Actor

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance (also actress; see below).[1] The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers".[2] The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

Formerly, in ancient Greece and Rome, the medieval world, and the time of William Shakespeare, only men could become actors, and women's roles were generally played by men or boys.[3] After the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. In modern times, particularly in pantomime and some operas, women occasionally play the roles of boys or young men.[4]

Antoine Watteau - Actors from the Comédie Française - WGA25475
Actors from the Comédie-Française, c. 1720.

The term actress

After 1660 in England, when women first started to appear on stage, the terms actor or actress were initially used interchangeably for female performers, but later, influenced by the French actrice, actress became the commonly used term for women in theater and film. The etymology is a simple derivation from actor with -ess added.[5] When referring to groups of performers of both sexes, actors is preferred.[6] Actor is also used before the full name of a performer as a gender-specific term.

Within the profession, the re-adoption of the neutral term dates to the post-war period of the 1950 and '60s, when the contributions of women to cultural life in general were being reviewed.[7] When The Observer and The Guardian published their new joint style guide in 2010, it stated "Use ['actor'] for both male and female actors; do not use actress except when in name of award, e.g. Oscar for best actress."[6] The guide's authors stated that "actress comes into the same category as authoress, comedienne, manageress, 'lady doctor', 'male nurse' and similar obsolete terms that date from a time when professions were largely the preserve of one sex (usually men)." (See male as norm). "As Whoopi Goldberg put it in an interview with the paper: 'An actress can only play a woman. I'm an actor – I can play anything.'"[6] The UK performers' union Equity has no policy on the use of "actor" or "actress". An Equity spokesperson said that the union does not believe that there is a consensus on the matter and stated that the "...subject divides the profession".[6] In 2009, the Los Angeles Times stated that "Actress" remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients[8] (e.g., Academy Award for Best Actress).

With regard to the cinema of the United States, the gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the silent film era and the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code, but in the 2000s in a film context, it is generally deemed archaic. However, "player" remains in use in the theatre, often incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company, such as the American Players, the East West Players, etc. Also, actors in improvisational theatre may be referred to as "players".[9]

Meryl Streep from "Florence Foster Jenkins" at Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo International Film Festival 2016 (33644504135)
The actress Meryl Streep

Pay equity

In 2015, Forbes reported that "...just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or co-lead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female...".[10] "In the U.S., there is an "industry-wide [gap] in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white man makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male's dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that."[10] Forbes' analysis of US acting salaries in 2013 determined that the "...men on Forbes' list of top-paid actors for that year made 21/2 times as much money as the top-paid actresses. That means that Hollywood's best-compensated actresses made just 40 cents for every dollar that the best-compensated men made."[11][12][13]

History

The first recorded case of a performing actor occurred in 534 BC (though the changes in calendar over the years make it hard to determine exactly) when the Greek performer Thespis stepped onto the stage at the Theatre Dionysus to become the first known person to speak words as a character in a play or story. Prior to Thespis' act, Grecian stories were only expressed in song, dance, and in third person narrative. In honor of Thespis, actors are commonly called Thespians. The exclusively male actors in the theatre of ancient Greece performed in three types of drama: tragedy, comedy, and the satyr play.[14] Western theatre developed and expanded considerably under the Romans. The theatre of ancient Rome was a thriving and diverse art form, ranging from festival performances of street theatre, nude dancing, and acrobatics, to the staging of situation comedies, to high-style, verbally elaborate tragedies.

As the Western Roman Empire fell into decay through the 4th and 5th centuries, the seat of Roman power shifted to Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire. Records show that mime, pantomime, scenes or recitations from tragedies and comedies, dances, and other entertainments were very popular. From the 5th century, Western Europe was plunged into a period of general disorder. Small nomadic bands of actors traveled around Europe throughout the period, performing wherever they could find an audience; there is no evidence that they produced anything but crude scenes.[15] Traditionally, actors were not of high status; therefore, in the Early Middle Ages, traveling acting troupes were often viewed with distrust. Early Middle Ages actors were denounced by the Church during the Dark Ages, as they were viewed as dangerous, immoral, and pagan. In many parts of Europe, traditional beliefs of the region and time period meant actors could not receive a Christian burial.

In the Early Middle Ages, churches in Europe began staging dramatized versions of biblical events. By the middle of the 11th century, liturgical drama had spread from Russia to Scandinavia to Italy. The Feast of Fools encouraged the development of comedy. In the Late Middle Ages, plays were produced in 127 towns. These vernacular Mystery plays often contained comedy, with actors playing devils, villains, and clowns.[16] The majority of actors in these plays were drawn from the local population. Amateur performers in England were exclusively male, but other countries had female performers.

There were a number of secular plays staged in the Middle Ages, the earliest of which is The Play of the Greenwood by Adam de la Halle in 1276. It contains satirical scenes and folk material such as faeries and other supernatural occurrences. Farces also rose dramatically in popularity after the 13th century. At the end of the Late Middle Ages, professional actors began to appear in England and Europe. Richard III and Henry VII both maintained small companies of professional actors. Beginning in the mid-16th century, Commedia dell'arte troupes performed lively improvisational playlets across Europe for centuries. Commedia dell'arte was an actor-centred theatre, requiring little scenery and very few props. Plays were loose frameworks that provided situations, complications, and outcome of the action, around which the actors improvised. The plays utilised stock characters. A troupe typically consisted of 13 to 14 members. Most actors were paid a share of the play's profits roughly equivalent to the sizes of their roles.

The Swan cropped
A 1596 sketch of a performance in progress on the thrust stage of The Swan, a typical Elizabethan open-roof playhouse.

Renaissance theatre derived from several medieval theatre traditions, such as the mystery plays, "morality plays", and the "university drama" that attempted to recreate Athenian tragedy. The Italian tradition of Commedia dell'arte, as well as the elaborate masques frequently presented at court, also contributed to the shaping of public theatre. Since before the reign of Elizabeth I, companies of players were attached to households of leading aristocrats and performed seasonally in various locations. These became the foundation for the professional players that performed on the Elizabethan stage.

The development of the theatre and opportunities for acting ceased when Puritan opposition to the stage banned the performance of all plays within London. Puritans viewed the theatre as immoral. The re-opening of the theatres in 1660 signaled a renaissance of English drama. English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710 are collectively called "Restoration comedy". Restoration comedy is notorious for its sexual explicitness. At this point, women were allowed for the first time to appear on the English stage, exclusively in female roles. This period saw the introduction of the first professional actresses and the rise of the first celebrity actors.

19th century

Henry Irving Vanity Fair
Henry Irving in The Bells, 1874.

In the 19th century, the negative reputation of actors was largely reversed, and acting became an honored, popular profession and art.[17] The rise of the actor as celebrity provided the transition, as audiences flocked to their favorite "stars". A new role emerged for the actor-managers, who formed their own companies and controlled the actors, the productions, and the financing.[18] When successful, they built up a permanent clientele that flocked to their productions. They could enlarge their audience by going on tour across the country, performing a repertoire of well-known plays, such as those by Shakespeare. The newspapers, private clubs, pubs, and coffee shops rang with lively debates evaluating the relative merits of the stars and the productions. Henry Irving (1838-1905) was the most successful of the British actor-managers.[19] Irving was renowned for his Shakespearean roles, and for such innovations as turning out the house lights so that attention could focus more on the stage and less on the audience. His company toured across Britain, as well as Europe and the United States, demonstrating the power of star actors and celebrated roles to attract enthusiastic audiences. His knighthood in 1895 indicated full acceptance into the higher circles of British society.[20]

20th century

The Shubert Theatre00

By the early 20th century, the economics of large-scale productions displaced the actor-manager model. It was too hard to find people who combined a genius at acting as well as management, so specialization divided the roles as stage managers and later theatre directors emerged. Financially, much larger capital was required to operate out of a major city. The solution was corporate ownership of chains of theatres, such as by the Theatrical Syndicate, Edward Laurillard, and especially The Shubert Organization. By catering to tourists, theaters in large cities increasingly favored long runs of highly popular plays, especially musicals. Big name stars became even more essential.[21]

Techniques

  • Classical acting is an umbrella term for a philosophy of acting that integrates the expression of the body, voice, imagination, personalizing, improvisation, external stimuli, and script analysis. It is based on the theories and systems of select classical actors and directors including Konstantin Stanislavski and Michel Saint-Denis.
  • In Stanislavski's system, also known as Stanislavski's method, actors draw upon their own feelings and experiences to convey the "truth" of the character they portray. Actors puts themselves in the mindset of the character, finding things in common to give a more genuine portrayal of the character.
  • Method acting is a range of techniques based on for training actors to achieve better characterizations of the characters they play, as formulated by Lee Strasberg. Strasberg's method is based upon the idea that to develop an emotional and cognitive understanding of their roles, actors should use their own experiences to identify personally with their characters. It is based on aspects of Stanislavski's system. Other acting techniques are also based on Stanislavski's ideas, such as those of Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner, but these are not considered "method acting".[22]
  • Meisner technique requires the actor to focus totally on the other actor as though he or she is real and they only exist in that moment. This is a method that makes the actors in the scene seem more authentic to the audience. It is based on the principle that acting finds its expression in people's response to other people and circumstances. Is it based on Stanislavski's system.

As opposite sex

Formerly, in some societies, only men could become actors. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome[23] and the medieval world, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to go on stage; this belief persisted until the 17th century in Venice. In the time of William Shakespeare, women's roles were generally played by men or boys.[3]

When an eighteen-year Puritan prohibition of drama was lifted after the English Restoration of 1660, women began to appear on stage in England. Margaret Hughes is oft credited as the first professional actress on the English stage.[24] This prohibition ended during the reign of Charles II in part because he enjoyed watching actresses on stage.[25] Specifically, Charles II issued letters patent to Thomas Killigrew and William Davenant, granting them the monopoly right to form two London theatre companies to perform "serious" drama, and the letters patent were reissued in 1662 with revisions allowing actresses to perform for the first time.[26]

The first occurrence of the term actress was in 1608 according to the OED and is ascribed to Middleton. In the 19th century many viewed women in acting negatively, as actresses were often courtesans and associated with promiscuity. Despite these prejudices, the 19th century also saw the first female acting "stars", most notably Sarah Bernhardt.[27]

In Japan, onnagata, men taking on female roles, were used in kabuki theatre when women were banned from performing on stage during the Edo period. This convention continues. By contrast, some forms of Chinese drama involve women playing all roles.

In modern times, women occasionally played the roles of boys or young men. For example, the stage role of Peter Pan is traditionally played by a woman, as are most principal boys in British pantomime. Opera has several "breeches roles" traditionally sung by women, usually mezzo-sopranos. Examples are Hansel in Hänsel und Gretel, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.

Women playing male roles are uncommon in film, with notable exceptions. In 1982, Stina Ekblad played the mysterious Ismael Retzinsky in Fanny and Alexander, and Linda Hunt received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously. In 2007, Cate Blanchett was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Jude Quinn, a fictionalized representation of Bob Dylan in the 1960s, in I'm Not There.

In the 2000s, women playing men in live theatre is particularly common in presentations of older plays, such as Shakespearean works with large numbers of male characters in roles where gender is inconsequential.[4]

Having an actor dress as the opposite sex for comic effect is also a long-standing tradition in comic theatre and film. Most of Shakespeare's comedies include instances of overt cross-dressing, such as Francis Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream. The movie A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum stars Jack Gilford dressing as a young bride. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon famously posed as women to escape gangsters in the Billy Wilder film Some Like It Hot. Cross-dressing for comic effect was a frequently used device in most of the Carry On films. Dustin Hoffman and Robin Williams have each appeared in a hit comedy film (Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire, respectively) in which they played most scenes dressed as a woman.

Occasionally, the issue is further complicated, for example, by a woman playing a woman acting as a man—who then pretends to be a woman, such as Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria, or Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love. In It's Pat: The Movie, filmwatchers never learn the gender of the androgynous main characters Pat and Chris (played by Julia Sweeney and Dave Foley). Similarly, in the aforementioned example of The Marriage of Figaro, there is a scene in which Cherubino (a male character portrayed by a woman) dresses up and acts as a woman; the other characters in the scene are aware of a single level of gender role obfuscation, while the audience is aware of two levels.

A few modern roles are played by a member of the opposite sex in order to emphasize the gender fluidity of the role. Edna Turnblad in Hairspray was played by Divine in the 1988 original film, Harvey Fierstein in the Broadway musical, and John Travolta in the 2007 movie musical. Felicity Huffman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for playing Bree Osbourne (a male-to-female transsexual) in 2005's Transamerica.

Types

Actors working in theatre, film, television and radio have to learn specific skills. Techniques that work well in one type of acting may not work well in another type of acting.

In theatre

To act on stage, actors need to learn the stage directions that appear in the script, such as "Stage Left" and "Stage Right". These directions are based on the actor's point of view as he or she stands on the stage facing the audience. Actors also have to learn the meaning of the stage directions "Upstage" (away from the audience) and "Downstage" (towards the audience)[28] Theatre actors need to learn blocking, which is "...where and how an actor moves on the stage during a play". Most scripts specify some blocking. The Director also gives instructions on blocking, such as crossing the stage or picking up and using a prop.[28]

Some theater actors need to learn stage combat, which is simulated fighting on stage. Actors may have to simulate hand-to-hand [fighting] or sword[-fighting]. Actors are coached by fight directors, who help them learn the choreographed sequence of fight actions. [28]

In film

Silent films

From 1894 to the late 1920s, movies were silent films. Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression, so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. Vaudeville theatre was an especially popular origin for many American silent film actors.[29] The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: "The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures." In other cases, directors such as John Griffith Wray required their actors to deliver larger-than-life expressions for emphasis. As early as 1914, American viewers had begun to make known their preference for greater naturalness on screen.[30]

Pioneering film directors in Europe and the United States recognized the different limitations and freedoms of the mediums of stage and screen by the early 1910s. Silent films became less vaudevillian in the mid 1910s, as the differences between stage and screen became apparent. Due to the work of directors such as D W Griffith, cinematography became less stage-like, and the then-revolutionary close up shot allowed subtle and naturalistic acting. In America, D.W. Griffith's company Biograph Studios, became known for its innovative direction and acting, conducted suit the cinema rather than the stage. Griffith realized that theatrical acting did not look good on film and required his actors and actresses to go through weeks of film acting training.[31]

Lillian Gish has been called film's "first true actress" for her work in the period, as she pioneered new film performing techniques, recognizing the crucial differences between stage and screen acting. Directors such as Albert Capellani and Maurice Tourneur began to insist on naturalism in their films. By the mid-1920s many American silent films had adopted a more naturalistic acting style, though not all actors and directors accepted naturalistic, low-key acting straight away; as late as 1927, films featuring expressionistic acting styles, such as Metropolis, were still being released. [32]

According to Anton Kaes, a silent film scholar from the University of Wisconsin, American silent cinema began to see a shift in acting techniques between 1913 and 1921, influenced by techniques found in German silent film. This is mainly attributed to the influx of emigrants from the Weimar Republic, "including film directors, producers, cameramen, lighting and stage technicians, as well as actors and actresses".[33]

Advent of sound in film

Film actors have to learn to get used to and be comfortable with a camera being in front of them.[34] Film actors need to learn to find and stay on their "mark." This is a position on the floor marked with tape. This position is where the lights and camera focus are optimized. Film actors also need to learn how to prepare well and perform well on screen tests. Screen tests are a filmed audition of part of the script.

Unlike theater actors, who develop characters for repeat performances, film actors lack continuity, forcing them to come to all scenes (sometimes shot in reverse of the order in which they ultimately appear) with a fully developed character already.[31]

"Since film captures even the smallest gesture and magnifies it..., cinema demands a less flamboyant and stylized bodily performance from the actor than does the theater." "The performance of emotion is the most difficult aspect of film acting to master: ...the film actor must rely on subtle facial ticks, quivers, and tiny lifts of the eyebrow to create a believable character."[31] Some theatre stars "...have made the theater-to-cinema transition quite successfully (Laurence Olivier, Glenn Close, and Julie Andrews, for instance), others have not..."[31]

In television

"On a television set, there are typically several cameras angled at the set. Actors who are new to on-screen acting can get confused about which camera to look into."[28] TV actors need to learn to use lav mics (Lavaliere microphones).[28] TV actors need to understand the concept of "frame". "The term frame refers to the area that the camera's lens is capturing."[28] Within the acting industry, there are four types of television roles one could land on a show. Each type varies in prominence, frequency of appearance, and pay. The first is known as a series regular—the main actors on the show as part of the permanent cast. Actors in recurring roles are under contract to appear in multiple episodes of a series. A co-star role is a small speaking role that usually only appears in one episode. A guest star is a larger role than a co-star role, and the character is often the central focus of the episode or integral to the plot.

In radio

Opname van een hoorspel Recording a radio play
Recording a radio play in the Netherlands (1949; Spaarnestad Photo).

Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story: "It is auditory in the physical dimension but equally powerful as a visual force in the psychological dimension."[35]

Radio drama achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading international popular entertainment. With the advent of television in the 1950s, however, radio drama lost some of its popularity, and in some countries has never regained large audiences. However, recordings of OTR (old-time radio) survive today in the audio archives of collectors and museums, as well as several online sites such as Internet Archive.

As of 2011, radio drama has a minimal presence on terrestrial radio in the United States. Much of American radio drama is restricted to rebroadcasts or podcasts of programs from previous decades. However, other nations still have thriving traditions of radio drama. In the United Kingdom, for example, the BBC produces and broadcasts hundreds of new radio plays each year on Radio 3, Radio 4, and Radio 4 Extra. Podcasting has also offered the means of creating new radio dramas, in addition to the distribution of vintage programs.

The terms "audio drama"[36] or "audio theatre" are sometimes used synonymously with "radio drama" with one possible distinction: audio drama or audio theatre may not necessarily be intended specifically for broadcast on radio. Audio drama, whether newly produced or OTR classics, can be found on CDs, cassette tapes, podcasts, webcasts and conventional broadcast radio.

Thanks to advances in digital recording and Internet distribution, radio drama is experiencing a revival.[37]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The dramatic world can be extended to include the 'author', the 'audience' and even the 'theatre'; but these remain 'possible' surrogates, not the 'actual' referents as such" (Elam 1980, 110).
  2. ^ "Definition of actor".Hypokrites (related to our word for hypocrite) also means, less often, "to answer" the tragic chorus. See Weimann (1978, 2); see also Csapo and Slater, who offer translations of classical source material using the term hypocrisis (acting) (1994, 257, 265–267).
  3. ^ a b Neziroski, Lirim (2003). "narrative, lyric, drama". Theories of Media :: Keywords Glossary :: multimedia. University of Chicago. Retrieved 2009-03-14. For example, until the late 1600s, audiences were opposed to seeing women on stage, because of the belief stage performance reduced them to the status of showgirls and prostitutes. Even Shakespeare's plays were performed by boys dressed in drag.
  4. ^ a b JULIET DUSINBERRE. "Boys Becoming Women in Shakespeare's Plays" (PDF). S-sj.org\accessdate=22 October 2017.
  5. ^ "actress, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (3 ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. November 2010. Although actor refers to a person who acts regardless of gender, where this term "is increasingly preferred", actress remains in general use; actor is increasingly preferred for performers of both sexes as a gender-neutral term.
  6. ^ a b c d Pritchard, Stephen (24 September 2011). "The readers' editor on... Actor or actress?". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  7. ^ Goodman, Lizbeth; Holledge, Julie (1998). The Routledge reader in gender and performance. New York: Routledge. pp. 8, 93. ISBN 0-415-16583-0.
  8. ^ Linden, Sheri (18 January 2009). "From actor to actress and back again". Entertainment. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-03-14. It would be several decades before the word "actress" appeared – 1700, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, more than a century after the word "actor" was first used to denote a theatrical performer, supplanting the less professional-sounding "player."
  9. ^ Spolin, Viola (1999). Improvisation for the Theater: A Handbook of Teaching and Directing Techniques (3rd ed.). Evanston, Ill: Northwestern Univ Press. pp. Introduction to the 3rd Edition. ISBN 0810140004.
  10. ^ a b Jennifer Lawrence Speaks Out On Making Less Than Male Co-Stars. Forbes.com (2015-10-13). Retrieved on 2016-02-10.
  11. ^ Woodruff, Betsy. (2015-02-23) Gender wage gap in Hollywood: It's very, very wide. Slate.com. Retrieved on 2016-02-10.
  12. ^ "How much do Hollywood campaigns for an Oscar cost?". Stephenfollows.com. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  13. ^ Female Movie Stars Experience Earnings Plunge After Age 34. Variety (2014-02-07). Retrieved on 2016-02-10.
  14. ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 15–19).
  15. ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 75)
  16. ^ Brockett and Hildy (2003, 86)
  17. ^ Wilmeth, Don B.; Bigsby, C.W.E. (1998). The Cambridge history of American theatre. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 449–450. ISBN 978-0-521-65179-0.
  18. ^ James Eli Adams, ed., Encyclopedia of the Victorian era (2004) 1:2-3.
  19. ^ George Rowell, Theatre in the Age of Irving (Rowman & Littlefield, 1981).
  20. ^ Jeffrey Richards (2007). Sir Henry Irving: A Victorian Actor and His World. A&C Black. p. 109.
  21. ^ Foster Hirsch, The Boys from Syracuse: The Shuberts' Theatrical Empire (Cooper Square Press, 2000).
  22. ^ Guerrasio, Jason. (2014-12-19) What It Means To Be ‘Method’. Tribecafilminstitute.org. Retrieved on 2016-02-10.
  23. ^ "BBC - Radio 4 - Woman's Hour -Women Actors in Ancient Rome". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  24. ^ Smallweed (23 July 2005). "Smallweed". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-14. "Whereas women's parts in plays have hitherto been acted by men in the habits of women ... we do permit and give leave for the time to come that all women's parts be acted by women," Charles II ordained in 1662. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the first actress to exploit this new freedom was Margaret Hughes, as Desdemona in Othello on December 8, 1660.
  25. ^ "Women as actresses" (PDF). Notes and Queries. The New York Times. 18 October 1885. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 11, 2011. Retrieved 2009-03-14. There seems no doubt that actresses did not perform on the stage till the Restoration, in the earliest years of which Pepys says for the first time he saw an actress upon the stage. Charles II, must have brought the usage from the Continent, where women had long been employed instead of boys or youths in the representation of female characters.
  26. ^ Fisk, Deborah Payne (2001). "The Restoration Actress". In Owen, Susan J. A companion to restoration drama, pg. 73, (1. publ. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0631219231.
  27. ^ 'Studies in hysteria': actress and courtesan, Sarah Bernhardt and Mrs Patrick Campbell
  28. ^ a b c d e f "Industry Tips". Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  29. ^ Lewis, John (2008). American Film: A History (First ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-97922-0.
  30. ^ brownlow 1968, pp. 344-353.
  31. ^ a b c d "Movies and Film". infoplease.com.
  32. ^ Brownlow 1968, pp. 344–353.
  33. ^ Kaes, Anton (1990). "Silent Cinema". Monatshefte.
  34. ^ "Auditions for Film: Movie Acting Tips and Techniques". Ace-your-audition.com. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  35. ^ Tim Crook: Radio drama. Theory and practice Archived July 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. London; New York: Routledge, 1999, p. 8.
  36. ^ Compare the entry to Hörspiel e.g. in: dict.cc – Deutsch-Englisch-Wörterbuch
  37. ^ Newman, Barry (2010-02-25). "Return With Us to the Thrilling Days Of Yesteryear — Via the Internet". Wall Street Journal.

Sources

  • Csapo, Eric, and William J. Slater. 1994. The Context of Ancient Drama. Ann Arbor: The U of Michigan P. ISBN 0-472-08275-2.
  • Elam, Keir. 1980. The Semiotics of Theatre and Drama. New Accents Ser. London and New York: Methuen. ISBN 0-416-72060-9.
  • Weimann, Robert. 1978. Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition in the Theater: Studies in the Social Dimension of Dramatic Form and Function. Ed. Robert Schwartz. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-3506-2.

Further reading

External links

Al Pacino

Alfredo James Pacino (; born April 25, 1940) is an American actor and filmmaker. Pacino has had a career spanning more than five decades, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors both competitive and honorary, among them an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a British Academy Film Award, four Golden Globe Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, and the National Medal of Arts. He is one of few performers to have won a competitive Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony Award for acting, dubbed the "Triple Crown of Acting".

A method actor and former student of the HB Studio and the Actors Studio in New York City, where he was taught by Charlie Laughton and Lee Strasberg, Pacino made his feature film debut with a minor role in Me, Natalie (1969) and gained favorable notice for his lead role as a heroin addict in The Panic in Needle Park (1971). He achieved international acclaim and recognition for his breakthrough role as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) receiving his first Oscar nomination and would reprise the role in the equally successful sequels The Godfather Part II (1974) and The Godfather Part III (1990). Pacino's performance as Michael Corleone in these films is regarded as one of the greatest screen performances in film history.

Pacino received his first Best Actor Oscar nomination for Serpico (1973); he was also nominated for The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and ...And Justice for All (1979), and won the award in 1993 for his performance as blind Lieutenant Colonel Slade in Scent of a Woman (1992). For his performances in The Godfather, Dick Tracy (1990), and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Pacino was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other notable roles include Tony Montana in Scarface (1983), Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way (1993), Lieutenant Vincent Hanna in Heat (1995), Benjamin Ruggiero in Donnie Brasco (1997), Lowell Bergman in The Insider (1999), and Detective Will Dormer in Insomnia (2002). In television, Pacino has acted in several productions for HBO, including the miniseries Angels in America (2003) and the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don't Know Jack (2010); he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for each role.

In addition to his work in film, Pacino has had an extensive career on stage. He is a two-time Tony Award winner, in 1969 and 1977, for his performances in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, respectively. A lifelong fan of Shakespeare, Pacino directed and starred in Looking for Richard (1996), a documentary film about the play Richard III, a role which Pacino had earlier portrayed on stage in 1977. He has also acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film adaptation and a 2010 stage production of The Merchant of Venice.

Having made his filmmaking debut with Looking for Richard, Pacino has also directed and starred in the independent film Chinese Coffee (2000), and the films Wilde Salomé (2011) and Salomé (2013), about the play Salomé by Oscar Wilde. Since 1994, Pacino has been the joint president of the Actors Studio with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel. In 2016, he received the Kennedy Center Honor.

Alan Arkin

Alan Wolf Arkin (born March 26, 1934) is an American actor, director, and screenwriter. With a film career spanning six decades, Arkin is known for his performances in Popi, Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Get Smart, Glengarry Glen Ross, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Little Miss Sunshine, Sunshine Cleaning, and Argo.

He has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor twice for his performances in The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Little Miss Sunshine and received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in Argo.

Bill Murray

William James Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He first gained exposure on Saturday Night Live, a series of performances that earned him his first Emmy Award, and later starred in comedy films—including Meatballs (1979), Caddyshack (1980), Stripes (1981), Tootsie (1982), Ghostbusters (1984), Scrooged (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), What About Bob? (1991), and Groundhog Day (1993). He also co-directed Quick Change (1990).

Murray garnered additional critical acclaim later in his career, starring in Lost in Translation (2003), which earned him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for Best Actor, as well as an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, and for frequently collaborating with director Wes Anderson. He also received Golden Globe nominations for his roles in Ghostbusters, Rushmore (1998), Hyde Park on Hudson (2012), St. Vincent (2014), and the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014), for which he later won his second Primetime Emmy Award.

Murray received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2016. His comedy is known for its deadpan delivery.

Christian Bale

Christian Charles Philip Bale (born 30 January 1974) is a British actor known for his intense method acting style, often transforming his body drastically for his roles. Bale is the recipient of many awards, including an Academy Award and two Golden Globes, and was featured in the Time 100 list of 2011.

Born in Haverfordwest, Wales, to English parents, Bale had his first starring role at age 13 in Steven Spielberg's war film Empire of the Sun (1987). Following a decade of leading and supporting roles, including in Little Women (1994), he gained wider recognition for portraying the serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho (2000). In 2004, he lost 63 pounds for his role in the psychological thriller The Machinist (2004). Within six months, he gained 100 pounds to star as Batman in Christopher Nolan's superhero film Batman Begins (2005). He later reprised his role in The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Bale continued to take on starring roles, in Nolan's period drama The Prestige (2006), the western 3:10 to Yuma (2007), the science fiction film Terminator Salvation (2009), and the crime drama Public Enemies (2009). He won the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund in the David O. Russell-directed biographical film The Fighter (2010). This acclaim continued with his Oscar-nominated roles in Russell's black comedy American Hustle (2013) and in Adam McKay's financial satire The Big Short (2015). For portraying Dick Cheney in McKay's biographical satire Vice (2018), Bale won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

Bale's personal life and personality has been the subject of much public attention, despite his desire to keep a low profile. He is a supporter of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Greenpeace, and the World Wildlife Fund. Bale has been married to Sandra Blažić since 2000; they have two children. Bale currently lives in the United States and holds British and American citizenships.

Denzel Washington

Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. (born December 28, 1954) is an American actor, director, and producer. He has received three Golden Globe awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory (1989) and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001).Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1980s, including his portrayals of real-life figures, such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko in Cry Freedom (1987), Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X in Malcolm X (1992), boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter in The Hurricane (1999), football coach Herman Boone in Remember the Titans (2000), poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson in The Great Debaters (2007), and drug kingpin Frank Lucas in American Gangster (2007). He has been a featured actor in films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and has been a frequent collaborator of directors Spike Lee, Antoine Fuqua, and Tony Scott. In 2016, he received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.

In 2002, Washington made his directorial debut with the biographical film Antwone Fisher. His second directorial effort was The Great Debaters (2007). His third film, Fences (2016), in which he also starred, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Eddie Murphy

Edward Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American comedian, actor, screen writer, singer, and film producer. Murphy was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984. He has worked as a stand-up comedian and was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.In films, Murphy has received Golden Globe Award nominations for his performances in 48 Hrs., the Beverly Hills Cop series, Trading Places, and The Nutty Professor. In 2007, he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of soul singer James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls.Murphy's work as a voice actor in films includes Thurgood Stubbs in The PJs, Donkey in DreamWorks Animation's Shrek series, and the Chinese dragon Mushu in Disney's Mulan. In some films, he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character, intended as a tribute to one of his idols Peter Sellers, who played multiple roles in Dr. Strangelove and elsewhere. He has played multiple roles in Coming to America, Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn, the Nutty Professor films (where he played the title role in two incarnations, plus his character's father, brother, mother, and grandmother), Bowfinger, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit, and Meet Dave. As of 2014, Murphy's films have grossed over $3.8 billion in the United States and Canada box office and $6.6 billion worldwide. In 2015, his films made him the sixth-highest grossing actor in the United States.In 2015, Murphy was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford (born July 13, 1942) is an American actor, writer and film producer. He gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the Star Wars film series and as the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Five of his movies are within the 30 top-grossing movies of all time at the US box office (when adjusted for inflation). Ford is also known for playing Rick Deckard in the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner (1982) and its sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017); John Book in the thriller Witness (1985), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor; and Jack Ryan in the action films Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994).

His career spans six decades and includes roles in several Hollywood blockbusters, including the epic war film Apocalypse Now (1979), the legal drama Presumed Innocent (1990), the action film The Fugitive (1993), the political action thriller Air Force One (1997), and the psychological thriller What Lies Beneath (2000). Seven of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry: American Graffiti (1973), The Conversation (1974), Star Wars (1977), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Blade Runner (1982).

As of 2016, the U.S. domestic box-office grosses of Ford's films total over US$4.7 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $6 billion, making Ford the second highest-grossing U.S. domestic box-office star.Ford is married to actress Calista Flockhart.

Idris Elba

Idrissa Akuna Elba (; born 6 September 1972) is a British actor, producer, musician and DJ known for playing drug trafficker Stringer Bell on the HBO series The Wire, DCI John Luther on the BBC One series Luther and Nelson Mandela in the biographical film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013). He has been nominated four times for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film, winning one and was nominated five times for a Primetime Emmy Award.Elba appeared in Ridley Scott's American Gangster (2007) and Prometheus (2012). Elba portrays Heimdall in Thor (2011) and its sequels Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Thor: Ragnarok (2017), as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He also starred in Pacific Rim (2013), Beasts of No Nation (2015), for which he received BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Molly's Game (2017). In 2016, he voiced Chief Bogo in Zootopia, Shere Khan in the live action/CGI adaptation of The Jungle Book, Fluke in Finding Dory and played the role of Krall in Star Trek Beyond. He made his directorial debut in 2018 with an adaptation of the 1992 novel Yardie by Victor Headley.In addition to his acting work, Elba is a DJ under the moniker DJ Big Driis (or Big Driis the Londoner) and a R&B musician. In 2016, he was named in the Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World.

James Gandolfini

James Joseph Gandolfini Jr. (September 18, 1961 – June 19, 2013) was an American actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano, the Italian-American crime boss in HBO's television series The Sopranos. He was widely hailed for his performance, winning three Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and one Golden Globe Award.

His notable film roles include mob henchman Virgil in True Romance (1993), Lt. Bobby Dougherty in Crimson Tide (1995), and Mayor of New York in The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Other roles are enforcer and stuntman Bear in Get Shorty (1995) and impulsive "Wild Thing" Carol in Where the Wild Things Are (2009). For his performance as Albert in Enough Said (2013), Gandolfini posthumously received much critical praise and several accolades, including a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor.

In 2007, Gandolfini produced Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq, a documentary in which he interviewed injured Iraq War veterans and in 2010, Wartorn: 1861–2010 examining the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on soldiers and families throughout several wars in American history from 1861 to 2010.

Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), known professionally as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer, songwriter, record producer, and comedian. For his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. That same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the crime film Collateral. Since spring 2017, Foxx has served as the host and executive producer of the Fox game show Beat Shazam.

Other acting roles include Staff Sergeant Sykes in Jarhead (2005), record executive Curtis Taylor, Jr. in Dreamgirls (2006), Detective Ricardo Tubbs in the 2006 film adaptation of TV series Miami Vice, the title role in the film Django Unchained (2012), the supervillain Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Will Stacks in Annie (2014), and gangster Bats / Leon Jefferson III in Baby Driver (2017). Foxx also starred in the sketch comedy show In Living Color and his own television sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show (1996–2001), in which he played Jamie King, Jr.

Foxx is also a Grammy Award-winning musician, producing four albums, which have charted in the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200: Unpredictable (2005), which topped the chart, Intuition (2008), Best Night of My Life (2010), and Hollywood: A Story of a Dozen Roses (2015).

Jeff Bridges

Jeffrey Leon Bridges (born December 4, 1949) is an American actor, singer, and producer. He comes from a prominent acting family and appeared on the television series Sea Hunt (1958–60), with his father, Lloyd Bridges and brother, Beau Bridges. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Otis "Bad" Blake in the 2009 film Crazy Heart, and earned Academy Award nominations for his roles in The Last Picture Show (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), Starman (1984), The Contender (2000), True Grit (2010), and Hell or High Water (2016). His other films include Tron (1982), Jagged Edge (1985), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Fisher King (1991), Fearless (1993), The Big Lebowski (1998), Seabiscuit (2003), Iron Man (2008), Tron: Legacy (2010), and The Giver (2014), Bad Times at the El Royale (2018).

Johnny Depp

John Christopher Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, producer and musician. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and has won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol.

Depp has challenged himself by playing larger-than-life roles, including a supporting role in Oliver Stone's 1986 Vietnam War film Platoon and the title character in the 1990 romantic dark fantasy Edward Scissorhands. He later found box office success in the adventure film Sleepy Hollow (1999), the swashbuckler film series Pirates of the Caribbean (2003–present), the fantasy films Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and Alice in Wonderland (2010), the animated comedy western Rango (2011) (in which he voiced the title character), and most recently Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018). Depp has collaborated on nine films with director, producer and friend Tim Burton.

Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest film stars. He has gained praise from reviewers for his portrayals of screenwriter-director Ed Wood in Ed Wood, undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, author J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, and Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Depp is the third highest-grossing actor worldwide, as films featuring Depp have grossed over US$3.7 billion at the United States box office and over US$10 billion worldwide. His most commercially successful films are the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which grossed US$4.5 billion, the Fantastic Beasts film series, which grossed US$1.3 billion, Alice in Wonderland, which grossed US$1 billion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which grossed US$474 million, and The Tourist, which grossed US$278 million.Depp has been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Depp won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in the title role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness World Records as the world's highest-paid actor, with earnings of US$75 million. Depp was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey Fowler (born July 26, 1959) is an American actor, producer and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the 1990s that culminated in his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the neo-noir crime thriller The Usual Suspects (1995) and an Academy Award for Best Actor for the midlife crisis-themed drama American Beauty (1999).

His other starring roles have included the comedy-drama film Swimming with Sharks (1994), the psychological thriller Seven (1995), the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997), the drama Pay It Forward (2000), the science fiction-mystery film K-PAX (2001), the musical biopic Beyond the Sea (2004), the superhero film Superman Returns (2006), and the action film Baby Driver (2017).

In Broadway theatre, Spacey won a Tony Award in 1991 for his role in Lost in Yonkers. In 2017, he hosted the 71st Tony Awards. He was the artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London from 2004 until stepping down in mid-2015. From 2013 to 2017, Spacey played Frank Underwood in the Netflix political drama series House of Cards. The role won him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama and two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.

In October 2017, Spacey was accused by actor Anthony Rapp of making a sexual advance toward him when Rapp was 14. Shortly after, numerous other men alleged that Spacey had sexually harassed or assaulted them. As a result, Netflix cut ties with him, shelved his film Gore and removed him from the last season of House of Cards. His scenes in Ridley Scott's film All the Money in the World (2017) were reshot with actor Christopher Plummer replacing his role. The next year, Spacey appeared in Billionaire Boys Club with his role unchanged.

In December 2018, he was charged with indecent assault and battery in relation to journalist Heather Unruh's accusation that he sexually assaulted her 18-year-old son.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio (; born November 11, 1974) is an American actor, film producer, and environmentalist. DiCaprio began his career by appearing in television commercials in the late 1980s. He next had recurring roles in various television series, such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains.

He debuted in his film career by starring as Josh in Critters 3 (1991). He starred in the film adaptation of the memoir This Boy's Life (1993), and received acclaim and his first Academy Award nomination for his supporting role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). He gained public recognition with leading roles in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and the romantic drama Romeo + Juliet (1996). He achieved international fame as a star in James Cameron's epic romance Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film of all time to that point.

Since 2000, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. DiCaprio's subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002), and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002), which marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese. He was acclaimed for his performances in the political war thriller Blood Diamond, the neo-noir crime drama The Departed (both 2006), the espionage thriller Body of Lies (2008), the drama Revolutionary Road (2008), the psychological thriller Shutter Island (2010), the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), the biographical film J. Edgar (2011), the western Django Unchained (2012), and the period drama The Great Gatsby (2013).

DiCaprio's portrayals of Howard Hughes in The Aviator (2004) and Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015) won him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. His performance as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) won him the Golden Globe award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. He also won the Academy Award for Best Actor and BAFTA Award for his performance in The Revenant. DiCaprio is the founder of his own production company, Appian Way Productions.

Michael Douglas

Michael Kirk Douglas (born September 25, 1944) is an American actor and producer. He has received numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, six Golden Globe Awards (including the Cecil B. DeMille Award), a Primetime Emmy Award and the AFI Life Achievement Award.The elder son of Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill, Douglas received his Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His early acting roles included film, stage, and television productions. Douglas first achieved prominence for his performance in the ABC police procedural television series The Streets of San Francisco, for which he received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations. In 1975, Douglas produced One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, having acquired the rights to the Ken Kesey novel from his father. The film received critical and popular acclaim, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, earning Douglas his first Oscar as one of the film's producers. After leaving The Streets of San Francisco in 1976, Douglas went on to produce films including The China Syndrome (1979) and Romancing the Stone (1984). He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for Romancing the Stone, in which he also starred, thus reintroducing himself to audiences as a capable leading man.

After reprising his Romancing the Stone role as Jack Colton in the 1985 sequel The Jewel of the Nile, which he also produced, and along with appearing in the musical A Chorus Line (1985) and the psychological thriller Fatal Attraction (1987), Douglas received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. He reprised the role in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010). His subsequent film roles included: Black Rain (1989); The War of the Roses (1989); Basic Instinct (1992); Falling Down (1993); The American President (1995); The Game (1997); Traffic and Wonder Boys (both 2000); Solitary Man (2009); Ant-Man (2015) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). In 2013,for his portrayal of Liberace in the HBO miniseries Behind the Candelabra, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie. Douglas currently stars as an aging acting coach in Chuck Lorre's comedy series The Kominsky Method, for which he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Apart from his acting career, Douglas has received notice for his humanitarian and political activism, as well as media attention for his marriage to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Robert De Niro

Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. (; born August 17, 1943) is an American actor, producer, and director. He is a recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B DeMille Award, AFI Life Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and has been nominated for six BAFTA Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards.

De Niro was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His longtime collaboration with director Martin Scorsese earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull.

De Niro's first major film roles were in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) and Scorsese's crime film Mean Streets (1973). He earned Academy Award nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver (1976) and Cape Fear (1991), both directed by Scorsese. De Niro received additional nominations for Michael Cimino's Vietnam war drama The Deer Hunter (1978), Penny Marshall's drama Awakenings (1990), and David O. Russell's romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook (2012). His portrayal of gangster Jimmy Conway in Scorsese's crime film Goodfellas (1990), and his role as Rupert Pupkin in the black comedy film The King of Comedy (1983), earned him BAFTA Award nominations.De Niro has earned four nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his work in the musical drama New York, New York (1977), the action comedy Midnight Run (1988), the gangster comedy Analyze This (1999), and the comedy Meet the Parents (2000). Other notable performances include roles in 1900 (1976), Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Brazil (1985), The Mission (1986), The Untouchables (1987), Heat (1995), and Casino (1995). He has directed and starred in films such as the crime drama A Bronx Tale (1993) and the spy film The Good Shepherd (2006).

Steve Buscemi

Steven Vincent Buscemi (; Italian: [buʃˈʃɛːmi]; born December 13, 1957) is an American actor, comedian, director, and former firefighter. Buscemi has starred and supported in numerous successful Hollywood and indie films, including Parting Glances, New York Stories, Mystery Train, Reservoir Dogs, Desperado, Con Air, Armageddon, The Grey Zone, Ghost World, Big Fish, and The Death of Stalin. He is also known for his appearances in the Coen brothers films Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, and The Big Lebowski. Buscemi provides the voice of Randall Boggs in the Monsters, Inc. franchise.

From 2010 to 2014 he portrayed Enoch "Nucky" Thompson in the critically acclaimed series Boardwalk Empire, which earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe, and two nominations for an Emmy Award. He made his directorial debut in 1996 with Trees Lounge, in which he also starred. Other works include Animal Factory (2000), Lonesome Jim (2005), and Interview (2007). He has also directed numerous episodes of TV shows, including Homicide: Life on the Street, The Sopranos, Oz, 30 Rock, and Nurse Jackie. He currently hosts the Emmy Award-winning AOL On comedy talk-show Park Bench.

Tom Cruise

Thomas Cruise (born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV; July 3, 1962) is an American actor and producer. He started his career at age 19 in the film Endless Love (1981), before making his breakthrough in the comedy Risky Business (1983) and receiving widespread attention for starring in the action drama Top Gun (1986) as Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. After starring in The Color of Money (1986) and Cocktail (1988), Cruise starred opposite Dustin Hoffman in the Academy Award for Best Picture-winning drama Rain Man. For his role as anti-war activist Ron Kovic in the drama Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Cruise received the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama and his first Academy Award for Best Actor nomination.

In the 1990s, Cruise starred with Jack Nicholson in the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992) and starred in a number of box office hits including The Firm (1993) and Interview with the Vampire (1994), before starring as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in the action spy film Mission: Impossible (1996), the first of a commercially successful six-film series. In 1996, Cruise also starred as the title character in the romantic comedy-drama Jerry Maguire, earning him the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and his second Academy Award nomination. In 1999, Cruise starred in the erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut opposite his then wife Nicole Kidman and also appeared in the ensemble drama Magnolia, for which he received the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

After receiving a Saturn Award for Best Actor for his performance in the psychological thriller Vanilla Sky (2001), Cruise collaborated with director Steven Spielberg on the science fiction action films Minority Report (2002) and War of the Worlds (2005). In 2008, he gave a supporting performance in the action comedy Tropic Thunder and starred in the historical thriller Valkyrie as Claus von Stauffenberg. In 2012, Cruise played the eponymous role in the action thriller Jack Reacher. Cruise's films have grossed nearly $4 billion at U.S. and Canadian box offices and more than $10.1 billion worldwide, making him the eighth highest-grossing actor in North America and one of the top-grossing actors worldwide.Cruise has been married three times, to actresses Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes, and has three children, two of which were adopted during his marriage to Kidman and the other a biological daughter with Holmes. Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and its associated social programs, and credits it with helping him overcome dyslexia. In the 2000s, he sparked controversy with his Church-affiliated criticisms of psychiatry and anti-depressant drugs (particularly for 9/11 rescue workers), his efforts to promote Scientology as a religion in Europe, and a leaked video interview of him promoting Scientology.

Tom Hanks

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks is known for his comedic and dramatic roles in such films as Splash (1984), Big (1988), Turner & Hooch (1989), A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), You've Got Mail (1998), The Green Mile (1999), Cast Away (2000), Road to Perdition (2002), Cloud Atlas (2012), Captain Phillips (2013), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), and Sully (2016). He has also starred in the Robert Langdon film series, and voices Sheriff Woody in the Toy Story film series.

Hanks has collaborated with film director Steven Spielberg on five films to date: Saving Private Ryan (1998), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), Bridge of Spies (2015), and The Post (2017), as well as the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, which launched Hanks as a successful director, producer, and screenwriter. In 2010, Spielberg and Hanks were executive producers on the HBO miniseries The Pacific.

Hanks' films have grossed more than $4.5 billion at U.S. and Canadian box offices and more than $9.0 billion worldwide, making him the fourth highest-grossing actor in North America. Hanks has been nominated for numerous awards during his career. He won a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Philadelphia (1993), as well as a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a People's Choice Award for Best Actor for Forrest Gump (1994). In 1995, Hanks became one of only two actors who won the Academy Award for Best Actor in consecutive years, with Spencer Tracy being the other. In 2004, he received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, as well as the French Legion of Honor.

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