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Elder of 2 daughters born to Irv and Joni Richards. She grew up in the Chicago area, until the family relocated to Oceanside, CA when Denise was 15. She began working as a model, and moved to L.A. after she graduated from high school. She landed parts in both TV and movies, and gave breakthrough performances in Starship Troopers (1997) with Casper Van Dien, Wild Things (1998) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), in which she plays a Bond Girl. She also was in Undercover Brother (2002) with Eddie Griffin and appeared in Scary Movie 3 (2003) with her now ex-husband, Charlie Sheen.
Career: Actress, Producer

In April 2011, Demi Moore and spouse Ashton Kutcher launched their "Demi and Ashton Foundation", a non-profit, non-governmental organization directed towards fighting child sexual slavery. It's first campaign is "Real Men Don't Buy Girls". On April 23rd, 2011, Demi and Ashton appeared together for their first on-air interview on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" (2011) to promote their foundation and start the work towards ending child sexual slavery. The foundation's website enables people to educate themselves, show support and take action or make a donation. They first got involved in the issue almost three years ago and that a great deal of the early work just involved starting discussions, raising awareness and creating urgency.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

Alicia Christian Foster was born in Los Angeles. Her parents divorced three years before she was born, and she was conceived when her mother, Brandy, was visiting her father, Lucius, for child support. Alicia's siblings nicknamed her "Jodie," a name she has used in her profession. When she was just three years old, Jodie began acting in commercials to support the family, most notably for Coppertone sunblock. When she was five, Jodie landed her first acting role on the TV show "Mayberry R.F.D." (1968). She stayed very busy as a child actress, working on television programs such as "The Doris Day Show" (1968), "Adam-12" (1968), "Gunsmoke" (1955), and Disney movies like One Little Indian (1973), then with the film Taxi Driver (1976) in which she played a prostitute at the tender age of twelve. This performance earned her an Oscar nomination, and she went on to have a very successful career in her early teens with roles in more Disney films, most notably the classics Freaky Friday (1976) and Candleshoe (1977). The last film Jodie made during this era was the coming-of-age drama Foxes (1980), before enrolling at Yale University when she was 17. Tragedy struck Jodie during her Freshman year when a crazed and obsessed fan name John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan to impress her.Jodie graduated from Yale in 1985 with a degree in literature. Her main priority was now to become a successful adult actress. After a few forgettable B-movies, Jodie auditioned for The Accused (1988) and was cast Sarah Tobias, a party girl who testifies against the men who gang-raped her in a bar. For this role she won her first Academy Award and Golden Globe as Best Actress. But even though she had won an Oscar, Jodie had not yet established herself as a star. Her next film, Catchfire (1990), went straight to video, and she fought hard to get her next good role. In 1991 she starred as Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who is assigned to track down a serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). The film was a blockbuster hit, winning Jodie her second Academy Award for Best Actress and establishing her as an international star at the age of 28. With the wealth and fame to do anything she wanted, Jodie turned to directing. She made her directorial debut with Little Man Tate (1991) followed by Home for the Holidays (1995). These movies were critically acclaimed but did not do well at the box office, and Jodie proved to be a far more successful actress than she was a director. 1994 proved to be a huge triumph for Jodie's acting career. She played a sexy con artist in the hugely successful western spoof Maverick (1994) with Mel Gibson. She also played title role in Nell (1994) alongside Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. For her compelling performance as a wild, backwoods hermit who speaks an invented language and must return to civilization, Jodie was nominated for her fourth Academy Award and won a Screen Actors Guild Award as Best Actress.Although Jodie was working far less frequently as an adult than she did as a child, the films she turned out were commercially successful and critically acclaimed. Her next big screen role was in the science fiction drama Contact (1997) opposite Matthew McConaughey. She played a scientist who receives signals from space aliens. The film was a huge hit and earned Jodie a Golden Globe nomination. She starred in the non-musical remake of The King and I (1956) entitled Anna and the King (1999), a film that was only modestly received in the U.S. but was very successful overseas. Three years after that she headlined the thriller Panic Room (2002), costarring Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto. This film was a smash box-office hit and gave Jodie a $30 million opening weekend, the biggest of her career yet. She then appeared in two low-profile projects: the independent film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) and the foreign film Un long dimanche de fiançailles (2004). She returned to making Hollywood mainstream films, first with Flightplan (2005), in which she played a woman whose daughter disappears on an airplane that she designed. Once again Jodie proved herself to be a box-office draw, and the film was a worldwide hit. The following year she starred in another hit, a thriller about a bank heist titled Inside Man (2006) with Denzel Washington and Clive Owen. Jodie seemed to be on a pattern of non-stop success. She was paid $15 million for her next film, the revenge thriller The Brave One (2007), which once again opened #1 at the box office and earned her another Golden Globe nomination. After starring in a string of dark-themed films, she returned to comedy in Nim's Island (2008) with Gerard Butler and Abigail Breslin. Jodie will reunite with Mel Gibson in the upcoming movie The Beaver (2011), which is scheduled for general release in 2011.Having spent nearly her entire life in the spotlight, Jodie Foster has had one of the most substantial film careers in Hollywood history. She is one of the most respected and highest-paid actresses working today, and there is no doubt that there will be many great things ahead for this child star turned two-time Oscar-winner.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Australia to an American father and an Australian mother. She has an older brother and an younger sister. When she was ten years old, her 40-year old father died of a sudden heart attack. Her mother never remarried, and her grandmother moved in to help her mother. Cate graduated from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992 and, in a little over a year, had won both critical and popular acclaim. On graduating from NIDA, she joined the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Caryl Churchill's "Top Girls", then played Felice Bauer, the bride, in Tim Daly's "Kafka Dances", winning the 1993 Newcomer Award from the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle for her performance. From there, Blanchett moved to the role of Carol in David Mamet's searing polemic "Oleanna", also for the Sydney Theatre Company, and won the Rosemont Best Actress Award, her second award that year. She then co-starred in the ABC Television's prime time drama "Heartland" (1994), again winning critical acclaim. In 1995, she was nominated for Best Female Performance for her role as Ophelia in the Belvoir Street Theatre Company's production of "Hamlet". Other theatre credits include Helen in the Sydney Theatre Company's "Sweet Phoebe", Miranda in "The Tempest" and Rose in "The Blind Giant is Dancing", both for the Belvoir Street Theatre Company. In other television roles, Blanchett starred as Bianca in ABC's "Bordertown" (1995), as Janie Morris in "G.P." (1989) and in ABC's popular series Police Rescue (1994). She made her feature film debut in Paradise Road (1997). She also married writer Andrew Upton in 1997. She had met him a year earlier on a movie set, and they didn't like each other at first. He thought she was aloof, and she thought she was arrogant, but then they connected over a poker game at a party, and she went home with him that night. Three weeks later, he proposed marriage, and, they quickly married before she went off to England to play her breakthrough role in films: the title character in Elizabeth (1998) for which she won numerous awards for her performance, including the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama. Cate was also nominated for an Academy Award for the role but lost out to Gwyneth Paltrow. 2001 was a particularly busy year, with starring roles in Bandits (2001), The Shipping News (2001), Charlotte Gray (2001) and playing Elf Queen Galadriel in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy. She also gave birth to her first child, son Dashiell, in 2001. In 2004, she gave birth to her second son Roman. Also, in 2004, she played actress Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese's film "Aviator" (2004), for which she received an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress. Two years later, she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for playing a teacher having an affair with an underage student in "Notes on a Scandal" (2006). In 2007, she returned to the role that made her a star in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007). It earned her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. She was nominated for another Oscar that same year as Best Supporting Actress for playing Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" (2007). In 2008, she gave birth to her third child, son Ignatius. She and her husband became artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company, choosing to spend more time in Australia raising their children.
Career: Actress, Producer

Robert De Niro, who is thought of as one of the greatest actors of his time, was born in New York City in 1943 to two artists. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop. He first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), but he gained his reputation as a volatile actor in Mean Streets (1973), which was his first film with director Martin Scorsese. In 1974 De Niro received an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and received Academy Award nomations for best actor in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978), and Cape Fear (1991). He won the best actor award in 1980 for Raging Bull (1980). De Niro currently heads his own production company, Tribeca Film Center, and made his directorial debut in 1993 with A Bronx Tale (1993).
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

Born in New Zealand, Russell has made his home in Australia since he was a small child. The son of movie set caterers, Russell got the acting bug early in life. Beginning as a child star on a local Australian TV show, Russell's first big break came with two films ... the first, Romper Stomper (1992), gained him a name throughout the film community in Australia and the neighboring countries. The second, The Sum of Us (1994), helped put him on the American map, so to speak. Sharon Stone heard of him from Romper Stomper (1992) and wanted him for her film, The Quick and the Dead (1995). But filming on The Sum of Us (1994) had already begun. Sharon is reported to have held up shooting until she had her gunslinger-Crowe, for her film. With The Quick and the Dead (1995) under his belt as his first American film, the second was offered to him soon after. Virtuosity (1995), starring Denzel Washington, put Russell in the body of a Virtual Serial Killer, Sid6.7 ... a role unlike any he had played so far. Virtuosity (1995), a Sci-Fi extravaganza, was a fun film and, again, opened the door to even more American offers. L.A. Confidential (1997), Russell's third American film, brought him the US fame and attention that his fans have felt he deserved all along. Missing the Oscar nod this time around, he didn't seem deterred and signed to do his first film with The Walt Disney Company, Mystery, Alaska (1999). He has recently achieved even more success and awards for his performances in Gladiator (2000) and A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Career: Actor, Producer

Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom "Growing Pains" (1985) and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3 (1991), to a major teenage heart-throb in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Titanic (1997), to then become a leading man in Hollywood blockbusters, made by internationally renowned directors such as Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan. But such a rich, varied career is what you would expect from someone who has had such an unusual upbring as DiCaprio.Leonardo DiCaprio is the only child of former comic book artist George DiCaprio and Irmelin DiCaprio (both born 1943). Leonardo's father, George, had achieved minor status as an artist and distributor of cult comic book titles, and was even depicted in several issues of American Splendor, the cult semi-autobiographical comic book series by the late 'Harvey Pekar', a friend of George's. However, Leonardo's performance skills became obvious to his parents early on, and after signing him up with a talent agent who wanted Leonardo to perform under the stage name "Lenny Williams", DiCaprio began appearing on a number of television commercials and educational programs. DiCaprio began attracting the attention of producers, who cast him in bit part roles in a number of TV programs, such as "Roseanne" (1988) and "The New Lassie" (1989), but it wasn't until 1991 that DiCaprio made his film debut in Critters 3 (1991), a low-budget horror movie.While Critters 3 (1991) did little to help showcase DiCaprio's acting abilities, it did help him develop his show-reel, and attract the attention of the people behind the hit sitcom "Growing Pains" (1985), in which Leonardo was cast in the "Cousin Oliver" role of a young homeless boy who moves in with the Seavers. While DiCaprio's stint on "Growing Pains" (1985) was very short, as the sitcom was axed the year after he joined, it helped bring DiCaprio into the public's attention and, after the show ended, DiCaprio began auditioning for roles in which he would get the chance to prove his acting chops. Leonardo took up a diverse range of roles in the early 1990s, including a mentally challenged youth in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), a young gunslinger in The Quick and the Dead (1995) and a drug addict in one of his most challenging roles to date, "Jim Carroll", in The Basketball Diaries (1995), a role which the late River Phoenix originally expressed interest in.While these diverse roles helped establish Leonardo's reputation as an actor, it wasn't until his role as "Romeo" in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996) that Leonardo became a household name, a true movie star. The following year, DiCaprio starred in another movie about doomed lovers, Titanic (1997), which went on to beat all box office records held before then, as, at the time, Titanic (1997) became the highest grossing movie of all time, and cemented DiCaprio's reputation as a teen heart-throb.Following his work on Titanic (1997), DiCaprio kept a low profile for a number of years, with roles in The Man in the Iron Mask (1998/I) and the low-budget The Beach (2000/I) being some of his few notable roles during this period. However, in 2002, he burst back into screens throughout the world with leading roles in Catch Me If You Can (2002) and Gangs of New York (2002), his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese.With a current salary of $20 million a movie, DiCaprio is now one of the biggest movie stars in the world. However, he has not limited his professional career to just acting in movies, as DiCaprio is a committed environmentalist, who is actively involved in many environmental causes, and his commitment to this issue led to his involvement in The 11th Hour, a documentary movie about the state of the natural environment.As someone who has gone from bit parts in television commercials to one of the most respected actors in the world, DiCaprio has had one of the most diverse careers in cinema. DiCaprio continues to defy conventions about the types of roles he will accept, and with his career now seeing him leading all star casts in action thrillers such as The Departed, Shutter Island and Christopher Nolan's Inception, DiCaprio continues to wow audiences by refusing to conform to any cliché about actors. DiCaprio is not merely a former teen heart-throb turned leading man, he is one of the most respected, daring and challenging actors working today.
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Williams briefly studied political science before enrolling at Juilliard to study theatre. After graduation, he performed in night clubs where he was discovered for the role of Mork on an episode of "Happy Days" (1974) and the subsequent "Mork & Mindy" (1978) TV series. Williams' wild comic talent involves a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol, Jonathan Winters. Williams has also proven to be an effective dramatic actor.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Eva Mendes was born in Miami, Florida but raised in Los Angeles of Cuban-American heritage. In college she began acting, studying underneath acting coach Ivana Chubbuck. This led to her desire to appear in feature films. Though taking many smaller roles in movies, she was little known until playing the girlfriend of Denzel Washington's character in Training Day (2001). Since then she has been featured in a wider range of roles, from comedic to dramatic. These gave her the ability to work with many highly regarded directors, such as Robert Rodriguez (Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)), Carl Franklin (Out of Time (2003/I)), John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)), Antoine Fuqua (Training Day (2001)) and the Farrelly Bros. (Stuck on You (2003)).Eva has co-starred in an independent film, The Wendell Baker Story (2005) with Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell, with Luke Wilson directing. Before that, her biggest movie was Hitch (2005/I), a romantic comedy that had her playing opposite Will Smith.Along with acting, Eva is employed by Revlon Cosmetics as an international spokeswoman. She joins such elite actresses and models as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Cindy Crawford, who appear in Revlon's television and print ads. She is also a passionate supporter and active participant in Revlon's fight against breast cancer.Eva's goals are to improve her acting skills by working with such contemporary directors/filmmakers as Steven Soderbergh, Spike Jonze and Pedro Almodóvar, and learning from such renowned directors as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni.
Career: Actress, Producer

Zoe Saldana was born in New Jersey and raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next 7 years. While living in the Dominican Republic, Zoe discovered a keen interest in performance dance and began her training at the prestigious ECOS Espacio de Danza Dance Academy where she learned ballet as well as other dance forms. Not only did her training provide an excellent outlet for the enthusiastic and energetic youngster, it would also prove to be a fortunate precursor for the start of her professional acting career. At age 17, Zoe and her family moved back to the United States where her love for dance followed and an interest in theater performance became stronger. She began performing with the Faces theater troupe which put on plays geared to provide positive messages for teens with themes dealing with issues such as substance abuse and sex. These performances not only gave her valuable experience but also a source of great pride knowing that she was making a difference in the lives of young people like herself. While performing with the Faces troupe and also the New York Youth Theater, Zoe was recruited for a talent agency and her dance training years before coupled with her acting experience greatly helped her land her first big screen role as "Eva Rodriguez", the talented and headstrong ballet dancer in the film Center Stage (2000). Since her professional career began just a few years ago, Zoe's talent and determination has allowed her to be involved in blockbuster films and act with major actors, actresses and industry insiders at a pace that very few young professionals have experienced. Zoe has not only held her own in major motion picture productions but gained the respect and praise from industry insiders such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg and actors/actresses such as Tom Hanks, Bernie Mac, Keira Knightley, Ashton Kutcher, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom. According to many of her costars, producers, and directors, the sky is no limit for this young star who has incredible range, intense concentration, and a steely determination to be involved with projects that challenge her professionally with wide-ranging subject matters and characters. Just to ask practically anyone who she has worked for or with about her, glowing comments abound and earned friendships and respect are readily revealed. A star has been born, and growing every day.
Career: Actress

One of Hollywood's most dazzling leading actresses, Salma Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, on 2nd September, 1966.Her Lebanese-Mexican father was a rich businessman and her mother was an opera singer. At a very young age, Salma already knew she wanted to be an actress and, after finishing high school, she felt more than ready to pursue her ambition. In the late 80s, she won the role of "Teresa" in the self-titled soap opera, and quickly became the "it" girl everyone was talking about. The shallow and superficial acting required for the role was, however, not satisfying, as she wanted to get ahead in acting rather than being stuck in it.She soon left her native Mexico and her popularity to make her way to Los Angeles. There, her career took off. Having arrived in Hollywood, she was anonymous and had to start from scratch. She soon realized she had been slightly naïve about continuing her acting career in a foreign country, with a very thick accent and no experience, whatsoever. She was told over and over again by the big suits she would have no chance of becoming a leading lady in Hollywood as there just weren't any parts for Latinas with accents, let alone one who doesn't speak English.She started to take acting classes from the renowned Stella Adler and worked on her accent. By 1993, she still wasn't getting her feet off the ground and was too stubborn to return back to Mexico as she would consider it as "having failed". Instead, she vented her frustrations in a late-night talk show by Paul Rodriguez. Director Robert Rodriguez, who happened to be watching that very show, was smitten with the beautiful, witty, and articulate Hayek, and cast her in his upcoming movie Desperado (1995).Desperado (1995) was released in 1995 and was a hit. Antonio Banderas and Hayek had ignited sparks on the screen and the moviegoers fell in love with both stars. By now, she had entered the Hollywood scene. This hadn't happened for a Latina actress since the 1930s with the success of Dolores del Rio and, later on, with Rita Moreno.In 1996, she appeared in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and Fled (1996) and started production on her first star billing movie, Fools Rush In (1997). The romantic comedy, which cast her as a woman who ends up pregnant after a one night stand with Matthew Perry, grossed around 35 million domestically and achieved rave reviews for Hayek. During this period, she also got to cash in on her status and looks by signing a lucrative deal with cosmetics giant Revlon.Although she had now started climbing Hollywood's A-list, the lack of good scripts, especially for women, made the young star more persevering in finding quality roles which actually demanded some acting ability. It was around this time that she felt she wanted to do a movie on the life of iconic Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. She turned down a prominent role in a $70 million movie and instead took on roles in independent films including: Breaking Up (1997), a romantic drama alongside then-newcomer Russell Crowe; The Hunchback (1997) (TV);' 54 (1998) and The Velocity of Gary* *(Not His Real Name) (1998). They were impressive but didn't do much at the box-office.In the late 1990s, Hayek went back to mainstream movies starring in Wild Wild West (1999), which grossed well over $100 million, and Dogma (1999). Her own production company, "Ventanarosa", co-produced the Mexican film El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (1999), which was shown at the Cannes film festival and submitted as an Oscar entry. At this time, Hayek had also started preparation on her upcoming Frida Kahlo film and managed to star in more movies, most notably Mike Figgis's Timecode (2000), Chain of Fools (2000), and La gran vida (2000).In late 2002, Frida (2002) was released. The hit movie provoked a great deal of publicity and rave reviews for both her and co-star Alfred Molina. When award season came the film and its star were not overlooked, winning the movie two Academy Awards and six nominations, including 'best actress' for her. After Frida came the final part in the closing trilogy of 'El Mariachi' with Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003). Again Banderas and Hayek received top billing and big box-office.With her acclaimed work in front of the screen, Hayek was offered a chance to direct a movie for Showtime called The Maldonado Miracle (2003) (TV). Not only had she established herself as a versatile actress, she was now rewarded with an Emmy as outstanding director. During this time she became one of the most photographed women in the U.S. which led to a contract with cosmetic mogul Avon, who signed her as their spokesperson for their campaigns including the Anti-Domestic Violence campaign. After an absence from the big screen for over a year, Hayek broke up with her boyfriend of four years, actor Edward Norton, and returned opposite 007 star Pierce Brosnan in an old Hollywood style action comedy After the Sunset (2004) directed by Brett Ratner.She remains one of the most hardworking actresses in Hollywood. New films include a high profile classic-style western comedy, Bandidas (2006), co-starring pal Penélope Cruz, with whom she has been friends for years. They play two bank robbers becoming Mexico's Thelma and Louise. Another of her new films is the highly anticipated Ask the Dust (2006) directed by the brilliant Robert Towne.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

Jennifer Love Hewitt got her first name from her older brother Todd Daniel Hewitt (b. November 8, 1970), who picked the name after a little blonde girl he then had a crush on. Her mother selected her middle name, Love, which she goes by offstage from her best friend at college. Her mother, Pat, is a speech pathologist and her father, Danny, is a medical technician. Her parents separated when she was six months old. Born in Waco, Texas, she was raised by her mother in Harker Heights, Texas. She made her official performing debut at age 3 where she sang at a livestock show. At age 5, she was taking tap, jazz, and ballet lessons which led her to joining the Texas Show Team, which toured the Soviet Union and Europe. At age 10, the family moved to L.A. with the encouragement of talent scouts, while Todd stayed behind to finish high school in Texas. Jennifer quickly found commercial work and a role on Disney's "Kids Incorporated" (1984) in 1984. She went through a series of television flops before finally hitting it big on "Party of Five" (1994) in 1995.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

This athletically built, dark-haired U.S. actor/screenwriter/director of European parentage may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in the same breath as, say, Richard Burton or Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.Born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hells Kitchen, the young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Stud's (1970), the thriller Klute (1971) and the comedy Bananas (1971). He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lord's of Flatbush (1974). Further film and TV roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000 (1975). However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky (1976) became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.Stallone followed Rocky (1976) with F.I.S.T (1978), loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley (1978) before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II (1979). The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks (1981) and Victory (1981) failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III (1982) and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell, and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood (1982), also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend U.S. pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by monosyllabic Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV (1985). The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra (1986) was a clumsy mess, Over the Top (1987) was equally mediocre, Rambo III (1988) saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango & Cash (1989) just didn't quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell.Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V (1990) tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne. Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar (1991), the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), the futuristic action film Demolition Man (1993), and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd (1995). Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land (1997), also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land (1997) certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz (1998), reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine in a terrible remake of Get Carter (2000), climbed back into a race car for Driven (2001), and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa (2006), and Vietnam veteran Rambo (2008) will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

His father was Irish, his mother Russian-Jewish. He was a lackluster student at Maine Township High School East in Park Ridge Illinois (no athletic star, never above a C average). After dropping out of Ripon College in Wisconsin, where he did some acting and later summer stock, he signed a Hollywood contract with Columbia and later Universal. His roles in movies and TV ("Ironside" (1967), "The Virginian" (1962)) remained secondary and, discouraged, he turned to a career in professional carpentry. He came back big four years later, however, as Bob Falfa in American Graffiti (1973). Four years after that he hit colossal with the role of Han Solo in Star Wars (1977). Another four years and Ford was Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).Four years later and he received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his role as John Book in Witness (1985). All he managed four years after that was his third starring success as Indiana Jones; in fact, many of his earlier successful roles led to sequels as did his more recent portrayal of Jack Ryan in Patriot Games (1992). Another Golden Globe nomination came his way for the part of Dr. Richard Kimble in The Fugitive (1993). He is clearly a well-established Hollywood superstar. He also maintains an 800-acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Career: Actor, Producer

Young delinquent and wanderer in the past, Gérard Depardieu started his acting career at the small traveling theatre "Cafe de la Gare", along with Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou. After minor roles in cinema, at last, he got his chance in Bertrand Blier's Les valseuses (1974). That film established a new type of hero in the French cinema and the actor's popularity grew enormously. Later, he diversified his screen image and became the leading French actor of the 80s and 90s. He was twice awarded a César as Best Actor for Le dernier métro (1980) and Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), also received an Oscar nomination for "Cyrano" and a number of awards at international film festivals. In 1996, he was distinguished by the highest French title of "Chevalier du Légion d'Honneur". He married Elisabeth Depardieu in 1971, and they divorced in 1996; she appeared with him in Jean de Florette (1986) and Manon des sources (1986); their children Guillaume Depardieu and Julie Depardieu are both actors.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, the Chicago-born actor has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. With the exception of mom Nancy (a former math teacher), the Cusack clan is all show business: father Dick Cusack is an actor and filmmaker, and John's siblings Joan Cusack, Ann Cusack, Bill Cusack and Susie Cusack are all thespians by trade. Like his brother and sisters, John became a member of Chicago's Piven Theatre Workshop while he was still in elementary school. By age 12, he already had several stage productions, commercial voice overs and industrial films under his belt. He made his feature film debut at 17, acting alongside Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy in the romantic comedy Class (1983). His next role, as a member of Anthony Michael Hall's geek brigade in Sixteen Candles (1984), put him on track to becoming a teen-flick fixture. Cusack remained on the periphery of the Brat Pack, sidestepping the meteoric rise and fall of most of his contemporaries, but he stayed busy with leads in films like The Sure Thing (1985) and Better Off Dead... (1985). Young Cusack is probably best remembered for what could be considered his last adolescent role: the stereo-blaring romantic Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything... (1989). A year later, he hit theaters as a grown-up, playing a bush-league con man caught between his manipulative mother and headstrong girlfriend in The Grifters (1990).The next few years were relatively quiet for the actor, but he filled in the gaps with off-screen projects. He directed and produced several shows for the Chicago-based theater group The New Criminals, which he founded in 1988 (modeling it after Tim Robbins' Actors' Gang in Los Angeles) to promote political and avant-garde stage work. Four years later, Cusack's high school friends Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis joined him in starting a sister company for film, New Crime Productions. New Crime's first feature was the sharply written comedy Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), which touched off a career renaissance for Cusack. In addition to co-scripting, he starred as a world-weary hit man who goes home for his ten-year high school reunion and tries to rekindle a romance with the girl he stood up on prom night (Minnie Driver). In an instance of life imitating art, Cusack actually did go home for his ten-year reunion (to honor a bet about the film's financing) and ended up in a real-life romance with Driver. Cusack's next appearance was as a federal agent (or, as he described it, "the first post-Heston, non-biblical action star in sandals") in Con Air (1997), a movie he chose because he felt it was time to make smart business decisions. He followed that with Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997), in which he played a Yankee reporter entangled in a Savannah murder case.Cusack has always favored offbeat material, so it was no surprise when he turned up in the fiercely original Being John Malkovich (1999). Long-haired, bearded and bespectacled, he was almost unrecognizable in the role of a frustrated puppeteer who stumbles across a portal into the brain of actor John Malkovich. The convincing performance won him a Best Actor nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards. In 2000, Cusack was back to his clean-shaven self in High Fidelity (2000), another New Crime production. He worked with Steve Pink and D.V. DeVincentis to adapt Nick Hornby's popular novel (relocating the story to their native Chicago), then starred as the sarcastic record store owner who revisits his "Top 5" breakups to find out why he's so unlucky in love. The real Cusack has been romantically linked with several celebs, including Driver, Alison Eastwood, Claire Forlani and Neve Campbell. He's also something of a family man, acting frequently opposite sister Joan Cusack and pulling other Cusacks into his films on a regular basis. He seems pleased with the spate of projects on his horizon, but admits that he still hasn't reached his ultimate goal: to be involved in a "great piece of art".
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Stone began acting as a child as a member of the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, where she made her stage debut in a production of Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows". She appeared in many more productions through her early teens until, at the age of 15, she decided that she wanted to make acting her career.The official story is that she made a PowerPoint presentation, backed by Madonna's "Hollywood" and itself entitled "Project Hollywood", in an attempt to persuade her parents to allow her to drop out of school and move to Los Angeles. The pitch was successful and she and her mother moved to LA with her schooling completed at home while she spent her days auditioning.She had her TV breakthrough when she won the part of Laurie Partridge in the VH1 talent/reality show "In Search of the Partridge Family" (2004) which led to a number of small TV roles in the following years.Her movie debut was as Jules in Superbad (2007) and, after a string of successful performances, her leading role as Olive in Easy A (2010) established her as a star.
Career: Actress

Unlike the characters Kate Bosworth has portrayed in television and in film which are known as "townies", Kate spent most of her childhood in different cities and states. At age 6, she and her parents moved to San Francisco, then to Connecticut at 9, and to Cohasset, Massachusetts, at 14. It was at 14 that Kate, a champion equestrian, learned of a casting call for a movie about horses.Although Kate attended the open audition in New York for the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer (1998) simply in hopes of getting the experience of what it was like to audition for a movie role, she won the role of the female lead's best friend and the chance to work with director/star Robert Redford. Her previous acting experience had consisted of singing at county fairs in California and acting in a community theatre production of "Annie". However, since landing the movie role, Kate seemed to be in more sound stages than ranches. Fearful that an early career would rob her of her childhood, she took 18 months off to live a normal life before opting to plunge into acting again. In 2000, she landed the role of the bratty sister in the feature film The Newcomers (2000) and the part of a football co-captain's girlfriend in the Denzel Washington movie Remember the Titans (2000).Throughout high school, Kate maintained academic excellence and was an honor roll student and a member of National Honor Society. In her spare time, she has volunteered with various non-profit organizations, including a Los Angeles program for physically challenged children who learn to ride horses with assistance.
Career: Actress

Naomi Watts was born in Shoreham, England on September 28, 1968 to Peter and Miv Watts. Peter Watts, the road manager to Pink Floyd, died when Naomi was seven and she began to follow her mother and her brother around England until they settled in Australia when she was fourteen. She coaxed her mother into letting her take acting class when they arrived. After bit parts in commercials, she landed her first role in For Love Alone (1986). Naomi met her best friend, Nicole Kidman, when they both auditioned for a bikini commercial and they shared a taxi ride home. In 1991, Naomi starred along Kidman in the sleeper-hit Flirting (1991) directed by John Duigan. Naomi continued her career by starring in the Australian "Brides of Christ" (1991) co-starring Oscar-winners Russell Crowe and Brenda Fricker. In 1993, she worked with John Duigan again in Wide Sargasso Sea (1993) and director George Miller in Gross Misconduct (1993). Tank Girl (1995), in 1995, an adaptation of the comic book was a cult hit, starred Naomi as "Jet Girl", but it didn't fare well at the box-office and didn't do much for her career as a whole. Watts continued to take insignificant parts in movies including the much forgotten film Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996) (V). It wasn't until David Lynch cast her in the critically acclaimed film Mulholland Dr. (2001) that she began to become noticed. Her part as an aspiring actress showed her strong acting ability and wide range and earned her much respect, as much as to say by some that she was overlooked for a Oscar nomination that year. Stardom finally came to Naomi in the surprise hit The Ring (2002/I), which grossed over $100,000,000 at the box-office and starred Watts as a investigative reporter hunting down the truth behind several mysterious deaths seemingly caused by a video tape. While the movie did not fare well with the critics, it launched her into the spotlight. In 2003, she starred in Alejandro González Iñárritu's 21 Grams (2003) which earned her - what some say is a much overdue Oscar nomination and brought others to call her one of the best in her generation of actors. The same year, she was nominated for 21 Grams (2003), Naomi was chosen to play "Ann Darrow" in director Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) which took her to New Zealand for a five month shoot. Watts completed her first comedy in I Heart Huckabees (2004) for director David O. Russell, playing a superficial spokes model - a break from her usual intense and dramatic roles she is known for. In 2005, she reprized her role as the protective-mother-reporter "Rachel Keller" in The Ring Two (2005). The movie, released in March, opened to $35,000,000 at the box office in the first weekend and established her as a box-office draw. Also in 2005, it was decided that her independent movie Ellie Parker (2001) would be re-released in late 2005 after its success at resurfacing at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie, which Naomi also produced, features her in the title role and is a bit biographical, but yet exaggerated take of the life of a struggling actress as she comes to Hollywood and encounters nightmares of the profession (it also features Watts' own beat-up Honda which she travels around in). In 2006, she starred with Edward Norton in The Painted Veil (2006). In July of 2007, Naomi gave birth to a boy, Alexander Pete in Los Angeles with Liev Schreiber. Since then her career choices have gathered even more critical acclaim with starring roles roles in German director Michael Haneke's American remake of his thriller Funny Games U.S. (2007), David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises (2007), and the action-thriller, The International (2009/I), released in February 2009. In mid-2008, Watts announced she was expecting her second child with Schreiber and gave birth to another boy, Samuel Kai in New York on December 13.
Career: Actress, Producer

Amy Adams was born in Italy to American parents Kathryn and Richard Adams, while her father was a U.S. serviceman. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado.Adams sang in the school choir at Douglas County High School and was an apprentice dancer at a local dance company, with the ambition of becoming a ballerina. However, she worked as a greeter at The Gap and as a Hooters hostess to support herself before finding work as a dancer at Boulder's Dinner Theatre and Country Dinner Playhouse in such productions as "Brigadoon" and "A Chorus Line". It was there that she was spotted by a Minneapolis dinner-theater director who asked her to move to Chanhassen, Minnesota for more regional dinner theater work.Nursing a pulled muscle that kept her from dancing, she was free to audition for a part in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), which was filming nearby in Minnesota. During the filming, Kirstie Alley encouraged her to move to Los Angeles, where she soon won a part in the Fox television version of the film, Cruel Intentions (1999), in the part played in the film by Sarah Michelle Gellar, "Kathryn Merteuil". Although three episodes were filmed, the troubled series never aired. Instead, parts of the episodes were cobbled together and released as the direct-to-video Cruel Intentions 2 (2000) (V). After more failed television spots, she landed a major role in Catch Me If You Can (2002), playing opposite Leonardo DiCaprio. But this did not provide the break-through she might have hoped for, with no work being offered for about a year. She eventually returned to television, and joined the short-lived series, "Dr. Vegas" (2004).Her role in the low-budget independent film Junebug (2005) (which was shot in 21 days) got her real attention, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress as well as other awards. The following year, her ability to look like a wide-eyed Disney animated heroine helped her to be chosen from about 300 actresses auditioning for the role of "Giselle" in the animated/live-action feature film, Enchanted (2007), which would prove to be her major break-through role. Her vivacious yet innocent portrayal allowed her to use her singing and dancing talents. Her performance garnered a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.Adams next appeared in the major production, Charlie Wilson's War (2007), and went on to act in the independent film, Sunshine Cleaning (2008), which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Her recent role as "Sister James" in Doubt (2008/I) brought her a second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress as well as nominations for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, and a British Academy Film award. She appears as Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and as a post-9/11 hot line counselor, aspiring writer, amateur cook and blogger in Julie & Julia (2009).
Career: Actress

Keanu Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1964. His mother, Patricia Taylor, was a showgirl; his father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. After their marriage dissolved, Keanu moved with his mother and younger sister, Kim Reeves, to New York City, then Toronto. Stepfather #1 was Paul Aaron, a stage and film director - he and Patricia divorced within a year, after which she went on to marry (and divorce) rock promoter Robert Miller and hair salon owner Jack Bond. Reeves never reconnected with his biological father.. In high school, Reeves was lukewarm toward academics but took a keen interest in ice hockey (as team goalie, he earned the nickname "The Wall") and drama. He eventually dropped out of school to pursue an acting career.After a few stage gigs and a handful of made-for-TV movies, he scored a supporting role in the Rob Lowe hockey flick Youngblood (1986), which was filmed in Canada. Shortly after the production wrapped, Reeves packed his bags and headed for Hollywood. Reeves popped up on critics' radar with his performance in the dark adolescent drama, River's Edge (1986), but his first popular success was the role of totally rad dude "Ted Logan" in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989). The wacky time-travel movie became something of a cultural phenomenon, and audiences would forever confuse Reeves's real-life persona with that of his doofy on-screen counterpart. Over the next few years, Reeves tried to shake the Ted stigma with a series of highbrow projects. He played a slumming rich boy opposite River Phoenix's narcoleptic male hustler in My Own Private Idaho (1991), an unlucky lawyer who stumbles into the vampire's lair in Dracula (1992), and Shakespearean party-pooper "Don John" in Much Ado About Nothing (1993).In 1994, the understated actor became a big-budget action star with the release of Speed (1994/I). Its success heralded an era of five years in which Reeves would alternate between small films, like Feeling Minnesota (1996) and The Last Time I Committed Suicide (1997), and big films like Johnny Mnemonic (1995) and Chain Reaction (1996). After all this, Reeves did the unthinkable and passed on the Speed (1994/I) sequel, but he struck box-office gold again a few years later with the Wachowski brothers' cyberadventure The Matrix (1999). Reeves continues to reel in choice roles and fat paychecks. Whatever he knows, he's not telling the public--his mysterious private life provide little insight into his artistry. As far as Reeves is concerned, he's just a regular guy who rides a motorcycle and shows up every now and then for a movie shoot.
Career: Actor, Producer

Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry.Jackie was born "Kong-sang Chan" on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7, 1954, to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, and the family emigrated to Canberra, Australia, in early 1960. The young Jackie was less than successful scholastically, so his father sent him back to Hong Kong to attend the rigorous China Drama Academy, one of the Peking Opera schools. Chan excelled at acrobatics, singing and martial arts and eventually became a member of the "Seven Little Fortunes" performing troupe and began lifelong friendships with fellow martial artists / actors Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Biao Yuen. Chan journeyed back and forth to visit his parents and work in Canberra, but eventually he made his way back to Hong Kong as his permanent home.In the early 1970s Chan commenced his movie career and interestingly appeared in very minor roles in two films starring then rising martial arts superstar Bruce Lee: Jing wu men (1972), aka "Fist of Fury" aka "The Chinese Connection", and the Warner Bros. production Enter the Dragon (1973). Not long after Lee's untimely death Chan was often cast in films cashing in on the success of Bruce Lee by utilizing words like "fist", "fury" or "dragon" in their US release titles.Chan's own film career was off and running and he swiftly appeared in many low-budget martial arts films that were churned out at a rapid fire pace by Hong Kong studios eager to satisfy the early 1970s boom in martial-arts cinema. He starred in Shao Lin mu ren xiang (1976) (aka "Shaolin Wooden Men"), Jian hua yan yu Jiang Nan (1977) (aka "To Kill With Intrigue"), Dian zhi gong fu gan chian chan (1980) (aka "Half A Loaf of Kung Fu") and Fei du juan yun shan (1978) (aka "Magnificent Bodyguards"), which all fared reasonably well at the cinemas. However, he scored a major breakthrough with the hit Jui kuen (1978) (aka "Drunken Master"), which has become a cult favorite among martial arts film fans. Not too long after this, Chan made his directorial debut with Shi di chu ma (1980) (aka "The Young Master") and then "Enter the Dragon" producer Robert Clouse lured Jackie to the US for a film planned to break Jackie into the lucrative US market. The Big Brawl (1980) (aka "Battle Creek Brawl") featured Jackie competing in a "toughest street fighter" contest set in 1940s Texas; however, Jackie was unhappy with the end result, and it failed to fire with US audiences. In a further attempt to get his name known in the US, Jackie was cast alongside Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Dean Martin in the Hal Needham-directed car chase flick The Cannonball Run (1981). Regrettably, Jackie was cast as a Japanese race driver and his martial arts skills are only shown in one small sequence near the film's conclusion. Stateside success was still a few years away for Jackie Chan!Undeterred, he returned to the Orient to do what he did best--make jaw-dropping action films loaded with amazing stunt work. Chan and his legendary stunt team were unparalleled in their ability to execute the most incredible fight scenes and action sequences, and the next decade would see some of their best work.Chan paired with the dynamic Sammo Hung Kam-Bo to star in Qi mou miao ji: Wu fu xing (1983) (aka "Winners & Sinners"), 'A' gai wak (1983) (aka "Project "A"), Kuai can che (1984) (aka "Wheels On Meals"), Fuk sing go jiu (1985) (aka "Winners & Sinners 2"), Xia ri fu xing (1985) (aka "My Lucky Stars 2", aka "Winners & Sinners 3"(. Chan then journeyed back to the US for another shot at that market, starring alongside Danny Aiello in The Protector (1985),) filmed in Hong Kong and New York. However, as with previous attempts, Jackie felt the US director--in this case, James Glickenhaus--failed to understand his audience appeal and the film played to lukewarm reviews and box-office receipts. Jackie did, however, decide to "harden" up his on-screen image somewhat and his next film, Ging chat goo si (1985) (aka "Police Story") was a definite departure from previously light-hearted martial arts fare, and his fans loved the final product! This was quickly followed up with the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)-influenced Long xiong hu di (1986) (aka "The Armour of God"), during filming of which Jackie mistimed a leap from a wall to a tree on location in Yugoslavia and fell many quite a few feet onto his head, causing a skull fracture. It was another in a long line of injuries that Chan has suffered as a result of doing his own stunt work, and he was soon back in front of the cameras.'A' gai wak juk jap (1987) (aka "Project A: Part 2"), Ging chaat goo si juk jaap (1988) (aka "Police Story 2"), Ji ji (1989) (aka "Mr. Canton and Lady Rose)", Fei ying gai wak (1991) (aka "Armour of God 2") and Ging chat goo si 3: Chiu kup ging chat (1992) (aka "Police Story 3") were all sizable hits for Jackie, escalating his status to phenomenal heights in Asia, and to his loyal fan base around the globe. US success was now just around the corner for the the hard-working Jackie Chan, and it arrived in the form of the action film Hung fan kui (1995) (aka "Rumble In The Bronx", though it was actually filmed in Canada) that successfully blended humor and action to make a winning formula in US theaters. Jackie did not waste any time and went to work on Ging chaat goo si 4: Ji gaan daan yam mo (1996) (aka "Police Story 4"), Yat goh hiu yan (1997) (aka "Mr. Nice Guy"), Wo shi shei (1998) (aka "Who Am I"), which all met with positive results at the international box office. Jackie then went to work in the his biggest-budget US production, starring alongside fast-talking comedian Chris Tucker in the action / comedy Rush Hour (1998). The film was a bigger hit than "Rumble In the Bronx" and firmly established Jackie as a bona fide star in the US. Jackie then paired up with rising talent Owen Wilson to star in Shanghai Noon (2000) and its sequel, Shanghai Knights (2003), and re-teamed with Tucker in Rush Hour 2 (2001), as well as starring in The Tuxedo (2002), The Medallion (2003) and the delightful Around the World in 80 Days (2004).Not one to forget his loyal fan base, Jackie returned to more gritty and traditional fare with Xin jing cha gu shi (2004) (aka "New Police Story") and San wa (2005) (aka "The Myth"). The multi-talented Chan (he's also a major recording star in Asia) shows no sign of slowing down and has long since moved out of the shadow of Bruce Lee, to whom he was usually compared early in his career. Chan is truly one of the international film industry's true maverick actor / director / stuntman / producer combinations - he has done it the hard way, and always his way to achieve his dreams and goals to be an international cinematic star.Off screen he has been directly involved in many philanthropic ventures providing financial assistance to schools and universities around the world. He is a UNICEF GoodWill Ambassador, and he has campaigned against animal abuse and pollution and assisted with disaster relief efforts to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami victims.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Martin John C. Freeman (born 8 September 1971) is an English actor. He is known for his roles as John in Love Actually, Tim Canterbury in the BBC's Golden Globe-winning comedy The Office, Arthur Dent in the film adaptation of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dr. John Watson in Sherlock and Mr...
Career: Actor

Peter Facinelli (born November 26, 1973) is an American actor. He became known as the star of Fox's 2002 television series Fastlane. He plays Carlisle Cullen in the film adaptations of the Twilight series. He is also well known for his role as Mike Dexter in the film Can't Hardly Wait. He is currently a...
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Born two months premature at four pounds, Kate Noelle Holmes made her first appearance on December 18, 1978, in Toledo, Ohio. Her parents, Martin and Kathleen, say that her strong-willed personality is probably from being born premature. Being the youngest in the Holmes clan, completing the family of three other sisters and one brother, Katie was always the baby. As a teenager, she began attending modeling school. When she was sixteen, her teacher invited her to go to a modeling competition with other girls from her class. She competed in the International Modeling and Talent Association by singing, dancing, and reciting a monologue from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). By the end of that time in New York, Katie won many awards. But she said she didn't want to model because it wasn't challenging enough. So when she was seventeen, Katie went to Los Angeles to audition for movies. Luckily, on her second audition, she was cast in the movie, The Ice Storm (1997), directed by Ang Lee. Katie's character was Libbets Casey, a rich New Yorker, who is pursued by two of the main characters. It was a small part, but it marked the beginning of her professional acting career.After the excitement of her first movie, Katie began sending in audition tapes for pilot shows. During that time, she was also starring in her all-girls Catholic high school musical, Damn Yankees, as Lola. After Kevin Williamson received her audition tape for his new show, "Dawson's Creek" (1998), the producers wanted her to come to Hollywood right away and read live for them. But because they wanted her to come on the opening night for Damn Yankees, Katie had to tell them she couldn't make it. Fortunately, the show's producers wanted her so much for that role, they rescheduled her callback and the result was she got the part as Joey Potter.During her first year with "Dawson's Creek" (1998), Katie was able to do two movies, Disturbing Behavior (1998) and Go (1999), and, for the former, she won Best Breakthrough Female Performance in the 1999 MTV Movie Awards. The following year, she starred next to Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys (2000), playing Hannah Green, a published author and a boarder at her teacher's (Douglas) house, who has a crush on him, and tries to seduce him.Her first leading role came in 2002, with Abandon (2002). She played a college student named Katie Burke, who is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her boyfriend who vanished two years prior.With "Dawson's Creek" (1998) coming to a close after six years in May of 2003, it was a bittersweet thing for all the cast. Accustomed to being in North Carolina filming ten months out of a year, the cast members now had the opportunity to make more movies. Katie demonstrated this in October, when she had two new movies, Pieces of April (2003) and The Singing Detective (2003), coming out in that month alone. Pieces of April (2003) is a charming Thanksgiving movie about April (Holmes), the black sheep of her family, who wants to give her family the perfect dinner before her mother passes on. The Singing Detective (2003) is a dark musical where the main character (Robert Downey Jr.) is a writer in a hospital for skin conditions who writes a dark world of seduction and murder in his mind. Katie Holmes plays the kind Nurse Mills who tends to his every need. She also gets to lip-sing and dance in this movie. Her 2004 movie schedule included the upcoming romantic movie First Daughter (2004), in which she plays the President's (Michael Keaton) daughter, Samantha, who wants to go to college without any Secret Service tagging along. Currently filming for release in 2005 is Batman Begins (2005), a new Batman movie where Katie plays Rachel Dawes, a childhood sweetheart and love interest to Batman/Bruce Wayne.
Career: Actress, Producer

Marisa Tomei was born on December 4, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York to mother Patricia "Addie" Tomei, an English teacher, and father Gary Tomei, a lawyer. Marisa also has a brother, actor Adam Tomei. As a child, Marisa's mother frequently corrected her speech so as to eliminate her heavy Brooklyn accent. As a teen, Marisa attended Edward R. Murrow High School and graduated in the class of 1982. She was one year into her college education at Boston University when she dropped out for a co-starring role on the CBS daytime drama, "As the World Turns" (1956). Her role on that show paved the way for her entrance into film: in 1984, she made her film debut with a bit part in The Flamingo Kid (1984). Three years later, Marisa became known for her role as "Maggie Lawton", Lisa Bonet's college roommate, on the sitcom "A Different World" (1987). Her real breakthrough came in 1992, when she co-starred as Joe Pesci's hilariously foul-mouthed, scene-stealing girlfriend in My Cousin Vinny (1992), a performance that won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Later that year, she turned up briefly as a snippy "Mabel Normand" in director Richard Attenborough's biopic, Chaplin (1992), and was soon given her first starring role in Untamed Heart (1993). A subsequent starring role -- and attempted makeover into Audrey Hepburn -- in the romantic comedy, Only You (1994), with Robert Downey Jr. proved only moderately successful. Marisa's other 1994 role as Michael Keaton's hugely pregnant wife in The Paper (1994) was well-received, although the film as a whole was not. Fortunately for Tomei, she was able to rebound the following year with a solid performance as a troubled single mother in Nick Cassavetes Unhook the Stars (1996), which earned her a Screen Actors Guild nomination. Also in 1996, she made a famous guest appearance on the popular sitcom, "Seinfeld" (1990), as herself. She turned in a similarly strong work in Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) and, in 1998, did some of her best work in years as a sexually liberated, unhinged woman in Slums of Beverly Hills (1998). Marisa co-starred with Mel Gibson in the hugely successful romantic comedy, What Women Want (2000), and, during the 2002 movie award season, she proved her first Oscar win was no fluke when she was nominated a second time for the critically-acclaimed dark drama, In the Bedroom (2001).Fresh off her second Oscar nomination, Marisa began acting in more mainstream films, but only a couple of them stuck out. She appeared in the ensemble romantic comedy, Someone Like You... (2001), with Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, and Greg Kinnear, then in The Guru (2002) and the animated feature, The Wild Thornberrys Movie (2002). She returned to prominence in the hit comedy, Anger Management (2003), with Adam Sandler, alongside Jack Nicholson and performed "The Vagina Monologues" onstage in 2004. That same year, she appeared opposite Jude Law in a remake of Alfie (2004). Also in 2004, she also made a guest appearance on the animated TV phenomenon, "The Simpsons" (1989), as "Sara Sloane", a movie star who falls in love with "Ned Flanders". In 2006, she went on to do 4 episodes for "Rescue Me" (2004). She played "Angie", the ex-wife of "Tommy Calvin" (Denis Leary)'s brother, "Johnny" (Dean Winters). The following year, she starred as a sexy bar owner in the comedy, Wild Hogs (2007), alongside John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence and William H. Macy. The film was a huge box-office hit, and later that year, at age 42, Marisa took on a provocative role in legendary filmmaker Sidney Lumet's melodramatic picture, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007). Usually modest, Marisa did several nude scenes with her costars, Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman, including a racy sex scene with Hoffman. After working on War, Inc. (2008) with John Cusack, Marisa then took on another provocative role as an aging stripper in the highly-acclaimed film, The Wrestler (2008), opposite Mickey Rourke. Her great performance earned her many awards from numerous film societies for Best Supporting Actress, a third Academy Award nomination, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. Many critics heralded this performance as a standout in her career.
Career: Actress

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born in the Castle Hill section of the South Bronx on July 24, 1969. The middle of three musically inclined sisters, Leslie, a homemaker and Lynda, an entertainment consultant for New York's Channel 11, Jennifer always dreamed of being a multi-tasking superstar. Jennifer's parents Guadalupe Rodriguez and David Lopez were both born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the second largest Puerto Rican city. The two were then brought to the United States in their childhoods, and eventually met while living in New York City. While Jennifer is of Puerto Rican descent her paternal grandmother's parents were Europeans who settled on the island of Puerto Rico. As a child Jennifer enjoyed a variety of musical genres, mainly Afro-Caribbean rhythms like salsa, merengue and bachata, and mainstream music like Pop, Hip hop and R&B. Although she loved music, the film industry also intrigued her. Her biggest influence was the Rita Moreno musical West Side Story (1961). At age five, Jennifer began taking singing and dancing lessons. Aside from being a budding entertainer, Jennifer was also a Catholic schoolgirl, attending eight years at an all-girls catholic high school named Holy Family, located in the Bronx, before graduating from Preston High School after a four- year stay. At school, Jennifer was an amazing athlete and participated in track and field and tennis. At age eighteen Lopez moved out of her parent's home. During this time Lopez worked at a law firm while she took dancing jobs at night. Her big break came when she was offered a job as a fly girl on Fox's hit comedy "In Living Color" (1990). After a two-year stay at "In Living Color" (1990) where actress Rosie Perez served as choreographer, Lopez than went on to dance for famed singer-actress Janet Jackson. Her first major film was Gregory Nava's My Family (1995) and her career went into over-drive when she portrayed slain Tejana singer Selena Quintanilla Perez in Selena (1997).
Career: Actress, Producer

Will Smith was the second of four children of Caroline (school board employee) and Willard C Smith Sr. (owner of a refrigeration company). Smith is of both African American and Native American heritage. He grew up in middle class area in West Philadelphia called Wynnefield. Will attended the Overbrook High School located in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He got the nickname "Prince" because of the way he could charm his way out of trouble. Bright student Will also signed up with the high-status Julia Reynolds Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia.Pursuing music, he met Jeffrey A. Townes at a party and they soon began performing together as "DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince". When the duo took off in popularity, Smith made and spent a lot of money on a house, cars and jewelry; leading to his near bankruptcy in his early twenties.Luckily, in 1989, he met Benny Medina, who had an idea for a sitcom based on his life in Beverly Hills. Smith loved the idea as did NBC which put on the "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990). The plot was simple - Will basically played himself; a street-smart West Philly kid transplanted to Beverly Hills. The series lasted 6 years. During that time, he ventured into movies where the critics took note of him in Six Degrees of Separation (1993). With the success that came with the action picture Bad Boys (1995), Will's movie career was set. He had a huge Blockbuster hit with Independence Day (1996), where he plays the alien-battling Marine Corps Captain Steven Hiller.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Pierce Brosnan was born in Navan, County Meath, Ireland and lived in Navan, County Meath until he moved to England, UK at an early age (thus explaining his ability to play men from both backgrounds convincingly). His father left the household when Pierce was a child and although reunited later in life, the two have never had a close relationship. His most popular role is that of British secret agent James Bond. The death, in 1991, of Cassandra Harris, his wife of eleven years, left him with three children - Christopher and Charlotte from Cassandra's first marriage and Sean from their marriage. Since her death, he has had two children with his second wife, Keely Shaye Smith.
Career: Actor, Producer

Graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1954. Went to Santa Monica City College where he dropped out after a year due to bad grades. But before he did, he took an acting course because he was told that "nobody flunks acting." Also received some training at Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Decided to go into acting because he did not want to work or go into the service. Trained at The Pasadena Playhouse for two years.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

Born in California, Tom Hanks grew up in what he calls a "fractured" family. His parents were pioneers in the development of marriage dissolution law in that state, and Tom moved around a lot, living with a succession of step-families. No problems, no abuse, no alcoholism - just a confused childhood. He had no acting experience in college and, in fact, credits the fact that he couldn't get cast in a college play with actually starting his career. He went downtown, auditioned for a community theater play, was invited by the director of that play to go to Cleveland, and there his acting career started. He met his second wife, actress Rita Wilson on the set of his television show "Bosom Buddies" (1980) - she appeared in one episode in the second season (1981), "Bosom Buddies: All You Need Is Love (#2.7)" (1981). They have two children, and Tom has another son and daughter by his first wife, Samantha Lewes. In 1996, he made his first step behind the camera, directing and writing as well as starring in the film, That Thing You Do! (1996).
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Alexia Fast is an actress from Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is best known for her role in Triple Dog. The movie is mostly about a typical slumber party that turns into a night of terror when a group of teenage girls engage in a treacherous game of Triple Dog (A game that resembles Truth or Dare, minus the element of truth). With each dare the danger escalates, and the mystery behind a classmate's rumored suicide begins to unravel. Alexia has worked with Ashley Judd Judd,Patricia Wettig, and Molly Shannon.
Career: Actress

Angelina Jolie is an Oscar-winning actress who has become popular by taking on the title role in the "Lara Croft" series of blockbuster movies. Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international charity projects, especially those involving refugees. She often appears on many "most beautiful women" lists, and she has a personal life that is avidly covered by the tabloid press.In her earliest years, Angelina began absorbing the acting craft from her parents - her father is the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight and her mother is Marcheline Bertrand, who had studied with Lee Strasberg. At age 11, Angelina began studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. She undertook some film studies at New York University and later joined the renowned Met Theatre Group in Los Angeles. At age 16, she took up a career in modeling and appeared in some music videos. Her exotic good looks may derive from her mixed ancestry which is Slovak, French-Canadian, Iroquois and English.In the mid-1990s, Jolie appeared in various small films where she got good notices, including Hackers (1995) and Foxfire (1996). Her critical acclaim increased when she played strong roles in the made-for-TV movies True Women (1997) (TV), and in George Wallace (1997) (TV) which won her a Golden Globe award and an Emmy nomination. Jolie's acclaim increased even further when she played the lead role in the HBO production Gia (1998) (TV). This was the true life story of supermodel Gia Carangi, a sensitive wild child who was both brazen and needy and who had a difficult time handling professional success and the deaths of people who were close to her. Carangi became involved with drugs and because of her needle-using habits she became, at the tender age of 26, one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. Jolie's performance in Gia (1998) (TV) again garnered a Golden Globe award and another Emmy nomination, and she additionally earned a SAG Award.Angelina got a major break in 1999 when she won a leading role in the successful feature The Bone Collector (1999), starring alongside Denzel Washington. In that same year, Jolie gave a tour de force performance in Girl, Interrupted (1999) playing opposite Winona Ryder. The movie was a true story of women who spent time in a psychiatric hospital. Jolie's role was reminiscent of Jack Nicholson's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), the role which won Nicholson his first Oscar. Unlike "Cuckoo", "Girl" was a small film that received mixed reviews and barely made money at the box office. But when it came time to give out awards, Jolie won the triple crown -- "Girl" propelled her to win the Golden Globe, the SAG Award and the Academy Award for best leading actress in a supporting role.With her new-found prominence, Jolie began to get in-depth attention from the press. Numerous aspects of her controversial personal life became news. At her wedding to her Hackers (1995) co-star Jonny Lee Miller, she had displayed her husband's name on the back of her shirt painted in her own blood. Jolie and Miller divorced and in 2000 she married her Pushing Tin (1999) co-star Billy Bob Thornton. Jolie had become the fifth wife of a man twenty years her senior. During her marriage to Thornton, the spouses each wore a vial of the other's blood around their necks. That marriage came apart in 2002 and ended in divorce. In addition, Jolie was estranged from her famous father, Jon Voight.In 2000, Jolie was asked to star in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001). At first, she expressed disinterest, but then decided that the required training for the athletic role was intriguing. The Croft character was drawn from a popular video game. Lara Croft was a female cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond. When the film was released, critics were unimpressed with the final product, but critical acclaim wasn't the point of the movie. The public paid $275 million for theater tickets to see a buffed up Jolie portray the adventuresome Lara Croft. Jolie's father Jon Voight appeared in "Croft", and during filming there was a brief rapprochement between father and daughter.One of the Croft movie's filming locations was Cambodia. While there, Jolie witnessed the natural beauty, culture and poverty of that country. She considered this an eye opening experience, and so began the humanitarian chapter of her life. Jolie began visiting refugee camps around the world and came to be formally appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Some of her experiences were written and published in her popular book "Notes from My Travels" whose profits go to UNHCR.Jolie has stated that she now plans to spend most of her time in humanitarian efforts, to be financed by her actress salary. She devotes one third of her income to savings, one third to living expenses and one third to charity. In 2002, Angelina adopted a Cambodian refugee boy named Maddox and in 2005 adopted an Ethiopian refugee girl named Zahara. Jolie's dramatic feature film Beyond Borders (2003/I) parallels some of her real life humanitarian experiences although, despite the inclusion of a romance between two westerners, many of the movie's images were too depressingly realistic -- the film was not popular among critics or at the box office.In 2004, Jolie began filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) with co-star Brad Pitt. The film became a major box office success. There were rumors that Pitt and Jolie had an affair while filming "Smith". Jolie insisted that because her mother had been hurt by adultery, she herself could never participate in an affair with a married man, therefore there had been no affair with Pitt at that time. Nonetheless, Pitt separated from his wife Jennifer Aniston in January 2005 and, in the months that followed, he was frequently seen in public with Jolie, apparently as a couple. Pitt's divorce was finalized later in 2005.Jolie and Pitt announced in early 2006 that they would have a child together, and Jolie gave birth to daughter Shiloh that May. They also adopted a three-year-old Vietnamese boy named Pax. The couple continues to pursue movie and humanitarian projects.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer, Writer

Born in Ely, Minnesota, and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Jessica Biel has paid her dues in the Hollywood scene. A breakout star as Mary Camden on the WB's highest rated show, "7th Heaven" (1996), Jessica still manages to make a few appearances per season, even though she has left the show, in the midst of an exploding film career. Last fall she excited and terrified moviegoers with her portrayal of Erin, "Leatherface's" greatest nemesis to date, in New Line Cinema's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), a remake of the famous original. Having finished filming, Blade: Trinity (2004) in Vancouver with Wesley Snipes, Ryan Reynolds, and Kris Kristofferson, she has recently transported her toned and trained body of a vampire hunter/killer to Australia to fill the uniform and project the integrity of one of filmdom's first female jet-fighter pilots in Columbia/Sony Pictures new film, Stealth (2005), starring Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx, and Sam Shepherd, for director Rob Cohen.Jessica's film career began at age 14 when she played alongside Peter Fonda in his Golden Globe-winning performance in Ulee's Gold (1997). Her other film credits include I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998), Summer Catch (2001), Roger Avary's The Rules of Attraction (2002), and the recently completed Cellular (2004), which stars Chris Evans, Kim Basinger, and William H. Macy. Few people know that this powerhouse of acting talent and versatility has a secret talent that has been put on hold for the past eight years, but surfaced last fall when she was offered lead roles on Broadway in "Rent" and "Beauty and the Beast." Demands from her film career took precedence, but hopefully, one of these days soon, we will get to experience just another aspect of this fascinating young woman.
Career: Actress

Vin Diesel was raised by his astrologer/psychologist mother and adoptive father in an artist's housing project in New York's Greenwich Village, never knowing his biological father. His first break in acting happened by chance, when at the age of seven he and his friends broke into a theatre to vandalize it. A woman stopped them and offered them each a script and $20, on the condition that they would attend everyday after school. From there, Vin's fledgling career progressed from the New York repertory company run by his father, to the Off-Off-Broadway circuit. At 17 and already sporting a well-honed physique, he became a bouncer at some of New York's hippest clubs to earn himself some extra cash. It was at this time that he changed his name to Vin Diesel.Following high school, Vin enrolled as an English major at Hunter College, but dropped out after three years to go to Hollywood to further his acting career. Being an experienced theatre actor did not make any impression in Hollywood and after a year of struggling to make his mark, he returned to New York. His mother then gave him a book called "Feature Films at used Car Prices" by Rick Schmidt. The book showed him that he could take control of his career and make his own movies. He wrote a short film based on his own experiences as an actor, called Multi-Facial (1995), which was shot in less than three days at a cost of $3,000. Multi-Facial (1995) was eventually accepted for the 1995 Cannes Film Festival where it got a tumultuous reception.Afterwards, Vin returned to Los Angeles and raised almost $50,000 through telemarketing to fund the making of his first feature, Strays (1997). Six months after shooting, the film was accepted for the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and although it received a good reception, it didn't sell as well as hoped. Yet again Vin returned disappointed to New York only to receive a dream phone call. Steven Spielberg was impressed by Multi-Facial (1995) and wanted to meet Vin, leading him to be cast in Saving Private Ryan (1998). Multi-Facial (1995) earned Vin more work, when the director of The Iron Giant (1999) saw it and decided to cast Vin in the title role. From there, Vin's career has steadily grown, with him securing his first lead role as 'Richard B Riddick' in the sci-fi film Pitch Black (2000). That role has earned him a legion of devoted fans and the public recognition he deserves.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Dennis Quaid was born in Houston, Texas, the son of an electrician. He studied drama in high school and in college, but dropped out before completing his studies, moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career. His brother, Randy Quaid, had already began to build a successful career, but Dennis initially had trouble finding work. He began to gain notice when he appeared in Breaking Away (1979) and earned strong reviews for his role in The Right Stuff (1983). Aside from acting, Quaid is also a musician, and plays with his band, the Sharks.
Career: Actor

Powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints, California-born Sean Penn is the second son of actress Eileen Ryan & director Leo Penn, also brother of Chris Penn. He first appeared in roles as strong-headed or unruly youths such as the military cadet defending his academy against closure in Taps (1981), then as fast-talking surfer stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).Fans and critics were enthused about his obvious talent and he next contributed a stellar performance alongside Timothy Hutton in the Cold War spy thriller The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), followed by a teaming with icy Christopher Walken in the chilling At Close Range (1986). The youthful Sean then paired up with his then wife, pop diva Madonna in the woeful, and painful, Shanghai Surprise (1986), which was savaged by the critics, but Sean bounced back with a great job as a hot-headed young cop in Colors (1988), gave another searing performance as a US soldier in Vietnam committing atrocities in Casualties of War (1989) and appeared alongside Robert De Niro in the uneven comedy We're No Angels (1989). However, the 1990s was the decade in which Sean really got noticed by critics as a mature, versatile and accomplished actor, with a string of dynamic performances in first-class films.Almost unrecognisable with frizzy hair and thin rimmed glasses, Penn was simply brilliant as corrupt lawyer David Kleinfeld in the Brian De Palma gangster movie Carlito's Way (1993) and he was still in trouble with authority as a Death Row inmate pleading with a caring nun to save his life in Dead Man Walking (1995), for which he received his first Oscar nomination. Sean then played the brother of wealthy Michael Douglas, involving him in a mind-snapping scheme in The Game (1997) and also landed the lead role of Sgt. Eddie Walsh in the star-studded anti-war film The Thin Red Line (1998), before finishing the 1990s playing an offbeat jazz musician (and scoring another Oscar nomination) in Sweet and Lowdown (1999).The gifted and versatile Sean had also moved into directing, with the quirky but interesting The Indian Runner (1991), about two brothers with vastly opposing views on life, and in 1995 he directed Jack Nicholson in The Crossing Guard (1995). Both films received overall positive reviews from critics. Moving into the new century, Sean remained busy in front of the cameras with even more outstanding work: a mentally disabled father fighting for custody of his seven-year-old daughter (and receiving a third Oscar nomination) for I Am Sam (2001); an anguished father seeking revenge for his daughter's murder in the gut-wrenching Clint Eastwood-directed Mystic River (2003) (for which he won the Oscar as Best Actor); a mortally ill college professor in 21 Grams (2003) and a possessed businessman in The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004).Certainly Sean Penn is one of Hollywood's most controversial, progressive and gifted actors.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Born in New York City, she is of Irish, Italian and English stock. The outgoing daughter of an elementary school teacher (father) and a Greenwich Village artist (mother), she is the eldest of three children. Encouraged to take modern dance lessons at an early age, she was introduced to Shakespeare and theater as well. At age 11, she made her debut as a child actress with the experimental off-Broadway La MaMa Theatre. Her passion grew and by the next year was performing professionally and working in commercials. A bright, precocious student, she was seriously considered for the child vampire role of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994) but lost out in the end to Kirsten Dunst. She continued training at New York's Professional Children's School and, at 15, made her cinematic bow with I Love You, I Love You Not (1996) with Claire Danes. Next featured as the daughter of Harrison Ford in The Devil's Own (1997), her breakout role came on TV with the hard-hitting mini-movie Before Women Had Wings (1997) (TV), which was produced by Oprah Winfrey and dealt with child abuse. As Ellie Christianson in Wicked (1998), Julia demonstrated a more evil side to her budding versatility. Her wish to play Shakespeare was granted threefold with her participation in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), which was based on the Bard's "The Taming of The Shrew" and won her the Chicago Film Critics Award as the volatile teen Kat; an updated version of Hamlet (2000) which paired her Ophelia with Ethan Hawke; and another updated version of "Othello" entitled O (2001), which had her high school character of Desi (Desdemona) involved in a mixed romantic relationship with African-American Mekhi Phifer. The violent-edged film was made in 1998 but not released until three years later due to the tragic Colorado student shootings at Columbine High School. In addition, Julia later portrayed Viola off-Broadway in a Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of "Twelfth Night" in 2002. She temporarily interrupted her career after deciding to enroll at Columbia University in 2000, majoring in English. Moving into mainstream roles by the millennium, she co-starred with the popular Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity (2002) and its sequel, appeared opposite Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile (2003) and won offbeat notice in the title role of Carolina (2003/I) with Shirley MacLaine and Randy Quaid as the granddaughter of an eccentric who tries to find happiness and love in Hollywood. Most recently she returned from Iceland where she filmed A Little Trip to Heaven (2005).Stiles returned to the stage, making her Broadway debut, in the revival of David Mamet's "Oleanna," opposite Bill Pullman and directed by Doug Hughes. Most recently, Stiles has returned to her indie film roots, with films such as "Between Us" and the comedy farce, "It's a Disaster."
Career: Actress, Director, Writer

Courteney Cox was born on June 15th, 1964 into an affluent Southern family. Her father Richard L Cox (1930-2001) was a business man married to her mother Courteney. She was the baby of the family with two older sisters (Virginia and Dottie) and an older brother, Richard Jr. She was raised in an exclusive society town, Mountain Brook, Alabama. Courteney was the archetypal Daddy's girl, and therefore was understandably devastated when, in 1974, her parents divorced, and her father moved to Florida.She became a rebellious teen, and did not make things easy for her mother, and new stepfather, New York businessman Hunter Copeland. Now, she is great friends with both. She attended Mountain Brook High School, where she was a cheerleader, tennis player and swimmer. In her final year, she received her first taste of modeling. She appeared in an advert for the store, Parisians. Upon graduation, she left Alabama to study architecture and interior design at Mount Vernon College. After one year she dropped out to a pursue a modeling career in New York, after being signed by the prestigious Ford Modelling Agency. She appeared on the covers of teen magazines such as Tiger Beat and Little Miss, plus numerous romance novels. She then moved on to commercials for Maybeline, Noxema, New York Telephone Company and Tampax.While modeling, she attended acting classes, as her real dream and ambition was to be an actress. In 1984, she landed herself a small part in one episode of "As the World Turns" (1956) as a young débutante named Bunny. Her first big break, however, was being cast by Brian De Palma in the Bruce Springsteen video "Dancing in The Dark". In 1985, she moved to LA to star alongside Dean Paul Martin in "Misfits of Science" (1985). It was a flop, but a few years later, she was chosen out of thousands of hopefuls to play Michael J. Fox's girlfriend, psychology major Lauren Miller in "Family Ties" (1982).In 1989, "Family Ties" (1982) ended, and Cox went through a lean spell in her career, featuring in unmemorable movies such as Mr. Destiny (1990) with Michael Caine. Fortunes changed dramatically for Cox, when in 1994, she starred alongside Jim Carrey in the unexpected hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), and a year later she was cast as Monica Geller on the hugely successful sitcom "Friends" (1994). It was this part that turned her into an international superstar and led to an American Comedy Award nomination. In 1996 Cox starred in Wes Craven's horror/comedy Scream (1996/I) . This movie grossed over $100 million at the box office, and won Cox rave reviews for her standout performance as the wickedly bitchy and smug TV reporter Gale Weathers. She went on to play this character again in each of the three sequels. Not only did her involvement in this movie lead to critical acclaim, but it also led to her meeting actor husband David Arquette. He played her on-screen love interest Dewey, and life imitated art as the two fell in love for real. Their wedding took place in San Francisco, at the historic Grace Cathedral atop Nob Hill, on June 12th, 1999. Joined by 200 guests, including Cox's film star friends Liam Neeson and Kevin Spacey, the happy couple finally became Mr. and Mrs. Arquette.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

The youngest of four sisters who grew up on a ranch near Corpus Christi, Texas, Longoria attended Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. After graduating from college, she entered a talent contest that brought her to Los Angeles, where she was spotted and subsequently signed by a theatrical agent. After landing roles on "The Bold and the Beautiful" (1987), "General Hospital" (1963) and co-starring on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990), she auditioned for and won the role of "Isabella" on the popular series, "The Young and the Restless" (1973). After Y&R, Eva Longoria became well known worldwide thanks to "Desperate Housewives" (2004) where she plays adulteress "Gabrielle Solis". She also has a contract with L'Oreal and has been named one of the most beautiful people.
Career: Actress, Producer

Matthew Paige Damon, or better known to fans as Matt Damon was born in Boston Massachusetts, USA to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, Realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother named Kyle who is now a sculptor. Unfortunately for Matt and his brother, their parents divorced in the year 1973.The 5'10" star is of English, Finnish and Scottish ancestry. While his parents were still together, their family lived in Newton, before eventually settling for a divorce, where Damon and his brother moved with his mother to Cambridge. He grew up in a stable community back in Massachusetts. Matt also grew up near actor Ben Affleck, when he was younger.Matt attended Cambridge Ridge and Latin School which is located in Cambridge and he performed in a number of theater productions during his time there. Later on, he was accepted into Harvard University as an English major in the fall of 1988 and was supposed to graduate with the class of 1992. While in Harvard, he kept on skipping classes to pursue acting projects, which included the TNT original film, Rising Sun (1993), and prep-school drama, School Ties (1992). It was until his film, Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), was expected to be a big success that he decided to drop out of university completely.Arriving in Hollywood, Matt managed to get his first break with a part in the romantic comedy, Mystic Pizza (1988). However, the film did not do too well and his film career failed to take off. Not letting failure discourage him from acting, he went for another audition, and managed to get a starring role in School Ties (1992).Up next for Matt was a role as a soldier who had problems with drug-addiction in the movie, Courage Under Fire (1996). Matt had, in fact, lost forty pounds for his role which resulted in health problems. The following year, he garnered accolades for Good Will Hunting (1997), a screenplay he had originally written for an English class at Harvard University. Good Will Hunting (1997) was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, one of which, Matt won for Best Original Screenplay along with Ben Affleck.In the year 1998, Matt played the title role in Steven Spielberg's film, Saving Private Ryan (1998), which was one of the most acclaimed films in that year. Matt had the opportunity of working with Tom Hanks and Vin Diesel while filming that movie. That same year, he starred as an earnest law student and reformed poker player in Rounders (1998), starring opposite Edward Norton and John Malkovich.The next year, Matt rejoined his childhood friend, Ben Affleck and fellow comedian, Chris Rock, in the comedy Dogma (1999). Towards the end of 1999, Matt played "Tom Ripley", a working-class young man who tastes the good life and will do anything to live it. Both Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow also starred in the movie. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) earned mixed reviews from critics, but even so, Matt earned praise for his performance.Matt lent his voice to the animated movie, Titan A.E. (2000) in the year 2000, which also earned mixed reviews from the public. He also starred in two other movies, All the Pretty Horses (2000) and the golf comedy-drama, The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), starring alongside Will Smith.In the year 2003, he signed on to star in The Informant! (2009) by Steven Soderbergh and the Farrelly Brothers' Stuck on You (2003). He also starred in Gerry (2002), a film he co-wrote with his friends, Gus Van Sant and Casey Affleck.One of Matt's most recognizable work to date is his role in the "Bourne" movie franchise. He plays an amnesiac assassin, "Jason Bourne", in The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).Another praised role is that as "Linus Caldwell" in the "Ocean's" movie franchise. He had the opportunity to star opposite George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle in Ocean's Eleven (2001). The successful crime comedy-drama eventually had two other sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).Among other highly acclaimed movies that Matt managed to be a part of was in Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm (2005), George Clooney's Syriana (2005), Martin Scorsese's The Departed (2006) and Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006).In his personal life, Matt is now happily married to Argentine-born Luciana Barroso, whom he met in Miami, where she was working as a bartender. They married in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. The couple have four daughters Alexia, Luciana's daughter from a previous relationship, as well as Isabella, Gia and Stella.Matt is a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and he tries to attend their games whenever possible. He has also formed great friendships with his Ocean's co-stars, George Clooney and Brad Pitt, whom he works on charity projects with. He and actor Ben Affleck, together with Ben's wife, Jennifer Garner, are also good family friends and can be often seen going out together with Matt's wife, Luciana Barroso.
Career: Actor, Editor, Producer, Writer

One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, Pacino's parents (Salvatore and Rose) divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house. Pacino found himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters he had seen in the movies, one of his favorite activities. Bored and unmotivated in school, the young Al Pacino found a haven in school plays, and his interest soon blossomed into a full-time career. Starting on the stage, he went through a lengthy period of depression and poverty, sometimes having to borrow bus fare to make it to auditions. He made it into the prestigious Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many '70s-era actors. After appearing in a string of plays in supporting roles, he finally hit it big with "The Indian Wants the Bronx", winning an Obie award for the 1966-67 season. That was followed by a Tony Award for "Does the Tiger Wear a Necktie?". His first feature films made little departure from the gritty realistic stage performances that earned him respect: he played a junkie in The Panic in Needle Park (1971) after his film debut in Me, Natalie (1969). What came next would change his life forever. The role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) was one of the most sought-after of the time: Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Ryan O'Neal, Robert De Niro and a host of others either wanted it or were mentioned for it, but director Francis Ford Coppola had his heart set on the unknown Italian Pacino for the role, although pretty much everyone else--from the studio to the producers to some of the cast members--didn't want him. Though Coppola won out through slick persuasion, Pacino was in constant fear of being fired during the hellish shoot. Much to his (and Coppola's) relief, the film was a monster hit that did wonders for everyone's career, including Pacino's, and earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Instead of taking on easier projects for the big money he could now command, however, Pacino threw his support behind what he considered tough but important films, such as the true-life crime drama Serpico (1973) and the tragic real-life bank robbery film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). He opened eyes around the film world for his brave choice of roles, and he was nominated three consecutive years for the "Best Actor" Academy Award. He faltered slightly with Bobby Deerfield (1977), but regained his stride with ...And Justice for All. (1979), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. This would, unfortunately, signal the beginning of a decline in his career, which produced such critical and commercial flops as Cruising (1980) and Author! Author! (1982). He took on another vicious gangster role and cemented his legendary status in the ultra-violent cult hit Scarface (1983), but a monumental mistake was about to follow. Revolution (1985) endured an endless and seemingly cursed shoot in which equipment was destroyed, weather was terrible, and Pacino became terribly ill with pneumonia. Constant changes in the script also further derailed a project that seemed doomed from the start anyway. The Revolutionary War film is considered one of the worst films ever, not to mention one of the worst of his career, resulted in his first truly awful reviews and kept him off the screen for the next four years. Returning to the stage, Pacino has done much to give back and contribute to the theatre, which he considers his first love. He directed a film, The Local Stigmatic (1990), but it remains unreleased. He lifted his self-imposed exile with the striking Sea of Love (1989) as a hard-drinking cop. It marked the second phase of Pacino's career, being the first to feature his now famous dark, owl eyes and hoarse, gravelly voice. Returning to the Corleones, he made The Godfather: Part III (1990) and earned raves for his first comedic role in the colorful Dick Tracy (1990). This earned him another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and two years later he was nominated for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). He went into romantic mode for Frankie and Johnny (1991). In 1992 he finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his amazing performance in Scent of a Woman (1992). A mixture of technical perfection (he plays a blind man) and charisma, the role was tailor-made for him, and remains a classic. The next few years would see Pacino becoming more comfortable with acting and movies as a business, turning out great roles in great films with more frequency and less of the demanding personal involvement of his wilder days. Carlito's Way (1993) proved another gangster classic, as did the epic crime drama Heat (1995) directed by Michael Mann and co-starring Robert De Niro, although they only had a few scenes together. He returned to the director's chair for the highly acclaimed and quirky Shakespeare adaptation Looking for Richard (1996). City Hall (1996), Donnie Brasco (1997) and The Devil's Advocate (1997) all came out in this period. Reteaming with Mann and then Oliver Stone, he gave two commanding performances in The Insider (1999) and Any Given Sunday (1999). In his personal life, Pacino is one of Hollywood's most enduring and notorious bachelors, having never been married. He has a daughter, Julie Marie, with acting teacher Jan Tarrant, and a new set of twins with longtime girlfriend Beverly D'Angelo. His romantic history includes a long-time romance with "Godfather" co-star Diane Keaton. With his intense and gritty performances, Pacino was an original in the acting profession. His Method approach would become the process of many actors throughout time, and his unbeatable number of classic roles has already made him a legend among film buffs and all aspiring actors and directors. His commitment to acting as a profession and his constant screen dominance has established him as one of the movies' true legends.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Blond-haired, blue-eyed with an effervescent personality, Meg Ryan graduated from Bethel high school, Bethel in June 1979. Moving to New York, she attended New York University where she majored in journalism. To earn extra money while working on her degree, Meg went into acting using her new name Meg Ryan. In 1981, she had her big screen debut with a brief appearance as Candice Bergen's daughter in George Cukor's last film Rich and Famous (1981). She tried out and was cast as Betsy in the day time television soap "As the World Turns" (1956). She was part of the cast from 1982 to 1984. Meg also had a part in the television series "One of the Boys" (1982), but this show was soon canceled. In 1984, she moved to tinsel town and landed a job in the western Television Series "Wildside" (1985). Meg's small part in the blockbuster movie Top Gun (1986) led to her being cast in Steven Spielberg's Innerspace (1987) where she co-starred with Dennis Quaid. She again co-starred with Quaid in the remake of D.O.A. (1988) and they married on Valentine's Day in 1991. In 1989, Meg appeared in When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and the scene at the restaurant became famous. Meg was nominated for both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA. In 1990, she co-starred with Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and this time she played three roles as DeDe/Angelica/Patricia. She appeared again with Tom in the very successful Sleepless in Seattle (1993) for which she was again nominated for the Golden Globe. In 1994, Meg decided to act against type when she appeared as the alcoholic wife and mother in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994). After that, she went back to "cute" with both I.Q. (1994) and French Kiss (1995). In 1994, Meg won the Harvard Hasty Pudding Award as "Woman of the Year" and was voted as being one of "The 50 most beautiful people in the world 1994" by People Magazine.
Career: Actress, Producer

Keira Christina Knightley was born in the South London suburb of Richmond on March 26th 1985. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Brought up immersed in the acting profession from both sides - writing and performing - it is little wonder that the young Keira asked for her own agent at the age of three. She was granted one at the age of six and performed in her first TV role as "Little Girl" in "Screen One: Royal Celebration (#5.4)" (1993), aged seven. It was discovered at an early age that Keira had severe difficulties in reading and writing. She was not officially dyslexic as she never sat the formal tests required of the British Dyslexia Association. Instead, she worked incredibly hard, encouraged by her family, until the problem had been overcome by her early teens.Her first multi-scene performance came in A Village Affair (1995) (TV), an adaptation of the lesbian love story by Joanna Trollope. This was followed by small parts in the British crime series "The Bill" (1984), an exiled German princess in The Treasure Seekers (1996) (TV) and a much more substantial role as the young "Judith Dunbar" in Giles Foster's adaptation of Rosamunde Pilcher's novel Coming Home (1998) (TV), alongside Peter O'Toole, Penelope Keith and Joanna Lumley. The first time Keira's name was mentioned around the world was when it was revealed (in a plot twist kept secret by director George Lucas) that she played Natalie Portman's decoy "Padme" to Portman's "Amidala" in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).It was several years before agreement was reached over which scenes featured Keira as the queen and which featured Natalie! Keira had no formal training as an actress and did it out of pure enjoyment. She went to an ordinary council-run school in nearby Teddington and had no idea what she wanted to do when she left. By now, she was beginning to receive far more substantial roles and was starting to turn work down as one project and her schoolwork was enough to contend with. She reappeared on British television in 1999 as "Rose Fleming" in Alan Bleasdale's faithful reworking of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1999), and travelled to Romania to film her first title role in Walt Disney's Princess of Thieves (2001) (TV) in which she played Robin Hood's daughter, Gwyn. Keira's first serious boyfriend was her Princess of Thieves (2001) (TV) co-star Del Synnott, and they later co-starred in Peter Hewitt's 'work of fart' Thunderpants (2002). Nick Hamm's dark thriller The Hole (2001) kept her busy during 2000, and featured her first nude scene (15 at the time, the film was not released until she was 16 years old).In the summer of 2001, while Keira studied and sat her final school exams (she received six A's), she filmed a movie about an Asian girl's (Parminder Nagra) love for football and the prejudices she has to overcome regarding both her culture and her religion). Bend It Like Beckham (2002) was a smash hit in football-mad Britain but it had to wait until another of Keira's films propelled it to the top end of the US box office. Bend It Like Beckham (2002) cost just £3.5m to make, and nearly £1m of that came from the British Lottery. It took £11m in the UK and has since gone on to score more than US$76m worldwide. Meanwhile, Keira had started A-levels at Esher College, studying Classics, English Literature and Political History, but continued to take acting roles which she thought would widen her experience as an actress. The story of a drug-addicted waitress and her friendship with the young son of a drug-addict, Pure (2002), occupied Keira from January to March 2002. Also at this time, Keira's first attempt at Shakespeare was filmed. She played "Helena" in a modern interpretation of a scene from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" entitled The Seasons Alter (2002). This was commissioned by the environmental organisation "Futerra", of which Keira's mother is patron. Keira received no fee for this performance or for another short film, New Year's Eve (2002), by award-winning director Col Spector.But it was a chance encounter with producer Andy Harries at the London premiere of Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) which forced Keira to leave her studies and pursue acting full-time. The meeting lead to an audition for the role of "Larisa Feodorovna Guishar" - the classic heroine of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago (2002) (TV), played famously in the David Lean movie by Julie Christie. This was to be a big-budget TV movie with a screenplay written by Andrew Davies. Keira won the part and the mini-series was filmed throughout the Spring of 2002 in Slovakia, co-starring Sam Neill and Hans Matheson as "Yuri Zhivago". Keira rounded off 2002 with a few scenes in the first movie to be directed by Blackadder and Vicar of Dibley writer Richard Curtis. Called Love Actually (2003), Keira played "Juliet", a newlywed whose husband's Best Man is secretly besotted with her.A movie filmed after Love Actually (2003) but released before it was to make the world sit up and take notice of this beautiful fresh-faced young actress with a cute British accent. It was a movie which Keira very nearly missed out on, altogether. Auditions were held in London for a new blockbuster movie called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), but heavy traffic in the city forced Keira to be tagged on to the end of the day's auditions list. It helped - she got the part. Filming took place in Los Angeles and the Caribbean from October 2002 to March 2003 and was released to massive box office success and almost universal acclaim in the July of that year. Meanwhile, a small British film called Bend It Like Beckham (2002) had sneaked onto a North American release slate and was hardly setting the box office alight. But Keira's dominance in "Pirates" had set tongues wagging and questions being asked about the actress playing "Elizabeth Swann". Almost too late, "Bend It"'s distributors realised one of its two stars was the same girl whose name was on everyone's lips due to "Pirates", and took the unusual step of re-releasing "Bend It" to 1,000 screens across the US, catapulting it from no. 26 back up to no. 12. "Pirates", meanwhile, was fighting off all contenders at the top spot, and stayed in the Top 3 for an incredible 21 weeks. It was perhaps no surprise, then, that Keira was on producer Jerry Bruckheimer's wanted list for the part of "Guinevere" in a planned accurate telling of the legend of "King Arthur". Filming took place in Ireland and Wales from June to November 2003. In July, Keira had become the celebrity face of British jeweller and luxury goods retailer, Asprey.At a photoshoot for the company on Long Island New York in August, Keira met and fell in love with Northern Irish model Jamie Dornan. King Arthur (2004) was released in July 2004 to lukewarm reviews. It seems audiences wanted the legend after all, and not necessarily the truth. Keira became the breakout star and 'one to watch in 2004' throughout the world's media at the end of 2003.Keira's 2004 started off in Scotland and Canada filming John Maybury's time-travelling thriller The Jacket (2005) with Oscar-winner Adrien Brody. A planned movie of Deborah Moggach's novel, "Tulip Fever", about forbidden love in 17th Century Amsterdam, was cancelled in February after the British government suddenly closed tax loopholes which allowed filmmakers to claw back a large proportion of their expenditure. Due to star Keira and Jude Law in the main roles, the film remains mothballed. Instead, Keira spent her time wisely, visiting Ethiopia on behalf of the "Comic Relief" charity, and spending summer at various grandiose locations around the UK filming what promises to be a faithful adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride & Prejudice (2005), alongside Matthew Macfadyen as "Mr. Darcy", and with Donald Sutherland and Judi Dench in supporting roles. In October 2004, Keira received her first major accolade, the Hollywood Film Award for Best Breakthrough Actor - Female, and readers of Empire Magazine voted her the Sexiet Movie Star Ever. The remainder of 2004 saw Keira once again trying a completely new genre, this time the part-fact, part-fiction life story of model turned bounty hunter Domino (2005). 2005 started with the premiere of The Jacket (2005) at the Sundance Film Festival, with the US premiere in LA on February 28th. Much of the year was then spent in the Caribbean filming both sequels to Pirates Of The Caribbean. Keira's first major presenting role came in a late-night bed-in comedy clip show for Comic Relief with presenter Johnny Vaughan. In late July, promotions started for the September release of Pride & Prejudice (2005), with British fans annoyed to learn that the US version would end with a post-marriage kiss, but the European version would not. Nevertheless, when the movie opened in September on both sides of the Atlantic, Keira received her greatest praise thus far in her career, amid much talk of awards. It spent three weeks at No. 1 in the UK box office. Domino (2005) opened well in October, overshadowed by the death of Domino Harvey earlier in the year. Keira received Variety's Personality Of The Year Award in November, topped the following month by her first Golden Globe nomination, for Pride & Prejudice (2005). KeiraWeb.com exclusively announced that Keira would play Helene Joncour in an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco's novella Silk (2007).Pride & Prejudice (2005) garnered six BAFTA nominations at the start of 2006, but not Best Actress for Keira, a fact which paled soon after by the announcement she had received her first Academy Award nomination, the third youngest Best Actress Oscar hopeful. A controversial nude Vanity Fair cover of Keira and Scarlett Johansson kept the press busy up till the Oscars, with Reese Witherspoon taking home the gold man in the Best Actress category, although Keira's Vera Wang dress got more media attention. Keira spent early summer in Europe filming Silk (2007) opposite Michael Pitt, and the rest of the summer in the UK filming Atonement (2007), in which she plays Cecilia Tallis, and promoting the new Pirates movie (her Ellen Degeneres interview became one of the year's Top 10 'viral downloads'). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) broke many box office records when it opens worldwide in July, becoming the third biggest movie ever by early September.Keira sued British newspaper The Daily Mail in early 2007 after her image in a bikini accompanied an article about a woman who blamed slim celebrities for the death of her daughter from anorexia. The case was settled and Keira matched the settlement damages and donated the total amount to an eating disorder charity. Keira filmed a movie about the life of Dylan Thomas, The Edge Of Love (2008) with a screenplay written by her mother Sharman Macdonald. Her co-star Lindsay Lohan pulled out just a week before filming began, and was replaced by Sienna Miller. What was announced to be Keira's final Pirates movie in the franchise, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End (2007), opened strongly in June, rising to all-time fifth biggest movie by July. Atonement (2007) opened the Venice Film Festival in August, and opened worldwide in September, again to superb reviews for Keira. Meanwhile, Silk (2007) opened in September on very few screens and disappeared without a trace. Keira spent the rest of the year filming The Duchess (2008), the life story of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, based on Amanda Foreman's award-winning biography of the distant relation of Princess Diana. The year saw more accolades and poll-topping for Keira than ever before, including Women's Beauty Icon 2007 and gracing the covers of all the top-selling magazines. She won Best Actress for Atonement (2007) at the Variety Club Of Great Britain Showbiz Awards, and ended the year with her second Golden Globe nomination. Christmas Day saw - or rather heard - Keira on British TV screens in a new Robbie The Reindeer animated adventure, with DVD proceeds going to Comic Relief.At the start of 2008, Keira received her first BAFTA nomination - Best Actress for Atonement, and the movie wins Best Film: Drama at the Golden Globes. Seven Academy Award nominations for Atonement soon follow. Keira wins Best Actress for her role as Cecilia Tallis at the Empire Film Awards. In May, Keira's first Shakespearean role is announced, when she is confirmed to play Cordelia in a big-screen version of King Lear, alongside Naomi Watts and Gwyneth Paltrow, with Sir Anthony Hopkins as the titular monarch. After two years of rumours, it is confirmed that Keira is on the shortlist to play Eliza Doolittle in a new adaptation of My Fair Lady. The Edge Of Love opens the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18th, and opens on limited release in the UK and US. A huge round of promotions for The Duchess occurs throughout the summer, with cast and crew trying to play down the marketers' decision to draw parallels between the duchess and Princess Diana. Keira attends the UK and US premieres and Toronto Film Festival within the first week of September. The Duchess opens strongly on both sides of the Atlantic. Two more movies are confirmed for Keira during September - a tale of adultery called Last Night (2010/I), and a biopic of author F Scott Fitzgerald entitled The Beautiful and the Damned (????). Keira spends October on the streets of New York City filming Last Night alongside Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet. Keira helps to promote the sixtieth anniversary of the UN's Declaration of Human Rights, by contributing to a series of short films produced to mark the occasion.In January 2009 it was announced Keira had signed to play a reclusive actress in an adaptation of Ken Bruen's novel London Boulevard (2010), co-starring Colin Farrell. Keira continues her close ties with the Comic Relief charity by helping to launch their British icons T-shirts campaign. In the same week King Lear was revealed to have been shelved, it was announced that Keira would instead star alongside her Pride & Prejudice co-star Carey Mulligan in an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go (2010). A new short film emerges in March, recorded in the January of 2008 in which Keira plays a Fairy! The Continuing and Lamentable Saga of the Suicide Brothers (2009) was written by Keira's boyfriend Rupert Friend and actor Tom Mison. It goes on to be shown at the London Film Festival in October and wins Best Comedy Short at the New Hampshire Film Festival. Keira continued to put her celebrity to good use in 2009 with a TV commercial for WomensAid highlighting domestic abuse against women. Unfortunately UK censors refused to allow its broadcast and it can only be viewed on YouTube. May and June asw Keira filming Never Let Me Go and London Boulevard back-to-back.In October, a new direction for Keira's career emerged, when it was announced she would appear on the London stage in her West End debut role as Jennifer, in a reworking of Moliere's The Misanthrope, starring Damian Lewis and Tara Fitzgerald. More than $2m of ticket sales followed in the first four days, before even rehearsals had begun! The play will run from December to March at London's Comedy Theatre. Meanwhile, in late October it was finally confirmed that Keira had won the role of Eliza Doolittle in a brand new adaptation of My Fair Lady (????). With a script by Emma Thompson and produced by Duncan Kenworthy and Sir Cameron Mackintosh, its director was also finally confirmed as Joe Wright (after Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry were linked at various stages). Filming is not due to start until late 2010, with Daniel Craig a possible Professor Higgins.
Career: Actress

Jennifer Garner, who has catapulted into stardom with her lead role on the series "Alias" (2001), has come a long way from her birthplace of Houston, Texas. Raised in Charleston, West Virginia by her mother Pat, a retired English teacher, and her father, Bill, a former chemical engineer, Jennifer was the middle sibling of three girls. She spent nine years of her adolescence studying ballet and describes her years in dance as ones characterized by determination rather than talent, being driven mostly by a love of the stage.Jennifer took this determination with her when she enrolled at Denison University as a chemistry major, a decision that was later changed to a drama major when she found that her passions for the stage were stronger than her love of science. New York attracted the young actress after college where she worked as a hostess while pursuing a career in film and television. Her most recent move has been to Los Angeles, a decision that led to a role on the show "Felicity" (1998), where she met her future husband Scott Foley. The couple divorced in 2004.She appears on television as Agent Sydney Bristow, who works for the CIA. For her work, Garner has received four consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She has also received four Golden Globe nominations and won once, as well as received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and won once.She has appeared in numerous other television production as well as such films as Elektra (2005), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Daredevil (2003), Pearl Harbor (2001) and Dude, Where's My Car? (2000). Aside from filming "Alias" (2001), Jennifer enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, and inspired by her character on the show, kickboxing.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

Born in Pomona, California, on April 28, 1981, Jessica Alba and her family moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, when she was an infant. Three years later, her Air Force father brought the family back to California, then to Del Rio, Texas, before finally settling in Southern California when Jessica was nine. In love with the idea of becoming an actress from the age of five, she was 12 before she took her first acting class. Nine months later, she was signed by an agent. A gifted young actress, Jessica has already played a variety of roles ranging from light comedy to gritty drama since beginning her career. She made her feature film debut in 1993 in Hollywood Pictures' comedy Camp Nowhere (1994). Originally hired for two weeks, she got her break when an actress in a principal role suddenly dropped out. Jessica cheerfully admits it wasn't her prodigious talent or charm that inspired the director to tap her to take over the part - it was her hair, which matched the original performer's. The two-week job stretched to two months, and Jessica ended the film with an impressive first credit. Two national TV commercials for Nintendo and J.C. Penney quickly followed before Jessica was featured in several independent films. She branched out into TV in 1994 with a recurring role in Nickelodeon's popular comedy series "The Secret World of Alex Mack" (1994). She played an insufferable young snob, devoted to making life miserable for the the title character, played by Larisa Oleynik. That same year, she won the role of "Maya" in "Flipper" (1995) and filmed the pilot for the series. She spent 1995 shooting the first season's episodes in Australia. An avid swimmer and PADI-certified scuba diver, Jessica was delighted to be doing a show that allowed her to play with dolphins. The show's success guaranteed it a second season, which she also starred in. Her involvement in the show lasted from 1995 to 1997. Since the show ended, she has appeared in a number of TV shows and films. In 1996, she appeared in Venus Rising (1995) as "Young Eve". The next year, she appeared on the "The Dini Petty Show" (1989), a Canadian talk show, and spoke about her role in "Flipper" (1995) and her general acting career. She began working on P.U.N.K.S. (1999) (V), featuring Randy Quaid, in 1998. In early 1998, she appeared in "Brooklyn South" (1997) as "Melissa". That same year, she was in two episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990) as "Leanne" and in two episodes of "Love Boat: The Next Wave" (1998). She appeared in "Teen Magazine" in 1995 and various European magazines in the following several years. More importantly, she was featured in the February 1999 issue of "Vanity Fair" magazine. She also had major roles in two movies that year: Never Been Kissed (1999) and Idle Hands (1999). In 2000, she had roles in Paranoid (2000/I) and starred in the sci-fi TV series "Dark Angel" (2000).
Career: Actress

Immediately after Bradley Cooper graduated from the Honors English program at Georgetown University in 1997, he moved to New York City to enroll in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Actors Studio Drama School at New School University. There, he developed his stage work, culminating with his thesis performance as "John Merrick" in Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man", performed in New York's Circle in the Square. While still in school, Bradley began his professional career, appearing opposite Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City" (1998) and in the series, "The Beat" (2000). His weekends were spent with LEAP (Learning through the Expanded Arts Program), a non-profit organization that teaches acting and movement to inner city school children. The summers took him all across the globe, from kayaking in British Columbia with Orca Whales to ice-climbing in the Peruvian Andes, while hosting Lonely Planet's "Treks in a Wild World" (2000) for the Discovery Channel. Bradley had to skip his graduation ceremony from the Actor's Studio in order to star in his first feature film, Wet Hot American Summer (2001). After finishing his second feature, Bending All the Rules (2002), his plans to relocate to Los Angeles were delayed when Darren Star hired him to star in the series "The $treet" (2000). Bradley went on to win the role of young law student "Gordon Pinella" in the film Changing Lanes (2002), starring Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson, and also stars as "Travis Paterson" in My Little Eye (2002). He finally decided that it was time to forgo his other New York projects and move to Los Angeles when he was cast in "Alias" (2001).
Career: Actor, Producer

The son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (a brother of director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang, Cage changed his name early in his career to make his own reputation, succeeding brilliantly with a host of classic, quirky roles by the late 1980s.Initially studying theatre at Beverly Hills High (though he dropped out at 17), he secured a bit part in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) -- most of which was cut, dashing his hopes and leading to a job selling popcorn at the Fairfax Theater, thinking that would be the only route to a movie career. But a job reading lines with auditionees for uncle Francis' Rumble Fish (1983) landed him a role in that film, followed by the punk-rocker in Valley Girl (1983), which was released first and truly launched his career.His one-time passion for method acting reached a personal limit when he smashed a street-vendor's remote-control car to achieve the sense of rage needed for his gangster character in The Cotton Club (1984).In his early 20s, he dated Jenny Wright for two years and later linked to Uma Thurman. After a relationship of several years with Christina Fulton, a model, they split amicably and share custody of a son, Weston Cage (b.1992).
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

Anthony Hopkins was born on 31 December 1937, in Margam, Wales. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, he moved to London and joined the National Theatre, invited by Laurence Olivier, who could see the talent in Hopkins. In 1967, he made his first film for television, A Flea in Her Ear (1967) (TV).From this moment on, he enjoyed a successful career in cinema and television. In 1968, he worked on The Lion in Winter (1968) with Timothy Dalton. Many successes came later, and Hopkins' remarkable acting style reached the four corners of the world. In 1977, he appeared in two major films: A Bridge Too Far (1977) with James Caan, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Elliott Gould and Laurence Olivier, and Maximilian Schell. In 1980, he worked on The Elephant Man (1980). Two good television literature adaptations followed: Othello (1981) (TV) and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982) (TV). In 1987 he was awarded with the Commander of the order of the British Empire. This year was also important in his cinematic life, with 84 Charing Cross Road (1987), acclaimed by specialists. In 1993, he was knighted.In the 1990s, Hopkins made movies like Desperate Hours (1990) and Howards End (1992), The Remains of the Day (1993) (nominee for the Oscar), Legends of the Fall (1994), Nixon (1995) (nominee for the Oscar), Surviving Picasso (1996), Amistad (1997) (nominee for the Oscar), The Mask of Zorro (1998), Meet Joe Black (1998) and Instinct (1999). His most remarkable film, however, was The Silence of the Lambs (1991), for which he won the Oscar for Best Actor. He also got a BAFTA for this role.
Career: Actor, Composer, Director, Producer, Writer

Samuel L. Jackson usually played bad guys and drug addicts before becoming an action hero, as the character Mitch Henessey, in The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) and in Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995). From character player to leading man. His performance in Pulp Fiction (1994) gave him an Oscar nomination for his character Jules Winnfield. He was active in the black student movement. In the seventies he joined the Negro Ensemble Company (together with Morgan Freeman). In the eighties he became well known by three movies made by Spike Lee - Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo' Better Blues (1990) and Jungle Fever (1991). He received a Silver Berlin Bear for his part in the movie Jackie Brown (1997) as Ordell Robbi.
Career: Actor, Producer

Wanting to be a dancer, Elizabeth Hurley went to ballet boarding school at 12, but soon returned home. When it came time to go to college, Hurley won a scholarship to the London Studio Centre which taught courses for dance and theater. Soon, Hurley wore the punk rock look with pink hair and a nose ring, but to get work, she had to change her image to one that was castable. After college, Hurley worked in the theater and made her screen debut in Aria (1987). Roles in Television and a film, Remando al viento (1988), which included a young actor named Hugh Grant, soon followed. European films followed her appearance in the BBC serial Christabel (1988) (TV). Her film debut in a Hollywood movie was in the Wesley Snipes action drama Passenger 57 (1992). When Hugh Grant was picked up with Divine Brown, Hurley became headline news. Added to this was the fact that she was the model representing top cosmetics house Estée Lauder, and there was nowhere Hurley could go to get away from the press. In 1994, Hurley and Hugh Grant set up Simian Films in partnership with Castle Rock Entertainment. As Head of Development, Hurley found the script and produced her first film Extreme Measures (1996), which stars Hugh Grant.
Career: Actress, Producer

Daughter of Steven Tyler of the band Aerosmith and Bebe Buell, former model (and Playboy Playmate of the Month) and stalwart of the backstage rock scene of the 1970s, Liv grew up thinking that rock star Todd Rundgren was her father. But as she was growing up, Tyler began dropping by to visit, and Liv noticed that his daughter Mia Tyler looked enough like her to be her twin. She confronted her mother, and was told the truth; by the time she was 12, she had taken her father's name. At 14, she and her mother left Portland, Maine, for New York, where she got her start as a model. A year was enough of the modeling grind, and she decided to become an actress. She was offered the part of "Callie" in Heavy (1995) after a single reading and, only three weeks later, was cast in Silent Fall (1994); James Mangold, director of Heavy (1995), decided to delay shooting until Liv was available. With seven films in the 1993-96 period, her career took off.
Career: Actress

Sienna Miller is a British actress, born on 28 December 1981. The daughter of investment banker Ed Miller and South African model Josephine Miller, Sienna was born in New York and raised in London. Sienna trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York, before going on to TV credits, including "Bedtime" (2001) and "Keen Eddie" (2003). Her breakout film role was as Daniel Craig's love interest in Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake (2004). Sienna's film credits include Alfie (2004) (Susan Sarandon, Jude Law), Casanova (2005) (Heath Ledger), Factory Girl (2006) (Hayden Christensen, Guy Pearce) and Interview (2007/I) (Steve Buscemi). She received a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Edge of Love (2008), in which she performed opposite fellow Brit, actress Keira Knightley, with whom she formed a great friendship. In the same year, she was also nominated for the BAFTA Orange Rising Star award and, in 2006, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role as "Katya" in Interview (2007/I). Sienna has also carved out a notable theatre career, with credits including the role of "Celia" in the Young Vic production of "As You Like It" - her theatrical West End debut - opposite Helen McCrory and Dominic West, and the Broadway production of Patrick Marber's "After Miss Julie", in which she played opposite Jonny Lee Miller. Sienna's most recent stage performance was in Terence Rattigan's critically-acclaimed "Flare Path", directed by Sir Trevor Nunn, held at London's Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Career: Actress

Carmen Electra grew up near Cincinnati, Ohio, in the town of White Oak and got her first boost when a scout for Prince spotted her fronting for a rap group in Los Angeles. She released a self-titled album for Prince's Paisley Park label in 1992. She then toured Europe as Prince's opening act on his 1992 Diamonds and Pearls Tour.Carmen later returned to work for Prince at his Los Angeles nightclub, "Glam Slam". She performed there every weekend with the Erotic City dancers, led by choreographer and director, Jamie King.In March 1997, she appeared in cartoon form as the model for a character who's a singer and a vampire ("but a good vampire", says her publicist) in a comic book series called "Embrace".Carmen later went to co-star on "Baywatch" (1989) as lifeguard "Lani McKenzie" and as host of MTV's "Singled Out" (1995).
Career: Actress

Dwayne Douglas Johnson was born in Hayward, California on May 2nd 1972 to Rocky Johnson and Ata Johnson. While growing up, Dwayne traveled around a lot with his parents and watched his father perform in the ring. During his high school years, Dwayne began playing football and he soon received a full scholarship from the University of Miami where he had tremendous success as a football player. In 1995, Dwayne suffered a back injury which cost him a place in the NFL. He then signed a 3 year deal with the Canadian League but left after a year to pursue a career in wrestling. He made his wrestling debut in the USWA under the name Flex Kavanah where he won the tag team championship with Brett Sawyer. In 1996, Dwayne joined the WWE and became Rocky Maivia where he joined a group known as "The Nation of Domination" and turned heel. Rocky eventually took over leadership of the "Nation" and began taking the persona of The Rock. After the "Nation" split, The Rock joined another elite group of wrestlers known as the "Corporation" and began a memorable feud with Steve Austin. Soon the Rock was kicked out of the "Corporation". He turned face and became known as "The Peoples Champion". In 2000, the Rock took time off from WWE to film his appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001). He returned in 2001 during the WCW/ECW invasion where he joined a team of WWE wrestlers at The Scorpion King (2002), a prequel to The Mummy Returns (2001). He is divorced from his first wife Dany Garcia (Garcia). They have a daughter together named Simone Alexandra, born in 2001.
Career: Actor, Producer

Robert Pattinson was born on May 13, 1986, in London, England. He enjoys music and is an excellent musician, playing both the guitar and piano.When Robert was 15, he started acting in amateur plays with the Barnes Theatre Company. Afterward, he took screen role like Ring of the Nibelungs (2004) (TV) (Kingdom of Twilight) as Giselher.In 2003, Robert took on the role of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005). He got his role a week later after meeting Mike Newell in late 2003.He has since been cast as Edward Cullen in the highly-anticipated film, Twilight (2008/I). His music will also be heard in the film. Additionally, Robert has completed upcoming roles as Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes (2008) and Art in How to Be (2008).
Career: Actor, Producer

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on the 6th January, 1955, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, to Ella May and Eric Atkinson. His father owned a farm where he grew up with his two older brothers, Rupert and Rodney. He attended Newcastle University and Oxford University where he earned degrees in electrical engineering. During that time, he met screenwriter Richard Curtis, with whom he wrote and performed comedy revues.Later, he co-wrote and appeared in "Not the Nine O'Clock News" (1979), which was a huge success and spawned several best-selling books. It won an International Emmy Award and the British Academy Award for "Best Light Entertainment Programme of 1980." He won the "British Academy Award" and was named "BBC Personality of the Year" for his performing on "Not the Nine O'Clock News" (1979).Atkinson also appeared in several movies, including Dead on Time (1983), Pleasure at Her Majesty's (1976) (TV) (aka "Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe"), Never Say Never Again (1983), and The Tall Guy (1989). He played "Mr. Bean" in the TV series, "Mr. Bean" (1990) but, apart from that and "Not the Nine O'Clock News" (1979), he also appeared in several other series like "The Black Adder" (1982) and "Funny Business" (1992), etc.Atkinson enjoys nothing better than fast cars. He has been married to Sunetra Sastry since 1990, and they have two children, named Benjamin and Lily.
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, Gerard Butler was raised along with his older brother and sister in his hometown of Paisley, Scotland. He also spent some of his youth in Canada. His parents divorced when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised primarily by their mother, who later remarried. He had no contact with his father between the ages of two and 16 years old, after which time they became close. His father passed away when Gerard was in his early 20s. Butler went on to attend Glasgow University, where he studied to be a lawyer/solicitor. He was president of the school's law society thanks to his outgoing personality and great social skills.His acting career began when he was approached in a London coffee shop by actor Steven Berkoff, who later appeared alongside Butler in Attila (2001/I) (TV), who gave him a role in a stage production of Coriolanus. After that Butler decided to give up law for acting. He was cast as Ewan McGregor's character Renton in the stage adaptation of [i]Trainspotting[/i]. His film debut was as Billy Connolly's younger brother in _Mrs. Brown (1997)_. While filming the movie in Scotland, he was enjoying a picnic with his mother, near the River Tay, when they heard the shouts of a young boy who had been swimming with a friend who was in some trouble. Butler jumped in and saved the young boy from drowning. He received a Certificate of Bravery from the Royal Humane Society. He felt he only did what anyone in the situation would have done.His film career continued with small roles, first in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and then Russell Mulcahy's Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, Butler was cast in two breakthrough roles, the first being Attila the Hun in the USA Network mini-series Attila (2001/I) (TV). The film's producers wanted a known actor to play the part but kept coming back to Butler's screen tests and decided he was their man. He had to lose the thick Scottish accent, but managed well. Around the time Attila was being filmed, casting was in progress for Wes Craven's new take on the Dracula legacy. Also wanting a known name, Butler wasn't much of a consideration, but his unending tenacity drove him to hounding the producers. Eventually, he sent them a clip of his portrayal of Attila. Evidently they saw something because Dracula 2000 (2000) was cast in the form of Butler. Attila's producers, thinking that his big-screen role might help with their own film's ratings, finished shooting a little early so he could get to work on Dracula 2000 (2000). Following these two roles, Butler developed quite a fan base, an Internet site and began appearing on lists everywhere.Since then he has appeared in Reign of Fire (2002) as Creedy and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) as Terry Sheridan, alongside Angelina Jolie. The role that garnered him most attention from both moviegoers and movie makers alike was that of Andre Marek in the big-screen adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel Timeline (2003). Butler played an archaeologist who was sent back in time with a team of students to rescue a colleague. Last year he appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical The Phantom of the Opera (2004), playing the title character in the successful adaptation of the stage musical. It was a role that brought him much international attention. Other projects include Dear Frankie (2004), The Game of Their Lives (2005) and Beowulf & Grendel (2005).In 2007 he starred as Spartan King Leonidas in the Warner Bros. production 300 (2006), based on the Frank Miller graphic novel, and Butterfly on a Wheel (2007) co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Maria Bello, which aired on network TV under the title Shattered. He most recently starred in P.S. I Love You (2007) with Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank .In 2007, he appeared in Nim's Island (2008) and RocknRolla (2008), and recently completed the new Mark Neveldine / Brian Taylor film Gamer (2009). His latest film The Ugly Truth (2009) co-starring Katherine Heigl began filming in April 2008.
Career: Actor, Producer

Diane Keaton was a California native who studied Drama at Santa Ana College before dropping out to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. After appearing in summer stock for several months, she got her first major stage role in the Broadway rock musical "Hair". As understudy to the lead, she gained attention by not removing any of her clothing. In 1970, Woody Allen cast her in his Broadway play "Play It Again, Sam", which had a successful run. It was during this time that she became involved with Allen and appeared in a number of his films. The first one was Play It Again, Sam (1972), the screen adaptation of the stage play. That same year Francis Ford Coppola cast her as Kay in the Oscar-winning The Godfather (1972) and she was on her way to stardom. She reprised that role in the film's first sequel, The Godfather: Part II (1974). She then appeared with Allen again in Sleeper (1973) and Love and Death (1975). In 1977 she broke away from her comedy image to appear in the chilling Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), which won her a Golden Globe nomination. It was the same year that she appeared in what many regard as her best performance, in the title role of Annie Hall (1977), which Allen wrote specifically for her (her real last name is Hall, and her nickname is Annie), and what an impact she made. She won the Oscar and the British Award for Best Actress and Allen won the Directors Award from the DGA. She started a fashion trend with her unisex clothes and was the poster girl for a lot of young males. Her mannerisms and awkward speech became almost a national craze. The question being asked, though, was, "Is she just a lightweight playing herself, or is there more depth to her personality?". For whatever reason, she appeared in but one film a year for the next two years and those films were by Allen. When they broke up she was next involved with Warren Beatty and appeared in his film Reds (1981), as the bohemian female journalist Louise Bryant. For her performance she received nominations for the Academy Award and the Golden Globe. For the rest of the 1980s she appeared infrequently in films, but won nominations in three of them. Attempting to break the typecasting she had fallen into, she took on the role of a confused, somewhat naive woman who becomes the tool of Middle Eastern terrorists in The Little Drummer Girl (1984). To offset her lack of movie work, Diane began directing. She directed the documentary Heaven (1987), as well as some music videos. For television she directed an episode of the popular, but strange, "Twin Peaks" (1990). In the 1990s she began to get more mature rules, though she reprised the role of Kay Corleone in the third "Godfather" epic, The Godfather: Part III (1990). She appeared as the wife of Steve Martin in the hit Father of the Bride (1991) and again in Father of the Bride Part II (1995). In 1993 she once again teamed with Woody Allen in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993), which was well received. In 1995 she received high marks for Unstrung Heroes (1995), her first major feature as a director.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

Alicia Silverstone was born on October 4, 1976, in San Francisco, California, the youngest of three children to Monty Silverstone, a real-estate investor, and Didi Silverstone, a former flight attendant. Alicia's career began at the tender age of six when her dad took some photos of his young daughter, which eventually led to her getting several television commercials. After a guest spot on "The Wonder Years" (1988) as a literal "dream girl" she moved on to movies. She landed a role in The Crush (1993), a sort of Fatal Attraction (1987) for teenagers in which she portrayed a disturbed young girl obsessed with an older man. The nasty little role didn't impress the critical establishment but it wowed its target audience: teenagers. In fact, the role won her the 1994 MTV Movie Award for "Best Villain" and "Breakthrough Performance". It is interesting to note that during the filming of the movie, Alicia became an emancipated minor in order to get around child labor laws which would have interfered with her working hours. She was a dedicated actress from early on. The film also caught the attention of Aerosmith, who hired her to appear in a string of their music videos. The first of them, "Cryin'", was voted the #1 video of all time on MTV. Silverstone was definitely a hit with the MTV crowd, but larger commercial success still eluded her. That all changed when she landed the role of "Cher" in Amy Heckerling's Clueless (1995). Cher was the antithesis of Alicia's role in "The Crush; this time around she was a rich, naive yet endearing girl from Beverly Hills in search of love in the 1990s. The film was a huge box-office hit and wowed both audiences and critics alike and demonstrated Alicia's strength and bankability. She was hailed as the woman of the hour, and branded the spokeswoman for an emerging young generation. She signed a deal with Columbia Tristar worth $10 million and got the coveted role of Batgirl in the Batman franchise. Also, as part of the package, she got a three-year first-look deal for her own production company, First Kiss Productions. The first film released by First Kiss was Excess Baggage (1997).
Career: Actress, Producer

On May 25th, 1939, in the town of Burnley, Lancashire, in the north of England, Ian Murray McKellen was born. His parents, Denis and Margery, soon moved with Ian and his sister Jean to the mill town of Wigan. It was in this small town that young Ian rode out World War II. He soon developed a fascination with acting and the theater, which was encouraged by his parents. They would all bring him to plays, those by William Shakespeare, in particular. The amateur school productions fostered Ian's growing passion for theatre. When Ian was of age to begin attending school, he made sure to get roles in all of the productions. At Bolton School in particular, he developed his skills early on. Indeed, his first role in a Shakespearian play was at Bolton, as Malvolio in "Twelfth Night". Ian soon began attending Stratford-upon-Avon theater festivals, where he saw the greats perform: Laurence Olivier, Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Paul Robeson. He continued his education in English Drama, but soon it fell by the wayside as he concentrated more and more on performing. He eventually obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961, and began his career in earnest. McKellen began working in theatre over the next few years. Very few people knew of Ian's homosexuality; he saw no reason to go public, nor had he told his family. They did not seem interested in the subject and so he saw no reason to bring it up. In 1988, Ian publicly came out of the closet on the BBC Radio 4 program, while discussing Margaret Thatcher's "section 28" legislation which would make the "public promotion of homosexuality" a crime. It was reason enough for McKellen to take a stand, and he has been active in the Gay Rights movement ever since.Ian currently resides in Limehouse, where he lives with his current lover of 8 years, Sean Mathias. The two worked together on the film Bent (1997). To this day, McKellen works mostly in theater, and was knighted by 'Queen Elizabeth' in 1990 for his efforts in the arts. However, he has managed to make several quite successful forays into film. He has appeared in several productions of Shakespeare's works including his well received Richard III (1995), and in a variety of other movies. However, it has only been recently that his star has finally begun to shine in the eyes of North American audiences. Roles in various films, Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV), Apt Pupil (1998) and Gods and Monsters (1998), riveted audiences. The latter, in particular, created a sensation in Hollywood, and McKellen's role garnered him several of awards and nominations,including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod. McKellen continues to work extensively on stage... solidifying his role as Laurence Olivier's worthy successor,having recently scored hits in the London productions of "Peter Pan" and Noel Coward's "Present Laughter".
Career: Actor

The son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges, Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, and grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up unbilled alongside their mother in the film The Company She Keeps (1951), and appeared on occasion with their famous dad on his popular underwater TV series "Sea Hunt" (1958) while growing up. At age 14, Jeff toured with his father in a stage production of "Anniversary Waltz". The "troublesome teen" years proved just that for Jeff and his parents were compelled at one point to intervene when problems with drugs and marijuana got out of hand.He recovered and began shaping his nascent young adult career appearing on TV as a younger version of his father in the acclaimed TV-movie Silent Night, Lonely Night (1969) (TV), and in the strange Burgess Meredith film The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go (1970). Following fine notices for his portrayal of a white student caught up in the racially-themed Halls of Anger (1970), his career-maker arrived just a year later when he earned a coming-of-age role in the critically-acclaimed ensemble film The Last Picture Show (1971). The Peter Bogdanovich- helmed film made stars out off its young leads (Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd) and Oscar winners out of its older cast (Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman). The part of Duane Jackson, for which Jeff received his first Oscar-nomination (for "best supporting actor"), set the tone for the types of roles Jeff would acquaint himself with his fans -- rambling, reckless, rascally and usually unpredictable).Owning a casual carefree handsomeness and armed with a perpetual grin and sly charm, he started immediately on an intriguing 70s sojourn into offbeat filming. Chief among them were his boxer on his way up opposite a declining Stacy Keach in Fat City (1972); his Civil War-era conman in the western Bad Company (1972); his redneck stock car racer in The Last American Hero (1973); his young student anarchist opposite a stellar veteran cast in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (1973); his bank-robbing (also Oscar-nominated) sidekick to Clint Eastwood in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974); his aimless cattle rustler in Rancho Deluxe (1975); his low-level western writer who wants to be a real-life cowboy in Hearts of the West (1975); and his brother of an assassinated President who pursues leads to the crime in Winter Kills (1979). All are simply marvelous characters that should have propelled him to the very top rungs of stardom...but strangely didn't.Perhaps it was his trademark ease and naturalistic approach that made him somewhat under appreciated at that time when Hollywood was run by a Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino-like intensity. Neverthless, Jeff continued to be a scene-stealing favorite into the next decade, notably as the video game programmer in the 1982 sci-fi cult classic TRON (1982), and the struggling musician brother vying with brother Beau Bridges over the attentions of sexy singer Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989). Jeff became a third-time Oscar nominee with his highly intriguing (and strangely sexy) portrayal of a blank-faced alien in Starman (1984), and earned even higher regard as the ever-optimistic inventor Preston Tucker in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988).Since then Jeff has continued to pour on the Bridges magic on film. Few enjoy such an enduring popularity while maintaining equal respect with the critics. The Fisher King (1991), American Heart (1992), Fearless (1993), The Big Lebowski (1998) (now a cult phenom) and The Contender (2000) (which gave him a fourth Oscar nomination) are prime examples. More recently he seized the moment as a bald-pated villain as Robert Downey Jr.'s nemesis in Iron Man (2008) and then, at age 60, he capped his rewarding career by winning the elusive Oscar, plus the Golden Globe and Screen Actor Guild awards (among many others), for his down-and-out country singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart (2009).Jeff has been married since 1977 to non-professional Susan Geston (they met on the set of Rancho Deluxe (1975)). The couple have three daughters, Isabelle (born 1981), Jessica (born 1983), and Hayley (born 1985). He hobbies as a photographer on and off his film sets, and has been known to play around as a cartoonist and pop musician.
Career: Actor, Producer

Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born on March 23, 1976, in Winthrop, Iowa. She is the youngest of three children and the only daughter of Sharon and Robert John Monaghan. After graduating from high school in Iowa, she studied journalism for three years at Chicago's Columbia College. In order to pay for college, she took a job as a model. In 1999, she quit college and moved to New York to work full-time as a fashion model. She traveled the world doing stints on the runways in Milan, Singapore, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and also enjoyed appearances in a number magazines and catalogs.In 2000, she made her TV debut in two episodes of "Young Americans" (2000), then appeared in "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999). She made her big screen debut with a small role of Henrietta in Perfume (2001). Monaghan shot to fame in 2002 when she co-starred as Kimberly Woods for one season on the TV series "Boston Public" (2000). After appearances in several supporting roles, she starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in the black comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Later in 2005, Monaghan was filming in China, Italy, and the United States on Mission: Impossible III (2006), as the female lead opposite Tom Cruise.In August of 2005, in Sydney, Australia, Michelle Monaghan married her long-time sweetheart, Peter White, a New York based graphic designer, whom she met at a Manhattan party five years earlier.
Career: Actress, Producer

In 1964, Sandra Bullock was born in a Virginia suburb of Washington, DC, to a voice teacher and a German opera singer. She grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister. She often performed in the children's chorus of whatever production her mother was in. That singing talent later came in handy for her role as an aspiring country singer in The Thing Called Love (1993). Her family moved back to the Washington area when she was a teenager. She later enrolled in East Carolina University in North Carolina, where she studied acting. Shortly afterward she moved to New York to pursue a career on the stage. This led to acting in television programs and then feature films. She gave memorable performances in Demolition Man (1993) and Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993), but did not achieve the stardom that seemed inevitable for her until her work in the smash hit Speed (1994/I). She now ranks as one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood.
Career: Actress, Producer

Jennifer Lawrence was born in Louisville, Kentucky. She has 2 older brothers, Ben and Blaine, sister-in-law Meredith, and her parents are Gary and Karen Lawrence.Jennifer, known to her friends and family as "Jen", was discovered in New York City at the age of 14. Before Jennifer became an actor, she was involved in cheer-leading, field hockey, softball, and modeling, none of which she held a passion for.In the spring of 2004, she traveled to New York City and set up a few auditions with talent and modeling agencies. After conducting her first cold read, the agents told her mother that "it was the best cold read by a 14- year-old they had ever heard", and tried to convince her mother that she needed to spend the summer in Manhattan. After leaving the agency, Jen was spotted by an agent in the midst of shooting an H&M ad and asked to take her picture. The next day, that agent followed up with her and invited her to the studio for a cold read audition. Again, the agents were highly impressed and strongly urged her mother to allow her to spend the summer in New York City.As fate would have it, she did spend that summer in New York City and appeared in commercials such as MTV's "My Super Sweet 16" and played a role in the movie, Devil You Know (2012). Shortly thereafter, her career forced her and her family to move to Los Angeles where she was cast in the TBS sitcom "The Bill Engvall Show" (2007) and movies such as The Poker House (2008) and The Burning Plain (2008).Perhaps her most well-known work to date is her role as "Katniss Everdeen" in The Hunger Games (2012).
Career: Actress

Mark Robert Michael Wahlberg was born June 5th, 1971 in the poor working class district of Boston known as Dorchester, the youngest of nine children. His parents were Alma & Donald Wahlberg. The large Wahlberg brood didn't have a lot growing up, especially after his parents divorced when he was eleven. The kids crammed into a three bedroom apartment, none of them having very much privacy. After the divorce, Mark's mother has said that she became very self-absorbed with her own problems. She blames herself for her son's subsequent problems and delinquency. Wahlberg dropped out of high school at age 14 (but later got his GED) to pursue a life of petty crime and drugs. He'd spend his days scamming and stealing, working on the odd drug deal before treating himself to the substances himself. The young man also had a violent streak - one which was often aimed at minorities. At age 16, he was convicted of assault against two Vietnamese men after he had tried to rob them. As a result of his assault conviction, he was sentenced to serve 50 days in prison at Deer Island penitentiary. Whilst there, he began working out to pass time and, when he emerged at the end of his sentence, he had gone from being a scrawny young kid to a buff young man. Wahlberg also credits the jail time as being his motivation to improve his lifestyle and leave the crime behind him. Once he was released, Mark rejoined his family, who were now in the national spotlight. His older brother Donnie Wahlberg was a member of the 1980's singing sensation New Kids on the Block. Mark himself had been an original member of the band but had backed out early on - uncomfortable with the squeaky clean image of the group. A precursor to the boy-band craze, New Kids on the Block were dominating the charts and were on top of their game. Donnie decided to help his little brother out and tried to get him on the straight and narrow. He pulled some strings and got Mark set up with a recording contract. Despite a lack of singing ability, promoters took to his dance moves and a physique they knew teenage girls would love. Donnie scripted some easy songs for Mark, who collected a troupe of dancers and a DJ to become his "Funky Bunch" and "Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch" was born. His debut album, "Music for the People", was a smash hit, which was propelled along by the rapper's willingness to disrobe down to boxer-briefs on stage, not to mention several catchy tunes. Teenage girls thrilled to the rapping "bad boy". Record producer David Geffen saw in Wahlberg a cash-cow of marketing ability. After speaking to designer Calvin Klein, Marky Mark was set up as the designer's chief underwear model. His scantily clad figure soon adorned billboards across the nation. Ironically, while the New Kids on the Block's fame was dwindling as audiences tired of their syrupy lyrics, "Marky Mark's" bad boy image was becoming even more of a commodity. He was constantly in the headlines (often of the tabloids) after multiple scandals. In 1992, he released a book dedicated to his penis. Wahlberg was constantly getting into rumored fights, most memorably with Madonna and her entourage at a Los Angeles party. While things were always intense, they were relatively harmless and made for enjoyable reading for the public. However, when the story of his arrest for assault (and the allegations of racism) broke in the press, things took on a decidedly darker note. People were not amused. Soon after, while on a British talk show along with rapper Shabba Ranks, he got into even more trouble. After Ranks made the statement that gays should be crucified, Wahlberg was accused of condoning the comments by his silence. Marky Mark was suddenly surrounded by charges of brutality, homophobia and racial hatred. His second album, "You Gotta Believe", had not been faring well and, after the charges surfaced, it plummeted from the charts. Adding to the hoopla, Wahlberg was brought to court for allegedly assaulting a security guard. He was ordered to make amends by appearing in a series of anti-bias advertisements. Humbled and humiliated by his fall from grace in the music world, Wahlberg decided to pursue another angle, acting. He dropped the "Marky Mark" moniker and became known simply as Mark Wahlberg. His first big screen role came in Penny Marshall's Renaissance Man (1994). Despite the name change, many people snickered at the idea of the has-been rapper thinking he could make it as an actor. From the get-go, he was proving them wrong. In Renaissance Man (1994), he gave an utterly charming performance as a simple but sincere army recruit. What naysayers remained found it increasingly difficult to write Mark Wahlberg off as he delivered one fine performance after another. He blew them away in the controversial The Basketball Diaries (1995) and chilled them in Fear (1996) as every father's worst nightmare. Wahlberg hit a high point in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997), in which he metamorphosed from shy young "Eddie Adams" into egomaniac porn star "Dirk Diggler". Critics and audiences were impressed with the young actor's range and abilities, not to mention certain other attributes. It seems as though Mark Wahlberg has finally put bad boy "Marky Mark" behind him. While some controversy remains (Wahlberg denies ever having been a racist), he is now taken much more seriously than he ever was before. He is one of the few teen pop sensations to survive through it and come out on top.
Career: Actor, Producer

Tall, strikingly handsome leading man of films and television in the 1980s and 1990s, Denzel Washington was born in 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He was the middle child of the 3 children of a Pentecostal minister father and a beautician mother. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University intent on a career in journalism. However, he caught the acting bug while appearing in student drama productions and, upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled at the American Conservatory Theater. He left A.C.T. after only 1 year to seek work as an actor. With his acting versatility and powerful sexual presence, he had no difficulty finding work in numerous television productions. He made his first big screen appearance in Carbon Copy (1981) with George Segal. Through the 1980s, he worked in both movies and television and was chosen for the plum role of "Dr. Chandler" in NBC's hit medical series "St. Elsewhere" (1982), a role that he would play for 6 years. In 1989, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of "Tripp", the runaway slave in Edward Zwick's powerful historical masterpiece Glory (1989).Through the 1990s, Denzel co-starred in such big budget productions as The Pelican Brief (1993); Philadelphia (1993); Crimson Tide (1995); The Preacher's Wife (1996) and Courage Under Fire (1996) - a role for which he was paid $10 million. He lives quietly in Los Angeles with his wife, Pauletta Washington, and their 4 children. Cerebral and meticulous in his film work, he made his debut as a director in 2002 with Antwone Fisher (2002).
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

Richard Armitage was born and raised in Leicester, England. He attended Pattison College in Binley Road, Coventry, and studied at LAMDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). His first appearance on the screen was in a small role in This Year's Love (1999), but it was Sparkhouse (2002) (TV) that gave him a break-through role as the charming but a bit odd character of John Standring opposite Sarah Smart. After two guest-roles in "Cold Feet" (1997) in 2003 and "Between the Sheets" (2003), he landed a role as Steven in Frozen (2005/I), which eventually led him to play the lead role in the big hit BBC drama "North & South" (2004). Other than appearing on screen, he has also appeared on stage--in, for example, Macbeth and Hamlet.
Career: Actor

Amanda Peet grew up in New York with her older sister and their parents; Charles, a lawyer; and Penny, a social worker. She made an unconventional stage debut at the age of three, when she jumped onto the stage during a play. Yet, despite this early start, she later studied acting more as a hobby than anything else. She studied history at Columbia University, where a drama professor convinced her to audition for acting teacher Uta Hagen, with whom she later went on to study for a four-year period. During this time, she participated in the off-Broadway revival of Clifford Odets's "Awake and Sing." She supported herself during the audition phase of her career by working as a waitress and with the residual checks she received from a Skittles candy commercial. Perseverance and hard work paid off, and, in 1995, she was cast in a guest-starring role on the hit series "Law & Order" (1990).Her feature film debut came in 1995 with the movie Animal Room (1995). For a while afterward, Amanda continued to find steady work but also found herself appearing in a depressingly large number of indie films that were never picked up for distribution. She did, however, meet her boyfriend Brian Van Holt on the set of indie movie Whipped (2000). Her turn as the ditzy hit-woman with the heart of gold in the hit comedy The Whole Nine Yards (2000), opposite Bruce Willis, took her from supporting role status to leading lady. That same year she was voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by "People" Magazine.
Career: Actress

Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City to an Ashkenazi Jewish mother, Melanie Sloan and a Danish father, Karsten Johansson. Scarlett showed a passion for acting at a young age and starred in many plays. She has a sister named Vanessa Johansson, a brother named Adrian, and a twin brother named Hunter Johansson born three minutes after her.She began her acting career in 1994 starring as "Laura Nelson" in North (1994). In 1998, the acclaimed film The Horse Whisperer (1998) brought Johansson critical praise and worldwide recognition. Following the film's success, she starred in many other films including the critically acclaimed cult film Ghost World (2001) and then the hit Lost in Translation (2003) with Bill Murray in which she again stunned critics. Later on, she appeared in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003).In 2003, she was nominated for two Golden Globes, one for drama (Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)) and one for comedy (Lost in Translation (2003)). She dropped out of Mission: Impossible III (2006) due to scheduling conflicts. Her next film role was in The Island (2005) alongside Ewan McGregor which earned weak reviews from U.S. critics.After this, she appeared in Woody Allen's Match Point (2005) and was nominated again for a Golden Globe.
Career: Actress

Alyssa Milano is the daughter of Italian-American parents Lin Milano, a fashion designer, and Thomas Milano, a film music editor. Alyssa was born in a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn and grew up in a modest house on Staten Island. One day, her babysitter, who was an aspiring dancer, dragged Alyssa along to a an open audtion for the first national tour of "Annie". But it was Alyssa, not the sitter, who beat out 1,500 other wanna be stage actresses to snag a role. So at the tender age of seven, with her mother in tow, Alyssa joined the tour as July, one of the orphans. After 18 months on the road, Alyssa, who had begun to garner a reputation as an energetic and charismatic young actress, left Annie to be featured in off-Broadway productions and television commercials. Then, in 1983 at age 10, she landed her breakthrough role on the new sitcom "Who's the Boss?" (1984) as Tony Danza's saccharine sweet daughter, "Samantha Micelli", a kid whose native Brooklyn accent rivaled her TV dad's. In order for Alyssa to accept the gig, the Milano family had to uproot and move 3,000 miles to Hollywood.
Career: Actress, Producer

Jason Statham has done quite a lot in a short time. He has been an Olympic Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model, black market salesman and finally of course, actor. He got the audition for his debut role as Bacon in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) through French Connection, for whom he was modeling. They became a major investor in the film and introduced Jason to Guy Ritchie, who invited him to audition for a part in the film by challenging him to impersonate an illegal street vendor and convince him to purchase fake jewelery. Jason must have been doing something right because after the success of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) he teamed up again with Guy Ritchie for Snatch. (2000), with co-stars including Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio Del Toro. After Snatch. (2000) came Turn It Up (2000) with US music star Ja Rule, followed by a supporting actor role in the Sci-Fi film Ghosts of Mars (2001), Jet Li's The One (2001) and another screen partnership with Vinnie Jones in Mean Machine (2001) under Guy Ritchie's and Matthew Vaughn's SKA Films. Finally in 2002 he was cast as the lead role of Frank Martin in The Transporter (2002). Jason is also in the summer 2003 blockbuster remake of The Italian Job (1969), The Italian Job (2003), playing Handsome Rob.
Career: Actor

One of six children born to Helen Travolta and Salvatore Travolta, John Travolta grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. His father owned a tire repair shop in Englewood. Travolta appeared in a local production of "Who'll Save the Plowboy?". His mother enrolled him in a drama school in New York, where he studied voice, dancing and acting. He decided to combine all three of these skills and become a musical comedy performer. At 16 he landed his first professional job in a summer stock production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie". He quit school at 16 and moved to New York, and worked regularly in summer stock and on television commercials. When work became scarce in New York, he went to Hollywood and appeared in minor roles in several series. A role in the national touring company of the hit 1950s musical "Grease" brought him back to New York. An opening in the New York production of "Grease" gave him his first Broadway role at age 18. After "Grease", he became a member of the company of the Broadway show "Over Here", which starred The Andrews Sisters. After ten months in "Over Here", he decided to try Hollywood once again. Once back in Hollywood, he had little trouble getting roles in numerous television shows. He was seen on "The Rookies" (1972), "Emergency!" (1972) and "Medical Center" (1969) and also made a movie, The Devil's Rain (1975), which was shot in New Mexico. The day he returned to Hollywood from New Mexico, he was called to an audition for a new situation comedy series ABC was planning to produce called "Welcome Back, Kotter" (1975). He got the part of Vinnie Barbarino and the series went on the air during the 1975 fall season. The rest, as they say, is history.
Career: Actor, Producer

Alyson, born in Washington DC, began her acting career in Atlanta at the young age of 4 in commercials sponsoring such companies as McDonald's, Six Flags, and Oreos. She is a seasoned television actress veteran, guest starring in "Picket Fences" (1992), "Roseanne" (1988), "Touched by an Angel" (1994) and the "The Torkelsons" (1991) before starring in her most notorious role yet in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997) as "Willow Rosenberg".Now, she stars in the brand new comedy, "How I Met Your Mother" (2005), a hit-show from CBS.
Career: Actress

Jason Bateman is an American film and television actor best known for his role as Michael Bluth on the television sitcom "Arrested Development" (2003), as well as his role on "Valerie" (1986).He was born in Rye, New York, USA. His father, Kent Bateman, is a film and television director and founder of a Hollywood repertory stage company. His mother, Victoria Bateman, was a flight attendant. In 1981, at the age of 12, young Bateman made his debut on television as James Cooper Ingalls in "Little House on the Prairie" (1974): Uncle Jed, appearing in 18 more episodes in one season. In the mid-1980s, he became the DGA's youngest-ever director when he directed three episodes of "Valerie" (1986) at age 18. During the 2000s, Bateman's film career has been on soaring trajectory. In 2005, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy, for "Arrested Development" (2003), and received other awards and nominations.Bateman has been enjoying a happy family life with his wife, actress Amanda Anka (daughter of singer Paul Anka). Their first child, Francesca Nora Bateman, was born in Los Angeles on October 28, 2006. The Batemans reside in Los Angeles, California.
Career: Actor, Director

Ben Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York, New York to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. It's not surprising that Ben Stiller has followed in his family's footsteps. Ben's parents made no real effort to keep their son away from the Hollywood lifestyle and he grew up among the stars, wondering just why his parents were so popular. At a young age, he and his sister Amy Stiller would perform plays at home, wearing Amy's tights to perform Shakespeare. Ben also picked up an interest in being on the other side of the camera and, at age 10, began shooting films on his Super 8 camera. The plots were always simple: someone would pick on the shy, awkward Stiller...and then he would always get his revenge. This desire for revenge on the popular, good-looking people may have motivated his teen-angst opus Reality Bites (1994) later in his career. He both directed and performed in the film, which costarred Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke.Before he even got his start in Hollywood, Ben put in several consistently solid years in the theater. After dropping out of UCLA, he performed in the Tony Award winner, "The House of Blue Leaves". While working on the play, Stiller shot a short spoof of The Color of Money (1986) starring him (in the Tom Cruise role) and his "American Playhouse: The House of Blue Leaves (#6.16)" (1987) costar John Mahoney (in the Paul Newman role). The short film was so funny that Lorne Michaels purchased it and aired it on "Saturday Night Live" (1975). This led to Ben spending a year on the show in 1989.Ben made his big screen debut in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987) in 1987. Demonstrating early on the multifaceted tone his career would take, he soon stepped behind the camera to direct Back to Brooklyn for MTV. The network was impressed and gave Stiller his own show, "The Ben Stiller Show" (1992). He recruited fellow offbeat comedians Janeane Garofalo and Andy Dick and created a bitingly satirical show. MTV ended up passing on it, but it was picked up by Fox. Unfortunately, the show was a ratings miss. Stiller was soon out of work, although he did have the satisfaction of picking up an Emmy for the show after its cancellation.For a while, Ben had to settle for guest appearance work. While he was doing this, he saved up his cash and in the end was able to scrape enough together to make Reality Bites (1994), now a cult classic which is looked upon favorably by the generation it depicted. Ben continued to work steadily for a time, particularly in independent productions where he was more at ease. However, he never quite managed to catch a big break. His first big budget directing job was Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy (1996). Although many critics were impressed, Jim Carrey's fans were not.In 1998, There's Something About Mary (1998) had propelled Ben into the mainstream spotlight. With his wince-inducing turn in the Farrelly brothers' gross-out film, Ben really "struck a nerve" with mainstream America. In recent years, Ben has starred in such hit movies as Keeping the Faith (2000) and Meet the Parents (2000). Ben excels at cerebral comedy, but he knows how to get down and lowbrow when he needs to, making him one of America's currently most popular performers.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis was born in London, England, the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (aka Nicholas Blake) (Poet Laureate of England) and his second wife, Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema, head of the famous Ealing Studios. His older sister, Tamasin Day-Lewis, is a documentary filmmaker. Daniel was educated at Sevenoaks School in Kent, which he despised, and the more progressive Bedales in Petersfield, which he adored. He studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic School. Daniel made his film debut in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), but then acted on stage with the Bristol Old Vic and Royal Shakespeare Companies and did not appear on screen again until 1982, when he landed his first adult role, a bit part in Gandhi (1982). He also appeared on British TV that year in "Frost in May" (1982) and How Many Miles to Babylon? (1982) (TV). Notable theatrical performances include Another Country (1982-83), Dracula (1984), and The Futurists (1986).His first major supporting role in a feature film was in The Bounty (1984), quickly followed by My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and A Room with a View (1985). The latter two films opened in New York on the same day, offering audiences and critics evidence of his remarkable range and establishing him as a major talent. The New York Film Critics named him Best Supporting Actor for those performances. In 1986, he appeared on stage in Richard Eyre's The Futurists and on television in Eyre's production of "Screen Two: The Insurance Man (#2.7)" (1986). He also had a small role in a British/French film, Nanou (1986). In 1987 he assumed leading-man status in Philip Kaufman's The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), followed by a comedic role in the unsuccessful Stars and Bars (1988). His brilliant performance as "Christy Brown" in Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown (1989) won him numerous awards, including The Academy Award for best actor.He returned to the stage to work again with Eyre, as Hamlet at the National Theater, but was forced to leave the production close to the end of its run because of exhaustion, and has not appeared on stage since. He took a hiatus from film as well until 1992, when he starred in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), a film that met with mixed reviews but was a great success at the box office. He worked with American director Martin Scorsese in The Age of Innocence (1993) in 1994. Subsequently, he teamed again with Jim Sheridan to star in In the Name of the Father (1993), a critically acclaimed performance that earned him another Academy Award nomination. His next project was in the role of John Proctor in father-in-law Arthur Miller's play The Crucible (1996), directed by Nicholas Hytner.
Career: Actor

Ask Kate Winslet what she liked about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume; that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica.Born into a family of thespians -- parents Roger Winslet and Sally Bridges-Winslet were both stage actors, maternal grandparents Oliver and Linda Bridges ran the Reading Repertory Theatre, and uncle Robert Bridges was a fixture in London's West End theatre district -- Kate came into her talent at an early age. She scored her first professional gig at 11, dancing opposite the Honey Monster in a commercial for a kids' cereal. She started acting lessons around the same time, which led to formal training at a performing arts high school. Over the next few years she appeared on stage regularly and landed a few bit parts in sitcoms. Her first big break came at age 17, when she was cast as an obsessive adolescent in Heavenly Creatures (1994). The film, based on the true story of two fantasy-gripped girls who commit a brutal murder, received modest distribution but was roundly praised by critics.Still a relative unknown, Winslet attended a cattle call audition the next year for Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility (1995). She made an immediate impression on the film's star, Emma Thompson, and beat out more than a hundred other hopefuls for the part of plucky Marianne Dashwood. Her efforts were rewarded with both a British Academy Award and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Winslet followed up with two more period pieces, playing the rebellious heroine in Jude (1996) and Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996).The role that transformed Winslet from art house attraction to international star was Rose DeWitt Bukater, the passionate, rosy-cheeked aristocrat in James Cameron's Titanic (1997). Young girls the world over both idolized and identified with Winslet, swooning over all that face time opposite heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio and noting her refreshingly healthy, un-emaciated physique. Winslet's performance also garnered a Best Actress nomination, making her the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy nods.After the swell of unexpected attention surrounding Titanic (1997), Winslet was eager to retreat into independent projects. Rumor has it that she turned down the lead roles in both Shakespeare in Love (1998) and Anna and the King (1999) in order to play adventurous soul searchers in Hideous Kinky (1998) and Holy Smoke (1999). The former cast her as a young single mother traveling through 1960s Morocco with her daughters in tow; the latter, as a zealous follower of a guru tricked into a "deprogramming" session in the Australian outback. The next year found her back in period dress as the Marquis de Sade's chambermaid and accomplice in Quills (2000). Kate holds the distinction of being the youngest actor ever honored with four Academy Award nominations (she received her fourth at age 29.)Off camera, Winslet is known for her mischievous pranks and familial devotion. She has two sisters, Anna Winslet and Beth Winslet (both actresses), and a brother, Joss.In 1998, she married assistant director Jim Threapleton. They had a daughter, Mia Honey Threapleton, in October 2000. They divorced in 2001. She later married director Sam Mendes in 2003 and gave birth to their son, Joe Alfie Winslet-Mendes, later that year. After seven years of marriage, Kate announced that she and Sam amicably separated in February 2010.
Career: Actress

Kirsten Caroline Dunst was born on April 30, 1982 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA to Klaus Dunst, a German medical-services exec. who's now stationed in New Jersey while the rest of his family lives on the West Coast. Klaus separated from Kirsten's mother, Inez Dunst, a former art-gallery owner. She also has a younger brother named Christian Dunst, who was born in 1986. Kirsten started out in showbiz at the age of three, where she began filming television commercials (a grand total of more than 70). She made her feature film debut in a segment of Woody Allen's 1989 film New York Stories (1989). Shortly after in the same year, her family moved to Los Angeles, where her film career took off.In 1994, she made her breakthrough performance in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), alongside such stars as Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Her performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination, the MTV Award for Best Breakthrough Performance and the Saturn award for Best Young Actress. In 1995, she was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. Over the next few years, she made a string of hit movies including Little Women (1994), Jumanji (1995) and Small Soldiers (1998).2000 was Kirsten's biggest year yet - she received rave reviews for her role as "Lux Lisbon" in Sofia Coppola's independent film, The Virgin Suicides (1999). She proved her status as a leading actress in the comedy hit, Bring It On (2000), and she graduated from Notre Dame High School in Los Angeles in June of that year. She is now working, with her mother, with her own production company, which is called "Wooden Spoon Productions".
Career: Actress

With an almost unpronounceable surname and a thick Austrian accent, who would have ever believed that a brash, quick talking bodybuilder from a small European village would become one of Hollywood's biggest stars, marry into the prestigious Kennedy family, amass a fortune via shrewd investments and one day be the Governor of California!?The amazing story of uber-star Arnold Schwarzenegger is a true "rags to riches" story of the penniless immigrant making it in the land of opportunity, the United States of America. Arnold was born on July 30th, 1947 in the town of Thal, Austria and, from a young age, he took a keen interest in physical fitness and bodybuilding, going on to compete in several minor contests in Europe. However, it was when he emigrated to the United States in 1968 at the tender age of 21 that his star began to rise. Up until the early 1970's, bodybuilding had been viewed as a rather oddball sport, or even a mis-understood "freak show" by the general public, however two entrepreneurial Canadian brothers Ben Weider and Joe Weider set about broadening the appeal of "pumping iron" and getting the sport respect, and what better poster boy could they have to lead the charge, then the incredible "Austrian Oak", Arnold Schwarzenegger. Over roughly the next decade, beginning in 1970, Schwarzenegger dominated the sport of competitive bodybuilding winning five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles and, with it, he made himself a major sports icon, he generated a new international audience for bodybuilding, gym memberships worldwide swelled by the tens of thousands and the Weider sports business empire flourished beyond belief and reached out to all corners of the globe.However, Schwarzenegger's horizons were bigger than just the landscape of bodybuilding and he debuted on screen as "Arnold Strong" in the low budget Hercules in New York (1969), then director Bob Rafelson cast Arnold in Stay Hungry (1976) alongside Jeff Bridges and Sally Field, for which Arnold won a Golden Globe Award for "Best Acting Debut in a Motion Picture". The mesmerizing Pumping Iron (1977) covering the 1975 Mr Olympia contest in South Africa has since gone on to become one of the key sports documentaries of the 20th century, plus Arnold landed other acting roles in the comedy The Villain (1979) opposite Kirk Douglas, and he portrayed Mickey Hargitay in the well- received TV movie The Jayne Mansfield Story (1980) (TV). But, what Arnold really needed was a super hero / warrior style role in a lavish production that utilized his chiseled physique, and gave him room to show off his growing acting talents and quirky humor.Conan the Barbarian (1982) was just that role. Inspired by the Robert E. Howard short stories of the "Hyborean Age" and directed by gung ho director John Milius, and with a largely unknown cast, save Max von Sydow and James Earl Jones, "Conan" was a smash hit worldwide and an inferior, although still enjoyable sequel titled Conan the Destroyer (1984) quickly followed. If "Conan" was the kick start to Arnold's movie career, then his next role was to put the pedal to the floor and accelerate his star status into overdrive. Director James Cameron had until that time only previously directed one earlier feature film titled Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981), - which stank of rotten fish from start to finish - however Cameron had penned a fast paced, science fiction themed film script that called for an actor to play an unstoppable, ruthless predator - The Terminator (1984). Made on a relatively modest budget, the high voltage action / science fiction thriller The Terminator (1984) was incredibly successful worldwide, and began one of the most profitable film franchises in history. The dead pan phrase "I'll be back" quickly became part of popular culture across the globe. Schwarzenegger was in vogue with action movie fans, and the next few years were to see Arnold reap box office gold in roles portraying tough, no-nonsense individuals who used their fists, guns and witty one-liners to get the job done. The testosterone laden Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), Predator (1987), The Running Man (1987) and Red Heat (1988) were all box office hits and Arnold could seemingly could no wrong when it came to picking winning scripts. The tongue-in-cheek comedy Twins (1988/I) with co-star Danny DeVito was a smash and won Arnold new fans who saw a more comedic side to the muscle- bound actor once described by Australian author / TV host Clive James as "a condom stuffed with walnuts".The spectacular Total Recall (1990) and "feel good" Kindergarten Cop (1990) were both solid box office performers for Arnold, plus he was about to return to familiar territory with director James Cameron in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). The second time around for the futuristic robot, the production budget had grown from the initial film's $6.5 million to an alleged $100 million for the sequel, and it clearly showed as the stunning sequel bristled with amazing special effects, bone-crunching chases & stunt sequences, plus state of the art computer-generated imagery. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) was arguably the zenith of Arnold's film career to date and he was voted "International Star of the Decade" by the National Association of Theatre Owners. Remarkably, his next film Last Action Hero (1993) brought Arnold back to Earth with a hard thud as the self-satirizing, but confusing plot line of a young boy entering into a mythical Hollywood action film confused movie fans even more and they stayed away in droves making the film an initial financial disaster. Arnold turned back to good friend, director James Cameron and the chemistry was definitely still there as the "James Bond" style spy thriller True Lies (1994) co-starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold was the surprise hit of 1994!Following the broad audience appeal of True Lies (1994), Schwarzenegger decided to lean towards more family-themed entertainment with Junior (1994) and Jingle All the Way (1996), but he still found time to satisfy his hard-core fan base with Eraser (1996), as the chilling "Mr. Freeze" in Batman & Robin (1997) and battling dark forces in the supernatural action of End of Days (1999). The science fiction / conspiracy tale The 6th Day (2000) played to only mediocre fan interest, and Collateral Damage (2002) had it's theatrical release held over for nearly a year after the tragic events of Sept 11th 2001, but it still only received a lukewarm reception. It was time again to resurrect Arnold's most successful franchise and, in 2003, Schwarzenegger pulled on the biker leathers for the third time for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). Unfortunately, directorial duties passed from James Cameron to Jonathan Mostow and the deletion of the character of "Sarah Connor" aka Linda Hamilton and a change in the actor playing "John Connor" - Nick Stahl took over from Edward Furlong - making the third entry in the "Terminator" series the weakest to date.Schwarzenegger contributed cameo roles to The Rundown (2003), Around the World in 80 Days (2004) and The Kid & I (2005) and took political office in 2003 as the Governor of California, effectively suspending his film career for the foreseeable future.Schwarzenegger married TV journalist Maria Shriver in April, 1986 and the couple have four children.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer

With an authoritative voice and calm demeanour, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Born in June 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, the young Freeman attended Los Angeles Community College before serving several years in the US Air Force as a mechanic between 1955 and 1959. His first dramatic arts exposure was on the stage and he appeared in an off-Broadway production of "The Nigger Lovers" and also in an all-African American production of the exuberant musical Hello, Dolly! (1969).Freeman first appeared on TV screens as several characters including "Easy Reader", "Mel Mounds" and "Count Dracula" on the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) show "The Electric Company" (1971). He then moved into feature film with another children's adventure, Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow! (1971). Next, there was a small role in the thriller Blade (1973); then he played "Casca" in Julius Caesar (1979) (V) and the title role in Coriolanus (1979) (V). Regular work was coming in for the talented Freeman and he appeared in the prison dramas Attica (1980) (TV) and Brubaker (1980), the slow-moving Eyewitness (1981), and portrayed the final 24 hours of slain Malcolm X in Death of a Prophet (1981) (TV). For most of the 1980s, Freeman continued to contribute decent enough performances in films that fluctuated in their quality. However, he really stood out, scoring an Oscar nomination as a merciless hoodlum in Street Smart (1987) and, then, he dazzled audiences and pulled a second Oscar nomination as the patient and dignified chauffeur assisting moody pensioner Jessica Tandy in the delightful Driving Miss Daisy (1989). The same year, Freeman teamed up with youthful Matthew Broderick and fiery Denzel Washington in the epic Civil War drama Glory (1989) about freed slaves being recruited to form the first all-African American fighting brigade.His star continued to rise, and the 1990s kicked off strongly with roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) and The Power of One (1992). Freeman's next role was as gunman "Ned Logan", wooed out of retirement by friend "William Munny" to avenge several prostitutes in the wild west town of Big Whiskey in Clint Eastwood's de-mythologized western Unforgiven (1992). The film was a critical and box-office smash and scored an acting Oscar for Gene Hackman, a directing Oscar for Eastwood, and the Oscar for best picture.Freeman's work did not go unnoticed, more strong scripts came in, and he was back behind bars depicting a knowledgeable inmate (and obtaining his third Oscar nomination), befriending falsely accused banker Tim Robbins in the uplifting The Shawshank Redemption (1994). He was then back out hunting a religious serial killer in Se7en (1995), starred alongside Keanu Reeves in Chain Reaction (1996), and was pursuing another serial murderer in Kiss the Girls (1997).Further praise followed for his role in the slave tale of Amistad (1997), he was a worried US President facing Armageddon from above in Deep Impact (1998), appeared in the loopy Neil LaBute black comedy Nurse Betty (2000), and reprised his role as "Alex Cross" in Along Came a Spider (2001). Now highly popular, he was much in demand with cinema audiences, and he co-starred in the terrorist drama The Sum of All Fears (2002), was a military officer in the Stephen King-inspired Dreamcatcher (2003), gave divine guidance as "God" to Jim Carrey in the very funny Bruce Almighty (2003), and played a minor role in the uneven comedy The Big Bounce (2004).However, 2005 was finally to be Morgan Freeman's year, when again he teamed up with good friend Clint Eastwood to appear in the heart-wrenching drama, Million Dollar Baby (2004). Freeman's on-screen performance is simply world-class as ex-prize fighter Eddie "Scrap Iron" Dupris, who works in a run-down boxing gym alongside grizzled trainer "Frankie Dunn", as the two work together to hone the skills of never-say-die female boxer Hilary Swank. Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination and, finally, impressed the Academy's judges enough to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.In addition to his film work, his commanding yet mellifluous voice has also led Freeman to be cast to narrate or host dozens of first-rate television specials covering topics from the American Civil War, the American Film Institute, blues music, the White House and many commemorative events involving the US film industry, most recently as the narrator of the American version of La marche de l'empereur (2005).
Career: Actor, Producer

Adam Sandler was born on September 9, 1966, in Brooklyn, New York, to Judy and Stanley Sandler. At 17, he took his first step towards becoming a stand-up comedian when he spontaneously took the stage at a Boston comedy club. He found he was a natural comic. He nurtured his talent while at New York University (graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1991) by performing regularly in clubs and at universities. During his freshman year, he snagged a recurring role as the Huxtable family's friend Smitty on "The Cosby Show" (1984). While working at a comedy club in L.A., he was "discovered" by Dennis Miller, who recommended him to "Saturday Night Live" (1975) producer Lorne Michaels and told him that Sandler had a big talent. This led to his being cast in the show in 1990, which he also wrote for in addition to performing. After "Saturday Night Live" (1975), Sandler went on to the movies, starring in such hit comedies as Airheads (1994), Happy Gilmore (1996), Billy Madison (1995) and Big Daddy (1999/I). He has also starred in Mr. Deeds (2002) alongside Winona Ryder; Eight Crazy Nights (2002), an animated movie about the Jewish festival of Chanukah; and Punch-Drunk Love (2002). He also writes and produces many of his own films and has composed songs for several of them, including The Wedding Singer (1998). Sandler has had several of his songs placed on the "Billboard" charts, including the classic "The Chanukah Song".
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

The youngest of four children born to Percy (an accountant and aspiring jazz saxophonist) and Kathleen, Jim Carrey was an incurable extrovert from day one. As a child he performed constantly, for anyone who would watch, and even mailed his résumé to "The Carol Burnett Show" (1967) at age 10. In junior high he was granted a few precious minutes at the end of each school day to do stand-up routines for his classmates (provided, of course, that he kept a lid on it the rest of the day).Carrey's early adolescence took a turn for the tragic, however, when the family was forced to relocate from their cozy town of Newmarket to Scarborough (a Toronto suburb). They all took security and janitorial jobs in the Titan Wheels factory, Jim working 8-hour shifts after school let out (not surprisingly, his grades and morale both suffered). When they finally deserted the factory, the family lived out of a Volkswagen camper van until they could return to Toronto. Back on firmer ground, Carrey decided to strike out into the comedy club scene. He made his (reportedly awful) professional stand-up debut at Yuk-Yuk's, one of the many local clubs that would serve as his training ground in the years to come. He dropped out of high school, worked on his celebrity impersonations (among them Michael Landon and James Stewart), and in 1979 worked up the nerve to move to Los Angeles. He finessed his way into a regular gig at The Comedy Store, where he impressed Rodney Dangerfield so much that the veteran comic signed him as an opening act for an entire season.During this period Carrey met and married waitress Melissa Womer, with whom he had a daughter (Jane). The couple would later go through a very messy divorce, freeing Carrey up for a brief second marriage to actress Lauren Holly. Wary of falling into the lounge act lifestyle, Carrey began to look around for other performance outlets. He landed a part as a novice cartoonist in the short-lived sitcom "The Duck Factory" (1984); while the show fell flat, the experience gave Carrey the confidence to pursue acting more vigorously.He scored the male lead in the ill-received Lauren Hutton vehicle Once Bitten (1985), and a supporting role in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), before making a modest splash with his appearance as the alien Wiploc in Earth Girls Are Easy (1988). Impressed with Carrey's lunacy, fellow extraterrestrial Damon Wayans made a call to his brother, Keenen Ivory Wayans, who was in the process of putting together the sketch comedy show "In Living Color" (1990). Carrey joined the cast and quickly made a name for himself with outrageous acts (one of his most popular characters, psychotic Fire Marshall Bill, was attacked by watchdog groups for dispensing ill- advised safety tips).Carrey's transformation from TV goofball to marquee headliner happened within the course of a single year. He opened 1994 with a starring turn in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), a film that cashed in on his extremely physical brand of humor (the character's trademark was talking out his derrière). Next up was the manic superhero movie The Mask (1994), which had audiences wondering just how far Carrey's features could stretch. Finally, in December, he hit theaters as a loveable dolt in the Farrelly brothers' Dumb & Dumber (1994) (his first multi-million dollar payday).Now a box-office staple, Carrey brought his manic antics onto the set of Batman Forever (1995), replacing Robin Williams as The Riddler. He also filmed the follow-up to his breakthrough, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), and inked a deal with Sony to star in The Cable Guy (1996) (replacing Chris Farley) for a cool $20 million--at the time, that was the biggest up-front sum that had been offered to any comic actor. The movie turned out to be a disappointment, both critically and financially, but Carrey bounced back the next year with the energetic hit Liar Liar (1997). Worried that his comic shtick would soon wear thin, Carrey decided to change course. In 1998, he traded in the megabucks and silly grins to star in Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998) playing a naive salesman who discovers that his entire life is the subject of a TV show, Carrey demonstrated an uncharacteristic sincerity that took moviegoers by surprise. He won a Golden Globe for the performance, and fans anticipated an Oscar nomination as well--when it didn't materialize, Carrey lashed out at Academy members for their narrow-minded selection process.Perhaps inspired by the snub, Carrey threw himself into his next role with abandon. After edging out a handful of other hopefuls (including Edward Norton) to play eccentric funnyman Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon (1999), Carrey disappeared into the role, living as Kaufman -- and his blustery alter-ego Tony Clifton -- for months (Carrey even owned Kaufman's bongo drums, which he'd used during his audition for director Milos Forman).His sometimes uncanny impersonation was rewarded with another Golden Globe, but once again the Academy kept quiet. An indignant Carrey next reprised his bankable mania for the Farrelly brothers in Me, Myself & Irene (2000), playing a state trooper whose Jekyll and Hyde personalities both fall in love with the same woman (Renée Zellweger). Carrey's real-life persona wound up falling for her too--a few months after the film wrapped, the pair announced they were officially a couple. By then, Carrey had already slipped into a furry green suit to play the stingy antihero of Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). He plans to take a break from the limelight after the holiday flick (as he puts it, "I'm looking forward to getting out of America's face"). Is there another Carrey reinvention in the works? If so, he's not talking.
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Jessica Chastain was raised in a middle-class family in a northern California suburb. She discovered dance at the age of nine. By the age of 13, she was in a dance troupe. She took her mother's maiden name and began performing in Shakespearean productions all over the Bay area.An actor in a production of "Romeo & Juliet" encouraged her to audition for Juilliard as a drama major. She became a member of "Crew 32" with the help of a scholarship from one of the school's famous alumni, Robin Williams.In her last year at Juilliard, she was offered a holding deal with TV writer/producer John Wells and she eventually worked in three of his TV shows. Jessica continues to do theatre, having played in "The Cherry Orchard", "Rodney's Wife", "Salome" and "Othello". She spends her time between New York and Los Angeles, working in theater, film and TV.In 2011, she had a prolific year in film. She was nominated for and won a number of awards, including a 2012 Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for The Help (2011).
Career: Actress

Almost everyone who has spent time with Kate Hudson -including directors, family members, co-stars and interviewers - is quick to comment on her ability to light up a room. Through some combination of a winning smile, solid work ethic, and good old-fashioned talent, the young actress has gone from indie beginner to Vanity Fair cover girl in just three years. What's more, she's done it all without capitalizing on the success of legendary mom, Goldie Hawn. By all accounts, Hudson was a born performer - as a child she danced and sang at every opportunity. Her family hoped that she would attend New York University after graduating from high school, but she opted to get her feet wet in the professional acting world first. She made her big-screen debut as an ambitious young starlet stranded in a tiny California town in Desert Blue (1998). Her next two films, while critically panned, made it into wider release: 200 Cigarettes (1999) (in which she played an earnest but accident-prone ditz) and Gossip (2000/I) (which cast her as a rich, virginal college student). Perhaps Hudson's biggest break was landing the role of rock groupie (or "Band Aide") Penny Lane in Almost Famous (2000). The part was originally intended for Sarah Polley; when Polley backed out to pursue another project, director Cameron Crowe considered scrapping the film altogether. Hudson, who had been cast in a smaller role (as William's stewardess sister), begged for a chance to read for Penny. Crowe was impressed, Hudson got the part, and the show went on. As much as Tinseltown gossipmongers would like to put them at odds, mother and daughter agree that Hawn is one of Hudson's biggest supporters. Kate has never been particularly close to her birth father, musician Bill Hudson; she considers her true "Pa" to be Hawn's longtime partner, Kurt Russell, who has lived with the family since she was three. Her brother, Oliver Hudson, is an actor and aspiring writer-director.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer, Writer

Born in Sherman Oaks, California, Jennifer Aniston spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family. Her family then relocated to New York City where her parents, John Aniston and Nancy Dow, divorced when she was 9. Jennifer was raised by her mother and her father landed a role, as "Victor Kiriakis", on the daytime soap "Days of Our Lives" (1965). Jennifer had her first taste of acting at age 11 when she joined the Rudolf Steiner School's drama club. It was also at the Rudolf Steiner School that she developed her passion for art. She began her professional training as a drama student at New York's School of Performing Arts, aka the "Fame" school. It was a division of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts. In 1987, after graduation, she appeared in such Off-Broadway productions as "For Dear Life" and "Dancing on Checker's Grave". In 1989, she landed her first television role, as a series regular on "Molloy" (1989). She also appeared in "The Edge" (1992), "Ferris Bueller" (1990), and had a recurring part on "Herman's Head" (1991). By 1993, she was floundering. Then, in 1994, a pilot called "Friends Like These" came along. Originally asked to audition for the role of "Monica", Aniston refused and auditioned for the role of "Rachel Green", the suburban princess turned coffee peddler. With the success of the series "Friends" (1994), Jennifer has become famous and sought-after as she turns her fame into movie roles during the series hiatus.
Career: Actress, Director, Producer

It was shortly after the 1968 Democratic convention and there was a casting call for a film with several roles for the kind of young people who had disrupted the convention. Two graduates of Catholic University in Washington DC, went to the audition in New York for Joe (1970). Chris Sarandon, who had studied to be an actor, was passed over. His wife Susan got a major role.That role was as "Susan Compton", the daughter of ad executive "Bill Compton" (Dennis Patrick). In the movie, "Dad Bill" kills Susan's drug dealer boyfriend and next befriends "Joe" (Peter Boyle), a bigot who works on an assembly line and who collects guns. Five years later, Sarandon made the film where fans of cult classics have come to know her as "Janet", who gets entangled with transvestite "Dr. Frank 'n' Furter" in The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Shortly after that, the Sarandons separated and eventually divorced after twelve years of marriage.Nearly two decades after beginning her career, Sarandon, at last, actively campaigned for a great role, "Annie" in Bull Durham (1988), flying at her own expense from Rome to Los Angeles. "It was such a wonderful script ... and did away with a lot of myths and challenged the American definition of success", she said. "When I got there, I spent some time with Kevin Costner, kissed some ass at the studio and got back on a plane". Thereafter, she began a romance with the twelve-years-younger Bull Durham (1988) supporting actor, Tim Robbins, and reached the position of being offered roles that really challenged her. The result was four Academy Award nominations in the 1990s and best actress for Dead Man Walking (1995). Her first Academy Award nomination was for Louis Malle's Atlantic City (1980).
Career: Actress, Producer

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, to Spanish parents (from Andalucía) who moved to North Africa to seek work, Jean Reno settled in France at 17. He began studying drama and has credits in French television and theater as well as films. His first two marriages both ended in divorce, and he had two children with each of them. He keeps homes in Paris and Los Angeles.
Career: Actor

Elegant redhead Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Australian parents Anthony (a biochemist and clinical psychologist) and Janelle (a nursing instructor) Kidman. The family moved almost immediately to Washington, DC, where Nicole's father pursued his research on breast cancer, and then, three years later, made the pilgrimage to her parents' native Sydney. Young Nicole's first love was ballet, but she eventually took up mime and drama as well (her first stage role was a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant). In her adolescent years, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge -- as her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Kidman retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked regularly at the Philip Street Theater, where she once received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Kidman eventually dropped out of high school to pursue acting full-time. She broke into movies at age 16, landing a role in the Australian holiday favorite Bush Christmas (1983). That appearance touched off a flurry of film and TV offers, including a lead in BMX Bandits (1983) and a turn as a schoolgirl-turned-protester in the miniseries "Vietnam" (1987) (for which she won her first Australian Film Institute Award). With the help of an American agent, she eventually made her US debut opposite Sam Neill in the at-sea thriller Dead Calm (1989).Kidman's next casting coup scored her more than exposure. While starring as Tom Cruise's doctor/love interest in the racetrack romance Days of Thunder (1990), she won over the Hollywood hunk hook, line, and sinker. After a whirlwind courtship (and decent box office returns), the couple wed on December 24, 1990. Determined not to let her new marital status overshadow her fledgling career, the actress pressed on. She appeared as a catty high school senior in the Australian film Flirting (1991), then as Dustin Hoffman's moll in the gangster flick Billy Bathgate (1991). She reunited with Cruise for Far and Away (1992), the story of young Irish lovers who flee to America in the late 1800s, and starred opposite Michael Keaton in the tear-tugger My Life (1993/I). Despite her steady employment, critics and moviegoers still hadn't quite warmed to Kidman as a leading lady. She tried to spice up her image by seducing Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995), but achieved her real breakthrough with Gus Van Sant's To Die For (1995). As a fame-crazed housewife determined to eliminate any obstacle in her path, Kidman proved that she had an impressive range and deadly comic timing. She took home a Golden Globe and several critics' awards for the performance. In 1996, Kidman stepped into a corset to work with her countrywoman and onetime admirer, Jane Campion, on the adaptation of Henry James's The Portrait of a Lady (1996). A few months later, she tore across the screen as a nuclear weapons expert in The Peacemaker (1997), adding "action star" to her professional repertoire.She and Cruise then disappeared into a notoriously long, secretive shoot for Stanley Kubrick's sexual thriller Eyes Wide Shut (1999). The couple's on-screen shenanigans prompted an increase in public speculation about their sex life (rumors had long been circulating that their marriage was a cover-up for Cruise's homosexuality); tired of denying tabloid attacks, they successfully sued The Star for a story alleging that they needed a sex therapist to coach them through love scenes. Family life has always been a priority for Kidman. Born to social activists (mom was a feminist; dad, a labor advocate), Nicole and her little sister, Antonia Kidman, discussed current events around the dinner table and participated in their parents' campaigns by passing out pamphlets on street corners. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, 17-year-old Nicole stopped working and took a massage course so that she could provide physical therapy (her mom eventually beat the cancer). She and Cruise adopted two children: Isabella Jane (born in 1993) and Connor Antony (born 1995). Despite their rock-solid image, the couple announced in early 2001 that they were separating due to career conflicts. Her marriage to Cruise ended mid-summer of 2001.
Career: Actress, Producer

Megan Denise Fox was born May 16, 1986 in Rockwood, Tennessee. She has one older sister. Megan began her training in drama and dance at the age of 5 and, at the age of 10, moved to Florida where she continued her training and finished school. She now lives in Los Angeles, California. Megan began acting and modeling at the age of 13 after winning several awards at the 1999 American Modeling and Talent Convention in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Megan made her film debut as Brianna Wallace in the Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen film, Holiday in the Sun (2001) (V). Her best known role is as Sam Witwicky's love interest Mikaela Banes in the first two installments of the Transformers series: Transformers (2007) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009).
Career: Actress

Thomas Sean Connery was born on August 25, 1930 in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. His mother, Euphamia C. Maclean, was a cleaning lady, and his father, Joseph Connery, was a factory worker and truck driver. He also has a brother named Neil Connery, who works as a plasterer in Edinburgh. Before going into acting, Sean had many different jobs, such as a Milkman, lorry driver, a laborer, artist's model for the Edinburgh College of Art, coffin polisher and bodybuilder. He also joined the Royal Navy, but was later discharged because of medical problems. At the age of 23, he had a choice between becoming a professional footballer or an actor, and even though he showed much promise in the sport, he chose acting and said it was one of his more intelligent moves.No Road Back (1957) was Sean's first major movie role, and it followed by several Tv-movies such as Anna Christie (1957) (TV), Macbeth (1961) (TV) and Anna Karenina (1961) (TV) and guest appearances on TV-series, and also films such as Hell Drivers (1957), Another Time, Another Place (1958), Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959), The Frightened City (1961). In 1962 he appeared in The Longest Day (1962) with a host of other stars,His big breakthrough came in 1962 when he starred as secret agent James Bond in Dr. No (1962). He played James Bond in six more films: From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and Never Say Never Again (1983). All movies were big box-office hits, if not critically acclaimed as well. Among his many distinctive "Bond girls" were Ursula Andress, Lana Wood, Barbara Carrera Jill St. John and Kim Basinger.After and during the success of the Bond-films he has maintained a successful career as an actor and has appeared in films, such as Marnie (1964), The Hill (1965), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Time Bandits (1981), Highlander (1986), Der Name der Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1987) (which earned him an Oscar for best actor in a supporting role), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Rising Sun (1993), The Rock (1996), Finding Forrester (2000), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003).Sean married actress Diane Cilento in 1962 and they had a son, Jason Connery, born on January 11, 1963, he followed in his father's footsteps and also became an actor. The marriage ended in divorce in 1973. In 1975 he married Micheline Roquebrune and they have stayed married, they have no children together. He is also a grandfather. His son, Jason and his ex-wife, actress Mia Sara had a son, Dashiell Quinn Connery, in 1997.
Career: Actor, Producer

Born in Germany to parents living on a US military base, New Jersey raised US actor and musician well known for his film appearances as wise cracking or hard edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts. The young Willis picked up an interest for the dramatic arts in high school, and was allegedly "discovered" whilst working in a café in NYC and then appeared in a couple of off-Broadway productions.After countless auditions, Willis contributed minor film appearances, usually uncredited, before landing the role of private eye "David Addison" alongside sultry Cybill Shepherd in the hit romantic comedy TV series "Moonlighting" (1985). The series firmly established Bruce Willis as a hot new talent, and his sarcastic & wise cracking PI was in effect a dry run for the role of hard boiled, NYC detective "John McClane" in the monster hit of 1988, Die Hard (1988). This superbly paced action film balanced laconic humor and wholesale destruction as Willis' character single handedly battles a gang of ruthless international thieves in a Los Angeles skyscraper. Willis reprized the role of tough guy cop "John McClane" in the eagerly anticipated sequel Die Hard 2 (1990) set at snow bound Washington's Dulles International Airport as a group of renegade Special Forces soldiers seek to repatriate a corrupt South American general. Excellent box office returns demanded a further sequel Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) this time also starring Samuel L. Jackson as a cynical Harlem shop owner unwittingly thrust into assisting McClane during a terrorist bombing campaign on a sweltering day in NYC.Willis found time out from all the action mayhem to provide the voice of "Mikey" the baby in the very popular family comedies Look Who's Talking (1989), and its sequel Look Who's Talking Too (1990) also starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Over the next decade, Willis starred in some very successful films, some very offbeat films and some unfortunate box office flops. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) and Hudson Hawk (1991) were both large scale financial disasters that were savaged by the critics, and both are arguably best left off the CVs of all the actors involved, however Willis was still popular with movie audiences and selling plenty of theatre tickets with the hyper violent The Last Boy Scout (1991), the darkly humored Death Becomes Her (1992) and the mediocre police thriller Striking Distance (1993). During the 1990s, Willis also appeared in several independent and low budget productions that won him new fans and praise from the critics for his intriguing performances working with some very diverse film directors. He appeared in the oddly appealing North (1994), as a cagey prize fighter in the Quentin Tarantino directed mega-hit Pulp Fiction (1994), the Terry Gilliam directed apocalyptic thriller Twelve Monkeys (1995), the Luc Besson directed sci-fi opus The Fifth Element (1997) and the M. Night Shyamalan directed spine tingling epic The Sixth Sense (1999).Willis next starred in the gangster comedy _Whole Nine Yards, The (2000)_qv), worked again with "hot" director M. Night Shyamalan in the less gripping Unbreakable (2000), and in two military dramas, Hart's War (2002) and _Tears of the Sun (2003)_qv) that both failed to really fire with movie audiences or critics alike. However, Willis bounced back into the spotlight in the critically applauded Frank Miller graphic novel turned movie Sin City (2005), the voice of "RJ" the scheming raccoon in the animated hit Over the Hedge (2006) and "Die Hard" fans rejoiced to see "John McClane" return to the big screen in the high tech Live Free or Die Hard (2007) aka "Die Hard 4.0".Willis was married to actress Demi Moore for approximately thirteen years and they share custody to their three children.
Career: Actor, Producer, Writer

Born in 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, Bellucci originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school, and this led to her modeling career. In 1988, she moved to one of Europe's fashion centers, Milan, and joined Elite Model Management. Although enjoying great success as a model, she made her acting debut on TV in 1990, and her American film debut in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Her role in the 1996 French thriller, L'appartement (1996), shot her to stardom as she won the French equivalent of an Oscar nomination. Other credits include Malèna (2000), Under Suspicion (2000) and Le pacte des loups (2001).
Career: Actress

Emmy Award-winning Sarah Michelle Gellar, now known as Sarah Michelle Prinze, was born on the 14th of April, 1977.She is one of Hollywood's most versatile actresses, most commonly known for her role as "Buffy" in the Golden Globe-nominated show, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997). She also won an Emmy award for her fantastic performance as "Kendall Hart" in "All My Children" (1970).Sarah has since been in several movies including, the romantic comedy Simply Irresistible (1999), the thrilling Cruel Intentions (1999) and the "Scooby Doo" movies as the lovable "Daphne Blake". She has also provided her voice to several movies, including the new TMNT (2007), Happily N'Ever After (2006) and Small Soldiers (1998).She currently resides in Los Angeles, with her husband, Freddie Prinze Jr. - they have been married since 2002.
Career: Actress, Producer

Born to immigrants in Queens, New York, Lucy Liu has always tried to balance an interest in her cultural heritage with a desire to move beyond a strictly Asian-American experience. Lucy's mother is from Beijing, and her father is from Shanghai. Once relegated to "ethnic" parts, the energetic actress is finally earning her stripes as an across-the-board leading lady.Liu graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1986 and enrolled in New York University; discouraged by the "dark and sarcastic" atmosphere of NYU, however, she transferred to the University of Michigan after her freshman year. She graduated from UM with a degree in Chinese Language and Culture, managing to squeeze in some additional training in dance, voice, fine arts, and acting. During her senior year, Liu auditioned for a small part in a production of Alice in Wonderland and walked away with the lead; encouraged by the experience, she decided to take the plunge into professional acting. She moved to Los Angeles and split her time between auditions and food service day jobs, eventually scoring a guest appearance as a waitress on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990). That performance led to more walk-on parts in shows like "NYPD Blue" (1993), "ER" (1994), and "The X Files" (1993). In 1996, she was cast as an ambitious college student on Rhea Perlman's ephemeral sitcom "Pearl" (1996).Liu first appeared on the big screen as an ex-girlfriend in Jerry Maguire (1996) (she had previously filmed a scene in the indie Bang (1995), but it was shelved for two years). She then waded through a series of supporting parts in small films before landing her big break on "Ally McBeal" (1997). Liu initially auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter, which went to Portia de Rossi, but writer-producer David E. Kelley was so impressed with her spunk that he promised to write a part for her in an upcoming episode. The part turned out to be that of growling, ill-tempered lawyer Ling Woo, which Liu filled with such aplomb that she was signed on as a regular cast member.The "Ally" win gave Liu's film career a much-needed boost--in 1999, she was cast as a dominatrix in the Mel Gibson action flick Payback (1999/I), and as a hitchhiker in the ill-received boxing saga Play It to the Bone (1999). The next year brought even larger roles: first as the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei in Jackie Chan's western Shanghai Noon (2000), then as one-third of the comely crime-fighting trio in Charlie's Angels (2000).When she's not hissing at clients or throwing well-coiffed punches, Liu keeps busy with an eclectic mix of off-screen hobbies. She practices the martial art of Kali-Eskrima-Silat (knife-and-stick fighting), skis, rock climbs, rides horses, and plays the accordion. In 1993 she exhibited a collection of multimedia art pieces at the Cast Iron Gallery in SoHo (New York), after which she won a grant to study and create art in China. Her hectic schedule doesn't leave much time for romantic intrigue, but Liu says she prefers to keep that side of her life uncluttered.
Career: Actress, Producer

Eddie Murphy was born in Brooklyn New York, in 1961, the youngest son of Lillian Murphy, a widow who married Vernon Lynch, the step-father of Eddie, his brother Charles Q. Murphy, and Vernon Jr. Eddie himself had aspirations of being in show business since he was a child. A bright kid growing up in the streets of New York, Murphy spent a great deal of time on impressions and comedy stand-up routines rather than academics. His sense of humor and wit made him a stand out amongst his classmates at Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School. By the time he was 15, Murphy worked as a stand-up comic on the lower part of New York, wooing audiences with his dead-on impressions of celebrities and outlooks on life.In the early 1980s, at the age of 19, Murphy was offered a contract for the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players of "Saturday Night Live" (1975), where Murphy exercised his comedic abilities in impersonating African American figures and originating some of the shows most memorable characters: Velvet Jones, Mr. Robinson, and a disgruntled and angry Gumby.Murphy made his feature film debut in 48 Hrs. (1982), alongside Nick Nolte. The two's comedic and antagonistic chemistry, alongside Murphy's believable performance as a streetwise convict aiding a bitter, aging cop, won over critics and audiences. The next year, Murphy went two for two, with another hit, pairing him with John Landis, who later became a frequent collaborator with Murphy in Coming to America (1988) and Beverly Hills Cop III (1994). Beverly Hills Cop (1984) was the film that made Murphy a box-office superstar and most notably made him a celebrity worldwide, and it remains one of the all-time biggest domestic blockbusters in motion-picture history. Murphy's performance as a young Detroit cop in pursuit of his friend's murderers earned him a third consecutive Golden Globe nomination. Axel Foley became one of Murphy's signature characters. On top of his game, Murphy was unfazed by his success, that is until his box office appeal and choices in scripts resulted into a spotty mix of hits and misses into the late 1980s and early 1990s. Films like The Golden Child (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) were critically panned but were still massive draws at the box office.In 1989, Murphy, coming off another hit, Coming to America (1988), found failure with his directorial debut, Harlem Nights (1989). Another 48 Hrs. (1990) and his turn as a hopeless romantic in Boomerang (1992) did little to resuscitate his career. However, his remake of Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor (1996) brought Murphy's drawing power back into fruition. From there, Murphy rebounded with occasional hits and misses but has long proven himself as a skilled comedic actor with applaudable range pertaining to characterizations and mannerisms.Though he has grown up a lot since his fast-lane rise as a superstar in the 1980s, Murphy has lived the Hollywood lifestyle with controversy, criticism, scandal, and the admiration of millions worldwide for his talents. As Murphy had matured throughout the years, learning many lessons about the Hollywood game in the process, he settled down with more family-oriented humor with Doctor Dolittle (1998), Mulan (1998), Bowfinger (1999), and the animated smash Shrek (2001), in a supporting role that showcased Murphy's comedic personality and charm. In spite of being vocal in interviews about his career, Eddie Murphy continues to live a happy life with his wife and kids and has said that if his career would to end tomorrow he would be content just being with his family.
Career: Actor, Director, Producer, Writer

Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born in San Francisco, he is the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr. and Ruth Wood (née Runner). The family frequently moved around Northern California when Clint was growing up before settling in Oregon. He moved to Seattle in 1951 and worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor for the military for two years, before returning to California.In 1955 Clint began working as an actor with uncredited bit parts in B-movies. He almost gave up acting before getting his big break on the TV series "Rawhide" (1959), where he was a supporting cast member for six years. While still on the show, Eastwood was cast in his first substantial role, as "The Man with No Name" in the low-budget Italian western Per un pugno di dollari (1964). This was followed by Per qualche dollaro in più (1965) and Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966); none of the three films were released in America until 1968. His next film was Hang 'Em High (1968). He took a co-starring role in the unconventional musical Paint Your Wagon (1969), then combined tough-guy action with offbeat humor in Kelly's Heroes (1970) and Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970).1971 proved to be a turning point in Eastwood's career and one of his best years in film, if not the best. He starred in three high-caliber films, starting with The Beguiled (1971), as a wounded soldier who stumbles into a sexually repressed all-girls boarding school. The film was directed by his mentor, Don Siegel. Eastwood then directed his first movie, Play Misty for Me (1971), a thriller about psychotic sexual obsession. That same year, he played the hard edge police inspector in Dirty Harry (1971), which invented the loose-cannon cop genre that has been imitated even to this day, and made Eastwood a superstar at last. Eastwood had a constant stream of quality films over the next following years, teaming up with Jeff Bridges in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), starring in the "Dirty Harry" sequels Magnum Force (1973) and The Enforcer (1976/I), the American revisionist westerns High Plains Drifter (1973) and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), the action-packed road adventure The Gauntlet (1977), the hugely successful comedy Every Which Way But Loose (1978), and the fact-based thriller Escape from Alcatraz (1979).Clint kicked off the eighties with Any Which Way You Can (1980), the blockbuster sequel to "Every Which Way but Loose". The fourth 'Dirty Harry' film, Sudden Impact (1983), became the highest grossing film of the series. Clint also starred in Firefox (1982), Tightrope (1984), Pale Rider (1985), and Heartbreak Ridge (1986), which were all big hits at the box office and got good reviews. His fifth and final "Dirty Harry" movie, The Dead Pool (1988), was only a minor commercial success and panned by critics. Shortly after his career declined with the outright bomb comedy Pink Cadillac (1989) and the disappointing cop film The Rookie (1990). It was fairly obvious that Eastwood's star was declining as it never had before.But Eastwood quickly bounced back, first with his western Unforgiven (1992), which garnered him his first Oscar nomination as Best Actor, and wins for Best Director and producer of the Best Picture. Then he took on the secret service in In the Line of Fire (1993), another huge hit. The Bridges of Madison County (1995), a love story with Meryl Streep, was a surprise hit at the box office and was hailed as one of his best performances. The quality of his next four films varied: Absolute Power (1997) and Space Cowboys (2000) were well-received, while True Crime (1999) and Blood Work (2002) were badly received.In what is arguably the finest film of his career, Eastwood directed and starred opposite Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby (2004). A critical and commercial triumph, the movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as earning Eastwood a second nomination for Best Actor and win for Best Director. After this he starred in Gran Torino (2008), and the film's $30 million opening weekend in January 2009 made Eastwood the oldest leading man to reach #1 at the box office.After starring in iconic movies for four decades, Clint Eastwood has proved himself to be the longest-running movie star. Although he is aging now and focusing more on directing, his career as a director continues to thrive with the award-winning films Mystic River (2003), Flags of Our Fathers (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), and Changeling (2008) which starred Angelina Jolie.Eastwood has managed to keep his scandalous personal life private and has rarely been featured in the tabloid press. He had a fourteen-year relationship with actress Sondra Locke and has seven children by five other women.
Career: Actor, Composer, Director, Producer