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TLBSPEDIA: JOHN WAYNE

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Actor John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26 1907, in Winterset, Iowa. (Some sources also list him as Marion Michael Morrison and Marion Mitchell Morrison.) One of the most popular film actors of the 20th century, John Wayne remains a popular American icon to this day. He was already a sizable presence when he was born, weighing around 13 pounds.

The oldest of two children born to Clyde and Mary “Molly” Morrison, Wayne moved to Lancester, California, around the age of seven. The family moved again a few years later after Clyde failed in his attempt to become a farmer.

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TLBSPEDIA: ROGER MOORE

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Roger Moore was born in London, England, on October 14 1927, to a policeman father and a housewife mother. Moore did well in school, attending Hackford Road elementary and Battersea Grammar School, and he also was a notably good swimmer. Moore dropped out of school when he was 15 and went to work for Publicity Picture Productions, a London film company, where he became an animation apprentice.

Moore’s first foray into the film world would end badly though, when he was quickly fired. He would, however, rely on his good looks for some early acting work soon after, making his film debut in a bit part in ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ (1945). In his first big break, director Brian Desmond Hurst noticed Moore, liked what he saw and found him a spot at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, additionally paying his tuition.

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THE BEAUTIFUL EDWARD HOPPER PAINTINGS

Edward Hopper is widely acknoledged as the most important realist painter of twentieth-century America. But his vision of reality was a selective one, reflecting his own temperament in the empty cityscapes, landscapes, and isolated figures he chose to paint. His work demonstrates that realism is not merely a literal or photographic copying of what we see, but an interpretive rendering. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of his death, here are some of his most beautiful and important artworks:

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Nighthawks, 1942.

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TLBSPEDIA: RITA HAYWORTH

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A legendary Hollywood actress whose beauty catapulted her to international stardom in the 40’s and 50’s, Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17 1918, in New York City. She changed her last name to Hayworth early on in her acting career on the advice of her first husband and manager, Edward Judson.

Hayworth hailed from show business stock. Her father, the Spanish-born Eduardo Cansino, was a dancer, and her mother, Volga, had been a Ziegfeld Follies girl. Soon after their daughter was born, they shortened her name to Rita Cansino. By the time Rita was 12 she was dancing professionally. Continue reading “TLBSPEDIA: RITA HAYWORTH”

TLBSPEDIA: KATHARINE HEPBURN

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Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born May 12 1907, in Hartford, Connecticut, to Katharine Martha Houghton, a suffrage activist, and Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn, a urologist who sought to educate the public about the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. A liberal-minded family, the Hepburns encouraged young Katharine to speak out, sharpen her mind and engage with the world as fully as possible. The Hepburns’ happy family life took a tragic in 1921, however, when Katharine made the horrifying discovery of her older brother, Tom, dead, hanging from the ceiling of his room. The loss of her beloved brother completely debilitated Katharine. For years, she withdrew almost entirely those around her, for a time even adopting Tom’s birthday (November 8) as her own.

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TLBSPEDIA: JOAN CRAWFORD

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Film actress Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23 1905 (though some sources have reported her birth date as 1908). Her parents separated before she was born, and her mother later married theater owner Harry Cassin. Crawford would come to be known as Billie Cassin growing up, and periodically throughout of her entertainment career.After her mother and stepfather split, Crawford attended two private schools, where she worked on the premises to pay for tuition while also being treated harshly, receiving corporal punishment for perceived misdeeds. Because of her workload, she was unable to attend classes and her scholastic record was faked.

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TLBSPEDIA: JACK NICHOLSON

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Jack Nicholson was born in Neptune, New Jersey, on April 22 1937, and grew up in Manasquan, New Jersey, about 50 miles south of the city on the Jersey Shore. The people he believed to be his parents were named John and Ethel May Nicholson. John was a department store window dresser and Ethel May was a hairdresser as well as a talented oil painter. June Nicholson, whom he believed was his older sister, was an aspiring actress.

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TLBSPEDIA: DON RICKLES

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Donald Jay Rickles was born on May 8 1926, in New York City, New York. The only child of Max, an insurance salesman, and Etta Rickles, he grew up in the Jackson Heights section of Queens, where he was actively involved in the local synagogue.

Following his graduation from Newtown High School in 1944, Rickles spent two years in the U.S. Navy. He then attempted to follow in his father’s footsteps as an insurance salesman before enrolling at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where his classmates included Jason Robards and Grace Kelly.

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TLBSPEDIA: ELTON JOHN

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Singer, songwriter, composer and icon Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25 1947, in Pinner, Middlesex, England. He discovered his passion for music at an early age. He taught himself how to play piano when he was only four years old. John soon proved to be a great talent, winning a scholarship to a youth program at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He attended classes there on the weekends.

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