Her self-titled debut album was released on RCA Records on January 30, 2007 and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200; it has sold 381,000 copies to date. The album’s first single, “Over It“, was a Pop Top 30 hit and was certified gold in 2008.
Her second album, Unbroken, was released on Verve Forecast Records on January 5, 2010 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the single “Had It All“, which peaked at #22 on the Billboard AC chart. It has sold 45,000 copies to date. Her third album, the holiday-themed Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You, was released on October 12, 2010. The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart while the single “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” peaked at #16 on the Billboard AC chart. The album has sold 23,000 copies to date.
McPhee has also established an acting career, for example co-starring in The House Bunny in 2008 as the hippie sorority sister Harmony, and co-starring in the upcoming NBC series Smash.
McPhee was born March 25, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, McPhee moved with her family to Sherman Oaks at age 12. McPhee has been singing since the age of two. Her mother, Patricia Burch McPhee (stage name Peisha Arten), a vocal coach and accomplished cabaret singer, recognized her daughter’s musical talent and decided to train her. Her father, Daniel McPhee, is a television producer. McPhee has an older sister, Adriana. McPhee is of Irish, Scottish, and German descent. McPhee attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, where she performed in school plays and musicals. She graduated in 2002. She attended Boston Conservatory for three semesters, majoring in musical theater. She left college on the advice of her manager and returned to Los Angeles to try out for television pilots.
McPhee has struggled with eating disorders in the past. She told People magazine that at age 13 she began starving herself and exercising compulsively, and she became bulimic at age 17. McPhee gained weight in college due to her binging. After seven years of illness, she finally entered a three-month rehabilitation program after successfully passing her American Idol audition; her rehab stint ended just before the Idol semifinals started in February 2006. During her run on American Idol, she lost 30 lb (14 kg) due to eating better as part of her treatment. Now, as she told Teen Vogue in May 2007, “I eat whatever I crave—I’m just really careful about portions.” McPhee and her sister appeared on debut of The Dr. Keith Ablow Show on September 18, 2006, to discuss her struggles with bulimia and her childhood fear of her father. On the show, McPhee stated that she was misdiagnosed with a learning disability during her middle school years but was finally correctly diagnosed with a vision problem that caused her to have trouble reading in class. McPhee claimed she was known as the “pretty, but stupid” girl in school because she had trouble reading.
McPhee was persuaded by now-husband Nick Cokas and her parents to try out for the television series competition, American Idol. She auditioned in San Francisco and sang “God Bless the Child“, originally performed by Billie Holiday.
After the first round of Hollywood week, she sang “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” by Dionne Warwick which earned favorable comments from the judges. During the second round, she performed in a group, singing “I Can’t Help Myself” by The Four Tops, forgetting the words, but the judges decided to advance the entire group. During the third round, she sang a capella of “My Funny Valentine” and advanced to the top 40. She was mad when fellow group member Crystal Stark didn’t make the top 24. When she was told that she would be advancing, she kissed all three judges on the lips.
McPhee’s run on American Idol led to the use of the term “McPheever”. The inclusion of producer David Foster and singer Andrea Bocelli as guest mentors for Top 6 Week turned out to be a fortuitous introduction for McPhee, as she has worked on various music projects with both men post-Idol.
In May 2006, McPhee visited her alma mater Notre Dame High School for her hometown celebration. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited the school and proclaimed the day Katharine McPhee Day.
Performances and results (during voting weeks)
|Week #||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Result|
|Top 24 (12 Women)||Free Choice||“Since I Fell for You“||Lenny Welch||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||Free Choice||“All in Love is Fair”||Stevie Wonder||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Women)||Free Choice||“Think“||Aretha Franklin||Safe|
|Top 12||Stevie Wonder||“Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)“||Stevie Wonder||Safe|
|Top 11||The 1950s||“Come Rain or Come Shine“||Sy Oliver (with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)||Safe|
|Top 10||Songs from The 21st Century||“The Voice Within“||Christina Aguilera||Bottom 2|
|Top 9||Country||“Bringing Out the Elvis”||Faith Hill||Safe|
|Top 8||Songs by Queen||“Who Wants to Live Forever“||Queen||Safe|
|Top 7||The Great American Songbook||“Someone to Watch Over Me“||Gertrude Lawrence||Safe|
|Top 6||Great Love Songs||“I Have Nothing“||Whitney Houston||Top 2|
|Top 5||One Song From the Year They Were Born (1984)
One Song on the Billboard Charts at the time
|“Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)”
“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree“
|Top 4||Elvis Presley||“Hound Dog“/”All Shook Up”
“Can’t Help Falling in Love“
|Big Mama Thornton / Elvis Presley||Bottom 2|
|Top 3||Clive Davis‘s choice
Judge’s Choice (Simon Cowell)
|“I Believe I Can Fly”
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
“I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But the Blues“
|“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree”
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
2006: Post Idol
On June 6, 2006, Sony BMG and 19 Entertainment announced that McPhee had signed to American Idol series creator Simon Fuller‘s 19 Recordings Limited and Sony BMG’s RCA Records.
McPhee performed at the J.C. Penney Jam: Concert for America’s Kids in June 2006, soloing with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and performing a duet with Andrea Bocelli on “Somos Novios”. The concert was telecast on CBS August 22, 2006 and J.C. Penney sold an exclusive CD/DVD of the concert.
McPhee’s Idol single, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny” was released on June 27, 2006 by RCA Records. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “My Destiny” peaked at #60. 32 weeks after its release, Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny had climbed to #4 on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales charts. It was the second highest best-selling single of 2006 after Taylor Hicks‘ “Do I Make You Proud“. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/My Destiny” remained on the chart for more than 58 weeks.
In July, McPhee missed the first three weeks of the American Idol Tour due to laryngitis and bronchitis. She joined the tour beginning with the July 28 show in Washington, D.C., singing only two songs “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” instead of the usual 4 on doctor’s orders to conserve her voice. At the August 1 concert in Charlotte, North Carolina, McPhee suffered a hairline fracture of her foot when she tripped backstage and was fitted with a walking boot cast. Once she recovered from the foot injury, she added “Think” to her concert set.
McPhee recorded a duet with Andrea Bocelli on “Can’t Help Falling In Love” for his Under the Desert Sky album, which was released as a CD/DVD package on November 7, 2006.
2007–2008: Katharine McPhee
McPhee’s self-titled debut album, Katharine McPhee was released on January 30, 2007 and sold 116,000 copies its first week, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart.
The first single from the album was “Over It“, which was officially released on the same day as the album and peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single, “Love Story“, was released on May 22, 2007, but failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100.
During the 2007 Christmas holiday season, McPhee released a Christmas single “O Come All Ye Faithful“.
On January 11, 2008, it was reported by Billboard.com that McPhee had been released from her contract with RCA Records, through speculation that the label was dissatisfied with lack of overall sales of her debut album. A spokesperson for the label stated, “She is going to record her next album on her own.”
McPhee appeared on Idol judge Randy Jackson’s album Randy Jackson’s Music Club, Vol. 1, which was released on March 11, 2008. McPhee recorded a duet of “Real Love” with fellow American Idol 5 contestant Elliott Yamin. “Real Love” was released as a second single due to the high popularity of the song on Itunes.
On March 12, 2008, McPhee returned to the American Idol stage during the Top 12 results night of the seventh season of the competition. She performed the Beatles song “Something“, with producer David Foster, on piano. After the performance, Foster indicated that he and McPhee were collaborating on her second studio album (though it ended up that he was not part of the finished product).
McPhee took part in the David Foster tribute concert Hit Man: David Foster & Friends, which was filmed by PBS, in May 2008. She soloed on “Somewhere” and performed a duet of “The Prayer” with Andrea Bocelli. A CD/DVD of the concert was released in November 2008. The show was shown several times on PBS starting in December 2008 under their “Great Performances” title.
David Foster recorded a new song entitled, “I Will Be There With You” for Japan Airlines (JAL), with McPhee on vocals. Starting about June 2008, it was used to promote the introduction of new aircraft to JAL’s US flights.
On July 16, 2008, McPhee released a cover of the song “I Know What Boys Like“, featuring the other cast members of the movie The House Bunny.
McPhee recorded a cover of the song “Connected” for the Mattel movie Barbie and the Diamond Castle. McPhee’s version of the song was produced by Room For Two and a music video was also recorded to be featured on the movie’s DVD. The video and song are available on the movie’s website. The soundtrack CD and movie DVD and Blu-ray were released for sale in September 2008.
McPhee took part in the concert Chris Botti: Live In Boston, which was filmed by PBS, in September 2008. She sang “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” accompanied by Chris Botti on trumpet. The concert was shown several times on PBS starting in January 2009. The CD/DVD and Blu-ray were released March 31, 2009.
McPhee recorded the song “Let Your Heart Sing” for the soundtrack CD of the Disney movie Tinker Bell. The movie DVD and the soundtrack CD were released in October 2008.
It was announced on January 27, 2009 that McPhee signed a new record deal with Verve Forecast Records (part of the Verve Music Group under Universal Music Group). “The album she is working on will show many new sides to her talents as an interpreter and a songwriter, and show everyone just how special she is,” Verve Music Group president/CEO Bruce Resnikoff says.
For her second effort, titled Unbroken, McPhee worked with producer John Alagia. The BMI song repertoire indicates that she worked with a large range of writers including Richard Marx, Troy Verges, Alex James, and Barry Dean.
The first single from the album, “Had It All” was released to McPhee’s myspace page and made available for purchase on iTunes on August 25, 2009. The single was released to AC and Hot AC radio on September 21. The official music video for the song premiered on Vevo on October 13, 2009. The song is also a track on the Now That’s What I Call Music, Vol 32 compilation CD that was released November 3, 2009.
A Christmas single “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was released November 17, 2009 for purchase on iTunes and to AC radio.
Unbroken was released January 5, 2010 and debuted at #27 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 15,000 copies its first week.
McPhee took part in the United Negro College Fund‘s “An Evening of Stars” concert that was a tribute to singer/songwriter Lionel Richie. McPhee sang You Are. The concert was filmed September 12, 2009 and broadcast nationwide in syndication and on BET the weekend of January 23–24, 2010. A 2-disc DVD of the concert is available through a donation to the United Negro College Fund.
On February 1, 2010, McPhee joined over 75 other musicians for a remake of “We Are the World“, retitled “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“, which marked the 25th anniversary of the iconic song and for which proceeds will go to Haitian earthquake relief. McPhee was part of the group chorus.
During the week of February 8, 2010, in the pre-taped Hollywood Week portion of Season 9 of American Idol, contestant Didi Benami was shown singing “Terrified”, a song on the Unbroken album and written by Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. As a result of the exposure on Idol, digital downloads of the song (the album version featuring Jason Reeves) rose nearly 10,000% from the week before, selling about 20,000 copies for the week, for a total of 22,000 sold at that point.
On May 4, 2010, a new version of the Unbroken song “Terrified” featuring actor Zachary Levi (the original album version featured singer Jason Reeves) premiered on Entertainment Weekly‘s website and was made available for purchase on iTunes. The accompanying music video premiered on May 7, 2010 on the music video website Vevo.
On May 5, 2010, a Billboard list of the most successful American Idol contestants, based on album and single sales and radio play, ranked McPhee at number 16, ahead of fellow runners-up Bo Bice, Blake Lewis, Diana DeGarmo, and Justin Guarini, as well as season 5 champion Taylor Hicks, but behind fellow season 5 contestants Elliott Yamin, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Daughtry.
A music video for the song “Say Goodbye” from Unbroken was released on Vevo on October 4, 2010.
2010–2011: Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You
McPhee released a Christmas album titled Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You on October 12, 2010. The album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and sold 1,000 copies in its first week.
Country singer Chelsea Field‘s song “Love’s Never Leavin'”, a song that McPhee cowrote with singer-songwriter Richard Marx and producer Trey Bruce, was made available for purchase on iTunes on November 9, 2010, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Tammany Humane Society in Covington, LA.
One of the Christmas album’s songs “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was released to radio in November 2010 and peaked at #16 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.
A music video for the song “It’s Not Christmas Without You” from McPhee’s Christmas album was premiered on Vevo on December 10, 2010.
2011–present: New deal with Columbia Records
On June 9, 2011, it was announced that McPhee had signed a new record deal with Columbia Records (part of the Columbia/Epic Label Group under Sony Music Entertainment), in conjunction with Columbia teaming with NBC to distribute the music for NBC’s TV series Smash.
Through 2008: Small roles, guest roles, and The House Bunny
McPhee was cast (during the time she had dropped out of college and was auditioning in Los Angeles) in a mall-based MTV soap opera pilot, You Are Here, playing the older sister of a more popular younger sister. MTV never aired the pilot and did not pick up the series.
McPhee had a small role as Paramount Girl in the 2007 musical film Crazy, based on the life of Hank Garland. McPhee filmed the role in early 2005, before she auditioned for American Idol.
In early 2007, McPhee guest-starred in the web series, lonelygirl15 as an unnamed character in the episode “Truth Or Dare”.
McPhee made a cameo appearance as herself on the ABC show Ugly Betty in the episode “I’m Coming Out“. The episode was broadcast Feb 1, 2007.
McPhee made her studio acting debut in the comedy The House Bunny (working title I Know What Boys Like), co-starring as one of the few members of a misfit sorority. The movie starred Anna Faris as a Playboy Bunny who took the girls under her wing. It was directed by Fred Wolf for Columbia Pictures and produced by Adam Sandler‘s Happy Madison Productions. The film was released in August 2008 and also co-starred Emma Stone and Rumer Willis.
2009–2010: Guest roles and The Pink House TV pilot
McPhee guest starred on the CBS show CSI: NY in the episode “Prey” as a singer and stalker victim who murdered her stalker. The episode was broadcast April 8, 2009.
McPhee joined forces with fellow actresses Alyson Hannigan, Jaime King, Minka Kelly and Emily Deschanel in a video slumber party made available in October 2009 and featured on FunnyorDie.com and other Internet platforms in a comedic take to promote regular breast cancer screenings for the organization Stand Up To Cancer.
McPhee guest starred on the NBC comedy Community in the episode “Basic Genealogy” as Chevy Chase‘s character’s ex-stepdaughter and potential love interest for Joel McHale‘s character. The episode was broadcast March 11, 2010.
McPhee made a TV pilot for a new comedy series for NBC called The Pink House. McPhee played Emily, a down-to-earth Midwestern girl new to Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles. The pilot was shot as a possible pickup for the Fall 2010 season and was produced by Conan O’Brien‘s production company, with O’Brien as executive producer. Shooting took place April 9, 2010. The pilot was not picked up by NBC.
In May 2010 McPhee was featured on MTV’s new show When I Was 17 (the episode premiered on May 22 and was repeated throughout the week). The show is a documentary about how life has changed since people were seventeen. Jonas Brother Kevin Jonas and Poison vocalist Bret Michaels were also featured on the episode.
2011–present: Smash TV series and movie roles
On July 31, 2010, McPhee tweeted to her fans that she had been in upstate New York working on the feature film Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding which stars Jane Fonda. At this time, there are no details on what role she’s playing (though it’s likely a small one since she’s not currently listed on the cast list on IMDB). McPhee appears to have completed filming her part after about a week according to a follow-up tweet, though filming continued through the end of August. The movie is set to come out in 2011.
McPhee will co-star in director David Ellis’ shark thriller indie film Shark Night 3D, which filmed in Shreveport, Louisiana for about eight weeks from early September to the end of October 2010. The movie is about a group of college friends who spend a weekend at a lake house, only to find dangerous sharks lurking beneath the surface. The film stars Sara Paxton. The budget is $28 million, and it is scheduled to be released September 2, 2011.
In 2009, McPhee was cast in a lead role in the independent romantic-comedy You May Not Kiss the Bride. The budget was set at $6 million. The movie filmed for 5 weeks in March and April 2009 in Oahu, Hawaii. McPhee played the role of Masha, alongside Dave Annable. The film debuted at the 14th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival that was held April 6–10 2011 The film is set to debut September 2, 2011 in one theater in Hawaii in a very limited initial US release and then open overseas in Russia, Romania, Hungary, Canada, and Latin America.
On April 28 2011, McPhee tweeted that she had just recorded a voiceover for an episode of the Fox animated series Family Guy, playing the voice of Mother Maggie. No word yet on when the episode airs.
It was announced on February 13, 2011 that McPhee had landed a co-starring role in the NBC TV pilot Smash, also starring Debra Messing, Megan Hilty, Anjelica Houston, Christian Borle, and Brian d’Arcy James. On May 11, 2011, it was reported that NBC had picked up Smash as a series. The series, set as a musical drama, follows a group of characters who come together to put on a Broadway musical inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Steven Spielberg will be an executive producer. The idea was originally developed at Showtime by NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt. NBC will debut the series mid-season of the 2011–12 television season.
|2007||Crazy||Paramount Girl||Movie; cameo|
|2008||The House Bunny||Harmony||Movie; supporting role|
|2011||Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding||TBA||Movie; cameo; post-production|
|Shark Night 3D||Beth||Movie; co-star; post-production|
|You May Not Kiss the Bride||Masha||Movie; co-star; Limited release Sep 2|
|2007||lonelygirl15||Random Girl||Web series; guest role; episode: “Truth or Dare”|
|Ugly Betty||Herself||Television series; guest role; episode: “I’m Coming Out“|
|2009||CSI: NY||Odessa Shaw / Dana Melton||Television series; guest role; episode: “Prey“|
|2010||Community||Amber||Television series; guest role; episode: “Basic Genealogy“|
|2012||Smash||Karen Cartwright||Television series; lead role; In production|
|TBA||Family Guy||Mother Maggie||Television series; voice-only; post-production|
In March 2005, McPhee starred as Annie Oakley in a Los Angeles-based production of the musical Annie Get Your Gun. McPhee was nominated for an L.A. Stage Ovation Award in the category of “Lead Actress in a Musical”.
On February 22, 2010, McPhee appeared in the production of 110 Stories, directed by Mark Freiburger at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. She co-starred alongside Ed Asner, Diane Venora, Gail O’Grady, John Hawkes, Malcolm-Jamal Warner and many others. The play was a benefit to help the victims of the recent Haiti earthquake. Proceeds went to the Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles.
Major product endorsements
McPhee signed a two-year endorsement deal in 2006 with Sexy Hair Concepts to become their first celebrity spokesperson for their hair-care product line.
In 2008, McPhee signed a two-year endorsement deal with Neutrogena to become the new spokesperson for their anti-acne skin-care product line. In March 2008, she filmed her first commercial, which began airing on television in May 2008 and on Neutrogena’s skinid.com website.
In mid-2007, McPhee was named one of the year’s 100 Most Beautiful People by People; she was photographed without wearing make-up. She was also voted #2 on FHM‘s 100 Sexiest Women in The World of 2007 and #47 on Maxim‘s Hot 100 Women of 2007. At the end of 2007, AOL readers placed her as the Number 1 Sexiest American Idol contestant ever. In 2008 she was voted #38 on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in The World and #43 on AskMen.com’s Top 99. In 2009 she was voted number #64 on AskMen.com’s Top 99.
In 2006, McPhee founded a charity called McPhee Outreach. The purpose of the charity is to team up with other foundations or organizations and help in any way possible.
The foundation teamed up with The Lollipop Theater Network to provide music outreach (called “Rhythm of Hope”) to sick children in Southern California hospitals.
McPhee Outreach teamed up with Global Compassion Services to build a preschool in the poor West African nation of Burkina Faso to help combat that nation’s high illiteracy rate.
McPhee is currently a member of the Entertainment Council of the US hunger-relief charity Feeding America (formerly known as America’s Second Harvest). Members, who are from various areas of the entertainment world, actively mobilize the public in support of Feeding America via media relations opportunities.
McPhee appeared on the Jan 19, 2010 episode of the NBC reality show The Biggest Loser (its ninth season) in the show’s Pound for Pound Challenge segment (an initiative to challenge viewers to get healthy while helping to fight hunger in their own communities). McPhee was shown volunteering at a Los Angeles food bank and meeting with children at a Boys and Girls Club and talking about the importance of helping to fight hunger in America. She was also shown singing part of her song Lifetime from her album Unbroken.
In the summer of 2010, McPhee partnered with Feeding America and ConAgra Foods Foundation to help launch the Hunger-Free Summer Initiative, which aimed to help children at risk of hunger during the summer months. Throughout the month of July, McPhee traveled around the country to various Feeding America food banks to raise awareness.
On December 15, 2010, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital released a video on their website for their Thanks and Giving Campaign that featured McPhee interacting with sick children at the hospital with her song “Lifetime” playing over the soundtrack.
- Fox Reality Awards 2006, Favorite Hottie
- VH1 2006 Big Awards, Big It Girl
- Young Hollywood Awards 2007, Exciting New Vocalist
- Ovation Awards 2005, “Lead Actress in a Musical”, for Annie Get Your Gun stage production
- Teen Choice Award 2006 and 2007, Choice Breakout Female Artist
To see more of Who Is click here
Who is Francine Joy Drescher? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Fran Drescher. Drescher is an American film and television actress, comedian, screenwriter, director, producer, author, singer, talk show host, political lobbyist and health activist.
Drescher made her screen debut with a small role in the 1977 blockbuster filmSaturday Night Fever prior to appearing in films such as the biopic American Hot Wax (1978), and Wes Craven‘s horror film Summer of Fear (1978). In the 1980s, she gained recognition as a comedic actress in the films The Hollywood Knights (1980), Doctor Detroit (1983), This Is Spinal Tap (1984), and UHF (1989) while establishing a television career with guest appearances on several series. In 1991, Drescher garnered her first leading role in the short-living CBS sitcom Princesses and, in 1993, achieved wider fame as Fran Fine in her own sitcom vehicle The Nanny, for which she was nominated for two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Comedy Television Series during the show’s run. She received further recognition for her performances in Jack (1996) and The Beautician and the Beast (1997) and reinforced her reputation as a leading sitcom star with Living With Fran (2005–2006) and Happily Divorced (2011).
A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher is an outspoken healthcare advocate and LGBT rights activist, and is noted for her work as a Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues for the U.S. State Department. Divorced from writer and producer Peter Marc Jacobson, she currently lives in Malibu, California.
Drescher was born September 30, 1957 in Flushing, Queens, New York, the daughter of Sylvia, a bridal consultant, and Morty Drescher, a naval systems analyst. Her Ashkenazi Jewish family is of South-East Central European origin (her great-grandmother was born in Focşani, Romania). She has an older sister, Nadine.
Drescher was a first runner-up for “Miss New York Teenager” in 1973, as revealed in her first autobiography “Enter Whining” released December 29, 1995, and on her interview on William Shatner‘s Raw Nerve, which first aired on January 27, 2009. She attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens, where she met her future husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, whom she married in 1978, at age 21. They divorced in 1999. Jacobson was Drescher’s constant supporter in her show-business career, and he wrote, directed and produced her signature television series, The Nanny.
Her first break was a small role as the dancer Connie in the blockbuster movie Saturday Night Fever (1977) in which she delivered the line “Are you as good in bed as you are on the dance floor?” to John Travolta. A year later, she began to gain more attention in films such as American Hot Wax (1978), and Wes Craven’s Summer of Fear (1978). She also took on a rare dramatic role in the Milos Forman 1981 film, Ragtime.
During the 1980s, Drescher found moderate success as a character actress with memorable roles in films such as The Hollywood Knights, Doctor Detroit, The Big Picture, UHF, Cadillac Man, and This is Spinal Tap.
The Nanny and later film roles
Drescher and Jacobson created their own television show, The Nanny in 1993. The show aired on CBS from 1993 and ended in 1999, and Drescher became an instant star. In this sitcom, she played a charming and bubbly woman named Fran Fine who casually became the nanny of Margaret (“Maggie”), Brighton, and Grace (“Gracie”) Sheffield; with her wit and her charm, she endeared herself to their widower father: stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman, and Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield (played by British actor Charles Shaughnessy).
Drescher appeared in Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast (1997) (for which she was also executive producer) and Picking Up the Pieces (2000) co-starring Woody Allen. She also was the voice of “Pearl” in Shark Bait (2006).
Return to television
In recent years, Drescher has made a return to television both with leading and guest roles. In 2005, she returned to TV with the sitcom Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two, living with Riley Martin (Ryan McPartlin), a man half her age and not much older than her son. Former Nanny costar Charles Shaughnessy appeared as her philandering ex-husband, Ted. Living with Fran was cancelled May 17, 2006, after two seasons.
In 2003, Drescher appeared in episodes of the short lived sitcom, Good Morning, Miami as Roberta Diaz. In 2006, Drescher guest starred in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent; the episode, “The War at Home”, aired on US television on November 14, 2006. She also appeared in an episode of the series Entourage and in the same year, gave her voice to the role of a female golem in The Simpsons episode “Treehouse of Horror XVII“. In 2007, Drescher appeared in the US version of the Australian improvisational comedy series Thank God You’re Here.
In 2008, Drescher announced, that she was developing a new sitcom entitled The New Thirty, also starring Rosie O’Donnell. A series about two old high school friends coping with midlife crises, Drescher described the premature plot of the show as “kind of Sex and the City but we ain’t getting any! It’ll probably be more like The Odd Couple.” The sitcom failed to materialize however. In 2010, Drescher returned to television with her own daytime talk show, The Fran Drescher Tawk Show. While the program debuted to strong ratings, it ended its three-week test run to moderate success, resulting into its shelving. The following year, the sitcom Happily Divorced, created by Drescher and her ex-husband Peter Marc Jacobson, was picked up by TV Land for a ten-episode order. It is scheduled to premiere there June 15, 2011.
After separating in 1996, Drescher and Jacobson divorced in 1999. They did not have any children. Drescher stated, “I would have been able to conceive but not hold on”. Drescher and Jacobson remained friends, and she has worked to support homosexual rights issues after her ex-husband came out. Drescher has stated that the primary reason for the divorce was her need to change directions in life.
1985 robbery and rape
In January 1985, two armed robbers broke into Drescher and Jacobson’s Los Angeles apartment. While one ransacked their home, the other raped Drescher and a girlfriend at gunpoint. Jacobson was also physically attacked, tied up, and forced to witness the entire ordeal. It took Drescher many years to recover, and it took her even longer to admit this to the press. She was paraphrased as saying in an interview with Larry King that although it was a traumatic experience, she found ways to turn it into something positive. In her book Cancer Schmancer, the actress writes: “My whole life has been about changing negatives into positives.” She saw her rapist, who was on parole at the time of the crime, returned to prison, sentenced to two life sentences.
After two years of symptoms and misdiagnosis by eight doctors, Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles‘s Cedars Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000, after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. She had to undergo an immediate radical hysterectomy to treat the disease. Drescher was given a clean bill of health and no post-operative treatment has been ordered.
She wrote about her experiences in her second book, Cancer Schmancer. Her purpose for this book was to raise consciousness for men and women “to become more aware of the early warning signs of cancer, and to empower themselves.” Drescher says, “I was going to learn what I needed to learn, ask questions, become partners with my doctor instead of having some kind of parent/child relationship.”
Cancer Schmancer Movement
On June 21, 2007, the seventh anniversary of her operation, Drescher announced the national launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women’s cancers be diagnosed while in Stage 1, the most curable stage. She celebrated her tenth year of wellness on June 21, 2010.
Her goal is to live in a time when women’s mortality rates drop as their health care improves and early cancer detection increases. More information can be found on her website at cancerschmancer.org.
Her efforts as an outspoken healthcare advocate in Washington DC helped get unanimous passage for H.R. 1245 (also known as Johanna’s Law) and she is acknowledged in the Congressional Record.
In September 2008, Drescher, a Democrat, was appointed as a U.S. diplomat by the U.S. State Department. Her official title is Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues. In traveling throughout the world, she will support U.S. public diplomacy efforts, including working with health organizations and women’s groups to raise awareness of women’s health issues, cancer awareness and detection, and patient empowerment and advocacy. Her first trip was in late September and included stops in Romania, Hungary, Kosovo and Poland.
In 2008, Drescher supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. She attended a Super Democrat rally for Clinton. Drescher said that she had been considering a run for the United States Senate in 2008 to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, but ultimately decided against it.
On September 28, 2009, she released a single entitled “Eye For An Eye”.
Drescher has been the recipient of the John Wayne Institute’s Woman of Achievement Award, the Gilda Award, the City of Hope Woman of the Year Award, the Hebrew University Humanitarian Award, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Spirit of Achievement Award.
Most recently she was honored with the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award, which was presented to her by Senator Hillary Clinton.
On April 10, 2010, she was guest of honor at the “Dancer against Cancer” charity ball held at the Imperial Palace, Vienna, Austria, where she received the first “My Aid Award” for her achievements in support of cancer prevention and rehabilitation.
|1977||Saturday Night Fever||Connie|
|1978||American Hot Wax||Sheryl|
|Stranger in Our House||Carolyn Baker|
|1980||The Hollywood Knights||Sally|
|1983||Doctor Detroit||Karen Blittstein|
|1984||This is Spinal Tap||Bobbi Flekman|
|The Rosebud Beach Hotel||Linda|
|1988||Rock ‘n’ Roll Mom||Jody Levin|
|Love and Betrayal||Germaine|
|Cadillac Man||Joy Munchack|
|1992||We’re Talking Serious Money||Valerie|
|1993||Without Warning: Terror in the Towers||Rosemarie Russo|
|1994||Car 54, Where Are You?||Velma Valour|
|1996||Jack||Dolores “D.D.” Durante|
|1997||The Beautician and the Beast||Joy Miller||Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress|
|2000||Picking Up the Pieces||Sister Frida|
|2003||Beautiful Girl||Amanda Wasserman|
|2005||Santa’s Slay||Virginia Mason|
|2007||The Reef||Aunt Pearl|
|2011||Mindwash. The Jake Sessions||Madame LaRue||voice|
|1982||Fame||Rhonda||1 episode, ″Metamorphosis″|
|1983||9 to 5||Tapioca||1 episode, “The Oldest Profession”|
|1985||Silver Spoons||Annie||1 episode, “Marry Me, Marry Me: Part 2|
|227||Mrs. Baker||1 episode, “The Refrigerator”|
|1985–1986||Who’s the Boss||Joyce Columbus/Carol Patrice||2 episodes, “Charmed Lives” and “The Heiress”|
|1986||Night Court||Miriam Brody||1 episode, “Author, Author”|
|Charmed Lives||Joyce Columbus||4 episodes|
|1990||ALF||Roxanne||1 episode, “Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”|
|WIOU||Jo Finc||1 episode, “Pilot”|
|1991||Princesses||Melissa Kirshner||8 episodes|
|Dream On||Kathleen||1 episode, “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told”|
|1993–1999||The Nanny||Fran Fine/Fran Sheffield||145 episodes, also Writer, Producer and Director
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1996,1997)
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1996,1997)
American Comedy Awards for Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (1996)
Satellite Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1997)
TV Guide Awards for Favorite Actress in a Comedy (1999)
TV Land Awards Favorite Nanny (2008)
|2003||Good Morning, Miami||Roberta Diaz||3 episodes|
|2004||Strong Medicine||Irene Slater||1 episode, “Cinderella in Scrubs”
Director “Like Cures Like”
|The Nanny Reunion: A Nosh to Remember||herself||Hosted by herself and her mother Sylvia Drescher, also Producer|
|2005||What I Like About You||Fran Reeves||as her Living with Fran character, Fran Reeves, 1 episode, Girls Gone Wild|
|2005–2007||Living with Fran||Fran Reeves||26 episodes, also Producer|
|2006||The Simpsons||The Female Golem||1 episode, Treehouse of Horror XVII|
|Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Elaine Dockerty||1 episode, The War At Home|
|2007||Thank God You’re Here||Herself|
|2008||Live from Lincoln Center||Morgan Le Fay||1 episode, “Camelot”|
|Entourage||Mrs. Levine||1 episode, “The All Out Fall Out”|
|2010||Glenn Martin, DDS||Arlene Stein||1 episode, voice|
|The Fran Drescher Show||Host||Talk-Show, also Producer|
|2011||Happily Divorced||Fran||also Writer and Producer|
|2002-2004||The Exonerated||Theatres at 45 Bleecker/Bleecker Steet Theatre|
|2006||Some Girl(s)||Lucille Lortel Theatre|
|2009||Love, Loss, and What I Wore||Westside Theatre|
To see more of Who Is click here
Who is Adrienne-Joi Johnson? The entertainment and acting world knows her as A.J. Johnson. Johnson is an American actress, choreographer and fitness coach. Acting since 1988, Johnson has made many guest appearances on sitcoms, television dramas and music videos; she also has numerous supporting roles in films, including House Party and Baby Boy.
Johnson was born September 3, 1963, she graduated with honors in 1985 from Spelman College, the all-female college in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a past Miss Maroon & White and the first Miss Collegiate Black America. Originally from New Jersey, the former high school homecoming queen is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was initiated into the organization while attending Spelman College during her undergraduate years.
She has appeared in A Different World, In the Heat of the Night, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Amen, the short-lived Sirens, Chicago Hope, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Touched By An Angel. She has also appeared in TV movies such as A Mother’s Courage: the Mary Thomas Story (1989), Clippers (1991), Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story (1992), Love, Lies & Lullabies (1993), and The Beast (1996).
Johnson has appeared in theatrical releases and independent films such as School Daze (1988), House Party (1990), Double Trouble (1992), Sister Act (1992), The Inkwell (1994), High Freakquency (1998), Two Shades of Blue (2000), Tara (2001), Baby Boy (2001), and Skin Deep (2003).
In addition to being an actress and dancer, Johnson is also a wellness coach to celebrities and was the host of the VH1 reality fitness competition From Flab to Fab and has made numerous fitness/healthy living television and magazine appearances. Johnson has been the spokesperson for American Cancer Society (having lost her mother to cancer at age 17), weight loss products and has made appearances for Procter & Gamble, GSK Pharmeceuticals and Wal Mart.
- School Daze (1988)
- A Mother’s Courage: The Mary Thomas Story (1989)
- House Party (1990)
- Clippers (1991)
- Dying Young (1991)
- Murder Without Movie: The Edmund Perry Story (1992)
- Double Trouble (1992)
- Sister Act (1992)
- Love, Lies & Lullabies (1993)
- The Inkwell (1994)
- The Beast (1996)
- High Freakquency (1998)
- Master P’s I Got the Hook-up! Comedy Jam (1998)
- I Got The Hook-up (1999)
- Foolish (1999)
- Two Shades of Blue (1999)
- Baby Boy (2001)
- Touched by an Angel (2001)
- O (2001)
- Tara (2001)
- Black Listed (2003)
- Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles (2004)
- Hittin’ It (2004)
- Knocked the “F” Out (2005)
- Repos (2006)
- Master P’s Hood Stars of Comedy, Vol.1 (2006)
- Bagging With Ralphie May (2007)
- A Different World (1988)
- In the Heat of the Night (1989)
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990)
- CBS Summer Playhouse (1989)
- Amen (1991)
- Sirens (cast member from 1993–1995)
- NYPD Blue (1994)
- Chicago Hope (1996)
- The Jamie Foxx Show (1997) (1 episode)
- Touched by an Angel (1997)
- JAG (1998)
- Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family (2000) (2 episodes)
- Flab to Flab (2004) (Host)
Awards and nominations
|1990||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture||A Mother’s Courage: The Mary Thomas Story||Won|
|1991||Independent Spirit Awards||Best Supporting Female in a comedy-drama film||House Party||Nominated|
|2002||Black Reel Awards||Theatrical- Best Supporting actress in a Motion Picture||Baby Boy||Nominated|
To see more of Who Is click here
|lee haney & ronnie coleman|
Who is Lee Haney? The bodybuilding world know Lee Haney as a former American IFBB professional bodybuilder most famous for being the current joint record holder, along with Ronnie Coleman, for winning the most Mr. Olympia titles (eight times from 1984 to 1991).
Haney was born November 11, 1959 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A devoted born again Christian, Haney has his own program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network called “TotaLee Fit with Lee Haney,” where is usually joined by famous Christian sportsmen and on occasion his wife. On the show he teaches the importance of both physical and spiritual growth and one of his more famous quotes is that we should “train to stimulate not annihilate.”
He and his wife reside in Fayette County, GA. Their two children are now in college.
President Bill Clinton appointed Lee Haney Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
In October 2005, Ronnie Coleman tied Haney’s Mr Olympia record becoming only the second person to win eight Mr. Olympia titles back to back since its inception after Haney had held the record for an astonishing fourteen years.
His reign ushered in an era where back development (both Latissimus dorsi and Trapezius) has been seen as the ultimate goal in bodybuilding.
Lee Haney is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, where he earned a degree in Child Psychology. He was also a member of the football team while in college.
- Height: 5′ 11″ / 180 cm.
- Off Season Weight: 260 lbs / 118 kg.
- Competition Weight: 245 lbs / 111 kg.
- 1979 Teen Mr. America
- 1979 Teen Mr. America Tall, 1st
- 1982 Junior Nationals Heavyweight & Overall, 1st
- 1982 Nationals Heavyweight & Overall, 1st
- 1982 World Amateur Championships Heavyweight, 1st
- 1983 Grand Prix England, 2nd
- 1983 Grand Prix Las Vegas, 1st
- 1983 Grand Prix Sweden, 2nd
- 1983 Grand Prix Switzerland, 3rd
- 1983 Night of Champions, 1st
- 1983 Mr. Olympia, 3rd
- 1983 World Pro Championships, 3rd
- 1984 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1985 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1986 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1987 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1987 Grand Prix Germany (II), 1st
- 1988 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1989 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1990 Mr. Olympia, 1st
- 1991 Mr. Olympia, 1st
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Who is Cynthia Ann Crawford? Cindy Crawford is an American model. Known for her trademark mole just above her lip, Crawford has adorned hundreds of magazine covers throughout her career. She was named #3 on VH1‘s 40 Hottest Hotties of the 90s. Her success at modeling made her a celebrity that has led to roles in television and film, and to work as a spokesperson.
Crawford was born February 20, 1966 in DeKalb, Illinois, the daughter of Jennifer Sue Crawford-Moluf (née Walker) and John Crawford (not to be confused with actor and former Mouseketeer Johnny Crawford, of The Rifleman fame). She was discovered at the age of 16 by a newspaper photographer. He noticed Cindy at work during her summer job of detasseling corn and took a picture of her. The photo and positive feedback she received were enough to convince her to take up modeling. She entered the Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year contest at 17 and was the runner-up. The Elite modeling agency in Chicago then started representing her.
Crawford graduated from DeKalb High School in 1984, as valedictorian. She won an academic scholarship to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University, which she attended for only one quarter. She dropped out in order to pursue a full-time modeling career. After working for photographer Victor Skrebneski in Chicago, Cindy moved to Manhattan in 1986; she was signed with the Elite New York modeling agency.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Cindy Crawford was among the most popular supermodels, and a ubiquitous presence on magazine covers, runways, and in fashion campaigns. She was repeatedly and frequently featured on the cover of many magazines, including: Vogue, W, People, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Allure. A partial count in 1998 totalled over 400 appearances. Crawford also appeared in many fashion campaigns during her career, including those for Gianni Versace, Escada, Revlon, Ink. She has also worked for Omega, Maybelline, and Clairol.
In 1987, Crawford appeared during the opening credits of the Michael J. Fox film The Secret of My Success. Three years later she appeared in the video for George Michael‘s “Freedom ’90” alongside other models Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Naomi Campbell. Subsequently, Crawford played the lost love of Jon Bon Jovi in the video for his 1994 version of “Please Come Home For Christmas“.
The red Versace dress which she wore to the 63rd Academy Awards in 1991 had a major influence on fashion, and many copies and fakes of the dress were produced. In 1992, Crawford—through GoodTimes Home Video and her company Craw Daddy Productions—made an exercise video with Radu Teodorescu named Cindy Crawford: Shape Your Body; although criticised by some for being unsafe, it was hugely successful and led to two equally lucrative followups, Cindy Crawford: The Next Challenge in 1993 (again with Radu) and Cindy Crawford: A New Dimension in 2000 (the latter, made with fitness expert Kathy Kaehler and produced not long after Cindy gave birth to her first child, was aimed at new mothers getting back into shape). In 2001, Cindy also made a shorter fitness video aimed at children, Mini-Muscles with Cindy Crawford and the Fit-wits, an animated production featuring the voices of Cindy (who also appears at the beginning in live action), Radu and Kobe Bryant.
The inaugural issue of George, a short lived political magazine in the 1990s, featured Crawford dressed like George Washington on the cover. In 2005, The American Society of Magazine Editors listed it as the 22nd best magazine cover of the last 40 years.
Crawford is 5 feet 9 inches tall, with brown hair and eyes. Her measurements are 34″-26″-35″. Crawford’s trademark is a mole (or “beauty mark“) above her upper lip. She is so closely associated with this physical feature that she appeared in an advertising campaign for chocolates featuring commercials wherein she “licked off” her own mole. During the beginning of her career, the mole was removed from her earlier modeling pictures, including her first Vogue cover. Her resemblance early in her career to model Gia Carangi led her to being known as “Baby Gia”.
Crawford has also been on TV and in films. From 1989 to 1995, Crawford was host of MTV‘s House of Style. In the early 1990s, Crawford starred in the Pepsi and Pepsi Stuff advertising. In 1995, Crawford broke into movies as the female lead in the movie Fair Game. Her performance was panned by critics— Leonard Maltin commented “In her acting debut, supermodel Crawford makes a good jogger.” The film was also a financial failure, with expenses of $50 million and $11 million takings at the box office. In 2001, she costarred as part of an ensemble cast in The Simian Line. Again the film was not successful or critically acclaimed, but Crawford’s acting was not criticized. She has had many lesser roles guest starring on TV and as supporting roles, often playing herself. For example, in 2000, she was one of the celebrities (along with Victoria Silvstedt, Anna Falchi and Megan Gale) playing themselves in the Italian comedy Bodyguards – Guardie del corpo.
In July 1988, she posed nude for Playboy magazine in a shoot by photographer Herb Ritts. In October 1998, Crawford returned to the pages of Playboy for a second nude pictorial, again taken by Ritts.
Crawford has consistently ranked highly on lists of the world’s sexiest people. She was ranked number 5 on Playboy’s list of the 100 Sexiest Stars of the 20th century. A 1997 Shape magazine survey of 4,000 picked her as the second (after Demi Moore) most beautiful woman in the world. In 2002, Crawford was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine. In her forties, she claimed #26 in the 2006 Hot 100 issue of Maxim magazine.
Fashion designer Michael Kors summed up her impact:
After modelingCrawford quit modeling in 2000; however, she still appears from time to time in (and on the covers of) fashion magazines in new shoots. She continues to provide celebrity endorsement for a variety of projects. In 2005, Crawford created a line of beauty products with Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh called Meaningful Beauty for Guthy-Renker. Crawford has admitted to regularly receiving certain cosmetic procedures, including Botox and vitamin injections. She first saw a plastic surgeon at the age of 29.
In 2005, Crawford launched a new line of furniture under the “Cindy Crawford Home Collection” name. This collection is manufactured by HM Richards Inc., and is sold through many retailers including Art Van Furniture and Rooms To Go. She assisted in the creation of the line by directing the designers to include certain features, colors, or styles that fit the needs of families or reflected her own tastes. She also has a furniture line with Raymour & Flanigan and launched another home goods line with J. C. Penney in late 2009.
Crawford came back to modeling in May 2011, landing the cover of May 2011 issue of Vogue Mexico.
Crawford was married to actor Richard Gere between 1991 and 1995; although they had no children, she cited him as one of the more influential people in her life (after her parents). She has been married to Rande Gerber since May 29, 1998, with whom she has two children, Presley Walker (born July 2, 1999) and Kaia Jordan (born September 3, 2001). She currently resides in Malibu, California.
Activism and charity work
When Crawford was 10 years old, her younger brother Jeff – whom she continues to praise as “the fourth most influential person in my life” – died of leukemia. Since becoming a model, Crawford has made childhood leukemia a focal point of her charity work, donating proceeds of her calendars to medical research. She is also an honorary board member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.
In 2007, she became an official supporter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC. Crawford is on the Honorary Committee of the California Wildlife Center.
- Unzipped (1995)
- Catwalk (1995)
- Fair Game (1995) … as Kate McQueen
- 54 (1998) …as VIP Patron
- Beautopia (1998) …a critical documentary looking at the world of modeling
- Bodyguards (2000) …as herself
- The Simian Line (2001) …as Sandra
- Cindy Crawford: Shape Your Body Workout (1992)
- Cindy Crawford: The Next Challenge Workout (1993)
- Cindy Crawford: A New Dimension (2000)
- MTV’s House of Style (1989–1995) …host
- Muppets Tonight!: Episode 5 (1996) as herself as special guest star
- Frasier: “Halloween” (1997) as Dorothy (voice only)
- 3rd Rock From The Sun: “36! 24! 36! Dick!” (1998) as Masha, one of the invading Venusians. The episode aired after the Super Bowl.
- Sesame Street: Elmopalooza (1998)
- The Secret World of… Supermodels (1998)
- Sex with Cindy Crawford (1998) …a one hour TV special about sex in the United States hosted by Crawford
- According to Jim: “Cars & Chicks” (2002) as Gretchen Saunders, manager of a car dealership
- Headliners & Legends: Cindy Crawford (2004)
- Sunrise (2007)
- Wizards of Waverly Place: “Fashion Week” (2009) as model Bibi Rockford
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Who is Nigella Lucy Lawson? The food critic word know Nigella Lawson as an English food writer, journalist and broadcaster. Lawson is the daughter of Nigel Lawson, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Vanessa Salmon, whose family owned the J. Lyons and Co. empire. After graduating from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, Lawson started work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, later becoming the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986. She then embarked upon a career as a freelance journalist, writing for a number of newspapers and magazines. In 1998, Lawson brought out her first cookery book, How to Eat, which sold 300,000 copies and became a bestseller. She went on to write her second book in 2000, How to be a Domestic Goddess, winning her the British Book Award for Author of the Year.
In 2000, she began to host her own cookery series on Channel 4, Nigella Bites, which was accompanied with another bestselling cookery book. The Nigella Bites series won Lawson a Guild of Food Writers Award; however her 2005 ITV daytime chat show was met with a negative critical reaction and was cancelled after attracting low ratings. Lawson hosted the Food Network‘s Nigella Feasts in the United States in 2006 followed by a three-part BBC Two series, Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, in the United Kingdom. This led to the commissioning of Nigella Express on BBC Two in 2007. Her own cookware range, Living Kitchen, has a value of £7 million, and she has sold more than 3 million cookery books worldwide.
Renowned for her flirtatious manner of presenting, Lawson has been called the “queen of food porn“. She is neither a trained chef nor cook, and has assumed a distinctly relaxed approach to her cooking.
Lawson was born 6 January 1960. Her given name originally being thought up by her grandmother, Nigella Lawson is a daughter of Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby, a Conservative MP, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Margaret Thatcher‘s cabinet, and Vanessa Salmon (1936–1985), a socialite, “celebrated beauty” and heiress to the J. Lyons & Co. fortune. Her family kept homes in Kensington and Chelsea, and were noted for their luxurious life-style. In the 1960s, Peregrine Worsthorne wrote that Vanessa and her daughters looked “as if they had stepped straight out of a Visconti film set”. Lawson’s parents divorced in 1980. They both remarried; her father in 1980 to a House of Commons researcher, Therese Maclear (to whom he was married until 2008,) and her mother, in the early 1980s, to philosopher, Sir A.J. Ayer (they remained married until her mother’s death). With Lawson’s father being a prominent politician, some of the things she found most frustrating were the many judgements and pre-conceptions made about her. There was a time when Lawson did not get on with her father, mostly during her parents’ divorce, and she became friendly with her mother only when she reached adulthood. Being unhappy as a child has been attributed, by Lawson, partly to the problematic relationship she had with her mother.
Lawson’s school years were difficult; she had to move schools nine times between the ages of 9 and 18, spending some of her childhood in the Welsh town of Higher Kinnerton. “I was just difficult, disruptive, good at school work, but rude, I suspect, and too highly-strung”, Lawson reflected. Her father originally chose not to believe the reports of her disruptive behaviour and thought the school had the wrong person. Lawson reluctantly attended a private school in the Midlands and later returned to London’s Godolphin and Latymer School sixth form where she began to show skill academically. She worked for many department stores in London, and went on to graduate from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford with a degree in mediæval and modern languages. She also lived in Florence for a period.
Lawson’s mother died of liver cancer in Westminster, London, aged 48, when Lawson was 25. Her full-blood siblings are her brother, Dominic, former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, a sister, Horatia and sister Thomasina, who died of breast cancer in 1993 during her early thirties; She has a half-brother Tom, and a half-sister Emily, her father’s children by his second wife. Lawson is a cousin to both George Monbiot and Fiona Shackleton through the Salmons.
Taking part in the third series of the BBC family-history documentary series, Who Do You Think You Are?, Lawson sought to uncover some of her family’s ancestry. She traced her ancestors to Ashkenazi Jews who originate from eastern Europe and Germany, leaving Lawson surprised not to have Iberian–Sephardi ancestry in the family as she had believed. She also uncovered that her maternal great-great-great grandfather, Coenraad Sammes (later Coleman Joseph), had fled to England from Amsterdam in 1830 to escape a prison sentence following a conviction for theft. It was his daughter, Hannah, who married Samuel Gluckstein, father-in-law and business partner of Barnett Salmon and father of Isidore and Montague Gluckstein, who together with Barnett founded J. Lyons and Co. in 1887.
Lawson originally worked in publishing, first taking a job under publisher Naim Attallah. At 23, she commenced her journalism career after Charles Moore had invited her to write for The Spectator. Her initial work at the magazine consisted of writing book reviews, after which period she became a restaurant critic there in 1985. She became the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times in 1986 at the age of 26. Lawson occasionally drifted into the public’s eye, attracting unwanted publicity in 1989 when she admitted voting for Labour in an election as opposed to her father’s Conservative Party, and then criticised Margaret Thatcher in print. Regarding her political relationship with her father, Lawson has stated, “My father would never expect me to agree with him about anything in particular. And, to be honest, we never talk about politics much.”
After her stint at The Sunday Times, Lawson embarked upon a freelance writing career, realizing that “I was on the wrong ladder. I didn’t want to be an executive, being paid to worry rather than think”. In the United Kingdom, she wrote for The Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard, The Observer and The Times Literary Supplement, and penned a food column for Vogue and a makeup column for The Times Magazine, as well as working with Gourmet and Bon Appétit in the United States. After just two weeks working on Talk Radio in 1995, Lawson was sacked after she had stated her shopping was done for her, which was deemed incompatible with the radio station’s desired “common touch”.
1998–2002: Cookery writing and Nigella Bites
Lawson had an established sense of cooking from her childhood, having had a mother who enjoyed to cook. Lawson conceived the idea of writing a cookery book after she observed a dinner party host in tears because of an unset crème caramel. How to Eat was subsequently written in 1998, featuring culinary tips on preparation and saving time. The book became a success and sold 300,000 copies in the UK; The Sunday Telegraph dubbed it “the most valuable culinary guide published this decade”.
Lawson then wrote How to be a Domestic Goddess in 2000, which focused primarily on baking and also became a bestseller. The Times wrote, regarding the book and Lawson’s approach to its writing, “How To Be a Domestic Goddess … is defined by its intimate, companionable approach. She is not issuing matronly instructions like Delia; she is merely making sisterly suggestions”. Lawson rejected feminist criticism of her book, and stated, “Some people did take the domestic goddess title literally rather than ironically. It was about the pleasures of feeling like one rather than actually being one”. The book sold 180,000 copies in four months, and won Lawson the title of Author of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2001, fending off competition from authors such as J. K. Rowling. One commentator suggested she won the award only because her husband was about to die of cancer. Lawson retorted, “I am not against pity, but I have no desire to be tragic”. How to Eat and How to be a Domestic Goddess were published in America in 2000 and 2001. As a result of the book’s success, The Observer took on Lawson as a social affairs columnist.
Lawson next hosted her own cookery television series, Nigella Bites, which ran from 2000 to 2001 on Channel 4, followed by a Christmas special in 2001. Victor Lewis-Smith, a critic notorious for his biting criticism, commended Lawson for being “formidably charismatic”. The first series of Nigella Bites averaged 1.9 million viewers, and won her the Television Broadcast of the Year at the Guild of Food Writers Awards and the Best Television Food Show at the World Food Media Awards in 2001. The show yielded an accompanying bestselling recipe book, also called Nigella Bites, for which Waterstone’s book stores reported UK sales of over 300,000. The book won a W H Smith Award for Lifestyle Book of the Year.
The Nigella Bites series, which was filmed in her home in west London, was later broadcast on American television on channels E! and Style Network. Lawson said of the US release, “In the UK, my viewers have responded to the fact I’m trying to reduce, not add to, their burden and I’m looking forward to making that connection with Style viewers across the US”. Overall, Lawson was well received in the United States. Those who did criticise her often suggested she was too flirtatious; a commentator from The New York Times said, “Lawson’s sexy roundness mixed with her speed-demon technique makes cooking dinner with Nigella look like a prelude to an orgy”. The book of Nigella Bites became the second bestselling cookery book of Christmas 2002 in America. The series was followed by Forever Summer with Nigella in 2002 on Channel 4, the concept being, “that you cook to make you still feel as though you’re on holiday”. Also in 2002, she began to write a fortnightly cooking articles for The New York Times, and brought out a profitable line of kitchenware, called the Living Kitchen range, which is sold by numerous retailers. Her range’s value has continued to grow, starting at an estimated £2 million in 2003, and increasing to £7 million in 2007.
2003–2006: Nigella Feasts and BBC contract
In November 2003, Lawson oversaw the menu and preparations for a lunch hosted by Tony Blair at Downing Street for George W. Bush and his wife during their state visit to the UK. Laura Bush is said to be a fan of Lawson’s recipes and once included one of her soups as the starter for the 2002 presidential Christmas dinner. Lawson’s fifth book, Feast Food that Celebrates Life, released in 2004, made sales worth £3 million. In a positive review, London’s Evening Standard wrote that the book “works both as a practical manual and an engrossing read. … Nobody else writes so openly about the emotional significance of food”. Lawson appeared frequently on American television in 2004, conducting cookery slots on talk shows such as The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In the UK in 2005, Lawson started to host a daytime television chat show on ITV1 called Nigella, on which celebrity guests joined her in a studio kitchen. The first episode debuted with a disappointing 800,000 viewers. The show was met with a largely negative critical reaction, and after losing 40 percent of its viewers in the first week, the show was cancelled. Lawson later commented in an interview with Radio Times that on her first show, she was almost too frightened to come out of her dressing room. Lawson further stated that having to pretend to be interested in the lives of the celebrities on her show became too much of an effort. She also discovered, “I can’t ever be a presenter, and won’t do scripts”.
Her third food-based television series, called Nigella Feasts, debuted on the USA’s Food Network in Autumn 2006 for a 13-week run. Time magazine wrote a favorable review of the show; “the real appeal of Feasts … is her unfussy, wry, practical approach to entertaining and quality comfort food. … between the luscious camera shots and Lawson’s sensual enjoyment of eating, Feasts will leave you wishing for an invite”. Since the American broadcasting, Lawson signed a £2.5 million deal for the series to be shown in ten other countries across the world.
Lawson was next signed to BBC Two to host a three-part cookery show entitled Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, which began on 6 December 2006 and aired weekly. The first two episodes secured the second highest ratings of the week for BBC Two, with the first episode debuting with a strong 3.5 million. The final episode went on to become the top show on BBC Two the week that it was aired. Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen won Lawson a second World Food Media Award in 2007. Her influence as a food commentator was also demonstrated in late 2006, when after she had lauded goose fat as being an essential ingredient for Christmas, sales percentages of the product increased significantly in the UK. Waitrose and Tesco both stated that goose fat sales had more than doubled, as well as Asda‘s goose fat sales increasing by 65 percent from the previous week. Similarly, after she advised using prunes in a recipe on Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, Waitrose had increased sales of 30 percent year on year.
2007–2009: Nigella Express and Nigella’s Christmas
Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen led to the commissioning of a 13-part cookery series entitled Nigella Express. The series began to air on BBC Two on 3 September 2007, suggesting ways of making simple and quick dishes. Lawson admitted the recipes were not “particularly healthy”, although she added, “I wouldn’t describe them as junk”. The show became another ratings success and one of BBC Two’s top-rated shows each week. The first episode debuted with 2.85 million viewers, a high percentage above the channel’s slot average. The second episode’s viewing figures rose to 3.3 million, and the series peaked at 3.4 million on 22 October 2007. Her influence with the public was again demonstrated when sales of Riesling wine increased by 30 percent in the UK after she had incorporated it into her Coq au Riesling recipe on Nigella Express. Later on a separate occasion, a similar trend was seen in the sales figures of the liqueur Advocaat after Lawson had endorsed it on the show.
The television series of Nigella Express was subject to criticism from the Daily Mail when it emerged that a bus Lawson was seen travelling on during the programme had been hired and filled with extras. The producers responded by saying, “This series is a factual entertainment cooking show, not an observational documentary and it is perfectly normal procedure”. There was further controversy when it was revealed that the kitchens in which Lawson was seen cooking were in two separate locations; one in her home and the other in a London television studio. Lawson also came under criticism when viewers complained that she had gained weight since the debut episode of the series. Critics criticised the series for containing what they described as “scenes of gluttony not seen since the golden age of the Cookie Monster“ and commenting that her “largesse may have left her just that little bit larger.” The Guardian however, noted, “the food matches her appearance — flawless, polished and sexy”. The rights to Nigella Express have been sold to the Food Network in America, and to Discovery Asia. The series was nominated at the 35th Daytime Emmy Awards in the United States for Outstanding Lifestyle Program, and Lawson herself for the Outstanding Lifestyle Host.
The accompanying book to Nigella Express was released in the UK in September 2007, America in November 2007, and later in Australia in 2008. Sharing the same name as the television series, the book became another bestseller in the UK, and was outselling another television chef, Jamie Oliver, by 100,000 copies according to Waterstone’s. It was reported that over 490,000 copies had been sold by mid-December in the UK. Furthermore, the book was number one for a period on Amazon UK’s bestselling books, and was ninth on their overall list of Christmas bestsellers in any category. Paul Levy from The Guardian wrote that the tone of the recipes was “just right. One of the appealing things about Nigella’s brief introductions to each of them is that she thinks not just as cook, but as eater, and tells you whether they’re messy, sticky or fussy”. Lawson is now estimated to have sold more than 3 million books worldwide. Her Christmas book was released in October 2008 and the television show in December of the same year. An American edition of the book “Nigella Christmas” with a different cover photograph was released in November 2009 with an accompanying book tour of several US cities and a special on the USA’s Food Network.
Presenting style and image
Though Lawson has enjoyed a successful career in cookery, she is not a trained chef, and does not like being referred to as a “celebrity chef”. Furthermore, she does not see herself as a cook or an expert in her field. Throughout Lawson’s television programmes, she emphasises that she cooks for her own pleasure, for enjoyment, and that she finds cooking therapeutic. When deciding upon which recipes to feature in her books, she takes the view of the eater, stating, “If it’s something I don’t want to carry on eating once I’m full, then I don’t want the recipe… I have to feel that I want to cook the thing again”.
Lawson has adopted a casual approach to cooking, stating, “I think cooking should be about fun and family. … I think part of my appeal is that my approach to cooking is really relaxed and not rigid. There are no rules in my kitchen”. One editor, highlighting the technical simplicity of Lawson’s recipes, noted that “her dishes require none of the elaborate preparation called for by most TV chefs”.
Lawson has become renowned for her flirtatious manner of presenting, although she argues, “It’s not meant to be flirtatious. … I don’t have the talent to adopt a different persona. It’s intimate, not flirtatious”. The perceived overt sexuality of her presentation style has led to Lawson’s being called the “queen of food porn“. Many commentators have alluded to Lawson’s attractiveness, and she was once named as one of the world’s most beautiful women. She has been referred to as “stunningly beautiful, warm, honest, likeable and amazingly normal”, as well as being described as having “flawless skin, perfect white teeth, a voluptuous body, ample height and lots of lush, brown hair”. The media has also noted Lawson’s ability to engage with both male and female viewers; The Guardian wrote, “Men love her because they want to be with her. Women love her because they want to be her”. The chef, Gary Rhodes, spoke out against Lawson by suggesting that her viewers take preference to her smile rather than the cooking itself. Despite often being labelled as a domestic goddess, she insists that she exhibits very few of the qualities associated with the title.
Lawson is also known for her vivid and adjective-filled food descriptions in both her books and television programmes, as one critic summarized, “her descriptions of food can be a tangle of adjectives.” In a study conducted in 2007 on the readability of different recipes, the chatty and florid style of Lawson’s recipes was judged to be confusing to readers with weak reading skills. Lawson has also expressed her surprise at how many reviews in the United States have mentioned her class and posh accent.
Comedians and commentators have taken to mocking Lawson’s style of presentation, particularly in a regularly occurring impersonation of her in the BBC comedy series Dead Ringers, because they perceive that she plays overtly upon her attractiveness and sexuality as a device to engage viewers of her cookery programmes. Impressions by Ronni Ancona that further parodied Lawson’s presenting style have also been featured on the BBC One impersonation sketch show, The Big Impression.
Lawson was in a relationship with human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC until 1988, when he left her for novelist Kathy Lette.
Lawson met journalist John Diamond in 1986, when they were both writing for The Sunday Times. They married in Venice in 1992, and had two children together, both born in Hammersmith, London: Cosima Thomasina (born 1994) and Bruno Paul (born 1996). Diamond was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997, and died of the disease in March 2001, aged 47. One of his last messages to Lawson was, “How proud I am of you and what you have become. The great thing about us is that we have made us who we are.” His death occurred during the filming of Nigella Bites; “I took a fortnight off. But I’m not a great believer in breaks,” Lawson explained, but she did suffer a bout of depression. After his death, Lawson kept all of the press clippings in what she called her “Morbidobox”.
Lawson married art collector Charles Saatchi in September 2003, having drawn disapproval when she moved in with him nine months after Diamond’s death. Lawson had also come under criticism when it was suggested she started her relationship with Saatchi before Diamond’s death. Saatchi is worth a reputed £100 million, while Lawson is worth £15 million as of 2007, £8 million of which came from book sales. It widely began circulating in the media in early 2008 that Lawson had been quoted as saying her two children should not inherit any of the fortune. She strongly denied these plans in a statement on her personal website, which read, “Of course I have no intention of leaving my children destitute and starving — rather, this is a story that came from a comment I made about my belief that you have to work in order to learn the value of money”.
Although both of Lawson’s parents are Jewish, Judaism has played no significant part religiously in her life, but she believes that she has developed a somewhat “Jewish character”. She was brought up without any religion and she considers herself an atheist. In one of her newspaper articles, she has shown a liberal attitude to sexuality (“most [women] simply have, somewhere, a fantasy about having sex, in a non-defining, non-exclusive way, with other women”). She has said that she often partakes in watching football and is an avid supporter of Chelsea.
Lawson is a supporter of the Lavender Trust which gives support to young women with breast cancer. She first became involved with the charity in 2002 when she baked some lavender cupcakes to be auctioned at a fundraising event, which sold for a significant amount of money. She subsequently featured the recipe in her book, Forever Summer with Nigella.
It was revealed by leaked Whitehall documents in 2003 that Lawson declined an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2001. As the daughter of a life peer, Nigella is entitled to the courtesy title of “The Honourable” and is thus styled The Hon. Nigella Lawson. However she does not use this courtesy title.
In December 2008, Lawson caused major controversy and was featured in various newspapers for publicly advocating wearing fur. Lawson also remarked that she would love to kill a bear and then wear it.
Lawson was featured as one of the three judges on the special battle of Iron Chef America, titled “The Super Chef Battle”, which pitted White House Executive Chef Christeta Comerford and Iron Chef Bobby Flay against super chef Emeril Lagasse and Iron Chef Mario Batali, which was originally broadcast on January 3, 2010.
In January 2011, Lawson and her husband Charles Saatchi moved from Belgravia to Chelsea.
|2000||Nigella Bites||5 episodes, Series 1||30 minutes|
|2001||Nigella Bites||10 episodes, Series 2||30 minutes|
|2001||Nigella Bites Christmas Special||1 episode||60 minutes|
|2002||Forever Summer||8 episodes||30 minutes|
|2005||Nigella||20 episodes||60 minutes|
|2006||Nigella Feasts||13 episodes||30 minutes|
|2006||Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen||3 episodes, Series 1||30 minutes|
|2007||Nigella Express||13 episodes||30 minutes|
|2008||Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen||3 episodes, Series 2||30 minutes|
|2009||Top Chef (season 6)||1 episode||42 minutes|
|2010||Iron Chef America: Super Chef Battle||1 episode||120 minutes|
|2010||Nigella Kitchen||13 episodes||30 minutes|
|2011||MasterChef Australia Season 3||1 episode||60 minutes|
- 2000: British Book Award — Author of the Year for How to be a Domestic Goddess
- 2001: WH Smith Book Award — How To Be A Domestic Goddess shortlisted for Lifestyle Book of the Year
- 2001: Guild of Food Writers — Television Broadcast of the Year for Nigella Bites
- 2001: World Food Media Award — Gold Ladle Best Television Food Show for Nigella Bites
- 2002: WH Smith Book Awards — Lifestyle Book of the Year for Nigella Bites
- 2007: World Food Media Award — Gold Ladle Best Food And/Or Drink Television Show for Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen
- How to Eat: Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, Chatto and Windus, John Wiley & Sons, (ISBN 0-471-25750-8, 1998)
- How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking, Chatto and Windus, (ISBN 0-7011-6888-9, 2000)
- Nigella Bites, Chatto and Windus, (ISBN 0-7011-7287-8, 2001)
- Forever Summer with Nigella, Chatto and Windus, (ISBN 0-7011-7381-5, 2002)
- Feast: Food to Celebrate Life, Chatto and Windus, (ISBN 0-7011-7521-4, 2004) or Hyperion (ISBN 1-4013-0136-3, 2004)
- Nigella Lawson, A Biography, Gilly Smith (ISBN 1-56980-299-8, 2006)
- Nigella Express, Chatto and Windus, (ISBN 0-7011-8184-2, 2007)
- Nigella Christmas, Chatto and Windus (ISBN 0-7011-8322-5, 2008)
- Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, Chatto and Windus (ISBN 0-7011-8460-4, 2010)
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Who is Christopher Anthony John “Chris” Martin? The entertainment and music world knows Chris Martin as an English singer-songwriter, who is the lead vocalist, pianist and rhythm guitarist of the band Coldplay. He is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
Chris Martin was born 2 March 1977 in Exeter, Devon, England and is the eldest of five children. His father, Anthony Martin, is a retired accountant, and his mother, Alison Martin, is a music teacher. Martin started his education at the preparatory Exeter Cathedral School. It was at the prep school that Martin formed his first band, The Rocking Honkies, with Nick Repton & Iwan Gronow. Their debut performance was met with boos from the crowd. After Exeter Cathedral, Martin boarded at Sherborne School, a boys’ independent school in Dorset. He also met future Coldplay manager Phil Harvey at the school. Martin continued his studies at University College London, staying at Ramsay Hall where he read Ancient World Studies and graduated with First Class honours in Greek and Latin. It is here he met future Coldplay bandmates Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman 
While studying at University College London, Martin met Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Guy Berryman. In January 1998, they formed the rock band Coldplay. The band has had internationally recognised fame and success since their debut album, Parachutes, in 2000. Since then, they have released several further albums/EP’s including: A Rush of Blood to the Head, Live 2003, X&Y, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, and Prospekt’s March.
As a solo artist, Martin has written songs for a variety of acts including Embrace (“Gravity“) and Jamelia (“See It in a Boy’s Eyes“, co-written with Coldplay producer Rik Simpson). Martin has also collaborated with Ron Sexsmith, Faultline, The Streets, and Ian McCulloch. He also sang a part of the vocals for the Band Aid 20 single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” at the end of 2004. In 2005, Martin collaborated with Nelly Furtado on the track “All Good Things (Come to an End)“, for her 2006 album, Loose. The two were once rumoured to be a couple, after they both performed at Glastonbury in 2002. Furtado joked about the situation, saying that “Yeah, he’s my boyfriend — he just doesn’t know it yet”.
Martin’s fascination with hip hop was shown in the summer of 2006 when he collaborated with rapper Jay-Z for the rapper’s comeback album Kingdom Come after the two met earlier in the year. Martin put some chords together for a song known as “Beach Chair” and sent them to Jay-Z who enlisted the help of hip hop producer Dr. Dre to mix it (contrary to popular knowledge it was Coldplay producer Rik Simpson and not Dre who conceived and performed the drum beats). The song was performed on 27 September 2006 by the two during Jay-Z’s European tour at Royal Albert Hall. In 2007, Martin appeared on a track titled “Part of the Plan” for Swizz Beatz‘ debut solo album One Man Band Man. Martin has also worked on a solo collaboration with Kanye West, with whom he shared an impromptu jam session during a 2006 concert at Abbey Road Studios. He performed the chorus of “Homecoming“, from West’s album Graduation.
Martin’s primary influence is the British rock band Radiohead. In a 2008 Rolling Stone interview Martin stated: “Sometimes I feel like they [Radiohead] cleared a path with a machete, and we came afterward and put up a strip mall. I would still give my left [testicle] to write anything as good as OK Computer.” Martin is very vocal about his love for Norwegian new wave/Synthpop band a-ha. In 2005 he stated the following in an interview: “I found myself in Amsterdam the other day and I put a-ha’s first record on. I just remembered how much I loved it. It’s incredible songwriting. Everyone asks what inspired us, what we’ve been trying to steal from and what we listened to as we were growing up – the first band I ever loved was a-ha.” Martin has also performed live together with Magne Furuholmen of a-ha.
U2 has been an important influence on Martin both musically and politically, in which he wrote for Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, in the section on U2, saying: “I don’t buy weekend tickets to Ireland and hang out in front of their gates, but U2 are the only band whose entire catalog I know by heart. The first song on The Unforgettable Fire, “A Sort of Homecoming“, I know backward and forward – it’s so rousing, brilliant, and beautiful. It’s one of the first songs I played to my unborn baby.” Martin also comments on Bono‘s effect on his own charity and political involvement he is even known to joke with friends referring to himself as “Crono”.
He is known to be a fan of artists such as Manchester rock band Oasis, Irish pop group Westlife, British pop groups Girls Aloud and Take That, and Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire. Solo artists Martin likes include Leona Lewis, Noel Gallagher, and Kylie Minogue.
Martin and Coldplay guitarist Jon Buckland made cameo appearances in the film Shaun of the Dead as supporters of the fictional charity ZombAid. Martin has a second cameo in this film as a Zombie. In 2006 Martin had a cameo role in the second series episode four of the Ricky Gervais– and Stephen Merchant-created comedy Extras. He also appears singing in the closing credits of the 2009 film Brüno alongside Bono, Sting, Slash, Snoop Dogg, and Elton John. Martin also played one gig with the “Sid James Experience”.
Martin has been particularly outspoken on issues of fair trade and has campaigned for the charity Oxfam‘s Make Trade Fair campaign. He traveled to Ghana and Haiti to meet farmers and view the effects of unfair trade practices. When performing he usually has variations of “Make Trade Fair”, “MTF” or an equal sign written on the back of his left hand and the letters “MTF” can be seen emblazoned on his piano.
He was a vocal critic of President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq. Martin was a strong supporter of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, most notably during his acceptance speech for the 2004 Grammy Awards Record of the Year, accepting for “Clocks“. Martin also supported the Democratic Party candidate for President in 2008, giving a shout-out to Barack Obama at the end of a performance of “Yellow” on 25 October 2008 episode of Saturday Night Live.
On 1 April 2006, The Guardian reported that Martin was backing the British Conservative Party leader David Cameron and had written a new theme song for the party titled “Talk to David”. This was later revealed to be an April Fool’s joke. Whilst touring Australia in March 2009, Martin and the rest of Coldplay were the opening act at the Sound Relief benefit concert at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, for the bushfires and floods in Victoria and Queensland. Whilst performing the final song “Fix You“, Martin leapt off the stage and proceeded to run through the crowd with thousands of fans chasing him. The song had finished well before he made it back on stage but he managed to sing the final refrain under exhaustion. He was so tired that he let the crowd sing it for him as well. At the end of the performance he was quoted to saying ‘I hope no-one got hurt’. He reportedly had to lie down for half an hour back stage and was suffering from heat exhaustion. The band then played a sold-out gig in Sydney that night.
Martin met American actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2002 backstage at a Coldplay gig after the death of the actress’s father, Bruce Paltrow. The couple married a year later on 5 December 2003. Their daughter, Apple Blythe Alison Martin, was born on 14 May 2004 in London. Their second child, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin, was born on 8 April 2006 in New York City. Simon Pegg and Martin’s bandmate Jonny Buckland are Apple’s godfathers. Martin is a longtime friend of Pegg, having met him in 2001, and appears in Shaun of the Dead, one of Pegg’s movies.
Martin does not smoke or drink alcohol.
In a 2005 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Martin said of his religious views: “I definitely believe in God. How can you look at anything and not be overwhelmed by the miraculousness of it?” In the same interview he spoke of going through a period of spiritual confusion, stating “I went through a weird patch, starting when I was about sixteen to twenty-two, of getting God, religion, superstition, judgement all confused”.
|2006||Extras||Himself||“Chris Martin” (Season 2: Episode 4)|
|2010||The Simpsons||Himself||“Million Dollar Maybe” (Season 21: Episode 11)|
|2004||Shaun of the Dead||Himself||Cameo appearance
With Jon Buckland
- See Coldplay discography for his work with said group.
|2002||“Where Is My Boy?”
“Your Love Means Everything, Pt. 2”
|Faultline||Your Love Means Everything||Featured vocals|
|“Gold in Them Hills”||Ron Sexsmith||Cobblestone Runway||Featured vocals|
|2003||“Sliding”, “Arthur”||Ian McCulloch||Slideling||Piano, backing vocals|
|“See It in a Boy’s Eyes“||Jamelia||Thank You||Co-writer, backing vocals|
|2004||“Everybody’s Happy Nowadays”||Ash||Orpheus||Backing vocals|
|“Gravity“||Embrace||Out of Nothing||Writer|
|“Do They Know It’s Christmas?“||Band Aid 20||–||Featured vocals|
|2006||“All Good Things (Come to an End)“||Nelly Furtado||Loose||Co-writer, background vocals|
|“Beach Chair“||Jay-Z||Kingdom Come||Producer, featured vocals|
|2007||“Homecoming“||Kanye West||Graduation||Co-writer, featured vocals, piano|
|2009||“Lukas”, “Fun”, “Want“||Natalie Imbruglia||Come to Life||Co-writer|
|2009||“Dove of Peace”||Brüno||Brüno||Featured vocals|
|2010||“Most Kingz”||Jay-Z||–||Featured vocals|
|2010||“Me and Tennessee”||Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw||Country Strong||Writer|
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Who is Jonathan Michael Francis O’Keeffe? The entertainment and acting world knows Jonathan Rhys Meyers as an Irish actor and model.
Meyers is best known for his roles in the films Velvet Goldmine, Bend It Like Beckham, Match Point and his television roles as Elvis Presley in the biographical miniseries Elvis, which earned him a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and as King Henry VIII in the historical drama The Tudors. He has been the face of several advertising campaigns for Hugo Boss fragrances.
Jonathan Rhys Meyers was born 27 July 1977 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Mary Geraldine Myers and musician John O’Keeffe. His stage name is derived from his mother’s maiden name, Meyers. He was raised Roman Catholic by his family. Born in Dublin, he moved to Cork at one year old and was raised there with his three younger brothers named Jamie, Alan and Paul, who are all professional musicians. When he was three, his parents separated. His mother raised Rhys Meyers and his brother Alan while his other two brothers went to live at their grandmother’s house with their father. Rhys Meyers attended North Monastery School.
Rhys Meyers was expelled from the North Monastery Secondary School at age 16 for truancy and spent much of his time hanging out in pool halls. Casting agents looking for Irish boys to appear in War of the Buttons spotted Rhys Meyers at a Cork pool hall, the Victoria Sporting Club, and invited him to audition. Although he was passed over for War of the Buttons, the casting agents encouraged him to pursue a career in acting. His first film role came soon afterward, in A Man of No Importance (1994). In 1996, he appeared in Michael Collins, as the title character‘s assassin. In 1999, he appeared in Ride with the Devil as psychopathic guerrilla fighter Pitt Mackeson.
Rhys Meyers has starred in television series including Gormenghast (2000) and in the CBS 4-hour mini-series Elvis (2005) as Elvis Presley alongside Randy Quaid as Colonel Tom Parker and Rose McGowan as Ann-Margret. Meyers did not sing for his role in the miniseries. The latter earned him an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe win. He has starred in the CBC/Showtime co-production The Tudors (2007) as Henry VIII. He was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama in 2007 for the role.
His film roles range from a David Bowie-inspired glam rock star in Velvet Goldmine (1998) to a dedicated girls’ football coach in Bend It Like Beckham (2002). He appeared in Vanity Fair (2004) opposite Reese Witherspoon. He co-starred opposite Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie in Oliver Stone’s epic Alexander (2004). In 2005, Rhys Meyers starred in Woody Allen‘s film Match Point, for which he received a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2006, he appeared in Mission: Impossible III. Subsequent projects included August Rush (2007) and The Children of Huang Shi (2008), Shelter, co-starring Julianne Moore, and From Paris with Love (film) (2010), co-starring John Travolta.
Rhys Meyers, a self-taught singer and guitarist, has appeared in a number of musical roles. His first such role was that of rock star Brian Slade in Velvet Goldmine; two of the songs he sang (“Baby’s On Fire” and “Tumbling Down”) are on the film’s soundtrack. He sang briefly in the TV miniseries version of The Magnificent Ambersons, performed in studio scenes of the miniseries Elvis and played the flute in Gormenghast. In the 2007 music drama August Rush, Rhys Meyers performed on-screen as singer-songwriter Louis Connelly and is credited for four songs on the soundtrack – “Break”, “Moondance”, “Something Inside” and “This Time”. Of the four, “This Time” and “Break” were considered in the Best Original Song category of the 80th Academy Awards. “This Time” was not released as a single but peaked at #84 of the Canadian Hot 100.
Rhys Meyers was chosen as the face for the Versace men’s collection of Autumn/Winter 2006 and Spring 2007, and he has also been the face of the Hugo Boss men’s fragrance range since 2005.He is signed to Independent Models in London.
In February 2008, he became a celebrity ambassador for the Cork-based charitable organization The Hope Foundation.
On 5 October 2008, Rhys Meyers received an Honourary Patronage from the Trinity College Philosophical Society in Dublin, Ireland.
In May 2005, Rhys Meyers checked into rehab facility Promises in California seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. On 24 April 2007, the Associated Press reported that Rhys Meyers returned to treatment. The actor’s representative Meredith O’Sullivan confirmed the news to People magazine citing his need to take a break from his busy schedule in order to maintain sobriety.
On 27 February 2009, the actor checked into rehab a third time, seeking help for alcohol addiction. He checked out on 15 March 2009.
In May 2010, it was reported that Rhys Meyers was banned for life from flying on United Airlines due to “belligerent” and “disruptive” behaviour in an incident involving alcohol at John F. Kennedy airport.
On the evening of Tuesday 28 June 2011, Rhys Meyers was rushed to hospital. The actor overdosed on pills while in his central London home, and refused treatment from paramedics. 
|1996||The Killer Tongue||Rudolph|
|1996||The Disappearance of Finbar||Finbar Flynn|
|1996||Michael Collins||Collins’ assassin|
|1996||Samson and Delilah||Young Samson||TNT TV movie|
|1997||The Maker||Josh Minnell|
|1997||Telling Lies in America||Kevin Boyle|
|1998||Velvet Goldmine||Brian Slade||Nominated—London Critics Circle Film Award for British Newcomer of the Year|
|1998||The Governess||Henry Cavendish|
|1999||The Loss of Sexual Innocence||Nic|
|1999||Ride with the Devil||Pitt Mackeson|
|2001||Tangled||Alan Hammond||Straight to DVD|
|2001||Happy Now||Mark Wraith|
|2002||Bend It Like Beckham||Joe|
|2003||The Tesseract||Sean||Straight to DVD|
|2003||Octane||The Father||Straight to DVD|
|2003||I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead||Davey Graham|
|2003||The Emperor’s Wife||Chamberlain|
|2003||The Lion in Winter||King Philip II||Showtime TV movie|
|2004||Vanity Fair||Captain George Osborne|
|2005||Match Point||Chris Wilton|
|2005||Elvis||Elvis Presley||Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
Satellite Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|2006||Mission: Impossible III||Declan|
|2007||August Rush||Louis Connelly|
|2008||The Children of Huang Shi||George Hogg|
|2008||A Film with Me in It||Pierce||Cameo|
|2010||From Paris with Love||James Reese|
|2002||The Magnificent Ambersons||George Amberson Minafer||A&E miniseries|
|2007-10||The Tudors||King Henry VIII||2007–2010 (38 episodes)
Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television (2008)
Nominated—Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in a Lead Role in Television (2009)
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama (2008, 2009)
- Nominated: London Film Critics Circle Awards, British Newcomer of the Year (1998), Velvet Goldmine, The Disappearance of Finbar, The Governess
- Won: Venice International Television Festival, Canal Grande Award for the Best Young Promising Actor (2002), The Magnificent Ambersons
- Won: Chopard Trophy, Outstanding Newcomer (2005), Match Point
- Won: GQ UK Men of the Year Awards, Lab Series Man of the Year (2006)
- Won: Monte Carlo Television Festival Golden Nymph Awards, Best Performance by an Actor — Drama (2008), The Tudors
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Who is George Lopez? The entertainment and acting world knows George Lopez as an American comedian, actor, and talk show host. He is mostly known for starring in his self-produced ABC sitcom George Lopez. His stand-up comedy examines race and ethnic relations, including the Mexican American culture. He was the host of the late-night talk show Lopez Tonight on TBS until its cancellation on August 10, 2011.
Lopez, a Mexican-American, was born April 23, 1961 in Mission Hills, Los Angeles, California. He was deserted by his father when he was 2 months old & by his mother when he was 10 years old, but was raised by his maternal grandmother, Benita Gutierrez, a factory worker, and step-grandfather, Refugio Gutierrez, a construction worker.
In 1999, Lopez hosted a major morning radio show for Clear Channel Communications in Los Angeles. He was the first Latino to have headlined the keystone morning radio slot on an English-language station in LA — the nation’s top radio market.
In 2000, after several years of performing stand-up comedy, Lopez was approached by actress Sandra Bullock for Lopez to produce and star in a comedy. Bullock was concerned about the lack of Hispanic-oriented sitcoms on American television and pushed to get a sitcom on television that starred Hispanics without being exclusively about the Hispanic American community. Long criticized by Hispanic American groups for lack of Latinos on their television shows, ABC quickly picked up the television series. In 2002, Lopez became one of the few Latinos to star in a television comedy series, following in the footsteps of Freddie Prinze, Desi Arnaz and John Leguizamo. George Lopez is an American situation comedy that originally aired on ABC from 2002–2007. Lopez is the co-creator, writer, producer, and star of the show.
On March 8, 2007, it was announced that George Lopez would join the Nick at Nite lineup. It first aired on Nick at Nite on September 10, 2007. On May 15, 2007, ABC announced that the series would be canceled after its sixth season. The show last aired on ABC September 7, 2007. The show also entered syndication in the fall of 2007. Never a huge Nielsen hit in primetime, the show became a surprise success in syndication.
Lopez was a cast member and commentator for HBO’s hit sports show Inside the NFL for the 2003–2004 football season.
Lopez guest starred as the mayor of Reno, Nevada in the fifth season of Reno 911! in 2008.
On March 28, 2009, it was announced that Lopez would be getting his own late night talk show on TBS. Lopez hosted a late-night talk show entitled Lopez Tonight on TBS Monday through Thursday at midnight Eastern Time. The show debuted in November 2009. In November 2010, the show moved back to midnight ET to accommodate a new show with former Tonight Show host Conan O’Brien. Lopez supported and even advocated for the move, making it different from the 2010 Tonight Show conflict that saw O’Brien depart NBC after a proposal to push Tonight back 30 minutes for Jay Leno to return to the 11:35 p.m. slot. On August 10, 2011 Lopez received a cancellation notice from TBS. The network decided not to renew Lopez Tonight for a third season. 
Lopez earned praise for his performance in the HBO Films drama, Real Women Have Curves, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the 2002 Audience Award. Previously, Lopez was featured in the drama Bread and Roses. The film, directed by British filmmaker Ken Loach, received critical acclaim after its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. He recently starred in the ABC Wonderful World of Disney Christmas film Naughty or Nice. Lopez also starred in the Robert Rodríguez-directed film The Adventures of Shark Boy & Lava Girl which opened in June 2005.
In 2010, Lopez appeared in The Spy Next Door, with Jackie Chan, and starred as a villain named Glaze.
In 2011, Lopez reprised his role as Papi for Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, and was the voice of a toco toucan in the box-office animated hit Rio, alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway (actress), will.i.am, and Jamie Foxx.
Lopez wrote an autobiography entitled Why You Crying, which was released on the Touchstone/Fireside division of Simon & Schuster and entered in the New York Times Bestsellers top twenty. The book is co-written by Emmy Award winning writer and sportscaster Armen Keteyian.
In January 2009, Lopez appeared in the We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial.
He is a two-time host of the Latin Grammy Awards and a co-host of the Emmy Awards.
He also hosted a Season 9 elimination on the 21 of April, on American Idol, after donating the most money on Idol Gives Back and he “judged the judges”.
On December 21, 2010, Lopez announced on Good Day L.A. that he would run for Mayor of Los Angeles in about 8 years.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Lopez stated that if Sarah Palin ever becomes the President of the United States, he would emigrate to Canada.
In 1993, Lopez married Ann Serrano. The couple have a daughter, Mayan Lopez. On September 27, 2010, Lopez announced that he and his wife had decided to end their marriage. Serrano filed for divorce on November 23, 2010, citing “irreconcilable differences”. The divorce was finalized on July 1, 2011.
In 2009 a DNA test read by Mariah Carey on Lopez Tonight revealed Lopez to be of 55% European, 32% Native American, 9% East Asian, and 4% African descent.
Lopez has a genetic condition that caused his kidneys to deteriorate. His doctors had told him in April 2004 that he was going to require an organ transplant but he postponed the operation until after finishing the fourth season of George Lopez so as not to hurt the 170 people who worked on his show. In 2005, his wife, Ann, donated one of her kidneys to Lopez. The transplant was successful; Lopez lost 45 lbs. after the operation due in part to having his health so vastly improved. He brought awareness to the issue on his show; his character’s son, Max, was diagnosed with a similar illness.
Charity work and honors
Lopez was a featured celebrity golfer in the 2004 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and the 2004 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Lopez and his pro partner finished third in the Pebble Beach event. George was the top ranking celebrity at completion of the golf tournament. Since 2006, Lopez has served as the host of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. He is a member at Lakeside Country Club in Burbank, California and has a 13 handicap.
A native of Los Angeles who grew up in San Fernando Valley’s Mission Hills, Lopez devotes much time to the community. He has his own charity: The Ann & George Lopez Foundation (www.thelopezfoundation.org). He has received the Manny Mota Foundation Community Spirit Award and was named Honorary Mayor of Los Angeles for his extensive fund-raising efforts benefiting earthquake victims in El Salvador and Guatemala. In February 2004, George was presented the 2004 Artist of the Year and Humanitarian Award by Harvard University, presented by its president and dean for his artistic work and charitable endeavors.
Lopez has received several honors for his work and contributions to the Latino community. In September 2004, George was honored with the “Spirit of Liberty Award” presented by People for the American Way. In August 2005, Time magazine recognized George as one of “The 25 Most Influential Hispanics In America”.
Lopez criticized Jay Leno, someone he once considered a “close friend”, during an interview on radio station WOMX-FM in Orlando, Florida, on January 24, 2007, stating: “He’s the biggest two-faced dude in TV.” He also called him a back-stabber, and said he is not a proficient interviewer.
Lopez is also known for his conflict with Carlos Mencía. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Lopez accused Mencía of appropriating 13 minutes of his material in Mencía’s HBO special. He also claimed he had a physical altercation with Mencía over the alleged appropriation.
Lopez frequently mentions his dislike for Erik Estrada. According to Lopez, he met Estrada when he was a teenager and Estrada was in the zenith of his career. Estrada refused to shake the teenager’s hand, and Lopez has disliked him ever since. Lopez mentioned the story while guest-hosting The Jim Rome Show, and saying “Fuck that puto.” In his comedy special America’s Mexican, Lopez uses this as a warning to everyone that celebrities should always be nice to their fans because they do not know who the fans will grow up to be.
After receiving the news that his show was cancelled in 2007, Lopez criticized Steve McPherson, the president of ABC Entertainment, for using racially motivated reasons for his decision. The actor told the Los Angeles Times that “TV just became really, really white again,” and lashed out against ABC by saying “So a Chicano can’t be on TV, but a caveman can?” in reference to Cavemen, which was replacing George Lopez in the schedule. Cavemen got a horrible reception from critics and viewers and was cancelled after just 13 episodes. Lopez blamed ABC for causing over a hundred of his show’s staff to become jobless.
On March 24, 2011 George Lopez called Kirstie Alley a “pig” during her stint on Dancing with the Stars. Kirstie posted on Twitter, “Don’t worry about George’s comments…just remember what happens to the big bad, drunk woolf…falls in a boiling pot of vodka.Piggy laughs” as a response to the comment. George later apologized on Twitter by saying, “I misjudged the joke. No malice was intended and I apologize to Kirstie.” After the apology, Kirstie fired back on Twitter, “@georgelopez I don’t need or want ur apology…I want your kidney dude..on behalf of ur X and all the women uv insulted…give it back”.
|1990||Ski Patrol||Eddie Martinez|
|1993||Fatal Instinct||Murder Investigator|
|2001||Bread and Roses||Perez||Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture|
|2002||Real Women Have Curves||Mr. Guzman|
|2005||The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl||Mr. Electricidad/ Mr. Electric/Tobor|
|2006||Balls of Fury||Ernie Rodriguez|
|2008||Swing Vote||John Sweeney|
|Henry Poole Is Here||Father Salizar|
|Beverly Hills Chihuahua||Papi||voice only|
|2009||Shannon’s Rainbow||Captain Martin|
|Mr. Troop Mom||Eddie Serrano|
|2010||The Spy Next Door||Glaze||Nominated—Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (shared with Valentine’s Day and Marmaduke)|
|2011||Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2||Papi||voice only
Nominated—Imagen Award for Best Actor in a Feature Film
Nominated—Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actor
|The Smurfs||Grouchy Smurf||voice only|
|Spy Kids: All the Time in the World||Ricky Raccoon|
|The Brothers García||Mr. Fender||Episode “The Student Buddy”|
|Curb your Enthusiasm||Himself|
|2002–2007||George Lopez||George Lopez||119 episodes
Imagen Award for Best Actor – Television (won 2004; nominated 2005, 2006, 2007)
Nominated—ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Series
Nominated—BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series (nominated 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Breakout Star – Male
Nominated—Young Artist Award for Most Popular Mom & Pop in a Television Series (shared with Constance Marie)
|2004||Naughty or Nice||Henry Ramiro|
|2006||Freddie||George||“Freddie Gets Cross Over “|
|2007–2008||The Naked Brothers Band||Himself||3 episodes|
|2008||Reno 911||Mayor of Reno||3 episodes|
|2009–2011||Lopez Tonight||Himself (Host)||Nominated—People’s Choice Award for Favorite Talk Show Host|
|2011||America’s Got Talent||Grouchy Smurf (voice)||July 27 (Season 6, Qtr Finals 3 results)|
|2001||Right Now, Right Now||Himself|
|2006||Why You Crying?||Himself|
|El Mas Chingon?||Himself|
|2007||America’s Mexican||Himself||HBO Special|
|2009||Tall, Dark, & Chicano||Himself||HBO Special|
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Who is Frank Urban Zoeller, Jr? The professional golf world knows Fuzzy Zoeller is an American professional golfer. He is one of three golfers to have won The Masters in his first appearance in the event. He also won the 1984 U.S. Open, which earned him the 1985 Bob Jones Award.
Life and career
Zoeller was born November 11, 1951 in New Albany, Indiana. He attended the University of Houston and became a professional golfer in 1973. He has won two major championships: the 1979 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club and the 1984 U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club.
Zoeller is one of only three golfers to have won The Masters in his first appearance in the event. The other two were the winners of the first two Masters, Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen. Zoeller was voted the 1985 Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
In 2002, Zoeller joined the Champions Tour and won the Senior PGA Championship, a senior major, that year. He also won the 2004 MasterCard Championship.
Zoeller is often jokingly critical of his colleagues on the golf course, for instance, asking “Where are the windmills and animals?” on a newly designed golf course, or heckling Craig Stadler, saying, “Nice clods, Stadler. Did you get those at a Buster Brown fire sale?” For much of his career, Zoeller was most famous for waving a white towel in mock surrender from the fairway of the 72nd hole of the 1984 U.S. Open, after Greg Norman holed a long putt on the 72nd green to tie Zoeller for the tournament lead. At the end of the 18-hole playoff the next day between Norman and Zoeller (which Zoeller won by a whopping 8 strokes), Norman waved a white towel himself, returning the joke.
But at the 1997 Masters tournament, Zoeller made an off-hand remark regarding Tiger Woods. After finishing tied for 34th place with a score of 78, Zoeller, referring to the following year’s Masters Champions Dinner, for which the defending champion selects the menu, said, “He’s doing quite well, pretty impressive. That little boy is driving well and he’s putting well. He’s doing everything it takes to win. So, you know what you guys do when he gets in here? You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken next year. Got it.” Zoeller then smiled, snapped his fingers, and walked away before turning and adding, “or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.” K-Mart and Dunlop ceased sponsoring Zoeller after the incident.
“I know Fuzzy, and it was obvious to me that he was attempting to be funny,” number-one ranked golf pro Tom Lehman said. “He probably would have said the same thing to Tiger’s face and they both would have yukked it up…[But] it wasn’t the best timing, and it wasn’t in good taste. It’s not appropriate.”
“I’ve been on the tour for 23 years and anybody who knows me knows that I am a jokester,” Zoeller said. “It’s too bad that something I said in jest was turned into something it’s not. But I didn’t mean anything by it and I’m sorry if I offend anybody. If Tiger is offended by it, I apologize to him, too. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Tiger as a person and an athlete.”
Zoeller later offered an apology directly to Woods, which Woods accepted.
On June 1, 2009, he launched a new venture, “Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka.”
On February 13, 2007, Zoeller sued the Miami foreign-credential evaluation firm of Josef Silny & Associates. The lawsuit alleged that defamatory statements appeared in the Wikipedia article about Zoeller in December 2006, originating from a computer at that firm. According to the suit, the edits suggested Zoeller had committed acts of alcohol, drug, and domestic abuse. Defendant Josef Silny said a computer consultant would investigate. However, Zoeller finally dropped the lawsuit in December 2007 after being unsuccessful in finding the poster. Zoeller was unable to sue Wikipedia for the statements due to protections accorded to providers of “interactive computer services” under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Amateur wins (3)
- 1972 Florida State Junior College Championship (individual)
- 1973 Old Capital Invitational (Indiana)
- 1973 Indiana State Amateur
PGA Tour wins (10)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning Score||Margin of Victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||Jan 28, 1979||Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational||-6 (76-67-67-72=282)||4 strokes|| Billy Kratzert,
|2||Apr 15, 1979||Masters Tournament||-8 (70-71-69-70=280)||Playoff||Ed Sneed, Tom Watson|
|3||May 17, 1981||Colonial National Invitation||-6 (67-69-68-70=274)||4 strokes||Hale Irwin|
|4||Apr 18, 1983||Sea Pines Heritage||-9 (67-72-65-71=275)||2 strokes||Jim Nelford|
|5||Sep 28, 1983||Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic||-15 (63-70-70-64-73=340)||4 strokes||Rex Caldwell|
|6||Jun 17, 1984||U.S. Open||-4 (71-66-69-70=276)||Playoff||Greg Norman|
|7||Mar 10, 1985||Hertz Bay Hill Classic||-9 (70-72-66-67=275)||2 strokes||Tom Watson|
|8||Feb 2, 1986||AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am||-11 (69-66-70=205)||3 strokes||Payne Stewart|
|9||Apr 20, 1986||Sea Pines Heritage||-8 (68-68-69-71=276)||1 stroke|| Chip Beck,
|10||Jul 13, 1986||Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic||-10 (70-68-72-64=274)||2 strokes||Jodie Mudd|
Other wins (4)
- 1985 Skins Game
- 1986 Skins Game
- 1987 Merrill Lynch Shoot-Out Championship
- 2003 Tylenol Par-3 Challenge
Champions Tour wins (2)
Senior major championship is shown in bold.
Other senior wins (3)
- 2002 Senior Slam
- 2008 Wendy’s Champions Skins Game (with Peter Jacobsen)
- 2009 Wendy’s Champions Skins Game (with Ben Crenshaw)
|Year||Championship||54 Holes||Winning Score||Margin||Runner(s)-up|
|1979||Masters Tournament||6 shot deficit||-8 (70-71-69-70=280)||Playoff1||Ed Sneed, Tom Watson|
|1984||U.S. Open||1 shot lead||-4 (71-66-69-70-67=276)||Playoff2||Greg Norman|
1Defeated Ed Sneed and Tom Watson in a sudden death playoff – Zoeller 4-3 (-1), Sneed 4-4 (E) and Watson 4-4 (E).
2Defeated Greg Norman in a 18 hole playoff – Zoeller 67 (-3), Norman 75 (+5).
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||CUT|
|The Open Championship||CUT||DNP||T8||T14||T14||T11||T8||T29||T52||CUT|
|The Open Championship||DNP||T80||DNP||T14||3||DNP||CUT||DNP||DNP||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP||DNP|
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
“T” indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
Champions Tour major championships
|2002||Senior PGA Championship||−2 (69−71−70−68=278)||2 strokes||Hale Irwin, Bobby Wadkins|