Morgan Freeman is an Academy Award winning actor known for his brilliant performances in movies like ˜Million Dollar baby', ˜Street Smart' and ˜Driving Miss Daisy'. He loved acting from childhood and won a state wide drama competition when he was just 12. Even though acting was always his first love, he was unsure of pursuing it as a career and instead chose to serve as a radar technician in the United States Air Force. But, he soon realized that acting was his true passion and took acting and dancing lessons. He made his acting debut as a stage actor in a touring company version of ˜The Royal Hunt of the Sun'. He got his big break when he was cast in the all African-American Broadway production of ˜Hello, Dolly!' which got his performance noticed. Gradually he made his transition into movies, first appearing in a number of minor roles before landing on more substantial ones. His movie career began to take-off in the mid 1980s when the actor was already approaching 50. He was often chosen to play wise, fatherly characters because of his age and kindly looks. His amazing performances have earned him one Academy Award win along with several other prestigious awards like Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award.
Jack Nicholson is a legendary American actor who has been one of the biggest stalwarts of Hollywood for close to 6 decades and within that period he has delivered some of the most iconic performances that the world of cinema has ever seen. Nicholson initially started off as a stage actor and then became a B-movie star; as a result he decided to try his hand at screenplay writing thinking that he would never be able to make it in Hollywood. However it all changed after he delivered the screenplay for the movie ˜The Trip' and then managed to get a role in the film ˜Easy Rider' by way of the actors who were part of the cast of ˜The Trip'. Throughout his career Jack Nicholson has gone for a variety of roles and garnered a reputation of being one of the most versatile actors of modern times. Films like ˜One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', ˜Terms of Endearment' and ˜As Good as It Gets' among others has immortalised him while he has also won the coveted Academy Award thrice to equal the record for most wins. Jack Nicholson is without doubt among the greatest that Hollywood has ever had.
Bill Cosby is an American actor, musician, author, and stand-up comedian. Cosby started his career as a stand-up comedian and gradually moved to TV and movies. As a child, Cosby was more interested in comedy than in studies. He dropped out of high school to join the ˜US Navy.' Soon, Cosby became aware of his ability to make people laugh. He joined a night club as a stand-up comedian. The TV show ˜I Spy' was his first acting assignment. Following the success of the show, he bagged several major TV roles. His show, ˜The Bill Cosby Show,' was one of the highest-rated sitcoms in the US for several years. He starred in movies, too. He has also released hip-hop albums. Cosby won several awards and honors throughout his exemplary career. He played a major role in changing the perception of TV audiences toward African“American people. Cosby has been vocal about the need for African“American people to receive higher education. At the peak of his career, Cosby faced a major sexual abuse suit. More than 50 women accused Cosby of various sexual offenses. He was found guilty in many of the cases. After this incident, Cosby's career and fame suffered a major setback. Many of his honorary degrees were revoked.
As the actor who personified evil in his chilling portrayal of a cannibalistic killer in ˜The Silence of the Lambs', Anthony Hopkins is regarded as one of the greatest actors alive. This highly celebrated character actor started his career as a stage performer. Impressed by the young man's talents and dedication, the great British actor Laurence Olivier invited him to be his understudy at The Royal National Theatre. The young Anthony thrived under the guidance of the senior actor and was on the way to making it big as a theatre artist. However, he was bored of playing the same kind of roles and desired a change. He gradually moved away from the stage and entered the world of television and movies. He made his television debut in the BBC production of the play ˜A Flea in Her ear' and played a minor role in the short film ˜The White Bus'. He got his first major role in ˜The Lion in winter' which was a commercial as well as critical success. He went on to portray a variety of on-screen characters over his long and successful acting career. He reached the peak of success when he played the brilliant psychiatrist turned cold-blooded murderer Hannibal Lecter in ˜The Silence of the lambs' for which he won an Academy Award.
Jane Fonda is a versatile actress who has won several prestigious awards over a long and illustrious career spanning more than five decades. The beautiful and talented lady has evolved from just being an actress to become a fitness icon and also an outspoken feminist and political activist. Acting came naturally to Jane whose father was the legendary actor Henry Fonda, so it was no surprise when the pretty young girl expressed her desire to get into films. Even as a child she would watch movies and act out the scenes with her brother, Peter who too became an actor in future. She rose to fame in the 1960s with a string of successful films like ˜Tall Story' and ˜Cat Ballou' which helped her create her own identity as a Hollywood star beyond her identity as the daughter of a famous actor. Her luminous beauty and seductive charms earned her the image of a sex symbol. However, the talented actress never let the media typecast her. She proved to the world that she was a versatile actress who could play any role with the same dedication and perfection. She reinvented herself as a fitness guru and produced and starred in several exercise videos during her later years.
Children's author who won Newberry Awards for Number the Stars and The Giver. Known for tackling controversial subjects in her books for children, she also received the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson and Margaret Edwards awards.
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor who has worked in variety of creative ventures in theatre, cinema and television. Hoffman struggled for a good part of his life by working in low budget Off-Broadways in New York and to his confession, he lived under American poverty line until he was 31 years old. But all of this changed when he was casted to play the role of a naÃ¯ve, confused and lost graduate in the movie ˜The Graduate'. The movie established Hoffman in the Hollywood film industry; before it he had a hard time to land any role because of his unconventional looks but now suddenly everyone was a fan of his exceptional looks and brilliant acting skills. He became the talk of the tinsel town and did huge movies with well established actors like Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Gene Hackman, etc. Some of the other famous movies from Hoffman's career are, ˜Kramer vs. Kramer' and ˜Rain Man'; for both the movies he won Academy Awards. He has not only contributed to the silver screen but has given many theatrical performances, worked in television movies and even won accolades for voice acting in ˜Kung Fu Panda'.
Waylon Arnold Jennings was an American country musician, singer and songwriter. He is famous for being a part of the Outlaw movement and released many critically and commercially hit albums like, ˜Lonesome, On'ry and Mean', ˜Honky Tonk Heroes' and ˜Wanted! The Outlaws' - the first platinum country music album. He started off as a radio performer at the mere age of 12 and eventually worked as a DJ alongside performing with his band locally. He was first signed on by an independent label Trend Records, A&M Records and eventually associated with RCA Victor and gained creative control over his records. He struggled with cocaine addiction for many years in his life, a problem that left him in huge debt and subsequently bankrupt. During his days of struggle he quit making albums and joined the country supergroup ˜The Highwaymen' with Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash. He toured for a while in the 1990s mainly to pay off his debts and after 1997 kept at low profile to spend more time with his son and family. In 2001 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2007 he was posthumously awarded the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music.
George Carlin was a comedian well known for his black humour and opinions on controversial subjects. The performer who rose to fame during the 1970's was a bold and outspoken individual who did not think twice before voicing his strong opinions on topics considered taboo during those times. His most famous”or notorious”performance was his outrageous comedy routine ˜Seven Dirty Words' which played a significant role in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to regulate indecent material on the broadcast media in 1978. Known to reinvent his stage persona from time to time to cater to the changing expectations of the audiences, he had metamorphosed from the conventional comedian of his younger days into a more insightful and cynical commentator on social issues in his later years. He forayed into the field of comedy by pairing up with Jack Burns with whom he performed successfully for two years before moving on to pursue a solo career. He began performing on variety shows in television and soon became popular as a frequent performer on ˜The Tonight Show'. After starting out as a conventional comedian he began experimenting with his looks and style. He stirred up considerable controversy with his routine ˜Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television' which not only established his fame but also made him immortal in the hearts of his fans.
Merle Haggard was among the most influential figures in country music. He created a unique kind of music by infusing traditional elements with the sound of ˜Fender' guitar and new vocal styles. A native of Bakersfield, Haggard struggled during his childhood with respiratory condition which didn't allow him to attend school. Also his father's untimely death made him rebellious. Even as he learnt to play the guitar, his personal life was extremely turbulent and he repeatedly got imprisoned for various petty crimes. Following many insubordination, he had an epiphany after spending time with a death-row inmate following which, he turned around his life, got parole and started focusing on his music career. He achieved fame very soon with his unique and appealing music and churned out a series of number-one tracks. Over the next two decades, he established himself as one of the most influential and commercially successful country musicians, as well as a supporter of the working classes. His influence spread to other artists as well. In spite of his age and health issues, he retained his passion for music and gave live performances for his devoted fans.
English soccer legend who spent 17 years with Manchester United and 12 years with England's national team in a career that spanned from 1956 to 1976. He led England to a World Cup Championship in 1966 while winning the 1966 Golden Ball award and retired with the most career goals for both England (49) and Manchester United (249).
George Takei is an American actor, director, author, and social activist. His biggest stint as an actor has been the role of ˜Hikaru Sulu' in the ˜Star Trek' TV series, and in the film adaptations that followed. Born to Japanese“American parents in Los Angeles, George started his acting career with the film ˜Hell to Eternity,' released in 1960. He went on to star in some major films, alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and Richard Burton. He soon became one of the most popular actors of Asian descent in Hollywood and a go-to guy for the roles that required an actor with Asian features. He joined the cast of the series ˜Star Trek' in 1965 and then reprised his role in the series until its end and in the six motion pictures based on the series. He also lent his voice to several successful animated series, such as ˜The Simpsons,' ˜Spider-Man,' ˜Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' and ˜Kim Possible.' In 2005, he revealed that he was gay. He has fought for LGBT rights ever since. He has raised his voice against racism and other social evils, and this has earned him several awards and honors, such as the ˜Doctorate of Humane Letters,' the ˜GLAAD Vito Russo Award,' and the ˜LGBT Humanist Award.'