Billy Dee Williams

3.4321815368826 (1939)
Posted by r2d2 03/27/2009 @ 08:16

Tags : billy dee williams, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Bankruptcy watch - Arkansas Democrat Gazette
BLYTHEVILLE Duane D. Schaal, 801 N. Second, Apartment H54, May 18, Chapter 7. Robert and Barbara Ann Lucas Jr., 2320 Peabody St., May 14, Chapter 13. BONO Billy J. and Elwanda J. Norris, 1837 CR 353 Road, May 14, Chapter 7. BRYANT Bill Bob Babbitt (aka...
Maxwell Caulfield: Emmerdale makes me cry every week -
And I'm sure if I ever got to work with someone like Angelina Jolie, I'd be tongue-tied. Who were the best people you've worked with? MC: David Carradine (who starred in all the Kung Fu films) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian in Star Wars) are...
GH: Rumors and Spoilers -
Billy Dee Williams is back to GH in June. Olivia and Johnny continue their fling, much to Sonny and Claudia's dismay. Robin and Patrick have their hands full at work. Helena will return in mid-June and her plot shall be revealed....
Lest We Ever Forget - Bastrop Daily Enterprise
... Jack Thames Jr., Virgil E. Thomas, Edwin Travis, Paul Treanor, Clifton E. Washington, Richard L. Watson, Fred W. Whitehead, Billy D. Williams, Walter D. Williams, Richard A. Winfrey, Albion A. Winkler, Truman Winkler and Warren B. Winkler....
Prep-Track Update - Winston-Salem Journal
Marvin Ridge (Dylan Williams, Joel Obi-Melekwe, Diego Lawrence, Torri Tillman) 42.15; 2. Kannapolis Brown (Billy Simiton, Artrelle Louis, Jamill Lott, Dillon Robinson), 42.63; 3. South Johnston (Caleb Lucas, Tony Davis, Dee Williams, Christian Thomas),...
Best of the best in entertainment - Detroit Free Press
Fans just won't let the sun go down on Billy Joel and Elton John. The two '70s pop superstars have been performing together off and on since 1994, and they kicked off their 2009 tour in March in mostly Sun Belt venues. Earlier this month, they headed...
ROWE: Six degrees of separation to Hannah Montana - Lufkin Daily News
Alys and Billy Ray's son Reagan is engaged to Jill Hude, from Orange. She is a physician's assistant in a dermatology office in Austin. Reagan is in business for himself as an art director for a company called Paravel Design....
Robert Townsend's V-Studio and One Economy Launch Special Release ... - PR Web (press release)
Acting icons Richard Roundtree (''Se7en,'' ''Shaft'') and Billy Dee Williams (''Star Wars,'' ''Lady Sings the Blues'') play Ocean's mentor and uncle, respectively. The series is written by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Cheryl L. West...

Nighthawks (film)

Nighthawks is a 1981 thriller film starring Sylvester Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, Lindsay Wagner, Persis Khambatta, Nigel Davenport and Rutger Hauer. It was directed by Bruce Malmuth. The original music score was composed by Keith Emerson.

The story revolves around two NYPD police detectives, Det. Sgt. Deke DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) and Det. Sgt. Matthew Fox (Billy Dee Williams) who work undercover, and a terrorist Reinhardt Heymar Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer). In the prologue, a man with a knife tries to mug a woman, who turns out to be DaSilva in a blonde wig.

The next scene takes place in London, where Wulfgar blows up a department store. Meanwhile, back in New York City, DaSilva and Fox go on a drug bust. Back in London again, Wulfgar meets an associate at a party, Kenneth, who tells Wulfgar that Mercer, who we never see but come to know as the financier of Wulfgar's operations, is withholding money owed to Wulfgar because several children were killed in Wulfgar's latest bombing. Wulfgar quickly finds out that Kenneth has tipped off the police and kills him and the policemen are coming to get him. He then flees to Paris where he meets his associate Shakka Holland (Persis Khambatta) at La Sainte-Chapelle. Shakka remarks that La Sainte-Chapelle is a bad meeting place because it's next to (in real life too), the Palais de Justice, a courthouse in Paris. Shakka informs Wulfgar that Kenneth had a photo of Wulfgar on him when he was killed so Wulfgar and Shakka go to see a plastic surgeon. We find out later they killed the surgeon after the surgery. Wulfgar then flees to New York.

British Counter-terrorist specialist Peter Hartman (Nigel Davenport) comes to America to assemble a task force called A.T.A.C. (Anti-terrorist Action Command) to stop Wulfgar. Hartman believes Wulfgar will come to the U.S. next primarily for the press coverage. Hartman schools DaSilva, Fox and a specially selected team of New York police on Wulfgar, Shakka, and terrorism in general.

Wulfgar meets a woman, Pam, in a nightclub and moves in with her. Surprisingly enough, when she asks him what he does for a living, he tells her the complete and total truth: "I'm an international terrorist wanted on three continents." She thinks he's just kidding. Alone in her apartment while Wulfgar (known as Eric to Pam), is away, Pam discovers Wulfgar's arsenal of weapons in a case just as Wulfgar unexpectedly comes home. Pam, who has a stereo blaring, doesn't hear him and is caught holding a grenade from his suitcase. Wulfgar kills Pam but her death is the first break Hartman, DaSilva, and Fox get. Wulfgar has left behind a map with his last bombing circled. DaSilva and Fox find out some of Pam's favorite nightspots and hope to find Wulfgar at one of them. They do. But, unsure of what he looks like since the plastic surgery, they hesitate and after a long chase, Wulfgar gets away. Wulfgar is now hiding and living down in the basement of a little grocery store and after the chase, we learn Shakka is now in the United States and is there to meet him.

A few days later the team is protecting an important United Nations function that has the earmarks of a potential terrorist target. Just when everything seems to be running smoothly we see that Shakka is there, she has somehow eluded security, and with no one else around, she shoots Hartman.

Wulfgar and Shakka's next act is to hijack the Roosevelt Island Tram carrying U.N. representatives. Because he now knows DaSilva as a result of the nightclub chase he executes the wife of the French ambassador while DaSilva is watching from a hovering police helicopter. Wulfgar decides to let a baby onboard go and demands that DaSilva personally board the tramway to rescue it. DaSilva is winched up to the aerial tram and confronts Wulfgar face-to-face. DaSilva demands to know why Wulfgar killed the woman. “I wanted to.” the sadist replies. DaSilva and the baby are lowered back down to a waiting barge.

The police agree to Wulfgar's demands for a bus to escort him to safety. Wulfgar and Shakka hide among the crowd of hostages from the tram. DaSilva waits until they try to board before making his move. He plays back a recording of Hartman's lecture in which the terrorist expert denounces Shakka. In a rage, Shakka breaks from the hostages and is gunned down by Fox. Wulfgar somehow escapes, driving the bus off a ramp into the East River.

A search of the wreckage shows no sign of Wulfgar. The team finds the store where Wulfgar has been staying and DaSilva finds that Wulfgar has a lot of information on DaSilva, including an address of his ex-wife, Irene (Lindsay Wagner). Wulfgar makes his way to Irene's house, hides outside, and sees Irene walk up to the house and go in. He breaks in, finds her washing dishes and sneaks up behind her brandishing a knife. But DaSilva has made it to Irene's first, he turns around, wearing his ex-wife's housecoat and a blonde wig, brandishing a gun. With nowhere to go, Wulfgar lunges at DaSilva who fires his revolver twice into the terrorist, blowing him into the street.

The original director was Gary Nelson, who had directed the successful movies Freaky Friday (1976) and The Black Hole, but he left the project early into production and was not credited. His replacement, Bruce Malmuth, had only one previous film to his credit, a segment of the 1975 portmanteau comedy Foreplay. Malmuth was unable to make his first day of shooting, so Stallone stepped in to shoot the scene, the chase down the subway. Stallone had to get the approval of the Directors Guild of America (DGA), which has strict rules on actors directing their own movies, for this one day of filming. Principal photography began on January 1980 and lasted until March 1980.

Hanging from the cable car was probably one of the more dangerous stunts I was asked to perform because it was untested and I was asked to hold a folding Gerber knife in my left hand so if the cable were to snap, and I survived the 230 foot fall into the East River with its ice cold 8 mile an hour current, I could cut myself free from the harness because the cable when stretched out weighed more than 300 lbs. I tell you this because it's so stupid to believe that I would survive hitting the water so to go beyond that is absurd.

In the same Q&A session, he said that Nighthawks "was even a better film before the studio lost faith in it and cut it to pieces. What was in the missing scenes was extraordinary acting by Rutger Hauer, Lindsey Wagner, and the finale was a blood fest that rivaled the finale of Taxi Driver. But it was a blood fest with a purpose".

The subway train used in the chase sequence consisted of retired IND equipment that had been preserved as a museum train. Of the cars whose numbers are visible, 800 is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. 1802, the last prewar NYC subway car built, is owned by Railway Preservation Corporation and remains in New York, where it operates several times a year on museum fantrips along with other preserved cars. 1208 has since been scrapped. The IND Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn served as both the 57th and 42nd St. stations (a Hoyt-Schermerhorn sign is briefly visible when Stallone tries to pry the doors open as the train is pulling out). The train operated on the unused outer track that leads from the Court St. station, now the New York Transit Museum.

Despite receiving good reviews, including one from Variety, Nighthawks did not become a big commercial success, even though it did recover its $5 million budget in both US and foreign markets. It grossed USD $14.9 million in North America and $5 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $19.9 million. In her review for the New York Times, Janet Maslin praised Hauer's performance: "Mr. Hauer's terrorist, in particular, is a sharply drawn character who acts as a driving force within the movie's scheme. Sadism and bloodlessness are his only identifiable characteristics, and yet he behaves memorably wherever he goes".

Stallone says of the film now, "At the time, people couldn't relate to it, and the studio (Universal) didn't believe in it".

The widescreen DVD edition from Universal Pictures replaces two songs played during the disco shoot-out. The first song is "Brown Sugar" by the Rolling Stones and the second one is "I'm A Man" by Keith Emerson. Earlier VHS releases from Universal Home Video and some TV versions, also featured the altered songs. The fullscreen DVD release by GoodTimes Entertainment contains the restored songs. Both versions contain the UK edit of the finale which causes a continuity error (Stallone fires only two shots, but six bullet holes end up on Hauer by the time his body falls down the steps).

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Alien Intruder

Alien Intruder is a 1993 action/science fiction film by Nick Stone and Ricardo Jacques Gale. It starred Maxwell Caulfield, Tracy Scoggins, Billy Dee Williams, Gary Roberts, Richard Cody, and Stephen Davies. This film relied heavily on Billy Dee Williams' sci-fi reputation from the Star Wars series in its marketing despite his minor role in Alien Intruder.

Set in the year 2022, a group of convicts sentenced to life in prison are led on a mission into uncharted deep space by Williams to salvage a lost ship. As incentive to go on this dangerous mission, the convicts are given the opportunity to spend their weekends in a virtual reality world where they could live their sexual fantasies with any woman they chose. However, a beautiful vixen played by Scoggins appears during the convicts' weekends unexpectedly, driving them all murderously insane in fighting over her.

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Scott Joplin

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Scott Joplin (November 24, 1868 – April 1, 1917) was an African American composer and pianist, born near Texarkana, Texas, into the first post-slavery generation - his father an ex-slave and his mother a freeborn woman. He would achieve fame for his unique ragtime compositions, and would later be dubbed the "King of Ragtime." During his brief career, he wrote forty-four original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas, with one of his first pieces, the Maple Leaf Rag, becoming ragtime's first and most influential hit, and remaining so for a century.

He was blessed with an amazing ability to improvise at the piano, and was able to enlarge his talents with the music he heard around him, which was rich with the sounds of gospel hymns and spirituals, dance music, plantation songs, syncopated rhythms, blues, and choruses. After studying music with several local teachers, his talent was noticed by a German immigrant music teacher, Julius Weiss, who chose to give the 11 year old boy lessons free of charge. He was taught music theory, keyboard technique, and an appreciation of various European music styles, such as folk and opera. As an adult he also studied at an all-black college in Sedalia, Missouri.

He spent his final years, before his early death at age 48, working on his second opera, Treemonisha. This was written, according to opera historian Elise Kirk, to be a "timeless story" about a young black "heroine of the spirit who leads her people from superstition and darkness to salvation and enlightenment." It was a failure in its first concert performance in 1915, but was rediscovered and premiered in 1972. Joplin's music returned to popularity in the 1970s with the Academy award-winning movie The Sting, which featured several of his compositions, such as The Entertainer. Joplin was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1976.

Scott Joplin, the second of six children, was born in eastern Texas, outside of Texarkana, to Jiles Joplin and Florence Givins. His father was an ex-slave from North Carolina while his mother was a freeborn woman from Kentucky. After moving to Texarkana a few years after Scott was born, Jiles began working as a common laborer for the railroad while his mother did laundry and cleaning for additional income. Berlin writes that they "were a musical family and provided their son a rudimentary musical education." At the age of seven, for instance, Scott was allowed to play piano in both a neighbor's house and at the home of an attorney while his mother worked at housecleaning.

Berlin notes that Jiles "left the family in the early 1880s, going to live with another woman...":7 As a result, Florence "assumed support of the family with domestic work," and often while she worked, Scott would use her employer's piano when there was one in the house. According to a family friend, "the young Scott was serious, ambitious, and spoke of his intention to make something of himself." He taught himself to play by sight and improvisation, and received some basic guidance from family friends.

However, Berlin adds, "a more significant influence was a German immigrant music teacher who has been identified as Julius Weiss." Weiss, according to Berlin, somewhere heard him play and was so "impressed with the talent of the young Scott," he gave him lessons free of cost in order to expose him to various forms of European music, such as folk and opera. Berlin writes, "The essence of what Weiss accomplished was to impart to Scott an appreciation of music as an art as well as entertainment. . . Weiss helped shape Joplin's aspirations and ambitions toward high artistic goals. . . and the evidence suggests that he had a profound influence on the young Joplin." :7-8 There is also evidence that he later helped Joplin's mother acquire their first used piano from another one of his clients who had bought a new one.

As a teenager, Joplin began performing at various local events. Then sometime in the late 1880s, he chose to give up his only steady employment as a laborer with the railroad and left Texarkana to "support himself as an itinerant musician," writes historian Lawrence Christensen. He was soon to discover that there were few opportunities for black pianists, however. Besides the church, brothels were one of the few options for obtaining steady work. Kirk writes that "he played pre-ragtime ('jig-piano') in various red-light districts throughout the mid-South." He also managed to fit in classes in composition and counterpoint at one of the nation's first all-black academic institutions, the George R. Smith College for Negroes in Sedalia, Missouri.

In 1899, Joplin sold what would soon become one of his most famous pieces, "Maple Leaf Rag", to John Stark & Son, a Sedalia music publisher. It was an immediate success and was ragtime's first hit, remaining so for a century. It also served as a model for the hundreds of rags to come from future composers. Jazz historian Bill Kirchner notes that "Joplin influenced his peers, not only in the form of the rag but in techniques of composition, especially in subtle uses of syncopation." He adds however, that although other composers had studied and learned from "Maple Leaf," and acknowledged its lead, except for Joseph Lamb, they "failed to enlarge upon it." Nonetheless, with the "ebullient, ever-popular" "Maple Leaf Rag", Joplin soon became known as King of Ragtime, according to opera historian Elise Kirk, and Tennison calling him the Father of Ragtime.

Nonetheless, Kirk writes that soon "reality became bitter for Joplin." She feels that the public was not yet ready for "crude" black musical forms, which were so different from the style of European grand opera of that time, regardless of its "excellent craftsmanship." Furthermore, she points out, "The story itself is timeless. All can relate to its message, making it one of America's earliest family operas, . . . and an excellent vehicle for introducing children to both opera and their national heritage." Yet he was unable to find a publisher.

In 1911, unable to find a publisher, he undertook the financial burden of publishing "Treemonisha" himself in piano-vocal format and as a last resort to see it staged invited a small audience to hear it at a rehearsal hall in Harlem, in 1915. Poorly staged and with only himself on piano accompaniment, it was "a miserable failure," notes Kirk. While Scott concludes that "after a disastrous single performance . . . Joplin suffered a breakdown. He was bankrupt, discouraged, and worn out." And according to Scott, few American artists of his generation faced such obstacles. "Treemonisha went unnoticed and unreviewed, largely because Joplin had abandoned commercial music in favor of art music, a field closed to African Americans.":37 In fact, it was not until the 1970s that the opera received a full theatrical staging.

Joplin moved to St. Louis in early 1900 with his new wife, Belle. Belle was a sister-in-law of Scott Hayden, who collaborated with Joplin in the composition of four rags. They later divorced.

Joplin was hopeful that his final opera, "Treemonisha," which filled 230 page of sheet music and took years of single-minded devotion to finish, would be successful. In the end, however, he could not interest producers to finance the huge project. Then, in 1915, at his own expense, he gave a single performance which received only unfavorable reviews. He closed the show after that initial performance, but never recovered from that great disappointment.

His depression continued to worsen and accelerated what others believe were the effects of terminal syphilis. He died in Manhattan State Hospital on April 1, 1917, at the age of forty-eight.

After his death in 1917, Joplin's music and ragtime in general waned in popularity as new forms of musical styles, such as jazz and novelty piano, emerged. Even so, Jazz bands and recording artists such as Tommy Dorsey in 1936, Jelly Roll Morton in 1939 and J. Russell Robinson in 1947 released recordings of Joplin ragtime compositions ragtime on 78 RPM records. Between 1902 and 1961 more recordings of the Maple Leaf Rag were released by more artists than for any other Joplin rag.

In November 1970, Rifkin released a recording called Scott Joplin Piano Rags on the classical label Nonesuch."Listen" It sold 100,000 copies in its first year and eventually became Nonesuch's first million-selling record. Record stores found themselves for the first time putting ragtime in the classical music section. The album was nominated in 1971 for two Grammy Award categories: Best Album Notes and Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra). Rifkin was also under consideration for a third Grammy for a recording not related to Joplin, but at the ceremony on March 14, 1972, Rifkin did not win in any category.

In January 1971, Harold C. Schonberg, music critic at the New York Times, having just heard the Rifkin album, wrote a featured Sunday edition article entitled "Scholars, Get Busy on Scott Joplin!" Schonberg's call to action has been described as the catalyst for classical music scholars, the sort of people Joplin had battled all his life, to conclude that Joplin was a genius.:184 Vera Brodsky Lawrence of the New York Public Library published a two-volume set of Joplin works in June 1971, entitled The Collected Works of Scott Joplin, stimulating a wider interest in the performance of Joplin's music.

On October 22, 1971 excerpts from Treemonisha were presented in concert form at Lincoln Center with musical performances by Bolcom, Rifkin and Mary Lou Williams supporting a group of singers. Finally, on January 28, 1972, T.J. Anderson's orchestration of Treemonisha was staged for two consecutive nights, sponsored by the Afro-American Music Workshop of Morehouse College in Atlanta, with singers accompanied by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw, and choreography by Katherine Dunham. Schonberg remarked in February 1972 that the "Scott Joplin Renaissance" was in full swing and still growing.

Gunther Schuller, a french horn player and music professor, formed the New England Ragtime Ensemble in 1972 from students at the New England Conservatory. He had received mimeographed copies of individual instrumental parts of the Red Back Book from Vera Lawrence, and was introducing Joplin tunes into the middle of otherwise 'classical' concerts of American turn-of-the-century music. Angel Records approached him with a record deal and, in 1973, produced a recording called Joplin: The Red Back Book.

After Marvin Hamlisch produced the soundtrack for The Sting in 1973, won an Oscar for his adaptation of Joplin's music, , and got his adaptation of The Entertainer on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart in 1974, "the whole nation has begun to take notice...", wrote the New York Times.

New York Magazine, in 1979, wrote that Nonesuch Records, by giving artists like Rifkin their "first hearing" by recording Joplin's music, "created, almost alone, the Scott Joplin revival." In his interview with the Times, Rifkin stated, "Let's face it - the big factor here is the score for The Sting." However, Rifkin pointed out that the movie's score was a "direct stylistic lift from two sources. ...What you get in the movie is piano solos played exactly like mine and the orchestral arrangements done exactly like his ." The Grammy-nominated recordings remained at the top of Billboard's classical charts for some time.

Also that year the Royal Ballet, under Kenneth MacMillan created Elite Syncopations, a ballet based on tunes by Joplin, Max Morath and others. In addition, 1974 also saw the premiere by the Los Angeles Ballet of Red Back Book, choreographed by John Clifford to Joplin rags from the collection of the same name, including both solo piano performances and arrangements for full orchestra.

In May 1975, Treemonisha was staged in a full opera production by the Houston Grand Opera. The company toured briefly, then settled into an eight-week run in New York on Broadway at the Palace Theater in October and November. This appearance was directed by Gunther Schuller, and soprano Carmen Balthrop alternated with Kathleen Battle as the title character. An "original Broadway cast" recording was produced. Because of the lack of national exposure given to the brief Morehouse College staging of the opera in 1972, many Joplin scholars wrote that the Houston Grand Opera's 1975 show was the first full production.

In 1970, Joplin was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame by the National Academy of Popular Music.

In 1976 Joplin was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his special contribution to American music. A star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame was placed in his honor. Motown Productions produced a Scott Joplin biographical film starring Billy Dee Williams as Joplin, released by Universal Pictures in 1977. In 1983, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp of the composer as part of its Black Heritage commemorative series.

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Gale Sayers

Sayers signing autographs in 2005

Gale Eugene Sayers (born May 30, 1943 in Wichita, Kansas), also known as "The Kansas Comet", was a professional football player in the National Football League who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Sayers, raised in Omaha, Nebraska, graduated from Omaha Central High School (where he set a state long jump record of 24'11 3/4")and was a two-time All-American player at the University of Kansas. During his Jayhawk career, he rushed for 2,675 yards and gained 3,917 all-purpose yards. In 1963, he set an NCAA Division I record with a 99-yard run against Nebraska. In his senior year, he led the Jayhawks to a 15-14 upset victory over Oklahoma with a 96-yard kickoff return. Sayers is considered by many to have been the greatest open field runner in college football history.

Gale Sayers was drafted by the Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, but signed with Chicago. In his rookie year, he scored an NFL record 22 touchdowns (14 rushing, 6 receiving, and 1 each on punt and kickoff returns). He gained 1,374 yards from scrimmage and had 2,272 all-purpose yards (also a record, later broken by Tim Brown, who played two more games than Sayers). He tied Ernie Nevers' and Dub Jones' record for touchdowns in a single game, with 6 in a 61-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on December 12.

In his second season, despite being the focus of opposing defenses, Sayers led the league in rushing with 1,231 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per carry with 8 touchdowns. He led the Bears in receiving with 34 catches, 447 yards, and two more scores; he also more than matched his rookie season's kick return numbers, averaging 31.2 yards per return with 2 touchdowns. He set another NFL record with 2,440 all-purpose yards despite the fact the Bears struggled, finishing in fifth place with a 5-7-2 record. Sayers also won the first of three Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player awards.

In George Halas's last season as an NFL coach, Sayers again starred on a relatively average Bear team. Sharing more of the rushing duties with other backs, like Brian Piccolo, Sayers gained only 880 yards with a 4.7 average per carry. His receptions were down as well, as the Chicago offense had become somewhat punchless. Only his returns remained spectacular. He had 3 kickoff returns for touchdowns on only 16 returns, averaging 37.7 yards per return. Only rarely returning punts, Sayers still managed to run one back for a score. Chicago finished in second place in the newly organized Central Division with a 7-6-1 record.

After the first nine games of 1968, Sayers was again leading the NFL in rushing (he finished with 856 yards and a 6.2 average per carry). However, his season ended prematurely in a game against the San Francisco 49ers when Sayers tore many ligaments in his right knee. After surgery, Sayers went through a physical rehabilitation program with the help of teammate Brian Piccolo.

In the 1969 season Sayers led the league in rushing once again with 1,032 yards, but he lacked the lightning speed he once had, and averaged only 4.4 yards per carry. The Bears, long past the Halas glory years, finished in last place with a franchise worst 1–13 record.

In 1970, Sayers suffered a second knee injury, this time to his left knee. Piccolo also died of cancer that year. During his off time, Sayers took classes to become a stockbroker and became the first black stockbroker in his company's history. After another rehabilitation period, he tried a comeback in 1971, but was not successful. He was encouraged to retire because of his loss of speed. His final game was in the preseason; he was handed the ball three times and fumbled twice.

Sayers retired from football in 1971.

In 1977, Sayers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and is still the youngest inductee in the Hall's history. In 1994, the Bears retired his number 40 at Soldier Field, along with the number 51 of his teammate, legendary linebacker Dick Butkus. In 1999, despite the brevity of his career, he was ranked #21 on The Sporting News's list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.

Sayers' records include most touchdowns in a rookie season (22 in 1965), most touchdowns in a game (6, tied with Nevers and Jones), highest career kickoff return average (30.56), most kickoff return touchdowns (6, tied with four other players) and most return touchdowns in a game (2, tied with many players).

Sayers' friendship with teammate Brian Piccolo, and Piccolo's struggle with cancer (embryonal cell carcinoma, a type of cancer, found as a large tumor in his chest cavity which would eventually result in his death), became the subject of the made-for-TV movie Brian's Song. The movie, in which Sayers was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in the 1971 original, and by Mekhi Phifer in the 2001 remake, was adapted from Sayers' own telling of this story in his 1971 autobiography I Am Third.

A notable aspect of Sayers' friendship with Piccolo, a white man, and the first film's depiction of their friendship, was its effect on race relations. The first film was made in the wake of racial riots and charges of discrimination across the nation. Sayers and Piccolo were devoted friends and deeply respectful of and affectionate with each other. Piccolo helped Sayers through rehabilitation after injury, and Sayers was by Piccolo's side throughout his illness.

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Radio From Hell

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Radio From Hell is an American radio program broadcast weekday mornings on Salt Lake City, Utah's KXRK 96.3FM, simulcast via a live internet audio stream, and available as an iTunes podcast or downloadable MP3. The show features hosts Kerry Jackson, Bill Allred, and Gina Barberi.

Radio From Hell is the longest running radio program in the Salt Lake City area, and has consistently been rated as one of the best programs in the area by media reviews and polls. The show has received praise from outside the Utah region; Rolling Stone cited KXRK as one of the top-five rock and roll radio stations in the U.S., and reported that Radio From Hell was one of the longest-running local radio programs in the U.S.

The show originated on Ogden's KJQ as "The Fun Pigs", hosted by Jackson and Allred in 1986. It was later retitled to Radio From Hell for being "the radio show for people who feel like hell in the morning." Jackson and Allred were among five out of twenty-five employees who did not quit KJQ in December 1991.

Many members of the former KJQ staff founded a new station, KXRK, which premiered in February 1992. The new station featured Bill Allred and Dom Casual in a morning show called "Project X with Dom and Bill"; they were among many ex-KJQ personalities on the initial lineup on KXRK.

On May 20, 1996, Gina Barberi joined the program. Barberi had been hosting a morning show on KUTQ called "Woody and Barberi" with co-host Scott Woodmansee; she had been working as a mid-day DJ at KUTQ before moving to this position. Additionally, Gina had worked at KJQ in the late 1980s when she was 19 and still a student at the University of Utah.

Radio From Hell (RFH) begins each morning at 5:00 A.M. Mountain Time. Between 5:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M, the show consists of the 9:00 A.M - 10:00 A.M. segment of the previous show, interwoven with sound clips from various movies and television series. The live show runs from 6:00 A.M. and ends near 10:00 A.M.

Radio From Hell's hosts, especially Jackson and Allred, are known for being socially and politically liberal. They frequently discuss the LDS Church, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Utah state liquor laws and many other idiosyncrasies of Utah life and culture.

Listeners are called "friends of the program;" every Wednesday, a "best friend of the program" is invited to be in the studio during the show where they are fed breakfast from the Judge Cafe.

The show's mission statement is occasionally played before the show begins. Allred reads the announcement, with music in the background.

Kerry Jack Jackson grew up in Salem, Utah. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his Korean-American wife, Sue. Jackson often references and discusses his love for geek culture including video games, comic books (Marvel Comics, not DC Comics), and science-fiction movies and television series such as Star Trek and Star Wars. One of his favorite video games is the Lego Star Wars series. His large toy collection consists of Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Marvel Comics action figures. Kerry regularly plays audio clips from the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Sealab 2021, Squidbillies, Saul of the Mole Men, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.

For over a decade has done his own show, "The Geek Show", which is now in podcast form called Geek show podcast.

Jackson often recounts his adventurous weekend experiences (usually involving his fondness for mixed drinks), offers humorous pickup lines, and occasionally performs impressions of celebrities including Larry Flynt, Roy Horn, Lou Ferrigno, and Owen Wilson. Kerry has claimed that he has an innate talent for recreating the voices of handicapped celebrities. Kerry also does the voice of the character, "Frank Chryst", a celebrity-reporter who is perpetually grieving over the "horrible, terrible tragedy" of a recently publicized celebrity death.

Jackson also has been candid and jocular about his suffering from possibly a combination of personality disorders, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, depression and Social Anxiety. He says he lies in bed and hears songs or phrases repeat themselves over and over. Mostly these intrusive and repetitive thoughts are Warner Bros. themed. Also, in early 2007, Bill was allowed to read an email from a listener that had seen Jackson shopping, who was noticeably irate and wrathful, due to being surrounded by too many people.

Jackson had a bit part in the film The Singles Ward, but has disavowed his role in the film because he felt it was simply not funny. Despite his best efforts, however, he has been offered a part in a proposed sequel.

Jackson is also responsible for recording, selecting and playing the majority of the sound clips on the show; Allred has described Jackson as the Don Letts of Radio From Hell (referencing Lett's role in rock group Big Audio Dynamite).

Kerry attempted to participate in The World Series of Pop Culture. After traveling to California, his team, "Shatner's Midnight Runners" passed the written exam and were allowed to audition for the producers. The were ultimately cut from the contest and sent home with a calendar for their trouble.

A native of Ogden, Utah, Allred was actually born Ralph William Allred. He attended Ben Lomond High School, then graduated from the theater program at Weber State University, and did some graduate work at Penn State University. Allred actually finished all of his coursework at Penn State University, but told his professors that he would mail in his Thesis for his Masters in Theatre art. The rough draft for that thesis is in a briefcase under his bed at this very moment. According to Allred, while at Penn State he was attacked by squirrels and, therefore, no longer cares for the small animals. Bill fell into radio work by accident, starting with an overnight shift. Allred tends to be the most intellectual of the three hosts, reading such magazines as The Economist, and frequently referring to "tuna salad" as "salad niçoise". He also enjoys biking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

He currently lives in downtown Salt Lake City with his wife, "Mrs. Bill", his son "Little Bill", his daughter "Little Mrs. Bill", and his two cats, G. Gordon Liddy and Rush Limbaugh. Bill is a fan of movies, having gone so far as to say that he would like to be able to see every movie that is released, even the really bad movies. Some of Bill's stories relate to raising his live-in family as well as a family from a previous marriage who still live in Ogden. He is often trying to discover educational outings for his intellectually curious son "Little Bill". One such trip led to a children's library and a tour of a giant colon model.

Bill regularly performs different voices and impressions during his reading of the news. The most popular include his German, Swedish, and Namibian accents. Also popular is his Strom Thurmond-like impression of Utah Legislator Chris Buttars and his bloviating reproduction of U.S. Congressman Chris Cannon. In the past Bill frequently appeared as William Shatner in order to wish friends of the program a "Happy Birthday", though appearance of this feature has become rare in recent years. In 2007, Bill performed the voice of Senator Larry Craig, the infamous Senator caught by police in a Minneapolis Airport bathroom stall for sex solicitation.

Bill has experienced a couple of brushes with fame and fortune. Bill can be seen as one of the extras in the Robert Altman movie, Nashville (film). According to Bill, he is in a crowd scene and is distinguishable by his Budweiser shirt and sunglasses.

Bill also saw Geri Jewell perform her stand-up comedy routine in Ogden, Utah and was later able to have drinks with her.

Bill recently won the "Define-a-thon" hosted by KCPW and American Heritage Dictionary, confirming the fact that he wears the smartie pants and succeeding in his goal to beat Kurt Bestor. The first thing Bill did with his new dictionary is look up the F-word, which has 7 variations.

Gina Marie Barberi grew up in Roy, Utah, the daughter of famed Utah radio show host Tom Barberi and her frequent foil of a mother, "The Sainted Mary Claire." She was re-married in February 2005 to "Joe Jones." Barberi has three children, "Festus" (a son from her first marriage to "the Pirate"), "Jonesie", and "Mohamed." These names are of course pseudonyms for the children's real names. Gina frequently expresses her fondness for celebrity news, gossip and rumor. To that end, she receives a Cosmo subscription for each Christmas from Allred. However, in May 2007, she stated that she had "seen and read" all the magazine had to offer and no longer desired the subscription. A good deal of Gina's personal life has been made public on the air, such as her experiments with thong underwear, her breast enlargement surgery, her 800 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, her Hawaiian-based wedding, and her elementary school aged son's penchant for hard rockers AC/DC. She is a fanatically picky eater, refusing to eat such common staples as cheese, tomatoes, honey, or seafood due to her dislike of their texture. When ordering a hamburger from either the Crown Burgers or Training Table restaurants, she insists on only having meat and bread. No lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, or condiments. Her husband "Joe" has attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to broaden Gina's culinary horizons. Although, recently, they enacted a rule at the Jones household that there would be no special meals (not in Gina's case of course), but they're hoping to correct Festus and prevent Jonesie from being picky eaters.

Gina possesses several phobias, including wind chimes, shower curtains, sculptures depicting children, mountain lions, and the wind. (The first two have been explained by Gina's childhood exposure to horror movies.) In order to avoid being assaulted, Gina says she pretends to talk on the phone while walking through a parking lot, and if Joe is not home she will keep her cellular phone under her pillow, and turns on the TV (which cannot be visible from any window or someone might want to steal it) so it sounds as if people are talking if she is home alone.

Though Jackson and Allred will admit to occasionally exaggerating their own traits and behaviors for comedic effect, they insist that Barberi does not do so; her radio persona is not an act.

Richard Thomas Steadman is the Radio From Hell show "fresh-faced Mormon Sr. Executive producer and Grassroots Outreach Coordinator." He is not a host, but does appear sporadically on the show with anecdotes of his own and exciting stories about losing his keys. He began as an intern, eventually becoming a paid employee. Richie is a graduate of Southern Utah University, and was a DJ on the radio station there. He also participated in the SUU show choir Acclamation.

Allred reads the newspaper because he claims that 90% of the listeners won't. He reads news stories from The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret Morning News, USA Today, and various internet sites. The word, "opinnuendo" is a portmanteau of "opinion" and "innuendo", coined in 2004 due to complaints about the hosts' editorializing. Recently a voice mail only line was introduced as the drunk dial line. After many, many a drunks called in, including Kerry while visiting San Francisco for the weekend, it was changed to the "opinnuendo" line. Even after the change, drunks still called in and left messages, RFH then encouraged non-drunks to call in as well.

On alternating Tuesdays a character named "Punk" calls into the show to review B-Movies, mostly of the horror genre. Titles have included the elevator based The Shaft, the medieval Barbarian, the animated Li'l Pimp, and the futuristic Dream Warrior.

Punk gives a summary of the cast list and plot, and then plays a very poor recording of a scene from the movie. Punk rates the movies on a scale of 1 to 4 Prozac pills as well as a handful of supplemental medication like Wellbutrin or Claritin. Punk then recommends junk food to consume while watching the movie, such as flapjacks and syrup, RC Cola, Star Wars breakfast cereal, Ring Pops, candy necklaces, or a Zagnut Bar.

Alternating Tuesdays with Punk, the character of Kyle Brown calls in. Kyle's background and misadventures are almost entirely fictional.

According to the show, Kyle is a little albino boy trying to make it in the big-wide world. His call-ins were originally introduced by playing The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song and an explanation that Kyle is the son of either Kerry or Bill. Both of them knew, and were apparently intimate, with Kyle's mother. No DNA test has ever been performed at the request of Kerry and Bill as the potential fathers would prefer to keep the hope that they are not his father. Kerry and Bill are required by the state to contact their "son" on a semi-monthly basis.

Kyle frequently starts new businesses in an attempt to better himself. Examples include Kyle's Home Botox Injections, Kyle's Carpet Munchers Carpet Cleaning, Kyle's Haunted Tomato Patch, Meaty-O's Cereal (dog food), and once a bow and arrow company in which the slogan was we'll send a quiver down your spine. Kyle has also attempted to imitate the magician David Blaine by locking himself in a cardboard box on the corner of State and Main in Salt Lake City, across from the Hardee's fast food restaurant. The "corner of State and Main" is a frequent location for Kyle's antics, though in fact State Street and Main Street run parallel and never intersect. Kyle moves from home to home, sometimes living with Kerry, or Bill, but most frequently, with Gina. Gina is usually unaware that Kyle is lurking in her home until he informs her during his call.

Kyle is also an ardent defender of Britney Spears.

Arguably the most popular feature on the show, "Boner of the Day" (formerly "Boners in the News") is referred to as the "feature that won't go away." The term boner is now used to mean "a mistake", though the feature originally was called the "morning boner", and featured more sexual innuendo.

The feature presents three current event articles that display "bad, stupid, or funny behavior". Bill re-titles and reads the three articles. After all three candidates are read, listeners to the program can call or e-mail in their votes. The story which receives the most votes is crowned "Boner of the Day." A local resident and entrepreneur, Dave "The Flower Guy" Matson enters the studio on Friday, towards the end of the show, to choose one of the daily winners as "Boner of the Week." In 2006 an attempt has been made to crown "Boner of the Month", "Boner of the Quarter", and "Boner of the Year" using online web polls. The hosts are not confident that these additional "Boners" will be presented in future years.

Every other Wednesday, Radio From Hell presents "Things That Must Go". Each host then presents a list of pet peeves. The list has included Dr. Phil, The Buggles, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep", The Orlando Jones Show, Rachael Ray, fake British accents, and public bathroom stalls without a hook on the door.

Alternating with the hosts' irritations is the "Listeners' List of Things That Must Go", for which listeners are encouraged to send in e-mails detailing the things they feel "must go".

Friday mornings include a visit from the local psychic Margaret Ruth, who also teaches occasional classes on tarot card reading at the University of Utah.

Ostensibly, callers to the Radio From Hell show can ask Margaret Ruth a love-related question, to which she will apply her psychic advice and tarot reading. In reality, however, the segment consists primarily of the three hosts and Ruth belittling the caller in a polite manner referred to as "The Painful Circle". Lesbian or gay friends of the program are usually elevated to the front of calling line as their calls are more intriguing to Kerry.

Margaret Ruth's segment is always introduced with a clip from The Scary Door, a fictional TV show enjoyed by the characters of the TV series Futurama. The segment has frequently uses sound clips from the Disneyland attraction Haunted Mansion, which is one of Little Bill's favorite park attractions.

Jeff Vice is one of the movie reviewers from The Deseret Morning News. On Thursday mornings he visits the studio and presents his reviews of the current movies, more formal versions of which are then available in the paper and online the next day. Jeff will often give alternative ratings and reviews for geeks, i.e., giving Spider-Man 2 3 1/2 stars in the paper and 4 stars for geeks. Jeff Vice can also be heard weekly with host Kerry Jackson on the Geek Show Podcast.

Bill Frost is the TV columnist for the Salt Lake City Weekly newspaper. Monday mornings he enters the studio and informs the hosts and listeners of all the TV shows that are starting, ending, or doing something special.

The neglected news, Bill's favorite news, consists primarily of celebrity-related news which Gina refers to as "THE NEWS". As of October 2007, Jackson has referred to this segment as the "Celebutard News." Bill, confessing frequently that he despises this feature, reads the news and intentionally mauls the names of celebrities into often unrecognizable forms. For example, Jennifer Aniston becomes "Jamima Amadon", Brad Pitt becomes "Brill Pim,", Oprah Winfrey becomes "Orca Winkie", and Justin Timberlake becomes Jumpin Tamberman. Bill is also well known for pronouncing words phonetically which adds extra spark to his reading the otherwise boring news. Bill's newfound love of celebrity has eclipsed his love of sunshine, puppies and his children, although the latter wasn't really a contest.

In June 2008, Kerry created a longer and exclusively online version of the Geek Show Podcast. The podcast is generally recorded in Kerry's basement on Sunday afternoons, complete with alcoholic beverages. The permanent panel includes Host Kerry Jackson, Deseret News Film Critic Jeff Vice, Deseret News Television Critic Scott Pierce, Comic book illustrator Derek Hunter, Geek culture expert Shannon Barnson and game enthusiast Leigh George Kade. It also occasionally features Marcus, the runner up on the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing and the current Mayor of Comedy. The Geek Show Podcast can also be found on iTunes.

Each October, usually close to Halloween, Bill Allred portrays the character of "Chainsaw Guy", the guy with the chainsaw and hockey mask at the end of a typical spook alley. Kerry introduces Chainsaw Guy and illuminates the audience as to Chainsaw Guy's credentials as a couple's counselor and sex therapist. Listeners are then invited to call in and ask Chainsaw Guy for advice. Chainsaw guy, who never removes his mask, and consistently carries his chainsaw with him, then proceeds to give advice to the listener. The advice can be somewhat hard to understand due to the mask and the gas-powered tree-trimming implement. When Chainsaw Guy began his career, all he could afford was an Eager Beaver. This saw was replaced by a larger and more powerful Husqvarna, which has since been upgraded to a Pullen. This is one of Gina's favorite segments of the year.

In past years, a prominent portion of the Radio From Hell broadcast included radio skits. "Space Elders" was a series about two Mormon missionaries, Butch and Lehi, on a proselyting mission in outer space. The duo would preach the gospel to aliens attempting to convert them to the LDS way of life. Often there would be cameos by Star Wars characters, or other science fiction persona. "The X96 Files" was a parody of The X-Files, with Agent Muldy, played by Kerry, and Agent Sculler, played by Gina. The partners would investigate the paranormal activities, often focused on Utah landmarks. These sketches were written by a now severed "friend of the program" whose given nomenclature on the show was changed after a falling out with the morning radio hosts.

Past syndicated features included The Chuck Heston Mini Disaster Movie, which parodied Charlton Heston films, Mr. Manly, and Dingo Boy. and the Tom Brokow News Update, which parodied news shows.

Salt Lake business owner Mario Morales frequently visited the show with a Spanish lesson. He gave two sentences in Spanish, allowing each DJ to repeat the sentence in turn. He then gives the English translation of the often humorous sentences. Occasionally prizes are given to listeners who can accurately translate a given sentence. He had a tendency for being late every time he's on. When asked by a listener about the Spanish Lesson being discontinued, Bill Allred said we'd have to ask Mario Morales why he stopped doing it and attributed it to Morales being so busy with his work.

Beginning in February 2007, Kerry Jackson began asking trivia questions about Billy Dee Williams in order to give away prizes. After only a week and a half, Jackson began asking questions tangential to Williams and his roles in films, due to the limited knowledge of most Radio From Hell listeners outside of William's roles as Lando Calrissian and spokesman for Colt 45.

Previous to the October 13, 2006 episode, Radio From Hell often interviewed politicians who came on the show unannounced. Radio From Hell promised to interview any politician as long as they did not interrupt the Boners, and arrived without a set appointment. Interviewees included Republicans, Democrats, Independents, school board candidates, city council candidates, state representatives, US representatives, and many others.

On the October 12, 2006 show, while broadcasting on location from St. George, Utah, Radio From Hell invited both Senator Orrin Hatch and his opponent, Pete Ashdown to appear on the show. Both Ashdown and Hatch were in St. George on that day for a debate. Mr. Ashdown made an appearance, Senator Hatch did not. Simmon's Media management called during the show, after Mr. Ashdown left, and indicated that politicians would no longer be allowed on the show.

Listeners of the Radio From Hell show are referred to as "Friends of the Program". Sometimes this is further categorized as "Gay Friends of the Program", "Incarcerated Friends of the Program", and so forth. There are a few Friends of the Program who have become more than just listeners.

In December 2006, Radio From Hell produced their first "Best of..." CD entitled, "Radio From Hell: Songs From The Big Chair". The title was an homage to a Tears for Fears album, as well as referencing the big chair found in the cover photograph. The chair in question is a semi-famous Beaver, Utah landmark. The CD contained segments suggested by Radio From Hell listeners, and ultimately selected by Richie T.

The CD was part of Radio From Hell's yearly fund-raiser for The Road Home, a non-profit organization which helps the homeless. The CD was sold for $10 each.

2. Y'OK Bill?

On the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Radio From Hell was not sure how to commemorate the event, as they are, in general, a comedy program. Radio From Hell decided to throw a big birthday party for those people who had birthdays on, or around, the attacks. Listeners also requested a re-reading of a letter from listener, "Don", who authored an e-mail to the show on September 12, 2001.

Radio From Hell has occasionally stirred up controversy with their, generally speaking, pro-gay rights, pro-gun, pro-death penalty, pro-adult-living, anti-Iraq-war, and anti-authoritarian viewpoints.

One of the more publicized incidents involved a 2004 billboard advertising campaign. The original billboards featured the likeness of a typical, small-town Christian church in front of a rainbow. The caption read "Alternative Lifestyle? 'Til Death Do Us Part." During an election season in which Utah voters were ultimately faced with the question of passing an anti-gay marriage amendment, the billboards caused a great deal of discussion, argument, and even vandalism. The billboards did advertise a URL, but that site only duplicated the billboard's image and announced that additional information would be "coming soon." There were no indications that X96 or Radio From Hell were responsible for the campaign. After a certain period of time, the billboards were replaced by somewhat similar looking billboards that replaced the graphic of the church with a graphic featuring Bill in a wedding dress, Kerry in a tuxedo, and Gina in Catholic Priest garb with an advertisement for the show and radio station. The "Alternative Lifestyle" referred to was the station's alternative music playlist.

Radio From Hell began asking their callers to thank Kerry, Bill, and Gina for letting them listen in Spring 2007. It was instituted for a number of reasons, including wanting to replace callers asking them “How are you?” at the beginning of every call and to mock people like Sean Hannity, whose listeners tell him “You’re a Great American.” They have repeatedly stated that the statement is meant to be ironic but many listeners have called or written to complain over the arrogance of the statement.

Radio From Hell has won the Salt Lake City Weekly's reader's-choice award for Best Radio Show at least seven years in a row (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005. 2006, 2007 and 2008 .

Radio From Hell is the longest running radio morning show in the Salt Lake City, Utah area.

Radio From Hell is the highest rated radio show by 18-34 year olds in the Salt Lake City market, according to Arbitron's Summer 2006 report.

In its 2006 summer double issue, Rolling Stone named KXRK (Radio From Hell's host station) as one of the top five rock stations in the country.

The following section includes humor, jokes and satire paraphrased from content on the show.

Kerry is said to have recently purchased a cardboard son, naming him "Optimus Prime" after the Transformers character of the same name. Bill often warns Kerry of the dangers of water and its effects on the paper-product boy.

Up until recently, Kerry's official bio on the RFH web page was actually the fictional biography of Captain James T. Kirk.

Bill dislikes the broadcasts of Sean Hannity, so much so that, as of September 29, 2005, he has vowed never to mention his name on the radio again. That vow has been broken in outrage on a number of occasions, but, thus, Hannity is often referred to on air as "He Who Must Not Be Named", a reference to the villain Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series of books and films.

Bill became known as "the defender of the patty melt", due to his love for the sandwich, particularly one from The Training Table, a small, locally owned chain. Because of this, Radio From Hell often plays a clip from Dead Like Me in which Mandy Patinkin berates a customer for not knowing the difference between a patty melt and a grilled cheese. He has also referred to himself as "Slain Polygamist Leader Bill Allred", referring to noted (and assassinated) Utah polygamist leader Rulon C. Allred.

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The Final Comedown

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The Final Comedown is a 1972 drama film written, produced and directed by Oscar Williams and starring Billy Dee Williams and D'Urville Martin. The film is an examination of racism in the United States. It is considered to be a blaxploitation film. The film was recut and re-released in 1976 under the title Blast! The new version, which credited "Frank Arthur Wilson" as the director, featured additional footage directed by Allan Arkush.

The film's music was performed by Grant Green. A soundtrack album was released in 1972.

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The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings

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The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976) is an affectionately comedic sports film about a team of enterprising ex-Negro League baseball players in the era of racial segregation. It starred Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones and Richard Pryor. Directed by John Badham, the movie was produced by Berry Gordy for Motown Productions and Rob Cohen for Universal Pictures, and released by Universal on November 17, 1976.

Tired of being treated like a slave by team owner Sallison Potter (Ted Ross), charismatic star pitcher Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) steals a bunch of Negro League players away from their teams, including catcher/slugger Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) and Charlie Snow (Richard Pryor), a player forever scheming to break into the segregated Major League Baseball of the 1930s by masquerading as first a Cuban ("Carlos Nevada"), then a Native American ("Chief Takahoma"). They take to the road, barnstorming through small Midwestern towns, playing the local teams to make ends meet. One of the opposing players, 'Esquire' Joe Callaway (Stan Shaw), is so good that they recruit him.

Bingo's team becomes so outlandishly entertaining and successful, it begins to cut into the attendance of the established Negro League teams. Finally, Bingo's nemesis Potter is forced to propose a winner-take-all game: if Bingo's team can beat a bunch of all-stars, it can join the league, but if it loses, the players will return to their old teams. Potter has two of his goons kidnap Leon prior to the game as insurance, but he escapes and keys his side's victory.

Ironically, there is a major league scout in the audience. After the game, he offers Esquire Joe the chance to break the color barrier; with Bingo's permission, he accepts. Leon glumly foresees the decline of the Negro League as more players follow Esquire Joe's lead, but Bingo, ever the optimist, cheers him up by describing the wild promotional stunts he intends to stage to bring in the paying customers.

Bingo Long is based on Satchel Paige. Early in his career, Paige called in his outfielders while leading in the ninth inning of a 1-0 game and pitched his way out of a jam. Bingo replicated the stunt in this movie. Leon Carter is a Josh Gibson-like power hitter, even playing the same position (catcher). Most obviously, 'Esquire' Joe Callaway is a thinly-veiled Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to break Major League baseball's color barrier.

The Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings were loosely based on the Indianapolis Clowns, a barnstorming exhibition baseball team, noted for their Harlem Globetrotters-like clowning routines, that joined the Negro American League in 1943.

The character of Bertha (Mabel King), the sole woman team owner, is inspired by Effa Manley.

Luther Williams Field in Macon, Georgia was used for filming as the Negro League ballpark. Luther Williams Field is home to the Macon Music, a minor league team in the independent South Coast League. Additional ballpark scenes were shot at Morgan Field in Macon, a Pony and Colt League Youth Baseball field, Grayson Stadium in Savannah, Georgia, home of the Savannah Sand Gnats of the Class A South Atlantic League. Exterior scenes set in St. Louis residential neighborhoods were also filmed in Savannah. Scenes set in rural communities were filmed in Talbotton, Georgia and various small towns around Macon. Some ballplayers were played by actual ballplayers, including former members of the Indianapolis Clowns, who performed the clowning stunts shown in the film.

Steven Spielberg originally wanted to have a hand in producing the movie until the success of his film Jaws got his full attention.

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan. It is the third film released in the Star Wars saga, and the sixth in terms of internal chronology. It is also the first film to use THX technology.

The film is set some time after Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Luke Skywalker and members of the Rebel Alliance travel to Tatooine to rescue their friend Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Meanwhile, the Galactic Empire is planning to crush the Rebel Alliance with a second Death Star while the Rebel fleet simultaneously prepares to launch a full-scale attack on this new space station. Luke confronts his father, Darth Vader, in a climactic duel before the evil Emperor Palpatine.

The film was released in theaters on May 25, 1983, receiving mostly positive reviews, though not to the extent of its predecessors. Several home video and theatrical releases and revisions to the film followed over the next 20 years. It was the last Star Wars film released theatrically until Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace began the prequel trilogy in 1999.

Luke Skywalker, having fashioned himself as a Jedi Knight, initiates a plan to rescue the frozen Han Solo from the vile crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Princess Leia infiltrates Jabba's palace on Tatooine disguised as a bounty hunter and releases Han from his carbonite prison, but is caught and forced to serve as Jabba's slave girl. Luke arrives the next morning and allows himself to be captured. Jabba sentences Luke and Han to be fed to the monstrous Sarlacc, but Luke breaks free and a large battle erupts; in the ensuing chaos, Leia strangles Jabba to death with her slave chains, Han inadvertently knocks Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who captured him, into the gaping maw of the Sarlacc, and Luke destroys Jabba's sail barge, escaping with his allies. As Han and Leia rendezvous with the other Rebels, Luke returns to Dagobah where he finds that Yoda is dying. With his last breaths, Yoda confirms that the evil Darth Vader is Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker, and that Luke must confront him again to become a true Jedi Knight. He and the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi also reveal that Luke has a twin sister, whom Luke deduces to be Leia.

The Rebel Alliance learn that the Empire has been constructing a new battle station larger and more powerful than the first Death Star. In a plan to destroy the new weapon, Han is elected to lead a strike team to destroy the battle station's shield generator on the forest moon of Endor, allowing a squadron of starfighters to enter the incomplete infrastructure and destroy the station from within. Returning from Dagobah, Luke joins the strike team along with Leia, but soon fears that, sensing Darth Vader's presence, he may be endangering the mission. On Endor, Luke and his companions encounter a primitive yet intelligent tribe of Ewoks and form an alliance with them. Later, Luke confesses to Leia everything he knows about his relationship to Vader and to her, and that he is leaving to confront Vader one more time, believing that there is still good in him.

Luke and Vader board the Death Star and meet the evil Emperor, who reveals that Luke's allies are walking into a trap. Back on Endor, the Rebels are captured by Imperial forces, but a surprise counterattack by the Ewoks allows the Rebels to fight back. During the strike team's assault, Lando Calrissian leads the Rebel fleet in the Millennium Falcon to the Death Star, only to find the station's shield is still up. As a dogfight ensues, the Emperor tempts Luke to give in to his anger and join the dark side of the Force. A lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader erupts, during which Vader searches Luke's thoughts and learns that Luke has a sister. When Vader suggests she would turn to the dark side instead, Luke cannot contain his anger and viciously attacks his father, slicing off his hand. However, he comes to his senses and, despite the Emperor's goading, spares his father and declares himself a Jedi. Enraged, the Emperor begins to slowly kill Luke with Force lightning. His son's agonized pleas for help causes Vader to repent, becoming Anakin Skywalker once more. He turns on the Emperor and casts him down a reactor shaft to his death, but is mortally wounded by the Emperor's lightning. Luke removes Anakin's mask to look into the eyes of the pale, withered man that is his father. Having seen his son with his own eyes for the first and final time, Anakin dies, finally at peace.

Back on Endor, the strike team finally destroys the shield generator, and the Rebel fleet, after a fierce battle in which they manage to destroy the imperial flagship the Executor the imperial fleet breaks up and an opportunity to launch a final assault on the Death Star finally arises. Lando leads the remaining ships into the station and fires at the main reactor, causing it to collapse. Luke escapes on an Imperial shuttle with his father's body before the Death Star explodes, and Lando escapes in the Millennium Falcon. On Endor, Leia reveals to Han that Luke is her brother, and they share a kiss. That evening, Luke returns to Endor and cremates his father's armor on a funeral pyre. The entire galaxy celebrates the fall of the Empire. During the Rebels' own celebration on Endor, Luke catches sight of the spiritual figures of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and his redeemed father Anakin, who watch over them with pride.

Kenny Baker was originally cast as the Ewok Wicket, but got replaced by 11-year-old Warwick Davis after falling ill with food poisoning on the morning of the shoot. Davis had no previous acting experience and was cast only after his grandmother had discovered an open call for short people for the new Star Wars film.

The screenplay was written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas (with uncredited contributions by David Peoples and Marquand), based on Lucas' story. Kasdan claims he told Lucas that Return of the Jedi was "a weak title", and Lucas later decided to name the film Revenge of the Jedi. Unusually, the screenplay itself was not created until rather late in pre-production, well after a production schedule and budget had been created by Kazanjian and Marquand had been hired. Instead, the production team relied on Lucas's story and rough draft in order to commence work with the art department. When it came time to formally write a shooting script, Lucas, Kasdan, Marquand, and Kazanjian spent two weeks in conference discussing ideas; Kasdan used tape transcripts of these meetings to then construct the script. The issue of whether Harrison Ford would return for the final film arose during pre-production. Unlike the other stars of the first two films, Ford had not signed on for two more sequels. Ford's idea was to have Han Solo be killed through self-sacrifice. Kasdan concurred, saying it should happen near the beginning of the film to instill doubt as to whether the others would survive, but Lucas was vehemently against it and rejected the concept. Yoda was originally not meant to appear in the film but Marquand strongly felt that returning to Dagobah was essential to resolve the dilemma raised by the previous film. The inclusion led Lucas to insert a scene in which Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father because, after a discussion with a children's psychologist, he did not want younger moviegoers to dismiss Vader's claim as a lie. Many ideas from the original script were left out or changed. For instance, the Ewoks were going to be Wookiees, the Millennium Falcon would be used in the arrival at the Forest moon of Endor instead of the Death Star attack, and Obi-Wan Kenobi would return to life from his existence in the Force.

Filming began on January 11, 1982 and lasted through May 20, 1982, a schedule six weeks shorter than The Empire Strikes Back. Kazanjian's schedule pushed shooting as early as possible in order to give Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as much time as possible to work on effects, and left some crew members dubious of their ability to be fully prepared for the shoot. Working on a budget of $32,500,000, Lucas was determined to keep the budget from skyrocketing the way it had done on The Empire Strikes Back. Producer Howard Kazanjian estimated that using ILM (owned wholly by Lucasfilm) for special effects saved the production approximately $18,000,000. However, the fact that Lucasfilm was a non-union company made acquiring shooting locations more difficult and more expensive, even though Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back had been big hits. The project was given the working title Blue Harvest with a tagline of "Horror Beyond Imagination." This disguised what the production crew was really filming from fans and the prying eyes of the press and also prevented price gouging by service providers.

The first stage of production started with 78 days at Elstree Studios in England, where the film occupied all nine stages. The shoot commenced with a scene later deleted from the finished film where the heroes get caught in a sandstorm as they leave Tatooine. (This was the only major sequence cut from the film during editing.) While attempting to film Luke Skywalker's battle with the rancor beast, Lucas insisted on trying to create the scene in the same style as Toho's Godzilla films by using a stunt performer inside a suit. The production team made several attempts, but were unable to create an adequate result. Lucas eventually relented and decided to film the rancor as a high-speed puppet. In April, the crew moved to the Yuma Desert in Arizona for two weeks of Tatooine exteriors. Production then moved to the redwood forests of northern California near Crescent City where two weeks were spent shooting the Endor forest exteriors, and then concluded at ILM in San Rafael, California for about ten days of bluescreen shots. One of two "skeletal" post-production units shooting background matte plates spent a day in Death Valley. The other was a special Steadicam unit shooting forest backgrounds from June 15–17, 1982 for the speeder chase near the middle of the film. Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown personally operated these shots as he walked through a disguised path inside the forest shooting at one frame per second ( frame/s). By walking at about 5 mph (8 km/h) and projecting the footage at 24 frame/s, the motion seen in the film appears as if it were moving at around 100 mph (160 km/h).

John Williams composed and conducted the film's musical score with performances by the London Symphony Orchestra. The initial release of the film's soundtrack was on the RSO Records label in the United States. Sony Classical Records acquired the rights to the classic trilogy scores in 2004 after gaining the rights to release the second trilogy soundtracks (The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones). In the same year, Sony Classical re-pressed the 1997 RCA Victor release of Return of the Jedi along with the other two films in the trilogy. The set was released with the new artwork mirroring the first DVD release of the film. Despite the Sony digital re-mastering, which minimally improved the sound heard only on high-end stereos, this 2004 release is essentially the same as the 1997 RCA Victor release.

Meanwhile, special effects work at ILM quickly stretched the company to its operational limits. While the R&D work and experience gained from the previous two films in the trilogy allowed for increased efficiency, this was offset by the desire to have the closing film raise the bar set by each of these films. A compounding factor was the intention of several departments of ILM to either take on other film work or decrease staff during slow cycles. Instead, as soon as production began, the entire company found it necessary to remain running 20 hours a day on six day weeks in order to meet their goals by April 1, 1983. Of about 900 special effects shots, all VistaVision optical effects remained in-house, since ILM was the only company capable of using the format, while about 400 4-perf opticals were subcontracted to outside effects houses. Progress on the opticals was severely retarded for a time due to ILM rejecting about 100,000 feet (30,000 m) of film when the film perforations failed image registration and steadiness tests.

The original teaser trailer for the film carried the name Revenge of the Jedi, and a teaser poster created by Drew Struzan containing this title has since become a rare collector's item. Of notice are the lightsaber colors on the teaser poster shown: Luke is seen wielding a red lightsaber while Vader wields a blue one. However, a few weeks before the film's premiere, Lucas changed the title, saying "revenge" could not be used, as it is not a Jedi concept. The 2005 prequel trilogy film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith later alluded to the dismissed title of Revenge of the Jedi.

Return of the Jedi's theatrical release took place on May 25, 1983. It was originally slated to be May 27, but was subsequently changed to coincide with the date of the 1977 release of Star Wars: A New Hope. With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, illustrator Tim Reamer created the iconic and distinctive image for the movie poster and other advertising. At the time of its release, the film was advertised simply as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, despite its on-screen "Episode VI" distinction. This was evident on release posters and merchandise. The original film was re-released to theaters in 1985; an updated theatrical version was released in 1997 as the Special Edition.

The original theatrical version of Return of the Jedi was released on VHS and Laserdisc several times between 1986 and 1995, followed by releases of the Special Edition in the same formats between 1997 and 2000. Some of these releases contained featurettes; some were individual releases of just this film, while others were boxed sets of all three original films.

Although a critical and commercial hit, Return of the Jedi is considered by many critics and fans to be a slightly lesser achievement than its predecessors. At Rotten Tomatoes, Return of the Jedi's 74% approval rating is surpassed by The Empire Strikes Back (97 percent), A New Hope (95 percent), and one film of the prequel trilogy, Revenge of the Sith (79 percent).

At the 56th Academy Awards in 1984, Richard Edlund, Dennis Muren, Ken Ralston, and Phil Tippett received the "Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects." Norman Reynolds, Fred Hole, James L. Schoppe, and Michael Ford were nominated for "Best Art Direction/Set Decoration". Ben Burtt received a nomination for "Best Sound Effects Editing". John Williams received the nomination for "Best Music, Original Score". Burtt, Gary Summers, Randy Thom, and Tony Dawe all received the nominations for "Best Sound". At the 1984 BAFTA Awards, Edlund, Muren, Ralston, and Kit West won for "Best Special Visual Effects". Tippett and Stuart Freeborn were also nominated for "Best Makeup". Reynolds received a nomination for "Best Production Design/Art Direction". Burtt, Dawe, and Summers also received nominations for "Best Sound". Williams was also nominated "Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special". The film also won for "Best Dramatic Presentation" at the 1984 Hugo Awards.

While the action set pieces – particularly the speeder bike chase on the Endor moon, the space battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots, and Luke Skywalker's duel against Darth Vader – are well-regarded, the ground battle between the Ewoks and Imperial stormtroopers remains a bone of contention. Fans are also divided on the likelihood of Ewoks (being an extremely primitive race of small creatures armed with sticks and rocks) defeating an armed ground force comprising the Empire's "best troops". Lucas has defended the scenario, saying that the Ewoks' purpose was to distract the Imperial troops and that the Ewoks did not really win.

In 1997, for the 20th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars (retitled A New Hope), Lucas released The Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. Along with the two other films in the original trilogy, Return of the Jedi was re-released on March 14, 1997 with a number of changes and additions, which included the insertion of several alien band members in Jabba's throne room, the replacement of music at the closing scene and a montage of different alien worlds celebrating the fall of the Empire. According to Lucas, Return of the Jedi required fewer changes than the previous two films because it is more emotionally driven than the others. The changes have caused controversy among the fans as some believe that they detract from the films.

On September 21, 2004, the Special Editions of all three original films were released in a boxed set on DVD (along with a bonus disc). It was digitally restored and remastered, with additional changes made by George Lucas. The DVD also featured English subtitles, Dolby Digital 5.1 EX surround sound, and commentaries by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher. The bonus disc included documentaries including Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy and several featurettes including "The Characters of Star Wars", "The Birth of the Lightsaber", and "The Legacy of Star Wars". Also included were teasers, trailers, TV spots, still galleries, and a demo for Star Wars: Battlefront.

With the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which depicts how and why Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force, Lucas once again altered Return of the Jedi to strengthen the relationship between the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. The original and Special Edition versions of Return of the Jedi featured British theatre actor Sebastian Shaw playing both the dying Anakin Skywalker and his ghost. In the DVD release, Shaw's portrayal of Anakin's ghost is replaced by Hayden Christensen, who portrayed Anakin in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The change drew further fan criticism directed toward Lucas (as well as a lampoon in an episode of Family Guy.) The set was re-issued in December 2005 as part of a three-disc "limited edition" boxed set that did not feature the bonus disc.

All three films in the original Star Wars trilogy have since been released, individually, on DVD, each compiled with its original theatrical release cut as well as the 2004 DVD Special Edition. These versions were originally slated to only be available from September 12, 2006 to December 31, 2006, although they remained in print and were packaged with the 2004 versions again in a new set on November 4, 2008. Although the 2004 versions in these sets each feature an audio commentary, no other extra special features were included to commemorate the original cuts.

The novelization of Return of the Jedi was written by James Kahn and was released on May 12, 1983, thirteen days before the film's release. It contains many scenes that were deleted from the final cut as well as certain assertions which have since been superseded by the prequel trilogy. For example, Kahn writes that Owen Lars is the brother of Obi-Wan Kenobi, while in Attack of the Clones he is instead shown to be the stepbrother of Anakin Skywalker. When Leia is captured by Jabba, instead of him saying "I'm sure" to her warning of her powerful friends, he says, "I'm sure, but in the meantime, I shall thoroughly enjoy the pleasure of your company." Additionally, instead of simply licking his lips as seen in the movie, he is described as planting "a beastly kiss squarely on the Princess's lips." Later, the Force spirit of Obi-Wan reveals that he was able to hide Luke and Leia from Anakin because he did not know that his wife was pregnant when he "left," presumably when he became Vader. In Revenge of the Sith, Anakin does know about Padmé Amidala's pregnancy, but it is to be assumed that Vader will believe the baby (not twins) to be dead along with his wife given that Padmé is mocked up to look pregnant at her funeral. The novel also states that Obi-Wan took Luke's mother and baby Leia to Alderaan after the birth of the twins. It also, briefly, alludes to the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.

A facet of the story which was made more clear in the novel was the confusion which overtook the Imperial forces upon the death of Palpatine, who ceased to be the guiding will animating the Empire. It also further supports the events depicted in all post-Return of the Jedi fiction.

A radio drama adaptation of the film was written by Brian Daley with additional material contributed by John Whitman and was produced for and broadcast on National Public Radio in 1996. It was based on characters and situations created by George Lucas and on the screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas. The first two Star Wars films were similarly adapted for National Public Radio in the early 1980s, but it was not until 1996 that a radio version of Return of the Jedi was heard. Anthony Daniels returned as C-3PO, but Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams did not reprise their roles as they had for the first two radio dramas. John Lithgow voiced Yoda, whose voice actor in the films has always been Frank Oz. Ed Asner also guest-starred speaking only in grunts as the voice of Jabba the Hutt. The radio drama had a running time of three hours.

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Source : Wikipedia