Who is Robin Rene Roberts? The entertainment and news world knows knows her as Robin Roberts, she is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC‘s morning show Good Morning America.
Roberts was born November 23, 1960 is a media icon who grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where she played basketball and tennis, among other sports. She attended Pass Christian High School and graduated as the class of 1979 salutatorian. Her parents are Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts and Lucimarian Roberts. In a 2006 presentation to the assembled student body at Abilene Christian University, Roberts credited her parents as cultivating the “three Ds: Discipline, Determination, and “De Lord.”
She is the youngest of four children with siblings Sally-Ann, Lawrence,
Jr. “Butch”, and Dorothy. Her father was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen.
Roberts attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, graduating cum laude in 1983 with a degree in communication. She followed in the footsteps of her older sister Sally-Ann Roberts, an anchor at the CBS affiliate WWL in New Orleans.
Roberts noted on the January 13, 2007, edition of Costas on the Radio that she was offered a scholarship to play basketball at Louisiana State University
but thought the school too big and impersonal after visiting the
campus. On her way back to Pass Christian from that visit, she saw a
road sign for Southeastern Louisiana University, stopped to visit and
decided to enroll. The only scholarship left was a tennis scholarship,
and she was promised that there would be a journalism scholarship by the
time she would graduate. She went on to become a standout performer on
the women’s basketball team, ending her career as the school’s third
all-time leading scorer (1,446 points) and rebounder (1,034). She is one
of the only three Lady Lions to score 1,000 career points and grab
1,000 career rebounds. During her senior season, she averaged a
career-high 15.2 points per game. On February 5, 2011, Southeastern
hosted a ceremony to retire Roberts’ jersey 21.
Roberts began her career in 1983 as a sports anchor and reporter for WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In 1984, she moved to WLOX-TV in Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1986, she was sports anchor and reporter for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. She was also a sports anchor and reporter at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1988 to 1990. She was also a radio host for radio station V-103 while in Atlanta.
ESPN and ABC News
She joined ESPN as a sportscaster in February 1990 and became well known on Sportscenter for her catchphrase, “Go on with your bad self!” Roberts began to work for ABC News, specifically as a featured reporter, for Good Morning America in June 1995.
In 2001, Roberts received the Mel Greenberg Media Award, presented by the WBCA. For many years, Roberts worked at both ESPN and Good Morning America, contributing to both programs. During that time, she served primarily as the news anchor at GMA. In 2005, Roberts was promoted to co-anchor of Good Morning America.
In the fall of 2005, she anchored a series of emotional reports from the Mississippi Gulf Coast after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina; her hometown of Pass Christian was especially hard hit, with her old high school completely reduced to rubble.
Roberts has earned three Emmy Awards for her sportscasting work at ESPN.
On May 30, 2010 Roberts drove the Pace Car for the 2010 Indianapolis 500.
Roberts is inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
as part of the hall’s class of 2012 for her contributions to and impact
on the game of women’s basketball through her broadcasting work and
On July 31, 2007, Roberts announced during the live broadcast of Good Morning America
that she had been diagnosed with an early form of breast cancer. She
noticed a lump through self-examination the day they were working on Joel Siegel‘s farewell on Good Morning America. (Siegel died from colon cancer.) Roberts underwent surgery on August 3, and six days later it was announced by ABC News that Roberts was planning to return to the anchor desk on August 13.
Roberts announced on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
on September 5, 2007, that she was healthier now than before the cancer
but still faces future treatment. She also revealed that a mammogram did not detect her cancer but a follow-up ultrasound did. Roberts shaved her head during chemotherapy treatment. She wore a wig on Good Morning America
because she “didn’t want to distract viewers from the news.” On April
21, 2008, Roberts stopped wearing the wig. As of January 10, 2008,
Roberts had completed her eight chemotherapy treatments. She then had 6½
weeks of radiation treatment, which was completed as of March 28, 2008.
In early 2007 Roberts published a book, From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By,
of which she said, “I’m a big believer that you have to put yourself in
position for good things to happen to you.” She discussed the book and
her Christian faith on the CBN.
On June 11, 2012, five years after the start of Roberts’s fight with breast cancer, she announced on Good Morning America that she has MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. Roberts also announced that her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts,
is an almost exactly perfect match for bone marrow, and the transplant
will happen in either the late summer or the fall. She has stated that
with the help of her faith, her family and her GMA family she knows that
she will overcome this condition. 
Special guest appearance on Hannah Montana Forever
Roberts guest starred as herself on Hannah Montana (season 4) in the tenth episode of the season, “Can You See the Real Me?“, in which Roberts interviewed Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) about her former double life as Miley Stewart and Hannah Montana.
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Currently, Pacquiao is the WBC Super Welterweight World Champion and WBO Welterweight World Champion (Super Champion). He is also currently rated as the “number one” pound-for-pound best boxer in the world by several sporting news and boxing websites, including The Ring, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports and About.com.
Aside from boxing, Pacquiao has participated in acting, music recording, and politics. In May 2010, Pacquiao was elected to the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines, representing the province of Sarangani. He is the only active boxer to become a congressman in the Philippines.
Pacquiao was born on December 17, 1978, in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines. He is the son of Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionesia Dapidran-Pacquiao. His parents separated when he was in sixth grade, after his mother discovered that his father was living with another woman. He is the fourth among six siblings: Liza Silvestre-Onding and Domingo Silvestre (from first husband of his mother) and Isidra Pacquiao-Paglinawan, Alberto “Bobby” Pacquiao and Rogelio Pacquiao.
|Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora|
Pacquiao is married to Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora, and they have four children: Emmanuel Jr. “Jimuel”, Michael, Princess, and Queen Elizabeth “Queenie”. He resides in his hometown General Santos City, South Cotabato, Philippines. However, as a congressman of lone district of Sarangani, he is officially residing in Kiamba, Sarangani, the hometown of his wife.
Pacquiao is a devout Roman Catholic. Within the ring, he frequently makes the sign of the cross and everytime he comes back from a successful fight abroad, he attends a thanksgiving Mass in Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila to kneel and pray.
Pacquiao is also a military reservist with the rank of Sergeant Major for the 15th Ready Reserve Division of the Philippine Army. When younger he had considered becoming a soldier, and was enlisted in the military reserve force as an Army Private.
Pacquiao completed his elementary education at Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City, but dropped out of high school due to extreme poverty. He left his home at age 14 because his mother, who had six children, was not making enough money to support her family.
In February 2007 he took, and passed, a high school equivalency exam making him eligible for college education. He was awarded with a high school diploma by the Department of Education. Pacquiao enrolled for a college degree in business management at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) in his hometown in General Santos City.
On February 18, 2009, Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University (SWU) at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City in recognition of his boxing achievements and humanitarian work.
In preparation for his career as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Pacquiao enrolled in the Certificate Course in Development, Legislation, and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management (DAP-GSPDM).
Amateur boxing career
At the age of 14, Pacquiao moved to Manila and lived, for a time, on the streets. He started boxing and made the Philippine national amateur boxing team where his room and board were paid for by the government. Pacquiao reportedly had an amateur record of 64 fights (60–4).
Professional boxing career
Early years at Light Flyweight division
In 1995, the death of a young aspiring boxer and close friend Eugene Barutag spurred the young Pacquiao to pursue a professional boxing career. Pacquiao started his professional boxing career when he was just 16 years of age, stood at 4’11”, and weighed 98 pounds (7 pounds under the minimumweight division). He admitted before American media that he put weights in his pockets to make the 105 pound weight limit. His early light flyweight division fights took place in small local venues and were shown on Vintage Sports‘ Blow by Blow, an evening boxing show. His professional debut was a four round bout against Edmund “Enting” Ignacio, on January 22, 1995, which Pacquiao won via decision, becoming an instant star of the program.
Pacquiao’s weight increased from 106 to 113 pounds before losing in his 12th bout against Rustico Torrecampo via a third round knockout. Pacquiao failed to make the required weight, so he was forced to use heavier gloves than Torrecampo, thereby putting him at a disadvantage.
Following the Torrecampo fight, Pacquiao continued undefeated for his next 15 fights. He went on another unbeaten run that saw him take on the vastly more experienced Chokchai Chockvivat in flyweight division. Pacquiao knocked out Chockvivat in the fifth round and took the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Flyweight title. After one official defense and two non-title bouts, Pacquiao got his first opportunity to fight for a world title. Pacquiao captured the World Boxing Council (WBC) Flyweight World Title (his first major boxing world title as well as the flyweight lineal title) over Chatchai Sasakul by way of knockout in the eighth round. He defended the title successfully against Mexican Gabriel Mira via 4th round technical knockout. However, Pacquiao lost the title in his second defense against Medgoen Singsurat, also known as Medgoen 3K Battery, via a third round knockout. The bout was held in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. Singsurat got Pacquiao on the ropes and landed a flush straight right to the body coiling Pacquiao over and keeping him there. Technically, Pacquiao lost the belt at the scales, as he surpassed the weight limit of 112 pounds.
Super Bantamweight division
Following his loss to Singsurat, Pacquiao gained weight anew and skipped the super flyweight and bantamweight divisions. This time, Pacquiao went to super bantamweight or junior featherweight division of 122 pounds, where he picked up the WBC Super Bantamweight International Title. He defended this title five times before his chance for a world title fight came. Pacquiao’s big break came on June 23, 2001, against former IBF World Super Bantamweight champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Pacquiao stepped into the fight as a late replacement on two weeks’ notice but won the fight by technical knockout and won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Featherweight World Title belt, his second major boxing world title. The bout was held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao went on to defend this title four times under head trainer Freddie Roach, owner of the famous Wild Card Gym in West Hollywood.
On November 15, 2003, Pacquiao faced Marco Antonio Barrera at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, in a fight that many consider to have defined his career. Pacquiao, who was fighting at featherweight for the first time, brought his power with him and defeated Barrera via technical knockout in the eleventh round and won The Ring Featherweight World Title (as well as the lineal featherweight champion), making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a three-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in three different weight divisions. He defended the title twice before relinquishing it in 2005.
Six months after the fight, Pacquiao went on to challenge Juan Manuel Márquez, who at the time held both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) Featherweight World Titles. The fight took place at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, on May 8, 2004, and after twelve rounds the bout was scored a draw, which proved to be a controversial decision that outraged both camps.
In the first round, Márquez was caught cold, as he was knocked down three times by Pacquiao. However, Márquez showed great heart to recover from the early knockdowns, and went on to win the majority of rounds thereafter. This was largely due to Márquez’s counterpunch style, which he managed to effectively utilize against the aggressive style of Pacquiao. At the end of a very close fight, the final scores were 115–110 for Márquez, 115–110 for Pacquiao, and 113–113. One of the judges (who scored the bout 113–113) later admitted to making an error on the scorecards, because he had scored the first round as “10–7” in favor of Pacquiao instead of the standard “10–6” for a three-knockdown round. In fact, the fight should be scored as split decision in favor of Pacquiao. Consequently, both parties felt they had done enough to win the fight.
Super Featherweight division
On March 19, 2005, Pacquiao moved up in super featherweight or junior lightweight division of 130 pounds, in order to fight another Mexican legend and three-division world champion Érik Morales for vacant WBC International and IBA Super Featherweight Titles. The fight took place at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. In this fight, Pacquiao sustained a cut over his right eye from a headbutt in the fifth round. He lost the twelve round match by a unanimous decision from the judges. All three scorecards read 115–113 for Morales.
On September 10, 2005, Manny Pacquiao fought Héctor Velázquez at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. He knocked Velázquez out in six rounds to capture the WBC Super Featherweight International Title, which he went on to defend five times. On the same day, his rival, Érik Morales, fought Zahir Raheem and lost via unanimous decision.
The much anticipated rematch between Pacquiao and Morales took place on January 21, 2006 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. During the fight, Morales escaped being knocked down twice, once in the second round by holding onto the ropes, and once in the sixth by falling on the referee. Pacquiao eventually knocked Morales out in the tenth, the first time Morales was knocked out in his boxing career.
On July 2, 2006, Pacquiao defended his WBC Super Featherweight International Title against Óscar Larios, a two-time super bantamweight champion, who had moved up two weight divisions to fight Pacquiao. Pacquiao won the fight via unanimous decision, knocking down Larios two times in the 12-round bout at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines. The three judges scored the fight 117–110, 118–108, and 120–106 all for Pacquiao.
On July 3, 2006, the day after winning the fight against Larios, the then Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo personally bestowed the Order of Lakandula with the rank of “Champion for Life” (Kampeon Habambuhay) and the plaque of appreciation to Pacquiao in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace.
Pacquiao and Morales fought a third time (with the series tied 1–1) on Nov. 18, 2006. Witnessed by a near record crowd of 18,276, the match saw Pacquiao defeat Morales via a third round knockout at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. After the Pacquiao–Morales rubber match, Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s main promoter, announced that Manny had returned his signing bonus back to Golden Boy Promotions, signaling intentions to stay with Top Rank. This prompted Golden Boy Promotions to sue Pacquiao over breach of contract.
After a failed promotional negotiation with Marco Antonio Barrera’s camp, Bob Arum chose Jorge Solís as Pacquiao’s next opponent among several fighters Arum offered as replacements. The bout was held in San Antonio, Texas, on April 14, 2007. In the sixth round, an accidental headbutt occurred, giving Pacquiao a cut under his left eyebrow. The fight ended in the eighth when Pacquiao knocked Solis down twice. Solis barely beat the count after the second knockdown, causing the referee to stop the fight and award Pacquiao a knockout win. The victory raised Pacquiao’s win–loss–draw record to 44–3–2 with 34 knockouts. This also marked the end of Solis’s undefeated streak.
On June 29, 2007, Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions announced that they agreed to settle their lawsuit, meaning the long-awaited rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera would occur despite Pacquiao being the top-ranked contender for the super featherweight title of Juan Manuel Márquez. On October 6, 2007, Pacquiao defeated Barrera in their rematch via an easy unanimous decision. In the 11th round, Pacquiao’s punch caused a deep cut below Barrera’s right eye. Barrera retaliated with an illegal punch on the break that dazed Pacquiao but also resulted in a point deduction for Barrera. Two judges scored the bout 118–109, whereas the third scored it 115–112.
In The Ring Magazine, Pacquiao (45–3–2) remained at the top of the super featherweight division (130 pounds). He had been in the ratings for 108 weeks. On November 13, 2007, he was honored by the World Boxing Council as Emeritus Champion during its 45th Annual World Convention held at the Manila Hotel.
On November 20, 2007, José Nuñez, manager of WBO Super Featherweight champion Joan Guzmán, accused Pacquiao’s handler Bob Arum of evading a match between the two boxers to protect Pacquiao. Guzmán went as far as to directly call out Pacquiao at the postfight press conference of the Pacquiao–Barrera rematch in front of a stunned crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center‘s media room in Las Vegas.
The 240 member House of Representatives of the Philippines, on August 7, 2008, issued a Resolution, sponsored by South Cotabato Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio, which recognized Pacquiao as “a people’s champ” — “for his achievements and in appreciation of the honor and inspiration he has been bringing… to the Filipino people.” He received a plaque from Speaker Prospero Nograles.
On March 15, 2008, in a rematch against Juan Manuel Márquez called “Unfinished Business”, Pacquiao won via split decision. The fight was held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. With the victory, Pacquiao won the WBC Super Featherweight and The Ring Junior Lightweight World Titles (as well as the lineal junior lightweight title), making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a four-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in four different weight divisions. The fight was a close hard fought battle, during which both fighters received cuts. Throughout the fight Márquez landed the most punches at a higher percentage; however, the decisive factor proved to be a third round knockdown, wherein Márquez was floored by a Pacquiao left hook. At the end of the fight, the judges’ scores were 115–112 for Pacquiao, 115–112 for Márquez, and 114–113 for Pacquiao.
In the post-fight news conference, Márquez’s camp called for an immediate rematch. In addition, Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions CEO, offered a $6 million guarantee to Pacquiao for a rematch. However, Pacquiao ruled out a third clash with Márquez, saying, “I don’t think so. This business is over.” The reason that Pacquiao did not want a rematch was because he intended to move up to the lightweight division to challenge David Díaz, the reigning WBC Lightweight World Champion at that time. Díaz won a majority decision over Ramón Montano that night as an undercard of the “Unfinished Business” fight.
On June 28, 2008, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Pacquiao defeated David Díaz in lightweight division via ninth round knockout and won the WBC Lightweight World Title. With the victory, Pacquiao became the first and only Filipino and Asian to become a five-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in five different weight divisions, and also became the first Filipino fighter to ever win a world title at lightweight. During the fight, which Pacquiao dominated, Díaz was cut badly on his right eye in the fourth round. After the bout, Díaz acknowledged Pacquiao’s superior hand speed, stating “It was his speed. It was all his speed. I could see the punches perfectly, but he was just too fast.”
Bob Arum reported that the fight had made 12.5 million dollars earning Díaz his best payday of 850,000 dollars, whilst Pacquiao earned at least 3 million dollars. Official records revealed an attendance of 8,362 (out of a maximum capacity of 12,000).
Holding both the WBC World Super Featherweight and World Lightweight titles following the win, Pacquiao decided to vacate his super featherweight title in July 2008.
On December 6, 2008, Pacquiao moved up to the welterweight division, in order to face the six-division world champion Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, in a fight called “The Dream Match“. Presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, the bout was scheduled as a twelve round, non-title fight contested at the 147 pound welterweight limit. Although Pacquiao went into the fight widely recognized as the leading pound-for-pound boxer in the world, some boxing pundits had speculated that 147 pounds could be too far above his natural weight against the larger De La Hoya. However, due to rehydration after the weigh in, De la Hoya came into the fight actually weighing less than Pacquiao, and close to 20 pounds under his usual fighting weight. Pacquiao dominated the fight, and after eight rounds De La Hoya’s corner was forced to throw in the towel, awarding Pacquiao the win via technical knockout.
Pacquiao was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards before the stoppage, with two judges scoring the fight at 80–71 and one scoring it at 79–72. Moreover, Pacquiao landed 224 out of 585 punches, whilst De La Hoya landed only 83 out of 402 punches. After the bout, trainer Freddie Roach stated “We knew we had him after the first round. He had no legs, he was hesitant and he was shot.” The fight would be De La Hoya’s last, as he announced his retirement from boxing shortly after.
Pacquiao received 15 to 30 million dollars (share of the pay-per-view), plus a guaranteed amount. Tickets reportedly sold out just hours after they went on sale. Moreover, the total gate revenue for the fight was said to be nearly 17 million dollars, making it the second largest gate revenue in boxing history.
Light Welterweight division
On May 2, 2009, Pacquiao fought at light welterweight or super lightweight division for the first time against Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, in a fight billed as “The Battle of the East and West“. Pacquiao won the bout via knockout to claim the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Junior Welterweight and The Ring Junior Welterweight World Titles (as well as the lineal light welterweight title). In doing so, Pacquiao became the second man in boxing history to become a six-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in six different weight divisions and the first man ever to win lineal world titles in four different weight classes.
The fight was originally placed in jeopardy due to disputes with both camps over the fight purse money. Eventually, the money issue was settled and the fight went on as scheduled. HBO aired the contest.
Pacquiao started the fight strong, knocking down Hatton twice in the first round. A somewhat shaken Hatton beat the count, only to be saved by the bell seconds later. In the second round Hatton seemed to have recovered, as he stalked Pacquiao for most of the round. However, with less than ten seconds remaining in the second round, Hatton was knocked out cold by a sharp left hook, prompting the referee to award Pacquiao the win by knockout (at 2:59 of the round). The knockout won him the The Ring Magazine “Knockout of the Year” for 2009.
Return to welterweight
Pacquiao vs. Cotto
On November 14, 2009, Pacquiao defeated Miguel Cotto via technical knockout in the twelfth round at the MGM Grand Las Vegas in a fight billed as “Firepower.”
Although the bout was sanctioned as a world title fight in the
welterweight division, where the weight limit is 147 pounds, Cotto
agreed to fight at a catchweight of 145 pounds.
Pacquiao dominated the fight, knocking Cotto down in round three and
round four, before the referee stopped the fight at 0:55 of round
twelve. With this victory, Pacquiao took the WBO Welterweight title, was awarded the WBO Super Championship title and became the first seven-division world champion, the first fighter in boxing history to win world titles in seven different weight divisions. Pacquiao also won the first and special WBC Diamond Championship belt.
This belt was created as an honorary championship exclusively to award
the winner of a historic fight between two high-profile boxers. After the fight, promoter Bob Arum stated “Pacquiao is the greatest boxer I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen them all, including Ali, Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard.”
Miguel Cotto said in a post fight interview: “Miguel Cotto comes to
boxing to fight the biggest names, and Manny is one of the best boxers
we have of all time.”
The fight generated 1.25 million buys and $70 million in domestic
pay-per-view revenue, making it the most watched boxing event of 2009. Pacquiao earned around $22 million for his part in the fight, whilst Cotto earned around $12 million. Pacquiao–Cotto also generated a live gate of $8,847,550 from an official crowd of 15,930.
On November 20, 2009, in a simple rites at the Quirino Grandstand, President Macapagal-Arroyo conferred Pacquiao the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross) with Gold distinction (Katangiang Ginto) which usually bestowed to foreign diplomats and heads of state. It was awarded to Pacquiao for winning his historical seventh weight division world title.
Following the victory against Cotto, there was much public demand for a fight between the seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao (the number-one pound-for-pound boxer) and the five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
(the number-two and former number-one pound-for-pound boxer). Pacquiao
reportedly agreed to fight Mayweather on March 13, 2010 for a split of
$50 million up front.
And it was later agreed that the venue for the fight would be the MGM
Grand Las Vegas. However, the bout was put in jeopardy due to
disagreements about Olympic-style drug testing. The Mayweather camp
wanted random blood testing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency,
whereas Pacquiao refused to have any blood testing within 30 days from
the fight, because he thought it would weaken him, but he was willing to
have blood taken from him before the 30-day window as well as
immediately after the fight. Freddie Roach, on the other hand, commented that he would not allow blood to be taken from Pacquiao one week before the fight. In an attempt to resolve their differences, the two camps went through a process of mediation
before a retired judge. After the mediation process Mayweather agreed
to a 14-day no blood testing window. However, Pacquiao refused and
instead only agreed to a 24-day no blood testing window. Consequently, on January 7, 2010, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum declared that the fight was officially off.
Because of Pacquiao’s reluctance to submit to random blood testing to
the extent requested by Mayweather, despite lack of evidence, the
Mayweather camp repeated their suggestion that Pacquiao was using banned substances, which resulted in Pacquiao filing a lawsuit for defamation, seeking damages in excess of 75,000 dollars. The lawsuit cited accusations made by Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
After negotiations for the Mayweather fight fell through, other
boxers were considered to replace Mayweather as Pacquiao’s next
opponent, including former Light Welterweight Champion Paul Malignaggi, and WBA Light Middleweight title holder Yuri Foreman. However, Pacquiao chose to fight former IBF Welterweight title holder Joshua Clottey instead.
Pacquiao vs. Clottey
On March 13, 2010, at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas,
Pacquiao defeated Clottey via unanimous decision to retain his WBO
Welterweight title. The judges scored the fight 120–108, 119–109 and
119–109, all in favor of Pacquiao.
During the fight, Pacquiao threw a total of 1231 punches (a career
high), but landed just 246, as most were blocked by Clottey’s tight
defense. On the other hand, Clottey threw a total of 399 punches,
The fight was rewarded with a paid crowd of 36,371 and a gate of $6,359,985, according to post-fight tax reports filed with Texas boxing regulators. Counting complimentary tickets delivered to sponsors, media outlets and others, the Dallas fight attracted 41,843, well short of the 50,994 that was previously announced,
but still an epic number for boxing. In addition, the bout drew 700,000
pay-per-view buys and earned $35.3 million in domestic revenue.
Manny Pacquiao was named as the Fighter of the Decade for years
2000–2009 by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). This
award was presented by legendary boxer Joe Frazier, who was also a recipient of the award himself back in 1978 for defeating Muhammad Ali. Aside from this prestigious recognition, he was also named as the Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year for 2009, having received the same honor in 2006 and 2008. The awards ceremony was held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on June 4, 2010.
After his victory over Clottey, Pacquiao was expected to return to
boxing in late 2010 with a possible matchup against Floyd Mayweather,
Jr.. It was later reported that Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard
Schaefer and Top Rank Chief Bob Arum
worked out a ‘”Super Fight” between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd
Mayweather, Jr.. However, complications arose when Mayweather requested
Pacquiao undergo random blood and urine testing up until the fight day.
Pacquiao responded that he would agree to undergo blood and urine
testing up until 14 days before the fight (as requested by Mayweather in
the first round of negotiations), stating that giving blood too close
to the fight day would weaken him. On May 13, 2010, Pacquiao’s promoter
Bob Arum announced that he had penciled in November 13, 2010 as the date
of Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, possibly against Mayweather. However,
the stumbling block over demands that Pacquiao submit to Olympic-level
random drug testing put the fight in jeopardy.
On June 12, 2010, the President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La
Hoya, stated during an interview with a Spanish network that the deal
for the fight was very close and the negotiation process has been very
On June 30, 2010, Arum announced that the management of both sides had
agreed to terms, that all points had been settled (including Pacquiao
agreeing to submit to both blood and urine testing) and only the
signature of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. was needed to seal the deal that
could have earned both fighters at least $40 million each. Mayweather
was then given a two-week deadline for the fight contract to be signed. Arum also announced that Pacquiao accepted the terms of the random drug testing, blood and urine, leading up to the fight.
On July 15, 2010, Bob Arum announced that Pacquiao’s camp would give
Mayweather until Friday midnight to sign the fight. The next day, the
Top Rank website embedded a countdown clock on their website with the
heading “Money” Time: Mayweather’s Decision.
On July 17, 2010, Arum announced that there was no word from
Mayweather’s camp and the deal for a November 13, 2010 fight with
Mayweather was not reached.
On July 19, 2010, Leonard Ellerbe, one of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s
closest advisers, denied that negotiations for a super fight between
Mayweather and Pacquiao had ever taken place. Ellerbe stated that Bob
Arum was not telling the truth.
Bob Arum responded, questioning that if there was no negotiation, then
who imposed the gag order (referring to a gag order about the
negotiation allegedly imposed on both camps) and who could there be a
gag order from if there were no negotiations. He also criticized Oscar
De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer
for denying that negotiations took place, when De La Hoya himself had
previously stated that they were “very, very close in finalizing the
contracts.” Arum revealed that HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg acted as the mediator between Mayweather’s handlers and those of Pacquiao’s from Top Rank Promotions.
On July 26, 2010, Ross Greenburg said in a statement that he has been
negotiating with a representative from each side since May 2, 2010,
carefully trying to put the fight together and he did in fact act as a
go-between in negotiations with the two sides, but they were unable to
come to an agreement, contradicting what Arum and the Pacquiao camp had
said. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., after the second negotiation had been officially declared off, told the Associated Press
that he had fought sixty days ago and that he was not interested in
rushing into anything and was not really thinking about boxing at the
Almost a year later, on July 8, 2011, Manny Pacquiao’s top adviser
Michael Koncz confirmed that Pacquiao had in fact never agreed to
testing up until fight day, which contradicted what Bob Arum and the
Pacquiao camp had been saying for well over a year.
Pacquiao vs. Margarito
On July 23, 2010, Bob Arum announced that Pacquiao would fight Antonio Margarito on November 13, 2010. The fight for the vacant WBC Light Middleweight title gave Pacquiao the chance to win a world title in his eighth weight class, the light middleweight, or super welterweight, division.
A catchweight of 150 pounds was established for the fight, although the
weight limit for the light middleweight division is 154 pounds. During
the pre-fight, Pacquiao weighed in at a low 144.6 pounds, while
Margarito weighed in at the limit of 150 pounds. Pacquiao said he was
pleased with his weight because he loses too much speed when he gains
pounds. During the fight itself, Pacquiao weighed 148 lbs, 17 pounds
lighter than Margarito’s 165.
Prior to the fight, Pacquiao’s team demanded to the Texas officials
to test Margarito for banned substances after a weight loss supplement,
reportedly Hydroxycut, was found in his locker. It was stated that the officials would undergo testing for both boxers after the fight.
In the fight, Pacquiao defeated Margarito via unanimous decision, using
his superior handspeed and movement to win his 8th world title in as
many divisions. In the penultimate round, Pacquiao implored referee
Laurence Cole several times to stop the fight as Margarito had a swollen
face and a large cut beneath the right eye, but the referee let the
fight continue. Margarito had to be taken directly to the hospital after the fight, where it was discovered his orbital bone had been fractured; he had to undergo surgery.
On November 22, 2010, after winning world title in his eighth weight
division, Pacquiao was awarded with another Congressional Medal of
Distinction from his fellow congressmen led by House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte during the ceremony at the Philippine House of Representatives.
Because Pacquiao had no plans to defend the WBC Light Middleweight
title that he won against Margarito, the WBC Board of Governors voted to
declare the title vacant.
Second return to welterweight
Pacquiao vs. Mosley
On May 7, 2011, Pacquiao successfully defended his WBO Welterweight title against three-division world champion Shane Mosley via lopsided unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Arena. Rapper LL Cool J performed as Mosley first entered the arena, while vocalist Jimi Jamison of the rock band Survivor sang “Eye of the Tiger”
as Pacquiao approached the ring. Pacquiao knocked Mosley down in the
third round using a one-two capped with a left straight. Mosley was left
dazed by the knockdown but managed to stand up. Mosley floored Pacquiao in the tenth round with a push, but referee Kenny Bayless
inexplicably ruled it a knockdown. None of the judges seemed to have
bought it judging from the scores. Replays showed that Pacquiao was
throwing a punch off balance, had his right foot stepped on by Mosley’s
left foot and went down with a little help from Mosley’s right hand.
Bayless apologized to Pacquiao after the fight for the mistake. Pacquiao
gained one-sided verdicts from all three judges – 119–108, 120–108 and
Pacquiao reported that the only thing preventing him from knocking out
Mosley was a cramp in his legs. Freddie Roach said that Pacquiao had
problems with cramping before but usually in training sessions and not
in the middle of bouts.
After the fight, there was much controversy over Shane Mosley
reportedly telling Floyd Mayweather that he should have made Pacquiao
“take the test.”
Bob Arum talked about having Pacquiao’s next bout at the MGM Grand on
November 5, 2011 or across town at the Thomas and Mack Center on
November 12, 2011. Arum listed Juan Manuel Marquez as the first choice and then mentioned Timothy Bradley and Zab Judah as other options.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez III
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum stated that a third meeting with Márquez
could happen in November 2011, providing Pacquiao defeated his next
opponent Shane Mosley on May 7. On May 10, Márquez accepted an offer from Top Rank to fight Pacquiao for his WBO Welterweight title at a catchweight of 144 pounds. On May 18, Márquez signed the deal to fight Pacquiao for the third time on November 12 at Las Vegas.
On November 12, Marquez lost to Pacquiao via majority decision by
garnering scores 114–114, 115–113 & 116–112 from scorecards of three
judges. Upon the results being announced, the crowd reaction was
largely negative with thousands continuing to boo as Pacquiao spoke with Max Kellerman. Tim Smith of New York’s Daily News wrote that Márquez “was robbed of a decision by judges who were either blind or corrupt.” However, ringside punch stats showed Pacquiao landing more strikes, 176 to 138, and landing more power punches, 117 to 100. Michael Woods of ESPN stated that Marquez was not robbed noting the Compubox stats, all of which favored Pacquiao.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley
On February 5, Bob Arum announced Timothy Bradley as Pacquiao’s next opponent on June 9 for his WBO Welterweight title, after another failed negotiation attempt with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on Cinco De Mayo.
During the final press conference, WBO President Francisco “Paco”
Valcarcel awarded Pacquiao with WBO Diamond Ring in recognition of
Pacquiao as the WBO Best Pound-for-Pound Fighter of the Decade.
Pacquiao lost the bout in a controversial split decision, scoring
115-113, 113-115 and 113-115 from the three judges. The decision was
booed by the crowd and criticized by many news outlets
who were independently scoring the fight. However, Pacquiao was
gracious in defeat and Bradley called for a rematch. Following the
decision, many analysts called the decision a corruption of the sport.
ESPN.com scored the fight 119-109 for Pacquiao. HBO’s unofficial judge, Harold Lederman, also had it 119-109 for Pacquiao. Most ringside media also scored the fight in favor of Pacquiao.
Valcarcel said in a statement on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, that the
WBO’s Championship Committee will review the video of the fight with
five independent, competent and recognized international judges and make
a recommendation. He said that the WBO does not doubt the ability of
the scoring judges.
On June 21, 2012, the five WBO’s Championship Committee judges on the
review panel announced that Pacquiao should have won his controversial
defeat, with all scoring the fight unanimously in Pacquiao’s favor —
117-111, 117-111, 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113. However, the WBO cannot
overturn the result of the fight (only the NSAC would be able to do so), but recommended a rematch between the fighters.
Professional boxing record
Light Middleweight division
On July 23, 2010, Bob Arum announced that Pacquiao would fight Antonio Margarito on November 13, 2010. The fight for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title gave Pacquiao the chance to win a world title in his eighth weight class, the light middleweight or super welterweight division. A catchweight of 150 pounds was established for the fight although the weight limit for the light middleweight division is 154 pounds. During the pre-fight, Pacquiao weighed in at a low 144.6 pounds, while Margarito weighed in at the limit of 150 pounds. Pacquiao said he was pleased with his weight because he loses too much speed when he gains pounds. During the fight itself, Pacquiao weighed 148 lbs, 17 pounds lighter than Margarito’s 165.
Prior to the fight, Pacquiao’s team demanded to the Texas officials to test Margarito for banned substances after a weight loss supplement, reportedly Hydroxycut, was found in his locker. It was stated that the officials would undergo testing for both boxers after the fight. In the fight, Pacquiao defeated Margarito via unanimous decision, using his superior handspeed and movement to win his 8th world title in as many divisions. In the penultimate round, Pacquiao implored referee Laurence Cole several times to stop the fight as Margarito had a swollen face and a large cut beneath the right eye, but the referee let the fight continue. Margarito had to be taken directly to the hospital after the fight, where it was discovered his orbital bone had been fractured; he had to undergo surgery.
|52 Wins (38 knockouts, 14 decisions), 3 Losses (2 by knockout, 1 by decision), 2 Draws |
|Win||Antonio Margarito||UD||12 (12)||2010-11-13||Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, United States||Won vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title.|
|Win||Joshua Clottey||UD||12 (12)||2010-03-13||Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, United States||Retained WBO Welterweight World Title.|
|Win||Miguel Ángel Cotto||TKO||12 (12)||2009-11-14||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||Won WBO Welterweight World Title and WBC Diamond Belt.|
|Win||Ricky Hatton||KO||2 (12)||2009-05-02||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||Won IBO and The Ring Light Welterweight World Titles.|
|Win||Oscar De La Hoya||TKO||8 (12)||2008-12-06||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||A non-title fight, fought at Welterweight.|
|Win||David Díaz||TKO||9 (12)||2008-06-28||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, United States||Won WBC Lightweight World Title.|
|Win||Juan Manuel Márquez||SD||12 (12)||2008-03-15||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, United States||Won WBC and vacant The Ring Super Featherweight World Titles.|
|Win||Marco Antonio Barrera||UD||12 (12)||2007-10-06||Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, United States||Retained WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Win||Jorge Solís||KO||8 (12)||2007-04-14||Alamodome, San Antonio, United States||Retained WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Win||Érik Morales||KO||3 (12)||2006-11-18||Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, United States||Retained WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Win||Óscar Larios||UD||12 (12)||2006-07-02||Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Win||Érik Morales||TKO||10 (12)||2006-01-21||Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, United States||Retained WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Win||Héctor Velázquez||TKO||6 (12)||2005-09-10||Staples Center, Los Angeles, United States||Won vacant WBC Super Featherweight International Title.|
|Loss||Érik Morales||UD||12 (12)||2005-03-19||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||Vacant WBC International and IBA Super Featherweight Title match.|
|Win||Fahsan Por Thawatchai||TKO||4 (12)||2004-12-11||Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Philippines||Retained The Ring Featherweight World Title.|
|Draw||Juan Manuel Márquez||Draw||12 (12)||2004-05-08||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||Controversial Draw. WBA and IBF Featherweight World Title match.|
|Win||Marco Antonio Barrera||TKO||11 (12)||2003-11-15||Alamodome, San Antonio, United States||Won The Ring Featherweight World Title.|
|Win||Emmanuel Lucero||KO||3 (12)||2003-07-26||Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, United States||Retained IBF Super Bantamweight World Title.|
|Win||Serikzhan Yeshmagambetov||TKO||5 (10)||2003-03-15||Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines|
|Win||Fahprakorb Rakkiatgym||KO||1 (12)||2002-10-26||Rizal Memorial College Gym, Davao City, Philippines||Retained IBF Super Bantamweight World Title.|
|Win||Jorge Eliecer Julio||TKO||2 (12)||2002-06-08||The Pyramid, Memphis, United States||Retained IBF Super Bantamweight World Title.|
|Draw||Agapito Sánchez||TD||6 (12)||2001-11-10||Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, United States||WBO and IBF Super Bantamweight World Title match.|
|Win||Lehlohonolo Ledwaba||TKO||6 (12)||2001-06-23||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, United States||Won IBF Super Bantamweight World Title.|
|Win||Wethya Sakmuangklang||KO||6 (12)||2001-04-28||Kidapawan City, Cotabato, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Win||Tetsutora Senrima||TKO||5 (12)||2001-02-24||Manila, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Win||Nedal Hussein||TKO||10 (12)||2000-10-14||Ynares Center, Antipolo City, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Win||Seung-Kon Chae||TKO||1 (12)||2000-06-28||Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Win||Arnel Barotillo||KO||4 (12)||2000-03-04||Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Manila, Philippines||Retained WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Win||Reynante Jamili||KO||2 (12)||1999-12-18||Elorde Sports Complex, Parañaque City, Philippines||Won WBC Super Bantamweight International Title.|
|Loss||Medgoen Singsurat||KO||3 (12)||1999-09-17||Pakpanag Metropolitan Stadium, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand||He was overweight at weigh-in. Lost WBC Flyweight World Title.|
|Win||Gabriel Mira||TKO||4 (12)||1999-04-24||Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, Philippines||Retained WBC Flyweight World Title.|
|Win||Todd Makelim||TKO||3 (10)||1999-02-20||Kidapawan City, Cotabato, Philippines|
|Win||Chatchai Sasakul||KO||8 (12)||1998-12-04||Tonsuk College Ground, Phutthamonthon, Thailand||Won WBC Flyweight World Title.|
|Win||Shin Terao||TKO||1 (10)||1998-05-18||Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||Panomdej Ohyuthanakorn||KO||1 (12)||1997-12-06||South Cotabato Stadium, Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Philippines||Retained OPBF Flyweight Title.|
|Win||Melvin Magramo||UD||10 (10)||1997-09-13||Cebu City, Philippines|
|Win||Chokchai Chockvivat||KO||5 (12)||1997-06-26||Mandaluyong City, Philippines||Won OPBF Flyweight Title.|
|Win||Ariel Austria||TKO||6||1997-05-30||Almendras Gym, Davao City, Philippines|
|Win||Wook-Ki Lee||KO||1 (10)||1997-04-24||Makati City, Philippines|
|Win||Mike Luna||KO||1 (10)||1997-03-03||Muntinlupa City, Philippines|
|Win||Sung-Yul Lee||TKO||2||1996-12-28||Muntinlupa City, Philippines|
|Win||Ippo Gala||TKO||2||1996-07-27||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||Bert Batiller||TKO||4||1996-06-15||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||John Medina||TKO||4||1996-05-05||Manila, Philippines|
|Win||Marlon Carillo||UD||10 (10)||1996-04-27||Manila, Philippines|
|Loss||Rustico Torrecampo||KO||3||1996-02-09||Mandaluyong City, Philippines||He had not made the weight so he was forced to use heavier gloves.|
|Win||Lito Torrejos||UD||5||1996-01-13||Parañaque City, Philippines|
|Win||Rolando Toyogon||UD||10 (10)||1995-12-09||Manila, Philippines|
|Win||Rudolfo Fernandez||TKO||3 (10)||1995-11-11||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||Renato Mendones||TKO||2 (8)||1995-10-21||Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines|
|Win||Lolito Laroa||UD||8 (8)||1995-10-07||Makati City, Philippines|
|Win||Armando Rocil||KO||3||1995-09-16||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||Acasio Simbajon||UD||6 (6)||1995-08-03||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||Dele Decierto||TKO||2||1995-07-01||Mandaluyong City, Philippines|
|Win||Rocky Palma||UD||6 (6)||1995-05-01||Montano Hall, Cavite City, Philippines|
|Win||Pinoy Montejo||UD||4 (4)||1995-03-18||Mindoro Occidental, Philippines|
|Win||Edmund Enting Ignacio||UD||4 (4)||1995-01-22||Mindoro Occidental, Philippines||Professional boxing debut at Light Flyweight division.|
Titles in boxing
Major World Titles:
- WBC Flyweight World Champion (112 lbs)
- IBF Junior Featherweight World Champion (122 lbs)
- The Ring Featherweight World Champion (126 lbs)
- WBC Super Featherweight World Champion (130 lbs)
- The Ring Junior Lightweight World Champion (130 lbs)
- WBC Lightweight World Champion (135 lbs)
- The Ring Junior Welterweight World Champion (140 lbs)
- WBO Welterweight World Champion (147 lbs)
- WBC Super Welterweight World Champion (154 lbs)
Minor World Title:
Lineal Championship Titles:
- Lineal Flyweight World Champion (112 lbs)
- Lineal Featherweight World Champion (126 lbs)
- Lineal Super Featherweight World Champion (130 lbs)
- Lineal Light Welterweight World Champion (140 lbs)
- OPBF Flyweight Champion (112 lbs)
- WBC Super Bantamweight International Champion (122 lbs)
- WBC Super Featherweight International Champion (130 lbs)
- WBC Emeritus Champion
- WBC Diamond Champion
- WBO Super Champion
Pacquiao started his acting career as an extra in some local films and guest appearances on ABS-CBN shows.
In December 2005 Pacquiao took his first lead role in Violett Films’ Lisensyadong Kamao (Licensed Fist). The movie is titled so because (according to director Tony Bernal), being a Boxer, Pacquiao is licensed to use his hands.
In 2008, Pacquiao starred with Ara Mina and Valerie Concepcion in Anak ng Kumander (Son of Commander). The movie was not a commercial success and was panned by critics.
Pacquiao starred in the superhero/comedy film entitled Wapakman, which was released on December 25, 2009 as an entry to the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival. Like his previous films Wapakman was not commercially successful.
Upon the expiration of his contract with ABS-CBN, Pacquiao signed with GMA Network as an actor in September 2007. On December 17, 2007, he taped his first episode of the networks infotainment show Pinoy Records. His other projects with the network included Totoy Bato and the sitcom Show Me Da Manny in which his mother, Dionesia, also appeared.
American actor Sylvester Stallone is reportedly in talks with Pacquiao over co-starring in one of Stallone’s future films, which is in the planning stages. The film would be Pacquiao’s Hollywood debut.
|2000||Di Ko Kayang Tanggapin||Dong|
|2001||Mahal Kita… Kahit Sino Ka Pa!|
|2001||Basagan ng Mukha||Dodong|
|2005||Lisensyadong Kamao||Ambrosio “Bruce” Lerio|
|2008||Anak ng Kumander||Kumander Idel||Writer/Producer|
|2008||Brown Soup Thing||Cousin Manny|
|2008||Pangarap Kong Jackpot||Abel||segment “Sa Ngalan ng Busabos”|
|Year||Television Shows||Role||Other Notes|
|2004||Walang Bakas||Himself (uncredited)|
|2004||No Fear: The Manny Pacquiao Story||Himself||Video documentary|
|2004||The People’s Champion||Himself||Video documentary|
|2005||Kamao: Matira Ang Matibay||Himself – Host|
|2005||Ok Fine Whatever||Himself – Guest|
|2006||Ako ang Simula||Himself||TV documentary|
|2007||The Battle of Cebu: Moment of Truth||Himself – Crowd|
|2009||Kababayan LA: Manny Pacquiao Specials||Himself|
|2009||Pinoy Records||Himself – Host|
|2009||Show Me Da Manny||Manny Santos|
|2009||Rome is Burning||Himself – Correspondent||Episode dated May 1|
|2009||Jimmy Kimmel Live||Himself – Guest||Episode dated November 3|
|2009||MMA H.E.A.T.||Himself||Episode dated November 12|
|2010||Jimmy Kimmel Live||Himself – Guest||Episode dated March 3|
|2010||HBO Boxing After Dark||Himself – Audience Member||Episode dated June 18|
|2010||ESPN Friday Night Fights||Himself||Episode dated July 2|
|2010||Jimmy Kimmel Live||Himself – Guest||Episode dated November 1|
|2010||60 Minutes||Himself – Guest|
|Birth name||Emmanuel D. Pacquiao|
|Origin||General Santos City|
|Occupations||Boxer, Actor, Singer, Politician|
|Associated acts||Lito Camo
Most of the Tagalog songs of Pacquiao were composed by Lito Camo. The following are the songs from Manny Pacquiao’s albums:
- Laban Nating Lahat Ito (2006) – under Star Records
- “Para Sa’Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To”
- “Pagsubok Lamang Yan”
- “Byaheng Pag-asa”
- “Ipakita Mo”
- “Ikaw at Ako”
- “Hindi Ko Kaya”
- “Kanta Tayo”
- “Champion Sa Kantahan”
- “Laban Nating Lahat Ito” (feat Francis M.)
- Pac-Man Punch (2007) – under MCA Records
- “Pac-Man Punch” – Willie Wilcox feat. Nemesis Yankee and Manny Pacquiao
- “Pac-Man Punch (R U Ready?)” – Willie Wilcox feat. Nemesis Yankee
- “Pac-Man Punch (Knockout Remix)” – Willie Wilcox feat. Nemesis Yankee and Manny Pacquiao
- “Pac-Man Punch (Minus One)”
- Under GMA Records
- “Lahing Pinoy”
On February 12, 2007, Pacquiao officially announced that he would be running for a seat in the House of Representatives in the May 2007 legislative election as a candidate of the Liberal Party, aiming to represent the 1st District of South Cotabato. Pacquiao, who has been known to be supportive of the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said that he was persuaded to run by local officials of General Santos City, who hoped he would act as a bridge between their interests and the national government. Pacquiao was defeated in the election by incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio, who said, “More than anything, I think, people weren’t prepared to lose him as their boxing icon”.
In September 2008, Pacquiao was sworn in as member of Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI), a pro-administration political party.
On November 21, 2009, Pacquiao confirmed that he would run again for the congressional seat but this time in Sarangani province, the hometown of his wife Jinkee. He originally planned to run for congress under his own party, the People’s Champ Movement, but has since joined the Nacionalista Party headed by Manny Villar. Villar said arrangements were made to accommodate Pacquiao’s People’s Champ Movement in a coalition with the Nacionalista Party for the May 2010 elections in Sarangani.
On May 13, 2010, Pacquiao was officially proclaimed congressman of the lone district of Sarangani. He scored a landslide victory over a wealthy and politically well-entrenched clan of the province. His triumph ended the reign of Chiongbian clan that has been in power for more than thirty years. Pacquiao got 120,052 votes while his political rival, Roy Chiongbian, got 60,899 votes.
On June 28, 2010, Pacquiao took his oath of office as congressman before Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio in the Provincial Capitol of Sarangani in Municipality of Alabel. He announced that he will transfer to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III‘s Liberal Party from Nacionalista Party as he wants to ensure the entry of more projects to his province.
In popular culture
A film based on Pacquiao’s life, Pacquiao: The Movie, was released on June 21, 2006, featuring Filipino actor Jericho Rosales as Manny Pacquiao and was directed by Joel Lamangan. The film flopped at the box office, grossing a total of only P4,812,191 (approximately US$99,322), as confirmed by Lamangan.
Pacquiao is featured in the boxing video games Fight Night Round 2, Fight Night Round 3, Fight Night Round 4 and Fight Night Champion. EA Sports released a limited edition demo of Fight Night Round 4, featuring Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton prior to their May 2 fight.
Pacquiao became the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp.
Pacquiao became the first Filipino Olympic non-participant to be Team Philippines’ flag-bearer during the August 8 opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium. Swimmer Miguel Molina, 2005 Southeast Asian Games’ Best Male Athlete, yielded the honor to Pacquiao, upon the request of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the national sports officials on the Philippines at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Pacquiao plays basketball as a cross-training to keep himself in shape. He is playing in the semi-professional basketball league, Liga Pilipinas, with the team he owns, the MP-Gensan Warriors. He made his debut in the Smart-Liga Pilipinas Conference II in January 16, 2009. He wears jersey number 17.
Pacquiao became an honorary member of Boston Celtics. The honorary membership was bestowed on him in a brief ceremony and he was presented with a replica of a green and white Celtics jersey bearing his name and number 1. As a measure of gratitude, Pacquiao delivered a stockpile of red autographed boxing gloves to TD Garden. On March 10, 2010, prior to the night’s game with Memphis Grizzlies, many of the Celtics had a special motivational gift waiting for them in their lockers.
With his popularity, various business sectors have solicited Manny Pacquiao’s help in endorsing their products through commercial advertisements in print and in broadcast media. These include detergents, medicines, foods, beverage, garments, telecommunications, and even a political ad for politicians during the 2007 and 2010 Philippine elections. His most acclaimed commercials yet were for Nike‘s “Fast Forward” campaign (alongside Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Liu Xiang) and San Miguel Beer with Jet Li and Érik Morales.
Pacquiao has been included by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people for the year 2009, for his exploits in boxing and his influence among the Filipino people. Pacquiao was also included by Forbes Magazine in its annual Celebrity 100 list for the year 2009, joining Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and fellow athletes Tiger Woods and Bryant. Forbes also listed Pacquiao as the World’s 6th Highest Paid Athlete, with a total of 40 Million Dollars ($40,000,000.00) or 2 Billion Pesos (₱2,000,000,000.00) from the second half of 2008 to the first half of 2009. Tied with him on the sixth spot was the NBA player LeBron James and golfer Phil Mickelson. Pacquiao was again included in Forbes’ list of Highest Paid Athletes from the second half of 2009 to the first half of 2010; he was ranked 8th with an income of $42 million. Pacquiao had also won the 2009 ESPY Awards for the Best Fighter category, beating fellow boxer Shane Mosley and Brazilian mixed martial arts fighters Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva.
Pacquiao has also graced the cover of Time Magazine Asia for their November 16, 2009 issue. According to their five-page feature story, “(Pacquiao is) a fighter with enough charisma, intelligence and backstory to help rescue a sport lost in the labyrinth of pay-per-view. Global brands like Nike want him in their ads.” They also added, “Pacquiao has a myth of origin equal to that of any Greek or Roman hero. He leaves the Philippines to make it even bigger, conquering the world again and again to bring back riches to his family and friends.” He became the eighth Filipino to grace the cover of the prestigious magazine, after former Philippine presidents Manuel L. Quezon, Ramon Magsaysay, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III and Filipino actress and environmentalist Chin Chin Gutierrez. Pacquiao was also featured on the cover of Reader’s Digest Asia, where a seven-page story was written about the Filipino boxing superstar. The issue came out before Pacquiao’s epic match against De La Hoya on November 2008.
- 2000–09 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Decade
- 2000–09 Philippine Sportswriters Association Athlete of the Decade
- 2000–09 HBO Fighter of the Decade
- 2000–09 TheSweetScience.com Fighter of the Decade 
- 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008 PSA Sportsman of the Year
- 2006 Order of Lakandula with the rank of “Champion for Life” (Kampeon Habambuhay)
- 2006, 2008 and 2009 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year
- 2006, 2008 and 2009 ESPN Fighter of the Year 
- 2006, 2008 and 2009 The Ring Fighter of the Year
- 2008 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Honorary Award for Sports Excellence
- 2008 Sports Illustrated Boxer of the Year
- 2008 Yahoo! Sports Fighter of the Year
- 2008 and 2009 The Ring No. 1 Pound-for-Pound (year-end)
- 2008 and 2009 TheSweetScience.com Boxer of the Year
- 2008 and 2009 ESPN Star‘s Champion of Champions
- 2008 and 2009 World Boxing Council Boxer of the Year
- 2009 Ask Men Most Influential Men (ranked 24th)
- 2009 ESPN Knockout of the Year (in Round 2 against Ricky Hatton)
- 2009 ESPY Awards Best Fighter
- 2009 Forbes Magazine World’s Highest-Paid Athletes (ranked 6th)
- 2009 Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross with Gold Distinction)
- 2009 Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year
- 2009 The Ring Knockout of the Year (in Round 2 against Ricky Hatton)
- 2009 TIME 100 Most Influential People (Heroes and Icons Category)
- 2009 TIME Asia Magazine cover for November 16, 2009 Issue 
- 2009 and 2010 Forbes Magazine Celebrity 100 (ranked 57th and 55th)
- 2010 Bleacher Report Most Exciting Athletes of All Time (ranked 85th)
- 2010 World Boxing Organization Fighter of the Year
- 2010 Yahoo! Sports Boxing’s Most Influential (ranked 25th) 
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Vega was born August 27, 1988 in Miami, Florida. Her father is Colombian and her mother, Gina Rue, is an American former model. Alexa has six siblings: paternal half-sister Margaux Vega (b. 1981), sister Krizia Vega (b. 1990), sister Makenzie Vega (b. 1994; starred in Saw and Sin City),
maternal half-sister Greylin James (b.2000), maternal half-brother Jet
James (b. 2005), and maternal half-brother Cruz Hudson Rue (b. 2009).
She moved with her family to California when she was four years old.
|Jo Harding in Twister.|
In 1996, Vega starred as young Jo Harding in Twister. She guest-starred in numerous television shows and films, including ER, Follow the Stars Home, Ghost Whisperer, and The Bernie Mac Show. She became known worldwide in 2001 for her role as Carmen Cortez in Spy Kids. The first Spy Kids movie was a huge success, and subsequently two sequels, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
were filmed. During the shooting of the three films, she performed most
of her own stunts. Vega reprised the role in the 2011 sequel, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World.
In 2003, she was named one of that year’s hottest teen celebrities in the July 2003 issue Vanity Fair. In 2004, Vega finished filming two films: Sleepover and State’s Evidence. The he following year she starred in the Lifetime television film entitled Odd Girl Out as a victim of cyber-bullying. She also filmed for another made-for-TV movie, Walkout. In June 2006, she finished filming Remember the Daze, which was released in limited theaters on April 2007. She also finished filming Repo! the Genetic Opera, which was released in 2008. Vega has also been confirmed as the lead role in Helix, written and directed by Aram Rappaport, which began filming in Chicago in March 2008. Vega was originally cast in the 2009 Robert Rodriguez film Shorts, however, due to her being in Australia for the filming of Broken Hill, she had to be recast. She was replaced by Kat Dennings.
Vega made her Broadway debut as Penny Pingleton in Hairspray in 2007.
In 2009, she played Ruby Gallagher on the ABC Family television sitcom Ruby & The Rockits, which also starred Patrick and David Cassidy. The series was not renewed for a second season.
Vega played Wick in the 2012 film The Devil’s Carnival, an upcoming film from director Darren Lynn Bousman and screenwriter Terrance Zdunich, who previously worked with Vega in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
Vega plays the young heroine in Aerosmith‘s music video Legendary Child.
She recorded three songs for the soundtracks while playing Carmen Cortez in the Spy Kids films. She released her debut single, “Isle of Dreams”, to coincide with the release of the second film. She also released “Game Over”, for the third film. Another song, “Heart Drive” featuring Bobby Edner, was also recorded for Spy Kids 3. She also has recorded songs for the movie Repo! The Genetic Opera, released in 2008.
Vega sang the song “Christmas is the Time to Say ‘I Love You’” in the ABC Family film Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe. The track appears on the compilation album Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas, which was released on November 3, 2009 by Walt Disney Records. The music video for the song premiered during the ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas programming block in 2009.
Vega enjoys freshwater fishing, can speak Spanish fluently, is an experienced gymnast, and describes herself as a Christian. Vega married film producer Sean Covel on October 10, 2010 in a ceremony held in his hometown of Lead, South Dakota. She wore an Ian Stuart gown and was walked down the aisle by Robert Rodriguez. Vega is close friends with Nikki Reed, and was the maid of honor at Reed’s wedding to Paul McDonald on October 16, 2011.
In July 2012, Vega announced on Twitter that she had divorced Covel. Citing irreconcilable differences, Vega and her ex already have a division of property based upon a “written agreement.” 
|Evening Shade||Emily Newton||6 episodes|
|1995||ER||Bonnie Howe||Episode: “Sleepless in Chicago“|
|Chicago Hope||Sara Wilmette||Episode: “Every Day a Little Death“|
|1996||Life’s Work||Tess Hunter||Pilot|
|1998||The Magnificent Seven||Olivia Greer||Episode: “Safecracker“|
|To Have & to Hold||Kelly McGrail||7 episodes|
|1999||Ladies Man||Wendy Stiles No. 2||9 episodes|
|2002||All That||Carmen Cortez||Episode: “Spy Kids/ Play“|
|2003||The Bernie Mac Show||Jill||Episode: “Magic Jordan“|
|2003||Trading Spaces: Boys vs. Girls||Herself||Episode: Siblings “Eli vs. Kali“|
|2009||Ghost Whisperer||Serena||2 episodes: “Endless Love” & “The Book of Changes“|
|Ruby & The Rockits||Ruby Gallagher||main character, 10 episodes|
|2010||The Middle||Morgan||2 episodes: “The Break-Up” and “Worry Duty“|
|Royal Pains||Hollister||Episode: “Imperfect Storm”|
|1995||Nine Months||Molly Dwyer|
|It Was Him or Us||Young Carrie||TV film|
|1996||A Promise to Carolyn||Young Kay||TV film|
|Twister||Jo Harding (age 5)|
|Shattered Mind||Sarah||also known as The Terror Inside|
|The Glimmer Man||Cole’s Daughter||cameo|
|Ghosts of Mississippi||Claire DeLaughter|
|1998||Dennis the Menace Strikes Again||Gina||direct-to-video|
|The Deep End of the Ocean||Kerry Cappadora|
|Run the Wild Fields||Opal ‘Pug’ Miller|
|2001||Follow the Stars Home||Amy Williams||also known as A Second Chance (Australia)|
|Spy Kids||Carmen Cortez||first starring role|
|2002||Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams||Main Role|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Main Role|
|2004||Sleepover||Julie Corky||first main billing role|
|2005||Odd Girl Out||Vanessa||Lifetime Original Movie|
|2006||State’s Evidence||Sandy||Direct to DVD, filmed in 2004|
|Walkout||Paula Crisostomo||HBO original movie|
|Marrying God||Ivy||Short film|
|2007||Remember the Daze||Holly||originally titled “The Beautiful Ordinary”|
|2008||Repo! The Genetic Opera||Shilo Wallace|
|2009||Innocent||Ashley||originally titled “Helix”|
|Broken Hill||Kat Rogers|
|2010||Mother’s Day||Jenna Luther||Minor role, second film with Darren Lynn Bousman; third with Matt O’Leary|
|2011||From Prada to Nada||Mary|
|Summer Song||Ellie||Main role, second film with Aram Rappaport|
|Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World||Carmen Cortez||Main role|
|2012||The Pregnancy Project||Gaby Rodriguez||Lifetime Original Movie|
|The Devil’s Carnival||Wick||short, third film with Darren Lynn Bousman|
|The Clockwork Girl||Tesla||Main role, voice|
|The Mine||Sharon||Main role, shot in 2009|
|2013||23 Blast||Ashley||Main role|
|Machete Kills ||KillJoy||First non-Spy Kids film with Robert Rodriguez|
|2002||“Isle of Dreams”||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Robert Rodriguez||Milan Records|
|2003||“Game Over”||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Robert Rodriguez & Rebecca Rodriguez|
|2008||“Seventeen”||Repo! The Genetic Opera (soundtrack)||Terrance Zdunich & Darren Smith||Lionsgate Records|
|2009||“Lost In Your Own Life”||Ruby & The Rockits||Shaun Cassidy||Hollywood Records|
|“You are Where I Live”||David Cassidy|
|“The Way It’s Gonna Be”|
|“Forever Your Song”|
|“Too High a Price”|
|“Possibilities” (with Austin Butler)|
|“Now When I Close My Eyes”|
|“Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You“||Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe||Billy Squier||Walt Disney Records|
- 2002: Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams
- 2003: Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
- 2008: Repo! The Genetic Opera
- 2009: Songs To Celebrate 25 Days Of Christmas
|2002||“Isle of Dreams”||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Robert Rodriguez||Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams|
|2009||“You are Where I Live”||Ruby & The Rockits||Ted Wass||ABC Family/ABCFamily.com|
|2009||“Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You”||Songs to Celebrate 25 Days of Christmas||Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe/ABC Family Channel|
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.
To see more of Who Is 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
To see more of Who Is click here
heavyweight wrestling championship and placing second in 1999, losing
in the finals to 1999 world freestyle wrestling champion and future New England Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal.
He gained prominence in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 2002 to 2004, where he is a former three-time WWE Champion, becoming the youngest WWE Champion at age 25 with his first reign. Lesnar was the 2002 King of the Ring and the winner of the 2003 Royal Rumble. After leaving WWE, Lesnar pursued a career in the NFL. He played during the preseason for the Minnesota Vikings, but ended up being a late cut. Lesnar returned to professional wrestling at the end of 2005, and joined New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his first match. He was officially stripped of the title by NJPW in July 2006, and took the physical belt with him to Inoki Genome Federation (IGF), where he was still recognized as IWGP Champion until June 2007.
Lesnar started a career in MMA and won his first fight in June 2007. He then signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in October 2007. He lost his UFC debut against Frank Mir, but defeated Heath Herring in his sophomore fight. He subsequently captured the UFC Heavyweight Championship from Randy Couture on November 15, 2008, then avenged his loss to Mir at UFC 100 to become the Undisputed Champion. After being sidelined from fighting in late 2009 due to diverticulitis, Lesnar returned to defeat the Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Shane Carwin at UFC 116. Lesnar lost the Heavyweight belt against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121. He was once again stricken with a bout of diverticulitis in May 2011 and had surgery to try to cope with the ailment. Lesnar returned at UFC 141 in December 2011, where he lost to Alistair Overeem and promptly retired from the UFC.In April 2012, Lesnar returned to WWE.
Brock Lesnar was born July 12, 1977 in Webster, South Dakota. He attended Webster High School in Webster, where he had a wrestling record of 33–0–0 in his senior year. Lesnar admits he graduated last of 54 students in his class. Lesnar later attended the University of Minnesota on a full wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior years of college; his roommate was fellow professional wrestler Shelton Benjamin who served as Lesnar’s assistant coach. Lesnar won the 2000 NCAA wrestling championship as a heavyweight after placing second in 1999.
Prior to joining the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Lesnar wrestled at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, North Dakota. Lesnar finished his amateur career as a two-time NJCAA All-American, 1998 NJCAA Heavyweight Champion, two-time NCAA All-American, two-time Big Ten Conference Champion, and the 2000 NCAA heavyweight champion with a record of 106–5 overall in four years of college.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (2000–2004)
Training and debut (2000–2002)
In 2000, after leaving college, Lesnar signed up with the World Wrestling Federation. He was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling. There, he formed a tag team known as “The Minnesota Stretching Crew” with his former college roommate, Shelton Benjamin. Lesnar and Benjamin won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions. He wrestled several dark matches in 2001 and 2002 before being called up to the main roster.
Lesnar debuted on WWF television on the March 18, 2002 episode of Raw, the night after WrestleMania X8, coming through the crowd and attacking Al Snow, Maven, and Spike Dudley during the course of a match. He was accompanied by Paul Heyman, who was seen giving instructions to Lesnar. When the brand extension was introduced in the WWF, Lesnar was drafted to the Raw brand. Later, Heyman was confirmed to be Lesnar’s agent and gave Lesnar the nickname “The Next Big Thing”. Brock’s first feud was with the Hardy Boyz. Lesnar and Jeff Hardy squared off at Backlash in Lesnar’s first official televised match. He won the match by knockout. The next night on Raw Lesnar faced off against Matt Hardy, defeating him in the same fashion. At Judgment Day, Lesnar once again gained the upper hand on the Hardy Boyz before tagging his partner, Heyman, in to make the pin.
Main event status (2002–2003)
In June 2002, Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final round. This victory earned him a shot at the WWE Undisputed Championship at SummerSlam. On July 22, Lesnar joined the SmackDown! brand. After a quick feud with Hollywood Hulk Hogan in August 2002, Lesnar began feuding with the Undisputed Champion The Rock. Lesnar would go on to face the Rock in a triple threat match at Vengeance,
in a triple threat match also involving Triple-H, but would fail to
defeat the Rock. At the main event of SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated The
Rock, albeit with the use of a steel chair and outside interference from
Paul Heyman, to become the WWE Undisputed Champion.
With his victory at age 25, Lesnar became the youngest WWE Champion in
history (a record that was previously held by The Rock and stands to
date). With the WWE Undisputed Championship being defended on both brands, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff expected Lesnar to be able to return to Raw the following night. However, SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon announced that Lesnar’s contract only required him to defend the title on SmackDown!, forcing Bischoff to establish a new world championship for his brand. With the new World Heavyweight Championship on the Raw brand, the now disputed WWE Undisputed Championship simply became known as the WWE Championship.
Lesnar’s rapid rise to the top of WWE in 2002 led to a feud with The Undertaker, which involved a match at Unforgiven. It ended in a double disqualification leading to Lesnar retaining the title. The next month, at No Mercy, he faced The Undertaker again, this time in a Hell in a Cell match. Leading up to the match, Lesnar broke the Undertaker’s hand with a propane tank.
Despite Heyman begging McMahon not to let The Undertaker use his cast
as a weapon, the request was denied and the match went on as planned. In a match that saw both wrestlers and even Heyman covered in blood, it ended when Lesnar reversed an attempted Tombstone piledriver into his finishing F-5 maneuver for the win. Six days after his Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker, Lesnar successfully retained his WWE title in a Handicap match with Heyman at the Rebellion pay-per-view against Edge.
Lesnar’s next opponent was The Big Show. Heyman was convinced more than anyone that Lesnar could not win, trying to talk him out of defending the title. Lesnar refused and lost the championship in Madison Square Garden at the Survivor Series pay-per-view to Big Show, Lesnar’s first pinfall
loss in WWE. When the champion tried to pin the 500-pounder following
an F-5, he was betrayed by Heyman who pulled the referee out of the ring
allowing Big Show to capitalize by chokeslamming Lesnar on a steel
chair. Show went on to pin Lesnar and win the title. As a result, Lesnar
became a fan favorite.
Following Survivor Series, Heyman made it clear that Lesnar would not
get a rematch, even going so far as to sneak a special clause in his
contract. In order to gain his revenge on Big Show and Heyman, Lesnar interfered in his first title defense, which came against Kurt Angle the next month at Armageddon. Lesnar hit the F-5 on the champion, which enabled Angle to pin him and win the title. On the next edition of SmackDown,
however, Angle introduced Heyman as his manager and, despite promising
Lesnar a match for his title earlier in the evening, declared that
Lesnar still would not get a title shot. Lesnar was then beaten down by
Big Show and Angle following the main event, but the former champion got
his revenge after the show went off the air. While getting attacked
again and berated by Heyman, Lesnar recovered and began to fight off
both men. He eventually clotheslined Big Show out of the ring and then
knocked him out with a steel chair when he returned, leaving Angle alone
with Lesnar. Lesnar then chased the champion, who had escaped to the
outside, and resumed his assault that culminated when Lesnar used the
F-5 to propel Angle’s right knee into the steel ringpost. As paramedics
tended to a screaming Angle, Lesnar finished off the assault with a
kneebreaker on the ringside barricade, (kayfabe) breaking the champion’s
With Angle temporarily put out of action, Lesnar’s rivalry with
Heyman and the Big Show resumed, which culminated in a match at the Royal Rumble
in January 2003. A spot in the Royal Rumble match was on the line, and
winning the match would be Lesnar’s only hope for a potential title
shot. Lesnar defeated Big Show to gain entry into the match and entered
at #29, the second to last competitor to enter the match. He eliminated Matt Hardy and Team Angle, which was composed of the debuting (at the time) Charlie Haas
and his former OVW teammate, Shelton Benjamin who were mentored by the
WWE champion. Lesnar made it to the final two, with the only remaining
entry being a returning Undertaker who entered the match last. Lesnar
went on to win the match by eliminating Undertaker, which now guaranteed
him a title match which he would receive at WrestleMania XIX.
After the Royal Rumble, Lesnar’s feud with Angle, Heyman, and their
allies continued as Angle retained the title at the Rumble by defeating Chris Benoit. Lesnar and Benoit faced off against Angle, Haas, and Benjamin at No Way Out
the following month and Lesnar’s team won the match. This helped to
forward the feud leading into the main event at WrestleMania. During the match, Lesnar attempted and botched a shooting star press,
a move typically done by cruiserweights but a move Lesnar knew how to
perform, having done so in developmental matches. However, Lesnar
overestimated the distance he could jump to execute the move. As a
result, he did not get enough rotation on his leap and instead of
landing with his body on top of Angle’s, Lesnar jammed his head and neck
by hitting Angle’s side and ribcage. This stunned Lesnar and forced
Angle to improvise the finish of the match. Lesnar suffered a severe concussion from the botched move, but still managed to pin Angle after an F-5 to win his second WWE Championship. The rivalry ended after this, as Angle was forced to undergo neck surgery and missed several months.
After WrestleMania Lesnar turned his attention to John Cena,
who had returned from injury in February 2003 and who had been F-5’d
into a ringpost in the same manner Angle had been. Cena claimed Lesnar
nearly ended his career and even named his new finishing move the “FU”
as a jab at the new champion. The feud ended relatively quickly in a match at Backlash when Lesnar defeated Cena. On the following SmackDown, Lesnar returned to his rivalry with Big Show after he injured Rey Mysterio badly during their match at Backlash. Show’s attack resulted in Mysterio being carried out on a stretcher and back board and Big Show took Mysterio off the stretcher and swung the back board into the ringpost, compounding the injury. Lesnar called out the Big Show, who demanded that Lesnar put his title on the line against him. This led to a Stretcher match at Judgment Day for the title. Lesnar successfully retained his title with help from Rey Mysterio and a forklift. During the scripted rivalry, on SmackDown!, Lesnar lifted Big Show over in a Superplex, which caused the ring to collapse on impact.
As Lesnar and Big Show continued their rivalry, Kurt Angle returned
from his neck surgery and he and Lesnar began to form a more friendly
rivalry, as the two were allies yet contenders for the title. At the
first ever SmackDown brand-exclusive pay-per-view in July, Vengeance, Lesnar took on Angle and Big Show in a No Disqualification Triple Threat match
for his title, which ended after Angle hit his Angle Slam on both Big
Show and Lesnar, pinning the champion to become WWE Champion for a
Lesnar continued to chase Angle’s title, however, despite their friendship. Vince McMahon found his way into the angle, at first berating Lesnar, who had involved himself in McMahon’s rivalry with Zach Gowen, for losing to Angle. This all turned out to be a huge swerve that came into focus on the August 7, 2003 SmackDown in Kelowna, British Columbia.
That night, Lesnar and McMahon were to face each other in a steel cage
match with Angle as the special guest referee as per McMahon’s orders on
the previous week’s program. During the course of the match, Lesnar had
passed out due to a staged backstage incident and McMahon was set to
pin him but Angle refused to allow McMahon to win that way. As the two
men began to argue, Lesnar rose to his feet, revealing the ruse to the
crowd, and F-5’d Angle. He then brutally beat Angle in the cage while
McMahon watched, and celebrated with the owner of the company afterward,
turning heel in the process.
At SummerSlam,  Lesnar lost to Angle when Angle made Lesnar tap out to the ankle lock.
After that, Lesnar began brutalizing smaller wrestlers and attacking
his rivals on a more consistent basis. He returned to using the F-5 to
propel his opponents’ legs into the ringpost, as he did to Spanky and Gowen, and interfered in Angle’s matches on two separate occasion.
On September 18, 2003, Lesnar received his third shot at Angle in as many months when he faced the champion in a sixty-minute Iron Man match for the title in what went down as one of the greatest matches in the history of SmackDown.
Lesnar employed an early strategy where he assaulted the champion with a
steel chair early in the match, getting himself disqualified to lose
the first fall but allowing himself a chance to do a fair amount of
damage. Lesnar won the next three falls by hitting Angle with the F-5
and pinning him, putting Angle’s own ankle lock on him and forcing him
to submit, and then getting Angle counted out after hitting a second F-5
on the floor. Angle recovered to pin the champion after an Angle Slam,
but Lesnar won two additional falls by first leveling him with the
championship belt while the referee’s back was turned and then hitting a
superplex from the top. That made it five falls to two in favor of the
challenger with the match more than halfway over. In the final ten
minutes of the match, Angle moved to within one fall after a pin and a
submission with the ankle lock. For the final two minutes of the match,
Lesnar tried to dodge Angle by leaving the ring on several occasions.
Angle finally caught the champions with 1:12 left and hit a series of
German suplexes, keeping Lesnar locked up for nearly 45 seconds. Lesnar,
however, was able to hold on to the referee and kicked Angle below the
belt with :35 left. However, since Lesnar was still holding the official
he was not disqualified, and with nineteen seconds remaining Angle
appeared to be out of it. However, Lesnar fell into a trap set by the
champion and Angle locked in the ankle lock again. This time, Angle
applied a grapevine hold to the lock, wrenching hard on Lesnar’s ankle
for the final fifteen seconds of the bout. However, Lesnar was able to
withstand the hold for the remaining time and as a result, by a final
count of five falls to four, won the match and his third WWE
With Angle finally out of his hair for the first time in nearly a
year, Lesnar returned to feuding with The Undertaker. Lesnar had
previously cost Undertaker the title in a match against then-champion
Kurt Angle, which granted him a shot at Lesnar’s title. At No Mercy, Lesnar defeated Undertaker in a Biker Chain match. However, the rivalry came to an end when Undertaker instead chose to focus on McMahon.
After Paul Heyman returned to WWE as general manager of SmackDown,
Lesnar aligned himself with his former manager. Since he had also since
been aligning himself with his former rival The Big Show for several
weeks after his betrayal of Angle, this brought Lesnar almost full
circle from the year prior, where Heyman and Big Show had conspired with
each other to rid Lesnar of his title. With Survivor Series
coming up, Lesnar decided to challenge Angle to a traditional Survivor
Series elimination tag team match, with Lesnar picking four additional
wrestlers and Angle doing the same. Lesnar chose Big Show as his first
pick, with Heyman adding a returning Nathan Jones and a debuting Matt Morgan to bring the team number to four. Angle, in the meantime, chose Chris Benoit and The APA to join his team. However, Faarooq
was injured during a match with Lesnar and Big Show and Angle’s team
was forced to not only find a replacement for him, but to fill the fifth
spot. Lesnar’s team picked A-Train
to fill that spot for them after he attacked John Cena, who refused to
accept an invitation to join Lesnar’s team. Cena instead joined Angle’s
team, and Angle added Hardcore Holly as the fifth member; Lesnar had injured Holly the year before and he hadn’t wrestled since. In the climax of the match, Chris Benoit became the second person to make Lesnar tap out.
Lesnar faced Benoit in a singles bout two weeks later for the WWE Championship on SmackDown!, where Lesnar won after Benoit passed out to Lesnar’s debuting Brock Lock submission hold. He then began a brief feud with Hardcore Holly, defeating him at the Royal Rumble in January 2004 to retain his title.
Feuding with Goldberg and departure (2003–2004)
The Survivor Series event marked the first time Lesnar met Goldberg from the Raw brand, a man to whom Lesnar had been compared due to their similar physiques
and undefeated streaks in wrestling. Lesnar claimed in a backstage
interview that he could beat anybody in the world, leading to Goldberg
interrupting the interview and introducing himself to Lesnar, shaking
hands with him before leaving with a staredown. Lesnar followed this rivalry with a feud involving Hardcore Holly. In the storyline, Holly wanted revenge on Lesnar for legitimately
injuring his neck during a previous match between the two in 2002 which
left Holly in need of neck surgery and out of action for a year. At the
Royal Rumble in 2004, Lesnar defeated Holly to retain the WWE Championship. Later in the Royal Rumble match, Lesnar attacked Goldberg and delivered an F-5, enabling Kurt Angle to eliminate him.
In February, Lesnar faced Eddie Guerrero for the title at No Way Out.
Goldberg interfered in the match and was able to help Guerrero turn the
tide in the match. Lesnar still had his chance to win by nailing an F-5
onto his title belt that Lesnar brought into the ring, but Guerrero
countered with a DDT to drive the champion into the belt. After a frog splash,
Guerrero pinned Lesnar to win the WWE Championship. An angry Lesnar
then began feuding with Goldberg, blaming him for losing his title, and a
match was set up between the two at WrestleMania XX. During the feud with Goldberg, Lesnar was at odds with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was shown suggesting to Goldberg that he attack Lesnar at No Way Out. When Lesnar attacked Austin on Raw and stole his four-wheeler, Austin was inserted as the special guest referee for the Wrestlemania match. Behind the scenes, it was widely known that the match would be Goldberg’s last in WWE. Only a week before Wrestlemania, however, rumors surfaced that Lesnar, too, was leaving in order to pursue a career in the National Football League. As a result, Lesnar’s match with Goldberg became a fiasco as the fans at Madison Square Garden jeered and heckled both wrestlers vociferously. Goldberg gained victory after delivering a Jackhammer to Lesnar and both men subsequently received Stone Cold Stunners from Austin.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2005–2007)
On October 8, 2005, Lesnar won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in the Tokyo Dome, which included the then-champion Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono.
He won the match by pinning Masahiro Chono after an F-5, which he had
renamed the Verdict, since WWE owns the trademark on the F-5 name.
After the match, he stated that this name was referring to his lawsuit
against WWE. The match was his first pro wrestling match since leaving
WWE. Lesnar is one of the few American wrestlers to have held this title.
On December 6, WWE filed a motion
for a temporary restraining order to prevent Lesnar from continuing to
work with NJPW, but the court did not grant it, and thus Lesnar had two
non-title victories against Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata. Lesnar successfully defended his championship on January 4, 2006, against former champion Shinsuke Nakamura.
On January 13, WWE once again filed an injunction against Lesnar to
stop him from defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on March 19.
Evidently this was not enforced (nor granted), as he went on to have a
tag team match with Shinsuke Nakamura against Akebono and Riki Chōshū at the Sumo Hall on February 19, which was won after a Verdict to Chōshū. On March 19, at the Sumo Hall, Lesnar retained his championship against former Sumo Wrestling Grand Champion Akebono when Lesnar hit him with the championship belt and a DDT. Lesnar went on to successfully defend his title against the winner of the New Japan Cup, Giant Bernard, on May 3, 2006, in Fukuoka. This was the first American vs. American title match in NJPW since Vader vs. Stan Hansen in 1990.
On July 15, 2006, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Brock Lesnar
had been stripped of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as he would no
longer be returning to defend the title due to “visa issues.” A tournament was held on July 16 to determine the new champion, which was won by Hiroshi Tanahashi,
the man Lesnar was originally scheduled to face. Lesnar continued to
possess the physical IWGP Championship belt until late June 2007.
Approximately one year later on June 29, 2007, Lesnar defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship (IGF promoter Antonio Inoki had stated he still viewed Lesnar as the “proper” IWGP Champion, as he was not defeated for the title) against TNA World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle in a champion versus champion match. Angle defeated Lesnar with the Ankle lock to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as recognized by IGF and TNA. and challenged him to an MMA fight. This was Lesnar’s last match as a professional wrestler until 2012 when he re-signed with WWE.
Lesnar had previously signed a no-compete clause in order to be
released from his contract with WWE, which prohibited him from working
for any other sports entertainment or mixed martial arts companies
before June 2010. Lesnar had anticipated leaving wrestling entirely, but
his inability to secure a career in professional football led to him
challenging this ruling in court. WWE responded by demanding damages as a result of Lesnar allegedly breaching the agreement by appearing at a New Japan Pro Wrestling show in 2004. In July 2005, the two sides dropped their claims and entered negotiations to renew their relationship.
WWE had offered Lesnar a contract, but on August 2, 2005, WWE’s
official website reported that Lesnar had withdrawn from any involvement
with the company. The lawsuit was then entered into settlement on September 21, but talks broke down.
On January 14, 2006, Judge Christopher Droney stated that unless WWE
gave him a good argument between then and January 25, he would rule in
favor of Brock Lesnar, giving him a summary judgment. This would have
enabled Lesnar to work anywhere he wanted immediately. WWE was later granted a deadline postponement.
On April 24, World Wrestling Entertainment announced on their official
website, WWE.com, that both parties had mutually come to a settlement
and on June 12, a federal judge dismissed Lesnar’s lawsuit against WWE
after both parties requested for the case to be dismissed.
Return to WWE (2012)
On April 2, 2012, Lesnar returned to the WWE at the end of Monday Night Raw, attacking John Cena. The following week, general manager John Laurinaitis introduced Lesnar as the new face of WWE, he then announced Lesnar would face Cena at the Extreme Rules
PPV. Cena then interrupted and slapped Lesnar in the face, the two then
brawled which resulted in Cena getting a busted lip. On April 16, it
was announced, via the official WWE website, that Lesnar would face Cena
in an Extreme Rules match. At the pay-per-view, Lesnar bloodied Cena with MMA-style strikes, but would ultimately lose the match.
The following night on Raw, Chief Operating Officer Triple H
returned to confront Lesnar over his new contract demands, saying he
wouldn’t be authorizing any of them. Lesnar would then attack Triple H,
apply a Kimura lock and break his arm. On the May 7 episode of Raw, Paul Heyman, serving as legal representative for Lesnar, announced that Lesnar had quit WWE. The following week, Heyman announced that Lesnar was filing a lawsuit against WWE for breach of contract. At the No Way Out pay-per-view in June, Triple H challenged Lesnar, who was not present, to a match at SummerSlam, which Heyman refused on Lesnar’s behalf the following night on Raw.
National Football League (2004–2005)
After his final match at WrestleMania XX, Lesnar sidelined his career in WWE to pursue a career in the National Football League.
This move upset many in WWE, as the company felt they had invested
heavily in Lesnar. World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed Lesnar’s
departure on their official website WWE.com by the statement
Brock Lesnar has made a personal decision to put
his WWE career on hold to prepare to tryout for the National Football
League this season. Brock has wrestled his entire professional career in
the WWE and we are proud of his accomplishments and wish him the best
in his new endeavor.
Lesnar later told a Minnesota radio show
that he had three wonderful years in WWE, but had grown unhappy and had
always wanted to play pro football, adding that he did not want to be
40 years old and wondering if he could have made it in football. In an
interview about starting with the NFL, Lesnar made the statement
Lesnar played for the Minnesota Vikings, where he created controversy in some games by starting minor fights and got heat from the Kansas City Chiefs for a sack on quarterback Damon Huard, which drew a big response from the crowd. Huard was hit hard and had to go to the sidelines and sit out a few plays. After playing in the preseason, Lesnar ended up being a late cut. He declined an invitation to play as a representative of the Vikings in NFL Europa because he wanted to be closer to home with his family.
Mixed martial arts
On April 28, 2006, Lesnar appeared inside the ring after the final match of K-1 Hero’s Las Vegas and announced his intent to join the MMA promotion. He trained with Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson, and University of Minnesota Assistant Head wrestling coach Marty Morgan. Brock Lesnar announced on August 12 in Las Vegas that he had signed a deal with the K-1 promotion. His first fight was scheduled for June 2, 2007, on the K-1 Dynamite!! USA show against Choi Hong-man of Korea. However, prior to the match, Choi Hong-Man was replaced by Min Soo Kim. Lesnar submitted Min Soo Kim due to strikes in 1 minute 9 seconds of the first round to win his first official MMA match.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (2008–2011)
During UFC 77, it was announced that Brock Lesnar had reached a deal to fight with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). On February 2, 2008, Lesnar made his debut with the promotion in an event titled UFC 81:Breaking Point against former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Frank Mir.
Lesnar secured an early takedown, but was deducted a point for hitting
Mir on the back of the head. Following another takedown by Lesnar, Mir
managed to secure a kneebar and force a submission at 1:30 of the first
round. Due to the large size of his hands,
Lesnar was wearing 4XL gloves for the fight, making him the second man
in Nevada’s combat sports history to wear such gloves after Choi Hong-man. At UFC 82, it was announced that former UFC Heavyweight Champion and UFC Hall of Fame inductee Mark Coleman would fight Lesnar at UFC 87:Seek and Destroy. Coleman was forced to withdraw from the fight due to a training injury, and Lesnar’s opponent was changed to Heath Herring.
In the early seconds of the first round, Lesnar dropped Herring with a
straight right. For the rest of the fight, Lesnar kept the fight on the
ground and went on to win by unanimous decision.
Lesnar’s next opponent was Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91:Couture vs Lesnar on November 15. Lesnar beat Couture via a technical knockout in Round 2, becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion.
On December 27, 2008, at UFC 92, Frank Mir defeated Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira for the Interim Heavyweight title and was to face Lesnar for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 98. Immediately after winning the Interim Heavyweight title, Mir found Lesnar in the crowd and shouted at him “You’ve got my belt.”
However, due to a knee injury to Mir, the title unification match
with Lesnar that was originally slated to be the UFC 98 main event was
postponed. The news broke during the broadcast of UFC 96 that the bout
had been cancelled and was replaced by Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida
for the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship.” Lesnar won the postponed rematch with Mir at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009, via Knockout after dominating his opponent for the duration of the bout. The win earned Lesnar Beatdown of the Year honors from Sherdog for 2009. It’s an award he shares with Anderson Silva after his win over Forrest Griffin. During his post-match celebration, Lesnar flipped off the crowd who had been booing him. He made a disparaging comment about the PPV’s primary sponsor Bud Light, claiming they “won’t pay me nothin‘“, promoting Coors Light instead. He then stated he might even “get on top of [his] wife”
after the show. He would later apologize for his actions in his
post-fight press conference, where he held a bottle of Bud Light.
In January 2009, Brock Lesnar signed a supplement endorsement deal
with Dymatize Nutrition. A CD containing training footage of Lesnar was
included with boxes of Dymatize Xpand and Energized Xpand.
On July 1, 2009, it was reported that the winner of the Shane Carwin vs. Cain Velasquez fight at UFC 104
would face Brock Lesnar in his second title defense on a date yet to be
determined; however, the UFC then reconsidered the contendership bout
and Lesnar was scheduled to defend his belt against Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21.
On October 26, 2009, it was announced that Lesnar had pulled out of the UFC 106 card in which he was set to face Shane Carwin for the UFC Heavyweight Championship due to an illness. UFC President Dana White
said that Brock had been ill for three weeks, claiming he had never
been this sick in his life and that it would take him a while to
recover; his fight with Carwin was rescheduled for UFC 108 in early 2010.
Lesnar initially sought treatment in Canada, but later told reporters
that he had received “Third World treatment” from malfunctioning
equipment at a hospital in Brandon, Manitoba,
and that seeking better medical treatment in the United States saved
his life. Lesnar, who describes himself as a conservative and a
supporter of the US Republican Party, went on to criticize
Canadian-style health care further and said that he shared his
experience in an effort to speak “on the behalf of the doctors in the
United States that don’t want health care reform to happen and neither do I.”
On November 4, it was confirmed that Lesnar was suffering from mononucleosis and that his bout with Carwin would have to wait a bit longer, thus the fight for UFC 108 was cancelled. On November 14 at the UFC 105
post-fight conference, Dana stated, “He’s not well and he’s not going
to be getting well anytime soon.” and that an interim title match might
need to be set up. In addition to mononucleosis, it was revealed that Lesnar was suffering from a serious case of diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder, which would require surgery. After further diagnosis, on November 16 Lesnar underwent surgery to close a perforation in his intestine that had been leaking fecal matter into his abdomen, causing pain, abscesses,
and overtaxing his immune system to the point that he contracted
mononucleosis. From the level of damage to Lesnar’s system, the surgeon
estimated that the intestinal condition had been ongoing for around a
In January 2010, Lesnar announced on ESPN SportsCenter that he was scheduled to make a return to the UFC in the summer of 2010. A match between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin took place on March 27 at UFC 111 to determine the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion, and Brock’s next opponent.
Shane Carwin defeated Frank Mir by KO in the first round, becoming the
new Interim Champion. After the fight, Brock came into the ring and
stated “It was a good fight, but he’s wearing a belt that’s a make
believe belt, I’ve got the real championship belt.”
Lesnar faced Shane Carwin at UFC 116 to unify the heavyweight titles.
After Carwin knocked him down early in the first round, Lesnar survived
a ground and pound attack. Early in the second round, Lesnar was able
to take Carwin down, attain a full mount, then move into side-control
and finish the fight with an arm triangle choke. With the victory,
Lesnar again became the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion, earning his
first UFC Submission Of The Night and giving Carwin his first loss.
Lesnar’s next defense was against undefeated top contender Cain Velasquez on October 23, 2010, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California at UFC 121. Dana White announced via SportsNation that the UFC would be bringing back UFC Primetime to hype up Lesnar vs. Velasquez at UFC 121. Lesnar was defeated by Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship via TKO in the first round at UFC 121 on October 23, 2010.
On January 11, 2011, it was revealed that Lesnar would be one of the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter Season 13, opposite to Junior dos Santos, with the two expected to face each other on June 11, 2011 at UFC 131. Lesnar, however, was struck with another bout of diverticulitis and had to withdraw from the bout on May 12, 2011. He was replaced by Shane Carwin who lost against dos Santos at UFC 131.
Lesnar underwent surgery on May 27, 2011, to help battle his problems
with diverticulitis. UFC president Dana White said that Lesnar had a
12-inch piece of his colon removed.
ESPN The Magazine, in its May 2011 issue, did a story listing the
highest paid athlete based on base salary and earnings for the most
recent calendar year or most recent season in 30 sports. Brock Lesnar
topped the list for mixed martial artists at $5.3 million, which
included his reported bout salaries and estimated pay-per-view bonuses.
In the summer of 2011 Lesnar announced that he was ready to get back
into the Octagon, stating that “I feel like a new man, healthy, strong, I
feel like I used to feel.”
His return match was scheduled to be at UFC 141 on December 30 in Las Vegas against former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
Lesnar had to cut weight for the fight in order to meet the 265lb
weight limit and entered the Octagon with a potential title shot at the
new champion Junior dos Santos for the match victor.
During the match, Overeem targeted his opponent’s midsection and was
able to land several strikes before delivering a powerful kick that
dropped Lesnar to his knee and left him prey to a barrage of punches
resulting in the referee stopping the fight and declaring Overeem the
winner via TKO at 2:26 of the first round. After the defeat, Lesnar announced his retirement from mixed martial arts, mentioning his struggles with diverticulitis and saying “tonight was the last time you’ll see me in the octagon”. UFC President Dana White commented that while he wasn’t aware of the decision, Lesnar’s decision to retire was not a surprise to him.
Lesnar makes an appearance in the video game WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain which is named after the quote that former WWE commentator Tazz attributed to Lesnar, “here comes the pain.” Other video games in which Lesnar has appeared include WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth, WWE WrestleMania XIX, WWE Crush Hour,, WWE Raw 2 Madden NFL 06, UFC 2009 Undisputed, UFC Undisputed 2010 ], PlayStation 2 version of Wrestle Kingdom and most recently,WWE ’12. as a Legend. With the release of UFC Undisputed 2010 Lesnar became the first man to appear on the cover of a WWE and UFC video game as he was the cover star on Here Comes the Pain.
Lesnar was on the cover of Flex Magazine. Lesnar was featured in Minneapolis’ City Pages in February 2008. In February 2008 Lesnar was featured on the cover of Muscle & Fitness magazine.
WWE Home Video released a DVD in 2003 titled Brock Lesnar: Here Comes the Pain.
The DVD covered Lesnar’s career up to 2003 which featured some of his
biggest matches. Lesnar owns an MMA clothing line called “DeathClutch”.
Lesnar has one daughter, Mya Lynn who was born on April 10, 2002, with his ex-fiancée, Nicole. He left Nicole in 2003 in order to begin a relationship with Rena “Sable” Mero who had been recently divorced from Marc Mero. Lesnar and Mero were engaged in 2004, separated in 2005, then reconciled later that year
and married on May 6, 2006. Lesnar has one stepchild with Mero: Mariah, a stepdaughter born to Mero and her late husband, Wayne Richardson. The couple had their first child together, a son named Turk in June 2009. The couple had their second child, a son named Duke in July 2010.
Lesnar has numerous tattoos, with the most prominent being a stylized
skull in the center of his back and a large sword on his chest.
On December 15, 2011, Lesnar was charged with hunting infractions of a trip to Alberta on November 19, 2010. On a court appearance in Medicine Hat
in December 20, two charges were dropped but pleaded guilty to the
charge of improper tagging of an animal. Lesnar was fined $1,725 and
given a six-month hunting suspension.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown||[show]|
|Loss||5–3||Alistair Overeem||TKO (kick to the body & punches)||UFC 141||December 30, 2011||1||2:26||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Announced retirement after fight due to diverticulitis |
|Loss||5–2||Cain Velasquez||TKO (punches)||UFC 121||October 23, 2010||1||4:12||Anaheim, California, United States||Lost UFC Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||5–1||Shane Carwin||Submission (arm triangle choke)||UFC 116||July 3, 2010||2||2:19||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unified UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship; Submission of the Night|
|Win||4–1||Frank Mir||TKO (punches)||UFC 100||July 11, 2009||2||1:48||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Defended UFC Heavyweight Championship. Unified UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||3–1||Randy Couture||TKO (punches)||UFC 91||November 15, 2008||2||3:07||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Won UFC Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||2–1||Heath Herring||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 87||August 9, 2008||3||5:00||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Loss||1–1||Frank Mir||Submission (kneebar)||UFC 81||February 2, 2008||1||1:30||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||1–0||Min-Soo Kim||Submission (punches)||Dynamite!! USA||June 2, 2007||1||1:09||Los Angeles, United States|
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- “The Next Big Thing”
- “War Machine”
- “The Beast”
- “The Freak”
- “The Anomaly”
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Big Ten Conference
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- North Dakota State University‘s annual Bison tournament
- Heavyweight Champion (1997–1999)
- National Junior College Athletic Association
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- Sherdog Awards
- Beatdown of the Year (2009)
- Fighter’s Only World MMA Awards
- Breakthrough fighter of the year (2009)
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Inoki Genome Federation
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Feud of the Year (2003) vs. Kurt Angle
- PWI Match of the Year (2003) vs. Kurt Angle – a 60 minute Iron Man match on SmackDown!, September 16
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2002)
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (2002)
- PWI ranked him #1 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2003
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
1Lesnar’s first reign was as WWE Undisputed Champion.
|2011||The Ultimate Fighter Season 13||Himself||TV Series|
|2002||WWE SmackDown! Shut Your Mouth||Himself||Video game|
|2003||WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain||Himself||Video game|
|2003||WWE WrestleMania XIX||Himself||Video game|
|2003||WWE Crush Hour||Himself||Video game|
|2003||WWE Raw 2||Himself||Video game|
|2006||Madden NFL 06||Himself||Video game|
|2009||UFC 2009 Undisputed||Himself||Video game|
|2010||UFC Undisputed 2010||Himself||Video game|
|2011||WWE ’12||Himself||Video game|
|2012||UFC Undisputed 3||Himself||Video game|
To see more of Who Is click here
Who is Orpah Gail Winfrey? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Orpah Winfrey; she is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was once the world’s only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.
Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, claiming to be raped at age nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue, which a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream. By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help aids, she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. From 2006 to 2008, her support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race.
Winfrey was born January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to an unmarried teenage mother. She later said that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter and the couple broke up not long after. Her mother, Vernita Lee (born c. 1935) was a housemaid. Winfrey had believed that her biological father was Vernon Winfrey (born 1933), a coal miner turned barber turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when she was born. Decades later, Mississippi farmer and World War II veteran Noah Robinson Sr. (born c. 1925) claimed to be her biological father.
A genetic test in 2006 determined that her maternal line originated among the Kpelle ethnic group, in the area that today is Liberia. Her genetic make up was determined to be 89 percent Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian; however, the East Asian markers may, due to the imprecisions of genetic testing, actually be Native American ones.
After her birth, Winfrey’s mother traveled north and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963), who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of her. Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed “The Preacher” for her ability to recite Bible verses. When Winfrey was a child, her grandmother would hit her with a switch when she didn’t do chores or if she misbehaved in any way.
At age six, Winfrey moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, due in large part to the long hours Vernita Lee worked as a maid. Around the time Winfrey moved in, Lee had given birth to another daughter, Winfrey’s younger half-sister, Patricia who later (on February 2003, at age 43) died of causes related to cocaine addiction. By 1962, Lee was having difficulty raising both daughters so Winfrey was temporarily sent to live with Vernon in Nashville, Tennessee. While Winfrey was in Nashville, Lee gave birth to a third daughter. Lee gave this daughter, later also named Patricia, up for adoption in the hope of easing the financial straits that had led to Lee’s being on Welfare. Winfrey did not learn she had a second half-sister until 2010. By the time Winfrey moved back in with Lee, Lee had also given birth to a boy named Jeffrey, Winfrey’s half-brother, who died of AIDS-related causes in 1989.
Winfrey has stated she was molested by her cousin, her uncle, and a family friend, starting when she was nine years old, something she first claimed to her viewers on a 1986 episode of her TV show, when sexual abuse was being discussed. When Winfrey discussed the alleged abuse with family members at age 24, they refused to accept what she said Winfrey once commented that she had chosen not to be a mother because she had not been mothered well.
At 13, after suffering years of abuse, Winfrey ran away from home. When she was 14, she became pregnant, her son dying shortly after birth. She later said she felt betrayed by the family member who had sold the story to the National Enquirer in 1990. She began high school at Lincoln High School; but after early success in the Upward Bound program was transferred to the affluent suburban Nicolet High School, where she says her poverty was constantly rubbed in her face as she rode the bus to school with fellow African-Americans, some of whom were servants of her classmates’ families. She began to steal money from her mother in an effort to keep up with her free-spending peers, to lie to and argue with her mother, and to go out with older boys.
Her frustrated mother once again sent her to live with Vernon in Nashville, Tennessee though this time she did not take her back. Vernon was strict but encouraging, and made her education a priority. Winfrey became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, and joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, placing second in the nation in dramatic interpretation. She won an oratory contest, which secured her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically black institution, where she studied communication. Her first job as a teenager was working at a local grocery store. At age 17, Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. She also attracted the attention of the local black radio station, WVOL, which hired her to do the news part-time. She worked there during her senior year of high school, and again while in her first two years of college.
Winfrey’s career choice in media would not have surprised her grandmother, who once said that ever since Winfrey could talk, she was on stage. As a child she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family’s property. Winfrey later acknowledged her grandmother’s influence, saying it was Hattie Mae who had encouraged her to speak in public and “gave me a positive sense of myself”. Working in local media, she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville‘s WLAC-TV. She moved to Baltimore‘s WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o’clock news. She was then recruited to join Richard Sher as co-host of WJZ’s local talk show People Are Talking, which premiered on August 14, 1978. She also hosted the local version of Dialing for Dollars there as well.
In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago to host WLS-TV‘s low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. The first episode aired on January 2, 1984. Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest rated talk show in Chicago. The movie critic Roger Ebert persuaded her to sign a syndication deal with King World. Ebert predicted that she would generate 40 times as much revenue as his television show, At the Movies. It was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcast nationally beginning September 8, 1986. Winfrey’s syndicated show brought in double Donahue’s national audience, displacing Donahue as the number one day-time talk show in America. Their much publicized contest was the subject of enormous scrutiny. Time magazine wrote:
|“||Few people would have bet on Oprah Winfrey’s swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV. In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk. As interviewers go, she is no match for, say, Phil Donahue […] What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humor and, above all empathy. Guests with sad stories to tell are apt to rouse a tear in Oprah’s eye […] They, in turn, often find themselves revealing things they would not imagine telling anyone, much less a national TV audience. It is the talk show as a group therapy session.||”|
TV columnist Howard Rosenberg said, “She’s a roundhouse, a full course meal, big, brassy, loud, aggressive, hyper, laughable, lovable, soulful, tender, low-down, earthy and hungry. And she may know the way to Phil Donahue’s jugular.” Newsday‘s Les Payne observed, “Oprah Winfrey is sharper than Donahue, wittier, more genuine, and far better attuned to her audience, if not the world” and Martha Bayles of The Wall Street Journal wrote, “It’s a relief to see a gab-monger with a fond but realistic assessment of her own cultural and religious roots.”
In the early years of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the program was classified as a tabloid talk show. In the mid 1990s Winfrey then adopted a less tabloid-oriented format, hosting shows on broader topics such as heart disease, geopolitics, spirituality and meditation, interviewing celebrities on social issues they were directly involved with, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse and hosting televised giveaways.
Her final show is scheduled to air in September 2011. In addition to her talk show, Winfrey also produced and co-starred in the 1989 drama miniseries The Women of Brewster Place, as well as a short-lived spin-off, Brewster Place. As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards). On January 15, 2008, Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans to change Discovery Health Channel into a new channel called OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. It was scheduled to launch in 2009, but was delayed, and actually launched on January 1, 2011.
In 1993, Winfrey hosted a rare prime-time interview with Michael Jackson, which became the fourth most watched event in American television history as well as the most watched interview ever, with an audience of 36.5 million. On December 1, 2005, Winfrey appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote the new Broadway musical The Color Purple, of which she was a producer, joining the host for the first time in 16 years. The episode was hailed by some as the “television event of the decade” and helped Letterman attract his largest audience in more than 11 years: 13.45 million viewers. Although a much-rumored feud was said to have been the cause of the rift, both Winfrey and Letterman balked at such talk. “I want you to know, it’s really over, whatever you thought was happening”, said Winfrey. On September 10, 2007, David Letterman made his first appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show“, as its season premiere was filmed in New York City.
In 2006, rappers Ludacris, 50 Cent and Ice Cube criticized Winfrey for what they perceived as an anti-hip hop bias. In an interview with GQ magazine, Ludacris said that Winfrey gave him a “hard time” about his lyrics, and edited comments he made during an appearance on her show with the cast of the film Crash. He also claimed that he wasn’t initially invited on the show with the rest of the cast. Winfrey responded by saying that she’s opposed to rap lyrics that “marginalize women”, but enjoys some artists, including Kanye West, who appeared on her show. She said she spoke with Ludacris backstage after his appearance to explain her position, and said she understood that his music was for entertainment purposes, but that some of his listeners might take it literally. In September 2008, Winfrey received criticism after Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report reported that Winfrey refused to have Sarah Palin on her show allegedly due to Winfrey’s support for Barack Obama. Winfrey denied the report, maintaining that there never was a discussion regarding Palin appearing on her show. She said that after she made public her support for Obama she decided that she would not let her show be used as a platform for any of the candidates. Although Obama appeared twice on her show, these appearances were prior to him declaring himself a candidate. Winfrey added that Palin would make a fantastic guest and that she would love to have her on the show after the election, which she did on November 18, 2009.
In 2009, Winfrey was criticised for allowing actress Suzanne Somers to appear on her show to discuss hormone treatments that are not accepted by mainstream medicine. Critics have also suggested that Winfrey is not tough enough when questioning celebrity guests or politicians that she appears to like. Lisa de Moraes, a media columnist for The Washington Post, stated, “Oprah doesn’t do follow-up questions unless you’re an author who’s embarrassed her by fabricating portions of a supposed memoir she’s plugged for her book club.”
In 1985, Winfrey co-starred in Steven Spielberg‘s The Color Purple as distraught housewife, Sofia. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. The film went on to become a Broadway musical which opened in late 2005, with Winfrey credited as a producer. In October 1998, Winfrey produced and starred in the film Beloved, based on Toni Morrison‘s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. To prepare for her role as Sethe, the protagonist and former slave, Winfrey experienced a 24-hour simulation of the experience of slavery, which included being tied up and blindfolded and left alone in the woods. Despite major advertising, including two episodes of her talk show dedicated solely to the film, and moderate to good critical reviews, Beloved opened to poor box-office results, losing approximately $30 million. While promoting the movie, co-star Thandie Newton described Winfrey as “a very strong technical actress and it’s because she’s so smart. She’s acute. She’s got a mind like a razor blade.” In 2005, Harpo Productions released a film adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston‘s 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. The made-for-television film was based upon a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, and starred Halle Berry in the lead female role.
In late 2008, Winfrey’s company Harpo Films signed an exclusive output pact to develop and produce scripted series, documentaries and movies for HBO. Oprah voiced Gussie the goose for Charlotte’s Web (2006) and the voice of Judge Bumbleden in Bee Movie (2007) co-starring the voices of Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger. In 2009, Winfrey provided the voice for the character of Eudora, the mother of Princess Tiana, in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and in 2010, narrated the US version of the BBC nature program Life for Discovery.
Publishing and writing
Winfrey has co-authored five books. At the announcement of a weight loss book in 2005, co-authored with her personal trainer Bob Greene, it was said that her undisclosed advance fee had broken the record for the world’s highest book advance fee, previously held by the autobiography of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Winfrey publishes two magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home. In 2002 Fortune called O, the Oprah Magazine the most successful start-up ever in the industry.[dead link] Although its circulation had declined by more than 10 percent (to 2.4 million) from 2005 to 2008, the January 2009 issue was the best selling issue since 2006. The audience for her magazine is considerably more upscale than for her TV show, the average reader earning US $63,000 a year (well above the median for U.S. women).
Winfrey’s company created the Oprah.com website to provide resources and interactive content relating to her shows, magazines, book club, and public charity. Oprah.com averages more than 70 million page views and more than six million users per month, and receives approximately 20,000 e-mails each week. Winfrey initiated “Oprah’s Child Predator Watch List”, through her show and website, to help track down accused child molesters. Within the first 48 hours, two of the featured men were captured.
On February 9, 2006, it was announced that Winfrey had signed a three-year, $55 million contract with XM Satellite Radio to establish a new radio channel. The channel, Oprah Radio, features popular contributors to The Oprah Winfrey Show and O, The Oprah Magazine including Nate Berkus, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Bob Greene, Dr. Robin Smith and Marianne Williamson. Oprah & Friends began broadcasting at 11:00 am ET, September 25, 2006, from a new studio at Winfrey’s Chicago headquarters. The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week on XM Radio Channel 156. Winfrey’s contract requires her to be on the air thirty minutes a week, 39 weeks a year. The thirty-minute weekly show features Winfrey with friend Gayle King.
Winfrey currently lives on “The Promised Land”, her 42-acre (170,000 m2) estate with ocean and mountain views in Montecito, California. Winfrey also owns a house in Lavallette, New Jersey, an apartment in Chicago, an estate on Fisher Island, Florida, a house in Douglasville, Georgia, a ski house in Telluride, Colorado, and property on Maui, Hawaii and Antigua. Her base during filming of Winfrey’s show is Chicago, so she spends time in the neighborhood of Streeterville.
A self-described promiscuous teen who was a victim of sexual abuse, Winfrey gave birth at the age of 14, to a boy who died shortly after.
Winfrey’s high school sweetheart Anthony Otey recalled an innocent courtship that began in Winfrey’s senior year of high school, from which he saved hundreds of love notes; Winfrey conducted herself with dignity and as a model student. The two spoke of getting married, but Otey claimed to have always secretly known that Winfrey was destined for a far greater life than he could ever provide. She broke up with him on Valentine’s Day of her senior year.
In 1971, several months after breaking up with Otey, Winfrey met William “Bubba” Taylor at Tennessee State University. According to CBS journalist George Mair, Taylor was Winfrey’s “first intense, to die for love affair”. Winfrey helped get Taylor a job at WVOL, and according to Mair, “did everything to keep him, including literally begging him on her knees to stay with her.” Taylor however was unwilling to leave Nashville with Winfrey when she moved to Baltimore to work at WJZ-TV in June 1976. “We really did care for each other”, Winfrey would later recall. “We shared a deep love. A love I will never forget.”
In the 1970s, Winfrey had a romantic relationship with John Tesh. Biographer Kitty Kelley claims that Tesh split with Winfrey over the pressure of having an interracial relationship.
When WJZ-TV management criticized Winfrey for crying on the air while reporting tragedies and were unhappy with her physical appearance (especially when her hair fell out as the result of a bad perm), Winfrey turned to reporter Lloyd Kramer for comfort. “Lloyd was just the best”, Winfrey would later recall. “That man loved me even when I was bald! He was wonderful. He stuck with me through the whole demoralizing experience. That man was the most fun romance I ever had.”
According to Mair, when Kramer moved to NBC in New York Winfrey had a love affair with a married man who had no intention of leaving his wife. Winfrey would later recall: “I’d had a relationship with a man for four years. I wasn’t living with him. I’d never lived with anyone—and I thought I was worthless without him. The more he rejected me, the more I wanted him. I felt depleted, powerless. At the end I was down on the floor on my knees groveling and pleading with him”. Winfrey became so depressed that on September 8, 1981, she wrote a suicide note to best friend Gayle King instructing King to water her plants. “That suicide note had been much overplayed” Winfrey told Ms. magazine. “I couldn’t kill myself. I would be afraid the minute I did it; something really good would happen and I’d miss it.”
According to Winfrey, her emotional turmoil gradually led to a weight problem: “The reason I gained so much weight in the first place and the reason I had such a sorry history of abusive relationships with men was I just needed approval so much. I needed everyone to like me, because I didn’t like myself much. So I’d end up with these cruel self-absorbed guys who’d tell me how selfish I was, and I’d say ‘Oh thank you, you’re so right’ and be grateful to them. Because I had no sense that I deserved anything else. Which is also why I gained so much weight later on. It was the perfect way of cushioning myself against the world’s disapproval.”
Winfrey later confessed to smoking crack cocaine with a man she was romantically involved with during the same era. She explained on her show: “I always felt that the drug itself is not the problem but that I was addicted to the man.” She added: “I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t have done for that man.”
Winfrey was allegedly involved in a second drug related love affair. Self-proclaimed former boyfriend Randoph Cook claimed they lived together for several months in 1985 and did drugs. In 1997, Cook tried to sue Winfrey for $20 million for allegedly blocking a tell-all book about their alleged relationship.
Also, in the mid 1980s, Winfrey briefly dated movie critic Roger Ebert, whom she credits with advising her to take her show into syndication.
In 1985 before Winfrey’s Chicago talk show had gone national, Hatian filmmaker Reginald Chevalier claims he appeared as a guest on a look-alike segment and began a relationship with Winfrey involving romantic evenings at home, candlelit baths and dinners with Michael Jordan and Danny Glover. Chevalier claims Winfrey ended the relationship when she met Stedman Graham.
|Oprah and Stedman Graham|
Winfrey’s best friend since their early twenties is Gayle King. King was formerly the host of The Gayle King Show and is currently an editor of O, the Oprah Magazine. Since 1997, when Winfrey played the therapist on an episode of the sitcom Ellen in which Ellen DeGeneres came out of the closet, Winfrey and King have been the target of persistent rumors that they were gay. “I understand why people think we’re gay”, Winfrey says in the August 2006 issue of O magazine. “There isn’t a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it—how can you be this close without it being sexual?” “I’ve told nearly everything there is to tell. All my stuff is out there. People think I’d be so ashamed of being gay that I wouldn’t admit it? Oh, please.”
Winfrey has also had a long friendship with Maria Shriver after they met in Baltimore. Winfrey considers Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings her mentor and close friend; she calls Angelou her “mother-sister-friend” Winfrey hosted a week-long Caribbean cruise for Angelou and 150 guests for Angelou’s 70th birthday in 1998, and in 2008, threw her “an extravagant 80th birthday celebration” at Donald Trump‘s Mar-A-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Born in rural poverty, then raised by a mother on welfare in a poor urban neighborhood, Winfrey became a millionaire at age 32 when her talk show went national. Winfrey was in a position to negotiate ownership of the show and start her own production company because of the success and the amount of revenue the show generated. At age 41, Winfrey had a net worth of $340 million and replaced Bill Cosby as the only African American on the Forbes 400. Although black people are just under 13% of the U.S. population, Winfrey has remained the only African American to rank among America’s 400 richest people nearly every year since 1995. With a 2000 net worth of $800 million, Winfrey is believed to be the richest African American of the 20th century. Due to her status as a historical figure, Professor Juliet E.K. Walker of the University of Illinois created the course “History 298: Oprah Winfrey, the Tycoon.” Winfrey was the highest paid TV entertainer in the United States in 2006, earning an estimated $260 million during the year, five times the sum earned by second-place music executive Simon Cowell. By 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million.
Forbes’ international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in world history. According to Forbes, in September 2010 Winfrey was worth over $2.7 billion and has overtaken former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.
Winfrey was called “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” by CNN and Time.com, “arguably the most influential woman in the world” by the American Spectator, “one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century” and “one of the most influential people” from 2004 to 2010 by Time. Winfrey is the only person in the world to have appeared in the latter list on all eight occasions.
At the end of the 20th century Life listed Winfrey as both the most influential woman and the most influential black person of her generation, and in a cover story profile the magazine called her “America’s most powerful woman”. In 2007 USA Today ranked Winfrey as the most influential woman and most influential black person of the previous quarter century. Ladies Home Journal also ranked Winfrey number one in their list of the most powerful women in America and senator Barack Obama has said she “may be the most influential woman in the country”. In 1998 Winfrey became the first woman and first African-American to top Entertainment Weekly‘s list of the 101 most powerful people in the entertainment industry. Forbes named her the world’s most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010 In 2010 Life magazine named Winfrey one of the 100 people who changed the world, along side such luminaries as Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Winfrey was the only living woman to make the list.
Columnist Maureen Dowd seems to agree with such assessments: “She is the top alpha female in this country. She has more credibility than the president. Other successful women, such as Hillary Clinton and Martha Stewart, had to be publicly slapped down before they could move forward. Even Condi has had to play the protegé with Bush. None of this happened to Oprah — she is a straight ahead success story. Vanity Fair wrote: “Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope. Bill O’Reilly said: “this is a woman that came from nothing to rise up to be the most powerful woman, I think, in the world. I think Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman in the world, not just in America. That’s — anybody who goes on her program immediately benefits through the roof. I mean, she has a loyal following; she has credibility; she has talent; and she’s done it on her own to become fabulously wealthy and fabulously powerful.
In 2005 Winfrey was named the greatest woman in American history as part of a public poll as part of The Greatest American. She was ranked #9 overall on the list of greatest Americans, however polls estimating Winfrey’s personal popularity have been inconsistent. A November 2003 Gallup poll estimated that 73% of American adults had a favorable view of Winfrey. Another Gallup poll in January 2007 estimated the figure at 74%, although it dropped to 66% when Gallup conducted the same poll in October 2007. A December 2007 Fox News poll put the figure at 55%. According to Gallup’s annual most admired poll, Americans consistently rank Winfrey as one of the most admired women in the world. Her highest rating came in 2007 when she was statistically tied with Hillary Clinton for first place. In a list compiled by the British magazine New Statesman in September 2010, She was voted 38th in the list of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010”.
The Wall Street Journal coined the term “Oprahfication”, meaning public confession as a form of therapy. By confessing intimate details about her weight problems, tumultuous love life, and sexual abuse, and crying alongside her guests, Time magazine credits Winfrey with creating a new form of media communication known as “rapport talk” as distinguished from the “report talk” of Phil Donahue: “Winfrey saw television’s power to blend public and private; while it links strangers and conveys information over public airwaves, TV is most often viewed in the privacy of our homes. Like a family member, it sits down to meals with us and talks to us in the lonely afternoons. Grasping this paradox, …She makes people care because she cares. That is Winfrey’s genius, and will be her legacy, as the changes she has wrought in the talk show continue to permeate our culture and shape our lives.” 
Observers have also noted the “Oprahfication” of politics such as “Oprah-style debates” and Bill Clinton being described as “the man who brought Oprah-style psychobabble and misty confessions to politics.” Newsweek stated: “Every time a politician lets his lip quiver or a cable anchor ’emotes’ on TV, they nod to the cult of confession that Oprah helped create. Winfrey’s disclosures about her weight (which peaked at 108 kg (238 lb)) also paved the way for other plus-sized women in media such as Roseanne Barr, Rosie O’Donnell and Star Jones. The November 1988 Ms. observed that “in a society where fat is taboo, she made it in a medium that worships thin and celebrates a bland, white-bread prettiness of body and personality […] But Winfrey made fat sexy, elegant — damned near gorgeous — with her drop-dead wardrobe, easy body language, and cheerful sensuality.”
Mainstream acceptance of gays and lesbians
While Phil Donahue has been credited with pioneering the tabloid talk show genre, Winfrey’s warmth, intimacy and personal confession, popularized and changed it. Her success at popularizing of the tabloid talk show genre, had opened up a thriving industry that has included Ricki Lake, The Jenny Jones Show, and The Jerry Springer Show. Sociologists such as Vicki Abt criticized tabloid talk shows for redefining social norms. In her book Coming After Oprah: Cultural Fallout in the Age of the TV talk show, Abt warned that the media revolution that followed Winfrey’s success was blurring the lines between “normal” and “deviant” behavior. In the book Freaks Talk Back, Yale sociology professor Joshua Gamson credits the tabloid talk show genre with providing much needed high impact media visibility for gay, bisexual, transsexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and doing more to make them mainstream and socially acceptable than any other development of the 20th century. In the book’s editorial review Michael Bronski wrote “In the recent past, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people had almost no presence on television. With the invention and propagation of tabloid talk shows such as Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Oprah, and Geraldo, people outside the sexual mainstream now appear in living rooms across America almost every day of the week.” Gamson credits the tabloid talk show with making alternative sexual orientations and identities more acceptable in mainstream society. Examples include a Time magazine article describing early 21st century gays coming out of the closet younger and younger and gay suicide rates plummeting. Gamson also believes that tabloid talk shows caused gays to be embraced on more traditional forms of media. Examples include sitcoms like Will & Grace, primetime shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Oscar nominated feature films like Brokeback Mountain.
During a show in the 1980s, members of the studio audience stood up one by one, gave their name and announced that they were gay in observance of National Coming Out Day. Also in the 1980s Winfrey took her show to West Virginia to confront a town gripped by AIDS paranoia because a gay man living in the town had HIV. Winfrey interviewed the man who had become a social outcast and the town’s mayor who drained a swimming pool in which the man had gone swimming, and debated with the town’s hostile residents. “But I hear this is a God fearing town”, Winfrey scolded the homophobic studio audience; “where’s all that Christian love and understanding?” During a show on gay marriage in the 1990s, a woman in Winfrey’s audience stood up to complain that gays were constantly flaunting their sex lives and she announced that she was tired of it. “You know what I’m tired of”, replied Winfrey, “heterosexual males raping and sodomizing young girls. That’s what I’m tired of.” Her rebuttal inspired a screaming standing ovation from that show’s studio audience. Winfrey promotes openly gay celebrities on her show, such as her hairdresser Andre Walker, makeup artist Reggie Wells, and decorator Nate Berkus, who inspired an outpouring of sympathy from middle America after grieving the loss of his partner in the 2004 tsunami on the show. In April 1997, Winfrey played the therapist in “The Puppy Episode” on the sitcom Ellen to whom the character (and the real-life Ellen DeGeneres) said she was a lesbian. In 1998, Mark Steyn in the National Review wrote of Winfrey “Today, no truly epochal moment in the history of the Republic occurs unless it is validated by her presence. When Ellen said, ‘Yep! I’m gay,’ Oprah was by her side, guesting on the sitcom as (what else?) the star’s therapist.”
“The Oprah Effect”
The power of Winfrey’s opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion, especially consumer purchasing choices, has been dubbed “The Oprah Effect”. The effect has been documented or alleged in domains as diverse as book sales, beef markets, and election voting. Late in 1996, Winfrey introduced the Oprah’s Book Club segment to her television show. The segment focused on new books and classics, and often brought obscure novels to popular attention. The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best-seller; for example, when she selected the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden, it soared to the top of the book charts. Being recognized by Winfrey often means a million additional book sales for an author. In Reading with Oprah: The Book Club that Changed America (2005), Kathleen Rooney describes Winfrey as “a serious American intellectual who pioneered the use of electronic media, specifically television and the Internet, to take reading — a decidedly non-technological and highly individual act — and highlight its social elements and uses in such a way to motivate millions of erstwhile non-readers to pick up books.”
When author Jonathan Franzen‘s book was selected for the Book Club, he reportedly “cringed” and said selected books tend to be “schmaltzy”. After James Frey‘s A Million Little Pieces was found to contain fabrications in 2006, Winfrey confronted him on her show over the breach of trust. In 2009, Winfrey apologized to Frey for the public confrontation. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey said she was stopped cold from eating another burger. Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for “false defamation of perishable food” and “business disparagement”, claiming that Winfrey’s remarks sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers $11 million. On February 26, after a two month trial in an Amarillo, Texas court, a jury found Winfrey and Lyman were not liable for damages. During the lawsuit, Winfrey hired Phil McGraw‘s company Courtroom Sciences, Inc. to help her analyze and read the jury. McGraw made such an impression on Winfrey that she invited him to appear on her show. He accepted the invitation and appeared regularly on The Oprah Winfrey Show before launching his own show, Dr. Phil, created in 2002 by Winfrey’s production company, Harpo Productions, in partnership with CBS Paramount, which produced the show. Winfrey’s ability to launch other successful talk shows such as Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray has also been cited as examples of “The Oprah Effect”.
Winfrey endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, the first time she made such an endorsement. Winfrey held a fundraiser for Obama on September 8, 2007, at her Santa Barbara estate. In December 2007, Winfrey joined Obama for a series of rallies in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. The Columbia, South Carolina event on December 9, 2007, drew a crowd of nearly 30,000, the largest for any political event of 2007. An analysis by two economists at the University of Maryland, College Park estimated that Winfrey’s endorsement was responsible for between 423,123 and 1,596,995 votes for Obama in the Democratic primary alone, based on a sample of states that did not include Texas, Michigan, North Dakota, Kansas, or Alaska. The results suggest that in the sampled states, Winfrey’s endorsement was responsible for the difference in the popular vote between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, reported being so impressed by Winfrey’s endorsement that he considered offering Winfrey Obama’s vacant senate seat describing Winfrey as “the most instrumental person in electing Barack Obama president”, with “a voice larger than all 100 senators combined”. Winfrey responded by stating that although she was absolutely not interested, she did feel she could be a senator.
In 2002, Christianity Today published an article called “The Church of O” in which they concluded that Winfrey had emerged as an influential spiritual leader. “Since 1994, when she abandoned traditional talk-show fare for more edifying content, and 1998, when she began ‘Change Your Life TV’, Oprah’s most significant role has become that of spiritual leader. To her audience of more than 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become a post-modern priestess—an icon of church-free spirituality.” The sentiment was echoed by Marcia Z. Nelson in her book The Gospel According to Oprah. Since the mid 1990s, Winfrey’s show has emphasized uplifting and inspirational topics and themes and some viewers claim the show has motivated them to perform acts of altruism such as helping Congolese women and building an orphanage. A scientific study by psychological scientists at the University of Cambridge, University of Plymouth, and University of California used an uplifting clip from the Oprah Winfrey Show in an experiment that discovered that watching the ‘uplifting’ clip caused subjects to become twice as helpful as subjects assigned to watch a British comedy or nature documentary.
On the season premier of Winfrey’s 13th season Roseanne Barr told Winfrey “you’re the African Mother Goddess of us all” inspiring much enthusiasm from the studio audience. The animated series Futurama alluded to her spiritual influence by suggesting that “Oprahism” is a mainstream religion in 3000 AD. Twelve days after the September 11th attacks, New York mayor Rudy Guliani asked Winfrey to serve as host of a Prayer for America service at New York city’s Yankee stadium which was attended by former president Bill Clinton and New York senator Hillary Clinton. Leading up to the U.S.-led 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, less than a month after the September 11 attacks Winfrey aired a controversial show called “Islam 101” in which she portrayed Islam as a religion of peace, calling it “the most misunderstood of the three major religions”. In 2002, George W. Bush invited Winfrey to join a US delegation that included adviser Karen Hughes and Condoleezza Rice, planning to go to Afghanistan to celebrate the return of Afghan girls to school. The ‘Oprah strategy’ was designed to portray the war on terror in a positive light, however when Winfrey refused to participate, the trip was postponed.
Leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Winfrey’s show received criticism for allegedly having an anti-war bias. Ben Shapiro of Townhall.com wrote: “Oprah Winfrey is the most powerful woman in America. She decides what makes the New York Times best-seller lists. Her touchy-feely style sucks in audiences at the rate of 14 million viewers per day. But Oprah is far more than a cultural force, she’s a dangerous political force as well, a woman with unpredictable and mercurial attitudes toward the major issues of the day.” In 2006, Winfrey recalled such controversies: “I once did a show titled Is War the Only Answer? In the history of my career, I’ve never received more hate mail – like ‘Go back to Africa’ hate mail. I was accused of being un-American for even raising the question.” Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore came to Winfrey’s defence, praising her for showing antiwar footage no other media would show and begging her to run for president. A February 2003 series, in which Winfrey showed clips from people all over the world asking America not to go to war was interrupted in several east coast markets by network broadcasts of a press conference in which President George W. Bush and Colin Powell summarized the case for war.
In 2007, Winfrey began to endorse the self-help program The Secret. The Secret claims that people can change their lives through positive thoughts or ‘vibrations’, which will then cause them to attract more positive vibrations that result in good things happening to them. Peter Birkenhead of Salon magazine argued that this idea is pseudoscience and psychologically damaging, as it trivializes important decisions and promotes a quick-fix material culture, and suggest Winfrey’s promotion of it is irresponsible given her influence. In 2007, skeptic and magician James Randi accused Winfrey of being deliberately deceptive and uncritical in how she handles paranormal claims on her show. In 2008 Winfrey endorsed author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, which sold several million copies after being selected for her book club. During a Webinar class, in which she promoted the book, Winfrey stated “God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience […] then that’s not truly God.” Frank Pastore, a Christian radio talk show host on KKLA, was among the many Christian leaders who criticized Winfrey’s views, saying “if she’s a Christian, she’s an ignorant one, because Christianity is incompatible with New Age thought.”
Winfrey was named as the 2008 Person of the Year by animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for using her fame and listening audience to help the less fortunate, including animals. PETA praised Winfrey for using her talk show to uncover horrific cases of cruelty to animals in puppy mills and on factory farms, and Winfrey even used the show to highlight the cruelty-free vegan diet that she tried. Winfrey also refuses to wear fur or feature it in her magazine.
In 2009 Winfrey filmed a series of interviews in Denmark highlighting its citizens as the happiest people in the world. In 2010 Bill O’Reilly of Fox News criticised these shows for promoting a left-wing society.
In 1998, Winfrey’s show had an estimated 14 million daily viewers, dropping to approximately 9 million in 2005 and to around 7.3 million viewers in 2008, though it remained the highest rated talk show. In 2008, Winfrey’s show was airing in 140 countries internationally and seen by an estimated 46 million people in the US weekly. According to the Harris poll, Winfrey was America’s favorite television personality in 1998, 2000, 2002–2006, and 2009. Winfrey was especially popular among women, Democrats, political moderates, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Southern Americans and East Coast Americans.
Outside the U.S., Winfrey has become increasingly popular in the Arab world. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2007 that MBC 4, an Arab satellite channel, centered its entire programming around reruns of her show because it was drawing record numbers of female viewers in Saudi Arabia. In 2008 the New York Times reported that The Oprah Winfrey Show, with Arabic subtitles, was broadcast twice each weekday on MBC 4. Winfrey’s modest dress, combined with her triumph over adversity and abuse has caused some women in Saudi Arabia to idealize her.
In 1998, Winfrey created the Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity that supported charitable projects and provided grants to nonprofit organizations around the world. Oprah’s Angel Network raised more than $80,000,000 ($1 million of which was donated by Jon Bon Jovi). Winfrey personally covered all administrative costs associated with the charity, so 100% of all funds raised went to charity programs. The charity stopped accepting donations in May 2010 and was later dissolved. Winfrey’s show raises money through promotion of her public charity and she personally donates more of her own money to charity than any other show-business celebrity in America. In 2005 she became the first black person listed by Business Week as one of America’s 50 most generous philanthropists, having given an estimated $303 million.[dead link] Winfrey was the 32nd most philanthropic. She has also been repeatedly ranked as the most philanthropic celebrity.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah created the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry which raised more than $11 million for relief efforts. Winfrey personally gave $10 million to the cause. Homes were built in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama before the one year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Winfrey has also helped 250 African-American men continue or complete their education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Winfrey was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film. To celebrate two decades on national TV, and to thank her employees for their hard work, Winfrey took her staff and their families (1065 people in total) on vacation to Hawaii in the summer of 2006.
In 2004, Winfrey and her team filmed an episode of her show, Oprah’s Christmas Kindness , in which Winfrey travelled to South Africa to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by poverty and AIDS. During the 21-day trip, Winfrey and her crew visited schools and orphanages in poverty-stricken areas, and distributed Christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys, and school supplies. Throughout the show, Winfrey appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprah’s Angel Network for poor and AIDS-affected children in Africa. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over $7,000,000. Winfrey invested $40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Henley on Klip south of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school set over 22 acres, opened in January 2007 with an enrollment of 150 pupils (increasing to 450) and features state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and beauty salon. Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others. A minority of critics considered the school elitist and unnecessarily luxurious.
Winfrey, who has no surviving biological children, described maternal feelings towards the girls at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls: Winfrey teaches a class at the school via satellite.
- Cooper, Irene (2007) Oprah Winfrey Viking ISBN 0-670-06162-X
- Mair, George (2001) Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story Citadel Press ISBN 1-55972-250-9
- Moore, Michael (2003) Dude, Where’s My Country? by Warner Books ISBN 0-446-53223-1
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Who is Errick Lynne Williams, Jr.? The professional football world knows him as Ricky Williams, he is a former American football running back who played for eleven seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and one season in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at the University of Texas, where he was a two-time All-American and won the Heisman Trophy. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints fifth overall in the 1999 NFL Draft and spent three seasons with the team before he was traded to the Miami Dolphins
in 2002. He played for the Dolphins for three seasons, and retired for
the first time from football in 2004. Due to his suspension from the NFL
in 2006, he played for the Toronto Argonauts in 2006. He re-joined the Dolphins in 2007 and played with them until 2010, and spent the 2011 season with the Baltimore Ravens.
Williams was born May 21, 1977 (with his twin sister Cassandra) in San Diego, California, to 19-year old Sandy Williams and her husband, 18-year old Errick Williams.
Growing up middle-class, his parents divorced in 1983 and Williams, at
the age of 5, was taking care of his sisters by putting them to bed and
even cooking for them.
Perhaps due to his broken home and the fact that his father was gone at
such an early age, Williams suffered from anger issues that eventually
led his mother to send him to counseling.
He also struggled academically, despite a test he took as a six-year
old which revealed that he had the intelligence of someone twice his
Williams himself once said, “I was always very bright, but not
necessarily a hard worker. I think I was in eighth grade when I became
really focused as a student and started getting good grades.” By high school Williams was an honor roll student and was named to the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic team.
At San Diego’s Patrick Henry High School, Williams primarily played baseball and football in addition to running track. Williams also wrestled, notably losing a match to future NCAA champion and three-time Super Bowl champion Stephen Neal.
Entering high school at 5’9″ and 155 pounds, Williams added an additional 25 pounds of weight before his junior season.
Due to his love of physical contact, Williams played outside linebacker
and strong safety in addition to his primary position of running back.
During his high school career he rushed for a total of 4,129 yards and
55 touchdowns, and in his senior season he ran for 2,099 yards and 25
touchdowns, totals which earned him the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s 1994 Player of the Year award. Among his senior year performances were a 200-yard effort in a loss to Helix High School, a 248-yard (on 24 carries) and three-touchdown game in a 26-3 win at Chula Vista, a 215-yard (21 carries) and two-touchdown showing in a 13-3 win against Mira Mesa, a 143-yard (18 carries) and two-touchdown game in a 28-10 victory over Point Loma, and a 129-yard (24 carries) and one-touchdown game against top-ranked Morse which included Williams totaling 47 of the 69 yards Patrick Henry accumulated during the game-winning drive in a 20-17 upset. Two weeks after the win over Morse, Patrick Henry clinched its first Eastern League title in 11 years with a 21-12 win against San Diego High School;
Williams appeared to be on his way to a record-setting performance with
115 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter of the game but
suffered a leg injury on the third play of the second quarter. After
being helped off the field he re-entered the game and attempted one more
carry but had to be carried off the field again, finished for the day.
Following two weeks of rest, Williams was able to suit up in the first
round of the CIF-San Diego Section Division 1 playoffs against San Dieguito and, playing through pain from the leg injury, post 94 yards on 25 carries in a 15-14 win. In the second round Williams ran for 110 yards in a 21-17 victory over Rancho Buena Vista, propelling Patrick Henry into the championship game at Jack Murphy Stadium for a rematch with Morse.
However, in the title game Patrick Henry lost 13-0 and Williams would
be held to a season-low 46 yards, with his team amassing just 62 yards
of total offense.
Williams accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Texas, where he played for the Texas Longhorns football team from 1995 to 1998. Williams holds or shares 20 NCAA records, and became the NCAA Division I-A career rushing leader in 1998 with 6,279 yards (broken one year later by University of Wisconsin‘s Ron Dayne).
Williams had a sensational senior season, highlighted by rushing for
nine touchdowns and 385 yards in the season’s first two games; rushing
for 318 yards and six touchdowns against Rice; rushing for 350 yards and five touchdowns against Iowa State; and rushing for 150 yards against Nebraska‘s Black Shirt defense. He helped beat longtime rival Oklahoma rushing for 166 rushing yards and two scores.
Williams broke the NCAA career rushing record during the annual
rivalry game held the day after Thanksgiving (this particular year fell
on November 27, 1998) between Texas and Texas A&M. Needing only 11 yards to break Tony Dorsett‘s
22-year old NCAA Division 1-A all-time rushing record (6,082), Williams
approached the line of scrimmage with 1:13 left in the first quarter;
taking the handoff, Williams spun through massive clearing blocks by
left tackle Leonard Davis and left guard Roger Roesler. After surging
past Texas A&M linebacker Warrick Holdman, Williams took advantage
of a lead block by fullback Ricky Brown. That pushed him into the
secondary as he streaked down the left sideline. Williams then powered
through a tackle attempt by Texas A&M safety Rich Coady at the
A&M 12. He then took advantage of a devastating downfield block by
wide receiver Wane McGarrity, barging past cornerback Jason Webster’s
desperate tackle at the end zone.
The game was briefly stopped while Williams received the game ball
and was honored by a group of dignitaries including Dorsett. Williams’
record-breaking run gave Texas a 10-0 lead in its eventual 26-24 upset
of sixth-ranked Texas A&M. He finished the game racking up 259 yards
on a career-high 44 carries. He broke the NCAA Division I-A career
rushing touchdowns and career scoring records in 1998 with 73 and 452
respectively (topped one year later by Miami University‘s Travis Prentice), and rushed for 200 or more yards in twelve different games (an NCAA record he shares with Dayne and USC‘s Marcus Allen). Williams won the 64th Heisman Trophy, becoming the second Texas Longhorn to win this honor, joining Earl Campbell.
Williams was sometimes known as the “Texas Tornado.”
- Note that table includes Williams’ performances in bowl games, which
prior to 2002 were not included in official NCAA career statistics.
New Orleans Saints
Williams was selected as the fifth pick of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Mike Ditka traded all of the Saints’ 1999 draft picks to the Washington Redskins
to get Williams, as well as first- and third-round picks the following
year. This was the first time one player was the only draft pick of an
NFL team. Williams and Ditka posed for the cover of ESPN The Magazine as a bride and a groom with the heading “For Better or for Worse.” Master P‘s
(a.k.a. Percy Miller’s) organization “No Limit Sports” negotiated his
contract, which was largely incentive-laden; he received an $8M-plus
signing bonus with salary incentives potentially worth from $11 million
to $68 million should he hit all of his incentives, with most of them
requiring higher than top-level production to attain.
The contract was criticized by legions of people, both sports agents
and writers, who realized that Williams’ position entitled him to much
more in guaranteed money. Williams later fired “No Limit Sports” and made Leigh Steinberg his agent. Ditka was later fired for the team’s poor performance.
Williams spent three seasons (1999–2001) with the Saints. He was
moderately successful there, with two 1000 yard seasons in 2000 and
2001. In 2000 he rushed for exactly 1000 yards and scored nine total
touchdowns in 10 games. He missed the team’s last 6 games and the
playoffs due to injury. The Saints finished the 2000 regular season with
a 10-6 record and won the franchise’s first ever playoff game against
the St. Louis Rams.
Williams’ most successful statistical season with the team came the
next year in 2001, when he rushed for 1245 yards, 8th in the NFL. He
also caught 60 passes for 511 yards. It would be his last season with
Williams was traded to the Miami Dolphins on March 8, 2002 for four
draft picks, including two first-round picks. In 2002, his first season
with the Dolphins, he was the NFL’s leading rusher with 1,853 yards, a
First-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler.
Williams was noted for his dreadlocks hair style, but he shaved them off during a trip to Australia. His shyness made Williams appear somewhat of an odd ball. “Ricky’s just a different guy,” former Saints receiver Joe Horn
explained. “People he wanted to deal with, he did. And people he wanted
to have nothing to do with, he didn’t. No one could understand that. I
don’t think guys in the locker room could grasp that he wanted to be to
himself – you know, quiet. If you didn’t understand him and didn’t know
what he was about, it always kept people in suspense.” Besides keeping
to himself, Williams was known for conducting post-game interviews with
his helmet on (complete with tinted visor) and avoiding eye contact.
Williams was later diagnosed with clinical depression and social anxiety disorder.
Early retirement from football
It was announced on May 14, 2004 that he tested positive for marijuana
in December 2003 and faced a $650,000 fine and a four-game suspension
for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He previously tested
positive for marijuana shortly after he joined the Dolphins, along with
former punter Andrew Tomasjewski.
Shortly before training camp was to begin in July 2004, Williams
publicly disclosed his intent to retire from professional football.
Rumored to have failed a third drug test before announcing his
retirement, Williams made his retirement official on August 2, 2004.
Williams was ineligible to play for the 2004 season, and studied Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of holistic medicine, at the California College of Ayurveda that autumn in Grass Valley, California. The Dolphins finished the year with a 4-12 record.
Williams maintains that he does not regret the retirement decision.
He thinks that it was the “most positive thing” he has ever done in his
life, allowing him time to find himself.
Return to football
Williams officially returned to the Dolphins on July 24, 2005, paid
back a percentage of his signing bonus and completed his four game
suspension for substance abuse. At his return press conference, Williams
expressed his apologies for leaving the team two days before the start
of training camp, which had contributed to the Dolphins’ having their
worst season in years, only winning four games in the 2004 season.
Williams finished with six touchdowns and a 4.4 yards per carry average
on 168 carries and 743 yards during 2005. While he shared time with Ronnie Brown, he did run for 172 yards in week 16, and 108 yards in the 17th week.
On February 20, 2006, the football league announced that Williams had
violated the NFL drug policy for the fourth time. His mother reportedly
said she did not think it was another marijuana violation, and that he
may have been in India
when he was supposed to be tested. On April 25, 2006, Williams was
suspended for the entire 2006 season. It has been suggested that the
substance may have been a herb related to his interest in holistic
With Williams suspended for the entire 2006 NFL season, the CFL‘s Toronto Argonauts decided to put Williams on the negotiation list for the 2006 season.
This guaranteed that the team would become the rightful CFL
organization to negotiate with Williams if his NFL contract were to be
terminated at any time. The Dolphins allowed Williams to play for the Argonauts on the condition that he would return to them in 2007.
On May 28, 2006 Williams became the highest-paid running back in the CFL when he signed a one-year C$240,000 contract with the Argonauts. He chose to wear the number 27 on his jersey.
The signing drew the ire of former Argonauts quarterback Joe Theismann. On May 30, 2006, Theismann was interviewed by Toronto radio station The Fan 590
whereupon he criticized the Argonauts for signing the suspended
Williams. Theismann claimed he was disgraced to be associated with a
team that would knowingly sign “an addict” such as Williams. The CFL had
no substance-abuse policy currently in place, nor did it prohibit its
teams from signing players suspended from other leagues, despite
Williams being under contract with the Dolphins for the 2006 season.
The Argonauts’ ownership responded to Theismann’s criticism, noting
that Theismann’s son, Joe, pleaded guilty in 2002 to a felony charge of
possessing drug paraphernalia. He received a 10-year suspended prison
term, was placed on five years of probation and fined. “It’s really a
delicate subject for him to attack someone if he has that in his own
family,” Argo co-owner Cynamon said. “If I was his son and he’s calling
[Williams] a drug addict and he should quit and he’s a loser, I’d be
shattered. This thing is really bothersome.”
Williams made his official CFL debut on June 17, 2006, in a home game against the Tiger-Cats at the Rogers Centre.
In that game, he rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries, with his longest
carry for 35 yards in the fourth quarter. Williams caught two passes for
24 yards as the Argonauts defeated the Tiger-Cats by a score of 27-17.
On July 22, 2006, Williams suffered a broken bone in his left arm during a game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina, Saskatchewan. He underwent surgery on July 23, 2006 to repair the broken bone.
Shortly after injuring his arm, Williams’ suffered yet another injury
after a door at the Argonauts’ practice facility swung behind him and
clipped the running back on his left achilles tendon requiring 16 stitches to close the gash. During his recovery, Williams received hyperbaric oxygen therapy in St. Catharines, Ontario to expedite his return from injury. In all, Williams missed two months of game action because of the injuries, returning on September 23, 2006 against the Calgary Stampeders.
In the 11 games that he played during 2006 CFL regular season, Williams rushed 109 times for 526 yards, scoring two touchdowns, with a long run of 35 yards. He caught 19 passes for 127 yards.
Williams stated his love for Toronto and mentioned the possibility of returning to the Canadian game during his professional career. “I was thinking it wouldn’t be bad to come back up here and kind of follow the same steps as Pinner
— play here a couple years and maybe get a chance to coach up here,”
Williams said. “Because I really like Toronto, I really like this
organization … you can live here, you know? You feel like you have a
life. I come to work, I go home, play with my kid, walk to the store.
It’s really nice. I get to teach. It’s wonderful here.”
In another interview, he expressed further desire to remain in the CFL,
“If I came back here, you can put me anywhere,” he says. “Up here, I
can play offense, defense, special teams. I can do everything. I can
block, play tight end, running back, receiver — even play the line. The
NFL is so structured — ‘You do this.’ Here I can do so much.”
With the controversy over, the Argonauts signing Williams prompted outgoing CFL commissioner Tom Wright, in his final state of the league address, to introduce a new rule that would come in effect before the start of the 2007 CFL season
that would prevent a player under suspension in the NFL from signing
with a CFL club. This rule has been informally dubbed “The Ricky
The new rule, however, was grandfathered so that players who were still playing in the league, such as Argonaut tackle Bernard Williams, who was suspended by the NFL for drug abuse and did not seek reinstatement when the ban ended, could continue playing.
Return to Miami
On May 11, 2007, an anonymous source reported that Williams had
failed a drug test again. The source indicated that NFL medical advisors
have recommended to the commissioner that Williams not be allowed to
apply for reinstatement in September.
Williams adhered to a strict regimen of multiple drug tests per week
in 2007 as part of his attempt to be reinstated by the NFL. He practiced
yoga, which, he claimed, helped him to stop using marijuana. In October 2007, Roger Goodell granted his request for reinstatement. Williams returned for a Monday Night Football game on November 26, 2007. He rushed 6 times for 15 yards before Lawrence Timmons, a Pittsburgh Steelers
linebacker, stepped on his right shoulder, tearing his pectoral muscle.
The next day it was reported that he would miss the rest of the season, and on November 28, Williams was placed on injured reserve.
In the 2009 season, Dolphins starting running back Ronnie Brown
suffered a season-ending injury and Williams became the starter for the
remainder of the season. He reached 1,000 yards rushing in Week 15 and
set an NFL record for longest span between 1,000-yard seasons at 6
years. He was 27 the last time he ran over 1000 yards and was 32 in 2009
when he broke the record and sported a respectable 4.7 yards per carry
that year while splitting duties.
In the 2010 season Williams carried 159 times for 673 yards and 2
touchdowns for the Dolphins while splitting duties averaging 4.2 yards a
carry at the age of 33.
Williams signed a two-year, $2.5 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens on August 8, 2011. Williams scored his first touchdown of the season against the Houston Texans
on October 16. On January 1, 2012, Williams surpassed the 10,000 career
rushing yards mark and became the 26th player in the history of the NFL
to do so. On February 7, 2012, Williams informed the Ravens of his retirement from the NFL.
Dolphins franchise records
Williams has admitted being very shy and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, avoidance disorder, and borderline personality disorder, with which he struggled to cope during his football career. Williams was treated with therapy and medication.
Williams was briefly a spokesperson for the drug Paxil as treatment. He worked with the drug company GlaxoSmithKline to educate the public about the disorder. Williams later quit Paxil saying the drug did not agree with his diet.
Williams said that his marijuana use was a type of “psychotherapy,”  has been a better treatment since it produced fewer side effects than Paxil. In an interview with ESPN, Williams stated, “Marijuana is 10 times better for me than Paxil.”
Williams admitted in a 60 Minutes
interview that one of the reasons for his retirement was to avoid the
humiliation of his marijuana use being made public with his third failed
drug test. After his retirement he quickly went to California to get a prescription for medical marijuana. In 2006 he claimed he no longer needs marijuana but does not criticize others’ choices on the matter. In April 2007, he reportedly tested positive for marijuana.
Williams is a qualified yoga instructor. He has stated that one of his main reasons for joining the Canadian Football League‘s Toronto Argonauts was for the opportunity to teach free yoga lessons at a local Toronto yoga facility. He is Hindu. It has been reported that Williams uses a Hindu-based pranic healing similar to therapeutic touch to recover from injuries.
Williams is the father of five children by three different women. He
married his long-time girlfriend Kristin Barnes on September 4, 2009. Williams is a vegan, and a supporter of PETA.
In the media
- He appeared in an infomercial for Natural Golf alongside Mike Ditka and appeared alongside him in a wedding dress on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
- HBO‘s Inside the NFL
had a skit about Williams trying to return to the Dolphins. It featured
him trying to raise $8.6 million, avoiding drug tests, and even asking Dan Marino to return with him.
- His likeness appeared on the cover of the original NFL Street,
Williams did not appear in the sequel, NFL Street 2, or NFL Street 3.
Both games were released during his suspended seasons (2004 and 2006).
- He played a cameo role in the feature film Stuck on You
- He makes an appearance on the third season of the physical reality game show, Pros vs. Joes on SpikeTV
- He is the subject of an ESPN Films documentary entitled “Run Ricky Run”. It is part of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series.
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Who is Eva Jacqueline Longoria? The entertainment and acting world knows her a Eva Longoria, she is an American actress, best known for portraying Gabrielle Solis on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. Longoria received a nomination for the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on Desperate Housewives.
Longoria first became famous on television in the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She became nationally recognized in the 2000s after appearing in several high-profile advertising campaigns and numerous men’s magazines, reaching #14 in the FHM “Sexiest Women 2008” poll, and having appeared on the cover of various international women’s magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar.
Eva Jacqueline Longoria was born March 15, 1975 in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas, the daughter of Tejano parents, Enrique Longoria, Jr. and Ella Eva Mireles. She was raised Roman Catholic. Longoria is the youngest of four daughters, her sisters being Elizabeth Judina, Emily Jeannette and Esmeralda Josephina. The Longoria family have resided in Texas since before the creation of the United States, predating the English-speaking settlers.
Longoria originally wanted to be a fashion model and sent in photos to a modeling agency but was declined because of her height. Longoria attended Marvin P. Baker Middle School and later Roy Miller High School; she subsequently received her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at nearby Texas A& M University-Kingsville. During this time, she won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA in 1998. After completing college, Longoria entered a talent contest that led her to Los Angeles, California; shortly after, she was spotted and signed by a theatrical agent.
Longoria landed her first television role in 2000, guest-starring in an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. Another guest appearance in General Hospital the same year brought her big break on the popular American soap opera The Young and the Restless, in which she played psychotic Isabella Braña Williams from 2001 to 2003.
After leaving The Young and the Restless, she was seen on the now-cancelled Dick Wolf revival of Dragnet. Although it lasted only two seasons, the show gave Longoria another leading star credit to her name. Following Dragnet, she starred in two ill-fated productions – Señorita Justice, a poorly received direct-to-video film, and a television film titled The Dead Will Tell.
In 2004, Longoria landed a role that elevated her to the A-List. She starred as adulteress Gabrielle Solis in the worldwide break-out ABC hit Desperate Housewives. As the show became an overnight sensation, Longoria’s career was well and truly launched. But she has never considered her career to have jumped off so suddenly: “I think it’s funny when people say I’m an overnight sensation, because I’ve been working at it for 10 years.”
Shortly after her debut on Desperate Housewives, Longoria starred in a poorly received direct-to-video film titled Carlita’s Secret, for which she was also co-producer. In 2006, she was rewarded for her performance as Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives when she was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy along with her co-stars. Even though neither Longoria nor any of the rest of the cast won, she was awarded the ALMA Award and named entertainer of the year. She also starred opposite Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland in the 2006 thriller The Sentinel, which was her first major role in a theatrical movie. In 2006 she played the character Sylvia in Harsh Times starring Freddy Rodriguez and Christian Bale.
She has expressed “confusion” over fellow Housewives actress Nicolette Sheridan‘s lawsuit against the Desperate Housewives series creator Marc Cherry.
People en Español listed her among its “Most Beautiful People” for 2003. Longoria continues to be included in lists of Hollywood‘s Most Beautiful and was listed #1 in Maxim‘s Hottest Female Stars of 2005 and 2006, becoming the first woman to top the list in two consecutive years. She was ranked #9 in the magazine’s Hot 100 of 2007 list. In honor of Maxim’s 100th issue in 2006, Longoria was featured on a 75-by-110-foot (23 by 34 m) vinyl mesh replica of its January 2005 cover located in a Las Vegas metropolitan area desert.
In January 2007, Longoria was chosen to be the first face of Bebe Sport. She appeared in the Spring/Summer 2007 campaign, photographed by Greg Kadel. The actress also holds model contracts with L’Oréal and Hanes, New York & Co. Longoria also has a contract with Magnum Ice-Cream, Heineken, and with L’Oréal. She is a part of Microsoft’s “I’m A PC” ad campaign, and she and Tony Parker have appeared together in campaigns for London Fog.
In October 2010, it was announced that Longoria would host the MTV Europe Music Awards 2010 in Madrid, Spain.
Eva Longoria opened the restaurant Beso (in Spanish: “Kiss”) in Hollywood, along with partner and celebrity chef Todd English, in March 2008. The restaurant is located on Hollywood Boulevard and is accompanied by Kiss, a Victorian-themed nightclub above the restaurant. The Hollywood Beso was scheduled to be the focus of a pilot episode for a tentative reality series called Beso: Waiting on Fame which would air on VH1 in late 2010.
In 2009, Longoria and various investor-partners opened a Beso restaurant, with a nightclub called Eve above it, in the Crystals retail and entertainment district of CityCenter in Las Vegas.
In 2011, the corporation Beso LLC, owner of the Vegas restaurant-and-nighclub venture, with listed assets of about $2.5 million and Eva Longoria as a 32 percent shareholder, filed for Chapter 11 protection, entering bankruptcy proceedings, in order to restructure nearly $5.7 million in debt and other liabilities. Longoria stated she’s looking “forward to a more pro-active, hands-on approach in the coming years” with her Las Vegas business interests.
Longoria released the fragrance “EVA by Eva Longoria”, a “clean citrus-floral eau de parfum”, in April 2010. She stated she wanted a fragrance she could wear: “I am allergic to most fragrances. There was nothing I could wear without my eyes watering, my nose starting to itch or sneezing.” 
Eva Longoria became a spokesperson for L’Oreal Paris in 2005 and has continued to feature in L’Oreal TV commercials and print ads until the year 2010.
Some L’Oreal TV commercial and print ads include: L’Oreal’s Vive Smooth Intense Signature Haircare products (05-06), Couleur Experte All-Over Color hair-color (06-07), L’Oréal Color-Expert (France), Colour Riche protective lip colour (07-08), Couleur Experte Express multi-tone hair color system (08), Couleur Experte Express multi-tone hair color system (08),L’Oréal Paris’ Sublime Bronze Pro-Perfect Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist (08), Voluminous Mascara & Eyeliner (08-09), Superior Preference fade Defying hair color (08,09),Superior Preference fade Defying hair color (09), True Match super-blendable compact makeup (09), EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System for Hair (09), Hydra-Collagen Volumizing Mascara (09), Excellence-to-Go- 10 minute haircolour (09),Ideal Skin Genesis complexion equalizer (10),True Match Roller roll on makeup (10),True Match Roller roll on makeup with Evangeline Lilly (10), and lastly L’Oreal Paris’ “Studio Secrets” Color Smokes Shadows eye color (10).
Eva Longoria states that she has found a “generous spirit”  at L’Oreal. She continues to say “L’Oreal Paris wants beauty to be free, without borders or prejudices….Working together was just meant to be.” 
Longoria was married to General Hospital star Tyler Christopher from 2002 to 2004.
Longoria met Spurs point guard Tony Parker in November 2004. In August 2005, Longoria confirmed she and Parker were dating, and on November 30, 2006, the couple became engaged. They were officially married in a civil service on Friday, July 6, 2007, at a Paris city hall. This is a requirement of French law. It was followed by a full Roman Catholic wedding ceremony at the Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois Church in Paris, France on Saturday, July 7, 2007.
Their marriage had its first ordeal when French model Alexandra Paressant claimed to have had an affair with Parker. Both Parker and Longoria vehemently denied these allegations through their spokespeople, saying “All high profile couples fall victim to these sorts of things in the course of their relationships. It appears that this is not the first time this woman has used an athlete to gain public notoriety.”[dead link] Parker initiated a $20 million lawsuit against the website that first reported the story, which later issued a full retraction and an apology, stating “X17online.com and X17, Inc. regret having been misled by Ms. Paressant and her representatives and apologize to Mr. Parker for any damage or inconvenience this may have caused him or his wife.”
On November 17, 2010, Longoria filed for divorce from Parker in Los Angeles, citing “irreconcilable differences”. In the divorce petition, Longoria, who had taken Parker’s last name, requested her maiden name be restored. She also sought spousal support from Parker. The couple had a prenuptial agreement that was signed in June 2007, the month before their wedding, and amended two years later in June 2009. The same day as the divorce filing, Longoria confirmed to her friend Mario Lopez, host of Extra, that she had discovered hundreds of text messages from another woman on her husband’s phone. Extra identified the other woman as Erin Barry, the former wife of Brent Barry, Parker’s former teammate, and revealed that the Barrys were also in the process of divorcing. Lopez further stated that Longoria believed Parker had cheated on her earlier in the marriage with another woman, with whom he had kept in touch via Facebook. Lopez said, “Eva wants everyone to know, she’s devastated by the rumors of Tony’s infidelity. She loved her husband and is heartbroken about their split…But she’s strong.” In light of the divorce, Longoria cancelled her scheduled appearance at the 2010 American Music Awards. On November 19, 2010, Parker filed for divorce from Longoria in Bexar County, Texas on the grounds of “discord or conflict of personalities”, thus establishing a legal battle over where the divorce case would be heard. Unlike Longoria’s divorce petition, Parker’s did not mention a prenuptial agreement and claimed that the parties would “enter into an agreement for the division of their estate”. The divorce was finalized in Texas on January 28, 2011, the same day Longoria’s lawyer filed papers to dismiss her Los Angeles petition.
Longoria had previously stated her intention to move to France with Parker upon the completion of Desperate Housewives.
Despite working on a farmland that had been handed down to them from past generations, the family often had very little money; Enrique and Ella struggled for many years to give their children a decent upbringing. On The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006, Longoria shared with viewers an introspective look into the hardships she faced in her formative years while growing up poor; she took cameras on location to the family farm and showed how spartan their life had been. Longoria admitted that only when she had made it in show business, did things begin to look better for her family financially. In another interview with Dateline‘s Stone Phillips, she also revealed the snubbing she had received from her siblings. “I grew up as the ugly duckling. They used to call me ‘la prieta fea,’ which means ‘the ugly dark one,'” Longoria said.
According to research done by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of Harvard University, in 2010 for the PBS series Faces of America, Longoria’s ancestry is 70% European, 27% Asian/Native American, and 3% African. Her Spanish ancestry can be traced back to her ninth great-grandfather, Lorenzo Suarez de Longoria (b. Oviedo, 1592), who emigrated to the Viceroyalty of New Spain, which became modern-day Mexico, in 1603, and whose family originated from a small village called Llongoria, Belmonte de Miranda, Asturias, Spain. Longoria is the Spanish spelling of the surname. Through the generations, Longoria’s ancestors moved north to the modern US-Mexico border. In 1767, her 7th great-grandfather received almost 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land along the Rio Grande in a land grant from the King of Spain. This land stayed in the family for over a century, enduring through the influx of Anglo settlers in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War and American Civil War. After a computer compared the DNA results of Gates’ dozen guests, test showed that she is genetically related to cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who is of Chinese heritage. She concluded to want to learn more on her Aztec heritage.
In 2006, Longoria founded Eva’s Heroes, a charity which helps developmentally disabled children. She is the national spokesperson for PADRES Contra El Cancer. She signed shoes for the Spirit of Women Red Shoe Celebrity Auction. Longoria also supports the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, OmniPeace, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Stroke Association, Project HOME and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Longoria is also an executive producer of Shine Global Inc.’s upcoming documentary The Harvest which is focused on the 500,000 child migrant farm workers in the U.S. and is currently helping them fundraise for the film. Longoria was named Philanthropist of the year by the Hollywood Reporter for ‘her commitment to Latino causes and giving back to the community. She appeared on Fort Boyard in 2009, making over €20,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In 2009, Longoria enrolled in a Master’s program in Chicano Studies and Political Science at Cal State University, Northridge. According to Eva, “because of my involvement with the NCLR and my charity work, I really wanted a better, more authentic understanding of what my community has gone through so I can help create change.”
In September 2009, Longoria was appointed to a bi-partisan commission issued with the task of determining the feasibility of the creation of a National Museum of the American Latino.
|2004||Señorita Justice||Det. Roselyn Martinez||direct-to-video|
|2004||The Dead Will Tell||Jeanie||Television film|
|2004||Carlita’s Secret||Carlita / Lexus||direct-to-video|
|2006||The Sentinel||Jill Marum|
|2007||The Heartbreak Kid||Consuela|
|2008||Over Her Dead Body||Katherine “Kate” Spencer|
|2008||Lower Learning||Rebecca Seabrook|
|2010||Days of Grace||Unknown||Post-production|
|2000||Beverly Hills, 90210||Flight Attendant #3||“I Will Be Your Father Figure” (Season 10, episode 19)|
|2000||General Hospital||Brenda Barrett Lookalike||“Episode dated 25 September 2000” (uncredited)|
|The Young and the Restless||Isabella Braña Williams||“Episode #1.7136”
|Dragnet||Det. Gloria Duran||“Daddy’s Girl” (Season 2, episode 1)
“Coyote” (Season 2, episode 2)
“17 in 6” (Season 2, episode 3)
“The Magic Bullet” (Season 2, episode 4)
“Slice of Life” (Season 2, episode 5)
“Abduction” (Season 2, episode 6)
“Frame of Mind” (Season 2, episode 7)
“Retribution” (Season 2, episode 8)
“Riddance” (Season 2, episode 9)
“Killing Fields” (Season 2, episode 10)
|Desperate Housewives||Gabrielle Solis||Main role|
|2006||George Lopez||Brooke||“George Vows to Make Some Matri-Money” (Season 5, episode 19)|
|2008||Childrens Hospital||The New Chief||“Episode #1.10” (Season 2, episode 10)|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Result||Award||Category||Film or series|
|2002||Won||ALMA Awards||Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama||The Young and the Restless|
|2006||Won||Person of the Year|
|2007||Won||Bambi Award||TV Series International||Desperate Housewives|
|2005||Nominated||DVD Exclusive Awards||Best Actress (in a DVD Premiere Movie)||Carlita’s Secret|
|2006||Nominated||Golden Globe Award||Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Desperate Housewives|
|2005||Nominated||Imagen Foundation Awards||Best Actress – Television||Desperate Housewives|
|2007||Nominated||Best Actress – Television||Desperate Housewives|
|2007||Won||People’s Choice Awards||Favorite Female TV Star||Desperate Housewives|
|2005||Won||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Desperate Housewives (Shared with cast)|
|2006||Won||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Desperate Housewives (Shared with cast)|
|2007||Nominated||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Desperate Housewives (Shared with cast)|
|2008||Nominated||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Desperate Housewives (Shared with cast)|
|2009||Nominated||Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series||Desperate Housewives (Shared with cast)|
|2005||Nominated||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actress: Comedy||Desperate Housewives|
|Won||Choice TV Breakout Performance – Female||Desperate Housewives|
|2006||Nominated||TV – Choice Actress: Comedy||Desperate Housewives|
|2007||Nominated||TV – Choice Actress: Comedy||Desperate Housewives|
|2010||Nominated||Choice Female Red Carpet Icon||Herself|
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