SHOW BUSINESS - ACTRESSES - 1960s-1970s-1980s
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SHOW BUSINESS MARTYR:
Storyline: The voluptuous victim has an instinct for publicity with her attention-drawing antics, but also has an equal draw towards self-sacrifice, while trying to work out her unbalancing act under the added onus of fate’s ongoing unkind judgments of her.
Anna Nicole Smith (Vickie Lynn Hogan) (1967-2007) - American actress and publicity-hound. Outer: Parents divorced when she was an infant, and her mother, who was a deputy sheriff, raised her alone, in a middle-class environment. Later fudged her beginnings, as well as her birth-town to make it seem as if she came from a hard-scrabble existence. Dropped out of high-school at 16 after getting beat up, to become a waitress, married Billy Wayne Smith, a cook, and was the mother of a son at 17, although her husband abandoned the family and they divorced the following year, when she headed for Houston to become a stripper, while leaving the baby at her mother’s. 5’11”, extremely fleshy, with a weight that would vary from 140 to 220 lbs at her heaviest. Arrested 3 times for drunk driving within a 6 month span in her early 20s, in a self-destructive throwback to her earlier demise. Although initially fat and relatively flat-chested, she had her breasts pumped up to double D size, beginning in 1989, to match her full-fleshed body, and topped off her meaty figure with dyed blonde hair. A wild partyer with an early preference for women and outlandish public behavior. Mailed some pictures of herself to Playboy magazine, became a centerfold Playmate and then Playmate of the Year in 1993, unconsciously aping her earlier life’s use of that magazine to publicize her outrageous body. In 1994, she married an 89 year old wheelchair-bound Texas millionaire, who had met her when she was a topless dancer, and had showered her with gifts. Never lived with him, and he died soon after. Attended his funeral in a revealing white mourning dress, although initially lost in the subsequent court fights with his family over his will. A total publicity-hound, she became an ad icon of Guess? jeans, while appearing in several films in comedic support roles, although her real acting came in subsequent court battles. Gained and lost weight, ballooning up to valkyrian proportions, while continuing her association with Playboy. Her breasts supposedly exploded during an implant operation. Her troubles with drug, alcohol and food addictions, as well as out-of-control behavior, caused her to continually de-tox and binge, while making sure her eyeful body remained well-exposed to the media. Eventually declared bankruptcy, while continuing her ongoing court fight with her husband’s heirs over his billion dollar estate, from which she was ultimately awarded $450 million, although the sum continued to be legally contested, and was finally set at $89 million in 2002, despite further court action promised around it. Parlayed her overblown persona into an eponymous reality cable show dedicated to following her around, which ran from 2002 to 2004, and immortalized her vacuous existence to a steadily dwindling audience. Began her own clothing line, Tex-Sex in 2004, as a continuation of her unsubtle need to be stage center all the time. At year’s end, she lost her claim to her husband’s millions in a federal appeals court ruling, which reverted the decision to its original outcome, although it was later re-adjudicated by the Supreme Court. Had a daughter in the interim, only to have her 20 year old son die in her hospital recovery room from a drug overdose 3 days later. Informally married her lawyer shortly afterwards in a non-binding ceremony, in her ongoing need for mass attention, no matter the emotional cost, and then made an aborted suicide attempt. Collapsed and died in Hollywood, Florida, within five months of her son’s demise, with the paternity of her daughter, as well as the ultimate outcome of her inheritance in question, in her third quick exit in a row, as a confused and often addled moth, continually burned by the flame of fame. Able to maintain tabloid queen news status for weeks and weeks afterwards, thanks to the squalid mystery of her demise and her equally attention-hungry support crew, in a further courtroom drama about her final resting-place, which was finally adjudicated to be near her son in the Bahamas. Eventually her cause of death was attributed to a prescription drug overdose, with some 9 pharmaceuticals involved, including chloral hydrate, and the father of her daughter was a sometime boyfriend, photographer Larry Birkhead. Well after her demise, the oil holdings of her husband were denied her daughter. Had her life turned into an opera, “Anna Nicole,” with its well-received premier at the London Opera House in 2011, and Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek assaying her in poignant, and non-mocking fashion. Inner: Marilyn Monroe obsessive, with a huge appetite for attention. Potty-mouthed, bisexual, materialistic and crass in public, while sweet-natured in private. Had a great desire to be unique and to be treated special for her unusual physical presence. Pumped-up lifetime of following the same dynamics of her previous go-round including its abrupt ending, in her ongoing goal of being a unique, highly public, well-loved personality, despite no other claim to fame than an overweening desire to be famous. Jayne Mansfield (1932-1967) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a kindergarten teacher, father was an attorney and politician who died when she was 3. Her mother remarried 3 years later and the family moved to Dallas. Married Paul Mansfield, a teen-aged boyfriend at 16, and had a daughter at 17. Took drama courses with her husband at the Univ. of Texas, then followed him when he was drafted, doing army shows and creating a sensation off-stage when she sported bikinis and leotards. When her husband was shipped to Korea, she returned to Dallas, where she appeared in local TV plays in bit parts. 5’5 1/2”, bosomy and bottled-blonde, she won several beauty contests, beginning with Miss Photoflash. Held a burning ambition to be a movie star, and convinced her husband on his return to go out to Hollywood in her early 20s, although he later returned home. Made her film debut as a nymphomaniac in 1956 in The Female Jungle, which elicited the critique, “Dramatic art in her opinion is knowing how to fill out a sweater,” by Bette Davis. Hired an agent, and her thirst for publicity became an end in itself. Began to garner attention, less for her minimal skills at emoting than for her well-fleshed body. Gained notoriety by appearing on Broadway clad in only a Turkish towel in “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter,” a minimalist role she later reprised on film. Posed nude in Playboy magazine, which caused her husband to sue for divorce and demand custody of their child. Continually played the same role over and over, as a breathless blonde, while constantly courting publicity. Lived in an all-pink mansion, and married body-builder Mickey Hargitay in her mid-20s, 3 children, daughter from union, Mariska Hargitay, became an actress. Her career subsequently stalled out, and she went to Europe to appear in a number of low-budget productions, often playing opposite her husband. Began drinking excessively and the duo divorced in 1964. Married a 3rd time the same year to director Matt Cimber, who became her manager, one son from the brief union. Toured sleazy clubs in Europe, then took up with a violent and unstable attorney, and had her 16 year old daughter taken away in a custody suit because of abuse by the couple. The following year, she was decapitated in a car accident on her way to a TV interview the following morning, killing the attorney as well as his driver, although her children, asleep in the back, suffered only minor abrasions. Wound up buried right nearby her Virginia Rappe incarnation. Inner: Extremely ambitious and driven, but without the talent to bring her true aspirations to fruition. Self-caricature of America’s fascination with large breasts and empty heads to go along with them. Self-deprecating, and far brighter than the image she projected. Busted lifetime of symbolically removing her head from her voluptuous body in order to reintegrate her desires to be famous, special and well-loved by one and all. Virginia Rappe (1891-1921) - American actress. Outer: Illegitimate daughter of an alcoholic mother, who was a part-time chorus girl and passed on a taste for gin to her progeny. The latter, who had had trouble with the law, died when she was 11. Raised by a grandmother, whose name she took on, while the lack of a father figure made her desperate for male attention. Had 5 abortions by the time she was 16, and gave up the one child she did produce to foster care. Added an ‘e’ to her name, because she thought it was classy, and moved to San Francisco to pursue a successful career as an artist’s model. 5’7”, slender and shapely. Although engaged to a dress designer, he was killed in a trolley car accident. Despondent, she moved to Hollywood to live with an aunt, and began playing bit parts, which led to small roles in Mack Sennett (Quentin Tarantino) comedies. Notoriously loose, and largely uncontrollable under the influence of alcohol, she gave several members of his company crabs, and he had to close down his studio and have it fumigated. Became involved with an older producer, Henry Lehrman, who cast her in one of his comedies, and seemed to be on her way to a film career, eliciting the notice of comedian ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle (John Belushi). Either crashed or was invited to a celebratory party of his in San Francisco, after he had just signed a huge contract, and wound up hemorrhaging under cloudy circumstances, after being alone with Arbuckle in a room. Died several days later of peritonitis caused by a ruptured bladder, after claiming that Arbuckle had violated her with a champagne bottle. The actor was later acquitted after 3 trials, although the true events have never clearly come to light, with the trial information favoring Fatty, and witnesses afterwards supporting her version. The scandal ruined his career, as well as helped close down Hollywood’s initial free-for-all pleasure run, and helped make it a far more sober studio-controlled town. Inner: Great hunger for fame, with martyr sensibilities, allowing men to use her for her own ends. Victim lifetime of playing the martyr to her career ambitions, and helping to bring an end to Hollywood’s initial phase as a satyr-and-nymph paradise, in the process. Mary Surratt (1823-1865) - American conspirator. Outer: Father was a farmer and minor county official who died when she was two. Second of three children with two brothers. Her mother was able to keep the family estate, replete with 11 slaves, and proved a highly competent manager, adding to the family land, and giving her children a secure upbringing. Went to a private Catholic boarding school, despite her parents’ Protestantism, and while there converted to Roman Catholicism. At 17, she unhappily married John Harrison, a farmer and fellow Roman Catholic. Two sons and a daughter from the union, including John Surratt (James Earl Ray). 5’6” and buxom. Saw their first home burn down, then engaged in a host of occupations along with her husband, including tobacco farming on a 267 acre spread, which also served as a general store, a gristmill, a polling place, a post office, and a tavern. Her husband, who was a decade older than she, was an alcoholic and probably abused her. As slave-owners, both were Confederate sympathizers, and their tavern served as a meeting place for fellow Johnny Rebs, and a storehouse for both weapons and money supporting the southern cause. in 1862, her husband passed away suddenly, either from a heart attack or a cerebral hemorrhage, which left her in debt and dire financial straits. Leased her farm and then rented her tavern to an ex-policeman, John Lloyd, and moved her family to Washington, where she turned the upper floors of a townhouse she had inherited from her late husband’s relatives into a boardinghouse, and eked out a living from it. Despite flimsy evidence, she was subsequently implicated in the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, after the man who rented her tavern, John Lloyd, testified to her supplying him with weapons and fieldglasses. Her son, John, who had earlier fled the country, was also implicated, although never convicted, while decrying his mother’s innocence. Arrested several days after the assassination, thanks to her direct association with several of the conspirators, including the main assassin, John Wilkes Booth (Michael Kennedy). Tried with seven men, she dressed in black with a veil covering her face, and was subsequently convicted on the testimony of Lloyd, who was looking for a way to exonerate himself, and sentenced to death. Although the majority of the commission who found her guilty asked the president, Andrew Johnson (George Wallace) to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, he refused. Heavily guarded and manacled, she spent her final hours with a priest, weeping profusely. Hanged along with Lewis Powell (Clay Shaw), David Herold (Howard Rollins) and George Atzerodt (Lee Harvey Oswald). Wore the same black outfit to her hanging, and her last words were reportedly, “Please, don’t let me fall.” Her neck failed to break, and it took her several minutes to die, as the first woman to be executed in the U.S. Inner: Probably had a great desire for notoriety, an ongoing theme of hers, as well as an ever-present penchant for drama. Victim lifetime of being on the receiving end of the country’s thirst for vengeance over the death of its leader, while setting up a similar pattern of notoriety, trials, and self-sacrifice to the vagaries of fame and fortune.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SHY EXHIBITIONIST:
Storyline: The brainy beauty trades in her bathos for a far more balanced persona in her desire to harness her intelligence with the other aspects of her being in order to realize rather than consume herself as she has done in the past.
Jennifer Connelly (1970) - American actress. Outer: Mother was an antique dealer, father was in the garment industry, grew up in Brooklyn Heights. Only child. 5’7”, with a luminous beauty. Originally wanted to be a veterinarian. At 10, her parents sent her photos to the Ford Agency, and despite her shyness, she complied with their wish for a public career for her, wanting to make people happy. Made her film debut in 1984 in Once Upon A Time in America, then worked as a model, appearing on the cover of “17” magazine. Attended a prestigious prep school, then both Yale, where she was an English major and Stanford, where she focused on drama, showing a particular facility with foreign languages, speaking fluent French and Italian. Never graduated either institute. Did TV commercials in Japan and also released a single there in which she sang in Japanese. Drifted through a series of forgettable movies, and never took her career seriously until the birth of her son in 1997. The child’s father was a photographer, who lives elsewhere but remains an active presence in his progeny’s life. Did Requiem for a Dream in 2000, a grueling tale of life in the high lane in Brooklyn, which showed her potential chops as a serious actress, then won an Academy Reward for Best Supporting Actress in 2002 for A Beautiful Mind. Married actor Paul Bettany the following year, and had a son and daughter with him. Also an ambassador for Amnesty International. Inner: Highly intelligent and matter-of-fact, with an interest in both outdoor activity and intellectual repasts. Warm, contemplative and shy. Rebound lifetime of balancing her beauty and emotionality with a greater emphasis on her cerebrality, giving her a go-round far more in keeping with her own sense of self, than her previous sacrifice on the altar of fame. Gail Russell (1924-1961) - American actress. Outer: Grew up in Chicago, then moved with her family to Southern California at 14, and entered films right out of high school, where she had shown herself to be a superior student. Her older brother, George, became a musician. Petite, blue-eyed and dark-haired, with a telegenic, albeit melancholy beauty, she was discovered by a talent scout. Carefully groomed and coached for stardom by Paramount, despite having no acting experience whatsoever, she made her film debut in 1943 with a small role in Henry Aldrich Gets Glamour. Never got over her stage fright, or her fears around the film industry, despite being a strong screen presence, and began using alcohol on the set by her second film to steady her nerves. Usually played shy, delicate doe-eyed woman. In 1949, she married actor Guy Madison, divorced 5 years later. Despite a string of successful appearances, by 1950, Paramount refused to renew her contract before of her growing drinking problems, and her career slowed down considerably. Accused of an adulterous affair with actor John Wayne, without merit, and began drinking even more and more heavily, unable to deal with the demands of Tinsel Town. Arrested several times for drunken driving, she was in and out of sanitariums. Made her last film in 1961, The Silent Call, and ultimately drank herself to death at 36, with an alcohol-induced heart attack, as a victim of her own insecurities. Found in her apartment surrounded by empty liquor bottles. Inner: Shy, introverted, and filled with dread. Drowning lifetime of allowing her fears to predominate and consume her. Tessie Harron (1896-1918) - American actress. Outer: From a large immigrant Irish family, with 9 children, including one who died in childhood. Brothers Robert (Peter Lawford), and Johnny (Chris Penn) became actors. Followed her brother Robert out west and appeared in an unbilled role in one of his films, Hearts of the World, along with her two siblings, only to succumb soon afterwards in the worldwide influenza epidemic that engulfed the planet at the end of WW I. Inner: Cup of coffee lifetime of briefly tasting the bright lights, before exiting extremely early to quickly return and test her innate shyness again against a compulsive drive to succeed in the most public of spheres. Zerelda James (Zerelda Mimms) (1845-1900) - American matriarch. Outer: One of twelve children of a pastor. Mother was the sister of the father of Jesse James (Sean Penn), making them first cousins, while her parents were double first cousins, as well. Named after Jesse’s mother, Zerelda (Ann Doran). Petite and a devout Methodist. Despite the close blood connection, the duo fell in love, while he was living with her parents after the Civil War, when she nursed his battle wounds and rarely left his bedside until he was well. His nickname for her was “Zee.” After a nine year engagement the two were married in 1874, although he had to flee in the middle of it, when it was falsely rumored he was about to be arrested. Returned soon after to conclude the ceremony and then honeymoon in Texas. The duo had a son and daughter, as well as a pair of stillborn male twins in between. Remained a loyal and loving wife to her outlaw husband, who saw his first gang killed or captured with the infamous Northfield Minnesota raid of 1876. Moved to St. Joseph, Missouri after the reconstituted gang’s last official train robbery in 1881, and began life anew under the assumed names of Tom and Mary Howard, while she asked him to reform so that they could have a far more normal existence as farmers. JJ agreed after one last bank robbery, but before he could pull it off, he was shot in the back by fellow gang member Bob Ford (Tex Watson) at his home, with the latter’s brother Charlie Ford (Charles Manson) in attendance. In the kitchen while it happened, she witnessed her husband’s death, along with their two sobbing children. Initially denied to the police he was the notorious Jesse James. Left with no money, she was forced to auction off household goods to pay off creditors, then moved in with a brother in Kansas City. Despite poverty, she refused to capitalize on his reputation, and wound up in depressed perpetual mourning. Dressed in black the rest of her life and became a recluse, while her surviving son was forced to support the family from the age of 11. Following her death from complications from pneumonia, her husband’s body was moved from the James farm and reburied next to hers. lnner: Strongly moralistic, with a sense of the martyr about her. Always focused on her husband’s good loving aspects, and never brought up his dark side to their children. Support lifetime of consanguinity with a legendary outlaw, forcing her to continually rationalize his behavior and her feelings in a go-round ultimately shrouded in widow’s black, and an inability on her part to see beyond her own deliberately constructed blinders.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS VOLUPTUOUS VICTIM:
Storyline: The battered beauty learns to fight back after playing the sensational role of headline-grabbing sacrificee, as she continues to deal with the madness of others as mask for own unresolved anger within.
Carmen Electra (Tara Leigh Patrick) (1973) - American actress. Outer: From a musical family. Father was an entertainer and guitarist, mother was a vocalist. Wanted to be a dancer as a child. Attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati and began her career as a model. 5’3”, and voluptuous. Chose her stage appellation Carmen, after the musician Prince suggested she looked like a ‘Carmen,’ the archetypal Spanish victim, and her last name after the goddess Electra, who was mother of the goddess of the rainbow. Prince helped her get a record contract, although her efforts in that arena proved unsuccessful. Able to jump-start her career after posing for “Playboy” magazine in 1996, she became a host for MTV’s “Singled Out,” afterwards, taking over for fellow “Playmate” Jennie McCarthy. Featured as a regular on a “Baywatch” spin-off following that turn, before joining the cast of the main show, and has also done several forgettable films, mostly serving as beautiful decoration. Her sister and mother both died within a week of one another in 1998, the first from a heart attack, the second from a brain tumor. After a night of drinking shortly afterwards, she married erratic basketball star Dennis Rodman, before going on to garner her fair share of tabloid headlines for the volatile on-again, off-again relationship between the two, in which she seemed to have given as good as she has got, including a double handcuffed arrest for domestic disorder and battery, which are later dropped. The couple eventually separated, but not before she received a full monty of publicity for their antics. Continues to work on TV as her prime medium, while marrying guitarist Dave Navarro in 2003, only to divorce him four years later. At the same time she released her first book, How to be Sexy, in her ongoing need not to succumb to her more self-destructive urges, and be a positive influence on those who consider her a role model of beauty ad independence. Inner: Ambitious and striking, with a need to be centerstage. Fighting back lifetime of earlier holding her own against an unstable mate, in a hidden desire on her part not to be the victim once again of her own beauty and vulnerability, and continuing on to bring her life to full maturity, which she has yet to do in Tinseltown. Sharon Tate (1943-1969) - American actress. Outer: Father served in the military, which gave her a peripatetic childhood. Oldest of 3 daughters. At 6 months, she won a ‘Tiny Tot’ beauty contest in Dallas. Shy and unsure of herself because of constantly moving, which eventually gave her the reputation of being aloof. Started entering beauty contests as a teen, winning one in Washington, while evincing an interest in studying psychiatry. When her father was transferred to Italy, she discovered kindred spirits among her fellow students at the American school there, who also felt uprooted. Voted homecoming queen of her Italian high school, which led her being an extra in American productions shot in Italy, and the encouragement to pursue a film career. 5’3”. Went back to America, although her mother suffered a nervous breakdown over premonitions for her daughter’s safety, and she was forced to return to Italy. In 1962, the family returned to the U.S. and she moved to Hollywood, where she began her career on TV. Became involved with an abusive French actor, who put her in the hospital, before parting company with him. Continued to be turned down for high profile roles, when her beauty was offset by her timidity, before finally landing a part in Eye of the Devil in 1967. Met director Roman Polanski afterwards, who featured her in The Fearless Vampire Killers, despite neither being impressed with the other on first meeting. Polanski was able to draw out her latent talent, through patience and repeat takes, and the two became an item, much to the displeasure of hairstylist Jay Sebring, who had wanted to marry her. Returned to the U.S., to do some forgettable, although highly publicized film fare, while also appearing in “Playboy” magazine and a promotional documentary, All Eyes on Sharon Tate, which made her a young Hollywood icon. Married Polanski in London in 1968. The duo then moved to Los Angeles, where they were part of a free-spirited social scene, while her career moved up a notch through her athletic performance in The Wrecking Crew. While 8 months pregnant with a son, she was murdered, along with 4 others, including Sebring, by members of the Charles Manson gang, in a bloody slaughter that was intended to start a race war in America. Inner: Largely free-spirited, once she lost her initial inhibitions, and a great believer in fate. Victim lifetime of being immortalized through her death rather than her life, in a self-sacrifice that probably was recompense for some hidden activity by both her compeers and herself in the deep past. Diane Ellis (1909-1930) - American actress. Outer: Began her film career as a teenager in 1927 in Is Zat So?, where she was billed as Dione Ellis. 5’4”. By the following year, she had switched to Diane, and starred in several films, in what looked to be a successful film career for herself. Married Stephen Millet, a wealthy New Yorker, in October of 1930 in Paris, but on a honeymoon trip to India she suddenly took ill and died. Inner: Incomplete lifetime of paying off some bad karma from lives past, which she would murderously repeat in her next go-round as well, before finally regaining control of her fate, in her ongoing battle between her beauty and the larger forces which keep prematurely consuming it.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PHOENIX RISING:
Storyline: The blazing beauty self-immolates in order to rise from her ashes freed of the golden cage of her face, in order to explore her roiling interior far more fully, without the constraints of conventionality.
Rose McGowan (1974) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a French writer, father was an Irish artist who ran the Italian chapter of Children of God, a cultish religious sect. 2nd oldest of 5 children. Her sire left his wife for his children’s nanny, when she was a child, and she was raised in an unorthodox manner for her first decade, making her into an adventurous spirit, with an attraction towards fellow non-comformists, while initially speaking Italian. Did some child modeling in Europe, then moved to Oregon. After going to live with her grandmother, she attended art school in Seattle, Washington, and then beauty school, before deciding her sense of the dramatic would be best served as an actress. 5’4”, with a tattoo of a woman on her right shoulder. Legally freed herself of parental authority when she was 15. Established herself by her early 20s as an offbeat beauty, beginning with The Doom Generation, while often playing highly manipulative young women with a penchant for volatility. Likes using bright red lipstick to offset her pallid beauty. Linked with shock rocker Marilyn Manson in 1997, and became engaged to him in 1999, in her ongoing quest to break the empty beauty mold in which she was cast in her previous go-round. The pair later parted ways, while she continues to explore herself through a variety of genre films, as well as TV, appearing on WB’s “Charmed,” in 2001, while also writing songs. Although not overly physical, did some of her own stunts in Grindhouse, a 2007 Tarantino-Rodriguez paean to ‘B’ movies, in which she trades in a zombie-gnawed off leg for a machine-gun. Inner: Uninhibited, deliberately provocative and highly adventurous. Speaks rapidly, reflecting an equally fast mind, which often is moving far faster than her body, resulting in numerous self-inflicted injuries. Suffers from an obsessive compulsive disorder, and is a self-described shoe addict. Old movie buff, with a strong identification with several of Tinseltown’s legendary actresses. Phoenix lifetime of recreating herself in far more dynamic and electric form in order to give full expression to the complexities behind surface appeal. Linda Darnell (Monetta Eloyse Darnell) (1921-1965) - American actress. Outer: Mother was an ambitious stage mom, who saw her beautiful daughter as the apotheosis of her own dreams. Father was a postal worker. One of 5 children. Began taking tap-dance lessons at 5, and was modeling and entering talent competitions as a child. Looked mature for her age, and was modeling clothes at 11, while claiming to be 16. Began appearing on stage locally at 13, and at 14, won a regional “Gateway to Hollywood” contest, but was sent home when her true age was discovered. After doing more theater, she returned 2 years later, and became a leading lady in 1939 with A Hotel For Women. Signed to a 7 year contract by 20th Century-Fox, she quickly developed into a popular star, playing on her flawless complexion and striking beauty, garnering the sobriquet of the “girl with the perfect face.” 5’4”. Her fourth film, Star Dust, was based on her own experiences. Made some 46 films in all, although never rose above the superficial in any of her roles, serving far more as eye candy than a true actress. Married J. Peverell Marley, a cameraman, in 1943, divorced 9 years later. Remarried Phillip Liebmann, a NY brewer, in 1954, divorced the following year and her third marriage to Merle Roy Robertson, an airline pilot, lasted from 1957 to 1962. By the early 1950s, her film career was largely over, save for some minor productions. Also did stage and TV work. On a visit to a former secretary she was burned to death in a house fire while watching a TV showing of one of her old films, Star Dust. Inner: Beautiful, but largely the product of the ambitions of others, burning out on her career, when that old Hollywood bete noir, aging, caught up to her. Star-dusted lifetime of being corseted by her looks and never being allowed to develop beyond them, necessitating a flaming self-sacrifice in order to allow her more complex interior fuller play on her return. Clarine Seymour (1898-1920) - American actress. Outer: From a well-to-do family, although her father, a ribbon manufacturer, ultimately had to liquidate his business, and she had to go to work at 18 to help with their finances. Large-eyed beauty, with a talent for both dancing and comedy. Began her career with the Thanhouser Company in NYC, and worked in Al Christie comedies, before being sued for not appearing in mediocre vehicles to which she had been assigned. Won the case, and began performing for seminal silent director D. W. Griffith (Alfonso Cuaron). Always got great reviews, even when her films didn’t and she achieved stardom in The Idol Dancer in 1920, but one month later died on the operating table of strangulation of the intestines, after signing a contract worth $2 million dollars, which enabled her to bring her family and much younger brother out west. Her death symbolized an internal struggle around power vis a vis the film industry, while repeating her vulnerability in the same bodily arena as her previous go-round in this series. Inner: Kindly, ambitious and strongly family oriented. Cup-of-coffee lifetime of continuing her ongoing dance with early death, occasioning an unsatisfactory phoenix return, and then a much more focused go-round afterwards allowing her to reintegrate around her sense of self-worth and personal power. Giuseppina Morlacchi (1846-1886) - Italian/American dancer and actress. Outer: Parents enrolled her in a dance school at age six. Began touring professionally at 12 as a ballerina, before coming to America in 1867 with a Parisian dance company. Small, delicate and fiery. Her debut in “The Devil’s Auction” the same year made her an international sensation, with theater orchestras appearing under her hotel suite window to serenade her. Her manager insured her legs for $100,000, making her the most sought after dancer in the country. Introduced the “cancan” to American audiences, which made her an overwhelming favorite with male theatergoers, while she formed her own eponymous Ballet Troupe, attracting a highly eclectic audience. Signed up with the Buffalo Bill Cody (Clint Eastwood) troupe, at the insistence of author Ned Buntline (Mickey Spillane), as its star female attraction in 1872, playing an indigene maiden with a decided Italian accent, off of her wooden stars, who could barely remember their lines. One of her costars in the hit show, was Texas Jack Omohundro (Don Johnson), and the two quickly fell in love, before marrying in 1873. The troupe brought a new version of the show to the stage the following season, while the couple bought a country estate in Massachusetts. Formed their own western troupe in 1877, playing a series of melodramas around the country, which gave them enough money to buy a second home in Leadville, Colorado, and bring out her sister and father to live with them. Lost her husband there in 1880, and was absolutely devastated, retiring permanently from the stage immediately afterwards. Her sister died in 1885, and she developed a cancerous tumor in her stomach, before dying virtually a year to the day of her sibling’s death. Inner: Despite all the acclaim she received, never acted the diva, showing a well-grounded kindness and generosity, while off-stage she was quiet and shy. Tiny dancer lifetime of making the graceful leap to New World shores, and showing an excellent instinct for both business and performance, before being tragically robbed of her life’s true love, to set up a recurring motif of relatively early deaths in order to truly reclaim both herself and her sense of power, in a milieu, show business, that always placed superficial outer form over inner substance.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS LESSER SISTER:
Storyline: The partner-oriented player finds the small screen more amenable to her talents, as she works to get out from under the shadow of stronger figures than herself, while maintaining an intimacy and blood connection with her ongoing teachers.
Jennifer Aniston (1969) - American actress. Outer: Mother was a photographer, actress and model, father was soap opera actor John Aniston, who was verbally abusive to her. Her sire left the family when she was 9, and her parents divorced. Her mother then remarried and divorced, and had a shaky relationship with daughter, who ultimately broke off relations with her after a negative interview in 1995. Her half-brother became an assistant director. Went to the Rudolph Steiner School and then the H.S. of Performing Arts in NYC, before working as a waitress and telemarketer among other jobs, while pursuing an incipient show business career. 5’5”. Made her film debut in 1990 in Molloy, but did not draw notice until landing the role of Rachel Green on TV’s long-running “Friends,” in 1994. The series, which run until 2004, led to more film roles, and celebrity status. Hooked up with actor Brad Pitt in 1998, in an unconscious act of sibling rivalry, with her former crypto-sister Gwyneth Paltrow, who had been rejected by him, then was offered a costarring role with the latter as 2 long lost sisters who are reunited when one needs a kidney transplant. Married Pitt in a million dollar ceremony in 2000, and remained his devoted, albeit insecure mate, with the single product of their relationship being a production company. Scored her first film triumph in 2002 with The Good Girl, while continuing to field the public’s fascination with both her and Pitt as the millennial couple of the moment, before the duo separated in the beginning of 2005, when he wanted children and she did not, once again reflecting her earlier struggles around the same issue. Rebounded with actor Vince Vaughan afterwards, with whom she starred in The Breakup, although her subsequent filmwork would show her out-of-her-depth in drama, and largely pigeonholed in comedy. Ultimately broke up with Vaughan, and got a new nose as a symbol of starting anew in the heart department as well, which she eventually did with singer/songriter John Mayer, while opting for adopting to enter the lists of motherhood. Subsequently wound up moving on from Mayer, when he refused to match her in the commitment department, before pingponging back to him. At the same time, she let her feelings about Angelina’s husband-stealing become public record, much to the annoyance of her ex, Brad Pitt. Following a pattern of involvement with costars that fizzle along with the films they are in, amidst much publicity and public affection, she has entered her 40s as an emblem of personal attractiveness and little else, with a diminishing interest in her career thanks to her own limitations as an actress and public personality. In2011, she hooked up with actor Justin Theroux, in a seemingly more substantial relationship than previous flings, while directing a short on breast cancer for the Lifetime channel.Inner: Born to shop, and still unsure of herself emotionally, after her devastating previous go-round. Expanded lifetime of success on the small screen, as the lesser talent in a former family of stars, but the one with the best ability at finding some sense of fulfillment in her private life, until potential maternity, once again, raised its disrupting head. Natalie Talmadge (1899-1969) - American actress. Outer: Middle of 3 actress sisters, including Norma (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Constance (Christina Ricci). Mother was a zesty realist, who wanted all 3 of her daughters to be stage successes in lieu of her own desires for saidsame. Father was an advertising salesman, who left home one evening to go to a local saloon and never returned. Felt herself to be in the shadow of her sisters and far less attractive than they were. Went to business school after finishing high school, then acted out her mother’s wishes, pursuing a stage career of her own, before commencing on an undistinguished film career in Hollywood. When her brother-in-law, producer Joseph Schenk, began producing comedian Buster Keaton’s films, she hooked up with the latter, and the duo were married in 1921, 2 sons from union. At first extremely happy together, their union gradually deteriorated, when she stopped having sex with him in 1924 on the advice of her sisters for fear of getting pregnant again. Her celibate stance doomed the marriage and they were divorced in 1932, after she had appeared with him in several films. The bitter aftermath saw her take most of his fortune and refuse to allow him contact with their sons, whom she renamed Talmadge. The rest of her career was negligible, although like her sisters, she took advantage of her mother’s good investments, and lived out her life in comfortable circumstances. Became an alcoholic, as well as a total recluse for the latter part of her life. Inner: Efficient and methodical, but quite passive. Lesser sister lifetime of being surrounded by far more talented siblings, and a comic genius mate, and feeling overwhelmed by them all, as well as her own susceptibility to bad advice. Louisa Lennox Connolly (1743-1821) - English noblewoman. Outer: Great-grandchild of Charles II (Peter O’Toole), through an illegitimate line. The fifth of seven surviving children of the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and the third of a quartet of well-known sisters. Mother was the daughter of an earl, and quite devoted to her children, creating a lively and stimulating family life. Younger sister of Georgiana Caroline (Christina Ricci), Emily (Natalie Portman) and older sister of Sarah (Gwyneth Paltrow). Enjoyed an extremely privileged upbringing, with homes in Richmond and London, and access to the royal court. Raised by her sister Emily in Ireland, following her parents’ serial deaths in 1750 and 1751. In 1758, she married Thomas Connolly, who was 9 years her senior, and an MP and speaker of the Irish House of Commons. Went to live in a mansion in County Kildare, but much to her regret, the couple had no children, and the marriage was largely disconnected, with her husband displaying a greater interest in his racehorses than her. Spent her time decorating their home, although she eventually adopted one of her sister Sarah’s daughters. Following her husband’s death, she discovered he had a mistress elsewhere, for the entire duration of their marriage, much to her added consternation. Came to live with her sisters Emily and Caroline in London, and found more happiness with them than she ever did in her marriage. Maintained close connection with her siblings throughout her life, through correspondence, but was the most unfulfilled of the noted Lennox Sisters, and the least in terms of adventure and accomplishment. Inner: Did good works, and tried to be noble in all she assayed, although much of her desire to love and be loved would be frustrated by a less-than-ideal mate. Lesser sister lifetime of difficulties around childbearing and a sense of truly being loved by her life partner, which she would repeat the next time this sorority came together as a family group, in the glittering light of Hollywood.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER IN SEARCH OF TRUE HAPPINESS:
Storyline: The genetically-gifted golden girl finds her public life quite gratifying but had early trouble scripting her private life to match it, in her ongoing pursuit of the dual fulfillment of a satisfying private relationship and a validating public career.
Gwyneth Paltrow (1973) - American actress. Outer: Her father, TV producer/director Bruce Paltrow, was from a line of distinguished Talmudic scholars. Mother was stage and screen actress Blythe Danner. Eldest of 3, younger brother Jake also an actor/director. Enjoyed a warm family life, and moved to NYC when she was in the 6th grade. Had a normal, but artsy upbringing, very close to her father, whom she idolized. Her parents tried to dissuade her from a show business career, but her early life was far too filled with it for her to desire any other venue of expression. An awkward, gawky teenager, she suddenly blossomed into a beauty in the 9th grade. Attended an all-girl’s prep school, where she did school plays. Attended UC, Santa Barbara, but cut classes for auditions. Appeared in “Picnic,” in Mass. with her mother, which so impressed her parents, that they supported her ambitions. Did a TV mini-series, “Cruel Doubt,” and made her cinema debut in 1991 with Shout. 5’9 1/2”. After several secondary roles in film, she scored a breakthrough with the English period piece, Emma in 1996. Had a 2 year relationship with actor Brad Pitt, then was devastated by their break-up, but she rebounded to win a Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for Shakespeare in Love, and accepted it in excessively emotional manner. Enjoyed a successful theater season in London in 2002 rather than exploiting her Hollywood cachet. Deeply affected by her father’s death that year. Married to rock musician Chris Martin in 2003, and had a daughter, while vowing not to bring her up in George Bush’s America. Added a second child to their crew, and later caused a row by criticizing her native land in comparison with Britain. Maintains a transatlantic lifestyle, while being more into domesticity than career in her early 30s. Directed a short film called Dealbreaker, which reflects her decidedly more earthy side than the one usually presented in fanzines, then launched a new lifestyle website, Goop.com. Revealed in 2010 she suffers from brittle bone disease, an affliction of much older women, because of her extreme diets and excess exercise regimes, making her a cautionary model for those obsessed with how they look and feel. Despite a strong case of nerves beforehand, she made her live country music debut at the CMA Awards, as a promotional stunt for Country Strong, and was well-received for her effort with a standing ovation. Nevertheless, she has been the object of much sniping and snarking, particularly after making public plaint that she has it so much harder than mere working moms. In 2014, she and Chris Martin separated amicably. Inner: Spirited, talented, with the potential for a long and illustrious career. Golden-gene lifetime of directly incarnating into circumstances that would give her considerable stability in her chosen career, in order to allow her to overcome the secret insecurities behind her shining golden smile, and allow her to search for her twin goals of public and private love. Norma Talmadge (1893-1957) - American actress. Outer: Strong-willed mother was very determined that her brood fulfill her show business fantasies, father was an advertising salesman. Eldest of 3 sisters, 2 younger siblings, Constance (Christina Ricci) and Natalie (Jennifer Aniston), also became actresses. Raised in modest circumstances, after her father abandoned the family. Years later, when the girls were famous, her mother spotted him on a park bench, after a life of drifting and drinking, and he existed on handouts from them, before dying in 1925. 5’4”, 108 lbs, and brown-haired, she began her career in her early teens by posing for nickelodeon song slides. Made her debut in her mid-teens in A Household Pest for Vitagraph studies, which gave her the opportunity to play a wide range of parts. Also employed as a seamstress and make-up artist for extras. A disciplined performer who did not shirk from hard work, she became a mainstay for several east coast companies. At 18, she had her first leading role in A Tale of Two Cities, and went on to become a silent screen star, particularly after marrying producer Joseph Schenck (Jay-Z) in 1916, who set up the Norma Talmadge Film Corporation to promote her. Moved to Hollywood in the early 1920s, when her career peaked as the ‘lady of the great indoors,’ a sobriquet she earned as queen of the 3 handkerchief melodramas. Between 1922 and 1930, she earned some 5 million dollars, although began to grow bored with stardom. Challenged by the switch to sound, she took a year of voice instruction, and made a successful sound debut in New York Nights. Her 2nd talking film was less successful, and when her sister, who had already retired, wired her, “Leave them while you’re looking good and thank God for the trust funds Momma set up,” she took her advice. Separated from Schenck in 1928, no children from the union, even though he continued to manage her as well as her sister Constance’s career. The duo eventually divorced in 1934. Had a very brief vaudeville run, and then lived off her considerable fortune, which had been wisely invested in real estate. Married entertainer Georgie Jessel the same year she divorced Schenck, duo dissolved their partnership 5 years later. Her 3rd and final marriage in 1946 was to a Beverly Hills physician, Dr. Carvel James. Plagued by arthritis in her last years, she was confined to a wheelchair, eventually succumbing to a cerebral stroke and pneumonia, which were brought on by drug abuse. Inner: Serious and moody, as well as strongly sensual. Unable to accept mere stardom as ultimately fulfilling, continually looking for greater happiness, only to become more rigid and dependent as she grew older. Tragedienne’s unfulfilling lifetime of ultimately finding no real satisfaction in either her career or her relationships, necessitating a far more stable upbringing the next time around in order to allow her to deal with her inner failings amidst her outer successes. Sarah Napier (Sarah Lennox) (1745-1826) - English noblewoman. Outer: Great-grandchild of Charles II (Peter O’Toole) through an illegitimate line. 6th of 7 surviving children of the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Lennox. Mother was the daughter of an earl, and both parents were devoted to their children, after a hesitant start to their marriage. Younger sister of Emily (Natalie Portman) who would be her favorite, Georgiana Caroline (Christina Ricci), and Louisa (Jennifer Aniston). The quartet would achieve fame during their lifetime as the Lennox Sisters for their voluminous correspondence, as well as their various antics. Had an extremely privileged upbringing, replete with appearances at the royal court. Caught the fancy of George II (Chris Patten) as a youngster, and would visit him in his royal residence, where he amused himself playing games with her. Her father died when she was 5, and a year later her mother passed on as well. Went to live with Louisa in Ireland, before returning to England to live with Emily and her enormous brood. On her return to London in 1759, she was already a striking beauty, but became tongue-tied in front of the king, who was disappointed in her seeming lack of intelligence, after showing herself to be such a bright little girl years earlier. His son, the future George III (Jeffrey Archer), had no such reservations about her, and was totally smitten by her astounding esthetic. She, however, remained ambivalent about him, while the match was strenuously opposed by the prince’s mother, and a German princess was chosen for him instead. Served as chief bridesmaid at their wedding, with a huge sigh of relief, since she never wished to be queen, although she always held a place in his heart. Subsequently broke off a secret engagement, and married an MP, Charles Bunbury, who became a baronet two years after their wedding in 1762. The marriage, however, proved extremely unsatisfactory to her because of her husband’s coldness and reserve. Took on other lovers while visiting Paris, and then became pregnant by a cousin, who was the son of a duke. Although her cuckolded husband said he’d bring up her daughter as his own, she permanently left him, much to the delight of the broadsheets of the time, who reveled in gossip about those of royal blood. Lived together with her lover, Lord William Gordon, which got her a divorce via an act of Parliament in 1776, although she had renounced him years earlier, and went to live on her family estate with her daughter for the next 12 years, while her family slowly allowed her back in society, after carefully keeping watch over her. Met George Napier, a military officer, around the time of her divorce, although her blood relations disapproved of him, since he had no money, and even worse, was married at the time. His wife, however, died in 1780, and they wed the next year in a close, and loving union. 3 sons became generals, including Charles Napier (Ayman al-Zawahiri), while one daughter was adopted by her sister and wound up marrying the nephew and heir of her first husband. Had two other daughters, as well. Helped her husband’s career via her family connections, and they finally settled in Ireland near Louisa’s estate, in a match that was far more about love than money, since her large family put a lot of financial pressures on them. In 1804, her husband died, and 2 years later she moved back to London, at which point, the king gave her a small pension. As soon as she returned, she began to lose her sight. Two of her daughters died of consumption in 1808 and 1810 and all three of her sons were badly wounded in the same battle in 1809. As she internalized her loses, her mind began to fail her, although she lived on another decade and a half, and finally died, as the last of the Lennox sisters. Inner: Headstrong and independent. Didn’t allow her beauty to overwhelm her, allowing her to finally find love, even though she was forced to break all sorts of conventions in order to do so. Blazing beauty lifetime of doing it her way, only to fall prey at the end to self-diminution, despite a strong sorority supporting cast, which she would continue to maintain in succeeding lives in this series.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS OFF-THE-WALL COMEDIENNE:
Storyline: The unpredictable eccentric translates her odd persona into an extremely well-received comic gothic screen presence, while working on the unintegrated interior that has long hindered her from deriving full pleasure from her various gifts.
Christina Ricci (1980) - American actress. Outer: Father was a primal scream therapist who became a lawyer. Mother was a fashion model and real estate agent. Youngest of 4. The family moved east when she was 2 because of financial problems. A strong emphasis was placed on emotionality through her father’s profession, although her parents’ weak relationship made her guarded and withdrawn, sometimes provoking fights with other children. Her parents eventually divorced when she was 15. Began acting at the age of 8, which served as an escape for her from her acknowledged anger, although she never took lessons. Made her film debut in Mermaids at 11, and followed that up with The Addams Family, playing a strange little gothic child. Her mother originally vetted all her scripts, while her siblings accompanied her on her shoots. Has worked steadily since she was 12, rarely taking off more than a couple of months. Made an easy transition to playing strange teenagers, with a natural bent for straight-faced comedy, and the ability to select scripts which bring out the full range of her talent, which continues to blossom in a variety of roles. 5’, subject to anorexia, with weight gain and loss, throughout her teens, until achieving a greater sense of self in her early 20s, while always keeping a level head around her career, despite personal problems. Serially involved with several young actors, while piling up a long list of memorable off-the-wall portrayals in equal number of oddball films, including The Opposite of Sex, Pumpkin, and Black Snake Moan. After breaking an engagement in 2009, she opined, "I just want to be married, or just engaged. Basically, I just want a ring! And the tax break!" Made her Broadway debut in “Time Stands Stil,” in 2010, taking over the role created by Alicia Siilverstone, garnering favorable reviews as a natural performer, despite much trepidation about appearing in front of a live audience. The following year, she starred in her first TV series, “Pan Am,” playing a politically-aware stewardess in the 1960s era. Inner: Honest, straightforward, rebellious and extremely intuitive. Innately prudish, despite some of the overt roles she has played. Angry, neurotic, filled with alternate feelings of self-acceptance and rejection, and subject to wide mood swings. Feels herself as quite dualistic, with the ability to project an unhealthy personality on all the characters she has chosen to portray. In therapy since the age of 6, subject to self-mutilation as a calm-down antidote. Eccentric lifetime of channeling her considerable emotional intelligence into off-beat characterizations that promise a highly memorable career upon the silver screen, and a continuation of her earlier existence’s flair for the unpredictably comic. Constance Talmadge (1898-1973) - American actress. Outer: Mother was stage-struck and wanted her 3 daughters to fulfill her show business fantasies, father was an alcoholic advertising salesman, who abandoned the family. Youngest of the 3, two older siblings, Norma (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie (Jennifer Aniston), also became actresses. The tomboy of the family, and the most outgoing and carefree. Her mother secured contracts for her daughters and the family decamped for California, where she began her film career in her mid-teens with comedy shorts, playing opposite comedian Billy Quirk, beginning with Buddy’s First Call. A noticeable role in D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance in 1916, helped cement her screen image as a gifted comedienne, and she became a star throughout the silent screen era, with her career managed by her brother-in-law, producer Joseph Schenck (Jay-Z). 5’6”. Although never as successful as her sister Norma, who specialized in tearjerkers, she was able to carve her own niche in sophisticated comedy, eventually forming her own production company. Retired from the screen when the studios made the transition to talkies, without making a single sound film, and lived the rest of her life off her investments, which her mother had steered into real estate. Advised her sister Norma to do the same, which she did. Married 4 times, to John Pialoglou, a NY tobacco importer, in 1920, divorced 3 years later, to Alastair MacIntosh, a Scots captain, in 1926, divorced the following year, and in 1929, to Townsend Metcher, a Chicago sportsman, playboy and millionaire, whom she also divorced in 1931. Her final union in 1939, was to Walter Giblin, a stock broker, whom she outlived by 9 years. Became an alcoholic and eventually died of pneumonia. Inner: Blithe spirit, who knew the value of money, and never got lost in her career, preferring the high life, instead. Unique and highly malleable, warm and charming. Self-possessed lifetime of incarnating into a family where she would be directed towards the public stage, then retiring when she grew tired of it, and living well as her best revenge against fame, fortune and the revolving door of her personal life. Georgiana Caroline Lennox Fox, 1st Baroness Holland of Holland (1723-1774) - English noblewoman. Outer: Great-grandchild of Charles II (Peter O’Toole) through an illegitimate line. Eldest of 7 surviving children of the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and one of the four well-known Lennox sisters, among the six surviving children the couple produced. Older sister of Emily (Natalie Portman) who would be her favorite, Louisa (Jennifer Aniston) and Sarah (Gwyneth Paltrow). Mother was the daughter of an earl, and although their father had been forced to marry her to pay off a gambling debt between their sires, the two became a close couple, following a distant and rocky beginning. Grew up in a loving home, where the parents were devoted to their children, and had an extremely privileged upbringing. In 1744, she eloped with Henry Fox, a pleasure-loving politician and atheist nearly two decades her senior, to be his second wife, in what would prove to be an extremely happy union. The elopement, however, caused a huge family rift, since her father strenuously disapproved of Fox’s commoner status, and cut off all contact with her. It was only after the birth of her first child, a son, that she could reconcile with her sire, although she was never quite forgiven for the apostasy of going against the family will. Had four sons, all told, with their second, Charles James Fox (Bob Geldof) going on to become a Whig politician of his/storical note, and a combination of both his parents and their libertine ways. Their home would be an extremely popular political and social gathering place. Passed over in her father’s will at his death when she was in her late 20s, she tried to make amends by introducing her younger sisters at court, only to provoke a quarrel with Emily that was not resolved until the near-end of her life. Her sons, particularly the eldest, a gambling lay-about, would prove a bane for her, and by her 40s, she was victim of a mysterious and painful illness. When her husband suffered a stroke and died, she would follow him, shortly afterwards, to become the first of the four to expire. Inner: Independent, free-spirited and willful. Outfoxed lifetime of running afoul of her extremely close family through her need to assert herself, and, despite a loving marriage, ultimately worn down by those closest to her, as a victim of the willful ways of her own offspring.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS HIGHLY SELF-AWARE SYLPH:
Storyline: The role-playing role model ascends from assaying fallen woman to carefully choosing positive characterizations, as a means of both self-expansion and a rejection of the limited portrayals into which she was forced, the last time around in this series.
Natalie Portman (Natalie Hershlag) (1981) - American actress. Outer: Of Polish/Jewish descent, grandfather was a socialist who emigrated to Israel after teaching young men agriculture so that they could become kibbutzim. Mother was an artist, father was an Israeli doctor and fertility specialist. An only child, in an extremely close family. Her mother, whose birthday she shares, eventually became her agent. 5’3”. Came to the U.S. from Israel with her family when she was 3, and ultimately settled on Long Island. Took dance lessons, in ballet, jazz and tap, and originally wanted to be a doctor. Went to private school and was discovered in a pizza parlor at 10, as a potential model, but preferred acting. Made her film debut in 1994, in The Professional, where she played a lovable waif who becomes entangled with a hit man, while taking her grandmother’s name as her nom de cinema. Proved extremely unpopular with her classmates afterwards, for bragging about her success, which taught her to subsequently watch what she said, since it affected how people looked at her. Continued her film career in supporting roles, while focusing on her education and graduated high school with honors, before attending Harvard, where she earned her degree in 2003, studying psychology, with the thought of appending that discipline as a second career to her resume. Became a big budget leading lady as a space queen in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in 1999, and has continued as a bright young star, while doing turns on the stage as well, including “The Diary of Anne Frank,” on Broadway in 1998, for which she garnered a Tony nomination, as well as a reminder that people need to practice compassion. After Harvard, she became involved with FINCA, the Foundation for International Community Assistance, an organization that provides loans to women in Third World countries, in her ongoing desire to uplift and aid others. Turns down dark roles and sleaze, while consciously trying to be a positive influence on her own generation. After the turn of the century, she did a notable turn in the cartoonish V for Vendetta, in a thinly disguised commentary on the terror-filled world of the present. In 2011, she won both an Oscar and Golden for Best Actress for Black Swan, while also picking up a fiancé, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, , and a subsequent son from the same balletic filmic effort, before the two were secretly wed the following annum. Her projected sense of virtuous perfection, in her combination of brains and beauty, unleashed a spate of jealousy afterwards from a host of sources, comparing her to her white swan character’s similar pursuit of the perfect. Inner: Fluent in Hebrew, highly cerebral, humanitarian at heart. Extremely health conscious and a vegetarian since the age of 8. Great desire to be a role model for young women, and very self-aware, both internally and externally, with a desire to make people happy. Turned an early sense of confusion about who she really was into an activist life both in front of and behind the scenes. Encore lifetime of taking to the footlights and arc lamps early, once again, with the desire to continue to expand herself in the arena of self-knowledge, self-expression and universal upliftment for those less fortunate than she. Ruth Chatterton (1893-1961) American actress and writer. Outer: Of English and French descent. Father was a successful architect. Knew she wanted to be an actress from an early age. While on vacation in Washington, D.C. she wangled her professional stage debut at the age of 12 in stock, then left school to become a chorus girl at 14, and launched her career on Broadway at the age of 18, enjoying her first big success two years later, in “Daddy Long Legs.” 5’2”. Specialized in glamorous aristocrats, as a leading lady, enjoying both critical success and audience approval as well. In 1924, she married actor Ralph Forbes, divorcing him in 1932, at which point she married much younger actor George Brent, although the duo divorced two years later. Moved to Hollywood in 1925, to appear on the Los Angeles stage, but didn’t make her screen debut until the sound era started, with Sins of the Fathers in 1928. Enjoyed a successful, albeit brief film career, usually playing tense, distraught, or misguided women, using her stage experience to etch her strongly theatric performances. Received two Academy Award nominations right at the beginning of her screen career for Madame X in 1928 and Sarah and Son the following year. Her most memorable role was in Dodsworth in 1936. Following that film, she left Hollywood for good, and other than two British productions over the next two years, she retired from films afterwards, and remained in England as her home base. Returned to Broadway occasionally, once to direct a play. In 1930, she launched a second career as a writer, scripting “Monsieur Brotonneau,” which played on Broadway. Her third and final marriage was to actor Barry Thomson in 1942, and he preceded her in death by a year. In the 1950s, she authored several successful novels, as well as appeared on early TV, most notably as Gertrude in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” A licensed pilot, she flew her own plane cross-country. Died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Active, liberated, and definitely her own woman. High-flying lifetime of pursuing her craft, her interests and a variety of means of expression in order to open herself up to the larger possibilities of her times. Emily Lennox Fitzgerald, Duchess of Leinster (1731-1814) - English/Irish noblewoman. Outer: Great-grandchild of Charles II (Peter O’Toole), through an illegitimate line. The second of 7 surviving children of the 2nd Duke of Richmond and Lennox, and the second of a quartet of well-known sisters, as well as the glue that held them together, since she was the favorite of all of them. Mother was the daughter of an earl, and quite devoted to her children. Younger sister of Georgiana Caroline (Christina Ricci) and older sister of Louisa (Jennifer Aniston) and Sarah (Gwyneth Paltrow). Enjoyed an extremely privileged upbringing, with homes in Richmond and London, and access to the royal court. In 1747, she wed Ireland’s largest handholder, James Fitzgerald, 20th earl of Kildare, and through him she became a countess and went to live in Ireland. Although her husband was not known for his faithfulness, the union was both happy and extremely prolific, with 19 children issuing from her loins, although only 6 sons and a daughter made it to adulthood. Raised her three younger sisters following her parents’ serial deaths in 1750 and 1751, although the youngest wound up dying in 1769. The most intellectual of the four Lennox sisters, with a particular draw towards the French enlightenment philosophes, although she did not pass her interests down to her children, whose education was unexceptional, per the aristocratic requirements of the times. Her husband was active politically and militarily, and a leader of the Irish Popular Party. Became a duchess in 1766, when her husband was made a duke. Following his death in 1773, she married her children’s tutor William Ogilvie, who was some 9 years her junior, which sent tongue’s clucking, although the two had been an illicit item for several years, in recompense for her husband’s philandering ways. Three more children issued forth from this second marriage. Took on her sister Sarah’s children, after the latter’s death, and following her second marriage, divided her time between Ireland, England and Paris, finally settling in London. An active correspondent with her sisters, she remained a lynchpin of the family. By the end of her long life, she became blind, while sharing her home with her two surviving sisters, Louisa and Caroline, both of whom would outlive her. Inner: Cerebral, social and highly maternal. Prolific lifetime of being the central figure of a celebrated sorority of sisters as its communicator-in-chief, while serving as mother figure to not only her own huge brood, but the next generation of her family as well.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ENCHANTING TRANSATLANTEAN:
Storyline: The ethereal Edwardian slowly moves away from her codependent past, while retaining half of her name in order to signal a newfound sense of independent self, as a means of searching for out-of-the-ordinary material to match her out-of-the-ordinary skills.
Helena Bonham Carter (1966) - English actress. Outer: Great-great grandfather was Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. From a well-connected family, with a host of peers and personalities hanging from its tree. Father was a successful Harvard-trained merchant banker, who ultimately suffered a paralyzing stroke when she was 13. Mother was a psychotherapist of French, Spanish, Austrian, Russian and Jewish extraction, who had a nervous breakdown when her daughter was 5. Youngest of 3, with two older brothers. Extremely close with her parents, she lived with them until the age of 30, and then moved a few blocks away to an apartment of her own. Attended an exclusive Westminster school in London, then passed up further schooling at Cambridge Univ. to become an actress, despite having had no prior experience. 5’4 1//2”, with pale skin and a heart-shaped face. Her dark hair and eyes gave her an exotic beauty; and she was labeled an English rose, despite her continental looks. Made her debut in her late teens as the short-lived queen in Lady Jane, then was brought to international attention in her next film as the confused lovelorn lead of A Room With A View, and went on to become corseted in the public mind with Edwardian drama, despite being equally adept at contemporary portrayals. An affair with actor Kenneth Branagh, with whom she worked on Frankenstein in 1994, effectively ended his marriage to Emma Thompson. The pair lived together for 5 years before she took up with director Tim Burton, after working with him on a remake of Planet of the Apes in 2001. A dislike of Hollywood kept her away from conventional fare, and allowed her the freedom of interesting characterizations in well-wrought pieces, before she began appearing to equal striking effect in contemporary American cinema, most notably Fight Club, and Sweeney Todd. As Burton’s muse, she would wind up playing increasingly more eccentric roles in his ongoing equally oddball oeuvre, showing a penchant for freakish characterization completely at odds with the earlier straitlaced period pieces that had launched her career, and would eventually prove unwatchable to her. Despite not marrying, she and Burton would have a son and daughter, while maintaining separate London residences, before purchasing a house in the countryside for her burgeoning family, near where her Asquith relations once lived. The duo would go on to have his and her homes, along with a third for the children. Despite difficulties in separating their public and private lives, the two wound up doing six features in the first decade of the century, while continuing to refine their playful relationship with one another. Has also entered the added drama of entrepreneurship with a fashion line called Pantaloonies. Inner: Sharp-tongued, highly intelligent and articulate. Father’s infirmity made her realize she would have to look after herself. Enjoys putting on the masks of her characters, and is motivated to act by a desire to be someone else. Extremely self-critical over her performances, often depressed at viewing them. Great desire to revisit her childhood through her career, as she goes backwards in her own timeline to reclaim her larger self. Pantaloony lifetime of trying to use her astute innate theatrical intelligence as a wedge into the emotions of both great and eccentric acting via a wide variety of roles, while keeping herself from falling into dependent patterns of the past via a playmate for a mate, rather than a conventional husband. Mrs. Leslie Carter (Caroline Louise Dudley) (1862-1937) - American actress. Outer: Her father was a dry goods merchant who died when she was 8. Younger of 2. Her mother moved the family to her parents’ hometown of Dayton, Ohio, where she grew up. Red-haired and green-eyed, vivacious and popular. Married at 18 to Leslie Carter, a Chicago industrialist nearly a decade and a half her senior, one son from the union. Got to see the social splendor of how the other half lived, until nearly a decade later, when her husband divorced her for infidelity and got custody of their son, in a highly publicized trial. Turned to the theater, and made her professional debut at 28 in “The Ugly Duckling.” Spitefully retained her husband’s name professionally, and came under the management of producer and playwright David Belasco (Steve Bochco), who tutored her in stage/craft before starring her in several of his productions. The partnership ended in her mid-40s when she married a minor comic actor in her mid-30s and Belasco, feeling betrayed, refused ever to speak to her again. Played only 6 roles with Belasco, but they became the core of her career, and though she continued acting, she was never able to reclaim her earlier reputation. Called “the American Sarah Bernhardt” because of her highly dramatic style. Retired to London in her mid-50s with her husband and their adopted daughter. Begged Belasco’s forgiveness but he never relented in his angry sense of rejection. Died of angina pectoris. Inner: Slender, commanding stage presence with strong physical and emotional energy. Enthusiastic, with little sense of restraint. Would later repeat both her physical appearance and name in an effort to springboard off the restrictions of this go-round. Vengeance and rejection lifetime of finding far more success earlier in her career than later on, due largely to the Svengali effect of her mentor, and changing public tastes in what it demanded of its thespians. Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey (1753-1821) - English courtesan. Outer: 2nd and posthumous daughter of the Bishop of Raphoe, who was allegedly shot while trying to rob a stagecoach. Mother was his second wife. At 17, she wed the 4th Earl of Jersey, 10 children from the union. Although fond of her husband, she also had other affairs, including, most especially, the Prince of Wales, the future George IV (Warren Beatty), beginning in 1793. Had a particular dislike for his wife, Maria Fitzherbert (Annette Beningg), and encouraged him to wed Caroline of Brunswick (Camilla Parker Bowles) in what would prove to be a disastrous union for him, while the latter came to resent her continued association with the prince, which last for a decade, after which she no longer had a place at the royal court. Lost her husband in 1805, who barely escaped imprisonment several years before, while she continued her extravagant ways, with one of her sons continually bailing her out and settling her constant debts. Died at home and was buried in the family vault. Inner: Frivolous, flirtatious, but an attentive mother, as well as stimulating company. Royal mistress lifetime of taking full advantage of an age where well-born women had relative freedom to do as they pleased, within certain social limits.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BEAUTY TURNED BELLE ACTRESS:
Storyline: The emerging emigre eschews sheer surfaces in her pursuit of self-expression and deep self-understanding, and manages to rise from the shadow of a superstar to become an acting eminence herself, through dint of an ambitious will and an innate talent which was only waiting to be properly tapped.
Nicole Kidman (1967) - Australian/American actress. Outer: Grew up in Australia. Father was a biomedical researcher and later a psychologist, mother was a teacher of nurses. Both parents were political activists, her father with the Labour Party, her mother with feminist causes. Older of 2 sisters, and raised Roman Catholic. Began ballet lessons at 3, and was always physically fit, with her father having her doing push-ups as a child. Close relationship with parents, with the ability to talk with them about anything, while they did their best to instill within her a strong sense of independence and self-expression. Always idealized them, even though they had a volatile relationship, and she eventually found their closeness somewhat stifling. At 13, she was already 5’9” and switched her interests to theater, and began appearing in Australian stage productions, while attending a special school. Briefly dabbled with drugs, but also had wise parental counsel. Made her film debut in Bush Christmas in 1983, about children chasing horse thieves. At 18, she lived with an actor twice her age, which helped her mature. Came to America afterwards, married superstar Tom Cruise in 1990 after appearing in Days of Thunder with him, and the duo adopted a son and daughter. Never converted to his Scientology faith, and largely kept her husband away from it for most of their marriage, while her career remained submerged to his for the first half of the decade in a series of innocuous films, until her obvious talents surfaced in To Die For, playing a fame-obsessed TV weather girl. Continued exploring herself on screen, as well as stage, assaying 5 different characters in “The Blue Room,” in London and NYC, and doffing her clothes for a brief flash that cemented her willingness to literally and figuratively expose herself in order to touch on her own interior artist. Her subsequent screenwork has continued to enhance her reputation as an actress of genuine talent to complement her beauty, as she has taken on a variety of roles in both commercial and uncommercial fare, including Stanley Kubrick’s last film, a detached look at eros, Eyes Wide Shut, along with her husband. After a decade of marriage, she was stunned when Cruise suddenly slapped divorce papers on her, and claimed custody of their two chidren, as he fell under the influence of Scientology again, which viewed her in extremely inimical terms. Following the split, neither of her children would call her ‘mom’ afterwards, referring to her as Nicole in their rare get-togethers, much to her deep hurt. Took on the public burden of being viewed as a difficult person to get along with, while returning to her native Australia, while her children remained in Los Angeles. The resultant mixed press did nothing to slow down her career and she won an Academy Reward for Best Actress in 2003 for The Hours, in which she elongated her nose and downplayed her beauty to assay writer Virginia Woolf. Married country singer Keith Urban in 2006, one daughter from the union, before adding a second through a surrogate mother. The following year. The following year, she was given Australia’s top civil honor, the Companion of the Order of Australia, a knighthood of sorts for her career. A need to be constantly working would see her in a series of box office duds following her Oscar triumph, although her larger reputation would remain undimmed by them. Inner: Free-spirited, mischievous, thoughtful and magnetic, although often comes across as superficial and not unlike her “To Die For” character. High profile lifetime of surrounding herself with understanding support in order to plunge deeper into herself, address her problems and try to transcend her surface appeal, after allowing herself, on a professional, but not private, level to be subsumed by her superstar husband. Mary Anderson (1859-1940) - American actress. Outer: Father was an émigré Oxford-educated Englishman, mother was a Roman Catholic of German descent, whose own family had disowned her after the could eloped eloped. Older of 2. The family moved to Louisville and her father became an officer for the Confederacy only to be killed early in the Civil War. Her mother married a Louisville surgeon afterwards. Educated at a Catholic school, and was thrilled by a performance by Edwin Booth (Montgomery Clift), which inspired her to pursue a theatrical career. Her mother disapproved, but her stepfather encouraged her. Dropped out of school at 14, and made her stage debut at the age of 16 in Louisville, Kentucky, and was immediately acclaimed for her great beauty. Made her NY debut 2 years later, and appeared in London in 1883. Tall, statuesque, with a nimbus of golden-brown hair. A popular actress throughout her career, with a passionate voice, and a good intuitive instinct for the stage, she combined a striking physical presence with an innate sense of emotional characterization. Played a wide variety of roles, including Shakespeare, and was best remembered for her portrayal of Galatea in W.S. Gilbert’s (Harold Pinter) “Pygmalion and Galatea.” In 1889, she suffered a nervous breakdown and retired, resettling in England for the rest of her life. Married Anonio Ferdnando de Navarro, a London barrister of Basque extract, the following year, 2 children from the union. Returned briefly to the stage in 1903, and remained active in the theater in various capacties until shortly after WW I. Noted as a hostess and a genteel personality on the London social circuit. Wrote two autobiographies, “A Few Memories” in 1896 and its sequel “A Few More Memories” in 1936. Inner: Competent actress, although more noted for her physical presence than the depth of her abilities. Surface appeal lifetime of enjoying fame and fortune as a star in a relatively brief career, before returning with a far greater determination and far more support to plumb herself far more deeply to become a world-class actress of note. Anne Marshall (fl. 17th century) - English actress. Outer: Father was a clergyman. Older sister of actress Rebecca Marshall (Keira Knightley). One of the original female members of the King’s Company, under manager Thomas Killigrew, in what would be the first generation of women allowed to act upon the English stage. Earlier, young boys had played female roles. May have been the very first, playing Desdemona in Shakespeare’s “Othello,” in 1660, although that distinction has never been officially certified. Appeared with her sister at least once, in 1664, in a John Dryden (Boris Johnson) tragedy. In 1665, she married actor Peter Quin, and, after theaters reopened following the twin tragedies of a plague epidemic and the Great Fire of London, she resumed her career under the name of Mrs. Quin. Retired from the stage in 1668, leaving some of her roles to her sister, although resumed it in 1677 with the rival Duke’s Company. Her endlife remains unrecorded. Inner: There at the beginning lifetime of being part of the initial foray of women onto the English stage, in preparation for pursuing the same craft in the centuries that followed, as a figure of major note on subsequent live and screened venues for female performers.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SOMETIMES UNBALANCED BEAUTY:
Storyline: The transcendent enchantress tries to resolve her extraordinary outer appeal with her hidden but deeply wounded interior, in order to integrate her talent with her sense of self, instead of allowing herself to become gone with the wind.
Keira Knightley (1985) - English actress. Outer: Mother, Sharman MacDonald, was an actress who suffered from stage-fright and ultimately became a playwright. Father was TV actor Will Knightley. Grew up in the suburbs of London, close to parents. Felt jealous of their careers at 3, and at 6, insisted on a show business career of her own, which her parents agreed to, including quitting school, thanks to her dyslexia, at 16 to pursue acting full time. Never studied, although proved a natural, with a capacity for hard work and the desire to excel at her chosen craft. 5’7”, slender. A striking beauty, she came to international attention with Bend it Like Beckham, playing a soccer-mad teen in reel life, which she also is in real life. Dubbed “the English Rose,” by the British tabloid press, although she is anything but a retiring beauty. Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003 along with its followups, cemented her eye candy reputation, as did her work as Guinevere in yet another retelling of the Camelot legend, King Arthur, in which she did her own sword-work, eschewing a double. Quickly catapulted into the top tier of talent in her late teens, as she brings a far more forceful personality to what looks like another highly successful outer career, in order to deal with her hidden problems of the past. Her ultra-slim figure would bring canards of an eating disorder, although she managed to win a libel suit as disproof of the charge, and donated the proceeds to charity. Afterwards, she announced she was through with blockbusters, much preferring working small and independent, where she could cinematically explore the emotions of her characters. Made her West End theater debut in an updating of Moliere’s “Le Misanthrope,” to a box office frenzy and mostly snarky reviews at the end of 2009. In 2013, she wed James Righton of the Klaxons in an extremely low key ceremony. Inner: Feisty, competitive and outspoken. Very focused and disciplined. Highly self-critical, feeling her early career had not stretched her as an actress at all. Reprised lifetime of trying to resolve her striking esthetic and strong talent with an unsteady sense of self, through the same venue of public display, but hopefully, with more private support and a stronger more forceful inner character in order to allow her the freedom to rediscover her true self. Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) (Vivian Mary Hartley) - English actress. Outer: Mother was of French-Irish descent. Father was a junior partner in a firm of exchange brokers in Darjeeling. Only surviving child. Spent her first 6 years in India, then came to England. Her mother carefully supervised her upbringing, and she was stylish even as a child, with a lifelong fascination with the theater. Educated in schools and convents, then at 13 traveled the continent for 5 years, while continuing her schooling in France, Italy and Bavaria. Ultimately spoke 3 languages. A striking world-class beauty, with greenish-blue eyes, she went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and married Herbert Holman, a barrister, at the age of 19, daughter from union. 5’3 1/2”. Returned to the stage and made her film debut in 1934 with a one-line role in Things Are Looking Up. After a successful stage turn in 1935, in which she changed her name to Vivien Leigh, she signed a five year contract with producer Alexander Korda (Peter Jackson), and 2 years later played opposite her future husband, Laurence Olivier in “Fire over England.” Called a ‘Dresden China Shepherdess’ for her beauty, she was determined to prove herself a talented actress, and be Olivier’s equal on stage. Played Ophelia to his Hamlet, and then won the coveted part of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind in 1939, over hundreds of far better known actresses, winning a Best Actress Oscar, which signaled the end of both her marriage and Olivier’s, and the two were wed in California in 1940, in a highly tempestuous two decade union. Continued her successful stage work through the 1940s, and won her second Best Actress Oscar in 1951 for her reprisal of Blanche Du Bois in Tennessee Williams’s Streetcar Named Desire, after first having assayed the role on stage. Did classical repertory work at Stratford-on-Avon, in addition to her film roles, but began suffering from a nervous constitution. In 1960, she protested the demolition of the St. James Theater from the balcony of the House of Lords, and also ended her union with Olivier because of his continued adulteries. Also abused him in public. Continued working on stage and sporadically in films, although her mental and physical state deteriorated, as she suffered from a combination of tuberculosis and manic-depression. Spent most of her last decade with actor John Merivale, and died from tuberculosis while preparing to appear in Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance.” Inner: Delicate, high-strung. Roller coaster lifetime of riding a transcendent beauty and a distinctive dramatic talent against the unsupportive genius of an unfaithful mate, making for a crash landing and a relatively early exit to try it all over again, perhaps, from a less wounding perspective. Rebecca Marshall (fl. 17th century) - English actress. Outer: Father was a clergyman. Younger sister of Anne Marshall (Nicole Kidman), who preceded her onto the stage. Spent her career with the King’s Company, under the management of Thomas Killigrew. As one of the first generation of females upon the English stage, her career spanned a little less than a decade and a half. Acted with her sister at least once in 1664 in a John Dryden (Boris Johnson) drama, and later took over some of the former’s roles during her brief retirement several years later. Best remembered for playing off of Elizabeth Boutell (Kate Winslet) in what was known as a series of “women in conflict” roles by a group of different playwrights in which she portrayed the heavy in contrast to Boutell’s innocent heroine. Because of her great beauty, she was forced to fend off unwanted attention from male members of the audience to the point where she had to twice petition the king, Charles II (Peter O’Toole) for protection. Had an ongoing feud with his mistress Nell Gwynn (Shirley MacLaine). Her final career year was spent with the Duke’s Company, after which she disappeared from the records of the time. Inner: First generation lifetime of leading the English female charge onto the stage, through the help of a sister, and an ability to tap into a popular genre of the time.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MAKE-BELIEVE ETHNIC MOTHER:
Storyline: The trenchant character actress finally emerges from the trenches of support through an appropriate springboard for her unique talents, and uses it to explore roles heretofore denied her.
Edie Falco (1963) - American actress. Outer: Of Italian descent, and from a high-strung family. Mother was an actress who did summer stock and community theater, before becoming a waitress, father was a jazz musician who worked as a graphic artist. The duo married and divorced twice. 2nd of 4 children. Grew up in Brooklyn, in a colorful bohemian milieu, before moving from town to town on Long Island. Studied theater at the State Univ. of NY at Purchase, although always felt the intimidated and overweight ugly duckling. 5’5”. Despite a lack of support, she retained her dreams of becoming an actress, got an agent afterwards and acted in community theater, making her film debut in 1987 in Sweet Lorraine. Forced to support herself waitressing, and suffered such anxiety attacks, that she had to return home, but her mother was able to help her work through her problems, thanks to the latter’s own deep love of the craft they shared. Conquered her drinking, and began working more regularly. During the 1990s, she alternated between television work, theater and films, before finding a quintessential role for herself in 1999 as mafia wife and mother, Carmela Soprano, on the popular cable mobster melodrama, “The Sopranos,” which she would repeat for its multi-season run, winning 3 Emmys in the process. Prior to her mass discovery by the American viewing public, she was an obscure support player, living a peripheral existence in pursuit of her craft, with the center of her emotional life, her pet dog. Following her success, both film and Broadway beckoned, in particular “Frankie and Johnny” on the latter, giving her the opportunity to expand on her extraordinary ability at limning ordinary people in unusual circumstances. Involved for a year with co-star Stanley Tucci, before he returned to his wife. Successfully survived breast cancer in 2003, and has continued to pursue her love of the theater, including a star turn in 2004 in “‘night, Mother.” Adopted a son and a daughter, without a partner, and returned to the small screen in 2009, with “Nurse Jackie,” a dark cable comedy in the familiar realm of the ER, but with a focus on its distaff side, while periodically continuing her extremely well-received stage work. Added to her Emmy collection in 2010, with a lead comedy award to swell her shelf to four of the little statuettes. Inner: High-strung, down-to-Earth and dedicated to her craft. Tomboy at heart, had to learn how to look like and be a celebrity. Reward lifetime for pursuing her dreams, which were allowed to be realized through the good fortune of a good role at the exact right time in her career. Sara Allgood (1883-1950) - Irish/American actress. Outer: Short and rotund. Her sister, Maire O’Neill, was also an actress, who appeared with her sibling in several plays. Began her career on the Irish stage in her late teens, playing a princess in “The King’s Threshold.” The following year, she made her Dublin debut with the Abbey Theater, and stayed with them over the next decade. Enjoyed her greatest success in the title role of Sean O’Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock,” in 1924, which she later reprised on film for Alfred Hitchcock. Married actor Gerald Henson in 1916, daughter from union died of influenza the following year, and her husband joined her in death in 1918. Was active with several regional English theater companies, and made her film debut in Australia, in 1929 with Blackmail, the first British talkie. Made her final stage appearance in NYC in 1940, before emigrating to Hollywood the same year, where she became a character actress, most notably playing warm-hearted Irish mother figures. Became an American citizen in 1945. Died of a heart attack. Inner: Warm, maternal. Transatlantic lifetime of working assiduously on her stagecraft, only to be ultimately typecast in film for her efforts and given little opportunity to truly stretch as an actress, while suffering tragic familial losses, which may have stopped her from fashioning a family the next time around.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BOXING ENTHUSIAST:
Storyline: The stunning sports groupie steps into the marriage ring with the heaviest heavyweights of her day, only to be ultimately disappointed by their performances, while failing to utilize her own innate intelligence in her career and mate selections.
Robin Givens (1964) - American actress. Outer: Of African/American descent. Close with her mother, who encouraged her creativity, while her father abandoned the family when she was young, and she seldom saw him afterwards. One younger sister. Her mother, who was once linked to Yankee all-star Dave Winfield, encouraged her children’s creativity. At 10, she began acting classes at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Educated at Sarah Lawrence, where she was a pre-med, beginning at age 15, but shelved her desire to become a doctor, when a career in entertainment became more feasible. Became a model while in college and appeared on several soaps, before making her screen debut in 1991 in A Rage in Harlem. 5’5”. First drew notice through the TV series, “Head of the Class,” in 1986. Married boxer Mike Tyson in 1988, but his abusive behavior towards both her and her mother sent her packing after a brief union with him, and a public disclosure that he beat her. Her 2nd marriage was to a Yugoslav tennis champion, which lasted all of 7 minutes, giving her the all-time Hollywood record. Adopted a son and in the late 1990s, had a son with tennis player Murphy Jensen, although that relationship, too, ended quickly. Has sporadically appeared in films, mostly as decoration in a largely undistinguished career noted for its offbeat athletic unions, despite an innate intelligence to go with her external beauty. Tapped in 1998 as hostess for TV’s “Forgive and Forget,” a syndicated show fittingly exploiting family tensions, which ran until 2000. Has worked mostly in largely forgettable vehicles on both TV and in film since then. Inner: Fascination with athletes, although has an inability to forge lasting unions with any of them, thanks to adjudging herself as someone who is difficult to handle. Probably a longtime warrior herself, although unable to complete the circle by becoming a healer. Forgive and forget lifetime, once again, of carrying a comely aesthetic and being attracted to brute force, only to be continually disappointed by the emotional resonance behind it. Estelle Taylor (Estelle Boylan) (1899-1958) - American actress. Outer: Entered the working world as a typist in her teens, then married Kenneth Peacock, a local banker, when she was 14. 5’4 1/2”. Separated from him 4 years later and went to NYC to study acting at Sargent’s Dramatic School, and later divorced. Beautiful and brunette, she worked as an artist’s model for Howard Pyle (Jamie Wyeth) among others, while also appearing in the chorus line of several Broadway musicals. Picked out of the line to make her screen debut in her early 20s in The Golden Shower. Became a silent screen star, playing vamps and other exotics, while appearing in several huge productions. Married boxer Jack Dempsey, after costarring with him in Madness in Manhattan, when she was in her mid-20s, and he was at the height of his career. Both of them later appeared on Broadway in “The Big Fight.” Convinced him to bob his nose for a potential movie career, albeit he opted to continue boxing. The duo divorced 5 years later when she was in her early 30s, amidst much negative feeling on her part. Able to make the transition to sound, she played leads and character roles until her early 30s, then made one last screen appearance in her mid-40s, before retiring. Married Paul Small, an agent-producer, in 1943, divorced 3 years later. Spent actress Lupe Velez’s (Gloria Trevi) last loopy night with her, before the former committed suicide. Devoted the rest of her life to her pets, founding California Pet Owner’s Protective League. Died of cancer. Inner: Wedding ring/boxing ring lifetime of setting a pattern she would repeat of being extremely comely and uniting with the heavyweight champion of the world, only to be disabused of the lasting attraction of brute force and continuing on her way in less volatile relationships.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS URBAN SEX SYMBOL:
Storyline: The activist actress parlays her status as a slinky icon, as well as her identification with NYC to maximize both her talents and ongoing appeal, while hooking up with opposing versions of the same mate, to far better effect, the second time around.
Sarah Jessica Parker (1965) - American actress. Outer: Father was a Jewish poet, parents separated when she was 2. Youngest of 4. Mother remarried a truck driver, 4 half siblings from the 2nd marriage. The large family put strains on money, but she was trained in singing and ballet. The whole crew moved to N.J. in order to help some of the children pursue show business careers, when she was 11. Studied at the Professional Children’s School in NY, and, with 4 sibling,s appeared in “The Sound of Music.” Got a part in “The Innocents,” in 1976, where she came under the wing of actress Claire Bloom, who became her ideal. 5’4”, and superslim. Got the lead in “Annie,” and began appearing on TV in the series “Square Pegs,” playing an awkward nerd, in 1982. Two years later, she met Robert Downey, Jr. on the set of Firstborn, and had a painful 7 year relationship with him, doing continual battle with his addictions. Found herself in film when they broke up, with several successful romantic roles, although television would prove to be her most effective medium. Also worked both off-Broadway and on Broadway. In 1997, she married actor Matthew Broderick, after appearing with him on Broadway in “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” One son from the union, which would grow increasingly strained. Near century’s turn, she became an icon with HBO’s “Sex in the City,” which she also produced during its long run, playing Manhattan sex-columnist Carrie Bradshaw, for which she won a Golden Globe in 2000. A member of Hollywood's Women's Political Committee, she is also UNICEF's representative for the Performing Arts. In 2004, she finally won an Emmy for Best Actress in a comedy series, for her ongoing “Sex in the City” role. Launched her own sportswear line, Bitten, in 2007, with the express purpose of fitting every size imaginable, from 0 to 22, and remains an icon of urban chic, as well as an extremely conscientious mother, whose career ambitions remain secondary to the latter role. Transliterated "Sex in the City" into filmfare in 2008, while her relationship with Broderick would be rocked by an affair on his part, although the two would continue to stay married for the sake of their son, and later have a pair of twin girls via a surrogate. Inner: Compassionate, politically active, non-introspective, extremely stylish, but also conscious of her more mundane roots. Repeat lifetime of discovering more common ground with her longtime mate, while taking on the light of Bloom and the darkness of Downey as extremes through which to find her center. Helen Menken (1901-1966) - American actress. Outer: From a poor background, with her father of French/German extract, and her mother Irish born. Both parents were deaf, and used to turn off the lights to signal the end of a dispute. Her mother sewed I.D. badges for business conventions, sold hats and modeled between jobs. Got little formal education, but had an innate sense of sophistication, despite her humble beginnings, which fostered mime and acting out as part of its communications. Oldest of 3, sister Grace Menken also became an actress. Made her debut as a child dancer in a production of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 5’3”, thin. Pursued a stage career, and had her first big success in 1922 with “7th Heaven.” Had a domineering personality, which caught the attention of actor Humphrey Bogart (Matthew Broderick), since she reminded him of his mother. The duo were married in 1926 and divorced 10 months later, as he went on to Hollywood fame and fortune, while she put her considerable energy into the theater, both backstage and stage front, for a long, busy well-received career. Wed a doctor, Henry Smith in 1932, divorced 15 years later. Her third husband, who she wed in 1948, George Richard, was a partner in a Wall Street firm. Had a radio show in 1940, and helped organize the Stage Door Canteen, and the Tony awards in 1947. Toured the world in 1960 with the Theater Guild Co., and died of a heart attack in the Lamb’s Club in NYC. Inner: Mania for clothes and shoes, high-strung, with a fiery temper. Arch lifetime of largely working independently from her long time Wallach family members in order to pursue her own agenda, while giving internal voice to an anger she didn’t need to repeat.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SPUNKY GIRL NEXT DOOR:
Storyline: The cheerful charmer repeats her exact dynamics, right down to the same parents, in an attempt to see how much more she can achieve the second time around, doing the precise same thing.
Sandra Bullock (1965) - American actress. Outer: German-born mother was a witty and outspoken opera singer, while her father worked for the Pentagon. Older of 2 sisters. Shuttled between Virginia and Germany during the opera season, while growing up. Had a supportive family for her endeavors, closely attached to parents. Her father was hospitalized for 18 months after a bulldozer accident when she was 12, which forced her to grow up quickly, as her family settled fulltime in Virginia, Appeared on stage in Europe as a child, and took cultural advantage of an eclectic, uninhibited childhood. Studied acting at East Carolina Univ., then went to NYC where she continued her studies and tended bar. 5’7 1/2”. Made her off-Broadway debut at 21 in “No Time Flat,” then got a starring role in a short-lived NBC sit-com, “Working Girl.” Won minor film roles where she played slightly offbeat characters, and then had her breakthrough in the romantic thriller Speed, in her late 20s, before going on to become a screen favorite in romantic/adventure parts that featured her winning personality. Had a long relationship with actor Tate Donovan, which finally ended, and despite subsequent romances, harbored a fear of marriage. Formed her own production company which her father heads, and her sister serves as president, using it to produce her own star vehicles. Her mother’s death from cancer in 2000 was devastating to her. After the turn of the century, she focused her attention towards producing, most notably the George Lopez TV show, while foreswearing off romantic comedies. Able to exploit her sense of real down-to-Earth, highly accessible and humorous femininity for an ongoing popularity as an unlikely movie star, who can command an 8 figure salary, on the basis of her sheer likability. Married TV mechanic Jesse James in 2005, who subsequently became the target of a deranged stalker, who tried to run him over, and was subsequently charged with aggravated assault. Scored the unusual double of winning both an Oscar and a Golden Globe, as well as a Razzie, for best and worst actress in 2010 for her matronly cheerleader role in Blind Side and as a love-besotted fly-chaser in All About Steve. Subsequently blindsided by the public revelation of an ongoing affair between her husband and a tattooed ex-stripper & Naziphile nicknamed “Bombshell,” which occasioned a public mea culpa afterwards by the former, but didn’t stop her from promptly moving out on him, and then suing for divorce, but not before adopting a male toddler from New Orleans on her own, amidst more embarrassing revelations about her spouse’s philandering. Inner: Lively, kind, high-spirited, charming, also a driven workaholic. Compulsive joker and fast talker. Continually surrounded by family and friends. Wish fulfilled lifetime of rising from an extremely supportive base to be exactly the type of highly paid star she had set out to be. Mae Busch (Annie Mae Busch) (1897-1946) - Australian/American actress. Outer: Father was the conductor of a symphony orchestra, and mother was a grand opera singer. Both parents were probably the same as in her Bullock lifetime. Came to the U.S. as a child, and was educated in a New Jersey convent. 5’4”. Joined the Keystone company as a teenager, and also did stagework on Broadway, appearing several times with entertainer Eddie Foy (Elliot Gould). Married handsome leading man Francis McDonald in 1915, divorced 7 years later. Graduated to leads in early silents, and had her breakthrough role in director Erich von Stroheim’s Foolish Wives, in her mid-20s. Wound up supporting her sire until his death. Married a second time in 1926, to John Cassell, divorced 3 years later. In her early 30s, she began appearing regularly as the comic foil for Laurel & Hardy in their two-reelers and features. Active on the screen until the mid-1930s, and then worked sporadically afterwards. Her third and final marriage was to Thomas Tate in 1936. Died in a sanitarium after a 5 month illness. Cremated afterwards, but her ashes weren’t claimed until decades later. Inner: Spunky, cheerful, natural comedienne. Act one lifetime of establishing a base, right down to the same parents, of spring-boarding to modest fame and relatively good fortune in the movies on the basis of her bright personality, before doing it all over again from the same support system to see how much higher and farther she could jump.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ALL-AMERICAN BEAUTY:
Storyline: The model model takes complete economic control of her life before hooking up with a former murderous mate to see if the two have learned anything in their succeeding lives, after earlier having caused a swinging sensation with their unstable dynamic.
Cindy Crawford (1966) - American model/actress. Outer: Had a blue collar upbringing, and was the middle of 3 sisters. Her younger brother died at 3 of leukemia, when she was 10, and her parents divorced a few years later. An excellent student, she was valedictorian of her high school class. Began modeling at 16 when a photographer took her picture for a local paper, and she was already earning a handsome salary in high school. Attended Northwestern Univ. on a chemical engineering scholarship, then quit after one semester to pursue modeling fulltime. Moved to Chicago and worked with a top photographer there for several years, before coming to NYC at 20 against his wishes. 5’9 1/2”. Her striking looks, flawless body and noticeable beauty mark made her much sought after, and she became an advertising icon, working for Revlon, and a host of other companies, as well as appearing on over 300 magazine covers, which led to TV exposure as a hostess for MTV’s “House of Style,” as well as a 7 figure income. Helped make models into noticeable public personalities. Fared less well as a movie actress. After a long secret courtship with actor Richard Gere, she married him when she was in her mid-20s. Rumors abounded about their heterosexuality, which forced them to take an ad out in the London Times to counter the charge and declare their monogamy. The couple separated and divorced, and she hooked up with millionaire nightclub mogul Rande Gerber, a possessive mate, 2 children from union. An astute businesswoman, she was able to parlay her beauty and intelligence into a $10 million a year income, while also actively involved in a national program for cancer caregivers, “Strength for Caring.” Became the target of a extortion plot by a male model and an ex-nanny in 2009, with provocative pictures of her daughter, although it was foiled by police intervention. Inner: Ambitious, conscientious, down-to-Earth, articulate, intelligent. Complete package lifetime of finding her own power before dipping into dangerous waters of the past, to see if she had successfully worked her way through her darker side. Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967) - American showgirl. Outer: Mother was a clothing designer, father was a lawyer. Oldest of two. Her sire died when she was 8, leaving the family without support. Her mother ran a boardinghouse in Pittsburgh, then moved to Philadelphia in 1899, with her 2 children, and worked at a department store. In 1900, mother and daughter moved to NYC, where the latter continued modeling, then appeared on stage at 17 as one of the ‘Floradora’ girls. As a featured dancer, she was showered with gifts and attention by wealthy men. Met 47 year old architect Stanford White (Halston), who seduced her in his private apartments by getting her drunk on champagne, and pushing her on a red velvet swing. Despite a feeling of betrayal, she allowed him to support her in lavish style. Also had an affair with actor John Barrymore (Johnny Depp). Had an operation, claiming she had appendicitis, although probably was pregnant and had an abortion. The same year she met Harry Thaw (Rande Gerber?), the product of a wealthy Pittsburgh family, who kept an apartment in a NYC brothel where he beat women. Accompanied him to Europe to recover. High on cocaine, he beat her with a dog whip, when she repeatedly rejected his proposals. Terrified, she, nevertheless, stayed with him, as he continued to abuse her. Finally married him in her early 20s. Thaw was insanely jealous over her previous connection with White, and on a summer night in 1906, on the rooftop of Madison Square Garden, a building White had designed, he pumped 2 bullets into his brain in front of her and a roomful of people. Eventually acquitted, thanks to a medium, on reasons of insanity, and put in an asylum for the criminally insane. Had a son, who she claimed was conceived on a bribed visit to Thaw, although divorced him on his release and married a dancer in her early 30s. Exploited her notoriety as a vaudeville attraction, and also appeared in a number of silent films, although she became addicted to heroin, as her beauty and abilities diminished. Opened a tea room on Broadway, then operated a number of speakeasies, which all failed. Wrote a 2 volume autobiography, “Prodigal Days,” and would up in a Hollywood boardinghouse, where she became a theosophist. Was technical adviser to the filmed version of her earlier escapades, Girl on a Red Velvet Swing, and ultimately died penniless in a California convalescent home, deeply embittered. Inner: Masochistic, self-pitying, but also ambitious and driven, a combination of the dark and the light. Victimized lifetime of running the full gamut of sweet innocence to defiled corruption, ending up, when all was said and done, wishing she had never been born.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER IN SEARCH OF HER OWN INDEPENDENCE:
Storyline: The theatrical progeny uses her good genes to gain immediate access to a career from an early age, while working on issues of independence and co-dependence in her ongoing search for a happy medium for her to explore her self-expressive self.
Laura Dern (1967) - American actress. Outer: Great-grandfather was governor of Utah. Mother was actress Diane Ladd, father was actor Bruce Dern. The couple’s first daughter drowned at 18 months, which traumatized them, and they split a few months after their 2nd daughter was born, 6 years later. Raised by her mother and grandmother, during which time the former briefly remarried in her early teens. Did not begin connecting up with her father until her mid-teens, asking him to be more of a parent to her, after initially feeling very intimidated by him. The duo eventually worked out their differences and she has been close to both parents ever since, although each tried to discourage her acting ambitions. Appeared as a child extra in some of her father’s and one of her mother’s films. Trained as a teen at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and made her professional debut in her mid-teens, with Foxes, drawing favorable commentary. 5’10” and capable of conveying strong emotion in a variety of characters. Drew notice from both her early TV and film portrayals of teenagers confronting their own womanhood, while establishing herself as a dependable actress of satisfying depth. Made her breakthrough in Smooth Talk at 19. Spent one semester at UCLA, before deciding to pursue her career fulltime. A favorite of offbeat director David Lynch, she has appeared in several of his films, and also spent 4 years with fellow Lynch alumnus, Kyle MacLachan. Her later career has been consistent with her going for good parts, rather than sure hit roles. Had two children with boyfriend musician Ben Harper, while tending to domestic duties for several years, before returning to the screen in 2004 with We Don’t Live Here Anymore. Added a third child to her household afterwards, and the duo finally married in late 2005. Divorced five years later, after a full decade together. Inner: Good emotional range, shares her father’s intensity and her mother’s histrionic abilities. Exposed to a potpourri of religious beliefs which has kept her focused on her craft rather than searching for superstardom. Extremely interested in creating a full body of work, rather than individual hits. Repeat lifetime of coming into a family that would put her immediately on the stage, so as to continue her ongoing growth as an actress, who is a combination of the skills of both her talented parents. Clara Kimball Young (1890-1960) - American actress. Outer: Parents were both stage performers, and later film actors. Made her debut at 3, and by 6 was accomplished in both vaudeville and stock. 5’4”, 125 lbs, with raven hair and large eyes. Made her film debut in her late teens, and began her career in one-reel comedies, then married director-actor James Young, who guided her subsequent initial changeover to worldly young woman. Became the foundation of Lewis Selznick’s (David Geffen) fledgling studio in her mid-20s, while also becoming involved with him, much to their mutual spouses' dismay. Her husband eventually sued her for divorce on grounds of desertion, while Selznick created her own eponymous production company, dedicated solely to her films, although she soon grew bored with his choice of tragic roles for her, despite their huge success with the public. Lawsuits ensued over their creative differences, and in 1917, she formed her own company with her former agent, Harry Garson, who became her producer and her second husband, after her first spouse assaulted him with a knife one night at a theater. Moved to California with Garson, but her popular career soon took a nosedive through his inept efforts as both director and producer, and she was forced to go back to vaudeville, amidst another hail of lawsuits. Made her last silent in 1925, and divorced her second spouse, before marrying a doctor in 1928, who died 9 years later. In 1932, most of her belongings were sold at public auction to satisfy her creditors. Returned to Hollywood in her early 40s and played character roles in low-budget features, grabbing any part she could, before retiring again in her early 50s and fading into oblivion. Remained relatively cheerful throughout her trials, and died at a Motion Picture Home for retired players. Inner: Loved to perform, and had a flair for the dramatic both professionally and privately. Diva to the core, high-maintenance, and high-strung. Good sense of humor, as well as a strong sense of resilience, with much of her drama relegated to her behind the scenes existence. Roller-coaster lifetime of trying to take control over her talent, only to have her public ultimately reject her efforts at independence, despite her acute gifts for self-expression.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ONGOING SERIAL QUEEN:
Storyline: The large-mouthed lass creates serial careers of imperiled vulnerability, employing a face of exaggerated features to best represent the quivering emotionality behind her ongoing role as royal celluloid adventuress.
Julia Roberts (1967) - American actress. Outer: From a theatrical family, father was a drama teacher who founded the Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, mother helped run the school. Her older brother Eric Roberts also became a movie star, although the two have long been estranged, while her older sister, Lisa, to whom she is close, is yet another actress. Despite an artistic environment, the household was always short of money, and the school went bankrupt. When she was 4, her parents divorced after 18 years of marriage, and she and her sister went to live with her mother, while her brother went to live with her father, who died of cancer 5 years later. Bored in high school though turned on by one teacher, she began to see herself as an actress, and 3 days after graduating made a beeline for NYC to join her sister, working for a year in a shoe-store, while she was continually rejected at casting calls. Highly persistent, she finally got a small part on a TV show, “Crime Story.” Made her screen debut in her early 20s, in an unsatisfactory film, Satisfaction, but within 2 years was a major star, thanks to her turn as a Cinderella prostitute in Pretty Woman. 5’9” and willowy, with exaggerated features and an ability to project fear and vulnerability. Involved with several of her costars to the point of engagement. Became gossip fodder by canceling her wedding to celluloid star Kiefer Sutherland 3 days before the gala ceremony, and becoming involved with another actor. Avoided the press and suspended her career for a year, before returning to form in her mid-20s. The same year, she married homely, high-haired country star Lyle Lovett to the shock of her fans, and then divorced him less than a year later, to begin her serial rounds anew with another string of trainers, bodyguards and costars. Maintained an unconscious continuation of her previous go-round as a serial queen, with an attraction to roles that place her in great danger, before being rescued by stout-hearted heroes in gripping melodramatic fashion, a theme she plays off of in private life as well. Hooked up with actor Benjamin Bratt for 4 years, but continued to remain a runaway bride in all her relationships. After 5 $100 million plus hits, she became the first woman to crack the $20 million a picture club with Erin Brockovich, winning an Oscar for best actress in 2001 for the role. Married Danny Moder, a camera man in 2002, and had twins with him, then later added another son. In 2006, she appeared on Broadway in a revival of “Three Days of Rain,” to universally poor reviews, over her inability to translate her filmic wattage to the far more demanding confines of live theater. Remains, however, a well-loved Hollywood icon who can do no wrong on the silver screen. Although raised in a Baptist and Roman Catholic household, she converted to Hinduism in 2010 after filming Eat Pray Love in Bali, hoping her good incarnations will hold. A half-sister, Nancy Motes, committed suicide via a drug overdose in early 2014, and contemptuously bad-mouthed her to thwart her Oscar chances, despite her unsuccessful attempts to get her into rehab. Inner: Down-to-earth, feisty, guarded and competitive. Despite her huge successes, has a curious ambivalence to her career, although enjoys being famous and powerful. Deliberate sense of instability, after earlier having too much control over herself and her life, in order to explore her vulnerabilities. Self-seeking lifetime of investigating her own unclear emotions, both on-screen and off, making her life into its own private serial, where the outcome remains unclear even to her unscripted self. Ruth Roland (1892-1937) - American actress. Outer: Of German-Swiss stock. Mother was a gifted singer, father was a newspaperman. Educated by private tutors, she made her stage debut at 3 1/2 in “Cinderella” in California. By 4, she had a specialty act in vaudeville, for which she was billed as ‘Baby Ruth.’ Her father deserted the family, and her mother died when she was 8. Went to live with a kind aunt, and returned to the stage at 16. Athletic as a teenager, she would be the first graduate of Hollywood High School to enter films. 5’4”, 122 lbs. Made her debut in Western comedies. In her early 20s, she found her niche as a heroine of silent serials, rivaling fellow cliffhanger queen Pearl White (Meg Ryan), as America’s most popular athletic actress in that genre. In her mid-20s, she married Lionel Kent, an L.A. automobile salesman. Although they were divorced 2 years later, she hired him as her business manager. In her late 30s, she married Ben Bard, an actor/vaudevillian, and gradually spent less and less time on screen. Made some 200 films, and was known as the “Queen of the Serial Thriller.” Invested wisely in real estate and became very wealthy through her business acumen, earning far more in 4 years of dealing properties than she did in 16 years in films. Died of cancer. Inner: Thoroughly grounded and in control of herself, with a preference in later life for her dramas to be up on the screen, rather than in her own personal experience. Self-possessed lifetime of using a keen sense of future vision to see her way to success twice over in the material realm, eschewing the cliffhanger consciousness of her screen character for a far more stable private life.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS PRINCESS WARRIOR:
Storyline: The agile amazon parlays an innate athleticism into small screen icon status, after exiting earlier in a failed body, despite the ongoing heart of a martial artist beneath the comely aesthetic of imaginary royalty.
Lucy Lawless (Lucille Francis Ryan) (1968) - New Zealand actress. Outer: Father was mayor of her hometown, and later became Chairman of Finance of that city. 5th of 7th children. Athletic, enjoyed horseback riding, although did not study martial arts until her career demanded it. Initially wanted to be an opera singer, and was involved in school theater. 5’10 1/2”. Attended the Univ. of Auckland for a year, then traveled in Europe, becoming fluent in German and French. Labored in an Australian goldmine, doing the same work as the men. Married skydiver Garth Lawless in 1988, one daughter from the union, divorced in 1995. Won the title of Mrs. New Zealand in 1989, then did a TV commercial, before joining a New Zealand comic troupe called “Funny Business.” Parlayed that stint into a co-hostess job with a travel magazine show, before appearing in TV and film productions. Studied drama at the Wm. Davis Center in 1991. After playing in a Hercules TV movie in 1994, she was tabbed as “Xena, the Princess Warrior” in her own spin-off series the following year, after dying her hair darker. Clad in leather, and carrying her trusty sword, Chakram, she became an amazon icon during the show’s successful six year run, doing her own riding and stunts. Broke her pelvis in 1996 practicing for a scene on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, when her horse tripped and fell on cement, although she never suffered an injury during the entire run of her own series. Married Robert Tapert, the executive producer of her show in 1998, two sons from the union. The previous year, she made her Broadway debut in a two-month revival of “Grease,” as she continues to see if she can expand her career beyond the singular character who raised her to icon status, and will be forever immortalized in TV’s rerunland. Inner: Down-to-Earth, and athletic. Princess warrior lifetime of serving as an amazonian icon for fantasists of all ages, while trying to integrate career, family and sense of self after earlier having those wishes curtailed in a failed body. Lottie Lyell (Lottie Edith Cox) (1890-1925) - Australian actress. Outer: From a middle-class family. One of 3 sisters. Good athlete, strong swimmer and an expert horsewoman. Began her career at 17, as a leading lady with a local company, while adopting the stage name of Lottie Lyell. Hooked up with actor Raymond Longford, and their careers became intertwined afterwards. May have known him since childhood. In 1911, the duo entered Australian films as supports in Captain Midnight, The Bush King, and Longford went on to become a director, while she played his leading lady. Became a favorite of the Australian silent screen, using her athleticism to make herself an amazon icon. Also did some uncredited directing, while continuing to work with Longford. The twosome never married, because his Catholic wife refused to give him a divorce. Reached her peak with The Sentimental Bloke in 1919, and then had her acting curtailed by tuberculosis, which forced her to focus on writing, directing and producing. Only acted in two films in the 1920s, and then succumbed to the disease at home. Longford’s career soon waned afterwards. Inner: Half-realized lifetime of having her athleticism curtailed in order to allow her focus on other aspects of herself, notably her imagination, before returning to see if she could more fully re-integrate herself around the same industry.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS ONGOING SCREEN GODDESS:
Storyline: The bedazzling country belle continually tries to reconcile her extraordinary beauty with her ongoing search for love, while learning to find some sense of emotional fulfillment in her burgeoning sense of craft, as she works on integrating the elusive other half of her projections on completion.
Ashley Judd (Ashley Tyler Ciminella) (1968) - American actress. Outer: Mother was singer Naomi Judd, father was a marketing specialist in the horse-racing industry. Older sister Wynonna eventually teamed with their mother to become a popular country act, the Judds. Her parents divorced when she was four, and she moved with her mother and sister to Kentucky, where she had an impoverished upbringing, often on the road, causing long spates of depression, which were exacerbated by Naomi’s volatile relationships with men. Felt unwanted and unloved because of the peripatetic nature of her upbringing. Went to 13 different schools between 5 and 18, since her family was constantly on the move. A reader and fantasist as a child, she escaped into books to counterbalance the harsh realities of her life. At 15, her mother and sister became country stars, giving her considerable more economic stability. Despite being an honors student at Kentucky State, with a major in French, she dropped out to pursue an acting career. 5’7”. Moved to Los Angeles in her early 20s, and made her debut in Kuffs in 1992, which was the first film she ever auditioned for. Landed a role on TV’s “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” as a ship officer, and continued to work in that medium until securing her first starring role in Ruby in Paradise, in 1993. Able to portray both intelligence and emotionality in all her subsequent screen appearances, and was linked with several of the stars of her subsequent movies, while her natural beauty and personality made her a popular Hollywood figure. Despite her success, however, her early past caught up to her, and she became a depressive waterfall, although eventually was able to confront her mother and sister and heal her sense of loneliness and isolation at the hands of their early fame. Involved with several celebrities, and not above making the tabloids with her hi-jinks. Became a bankable lead in Double Jeopardy, although her subsequent reliance on the same formulaic thrillers diminished her box office allure. Married a race driver, Dario Franchitti, in 2001, and appeared on Broadway to largely negative reviews as Maggie in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” while her career hit a momentary standstill. Nevertheless, parlayed her fame into becoming a spokeswoman for American Beauty cosmetics, as well as YouthAIDS, while maintaining both a farm in Tennessee and a home in Scotland. In 2006, after visiting her sister in a rehab center, she checked in as well, to deal with codependence, depression and the need to be perfect to compensate for her sibling, which she was able to iron out. In her 2011 memoir, “All That is Bitter and Sweet” she revealed, she had been molested as a child by a family member, and also subjected to sexual attacks by other men. Took great umbrage the following year when the media started obsessing about her face looking “puffy” and wrote a blistering internet essay on the judgmental view women’s looks were constanty being subjected to as part of the patriarchy’s equating feminine beauty with worth. Divorced in 2013, while considering a run for the Senate from Kentucky as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, before recevng a carload of contumely from the Republican party and opting not to. Inner: Highly intelligent, deeply emotional, natural actress. Direct, charismatic and ultimately fairly well-centered, with refined tastes and a sense of worldly justice. Healing lifetime of getting her craft together, after incarnating in parallel manner during the downspin of her previous existence, so as to also experience it in her upbringing. Ava Gardner (1922-1990) - American actress. Outer: Father was a poor tenant tobacco farmer. One of 6 children. Close to her reserved begetter, who died when she was a teenager. Tomboyish, with not much interest in school. An emerald-eyed beauty by the time she was 13, although remained shy, and awkward with a thick accent. Thought she’d be a secretary, and went to NYC to visit a sister at the age of 16. A photograph of her taken by her brother-in-law made its way to the MGM casting department. After a successful screen test in NYC, she went out to Hollywood at 17, and followed the standard regimen for starlets of the time, including scads of publicity before she ever stepped in front of a camera. 5’7”. Began playing minor roles, then, at 19 married pint-sized star Mickey Rooney. A virgin at the time, she began to realize her true sexuality afterwards. Their mismatch ended in divorce the following year. Had a volatile relationship with producer Howard Hughes, splitting his head open during one of their fights. After numerous unmemorable roles, her sexual screen presence came alive in The Killers in 1946, and from that point onward, she became Hollywood’s reigning screen goddess for most of the next decade. Despite a total lack of commitment to her craft, the public found her endlessly fascinating and wanted to know everything about her, much to her consternation. In her early 20s, she married oft-wed musician Artie Shaw who tried to turn her into an intellectual, but the mismatch ended in divorce 2 years later. After a tempestuous courtship, she married singer Frank Sinatra in her late 20s, and the duo had an equally stormy union, punctuated by frequent separations because of work, and passionate reunions. The couple separated 3 years later and were divorced in her mid-30s, although the two would periodically see one another. He later declared she had been the love of his life, while he was the same for her. Began dissipating herself with alcohol and acting with promiscuous abandon, often having sex with members of her camera crew in her trailer on the set. Left Hollywood in her mid-30s for a life of abandon in Madrid, hanging out with wealthy playboys and matadors, and continually night-crawling in an all-out pursuit of empty pleasure. Returned to the screen 3 years later as a more mature actress, capable of good performances in the right roles. Her screen career continued into her late 50s, and then in her early 60s, she turned to TV, appearing in miniseries and TV movies. Nevertheless, continued drinking and ignoring her health, while becoming more of an undirectable diva as she got older. Suffered a stroke 2 years before her death, which slowed her down, although she continued to work afterwards. Was preparing to write her autobiography with a collaborator, when she died of pneumonia. It was ultimately published as “Ava: My Story,” instead of the title she wanted, “In Her Own Voice,” from a quote from her friend, poet Robert Graves. It was published under that title only in Spain, which, symbolically was the country where she expressed her own voice to the fullest. Inner: Impulsive, independent, and insecure, a country girl at heart trying to find her way in the bright lights of fame, through the illusions of extraordinary beauty, and forever elusive heart connections. Often stated she would rather be well-loved than famous. Heart-sore lifetime of looking for love in all the wrong places.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BIG-VOICED LITTLE WOMAN:
Storyline: The stage mage augments her magnetic footlit presence with a smaller physique and a larger four octave voice to become a compleat theatrical entertainer, after earlier depending more on her presence than her developed skills.
Kristen Chenoweth (1968) - American singer and actress. Outer: Adopted at birth. Mother was a homemaker who had trained as a nurse. Father owned a construction company, and was a chemical engineer. Her older brother followed the same profession. The family was extremely supportive of her, albeit they were intellectual and analytic, while she is far more emotional. Raised a Southern Baptist, and remains quietly religious, although largely nondenominential. Began singing in church, and from the age of 7, was frequently a soloist. Studied ballet, beginning at the age of 5 and sang in the choir at school. Her mother often took her to touring Broadway shows in Tulsa, where she developed a love for the stage. 4’11”. Studied musical theater and opera on scholarship at Oklahoma City, earning a master’s degree, while paying her way through, in part, by winning beauty contests, including a second runner-up to Miss Oklahoma. Also entered vocal competitions, and was about to enter a Philadelphia vocal school, when she visited NY with a friend, and got a part in “Animal Crackers,” through an audition in 1994. Continued working nonstop afterwards, making her Broadway debut in 1997 in “Steel Pier.” Although her early Great White Way experience saw her outshining the tepid shows she was in, she did not achieve star status until winning a Tony supporting actress award for “Charlie Brown,” in 1999. Finally landed a lead role later that year in “Epic Proportions,” while once again proving her talent worthy of the show’s title, while the show, itself, did not. Released her first solo album 2 years later, and had a short-lived eponymous series the same year. Finally found a show worthy of her gifts in 2003 with “Wicked,” based on the Wizard of Oz tales, in which she played the good witch Glinda. Appeared during its last two TV seasons on “The West Wing,” while upping her filmic presence considerably as the century’s first decade unfolds. Focuses on Broadway standards from the 30s and 40s in her concerts, in an unconscious nod to her previous go-round in this series, while also acknowledging she feels like she is from another time period. A supporter of gay rights, despite her own strong Christian sensibilities, she has had several high profile affairs with artistic types, including writer Aaron Sorkin and violinist Joshua Bell, with the former basing a character on her in “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” In 2007, she joined the cast of the colorful resurrection drama, “Pushing Daisies,” only to see it canceled the following year. Neverthless, won a supporting actress Emmy in 2009 for it. Returned to series TV as the star of “GCB” a Dallas dramedy based on the best-seller, “Good Christian Bitches.” Its unsubtle lampooning raised hackles among both Christians, women’s groups and conservatives, although she vigorously defended the show as a self-proclaimed Christian, decrying those who should judge not, lest they be judged. The show proved extremely short-lived, and she joned the cast of ‘The Good Wife,” only to sustain head injuries during its filming, forcing her to exit it during its first season. Inner: Effervescent, and born to entertain, with an upbeat personality and a strong relationship with her sense of sacred spirit. Sees herself as “an old soul.” Glittering Glinda lifetime of raising the bar in her all-around skills, by coming in through a family which would make her a far more rounded and grounded person, so as to give her a better base from which her star could shine. Gertrude Lawrence (Gertrud Alexandra Dagmar Lawrence Klasen) (1898-1952) - English singer and actress. Outer: Both parents were performers, with her sire of Danish descent, and her mother of English ancestry. Father was a singer in variety shows and musicals, mother was a minor actress. At 2, her father put her in a chair in the theater lobby and told her to smile in order to sell programs. Trained from an early age to follow the family tradition. Her progenitor was also an inveterate gambler, causing frequent moves on the family’s part. After her parents separated while she was an infant, she lived with her mother, although the two were often impoverished. Educated sporadically, and at a stage school. Made her stage debut in 1908 in a pantomime, “Dick Whittington,” and then toured in musicals and revues until 1918, when she substituted for Beatrice Lillie as a lead. In 1917 she married English director Francis Gordon-Howley, one daughter from the union, which was later dissolved. Did nightclub work, then had her first hit song, “Limehouse Blues,” when she replaced Lillie again, before costarring with her in 1924, when she made her NY revue debut. Starred in 1926 in George Gershwin’s (Michael Tilson Thomas) “Oh, Kay!” Switched to dramatic roles two years later, while also becoming one of Noel Coward’s favorite muses, having known him since early in her career. Her greatest role was in his “Private Lives,” in 1930, which he had written specifically for her, making her both rich and famous. Although a competent singer and dancer, it was her sheer stage presence that characterized her best, making her a theatrical star for a good quarter of a century. Thanks to her lavish lifestyle, she went bankrupt in 1935, although never changed her ways. During WW II, she entertained troops in both Europe and the Pacific. Only appeared in a handful of films, beginning with The Battle of Paris in 1929, since her true métier was before live audiences. In 1940, she married U.S. producer Richard Aldrich, and spent the latter part of her career in the U.S., with a final triumph as Anna in “The King and I,” before dying of cancer of the liver during its run. Wrote her autobiography in 1945, which was ghosted by her agent, “A Star Danced,” and was portrayed on the screen in the 1968 box office flop, “Star!” by Julie Andrews. Inner: Charming and witty, a natural performer, who made up for her plain looks with an extremely expressive face. Sensitive, with a legendary generosity. Saw the theater as both her home and her life. Born in a stage trunk lifetime of making the theater her totality, and largely living for the applause that her talents could bring, with little real sense of the world outside her small shining universe.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS SLOWLY SELF-INTEGRATING STAR:
Storyline: The golden chameleon intertwines her innate intelligence and high standards with a greater depth of feeling, learning through loss, failure and transcontinental movement how to harness her emotions into both her life and art, after earlier focusing on just performing.
Naomi Watts (1968) - Australian actress. Outer: Mother was an amateur actress, and bohemian, father was a sound engineer for the rock group, Pink Floyd. Her parents divorced when she was 4 and her father died when she was 7. Felt a lack of grief at the time, as he mother went on to marry and divorce again, leaving her with mixed feelings about marriage. One older brother. Grew up in Britain, before the family moved to the suburbs of Sydney when she was 14. 5’5”, slender, classic blonde-haired beauty. Her dual continental upbringing helped her shed the restraint of England for the more demonstrative behavior of Australia, where she blossomed. Went to Japan at 19 to be a model, but bad experiences there caused her to claim she would never work in front of a camera again, although she soon rescinded the threat, and took a workshop on acting. Began her career doing commercials, and made her film debut in 1986 with For Love Alone. Headed for Hollywood at the age of 22, and spent the next 4 years doing both TV and movie projects in the U.S. and Britain. Despite her noticeable work, even in bad films, recognition eluded her, and her confidence began wearing down behind a slew of rejections, until she was offered a dual role in David Lynch’s noir fantasy, Mulholland Drive in 2001, which won critical plaudits as she played the dualities of her career up to that point, the hopeful dreamer and the defeated also-ran. Produced and starred in her own short, Elle Parker, the same year. Starred in the popular horror remake, The Ring, the following annum, as well as its successful sequel, and has had her choice of films and directors ever since, scoring a notable success in 21 Grams in 2003. Had an on-and-off relationship with actor Heath Ledger for several years, after appearing with him in Ned Kelly. Achieved iconic status as the love interest for King Kong in 2005, raising her to the level of major bankable star, and a major international player upon the silver screen. Put motherhood on her resumé, with a son via boyfriend Liev Schreiber in 2007, and added another son to their family the following year, while feeling no particular rush to make their union legal. Inner: Intelligent, driven, confident, resilient. Gregarious extrovert. Act two lifetime of learning through early loss, once again, how to ultimately find herself, and expand considerably on what she has found in the process of learning how to look at herself anew. Blanche Bates (1873-1941) - American actress. Outer: Parents were theatrical people, father managed a theater company. Younger sister. When she was 1, the family moved to Australia, where her parents enjoyed acclaim as touring stars for 5 years, until her father was murdered in Melbourne in 1879, by unknown assailants. Her mother returned to the U.S., and continued supporting the family through her stagework. Became the first girl to graduate from Boys’ High in San Francisco, and taught kindergarten for 4 years afterwards. Married Milton Davis, a lieutenant, in 1890, but soon separated and later divorced. Made her stage debut in San Francisco in 1893 in “Picture This and That,” and after enjoying some success, joined Augustin Daly’s (Aaron Spelling) NYC company in 1897, where she did Shakespeare. Married actor George Creel the same year, later divorced. Became a star at century’s turn with David Belasco’s (Stephen Bochco) “Madame Butterfly,” and in 1905, enjoyed her biggest hit, with the same producer/playwright’s “Girl of the Golden West,” which would become her most identifying role, and brought her out of Shakespeare and into contemporary drama, which she would pursue for the rest of her acting life. In 1912, she marred a Denver journalist, 2 children from union. Made only 3 silent films, beginning with Seats of the Mighty in 1914. After a highly successful career, she retired in 1926, although she made one last appearance afterwards. Died of cerebral thrombosis. Inner: Extremely expressive eyes and mobile features. Spontaneous and good/humored with great stamina. Stagestruck lifetime infused with early tragedy, and then a long acting out career and multiple husbands, to work out her sense of loss, and equal sense of exhibition.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS BI-CULTURAL ARTIST:
Storyline: The luminous latina holds a complex artistic sensibility beneath her striking physicality, as she integrates the two in an ever-expanding career, after earlier having been thwarted from doing the same.
Salma Hayek (1968) - Mexican/American actress. Outer: Mother was of Spanish descent and an opera singer, father was of Lebanese extraction, and a businessman. One brother. Endured her grandmother’s head trimmings and eyebrow shavings to enhance her beauty, and was always conscious of her looks, which would turn out to be incandescently striking. Grew up in a well-to-do household where she was spoiled, but was sent to Catholic boarding school in Louisiana by her parents as a teen. A prankster there, she was eventually dismissed 2 years later and completed her education in Mexico, spending a year at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, after also living for a year with an aunt in Houston to solidify her sense of biculturalism. 5’2”, with an hourglass figure. Began her career in a neighborhood playhouse, then did commercials and soap operas, winning a Novella, the Mexican version of an Emmy for her starring role in “Teresa,” which made her a national figure and a huge Mexican star. Felt her career opportunities were limited in her native country, and moved to Los Angeles in 1991, where she studied Shakespeare with noted teacher Stella Adler. Made her debut in Mexican films in 1994 as a prostitute, then appeared in Richard Rodriguez’s Desperado, after he had seen her on a Mexican talk show. Has worked steadily in both Mexico and the United States ever since, with a preference for the simple life of the former, but an attraction to the spectacular potential of the latter for fame, fortune and, most importantly, recognition for her considerable and varied skills. Linked at various times with several actors, although her most important relationship seems to be with her career. Scored her greatest personal triumph in 2002 with Frida, a biopic of artist Frida Kahlo (Eva Aridjis), which she had worked for years on securing. The following year, she made her directorial debut with a cable film, “The Maldonado Miracle,” showing promise behind the camera as well. Served as producer for the reconstituted telenovela, and America TV hit, “Ugly Betty,” while trying to set up more Mexican productions, in a continuation of her previous go-round as a hyphenated talent, looking to make her memorable mark. Hooked up with luxury goods merchant and multi-millinaire Francois-Henri Pinault, to have her first child, a daughter, at 40, although later called off their 16 month engagement only to resume relations with him following her daughter’s second birthday, and marrying him on Valentine’s Day in 2009. Later found out her husband had earlier fathered a son with supermodel Linda Evangelista, altho it didn’t upend their marriage. Inner: Highly ambitious and driven, with a successful stint as a true artist foremost on her agenda. Bi-cultural lifetime of strongly focusing on career, showing both the discipline and dedication to make more and more of an impact as she continues to explore herself through film from both in front of and behind the camera. Beatriz Michelena (1890-1942) - American actress, singer and writer. Outer: Of Venezuelan descent. Father was a renowned operatic tenor during San Francisco’s pioneer days. Grew up in a cultured home, older sister Vera became an actress and singer. Both were trained by their sire for singing careers, and she made her debut at 11 as such in opera chorus roles. Her father continued training her, teaching her stage presence, and, after weathering the SF earthquake in 1906, the following year, she wed George Middleton, a local auto dealer and progeny of a timber baron. Returned to the stage in a musical comedy in 1910, despite some objections from her husband, and proved a hit, although later quit the company in a dispute over billing. A striking beauty, she continued her stage career, before entering film in its early silent days both in front of and behind the camera, after her husband founded the California Motion Picture Company in 1912, as a promotional means for selling his automobiles. Under his auspices, she starred in several silents, although only one, Salomy Jane, would survive. Proved to be a prima dona, with demands that inflated the budgets of each of her efforts, which failed to make back their initial investments. In 1916, production on one of her films was stopped, and CMPC declared bankruptcy. During this period she also wrote a newspaper column entitled “Talks with Screen-struck Girls,” as well as general interest articles. Her husband bought the bankrupt film company in 1917 and redubbed it Michelena Studios, with their first effort, Just Squaw, once again failing to see black ink. After several more failures, which were antiquated in their techniques, she permanently departed from the film industry and returned to her singing stage career, while her husband went back to selling cars. The duo eventually divorced in the mid-1920s, in what would be a childless union. Toured Latin America in a large troupe, and then retired from performing, living the rest of her life in relative obscurity. Died after a surgical operation. Inner: Witty, smart and athletic, with more than a touch of the diva about her. Thwarted lifetime of having her cinematic ambitions, although not her stage career, summarily curtailed through her excesses, necessitating a far lesser sense of the prima dona about her upon her return, to create a far more solid base for her to actualize her ongoing artistic ambitions.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS TRANS-PACIFIC STAR:
Storyline: The sino siren struggles with an inner volatility and sense of self-destruction in order to reclaim herself, while tempering her close relationships, thanks to their earlier devastating and confusing effect on her, in her desire to be her own high-profile woman.
Lucy Liu (1968) - American actress. Outer: Parents were Chinese immigrants. Mother was a biochemist, father was a civil engineer. One of 3 children. Had a strong identification with her cultural heritage. Used to watch TV as a child, and feel there was something otherworldly about being an actress, which would assuage her own sense of being a misfit. After a year at NYU, she transferred to the Univ. of Michigan, graduating with a degree in Asian Languages and Culture, while also becoming fluent in Mandarin. Took theater arts courses, and won the lead in a college production of “Alice in Wonderland,” after auditioning for one of the smaller roles, and felt it was a life-changing moment for her. Decided afterwards to make acting her career. 5’2”. Moved to Los Angeles, worked as a waitress and aerobics instructor, and began getting bit parts on TV shows, beginning in 1990, while harboring the desire to transcend the limitations put on Asian actresses. In 1993 she exhibited a collection of multimedia art pieces at the Cast Iron Gallery in New York, then won a grant to study art in China. Made her film debut in 1996 in Jerry Maguire. After more support roles, she came to public attention as the acid-tongued lawyer, Ling Woo, on the TV sitcom, “Ally McBeal,” in 1997. Garnered a reputation as difficult during the show’s run, although was able to translate it into more big-screen appearances the rest of the decade, and by the turn of the century, had become Hollywood’s biggest Asian/American female star, receiving $4 million a film, following the success of Charley’s Angels in 2000. Good athlete, using physical expression to work off her many inner tensions, while looking for meatier roles that express more aspects of her true character. Also serves as an ambassador for UNICEF. Given another TV series, “Cashmere Mafia,” in 2007, playing a career woman, which failed to generate much interest, thanks to its predictability. Made her Broadway debut in a Tony award winning comedy, “God of Carnage” in 2010, as part of the third cast change of its original principles. Inner: Highly ambitious, and dualistic, capable of being both demanding and delightful. Uncorseted lifetime of trying to transcend stereotypes, despite also using them to further her career, in her ongoing battles both with herself and the world-at-large to integrate her many opposing elements. Ruan Lingyu (Ruan Feng Gen) (1910-1935) Chinese actress. Outer: From a Cantonese family, her father died when she was 6, and she had an impoverished upbringing, causing her mother to become a servant for a wealthy family. Dropped out of school at 16 and lived with the young scion of the family as his common-law wife, although he soon proved to be both a wastrel and a profligate. The older brother of her inamorata was a well-known movie star, and through him, she made her debut in 1921 in The Nominal Couple. Adopted her stage name and a daughter at the same time. Began her film career with China’s most prominent studio, making 5 films for them, although she felt their product was inferior. Left them and joined Lianhua Studios in 1930, and 2 years later, became a bona fide star with The Reminiscences of Peking. Fled to Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion, then returned to Shanghai, and hit her peak in 1933 and 1934. Despite her overt success, both her husband and lover were abusive and unfaithful to her, and she became a tabloid fixture. Because of the gossip and scandals surrounding her, as well as her deep disappointments in love, she committed suicide via an overdose of sleeping pills, at the age of 24. Three female fans killed themselves afterwards, and her funeral procession attracted a procession numbering in the hundreds of thousands. A Chinese biopic, Center Stage, was made of her life in 1991, with Maggie Cheung in the title role. Inner: Self-creating lifetime of great public approbation offset by deep private unhappiness, allowing the latter to more than cancel out the former.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS MIMIC TURNED TRUE THESPIAN:
Storyline: The accoladed actress brings both her interior and exterior into full maturity and realizes the depth and timbre of her gifts to overwhelming acclaim in her professional life and far more satisfaction in her private domain, as well.
Cate Blanchett (Catherine Elise Blanchett) (1969) - Australian actress. Outer: Mother was Australian and a teacher and property developer, father was originally from Texas and in advertising. Middle of 3 children, with her younger sister a theater designer. At 6, she saw a magician at a children’s party, and knew her career course. Her father died of a heart attack when she was 10. Was school drama captain at the Methodist Ladies College in Melbourne, before studying at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art. Graduated in 1992, where her performance in the classic Greek tragedy, “Electra,” already gave strong hint of her electric stage presence. 5’8 1/2”. Made her professional debut with the Sydney Theater Company in “Top Girls,” and won both best newcomer of the year and best actress awards, for her role in David Mamet’s “Oleanna,” the first ever to gain that double accolade. By 1994, she was working for American network TV, and made her feature film debut in Paradise Road in 1997. Had her breakthrough film with Oscar and Lucinda, and then garnered international acclaim with her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I (Mae West) in Elizabeth, winning the 1998 British Academy Reward for the performance. In 2007, she would assay the same life from a later perspective. Tabbed as the best actress of her generation, she is equally at home in American roles as she is in English parts, with the ability to plumb the depths of her characters through an unusual emotional intelligence. Married an English writer, Andrew Upton in 1997, and lives in London, 3 sons from the union. Extremely tight relationship, with her husband as her closest confidante. Won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2005, for playing Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator. The following year, she and her husband were named joint directors of Sydney’s Theater Company beginning in 2008, which necessitated a move back to Australia from England, while continuing her busy career. Added another Oscar for Best Actress in 2014 for her work in Blue Jasmine. Inner: Meticulous, luminous, stylish, workaholic and down-to-Earth. Chooses her parts carefully, looking for a character with whom she can resonate, as well as the other roles in the script that bring it to life, and the other people who will be involved in the production. Chameleonic ability to blend in with her characters. Extremely aware of the shortness of time, and dedicated to living in the moment. Transformative lifetime of taking her gifts for mimicry and turning them into a foundation for a full-blown exploration of her extraordinary talents. Cecilia Loftus (1876-1943) - English comedienne. Known as ‘Cissie.’ Outer: Parents were variety artists. Her mother, who was 18 at her birth, became a burlesque star, and was billed as ‘the Sarah Bernhardt of the Halls.’ Father was part of a performing trio. Convent educated, she left at 15, and her skill at mimicry brought her immediate attention. At 17, she eloped with an Irish writer, Justin McCarthy, who was twice her age, and the duo later divorced. Played musical comedy and vaudeville, and made her American debut in 1894. Wanted to be known as a great dramatic actress, despite her skills at comedy. Divided her time between vaudeville and the stage, but such were her gifts that she became straightjacketed in light entertainments. Had an uncanny ability at imitating people. Once did Enrico Caruso (Luciano Pavarotti) in front of the great singer, and he poked her chest and said, “my voice, it is in there.” Her 2nd husband was A.H. Waterman, an American doctor, whom she married in 1908. One son from the union, who was born prematurely, which caused her health to decline and she became addicted to both alcohol and painkillers. Her marriage suffered, and she her husband parted acrimoniously in 1920. Two years later, she was arrested for possession of morphine atropine, and ultimately was given a year’s probation. Left England permanently the following year, for both Broadway and Hollywood. Continued her addiction to alcohol, and ultimately died of a heart attack. Inner: Very mischievous and childlike, with a disastrous proclivity for searching for her father in her husbands, and her emotions in big and little bottles. Delimiting lifetime of being corseted by her skills, rather than emancipated by them, keeping her at a level, both emotionally and professionally that did not tap into her true talents, causing her to self-destruct in recompense for her painful frustrations.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS CHARACTER ACTRESS SUPREME:
Storyline: The unpretentious entertainer graduates from support to lead roles, while maintaining her blithe charm and easy-to-like grace.
Renee Zellweger (1969) - American actress. Outer: Mother was Norwegian, father was Swiss. The duo moved to Amsterdam, then both immigrated to the U.S. following their marriage. Her mother worked as a nurse, while her father became an engineer and construction manager. One brother. Grew up in a small Texas town. 5’5”. Originally wanted to be a journalist. Graduated from the Univ. of Texas, and began her acting career in commercials, before doing minor roles and leads in small, independent films. Bussed tables in Hollywood, then came to public notice in 1996 in Jerry Maguire in a support role, and gradually worked her way into leads, playing opposite Jim Carrey in Me, Myself & Irene in 2000. Continued an off-screen romance with him as well, that eventually ended. Scored a huge success in 2001 with Bridget Jones‘s Diary, in which she effectively took on both weight and a British accent, to prove herself a topflight comedienne, and has continued to be a likable star as the new century has progressed, including a reprise of her earlier BJ turn. Won an Academy Reward in 2004 for Best Supporting Actress for the Civil War drama, Cold Mountain, making it two lives in a row for garnering that particular Oscar. In 2005, after a brief courtship, she married country star Kenny Chesney, then filed for an annulment 4 months later. Inner: Warm, friendly, relentlessly positive and unpretentious, with the ability to project a variety of contradictory emotions in all her characterizations. Combination of sugar and steel. Steppingstone lifetime of bridging the gulf twixt character actress to bona fide star, while retaining her down-to-Earth charm. Jane Darwell (Patti Woodward) (1879-1969) - American actress. Outer: Father was a railroad president who claimed to be a direct descendant of Pres. Andrew Jackson (Joschka Fischer). Had a mobile childhood in the Midwest, and also lived on a ranch in Missouri, where her sire kept race horses. Dissuaded from performing in a circus when she was younger. Educated at private schools and a finishing school in Boston, where she decided to be an actress, despite her parents’ objections. 5’6”. Did not start her stage career until 1906, when she joined a stock company in Chicago, making her debut in “The Stubbornness of Geraldine.” Served a 2 year apprentice and also traveled to Europe. Chose the name ‘Jane Darwell,’ so as not to embarrass her family with her ‘wicked’ career choice. Went to Hollywood after the death of her father and made her film debut in 1913 with The Capture of Aguinaldo. Never married, seeing her career as her ultimate union. After two years in the silents, she returned to the stage, doing Broadway and repertoire, and did not appear in a film again until the sound era in 1930, during which time she established herself as a warm maternal archetype, most notably as Ma Joad in Grapes of Wrath in 1940, winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar that year. Continued playing character parts into her 80s, and died of a heart attack. Inner: Warm, maternal and unpretentious. Determined lifetime of overcoming familial fears to carve a unique niche for herself, while becoming a universal mother rather than a personal one.
PATHWAY OF THE PERFORMER AS WELL-SUPPORTED STAR:
Storyline: The A-listed Zeta enjoys a full-fledged public and private life, after an earlier go-round where the latter curtailed the former, and she wound up with nothing save memories awash in liquid spirits.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (Catherine Zeta Jones) (1969) - Welsh/American actress and dancer. Outer: Named after her two grandmothers. Mother was an Irish seamstress, father was a Welsh candy factory owner. The middle of three children, with two brothers, David, an entertainment executive, and Lyndon, who wound up at her production company. Had to have surgery when young after a breathing problem contracted from a virus. Raised Roman Catholic, and performed in amateur productions as a child. Her parents won £100,000 at bingo when she was in her teens, allowing the family to move to an upscale neighborhood. Dropped out of school at 15, with her parents’ blessing, in order to pursue a stage career. Went to a theater arts school in West London to complete her education, and by her late teens was a relative stage veteran, appearing in both musicals and drama. 5’6”, and a striking beauty. Made her screen debut in 1990 in Philippe de Broca’s 1001 Nights, a French production. A hugely popular TV series, “The Darling Buds of May,” in which she played a voluptuous country girl, made her a fan favorite, and she pursued a recording career for a while, while continuing to add to her TV credits. After some transatlantic support work, she landed the starring lead in Mask of Zorro in 1998, which made her an international star. Followed it up with several more star turns, before teaming up with Michael Douglas in Traffic. The two shared birthdays, and despite a quarter century difference in their ages, married in 2000, a son and daughter from the union, which had a pre-nup clause surrounding his compulsive cheating. Enjoyed her greatest success as Velma Kelly in the musical/drama Chicago, for which she did all the dancing, and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2003. Formed her own production company, Milkwood Films, in honor of Welsh bard Dylan Thomas (Shannon Hoon). Continued on through the decade doing a variety of films, while also serving as an advertising spokesmodel for Elizabeth Arden and T-Mobile phones, for which she received $20 million, as well as other product endorsements. Forced to deal with a female stalker obsessed with her husband, who wound up doing three years in prison, while shaking her to the core. Nevertheless, she has displayed a successful touch to all she has assayed, in direct contrast to her previous go-round in this series. In keeping with her facility for acquitting herself well in whatever she undertakes, she got excellent reviews for her Broadway debut at the end of 2009, in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music.” Revealed in 2011 she suffers from manic-depression, which was exacerbated by her husband’s successful fight against throat cancer, for which she had to enter rehab before returning to her career. The duo eventually decided to separate, causing even more stress on her part, before getting back together six months later. Inner: Far more insecure off-screen than the characters she usually plays, with an innate sense of anxiety and depression, probably bred from her previous go-round in this series, when all her fears materialized. Focused but fearful lifetime of being given solid family support then an equally buttressing marriage to pursue her dreams amidst crypto-memories of how quickly even fame and good fortune can fade. Edna Payne (1891-1953) - American actress. Outer: Both her parents were stage actors. Began her career as a child actor, and made her movie debut in 1911 with Higgenses Versus Judsons. Petite and blue-eyed. Her subsequent film career would end in 1917, after playing the lead in silent westerns. Married actor/director and writer Jack Rollens in 1917, and retired after appearing in over 50 silents. The duo were divorced in 1925, and she faded into obscurity afterwards. Probably became an alcoholic and died of a liver ailment. Inner: Born backstage lifetime of pursuing a successful stage and early film career, only to surrender both for a marriage that ultimately proved unsuccessful and fed into a long unhappy ending to a go-round that had begun with much promise.