SHOW BUSINESS - ACTORS - 1950s-1960s
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SELF-CONFIDENT SELF-DOUBTER:
Storyline: The little colonel covers himself with a domestic blanket and does battle with his doubts and fears through acting out and reacting inwardly to the various slings and arrows of his own largely good fortune.
Henry Winkler (1945) - American actor. Outer: Both parents escaped Nazi Germany, first going to Holland then NYC. Father was an importer and exporter of lumber, mother was drained by their constant starting over and the loss of her past. One sister. Had a Germanic upbringing, attended private school, and experienced a repressed albeit cultural childhood, filled with his parents’ fears, who continually berated and belittled him. A poor student, he suffered from dyslexia without knowing it. Began performing to compensate for his academic ineptitude, and became class clown. Barely made it into Emerson College, studying acting and child psychology, and got a better sense of himself. 5’6 1/2”. Decided to become an actor and was accepted at the Yale School of Drama, where he did over 70 plays. Went to NYC and was able to support himself through commercials, although his parents tried to discourage him. Made his Great White Way debut in 1973 with “42 Seconds from Broadway,” while also making his film debut the same year in Crazy Joe. Did Lords of Flatbush in 1974, playing a Brooklyn hood, along with Sylvester Stallone, then got the role with which he would forever be identified, the super self-confident Fonz on the TV show “Happy Days.” Spent 11 years on the show, which transformed his life, giving him acceptance and self-confidence. Happily and closely married to a child welfare advocate, Stacy Weitzman, in his early 30s, one stepson and 2 children from union. Although his screen career never clicked, and insecurities continued to abound, he made a successful transition behind the camera and as a producer, for films and TV, while directing several movies. Fired from directing a Tom Hanks film in his early 40s, he felt deeply stigmatized by the disgrace, but, with the support of his wife, was able to continue his career without depending on his acceptance as an actor. Returned to sitcoms in 2005, with “Out of Practice,” and has continued with a host of them, including joining the cast of the revived cult hit, “Arrested Development.” Also co-authored several acclaimed children’s books starring the dyslectic 4th grader Hank Zipzer, as a means of further coming to terms with his childhood. Inner: Strong self-doubt throughout his life, despite his ironic identification with the super-confident Fonz, an element of himself, presumably, fighting to get out. See-through leather-jacket lifetime of facing his fears and naming them, and expanding his abilities and himself in the process. Henry B. Walthall (1878-1936) - American actor. Outer: Father was a Confederate army captain, before involving himself in Alabama politics. 3rd of 9 children, with one sister, Anna Mae, a silent screen actress. Grew up on a plantation, and was tutored at home. and drawn to acting as a boy, putting on amateur performances. At 15, his family moved to Birmingham, so he could complete his schooling. Studied law at Howard College, then volunteered for the Spanish-American War. Contracted malaria while training in Florida, which flaired up periodically the rest of his life. Afterwards, he opted for the stage. Came to NYC, and began a career on Broadway. In his early 20s, he made his debut by playing a southern soldier in a William Gillette (Sylvester Stallone) vehicle, then played in stock to truly learn his craft. 5’7”, 130 lbs., with an expressive face and voice. Married and divorced Isabel Fenton, an actress, in his late 20s. After gaining considerable recognition, he joined director D.W. Griffith at Biograph Studios in the infancy of films when he was in his early 30s, and became one of the earliest stars in that medium as well, often playing leads against Mary Pickford. Best remembered for his role as the Little Colonel in The Birth of a Nation in 1915. Decided to leave Griffith after that triumph, and the rest of his career was anticlimactic, so that he was already in eclipse by 1920. Married Mary Charleson, his co-star, in his late 30s, their daughter, Patricia, became a minor actress. Although capable of offbeat characterizations, he never really found the vehicles to support his talent, and gradually became a character actor. Suffered from TB and died in a sanitarium. Inner: Domestic, likable, but continually fed into his insecurities through poor choices in later life. Frustrated sense of the warrior, through his real life aborted military career, and best-remembered screen characterization. Shortsighted lifetime of turning triumph into neglect, giving him strong motivation to expand his means of self-expression the next time around in this series, albeit with a residue of insecurity through the vagaries of stardom and eclipse that acting often embraces. Henry Wallack (1790-1870) - English/American actor. Outer: From a famous stage family. Father was Jewish, mother had been a leading actress in David Garrick’s (Richard Burton) company. One of 4 children, all of whom became connected to the stage. his younger brother, James William Wallack (Tom Hanks), became a famous actor/manager. Appeared at an early age with his family at Philip Astley’s (Clint Eastwood) amphitheater. His early career did not exactly set the footlights on fire, but by his late 20s, he was a successful actor. Came to America and made his New York debut 2 years later, and thereafter, traveled back and forth across the Atlantic plying his craft. By the time he reached his mid-30s, he was considered a leading player. In his late 30s, he joined his brother in the National Theater in NYC, acting as stage manager, while his sibling was general manager. Returned to acting after the theater burned 2 years later. Married Fanny Jones, a beautiful dancer, who became an actress, and all 3 children developed into well-known stage actors of their time, including James William Wallack II (Forest Whitaker). Acted in England in his late 30s and mid-40s. Divorced in his early 40s, and the following year, married an actress/singer named Turpin. Finally retired from performing in his late 60s. Inner: Domestic and avuncular. Relatively problem-free lifetime of incarnating in close acting family, and like the others, given the secure base to pursue his profession, so as to have the experience he needed in later lives, when all split up to become unique stars on their own, without the innate support of their base life together.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SPECIAL EVERYMAN:
Storyline: The character star makes himself eminently accessible on screen to become a consistent $100 million dollar man in the Hollywood hall of economic fame, while maintaining his down-to-earth sense of himself.
Tom Hanks (1956) - American actor. Outer: Father was an itinerant cook. One of 4 children. Brother Jim also entered show business. His parents divorced when he was 5, and he was raised in various places around Northern California by his father, and a series of stepmothers, amongst numerous step-siblings, until the duo finally settled in Oakland. Originally wanted to be astronaut. His peripatetic life prepared him for the vagaries of his future profession. Began acting in high school, where he ran track, then majored in drama at Cal State. 6’1”. Did classical repertory for 3 summer seasons in the mid-west, then went to NYC, where he continued doing classics with the Riverside Theater. Got the costarring role in a TV sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” in 1980 and made his screen debut the same year in a horror film, He Knows You’re Alone. Married Samantha Lewes, an actress/producer, in his early 20s, 2 children, later divorced, son Colin became an actor. His career took off in his late 20s, with a starring role in Splash, in which he courted a mermaid. A highly successful screen ascendancy followed, in which his boyish charm and identifiable commonality enchanted audiences. Married actress Rita Wilson in his early 30s, 2 sons from union, extremely close relationship, strong family man. Following Big, in which he played a 12 year old in an adult body, his career briefly sagged to the B-level before skyrocketing after 2 Oscars in a row for a lawyer with AIDS in Philadelphia, and the title role of a slow-thinking success in Forrest Gump in 1993 and 1994. Wrote and directed That Thing You Do!, while expanding into producing. Meticulous in all his characterizations, he approaches all his parts in relation to the totality of the movie. Usually looks for the light in his roles, eschewing darkness in favor of accessibility. Easily able to maintain his status as one of Hollywood’s best-liked, best-paid and busiest luminaries, the pre-eminent character star and quintessential good-guy of his generation, while remaining a strong family man and unimpressed by his own celebrity. Also a co-partner in a highly successful production company, Playtone, doing both his own vehicles and fare for varied media, with an uncanny ability to do uplifting material without sacrificing its commercial value. In 1998, he served as executive producer, as well as co-writer and co-director of an HBO docudrama, “From the Earth to the Moon,” thanks to a longtime fascination with NASA. Also helped produce and direct, “Band of Brothers,” a WW II mini-series on HBO as well. In appreciation of his gifts, in 2002, he was given the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the youngest to win the accolade in its 33 year his’n’herstory. While promoting the WW II miniseries “The Pacific” in 2010, he managed to tarnish his image with some traditionalists, by suggesting racism played a part in that theater, thereby earning some rare opprobrium for himself, in a career largely free of drawing sniper fire from any quarter. In 2013, he made his Broadway debut in “Lucky Guy,” writer Nora Ephron’s posthumous presentation, although his well-received performance was unable to breathe true life into the story of Mike McAlary, a NYC reporter who, like the author, died prematurely from cancer. Later that year, he announced he had diabetes, which would physically curtail his subsequent choice of roles. Inner: Excellent mimic, sure-handed crowd-pleaser, able to project a pleasing likability in all he assays. Inquisitive, intelligent, good-humored, loves to laugh. Also known as Tom Hankies for his occasional emotional outbursts. Longtime fascination with the night/time skies, down-to-Earth stargazer. Good guy lifetime of soaring success on the domestic as well as the professional scene, through both an innate talent and an identifiable and non-threatening personality that can project nuance and subtlety. David Warfield (David Wollfeld) (1866-1951) - American actor. Outer: Parents were Orthodox Jews, had a poor immigrant upbringing. Dropped out of school, became a newspaper vendor, then a program boy and usher at theaters, before embarking on an entertainment career, doing impersonations and story-telling at lodges and clubs. Slight and gentle. Appeared at 20 in a San Francisco music hall, using his nom de stage for the first time. Made his acting debut 2 years later as a Jewish villain. Moved to NYC in his early 30s, and worked as a dialogue comedian in a saloon. Played ethnic characters, before coming up with Einstein, a Jewish immigrant he played throughout his career. Did parodic Jews while working for 3 years with comedians Weber & Fields (Steve Martin and Martin Short). Had a natural aptitude for burlesque, and a great fidelity to detail in his characterizations, exaggeratedly affecting a serious gravity in preposterous situations and extravagant speeches. Married Mary Bradt at 32, no children from the union. Did a David Belasco (Steven Bochco) play, “The Auctioneer,” as a sympathetic Russian Jew, and won national celebrity over the role, which made him rich. Became an early partner of entrepreneur Marcus Loew (Michael Ovitz) in marketing motion pictures in penny arcades. Loews, Inc., in turn, made him a millionaire. Cemented his acting reputation in another Belasco vehicle, but in his mid-50s, he retired after he became estranged from the playwright. Did 4 roles in 25 years, all in Belasco productions, which made his career. Collected fine art, and enjoyed the wealth and prestige he had earned from a life that began so humbly, dying a millionaire. Inner: Nonintellectual, always looked for the humanity in his characters. The only classical role he found interesting was Shylock. Good at card tricks, innate magician. Material boy lifetime of both mocking and celebrating his upbringing, and using it as the foundation upon which he could build a full-pocketed career of immense popularity. James William Wallack (1795-1864) - American actor. Outer: From a stage family, father was Jewish, mother had been a leading actress in David Garrick’s (Richard Burton) company. One of 4 children, all of whom became connected to the stage. Brother was Henry Wallack (Henry Winkler). Made his first appearance at the age of 4 in the Royal Circus. His father wanted him to pursue a naval career, but relented when he saw his son’s fascination with the stage. By the time he was 12, he was doing plays by both Shakespeare and Richard Sheridan (George Bernard Shaw), who got him a place in his Drury Lane company. Made his U.S. debut as MacBeth in his early 20s, and then crossed the Atlantic some 35 times over the next 34 years in a busy career in both London and NYC. Married Susan Johnstone, the daughter of a popular Irish tenor, 2 sons from the union, including Lester Wallack (Tom Cruise), followed him onto the stage. In his early 40s, he took over as general manager of the National Theater in NYC, with his brother as stage manager and leading player. After the theater burned down 2 years later, he managed another one, then went back to transatlantic touring again for several years. Took over the Lyceum Theater in NYC in his mid-50s, and renamed it the Wallack Theater, with his son Lester as stage manager, and other son Charles as treasurer. His wife died in his mid-50s, and he deeply mourned her loss. Had a successful decade doing Shakespeare repertory. Retired in his early 60s from acting, although continued managing, but his health declined rapidly once he was no longer active. An admirably versatile actor, with an easy gift for self-expression. Inner: Dark-haired, fine-featured, rich voice, displaying vigorous movements on stage, with a nervous vitality. Family-rich lifetime of being born to the stage, and never losing his focus on its potential for rich rewards in a well-remembered career.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS QUIET BIG MAN:
Storyline: The affable craftsman does past life battle with weight and heart problems, before settling into an equally large body to become a low-key hyphenated player with an abundance of heart and a desire to bring his many talents to full maturity.
Forest Whitaker (1961) - American actor. Outer: Of African/American descent. Father was an insurance salesman, mother was a special education teacher. One of 4 siblings. The family moved to Los Angeles where he grew up in a middle-class African-American neighborhood and became a star football player in high school. Also played sax and sang, but found acting to be a far more expressive outlet for him than music. 6’2”, 220 lbs. Won a football scholarship, before transferring to USC in both theater and opera, but switched his main interest from singing to acting, then got another scholarship to Berkeley. Made his film debut in Fast Times at Ridgemont High in his early 20s, bringing his large, affable, bearish figure to the screen. After playing small roles on TV and in films, spent a year in England on a Gielgud scholarship at the Drum Studio of London. The turning point in his career came in his mid-20s, when he played self-destructive musician Charlie Parker in Clint Eastwood’s Bird. Continually looking for challenges in his roles, and extremely career-minded, albeit less as a star than an extremely competent craftsman. Married and divorced, one son, then in 1996, he married a 2nd time to Keisha Nash, an actress/model, adding 3 more children to his brood. Made his directorial debut with an urban thriller for HBO, Strapped, in his early 30s, and has continued on both the small and large screen in a variety of roles. In 2006, he gave a particularly bravura performance as African Big Man, Idi Amin, in The Last King of Scotland, and won a Best Actor Oscar for it the following year. After putting on 70 lbs. for the role, he began going in the opposite direction, going vegetarian and dieting to the point of looking only half himself, in an antidotal replay of his last go-round in this series. Did episodic TV work afterwards on “The Shield,” as well as serving as executive producer on a variety of projects, and supplying voices for others, in addition to his ongoing impressive oeuvre on the silver screen. Inner: Strong interest in writing, and also in finding a niche behind the camera for himself. Quiet, contemplative, and publicity-shy. Spiritual, introverted, reticent. Devotes much time to researching his roles, with a great desire to get inside his characters. Hyphenated lifetime of feeling time is of the essence, after exiting early the previous time around at the beginning of another seemingly memorable career. Laird Cregar (Samuel Laird Cregar) (1916-1944) - American actor. Outer: From a prosperous Philadelphia family. Educated at Winchester Academy in England, and spent his summers working as a page boy and bit player with the Stratford-on-Avon theatrical company. Went to private schools on his return to the US and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles, after receiving a scholarship there. 6’3”, 300 lbs. and reputedly a self-loathing homophile. Did odd jobs, including working as a nightclub bouncer, before gaining notice on the West Coast, with his own theatrical version of “Oscar Wilde.” Won a film contract and made his cinematic debut in 1941 in Hudson’s Bay. Worked as a memorable heavy, both literally and figuratively in a variety of parts, while he also continued his theater work. Only had a brief 5 year movie run, which saw him stand out in whatever he did, culminating in his last 2 films, which were extremely memorable villainous roles, as Jack the Ripper in The Lodger and a murderer in Hangover Square. In an ill-advised desire to become a romantic lead, he went on an unsupervised crash diet to lose 100 pounds, which weakened his heart considerably. Had to undergo emergency surgery for a stomach disorder and he died a few days later following a 2nd heart attack at 28. Inner: Extremely conflicted, as if he were carrying an extra person that he hated within himself. Overweight lifetime of only getting a brief taste of the potential talent he had, before exiting through a heart that could not find any love for himself. James Wallack II (1818-1873) - American actor. Outer: Of Jewish descent. Father was Henry Wallack (Henry Winkler), grew up in a multi-generational theatrical tradition. Made his debut at age 4, with uncle James William Wallack (Tom Hanks). Screamed at ‘Uncle Jim,’ not to hurt him, which made the crowd roar. Attended private schools in England and NYC. At 17, he began his apprenticeship in England with his father and then in NYC with his uncle, for whom he was named. Like them, he crossed the ocean many times to become a transatlantic star, specializing in tragedy and melodrama. In his mid-20s, he married a tragic actress, Ann Duff Sefton, 2 children who died young. His only two losing ventures as a manager were in London and Paris, while his American ventures were far more successful. Joined his cousin Lester’s (Tom Cruise) company in NYC in his mid-40s. Best in tragedy and romantic parts calling for a rugged physique and a deep voice. Died of TB on a train heading for a health resort. Inner: Natural player, whose life was eased considerably by his impeccable connections to the stage. Family-based lifetime of being given easy access to an acting career, which he took full advantage of, and like the others in his brood, gave himself the base for ultimately recreating himself as a unique figure of both the stage and screen. All four would continue to use the ‘K’ sound in their names as reflection of their hidden Wallach (k) connection.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS KINETIC SUPERSTAR:
Storyline: The puppydog player learns by absorption and manages to expand his talents to meet the demands of his high profile popularity, making himself into a high energy actor with an emotional elan that eventually matches his boyish good looks, while fighting an instinct for self-sabotage, thanks to his controversial beliefs.
Tom Cruise (Thomas Cruise Mapother IV) (1962) - American actor. Outer: Mother was an amateur actress and a teacher of dyslectic and hyperkinetic kids, since she also suffered from dyslexia, as did her children. Father was an electrical engineer, as well as abusive. 3rd of 4 children. The family moved frequently, and he attended 8 grade schools and 3 high schools. Although he felt singled out over his learning disability, he used sports to integrate himself with his peers. His parents divorced when he was 12, and he lived with his mother in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, while she struggled to support the family. At 14, he enrolled at a Franciscan seminary, but gave it up after a year because he felt too attracted to women. His mother remarried when he was 16. Injured himself wrestling and turned to acting as a means of self-expression, doing a high school musical of “Guys and Dolls,” and finding that he thoroughly enjoyed being on stage. 5’9”, boyish with an athletic build. Moved to NYC at 18, and supported himself as a busboy and maintenance worker, before making his film debut in Endless Love. His puppydog appeal led to numerous roles, and, though a wooden actor at first, he gradually began working with more talented costars and learning from them, so that by the end of the 1980s, he found himself in the unique category of superstar, allowing virtually every film project he was on, to have a box office headstart. Introduced to the Church of Scientology by Mimi Rogers, whom he would marry in 1987, and was subsequently treated like royalty by the Church, as one of its major public faces. After divorcing Rogers in 1990, he married Australian actress Nicole Kidman later that year, one adopted daughter and son from the union, which saw him drift away from Scientology because of his wife’s influence. After being roped back into the Church, he slapped a divorce suit on the astonished Kidman, and the couple separated and split in 2001. Got total custody of his children, effectively shutting their mother completely out of their lives. Weathered aspersions on his sexuality, including a canard by a French porn actor claiming an affair with him. One of the highest paid stars in Hollywood, with the ability to expand a limited talent through his facility for absorption, he turned himself into an adequate craftsman with a strong belief in his own abilities, and a string of $100 million movies to his credit. Serially monogamous, he had a three year affair with actress Penelope Cruz, before summarily ending the relationship, after which he took up with the much younger, as well as taller, Katie Holmes, while couch-bouncing on the Oprah Winfrey show to display his professed passion for her, before proposing following a two month courtship. Had a daughter with her, under Scientology precepts of the mother suppressing her expression of pain, so as not to harm the child. Proved to be a public bulldog on various psychiatric issues at the same time, reflecting Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s beliefs and revealing a rigid and uncompromising side to himself, heretofore unseen by his fan base. Fired his longtime publicist during this period and hired his sister, but his over the top antics soon called for more professional hands to rein him in. Subsequently found his next picture, Mission:Impossible:3, far more popular overseas than the U.S. as a result of all his tomfoolery, and subsequently had Paramount sever their 14 year relationship with him, in an opening round battle between suits and stars over the latter’s mega-salaries. Quickly rebounded by taking charge of the moribund United Artists, with his partner Paula Wagner, with the latter as chief executive and himself as an executive and producer, and both granted a 1/3 stake in the dormant studio. As a coda to his year of living dangerously, he married KH in a medieval castle in Bracciano, Italy in a Scientology ceremony. Germany subsequently took umbrage at his playing an anti-Hitler officer, thanks to the country’s cultish view of Scientology, although later rescinded that stance. Built a bunker in his Colorado home to protect his family against an alien attack from Xenu, a deposed galactic ruler, eager to obliterate the Earth, while continuing to run UA, even though his partner, Paula Rogers quit to pursue independent projects. At the time, he was given the over-the-top opportunity to caricature a gross studio head in Tropic Thunder, and took full obscene advantage of it. In 2012, his wife blindsided him, much in the same manner he had earlier done to Nicole Kidman and sued him for divorce and sole legal custody of their daughter, in fear she would be sucked into her husband’s obsession with Scientology, setting up a highly public battle between the two around ongoing issues of belief and control. Opted for a speedy settlement to keep himself in a positive public light, with their daughter Suri primarily in the care of her mother, while he gets generous visitation rights, in keeping with Scientology’s credo of moving through things quickly, and getting them behind you. Intimates, however, intimate that underneath the surface, a war brews between them, in his need to reassert control over his daughter, and gain some semblance of revenge in having been so easily caught off-guard and trumped by his ex-wife.Inner: Intense, determined, courteous and polite, although much put off by all the attention his career has garnered. Great desire to be in control, with an equal eagerness to push himself beyond all self-imposed boundaries. High profile lifetime of extending his earlier stardom into the realm of superstardom, through his youthful grappling with a learning disability and his fierce drive to overcome his limitations via a controversial reprogramming religion. Jack Warren Kerrigan (George Warren Kerrigan) (1889-1947) - American actor. Outer: Father was of Scotch-Irish descent and a successful superintendent of a large warehouse. Wanted his son to follow suit. One of 6 brothers, and a sister, and his mother’s clear favorite. Had a twin brother, who was weak and sickly, and wished him to be a boxer in compensation for his own fragility. His sister also became a stage and screen actress. Good singer and painter as a youth, during which time he was dubbed ‘Jack’ by his family. Closely attached to his mother, who wanted him to be a minister. 6’1”, 200 lbs, with a huge chest, dark hair and hazel eyes. Attended the Univ. of Illinois, then worked as a warehouse clerk per his father’s wishes, before his brother-in-law helped him make his stage debut at 18 in community theater. Became known as the “The Gibson Man,” because of his handsome features, paralleling the popular “Gibson Girl” of the day, a projection of the artist Charles Dana Gibson. Joined a stock company, and made his NY stage debut in 1906 in “Sam Houston.” While touring in Chicago, he was invited to join the Essanay Studios, and did so, in order to have a new home base, despite reservations about the fledgling movie industry. His family, for whom he was now the main support, soon joined him. Became a star almost immediately for Essanay, playing mostly in westerns, before jumping companies, moving out west, and winding up at Universal in 1913. Appeared in hundreds of films from the outset of silents in 1910 until 1924, always playing the dashing handsome hero, to his huge, adoring fan base. Almost killed by a lion in a movie scene, when it was shot while having him in its grasp. Refused to enlist in WW I, which hurt his career, then had health problems, developing pneumonia after being caught in the Spanish flu epidemic of the time. Formed his own eponymous company in 1917, but made poor films, which didn’t register with the public. Retired in 1924, after his mother’s demise, while still on top of his game, following a pirate epic, Captain Blood. Wound up starring in 289 films. Never married, and lived with his mother until her death in his mid-40s, which was a bitter blow to him. Died of bronchial pneumonia. Inner: Modest, outdoorsy. Didn’t participate in the lavish Hollywood scene of the time at all. Probably a homophile, although never admitted it publicly. Closeted lifetime of keeping his sexuality and attachments hidden, while creating a career around his surface beauty, and the various talents he held in untapped reserve, which would subconsciously feed into questions of his true orientation the next time around. Lester Wallack (John Johnstone Wallack) (1820-1888) - English actor, manager and playwright. Outer: Father was James William Wallack (Tom Hanks). From a multi-generational stage family. Uncle was Henry Wallack (Henry Winkler). Received his early education in private schools in England. At 15, he made his debut in a school play, but did his death scene so close to the footlights, that the curtain fell over him, and he had to be dragged back, much to the audience’s roaring delight. Questioned his choice of career afterwards, but made his debut at 19 under the name ‘Allan Field,’ so as not to capitalize on his father’s name. Toured the English provinces as his apprenticeship, and made his NY debut at 27. In 1848, he married Emily Millais, the sister of artist John Millais (John Schlesinger), 4 children from the union. His father took over the Lyceum Theater in NYC 5 years later and renamed it the Wallack Theater, and he became both a romantic and comic lead, as well as the stage manager, succeeding his sire when he retired in 1861. Wrote and starred in “Rosedale,” as well as an imported English drama for American audiences. The company came to include his cousin James William Wallack II (Forest Whitaker). Opened a 2nd theater in his early 60s, and managed both until his retirement 5 years later. Given a huge star-studded benefit at life’s near end. Posthumously published his autobiography, “Memories of Fifty Years.” Inner: Highly domestic: security and family oriented. Security blanket lifetime of incarnating into a theatrical family and longtime karmic crew to insure his ultimate career choice, and, despite ignominious beginnings, able to give expression to his varied talents through his family’s combined endeavors.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS OUTRAGEOUS HAM:
Storyline: The unabashed scenery-chewer steals everything in sight in front of the camera, before finally ridding himself of the burden of his unfit father, and reclaiming himself as a dramatic artist of unusual ability and instinctive insight.
Gary Oldman (1958) - English actor. Outer: Father was a pipe-fitter and alcoholic who abandoned the family, leaving it destitute, when his son was 7. Only saw him twice afterwards. Grew up in a tough, workingclass neighborhood, then attended a brutal boys’ school. 2 older sisters, who were grown up and gone by the time he was 10. Left to his own amusement through much of childhood, he began drinking as a teen. Worked as a sales clerk in a sporting good’s store, then decided on a stage career, although was rejected from the Royal Academy of Drama. 5’10”. After training with the Greenwich Young People’s Theater, he won a scholarship to the Rose Buford College of Speech and Drama, receiving a theater arts degree at 21. Began doing stage, TV and film work, immediately drawing notice to himself for his instinctive sharply felt performances. Scored his first international success in 1986 as the Sex Pistols’ self-annihilator Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy, and followed that up with an equally riveting portrayal of playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Years. Continued his drinking, slowly turning himself into aspects of his father. Married actress Lesley Manville in his late 20s, divorced 3 years later, one son. Later settled in NYC and married actress Uma Thurman in 1990, but divorced after 2 years. As capable of over-the-top portrayals as he is with well-woven ones, he is best remembered in the former mode for his turn as Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Finally sobered up, married an American model, Donna Fiorentino in 1997, 2 sons, although the duo divorced four years later. Made his directorial debut in his late 30s with Nil by Mouth, a grueling view of alcoholic dysfunction in a working-class family, and continues as one of the screen’s more outrageous portrayers of unusual characters. At 50, he married Alexandra Edenborough, a jazz singer nearly two decades his junior. Inner: Supremely self-confident, views acting as a release. Hell-raising alcoholic most of his life, spending much of his early career in exaggerated rather than well-acted performances. Tremendous bottled-up energy from upbringing, with an ambiguous view of his craft. Eventually sobering lifetime of slowly turning his disconnected childhood into a need to be an artist and realize his full potential as such. Robert Newton (1905-1956) - English actor. Outer: Great-grandfather, Henry Newton, founded the Winsor & Newton art supply company. Mother was a writer, father was a painter and member of the Royal Academy. Brother and sister were painters. Had only a grammar school education. Joined the Birmingham Repertory Theater at 15 as an assistant stage manager. Made his debut in G. B. Shaw’s “Captain Brassbound’s Conversion,” and served a 3 year apprenticeship with them, in some 40 plays. In 1923, he left England for a South African tour, and then made his London debut in a revue, “London Life,” in 1924. His first triumph was in Noel Coward’s “Bitter Sweet,” and he also made his Broadway debut in 1931, in Coward’s “Private Lives.” Made his film debut in his mid-20s in Reunion, and went on to create a memorable career as a character actor and noteworthy villain, who dominated the screen with his thundering voice and wild eyes, although was equally capable of subtle performances. Married 4 times, beginning in 1929 to Petronella Watson, their daughter Sally became an actress. Wed again in 1936 to Annie McLean. His third marriage, in 1947 to Natalie Newhouse produced Nicholas Newton, a theatre producer, and the fourth in 1952 to Vera Budnik, issued forth Kim Newton, a photojournalist. In 1933, he fulfilled a dream by becoming an actor/manager of the Shilling Theater, while involving his whole family in the enterprise, doing one of his mother’s plays, while his father did the sets and two sisters acted. One of the leading box-office attractions in England in the late 1940s and early 1950s with memorable turns as Long John Silver in Treasure Island and as Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist. Moved to Hollywood for the last part of his career, where he descended into alcoholism, after a lifelong battle with the bottle. Starred in a short-lived TV series in the former role. Died of a heart attack in his wife’s arms. Inner: Easily directed, fond of the grape, with the capability of dominating or supporting any vehicle he was in. Ham at heart, who found performance the best outlet for his uninhibited and self-destructive character. Great disrespect for authority, lived his roles publicly when not performing. Off-beat sense of humor. Scene-stealing lifetime of fashioning a memorable career as an uninhibited ham, despite a great need to baste his skills with alcohol, much to the despair of those close to him, who would have preferred him far less over-cooked. Edward A. Sothern (Edward Askew Southern) (1826-1881) - English actor. Outer: Father was a collier. His family wanted him to be a minister, and he briefly studied medicine, before sowing a strong antipathy towards dissection, causing him to switch careers to a clerk for a shipping concern. Began acting in amateur productions, then joined a professional company in his early teens. For the next near decade, he was a member of various companies and made a trip to America in 1852, although had little success in the opening forays of his career. Handsome, albeit without the voice to take on lead roles. Married Irish actress Fannie Stewart at career’s beginning and had three sons who became actors, as well as a daughter who also took to the stage, with the middle scion, Edward H. Sothern (Kenneth Branagh), a particular favorite. In 1858, he appeared in a small role, Lord Dundreary, in “Our American Cousin,” caricaturing the English nobility. Although at first reluctant to take the part, he was told by his friend Joseph Jefferson III (Jimmy Stewart), a classic theatre truism, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Able to breathe great humor into the role, and it became one of his mainstays, introducing Dundreary whiskers as a fashion statement of the time. Later revived the character to equally popular effect. Subsequently enjoyed great success as a comic actor in a variety of roles, on both sides of the Atlantic. His London home was a gathering place for people of fashion, while he was always on stage, pulling pranks in the streets and at restaurants, and creating mock public arguments as well as other good-humored mischief. Suffered declining health after a short European tour, and died, while many of his friends missed his funeral, thinking his demise was just another of his put-ons. Inner: Notorious practical joker, highly social sportsman and a natural comedian. Small part, but large actor lifetime of thoroughly enjoying his fame’n’fortune both on and off-stage, after coming to the realization that he had the ability to infuse anything with his high and hammy good humor. George Powell (1668?-1714) - English actor and playwright. Outer: Father of the same name was an actor. First recorded in 1687, playing on the same bill as his sire, so that some confusion would persist afterwards, just who was who in their subsequent role-taking with the United Company. His mother may also have been an actress. Tall, and eventually quite dissipated. Continued playing support roles into the 1690s, while also seeing his first drama, “Alfonso, King of Naples,” performed in 1691. The following year, an actor plunged a real dagger three inches into him on stage quite by accident, although he recovered from the incident. Had his first comedy, “Very Good Wife,” an adaptation, performed afterwards, while originating many parts through the rest of the decade, as well as continuing to pen dramas. A confirmed alcoholic by this juncture, he would often perform in an altered state, with tragedy as his specialty. In 1697, he cowrote the book along with actor John Verbruggen (Kenneth Branagh) for an opera, “Brutus of Alba.” Considered fellow company member Robert Wilks (Kevin Kline) his primary rival on the stage. Always felt he was in constant menace from the possibility of arrest, and usually carried a sword with him on the street, to fend off his paranoid projections. Despite his continuous debauched state, he had little trouble in keeping a busy acting schedule, performing for Lincoln Field’s Inn for two seasons, before switching back to Drury Lane in 1704, which would be his mainstay over his last decade. Worked until the end of his life, despite steadily incapacitating himself through uncontrolled imbibing, before finally succumbing at a relatively young age, to his excesses. Inner: Vain, quarrelsome, misogynistic and churlish, despite a distinct talent for the stage. Well-lubricated lifetime of allowing his constant need for self-medication to ultimately overwhelm him, and allow his profound innate anger to claim him as its primary victim.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS FOOTLIT, FOOTLOOSE PATRIARCH:
Storyline: The repetitive paterfamilias gives solid multi-generational root to various families of actors, while continually expanding his own abilities through an unsurety of self bred of many go-rounds in an unsure profession.
Kevin Bacon (1958) - American actor. Outer: Mother was a Park Avenue debutante who taught elementary school, before actively engaging in political issues. Father was a highly-regarded city planner and architect. Youngest of 6, close-knit family in a musical, highly expressive household, older brother became a musician. Given a sense of independence, he knew by 13 that he would be an actor, which his mother encouraged, and left home at 17 to become one. Got his theater training at Manning Street Actor’s Theater in Philadelphia, and began his film career at 20, in Animal House, before establishing himself with Footloose in 1984. 5’11”. At 30, he married actress Kyra Sedgwick, whom he had met on a TV film, “Lemon Sky,” son and daughter, very active parent in their lives. Has had a busy career as a dependable star, although realized in his early 30s that he would never be a huge marquee name, and would be better served as a character actor, with a willingness to take risky roles. Also worked on the stage, winning an Obie award in 1982 for an Off-Broadway play, “Forty Deuce,” playing a drug-addicted male prostitute, which he reprised on film, as well as appearing on TV. Became the object of an interconnected movie game, ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ linking him with virtually everyone in Hollywood via his costarring roles, in an unconscious reflection of his hidden ongoing role as patriarchal producer of actors. Had a busy career, averaging 2 films a year in the 1990s, and also directed his first film, Losing Chance, starring his wife in 1996. In addition formed the Bacon Brothers in 1994, with his musician brother, Michael, and has toured, released several CDs, and played NY’s venerable Town Hall with him. Always far more interested in challenging roles than easy acceptability, he scored a personal triumph in 2004 as The Woodsman, the bleak tale of a pedophile looking for redemption, in which he costarred with his wife. Financially wiped out by Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff in 2008, as one of Hollywood’s higher profile stars to be caught in that fraudmeister’s machinations. Inner: Forthright, dry-humored, with a curious lack of professional self-confidence, despite his many films. Strong identification with the role of fatherhood. Bringin’-home-the bacon lifetime of motivating himself through lack of surety in what he does in order to push him beyond his fears and boundaries. Walter Huston (Walter Houghston) (1884-1950) - American actor. Outer: Of Scots-Irish descent. Father was a Canadian contractor. Youngest of 4. Prepared to follow in his sire’s footsteps, and studied engineering, but the classes he took at the Toronto College of Music, led to a stage appearance in the same city at 18, and he dropped out of school to join a road show, serving his apprenticeship in vaudeville. 6’, broad-bodied. By his early 20s, he was a successful vaudevillian. At the same time, he married Rhea Gore, a strong-willed society-conscious newspaperwoman, and after his only child, actor/director John Huston, was born, he decided to return to the working world as an engineer for power plants in Nevada and St. Louis. He and his wife, however, were far too opposite, and he climbed back on stage in his mid-20s, and became a popular headliner on the vaudeville circuit. Divorced in his late 20s. Married again in 1914 to Bayonne Whipple, with whom he formed a song-and-dance act. The duo eventually divorced when she accused him of desertion. At 30, he switched to drama and starred in several Broadway plays, before hieing to Hollywood at the advent of the sound era in the late 1920s. Despite being in his mid-40s, he played some romantic leads, and also continued his work on Broadway, including “Knickerbocker Holiday,” in which he gave his famous rendition of ‘September Song.’ Married again to Ninetta Sutherland, in 1931, he bought a cattle ranch and a mountain home. Did dual work in film and on stage for several plays, and then enjoyed his biggest triumph as the Devil in the screen adaptation of The Devil and Daniel Webster. Culminated his career in his son John’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as a gold prospector, for which he won Best Supporting Actor in 1948. Died of a ruptured abdominal aneurysm. Inner: Persevering, down-to-Earth, humble. Created a memorable career out of playing distinct individuals. Footlit, footloose lifetime of continuing to explore his unique personality through his characterizations, while serving once again as father to a talent far more complex than his own. Joseph Jefferson I (1774-1832) - English/American actor. Outer: Father was an actor/manager, mother was a beauty who died when her son was an infant. Trained in his father’s company, but disliked his stepmother. A republican at heart, he came to America in his early 20s, living first in Boston, then in NYC. Married the daughter of the owner of his boarding/house soon after arriving in the latter city. Her other daughter had married actor William Warren (Walter Matthau), intertwining the two theatrical families. 9 children, one dying in infancy; 7 of his off-spring would choose the stage as a career. Grandfather of Joseph Jefferson III (Jimmy Stewart). Had a physical resemblance to President Thomas Jefferson, although the 2 were not related. Played in NYC for the next 7 years, excelling in comedy roles, with a particular aptitude at characterizing old men. Went to Philadelphia and for the next quarter century was known as “Old Jefferson,” for his skill at limning the elderly. Deeply hurt by the public’s indifference when his theater fell on hard times. Wandered for 2 years, during which time his wife and 3 of his children died. Gout and grief did him in shortly afterwards. Inner: Dignified, kindly, virtuous, happy and optimistic. Natural performer with a playful humor and much charm. Footloose, footlit lifetime of establishing his unique character on the American stage, while serving as a theatrical patriarch for the multi-generations bearing his name to come.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS DEEPLY WOUNDED STAR:
Storyline: The classically-chiseled charmer hides his hidden hurts behind a facade of fumbling likeability, while revealing himself in embarrassing ways as a vulnerable victim of his own ongoing need to experience pained exits to counterbalance his handsome entrances.
Hugh Grant (1960) - English actor. Outer: Had a middle-class upbringing. Father sold broadloom carpets, mother taught at an Asian school. Younger of 2 brothers. Initially wanted to be an art his/storian. Began performing with the Piers Gaveston Society at Oxford Univ., making his debut in a university-sponsored production of “Privileged.” After graduation with a degree in English literature, he performed small parts at the Nottingham Playhouse. All set to pursue a graduate degree in art his/story, when he took a detour into acting. Wrote advertising copy to support himself, before forming his own revue group, the Jockeys of Norfolk. After some stage experience, he made his debut on the screen in his mid-20s, with Maurice, and became a popular star through a number of vehicles geared towards his handsome, heartthrob charm. 5’11”. A huge star in Japan, as an embodiment of European male beauty, he became an international luminary with Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994. Had a 13 year involvement with British actress/model Elizabeth Hurley, which she ultimately ended, much to his dismay. As his star was steadily ascending, he was arrested in 1995 for soliciting sex from a prostitute in Hollywood, and became a tabloid favorite. Fined a modest sum and given two years probation, while going on American TV to give a charming, well-received apology, and his career continued unabated despite the notoriety. Added producer to his resume, and continued to play to archetype in his deceptively fashioned desire to be a major movie cinematic presence, although admitted he always hated acting. Tried writing, but found himself blocked in that regard. Began experiencing panic attacks after the turn of the century, suffering terrible stage fright on the set of some of his films to further his mixed feelings about his craft, in an unconscious nod to his difficulties in lives past around being a highly public figure. Fathered a daughter with Chinese restaurant worker Tinglan Hong, despite her having another boyfriend at the time of the child’s birth, in yet another disconnected act on his part. Later added a son to the family with same woman. Inner: Charming, pessimistic, self-effacing, sophisticated, a natural movie star, although not overly comfortable with his designation as such. Intelligent, easily flummoxed, not particularly into children. Wounded lifetime, once again, of revealing an inconsistent interior to his exterior ease of manner, as he continues to deal with his own hidden pain in his own reserved manner. Robert Donat (Friedrich Robert Donat) (1905-1958) - English actor. Outer: Father was a Polish immigrant and civil engineer, mother was British. 4th and youngest son. Had chronic asthma his entire life. Began taking elocution lessons at 11 because of a stutter, and eventually developed a versatile voice. Made his stage debut at 16 and played a variety of Shakespearean and repertory roles with touring companies before making his London debut in his mid-20s. Married Ella Voysey in his mid-20s, 3 children from the union, although the marriage was ultimately dissolved. 5’11”, handsome with a good romantic aura. Turned down MGM’s Irving Thalberg (Stephen Spielberg), before making his initial film appearance in the British production of The Private Life of Henry VIII in his late 20s, which made him an international star. Came to Hollywood to capitalize on his success, but didn’t like the American style of moviemaking or the movie capital and returned to England after one film, where he carved out a highly popular career on both stage and screen. Played the leads in many British films of the 1930s and early 1940s, winning an Academy Reward for Goodbye Mr. Chips in 1939, for believably aging on the screen from 25 to 83. Married actress Renee Asherson in his late 40s. Despite his successes, he was continually nagged by self-doubts and insecurities, which made him turn down far more roles than he accepted, thereby never quite living up to the promise of his earlier career. Became a constant invalid over his last 5 years. Barely able to complete his last role in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. with the help of oxygen tanks, in which his last uttered lines were “We shall not see each other again, I think. Farewell.” Died of asthma before the film was released. Inner: Dashing and debonair on the outside, filled with fear on the inside, in unconscious reflection of his sudden demise in his previous life from unexpected forces. Dignified, shy and retiring. Pained lifetime of dealing with the wounds he had earlier received, and never quite transcending them, despite the outer equipment to do so. William Terriss (William Lewin) (1847-1897) - English actor. Outer: Father was a barrister. Educated at Christ’s Hospital. Joined the Merchant Service, but ran away after 2 weeks. Came into a small patrimony, which enabled him to study medicine, then worked as a partner in a large sheep farm in the Falkland Islands. Tried tea planting and experienced a shipwreck among his early adventures. As an amateur actor, he made his first regular stage appearance in 1867. Married the following year to Isabella Lewis, an actress, 2 sons and daughter. One son followed him onto the stage, as did a daughter, Ellaline. Rose to stardom in his early 20s, and played all the principle London theaters, doing both comedy and drama, with a particular adeptness at romantic leads. Handsome and debonair, which earned him the nickname ‘Breezy Bill.’ Joined actor-manager Henry Irving (Lawrence Olivier) at his Lyceum Theater in his early 30s, where he played various Shakespearean roles, before becoming the leading man at the Adelphi Theater, and then a public idol following his turns in a variety of melodramas. Daughter Ellaline Terriss, who lived to 100, became a very popular music-hall and musical comedy star. At the height of his success, he was stabbed 3 times by a poverty-stricken actor as he was entering the Adelphi Theater. His funeral was a huge public demonstration of his popularity as a a thespian, while his assassin won a permanent role in a lunatic asylum for his act. Inner: Charming, with striking looks and talent to match. Deeply wounding lifetime of ultimately being undone by a projection of his own hidden demons, an ongoing self-healing theme of his. The 3 stabbings may have alluded to a trinity of lives he needed expunged. William Mountfort (c1664-1692) - English actor and writer. Outer: From a good family. Father was a a captain. Began his career in his mid-teens with the Dorset Garden company, playing youthful roles, while being listed by the last name of Mumford. Steadily built a solid reputation for himself, playing mostly gentlemen, and originating several roles, while also proving himself a talented mimic. In 1686, he married Susanna Percival (Emma Thompson), an actress in his company. Two daughters from the union, one of whom, also named Susanna, took the stage, albeit briefly. Penned several dramas, as well as prologues, including a version of the Faustus legend, although his original abilities with the pen were third-rate at best. Did better in the realm of comedy, although never got a chance to fully explore his writing talents. A close friend of the magistrate, George Jeffreys (Roy Cohn), living with him before hiss fall, while entertaining him with imitations of lawyers who appeared in front of him. A tall, fair and agreeable man, he elicited the jealousy of a cutthroat captain named Richard Hill, who misperceived actress Anne Bracegirdle’s (Greta Garbo) attentions to him. Accompanied by Baron Charles Mohun (Bing Crosby), the jealous captain accosted and stabbed him in the back, and he died of his wounds the following day. The captain escaped, while Mohun was later acquitted of the dastardly act. Inner: Had a melodious voice, and an excellent talent for delivering repartee, while his efforts with the pen were never fully allowed to develop. Victim lifetime of being undone through misplaced jealousy, a misfortune he would later repeat as well, as some sort of recompense for unseen actions in the past, in his curious need to bring continual violent retribution on himself.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ELEPHANT MAN/BOY:
Storyline: The grotesque turned exotic turned emblematic heart/throb has difficulty in expressing himself in a restyled body and persona geared towards the Hollywood stud factory after earlier go-rounds as a freak and an uncommon half/man desperately searching for completion upon the silver screen.
Keanu Reeves (1964) - American actor. Outer: Father was of Chinese-Hawaiian descent, mother was British, and worked in Parisian couture houses when she was young. Oldest of 3. Keanu means ‘cool breeze over the mountains’ in Hawai’ian. The family did a lot of continent-hopping while he was a child, from Beirut to Australia to NYC, before finally settling in Toronto, where he spent his teenage years. His father helped costume rock’n’roll luminaries, before hotfooting it out of his son’s life at 13, only to do a decade in prison for drug-dealing in Hawai’i. His mother then married a theatrical producer, but divorced him a year later, and worked as a costume designer in both theater and films. Dropped out of several high schools and began acting at 15, working in community theater, doing TV and small roles in Toronto. A confirmed film fanatic, he swilled them down at Toronto Univ.’s Repertory Cinema, with an eye towards becoming a star himself. 6’1”. At 20, he headed for Los Angeles, began auditioning and soon found himself in a TV movie of the week, before appearing in River’s Edge. Although somewhat wooden and decidedly underplaying his roles, he became a quick star through such teenage fare as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and later, the action film, Speed, for which he bulked up. Began a band called Dogstar, for which he played bass, showing the same limited talent for music that he exhibited in his acting career. Eventually retired from the music scene at 40. Devastated by the drug death of close friend River Phoenix, with whom he did 2 films. Did a stage version of “Hamlet” in Winnipeg, which was locally well-received. Continually moving, preferring hotel rooms to a permanent home, while enjoying a successful early career more through his exotic looks than any depth of acting style. Suffered the loss of a still-born child, and then its mother, his girlfriend Jennifer Syme, in a car accident in 2001, which desolated him. Enjoyed spectacular success with The Matrix trilogy, using his reserve and inscrutability to good advantage. The trilogy made him rich, and after years of avoiding it, he finally bought his first home in the Hollywood Hills, while remaining as remote as ever, despite his continued high-profile career, although he made public plaint he wished to family it at some point. Inner: Unhollywood, mixture of cool and awkward nervousness, while remaining hidden, even to his closest friends. Longheld sense of inner pain through loss, making it difficult for him to attach himself to anyone. Thoughtful, introspective, shy, albeit charming, and extremely career and craft-oriented, taking himself seriously as an artist. Retooled lifetime of trying to recreate himself in more manly mode than his previous go-round in this series of investigating himself through public perceptions of him. Sabu (Sabu Dastagir) (1924-1963) - Indian/American actor. Outer: Father was an elephant handler at a maharajah’s court who was killed while working with the large animals. Orphaned, he became a pensioner, receiving rice once a day at the elephant stable. Became a stable boy at the maharajah’s court, and an excellent handler of elephants, showing no fear with them. Although not initially considered, when documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty (Jonathan Caouette) came to the court, he proved so adept with the large animals, that he was cast at 13 in the title role of Elephant Boy. Went on to play similar exotic roles in other British films, before coming to Hollywood, and appearing in costume and Middle eastern adventure dramas. 5’6”. In 1948, he married Marilyn Cooper, a minor actress who had appeared in one of his films, 2 children from the union. His brother was murdered in a robbery in America, and despite being a good father in a happy marriage, he was named in several paternity suits, although won in court on each one. Had a beautiful palatial home, but someone set fire to it, and he went on trial for arson, but was acquitted. Never brought his past into his present with his family, preferring to live like an American, seeing America as his ultimate home. Served as a B-24 gunner in WW II. When the fad for his type of epic faded in the late 1940s, he went to Europe to appear in British and Italian films, and also work in European circuses. By the early 1950s, his odd career had already reached its peak, and he had difficulty in finding suitable roles for his exotic screen presence. Died of a heart attack. Inner: Despite humble, exotic background, strongly career-driven, with a great need to feel special and uncommon, 2 traits he readily projected. Had an additional sense of being on trial for his uniqueness, and was always able to prevail in judicial situations. Sabutaged lifetime of briefly enjoying his own odd brand of fame, only to suffer rejection at career’s end for his uniqueness, literally leading to a broken heart, and a desire to return in more palatable and accessible, albeit still exotic, form to the shifting tastes of the American film industry and public, in his ongoing desire for absolute uncommonality. Joseph Merrick (1862-1890) - English grotesque. Known as “the Elephant Man.” Outer: From a normal family, mother was slightly crippled. Younger brother and sister. Normal until the age of 5, when his physiognomy began to alter to grotesque proportions through a degenerative condition known as Proteus syndrome. His head became 3 feet around, with bags of brown spongy skin hanging down from the back of it and across his face. Unable to speak because of a deformed jaw, or show any kind of facial expression. His right-hand was finlike, with a foot-long wrist, although his left side was normal, while his legs were deformed. His mother died when he was 11, and his father remarried a woman who was embarrassed by his freakishness. Sold shoeblack on the street, where he was tormented by other children, then was put in a workhouse at the age of 17. Made an exhibit in a freak-show 4 years later, and was able to buy a home from the proceeds he made, although he subsequently lost all his money when he was robbed and abandoned by an Austrian showman in Belgium. Checked into a London hospital in 1886, suffering from malnutrition and exhaustion, and it became his home for the rest of his life, thanks to a surgeon who took a scientific interest in him, and was able to secure his stay there through widespread public interest. Able to read and write, he evinced an active imagination, which belied his freakish physicality, and he eventually died in his sleep of accidental suffocation. His skeleton remains on display at the hospital. The subject of both a play and film, nearly a century later, called, “Elephant Man.” Inner: Childlike, intelligent, sensitive, well-mannered. Suffered greatly for his misshapen form. Sideshow lifetime of celebrating an absolute sense of uniqueness through physical deformity, perhaps as a result of earlier vanity or an ongoing need to be truly different from everyone else, in his ongoing serial desire to work out his own sense of alienation through the serial trinity of outer ugliness, outer oddness, and finally, outer beauty.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS TRANSATLANTIC SHAKESPEAREAN:
Storyline: The classical thespian raises his ambitions by lowering his roots in order to bring more edifying entertainment to the masses, while shifting his longtime partnership in the process, as a means of reinvesting himself with new theatrical vigor.
Kenneth Branagh (1960) - English actor. Outer: Both grandfathers worked on the docks and were drinkers. Father was a carpenter, who owned a company that dealt with suspended ceilings. Close working-class family in Belfast, living in the shadow of a tobacco factory. One brother 5 years older and one sister a decade younger. Grew up poor and aware of the Troubles, until his family moved to Reading, England when he was 9, after his father got a job there. The guilt surrounding his cultural identity followed him into adulthood, but the new environment spurred an interest in the theater, and, after studying drama, he made his initial debut in “The Drunkard” with the Progress Theater Group of Reading. 5’9 1/2”. Scored a resounding triumph in his London debut in “Another Country.” Joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, but found it too impersonal and left to form his own Renaissance Theater company, for which he both directed and wrote. Made his film debut in his late 20s in High Season, and soon established himself as a potentially formidable talent. Able to breathe cinematic life into Shakespeare, with rousing productions of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. Married actress Emma Thompson in his late 20s, and the duo appeared together both on stage and in film, although later divorced after his affair with actress Helena Bonham-Carter, with whom he connected while working on his own vanity-project version of Frankenstein with her, although she later left him for director Tim Burton. Hit a dry spell after century’s turn, losing much of his golden boy luster, and stopped directing altogether, turning to theater instead, and light comedy, while cutting back on his acting. While filming in Greenland, he met and married an art director, Lindsay Brunnock. More content with his private life, and with less of a need to overdazzle his audiences, he has also lost the compulsion to cast himself in his features, having appeared in 7 out of the first 8. Made a noticeable comeback towards the end of the decade with a trio of well-imagined films, including two standbys,The Magic Flute and Sleuth. Inner: Articulate, ambitious and multi-talented. Repartnered lifetime of evolving from modest roots into the same Shakespearean sensibilities he continues to pursue into modern relevance, while extending his craft and reach to embrace a more mass audience. E. H. Sothern (1859-1933) - English/American actor. Outer: Father was celebrated English comedian Edward Askew Southern (Gary Oldman), who really wanted to be a tragedian. Mother was an Irish actress. Had an older and younger brother who both became actors, while his sister also had a career on the stage. Educated in England, and despite his sire’s desire he pursue another line of work, he insisted on following him into the footlights. 5’11”. Made his initial appearance with his father’s company at 19, and muffed his first line. Toured the U.S. and then England 3 years later, making his London debut in 1881. Became a leading comedian in John McCullough’s (Paul Newman) company by his mid-20s, then joined the Frohman brothers (Harvey and Bob Weinstein) in NYC in their Broadway stock company over the next dozen years. In his late 30s, he formed his own company, and was best known for his portrayal of the hero of “The Prisoner of Zenda,” which made him a star, and he continued playing romantic leads afterwards. In 1896, he married actress Virginia Harned, divorcing her fourteen years later. Became adept at the classics, playing Romeo to actress Julia Marlowe’s (Emma Thompson) Juliet in his mid-40s, and the two appeared almost continuously together on stage for the next 2 decades, save for one 2 year period, although were never able to establish themselves in the home country of the Bard. The duo married in his early 50s, and became America’s favorite Shakespearean couple of the time. Had a repertory of some 125 parts, but was best known as a romantic hero. From 1928 onward, he lectured on Shakespeare, on various speaking circuits. Died of pneumonia. Inner: Classic actor, dedicated craftsman. Hard worker with little humor, showing himself to be both dictatorial and distinguished. Partnered lifetime of bringing high culture to America, while playing off of longtime cohort, before repeating the experience from a British perspective without the ongoing ballast of his longtime mate. John Verbruggen (?-1708) - English actor. Outer: Origins obscure. Tall, well-built, and knock-kneed, which gave him a shambling gait. First appears under the name of Alexander at the Drury Lane in 1688. Adopted the name from Alexander the Great, and continued using it until 1694, when he reverted back to his actual moniker. The year before, he married the widowed Susanna Mountfort (Emma Thompson), a fellow member of his Drury Lane company, one son from the union. When the company split in 1695, to form an actor’s collective at Lincoln Field’s Inn, he and his wife remained with the original troupe, because of the latter’s refusal to give her a share in the new company. Had a physical altercation over shares and was dismissed although was asked to stay on until a suitable replacement could be found, which he did. Moved over to the new company in 1697, and continued to garner praise for his work, which mostly consisted of playing gentlemen, rakes and wits, while his wife’s reputation outshone his. The same year, he cowrote an opera with George Powell (Gary Oldman) called “Brutus of Alba,” with music by Daniel Purcell. Played many support roles, including numerous he originated, while evincing a rough texture to his characterizations, without exaggerating any of their characteristics, thanks to a relatively naturalistic style of play/acting. Lost his wife in childbirth in 1703, and died five years later, probably in debt. Inner: Uninhibited, with quite a temper, while using his comfortable stage presence to his advantage. Truculent lifetime of trying to temper his bellicose temperament through the artifice of the stage, as a support player of more than passing interest.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HANDSOME HEART/THROB:
Storyline: The slow-rising star finds his emotional needs met in the company of men, and comes to understand and accept the fragility of life and the importance of keeping his private life private, after an earlier go-round of the first magnitude in which he resisted these hard-earned self-truths.
George Clooney (1961) - American actor. Outer: Father was the host of a series of radio and TV programs in Kentucky, before finally becoming a local news anchor, and later losing a Congressional race in Kentucky as a Democrat. Mother was a former beauty queen, who eventually had a cable-TV talk show. Aunt, Rosemary Clooney was a very popular singer in the 1950s. Younger of 2 children. Raised in an Irish Catholic household, where his parents gave him the discipline and self-confidence to succeed in their metier. Made his initial appearance as a young child on his father’s variety show, with his mother doing audience bits, and his sister pitching in. The family divided itself over a united public front and squabbling behind the scenes, which gave him the sense of the importance of separating his public and private lives. A star athlete, but indifferent student in high school, without much focus, he went to Northern Kentucky Univ., where he majored in broadcast journalism, then dropped out to appear in a low-budget film shot by his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, which was never released. It gave him his direction, and he headed due west to Los Angeles, with money he had made cutting tobacco. 5’11”, strikingly good looking, virile, with gentle eyes, and a sense of sadness about him. Took acting classes, worked construction, sold suits and insurance, did caricatures at a mall, and sold women’s shoes in his long climb to a show business career, while recreating a sense of family with 7 men who became his longtime friends and companions. In 1989, he married actress Talia Balsam, after pursuing her for several years, following their meeting in an L.A. theater production. Divorced 3 years later, and vowed afterwards that he did not want to get married again, since he was already married to his career. Spent 12 years doing 15 TV pilots that were not picked up, and starring in films that were quickly forgotten, before appearing in several TV series, and finally winning stardom in 1994, playing Dr. Doug Ross on TV’s “ER,” after earlier walking away from a role in the hit series “Roseanne,” because it wasn’t right for him, and quitting and being fired from 2 other series. Began a campaign against the intrusiveness of paparazzi, as his star continued to rise in his ability to translate his magnetism on the big screen as well, although his movies throughout the 1990s, were, at best, moderate successes. Able, nevertheless, to command a $12 million per picture salary, and had his first huge hit in 2000 with The Perfect Storm, a metaphor for his own tempestuous, albeit affable character. Had a 3 year relationship with a French law student, which ended, in keeping with his tunnel-vision focus on career, and has continued moving in and out of short relationships with young beauties, as his preferred mode of intimacy. Made his well-received directing debut with Confessions of A Dangerous Mind in 2002, while acting as a public scold for the distribution of monies for the victims of the World Trade Center collapse. Formed Section Eight productions with director Steven Soderbergh, and though both lost a ton of money on it, continues to explore both acting, producing and directing, by making films that ordinarily would not be greenlighted, including a biopic of news-legend Edward R. Murrow. In addition, he parlayed two popular Las Vegas caper films into an investment in a $3 billion upscale casino and hotel in that town, with the desire to return it the elegance of old, in his own unabashed continuous celebration of living the good and meaningful life. Won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2006, for a turn in Syriana, for which he put on an extra 30 pounds, injuring his spine in the process, which had him contemplating suicide over the pain, before getting corrective surgery. Remains a highly public activist liberal, with a focus on the genocidal tragedy of Darfur as one of his main issues. Underlined his crypto-Clark Gable connection in 2008, by donning a pencil-thin mustache, in imitation of him for a martini advertisement, outside his Italian villa. Continually connected with a string of handsome women, without ever feeling the need to commit to any of them. Used his star power in 2012 to raise a record $12 million for Pres. Obama’s re-election, at a $40,000 per guest dinner. Inner: Introspective, aware of the fleetingness of life, through a close relationship with a failed uncle, after whom he was named, who died of cancer. Thin-skinned, good-humored, highly ambitious, with an unwillingness to compromise his set goals. Guarded behind his easy charm, with a preference for the company of men to women. Hard core Democrat, and ‘actorvist’ with a hunger to bring his brand of ruthless liberalism to the party. Also wishes to leave a strong artistic legacy by the time he is finished with the movie industry. Gorgeous George lifetime of acting out his populist passions while turning to men for his emotional needs, and accepting the fragility of life, which undid him the last time around in this series. Clark Gable (William Clark Gable) (1901-1960) - American actor. Outer: Father was a farmer who became an oil-driller. Mother died of epilepsy when he was seven months old. His sire remarried the following year, and his stepmother raised him to have a mannered sense about himself. Played in the local town band as a brass player, then dropped out of school to work in a tire factory in Akron, Ohio, where he became entranced by the theater, and labored for no pay in the evenings as a callboy, eventually getting bit parts. His father’s oil bits, however, dragged him away to the Oklahoma oil fields, and he had to wait until he was 21, when he received a small inheritance from his grandfather, before resuming his true calling, joining a traveling troupe. Became stranded in Oregon, and worked as a lumberjack and tie salesman, before once more hitting the boards. In 1924, he married Josephine Dillon, an actress 14 years his senior who had been his coach and helped him lower his naturally high-pitched voice to a suitable level, while encouraging him to bulk up, and getting him cosmetic dental treatment. The duo, who reputedly never consummated their union, subsequently settled in Hollywood, where he began his film career the same year in a bit part in Forbidden Paradise, while changing his nom de cinema to Clark Gable. 6’1”, broad-shoulder, handsome and well-built, but reportedly with a tiny penis, that gave curious counterpoint to the rugged masculinity he projected. When his career hit a standstill, he separated from, then divorced his wife in 1930, and resumed his touring career. Made it to Broadway as a romantic lead, which brought him back to the Los Angeles stage. A screen test produced the pronouncement by producer Darryl Zanuck, “His ears are too big. He looks like an ape,” but he managed to garner subsequent attention with a series of support roles, mostly as a heavy, and by the end of 1931, he was a rising star. The same year, he married Ria Langham, a wealthy Texas socialite who was 17 years his senior, in his ongoing search for a mother figure. Became a major star in 1934, with It Happened One Night, winning an Academy Reward for his role as a reporter, while destroying the undershirt industry by not wearing one in the film. Fathered a daughter with actress Loretta Young in 1935, although she denied both their parenthood, and raised her as if she were adopted. Allegedly ran over a woman and killed her, although a low level studio exec was paid to take his place, as well as the fall for the incident. Capped the decade by starring in the blockbuster, Gone With the Wind, despite not wanting to play the role of Rhett Butler, and having director George Cukor fired, because he thought he was too sissified. Became a Hollywood icon, redolent with virility and sex appeal, and a favorite with both men and women, earning him the eventual sobriquet of the ‘King.’ As a product of the star system, he also once opined, “I am paid not to think.” Divorced his 2nd wife in 1935, and 4 years later married actress Carole Lombard (Meryl Streep), who would die tragically in a plane crash in 1942, devastating him, and turning him to drink. The duo had called one another ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa,’ and were extremely close, although he continued having affairs during the union. Joined the Army Air Corps, and became a major, winning medals for 5 missions over Germany to help produce an aerial gunner recruitment film in which each of his planes was hit, while the MGM costume dept. made him better-fitting uniforms. The loss of Lombard took a strong toll, and he continued drinking heavily, and his performances showed it, so that he never regained his pre-war eminence. One of the Hollywood patriots during the HUAC purge of suspected communists in Tinsel Town. In 1949, he married Sylvia Ashley, a Lombard lookalike and a former English actress, but divorced her after a couple of years. In 1955, he married Kay Spreckles, yet another Lombard clone, as his career continued to stall, even after forming his own production company, Gabco. His final role was in the aptly named The Misfits, but he died of a heart attack after insisting on performing his own stunts, and never reaped the resurrection of a good reception to one of his finest performances. His heart attack came on the 25th birthday of his hidden daughter, who was preparing to confront him. Had a son who was born posthumously, and also became an actor. Buried next to Lombard, the one true love of his life. Inner: Man’s man, enjoying the rough-and-tumble outdoors world of hunting and fishing. Strong need for a countervailing female intimate to offset his projected masculinity. Great difficulty in dealing with loss, an incomplete figure, despite his charming brawn. Illusory lifetime of playing the role of man’s man both on-and-off screen while remaining an undeveloped little boy at heart. George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1665-1716) - English nobleman. Outer: Third and youngest illegitimate son of Charles II (Peter O’Toole) of England by Barbara Villiers (Bette Davis), his mistress, who had five acknowledged children with the king, while married, albeit separated, from her husband. Acknowledged by his father, he was given several titles at the age of 9, and eventually created Duke of Northumberland in 1683. The previous year he served the crown in secret service in Venice, and on his return was made a knight of the Garter. Handsome and well-shaped, he enjoyed a reputation for skilled horsemanship. In 1686, he secretly married a great beauty, Catherine Wheatley, the widowed daughter of a poulterer. Soon afterwards, however, he regretted making such a lowly union, and with the help of his brother Henry, he sent her off abroad to an English convent in Ghent. The following annum he was given the command of a troop of horse guards, and then was appointed lord of his Majesty’s bedchamber, under his father’s successor, James II (Martin Sheen). Maintained various royal positions through succeeding reigns, including constable of Windsor Castle in 1701, and Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey in 1701 and of Berkshire in 1712. Following his wife’s death in 1714, he married Mary Dutton, sister of a retired naval officer. Died suddenly, without leaving any legitimate issue, and his line went extinct. Buried in Westminster Abbey. Inner: Handled all the responsibilities thrust upon him, save for marriage, in a life that was defined more by his royal parentage, than by any unique abilities of his own, other than being on the positive side of the competence/incompetence divide. Handsome horseman lifetime of evincing the same curious disconnect with women he has in all his go-rounds, save for his singular relationship with Carole Lombard (Meryl Streep), in his ongoing need to integrate the masculine and the feminine within.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS STAR TRYING TO RISE TO ARTIST:
Storyline: The tough guy turned tenderheart softens his exterior and submerges himself in craft in order to expand both emotionally and artistically on his inner and outer stages.
Matthew Broderick (1962) - American actor. Outer: Mother was playwright and director Patricia Broderick, father was character actor James Broderick. 2 older sisters. Grew up in a close cultured household, and was introduced to art and theater and music from early childhood. Originally wanted to be an artist. Began acting as a teenager, although was initially shy but also had a strong need for attention. At 17, he was accepted at Herbert Berghof’s Studio in NYC, and that same year he made his off-Broadway debut in “On Valentine’s Day.” The following year he played a martyred young homophile in Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song Trilogy,” a role he would repeat on the screen. His father died just as his stage career seemed secured, much to his great sense of loss. Made his screen debut the following year, at 21, in Max Dugan Returns, although felt part of him had shut down over his father’s not seeing his success. 5’8”, boyish build. Built up a solid reputation through his likable portrayals of young men, doing 10 films in the next 8 years, while augmenting his screen portraits with Broadway roles in two Neil Simon plays, in which he played the playwright’s alter egos. Won a Tony in 1983 for the first, “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” Despite his willingness to stretch himself in his roles, he was never a huge star through his early career, just a solidly respected one. In 1988, he accidentally killed a mother and daughter in a head-on crash while driving in Ireland, while breaking his own leg, a macabre reflection of the old show business salutation for good luck. Charged with manslaughter and reckless driving, but was ultimately merely fined, much to the outrage of his victims’ family. Worked his way past his guilt through therapy. Married in his mid-30s to actress Sarah Jessica Parker, after appearing with her on Broadway in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” for which he won another Tony in 1995. Son from union, which would grow increasingly strained. In 1996, he co-produced, directed and acted in Infinity, which was scripted by his mother. Found box office gold along with Nathan Lane, with the Broadway musical mega-hit, “The Producers,” playing a mousy accountant, in the Mel Brooks transliteration from his earlier film of the same name. Teamed up again in 2005 with Lane for “The Odd Couple,” to equal commercial acclaim, although the effort was also viewed as an easy, unchallenged recycling of their earlier success. Continued his bad luck in Ireland, breaking a collarbone there in 2006 after falling off a horse. A subsequent affair with a much younger youth counselor would jeopardize his increasingly disconnected marriage, although the two would continue to stay together for the sake of their son, and produce a pair of twin girls by a surrogate in 2009. Inner: Thoughtful, introspective, largely married to his career for the first part of his life. Sensitizing lifetime of viewing his craft as an art-form from the very beginning and trying to craft his career accordingly in a far more expressive and experimental package than his previous go-round in this series, while giving play to his ongoing violence within through accidental release. Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) - American actor. Outer: Father was a noted NYC surgeon, who had also inherited wealth and invested in timber properties, while being a member of the social register. Mother was a successful magazine illustrator, as well as a suffragette, who used an idealized version of him in her artwork as the ‘Maud Humphrey Baby,’ while proving to be emotionally quite distant. Had two younger sisters, one suffered a mental breakdown, the other died of peritonitis. Suffered through a privileged and starchy upbringing, and went to Andover in preparation for a medical career, but was a disciplinary problem and was expelled, much to his parents’ disappointment and condemnation. His sire eventually became addicted to morphine, and died in debt, which he eventually paid off. Joined the Navy when the U.S. became involved in WW I, and became a member of the Shore Police, where he was struck in face by an escaping prisoner, which partly paralyzed his upper lip, giving him a distinctive lisp. 5’8 1/2”. Quiet and well-mannered. After his discharge, family investments went bad, and he worked on the stock exchange, then asked a family friend for entree into theater, via management. Eventually became a stage manager, while also working for a film studio. In his early 20s, he decided to try acting, although did not initially have much of a facility for the craft. Played juveniles throughout the 1920s, in a largely unnoticed career. Married at 26 to a well-established actress, Helen Menken (Sarah Jessica Parker), divorced a year later. Married a 2nd actress, Mary Philips, in his late 20s, divorced a decade later. In his early 30s, he switched to film, with similar results as 2nd leads. Continued trying to perfect his craft on the Broadway stage, finally gaining notice as a gangster in “The Petrified Forest,” with Leslie Howard (Sting) playing the lead. When the film rights were bought, Howard refused to reprise his role unless his stage costar was also in the movie. It proved to be his breakthrough vehicle, and he did 28 films in the next 4 years, most of which were unmemorable. Often would spend a whole night drinking, but able to work the next day. In 1938, he married actress Mayo Methot (Shannen Doherty). The couple had an extremely volatile relationship, and were known as the Battling Bogarts for their drunken public tiffs. She superficially stabbed him once in the back, and the two parted ways in 1945. His first three marriages were filled with resentments, heavy drinking, and a sense of professional rivalry. Took his career to the next plateau in 1941, with The Maltese Falcon, playing detective Sam Spade in that classic thriller. Throughout the 1940s, he was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including the romantic lead in Casablanca, and 2 films with his much younger wife Lauren Bacall, including To Have and Have Not, where he met and fell in love with her, marrying in 1945. The duo were extremely close, with the 2 children from the union taking second place to their parents’ mutual infatuation with one another. Formed his own company in his late 40s, while giving one of his most memorable performances as greedy prospector Fred Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1947. An active Democrat, and part of a committee of stars that protested the HUAC committee’s witch/hunt for Reds in Hollywood, then retracted his support, feeling he had been betrayed. Finally published an article, “I’m No Communist,” although the experience left him apolitical. Continued to expand on his performances in the 1950s, most memorably as the grizzled guide in The African Queen, for which he won an Academy Reward in 1951. A heavy smoker as well as drinker, he developed cancer of the esophagus, gradually growing weaker and weaker, until he died of it in his sleep. After his death, he became a cult figure as a cynical world weary antihero. Inner: Loved to needle people, despised phonies. Insecure but hid it behind raucous drinking. Strong individualist, capable of both resolve and romance. Uncomfortable with children, despite his sensitive hard-guy screen image. Iconic lifetime of recreating himself as an ongoing two-fisted character, and finally learning how to transliterate his projected persona into film, despite an off-screen propensity for self-damage. David Poe, Jr. (1784-1811) - American actor. Outer: Father was an Irish immigrant, who had served in the Revolutionary War as Asst. Deputy Quartermaster General of Baltimore, and had contributed a substantial amount of his own money to the war effort, making him an exemplary figure of his time. Mother was of Pennsylvania stock. His sister, Maria, would marry a relative, and become the mother of Edgar Allan Poe’s (Patti Smith) future wife, Virginia Klemm (Taylor Momsen). Destined for a law career, but left it, against his family’s wishes, to pursue his desire to become an actor, despite having little natural talent for it. Met Elizabeth Arnold (Leighton Meester) shortly after the death of her first husband, and married her six months later, in 1806. The duo had three children together, poet Henry (Mickey Avalon), seminal American writer, Edgar Allan Poe (Patti Smith), and a daughter, Rosalie, whose father may have been someone else, since he had abandoned the family by the time of her birth. Worked together with his wife, and while she proved an audience favorite, he was the continual recipient of scathing reviews, which exacerbated his own growing drinking problem. Last known to have appeared on the stage in 1809, at the same time he abandoned his wife and family, under the excuse of looking for more work, while leaving them destitute. Died two years later, three days after his wife. Both his parents would outlive him, while his singular contribution to American culture would be in his siring a figure of literary genius. Inner: Feckless and largely untalented, while given to alcoholic excess. Nose-holding lifetime of trying his hand at a craft for which he was ill-suited, while setting up patterns he would follow in his later far more successful 20th century go-round, after having finally mastered the elusive art of thespian make-believe.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HIGHLY SKILLED CRAFTSMAN:
Storyline: The plaudit-winning player enjoys projecting being who he is not, while showing a sure hand in all aspects of theatricality, from characterization to directing to live performance in an ongoing celebration of the illuminating power of a well-honed dramatic imagination.
Kevin Spacey (Kevin Fowler) (1959) - American actor/director. Outer: Father was a writer of technical manuals, who was frequently unemployed, mother was a secretary, which created an itinerant, financially insecure family, that moved almost yearly his first 14 annums. Youngest of 3, with a great deal of anger towards his sire fro the family’s sense of being continually uprooted. Unruly and shy with no self-esteem as a youngster, he set fire to a shed containing his sister’s toys, then was kicked out of military school for fighting, although his parents had exposed him to the arts to make him more sensitive. Touched by a performance he saw of Katherine Hepburn’s, he waited at the stage door for her with flowers, and their brief chat sent him on his life’s path. Took acting classes in high school and found he could channel his emotions through emoting. 5’11”. Co-valedictorian of his high school class. Educated at both L.A. Valley Community College and the Julliard School of Drama, quitting the latter after 2 years. Became fascinated with the his/story of acting, and felt he would be best served on the stage. Worked as a standup comedian, as well as with the Seattle Repertory Company and moved from there to repertory theater and Broadway, where he appeared as Jamie Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Days’ Journey into Night,” a role he also reprised in London. Although resistant to TV, he had his breakthrough role as a villain on TV’s “Wiseguy”’ in 1987, playing an incestuous drug-addict named Profitt for 2 seasons, after first turning down the part. Made his film debut in 1986 in Heartburn. Did more TV work, then won a Tony award for “Lost in Yonkers,” in 1991. Built up a reputation as a character actor, before his career coalesced in the mid-1990s with several interesting turns, most notably as a master criminal in The Usual Suspects, for which a won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1996. Followed that role with a turn as a same-sex murder suspect in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and made an impressive directorial debut with Albino Alligator in 1997. Two years later, he appeared on Broadway as Hickey in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” which he also played in London. Formed his own production company, Trigger St. Productions, and won an Academy Reward for Best Actor in 2000 for his role as a drop-out breadwinner in American Beauty, although his next set of films floundered. In 2003, he was appointed artistic director of London’s prestigious Old Vic Theatre Company, with a long-term commitment to the enterprise. The following year, after moving to London, he was beaten and robbed late at night in a park known as a gay cruising area, to fuel oft-repeated rumors of his own sexual orientation. In 2004, he also realized a longtime dream in creating a biopic of his earlier idol, Bobby Darin, in which he gave an uncanny imitation of the singer, while skipping the darker elements of his life. Although his first season with the Old Vic was rife with criticism for his strange choice of plays, he ultimately triumphed as Richard II in 2005, while infusing the much-loved theatrical institution with a new sense of dramatic urgency, and a far broader audience appeal, thanks to his acting, directing and fundraising, despite further carping at his choice of vehicles for it. A confirmed transatlantean, he has found both a home and contentment in London, while still continuing his film career as a secondary means of self-expression. Inner: Great love for the theater, which he considers his mainstay. Enjoys playing characters who seem one way and turn out another, perhaps in reflection of himself, in his own coy demurring about questions surrounding his sexuality. Multi-hatted lifetime of experiencing the various venues of self-expression, from comedy to drama to direction, in an ongoing pursuit of pure craft, after earlier focusing on pure production, while keeping his private life deliberately private. James Cruze (James Vera Cruz Bosen) (1884-1942) - American actor/director. Outer: From a family of Mormon descent. Part Ute, sister Mae Cruze became an actress. Had little formal schooling, while showing an early desire to take to the stage. Worked as a fisherman in the Bering Sea in order to finance his way through drama school. Became an actor at the age of 16, appearing in medicine shows, as a snake oil salesman. Also did road shows and stock as his apprenticeship. In his early 20s, he joined the Belasco company, and appeared frequently on Broadway. Began his film career at the outset of the industry in 1911, commencing with A Boy of the Revolution, and starred in numerous movies, as well as several serials. Married actress Marguerite Snow in 1913, divorced 11 years later. In 1916, he joined the Lasky company and 2 years later made his directorial debut with Two Many Millions. Ended his acting career the following year, and went on to become both a producer and director, easily making the transition to sound a decade later. Proved to be an extremely prolific director, working in all of the genres, from slapstick to suspense to large scale epics. Although many of his efforts were facile, since he preferred productivity and quantity, he was also capable of high quality work, as evidenced in the meticulously constructed epic, The Covered Wagon in 1923, which proved extremely influential in the evolution of the Hollywood western. Married actress Betty Compson in 1924, divorced 6 years later. His third marriage lasted. At the suggestion of Will Hays, the appointed moral’s czar of the industry who was brought in to squelch the scandalous activities of the film community in the early 1920s, he made the charming Hollywood, a reverse Cinderella story where the beautiful heroine does not become a star. Noted for both his craftsmanship and his rapid, on-budget ability to deliver his productions, his career was eventually curtailed by ill health. Died of a heart ailment. Inner: Facile, focused and extremely productive. Anti-authoritarian, had several run-ins with the law. Cruise-control lifetime of being imbued with the ethic of hard work through his upbringing, far from the bright lights of Hollywood, as well as the drive and motivation to become someone completely different from his origins.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS REPEAT PLAYER:
Storyline: The careful craftsman copies his looks but not his career in an encore performance of his earlier go-round dedicated to extending his time in the public eye, by taking on more complex, and darker characters to compliment the natural handsome hero mold in which he was doubly cast.
James Spader (1960) - American actor. Outer: Both his parents were teachers. Attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., although dropped out in the 11th grade to pursue an acting career. 5’10”. Strong physical resemblance to his earlier go-round in this series, may have had the same parents. Worked at a variety of low-level jobs, and was also a yoga instructor, before finally getting TV work. Made his big screen debut in 1981 with Endless Love. Initially played villains, before gaining his breakthrough role in sex, lies, and videotape in 1989, for which he won a Best Actor reward at the Cannes Film Festival. Married Victoria Kheel, the set decorator on the latter in 1987, 2 children from union. The couple eventually filed for divorce in 2006. Purposefully has crafted a career around a variety of roles, so as not to be pigeonholed, playing wholesome heroes and deviants with equal aplomb. More recently has focused on TV, with a law drama, “Boston Legal,” built around him in 2004 based on a character he played in “The Practice,” for which he won an Emmy as Best Actor in a dramatic series in 2004. Won the same accolade as well the following year, and to his surprise, in 2007. Following its 5 season run, he joined the cast of the hit “The Office’ in 2011, as the fictional firm’s CEO. Inner: Shy and reserved. Dislikes watching his own films. Both names in this series, (spade)r and black(well), carry an innate sense of darkness, which he has probably used acting to expunge, and then prefers not viewing after it has been released. Repeat lifetime of trying to add more resonance and longevity to his career, as well as stability to his private life, so as to extend his run as a well-received star, who can always be counted on for a thorough well-crafted performance. Carlyle Blackwell, Sr. (1884-1955) - American actor. Outer: Began his career on the stage as a leading man, winning plaudits on Broadway, before making a successful switch to film in 1909, beginning the following year with Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 5’11,” slim. Went on to become a handsome leading man of the silents, and also directed a half dozen films, while producing and screenwriting as well. Married actress Ruth Hartman in 1909, son from union, Carlyle Blackwell, Jr., also became an actor. Won the distinction of being the last actor to play Sherlock Holmes in a silent film, and stopped making movies altogether with the advent of sound. Married 4 more times after divorcing his first wife, including actresses Ruth Hartman and Avonne Taylor. His last wife died a year into their union in 1947. His Hollywood stint tailed off by 1920, and he spent his last decade in films in England. Probably felt a sense of incompletion by the trajectory of his cinematic career, hence the repeated need to wed after it was over. Inner: Meticulous about both his dress and craft. Double-featured lifetime of enjoying a successful, if largely unmemorable run, as a handsome screen icon, before spending a frustrating quarter century winter of discontent as an also-ran.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS AFFLICTED BOY-NEXT-DOOR:
Storyline: The breakdown-prone paragon of normalcy serially deals with mental, then physical problems, in his public effort to integrate himself around the deep-seated wounds of his multi-level internal problems.
Michael J. Fox (1961) - Canadian/American actor. Outer: Father was a Canadian Army officer, mother was a payroll clerk. One of 5 children, grew up on a series of military bases. The family ultimately settled in Vancouver, where he began performing on Canadian TV in his mid-teens. 5’4”, 120 lbs., with an extremely expressive physicality. Came to Los Angeles to pursue a show business career at 18, but found his initial going difficult, with small roles in films, and a part in a short-lived TV series. $35,000 in debt, and forced to sell off his couch, when he finally scored as an energetic teenager in the successful sitcom “Family Ties.” In his mid-20s, he married his co-star from the series, Tracy Pollan, son and twin daughters from union. His movie career took off during the latter half of the 1980s, with the Back to the Future trilogy where he played a time-traveling teen. Less successful in the 1990s, with a desire to retreat from the pressures of stardom, particularly after discovering he had Parkinson’s Disease, which is usually associated with the elderly, and is symbolic of rigidity. His career was resurrected by the successful TV series, “Spin City,” in the latter part of the decade, but in 1998, he went public with his affliction, which forced him to resign from the show, and focus his attention on an eponymous foundation dedicated to finding its cure. Wrote “Lucky Man,” an indictment of celebrity, while turning his attention to behind the camera work in his future projections. During the 2006 elections, he appeared on camera in shaking form, to win support for stem cell research, in an impressive display of presenting himself as his most vulnerable, while still maintaining his own sense of self-acceptance for his debility. After a 13 years absence he returned to the small screen in his own eponymous show playing a news anchor who goes back on the air despite Parkinson's, receiving mixed reviews from the critics, but a popular welcome back from his core audience. Inner: Heavy smoker, although refuses to be photographed as such, fearing for his clean-cut image. Despite a strong desire to be stage-center, never was quite comfortable with his role as a public figure and the demands that stance made on him. Kept his private life and feelings well hidden, until realizing he could give others strength through his exposed example. Recurring wounds lifetime of learning how to deal with his fears and insecurities through physical affliction, after repeating the same outer career dynamics, but completely redesiging his interior to effectively deal with its physical fallout. Robert Walker (1918-1951) - American actor. Outer: Youngest of 4 sons of a newspaper editor. Had an unstable childhood, parents divorced when he was young. Attended military school, and became interested in acting through productions at the San Diego Army and Naval Academy. 6’ and slim. At 20, he enrolled at NY’s Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the following year, married a fellow student, future actress Jennifer Jones, after appearing with her on stage in “The Barrets of Wimpole Street.” Went to Hollywood on their honeymoon, although both found their initial going extremely slow. The pair came back east and had 2 sons, who both eventually became actors, while he landed a regular role on a network radio soap opera. Returned to Hollywood in his mid-20s, and both he and his wife signed contracts with separate studios. She became an immediate star, while his rise was much more modest, as an ingratiating boy-next-door type. The day after his wife won a Best Actress Oscar in 1943, she sued him for divorce, and he never recovered from the shock and sense of betrayal. Co-starred with his spouse after they separated, although she was already involved with producer David O. Selznick (Brett Ratner). Unable to deal with the break-up of his marriage, he began drinking heavily, and smashing things while the studio sent him to the Menninger Clinic for psychotherapy. Released himself, but continued his self-destructive ways. Married director John Ford’s daughter Barbara in 1948, but the union lasted only 6 weeks, as his erratic behavior became more pronounced. Arrested for drunk driving and institutionalized with a nervous breakdown for almost a year. Returned to the screen in his most sharply etched portrayal, as a charming psychopath in Strangers on a Train, but died of respiratory failure on his next film, after being held down by friends while a doctor injected a sedative into him over his pleas to the contrary. Inner: Shy, lonely, anxious and unstable. Unhappy lifetime of dealing with his excessive emotions by trying to appear normal on the surface, while constantly roiling inside, through his insecure background, and his inexorable draw towards ultimate spousal rejection, and its devastating aftereffects.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BIOGRAPHICAL PORTRAYER:
Storyline: The brooding portraitist searches for himself in both real and imagined characters, while employing his unstable moorings as a tool for his ongoing self-absorbed self-searching.
Ralph Fiennes (1962) - English actor. Outer: Mother was Catholic, and a poet and novelist who wrote 7 books under her maiden name of Jennifer Lash. Father was a farmer turned photographer. Had an idyllic early childhood in a farmhouse near the sea. Oldest of 6 children, younger brother Joseph also became an actor, and brother Magnus a musician, while his older sister Martha became a director. The family also adopted a 7th child. At 6, they left the farm, and, because of money problems, continually moved without a sense of moorings, giving him an unsettling counterpoint to his stable beginnings. Withdrawn, he attended several schools of different faiths. His mother taught him at home when money ran low, but she was also subject to wild mood swings and tantrums, alternating between crazed and warm and loving, further destabilizing him. She did, however, read him “Hamlet” at the age of 8, and instilled in him a passion for the arts, as well as encouraged individuality and self-expression in all her children. Spent one year at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, before moving onto the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, from which he graduated before going onto the stage with the National Theater Company. 6’. Quickly established himself as an actor of considerable talent, and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. Made his TV debut in 1992, and had his breakthrough role as the Nazi commandant Amon Goeth in Schindler’s List in 1993, which led to several more high profile parts, including the title character of The English Patient, which confirmed his position as an international star. Married actress Alex Kingston in his early 30s, later divorced when he became famous. With his newfound fame, he tried “Hamlet,” but failed to impress the critics, despite a natural aptitude for the part in his own brooding character. Took up afterwards with British stage actress Francesca Annis, 18 years his senior, who played Gertrude to his Hamlet. The Oedipal couple lasted together for a decade, as an antidote for him for his earlier mother problems. Alternating both in theater and film, he has built up a memorable body of work. Nurtures a strong disliking for the press and publicity, preferring to concentrate on his craft, without letting the judgment of others sway him, while mixing his projects twixt arthouse and highly commercial fare. Also a UNICEF ambassador. Managed to make the tabloids in 2007 by having congress with a flight attendant in a plane loo, then followed it up with a nude frolic in a hotel swimmingpool with four female companions, to symbolically combine the high and the low, in a reflective gesture of his own ongoing ungroundedness around women. After several well-received Shakespearean turns on the London stage, he directed and starred in one of the Bard’s lesser plays, Coriolanus, in a violent, fast-paced modern-dress version that received rave reviews, after earlier having appeared in it in 2000 in more conventional form, and pondered its greater possibilities as a contemporary political thriller.Inner: Moody, intense, shy, self-analytic and extremely self-absorbed, but capable of getting deep into his characters, and transforming them into riveting performances. Moody lifetime of being given an extremely unstable emotional base through his mother and peripatetic childhood, and then the opportunity to turn both into art and artifice, while exploring his own unstable depths in the process, and hooking up with another mother figure to give him temporary ballast. George Arliss (George Augustus Andrews) (1868-1946) - English actor. Outer: Father was a printer and publisher. 3rd son. Educated in London, and then let the friendship with 2 sons of an actress lead him to his stage debut in his late teens at the Elephant and Castle Theater. Thin, medium build, grey-eyed, with a long, distinctive face. Toured the provinces in a long apprenticeship, and finally drew notice to himself in his early 30s. In 1899, he happily married Florence Montgomery, an actress, one son who became film director. Soon after, he made a very successful tour across the Atlantic, prompting him to stay in America for 2 decades and become a familiar presence on the American stage, specializing in his/storical figures done in miniaturist style, which he would later repeat on film. Made his first film appearance in his early 50s, in The Devil, which he had earlier played on Broadway, then repeated another earlier success with Disraeli, doing a silent version first, and reprising it again in sound nearly a decade later to gain an Academy Reward for Best Actor in 1930 for his efforts. After his earlier Broadway stint in the same role, producer David Belasco (Stephen Bochco) handed him a blank check and told him to fill it in and he would pay him. Wrote several plays and 2 autobiographical works, “Up the Years From Bloomsbury” and “My Ten Years at the Studios.” Appeared with his wife in several films, before finally retiring to take care of her when she lost her sight. Died of bronchial trouble. Inner: Retiring, cautious and analytic. First rate bridge player, vegetarian and anti-vivisectionist. Ultimately found films far less draining than the theater. Transatlantic lifetime of trying to integrate his keen intellect with his controlled emotions, and finding film a far more conducive medium to do so.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MALE & FEMALE IMPERSONATOR:
Storyline: The emotional androgyne gets into his muscular male side, after exploring his femininity from the same perspective, in an ultimate desire to integrate all his parts around a dual gender view of his odd interior.
Nicholas Cage (Nicholas Coppola) (1964) - American actor. Outer: Mother was a modern dancer, who was unbalanced and often institutionalized for depression, although she eventually recovered. Father was an eccentric teacher and artist, and uncle is director Francis Coppola. One of 3 sons, although his mother claimed he wasn’t his father’s child. Loved acting from an early age, often putting on make-up to disguise himself, while inhaling his mother’s sensitivity and making it his own. Also identified heavily with comic-book characters whose strength came from suffering. His father invented the Tactile Dome in San Francisco’s Exploratorium, and experimented with his kids, letting them feel their way through early versions of it in the dark. Also introduced them to art house movies, although was a very strict parent, discouraging his son’s acting ambitions, and giving him an extremely conflicted childhood. His parents divorced when he was 12. Dropped out of Beverly Hills High in his senior year, and began playing small roles on TV and in films at 17. His career took an upswing when he changed his name, after his favorite comic-book character, and he soon garnered a reputation for the strange roles he took, culminating in Wild at Heart and Vampire’s Kiss, for which he ate a live cockroach. Also had some teeth pulled to get into his character for Birdy. A reputation for bizarre behavior preceded most of his early films, once he had established himself. Had a son with actress Kristina Fuller. 5’11”, muscular, and intense, with a compelling sensitivity, and an over-the-edge reputation, but began to do more mainstream action films, finally garnering a Best Actor Oscar in 1995 for his role as a suicidal drinker in Leaving Las Vegas. The author of the original story killed himself soon after the book was sold to the movies. Followed that role with several large-scale action-adventure films, eschewing his earlier eccentricities for big-budget mayhem, while marrying actress Patricia Arquette in his early 30s, after ardently pursuing for her a long time. The rocky on-again, off-again union featured a separation after less than a year, a petition for divorce, and a later reconciliation, followed by a divorce, after which, he took up with Lisa Marie Presley, in a nod to his Elvis obsession. Married her in 2002, then divorced 3 months later. Less driven and more at peace with himself with more maturity, while continuing to explore the essence of manhood through his characterizations. Made his well-received directorial debut with Sonny in 2003, after earlier having coveted the lead role for himself when he was younger. The following year, he married for a third time, to Alice Kim, a Japanese sushi waitress, two decades his junior, 2 children from union. A comic book aficionada, he teamed up with his teenage son Weston, to launch their own line, beginning with Voodoo Child in 2007. Despite his varied successes, he wound up $14 million in arrears in taxes two years later, and promptly sued his business manager, while unloading a variety of homes, including an English castle and townhouse. A Civil War era photo bearing remarkabe resemblance to him, woud spark vampire rumors, particuarly in lieu of some of the roles he has played, although he denied them, saying fangs, but no fangs, he still saw his reflection in the mirror. Inner: Intense, materialistic, continually researching his roles, driven, obsessive, with a self-identification with highly flawed characters. Acting out lifetime of a wide range of male impersonations, after a disconcerting childhood, in order to ultimately find his complex self, through bizarre roles, bizarre behavior, and an ultimate maturation and acceptance more or less of who he is. Julian Eltinge (William Dalton) (1883-1941) - American female impersonator. Outer: Father was in mining, raised in Butte, Montana. Stage-struck from an early age, he played his first female role at the age of 10 in an annual review of the Boston Cadets, after a childhood of somewhat confused sexual identity. Returned to Boston to become a dry goods salesman. 5’9”, 185 lbs. Graduated Harvard, and took to the stage as a female impersonator in his early 20s. Quickly gained acclaim, and was soon one of America’s highest paid performers. In 1906, he made his London debut at the Palace Theater. Broke with the traditions of female impersonation, and instead of playing grotesque comic servants or elderly ladies, assayed comely young woman, paying attention to walk, hand movements, make-up and clothing. Did a dual male/female role in a part written specifically for his unusual skills, “The Fascinating Widow,” which ran for 4 seasons beginning in 1911. Never married, nor was there ever a hint of scandal, or overt partner in his life, male or female. Instead, he lived with his mother. Toured both the United States and Europe, giving a command performance before King Edward VII (Prince William) of England. Played dual roles on stage, and starred in several silent films. Often called the greatest female impersonator in the annals of the theater. Retired in 1930, then worked briefly in clubs the year before he died. Inner: Very protective of his own masculinity. Often got into fights with fellow vaudevillians, stagehands, and occasionally members of the audience to prove his virility, although was viewed as a homophile by his fellow performers, despite his outward show of masculinity when not in drag. Conservative dresser when not on stage. Gender exploring lifetime of continuing his ongoing sense of personal integration through acting by focusing on his female side in a decidedly male body.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SELF-SEEKER:
Storyline: The rough-hewn craftsman avoids the easy road to celebrity, while utilizing his skills in pursuit of women, self-wisdom and wickedly dead-on portrayals of conflicted outsiders, not necessarily in that order.
Matt Dillon (1964) - American actor. Outer: Father was an investment manager. Had a middle-class Irish Catholic upbringing in the NY suburbs, albeit was rebellious against his comfortable surrounding, constantly questioning everything. Grandnephew of ‘Flash Gordon’ cartoonist/creator Alex Raymond (Sam Raimi). 2nd of 6 children, younger brother Kevin Dillon also became an actor. On his way to embracing a totally delinquent lifestyle, when he was discovered at 14 by talent agents working for a casting director looking for non-actors, while he was loitering around his locker at school. Made his screen debut at 15 in Over The Edge. Never finished school, and instead, studied briefly at the Lee Strasberg Institute, and quickly established himself as an intense, naturalistic actor, as well as a teenage heart/throb for his charismatic looks, particularly after his 2nd feature, Little Darlings. Although he had little formal training, he possesses an excellent instinct for the dramatic, as well as a handsome movie star countenance. 5’11”, trim. Did an impressive turn as a drug addict in Drugstore Cowboy in 1989, and has managed, ever since, to give riveting performances of young men out-of-sorts with their environments, although by 1993, he found the roles he was offered were increasingly more unsatisfying, as he sought out the unconventional and little seen, such as Albino Alligator. Involved with actress Cameron Diaz, after the two of them starred in Something About Mary, his single commercial hit of the period, but his extreme predatory sensibilities when it comes to women, ended the relationship after 3 years, despite his genuinely being in love with her. Made his directorial debut with Under the Banyan Tree in 2001, and followed that up with the well-received exotic thriller City of Ghosts two years later, which he also co-wrote and starred in. Continues to develop as a stellar character actor, via a careful choice of challenging roles, and an extremely subtle way of inhabiting them, often transcending the material he is given. Claimed to have matured once in his 40s, and being more willing to finally share his life with someone. Inner: Intense, far more interested in craft than stardom, while obsessed with conquest, be it women, characterizations or a more complete sense of self. Diamond-in-the-rough lifetime of rediscovering himself as a unique movie personality, while constantly hunting for reflective manifestations of himself. Osgood Perkins (James Osgood Ripley Perkins) (1892-1937) - American actor. Outer: Educated at Harvard Univ., where he was an amateur player. Wrote advertising copy, drove an ambulance in France in 1915 during the early stages of WW I, then returned to the U.S., and worked in a shoe factory. Married Janet Rayne in 1916, and had one son born late in the union, actor Anthony Perkins. Did some film work in silents, then enlisted for the latter part of WW I, spending 18 more months in France. Frail-looking, tough guy. Made his relatively late stage debut in 1924 in “Beggar on Horseback,” and went on to specialize in high stage comedy. Played large roles in short-run plays and supporting roles in minor hits, until he finally found his stride as Walter Burns, the fast-talking editor in “The Front Page,” a perfect melding of actor with material. Enjoyed a brief 13 year career on stage as a supporting player, before making a relatively early exit via a heart attack. Inner: Tendency to brood when not working. Extremely expressive hands, with a deep sense of melancholy about himself. Back page lifetime of trying to integrate an inner sense of turmoil through the stage, and partially succeeding, before returning with a full life commitment to his craft.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS UNKOSHER HAM:
Storyline: The crypto-Yiddish teater yoyresh enters stage right to continue his act unabated, while adding some oddball shtik to insure his name remains highlighted no matter the heights or depths of his performances both on and off-stage.
Jeremy Piven (1965) - American actor, director and producer. Outer: Of Jewish descent. Parents, Byrne and Joyce Piven, were both stage actors, before moving to a suburb of Chicago and founding the Piven Theater, which would also serve as a teaching workshop, with several well-known alumni. One sister, Shira, became a playwright and stage director. Close friend of actor John Cusack, appearing with him in an Anton Chekhov (Billy Wilder) play when both were 8, as a prelude to the two sharing billing later on in their established careers. 5’10”. Went to Drake Univ. and the National Theater Institute, while receiving a BA from NYU. In 1989, he founded, along with Cusack, New Crime Productions, which would produce several of the latter’s films. Made his film debut in Lucas in 1986, and continued with character roles, on both the big and small screen in a variety of series, including “Cupid,” in 1998, a short-lived affair which he both produced and starred in. Found more amenable vehicles in established comedies such as “The Larry Sanders Show” in 1992, before discovering the perfect over-the-top role in 2004 that brought him to everyone’s attention as Ari Gold, a high-powered fast-talking agent on cable TV’s “Entourage,” winning Emmys in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for his efforts in the long-running series. Sullied his reputation the latter year by missing several performances of “Speed-the-Plow,” when he announced he had been poisoned by mercury due to his continual consumption of fish in lieu of meat and poultry. The fallout from his suddenly quitting the play would make tabloid fodder and insure his status as a show business oddball. Inner: Quite filled with himself and constantly inconstant with whoever is his squeeze for the moment. An amateur drummer, with a similar knack for verbal percussion, he considers himself a Jewish Buddhist, while maintaining his love for live performance. Born to perform lifetime of finding the role of a lifetime and letting it define him in the public mind as a personification of aggression and amorality, while thoroughly enjoying his hard-won place in the pop cultures of his times. Maurice Schwartz (1889-1960) - Russian/American actor, director and producer. Outer: Emigrated with his parents from Russia, but got separated from them in Liverpool for two years, wandering the docks, before they found him through a Jewish welfare agency, allowing the family to complete its journey to NYC. in 1901. Joined a drama club at 15, before turning professional with a Yiddish stock company in Baltimore. Learned his trade there and with companies in Cincinnati, Chicago and Philadelphia, before returning to NYC, with the fantasy of storming Broadway with Yiddish-language translations of European plays, although he never found the audience for them in the larger city. In 1914, he married Ann Bordofsky, and though the couple was childless, in 1947, they adopted a son and daughter who were European refugees. Opened the Yiddish Art Theater in 1926, on NY’s Lower East Side, where he both acted in and directed plays, earning himself the sobriquet of the “Greatest of All Yiddish Actors.” His repertoire including translations of many classics of the stage, while also promoting the works of Sholem Aleichem (E.L. Doctorow). Began a secondary career in motion pictures in 1926 with Broken Hearts, which he both starred in and directed. Appeared sporadically on film afterwards in some 20 productions over the next quarter century plus, with most of them silents, although his true love was always performing before live audiences. In 1943, he appeared in his first mainstream Hollywood film, Mission to Moscow, while his best-known role to mass audiences was as Ezra in 1953 in the Biblical costume drama, Salome. With the decline of the Yiddish theater, he moved to Israel in 1959 in hopes of founding a theater there, although died after only one production made it to the stage. Inner: Worked 18 to 20 hours a day rehearsing and directing, while feeling the theater was his entire life. Enter stage right lifetime of completely immersing himself in the world of artifice to the exclusion of everything else, as a means of both perfecting his ongoing craft, and defining his true worth to himself, through direct audience appreciation.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CAREFUL CRAFTSMAN:
Storyline: The proverbial born-in-a-trunk trouper is given a dual early education in the stage, so as to set the stage for his ongoing pursuit of craft and performance, in lieu of fame, while maintaining his sense of family with the people he works with, and with his own extended sibling acting brood.
John Cusack (1966) - American actor. Outer: From a tight-knit Irish Catholic family. Father, Richard Cusack, had been in advertising, before becoming an award-winning screenwriter, mother was a math teacher. 4th of 5 siblings, all of whom became actors, with sister Joan the most noted. His parents were both anti-war activists, and his mother would organize plays starring her brood. At 7, he joined the Piven Theatre Workshop run by family friends, whose son, Jeremy also became an actor. Became a pitchman for McDonald’s at 13, and developed a core of friendships around acting in high school. Made his film debut at 17 in Class, before shooting a string of teen movies, while also working in experimental theater in Los Angeles with actor Tim Robbins. 6’2 1/2”. At 20, he created the New Crime theater company in Chicago, before a brief try at college at NYU. Returned to Los Angeles, while maintaining his Chicago roots. Began getting higher profile roles, beginning with The Grifters in 1990, and built a reputation by playing unconventional outsiders and likable losers, choosing his material carefully, to the point of either writing his own movies, or appearing in fare written by close associates. Wrote Grosse Pointe Blank, about a hit-man returning to his high school reunion, and also penned the off-beat High Fidelity in 2000. Unconsciously played off his previous go-round’s father-son connection in Being John Malkovich in 1999, in a reprise of his earlier career of trying to be an extension of Rudolph Schildkraut. Linked to several actresses, although probably far more of a tribal person, with his extended family of friends and fellow actors serving as his theatrical family. Far more interested in continuing to pursue the unconventional material he performs than becoming a blockbuster actor. Became extremely involved with the Iraq invasion, voraciously consuming every bit of news he could about it, and then using the material for two noncommer ial takes on its side-effects, using his own money and passion to try to address an ever-growing wound in the American psyche. Inner: Warm, witty, friendly, down-to-Earth midwesterner. Well-crafted lifetime of literally being born to perform, through the auspices of a highly supportive family, while catering to his own desires of extending his reach, his imagination and his audience’s sensibilities in the specialized fare with which he chooses to associate himself. Joseph Schildkraut (1896-1964) - Austrian/American actor. Outer: Son of Romanian actor Rudolph Schildkraut (John Malkovich), mother was Hungarian. Family was peripatetic, made his stage debut at 6 in Buenos Aires, then studied violin and piano in Berlin, before apprenticing himself to his father’s rival. 5’10”. Made his film debut in 1908 in Germany in The Wandering Jew. In 1910, he accompanied his father on a US tour and enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, before returning to Germany in 1913, where he enjoyed a 7 year career as a matinee idol, with the Max Reinhardt stage company, the same one that had launched his begetter’s career. Settled permanently in the U.S. in 1920, and was able to make the transition to the Broadway stage, while also appearing in films at the same time, beginning with Orphans of the Storm in 1924. Married actress Elise Bartlett in 1923, divorced 8 years later. During the 1920s and 1930s, he played suave leading men, then switched to character roles later on, while always trying to get inside the dramatic tensions of whatever part he assayed. Remarried in 1932. Won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actor in The Life of Emile Zola in 1937, and scored a dual stage and film success for The Diary of Anne Frank towards the end of his career. His second wife died in 1961, although he insisted on finishing a role he was playing at the time for TV’s “Twilight Zone,” before mourning her, despite their near three decade union. Married a third time to Leonora Rogers two years later. Died of a heart attack. Inner: Careful craftsman, with strong esthetic sensibilities. Like father, like son lifetime of getting a well-rounded education in the arts, before bringing his worldly presence to the dual venues of Hollywood and Broadway and proving himself to be an enduring and memorable player in both arenas.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BULKY VILLAIN TURNED 24 HOUR HERO:
Storyline: The dualistic twin taps into good genes to play bad characters, which seep into his frustrated life, before finally finding a semblance of peace via explosive success on the small screen.
Kiefer Sutherland (1966) - American actor. Outer: Mother was stage actress Shirley Douglas, who was also the daughter of the leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party. Father was actor Donald Sutherland. The duo divorced,and he was raised by the former, while the latter rarely saw him while growing up. He and his father would continue having a difficult relationship, thanks to the former’s aloofness. Twin sister named Rachel, who became a TV-postproduction supervisor, parents divorced when the children were 4. Quit school in the 10th grade to pursue acting fulltime, after seeing his life’s path at 10. Studied theater in Toronto and made his film debut in his teens in Max Dugan Returns. Had his first starring role the following year in The Bad Boy, and went on to become a popular lead or villain in a variety of dramas, making over 25 films before he was 30. 5’10 1/2”. Despite hard-partying, always completely professional on the set, with a strong work ethic. In his early 20s, he married Camelia Kath, a Canadian actress and widow of an r’n’r guitarist, daughter from union, separated, then became engaged to actress Julia Roberts in 1991, although she mysteriously dumped him just before their union, which totally threw him. Built up a reputation as a bad boy, through bar-room brawls and drunk driving convictions in 1989 and 1993, although later came to peace with himself. Starred with his mother on stage in Toronto in “The Glass Menagerie,” while continuing with a movie career that has seen him far more effective in the portrayal of evil than wholesome goodness. Married Elizabeth Winn, a divorcee with 2 sons in 1996, divorced 3 years later, although remained a father figure for the latter duo. Hooked up with older actress Bo Derek, after playing in a film that very much reflected their lives. A rancher in New Mexico, and rodeo enthusiast. Directed his own vehicle in 1998, Truth or Consequences, NM. Turned to TV in 2001, with the well-received action series “24,” playing agent Jack Bauer, while winning a Golden Globe, and ultimately signing a $40 million contract after a long string of repeat seasons for his efforts, as his filmmaking remained largely of the straight-to-video variety, until his TV success got him into better roles in better films. Started a record label, Ironworks, with a partner in 2003, which also did well, allowing him to continually and steadily expand his sense of entertaining self. In 2006, he won an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series, to cement his success in “24,” and its fantasy take on a nation besieged by terrorists, although he was asked to tone down on the torture interrogations in it, as a bad reflection of governmental policy. After being nabbed for DUI in 2004, he got caught again in 2007, violating his previous terms of probation, and landing him 48 days worth of jailtime. In 2009, he was charged with assault after head-butting a fashion-designer, although the charges were later dropped, in his unconscious desire to continue to maintain his alcohol-fueled bad boy image into middle age. “24” would finally call it a day in 2010Returned to series TV two years later with “Touch”, a well-received supernatural drama that plays with prophecy, science and emotional connection and disconnection. Inner: Able to ultimately allow his good humor to prevail over his fatherless sense of self-worth. Twinship probably indicates an inner sense of duality, which was exacerbated by having a famous, albeit absent father. His voice always seemed 20 years older than he was. Scripted lifetime of directly incarnating into circumstances that would allow him to continue his chosen pathway of self-expression through emoting, without initial male guidance to temper his own ongoing sense of disconnection. Will probably add considerable protective padding to his girth as he grows older as insulation from his own feelings of insecurity, if he proceeds along the same path as his previous go-round. Sidney Greenstreet (1879-1954) - English/American actor. Outer: Father was a leather merchant, one of 8 children. Expected to enter the family leather business, but went to Ceylon instead at 18 with dreams of making a fortune as a tea planter. Learned the business and was the supervisor of a tea plantation for 2 years. During his lonely, disconnected time there, he read Shakespeare. After the plantation was wiped out by a drought, he was forced to return to England. Managed a brewery, as well as other jobs, and began going to acting school to relieve the tedium of his work. Made his London stage debut in his early 20s, playing a murderer in a production of “Sherlock Holmes.” Went on tour of the U.S. 2 years later, and assayed his Broadway debut in “Everyman,” before launching into an American career on stage and on tour with a Shakespearean repertory company. Wound up playing everything from Shakespeare to musical comedy. Large and bulky, ultimately weighing nearly 300 pounds. After 1910, he toured with various stock companies in mostly forgettable plays. Married Dorothy Ogden in 1918, one son from the union. In 1925, he became an American citizen. Spent most of the 1930s with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne at the Theater Guild as a supporting player, before making his memorable movie debut as one of the literal heavies of The Maltese Falcon in 1941. Remained in Hollywood to play a variety of villains and men of mystery, teaming 10 times with fellow ‘Maltese’ actor, Peter Lorre (Steve Buscemi) and playing off their size contrasts. Extremely popular for what he did, and able to demand high salaries, but he was also victim of his own large body, suffering from diabetes and Bright’s Disease, and spent the last part of his life in ill health, finally succumbing after a long illness. Inner: Urbane, articulate and intense, devoted a legendary amount of time to his supporting roles. Heavy-bodied lifetime of carrying a great weight upon himself as padding against a philistine world that he felt he could best transcend by reflecting its darkness in sharply edged stage and screen portraits.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ANGST-FREE COMIC:
Storyline: The popular pratfaller shows a remarkable normalcy to his brand of character-driven humor, and proves a mainstay of a highly successful old school sophomoric group whose predictable white-bread humor translates into much green at the box office.
Will Ferrell (John William Ferrell) (1967) - American actor. Outer: Of Irish descent. Father was a keyboardist and saxophonist for the Righteous Brothers, while his mother was a teacher. His brother Patrick, also became an actor. Had a safe and sunny suburban Southern California upbringing in a loving, supportive home, with none of the psychological debilitation that plagues most comedians. A field goal kicker for his high school football team, he also made announcements over the PA system in disguised voices, while exploring the possibility of an acting career. 6’3”. Went on to USC, where he studied Sports Broadcasting, and graduated with a degree in Sports Information. Joined the Los Angeles comedy improv group the Groundlings afterwards and did some TV work while a member. Got his big break in 1995, when he was chosen for the cast of Saturday Night Live, a launching pad for any number of comics into the movies. Despite a weak first season, where he was considered one of the worst ever to appear on the hallowed show, he stayed with SNL for 7 seasons, ultimately proving an extremely popular performer with a host of characters and imitations at his disposal, allowing him to eventually become its highest paid cast member. In 2000, he married Swedish actress Viveca Paulin, three sons from the union. During his SNL run, he appeared in several comedies, and eventually became part of the Ben Stiller-Vince Vaughan-Owen Wilson Frat Pack ensemble, which continued churning out highly predictable, but nevertheless, surefire hits all through the first decade of the new century. Had his first starring role in Old School, and his proved box office gold ever since, finding a particular niche with comically self-centered characters. His one foray into straight drama, Stranger Than Fiction, in 2006, proved less successful. An active athlete, he runs marathons and also plays in an adult soccer league. In 2009, he opened on Broadway with “You’re Welcome America: A Final Night With George W. Bush,” giving the ex-president a final merciless send-off, written and acted in his own inimitable style. Inner: Much prefers slipping into characters, for public appearances, far less comfortable as his low-key self. Unconflicted lifetime of finding a comfortable niche for himself, and riding it for a popular career, and an equally uncomplicated private life. Slim Summerville (George Summerville) (1892-1946) - American actor. Outer: His family moved from New Mexico to Canada and Oklahoma, where he was raised. Ran away from home as a teenager, and adventured, working various jobs, before a friend, actor Edgar Kennedy, introduced him to director Mack Sennett (Quentin Tarantino), turned him into a Keystone Kop at the age of 19, and he became a mainstay of the latter’s silent film company. Made his unbilled debut in 1914 in the comedy classic, Tillie’s Punctured Romance. 6’2” with a gangly and homely air of innocence, and a perpetually mournful expression, he would prove a great silent screen comedy foil, allowing him his own short vehicles within short order as a bumptious rube. Added directing to his movie-making skills in the 1920s, and did comedy shorts for several studios, winding up with some 50 under his directorial belt. When sound came in, he switched back to acting, showing he had dramatic chops as well, in All Quiet on the Western Front, in character parts, although comedy remained his forte. Best remembered from the sound era for several comedy shorts he did with ZaSu Pitts (Reece Witherspoon). Also appeared in numerous Hoot Gibson (Johnny Knoxville), as a sleepy, drawling sidekick. Married twice, with one son from the second union. Died of a stroke, and his house became a well-known Laguna Beach restaurant for several decades called the Beach House. Inner: Low-key, and uncomplicated. Born to entertain lifetime of using his comic physicality to excellent advantage in both the silent and talkie eras of comedy, one of the few to make the transition, while still appealing to the public’s changing tastes.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BORN CHARACTER ACTOR:
Storyline: The Brock-buster support-turned-star maintains his double-life connection to both baseball and Yale, while giving extraordinary expression to the ordinary in his unusual ability to accord secondary characters literal full flesh and life.
Paul Giamatti (1967) - American actor. Outer: Of Italian and English descent on his sire’s side, and Irish on his mother’s. His father, A. Bartlett Giamatti, was a professor of Renaissance Literature at Yale Univ., who became the school’s youngest president, before briefly serving as the president of baseball’s National League, only to die after five months in office when his son was 21. His mother was an amateur actress before the marriage and a prep-school English teacher. Youngest of three children, with his older brother Marcus an actor, and his sister Elaine a jewelry designer. Enjoyed an academic upbringing without feeling he had any talent in that arena and went to prep school before entering Yale, where he majored in English, and was active in the theater department. Afterward, he received a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Yale Univ. School of Drama. Earlier he had been elected to the exclusive Skull & Bones society. 5’8”, raspy-voiced, four-eyed and unprepossessing physically. Following school, he did some TV, and his initial foray into film was in support character character parts, beginning with Past Midnight in 1991. Gradually worked his way up into big-budget productions, including The Truman Show and Saving Private Ryan. In 1997, he married screenwriter and producer Elizabeth Cohen, one son from the union. Parlayed his growing reputation into offbeat roles after the turn of the century, beginning with American Splendor, in which he played underground comic strip qvetch and writer Harvey Pekar. The following year, 2004, his actorly profile skyrocketed in Sideways, in which he played an oenophile, despite having no feel for wine in real life. Able to assay real people in many of his characterizations, most notably former Pres. John Adams (Martin Sheen) in an HBO miniseries in 2008, for which he won both an Emmy and Golden Globe. All told he was nominated for 45 separate awards, winning 26 of them. Also has done a number of remakes, while becoming Hollywood’s go-to guy for playing offbeat, nonphysical heroes. Ironically, he has done a number of Jewish characters, although never an Italian one. Inner: Unpretentious, overly analytic and extremely unHollywood, with a preference for old friends to show-business types. Boston Red Sox and sci-fi fan. Sideways lifetime of continuing to explore his uncommon commonality on the screen, while not letting fame or fortune disturb his well-grounded sense of craftsmanship and self. Paul Douglas (1907-1959) - American actor. Outer: Graduated from Yale Univ. and then played professional football with the Philadelphia Yellow Jackets. 5’11”, bulky and gruff-voiced. Became a sports announcer in the 1930s, while also doing regional theater. By the 1940s, he was a radio actor, as well as an m.c., before expanding to Broadway. Created the role of Harry Brock, a crude businessman, in the long-running hit, “Born Yesterday,” which made him a star, although turned down the successful film version, because the part had been considerably reduced. In 1949, he made his film debut in A Letter To Three Wives. His first four marriages, to Geraldine Higgins, Sussie Welles, Elizabeth Farnesworth and actress Virginia Field all ended in divorce, with one daughter from the last one, which lasted from 1942 to 1946. His best-remembered film performances would be two baseball films, It Happens Every Spring and Angels in the Outfield. His final union was to actress Jan Sterling in 1950, and proved a hit, as well, lasting the rest of his life, and producing a son. The same year, he hosted the 22nd Academy Rewards. Continued to be a popular performer throughout the 1950s, although his health failed by decade’s end. His final role was in the TV series “Twilight Zone,” with a baseball manager role written especially for him by Rod Sterling based on his Angels in the Outfield character, although he died of a heart attack while it was being filmed. Inner: Consummate character actor, claiming he had been born to fulfill that role. Not born yesterday lifetime of finding his true niche in middle-age, both privately and professionally, and continuing to explore both in highly satisfactory manner, while ultimately giving himself several crypto-connections to his next go-round in this series to take his game up to the next level.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS RAY OF LIGHT IN AN OFT-BLIND WORLD:
Storyline: The ongoing witness bears the burden of living in color in a world that still sees things in black’n’white, while using his sharp skills in a host of entertainment disciplines in order to bring far more focus on the dilemma.
Jamie Foxx (Eric Bishop) (1967) - American musician, actor and comedian. Outer: Of African/American descent. At 7 months, his birth parents gave him to his mother’s adoptive parents, who were in their 60s at the time, and brought him up as their own, even though his real procreators lived nearby. Always bothered by the rejection, and in later life had little contact with the latter duo. His grandmother worked as a housemaid and his grandfather as a yardman for the white families who lived across the tracks. Despised how his grandparents were disrespectfully treated by their employers, and vowed he would never go that route. Made to feel special by them, and was given weekly piano lessons from the age of 5, which gave him both discipline and structure. Worked for a church choir director as a teen, and played piano for white family parties, while being continually exposed to racism. A top student and star quarterback in high school, he was given a music scholarship to the U.S. International Univ. in San Diego, where he studied classic music, although in his heart of hearts, he wanted to be a singer of love ballads. In 1989, on a dare, he did a routine at an open mike at a comedy club, and soon dropped out of school to pursue a career in entertainment, re-dubbing himself Jamie Foxx. Joined the cast of “In Living Color” in 1991, and his career was launched, thanks to his gift for creating off-the-wall characters. Got his own eponymous show 5 years later on the WB network, and parlayed its 5 year run into a movie career, landing his first starring role in 1997 in Booty Call. Had a daughter in 1994, to whom he is extremely close, with a great desire to be the father to her that his father never was to him. Continued doing filmwork, as well as releasing his first recording in 2004. In 2005, he won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of soul singer Ray Charles in Ray, drawing on his own musical experience, to give an astonishingly realistic portrayal of him. His star turn would lead to further high profile roles, as a bankable Hollywood commodity. Lives with his two half/sisters from his mother’s 2nd marriage, one of whom has Down’s Syndrome. Very active in social causes, with a strong do-gooder sense to better the world, with the thought, perhaps, of one day entering politics. Inner: Aware, angry, acerb and extremely expressive, no matter the medium. Eager to right the wrongs of the world, with a strong commitment to be socially responsible, thanks to an upbringing that showed him the powerlessness of the dispossessed. Politicized lifetime of initially being made to feel second class, despite first-rate gifts, and then ultimately using his celebrity to redress the discrepancy between the two. Ernest Hogan (Ernest Reuben Crowders) (1860?-1909) - American actor, producer, musician, singer, composer and comedian. Outer: Of African/American descent. Origins obscured, as is his date of birth. Began his career as a comic singer and dancer in medicine shows, and took his name from a wandering patent medicine vendor, since Irish performers were popular at the time. Although minstrelsy was in vogue during his early career, he eventually rejected it completely as demeaning, and wanted to write, produce, act in and direct his own shows in order to give the audiences of his time a far more rounded and compelling view of black culture. Eventually, he went into vaudeville, and jettisoned the prevalent use of corked blackface for black performers. Instead, he used his own unburnished features, which he was able to distort to hilarious degree, as the basis for his act. Showed himself to be a skilled actor and singer, with the ability to elicit a full range of emotions from his audience, through his adroit ability to dominate any stage upon which he found himself. In the 1880s, he toured with “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” an acceptable and popular vehicle of the time for black talent. Unlike many of his peers, he was able to put his early music on paper, although his greatest hit, “All Coons Look Alike To Me,” fed into the racist sentiments of the times, without his meaning to do so, and gave birth to even more stereotyping, when his avowed desire was to do quite the opposite. Became one of the inaugural figures of ragtime, after publishing under that genre in 1895, and using the term ‘rag’ in his sheet music copy. In 1898, he starred in “Clorindy,” which enabled him to form his own company, with which he toured New England, Hawai’i and Australia. Also wrote for white companies, and probably reached his peak of popularity just as the 20th century began. Became one of the top two or three best known black entertainers of the time, whose name was known to all audiences, which put him in shaky stead in August of 1900, when an ugly race riot erupted in NYC, and the white mob began calling for him, since he was one of the few personalities they could identify. He was protected and held away from their ugly wrath, and probably internalized the incident, feeding into his relatively early demise. Became the first African American to produce and star in his own show, “The Oyster Man,” in 1907. Never married, remaining wed, instead, to his career. Deeply regretted at the end of his life what he had wrought with his biggest hit. Fell ill with TB, and died at home. Inner: Multi-talented, and gifted in whatever discipline he undertook. Unwilling to conform to stereotypes, despite inadvertently doing so because of the culture of the time. Unfinished lifetime of exploring his hyphenated talents in a blatantly racist world, before returning full of rage to try to take himself up to the next level as an entertaining scold, without prematurely exiting from internalizing his second class citizenry.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PULPITLESS PREACHER:
Storyline: The socially aware warrior shows an ongoing affinity for taking on the name of countries, switching from reflecting a cold weather to a hot weather clime in a symbolic statement of trying to be warmly embraced by the entertainment industry, despite an ongoing aura of confusion around his decision-making processes.
Cuba Gooding, Jr. (1968) - American actor. Outer: Of African/American descent. Mother sang professionally before retiring to raise a family. Father was Cuba Gooding, Sr, a lead singer for a rhythm and blues group, the Main Ingredient. 3 siblings, Tom, a musician, and Omar and April, actors. His parents divorced when the children were young, and he was raised by his mother in Southern California, with the family frequently moving, although he was instilled with a strong work ethic and solid moral values. Grew up in a lively musical home that strongly shaped his own desires for a show business career. Worked during high school, and appeared as a back-up break dancer to Lionel Ritchie during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. His parents eventually reunited after a 15 years of separation. Took bit parts in films and TV afterwards. 5’10”. Had a break-though role in Boyz in the Hood in 1991, although was typecast for a while afterwards. Married Sara Kapfer, a former teacher, in 1994, 2 children from the union. After showing himself to good affect in a number of supporting roles and secondary leads with his high energy performances, he won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actor in 1996, as a temperamental football player in Jerry Maguire. Gave an over-the-top acceptance speech, bouncing and shouting, and saw his career tank soon afterwards. Began firing agents left and right, while involving himself in a spate of mediocre films, through misdirection and misplaced competitiveness, before finally trying to right himself a decade late via the low-budget independent route. The singular star of a reprise of “A Trip to Bountiful” in 2013 who was deemed out-of his element in comparison with his high wattate co-stars. Inner: Enthusiastic, individualistic, with the ability to infuse his characters with believable emotion and intensity. Bumpy lifetime of being given direct access to his considerable ambitions, so that he would be able to channel his emotions and drive into his innate creativity, instead of being forced to dissipate them in anger and rejection as he had in his previous go-round in this series, despite a continuing need to battle himself for ballast in his ongoing off-balance world. Canada Lee (Leonard Lionel Cornelius Canegate) (1907-1952) - American actor and activist. Outer: Of African/American descent. Grandfather was an importer and shipowner. Father shipped to NYC as a cabin boy, and against family orders remained there. Childhood friend of preacher/politician Adam Clayton Powell, Jr, growing up in Harlem with him. Never finished grade school. Studied music and almost became a concert violinist, but then ran away from home. Worked as a jockey until he grew too tall and heavy, then became a welterweight boxer, where an announcer’s mispronunciation gave him his stage name. Did well-enough to become ranked, but a detached retina ended his ring career in his mid-20s. 5’9”. During this period, he produced a son, Carl Lee, who became an actor. Managed a Harlem nightclub afterwards, although it went under during the Depression. Out of money, he became an actor almost by accident, winning a role in “Brother Moses,” in 1934. Appeared in Orson Welles’ all-black “Macbeth,” at the American Negro Theater, then united with Welles two years later in his most realized performance as Bigger Thomas in a Broadway production of Richard Wright’s “Native Son.” Made his film debut in 1939 in “Keep Punching,” a boxing drama, and worked throughout the war years on the stage. In 1946, he became the first African-American producer on Broadway, with “On Whitman Avenue.” Highly vocal about the 2nd class citizenry he felt, he was ultimately labeled a communist for his outspokenness during the post-WW II period of Hollywood blacklisting of all those deemed politically incorrect. Refused to bend to the wills of others asking him to ameliorate his stances, and remained a political suspect by the government. Best remembered for his last role, in 1951, in the British-made anti-apartheid film, Cry the Beloved Country. Suffered from high blood pressure, and died of uremic poisoning, shortly before he was scheduled to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Inner: Penetrating eyes, nothing servile about him. Fashioned his public life as a dignified outsider and a strong witness to his/story. His partial sight also emphasized his singular focus. Preacher at heart, with the physicality of the athlete, and the courage to speak his own truths. Jut-jawed lifetime of standing up to oppression, while searching for himself through the process, only to ultimately overwhelm his own system with his endless task of confronting the many poisons of society.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS LOVABLE LUG TURNED LEADING MAN:
Storyline: The Catholic athlete twice sidesteps potential careers in professional sports to become an entertainer instead, although the second time around, carries with him a strong moral ethic and a handsome countenance to allow him to try to expand his characterizations, while giving voice to his profound religiosity.
Jim Caviezel (1968) - Outer: Of Irish and Slovak/Swiss ancestry. From a tight-knit Catholic family. Mother was a former stage actress, father was a chiropractor. 3 sisters and one younger brother. Raised with a strong moral sense. Moved to Seattle and stayed with family friends, in order to play basketball at two Catholic schools, with the hope of an NBA career. 6’2”. Went to Bellevue Community College, where he continued his pursuit of hoops, but a foot injury in his sophomore year dashed those dreams. Transferred to the Univ. of Washington and took up acting. Did some modeling, before making his debut in My Own Private Idaho in 1991, after telling casting agents he was a recent Italian immigrant. Moved to Los Angeles, and supported himself waiting, while only getting small parts, and was thinking of quitting, before coming to public attention as one of the stars of Terence Mallick’s 1998 war drama, The Thin Red Line. Married Kerri Browitt, a high school English teacher, who shares his religious passions, in 1997. Refused to do a nude scene because of his religious beliefs, and finally began garnering attention after the turn of the century with a remake of The Count of Monte Cristo. In what will probably be a career highlight, in 2005, he played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s The Passion, and was struck by lightning and injured his shoulder during the filming, a symbol of the heavy burden he probably felt he was carrying in limning the central figure of his inner life. Later had a brief interview with Pope John Paul II, as a reaffirmation of his desire to ennoble films with his spiritual presence. The role of Jesus, however, has been a career death knell for many, limiting their subsequent work to pale reflections of the West’s major heartmaster. Nevertheless, he has used the opportunity to be a public speaker at a variety of spiritual venues, and publicly voice his opinions on religiously-oriented political issues, while his wife is also a charitable activist. Adopted a Chinese boy with a brain tumor in 2007, and the following year, added an adopted Chinese girl to his household. His work after The Passion has been sporadic at best, leading him to feel that on some level, he has been blacklisted by liberal Hollywood for it. After appearing in 2009 in “The Prisoner,” a cryptic cable mini-series based on an earlier BBC show, he returned to TV two years later, in “Person of Interest” a crime drama, where he assayed an ex-CIA operative. Inner: Deeply religious, although equally capable of playing villains as heroes, as he carries the same dualities as in his previous existence of comedian and tragedian. Transformed lifetime of fashioning a career out of handsome is as handsome does, after earlier playing the homely buffoon, and being given the opportunity to limn his hero of heroes in the process. William Bendix (1906-1964) - American actor. Outer: Father was a musician, and he was a descendant of composer Felix Bartholdy-Mendelssohn (Leonard Bernstein), despite his subsequent public and professional persona as a cloddish lunk. Did one silent movie as child, when his sire got him a role at Vitagraph, where he had been toiling as a handyman. Did not appear in film again for another three decades. Worked as a bat boy for the Yankees, where he was befriended by slugger Babe Ruth, whom he would later portray in a biopic. Wanted to be a professional baseball player, but his parents’ vehemently objected to that choice of career. At 16, he dropped out of high school and joined the Henry St. Settlement Players. 5’10 1/2”, thick-bodied. Played semi-professional baseball as an infielder, breaking his nose, giving him a lug-like look, which was compounded by his heavy NY accent. In 1927, he married Theresa Stefanotti, a childhood friend, two daughters from the union, with one adopted. Through his father-in-law, he got a job as the manager of a grocery store and also appeared as a comedian in a cabaret act. When the Depression closed the chain of stores he worked for, he turned his full attention to the theater, first with the NJ Federal Theater Project and then the NY Theater Guild. In 1939, after a series of flops, he had his first Broadway hit playing a cop in William Saroyan’s “The Time of Your Life,” which led to a motion picture contract, and in 1942, he made his film debut in Brooklyn Orchid. Often played brute characters because of his rough looks, including Eugene O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape,” on stage and screen, but balanced them off with comedic roles, so that in 1945 and 1946, he was one of the top 25 salaried people in the country, mainly playing support. Gained his greatest fame through the character of workingclass hero, Chester A. Riley, whom he played on film, radio and TV in the series, “Life of Riley.” Suffered from a constant stomach ailment, and eventually died from complication of malnutrition and lumbar pneumonia. Inner: Hermit and teetotaler. Down-to-Earth, but despite his seemingly accessible character, basically a very private person. Found the stage the most satisfying of all the media in which he worked. Hairy ape lifetime of feeling compelled to publicly perform, while hiding a sensitivity behind a rough facade that allowed him both dramatic and comedic grace in his desire to be well-loved, but to remain at a remove from his audience, as a means of self-protection.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS EXEMPLAR OF MALE EXTREMES:
Storyline: The muscular metamorphoser goes from fey high-hat to hulking hunk in his desire to explore all the possibilities of himself, while maintaining the same Oedipal connection to his alternate mother/wife as means of defining his alternating masculinity.
Hugh Jackman (1968) - Australian actor, singer and dancer. Outer: Parents were English immigrants to Australia. Father was an accountant, and a devout born-again Christian. Youngest of 5 children. When he was eight, his parents separated and he and his siblings were raised by their sire, while their mother, who was somewhat off-kilter, returned to England. Her abandonment forced him to mute his emotions and talk them through, allowing him a more integrated reaction to the rejection than his brothers and sisters felt. Good athlete in a variety of sports, and an inveterate sports fan. Pursued acting in high school, but graduated with a journalism major from the Univ. of Technology, Sydney. Found reporting, however, unsatisfying, and began auditioning for stage roles, while doing odd jobs, often in costumes. 6’3”, and increasingly more muscular. Did some regional stagework, then went to the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. On graduating he met his wife, actress Deborra-Lee Furness, who is 8 years his senior, on her TV series “Correlli,” in which she played a psychiatrist and he a prison inmate. The following year, 1996, they married, in an extremely close relationship. After two miscarriages, they adopted a multiracial son and daughter. Focused on the theater his next several years, doing both drama and musicals, with a noted turn in London in “Oklahoma.” Made his film debut in 1999 in Paperback Hero, a romantic comedy. The following year he assayed Wolverine in the blockbuster X-Men, which made him an international star. Able to easily mix his vehicles between drama, action and musicals, as well as animated voices. Named Sexiest Man Alive in 2008 by “People” magazine. Hosted the Tony awards thrice, in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and won one himself the final year playing Australian songwriter and performer Peter Allen, which would lead to rumors he, too, was a homophile, as a crypto-reflection of his previous go-round in this series. The same year, he formed his own production company, Seed Productions with his longtime assistant, while continuing his prolific output in a variety of genres on stage, film and TV. Executed hosting duties for 81st Academy Rewards in 2009 to good effect, and has been involved in a number of philanthropic projects, including extending credit to entrepreneurs in undeveloped countries. Much to his surprise and delight, he received a special Tony in 2012 from his wife, honoring him as a performer and humanitarian. Inner: Highly charitable, even-keeled, musical and genuinely likable. Extremely nearsighted, forcing him to memorize everything rather than rely on teleprompters for his various hosting duties. The other side of the circle lifetime of exploring his hunkdom, and enlisting the help of his longtime female partner in doing so, while being forced to do without someone playing the mother role, in order to allow him to see himself from more of a male perspective. Clifton Webb (Webb Parmalee Hollenbeck) (1889-1966) - American actor, dancer and singer. Outer: From a multi-generational Indiana farming family. His mother Mabel Webb (Deborra-Lee Furness) was the daughter of a railroad conductor while his father was a ticket collector. The former had wanted to be an actress but her family gave her no support in her ambitions, so she projected them on her only child. Began taking dance and acting at 5, under the behest of his mother, whose interest in him far outshone her desire to continue her marriage. Made his stage debut at 7 in NYC’s Carnegie Hall, then toured in several vaudeville productions. Quit school at 13, and along with his mother, moved to NYC where he studied art under Robert Henri (Martin Scorsese) and voice with a famous teacher as well. Sang with the Boston Opera Company at 17. 5’11 1/2” and lithe, with an obsession about keeping thin. Adopted Clifton Webb for his stage name and became a professional dancer, without any training, showing a natural proclivity for movement in vaudeville, with Mae Murray (Miley Cyrus) as one of his earlier partners. Worked as a ballroom dancer, while also appearing in operettas, before making his Broadway debut in 1913 in “The Purple Road,” with his mother, appearing in the opening night cast. Ultimately became a leading musical comedy star on both Broadway and the London stage, while beginning his film career with Polly with a Past in 1920, although it wasn’t until well into the sound era that he truly established himself as a unique player, since his focus remained on the Broadway musical stage through the first several decades of his career, with a few classical comedies thrown in. His first huge film hit was Laura in 1944, playing an acerb theater critic, despite resistance from the studio for hiring such an effete individual. The success of the film led to a long-term contract, and he would go on to do endless variations on the same elitist character, with Mr. Belvedere, an English housekeeper, in 1948’s Sitting Pretty as the archetypal figure by which he best remembered, a role reputedly quite like himself. The film inspired two sequels, and he remained a Hollywood fixture for the rest of his career. A perennial on Hollywood’s best-dressed lists, and a closeted homophile, he lived with his mother until her death in 1960 as a nonagenerian, along with a parrot named Goo-Goo who insulted everyone, including its owners. Kept himself scandal-free in what may have been a largely celibate existence. Deeply mourned his mother’s death, ultimately becoming a recluse in reaction to it, and died of a heart attack six years later. Inner: Acerbically witty and a noted conversationalist. Complete non-foodie, eating only out of necessity. Non-sensual and always impeccably attired, buying all his clothes in London. Oedipal lifetime of reflecting the female side of his male character, with the help of his longtime partner, without whom, he ultimately proved absolutely lost, despite his projection of faux superiority.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS WOUNDED CHARMER:
Storyline: The fey frat packer matches his creative streak with an equally self-destructive one, and winds up doing continual battle with his own inner bottle rockets, to see which side of him will ultimately prevail.
Owen Wilson (1968) - American actor and screenwriter. Outer: Of Irish and Roman Catholic descent. Mother was a photographer, father was a Public Broadcasting executive, who also operated a cable TV station. The duo were transplanted East Coasters who moved to Dallas. The middle of three brothers, including Andrew and Luke, who both also went into acting. 5’10”, with shaggy blonde hair and a noticeably broken nose, from a high school football injury. Felt his parents preferred his two siblings to him, making him a slacker in school, despite the closeness and competitiveness of the family. After getting caught cheating on a geometry exam, he wound up at the New Mexico Military Institute, before going to the Univ. of Texas, where he majored in English and met future director Wes Anderson in a playwrighting class before the two became roommates. Made his stage debut in one of Anderson’s student efforts, then left school two credits shy of a degree, and together they wrote the comedy, Bottle Rocket, which received critical, albeit not box office praise in 1996. Afterwards, they moved to Hollywood, along with his siblings, and he appeared in some spectacularly forgettable actioners to inaugurate his career, prior to the turn of the century. Fell in with the so-called ‘Frat Pack,’ afterwards, of Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughan, among others, and began appearing in their highly successful comedies, while also continuing his association with Anderson, with Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, both of which he co-wrote, while appearing in the latter. Continued in popular fare, as a comic action hero, before suddenly grabbing headlines in 2007 with a slashed-wrist suicide attempt, coupled with an overdose of pills, which some speculated was related to the breakup of his relationship with actress Kate Hudson. Caught in time, he was rushed to the hospital, and as irony would have it, The Darjeeling Express, another Anderson vehicle, was released several months later, in which his face was prominently wrapped in bandages, in an intersection of both art and life. Dropped out of subsequent projects, while dealing with his interior wounds, before slowly making his public reappearance and returning to his career. Welcomed in 2011 with a son with girlfriend Jade Duell, a federal air marshall, 14 years his junior, only to split five months later, through his ongoing fear of commitment. Later had a son, his second, w/Swedish-born personal trainer, Caroline Lindqvist, during her divorce, even though they were not in a relationship and not planning to have one. Inner: Good sense of humor with a seeming casualness that masks a far more roiling interior. An active improviser on all his sets, while always trying for fresh approaches in each cinematic take, so as not to repeat himself. Unimpressed with fame or stardom, and far more interested in screenwriting than acting, despite a natural fey charm and easily projected masculinity. Hidden wounds lifetime of doing battle with strong self-destructive instincts as a counterbalance to his natural creativity. Harry Carey (Henry DeWitt Carey II) (1878-1947) - American actor, writer and director. Outer: Father was a prominent judge and lawyer, as well as president of a sewing machine company. Went to a military academy, but turned down an appointment to West Point in order to try his hand on the stage. 6’. Attended NYU law school afterwards with future NYC mayor Jimmy Walker (Harvey Fierstein), but a boating accident, which led to pneumonia, sidelined him, and during his down time, he penned a play about the Western frontier, replete with a horse in it, which drove audience’s wild. Wound up touring the country with it for 3 years, and, though it did well financially, his next effort, a Klondike tale, which also featured animals, failed to elicit interest, and he wound up in debt, although he married his leading lady from it, Fern Foster. Committed to acting by now, he made his film debut in 1909 with the short, “Bill Sharkey’s Last Game.” Joined the fledgling Biograph company in NYC, and became a favorite of director D. W. Griffith. Began writing and directing his own vehicles in 1913, appearing with his wife, who would soon retire from the screen. Moved to Hollywood with Griffith, and became a silent Western mainstay after shifting over to Universal Studios in 1915. Played Cheyenne Harry in a series of two-reelers, in which he teamed up with the young John Ford (David Fincher), and the duo would prove a potent combination, beginning in 1917, with Straight Shooting. Also worked with the latter’s brother Francis Ford (Edward Norton). After divorcing, he went on to marry his co-star in several of these oaters, Olive Golden, in 1920, and settled on a ranch. Son from the union, Harry Carey, Jr. would become a movie actor as well. The duo also had a daughter. Thanks to a grizzled, weathered look, he was a natural in the studio’s quasi-realistic horse operas, and by decade’s end, he was one of Tinseltown’s best paid five figure six gun stars. Left Universal in 1922, when they elevated his sidekick Hoot Gibson (Johnny Knoxville) to their number one in the saddle, in a desire to replace realism with sheer entertainment. Through the 1920s, he continued as a Western star, while also occasionally writing, producing and directing. Found himself somewhat passé by decade’s end, and wound up on vaudeville circuit with his wife, although the two were no longer cut out for the boards or the endless travel it required. While they were gone, their ranch was destroyed in a dam-burst. Returned to filmdom as a character actor and support, thanks to a distinctive voice, which matched his physicality. Had a hit with Trader Horn, which allowed him to rebuild his ranch, only to see it destroyed again, this time by fire. Rebuilt it once more, just as he had his career, and wound up a low budget Western star of considerably lesser magnitude in the talkie era, as well as a solid support in ‘A’ features. Finally made his Broadway in 1940 in “Heavenly Express,” and went on to do a couple more Great White way dramas, while continuing his film work. Became a close friend of actor John Wayne, appearing in several films with him, while the latter claimed he was one of the few stars he had ever learned from. Appeared with his son and the Duke in Red River, and continued working until the end of his life. Died of coronary thrombosis, lung cancer and emphysema, thanks to a lifetime of smoking, and was buried in a cowboy outfit. His wife would outlive him by four decades. Inner: Innate sense of natural theatricality, with the ability to project a solid manliness, and the facility for rebounding from both personal and property injury. Well-weathered lifetime of playing with his ongoing dualism, to up-and-down effect, while leaving a memorable legacy of his well-wrought characterizations.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HANDSOME, WHOLESOME HERO:
Storyline: The prolific protagonist tries to stretch himself as an actor, after earlier proving successful by not deviating from his stereotypical matinee idol good looks.
Brendan Fraser (1968) - Canadian/American actor. Outer: Both parents were Canadian. Mother was a nurse, father was a Forest Service official, who served in Indianapolis where his son was born, before taking his family to Holland, France and then England. Youngest of 4 boys, always felt the outsider from all his moving. Got hooked on acting in the latter station, then went to a prestigious boarding high school in Canada, before finishing his education with a B.F.A. from the Actor’s Conservatory at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. 6’3”. Came to Hollywood immediately afterwards, and made his professional debut doing a voiceover for “The Simpsons,” in 1989, then fashioned his film debut in Dogfight in 1991. Played several out-of-time and place characters, including Encino Man and George of the Jungle, projecting a wholesome innocence, and made one stage appearance in Los Angeles in 1995 in “Four Dogs and a Bone.” By the time he was 30, he had done some 20 films, then worked with Ian McKellan on Gods and Monsters in 1998, in an attempt to stretch himself as an actor, while otherwise remaining focused on commercial comedies. Married former actress Afton Smith in 1998, two children from union. Ironically established himself as a big budget action star in The Mummy, in the type of film that actor Harrison Ford, his unrelated namesake from his earlier existence used, in order to do the same. Played multiple extensions of himself in Bedazzled in 2001, as he continues to alternate between comedy and drama in a career very focused on extending himself beyond the limits that strait-jacketed him in his previous go-round in this series. Talented photographer as well. After nine years of marriage, he separated from his wife in 2007. Finally appeared with his namesake from his earlier go-round, Harrison Ford, in 2010 in Extraordinary Measures. Made his Broadway debut later in the year in “Eiling,” playing a recently released mental patient, only to find no audience for it, as it quickly closed after nine performances. Inner: Down-to-Earth, unpretentious, with a determination to prove himself as a competent, all-around actor. Stretching lifetime of trying to bedazzle his audience with his growing comedic range, while adhering to the genuine wholesomeness of his basic being. Harrison Ford (1892-1957) - American actor. Outer: Rarely gave interviews and kept his private life private, so his beginnings remain largely unknown. Never finished school, and instead, hit the boards in his teens, playing in various theater circuits on the east coast, and worked his way up into leads, hitting his peak on Broadway in 1905 in “Strongheart,” before heading out west to Hollywood. Made his film debut in 1915 with Excuse Me, and went on to a successful Hollywood career as a handsome, wholesome leading man, playing opposite a goodly number of the female luminaries of the silent era, and becoming one of the most popular screen idols of the day, parlaying his good looks and conventional talents into a decade plus run as a bona fide silent movie star, although basically played the same character over and over. Married actress Beatrice Prentiss, no children from union. Made only one talkie, then retired from the screen in 1932, although did some stagework afterwards. Hit by a car in 1951, and never fully recovered from his injuries. Inner: Modest, shunned publicity, loved to read. Strait-jacketed lifetime of taking on unchallenging roles, playing them in competent manner, and then retiring rather than accommodating himself to support and character parts, where he might have stretched his thin, but commercial talents.