Feb 212018
 

On This Day


Births


                

                


1946 – Alan Rickman

Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and on screen. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions.

His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman gained wider notice for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard (1988) and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.

Rickman’s other film roles included the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991), for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply (1991), Colonel Brandon in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995), the title character in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996), which won him a Golden Globe Award, an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Harry in Love Actually (2003), P.L. O’Hara in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995), Dr. Alfred Blalock in the Emmy-winning HBO film Something the Lord Made (2004), Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest (1999), and Judge Turpin in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007).

His final film roles are as Lieutenant General Frank Benson in the thriller Eye in the Sky (2015), and the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).

Died: 14 January 2016

Aged 69


1978 – Helen Marnie

Helen Marnie is a Scottish musician, known as the lead vocalist and one of the keyboardists and songwriters of the electronic band Ladytron. In 2012, she started a solo career as Marnie and released her debut solo album Crystal World on 11 June 2013. Her second solo album, Strange Words and Weird Wars, was released on 2 June 2017.

Age 40


1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt

    

Jennifer Love Hewitt is an American actress, singer, songwriter, producer and director. Hewitt began her career as a child actress and singer, appearing in national television commercials before joining the cast of the Disney Channel series Kids Incorporated (1989–1991) as well as performing as a backup singer before recording her debut studio album at the age of 12, Love Songs (1992), which was released exclusively in Japan. Hewitt received her breakthrough role as Sarah Reeves Merrin on the Fox teen drama Party of Five (1995–1999), and rose to fame as a teen star for her role as Julie James in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and its 1998 sequel.

Hewitt released her second and third studio albums with Atlantic Records, Let’s Go Bang (1995) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (1996), both of which saw little commercial success. Thereafter, she starred alongside Sigourney Weaver in the romantic comedy film Heartbreakers (2001) and alongside Jackie Chan in the action comedy film The Tuxedo (2002). Hewitt released her fourth studio album and most recent to date with Jive Records in 2002, BareNaked, which became her first album to chart in the United States, peaking at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her most successful single on the Billboard Hot 100 was the 1999 release “How Do I Deal”, which peaked at number 59.

From 2005 to 2010, Hewitt starred as Melinda Gordon on the CBS supernatural drama Ghost Whisperer, for which she received two Saturn Awards in 2007 and 2008. She later starred on the Lifetime drama series The Client List from 2012 to 2013, and was previously nominated for a Golden Globe Award for the pilot film. From 2014 to 2015, she starred as Special Agent Kate Callahan on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. In addition to acting, she has served as a producer on some of her film and television projects. Hewitt was identified as the “number one reader choice” on the November 1999 and May 2009 covers of Maxim magazine. TV Guide named her the sexiest woman on television in 2008.

Age 39


1980 – Elize du Toit

Elize du Toit is a South African-born British actress best known for playing the role of Izzy Davies in the Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks from 2000 to 2004, with a brief return in 2007.

Age 38


1983 – Katie McGrath

Katie McGrath is an Irish actress. In television, she is best known for portraying Morgana on the BBC One series Merlin (2008–2012), Lucy Westenra on the British-American series Dracula (2013–2014), Sarah Bennett in the first season of the Canadian horror anthology series Slasher (2016), and currently portrays Lena Luthor, in the American superhero series Supergirl (2016–present). In film, she starred as Lady Thelma Furness in the drama film W.E. (2011) and Zara Young in the science fiction adventure film Jurassic World (2015).

Age 35


1986 – Charlotte Church

Charlotte Maria Church (born Charlotte Maria Reed) is a Welsh singer-songwriter, actress, television presenter and political activist.

She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide including over 5 million in the United States. In 2010, she was reported to be worth as much as £11m (though one 2003 report quoted her worth at £25m). She hosted a Channel 4 chat show titled The Charlotte Church Show. Church released her first album in five years, titled Back to Scratch, on 17 October 2010. Church is a soprano.

Age 32


1987 – Tuppence Middleton

Tuppence Middleton is an English actress. She was nominated for the London Evening Standard Film Awards 2010 for Most Promising Newcomer. Since 2015, she portrays Riley Blue in the Netflix webseries Sense8.

She has appeared in feature films such as Tormented (2009), Chatroom (2010), Cleanskin (2012), Trance (2013), The Lady Vanishes (2013), The Imitation Game (2014), and Jupiter Ascending (2015), as well as in television series such as Bones (2008), New Tricks (2010), Friday Night Dinner (2011), Sinbad (2012), Spies of Warsaw (2013), Black Mirror (2013), and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (2017).

She starred in two British period dramas screened around the same time, Dickensian (2015–16), playing Miss Havisham, and War & Peace (2016), in which she played Russian princess and villain Hélène Kuragina.

Age 31


1988 – Danny Rose

Daniel Stephen Rose is an English footballer who plays as a midfielder for Portsmouth. He also captained the England C team in 2012.

A former captain of Manchester United Reserves, he joined Oxford United in 2007 following a four-month loan spell. He switched to Newport County the following year, and helped Newport to the Conference South title in 2009–10. He was sold to Fleetwood Town in January 2012, and was part of the side that won the Conference Premier title in 2011–12, before returning to Oxford in June 2013.

Age 30


1994 – Hayley Orrantia

    

Sarah Hayley Orrantia known professionally as Hayley Orrantia, is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She is best known for portraying Erica Goldberg on the ABC comedy series The Goldbergs. She was a member of Lakoda Rayne, a country-pop girl group assembled by Paula Abdul during the first season of The X Factor.

Age 24


1996 – Sophie Turner

    

Sophie Turner is an English actress. Turner made her professional acting debut as Sansa Stark on the HBO fantasy television series Game of Thrones (2011–present), which brought her international recognition.

Turner has also starred in the television film The Thirteenth Tale (2013) and she made her feature film debut in Another Me (2013). She has also starred in the action comedy Barely Lethal (2015) and portrays a young Jean Grey / Phoenix in the X-Men film series.

Age 22


Deaths



2004 – Les Gray

Born: 09 April 1946

Thomas Leslie “Les” Gray was an English musician best known for his work with glam rock pop band Mud. Gray was also known for his distinctive vocal impersonation of Elvis Presley.

Gray was born in Carshalton, Surrey. He was a self-taught musician, and during his school years, he played trumpet with a jazz band, and then, with a younger brother, went on to form the skiffle unit, The Mourners. After leaving school he worked for Pearl & Dean, writing commercials, and later for Moss Bros before finding success with Mud.

With a few line-up changes, The Mourners evolved into Mud in February 1966, with Gray on vocals, Dave Mount on drums, Rob Davis on guitar, and Ray Stiles on bass, and won the Search for Sound song contest the same year. After a few unsuccessful singles including “Flower Power”, they were signed to Mickie Most’s RAK record label, and gained television exposure via an appearance on The Basil Brush Show. They toured in support of Tom Jones in 1973. Mud had a string of hits written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, including two which topped the UK Singles Chart in 1974, “Lonely This Christmas”, and “Tiger Feet”, and a chart topping cover of “Oh, Boy!” (originally performed by Buddy Holly). They disbanded in 1979.

Gray had a Top 40 solo hit (#32) in 1977 with his cover version of “A Groovy Kind of Love.” He later toured with backing musicians under the name ‘Les Gray’s Mud’, but never found the same level of success as he had enjoyed with the original outfit.

Died Aged 57


On This Day   .   Jennifer Love Hewitt   .   Sophie Turner

Jan 142018
 

On This Day


Births



1934

Richard Briers

(Died: 17 Feb 2013)

Aged 79
Richard David Briers CBE was an English actor. His fifty-year career encompassed television, stage, film and radio.
1962

Patricia Morrison

Age 56
Patricia Morrison is an American bass guitarist, singer and songwriter. She worked with BagsThe Gun ClubFur BibleThe Sisters of Mercy and The Damned.
1965

Jemma Redgrave

Age 53
Jemma Rebecca Redgrave is a fourth-generation English actress of the Redgrave family.
1968

Marc Keller

Age 50
Marc Keller is a French former professional footballer who played primarily as a midfielder. In his club career he played in France, Germany and England. For the national side he played seven times, scoring one goal against Brazil. He later became Director-General of RC Strasbourg and AS Monaco.

Keller played 3 times for Portsmouth in 2000
1992

Aaron McCarey

Age 26
Aaron McCarey is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Scottish Championship club Ross County.

McCarey played 6 times for Portsmouth in 2015


Deaths



2016

Alan Rickman

(Born: 21 Feb 1946)

Died Aged 69
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman was an English actor and director known for playing a variety of roles on stage and on screen. Rickman trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing in modern and classical theatre productions. His first big television role came in 1982, but his big break was as the Vicomte de Valmont in the stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses in 1985, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.


On This Day   .   Alan Rickman Obituary

Dec 262017
 

Love Actually


2003

    


Plot Summary

Against the backdrop of aged has-been rock star Billy Mack’s Christmas themed comeback cover of “Love Is All Around” which he knows is crap and makes no bones about it much to his manager Joe’s chagrin as he promotes the record, several interrelated stories about romantic love and the obstacles to happiness through love for Londoners are presented in the five weeks preceding Christmas. Daniel’s wife has just passed away, leaving him to take care of his adolescent stepson Sam by himself. Daniel is uncertain how to deal with Sam and his problems without his wife present, especially in light of a potential budding romance within their household. Juliet and Peter have just gotten married. They believe that Peter’s best friend and best man Mark hates Juliet but won’t say so to his or her face. Others looking at the situation from the outside believe Mark is jealous of Juliet as he is in love with Peter himself. Jamie, a writer, is taking a writing retreat by himself in rural France

Review

Very cheesy but a must for Christmas viewing. Bill Nighy is brilliant as the ageing rock star and Keira Knightley and Martine McCutcheon add some glamour.

IMDb

Rating : 7.7 / 10


IMDb 

Jan 142016
 

British actor Alan Rickman, whose career ranged from Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company to the Harry Potter films, has died. He was 69.

His sonorous, languid voice was his calling card – making even throwaway lines of dialogue sound thought-out and authoritative.
It could also be laced with threat, something he employed to great effect in Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the eight Potter films, where he played scheming potions master Severus Snape.

But he could also take on romantic leads, as in Anthony Minghella’s 1991 drama Truly, Madly, Deeply and later turned his hand to directing.

Born in Acton, west London, Rickman was the second of four children for Margaret Doreen Rose, a housewife, and Bernard Rickman, a painter and decorator.
His father died of lung cancer when he was just eight years old, leaving his mother to seek out work to feed her family.
“She was a tigress,” he later said. “She could do anything. She had various jobs, she got trained in various others, she always reinvented herself.”

The young Rickman showed an interest in the arts from an early age and trained in graphic design and typography at the Royal Academy of Art, writing for the college journal, ARK while he was there.
After graduation he opened a graphic design studio, Graphiti, with several friends – but theatre was always lurking in the background and after three years he quit to become an assistant stage manager at the small Basement Theatre Company.

Then, aged 26, he found himself posting a letter to Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada) asking for an audition. To his surprise, he was accepted.
“Fortunately I wasn’t actually the oldest person there,” he later reflected.
Upon graduation, he worked for a number of repertory companies before becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), sharing a house in Stratford with Ruby Wax.
But he left after a season, disillusioned by the company and declaring he wanted to “learn how to talk to other actors on stage rather than bark at them”.

He was soon seduced by the small screen, playing Tybalt in a BBC production of Romeo and Juliet (1978) and taking roles in Smiley’s People and The Barchester Chronicles (both 1982).
A return to the RSC in 1985 was more rewarding as the actor, having shed some of his youthful angst, took the starring role in Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses.
He portrayed the drawling sexual connoisseur Vicomte de Valmont, who “slips sly and inscrutable through the action like a cat who knows the way to the cream,” said the Guardian in its original review.
Rickman’s co-star, Lindsay Duncan, was less coy – saying the audiences would leave the theatre wanting to have sex “and preferably with Alan Rickman”.
The show transferred to the West End and then to Broadway, where the actor secured the first of two Tony nominations.

His next role – as sharp-tongued terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard – was to make him internationally famous. As he squared off against a sweaty Bruce Willis, his urbane put-downs and coldly-calculated violence helped raise the film above the standard blockbuster fare.
The actor also provoked a showdown on the set when he refused to throw fellow actress Bonnie Bedelia to the floor, as required by the script.
“My character was very civilised in a strange sort of way and just wouldn’t have behaved like that,” he said. “Nor would Bonnie’s character, a self-possessed career woman, have allowed him to. It was a stereotype – woman as eternal victim – that they hadn’t even thought about.”

The star brought similar thoughtfulness to his later roles, notably Truly, Madly Deeply – in which he played the ghost of Juliet Stevenson’s boyfriend, who comes back to ease her grief.
He continued to essay villains, stealing scenes from Kevin Costner in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, as he screamed “No more merciful beheadings and call off Christmas!”
And his sensitive portrayal of Severus Snape allowed audiences a glimpse of the character’s anguished past long before JK Rowling revealed it in the books.
“He had a real understanding of the character and now looking back, you can see there was always more going on there – a look, an expression, a sentiment – that hint at what is to come,” said the franchise’s producer, David Heyman.
“The shadow that he casts in these films is a huge one and the emotion he conveys is immeasurable.”

But Rickman was no method actor – stepping out of character to playing pranks on his fellow cast members, some of which were caught on camera.
His other film credits included Sweeney Todd, Michael Collins, Dogma and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which he brought pathos to the voice of eternally depressed robot Marvin The Paranoid Android. (Rickman’s own distinctive voice, he later revealed, was a speech impediment caused by restricted movement in his jaw – a condition with which he was born.)

He worked often with Emma Thompson, after being cast as Col Brandon in her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. He went on to play her (unfaithful) husband in Love Actually and later directed her in Scottish drama The Winter Guest, his first film behind the camera.
His second film as director, A Little Chaos, starred another Sense and Sensibility cast member, Kate Winslet, as Sabine, who is chosen to build one of the main gardens at King Louis XIV’s new palace at Versailles.

While promoting the film, Rickman, who also played King Louis, spoke of the difficulty of holding down two jobs on set, quoting his friend Ralph Fiennes, who told him: “The danger of directing yourself is that you are embarrassed about going for another take.”
On stage, he reunited with Liaisons Dangereuses director Howard Davies and co-star Lindsay Duncan in 2002 for Noel Coward’s Private Lives, which transferred to Broadway after a successful run in London, earning Rickman his second Tony nod.
Less successful was his 1996 interpretation of Hamlet, which was panned by critics who called it “a palpable miss”.
Other stage performances included Mark Antony opposite Helen Mirren’s Cleopatra at the Olivier Theatre in London and the title role in Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in 2010.

He also directed the award-winning 2005 play My Name is Rachel Corrie about the American student who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip.
The star was notoriously reluctant to discuss the art of acting, saying it was “too, too hard” to explain. But speaking to Bafta last year, he described his profession as “the act of giving yourself over to once upon a time”.
Rickman is survived by his wife Rima Horton, who he met as a teenager in art school and married in New York last year.

He had completed several films before his death, including Eye in the Sky, about drone warfare in Kenya, which is due for release in March and Tim Burton’s Alice Through the Looking Glass.