Who is Allah Rakha Rahman? The entertainment and music world knows him as A. R. Rahman, he an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements. He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations.
His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the
nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans
have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Music Storm). In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People. The UK based World Music magazine Songlines named him one of ‘Tomorrow’s World Music Icons’ in August 2011.
Having set up his own in-house studio called Panchathan Record Inn at Chennai,
arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios,
Rahman’s film scoring career began in the early 1990s with the Tamil
film Roja. Working in India’s various film industries, international cinema and theatre, Rahman has reportedly sold more than 300 million records worldwide of his film scores and soundtracks as of 2009 for over 100 film scores worldwide, making him one of the world’s all-time top selling recording artists.
In a notable career spanning two decades, Rahman has garnered
particular acclaim for redefining contemporary Indian film music and
thus contributing to the success of several films. Rahman is currently
one of the highest paid composers of the motion picture industry. He has
also become a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and
raising money for beneficial causes and supporting charities.
A. R. Rahman was born as A. S. Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India to a musically affluent Mudaliar Tamil family. His father R. K. Shekhar, was a film music composer and conductor for Tamil as well as Malayalam films. Rahman used to assist his father during recordings and play keyboard
for the songs. Rahman lost his father at the age of 9 and his family
had to rent out his father’s musical equipment as their source of
income. Rahman was raised by his mother Kareema (born Kashturi).
During these formative years, Rahman served as a keyboard player and an
arranger in bands such as “Roots”, with childhood friend and
percussionist Sivamani, John Anthony, Suresh Peters, JoJo and Raja. Rahman is the founder of the Chennai-based rock group, “Nemesis Avenue”. He mastered various music instruments like Keyboard, Piano, Synthesizer, Harmonium and Guitar.
His curiosity in Synthesizer in particular, increased because, he says,
it was the “ideal combination of music and technology”.
He began early training in music under Master Dhanraj.
At the age of 11, he started playing musical instruments in the
orchestra of Malayalam composer and a close friend of Rahman’s father, M. K. Arjunan. Soon he started working with other composers such as M. S. Viswanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, Ramesh Naidu, Raj-Koti and also accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours and obtained a scholarship with Trinity College, London, board of the Trinity College of Music. Studying in Chennai, he graduated with graded examinations and a diploma in Western classical music via the college. He was introduced to Qadiri Islam
when his younger sister fell severely ill in 1984. Subsequently, Rahman
along with other members of his family converted to Islam in 1989, when
he was 23 years old. He changed his name from A. S. Dileep Kumar to
Allah Rakha Rahman i.e. A. R. Rahman.
Film scoring and soundtracks
When he was nine, Rahman accidentally played a tune on piano during
his father’s recording for a film, which R. K. Shekhar later developed
into a complete song, “Vellithen Kinnam Pol”, for the Malayalam film Penpada. This track credited to his father, was sung by Jayachandran and penned by Bharanikkavu Sivakumar. His film career began in 1992, when he started Panchathan Record Inn,
a music recording and mixing studio attached to the backyard of his
house. Over time it would become the most advanced recording studio in
India, and arguably one of Asia’s most sophisticated and high-tech studios. He initially composed scores for documentaries, jingles for advertisements and Indian Television
channels and other projects. In 1987 Rahman, then still known as Dileep
got his first opportunity to compose jingles for new range of watches
being launched by Allwyn. In 1992, he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score and soundtrack for Ratnam’s Tamil film Roja. The debut led Rahman to receive the Rajat Kamal (Silver Lotus) award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards, an unprecedented win for a first-time film composer. Rahman has since been awarded the Silver Lotus three more times for Minsara Kanavu (Tamil) in 1997, Lagaan (Hindi) in 2002, Kannathil Muthamittal (Tamil) in 2003, the most ever by any composer.
Roja’s score met with high sales and acclaim in both its original and dubbed versions, led by the theme song “Chinna Chinna Aasai” bringing about a marked change in film music at the time. Rahman followed this with successful scores for Tamil–language films of the Chennai film industry including Ratnam’s politically charged Bombay, the urbanite Kadhalan, Thiruda Thiruda and S. Shankar‘s debut film Gentleman, spurred by the popular dance song “Chikku Bukku Rayile“. Rahman worked with director Bharathiraaja‘s Kizhakku Cheemayile and Karuththamma, producing successful Tamil rural folk inspired scores and delivered the grand saxophonic score for K. Balachander‘s Duet. The 1995 film Indira and the romantic comedies Mr. Romeo and Love Birds all gained him considerable notice. His fanbase in Japan increased with Muthu ‘s success there.
His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil Nadu film industry
and around the world for his stylistic versatility incorporating Western classical, Carnatic and Tamil traditional/folk music traditions, jazz, reggae and rock music. The soundtrack of Bombay sold 12 million copies worldwide. The “Bombay Theme“—from Ratnam’s Bombay—would later reappear in his score of Deepa Mehta‘s Fire and various compilations and media around the world. It was featured in the Palestinian film Divine Intervention in 2002, and in the Nicolas Cage film Lord of War, in 2005. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman’s debut for Hindi-language films made in the Mumbai film industry. Many successful scores for films including Dil Se.. and the percussive Taal followed. Sufi mysticism would inspire the track “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from the former, as well as the composition “Zikr” from his score for the film Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero for which he created large symphonic orchestral and choral arrangements. His score for the Chennai production Minsaara Kanavu garnered Rahman his second National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1997, and a South FilmFare Award for Best Music Direction in a Tamil film,
breaking a record with six consecutive wins in the latter category.
Rahman would go onto win the award a further three consecutive times.
Musical cues in scores for Sangamam and Iruvar employed Carnatic vocals and instruments such as the veena with leads of rock guitar and jazz. In the 2000s Rahman created hit scores for Rajiv Menon‘s Kandukondain Kandukondain, Alaipayuthey, Ashutosh Gowariker‘s Swades and Rang De Basanti. He composed songs with Hindustani motifs for Water (2005). By the end of 2003, Rahman had sold more than 150 million records of his film scores and soundtracks for over 50 film scores worldwide.
Rahman has worked with Indian poets and lyricists such as Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Vairamuthu and Vaali. He has consistently produced commercially successful soundtracks when collaborating with particular film directors such as Mani Ratnam, who he has worked with since Roja, and the director S. Shankar in the films Gentleman, Kadhalan, Indian, Jeans, Mudhalvan, Nayak, Boys, Sivaji and lately for Enthiran.
In 2005, Rahman extended his Panchathan Record Inn studio by establishing AM Studios in Kodambakkam, Chennai, thereby creating the most cutting-edge studio in Asia. In 2006, Rahman launched his own music label, KM Music. Its first release was his score to the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman scored the Mandarin language picture Warriors of Heaven and Earth in 2003 after researching and utilizing Chinese and Japanese classical music, and won the Just Plain Folks Music Award For Best Music Album for his score of the 2006 film Varalaru (God Father). He co-scored the Shekhar Kapur project and his first British film, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, in 2007. He garnered an Asian Film Award nomination for Best Composer at the Hong Kong International Film Festival for his Jodhaa Akbar score. His compositions have been sampled for other scores within India, and appeared in such films as Inside Man, Lord of War, Divine Intervention and The Accidental Husband. In 2008, Rahman scored his first Hollywood picture, the comedy Couples Retreat released the next year, which won him the BMI London Award for Best Score. Rahman scored the film Slumdog Millionaire in 2008, for which he won a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards, becoming the first Asian to do so. The songs “Jai Ho” and “O…Saya“
from the soundtrack of this film met with commercial success
internationally. In 2010, Rahman composed scores for the romance film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, blockbuster sci-fi romance film Enthiran and Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours. Rahman started off the year 2011 by scoring Imtiaz Ali‘s musical film Rockstar. The soundtrack became a phenomenal success and earned Rahman immense critical praise.
Performing and other projects
Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. Vande Mataram,
an album of his original compositions released on India’s 50th
anniversary of independence in 1997, enjoyed great commercial success. Vande Mataram is the largest selling Indian non-film album to date. He followed it up with an album for the Bharat Bala–directed video Jana Gana Mana, a conglomeration of performances by many leading exponents and artists of Indian classical music.
Rahman has written jingles for ads and composed several orchestrations
for athletic events, television and internet media publications,
documentaries and short films. He frequently enlists the Czech Film Orchestra, Prague and the Chennai Strings Orchestra.
In 1999, Rahman partnered with choreographers Shobana and Prabhu Deva and a Tamil cinema dancing troupe to perform with Michael Jackson in Munich, Germany at his “Michael Jackson and Friends” concert. In 2002, he composed the music for his maiden stage production, Bombay Dreams, commissioned by musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Finnish folk music band Värttinä collaborated with Rahman to write the music for The Lord of the Rings theatre production and in 2004, Rahman composed the piece “Raga’s Dance” for Vanessa-Mae‘s album Choreography performed by Mae and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since 2004, Rahman has performed three successful world tours to audiences in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Dubai, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and India. He has been collaborating with Karen David for her upcoming studio album. A two-disc soundtrack, Introducing A. R. Rahman (2006) featuring 25 of his pieces from Tamil film scores was released in May 2006, and his non-film album, Connections was released on 12 December 2008. Rahman also performed at the White House State dinner arranged by US President Barack Obama during the official visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 24, 2009. Rahman is one of over 70 artists who performed on “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“, a charity single to raise emergency relief funds in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, Rahman composed “Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Gujarat State,
“Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhiyaam” as part of World Classical Tamil Conference 2010, and the official theme song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, “Jiyo Utho Bado Jeeto“. Rahman organised his first world tour, named A. R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour,
in 2010. The ongoing tour was kicked off on June 11 at the Nassau
Coliseum in New York and will span 16 major cities worldwide.
Some of his notable compositions were performed live by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2010. In February 2011, Rahman collaborated with Michael Bolton for his new studio album Gems – The Duets Collection. Rahman reworked on his song “Sajna” from the 2009 American film Couples Retreat to create the track.
On 20 May 2011, English musician Mick Jagger announced the formation of a new supergroup, SuperHeavy, which includes Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and Rahman. The band’s self-titled album is slated for release in September 2011.
The album will see Mick Jagger singing in Rahman’s composition
“Satyameva Jayate”, which translates to “the truth alone triumphs”.
In January 2012, it was announced the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg would join KM Music Conservatory
musicians in a 100-member concert tour of five Indian cities performing
Rahman’s compositions. The tour, named “Germany and India 2011–2012:
Infinite Opportunities’. Classic Incantations”, will mark the centenary
of Indian cinema and of Studio Babelsberg, the world’s oldest film
Music style and impact
Skilled in Carnatic music, Western classical, Hindustani music and the Qawwali style of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan,
Rahman has been noted to write film songs that amalgamate elements of
these music systems and other genres, layering instruments from
differing music idioms in an improvisatory manner. Symphonic orchestral themes have accompanied his scores, occasionally employing leitmotif. In the 1980s, Rahman recorded and played arrangements on monophonic sound, synonymous with the era of his musical predecessors K. V. Mahadevan and Vishwanathan–Ramamoorthy.
In later years his methodology changed as he experimented with the
fusion of traditional instruments with new electronic sounds and
Rahman’s musical interests and outlook stem from his love of
experimentation. Rahman’s compositions, in the vein of past and
contemporary Chennai film composers, bring out auteuristic uses of counterpoint, orchestration and the human voice, melding Indian pop music with unique timbre,
forms and instrumentation. By virtue of these qualities, broad ranging
lyrics and his syncretic style, the appeal of his music cuts across the
spectrum of classes and cultures within Indian society.
His first soundtrack for Roja was listed in Time‘s “10 Best Soundtracks” of all time in 2005. Film critic Richard Corliss
felt the “astonishing debut work parades Rahman’s gift for alchemizing
outside influences until they are totally Tamil, totally Rahman.” Rahman’s initial global reach is attributed to the South Asian diaspora.
Described as one of the most innovative composers to ever work in the
industry, his unique style and immense success transformed film music in
the 1990s prompting several film producers to take film music more
seriously. The music producer Ron Fair considers Rahman to be “one of the world’s great living composers in any medium”.
The director Baz Luhrmann notes
|“||I had come to the music of A. R. Rahman through the emotional and haunting score of Bombay and the wit and celebration of Lagaan.
But the more of AR’s music I encountered the more I was to be amazed at
the sheer diversity of styles: from swinging brass bands to triumphant
anthems; from joyous pop to West-End musicals. Whatever the style, A. R.
Rahman’s music always possesses a profound sense of humanity and
spirit, qualities that inspire me the most.
Rahman has introduced the 7.1 technology in south Indian movies to provide better output.
Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for contributions to music. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for his first West-End production. A four-time National Film Award winner and recipient of six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South for his music and scores. He has been conferred Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu for excellence in the field of music, special music achievement awards from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of Madhya Pradesh and the Padma Shri from the Government of India. In 2006, he received an honorary award from Stanford University for contributions to global music. In 2007, Rahman was entered into the Limca Book of Records as “Indian of the Year for Contribution to Popular Music”, and the Guinness World Records in 2010 as the original composer of “Maa Tujhe Salaam”, from the album Vande Mataram – the song performed in the most number of languages worldwide (265). He is the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Rotary Club of Madras. In 2009, for his score of Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song at the 81st Academy Awards. Rahman has received honorary doctorates from Middlesex University and Aligarh Muslim University. Later the year Rahman was conferred the honorary doctorate from Anna University in Chennai. He has also won two Grammy Awards, for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for a Visual Media. Rahman was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honor, in 2010. Rahman’s work for the film 127 Hours
garnered him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations for
Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song in 2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, presented to him by Trinity College London.
On May 7, 2012, he was conferred Honorary Doctorate from the Miami University, Ohio. During the acceptance speech, he mentioned that he received a Christmas card from the US President’s family and an invitation for the dinner at White House.
|Rahman and his wife|
He is married to Saira Banu and has three children, Khatija, Rahima, and Ameen. Ameen sings the track “NaNa” from Couples Retreat and his daughter Khatija the track “Pudhiya Manidha” from Enthiran. Rahman is the uncle of composer G. V. Prakash Kumar, who is the son of Rahman’s elder sister, A. R. Reihana. Prakash Kumar’s first work in film was singing on the Rahman composition “Chikku Bukku Rayile” from his score to the 1993 film Gentleman. A. R. Reihana debuted in film singing on the track “Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae” from Kannathil Muthamittal
and is also a music director. Rahman’s younger sister Fathima is in
charge of his Music conservatory in Chennai. The youngest Ishrath has
her own music studio. A. R. Rahman is brother-in-law of film actor Rahman.
An atheist through much of his childhood, in 1989 Rahman converted to
Islam, the religion of his mother’s family. After the early death of
his father, his family went through hard times and Sufism had a great influence on his mother and slowly on his family. During the 81st Academy Awards ceremony, he paid tribute to his mother, saying “There is a Hindi dialogue, mere pass ma hai, which means ‘even if I have got nothing I have my mother here’.” He also began his own catchphrase, “Ella pughazhum iraivanukke“, in Tamil
which literally means “All praises dedicated to God”. The phrase was
popularized after Rahman uttered it prior to his speech at the 81st
Academy Awards ceremony.
Rahman is involved in various charitable causes. In 2004, he was appointed as the Global Ambassador of the Stop TB Partnership, a project by WHO. He has shown support to charities including Save the Children, India, and worked with Yusuf Islam for his song “Indian Ocean”. The song featured a-ha keyboard player Magne Furuholmen and drummer Travis, Neil Primrose. The proceeds of the song went towards helping orphans in Banda Aceh, that was affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. He produced the single “We Can Make It Better” by Don Asian alongside Mukhtar Sahota. In 2008, Rahman opened his KM Music Conservatory
partnered with Audio Media Education facility to tutor and train
aspiring musicians in vocals, instruments, music technology and sound
design. The conservatory – with preeminent musicians on its panel and a
newly founded symphony orchestra – is located near his studio in Kodambakkam, Chennai, offering courses at Beginners, Foundation and Diploma level. Violinist L. Subramaniam is on its board of advisors. Several of Rahman’s proteges from the studio have gone onto score music for feature films. Rahman composed the theme music for a short film for The Banyan in 2006, in aid of destitute women in Chennai. In 2008, Rahman with noted percussionist Sivamani created a song titled “Jiya Se Jiya”, inspired by the Free Hugs Campaign and promoted it through a video shot in various cities in India.
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Danylo Yevhenovych “Daniil” Sobchenko was a Ukrainian-Russian professional ice hockey player. Born in Kiev, Sobchenko spent the entirety of his professional hockey career with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League died from a plane crash died he was 20.. He was a member of the Russian national team that competed in the IIHF World Championship‘s under 18 and under 20 levels; winning gold for the country in 2011. Sobchenko was drafted 165th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. He died along with most of the Lokomotiv team in a plane crash on the first day of the 2011–12 season.
(13 April 1991 – 7 September 2011)
On 7 September 2011, Sobchenko was killed when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying nearly his entire Lokomotiv team, crashed at Tunoshna Airport, just outside the city of Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was traveling to Minsk
to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and
prospects. Lokomotiv officials confirmed that the entire main roster was
on the flight, including four players from the junior team. The bodies of Ukrainian teammates Sobchenko and Vitali Anikeyenko were repatriated following the crash for burial in Ukraine. The funeral was held on 10 September at Sovskom cemetery in Kiev.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Ivan Leonidovich Tkachenko was a Russian professional ice hockey winger who played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) died from a plane crash he was 31. He was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 4th round (98th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
On September 7, 2011, Tkachenko was killed in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster,
when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft carrying nearly his entire
Lokomotiv team crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was
traveling to Minsk
to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and
prospects. Lokomotiv officials said, “Everyone from the main roster was
on the plane plus four players from the youth team.”
Three weeks after Tkachenko’s death information appeared in the Internet that during the last four years of his life he had anonymously donated almost 10 millions rubles (over 300,000 US dollars) for the treatment of children suffering from serious diseases. He transferred 500 000 rubles of this amount on the day before his death.
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(March 21, 1978 – September 7, 2011)
On September 7, 2011, Trakhanov was killed in the 2011 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster,
when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying nearly the entire
Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was
traveling to Minsk
to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and
prospects. Lokomotiv officials said “‘everyone from the main roster was
on the plane plus four players from the youth team.'”
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Josef Vašíček, Czech, world junior champion (2000), world champion (2005), Stanley Cup champion (2006, with Carolina Hurricanes), died from a plane crash he was 30.
Josef Vašíček was a Czech professional ice hockey player died from a plane crash he was 30.. Vasicek last played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and died when the team’s aircraft charter crashed on 7 September 2011. Vasicek played seven seasons in the National Hockey League for the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders before moving to Russia in 2008 to play for Yaroslavl.
(12 September 1980 – 7 September 2011)
HC Slavia Praha
Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha
under 17 team in 1996–97, recording 20 goals and 60 points in 37 games.
In 1997–98, Vasicek moved up to the Praha’s junior team, where he had
13 goals and 33 points in 34 games. He was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth round, 91st overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek played with HC Slavia Praha,
scoring 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead the club in scoring.
In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
After being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, Vasicek made the move to North America, and joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. in the 1998–99
season, Vasicek scored 21 goals and 56 points in 66 games, helping the
team to the playoffs. In five post-season games, Vasicek had three
He returned to the Greyhounds for the 1999–2000
season, as Vasicek improved his offensive numbers to 26 goals and 72
points in 54 games to finished second in team scoring. In the playoffs,
Vasicek had five goals and a team high 20 points in 17 games. Vasicek
was named to the third all-star team after the season.
After having a solid training camp, Vasicek made the Carolina Hurricanes, and spent the entire 2000–01 season with the NHL team. Vasicek played in his first NHL game on 7 October 2000, getting no points in a 3–3 tie against the Washington Capitals. He scored his first NHL goal on 13 October 2000, beating Trevor Kidd of the Florida Panthers
in a 2–2 tie. Vasicek finished his rookie season with eight goals and
21 points in 76 games. He played in his first ever playoff game on 12
April 2001, scoring a goal against Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils in a 5–1 loss. In six playoff games, Vasicek had two goals.
Vasicek improved offensively in 2001–02,
as in 78 games, he scored 14 goals and 31 points to finished seventh in
Hurricanes scoring. In the playoffs, Vasicek had three goals and five
points in 23 games, helping the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in five games to the Detroit Red Wings.
Vasicek had an injury plagued 2002–03
season, as he missed 25 games due to injuries. In 57 games played, he
had 10 goals and 20 points, as Carolina failed to make the playoffs. On
22 January 2003, Vasicek had his first multi-goal game in the NHL,
scoring twice against Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals in a 5–3 loss.
He had his best NHL season with the Hurricanes in 2003–04,
as Vasicek appeared in all 82 games, scoring 19 goals and 45 points to
lead the team in scoring. Vasicek recorded his first NHL hat trick on 28 October 2003, scoring three goals against Vesa Toskala of the San Jose Sharks in a 3–0 victory. The Hurricanes struggled, and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Vasicek returned to HC Slavia Praha,
where he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 52 games to lead that team in
scoring. In seven playoff games, Vasicek had a goal and seven points.
When the NHL resumed play in 2005–06, Vasicek returned to the Hurricanes. In a game on 11 November 2005 against the Florida Panthers,
Vasicek suffered a major knee injury, and remained out of the Carolina
lineup until 3 April 2006. In his first game back, Vasicek had two goals
and four points in a 6–5 win over the Washington Capitals.
Overall, Vasicek appeared in 23 games, scoring four goals and nine
points. In eight playoff games, Vasicek had no points, however, the
Hurricanes won the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals over the Edmonton Oilers. On 18 July 2006 the Hurricanes traded Vasicek to the Nashville Predators for Scott Walker.
Vasicek began the 2006–07 season with the Nashville Predators. He made his Predators debut on 5 October 2006, scoring a goal against Nikolai Khabibulin of the Chicago Blackhawks
in an 8–6 loss. Vasicek struggled with the Predators, as in 38 games,
he had four goals and 13 points. On 9 February 2007 the Predators traded
Vasicek back to the Carolina Hurricanes for Eric Belanger.
Vasicek finished the 2006–07 with the Carolina Hurricanes. In his first game back with his original NHL club on 10 February 2007, Vasicek was held pointless in a 5–4 loss to the Minnesota Wild. He recorded his first point on 13 February 2007, recording an assist in a 2–1 win over the Los Angeles Kings, and scored his first goal with Carolina on 27 February 2007 in a 4–2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Vasicek had a three point game with the Hurricanes on 17 March 2007, scoring a goal and two assists in a 7–2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
He finished the season with two goals and nine points in 25 games with
Carolina. After the season, Vasicek became an unrestricted free agent.
New York Islanders
On 15 August 2007, Vasicek signed a 1-year, $750,000 contract with the New York Islanders. He made his Islanders debut on 5 October 2007, scoring a goal against Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres
in a 6–4 win. Vasicek had his most productive NHL season since 2003–04,
as he scored 16 goals and 35 points in 81 games. After the season,
Vasicek became an unrestricted free agent.
Vasicek joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the newly formed KHL for the 2008–09
season. In 56 games, Vasicek had 12 goals and 32 points, helping the
team to the playoffs. In 19 playoff games, Vasicek had five goals and 15
He returned to Yaroslavl for the 2009–10
season, as Vasicek improved his offensive numbers to 21 goals and 48
points to lead the team in scoring. In 17 playoff games, Vasicek had six
goals and 13 points.
Vasicek once again improved offensively, scoring 24 goals and 55 points
in 54 games, finishing second in team scoring and seventh in league
scoring. In 18 playoff games, Vasicek had a league high 22 points,
scoring seven goals and adding 15 assists, however, Yaroslavl lost in
the Western Conference finals.
Vasicek returned to the club for the 2011–12, however, he was killed in a plane crash with his teammates on 7 September 2011.
Vasicek played in international hockey tournaments with the Czech Republic. He played in the 2000 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships held in Sweden, scoring a goal and four points in seven games as the Czech Republic won the Gold Medal. Vasicek then appeared in the 2003 IIHF World Championship held in Finland, scoring two assists in nine games as the Czech’s finished in fourth place. He played in one game at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, getting no points, as his team won the Bronze Medal. At the 2005 IIHF World Championship played in Austria, Vasicek had a goal and two points, helping the Czech Republic to a Gold Medal. His next international appearance was at the 2009 IIHF World Championship held in Switzerland, as Vasicek had a goal and three points in six games, as the Czech Republic finished in sixth place. In the 2010 Winter Olympics held in Vancouver, Canada, Vasicek had no points in five games, as the Czech Republic finished in seventh place.
On 7 September 2011 Vašíček was killed when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying the entire Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was traveling to Minsk
to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and
prospects. Lokomotiv officials said “‘everyone from the main roster was
on the plane plus four players from the youth team were killed.'”
Awards and achievements
|Competitor for Czech Republic|
|World Junior Championships|
|1998–99||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||66||21||35||56||30||5||3||0||3||10|
|1999–00||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds||OHL||54||26||46||72||49||17||5||15||20||8|
|2004–05||HC Slavia Prague||CzEx||52||20||23||43||42||7||1||6||7||10|
|2007–08||New York Islanders||NHL||81||16||19||35||53||—||—||—||—||—|
To see more of who died in 2011 click here
Who is Ricky Dene Gervais? The entertainment and acting world knows him as Ricky Gervais, he is an English comedian, actor, director, producer, musician, writer and former radio presenter.
Gervais achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, Gervais played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. Gervais has also starred in Hollywood films, Ghost Town and The Invention of Lying. He has performed on four sell-out stand-up comedy tours, written the best-selling Flanimals book series and starred with Merchant and Karl Pilkington in the most downloaded podcast in the world as of March 2009, The Ricky Gervais Show.
He has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and the 2006 Rose d’Or, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. In 2007 he was voted the 11th greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4‘s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 3rd greatest stand-up comic. In 2010 he was named on the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people.
In 2010 Gervais became the first British person to host the Golden
Globe Awards in 14 years; he returned to host in 2011 and again in 2012.
Gervais, along with siblings Larry (born 1945), Marsha (born 1948) and Bob (born 1950), was born and brought up in Whitley, Berkshire on June 25, 1961. His father, Lawrence Raymond “Jerry” Gervais (1919–2002), a Franco-Ontarian, emigrated while on foreign duty during the Second World War from London, Ontario, Canada. Jerry Gervais met Eva Sophia House (1925–2000), during a blackout, and they settled in Whitley. She died, aged 74, in 2000, of lung cancer.
During Xfm London’s The Ricky Gervais Show and in further newspaper interviews with The Independent,
Gervais noted that he believes his birth was unplanned due to the age
difference between his oldest sibling and himself. During one interview
with The Independent, Gervais tells the author that even his mother admitted his birth was unplanned.
He has claimed that his father was “drunk when he filled in the birth
certificate”, leading to the unusual spelling of his middle name.
Gervais has stated that his upbringing and childhood were stable and
trauma-free, with a high level of honesty and openness between his
family members. He claims that his family, “much like The Waltons“, made fun of each other regularly.
Gervais attended Whitley Park Infants and Junior Schools and received
his secondary education at Ashmead Comprehensive School, before moving
on to University College London in 1979. He arrived to study biology but changed to philosophy after only two weeks, and earned an upper second-class honours degree in the subject. During his time at UCL, he met Jane Fallon, with whom he has been in a relationship since 1982.
In 1983, during his final year as a student at UCL (University College London), Gervais and Bill Macrae formed the New Wave pop duo, Seona Dancing. They were signed by London Records, which released two of their singles—”More to Lose“
and “Bitter Heart“. The singles failed to break the top 40, with “More to Lose” charting at No.117 and “Bitter Heart” peaking at No.70 on the UK Singles Chart. Despite not being successful in the UK, Seona Dancing did manage to score a hit in the Philippines
with “More to Lose”. According to the 20 December 2003 broadcast of the
Ricky Gervais Show, Gervais later had a band called the Sacred Hearts,
which Ian Camfield described as Gervais’s “Bon Jovi phase”.
Gervais later worked as an assistant events manager for the University of London Union (ULU), where he continued working until he took a similar job as “head of speech” at Xfm London.
Needing an assistant, Gervais interviewed the first person whose curriculum vitae he saw. The CV belonged to Stephen Merchant. During the interview at a local pub, Merchant agreed to do “all the boring stuff” because of his experience in media studies while Gervais “mess[ed] around”. In 1998 Gervais was made redundant when the station was taken over by the Capital Radio group.
Gervais was music adviser for the BBC drama This Life, which was being produced by his girlfriend, Jane Fallon. He and Merchant also contributed sketches to BBC Radio 1‘s The Breezeblock in 1999 and 2000.
|Gervais on The Office|
After the first series of The Office,
Gervais and Merchant returned to Xfm in November 2001 for a Saturday
radio show. The show ran intermittently until January 2004 with breaks
of 1–3 months between new shows. This was when the pair first worked
with Karl Pilkington, who produced the shows and later collaborated with them on their series of podcasts.
On 5 December 2005 Guardian Unlimited
began offering free weekly podcasts featuring Gervais, Merchant, and
Pilkington. Throughout January and February 2006 the podcast was
consistently ranked the number-one podcast in the world; it appeared in
the 2007 Guinness World Record for the world’s most-downloaded podcast, having gained an average of 261,670 downloads per episode during its first month.
On 20 February 2006, after the conclusion of the twelve-podcast series,
it was announced that all future episodes would be available from
Audible.com at a “nominal fee” (later, these had to be called audiobooks in accordance with iTunes policy). Two more series—-each with six podcasts—-were released between February and September 2006.
In late 2006 three more free podcasts were released. Together called
“The Podfather Trilogy”, they debuted individually at Halloween,
Thanksgiving and Christmas. These three were known by Ricky and Steve as
“The Fourth Season”. In October 2007 another free full-length podcast
was released through iTunes; this podcast was originally given out for
free during a performance of Gervais’s Fame tour in London. On 25
November 2007 Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington released another free
full-length podcast, which lasted just over an hour.
In August 2008 Gervais, Merchant and Pilkington recorded their fifth
season of audiobooks, totalling 4 chapters, which were released on 16
September 2008. These audiobooks were described as the ‘guide to…’
series, covering several topics. As of May 2011, there are 12 “Guides”
in total: Medicine, Natural History, Arts, Philosophy, The English,
Society, Law & Order, The Future, The Human Body, The Earth, The World Cup 2010 & Comic Relief. The conversations typically begin on topic, but constantly stray away from the topic at hand.
|Gervais on The Office|
Gervais has contributed to the BAFTA-winning The Sketch Show (ITV), penning several sketches. His mainstream-TV debut came in September 1998 as part of Channel 4‘s “Comedy Lab” series of pilots. His one-off show Golden Years focused on a David Bowie–obsessed
character called Clive Meadows. Gervais then came to much wider
national attention with an obnoxious, cutting persona featured in a
topical slot that replaced Ali G‘s segments on the satirical Channel 4 comedy programme The 11 O’Clock Show in early 1999, in which his character used as many expletives
as was possible and produced an inordinate amount of politically
incorrect statements. Among the other regular featured comedians on the
show was Mackenzie Crook, later a co-star of The Office. Two years later, Gervais went on to present his own comedy chat show for Channel 4 called Meet Ricky Gervais; it was poorly received and has since been mocked by Gervais himself. The Independent newspaper has described Gervais as “obsessed by his own celebrity”, but adds, “Who wouldn’t want to be Peter Lawford in a comedy Rat Pack?” in reference to Ricky Gervais Meets…; the article, however, also describes him as “a very funny man” who “created one of the great sitcoms”. The Guardian’s Chris Tryhorn explained the “few gripes” he had with Extras, “particularly in the second series”. “You can forgive Gervais a certain arrogance after the success of The Office, but…” He remarks on the confused tone of the series, taking in the clash between the broad comedy of characters Barry (Shaun Williamson) and Darren (Stephen Merchant), and the apparent parody of this style with When The Whistle Blows,
and “given their total indulgence of Gervais, the BBC is portrayed as
interfering, its comedy department run by a rather crudely stereotyped gay couple”.
Throughout this time, Gervais also wrote for the BBC sketch show Bruiser and The Jim Tavare Show, and he had a cameo role in Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes‘s sitcom, Spaced, as Dave. Pegg later joked that Dave was a younger David Brent and that he and Hynes were the real minds behind The Office. Gervais also appeared in a few of Channel 4’s ‘Top 100…’ list programmes, and he voiced the character of Penguin in Robbie the Reindeer‘s Legend of the Lost Tribe. His voice was redubbed for the US market.
On 5 January 2006 he interviewed Larry David in a one-off special, Ricky Gervais Meets… Larry David. On 25 and 26 December of the same year Channel 4 aired similar specials in which he interviewed the actor/comedian Christopher Guest and comedian Garry Shandling. There are no plans for further episodes of Meets…, although editions with John Cleese and Matt Groening were recorded in 2006 for broadcast in 2007. A source claimed, “The Shandling experience put him off for good”.
|Gervais on The Simpsons|
Gervais guest-starred in an episode of The Simpsons entitled “Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife“, which aired on 26 March 2006 in the United States, on 23 April 2006 on satellite station Sky One
in the United Kingdom (first appearing on terrestrial television in
2010), and on 18 July 2006 in Australia. He is the only British comic to
write and star in a Simpsons episode. The episode was the
highest rated in Sky One’s history, arguably because of its extensive
promotion, which revolved around the angle that Gervais was the
episode’s sole writer (and the first guest star on the show to also
receive a writing credit for the episode of his appearance). Gervais
clarified the extent of his input in a joint interview (with Christopher
Guest) for Dazed and Confused magazine (January 2006): “No, all I did was put down a load of observations on an email and they made it look like a Simpsons
script. I’m going to get the credit, but I think everyone in the
industry knows it was a joint effort”. Asked in a separate interview
about how his idea for the episode (in which Homer swaps Marge on a game
show) came about, Gervais replied:
I’ve always been fascinated with reality game shows but I think it was my girlfriend’s idea. We watch Celebrity Big Brother at the moment, we watch I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here… we watch all those reality TV shows — The Office came out of those docu-soaps”.
Gervais, a longstanding Simpsons fan, presented a segment to mark the show’s 20th anniversary on BBC Two‘s The Culture Show on 16 June 2007. Gervais has also guest-starred on Alias (appearing in the third-season episode “Façade“) as Daniel Ryan, a former Royal Navy bomb-disposal specialist turned rogue Irish Republican Army bomb-maker. He has said about the appearance, “I did an episode of Alias, and I can’t watch it. Me being serious. I can’t watch it”.
Gervais made a cameo appearance on Saturday Night Live in a Digital Short during which he claims that The Office was adapted from a Japanese programme of the same name (with Steve Carell
reprising his role as Michael Scott). The sketch re-creates scenes from
the American and British pilot episode with Japanese elements (although
in an exaggerated way). “It’s funny”, Gervais laughs at the end,
“because it’s racist”.
In January 2009, Gervais was interviewed by James Lipton for Season 15 of BravoTV’s Inside the Actors Studio.
In January 2010, he hosted the 67th Golden Globe Awards, making him the first master of ceremonies since 1995. He stated:
“I have resisted many other offers like this, but there are just some things you don’t turn down.”
His performance as host received a mixed response with positive reviews from the New York Daily News and the Associated Press, but also some negative comments from industry bible, and The Hollywood Reporter. He returned to host the show again in 2011 and 2012, and his performance was more warmly received by critics.
|Gervais on Curb Your Enthusiam|
Gervais was a guest judge on Jerry Seinfeld‘s NBC show The Marriage Ref alongside Larry David and Madonna. On 1 April 2010, Gervais made his first appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on NBC.
In June 2010, it was announced that Gervais had been cast in the upcoming Season 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm playing himself.
As of April 2011, he has made 18 guest appearances on Late Show with David Letterman on the CBS network.
In August 1999, while on a BBC production course, Stephen Merchant
had to make his own short film. He chose to make a docu-soap parody,
set in an office. This sketch later formed the basis of the interview episode. With help from Ash Atalla, Merchant passed this tape on to the BBC’s Head of Entertainment Paul Jackson at the Edinburgh Fringe, who then passed it on to Head of Comedy Jon Plowman, who eventually commissioned a full-pilot script from Merchant and Gervais.
The first six-episode series of The Office aired in the UK in July and August 2001 to little fanfare or attention.
Word-of-mouth, repeats, and DVDs helped spread the word, building up
huge momentum and anticipation for the second series, also comprising
six episodes, in September 2002. The second series topped the BBC Two ratings, and the show then switched to BBC One in December 2003 for its final two special episodes.
The Office has since been remade for audiences in Sweden, France, Germany, Quebec, Brazil and the United States. Gervais and Merchant are producers of the American version, and they also co-wrote the episode “The Convict” for the show’s third season. The original UK version is currently airing on Adult Swim
on Fridays, and prior to the show’s airing, Gervais appears as himself
talking about the episode that will air. In one of those segments
Gervais claimed the episode “Training” to be his favourite.
Extras had its debut on the BBC on 21 July 2005; it received
its premiere on HBO in the United States in September 2005. Written and
directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the sitcom ran for
twelve episodes and starred Gervais as Andy Millman, a background artist. Millman is more self-aware and intentionally humorous than Gervais’s The Office character David Brent.
Guest stars on the first series of Extras include Ross Kemp, Les Dennis, Patrick Stewart, Vinnie Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Stiller, Kate Winslet and Francesca Martinez. A second series began on 14 September 2006 in the UK and featured appearances by Daniel Radcliffe, Dame Diana Rigg, Orlando Bloom, Sir Ian McKellen, Chris Martin, Keith Chegwin, Robert Lindsay, Warwick Davis, Ronnie Corbett, Stephen Fry, Richard Briers, Patricia Potter, Sophia Myles, Moira Stuart, David Bowie, Kate Winslet, Robert De Niro and Jonathan Ross.
A Christmas special of Extras aired on 27 December 2007 in the UK and on 16 December 2007 in the US, featuring guest appearances by George Michael, Clive Owen, Gordon Ramsay, Jonathan Ross and David Tennant.
Some have suggested that Gervais is influenced by Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show in making Extras, particularly in the format of celebrities making fools of themselves or subverting their public personas, and in the Gervais joke of someone making inappropriate remarks in front of a member of a minority. He has interviewed both Larry David and Garry Shandling, creators of these shows, on Ricky Gervais Meets….
Extras was awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy on 14 January 2008. Gervais also won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
In February 2007, ventriloquist Keith Harris refused an invitation to appear on the second series of Extras, claiming that Gervais “wanted me to be a racist bigot” and describing the script as “pure filth”. When asked about Harris’s refusal on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Gervais claimed that Harris simply “didn’t get it”. Keith Chegwin, who assumed the role offered to Harris, said “the people who didn’t get it probably think Johnny Depp really is a pirate.”
The Ricky Gervais Show (animated series)
The Ricky Gervais Show is an animated TV show that debuted on US cable network HBO on 19 February 2010. In the UK, the first season began airing on 23 April 2010 on Channel 4. The show was developed using original podcast recordings from The Ricky Gervais Show starring Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington. After receiving a loyal and enthusiastic following in the US, Cable channel HBO recommissioned the show for a second season, which aired in 2011, and a third series which started airing in April 2012.
The original audio show was broadcast in November 2001 on radio station Xfm, and aired in weekly periods for months at a time throughout 2002, 2003, 2004 and mid-2005. In November 2005 Guardian Unlimited offered the show as a podcast series of 12 shows.
Throughout January and February 2006 the podcast was consistently
ranked the number one podcast in the world; it appeared in the 2007 Guinness World Record for the world’s most downloaded podcast, having gained an average of 261,670 downloads per episode during its first month. By September 2006, according to the BBC, the podcasts of the series had been downloaded “nearly 8 million” times.
Life’s Too Short
In April 2010, it was announced that Gervais and Stephen Merchant would be writing a new show, an observational sitcom series called Life’s Too Short, from an idea by Warwick Davis. It is described by Gervais as being about “the life of a showbiz dwarf” and as “a cross between Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm and One Foot in the Grave but with a dwarf. That is out and out funny.”
The show stars actor Warwick Davis playing a fictionalised version of himself, as well as Gervais and Merchant in cameo roles as themselves. The show began airing on BBC Two on 10 November 2011. Premium cable channel HBO, who co-produced the series with the BBC, have the US rights and began airing the series on 19 February 2012.
In November 2011, Gervais filmed in London a 35-minute pilot episode for a potential comedy-drama series called Derek, which aired on Channel 4 on 12 April 2012. The pilot is solely written and directed by Gervais and features him in the title role of Derek Noakes, a 49-year-old retirement home worker, who “loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain’s Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting”. The character first appeared as an aspiring comedian who loves animals and still lives with his mother in a 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe sketch. Gervais says Derek was “an excuse to see the world differently.” Gervais’s co-host Karl Pilkington makes his acting debut as Derek’s friend and caretaker Dougie who also works in the retirement home. British comedian Kerry Godliman plays Derek’s best friend Hannah and David Earl plays Kev. The episode is produced by Charlie Hanson.
Gervais said that the series is about “kindness [being] more
important than anything else”. He added “It’s about the forgotten —
everyone’s forgotten. It’s all these arbitrary people who didn’t know
each other, and they’re in there now because they’re in the last years
of their life. And it’s about the people who help them, who themselves
are losers and have their own problems. It’s about a bunch of people
with nothing, but making the most of it, and they’re together.”
Gervais said he wanted to “do normal people with normal problems again”
after exploring fame in his previous series and “get close to real
emotion”. He chose to set the sitcom in a retirement home after he watched Secret Millionaire
– “It was always these people with huge problems who were helping other
people. I thought about having Derek help old people because no one
cares about old people in this country… I think it’s perfect for now.”
The pilot caused controversy even before its broadcast as some
critics felt that Gervais was mocking disabled people. Gervais
responded: “I’ve never thought of him as disabled. He’s not that bright
but neither are Kev or Dougie. He’s cleverer than Baldrick and Father Dougal and he certainly hasn’t got as big a problem as Mr. Bean. When portraying someone with disabilities I usually get someone with that disability to play them.” On 9 May 2012, Channel 4 announced that it had commissioned a full series of Derek to air in early 2013.
Gervais made some attempts at stand-up in the late 1990s, but his first successful show took place at the Cafe Royal, as part of the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Titled Rubbernecker, the show also featured Jimmy Carr, Robin Ince and Stephen Merchant.
Gervais later toured the UK in 2003 with his stand-up show Animals. The Politics
tour followed a year later. Both of these shows were recorded for
release on DVD and television broadcast. The third part of the themed
live trilogy, Fame, took place in 2007. It started in Glasgow in January and ended in Sheffield in April. Blackpool reported selling out of tickets within 45 minutes of them going on sale. More dates were added.
Newsnight Review‘s panel saw Animals during its Bloomsbury run and covered it in January 2003. They were not favourable, with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop being the most explicit in his criticism. After this, Gervais closed each show by calling Hislop an “ugly little pug-faced cunt”. Further coverage on Newsnight Review has been overwhelmingly favourable, with the panelists playing themselves in promos for the second series of Extras. Panel regulars Germaine Greer, Mark Kermode and Mark Lawson also appeared as themselves reviewing When The Whistle Blows
in a series episode. Critic Mark Lawson is a great admirer of Gervais
and Merchant, having interviewed them extensively for television, print Front Row, and the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
was the subject of some controversy in January 2007 when Gervais told a
story, ostensibly about how people will do anything to become famous,
to a Scottish audience.
The story referred to a question asked of Gervais five years earlier by
a reporter: what could someone do to become famous like you? To which
he replied, “Go out and kill a prostitute”. He followed up with the punch line, “I won’t do that bit in Ipswich”, referring to the December 2006 murders of five prostitutes in Ipswich.
The joke drew criticism from the father of victim Tania Nicol: “These
days, they want to make a joke out of anything. I feel he’s just being
uncaring, quite honestly”. Gervais defended himself: “I do want people
to know that that happened five years ago and is not related to anything
now. That is the problem with comedy, a joke that is funny today can be
a terrible faux pas tomorrow”.
Gervais’s fourth show was entitled Science, and commenced with an eleven date tour in August 2009 at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow. The show opened to little critical praise. Writing for The Independent, Julian Hall gave Science two stars out of five, stating that it was Gervais’s “most disappointing” offering yet. The DVD for Science was released on 15 November 2010. In November 2009 he headlined the sixth annual New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall, New York.
Gervais has begun writing his fifth stand-up routine, to be titled Humanity.
Grand Theft Auto IV
|Animals||17 November 2003||Live at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London|
|Politics||15 November 2004||Live at the Palace Theatre, London|
|Fame||12 November 2007||Live at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London|
|Science||22 November 2010||Live at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London|
Gervais released a children’s book in 2004, Flanimals (illustrated by his Rob Steen), which depicted nonsense animals. After the success of this book, he released its sequel More Flanimals in 2005, with Flanimals of the Deep coming the next year. A new Flanimals book, Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling, was released in October 2007. Flanimals: Pop Up was also published in 2009.
There is a wide range of Flanimals merchandise available, including dolls and gift cards. A six-part Flanimals TV series has been commissioned by ITV, although Gervais had previously claimed signing a Hollywood film deal so that a franchise could be developed. “That way it stands a chance of being the next Dr. Seuss or Mr. Men“.
The Office scripts have been released in book form, with Series 1 issued in 2002, and the remaining episodes following in 2003.
In late 2006 the Extras script book was released, as well as The World of Karl Pilkington presented by Gervais and Merchant. These were essentially transcripts of Xfm/podcast routines performed by the three.
Gervais’s film career has included small roles as the voice of a pigeon in 2005’s Valiant, as a studio executive in 2006’s For Your Consideration, as museum director Dr. McPhee in 2006’s Night at the Museum and its sequel Night at the Museum 2, and as “Ferdy the Fence” in the 2007 film Stardust. His role in Night at the Museum has proven to be one of Gervais’s most popular roles, with the film grossing $570 million worldwide.
Gervais starred in Ghost Town, which was released on 19 September 2008, and was in Lowell, Massachusetts during May 2008 filming his next project, The Invention of Lying, starring himself, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe and Louis C.K., with appearances by Tina Fey, Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Bateman, Roz Ryan, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Edward Norton. The comedy, released in 2009, was co-written and co-directed by Gervais and Matt Robinson.
Gervais and co-writer Stephen Merchant made a film called Cemetery Junction, set in 1970s Britain, about class, love and fulfillment. The film was released in April 2010.
Gervais was the voice of Argonaut in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, released in 2011. He has also been cast as Mole in the 2012 adaption of The Wind in the Willows, featuring effects by Weta Workshop in New Zealand.
On 2 July 2005 Gervais appeared at the Live 8 event held in London’s Hyde Park, where he performed his famous dance. He produced a series of short films for the cause, linked acts from the studio with Jonathan Ross, and also introduced the group R.E.M..
Gervais also has a role in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, as himself, appearing in his role as a comedian in a comedy club, and as an interviewee on radio station We Know The Truth. For this, a special 3-minute act was written, recorded and fully motion-captured.
Gervais has also hosted the 2010, 2011, and 2012 Golden Globe Awards.
His 2011 hosting of the awards was controversial for his edgy jokes
that were at the expense of many of the nominees, similar to the New
York Friars Club roast style jokes.
His jibes were described as setting “a corrosive tone” by one critic,
though some celebrities were seen crying from laughter, leaving the
overall reaction to be ‘mixed’.
In 2002 Gervais took part in a charity boxing match against Grant Bovey — known to the public only due to his relationship with TV personality Anthea Turner. On his Saturday afternoon radio show on Xfm London
Gervais and partners Merchant and Pilkington had discussions on both
Gervais’s attitude towards boxing and training in general, as well as
his likelihood of victory against Bovey. Initially, Merchant had
questions as to why Gervais was participating in the event, due to his
dislike of slight pain and his inexperience with fitness in general.
Gervais was trained for the three-round contest by famous boxing trainer brothers Frank and Eugene Maloney, at their Fight Factory gymnasium. It was the second televised charity boxing match, the first being Bob Mortimer against Les Dennis, for Comic Relief. The fight was televised by the BBC, and Gervais came out on top by a split decision
verdict. Gervais later said that the experience was the ‘most difficult
thing’ he had ever done. He donated his £5,000 prize money to the
training of a Macmillan nurse.
Concert for Diana and Live Earth
On 1 July 2007 Gervais performed at the Concert for Diana in Wembley Stadium, a music event celebrating the life of the Princess of Wales. Towards the end of the event — after a pre-recorded introduction from Ben Stiller — Gervais appeared along with fellow Office star Mackenzie Crook. They performed Free Love Freeway, a song previously heard in the fourth episode of series one of The Office. Due to a technical problem, Gervais then had to fill time until he was able to re-introduce Elton John to close the show, so he did the David Brent dance again, as well as singing the “Little Fat Man” song as performed by David Bowie in episode two of the second series of Extras.
On 7 July 2007 Gervais appeared at the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London. Gervais introduced Rob Reiner appearing in the guise of spoof film director Marty Di Bergi, who in turn introduced Spinal Tap.
In July 2007, following Gervais’s appearance at the memorial concert for the Princess of Wales, The Guardian ran a column by Daily Mirror television critic Jim Shelley entitled “Call Me Crazy… But Has Ricky Gervais Lost It?”, where he described Gervais as a “tiresome embarrassment”. The following week, The Guardian
noted that Gervais had responded with “an exhilaratingly foul-mouthed
tirade” on his website, concluding with the words, “Yes I am resting on
my fucking laurels you cunt!” In this video Gervais mocked Jim Shelley
typing the words “Resting on his laurels” as Gervais jokingly lashed out
by stating he was resting on his laurels and that he was not going to
make another show for television, quipping “What’s the point? What is
there to beat?”
On 18 October 2011, Gervais attracted criticism for his repeated use
of the word “mong” (short for “mongoloid”), a historically derogatory
term for mentally disabled people, most commonly used against those with Downs syndrome. Gervais claimed the word no longer represented this meaning.
Although other comedians and support groups for the disabled pointed
out that verbal and physical abuse of the disabled was on the increase, Gervais initially remained defiant over his use of the word.
He later apologised, saying that he found it hard to believe that
“idiots” still used the word to refer to people with Down Syndrome.
Gervais currently lives in Hampstead, having moved from Bloomsbury, with his girlfriend of 30 years, producer and screenwriter Jane Fallon.
He says they chose not to marry because “there’s no point in us having
an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God” or
have children because they “didn’t fancy dedicating 16 years of our
lives. And there are too many children, of course”. In August 2008, they bought a second home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City.
Gervais is a fervent supporter of animal rights, and has been a fan of wildlife documentaries since he was a child. He has spoken out against fox hunting and bullfighting, and wrote to Gordon Brown urging him to stop the use of black bear fur as caps for the Foot Guards.
He told Kirsty Young that he is an atheist during a 2007 interview for Desert Island Discs, later stating he lost his faith at the age of eight, and in June 2008 he became an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. In December 2010 he wrote an editorial for The Wall Street Journal defending his lack of faith.
Accolades and awards
Gervais has received many awards for his work on The Office, most notably two Golden Globes (one for acting, one for the show itself), as well as numerous British Academy Television Awards and British Comedy Awards, amongst others.
Gervais received an honorary award at the annual Rose d’Or
ceremony in Switzerland on 29 April 2006. The award is given to “an
individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the global
On 16 September 2007, Gervais won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role of Andy Millman on Extras.
|British Comedy Award||
|Broadcasting Press Guild Awards||
|Royal Television Society||
|Television Critics Association||
|Writers Guild of America||
|2001||Dog Eat Dog||Bouncer|
|2006||For Your Consideration||Martin Gibb|
|Night at the Museum||Dr. McPhee|
|2007||Stardust||Ferdy the Fence|
|2008||Ghost Town||Dr. Bertram Pincus||Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture|
|2009||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian||Dr. McPhee|
|The Invention of Lying||Mark Bellison||Writer, director, producer|
|2010||Cemetery Junction||Len Taylor||Writer, director, executive producer (with Stephen Merchant)|
|2011||Spy Kids: All the Time in the World||Argonaut||Voice only|
|The Muppets||Cameo||Scene cut from final film|
|2012||The Wind in the Willows||Mole||Voice only
|1998||The 11 O’Clock Show||Various||Unknown episodes|
|1999||The Jim Tavaré Show||Various||7 episodes
Writer – 12 episodes
|Comedy Lab||Clive Meadows||Episode: “Golden Years” (Also writer)|
|Meet Ricky Gervais||Himself|
|2001||The Sketch Show||Various||Unknown episodes|
|2001–2003||The Office (UK)||David Brent||14 episodes including 2 Christmas specials
|2002||Robbie the Reindeer in Legend of the Lost Tribe||Penguin||Voice|
|2004||Alias||Daniel Ryan||Episode: “Façade“|
|2005||Kelsey Grammer Presents: The Sketch Show||Various||Unknown episodes|
|2005–2007||Extras||Andy Millman||13 episodes
Writer, director, executive producer
|2006||The Simpsons||Charles Heathbar||Writer
Episode: “Homer Simpson, This Is Your Wife“
|2008||Ricky Gervais: Out of England – The Stand-Up Special||Himself|
|2009||Sesame Street||3 episodes|
|2010||The Ricky Gervais Show||With Karl Pilkington and Stephen Merchant|
|An Idiot Abroad||With Karl Pilkington and Stephen Merchant|
|Louie||Dr. Ben||2 episodes|
|2011||Life’s Too Short||Himself||With Stephen Merchant and Warwick Davis|
|The Office (US)||David Brent||Episodes: “The Seminar” and “Search Committee“|
|The Simpsons||Himself||Episode: “Angry Dad: The Movie“|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||Episode: “The Hero”|
|Talking Funny||With Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Louis C.K.|
|An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List||With Karl Pilkington and Stephen Merchant|
|2012||Afterlife||God||With Clyde Phillips|
|Family Guy||Billy Finn||Episode: “Be Careful What You Fish For“|
|Derek||Derek Noakes||Channel 4 pilot
Writer, director and executive producer.
|2008||Grand Theft Auto IV||Himself|
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Who is Adam Joseph Copeland? The entertainment and Professional Wrestling world knows him as the Edge, he is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and actor, better known by his . He is best known for his time with WWE, formerly the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).Copeland was trained by former professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in North American independent promotions early in his career. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with Christian Cage, his storyline brother. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and began competing for the company the following year.
After signing with the WWF, he began competing under the ring name Edge. In June 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship, making it his first title reign with the company. In mid-1999, he and Cage, now going by just Christian, formed an alliance of their own, which led to them winning the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. The team, however, parted ways in 2001.
Overall, Edge has won 31 Championships in WWE, including eleven World Championships (four WWE Championships and a record seven World Heavyweight Championships), five Intercontinental Championships, one United States Championship, 14 Tag Team Championships (a record 12 World Tag Team Titles and two WWE Tag Team Championships), and is one of two wrestlers (Kurt Angle being the other) who has held every currently active male Championship in WWE.
In addition to his Championship accolades, Copeland won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match in 2005, and the Royal Rumble match in 2010 making him the only wrestler in history to win all three all those accomplishments. Aside from professional wrestling, Copeland has appeared in the 2000 fantasy film Highlander: Endgame and made guest appearances on television shows, including The Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal or No Deal, and MADtv.
Copeland was born on October 30, 1973 in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, to Judy Copeland, a single mother, who worked two jobs to support her son. To this day, he has never met his father, nor seen a picture of him. At a young age, he became interested in professional wrestling. His favorite wrestlers included Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. When he was eighteen, Copeland won an essay contest, with Sully’s Gym offering free wrestling training to whoever could write a good essay, explaining why they would want to become a professional wrestler. As the result of his win, he was trained by Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson in Toronto. Copeland put his wrestling aspirations aside, to help pay the bills. He held numerous jobs and decided to go to Humber College, where he graduated with a diploma in radio broadcasting.
Professional wrestling career
Throughout the 1990s, Copeland wrestled on the independent circuit in Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the United States under the name Sexton Hardcastle. He became a part of the tag team Sex and Violence with Joe Legend. During 1997, Sex and Violence became part of a larger stable known as Thug Life, made up of Legend, Hardcastle, Christian Cage (Copeland’s childhood friend Jason Reso), Bill Skullion, and Rhino Richards. During his independent career, he won the ICW/MWCW Midwest Unified Tag Title holder alongside Joe.
The duo of Hardcastle and Cage were known as Hard Impact before changing their name to The Suicide Blondes. They also worked in Japan under the name the Canadian Rockers. Copeland also once wrestled under the name Damon Striker (although Copeland writes it as Damien Stryker in his book) on an episode of WCW Pro against Meng and Kevin Sullivan. In his autobiography, Copeland states that it was his worst ring name to date.
Copeland was asked to wrestle in a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) match in 1996, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Canadian wrestler Bret Hart, who saw Copeland wrestle, put in a good word for Copeland, which ultimately resulted in Copeland receiving a developmental contract with the WWF in 1997. Coincidentally, Copeland as Sexton Hardcastle first wrestled for the WWF the night after Hart left the company.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1998–2011)
Debut; Edge and Christian (1998–2001)
In 1998, Copeland made his WWF television debut on the June 22 episode of Raw is War as Edge, a loner character who entered the arena through the crowd for his matches. His character’s persona included him aimlessly walking around the city streets and assaulting innocent pedestrians. His first televised match was against Jose Estrada, Jr., which ended prematurely by countout when Edge performed a somersault senton from the ring to the outside, legitimately injuring Estrada’s neck. In his first pay-per-view match at SummerSlam in August, he served as Sable‘s mystery tag team partner against Jacqueline and Marc Mero, and bodyslammed Sable onto Mero in a pinning position to pick up the win.
Edge was then placed in a feud against the vampire wrestler Gangrel. During the feud, Gangrel introduced Christian Cage (now going by just “Christian”), Edge’s storyline brother, as his ally. Eventually, Gangrel and Christian convinced Edge to join them, and the three of them formed an alliance known as The Brood. The Brood as a whole was later abducted by and converted into The Undertaker‘s Ministry of Darkness. In May 1999, the Brood broke away from The Ministry after Christian was attacked by Ken Shamrock and forced to reveal the location of the captive Stephanie McMahon. The Undertaker chose to have Christian punished for his trespass, but Edge and Gangrel stood by him and betrayed The Undertaker leading to a brief feud with the Ministry.
Edge captured his first singles championship, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, on July 24, 1999, defeating Jeff Jarrett at a house show in Toronto, Ontario. He lost the title the next night to Jarrett at Fully Loaded.
Later in the year, he was placed in a storyline angle with The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). Soon, however, Gangrel betrayed both Edge and Christian and formed The New Brood with their enemies, The Hardy Boyz. They feuded with the Hardy Boyz, as they went onto compete in a ladder match at No Mercy in October for the “managerial services” of Terri Runnels and $100,000, which the Hardy Boyz won. At WrestleMania 2000 on April 2, Edge and Christian defeated the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Triangle Ladder match, which ultimately led to the creation of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC).
Following this victory, Edge and Christian found success as a villainous duo, shifting their in-ring personas from borderline goth to a comedic pair of “cool dudes”, winning the WWF Tag Team Title six more times (for a total of seven). During this time, their trademark became the “five second pose” where they performed a pose in the ring for five seconds “for the benefit of those with flash photography” to mock, insult, or otherwise amuse the fans. They also competed as a team in the first three TLC matches, winning the first two over The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz, at SummerSlam in 2000 and then again at WrestleMania X-Seven. At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Edge and Christian were defeated by the Dudley Boyz and lost the World Tag Team title. They unsuccessfully attempted to regain the tag team title at No Way Out against the Dudley Boyz and the Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane), but they succeeded at WrestleMania X-Seven against the Dudley Boyz and The Hardyz in the second TLC match.
Singles competition (2001–2004)
Edge went on to solidify himself as an emerging singles competitor by winning the King of the Ring tournament in 2001.\ Christian betrayed Edge shortly afterward, and the two feuded over Edge’s Intercontinental Championship that Edge won at SummerSlam and later lost to Christian at Unforgiven, though, Edge captured the title later. Following this, Edge lost the Intercontinental title to Test and shortly afterwards won the WCW United States Championship from Kurt Angle. Edge defeated Test at Survivor Series to unify the Intercontinental Championship with the U.S. Championship.
The following year, Edge was placed in a feud with William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. Edge, however, came up short in the feud. At WrestleMania X8, Edge found himself in a match with Booker T that was the result of Edge beating out Booker for a fictitious Japanese shampoo endorsement. Shortly after defeating Booker T at WrestleMania, Edge was drafted to the SmackDown! brand in the first WWE Draft Lottery. Upon arriving there, he began a feud with Kurt Angle, which culminated in Edge shaving Angle’s head following a hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day in May. Two months later, he would end up winning the WWE Tag Team Championship (later renamed the World Tag Team Championship) alongside Hulk Hogan on July 4, 2002. He then formed a tag team with Rey Mysterio; the two participated in a tournament for the newly created and SmackDown!-exclusive WWE Tag Team Championship. They lost to Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit in the finals of the tournament at No Mercy. After they failed in winning the title, Mysterio and Edge defeated Los Guerreros in a number one contender’s match on the October 24 edition of SmackDown! to earn a title shot. On the November 7 edition of SmackDown!, they defeated Angle and Benoit in a two out of three falls match to win their first Tag Team Championship. They soon lost the tag titles to Los Guerreros in a Triple Threat Elimination match that also involved former champions Angle and Benoit at Survivor Series. After losing the title, Edge and Mysterio went their separate ways to focus on their singles careers.
In February 2003, Edge suffered a legitimate neck injury and had to undergo surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood. Recovery kept him sidelined for almost a year. He was placed on the Raw brand in the WWE Draft after WrestleMania XX and returned to in-ring action shortly after that event. On the April 19, 2004 episode of Raw he and Chris Benoit won the World Tag Team Championship. They continued a close partnership even after losing the title, but it was disbanded when Edge won the Intercontinental championship at Vengeance from Randy Orton. Following a legitimate groin injury in a non-televised match, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff stripped Edge of the Intercontinental title.
World Heavyweight Championship contender (2004–2005)
Upon his return, Edge began to show some villainous characteristics centering around his obsession for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels received a title shot for Triple H‘s World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday in October 2004. Michaels won the audience vote to receive the title shot, giving Edge and Benoit a tag team title shot. During the match, Edge abandoned his partner (although Benoit managed to win the title on his own) and instead interfered in the main event, costing Michaels the championship. On the November 1 episode of Raw, Edge and Benoit lost the World Tag Team Championship with Edge once again abandoning Benoit and sitting in a chair and watching the match. After the conclusion of the match, Edge attacked Benoit. In a November episode of Raw, both Edge and Benoit competed in a number one contender’s battle royal, but they eliminated each other simultaneously at the conclusion of the match, resulting in a draw. As a result, Triple H was forced to defend the title in a triple threat match. In the match, Benoit locked on the Crippler Crossface on Edge, who shifted his weight putting Benoit’s shoulders on the mat for a pin. This match also ended in a draw for Benoit and Edge, as Benoit made Edge submit at the same time the referee counted a pinfall for Edge. As a result, the World Heavyweight title was vacated the following week on Raw.
In January 2005, Edge competed in his first Elimination Chamber match at New Year’s Revolution for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels (acting as special guest referee) performed a superkick on Edge, in retaliation for an accidental spear by Edge, causing Edge to be the first eliminated. This led to a match at the Royal Rumble later in the month, in which Edge defeated Michaels. Subsequently, at WrestleMania 21, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match, gaining himself a contract that gave him a shot at the World Heavyweight championship within one year.
Even though he was already a villain, Edge faced even more scorn from the fans due to Copeland’s adulterous affair with WWE Diva Amy Dumas, known on-screen as Lita. Dumas had been the girlfriend of Copeland’s close real life friend, Matt Hardy. When Dumas suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, she was put out of action, and it was during this time that Copeland began an affair with her while she was still in a relationship with Hardy. Shortly after the incident became public knowledge, WWE released Hardy resulting in even more backlash towards Copeland and Dumas. After Hardy returned, however, the real-life situation was translated into a storyline.
Edge was then paired with Lita in an angle where she betrayed her storyline husband Kane, which ended with a stretcher match that Edge won, but shortly before, Kane performed a tombstone piledriver on Lita. On the July 11 episode of Raw, Edge’s match with Kane was interrupted when Matt Hardy made a surprising appearance. The situation was a real-life occurrence, with Hardy referring to Edge as “Adam” and issuing a threat to Lita as well. When Hardy was officially brought back to Raw, he and Edge continued their feud, including a match at SummerSlam where Edge defeated Hardy, causing Hardy to have excessive blood loss. They also competed in a Street Fight, which resulted in a no contest when Hardy performed a side effect on Edge off the entrance ramp into the sound speakers and other electrical equipment. They also fought in a Steel cage match at Unforgiven in September in which Hardy defeated Edge. The feud culminated in a “Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match” at WWE Homecoming on October 3, which Edge won, causing Hardy to move to the SmackDown! brand.
Shortly after the Homecoming victory, Edge suffered a legitimate torn pectoralis major muscle that kept him shelved for several weeks. During his time off, he starred in his own talk show segment on Raw entitled The Cutting Edge, dubbing himself the “Rated-R Superstar”. Edge used his talk show to start a feud with Ric Flair following Flair’s well-publicized arrest in connection with a road rage incident. Edge eventually began using The Cutting Edge as a soapbox to run down Flair until, after weeks of public mockery, Flair eventually showed up and attacked Edge.
WWE Champion (2006)
Edge and Ric Flair formally met at the New Year’s Revolution event in 2006 in a match for Flair’s Intercontinental Championship, which resulted in Flair retaining, after Edge was disqualified. Later that night, after the conclusion of the main event match, the Elimination Chamber, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appeared on stage and declared that WWE Champion John Cena had to defend the WWE Championship, after he just retained. As a result, Cena was forced to defend the title against Edge, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract at that moment. Edge defeated Cena in less than two minutes after two spears to become WWE Champion for the first time. In an interview conducted after the event, on WWE.com, Edge announced that he and Lita would have “hot, nasty, sex” in the middle of the ring on Raw the following night to celebrate his victory. On Raw, Edge held up to that promise by engaging in foreplay with Lita until they were interrupted by Flair, who called Edge a disgrace and “that he was horrible in the sack.” Flair, however, ended up on the receiving end of a con-chair-to on the announcers’ table until Cena came out to Flair’s aid and performed an FU on Lita. The “Live Sex Celebration” segment earned Raw a 5.2 rating, the highest Raw rating in over a year, leading Edge to call himself the “most watched champion ever”.
Three weeks later, at the Royal Rumble, Edge lost the WWE Championship back to Cena. He then lost a return match on a special Thursday episode of Raw held in February. Edge blamed special guest referee Mick Foley for his loss, claiming biased officiating and attacked him. At Saturday Night’s Main Event, Foley got revenge on Edge by assaulting him with a con-chair-to. They feuded until WrestleMania 22 in April, where Edge defeated Foley in a Hardcore match by spearing him through a flaming table but suffered second degree burns.
Following his feud with Foley, Edge once again challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship. Triple H was involved in a feud with Cena at the time, resulting in a triple threat match at Backlash, where Cena pinned Triple H to retain the title. After Backlash, Edge continued his feud with Mick Foley as they entered a triple threat hardcore match. Foley, however, betrayed his friend Tommy Dreamer with Edge’s assistance. Edge and Foley then proclaimed that, because of their brutal match at WrestleMania, they were the true Hardcore Champions. At June’s pay-per-view event One Night Stand, Edge, Foley, and Lita defeated Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGillicutty in an Extreme rules tag team match. Later in the event, Edge interfered in the WWE title match between John Cena and challenger Rob Van Dam, helping Van Dam win the title. Edge, who won a number one contender’s match for the WWE title to face Van Dam, was unable to win the title at Vengeance.
Two weeks later on Raw, Edge pinned Van Dam in a triple threat match, after blindsiding Cena with the title belt, to become WWE Champion for the second time. This angle re-ignited Edge’s feud with Cena, and he lost by disqualification at Saturday Night’s Main Event in order to retain the title. Subsequently, a match was made for the August event SummerSlam with the stipulation that if Edge disqualified himself, he would lose the title. At the event, Edge retained the title by pinning Cena after he hit him in the back of the head with a pair of brass knuckles, this occurred when the referee was not looking. The night after SummerSlam, Lita disposed of Cena’s customized “spinner” belt into the Long Island Sound at Edge’s command, who declared it the end of the “Cena era” in his life. Edge later unveiled the new “Rated R” version of the belt. Cena, however, interfered in Edge’s match with a returning Jeff Hardy later that night, chasing him down to the outside of the building, assaulting him down, and tossing Edge into the Long Island Sound. The following week, Cena made a deal with Edge: if Edge could defeat him in a match for the WWE Championship, he would sign a contract to move to SmackDown!. Edge accepted, on the condition the match be a TLC match held at September’s Unforgiven event in Edge’s home town of Toronto. At the event, he lost the championship after Cena performed the FU on him, sending Edge crashing through two stacked tables from a ladder. At one point during the match, Cena locked in the STFU on Edge, who later said he was legitimately choked unconscious, the first time he had been knocked out in a match during his career.
Rated-RKO; World Heavyweight Champion (2006–2007)
On the October 2, 2006 episode of Raw, interference from the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge his “final chance” at John Cena’s WWE Championship in a Steel cage match, though their interference was a response to the interference of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, led to Edge approaching Randy Orton and asking him to join forces to defeat DX, which Orton accepted and joined an alliance with Edge. The two formed the tag team Rated-RKO. Rated-RKO became the first to defeat DX since their reunion, and quickly dominated the Raw brand’s tag team division to become tag team champions, making Edge a record holder of 11 World Tag Team Championship title reigns in his WWE career.
As part of the storyline angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27. At New Year’s Revolution in January 2007, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match. With Triple H out of action, the team continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. Michaels teamed with John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29, 2007. Edge and Orton suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months, building hatred towards one another. Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash in April.
On the May 7, 2007 episode of Raw, Edge defeated Mr. Kennedy to win his Money in the Bank title opportunity (Kennedy had suffered a legitimate injury prior to the match), making Edge a two-time Money in the Bank holder. On the May 11 episode of SmackDown!, Edge cashed in his newly won contract against The Undertaker, following Undertaker’s title match against Batista in a Steel cage match. Following the match, a returning Mark Henry assaulted The Undertaker. As Henry was leaving, Edge came to the ring with the briefcase and demanded to wrestle The Undertaker, and eventually pinned him after a Spear to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. As a result of this victory, Edge became a part of the SmackDown! brand. Edge then began a feud with Batista and successfully defended his championship title against him at Judgment Day, in a Steel Cage match at One Night Stand, and a third and final time in a last chance match at Vengeance. Edge then began a feud with Kane after SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced Kane as the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight title. Edge was forced to relinquish the World title due to a legitimately torn left pectoral muscle injury on the July 20 episode of SmackDown! following an attack by Kane.
La Familia (2007–2009)
At November’s pay-per-view event, Survivor Series, Edge made his return, interfering in a World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell match between Batista and The Undertaker. The following SmackDown! show saw Edge and General Manager Vickie Guerrero make their relationship public, making his official in-ring return in a World title match against Batista on November 30, a match that ended after The Undertaker interfered. At Armageddon, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship, after giving The Undertaker two chair shots and pinning the defending champion Batista (who had been Tombstoned by Undertaker prior) in a Triple Threat match. During the match, Edge used two look-a-likes to distract Batista and The Undertaker. It was later revealed that these look-a-likes were the Major Brothers, who were then repackaged as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Edge also formed an alliance with Chavo Guerrero, nephew of Vickie Guerrero, and on the January 22, 2008 broadcast of ECW, he assisted Chavo in winning the ECW Championship from CM Punk, even though Chavo previously rebuffed Edge and allied himself with Rey Mysterio, Edge’s scheduled opponent at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The group eventually came under the name of La Familia. On the Valentine’s Day episode of SmackDown, Edge proposed to Vickie, to which she accepted.
At WrestleMania XXIV, Edge lost the World Heavyweight championship to The Undertaker when he tapped out to the gogoplata. In a WrestleMania rematch, The Undertaker defeated Edge once again at Backlash to retain the World Heavyweight championship. Following Backlash, The Undertaker was stripped of the World title by Vickie Guerrero and faced Edge for the title at Judgment Day in May and then again at One Night Stand in a TLC match in June. The first match ended with a countout victory for The Undertaker but no champion was crowned due to the circumstances. The second match at One Night Stand saw Edge walk away champion, which also meant Undertaker was forced to leave the company.
On the June 30, 2008 episode of Raw, Edge lost the World title to CM Punk, after Batista assaulted Edge and prompted Punk to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Edge to win the World Heavyweight championship. On the July 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown, Edge took his frustrations out on Vickie because he lost the title and told her the wedding was off. The following week, however, after Guerrero saved Edge from a con-chair-to by The Big Show, Edge re-proposed, and the wedding was back on. On July 18, 2008 at the wedding reception, Triple H came out and showed a video of Edge cheating on Guerrero the day before with the wedding planner, Alicia Fox. The angle continued at The Great American Bash in July, when Fox attempted to hand Edge the WWE Championship belt to use as weapon against Triple H, but was stopped by Guerrero. Edge attempted to spear Triple H but hit Guerrero instead, with the distraction, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Edge to retain the WWE title. Edge attempted to apologize to Guerrero, even though he was seen talking to Fox, but she revealed to him that she had rehired The Undertaker and that Edge would face him in a Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam. Edge then turned on La Familia during the August 8 episode of SmackDown, performing a one man con-chair-to on Chavo in the ring, and tossed Guerrero out of her wheelchair, effectively disbanding the faction. The following week, Edge verbally assaulted Guerrero, before he forced her to apologize to The Undertaker for what she did to him. He also mentioned to Guerrero, that it was because of her that La Familia suffered. At SummerSlam, The Undertaker defeated Edge, and after the match, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas, with flames rising from the hole.
On November 23, 2008 at Survivor Series, Edge returned to WWE after an introduction by SmackDown General Manager and his on-screen wife Vickie Guerrero, replacing Jeff Hardy in the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship involving champion Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. He pinned Triple H to become the WWE Champion for the third time in his career. The following month, Edge lost the title to Hardy at Armageddon in a Triple Threat match, which also featured Triple H. At the Royal Rumble, however, Edge regained the title in a no disqualification match, following Matt Hardy’s interference. At the February event No Way Out, Edge lost the WWE title in an Elimination Chamber after being pinned by Jeff Hardy, being the first to be eliminated, with the title eventually being won by Triple H. Later that night, Edge inserted himself into the World Championship Elimination Chamber match after attacking Kofi Kingston and barricading himself inside one of the Chamber’s pods, proceeding to win his eighth World Championship, last eliminating Rey Mysterio and taking the title over to SmackDown. At WrestleMania XXV in April, Edge lost the championship to John Cena in a Triple Threat match, which also included The Big Show. Three weeks later he regained the championship at Backlash, when he defeated Cena in a Last Man Standing match, after interference by The Big Show. After a successful defense against Jeff Hardy at Judgment Day, he lost the title to Hardy at Extreme Rules in a ladder match, and afterwards said some disparaging things to his on-screen wife, Vickie Guerrero. The following night, Guerrero resigned as the Raw General Manager due to being humiliated, and Edge came out to apologize. Instead, however, he claimed he married Guerrero because she had authoritative powers as the General Manager, and sought a divorce.
Tag team championship with Jericho and injury (2009)
In June, Edge won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship (the unified version of the World Tag Team Championship from the Raw brand and the WWE Tag Team Championship from the SmackDown brand) with Chris Jericho at The Bash after he and Jericho were inserted into the match as late entries just prior. On July 3, Edge suffered a torn Achilles tendon while competing at a live event in San Diego in a match against Jeff Hardy, and later underwent surgery. It was reported that he could be out of action for up to a year.
During Edge’s absence, Jericho replaced him with the Big show (forming Jeri-Show) and Jericho began to speak badly of Edge, mocking him for his injury.
Return from injury and pursuit of Heavyweight Championship (2010)
At the Royal Rumble event on January 31, 2010, Edge returned from injury by entering the Royal Rumble match as the twenty ninth surprise entrant. He quickly eliminated Jericho who had been the 28th. Ultimately, he won the match for the first time in his career after last eliminating John Cena.
After Jericho won the Heavyweight Championship from the Undertaker during Elimination Chamber (2010), Edge went on to challenge Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 2010. However, Edge lost to Jericho in the match. The following month, Edge beat Jericho in a Steel cage match at Extreme Rules.
The following night at the 2010 WWE Draft, Edge was drafted back to the Raw brand, also costing Randy Orton a title shot against John Cena by spearing him in a Triple Threat match against Batista and Sheamus. On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, Edge turned on the fans by calling them “puppets” and later tried a sneak attack on Christian, thus becoming a villain once again. After being drafted to the Raw brand, Edge began a feud with his former Rated-RKO tag team partner Randy Orton, with both Edge and Orton gaining the upper hand over one another. Much of the antagonism stemmed of Randy’s refusal to re-form Rated-RKO with Edge, as Edge wanted to pursue the tag team titles he had been stripped of. The two met in a match at May’s Over the Limit pay-per-view, with the match resulting in a double countout. At Fatal 4-Way, Edge participated in a fatal four-way match that included Orton, Sheamus, and John Cena for the WWE Championship, though Edge failed to win the title.
The following month Edge participated in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay per view but failed to win the briefcase. Edge then went on to participate in the main event of SummerSlam in which he and six teammates were victorious in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match against The Nexus. On the 900th episode of Raw, he disqualified himself, in the main event in a five-on-five elimination match against The Nexus. This saw him enter into a feud with the anonymous GM of Raw, during which the GM cost him several matches. At Night of Champions, Edge participated in a six pack elimination challenge for Sheamus’s WWE Championship but once again failed to win the title.
At WWE’s Hell in a Cell PPV event, Edge defeated Jack Swagger. The next night on Raw, it was announced that he had been traded to the Smackdown brand for SmackDown’s CM Punk due to him destroying the Raw GM computer turning him face and ending the feud between the two. On his SmackDown return, he defeated Jack Swagger in his first match. On the October 15, 2010 episode of SmackDown, he defeated Dolph Ziggler to become part of Team SmackDown at WWE’s Bragging Rights PPV event. At the event, Edge won the cup for Team SmackDown alongside Rey Mysterio.
Soon after that, he entered a feud with World Heavyweight Champion Kane. He defeated Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to become the number one contender for Kane’s World Championship at WWE’s Survivor Series PPV event, which ended in a draw. On December 19, 2010 Edge defeated Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto Del Rio in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV event to win the World Heavyweight Championship for a record sixth time and making him a ten time World Champion.
Defenses of championship and retirement (2011)
After a successful title defense against Kane in a Last Man Standing Match, Edge would then feud with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero up through the Royal Rumble and after. On the 600th episode of Smackdown on February 18, acting GM Guerrero fired Edge, and awarded the World Title to her (kayfabe) boyfriend Ziggler. Smackdown GM Teddy Long returned later that night, and rehired Edge. Edge would then defeat Ziggler to win back the World Title for the seventh time, and his 11th World Championship overall. After the match, Teddy Long fired Dolph and Vicky.
At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Edge successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship in an Elimination Chamber match by finally pinning Rey Mysterio. After he defended his championship, he was attacked by Alberto Del Rio, but was saved by the returning Christian. Edge and Christian briefly reunited to defeat Alberto and his NXT bodyguard Brodus Clay.
At WrestleMania XXVII, Edge successfully defended the World Title against Alberto Del Rio in the opening match. The following Smackdown, Alberto aired his grievance (partly due to Edge wrecking his expensive car during Mania) and demanded a rematch. Edge refused, saying that Christian deserved the title shot more, having defeated Alberto twice in a row. Teddy Long made a contender’s match for Extreme Rules (2011) between the two to resolve this, during which Edge speared Brodus Clay to prevent him from interfering. But this distracted Christian briefly allowing Alberto to pin for the victory. He and Edge were slated to have a Wrestlemania rematch, planned as a ladder match this time, Edge’s specialty.
On the April 11 episode of Raw, Edge announced that he had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and would therefore follow his doctor’s advice and retire from professional wrestling, vacating the World Heavyweight Championship in the process. Leading up to this announcement, he had reflected upon his previous neck injury where his cervical vertebrae had been fused, and mentioned feeling numbness in his arms and losing feeling in them. This implies it was cervical spinal stenosis. Currently there is not anyone slated to fill his spot at Extreme Rules versus the number one contender Alberto Del Rio.
In 2000, he made a cameo appearance in the fantasy movie Highlander: Endgame, credited as “Road Bandit”. During the appearance, actor Adrian Paul remarks “Looks like you’ve lost your edge, lad” after defeating him in a sword fight.
|Edge in Highlander:Endgame|
In March 2002, Copeland alongside other WWE Superstars appeared on the quiz show, the Weakest Link. He was voted out in the first round, and the eventual winner was Kane. On the August 6, 2006 episode of Mind of Mencia, Copeland appeared as Edge as a commentator for “The Royal Religious Rumble”. He punched out an actor playing L. Ron Hubbard to stop Scientology from ruling the world and then speared another actor playing Tom Cruise. In March 2007 he alongside Randy Orton, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley appeared on Deal or No Deal. Weeks later he appeared on the sketch comedy show MADtv. Copeland appeared in a Slim Jim commercial where his spicy side causes chaos in a DMV, a restaurant and a hotel.
Edge: a Decade of Decadence, a DVD documentary of Copeland’s life, was released in December 2008. The DVD illustrates his wrestling career dating back to 1998 when he entered the WWF. The DVD also shows the tag team ladder match with Christian against The Hardy Boyz in the Terri Invitational Tournament.
Copeland used to play hockey with National Hockey League (NHL) player Aaron Downey. He is a fan of the NHL team, the New Jersey Devils. As a teenager, Copeland (along with his friend William Reso attended WrestleMania VI sitting in the eleventh row at ringside. He was cheering on WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against The Ultimate Warrior, and he credits this match with making him realize he wanted to be a wrestler. Twelve years later Copeland returned to SkyDome as a competitor at WrestleMania X8.
Copeland has been married two times. His first marriage was to Alanah Morley, the sister of Val Venis, whom he wedded on November 8, 2001. They divorced after three years on March 10, 2004. His second marriage was to Lisa Ortiz on October 21, 2004, but they soon divorced on November 17, 2005. Copeland now resides in Asheville, North Carolina with his girlfriend, Charissa.
His autobiography, titled Adam Copeland on Edge, was published on November 4, 2004. Unlike most wrestlers who used “ghostwriters” to write their autobiographies, Copeland wrote the entire book himself, in longhand. Mick Foley wrote the foreword to his book. Copeland does not smoke. He claims he had his first cigarette when he was sixteen, hated it, and has not smoked since. Copeland has several tattoos. He has a tattoo of a red and black sun on his left upper biceps (which covers a tattoo of a muscular shark which resembled the Street Sharks), a star on his right upper biceps with several smaller stars below it, two skulls wearing bandannas, adorned with flowers and hearts, below said star tattoo, along with a tattoo of a cross on his left forearm, and another tattoo of a scroll like piece of paper that adorns the words Rise Above. All of Copeland’s tattoos represent a stage in his career: his sun, which Copeland got while recovering from his neck injury, represents “looking towards brighter days.” The cross tattoo represents his time with the Brood, and his star and skull tattoos represent his Rated R Superstar persona and his self-proclaimed status as the “Guns N’ Roses of wrestling”.
In March 2007, Copeland became a key figure in an alleged steroid ring and drug investigation. On March 19, Sports Illustrated posted an article on its website in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Copeland who was alleged to have obtained HGH. Copeland has previously admitted using steroids in April 2004 after neck surgery as an experiment on TSN’s Off The Record with Michael Landsberg in January 2005. He said he felt it slowed him down, so he quickly got off the substance. According to Copeland, he took HGH after returning back from a spinal fusion neck surgery. He was told by doctors that it would help the bones grow back around the screws and plate that were inserted into his neck. He claims to have taken blood tests, consulted doctors, studied the drug, and got prescriptions before deciding to take them.
According to a Sports Illustrated article rotated on August 30, 2007, Copeland was named one of 10 superstars found to have purchased steroids and other drugs from an online pharmacy, a violation of the WWE Talent Wellness program. Copeland was said to have received somatropin, genotropin, and stanozolol between September 2004 and February 2007.
- Finishing moves
- Downward Spiral (Leg hook reverse STO) – 1998–2000
- Edgecator (Inverted sharpshooter) – 2004-present
- One man con–chair–to – used mainly in hardcore matches
- Spear, sometimes from the second or top rope
- Edgecution / The Impaler (Lifting DDT, sometimes dropped into a sitout position)
- Signature moves
- With Rey Mysterio
- 619 (Tiger feint kick) by Mysterio followed by a Spear or Edgecution by Edge
- Bombs Away (Simultaneous powerbomb (Edge) / springboard seated senton (Mysterio) combination)
- Catapult by Edge into a diving hurricanrana by Mysterio
- Double missile dropkick
- Hurricanrana by Mysterio into a Spear by Edge
- Powerbomb lift by Edge to Mysterio, Mysterio then moonsaults on to the opponent (the opponent(s) is usually standing outside the ring)
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Insane Championship Wrestling
- New Tokyo Pro Wrestling
- NTPW Pro Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Christian Cage
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- World Heavyweight Championship (7 times)
- World Tag Team Championship (12 times) – with Christian (7), Chris Benoit (2), Hulk Hogan (1), Randy Orton (1) and Chris Jericho (1)
- WWE Championship (4 times)
- WWF/E Intercontinental Championship (5 times)
- WCW United States Championship (1 time)1
- WWE Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Rey Mysterio (1) and Chris Jericho (1)
- Fourteenth Triple Crown Champion
- King of the Ring (2001)
- Mr. Money in the Bank (2005, 20072)
- Royal Rumble (2010)
- Slammy Award for Couple of the Year (2008) – with Vickie Guerrero
- Slammy Award for “Oh Snap” Meltdown of the Year (2010) Destroying the Anonymous GM’s computer
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Match of the Year (2002) with Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit, for the WWE Tag Team Championship, No Mercy, October 20
- Tag Team of the Year (2000) with Christian
- Worst Feud of the Year (2010) vs. Kane
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (2008) vs. Vladimir Kozlov and Triple H at Survivor Series
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Its funny that the people who are deep into the world seem to know the good book and can break it down so that it make sense. Why cannt some preachers not do that?
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