable films. Who could forget”Brick Pollitt” in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, “Eddie Felson” in The Hustler, “Chance Wayne” in Sweet Bird of Youth, “Luke” in Cool Hand Luke”, “Butch” in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , “Henry Gondorff” in The Sting, and so many more. One of his last performances was the voice of “Doc Hudson” in the animated film Cars.
Newman was everything you could ask for and so much more!
Cary Grant, was born Archibald Alexander Leach, (REALLY) in Bristol England. He was the epitome of class; charming, elegant, sexy and funny. He was named the second Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.
Grant’s performance in the film, The Philadelphia Story, opposite Katherine Hepburn and James Stewart established his most familiar on screen personality, that of the “charming if sometimes unreliable man, formerly married to an intelligent and strong-willed woman who first divorced him, the realized that he was-with all his faults-irresistible”.
Of course, there were also all those Hitchcock films such as: Notorious, To Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest. Alfred Hitchcock, who was well-known for disliking actors, said that Grant was “the only actor I ever loved in my whole life”. Really. What’s not to love about Cary Grant.