Glenn Close

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Posted by motoman 04/22/2009 @ 14:07

Tags : glenn close, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Glenn Close Talks Puppies and Prisoners - People Magazine
Friday's episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show will have something for everyone: puppies, prisoners, war veterans ... and Glenn Close. On the show, the actress, 62, talks to Winfrey about Puppies Behind Bars, an organization close to her heart that takes...
Kiddieland to close - ESPN
By Leah Hope May 20, 2009 (MELROSE PARK, Ill.) (WLS) -- A well-known amusement park will close after more than 80 years. Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Ill., was established in 1929. The fate of Kiddieland has been in question since a family feud was...
Matthews Likens Cheney to Glenn Close's Stalker Character in ... - NewsBusters
Before playing a clip of the movie Matthews made the cinematic comparison: "Well some say Cheney's refusal to move on reminds them of Groundhog Day but you could also say it's like that more frighteningly relentless Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction....
Barnes & Noble posts $2.7M 1Q loss as sales drop - The Associated Press
Barnes & Noble said it plans to continue its focus on operational improvements and will close 15 stores by the end of the year. Management also said a strong fall lineup — with books from conservative commentator Glenn Beck and a posthumous book by...
Glenn Close to address Ga. art school grads - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Actress Glenn Close will be the commencement speaker for 2009 graduates of the Savannah College of Art and Design's graduation. College officials said Tuesday that Close will address two graduation ceremonies May 30 at its campuses in Savannah and...
Mikhail Saakashvili, President of Georgia - FOXNews
This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: Two days of talks aimed at mending rifts from last August's war between the country of Georgia...
Ron Paul Makes Case for Closing Gitmo - FOXNews
This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," May 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated. JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, GUEST HOST: I thought I was in his chair. There he is. We'll find him before the show is over....
Caption: Glenn Close Picture 36th Film Society of Lincoln Center's Gala Tribute Honoring Tom Hanks at Alice Tully Hall - Arrivals New York City, USA .... GLENN CLOSE has thrown her full support behind a project which links service dogs to violent...
Puppies Behind Bars - San Francisco Chronicle
On May 15th, actress Glenn Close appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about the charitable program. Watch it below. (I happened to catch the show completely by chance, considering I'm not a big Oprah fan or television viewer....
Award-Winning Actress Glenn Close to Appear on 'The Oprah Winfrey ... - Market Wire (press release)
Glenn Close will reunite the two with Frankie's inmate trainer at the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, NY Frankie lived at the facility for 18 months before moving on to other locations for additional training -- ultimately being placed with...

Glenn Close

Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress and singer of stage and screen, perhaps best known for her role as deranged stalker Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (1987). She has been nominated five times for an Oscar, and has won three Tonys, an Obie, two Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Close was born in Greenwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Bettine (née Moore) and William Taliaferro Close, a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo and served as a personal physician to President Mobutu Sese Seko. Her parents came from prominent families; her paternal grandfather, Edward Bennett Close, a stockbroker and director of the American Hospital Association, was first married to Post Cereals' heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, making Glenn Close a relative of screenwriter/director Preston Sturges and actress Dina Merrill. Close is also a second-cousin once-removed of Brooke Shields. Shields's great-grandmother Mary Elsie Moore (wife of Don Marino Torlonia, 4th Prince di Civitella-Cesi) was Close's great-aunt, a sister of Close's maternal grandfather, Charles Arthur Moore.

Close attended Rosemary Hall, an elite boarding school in Connecticut. She traveled for several years (mid-1960s) with a Moral Re-Armament singing group called "Up With People." Later, she attended The College of William & Mary, where she was elected to membership in the honor society of Phi Beta Kappa.

Close has had a lengthy career as a versatile actress and performer. Close is remembered for her chilling roles as the scheming aristocrat The Marquise de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons and as the psychotic book editor Alex in Fatal Attraction. She has been nominated for five Academy Awards, for Best Actress in Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction, and for Best Supporting Actress in The Natural, The Big Chill, and The World According to Garp. In 1984, Close starred in the critically acclaimed drama Something about Amelia, a Golden Globe winning television movie about a family destroyed by sexual abuse. She played the role of Sunny von Bülow in the 1990 film Reversal of Fortune to critical acclaim.

In the 1990s, Close took on challenging roles on television as well. She starred in the highly rated presentation of the 1991 Hallmark Hall of Fame drama Sarah, Plain and Tall (and its two sequels) and also in the made-for-TV movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995); from these roles she was nominated for 8 Emmys (winning one) and 9 Golden Globes (winning one in 2005 and 2007). She also appeared in the newsroom comedy-drama The Paper (1994), the alien invasion satire Mars Attacks! (1996, as The First Lady), the Disney hit 101 Dalmatians (1996, as the sinister Cruella de Vil) and it sequel 102 Dalmatians (2000) and the blockbuster Air Force One (1997), as the trustworthy vice-president to Harrison Ford's president. In 2001, she starred in an elaborate production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical South Pacific. In 2005, Close joined the FX crime series The Shield, in which she played a no-nonsense precinct captain. Her appearance on the cop drama was such a success that she is now starring in a new hit series of her own for 2007, Damages (also on FX) instead of continuing her character on The Shield. So far the Academy's Oscar has eluded her, being nominated several times during the 1980's, but never being named the winner.

Close has had an extensive career performing in many Broadway musicals. One of her most notable roles on stage was Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Sunset Boulevard, for which Close won a Tony award playing the role on Broadway in 1994. Close was also a guest star, at the Andrew Lloyd Webber fiftieth birthday party celebration, in the Royal Albert Hall in 1998. She appeared as Norma Desmond and performed songs from Sunset Boulevard. Close is being considered to reprise the role of Norma Desmond in the long talked- about film of Sunset Boulevard, based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The film and cast have not officially been announced. In addition to Sunset Boulevard, Close also won Tony Awards in 1984 for The Real Thing and in 1992 for Death and the Maiden.

Recently, Close performed at Carnegie Hall narrating the violin concerto The Runaway Bunny, a concerto for reader, violin and orchestra, composed and conducted by Glen Roven.

In February 2006, Close married her longtime boyfriend David E. (Evans) Shaw. They reside in Scarborough, Maine. The actress was previously married to Cabot Wade (1969–1973) and James Marlas (1984–1987).

She has one child, Annie Maude Starke (b. 26 April 1988), from her previous relationship with John Starke that ended in 1991. Annie is currently attending Hamilton College, a private, liberal arts institution in upstate New York.

Close is an avid New York Mets fan.

She has donated money to election campaigns of many Democratic politicians, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Howard Dean, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

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Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the award has commonly been referred to as the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. While actresses are nominated for this award by Academy members who are actors and actresses themselves, winners are selected by the entire Academy membership.

Throughout the past 73 years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, AMPAS has presented a total of 73 Best Supporting Actress awards to 71 different actresses. Winners of this Academy Award of Merit currently receive the familiar Oscar statuette, depicting a gold-plated knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on a reel of film. Prior to the 16th Academy Awards ceremony (1943), however, they received a plaque. The first recipient was Gale Sondergaard, who was honored at the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936) for her performance in Anthony Adverse. The most recent recipient was Penélope Cruz, who was honored at the 81st Academy Awards ceremony (2008) for her performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Until the 8th Academy Awards ceremony (1935), nominations for the Best Actress award were intended to include all actresses, whether the performance was in either a leading or supporting role. At the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936), however, the Best Supporting Actress category was specifically introduced as a distinct award following complaints that the single Best Actress category necessarily favored leading performers with the most screen time. Nonetheless, May Robson had received a Best Actress nomination (Lady for a Day, 1933) for her performance in a clear supporting role. Currently, Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role constitute the four Academy Awards of Merit for acting annually presented by AMPAS.

The only actresses to have won the award twice are: Shelley Winters, in 1959 and 1965 (she was also nominated in 1972, in addition to receiving a nomination for lead actress in 1951); and Dianne Wiest, in 1986 and 1994 (she was also nominated in 1989).

Thelma Ritter had six nominations, more than any other actress. As she never won the award, she also holds the record for the number of unsuccessful nominations. Thelma Ritter is also the only actress with nominations in four successive years (1950-1953). Glenn Close was nominated three years consecutively (1982-1984).

Actresses with four nominations are: Ethel Barrymore, Agnes Moorehead, Lee Grant, Maureen Stapleton, Geraldine Page, and Dame Maggie Smith. All of Agnes Moorehead's and Geraldine Page's nominations were unsuccessful (but Page did win a Best Actress award); each of the others won once (with Smith also having previously won a Best Actress award).

Those with three nominations are: Anne Revere, Celeste Holm, Claire Trevor, Angela Lansbury, Shelley Winters, Glenn Close, Diane Ladd, Dianne Wiest, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Cate Blanchett, and Marisa Tomei. Lansbury, Close, Ladd, and McDormand have never won a Best Supporting Actress award (but McDormand did win a Best Actress award).

Hattie McDaniel was the first African American, Miyoshi Umeki the first (and only) Asian, Rita Moreno the first (and only) Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic, Brenda Fricker the first (and only) Irish, Catherine Zeta-Jones the first (and only) Welsh, Cate Blanchett the first (and only) Australian, and Penélope Cruz the first (and only) Spaniard to win Best Supporting Actress.

Only three actresses have received Best Supporting Actress nominations for non-speaking roles: Patty Duke won the award for The Miracle Worker in 1962, Samantha Morton was nominated for Sweet and Lowdown in 1999, and Rinko Kikuchi was nominated for Babel in 2006. Both Morton and Kikuchi performed their roles without speaking a word, while Duke had no dialogue whatsoever other than grunts and screams.

The earliest nominee in this category who is still alive is Olivia de Havilland (1939) followed by Jennifer Jones (1944) and Angela Lansbury (1944). The earliest winner in this category who is still alive is Celeste Holm (1947) followed by Eva Marie Saint (1954).

The only actor to win an Oscar for playing a real-life Oscar winner is Cate Blanchett. She won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.

There have been no posthumous nominations for this award.

Only three black actresses have won the award: Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Hudson.

Following the Academy's practice, the films below are listed by year of their Los Angeles qualifying run, which is usually (but not always) the film's year of release. For example, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress of 1999 was announced during the award ceremony held in 2000. Winners are listed first in bold, followed by the other nominees. For a list sorted by actress names, please see List of Best Supporting Actress nominees. For a list sorted by film titles, please see List of Best Supporting Actress nominees (films).

Beginning with the 1943 awards, winners in the supporting acting categories were awarded Oscar statuettes similar to those awarded to winners in all other categories, including the leading acting categories. Prior to this, however, winners in the supporting acting categories were awarded plaques.

As the Academy Awards are based in the United States and are centered on the Hollywood film industry, the majority of Academy Award winners have been Americans. Nonetheless, there is significant international presence at the awards, as evidenced by the following list of winners of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

At the 37th Academy Awards (1964), for the first time in history, all four of the top acting honors were awarded to non-Americans: Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Peter Ustinov, and Lila Kedrova. This occurred for the second time at the 80th Academy Awards (2007), when all four acting categories were similarly represented: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Javier Bardem, and Tilda Swinton.

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Sunset Boulevard (musical)


Sunset Boulevard is a musical with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on the 1950 film of the same title, the plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street. When young screenwriter Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her comeback to the big screen. Romance and tragedy follow.

Opening first in London in 1993, the musical has had several long runs internationally and also enjoyed extensive tours, although it lost money because of its extraordinary running costs. A star vehicle, many well-known actresses have played the leading character, Norma Desmond, and the show has seen its share of legal battles.

From approximately 1952 to 1956, Gloria Swanson worked with actor Richard Stapley (aka Richard Wyler) and cabaret singer/pianist Dickson Hughes on a musical adaptation originally entitled Starring Norma Desmond, then Boulevard! It ended on a happier note than the film, with Norma allowing Joe to leave and pursue a happy ending with Betty. Paramount originally had given Swanson verbal permission to proceed with the musical, but there had been no formal legal arrangement. On February 20, 1957, Paramount executive Russell Holman wrote Swanson a letter in which he asked her to cease work on the project because "it would be damaging for the property to be offered to the entertainment public in another form as a stage musical." In 1994, Hughes incorporated material from the production into Swanson on Sunset, based on his and Stapley's experiences in writing Boulevard!. A recording of the entire score, which had been housed in the Gloria Swanson archives at the University of Texas, was released on CD in 2008.

In the early 1960s, Stephen Sondheim outlined a musical stage adaptation and went so far as to compose the first scene with librettist Burt Shevelove. A chance encounter with Billy Wilder at a cocktail party gave Sondheim the opportunity to introduce himself and ask the original film's co-screenwriter and director his opinion of the project (which was to star Jeanette MacDonald). "You can't write a musical about Sunset Boulevard," Wilder responded, "it has to be an opera. After all, it's about a dethroned queen." Sondheim immediately aborted his plans. A few years later, when he was invited by Hal Prince to write the score for a film remake starring Angela Lansbury as a fading musical comedienne rather than a silent film star, Sondheim declined, citing his conversation with Wilder.

When Lloyd Webber saw the film in the early 1970s, he was inspired to write what he pictured as the title song for a theatrical adaptation, fragments of which he instead incorporated into Gumshoe. In 1976, after a conversation with Hal Prince, who had the theatrical rights to Sunset, Lloyd Webber wrote "an idea for the moment when Norma Desmond returns to Paramount Studios"; Lloyd Webber did no further work on the play until after 1989's Aspects of Love.

In 1991 Lloyd Webber asked Amy Powers, a lawyer from New York with no professional lyric-writing experience, to write the lyrics for Sunset Boulevard. Don Black was later brought in to work with Powers; the two wrote the version that was performed that same year at Lloyd Webber's Sydmonton Festival. This original version starred Ria Jones as Norma. It was not a success, though a revised version, written by Black and Christopher Hampton "met with great success" at the 1992 Sydmonton Festival.

The story begins in 1949-50 with down-on-his-luck screenwriter Joe Gillis having car trouble, on Sunset Boulevard, in front of former silent film star Norma Desmond's mansion. To keep the repossession agents at bay, he hides his car in Desmond's garage. After 20 years out of the limelight, eccentric Miss Desmond wants to make a screen comeback. Gillis comments, "You used to be in pictures, you used to be big," she retorts "I am big . . . it's the pictures that got small!" She invites Joe to live at the mansion if he'll edit her script, Salome, for director Cecil B. DeMille. Joe goes to the studio to borrow money to pay off his debts and meets sweet, pretty Betty Schaefer, who works with him on his own script and falls for Joe, leaving her boyfriend, Artie.

This time I'm staying, I'm staying for good; I'll be back where I was born to be... With one look, I'll be me!

Reviews were mixed: Many critics felt that the score was repetitive and that more time had been spent constructing the mammoth set than working on the book. Still, it was an instant sell-out success and ran for 1,529 performances. Anderson left the London company in January 1994 to be replaced by Gerard Casey.

The American premiere was at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, Los Angeles, California, on December 9, 1993, with Glenn Close as Norma and Alan Campbell as Joe. Featured were George Hearn as Max and Judy Kuhn as Betty. Lloyd Webber had reworked both the book and score, tightening the production, better organizing the orchestrations, and adding the song "Every Movie's A Circus". This new production was better received by the critics and was an instant success, running for 369 performances. The Los Angeles production also recorded a new cast album that is well-regarded. It is also the only unabridged cast recording of the show, since the original London recording was trimmed by over thirty minutes.

The musical opened on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre on November 17, 1994 with Close, Campbell, and Hearn recreating their roles from the Los Angeles production and Alice Ripley joining the cast as Betty. Also in the cast were Allen Oppenheimer as Cecil B. DeMille and Vincent Tumeo making his Broadway debut as Artie Green. The production opened with the highest advance in the history of Broadway ticket sales and ran for 977 performances. Billy Wilder was in attendance on opening night and was coaxed onstage by Close for the curtain call. In a season with only one other musical nominated for Best Musical, the production won several Tony Awards; Glenn Close, with only one other nominee as Best Actress in a musical, won the Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

Patti LuPone, who initially had been promised the Broadway run, sued Lloyd Webber and received a settlement reported to be $1 million; Faye Dunaway, set to replace Close in L.A., was let go because Lloyd Webber felt her singing voice was not up to the role. She also sued Lloyd Webber. Frank Rich, in his book The Hot Seat, noted that these lawsuits contributed to Sunset Boulevard setting the record for the most money lost by a theatrical endeavor in the history of the United States. According to The New York Times, operating costs soared far beyond the budget, and the "Broadway production has earned back, at best, 80 percent of the initial $13 million". For example, during the week of July 2, 1995, "it cost $731,304 to run Sunset Boulevard, including... advertising fees of $138,352 (which had been budgeted at $40,000 a week)." The road companies also generated large financial losses. Rich puts the final figure near or above US$20 million lost, making the show what he termed a "flop-hit," as it ran more than two years.

The London show was revamped to follow the lead of the New York production and starred Broadway and TV veteran Betty Buckley and John Barrowman. Michael Bauer, who had played DeMille in the original production replaced Benzali as Max, a role he played until the end of the London run (and subsequently on the UK tour and the BBC concert.) Buckley and the production garnered rave reviews. Buckley then followed Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in the second year of the New York production. Elaine Paige took over as Norma Desmond in London, and Petula Clark filled in for Paige during her holiday in September/October 1995, before taking over the role the following January. The last "star" to take on the role of Norma Desmond in London was Rita Moreno, who filled in for a vacationing Clark in September and October 1996. John Barrowman played Joe until 1995, when he was replaced by Alexander Hanson. Graham Bickley played the role for the final year of the London run.

The Toronto production opened in 1995 with Diahann Carroll in the lead role. Her performance was also praised by critics, although the production closed sooner than expected. It also starred Rex Smith as Joe, Walter Charles as Max and Anita Louise Combe as Betty.

A German production of the revamped musical opened December 7, 1995 at the newly-built Rhein-Main Theater in Niedernhausen, starring Helen Schneider and Uwe Kröger in the lead roles. The role of Norma Desmond was later played by Daniela Ziegler and Christina Grimandi, before Schneider once more played the lead. The show ran with moderate success until it closed in May 1998. During the last few months, Schneider was replaced by Sue Mathys as Norma Desmond.

In 1996, Debra Byrne as Norma and Hugh Jackman as Joe starred in the first Australian production of Sunset Boulevard. The production opened the newly restored Regent Theatre, but closed down even sooner than the Canadian production due to Debra Byrne's poor health.

A low budget production played for a time in Spain in 2000, with heavy alterations to the book and using a combination of the original score and the subsequent revision that appeared in the Los Angeles production.

A year-long Dutch tour commenced in Holland on October 10, 2008, with Simone Kleinsma and Pia Douwes alternating as Norma.

The Swedish premiere is scheduled to take place at the Värmlandsoperan in August 2009. The role of Norma Desmond will be played by Swedish actress Maria Lundqvist.

The first national US tour starring Linda Balgord was aborted after only a handful of venues due to exorbitant costs involved in transporting the set, so Lloyd Webber called in director Susan H. Schulman to design a scaled-down production, with Petula Clark once again in the lead opposite Lewis Cleale as Joe. This production featured Anthony Powell's Tony Award-winning costumes and a new, more tour-friendly set by Derek McLane. The revised production, opening in Pittsburgh about a year after the closing of the original tour in Chicago, went on the road for almost two years, though it avoided the cities covered by the previous tour.

In August 2001, a UK tour commenced in Plymouth starring Faith Brown as Norma, opposite Earl Carpenter as Joe. The production had a completely new set, much simpler than the original London set, but without compromising the quality of the show. Carpenter left midway through the tour and was replaced by Jeremy Finch, who had previously understudied the role. The tour finished in late 2002 in Manchester and met with both excellent reviews and respectable ticket sales.

In 2004, Petula Clark reprised her role as Norma opposite Michael Ball at a concert production of the show that ran for two nights at the Cork Opera House in Ireland, which was later broadcast on BBC Radio. To date, with more than 2500 performances to her credit, she has played the role more often than any other actress.

Another two day concert engagement took place in 2004 in Sydney by the Production Company; Judi Connelli starred as Norma, Michael Cormick played Joe and Anthony Warlow was Max. The Production Company staged a slightly more elaborate version of the concert for a week in Melbourne during 2005. Connelli again starred as Norma, and David Campbell took the role of Joe. The State Theatre was sold out for every performance.

An eight week engagement of a minimalist production enjoyed a good run at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury over the summer of 2008. Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, the cast featured Kathryn Evans as Norma and Ben Goddard as Joe. A West End transfer of the Watermill production began on 4 December 2008 prior to an official opening 15 December at the Comedy Theatre, with Evans and Goddard reprising their roles.

Paramount Pictures and the Relevant Picture Company announced in 2005 that they are developing a new film adaptation of the musical. The release was originally planned for 2006. This was postponed to 2008, but the film has now been delayed to at least 2009, because of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. On August 5, 2007, The Telegraph reported that several actresses are being considered for the role of Norma Desmond, among them Glenn Close, who played the role on Broadway, Elaine Paige, who played the role in London and later on Broadway, Meryl Streep, Liza Minnelli and Barbra Streisand.

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The Shield


The Shield is an American television drama series which aired on FX Networks in the U.S. and other networks internationally. Known for its controversial portrayal of corrupt police officers, it was originally advertised as "Rampart" in reference to the true life Rampart Division police scandal, which the show's Strike Team was loosely based upon. The first season gained the most Emmy nominations for a basic cable drama. The series was created by Shawn Ryan and The Barn Productions for Fox Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television (formerly Columbia TriStar Television).

Notable film actors who took extended roles on the show included Glenn Close in the fourth season and Anthony Anderson in Season 4, 5 and 6 and Forest Whitaker in seasons 5 and 6. The Shield began airing its seventh and final season on September 2, 2008, and concluded on November 25, 2008.

The Shield was about an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department set up in the fictional Farmington district ("the Farm") of Los Angeles, using a converted church ("the Barn") as their police station, and featuring a group of detectives called the Strike Team who will stop at nothing to bring their version of justice to the streets. Michael Chiklis has top billing with his portrayal of Strike Team leader Vic Mackey. The show has an ensemble cast that will normally run a number of separate story lines through each episode.

Detective Vic Mackey was the leader of the Strike Team, a four-man anti-gang unit based on the Los Angeles Police Department's real-life Rampart Division CRASH unit (Rampart was seriously considered as the series name and was even used in some early promotional ads for the series). The Strike Team uses a variety of illegal and unethical methods to maintain peace on the streets, while making a profit through illegal drug protection schemes and robbery. The Strike Team isn't above planting drugs on and coercing confessions out of gang members or framing them. Attempts to give the team a fifth member have frequently led to near-catastrophe for the group.

The Shield has a variety of subplots, notably David Aceveda's political aspirations and internal confrontation of a previous sexual assault; Vic Mackey's struggle to cope with a failing marriage; Shane Vendrell's rocky but burgeoning marriage; and Julien Lowe's internal conflicts between his belief in the teachings of the Bible and his homosexuality.

Common themes are the citizens' distrust of police, the social impact of drugs and gang warfare, and the conflict between ethics and political expediency. Most characters are portrayed as having both vice and virtue. For example, Vic's loving relationship with his children contrasts with his thuggish attitude towards police work; in addition, his brutality is generally directed at those who seem well-deserving of such treatment — in Season 2, the Strike Team prepares to rob the "Armenian Money Train," a money laundering operation of the Armenian Mafia. Another episode had Mackey cornering a serial rapist, then letting him be mauled by a police dog before calling the dog off.

Season 1 premiered March 12, 2002. It gives an introduction to The Strike Team and the other characters of the Barn. Important plotlines are the aftermath of Vic's murder of Terry Crowley and Captain Aceveda's scheming to bring Vic and the Strike Team down; Dutch and Claudette's attempts at tracking down a serial killer; Julien's training under Danny and his struggle with his homosexuality; Vic's use of Rondell Robinson to control the local drug trade and the fallout; as well as the corrupt actions of Ben Gilroy.

Season 2 premiered January 7, 2003. The season mostly revolves around a brutal new drug lord, Armadillo—a sadistic child rapist, who likes to set his rivals on fire using a tire necklace and gasoline—who begins to take over the drug trade in Farmington. Meanwhile, Officer Sofer is involved in a shooting of a Muslim man and has to deal with the fallout. This season is also heavily concerned with the Strike Team's plan to rip off the money train of the Armenian Mob, which ends up going down in the season finale.

Season 3 premiered March 9, 2004. The season mainly revolves around the aftermath of the Money Train Heist and its effects on the Strike Team, as the Armenian mob and also David Aceveda begins to suspect the Strike Team. In order to save the team, Lem (Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky) burns a majority of the money, ultimately leading to a confrontation which causes the Strike Team to split up in the season finale. The Armenian mob sends Margos Dezerian to wipe out the Strike Team. Dezerian leaves a trail of murders, resulting in his own execution at the hands of Mackey. Claudette had been promised a promotion to captain and throughout the season was in a supervising role, while Aceveda prepared to move onto city council. Near the end of the season an assistant district attorney was shot, and Wyms and Dutch discovered she had been a heavy drug user for the past 3 years. Wyms explored further and became very unpopular with the D.A. and around the Barn because she was (against orders) reopening the assistant DA's closed cases. This resulted in her being denied her promotion to captain of the Farmington District.

Season 4 premiered March 15, 2005, with the addition of Glenn Close taking over the role as Farmington's new captain, Monica Rawling. The season dealt with the fallout from the Strike Team disbandment. Shane Vendrell, with new partner Army, enters into a dangerous situation with major drug lord Antwon Mitchell (Anthony Anderson), and seemingly accepts an order to kill Vic Mackey. The police were outraged after two officers were kidnapped and subsequently found murdered. In the end, the Strike Team is re-formed and manages to successfully put Antwon in prison. The season also deals with the controversial asset forfeiture policies of the new captain; Julien's opposition to these policies; and David Aceveda (now a City Councilman) dealing with the psychological aftermath of his sexual assault incident from the previous season. The season concludes with Captain Rawling losing her job over a dispute with the DEA. This plot twist reflected a real-life need for Glenn Close to return to New York.

One of the season's secondary plots involves Claudette and Dutch's marginalization as detectives because of Claudette's refusal to apologize to the DA for reopening the cases of a public defender who was discovered to be a functioning drug addict. Claudette's moral stand resulted in many of the prosecutor's cases being overturned. This cost Claudette her shot at becoming Farmington Captain. Dutch eventually resolved the situation by making a back-room deal with the DA to "keep Claudette in line" and do favors for the office in return for breaking back into action.

Season 5 premiered January 10, 2006. The season revolved around Internal Affairs Department Lt. Jon Kavanaugh's (played by Forest Whitaker) investigation into the Strike Team, representing one of the greatest threats the team has ever faced. As a result of Kavanaugh turning one of Vic's informants, IAD became aware of Lem stealing heroin which he never turned in. Having found the heroin, IAD is capable of arresting Lem, but Kavanaugh wants him to incriminate the whole team and has him wear a wire, which he warns the team of and they use it to embarrass IAD. Kavanaugh puts on any form of pressure he can, finds out about Vic's share of the Money Train money, and ultimately arrests Lem having made a deal with Antwon Mitchell to put Lem there if convicted. Vic stands with him and gets bail, while Shane is worried he'll be turned. Claudette finally gets her shot as the captain of the Barn which she reluctantly accepts. The season concluded with Shane Vendrell murdering his friend and fellow team member Lem with a hand grenade.

The producers of The Shield produced a 15-minute "promosode", which premiered on Google on February 15, 2007 to bridge the gap between Seasons 5 and 6. The episode focuses on the aftermath of Lem's death, including his funeral and flashbacks as co-workers reflect upon Det. Lemansky's life. The episode was said to have cost between $500,000 and $1 million to produce and was on Bud.TV for a 4 week period and later released to AOL and other media outlets. The "promosode" is also one of the special features included on the Season 5 DVD set.

Season 6 premiered on FX on April 3, 2007. Continuing directly after season 5, Vic and the Strike Team are distraught over Lem's death. Shane has been overcome by guilt and becomes reckless and suicidal. Kavanaugh refuses to let the case die and resorts to planting evidence and coercing witnesses to lie about the Strike Team and specifically, Vic. Dutch and Claudette begin to suspect his integrity and Kavanaugh finally confesses to his actions and finds himself under arrest. Vic learns from Claudette that the Chief plans to force him into early retirement — and vows to wreak bloody vengeance on Lem's killer before losing his badge. Claudette learns that the Barn could be shut down if no improvements are made by the time quarterly crime statistics are released. The season concludes with the breakdown of Vic and Shane's friendship and Shane getting in over his head with the Armenians.

Season 6 was originally intended to be aired as the second half of Season 5 (in the same way that HBO split up the last season of The Sopranos); FX decided to refer to these ten episodes as "Season 6" instead.

Season 7 premiered September 2, 2008 consisted of 13 one-hour episodes and a ninety-minute finale, first aired in the US on FX on November 25, 2008. Vic's ex-wife Corinne has learned of his many crimes and agrees to work with Dutch and Claudette to try and send him to prison. Ronnie is also implicated in the process. Shane, Mara and Jackson go on the run and Dutch has problems of his own while dealing with a teenage serial killer. As part of an immunity deal with ICE, Vic admits to every crime the Strike Team has committed and implicates Shane and Ronnie in enough to send them to jail for life. After learning that there is no way to escape prison, Shane commits suicide after poisoning his pregnant wife and five-year old son. Claudette reveals the terminal status of her illness to Dutch, who promises to stand by her as a friend. Ronnie is arrested and prosecuted. Desperate to escape, Corinne and the children disappear into the witness protection program. Aceveda stands on the verge of being elected mayor. Meanwhile, Vic is left trapped in a desk job at ICE, loathed by his co-workers and ostracized by his fellow cops, who want nothing to do with him now that his many crimes have been exposed.

The Shield has won critical praise for its realism, particularly in its portrayal of gang violence in Los Angeles. Although names of actual gangs are not used, the portrayals are based on real gangs. Latino gangs with names such as "Los Magnificos" (or "Los Mags"), the Byzantine Latinos (or "Byz-Lats") and the "Toros" are a constant thorn in the Strike Team's side in the early seasons of the show, while African American gangs become more prominent in later episodes. In particular, a gang calling itself the "One-Niners" is central to the plot of Season 4. Like the notorious real-life Blood and Crip gangs, the One-Niners identify themselves strongly with one color (in this case purple), wearing it on various items of clothing. To enhance its realism, the show makes very little use of background music until the end of each episode.

Time magazine's James Poniewozik named it one of the Top 10 Returning Series of 2007, ranking it at #8.

The final season won a 2008 AFI Award for best television series.

On September 5, 2005, The Shield: Music from the Streets was released by Lakeshore Entertainment. The soundtrack features 19 tracks, including two versions of the theme song and tracks ranging from artists such as Black Label Society to Kelis.

After a rocky development cycle, The Shield, the video game, was released for the PlayStation 2 on January 9, 2007 and for the PC on January 22, 2007. It is a third person shooter that bridges the gap between the third and fourth seasons by exploring the gang war between the Byz-Lats and the One-Niners. It received generally negative reviews, receiving a 3.9 out of 10 from

In Region 1, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released The Shield on DVD for seasons 1 - 5. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases it elsewhere, and holds the rights for all Region 1 season sets of The Shield as of 2008, including seasons 6 and 7. Region 1 sets (released by 20th Century Fox) are displayed in 4:3 (fullscreen), while international releases (distributed by Sony Pictures) display 16:9 (widescreen). Sony Pictures re-released seasons 1-5 on March 25, 2008, all seasons in region 1 are now displayed in 16:9 widescreen, as they are in international releases. There are several differences between the S1 & S2 boxsets, with slightly fewer extras on the R2 boxsets and with episode 5:11 drastically shortened. While the release date for Season 5, Region 4 was November 26, 2008, that was only at JB Hi-Fi stores across Australia. The release date across all stores is March 11, 2009.

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The Big Chill (film)

The Big Chill is a 1983 film about a group of baby boomer college friends who reunite after many years and explore the aftermath of the 1960s. It stars Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams. Kevin Costner was cast as the dead character Alex, but nearly all of his scenes were cut. It was written by Barbara Benedek and Lawrence Kasdan, and was directed by Kasdan. The Big Chill was filmed entirely on location in Beaufort, South Carolina, and was shot at the same antebellum home used as a location for The Great Santini, starring Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner.

The television show thirtysomething was influenced by The Big Chill. However, this was not before the movie was directly adapted to television in CBS' short-lived 1985 dramedy Hometown, whose ensemble cast featured Jane Kaczmarek, Franc Luz and Daniel Stern.

It is the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan is president, conservatism is the norm and the peace movement and counterculture of the 1960s are both a distant memory for a group of baby boomer college friends from the University of Michigan. An impromptu reunion occurs at the funeral for friend Alex (Kevin Costner, edited out of the theatrical release) who had committed suicide in the home of physician Sarah (Glenn Close) and business executive Harold (Kevin Kline). Alex had been living there with his young girlfriend, Chloë (Meg Tilly) while trying to figure out what to do with his life.

After the funeral, the rest of their college friends spend the weekend with Harold and Sarah. They turn to each other as a means of trying to figure out not only why Alex committed suicide but also to explore what happened to the ideals of their youth. This includes the now-divorced Sam (Tom Berenger) who has gone from leading protests to becoming a Hollywood star bearing a close resemblance to Tom Selleck (he also starred in a television series similar to Selleck's hit series, Magnum, P.I.) Sam continues to harbor romantic feelings for Karen (Jo Beth Williams) who is now living an affluent lifestyle with her conservative husband Richard. Nick Carlton (William Hurt) is a Vietnam War veteran who retains a permanent disability which is hidden from his friends. He is a radio psychologist who questions the ethical nature of what he does and an occasional drug user. He eventually becomes involved with Chloë whose aimlessness finds greater purpose through this relationship. Michael (Jeff Goldblum), once a radical journalist, now works for People Magazine and is perpetually unfaithful to his (offscreen) girlfriend, the only person who still subscribes to the ideals of her youth. Meg (Mary Kay Place) is a successful but unmarried lawyer who is desperate to have a child. She decides to ask one of the men in the group to have a child with her and spends the weekend trying to determine who she should ask. It is also revealed that Sarah had had an affair with Alex at some point in her marriage to Harold. While they do not fully resolve the issue of Alex's suicide, the bonds of their youth serve as a method of healing for the current issues in their lives.

The film received a 69% rating from Rotten Tomatoes (22 fresh and 10 rotten reviews).

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Mars Attacks!

Mars attacks ver1.jpg

Mars Attacks! is a 1996 comic science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and based on the cult trading card series of the same name. The film uses elements of black comedy, surreal humour and political satire, and is also a parody of multiple science fiction B movies. Mars Attacks! stars an ensemble cast, which includes Jack Nicholson, Lukas Haas, Annette Bening, Jim Brown, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Jack Black, Natalie Portman and Danny DeVito. The film tells the story of a Martian invasion upon Earth.

Director Tim Burton and writer Jonathan Gems began development for Mars Attacks! in 1993, and Warner Bros. purchased the film rights to the trading card series on Burton's behalf. When Gems turned in his first draft in 1994, Warner Bros. commissioned rewrites from Gems, Burton, Martin Amis, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski in an attempt to lower the budget to $60 million. The final production budget came to $80 million, while Warners spent a further $20 million on Mars Attacks!' marketing campaign. Filming lasted from February to June 1996.

The filmmakers hired Industrial Light & Magic to create the Martians using computer animation after their previous plan to use stop motion, supervised by Barry Purves, fell through over budget restrictions. Mars Attacks! was released on December 13, 1996 to mixed reviews from critics. The film grossed approximately $101 million in box office totals, which was deemed to be a disappointment. Mars Attacks! was nominated the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and earned multiple nominations at the Saturn Awards.

Martians begin to surround Earth with an array of flying saucers. James Dale, the President of the United States, addresses America. The message attracts attention between the news media in New York City, employees and common goers at the Luxor Las Vegas hotel, and a trailer trash family in Perkinsville, Kansas. The Presidential scientific aides are able to set a meeting between the Martians in Pahrump, Nevada.

The Martians announce they have "come in peace" by way of a universal translator. But after a hippie releases a dove (as a symbol of peace), the Martians begin to kill the humans gathered. Believing the meeting to be a "cultural misunderstanding", President Dale has Professor Donald Kessler negotiate with the Martians once more. The two species decide to have a Martian ambassador address the United States Congress. However, the event goes wrong once more, leading to the total incineration of Congress.

General Decker tries to convince President Dale to avenge with nuclear warfare, but Dale digresses. After a mysterious Martian assassin disguised as a woman enters the White House attempting to kill the President, the invaders start their full-scale invasion of Earth. They descent upon the planet by destroying international landmarks and end up killing Dale. Richie Norris, a teenage boy from Kansas, inadvertently finds the Martians' deadly weakness (the noise of Slim Whitman's song, "Indian Love Call") after rescuing his grandma at a retirement home. Both Richie and his grandma are awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts. Humans begin cleaning up the Martians' destruction for a better lifestyle. Richie, in particular, believes everyone should start living in tipis.

Jonathan Gems, who had previously written multiple unproduced screenplays for director/producer Tim Burton, came up with the idea of doing a film adaptation of the Mars Attacks trading card series in 1993. The writer then pitched both the concepts of Mars Attacks and Dinosaurs Attack! to Burton, and they decided that Dinosaurs Attack! would be too similar to Jurassic Park (1993), thus they went to work on Mars Attacks!. Burton, who was busy preparing Ed Wood (1994), believed that Mars Attacks! would be a perfect opportunity to pay homage to the films of Edward D. Wood, Jr., especially Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), and other 1950s science fiction B movies, such as Invaders from Mars (1953), It Came from Outer Space (1953), The War of the Worlds (1953), Target Earth (1954), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956).

The A-list ensemble cast pays tribute to the 1970s Irwin Allen disaster films, such as The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974). Warren Beatty was the original choice for the role of President Dale, but dropped out. Paul Newman replaced him, but then considered playing another role. In the event, Newman left over concerns about the film's violence. Jack Nicholson was cast as the President, and convinced Burton to let him play Art Land as well. Burton agreed, specifically remembering his positive working relationship with the actor on Batman (1989).

Susan Sarandon was originally set to play Barbara Land before Annette Bening was cast, who modeled the character after Ann-Margret's performance in Viva Las Vegas (1964). Hugh Grant was the first choice for Professor Donald Kesler, which eventually went to Pierce Brosnan. Meryl Streep and Stockard Channing were considered for First Lady Marsha Dale, but Glenn Close won the role. In addition to Nicholson, other actors who reunited with Burton on Mars Attacks! include Sylvia Sidney from Beetle Juice (1988), Sarah Jessica Parker (who signed on before reading the script) from Ed Wood (1994) and Danny DeVito from Batman Returns (1992).

The original start date was to take place in mid-August 1995, but filming for Mars Attacks! did not begin until February 26, 1996. Director Tim Burton hired Peter Suschitzky as the cinematographer because he was a fan of his work in David Cronenberg's films. Production designer Thomas Wynn (A Beautiful Mind, Malcolm X) intended to have the war room pay tribute to Dr. Strangelove (1962). During production, Burton insisted that the art direction, cinematography and costume design of Mars Attacks! incorporate the look of the 1960s trading cards.

On designing the Martian (played by Burton's then girlfriend Lisa Marie) who seduces Jerry Ross (Martin Short), costume designer Colleen Atwood took combined inspiration from the playing cards, Marilyn Monroe, the work of Alberto Vargas and Jane Fonda in Barbarella (1968). Filming for Mars Attacks! ended on June 1, 1996. The film score was written/composed by Burton regular Danny Elfman, who experienced creative differences with the filmmaker during The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Because of this, they did not work together on Ed Wood (1994), but reconciled for Mars Attacks!. Elfman enlisted the help of Oingo Boingo lead guitarist Steve Bartek to help arrange the compositions for the orchestra.

Tim Burton initially intended to use stop motion animation to feature the Martians, viewing it as a homage to the work of Ray Harryhausen, primarily Jason and the Argonauts (1962). Similar to his own Beetle Juice (1988), Burton "wanted to make look cheap and purposely fake-looking as possible." He first approached Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), to supervise the stop motion work, but Selick was too busy with James and the Giant Peach (1996). Despite the fact that Warner Bros. was skeptical of the escalating budget (Mars Attacks! also had yet to be greenlighted by the studio), Burton hired Barry Purves to shepherd the stop motion work. Purves created an international team of about 70 animators, who worked on Mars Attacks! for eight months and began compiling test footage in Burbank, California. The department workers studied Gloria Swanson's role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard (1950) for inspiration on the Martians' movement.

When the budget was being projected at $100 million (Warner Bros. wanted it for no more than $75 million), producer Larry J. Franco commissioned a test reel from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the visual effects company he worked with on Jumanji (1995). Burton was persuaded to change his mind to employ computer animation, which brought the final production budget to $80 million. Although Purves was uncredited for his work, stop motion supervisors Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders, who would later collaborate with Burton on Corpse Bride (2005), received character design credit. Warner Digital Studios was responsible for the scenes of global destruction, airborne flying saucer sequences, the Martian landing in Nevada and the robot that chases Richie Norris in his pickup truck. Warner Digital also used practical effects, such as building scale models of Big Ben and other landmarks.

To promote Mars Attacks!, Warner Bros. spent $20 million on the marketing campaign. Coinciding with the $80 million spent during production, the final and combined budget for Mars Attacks! came to $100 million. A novelization, written by writer Jonathan Gems, was published by Puffin Books in January 1997. The film was released in the United States on December 13, 1996, earning $9.38 million in its opening weekend. Mars Attacks! eventually made $37.77 million in US totals and $63.6 million elsewhere, coming to a worldwide total of $101.37 million.

The film is considered a box office bomb, but achieved greater success both critically and commercially in Europe than it did in America. Many observers found similarities with Independence Day, which also came out in 1996. "It was just a coincidence. Nobody told me about it. I was surprised how close it was," director Tim Burton continued, "but then it's a pretty basic genre I guess. Independence Day was different in tone - it was different in everything. It almost seemed like we had done kind of a Mad magazine version of Independence Day." During Mars Attacks!' theatrical run in January 1997, USA Network purchased the broadcasting rights of the film.

Mars Attacks! was almost nominated the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences choose Independence Day, Dragonheart and Twister. The film was nominated for seven categories at the Saturn Awards. Danny Elfman won Best Music, while director Tim Burton, writer Jonathan Gems, actor Lukas Haas, costume designer Colleen Atwood and the visual effects department at Industrial Light & Magic received nominations. Mars Attacks! was nominated for both the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film (which went to Independence Day) and the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

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Source : Wikipedia