Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn (/ˈɔːdri ˈhɛpˌbɜːrn/; born Audrey Kathleen Ruston; 4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was a British actress. Recognised as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legendin Golden Age Hollywood and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame. Born in Ixelles, a district of Brussels, Hepburn spent her childhood between Belgium, England and the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, she studied ballet with Sonia Gaskell before moving to London in 1948, continuing her ballet training with Marie Rambert, and then performing as a chorus girl in West Endmusical theatre productions.
Following minor appearances in several films, Hepburn starred in the 1951 Broadway play Gigi after being spotted by French novelist Colette, on whose work the play was based. She shot to stardom for playing the lead role in Roman Holiday (1953), for which she was the first actress to win an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTAAward for a single performance. The same year Hepburn won a Tony Awardfor Best Lead Actress in a Play for her performance in Ondine. She went on to star in a number of successful films, such as Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story(1959), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964) and Wait Until Dark (1967), for which she received Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. Hepburn won a record three BAFTA Awards for Best British Actress in a Leading Role. In recognition of her film career, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from BAFTA, the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award and the Special Tony Award. She remains one of the few people who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.
Hepburn appeared in fewer films as her life went on, devoting much of her later life to UNICEF. She had contributed to the organisation since 1954, then worked in some of the poorest communities of Africa, South America and Asia between 1988 and 1992. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in December 1992. A month later, Hepburn died of appendiceal cancer at her home in Switzerland at the age of 63.

Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-ChurchillKGOMCHTDPCDLFRSRA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Churchill was born into the family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.
At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of TradeHome Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith'sLiberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaigncaused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government under Lloyd George as Minister of MunitionsSecretary of State for WarSecretary of State for Air, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequerin Baldwin's Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy.
Out of office and politically "in the wilderness" during the 1930s because of his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germanyand in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured. Under his leadership as the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, close to three million Bengalis perished in the Bengal Famine of 1943 in British India.[2][3][4]
After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. After winning the 1951 election, Churchill again became Prime Minister. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan EmergencyMau Mau UprisingKorean War, and a UK-backed coup d'état in Iran. Domestically his government laid great emphasis on house-building. Churchill suffered a serious stroke in 1953 and retired as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained a Member of Parliament until 1964. Upon his death aged ninety in 1965, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.[5] Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley[a] (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was an American musician and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "the King of Rock and Roll", or simply, "the King".
Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, as a twinless twin- his brother was stillborn. When he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was an early popularizer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and bluesRCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who managed the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. He was regarded as the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines that coincided with the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, made him enormously popular—and controversial.
In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. In 1958, he was drafted into military service. He resumed his recording career two years later, producing some of his most commercially successful work before devoting much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and their accompanying soundtrack albums, most of which were critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed televised comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of highly profitable tours. In 1973, Presley was featured in the first globally broadcast concert via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. Several years of prescription drug abuse severely damaged his health, and he died in 1977 at the age of 42.
Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century. Commercially successful in many genres, including pop, blues and gospel, he is the best-selling solo artistin the history of recorded music,[5][6][7][8]with estimated record sales of around 600 million units worldwide.[9] He won three Grammys, also receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, and has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame.

Bruce Lee


Lee Jun-fan (Chinese李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee, was a Hong Kong American actormartial artistphilosopher, filmmaker,[3]and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time,[4] and a pop culture icon of the 20th century.[5][6] He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.[7]
Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on November 27, 1940 to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education, at the University of Washington, at Seattle[8] and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial artsin the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the United States, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.[9]
He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss(1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner BrothersEnter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death(1978), both directed by Robert Clouse.[10] Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films.[11] He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources, in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Lee held dual nationality of Hong Kong and the United States.[12] He died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32.

My mothers horse


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean WarLord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well-suited to light cavalry. Due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.
The events are best remembered as the subject of the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published just six weeks after the event, its lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the obvious outcome. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague.

1.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

2.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

3.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

4.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

5.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

6.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Alec Newman







Alec Newman was born in Glasgow on the 27th of November 1974. Raised both in Scotland and England he joined the National Youth theater at 17 after injury ruled out a career in soccer. There he played various roles most notably Iago in Shakespeare's Othello, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. Upon finishing his training both at the NYT and then at LAMDA, Newman went straight to work both on television and in the theater, appearing in the obligatory Scots cop show "Taggart" and playing leading roles at Edinburgh's Royal Lyceum. Playing guest leads in several of Britain's leading network shows led Newman to his debut feature G:MT Greenwich Mean Time (1999), where he won critical acclaim for his performance. He landed the role of Paul Atreides in the SciFI channel mini series "Frank Herberts Dune"(2000) which exposed him to the US audience for the first time. Appearances on US shows such as "Angel"(2004), "Tru Calling"(2004) and "Star Trek:Enterprise"(2004) would follow.

However, he consistently returned to the British theatre, working with Cate Blanchettin the West end production of "Plenty", and leading a revival of Max Frisch's "Andorra" at London's Young Vic. A return to film came with the Working Title horror film "Long Time Dead" (2002).Further screen appearances included a reprisal of the role of Paul Atreides in Children of Dune (2003) and the title role in Frankenstein (2004) alongside Luke GossDonald Sutherland, and Julie Delpy. The hard hitting independent, The Principles of Lust (2003), hit screens in early 2004, further assurance of Newman's presence in British film after an appearance in Stephen Fry's debut Bright Young Things(2003).Both films were selected to play in competition at the 2004 Sundance Film festival.

2004 was also the year Newman played the lead in a John Wells pilot for a remake of the cult 60's show "Dark Shadows".His first foray into series television,Wells himself had fought with the network for his choice and won.Alec beat off the competition for that years most coveted role in television.The pilot was not selected for the 2004 season however despite being heavily tipped.

Despite the series not continuing,the actor reacted assertively and quickly, firing into more film work including Constellation(2005) directed by award winning Jordan Walker Pearlmain,and "Moonlight Serenade"(2006),opposite Academy Award nominee Amy Adams.His role in "The Fifth Patient"(2007)marked somewhat of a departure for Alec-he plays a British doctor,(having consistently realized American roles in most of his prior US work.)The film also stars Nick Chinlund and Peter Bogdanovich.

Alec next appeared in Lions Gate distributed "The Gene Generation" (2007) opposite Bai Ling and Faye Dunaway.

Returning to the UK he filmed "The Reichenbach Falls"(2007) for BBC 4- a John Mckay directed film based on an Ian Rankin short story "The Acid Test". It aired to unanimous critical acclaim.Continued work with the BBC featured a regular role on the series "Hope Springs"(2009) for Shed Productions, "Silent Witness"(2010) and medical long runner "Casualty".(2010)

In 2010 Alec shot the Julian Gilbey thriller "A Lonely Place To Die"(2011) in his native Scotland. He featured (opposite Sean Harris and Melissa George), as Rob, the leader of a climbing expedition in the wilds of the Highlands.The film opened to favorable reviews both sides of the Atlantic.

A return to stage work then beckoned, first in the National Theatre production of "Dantons Death" in which Alec appeared as the sadistic "Saint Just". The production was directed by Michael Grandage and Alec appeared next in his Donmar Warehouse production Of "King Lear"(2011) with Sir Derek Jacobi in the title role. Newman's performance as Edmund was noted in the UK and at BAM, where the production ended it's extensive tour.It also played worldwide in an NT Live broadcast to over 30 countries.